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(Image: Alexandra Celia / Seattle Refined).
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Documenting Love: Morgan & Nick'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. Next up, the story of Morgan & Nick - living and loving life as an engaged couple in Portland.

Morgan
I first met Nick in college while working at the U of O bookstore. I had seen him before in the store and thought he was cute. Then one day he started working in a neighboring department and I was instantly drawn to his sense of humor and fun vibe. We began to hang out and get drinks after our shifts sometimes. Everyone at work thought we would get together while we laughed and said we were just friends, and we were. Nick was seeing other people and I was leaving to study abroad for a semester in Australia in two months. We even talked about how it was funny everyone thought we would be a couple and mutually agreed yes, we were just friends. I was definitely attracted to him and we had a great time hanging out. This went on for weeks and then one night out at our favorite place we finally realized what everyone else already had, we liked each other a lot. Nick asked me out on a official date and I said yes, and here we are.

Nick
I knew of Morgan before we actually met. We both worked for The Duck Store at college. I worked at the warehouse, and she worked at the campus store. I would see her around campus, the bars, neighborhoods we both lived in, and the campus store. I got a job at the campus store after school, working right alongside her. At first, she was not interested in me, probably due to my cockiness and my 20s male persona I had at the time. I was enjoying my freedom after school, and was not looking to date anyone.

But then I started spending more and more time with Morgan. Dollar beer nights at the bar, basketball games, and, of course, work, I would spend lots of time with her. One day, as kind of a joke at first, I asked her on a “date”. I took her to a secret spot that made the best Mexican food in town, but you couldn’t tell from the outside of the building, or the neighborhood. It was perfect for this event though. I knew she would love it, and it was nice that I could take her on a “date”. We continued to hang out regularly, constantly telling co-workers and friends we were not a couple, just friends. It wasn’t until the night of our company party, after Morgan bought the staff shots from wings at the party, that I decided to make my move. And since that night, I have been with her ever since, 8 years in December to be exact.

Morgan
I'm very proud of Nick's ability to adapt to pretty much any situation. Virtually any circumstance I could imagine I would want Nick with me, because he's always helpful and isn't scared to adventure and explore. He takes everything as it comes and is so good at a variety of things. He continually surprises me with his ability to adjust and hit the ground running no matter what it is we're doing. He also knows a lot of random facts and amazes me with his knowledge sometimes.

Nick
I am proud of so many things when it comes to her, I could write a novel about it. I will shorten the list to a few top ones. First would be her care for everyone from her friends and family, to her patients. She is so full of love for people. Her intelligence is another. I will always say she is way smarter than myself. Her drive is something I have always been proud of. She never lets something get in her way from obtaining something she wants. It is motivating to have a partner with such a determined state of mind. But overall, everything she does makes me proud.

Morgan
When we first started dating we used to joke that our relationship had an "expiration date" as Nick called it. We were together but both knew I would soon leave to study abroad in Perth and we would see what happened when I got back, assuming we would not stay together while I was gone. We were inseparable for a couple months, then came the day Nick had to take me at the airport. We said goodbye, I flew to San Francisco and was boarding the plane to Sydney when he called me and said "What if we just stayed together?" and I said, okay! Then I was traveling and didn't have any way to contact him for a few days but had lots of time to think about how happy I was that he called at the last minute. We did in fact continuing dating and he even flew out to come visit me in Australia. That was eight years ago and we have been together since.

Nick
I could tell you the street I was on when I realized I really cared for her. We may have been dating for a couple months, and I knew in February she was going to Australia. I had always made jokes that our relationship had an “expiration date,” and that day was when I would have to drop her off at the airport. I didn’t want her or me to have deal with a long distance relationship. I would drop her off and we would both agree to split up. I hugged her goodbye and drove back to my apartment. I was on highway 99 right by Beltline exit and I had this feeling of loss. I was overcome with this sense that I wanted more of her. She landed in SF and called me. I asked her point blank, “do you want to stay together?” I thought ‘if she says no, then I will have six months to recover before she returns, if she said yes well it will be a huge leap of faith for the both of us’. She said she wanted to stay together too, then her phone died during the middle of this discussion. Needless to say I was on pins and needles until we spoke again, two days later. Lets just say I’m glad I didn’t let the most special thing I will ever experience fly away.

Morgan
Nick and I have been through a lot together. I was in school for a long time and was very busy and often stressed out, but he was always there for me, telling me how great I was, supporting me. We moved around a lot for my externships and he stuck with me through it all. Our love has changed as our lives have grown and developed, but it has remained there continually and I love him more now than ever. It hasn't always been easy but we have stuck together and have made a happy life together. He is my person and I'm so glad to be with him.

Nick
My relationship with Morgan is unique because she is unique. She is my best friend. I know its cliché to say, but in our circumstance it is the only way I can try to explain it. I never want to be apart from her. I have decided to dedicate my life to making her just as great as she makes mine. No words can state how much I love Josie baby.

Morgan
Nick can make me laugh like no one else. He always has a funny comment or one liner to make and it's hilarious to hang out with him all the time. I also love his dark hair and lashes and his handsome, expressive face. He has a great facial hair game, as I've learned throughout our relationship. His stubble is perfect and he can grow a great beard. He also, for one brief day, had a spectacular handlebar mustache.

Nick
Obvious physical characteristics aside, my attraction to Morgan is due to her independence and generosity. She has always been in control of her own life. I know she doesn’t “need” me, she chooses to be my partner in life. She also is the most generous soul you will ever meet. I am amazed how someone can be so caring towards everyone she encounters. This is what I love about her.

Morgan
When things aren't going our way it's easy for us to start getting frustrated and begin making comments that only further the frustration. We have been working on trying to control the things we can control, like our reactions to difficult situations. Maintaining a positive outlook even if things aren't going smoothly makes it easier to deal with whatever is going on. We also try to realize that some things are out of our control so we need to not stress about them. We just do our best to enjoy each day as they come and work together as a team.

Nick
When Morgan and I encounter difficult times, we take it head on, but we definitely handle it in different ways. I tend to stress or panic. It’s very unhelpful. It is an inherited trait in my defense. She is the calming force. She has the positivity and faith that no matter what we will get through anything. She gets me to calm down.

Morgan
One of our favorite rituals is listening to our local NPR station on Saturday morning and having coffee. Nick's two favorite programs are on back to back, it's a lovely way for us to wake up and get our day going in a relaxing way. Almost every time we are in Eugene we go back to either Rennie's, the bar where we went spent a lot of time falling in love, or to the Mexican restaurant where we had our first date. We also enjoy making dinner together at home while drinking wine and listening to Led Zeppelin on Nick's record player.

Nick
Like any couple, we have rituals obtained over the years. Saturday mornings usually start with coffee and NPR radio. This gets our weekend started in a peaceful way. Friday nights, we usually go to this tavern down the highway. We sit and recap our weeks over beer and bar food. Another ritual we also have is going to a sporting event in any city we visit. I’m so grateful Morgan loves sports.

Morgan
Nick is always doing little things to make my day better. He often will start my car for me in the morning so it's all warm when I get in or get up before me in the morning to turn on the heater so it's warmer when I get out of bed. If I'm going to be home later from work he will make dinner so it's ready when I get home. He spoils me for sure. He gets me water when I'm all cozy on the couch in the evening so I don't have to get up myself, and puts lemon in it because he knows I like it. Lights candles and diffusers to keep our ambiance at home relaxed. I love him.

Nick
In the mornings, Morgan always makes my day with a kiss on the head, before she gets out of bed or leaves for work. She makes sure to tell me she loves me everyday I wake up. It’s precious beyond words. Makes me realize the day will be okay because I will come home to her. She always tries to lay me out a lunch or breakfast in the kitchen. It is always something healthy it seems. It helps me because she makes me eat so I don’t starve. In the evenings, we always have dinner with each other. It really makes for a great way to unwind.

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