Oct 092012

Good heavens! Life is hectic lately. We’ve had near-constant technical problems with either our internet service, or my husband’s work software, and since “IT person” is one of the many hats I wear around here, I’ve been spending many frustrated hours trying to get and keep everything up and running. In the last week, I’ve been on the phone with our ISP 3 times, and they’ve also been here twice to either replace or repair equipment. I’ve also had to reconfigure our wireless network, and I moved my husband’s work program and files to my 2009 desktop computer, and set up his old, 2003 desktop (which no longer had enough RAM to accommodate his software) in the playroom for the kids to use.

Have I mentioned that I hate this kind of work? My husband always says I should work in IT, but there’s no way I could possibly do that. I don’t have the patience, and would go completely insane.

Those of you who are on Facebook probably haven’t seen much of me lately because I deactivated my personal account until after the presidential election, and though the blog page is still up, I’ve been avoiding FB as much as possible (I’m sure I need not explain this, but the onslaught of political “opinions” (re: mudslinging) was becoming a bit much). It’s also the beginning of “birthday season” at our house, so I’ve been busy preparing for both Bee and Cakes’ special days, as well as their joint birthday party on 11/3 (I’m wondering how many more years I can get away with this? I’m hoping at least a few more). Bee will have her first double-digit birthday this year, so I’m putting her picture in the newspaper. I do this for each of my kids on what I consider to be milestone birthdays – 1, 5, 10, 13, 16, and 18.

I have quite a few blog posts in the works, but I can’t seem to manage to actually write any of them. Fall is always a very busy time for us but also, every time I try to sit down at the computer, DJ does something like this:

When I yelled at him, he said he was “doing his hair,” (which was also full of soap). He also told me it was an “accident,” which is what he says about everything he does wrong.

So, I will get to my blog posts….eventually. Here are just a few teasers:

-The girls are having a Build-a-Bear birthday party this year, and I have some great cake and party favor ideas. I’m excited to get started, and see if I can actually pull them off!
-The kids came up with the cutest idea for a Halloween costume theme that involves all 3 of them. I bought DJ’s costume on eBay for only $7.99, and a local store helped us put together everything else we need for FREE!
-After a ridiculous, exhausting, marathon laundry day, which involved hauling 16 loads of laundry to the laundromat, and spending $31.25 to get completely caught up, all at once, I’ve completely revamped our laundry system.
-We’ve been ordering groceries from Azure Standard bulk organic foods, and I’d like to explain how this process works. So far, we’ve been very pleased with everything we ordered from them, especially the 20 pounds of organic Gala apples, for only $19.68! They’re delicious.

Today, I want to tell you about my 11th anniversary celebration with my husband! You may remember that after the horrible events of September 11th, we decided to elope on the Amtrak Southwest Chief, so in honor of our 11th wedding anniversary we rode the rails again, just from the station we originally departed from, to the town where we said our vows. We were just passing through it on the train, on our way to the Grand Canyon, so while our marriage certificate says we were married there, we’d never actually set foot in the town. We felt that it was time to remedy that. πŸ™‚

When we arrived home after our wedding trip, my husband painted the back window of our car,

so for the drive to the train station, he did the same.

We got a lot of honks and thumbs up from people in other cars. It was funny!

Here we are at the station, waiting for our train. I had a flower barrette made at our local greenhouse, to wear as an homage to our wedding day.

The Southwest Chief – the same train we were married on

This was our original wedding cake,

so we had another cake made, and used the same bride and groom, which I had saved in my cedar chest. My husband joked that for our next anniversary, he’ll have to paint a few gray streaks in their hair.

We shared our cake and sparkling grape juice with our fellow passengers in the lounge car, and they snapped some pictures of us.

This one is my favorite, because the way my husband is looking at me reminds me of my favorite picture from our wedding day.

When we arrived at our destination, a taxi took us from the train station to our beautiful Victorian bed and breakfast.

A lovely view of the river from our room

We had a delicious, 4-course, gourmet dinner at a little bistro on Main Street.

My main course – New York strip steak withΒ  Madeira sauce, cheddar and chive polenta, and grilled Brussels sprouts. Just fantastic (and I don’t really even like Brussels sprouts!)

We made friends with the sweet family who owns the restaurant, and they loved our wedding story. They just happened to have a professional photographer there, taking night-time photos of the restaurant from the street, so they gave us a free bottle of wine, and we sat at one of the outdoor tables and talked, while the photographer clicked away. Before we left they asked for our address so they can send us free copies of the photos, as an anniversary gift (there is also going to be an article about us in the local paper)!

The next day, after breakfast, we sat by the river and talked for awhile. We also explored the town a bit, and visited a few tourist sites.

At 3:00, the car we hired came to pick us up at our B&B, and drove us back to the train station to get our car. We were so sad to see our wonderful weekend come to an end, but we were looking forward to seeing the kids again. It was so good to have this time alone together, and revisiting the places and traditions from which our life together began reinforced the special bond we share. I think our 11th anniversary celebration brought my husband and I closer than ever (though that didn’t even seem possible before)! We can always have fun together, no matter what we do, and we never run out of stuff to talk about.

When we got home my husband said, “I think it will be pretty hard to top that anniversary.” Maybe…but it will be fun to try!

I also want to share a photo of the gorgeous Pottery Barn writing desk, which my husband bought and refinished for me in his shop, as an anniversary gift.

We saw this desk at a garage sale, and I loved it, but they wanted $250 (retail is around $600), and naturally I didn’t want to pay that much. I didn’t know that my husband later went back, and bargained them down to $125, and then arranged to pick up the desk the following week when I wasn’t with him. He squirreled it away in his shop so that he could refinish the top, because he wanted it to look just perfect for when I someday get my own private office. I said, “I can’t believe you did that!” and he replied, “Well…every writer needs a desk.”

When I posted this on FB, some guy commented, “he just wants the money from the books sales.” While this is such a lovely sentiment, *snort* I have to burst this super nice guy’s bubble, because my husband has ALWAYS been sweet and romantic like this, and I think I’m a very lucky woman.


  10 Responses to “Our 11th Anniversary Weekend”

  1. Congratulations on this anniversary and best wishes for the ones to come. My husband and I just had our 30th. We were not able to do much because he is recovering from hip replacement. I look forward to later when he is well….
    You are a lucky woman…your husband is a lucky man. Best wishes.

  2. WOW! It does look like it will be hard to top that one! What a fun looking trip! You are BOTH very lucky and blessed!

  3. Happy Anniversary! I love that you had “still married” on the cake and car…I’m going to have to copy that for our next anniversary πŸ™‚ Fabulous weekend trip too, thanks for sharing.

  4. Oh my! I think that you stayed in my hometown, sometimes known as FM! If you did, my husband and I were just there celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary. We took advantage of going home so Grandma could watch our 2 daughters and our youngest son. I can’t believe you were right there and we could have celebrated our anniversaries together. I have been a big fan of your blog for years! To make things more interesting, my husband and I went to a university town in the same state. You know where I mean, I believe. Sorry to ramble. Congratulations!

    • πŸ™‚ You’re right – and thanks so much for respecting my wish for anonymity. We loved FM, by the way. So many warm and friendly people there!

  5. Congrats on 11 years!! I am looking forward to all your upcoming posts. May I plead for you to tell us about your laundry revamp first? I am in desperate need of a new system myself!! Your blog is such a blessing to me, thank you for writing!!

  6. Congratulations! And you are not the only one who has frugal anniversaries! πŸ™‚ We just had our 12th wedding anniversary this week and you know what we did? Nothing! Just spent the day together talking, playing with the kids, laughing, baking, etc. It was a perfect day! I wrote about it on my blog if you are interested in reading the details–and about the “aluminum roses” he made me as a frugal gift that I still use every day! πŸ™‚

  7. Awww, I loved reading about your anniversary trip! We just celebrated 12 years in September, and your photos reminded me of how we used to take B&B anniversary trips often. Now, four kids later, that doesn’t happen as much, but we definitely need to make it a priority! It’s always fun to have that together-time, and yes, it does bring a couple closer together, even when they didn’t think they needed it! Glad to see some new blogs today – I’ve missed you!
    – Angela

  8. Loved the story of your 11th anniversary compared to your first… and the pics!!

  9. How sweet πŸ™‚ Especially enjoyed the sweet pics of you and your husband. He looks like he adores you! πŸ™‚

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