A Hair Evolution.

This week I was asked to bring a 7th grade school photo to work for a youth group game. Well, believe it or not, pictures of myself from 7th grade do not make it to picture frame status in my house. So I called up my dear ol’ mama and asked her to text me a picture from that era…and, you guys, it was worse than I even remembered.

The whole look was just so incredibly middle school, which made me laugh and thank my lucky stars that my general aesthetic has improved in the years since. (I feel like I should note that middle schoolers are SO much cuter today than they were when I was that age. What changed? I’m blaming phones + selfies + the fact that kiddos have to be camera-ready at all times these days.)

Anyhow, this picture motivated me to take a walk down memory lane and check out some of the best and worst style choices I’ve made in my 27 years. And you know what I realized? It all came down to the hair. Good hair = generally decent overall look. Bad hair = bad overall look.

The pictures were too funny not to share, so without further ado, I present to you the evolution of Kat Williamson’s hair:

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The beginnings. Not much hair to be accounted for. They say that what you looked like as an infant will be a version of what you will look like in your elder years…so behold my future (that apparently includes smocked dresses and chubby cheeks).

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The hair finally arrived around the age of one. It was blonde-ish and shaggy, and I kind of wish my hair were like that today. We’ll call this the “pre-bowl” stage of life.

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Oh, the bowl…a haircut that will always make me question my mother’s otherwise chic  fashion sense (no offense, mom).

[Also, can we please all take a moment to applaud my brave toddler soul…I mean, look at the horns on that goat!]

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When the bowl grew out, the short hair/side pony with a giant bow was all the rage. Apparently I stayed in this phase for a while, because 90% of my childhood pictures features the above hair style.

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Also popular in my youth was the messy hair + headband (fishing pole optional).

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Late elementary brought the slicked-back pony stage. I have a distinct memory of telling my mom “NO BUMPS” when she was doing my hair, and then spraying down that pony with about 10 coats of hairspray just in case any pesky flyaways thought about making an appearance. I honestly don’t know why I liked this look so much. Did I walk around with a constant headache? That just can’t be comfortable.

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Club swimming was basically my life in middle school, thus I refer to this hair era as my “swim cap stage.” (Can you spot me in the sea of red swim caps? Far left, back row, no ears or hair in sight.)

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The infamous 7th grade school photo. Hair: half-up, half-down, and still a little slicked-back. Makeup: high on the shimmery spectrum. Teeth: under construction. Wardrobe: ON POINT. I mean, a lace-up shirt in 2004? Do you even have to ask if I was cool?

FRESHMAN YEAR.jpgWhen freshman year rolled around, I lost the braces and started experimenting with a middle-part (a look I still believe is only pulled off by the Kardashians and Madewell models).

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I lost that no-good middle part by sophomore year of high school, but I did start straightening my hair on the reg…which was dumb, as I already had straight hair. Explain to me the logic behind that decision, sophomore Kat.

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And then there’s junior year. Any good hair momentum I had gained since middle school was lost when I decided to cut my own bangs. This picture does not do those tiny, gross strands justice to how truly awful they were.

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Thankfully, the hair situation pulled a 180 by senior year.

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The wallet-sized senior pic—no doubt with a note on the back that said “You’re awesome. Don’t ever change.” (Are wallet-sized senior pics even a thing anymore?)

All I can say is praise the Lord for hair (and specifically, bangs) that grow quickly.

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College brought a blonder stage of life for my hair. I loved it then, but it was hard to keep up. (Oh, and I had a brief stint as a black-haired gal. Not my best choice and no pictures to use as evidence.)

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And then this happened. I graduated from college and cut off all my hair to be taken seriously in the workplace.

I honestly loved the short hair and have toyed with the idea of chopping it off again. But ultimately, short hair is surprisingly high maintenance and long hair just feels more me.

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Which leads us to today’s hair:

  • Long
  • Brown
  • Usually air-dried
  • Full of dry shampoo
  • Kind of boring, but very me

So there you go. A life’s worth of hair trends in one blog post. My hair will probably stay the same until I start going grey—at that point, I’m going to take the plunge and try out the short blonde pixie I’ve always dreamed of.

So here’s to hair. And the history we ladies have with it. And the fact that we can’t restyle our 7th grade school photos, no matter how badly we’d like to.

KAT
Currently listening to “Angela” by The Lumineers

Friday Favorites.

It’s a Friday in October… you should be feeling pretty good right now.

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What are your weekend plans? Mine include the State Fair of Texas, a fall party, and a whole lot of TV/book catching up to do. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Here are my favorites from the week:

  1. I loved this list of the 40 books every woman should read by 40. I’ve read many of the suggested titles, but still have a ways to go before getting through all 40 books. I’m a lover of biographies, so Katharine Graham’s memoir “Personal History” particularly caught my eye.
  2. I turned 27 on Monday. And for the first time ever, I felt pretty blah about my birthday. According to the world wide web, a negative view of 27 isn’t all that strange (Exhibit A and Exhibit B). But you know what? I’m bound and determined to make this year a good one. Please stay tuned until next fall when I write a blog about why 27 is actually the best year of life.
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  3. I saw this New Orleans home tour on Apartment Therapy (I love her extra-long kitchen table), and have since developed an obsession with all things NOLA. How have I never been to this cool city? I foresee a road trip in my near future and I’m using these two blog posts (here and here) as my travel guides.
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  4. Life has been the best kind of busy lately, but even fun busy can wear a girl out. Yesterday, I took a few hours off of my part-time job and went for a long run at White Rock Lake. I love WR—it’s pretty, it’s peaceful, it reminds me of being a kid, it’s where my parents fell in love (another story for another time)…it’s just a gift. Way to be great, White Rock Lake.
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    Well, guys, I’ve got to run. It’s time for me to have my annual date with Big Tex. We’ll eat some fancy-schmancy corn dogs and make eyes at each other on the ferris wheel. Aren’t you jealous?

KAT
Currently listening to “Home to Me” by Josh Kelley

My Best Friend’s Wedding.

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This is the story of my best friend’s wedding (not to be confused with the sub-par 90’s chick flick that featured the ever lovable Julia Roberts).

I met Bailey my freshman year of college at a winter conference with Campus Crusades for Christ…an event that I was less than enthusiastic to attend because it was smack-dab in the middle of my Christmas break. But, it was in the beautiful city of Denver, so I decided to give it a go. Little did I know that I would meet one of my dearest friends that week. I remember thinking that Bailey was sweet and gentle.

Well, two years later, we became roommates and I found out that, though she is sweet, she’s also goofy and fun, relatable and genuine, strong and loyal. Everyone needs a Bailey in their life.

To showcase what a good person and friend she is, I will tell you one of my favorite Bailey stories (that also happens to be one of my most embarrassing moments in life). I moved to Nashville after graduating from college and began working as a production editor at a publishing company. That first week on the job was absolutely overwhelming (I have a clear memory of calling my sister and saying something to the degree of “How did I get this job? I’m not even 100% sure how to use a semicolon.”), and it also happened to be the week of my 23rd birthday.

Bailey called me the night before my birthday and asked me how I planned to celebrate. Since I had no friends in Nashville yet, I think I responded with something like, “I’ll probably get Pei Wei takeout and bake myself a cake.” Bailey felt sorry for my pathetic self, so she decided to take matters into her own hands by calling the human resource department at my company and saying, “My best friend just moved to Nashville. Her birthday is tomorrow, and she doesn’t know anyone. Please make sure someone tells her happy birthday.”

Bailey’s message was forwarded to my publishing director’s inbox, who then told everyone on my floor something like: “It’s the new girl’s birthday. She has no friends. Please stop by office 402 and tell her happy birthday.”

So, throughout the day, I had tons of new co-workers come by and wish the “girl with no friends” happy birthday. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty mortifying. But, how many people would call up human resources just to make sure their friend is acknowledged on her birthday? Not many. That Bailey is one special cookie.

A few years ago, Bailey mentioned that she was going on a date with Jared (her now husband). I had heard Jared’s name a few times, but only in a friendship context up to that point. I was excited about this relationship, though, because I knew he was a kind, humble man who loved Jesus. And when I first met Jared a year ago, I knew he was the right guy for my gal.

It’s apparent when you’re around Bailey and Jared that they are better together than they are on their own. They both love the Lord deeply, and together, they serve Him through their words and actions. I’m overjoyed for them and am excited to support and pray for them as they navigate married life.

So, here’s to Bailey and Jared.

(Also, that was my maid of honor speech, in case you couldn’t tell…)

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Waiting for my Uber driver in Dallas. Wearing fall clothes to fit Nebraska weather. Sweating like a pig.
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The blushing bride herself! I got some quality solo time with Bailey on Thursday, which was fun and special. We got our eyebrows threaded, bought Bai some wedding night lingerie (I was WAY out of my league with this M.O.H duty), and ate our fill of Nebraska-style Tex Mex.
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We made a pitstop before the rehearsal dinner at the boutique I worked at in college—this place taught me the value of having strong interpersonal skills when dealing with customers and strong folding skills when dealing with clothes.
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And while at said boutique, I couldn’t pass up some $10 fringe stilettos.
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Rehearsal dinner!
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My bachelorette gift for Bailey. The southerner in me just had to have her new initials monogramed on her robe.
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Bailey gave each of her bridesmaids these super cute clutches (which actually worked out perfectly because I forgot my clutch at home in Texas).
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It’s wedding day!
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This visual goes out to my mom…the only person who would be interested in seeing a bird’s eye view of my up-do.
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And another angle of the hair for Cindy Williamson’s viewing pleasure.
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The loveliest bride. Oh, and you see those buttons…I clasped those bad boys. Harder job than one would think.
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The wedding party was SO FUN. I knew most of the bridesmaids (and two were besties from college—score!), but I didn’t know any of the groomsmen/ushers. Turns out, they were super fun and laid back. We bridesmaids approved.

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#collegefriends #glorydays
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The most special title I’ve ever been given.

Bailey and Jared’s wedding—and love—is simply one for the books. Congratulations, McCoskeys!

KAT
Currently listening to “Cleopatra” by The Lumineers

To Those Who Wait.

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Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,

But our toil He doth richly repay;

Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,

But is blessed if we trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way

To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Be it in traffic, at the grocery store, or for test results to come back, I think we can all agree that waiting is the worst. We live in a society that values efficiency and rapid response, thus waiting is not seen as merely inconvenient, but downright wrong. We hate to wait, and yet, God often calls us to seasons of waiting. Just read the Psalms. Time and time again, David pens prayers of waiting on His God to rescue…

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
-Psalm 27:13-14

 “Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.”
-Psalm 37:34

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.”
-Psalm 130:5-6

I’ve recently found myself in a season of waiting. Many good things have come out of this time, such as a renewed trust in God’s sovereignty, a greater appreciation of His love for me, and, quite frankly, a good ol’ reminder that I’m tougher than I thought I was (a valuable lesson that is absolutely terrible to learn). It has been sweet to see fruit in this season, and yet, here I remain waiting. It’s unnerving to realize that I have no idea when—or if—the waiting will end. Though I desperately want to honor the Lord through my waiting, I often find myself tired and frustrated, lacking the stamina to continue in joy. How, then, does one wait well?

I recently found encouragement in the most unlikely of places: through a 5th grade girls’ Bible study. This past Wednesday night, a handful of 11-year-old girls and I sat in a circle and discussed the call of Abram from Genesis 12…

“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
-Genesis 12:1-3

After reading the passage, I asked the girls how they thought Abram felt in that moment. Honestly, I expected the primary answer to be along the lines of “cool,” but then one student said, “I bet Abram was really scared.” I asked her to explain and she pointed out that though God has promised something magnificent, He had been painfully vague. It is true: God did not mention how or when His promises would occur. To this 5th grader, God’s promise clearly signified a season of waiting and unrest. And when you think about it that way, I suppose it does seem a bit scary.

Our discussion continued, and we chatted about the appropriate response when God calls us to a season of waiting. As the girls talked it out, it became clear to them that there were two duties for believers during such a season: trust in God’s plan and continual obedience to His Word.

Trust and obey. It seems rudimentary, does it not? Yet throughout Scripture, we see the most hopeful of waiters doing these two simple acts. We can obediently follow God, knowing He is working for our favor. And in that, my friends, we find that waiting is truly a blessed season.

KAT
Currently listening to “Trust and Obey” by Chelsea Moon & The Franz Brothers

Friday Favorites.

Glory Hallelujah, it’s Friday, tomorrow is the first day of October, and the State Fair of Texas starts today. Ain’t life grand.

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Here are my favorites from this past week:

  1. I, Kat Williamson, am a plant killer. In fact, I have a mostly dead (maybe totally dead—verdict’s still out) fiddle leaf in my apartment as we speak. Try as I might, I just don’t have a green thumb. But, I saw this cute illustration on Pinterest this week and it definitely inspired me to try the plant thing again.

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    Sadly, I just noticed that the fiddle leaf fig tree is listed here as one of the nine easiest plants to keep alive. As I just killed one, maybe there truly is no hope for me.
  2. Call me Cruella de Vil, but I’ve been all about the dalmatian print fad lately. It seems fall-appropriate and is just plain fun. I especially loved this dalmatian print headboard…
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  3. We’ve finally reached some autumn-like temps here in North Texas, and that, my friends, is a definite favorite from this week.
  4. My sister and friend celebrated the big 3-0 this week! Becca is a feisty and kind soul. We Williamson’s love her heart for Jesus, her strong leadership qualities, and her overall flair for the dramatic. (We’ve all agreed that she makes our lives so much less dull!) In birthday tradition, I sent her a gift, a mixed CD (because I like to pretend it’s still 2002), and a goofy birthday poem. This year the birthday poem was a bit of a struggle…I mean, I’ve been coming up with these things for at least 15 years now—I’m running out of material! Even still, that tradition is one of my very favorites, as is the birthday girl herself.
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    There you have it. Short and sweet round up of favorites this week! Now I’m off to East Texas for a middle school retreat. Prayers for safety and sanity always appreciated. :)

KAT
Currently listening to “When I’m With You” by Ben Rector