Tuesday, May 29, 2012

happy anniversamemorial day & a diy card idea

Happy Memorial Day... er... day after Memorial Day. I would have posted yesterday, but I was too busy grilling hamburgers in the sunshine and cracking open some ice cold beers. Wait... scratch that... that's what Memorial Days are supposed to be made of. Instead I spent mine filming two sponsor videos in tropical-storm-like conditions at the beach while the sand came whhhhipping at my legs (this also involved me wearing a GoPro camera on my head while at one point kneeling in shells as waves pummeled me. Let's just all take a moment to visualize that scene. Did you get a good laugh? Good. Oh, the things I do for my job...) Luckily there was the redeeming second filming location - a freezing cold pool filled with floating storm debris. Lucky lady, right here.

Behind that underwater smile is a mild case of hypothermia.
Okay, I must admit, I'm being a bit dramatic here (no surprise, I know.) While the aforementioned is all true, it wasn't that disappointing as Memorial Days go. It may not have been all the R & R that the holiday typically calls for, but I did spend the day with friends, being outside and enjoying the beginning of summer, gale force winds and all. So what if a little tropical storm decided to show up this weekend? Such is the life of a Floridian. I also made sure to take time out to remember what the entire day was for - our amazing service men and women that make the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country free and safe. Just want to send a big thank you to all our troops out there. Your bravery is appreciated beyond words, and we should be thankful for your service every day of the year. So all in all, an unconventional Memorial Day perhaps, but an awesome one nonetheless.

Now that I think about it, this was actually a double-holiday weekend in the Sadlergeart household. As some of you may know, Sunday marked Jason and I's (Jason and my?.. oh, that's a tricky one...) two-year anniversary. Making anniversaries a big deal may seem silly to some, but I've always really valued the idea of celebrating this yearly milestone. If I'm being completely honest, Jason is the first person I've been with long enough to have a two-year anniversary. Yep, you heard me. Not that I have any aversion or incapability of dating someone for a long period of time (quite the opposite in fact because I think I'm a relationshipper to the core), but I have a firm belief that if you come to the conclusion that you and your mate aren't right for each other, you owe it to the other person to end it, no matter how hard that may be. Well, let's just say I have a history of ending it. I'm not proud of this track record by any means, but in a way I am proud that I stay true to what I know is right for me and that I find the strength to move on if it's not right - even when that means making hard choices.

So all of that being said, two years was big for me and big for us. Each person has their different idea of what celebrating an occasion like this means, but to me, I didn't care what we did as long as it involved quality time together. Don't forget - we live together, we work together, we pretty much spend every waking moment together. And while that sounds like a recipe for a ton of quality time, it's actually the opposite. We're so busy focusing on work, our daily household errands, etc. that while the time is plentiful, the quality time is scarce.

So on Sunday, instead of a fancy dinner or a trip somewhere, we spent a heavenly day of laziness together. Since Tropical Storm Beryl brought a veritable monsoon to our doorstep, we decided to take it as a sign and stay cooped up and cozy. We "pigged out" on Skinny Pop popcorn and mini Diet Cokes, two things that are treats in our household since we started eating a lot healthier. We also absolutely binged on TV, watching probably eight or nine episodes of LOST (we started over from season one - it's probably one of my top three favorite shows of all time.) We made steak and veggies for dinner paired with our favorite craft beers (credit to our friend Sean for getting us to hop on the craft beer train ... see what I did there? Probably not. It's a stretch.) and we topped the whole day off with Jason's famous almond meal dark chocolate chip cookies. Now I'm aware that to many people this definition of fun is probably pathetic. However, to us, it was an absolutely perfect day - a rare one in which we weren't worried about brainstorming business ideas, filming videos, or ordering t-shirts. For one day we got to celebrate being together by simply... being together. It was fabulous.

My favorite part of the day though, was the one element I left out. The one thing I always look forward to each birthday, valentine's day, anniversary etc. is the card. I grew up in a family where presents weren't necessarily a given, but cards were. And my mother writes the most beautiful cards. It's like her super power or something. But that's why I love them so much. I think of cards as this intimate opportunity for you, the giver, to share words with someone special, the recipient, and whatever you say - whether it's sentimental, funny, romantic, or whatever - the person reading it knows that you carefully selected those words for them, and that's meaningful. Anyway, I was concerned about coming up with a card for Jason because I usually make my cards but I didn't have a lot of time before Sunday to sneak away for hours and come up with an elaborately hand-drawn card. So I was absolutely delighted when Jason came up with the perfect idea for our card exchange: a game.

The completely arbitrary rules that we agreed upon were that each person would only get 30 minutes and the supplies they grabbed to make a card for the other person. I literally couldn't believe he suggested it. (Let's be honest, that's like something you always secretly wish a guy will do - hand make a precious construction paper card - but instead the convenience of Hallmark or Walgreens always wins out. And I don't know about you, but there's usually a high probability that said purchased card will be from the "Funny"section, meaning there is an 87% chance it will have some form of bathroom humor. Which is still 87 times better than one of those annoying musical cards. Anyway, this is when an ample craft supply at home and a rainstorm come in handy.)

Jason grabbed a couple sheets of construction paper after he spent a hilariously long time choosing which colors and coordinating markers to take with him. I'll admit, I kind of cheated at the game a bit since he slipped away to the office and I stayed in the "craft room" which pretty much had any and all supplies for me to choose from. I guess that's the benefit of making up your own rules - you can break them. But when I was in there, all I could think of was that I wanted to come up with something creative and different than what I normally do. I have these blank white greeting cards that I typically decorate with some funky handwritten font and bright colors. But I didn't just want to give him something pretty; I wanted it to be meaningful. Then I started thinking, what do I really want to say? And all I wanted to do was thank him for all the awesome memories the past year and tell him how much I'm looking forward to our next year together. So that's what I decided to do.

I thought it would be fun if I came up with all the things I wanted to thank him for and all the things I wanted to promise him for the next year of our relationship. The following is something that I think anyone could do for a handmade anniversary card. You could make it just as I did, or make it more of a memory bank - one for the past year of awesome memories/adventures and the other for all the things you wanted to do together in the coming year, kind of like a leap list.

Anyway, it's super simple but I thought it was worth sharing since I always scour the internet looking for unusual or unique card/gift ideas.

First I took one piece of paper and wrote all the things I wanted to "promise" to do in the upcoming year for Jason and for our relationship. On another piece I wrote down all the things I was grateful for that he had done in the past year. Then I (quickly) cut them all up into little slips - keeping them separated of course.

I folded each one up into little pieces and luckily I had some mesh little doilies around (have no idea what these are actually called, but you get the idea) so I balled up all the slips of paper and tied it off with a ribbon.

Lastly I added the tags. I wanted them to be parallels, so one said "last year" / "thank you for..." and the other said "next year" / "I promise to..."

Disregard the sloppiness and weird coloration of the "i promise you" tag... I was down to like a minute left and hadn't tied any of the bows on yet. (Hi, my name is Caroline and I take made-up games way too seriously.)
Tied those puppies on to each little pouch and - voila! - quite the unconventional card. (Truth be told I actually slid them into a small gift bag I also had around because I felt a little odd just handing him the two pouches.) To make it less odd though presentation-wise or just if you don't have any mesh doilies lying around, I was thinking you could easily just put the slips of paper into two envelopes with similar titles written on the front and back of the envelope. Um... yeah... now that I think about it maybe that would have made more sense. Give a girl a break - I only had a half hour! There was no time for logic!

Still, it was so fun seeing his face when we finally exchanged our "cards." The best part was watching his reactions as he opened each slip of paper and read each one, some of them funny/silly and some of them sweet. His card of course was absolutely perfect, one of the sweetest things I've ever received in my life. (Sorry, not going to share that here - I think he'd probably die of embarrassment. More than he is already, of course.) 

Basically, I couldn't have asked for a better holiday weekend, tropical storm or not. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the day off yesterday, and thanks for reading yet another one of my long, rambly posts!


  1. great article and love what you did instead of card your way of comping up with this is awesome!!! I might have to use this with a few close friends of mine!!! great way to show you love and care!!!! I love reading your articles they make my day thanks11

  2. Thank you so much Cindy! Your comments make MY day! I hope you do use this idea and let me know if you do!