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(Image: Lindsey Clawson Photographer).
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Documenting Love: Lauren & Josh'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, gmwynkoop@sbgtv.com.

Photos by Lindsey Clawson Photographer

Josh
My first memory of Lauren is the excitement I felt when we matched on Tinder. For starters, she was gorgeous. I then found out that she is intellectually engaging and able to keep a conversation going regardless of work hours. I would wake up and look forward to talking to her, and we could converse about anything throughout the day and it didn't get stale.

Lauren
Before we had met face to face, we would stay up until 3 a.m. texting each other. I remember sitting in my bed staring at my phone for hours, feeling butterflies every time his name popped up on my screen.

Josh
We first met on Tinder, but our first date took us to a Seattle Mariners game and Sushi Land. Fun, relaxed, super easy.

Lauren
We met on Tinder! I like to say we are a true modern day romance. Unfortunately we matched while he was visiting his family in Kirkland, when he really lived in Yakima. After only knowing each other for a few weeks, we started dating long distance for two years.

Josh
I admire and am proud of Lauren for many reasons, but one of the main things I am proud of is her successes in her teaching. Being a private dance teacher comes with it's own specific set of challenges, and Lauren strives in this environment and her dedication to her students is inspiring. Watching her students bring her choreography to life, seeing the relationships and connections she builds with each individual student, and watching her in her element makes me proud to be a supporter of what she does and who she is.

Lauren
About a year and a half ago he left his job and started a new career so that we could live in the same place. It was a huge sacrifice that he made so that we could be together, and he had to work really hard to get to where he is today. I am so proud of him for being brave and persistent, and for all of his career related successes so far. Even when things are difficult, he always finds a way to stay positive, and he never ceases to amaze me!

Josh
I first knew I loved Lauren when it hit me that when I moved back to Yakima, I just had to keep seeing her. We met when I was in Kirkland for summer break and decided to do the long-distance thing for as long as it worked. I knew, in my gut, that I was going to do whatever it took to make it continue working, because I knew I loved her.

Lauren
I was not ready to tell him that I loved him for a long time, because I was so afraid of being vulnerable and I had never said, "I love you" in a relationship before. About two months after Josh and I met I took a trip by myself to visit my grandfather who was very sick at the time. I stayed at my grandpa's house alone (as he was in assisted living) and Josh would FaceTime me every night, and talk to me for hours while I drank wine and looked through boxes of old photos and memories. When I left and said goodbye to my grandpa, I knew that it would probably be the last time, and the whole shuttle back to the airport I was crying and making my shuttle driver very uncomfortable. All the while Josh was sending me sweet messages and telling me stories about his imaginary friends from his childhood to try and help me from feeling sad. I remember feeling so cared for and I knew in that moment that I loved him. I didn't say it out loud until two months later, unknowingly on the same night that my grandpa passed away. I've always felt that the fact I lost and gained a great love in almost the same moment had some cosmic meaning, and that Josh and I were really meant to be.

Josh
I think the thing that sets us most apart from other relationships is the easiness of it. We just work together. We get along, we enjoy each other's company, and our lives and personalities compliment each other. This isn't to say we don't argue or bicker or fight, but we are both equally committed to each other and to our relationship, and at the end of the day, we communicate and work our issues out. Always.

Lauren
I think our relationship is different from others because we are such passionate people. We are passionate about one another, our life together, and about making each other happy. Plus, he is a singer and I am a dancer, so our relationship also has a lot of impromptu song and dance musical numbers!

Josh
Oh man, the lead up. I had wanted to propose to Lauren for a while, but the timing hadn't been right. We were three hours apart for the first two years of our relationship, and although I knew she was the woman I was going to end up with, we wanted to live together first just to make sure we could get along for longer than a weekend. We had spoken a few times about marriage, how we both wanted that in our future, but that we just weren't ready yet. Fast forward to a year after we moved in together, to the week of her Spring recital. Her parents were coming up from Wyoming to attend, her brother was coming, my mom and dad were coming from Monroe, my brother from Seattle, my cousins from Seattle and Woodinville; basically the whole tribe was coming to support this girl that we love.

Lauren's coworkers had been asking if I was going to propose at this event due to the whole family being there, but her answer was "no, we just aren't ready." However, on Wednesday before her Sunday recital, she caught me while we were getting ready for work and told me "I know we've talked about not being ready yet, but I just wanted you to know, I'm ready." I went to the jewelry store that day, picked out a ring, and was promised I would have it back by Saturday so I could propose on Sunday. This weekend was also the first time that our parents were going to be meeting, so this weekend in general was a very big deal for us. Friday before the Sunday recital, both of our families went out to dinner for the first time, and I was able to catch her dad coming out of the bathroom to ask for his blessing in marrying his daughter. I showed him a picture of the ring, since it was being resized, he gave me a big hug, and said, "Welcome to the family." I had also told my dad about it, but not my mom, nor hers.

Saturday afternoon, I called her boss to essentially ask for permission to use the recital as my proposal venue, and her coworker who was initially asked if I was going to propose was in the car at the time and we came up with the plan. After the show with all of the students still on stage, her boss would say, "We have one more announcement..." and that would be my cue to come on stage and ask. Sunday comes and everything is going smoothly, the ring looks beautiful, the show is great, our whole family is there, and I was incredibly nervous. Between every song I would rehearse what I wanted to say, and although I was nervous, I was ready. I was confident. I knew this was right. The show ends, the applauding ends, and before the kids can leave, Lauren's boss says, "We have one more surprise." She said surprise, not announcement, so I wasn't sure if that was my cue. So I didn't move. She ended up staring right at me and says, "Do you know how to get up here?" I jumped up out of my seat and started walking on stage.

The gasps from the students and parents alike were audible. I told Lauren that from the first time I met her, I've known she is a fantastic girlfriend, woman, and teammate, and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I got down on one knee, all of the students started screaming and crying with joy, and Lauren, through tears of her own, nodded her head with an enthusiastic yes. It was pretty awesome.

Lauren
Before we got engaged, we had talked in depth about getting married, and I just figured I would know when it was going to happen. Josh is not the best at surprises. He spoils almost every gift he gets me because he gets too excited about what it is and I figure it out. So I was convinced that whenever a proposal was coming, I would just know. I am a dance instructor and a few of my students and coworkers had been speculating that Josh would propose at our spring recital, and I brought it up to him the week before the show. His response was, "Well, you can tell them that I am definitely not proposing." And I already knew that, but I told him, "I know you aren't going to propose right now, but whenever you are ready, I am ready." I was completely certain at that time there was no way that he was planning on proposing.

Little did I know, that conversation sparked the whole thing! Flash forward just a few days, at the end of our spring recital with all of my students and coworkers on stage, and both of our families in the audience. He stood up in the middle of the theater, got up, came onstage with a microphone, got on one knee, and proposed. I was shocked and all of my students were screaming and crying and it was incredibly special to share that moment with my dancers and both of our families. On top of it all, I was so surprised that he actually surprised me!

Josh
The thing I love most about Lauren is how I can just be me around her, but being around her makes me want to be a better version of me. She inspires me to grow, encourages me to try new things, supports me in everything that I do, but still lets me be silly. I don't need to try to impress her, I don't need to try to be something I'm not, and I don't need to prove anything to her. The trust and relationship that we've built is unique and beautiful, and I love that she has chosen me to be a part of it.

Lauren
I love the way he takes care of me. It's such a selfish answer, but it is so true. He is thoughtful and caring, and every day he says or does something that just melts my heart. I know he will always take care of me and it makes me feel so safe. Josh also knows exactly how to ease my stress, or make me smile when I am angry or sad. He makes me feel calm when I'm anxious or nervous. It's like he is the Lauren whisperer. I don't know how I got so lucky with a man like him!

Josh
Lauren has many wonderful qualities - leadership, patience, natural beauty, and intelligence, just to name a few. She is a natural born leader and doesn't shy away from this responsibility. Her friends and family trust her to make the right decision. She is patient with students young and old, patient with me as we grow our relationship, patient with her family - it's admirable to be a part of it. She is the most beautiful person I've ever known - her eyes change color based on what she is wearing and what the weather is doing, and she has a smile that lights up my entire world. She is one of the smartest people I have ever known. The facts that she is able to pull out about the most obscure things is incredible, from random knowledge about baking to knowing the scientific name for almost every plant in Washington, her thirst for knowledge makes conversation with her always intriguing and deep.

Lauren
He has so many wonderful qualities it is hard to list my favorite. I would say my favorite physical qualities are his sweet puppy dog eyes, his arms (especially when they are wrapped around me), and his beard. He has a really good beard. And my favorite personality qualities are his kindness and charm. He is so warm and outgoing, and can start up a conversation with anyone.

Josh
The sexiest thing about Lauren is her overall sense of self. Everything about her is sexy, from her eyes to her smile, the way she carries herself, her sense of style, the way she can rock sweats and a sweatshirt or a full gown, it's just unending. I often times will see her from across the room, or next to me on the couch, and just stare at her in awe that I was the one she chose for a husband.

Lauren
I would say his dance moves, but that might embarrass him! I would say hands down the sexiest thing about him is the way he kisses me. It makes me weak in the knees.

Josh
My favorite ritual is in the morning when I go off to work. I wake up before her and get myself ready to go, and before I do, I come in to say good bye. When she sleeps, she has the most peaceful and serene look on her face. I whisper a good morning, kiss her on the forehead, and gaze at her while she slowly wakes up. It is the time of the day when there is no stress or anxiety, no worry, no exhaustion or anything negative, and she is the most beautiful thing. This is the best way anyone could start their day.

Lauren
We don't get to do this often, because we both have such erratic work schedules, but I love when we have a slow morning at home together. We make breakfast, have coffee, and I love the feeling of just being together and not feeling like we have to be anywhere.

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