Tuesday, January 24, 2012

numero uno

One year ago, Dusty and I got married.
It was cold, it was wonderful, it was perfect. Over Christmas break, we got to celebrate our one year anniversary together!
After having our annual bonfire at my parent's house on New Year's Eve (which this year felt a little strange, not surrounded by ALL of our bridesmaids and groomsmen!), we dedicated the next day to celebrating us. :)

1-1-11, the day of our wedding! This personalized necklace was given to me by my maid-of-honor (probably the best there has ever been). It still thrills us to look back on our wedding. It was the most amazing time. We had SO much help planning everything, and it all fell together perfectly. Looking over every detail, I can honestly say I wouldn't change a single thing. It was perfectly us. (Complete with a nacho bar!).

We went to church that morning up in Chandler with Dusty's family, and took the opportunity of being treated to an anniversary lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory. ;) boy oh boy, have we missed this place!! My mouth waters just remembering it. I could eat this meal every day of my life.

Mizithra Cheese and Browned Butter is the top of the list, in pasta dishes. There is nothing as delicious...and...I must stop talking about it, for fear of falling into the pit of pining for the rest of the day. That slim fast in the office fridge doesn't sound quite as appealing as it did this morning...
We had a delightful lunch together, and it was such a beautiful day :)

My handsome husband!

The Schanakers :)

The rest of the day was set up to be a complete surprise. The only thing that I knew was on the docket was taking family pictures with my side of the family, as our Christmas present to my parents. 
After lunch we decided, as a romantic and fun little gesture (and NOT because we both forgot to get each other cards...), to head to Barnes & Noble and take turns picking out cards for each other.
It ended up being super fun! We took turns picking out one or two cards, as the other person wandered around the bookstore.

No peeking!


I love that we both picked cards that are totally our personality. I picked an antique-y looking couple, with a quote from Emily Dickinson that says, "Where thou art, that is home." In light of our current situation, I thought it fit quite well :)
Dusty picked out a cute card that says, "My Wife, My Love," in cursive up the side. The fact that it's fun and colorful is definitely him, too :)
We bought the cards, with the promise that we'd write in them and exchange them at dinner!

After that, we headed off to the undisclosed location for our mini getaway!
We ended up here, at The Buttes Marriott resort in Tempe! I had never been there, and it was absolutely gorgeous. We decided upon arrival to explore, and also to eat dinner later that night at the Resort's restaurant, Top of the Rock.

The lobby! So bright and colorful.

This was one of my favorite amenities ;)

A little cove above the pool area!

After walking around and exploring for a while, the family arrived! It was a great plan to take our family pictures here, because the grounds were so pretty, and there were plenty of places to take some classic desert pictures! Lucky for us, we have a photographer in the family ;) my sister-in-law Amy took care of the camera expertise, and the rest of us just focused on smiling!
These next shots are behind the scenes pictures, that we took on our camera :)


Cutie patootie!

Who says the desert isn't beautiful??

The final pictures can be seen here, at Amy O'Neil's Photography Facebook page :) she's fantastic!

Saying bye to the fam was really hard. Despite the fact that we wanted to have some time to celebrate our anniversary together, this was the last time we would be seeing my mom, Chris and Amy, and little Abby. They were all going out to dinner together, and we had to say our goodbyes. Taking a moment to be uncouth, it totally blows not knowing when our next trip home will be!!
We took the rest of the evening to relax, and have a fancy dinner together!

One of the kind of awesome things when we checked into the hotel was that they had this little check list of goodies that they offered to deliver to our room. One snack, and one drink option! Not sure if it was because of our anniversary, or just because they're awesome, but we chose chocolate ice cream and dr. pepper :) which we enjoyed during a late night showing of The Matrix, after the ice cream had pretty much turned into a smoothie!

We had an absolutely delicious dinner at Top of the Rock.

The menu was simple and delectable, and it was difficult to figure out what we wanted!!
We also exchanged the cards we had bought and written in earlier. :)
Dusty had also known in advance that I had a gift for him, and I had known in advance that his gift to me was the hotel. Oh, how I should have known...but before we get to that, we'll get to the restaurant!
Top of the Rock was a very accurate description. They settled us into a little table in the corner, with a gorgeous view of Tempe!

Now to the gifts and the food, the good stuff!
Dusty was pretty eager to finally find out what I had gotten him :)
I gave him his card first, and then put his gift down on the table. I had been trying to find him some rings for a while, and found two that I loved!


He really liked them, and thank goodness, they fit!! One is silver and one is black, and he has enjoyed wearing them :) every guy needs some casual accessories, right?

Now....to back up a little bit. Earlier that day, at Old Spaghetti Factory, we had a conversation about weird dreams we'd been having. At one point, I turned to Dusty and said, "I even had a dream that you got me a wedding band for our anniversary!" and laughed. You see, we had talked about getting a wedding band for quite some time. The original plan was to get one by the time our one year anniversary rolled around. But in light of our finances, and other trips and expenses we had made, we decided to wait on it. I love my engagement ring, and have never really needed anything else. It was an understood decision.
And by that, I mean, I understood that decision.

Dusty set my card down at the table, as I was putting his presents to the side. I didn't see him slip a little box underneath the card. Once I did notice the box, I still didn't get it -- until I saw the cursive "Robbins Brothers" on it. And, just like in my dream, I burst out crying.

Yeah, I was a pretty ridiculous mess.

I was also really happy I had gotten my nails done in gold glitter for New Year's :)

And the evening went on, in perfect bliss. Everything was so tasty!

Caitlin: A ridiculously good grapefruit salmon!

Dusty: An incredible pasta dish, flavored with chorizo!

After we had finished the main courses, they brought us out a complimentary dessert! It was SO unique -- probably one of the most innovative and flavorful desserts I've ever had. We're still not sure which feeling wins out -- liking the taste, or just being impressed with the concept!

This is me, being articulate: It was a chocolatey delight, thick and gooey and smooth. There were four raspberries on the side, and it was perfect for just four big bites. Swirled around in the most interesting way was some kind of creamy substance, and some kind of chili powder, and peppercorn. WEIRD! Every bite we went, "Oh, oka---OH, oh I...oh, wow!"
Haha each second you took to chew, a different flavor made its way in there. It was interesting.
And, since the dessert was free, we thought, why not? Let's order another one. :)
So we opted for the pear and apple cobbler, topped with ginger ice cream. Yuuuummmmm.

With coffee in my hands, and yummy food in our bellies, we were very happy campers :)

Cheers to us :)

In love,


  1. One year. Wow. It flew by. Thanks for telling the story so beautifully.

  2. I felt like I was there. Now I want to eat at Top of the Rock! Happy Anniversary, Sweetie.

  3. I love this! I can't believe he got you your wedding band for your anniversary!!! That is sooo sweet! So glad you have one that matches your ring so perfectly!! (And i think you may be psychic too!