Natalie: How Willie Geist changed my life in 1 year

Tuesday marks Willie Geist's 1-year anniversary as a TODAY anchor. Here's how he's changed Natalie Morales' life since he arrived at the anchors' desk:

Willie and Natalie TODAY

For better or for worse ...

Willie taught me to somewhat "drive" a stick, and we had some fun times nearly taking out the security guard gate at CNBC. 

Willie is like the younger brother I never had who manages to pick on me and needle me in a sweet way that always makes me laugh. 

I think if there is one moment that epitomizes the "essence" of Willie, it was his persistence in tackling the giant wall of our Tough Mudder on the Plaza

Always one to have a sense of humor and grit, Willie saw it as the challenge he had to conquer. And even if it took him seven tries and a nasty gash on his knee, there is no mountain he can't seem to climb. 

Just another normal day for Willie on TODAY's Take. TODAY
Just another normal day for Willie on TODAY's Take.

Willie has brought us lots of laughs on TODAY's Take and we look forward to so many, many more. 

  • Slideshow Photos

    Way Too Early with Willie Geist

    Willie Geist

    The host of msnbc's "Morning Joe" and "Way Too Early" became co-anchor of the 9 a.m. hour of TODAY.

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    Willie Geist -

    TODAY anchor Willie Geist and his wife Christina attend the "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Cure Parkinson's" event at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York on Nov. 9, 2013. Geist's father has been battling Parkinson’s disease.

    Robin Marchant / Getty Images
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    Still kicking -

    TODAY show hosts Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Willie Geist and Natalie Morales learn how to dance like Rockettes in New York on Nov. 8, 2013.

    Peter Kramer / NBC
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    Rescue time! -

    Actress Carmen Electra and TODAY host Willie Geist reenact the opening scene from 'Baywatch' on Oct. 31, 2013. Willie Geist dressed as David Hasselhoff’s character Mitch Buchannon in TODAY's Throwback Thursday Halloween spectacular, as the anchors celebrated their favorite classic TV characters.

    Peter Kramer / NBC
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    Ahoy! -

    Willie Geist and TODAY anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales take part in the show's "Summer Camp" competition on July 11.

    Michael Loccisano / Getty Images
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    Meeting the fans -

    Willie Geist works the crowd on the plaza in March 2012. The host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and "Way Too Early" became co-anchor of the 9 a.m. hour of TODAY in Oct. 2012.

    NBC
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    Watch what happens -

    Willie Geist appears on Bravo's "Watch What Happens Live" with Tiffani Thiessen in July 2012.

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    On the plaza -

    Natalie Morales and Willie Geist appear on TODAY on July 5, 2012.

    NBC
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    'Morning Joe' -

    Willie Geist was named permanent co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" in September 2007.

    Louis Burgdorf / NBC
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    In the interview chair -

    Amy Roloff, left, and Matt Roloff of TLC's "Little People, Big World" talk with Willie Geist in TODAY on Feb. 16, 2012.

    Peter Kramer / NBC
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    On the campaign trial -

    Willie Geist talks with Mitt Romney and Tom Brokaw at Java Joe’s in Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 4, 2012.

    Louis Burgdorf / MSNBC
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    Elvis is in the building -

    Musician Elvis Costello chats with Willie Geist in the green room before "Morning Joe" on Nov. 3, 2010.

    Virginia Sherwood / NBC
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    Way too early! -

    Willie on his first day of "Way Too Early," in 2009.

    TODAY
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    Happy family -

    On May 24, 2003, Geist married his high-school sweetheart, Christina Sharkey, in Humacao, Puerto Rico. The couple has a daughter and a son.

    TODAY
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    Chip off the old block -

    Author and journalist Bill Geist and son Willie Geist at Bill's Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony on April 15, 2011.

    Tammie Arroyo / AP
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    Author! Author! -

    Willie Geist appears on TODAY to talk about his best-selling book "American Freak Show" in October 2010.

    Peter Kramer / NBC
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    Football star -

    Willie strikes a pose; at Ridgewood High in N.J., he was captain of the football and basketball teams.

    TODAY
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    Family portrait -

    Willie Geist was 17 when he was photographed at home with his mother, Jody (left), sister, Libby, and father, Bill Geist (right).

    Michael A. Smith / Time & Life Pictures
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    Adorable -

    Geist was born in Evanston, Illinois, to author, columnist, and current CBS News correspondent Bill Geist and social worker Jody Geist.

    TODAY
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