Monday, May 20, 2019

Our Family Traveling Letter

Hello everyone!
A few years ago my grandpa started a family traveling letter.
What is a family traveling letter, you might ask?
I'll tell you. 
But first, let's talk about the man who started it all. 
My grandpa 
He isn't like a regular grandpa.
He's a cool grandpa. 
He is very technologically savvy and even runs his own blog.
He uses his tech savviness for his favorite hobby Genealogy. 
He loves to figure out family history and keep track of ours currently.
Enter the family traveling letter.

He first sent the letter to my mom in June of 2015.
The instructions: write something, anything and pass it on to another family member. 
Once you receive the letter you choose someone else in the family to send it on to. 
Siblings, cousins, aunts, grandparents, etc.
Since its start, (almost four years ago!) it has been through so many hands and it is a lot of fun to read.

Erik just received it and decided to pass it on to me.
I feel like it is kind of a cop-out to send it to your wife but, I'll accept it. 😉
Erik's letter was very sweet and I wanted to share it here with you.
Not because I want to toot my own horn but, I want to show you a little more about our relationship from his point of view.
So, here it is:

While reading Grandpa Baldwin's letter, I was inspired to break the mold a little bit. According to the traveling letter rules, I can write about anything I want. So rather than write to Autumn, I've decided that I want to write a spotlight about her. As embarrassed as she will be it's my turn on the platform and this is what I want to do with it!
I met Autumn way back in the fifth grade. She had moved to my Elementary School, go Bobcats! At the time, I didn't really pay her much mind (or any girl for that matter, they had cooties). As we grew a little older and moved to Junior High she sat in front of me during Social Studies, and let's face it, I started to socially study her instead! Looking back the thing I most remember about her was her laugh. It was, and still is, one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. Well, time moved on like it does, and before I knew it, I was smitten. I knew that Autumn was something special and I didn't want to ever let her go. We grew together in a way that not many people can say they did.
I feel so blessed that I got to see her turn into the amazing woman that she is. Having shared about half of my life with her, I can now say with absolute certainty that she is the most selfless person in my life. Who among us can't think of an act of kindness that Autumn has done for us? How many brilliant parties has she helped plan, or incredibly thought out gifts has she given? How many times has she been the shoulder to cry on, the one to organize events, the emergency babysitter? The most amazing thing is that she does it happily without any expectation of anything in return. I get to see these things from behind the curtain and I believe that most people do not see the hours that go into these acts of kindness. Honestly, she doesn't care for the recognition for these acts, but I think that she deserves to know how much we all appreciate everything she does for us; I know I don't tell her enough!
She is also unbelievably strong. As most people know, for the first years of our married lives I went to work full time and went to classes at night. During these times she would take care of the house, prepare hot meals for me when I got home, take care of our sick dog, pick me up from the TRAX station whenever we were down to one car, and that is just the tip of the iceberg! Her ability to persevere through the many hardships that we have had is simply incredible. In her words, we just have to keep moving forward. She will forever be an inspiration for me to keep moving forward in this world, despite any obstacles that come our way. I know that she will forever be at my side helping me push through the struggles and be a crutch for me whenever I stumble. I would never have graduated without her constantly encouraging me to keep going. Her work ethic is unmatched, to the point where old bosses of hers are constantly trying to get her to come back to work for them. She has a work policy of doing things right the first time and then going beyond that.
If you aren't excited for holidays and parties now, just spend a week with Autumn. Before you know it, you will be making Punxsutawney pancakes for Groundhog Day. Suddenly a boring Thursday night becomes a Star Wars party for May the Fourth, or doughnuts will be warming in the oven for national doughnut day. Life is worth celebrating with her, and she makes it a life worth looking forward to. For each Valentine's Day, she has given me 14 days of it, featuring a unique pun and gift every day leading up to the holiday. She loves to have fun and it becomes so contagious that you cannot help but join in the celebrations.
She has a unique ability to make the world more beautiful wherever she goes. I don't know how she does it, but she has an eye for what things could become and then makes it. Her creativity has me constantly coming to her for advice on my own work and how I can make it better. I believe that all of us have enjoyed looking through her blog, or watching her videos and being able to see the world the way she does. She breathes life into our house and makes it a home worth coming home to. She has told me that she doesn't put anything in the world that she isn't proud of and I believe it. Everything she does is worth appreciating and admiring.
I will always look forward to sitting down to a meal with her, or going for a walk with her because I know that I get to discover a little more about her each time. She has the most intricate thoughts and opinions that I can't help but agree with. As time goes on, I feel an initmacy and connection to her grow. There isn't anyone quite like her, and I am the luckiest man in the world to have her all to myself. I am excited to see the future with her and what she is able to do with it because I know it will be great.

I feel so lucky to be married to Erik.
He is such a sweet, patient, hardworking man.
I am grateful for our relationship and all the time we have had together. 
My hope in sharing this is to encourage those who are still looking for their significant other to find someone like Erik.
Someone who you can have an equal, respectful and loving relationship with.
He is my rock and I am so grateful for him.
I am also so grateful for my grandpa and the time and effort he has put into documenting our lives.
I am grateful for the knowledge he has gathered and shared with us.
I think I inherited my love of documenting from him!
I am also grateful for the opportunity he has given us to share our thoughts and feelings with each other with this family traveling letter.

We are all so busy with our own lives, it's nice to take a moment to stop and put our thoughts into words and to have a physical copy to look back on for years to come.
What is something unique you and your family do?

All my love,

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