Friends, I'm so excited to introduce you to Leanna today. She is a force—one of strength and kindness and creativity. I admire her authenticity and perspective; I've tried to explain to Leanna how I see her but I feel at a loss for words. She's got that something, you know what I mean? Her authenticity, perspective, force, and that something are why I'm so glad she has begun this work as a photographer. I believe she is doing with her camera what I try to do with my words: Tell stories that are . . .
We are breaking from our regularly scheduled blog programming because TODAY is Darren’s birthday! My Darren—my husband, my teammate, my closest friend. I often tell him that he’s my “best part’a life”—and I really, really mean it. I can’t believe I get to be partnered up with him on this wild journey. Leading up to our wedding in August of 2015, I wrestled with my vows to Darren. I could write them, of course, but speaking them to him, with nearly 200 friends and family bearing witness, . . .
I’m 33 today. Thirty-three! That’s only 7 years away from 40, and 47 years away from 80. So I’m basically 80. Just kidding. I know I'm not ancient, but I do feel older. (Have you ever noticed that older people telling you you're young isn't really helpful? We all feel older when we reach a new age!) So I've decided that I love 33. I’m embracing it. I’m welcoming it with warmth and kindness, mostly because I don’t have a choice—33 is here. It’s been about a decade now that I’ll arrive at my . . .
It was December 1, 2001: I was 17 years old and halfway through my senior year of high school. Late that morning, I slowly made my way downstairs to the main floor of our home, soon noticing some newly hung decorations at the bottom of the stairs. They were three wreaths, each decorated with twenty-five small bags of candy. I knew these decorations well—they have somewhat magically appeared on every December 1st of every year in my memory. I shouldn’t have felt so surprised to see them on . . .
Last weekend, my husband and I drove home to Ohio after spending a few days with family in the Chicagoland area. We loaded up the car and left on Sunday afternoon, shortly before the Seattle Seahawks began their game against the Atlanta Falcons. I slid into Seahawks fandom a few years ago—a little bit through living in Seattle, a lot bit through my marriage to Darren. We never miss a game, so, naturally, we listened closely to the game on the radio as we drove the 5 hours to home. I cannot . . .
I still remember the night I somewhat haphazardly decided to watch the series finale of Parenthood in the presence of my husband, Darren. Of course, being a human who feels, I had cried during every Parenthood episode ever made, but the series finale was unlike any other episode. I wept uncontrollably, crying out nonsensical statements, like, “I hate this show!!!” (I really just hated that this show was ending). Darren was confused, concerned, and awkward—unsure of how to tend to me as the . . .