Love was just about the furthest thing from my mind when I met my husband.
Though young at the time (to paraphrase what Mary Sanderson says to her sister Winifred in the movie Hocus Pocus, I was a mere sping of a girl, clocking in at just 19 years old), I had already been involved in a couple of serious relationships and done some general dating by that point in my life.
One of those relationships was a horrific, abuse-filled multi-year nightmare from which I was genuinely lucky to escape with my life (and after which that ex stalked me for years).
I vowed that I would never allow anyone to treat me like that again – especially as I knew all along that what he was doing was stupendously wrong and that I did not deserve to be treated in such a deplorable manner.
No one, regardless of gender or any other factor, should ever be treated in any of the ways this person inflicted abuse and literal torture on me.
Thankfully, the ensuing relationships I would have were infinitely healthier, happier, and filled with respect. They did not pan out in the long run for various reasons, but even when I cared deeply for the other person, that didn’t phase me too much.
I saw so much of my life before me still, I was very focused on coping with the fact that in my late teens my health took a massive nosedive as I rapidly developed one severe chronic illness after another (I fully believe the abusive relationship I was in coupled with a severely traumatic, stressful, and also abusive childhood played a notable role in the swift decline of my health at such a young age), and honestly revelled in being single.
As a shy, extremely introverted person who had so much to heal to and move forward from before I’d even hit my 20th birthday, finding Mr. Right – or even Mr. Right Now was lightyears away from the top of my priority list.
Sometimes, no matter what we may think we do or do not need, the universe in its infinite wisdom has other plans.
In March 2004, as I was recovering at home mere days after a pretty substantial surgery for one of my medical conditions, my husband and I met online.
A lifelong fascination with and pull towards the Emerland Isle coupled with the fact I’m a passionate snail mail writer, led me to search for online pen pal websites in Ireland.
One such site was a combination pen pal and dating site (with members free to focus on one or both of those areas, as they desired).
Though a native son of Italy, the man who I would go on to marry (aka, Tony), had come to Ireland a few months prior to that point in time for a job in Dublin.
A naturally outgoing (he’s a total ambivert), friendly type and a huge romantic, Tony had joined the very same website as well and it wasn’t long before our paths crossed there.
As I like to say, it was pretty much love at first email. 💌
We corresponded through online messages, which quickly progressed to phone calls and Skyping (this being long before services like Zoom entered the picture), and then to me boarding a plane to visit Tony in Ireland for nearly two months during the summer of 2004.
We hit it off all the more in person; our love deepening, our awareness and appreciation for one another expanding by the day, and our connection fusing with each beat of our young hearts. (Tony, I should note, was 23 at the time.)
Tony proposed to me during our visit and even though we knew that from an immigration standpoint things would be tricky for us once we wed, that did not deter us from setting our big date.
We were both broke as all get out, neither of us came from families with financial means, and we didn’t feel like we needed a big wedding at all. The latter point helped with the first two a good deal, let me tell you! 😄
Given that we were living on opposite sides of the Atlantic, we planned to wed within a matter of months and to do so here on Canadian soil.
Come October 2004, we did just that when we tied the knot in a very small civil ceremony wedding that was held in the living room of the house my mom and (now) ex-step-dad were living at the time.
Blissfully in love and excited to start our lives together, and having determined that it would be vastly easier for us initially if I moved to Ireland (instead of Tony moving to Canada at the time) that is exactly what I did.
I sold or gave away nearly all of my worldly goods, taking just what could fit in two average-sized suitcases, my purse, and a camera bag.
We remained in Ireland for a couple of years before a true stroke-of-luck job offer led Tony to a position with one of the Canadian branches of an international IT company. The good fortune involved there is something that I still frequently think about and give immense thanks for to this day. 🙏
In the years that would follow, we went through the lengthy and, at times, very stressful immigration process that would eventually lead to Tony becoming a Canadian citizen in June 2012. 🍁
Now, you may be wondering why I’m telling you all of them at the start of a project share post.
The reason, dear friends, is that tomorrow is my and Tony’s 17th wedding anniversary and the card featured herein is the one that I made for him to celebrate this joyful event.
Enchanting Blackbird, Full Moon, and Flower Wreath “I Thank My Lucky Stars For You” Anniversary Card
Tony, a fellow lover of autumn, and I both big fans of nighttime, just as we are birds (and animals) in general.
Partner that with the colour palette of dark blues and blacks that I’m vibing on big time this fall (as mentioned in my recent Chicly Spooky Multi-Window Halloween Ghost Shaker Card post), plus the fact that I had been champing at the bit to use this cute-than-cute bird die that came as a free gift with an issue of Cardmaking & Paper Craft magazine, and it wasn’t long before the design for this card materialized.
While we didn’t exchange wedding vows on the 31st of this month, the fact that we were married little more than a couple of weeks before Halloween has always linked the two events closely in our minds.
I wanted to channel this point as well and opted for a card design that while not as overtly All Hallows’ Eve-ish as, say, a gaggle of ghosts or field of grinning jack-o-lanterns, could easily have been a Halloween card if the sentiment was changed to one that suited October 31st.
Objectively, even as it stands now, this could be a Halloween card. There are numerous people that I would happily express this same sentiment to during the spookiest chapter of the year.
To highlight the card’s heart-touching sentiment, I used two different night sky print papers (one from Echo Park, the other from Ella & Viv), as well as a charming star flourish die that I madly adore.
A number of gorgeous, whip-smart ravens call the evergreen trees in our backyard home and we both delight in seeing these corvid friends all year round.
Thus, I went with a black-coloured bird for the sweet avian that I included on this greeting. It might look more like a blackbird, but I’m calling it a raven. 😃
I used a pair of my beloved decorative edge scissors here to give some layers here the look of a postage stamp. This was a nod to the humble email and snail mail beginnings of my and Tony’s relationship.
(Even with all the awesome advancements over the years with paper punches and die cutting machines, I still adore and frequently used decorative edge scissors. Are you a fan as well?)
A wreath of pleated ribbon, tiny velvet flowers, and more star flourishes encircles the precious birdie as it branches on a slender grey branch.
This wreath symbolizes both the unity of our love and commitment to one another, as well as our wedding rings themselves.
I am elated with how this anniversary card for my darling husband turned out and hope that Tony will love it as well.
If you’d like to make a similar greeting for someone in your life that you are especially grateful for or if you wish to adapt the design for another reason/occasion, read on for the materials and how-to steps involved with this charming evening sky filled card.
Products used to make an enchantingly elegant blackbird, starry sky, and full moon card
-White and yellow cardstock
-Medium and medium-dark grey cardstock
-Pale greyish-aqua and dark grey cardstock – Cool Neutrals 12”x12” cardstock pack from Craft Smith (Michael’s brand)
-Matte black mirror cardstock – Black Velvet Mirror Cardstock from Tonic Studio
-Multi-colour star print paper – Summer Adventure Count The Stars paper from Echo Park
-Full moon print paper – Full Moon Night Sky paper from Ella & Viv
-Star flourish/shooting star die
-Small-sized bow die
-Bird die and branch die (both from) – Little Birdies stamp and die set (gift) from Issue 216 of Simply Cards & Papercraft magazine
-Decorative edge scissor – Mini Pinking Paper Edgers Scissors from Fiskars
-“I Thank My Lucky Stars For You” sentiment stamp – Stargazing Stamp Set from Stampin’ Up!
-Black ink pad – Jet Black Archival Ink from Ranger
-White gel pen – Uniball White Gel Pen from Signo
-Black pen – Pigma Micron 0.35mm Black Pen from Sakura
-Mini black and grey velvet ribbon flowers with white pearl centers (I got these quite a while ago; possibly on Etsy)
-Mini red ribbon flowers with clear rhinestone centers (from Ali Express)
-Ruffled black ribbon trim
-Glue gun and glue sticks
-Dimensional foam, pop dots, or similar to elevate some of your layers
-Adhesive, such as a tape runner, of your choice (I often use my Scotch Tape Glider)
How to make a cute blackbird and night sky themed card
Begin by making a white card base. Cut a piece of medium-dark grey cardstock slightly smaller than the card base. Trim all edges of this piece with the Mini Pinking decorative edge scissors (or any pinking scissors/shears of your choice) and adhere to the card base.
Cut a piece of pale greyish-aqua coloured cardstock slightly smaller than the previous layer and adhere to the medium-dark grey layer.
Next, cut a piece of Summer Adventure Count The Stars paper from Echo Park slightly smaller than the previous layer and adhere it to the greyish-aqua cardstock.
Using a basic circle die (or a circle stencil; you could also trace a circle around the bottom of an object, such as a small plate or a vase) cut out the portion of the Full Moon Night Sky paper from Ella & Viv that includes the glowing full moon.
Using black ink, stamp the -“I Thank My Lucky Stars For You” sentiment stamp from Stampin’ Up!’s Stargazing stamp set on top of the full moon portion of the Ella and Viv paper.
Die cut a circle of greyish-aqua paper and a slightly larger circle of dark grey cardstock. Adhere these two layers together, then top with (adhere) the full moon print circle of paper on top of these layers.
Adhere a border of black ruffled trim on the back of the dark grey cardstock base layer.
Next, adhere this sentiment layer stack to your card base using foam/dimensional adhesive (or hot glue).
Die cut four yellow star flourishes, two black mirror cardstock star flourishes, and two dark grey star flourishes.
Layer and adhere two yellow and two black star flourishes together in pairs, as shown. Adhere diagonally in the upper left and lower righthand sides of the card.
Layer and adhere two yellow and dark grey star flourishes together. Arrange and adhere on the “wreath” of black ruffled ribbon surrounding the sentiment piece.
Adhere (using hot glue or another suitable strong adhesive) two grey, two black, and one red mini ribbon flower to the same wreath area of the design.
Die cut two bows from black mirror card, using grey-ish aqua cardstock for the knot-shaped portion of the bows.
Assemble the bows and adhere them on the top and bottom of the wreath, as shown in the photos.
Die cut a branch-shaped piece from light grey cardstock. Adhere on the righthand side of the wreath, as shown.
Die cut a bird from black mirror cardstock, using yellow cardstock for its beak and light or medium grey cardstock for its legs. Assemble and adhere the bird together. Back the bird’s eye area with white or light grey cardstock
Use a white gel pen to add highlights here and there on the blackbird, if desired. Use a tiny tipped black pen or marker to make a tiny pupil on the bird’s eye.
Adhere the bird atop the die cut branch using foam/dimensional adhesive.
And there you have it, one seriously cute blackbird and night sky-themed card is now ready to give to anyone in your life that you thank your own lucky stars for.
Two radically different anniversaries
Twelve years into our life together, on the literal eve of our 12th wedding anniversary (October 13, 2016), Tony and I experienced the biggest challenge we have ever come up against as a couple: The loss of our home, belongings, and beloved cat (Stella) in an arson house fire.
(If you would like to read more about that profoundly challenging event, you can do so in this Get to Know Me post and in a recent entry here about some of My Favourite Pre-fire Halloween Scrapbook Pages and Cards.)
I did not know back in early 2004 that before the year was over, I would not only met the man I was destined to spend my life with, but marry him a few short months later.
Who could have imagined that a combination of the universe and the internet would bring us together? (Especially since online dating was still something of a new and even eyebrow-raising topic at the time.)
This point and the gratitude that I hold in my heart for the elements that led our paths to cross is what inspired me to use the sentiment that I did on this year’s wedding anniversary card for Tony. 💕
Likewise, not a single day has passed since the fire when I (we) have not been immeasurably grateful to, and for, everyone who has supported, helped, encouraged, loved, cared about, grieved with, and otherwise been there for us since that fateful night exactly five years ago. 🙏🙏🙏
Words could never fully do justice to the gratitude that we have for each person who expressed kindness to us in any form.
It was, really and truly, the bedrock upon which we were able to begin piecing our world together again.
Tony and I grew even closer, our relationship strengthened all the more, and we became each other’s rocks in greater ways than ever in the face of this life-changing tragedy.
When we had virtually nothing material left in the world, when we were homeless, when we went through a series of stressful short-term housing arrangements, when we cried and mourned, and when we began to heal, we were there for each other.
Something like this could have easily torn some couples asunder. Mercifully, that was not the case for us.
There were brutally tough times, of course, and very little in our world was sunshine and roses in the first couple of years post-fire. We were committed though both to one another and to rebuilding our lives again from the ground up.
It wasn’t easy, but the job was made lighter by sharing the work and emotions involved between two people.
These days, while we continue to feel the ramifications of the fire in various ways and are still recovering + rebuilding on certain fronts, we have come an incredibly long way from where we were half a decade ago.
No one has the ability to know what tomorrow holds in store. I never imagined I would find true love at 19 or that, at age 32, I would stand there and watch as the home we had worked so hard to achieve and thrive in burnt to the ground.
I cannot predict tomorrow or what other challenges we may face, but I know – I absolutely know in the furthest reaches of my soul – that so long as Tony and I are each drawing breath, we will tackle them together.
Hand in hand, heart in heart.
And for that, and so much more, I thank my lucky stars every day. 🌟🙏🌟
Wow darling your history is so romantic and powerful
Thanks for share this inspiring post with us
Thank you sweetly, my dear. I sincerely appreciate your comment and visit to my wee corner of the internet.
May you have a cozy, fantasy October,
Happy Anniversary!!! It’s so wonderful to read that you found your way out of such awful relationship and to Tony.
This card is just darling as well!
Thank you deeply, my dear friend. ❤️
No matter how many years unfold, I am still continually in awe of the fact that, on other sides of the Atlantic, Tony and I were able to find one another via the web (well before online dating blossomed the thriving world that it is today) – just as I am that even though it wasn’t what I was seeking at the time, I left my heart open to love back in 2004.
I can scarcely imagine how radically different my life (as well as Tony’s!) surely would have been had things not unfolded how they did seventeen years ago now.
Thankfully, there’s no need to imagine, as fate led our paths to cross and we’ve been like two peas in an Italian/Canadian pod ever since. 🥰
Thank you for your empathy and kind comments on my most recent blog post. You have a keen sixth sense that shines like the brightest star! I’m always trying to keep personal issues to myself, but you somehow knew I was going through some difficult times. My husband was recently hospitalized but he’s doing well for now. Life has become an endless trail of doctor visits, scheduled diagnostic tests, etc but we’re holding each other up just fine 🙂 Happy Anniversary to you and your soul mate – I’m sorry your childhood and previous relationships were not the best for you, but through it all you clearly found a way to care deeply about others and the way you treat them! Life is a journey, and although difficult to understand, hard lessons learned make us all stronger and more compassionate in the long run. Your husband’s card is fantastic and I tip my glass in celebration of your union! May you celebrate many more happy years together! (our 54th is coming up in December and we just said to each other this afternoon – how have all those years gone by so quickly?) Enjoy every moment – each one is a blessing 🙂 Heartfelt hugs 🙂 Have you ever thought of writing a book? If not, perhaps you might want to consider it 🙂
Carol, your incredibly meaningful words instantly struck the furthest reaches of my heart. Thank you for the blessing of such a beautiful, insightful comment.
I am sorry beyond measure that the waters are especially rocky, so to speak, for you and your DH at the moment. It is, I swear, often harder to watch someone you cherish going through health challenges than to endure them yourself.
Please know – and I truly mean this – that I am always just an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) away if you would ever like to chat privately about anything whatsoever that you’re going through or feeling.
I have a quite a lot of experience on both sides of the equation (that is to say, experiencing severe medical challenges and supporting others with their own) and know that sometimes the most helpful thing possible can be to speak openly in a safe, understanding space about what you’re enduring.
It is unendingly wonderful that you and your husband and have shared 54 years of married life together. I am a lover of love, so to speak, and adore hearing about couples who have truly go the distance, as you and your DH have been able to do. That is endlessly inspiring and I hope to no end that Tony and I can follow in your footsteps and toast to our own 54th wedding anniversary one day.
Thank you deeply as well for your awesomely encouraging words regarding my writing. Publishing a book (or multiple books) is a lifelong dream and goal of mine, and something that I’m sincerely hoping to be able to bring to fruition in the next few years – if at all possible (if not, then at least at some point in my life).
I don’t want to reveal too much at this stage, but feel comfortable saying publicly that sometimes it’s not the writing part that’s the trickiest element (by any means), it is finding a publisher that sees the worth and importance of what a writer has to say and taking a chance on bringing their book to market.
Of course, there is always the option of self-publishing, too. This has become a more viable avenue for many in recent years (as the self-publishing market has taken off in leaps and bounds thanks to the internet) and while not per se my ideal choice, the option is on the table for sure, if that’s how things ultimately unfolded.
With unceasing gratitude, thank you again for everything, sweet Carol. I hope and wish on every star in the universe that your DH will be able to experience far better days once again on the health front. 🙏
I hope you and your husband have a wonderful anniversary tomorrow! So happy you two found each other after your terrible relationship and childhood.
Your card is stunning, I love that blackbird and the gorgeous dies you used- your husband is going to cherish his card.
Take care. Tammy x
Thank you from the furthest reaches of my heart, sweet Tammy. I truly appreciate your deeply touching kindness.
I’m delighted to say that Tony adored/adores this card. He even – bless his lovely heart – rushed to share a pic of it on some of his SM accounts. Aww!!!
This darling little birdie die is just the cutest thing around! It is endlessly versatile, too, and I’ve already got oodles of ideas swirling around in my head for future projects to use it on.
Many extremely appreciate thanks again, my beautiful friend.
Stunning project and those colours are just so adorable…your cards always are gorgeous. xx
Happy happy anniversary..xxx
What an awesomely lovely compliment, dear Annie. Thank you so much! Your supportive words made my day and then some. 🥰
Such a romantic story Autumn, it sounds like you were destined to find each other – wishing you both a very Happy Anniversary.
Your card is gorgeous, your bird certainly looks very different from the inspiration on the magazine and I love the super wreath and lovely night sky papers, however, the sentiment is the best bit for me, so apt for you both.
Your husband is going to treasure his wonderful card.
Pauline – Crafting with Cotnob
Thank you deeply, sweet Pauline. I share your belief that Tony and I were destined to meet, and will never stop being grateful that the universe led our paths to not only cross, but mingle and transform into a beautiful, blessing-filled life together.
That bird die is just the cutest! It might honestly be my favourite free gift I’ve ever received from a paper crafting magazine, and I’ve already got ideas for several other projects involving it.
I adore this meaningful sentiment as well and, likewise, can easily imagine numerous other makes that it would be a great fit for. 😃
Happy Anniversary Autumn and Tony! Thank you for sharing your love story and so much of your life. You are a strong and amazing person. Your card is stunning, love every detail, especially the moon. Take care my friend, Donna
My deepest thanks for your heart-touching comment, sweet Donna. I truly appreciate and am uplifted by what you said. 🙏
Immense, gratitude-filled hugs coming your way,
So incredibly moved by your post,you have faced and overcome so many devastating challenges and life events in such a positive manner.I wish you both a Happy Anniversary for tomorrow,your card is beautiful and perfect for you.
Your kindness glows like the brightest star in the heavens, dear Meg. Thank you for shining it on my life and for blessing our anniversary month with your immensely touching words. 🙏
Love your beautiful card. Your cards always have so many lovely layers of interest. Great colour combo.
Thank you immensely, sweet Anesha. You are such a kind, wonderful person.
So true! Me and single-layer paper crafting projects are pretty much rarer than seeing the Loch Ness Monster. 😄
I cannot predict tomorrow or what other challenges we may face, but I know – I absolutely know in the furthest reaches of my soul – that so long as Tony and I are each drawing breath, we will tackle them together.
…made me tear up, Autumn. It’s obvious your love is a deep and abiding one, and I’m wishing you all the best on your anniversary today! Your card is a thoughtful and many-layered gift. I love the moon and this lovely colour mix. Thank you so much for sharing your heart-warming story of true love!
I think the best couples are the ones who each think, “I’m so lucky!” – L and I are the same way, the rocks in each other’s storms. Here’s to many more years together for you both. Big hug, Sheila (and Vizzini)
Dearest Sheila, as someone who has (via the awesome powers of the internet) known and been party to mine and Tony’s lives for several years now, your insight and support mean a profound amount to me.
Thank you for getting us and for so perfectly expressing a little-discussed element that many (if not most) successful couples who are able to go the distance share: an unceasing sense of awe over, and appreciation of, just how incredibly fortunate they are to have found one another.
I couldn’t agree more and beam with the brightest of joy that you and L are blessed to share this type of appreciation for one another as well.
I adore you guys to bits and can scarcely wait until we are able to finally meet up in person one day.
Huge hugs & the very deepest of heartfelt thanks,
Oh, Autumn, I did have a little lump in my throat after reading your wonderful, heartfelt post. The very happiest of Anniversaries to you and Tony! It’s crystal clear that you are in it for the long haul, whatever the future may bring! Sending virtual hugs to you both from across the ocean! xxx
Dearest Ann, I will readily confess, I had one in mine as I penned this entry and more than a few (happy + grateful) tears helped to bring this post into being.
Thank you tremendously for your kindness, beautiful anniversary wishes, and for being such a wonderful friend for several years now. Relatively few folks from my vintage blogging days joined me here on this site (which is 100% okay, of course – after all, the two do cover rather different topics for the most part), which makes the fact that you’ve done so all the more of a heart-touching blessing to me. 🙏
The warmest of gratitude-filled hugs coming right back at you from the woodsy wilds of Western Canada. 💗
A slightly belated anniversary to you and Tony!!! You guys were on my mind this past week and I hope your special day was a happy one.❤ This was such a lovely heart-felt post from start to finish and I love the card you made for Tony!
Thank you immensely, my cherished friend. Your unceasing support, kindness, generosity, care, love, and friendship over the years means more to me than words could ever do justice to.
A very big thanks for sharing that you adore this card. I must say, I really do as well and am tickled pink that since it’s for Tony, it gets to stay put at our house now. Tony really liked it as well, which touched my heart deeply.
I’ve been thinking of you a lot this month as well and really hope that your October is going positively. The snow has thus far (knock wood!) stayed at bay and we’re getting treated to some exceedingly lovely fall weather + foliage. It is filling my heart with so much happiness it all but feels like it burst some days.
Tons of hugs, endless appreciation, and the very merriest of spooky season wishes are all coming your way! 🧡
Belated Happy Anniversary wishes to you both and I really enjoyed reading your heartfelt story, Autumn. I’m so pleased that after all the trials you endured, you found love in an exceptional manner and that it has all worked out so beautifully for you. That is so rare and priceless. You made such a gorgeous card for Tony and I’m sure he will treasure it. The ribbon wreath is so creative and I love the sentiment on the face of the moon!
Sweet Carol, your kindness is a radiant and wonderfully meaningful gift. Thank you deeply for brightening my (our) special month with it and for being the truly lovely soul that you are.
A very big thanks as well for your super sweet words about this cute anniversary card. I had a terrific time putting it together and was elated when it found favour with Tony come our anniversary. It’s now (amidst the fall and Halloween decor) out on display in our wee living room and is enriching both our days thanks to the meaning and love it both symbolizes and conveys.
Tony isn’t a fellow paper crafter, but he does have an awesome knack for picking excellent cards and gave me a super cute anniversary greeting that is sitting side-by-side with my handmade greeting.
Many heartfelt thanks again. I hope that you’re having a cozy, joy-filled October. 🧡
What a great post! I learned a lot of new stuff about your past. Thanks for sharing that. You and Tony are lucky to have found each other.
Thank you deeply, my dear friend. It brought a hefty smile my way to read that after several years of knowing one another, there were elements of mine and Tony’s origin story, so to speak, that you didn’t yet know.
You’re absolutely right regarding how fortunate Tony and I are to have found one another – just as we are to have made things work for the better part of two decades now. It is my unwavering hope that we can continue to share our lives and deepen our bond all the more with each new day that comes our way.
Many thanks again, Ally. I hope that you and Robin are savouring a relaxing, wonderfully enjoyable October.
Sending my heartfelt belated Happy Anniversary wishes to you and Tony! Really enjoyed reading your story here and it’s amazing how life can turn you into a new direction without even realizing it’s meant to be. Happy you were able to find the right person in your life to share your love of all things Halloween. Hubby and I were married almost 22 years ago Oct 29th…so I can relate! 🙂 Your card is absolutely incredible! The moon with the sentiment is brilliant which makes the card shine in your twinkling background! The wreath with the raven is darling with the dimensional flowers! Thanks for the inspiration friend!
Thank you tremendously, sweet Vicki (from both us). Your heart-touching comment and beautiful anniversary wishes mean a great deal.
It is the epitome of wonderful that you and your DH have shared 22 terrific years together. That’s brilliant! May countless more come your way – and may you both savour one of your happiest anniversaries to date later this month.
A very big thanks as well for your super lovely feedback about this anniversary greeting. It is one of the most meaningful cards I’ve ever created and it meant all the more when Tony fell head-over-heels for it at first sight.
Happiest anniversary wishes to you and your own beloved. I hope that your special day is a true joy from the very first to the absolute moment. 💗
Happy Anniversary to you and your wonderful husband. Thank you for sharing some of your history and the trauma you have been through in your life. It is so special that you are here living a good life and sharing your experiences with the rest of us. I think your card is fantastic, so thoughtful and inventive. I love the sentiment and how you have made the wreath. Thanks too for sharing your process xx
You are a wonderfully kind, supportive and warm-hearted person, Hilary. Thank you deeply for the blessing of your very meaningful comment. It really touched me.
And a great many thanks as well for your super sweet feedback regarding this charming anniversary card. Tony loved it to pieces and plans on displaying it in his office (aww!) once it’s lived for a good while on the entertainment unit in our living room.
Thank you again for everything. I hope that you are having an October that is every bit as sweet and lovely as you are, my friend. 💗
WOW this card is beautiful, love the colours and the moon really draws the eye in. Happy Anniversary to you both and wishing you both many many more happy years of enjoyment together. Emmax
Thank you tremendously, sweet Emma. I sincerely appreciate your wonderfully lovely words about this card, just as both Tony and I do regarding your very touch anniversary wishes. 💗
I hope that your October is going positively and that you have a cozy, beautiful tail end of the month (knock wood, the snow is still staying at bay here so far, which is making me an extra happy camper at the moment).
Tons of hugs,
The colours are so warm. Happy Anniversary! I love hearing lasting love stories, especially ones who have overcome travesties and struggles together. Your story is so beautiful and inspiring. I absolutely love hearing about the love you have for each other. The world needs more sharing of this sort, of partnerships that honour each other and truly respect their union…because it is not quite as rare as we think and it is a possibility that can be so enriching! It may not be everyones path and that’s ok- but for the ones who want a healthy partnership? It is nice to see it modelled. Wishing you what you give back to the world, threefold. xo
Thank you with the utmost of heartfelt gratitude, sweet soul. I completely agree that strong, stable, healthy, loving, respect-filled relationships are not discussed publicly nearly as often as they should be. Drama, problems, and dysfunction sells, so to speak, and is apt to bring the crowds flocking, so we tend to see and read a lot more about when things are going south for people.
There’s a time and a place for both ends of the spectrum, I believe, but would be elated to see more happy love stories shared as well. Your own blog is a glowing example of just that kind of incredible bond and a huge inspiration to those who, as you wisely noted, are in fact loving for a healthy, wonderful long-term partnership.
Many hugs & the warmest of late October wishes coming your way,
Happy anniversary to both you and your husband! How wonderful that you found the love of your life and escaped the abusive relationship you were in prior to meeting him!
Thank you with the deepest of heartfelt gratitude, dear Celeste. Your kindness and support sincerely mean a lot to both of us. 🧡
How right you are regarding the blessings of both being able to leave that horrible past relationship and for, in time, finding and building a beautiful life together with Tony. I can scarcely fathom what my existence would have been like had either (or both) of those two things not happened and will give thanks every moment of my life that both did in fact come to be. 🙏🙏🙏
Huge hugs & the cheeriest of wishes for a gorgeous tail end of October coming your way. 🍂💛🍂
ok, this is my 3rd attempt at leaving you a comment, so I hope third time’s a charm. 😉
Autumn, I’m so sorry to read that you were in a horrible abusive relationship, but so happy you escaped.
I truly believe everything happens for a reason… and the reason for you escaping is to meet someone amazing -Tony – who is deserving of your love and kindness. Wishing you and Tony a belated anniversary!… and many more years t ahead.
Speaking of which. Your dramatic anniversary card is spectacular! So much meaning and thought went into every detail. Tony I’m sure LOVED it.
Thank you deeply for your heart-moving comment, my sweet friend. I’m so sorry that you were running into issues leaving a message here. I’ve encountered that at times on various sites over the years myself, too, and know how maddening it can be in the moment.
Happily, the third time proved to be the charm here and I received your very caring comment.
I share you belief that everything happens for a reason (or multiple reasons in some cases). Even when I was was in that relationship, I knew it was horrifically wrong and that my ex was an extremely dangerous individual, but what I didn’t yet (fully) see was how certain things I’d witnesses and experienced in my earlier youth primed me, if you will, to be especially susceptible to an abusive relationship.
That was an immensely dark time in my life and one that took a lot of healing to move beyond, but thankfully I’ve been able to do so – much as with the fire itself.
I completely agree that what I went through led me to meeting Tony and wouldn’t change the past for a second if it meant that doing so would not have happened.
Many thanks as well for your wonderfully lovely compliments about this evening hued anniversary card. Humbly, it’s my favourite I’ve made for Tony to date, and as such, I’m extra happy that it gets to live on at our house.
I hope that things are going well on your end as the first week of November wraps up, and wishing you a cozy, joy-filled 11th month of the year. 🍂🍂🍂
Belated happy anniverssary. ♥ I love your love story, made me happy reading it again. Have a lovely day, dear. 🙂
Thank you from the bottom of my very touched heart, dearest Sanne. As someone who has known Tony and I for several years now at this point, your continued support and beautiful friendship take on even greater meaning for both of us. 💗
Huge hugs & the sweetest of wishes for a relaxing, beautiful November coming your way.
What a touching and heartfelt post! Thank you for sharing the romantic love story of you and your Tony with the rest of us.
Your card is beautiful- in all of its unique details.
Happy Anniversary month!!
Thank you wholeheartedly, my dear friend. It’s hard to believe that three weeks have already whizzed by since we toasted to 17 awesome years together.
(A rhetorical question, I assure you, but… ) Why must our beloved autumn always fly by faster than the speed of light? Why does the same never (or at least rarely) seem to do the same with winter?
I sincerely appreciate each and every one of your thoughtful, caring blogs comments. They make my days brighter and warm my spirit to no end – just as your beautiful friendship always does as well. 💗
Big hugs & the happiest and coziest of weekend wishes,
Awww! I am so glad I was able to stop by today. I know it’s way past but I love reading your story. So very sweet. I 100% agree with you that the health issues were brought on by all the trauma. Our bodies remember and things come out sideways. My heart is glad that you found someone to love and be loved by at such a young age! My sister married at 18 and will celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary in February! The words of love just flow from the page and I am smiling. The loss of your home is heartbreaking but the way the two of you weathered it together is inspirational! Your card is absolutely gorgeous! Your moon simply glows. Your blackbird is gorgeous and I love the colors you used! Happy Anniversary a little late!
Thank you tremendously, my very sweet and caring friend. Your support – including your agreement that our bodies often suffer substantially from traumatic experiences – means an immense about to me.
There is a superb, best-selling book on that very subject called The Body Keeps Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D, which I highly recommend to one and all.
My heart beams with joy for your sister and her husband. It is so refreshing and inspiring in this day and age to hear about couples who have been able to go the distance like that. I hope with all my might that Tony and I will one day be raising a glass to our 37th year together as husband and wife as well.
Many of the very deepest thanks again, sweet Angie – including for your wonderfully nice words about this cute evening themed anniversary card.
Scores of hugs & the loveliest of wishes for a wonderful November coming your way.