When our first anniversary came along, my husband, Clif, said he would plan the celebration and not to worry about it. Sweet! It fell on a Sunday, um since we got married on a Saturday the year before (but you figured that out I’m sure), and we made a weekend of celebrating. No kids, a great year, why not.
So, we spent the Saturday enjoying the sun (yes, the first week of November here in San Diego the sun is usually out, shining, and bright and I wore a short black mini-skirt and short sleeve shirt. Shamelessly. Yes that was pre-varicose veins) at La Jolla Cove. We had a picnic, played some Frisbee, and wrote in our journals together on a bench overlooking the ocean (those were the days - now neither one of us keeps a journal). So, I thought that was it for the anniversary celebration and that was fine with me. I was hap-peee.
Then, I can't quite remember how this next part worked out, but I think we went to eat dinner and we were walking through La Jolla and we saw this cute hotel we had never walked through before. (Note: I have this weird fascination with hotels and I also worked as a front-desk clerk through college and just love the idea of people coming and going some where - I know, it's weird. Still would like to work at an airport.) Anyway, Clif says, hey why don't we check this hotel out? So we walked in and he waltzes up to the front-desk clerk and says that we would like to check in! Check in?! With no bags in hand, my husband turns to me with a quirky smile on his face and says, "Don't worry Pretty Girl, I brought your toothbrush." Well all right-y then.
The next morning over our complementary breakfast on the top terrace of the hotel, we also discussed each of the points in our wedding vows (we wrote our vows ourselves so we knew each one of them) or as we refer to as "our covenant." We would talk about how we could do better or how we are doing well on each one of the points of our covenant.
Our first anniversary celebration paved the way for the next 12 and that is how we started our own tradition as a married couple.
We decided that he would plan out the odd numbered anniversaries and I would take the even. Let me tell you girls, he out does me every time. I just can't surprise him the way he does me. He is so creative and I hate to say I'm just a little too predictable.
Sometimes we stayed at a hotel sometimes at home, but we always asked a kind couple, without children, if they wanted to watch our kids. They are the only ones who want to take ‘em.
We've had some good anniversary celebrations among the 12 and well some only “okay” celebrations. Some years we were so tight on money that just getting to the movies or going on a hike was a big treat. (We are both big-time movie buffs and love the whole MOVIES' theme.) Some disappointments were when it rained out our picnic, we went to a little town for dinner to find it closes after dark, we missed a boat, the surprise destination trip slips out of the mouth of a family member, and some others I can't remember.
Some good years were the weekends away to Catalina Island and San Francisco, as well as the Sea-doo excursion in Mission Bay. Another big one was our ten-year anniversary where I managed to put together a surprise anniversary party for Clif depicting some of the features of our original wedding reception.
We never give each other gifts and we NEVER give in and tell the other person where we are going. We are very good at keeping the destination a big surprise. The more creative and the more they are caught off guard the better.
But the good or not so good anniversaries always adds to our memories and they each are a reminder that we are still together and we will survive through life's travails. And each year we always (well not always, but we sure do try) talk about our covenant and how our marriage and relationship can grow in the coming year and how we can communicate and become a better team.
Our 13th anniversary was last week and it was Clif’s turn (odd numbered anniversary) to plan a weekend celebration. The only weekend that we could get away this month is next weekend. I’m so excited. Clif has something planned and he is keeping it a real good secret (he says he really doesn't know what we are doing and will let the wind take us where it will - but I don't believe him). I’ll tell you when we get back what he contrived for our 13th wedding anniversary celebration! Just to be away with him and have his attention for more that an hour is treat enough for me.
What are some of your marriage traditions? Family traditions? Or traditions that you have observed that you want to establish in your marriage or family one day?
* I write a post once a week - to receive the next one in your inbox you can “subscribe” (which is totally free) by clicking here. Enter e-mail address in top right corner.