We spent the morning of our wedding day roaming a foreign city in search of stamps. Not to mail postcards, of course, but to appease the crazy tax laws in Vieques. Do you remember us? “Colecturía? Colecturía?” I’ve never been so happy to be a clueless tourista. It was the beginning of so many adventures.
However, my FAVORITE memory from that morning was our trip to the doctors office to get our health certificate. With a serious smile and a thick Puerto Rican accent, our physician spoke fifteen words I’ll never forget.
I have to make sure you’re not drunk, not crazy . . . . and you don’t have syphillis.”
Check. Check. And . . . oh wait, about that crazy part.
Just kidding. But truthfully on paper it doesn’t look good for us. It’s not just that I spent my last night as a single woman sleeping behind a bar or that we didn’t have a wedding cake. Forget that you’ve had your brain zapped and we named my last physician “Dr. Quack.” The fact that I wash my hair with mud and brush my teeth with clay? Not even worth mentioning.
As I dug through photos to put this slideshow together I realized some very important pictures were missing. Not just the ones of us rolling on the sand like beached whales . . . the real bummer is that neither of us thought to make our huge fights a Kodak moment. There are no pictures of our “enthusiastic disagreements,” but there have certainly been plenty of them along the way. And honestly they deserve their place here because they are as much a part of our story as anything.
That’s where the crazy part comes in: If I had known what was coming on that bright morning in Vieques I probably would have thought we were nothing less than certifiable for going forward. Love takes more work than my “Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” upbringing prepared me for. Remember me trying to stow away in your bags as you headed to The University of Copenhagen for a semester abroad?
Nothing but smiles there, but what was supposed to be a simple four month adventure turned into an excruciatingly painful test of our relationship that lasted much, much longer. As I held that picture I thought to myself, what if it had ended there?
There would have been no dance under a hundred-thousand blazing stars on our first night as husband and wife.
And remember how hard our first year was? What if it had ended THERE?
We would have missed not one but TWO of the sweetest blessings on earth.
Think of all we would have missed. Saturday morning pancake breakfasts, naptime snuggles, chasing seagulls on the beach. Are we flawed? YES! This year has been one of the hardest of our lives. Sure, it’s all well and good to meet the love of your life when you are 10 years old, but years later when you’re facing overnight job loss* and a very uncertain future the story doesn’t seem to matter so much.
There are times when I’ve looked at you and thought that I barely recognize the man I married. Not that you’ve changed for the worse – quite the opposite, actually – it’s just that we are both so very different now.
Though it’s kind of scary, it’s also amazing in a way. We get to grow, change, and fall in love all over again. If I had to count, I’d say this is our third marriage.
And now, without further ado, a few of my favorite moments from the journey . . .
* Just in case you are wondering, we are OKAY! Daniel is working as a consultant while we transition into something new
**Look closely at the slideshow and you might capture a glimpse of Food Renegade during our college days. Yes we’re cool like that.