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Image: Stephanie Skeffington of Seattle Flashing Lights Photography

Documenting Love: Delaney & Brent's Story

Welcome to our Documenting Love series where we capture people's love stories through photos and the written word. This may be one of our favorite weekly series! Check out the gallery and read the couples love story below. Keep in mind that we ask the couples to answer the questions separately so we can draw parallels between their experiences and, you know, say a collective, "Ahhhhhhh!"

Delaney
My first memory of Brent is when we were meeting up for our first date at the Seacrest Marina Park in West Seattle. I saw him sitting on a bench in the parking lot looking at the water waiting for me and I was so excited to meet him and nervous! Unfortunately for me there were no parking spots anywhere so I had to circle around for ten minutes getting more and more nervous the whole time until I finally found a spot and practically ran back over to meet him, while trying to look calm and collected on the outside, for a good first impression!

Brent
She sent me a smile on eHarmony, and I thought she looked pretty cool, so I started messaging her.

Delaney
I had been casually using a few different dating apps trying to find a guy who was intelligent, outdoorsy, had a good sense of humor, and was always down for an adventure. Turns out it is a hard combination to find, but Brent is all of those things in spades! I came across his profile and while I wish I was bold enough to reach out to him first, I was not, so I liked his profile hoping that he would message me, and he did! The site we used had a bunch of different questions and things that you could send each other to gauge your compatibility and we sent every possible question to each other before we started chatting. It makes sense now since we are both very logical and analytical.

Brent
We eventually went on a date to walk along the waterfront path at Alki. Our first date had to be rescheduled multiple times because her grandfather was in the hospital, but fortunately he made a full recovery, and I didn't give up on her!

Delaney
When Brent and I first met he was working at Microsoft as a Software Engineer, and had been through internships and full time since he was in high school. I was kind of amazed that someone would know what they wanted to do from such a young age and would be determined enough to pull it off from high school to adulthood. Little did I know that he had also been dreaming of taking time off from work and developing his own app or game (he hadn’t decided which yet at the time). When he told me that he was quitting his job at Microsoft to take a chance and try to develop his own app, I have to admit I was a little wary at first. But, he had put so much time into planning it out and preparing for taking time off of work that he won me over quickly! I am so proud that he had the strength of character to be able to quit his job and know that he could make something incredible on his own. It’s really inspiring to be with someone who is so driven and creative! He has now realized part of the app and the rest is set to release in the next month or so and I am so excited for him!

Brent
I am super proud of how tenacious she has been in improving her health. Even when things weren't improving, she has kept digging and finding other steps to take. It is super exciting now that she is finally starting to see some results!

Delaney
I’m not sure I can pinpoint an exact day and time when I knew I loved Brent, but I remember a couple nights when Brent was over at my place after going out to dinner and we would be watching movies and chit-chatting and right before I fell asleep, (I always fall asleep first!) I could swear I would hear him whisper I love you quietly to himself. I would always think to myself I love you too, but I’ll be damned if I was going to be the first person to actually say it at a normal human decibel! Luckily for me Brent said it while fully awake only a few days later and I was more than ready to practically yell it back at him!

Brent
There wasn't a specific moment, more of a growing certainty. As a more introverted person, I often play out conversations in my head to make myself more comfortable with the real thing. When we first met, those internal monologues with Delaney used the language of 'like', as in 'I like you' or 'I would like to do this with you'. Eventually I started catching myself occasionally saying 'love' in my internal monologue, which I would reflexively correct to 'like'. But after a few months of dating, the internal monologue was getting quite insistent about 'love', and when I really thought about it, it was because it was true. Of course then I spent a couple more weeks agonizing over how best to tell Delaney I loved her, until I ended up just blurting it out one night.

Delaney

I think the biggest thing that sets our relationship apart from others I have been in is how amazingly caring Brent is. He is always doing anything and everything he can to make me feel loved and make my days easier. Oh, you need a glass of water? Let me get that for you. Oh, you aren’t feeling up to cooking? Let me make you dinner. Just little things like that every day, that show me how much he cares. He is always there to love and support me in anything that I do, regardless of how grumpy or under caffeinated I may be! For my part I have never felt as comfortable with someone as I do with Brent. I know that he doesn’t judge me, even when he probably should and that makes me feel very safe and like I can be my true self with him, which is extremely valuable to him. I don’t have to pick and choose from my interests and desires when I am around him, I can just be.

Brent

We complement each other very well. For example, we get stressed out by different things, so in any situation at least one of us is comfortable enough to comfort the other if need be. I've also always liked building things as a hobby, and she always has new home improvement project ideas for me :). Some of the things I've built so far are curtains that automatically open in the morning, a ladder, and couch end tables.

Delaney

Brent proposed to me on June 25th, 2017 at a cabin in Mazama, Washington. I figured out it was happening that weekend a couple weeks in advance, but I had no idea how or when he would do it, so I was still surprised! Brent and I normally take each other on surprise dates or surprise weekend trips, and for my birthday in May he gave me a surprise trip for that weekend in June. I was super excited, and I could tell he was as well. He was not willing to give me any hints as to where we were going, even when we got in the car! But I figured out it was a big weekend for him based on how excited and nervous he was leading up to it. He even told me that it was a good thing I was getting a manicure before I went with a girlfriend. A few days before we went he pulled out a card I had given him for our last anniversary and read it to me. I definitely knew then what he was up to! To his credit though, I had no idea he would propose to me over breakfast in bed of coffee, and ring shaped chocolate chip pancakes!

Brent

When I started pondering how I wanted to propose, we hadn't talked about marriage at all, though I was pretty confident as whenever we talked about the future there was always an implicit assumption that we would be together forever. Finally one weekend I resolved to go into a jewelry store on Monday and get the process started. It just so happened that when we woke up on Sunday morning, Delaney told me about a dream where we were getting married. But she didn't have anything blue, so she had to dye our cat! This was perfect timing, as it confirmed that we were on the same page about getting married, and gave me a perfect opening to ask about her stylistic preferences on the ring without giving too much away. I did let her know that I wanted to include sapphires on her ring, since we both liked blue so much, and that would guarantee we wouldn't have to dye our cat ;).

I ended up ordering a ring from a custom jeweler that week, and booking an AirBnB in the Methow Valley for a surprise weekend. All she knew beforehand was that we would be staying in a cabin with lots of readily available hiking opportunities. A couple weeks beforehand, I was cleaning my office and found an anniversary card she had gotten me. Rereading it made me super happy, as a wonderful reminder of how much we loved each other. This inspired me to also get a card as part of the proposal, so that we would have a physical memento with words to remind us of our love on that happy day.

The surprise weekend was planned to be Saturday through Monday. As the weekend approached, I knew I wanted to do the actual proposal on Sunday, but couldn't decide exactly how. One idea was to go on a hike with epicly beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, and thus proposing to my epicly beautiful girlfriend with an epicly beautiful backdrop. My other top idea was for me to cook a romantic meal for her, and work it into that. Going into the weekend, I still wasn't entirely sure which route I would take.

After all of Saturday's planned activities were finished, Delaney and I sat together to go through the hiking options I had compiled for Sunday. We quickly realized that the hike with the most epicly beautiful views was over an hour away on the state's most dangerous road, which suddenly made it a much less appealing option. We ended up deciding to hike up to Cutthroat lake, which did have some pretty cool views, but most of it was at least partially in the trees. When I told her I was going to make her chocolate chip pancakes in the morning she responded, "In bed!" This is when I decided that I would do the proposal as part of breakfast in bed. When I make pancakes for Delaney, I often try making fun shapes, and while they rarely look like what I intend, it adds a little fun to the morning. So I decided that I would make pancakes shaped like diamond rings, then have her try to guess what they were. Given my artistic skills (or lack thereof :)), I figured she would probably need a hint, which I would offer in the form of the actual ring and the proposal. So when morning came, I got up and started making breakfast. I made a point of bringing a couple things up at a time, and each time I told her something I loved about her. When I finally brought up the pancakes, she had no idea what they were supposed to be :). I eventually convinced her to take a hint, at which point I took the ring out of my pocket, got down on a knee next to the bed and proposed.

Delaney

The thing I love most about Brent is how genuine he is. He doesn’t feel like he needs to hide his feelings or to lie about anything. He is also very confident in himself and is not afraid to be seen as not holding to traditional masculine formalities. If he wants to watch a romantic movie, he will, if he wants to jokingly model a wedding dress I am trying on at home, he will! He is just confident in himself in a way that is really inspiring.

Brent

I love that she can both inspire me to continually improve our quality of life, and still be super silly sometimes.

Delaney

Brent’s best qualities in my opinion are his amazing smile (he is literally always smiling, even when he sleeps sometimes), his devotion to the things he cares about, his intelligence, his athleticism, and his easy excitement about little things throughout the day and also about any activities or adventures that I propose!

Brent

I love that she has high standards that she keeps both herself and me too. I love that she can be silly, organized, honest, and adventurous.

Delaney

I think the sexiest thing about Brent is how athletic he is! From biking, to running, to kayaking, to bouldering, and everything in between he is extremely gifted athletically and it is very attractive. He does a lot of triathlons and running races and I love being there to support him, but also you know to ogle him when he goes racing by!

Brent

The sexiest thing about Delaney is her rockin' body!

Delaney

One of my favorite traditions is our nightly dog walk! When I get home from work, or even if we both work from home, when we get done with work we take our lab border collie mix, Charlie, for a mile walk around our neighborhood. As soon as we hit the sidewalk Brent never fails to ask me how my day was and he genuinely wants the ten minute explanation of every detail, not just a simple it was fine answer. We spend the first part of the walk talking about our days and then we generally start chatting about something we found that was interesting or some other plans we have that week. It is just a really nice time for the two of us to connect and see how we both our feeling about things in our lives.

Brent

I love our surprise date tradition! Every once in a while one of us will fully plan a romantic date night or weekend getaway. It is fun both getting to pamper Delaney and getting pampered by her! For our first one I got Delaney flowers, then we went out to a fancy restaurant and did the chef's tasting menu, then walked to Hot Cakes for dessert. One weekend Delaney took me out to a cute little AirBnB on San Juan island. And then of course there was the extra surprising weekend where I ended up proposing.



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