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Friday, February 17, 2012

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I wanted to share the anniversary present that I made for my husband.  Since we are renovating our office and some time soon want to add a roof to our outdoor patio, we decided to keep things simple this year (plus I had already planned our January date for our anniversary). 

So, I went to my go to source when I want a great idea - pinterest!  And, I came across this great picture and idea.  Click here for a full description.

I got a couple maps from AAA and I was going to just look online and print the rest.  Originally I was going to do hearts just like in the tutorial, but my friend, Shawna, had an awesome idea.  She suggested doing a different shape for each picture.  I had already decided upon the following "stages" of our relationship to do a map/picture for:

1. One boy (Hawaii for Jeff), one girl (Raleigh for me)
2.  Met in a hospital (New York City), I wanted to get a subway map
3. Traveled (2 awesome trips before we were married - Argentina and Morocco)
4. Got Married (Waikiki)
5. Bought a house (blueprints for our house)
6.  Had kids - ?Hawaii again?

Instead of doing a heart for each one, I decided to do a hospital symbol for the NYC one, an airplane for the traveling one, and house for the house, etc.  I also had to narrow down the maps - I opted to do just Argentina instead of doing half Argentina-half Morocco for the map because Jeff got really bad food poisoning on our trip to Morocco and sometimes that brings up bad memories.  And, for the kids one, I found some cute clip art of babies in a similar style as the man/woman icons and I found a map online of Queen's Medical Center where  I delivered both boys, so this way it was different than the wedding one.

I don't have a Cricket machine like the post mentioned, so I just printed out shapes on cardstock on my computer, cut them out and then traced them on to the map.  I did keep the part that I had cut out and used that like the post said to move around the map to find the section that you want.  The hardest part was getting the particular part of the map that I wanted to incorporate.  Like, for the boy one, I really wanted Jeff's neighborhood of Kahala to be really evident and that was a bit hard to center.  Finding a good, high resolution map of Argentina online was also tricky, but I found one that was from lonely planet guide book we used on our tirp.

And here's the final result.

one boy, one girl

met in a hospital (NYC subway map)

traveled (Argentina map, our favorite trip as a couple)

got married (Waikiki - map from AAA)

bough a house (blueprints of our house)

had kids - Queen's medical center map downloaded from online

I love how it turned out. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our January Date

Jeff and I went our "January" date last weekend from my Year of Dates Christmas gift to him.  To see the full idea for the dates gift, click here.

I have been looking forward to this date for a while.  To recap, I let him open his January envelope a little early (on Christmas) and the date was a bit extravagant since it was also to celebrate our 4 year anniversary.  I booked a Swedish couples massage at the Abhasa Spa at the Royal Hawaiian hotel.  The Royal Hawaiian is where we got married 4 years ago (wow - seems like forever)
Just being at this hotel, surrounded by tourists,  makes me feel like I'm on vacation.  And, it was romantic walking around reliving different moments of our wedding ceremonies.  We got to the spa around 4:45 pm and checked in for our massage.

Jeff had never had a massage before, so I was excited to share this with him.  My mom treated me to this massage exactly 4 years before, the day before my wedding to de-stress! (great gift Mom!).  And, after we changed into our robes, we had our massages in this beautiful outdoor cabana.

That was the fastest 50 minutes of my life.  As any mothers who breastfeed can attest to, your neck gets extremely sore when nursing at 3 in the morning and this massage was just what the doctor ordered!  Afterwards, I had arranged for dinner at Azure Restaurant, at the Royal Hawaiian hotel.  I had called way in advance so that we could sit outside, right on the beach, next to where we got married.
I love everything about this restaurant.  Don't you wish you could decorate your house like this? I love the subtle Moroccan feel of it with the beautiful lanterns (darn, if only we could have brought some those back with us from Morocco).  The food was delicious and they even brought us a free chocolatey dessert for our anniversary - how did they know that was what I was going to order anyway?

It was great to get our first real date away from the boys (though I missed them terribly) and just really necessary  for our relationship to talk about things other than the office and the boys.  Thanks Mom & Dad for babysitting!  And, I really think it helped that I planned out the specific dates for the whole year, because sometimes life and those essential trips to Costco (I swear, going to Costco is usually like a big adventure for us and the highlight of our weekend!) get in the way.

Thanks also to Shannon at Find the joy in the journey for this awesome idea.  I think every couple should do this - when you have kids, you neglect your relationship a bit and it deserves every bit of work and attention that your children require to remain healthy!

In that vein, I've also made some relationship resolutions (not sure if Jeff is reading this).
1. I'm going to lose a fight with my husband - not in a Brad Pitt, Fight Club way, but I'm going to give in even when I really don't want to when we're arguing.  So, I guess I'm saying,  I'll try not to be so stubborn.

2.  As we undergo renovations in our office, I came across this article in Coastal Living magazine - "Love in the time of renovations" - how appropriate for us.  It discussed the stresses and strains of undergoing a renovation and there was a quote in there "Men need respect more than they need sex."...So, honey, I will try to remember that one.  No, seriously, as we deal with these headaches  daily of added expense of our reno project, I will try (that's the operative word here) not to bulldoze you with my strong opinions.

3.  I will let something go daily.  Something that typically drives me crazy.  Meaning, I won't mention if I see your socks on the floor - there's no need to start an argument over socks!

Oh, and here's a sneak peek at February.  Jeff opens each of his date envelopes on the first of the month.  So, this is what we're going to do this month (that's me in the picture!)