16 Year Anniversary (Alex+Leah)

To my dearest Leah Albornoz: If I were to describe you to someone who wanted to get to know you better, this is what I would say… She is warm and kindhearted. I witness this every day through countless acts of service in our home. When she was actively running her naturopathic clinic, she would regularly go way beyond what was expected of her to help her patients recover from health issues. Her devotion to her patients was something to be admired. She is active in our local community and regularly contributes her time and talents to help others in need. She is a great listener. She puts people at ease. Even complete strangers seem to have no trouble sharing their life stories with her. Her friends and family are no exception. She can listen without judging and impart inspired advice when appropriate. I am not a big talker, so she does not get to practice her listening skills with me all that often, but I do appreciate her listening ear when I do have something to say. She loves God. She is constantly striving to improve her relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She knows that there is power that flows from heaven when we keep God’s commandments. She starts and ends each day on her knees and leaves no doubt that she cherishes her relationship with God. She has a lot of spunk. She shares her enthusiasm for life with the whole family. If you are lucky you can sometimes catch her giggling uncontrollably at the silliest things. This is especially true if you keep her up later than usual and spike her with sugar. She can also be quirky in ways that make you genuinely smile. She is very competitive. This is one of the things that attracted me to her. Anytime we play basketball, racquetball, bowling, monopoly (any competition really), she gets really into it. She really wants to win, which makes it really fun to play with her. Except of course when she pouts after losing.

She is adventurous. If she could travel the world she would. Most vacations that involve our family are motivated by her enthusiasm to visit new places and experience new things. Over the past few months I have been thoroughly indexing tens of thousands of photographs and videos that she has taken over the past 16 years of our marriage. One of the difficulties of putting together the video below was trying to find pictures of her, since she is usually the one behind the camera. It has been a true labor of love in sorting through these memories made possible by her adventurist spirit and her commitment to recording these memories. She is a wonderful wife and mother. We have only recently embarked on parenthood. After many years of trying, we decided to become foster parents with the possibility of adoption. Being a mother is not something that comes easy for her, which is why I love her all the more when I see how hard she tries. Sometimes she thinks she is failing. But I know she is doing a masterful job. We are far from perfect parents, but we love and adore our children even when their sad choices sometimes infuriate us!

She still takes my breathe away almost every day. She tells me and shows me that she loves me often. I am definitely luck to have her! As one of many examples, this year for our 16th anniversary, she gave me one gift every day for 15 days leading up to our anniversary. Each day contained a letter reminding us of how our 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., year of marriage was going. What an amazing gift! ….Happy 16th Anniversary Leah Albornoz! Your virtues and traits are by no means limited to the above. Thank you for sharing this wonderful journey with me filled with ups and downs and downs and ups. With many more memories to come… With all my love, -Alex