the crying game

we celebrated four years of marriage yesterday. just like my time with the boys, jordan’s and my life together feels like forever and newly minted at the same time. time warps when you’re with people you love more than anything. but i digress.

jordan has issues when it comes to presents. he just can’t keep a secret. he get’s so uber-excited to give the gift, that he ends up giving me clues that i can easily guess. i think i’ve guessed his presents for 95 percent of our celebrations together, ruining any “surprise” factor for both of us. oh, and i love surprises. there just isn’t much better than being totally blown away.

i thought i had jordan’s anniversary gift for me pegged this time. in fact, i had the idea of getting him a meyer lemon tree (the theme is fruit/flowers this year), which i thought was so brilliant, but then after some of his clues i thought for sure he was getting me the tree. so much so that i came up with a different gift.

yesterday morning arrived, and in typical gift giving fashion in our house, we made the exchange first thing (because j just can’t wait!). i opened two beautifully framed pictures of oskar and abel, so wonderful because our home is sorely lacking images of our boys on the walls. and then i hear, “oh wait! i almost forgot about this other present!” and he comes from the guest room with a big box. i didn’t see it coming.

i opened the box and, bewildered, pulled out a behemoth of a book, bound in brown suede and weighing, easily, twenty pounds. what the heck! i started flipping through the pages, seeing images and moments captured that made my heart race, melt and sing. our wedding! and the tears started flowing as i realized what my husband had done.

we had a very budget-conscious wedding in a very wallet-unfriendly city. a true city wedding in chicago is just astronomical and there’s no easy way to get around it. we somehow managed to do it by getting very creative and enlisting every friend and family member who could help us accomplish elements of our day. judith did all our flowers and all we had to pay was the wholesale cost ($600 for $5k worth of beautiful arrangements!); dana made our gorgeous cake as our present (best. cake. ever.); geno designed our invitations; the burns’ family donated beer from their microbrewery; our friends who owned our neighborhood wine shop got us all our wine at cost; my mom sewed the chuppah. it really was an amazing display of all our loved one’s talents and made our day more special and meaningful then we could have imagined. and they made our wedding possible for the budget we were working with.

of course, we also made some sacrifices, and a wedding album was one of them. it was an easy $2k to scratch off the budget. i envisioned myself creating an album, something i could really love and cherish because my energy and inspiration would have crafted it. well, after four years, it’s fallen way down my to-do list. i think about it all the time, though. our box of proofs sits right next to the computer after all. but nary a negative has been scanned (our wedding was our photographer’s last event shot in film!).

our photographer, who is also a friend, had an album made from our wedding photos to show as an example to potential customers. it’s gorgeous. and totally deluxe. and we’ve known about it’s existence for nearly four years. our mom’s even inquired about buying it from him a few years back, but to no avail. it’s a $2,500 album after all; i wouldn’t give it up either!

somehow, the timing was right this year. kevin sent it off to jordan and all he requested was for him to cover the shipping costs. he said the album needed to be with us now. it’s where it belonged. i finally have a wedding album, and it’s absolutely stunning.

so jordan’s goal was to really get me with this present, so much so that i might shed a tear. well, you did it honey. you are the best. thank you so very much.

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