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Happy Anniversary and Congratulations! We Survived Year 1 of Marriage

pie photo

In my first job out of college I learned all about how to manage expectations. Under promise, over deliver. Well, I wish someone had managed my expectations about the biggest event of my life that happened 1 year ago this month- my marriage to my husband Phil.

The actual day was perfect. I was surrounded by people who truly loved me, my (now) husband, my mom and dad, my best friends, my super-senior grandparents who traveled from Pennsylvania, and my husband’s family who from day one have made me feel loved and accepted. Seeing all of the people who traveled from far and wide to be in Wisconsin for our wedding (I like to tell people it was a destination wedding for everyone but the bride and groom) made me feel like I MUST be doing SOMETHING right in life to have this many people who cared about me. Plus there were cheese curds, five different kinds of pie, and New Glarus Spotted Cow on tap at the reception- so trust me, it was an awesome day.

The perfection of the day itself contributed to my mismanaged expectations. I was under the impression that the fun would continue for the first year at the very least. That’s why they call it the honeymoon phase, right? BUT to my surprise life went pretty much back to normal –job issues, cars breaking down, pets messing up the carpet… and about a million conversations the begin with “it makes me feel [insert feeling] when you [annoying behavior].”


(First world problems I know- for the record, I try not to get overly stressed about the small stuff, and as my dad says, everything is small stuff. )

But to be perfectly honest I was a little freaked out. If it’s this hard in year one how hard is it going to get?

Fast forward to first anniversary. I was adamant with my husband that we take some time to slow down and celebrate. He didn’t want to go out for dinner since he had just spent the week dining out with clients with his job (see, there you go getting in the way of my bliss, dang you life!). So instead, I made a healthy but still fancy dinner for two at home with wine, candles, matching dishes and cloth napkins. We reread the notes we wrote each other on our wedding day and all of a sudden all of the small stuff that happened in the last year felt down right microscopic.

I’ve attended 3 weddings so far this year with a fourth one on the books for next weekend, so my advice to the newlyweds is this:

Life goes on marriage or no marriage and it will keep going on whether you stop to appreciate your spouse or not, but I suggest you do appreciate them. And it doesn’t have to be with expensive jewelry or steak dinners. Sometimes an $8 bottle of wine, a home cooked meal and some cloth napkins are enough to say “thanks for putting up with me.”

Oh, and by the way, I have to pay the bills on this blog, so check out Anniversary Gifts by Year at 


Photo by Hanson Photography. 

Top 5 Edible Wedding Anniversary Gifts By Year

50th Anniversary Cookies With all of the buzz about the royal wedding, everyone here at WisconsinMade has been thinking about wedding anniversary gifts by year.  This tradition involves giving a gift based on the type of gift assigned to each year- 1st is paper, 2nd is cotton, 3rd is leather and so on. When creating the new anniversary gifts by year section of our website, we realized how much fun it can be to get creative with anniversary gifts.  For example, the 2nd year anniversary is china… how about sending the happy couple a gift card to their favorite chinese restaurant?  Here are some more food related wedding anniversary gift ideas.

1) Cookbook- 1st Anniversary- Paper-  Not exactly edible, but it can lead to some tasty edibles! One of my favorites is the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook which is filled with recipes that use the fruits and veggies of the season.

2) Candy Apples- 4th Anniversary – Fruit- A fruit basket is a nice gift, but cover that fruit with chocolate, caramel, nuts and candies and you have an AMAZING gift.  Check out these decadent creations by Amy’s Apples for inspiration.

3) Cow Pies- 6th Anniversary – Chocolate- You can go two ways with this one.  Handpainted Kohler chocolates will impress even a royal couple like Will & Kate, but if your friends are a pair of fun loving, cow-tipping, goofy Wisconsinites, they might appreciate some chocolate cow pies. Cheesehead Gift Basket

4) Popcorn Tin- 10th Anniversary- Tin- This is another non-edible gift category that a little creativity can turn into a tasty treat. Give a tin full of popcorn.  Popcorn tins come in many different designs from hearts to sports teams so it will be easy to find one that fits your couples unique personality.

5) Packer Snacks – 50th Anniversary – Gold – In Wisconsin, when you hear gold, you think green and gold! Go Pack Go! After fifty years of watching Packer games together,  what gift could be more perfect than a gift basket in a cheesehead? Ok, MAYBE Super Bowl tickets…

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