May. It’s the month in which Hubster and I finally met in person for the first time. When I found myself during that first visit standing on a beach at Lake Tahoe, staring across the water at the sunset and knowing with absolute certainty that I had found the one I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. A year later, it was the month he chose to slip a ring on my finger as he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. And a year after that, it was the month that we stood hand in hand in a small chapel, exchanging our wedding vows. I love this month. Love having all these beautiful parts of our story wrapped up into my favorite time of year. There’s something really amazing about how these dates on the calendar, work their magic to reconnect us, bring us back to just being a couple of lovebirds. It makes us remember to stop and slow down for one another, to carve out a little extra time for one another, whether with a rare night out for just the two of us or by squeezing in a couple extra-special at-home dates.
Our celebrations aren’t just about more time for the two of us, though. For us, our marriage is the place where this beautiful family of ours begins, and we both feel passionate about immersing Runt in what a special gift it is for all three of us. So, mixed into the special just-for-us celebrations, we make it a priority to plan special ways to include Runt in celebrating our love. Here are a few of my favorite perfect-for-the-kiddos ways to celebrate the lovebirds who started it all…
Eat all the food! Sharing a meal together is such a simple way to reconnect and celebrate. Throw in a favorite meal that has significance to the two of you, and you can’t go wrong. We commemorate every May 15th (the day we first met in person) with cheesesteak sandwiches, as it was the first meal that Hubster and I shared. The place where we had that first lunch is one of my favorite spots in town because it has so much meaning to us, and I adore that it’s become a place that Runt loves, too. Most years, we head back there for our annual celebratory sandwich, but we’ve also started to experiment with making our own tasty versions at home. Either way, it’s a meal that has us instantly feeling nostalgic and recounting stories about those first few days we spent together.
Take a trip down memory lane. Load the kiddos up into the car and take them on an adventure to explore the places where your story has unfolded. Ten years ago, as I was busy falling in love with this guy from the Internet, I was also falling in love with Tahoe. We’ve made several trips there as a family, sometimes going back to some of our special spots, others exploring new places to love as a family. Nothing makes my heart pitter-patter like watching my boy walk on the beach where I first knew I was in love with his daddy. This year, I think we’re going to celebrate our wedding anniversary with a family day in downtown Reno, splishing and splashing (please don’t let it be too cold!) in the river and having a picnic lunch at the Truckee Riverwalk, where Hubster popped the question. And I’m already looking forward to a someday trip to the place where we held our wedding in Boise for some family photos. Write new chapters of your love story. Set out on new adventures, exploring new places and finding new ways to celebrate your life together.
For our fifth wedding anniversary in 2011, I wanted desperately for us to do something really special. We had a tiny budget and no sitter, but that wasn’t going to stop us. I hit up Google a few times for ideas and stumbled upon the Lover’s Lock website. As I read about the Chinese custom of symbolically locking your love to a never-ending chain, I knew I’d found our perfect answer. So, a road trip to Lovelock, NV was planned. Our day was simple and low-key, but it’s one of our favorite memories yet.
Get them involved in date night. No, that doesn’t mean you have to bring them along. I’ve recently found that Runt loves to help us plan our special evenings. Back in January, Hubster and I planned an extra-special, after bedtime at-home date to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the night that our love began to bloom online. That afternoon, I enlisted Runt’s help to decorate our dining room. Together, we folded slips of paper with my favorite memory from each of the 10 years Hubster and I have shared, and put them in balloons. He helped me dig out candles and prep stuff for our special dinner (you guessed it…cheesesteaks!), and he offered his (unsolicited) opinion on what would be the perfect accessories for my outfit. I loved seeing how proud he was to show his dad all the things he’d helped with for our special night, and it was a great chance to talk with him about why it’s important for us to make time for just the two of us. Do you include the kiddos in your anniversary celebrations? What fun ways have you found to be a family favorite for sharing the special stories of your marriage with them?