When Lauren Akins was approached about writing a memoir, she initially hesitated.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit apprehensive about it at first,” the 30-year-old exclusively tells Us Weekly. “But as the writing process went on, it was pretty cool to go back through my life and look back on it! It gives me some anxiety to think about being this vulnerable with so many complete strangers, but I think that’s where you find common ground as humans and tear down feelings of isolation.”
Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life’s Changes (out Tuesday, August 18) gives readers rare insight into Akins’ childhood in Tennessee, her marriage to Thomas Rhett, the couple’s journey to becoming the parents of three daughters and everything in between.
During the writing process, the country singer, also 30, went out of his way to help his childhood sweetheart finish her first book — as did their girls, Willa Gray, 4, Ada James, 2, and Lennon Love, 6 months.
“Thomas Rhett was my biggest supporter through this project,” Akins tells Us. “He always wanted to know every detail about the book and was more than eager to take our kids out for the day so I could work on it. Sometimes I think he’s more excited than I am about my book coming out!”
Akins and Rhett met in elementary school and briefly dated in high school before reconnecting as college students. They married in October 2012 and started growing their family in 2017, when they adopted Willa from Uganda just three months before Lauren gave birth to Ada. Lennon arrived this February.
“Motherhood has made me reflect on so much of my life and reevaluate who I am and what kind of a human I am, especially to complete strangers because I know I have ‘little eyes’ watching and listening to me at all times,” Akins tells Us. “More than anything, I want them to love well and to be kind. I know I can’t expect that of them if they don’t see that in me.”
And while the University of Tennessee graduate says she loves being “together on tour as a family,” she has also enjoyed staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rhett’s Center Point Road tour was postponed to summer 2021.)
“Truthfully, as difficult as this quarantine has been for so many, we have really embraced the time as a family,” she tells Us. “We haven’t had this much time together in years, and the slowdown at home with our new daughter, two older girls and our dogs has been really sweet.”