A couple weeks ago Matt and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary, or in our home better known as our cotton anniversary since I am set on fulfilling the tradition of buying an anniversary gift that goes along with the traditional wedding gift items for each year of our marriage for Matt, and cotton is the item for the second year; hence the cotton anniversary. So far I have been able to fulfill this goal, but we are only two years in. The items on the list get much more difficult, as well as more expensive, as the years progress, which mean I am going to inherently have to become more creative.
Something that Matt and I specifically decided we were going to do, when we first got married, was of course, to alway spend our wedding anniversary together every year. I am sure we are not the only married couple who has this brilliantly romantic tradition that they keep to each year. Our goal though, is to spend all day of our wedding anniversary together. Yes you read that right. Here in the Pomeroy home we plan on spending every single second of our wedding anniversaries just with each other savoring the past year and all that God has taught us as well as all the ways we have grown in our family, from the first moment we wake up to the time we go to sleep, and everything in between. Right now this annual romantic notion is relatively easy to meet since it is just our little family of two. Our schedules aren’t too hectic that we can’t at least get that day off and we really don’t have to worry about any one else except ourselves. I am sure though, in the years to come, as our family expands and our lives become busier this will be much more challenging to accomplish. Still we are determined to do this. One of the many lessons we have learned in the past 24 months of marriage is that you have to make time. You have to make the time to show one another just how much you appreciate, cherish and admire them on a daily basis. Whether the actions are grand gestures or small remarks, they all count. By vowing to keep our day, our anniversary, August 19th open is our way of reserving that precious time for us, both now and in the future. It’s one of the ways that we intentionally tell each other that our marriage matters, it’s important, and you are of high priority!
So we celebrated our cotton anniversary by going away on our second annual anniversary getaway. We decided to return to the secluded cabin, which sits at the top of the Smoky Mountains in Cosby, TN, where we spent our paper (1st) anniversary last year, called Mountain Berry, since we had such a wonderful time. Last year we could only stay for a long weekend, but this year we had saved up the time and finances to be able to getaway for a whole five days! On top of that the sweet couple who own the bed and breakfast/cabin rental company, Janice and Tifton, remembered us from last year and therefore gave us a nice package deal as well as a friends and family discount to use towards our trip which cut the total expenses in half! I guess what my MawMaw always said was true, you do get more flies with sugar than vinegar, which is southern Kentucky talk for you get more in the world be being sweet and kind to people than if you were to be selfish and rude.
Our total trip time was from Sunday, August 18-23, 2013. So we packed up the car on Saturday night, dropped Kirby-girl off at some nearby families home early Sunday morning and left for Cosby, TN Sunday afternoon right after church let out. It is only a 4 hour drive from Lexington so we were there by dinner time which worked out perfectly since Marmie had given us a gift card, for our anniversary, to use on our usual Kracker Barrel stop. We spent the first couple days, including our actual cotton anniversary which fell on a Monday, just hanging out around the cabin spending time with each other,reminiscing and recording in our anniversary book, that we started our first year of marriage, all the treasured memories and lessons learned which took place this last year as well as the hopes, dreams and prayers that we hold for the upcoming year. We also record the personal vows that we each write and intimately renew, between the two of us and God, each year. During these days we only left the cabin and ventured all the way down the mountain once. Even then that was only because Tifton and Janice make an exquisite gourmet breakfast each morning for all their guests, and last year Matt and I attended the morning of our anniversary, which they deemed our anniversary breakfast. Since we were returning for our anniversary we all agreed that it was only fitting that we go back and enjoy a second anniversary breakfast. Along with many other delicious delicacies, such as warmed figs, homemade blueberry breakfast juice, fresh fruit with mint and goat cheese and local bacon, Janice generously made us these special blue-corn and blueberry pancakes because, as she said, the blue-corn is a special Native American blessing to who ever it is given to; seriously how sweet and thoughtful!
Besides spending time up in the mountains relaxing together, and taking in all that God’s magnificent creation has to offer, we also went on a White Water Rafting adventure! Matt had been rafting before, but this was my first experience doing such a thing. We chose to go on the upper river tour which boasted rapids in the classes of 3 and 4, but on the day that we went, since it had been raining so profusely the day before, the guide said that the rapids were at a class 4-6! Though it was extremely challenging, and I personally almost got thrown out of the raft a hand full of times, we still had an absolute blast! There was even a stretch of calm water that our guide permitted us to jump into and swim in for a couple minutes, which of course we did even though the fresh mountain water chilled us both to the bone! Like most other couples, we always have such a great time experiencing something new and exciting together.
During the middle of the week we ventured down the mountain and into the little tourist town of Gatlinburg for the evening. We spent some time in Gatlinburg last year when we came for the weekend, but it was much different to go and see it during the week. The crowds were not nearly as booming and big. Therefore we actually got to see more of strip as well as not get pushed around on the tiny sidewalks when we were going from one store to the next. Of course we had to make our usual stops into the classic stores such as Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, but we also got to see some new places that we had never visited before. We originally were going to eat dinner at the Pancake Pantry until we found out that they closed at 6:00pm. So instead we ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co since neither of us had been before, and we both were big fans of the movie that the restaurant is themed after, Forest Gump. We had an absolute ball! From getting our pictures taken in the standard park-bench that simulates the one in the actual movie to playing a trivia game with our waiter, it was a completely enjoyable experience, and the food was delicious which is always a plus!
On out last day in town we woke up early and decided to go back into Gatlinburg to eat at the first original pancake house in Tennesse, The Pancake Pantry, for breakfast. Even at 9:00 on a Friday morning it is still most definitely the place to eat the first meal of the day in Gatlinburg! Fun little fact, if you decide to go visit for yourself one day, make sure to bring cash since they do not take any other form of currency. Matt and I were particularly tickled over this since we run our family finances on a cash-only basis which includes an old-fashioned envelope system that I think is actually pretty charming and vintage. After breakfast we went to see the Smoky Mountains National Park.
We would have loved to hike but didn’t have enough time since we were eagerly on our way over to Nashville to see our Brother-John, Sister-Carrie and our three sweet nieces, Chloe, Mary and Evie, whom we absolutely adore and try to spend as much time as possible with, that upcoming weekend. So we did what all good tourist do, we went “motor-hiking” as Matt and I like to call it. We took a nice hour long drive along the windy mountain roads and through the dark tunnels up to the very tippy top! The entire drive was beautiful, but the view from the peak was absolutely breathtaking! Even when we do, eventually, get around to hiking the trails there, we will more then likely still make a road trip up to the top to see that stunning view all over again!
Taking an extra hour to drive up to the top of the Smoky Mountains was definitely worth it in our book, just like taking time out from the daily grind of the life that we love and have created together is, to appreciate all the blessings that God has given our little family over the past year of our marriage. It’s worth the effort to get to the peak of the preverbal mountain of our marriage in that year. To take in the view together and see the whole grand perspective on things that we could not witness before that point. To see the vastness of change that has occurred during that year in our life. To look back on all the trials and triumphs that God has faithfully brought us through, ever nurturing and strengthening both of us as individuals and as a whole, before climbing to the top of the next years mountain together, hand in hand.
I am personally so excited to see how my husband will lead our family this next upcoming year. I am excited to faithfully hold Matts hand and follow him whole-heartedly, as he faithfully holds our Abba Fathers hand and follows His divine direction and will for our third year of marriage. I look forward to this time next year, again, on August 19th, celebrating our leather (3rd) anniversary, taking in the breathtaking beauty of our life, our family, our marriage, our story, that God is working in and creating right this very moment. I look forward to taking in that great view, seeing the grand scheme and all the ways His handy-work intricately knitted together each situation to make such a magnificent, love-filled story… up to that point!