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Why are we OBSESSED with this couple?! (Image: Alexandra Celia / Seattle Refined).
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Documenting Love: Daniela & Daniel'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 Daniela & Daniel - living and loving life as an engaged couple in Seattle.

Daniela
It was a warm, summer evening and I was folding a stack of t-shirts when Daniel walked up the stairs and we caught eyes. He had arrived for an interview at Niketown (the retail store downtown). I had already been working there for a few months so I tossed him a quick “good luck” and he smiled. Of course, he got the job and we quickly became friends. We had a hilarious team that grew to be a family. It was hands down once of the most entertaining jobs I’ve ever had. As time went on, we both left Nike as we graduated from college and pursued full-time gigs. The best part was that our friendship continued and would see each other from time to time. Then, the stars finally aligned and a switch flipped for both of us where we began to see each other in a different light. All in all, I think what makes us so strong together is that our foundation was formed through friendship, and through that, we have laughed and grown infinitely closer. #JustDoIt

Daniel
While I remember the exact moment I first laid eyes on Daniela, I do not remember the date. I was finishing my (super) senior year at Seattle Pacific University, and was looking for a part time job for extra money. I worked at Niketown at the Mall of America in Minnesota, and got called in for an interview at the Nike Store in downtown Seattle. On my way upstairs to the group interview, I heard a loud, beaming voice hidden behind a stack of graphic t-shirts. Daniela yelled, "Good luck" in a somewhat sarcastic voice, and I couldn't tell if she was talking to me, or the folks walking behind me. I smiled, said "Thanks" and headed in with a little extra motivation.

Daniela
I am proud of Daniel’s fierce loyalty. This loyalty is evident in so many areas of his life

  • With his friends: He grew up with the majority of them and it’s beautiful to see their walks of life continue in stride together. They are all kind, ambitious, and hilarious. Oh, and their group chat is always lit .
  • With his family: The love that Daniel has for his family is amazing to see. He always has the biggest smile when he visits and it is clear that he understands the importance of spending time with them. He’s also an uncle now and he makes it a priority to spoil his niece & nephew at every opportunity. The fact that his family has opened their arms for me to join them is a blessing.
  • With Lebron: No matter where Daniel happens to be, if Lebron is playing a game that day then you already know that he has plans to watch him. Tread lightly.

Daniel
I am extremely proud of Daniela's confidence & control of her career growth. I've seen her go from a struggling graduate student, to a leader at one of the best companies to work for in the U.S. While I'm very happy for her, I can't say I'm surprised because she would never accept anything less - and that motivation is contagious!

Daniela
After college, I began a Masters Program at the University of Washington. It was a one-year intensive program and it had 100 percent of my focus. Well...maybe 95 percent since Daniel and I began to see each other just a couple months before I began. To some couples, the incredible amount of time I was spending on academics (while working on top of that) could have been a rocky start. But Daniel celebrated the fact that I was challenging myself and would completely work around my schedule to spend time with me. In fact, most of our “hanging out” was him coming over to my apartment with dinner (alert: love language) and just being in the same room with me as I worked on projects & presentations until the wee hours of the morning. This continued for a year and he patiently brought me food and words of encouragement. Fast forward and he was there standing next to my family on graduation day - just as proud as my parents. Daniel’s love and support meant the world to me and I knew I had found something special.

Daniel
There are personalities in the world that people naturally gravitate towards - Daniela has one of them. Whether it’s the constant jokes, the boisterous laugh, or the ability to bullshit her way in & out of any conversation, Daniela just stood out, and I wanted to be a part of it. On the surface, she can come across as a perfect, flawless, human being, but when I got to know her, I was inspired by her story.

Daniela
Daniel has a zest for life that I love. He is quick to jump on the dance floor and the last to leave. Together, we giggle and endlessly make fun of each other. That’s important to me - to have someone who you can enjoy life with and look at each day with fresh, optimistic eyes. Why not be a little weird along the way? One of my favorite quotes comes to mind: “'You’re the strangest person I’ve ever met', he said. I said 'You too' and we decided we’d know each other a long time.”

Daniel
What doesn't attract me to her? The hair, the intelligence, the sense of humor; I can go on forever. We oddly have similar interests. Whether it's sports, dancing, music, or shoes - Daniela and I are always on the same page. I also love her energy. She's a continuous "fiery Latina" that can't sit in one place for more than an hour. This makes her the ULTIMATE traveling partner. She’s fearless and curious, which compliments my very hesitant and calculated personality!

Daniela
We handle difficult situations together through God, love, and patience. No matter what we face together, we know that with God’s strength we will be able to persevere. Also, we fully accept and love each other for who we are and all the imperfections that come with that. This takes unconditional love and a tribe of people who challenge us to be better. Each of us are on a journey, and luckily, our journeys are together as one.

Daniel
Given her personality, Daniela loves to tackle things head on right as they happen. Communication is her strong suit and she has made it VERY clear that she doesn't like things to fester overnight. On the other hand, I tend to avoid confrontation in tense situations. While it wasn't easy, Daniela and I have found common ground on giving each other space when agitated but also communicating when it’s the right time to make things right.

Daniela
Daniel likes to think he can read me like a book...but I must admit, he does a pretty damn good job at knowing where my head’s at. We don’t live together so we text/call each other throughout the day and he never skips a beat to see how I’m doing or to give me a few words of encouragement if he knows I’ve got a big day ahead of me. If I’ve had a rough day, he will surprise me with Thai food for dinner and my troubles are cured!

Daniel
Daniela is ALWAYS on top of her game; nothing gets by her. She's always prepared, and never flustered when in challenging situations. This consistency makes me sleep well at night. Daniela is a creative soul that loves to cook international food. I get excited hearing her speak about new recipes she wants to try out.

Daniela
I’m a horror movie aficionado and Daniel happily obliges! We also both love sports so you’ll often find us tailgating at Husky football, kicking back at a Mariners game, or catching a Seahawks game on TV. We play in an indoor soccer league together so it’s been fun to see his competitive side come out. I’ve also been boxing for a year so Daniel will excitedly test out the strength of my punches to gauge my progress. Other small rituals include buying the spiciest sauce we can find, yelling “puppy” at every dog we see, buying the newest Nike gear (re: Swoosh is life), and planning our next adventure.

Daniel
Daniela is practically a mermaid, so we spend a lot of time near the water. As of recent, kayaking has been our thing. We also love the Amazon bookstore in U. Village. Daniela devours books for sport; and I'm slowly starting to catch up. Another thing I love is making breakfast/brunch every weekend. Before they moved to South Lake Union, we used to live at Revel; something about Kimchi fried rice that couldn't keep us away!

Daniela
What sets our relationship apart from past relationships is intelligence. I’ve always been attracted to a great sense of humor, confidence, athleticism, etc. but what I’ve realized over time is that intelligence is one of my love languages. To have someone broaden my perspective, challenge me in new ways, and provoke discussion is something that I am hungry for. Daniel is all of that. On top of that, he is an expert in his own field of computer science - an area that I know slim to nothing about. I am always astounded and curious to see how his mind works. Plus, I like someone who can keep me on my toes.

Daniel
Daniela and I come from similar backgrounds, and have shared indistinguishable life experiences. Our families are both VERY international. Both my parents grew up in Ghana, and her mother, Rousena, was born and raised in Bolivia. This adds some extra spice; not just to our food, but to our relationship. In the Pacific Northwest, Latinas and Ghanaians are few and far between. Our international touch also brings a layer of interchangeable family values.

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