Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2 Years = Cotton

We obviously are not the most traditional couple on the planet.
But, there are a few things here and there that we think are fun to follow.

You know, like those lists of 'traditional' wedding anniversary gifts.

For example - last year, for our first anniversary, we went to a baseball game.
I know what you're thinking - traditional? A baseball game? Well... the traditional gift for your first anniversary is PAPER. The tickets to the baseball game were PAPER.

So.... the traditional gift for a second wedding anniversary is COTTON.

I had an idea - T-shirts!! I consulted a friend who is pretty much a pro at making homemade t-shirt designs (shout out, Gretchen). My plan was to do this myself, and surprise Michael.

It didn't work out that way.
The symbolism in this t-shirt story is hilariously amazing.
I couldn't do it by myself.
I cannot DEAL with photoshop. I don't understand it, and I don't have the patience to figure it out. I planned to design the t-shirt online, print it out, and iron it on. But, all of the "designs" were SUPER LAME, think clip art from the word processing program you worked on in high school in the '90s.

We did it together.
I had the idea.
I wanted to do matching t-shirts, because after a trying first year, our second year was very much about teamwork, and matching t-shirts (while cheesy) seemed fitting for us.
I wanted a tree, or trees to be a part of the design because our second year also included a lot of GROWTH.
I found this photo I took during one of those crazy one foot+ snowstorms a couple of years ago:
Then, it was in the hands of Mr. Computer Hero, a.k.a. my husband.
He flipped it, did some other magic stuff to make it black and white and other things to make it look cool.
And, then we faced some unplanned challenges.
At this point, right before we printed it, we realized the dark grey shirts we bought might not work, because the iron transfer paper we were going to use may not print out white.
It was about 8pm Sunday night.
I drove out to Michael's (where we bought the transfers) to exchange them for white ones.
Michael's was, of course, closed.
I drove over to Old Navy to exchange the shirts. Also, closed.
But, we would not be stopped.
I went to Target, where I found both the transfers and the white t-shirts.
Then... I got home, we got ready to get started... and then we realized we needed to wait some more. The shirts needed to be washed first.
So... we did a test run on one of Michael's old white undershirts.

And it worked!
Done for the night.
Monday, we got all set up to print out the design for the "real" shirts.
And we faced ANOTHER challenge.
The printer was out of ink.
So... I drove over to Staples... where I remembered it was the day before the first day of school... so, I left. I didn't even try Target. Same madhouse situation there. I bought ink at Best Buy.
And, we were back in business!
With the printing, and the ironing on...
We followed the instructions, perfectly.

And, while we left the shirts to cool... we busted out some of Michael's paints and had a little craft time at the dining room table.
After a summer stuck inside because of M's bum wheelchair, I have been going stir crazy and grumpy! It was so frustrating trying to think of things we could both do, that didn't involve a lot of walking around, or money. There aren't very many options.
But, Michael had a great idea - painting!
So, I painted an owl, like a 5 year old (because I was thinking of "back to school") and Michael painted a wooded scene.
It was fun!!

After that, we had our super fancy anniversary dinner:
Yes, that is chili dogs, baked beans (from a can) and broccoli (from a bag). Man, do we know how to celebrate a big occasion!

Actually... here's the deal. When we got married, I said I wanted to always make our anniversaries special. Because a healthy, growing, lasting marriage is a big deal, suitable for a real celebration. So, I thought that we would go somewhere every year.
But - we just couldn't swing that right now.
We just don't have the money for a getaway.
In fact, we didn't even have the money this past weekend for a nice dinner, out.
We don't spend money we don't have. Core value.
So.... hot dogs on paper plates it was!!

But - you know what? We loved it!! Don't feel sorry for us! Looking back on our weekend of celebrating, I'm really proud of us. Working together, making the best of things we cannot control, a dinner that is yummy, totally eaten in the living room - all of that is so... us!

The next morning, our actual anniversary... we only saw each other briefly. Just to get up, get dressed, and kiss goodbye because I was on my way to the airport for a work trip to California.
But you know what....
Even though we were on opposite sides of the United States for 99% of our anniversary - we are still a team - down to the matching, homemade T-shirts!!

1 comment:

Kristen Maddux said...

Love this post! Cotton=t-shirt: what a fantastic idea. I also love the symbolism behind it....that's even better!