Thinking about the presents got me thinking about which ones have survived the twenty years, 7 moves, 4 kids and our niece we raised for several years, and 7,285 days of life we've shared since then. So, I did a little tour of my house to see what I had left. I was surprised at some of the things that had survived and sad by some things I looked for and didn't find. Here's my report:
The women in my ward made quilts whenever anyone got married. Ruth Rands headed up this project for me--I had been freinds with her granddaughter for years and always loved going to Ruth's house. I think she was a bit dismayed when I told her my colors were black and white, but she did it anyway--each black square has a yarn X. The backside is black, with X's also--pretty intricate quilting in my opinion. Months after the wedding she talked to my mom at church and asked if I knew she'd made it, I'd never sent her a thank you card. I remember being embarassed about that, but I don't remember if I ever sent her that card. I sure hope I did. Many a child has used and loved this quilt. Currently it is used to create the "Man Cave" for the boy child.
My friend Jenny Lunt (now Moore) made me this quilt--I couldn't beleive she knew how to do something like that. She threw me a bridal shower at her home and was so sweet and supportive of my wedding. Her sisters played the harp at my reception, the classiest part of the whole day. This quilt was on my bed for the first few years of marriage and has been used by many of my children over the years. A few years after we were married a kitten we had at the time pooped all over this quilt. My brother in law was staying with us and threw it in the washer without pre-treating the stain. I cried when I realized it wasn't going to come out, though it's faded over the years. It also had a jar of pickles broken on it once. No stain from that. I'm very thankful to have Jen's friendship too after all these years. She is a gift that has continued to bless my life.
I don't know who gave us this stool, but we have used it more than any other gift we received. It has been a part of us painting numerous walls, getting things out of cupboards, helping kids wash their hands and reach the potty. When I remember to give wedding gifts to new couples (I'm so bad), I usually give them a simple step stool like this. Like many things, it's nothing fancy but it has turned out to have great value through it's use.
My crazy aunt Buleah gave us this as a wedding gift--it's our wedding invitation matted and framed. I have loved, loved, loved having this keepsake. It's something my kids have very much enjoyed as well. When I can afford it, I love giving similar gifts like this as well--but it's pricey and takes some pre-planning so having those two things line up is a bit of a trick.
This is the dress I wore from the reception. I rarely bought retail anything at the time and my mom insisted I buy a NEW dress to wear that day. So I did. And I loved it. It was an excellent breastfeeding dress in later years. :-) I consider it a gift from my Mom because she helped me pick it out and paid for it herself rather than taking it out of my wedding budget which I was ridiculously cheap with.
I don't know who gave me this platter, I remember thinking I would never use it. I didn't use it for a few years, but I've used it for numerous events since then. It's one of the nicest 'dishes' I own. And I still have the box!
My good friend Cindy Voorhees--and former Young Women's President--gave Lee and I this book. I read it cover to cover the first week we were married and revisited it many times, especially in those early years. Lots of great advice from a woman who has continued to be such a fabulous source of love and encouragement over the years.
I don't remember who gave me this either, but it continues to be my very favorite vase. For many years it was one of the prettiest things in my house.
Most importantly is that after twenty years I still have that man I fell in love with. He continues to be the greatest gift in my life and one I thank my Father in Heaven for every day. On the day we made vows to each other and to God, I felt sure I could never love him more than I did in that moment. In the years since, however, I see THAT love as only the beginning. I had no idea how big love could become--no clue how much a part of him I would be one day and how big a part of me he would be too. He is my best friend. He is the keeper of my heart. He is a big part of my identity. He is my biggest fan and cutest cheerleader. I've no doubt that the next twenty years will be just as wonderful as these two decades have been for us.
Twenty years and counting!