With our one year anniversary quickly approaching, I realize I never shared the gifts we exchanged on our special day…June 30, 2017.
Brandon’s Gift to me
This is why it’s important to wait for whoever God has for you. Brandon presented me with this beautiful box he created as his gift to me on our wedding day. He went to several craft stores to make sure everything was what he envisioned. I was truly touched and overwhelmed by how thoughtful his gift was. He could have purchased something really expensive, but that would have never had the same meaning as the love he poured into what he created instead. He wanted it to be a box for all of our wedding keepsakes from our wedding day. In the pictures, you can see my garter, the jewelry I wore, our ring boxes as well as the box he proposed to me with on Christmas Day of 2016, etc. Take a look!
My Gift to Brandon
I remember the day I was at my parents house sitting at the kitchen table talking to my mom about a project I had already begun working on for Brandon. I hadn’t spoken to ANYONE about it and wanted to make sure I didn’t sound too crazy. By this time, Brandon and I had been dating for about 2 months. I shared with her that as badly as I was trying not to feel too deeply for him, I decided to move forward with this idea. I created 5 books throughout the duration of our relationship that contained as much of our dating relationship as I could possibly cover. I told my mom, if he’s serious and heading in the direction I think he is heading in, this will be his wedding gift. If we didn’t work out I told her I would delete them. Talk about a leap of faith!
The first book began with when we dated previously and how the timing was all wrong but the chemistry was there. It speaks a little bit on why I tried to mask my feelings when he came back this time, but God knows that didn’t work! Each adventure included the date, where we were, and a story connecting the pictures along with how I might have felt at the time. Each book was 111 pages long. When we would return home, I would download all the pictures to my computer from all camera’s and mobile devices…yep Brandon had to hand his over too. I told him I will be asking for pictures among other things, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! I let him know that if he didn’t cooperate, it would only end in utter disappointment, mind you I kept assuring him that it would all be revealed in due time. There’s that faith again….or maybe wishful thinking. He gave in which made my life easier. As time continued on, God revealed to it was ok to keep going with the books as we continued to grow. I used Shutterfly as my creation engine for this project. For those who use this site, you know it’s not an easy task. I selected formats they offered or created my own, I had to determine how many pictures to place on each page as well as chose backgrounds, fonts, etc. He would generally fall asleep after our adventures so it worked out most of the time. Otherwise I would end up closing my laptop quickly when he entered a room while saying “your going to have to trust me”.
As I continued with creating them, ideas would pop into my head for other pages I wanted to include. I also chose to add a couple journal pages where I shared deeper thoughts as well as some fun pages like these:
- Do you know how much we have in common?
- Previous chats we had all the way from when we started through 2017
- Write down all the nicknames you call me (he had so many….I loved them!)
- All the times I thought you were going to propose…
The moment we arrived home from the wedding and I climbed got out of my dress, I ran and got his gift. I made him sit down, close his eyes, and hold out his hands (they were pretty heavy as you can imagine). When he opened his eyes, he was so touched yet relieved to know what I had been working on for the past two years. My secret was out! I had to keep a secret for two FREAKIN YEARS!!! Who knew I could keep a secret for this long? He appeared to be in disbelief I had done this. The last book ended with the proposal of course. What better way to end it? I will say, I made sure not to leave anything out including moments like my grandmothers funeral. those moments were a part of our story and the way he was there for me spoke to the man he was and still is today.
Though this was a tedious task that had me glued to my computer for hours at a time, it was every bit worth the time, energy, and heart I put into it. How many people have these sort of memories to look back on? Can you imagine passing these books down to your kids and sharing with them your dating experience and what a good, healthy relationship should look like? I can’t wait to look back years from now at these memories together. Enjoy!
Volume #2 – Love is Effortless
Volume #3 – Love Perseveres
Volume #4 – Live, Laugh, Love/Everyday Happiness
Volume #5 – Every Day Moments