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

Kimmy
I'm like a little kid who loves to hear their parents tell the same bedtime story a million times over whenever I beg Taylor to tell me again the story of how we met. I can't help it. We met at my cousins wedding rehearsal dinner in Montana when I was visiting from college in Texas and I swear I can feel the details of it like yesterday but I know the years are gaining on my memory.

I still replay the moment I first sat down across from him at the table over in my head, I had an excessive amount of chicken fingers on my plate and he asked my name and I shook his hand (apparently I offered it out like the queen) and I can still see his face in that moment. It was a Thursday in August and I get goosebumps thinking back to that very second because it changed my life and that's so cliche but it's so true. My dad teases he knew Taylor was the one for me before I did, but looking back I knew too.

That moment when I sat down by him was the first time I saw Taylor but I love his version because he'd apparently already seen me walk in and I still blush over the way he tells it even all these years later. I spent the rest of the night playing a hilariously embarrassing game of hard to get, mortifying myself singing karaoke with my cousins and also pretending not to notice him but he was the only one there I could think about.

The real memory was the next day where he asked me twice to dance in front of my parents at the wedding. I initially told him I didn't dance but then there we were, I said yes - and we spent the rest of the evening dancing and talking and laughing about the book I was reading. He taught me to line dance and then kissed me outside the reception hall and held my hand and I'll never forget that feeling as long as I live. After the wedding ended, I went home to my uncles and he called me. I walked barefoot down the street to find a street sign and address of where I was so he could pick me up and we talked at his house until the sun came up. It was beautiful and innocent and pure conversation and I was absolutely in love with him.

I had less than 24 more hours left in Montana and he asked me if he could take me on a date the next day.

He picked me up, took me out for sushi, stopped at the fair to ride the ferris wheel and we ended our last few hours together at a drive in movie on that Sunday night. I said goodbye to him in the car and I can still taste that feeling, I can feel it down to my core that I had found everything in him. I had known him less than 72 hours and it hurt to say goodbye. Three hours later I got on a plane back to Texas at 5 a.m. and less than a week later my flight back to him was booked. We've been together every day since.

Taylor
I met Kimmy at her cousin's wedding rehearsal in Billings, MT. I truly believe me being the best man in this wedding made it destiny for me to meet Kimmy. I was asked to be the best man for a guy that I had just met a few months earlier in college, knew no one at this wedding and debated how early I could leave without being considered rude. Then, she walked in. Kimmy sat next to me with a mound of food on her plate and looked at me, and with her hand out like the Queen of England said “Hello.” Long story short, I went up to the groom and his bride to tell them that I had "dibsed" her.

The night was winding down and I went to my car to head home when Kimmy jumped in my backseat with all my important work papers for a conference the next day and threw them into the air. The next night was the wedding in which I was the one chasing after her. I went to her family's table and talked to her parents just so I could have an excuse to to ask her to dance. We spent the whole rest of the wedding line dancing and talking and I was thinking of anyway to get to spend more time with her. To sum up our first date we went out for sushi at our now favorite sushi restaurant, I know now she was nervous because Kimmy loves sushi but that night she drank about two gallons of water and only ate one piece of sushi. We later went to the state fair where we took our first ferris wheel ride together, and at the top of ride we took a selfie that would be my screensaver for the next year to come. As soon as I dropped her off I knew with was going to be my last first date.

This is where I knew that I had a future with her, only problem was that she lived in Texas and I lived in Montana. But the distance didn’t bother me and I knew she was the one even then. Over the next few days she still played hard to get, and it drove me to pursuing her even more.

Kimmy
It's not hard to talk about how proud I am of Taylor for being a wonderful husband, a loving father, a hard working practitioner - because those are all things he truly is and all things I am full of pride for. But I am most proud of him for who he is when nobody is watching. I don't know if he knows that.

He's the kind of man that stays quietly thoughtful in situations. I'd be quick to react harshly but his humble heart is deeply patient and calm. I'm proud, of course, of all of his success and drive in his career, it's in his blood and bones to help people - but I am most proud that somehow he does it all without any expectation in return and yet still, always puts me and our family first.

Taylor
I am the most proud of Kimmy for the way she has raised our three year old daughter and how I know she will raise our baby boy. She has made Sawyer the most amazing little person. Kimmy has always been by my side and has always put my feelings before hers, she is selfless and loving and my best friend. She is so giving and for that I am proud of her for the person she is.

Kimmy
I've just loved Taylor for so long it's hard to remember when I really first knew. I feel like I've loved him my whole life because that's what he's become, my whole life. I'm sure I could think of a million moments when it was vividly clear that he was it, but somehow all those small moments just kind of add up over all the years and I realize that I've always known all along - from the very beginning, it was him.

Taylor
I knew I first cared for Kimmy when I would skip going out on the town and stay home and spend hours Skyping her and talking about the future we were going to have. We would play a game we made up called "what if" where we talked about every hypothetical situation you could ever think of. I knew I wanted to be with her forever after the first weekend we spent together. I can remember every minute of that weekend. I couldn't get her out of my mind after she left. I would think about her constantly; think about when I was going to see her next, what I could text her just to start a conversation. I knew that she meant the world to me when I would be running around my housing cleaning and throwing shoes into closets to just to impress her with a clean house.

Kimmy
Taylor is so easy to love. I'm kind of a pain I think, but somehow he still loves me better. There is a simplicity in his love for me, no questions or games in his sincerity. Maybe that's it, even when he doesn't find a way to say it, he finds a way to make sure I feel it. And I always know it. His love is the most constant, safe, assuring, comforting kind of love I've ever known.

Taylor
Kimmy has always been different to me. She makes me want to be a better person. She's the first and only girl I ever said I love you too. From the very beginning I think it was the fact she played hard to get. There I was for the first time, being the guy who wanted to talk about things like our relationship status and wanted to make it “Facebook Official.” Yep, I wanted everyone to know. I wanted to talk about our next steps and life together. I saw a future with her and I wanted it all. I was the “little giddy school boy" thinking about her.

Kimmy
I could write a novel on the things I find attractive about him. It's too easy, I mean he's a smoke show. But it's everything. It's his 5 o'clock shadow and his kindness to a rude cashier, it's the way his arms fit in the sleeves of my favorite button up work shirt or the way he sings to Sawyer while she brushes her teeth at night. I still catch myself staring at him, even on an ordinary day, the way he makes my coffee, the way he carries our babies, he'll always attract me.

Taylor
It is hard to narrow down the things that attract me to Kimmy. My biggest attraction is the way she makes me feel complete and at ease. Also her amazingly huge and caring heart. The love I have for her is the only attraction a person needs. I can't not mention her rocking body and beautiful looks.

Kimmy
Here's the simplest way I can explain the hard stuff. We carry it together. His burdens are mine, and mine are his. The stress and the heavy and the scary, we both carry it, we're always in the same boat paddling the waves together. I’m not going to say sometimes it isn't really hard, but we're always learning and never keeping score. There's a comfort and a trust that even in the silent hard stuff we'll always carry each other. I couldn't live without him.

Taylor
Kimmy and I have learned to handle difficult situations better over the years. We always discuss everything and never leave things unsolved even when it's hard. We always work it out and decide together what would benefit our family in the long run. We look at a situation as a team. We have experienced difficult situations but it has helped us grow together and made us stronger.

Kimmy
Taylor is truly the ease that brings me comfort at the end of long days. There is a weight lifted off my shoulder when my phone rings in the evening and it's him on his way home to me. Its my favorite part of the day just to stay on the phone until he walks in the door. I never get sick of talking to him, he's my best friend. Maybe silly, or simple rather, but it's the kiss he leaves me with in the morning that lingers all day.

Taylor
Kimmy does so many things throughout the day to make my life easier. She is the reason I got through graduate school and my days in residency. In school I never worried about the errands or the house or meals or our baby, I just had to focus on school. She is the reason I can go to work everyday and not worry or stress about home life. She does more than I can ever explain in making my day easier and stress free.

Kimmy
I think for every couple it's an ebb and flow as of life's phases as they change and time passes. For us, I think my favorite thing is the way we've always found a way to love the same things even though the things we once found enjoyment in have changed. When Taylor and I were first dating and married we spent a lot of time going to the gym together and trying new things like hot yoga or cooking class. It seemed like life was one giant adventure and I guess looking back it all is in some way, just the adventure changes. Before we had Sawyer, whale shark diving off the Coast of a Mexican island didn't scare us one bit. Or cave diving and backpacking up a mountain and pitching a tent by the lake. Life may have looked on the outside more adventurous then I suppose, and we definitely ate out a lot more and had a lot more time to try out new breweries but I love our life as parents even more. Our children are our adventure now, Paw Patrol Live and the zoo and the joy on Sawyer's face at Disney on Ice give us more of a purpose than we ever knew before. Being a parent with him is one of my greatest joys, it wouldn't be the same without him. Time is just so bittersweet, but in everything we do he really is my best friend.

Taylor
We've always shared a lot of activities in our relationship together but I love that over the years we've always stayed on the same page in what we enjoy together. Sometimes we just prefer to be hermit crabs and stay home. It sounds cheesy but we just love one another’s company and can entertain ourselves.

Kimmy
The three of us have traveled more places and miles than I could ever write about. We've logged thousands of cross country road trips both with Sawyer and so many before her. We've moved literally from coast to coast. But I love our Saturdays spent playing sidewalk chalk with Sawyer, grilling dinner and wandering the aisles of Target with Starbucks together as much as I love our spontaneous beach trips and cabin getaways or planned Mexico vacations.

Taylor
Kimmy and I have so many rituals together but one thing that really stands out in my mind are our the many road trips we have taken together. We have lived in three states in just the last six years, moved from Seattle to South Carolina together and just have so much fun together in the car. We do lip sync videos while traveling the country and are always showing one another songs we have discovered and love. And every night we always go lay in bed at the same time.

Kimmy
Taylor makes my life come to life, I've always said it. We've still got so much ahead of us but I love these days. They're simple and exhausting and I'll never get enough of them with him by my side. I've always said, even a hundred lifetimes with him wouldn't be enough and it becomes more true with each passing year together. He's my best friend. I loved the days when the closet door fell off it's hinge once a week and we only had one baby to raise in our tiny dated apartment while we made it through him being in grad school. Now I love these days that seem to take so much from us with a house that now has never ending projects and his long residency hours and another baby on the way. Life with him is more than I could have ever dreamed up.

I'm so lucky to love him through them. Longer and longer I love him, we must have done something right.

Taylor
I will just end this with a quote I've always used since Kimmy gave me her phone number “When you know you know...." and I knew she was the one. I love her more than she will ever know.

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