Paul and I married on November 13, 2004. We had a lovely courtship and a dreamy wedding. Our first year of marriage was sort of a whirlwind. We lived in seperate cities for three months. We moved to a new city where we didn't know anyone; my childhood friend passed away; Paul's grandmother passed away; Paul tore his ACL and was in and out of therapy all year. We bought a new car. We sold a car. We sold a house and bought a house. Paul traveled two weeks out of every month. It just seemed like a lot was happening and before we knew it our first anniversary was approaching. What do you get your spouse as a gift for your one year anniversary? Honestly, I had no idea. But Paul did. He handed me a little black box. I opened it and inside was a beautiful diamond cross necklace.
I've never had nice jewelry. I had a boyfriend buy me diamond earrings one time. But they were so small I was afraid the diamond was going to go through my ear hole to never be seen again. So I always wore my costume diamond jewelry. Big, bling and cheap. I opened my little black box on our first year anniversary and I was in love. I was in love with my husband and all we had gone through in a short year and I was in love with this beautiful diamond necklace. I had no idea it's value or financial worth. I just knew it was really beautiful and special to me. I knew it represented us. I knew it represented what was important to us. I put it on and I didn't take it off for a long time. I showered in it and I slept in it. My hair tangled in the chain one night and then I decided to start taking it off to shower and sleep. Days passed by and I'd forget to put it on. And as the years went by I began to only wear my beautiful cross on special occasions. I'd wear it to church. I'd wear it out to dinner. And most importantly I wore it when I gave birth to Lucia, our first child.
I had intentions of wearing it at the birth of any children we might have after as well. But, unfortunately, around the time Lucia was 7 months we had a babysitter who stole from me. It was right around this time that I never saw my diamond cross necklace again. It wasn't much longer I became pregnant with the twins and I already began to wonder what I was going to wear around my neck during their birth? What could I have on that would symbolize my relationship with Paul? Family? Unity? Christ? Love? I knew I couldn't wear my wedding rings during labor. The thoughts came and went over the course of nine months and before I knew it the babies were ready to be born. I searched my jewelry boxes and stashes everywhere. I found a thin gold chain with a small gold heart outlined with pink stones that was my grandmothers and it looked delicate. It wasn't a diamond cross, but it was beautiful and it was my grandmothers. I put it on and we left for the hospital.
The twins are now one years old and Lucia is now three. Time travels. Time moves. Time happens fast. Here we are as a family of five. Paul and I will be celebrating our 8th year anniversary this November. It's amazing what time does. Paul travels to Mexico about a week or so every month and last week he spent 4 nights there. While he was waiting for his next flight home, he called me to see if I'd arrange for our babysitter to come and watch the kids over the weekend so we could spend some time together with just us. He also mentioned it was mother's day on Sunday and maybe she could come then. She was spending mothers day with her mother so she was only available that day. Paul got home at 1pm and Emily showed up at 2:30. The two of us headed out the door. We sat in the car. "Now what?" "Where should we go?" "What should we do?" Sometimes when we leave the kids behind we are absolutely clueless what to do with ourselves. I suggested we go to the outdoor mall and Paul agreed that was a good idea because they have a sunglass hut there and he wanted to get me a pair of RayBan's for Mother's Day. I can't say I was thrilled at the idea of expensive sunglasses since I usually lose them, break them, or the kids grab at them, play with them and wear them. But I was along for the ride. I didn't want to spend money for Mother's Day and had no expectations for a gift.
We first sat and had a nice dinner (yes, it was 3:30) but when you only have so many hours away from your children and you have to be home to put them to bed you do things like eat dinner and have drinks at 3:30. Dinner at 3:30 is actually great because it's usually happy hour! Which is was! After a few cocktails and appetizers our dinner was only $30 at PFChangs! As we ate dinner we discussed our priorities moving forward with our family and our finances was at the forefront of our conversations. We were both in agreement that the first thing is to get the last bit of our HELOC loan paid off on our first house. Then, once that is paid, a bike fund needed to be started for Paul since his bike is 10 years old. It is constantly breaking and he is riding it a lot. Third on the list is a new car fund since he has well over 100K miles on his 2004 Audi. And finally a downpayment saved up for a new house.
We paid our $30 tab and Paul couldn't help but call me a cheap date. We walked around, browsed in some of the stores and ended up walking into a jewelry store as he said he just wanted to look around. We browsed and he asked me what I thought of a few diamond crosses. He said he had been looking at replacing the one I lossed. But that they all cost about $400. I absolutely was not interested in spending $400 on a gift! As much as I loved my diamond cross and missed it, there was just no reason to spend that kind of money now when we had 3 children and other goals ahead of us. I quickly walked us out of there and we made our next stop into Sunglasshut. We lasted about 3 minutes in there before we both realized that was a dumb idea.
As we continued to walk, Paul guided me into another jewelry shop. I told him I knew a great place to buy a diamond cross and it wasn't a jewerly store, but instead I suggested TJMaxx. He rolled his eyes. So we went inside and looked around. Everything was beautiful but nothing was in budget for what I was willing to spend. Everything the salesman showed us I said no to after looking at the price tags. We were walking towards the exit and Paul said, "What about this one" as he pointed through the glass. I looked in and I said, "Wow, that's really pretty. Not really my style or anything I'd ever pick out for myself, but it's really pretty." before I finished commenting the salesman had already pulled it out and handed it to me. I held it up to my neck and looked in the mirror. My eyes got big becuase it was in fact beautiful. I turned to face Paul so he could see it up against my neck and I could see a glimmer in his eyes. He turned to the salesman and immediately said, "We'll take it!" I shouted, "no we won't!" We don't even know how much it was. Paul and I argued back and forth; him convincing me I was worth it and me telling him that we just finished discussing our priorities and he needed a new bike and I didn't need a new necklace. He responded by telling me that I was his priority. The necklace was more than double the cost of all the others we had looked at in there and for some reason that made Paul want to buy it for me even more. It had a greater value and to him...I was worth that greater value. I thought I was going to cry. Anyone who knows me knows that I DON'T CRY. I was so hot. I was mad at him for buying it. I was mad that now we have to pay for it. I was mad because I was mad. I tried to tell him how grateful I was and that I didn't mean to seem ungrateful, but it's just a lot of money. We put it around my neck, signed the receipt and walked out. Paul spent the next 30 minutes telling me how important I was to him and then convinced me the necklace wasn't really mine, but was mine to pass down to our children one day. That is was really for them. He knew what he needed to say to make me feel better about it. It is stunning! It is beautiful! It is breathtaking. I am in awe. I feel blessed. I feel valued. We aren't planning on any more children at this point, but I know what will be around my neck if we do.