Eight years ago, the night before my middle sister, Carisa, got married, the three of us Abbas girls started a tradition that will conclude in a few weeks when my youngest sister, Liz, marries her best friend. On the night before our wedding, the three of us get a hotel suite and have a big sleepover.
The night before Carisa got married, I asked her what she most looked forward to in her married life. Her reply has stayed with me: "I'm really looking forward to my 50th anniversary." At the time I was writing my book, working on the marriage chapter, and so struck by her long-term view.
When Niels and I bought our first home, one of the first things I did was buy several matching frames to display along our stairway. Each one was labeled with a milestone date, starting with our engagement and ending on our 40th anniversary. I would have bought one for our 50th anniversary, but since I was 35 when we got married... One of the fun things Niels and I did on our honeymoon was dream about what our life would look like on our first, fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twenty-fifth, and fortieth anniversaries. We wrote up our predictions, and placed them in the back of each frame.
Here's the anniversary wall in our old house.
We packed the photos away when we stage our house to sell back in September 2010. I missed seeing them then, and I've been itching to get them back up in our new house, especially because we reached our next milestone--five years!
Niels took care of the first part of the project. He arranged for us to have family photos taken about a month before our anniversary. They turned out great:
Today, Niels made me very happy by putting up our frames! The top left photo was taken on the carousel by the Eiffel Tower, about 20 minutes after we got engaged. The second photo is from our wedding day. We had some photos taken at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The third photo was on our Alaskan cruise, when I was very pregnant with D.
Each future milestone include our date, the milestone, and the date we'll reach it.
This scene would be repeated often.
We were pretty optimistic that it would be a quick job when we put the first frame up, but apparently our math skills are severely lacking. We had the hardest time figuring out the proper spacing.
Finally, Niels said, "Screw the math!" and put all the frames on the floor and eyeballed it. For the record 22 centimeters was the magic number we were trying to find. What threw us off was that we were measuring from the nail marker on the first frame and the edge of the last frame. Oops.
Since D was napping, we were able to use "his" laser level.
It makes me SO happy to have these frames up again.
We toyed with the idea of putting the "family" art that matches the "home" art we just put up on our fireplace.
Once all the frames were up, we printed off the photo to add to the fifth anniversary frame. Niels prepped it for the frame.
We read through our predictions on our anniversary.
And today we updated all the ways our life turned out differently.
Five years? Check!
Next up? TEN!
Four to go! (And there's a big space at the top for the 50th anniversary, if we're still shuffling around by then).
We did have to apply a little TLC to one of the frames. Kind of a fitting analogy for marriage, hmm?
I love seeing this visual reminder of the years of all the years of life and love we have yet to share.
Here's a peek at the next project.
Print this post