Was it coincidence that our application for New Zealand residency was due the week of our paper anniversary? I think not.

Aside from my masters thesis this was the largest document I’ve ever compiled in my life. Thank goodness this one didn’t need proper APA citation. It did however require documentation for nearly every job I’ve held over the past 10 years, as well as full medical checks, police checks, and proof of our relationship.

My gift for Nelson for our first anniversary wasn’t quite as heavy, but took even longer to prepare. Here it is waiting to be opened.

And fully unfurled in all its glory. A blessing for the home Nelson is building us. Made with paper from Trade Aid, adorned with paper cut outs very carefully done with an exacto-blade.

I can understand why paper represents the first anniversary. It is delicate, can be easily ruined, but also holds promise. Let’s just say there were many a tense moment working on the tiny cutouts. Our blessing, heavily inspired by one I saw in a friend’s home, begins with the following phrase:

All I can hope for is that in five, ten, and twenty years time, I feel as content in my life as I do this week. When I look around me, I find myself surrounded by beautiful things and beautiful people, largely as a result of the work that my husband has done to pave the road for opportunities to come our way (ok, and maybe I helped a bit too!)

And finally, I’ll leave you with one more shot from the night of our anniversary. We are untying the cord that was used for the handfasting during our wedding ceremony. Traditionally this was done one year and one day after the initial tying. We were either a day early, or right on target depending on how you look at it. Getting married in a different timezone can really confuse the whole year and a day component. Let’s hope accuracy isn’t too important.Couples are meant to untie the knot and then decide together whether they want to retie it, or break the bond. We untied the knot and spent a few minutes talking about what we had learned during our first year of marriage.

Then we retied that sucker. Oh yeah!

-June Cleverer

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