On August 1st, Nate and I celebrated ten years of marriage, ten years of friendship, ten years of learning & growing together.
We were young when we married - myself just shy of 23 and Nate 22. Neither of us had careers, but we took the leap, and moved from BC to Alberta. We married in Cochrane, Alberta in a tiny Lutheran Church along the Bow River. We had plans - I was to go back to University to do my Masters, and Nate found a job at Budget Rent a Car. By the time it came for me to go to school, our plans had already shifted. It was Nate who went to do post secondary, and myself who found a job working in the Oil & Gas Industry. Fast forward a year and we had a dog, and were buying our first home.
Together these past ten years we have travelled within BC, Alberta & Saskatchewan. We have found ourselves in Boston & in California. We've flown to Cabo San Lucas & Hawaii. But oh the places we wish to travel. On our forever list has been Australia & I would love to take Nate to Japan one day.
Our 5th Anniversary was celebrated with our first babe, Grace, then 3 months old. Aidan joined us in 2010, and now, on our tenth year, we await the arrival of our third babe. Due in just 19 days.
We had plans for our tenth Anniversary to take a trip to Eastern Canada. When we decided to try for this third babe, we knew our celebrating would look quite different. We both knew we would look back with no regrets. There are so many more years ahead to travel together.
Wednesday morning, after a playdate with a friend, I put Little Master down for his nap, and G settled into a movie. As I was busy cleaning the kitchen, I turned around to find Nate standing in our kitchen holding three dozen red & white roses. He had taken the afternoon off. One can say that after ten years perhaps romance dies down. When I saw Nate walk into our kitchen, I will admit I felt like that 17 year old girl again who had met him for the very first time. He can still make my heart leap.
What I wanted to share with this post most of all, was our exchange of gifts. Months ago I bought some yarn, and set about knitting Nate a pair of socks. Yes socks, for our tenth year. We both want to invest in family rings for one another, but without knowing our third babes birth month (this could go on into September given our history....) we decided to wait for a bit. Perhaps another year. But I still wanted to do something special. For me, that usually ends up making something with my hands (& heart).
This man loves beer (he just started brewing his own!) so it seemed appropraite to give him a gift of 'brew' :)
I found a collection of glasses meant to be paired with four different types of beer to enhance their flavor - wheat, ale, a dark port, and a pilsner.
Nate it seems had the same idea (not beer, the handmade) ;)
After passing me the flowers, Nate disappeared into the garage, still in his dress shirt. He worked away all afternoon, and I could hear all his power tools whirring away. My Mom came and watched the kids and we went out for a really nice dinner together. I was "banned" from the garage for two days. Each day after dinner, Nate would disappear back to the garage.
Tonight, as I was getting dinner onto plates for the kids, he came up behind me and asked me to close my eyes. I've been smiling since August 1st that he too was making me a handmade gift. But what he gave me, brought me to tears.
I don't own many breakable possessions. Ok, I think only two. And both of them have been broken by our son. Both times resulting in tears from me. Not because of what the item was, but mostly because of what the item represented. One, a piggy bank Nate and I purchased the first year we were married. His blue, mine pink. I recovered fairly quickly from that one. I can after all, find another pig. But the second I admit, tore me apart, and it was a good thing Nate was home when it happened to mediate between the little man and I. It was a Christmas music snow globe that had two wooden carved bears in it. It was gifted to me one Christmas by Nate as he knew how much I adored this collection of bears. Despite it being a Christmas globe, I kept it out all year on my nightstand. I loved listening to it play. Little A got ahold of it, and broke it. I could hear him from the bathroom saying "Oh no Mama, Oh no" I ran to see what had happened, and stopped in my tracks. There was snow globe water EVERYWHERE. My panic was also that it was all over the nightstand. One Nate had made in his first year of carpentry. I saw the globe, saw the nightstand, and didn't know where to start. I was upset about the globe, and worried about the nightstand getting ruined as well. Long story shortened, it was all cleaned up, I took some time to myself while Nate watched the kids, and we all moved on.
What he brought into the kitchen for me tonight was this:
The figurines are Willowtree (another collection I adore). The wooden base is from Victoria. He says it reminds him of the ocean. A place we went often went when we were dating. He sanded it down, and applied two coats of lacquer. Then the next thing I heard, was the music box. He had saved the music box from the wooden bears, and re-made it into this beautiful piece. I couldn't even speak as tears ran down my cheeks.
I feel lucky, blessed, and so so loved.
Our gifts could have been splashy, lavish, and expensive. But they were both handmade, and filled with absolute love. This I know, now more than ever, is better than anything.