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(Image: Alexandra Celia / Seattle Refined).
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Documenting Love: Jennae & WoongHee'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 Jennae & WoongHee - living and loving life as an engaged couple in Seattle.

Jennae
When I stop and think about it- it's crazy that WoongHee and I ever met. We are from different continents, different cultures, grew up speaking different languages, somehow ended up at tiny Portland Bible College, got assigned to clean bathrooms together in custodial, became friends and clicked. For a year we became better friends and would find ourselves hanging out in the same circle. It was the summer of 2014 that everything changed. I came back from my trip to Thailand and the campus was empty. WoongHee and I randomly ran into each other and sat there and talked for three hours. After that, we found any excuse to be around each other. I loved everything about being around him. We never ran out of things to talk about and WoongHee has a way of making the most mundane errands hilarious and a memory. We started dating after being best friends for six months and here we are now - still best friends!

WoongHee
Jennae and I met in college. I came to the U.S. to study five years ago. The school was very small so everyone knew each other. I don’t really remember my very first impression of Jennae but I thought she was cute and I knew she has a completely different personality than mine. I am very much an introvert and she is an extreme extrovert. We had a few friends in common and started hanging out with each other. We loved going long boarding. I’d say we became really close friends very fast after hanging out few times. I quickly started to love being around her and talking to her.

Jennae
I hate trying to put into words how WoongHee makes me so proud because it feels impossible. I've written multiple different paragraphs and erased them because it doesn't fully capture how I feel. There's two things that WoongHee does that really stick out to me and challenge me to be a better human. First, WoongHee works so hard. He's the person on your team at work or school who stays up late, putting on those finishing details and making everything flow smooth. You'll never hear him fish for compliments because he's not doing it for the recognition. Second, he's the most thoughtful person. He's always considering the other person's point of view and to see things from their side. He accepts people. He's so open to others and choosing to learn and grow from others and what they have to share. He never thinks he's above someone else. Proud wife, right here.

WoongHee
She is the kindest person I have ever known. She has the warmest heart toward other people and knows how to share her positive influence. Often times, I am not like her. I can be very skeptical towards other people and greedy in a way. I am still learning from her everyday. Jennae is a hard worker who excels in her job and everyone who works with her loves her. She always gets her stuff done and is willing to step up her game. She has high integrity and people can always count on her.

Jennae
Before we were dating, we would go to Target all the time. We had no money and no agenda, but we just wanted to be together. I remember one time WoongHee was telling me about how in Korea he had to serve two years in the military. He proceeded to grab one of those Christmas wrapping paper rolls and army crawled on the floor of Target showing me his shooting drill routine. I was dying of laughter. I remembered feeling overwhelmed by how happy I was to be with him in that moment. Which of course led to me realizing how I couldn't imagine my life without him. This is probably one of the more weird ways someone realizes their feelings for another person, but for us it makes complete sense. WoongHee is so open and shows me all his weird/goofiness, which makes me feel like I can show mine.

WoongHee
I don’t remember exactly when I knew I loved her. I started caring for her before we started dating. We knew we liked each other but since I was an international student, we were being more careful in regards to starting a relationship. When I got to the point that I could picture our future together, I really wanted to spend more time with her and get to know her more and more. I knew I wanted to marry her the moment we started dating. It wasn’t because of an incident or a dramatic story. I just fell in love with her and knew I could be always be myself around her.

Jennae
It’s so cliche to say, but so true. WoongHee just gets me. He takes time to figure me out, he's patient, he's honest about what he's thinking and feeling. I never had to guess how he felt about me. I hear stories from girls about how the guy "ghosts" them or keep taking them out on coffee dates (is that or is that not a date - we'll never know!). But that was not how WoongHee was, when he knew he had feelings for me, he shared them. It made me so confident in our relationship and trust him that much more.

WoongHee
We talk and talk and talk. We try to be honest with each other and even for ourselves. Not being afraid of being vulnerable is very important for us too. When we put ourselves out there, we always understand each other’s feeling and thought process.

Jennae
Clearly, my husband is very attractive, and when he plays basketball, oooh Lord, God knew exactly what He was doing. What got me from the start with him though was how funny he is. You wouldn't necessarily know it either because he is quiet and won't call attention to himself but truly, I know no one as funny as him. It's a funny that borders on annoying at times (love you, babe!). We sat in traffic for an hour and a half one time and I had to beg him to stop rapping. Rapping about the cars, street signs, speed limits- really great content like that. After 45 minutes, I wanted to murder him, but I was still madly in love with him laughing at him. If you're married, you get it. I hope..

WoongHee
She makes me a better person. She is also very pretty. I mean appearance doesn’t really matter once you get to know people but it certainly matters when you start seeing somebody for the first time. She is very funny and I love laughing with her. And she thinks I'm funny. People don’t find me very funny even though I think I am very funny. So it works perfectly.

Jennae
When we face things that are bigger than us, we pray. There have been big decisions and trials we've had to walk through and it was our faith that got us through. And not just surviving, but we truly have joy even in the midst of difficult seasons. That's #1 for us. We also have been good about going to a coffee shop and making a game plan of what we need to get done in order to successfully move through a hard time. Whether it's moving or a stressful time with school/work. I am the freak out but use that insane energy to game plan type of person, and WoongHee is the level-headed, it's going to be okay, let's just breathe type of person. We balance each other out in that way.

WoongHee
She is a great writer. I am a terrible writer and an international student who is attending an MBA program. She reads my papers and revises it. Some people think it's cheating but I don’t. Sue me. She is also a great cook. I hate cooking. I hate standing in the kitchen, waiting for food to get ready. I don’t have energy for it. Her dinner is what makes me survive because she makes a lot so that I have leftovers and can eat the next day too.

Jennae
We love to dream together. WoongHee is never at a loss for dreams - business ideas, names for our future kids, and places to live. We are always thinking of ways to be together doing what we love while loving others in the process. That’s the deeper side of things. On the lighter side, taking our fur-baby on walks through the neighborhood is huge for us. I know I will look back on this season of life and distinctly remember these walks. For us, it’s where we can catch up, laugh about the mayhem of the day, and be honest with what we are feeling, or just be quiet and enjoy each other (and Kimchi, of course).

WoongHee
We like to talk about the future. We know it won’t happen exactly how we plan but it is just so fun to talk about our future together and especially thinking about kids. We have lined up our kids names already - though we need to re-think some because I disagree with some names. Having somebody who will always be in my future picture is very exciting and a blessing.We love hiking and going somewhere too. We take many pictures together and bring our dog who has crazy energy. We also went to Thailand, Mexico, and Korea in the past couple of years. We had so much fun with our friends and family over there. I didn’t know traveling could be that fun with someone until I met her.

Jennae
One of my favorite rituals we have is "Treat Yourself Friday". Since we've been married, WoongHee has been a student and I have worked in high schools so weekends are our time. Every Friday morning, we wake up a bit earlier and go to a coffee shop together. Most of the time we are too sleepy to talk but at least we are starting the day and the weekend together.

We also have a Great Dane named Kimchi who doesn't understand the concept of personal space. We bought a baby gate to keep her from chewing the furniture (didn't work) but also to not get tackled when we walk through the door. So everyday when I come home, Kimchi is at the top of the stairs waiting for me. She doesn't just wag her tail, she wags her entire body. But right behind Kimchi shaking her whole body, is WoongHee pretending to wag his tail and go crazy like her. The closer I get to the gate, the more Kimchi whines and jumps, and WoongHee will jump up and down and put his arms out. Oh man, it's just the best part of my day. Just thinking about it makes me smile. It's little things like that that just melt any stress or annoyance away from the day, and remind me that I'm so blessed and loved.

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