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(Image courtesy of Melanie Studley).
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Documenting Love: Melanie & Seth'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.

Melanie
My first memory of Seth was seeing him clock in for the job that we shared at Starbucks. I thought he was a high-schooler, I was 19, he was 25!

Seth
I first saw Melanie behind the counter at Starbucks in Maple Valley. She was wild, her hair was streaked with blond and orange highlights and she had a really cool mohawk. Plus she was wearing cool makeup. Me being from the south, I thought wow, we must be in Seattle now and I'm loving it! I later got a job there and started working with her. I was like 25 and she later said that she was mad when I got hired because she didn't want to work with more 17-year-olds! I guess I looked young, not a bad thing...

Melanie
I am proud of all of the hard work that he did to earn a Masters Degree in Marriage And Family Therapy, and that he has been an amazing father an therapist for over 10 years!

Seth
This may sound cliche and goofy but I am literally proud of my wife for everything she does. She can and has accomplished everything she has put her mind to. Everything from having three kids, to teaching herself audio engineering and producing podcasts, she is amazing. I get inspiration from her to be a better person everyday, and I'm serious when I say this. It's not easy and it even sucks to admit this but she brings wisdom, levelheadedness and a grace to our marriage that I never could, and she does it with pure love and good intentions.

Melanie
I knew I loved Seth when we were first dating (maybe two months in) and he picked up my one-year-old niece and began talking to her in a soft, sweet voice and it was like clouds parted and golden light poured from the clouds....?? But seriously, it was the best!

Seth
I knew that she was the one for me on about our first date... Stick with me here. We were literally on a first date to a local park and I told her that if we weren't going to be serious about this relationship then I don't want to just play around. We had both been in long term relationships prior and were kinda tired of that game. I remember thinking that there were no good reasons that I shouldn't ask her to marry me. Granted - we had worked together at Starbucks for a whole year without dating and were just friends.

Melanie
We have been through some really challenging things in our almost 14 years of marriage. Lots of illness, a miscarriage and we nearly got divorced. We worked unbelievably hard to restore our broken relationship and get through those rough times, and now we are stronger and our marriage is more rewarding than it has ever been!

Seth
I'm not sure what sets our relationship apart but I think we are both crazy enough to do stuff that other people won't. We actually take chances together, are not afraid to fail and we both have intense growth mindsets and are adventurous. We flew to Jamaica when she was eight months pregnant, dodged trains coming towards us as we walked on trestles in Oregon, gotten pummeled by rouge waves in Maui, eaten rotten shark in Iceland, sang Ava Maria in a 600 year old church in Spain, Got lost in the streets of Tangier Morocco, and literally 1,000 other stories. Oh we also have a podcast where we talk about every.single.thing.about our marriage.

Melanie
We had been dating for five months, Seth was on tour with his band Emery, and he was supposed to meet me at my parents house (but he forgot!) I drove to Starbucks to meet him (where we ran into my ex-boyfriend) then we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island and were finding beach glass on the shore. He found an old military matchstick container and put my ring in it (I had NO IDEA!) Then he said, " hey, Melanie, I found something" I ran over and opened it, and for a split second I totally thought that we had found treasure, until I realized that he was down on one knee. I lost it!

Seth
Oh man, I was nervous beyond nervous. Being from the South, I was traditional in this sense, so I asked her parents and talked with her mom and dad about how I wanted to marry their daughter. That made me nervous but it also feels great to take chances and do things that make you uncomfortable. I took her out to Bainbridge Island and we went looking for beach glass. I had the ring in my pocket and still didn't know how I was going to propose to her but I knew I'd figure something out. I found an old waterproof matchbox on the beach and I slipped in the ring when she wasn't looking. I called her over to show her what I "found" and she opened and thought that we had found a ring, like a real treasure on the beach. It was very cute, then I took the ring and got down on one knee. It was crazy, I don't even remember what I said but I know she said yes!

Melanie
I love his spirit of adventure and play, and the fact that he is willing and unafraid to grow and change with me.

Seth
I love her carefree, positive and childlike attitude matched with charm, grace, intelligence and humor.

Melanie
Seth is so humble and kind, while being incredibly strong, caring, and vulnerable.

Seth
My favorite thing about Melanie is her smile, her intelligence, her work ethic, her "I can literally solve and do anything" mentality. She opens up the world to me in different ways that I never knew until I met her. It's like she brings things out in me that have always been there. She is like a gold miner and she digs, persuades, and brings forth good things in good people.

Melanie
The sexiest thing about Seth is the back of his neck in a suit and tie when he gets a fresh haircut! And... the fact that he enjoys pampering me!

Seth
Hmm, how explicit can I be here? She is free, she is confident, she is sure of herself. Her scent when we kiss and are close together smell like home to me, and now that we've been together for 14 years, it is home. Home smells and feels sexy.

Melanie
We LOVE to travel (that has become a tradition in its own way) but... early morning homemade espresso, swinging on our beautiful backyard swing, going to the park with our three kids, walking our dog at the nearby church, picking blackberries, taking our vintage canoe out on the lake!

Seth
Almost every morning, the person who wakes up first sometimes tries to hide in a silly way from one another when they wake up. We hug, we kiss, we make coffee together before we start the day. Sometimes we race to the espresso machine in the kitchen to see who gets to make their Americano first. She usually wins.


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