Day 354: Apple Cider?

January 10, 2013

I’m going to be real honest here. I don’t know what act of love I did for you on day 354. I have in a Word document that for my act of love on day 354, “Apple Cider.” I thought that maybe you would remember so I asked you if you did:

“No, I don’t remember doing anything with apple cider,” you replied

“Well, I have it in my notes that we did something with apple cider on day 354.”

Apparently, whatever we did, it wasn’t life changing. But it had something to do with  apple cider. I’d like to think we spent the day in a cabin on a lake, sipping apple cider by a warm fire. Or maybe, we just had some apple cider together at home. Nah–I’m sure it was the former.

Day 265: Anniversary Date #3

June 28, 2012

For our final anniversary date, which occurred on our actual anniversary, I took you on a surprise picnic at the beach.

The night before, as we were sitting on the couch, I (seemingly randomly) declared: “I’m going to bake a quiche.” I thought you would be a bit suspicious about my declaration, especially since our anniversary was the next day and since I’d never baked a quiche nor expressed any desire to. But you weren’t. You said okay and went back to what you were doing. Maybe that’s because I frequently make strong declarations about random things: “I’m going to run a half marathon this fall.” “Would you like a pie? I’ll go make one.” “I’m going to take up swimming.” “Let’s travel around Europe when I’m done with school.” “I’m going to fly planes for a living.” I guess not all of my declarations become a reality. I did bake that quiche, though. Here it is, eggs, bell peppers, feta, cheddar, garlic and all:

To be honest, I don’t know that it’s a quiche. It could be a frittata or it could just be baked eggs with random stuff thrown in. I really don’t know what qualifies something as one or the other. But let’s call it a quiche—it tasted so great, I think it deserves a fancy French name.

(By the way, I’ve wanted to make you a quiche (i.e., the kind of thing of which the thing pictured above is an instance) for about six months. I’m not sure why. I just had it stuck in my mind to make you one and to eat it with you at the beach.)

But enough of that delectable dish I somewhat arbitrarily designated a quiche. Let’s get back to the date. On the day of our anniversary, I put all of our picnic items together and sneaked them over to our friends’ house. They agreed to set up the picnic for us so that we would “stumble” upon it as we walked on the beach.

When I came back, you asked for some of the quiche. I gave you the small portion of it that was left. “You ate the entire thing!?” you asked. I simply shrugged my shoulders in response. When you were done eating, we dropped our kids off with some friends and drove to Goleta Beach. We started on our walk and soon came upon the picnic lunch.

“Hungry?” I asked you as I motioned to the picnic. “This is for us!? How did you do that!?” you said as you jumped to hug me. (With all the crazy surprises I’ve done through 365, I think you now consider me the David Blaine of romance.) After taking about 1,000 pictures of our lunch, we started eating. All the while, people on the beach were stealing glances of us, perhaps wondering what was taking place.

After lunch, we took a walk on the pier. We talked about family life, our marriage, and the possibility of adopting children, and at one point, I ran through these resting pigeons:

Our three dates proved invaluable, since they provided us with some much-needed time together and without our children (whom we love dearly). Here are some more pictures of our picnic:

Day 200: A Hike to a Cross and a Few Surprises

April 19, 2012

If you haven’t noticed, I try to do a fun/big/more involved act every fiftieth day of the blog. This time, I didn’t do something very involved (which might be surprising, since day 200 is a big milestone). Instead, I did something that I thought would be meaningful–I took us on a hike to a cross to pray for our marriage.

On early Sunday morning while at the church retreat near Malibu, I had a friend watch our kids so we could go on that hike. Before we began, we stopped by the cafeteria and grabbed some espressos. When we started hiking, you expressed your concern that our hike might turn into the fiasco of a few months ago, but I assured you that the trail was wide and relatively flat.

At one point, a trail that branched off the main trail shot directly up a hill and had ropes that one could use to assist oneself in getting up the hill. I wanted to check it out, but you didn’t, so you stayed while I went. When I got to the top, I noticed that the main trail wrapped around the hill and intersected the trail I had just climbed. So, I decided to take the main trail back down in order to scare you. I sneaked around the hill until I could see you, then started running toward you and screaming. “Hey,” you said in a nonchalant tone when you saw me, “I knew you would do that.” I guess I’m pretty predictable.

As we continued on our hike, we saw some other crosses in the distance:

Eventually, we found the right one:

But, when we got closer, we saw that the hill that it stood on was really overgrown, so we didn’t attempt to get up it. Instead, we took in the view, then turned back. Initially, I wanted us to leave some prayer requests for our marriage at the foot of that cross, so I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t make it. But then I thought of another cross that I saw on the hike up:

I facetiously called this the Graffiti Tower of Faith.

So, we decided to leave our prayer requests there. I pulled out a piece of paper for you and one for me and we wrote our respective requests on our respective papers. You asked God that we’d be good examples for our children, for strength for our marriage, and for one other thing I can’t currently think of. I asked that our marriage would be characterized by love and unity. We placed our requests at the base of the tower, then prayed for our marriage.

Our prayer requests are on the right. Notice the heart-shaped coffee sleeve by the cups.

As we continued hiking back, I noticed something yellow stuck high up in a tree. “What’s that?” I asked. “It looks like a deflated balloon,” you replied. “Look, it has a note attached to it! I’m gonna climb the tree to get it.” “No, don’t do that. Just leave it alone–I’m sure the message is personal.” “No, I’m going to get it!” I climbed up the tree and grabbed the balloon. When I came down, I detached the note and started to unroll it. “Please don’t read the note,” you started to say, until you saw the handwriting on it. “It’s your message! That’s your writing! How did you do that?!” “Let’s just say that I’ve already been on this hike.” “You’re crazy, but you’re getting pretty good at these dates.”

PS: It seems that I got a little too familiar with a poison oak plant on our excursion. Maybe I should’ve been gettin’ familiar with you instead.

By posting this picture, I'm getting close to breaking my self-imposed anonymity rule for this blog. Still, I wanted the readers to see this.