LeAnne and Cole

How We Met

Cole and I met during our freshman orientation (Welcome Week) at Baylor University. I could tell he was very shy (science major, of course) and for some reason, I wanted to pull out whoever he is and bring it to the surface. I’m very outgoing, and at first, he was not, but that’s because once you get to the root of who he is, there is a man who is committed to God before everyone else. He is patient and kind with everyone he meets, and he is always unapologetically himself.

Anyway, our Welcome Week group wanted to get together to see a scary movie, but then it boiled down to me, two girls, and Cole. And of course, at the last minute, the two other girls had something that “came up” so it ended up just being me and Cole. We went to see a scary movie (I found out later Cole hates scary movies…oops!) and it was sold out, so we picked a different scary movie. We don’t call this our first date, but it’s still worth noting because the movie was incredibly awkward and to us, that made it something to laugh about.

On our first date, I found out just how routine-driven Cole really is. The restaurant we were going to go to was super crowded and we ended up going to Fuddrucker’s, which is also hilarious because I’ve been a vegan now for over 3 years. But we went and I told him I wasn’t going to be that girl who orders a salad. This girl, although now a vegan this still rings true, loves food. We both got burgers, fries, and shakes and talked the night away. He drove me back to my dorm, and I got out of the car to hug him, but then I just went for it. Life is too short to not kiss the person you’re supposed to spend your life with. I’m so glad I did because the second I kissed him I knew there was no one else meant to kiss me. I was done looking.

I took this selfie of us at 12:31 AM on October 31, 2013, the day we “made it official.” I love it because we’re just babies, and it was raining and romantic, but we had no idea what was coming in the next 4+ years.

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How He Asked

Disclaimer: I don’t believe in love at first sight. I think it’s a silly concept. But the best way to describe how I felt when I met Cole 4 1/2 years ago at our first day of undergrad is this: it was like we had been growing old together with our whole lives, but had only just met. It was like knowing someone would make an impact on my life, not knowing all the details, but knowing he would be the person who pursued and adored me. We started dating a couple months after we met, and we’ve been together for 4 years now. Never a moment of doubt, never a moment of anger where “this was the last straw,” or “what if we just took a break!” There was never a moment where I wanted to spend my best and worst days without him. Cole is my best friend, and I know that’s all-to-commonly said. I consider myself a positive and upbeat person – I really love people, and I try to love them with all I have for whatever season of life they are in. But even I have days where I don’t want to see people, and even on those days? He is the person I want to come home to.

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On the 4 year anniversary that we met, at our orientation week of college, Cole went above and beyond what I expected of a weekend back in our college town. After brunch with a few of my friends, they handed me a letter. It was formed after my favorite book, The Lover’s Dictionary, by David Levithan, where each word in the dictionary is defined by a story or blurb. Cole led me in his own dictionary of words on a scavenger hunt to the places that were significant in our relationship: where we studied together, made it “official,” where we met by a tree, where we had our first kiss, etc. He then led me to a park in our college town and read me his last letter. No, we don’t know what our future looks like. But when we picture it? The other is always there. I was so overwhelmed I got tunnel vision and didn’t notice him go down on his knee!

But he did, and he asked me to be his wife, and I said yes! And I love him more and more every day.

Special Thanks

Josh Reil
Photographer