Saturday, December 16, 2017

Tori Bates is Married!

What a lovely afternoon watching Tori Bates become Mrs. Bobby Smith at a beautiful wedding in Knoxville, Tennessee! The purple and silver, alongside white trees, made for a gorgeous, wintry setting. As expected, the wedding party was made up mostly of siblings. The audience laughed and cried as Pastor Gil Bates officiated the ceremony with the perfect combination of tenderness and humor.

Tori was glowing in her stunning Renee Miller wedding gown. (I--Ellie--was invited to join the Bates ladies the day Tori chose her dress.) The lemon-blueberry wedding cake, made by Kelly Bates' sister Kay, was simply divine.

We enjoyed exchanging hugs and hellos with members of both the Bates and Duggar families. The Duggars are close friends of the Bates, and most were in attendance today. We were also thrilled to chat with a few followers of our blogs.

Details of Tori and Bobby's special day can be found at

Friday, December 15, 2017

Wedding Festivities Have Begun!

Tori Bates' wedding is just one day away! She and Bobby Smith will have a Bates-sided bridal party, made up of 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen. Carlin Bates is the maid of honor, and Kelton Balka--Josie Bates' boyfriend and the mutual friend who introduced Tori and Bobby--is the best man.

Watch season seven of Bringing Up Bates for updates on Carlin and Josie and their boyfriends!

Evan Stewart, Carlin Bates, Josie Bates, Kelton Balka

Photo courtesy of Carlin Bates/

Carols By Erin and Lawson

As the holiday season heats up, the Bates are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, setting up for the big wedding tomorrow and preparing for Christmas. In the video clips below, two of the most musical family members, Erin Bates Paine and Lawson Bates, sing Christmas carol duets.

Jingle Bells

Go Tell it on the Mountain

Photo/videos courtesy of UP

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Zach and Whit Celebrate 4 Years

Wishing Zach and Whitney Bates a very happy 4-year wedding anniversary!

Zach and Whitney Bates
 Renovating their new house

Photo courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates

Carol of the Bates

carol of the bells bringing up bates

Earlier this week, we posted the first promo video of Bringing Up Bates season seven. The series returns in exactly three weeks!

In the spirit of Christmas, UP has created a mini music video to the tune of "Carol of the Bells." It's catchy, so you might just find yourself singing it in your head all day.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Season 7 Promo Video!

 Bringing Up Bates season 7 promo

Hot off the press! UPtv just launched a brand new website, and they have released the first promo video (embedded below) of Bringing Up Bates season seven, which premieres Thursday, January 4th, 2018. We say this every season, but it sure seems like this one is going to the most exciting yet!

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Bobby Plays 'Pirates' on Piano

We know you all have enjoyed getting to know Bobby Smith, Tori Bates' husband-to-be, but there is one fact that you might not know about him. He is a beast on the piano! Check out this video of his cover of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song. You're sure to be blown away.

Photo courtesy of; video courtesy of Bobby Smith

Monday, December 11, 2017

Tori and Bobby's Love Story

"I used to play those chasing games, and then I started thinking, 'Tori Bates is all I want.' And that's not changing." 
-Bobby Smith

The first time we were introduced to Bobby Smith was on Valentine's Day 2016, which was shown on Bringing Up Bates "A LOVEly Day." At that point, Bobby and Tori were still just friends. They met through a mutual friend--Kelton Balka, who is now Josie Bates' boyfriend--over fall break 2015.

Exactly one year later, during fall break 2016, Bobby asked Tori to begin an official courtship while the Bates were vacationing in Pensacola, Florida.

Rather than wait until the following fall break to ask Tori to marry him, Bobby popped the big question a little bit sooner...and Tori said yes! Their wedding is just five days away.

We're throwing it back to Bobby's musical performance for Tori on Valentine's Day 2016. Check out the video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Bates Wedding #5 in 1 Week!

  Tori Bates wedding countdown Bobby Smith

In exactly one week, Tori Bates will recite her marriage vows in front of family and friends and become Tori Smith. This will be the fifth wedding for Gil and Kelly Bates' super-sized clan.

Tori Bates and Bobby Smith will have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, with a winter wonderland theme. Their decor is white, silver, and a beautiful shade of purple.

Photo courtesy of Shannon Benfield, UP
Click here to see more photos of Tori's engagement on the UP website.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Webster Christmas Tree

You enjoyed seeing photos of Erin and Chad Paine's Christmas decor, so we thought we would share this snapshot of Alyssa and John Webster's Christmas tree. They purchased it from Kelly's Christmas Trees in the Orlando area. What do you think?

If you remember, Alyssa chose pink and blue as her wedding colors, so it is fitting that her Christmas ornaments are blue.

Alyssa Bates Webster Christmas Tree
Webster family Christmas tree, 2017

Photo courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Little Bates Buy a House

Zach and Whitney Bates have big news. They bought a house! It's a fixer-upper, but they say they are looking forward to fixing it up. The previous home they lived in was a rental.

Zach and Whitney Bates buy a house
Whitney Bates, Zach Bates, Bradley Bates

Photo courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Win Erin's Christmas CD

'Tis the season for giving! Just in time for Christmas, we are raffling off five copies of Erin Bates Paine's "Comfort & Joy" Christmas CD. With classics like "Joy to the World," "Frosty the Snowman," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," this album is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photography courtesy of Paine

#FabFitFun Winter Box

Two months ago, I showed you my #FabFitFun Fall Box.

FabFitFun is a subscription box filled with beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness products that is delivered to your door four times each year. I was invited to become a #FabFitFunPartner and was sent the fall box for free.

The FabFitFun Winter Box arrived last week, and I'm excited to put the products to use. Check out my unpacking video below, and enter code ELLIE at to get $10.00 off your first box. All opinions are my own.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Lawson Bates Christmas Tunes

Lawson Bates New Song Back to Christmas

Big news from Lawson! His new Christmas singles have been released! Visit iTunes to listen to a preview of "Back to Christmas" (an original song) and "Go Tell It on the Mountain." You can purchase them for 99 cents each.

As we shared last week, Lawson spent the weekend filming a music video for "Back to Christmas" in Nashville.

Album photo courtesy of

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Erin's Due Date

Seven weeks after announcing their third pregnancy, Erin and Chad Paine have an ultrasound photo to share. Erin is 19 weeks along and due April 28th with Everly Hope Paine. Her morning sickness was severe, but she is now feeling better.

Erin Bates Paine pregnant Everly Hope Paine
Everly Hope Paine at 19 weeks

Photo courtesy of Erin and Chad Paine

12 Days of Bates-mas

Now that December is officially underway, we have a fun throwback video to share with you. This is one of the original clips created to advertise the premiere of Bringing Up Bates three years ago. Lots has changed since then!

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Trace and Carlin in NYC

Trace Bates and Carlin Bates New York City Statue of Liberty

As we shared yesterday in our "Exciting Bates Updates" post, Trace Bates and Carlin Bates are in New York City this week with the Crown College Choir. They have been traveling around to various iconic sites, sharing Christmas music with both sightseers and New Yorkers.

Below is a video of photos and clips from their first day. Do you see the Bates?

Photo courtesy of; video courtesy of Crown College

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Exciting Bates Updates

Although their show is currently on break, the Bates have lots of exciting things happening in their super-sized family. They are also busy filming for the new season.

Lawson has been spending quite a bit of time writing and recording music in Nashville. He leaves for Music City tonight to film a music video for his new Christmas song, "Back to Christmas." (The single will be released on iTunes in just a few days.) If you're in East Tennessee, be sure to grab tickets for Lawson's upcoming Christmas concert.

We can finally reveal the date of Tori Bates' and Bobby Smith's wedding: December 16th. The couple will have 10 bridesmaids and 10 groomsmen, and the theme is winter wonderland. Their decor is white, silver, and "dusty purple." We have seen the shade of purple that Tori has chosen, and it's absolutely gorgeous.

Tori's maid of honor is Carlin, and her matron of honor is Erin. Bobby's best man is Kelton Balka, Josie's boyfriend.

Trace and Carlin are currently in New York City with the Crown College Choir. They are traveling around blessing folks with beautiful Christmas music. Today, they visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Federal Hall, Trinity Church, and Wall Street.

Nathan is in Texas teaching student pilots how to fly.

Photo courtesy of

Little Bates Fam Thanksgiving 2017

Zach and Whitney were able to see lots of loved ones over the Thanksgiving holiday. Per Bates family tradition, they traveled down to Honea Path, South Carolina, to visit Gil's extended family, and they also spent time with Whitney's parents.

Zach Bates, Bradley Bates, Kaci Lynn Bates, Whitney Bates
Zach Bates, Bradley Bates, Kaci Lynn Bates, Whitney Bates

Kaci Lynn Bates
 Kaci Lynn with Whitney's parents

Zach and Whitney Bates with Papa Bill and Mama Jane (Gil's parents)

Photos courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dress Like a Bates

Many of my readers have asked where the Bates ladies find such cute dresses. I posed your question to Carlin and Whitney, and they shared their top three retailers. Here they are, along with links:

NeeSee's Dresses: Always Modest, Always Beautiful
Old Navy
Paisley Kate's Boutique
Photo courtesy of

Monday, November 27, 2017

Thanksgiving Memories

Erin (Bates) Paine, Kelly Bates, Alyssa (Bates) Webster

The Bringing Up Bates season seven premiere on January 4th will air just three days after the three-year anniversary of the series. Three years? Can you believe it has been that long since the Bates family first appeared on UP?

A few days ago, we posted snapshots from Bates Thanksgiving 2017. Although the holiday is over, we thought you would enjoy these Thanksgiving videos clips from a couple years ago.

Photo/videos courtesy of UP

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Bates Thanksgiving in SC

As they have in the past, the Bates are spending Thanksgiving weekend in Honea Path, South Carolina, with Gil's side of the family. Michael and Brandon Keilen headed to Michigan to spend the holiday with Brandon's family, but most of the rest of the Bates clan traveled to South Carolina, including the Websters and Carlin's boyfriend, Evan Stewart.

The camera crew is present, and the Bates are banding together to build a barn. Here are a few snapshots:

Michaela and Brandon Keilen in Michigan

Bates barn building

Lawson Bates, Jeb Bates, Bradley Bates

Photos courtesy of,

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Erin's Christmas Decorations

Today may be Thanksgiving, but Christmas is just around the corner. Erin and Chad Paine have already "decked the halls" in their little cottage.

Carson Paine and Brooklyn Paine help decorate

Photos courtesy of Erin and Chad Paine

Happy Thanksgiving!

We want to wish all our readers in the United States a blessed Thanksgiving! May we all remember that we have many things to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

John and Allie

In honor of John Webster's 28th birthday, we have a sweet photo of him and Allie Jane to share. At two-and-a-half years old, Alyssa and John's oldest daughter is starting to look like a little lady, especially with such a stylish outfit. It's hard to believe that in just a few months, another baby girl will join the Webster clan.

John Webster and Allie Webster

Photo courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

John Turns 28

Just 12 days after Alyssa's Webster's 23rd birthday, John Webster is celebrating his 28th. Happy birthday, John!

John Webster and Alyssa (Bates) Webster

Photo courtesy of UP

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bates Band Practice

 Emily Ann Roberts, Carlin Bates, and Lawson Bates with Lawson's band

Lawson and his crew are working hard to prepare for their upcoming Christmas concert on December 9th. (Click here for details and ticket information.) Will you be attending?

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Keilens in November

Happy Sunday! We know you love the Keilens, so we want to share a new photo with you.

Michael and Brandon Keilen

Photo courtesy of

Bates Look Forward to Christmas

 Whitney Bates and Kaci Bates, Christmas 2016

What are you most looking forward to about the holidays? Gil and Kelly Bates share one of their favorite parts of Christmas in the video clip below. With so many schedules to coordinate as their older kids are marrying off, the Bates don't always celebrate on December 25th, but rest assured there will be a big Bates Christmas bash at some point!

Photo courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates; video courtesy of UP

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Lawson and Nathan Fly to Florida

Today, Lawson Bates and Nathan Bates took a trip down to Florida, but rather than catch a commercial airliner or hop in a car, they flew themselves. Nathan, a licensed pilot, has been showing Lawson the ropes of flying a plane. The brothers landed near Orlando and paid a visit to Alyssa and John Webster, who are expecting daughter No. 3 in April.

Nathan Bates and Lawson Bates

Photo courtesy of

1 Cute Puppy--Hold the Fleas

"It was adorable, and I went to hold it, and I'm cuddling it and petting it. And I look down, and fleas are crawling all over me!"
-Kelly Bates

Who can forget this memorable Bates clip? Just before Brooklyn Paine's August 2016 arrival, Erin and Chad Paine added another member to the family: Max the puppy. He was a sweet little rescue dog, but the critters that came with him weren't so sweet (see video below).

And speaking of dogs, Zach and Whitney caved and bought their kids a furry friend last month.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lawson Plays New Christmas Song

Lawson Bates appeared as a guest on WBIR, the Knoxville NBC News affiliate, yesterday afternoon. He spoke about his upcoming Christmas concert (click here for details and ticket sales) and performed a brand new Christmas song.

Special guests scheduled to be featured at the Christmas concert include Emily Ann Roberts, The Voice runner-up, and Andy Leftwich, fiddle player for Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Take a look at the video clips below.

Photo courtesy of; videos courtesy of WBIR

Bates Film for Season 7

Gil and Kelly Bates, Isaiah Bates, and Judson Bates with a veteran

The Bates family had a busy weekend. Above, Gil and Kelly and two of the boys are pictured with a decorated special forces green beret veteran they ran into while out and about. They took a photo with him in honor of Veterans Day.

Much of the rest of the weekend was spent in a school gymnasium filming promos for Bringing Up Bates season seven, which premieres January 4th. Everyone was there but the Websters. The family also created content to celebrate the 100th episode, which is just a few episodes away.

Photo courtesy of

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bringing Home Baby

 Kelly Jo Bates and Allie Jane Webster

Time sure does fly! Feels like just yesterday, we were watching proud grandparents Gil and Kelly Bates meet little Allie Jane, and now Allie is two-and-a-half and about to welcome her second little sister. Hope you enjoy this throwback video.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Carlin and Evan at Topgolf

Although they live three hours apart, Carlin Bates (19) and boyfriend Evan Stewart (22) are still able to see each other often. Last weekend, Carlin traveled to the Nashville area to spend time with her man. They had a date day at Topgolf, a large entertainment venue where folks of all skill levels can enjoy the game of golf.  Topgolf has dozens of locations across the United States and even some in other countries.

 Evan Stewart and Carlin Bates

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart

Photos courtesy of Carlin Bates

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bates Grand-Baby #8

When we visited with the Bates several weeks ago, we were thrilled to hear that two of the ladies were expecting. Erin Paine made her announcement October 17th, and now the other family member has revealed her big news. Who is it? Well, we will give you a hint: It's the Bates daughter celebrating her 23rd birthday today.

That's right, Alyssa Webster is pregnant! And guess what? It's another girl! Alyssa and her husband, John Webster, will welcome their third daughter, Zoey Joy Webster, in 2018. She's due in April, the same month as cousin Everly Hope Paine. Zoey's exact due date is April 2nd.

Click here to view a photo on the UP website. Us Weekly has a photo, as well.

"Three girls is going to be crazy and emotional, but we can’t wait to welcome little Zoey Joy into our lives," the Websters told Us.

Photo courtesy of John and Alyssa Webster

Bates #6 Turns 23

Wishing Alyssa Joy (Bates) Webster a very happy 23rd birthday!

The mother of two little girls, her nickname is Bizz because she has always been a busy bee. She is very organized, is great at cooking, and maintains an immaculately clean home. Before getting married and moving to Florida in 2014, Alyssa was the Bates family secretary and clothing shopper. Happy birthday, Alyssa!

John Webster and Alyssa Webster on a recent cruise

Photo courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Duggars and Bates

Following a recent post on our Duggar blog, we received questions from readers wondering why, if the Duggars and Bates are such good friends, they never appear on each other's reality TV shows.

While it is true that there are restrictions, as the shows are on different networks, these two families are very close, and they are always present to show support at important events like weddings and graduations. They are also quick to lend a hand with set-up at these events, and they see each other at times throughout the year.

Erin (Bates) Paine has played piano at many of the Duggar weddings. John-David Duggar was a groomsman in Zach Bates' wedding four years ago. In 2015, Jana Duggar was in Michael Bates' wedding. This year, Trace Bates was a part of Joseph Duggar's wedding, and Carlin Bates stood up with Joy-Anna Duggar at the Duggar/Forsyth wedding.

Carlin Bates and Joy-Anna Duggar (who refer to each other as best friends)
Spring 2017

Trace Bates and Joseph Duggar
Joseph's wedding, September 2017

Jana Duggar and Michaela Bates
Michaela's wedding, August 2015

Photos courtesy of UP,, Carlin Bates, Trace Bates

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Bates Daddy/Daughter Dinner

"I don't want to be 20 because then you have to go to college, and that's no fun. And you have to work, and there's no time to play."
-Ellie Bates

Last week, we shared a Great Bates Moment video of Gil Bates' and Josie Bates' father/daughter tennis date. Well, with 10 daughters, there's always plenty of daddy/daughter fun to be had! In this Great Bates clip, watch footage from Gil's dinner with the three youngest girls, Addallee Bates, Ellie Bates, and Callie Bates. These gals sure do adore their daddy!

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Monday, November 6, 2017

33 Bates and Counting

 Gil and Kelly Bates at Norris Dam

As they approach their 30th wedding anniversary this December, Gil and Kelly Bates' nest is emptying quickly. They have...

4 married kids (Zach, Michael, Erin, and Alyssa)
1 child who will be married in December (Tori)
3 single adult children (Nathan, Lawson, and Trace)
2 unmarried adult children who are in relationships (Carlin and Josie)
4 teenagers (Katie, Jackson, Warden, and Isaiah)
5 kids ages 5-11 (Addallee, Ellie, Callie, Judson and Jeb)
6 grandchildren ages 9 months-3 years (Bradley, Allie, Carson, Kaci, Brooklyn, and Lexi)
1 grandchild coming in April (Everly Hope Paine)
4 children-in-law (Whitney, Brandon, Chad, and John)
1 soon-to-be son-in-law (Bobby Smith)

When do you think the next big announcement will be made (ie pregnancy, relationship/courtship, or engagement)?

 Callie Bates

Jackson Bates

 Ellie Bates

Jeb Bates and Judson Bates

Photos courtesy of