Happy 2024!

2024 Calendars are still available at lotsasmilesphoto.etsy.com!

My husband and I are excellent partners.  Today marks 16 years of being together.  That also means from this day forward, he will have been in my life more than he hasn’t.  Crazy to think so much time has gone by.  (And before you chide me for blogging on our anniversary, rest assured, as this was actually written ahead of time.)  And after all this time, we still compliment each other quite well.

We were so young and cute!  (Photo courtesy of a friendly fellow tourist)

As I’ve mentioned before, I love surprises, mostly because it’s difficult to surprise me.  I love them so much I even once tried to plan my own surprise birthday party… I know.. crazy, right?  Needless to say, that didn’t work out too well.

© Brianna Shade 2012

Conversely, Aaron can’t stand to not be in control.  He (like me) loves to travel, and he gets such a kick out of planning elaborate trips to some unfamiliar destination.  But he always wants to know what’s happening when; he likes to have every contingency planned to the letter.  I once surprised him with a trip to Seattle, and that didn’t work out too well, either.


So we’ve settled on a somewhat unspoken agreement: he can plan, and I can sit back and be surprised.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2015

While I knew where we were going and had some say on the activities, much of Japan was a mystery to me.  I knew even less about our trip to Vancouver; Aaron had it all worked out.  And I didn’t even know where we were going when we wound up in Friday Harbor of the San Juan Islands for a long weekend.  He went all-out with an incredible road trip to San Francisco (which even started with my choosing a random cardinal direction for us to drive), complete with stops along Hwy 101 and a couple days in Crater Lake on the way back.

I loved every minute of it.

Now, we’re coming up to Aaron’s big 4-0, and how does he choose to spend it?  By surprising me with a mystery trip.  He gets to retain his control, he can explore some new territory, and he gets to revel in the slow reveal of everything he has in store.  Additionally, I get the excitement of something new and unknown, and I don’t have to stress about planning out all of our activities.

It’s a win-win!

All I know is it’s someplace hot, tropical, and international.  I can’t wait to discover what he has planned, and I’m sure I’ll ultimately write about it here.

© Brianna Shade 2012

Here’s to many more years of amazing surprises.

Photo courtesy of The Art of Joy

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