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(Image: Karen Kirsch Photography).

Documenting Love: Lara & Ben'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.

Lara
Ben is a rock star dancer- his moves draw you, and everyone around you to the dance floor. My first memory of Ben is at Rumors, a bar in Bellingham - he was with his group of pals showin' off those smooth moves, not having a care in the world and I was with my ladies thinking - "he looks SO fun!"

Ben
My first memory of Lara is her dancing the night away to '80s music surrounded by all her girlfriends. It seemed impossible to get her on her own to actually talk to her without having to feel embarrassed that all her friends would overhear my awkwardness.

Lara
Subsequently, we met at Rumors! Eventually our groups combined during the song "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany. Ben's group of buddies has a semi choreographed dance to this song that they tried to include as many people as possible when it came on! We joined the dance, and for several nights of dancing after that, our groups would find each other. Ben and I introduced ourselves mid dance, and that is where his nickname "IsFun" was born!

Ben
We met at Rumor Cabaret in Bellingham. They had an '80s night once a week that my friends and I would frequent. It took a couple of weeks for me to gain the courage to actually have a conversation with her, but I remember hoping each week that she would be there.

Lara
Ben is driven. He is incredibly intelligent, and seeks to use these qualities for good. I am so proud of him for making his life here in Seattle one that he truly loves. Coming from Bellingham was a hard transition for me, but Ben has a way of making the most of every situation and creating a positive experience, and that is exactly what he has done to make a beautiful life in a new big city.

Ben
Lara has this incredible ability to stay on track toward any goal she wants to achieve. She has a way of breaking down large tasks into smaller tasks to make big things seem like no problem. Then she actually sticks to her plans to accomplish big goals.I have always been one to put things off until I have to complete something, at which time I try to tackle it all at once, but she is teaching me that there is an easier way.

Lara
Ben moved to Seattle a little less than a year after we started dating. I was nervous about the move because I didn't really knowing where we stood. But after talking about it, we decided to try the long distance gig. The giddiness I felt driving down for the first time to visit Ben after he moved, missing all of his fun facts, missing his laugh, craving his embrace, made me realize I was completely in love with him.

Ben
When I was working in Bellingham, I had to go to Olympia to work on a project down there. By the end of the first week of not seeing her I knew I loved her.

Lara
We try not to take life too seriously. When shit gets us down, yes, we talk about it, but we also laugh about the ridiculousness of the roller coaster of life!

Ben
We are incredibly punctual. We both agree that being early or late to something is either wasting our time or someone else's time, so we prioritize punctuality.

Lara
Oh boy - settle in... The week before the proposal, I had had a very hard couple of weeks at work, and was telling Ben I was so excited to just take a deep breath that weekend! So we woke up on solstice with lots of plans of celebration.... And I was sick. It literally hurt to take a deep breath. GAH the irony! Ben and I had already planned to camp the following weekend, and to make me feel better and give me something to look forward to. He told me he had rented a cabin instead of just a camp site for our camping trip! It worked - I was psyched. The following week, I was feeling much better, and we were Glacier bound, ready for a fun filled weekend of hiking adventures. On the way up we hit traffic (per usual) and to prevent cranky Lara from coming out, I turned on some music to jam out to.... It happened to be essentially a wedding playlist by accident. So that sparked conversation about what should be played and shouldn't be played at weddings. (Ben said he thought I knew at this point - I was clueless). We got to our cabin and it was AMAZING! It was complete with a hot tub! As we soaked we again, ended up talking about all the fun weddings we had been to - again, Ben thought I was on to him. I was STILL very clueless. The next day we woke up and headed out for our hike. Unbeknownst to me, Ben had already chosen a hike very purposefully, but I just went along hoping to see some beautiful views! Ben woke up with the same weird sickness I had had the week before so I was worried about him hiking. He still insisted we go. As we rounded this corner, there was a big open field still covered in snow in late June. It was gorgeous! We hiked up a bit to see a stunning view of Baker shimmering in the sunlight. I was trying to make Ben take selfies with me and the mountain, and Ben just pulled me into a big hug. He was shaking so I was immediately worried about him being so sick. He wasn't shaking because he was sick...He told me he loved me, then got down on one knee and asked if I would adventure forever with him - now I was shaking with happiness! No one was around, it was just the two of us to take in this big moment. It was perfect.

Ben
She knew. She totally knew. Or at least that's what I thought. We were heading up to the Mount Baker area to stay in a cabin and on the drive up she played a "songs to dance to at weddings" playlist and we spent that first night talking about weddings we had been to and weddings that were coming up that summer. We were going to hike to a wildflower meadow halfway up a mountain in the area, but of course it was the end of June and the meadow was still covered in snow. When we got there I thought "this isn't really ideal," but we turned and saw a tremendous view of Baker. That's where I asked her, and she said yes! Then we found a dry spot by a tree and blew bubbles for a bit.

Lara
How do you chose just one thing? I'm proud of his easy going nature, and his willingness to try anything once- his ability to make a whole room laugh, and how completely genuine and altruistic he is.

Ben
The thing I love the most about Lara is how much she loves others. Especially her family and those we consider family. It is pretty incredible how thoughtful she is when it comes to others.

Lara
I love his sense of humor, his unwavering love and commitment, not only to me but for all his friends and family, his intelligence and his yearning to always want to learn more, his cautious adventurous spirit, his loyalty, his authenticity.

Ben
She is always prepared for just about anything, which is really nice because I'm generally not prepared for much. It really evens us out, especially when we go camping.

Lara
Ben exudes fun. Whether he is telling a corny dad joke to get a rise, shaking his tail feathers on the dance floor, or bustin' a move in the middle of the grocery store, there is never a dull moment with him. He keeps me on my toes and it is so damn sexy. He shows everyone how much he cares by going out of his way to make them laugh. Plus... his dimples are oh so dreamy, his beard makes me swoon, and that butt is fiiiiine!

Ben
I mean, the sexiest thing about Lara is definitely her dance moves. They are what caught my eye in the first place!

Lara
One of my favorite traditions together is weekend brunch. We like to treat ourselves once a weekend and escape from the cooking and cleaning, and enjoy a delicious meal, just the two of us! We also love cooking together. We have a tiny little kitchen, but we have learned to work around each other, beside each other and with each other to create a delicious meal to share!

Ben
One of my favorite things we do as a couple is collecting "snippets." When we are out in public, such as walking around Green Lake, we will sometimes overhear small parts of conversations that are just loud enough for both of us to hear. We will often make up stories about what they could have been talking about to inspire these snippets.

Images by Karen Kirsch Photography


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