Our story began in December of 2016 at a mutual friend's house in Bend, Oregon. The night began with me going on a double date to dinner with my friend Olivia and her boyfriend. After dinner, the four of us plus our friends met back at Olivia’s house where we played games and hung out until we decided to head to the trampoline park down the road. The guy I brought along at the time was not very interested in coming with, but came anyone and stood on the side most of the night. Throughout all that, Cole saw this guy on the sidelines while I was out having fun so he took the opportunity to show me how to back flip. I thought he was just being helpful and nice not thinking twice about it. Cole on the other hand was definitely hard core flirting. Even with all that in mind at the end of the night, neither one of us know that that cold December night would be the start of something so extraordinary.
Roughly three months went by with little to no thought of anything happening. That following March of 2017 I (Kendall) was planning to see Olivia when she came into town thinking it would be just me and her. Little did I know she already had schemed up a plan to invite Cole along. I was already planning on paying for dinner, but didn’t want to be rude and only pay for my her so I happily paid the tab, which included Cole. Then, as nonchalant as a girlfriend can be she said, “Cole, you owe her a dinner now.”
And the rest is history.
Just kidding… That was just the beginning.
March 25, 2017
The first picture we ever took together.
The following day was quite a special day in both our minds. We all met at Olivia’s house again to hangout that evening. Everyone else had went to Proxy Falls during the day, but I had to work. I later found out Cole was really bummed I didn’t go. Once we got to Liv’s we played Apples to Apples where Cole and I kept catching eyes across the table. I was also trying to keep the ginormous stacks of cards upright and organized as everyone else knocked them over with every card they picked up, except Cole. Without any exchange of words I noticed him keeping the stacks organized and neat after every turn. Although it was so something so minor and small, I noticed that he noticed me and that started me noticing him more.
Shortly after that night, Cole finally got the courage to get a hold of me so he could take me on a real date. What was supposed ( or planned…) to be a 30-45 date turned into 2.5 hours at pizza followed by 1.5 hours at Froyo. In the dates following, conversations flowed, feelings sparked, and time began to fly. That summer of 2017 was and still is the best 5 months I have ever had. Many late night (or early morning) talks until 4 a.m, adventures down the rivers, music festivals, and so many other amazing memories were made.
We knew that I was planning on moving to Montana that August to continue school and as it got closer we knew that we wanted to try and make things work. With Cole still in Oregon and me starting a life 800 miles away in Bozeman we had our work cutout for us. There were many late night calls to home with Cole encouraging me through the tears to keep my head up and assuring me everything is going to be alright.
Little did anyone know Cole would take the risk to move his entire life up to Montana with nothing but his truck, clothes, and a few personal items. By the end of October in 2017 he was moved up here with nothing but his love and determination to keep him afloat. I’m not going to sugar coat it an say it was easy, but looking back now he and I both would agree that it is the best decision he ever made.
I finished out school that fall and decided to take a break for a while. I knew I still wanted to be in Montana, especially since Cole now lived there, so at the end of Winter break in January of 2018 I moved back up to begin a new journey. It started out amazing, exciting, and challenging. Discovering who you are outside of family, what you want, and balancing adult life is by no means easy. With all that going on, 2018 was by far the hardest year for both Cole and I. What most people don’t actually know about us is we took a few breaks and broke up a couple of times throughout this year. Neither of us knew if we would ever get back together, but we had to trust God’s plan for our lives whether that meant we were together or not.
I prayed harder than I ever had before, leaned into Jesus with everything I had, and over time I felt him pushing me back to Cole. Eventually enough time passed and our relationship began to mend back together stronger than ever before. We began working hard at communicating, putting Jesus first, making time for ourselves, and being intentional. By no means did we do everything perfectly but we knew if we wanted to make this work and have a chance at having a successful relationship we had to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. We had to listen when we wanted to make assumptions, speak softly when we wanted to yell, love when we didn’t feel like it, and sometimes go separate ways until our minds and hearts were calm enough to talk through the issue at hand. Although it has been difficult, there is nothing more fulfilling than working through problems and coming out on top with someone you hold so dearly.
Leading up to our engagement, marriage has never been a taboo topic. We have had hours and hours of conversation on what we want our futures to look like and possibly getting married one day. Never knowing if or when it would actually happen those conversations still felt very much like a long-off fantasy until recently. Timing was beginning to be on our side and things felt right. I still had no clue when or if it would happen, but Cole had quite the plan schemed up.
I hope you enjoyed reading about our insane, wonderful, journey we have been on. Stay tuned for our proposal story.