Always be Yourself. (Unless You Can be Shiloe…then Always be Shiloe.)

Today is my dear friend Shiloe’s birthday.

IMG_0892To know Shiloe is to love Shiloe. One of the things that most drew me to her as a friend was her realness. She’s genuine and honest; kind and sincere. Plus, there’s a whole lotta fun wrapped up in that tiny, feisty soul. Long story short, I adore her.

Obviously, I think everyone needs a friend like Shiloe in their lives, but if you don’t have the honor of knowing her personally, you can at least know her through her B.A. photography business, Camera Shi Photography.

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A pretty screenshot from her lovely website.

Check out her photos (because they’re ridiculously cool), as well as her blog (because your’s truly wrote a guest post on it!).

The title of the blog post I wrote is “Always be Yourself. Unless You Can be Beyonce, Then Always be Beyonce.” But honestly, if I could give you any advice, it would be to swap out Beyonce’s name with Shiloe Osborne, because homegirl is truly one to emulate. (No offense, Queen B.)

KAT
Currently listening to “Broken” by lovelytheband

This Summer.

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For me, summers will forever be measured by the academic calendar. And as school officially started for my students yesterday, I guess that means the summer is over.

Summer 2018 was absolutely crazy for me (hence the lack of bloggin’ the past few months). I took a new job, moved to a new home, traveled to new places…among a lot of other new things. And while “new” is always an adventure, it also means a lack of comfortable familiarity and, often, a sense of unrest.

That’s how my summer has been—exciting, while also a little exhausting. I can’t help but long for some normalcy and structure in my life, but thankfully, I have a feeling that more patterned days are right around the corner.

But before we move forward, let’s take a few minutes to look back. Here’s what I’ve been up to this summer…

Florida Trip.
Kicked off this summer—and a brand spankin’ new job—with a little trip to Florida. May sound relaxing to you, but did I mention that 250 of my favorite high school students came with me?

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Shiloe’s Wedding.
I flew back from the Florida trip and went directly to one of my dearest friend’s weddings. I was honored to be a bridesmaid and see this supa chill, kind, godly lady marry her dude. Shiloe + Chris 4 eva.

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Lots of time with students (but what’s new?).
Remember that new job I mentioned? It’s still at the same church and in the same department. So, the youth group love is definitely not coming to an end anytime soon.
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China.
Well guys, I went to China. It was quite the experience. I’m not even quite sure how to best explain my two weeks in East Asia, so I’ll just leave you with some pictures…

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Baby Maddox.
My first nephew is making his appearance in the world very soon, and Aunt Kat could not be more excited. It’s been a summer of googling weird pregnancy related things that I don’t understand + resisting the urge to buy baby clothes at every store I enter.

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I mean, C’MON. Doesn’t get cuter than a pregnant Rebecca Maddox.

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That’s just a glimpse into some of the stuff that’s been going on deep in the heart of Dallas, Texas this summer, but the rest will have to be another story for another time. Enjoy your weekend!

KAT
Currently listening to “Shotgun” by George Ezra

Weekly Rundown.

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Here’s a brief pop culture moment for ya: the oh-so-adorable Aidy Bryant got married this past week. Now, I’ve never been the type of gal to daydream about my hypothetical wedding, but when I saw the above picture, I found myself thinking “yeah, that’d be good.”  Short dress, small crowd, wild flowers…I applaud your style, Aidy!
  1. Remember last year when I raved about a planner. (Sidetone: I kind of hate that I just typed out that sentence. Who wants to rave about planners? Missing the days when I raved about fun things, like the glories of oatmeal cream pies and Lizzie McGuire’s intricate hair styles.) Anyhow, Erin Condren planners are pricy, but great. I used mine every single day this past year and if organization isn’t your thing (or heck, even if it is), you would benefit from one as well. Planners begin in July and run through the next year, so order soon! Also, how cute are these designs below?
  2. This article was beautiful, but sad. Really enjoyed this comment: “I once saw an Annie Leibovitz exhibit where she had hung photos of her dying love and then her dying father and her grieving family, alongside these gorgeous vibrant photos of her babies with spaghetti all over their faces and splashing in wading pools… That’s how grief works. For a while, it takes over your whole field of vision, but then it becomes a part of the whole exhibit.”
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  3. And now a happy article to lift the spirits! Three cheers for good people!
  4. How have I not mentioned this book yet? My wonderful sister gave me this book that is full of illustrations and essays from author Mari Andrew. I haven’t made it through the whole thing yet, but I can tell you this for certain: it is fun.
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KAT
Currently listening to “Psycho” by Post Malone

Weekly Rundown.

It’s the weekend. Here’s what I’ve been in to and up to lately…

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In my humble opinion, few shows rival the greatness of Friday Night Lights. And lucky for us, Amazon Prime just released all 5 seasons for our binging pleasure.
  1. I have a thing for tiny homes. Though there’s nothing wrong with sprawling estates, my dream home would likely be more “quaint cottage” than “zero lot line showpiece.” And very few homes are smaller than this one that was featured on The Everygirl. This 175 square foot apartment proves that small can still be a perfect depiction of home.
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  2. Anyone else love reading Refinary 29’s Money Diary articles? Call me weird, but I love seeing how other people spend their money. (And stay tuned, because I might just do my very own “money diary article” in the next few weeks!)
  3. Number one on my reading list right now is Kate Bowler’s “Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I Loved.” To learn more about Kate, check out the beautiful paragraph below and this article from Time Magazine.
    “I became less invested in milestones and also those lovely hallucinations we have… I also decided that my job is not to try to make the world safe. I think I thought you just create a beautiful, Instagram-y bubble for your kid, and then that’s parenting. And then I realized that I was going to be the worst thing that happened to him if it went badly. I couldn’t live with that. I decided that my new parenting philosophy is that I can’t protect him from the pain of the world, but I can show him that there is truth and beauty in the midst of it. And if I can make him that person, then I have won as a parent.”
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  4. And finally, though I’m a little embarrassed to admit this: I, Kat Williamson, have a podcast, affectionately known as the PODKAT. It features yours truly and two of my best friends/co-workers, John and Derek. It’s stupid and goofy, but my friends and I have SO much fun working on it. As my sister Sarah said this morning, “yeah, it’s ridiculous, but that’s what makes it so much fun.” So, if you’re into fun…or just some good ol’ stupidity, check us out on iTunes.
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KAT

Currently listening to “So Will I” by Hillsong