Alan: I played for the Folk Praise team at Mars Hill in West Seattle and one Sunday when I was playing for 1st service I saw Amberlyn in the 5th row on the right side and was completely stunned. I wanted to know who she was, but felt awkward going up to her and asking her name because I didn't know her. So I decided to be patient and wait.
Amberlyn: *oblivious* I forgot my paper coffee cup in the pew, so I went back to pick it up and throw it away. When I went back to where I had been sitting, I started talking to some of the people around me and met Kari who invited me to join her community group. "Yay! Friend!"
Alan: About a month later, I saw Amberlyn at the Christmas Decorating Party the week before the church and community wide Christmas party. She was painting ornaments on the wall and I was taking pictures for the church's social media. I looked a my pictures and thought to myself "It's her!" I saw her talking to my friend, Kari, and the next day when Kari came back to touch up the painting jobs in the hallway, I asked her "Who was the girl you were painting with last night?" And she told me, "Oh that's Amberlyn! She's in my community group!" I asked "Do you know...is she single?" She replied "Yes...I believe so." She then asked, "Would you like to meet her?" To which I replied, "Yeeeessss..." A month went by, the Christmas Party the next week, then community groups didn't meet, or I couldn't make it, then we both went home for 2 weeks for Christmas break to visit our families - Amberlyn to Idaho, and me to Texas - so it wasn't until we both returned that we were able to meet.
Alan: The night was January 14, 2014 at John and Roxy's house (the one night that they held CG there). I was late, as my car (as usual) had been acting up. I walked in, nervous as all get out, saw Amberlyn and my heart started bounding. I didn't realize that I would be so nervous. I walked in, loaded my plate with a little bit of food, then headed over to the table to sit down. The only seat available was the seat right next to Amberlyn (Unbeknownst to me, this was completely unplanned).
Amberlyn: *still oblivious*
Alan: We shared our stories, so the first night of getting to know her, I got to hear about her family, her life, and how she got here to Seattle. After community group that night, we sat at the table just talking and getting to know each other a bit, then John and Roxy joined us and were talking about Photography (as John's photos were scrolling on the TV across the room) and John made it known that I was also a photographer, and I responded that I was looking for photos to be able to use for my portfolio, which at the time I had set up a few shoots to help me advertise for spring Senior, engagement, and wedding photos. I asked her if she might want to model for me and she said yes. I thought "this will be a great opportunity to spend a day hanging out with her and see if she may be someone I'd like to pursue." I walked her out to her car and asked her if she would mind me adding her on Facebook, to which she said "yes."
Amberlyn: "Who asks if they can add you as a friend on Facebook?"
Alan: We started talking on Facebook that next week, and decide to get together to have a game night the night before with some folks after we help one of my fellow interns and friends David ask the girl he'd been seeing to be his girlfriend/Valentine. Well, one by one, the plans for the game night fell apart, but I texted my friend Ryan to see if he and his wife Erica wanted to do a double date thing with her and I. They said yes and also that they had a coupon for a place they've been wanting to try up in Capitol Hill, Barrio. So I met Amberlyn at the church, took her over to Lincoln Park where we brought candles from the church and place them on the side of one of the walkways in Lincoln Park to form the word "Valentine?" It was a success and David and Alina have been dating ever since. So thankful that that great couple is now a part of our story and that we're a part of theirs. We had a great night out on the town with Ryan and Erica that night, she looked beautiful and we had a really awesome time!
Alan: The day of the photos, we met up and went around town to take photos. It was a great day of getting to know each other, realizing we had a lot of the same interests, were already finishing each other's sentences, quoting the same movies, as we both speak in movie quotes (it's pretty awesome), and that we had similar life goals and beliefs. Our personalities meshed so well. It was such a wonderful opportunity to get to spend time with her, (so much so, that I didn't let her go home until 3am that evening/next morning). Later that same evening, we joined my friend Jeremy (www.jeremyechols.com), who also took our great engagement photos, and went out to the open dock at the Seattle waterfront to do some creative night time shots with the city lights behind her using multiple flashes to get some nice lighting effects. There was a shot where I was using my camera as a second flash and was laying down on the ground to get light up underneath her as she was looking down to the side. Jeremy asked her to just look straight at me, and we help eye contact for a good 3-5 minutes. As I laid there staring up into this beautiful woman's eyes, I thought, "I want to pursue this woman"...and I did.
Amberlyn: *a little less oblivious*