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

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

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

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