These two lovers, who celebrate their anniversary every month, have just celebrated an entire year together – and chose to document the milestone.
Tell us about how the love story started.
Emma– We met in the summer of 2019 through a mutual friend of ours, and we decided to all hang out together and see a movie.
I remember trying on everything in my closet to impress her.
The instant I saw Grace, I knew that I needed to get to know her. I felt a connection that I had never had with anyone else before. Still, I also had a lot going on in my household at the time, with family members not accepting my sexuality and a lot of growing up I had to do.
So we mutually agreed to take time apart, but I knew she would be the one.
After two years of being apart, I reached out to her again, and ever since, we have been inseparable. Now going on one year and I got my person back.
Grace– My favorite way to tell this part of our story is “We met through a mutual friend with whom we aren’t friends anymore.”
I was still in the closet in 2019, and I was terrified to go on a date with a girl. So I told my family that I would see a movie with a friend and her friend. But I really just went to see Emma.
I remember that we went to see Spiderman Far From Home when it first came out.
I was so nervous even to hold her hand. She was so pretty, and I thought that there was no way that someone as gorgeous as her could ever go for me.
We saw the movie and got some Starbucks after. I remember feeling at peace, despite my hands sweating profusely.
I knew that I was home.
What is your favorite memory together?
Emma– We were celebrating our four-month anniversary – every month, on the day we met, we would go out, even if it was just a drive together. So we decided to go to Dave and Buster’s.
On the drive home, we rolled down the windows and blasted music. Lana Del Rey was playing, and fireworks started going off.
I looked at her, and my heart burst with joy. I knew she was the one and the only person for me.
She looked back at me, and I felt at peace. I felt at home.
Grace– Emma likes to make every moment, no, every second a memory. So I take snapshots of every moment I get with her. For example, one morning, we went to get breakfast, and there was an art gallery right next door to the breakfast cafe we went to. The art gallery was playing oldies from the 60s, and neither of us knew all the right words, but we hummed along anyhow.
We danced as she spun and dipped me.
I felt like I was in a movie.
Although every second I spend with her, I feel like I’m in a movie. She’s my teen coming-of-age film come to life.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome together?
Emma– I think the biggest challenge for us to overcome was accepting that not everyone was going to accept two girls being in a relationship. We both had to really learn to be okay with not everyone loving us and our relationship. So long as we have each other, we have learned that no matter what people may think and say, we have each other, and that’s all that matters.
Through disapproval or acceptance, we are each other always and forever.
Grace– Emma is one of the most patient people I know. I, on the other hand, am not. I have always struggled with having patience and stopping to smell the roses. These are two very different personality types. Being with Emma has taught me to take some time to stop and smell the roses. I have learned to appreciate the little things in life. A clear blue sky, a cloud that looks like a dog, or the grass being extra green. I have learned patience because of Emma, and although, in the beginning, it was challenging to learn, I am so thankful for her patience with me.
Tell us your favorite thing about one another.
Emma– Out of a million favorite things I love about Grace, I would have to say I love how she never fails to make others happy. She sets a goal for herself every day to wake up and make other people smile, and she never fails to. She’s hard-working and caring, has a million ambitions, and is beyond impressive. She handles stress better than I ever could and makes time to tell me and show me how much she loves me.
Grace– Emma is one of the strongest people I know. She did not have the easiest childhood, and I am always inspired by her limitless positivity no matter the circumstances. She is more intelligent than she gives herself credit for, and every day I remind her of that. And she always makes me laugh, and she is always the most welcoming person in the room. Emma helps remind me to keep a positive attitude no matter what life may be throwing at me, and that is what I love most about Emma.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Emma– Looking back at the year we have spent together and the countless memories we have made, I can honestly say this year has been the best year of my entire life. I never thought I would find someone that loves me as much as Grace does, and she has made me realize that love comes in many different ways. She has made me a better person and realized how important making a daily task list is. I never thought I would find the love I have in my heart now until I met her, and I am forever grateful for her.
Grace– As I write this, I am tearing up thinking about how much we have grown over the past year. I am so proud of Emma and all that she has accomplished. Her perseverance astounds me. Em graduated, got her license, moved in with my family and me, is enrolled in school working towards early childhood development, and always seeking ways to improve herself. She is kind, brilliant, giving, and so gorgeous both inside and out. I’m honored to have her in my life, and I know now that I have found my home. I love Emma with all of my being, she is my world, my universe, my rock, and I am so lucky to be able to call her mine.
Photography by Karen Agurto