On Monday, Dan and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It has been a wonderful year of ups and downs, dreaded decisions and unexpected adventures. And we've happily made it thus far, but only because God has been faithful to us through it all!
We decided to spread out our celebration, beginning on Friday and continuing through Monday. Dan, ever thoughtful, informed me that we were going on a surprise date on Saturday. A surprise! I spent a majority of the week guessing what we were going to be doing -- hiking? a picnic? walking around the lake? Apparently, at some point I actually guessed what we were going to do, but Dan was so convincing with his offhanded "maybe" that I forgot what I had guessed when he told me (on Saturday) that I had already guessed it.
Anyhoo, the surprise was not ruined. After lunch, we hopped in the car for our surprise adventure date, and ended up at an Apple Festival! I LOVE apples. Crisp, beautiful, tasty, delicious, nutritious... I could go on and on. (In fact, one of my professors at Houghton wrote me a little poem about an apple after I jokingly left one on his desk during Modern British Poetry. Unfortunately, I think it was deleted along with my email account at Houghton. Otherwise, I would include it for you today.) Alas, Dan has some issues when it comes to eating uncooked apples (have you ever heard of someone's lips getting red and itchy when eating one?), but he loves me so much that he brought me there.
But just perhaps it was also the allure of fresh apple cider doughnuts and apple cider, both of which we sampled/devoured. We also picked a ten pound bag of apples, mostly Cortlands, which I love. (Duh.) I've been steadily diminishing our stock since then, but Dan made me promise to bake him a pie. Maybe that was an ulterior motive as well. It was really fun to pick our own apples. I don't think I've picked apples since I was a little girl, visiting Uncle Dave and Aunt Amy. Every time Dan and I go to pick fresh produce, we dream about having our own land with fruit trees and bushes and a big garden. Last year we made and froze many quarts of applesauce, something we'd like to do again on a regular basis in the future!
There were tons of people at this festival. Wisconsin gets a lot of visitors from Illinois, who like to take advantage of all of the "country" activities. We saw at least ten red wagons hauling kids and apples and pumpkins. A bunch of kids who were really too little to pick apples were carrying around their own apple picking bags (which could hold up to 10 lbs.). I know they were too short to reach the apples on the trees, so I guess it was just to let them feel included. But, as Dan and I were walking between rows of trees, we saw one mom call out to her child, perched in a tree, "Honey, I'm glad you're having fun, but I can't find your apple bag anywhere." Yes, there were so many kids having so much fun that they forgot to continue carrying their bag of apples. Sigh. We were hoping to find the bag, but unfortunately, the kiddo hid it so well that we were unable to. I just had to settle for snitching an extra apple to eat while we picked.
I haven't made the apple pie yet, but I plan on doing so when Dan's parents visit this coming week. (Yay!) I have many more pie crusts to make until I can compete with my momma, who makes a seriously beautiful pie crust.
Our first anniversary was a beautiful time to remember where we were one year ago and the commitments we made that day. (In case you weren't there, you can still check out our pictures on www.donhillstudio.com, under Dan and Hilary's Wedding. While you're there, check out my cousin's gorgeous pics under Eric and Laura's wedding.) On our actual anniversary we laid low, ordered deep dish pizza and wings, ate some still awesome wedding cake, and watched the Steeler's win. Thank you to all of you who have encouraged us on this journey. We love you all!