We've been married nine years.
To say it out loud seems like a very short time,
especially compared to our parents
(mine are inching up onto sixty!).
And yet, to remember life without him
sometimes feels like a major excavation
through my memory.
I feel like we've shared
an entire lifetime already.
So much of who I am and what I've done
or been through involves him.
It's like he's consumed my life,
and I love it that way.
No one else makes me feel so
unconditionally loved and accepted.
In my most desperate or emotional
moments he is the one person I need the most.
He laughs at my jokes, even when they're lame
(more often than I'd like to admit).
He claims to find me just as attractive
as the day we were married.
Three babies, some gray hair (who me? YES.),
the beginnings of crows feet, and fifty pounds later,
it's a difficult concept for me to grasp;
but I trust him and believe him to be sincere.
That alone makes me love him.
But there is so much more:
The way he loves his children.
His love of the Gospel and his mission.
His gentle, kind eyes--so beautiful and clear.
The way he plays with his children.
His bent pinky finger.
That sounds strange, but when I hold
his hand I expect to feel it there near my palm.
The times he laughs so hard that no sound comes out.
The way his children react when he comes home
would make it obvious to a complete stranger that
they adore him and love to be with him.
His sexy legs.
The sacrifices he made to get an education,
and ultimately provide stability and security for our family.
His handsome smile, and the fact that it comes easily to him.
It's not often he tells me "no".
Who wouldn't love that?
His ability to forgive and to forget.
Being this flawed, thank heavens I did
something right and married someone
who is better at doing that than I am.
I. Need. To. Be. Better.
I'm grateful for the love and respect
he has for my parents.
The desire he has to make our house
into a home; a place where others can
feel welcome and comfortable and where
we can feel safe and happy.
He's a bit shy at first, but once
you get him going, he's a very friendly guy.
Not just friend-ly, but a good friend.
I should know. He's the best one I've ever had.
He lets me lay my head on his shoulder while we watch T.V., even though
I know he's hot and would rather I didn't.
I love that he loves to take care of his grandmother.
He recognizes that his time with her is precious
and is doing all he can not to waste it.
He's such a smarty-pants. He really does know a lot of stuff.
The way he cried at our children's births. All three times,
as if it was a new experience every time.
I guess in a way, it was.
He doesn't shed tears often. I can count on one hand
how many times he's cried since I've known him.
But the fact that he's shown his emotions
during those specific times, means the world to me.
I love his family, and that they are now my family.
I can only pray that my children will be half
as lucky as me when they marry.
I love it when he holds my hand and rubs his thumb over mine.
He loves to surprise me and gets antsy waiting for my reaction.
It's like a kid on Christmas morning.
He is EL GUAPO.
I love that in his last letter to me,
he didn't use Times New Roman
simply because he knew I'd like a different font better.
That means a lot coming from someone who could not care less!
He's a hugger.
And a kisser.
A really good one.
And he loves to do it often,
so truly what a lucky gal I am!
P.S. Incidentally, I think it's worth noting that NUEVE is also very close to the word NUEVA, which means "new, fresh". How appropriate that our NINTH year together still feels as NEW and FRESH as our first. Te amo siempre.