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(Image: Alexandra Celia / Seattle Refined).
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Documenting Love: Tressa & Geoff's Story

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 Tressa & Geoff - living and loving life as an engaged couple in Seattle.

Tressa
Geoff and I technically met through Tinder but we had already known of each other for years. We both lived in Bellingham back in 2010 and admired each other from afar but our paths never crossed and the timing wasn't right. It took until 2016 for us to finally connect. On our first date I picked him up, we got margaritas and he later puked all over my friend's bathroom. Despite all that..I was smitten.

Geoff
Our first date had all the ingredients of a fairytale. A Princess, a Toad, unnecessarily large margaritas and a love that would withstand the test of time as well as the sound of said Toad vomiting in a friend’s bathroom. I was without a car at the time of our first date. So, like her knight in rusty armor, I had Tressa pick me up and we headed over to Jalapenos which is a staple in Bellingham Mexican cuisine. We sat down, ordered some food and drinks and from that moment on I was DONE. She was smart, funny and absolutely beautiful. I was shook.

To this day I still don’t know how the date continued because I was a mess. My palms were sweaty, I was talking fast and had to avoid eye contact or I would lose track of my thoughts.. We finished up our drinks made a couple stops throughout the date and ended up at a friend’s house. My stomach had become increasingly uncomfortable as the night went on, but I kept it to myself. Admitting that would have been date suicide. The feeling continued to the point where I had to excuse myself to the bathroom and started throwing up everything. It was glorious. I attribute it to the buffet Chinese food I had for lunch. She claims otherwise.

Tressa
Geoff is such an amazing artist and so uniquely talented. He has a way of capturing the essence of someone (or something) in a drawing in a way I've never witnessed before. It's his favorite outlet and it blows my mind what he can create.

Geoff
I could go on for days about how proud I am of Tressa. For so many things... but her tenacity to do well at everything she does was one of the first qualities I noticed about who she is as a person. Tressa doesn’t NOT win. I know that no matter situation arises, she will have the heart and mindset to tackle it head on. She’s a queen.

Tressa
I knew I wanted to be with Geoff on our first date. I distinctly remember texting my friend, Ashley, when he went to the bathroom on our first date saying "I'm going to marry him." I pretended I was joking at the time but I think I knew deep down that I was done for. My heart was already in it for the long haul.

Geoff
The moment I knew I loved Tressa. It was almost instantaneous. The actual moment however happened not long after we started dating. Tressa was spending a weekend in Seattle with her friend Haley. I was living it up on Whidbey Island, house sitting for my parents while they were on vacation. It was Friday night and Tressa and I had naturally been texting all day and wanted to see each other. She invited me to make the hour and a half trip down to Seattle (Ferry boat ride included) but it was already approaching midnight. I obviously wanted to go but I was playing it cool and pretended like being alone at my parents’ house was exactly how I wanted to spend my weekend. That charade ended abruptly though, and I hastily grabbed my keys and darted out the door.

What I failed to check in my tornado like exit was the ferry schedule which would have indicated that there was boat out of service and ended the ferry runs for the night… I then (without hesitation) turned my car around and began the long round about journey to Seattle at 1 a.m. to spend a weekend with my now fiancé and love of my life.

Tressa
I think what sets this relationship apart from others is the sense of partnership. We've intentionally and joyfully created a life together. There is an innate sense of understanding and respect that no matter what happens, neither of us will ever give up on this life...this team. There's no uncertainty whether or not either of us are committed to making this work. He's my number one fan and I'm his.

Geoff
The life we share has always felt new and exciting while at the same time comforting and grounded. It’s like surfing a wave in your favorite chair.

Tressa
I have a weird obsession with the corners of his mouth. They curve up in the cutest way when he laughs. Speaking of...his laugh is my favorite sound in the universe. When he really finds something funny, he has the most adorable belly laugh. While we're still on the subject of his physical attributes...his eyes. They are the most gorgeous mix of green, blue and brown with specks of yellow. More importantly though, my very favorite thing about Geoff, as cheesy as this sounds, is his aura. I've never met anyone who lights up a room the way he does. He can carry on a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He's the most charismatic person I know. He's magnetic and kind and genuine...I'm still not sure why or how I was blessed with him.

Geoff
I looked up the phrase “total package” and Tressa’s picture was next to it. She is everything I could ask for in a partner, friend, life coach, trainer, style consultant, and so much more. I really am thankful for every day I get to spend with her. If I had to narrow it down and shine a spotlight on one thing it would be her sense of humor. She makes me laugh so hard it gives me asthma. She literally takes my breath away.

Tressa
Over the years, what we've learned about handling difficult situations together is that we're quite opposite in how we handle our emotions. Geoff is an optimist. I am a realist...admittedly (sometimes) teetering along the line of a being a pessimist. I think we've learned (and are still learning) that we can balance each other out without having to come to a point of contention. Sometimes we agree to disagree, take awhile to have some time alone, and then re-convene and realize the argument was irrelevant and/or find a solution to it. When it comes down it, we hate to fight but always come out of it as a stronger couple.

Geoff
Tressa and I are a team and we handle difficult situations as one. We tend to look at these adversities from our own unique perspectives and end up coming to a resolution on common ground. This common ground doesn’t always appear as easily as I depicted, however. Like any other couple, we have disagreements and don’t see eye to eye on certain things and when this happens, sometimes we must agree to disagree. But no matter what happens, we always take 5-10 minutes to cool down and ultimately see the bigger picture and move forward.

Tressa
One of the sweetest things about Geoff that makes my day easier is so simple. He starts work earlier than I do so he always gets up and makes coffee for me because I have to take our dog, Maverick, to daycare on my way to work. He knows that making my coffee saves me a few minutes in the morning. He's also the main cook. He usually doesn't let me lift a finger when I get home from work. Since he does that, I always tend to the dishes. Partly because he cooks but mostly because I have a slight panic attack before going to bed when I know the kitchen isn't clean.

Geoff
There are so many things that Tressa does on a daily basis that makes every day more enjoyable. She is constantly sending me videos and stories of puppies that have been rescued so that’s pretty awesome! She just makes everything better and it’s effortless for her.

Tressa
Geoff and I find shared meaning in our relationship by just experiencing life and our daily rituals together. I wake up every day wondering how in the heck I got so lucky to love this man every day. We get to build a home and raise our dog together, we get to grow in our careers, we get to grow as people. Everything we do helps us grow in our relationship. We consistently challenge each other and I hope we never stop.

Geoff
Tressa and I have conversations on a daily basis regarding our future and what being married means to each of us. This doesn’t mean we sit down and go over an agenda with certain topics and bullet points but there is always that deeper meaning at the base. Whether it’s looking at houses on Redfin that we can’t afford or budgeting, so we can get Maverick (our pup) that good food with the duck in it, we find a shared meaning in these things.

Tressa
On Sundays, we often go to the farmers market in West Seattle and then barbecue in our backyard. But my favorite rituals that we have together are simple, everyday things. The very best part of my day during the week is coming home to my fiance and my dog, sitting down on the couch in our condo and just reveling in the fact that my life is what it is. Most days I have to pinch myself that I get to do life with a gorgeous man and pup.

Geoff
Sunday is our day! It usually starts with a lazy stumble down the stairs to make coffee. Once the fuel kicks in we head over to the California Ave street market to see if we can find anything we weren’t looking for. Being the gentleman that I am, I will pick out some flowers for Tressa and she thanks me by stopping in our favorite pet store to buy a treat for Maverick. The day comes to a close with us making whatever delicious meal we decided on accompanied by the smooth tones of the great Tony Bennett.

Tressa
I'm loved more than I deserve by this man. I will never understand what I did to have him but I will forever have a grateful heart and mind because he's in my life. If you don't know Geoffrey yet, do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to him...he's the best person I know.

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