Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Decorating the Vuolos' Home


"Losing the bachelor pad and having the apartment redecorated, I don't mind it at all. I'm just glad I'm getting a wife."

-Jeremy Vuolo

What did you think of last night's new episode of Counting On? Over Labor Day weekend, just two months before the Duggar/Vuolo wedding, Joy, Jason, and the Seewalds journey down to Laredo, Texas, to help Jinger and Jeremy set up their apartment. The future Mr. and Mrs. Vuolo step back and allow Jessa to work her decorating magic (video below). Do you like the results?

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Monday, January 30, 2017

'Bachelor Pad Makeover' Recap

Counting On "Bachelor Pad Makeover"
  • Jeremy Vuolo recently moved into a two-bedroom apartment. The Seewalds, Jason, and Joy accompany Jinger to Laredo to help decorate and organize. Jana graciously offers to help Michelle hold down the fort back home.
  • “It’s going to be so sad having Jinger move away,” says Jana. “It’s so much further than just being down the street. But hopefully we will get to make many road trips and get to see her really frequently.”
  • The group checks 11 bags because Jessa packs a bunch of items for the apartment, as well as tools for decorating.
  • Joy, who is flying in from a conference in Wisconsin, arrives early and helps Jeremy shop for a gift for Jinger.
  • Jessa, 20 weeks along, says this pregnancy has been different than her first pregnancy, which makes her wonder if it’s a girl.
  • “I’m not sure how much input I’m going to have,” says Jeremy, as Jessa begins sharing her ideas. “I get the sense that a team is coming down to decorate the apartment.”
  • While Joy takes a nap and Ben studies for his college classes, Jeremy, Jinger, Jessa, and Jason head to a furniture store. They purchase a living room set, and Jim Bob and Michelle gift them a kitchen table.
  • The following day, Jessa heads up the decorating. All the siblings agree that Jessa is a taskmaster. “It sounds so harsh, but it’s really not harsh,” assures Joy.
  • Jeremy has several book shelves that Jessa says must be relocated. “When it comes to my books, they really are the front and center d├ęcor in the apartment,” says Jeremy. Jessa puts one of the shelves in a closet.
  • “Most men should learn, what we think is non-negotiable is a bit more negotiable than we thought it was,” says Jeremy, laughing.
  • When Jinger pulls out Jeremy’s jerseys to hang on the walls, Jeremy jokes that Jessa is probably going to hang them in the closet. Jeremy is very insistent that his Rembrandt painting be hung up, so it ends up going above one of the couches.
  • When it’s all said and done, Jessa says she won’t be offended if Jinger and Jeremy choose to move some of the decorations and furniture around.
  • “I cannot wait for the day when we do not have to say goodbye at the airport anymore,” says Jeremy, as he and Jinger share one last hug before Jinger returns to Arkansas.
  • Back in Arkansas, the Dillards enjoy a family workout. Jill bikes with Israel on the back, while Derick jogs alongside. During the run, Derick’s gag reflex, something he has struggled with since childhood, acts up.
  • The Dillards visit their family physician for checkups. They find out that Israel is doing very well and is ahead of the pack in height and weight. The doctor recommends Derick visit an allergist. When listening to Jill’s heart, he hears a noise on her carotid artery. He orders an ultrasound of her neck to make sure there is nothing serious going on.
  • As a wedding present, the Duggar brothers search for a car for Jinger at an auto auction. They don’t end up finding the right car that day, but Joseph buys a small boat. He hopes to use it for one season and then resell it.
  • “I’m really going to miss Jing,” says Josiah. All the brothers agree.

Duggar Gender Reveal: It's a...


Due in three days, Jessa and Ben Seewald have yet to share the gender of their baby. Jill and Derick Dillard, on the other hand, just announced the gender of their second child, due in July. The Dillards did a scavenger hunt gender reveal with family.

Find out whether soon-to-be-two-year-old Israel Dillard will welcome a little brother or sister in the video below. He or she will be the eight grandchild of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who currently have four grandsons and two granddaughters, with Jessa and Jill expecting numbers seven and eight.



Photo/video courtesy TLC

Furniture Shopping with Jinger & Jeremy


Tonight on Counting On, some of Jinger Duggar's siblings accompany her to Laredo, Texas, to help Jeremy Vuolo convert his bachelor pad into an apartment fit for a married couple. Check out the sneak peek video below.

Monday, January 30
9pm ET/8pm CT: Bachelor Pad Makeover (NEW)
Jinger and some of her siblings travel to Laredo to give Jeremy's bachelor pad a makeover. When opinions clash, will they be able to come to a decorating decision? Derick, Jill, and Israel get some surprising news at their family wellness check-up.
11pm ET/10pm CT: Bachelor Pad Makeover


Photo/video courtesy TLC

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Baby Seewald Coming Soon

Baby Seewald is due in just 5 days! Jessa and Ben's first child, Spurgeon Seewald, was due on their one-year wedding anniversary (November 1st, 2015) but arrived four days late. At birth, Spurgeon weighed 9 lbs 11 oz and measured 21 1/4 inches long.

The photos below show Jessa at 39 weeks pregnant with her first baby (left) and her second (right). When do you think Baby #2 will arrive, and how much do you think he or she will weigh? 


Photo/video courtesy theseewaldfamily.com

Friday, January 27, 2017

A Duggar Family Heirloom

 Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar on their wedding day

Did you know that Michelle Duggar wore Grandma Duggar's wedding dress when she married Jim Bob in July 1984? As a gift from their mom and grandma, both Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar had a piece of that gown on their person when they walked down the aisle in 2014.

In the deleted scene below, dress designer Renee Miller suggests doing the same for Jinger Duggar. She asks permission from Michelle to sew a piece of the vintage wedding gown into the lining of Jinger's dress, right next to her heart.

Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com; video courtesy TLC

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Snapshots of the Little Duggars

Can you believe that January is already coming to a close? Alyssa Bates Webster--a friend of the Duggars who lives in Florida with her husband, John Webster, and daughter, Allie Jane Webster--is due with her second child, Lexi Mae Webster, tomorrow. And Jessa and Ben Seewald are expecting their baby in just two weeks. Needless to say, there are a lot of exciting announcements and adorable pictures coming your way!

To brighten your Thursday, take a look at these Duggar snapshots.

 Cousins Spurgeon Seewald (14 months) and Meredith Duggar (18 months)





Aunt Jordyn Duggar (8) with nephew Marcus Duggar (3) and niece Meredith Duggar

 Derick Dillard and Israel Dillard (21 months)

Jill Duggar Dillard with Jordyn Duggar and Josie Duggar (7)

Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com, dillardfamily.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A Visit From Miss Cindy


In case you're wanting to watch one more scene from Tuesday's new episode of Counting On, we have one to share.

In this video clip, Jinger Duggar and Joy-Anna Duggar take Cindy, a woman with whom Michelle Duggar has been best friends since first grade, to John Brown University's Cathedral of the Ozarks to make wedding plans. A representative from the college walks them through the sanctuary and answers questions.




Photo/video courtesy TLC/Us Weekly

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Gender Predictions

 

Jessa and Ben Seewald know the gender of their second child, due on February 2nd, but they haven't told anyone. "My family doesn't really care for that...but we have fun keeping it a surprise," shares Jessa in the video below, as the Duggar siblings share their gender predictions with TLCme host Danni Starr.

The clip features Jana Duggar, John-David Duggar, Jill and Derick Dillard, Jessa and Ben Seewald, Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo, Joseph Duggar, Josiah Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar, and Austin Forsyth (Joy's boyfriend).

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Send Feedback to TLC


We have received quite a few comments about the first two episodes of the new season of Counting On. While many of you have enjoyed the series thus far, you have also mentioned that you are frustrated because it seems that TLC is not listening. The most common critique seems to be that you would like to see more footage of the non-married Duggar siblings. Are we right? 

We enjoy hearing your feedback, and we encourage you to share it with TLC, as well. When 19 Kids and Counting was canceled in summer 2015, we explained how to contact the network, and a short while later, Counting On was announced.

As viewers, it is vital that you make your voice heard. Click here to visit the Discovery Communications Viewer Relations page. Fill out the form with your feedback and the requested information, and click "Submit." Then, post your message as a comment to our blog so our community of readers can see what others are thinking.

Photo courtesy TLC

Monday, January 23, 2017

Recap: 'Could It Be Twins?'

Counting On "Could It Be Twins?"
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  • Jessa, Ben, and Spurgeon visit the Dillards so Jill, a professional midwife, can listen to Baby Seewald’s heartbeat. Jessa is 18 weeks pregnant. Both Jessa and Ben think it’s a boy, but at this point, they haven’t ruled out the possibility of twins.
  • “We’re thinking it’s just one,” says Jessa. “At the same time, my mom said that whenever she was pregnant with Jana and John, the doctor only found one heartbeat at a time, and then whenever they did an ultrasound they found out it was twins.”
  • The Seewalds plan to keep the gender a secret once they find out.
  • The Duggar siblings suggest baby names:
    • Joy: Maximus
    • Jedidiah: Hezekiah
    • Jedidiah: Solomon
  • A family friend comes over to the Duggar house to let Jinger taste different food options for the rehearsal dinner and wedding reception.
  • Jinger and Jeremy are doing Italian (pasta) for the rehearsal dinner. “I think Jinger’s knowledge of Italian foods and culture is progressing quite well,” says Jeremy, smiling.
  • For the reception, they are doing cheese and crackers, a relish bar (a bunch of pickled foods), coffee, and meatballs. The Duggars (all but Jim Bob) love anything pickled. Jinger and her siblings especially enjoy trying the different types of cheeses that their family friend brings over.
  • The ceremony will be at the Cathedral of the Ozarks, and the reception will be at a church down the street. The Duggars are sending out 450 invitations and are expecting 800-1200 guests.
  • Cindy, Michelle’s childhood friend, comes over to discuss decorations. Jinger and Joy take her to the venues to scope them out. Cindy suggests they FaceTime Jeremy and tell him Jinger is going to sing during the ceremony. Jeremy gives an awkward pause because he knows Jinger wouldn’t be comfortable with that.
  • Anna and her four kids meet Jill and Israel at an indoor play place. “Israel is entering the training twos a little bit early,” says Jill. He is starting to express strong opinions.
  • “Definitely having four children under the age of seven, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed,” says Anna. “I feel like a good mom during naptime.”
  • Meanwhile, Jessa, Ben, and Spurgeon head down to Central Arkansas to the Amplify Christian Concert, where Christian hip hop artist FLAME will be performing.
  • “I’ve never been to a concert before--of any type, really,” admits Jessa. “Hip hop isn’t my favorite type of music. I do appreciate a lot of FLAME’s lyrics though.”
  • “The Duggars haven’t attended many concerts,” states Jedidiah. He says his family would rather enjoy entertainment in the comfort of their “slow-paced home.”
  • When the Seewalds arrive and meet up with FLAME and his band, FLAME asks Ben if he would like to join them on stage during the concert and shoot water guns out into the crowd.
  • Spurgeon really enjoys the concert, until he falls asleep in Ben’s arms. (The ear protection definitely worked!) Ben also enjoys his brief moment on stage, and Jessa enjoys her first concert.

Heartbeats, Rap, and Wedding Planning (Promo Video)


It's Monday, and we are just hours away from a brand new episode of Counting On! Unfortunately, TLC has only released one promo video, and it's through PEOPLE Magazine, so it's a small screen, but a small video is still better than no video, right? We embedded the clip below and will share any others should they become available.

The written summaries of tonight's episode and next week's episode are also below.



Monday, January 23
9pm ET/8pm CT: Could it be Twins?
Jessa and Ben listen to the heartbeat of Baby #2, which makes them wonder if they are having twins. They travel to see friend Flame in concert, and Ben takes center stage. Jinger continues with wedding planning and finalizes important details.
11pm ET/10pm CT: Could it be Twins?

Monday, January 30
9pm ET/8pm CT: Bachelor Pad Makeover (NEW)
Jinger and some of her siblings travel to Laredo to give Jeremy's bachelor pad a makeover. When opinions clash, will they be able to come to a decorating decision? Derick, Jill, and Israel get some surprising news at their family wellness check-up.
11pm ET/10pm CT: Bachelor Pad Makeover

Photo/video courtesy TLC/PEOPLE Magazine

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Bontrager Family Singers Giveaway

If you have been a longtime viewer of the Duggars' reality TV show, you have probably been introduced to the Bontragers. They are a family of 12 that tours the country playing gospel/bluegrass music, and they are friends of both the Duggars and the Bates.

You may remember the public Labor Day event that the Bontragers hosted at their Midwest farm back in 2013. The Duggars attended, and we posted pictures to our blog.

The Bontragers recently contacted us and offered to sponsor a giveaway for our readers. We were thrilled! The family has five albums and has agreed to raffle off three copies of their latest CD, "Someone You Can Reach."

Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter to win, and be sure to check out the Bontragers' website.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Photo courtesy bontragerfamilysingers.com

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Joseph Celebrates 22


In true Duggar fashion, Joseph Duggar chose to celebrate his birthday at Marketplace Grill with the family's favorite dessert. You guessed it: the chocolate mess. The seventh oldest of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's 19 children enjoyed an outing with mom and dad in honor of his 22-year milestone.

The Duggars only shared two birthday videos this time. One is from Jill, Derick, and Israel Dillard, and the other is from Jessa and Ben Seewald (embedded below).

Before we forget. This has nothing to do with Joseph's birthday, but be sure to head on over to our Bates Family Blog and enter our latest giveaway of Lawson Bates' new CD.

Jim Bob and Michelle also wrote a written message to their son:

As you were growing up we remember you being our sweet, smiley, quiet, little fella. Now you have grown into a strong, quiet and tender young man!

Your faithfulness in rising early to spend time alone with God in prayer and in His word is an inspiration.

You are such a diligent worker! When you are asked to do a job, you'll get it done without complaint and you often return to see what else there is that you can do to help!

We are grateful for your love for others and your leadership qualities as you encourage and disciple other young guys to take their relationship with God seriously.

May you continue to walk humbly with Jesus all the days of your life!

We love you Joe!
Mom & Dad



Photo/videos courtesy duggarfamily.com

Friday, January 20, 2017

Joseph Turns 22

When we were first introduced to Joseph Duggar, number seven in the Duggar lineup, on 14 Children and Pregnant Again! he was only nine years old. Today, he turns 22. Have a very happy birthday, Joseph!


Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jason Duggar Buys a House

Jason Duggar, who turns 17 in April, is entering the family real estate business!

As most of you know, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have used real estate as a means to provide for their large family since early on in their marriage. They own a number of commercial and residential properties, many of which they rent out. Now that they have grown children with varied skill sets, they often purchase properties in need to work and hire their kids to help.

Jim Bob Duggar and Jason Duggar recently cosigned the deed to a fixer-upper house located 30 minutes from the Duggar family home. It is a single-family dwelling built in 1958 and has three bedrooms, two baths, and a total living area of approximately 2,000 square feet.

At $33,000, the Duggars got a great deal, but the house needs repairs. News of this purchase comes less than one year after Jana Duggar bought a commercial property that once held a tattoo parlor.

This story was just picked up by the tabloids, so we wanted to give you the facts, as we knew you would be wondering.

Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com

Watch 'Counting On' For Free


We have a wonderful surprise for you all this morning. TLC posted Tuesday's new episode of Counting On, "The Jinger Gown," to TLC.com for free. Visit this link to watch.

Photo courtesy TLC


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Duggars Visit Creative Studio


After Jinger chose her wedding dress on last night's episode of Counting On, she and her mom, her four oldest sisters, Jeremy's parents, Derick, Ben, Israel, and Spurgeon spent the evening at Creative Studio Fredericksburg.

Everyone paired up in groups of two and created a special canvas painting for Jinger and Jeremy's home in Laredo, Texas. Rebecca, the owner of the studio, graciously gave us permission to post the photos that she took during the three-hour session.

Rebecca also shared her experience working with the Duggars and the Counting On film crew:

The cast and crew were so easy and sweet to work with. My friends rallied to help me and went way above and beyond what they expected to have to do.

A highlight for me was painting the teeny tiny couple getting engaged on the top of a skyscraper during a gorgeous sunset in NYC. And, having Michelle Duggar, the Mom, ask me to sing "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" after discovering I'm a "Princess" (owner of Princess Parties Virginia), too.

This is the painting that Jeremy's parents, Chuck and Diana Vuolo, made, based on Proverbs 31:10:



And here is Jana Duggar and Joy-Anna Duggar's work of art:


This is the "cartoon" that Jill and Derick Dillard made for Jinger and Jeremy. Facial features are difficult, so they didn't add any. The Dillards also said that the beauty of this painting is that it can age along with the Vuolos, since you can't tell how old they are.


And this picture of the Vuolos' New York City rooftop engagement was done by Michelle Duggar and Jinger Duggar....



Ben Seewald's painting of a coffee cup can be seen in the group photo above. Jessa Seewald, who admits she isn't much of an artist, stayed in the car with Israel Dillard and Spurgeon Seewald while they slept.

Photos courtesy Creative Studio Fredericksburg. To learn more, visit the business website and Facebook page.

Jinger Finds Her Dress


What did you think of last night's episode? For those who missed it or want to relive the moment when Jinger Duggar found her wedding dress, check out the video below.

Accompanied by mom Michelle Duggar, sisters Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Joy, and future mother-in-law Diana Vuolo, Jinger tried on three prototype dresses designed by Renee Miller. The first one was basic, but she liked the idea of it. The second one was very lacy, and she like it even more. When Jinger tried on the third gown, she fell in love with it. (Click here to read our full recap of the episode.)


Photo/video courtesy TLC

Monday, January 16, 2017

Recap: 'The Jinger Gown'

Counting On "The Jinger Gown"

  • Jinger is taking her mom, her four oldest sisters, Ben, Derick, Spurgeon, and Israel on a three-day trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia, so she can choose her wedding dress. Jeremy’s parents, Chuck and Diana, live on the East Coast and will meet them there to join in the festivities.
  • “As far as looking forward to the wedding, I don’t think I could be more excited,” says Jeremy.
  • Jana, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy are in the girls’ room preparing for the trip and talking about what Jinger wants in a dress. Jinger also tells her sisters who she has chosen to stand up with her in the wedding. “I don’t think she really even asked us,” says Joy, laughing. “She kind of told us.”
  • Jinger’s family refers to her style as “the Jinger style.” They say she is classy and trendy.
  • Everyone arrives in Virginia. Chuck Vuolo, Derick, Ben, Israel, and Spurgeon hang out together while the gals go wedding dress shopping. "I'm excited that Jinger has chosen to include my mother and father," says Jeremy, who is back in Laredo, where he pastors a small church.  
  • "Any opportunity to visit with Jinger is a joy...and we were looking forward to meeting the family," says Chuck.
  • The girls arrive at Ava Laurenne Bride, where Jill bought her dress, and reunite with co-owner Wendy. They also meet Renee Miller, the dress designer from Pensacola, Florida, to whom Wendy introduced Jinger. 
  • "I cannot believe that Jinger is going to be getting married!" says Michelle. "Getting to spend this time with Jinger and the sisters is such a precious thing."
  • Everyone is stunned when Jinger walks out in the first of three dresses designed by Renee. "It was just amazing being in a wedding dress," says Jinger. Jinger likes the first gown, but it is very basic, and she is wanting more details.
  • The second dress is very lacy, and Jinger loves it. The other women also agree it's more "Jinger" than the first one. "I think all my sisters have an opinion...and so I really appreciate their advice because I've never done this before," says Jinger.  
  • Jinger falls in love with the third dress the minute she looks at herself in the mirror. "This is like everything and more," says Jinger. "I love everything about this dress."
  • "I just overwhelmingly thought that this was her," says Renee Miller. "I just knew that dress #3 would be the dress that we would be able to name The Jinger."
  • "There's a lot of dress in this beautiful train, but it doesn't overpower her at all," says Diana Vuolo. "She just radiates, and I think she is going to bring my son to tears." 
  • While the girls shop, the guys go out for ice cream. Derick and Ben ask Chuck Vuolo for advice on transitioning from one child to two.
  • The Seewalds, Duggars, and Dillards say Spurgeon is laid back, happy, and interactive, while Israel is strong-willed but a sweetheart. 
  • After dress shopping, everyone heads to a local art shop to create canvas paintings for Jinger and Jeremy's home. Jill and Derick paint a faceless picture of Jinger and Jeremy; Ben (while Jessa takes care of the kids) paints an artistic coffee cup; Jana and Joy paint a girl holding an umbrella; Michelle and Jinger paint a city skyline; and the Vuolos paint a picture of a jewel that says "she is far more precious than jewels," signed Mom and Dad.
  • Jill and Derick have been home from Central America for a few weeks and are glad to be with family.

Duggars Return Tonight!

Joseph Duggar, Jeremy Vuolo, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, Jill Duggar Dillard, 
Derick Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, Ben Seewald, Austin Forsyth, 
Joy-Anna Duggar, Josiah Duggar, Jana Duggar, John-David Duggar

The new season of Counting On premieres tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT on TLC. Will you be watching?

Click here to read the summary of tonight's episode on our Showtimes page and here to find out what the Duggars have in store for viewers during the rest of the season.

Photo courtesy TLC

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Designing Jinger Duggar's Wedding Dress Part 3

Jana Duggar, Jill Dillard, Renee Miller, Jessa Seewald, Diana Vuolo (Jeremy's mom), and Joy Duggar watch Jinger try on the three prototype dresses made by Renee; August 17th, 2016
Are you ready for the third and final post from Ellie's interview with Renee Miller, owner of Renee's Bridal and Special Occasions and designer of Jinger Duggar Vuolo's wedding gown? (Click here to read part two.)

We have even more photos to share, so stay tuned for a post of only pictures.

Ellie: What is your design process?
Renee: I sized Jinger by looking at pictures of her and then met her on August 17th to show her three prototype dresses I had created. She chose her favorite, and I spent the next two-and-a-half months personalizing that gown. The under layers of the dress were sewn by machine, but the beads, lace, and pearls were all sewn on by hand. All three of the prototypes fit her perfectly. A true designer has an eye and can size without measuring.

The bridesmaids’ dresses also fit perfectly. I didn’t meet some of the girls until the big reveal three days before the wedding. We had to switch two of the gowns around, but it could not have been closer to perfect.

I prayed very hard that the dresses would fit. I was especially nervous about Jessa’s dress because she’s pregnant. When that thing zipped up, I literally shed tears of joys. Jessa looked at me and asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ ‘You just don’t know how much I’ve worried about your gown!’ I responded.

Ellie: Can you talk more about the lace?
Renee: The lace is antique-inspired. I shopped long and hard to find a classic look. Jinger is extremely classy, every bit of Grace Kelly. She has that ‘girl next door’ look to her, and I wanted a lace that was equal to all of that. It’s actually a cream color. Her dress is a very soft ivory, although people have mistaken it for white.


Ellie: Did it take long to do all the buttons up on Jinger’s dress?
Renee: Not at all. Buttons aren’t difficult if they are put on the dress correctly. We have stretchy, elastic loops, and they just pull right over the buttons.

Ellie: What is the price range of your wedding dresses?
Renee: The price of a wedding dress depends on what the bride chooses. I have brides who come from all over to see me, and I am willing to travel to meet with brides. I work with all different budgets. The national average is $1375, and I am more than able to design a dress at or around that average.



Ellie: How much did Jinger's dress weigh?
Renee: 15.2 pounds

Ellie: Did you design dresses for any other members of the wedding party?
Renee: In addition to making Jinger's wedding gown and 10 bridesmaids dresses, I altered Josie Duggar's flower girl dress, Michelle Duggar's mother of the bride dress, and Grandma Duggar's grandmother of the bride dress. One of my team members altered a few of the guys' pants.

Ellie: How did your business start out of the trunk of your car?
Renee: For me to be doing what I’m doing today, you just have to step back, and if you know me, you would just shake your head. I’m a girly girl, but I got kicked out of sewing class when I was 14 years old, and they looked at my mother and said, ‘Please don’t bring her back.’ So for me to be doing what I’m doing is a total God thing.

Sixteen years ago, I became the sole provider for my two boys, so I started selling costume jewelry out of the trunk of my car. That’s how I spent my days, and I wouldn’t come home until I had money to pay the light bill, or get groceries, or buy gas.

A friend encouraged me to sell my jewelry at a mall kiosk during Christmastime. While I was packing up on New Year’s Day, a bride stopped by my kiosk looking for jewelry for her bridesmaids. It hit me like a bolt of lightening that I was going to have me a bridal store one day. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew that was my calling. I bought and sold three wedding gowns, then six, then 12, then 24.

I didn’t borrow money because I didn’t want to risk my kids’ livelihood. Then a bride asked me if I could sew two dresses together, and I said, ‘Why sure I can.’ And from there I started designing my own dresses. Today, there’s probably nothing I haven’t done in the bridal industry. Anything I sell in my store is totally my design. It’s amazing how God will multiply your talents. You may not have much, but if you give what you do have, God will bless it. I get emotional when I think about the hand of protection that God has put on me.

Ellie: Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Renee: I would love to give a shout out to the Duggars. They are such a wonderful family. Michelle--oh my goodness--if more mothers could have her heart, what a different place this world would be. I just feel like I am enriched so much more by being able to be a part of their life for just five days. They are gracious, and they are actually sweeter in real life than they are on TV. They are humble, gracious, loving, and full of heart, and I just can’t speak enough good words about them and how honored and blessed I am to have been a part of this big moment in their lives. I cherish each and every one of my brides, and Jinger Duggar Vuolo is no exception.

Here are photos of the sketches that the three prototype dresses were made from:








To learn more about Renee Miller, visit her website, and follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@renees_bridal). 

Photos courtesy reneesbridalpensacola.com; used with permission

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Duggars Return in 2 Days

 

The Duggars return to reality TV in just two days! Tune in to TLC at 9pm ET/8pm CT on Monday, January 16th, for the first episode in the new season of Counting On. Check out this press release from the network:

With less than three months until Jinger and Jeremy’s wedding and more than 1,000 guests coming to celebrate, the planning could not be done without Duggar-style teamwork. This exciting season follows the journey from the altar to the Vuolos' honeymoon Down Under in a special two-hour wedding event.

Viewers get an inside look into custom wedding dress shopping, venue preparation, and a bachelorette party only the Counting On sisters could plan. But as wedding bells begin to ring, the realization that Jinger is moving far away from home to start her new life with Jeremy leaves the family with bittersweet feelings.

While all eyes are on the wedding, Jessa and Ben prepare to welcome the newest member of the Seewald family to the world. The idea of expanding their little clan is exciting to the young couple, especially after experiencing the joys of raising one-year-old Spurgeon.

As Jessa and Ben prepare for this next journey, Jill and Derick reveal a little surprise of their own. To top it all off, Joy has entered a courtship with long-time friend Austin and enjoys the perks of an official relationship, including chaperoned dates and side hugs.

Photo courtesy TLC

Duggars Guess Girl


At Jessa's recent baby shower (click here to see pictures), Jordyn Duggar, Josie Duggar, and Jill Dillard share their predictions for the gender of Baby Seewald. They all think Spurgeon Seewald is going to have a little sister. Stay tuned to find out! Jessa Seewald is due in less than three weeks.

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Jessa Seewald's Baby Shower

With Baby Seewald's due date only three weeks away, the Duggar sisters and party planning friend Sierra threw Jessa a baby shower.

Spurgeon Seewald and Sierra

 The theme of the shower was, well, rain showers.

 
 Jana Duggar

Rather than bring gifts for Jessa, guests were asked to buy supplies for Loving Choices, a local, nonprofit pregnancy center. 


During the shower, the ladies put together care packages (a pen, a devotional book, and other treats) for the women at the pregnancy center.


Do you recognize any of the guests?



The ladies were served lemon orzo soup, Sierra's famous homemade brownies, and other munchies.




 Jana Duggar and Joy-Anna Duggar

 Jana Duggar and Spurgeon Seewald

 Jessa Seewald

Jessa is due February 2nd, and Jill is due in July.

 Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard


 Jessa Seewald, Jana Duggar, Joy-Anna Duggar, and Jill Dillard

 Jessa Seewald


Fourteen-month-old Spurgeon Seewald is clearly looking forward to having a younger sibling. Okay, maybe he doesn't quite understand, but we think he will make a great older brother.

Spurgeon Seewald

Photos courtesy DCL