Eight years ago today

Eight years ago was one of the happiest days of my life.

August 30, 2008, I married Peter.

The day was a celebration of our love. We were two youngsters unprepared and immature, but committing to life side by side.

The day was also a celebration of all the love in our lives from family and friends. The atmosphere felt magical. It was the perfect party.

So permit me a little trip down memory lane as I look back on photos from our wedding day. We’ve changed and grown in so many ways over the past eight years, but these pictures bring me right back to day one.

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A wedding anniversary tradition

Thursday marked four years since Peter and I stood in front of a couple hundred friends and family members and exchanged wedding vows.

I have to admit, however, it was an uneventful anniversary.

A month or two ago I had grand plans of taking a weekend trip up North, just Peter and I and Corban. Then I remembered this weekend we had a wedding to go to (of course) – two friends we introduced three years ago – how sweet is that? – and had family coming to visit for said wedding. So we haven’t really had a chance to officially celebrate yet.

On our anniversary, Peter’s brother flew into town, I worked until 8 p.m., we picked up pizza from Bellafini’s (really, really good) and watched Mitt Romney accept the Republican nomination for president. Not the most romantic anniversary, but that’s OK.

We did keep up our tradition of exchanging the “traditional” anniversary gifts. For your fourth anniversary, it’s tradition to exchange gifts of silk. I gave Peter a silk tie from Dimitry Ties (a card came with it with their slogan: “A tie without color is like a man without a soul.” WTF?). He gave me a silk scarf.

But our tradition that is most special to me is our anniversary notebook.

On our first anniversary, one of the gifts I gave Peter (as per tradition: paper) was this paperblanks journal. We each write in it once a year, on or around August 30, and record how we celebrated the date, the gifts we exchanged and then – the best part – our takes on the year. This is where we each recall the highlights, lowlights, memories and thoughts from the past year.

We plan on filling the book someday (I made sure there were enough pages for the next 50 years or so). I’m a writer and a journaler and a pen-on-paper person, so it means a lot to me to have these handwritten memories. Peter isn’t always jumping up and down when it comes to writing in it each year, but overall he’s game.

The notebook also has a compartment in the back for little mementos – things like ticket stubs and cards. Just one of many reasons why I love paperblanks journals.

This could also be a cool tradition for kids’ birthdays. Both parents write a letter to the child each year on his birthday, and give the book to him at some point as an adult.

Do you have any anniversary or birthday traditions? If so, please share!

26 weeks

The weeks are flying by! Photographed at the parentals’ today.

Still putting off buying a good pair of maternity jeans, but I really should just pony up for a pair that fits well. These old jeans from an era when I weighed a bit more (freshman fifteen, anyone?) fit in the sense that they button, but they’re still too big in the thighs and are starting to get uncomfortable after sitting for a while. In fact, I had to unbutton them on the car ride to Naperville yesterday, and then forgot to re-button them before hopping out of the car at Bed Bath and Beyond. Awkward.

Overall, feeling pretty good, but it’s been a tiring week. I simply could not drag myself out of bed without at least 9 hours of sleep each day. It felt like the first trimester again. Baby is still kicking, but it seems like less than before, which makes me nervous. Sometimes I chug ice water just to wake him/her up and feel some movement.

This was a fun weekend though. Lots of special events.

Friday was Peter’s 28th birthday, so I planned a night out for us. We started with dinner at Harbor House (lovely view, good food, classy atmosphere and surprise flourless chocolate cake with sorbet and a candle).

Next, we headed to the Marcus Center to see the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra perform Beethoven’s Fifth. This was our first time seeing the MSO, and they were excellent. Unfortunately, me + a delicious dinner + the clock reading past 8:30 p.m. + soothing classical music + comfy seat = sleep. For the last 2/3 of the concert I struggled [really hard] to keep my eyes open. Not fun! I would blame pregnancy, but it probably would have happened regardless. Peter really enjoyed it though.

Since Peter is a proud Marriott elite gold rewards member (thanks to work travels) and we had a free hotel room to use up this month, we stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn downtown.

Last birthday before baby and we enjoyed it just the two of us.

[Thank you, Instagram, for taking a crappily-lit iPhone photo and making it look like it was supposed to be shot that way]

Saturday brought more celebration. My sister’s future in-laws threw a spectacular engagement party for them in Naperville, Ill.

[Lauren & Kevin]

Thankfully, my very favorite little black dress (that has seen me through many occasions over the past five years) works with the bump. Here are the bridesmaids:

[If I were smart, I would have ditched the heels by this point too. Still feeling the effects of them today…]

And today was yet another celebration. Lauren and I attempted to plan a surprise brunch for my parents’ 30th anniversary, which was last Monday, but we weren’t cunning enough to make it a surprise. So instead, it was just a nice homemade brunch with family.

On the menu: blueberry scones, lemon poppyseed bread, baked Denver omelet, baked cranberry oatmeal, fresh fruit and monkey bread. Winning.

3 years

Well, our Tucson trip put me a little behind (so worth it, though!) and there’s lots to blog about. But since I’m already a day late, first I have to acknowledge our three year wedding anniversary, which was yesterday.

Three years! We don’t do anything too crazy for our anniversaries, but we have our little traditions already, like writing about the past year in a special notebook we started on our first anniversary and exchanging the “traditional” gifts (this year it’s leather, and we haven’t actually exchanged gifts yet because we’re both procrastinators and haven’t bought them!)

But this year we decided to pretend Tucson was an anniversary trip (even though it really was a work trip for me). We went out for a fancy dinner – actually, two fancy dinners, but only one of the restaurants acknowledged our anniversary. The one that did was called Primo, and was located at the resort and run by a James Beard Award-winning chef. We had a sweet little corner booth that provided a cozy seat and some good, discreet people watching opportunities.

Dessert was chocolate heaven with a sweet message.

Then of course we had to do something special on our actual anniversary too. Peter’s idea of a fun date is watching the Cardinals beat the Brewers.

(Peter says I look mysterious in that picture. Maybe uncomfortable is more accurate – my belly is starting to interfere with sitting comfortably.)

A fun game – and oddly, our first time to Miller Park this season.

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years already since our wedding day. If there were a day I could relive again, it would definitely be our wedding day. It was about as perfect as I could have imagined!

🙂

I’ve got lots of updates for the rest of the week. Things are changing rapidly around here, or at least it seems!