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HELLO THERE!

I'm Chelsea and my other half is Joe. We are college sweethearts (but met in high school) & actual best friends. We've been together for 13 years, married for 3.5 of those. We are all-around weirdos (but the good kind, that exists right?!). Our fur child is a 10 - year old ridiculously spoiled beagle (Flash!), who is both a lymphoma survivor & obsessed with scavenging for all types of garbage in typical hound fashion. We laugh A LOT! Both with (and at) each other and most importantly, at ourselves. We are unapologetic Harry Potter nerds, I'm a Slytherin & Joe is a Ravenclaw (and yes, we have a lot of thoughts and disappointment surrounding J.K. Rowling, but we won't let that take away the magic we experienced growing up with the stories). I'm a huge musical theatre lover (Les Mis is life!). Joe tolerates it, but my mom is usually my show buddy. I'm the all over the place creative one & DIY'er (Enneagram Type 4), while Joe is the level-headed, rational and finance oriented one (Enneagram Type 1). Opposites clearly attract. I'm a words of affirmation girl, which comes with its own slew of confidence and self-doubt issues. My friends & family know at this point that, like Tink, I can't really exist/function without their verbal support and belief in me. Joe on the other hand is all about acts of service, which essentially means that whenever I do the dishes he feels very loved.

THE UNABRIDGED VERSION:

We met in high school in Brooklyn, NY, where we were both born and raised. We didn't become friends until around the summer before Senior Year, but became close by the following summer after graduation. He thought I was loud, obnoxious and bit crazy (all true and valid points back then) and I wasn't interested in him romantically at the time despite all of my friends telling me that we should "hook up" (which only meant make out back then!). We attended local schools for freshmen year of college, so were both home and spending more time together as friends. Then on a fateful trip to Florida (to Orlando, which has of course become a favorite destination) to visit a friend that had moved down with her family, something clicked and we didn't look at each other as "just friends" anymore. We came home from that trip inseparable and it felt weird not being with the other, so from that day on in 2008 we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend.

In December of 2009, we became parents to a pink pot-bellied, furry, bundle of joy. This little boy, Flash, has tested us at every turn from pooping on walls & eating cell phones to becoming a master harness escaper and food stealer. Unfortunately for us, Flash's adorable face mixed with his expressive eyes, meant that we were both doomed from day one. Since then Flash has become the alpha of the house, spending his days napping and snacking while we wait on him hand and foot like the loyal servants that we are. His lymphoma diagnosis in 2016 only cemented his "royal" status in this household.

 

Not even a year into our relationship, I was sleeping at Joe's parents' house at least 5 nights a week. Things stayed this way until 2013 when we started living in that same house (Joe's childhood home) alone and had to learn what being an actual adult was like. Once Joe's parents were able to move back home in 2017, we made two big life changes. First, we started renting a house in our dream neighborhood by the beach (we were scrambling after a house we were in contract on fell through after the sellers decided to stay put) and WE GOT MARRIED! As you can see, we have never really done things "traditionally", so why would our long time coming marriage be any different? After nine wonderful years together and countless talks about our wedding, future children & continued lives together, we planned a wedding that would take place only six months later. No proposal at all, no long engagement, not even a "will you marry me?". Joe got down on one knee and officially asked with a ring in front of all of our guests at the start of the ceremony. We had a dream wedding weekend with 23 of our closest friends and family at a private estate in Southampton. The wedding may or may not have been Harry Potter themed. This intimate staycation was perfect for us, a compromise between an elopement (Joe's dream) and a destination wedding (what I thought I wanted).

And now here we are. In July 2018, after stalking Zillow and hounding our real estate agent, we finally purchased a house in this beach neighborhood where we had been renting, but it was a complete gut-job. With help from our General Contractor and multiple sub-contractors that we hired, plus a never-ending list of DIY projects to save money, we have spent the last almost 3 years slowly transforming it into our dream home by the sea.

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