Our Anniversary Tradition typically includes 5 Things:
The Anniversary Logo
The Love Song Playlist
The Growing Bouquet of Roses
The Fancy Schmancy Dinner
1. About this year’s logo:
It’s out 27th Anniversary.
27 backwards is 72.
Kara’s “Sunny” is a 1972 VW Karmann Ghia, which I secretly bought, restored, and surprised her with for her 50th Birthday last year.
The yellow background is a photo from her Ghia when it rained.
Not bad, eh? :-)
Why these Anniversary Logos?
Many moons ago I once considered becoming a graphic designer. I became a therapist instead. However, I've long dabbled in graphic design and most of my own marketing and design materials. It's fun. And I've designed all our anniversary logos.
I also teach a workshop called "Creating the GREAT Relationship Brand" on how to use branding, marketing, and customer service concepts from business in our own relationships. So, several years ago, I came up with the idea of creating our own brand for our relationship. And while I do a different logo each year, the actual brand aspect that remains constant in each iteration is the "I ♥ Kara".
I put it on the back windows of our vehicles as a vinyl sticker every year. Over the years, friends and locals have come to look for it and anticipate the next year's, "Are you doing a new one this year?"
Yep! Here it is :-)
2. Our 27th Anniversary Playlist
Throughout the year I collect love songs specifically for our next anniversary. I especially prefer love songs that speak to commitment, dedication and behavioral love, not just romantic or feeling-based love.
So if you're a romantic sap, like me, then enjoy these gems—some old, some new, some popular, some obscure. And if you like these, look for my prior years' playlists for many, many more.
3. Bouquet of Roses
One red rose (27) for each year we've been married, and one yellow rose for the coming year of friendship. We were friends before well before we ever dated and we've been friends through all the love, arguments, ups and downs.
Friends first and friends last.
4. Fancy Schmancy Dinner
Kara's fortunately easy to please and for many years we didn't have much as students and then even after I graduated I was the primary breadwinner working as a therapist for mental health agencies (which don't pay much), so the budget has always been tight. We often couldn't afford a fancy expensive dinner. I realized, a long time ago, though, that putting aside $10 each month means $120 I could spend on my baby once a year to take her to a really nice restaurant. So even though we were poor I found a way to splurge, too, and add a real exclamation point (!) to our anniversary. It's easier now, financially, thank goodness, but even then we found a way to make it special.
Kara's an amazing cook (aka "Culinary Wizard") and knows and appreciates fine food. It's fun for me to watch her enjoy an especially well-prepared meal by an amazing and talented chef. Her anticipation while reading the menu and taking in the ambience is palpable. When the dishes arrive she exults in the presentation and flavors. She knowledgeably explains how the food was prepared. Her refined palate can distinguish the subtleties of the various ingredients. She teaches me what the terms and fancy words mean. It's a real joy to eat with her. It's well worth the expense.
Some of our favorites we've gone back to year after year are The Blind Dog (casual fine dining in Park City), Franck's (French cuisine in SLC), we happened upon Faustina's, which enjoyed two years in a row. We also tried the Lucky H in the Little America Hotel. And many other places I can’t recall. This year we’re going back to Franck’s. Tasty vittles.
5. The Getaway
When we were first married, we liked to just wander around, window shop, look at antique shops, sit in bookstores and read. We didn't have to buy anything (and often couldn't anyway). We just enjoyed "palling around" together. When the kids were little and we couldn't afford an overnight getaway, we would still getaway by getting a babysitter and taking the whole day off together. As the kids got older, with the help of our flight attendant friends(!) we were able to get some buddy passes and go to Disneyland, Hawaii and a Cruise for our anniversaries. Those were especially fun anniversary trips. Some years we would do “staycations” and stay in a nice hotel somewhere local in Salt Lake City or Park City. The past couple years we’ve gone to Utah’s beautiful parks: Zion’s National Park two years ago, and last year we took our vintage 1965 Roadrunner Camper to Goblin Valley State Park.
This year we’re going to Star Valley Ranch, Wyoming and Jackson Hole.
No matter where we go, simple or fancy, cheap or expensive, that's the main thing: We just enjoy being together. That's all that really matters.
That's how we do it. But there's no "right" way.
What works for each couple (simple or complex, cheap or expensive) is the right way. So what are some of your favorite anniversary and/or Valentine's traditions, memories, activities? Comment below.