Tuesday, November 17, 2015

First Anniversary Gift

I can't believe we're almost a year into marriage. I'll save all of the cheesy time-flies-when-you're-having-fun sentiments for another post (I know you're anxiously awaiting that one! ha!).  Instead, I'll give you the rundown of our anniversary gift to each other and the story behind it.

Last year, for our wedding, our friend Karen (or Kare Bear as Mike affectionately calls her) gave us this scratch off map, which I love. It's always so exciting to scratch off a new country after a trip that we've been on (we only scratch off a country that we've been to together).  I always envision what our map will look like after our two years in Izmir.

Although we love our scratch off map, we knew we also wanted a HUGE world map to put pins in the cities that we've been.  I saw a large map on this blogpost a while ago and knew that I wanted something similar.  Mike had talked about getting a large map as well and when I showed him the picture of the one on the blog, he agreed that something like that would be perfect. It just so happens that, traditionally, the first year anniversary gift is a paper gift.  Being the lover of traditions that I am, this large map seemed like the perfect gift for Mike.  I mentioned to him that I was going to order his gift and that it fit right in with the paper tradition.  He had a funny feeling that my gift was the same as his gift and his suspicions were correct.  

When the map came, we were both so excited.  We immediately took it to be framed and it was ready within a week.  The frame shop was on the street next to ours and a few blocks down.  When we went to pick it up, we realized that we would have to carry this huge map down the street to our apartment.  We went around lunch time, so the streets were filled with people out and about.  We definitely got a few stares as we marched down the street with this giant map! Once we were back in our apartment building, the journey wasn't over.  Our elevator is tiny and the map didn't stand a chance of fitting in there, so up eight flights of spiral stairs we went!

We were so excited to have the map framed and in our apartment that we hung it up almost immediately.  After it was hung, I looked at it and said that it was crooked, so we took out the level.  The level said it was straight and we quickly remembered that the last time we hung pictures, we discovered that our ceilings are crooked, so even if our pictures our level, they look crooked. I think last time, it really bothered me, but now we just laughed and embraced it.

After we stopped laughing from the crooked map, we started to put our pins in.  At first, we put in red pins for places that we've both been.  Most of the places are places that we've been together, but a few, like Ketchikan, Alaska were places that we've both happened to go, but at different times.  It was so fun reminiscing on trips that we've taken together or talking about different trips that we've taken to the same place.  We also put in blue and white pins.  Blue pins are for where Mike has been, but I haven't and white pins are for where I've been, but Mike hasn't.   Sadly, there are a lot more blue pins than white pins.  We had fun telling each other stories about trips that we took to places the other hasn't been.  Mike loves to tell the story about the time him and Mike Fick went to Tijuana and I told him about the trips I've taken to Chicago to visit my cousins.  Hopefully, some of the blue and white pins will be replaced with red pins as we take more trips together.

Both Mike and I love traveling and this is a great way to commemorate where we've been.  I'm so glad that we ended up doing this and am so excited to have this in the Hogan Household!

Can you see the crookedness?  Because I can and it still makes me laugh

I'm so excited to add more and more red pins to Europe while we're here!  Hopefully, those blue pins will be replaced to red ones as well.  

The East Coast definitely wins for the most pins, but I have to be a little proud of the white pins that are scattered around the rest of the country. 

The funniest part of this map is seeing how some continents like North America and Europe have so many pins, but other continents like South America have none.  One day!

We'll be adding some pins to North Africa in the near future, but Africa is pretty empty.  I really want to go to South Africa one day, but I don't think that will be any time soon.

Mike is super proud of this pin!  Lady Jax stopped in Diego Garcia on a port call over Christmas when they were deployed.  We didn't even think that D-Gar would be on the map, but sure enough, there it is in the middle of the Indian Ocean!

Oh Guam! What a place!  I visited Mike when he was on a port call during deployment here and it was such a monumental trip for us.   It's in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and it looks like another pin in the middle of nowhere, but we're both so proud of it!

Last but not least, good old Hawaii.  I think Hawaii will always have a special place in our hearts because we spent so much time here together before we got married.  We were able to island hop and really enjoy the islands.

Today, I'm thankful for all of our opportunities to travel.   We are so fortunate to have been given this incredible opportunity.  I may not love Turkey, but there isn't a day that I'm not thankful for all of the traveling and opportunities this experience has brought us.