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In true Seattle form; they met at a coffee shop, and the rest is history! (Image: Alexandra Celia)

Documenting Love: Jennie & Jessie'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. Here's the story of Jennie and Jessie, as told to Alexandra about each other.

Jesse
We met in my coffee shop. I noticed her from the moment she walked in. Jennie has a very elegant and confident walk; not arrogant or superior, just grace and elegance. I had seen thousands of people walk through that door before - but nobody walked into a room quite like Jennie. She was breathtaking, absolutely beautiful. She was carrying an instrument case, I thought she played for the local symphony. It looked like a violin case, turns out it was a ukulele, that was later stolen but in any case, that’s when I first laid eyes on my Jennie.

Jennie
It was the spring of 2015. I was meeting a good friend for a coffee date. It was really busy and he caught my eye from behind the counter. There was immediate electricity the moment we made eye contact, and I couldn’t get him out of my head. Needless to say my friend and I made it a weekly routine to drink coffee at Coeur. I mostly gazed at him (as discreetly) as possible, and tried to keep my composure every time we made eye contact and smiled at each other. It wasn’t until six months later when I found him on social media (Instagram first, Facebook second) and wrote this really long awkward message to him on Facebook reassuring him I wasn’t a stalker, and asked him out. Unbeknownst to me, he found me on Instagram that same night and wrote me a message asking me out. A day later we met up for a beer, and talked for 4 hours. Later that week he took me on an old-fashioned dinner date. It was raining and we drove with the windows down. I remember we laughed. A lot. We shared peaceful silences, and he told me a story about his grandfather. We played pool above the coffee shop where he worked after dinner and we found this vintage telescope that had some slides and we looked at those for a while and laughed some more. It was an adventure. It honestly felt like we were old friends coming together for the first time in years. Everything felt so natural.

Jesse
Hands down, Jennie is the most compassionate human being I’ve ever met and I knew I really cared for her one day during a long and emotionally gut wrenching DTR (define the relationship talk.) We had been "casually" seeing each other for about a month or so, spending more and more time with each other. I had some past relational experiences I had kind of brushed aside that I was thinking I needed to confront before I could make a rational choice about Jennie. So I went home, made dinner, turned my phone on airplane mode and started watching the World Series (Kansas City v. the Mets in 2015 - great series btw) and tried to relax. Then it hit me - why the hell am I letting my past experiences dictate what I'm presently doing?? I want Jennie and nothing that I went through before is gonna stop me. So that was that. I texted her the next morning. we got together that evening and I asked her to be my girlfriend.

Jennie
I am proud of his loyalty. To himself, to me and our relationship, to his friends and family. It’s boundless. I’m in awe of his honesty and authenticity when it comes to being an artist. Whether it’s the drums or his writing, or playing the guitar.

Jesse
Jennie loves me. She loves me despite all my bullsh*t and baggage.

Jennie
I wanted to be with Jesse pretty early on when we began seeing each other, but I knew that I needed to give it time and to enjoy just casually dating and getting to know each other. I tried hard to not put a lot of idealistic expectations on it or get ahead of myself. I did my best to just let it happen. To let it grow. There were a lot of moments that showed me why I wanted to be with him. And those moments still happen every day where I am reminded of why I want to be with him, and how giddy I get when that hits me.

Jesse
Jennie is a total babe. She probably caught me staring creepily at her a few times when she would come in to my shop. Apart from that, I find her walk, her elegance, her vocabulary attractive (she's the most well-read person I think I’ve ever met.)

Jennie
What sets our relationship apart from others I’ve had in the past is the way we give our love to each other. The ability to be vulnerable and raw in a way I never could before, because I never felt truly safe.

Jesse
We like to send each other goofy pictures or videos during the day. Anytime Jennie randomly contacts me to tell me she loves me, as much as I try to hide my reaction, I swoon.

Jennie
I love the way he makes eye contact when he listens and talks with others and myself. Jesse genuinely listens. He waits to talk. He thinks about what other people say, and takes his time with his responses. I love his sense of humor - it's extremely attractive. I don’t think I’ve met anyone as fast as Jesse when it comes to puns. I enjoy the warmth in his eyes and smile. Physically I am crazy about every inch of him. His voice. His walk. His skin, his hands, his beard. I could nuzzle that beard for days. It’s magical and it makes me wild. He also has a style that is very much his own. I actually raid his closet frequently.

Jesse
We find shared meaning anytime we have an in-depth conversation where one of us can be completely vulnerable and knows the other is listening - that's pretty dang special to me. Also, when we shed our protective layers that we put on when we have to individually face our respective days, and just simply be who we are around one another - it doesn't really matter what we're doing or where we are. It's where I'm supposed to be, and that means the world to me.

Jennie
We both make sure that no matter what are we going through (whether it’s something to do with our relationship or something we are individually going through) that we let ourselves go through the ebb and flow of emotions, and that we reach a calm point. Shedding the noise, and listening to each other. Asking ourselves what kind of love and support can we give to each other in those moments. I’m excited to see how that grows and changes over the years. We’ve been together just under two years. A lot can happen in a lifetime, and I’m so grateful to have my best friend by my side through it all.

Jesse
As an ex-barista, being able to be on the other side of the counter and share an espresso with my Jennie, I love that. But we also love meeting up at restaurants or bars after work. It kinda feels like we're going out on our first couple dates again. In particular, there's this great little Mexican Cantina/bar called El Que here in town that we love meeting at, taking too many tequila shots and eating too many tacos.

Jennie
We find shared meaning through conversations about all kinds of things, and our arguments. We talk frequently about the kind of relationship we are building and life we want to build together. We talk a lot about how important it is to stay connected, especially when we disagree. Jesse and I both admit to a tendency of being defensive, and that’s something we work on daily in relationship by staying open and engaged.

Jesse
When we encounter difficult situations together, we tend to focus on trying to calm the other person down first. Once we bring each other back down to reality, we try to sort through what is going on and separate what is truth and what isn't. Then go from there.

Jennie
We love to drink coffee together. One of my favorite things to wake up to in the morning is the sound of Jess in the kitchen making grounds or the clinking of coffee mugs on the counter. I also like reading to him while he rests his head on my lap. Whether it’s poetry or a book. We like to take drives, meet up at our favorite local Mexican cantina for some tacos and tequila. Road trips are high on the list. We’ve had some of the greatest and meaningful conversations on the road that have brought us closer together. We dig being out in nature with one another. Especially if animals are involved. I think he’s gotten used to my incessant need to try and communicate with every animal I see. I’ve never met anyone quite like Jesse. My love for him is wild and as cliche as it sounds, moves me to tears. Some days I just look at him and my soul feels like it’s bursting. He is a good man. And I am so grateful to have his love.

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