A picture of Kristine smiling affectionately in celebration with her family. A close up of Aaron’s animated grin and warm, bright eyes. Images that by algorithmic chance appeared in our dating queues. Our journey began by swiping right. On our first date Aaron brought Kristine a book on social justice in lieu of flowers and we spent hours talking outside a neighborhood wine bar on a beautiful Portland summer evening. Though we lived only a couple miles apart, we marveled at the chance of finding each other, wondering “where did you come from?” in this world of eight billion others. Our lives joined quickly and naturally in a unique and turbulent time, facing a pandemic, ice storms, power outages, home ownership, a COVID vacation disaster, and the penultimate test: life with a crazy Guinean street dog named Olive. Through it all we’ve stayed anchored in our commitment to each other and desire to grow. Every step has been confident and sure, the right pace with the momentum of love and respect. With laughter and tears, we’re learning to hold the joyful and difficult together at once, knowing that we’re more full, whole and strong with each other. We can't wait to celebrate our love with the people who mean the most to us.