Sunday, December 31, 2017

Final Bates Photo of 2017

As we count down to the new year, we thought we would share one last Bates photo from 2017. It's a snapshot of Carlin Bates and boyfriend Evan Stewart. The two are in a serious courtship, which means it won't be long before they head to the altar.

With at least two grandchildren on the way and potential weddings, 2018 is shaping up to be a busy year for the Bates family.

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart


Photo courtesy of Carlin Bates/thebatesfamily.com

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bates #1 Turns 29

Wishing Zach Bates a very happy 29th birthday. Only one year to go until the big 3-0! Did you know that Zach's middle name, Gilvin, has been passed down through at least five generations of Bates men? And, coincidentally, Gilvin "Gil" Bates will celebrate his 53rd birthday in just a couple days.

Zach and Whitney Bates
Zach Bates, Whitney Bates, Bradley Bates, Kaci Lynn Bates
Thanksgiving 2017

Photo courtesy of Zach and Whitney Bates/thebatesfamily.com

Friday, December 29, 2017

6 Days!

Bringing Up Bates season seven premiere

"...With these girls getting older, there's a lot going on, more than a dad can handle. That might be why my blood pressure is going up."
-Gil Bates

We're counting down the days until the season seven premiere of Bringing Up Bates! In the video below, catch the first 30 seconds of episode 701 ("The 4 Cs: Carat, Clarity, Carlin and Courtship"). Additional footage will be added daily, so keep coming back. The premiere airs on UP Thursday, January 4th, at 9pm ET/8pm CT.


Photo/video courtesy of UP

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Medical Updates from the Keilens on Season 7

Bringing Up Bates season 7

Only eight days to go until the Bringing Up Bates season seven premiere! As we await new episodes, we are bringing you the latest summaries, photos, and promo videos.

What story lines are you most looking forward to? Carlin's courtship "proposal"? Tori's engagement? Josie's 18th birthday celebration? The Bates' Solar Eclipse party? Updates on Michaela and Brandon's journey to parenthood?

UP just released a new clip for your enjoyment. Due to the holidays, we are unable to embed the video as we usually do, but if you click here, you'll be redirected to the page on the UP website where the video is located.

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and DuggarFamilyBlog.com).

Photo courtesy of UP

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Photo of Josie and Kelton

Josie Bates and boyfriend Kelton Balka
 Josie Bates and Kelton Balka

Thought you all would enjoy seeing a new photo of 18-year-old Josie Bates and her boyfriend, Kelton Balka. Tune in to season seven of Bringing Up Bates, premiering Thursday, January 4th, 2018, for updates from this couple. Josie has just finished her final semester of cosmetology school, and Kelton is a licensed plumber with a degree in finance, which he completed in May.

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and DuggarFamilyBlog.com).

Photo courtesy of Josie Bates/thebatesfamily.com

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Webster Christmas Eve Traditions

Merry Christmas Eve! The Websters celebrated with a candlelight church service and new pajamas for all. What are your Christmas Eve traditions?

John Webster, Lexi Mae Webster, Allie Jane Webster, Alyssa Webster

Photo courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Exciting New Season


Tori Bates and Bobby Smith are celebrating their first "weekiversary" today. (They married last Saturday at a Knoxville church and spent their first two days in Gatlinburg before flying out to California.)

The new season of Bringing Up Bates returns in less than three weeks and will feature tons of exciting, new content. Are you looking forward to watching Tori and Bobby's engagement and wedding?

Artwork courtesy of UP

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and DuggarFamilyBlog.com).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Carat, Clarity, Carlin, and Courtship

Exactly two weeks to go until the Bringing Up Bates season seven premiere! If you haven't seen the catchy new promo video from UP, click here to be redirected to the post where you can watch it.

The first episode, "The 4 C’s – Carat, Clarity, Carlin & Courtship," premieres January 4th at 9pm ET/8pm CT. It will be jam-packed with exciting footage. Scroll down to read a summary and view promo photo.

Love is in the air for the Bates girls! But which daughter is next in line to tie the knot? And will Gil be able to “let go” of his not so little girls? Now that Evan has the green light to officially court Carlin, he puts his “courtship proposal” plan in motion. Will Carlin get “clued in” to Evan’s big surprise for her?

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart start courtship
 Evan Stewart asks Carlin Bates to start a courtship

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart start courtship

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart start courtship
 Evan's parents express their excitement

 Evan Stewart and Carlin Bates

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart start courtship

Before Bobby moves to Tennessee, he makes a pit-stop at a jewelry store in Florida. Meanwhile, it’s a milestone Birthday for Josie. She’s turning 18, and the entire Bates family, including Alyssa and Michaela, are in TN for her surprise party!

Setting up for the party

Josie Bates surprise party

Erin Paine, Brooklyn Paine, and Chad Paine
Erin Paine, Brooklyn Paine, and Chad Paine

Josie Bates surprise party

Josie Bates surprise party

Will suitor Kelton Balka be on hand when Josie makes a wish? Later, the Bates have their first official service in their new church building


If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and DuggarFamilyBlog.com).

Photos courtesy of UP

More Bates/Smith Wedding Photos

Excitement is still high in the Bates house, as the family reflects on a magical wedding and looks forward to watching Tori and Bobby's new life unfold. We have been posting pictures all week, and we have a couple more to share. Shout-out to Taryn Yager, a friend of the Bates who did a fabulous job with the wedding photos!

Allie Jane Webster and Lexi Mae Webster
 Allie Jane Webster and Lexi Mae Webster

Tori (Bates) Smith and Michaela (Bates) Keilen
Tori (Bates) Smith and Michaela (Bates) Keilen

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and DuggarFamilyBlog.com).

Photos are courtesy of tarynyagerphotography.com/thebatesfamily.com/Alyssa and John Bates/Michaela and Brandon Keilen

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tori Turns 22

Wishing Tori a very happy 22nd birthday with her new husband! As we announced earlier, Tori and Bobby are honeymooning in California.

Bobby Smith and Tori Bates Smith wedding
Bobby Smith and Tori (Bates) Smith

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and DuggarFamilyBlog.com).

Photo courtesy of UP/tarynyagerphotography.com. Visit the UP website to view more wedding pictures.

Tori and Bobby's Honeymoon Location Revealed

 Tori (Bates) Smith and Judson Bates at Tori's wedding
 Tori (Bates) Smith and Judson Bates

Tori and Bobby Smith have been husband and wife for four days. Following their winter wonderland wedding, they rode off into the sunset as Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and we know you all are wondering where they went.

The newlyweds spent the first two nights in Gatlinburg so they could relax and enjoy the beautiful Smoky Mountains before traveling far. They met up with Gil and Kelly Bates for lunch on Monday so they could hand off the wedding gown and suit, and then they headed to the airport to fly out to California. Nathan Bates' hint about where they are is that they are continuing the winter wonderland theme. Any guesses as to what they might be doing?

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and DuggarFamilyBlog.com).

Wedding photos are courtesy of tarynyagerphotography.com/UP/lawsonbates.com/thebatesfamily.com/

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Lawson's New Christmas Music Video

Lawson Bates Back to Christmas

A couple weeks ago, we announced that Lawson Bates' new Christmas singles had been released. One was a traditional holiday tune, "Go Tell it on the Mountain," while the other was an original song, "Back to Christmas." In early December, Lawson filmed a music video for "Back to Christmas," and it is officially ready for viewing. Watch it below.


Photo/video courtesy of UP/Lawson Bates

30 Years, 34 Bates

Three days after Tori Bates' wedding, the Bates clan has another big milestone to celebrate. It's Gil and Kelly's 30th anniversary! When they tied the knot 30 years ago, Gil was almost 23, and Kelly had just turned 21. They welcomed their first baby one year later, and the rest is history.

Gil and Kelly Bates celebrate 30th anniversary
Gil and Kelly Bates

Photo courtesy of thebatesfamily.com

Monday, December 18, 2017

Smith Wedding Photos

We just can't get enough of this gorgeous couple! Tori and Bobby married on Saturday afternoon and embarked on their honeymoon after a beautiful reception and send-off. Are you looking forward to seeing the wedding on season seven of Bringing Up Bates?

Below are two previews of the couple's professional wedding photos. Visit the UP website to view more.

Tori Bates and Bobby Smith wedding
 Tori Bates and Bobby Smith

Tori Bates and Bobby Smith wedding
Tori and Bobby

Photos courtesy of UP/tarynyagerphotography.com

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bates/Smith Wedding Photos

Tori Bates and Bobby Smith became husband and wife in a beautiful Knoxville wedding ceremony yesterday afternoon. (Click here for more details.) Until the professional photos are released, we have a few snapshots to share.

 Lawson Bates, Bobby Smith, Tori (Bates) Smith

Lawson Bates and Callie Bates and Tori Bates wedding
Lawson and flower girls

Tori Bates wedding
 Tori (Bates) Smith and Judson Bates

Carlin Bates and boyfriend Evan Stewart
Carlin Bates and boyfriend Evan Stewart
(The bride and bridesmaids wore gowns designed by Renee Miller.)


Wedding photos are courtesy of tarynyagerphotography.com/UP/lawsonbates.com/thebatesfamily.com/Carlin Bates

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 People.com.

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/thebatesfamily.com

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 thebatesfamily.com; 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 tarynyagerphotography.com/Chad 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 fabfitfun.com 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 tarynyagerphotography.com

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 thebatesfamily.com; 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 thebatesfamily.com

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