Monday was Jason & I’s one year wedding anniversary, but we spent the entire weekend celebrating (and then some). Part of the reason it’s taken me so long to post on this blog is because we did so much and I had to compile a lot of video and photos.
Let me just say, off the bat, that I have the most wonderful husband in the ENTIRE WORLD. One of many reasons is because he is a fantastic romantic planner. He didn’t tell me anything leading up to the weekend except to leave it open. All the while making plans big time.
Friday evening he told me that in the morning we could sleep in, but then we needed to pack for an overnight stay somewhere. When we got up I gave him part of his gift, which was a North Face sweater with a fleece collar. I know, it doesn’t sound that exciting. It will sound less and less exciting the more you hear about all the things he gave me for our anniversary. But let me continue on.
We were able to successfully get out of the house by 10 AM and headed south on I-5. Halfway to our destination Jason decided to tell me we were going to Fort Lewis since Saturday he knew his old reserve unit would be there and we could see some of his buddies and the place where he spent so much of his time during and after college.
A few minutes later I saw a semi with a big picture of an Egg McMuffin on it, which gave me a hankering for one. So, we stopped right before Fort Lewis at McDonald’s. They weren’t serving breakfast anymore, but we did see the barber shop where Jason used to get his military cuts. He needed a haircut, so we stopped in. Later on he told me he wasn’t sure why he wasted the $10 because he knew he would get a bad cut. Oh well, it was worth the nostalgia, I think.
We arrived at Fort Lewis in the pouring rain. We saw a lot of his friends, including Jason Loveday, who was at our wedding. No one else I recognized, but it was fun meeting them. They are all getting ready to go back to Iraq again so they were sitting around getting their shots.
The best part was touring one of the Chinook helicopters parked in the hanger. I won’t say much more than that, since Jason can give you the tour:
When the military reports that it spends a few billion dollars every day in Iraq, it’s surprising to hear that their helicopters are powered by chipmunks. They must have to reimburse them substantially for their time lost sitting in trees getting fat eating acorns.
After the tour we said goodbye to the unit and drove out into the woods of Fort Lewis. Jason had packed a lunch and he wanted to do a picnic at a place that held special memories for him.
I know a post in the middle of the woods may not seem that exciting, but Jason told me all about how this is the place where they did the yearly Ranger Challenge during his time in ROTC at UW. They would apparently have to fling themselves across the creek he’s standing behind in the picture (it’s currently not filled with water) by rope, very fast and without getting wet. Then they would run around in the woods with their gear on, playing war. Or something like that.
We spent a bit more time at Fort Lewis, heading out of the woods and back to civilization so Jason could show me the crappy barracks he stayed in while doing ROTC training. Then we left the base, got back onto I-5, then crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and got onto the Olympic Peninsula.
At a certain point, Jason told me I had to stop looking at the road signs. If I did, I would figure out where we were going. I did my best, but failed. We got almost to our destination and I saw a sign that said “The Grand Forest of Brainbridge.” Bainbridge–that meant we were going to Four Swallows. The place where I had the best meal of my ENTIRE life (about a year ago). With Jason, the romantic planner, of course.
I didn’t tell Jason I knew where we were going. I played along, not sure if I should. We didn’t go directly to the restaurant–it was only about 4pm. I thought maybe we were going to stay somewhere right in town, but instead we veered off into more woods. I was thinking maybe he knew someone who had a cabin, since I would see private homes along the side of the road as we drove.
We turned off and headed down the gravel road and this is what I first saw:
Then I saw this, this, this and this. Did I mention the hot tub? The gardens? Did you notice the antique baby grand piano?
Oh wait, then I saw the animals in the backyard. And that pretty much put me over the top.
This is where I need to stop and give a huge thanks to Kabyn & Alyssa. Jason had the brilliance of selecting Spring Ridge Gardens, but our friends backed the endeavor with some cash flow. Jason sold Alyssa’s road bike for her a few months back on craigslist and she kindly gave him some of her monetary return and said “do something nice with your wife.” Obviously that’s what he did. Something way nice.
Back to our getaway . . .
We hung out in our suite for a little while and then got dressed for an evening out. I continued to pretend like I didn’t know where we were and then acted as surprised as I could when we pulled up at Four Swallows. But Jason could tell I was faking it. When I admitted I knew, he didn’t seem that upset. I think he was still bathing in the splendor of seeing me so excited about our B&B. That move will go down in anniversary history (for all men, for all time).
Of course we had the Penn Cove Mussels to start off with. That is the dish that made the previous statement “the best meal of my ENTIRE life” so true. This time Jason asked the server what was in the red cream sauce. She was happy to oblige, so Jason wrote it all down and is going to try to replicate it at home.
We continued on with an apple pear salad and braised lamb with polenta. All delicious. Then we went for ice cream at Mora.
Much of the rest of our time on Bainbridge is documented in the following video. You can’t hear me in the first clip very well, but Jason is asking me what I thought of the Penn Cove Mussels.
Note: I would like to emphasize that I am still very much a student of the piano, as you can tell – but it was so much fun to play on this antique. And it made me feel so good that Jason would pick a place where I could enjoy something so special.
On Sunday morning, after meeting Wendy, the owner of Spring Ridge Gardens (gracious and a great cook) we left Bainbridge and headed to Bremerton to go to Seaside Church. Jason knows Pastor Chris Swan from his days at Antioch. The sermon was on 1 Timothy 2, which was very fitting to this season of life for me.
We took the ferry home that afternoon, exhausted from all our happenings. The celebration was over and that was sad, but I was very happy with all the time we got to spend together doing so many cool things.
That’s it, right?
That’s what I thought . . .
On Monday Jason got up at 5:30, his usual time, to get ready for work. 20 minutes later he crawled back into bed with his pajamas on. Half asleep, I was very confused.
“What are you doing? You’re not dressed!”
“I know. I’m not going to work today. I’m staying home with you.”
I was so excited. Another great surprise. Apparently he had gotten up to write (and draw) in the anniversary card he’d gotten me:
The surprises had to be over at that point. But no, they weren’t.
After enjoying Bananas Foster Belgium Waffles (a spur of the moment whip up a la Jason) he proceeded to give me an at home spa, complete with homemade facial, hand massage, and pedicure! I could not believe it.
I am so impressed by Jason’s romance that I’m even willing to show myself on YouTube, with goop all over my face, in my bathrobe, fully pregnant and barefoot. That’s how much I love you, Jason.
After that was over, he said “Alright, that’s the last of the surprises.” He was quiet for a second and then said “Okay, maybe there’s one more. But that’s for later.”
We relaxed at home the rest of the day. Jason left for about an hour in the afternoon and came back with a pink Macrina Bakery box. So, naturally, I thought he had gotten some kind of sweet treat from there.
After dinner he said “Let’s see what’s inside the pink box. But I want you to know it’s not really from Macrina.”
At that point I knew he had something very special up his sleeve. He had contacted Lesa, one of the creators of our wedding cake and had her make a little replica of the original–complete with ganache filling and buttercream frosting. It was just as good as the first time.
That really was the last of the surprises. Which was good, because even being the surprise junkie that I am, I don’t know if I could’ve taken any more.
Our first year together as one flesh ended on a fantastic note. I felt so enjoyed and delighted in, far beyond what I could have imagined and most certainly deserved.
Jason, I know I’ve already told you this, but I want to say again that I really love you more today than I did the day we were married. It has been amazing to see God work in our life together, through the rough times and the easy. Seeing Him growing you and working through you is a great gift He’s given me. Thank you for all the grace you give me daily. Jesus is more real to me because of you. -LB
Here are more pictures of our anniversary weekend.
And, if you’d like to look to, you can look back on our wedding day.