Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Anniversary Journal

 Wednesday, April 3rd, was our 4 year anniversary! 

How I got lucky enough to be married to Lucas I do not know, but I am so glad that he chose me.
I never would have guessed, then, where the next four years would take us. I also never would have guessed that the love I felt for Lucas could have grown beyond what it was then. I felt maxed out on love on our wedding day. He was everything I had ever dreamed of and more, but somehow every day I love him more.

Last year, two days before our 3rd anniversary, I remembered a conversation we had a couple weeks before he proposed to me. We were on the phone since I was staying in a hotel with my family the night before my brother, Steven, got married. 
(Keep in mind that Lucas is so humble. He is unconvinced of his greatness.)
We were saying goodnight, and Lucas got quiet. I asked if he was okay.  I heard his voice, a little choked up and suddenly quiet,
"Amber, why would you love me?"
I wasn't sure what had brought it on, but I remember listing reasons why I had fallen for him, why he was perfect for me, how he made me feel. He was a little uncomfortable listening to me praise him, so he thanked me, told me he loved me so much, and said goodnight.

 Upon remembering that conversation, I thought of a gift that would help him to no longer question not only how he could be loved, but specifically why I loved him.  Unfortunately, I didn't have time to give it to him then, so I thought up another gift, probably a video game, and gave it to him. 

So, on our third anniversary I started this little journal:

On the first page I wrote the quote:
"One hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you" -unknown

Then, every day, without him knowing about it, I would write down a reason why I loved him.
 Sometimes it was something general about him as a person ("I love your big hands. I feel safer when I hold them"), and sometimes it was something that he did that day or a feeling I had about him. (Last night we stayed up late joking around and laughing, it was so worth being tired at work today!") Some days I had lists of reasons. Others I laughed when I wrote stories of how we laughed for hours, and others I cried as I wrote of the sweet things he did or how he lifted me. Sometimes it was just three words "I love you", but more often I wrote more.
I was always excited to add my next entry, I was always looking for the next way to express to him how I felt for him or how he touched me that day. My love for him has literally grown with each entry. So, I wrote every day for the last year- each day looking at him and watching him, but more importantly, appreciating him.


I have never had more fun, or been more excited about a gift I have given someone, I have also never put more heart into any gift.  He never knew about the journal.
(except one day he saw me writing when we were on vacation and I tried to sneak away for second, unsuccessfully. He said, "I didn't know you had a journal for little thoughts" and I said, "oh..really?" and put it in my purse and didn't let him near my purse until I could better hide the journal. I was more careful after that.)  I took it to work during the week and I would read through the entries when I had a minute. It became a treasured item, a comfort to hold, it was my heart on paper. A way to capture a year of what I sometimes feel is a perfect marriage.
So as our fourth anniversary came, I was SO EXCITED to give him the journal. On the back page I finished with the last entry, on our 4th anniversary. Then I added the quote:

"For you see, each day I love you more; today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow." -Rosemonde Gerard

I took the book to the closest deseret book and had them imprint on the front cover "Our Fourth Year" then I went home and wrapped the notebook. I was so excited I was dancing around our apartment and bursting with excitement. When Lucas got home I slid the little box in my purse and tried to act like I was just excited for our dinner reservations at a nice steakhouse, another surprise for him. 
*We made a deal this year that he was in charge of Valentines Day, and I was in charge of our Anniversary. This worked great for planning when and how to give him the journal*

We sat down to eat at Flemings Steakhouse. The lighting was low, the food smelled great, the journal was finally finished and wrapped, it was perfect. After we ordered our food and while we snacked on bread and waited, we decided to exchange cards. Lucas acted all serious and he gave me a card, and didn't smile. I opened it and read:

He wrote "Amber, Sorry I let things go so long, but I think sooner is better than later. I hope life turns out okay for you, hang in there slugger. Lucas"

 I laughed, tried to look hurt, and said, "Are you breaking up with me?"
He said, "Sorry." 
I said, "Can we at least finish dinner?" 
He answered, "ehhh I dont know." as he leaned away from me. 
Then he started laughing and said, " I laughed so hard when I found that card, and I felt so bad while writing that!" Then he pulled out another envelope with a really sweet card. He wrote some really sweet things and got me crying. 

I love that man. And that brought me to the journal. I reached into my purse and pulled out the box and handed it to him. He smiled and started unwrapping the box. 
When he saw the journal he said, "Wow, what is this?" (I start crying I'm so excited.)
He looks at me confused why I'm so emotional, and opens the cover of the journal, he smiled when he read the quote. Then as he reads the first page, and flips to the next he realized what I had done.
He got really quite and whispered, ""
He looked at me and his eyes were filled with tears. He sat there, choked up, and he read a page or two. Then he looked up and said, "Did you really do this for a whole year?" 
I sniff out "Every day." :)
He says, "Amber this is the most thoughtful thing anyone has ever done for me. I can't believe you did this for me. Every day! I dont know what to say!" He closed it tenderly, like it was fragile and reached across the table and told me how much he loved me.  I was so happy.
He said, "If our house is ever one fire, I will save you, and I will save our kids, and then I will save this. This is you! This is your heart! I just.....thank you!"

Then we ended the night eating way too much DELICIOUS steak, driving home with our pants unbuttoned, laying on the living room floor holding hands, and moaning about how we ate too much food. 

I am a lucky, lucky woman. I started the next journal the next day. I LOVED doing it and I hope to give him one every year.


Sarah said...

THIS IS SO CUTE! I love your love :)

sam&charlie said...

oh my gosh, this idea is absolutely adorable!!! how special. :) happy 4 years!

Melissa said...

What an awesome idea! I hope you don't mind if I copy you :)

Emily Jo said...

Remember how I'm obsessed with you guys? It's even more true now. Come to Idaho again so I can be your baking slave and babysit Taylor baby #3!

Liz-a-nator said...

I love this!

Someone gave Jacob and I a journal as a wedding gift for this purpose. We've created a tradition of writing one reason why we love each other before bed every night. It's perfect because A) it GUARANTEES we have at least 2 minutes every day when we connect, and B) we have these journals full of all the reasons we love each other. They are so precious to me, and I feel so grateful for that gift.

Drew Watts said...

Oh my god! That’s amazing! Even I am one of those people who write journals. I write them but I am also scared that somebody might read all of that. It’s a very good habit though. And you guys look great together. I am also marrying my best friend this year in one of the Chicago wedding venues and I will start writing now.