Five years ago (this past Saturday), Brendon and I celebrated 5 years of being husband and wife. We reminisced about all the joy of that day 5 years ago… the snow that had fallen the night before and the sun that shone so gloriously to melt it all and reveal a fresh, green world, looking out to see a room full of people who love you and feeling so very honored, how beautiful my little junior bridesmaid sister was, and how incredible it was be able to bound through the doors of the Taylor Chapel as Mr. and Mrs. Neilson. It was the beginning of something awesome, a journey we have both found to be amazing and very rewarding.
Five years is pretty big, I suppose; bigger than 2, 3, and 4 anyways. To celebrate such an occasion, Brendon planned a special day for us which began before the sun came up.
At 6:45am, I was awoken by Brendon and whisked off to one of the mountain tops (dormant volcanoes) that form the landscape of the Auckland area. Brendon’s timing was prime: we were just in time for the sunrise. As the sun appeared over the Eastern horizon, just next to Rangitoto, we enjoyed these gourmet mango-passionfruit yoghurt parfaits, which Brendon so geniusly crafted.
In my books, their can be no greater breakfast than such an item.
After coming home for a nap, we were off to meet the newest member of our New Zealand family: Baby Goodkey! (More pics and details to come in a blog post soon!)
The afternoon was spent on a beach- a new beach we had yet to explore. Half Moon Bay, they call it, is situated on the eastern edge of the Manukau Harbour, east of the city’s CBD. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful autumn day- the sun’s warmth was ideal, and made for the perfect conditions for a little afternoon nap on the beach. Facing West, the beach was a prime place to catch the sunset from.
Following a lovely thai meal at an authentic thai joint, Brendon took me to see a film that was a part of a local film festival. “Life in Stills” was a heartwarming documentary highlighting the relationship between a man in his late 20’s and his aged but vibrant grandmother. Their relationship was truly unique and touching… it was a beautiful film, and short- only about an hour in length. The grandmother is hilarious- I definitely recommend watching it, should you ever get the chance.
The biggest surprise came at the end of the night when we came by the house to pick up dessert, and as we pulled in, I saw a light on in our place, along with the silhouette of a person. I became pretty alarmed and concerned that our place was currently being robbed. Brendon didn’t seem too concerned, and when we went upstairs, I found out why: Inside waited some of our close friends, whom he had invited over to celebrate with us.
Now you might find it odd that Brendon invited a bunch of people to come celebrate our anniversary with us. I also shared this thought for a time. Although people usually celebrate anniversaries alone, it does make sense that it could be a community celebration… after all, a wedding ceremony usually calls forth a whole crowd of people to surrround the marrying couple and show their support for their public commitment. It seems so often, though, that marriage is privatized after the wedding day. The community aspect is a difficult thing to navigate… how much should “community” members be involved or interfere with the aspects one’s marriage? While we havn’t quite worked out the answers to such questions, we are thankful for the people in our lives who continue to support and encourage us. Those that were there that day five years ago, as well as the new people who have entered our lives since then. Thank you to those of you who continue to model loving, committed relationships to us and those who have encouraged us in this adventure. We treasure your presence in our lives.