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Scrappin’ away

“Vacation, all I’ve ever wanted…”

In approximately two weeks, the Ridinger family will take a week-long trip to the Villas at Tree Tops and Fairway in the Poconos mountains to celebrate my grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary. I’ve not only been anticipating this trip for months now, anxious to get away for a bit, relax and spend time with the family, but I’m also excited to share the scrapbook I’ve created with the help of relatives’ photos and letters.

I’m only a few pages shy from completing the 40-or-so-page book, and I can’t stop flipping through it. The pictures bring back a lot of great memories and make me laugh every time. I hope Grandma and Grandpa enjoy it as much as I do.

Below are a few photos of what I’ve put together so far. To view more pages, check out “My Work” page.

Title page, "Time to celebrate"

First page

Second page, "Enclosed are letters of love, funny stories, memories, traditions and more. ENJOY!"

"Enclosed are letters of love, funny stories, memories, traditions and more. ENJOY!"

Third page, "So happy together" vellum quote4 Kids, circa 1967 photo of four kids with replica photo from 2000Letter from my Aunt Suea COLORFUL fifty-fifth at Lake Lure in N.C.

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What is love?

Listen to this 1993 throwback dance tune and tell me you don’t start bobbing your head back and forth.

But really, what is love? Last Thursday, my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, a milestone I’d like to reach at some point in my life. Among several divorced relatives, parents, friends’ parents and so on, it’s comforting to know some marriages are meant to last. So what does it mean to be in love? How do you show your love to someone for 60 straight years?

Grandma and Grandpa, Christmas 2010

Jug and Miriam, Christmas 2010

During my lifetime, I’ve visited my grandparents often enough to witness an honest, genuine sort of love. I always enjoy hearing Grandma and Grandpa talk about their time together–college experiences, the first time they met, their children, their travels and more. It’s entertaining to hear them interact with each other, after living together for so many years. And it’s nice to know I can drive or walk just a few minutes down the road on almost any evening and they’ll be sitting in the same two chairs opposite each other, watching Wheel of Fortune at 7 p.m. and Jeopardy at 7:30.

As my cousin Katie says, “They are the most consistent people I know.”

I figure there’s no better way to document my grandparents’ anniversary than in a scrapbook. And I’m getting some assistance from the words of my relatives.

This summer, I’m collecting letters from family members, documenting favorite memories and experiences they’ve shared with my grandparents. (Thanks to my Aunt Lynn for sharing this gift idea.) I’ll mount the letters in a scrapbook, among photos and memorabilia, and we’ll present the gift during our family vacation at the end of July, a tradition Grandma and Grandpa began many years ago and have continued every five years.

Wedding anniversary scrapbooks seem fairly straight forward, but I’m trying to think outside the box in terms of other items to include. I’ll attempt to find embellishments to incorporate the diamond anniversary theme, and I’m sure I have some decorative paper to use, but I’m wondering how I could be more creative with this. Let’s face it–you only experience a 60th wedding anniversary once in your life, if at all.

My relatives can help me document Grandma and Grandpa’s marriage, but I’d love my readers to share some inspiration and feedback as well. What would you like to see in your wedding anniversary scrapbook? What are some experiences, holidays, travels, etc. you’ve shared with your significant other that’d you’d like to remember forever?

What does love mean to you?

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