(First) Anniversary

This past Sunday was our (first) dating anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since our first nervous and shaky first date. At the time, I wasn’t sure if he was nervous or just shy in general, but since that first date, we’ve had many conversations about it and he was most definitely very nervous. Fast forward to a year later and we’ve had some amazing times together.

We decided to celebrate the dating anniversary, because it was a milestone for both of us, but also just an excuse to do cheesy and romantic things together (though, I don’t think either one of us needs a specific reason).

Sunday morning, we woke up around mid-morning because the teacher had some special event “planned” that was also a “surprise”. He referenced this surprise the other day when he asked if I had any specific phobias outside of snakes and spiders (which he knew) and when I told him I didn’t and asked why he was curious, he just left me with, “It’s a surprise that’s part of our anniversary plans”.

overwelmed

The entire ride to the “surprise” I kept wondering what it could be. The Teacher is not typically a mysterious person or even a “plan in advance” person. He’s always been mostly transparent and “fly by the seat of his pants”.

Anyway, we pulled up to the venue, which happened to be a local arena where many sporting events, concerts, shows, etc take place throughout the year. As we pulled into the line of cars trying to enter into the parking lot, I asked him if we were there for a sporting event (hockey or basketball). He laughed, parked, and walked me towards the entrance of the arena. There were swarms of people, but literally no advertisements of the event until after we got through security and then we saw:

cirque du soleil

No way! I had always wanted to go to a show, but never got around to it! I was definitely pleasantly surprised. The show (as I assumed) was wildly colorful and imaginative. It held my attention the entire time (which now a days seems difficult to do).

Post surprise show, we stopped at our first date spot, which was a local brewery not far from the arena. Like the year before, it was drizzling quite a bit and was a little chilly, but this time we didn’t have to stumble through all of the “get to know you” questions. We laughed as we recalled certain things we talked about, how crowded the brewery the year before and how amazing it was to return as a happy couple.

After a few quick beers, we traveled to another “early on” date spot just down the street. We visited this Mediterranean spot last spring (April, maybe?) after taking a stroll through a beautiful garden right around the corner. Again, it was nice to return to the restaurant and the food was still just as yummy as I remembered.

After dinner, we went back to his place to exchange anniversary gifts (we exchanged lists of gift ideas because he is a list person). As we entered his apartment, I felt a rush of anxiousness and fear. No, not over the gift I was giving him (a fancy watch he could wear when he wears suits), but what I wrote in his anniversary card! In a nutshell, I wrote some sentimental ramble about how much fun we’ve had in getting to know each other and closed it with, “I love you”.

Yes. I wrote in this card, “I love you”. Mind you, we hadn’t verbally said this to one another by this point, so writing that in a card was potentially risky! I’ve basically felt this way for a few months and felt that our 1 year anniversary was appropriate to just let it out. I thought long and hard before writing that message and genuinely felt in my heart that he felt the same way (he had pretty much been talking around it for months and his actions communicated it as well), but perhaps he was just as afraid as I was to say it?

Well, we read our cards at the same time (silently), sitting side by side on his couch. Upon opening his card, I noticed he had actually filled up the entire inside portion of the card with his “letter”. The Teacher almost never writes anything in cards and the past few cards that he’s given to friends or family were cards that I bought and insisted that he sign (he would just sign his first name). I’ve always been a sentimental person and appreciate writing people notes and receiving notes in return. I never took offense to this and assumed he wasn’t a card person (even though my primary “love language” is affirmation)

I read through his note, which mirrored mine about all the fun we’ve had. He also mentioned that our relationship had been his most serious relationship to date, how he enjoys regularly waking up next to me (even though I steal his covers) and last but not least, he closed it with a statement about how he had been holding in something for a while that he finally needed to let out: “I love you”.

charlie puth hearts

No way. We both chose the same way to communicate our love of the other. How crazy is that? I imagine (like me), he was also very nervous to write that, but also relieved when he saw I felt the same way too. There was definitely a collective sigh of relief after reading each other’s cards. It felt like this tremendous weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had to forcibly refrain from saying it!

The anniversary day went well and was a lot of fun, but my favorite part of the day was reading his card. Knowing that you’re genuinely loved by the person you love is indescribable.

Advertisements

That time I decided to be grossly sentimental

I can’t believe Christmas is less than a week away. This year has just flown by. There have been both GOOD and not such great times, but it’s been a YEAR, that’s for sure.

Because I was emotionally incapacitated this time last year and literally did everything in my power to NOT be in the Christmas spirit (bah-hum bug), I’ve been trying to “make up for lost time” this year. Plus, being in a happy and healthy relationship has pushed me into being a bit more in the holiday spirit than usual. It’s nice to have someone there to share all the little sappy holiday season things with.

In my usual over the tap manner, I decided I needed to do something super sentimental leading into December. On our Thanksgiving stroll (last month), The Teacher happened to mention that growing up, his family had an advent calendar. He went on the explain how excited him and his sister usually were each day they got to unwrap a little treat as they found themselves one day closer to Christmas and how he “missed those days”.

So insert a mental health day off and several hours later, I created an advent calendar for him (for this year). I loaded it with his favorite treats, a Christmas trivia fact (and answer) for each day (he’s a HUGE trivia fan) and a “what I like about you” statement for each day (things that he probably already knows I like about him, but things I wanted to emphasize).

 

advent calendar 1

I made the calendar out of a hanging shoe storage thing (bought it new–would not have used a “used” one for this)

 

advent calendar contents

Each day includes a small treat (candy for some days, airplane bottles on Saturdays (of his favorite liquors), socks on Fridays, full sized candy on Sundays), 1 Christmas themed trivia question with an answer (because he loves trivia) and 1 “What I like about you/something you do” card. Every single thing about this calendar and its contents was VERY calculated and carefully thought out.

 

calendar edited

He’s standing in front of the calendar the night I gave it to him. Upon receiving the calendar, he immediately hung it up. He seemed genuinely touched.  He was very excited (but I intentionally cut out his face). Because we had plans after he put up the calendar, I didn’t get to take a photo until we got back later that night. I made him take this photo IMMEDIATELY after he hopped out of the shower–haha.

Since receiving the calendar, he’s mentioned how excited he’s been each day to get up and open up his treat bag, which makes my heart smile.

socks

In addition to candy on Fridays, he also receives socks. He’s mentioned that he liked Batman a lot as a kid (and maybe a little now as an adult).

But one of the more touching things from the advent calendar has been knowing that he’s been saving all of the cards/facts from each day and remembers what each card says and will reference them in conversation. Some of the trivia cards are actually Christmas related facts about me that he may not know (like my favorite Christmas movie (Christmas Vacation), favorite Christmas song (This Christmas – Donny Hathaway, etc) and he’s actually remembering these things!

What I like about you cards

His collection of cards and box of candy from the other day. My handwriting is terrible LOL

For me, so as long as each treat bag brings a smile to his face, I feel like I accomplished what I set out to do (to spread Christmas joy and to remind him of how very special he is to me).

And maybe the calendar has helped, because prior to the calendar, he didn’t seem particularly concerned with being in the Christmas spirit. Wasn’t concerned about a tree, putting up decorations or hanging up cards he’s received.

Christmas table

The “Christmas table” (at his place — I actually have a tree up at my place–well, until my cat decides to knock it over, I guess)

He still doesn’t have an ACTUAL tree, but now at least has a “Christmas table” with decorations, cards and our wrapped gifts to one another that we plan on exchanging in a few days. Baby steps!

I have to say, that out of all of the cheesy shit that I’ve done, this has probably been my favorite. It was a fun project and a creative way to show The Teacher that I care.