Wedding Week III: Celebrating Our Third Anniversary

As wedding week comes to a close, we’ll wrap up with the as-promised details of how we honored this year’s anniversary, including where we went, what we ate, what we gifted each other, and how we added to our collection of sweet mementos around the house.

First, we’re all about checking off some of photographic traditions of the day. Wednesday afternoon we took a trip down to Richmond’s Carytown district to pay a visit to our go-to photo booth at the New York Deli. It was Clara’s first photo booth experience and she loved it so much that we couldn’t resist grabbing a second strip. And now they both live on a shelf in our dining area with all of our other strips from big days gone by (which we shared in Wednesday’s post).

One thing we forgot to show you on Wednesday is that we have another collection of anniversary photos in our bedroom. On the ottoman near the mirror, we’ve got small framed pictures that we took on our last two anniversaries (we plan to add one each year – eventually moving the collection to a wall somewhere). In the left photo (our first anniversary) you can even see us holding the cupcakes that we froze from our wedding day to be eaten 365 days later, they were actually pretty good.

So to continue the anniversary “portrait” tradition, once we got home from our photo strip session we braved the heat to snap a few pics in the backyard – with Clara being an important addition to this year’s documentation (thanks to a tripod and the auto timer button on our new camera).

We especially enjoyed taking this one with the arch that we got married under in the foreground.

After that it was time for the all important anniversary meal. Since we had already recreated our wedding menu for year #1 and dined at our rehearsal dinner spot for year #2 (learn more about those adventures here) we decided to honor our Alaskan honeymoon this year by making some sort of salmon dish. And since I’m in the midst of cooking my way through Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (Sherry calls it my Johnny & Jamie project a la Julie & Julia) we plucked out a salmon stir-fry recipe that, despite Kroger not having all the right ingredients, turned out quite well. Yum.

Then after dinner (with Clara off to sleep) it was present time. Even though third year gifts are traditionally supposed to be leather, Sherry and I broke tradition and coincidentally each went the art route. She had 12″ x 12″ enlargements printed of two of our favorite pics of Clara from her newborn photoshoot with our friend Dana Duncan and hung them in our bedroom in inexpensive Ikea frames to surprise me (where one of our botanical prints had previously hung). I love that we can now admire our little girl even when she’s sleeping in her nursery across the hall – plus we couldn’t have planned our outfits better (they coincidentally match the color scheme in there perfectly). See the full sized pictures here and here.

And when it came to my gift for Sherry, I knew that we’d soon have a need for lots of postcard-sized art, so I channeled my inner graph nerd to make her a geeky-sweet representation of all of the things that Sherry has meant to me over the nearly six years that we’ve known each other (and the five that we’ve been dating/betrothed/married). I got to work in a lot of sweet things (like how we went from single people to a family of four) as well as a lot of humorous stuff (like the brief time I thought Sherry’s name might be Heather, how she’s always been the passenger in our relationship since she rarely drives, and how I’ve known her as everything from a fish mom to an actual baby momma.

The gift exchange pretty much wrapped up 7/7/10 for us, but it wasn’t the end of our anniversary festivities. We had planned a day-trip too, but with the triple-digit temperatures (insane) we decided to postpone our travel until yesterday when the heat dropped about ten degrees (you know, because the 90’s is sooo much cooler than 104).

So yesterday we hopped in the car and headed west to Charlottesville, VA. Why there? It’d put us at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just about 30 minutes from where we got engaged. In fact, we actually spent most of the day just outside of C-ville driving on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to soak up the view and tell Clara all about the fun adventures that predated her much-anticipated arrival (being mathy I’m good at recalling where we were and what we did on specific days, so there were a lot of “three years ago on this exact day we were…” conversations). Oh the memories.

We also stopped for lunch near the base of the mountains at the Blue Mountain Brewery. Yes, it’s odd that two non-drinking baby-wearing people would choose a brewery to celebrate, but we had heard good things about its picturesque setting and delicious food. Plus they consider themselves to be a “green” business (we happily counted at least three rain barrels when we arrived) so that always makes us happy to show our support. And although we didn’t head there expecting to see anything home related, as soon as we pulled up Sherry was raving about their deep bronze-toned metal roof. We’d love to have one someday… if they weren’t so darned expensive.

Inside the meal was simple, but delicious (and made from local ingredients). Plus I had the pleasure of rocking my Ergo carrier throughout.

Heck, if you can’t enjoy the view of the mountains – this one isn’t a bad substitute, eh? Clara’s like the seven dwarfs these days (sleepy, happy, bashful, and even occasionally grumpy). Here are just a small sampling of the faces I was getting throughout the meal.

After our second tasty anniversary meal we stopped at my alma mater (to get Clara her first UVA onesie, of course) and then we headed back home to call an official end to the extended anniversary festivities. Well, that is until this morning when we made one last nod to our lemon-&-lime themed wedding with Clara’s eight week photo. She’s such a good sport.

Thanks again for celebrating wedding week with us this year! It’s always fun to take a slight detour and look to relationships & the celebrations that accompany them for DIY and design inspiration. We’ll be back on Monday with our regularly scheduled programming, so until next year we hope everyone enjoys celebrating their own anniversaries and all of those other heart-warming milestones over the next twelve months!

Psst- Clamoring for more Clara? She doesn’t usually hang out on the blog all that much, so just click the sidebar button with her cute mug on it for tons of regularly uploaded photos of Baby P!


  1. RC says

    Happy Anniversary week! Love the Clara pics. It would be neat to have a duplicate Clara gallery with just the Clara week 1, week etc. onesies.

  2. Karen J says

    Boy oh boy!! You guys sure know how to be creative without breaking the bank. However, you failed to mention Burger. What happened?

    • says

      Burger still sleeps with us every night while Clara’s in the nursery. Fret not, he’s much loved and enjoys everything from playing with Clara (see all of those pics, and even a video, by clicking the Clara button on the sidebar) to strolls around the neighborhood and evenings on the sofa with us. He’s very much a beloved part of our family, but we thought since he wasn’t in the last two anniversary photos (and since it might be hard to juggle a pup and a baby while pressing the auto flash button and running into frame) that we’d let him play in the yard instead of making him pose. But he does have his own blog while Baby P just has a flickr page so he’s still the man. No worries!


  3. Amanda says

    Love this post! You guys are the cutest, happiest little family!
    I love your anniversary traditions! John, that gift for Sherry was stellar & so creative. Love it!

  4. Austyn says

    Those are absolutely the sweetest gifts ever! Love them.

    Btw, I was looking for a post you featured a while back with baby products that you purchased for Clara, I remember that it included a nightlight/white noise/iPod dock of some sort, but I can’t seem to find it. Could you link to it, pretty please?

  5. says

    Sherry & John,
    Thanks for sharing your anniversary celebrations! Congratulations again! My husband Sean & I are celebrating our 8th wedding anniversary next week on the 13th. We always like to go back to the location where we got married at here in Vegas (no not one of the wedding chapels :D.). We wanted a tropical location that was indoors in the July desert heat, so we found the perfect place at a local hotel atrium area where they hold wedding ceremonies.

  6. SSB says

    Happy Anniversary Week!
    The two of you are so thoughtful towards each other and your family, its heartwarming! :)
    John, your gift to Sherry was beyond perfect! And I love the pictures of Clara Sherry presented you.

  7. Jackie says

    John, My 5th anniversary is coming up and I’d love to adapt your idea as a gift for my husband. What program did you use to make it?

  8. says

    Clara looks like your dad in some of her photos, John. And that’s a compliment ’cause your dad is a cutie patutie. I just love dads who help with projects :)

  9. says

    I loved this post! The hubs and I are coming up on our 3 year anniversary in August and I’ve been racking my brain for ways we can celebrate with the two of us And our sweet 14 month old. Thanks for always bringing us such budget-friendly, creative, and meaningful ways to enjoy the little things in life :)

  10. Lynn Van Slyke says

    OMG! I love the photo strip of the three of you. That has got to be the sweetest thing ever!!!

    Happy Anniversary =)

  11. says

    You two are an absolute inspiration for learning how to savor life!

    This was one of my good intentions for 2010 because 2009 did not happen for us and I hate looking back and having almost no memories of an entire year of my life.

    Reading your blog every day not only provides great inspiration design-wise, but is also a reminder to put life’s simplest moments in the spotlight.

    Maybe the husband and I will actually get around to celebrating our next wedding anniversary (5!). :-)


  12. says

    I love that you take an anniversary photo each year! I wish we had thought of that! I love that your gifts and celebration were very sentimental. It looks like you’ve figured out what really matters.

  13. Rose says

    Nice close to the Wedding Week!
    Great gift ideas…pretty clever on your part, John!

    By the way, where did you get all the printed fabrics from and what are you doing with them? Sewing things and such?

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