Marriage Diary: Our Third Wedding Anniversary

Last night at midnight, my gift was a kiss and a “happy anniversary” from my husband. Today, our minds have been going back to three years ago. Here’s my post from then:

last year, I wished that this year we didn’t have to celebrate another anniversary in the pandemic.

That’s too much to hope for, but I hope that someday it comes true.

Today, we celebrated with Peruvian takeout and some champagne.

Traditionally the wedding gift for three years is leather. The modern one is crystal. We have some crystal goblets we were given as a wedding gift. Earlier this year, I was talking about this and we said I already have something that is leather: new armrest and legrest covers for my powered wheelchair.

Our gift to eachother was some chocolate, because it’s not what you share, but who you share it with. Life has been keeping us busy recently and have enjoyed our special day.

Thank you to the people who thought of us and sent ecards and wishes.

Marriage Diary: Sixteen Years of Us and Almost Three of Marriage

Today is a very special day, because sixteen years ago, I met my husband Alfredo. Many people want to know the story of how we met. This morning as we woke up, our minds and thoughts went back to when we met and we shared our special memories and others from our time together so far.

Alfredo was living in the apartment we shared with another lady. I immediately liked Alfredo’s welcoming personality and his smile. The way he was prepared to support me with anything and was a great listener too.

I started feeling like I was falling in love day by day, as I felt more comfortable around him. We’d talk and laugh and support each other. I lived with him since January 2006, but we knew we wanted an apartment to ourselves one day.

Two months later, Alfredo took me to square we liked and asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I burst into happy tears and said yes. All my life, I dreamed of falling in love. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me, and that Alfredo had picked me out of anyone else he could have falllen in love with. knew then that he saw past my disabilities.

We got engaged on the night of my 27th birthday in 2008. I was relaxing in bed and Alfredo presented me with a white gold ring with a single diamond. Cue the happy tears again.

We married on the 11th of April 2019 and will celebrate our third wedding anniversary soon.

In the sixteen years we have been together, we have been through happy times and sad. I’m happy that my husband is so giving, kind considerate and caring. He has never judged me because of my disabilities and accepts me for who and how I am. When I am sad, he comforts me, when my Cerebral Palsy, hydrocephalus or visual impairments are giving me a hard time, he’s there. When my eyes are uncomfortable or I have a headache, he makes sure I get enough rest.

He understands why I can’t control my body temperature

On the days when I’m struggling to move or when I’m too exhausted to speak, he does what I need him to do, and knows instantly what I need. When dysarthria makes me just make sounds instead of words, he’s patient, and when I pause he doesn’t finish my sentences like others would do but makes suggestions that make me laugh. When I move my mouth but sounds don’t come out, he tells me he can see how hard I’m trying to talk and if I’m exhausted, he just says relax.

He impresses my doctors with his knowledge of my disabilities and medications and care, and they commend him.

My disabilities don’t scare him. When I explained more about them for the first time, he listened before saying that he didn’t see them as a problem and that he just wanted to be with me.

The first time I told him about my medical history, it made him cry and from then on I knew he was sweet and sensitive, too. He was fascinated by the fact that I was an identical twin and supports me in my sadness when special days come and my sister Natalie can’t share in them. He knows I am living life for her too as she can’t and she is a part of me.

He knows what to do in a medical emergency and does not let anything get the better of him. He makes sure I get the best medical care possible and respects my wishes and does his best to get doctors to as well.

He has seen my Shunt Alert card and the Spanish translation and knows to tell people about my shunts and the emergency timeframe for getting me to a hospital if things go wrong with it (4 hours).

He knows about my symptoms of shunt failure and blockage and about all the surgeries I’ve had. He helps with the side effects I still have from those and says I am beautiful as I am with my scars as they make me me.

He respects me and celebrates me as I am and fights for me.

When I am feeling like things are hard, I draw strength from him.

He’s used to my stretches and massages. He’s used to the fact that my movements will be voluntary in a stiff, shaky and jerky way and that many others will be involuntary. He’s used to my low tolerance for pain and the fact that daily pain is part of how my disabilities affect me.

He’s always there to move me. He knows what I mean when others don’t understand or take the time to listen to me and gives me time to explain what I want, need. or think when others would have given up or lost interest in my conversations.

He’s used to the fact that some words will be better pronounced than others and that I take my time to say what I want. I am a thinker, too.

When I’m struggling with brain fog and fatigue I will sigh more, and just be silent. He knows this is just what I am like and understands that my lack of strength and stamina is part of my disabilities. He knows what I want when I can’t tell him.

He values me.

He’s a wonderful cook and the best person to relax with. He has a cheeky sense of humor and a contagious smile which makes me smile and laugh.

We each know each other so well.

He is a great advocate and always does the best he can for us.

I’m looking forward to many more years together as he’s so special to me. I love the times when he tells me he’s glad I’m alive and with him. People say we are great together. That is something I have always known and I am happy to have a soul mate in life.

We celebrated our day by eating Peruvian takeout.

Sunday with a Sassy Shopaholic: Valentine’s Day 2021

I adore dupes of products and I also love perfumes. On this special day, I was given Essence by Aguamarina (a summer fragrance: I’m not sure what the dupe is yet but I wanted something fresh for summer) and Esplendor (a dupe for Dior’s J’dore). I am really looking forward to reviewing these. They are both by Allure by Suddenly from Lidl and cost 3.99€ each (down 2 euros). The brand Suddenly is one I know of but I have never had any of the Allure perfumes.

In keeping with our tradition from last year, we exchanged chocolate boxes and bought the same chocolates as last year: praline-filled hearts for me and chocolate cherries for Alfredo.

We ate tiramisu for desert.

I hope you have the best Valentine’s Day you can. Sending good wishes to everyone who follows my blog.

My Experience of Dating and Falling In Love 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Everyone wants to be loved by someone. I was no exception to that rule growing up. I’d fantasise  about  my wedding and about meeting my “The One.” I had a crush on a boy when I was about 7, but he didn’t feel the same. Then, there were a few people I was interested in in the Sixth Form, but I was embarrased to tell them. 

I had a few dates when I was at university. One was a blind date and the rest of the time, I’d meet random people at the club on campus (yes, Reading University was fortunate enough to have its own nightclub on the main Whiteknight’s  campus). Guys would talk to me, first with some pickup line and then with less interest. The strangest  pickup line I heard was “You look intelligent! What are you studying?” I thought we aren’t in a library!  OK, I have needed glasses since age  2 as part and parcel of my CP and hydrocephalus. 

That guy went to the bathroom and didn’t come back. 

The dates continued after I graduated and the blind date I mentioned was one of them. One night, I turned up in Bar Med in Oxford. As always when meeting anyone,  I was early. The friend of a friend greeted me, sat down and the conversation was really stilted. He just looked very uncomfortable. Then, he got up and left. Yes, that was it. And that was before we’d even had a drink. That night, the best thing I did was call my dad to come and get me. 

From that night on, I vowed to just concentrate on life. A year went by in which I thought about what I wanted to do with my life after university. 

Since I spoke my first word of Spanish at age 11, I would dream about meeting my Spanish-speaking stud. My wish came true in 2006 and I’m very glad to say that now, almost 12 years on, we are still going strong! Alfredo is the only guy  I have met  who accepts me for me, sees past my disabilities  and always fights for justice for me in the face of adversity. We have celebrated Valentine’s Day in different ways. There have been romantic films, heart-shaped  chocolate waffles and gifts.

My gift this year, body sugar scrubs in Blackcurrant  and Caffeine  and Orange  and Vanilla  plus a new electric toothbrush. Body scrubs are an important part of my skincare routine. I’m coming to the end of another one at the moment and can’t wait to review my new ones! 

More important than all that, though, what has always been important to me  has been the fact that Alfredo chose me to be his partner in love and life, and for that I, and we, are happy. We have been engaged since 2008 and are in a civil partnership. Today, we watched the last episode of Brothers  and Sisters again, and it had me thinking about marriage. I have so many ideas for a wedding and it’s hard to settle on just one. 

Listening to ebooks is going well this year, and I have been listening to some really great ones recently. See my Valentine’s Day 2018 Listens post here! Don’t forget to follow my book blog and of course this blog too if you aren’t already. 

However you are celebrating Valentine’s Day, have a great day! 

Does An “Undateable”Person Exist? 

A couple of nights ago , I was watching an episode of The Undateables, a TV programme where people with different disabilities go on dates together to see if they are lucky in love or not.
The idea sounds great, and I’m all for anybody with a disability having the same freedom to date as anybody else.

 The only thing (and this is a BIG thing) I find wrong with the show is that it makes me think why are the people paired up with another disabled person? Is it to spare them the experience of being judged by others who are not disabled?

Or because society thinks that people won’t “understand” why an able-bodied person would want to be with someone with a disability? Or is it to demonstrate that relationships can work if both people in the relationship have a disability?

I know that this last fact is true – I have seen YouTube videos about successful relationships were each partner has a disability.

This documentary is a favourite  of mine.

Whatever the reason behind the TV show, I found myself feeling happy when some people got on well or had great date, as everyone deserves to be happy in love.

I don’t really like the title of the programme, either. I believe it’s descriminatory towards those of us with disabilities. Other countries’ translation of the title, for example Spain’s Una Cita Única, which translates to ” A Unique Date,” is much more acceptable. 

Have you seen The Undateables? What do you think of the programme?

A final thought of mine, and I have to ask this) is ” are people with disabilities really ‘Undateable?'” 

I’d say not,as I think there’s always someone  for everyone!

I’ll keep watching it though as I like reality TV and it’s good to know people’s experiences. 

Soon, I’ll talk about my own experience of dating and falling in love.