A year before we started dating (we were 16 and 17), Brian wrote a song that we played together at church. It was a beautiful song about seeing God's glory and purpose in the natural world; he sang and played guitar and I played flute. What I didn't know at the time, was that he had written a secret verse to the song, a verse that I never heard until a couple of years later.
That verse was and is so very precious to us. It encapsulates a lot about our story; a love that began with music, friendship and praise, those sweet early years spent roaming the shores of the Atlantic, our insatiable desire to talk and be with each other, our knowing so very early on that we would, God-willing, grow old together.
Fast forward about 10 years. Valentines 2013 (our 10th together!) seemed like the perfect time to unearth the secret verse and give it new life. These words were never even written down. They lived in Brian's head and every once in a while I'd ask him to remind me of them and we would stop and remember the beautiful summer day when he finally sang them to me for the first time (and there are still butterflies when I hear them).
After some digging around, I found an old photo that I took at the park we frequented while dating and where Brian penned the song, it even showed the benches where he sat. The photo was scanned, I edited it to be black and white and then lightened the image to make it look more like a watermark. I played around with fonts, sizes and placement to create an interesting composition of words on the background image (you can download some amazing free fonts at dafont and Fonts for Peas). I saved the image with 3x4 dimensions since I planned to print it out as a 18x24 poster.
Now, if you have a pinterest account, you've probably seen that you can make large poster-sized black and white photocopies (they are called engineering or draft prints) at Staples for just a few dollars. (let me give you a minute to process that information...so.many.possibilities!). I brought them a thumb drive with my saved image and they printed me an 18x24 sized print for just under $2. Sure, it's photocopy quality, but at that price, get another one when you need it. In a frame, it should last for quite a while. Michaels was having a super-sale on frames (this happens frequently) and with their weekly 50% off coupon, I got a sleek white frame for about $12.
Brian loved it and it's very special to have these meaningful words around to see and remember. It now happily lives in the upstairs landing on the wall next to our bedroom.
* some other ideas: blow up old black and white family photographs, create word art with a favorite Bible verse, song lyric, poem. I also used these prints to create various posters for my art room this year.