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(Image: Alexandra Celia)
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Documenting Love: Karlyn & Jake'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. Every 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. Next up, the story of Laura & RJ's - living and loving life as an married couple in Seattle.

Karlyn
We first met at our mutual middle/high school. We were involved in the theater program and were both cast in the school play. That’s when I first had eyes for him, but we never actually spoke to each other until many years later when we had our first date at a sports bar. I was so nervous, but we caught up on life since high school and ended up having our first kiss that very night. The rest is history!

Jake
Technically, we first met in high school since we were both involved in theatre. We were both shy, and didn’t interact with each other much, even though I definitely had eyes for her. Thankfully we reconnected years later, and even though I was so nervous, I felt those sparks as soon as I saw her again. Granted, this reunion of ours was at a divey karaoke bar (chosen by me, oops!), but location aside we had such a blast catching up again, and my feelings for her were undeniable. Even better, we had our first kiss that very same night, and all I can say about that is...”WOW!”

Karlyn
I am very proud of Jake’s consistent positive energy and kind heart. He is the most loving person and rarely ever has anything negative to say about anyone. He is also very patient, especially when I am stressed or lose my temper.

Jake
I am endlessly proud of Karlyn’s ever unbreakable spirit. Whenever she has a goal, a dream, or when it comes to caring for and helping her family and friends, she always sees it through and I so admire that. She follows the guidance of her heart, but has the rare quality where she lets her heart and her mind work together to allow her dreams to take shape. This is one of her many, many qualities that inspire me every day I spend with her.

Karlyn
My feelings for Jake actually developed very quickly. To be honest, I was not necessarily looking for a serious relationship. However, the more time we spent getting to know one another, the more I knew this could be something special. He surprised me when he asked me to be his girlfriend shortly after our first date, but I did not even hesitate to say ‘yes’. My heart knew what it wanted, and it always felt happier when Jake was around.

Jake
My feelings for Karlyn really took off shortly after we had our first date, so much so that I was almost concerned I was allowing myself to fall for her too quickly. I think that those feelings were confirmed and cemented the first time I went over to her house. We had such a simple and lovely evening together over homemade dinner (delicious pesto chicken) where we just enjoyed each other’s company and learned more about each other. She radiated so much warmth and honesty to where I knew she was something special, and that I was so lucky to be in her presence.

Karlyn
My relationship with Jake is truly something out of a fairy tale or romantic comedy (whichever is more relatable these days). I have never met anyone that loves so much with his heart and accepts me for who I am, goofy sense of humor and all. He makes me feel so loved and comfortable to be myself 100%. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but with Jake, the ups outweigh the downs.

Jake
My relationship with Karlyn truly is like no other I’ve had in the past. Many of these previous relationships involved a lot of taking, and not much giving back, something I honestly was unfortunately oblivious to at the time. Only until Karlyn and I began seeing each other did I realize that she truly had my best interest in mind and presented me with compassion and generosity. I feel like I can truly be myself with her, faults and all, and she always encourages me to give myself some credit, and love myself as much as she loves me.

Karlyn
I have always been attracted to Jake’s eyes, from the moment I laid mine on his. But mostly, I am so attracted to Jake’s quirky sense of humor, positive energy, and genuine heart. I can always count on him to make me laugh, listen when I am overwhelmed, or just shower me with love whether I ask for it or not.

Jake
Initially, I was attracted to Karlyn’s quiet but intelligent and sweet nature, her stunning green eyes, and her beautiful kind smile. Years later, those qualities still melt my heart and effortlessly put me into swooning-mode. I am also attracted to her undying sense of adventure. We have had so many fun times and made the best memories on our travels together whether it’s our umpteenth visit to Disneyland, or exploring new places together like Portland or Seattle, the latter being where we found our wedding venue! I also have to mention her kind and thoughtful heart, as she is truly the sweetest when it comes to others and especially her love for animals.

Karlyn
We both handle difficult situations very differently. However, we try our best to understand where the other is coming from and listen to each other's feelings on the situation at hand. At the end of the day, we try to let go of the negativity and make sure we ensure each other that we love the other no matter what.

Jake
Admittedly, I internalize many of my issues and try to handle every issue optimistically. Karlyn is more realistic, and sometimes when we encounter difficulties, we do have to take some quiet time until we are ready to tackle the issue together. No matter what, it is always our goal to try and resolve the issue as soon as we can. We never want to go to bed or end the day holding on to negative feelings. As time has gone on, we have both learned from each others methods and strategies, which has been such a blessing for our relationship.

Karlyn
Every single day before Jake leaves for work, he always showers me with kisses when I am asleep and wishes me a good day. Even when he is swamped at work, he also tries his best to always send sweet texts or funny memes to make my day.

Jake
Every day when I’m getting ready to leave for work and Karlyn is still asleep, I gently kiss her goodbye without trying to wake her up too much. Each time, in the cutest and tiniest voice, her sleepy self will say to have a good day, and those kisses help ensure that I do. She also will surprise me with little love notes, or even funny little punny notes that I keep and save for a rainy day. Even while I’m at work, she has a knack for finding things that will make me laugh, and she brightens up my day by sending them to me. At the end of the day, if we are hanging out at home, I am delighted by the silly and hilarious ways she interacts with our three cats and all of the goofy nicknames she has for each of them.

Karlyn
We share a lot of similar interests, but ones that we consider rituals include enjoying coffee at home on the weekends and spending quality time with our cats or scoping out a delicious new brunch spot. We also love cooking together several nights during the week and talking about our day.

Jake
When the weekend rolls around and we have the day together, we always start the day by either making a nice brunch at home or tracking down new brunch places to enjoy together. Any time we are able to, I always love when we get the chance to cook together, especially new recipes that she gets so creative with! Another little “ritual” we have is scrapbooking together. We like to create pages documented our many trips together, and our next big project is crafting an entire book covering our engagement, our wedding, and our honeymoon. It’s a big undertaking, so wish us luck!

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