Little Things

I’ve always disliked the idea of giving gifts when it was expected… ie: for birthdays or Christmas. It just has always felt… forced? It also puts a lot of unneeded pressure and anxiety on people to feel like they have to give something. We might as well all just be out here swapping $20 bills from our wallets and calling it a Christmas gift exchange.

Real gift giving is different though. Ya know… when ya just randomly stumble across something that reminds you of someone or a crafty idea pops in your head and ya make something for a friend. I adore that type of gift giving and outside of words and time… it’s one of my favorite love languages.

I remember we kinda went all out the first Christmas Kati and I spent together in our first apartment. We got a tree, decorated and bought all kinds of gifts for each other to open on Christmas morning. Don’t get me wrong… it was fun… but afterwards we were like… “what was the point of that?”

Christmas 2010

It just felt off for some reason. So we decided to STOP exchanging gifts for Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries. Outside of a lil black Christmas tree, we’ve really stopped decorating for Christmas altogether. Now, we simply give gifts when the opportunity presents itself and honestly… it’s been wonderful. Before ya come for my head… I’m NOT bashing gift givers or anyone that follows traditions… I’m just saying that we’ve taken a different approach and doing things our way.

I’ve received a lot of wonderful gifts in my day, but one of my favorite gift memories was our first anniversary. We got married in 2010…

and shortly after “I do” I started trail running. I bought my first pair of Salomon XT 2 Wings and my love affair with Salomon products hasn’t stopped since…

I LOVED THIS SHOE. I litrully had ever color. My wife wishes that was an exaggeration… but it’s fact. I then stepped into the S/LAB series and have been hooked ever since…

1st gen S/LAB

I remember watching Kilian sport a new style vest during his 2009 UTMB race. No one had ever seen that type of pack before. It was shirt-like and had just enough cargo space for the mandatory gear…

I pined after that pack. I wanted it so badly but it was ASPENSIVE! I talked and talked and talked about that pack, but it was more of a pipe dream. As newly weds, the last thing we needed to spend money on was some frivolous shit like a fancy euro boi vest so that I could go prance around the woods.

June 5, 2011 rolled around and we had been married a whole entire year!

2011: Babies

Kati pulls out a box and slides it my way…

She freakin got me the vest. I was blown away. I wore that pack EVERYWHERE…

To the beach…

To the lake…

To the Dragon…

I litrully became… a EURO BOI.

That vest was such a special gift to me. It felt more like a gift of freedom and adventure than a physical vest.

Fast forward 11yrs later… we’re a lil older… I’ve greyed a bit (or perhaps a lot)… but we’ve still got that same young fire.

Yesterday I pulled into Cedar Creek Nursery, walked straight inside, grabbed something off the shelf and went to the counter.

You came through that door like a man on a mission. You must have known exactly what ya wanted to buy.”

I pretty much did. The previous weekend we had swung into the nursery to pick up some flowers and plants for the house. After picking a few out, we went into the gift shop to look around. Per usual, Kati stopped at the sight of candles and wafted her way through the shelf. You can always tell when she finds one she really loves. She takes a deep inhale, smiles a lil happy smile and then excitedly turns to me to get my thoughts. I love those little moments.

Kati placed the candle back on the shelf…

“I can’t buy this right now. We can’t spend money on a silly candle.”

Over the years, I’ve come to recognize certain pieces that seem to be consistent components in the success and happiness of marriage. For one, the better the communication, the better the relationship. We openly and safely provide a space to express our feelings, concerns and joys. We share stories and our crazy thoughts with each other. I feel this type of communication builds a strong relationship.

I believe one of the most important components is simply recognizing and enjoying the little things and moments. I know the bigger moments and trips are the ones that stick out the most and are the easiest to recall…

Tetons ~ 2018

But it’s the little things that count. Like a random Saturday where we wake up, have coffee together, go smell some candles, go for a hike and go stick our hands in the creek.

Today marks 11 years with my Dark Princess. Tonight we’ll get our traditional Chick Fil A anniversary dinner, pop in a horror movie, paint our toe nails, monch some popcorn and enjoy a bottle of wine. We may even light a special lil candle…

Moments and gifts don’t have to be elaborate or expensive to have special meaning. Sometimes it’s just the little things.

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