11 September 2008

Sixteen years...

Today, September 11th, is a day of mourning and reflection, a day marking one of the most tragic days in American history... My heart sinks deep when I think of that terrible day's events, and all those innocent people who so tragically lost their lives!!

But today is also a personal day of celebration... Sixteen years ago, I said "I do" to the love of my life!! Mark is, without a shadow of a doubt, the sweetest, most caring, respectful, considerate, funny, loving, gorgeous man ever!!! And he is mine...

The day I met him was the day my life changed forever...

I had been married once before, when I was only 22... This marriage, which only lasted 3 years, was a complete disaster!! Deep in my heart, I knew that, one day, I would meet someone who would treat me the way I felt I deserved to be treated, someone who would love me just the way I was...

After my divorce, I shared an apartment with a good friend of mine for a few years. I decided to go to Cambridge, England for a three-month intensive course in english, and then enrolled in College (in Lisbon) to get my MBA. My friend and roommate, whose name was also Isabel (go figure!!), worked at the American Embassy in Lisbon. She would take me to all their parties, especially the TGIF's hosted by the Marines. I became really good friends with many of them, and it was one of them, Alex, who set me up with Mark just a week after he arrived. Mark had been assigned to the Embassy as a Marine Security Guard Detachment Commander. He was single (and handsome!), so Alex believed we would be a good match!! He was right... I met Mark for the first time at the door of a restaurant on our set up blind date... I was instantly attracted to him...!! But we were not alone!! There were about eight other Marines and Mark's Commanding Officer!! The entire evening my sweet man had to juggle being courteous to his boss and paying attention to me!! We had a great time, the connection was instant, and from that moment on we were inseparable!!! Mark tells me he knew, that night, that he wanted to marry me!!!

Mark's sweet, caring ways, quickly found their way into my heart, I felt like I had finally found what I had been looking for, and I felt like the luckiest girl alive!!!! When he proposed to me, during the Marine Corps Ball, all I could say was "!!!". But what he really wanted to hear was YES...!! "Yes!", I said...

For the love of this man, I left my family, my career, my country, but not even for a second do I think that was a high price to pay... I knew that, as long as we had each other, life would feel right and complete...!! It wasn't easy, but is was so worth it!! Together, through long deployments, numerous moves, baby after baby, life in London, life in Morocco, life after the Marine Corps....

Thank you, my love, for loving me unconditionally, for being my best friend, for treating me like a queen, for the sparkles in your eyes when you look at me, for making me laugh, for those long daily hugs, for being the best dad ever, for listening to all my nagging, for still calling me beautiful, for all the hot chocolates, for loving Portugal, for loving octopus(!), for letting me turn our living room into a flea market, for working so hard, for being "cool" with a rose covered bedroom, for your sweet kisses, for your sweet love, for CHOOSING ME!!!

I love you, and always will...


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  2. Hi , Isabel , You are such a stunning couple. Congratulations and tons of best wishes for many more years of happiness. Love , Sue PS , Isn't it so sweet that our husbands still think we are pretty all these years later :) They are Keepers!

  3. Hi what a beautiful picture and wonderful life story.Were all glad you moved to Oregon! Have a great weekend. Kathy

  4. This post brought tears to my eyes, Isabel. Even though I already knew the story, you wrote it so well and your tribute to Mark was so very sweet. You are both so lucky to have each other.



  5. What a beautiful love glad you shared it. I don't leave comments very often, but just wanted to tell you how glad I am that you now have a flickr account. I'm the one who left way too many comments!! lol Love your wonderful pics.

  6. Isabel,
    That was a beautiful post. I love it when two people really get what love is all about. Jay and I had that kind of love too. Even tho I miss him so very very much, I am thankful for nearly 30 happily married years with him. Happy Anniversary. Wish you many many more. Pam

  7. Isabel, this is such a beautiful and inspirational story. Thank you so much for sharing!! We hope to meet your husband and children one of these days.

    J & J

  8. That is so sweet! What a great love story. Thank you for posting it. These are the stories you like to hear.

  9. Oh Isabel...what a beautiful story!!! How lucky you both are to have each other. Happy Anniversary!!! xoxox Cindy

  10. Isabel, That just the sweetest thing I've heard in a long time! Congratulations and many, many more years of happiness! xoxo, Martha

  11. Bebe, after reading this wonderful story, I couldn't help feeling a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. The way you told your story, made me feel warm and happy. I wouldn't change a thing. I know your husband loves you very very much!!!!

  12. What a wonderful love story! It was so fun to read. Your husband sounds like such a sweet man.
    ~A match made in heaven~

  13. What a sweet love story. Gives me goosebumps! Happy annivesary!


  14. Happy Anniversary, Isabel! You certainly have a lovely relationship with your dear husband! Thank you for sharing about you and your special day! Oh, btw, my husband's family came from Portugal...I am not sure of the spelling, but it was the island of Tresada.

    Semper Fi!


  15. Congratulations Isabel! Your love story is so sweet. Thanks for sharing. Here's to many many more years of wedded bliss!!!

  16. What a touching post! I especially love the fact you took the time to appreciate your husband for all the daily things he does as an expression of his love. Happy anniversary!

  17. You have a gorgeous blog. I followed your link from Cindy's Romantic Home. I just lost my beloved husband two months ago so I cried all the way through this beautiful post. So many of the words you've written, especially the "thank you" at the end to your precious husband, echoed the sentiments of my own heart about my dear Frank. I pray you have many, many, many incredibly special years together. We almost made it forty years. xoxo

  18. You are a blessed wife. What a wonderful post. My God bless you and your family always. Sandi

  19. Dearest Isabel......Oh! How I love happy endings! I, too, met my Prince Charming...only he was in his whites because it was summertime. I, too, had been previously married to a chronically unfaithful man. I had two little boys in tow and it just didn't seem to matter to my Mark! He ultimately adopted them both. I was so lifted up by your sweet story and I am so very happy for you! I live in Central Oregon and love it! We have snow capped mountains right now and the air is crisp and clean. Blessings to you, dear!
    Bend, Oregon

  20. Que hermosa pareja...felicidades y mucho amor. Griselda

  21. Isabel, comeveu-me imenso este seu post. É sempre maravilhoso quando alguém partiha connosco a sua felicidade e uma história de amor tão romântica. As maiores felicidades para a vossa Familia.
    Não sei por quantos blogs de decoração Americanos andei, até encotrar um link para o seu.
    Achei-o logo interessante e fui navegando pelos posts antigos, até chegar aos «Pasteis de Nata»!!! Que Americana era esta que sabia o que eram «Pasteis de Nata» e ainda por cima escritos na grafia correcta?! Só depois li a sua apresentação, e fiquei a saber que era Portuguesa. Obrigada por espalhar a nossa cultura de uma forma tão positiva. Emocionante como escreveu sobre o Senhor do Adeus. A sua sensibilidade é tocante. Obrigada por estar aí , tão disponível para nós

  22. So funny. I stumbled upon your blog today for the first time. It is my 16th wedding anniversary, and I am married to my own prince charming of a marine. I just finished a week of telling the beginning of our love story on my blog. :) Loved reading yours! Smiles :)


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