Cole and Savannah LaBrant, the newly-married couple known for their popular YouTube vlog, Cole&Sav, captivate millions of followers each month with their bi-weekly videos that celebrate their “wholesome, not-perfect family.” Now the pair is taking on their biggest project yet by writing a book about their love story — including the heartbreak Savannah faced as a young, single mom before she met Cole.
“We both want our fans to connect with us on a deeper level,” Cole, 22, says in a joint interview with PEOPLE about their book, Cole and Sav: Our Surprising Love Story, out October 9. The book will explore their individual stories growing up, Savannah’s pregnancy at 19, and how they met and fell in love. (See the exclusive excerpt and cover reveal below.)
“We definitely want people to take away that there is hope at the end of that tunnel,” Cole says.
Cole and Savannah first met when he was 19 and she was a 23-year-old single mom to then-3-year-old daughter Everleigh.
“I don’t think that anyone would ever pair us together,” Cole says, explaining that not only was he younger than Savannah, who was a single mom, but that they also lived in different states (Savannah is from California and Cole is from Alabama). “I think it just comes to show you can never doubt who God has for you. [You should] always be open to his possibilities.”
Individually, Cole and Savannah had large social media followings, which grew even more after they joined their brands. But it’s their love story that keeps drawing people in.
The LaBrants got married a year ago and love showing their fans how they navigate the fun, messy parts of life. (The video from their wedding alone has almost 30 million views.) But the main star of the show is Everleigh.
“She has a blast, she loves being on camera,” explains Savannah, who is now five-and-a-half months pregnant. The couple is expecting their first child together — a baby girl.
“The main thing we’re trying to show our fans is a wholesome, not-perfect family that has a lot of fun together,” Cole says. “God has given us this awesome platform that we use to glorify Him. [We’re having] a lot of fun doing it.”
While the couple is eager to meet the new addition to their family (“We’re just really excited,” Savannah says, “She’s a healthy baby so far.”), Savannah’s life wasn’t always so picturesque.
In the book, and the below excerpt, Savannah describes the affect her parents’ divorce had on her (the marriage ended after her father cheated on her mother, she says). She was scarred again when Everleigh’s father cheated on her — multiple times.
“[My parents’ divorce] definitely got to me. Especially as a teenage girl I think it’s so important to have your dad in your life if you can,” Savannah says. “I think that definitely made me kind of go down a darker path.”
She continues, “Not choosing the right guy and also just being cheated on by [my] boyfriend, I think it helped me understand how hurt my mom was [when she was] cheated on.”
Despite their heartbreak, Savannah and her mom rallied together to raise Everleigh.
“We were both there for each other and understood each other’s situations,” she says.
Savannah explains that meeting Cole not only changed her life, but also the life of her daughter. Now a stepdad, Cole has been careful about how he navigates his relationship with Everleigh.
“The fact that I wasn’t [Everleigh’s] real dad would get in my head a lot,” he says, but adds that their relationship has grown after he married Savannah. “Obviously, I never want to take the spot of her real dad. She definitely knows she has two dads who love her so much.”
“I really had to put aside my pride and… just know my goal is to love her,” Cole adds, “and for her to see how a dad is supposed to treat her mom, how a dad is supposed to treat her… and let her figure out the rest.”
Both Cole and Savannah are excited about the book’s release because they want to share the lessons they’ve learned as a family, and how their lives have changed since falling in love.
“I had put in my head that nobody would accept me since I had a kid,” Savannah explains. “I never thought I would find somebody who would not only choose and love me but choose and love my daughter even more.”
Continue reading for an excerpt from Cole and Sav: Our Surprising Love Story:
I was pregnant.
The thought of having a baby scared me to death. I didn’t know how I’d continue going to college and take care of a baby. And if I didn’t finish college, what kind of life could I have?
Tommy, however, seemed oddly excited about it. He even talked about us getting married. My parents never would have gone for that because they were not overly fond of Tommy. Telling my parents I was pregnant with his child was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. They were really supportive of me, however, and they loved the idea of becoming grandparents. He and my mom decided that they needed to make their marriage work so they both could be there for me and my baby. I was beyond thrilled. He sat down with my brother and sister and me and asked all of us to forgive him and give him a second chance. Of course, I was willing to do that. My fears about being pregnant went away.
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It didn’t last. Two weeks later my dad went back to the woman for whom he left my mom. I didn’t speak to him for months…not until after Everleigh was born. My disappointments were just beginning. Around my sixth month of pregnancy, I learned Tommy, who had been eager to get married when he found out I was pregnant, was now cheating on me. I was done, I thought. I dumped him, but we got back together when Everleigh was born. He promised me he’d changed, and I let myself believe him because I felt like I had to do everything I could to try to make a relationship with Tommy work for our daughter’s sake. He hadn’t changed. Within a matter of weeks after Everleigh was born, Tommy left me. Again. I felt horrible about myself. It wasn’t the last time. Tommy came back around whenever something big with Everleigh happened, like Christmas or a birthday. A lot of times I asked him to come back because I felt like our daughter needed her dad to be there. He came, and both of us were so focused on Everleigh that we didn’t argue, and we had what felt like happy family times. Happy family days triggered the two of us talking about getting back together. He’d swear everything was going to be different this time. “Just give me another chance,” he’d say, and I always caved. We always got along great if Everleigh was with us. However, whenever she was with my mom or asleep, the arguments started, the same old arguments we always had. Words flew. I was left feeling ugly and worse than worthless, like no one else would ever want to be with me because I had a kid. I could not live with that, so Tommy and I would split up, again. After every breakup, when Ev was asleep, I’d break down in tears before God, begging Him to bring me a guy who’d love and respect me and love Everleigh like his own. That guy never showed up. Or maybe I just never gave him a chance.
I once dated a good Christian guy in college during one of the times Tommy and I had broken up. He treated me with respect and was the kind of guy I should have dated, but then Tommy came back around asking for another chance, and I gave it to him. Just like that, I broke up with the good guy to go back to the bad boy. Yes, Tommy had cheated on me, but strangely enough, that was part of the appeal. When Tommy stared at other girls, even when we were together, that gave me a challenge to make him have eyes only for me. If he’d been all about me, then there was no chase. Writing it now, this sounds sick to me, and it was. I describe it as having a disease that I had accepted as my lot in life. Tommy didn’t just cheat on me. He drank a lot, but then again, I drank and partied when we first started dating.
Then things changed in a way that made me really uncomfortable, and I decided I couldn’t be around that, and for sure I didn’t want my baby around it. But then he’d show up and swear to me that he was done with all of that and that he’d changed and everything was going to be different. And I’d believe him, only to get hurt again. And again. And again.
My family begged me to give up on Tommy, which only made me mad at them and more determined to change him. “You deserve better than this, Sav,” my mom and sister told me over and over. I told them that they didn’t understand. But they did. I was the one who didn’t want to admit the truth to myself. Living this way changed me. I wasn’t a happy person. I acted happy in the videos Everleigh and I made on musical.ly, but overall there wasn’t a lot of joy in my life. My family saw how miserable I was. My mom told me she was always praying for me to leave him and had her friends praying as well. I know she was also asking God to send a decent, godly guy into my life. I never imagined Cole might be the answer to that prayer when I sent my sister off to find him.
When Cole walked away from that first meeting, I didn’t know I’d met the man of my dreams, but there was something about him that made me want to see him again. He was too young for me, and he lived on the other side of the country, so having any kind of relationship with him was out of the question. Still, I found I was intrigued by him even though I didn’t know anything about him. There was just something about him that drew me. I decided to go with it and see where it might lead.
Taken from Cole & Sav: Our Surprising Love Story © 2018. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.