Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I will never forget the first time that I met my brother-in-law, Cole.  I was already married into the Nielson family at that time, but Cole had been away on a two-year church mission in Brazil when Ryan and I started dating seriously, got engaged, and got married--so walking off the plane, Cole was seeing his family for the first time in two years AND meeting his new sister-in-law for the first time ever.

As he walked down the escalator at the airport, he was radiating happiness.  I could tell that he had loved his mission and was filled with confidence and faith, and I could also tell that he was so excited to see his family again.  He threw his arms around his parents and siblings, and then he turned to me and said "Sister!" and threw his arms around me too.

In the years since that first meeting, I have grown to love and respect Cole so much.  During Cole's first year at BYU, he came to Ryan's and my tiny attic apartment every Sunday for dinner.  He would ask for our advice on life, school, and dating, and it was fun to feel involved in his life.  I was in the midst of my busy first year of teaching, but when Cole asked for help on his first college research paper, how could I say no?  We spent many hours working on his writing together, and in exchange, he occasionally came to help out in my classroom.  He and Ryan dressed up as Julius Caesar and Brutus for a murder mystery I put on when my students were reading Shakespeare.  At the end of the year, a few of my female students wrote on their course evaluations that the highlight of the class was "Mrs. Nielson's brother-in-law."  Hahaha.  I must admit, Cole is a pretty handsome guy--I don't blame those girls for noticing. :)

A special girl named Sara caught his eye a few years ago, and it was really fun to be able to give him relationship advice throughout their courtship.  Though we were living in different states at the time, he would sometimes call and say, "Rach, what do you think about this..."  I loved feeling involved even though I was far away.  Sara is amazing, and I am so glad that they got married and are now expecting a little boy in November.  Can't wait.

I love that Cole comes up with nicknames for every family member, and I love that he calls his siblings AND his friends "Brother" and "Sister" as a term of endearment.  That is a total Cole-ism, and it's my favorite.  It makes everyone feel like family.  Sometimes when I am going off on a rant about something, Cole will say, "Sis-ter..." in this certain warning tone of voice like "Whoa, simmer down," and it's really funny.  I can hear it in my head right now as I write this.

One thing I really admire about Cole is his devotion to God.  Whenever the whole family is home for holidays, I often find Cole in some quiet corner studying the scriptures.  He is 100% committed to his faith, and it is inspiring to see him live what he believes.  For example, he has decided that he is not going to study on Sundays during medical school so that the Sabbath can truly be a day of rest for him and his family--but that means he often gets up at 3 or 4 a.m. on Monday morning to finish preparing for a test.  I think that is awesome, and I know the Lord will bless him for his diligence.

I have written before about how good it makes me feel when Cole and Sara ask for our advice on life.  It also makes me feel great how much they love Noah.  They try to Skype with us every couple of weeks so they can see Noah, and they always seem as amused by his antics as we are.  Just last night, we talked to them on Skype and Noah sang "Nuncle Cole" a little happy birthday song, and Cole and Sara cheered and clapped.  They say he is the smartest, cutest two year old around. :)  It feels wonderful to know that Noah is so loved.  What a lucky boy he is.

Happy birthday, Cole!  I love and admire you, Brother, and I am grateful for the good example that you are to me in my life.


1 comment:

  1. Rach,
    This is so beautiful. My eyes are full of tears, happy tears. Thank you for taking the time to write about the amazing guy that Cole is and continuing to become:) You are so sweet! i love your stories and thoughts! We love talking to you guys on FaceTime, pretty much the highlight of our day! love you Rach, can't wait for him to read this when he gets home!


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