The Random Writings of Rachel: The Envelope System: Marriage Edition

The Envelope System: Marriage Edition


Angel and I have been apart much more than we're used to over the last few months--a total of about 7 weeks since August. Since we've been married, we haven't been through any long-term separations, the longest we've been apart has been three weeks. Most of the time, when we're not in the same place, it's just for a week or a weekend...but even these short separations aren't the most fun.

I got the "envelope system" that I use when we're apart from what my Mom did for all of us kids when she and my Dad left us with our grandparents for a couple weeks and traveled to Israel (that was something like 13 years ago now!). She had paper bags with dates written on the outside, and every day we got to open one bag, which always ended up being a treat that we got to share: sometimes a snack, sometimes a couple coloring books or a new videotape for us to watch. As a kid, I loved it, and, obviously, since I still remember it 13 years later, it ranks up among the top special treats of my childhood.

When I have to go away and leave Angel at home for whatever reason, I decide to apply the system my Mom used for us kids to give my husband a fun treat while I'm gone. I'll get a bunch of envelopes, either one for each day or one every couple of days, depending on how long I'll be gone and how ambitious I am, and I'll start filling them with things that I hope will make his day happy.

I look at his work schedule ahead of time so that I can plan treats according to whether he'll be working that day or not. A couple examples of what I've included in envelopes include:

1) KitKats, Reeses, or some other incarnation of his favorite candy.
2) $5 and a note telling him to go out to Culver's for a burger (this is particularly special because I neither eat nor encourage anyone to eat fast food. But sometimes the rules can be relaxed...)
3) A typical love note.
4) A photo of me, in case he forgets what I look like.
5) A to-do list (okay, okay, I know, that doesn't sound like a treat, but to-do lists are my thing, they're they way I am, and I will typically throw in a few fun activities along with reminders of things that he really shouldn't forget while I'm gone like paying the cellphone bill...)
6) Glowsticks.
7) A toy or treat for our cat.
8) Some other really random item that just screams "ANGEL!" to me when I see it. i.e. something involving LEDS, Balloons, fake snake....you know, the usual stuff.

I could use paper bags instead of envelopes, I just use envelopes because that's what I usually have in the house. It doesn't take me long to put envelopes together before I go on a trip, but it helps me with missing my husband because I feel like I'm still showing him love even from a distance.

And, for the record, so far I've noticed that candy, money, photos, and glowsticks get the best reviews from my husband. That probably reveals something about his personality. Candy>Romantic Mushy Stuff, any day of the week.

How have you said "I miss you!" from a distance?

58 comments:

  1. Your ideas of treats are so sweet... I love the to-do list one! I love leaving Malcolm a to-do list when he gets home from work that goes something like "1. put on your slippers. 2. grab some tea. 3. Play or draw or do something fun." Woah, he sounds very much like an old man and a child at the same time!

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  2. Usually I'm the one that does the traveling alone, so I can't send anything *with* my husband, but I love this idea for *leaving* treats with him!

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  3. so precious, cute, and FUN! what a sweet thing. love this

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  4. this is such a great idea! sometimes i leave notes or candy for him to find! i haven't done that in a while though :)

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  5. This is such an AWESOME idea! I will be stealing should I ever be apart from my partner. My boyfriend is not a veteran but when he was fully active in the Army he would go away on drill once a month for a weekend - and once for two weeks it was awful! We spoke everyday and I sent him sweet emails and e-cards. Thank God for technology right? lol. For drill he was only an hour away from where we were so I would drive up there to meet him and stay with him. It wasn't a big gesture from my part but for him it meant a lot that I would drive over an hour to stay with him. With men, it's definitely the little things that count. :) Happy Friday Rachel + Angel is a very lucky man! :P -Iva

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  6. Such a great idea! My husband travels a ton for work. I usually try to leave a love note on his mirror before I go to bed so that when he wakes up and gets ready to leave he can see it. But an envelope system is so fun!

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  7. this is SO SWEEET! I've never been away from my husband for more then a day or two and I hope it stays that way! One time when I had to be away I planned a scavenger hunt for him :P

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  8. What a GREAT idea! How much fun would it be to open one of them while traveling!

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  9. I love this, Rachel :) Most of my relationship with my husband was spent doing long distance, so we learned early on how to make each other feel appreciated while we were apart :)

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  10. I always sneak a handmade card into my husband's suitcase before he leaves. He often leaves a note and a little bear or stuffed animal under my pillow. This year because he will be away for Easter he has also hidden a chocolate bunny somewhere in the house for me.

    I love the idea of more than one envelope. My only problem is sneaking them all into his suitcase before he leaves since it is normally packed tight. I wanted to send along some chocolate with him this time but I was worried that it might melt all over one of his expensive suits or shirts. When travels he goes to the other side of the world and that can take up to two days of travel to get there.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  11. That's so funny that he loves the glow sticks! Such a fun and sweet thing to do - thankfully we haven't had to separate so far, and I hope it stays that way, but I keep this in the back of my mind just in case :)

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  12. i just made an audible 'aww' sound as i finished reading your sweet list - i want to start doing something similar for jon already... such a nice way to make someone feel loved and special even when you're not around. and kisses on envelopes? it feel old school and romantical and i like it :)

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  13. This is such a great idea! I have to go out of town for work for a week at a time ever 6 weeks and I am always trying to do little things to show the hubby my love. I usually try to mail him a love note home while I am gone, but this is just so much bigger. And yet still simple. I may have to borrow the idea next time.

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  14. This is such an amazing idea, love it!!

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  15. What sweet ideas for when you're apart! I've never been apart from my guy for more than one night, and that was after our first date. I can't imagine being apart for 3 weeks... that's so thoughtful of you to make sure he knows you're thinking of him, and offering up some treats or fun!

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  16. That is such a great idea! Both my fiance and I travel for work so this is something I may have to steal!!
    www.amemoryofus.blogspot.com

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  17. I love this idea! I am going away for a week soon and totally stealing this idea :)

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  18. I love this idea and I love what his favorite items have been! haha :)

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  19. That is so cute! I did something like that for my hubby once... but that was back when I was more romantic and thoughtful I guess :) You have inspired me to put in a little extra effort!

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  20. This is a fantastic idea, I may steal it sometime!

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  21. Awww, that's an adorable idea!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  22. Oh very interesting sweetie~
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    xx

    www.sakuranko.com

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  23. I love this! Such a sweet idea and I'm sure it keeps the romance alive while you two are apart :)

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  24. This is such a great idea! We're actually looking at a stretch of togetherness (yay!) but I will definitely keep this in mind!

    (Plus, Culvers is the. Best. Ever. I get so excited when we're traveling and can get lunch there!)

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  25. My husband was deployed to Iraq twice - once for 15 months and again for 12. I remember the second time, I secretly stashed little notes in all his gear. He was finding them for months after he was boots-on-the-ground in Baghdad :) It was, like you said, my way of ensuring he felt the love even when we were apart.

    Side note - and I promise not a shameless self-plug - I nominated you for the Liebster Award. I know you have way more than 200 "followers" or whatever but really, you're one of my favorite bloggers. So there you have it! Happy Award Day to you :)

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  26. Super cute! I love doing stuff like this!

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  27. That's such a cool idea! I remember when my dad went away to the war as a kid, my mom had his picture put onto a pillowcase so I could go to sleep with him each night. It's the little things like that and what you described that you remember forever! Thanks for sharing this idea with us.

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  28. I love this. Such a sweet & thoughtful idea. I love homemade gifts. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. I love this idea! I'm thinking about how I can use it for my girls when they go to camp for the first time this summer. And, the list part is totally "me" too!

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  30. What a great and creative idea to have been passed down to you. I will have to tell my hubby about this so we can do it with our kids if we have to be gone for awhile which is never but still it's cute. Thanks for sharing, have a good weekend. Rachel xo

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  31. I absolutely love this! What a fantastic idea. Whenever I leave for the weekend, I like to hide post-it notes in random places I know he'll find them. I'll write Goodnight! and stick one under his pillow. Happy Reading! and put one on the page in his book where the bookmark is, stuff like that. I like thinking of him finding them throughout the house while I'm away.

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  32. This is such a sweet idea! My boyfriend and I are long-distance until November thanks to his job, and I usually just stock his fridge and do a little cleaning on the weekends I can drive up there. I might have to add some of this envelope idea though!

    Kaitlin
    www.teaandsequins.com

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  33. How sweet! i have a friend in the navy and he wrote his wife letter for every day he was deployed. I love these ways to show love.

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  34. I love this idea! Josh and I do something similar but I like some of your personal tips that I might add to ours! :)

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  35. This is so sweet and makes my heart happy <3 When we were still dating with my now hubby, and I had to be away, I would write a little letter for each day I was gone on cute stationary similar to your envelopes. These little gestures of showing your love is the most special part of relationships I think. <3<3 XOXO, Elif
    http://theboxqueen.com

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  36. What a sweet idea! I will have to try this with my husband when I go away this summer. Stopping by from Sharefest.

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  37. SUPER CUTE HONEY!
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  38. I am a stationery junkie so I especially love this very fun, creative use of envelopes. That lipstick imprint is awesome too! Visiting via Saturday SITS sharefest and I'm about to 'tweet' your post, so good!

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  39. This is a SUPER cute idea! You treat your sweetheart well! :)

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  40. Thankfully, my husband and I have spent very little time apart (maybe 3 weeks total) in 8 years of marriage. I LOVE this idea though! Next time I'm totally doing this! :) What a sweet tradition your mom had! Thanks for sharing.

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  41. What a great system! Jared and I always call each other every day we're apart, even if it's only for a few minutes. I'll also send him funny videos of our dog so he can feel involved in home life

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  42. This is such a sweet idea! I love that your mom did this for you also. I haven't been away from my honey but if we do, then I will definitely use this idea!

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  43. I love this idea! As you know, Dave and I did distance for a year. I never thought of doing small fun things like this for when we are apart for now. I think what I love the most is that this tradition is being passed down from your Mom. So sweet!

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  44. Oh, I love this inspiring post. I could steal some ideas from you. I beamed when I read about your mum doing this and how you applied this idea too. I think it is really sweet and lovely. I think all your choices of random daily surprise is cool too. I might have to try this out some day. BTW my hubz and I are always on long distance rns before we got married and people often called me the LDR Queen. I wished I knew about this from years back!

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  45. This is seriously the best idea ever. If I'm in this situation I'll definitely try it. I love it how your mum did that for you, it's the sweetest idea. It's so adorable how you incorporate it your life now. This makes me feel really positive in general.

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  46. this is the sweetest thing, i love the idea! and i love how you've continued a tradition from your childhood and changed it up just a little:-) so cute! i'll definitely steal this idea and use it for my future husband/children/whoever:-) x

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  47. This is one of the nicest ideas I've ever heard of. I can't believe your parents did all that prep work before going away! your mom must have burned the midnight oil! It is super romantic that you'd do the same thing for him, you guys are such a sweet couple.

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  48. Love this! I did an envelope gift to Kevin for our first anniversary with little love notes. I am sure he would like yours better since it also includes candy and permission to go get fast food!!

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  49. Cute! I write my husband notes and letters when we get separated, but I've never thought of putting little treats inn them. I need to up my game!

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  50. Oh Rachel, this is such a cute post. What a lovely idea. Never heard of it but will start doing it for my family. Thanks for sharing!

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  51. That is such a sweet and awesome idea! Thanks for sharing because I definitely plan on adopting this system someday!

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  52. ok you totally put the rest of us wives to shame!

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