Beginning our 7th year

My husband, Luke and I, in all of our camping splendor, on our 6th Anniversary - July 3, 2009

This is somewhat of a personal post - not my typical, but I wanted to share nonetheless, because what we do grows us closer together year by year.

We began this our first anniversary. The traditional gift is paper, so I made Luke an anniversary memory book as my gift to him. Each year as we reflect on our last year of marriage, we have the chance to remember special times, places or people, that we may have otherwise forgotten over the years. Right now, it is fresh in our minds, so we write them down to keep them alive.

We include things like:
  • Picture of us on that day
  • Letters, notes, etc
  • Where we live
  • Our favorite restaurant
  • Favorite home cooked meal and desert
  • Favorite music
  • Highlights from the past year
  • Difficult times
  • Travels
  • Areas of spiritual growth
  • Areas we need to grow in
  • Goals
  • Sweet things to be remembered
  • Anything we may forget later
Here is what we wrote for this past year:

We live in Wyoming {in the book I include the address}. Luke's favorite home cooked meal is grilled steak, chicken enchiladas or beans-n-tillas and his favorite desert is still Oreo cream pie {although I can't say as I made it once this past year}. His favorite music is still Kutless. Mine is worship and praise music.

  • Taking a step of faith by selling our house to get out of debt
  • Packing up and getting ready to move to KY or wherever the Father would lead us
  • Finding out at the last minute that we were able to stay and God providing us a place to live
  • Luke getting to keep his dream job
  • Living in our motorhome for 6 weeks while renovating a turn of the century house
  • Tearing down strongholds in our lives
  • Starting an online journal to record and share our journey - ie blogging
  • Buying land in Montana
  • Making plans to build a cabin and future homestead
  • Finishing our 4th year of homeschooling
  • Hitting our first savings milestone
Difficult times:
  • Having our faith stretched
  • Not knowing where we were going once we sold our house
  • Homeschooling while renovating the house
  • Waiting on the Father for His leading
  • Road trip to Idaho for a family reunion and to Kentucky to look for a homestead.
  • Met 2 wonderful families along the way who are in our hearts to this day.
Sweet things my dh did this year:
  • Often bought me flowers for no reason, just to say I love you
  • Bought me my favorite flowers - daisies
  • Left me notes on my pillow when I came to bed late
  • Bought me chocolate bars regularly (truly, he is the one with the sweet tooth)
  • Always supported and encouraged me and told me what a good job I do with homeschooling, even when he goes out of his way to help around the house to allow for my creative energy
Highlights of our spiritual growth:
  • Luke's active role as the spiritual head of our house
  • Stepping out and remaining steadfast in our faith
  • Enduring persecution
  • Learning to not defend ourselves when wrongfully accused
  • Learning to forgive
  • Learning to trust that He is faithful to lead
Areas we need to grow in:
  • Continue to grow in faith so that we are unwavering in this area
  • Communication and respect
  • Consistency in child discipline
  • Making time for date nights
Aspirations for the coming year:
  • Pray for our children more
  • Build an off-grid cabin on our land in Montana
  • Continue to live debt-free
  • De-clutter and reorganize
  • Set a new savings goal
  • Improve our food storage system and rotation
  • Step up our preparedness efforts
  • Be spiritually prepared for whatever the Father has planned for us
  • Improve our gardening techniques and learn how to save seed
  • Learn to hunt
  • Fish more
The traditional gift for #6 is chocolate and wood. Here was my choice:

Green and Black's Milk chocolate with almonds for Luke, mint dark chocolate for me. And I stuck mini G&B chocolates to sticky notes - one of Luke's love language is words of edification - so I included things he might like to hear, like "you are a good husband, father, provider, etc." and things that I am thankful for, etc. I left these on the stand next to his side of the bed for him to find.

And here is what we did for wood:

7/16 OSB and 2x6x9' 2-5/8" boards - lumber for building our cabin. We thought this was a good investment to put towards completing one of our goals for this year. We met with the contractor today and are excited to get started on the foundation this month.

I praise our Heavenly Father for all the good He does in our lives and for growing us closer together by growing us closer to Him. :-)


  1. Happy Anniversary! What wonderfully sweet ideas you have for celebrating your six years. I especially love the pile of wood! Congrats on the anniversary and congrats on the beginning of your new house.

  2. Wonderful Chel - I am pleased to have read your post,and blessed by it....Happy Anniversary! Andi

  3. Bless your hearts, both of you! I have loved reading this post. What a wonderful tradition. Thank you so much for sharing this. I've learned alot about you and have read things that I,too, believe strongly about!

    Of course I love your gift of chocolate-:), but it makes me so very happy for you to see your gift of wood!

    Congratulations from my heart to yours!

  4. Mmmm, that's a great post, Michelle. Congratulations, and I love your idea of reflecting and recording on the past year. I know in the OT it seems that beginnings and endings were important and worth noting. Well done, and blessings ahead for you both. What a year it has been!