Lady McWilliams

Well, being 27 weeks now, I guess it’s time we finally post about a little lady coming into our lives very soon! I’m not sure why we didn’t document this on here much sooner, but it’s not for lack of excitement, that’s for sure. It’s been a new adventure figuring this whole pregnancy thing out together and we’re ready to dive into parenthood come July! We’ve been overwhelmed at the encouragement and support being poured out to us during this time, so thank you from the bottom of our four little hearts! No, we aren’t having twins…Opal is always included in this family : ) We are so ready to meet you Lady McWilliams!


A collection

of a few happy moments around our new house lately.

Opening Gobble’s teapot to be surprised by a familiar handwriting. 20140614-110648-40008605.jpgBreakfast by a bearded man. 20140614-110649-40009167.jpgThanks to a generous couple, we now live in a log cabin in the woods. The kind where we watch the deer sashay through our yard. 20140614-110649-40009697.jpgThese two explorers. Particularly his ridiculous getup and her little sassy booty. I miss them. One’s away at camp and the other at her grandparents. 20140614-110650-40010333.jpgWe are headed to Europe on Monday! Although I’m not sure we yet believe it, the trip we’ve waited months for is finally in reach. I’m more than ready to roam the streets of Paris hand in hand with my husband. And finally introduce him to my friends in Madrid. Europe or Lufkin, we cherish every memory in our little collection and are grateful for each chance to gain another.


Lottie Moon’s Fine China

Blogtember: Share a photo of something old. Maybe something that has personal history for you, that was passed down to you, and that has special meaning to you. Tell us about it and why it’s special.lottie moon chinaThis delicate little saucer sits in front of our embarrassingly filmy kitchen window reminding me each day of its significance. Gobble had three of these dainty plates, and when she died, she passed one to each of her three granddaughters. The china belonged to Lottie Moon who spent over half her life testifying to the love of Christ among the Chinese. I pass by it every day, always remembering the two people from whom it came– the Christian faithful. Although fragile to the touch, the paper-thin porcelain has survived over 100 years in the hands of people who have chosen to protect it. I hope I follow in their example, in more ways than only taking care of  my windowsill antique. Miss you, Gobble. lottie moon china 2And with that brings the end of Blogtember. I answered 12 of the 20 prompts, so I’ll call it a success!

Sweet southern comfort in the West

Blogtember– React to this term: comfort.

I’ve obviously skipped quite a few days of this blog challenge, and the ones I have done are out of order or very late. But I just found these pictures on my computer that I never posted and thought they fit with the above prompt. I took them while at home in Tucson this summer. November holds two trips home for me, and I can’t think of any better occasions than Alyssa’s wedding and Thanksgiving to make a paper chain countdown for. I’ve always been fairly independent when it comes to traveling across the world solo or living states away, but there is nothing better than going home. Bring on the comfort, November, bring it on. yogahomeyoga with the parents/ a painted desert sunset/ the best appetizer at north/ fourth of july pomp and circumstance/ summer flowers on a windowsill

Now & Then

mom1While cleaning out a closet at my parents’ house this summer, I found a dress my mom wore in the 70s. I immediately claimed it as mine. Sadly, mother dearest was a member of a rather wild and crazy teaching sorority back in her day (shout out to Delta Kappa Gamma), and a huge punch stain was visible to the naked eye. Nothing a small alteration couldn’t fix, and now I have a dress that means so much to me.

Walker took some pictures of me in the frock, and I gave them to my mom for her birthday this week so she can frame us side by side. I loved creating this keepsake. It’s a fun dress with an even more special significance. Here’s how the pictures turned out!k5k6twirlk2front to backk copyThanks for the pics, husband!

Happy Birthday! Mother Dearest!

mommaHappy birthday Debbie Foster! Whom I affectionately call Mom!

Here’s hoping you get to wake up early and go to bed by 7 p.m., thus making it a wonderful day for you! In honor of your special day, I might eat chicken breast or broccoli for dinner tonight. But probably not. Thanks for double octuple checking my passport location and molding me into the most cautious traveler around. And for spoiling me with shopping trips and sushi dates even in adulthood! You’ve shown me what it means to work hard, to laugh a lot, to appreciate different cultures, to write thank-you notes and to think every little animal is cute.  I gave it to dad on his birthday, so I will give it to you on yours. For today and today only, you are the funniest member of the family. Enjoy your 24 hours!

To the woman who taught me about showing mercy to all people in every situation, except when it came to the soccer field, happy birthday!!

Love you!

Katie Carroll

Yo, this is who I am.

Day one of Blogtember, answering the prompt, “Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.”

I’m 3 days behind! So, it’s taking everything in me not to answer this prompt the way I’d like– my mother’s womb– and move on. But I will try because my name is Katelyn and that’s what I do. To keep my priorities straight, I’ve made a plan. I’m giving myself 20 minutes to write, 3  to edit and 2 for a quick pic. My attempt at a stream of consciousness, I suppose. Here I go…Let’s see what happens.

I come from a small town where I claim my roots run deep. The kind where everyone knows everyone, and who still treat you as family even after you’ve been gone for 17 years. I come from a big city that celebrates the desert sunset and where Saguaros reach into clear blue skies. The place whose beauty I never appreciated until I was breathing the dry air only on bi-annual visits. A place that watched me grow and leave and often wish I was back.

OH, and baby quail. I come from a place where baby quail run across the road.

I come from parents who always encourage me to be myself while also expecting the very best from me. Who have given me every opportunity I could ask for. Who have taught me to joke and show compassion to all.  Who put others before themselves and have learned it well from their parents. I come from a Grandmother who has afforded me academics and travel and who instills in me an appreciation of the past, of where I come from. And a Gobble who cooked the best rice in the world, taught me chicken foot, and let me call her ‘gangsta.’ Both would do anything. For anyone. And grandfathers I never really knew, but whose legacies of kindness and giving live on through their children. From aunts and uncles who treat me as their own.

I come from friends who are more like the brothers and sisters I never had. Friends who call my parents when I’m too upset to do so. And still other friends who fly in from out of state to be with me during my upset-ness. Friends who know how to laugh like it’s their job and who stop what they’re doing to lend a listening ear.

I come from opportunities. From flying on planes since before I could walk and experiencing different cultures so many times. From sitting under teachers and next to the best and brightest. From lending a helping hand and being lent two.

I come from a faith that says life will never be perfect but there is always joy. That I will never be perfect but I will always be loved. That says great is thy faithfulness when my faith is not so great.

I come from a life full of grace. In every way imaginable.

Holy whoa. That was a lot of writing really fast. Sorry for any typos and grammar whoopsies in there. I surely mixed up a few ‘who’ and ‘whom’ s!


Isn’t this just the coolest picture? It’s of my Big Daddy, no idea where or when, but I’m sure my grandmother would like to tell me! Pretty please.

Glen + Deb

Well, I survived a weekend with my parents as we all ventured to Temple for a wedding. This time they inconsiderately threw me on the couch of their hotel room for two nights. The same couch I was sleeping on when my mom literally plopped on top of my half-awake body and sang ‘Good morning to you.’ She even taught me two more versus. This was, oh you know, after I had spent the whole night listening to her rain app that helps her sleep. You’re thinking gentle sprinkles and soothing lulls, right? Wrong. I’m talking thunderstorms and offbeat rhythms. Then there was dad who kept calling himself the star of the wedding since he was officiating. And who then did his own rendition of the cupid shuffle at the wedding. All by himself. Outside.

But they are my parents, and as I get older I’m realizing these types of things are what I love most about them. We don’t get to see each other all too often, but when we do there is sure to be laughter and quirky memories made. This time it was our family workout in a room without airflow while my dad used the exercise bike and took pictures of his legs. Or my mom whose utmost frustration in life is drying her hair in Texas humidity.

It’s always nice to have a weekend where I get to feel like a kid-dult…a kid in the form of an adult. I didn’t have to worry about paying for food or making decisions. I was just along for the ride. In the backseat like old times. Thanks for the shopping trip and the gas money! Come back soon. Or fly me to Tucson. I’m in either way! Even if I do get reminded to stop at the clearly visible upcoming stop sign…mom and dadmoms and pops mom and dad 2jumpingApparently this is what my dad (who officiated the ceremony) thinks about marriage.

Happy Life Day!

Happy Valentines Day! We are out of this world busy right now, so all romance is getting overlooked in our house this year. No décor. No dinners. Nada. But I thought I’d take a minute to be thankful.

Each year on February 14 my mom and grandmother choose not to celebrate Valentines Day—at least in the traditional sense. They celebrate Life Day—not primarily focusing on the ‘love’ aspect of the cupid’s holy day but instead on the beauty of life.

Twenty-eight years ago these two women became survivors.

On Valentines Day 1985, the year before my glorious entrance into this world, my mom and one of her best friends were victims of a school shooting in Temple, TX. Both were shot and both are alive today. At the same time my mom was admitted to the emergency room, my Grandmother was wheeled out of her cancer surgery.

Not only did one of these dynamos actually give me life, they have both taught me how to live life. Teaching me daily not to sweat the small stuff but to focus on relationships with people. Encouraging me in academics and enthusiastically supporting my travels. Modeling compassion for the least of these and grace for all. Demonstrating integrity, commitment, responsibility and humor. They are much better at these things than me (except humor, I’m claiming that one), but I continue to learn from their example. It’s safe to say that every day is Life Day for them.

This year on Valentines Day, I intentionally celebrate two inspiring ladies whose lives have been so interwoven with love that when I celebrate them, I can’t help but celebrate love, too.

Happy life and love day to each of you, today and every day!20130214-125711.jpg

PS. I lied. We did at least acknowledge Valentines in our house last night. You know, when Walker gave me his gift—new toothpaste. I’m a lucky lady!

Happy Birthday, Pops!

Happy birthday to the best dad around!

You’ve braided and crimped my hair, saved my life when I swallowed gum, been to every soccer game that didn’t interfere with Sunday mornings and obviously allowed me to be the most stylin’ toddler there ever was or could be. Thanks for all you do- you know- like correcting my grammar and doing my wedding. For today, you can hold the title of funniest family member. Tomorrow, I take it back.

We love you! Happy birthday!

the bear, the son-in-law, and the grandpuppy20130129-122757.jpg