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. Robyn in Chicago says

    #1 – I can’t believe Clara is 8 weeks old already.

    #2 – lurve the timeline – nice work John!

    #3 – you guys are the cutest.

    #4 – anniversary / wedding week was fun – loved the guest post from Style Me Pretty!

  2. says

    Y’all are so stinkin adorable! I love all the things you did to celebrate your anniversary. Great pics too. It looked like the perfect week :)

    P.S. Sherry, you look amazing!!

  3. HHC says

    OMG – the timeline gift is so adorable. Would you perhaps offer up the digital file, even for sale in your shop? Super cute.

    • says

      Hey Christa,

      The story is that when I met Sherry while working at a NYC ad agency with her, she was a copywriter and she had a female creative partner (an art director) named Heather. So I was always introduced to their creative team as “Sherry & Heather” so I didn’t know which one was which for a while!


  4. Erin S. says

    I love your gifts for each other! John, is there any way you could post some sort of template for yours for us non-graph nerds? :)

  5. Kelly S says

    What a small world! I drive over Afton Mt everyday from Waynesboro to C’ville (I work at UVA) and back in the afternoon. You probably already know this but I highly recommend you coming back this way in October. The fall colors on Afton are incredible. I absolutely LOVE my drive to and from work during that month.

    We went on a picnic on the parkway over the weekend and ended up cruising Wintergreen resort. On Sunday it was a blistery 99 in W’boro and it felt 20 degrees cooler on the mountain!

  6. Kate! says

    I love the timeline! You guys have so many great ideas. But what is the one, two, three, four on the timeline? Everything else I could figure out!

    • says

      Hey Kate,

      That’s where we went from being two single people (1) to a couple (2) and then a family of three (including Burger of course) and now a family of four (thanks to Clara!).


  7. jennifer says

    How sweet are you two?!? Sherry, you look fabulous…would never know that just 8 weeks ago you had the whole 9 months pregnant thing happening!

    Happy Anniversary crazy youngsters/parentals!! And as always, thank you for sharing!!

  8. Anna says

    Congratulations on your anniversary! John, would you mind sharing how you made the graph? My husband is a major graph nerd and I’d love to make him one for a “here’s all the stuff we’ve done over the last almost 9 years together” collage we’re working on.

    • says

      Anna, Erin S, and HHC,

      So sorry but I never anticipated people asking for the file of the timeline that I made for Sherry. I actually flattened it before printing it for her so it’s no longer editable. Bummer! But here’s how I did it:

      I used Photoshop, turned on the grid tool (to keep my lines organized) and used the line tool to make them (along with the type tool to label them). The font that I used was Otari. Hope it helps!


  9. Fernanda says

    You guys are just the cutest!!! I love your blog. Thank you for sharing your anniversary week with us!! My husband and I will celebrate our first Anniversary in September, and you gave me a lot of inspiration to keep the memories!!! Thank a lot!!
    I wish you all the best! Happy Anniversary to the cutest online couple ever!!!

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