Special Edition Series: Bonus Episode 03

Celebrating 100 Episodes! For the Love’s Favorite Moments & Memories

Break out the champagne and the streamers because today we’re celebrating our 100th episode! To mark this illustrious milestone, Jen is joined by the women behind the podcast: God-sent angel/assistant Amanda Duckett (who had to be heavily bribed to appear on the show), and producer extraordinaire/lover of stats Laura Neutzling. Together the ladies of For the Love dish on the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that have never left their laptops. Learn the secret identity of the first voiceover lady, which guest surprised Jen in the very best way, and what’s saving all our lives. The ladies muse on their personal favorite episodes and reveal which episodes have been your favorites, too. We’re also honored to celebrate you, our listeners, who inspire us to bring the best guests and topics to the table—here’s to the next 100 episodes!

Transcript from the show

Narrator:  Hi everybody, my name is Remy. Welcome to the For the Love Podcast, with your host Jen Hatmaker, my mom. She writes books and speaks to crowds. But she mostly loves talking to amazing people, every week, on this podcast. Thanks for listening. We hope you enjoy the show.
Jen:  Hey, guys, got a really fun episode coming up for you right this minute. This is the For the Love Podcast favorite moments celebrating our 100th episode. Oh, so fun! 

So you guys, we are coming up on the two year anniversary of this beloved little podcast, which started on July 12th, 2017. You may remember our very first guest, Shauna Niequist. You guys loved that episode so much. That is still our top-rated episode after all this time. What a great way to start.

We just celebrated our 100th episode in May during the Health series with Sebastian Terry—the most fun. Oh my gosh, go listen to that entire interview if you missed it. We thought it would be a hoot to go back and talk about our favorite moments around the podcast, talk about your favorite moments around the podcast because you have been the most faithful listeners, with your comments and your feedback and your reviews and your subscriptions. You have cheered us all the way to this moment, for sure.

We've looked back over all the episodes. We have compiled your top rated episodes, why you love them so much and we're going to talk about ours. What better little group of folks to dish over all this than the three women who pour themselves into bringing you this show every single week? 

You've heard me talk about my assistant, my literal God-sent angel to my work and my life, Amanda Duckett. Now to be fair, we had to bully Amanda into doing this. She is very, very introverted. She absolutely thrives behind the scenes of every big important thing. But she does not want to be on a stage. She does not want to be in the spotlight, never wants to be on a microphone and I'm like, "You're doing this." And she did. Amanda agreed, I'm tickled that you'll finally get to put a voice to my friend and partner in crime that you've heard me talk about a billion times. 

Also thrilled to have on this show our producer, the wonderful Laura Neutzling who has been with us since day one of this podcast. She and her team diligently craft every single episode of this podcast over at Four Eyes Media. They put together, with our input, the guest list and we brainstorm topics and themes. They do research and prep for every single interview. Then on the back end, they make sure it sounds beautiful and they do all the sound engineering and the editing. Laura and her crew on the production side of the podcasts are the best in biz.

The three of us, we are the think tank of this podcast. We hopped on a recording to discuss what it's been like to be two years in the making of this podcast, and we howled with laughter. You guys are going to absolutely love this episode because we all love this podcast so much. This is our baby, and we love it. And we love bringing you guests some that you know in love, some that you don't know, but they're interesting and thought provoking. We love putting these conversations out to you every single week.

Our deepest hope is that it is in some way a joy and a delight to your commute or your house cleaning or your workouts or however it is that you listen to podcasts. That maybe you walk away with some new ideas to chew on or a conversation that makes you think or maybe sometimes you just laughed, because that's okay too. We hope to also entertain you. 

Please enjoy this little behind-the-scenes celebration of our favorite moment from For the Love Podcast with me your happy hostess and our resident podcast queens, Amanda and Laura.
This is fun, girls. Here we are on a podcast together. It was just meant to be. Welcome.

Laura: Thank you.

Amanda: Thank you.

Jen:  It's just so crazy because I wish that everybody could even have a sconch of knowledge of how much correspondence the three of us do on this podcast. It's so over the top. We work so hard on this, the three of us, that it's making me laugh right now all of a sudden thinking of us recording a podcast together. It's just serendipitous.

We're going to get into a bunch of stuff because we're at our 100th episode, coming up on our two year mark—just passed our hundredth episode. In your words, I want my community to hear more about you and what it is you do. 

First of all listeners, I want you to meet Laura Neutzling and she is our producer.

Laura:  Hi!

Jen:  Laura, I would just love for you to talk for a minute about who you are and why we are in partnership and how we are in partnership and why do you like podcasts and just the whole thing.

Laura: Well,super excited, a tiny bit nervous because I'm usually on the other side of the mic doing the editing and doing all the other stuff. But this is so fun because it really is a passion of mine.

A little bit about me, I'm a veteran of kind of the music industry and the film industry. I started my own company about four or five years ago after working in Nashville for about 20 years in the corporate world and decided to kind of blow up my life. I got married really late in life, in my 40s, and for the first time. Moved to Florida, of all places, and started my company. I've been listening to podcasts for a long, long time. I was a very early adopter. Back in the day I was listening to it on my iPod touch. Remember those?

Jen:  Yeah.

Laura:  I got into the podcast world because when I started my company I was seeing that several of my clients were needing something else to reach a different medium. Four or five years ago podcasts were doing really well. It wasn't blowing up as much as they've blown up now. I feel like Serial, when that came out—y'all listened to that, right?

Amanda:  Oh yeah.

Jen:  Totally.

Laura:  It kind of put podcasts on the map in a whole new way. Then just in the last four or five years, we've seen our space grow. We've seen tons of other podcasts come on the scene. I'm kind of a chart-obsessed person, so I look and there's a new podcast coming out every week.

Jen:  Is there? I'm sure.

Laura: Oh my gosh, especially in our space it's like, "Oh, the Duck Dynasty guys just started a podcast. Neat. " We're up against Si and the crew. Anyway.

Jen:  I love that because the only person more competitive than me is you two. I don't have to look at the charts because I know that you will and one of you will tell us what's going on.

Laura: I didn't even think about this, but I think our Enneagram numbers are super complementary too. We talk a lot about that on the podcast, but I'm a 7 and so I'm not probably as stat—7s aren't as stat driven as like 1s or 3s. But I definitely have always been stat driven.

Anyway, moving on from that. I started working with companies and saw the need for this new-ish medium, very new to a lot of the companies I was working with. They didn't know how to apply podcasts. I had never produced a podcast. So I started with this one podcast with the company that I was working with and producing it, and it did really well. I just sort of taught myself what to do.

Along the way, I had an engineer that I worked with who we still work with today, and just started working in this podcast space and loved it. I was a journalism major in college. I started out as a music major then I switched to journalism. This satisfies my bent to tell stories and bring people's thoughts and ideas and lives to the fore so other people can hear about them, and I just absolutely love it.

Through working with this other podcast, the publisher that I was working with said, "Hey, you might be a good person to work with Jen. She needs a podcast."

I'm like, "Jen, okay, that's great." Because I had heard your name bantered about the publishing company I worked with.

I started doing my research, and then I came into Austin to meet you. My family lives in San Antonio—I'm originally from San Antonio, so that worked out well for me to get to see you and then go see them.

We had lunch, we sat down, we kind of compared notes about our backgrounds. It was extremely similar. We both grew up in very conservative religious environments and kind of did the whole youth group to college to working in the Christian realm. That's what I've done mostly all my life. I worked at VeggieTales, I worked at Word Entertainment, which is Christian music. You and I just had similar paths and also going through similar evolution with our faith. It was really cool to just go, I think we're on the same page. I think this is the kind of work that I want to do and get her message out.

We brainstormed about whether it should be series or topic focused, different things and you kind of rattled off some people. "I think this person could be on, Shauna Niequist would be great." We set to work on it and then we looped in Amanda, and Amanda's amazing. We looped her in and started going with it. We started it in July of 2017, and we have been rolling ever since. I'm just excited about it.

Jen:  Rolling. It's so true. It took us a while to get it off the ground. It took us almost six months to. . .

Laura:  There's the train. The train's on our episode!

Jen:  You know what, it's just fitting, isn't it?

Laura:  Yay!

Jen: There, this just feels this is right. This is on brand, everybody.

I knew as little about podcasting as you knew a ton about podcasting. I was starting in a negative space, and so it was quite a learning curve. We're going to get to that, but it took us about six months to even flash out the concept and sort of iron out what's our system going to be and what sort of our approach to podcasting. Because the nice thing about podcasting, especially two years ago, is you do what you want. You're not beholden to any template or any sort of format. I actually loved that, but the parameters were so wide that it took me a minute to kind of find what's going to be our lane. Amanda actually really helped I think firm that up once this turned into like a three-person conversation.

Speaking of Amanda, everybody's heard me talk about Amanda like a million times. Amanda Duckett is my partner and assistant. But also by the way, listener, she is so not here for this. I want you to just know that.

Laura:  We had to cajole.

Jen:  There's bribery involved. She doesn't necessarily care for the stage or the spotlight, yet here she is. It was inevitable. You knew this working with me eventually. So hello, will you introduce yourself and talk a little bit about you and us and everything?

Amanda:  Oh, I guess. The fact that I came kicking and screaming I think is just a testament to the fact that I am an Enneagram 6. I am loyal to what I do. I am loyal to the people in my life. No matter how much I may be dying inside, I will always show up.

Jen:  It’s so true. I know that and I manipulated that.

Amanda:  You did.

Jen:  I was like, "I need you to do this."

Amanda:  No shame.

Anyway, let's see. I, kind of like Laura, took the same path. I blew up my life six years ago and just uprooted everything. I'm such a "grow where you're planted” kind of person, but I made the decision to move 800 miles away from the place I called home. I was chasing family. Keeping everybody close was important to me. Around 2013, I moved from my hometown of Wichita, Kansas and relocated in Huntsville, Alabama, which is where I am now. I've been here for six years, I think.

When I did that, when I made that change, I also sort of walked away from my job that I'd had for several years and made the decision to go into the whole self-employed entrepreneur thing, to work as a consultant for the company that I had been working for at the time. I had been maybe doing that for about a year Jen, when you and I crossed paths. 

Not a lot of people know this, but I actually had the pleasure of working for your dad for I think six or seven years back when I lived in Wichita. He was an activities minister of this sort of mega church, I guess by Wichita standards, and helped launch this amazing activities ministry and in this huge facility. It was such a valuable ministry to the church and to the community. 

Anyway, I had the pleasure of working with him and growing up with your family. I worked with your brothers and your sisters. I knew the whole King clan except for Jen.

Jen:  Because Amanda's closer to my siblings age than mine, and so I was kind of up and gone by the time you sort of hit the King path.

Amanda:  Exactly. I was maybe doing this self-employed thing for about a year when your dad reached out to me and made the connection between us, and so that's where that all started.

Jen:  Let me just interject, real quick, on that because what that was everybody is that at that . . . what year was that, Amanda?

Amanda:  2014.

Jen:  So 2014 and I had outpaced my capacity by, I'm going to say, around a million paces. I was absolutely a disaster. I'm not good at business. I am not good at administration. I'm terrible at organization. I'm like ideas and content and dreams, and my head's in the clouds. I was just suffering. There is no other way to put it. I could not manage my career, had outgrown my abilities, and I was absolutely drowning. I didn't have a team. I didn't have anybody like on my crew.

So I was talking to my mom and dad one day and I'm just bemoaning like, "I can't do it. I don't know how to reply all these emails! I can't answer them! I'm going to quit my job! I think I'm going to go back and be a teacher." I just could not. 

My dad was like, "Why don't you call Amanda?" Of course I knew all about you because you'd worked for my dad for so long. 

I'm like, "Dad, she is not going to want to work for me. Like, who would? Who would want that, Dad? Don't curse her, don't curse her future." He talked so much about you and how you organized my dad and managed him. Let's not lie.

Amanda:  That's a big job.

Jen:  Management is a huge part of it. It's like if you can manage my dad, you can manage me. That's just a skill set that is deeply important to your job description. Dad connected us. and I mean literally that was it. I never interviewed another person.

Laura: Oh, that's so cool.

Jen: Listen, Amanda, you know this, but I don't care. Everybody else does too. But I told Brandon this was just like maybe a month ago because Brandon and I have been married 25 years. I said, "Look, I love you. I do. We've built a beautiful life. I'm proud of it. It's a joy. I'm just saying, if I had to pick between you and Amanda, I will miss you. Like, we had a good run."

Amanda: Oh my gosh.

Jen:  So back to you. So that was in 2014 and we sort of forged a real clunky, I didn't even know what to tell you. I'm like, "Can you work for me?"

"Yes. What do you want me to do?" 

"I don't know—everything? But can you tell me what you can do for me?" That's kind of how our conversation was. “What can you do? What do you know?” That's how—

Amanda:  Exactly. “Sort it out and run with it.”

That's how we sort of got connected. Now I'm just wrangling all the things: the emails, the events, the book orders, the podcast. Just every single piece of it, trying to make it all make sense. That's how that all came into being.

Jen:  The podcast is a big part of it, everybody. The three of us we're the engine behind everything from content to long-term planning, to series, and then the balance of the series. Then ultimately these girls go out and get our dream guests.

Then we kind of go, "Okay, best case scenario, A team. Who do we want, who would we love to have?" That's always kind of fun. We take a sky's-the-limit approach on that. The three of us bring all these ideas to the table and then we go after them. You know what, we get them most of the time, don't we? It's crazy.

Amanda:  I was actually just looking back at our emails from when this all started back. I think you and I just started talking about it in February of 2017. We just said, "This is something that our team's thrown around. That seems like a good idea. Maybe we'll give it a shot, do it for a season, see how it goes." We were so naïve. We had no idea what we were getting into, but. . .

Jen:  Literally none.

Amanda:  I was looking back at that first list like that very first, “If we could get these people, this would just be,” I think you called it “pie in the sky crazy.” I was looking at that list, and I think there were 18 names we had on that very first list. Do you know we've had 10 of them already, and one more is coming up?

Jen:  Really?

Amanda:  Yeah, we've gotten more than half of our initial dream list. So that was just crazy to see that all come together.

Jen:  That's so bananas.

Laura: Just that first series—I feel like when you first start a podcast, you're relatively sort of in the space for the first time and you're not sure. It's like, "I'm starting a podcast." Basically the people that we wanted for that first Friendship series, which was, I thought, a great way to start because it's kind of who we were as a podcast, building up a community of women and talking about friendship and kind of how important that is in our lives.

The fact that we got Shauna, we got Brené, just in those first couple of series—Glennon. We got some great people right off the bat. I know some of that was the relationships that you had already, but it was just so nice to just kind of come out of the gate with just strong episodes and strong people. I'm thrilled to hear that we've been able to kind of get that dream list underway.

I have other dream list people that we're constantly adding to the list, but—

Jen:  Oh yeah, totally same. I'm tickled when I hear you talking about that first series because content wise it was absolutely delightful. You are so right, we had top-drawer women in that first series with just really like rich conversations.

Technically . . . oh, bless us.

Laura:  Yeah, oh my gosh.

Jen:  I can't explain to everybody listening how little I understood about everything. About recording, about audio, about the mechanics of it all about the technology platforms.

I would say it was easily. . .  you just tell me if I'm cutting this short, Laura, easily the first, I'm going to say, 15 episodes that I recorded. I had my phone right next to me with you on it, like texted you the whole time. "This won't work. I can't get on. The Internet is going out. My microphone sounds strange. She can't connect. We've lost each other."

It was just absolutely endless. I thought, Well, we'll never get it. Like, God bless you. I can't believe you stuck around this podcast. You had to be like, This is the worst decision I ever made.

Laura:  I think because I went through the same foibles myself, just learning it and the platforms. Even two years ago, the platforms were a little bit wonky. You just didn't have state-of-the-art stuff, and the resources now that are available are so much better than they were. So just to alleviate you of your guilt and feeling like you were ignorant about podcasts, I think that just kind of came with the territory a little bit too. I think we got into a groove with that as well.

Then now you've become a pro. You're like, "Oh yeah, just go hit this box and that's where you get your mic hooked up." I hear you on the recordings and I go, Oh, she knows what she's doing now. But we did have some fun.

Jen:  That's only because every possible thing has gone wrong and it's one episode or another.

Laura:  Absolutely. We've become master solutions providers too just like, "How can we fix this?"

Jen:  Oh my gosh. We'll tell everybody about the Vicki Iovine episode.

Laura: That was hilarious.

Jen:  This was probably, it was either our third or fourth episode ever in the entire podcast.

Laura:  This was part of the friendship series and Jen had always wanted to talk to her. She's the writer of The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy and all the other great series that she wrote.

So we got the recordings back and I got Vicki's side, thank God because it would've been really hard to book her again to do it a second time, but I didn't get Jen's side. I called customer service for the platform we're working with, and I tried all these different tricks that I'd tried before and I could not get the recording. It was gone forever. 

So I'm like, "What are we going to do?" 

We came up with this idea since we had Vicki in the can, we decided to rerecord the podcast with me as Vicki reading from the script that she did.

I just basically transcribed her episode and I read it. We pretended like I was Vicki, and then Jen just kind of gave me her responses. She like laughed in the right places when Vicki says something funny and it was unbelievable. If you go back and listen to that episode, I dare you to try to figure that out because it came off really, really well.

Jen:  Well, you spliced it together perfectly. I was acting. I was actually acting, and I was trying to remember how like funny or charming I had been. I don't know! I can't remember. I was nervous. She's a writer who's meant a lot to me, and I actually emulated a portion of my career after sort of her style. I was an absolute novice and so I still didn't know how to podcast.

Guys, I cannot listen to the first four or five episodes. I cannot believe one of you guys did not call me and say, "Jen, take it down about 10 notches. It's too much. You're coming on way too strong." I didn't know how to be normal. It was like I drank 10 cups of coffee and it was just over exuberant, and you guys were really nice not to say anything. But when I listen to it now, I'm like, Jen, golly, I can't believe any of our listeners stuck around.

Laura: They did. Those were our most popular episodes, honestly. Part of that's just when you're starting out, you get a lot of listeners right out the gate, but I think they're oft returned to episodes. Sorry if that brings you distress.

Jen: When I think about that whole Vicki recording for me was second time around fakery, I'm just dying.

Also that was the early beginning when we were sort of picking out intros and segues and, like, you remember how long it took us to pick the music track behind? We must've gone around on that 29 times. But that's when we had the really unfortunate push back against the VOL.

Laura:  The VOL, guys.

Amanda:  Oh, the VOL.

Jen:  Can you talk about that too because that was just some sadness in the camp.

Laura:  This goes a little bit with hand in hand with my chart obsession and reading reviews and making sure that we're hearing the audience. It's very important to us to get your feedback.

Early on, I got a recording done for the intro. I started to see reviews online on iTunes going, "You know, I love the show, great show. I'm subscribed. I'm listening, five stars. But the voiceover lady, she's—”

Jen:  Which we'd like to call “the VOL.” That's what we said a minute ago.

Laura:  Yeah, the VOL, V-O-L.

Jen:  The VOL, V-O-L.

Laura:  I started reading these reviews I'm like, Oh my gosh, they hate the voice over lady. That was the only negative thing that was coming up. It wasn't overwhelming.

But to make a confession just today, I want to come clean: I am the voiceover lady. I was the lady that was despised and reviled on iTunes. I'm telling you, I read those reviews. And I've done some things in the public and had to be scrutinized, etc., but not very often. I'm usually behind the scenes, I'm working away, doing my thing to help somebody else promote their platform.

To see like, they didn't even know who I am and I'm seeing these reviews like, "She sounds like a robot." I'm like, Nobody's ever told me that.  

I go to Jen and she was so kind. Because I was like, "I think we need to change the voiceover because we're getting complaints." 

She's like, "Well, I haven't seen that many." 

I'm like, "Yeah, there's maybe four or five out of 400 reviews or whatever, but I just don't want any blight. I want us to keep five-star rating. What can we do?" 

We talked through it and she was like, "What if I have Remy do it?" 

I'm like, "Oh, genius." Or was that your idea, Amanda?

Amanda:  No, that was Jen's.

Laura: Anyway, Remy did an amazing job.

Jen:  Well, who's going to be mean to the Voiceover Remy, right?

Laura: Exactly.

Jen:  We needed all potential kick back on that.

What's so funny too is that Laura, for a season, would of course sign off on all of our emails as "voiceover lady-VOL". When the three of us communicate, well, we have two strands of communication. One of them is through long bullet pointed lists where we are discussing options for every series, every guest. These are like endless. The way that we have managed this, which I think is probably terrible communication, but it's just now it's what we do, is that we will reply to all and whichever one of us is replying, will reply on the end of every bullet in a different color. Then somebody else comes back in a different color. 

By the time we have sent an email around several times, it's complete. It's like rainbow vomit and who could read it? It is so crazy.

Amanda:  It is. You get a headache just looking at it.

Jen: But the other way that we communicate is through GIFs and memes. So the VOL hatred gave us a lot of opportunity.

Laura:  Oh, it did.

Jen:  To sent a lot of memes and GIFs about sort of sad chapter in your career as the VOL. I'm real sorry about that.

Laura: It was tough, but I got through it.

Jen:  Then Amanda, I'd love for you to talk for a minute about, because when I say “we,” I entirely mean you. You have completely renovated and created and developed the transcript page over on our website. How did that start, and where is it now?

Amanda:  Well, thanks to Laura, it's in a much better place. She transcribes everything, so she just sends me the finished piece and all I have to do is post it, which takes some time because of the formatting on the website platform that we use. But it's going and tracking down photos that we can implement videos if there are any of those are always great, making the pull quotes that people can share on social media. It's a big job. But thankfully Laura makes it much more possible.

Laura:  I have to give a shout out to one of my members of my team, Amy Kerr, who helps me with that. She does a great job. Just she gets our whole thing and loves the show, and one day you guys are going to meet her.

But those transcripts are amazing, Amanda. We're going to talk about one of our favorite episodes later, and I went to the transcript to look at it and was like, Oh my gosh, this is just so amazing. It just enhances it in such a beautiful way.

Jen: Totally. Now, I feel so bossy at the end of every single episode where I'm like, "If  👏 you  👏 are  👏 not  👏 going  👏 to 👏  the  👏 website,  👏 why 👏 are 👏 you 👏 even 👏 listening?" It's just such an amazing resource.

When I want to go back—because it's so strange as a podcast host, I'm so focused on conducting the interview, I'm so hyper vigilant about what are they saying and then adjusting some of my later questions. It's a harder skill than I thought, to be a really intentional and focused interviewer. Like, there was some really awesome information in there. I was assimilating it as fast as I could to ask them the next question out of it, but then I can't really remember. 

So when I want to go back and listen to something that I thought was wise, I always go to the transcript. Because I like to read it with my eyes, and I've cut and pasted a ton of segments that have been typed out for me, obviously via the transcript. Just to kind of see it in written form, helps me kind of assimilate the information.

I have learned so much from our podcast guests. I cannot believe how enriched my life is because of the quality of people we have had on for two years.

So, because you guys are both as apparently keyed into like ratings and reviews and paying attention to charts and all of it, it's been really exciting, you guys, to work alongside of you so hard.

It's a crew. It's a team effort. I've felt proud on behalf of all of us for some of our awards and some of the recognition that has come our way for the podcast, which by the way, I did not expect in the slightest. That's not why any of us started, but it's been pretty cool. We've gotten some good ones.

Amanda:  We have.

Laura:  It's neat because I think that of course I love an award. Give me a trophy and I'm happy. But more than that, it's just being in this space that you go, "Hey, we're a part of what's happening in culture. We're part of the conversation."

When we get an award, that's what it means to me and that's what I think is one of the such key things about why we do what we do, is to just get the conversation started from a different perspective that maybe not a lot of people have heard, just in the podcast world.

Jen:  I agree. It's been interesting to have recognition in some of these really broad spaces. You don't know who's listening to your podcast. We thought that this was our little private, personal empire. I never really know who else is listening or what's going on or who's paying attention. So to be sort of nominated and awarded alongside, I don't know, some pretty important spaces, and people, and thinkers, and leaders. I don't know, what are some of our awards?

Laura:
  We got the People's Choice Award, which has been around for about, gosh, ever since podcasts started maybe about 10 or 15 years ago. It's a little more grassroots kind of an award show, but we got Best in Religion and Spirituality for that. Which was exciting because that's voted for by people. They're the ones saying, "We think this is the best in that space." The actual listeners.

Then I was super excited about the next one we got because that kind of speaks to what I was saying about just being a part of the mix of culture. There wasn't even a spirituality and religion category for these awards. They're the Webby Awards, and they award movies and online, digital—anything that's digital, they honor. We were in the Lifestyle category and we got an honorable mention, which there are only five nominees and two honorable mentions. Among those were like NPR and Boston Globe, NBC and Vanity Fair. You're just like, We're having really important conversations around the same things, but we're having it from this unique perspective, and people are recognizing it. That just was so good for my heart. Just to go, Our work means something and it's permeating these areas.

Jen:  Could not agree more. It was flattering last month to get the Iris Award for most engaging content because Iris places a high premium on engagement. That's what we're doing here. We are hoping deeply to engage our listeners. We want to engage you in important conversations. We want to engage you in sometimes humor and entertainment. We want you in. This isn't just like the Jen, Laura, and Amanda Show. Engagement matters deeply to us. Being recognized for having highly engageable content was so, so flattering to me.

One thing that you pointed out, Laura, that I loved: I don't know why this has not just been like my lead story all this time, but the For the Love Podcast is, it's female led, it's female produced, and it's a female-empowering podcast, which is pretty rare. This is like most things a largely male-oriented industry, right?

Laura: Yes. It's growing in females, but to be 360, to have a female host, female producer, that's rare.

There are not a lot of female producers in general in Hollywood and in any kind of entertainment medium—same for podcasts. But they're growing. And again, the female empowering part of it, absolutely. That's what I loved about how our podcast has evolved, and we had important conversations from the get go in our Friendship series. But yeah, the whole female empowerment thing and just the fact that we are living that. 

It's so funny because I think we're just in it doing it. It just kind of dawned on me too, I wasn't just going, Look at us. We're this amazing female team, this great work. It was like, Oh wait, we're unique in this space. Not everybody's doing this.

Jen:  I'm proud of that too. I'm also proud that that space, as you mentioned, which is sort of female led, driven and centered, and it's a smart space. Sometimes it's controversial, or it's challenging, and I'm glad for that too.

You guys know how much I value humor. I love funny. Look, our Comedy series was one of my favorites for sure. I love entertainment. Some of my still on my want list are comedians, like, who are heroes of mine.

But I'm also really proud to bring content that has depth to it and substance and doesn't necessarily offer real canned answers, but definitely opens up dialogue. That to me, I feel really, really, really proud of that.
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Jen: I would love for us to pivot forward because the three of us, we have our hand in this more than anybody else. I would love to know from you guys, and then I'll jump in too. Two years of a podcast, it's no joke, and we've not missed a week. I think one week, we replayed a favorite. Am I getting this right?

Amanda:  I think so. Yeah.

Jen:  
We replayed Emily Ley's episode at the beginning of the year. So in two years we have only done one repeat, and we have had a new episode every single week since we started. We have a lot to pull from here over a 100 episodes.

I would love to know everybody's, maybe it's more than one, but a favorite or your absolute favorite episode, and maybe even moment inside the episode why you loved it, what you heard about it, and why it meant something to you.
Amanda, let's hear it from you.

Amanda:  Well, mine's probably a toss up of a bunch of them actually. I really, really, really enjoyed the episode where we got to have your parents on, Jen.

Jen:  Can I just say real quick, before you go on, that was Amanda's idea. It was Amanda's brainchild, and ultimately it was Amanda convincing my parents to do it. So your instinct was right because that episode was hilarious.

Amanda:  It was. I was getting the texts from you about, "Oh Lord, what are we doing? My dad, he is worried about what he was going to wear on the podcast."

Jen:  On our audio podcast.

Amanda:  Then to hear him yelling at the dogs in the middle of the interview, this is exactly what it was like working in an office with him for seven years. Just kicking his computer and screaming at it. It was just a wonderful reminder of that time.
Jen:  In fact, I think we've got a clip that we will play specifically about my dad yelling at the dogs. So here it is. 
Jen: So let's take another listener question. Okay, so here's the next one.

Joanne from New Brunswick, Canada: “Hi, this is Joanne from New Brunswick, Canada. I have a question about Jen from when she was a little girl. Just wondering, how did she respond to discipline? Was she pretty sassy and snarky? Or was she more remorseful and broken and really sorry about something she had done?”

Jana: Larry, you field that one.

Jen: Okay.

Larry: Well, let's see. If I remember the question that you just asked, how did you respond to discipline?

Jen: Yeah.

Larry:
I would say you tolerated it, but responded reasonably well most of the time.

Jen: Did I? I don't remember.

Larry: You were more receptive to that. You had more of a, I don't know if “work ethic” is the right word or not, but you always were the achiever, the striver, the one that shot for excellence and not so much with the rest of the crew.

[Dogs barking in background]

Jen: That's okay, we'll just have dogs and trains in the podcast. It's just how it . . . This is real life.

Larry: Just a . . . Hey, shut up! You dogs shut up, dadgummit! We're at an interview here.

Jen: Oh gee.

Larry: Where do we pick up?

Jen: We're gonna leave that in, Dad.

Larry: Your sister, Cortney, was walking up and they saw her and thought it was the boogerman and started barking. I put them out.

Jen:
Perfect. Oh that's hilarious.
Jen:  Okay, that's my dad, everyone. That's exactly quintessential Larry King right there.

Laura:  So hilarious. My dad says dadgummit too. Is that like a Southern dad thing?

Jen:  But Dad says more than that.

Amanda:  He does.

Jen:  So I'm just grateful that that's the word that he chose that day. We didn't have to bleep anything out for content. Anyway. . .

Laura:  The transcript on that episode is one of my favorites too, because it has just awesome old pictures of you guys and like your station wagon. It's just so, so, so fun. Obviously you put that together with a labor of love, Amanda. That was really great.

Jen:  It was. What's your other, you have another one?

Amanda:  I do. I would say that the other one is kind of a mish-mash of a whole bunch of episodes. Basically anything where we hit on community and building connection with one another. I have lived for those episodes and thinking about Shasta Nelson talking about girlfriends, and Kristin Schell with the Turquoise Table, and of course Queen Brené. That was one of the best.

Jen:  It was.

Amanda:  Sara Cunningham with Free Mom Hugs.

Jen:  I cannot tell you how many people have sent me pictures and notes and emails like, "This is me and my crew. We're going to our parade, here's our stats, our signs, our mom hugs." It's just awesome.

Amanda: I just love that that connects with people so deeply. It feels like a balm for what's hurting us. Those episodes just really mean a lot to me.

I think probably my favorite one of them all is our very first episode of this entire podcast with Shauna Niequist. I love to entertain, I love to bring people together, and so it was good for me on that level just to hear some of her tips and the way that we don't have to over labor everything about being Pinterest worthy.

People don't have these expectations of us and we should just meet them where we are in our lives. I loved it for that reason, but I also loved there was a tender moment that she had where she was just very vulnerable and talked about a season in her life where she recognized that she didn't have the capacity to do what needed to be done in our her life. She took it to the people in her circle in her community and asked them to intercede on her behalf because she had too much pain, too much grief that she was living in that moment.

She knew, “I needed people to be praying for me and so I asked my people to do it for me.” I’ve had, I don't know, a challenging year and a half, probably, this last year or so. And going back over that a few times since we had that interview, it's just really resonated with me and really reminded me that I can lean on my people. That's probably my favorite of all that we've done.

Jen:  That's such a great choice. In fact, we'll play that clip right now. 
Jen: You've referred before to friendship as a “shelter.” I love that. That has been the truest piece of my experience that I can recall. Can you name a time or two maybe, or certain ways that your friends have been a shelter for you?

Shauna:  You know, maybe I'm thinking of this a lot right now, because I have a couple of friends in my life who I adore, who in the last year or so, have had miscarriages. So you know what happens in your life is you're experiencing something absolutely horrible. Then one of the tiny things, it doesn't make it better, but it at least you are happy to share what you know. Then you become a person that people call when they have the same experience.

All that to say, someone I just absolutely adore showed up on my doorstep a year ago and said, “It's happening today. I'm losing the baby today.” Sitting with her and talking with her reminded me of how my friends were my lifelines during those losses. How they were in my space, in my home with my kids, feeding us, and praying with us. After the second miscarriage, and it was twins, there was a season where quite honestly, I had to ask people to pray for me, to pray the prayers I wanted to pray, because I couldn't right then. And I kind of had to say, “I'm silent in my spirit and in my heart. But if you could pray to a good God for a new life on my behalf, if you could pray for my broken heart.” To have people literally sitting next to me holding my hand, praying out loud the words that I was too empty and silent to pray.

In addition to flowers and laundry and picking my kids up at preschool, I have never felt so surrounded by the blood and guts human thing than in those seasons of so much loss. I'm so thankful for them.

Jen: That’s so powerful. I mean, even as you're talking, my mind is going through a reel of how many times you have been that friend to me, and I am so grateful. Being sheltered under the nourishment of a friendship, it's healing; it's transformative, actually. You receive that kind of friendship because you are that kind of friend.

That goes back to our earlier conversation: you will get out of your friendships exactly what you put in. So, if you decide to go all in here and invest hard and go after it, ultimately, when you need it, when you're the one with the dry well, you will have so much depth and richness to draw from because you have invested so deeply into other people. It will be their honor and their joy to invest back in you.

You're so good at friendship—one of the very best I've ever ever known, Shauna, and I mean that.

Shauna: Oh my goodness, thank you.
Jen: I actually loved that part of our conversation too. I'm so happy that you picked that moment, Amanda. Shauna—I've said it a million times, but I mean it sincerely—she's just one of the wisest, wonderful people that I know. That moment was so genuine and vulnerable and tender. That was a part of our very first episode should have been an indicator that we were going to be on the right track.

Laura:  Definitely. I felt the same way. I was just thrilled that our first episode came off so wonderfully. And I think we put like two or three out kind of all at once or just really close space together and got a lot of traction just with people listening, but that one is still the number one episode. It's the most listened to. It's gotten the most feedback.

Amanda:  Most downloads.

Jen:  It's awesome.

Amanda:  I remember some of the comments that we've gotten on that. "The podcast made me cry like six times. Maybe it's PMS. No, it's definitely the PMS. Can't wait for what comes next."

"I've never been a podcast girl, but thanks to you now I'm 100% loving this series. I've listened to it multiple times. Thank you for your wisdom and honesty and humor.” 

There's just so much love for Shauna, for all of our guests.

Jen:  That's true. How about you, Laura, fave moment?

Laura:  Oh my gosh, it was so hard to choose.

I'm a lot like you. I am a sucker for comedy. I love funny things, I'm an SNL freak. The Comedy series was just like a dream for me to have Kevin Nealon and on and Angelah Johnson, who is so hilarious and it's just such a great group of people.

But it's been so funny because I did not think that I would be so affected by our faith series—both of them, actually, the current one that we just finished and then the original one that we did call For the Love of Exploring Our Faith.

I would be researching these episodes and I would be getting questions ready and I would be reading the content of these people and literally having personal revelations. Like, Oh my gosh, I've always felt that, but I've never heard anybody say that.

Jen:  Totally.

Laura:  This was a real kind of like with you, Amanda, going through something personal and then having that Shauna Niequist episode just really speak to your heart. This stuff was right in the middle of where I was going in my personal faith walk. Then just some of the issues that we touched on.

And So, For the Love of Exploring Our Faith became, we're really exploring our faith. This isn't just Sunday school. These people are doing really groundbreaking things and also getting a lot of criticism and a lot of push back and starting just these amazing conversations.

I just reveled in that series and just ate it up. The one that really, really got to me because it was just so illuminating was by Lisa Sharon Harper. This was the one that we actually got the Webby Award for.

Jen:  That's right.

Laura: It sheds such a light on. . . just some of the very deliberate history of sort of segregation in the church. Oh my gosh, it was super sobering.
I talked about it for weeks afterwards. My husband was just like, "Stop talking about that episode." That's because I was like, "Did you hear this part?" I was just blown away.

Jen: Totally. Let's play it a little bit because there is a reason that was an award-winning episode. Here it is. 
Jen:  There's sort of, as we whitewash the atrocities of our own American narrative, there's this very real inclination to push it in storytelling so far backwards. “It was so long ago. We're so beyond it. We're just so incredibly far removed from the roots and the evil of slavery.”

So I think when a lot of white people specifically want to push, “We're a post-racial society,” it's just simply impossible to conceive of a nation that spent 300 years in racism and slavery and subjugation and inequality to imagine that in 60 years it's fixed. You know, “It's done. We're over it.”

I remember the first teacher that said that to my ears, and it was so incredibly profound, that we can look to our parents and our grandparents, and certainly our great-grandparents, and see it alive and well.

Lisa:  Oh my gosh, yeah. Look at this. So, I just came, literally this last weekend, I was on the MLK pilgrimage with Faith and Politics Institute, and with John Lewis. It's in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the garbage workers' strike, and the death of Dr. King.

So, we're there, and we're in Selma now . . . I'm sorry, Birmingham. We're at the 16th Street Baptist Church, and I learn for the very first time, and I've been there several times, but I never realized this: that in Alabama, they outlawed black churches having spires on the tops of their churches because they didn't want them to look beautiful.

Jen:  Wow. I've never heard that.

Lisa:  So, when you see . . . yeah, so when you go into Alabama and you see all these historic churches, black churches, historic black churches, and they don't have spires. They look like they were built to have spires, but the thing is they were all removed. All the spires were removed at one point, and so now they kind of look stunted.

So the thing is, the subjugation was that detailed.

Jen:  That's right.

Lisa:  It was in every single aspect of life, and it wasn't . . . this is the thing that got me this last weekend. It wasn't neutral. It wasn't just white folks living their lives and black folks being impoverished as well. They just didn't—

Jen: It was intentional.

Lisa: They just needed a leg up that they didn't get when they came out of slavery and so whatever . . . no. The white establishment in the segregated South—and in the North actually, it wasn't just the South—but it was actually intentional. There was an intentional pushing down, crushing even, of the image of God in people of African descent.
Jen: You guys probably are too, but I am still getting feedback on that episode and it was probably a year ago. Did we do that first series a year ago, maybe?

Laura: Yeah.

Jen:  That one really made an impact. The thing that I heard in that episode too that I also just thought about for weeks was how Lisa unpacked the construct of what it meant to be white. Do you remember that? It went on a census form for the first time, it took you out of your ethnicity and just made "white" a category. I just hadn't really ever thought of it. As she sort of unrolled her academics around that, I was just, I remember sitting in my chair during that interview like, Wow, this is gonna drop. This is really, really going to be good for people to hear. That episode was amazing.

Laura:  So many of our guests that have come on, like some of the people in that series are like, "Oh my gosh, I heard the Lisa Sharon Harper episode and it was so amazing." Even our guests have commented about that one. It really is something else.

But there was some great feedback on social media too and people really had to process it and re-listen to it. It was just like, it was this huge history lesson, huge Bible lesson, but they said, "This is going to be a re-listen one. Thank you both for a very eye-opening educational conversation."

Another person said, "I'm still processing this episode and plan on listening again. I've shared with my sister and several friends. Powerful, convicting, life-changing. This touched me deep in my core and truly opened my eyes. Thank you for both being willing to have the difficult conversations." So good.

Jen:  I know. So good. I love your choices. When we a couple of weeks ago started saying let's pick our favorite moments. I'm like, "It's like picking my favorite kid."

But one episode that I was kind of like you, Laura, I just kept thinking about it. It just stuck in my head. I think maybe because I was not expecting it. I didn't know as much about her when she was coming on. I knew about her public public persona. I knew like her fame, and her TV space, but I didn't know about her personal life as much. I think I was unprepared for how Jameela Jamil smacked me right between the eyes in our episode.

That was our For the Love of TV series. We were so pumped because we got Jameela to come on. Of course she's on The Good Place, which is just the most beloved show. We all love it.

I thought we were going to spend a ton of time talking about TV, which we did. We spent some time on that, for sure. But I was unprepared for the work that she does, really in her actual life and using her actual influence, helping women address the very toxic conversation around body image. Then all these ridiculous, unattainable images that we're constantly seeing in the media. 

She's no joke. She's come after, we talked in the interview a little bit about how she kind of went toe to toe with the Kardashians because of the stuff they peddle and this unrealistic body image, that supposedly these "teas" are going to finally give us their bodies. It's just so silly, but it was to me really profound. It was so strong, and I was absolutely gobsmacked by her strength and her fortitude here and her sense of conviction.

I went after that and followed her. I followed her on every single platform I could find her, including her Instagram group called @i_weigh. I've been really, really glad to follow her since. That was the most delightful surprise. I would love to play a clip, one of my favorite clips from that episode. Here we go.
Jameela: I used to feel sick when I would see these magazine covers with me on them. I never felt like they'd done me a favor. I felt like they'd really insulted me by changing the way that I looked, and it hurt my feelings.

And also, I felt like I was complicit in the lie. They'd made me complicit in the lie about what I look like, which, on top of the fact, then sends a message to young women that they're supposed to also look like something that I don't myself look like.

On top of that, it also encourages tabloid culture. We would have no tabloid culture if celebrities and magazines hadn't lied to people in the first place. Paparazzi first really came into play in the '90s around within a couple of years of Photoshop being so prevalently used, where they were trying to call out what celebrities do in real life because it was so obvious that everyone was lying.

Jen: That's a great point.

Jameela:
Even though it wasn't in my control, I was complicit in a lie and I wouldn't say anything afterwards because I'd just feel so embarrassed. And now I'm older and I'm in my 30s, and I just feel like I have enough power and I have enough responsibility. And I might have kids in a couple of years, so I owe this to them to not be part of this chain of toxicity.

Jen: We do this, even outside of celebrity culture, this is, as you mentioned, very pervasive in ordinary person culture too. We all do this.

Jameela: Yes, I'm only saying it starts with us.

Jen: This is a thing that we're doing.

Jameela: Yeah, it starts with us. It needs to be taken over. And your kids are listening to every time you talk about your weight, every time you post a picture of yourself that doesn't look like you, every time they see you editing your photos or complaining about yourself in the mirror, or saying that you have nothing to wear. It all goes in. I definitely got that from my mother and my mother's friends, the way that they would speak about their bodies and themselves. I internalized all of that, and then, on top of everything else, from the magazines and everywhere.

So we really have to think about the fact that if you are not okay with the way that you look, there's no way that your child is likely to be. It's all going in. You have a responsibility to make it right with yourself, to become friends with yourself so that your child has a chance at becoming friends with themselves, because there's enough external pressures coming.

Jen: That's right.
Laura: I love that because I feel like when we went into kind of doing the TV series, like you said earlier, it's you think this is going to be, “We're taking a break from something like For the Love of Exploring Our Faith.” It's super powerful. But then we have these people on like Jameela and find out what she's cares about and what she's involved with and this incredible work that she's doing that she doesn't have to do.

She's so, so, so convicted about it and it was just neat to have that pop up in the middle of a series that we thought, "This is just going to be our break and our little fun time."

Jen:  Absolutely.

Laura:  To have one that just really kind of, like you said, gobsmacked you.

Jen:  I love that one. The feedback on her was really strong. We delighted in her as a TV person, as an actress, but it was really neat to meet Jameela. Like, "Okay, this is who you are. This is no joke. You are showing up for your life." I absolutely love that.
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Okay, back to our show.
Jen: So turning to our listeners for a second, I hope that you know at this point, if we've not said it 10 million different ways, that we care about you so much and we are constantly putting our ear to the ground to listen to you. We pay attention to everything you tell us. All your feedback, all your reviews and ratings, everything that you have to say, your requests, people that you would love to hear from, your reviews. Those do not go into the void. Those have actually deeply informed us. And we've taken your feedback and made changes and it's helped us kind of steer in some directions.

We also pay attention to how much you share. Like, “This is an episode that keeps getting shared, rementioned, sent around the pool.”

So we looked at our numbers and we wanted to tell you guys what the top three episodes have been on the For the Love Podcast, one from each year of our podcast. Now just remember in 2017, we had half a year, and we've had half a year in 2019. But still, so we're going to tell you what the top-rated episode, top-downloaded episode was in each year of the podcast. We'll tell you some of the comments that you gave us on each one. So, here we go.

Let's see, Amanda, what was our number one episode in year one?

Amanda:  It was my favorite one, of course, with Shauna Niequist. I think just being our first episode, it's everybody's introduction to our podcast. It's the one where everybody starts. So of course it's got a lot of downloads, but the content in it just delivered. People just loved that episode. We still hear about it all the time. Two years later, it's still getting comments and feedback.

Jen:  It's so true. Shauna and I had the luxury of pulling from a decade of friendship. We got to just jump right in the most natural and normal way. We had all this shared history. We already knew what our touch points were. That really was not surprisingly the best episode of the year.

How about the second year, Laura, do you have that?

Laura:  I do. Our second year was Bob Goff from our Exploring Faith series.

Amanda:  Oh, Bob.

Jen:  Bob, he's our greatest pal.

Laura: 
We love Bob.

Jen:  Don't we? Oh, everybody loved that episode. That was still getting shared months after it aired. He is like a bit of magic. He was just so dear and you guys loved, loved, loved him.

The comments were endless. You gave us a lot of emojis in your comments on that one. This is one comment that I loved from a listener named Christy. She said, "He is the greatest example of loving those whom he disagrees with and makes them his neighbor. That's love." I'm like, Perfect. That is the nicest thing she could possibly say about him and absolutely true. It's so great. He's the real deal.

Anybody who goes back to listen to that episode, if you missed it the first time you, if you don't know Bob, if you're not familiar with his work, you may be tempted to think, There's no way this guy's for real. Because he's such magic and he's so wonderful and so dreamy and so kind and so good. I'm here to tell you that this is exactly who he is at all times. Like on podcasts, off, in front of big crowds, with one person, he's the same all the time. So he is such a gift to us.

I'm really excited to tell everybody who the number one episode is this year of 2019 which I didn't know until I got your notes, Laura. I was really tickled to hear this. This year, in 2019 so far, our number-one downloaded episode is Hillary McBride from our For the Love of Good Change Series and that we had right out of the top of the gate. I'm thrilled about that, you guys.

Amanda:  Me too.

Jen: I'm just like, this really like this speaks to our listeners, doesn't it?

Amanda: 
Absolutely.

Jen:  I love that because for those who haven't heard that episode, well, apparently most of you have since it's our number one downloaded episode this year. But she really just dismantles—going back to my original point with Jameela—this whole idea of toxic body image. The way that she spoke about women and our bodies was so beautiful. It was so tender and it was so nourishing and nurturing.

I don't even know if I've told you guys this, but I was in the middle of writing a book when we were recording that series. I had a whole chapter on bodies, women and their bodies. That episode literally informed the entire chapter. I was going to start it about the next day and I waited because I got Hillary's book, I ordered it, read it, cover to cover. Her work has now deeply impacted and influenced a chapter that I have coming out next year. It was just maybe some of the best instruction I've ever heard in that conversation.

Laura:  Yeah, it's so great. I think we've had a lot of people on starting with Brené just talking about shame. I think sometimes we don't even know what our own shame is, until it's kind of identified and then we go, "Oh, that was shame."

When she talks about like one of the things, and I know this is kind of picking something that's kind of random out of it, but she talked about like cravings we have. And I've struggled with weight all my life, as a lot of us have. I would just get so mad at myself because I would crave something good whether it was a bad relationship with food or not, analyze it to death. But she kind of gave freedom to that. She's like, "You know what? If you feel sad sometimes, it's okay to eat something that feels good to you. Your body may be telling you that." It just like lifted this thing for me.

Amanda:  Totally.

Laura:  I had done so much shaming of myself over my cravings and over what I was putting in my body. Then somehow just to have someone tell you that was okay, then it didn't seem like such a thing anymore. Then you're able to process so much better and then you can move beyond it.

I love a lot of our guests are bringing these concepts to light that give us that freedom, that give us permission to live differently, act differently, see things differently. So I'm with you—that episode was great.

Amanda:  It was one that we got a lot of feedback that, “Not only did this episode means so much to me, it's something that I want to share with my daughter. I want her to grow up knowing these things, to be exposed to these ideas.”

We had one comment say, "I need to work this into my own life to keep the negative comments about my body, about my—whatever's in my vocabulary away from my daughter because I don't want her to feel the same negative things that I feel."

Jen:  Yeah, I mean, really strong stuff. That episode was so amazing. Plus if anybody hasn't heard it, Hillary's voice, it's like a babbling brook. I can listen to her talk all day.

Laura:  Oh my gosh! So true.

Jen: She's got this tender gentle voice. It just so beautiful. She could be a VOL.

Amanda:  She could.

Laura: I don't know, guys. I mean, I think I had that position, so . . .

Jen:  We’re gonna wrap it up, and I love these questions because I'm interested to hear what you have to say. I actually don't know what you're going to say to this.

I love memory lane. I love going down memory lane with you and we really have pulled off some amazing episodes, and you guys have secured some of the greatest guests. There's more in front of us, more pavement to go.

So there is a question you both to answer: if you can have anyone on the show, who is your dream guest and why?

Let's start with you, Amanda.

Amanda:  I don't know that I could nail down one guest. I think for me it's a series. I would love to do an entire series devoted to the Enneagram.

Jen:  Amanda, that's good.

Amanda:  It's going on the spreadsheet.

Laura:  That's so good.

Jen:  Oh, okay, Like have on a bunch of Enneagram teachers and experts.

Amanda:  Yes.

Laura:  But what if we did one of each Enneagram type?

Jen:  Ooh, love it.

Laura:  Could be fun.

Jen:  Oh see, guys. This is what it's like, this is how we brainstorm. This is like a behind the scenes moment of what happens when one of us brings up a good idea to the table. That's a great idea.

Laura:  Love it.

Jen:  I love that actually. How about you Laura?

Laura:  
Well, I have kind of a serious one and a fun one. So, Tina Fey is my all-time. If we could get her on a show, that would be dream come true. Love her, love her comedy, love her sensibilities. And then of course, I think Michelle Obama.

Jen:  I literally cannot believe that you just took my two answers. I'm not kidding, I have them written down in front of me in.

Laura: Oh my gosh. That's hysterical. Well, this is why we're on the same page with this podcast.

Jen:  We are the same.

Laura:  Michelle Obama was on Conan O'Brien's podcast. He has a new podcast, by the way. It's really funny. They were on his or her plane with her. We could do that, right?

Amanda:  Yeah, we're down.

Jen:  You know what? I will go on Michelle Obama's plane. I volunteer as tribute. I'll take that one for the team, you guys.

I am so tickled that you said Tina and Michelle. That is literally who I have on my list.

Laura: Oh my gosh.

Jen:  Tina is my comedy hero and I mean that sincerely and not just because she's hilarious, but she's so smart. She's not just a comedian, she's a producer and she's a writer. What she's done for women in comedy is maybe unmatched. Amy Poehler's a close second. I would be so thrilled to have Amy on too, and they've both done this for women, created so many opportunities on a big comedy scale, kind of how our little podcast has: women run, women led, women produced, women staffed. And they've both done that. But if I could talk to either of those girls, Tina or Amy, you guys would have to send me a sedative. I would have to maybe have two glasses of wine before I could do it.

Then Michelle, I have said a million times, is I think she's the perfect person. Like, I think she's the perfect human. I love her. I respect her. I admire her so much. I went to her book tour here in Austin last month, and I cried all my makeup off. I am so inspired by her and in a thousand ways and for a thousand reasons.

But I promise you I'm not stealing your options. Those were literally mine also. Now we know we have some synergy around our dream guests.

Laura:  I don't think it's impossible. I sort of don't see even the dream guests being out of reach. That's how again, 7, I'm very optimistic. I think we can do it.

Amanda:  I'm sure that they're listening and they're going to call as soon as we hang up.

Jen:  Like you're right Amanda, we put it into the universe like we doubled down on it even. I would love to see all of that pod’s feature and it's possible because you know, heck our podcast's doing okay.

Laura:  That's right.

Jen:  How many downloads do we have, you guys?

Amanda:  More than 12 million.

Laura:  Yeah, 12 million.

Jen:  I mean that's no joke. That's something to celebrate for sure, and that's some rare air and we have been gifted with some of the most outstanding human beings. I mean, heck, I just interviewed Melinda Gates [COMING SOON!], for crying out loud. She is changing the world. She's literally changing the world.

So we have really been the recipient of the generosity of the most outstanding, talented, funny, meaningful, thoughtful people I know.

We are lucky and this podcast has taught me every bit as much as it's taught anybody else. I've walked away from our guests was so much instruction and food for thought and encouragement and outright joy and it has been a delight.
SPONSOR MESSAGE:
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All right, back to our show.
Jen: Now I want to say two other things. The first thing I want to say is our listeners. Then I would love for you all to say anything you want to say to our listeners.

The reason that we have over 12 million downloads is because over 12 million people have downloaded them. That's how that works. We want to say thank you to the most outstanding listening community. You've just really been a joy, and you have served us well, and you've led us well, and we appreciate your loyalty. Oh my gosh, it's a loyal crew. We appreciate your consistency. We appreciate your feedback. Thank you for all your beautiful comments. Thank you for grabbing us when we're out in the world, telling us how much you love the podcast and what you've learned from it. I just can't think of a better community to serve.

Amanda:  Well, I just want to say that we, of course, listen to all of the feedback that we get. We read the comments, we hear your suggestions when you say, “You need to have this person on the show,” or, “We want to hear what this person has to say.” We go after those people. We want to put content in front of you that you are yearning to listen to. So we appreciate it when you give us that feedback. We appreciate it when you give us those reviews on iTunes. When you like us and share us and all of it, it just means the world to us. So thank you for showing up for us.

Jen:  That's awesome. Last thoughts to them, Laura.

Laura:  I agree completely with both of your assessments, and I'm super happy that we have this community that's listening and of course we love to hear that we're bringing you what you want. We love to hear the people that you want us to bring you.

But we even really, really appreciate pushback. If there's something that you're like, "Whoa, that didn't sit with me well or," that's entirely possible too. Because we are talking about things that are sometimes hard and sometimes controversial.

We just appreciate your honesty because that's a family, that's community, that's what we give to each other. So thank you for just showing up and even saying anything at all. Whether it's positive or constructive criticism. We really, really appreciate it. Except for the VOL, I'm still smarting a bit.

Jen:  Except for that. That was a dark part of our history.

One last thing, and then we're going to save our final question. 

I want to say thank you to both of you and you have worked harder than anyone could ever know on this podcast. Not one time, like, literally in two years have either of you lost your enthusiasm, at least not to my face. You have stayed positive, you have been encouraging, you have worked harder than anybody should have ever asked of you. 

And your creativity has literally made this podcast what it is. I'm on the other side of the microphone every week, but this is absolutely our baby, and I couldn't even really think of it without either one of you. So for the billions of hours we have logged together, for all your ideas and all your hard work, I am so grateful to you guys. 

Thank you so much for believing in this little thing, before I even really knew how to plug in a microphone and for having audacious vision for it, which you both do. Hello, you both just cast vision over our future—it's so bold.

I just say, let's just keep going. Let's keep making beautiful content. Let's keep inviting outstanding people, and I am so grateful to both of you. Thank you for all you've done. 

That's it. You don't get to add to that. Here's the last.

Laura:
 I'm feeling verklempt, oh my gosh. Thank you, Thank you. You too.

Jen:  Okay, there. That's good. That's a perfect.

Last bit. Last, last, last bit and of course there's no other way to end it. What is saving your lives right now?

Amanda:  Oh, for me. This is the total introvert talking now. I think this will be my answer until my dying day: anything that employs another person who can adult better than I do to bring things to me, to my doorstep so that I don't have to go out into the world. Amazon Prime, Instacart, you name it: if it gets funneled right to my doorstep, I am here for it. It is saving me.

Jen:  I don't even hardly have a reason to leave my house ever.

Amanda:  No, and I'm not sad about it.

Jen:  No, I'm not. I am thrilled about it. It's a great time to be alive. That's the most excellent answer I've ever heard. How about you, Laura?

Laura: I have a a nerd one and then I have a serious one. The my nerd one is Google Docs is saving my life right now. I was a late adopter to Google Docs, and it's like revolutionized the way that I organize my life and my business.

Jen: If I had to go to my computer and find a place to start a Google Doc, you know that I do not even know where to look.

Amanda:  I can testify to that.

Jen:  Sometimes people send them to me and I'm like, "Oh look, I can make real-time changes!" But that's all I know. That's the end of my knowledge. You're familiar about Google Docs, that's why this podcast works.

Laura:  That's why this works. We all bring things to the table.

Jen: What's the other one.

Laura: My serious one is Richard Rohr. I am getting so much life out of Richard Rohr right now. He was just on our podcast. He's writing around things that are really speaking to me right now. I've subscribed to his devotional, and I read it every morning and it's starts my day right. It's putting me on the right track, so I really love it.

Jen:  If starting your day with Richard Rohr is wrong, I never want to be right in my life. Is he dearest, wisest person you've ever sat under?

Laura: Fantastic.

Jen:  That episode was a huge one too, by the way. Anybody that missed that one, you're going to want to go back and listen. I bawled, so just be warned.

Let's see. What is saving my life right now? I never answer this. That's so funny. I've asked it—

Laura:  Have you never answered this?

Jen: I've asked it a 100 times now, on 100 episodes, but I like how it makes me think when it's turned on me.

I've got two things probably also. One thing that is saving my life is that we're just about, we're turning the corner into tomato season. I cannot explain the joy. The big red ones that you get like out of somebody's truck on the side of the road, that's my favorites. Yes, you know what I mean?

We're all from the South, we're all in the South. I don't know if the North does this, but in the South you don't have any qualms about pulling your car over to the side of the road and buying peaches out of somebody's crate. That's just what you do. Anyway, it's about to be summer vegetable and fruit season and there’s just something about that is—just slice a big tomato, just douse it with salt and pepper and I'm just the happiest thing in the world.

Then I would say, so tomatoes obviously, and then all my people at home. Gavin and Sydney are home and my whole family is here, and I can't contain my feelings about it. I've never had kids leave the house before, so I didn't know how that was going to feel and now I know. When we're home there's not been a night we have not sat out on the porch for hours. I don't even know what we're doing. We're just talking and laughing and telling stories.

Anyway, it's just now that my family is growing up and's launching, I'm learning to very much treasure when they're all together, which is going to be increasingly rare. The college babies are home. One of them going away. One of them is going to Greece, so it's just for a minute. I just have like a little minute here. But it's just been a dream, so anyway.

Laura: Happy for you, that's awesome.

Jen: Thank you. Thank you to both of you. Thank you to our listeners. Thank you to our guests.

Hey, Amanda, thank you for doing a public thing where people hear your voice. That is a big deal.

Amanda:  Only you.

Laura:  You are amazing.

Amanda:  Okay everybody, thanks for joining us today.

Laura:  Thank you. Bye, bye.

Amanda:  Bye.
Jen: Super fun. I love those girls, and we sure love you. So thanks again for listening.
 
Let me tell you about the next series coming up. You are going to love it. This is one that three of us had the greatest time brainstorming. We are moving into For the Love of Powerhouse Women, and do we ever have some outstanding women to bring to the show. This is like really zippy, zippy series.

And a special bonus episode leading into a series on powerful women with someone who is partnered with maybe the most powerful woman in the world? I'd put her way up there at the top. We are happy to welcome to the show Stedman Graham [COMING SOON!], partner to Oprah. It's a great way to sort of kick off this runway to this fabulous series on women who are just killing it out there.
Also super happy to have you. Those of you who have connected to the book club, the Jen Hatmaker Book Club, this is one of the most exciting things that I've launched this year and I'm thrilled about it. If you haven't already joined, this community is the most fun. This is for people who love books. And I'm telling you, we are bringing you some of the greatest authors, some of the greatest resources and bonuses. This book club is worth its salt. Definitely go to Jen Hatmaker Book Club, and join us if you haven't already.
Then of course, back to the podcast. Subscribe, guys. So if you haven't already subscribed, it'll take you probably 10 seconds and our podcast just pops up on your phone every single week. You have to do absolutely nothing. Thank you for subscribing. Thank you for reviewing and rating the show. It's so helpful and good for us. We're paying attention and listening.

Just a delight for you to get to meet my team today. I'm so happy that you got to hear from them. They work so hard for you, and it is my joy to work alongside of them.

So you guys, see you next week. 
Narrator: That’s it for today’s show. Hope you enjoyed this chat. Be sure to subscribe to my mom’s podcast and give it a “thumbs up” rating if you like it. From the whole Hatmaker family, hope you have a great week and see you next time!

From the show:


Quotes From This Episode