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August 22, 2011


I'm not sure at which exact moment it occured, but I know that it did.  Somewhere between your cobblestone streets and my 8-lane highways, it happened.


More specifically, the can't-stop-thinking-about-you, perhaps-I-can't-live-without-you love... quickly turning into a maybe-I-would-even-move-across-an-ocean-for-you love.  That kind.

Was it risky?  Of course.  Complicated?  Love sometimes is.  But was it worth it?  All the ocean-crossing and Skype dating?  The time changes and insanely infrequent visits?  Looking back, one year after our married life together began, I can honestly, sincerely, and gratefully say yes.  Sim, certamente.

Reminiscing on our first anniversary makes me think back over five years time to the things that made me say yes... the things that made me think that I absolutely, positively could not live without you.  As I write this, I'm thinking maybe it was when...

... you told me that, upon receiving my first email, you thought I was a Korean man with a Polish heritage... ("Kim" being Asian and "Salewski", Polish)
... you wore the navy blue and white plaid shirt to the first awards dinner banquet that I coordinated... three buttons undone, Euro style, without a t-shirt underneath...
... you showed off your fabulous dancing skills...
... you dared to kiss me for the first time... knowing that miles and cultures and hearts threatened to steal it's significance...
... you waited silently for a few months when I told you "it would never work"...
... you laid a blanket outside on the grass and claimed that, though there were "almost no stars in Atlanta", sleeping under the open sky was a marvelous feeling...
... you patiently pursued me through phone calls and emails, encouraging me to open just a tiny bit of my heart each day...

 Or was it when I surprised you at the first Power Soccer World Cup in Japan, and your ever so kind eyes begged me to give this a try?

Or when, while there, I planned a romantic walk along Tokyo Bay, and after climbing a wall for the best view, you rescued my iPod that I accidentally dropped on the other side of that really high wall, using a coat hanger, plastic straps from a shipped box, and a bottle of water...


Or when...

... after 2 months of dating long distance, you volunteered to come to WI to visit my family when they were unsure of me traveling to Portugal...

... and when you returned the next year, sacrificing another Christmas with your family to begin to get to know mine?

Or when you folded tournament t-shirts instead of watching the World Cup soccer games, clearly out of sheer love... because who would ever choose to fold t-shirts anyway??  Or when you stayed up with me almost all night, taping floors for a Power Soccer tournament you would have to open the doors for only 3 hours later?

Or could it have been when, upon my first trip to Portugal, I decided to surprise you at the airport with a homemade t-shirt that said "I love Portugal"... then realized that the surprise was on me when you showed up with a homemade shirt as well, completely trumping mine with a cartoon caricature of us from another trip??  (Seriously, I think this is when my heart said 'yes'!)

Or perhaps it was later that year, when you gave me a mystery novel in English as a birthday gift... but also bought one for yourself in Portuguese, so we could read it together... knowing I would love that idea?

Or when you bent over backwards to arrange that a very special ring be created for me in the US...

Or when you planned a trip to an old Portuguese flour mill, promising that, in the same way flour is the foundation for bread, and bread is the foundation of food in almost every culture, this remarkable love that we share would be a strong foundation for our future...

Or when you agreed to get married outside in 95 degree heat.  In a suit. And didn't call me crazy.

Or the first day that I woke up next to you and realized I could snuggle with you every morning... forever...

Or when we donned our wedding garb again on the other side of the ocean and danced to traditional Portuguese music in the middle of a large circle of your dearest friends and family, all while they clapped and spun around us...


 Or when we fought over a bathroom trash can... with a lid or without?

Or every night that we went to bed an hour early so we could read for an hour before going to sleep?

Or when you let me paint one wall red?

Or when you made me hot tea in the middle of the night when I couldn't stop coughing?

Or how you consistently adore tolerate when I start new house projects, even though many now cover tabletops and windowsills, still unfinished waiting to be perfected?

Or perhaps it was those times we were traveling and you stopped the car on the side of the road after each and every exclamation of "Ooooooooh!  Can you please pull over so I can shoot a photo of that real quick??"

One year ago today, I was the luckiest girl in the world, being able to call you "husband" for the first time.  I didn't think it would be possible to love you more than I did that day.  But it is.  And I do.  As you reminded me in those early years of dating across an ocean, "I love you more today than I did yesterday, but not as much as I will tomorrow."  And now, looking back on our journey and our first year together, I realize that being in love with you did not arise from a single moment, but in many moments strung together, constantly arriving one after the other, like ocean waves on the shore that we visit so often.  And the best part about those moments that arrive like constantly rolling waves?  From where we stand now, it's impossible to see the opposite shore; these moments will continue to roll in, day after day, year after year.  The opportunities to fall in love again and again will never end.  And for that I am forever grateful.  Thank you for showing me what unconditional love looks like every day.

Happy anniversary, my sweet Love.


  1. Happy anniversary for you too!

    It has been a really great year, full of love, and sharing a lot of wonderful moments. For example, it was the first time in my entire life that I went to enjoy the sun in the beach before July (more precisely in April, May, June :) and I visited a lot of places in Portugal for the first time (Évora, Caldas da Rainha, Gerês, etc).
    My life is full of richness because I found a really special treasure five years ago, but just after having your here, close to me, during the last year, I could really " to usufrut" of your love, kindness, giving, planning or saving qualities! Sharing my time with you is easy and I do love too when we go early to bed to have some time to read (something that I'm addicted to, and that is because of you and Daniel Silva, the author of the first book we read together:)!
    I love when you cook American recipes, so I can "taste" your culture... and the Mexican :)! By the way, thanks for using chicken and turkey instead of cow and pork... it is so much healthy :)
    And thanks for decorating the house with great ideas, even when we fail a little in the dead-line of some of our projects :)
    I'm really looking forward for our second year of marriage, because the first is already gone and experienced people says "the first is the worst" :) so, let's enjoy the next year, because I believe that God has really great plans for us!

    Adoro-te minha coisinha fofa!

    Luis Miguel

  2. You two are just the sweetest. Remembering fondly your beautiful (hot) wedding day!! How much fun that weekend was!! Congrats on an amazing first year and many blessings for the years to come. XOX