Creighton.

Big life changes over here, my friends!

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My dear, wonderful Creighton Dryden proposed to me a few weeks ago, and we are overjoyed to be getting married in a few short months!

I will dive into all of the engagement details in a separate post, but I’d like to share a little about Creighton and our relationship first.

(I also decided that it’s time to unleash the many photos I over-analyzed posting vs. not posting when we were dating. You girls know what I’m talking about.)

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I met Creighton my very first year in Dallas in the most random of ways. At that time, my friend Johnny had decided to move to New York City and he needed a little help in the packing department. I, a moving pro, offered to come over and help him begin the packing process. Well, lo and behold, when I arrived to Johnny’s house to help him move, a blue eyed, blonde haired guy opened the door and said, “can I help you?” I explained why I was there, which caused Creighton to laugh out loud. He said, “Well, Johnny isn’t here, but you’re welcome to come inside and wait for him.”

If you know Johnny, you are also laughing out loud right now, because every facet of this story—from enlisting a girl to help him move to the part where he forgot about it all together— is so on brand with Johnny Flores. (Johnny did eventually show up, for the record.)

To be honest, I’m a little shocked that I remember that first meeting with Creighton because we were both “spoken for” at that time and our exchange was incredibly brief. But even so, I somehow remember that introduction so well. I remember him wearing kakhi shorts and an old frat tee; I remember the look on his face when he answered the door.

Isn’t that memory a cool gift?

Creighton and I formed a friendship over the next few years, but it was always only that: a friendship. My perspective on Creighton was that he was kind and easy to talk to. And also important to note: we didn’t see each other often. Maybe 2-3 times a year at mutual friends’ parties. In fact, we went a whole year without seeing each other before we reconnected and began dating.

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The next few years after my first introduction to Creighton, I jokingly (and cringingly) say that I dated every boy in Dallas. I would go on tons of first dates, a few second dates, and hardly any third dates. Don’t get me wrong—there were some great guys in the mix! Just never the right one.

After one particularly terrible date, I decided I needed a break. So I made a pact with myself to take a year off dating. (Obviously, I was feeling dramatic at that time.) I distinctly remember recanting said pact a few months later, but God must’ve agreed I needed a break because no dates came my way for a solid twelve months.

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Not necessarily the cutest picture of us, but this is us.

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…But what did come my way was a really hard season of life. Maybe my hardest season yet. I’m going to spare you all of the details, but I will say that it was tough…and yet, it was also a really sweet time of my life. Isn’t that a crazy juxtaposition? Often when things are the hardest is when God feels the nearest. I saw His love for me in a new and wonderful way; I experienced the deep care of my friends and church community; I found new little joys in my life (like my ridiculous and short lived podcast). I tell ya: sometimes those hard seasons are so good for the soul.

Anyhow, through that season I gained a new sense of purpose in my life and job, which led me to decide that I was actually A-OK being single. I was content. And not only was I content; I was happy.

And wouldn’t you know, that’s the exact same time that Creighton Dryden walked back into my life.

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We reconnected at an event I was working one night, and though I hadn’t seen him in a year at that point, it was as easy as ever to talk to him. He stuck around until the event was over and joined me and another friend for dinner.

Over the next few weeks, we ran into each other a few times (which I later learned was somewhat calculated by a smitten Creighton). And then one night I looked at my phone and had a voicemail from a 512 phone number. (Fun fact: I didn’t have Creighton’s phone number until he asked me out, and though we had been casual friends for a few years, I actually didn’t even know his last name. Ha!) We went on a first date a week later—ironically, almost exactly one year after my “one year pact.” Cheesy, but true.

And as they say, the rest was history!

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Creighton Dryden is the friend that everyone needs. He is always kind—no matter the situation; He is humble and loyal; He values His church and the Lord; He makes me laugh and allows me to be my goofiest self; He’s the king of trivia; He’s part preppy/part nerd (you should see how his face lights up when he talks about the new Star Wars series on Disney Plus…); He’s sensitive to my emotions; He’s a wannabe cowboy and absolute rodeo lover; He’s a gentleman and a partner in crime (ok, we haven’t committed actual crimes, but I think I could influence him in that direction if ever needed).

He’s just the best and I’m so thankful that he’s mine.

Kat
Currently listening to “Ride With Me” by Cody Johnson

Spring Things.

Spring has been a whirlwind, folks.

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I’m not sure when the official first day of spring was, but I’m going to say it kicked off for me when I traveled to Nassau, Bahamas with 12 high school seniors for a spring break missions trip.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking there is no such thing as a mission trip to the Bahamas. But I assure you: the majority of the Bahamian Islands do not reflect the Atlantis resort in your mind. Nassau is beautiful and tropical, but it’s also a very broken, sad place that desperately needs the hope of the Gospel. So, we went and we worked!

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While we were there, we worked with two elementary schools, tutoring and leading after school assemblies.

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It was an exhausting and wonderful week! And as a fun bonus, we had a “free day” at the end of the trip to experience the more touristy side of the island.

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Your’s truly on a boat. A shabby Friday, it was not.
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The beauty of Bahamian water 100% lived up to the hype.

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Am I the only chicken who is mildly scared of open water? Needless to say, my first snorkeling experience was equal parts terrifying and thrilling.
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Oh, just a 29 year old trying to fit in with two senior girls. Hoping my usage of a giant T and Lululemon shorts had them fooled about my age…

It truly was a wonderful week. I was so impressed by the maturity and poise of our students on the trip. It’s not always easy to give up your time and energy to serve other people, but those kiddos did it with flying colors. I absolutely loved my time with them.

(…they did wear me out, though.)

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Another spring thing that needs special note was the 30th birthday of my dear friend, Kaelee. In true Kaelee fashion, she celebrated with a theme party (Never have I known Kaelee to not have a theme party, by the way. She reigns supreme as my “most fun” friend.). This year’s party was 90s themed, and listen: I know the 90s are having a fashion moment right now, but after wearing the butterfly clips, the choker, + the tight cropped T for a night…I think it’s best if we leave the past in the past. That being said,   the party was a blast and the birthday girl turned 30 in true spice girl style.

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Pictures of Kaelee from the 90s were all around the party. This was a personal favorite.
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I want you to know that my shirt says “party like it’s 1999.”
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Kaelee made sure we received our fill of 90s foods, such as the wildly mysterious (what the heck is inside those things?) fruit gushers.

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Next up this spring: a fun trip to Austin! My boyfriend Creighton and I have both been crazy busy at work, so we took full advantage of a chance to get out of Dallas for a few days.

While we were there, we went to the Dell Match Play golf tournament, the Austin Rodeo, and also celebrated a few important birthdays. It was one of those trips I didn’t even know how much I needed until I was there. Aren’t those the best?

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That would be Tiger Woods, ladies and gents. He’s not much of a personality, but HOLY COW the boy can swing a golf club. 

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Our second day of the golf tournament, the winds showed up loud and proud…which made a plinko game at the Kendra Scott booth near impossible. See above and below for further proof. 

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Welp, the wind got the best of me and all I won in my plinko attempts was nail polish, but my boyfriend’s sweet mom Linda was WAY more plinko savvy than me and won a fun Kendra Scott bracelet—which she kindly gifted to me! Three cheers for Linda!

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Our final day of the golf tournament and we were freezing. Not an adjective that typically describes Austin, Texas, huh?
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Fun story with this picture. We were minding our own business, sitting up in a tent (not even facing the green that we were technically at) when all of a sudden a ball appears out of nowhere, bounces off a little boy’s leg, and lands right smack dab in front of us! One of the golfers had a terrible swing…which is rough for him, but was awesome for us. Everyone around us suddenly envied our extreme proximity to the ball! I even had a man reach between the gap in my legs to take a picture of the ball below us. (Now that I type that out, it sounds wildly inappropriate/weird, but I promise it was funny in the moment.)
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And let us not forget about our two nights at the Austin Rodeo. Creighton has made me into an appreciator of such western ways, and I’ve officially decided my favorite rodeo events are as follows: 1) bull wrangling; 2) team steer wrestling; 3) kiss cam. Because let’s be honest: sometimes the kiss cam is the most entertaining event to watch.
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You can thank Creighton’s mom for my very rodeo appropriate denim duster. With that jacket on, I definitely felt “the part.”

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We’ll now throw in a picture from a wedding this spring for no reason other than Creighton and I don’t usually look this fresh.

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And the final way I spent most of this Spring? With my students, of course! My very favorite people in the world.

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KAT
Currently listening to “Slow Burn” by Kacey Musgraves

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