March 12, 2014

the best plank of wood I've ever seen

My sweet husband surprised me with this crazy-thoughtful, tear-inducing, absolutely-wonderful, nerd-tastic anniversary gift and I'm going to get all gushy and share it with y'all. 

Wood is the traditional fifth anniversary present (here's the Wikipedia article with a list) so the fact that this is basically a plank of wood makes more sense after you know that...

Aside: In case you're curious, for year 1 we gave each other personalized stationary and tickets to a cruise (Paper), year 2 was a fluffy robe (for him) and Williams Sonoma apron (for me) for Cotton, year 3 was a leather trimmed toiletry kit for Nick and a professional leather bag for me (Leather). Our fourth anniversary was exactly 32 days after I gave birth so for that year, I gave him a baby :) Although we bought plenty of linen in preparation for the baby, so maybe we can stretch and make that one count. And then, year 5 is Wood...enter my creative and sneaky husband. 

Nick and I got engaged in Venice (Italy, for clarity's sake) and we used to always say that we would try to make a trip back for our 5th anniversary. If you're laughing as hard as I am right now, it's because you realize how optimistic we were about our future financial status ;) Apparently we thought we would be hanging with the Trumps on our yacht in between our trips around the world, haha! Or, we just weren't expecting for both of us to go back to grad school, buy a house, have a baby, or do any of the other "real life" things we've decided to do that have impeded our ascension to Trump levels of wealth. Maybe in 5 more ;)

Anyway, because our dewey-eyed dream of returning to Venice this year was obviously not going to happen, Nick got to thinking about how he could bring Venice to me instead. He spent some time noodling around the internet and eventually found himself looking for "our bridge" in Venice on Google maps. An idea began to hatch and he spent many more hours finding the spots of important events in our lives on Google satellite view and dropping pins to their exact coordinates. Now he knew what he wanted to do, so once he had found all of these locations, he enlisted the help of an artist who has done custom pieces of art for us before, Sara Johnson of Airtistic, to help him finish the project. He and Sara worked secretly to design the piece and it was at our door the week of our anniversary, all without me knowing anything! 

Since I pay our bills, I ended up seeing the payment to Sara on our statement and immediately knew that Nick had been stealthy and had ordered something for our anniversary on wood (although pretty surprised, since we weren't supposed to be buying gifts this year, cough cough Nicholas cough cough). Sara does a lot of her painting on wood so I put the two together pretty quickly but obviously had no idea what it was going to look like. Luckily, I only figured this out a few days before our anniversary so I only had to wait a little while to open it. Once the day rolled around, I begged Nick to let me open it. He kept saying, "No, we need to wait until Alden goes to sleep." I didn't understand why but I (finally) said okay and waited until later. Once I opened it, I totally understood because I then spent the next 20 minutes Googling the coordinates and reminiscing about all of the important moments that Nick captured in this list. 

Not only is it a thoughtful and sweet gift, it's also totally us and so geekily romantic that we're probably the only people who love it as much as we do :) I mean, we're both trained scientists (one of whom is almost a PhD) who think hanging out reading books on a Saturday is more fun than being at a party and who (honestly) spent the better part of an hour the other night talking about string theory (and enjoyed it!). It makes total sense that we're both so in love with a list of GPS coordinates ;) 

I'm not going to reveal what all of them are (we like that there are some moments on there that no one else will know) but I'll say that the day we met, the day we got engaged, and the day we got married are all represented. I really just can't believe how wonderful my man is, how did I get so lucky?!

Also, if you ever come to our house, be prepared to see these things everywhere! I'm obsessed and want to do them for everything now :) Alden's birth? Check. First house? Check. That place with the really yummy burgers? Check. Haha. 

What do y'all think? Too geeky or sweetly romantic? 

much love, L&N

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