Its been two years since I married the love of my life. It doesn’t feel like two years, but longer, only because we’ve been together for so long. It has been 11 years since we fell in love, and so much has happened! I guess for me two years only seems like a moment, considering we’ve been through so much in more than a decade. We’ve seen each other through ups and downs, and for some time there have been more downs than ups. But I have to say that life’s difficulties only made our relationship stronger, which is why right now, at this moment, we are happy and blessed to wake up next to each other. He is everything to me–my source of strength, my biggest cheerleader and my best friend (I can only hope I am the same to him).
The past 24 months have been blissful, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’ve made a conscious decision to make our home our sanctuary. A place of peace where we could both be ourselves. This is so important for us, and I’m glad we’ve decided on this. I can’t tell you how important it is to have peace in the home, to have the space to be yourself and be creative, and to not worry about the petty things. Of course, I am not saying things have been perfect, because nothing is really. But since we’ve agreed to act like a team, things have been smooth sailing for us. Its funny, we used to fight more when we were still boyfriend-girlfriend, but now we hardly do.
At this point, we are still fixing our house. We have everything we need, but home improvements are still underway. I’m glad we took our time with this, because in the beginning I was all about having it all and more. What I’ve realized is that it is better to buy things slowly, so that you love every little thing that goes into your house as opposed to just buying it for the sake of it (and having to replace it later on). We are concentrating on furnishing and redecorating each room, which I think are fun “projects” for us to get into. I can’t express enough how happy I am to have my husband on board with these things. He has been involved with our home from day one, which makes such a huge difference.
Being married really is quite the journey, and while I am only in the beginning stages, I can only hope that we will continue to be happy and blessed in the years to come. And since it’s our anniversary, I’ve decided to write down the things I’ve been grateful for in the past year. This way, I can look back and see the progress. I think this is good practice, because most of us tend to focus on the negative things that happen in our lives instead of the things that make us happy every day. I need to remind myself about this constantly, that I should always concentrate on the positive and show appreciation for the little things.
I am grateful for our home. We stayed in an old apartment for about a year after we got married. It wasn’t so bad, it’s just that the elevator kept breaking down and we had to climb eight flights of stairs every single day (sometimes we had to go down two or three times in a day, and it was painful). We were comfortable because we had so much space, but the trade off was we had to take the stairs most of the time. We were definitely more fit back then, but I am so happy to live in our three bedroom house. No more climbing stairs, so yes, I am grateful!
I am grateful for our improved cooking skills. Before I got married I never set foot in a kitchen. We’ve always had a cook in my parents’ house which is why I never really needed to cook. I thought it would be the same in our household, but since we wanted our privacy and to make the most of our little space, we didn’t hire any help. And so I cooked. We ate breakfast food A LOT in the beginning. It was always bacon and eggs, Spam and eggs, oatmeal, cereal, and sometimes pasta (not a breakfast food) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was fine for a few months, but now I cannot stand the sight of eggs hahaha. I since attended cooking classes and learned how to plan the weekly menu, do the grocery and cook. It isn’t always superb, but we are both getting better. There are still days though when we only have cereal for dinner. Of course, when this happens I order take out.
I am grateful for Lily. Lily is our sharpei mix dog. She is our baby, and when we want to make each other smile we talk about her. Lily is the daughter of Carlos’s sister’s dog Coco (a sharpei). Coco ran away one day and came home pregnant. She had a litter of five, Lily being the alpha dog. No one wanted her so I decided to adopt her. She was definitely a handful when she was growing up; she liked tearing up t-shirts and socks so she was always in trouble in my house. I didn’t know how to train a dog so I just let her do her thing. When she moved to our house though, things changed. Thanks to my husband, she now follows a routine that she knows very well, and she now knows how to ride a car so we take her with us to our beach trips. She is so smart, sweet and obedient (most of the time). And she is fiercely loyal, which is what we love about her.
I am grateful for our new refrigerator. When we got married we bought a medium size refrigerator that fit well in our old apartment. Our groceries never could fit in there though, but we always found a way to stuff everything inside. It was always so cluttered and full, but we decided to stick with it until we moved to our house. We still had it a few months ago until I won a new refrigerator about twice the size of the old one (thank you, Samsung). Now we have SO MUCH SPACE, it makes me happy! I always smile whenever I need to get something in the refrigerator. Everything has its place, and it looks neat and organized. I love our new ref!!!
I am grateful that my husband loves fish and plants. I’ve never been one to care for fish and plants. I think I had a pet fish once when I was a kid but I don’t recall what happened to it. It probably died and no one wanted to tell me. Anyway, Carlos loves fish–he got his old aquarium from storage and has put in fish in there. He spends a good hour watching his fish (he tells me its better than television) and he looks so happy and peaceful when he does it. He’s also added plants to our home, which I love. We now have waterlilies, succulents and herbs in our house!
I am grateful for our new shoe rack. We just had it made and we finally got it only today! It’s not your typical shoe rack (not like the ones you buy at the mall), but a giant one where I can store all my shoes. This is a huge deal because before this my shoes were everywhere. It was out of control, and we’ve been talking about building this shoe rank for awhile now. I love seeing all my shoes in one place, looking so organized. This is definitely something to be thankful for!
I am grateful for our memory foam mattress topper. I thought this one was excessive at first, but since it was on sale, we made the purchase. This is one of the best things we’ve bought, ever! We sleep so well on our bed that we decline overnight stays at other hotels and resorts because we’d rather sleep at home. Seriously, this is such a great investment and everyone should get one for their homes. You wake up so rested and happy every day, and really, we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping so this is something that’s worth the money.
I am grateful for all the laughter in our home. My husband and I love spending time together at home. I think it is so great to spend time with your favorite person in the world. You would think we had exciting activities lined up every day, but nope, most of the time we don’t do anything. We like to watch movies and TV series together, we like to cook and eat, and sleep. Sometimes I catch us both checking out Instagram on our phones and not talking to each other, and its totally fine. It’s the every day things that make us happy. We don’t need extravagant trips abroad nor crazy shopping sprees to be happy, though of course, that would be a bonus. We genuinely like spending time with each other, which I think is essential to any relationship.
Photography: Pat Dy
Makeup: Bobby Carlos // Hair: Ogie Rayel
Tux / gown: Joey Samson
Church: St. Pancratius Church (Paco Park)