10 Things We’ve Kept in 10 Years of Marriage
I tend to be a very black and white person. It either is or it isn’t. This shows very true when it comes to me and the “keeping of things”. I don’t get too sentimental on most material possessions and when the other people who cohabitate this household turn their backs, they’ve come to know, I’ll likely be throwing something of theirs away. Broken toys, favorite shirts that are well past their useful life, even from time to time scraps of kids artwork that even Jackson Pollock couldn’t decipher.
Recently, I read a blog post by Young House Love that covered 10 of the household items the husband and wife authors had kept in their ten years of marriage. I loved this idea and quickly took inventory of the things in my own household that I could have possibly held on to for 10 years. I knew it would be tough to come up with 10 things so special that in over the years it hadn’t been set on the curbside with a FREE sign duct-taped to it. Because we are in the process of moving I knew this would be now or never. The husband and I will share our 10th anniversary in July and because we will have just moved, I’m writing this post early. Perhaps a follow-up of what actually made it to the 10 year marker will come later.
One | Kitchen Aid Mixer
I was a mere 21 years old when Jake and I married and the one AND only thing I actually wanted as a wedding gift was a Kitchen Aid mixer. I mean, was there any one household item that said: “married woman” like a gal with a stand mixer in her pantry? I knew, as a future homemaker, I would be spending so much of my time baking pies, loaves of bread, and homemade noodles. I had to have one. I may have overestimated my likeness to Susie Homemaker, but I got the coveted mixer as a gift from my parents. I proudly displayed the red mixer on my kitchen counter for years until we moved into this house, with its fancy mixer cabinet.
Look at our sweet little kitchen in our first home together. Looking back through these photos was so much fun! See the red mixer in the corner?
Two | Vera Wang China
I was about as clueless as anyone could be when it came to registering for our wedding gifts. We registered at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Wal-Mart (for some of the elderly in the family that didn’t incorporate online shopping into their lives), and a local home accessories store. For China, we picked a Vera Wang silver stripe pattern. I never imagined I’d have a Vera Wang anything. I felt so fancy.
Three | Stock Certificates
Funny thing, I thought the husband was SOOOOO OLDDDDD when we were first dating. As a lawyer, he wore a suit to work, preferred a fine whiskey to a flaming Dr. Pepper, watched CNBC instead of MTV, and listened to audiobooks in the car instead of blaring music full blast. I remember turning my nose up at his stodgy work clothes and I once tried to surprise him by shopping for something way cooler for him to wear. Money well wasted, indeed. He politely declined the fashion-forward faded jeans and t-shirt. Bless my little 20 year old heart. He is almost a decade older than me and that took a very long time to adjust to.
One of the things that was the toughest to get used to was decorating the house. I, admittedly, didn’t have any bragging rights to a high class sense of style when it came to home decor in my early twenties. I had spent the years prior to nuptials apartment living and my standards were pretty low. In fact, during a brief period of time, I lived with three other girls in a two bedroom apartment; all of our furniture, shoes, and night out dresses crammed into two tiny bedrooms. Zen was not in my vocab. I didn’t develop my style for several years, for that matter, but I found the husband’s style was a bit stuffy. I could picture him in a den of heavy velvet drapery, wall to wall mahogany, rich leather, and cigar smoke. He had done his own young adult male decorating before I came along and everything was red. I loathe red. Red curtains in every room, red bedding, you name it; it was red.
The one thing the husband wanted when we registered for our wedding was these framed faux stock certificates from the local home accessories store. I actually didn’t mind them at the time because I could see they would make him very happy and I, again, had none of my own tastes. These certificates are probably the biggest proof, of all of the items we own, of how much our styles have changed and grown together. I know these certificates would look great in someone’s home, but they have absolutely no place in our future home. Thank goodness we’ve evolved together in this category.
Four | The Red Rug
Remember that part where I said the husband had decorated his entire bachelor pad in red? Well, I forgot to mention this rug. Yes, it too is red. When we moved to our current house I was so happy to have a place just for this rug; in the basement. Even better, when I finally decorated the husband’s work office, his beloved red rug fit perfectly. I’m ever so happy he gets to love his rug again.
Five | Movie Posters
On one of the first of our dates, Jake told me his favorite movies were Casablanca and The African Queen. As proof of his fandom, he had a large framed movie poster of each, that hung above his living room couch. These two framed movie posters were one of the few home decor items that were set apart from the strictly traditional style and I actually quite liked them. For the first couple of years that we lived in our first home together, the posters remained above the couch. Then we sold the house. And the husband acted totally weird about the posters. I remember him suggesting we get rid of them. I disagreed. When it came time to carry the posters out of the house, he carried them across the room like a child who’d had an accident. I giggled and asked him what he was doing. I finally got it out of him that the posters were from an ex-flame and a sweet little note had been scrolled across the back. As one who’s not the jealous type, I couldn’t have cared less. We still have the posters. The love notes and all.
Six | The Red Cabinet
The home accessories store, I mentioned above, was owned by my aunt and I spent a great deal of time there. As a stay at home wife, I felt very misplaced in the world for a while. On my free time, when I should have been learning how to cook (something I didn’t do until we’d been married for a couple of years), I’d head over to the store and do whatever needed doing. Dusting, gift wrapping, greeting customers. Often times, my aunt would pay me in merchandise and I didn’t mind as long as I had something to do. When I laid eyes on this red cabinet I fell in love with it. I would try to convince the husband that it would look so good (you know, with all of the existing red and all), but it cost far more than any piece of furniture I’d ever shelled out dough for.
One day, I came home to find that the sweet little red cabinet with its distressed edges and reclaimed wood top (this way dated Fixer Upper, yall) was sitting in my kitchen (as shown below). Granted, this may be the only time in our marriage that either of us has ever surprised one another with a thoughtful gift of such magnitude, but I’ll never forget it.
Seven | Patio Furniture
First a question. Why is patio furniture so dang expensive? This patio set from JC Penney Home was the first item for our home that we picked out together as a married couple. We hadn’t been married long, but long enough to know that I hadn’t married a handyman. I found this incredibly fun to pour myself a glass of tea and watch the husband install the entire set by himself. He must have done something right because ten years later it has made it through a few moves and is still standing.
Eight | The Green Laundry Basket
This doesn’t deserve its own photo, but when I asked the husband which items he could think of that we’d had since the beginning of our marriage, he pointed to a green laundry basket and said, “you brought your green basket.” I do not recall this being an item that I moved in when we married and he swears it wasn’t his. It looks as if it could have belonged to either of our parents and the fact that its still in full working order earned it the number eight spot on this count down. It has survived full loads of our laundry being sailed down the carpeted stairs to the basement laundry (I’m a bit of a scaredy cat and if the husband wasn’t home, there was no way I was going downstairs to do laundry alone). It held the tiny little socks of our babies. Whether it was his or mine, it is something we have called ours for so long we can’t decide who it belonged to first.
Nine | Gold Silk Curtains
One thing that I haven’t quite grown out of, is the love of a good yard sale. The summer of our wedding, I found perhaps one of the best steals at a yard sale, I’d ever lucked into. Silk gold custom made curtains. They were blackout lined and incredibly nice. $40 bucks and I was a very happy gal. Especially since it gave me the right to toss the old red curtains. I loved that they were just a hair too long when I hung them in the living room and it gave them a dramatic puddle. Nowadays, I take life and my curtains much more seriously and they just barely graze the floor. When we moved from our first home together and into a bigger house, I was crushed that I wouldn’t be able to use my coveted curtains (the living room windows were two stories), but my crafty aunt showed me that I could add a contrasting fabric to the top or bottom to give it length. So, the curtains changed a little, but are still here!
Ten | Books, Books, Books
Some wives complain about their husbands snoring at night. My complaint was the late night reading. I’m a dreadfully light sleeper and the husband and I disagree on bedtimes. These days I strive to have my head on my pillow by 1030; he may stay up another hour. At the beginning of the marriage, the husband would stay up far longer than I desired to and he’d keep his lamp on and read until far into the night. I would be so tired and grumpy; all I wanted was to go to sleep, but every time my eyes closed the sound of a turning page would snap me back to earth. When we sold our first house It took me 15 boxes to pack all of the books from around the house. We had custom bookshelves built in the basement of our current home and thankfully Amazon debuted their fancy new product the kindle. As a result, the bookshelves stopped growing and I got a sliver of a chance of falling to sleep easier. I thought I had a better picture of our bookshelves. This one is a bit of a hot mess. I did later on update this space and arrange the books to be a little more eye-pleasing, but oh well.
Looking back at old photos to find these pictures was such a fun reminder. Our house was sooo cute. We have grown so much over the last ten years together and right around our 10th anniversary we will be moving into a new home and a new chapter. Funny, the new house is two houses down from our very first home (where some of these old photos were taken). What items do you have that have been around for years and years?
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