In a way this coffee table is where it all began.

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Like most young couples we had a lot of hand-me-down furniture in our old apartment, and what we were using as our coffee table was the wrong height.  Having no money to buy a nice new one, we decided Chris should indulge his urge to build one.  I designed this after a Pottery Barn one we liked to meet our specifications and Chris got his materials and set to work.  At some point in this process, I don’t even remember when, I informed Chris that I was finally ready to get married.  After eight years of dating, it took a major ankle sprain on my part–with Chris taking care of me, putting my socks on for me and driving me to and from work every day for three months–to realize I would actually be fine if I let myself depend on this person (who had never given any indication otherwise anyway!).  I have independence and control issues, what can I say.

So after wrapping my head around the idea of getting married for a few more months, I said to Chris, “I have to tell you something, and you don’t have to do anything about this, but I think I’m ready to get married.”  To which he smiled, shrugged and said, “OK.”  He is a man of few words.  And that was that.  We started looking at rings and told my parents and weeks were going by…no ring.  Chris has already laid down the law that we were not to tell people we were getting married until we got the ring, because that would be the first thing they’d look for and explaining where it was…too much of a hassle for a man of few words.

After three weeks I was starting to get annoyed–what the heck was taking him so long?  One Friday morning, the busiest day of the entire year at work for me, my alarm went off and Chris immediately ran into the room and told me he’d finished the coffee table and I should come check it out.  “Let me take a shower first, I have to be at work early.”  No, it will only take a second, so fine, I stumbled in the living room without even my glasses on and started praising the table: good job, it looks great, blah blah blah.  But as I got closer…what is that tiny red velvet box?  Is that what I think it is?  “Open it.”  And I did, and I was shocked and started bawling and we hugged…and, again, that was that.  I’m saying, a man of few words.

So not only is this coffee table the start of our married life, but I think it also is what unleashed our creative spirits because we’ve been going nonstop ever since.  I have a feeling this is what might have inspired Chris:

DSC00530His grandfather built it, and we’ve been using it as a TV stand (a hope chest he’d built is what we’d been using as a coffee table–we refinished it and gave it to Chris’s mom for her birthday).  Along with the house Chris grew up in and their vacation house the whole family shares.  It’s an inspiring legacy.

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