my senior year of high school i was chosen to participate in a class called “academic decathlon” aka the epitome of nerd-ness. by this point in my high school career i had given up on any reading, studying or any effort necessary to rightfully earn my diploma. at one point i had a total of 11 zeros in my pre-calculus class (just overlook that sentence, mom). i walked into this class having done absolutely none of the preparation that was assigned over the summer. i took a seat in the last row at a lab table for two and promptly fell asleep. in the middle of my afternoon nap i start hearing the guy next to me recite the names of symphonies along with their composers as well as the names of different paintings, the artists and the year they were created. the teachers were so impressed. this guy had done every bit of the summer homework. he read all of the books and knew not only what the heck “et tu, Brute?” meant but also why that one guy said it! puh-lease – i sat up just so i could roll my eyes.

as the year progressed i actually got to know my table partner, adam, better and it turned out my first impression of him was right on the money – he was brilliant. he had the drive and determination few possess. he was not only at the top of his class, but he was also a phenomenal basketball player. to top it all off – he was hilarious. he made me laugh constantly – literally to the point of tears. the teachers didn’t appreciate our daily banter, and they would inevitably call me out on it because they wouldn’t dare offend mr. perfection. he did, however, have one flaw – his girlfriend. he would often talk about things like what he had planned for their 6.5 month anniversary. how cute, right? in return and in the name of “friendship” i spent a lot my time talking to him about the boys i “liked” – which by the way were many. oh yeah! that’s where all my mental energy went in high school! his girlfriend and my crushes were mutual annoying topics of conversation, but somehow we remained friends. the school year soon ended and i was off to college by end of summer (by a true miracle and zero credit attributed to anything i did – i actually did cross that stage ((i had to include that to remind my mom of what really matters in the end)).

my sophmore year of college i receive a call from adam telling me he now was also attending texas a&m and wanting me to recommend a church for him to attend. i suggested a church and wrangled him into helping me move in to my new dorm room. from that point forward we became two peas in a pod. at midnight on fridays and saturdays we would meet in the middle of campus – exactly between his dorm and mine, we would share chocolate milk and white powdered doughnuts and talk until the wee hours of the morning. i kissed him on the cheek once and he kissed me on the lips soon after (oh yeah, i’m getting personal!) and that’s how we became a couple. we would often laugh as well as often fight – we both have a “strong” temper that didn’t really subside until our fifth year of marriage (nowadays we each just keep it in our back pocket for special occasions).

in early january of 2001 adam travelled with me to mexico to ask my grandfather and my mom for my hand in marriage. my grandfather was so happy and  proud that i was going to marry a man like adam. i was so happy and proud that they had the opportunity to meet each other. my mom was in utter shock at how young we were to be thinking about marriage and almost fainted in her chair (yes, i’ve put my mom through a lot).

on january 5th, 2002 adam and i got married at the young, young, *young* age of 22.  we’ve been married almost 10 years this coming year! one of my favorite things about our marriage these past 10 years is that we have in many ways grown up together. i love that we have given each other the opportunity to fall down, to get up and to change without giving up on each other. adam loves and accepts the new and *somewhat* improved almudena that blossoms each passing year and i love hearing the new thoughts, opinions and persepctives he develops over time. i love that we never expect each other to be “the person we once married”. of course, sometimes we also get one each other’s very last nerve (had to throw off my rose-colored glasses for a minute).

the reasons i love of adam and am thankful for him are too many to write about. i originally fell in love with him for how easy it was to talk to him, for how he made me laugh, for how accepting he was of me even after seeing my bad temper and for – let’s face it – his good looks. man this guy has some nice biceps which in college he used to show off in tight white t-shirts. yum to tha yum!

as we’ve grown up i love him for all of those things plus the way he makes fun of me (in so so so many ways), the way he still laughs at my silliness, the way he loves me despite my horrid imperfections, the way he works so ridiculously hard to provide for our family, the way he is our family’s rock and the one the girls and i turn to for protection, the way it’s so important for him to have our families near us, the way he will dance like a pre-teen girl in order to make isabella laugh, the way he will hold and console lucia when she is vomitting, the way he doesn’t have any words to describe how much it hurts him to see one of our girls hurting, the way he makes our girls look so tiny in his big arms, the way he prays over our girls and begs God for Him to be their guide in life and the way he tries so hard every day to be such a good husband and daddy.

i could go on and on, but it’s atleast a start to why today i thank God for adam.