And she was full of gratitude. The kind that takes up all the table space.


Chaos took Craziness by the hand and they started jigging in the middle of the floor.

That has been my life as of lately. One big ol’ wedding party to celebrate Craziness & Chaos as they weave & bob & cut the cake.

And while I crave slowness & stillness, my bones feel full of gratitude for so many individuals. Individuals who came into my life just weeks ago. Individuals who have been friends & family since the start of this adventure and eons before it. Individuals who have read this little blog of mine since the first posting three years ago (happy blog-o-versary to me!)

This post is for all of you. It holds my gratitude. My love. My need to each & every one of you. My need to breadcrumb a trail of thankfulness for the ones who have pushed me, dared me, and believed in me enough to support me as I followed my dreams.

It ain’t ova yet… Truly, it is just starting.

First, first, All Of You– For all my readers. My supporters. My letter writers. My Beliebers (I don’t actually have those but hey, why not?) You keep me going. You make me see the value in my work. You challenge me. You keep my hands full of gratitude. I treasure you & your dedication to me in an always & always sort of way. Hold tight, much ahead.

& to a God of Abundance- I deserve nothing of this. But I am so thankful that you filled my hands. You’ve blessed me with soul & purpose, is there thankfulness enough in this world for that?

Mama & Dad– I know I don’t say it nearly enough but Thank You. For raising me well. For believing in me enough to let me quit my job to follow my heart. For instilling values into me. For teaching me the true worth of humans & the time that they will always deserve. I love you.

Celia & Carleigh- You two have been my biggest cheerleaders since day one. Every blog post, every writing piece, every stitch of the heart. I don’t think enough words exist in the world to thank you so fully for your friendship and your belief in me. I don’t ever plan to let you down.

The roots of me—Corey, Lauren, Laura, Sarah, Christine & Tori-  Thank you for the endless support. The constant normalcy. The girls’ nights that arrive at much-needed times. The wine & laughter. Y’all take such inventory up in my heart.

Jill & Ron– Seemed only right to pair you as the two of you tag team my blog on a daily basis and show my TED talk to dinner guests. Thank you for your endless support & your goodness. Jill, thanks for taming Ron. & for being one of my very best friends. Ron, thanks for taking care of my Jill. & for telling me what the world truly needed out of me.  Naters– not a day goes by where we don’t miss you still. We love you. We are constantly geared towards making you prouder.

Britt– For a friendship that never ages. Never falls away. Never stops growing. You bring me laughter & clarity. I am endlessly grateful to call you a friend. I am so very proud of you & your every endeavor.


Tiffany Farley- For being a brain sister. For being a sister when I always prayed for one. For loving branding just as much as me (maybe more). For being fierce right alongside me in pursuing gifts and never apologizing for the call on your life. I look up to you. I thank God for you in an always & always kind of way.

Tippin-For laughter. For joy. For the reality that life should not be taken so seriously. You keep me high-fiving a million angels & I is so very grateful for you. This is truly our beginning…

Tammy Tibbetts- There are not enough words in the dictionary to thank you for your friendship & guidance in the last two years. You and your organization saved me. You gave wings to my smallest ideas. And I will never, EVER, stop thanking you as my front row seat supporter at the TED showcase. It means the world to have you in my corner.


Danielle LaPorte, Eric Handler & Selena Soo- Thank you for giving me the courage to leap. Thank you for the chances you’ve poured out upon me. Thank you for igniting a light within me & steering me on a path to making own dreams come true. It has been the biggest pleasure & blessing to work with each of you this year. Thank you for being such lasting role models to me.

Danielle D, Becky, Leonora, Sara, & Jen- You. Speak. Life. Into. Me. You keep me organized. You keep me sane. You convince me that Twitter is a beautiful, beautiful organism. I would be all sorts of lost without you. Thank you for putting up with me & thank you for never leaving my side.

The More Love Letters Team – Each of you is a miracle. An absolute miracle. Thank you for joining me. For coming along with the wild ride. For bringing feet and arms to a crazy mission and making sure I don’t stand alone in it. You are invaluable  in my book. I love you in an infinite, forever kind of way.

The whole of City Church- I feel blessed & blessed & blessed to be in such community with such beautiful souls. Thank you for welcoming me in. Thank you for shifting me & helping me heal. Thank you for showing me what mobility God has for my life & for teaching me to grow my faith like a sunflower. Taller & taller & taller. T & Miah- thank you for being my biggest strongholds in all of this. My gratitude for the both of you Never Stops Overflowing. Lauren G– You are one of my best friends. You make me so proud. Thank you for caking me with normalcy & Starbucks. I need it more desperately than you know.

Save the Children- I miss the limbs off each of you but I am so thankful to have known you, laughed with you, and- above all- gained the distinct pleasure to work with you. Your drive is remarkable and I am severely impressed with each of you on a daily basis. Thanks for being such a supportive clan & for pushing me to make the leap out into my own ventures. It was Rough Sauce to say goodbye but I won’t let you down.

She’s the First- Oh, jeepers… open the floodgates. Each of you has changed my life is some unexpected way. I won’t ever stop being grateful for how I stumbled into such a powerful organization full of go-getters & do-gooders. I love you. And I am eternally oozing with gratitude at the thought of being enveloped in this family of beautiful folks.


To TED & TEDsters alike- Thank you for bringing me to your stage and giving me a chance to truck my little mail crate along to NYC. You gifted this girl with the very best experience of her life and she will never forget it. Nick- thank you for your friendship in all of this. Tania & Brian- Thank you for adopting me into your family and keeping my tummy full of cruddy diner food. You fuel me & you make me count my blessings twice.  I am so thankful to be a “we” with you.

To the Grovers- Thank you for ushering me into your community. Thank you for warm cups of coffee & the finest of fine hospitality. Thank you for bringing  innovation back into the elbows of New Haven and letting me fall in love with this city all over again.

Steph & Sara-I honor you. I look up to you. I never go a day without thinking of your mentorship. Thank you for being leaders & beacons in my life. And for helping me hold my mission high up to the world.

Joshua Furnas– Thank you for laughter. & orbs. And for printing. & publishing my first memoir without letting me see the manuscript.


My Georgia Peaches- Thank you for the best vacation this girl has had in a long while, even better than the time the maid at Disney World consistently sculpted characters out of hotel towels for me. It was such joy & needed goodness to find friendship, laughter, deep conversation, & home in the crevices of Georgia’s countryside. I’ll be moving soon 😉

Kendall Ciesemier – I don’t know how our friendship rose up out of the ground but I am so thankful that it did. Thank you for your peace. For your quality. For your willingness to be a constant cheerleader but also a voice of reason. I treasure you.

Matthew- How do I thank you enough?! I feel like this whole blog post should be just for you… But will you take the mention? I am proud to have you as a cousin. I have been wanting to change the name of this blog to…. Stay tuned. But seriously, I love you. Always.

Azure, Claire, Kaleigh, Tehrene- AKA the definition of awesome sauce. Thank you for always hammering me with inspiration & new ideas. & text messages. & support. & beautiful words. Each of you are a marvel to me. I feel very lucky & blessed to know you.

There are numbers & numbers of folks to thank beyond this teeny blog post. Please know that this is not the fullness of my list or the end of my list… I would be here for tiny eternities if I were to list everyone. For all your impact, your support, your love, and your spirit…. I am scripting a language of gratitude to you. 


She knows my whole heart. And she does not judge me for any of it.

She is a friend of mind.  She gather me, man.  The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.  It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.  ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

There are days when I want to literally curl up into my Inbox and just wait. I could find a cozy spot between the sent items and saved drafts and just wait. I would even settle for making a bed with the piles of junk mail and deleted items. Just To Wait.

Life might be easier this way, if all we were expected to do with our days was wait to hear from our best friend. A friend who gets us completely.

My best friend and I email each other almost every day. Sometimes I have great difficulty in coping with the fact that we have the adjective “Long Distance” attached to our friendship for what could be a very long time. But we have a bond that I cannot explain. She Knows Me. I Know Her. And at the end of each day we cling to that understanding.

Our emails are a mess. A Literal Mess. Sure, you could uncover the paragraphs. The punctuation. The breaks and beginnings. But our hearts are splattered all over the messages. I sometimes think after I send an email to her that I should recieve a notification that says “Mailbox over size limit” because we pack so much emotion, hope, desperation, questions & answers, and an overwhelming love for life into each email. No gigabyte or megabyte seems justifiable.

Someone asked me the other day what was the best thing about my friendship with her. “She knows my whole heart,”  I said. “And she doesn’t judge me for any of it.”

I guess as we grow older we learn what is important and not so important when it comes to friendship. I once thought friendship was all about quantity. Lots of friends on the playground. Plenty of friends to sit next to at lunch. Too many friends on Facebook. Always people to text message. But sometimes having so many friends can make us feel so little in this world. Insignificant, as we cling to our generic messages and irrelevant friend requests.

I now see that friendship is about something much deeper than numbers like “7” or “12.”

My mother always warned me not to pick and choose my friends like colors out of a crayon box. She feared the ease I found in becoming bored with one and moving onto the next in such a natural manner. I always replied that it was best to have a lot of friends. “A lot of friends, Hannah?” she would ask. “Or real friends?”

She waited for me to learn (in the way no parent ever hopes for: The Hard Way) that friends, real friends, are there without question. They are not be seeking out the next best route to make us feel worthless or weak. Friends, real friends, are loyal to a fault. They lend relevance to the cliche “catching you when you fall,” as they know when to stop walking next to us and start walking close behind. Arms Out. Ready for the Catch. Friend, real friends, never give us a reason to ask if our secrets are safe with them. We trust the second that the deepest intimacies of our souls reach their ears they are tucked straight into the heart. Locked and Keyed. And there they stay.

Friends, real friends, let us Wallow, Cry, Scream, Be Mad at the World. They accept broken hearts and bad moods as currency to our friendship on some days. But they are real friends because they know when to tell us to snap out of it, to straighten ourselves up and get back out there in the world. Friends, real friends, know when our sadness is no longer an excuse for missing out on life, when our delusions have gone too far and when we need to smarten up before the World deals us a harsh lesson. Friends, real friends, are the kind who rejoice in our victories. We count on them. To Celebrate. To Commend. To Be Proud. They also give reality checks and bring us back down to earth when we get ahead of ourselves.

Friends, real friends, help us to uncover things that we were not meant to find on our own. Sometimes diligence. Other times passion. Sometimes kindness. Other times persistence. Friends, real friends, are a saving grace in a world that seemingly becomes scarier every single day. Because this world comes with a lot of potential for pain: bullies on the playground, broken hearts on the concrete, broken dreams in the gutters.

Sometimes there are no better words than this to describe a true friend: No matter where you are, in your hometown or a big city, someone, somewhere knows your heart. They know the pieces. They know the stories. They know the struggles. And they choose not to judge you for the mess that you are. Someone, somewhere, carries you in their heart wherever they go. And that will always surpass carrying around a number like “1,700 Facebook friends” or “300 followers.”

Someone, somewhere, never made you a number. An obligation. A project. A chore. They simply made you a friend and, in a world that seemingly requires so much to be happy, it became all you never knew you were even missing in life.