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(Image courtesy of Katie Bee Photography)

Documenting Love: Emily & Alex'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!" If you or someone you know wants to be featured in this series, please get in touch with us, hello@seattlerefined.com.

Emily
[I first met Matt] when I had been cast in a play, and they asked me to come read with a few boys they were considering for the other roles. They had two boys read for my brother; Alex was better at the audition and better looking. They asked me after who I preferred and in my head I was screaming, "cast the hot one!"

Alex
My first memory of Emily is actually a little bit later, as the audition for The Foreigner was a bit of a nervous blur. My first memory of the first rehearsal we did for the show was at our friend Heidi’s apartment complex. I remember being impressed and entertained by Emily’s first reading and thinking that this show, with this group of people, was going to be a lot of fun. While I played her mentally handicapped younger brother, that did not stop us from developing a romance over the course of the show.

Emily
He is the most well-adjusted person I know! He always perseveres, never lets anything bother him for long, and can be happy in almost any situation. He is so good at letting the little things go, and working hard and making it look effortless. I hope to be more like him!

Alex
I am so proud of how hard Emily works, not only to get to the point where she now has her own kindergarten classroom, but also to maintain and grow her friendships.

Emily
The first time I realized I loved Alex - I was freaking out about something one night as we lay in bed. I was crying and venting and I'm sure it felt like the end of the world. He just held me and stroked my back and suggested I go to sleep and I would feel better in the morning. Now if he said that he would probably get an earful! But then, it was such a new relationship and it really touched me that he understood me and what I needed so well. Either that, or the time I was singing a song and he commented on how I usually sang that in the morning and he thought it was strange I was singing it in the afternoon. I had no idea I was doing that, and he had been paying attention to little details of our time together. It really meant a lot!

Alex
The first time I realized I loved Emily was when we first went to our first drive in movie at the Blue Fox drive in. It was May and we went to go see "Home and Avengers: Age of Ultron". We had procured a huge assortment of snacks and an enormous souvenir jug of soda. We settled into the back of the car and waited for the movies to start. While we were waiting we did the “20 Questions to Make Someone Fall in Love with You” game and while I won’t attribute my feeling of love to that quiz, it was the feeling of peace, happiness, and connection that I had with Emily in that moment that made me realize I truly loved her.

Emily
Brutal, brutal honesty is what sets our relationship apart. There is nothing we keep from each other, even if it's uncomfortable or gross. I can be 100 percent myself with Alex, even if it's not the best version of myself that day. We're also not in some fantasy world about our relationship; we don't think we're soul mates, we think we chose each other and will continue to do so every day. Our love wasn't "meant to happen" - we're going to make it happen and recommit to each other each morning.

Alex
I will have to agree with Emily here. We are so open and comfortable with each other and we know that the quality of our relationship is dependent upon the effort we put into it.

Emily
Before we left on a trip to New York, I excitedly texted a few friends, "Alex told me to dress fancy for when we see The Rockettes and then asked if the tree in Rockefeller center would be up yet. I think he might propose!" I didn't really think he would, so I was texting just to have people tell me I was being dumb. Our first day in New York, we were on our way to the show when I suddenly remembered my suspicion. In order to stop myself from being nervous all day, I started grabbing his pockets to assure myself there was no ring and I could calm down. I grabbed three/four times and on the last one, he stepped back, telling me to stop. I couldn't tell if I had been annoying or if he was hiding something, but my heart flipped and I texted my sister "HE FREAKED OUT WHEN I REACHED FOR HIS POCKET AHHHH!!!" We watched the show and walked back to the hotel to take a nap before going out to dinner. I texted my sister "Nevermind, we're done with the Christmas stuff so I don't think it's going to happen." I fessed up to Alex as to why I was grabbing his pockets. He laughed and kissed me, saying sorry to get my hopes up. We got up to go to dinner and I looked at myself in the mirror, teasing Alex, "You really should have proposed to me today, I look super cute." He agreed and then suggested we return to the 33rd floor rooftop lounge of our hotel to take pictures. I said we shouldn't because it would be too dark to see anything, but he insisted. He put on Christmas Pandora in his pocket and took us upstairs. We were alone on the rooftop, and he told me to look off into the distance. I did, enjoying the view as the wind swept my hair all over my face and feeling self-conscious. He stepped to the side, taking pictures, then said, "Okay, now look at me." I turned to see him on one knee and was about to say you should never take pictures of a lady from that angle, but instead I squealed his name and started laughing/crying hysterically as I noticed the ring box in his hand. I laughed like a hyena as my wonderful soon-to-be-not-boyfriend told me I was too smart and curious for my own good, how happy I make him and how much I make him laugh, and then asked me to marry him. I managed to form my laughter into the words, "Of course!" And then continued to laugh/sob as he slipped the ring on my finger.

Alex
So here we are in New York on a spur-of-moment trip. Emily knew that I was paying for an engagement ring, but what she didn’t know was that I had saved up enough to finish paying for it and had picked it up right before my flight. What people don’t often talk about, is that it is actually very difficult to hide, and carry around a ring box on your person. It was getting quite cold in New York when we went and so having on a bulky peacoat with multiple pockets was justified. Even so, I had a heart-stopping moment in the mall under Rockefeller Center when Emily gave me a quick, suspicious look and started patting down my pockets! As luck would have it, she stopped before the very last pocket, the one that had the ring in it, after I asked her what she was doing. I had a bunch of ideas for where I could propose to her: at the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Plaza (but it wasn’t up yet!), in the middle of Times Square, by Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, etc. As we went to around to these places, it seemed like the time/mood just wasn’t right. Coming back to the hotel, after seeing the Rockettes’ Christmas show, Emily was still feeling the Christmas spirit (in November) and looked absolutely beautiful in her sweater dress and red coat. Then, remembering the great view the the 33rd floor lounge balcony, I decided that it would be even better at night and that this was the right time. So, under the guise of taking some nighttime photos of Emily, I started placing some Christmas music on my phone and we headed up from our room to the balcony. My heart was pounding, but I kept calm and asked for Emily to look off into the distance while I used her phone to take some photos. Then while she was looking away, I kneeled down and pulled the ring box out of my pocket. Then I said “Okay, now look back at me” as though giving her a direction for another pose. Her expression of confusion at my odd photography position turned immediately to surprise and joy as her eye caught the ring in my hand. I told her that she was too smart for her own good and about all the happiness she has brought to my life since I have known her, and then I asked her to marry me. Then she said, “yes!”

Emily
He is so understanding and generous with me, emotionally. I really feel safe just feeling my feelings with him. If I'm overwhelmed, he'll offer to help. He'll go out of his way to do things for me, and never make a big deal about it or make me feel bad for asking. I really believe he would do anything for me, and I appreciate it so much.

Alex
What I love most about Emily is that she will stop at nothing to do good things for the people she cares about.

Emily
I love that Alex is funny, goofy, adventurous, ambitious, snuggly, ridiculous, brainy. I love his eyes and his hair (when it's floppy - down with gel!) and his smile and the faces he makes when I'm trying to wake him up and he really doesn't want to get up.

Alex
She has the greatest variety of facial expression of anyone I have ever met, and always cracks me up with them. She is also gives me the best hugs and snuggles, perfect for cheering me up after a hard day.

Emily
Super stereotypical, but I love the way he talks to our cat and our goddaughter. He is goofy and fawns all over them and then looks up at me with a smirk and asks how my ovaries are doing. I find this simultaneously enraging and sexy. It’s like, don’t tempt me dude, I will have your babies right here and now.

Alex
I think that the sexiest thing Emily does is when she surprises me like on our trips to Leavenworth with lingerie and a romantic suite in a B&B ;)

Emily
Every night we fill out a couples journal. Some nights the prompts are stupid, but some nights they spark good conversations and thoughts. It's usually the very last thing we do before we turn off the lights, and I love the giggles and stupid jokes that come out of it.

Alex
Definitely the couples’ journal, and watching our favorite youtube shows together. Good Mythical Morning :)

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