I have been quietly searching for this embarrassingly goofy photobooth polaroid for at least 2 years now. I included a low-res scan of it in the original amesnjas.com website, but that was back when Amy and I lived in Florida. Like the polaroid format itself, I was afraid the tangible evidence of this memory was lost forever.
I was pleasantly surprised though when I re-discovered the picture in an old box of notes last week. The box was from the Summer after that picture was taken. We had been dating for almost two years at that point and as you can read from the polaroid, had just gotten engaged. It was really a bitter-sweet Summer though. I was headed to Italy for a 6 week project with Campus Crusade for Christ and Amy had been awarded a 10 week REU scholarship to do research at the University of South Carolina.
While those were both exciting, life-changing opportunities for us, it meant we had to be apart for almost the entire Summer. As I was packing my suitcase, Ames gave me a wooden box with hearts all over it that was filled with little pieces of paper. Each paper was individually rolled up and tied shut with red ribbon. She explained that I could open one whenever I missed her. Every piece of paper had a note written on it about why she loved me. I ran out of notes long before the end of my trip, but this was the last one I opened, and the object I was actually searching for when I discovered my favorite picture.
To celebrate our fifth anniversary, I had a recent picture of us blown up and I put a copy of that note with it in a frame. I figured it was an appropriate gift (along with some jewelry of course) for our 5th anniversary as she’s about a year and a half from being finished with a PhD at the University where she spent that summer 6 years ago. It’s amazing to me that it’s been so long since those memories were created, but we’ve got plenty more to make. Happy Anniversary, Ames!