Thursday, January 31, 2019

'The Maine Event' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "The Maine Event"

  • Carlin, Evan, Gil, Kelly, and Evan’s parents (Paul and Denese Stewart) arrive in Portland, Maine, for the big proposal weekend. Their first order of business is picking up lobster at Portland Lobster Co. Evan is eager to try a lobster roll, but Carlin orders a cheeseburger. Evan holds a live lobster and convinces Carlin to touch it. 
  • Carlin and Evan rent bikes and leave their parents behind. “Alright Evan,” says Kelly. “See all these people? That’s going to be your chaperone for now. That’s your chaperone for now until we catch up.” Carlin says they have God as their chaperone.
  • The lovebirds take a trail along the water but end up getting lost. “You know what?” jokes Gil. “They may have run off without us. That could be bad.” They finally make it to the picnic spot where the parents are waiting, and they all eat their lunch. Carlin tries a piece of lobster but doesn’t love it.
  • After the picnic, Evan asks Carlin if she has a fancy outfit to put on for the activities he has planned for the evening. At this point, Carlin knows that the engagement is just hours away.
  • The group goes back to their rental house to change. Kelly, Gil, and Evan’s mom arrive at Portland Head Lighthouse 30 minutes early to set up flowers and a table. Back at the house, a chauffeured limo picks up Carlin and Evan and drops them off at the lighthouse.
  • “I don’t think anyone realizes the blind faith I have going into this,” admits Evan. “Even Carlin, I don’t think she realizes it. She thinks everything’s just perfectly under control, and I’m here sweating under my suit coat. I’m looking for my parents, her parents. I’m not even sure where they set up.”
  • When the couple makes it to the proposal site, the cellist starts playing. Evan reads a poem that he wrote called “My One:”
  • “I could list a million reasons why you’re the one for me and a million reasons more why I love you tenderly. From your hair to your smile to your heart that’s made of gold, I love every part of you with a love that won’t grow old…I need you in my life cause you’re the very air I breathe…I thank my God above that I’m as blessed as a man could be cause out of every guy on earth, He made you just for me. Now as I’m standing here with my love so strong and true, I have a special question I’ve been meaning to ask you. It’s just five simple words, but they’re filled with much romance. So Carlin Brianne Bates, may I have this dance?”
  • At that point, Carlin is smiling, laughing, and crying as she says, “I don’t know how to dance!” But they pull it off.
  • After their dance, Evan says, “I love you so much. You’re my best friend, you’re my girlfriend, and I hope you’ll be my fiancĂ©e.” He gets down on one knee and asks the big question: “So Carlin Brianne Bates, will you marry me?”
  • And of course, she says yes! They embrace, and he puts the ring on her finger. After a few moments, they call the parents over for hugs. “There were a lot of tears, a lot of tears on both sides,” says Kelly. The sun is setting, so the lighting is perfect for photos.
  • “We love Carlin,” says Denese. “I think she fits perfectly with our family.”
  • “We’re not just gaining a daughter,” laughs Paul. “We’re gaining about 40 people.”

Tonight: The 'Maine' Event

Carlin Bates Bringing Up Bates engagement

The "Maine" event, which is the engagement of Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart, airs tonight on UPtv at 9pm ET/8pm CT. Scroll down for episode snapshots, a video, and tonight's TV listings.

While in Portland, Maine, Carlin and Evan rent bikes, and you might be a bit surprised when you see who their chaperones are while they ride.

Carlin Bates Evan Stewart bike ride

Carlin Bates Evan Stewart bike ride

Before the big proposal, the couple enjoys a picnic lunch with their parents. Lobster anyone?

Carlin Bates engagement Bringing Up Bates

You might need a box of tissues as you watch the proposal. Evan's words to Carlin are both sentimental and romantic.

Carlin Bates Evan Stewart engagement

8pm: A Proposal to Plan & Wedding To-Dos
8:30pm: A Sweet Shower & a Surprise Switch
9pm: The Maine Event NEW!
Ever since Evan sang a heartfelt song to Carlin and asked her to “officially court,” they’ve been inseparable. Two years later, they’re both more than ready to take the next step in their relationship. Unbeknownst to Carlin, he has a fairytale proposal plan in the works for his leading lady. After surprising her at a Nashville recording studio, the young couple, along with their parents, head off to Portland, Maine, for a fun getaway. The young couple goes out for a scenic bike ride to a picturesque picnic spot by the bay. But when Evan and Carlin get lost during their ride, will his perfect proposal plan be in jeopardy? And later, the proposal countdown begins! It’s a mad rush for Kelly Jo, Gil, and Evan’s mom to help Evan put his plan in motion...but more importantly, will Carlin say, “Yes”, when Evan woos her with a hand-written poem, a ballroom dance, and her favorite diamond ring?30 minutes

Video/photos courtesy of UPtv 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Preparing for the Proposal

Carlin Bates and Evan Stewart engagement

"I'm looking at Gil, and he's trying to set stuff up, and I'm going, 'You're night doing it right! You're not doing it fast enough!'"
-Kelly Bates

Evan Stewart's big proposal airs tomorrow night on UPtv. But in order to pull off the perfect day for Carlin, the groom-to-be needs a lot of help from his parents and future in-laws (video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Josie and Katie

Josie (Bates) Balka and Katie Bates
With Josie Bates Balka married and gone and Carlin Bates' wedding coming up on May 25th, 18-year-old Katie Bates will soon be the oldest Bates sister at home. When Carlin ties the knot, there will be 7 Bates siblings married and 12 still living at home.

Photo courtesy of Katie Bates/

Monday, January 28, 2019

Gil's Lobster Impersonation

Gil and Kelly Bates lobster

"...This guy and girl come walking in with a lobster that they just caught. I mean, a live, moving shaking, pinching lobster."
-Gil Bates

Have you ever tried lobster? While in Maine, Gil, Kelly, Carlin, and Evan visit an iconic lobster restaurant called Portland Lobster Co. Gil's lobster impersonation is pretty entertaining, as is Carlin's reaction to the live lobsters. Check out this video preview of Thursday's new episode of Bringing Up Bates.

If you enjoy this blog, be sure to visit Ellie's other blogs ( and

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Update on Jackson

Jackson Bates and Gil Bates tree job
Jackson Bates helps Gil Bates with a tree job
Jackson Bates is the 12th oldest of Gil and Kelly Bates' 19 children (right after Josie and Katie in the lineup). He turns 17 in February and will be the next sibling to enter adulthood.

Jackson is in 11th grade and is finishing up his homeschooling education while taking dual enrollment college classes. He is also doing contract work with Chad Paine in the mornings, which makes for very long days that start around 6am.

Photo courtesy of UPtv

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Lexi Mae Turns 2

Happy 2nd birthday, Lexi Mae Webster!

Alyssa (Bates) Webster and John Webster
Allie Webster, Zoey Webster, Lexi Webster
Gil and Kelly Bates with newborn Lexi Webster
Gil and Kelly Bates with newborn Lexi Webster

Lexi Mae Webster
Lexi Mae's 1st birthday cake smash
Lexi Webster
Lexi, one month old
The Websters (with newborn Zoey)

Photos courtesy of Alyssa and John Webster

Friday, January 25, 2019

Ellie Bates' Thoughts on Marriage

Are you ready for a good laugh? At Josie Bates' wedding shower, Kelly asks the guests to write down marriage tips. Evan the unmarried girls and ladies participate, and nine-year-old Callie Bates share some pretty wise advice. Eleven-year-old Ellie Bates is very serious about the tip that she contributes, and she has the women laughing hysterically. Find out what it is in the video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Thursday, January 24, 2019

'A Sweet Shower & a Surprise Switch' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "A Sweet Shower & a Surprise Switch"

  • Kelly and Josie are back in New York City for Josie’s dress fitting. “I am hoping that it fits because there’s a lot of changes that we made that I’m not really sure what they’re going to look like, but I think it’s going to be great, hopefully,” says Josie.
  • “Oh my word,” says Kelly when she sees her daughter in the gown. “Josie, that is more beautiful than I even imagined.” Both she and Josie love it.
  • “I could not be any happier,” says Kourtney Wilson, Josie's bridal consultant.
  • Back in Tennessee, Evan’s mom gives him some impromptu dance lessons to prepare for the proposal. “Just the fact that neither of you really know how to dance…it’s just adorable if you step on each other’s toes or don’t do it right,” says Erin. “It’s okay, it’s not about being perfect, but just about…making her dreams come true.” Erin has payed a big role in helping Evan plan the proposal.
  • Twenty days before the wedding, Kelly and the girls host a tea party bridal shower for Josie (even though Josie is more of a coffee drinker). With all the babies and weddings the Bates have had, it has become difficult to find a new theme for each shower.
  • “A Bates party is always a late party,” says Kelly. “Guests are coming in, and we’re hanging the decorations, but that is typical for a Bates party.”
  • The ladies compete in a game of “sniff the teabag.” The goal is to identify each type of tea by smelling the bags.
  • Carlin, Erin, Whitney, and Ellie end up winning, even though their process of elimination strategy is a little suspect.
  • Josie is thrilled about all her gifts, and she shows it as she opens them. “Honestly, now I think everything feels real,” says Josie. “The wedding is coming.”
  • “You’ve got an iron and an ironing board, now you’re ready to get married,” jokes Kelly.
  • “Kelton’s going to love it,” laughs Josie. “He loves ironing stuff. I never iron anything.”
  • Kelly and Carlin drive to Nashville to watch Lawson and family-friend Oliva Collingsworth record at Black River Sound Stage, and Tori comes to join them. Kelly and Lawson are clued in on a big surprise that is about to go down, but Carlin and Tori are clueless.
  • Evan is extremely nervous as he waits to enter the studio. Lawson is able to sneak him into the sound booth, and he starts singing a little jingle: “I got your bags packed and the plane tickets in hand. I know you’re confused, so I’ll help you understand. I’ve got a getaway trip that’s already been planned, so I’ll bring you as my girl and me as your man. This is the when. You don’t know the where, but I promise, girl, when we get there, you won’t know what to say when you see the surprise. So are you ready to take the trip to the time of our lives?”
  • Carlin is shocked and says later that her face looks like that of a “dying duck.” She runs into Evan’s arms. Evan has also purchased Carlin a new suitcase.
  • Tune in next week to watch the rest of the proposal. “I made sure to take all my rings off here, just in case,” laughs Carlin.

Showers and a Big Surprise

Josie Bates and Tori Bates Smith

Tune in to UPtv tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT for part one of a two part episode of Bringing Up Bates. As the wedding gets closer, Kelly and Josie Bates fly back to New York City to try on Josie's completed wedding gown.

When Josie returns to Tennessee, Kelly and the sisters throw her a tea party themed bridal shower. The gathering will likely end up running on Bates time, but once it gets started, all the guests have a lovely time.

Josie opens gifts at her wedding shower

And at the end of the episode, Evan kicks off his big proposal trip by surprising Carlin in Nashville at a recording studio.

Evan Stewart
Evan Stewart kicks off the proposal

But before he does that, he asks his mom to give him a dance lesson so he can share a special first dance with Carlin. Be sure to come back to the blog after the episode to read our written recap.
Evan Stewart and his mom

Photos courtesy of UPtv

Lawson's New Song

Lawson Bates new single One
Today is a big day for Lawson Bates. His new single, "One + One," has been released! He just sent us the link, and we are thrilled to share it with you. Click here to listen to a preview and purchase the song on iTunes. If you think it sounds familiar, you're right. Lawson sang "One" for Tori and Bobby at their December 2017 wedding.

Tonight on Bringing Up Bates, you'll see Lawson hit the studio with friend Olivia Collingsworth.

Photo courtesy of,