the stuff that makes us US.

I'm about to brag about a super awesome anniversary celebration. But only because I want you to turn around and plan a date like this of your very own. The night turned into something really special, which was great because I wasn't sure what we should do to celebrate our nine years. But since we had yet to get to Lake Harriet this summer it seemed that we had better get there before winter.

And then the night before our anniversary I was with two friends who encouraged me to pack a sentimental picnic of foods that meant something to us. Which tipped me off in the greatest direction. I decided to plan a whole date around the stuff that makes us us.

We were already off to a great start. A picnic at Lake Harriet is perfectly us. So I went to the thrift shop the day of our anniversary and found an awesome picnic basket for five bucks! It had two holders for beverages, but I saw them as flower vase carriers. And since zinnia bouquets are very me, and since I am a part of the us, I brought them along. Then I took down the quilt that we got in Nebraska at the camp quilt auction. It has hung in our bedrooms and Ivar's nursery and seemed to be the fitting blanket for such a special picnic.

I figured out how to download music onto my phone (so proud!!!) so that throughout the picnic I could play him our songs. I played the song we first danced to at our wedding, The Luckiest. And later I played the song that has become our family theme song over the past few years, On the Front Porch. And finally, our favorite version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

We ate Jimmy Johns and then I surprised him with a whole batch of chocolate chip cookies I made that morning and a thermos of ice cold milk. When we first got married we used to buy Sweet Martha's cookie dough at the grocery store and bake the whole bag to eat while watching tv. How we don't both weigh 400 pounds, I'll never know. But when I was thinking through what we loved before we had kids I had to include fresh chocolate chip cookies. I brought apples from our apple trees and raspberries I had picked before we left.

We laid on the blanket for a long time and then tried to take our first selfies. We are new to the world of selfies and laughed so hard trying to get this one, blurry shot. My neck was not cooperating and I was crying I was laughing so hard. When we sat up we found a whole team of bikers parked right by our blanket and Rory commented that they probably thought we were on our first date with the flowers and quilt and silly laughing. And that made me really happy.

We got up and walked around the lake and talked without interruption the whole way. I had brought our frisbee that has been to Nebraska, Montana and Hawaii but it was dark when we got back to the car.

So we went to the Dunn Brothers in Linden Hills and looked through the scrapbook I made years ago of the year of dating before we got married. We read the love letters we wrote to each other and it made us giggle and groan and I think we fell in love with us a little more.

And then the Dunn Brothers closed at 8:30 and we were like, "what the dealio dunn brothers?" So we drove to Barnes and Nobel and played Settlers of Catan and Rory won.

The night was magic. I hadn't put so much thought into a date since we I had a blast planning everything and pouring my heart into our time together. I hardly slept the night before I was so excited. No joke. And the whole day as I downloaded our songs onto my phone, baked cookies and picked zinnias I kept thinking about how actually simple this all was and how every wife should plan a date like this. To celebrate all the tiny things that make your marriage uniquely yours.

I can't encourage you more to start making a list: your songs, your foods, your desserts, your books, love poems, games, flowers, your favorite places, your favorite activities, your favorite trips, your favorite hobbies. And then plan a special date. Even if you've been married only 2 years, and especially if you have been married for 52 really should do this.

The funny thing is that I felt a little bashful and dorky as I unveiled the theme for the night. But the second we started listening to our song, the one we danced to nine years ago that night, a sweet love swept over us and I knew it was going to be a great night. And it was. It was one for the record books.


Rachel said...

Awesome, Becca! Congrats on 9 years! Our 10th is coming up in less then a month. Thanks for the inspiration!

Kandi said...

What a thoughtful night of you as a couple. Very inspirational. Congrats!

Nancy Holte said...

What I especially love about your picnic is the Jimmy Johns. I used to skip picnics because I thought everything had to be homemade. Dumb. Good job, Becca!

Amanda B. said...

I love that your anniversary date night turned out so perfectly! I kept thinking about you and hoping that you day went exactly as planned. Loved hearing about it and seeing the colorful, beautiful photos.