Carleigh and I met like many college students under the romantic ambiance of loud music and $3 well drinks. With an assist from my friend Jody Gorham, I met a girl whom I knew I would like to impress. Although I’m sure my dance moves left a lasting impression, I forgot to follow them up with the essential question: “May I have your phone number...?” I assumed the opportunity had passed, and Carleigh would be the one that got away.
Fast forward a semester and a second chance comes along. I made sure not to make any mistakes this time and invited Carleigh to be my date at our next fraternity function.
A couple months later, Carleigh and I officially started dating after a romantic date to see the film Straight Out of Compton. Our relationship continued to grow and evolve throughout our time at Auburn. Because of an engineering co-op, my graduation date would be two semesters later than Carleigh’s. The thought that we do anything besides stay together after college never crossed our minds. However, this began our seemingly endless long distance relationship.
1,130... On June 6, 2020, this will be the total number of days since Carleigh and I have lived in the same zip code. Combined we have lived in 6 different cities and three time zones. Distance has not been easy, but we have tried to make the most of it. We learned that sacrifice is not only important but essential to make a relationship successful. From ridiculous postcards to the late night (and sometimes early morning) phone calls, communication is how we kept one another sane. Carleigh has also become an expert in travel planning as weekend trips have become our way to spend time together. Whether it’s a new restaurant or an animal adventure, we always had something planned to help us look forward to being with one another.
Easter weekend of 2019, we were able to finally establish an end date to our pen pal relationship. With the help of the entire Fell family, I was able to travel incognito to Bloomington, Indiana from Las Vegas and propose to Carleigh in her horse’s barn. Ironically, I am marrying a horse girl while also being highly allergic to horses. So I knew she would never expect me to surprise her in such a way.
As amazing as these four years of dating have been, we cannot wait to officially be a team united in faith, family and friendship. We look forward to celebrating our marriage surrounded by the people we love!