Monday, May 9, 2016

'They were all so genuine and sweet'

A reader named Hayley was able to attend Trace and Carlin Bates' graduation party, which was open to the public. Scroll down to read her description of the event and see several of her pictures:

My little ones (ages 4 & 1) and I drove about 2 hours from Chattanooga to be there, and it was very, very worth it! Carlin was super sweet and helped me out with my four year old! You can tell she has a genuine heart for kids (and perhaps saw how much I was struggling to chase my two kids in two different directions). She was also the VERY first person to greet us when we walked in. What an amazing hostess, to say the least! 

 Hayley and her kids with Carlin Bates

 We also briefly talked to Trace and met quite a few of the others! 

 Hayley and her kids with Gil Bates and Lawson Bates

 Hayley's son with Tori Bates

Gil and Kelly noticed my little guy really wanted a balloon that was tied to a pole behind where they were talking to a small group of people, and they excused themselves for a minute to help tie the balloon onto his wrist! It was adorable! 

 Gil and Kelly Bates tie a balloon onto Hayley's son's wrist

Saw quite a few Duggars as well! (John, Jana, Jinger, Jessa, Joseph, obviously Josiah, Joy Anna, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin and Jackson.)

 Hayley's son with Josiah Duggar

Another couple moments that stood out for me were talking to Erin about pregnancy and balancing time and energy between two little ones...

Hayley poses with Erin Bates Paine

...and I talked to Michaela twice! Once when Brandon was still on his way to the party and once after he got there. They were all so genuine and sweet...and obviously, I could go on about it all day! But I won't.

 Hayley and her son with Michaella Bates Keilen and Brandon Keilen

A big thank you for your blog! Without it, I would have never known about this once in a lifetime opportunity! Up and down Thank You's!

 Gil and Kelly Bates address the crowd

 Jackson Bates with Hayley's son


  1. I don't think that it was right of you to put your web address on her photos

    1. Why not? The photos were given to to be used on this site.

  2. I just love seeing all these pictures taken by readers! And the bit about the balloon-- so sweet. Thank you for sharing Hayley!

  3. Keep posting these pictures!! I seriously can't get enough of them! They're the next best thing to getting to go and meet them in person!! More, please!! LOL :)

    1. I know what you mean :)

  4. Loved these! Keep posting. I wish that I loved close enough to attend:) Did Hayley have any pictures with the Duggars in attendance? I would love to see those and hear about her interactions with them too!

  5. Great post and nice to see the real connections with all.

  6. I would love to meet the Bates in person! I'm glad you got such an amazing experience. :)

    Thank you so much Ellie for taking the time and energy to write so much about the Bates. They sound like a super sweet family! :)

    1. It's my pleasure! Thank you for being a loyal reader. :)

      God Bless,

  7. Aw!!! I am SO disappointed that I couldn't come! No one wanted to drive with me 3 hours to some "strangers" grad party, and I felt silly driving all by myself! :( It would have been so great to meet all of them!

  8. I also don't understand why you put your web address on her photos when they aren't yours. She graciously shared them with you.

  9. Thank you for sharing the photos and comments. It's good to hear about the Bates from a reader's point of view!