Friday, February 15, 2019

Crazy Love

"One long-standing tradition is [Lawson] finishes the song about, maybe an hour before the wedding, maybe two if he's lucky."
-Jackson Bates

For her wedding ceremony, Josie asked Lawson to write a song that is different than any of his other original songs. He came up with "Crazy Love," and it turned out great, although he was still adding the finishing touches just before the ceremony began. Check out our recap of last night's episode, and watch the video below for a snippet of the song.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Thursday, February 14, 2019

'A Bride, A Groom, and a Love That's True' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "A Bride, A Groom, and a Love That's True"

  • Three days before the wedding, the Bates still have a lot to do. Renee arrives with the completed dress, and it’s time for the final fitting. “I was so excited to see Josie try on her wedding dress,” says Callie. “I was actually really sad also because your older sister’s getting married and stuff, so.”
  • Josie still thinks her hips look too big, but Kelly says they don’t. “Guys like that,” says Kelly, using her hands to emphasize big hips.
  • Ellie, Addallee, and Callie head outside to spray paint lanterns left over from Tori’s wedding. The girls are excited to be able to help with wedding preparations.
  • Gil and Lawson visit a friend who is a metal fabricator to pick up a metal hoop that will be covered in greenery and flowers and be the backdrop for the ceremony. Strapping it down in the back of the pickup truck is a challenge, so Lawson sits in the bed with it while they drive through town. “Somebody is going to have to ride back there with it, and I am not riding back there if Lawson’s driving,” says Gil.
  • “Lawson, if you fall out, just don’t let the thing fall out,” jokes Gil. “Josie can get married without you, I guess. She can’t get married without this.”
  • It’s the day before the wedding, and the Balkas as setting up for the rehearsal dinner. The Bates offer to help, but Kelton’s father assures them that he has plenty of assistance from the females in his family. “Our heart went out to Mr. Balka because with his wife being in heaven, he is left with planning this entire event,” says Kelly.
  • All the family members and close friend gather together to eat and hear speeches. Alyssa, matron of honor and Josie’s “partner” growing up, kicks it off. “Josie, I love you, and I am so proud of you,” she says.
  • Next, it’s time for best man Bobby to say a few words. For the first time, he shares what Kelton told him on the phone a few years ago afterthe Bates decided it was time for Kelton and Josie to stop talking to eachother. “Kelton called me on the phone, absolutely crushed and in tears, and I’ll never forget what he said to me. He said, ‘This hurts as bad as anything I’ve felt in my life, but if God made me get close to Josie just so you could meet Tori, that’s okay with me.’”
  • That evening, Kelton and the groomsmen hang out at Frank’s Barbershop. When Evan decides to get his nose hairs waxed, all the guys gather around to watch. Bobby and Kelton have the honor of yanking the wax sticks out. Evan says it doesn’t hurt as bad as he had imagined. Meanwhile, Kelly and the bridesmaids have their nails done.
  • On the morning of the wedding, all the bridesmaids and flower girls do their hair and makeup at a rental house. Even the little girls get all dolled up. Kelton and the guys get dressed at the Balkas’ new apartment.
  • Kelton gets a call from Kelly, who shares some bad news: traffic on the interstate is at a standstill due to a wreck, and some of the guests are going to be late. The decision is made to postpone the wedding one hour.
  • The wedding finally starts, and the family members, bridesmaids, and groomsmen begin walking down the aisle. “I had emotion building in me throughout the entire day,” says Kelton. “When I saw my father walking up to the front by himself, that was the first time that it really hit me, and I was struggling a lot with that. Bobby knew exactly what was going on, and he pulled me over and started praying with me right there."
  • When Josie and Gil begin walking towards Kelton, the groom starts bawling.
  • Gil leads the couple in their vows, which are traditional ones. “One of the sweetest things about our ceremony was that my dad could officiate it for us,” says Josie. Lawson performs an original song that he wrote for the bride and groom. “We’ve got crazy love, crazy dreams. Might not be millionaires, but you’re all I need.”
  • The ceremony is just about over, which means it’s time for the first kiss. “To kiss in front of 400 plus people is a lot of pressure, and it’s a little scary,” Josie says looking back. Kelton says he wanted a kiss that “looked sweet” and wasn’t too long because he knew he would be “fussed at” by both sides of the family if it was.
  • “You can see just the joy in both of their faces,” says Kelly. “I think that picture will be in my mind forever.”
  • Afterwards, the Bates and Balkas take family pictures, and then everyone heads inside to cool off. Even though it’s October, it’s very hot. At the reception, Josie smashes cake in Kelton’s face.
  • The couple’s getaway car is Kelton’s SUV. Next stop, the Bahamas!

Missing His Mom

Erin Bates Paine and Brooklyn Paine

"When I saw my father walking up to the front by himself, that was the first time that [the emotions] really hit me, and I was struggling a lot with that. Bobby knew exactly what was going on, and he pulled me over and started praying with me right there."
-Kelton Balka

Have you heard the big news? Josie and Kelton Balka are expecting! But before we start focusing on their preparations for parenthood, we first must watch their wedding episode. It airs tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT, in honor of Valentine's Day.

Scroll down for photos and another episode preview. As usual for Bates weddings, you'll likely need a stash of tissues as you watch tonight. As many of you know, Kelton's mother passed away when he was thirteen, and as you'll see in the scene below, the wedding was an especially emotional time without her there.

Picking up the backdrop for the ceremony
Whitney Bates paints Brooklyn Paine's nails
Whitney Bates paints Brooklyn Paine's nails

Josie Bates Kelton Balka wedding
Kelton gets ready with his groomsmen
Josie Bates Bringing Up Bates wedding
Flower girls and ring bearers
Gil Bates and Josie Bates
Gil Bates and Josie Bates (now Josie Balka)

Photos/video courtesy of UPtv

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Balka Party of 3

Josie and Kelton Balka, Bahamas honeymoon
Their wedding episode airs tomorrow, but Josie and Kelton Balka have an exciting announcement to make ahead of the show. They are going to be parents! Four months after saying "I do," the newlyweds are excited to share that their family will be growing.

Baby Balka (that has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?) is due in July 2019, and Josie has been struggling with morning sickness, which seems to be common among the Bates women. That's all the information that has been released thus far, but we will share more details as we receive them. The couple has not announced the gender. InTouch has an announcement photo, which features Josie and Kelton holding balloons that say "Baby Balka," on its website.

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

Photo courtesy of Josie and Kelton Balka

Postpone the Wedding?

Josie Bates Kelton Balka wedding

Postpone the wedding? Is that really necessary? Josie Bates and Kelton Balka are ready to tie the knot, but when a bunch of their guests are delayed arriving at the venue, they must make a difficult decision. The Bates-Balka wedding episode airs tomorrow at 9pm ET/8pm CT. The best part is that it's a full hour long! What better show to watch on Valentine's Day than a romantic wedding?

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Bates Bachelor Party

"Not only could we get shaved and our hair trimmed up, but there was also pool tables, root beer, so it really felt like a bachelor party, like a bunch of guys getting together, spending some quality time."
-Kelton Balka

Just before the wedding, Kelton and his groomsmen meet at Frank's Barber Shop, which turns out to be more than just an average barber shop. But Kelton has strict orders from Josie to prevent anyone from touching his hair. Meanwhile, Evan Stewart tries a new procedure that has Carlin laughing when she hears about it later.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Valentine's Day Wedding Special

The Bates-Balka wedding airs this week on UPtv, during a special, hour-long Valentine's Day episode of Bringing Up Bates. Get a sneak peek at a handful of wedding scenes in the video below.

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Chad's Flip House

A few days ago, we shared an update on the Paine family and mentioned that Chad's career in construction currently has him remodeling a flip house. Here is a photo that shows just how much flipping this home will require. He has stripped it down to the dirt! Some of the Bates boys, including Jackson and Trace, have been giving him a hand.

Chad Paine

Photo courtesy of

Friday, February 8, 2019

Katie is [Finally] an Adult

Katie Bates

"I'm officially adulting. I mean, so many things come out of this. I'm adulting because I'm 18 years old."

-Katie Bates

Katie Bates is thrilled to be 18 years old. While some people say they don't feel any different when they enter adulthood, Katie thinks it's just about the best thing ever (video below). She is currently pursuing cosmetology, just like older sister Josie (Bates) Balka. Did you feel like your 18th birthday was a big milestone?

Missed yesterday's episode? Check out our recap!

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv

Thursday, February 7, 2019

'Bates and Switch' Recap

Bringing Up Bates "Bates and Switch"

  • It’s Katie’s 18th birthday, and the family is determined to throw her a surprise party. Katie dislikes being the center of attention, and she is almost impossible to surprise. So the family gathers together on Isaiah’s birthday, under the pretense of celebrating him. When Kelly announces that it’s time to give Isaiah “birthday praises,” he stands up and Kelly shout’s “Wrong birthday! We’re really celebrating Katie!”
  • “I played a pretty crucial part in the surprising of Katie’s birthday,” says Isaiah, happy to have a chance to do something for his sister. He had gone on a birthday shopping trip with Kelly, and the family plans to celebrate him on another day.
  • Katie is shocked and can’t understand how she didn’t catch on sooner. When the family gives her birthday praise, she starts tearing up. Among other things, they say she is one of the funniest Bates, thoughtful, never asks for anything for herself, and full of personality.
  • Katie has recently started cosmetology school (following in Josie’s footsteps) and is learning to fly with Nathan.
  • Later, realtor Whitney goes apartment hunting with Josie and Kelton. The couple is leaning towards a one bedroom that is “pretty,” as Josie puts it. “I think if we have two bedrooms, we might have a little too many people wanting to spend the night,” she says.
  • “There’s going to be a huge void in the house, but I think that God’s probably been preparing us…to let go because as the wedding gets closer, Josie’s working more and more hours trying to save more and more money,” says Kelly. “So she’s really been out of the house a lot more.”
  • “I think moving out from living in a house that has like 25 people nonstop is definitely going to be a change, especially for me,” says Josie. “But I’m quite excited about it being just quiet and clean, yes clean!”
  • The second apartment that they visit is beautiful but expensive, but it’s minutes from Josie’s work.
  • Back at the house, Gil and Nathan help Jackson fix his 1993 Ford pickup. “Jackson loves his new truck,” says Callie. “He’s crazy about it.” He has been working with contractor Chad for about a year and has saved up his money. Jackson estimates that he will have about $1,500 in it by the time it’s ready to drive.
  • The guys end up discovering another problem that will require some more time to fix. “Yep, this is going to be a project,” says Gil.
  • Kelly, Josie, and three of the bridesmaids (Whitney, Carlin, and friend Courtney) drive up to Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, to visit wedding dress designer Renee so she can alter the dress that Josie bought in New York City. The other two bridesmaids are Alyssa Webster and Ariana Balka, Kelton’s sister.
  • The seam that needs to be let out has no seam allowance, so Renee has to cut some seams so she can give Josie more room to move her arms. “I’m closing my eyes,” says Josie. “I can’t handle it.”
  • The bridesmaids try on their dresses, which are floor length and in the same color family but not identical. Katie’s dress is a very different color and makes her look like a potato, as she says. “Do not let your mom order your bridesmaid dress online from China!” says Katie.
  • “Katie looks beautiful in anything, even the potato sack, but it’s probably not her 100 percent best look,” says Josie.

Tonight: Bate and Switch

Like clockwork, the Bates have another fun-filled episode in store for fans tonight on UPtv.

Thursday, February 7
8pm: A Sweet Shower & a Surprise Switch
8:30pm: The Maine Event
9pm: Bate and Switch NEW! 

It’s a sweet surprise for Katie's 18th Birthday when her family celebrates the occasion with two of her favorite things: pizza and ice cream. This birthday girl is hard to surprise and doesn't enjoy being the center of attention, but she sure looks happy.

Katie Bates surprise birthday party

Katie Bates surprise birthday party

And soon-to-be newlyweds Josie Bates and Kelton Balka shop for an apartment they can share together once they're married. Realtor Whitney Bates tags along to give the young couple her expertise and be their chaperone one last time.

Realtor Whitney Bates

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Jackson Bates has saved up money from his construction jobs to buy his own used truck, but he quickly realizes that buying a fixer upper is a “big project.”

Jackson Bates truck

Jackson Bates truck

And later, Josie and her bridesmaids head to Renee's Bridal shop in Kentucky for dress alterations. But when Renee takes scissors to Josie’s bodice, will her dream dress turn into a nightmare?

Josie Bates weddig dress

Photos courtesy of UPtv

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Jackson's In Love?

Jackson Bates

"This is probably the first time that Jackson's ever been in love."
-Warden Bates

A week ago, we shared an update on Jackson Bates. He is 11 days away from his 17th birthday and will be the next Bates sibling to enter adulthood. Jackson will be highlighted on tomorrow's new episode of Bringing Up Bates, as he shows off his new set of wheels (promo video below).

Photo/video courtesy of UPtv