Saturday, March 31, 2018

More Photos from Joe and Kendra's Wedding

How picturesque was Joseph and Kendra Duggar's wedding? Kendra was a stunning bride, and the two make a beautiful couple. Below are a few photos from the day.

Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell Duggar
 Joseph and Kendra feed each other cake 
(Kendra smears it all over Joe's mouth)

Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar
Paul and Christina Caldwell, Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell,
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

Kendra Caldwell Duggar and Lauren Caldwell
Kendra Caldwell Duggar and sister/maid of honor Lauren Caldwell

 Sparkler send-off!

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

Photos are property of duggarfamily.com and may not be used without written permission. To view the full album, visit the Duggars' website.

Photos are taken by photographer Tim Souza

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Movie Nights with the Duggar Couples


In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, Joy Duggar Forsyth, and Kendra Caldwell Duggar discussed their pregnancies and their new marriages. At one point, the interviewer asked each of the ladies what she and her husband agree on and disagree on. Here are their responses:

What they agree on...
Jinger: "We have a lot in common. I think he's super good with fashion, and so I love that."

Joy-Anna: "Probably going out to eat at Olive Garden."

Kendra: "We both can agree on ice cream. We both love ice cream."

What they disagree on...
Jinger: "Sometimes if we want to watch a movie, [Jeremy] likes more action movies, and I like more sweet moves."

Joy-Anna: "Jinger and Jeremy have the same thing as us. Often [Austin] likes history movies about war and things like that. I like classics."

Kendra: "I don't know... We normally agree on just about everything!"

For more from Jinger, Joy, and Kendra, check out their article in Us Weekly.

Photo is courtesy TLC/DCL--additional photos can be found on the TLC website

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Josiah's Engagement

Dwain and Lana Swanson, Lauren Swanson and Josiah Duggar, 
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

A short while ago, Josiah Duggar, 21, proposed to Lauren Swanson, 18, at the Swanson family home in Georgia. The spot where he got down on one knee was the same spot where Lauren's father proposed to her mother years ago. The new couple announced their engagement on March 5th. Below are a few photos.

Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson engagement

Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson engagement





Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson engagement


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

Photos are courtesy DCL; the full album can be found on the TLC website.

Life Styled Sisters


Many of you are familiar with the Wissmann family. They are a large clan (Loren and Gloria Wissmann and their 13 children, plus in-laws and grandchildren) that has spent a significant amount of time traveling the country as a band. They are also close friends of the Duggars.

Three of the sisters, Hannah, Susanna, and Alaythia, have started a new venture, and they asked me to share it on my blog. They have always been passionate about modest fashion and have just launched an Instagram account (@lifestyledsisters) where they plan to give fashion, beauty, and workout tips and share updates on their lives. 

Below is a written interview with the three of them. We love the Wissmann family and have partnered with them for several CD giveaways in the past. Rachel used to design our blog banners, but she has had to step back from that role now that she is the busy mom of two little ones.

Q: Can you share a quick introduction about yourselves?
A: Hi! My name is Hannah, I’m the oldest at the age of 22. I’ve always enjoyed reading and artsy things, which has led me to interior decorating, calligraphy, photography, and event planning. I value relationships and hospitality, baking, working out, music, and yes, sitting down with a good book.
My name is Susanna, and I am 21 years old. My spare-time hobbies include sewing, pets, and sports. But probably not in that order. It would be more like sports, pets, and then sewing. I enjoy a good sense of humor, being active, gardening, hiking, an occasional book, and dog training.

Hello from Alaythia. I am 18 years old and the youngest of this trio. I enjoy being creative, working out, playing the piano or violin, and spontaneous, new experiences. Being organized and making memories with my family and friends are some of my favorite things!

Q: How would you describe your personality and style?
A: Hannah’s personality is friendly, creative, encouraging, and imaginative.
Her style is classic, soft, and chic.

Susanna’s personality is spunky, diligent, genuine, and humorous. Her style is sporty and comfortable, with a country flair.

Alaythia’s personality is gentle, enthusiastic, kindhearted, and fun-loving.
Her style is artistic, colorful, and classic.

Q: What inspired you to create Life Styled Sisters?
A: It was actually our older sister who gave us the idea. We probably wouldn’t have thought to start a fashion/lifestyle account on our own. We feel like we’re still growing, discovering, and trying new things. That’s the adventure of life!

We thought it would be fun to share what we’re learning along the process. Often we’ve been asked, ‘Where did you buy that dress?’ or ‘How do you style curly hair?’ or ‘What is your workout routine?’
or ‘How do you invest in relationships with family and friends?’ And so we created Life Styled Sisters!

We wanted to create a space for shopping advice, modest outfit ideas, skin care routines, and workout tips. We’ve had our share of failures and successes — because different things work for different people. But we hope this page will encourage you to try new things, to live intentionally, and to grow along with us.

Q: What do you want people to take away from Life Styled Sisters? 
A: Every girl is unique and valued. The three of us are each diverse in our own styles, personalities, and preferences. You’ll probably connect with one style more than another. And that’s part of the fun!

More than anything, we hope Life Styled Sisters inspires you to celebrate the beauty in your own life. We want to encourage you to not merely survive this journey — but to thrive! To build relationships, to try new things, to seek God, and to flourish where He has placed you. And we think you’ll find it to be an exciting adventure! 

Q: What are just two things in life that never fail to make you smile?
A: Hannah: Chocolate and the windows rolled down with the music turned up
Susanna: A competitive game of volleyball and witty humor
Alaythia: Puppies and accomplishing a goal

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Joy: 'You really did change my life'


"You really did change my life. Just through my teen years, I think I was having a hard time taking my parents' faith as my own, and you really befriended me as an older brother. It just really meant a lot to me."
-Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth

Emotions were high on last night's episode of Counting On. During Joe and Kendra's rehearsal dinner, we watched Joy-Anna give a touching speech that brought tears to many eyes, followed by heartfelt hugs with her brother and future sister-in-law (video below).

Sharing speeches at rehearsal dinners is a Duggar family tradition, but it's not something that everyone does. Have you been to any rehearsal dinners where that tradition was practiced?


Photo/video courtesy TLC

Monday, March 26, 2018

New Season This Summer!


Tonight's two-hour special is the season finale of Counting On, and many of you have expressed concern over the possibility of it also being the series finale. On that note, we have an exciting announcement to share. The Duggars will be back this summer with a brand new season of Counting On!



Photo/video courtesy TLC

'Joe and Kendra Say I Do' Recap

Counting On "Joe and Kendra Say I Do"
  • One week before the wedding, Joseph is working on the electrical lines for the house that he and Kendra will live in. Grandma Duggar has owned the house since Jim Bob was a child, and the family recently transported it to the Duggar property.
  • “Living…so close to the big house is probably something that we never thought we would do,” says Kendra. “I think that Mr. and Mrs. Duggar will probably be good at keeping the kids not at the house…probably for the first year.” 
  • “Joe and Kendra, it might be fine for them, but I just needed a little more space,” admits Austin. He and Joy live 30 minutes away from both families.
  • Renee Miller brings the dress down to Arkansas for the final fitting. The Caldwell and Duggar ladies gather for the big reveal.
  • Kendra’s mom gets emotional. “Just seeing her in her dress and packing up her things, it’s hard to let go,” says Christina Caldwell. “We’ve raised her for this day, but I don’t think you’re ever ready for it.”
  • The siblings share their thoughts about Joe and Kendra:
    • “I really admire Joe’s character,” says John. “He’s very disciplined.”
    • “He’s a humble guy,” says Jana. “Loves you as you are.”
    • “I met Kendra probably seven years ago,” says Josiah. “[The Caldwells] were always happy, always had a smile on their face.”
    • When you’re having a bad day, Kendra will quickly change your mood with her contagious laugh, shares Austin.
  • The wedding is four days away, and Jana, Jessa, and Joy are making spaghetti, homemade meatballs, and salad for Jeremy’s birthday celebration. Joy is in her second trimester and feeling great. The girls forget to add the herbs, so the meatballs are flavorless. Thankfully, the marinara sauce saves them.“It’s rare these days that all of us are together, so we definitely cherish these moments,” says Jana.
  • Wedding coordinator Laura gathers the family to make a scrapbook and build a bench that guests can sign (an alternative to a traditional guestbook). “I was excited to hear that we were assigned a manly job,” says Josiah, who works on the bench with the other guys. 
  • It’s time to start decorating the church! Cindy, Michelle’s childhood best friend, is the wedding designer. “Miss Cindy, whatever she gets her hands one, it looks amazing once she’s finished,” says Joe.
  • When the rehearsal rolls around, arranging the 22 bridesmaids and groomsmen on-stage takes a bit of time.
  • During dinner, family members step up to the mic to share how Joe and Kendra have influenced their lives. “Ever since we were little, Kendra and I have been really close,” says Lauren. “I treasure your friendship and the joy that you do bring our family every day.”
  • “…Joe, I’m so thankful for you,” says Joy. “You really did change my life. Just through my teen years, I think I was having a hard time taking my parents’ faith as my own, and you really befriended me as an older brother… It just really meant a lot to me.” Joy gives her brother and future sister-in-law each a big hug.
  • The wedding day has finally arrived. Joseph has written each of his siblings a personalized note, and he places them by their beds before leaving the house. Meanwhile, Kendra and Lauren are at their house getting ready together for the last time. “I love everything about Kendra,” says Joseph. “She is going to be the best wife ever.”
  • Joe is anxious to see his bride, but Kendra wants their first meeting that day to be their first look. While the bridesmaids get ready, Josie and Jordyn help decorate the cakes, which turn out great.
  • When Kendra has her first look with her dad, the tears start to flow. “Growing up, I mostly wanted a future spouse…similar to my dad,” says Kendra, who gives her dad a picture of the two of them and a note.
  • Finally, the time comes for the bride and groom to have their first look. “The dress was even more beautiful than I thought it would be,” says Joe. “I didn’t know you could put so much sparkle on a wedding dress. It’s perfect for her.”
  • The siblings share marriage advice with the bride and groom:
    • “The more you get to know the other person, the more you get to realize, they’re an imperfect human, just like me,” says Ben. “Hardest thing you’ll ever do but also can be the most rewarding,” adds Jessa.
    • “Try and enjoy every little thing that comes your way because life changes really fast,” says Joy.
    • “Take it all in,” says Jinger.
  • “I am very excited about Joseph getting married today,” says Michelle. She and Jim Bob sit down with Joseph to pray with him and give him a few pieces of marriage advice. Joe says that he has always wanted a woman like his mom, who is diligent, merciful, and caring. He has found that in Kendra. 
  • Read our recap of the wedding preview for more details of the ceremony.
  • It’s go time! Joseph walks his parents down the aisle before taking his place on-stage. Kendra waits patiently at the back of the church with her father.
  • The doors open, and Joe begins to sob. “I kind of lost it,” admits the groom, who is not usually a crier. “I was totally shocked,” says Kendra. “It was such a sweet moment.”
  • When Pastor Caldwell turns to Josiah for the ring, a friend drops down from the ceiling to deliver it. “This is Josiah, of course he’s going to have some kind of prank up his sleeve!” says Kendra. Both she and Joe love it. “Josiah’s got friends in high places,” says Jeremiah.
  • After the vows and unity candle, the parents huddle around the couple to pray over them. 
  • As the couple leans in for their first kiss, they are showered with rose petals. “It was the most amazing thing ever,” says Kendra of the kiss. “I forgot about all the people…and it just felt like it was just the two of us.”
  • Just before the couple is pronounced husband and wife, the power goes out. Thankfully, they have a lot of candles already lit. The wedding party runs out the back of the sanctuary, and everyone heads to the [now candlelight] reception. The power finally comes back on.
  • During the cake cutting/feeding, Kendra makes sure to rub a piece all over Joseph’s mouth. “I was so proud of her for smearing it in his face,” says Christina. “I had encouraged her to do that.”
  • Joe and Kendra leave in a red pickup truck, decorated with paint, while guests light their path with sparklers. Next up is their honeymoon in Greece!

    A new season begins this summer!

Jinger's Pregnancy Nerves

Jinger Duggar Vuolo and Jeremy Vuolo pregnant
Jinger Duggar Vuolo is approximately 23 weeks pregnant with the 12th Duggar grandchild and is due in mid July (just a month after Kendra Duggar's due date). Last week, she admitted to Us Weekly that Joy's birth story has made her a bit apprehensive.

"I wasn’t super nervous until Joy had her baby, and then I thought, 'Oh my. What if I have a 10-pounder?'" Jinger tells Us.

The mom-to-be is trying to focus on the more positive aspects of pregnancy. Husband Jeremy Vuolo has been on cloud nine and is beyond elated to enter fatherhood.

"He just gets so excited when he thinks about us having a baby, and last night he could feel the baby kicking for the first time, and he was just thrilled," Jinger tells Us.

For more on Jinger pregnancy, as well as Kendra and Joy's pregnancies, pick up the newest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

Photo courtesy jingerandjeremy.com

Friday, March 23, 2018

3 Pregnant Duggar Daughters

Joy Duggar Forsyth, Kendra Duggar, Jinger Duggar Vuolo pregnant

Until Gideon Forsyth arrived in late February, there was a span of a few months when Jinger Duggar Vuolo, Joy Duggar Forsyth, and Kendra Duggar were all pregnant. The three Duggars did a photo shoot with TLC to show off their baby bumps just a couple weeks before Joy gave birth.

Joy Duggar Forsyth, Kendra Duggar, Jinger Duggar Vuolo pregnant

Three years ago around the same time, three different Duggars (also two daughters and one daughter-in-law) were pregnant at the same time. Jessa Duggar Seewald was expecting Spurgeon Seewald, Anna Duggar was pregnant with Meredith Duggar, and Jill Duggar Dillard was just a short while away from welcoming Israel Dillard.

Jill Duggar Dillard, Anna Duggar, Jessa Duggar Seewald

Photos 1 and 2 are courtesy TLC/DCL--additional photos can be found on the TLC website
Photo 3 is courtesy duggarfamily.com

Kendra's Due Date

Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell pregnant due date

Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell Duggar are expecting their first child, a son, in just a few months. Us Weekly reports that Baby Boy Duggar, the 11th Duggar grandchild, is due on Father's Day, June 17th. Kendra is almost 28 weeks pregnant.

Joe and Kendra have said that they want as many kids as God will give them. Kendra turns 20 in August, while Joe just celebrated his 23rd birthday.

Jinger and Jeremy Vuolo are due with their first, whose gender they do not yet know, in mid July.

For more, pick up this week's issue of Us Weekly.

Photo courtesy TLC

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Jana Shows Off Her Garden

Jordyn Duggar and Josie Duggar garden

It's no secret that Jana Duggar enjoys gardening. On the family's property, she built an extensive garden, complete with a chicken coop (the "Chick Inn"), a sitting area, and a shed. In the TLC webisode below, Jana and Anna Duggar take the younger kids out to the garden to pick fresh vegetables and fruit.


Photo/video courtesy TLC

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Kendra's Baby Bump

We know some of you have been eager to see a photo of Kendra Duggar's baby bump. This isn't a close up shot, but it's better than nothing, right? Pilot John-David Duggar recently took a group to Byrd's Adventure Center in Ozark, Arkansas, for a "fly-in" meal.

 Nathan Bates, John Duggar, Joseph Duggar, Kendra (Caldwell) Duggar, 
Lauren Swanson (soon to be Lauren Duggar), Josiah Duggar

Photo courtesy Josiah Duggar/duggarfamily.com

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Season Finale

Counting On season finale

Did you catch last night's new episode of Counting On? Be sure to check out our recaps of the episode and the 20-minute special featuring Gideon Forsyth's birth.

Next week, TLC will air a two-hour special with all the details of Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell's wedding. Sadly, that episode will also be the Counting On season finale. The network has not yet announced another season, but stay tuned. During the break, keep coming back to our blog for all the latest Duggar news and announcements.

Photo courtesy TLC

Monday, March 19, 2018

'A New Bundle of Joy' Recap

Counting On "A New Bundle of Joy"
  • In Laredo, Jinger and Jeremy go on a coffee date. “Jinger without her coffee in the morning is a sweet, half awake, non-functioning human being,” says Jeremy. Jeremy orders a pour-over, and Jinger gets her usual, a vanilla latte.
  • Jinger has considered creating her own coffee blend and selling it as a small business venture. The Vuolos buy a bean roaster to see if they can figure it out. They roast two batches and do a taste test. The first brew (Ethiopian beans) doesn’t turn out well. The second brew (Panamanian beans) tastes like coffee but is more acidic than they would like. “It think it’s our goal to make a decent roast for Joe and Kendra’s wedding,” says Jinger.
  • Back in Arkansas, Joe, Kendra, and about 20 friends and family members head out to the lake for a joint bachelor/bachelorette party. “I love being in the water,” says Kendra. “I guess I’m a water bug.”
  • Jim Bob drives the pontoon, and John and Pastor Caldwell each drive a ski boat. Kendra says that even though her dad is in his 40s, he has a “little kid” side that enjoys making people flip off the inner tube while being pulled by the boat.
  • Kendra has never been tubing or water skiing, but her mom encourages her to try. She goes out on a tube with Joseph. John drives the boat and tries to flip them off.
  • When everyone is finished with water activities, they gather on the shore for a game directed by Jana. She asks Joe and Kendra different questions, and they try to guess each other’s answers. Whoever gets an answer wrong has to put a marshmallow in his or her mouth. Joe gets more questions wrong than Kendra and thus ends up with more marshmallows in his mouth.
  • Both Joe and Kendra agree that they want as many kids as God will give them.
  • Joy and Austin, who have been married about two months, are making progress on their house, but they’re taking a break so they can share some exciting news with each of their families. They are expecting a baby!
  • The Forsyths head over to see Austin’s parents, who are thrilled. “What a blessing!” says Roxanne (Austin’s mom). “You made our day.”
  • On the way to meet Jim Bob and Michelle, Joy and Austin text Jana to tell her the news. She says she’s very excited.
  • As expected, Jim Bob and Michelle are over the moon when they hear that their 10th grandbaby is on the way. When asked how long it will be before they can’t remember all the names of their grandchildren, Michelle responds: “Today.”
  • “I think when we get over about 20 grand kids, they are all going to have to wear name tags,” jokes Jim Bob.
  • Next, Joy and Austin call Josiah, who says, “That is cool! Wow!”
  • They stop by Jessa and Ben’s house to tell them in person, who are also very excited. (Are you seeing a pattern?) “If you do the math, it’s a honeymoon baby,” says Jessa. “I’m not really surprised.” The Seewalds and Forsyths video chat with the Vuolos.
  • Joy wants the gender to be a surprise, while Austin wants to find out. Joy and Austin don't end up finding out until the baby is born.
  • Joy texts Jill while she and Austin head over to the big house with balloons. They gather all the younger kids in the living room and have them pop the balloons. The message is written on a piece of paper. 
  • The Forsyths text the other older siblings.

Watch Gideon's Birth on TLC


For those who haven't been able to watch the TLC GO preview of Gideon Forsyth's C-section birth, we have embedded a clip below. Joy labored for about 20 hours at home but was transferred to the hospital after it was determined that the baby was breech.

The preview will air on TLC immediately after tonight's episode of Counting On.



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

Photo courtesy TLC

Forsyth Family, Party of 3

Three weeks after her emergency C-section delivery, Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth is up and about. The new mom is all smiles as she poses with her husband and their son. Gideon seems to be pretty enamored with his daddy!

Joy-Anna Forsyth, Austin Forsyth, Gideon Forsyth

Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com

Dillards in Guadalajara

Over the weekend, Jill and Derick Dillard, along with Samuel Dillard, departed on a six-day mission trip to Guadalajara, Mexico.

Jill and Derick Dillard
Jill and Derick Dillard

Photo courtesy dillardfamily.com
 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Don't Have Cable? Watch Gideon's Birth Online

Joy-Anna Duggar and son Gideon Forsyth
 Joy (Duggar) Forsyth, Gideon Forsyth, Austin Forsyth

Last week, we shared the link for the two, ten-minute TLC GO clips that feature Gideon Forsyth's C-section birth. In order to watch, viewers must sign in with their TV provider. We know that many of our readers don't have cable, so we wanted to give you an alternate way to view the segments.

One of the providers on the list is Philo, a company that offers paid Internet TV subscriptions. If you select Philo on the long list of providers, you will be redirected to the Philo website. There, you will be able to set up your subscription, which starts with a free trial that you can easily start by simply providing your cell phone number.

You will have 48 hours of free access, and then you will receive a text with instructions on how to unlock an additional five days of free access. If you like your experience, you can continue the subscription by paying a monthly fee.

To our knowledge, Philo is only available for those living in the United States. If you are one of our wonderful international readers, check out Wednesday's post for more details on Joy's labor and delivery.

We are not associated with Philo in any way.

Photo courtesy TLC

Friday, March 16, 2018

Duggars and Bates Go Skiing in CO

Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar skiing
Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar skiing in 2011
Do you remember watching 19 Kids and Counting "Duggars Hit the Slopes" back in June 2011? Jim Bob Duggar and Grandma Duggar took the kids skiing for the first time, and the family had a blast. The resort they visited was Granby Ranch in Granby, Colorado.

Seven years later, the Duggars are back on the slopes. Jim Bob and Michelle and many of the kids, along with some of the Bates, are enjoying a vacation at Granby Ranch this week. The film crew is present so perhaps you'll be able to watch their adventure on an upcoming episode of Counting On.

Have you ever been skiing? How about skiing at Granby?






Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Kendra Loves Surprises

Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell Duggar

Kendra Caldwell loves surprises, and Joseph was able to pull off a big one on Monday's episode of Counting On. It's Kendra's 19th birthday, and she's in Kentucky trying on wedding dresses, which means she's apart from Joe. But little does she know that her fiancĂ© has something up his sleeve. 

When Kendra is finished at Renee's bridal shop, she and the other Duggar and Caldwell ladies stop by a brick oven pizza restaurant. Guess who is waiting to greet Kendra when she walks in the door?


Photo/video courtesy TLC

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Joy's C-section Delivery


For those who have cable, yesterday's post explains how you can watch a preview of Gideon Martyn Forsyth's arrival. Below is a brief recap of the preview, although we encourage you to watch it yourself if you are able.

In the wee hours of the morning on February 23rd, Michelle, Jana, and Johannah drive over to the Forsyths' house to check on Joy, who has been in labor since the evening before. By the early afternoon, although Jill determines that Joy's vitals and the baby's heart rate are within normal ranges, labor is still not progressing.

Around 2pm, Jim Bob receives a text informing him that Joy is being transported to the hospital. All the siblings, including Joe and Kendra, are over at the Duggar house eagerly waiting for news. Jim Bob leaves for the hospital. Soon after Joy arrives, it is determined that the baby, who is breech, needs to be delivered via emergency C-section.

The camera catches a glimpse of Joy as she is on her way into the operating room, and she smiles and thanks viewers for their prayers. Gideon arrives at 3:39pm. After the surgery is complete, Joy and the baby are wheeled into their hospital room, where they are greeted by both sets of grandparents, as well as Austin's sister.

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

Photo courtesy TLC

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Kendra Gown

As I mentioned yesterday, I was able to watch some of the events shown in last night's episode unfold in real time from behind the scenes. Filming started in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, at Renee's Bridal, where Kendra Caldwell, along with her mom (Christina Caldwell), grandmother (Grammy), sisters (Lauren and Gracie Caldwell), and future in-laws (Michelle Duggar, Jana Duggar, and Josie Duggar) had an appointment with dress designer Renee Miller.

Kendra has a cheerful, bubbly personality, and it was neat to watch her interact with her family (and future family). Josie and Gracie are around the same age, so they enjoyed playing together and "helping" Renee. (They helped Kendra fan out her train and put on her veil.) Jana has an eye for design and is gentle with her opinions, so she was able to give Kendra guidance. As the oldest daughters in their families, she and Kendra are both strong leaders.

Kendra's family was as sweet as could be. You could tell that her mom and "grammy" were soaking in each moment as they watched Kendra try on dresses. The Caldwells spoke well of Joseph and seemed thrilled to have him join their family.

Before the gowns were revealed and the fitting began, Renee and Kendra sat down to look at sketches of the dresses. Renee had purposefully had the artist--Ashley Howell, owner of The Blue Rose--do the sketches "paper doll style" so Kendra could visualize how the top would look with each skirt.

For more photos from the day, visit Renee's Facebook page.


Preview Gideon's Dramatic Birth

Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth and Gideon Forsyth

Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth are nearly three weeks into parenthood, and we know you are eager to hear the details of Gideon Forsyth's birth. The network has released two ten-minute previews of Gideon's dramatic arrival that can only be accessed by viewers with certain cable providers.

Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com/Joy and Austin Forsyth

Monday, March 12, 2018

'Kendra's Birthday Surprise' Recap

Counting On "Kendra's Birthday Surprise"
  • Joy and Austin have been married for two months, and their house is still far from finished. “Hopefully we’ll be in our house within the next six months,” says Joy. Joseph comes over to lend a hand. The wedding is a month away, and he is eager for the big day to arrive.
  • At the Caldwell home, Kendra and her mom, sisters, and grandma are packing for their overnight trip to Kentucky. “The one hard part about this trip is that I won’t be able to see Joe for a little while,” says Kendra.
  • They meet up with Michelle, Jana, and Josie and then head to the airport with John-David, who will be flying them to their destination. “He is a good pilot, although I do like my feet on the ground rather than in the air,” says Jana.
  • The next morning, Joseph wakes up at 4am and catches a commercial flight to Kentucky to surprise Kendra on her birthday.
  • In Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, Kendra and the ladies spend the day at Renee Miller’s bridal shop searching for a dress. Mt. Sterling small business owner Ashley (The Blue Rose) makes sketches of the dresses that Renee has prepared so Kendra can get an idea of what she likes before trying the gowns on.
  • During the dress fitting, Joe and Kendra video chat so Joe can wish his future bride a happy birthday. Kendra thinks Joe is back in Arkansas working, but he is actually in town.
  • When Kendra tries on the first dress, she falls in love with the sparkly top, so now all she has to do is find a bottom that she loves just as much. (The bottom is too simple for her tastes.)
  • The second skirt has too many ruffles for Kendra. The third skirt is more of a horsehair braid, which she likes, but is poufier than Kendra would like. “I could tell by looking at Kendra that it wasn’t her favorite,” says Kendra’s mom, Christina. 
  • The fourth skirt is “the one.” It has the perfect amount of pouf, volume, and horsehair braid, and everyone loves it, especially Kendra. 
  • “Miss Renee did an amazing job on the dress,” says Kendra. “She definitely nailed it.”
  • Kendra puts on a veil, and the tears start flowing. “She’s my rock,” says Lauren. “She’s always there for me and [is] my best friend. I love Joe and Kendra. I think they’re perfect for each other but…I’m definitely going to miss her.”
  • Meanwhile, Joseph stops at Spoonful of Sugar to pick up a birthday cake. The one he chooses is purple, has two layers, and has lots of ruffles (just like the the dresses Kendra is trying on!). The bakery is right next to the bridal shop, so Joe has to be sneaky.  
  • John, who has just been hanging out all day, meets Joe at Tomatoes and Flames, a pizza shop around the corner. “I didn’t go wedding dress shopping,” says John. “I didn’t need one, so I stayed away.” The brothers set up pink table cloths, flameless candles, and balloons.
  • The ladies walk over to the pizza place, and Kendra is elated when she sees Joe standing inside the door. “I can’t believe you’re here,” she whispers, as she gives him a full-on frontal hug. Joe and Kendra say they try to stick to side hugs but that they do sometimes forget and end up giving frontal hugs.
  • Down in Laredo, Jinger and Jeremy welcome friends James and Seung, who live in New York City, for a visit. Jeremy has known them for five years, and Jinger has enjoyed getting to know them since meeting Jeremy.  “Jeremy and I both love hosting people,” says Jinger. “We have two guest bedrooms…so that has been really nice. 
  • They find a mini golf course and team up for a couples match. “As a former professional athlete, I definitely do not like to lose,” says Jeremy. “You play for a purpose, and the purpose is to win, so why play if you are going to be content losing?” 
  • James and Seung end up winning. Jeremy is not impressed by his performance, but he is proud of Jinger. “Like most things, Jinger performed better,” says Jeremy. “Jinger seems to be a natural at most everything she puts her hand to.”
  • James and Seung make a delicious dinner for the Vuolos, although grilling outdoors in temperatures of 105 degrees is a bit brutal. During the meal, the couples discuss family planning. Both couples have been talking about it. “I think the two of them are really enjoying the time that they have together now,” says James of Jinger and Jeremy. 

Kendra Loves Sparkles

Michelle Duggar and Christina Caldwell

"Kendra has always been our happy, bubbly, sunshine-on-a-rainy-day girl."
-Christina Caldwell

Tonight on an all-new episode of Counting On, Kendra Caldwell takes her mother, her grandmother (affectionately called "Grammy"), her sisters (Lauren and Gracie), Michelle, Jana, and Josie to Kentucky to find a wedding dress. Following in the footsteps of Jinger and Joy, Kendra will have a custom gown designed by Renee Miller from Renee's Bridal. 

 I (Ellie) am especially looking forward to this episode because I was able to be behind the scenes during Kendra's dress fitting, as well as during her birthday celebration later that day. Be sure to tune in tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT.


Photo/video courtesy TLC

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Working with the Duggar Brothers

Duggar brothers work

"The way it kind of works for guys in my family who are trying to move up through the ladder, first of all you start off doing the mowing and then may switching over to working on the properties my dad's working on...and then maybe from there transitioning into the cars, and then slowly transitioning over into real estate."

-Josiah Duggar 

Readers are always interested in hearing about what the Duggars do for work. They have a handful of different ventures, including car sales, rental property management, and a real estate business that is in its fifth generation. Last year, we shared that Jason Duggar, who is only 17 years old, had purchased his first house.

When the kids are young, the goal is to help them gain as many skills and types of experience as possible. In this video from TLC, follow the boys on a job, and learn about their career paths.



Photo/video courtesy TLC

New Photos, Dillard Family of 4

Even though Jill and Derick Dillard are not currently appearing on Counting On, we still want to share updates and new photos of their little family. Samuel Dillard just hit his eight-month milestone, and Israel Dillard will turn three in April.

Samuel Dillard
 Samuel Dillard, 8 months old

Jill and Derick Dillard
 Jill and Derick Dillard, date night to celebrate Derick's 29th birthday

Jill Dillard and Israel Dillard
Jill Dillard and Israel Dillard

Photos courtesy dillardfamily.com

Friday, March 9, 2018

Jim Bob and Michelle Introduce Newest Couple

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Josiah Duggar, Lauren Swanson
 Josiah Duggar, Lauren Swanson, Michelle Duggar, Jim Bob Duggar

Another Duggar wedding is in the works. Now that Josiah and Lauren are engaged, it's time to plan their big day. Josiah will be the seventh Duggar child and the third Duggar son to get married.

In the video below, Jim Bob and Michelle congratulate Josiah and Lauren.


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

Photo and video are property of duggarfamily.com and may not be used without written permission. Visit the Duggars' website to view more videos.

Derick Turns 29

Wishing Derick Dillard a very happy 29th birthday!

Samuel Dillard, Jill Dillard, Israel Dillard, Derick Dillard
Dillard family morning cuddles
Samuel Dillard, Jill Dillard, Israel Dillard, Derick Dillard

Photo courtesy dillardfamily.com

Thursday, March 8, 2018

New Episodes in the UK


We have an exciting announcement for our readers living in the United Kingdom. The new season of Counting On, which premiered in the United States and Canada on February 26th, is now airing on TLC UK, also on Monday nights. For TV listings, visit the TLC UK website.

For those who live in Australia, reruns of Counting On are currently playing on Discovery Channel. Listings can be found on the Discovery website.

If you are an international reader and have further information on how to watch the show in your country, feel free to comment.

Photo courtesy TLC/DCL

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Livin' On Love


"Living in the RV is definitely...fun. Sometimes it can get a little tight."
-Joy-Anna (Duggar) Forsyth

In this scene from Monday's episode, Joy and Austin Forsyth make their first meal together as a married couple. The RV is cozy, but it isn't without its issues, so the Forsyths are looking forward to completing their fixer-upper home and moving in.



Photo/video courtesy TLC

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Jeremy Loves Books


"One man said that if you never quote, you will never be quoted yourself, and so it's good to read through a variety of sources to gain a greater knowledge of life."
-Jeremy Vuolo

It's no secret that Jeremy Vuolo loves books. His precious collection has spent a year in the closet, so he's thrilled to finally have a study to display them in. After having custom shelves built, he is eager to organize his many books, which he estimates number close to 1,000.

How many books do you have?



Photo/video courtesy TLC

Monday, March 5, 2018

'Spurgeon's First Haircut' Recap

Counting On "Spurgeon's First Haircut"
  • Jinger and Jeremy have moved into their new house, and they are looking forward to having shelves made for Jeremy’s office. But first, they have to take the old shelves, which are mismatched and oddly shaped, into the garage. It’s a major struggle, as they can’t figure out how to turn one of the corners with the largest shelf.
  • When asked what they have learned by working together in marriage, the Vuolos say their personalities mesh well. “There have been some disagreements, but I have come to learn through experience that if Jinger disagrees with me, she’s probably right,” says Jeremy, laughing. “She’s the boss.”
  • The following day, their painter figures out how to turn the corner with the shelf in about five minutes. The Vuolos are grateful! When the new shelves are finally installed, Jeremy is on cloud nine. “This is a dream come true,” he says. “It’s a beautiful thing when books go on shelves.”
  • “Seeing him with this bookshelf being built, I think that his heart is just overflowing with joy,” says Jinger.
  • At the Seewald home, Jessa gives Ben a haircut. She is the unofficial barber for all the guys in the Duggar family. Michelle taught her how to cut hair when she was about 10 years old, and she has improved over the years.
  • Jessa and Ben team up to give Spurgeon his first haircut. Ben holds him and lets him watch a cartoon. Jessa is sentimental about the curls, but she and Ben are tired of having people mistake their son for a girl.
  • Jessa shares that Henry has had some health issues (eczema on his head and neck, as well as digestion problems). To prevent him from scratching at his head, he wears socks on his hands. Jessa has also cut out gluten, dairy, corn, and nuts from her diet, in hopes of figure out what bothers Henry’s stomach.
  • Later, Joseph and Kendra take the groomsmen to a local shop to choose outfits for the wedding, and they invite Jessa to help. They end up choosing navy suits with blush pink ties.
  • Kendra admits she is a bit overwhelmed by all the details, as this is the first wedding that she and her family have planned. “We are super excited to get to tag along and look at ties,” says Jedidiah sarcastically.
  • Joy and Austin are still getting used to living in an RV. Their house is still under construction, but they decide to set up a table and eat their first meal in the room that will be the kitchen.
  • At the end of the episode, the Duggars gather at the big house for a day of water fun. The highlight is the giant, homemade slip-and-slide that they set up on their hill every summer. “We had a lot of fun,” says Jordyn.

Engagement Message from Josiah and Lauren

Joisah Duggar engaged to Lauren Swanson

"She's the one. This is it"
-Josiah Duggar

"It's exciting to be engaged. I'm just looking forward to making many memories with you, Siah."
-Lauren Swanson

Josiah Duggar is headed to the altar with fiancĂ© Lauren Swanson! The two have announced their engagement only six weeks after revealing their courtship. In the TLCme video below, the future Mr. and Mrs. Duggar share a message with fans. 

The proposal took place at Lauren's home in Georgia, at the very same spot where her dad popped the question to her mom years ago.

If Josiah and Lauren follow in the footsteps of Josiah's siblings with a three-month engagement, the wedding will occur around the same time as Joy and Austin Forsyth's first anniversary and Jill and Derick Dillard's fourth anniversary.



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

Photo/video courtesy TLC

Another Duggar to Tie the Knot

Josiah Duggar engaged to Lauren Swanson
 Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson

Duggar wedding No. 7 is officially in the works.

Six weeks after Josiah Duggar and Lauren Swanson shared news of their courtship, Us Weekly has a big announcement to make: The couple is engaged!

Us has the exclusive scoop on the engagement.

Lauren, who has been friends with the Duggars for years and even accompanied them on their trip to Australia and New Zealand, is 18 years old. Josiah turns 22 in August.


Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com/Josiah Duggar

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Baby Vuolo at 20 Weeks

Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo is officially halfway through her first pregnancy! She has reached the 20-week mark, which means Baby Vuolo is about seven inches long and weighs approximately ten ounces. He or she might even be starting to grow some hair!

Jinger Duggar Vuolo pregnancy bump
Jinger's baby bump at 20 weeks


 Photo courtesy jingerandjeremy.com

Duggar-Style Water Balloon Fight

Duggar water balloon fight

Another week has passed us by, and we're just one day away from another new episode of Counting On. Joy and Austin Forsyth have their first meal in their new home, while Jessa and Ben Seewald give Spurgeon Seewald his first haircut.

The siblings gather at the "big house" for a Duggar family summer tradition. While the kids are setting up the inflatable pool, Ben Seewald secretly fills up a bucket of water balloons and plans an attack. There are a few tears, but most of the kids enjoy the impromptu competition.



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

Photo/video courtesy TLC