Monday, February 13, 2017

Dear Samuel: One Beautiful Year

Dear Samuel,

One year. 

It's kind of incredible, when you think about it.

One year married. A year of mind-blowing joys, trials, fun, and overwhelming blessings from God. One year as your wife. 

That first moment. The moment when we were officially married. Our photographer asked us how we felt. I just remember joy as I sank into your arms and savored our first private (well, mostly) kiss as your wife. 

Our wedding was fun, but I'll never forget how absolutely fantastic it was to do our private photo shoot at Albuquerque Uptown. You were so happy--your eyes never stopped twinkling with that oh-so-special twinkle I fell so deeply in love with. 

Kissing you. If for no other reason, I am SO glad we saved our first kiss for marriage. Kissing you over and over for our photo shoot was absolutely fantastic. 

Pretending we knew how to dance, twirl, and dip for the photographer was so special and hilarious. We really do need to learn how to dance with each other.

The way I felt wearing your coat is how I've felt every minute of our marriage: cherished. Enveloped by your love and protected by your strength. 

I didn't know when we rushed into Starbucks to grab mugs off the shelf, snap a photo, and run out laughing to make our dinner reservation on time that you'd make me French Press coffee every morning from then on. But you have. And your coffee somehow always tastes sweeter, stronger, and richer than any other brew. Perhaps it's because it's made with love. 

I'll never forget all the fun we had on our honeymoon. Thank you for making it a trip full of amazing memories we will always cherish. 

Thank you for putting up with my crazy ideas and buying me an alligator head. Thank you for sharing my passion for history and visiting the Alamo on our honeymoon. 

Thank you for making me laugh every step of the way. 

Words fail to describe how proud I was of you during our month long stay in the Philippines two weeks after our honeymoon. 

The way you taught the small Bible studies, the fun you had teaching the children and showing them magic tricks, the way you preached as the guest speaker at the school graduation and at Easter -- I was so proud of you each and every time. You are the best preacher I know. 

Yeah, I was scared to death each time we got on the roads, but you always protected me, always looked out for me, always took care of me when I was sick or nervous to sing/speak, or overwhelmed by what I saw in the Philippines. 

I'll never forget the fun we had on the island, playing in the beautiful white sand, finding those adorable crabs, and picking up shells. I was scared the entire boat ride over, but had the time of your life and really inspired me to have fun.

The way you teach kids and the fun you have with them is something I so love. The kids at VBS during the summer of 2016 loved your ASL lessons - and I did too!

My (our) first car from you. Hard to believe we've had it for over six months now!

Your ability to have fun wherever you are makes me laugh. I'll never forget your first carousal ride. Leave it to you to make a face like that...

Thank you for the way you make me laugh. Thank you for the good times we have exploring God's beautiful gift of nature. Thank you for pushing me to try new things. 

Coffee. Our relationship and coffee. Seriously. But, hey. It's no wonder I like coffee so much. You and coffee are alike - hot, rich, dark, and strong. 

All the fun with had on our photo shoot with Bethany Studios still makes me smile. You're so stinking cute. I just can't get over it. 

Your good looks inspire me. Man, I'm going to have to keep putting you on book covers! It's the surest way to become a New York Times bestseller, right? Wink, wink. 

No joke. It is. 

I respect and love you for your hard work at the Chattanooga Rescue Mission! From your preaching to your mentoring to your great work ethic to your yummy meals - I am just so proud of you. Thank you for having the courage to follow God's call to Tennessee. I was and am so honored to follow you. You put God first and He is your priority before anything else. 

Christmas. Oh, Christmas. Our first one married. You made it so breathtakingly beautiful. Even when it wasn't all fun and games because I was so busy and so sick, you took care of me, made me slow down, gave me chances to enjoy every bit of that wonderful season. The romantic way you took me downtown just to look at the boats and park lit up was so special. I'll never forget that walk in the frosty air and the wonder of the season together!

Our third year to build a gingerbread house together. It was a bit smaller this year than last, but it was so much fun! 

You prayed for my voice and my health when I was not doing so well around cantata time - and you even jumped aboard my crazy idea to get a photo in the radio booth! I'll always treasure this photo and remember WARM 88.5 FM.

Cuddle. It's what we do best. And I hope it always stays that way. 

There were some incredible tough times and situations last year - times when I literally told God I could not take anymore, that I was too weak to handle the trials. You were there, loving me, as we held each other together. 

You courageously answered God's call and followed His leading -- and it has been NOTHING but blessing upon blessing ever since. You've protected our marriage, been an amazing provider, and your spiritual leadership inspires me to keep pressing onward. Thank you for taking me to an amazing church and for demonstrating every single day what it is to be an upright man of God. Waiting for you -- for the right man God had for me -- was so worth it. I am a cherished lady. 

I love you, hunkules -- forever and always. You are my best friend. On to the next fifty plus years of marriage!



  1. You guys are so cute! Congratulations on your first year if marriage and happiness together! I wish you many more, and may God bless you both!

  2. You guys are so cute! Congratulations on your first year if marriage and happiness together! I wish you many more, and may God bless you both!

  3. That is so precious. Thank you for sharing. Happy anniversary Alicia and Samuel!

  4. This is so sweet! I'm so glad God has blessed you with such an amazing Godly guy!


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