It's here! After nearly two years of waiting, our first wedding present has arrived! For the past few months, my dad has worked steadily on finishing the hutch he has been making for us. He actually finished it before we left for Connecticut last weekend, but there was no time to get it here (and it's probably just as well, seeing as I couldn't pull myself away from it once it found its home in our dining room).
I didn't have the foresight to take photos of it in progress, so here are a few shots of the final product:
Whenever David and I pass through the dining room, we have to stop to admire the hutch. It isn't something we do intentionally; we're just caught by the beauty of this piece and how much it means to us that Dad would devote so much time and energy to creating something so personal and lasting. This is something that will go with us wherever we go and will, I hope, be passed down to future generations.
Over the past few weeks, as the delivery of the hutch has neared, I have found myself thanking my dad repeatedly, probably to the point of annoying him, but it was hard for me to put to words how grateful I am -- how grateful we are -- for this gift. This hutch is something we will treasure for years to come.
Another gift we were given recently was the chance to fly to Connecticut to visit David's Grandpa J, who I had never had the pleasure of meeting. He will be 94 in a few months, and it wasn't possible for him to travel to Chicago for our wedding. David and I couldn't resist the opportunity (or the crazy-amazing deal we got from Travelocity) to take advantage of the fact that I don't have to ask anyone permission to take vacation time, and we spent three days with him last weekend.
We enjoyed every minute we spent with him, including four hours in the car on the way to and from Pilgrim Pines, where I worked for three summers in high school and college, where David camped, and just up the road from where David's Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Phil currently live. We spent a few hours at their home, eating lunch, sitting by the fire, and watching the snow flurries, and we got to see the campgrounds again for the first time in well over 10 years. We were also fortunate to hear hours of stories, in his own words, about Grandpa's life, his jobs, how he met David's grandma, and their life together raising their children. I wish we'd had a tape recorder with us!
After spending Sunday afternoon together, it was hard to leave. We took three photos the entire weekend. This one is my favorite:
On this Thanksgiving night, we have much to be grateful for. The love of family and friends, the history of our families, and history in the making through our own lives. We are blessed.