Jeremy and I made a few pacts on our honeymoon regarding how we would commemorate our anniversaries for the rest of our lives.
One of the pacts we made on our honeymoon was that we would getaway to celebrate our anniversary every year. Sure life circumstances, lack of finances, and kids, may inhibit us from a week long vacay in Hawaii, but even if it’s camping in our backyard for a night with no distractions, we committed to setting aside unhindered time each year to celebrate our marriage.
If only we could actually go on a honeymoon every year… Oh how I wish. Jer and I joke all the time about the next time we go on a vacation just the two of us, pretending that it’s our honeymoon. I mean… why not? One definition of honeymoon is, “any period of blissful harmony.” So why can’t we just be in blissful harmony while on vacation in the 3rd, 4th, and 50th year of our marriage? Plus, everyone is a sucker for the honeymooners. We got so many fast passes, free drinks, and the greatest service just because we were on our honeymoon. Hmmm…. anyone else thinking what I am?
The second pact Jeremy and I made on our honeymoon was to write each other letters to be read on our anniversary the following year. For example, we wrote each other letters on our honeymoon that we wax seal pressed in envelopes to be opened on our one-year anniversary. I will share pieces of those letters that we wrote last year, and read this year, near the end of this post.
The third pact was to do a little photoshoot:) This was a fun bridal shoot we did for a friend, but I presume next year our photoshoot will be significantly more casual… haha!
Given our commitment to these three pacts, we set off for a weekend of adventuring and exploring near the San Juan islands of northwest Washington. Prior to heading out of town for the weekend, we gave each other our gifts. I feel like a spoiled wife SOOO much and you’ll see why. I think Jer was making up for my birthday;) which was lets just say… not so great amidst quitting my job, planning a move, and being on airplanes every weekend. Jer got me an all-terrain road bike, and an old 35 mm film camera, and I made him a giant framed collage of all of the Instagram photos from our first year of marriage and a giant “one”on it. I hope to make a new on each year.
Check our our anniversary gift ideas >>here<<
We loaded the car and north we went. It’s was an 8 hour drive to our Airbnb in Quilcene, Washington. A forested, cozy, quiet, secluded, cabin overlooking the bay. This is a link to the exact place we stayed in case anyone is interested: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5833166 You can also >> Click here <<<to redeem $20 off your next booking for any Airbnb property. But be warned, Quilcene is a two block town with a brewery, a market, and a church. That’s about it:)
Here are a few photos of the house, which is actually three stand-alone units, so it would be perfect to rent for families who want to put their kids to bed, and hang in the main living room unit, or just for multiple couples ect.
During our two night stay, we explored much of Northwest Washington. We wandered in the old fort bunkers, lighthouses, and castles in Port Townsend, stomped through the marsh lands of Quilcene, hiked Mt. Walker, rummaged through the old antique shops, filled a growler at the 101 Brewery, walked the windy PNW coastline, discovered old abandon railroad bridges, walked the Port Angeles Pier, and played lots of chess (our new favorite nightly activity). The house we stayed in had no wi fii and no TV which we lovedddddd, but we listened to lots of Ben Howard and took in the beauty of silence.
If you follow me on Snapchat (aujb) you know that we did all the classic one-year anniversary things on the evening of our actual anniversary. We ate Pizza in Port Angeles, and then drove back to our Airbnb to drink the bottle of wine we got as a wedding gift, nibble on our year-old wedding cake aka cobbler, and read the letters we wrote each other a year ago on our honeymoon.
An excerpt from Jeremy’s letter to me: “.. My darling I am still dazed by the bliss of our wedding day, emotions are at a high and my peace with felt with you is something I still feel today, a year later. Today (2014), I feel excited for this next year and the life we are to experience together. Our love, a love not of our own, has been noticed and encouraged by people and strangers this week. I hope that now, a year later, that our love is still being recognized by friends and strangers…I hope and pray that a year later we are still pursuing love, ‘for love must grow or die.’ If we are reading this a year later and our love has not grown, I here and now call for a Navigator’s Council to re-address our mission and desire: To inspire love and point a compass towards Christ. Babe, my beautiful bride. You are the prettiest girl in the world. This whole honeymoon I have been stunned and blessed by your presence and knowing my arms are the ones around you as we walk around…. I am so in love with you babe. never have two souls been so meant to exist as one.” Jeremy’s letter also had a list of goals and aspirations for our marriage. In the letter he wrote to that we should hang the list on our fridge as a reminder if any of them have not been met. He also put sand from Jamaica in the envelope as well.
An excerpt from my letter to Jeremy: “….I hope by now you can hear my vows ringing in your ears through my actions. I pray that I would continue living up to them and embracing yours…My prayer is that we have grown more in love with each other through sharing life, challenging each other, date nights, Navigator’s Councils, and all the adventures we must have been on by now. I know that today our braid is even stronger and thicker than it was the day you wore blue and I was your bride. I hope by now we hav figured out how to argue and debate things in a way where we remember that we are on the same team. And if not… well, I AM ON YOUR TEAM. Forever, and that makes an undefeated team. I can say with full confidence today that you are my handsome, wise, inspiring, trustworthy, sexy, gentleman, God-seeking husband. You are mine. I am so honored to call you my husband, and I am sure I am even more honored right now as I read this. I am so proud of you and who you are becoming and I predict I am even more proud today, September 20th 2015. I have no idea that blessings we have received, and the trials we have faced this past year, but whatever they may be, let us hold each other close, kiss each other passionately and praise God when we finish reading these letters….”
After reading these to each other and reflecting on all Jeremy had done for me that weekend, and all the gifts he had made/given me I was just in absolute tears of undeserving joy.
We had a morning campfire overlooking the water on our last day their where we actually branded one of the gifts Jer gave me. A leather bound binder to contain all the artifacts, photos, letters, wedding invites, ect from the first year of our marriage. Jer promised to make a new one each year and we will continue branding them with our brand. Side note: if you don’t remember, this is the brand Jer me for my wedding day gift. On year later, it was our first time using the brand. Here’s a video of our first trial…
As we headed back down south towards Oregon I realized that we were conveniently close to this abandon train bridge that we had both been itching to visit for years. We decided to squeeze one more days adventure out of our trip so we headed up the logging trails in search for a trestle.
I challenge each of you to write now write a letter to your husband or wife and give it to him or her on year from today. It is such a beautifully powerful thing.
Check our our anniversary gift ideas >>here<<
Some of you may have already seen these photos on Green Wedding Shoes, but I wanted to post them myself, as well and give credit to all the incredibly talented people that made this photoshoot possible. Thanks for the best anniversary photos ever!! Here’s some of our favorites!
Photography: Cassie Rosch
Dress: Leanne Marshall
Floral: Selva Floral
Ring: Trumpet + Horn
Make-up: Powder, Inc Makeup
Ribbon: Silk + Willow
Location: Roloff Farms
Ring box: The Mrs. Box
Custom wedding banners: Kept [ Custom Wedding Banners ]
Necklace: The HeyDay Store
Calligraphy banner: Rebecca Caridad
This church will forever have a special place in my heart. As of now we were the only people to ever get married in front of it, but maybe one day, when our children our grown…
At the core, every single human on the planet has a desire to know, and be known. But without the DISCIPLINE of communication, we are left to assume. Communication turns knowing more, into loving more. ALWAYS loving, MORE and more.
“Love is like a fire, it takes time to make it glow. It starts out as a spark, and becomes a flame that grows.”
“Our culture says that feelings of love are the basis for actions of love. And of course that can be true. But it is truer to say that actions of love can lead consistently to the feelings of love.” – Tim Keller
It’s crazy how marriage has the propensity to set the course of your life. Even when circumstances are filled with trouble and weakness, marriage provides the strength to face the worst, while holding hands with the best.