Where does the time go? Today we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary! So much has happened in the past decade plus two years. Marriage can be tricky, but I am glad that we stuck it out.
Circa 2013 at one of our previous bars that we sold
We knew each other before we started dating, but I never looked at him in a romantic way then. Generally speaking, he’s not a very accessible person. He thinks he looks happy all the time, but he looks irritated constantly. Being 6’4″ and sitting between 260-300 pounds, this can be intimidating for most people. I was raised in the south so manners and etiquette were at the forefront of my upbringing, complete with sending out thank you cards and saying my “pleases, thank you’s, ma’am’s, and sirs”. My husband was born in Miami, with himself and his siblings being first generation Americans. His parents came here from Colombia decades ago when it was pretty violent and not a safe place to be. The culture is very different, to say the least.
We rarely get snow here in the South, but this was one of those times. Baby Gabriel and Daddy having a blast!
I have learned through time to see him for what he is. Not a scary giant but underneath it all he’s a big teddy bear, to me and the kids anyway. I have seen this man help people out at the grocery store when they didn’t have enough money to pay for their items. Once, I watched in awe as he went out of his way to approach a family from Central America in a Food Lion parking lot. They were completely out of their element and not only out of money, but didn’t speak a lick of English either. He spoke with them (in Spanish), and gave them money for groceries. They said they had a place to stay. He said the little girl looked like Dora and it broke his heart that she wouldn’t have supper. I have seen him help my family out financially and physically.
Carmen and Daddy on Halloween when she was 5ish
He has never forced me to return any of my rescue dogs, even though I know he gets annoyed with them. I am so bad that I will just pop up at home with a new dog in tow and say, “Meet our new dog, honey!” He never denies them proper care or anything else they need to live happy joyous lives.
Just a couple of the many dogs I have rescued and shown up at home with. His favorite was this Chocolate Standard, Leo. I eventually had to give them to a Poodle Rescue because they started to attack the toy poodle when he started going blind.
It’s no secret among our family and friends that we almost didn’t make it. My husband lived as a functioning alcoholic for years, and this is something I put together after we were married and I was pregnant with our first child. He wasn’t the type of alcoholic who would have to have a drink in the morning, in fact he rarely drank at home. His trigger was being out where others were drinking, and then he would binge drink. I didn’t know until I started researching it that there are different classifications of alcoholism, and binge drinking is one of many. Some times were worse than others, even leading to us separating at one point. He somehow was able to see past his addiction and decided having his family was more important than having a drink, so I gave him another chance. You don’t give up on the ones you love. He has been sober for over a year now, which is quite an accomplishment above the usual in my opinion because we own multiple bars. He is surrounded by alcohol, yet never imbibes. I am so proud of him for that!
Us at his surprise 40th Masquerade Party I threw for him
He is an excellent father. He will and would do anything for our children to make sure they have secure, safe, and happy lives. That’s the kind of husband you want. Initially, he had no experience being around children. When our oldest was a baby, it was all new to him but he dove right in helping with diapers, bottles, nap times, and always making sure the Diaper Genie wasn’t overflowing. I know this sounds like a no brainer, but I have heard many of my friends say that their husbands do not help at all. In their words, ‘it’s like he thinks he since he pays the bills his job is done.” I even have one friend who has desperately wanted to add another child to her family for years. When she approached her husband about it, he told her “fine” if she wants another baby but don’t expect him “to life a finger to help with it”. My own opinion is that marriage is a partnership, and if you have children together you should both help out. I am so glad to have a husband that feels the same way. Now that we are on #3, he’s ALMOST as much of an expert as me.
Ruby’s first swim at our old house
This past summer, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. It is advanced thyroid disease that causes your body to attack your thyroid. It makes perfect sense. I have had it forever. I knew something was off my entire life and I was right, and am blessed to have finally found a Dr. that listens and ran the appropriate tests. I also have something called POTS, postular orthostatic hypotension that makes me dizzy and feel like I am about to faint. My husband has been so supportive and wonderful through this. He has had to drive me to Dr’s appointments or take over for me with the kids some days because I just can’t even move, and not once has he made me feel bad about it. Remember these vows, “in sickness and in health”? He has taken that to the next level and I appreciate it so much.
One of our trips to Key West a few years ago, shortly after my miscarriage. It’s one of our favorite places and he took me there (just the two of us) to make me feel better. This photo was taken at A&B Lobster House in Key West.
We have traveled the world together, made babies together, moved together, opened businesses together, been to funerals together, and been each other’s best friend for the past 12 years. We have also endured alcoholism, a miscarriage, a baby that spent two weeks in the NICU that ended up being a toddler with special needs (speech delay), and my autoimmune disease. Marriage isn’t easy. It has ups and downs just like anything else in life. Nothing is ever continuously perfect. Those people (we all know one or two) that post on social media about how great their life is all the time are liars. We are human, and to err is human. The strongest survive with each other, unless of course there’s some sort of abuse going on then get out by all means. To survive something like that you have to go.
On our family trip to Mexico in 2017. I look CRAZY but that’s ok…
Through all of the things that we have been through and risking sounding super cheesy, I love him more on this day than I ever have. I am so glad that we have made it this far, and I hope there are many more years to come. He has a piece of my heart and always has. My father owns a Plumbing and HVAC company, and when I was very little he gave me a skeleton key that he found underneath an old house. I gave it to my husband when we got married, and told him that was the key to my heart. I had forgotten about it for years honestly, until the other day I saw it with some of his things in our room. I said, “Oh my gosh, you still have this?” He replied, “Of course, it’s the key to your heart. I’d never get rid of it!” Now that is true love right there. I love you babe! Happy Anniversary!
At my Mom’s wedding a few years ago