Danielle Mitchell – Colt and Danielle Meet in Cozumel
Couple’s Love Song: All Around You by Sturgill Simpson
To tell you our story, we’re going to have to back up quite a few years.
I’ll (Danielle) never forget June 7, 2002. My dad and I were on a two-day trail ride in Limon with our horses and a bunch of friends from the farm. When we got back to the trailer, my dad checked his phone and there was a voicemail from my mom explaining my brother had been hurt. We figured he’d broken his arm or something, considering all the crazy things him and his friends used to do. We never could have imagined what we were about to hear; Kellen broke his neck in a swimming pool accident and was paralyzed.
We rushed the horses into the trailer and back to the stables and made our way to the hospital. They actually made me leave my brother’s hospital room because I couldn’t stop crying and it was upsetting him too much. I was only 12 at the time and he was 17, going into his senior year of high school. All of our lives changed drastically after this.
When Kellen was transferred to Craig Hospital for rehab, we met another family there who was from Texas and their daughter was also there for rehab. We all became extremely close throughout our time at Craig, I honestly don’t think either of our families would have made it through the same way if we didn’t all have each other. Christin and Kellen could not have had more in common and my mom and Christin’s mom, Linda became the best of friends. We ended up remaining so close that we often visited Texas and they’d come visit us in Colorado throughout the years. We all even started taking vacations together. Kellen ended up getting married to the most wonderful person in the world (Kelsey) and Christin was in the wedding!
Fast forward several years later and we’re invited to their son, Rocco’s wedding in Cozumel. My mom, Kellen, Kelsey and grandparents and I all went but my dad had to stay home for work. I was always considered “Kellen’s little sister” and wasn’t really accepted into the group until after I turned 21. So, I didn’t really know anybody that well at this wedding. We all went on a booze crusie a few nights before the wedding and as I’m walking across the boat by myself, I see Colt walking toward me for the first time. I had this sudden insane nervousness and excitement take over me and he raised up his arm to high five me and said “I heard you just turned 21, happy late birthday!” I’m pretty sure I blushed and high fived him back with a nervous “thanks!” And then we walked on our merry way. After the booze cruise, I saw him again at the buffet. We were standing right next to each other and he invited me to go out with the group that night (we are totally standing side-by-side and not even making contact during this whole conversation … like the two most awkward human beings, ha!). I responded (because I’m a dork), “Why the hell not?” Really, who says that? … Anyway, after dinner and walking back to the room with my mom, I told her I was going to go hang out with everyone. She asked me if Kellen and Kelsey were going and I told her know. Apparently, she was in shock that I would actually go do something by myself because that is so.not.me. I was such a little weirdo as a kid, I was afraid to stay the night at friends’ houses. Again, who does that? So, needless to say, her mama-spidy sense knew something was up. What can I say? I just knew I needed to go.
I end up going to the hang out and everyone is at the resort club/disco. I walked in, seriously not knowing a soul (other than Christin and Rocco) and my eyes met Colt’s from across the room. Looking back now, we both had the same super excited, nervous rush AND huge smiles when we locked eyes. I walked over and we just started talking and pretty much didn’t stop talking for the rest of the evening. And then he walked me to the room like a perfect gentleman.
The next day, my family had planned to go into town and do a little shopping. I was dreading it because I wanted to be back on the resort so I could have a chance to bump into Colt again. Little did I know, he was looking for me all day. He even skipped out on playing water polo, for fear he’d miss me walking by the pool (his words). When I got back to the resort, we were all getting ready for the wedding. I saw him walking toward me with one of the other groomsmen (he was the best man) and my heart beat like it’s never beat before. Of course, in my head I still have the whole “Kellen’s little sister” curse and am worried he’s just being really kind because I don’t know anyone. He ended up stopping to talk to me and we did this embarrassing little handshake thing we somehow came up with the day before (let’s just pretend we were possibly drunk for that because adults don’t makeup handshakes … do they??) I could take you through the whole wedding ceremony but I’ll go ahead and just get to the reception.
Colt asked me to dance at the reception and taught me how to two-step. Eventually, we took drink and potty breaks and I actually sat down to Linda (Christin and Rocco’s mom) and told her I thought I was in love. She said to me, “With who baby doll?” And I told her it was Colt. Her response was, “Baby, you couldn’t have picked a better man.” And let me tell you, she was so right.
At the club after the reception, we were all dancing and taking pictures. Kelsey had my dad’s camera and Colt told her to take a kissy picture of us and stupid me thought “oh, like a kissy face picture.” He grabbed my face with both hands and kissed me. The most amazing kiss in the world and I melted. After the club closed and everyone else kept partying at the beach, we decided to go up to the Villa and play music. Colt couldn’t believe I had never heard of Randy Rogers so, he put his music on and we two-stepped until about 6AM. It was honestly the most romantic thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. We just wanted to be together. And then again, like a gentleman, he walked me to my room.
We spent the rest of the trip together, hanging out in the hammock, going down to the beach and just getting to know each other. Leaving was truly heartbreaking. I felt like a complete idiot because I had friggin tears streaming down my cheeks. We traded numbers and parted ways with a long hug and an even longer kiss. And on the plane, I sang Randy Rogers the whole way home.
Colt ended up finding me on Facebook so he could message me while he as still in Cozumel since I left a few days early. He told me he didn’t even like social media or really use it so, I was surprised but so excited when I got his message. We talked non-stop and he called me as soon as his plane from Cozumel landed in Texas. I finally mustered up the courage to ask him if he wanted to come to visit for Easter and I told him I would split a plane ticket with him. This is actually how it went down – I texted him and asked, “What are your plans for Easter?” He replied, “To hunt Easter Eggs.” So, I said, “Well, do you want to come hunt them here?” Smoooooooth, right!? He was all for it so, he bought a ticket (no he didn’t let me chip in) and he came out to visit. I guess he was so nervous on the plane he told the flight attendant he was flying to Colorado to meet his girlfriend’s parents for the first time and so she gave him a beer, on the house.
He landed, I picked him up and we went out dancing that night to the Grizzly Rose. We couldn’t have been more in love, and we told each other. We didn’t care if we hadn’t even known one another for a month. We just knew.
We spent the entire summer flying back and forth to see each other, never going longer than two weeks without seeing each other. Thank GOODNESS for South West Airlines. We finally decided that if we were going to do this, if we were really going to give it all we had, one of us was going to have to move. I was 21 and he was 27 and already had an established career, so, I decided to go on an adventure and moved to Texas in August. We had only known each other since April. Everyone thought we were crazy. His friends told him it was insane and that I was 21 and wouldn’t want to be settling down because I was at the “party age.” Everyone figured I’d never make it because I would get too home sick in Texas. The list of doubts goes on.
But I moved out in August of 2011 and we’re still together, 7 years later. I can’t tell you how many ups and downs we’ve had. We love and loved each other so much, but it was not an easy start. We both came from two completely different backgrounds and had never really lived with another partner before. But we never gave up on each other. We were learning so much not about just ourselves but of course, each other. He’s been laid off from two jobs, I had to move back to Colorado for 10 months in 2013/2014 to take care of my mom after she shattered her femur. We had two dogs at the time, Ruckus and Ransom, which made the long distance even more difficult. Ransom came to Colorado with me and Ruckus stayed in Texas with Colt. Even the dogs were torn apart about the whole thing. They didn’t understand why our family wasn’t together. I had to leave my job, friends, and my boys.
Because Colt was an independent Landman, he could pretty much travel a lot easier than I could. So, him and Ruckus drove to Colorado a lot throughout those 10 months. It was hard, but we knew we had a solid foundation and we were gonna be okay.
I finally moved back to Texas in September of 2014 and even since then, we’ve been through a lot. I ended up being harassed at my job and it really jeopardized my health. I filed a grievance and was basically forced out of my position. Colt was so supportive of me throughout this entire situation. I would have never made it without him. This is where our “couple song” comes in. We are HUGE music fans. We love jazz, we love to dance and we love live shows. Sturgill Simpson is one of our favorites. He is one of the most incredible songwriters of all time. One night, I was lying on his lap on the couch and I was super tired so about to get in bed. This was around the time I started being harassed at my job. He told me to take his headphones and get in bed and that he wanted to put on a song for me. He told me to be open-minded. So, I put the headphones on and listened to one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard; “All Around You” by Sturgill Simpson. This is one of my favorite parts –
There will be nights that go on forever
Like you’re long-lost at sea
Never to be found
Just know in your heart
That we’re always together
And long after I’m gone
I’ll still be around
‘Cause our bond is eternal
And so is love
After I had listened to the song, he told me he wanted to surprise everyone at our wedding with a first dance to that song that was a legit choreographed ballroom waltz. I was speechless. We got to go see Sturgill Simpson front row at Red Rocks in September of 2017 and it was the most amazing show we’ve ever seen. We tailgated since 11AM that day in the rain, just to see his show up front. It was so special to us. That’s one of our things we do as a couple, live shows. We really appreciate music and Art.
We’re always there for each other to give honest feedback and advice. We’re always supportive of each other. I’m extremely hard of how far we’ve come since we met. We love and respect each other and want nothing more than to be able to have our own wedding but we’ve had so many things happen in our lives that we haven’t been able to afford one. Part of the reason is we have an insane accident-prone working dog who racks up the vet bills. No joke, he was even bitten by a rattlesnake back in 2015 from our back porch. It was horrible.
We realize that was incredibly lengthy and honestly, we really could get into more detail if you need us to. But mostly, we just always try to put others first and being able to win this wedding would mean the world to us. We’ve been together for 7 years this April 9 and we can’t think of any better way to celebrate than to be able to get married this year and to be able to have our closest friends and family members there.
Thank you so much for considering us!