13 Years // And Counting

Yesterday we celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. Our day was filled with cleaning floors and walls and organizing the loft. After a tiring day of getting our hands dirty, we took a romantic outing to Ingles to pick up a few groceries and a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Maybe not our most glamorous anniversary to date; me with oily hair and saw dust covering my rear end most of the day, him with a dirt covered face and out of control beard. We were just happy to be making progress in the cabin and to just spend the day together.

At dinner, with barely two words spoken because we were stuffing our faces as fast as possible, I began thinking about all the things I had to finish up at our rental house in the flat land before we turn in our keys. My thoughts were immediately focused on the part I am dreading the most. Going through the boxes of the unknown in the basement. I reluctantly opened a few last week and began making the ‘get rid of’ pile.

Each time we pack up our belongings and move to a new home, I always linger in our old box full of photo albums, loose photos, newspaper clippings, and all of those other mementos that we tend to collect throughout the years. It all reminds me of the journey that has been my crazy, ever-changing life, tons of memories, good and bad, loss and lots of love. As I was packing a few things for our present move, and hopefully our last for quite some time, I spied the box of memories. I was overcome with a hint of sadness as this time around, due to fact we are currently living in two places at once and are crunched for time, I’m not going to have a spare moment to take my annual stroll down memory lane. I did, however, have to clean out a box that I haven’t opened in years labeled “special stuff.” I had no idea what was even in the box, having been stowed away in my grandma’s attic for all this time. Inside I found a few things that I’m not quite sure what my rationale was for considering them “special,” but intermingled inside were items from our wedding day, 13 years ago.

A dusty, smashed bouquet, our glass cake topper, our guest registry, etc. All things that meant the world to me when I packed the box to the brim with our “special stuff.” Now 13 years later as we are cleaning out and sticking to our minimalist ways, I find myself putting these things in the ‘get rid of’ pile. Not because these items no longer mean anything to me, but because as the box is appropriately labeled, it is just ‘stuff.’ Stuff that I obviously don’t need lingering in storage to be opened once every 13 years. Stuff that I don’t need because the 13 years of memories made with the man I married so long ago are priceless compared to a crunched up bouquet. Stuff I don’t need just as a reminder of my decision to spend the rest of my days with my heart and my best friend.

I am such a lucky girl to have had a beautiful life with someone who has such a beautiful heart. I am so grateful for the past 13 years of my life, and I am anxiously looking forward to many, many more.

(P.S. The day was not a total wash. We did share a magical dessert of banana pudding that I picked up out of the deli section at the grocery store.)

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