Our Anniversary

December 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Today is our first anniversary.  The present for your first anniversary is supposed to be paper????? Paper that is boring, who wants paper?  I racked my brain, art is paper but since we are traveling we don’t really need a bunch of art lying around that we have to pay to ship home… paper … what else… OMG!!!  Not only do I have no idea of what to get, I also do not have means of transportation.  I am not sure how many of you are up to date with my story but I am living in Swaziland and currently do not have a car, so I have to wait until my husband gets home to take me to the store.  The next problem is that all the stores close supper early here and nothing is open by the time he gets home.  I am not complaining because honestly being here with the hardships is better than I could imagine, I love the country and being with my husband.  So anyway what in the world am I going to do ???? After wracking my brain I decided to do something simple using paper but it required a lot of thought on my part.


As I reflect on the past few months I see how important it is to keep that love alive and not just say it but show it.  I have had a really hard time with the Expat life lately and I know I have taken it out unfairly on Justin.  So I decided that I would make a year of dates to show him that I love him and that no matter how bad things maybe we don’t loose each other in those bad times.  I want to make sure that no matter what we always come back together.  A marriage is all about being a team, learning, growing and changing but always staying connected.  One goal with both have talked about doing for a while now is learning a new language so I also incorporated that into my little plan.


Here is my idea’s for my "connecting" ideas/book:


The Rules:

1. Choose a language to learn one night a week we will practice it (at the end of the year this will come into play).

2. You get Three Dates A Month, It’s all been planned, You just have to choose the day!

1 at-home

1 out

1 off the “bucket list”


You cannot open the envelope until a week before the month starts so that you may choose a date and a bucket list item.


I have twelve envelopes on the outside I write the month and give a clue along with the rules.  On the inside I have placed the details of the date.


The bucket list is a little more risqué and adventurous, this way if I didn’t do a great date idea he still has some input on our events. I have the bucket list in it’s own envelope at the end of the stack.


I will give you a few examples of my book but think of stuff that will break you out of your and your partners comfort zone, think of things that can teach each other about the other and think of things that you can learn together :


Since we have been gone six months we are going home.  So since our plan is to be home with family and friends, in a non-stop 2 week vacation we have to try to squeeze in as much as we can.  We have also had so many changes this past year that we decided to do a dinner party to celebrate everything at once.  We wanted to give thanks for the past year, welcome our new son-in-law and grand baby to the family and to welcome us home.  I decided to have a big dinner party to welcome my grand baby to the world, to welcome us home, to welcome my daughter’s new marriage.  So our dinner in will be a night of celebration, I figure that Justin and I can cook and plan everything together and just enjoy our family.


The clue is A home without family, friends, love and books is like a body without a soul.

On the inside the letter reads:

Look at where we were and where we are now, thank you for this amazing journey!


This month (January) is about US and family, so our night in will be our dinner party.  Since we will be home we will include our family something as well, let's have everyone play a game over dinner (game to be decided).


We are going to do a book challenge:

Step 1:

We each have the same set of rules and we meet back up afterwards to discuss our findings:

Find a new recipe you would like to try.

Find a new idea for a future date; place, food, etc.

Find a picture or map of a place you would like to visit.

Find you favorite children's book.

Find a book you think that your date would enjoy.

Find a book that you read in High School.

Find a book that has "happily ever after" somewhere in it.

Find a self-help book that applies to you.


Step 2:

Sit down in a quiet area or cafe if your bookstore has this and discuss your books.  Maybe even copy the recipes or map.  Take this time to get to know each other.


Step 3:

Next: find the play area for kids and spend at least 15 minutes just exploring the kid section playing with the toys and enjoying each other.


Step 4:

Each of you pick out a crossword puzzle book, or Sudoku book, something to do together and purchase that item (and any other items that you find that you like).


Step 5:

Go out to dinner or just a dessert.  While you are sitting there complete on of the puzzles together.


The month is February - The clue is: Spread the Love

On the inside the letter reads:

Happy Valentines Day to the most amazing man!


This month is about love.  Let’s make a bucket list of things that we want to do together over dinner and then we will give each other an at home spa treatment to remember.


We are going to show the world our love by volunteering and helping a community together.


September - The Clue is: I love Country Boys!!!!

On the inside the letter reads:

We both know that you are not a country fan and I do but I think our similarities are what makes us great but I think our differences are what make us AMAZING!!!


How about a Honky Tonk Night.  We will cook a country inspired meal and eat a country inspired desert, even learn a line dance move or two.


Put on your cowboy boots (we will buy them if we don’t have them) because we are going to ride into the blue yonder together



For December - The clue is:  IT’S OUR MONTH!!!

On the inside the letter reads:

I love you for your persistence and drive!


It’s our Anniversary, Christmas and the end of the year so lets celebrate!!! We will spend the whole month celebrating each other, our love, family and this past year!


Our night in will consist of a special dinner at a cabin or hotel room that we rented for the weekend and for the entire night let’s speak in the language we have practiced all year!


Get our picture taken with Santa, pick and cut our own tree and find some snow and learn to ski.


We are going to go to or do a Christmas Party and New Years Party to celebrate with family and friend!


So here is were some of my ideas came from:

I got a few off Pinterest but you can find plenty other ideas there as well:



Marriages are not always easy and sometimes you get in the routine of life, you forget to show how you feel and just assume that your partner knows how you feel.  By doing little things like this you can make time for each other and have fun!  You are spending your life with your best friend, the one person that you love more than anything so why not enjoy that to the fullest.  As we age, have kids and just get comfortable we forget to be adventurous, we forget why and how we fell in love in the first place.  Don’t forget that, make your love story better than a fairy tale!


A little about my man:


I had a horrible previous marriage that destroyed my self-esteem, my trust and almost my life in some ways.  We won’t go into this as I will not ever give anyone that kind of power again. Truth be told the way things went, the lessons that I learned, the heart ache that I endured taught me a lot and when my marriage ended it was actually the best thing that had every happened to me.  Living that life and moving on from it gave me clear eyes to see my life with, it gave me a true understanding of my worth and it even helped me know what true love really is and to know what I had then was far from true anything.


I met Justin by chance and it was an instant connection, he was handsome and funny and sweet and he had this charm that is so hard to explain.  After I spent time with him I never wanted to be without him and we haven’t really, I mean he worked overseas so we spent months Skyping, messaging and on the phone but we went from a chance meeting to be completely and madly in love in an instance.  My life was flipped upside down in the best way.  I traveled for the first time, I did things that I had never done, I made it my motto to try everything once and to live without fear or regrets and he helps me achieve this every day.  He holds my hand, encourages me and lifts me up whenever I need it and even when I don’t think that I do.  We are true partners in life and we value each other as equals, neither is better than the other at anything EVER.  We are so opposite that we are the same and we learn from being opposites by teaching each other.    I will never take this man for granted! He is my best friend, my soul mate, my lover and my FOREVER!



No comments posted.
January February March April May June July August September October November (1) December (3)
January February (3) March (5) April (1) May June (1) July (4) August September October November December
January (1) February (3) March (3) April (2) May June July August September October November December (1)
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December