Friday, October 17, 2008

Freelands Anniversary Gift

freelands gift

As you know, we decided to do the traditional anniversary gifts every year. The first year is Paper. So, a paper gift it was! About a week or two before our anniversary we also decided we wanted to make it more fun and keep the gifts under $9.22.. since we were married on 9/22. Clearly Freeland forgot the $9.22 part of the gift. And Im okay with that. Im glad he did!

But I wasnt aware of the "its okay to ignore our fun rule that we made" so I kinda got freaked out thinking "What am I going to get him that is paper.. for under $9.22.. and that he will actually like." After brainstorming for way too long I realized that I didnt really have any other option but to make the gift.

I came up with (what I think) was a ton of great ideas. But I have this problem where I come up with ideas and then dont do a good job of actually completing them. Or if I do complete them - I get very frustrated because it doesnt turn out as "great" as I thought it would. So most of my ideas where thrown out the window. Until I thought of this one.

I did go back and forth.. and back and forth.. questioning if he was going to like it. Especially after his gift to me! But at that point - it was too late so I just had to keep going with his gift.

Moving along. Wow. Anyway. So for our anniversary I made freeland a book of all of our love notes to each other.

freelands gift

But to appreciate it, you have to know this. Freeland has saved every single email that we have EVER exchanged in our relationship. EVER. Like all 5,000+ emails.

And you should also know that our relationship in a way kinda started with him emailing me. I mean we met in person - not over email. But thats another story for another time because its too long for right now. You can get the summed up version here on our wedding website. But just know, all of those emails - especially the first few - were very special to us.

You should also know, when you graduate from Baylor you can only keep your email for 2 years and then they take it from you. I think its rude - but they didnt ask me. So Freeland's 2 years was coming up. Which also meant that he was going to loose all of those precious emails he had worked so hard to save over the years. Just like I did when they took my account away.

And thats why I decided for our anniversary I would put together a little book/journal of all of the emails that were special to us.. and make it a book of all of our love notes. I wasnt really sure how it was going to turn out or how I was going to put it all together. And I definitely wasnt thinking when I decided to do this because let me tell you .. going through 5000+ emails is not the most fun thing in the world. I mean, the first 1000 or so were fun and I even cried and got emotional going through them.. but after a while Im not going to lie.. it was a lot of emails.

But I loved looking back at all of them & remembering what it felt like when we were first dating.. and how I freaked out with Meier & Allie next to me the first time he sent me an email.. and I loved reading and seeing how much God was doing in our lives and also seeing how much we have grown together. So that made all the clicking, reading, etc. worth it.

I printed out hundreds of pages with the most sappy conversations on them. Then I cut them all out and put them in order from the beginning of our relationship to now in a notebook that I already had. (I had actually originally bought the notebook to make a gift for freeland to give to him before our wedding... but remember how I said I dont ever complete my fun ideas .. so I still had the notebook sitting in my desk a year later) I wrote little notes in the book and then told Freeland to close his eyes and handed it to him.

He first looked a little confused. He opened the first page and read my note to him.. then he turned it and read the first email he ever sent me.. and then he had the largest smile on his face ever.

freelands gift

Success! He loved it.

We sat and looked through the book together. We laughed thinking back & remembering all the things going on. We talked about our relationship and reminisced. Im so thankful that we now have a little book full of notes back and forth to each other. And I cant wait to add to it.

And PS. I spent a total of $0.00


  1. thats awesome brooke! 5000 emails!? were busy!! good job!

  2. That is so cool! Glad you finally finished- you worked hard, girl!

  3. What an awesome gift! Definitely something you both can always cherish. Congrats on finishing it!

  4. TOO SWEET! Won't your children love reading those someday!

  5. Brilliant idea!!! What a great memento to have and look back on for years to come.

  6. What an awesome anniversary gift. You are so creative! That will be so much fun to have for years to come.

  7. What a great idea! You are too cute!

  8. What a beautiful post; what a sweet heart you have. I saw your post on NieNie today; thanks for sharing your sentiments. Lecia

  9. I also saw your blog on NieNie's. I just had to leave a comment and say that your blog is so cute and refreshing (they're mostly all the same here in Utah). You guys seem like such a fun and happy couple. And great idea on the anniversary gift (and the wedding proposal - that is absolutely amazing!).


  10. Aw, I am an old married woman of 13 years and even my black heart thawed with this story... what a wonderful idea.

    Can I just say that there was NO SUCH THING AS EMAIL when my husband and I started dating... back when fire was invented.

    Happy 1st year!

    P.S. I linked here via Nie

  11. Ashleigh (, October 21, 2008 7:53:00 AM

    Loved the Nie Nie link--also, can you explain what camera you use and if you use a special small fstop lens to achieve some of your great close up shots? I would love to know more, your photos are awesome!