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How to Celebrate Your Anniversary When You Are Apart

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

I can’t believe it is already our anniversary–today, Justin and I have been married four whole years! And what a lot has happened in those four years: 4 different homes, 1.5 kids, 3 different adult/full-time jobs between the two of us, 1 layoff, 4 cities, 2 states, 1 car dying, 1 car bought, and countless adventures and good memories.

Sadly, this year we will be spending our anniversary apart due to Justin’s training out of state for his new job. This is the first year that’s happened. Thankfully, I’ll see him this weekend. However, we know we aren’t the only couple to spend their anniversary apart. It happens often, for many reasons.

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

[ctt title=”Even when you are far apart, you can still celebrate your anniversary together! @themorrelltale” tweet=”Even when you are far apart, you can still celebrate your anniversary together! @themorrelltale” coverup=”DgzSW”]

Use Technology

Thank goodness for today’s technology. Justin and I will be texting all day and we will be able to FaceTime each other tonight after Rhys goes to bed. With technology, I don’t feel so distant from Justin. Make sure that you send love notes via text all day. Compliment each other. Be romantic and sappy. It’s your anniversary, after all!

Send Each Other Gifts

This year, Justin and I both bought each other gifts online. I got my gift last weekend, and was able to play it (the GameCube game, Pikmin, that I’ve wanted for years) with Justin. His gift is currently on its way. Don’t let each other know what it is–that way, it’ll be a surprise when it arrives!

Continue Your Traditions

If you have a certain tradition that you do on your anniversary, try to do it, even miles apart. Watch the same movie together and text/FaceTime while watching it. Play an online game together. Read a book then call and discuss it. Both go to a park where you each are, catch a few Pokemon, and chat about it.

Brag Online

Write a gooey, romantic post on social media, bragging about your significant other and tag them in it. That way, they will be sure to see how much they mean to you, as well as all your friends.

Postpone Celebrating

If your significant other is coming home soon, you could just postpone celebrating your anniversary. Justin will be home on Friday, and we will be going out to eat then, and renting a movie to watch while cuddling after Rhys goes to bed.

Send Flowers

You can always send flowers! ProFlowers is one of the best ways to show your love for your significant other when you are apart. It is super easy–look at ProFlowers’s anniversary collection of fresh flower bouquets, choose your significant others’ favorite, chose the vase, and purchase. They send the flowers within 48 hours, in a long-lasting wet styrofoam to keep them alive until they get to you. The package comes with instructions and flower food. I got these roses on Saturday, and they are still beautiful, alive, and kicking!

[ctt title=”You can celebrate your anniversary when you are apart by sending these flowers! @proflowers @themorrelltale” tweet=”You can celebrate your anniversary when you are apart by sending these flowers! @proflowers @themorrelltale” coverup=”abyb1″]

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

Some packages even include an option for some gourmet chocolate-covered strawberries from Sherrie’s Berries. The berries are sent separately, but arrived the same day as the flowers. They were kept cold in a cooler package. Justin and I were able to enjoy the strawberries together before he left on Sunday. They were succulent and juicy and delicious!

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

You can still celebrate your anniversary even when you and your significant other are far apart!

*I received the bouquet and strawberries from ProFlowers which inspired this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Here is how we celebrated our previous anniversaries:

Year 1 — Lessons Learned

Year 1 — Camping at Lake Yuba

Year 2 — Night Out

Year 3 — A weekend without Rhys

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Our 2nd Anniversary

Wow! It’s true what they say: when your baby first sleeps through the night (sleeps at least 5-hours long or feeds only once in the night) you feel like a new woman. Well, typically, we put Rhys to bed around 9ish and he wakes to feed at 1 and 4. But, last night, he went to bed at 10 and woke up at 2:30 to feed, then 7AM for breakfast. YAAAY! Already today I’ve gotten dressed, had tummy time with Rhys, went shopping, and did a load of laundry! Please continue to do this, Rhys!

But, on to business.

Yesterday was Justin and my 2nd anniversary. We had not expected to really do anything to celebrate it because of Rhys, but we ended up having a ton of celebration!

Friday, we went down to Provo and had sushi with my sister. I had not had sushi since before I was pregnant! It was glorious and tasty! Rhys was a champ, sleeping most of the time and then downing a bottle. Next to us, was an Asian couple with a toddler…or so we thought. We asked how old and they said 4 months! The baby looked like a 2 year old!

On Saturday, we decided to become grownups and sign up for a Costco membership. (The main reason was to save money by buying diapers and wipes in bulk). We were right in time for free samples as well. Then, we had to get a $1.50 hotdog and soda.

Photo: We are now officially Costco shoppers! #grownups #costco

Later that day, Justin and I got dolled up for a date in Salt Lake City. My mom and dad came over to babysit Rhys, and Justin and I left him for the first time.
We went to a restaurant called Em’s Restaurant.

I loved the look and the atmosphere of this restaurant. It was on the hill, up towards the Capitol Building, but in a residential area. There was a balcony area for eating, but we sat inside.

Our appetizer was Potato Pancakes with Crème Fraiche & Fresh Herbs. It was very delicious. It was a mix between a pancake and a hashbrown. The creme faiche tasted like a buttery sour cream.

We got two entrees to split. Leek stuffed, Wild Salmon Roulade over Creamy Cabbage and Dried Fruit stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Potatoes in a Bacon Sherry Vinaigrette. Typically, I don’t like cabbage, but I loved the creamed cabbage the salmon was on. It completed really well. The pork was very sweet and tangy. Justin preferred the pork and I preferred the salmon. 

We think we’re going to go back one day for their breakfast menu, which looks delicious as well.

At dinner, we talked mostly about the society and culture and everything else about the world in Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra series. We noticed that for a brief second, we had forgotten we were parents and had a baby at home!

After dinner, we went to Leatherby’s for some icecream.

On Sunday, we wanted to go back to our ward in Provo, even though our records were now in our Sandy ward. We wanted to show all our friends Rhys and say goodbye to our old Bishop who was being released. Everyone was excited to us and Rhys. They also mentioned that there was a break-the-fast (a potluck to end Fast Sunday) right after church, so we stayed for that as well. It was really nice to spend our actual anniversary visiting with our close friends who have been there for us since we were first married.

For dinner, I made my Chinese Cashew Chicken. It was still just as delicious as the first time I made it. We watched the Lego Movie. It was a nice weekend to spend time with each other and just relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Our first year of marriage was full of fun and adventure. We lived life to the fullest. It was also a good start for me: I had graduated and got a teaching internship. We were just getting to know each other and learn how to live with each other. We were discovering our chemistry.

Our second year of marriage, we began the transition to adult decisions. I got a full-time job as a teacher, we decided to have a baby (and did), Justin is finishing classes and interviewing everywhere for a full-time job, and we left the college town of Provo and moved to a real town. Because of all these big things, we learned what stressed us out the most and learned what we were like at the breaking point. But, that is to be expected because all these big, important changes were happening at once. And, now we know how to deal with it.

It’ll be exciting to see what our 3rd year will bring: parenthood, a full-time job for Justin, and me working part-time, living in a home (and not college housing) and attending a regular (not student) ward. I’m excited!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

1st Anniversary Adventures

Boy does my husband listen well and know me well. Our anniversary was exactly what I loved–all because Justin listens well.
A tradition of my family’s was to go camping every year. We are all lovers of the outdoors. One of Justin and my weddings gifts from my family was a cooler and a tent. So, Justin, knowing I really wanted to go camping this summer, made reservations at Lake Yuba.

I had never been before, so I was excited. The only place I’ve ever been camping in Utah was Zion’s National Park. And, even though that is in the desert of Utah, the canyons and rivers that ran through it caused the park to have plenty of plant-life, like small forests! But Yuba was different. Shrubs were the only plant. You could tell we were still in the desert. It is a very small state park, and thus, very out of the way with very few signs to direct us. On our way down, we called the headquarters twice to make sure we were headed the right way. When we got there and checked in, we were informed our campsite was newly opened to cars rather than just boating access. So, the “roads” were gravel and sand. They strongly suggested using only vehicles with 4-wheel drive, which our old car definitely doesn’t have. So, we went less than 10 miles for a mile and half. We couldn’t even drive up to our site because we were on a hill and there wasn’t any more gravel. So, we parked and carried everything over.

We quickly set up camp and started a fire because we were hungry!!!!!! We had a beautiful view of the lake and the mountains. I kept wandering around our campsite while Justin prepared dinner. I love exploring in nature–it brings out the child in me. I was giddy, almost, skipping up and down the hill of our campsite, taking pictures and viewing our surroundings.

Justin wanted to be in charge of dinner–a hobo dinner which included beef, mixed fresh veggies, and potatoes. But, I forgot to pack the potatoes! We brought our two favorite kettle cooked chips (Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt and Applewood Smoked Barbecue), so we crumbled them up on the dinner for seasoning. We also brought the makings of Reese’s s’mores and roasted starbursts.

We also went down to the lake.

Because it was so windy, Lake Yuba was pretty darn cold. Everyone else were on boats and were tubing. We were the only ones without a boat. So, we walked into the lake and immediately felt its coldness. But, after having played in the cold 30* water of Aberystwyth in Wales, I knew I could easily play in Lake Yuba. So, slowly, I inched further and further, allowing my body to slowly acclimate. Justin and I kept daring each other to go under, since that is the easiest way to get warm. Finally, after about 10 minutes, we did. We swam a bit and just had fun. We were pretty close to fish and it was fun to see them jump out of the water. We freaked out everytime we touched rocks, thinking they were fish. It was really weird because it wasn’t salt water and I’ve really ever only swam at beaches. Every time a wake splashed in my face, I expected to taste salt, but didn’t. It felt off. We got out to warm up and bit and drew in the sand–I found a great pointy stick to help! Then, after we were warm, we hopped back in and watched the sun set from the lake.

Afterward, we made our s’mores and watched the stars while talking. The wind picked up quite a bit and there was a thunderstorm in the distance. We made plans and preparations in case it headed our way, but the wind blow it away from us. We hopped in our tiny tent–tight fit, perfect for cuddling, and listened to the wind. However, the campsite next to us had about 10 single adults who (they said) came often to boat. They were very loud and it was quite past midnight. So, Justin went over to ask them to adhere to the quiet hours Lake Yuba has. They apologized and said they weren’t used to other people camping the same time as them–like I said, Lake Yuba is a pretty small state park. They did quiet down and we were able to go to sleep.

When we woke up the next morning, we started another fire and quickly closed down camp. Breakfast was to be sausage patties and muffins cooked in orange peels. Our fire was pretty pathetic and no matter what we did, our food barely cooked. It was a pitiful breakfast. We said our goodbyes to Lake Yuba and headed home. We unloaded the car, went to grab some Arby’s, and watched this week’s two episodes of America’s Got Talent on hulu. Then, we took a nice, long nap. Boy, was that needed.

We then gave each other presents. For Justin: “54 reasons I love you” deck of cards and a small, portable charcoal grill. For Tayler: crystal necklace and earrings, lavender wick candle that crackles, and a pensieve. This pensieve is my favorite gift. Justin took a jar and painted it my three favorite colors and put pieces of good memories in it for me, just like the pensieve from Harry Potter. Another gift was waiting for me, but not from Justin.

A couple months after I graduated, BYU finally mailed my official diploma to me. I am so relieved to have both my official Utah State Teaching License and my Bachelor of Arts in History (teaching) Diploma. It makes me feel like a true adult. It is also a very weird feeling to know that I am officially no longer a student!

We got dressed up and then went to Communal, a small restaurant in Provo.

The premise of this “cultured” restaurant is that you share all the dishes, hence the name “communal.” I had been once before with my Welsh Study Abroad group as a sort of reunion. We had a larger party and quite the smorgasbord. So, it was interesting to choose from their menu with just Justin and I. We will do a review of them later this week, both giving our own opinions. Stay tuned for it!

After dinner, we walked back home–a very peaceful, lovely walk–and finished our Harry Potter marathon. It was quite the good first anniversary (and somehow, somewhat Harry Potter themed!)! 

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Lessons From the First Year

As of yesterday, Justin and I have been married for one full year.
We met August 2011. Started dating October 2011 after I gave him a lot of crap about not wanting to date anyone. He proposed March 2012 and we were married for all time and eternity August 3, 2012.
We are currently (thank you scheduled posts) having the time of our lives during our first anniversary–post to come. But, this past week, we have given some serious thought to our marriage–what we have gained, what we have shared, how we have grown, what we have learned. 
Justin is very quiet and stoic. Yes, he is socially apt and active and can sometimes be the most animated and enthusiastic person in the room, but he’s a thinker. Justin will think things through before talking, especially if they’re serious. He’ll keep things to himself unless he feels it’s important enough for others to take note or worry about. He is also the more grown-up of us two and will hold his tongue so I can win or if he thinks he’ll just cause more tension between us.
Justin is a very hard worker. Justin hates school–he hates the system and the expectations and not being able to see instant results. But, he tries his absolute best for me and our future family. He thrives at work because he knows he’s doing it well and is rewarded for doing it well. 
Justin is very tender-hearted. Although he has promised he will never watch Titanic with me and hates chick-flicks, he is still very tenderhearted. He loves me through the depths of his soul and beyond. He loves little kids to the point where he has already made plans to kidnap his 3 year old nephew. I have seen how he acts with his nieces and nephews and I know he will be an amazing father. He also melts when a scene in a show or movie or picture includes a kid and their stuffed animal. I love that about him.
Justin is one of the most generous people I know. He is always willing to do service and help others. When we have friends visiting, he is more than willing to pay their share of the meal or activity. He always talks to those whom I wouldn’t talk to (like some of the weird people who have moved into our apartment complex)–he feels that they may not have anyone else talking to them and wants to show them someone will listen to what they have to say. Justin will always immediately drop whatever he is doing and give a blessing or perform an act of service to those who are in need of it.
Justin has the most heart-melting smile. His smile fills his whole face and shines through his eyes. I have always loved his smile and ever since the first time he smiled at me, my heart skips a beat.
Justin makes puppy-eye faces when he looks at me and then says, almost pouting, “I love you.”
Whenever he thinks or concentrates hard, his forefinger rests on his temple and his thumb is under his chin.

I complain/whine too much. It is one of my favorite things to do. I do it even when there is no real need. Not only does it get on Justin’s nerves, but it also is getting on mine, too!
I need to unplug/stop grading sometimes. Our first few months were very hard because not only was I a newly wed, but I was a new teacher, and just starting to become a serious blogger. Balancing everything was hard and sometimes I didn’t give Justin the attention he deserved and needed. But, throughout the year, I got better at learning to quit grading and we’ve made standards of when I should unplug.
I am lazy. Justin has always warned me about how lazy he is, but I am, too, by asking him to get me stuff. Justin jokes that if I am in the kitchen and he is in the bedroom, I’ll ask him to get me a drink of water. It’s not that bad, I promise, but I have caught myself quite a few times and decided to get it myself.
I feel I still have to find the balance between being a nagger and not delegating/asking Justin to help. We all have a picture of ourselves as an ideal wife. But, we aren’t–it’s just “ideal.” Justin doesn’t expect me to keep up with my lessons and grading, come home straight after school, clean the house, have dinner made, and an empty schedule for the night. That’s near impossible. But I feel that way sometimes. I am still learning that it is ok to ask Justin to do a load of dishes, pick up his pants, or even scrub the tub! But, in my mind, I still hesitate because he is a full-time student and works 25 hours a week. How do you handle that balance of delegating and not being a nag?
Tayler is forgiving and patient.  Despite any attempt to say how impatient she is, she remains a very understanding and long-suffering individual, at least when it comes to me.
Tayler perseveres through her goals. As soon as she has her heart set on something, she will stop at nothing to attain it.
Tayler seriously underestimated the amount of food I eat….only half joking.
Tayler is terrible at lying.  That comes either when she says the infamous “i’m fine” or when it comes to planning a surprise.  She carries her emotions on her sleeves and is very easy to read.  That also applies to positive emotions too.  When she’s happy, everyone knows it, hence being terrible at hiding surprises.
Crying Patterns.  Whenever she is hurt, or sad, or tired, she starts crying from her left eye first.  When she’s overjoyed, it starts from her right eye.
Tayler is very detailed.  There must always be specifics.  Even down to the last tsp of oil in a brownie mix.  She is infinitely better at explaining details than I am.  However, I tell the story better…
Despite my utter disdain for it, I tend to deal in absolutes.  I can’t watch a TV show or movie part way and finish it later, and I struggle with doing homework, as I feel I need to get it all done in one bout, and if I feel I don’t have the time to do that, I’ll do it later when I feel I have the time.  Sometimes, that includes taking out the trash….
I need to see results for my efforts.  I mean, who doesn’t? However, I have noticed I try a lot less at something if I know I won’t likely see the results of my labors.  Sometimes, it boils down to the “Honey can you do the dishes?”  Why bother?  They’ll just get dirty later in the day.  I can do it then….right?
I really don’t stress out.  What I often mistake for sheer apathy is my tendency to not worry about much.  I figure things will work out once certain actions are done, and if nothing can be done about it I tend to not think about it.  This really contrasts how Tayler views/does things.  She’s gotten after me for “not caring enough” about something.  Clearly, we need to find some kind of balance.
I really need to do romantic stuff…Apparently, I was a lot more romantic when we were dating.  Those same efforts may have diminished once we got married.  However, that doesn’t mean that Tayler still doesn’t need something “mushy” every once in a while.
Old Habits die hard.  All of those things I said I was gonna do/be/become when I got married?  Yeah…….about that…..I might like Fire Emblem too much.….Maybe….
Sometimes you just need space. “I don’t want to talk about it” right now doesn’t mean “I don’t want to talk about it ever.” We both need time to gather our thoughts and piece through our emotions before we confront each other.
Try to budget. Keyword=”try.” If you have a set goal of what you want to spend that month, you will end up spending less than you would’ve otherwise. Unless of course, you are both exhausted from work/school that day and go to Carl’s Jr., Pizza Pie Cafe, Sizzler, or Costa Vida for a quick dinner.
Take Time to Talk. We’ll sit and talk for hours on end (and maybe pull out the laptop for a complete list of Disney movies as we make our expansive list of characterized song subjects). We really like to go on walks Sunday evening. It’s cooler in the evening and it is a very peaceful way to conclude the weekend. We talk about anything and everything: memories, plans, religion, family, school, work, dreams, etc.
Getting Sick Sucks. It causes all sorts of worrying and you just feel helpless as your spouse coughs up a lung. Tayler got sick all the time at the beginning of the school due to being a first-time teacher in a jr. high. Then, it all passed on to Justin who already has a weakened immune system! Make sure to stock up on a lot of Vitamin C, fruit, soup, electrolytes. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from close relatives or friends! We need to do better with that.
Follow religious patterns together and have Christ be the center of the home. We are both Mormon. We were raised Mormon and our families have been Mormon for generations. It is who we are. When we first got engaged, we discussed patterns and traditions we wanted to include in our family: attend church every week, visit the temple when we could, have family scripture reading and family prayer. While we were engaged, we met with our Bishop and he talked about the “love triangle.” We are at each bottom angle and Christ and Heavenly Father are at the top. The closer we get to them, the closer we get to each other. There is a quote in The Family: A Proclamation to the World that says: “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” We are striving to that and will raise our children on these principles.
Take Time Away from Life for Each Other. Unplug from electronics every now and then. Have fun. Just because you have married your spouse, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to woo them anymore. Go on dates. Have tickle fights. Go on drives, ride bikes, play video games or board games together. Surprise each other. Have fun. Put away grading or homework for a while and do something together.

We have loved our first year of marriage. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it has already been a full year and sometimes it feels much, much longer. It has been an exciting journey to see how much more fully and deeply we love one another than we did on our wedding day, which was exponentially more when we were engaged, which was much, much more than when we were just dating.

We can’t wait to spend the rest of time and eternity together!

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

One Year

Tomorrow is my 1st year anniversary with Justin.  We were married in the Jordan River Temple in South Jordan, Utah on Saturday, August 3, 2012. 
I realized I never really put many pictures of our engagements and wedding on the blog (all is on my Facebook page), so today, I thought I’d share a few of the favorites!
(May 12, 2012–Provo Amphitheater)

( Late July 2012–Castle Park in Lindon)

My siblings were a big help during the bridals–carrying my shoes, bouquet, and train. I am so grateful my mom asked for a picture with them!
Wedding Day!
(August 3, 2012–Jordan River Temple & the Thatcher’s Residence in Alpine)

All our friends from our apartment complex

Our adorable little nephew! Justin and I have made several plans to kidnap him.

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.