How do I love this family? Let me count the ways.
I met the Dearings in the summer of 2007, when I signed up to take an improv class at their newly-formed acting studio. Except they weren’t quite The Dearings yet. Matt and Leeann had just gotten engaged and were planning their March ’08 wedding. Which made me a little bummed, only because I wanted Leeann to compete for Miss Arizona USA but married ladies aren’t eligible. Boo.
So I finished the month-long class and we parted ways for a bit. Then in early 2009, Dearing Acting Studio was holding auditions for Chaos Comedy, their in-house improv troupe. I had a private audition (because I had other commitments and wasn’t able to attend the open audition) and I was accepted onto the troupe! That’s really when Leeann’s and my friendship began. She ended up competing for Mrs. Arizona America that summer and I was thrilled to have helped coach her to a 2nd Runner Up finish!
Through our mutual loves of acting, goofing off, singing show tunes, and pageants, we became soul sisters. And when I met my would-be husband that August, Leeann was giddy with me, prayed with me, and cried happy tears with me. She was my Matron of Honor at my October 2010 wedding. Then in July 2011, we cried together over our Z-Tejas trio when she told me she was pregnant. Eight months later, just days shy of Jack’s due date, I surprised her with my own pregnancy news.
Nearly ten years and four babies later, we remain the best of friends. And our sweet little sons, just eight months apart, love each other so much. They even have their own hashtag. (#jackandaaron, by the way).
Leeann, Matt, Jack, and sweet little Rosalyn are even more beautiful on the inside than they are on the outside. Their light for Jesus shines through in all they do. They truly love inspiring others to reach their dreams and I am so humbled to call them my friends.