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Insecurity is a funny thing isn’t it? It has a way of sneaking in just when you feel like you’ve got it all together and things are plugging along. I’ve had this nasty self-doubt really rear its head lately, a lot of ups and downs with internal turmoil, and I really can’t pinpoint where or why it all started.

Recently I was at dinner with a group of friends and the whole time I was just overcome with the feeling that maybe my presence was annoying to them. That every joke I tried to make was so stupid and any time I participated in the conversation my commentary fell flat. I worried I was talking about myself too much, or being braggy, or telling stories that weren’t interesting at all. Truthfully, I feel this all the time in social settings. It’s painful.  This was just one moment in a long string of events where I leave feeling like I just don’t fit in.

I keep coming back to the thought that I know I am weird and beyond awkward and someone who can be hard to get to know but if only I could just totally own my weirdness and awkwardness it might not be so bad. But I just keep feeling like if only I were different, more outgoing, more confident, better at small-talk or a million other things, maybe I could be someone others felt more at ease around. The thing is, I don’t know how to be anyone but me. I don’t know, and probably never will, how to be the boisterous life-of-the-party girl or the sophisticated woman who owns every room she walks into. I’m just me. And add to that knowing that God made me just who I am, I feel guilty for not being more okay with me.

I realize typing this that it is coming across as a pity party for one, and that annoys me on so many levels…I really am not looking for sympathy. I just want to be transparent about this weird place I’m in. If you are weird and awkward and feeling a little lonely, I wish I had some great insight into how to overcome all of that but clearly I’m still grappling with that myself.  But know you aren’t alone. I’m a weird, awkward work in progress too.

I am clinging so tightly to God right now and just really resting in my faith that somehow He will use all of this insecurity and self-doubt to do something good somewhere. I know He knitted me in my mother’s womb and that I’m meant to do more. I just have to break free from these binds, have patience and know that even if I don’t always fit in here, I do fit into God’s hands, and plans.  And so do you.

Best Day Ever: Wedding Photos

Well, they are here! And I CANNOT wait to share them with you. Everyone says it, and it sounds so very cliché, but it’s true…our wedding day was the best day ever. To stand there, with the love of my life, committing my life to him in front of God and all of our friends and family has to have been the most incredible, out-of-body but totally present experience I’ve ever had. It was such a beautiful day.

We were enveloped by the love and support of our friends and family. And we had such an incredible team who helped us make the day even more special. A list of our very special vendors can be found at the bottom of the post, but a special shout out to Kimberly Rhodes and her team with Hitched Events for being that absolute best wedding planner EVER. Without her I wouldn’t have been able to assemble the best team ever. I will be forever grateful for her work and friendship. Thanks also to Eddie with Jenny Martell Photography for capturing our big day in such a beautiful, artistic way. Wow. We are blessed beyond measure.

Forgive me for not being able to edit the photos down further…they are all so special…I hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Thanks to everyone who was a part of our big day! For more pictures, check out my Facebook page!

Details-Composit-1 Details-Composit-2 Getting-Ready-Composit-1 Getting-Ready-Composit-2 Getting-Ready-Composit-3 katebearwedding0052 Getting-Ready-Composit-4 Bridesmaids-Composit-1 Sisters-Composit-1 Groomsmen-Get-Ready-Composit-1 Groomsmen-Get-Ready-Composit-2 Groomsmen-Get-Ready-Composit-3 Groomsmen-Get-Ready-Composit-4 First-Look-1 First-Look-2 First-Look-3 First-Look-4 First-Look-5 First-Look-6 Ceremony-1 Ceremony-3 Ceremony-2 Ceremony-4 Ceremony-5 Ceremony-6 families mariachis Reception-Details-1 Reception-Details-2 Reception-Details-3 Reception-Entrance- First-Dance Dads-Speeches Father-Daughter-Dance Mother-Son-Dance Reception-Dinner Reception-Dinner-2 Cake-1 cake-2 Scot-Speech Speech-Crowd Sister-Speeches Adrian-Speech Flower-Toss Garter-Toss Dance-Floor-1 Dance-Floor-2 Dance-Floor-3 Dance-Floor-4 Dance-Floor-5 Dance-Floor-6 Dance Floor 7 Elevator Grand-Exit Car

Venue: Three Three Three First Avenue
Wedding Planner: Hitched Events
Photographer: Jenny Martell Photography
Hair and Makeup: Shannon Caldwell, Something You Makeup Artistry
Florist: Blue Lotus
Cake: Dallas Affaires Cake Company
Lighting: A Very Special Day
Caterer: Culinary Art Catering
DJ: Jason Esquire
Transportation: Premier
Videographer: Lynn films

Tuesday Tunes: Happy 80th Willie!

Tuesday Tunes

Willie Nelson. He is as synonymous with Texas as bluebonnets and The Alamo. And today, he turns 80 years old (which, really, is pretty incredible considering the life he has lived!). So really there is nobody else I could possibly feature than the man himself!


I have had the privilege of seeing Willie play on quite a few occasions and there’s just nobody quite like him…he’s still Willie, and that voice is still just as leathery and poetic as ever…and you never know quite what you’re going to get, but it’s sure to be a great show no matter which route, or detour, it takes. In fact, on one occasion I heard Willie sing Whiskey River no less that four times…in one set. I think the Whiskey River has been flowing pre-show and, indeed, taken his mind!

If you haven’t seen him perform, you should definitely make plans to asap. Put on your boots and get ready for a good time. Without further ado, I give you the birthday boy himself, Willie Nelson…

One For My Baby and One For The Road


Heartbreak Hotel

Pancho and Lefty with Emmylou Harris

Whiskey River


Tuesday Tunes: 03.25.13

Tuesday Tunes

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Tuesday Tunes and today seems like a good day for some good music. There is truly no rhyme or reason to what I’ve chosen other than it’s stuff I like, and hopefully you will too! Without further ado…

Your Voice, Your Vote

Vote 2012

This is the last week to Early Vote in the 2012 Election…have you voted yet? Why not get it done while you have some extra time this week?! Find out where you can vote here.

After months, even what seemed like years, of listening to campaign speeches, debates, talking heads, political analysts go round and round, my decision was made and Bear and I went to the polls to vote.  It was so funny pulling up to the polling location, Bear looked at me and said, “Gosh, I’m a little nervous!” It made me stop and think, sometimes I think we take our vote for granted. What an amazing country we live in that each and every one of us have the opportunity to make our voice heard, and the opportunity to shape the future of our country.

I will admit I’ve had a bit of a feeling of helplessness and frustration through all of the campaigning the past few months. I feel like we have a real deficit in people who are truly ready to step up and LEAD our country and get us back to where we need to be, in an honest, moral, intelligent way. I am so tired of the partisan back and forth and the extremism that seems to permeate so much of the rhetoric out there.  It’s like everyone has forgotten that we are all individuals, and humans, with very different perspectives from which we shape our opinions…and that’s part of what being human is about.  We should respect each other in that, even if we disagree. And not that voting in this election will fix all of that, because it won’t, but you can at least start speaking up for what you believe in. We can all make a difference with our one voice. And just imagine if we all came together told our politicians that we are sick of the back and forth and that these are the issues that are important to us.

So, with all that in mind, whatever your stance is on the issues and the candidates, please, GO VOTE. And then step up to help make your community the place you want it to be. Don’t just wait for someone else, some elected official, to do it.  Your civic responsibility doesn’t end at the polls, it starts there.  Make your voice heard all year long. Let’s all join together to make this world a better place for EVERYONE.

Ready to Learn

I’m so excited for BLOGSHOP this weekend! I’m hoping to come back with a head full of new knowledge that I can use to give this blog a refresh. Because let’s face it, while I love my little corner of the web, in it’s current state Composing Kate isn’t exactly easy on the eyes, and the content is a little all over the place. (In all fairness, I didn’t even try to make this post look good.) Maybe I’m a little over zealous, but surely after a one-weekend workshop I’ll totally be a Photoshop + Blogger Master Expert…or something like that. Right?

Have a great weekend–and go learn something!

Exploring the Familiar

A couple weekends ago Bear and I made the trek down to Austin to see Dwight Yoakam at Moody Theater and, I have to tell you, as much as I love Austin it was beginning to feel like every time we went down there we did generally the same thing each time.  This weekend proved to be different and I fell back, or more, in love with Austin.

Other than the concert, we really didn’t have anywhere we HAD to be and we got to explore some new-to-me places on our own time-table. With Bear as my tour guide, I found some new favorites!

Ready for some Dwight!

Of course, there was Dwight. There were SO many sequins on that stage, and the funny thing was it was totally manly! He always puts on an amazing show, but the musicians he had with him were really phenomenal as well.

Then we went to one of Bear’s favorite bars, Peche, which somehow I’d never been to. I’m sad to say I didn’t get any good pictures of the bar, which is such a cool place. It’s like a library of liquor complete with rolling ladders (I want one in my house some day!). I did, however, get a pic of the menu. I had the French 77 and it is definitely one of the best drinks I’ve ever had.

Saturday we grabbed brunch at Manuel’s, another great Austin spot on Congress, and then Bear took me to the Whip In. Now, pulling up to the Whip In I had no idea what to expect. But we walked in and I was instantly in love! It’s like a little market with an extensive selection of wine and beer, and not your typical standard selections. I had a hard time choosing because I’d never heard of any of the options! But everything was delicious.  And there was a cellist playing while we sat and sipped. Definitely recommend this spot!

Saturday night Bear made us reservations at the Midnight Cowboy, a cool new-ish speakeasy on 6th Street. It was like stepping back in time–such a neat place. I loved that we had our own little booth and while there were other people at tables around us, it wasn’t so loud that we couldn’t enjoy each other’s company and conversation. And fair warning, the drinks are boozy (aka STRONG)!

Table Side Drink Mixing. Love!

Our last stop for the weekend was Sunday for brunch at Elizabeth Street Cafe. Vietnamese French Cafe? I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was such a perfect Sunday spot. We sat on the patio in the shade and enjoyed the laid back but still somehow proper vibe and ate some really delicious food.

It really was a wonderful weekend, just enjoying Austin and finding some new favorite places to frequent on future visits.

Where are some of your favorite places in Austin?

Happiness Manifested



I’ve been noticing lately that happiness manifests itself in my life in ways I never really noticed before. In large part, my life seems to become much more simplified.

I recently changed jobs and am working for an amazing organization whose mission I am absolutely passionate about. Not only am I so much happier with who I am working for, I am no longer commuting 60+ miles each day and it has had a tremendous impact on my overall disposition. I truly didn’t realize how much that commute was negatively affecting me.

Now about two months into my new job, I find that I have been spending less time trying to offset negative stress with activities to re-center me. I used to try desperately to find activities that would take my mind away from the circumstances that were causing me stress. And I am sad to admit that I spent a lot of time allowing my stress to take a negative toll on my relationships and attitude and general well-being.

Someone sent me an email earlier this week that made me realize I’m not writing like I used to and it led me to look at what else I’ve let go of over the past couple months.  And it really is surprising…

I’ve been blogging less (I know, you know!). I’ve been writing less. I’ve been reading less. I’ve been shopping less. I’ve been pouring through music and hunting for new artists less.  I’ve been eating less. I’ve had fewer headaches, shoulder aches, and heart aches. I’ve enjoyed my relationships with my boyfriend, family and friends more. I’ve been venting less. I’ve not been as stressed by others and their decisions. I’ve been gossiping less and avoiding situations where there is a lot of negative energy more. …just to name a few.

Of that list, it is good to have some of that being removed from my life. But others, things like reading and writing and listening to music, are things I truly love doing.  I think for so long I used those as escapes to distract me from the negative forces in my life and perhaps became subconsciously associated with those stresses.

I love dancing...just like these little ballerinas!


SO, my goal for the next few months is to thoroughly enjoy my happiness and peace. And additionally, I want to find a way to incorporate those things I love doing back into my day-to-day life. Otherwise, I will end up falling back into a place of stress and feeling unfulfilled.

How does happiness manifest itself in your life? How do you integrate the things you love into your everyday life? What are some of the things you do to distract yourself when going through hard times?








Hello dear friends. If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve been MIA for the last three weeks or so. It was certainly an unexpected hiatus, but in retrospect, a much-needed one. Between a trip to San Antonio, getting ready for a week out of the office, being on vacation, and then coming back to play catch-up, there were plenty of reasons for me to be away from the blog…but I really hadn’t planned on it happening that way.  I must admit, though, that once I did realize I was allowing other things to keep me from writing, I made an almost conscious effort to avoid looking at the blog all together. I felt so guilty neglecting this thing that was starting to take shape.  And then, I just, stopped. I needed to unplug and find my motivation again.

During my time away, I spent an amazing week in Hawaii with my family. I’ve never been one to really long for a beach vacation–exploring Europe or South America always sounds more adventurous and enlightening–but once again, God knows what I need better than I myself do.  I have never felt more relaxed, more centered at the end of a vacation that I did after that week.  (more on that later this week!) And yet, upon returning, I still wasn’t quite ready to jump back into everything.

And so, here we stand. I am excited to start writing again and hopefully growing this blog and developing more of a voice through it.  Thank you for your patience, if anyone is still reading, and I hope you’ll continue on in this “story” with me.

photo by Mickey van der Stap 

For the Love of Packing

I truly have a love/hate relationship with packing…and definitely all hate with unpacking.  Packing is always a fun way to go through my closet and imagine how each piece fits into the destination scenery and how cute, or bad, it could look in pictures.  Right? Carefully curating a week’s wardrobe is no small task.  It also is exciting just knowing you are about to escape from the everyday routine and explore new places, meet new people. 

On the other hand, it inevitably leaves me wishing I had a bigger suitcase (that was magically also lighter) and trying to predict what I will need and what I can cut out of my piles of clothes and shoes.  Speaking of shoes, how on earth are we to fit the “necessary” shoes AND “necessary” clothes into one smallish roller board? I’m seriously considering packing a carry-on with nothing but shoes. But the thing that gives me the most worry is the possibility of leaving something essential behind. What would be so essential, and irreplaceable that I couldn’t buy it where ever I am headed? I have no idea. But it worries me so. 

I always get those last-minute frantic worries before I go on vacation. Do you? What if something happens to my apartment? (my water heater recently exploded, what if I hadn’t been there to deal with it?!) or on our flight? What if I get sick and spend the whole vacation in bed? Why on earth do these things worry me like they do?! 

So I’ve really been trying to get in the habit of, anytime I start feeling anxious, just stop, take a deep breath, say to myself “God is in control” and it works like a charm. Cool as a cucumber once again. 

What is your packing/pre-travel routine?

Thank You

Sweet friends, I am so completely humbled by and grateful for the outpouring of well wishes today.  You guys really know how to make a girl feel extra special! 

I hope your days are filled with as much love and happiness and I have experienced.  My cup runneth over.

I think all that’s left to do is a little birthday dance…and a thank you curtsy.



Starlight, Starbright

This week has been one of those weeks that seemed to drag on and on and on. And it didn’t help that I couldn’t keep my days straight; Tuesday I was convinced it was Thursday! Needless to say, I am looking forward to the weekend.

What do you have planned for your weekend? If you are in the Dallas area Saturday, I highly suggest you come out to the Starlight Room in the West End at 8 pm for the 4th Annual Starlight Gala, benefiting American Cancer Society

My totally awesome sister Sara is chairing the event this year and I know she would love to see your smiling face there! She and the entire committee have been busting their booties to make sure this is an amazing evening for everyone in attendance.  You won’t be disappointed.

My totally awesome sister Sara - it's not a party without a little Rod Stewart!

Tickets can be purchased online until 4 pm today (hurry, hurry!!!) for $75, or at the door tomorrow for $85.

Your ticket includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, an open bar with beer, wine and vodka, great music to dance your heart out to and a fabulous silent auction and raffle. (you would easily spend that any random night out on the town)

Click here to buy your tickets!

Any way you slice it, it’s a killer deal for a fun night to support a great cause.  A group of us went last year and had SO much fun…there was some mayjah Beyoncé booty bumpin’ going on! So come out and support ACS and my darling sister. 

Let me know if you have any questions!

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