12 Years in 12 Months | Year One: Paper

A Paper Date [Part Two]: Calligraphy Workshop
March 22, 2017
A Paper Date [Part Three]: Menu + The Perfect Cheese Board
March 29, 2017


We just celebrated 12 years of marriage! It’s quite amazing how quickly time flies. We went from sitting at his and her’s lunch tables in our middle school cafeteria and rarely sharing a word between us. To now sitting around our very own dining table with our four kiddos and rarely a quiet moment.

When we got married, we didn’t own a single piece of furniture, let alone a dining table. I didn’t wear a beautiful white dress, and he wasn’t all fresh-and-clean in a tux. I didn’t hold a perfectly arranged bouquet of flowers, and we had no reception complete with great music, yummy food, and a tiered wedding cake. It may sound a bit sad, but we didn’t have a wedding. Thankfully, what we did have was everything we needed. The support of our immediate family surrounding us as we exchanged vows in the bare living room of our newly-built-but-not-yet-finished home. And, although we don’t have a single image to remember that day, we have our love that has not only remained but has become stronger with each and every passing year.

Those years are what inspired us to share our story. I’ve always loved the idea of traditional anniversary gift-giving. And, even as we celebrated our 11th marriage anniversary last year, we had yet to follow this timeless tradition. So this year, we decided to start. But, instead of exchanging gifts, we planned on sharing experiences, and instead of following the corresponding years (since those years have come and gone), we’re celebrating our 12 years of marriage in 12 months, designating each year with a corresponding month. By the time we get to next January, we’ll be on track to celebrate our 13th year of marriage and can continue the rich tradition for years to come. I love it!

We spent a long time planning each date. What would we do? What keepsakes would we collect to remember our special time together? What would we eat? How would it all look? How would we document it?

I must admit, I’m a bit of a cryer. I don’t know how I managed to stay dry for our first date, Year One: Paper. We sat across each other at a beautiful table of eucalyptus, carnations and candlelight in a private calligraphy workshop with Hannah from Ink + Root. It was everything I’d hoped for and more!






Aw. I still can’t get over it.

More than anything, I can’t get over what we have: Young love that has grown and keeps growing and growing.

To top it all off, we get to remember every single bit of it through the most dreamy film and photos. Thank you, Christian and Kimberly, for vividly capturing every beautiful detail, intimate moment and our sincere love for one another. And, thank you, Amy, for making me feel just as beautiful.

Over the next month, we’ll be sharing more details about this date right here and on Instagram. The menu, our keepsake, and what made this date so sweet.

And, next month, we’ll be celebrating Year Two: Cotton.

So, the story continues…

The Date

Workshop: Calligraphy x Ink + Root
Film: DaCosta Films
Photo: Kind Honey Photography
Makeup: Amy DaCosta
Styling: Ink + Root
Music: I Love You, I Do x Handsome and Gretyl

The Local

Bakery: The Denver Bread Company
Dessert: Liks Ice Cream
Wine: Bottle Rocket Liquor Station


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I love so many things I can’t pick a favorite. Homeschooling mama. Hard laugher (usually at Corey’s jokes because he’s hilarious). Curly-hair crazy. Ethiopia proud [culture, food, clothes, music, dance] - I love it all! Detail-oriented. Ambivert. Audiobook listener. Quality-time yearner. Lover of learning. Oldest of six. My babies inspire me every day. I love my Creator. I love my family. I love my friends. Striving to lovewell, livewell, givewell, and be faithful every day.


  1. Chavah says:

    Helen, I really and truly have no words. I’m stricken with amazement of your creativity. This is so beautifully put together and so well thought out. Thanks for sharing the last twelve years with us. Love you and miss you.

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Chavah! I don’t know if you remember, but years ago, we were talking on the phone, and I told you I could see you working alongside Ed…facing the lens. And, you said that I should share my perspective about life online in some way. After all these years we’ve each moved more and more into those directions. Thank you for your support, wisdom, and example. We love and miss you, too.

  2. Jai says:

    This is amazing! I am looking forward to every month to come and excited to try some of these ideas out myself.

    • Helen says:

      That’s great, Jai! This is so encouraging, and we really appreciate your comment! We’re actually working on some things to make it easy for you to do just that. In addition to following us on Instagram, you can join our email list to get notified when everything is ready. Can’t wait to share more with you and thanks for the kind words!

  3. Just Tami says:

    When beautiful meets creative you get Corey & Helen. You guys are so inspiring and even your big sis wants to be like you when I grow up!! You guys are my heart near or far and I am over-filled with joy and love for you both on this journey ❤

  4. Ima says:

    Wow! What a moving and inspirational moment! You two are so in love and it shows in everything you do together. My heart beats with joy, excitement and anticipation waiting for the next chapter of your celebration of love. You both are truly an inspiration to all those wanting to have and enjoy true love.
    Where would you be without each other. Thank our Heavenly Father for bringing you together and being with you always on this awesome journey!
    I love you both so much and thank you for sharing your love for one another with all of us! True love is a beautiful and it takes years to nuture it so that it continues to grow. So proud of the young man and young woman you have become! May Yah grant you both many more years to share with family and friends and may your love for one another continue grow stronger & stronger every year! Ahavah, Ima!

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