in partnership withKOMOnews.com
government-camp-engagement-session-mt-hood-oregon-80_websize.jpg
(Image: Alexandria Celia)
SEE MORE

Documenting Love: Jenny & Ryan's Story

Photographer/blogger/genius Alexandra Celia has devoted her career to documenting love in its purest and most original form — which you'll see in her photos. Now and then, she will share her work with couples: their love story, their commitment, their passion....and of course, their photos. Think of her as our Love Guru. She loves love and is here to share it with the rest of us.

Jenny
We met Labor Day weekend over five years ago, at my two friend's birthday party at Ballard Pizza Co. My friend and I were looking for a place to sit down and enjoy our slices, and there were open seats by Ryan, with a group of friends who I didn't know. It just so happened that Ryan didn't actually know the birthday girls. His friend, who was visiting from Alaska, had an older brother who knew them; small world! My friend and I sat down, chatted with the group of unfamiliar faces, and had a blast. Beyond my initial attraction to Ryan, I was shocked by all we had in common, to the point of being skeptical that he was too good to be true. We spent the night celebrating with my friends, and at the end of the night, Ryan walked me home. After that evening, the rest is history! We use Labor Day weekend as our anniversary because from that weekend on, we really didn't look back.

Ryan
I was invited to a friend of a friend's birthday party at Ballard Pizza Co. I didn't know anyone there besides my friend who was in town to go to a wedding. We were sitting in the back room where there were these big tables, and everyone was sitting together. This chick sat down next to me, and we got to talking, and it turns out, she had dated someone I played baseball with in middle school, in my small town. As we got to talking, the amount of things we had in common started stacking up, and I really enjoyed talking to Jenny. Then, my friend who I came with saw that Jenny and I were hitting it off, so he bought each of us a pitcher of beer, put it in front of us, and left. I got Jenny's number, and then bar hopped with her friends. I walked her home at the end of the evening and gave her a kiss. The next day I texted her to hang out with me, and we've been together ever since.

Jenny
Ryan is an incredibly focused and hardworking person. Whether it's at work, building a new bicycle, snowboarding or spending quality time with friends or family, he puts in 100%. In that focus and hard work, Ryan also leads with integrity. He stands up for what he believes is right, listens and follows-through. I learn from him all the time in many ways, but particularly in this way.

Ryan
Jenny compliments many of my strengths. For instance, I'm what you might call meticulous about everything. Even though it stresses me out sometimes, Jenny is not afraid to take things on without certainty of the details. Jenny makes bold moves.

Jenny
There was a moment, about two months into dating, where I had been away on a weekend trip with friends. Ryan and I had plans to spend the evening together at Golden Gardens when I arrived home in the evening. I was really looking forward to seeing him. In that moment heading home from our trip, I asked myself, how would I feel if I never saw this person again? And in asking myself I knew, I truly cared for Ryan because I couldn't imagine my world without him anymore.

Ryan
There was a week when we first started dating, where Jenny got into two accidents. One was a minor car accident. The other accident was when she cut her finger really bad on a can of beans and ended up needing some medical attention. Both accidents happened early in the morning and involved Jenny calling me for assistance. Even though I was exhausted, I came to her assistance. That's when I realized we were in the Big Leagues.

Jenny
When we encounter a difficult situation, we talk it out! There are definitely moments where we disagree, or, because I'm the stubborn one, don't want to admit the other one is right. I think what's most important, beyond talking it out, is allowing each other the space to process, explaining our perspectives, expressing our needs and boundaries and finding a solution. We recently purchased a home together, and this was a great testament to how we handle difficult situations. After tackling that intimidating experience together, I think we can handle anything.

Ryan
Usually, Jenny is in the overreacting camp. I tend to take things easy and slowly pick the situation apart so that we can address it in a patient manner. Normally, I start listing reasonable options for a solution, and Jenny slowly calms down, and we are able to have a conversation about how we want to move forward. Sometimes, I am the one who is overreacting, and the roles are reversed. Jenny is also great at being patient with me.

Jenny
Since we've moved into our new house, our beach walks have been my favorite thing. We sometimes go late at night when the tide is down, or in the morning on the weekends with a cup of coffee. Sometimes, they're only 30 minutes long, but they always provide us time to catch up, talk about something important, recenter or get energized. I love our beach time together.

Ryan
Exercising, in general, is a good ritual for us. The first day we met, Jenny told me she was running the Seattle Half Marathon. The next day I signed up for it. So, one of our first dates was going on a training run together and inspecting a section of the course. Exercising is something that is cherished by each of us, and it's really special that we've been able to share it with each other, even though we're both super turbo when it comes to what our idea of a good workout is. We both make exceptions to our own rules, to spend time exercising together.

Jenny
I love it when Ryan wakes up before me and brings me a cup of coffee to start my day. It's such a loving and sweet gesture and puts a smile on my face. Another thing that I notice we both do for each other is intuitively pick up the slack when the other is overwhelmed, busy or stressed. For example, sometimes Ryan cooks dinner, and sometimes I do. Maybe the person who isn't cooking is sent to relax with a beer or glass of wine or to go exercise to blow off steam. We take care of each other.

Ryan
Gender roles in our relationship don't really exist. Any house project, chore, cooking, etc., is a shared responsibility by each of us. We each recognize when the other is stressed or has a lot on their plate, and the other intuitively picks up those duties.

col1_vertical_list_trending