Ben and I have long half-heartedly observed Valentine's Day. Our date-iversary fell on January 31st and so Valentine's has always been a bit too close to that celebration and lackluster. Seven years into our relationship, we're basically at the point of "hey can you pick me up some flowers" and "is there any chocolate in the cupboard."
I felt a bit more celebratory this year when I realized that we had to ditch our seven year date-iversary in lieu of our one-year of marriage milestone coming up at the end of March. It's a shame to throw away that count (just when it was crossing into the "approaching 10 years" range) in favor of a lame 1-year marker, but such are the rules of transitioning to married life.
With the desire to do something for V-Day came the inevitable question: what on earth do I get Ben? We try to get each other gifts on days that are about celebrating each other and not the individual. A great dinner out, or a trip, are always go-tos when we celebrate each other. And bars of chocolate and champagne never hurt anyone. But this year, as we reflect on a busy and wonderful 2015 and look forward into a relatively uncertain future as we know we have to move out of Portland in the next two years for Ben's residency, it seemed something more personalized was in order.
Enter my recent favorite place to get small-artist created, beautiful art: Minted. They've recently really upped their personalization game with their art offerings and this Valentine's Day they have some of the sweetest things to gift your significant other (or yourself, because let's be honest... you are your own Valentine, too!). Some of my favorite pieces in their collection are wonderfully reminiscent - hand-lettered wedding vows or poems, hand-drawn art, letterpress maps (customizable!) to your location.
When Minted offered me some pieces from their photo art collection, I was immediately drawn to these gold-foil maps. I picked two maps - one of our current home, Portland, and one of the Hawaiian Island chain, my former home and where we got married. It felt like the perfect way to merge both of our worlds into two pieces of art for our home. In a pretty gold frame that matches our bedside tables, lamp, and other accents in our bedroom, the pieces are currently sandwiching our bedside and serve as a little geographic reminder of our definitions of "home." Nothing more romantic than that!