Reflecting on a Year of Marriage

This past weekend, my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We kept it really low-key and enjoyed a much-needed staycation! We’ve never been the type of people to do anything extravagant for celebrations, and we made no exception for our anniversary. We’re both introverted homebodies, so he cooked us a lovely meal and we had a quiet night in. It was very “us.”

As I think back on the past year, I remember the question we got asked the most at the beginning: “How’s married life?” My honest answer was: “Not much different than before!” Cam and I get along like best friends, so we both knew the transition from ‘single’ life to married life wasn’t going to be a big deal. It definitely helps that we’ve known each other since we were 14, practically grew up together, dated for nine years before getting engaged, and lived together before we got married. You think we’d know absolutely everything about one another now, but there are still little things we discover about each other, missed stories we forgot to tell, and probably things we’ll never know (because how can you know absolutely everything about someone without being in their head?!). Some people may find commitment terrifying or boring, but I’ve found it nothing short of exhilarating.

Reflecting on a Year of MarriageReflecting on a Year of Marriage

Marriage was one hundred and ten percent the right decision for us, but that’s not to say we don’t have our squabbles every now and then. I think as long as you agree on or at least learn to accept the major things in life (kids, religion, politics, etc.), you can get through anything. Most of the time when we fight, we can’t keep a straight face because of how dumb we realize we sound. We used to get in more serious fights when we were kids, but we both did a lot of growing up and realized it’s not worth fighting over every little thing. We have actually fought way less since we’ve moved in together, which came as a shock to me! Communication is key, as cliché as it sounds. Learning how to properly communicate was a real life saver for us.

It’s great to have someone there 24/7 to talk to when you need emotional support, or just to have their company even if that just means being in the same room together but not necessarily interacting. Cameron and I spend a lot of time together, but we also make sure to spend some time apart, too. We have different interests and we both need alone time to some degree. Respecting each others’ space can be just as important as being open and communicative. Granted, in our free time we spend more time together than apart, but it’s all about finding a balance that works best for both of us.

To put it simply, I reflect on this year and am glad that I married the best friend I’ve ever had. Even though it doesn’t necessarily feel any different, I proudly wear my gold rings around my finger as a reminder of one of the best decisions of my life.

And this is just the beginning.

Reflecting on a Year of Marriage

DIY Neutral Fall Wreath DIY Neutral Fall Wreath

I don’t know if it’s because I’m crossing over into the 25-34 age group this month, but I’ve been feeling especially crafty lately! You know you’re getting older when you spend hours looking at DIY projects on Pinterest…

Anywho, I’ve had a thing for wreaths lately. Our apartment doesn’t leave much space to decorate as much as I’d like, but wreaths are something everyone can have to add a little curb appeal. The first thing that used to pop in my mind when I thought of the word “wreath” was Christmas. Wreaths to me always meant circular evergreen foliage, but boy was I wrong. You can make a wreath for any season, and I just so happened to roll up my sleeves and make myself a fall one this year. Ok, it didn’t take much sleeve-rolling as the one I made was reeeeally simple, but shhhh! No one has to know ;).

Basically, I took a trip to Michael’s over the weekend and picked up the following:

  1. 14″ Grapevine Wreath
  2. 5 artificial Hydrangea flower stems (3 brown, 2 white)
  3. Pre-made bow (You can pick out ribbon to make your own bow if you prefer – I just didn’t want any extra ribbon laying around I knew I wouldn’t be using. Plus I’m a dreadful bow maker…)

After I cut down the stems to about 2-3″ using garden shears, I arranged them in an arc and stuck them through the grapevine. No glue, no tape, no floral wire. I attached the bow and just like that it was ready to hang on the door! Easy, right? Boring door no more!

I liked the hydrangeas because they’re fluffy and ridiculous, and also because I loved the neutral cream and brown tones. Knowing I wanted part of the grapevine to show as well, I only bought enough to partially cover the wreath. It’s definitely far from a spectacular floral arrangement, but it’s simple, pretty, and enough to keep me happy for the time being! The cost can’t be beat, either. They were having great sales and I got to use a coupon on top of that, so I ended up only spending $16 for all of the supplies! Pretty sweet if you ask me.

This was a really fun, simple project – I think I’m going to like this crossover ;).

DIY Neutral Fall Wreath

Paper Anniversary Gift Ideas

It’s crazy to think that my husband, Cameron, and I have been married for almost one year! (It’s even crazier to think I was in the midst of planning a wedding at this time last year…) Upon doing a little research, I found that the first anniversary gift theme is paper. My initial thought was: Paper?! But don’t worry, it isn’t as daunting as it sounds – it can actually be simple and fun! In fact, I’ll make it even easier: here is a list of six paper anniversary gift ideas.

  1. Notebook/Sketchbook
    If your spouse is a creative type, a notebook or sketchbook is a great gift idea. Speaking from experience as a creative, you can never have too many. Moleskine makes great, high-quality notebooks, so be sure to check them out. Throw in some shiny new artist pens along with it and you’ve put together the perfect gift!
  2. Tickets to an Event
    The stars have truly aligned if your anniversary lines up with an event your partner has been dying to go to. Save the stubs and have them framed to commemorate your first anniversary together!
  3. Photo Album
    If you never ordered (or made) an actual printed book of your wedding photos, now is the time! Print is starting to seem obsolete (especially when it comes to photos), but there will always be something special about looking through a printed photo album. Having them in a tangible form is not something you want to miss out on! If you already have a photo album of your wedding, it could be cute to create an album consisting of photos you’ve taken throughout your relationship. My husband and I started dating in high school, so it’s fun to look back at our baby faces!
  4. A Handwritten Letter
    When money is an issue, you can’t go wrong with a sweet and thoughtful handwritten note. We don’t always take the time to let our spouses know how much we appreciate them, but a handwritten letter will do just that. Leave it somewhere they can easily find it, and it will surely brighten their day!
  5. Books
    Books are a great gift idea since they cover a wide variety of topics. Cookbooks, fiction, poetry, self-help…there is truly something out there for everyone. 
  6. Art
    Last but not least is art! There are so many talented artists on Etsy and Society6 that make beautiful prints; the hardest part will be restraining yourself from buying all the pretty things. If you’re looking for a more custom gift, you can find someone to draw up something special for you. I’ve seen people get illustrated portraits of themselves with their pets/children, and they turn out really great!

Hopefully this blog post gave you some ideas if you were stuck on what to get your spouse for your paper anniversary. If you have other suggestions for paper gifts, let me know in the comments – I would love to know!

Paper Anniversary Gift Ideas