my one year wedding anniversary

My hands still smell like garlic

POP QUIZ: Guess how we celebrated our One Year Anniversary?

Did you just say food?

You got it! Predictable, you say? Guess that means you know me well now ;)

But let's rewind to the beginning of the day.

It's morning and I'm in bed inhaling partially through my nose and probably mouth when this delicious smell of bread suddenly interrupts my sleep. I hear a flapping. I squint and look up to find Jose wafting (yes, w-a-f-t-in-g) a cloth that is wrapping these steaming, delicious pancakes. Chocolate-chip banana pancakes to be exact! I smile, coming to my senses, and hop out of bed to have breakfast with him.

Although we had decided to do gifts when he got home from work that afternoon, there's one I wanted him to open that morning. So he could enjoy it at work....

Don't you love her?! Aaauugh. Talk about soulful singing. Making this slideshow had been my first encounter with her.

So once Jose got home, I started singing "preeeesents! time to open preseeents!"

I typed up our vows with 2 black and white photos... one of our first kiss at the altar and the other when he is putting the ring on my finger and framed it.

How adorable is this card he gave me?!

Instead of a card, I picked 3 photos of Jose -- a baby one, one when he was in college, and one of us. I wrote on the backs and started with "This is who you were..", "This is who I met...", and "This is who I fell head over heels for." I wrote a message with all of them so I could remember how I felt this first year of marriage and how I viewed us now as a reminder to our future selves.

Hence, the title of the envelope, memories, with a date.

After exchanging more gifts, we took off to our activity for the night. A cooking class with a vegetarian menu. And while some of you may not find this enticing, this is exactly what I love about Jose. His desire to try something new and willing to explore his palate. Plus, these weren't your average recipes... we're talking soy chorizo stuffed dates, vietnamese summer rolls with cashew dipping sauce, queso marinado quesadillas, phyllo and cheese triangles, and other delicious goodies! *salivating again*

We were each assigned a station but were able to help around once we were done with our particular recipe.

We started at the soy chorizo stuffed dates and completed the entire set, assisted with the mu shu vegetables (hence my garlic fingers), and ended at the homemade flour tortilla station.

Are you ready for some intense tortilla making? Oh, I don't think you are..

Yeah, pretty sure my mom wouldn't be using tongs to flip them but I also don't have superhuman fingers that are resistant to heat like she does.

We set out all of our plates once we were done cooking so everyone could serve themselves buffet style..

And yes, there was dessert. I waited for the girl to pull out the apple turn overs from the oven because I wanted to get a picture of her putting the powdered sugar on them. Oh myyyyyyy how I LOVED this photo. I called it "magical" on facebook because it IS!!

Powdered sugar aka fairy dust. Just imagine warm apples tossed in brown sugar and cinnamon stuffed in puffed pastries.

For the first time ever I was so excited to eat I completely forgot to take a picture of my plate when I first filled it up. Halfway through eating I remembered other parts of my body existed aside from my mouth and stomach.

Just understand this is a plate full of flavor. Deliciousness all around.

I came home with my hands smelling like garlic, my heart full of love, and a tummy stuffed with veggies. Clearly a great night of celebration. Oh, and a huge THANK YOU to our friends for sending us their sweet love our way that day :) They are some of the greatest people and I'm lucky to know them!

My One Year Wedding Anniversary

(photos by Raya Carlisle)

You hear it all the time... the year flew by. But here I am, still shaking my head that it really HAS been a year. The wedding, Spain, moving to Phoenix, re-starting my business, meeting amazing people, and understanding this world that is called marriage.

I had a really hard transition, I'm not going to lie. I went from working a 9-5 job with other people, socially involved with a busy schedule -- to working at home with NO people and having a socially blank slate upon moving to Phoenix. Well, not counting finding a dance studio within the first week of arriving here (but who is surprised? :).

I would be SO confused about my role as a wife. If I'm working at home and there's laundry to do, does that mean I should be the one doing it? Should I be prepping dinner every night because I'm already at home? I put all of these pressures on myself, making assumptions because I wanted to be a good wife, until I finally crumbled. I hated doing these things by myself and I admitted this to Jose in tears one weekend. He immediately squeezed me tightly and gently asked "why didn't you ever say anything?"

I wiped my eyes and thought about it. There were a lot of reasons. My culture, the newness of my role as a wife, working from home for the first time, and expectations I made up. Everything was so NEW -- I didn't know what to do, so I just slapped it on my wife-to-do's. After that break down, Jose reminded me that I was still working (re-establishing my photography business) even though I was home. He told me to not think about any house chores until he got home and we would do them together. BURDEN LIFTED!

Oh my gosh... I can't even tell you how amazing it felt to get that off my chest and to really understand the partnership of marriage. We're partners. I'll do the laundry and he does the dishes. We cook together. I make the beds, he cleans the toilets (ha! I know, MUCH better deal on my end ;). And there are days when I need help with my load and Jose is there to lift it.

He is so good to me. God is so good to me. To us. And while there were some intense transitions in the beginning, we continue to explore the beauty of marriage. The ability to be completely vulnerable with each other, to find strength in each other, and relish in the days we stay up late watching TV or eating breakfast for dinner.

Sometimes I feel like we're two big kids who are allowed to make their own decisions with a home all to ourselves. I don't know what the future will bring, but I'm sure we will face many more challenges and adventures. More than anything, our struggles have shown me that we can get through anything if we're united and on our knees in prayer. I am his and he is mine :)

-Mrs. Vidal

p.s. He is a much better writer and had me in tears when he posted this.