Back in 1999, when Phil and I were dating, his house was in desperate need of a new roof. While in college, he worked as a roofer to make some cash, so he was set on doing it all himself and asked if I’d be interested in helping “a little”. Of course, that meant I had to overcome my intense fear of heights, which was not easy. The first time I managed to go all the way up the ladder, I froze.Β  I could not bring myself to take the final step up on the roof, and I could not come down either! The impasse seemed to last for an eternity, much to the amusement of a couple of neighbors watching the scene. I vaguely remember some screaming on my part.Β  But, as you can see from the photos, I came, saw, and conquered! πŸ˜‰

My job was to pull the old shingles and remove the tar paper underneath. Each shingle revealed an army of spiders running away in panic. A panic at first closely matched by my own, but within a couple of hours I barely even noticed them. A considerable amount of Aleve and sunscreen were consumed during those summer months, in which me, Phil, and his twin sons worked very very hard under the intense Oklahoman sun.

Phil installed the new, gorgeous roof, and I helped him roll out the new tar paper, and nail it in place. The evening after we finished the job, as we crashed on the sofa, absolutely exhausted, he popped the question “Will you marry me”?

March 07th, 2012.

Twelve extremely happy years married to my best friend, co-worker, running buddy, golf instructor… I look forward to the next twelve, and many more!Β  πŸ˜‰

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64 thoughts on “IT ALL STARTED WITH A ROOF

    • Thank you, Heleen! Twelve years seem to go by like nothing, but we’ve lived many adventures during these years.. it’s been a lot of fun, and a lot of hard work too, but when you set out to do things as a team, it all seems easier πŸ˜‰


    • HA! You know me too well…. πŸ˜‰ I’ve got two options for this evening, one is a gorgeous little dress that Phil hasn’t seen yet, but maybe it won’t be warm enough to wear it. I might to go for option two, which I’ve worn before, but… I’ll dance according to the music. πŸ˜‰


  1. What a romantic story… and I love that Phil asked you to marry him in the throes of your roofing adventure… it’s not every woman who would have shown up for that job; Phil chose wisely ;-). Happy, Happy, Anniversary Sally! What a perfect dedication post and your couple photos are gorgeous!! (makes me think I should start snapping a few of my hubby and I…). Enjoy your special day! πŸ™‚


    • Thank you!!!!
      Yeah, we have a ton of photos together, it wasn’t easy to pick some, but I tried to choose the ones Phil likes, and he can be very picky for photos.

      My favorite is the one in Paris, 2010, our 10th year anniversary celebration, sitting in front of Les Deux Magots, our favorite cafe in town. I love that photo, it was a gorgeous day, with blue skies, and we were absolutely in heaven!

      (well, i love the post-marathon photo because it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done, and we did it together, even if he crossed the finish line over 1 hour ahead of Sally, the turtle)


  2. Happy Anniversary, Sally and Phil!

    ONce more I have to say you two must be the most gorgeous scientific couple in the world! ANd I mean it! My idea of “science people” has nothing to do with your looks πŸ˜‰


    • Anne… now I’ll have that song that goes “… so happy together!” on my mind the rest of the day (that’s NOT a bad thing to happen, I just wish I knew the rest of the lyrics… πŸ˜‰


  3. You two are such a handsome couple! So happy – the shot from Lisbon is just beautiful. πŸ™‚ Congratulations on 12 wonderful years!!! I love how Phil proposed to you. I mean if you can pull off a major house project together it’s meant to be right?! Here’s wishing you many, many, many more wonderful years together.


    • The shot from Lisbon was taken by a dear friend, GREAT photographer, who was in Lisbon with us for a weekend. We were living in Paris then, so Lisbon was a short flight away… .great opportunity for a fun trip!


  4. Happy Anniversary!

    Having had the great pleasure of spending time with you, I think you are one of the happiest couples I know. Your mutual adoration is apparent as is your ability to understand and accept the others’ idiosyncrasies. I have learned that If the love is not strong the idiosyncrasies soon become annoyances. Joe and I are both a little crazy about certain things but we don’t let that stand in the way of our happiness. If I feel myself getting annoyed I remind myself to be grateful for the opportunity to practice patience.


    • What a nice comment, Cindy! Thanks so much! You are absolutely right, idiosyncrasies become annoyances if love is not strong. We have plenty of those (I guess I have many more than he does), but he never let them bother him too much. Except, of course, when I toss “important stuff” that he’s been saving for 11 years in a dusty box that would remain closed until the year 3012


  5. Joyeux Anniversaire, ma chère amie! Just looking at the Lisbon photo takes me back to that great weekend we all had there together, and how charmed we were by you and Phil going off to celebrate your special day all by yourselves! It was so romantic! Our very best to you both on your 12th, and hoping to share many, many more of them with our dear friends! xxxooo Marijo and Vlad


    • and there she is! The wife of the Lisbon photographer, in flesh and blood on the Bewitching! Great honor!

      You know, Marijo, one of the photos Vlad took of me (in that castle, high up, when I was scared to death to get to the edge), is one of my favorites EVER! He is such a great portrait photographer!


  6. What a wonderful post. I’ve gotta give it to you – if it were up to me climbing on top of a roof and working in the hot sun in order to get proposed to, I’d still be single. πŸ™‚


    • The hot sun actually did not bother me that much, although the difference between the color of my back and my front after we were done with roofing was quite pathetic – I don’t think I ever got soooo tanned in my life! But the ladder, that’s another story. What an ordeal that was in the beginning!


  7. I love love love this post! You two are gorgeous together and all the photos show the passion and care that you have one for another. I wish you both good health for the rest of your lifes, to enjoy and be grateful for every minute that you’ve been given together.
    How nice of Phil for letting you show these pictures, I like the ones from Portland, Paris and marathon one (you look so fresh in that one, I can’t believe it was taken after you run 40 km!!! I once run 3 km, got on second place, but you don’t want to see the finish-line pictures πŸ™‚ not my best shots )

    Seeing you so good and happy together and reading your story (you’re a great story teller, I’m a big fan :)… what a perfect way to start my day! Love is in the air and it’s contagious. I’ll go hug vlad, and later, I’ll check to see if our roof doesn’t need a renovation :))

    Wishing you many many more romantic years to come!
    hugs, codruta


    • You got SECOND PLACE on a race? That is amazing! Well, that marathon photo was taken maybe 20 minutes after I finished, so things were a little easier – but when I crossed the finish line I barely had energy to raise my arms to celebrate πŸ˜‰


    • Thank you!!!! It was great to sit down and choose the photos to post – brought me so many memories! And showed me we have waaaay too many photos, and they are in need of organization, but….. maybe after I retire! πŸ˜‰


  8. Congratulations, one day late, Sally!

    I don’t comment that often, but never miss a new post, and loved this one! Echoing others, you two are the perfect picture of happiness, and form such a handsome couple!

    toasting to your special day!


    • THanks, Mary…. well, after the roof, we’ve been through one full kitchen renovation, a few years later our bedroom + bathroom (that was hard…) and right now a little renovation of the small guest bathroom, but this one is cake compared to what we’ve done in the past.


  9. Congratulations!! I thoroughly enjoyed the wee peak at your lives together with those milestones photographs/slideshow! I can tell from the smiles on your faces that the next 12 years and beyond will be just as lovely!! xoxo Smidge


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