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(Image: Alexandra Celia)
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Documenting Love: Kristin & Steve'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.

Kristin
Like many couples these days, Steve and I met online. I was gearing up for a couple of busy weeks ahead and was transparent that I could not go on a date for three weeks. I thought we would pick up conversation as we got closer, but Steve kept in contact. I was the most awful and boring texter and am surprised to this day he still wanted to go on a date with me. On July 3rd, we met at the Kirkland Marina, where Steve's boat was parked for the upcoming 4th of July celebration. I was really nervous but seeing him standing on the dock smiling immediately put me at ease. The rest of the evening just flowed (conversation, laughs, drinks)...it just felt effortless. I FaceTimed my best friend on the way home and was gushing over how great of a time I had with Steve.

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Steve
I met Kristin for the first time at the Kirkland City Dock Marina on July 3rd. We chose this as a meeting spot because my boat was docked there for the 4th of July festivities and the abundance of restaurants and bars within walking distance. The first thing that caught my eye was her very bright lipstick, which she is "famous" for, and her beautiful eyes and smile. I was blown away by how blue her eyes were in person. We had a drink or two on my boat and then walked to Cactus for dinner. On the way back, I caught her from falling flat on her face as she tripped on the sidewalk. We had a great conversation in the evening and had a nightcap at a bar before I walked her back to her car. I felt the date went pretty great, or at least getting a kiss goodnight on the first date is a good sign!

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Kristin
I am really proud of Steve's devotion to his relationships. I've never met someone with so many friends from all different backgrounds. I regularly come downstairs and hear him laughing on the phone with yet another friend he is just catching up with. I really admire that genuine care, loyalty, and investment and have seen that flow through to our relationship.

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Steve
Kristin is great at her career, and it shows when I meet people on her team that report to her – they can't say enough good things about her. Her position is very demanding, with meetings filling most of her days, and she makes sure to put forth her best effort daily. Being a good people manager requires you to get along and communicate with a lot of different personalities, and Kristin is a rockstar when it comes to this. She can share both good and bad news eloquently, and I admire that quality in her.

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Kristin
A few weeks after we started dating, we took a trip to Vancouver, BC, on Steve's Harley (sorry mom). As we explored the city, it was the first glimpse I got of what life could be like with him by my side. We toured a Britannia mine, had a fancy dinner by the water, and hopped the ferry to a small island on a whim to grab a beer and play darts. It felt like living for the first time in a long time, and I knew then that he was the one I wanted to do it with.

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Steve
I can't put down a specific moment where I knew she was the one, but we had a lot of fun being in the San Juan's about a month into our official relationship. We took my boat up to Bellingham, dropped it in the Sound, and met her dad, his wife, and her brother and sister-in-law for the first time for a weekend of fun. The weekend was filled with some memorable moments, both amazing times and some stressful times, but we got along great no matter what. That is when I started thinking she's quite the catch, and I wanted her to be around as my "forever girlfriend!"

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Kristin
Steve is an outstanding partner in more ways than one. From bringing me lunch on busy workdays to sending me cute pictures of golden retrievers, and keeping up with maintenance appointments for my car; he truly does it all. He always greets me with a kiss, tells me he loves me before we go to bed, and lets me have the comfy chair we bought for him.

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Steve
Kristin and I are always saying we love you to each other. We also ask each other how we are doing throughout the day. I think it's important to vocalize how much you care for your partner on a daily basis, and we do that continuously. She also makes the bed on a pretty regular basis, and I can’t complain about that.

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Kristin
Steve and I love to be on the water together, soaking up the sun and admiring all the beautiful houses. It's our happy place, and I'm so glad we get to share that time together.

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Steve
After the workday is over, we spend our evenings together doing things we equally enjoy. We love taking our golden retrievers for a walk or to the local park, going out on Lake Washington to enjoy a spectacular sunset and view of Mt. Rainier from our boat, or staying in with a bottle of wine and a fire, watching another Netflix series we can't turn off. I love that I found a partner as great as Kristin in life that finds enjoyment in all of it. I wouldn't want anyone else by my side but her.

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Kristin
I don't think anyone has the perfect recipe for handling difficult situations. For me, it's to say what you feel, why you feel that way, and be the first to apologize when you know you are in the wrong. We don't let things fester and have built our relationship on a foundation of trust, making handling difficult situations easier. We often say "pay attention to me" in a silly voice, which is our way of signaling we need to be present with each other — a true relationship timesaver.

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Steve
I think difficult times show your true colors in any relationship. That same trip to the San Juan's I spoke of above got off to a rocky, eventful start towing my boat to Bellingham from Bellevue. About 20 minutes into the drive, I noticed that the tires were not looking all that great on the trailer as we were going up the 405. I told Kristin to start called Les Schwab tire shops so I could buy some new tires for the trailer. As we received a confirmation to come to a shop in Bothell, a tire blew on the trailer. We were stranded on the side of the freeway for the next FOUR hours waiting on various tow companies to change the tire on the trailer. Four hours is a long time to sit on the side of the road for anyone. Unfortunately, Kristin also had to use the bathroom at the same time the tire blew, and there was nowhere to go. We still had a smile on our face after the frustration of dealing with multiple tow companies and made it up to Bellingham just as the sun was about to set.

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