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Documenting Love: Caileigh & Matthew's Story

*Note from Seattle Refined: We could not be more excited that photographer/blogger/genius Alexandra Celia has joined our team here at Seattle Refined. She 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 Caileigh and Matthew - living and loving life as an engaged couple in Seattle.

Caileigh:
I first met Matt in high school, although that is not where our story begins at all. We always joke that we probably spoke only once or twice all of high school to each other. Although we were in a lot of the same places, our paths never seemed to intersect at that time in our lives. It wasn’t until a year after graduating from college that our paths really crossed again. We reconnected through mutual friends. Our love story started in the summer drinking wine on the roof of Matt’s apartment at the time. We sat and talked for hours on a warm summer night and I remember feeling that I was with an old friend, a soul that mine already knew. He is shy and quiet but speaks with purpose and I remember being completely comfortable in his presence from the moment we reconnected.

Matthew
Caileigh and I had known each other for years before we started dating. We reconnected after college through mutual friends who were not so subtly trying to set us up, but the timing never seemed to be right. When we eventually got a chance to spend quality time together, the connection was instant and I knew that Caileigh was someone I wanted in my life.

Caileigh
Matthew makes me proud for countless reasons, but one in particular is how sure he is of himself as a person and of us as a couple. Eight months into our relationship I was moving to Boston for nursing school, and I remember giving Matt an out - telling him that that if he didn’t want to do long distance I would understand. Matt didn’t hesitate to tell me that he had no doubt we could make it work, and that we would get through it together. He celebrated my accomplishment and assured me that everything would be ok. This is when I truly knew I loved Matthew and that this was a forever kind of love.

Matthew
From the moment Caileigh and I started dating, she was someone I knew I wanted to spend every moment of every day with. What is unique about Caileigh is that I always felt comfortable to be myself around her and she has always allowed and encouraged me to be myself. She shares the same silly sense of humor and we have never been shy to laugh at ourselves. I knew I was in love with Caileigh when I couldn’t imagine my days or my life without her. She has changed my life for the better and continuously teaches me to live life to the fullest.

Caileigh
What I love most about Matthew is how gentle and kind he is. Matthew is an introvert and takes time to deeply think about things. He takes care of me in a way I never knew I needed. His gentle manner calms my energy and balances us. There are so many times that I will be running around like a maniac and he forces me to stop and laugh. We are always laughing at one another in the most positive and goofy way, it’s impossible for us to be mad at the other person for more than five minutes because we can’t help but start laughing at ourselves. Matthew has taught me so much about savoring the little moments and not taking life so seriously.

Matthew
There are many things I admire about Caileigh because in so many ways she is so different than me. When I first started dating Caileigh she was applying for nursing schools and taking entrance exams, so we began our relationship during a very busy and stressful time in her life. Through this time I saw her set and achieve so many goals and recognized how her spirit had impacted my life. She is extremely hard working, smart, and goal oriented, and never quits when things get hard.

Caileigh
Matthew and I get through difficult situations by simply talking to each other. Dating long distance for 2 years made our communication with one another so strong because it was all we had, and it really built the foundation for our whole relationship. We know how to talk through tough topics and listen whole heartedly to the other person.

Matthew
Caileigh has such a strong understanding and confidence in who she is and never apologizes for that. But what I admire most is how she treats other people, and how loving and compassionate she is with her friends and family. From the beginning, I have always been attracted to how smart and hard working Caileigh is. She has an energy that allows her to grow both personally and professionally every day and this energy is infectious to anyone around her. Caileigh has adventurous spirit and I am so thankful every time she forces me to do things I wouldn’t usually do.

Caileigh
I love Matthew because he lets me be exactly who I am, unapologetically and free from any judgment. I have never felt more comfortable as a person and confident in myself or in a relationship than I have with him. It’s what sets our relationship apart from any I have ever had. I am the sincerest form of myself because of him. I remember after we started dating one of my closest friends told me “I’ve never seen you be so truly yourself around anyone you’ve dated” and that has always stuck with me. Matthew continuously celebrates the person I am and tells me on a daily basis the weird quirks he loves about me. He meets who I am with acceptance and challenges me to continuously keep growing as a person. I love him for making me feel confident and beautiful being exactly who I am on any given day.

Matthew
Caileigh and I love to travel together. Despite her attention to detail and extensive planning, some of my favorite memories with Caileigh are when I force her to ditch all plans. We took a backpacking trip to Europe and on our first day in Paris, instead of sleeping off our jet lag, we set out on a walk through the streets of Paris without any sense of direction. We found local bakeries to try every variety of croissant, and ended up in front of the Eiffel Tower at sunset with take-out Chinese food and a bottle (or two) of rose. Because our schedules are so different, Caileigh and I always try to set aside time to have an adventure so that we get a chance to discover, laugh, and love together.

Caileigh
Matthew and I find the most meaning in doing the little things together. Working as a nurse causes our schedules to rarely align so we try and make the most of our time together when we get it. Matthew and I love to take day trips to get away from the city. We often take the ferry over to Vashon and walk along the water with our dog, talking about all the places we want to see and where we imagine our lives going together.

Matthew
Caileigh and I provide a perfect balance to each other. She helps me confront difficult situations by pulling me out of my comfort zone and encouraging me to talk about the things that I find challenging. I balance her out by pulling together the bigger picture and helping her to see things from a different perspective. Together we find a common ground and are able to walk through all the challenges that life brings to us. During Caileigh’s time in Boston, we developed such a strong ability to communicate and listen to each other and because of this we have learned to really respect each other and each other’s opinion.

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