Panic + Peace.

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Peace…

It comes in many forms, but for me it is often most felt in the early mornings when I first wake up.

My typical mornings include: Coffee. An open window. My journal + Bible. Prayer.

Though not long, eloquent, or flashy, those precious minutes represent a quiet communion with God, bringing peace and perspective to a day that has yet to unfold.

A month ago, I woke up early and began my normal morning routine. My Bible reading that day focused on Genesis 11—the story of the Tower of Babel.

For the first time ever, this felt profoundly sad to me. Imagine losing the ability to communicate as you always had. Your whole world would be different—how you function, how you process. Everything would change. Though Genesis 11 does not say how the people reacted to God’s decision, I can only imagine there were feelings of frustration, isolation, and perhaps, complete panic.

But the beauty of this story is that it was not hate that propelled God to confuse the speech of mankind; it was love. His decision—which may have separated families, friends, and communities—could seem cruel at first, yet it was rooted in a deep desire to shepherd man’s personal holiness and dependency on Him. He knew what the people needed.
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A few hours later, my phone rang while I was driving down Northwest Highway on a perfectly normal, sunshiny Friday afternoon. It was my dad—one of my favorite people to talk to—but he sounded different when I answered…the voice of someone with bad news to share. I then learned that my mom had suffered a stroke. My beautiful, vibrant mom—a “perpetual 35 year old,” as my aunt Beth had once said—was facing possible paralysis + loss of speech…all in what felt like a blink of an eye.

I’m not going to divulge much more about her health; I believe that is her story to share. But I will say this: in that terrible, heartbreaking moment, I could relate to the people from Genesis 11 so very much.

The knowledge of my mom’s stroke felt like a loss. It felt like panic.

…But it also felt like peace. A peace I hadn’t truly experienced until that point. Even in the sadness, there was abundant comfort in the knowledge that God was constant, faithful, loving, and near. Though the Williamson family may not like it, we truly, deeply believe that God saw it fit for our wonderful mom to have a stroke and that He is taking care of us in ways that we do not see, nor fully understand.

His nearness sustains us, and His peace overwhelms any sign of panic.

KAT

Currently listening to “Abide with Me” by Sara Groves

Weekly Rundown.

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Ready or not, 2018 is here.

…and personally, I think I’m ready. No offense to 2017, but I think we all could use a fresh start.

Though I’m usually all about new year resolutions, I’m taking it easy on myself this go-around. No resolutions; just a general attempt to do my best in 2018 (…and drink more water, because that will forever be an unattained goal of mine).

Anyhow, here’s what’s been going on recently.

  1. A good time was had by all this Christmas in Little Rock, Arkansas. Becca and Matt stayed in Houston with the in-laws and Sarah was only able to stick around for a few days, so the holiday this year included a lot of Mom/Dad/Kat bonding time, and it was bliss!

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    Another year; another self-timer Christmas Eve photo.
  2. If I’ve learned anything in the past few years it’s that December doesn’t just equate to Christmas season; it also equals engagement season. This past Saturday, my dear, wonderful friend Shiloe got engaged to her boyfriend Chris. It was such a joy-filled day and I actually got to play a small role in their proposal—how fun is that? Shiloe + Chris are the coolest, most God-glorifying people, and I can’t wait for them to marry this summer!

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    Sorry for the blur. This was a really cheesy boomerang turned screenshot and the quality is sub-par at best.
  3. I already know that 2018 will be pretty great due to these two simple words: ROYAL WEDDING. Anticipating the wedding coverage, the sure-to-be gorgeous gown, and little George as a ring bearer (are ring bearers a thing in royal weddings?) makes my heart all aflutter! One of my favorite stories to come out of the Harry/Megan marriage annoucement was this hilarious montage that bid farewell to Harry’s “third wheel” lifestyle. See below for further explanation.
  4. And finally, the week before Christmas I made the trek out to Argyle, TX to see my Grandparent’s house. Though they’ve both passed, I still like to drive past the sweet home on Brush Creek Road for some good ol’ nostalgia from time to time. It’s funny, what I truly loved about that place were the people who lived there, and yet, sometimes it feels like I miss their house like I miss an old friend.
    IMG_6407Ok, time for me to run. Happy first weekend of 2018!

KAT
Currently listening to “Heartless” by The Fray

Weekly Rundown.

Happy advent season, friends!

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As you may have heard, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

But, if you’re anything like me, it’s also kind of a strange time of year. December is a month where my work life and personal life pull a 180—all of a sudden, I don’t have enough to do at work and wayyyy too much going on in my social life. As a kid who thrives with a routine, this throws me off every. single. year.

So this weekend, I’m pulling back and practicing that New Year Resolution/Mantra I came up with back in January: I’m not too good for it, but I am too old for it. (And by “pulling back,” I mean I’m skipping one of the three Christmas parties I was supposed to go to this weekend. Baby steps, y’all.)

Anyhow, let’s move on to some updates, shall we?

1. You may remember that I recently moved into a Lakewood back-house with my friend, Christen. Well, I’ve been nesting, and part of that process has included building these bookshelves in my new room. Upon looking at the picture below, you may think that the word “building” could easily be swapped for something like “installing,” but I assure you a lot of sanding, painting, measuring, and drilling went into creating these babies, so I stand by the statement that I built something. And for the very un-handy Kat Williamson, that is an impressive feat.31B48641-1691-4E53-A836-2ADE2B92D620

2. While the shelves may be nice, the best thing about my new home is definitely its proximity to White Rock Lake. Runs around this place are spoiling me rotten.IMG_6211

3. Tis the season to ring bells with the Salvation Army. In all honesty, it can be easy when surrounded by friends to forget why you’re ringing in the first place, but then ads like this one stop you in your tracks. I’m so thankful that I’m not in need this holiday season, and having the opportunity to help those in need—even if it is simply by standing outside of a Starbucks and collecting some dollars—is such an honor.

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The best way to spread Christmas cheer is by ringing loud for all to hear… (sorry, I had to)

4. Let me tell you: with sisters like mine, there’s a lot to be proud of. I feel like I’m constantly highlighting some cool event or achievement in their lives on this blog, and today is no exception. Our beloved “middle sister” celebrated her 30th birthday this past Friday, and in my opinion, Sarah represents all the good things in life. She’s a kind, old soul and a true friend. Can’t wait to see what this upcoming decade has in store for your beautiful life, Sarah!0BA4B59A-CDCE-43FB-B8A0-69E4DE945E1B 2.JPG

Oh, and remember how I write my other sister Becca cheesy poems on her birthday? Well, there are birthday traditions for Sarah as well—homegirl gets a birthday playlist every year. (Somewhat awkward/immature birthday traditions are my forté.)

The playlist for the big 3-0 included my all-time favorite songs for my all-time favorite girl. You can check it out here (but please don’t judge me on the dumb playlist title…or the fact that there is a Flo Rida + Justin Bieber song on there).

5. Up until about two months ago, I had every card that I’d ever received in a few really large plastic tubs under my bed. I love receiving cards, notes, …shoot, even just really friendly text messages. Words are my love language.

Anyhow, Target recently up’d it’s card game. They had tons of super cute cards for fairly cheap—definitely worth checking out. Also, Trader Joe’s cards are usually cute + only $.99 (SCORE).blog photosAlrighty, that’s all I’ve got this fine Friday. Enjoy your weekend, friends!

KAT
Currently listening to “Syndicate” by The Fray

A Wedding, a Robbery, + an All-Around Eventful Weekend.

Quite the title, huh?

IMG_6102My sister Becca + her man Matt were married this past Saturday in Houston, Texas. It was a whirlwind of a weekend—full of joy…and also a little drama (always the makings of any memorable party, right?).

Here’s the story:

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The blushing bride herself in front of the #ILoveYouWall in Houston. I got into town Thursday afternoon and directly headed to Becca’s house for a glass of wine and a good sister chat. Isn’t it funny how those little moments can actually become the most cherished memories? From there we met up with the other Williamson’s to do what we do best: eat Tex-Mex and talk. We missed Matt that night, but it was sweet to have one last family dinner with just us five.
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Friday morning was when wedding things really started happening. The day started with nails and brunch. I mean, is there a better combination than that?
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Takin’ care of business.

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From brunch, Becca jetted off to do a little wedding prep, while Sarah and I drove to what felt like every FedEx in Houston to get some files printed. The traffic in that city is no joke, but man, do they have pretty sunsets.
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The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were great. Matt’s parents, Betty and Ted, did an adorable rehearsal dinner speech that even included props.
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Sarah and I spent the night at Becca’s house Friday night (remember this fact—it has to do with the robbery), so we 3 + our mom headed to Dry Bar early that day for hair appointments.
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I like big hair and I cannot lie. Also, pictured hair fell flat within about two seconds of walking outside. Becca’s wedding day featured 85 degree temps, high humidity, and strong wind. It’s cool; I like the windblown look too.
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Next stop: brunch with Becca and her friends at The Dunlavy. It’s a breakfast spot by day and a wedding venue by night. Talk about range.

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We then headed to the venue—the Heights Historic Fire Station.

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Oh hey, pretty floors.
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From this point, picture taking became spotty at best. I’ll include the few photos that I have, but you’ll just have to use your imagination on a lot of the details.

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Two very important people who didn’t make it into many of my pictures. Sure do love these parents of mine.

AND THEN…

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…THIS HAPPENED. Near the end of the reception, I walked out to my car to grab something for Becca when I noticed the broken window. Someone stole everything in my car, including my hidden wallet, my luggage, Sarah’s luggage, and DRUMROLL…Becca’s suitcase for her honeymoon. All of these things were in my car because we stayed with Becca the night before instead of at the hotel. Oh, life. I’m not going to lie, it was a pretty terrible moment, but no one was hurt and the thieves didn’t have a chance to ring up any fraudulent charges on my credit/debit cards before I cancelled them. I held my cool fairly well, but there were some subtle tears in front of an old babysitter of our’s who was also in the parking lot at that time. HA. Isn’t it funny how some situations can completely snap you back to feeling 11 again?

Phew, what a weekend. Mostly wonderful, but a tiny bit awful. I’m sure we’ll laugh about the whole thing one day in the distant future.

Oh, and in closing: my Maid of Honor speech…it’s in the form of a cheesy poem because, for better or worse, that’s my love language to Becca (see this and this for further explanation).

I have a tradition with Becca of writing her silly birthday poems each year, and so I thought, what better way to celebrate Becca and Matt then with a little poetry? 

So without further ado, the wedding poem:

Becca, we have made it,
It’s your wedding day;
And as your Maid of Honor,
I have some words to say.

I’m happy for you + Matt,
He loves you like no other;
And personally, I’m excited,
To finally gain a brother.

From triathlons to country dancing,
Y’alls adventures have not been light;
And now as the new Maddox’s,
I’m sure it will be dynamite.

So here’s to Becca and Matt, 
And the love that they do carry; 
On behalf of all here I will say:
Thank God they’re finally married.

Ok, thank you for putting up with me and my cheesy poem. In all sincerity, Becca and Matt are two of my favorite people. We all love you so much and are excited for the many Maddox adventures ahead. Cheers to Matt and Becca!

KAT
Currently listening to “Love the One You’re With” by Crosby, Stills, and Nash

A Fredericksburg Bachelorette.

This is a big week for the Williamson family. We’re marrying off one of our own!

IMG_0224My oldest sister Rebecca is tying the knot to her man this Saturday in Houston, and we could not be more thrilled!

In honor of wedding week, I thought I’d share some pictures and details from Becca’s bachelorette party a few weeks ago. The weekend was held in Fredericksburg, TX, a place that is both a popular destination for bachelorette parties and a sweet, sentimental spot for the Williamson girls—we grew up nearby in San Antonio and visited Fredericksburg often!

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We stayed in the cutest Air BNB. Apparently, it’s a go-to for bachelorette parties, and after staying there, I can see why. If you’re planning a trip to F-burg in the near future, check out The Farmhouse on Air BNB.

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And if you need any more convincing about the quality of our AirBNB, check out the backyard.

FRIDAY

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We arrived in F-burg on Friday and enjoyed a chill night with Becca and her friends. We ate fajitas, drank wine, watched the Astros game (because among the group were some pretttttttty devout ‘Stros fans), and had a lingerie party for the bride.

SATURDAY

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Rebecca, Sarah, and I grew up hiking Enchanted Rock, so starting our day off there was a must. The park was about 25 minutes from our Air BNB, and the drive was beautiful and scenic.

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After the hike, we went back to the Air BNB to clean up and then headed to the wineries. We visited William + Chris (my favorite—great outdoor space and live music), Calais (many of the girls said they thought Calais had the best wine), and 1851 Vineyard (definitely everyone’s least favorite, but the people who worked there were incredibly nice and the wine was pretty tasty, too).
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Obviously, the Lord gave sister Sarah the model-esque height in the family. #JEALOUS

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One quick note to those who may want to bring a group to the wineries in Fredericksburg someday: we had the BEST shuttle driver, Rex. He’s an independent driver and the absolute kindest man. We actually lucked into his shuttle company, 19th Hole Wine Tours, because a larger, more corporate company that I booked ran out of drivers for the weekend and contracted him out to drive our group. Rex was wonderful and very professional.  He’s also the father of all girls, which was so apparent with how he treated our group throughout the day. Highly recommend!

Dinner that night was at Hondos on Main, but I actually had to peace out right before, due to the fact that I work at a church and missing Sunday morning service was out of the question. But from what I hear, Hondos was great. It’s a casual grill and no reservations are necessary.

The girls spent one more night in the Air BNB and then headed home on Sunday morning.

We had a great time and celebrated Becca’s upcoming marriage with the best of ’em.

KAT
Currently listening to “New Years Day” by Taylor Swift