Changing Tides.

It’s January 2020, which means we’re just one month shy of my big, fat Austin wedding.

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This season has been wonderful, special, a little overwhelming, and just plain ol’ interesting (quite the combination of emotions, huh?). There’s nothing normal about a season of engagement, but I feel like I’ll always look back and cherish this in-between time of life.

For now, the tides are starting to change in my life, and it just feels right. Here are some glances into this season of my life:

WEDDING PLANNING:

In case you live under a rock and have yet to hear, let me be the first to tell you: wedding planning is no joke. But with the help of my mother-in-law/wedding planner (who I swear may also be a magician/miracle worker), things are really coming together!

Last week included bridal portraits and day-of scheduling, and this week we’re finishing our rehearsal seating arrangement. (Side note: a newly engaged friend recently found her wedding dress and said to me, “I think that’ll be the hardest part of wedding planning!” …Now I’m no monster so I kept my mouth shut, but sister has obviously never made a seating arrangement.)

Anyhow, here’s a little glimpse into wedding stuff as of late…

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We’re getting married in Austin at this beautiful church! It was a pretty easy decision for us—Creighton’s family has many ties to it + it is crazy similar to my home church in Dallas, so there was an automatic comfortability there for me. Now we’ve just got to go back in Feb and exchange some vows.
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A view from our reception venue.
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My handsome groom while trying on tuxes.
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Warning to all my friends and family: My love for monograms is going to come out STRONG at this wedding. Feel free to make fun of me for it (I definitely deserve it).
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This was my bouquet for my bridal portrait session. It’s a combination of peonies, hydrangeas, and ranunculus. I loved it in person, but it blended into my dress in pictures. So I’m thinking about adding some pink for my wedding day bouquet! 
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Introducing my wedding band! A sweet little sapphire ring (because this girl loves her some blue and white).
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Food tasting = hand down the most fun part of wedding planning.

SHOWERS.

Wedding showers are definitely an awesome aspect of the engagement season. Creighton and I were celebrated at three different showers—the first was thrown by my students and their wonderful moms (so special for me!), the next was hosted by Creighton’s parent’s friends, and the last was a young adult shower. All were sweet reminders that Creighton and I have been pretty dang blessed in the friend department.

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So far the decor and cheeseboards for these showers have been top-notch.
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See what I mean?
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Lots of “Shoe Games” have been played at these showers. 

Rosemary Beach.

My sisters and I took a “sisters trip” the other week to beautiful Rosemary Beach, Florida. It was so wonderful that we’ve since deemed it a yearly trip!

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I’m convinced that Becca and Sarah are two of the most special people on the planet. 

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Love to you this week,

KAT

Currently listening to “Extraordinary Magic” by Ben Rector

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

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

Howdy ho, neighbor.

It’s the week after Christmas, the week of New Years, and I am basically shuffling through life in a constant state of exhaustion and food coma. God bless the holiday season.

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My merry little apartment. Check that holiday garland, son.

Christmas was fast and good. It’s always a party when the Williamson family and co. gathers together. For further clarification, please see below.

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Please note: I am wearing a Home Alone beanie.

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Becca and I tried our darnedest to be like those cute college kids and get a jumping picture. Unfortunately, we must be past our cute college kid stage of life, because this is the best we got.

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Hey, does that watch look familiar? It should—I blogged about it a while ago. Although I’ve been admiring it from afar for a good long time, I definitely didn’t expect it under the Christmas tree. Well, my dear ol’ mother knew I wanted it and worked her Santa magic. I love it. And because blogging my “wish list” worked so well in 2015, I’m already scheming about what I’ll be blogging about in 2016…

But, let’s not forget, Christmas is not about the presents; it’s about that sweet baby Jesus. I’m always so grateful for a season that helps me to stop and remember the gift of Jesus. And one sure way of remembering is simply by listening to Christmas music. Songs that have been meaningful to me this year have been “O Come All Ye Faithful” (because what a triumphant song of hope) and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (because of the line, “God is not dead nor doth He sleep”). Praise God for Jesus.

In other news, here are some things on my mind lately:

Things that make me roll my eyes: ISIS, “Affluenza Teen”

Things that make me happy: Seat warmers, my yellow couch, being in walking distance of a Trader Joes

Favorite songs of the moment: “Roses” by the Chainsmokers, “Fire & Rain” by Mat Kearney, “Everglow” by Coldplay

Things I’m looking forward to: Daylight Savings Time (74 days and counting), Valentine candy in grocery stores, The Bachelor coming back to TV next week (I’m not even embarrassed to admit this)

Book I’m reading: Just finished “Why not me?” by Mindy Kaling, and it was GOOD. I stand by my claim that M.K. is one of the best writers out there right now. She’s probably best known for her TV shows, but her writing is her true sweet spot. In fact, she once wrote a letter to her 15 year old self for Elle Magazine, and it was so moving I cried. Seriously! And her books…hilarious and surprisingly insightful. Keep the written word coming, Kaling.

Well, hope you thoroughly enjoy the last two days of 2015. I sure will. with work. (boo) But hopefully some fun too (woo!).

Peace.

KAT

Currently listening to “Believe” by The Bravery