Sunday, August 19, 2018

Courting 1 Year

As of this month, Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart have been courting for one year. Prior to the start of their courtship, they were friends for almost a year. Although they live three hours apart, they are still able to see each other often.

This weekend, Carlin spent time in Nashville with Evan and his family. Accompanied by two of Evan's siblings, Kailyn and Ethan, they went golfing at Top Golf.

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart
Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart

Photo courtesy of Carlin Bates

Friday, August 17, 2018

Josie and Kelton's Love Story

Josie Bates and Kelton Balka
Josie Bates and Kelton Balka are counting down the days until their October 5th wedding. Kelton has also just written out their love story and posted it to their wedding website.
Did you know that Josie and Kelton met in summer 2014, during a piano recital at which both Josie and Kelton's sister were performing? But it wasn't until summer 2015 that they had their first extended conversation and exchanged phone numbers.

After they spent time getting to know each other for a few months, Kelton left for college (Pensacola Christian, where he was Bobby Smith's roommate). As was shared on a recent episode of Bringing Up Bates, Josie then put the relationship on hold after her parents expressed that they believed she was too young. Kelton shares his reaction on the wedding website:

I was crushed. I had never met a girl like Josie, and I couldn't understand what God was doing or why Josie had ended what was just beginning. 
But during that year, wise words from his father gave Kelton a renewed purpose, and he focused his attention on his relationship with the Lord, his studies, and working out. During fall break 2016, Kelton was invited to the Bates' beach rental to celebrate with Tori and Bobby, who had just entered a courtship, and the rest of the family (do you remember that episode?). From that day, Josie and Kelton's friendship was rekindled, mostly via long distance, but they did not consider themselves a couple until around the time of Kelton's graduation (with a finance degree) in May 2017. 

From there, you know the rest of the story. Josie and Kelton entered an official courtship in January 2018 and were engaged on June 19th during a trip out West.

Photo courtesy of Josie Bates

Bates Fan File 730

Last night's episode of Bringing Up Bates was all about chaperones and chaperoned dates. My favorite quote comes from Zach, when he is asked by his parents to show the younger kids how to interact with a young woman on a date. With his witty sense of humor, he turns the tables on them: "What did y’all do on dates? Y’all show us what y’all did on dates. We’d love to learn from y’all. I mean, y’alls’ love has lasted through 19 kids. What did y’all do?"

For more details on the episode, take a look at my recap, and watch my Fan File segment below.

Photo/video courtesy of UP

Thursday, August 16, 2018

'Chaperoning Dos and Don'ts' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Chaperoning Dos and Don'ts"

  • Having recently realized that their younger kids don’t know much about chaperoning, Gil and Kelly host a Chaperoning 101 class. “We noticed our chaperones are getting younger and younger and younger,” says Kelly. “And some of these little guys think that chaperoning means getting a free meal.
  • When the parents ask Zach and Whitney to demonstrate how a courting couple should act on a date, Zach jokingly turns the tables. “What did y’all do on dates?” he questions. “Y’all show us what y’all did on dates. We’d love to learn from y’all. I mean, y’alls’ love has lasted through 19 kids. What did y’all do?” Everyone busts out laughing.
  • While they do believe in chaperones, Gil and Kelly also encourage those chaperoning to let the couple have chances to talk privately, as long as they are in a public place. For example, they might get a private table at a restaurant.
  • Speaking of chaperones, Katie accompanies Josie to Kelton’s house to eat with him and his family. “I think we’ve kind of agreed that when we first get married, we’re probably going to cook together since I’m not a very good cook yet,” admits Josie. Kelton’s youngest sister, Kerstin, shows off the bunnies that she got for her birthday. They end the day with ice cream at Cruze Farm Dairy.
  • About a month before they move, Tori and Bobby drive to Hendersonville (near Nashville) to meet with Greg Mutsch, senior pastor at the church, Bible Baptist, that has hired Bobby as its youth pastor.
  • They also tour some beautiful, two-bedroom apartments in the area. “If it doesn’t smell bad, I’m happy,” laughs Tori.
  • While in Hendersonville, Tori and Bobby go on a double date at a bowling alley with Carlin and Evan. “This is totally going to be our future, like every weekend, as much as we can,” says Tori.
  • Lawson stops by to join in on the fun and jokingly accuses them of discriminating against single people when they don’t allow him in their couples’ picture.
  • Back in Rocky Top, Bradley helps Zach build a dog house for Boomer. “One thing Zach’s great at is building,” says Lawson. “He just needs to make it big enough so he can fit in it,” adds Carlin, smiling.

Couples Plus Lawson

Evan Stewart, Carlin Bates, Tori Smith, Bobby Smith

"We have this perfect little double date picture of what our future is going to look like, and then there was also the reminder of another part of our future, which is the fact that Lawson's always in Nashville."
-Bobby Smith

While the Smiths are on a bowling date with Carlin and Evan, Lawson makes a surprise appearance. But when he wants to jump in their couples' photo, his sisters make it very clear that he must do one thing before he can join them: get a date. Check out this preview of tonight's new episode:

Photo/video courtesy of UP