The Importance of Community

Skirt: Alice & Olivia, Similar More Affordable | Top: Alice & Olivia | Earrings: Shopbop | Shoes: Kate Spade, Similar | Bag: YSL, Similar | Lipstick: Lovesick


Event Design and Production: Stefanie Miles | Floral Design: Jackson Durham | Photography: Ryan Ray | Hand-Painted Stationery and Details: Momental | Gifts: Leatherology | Venue: Rosewood Mansion Turtle Creek

I had to take today to share these photos from the loveliest afternoon a few weeks ago. I received an invitation to have tea with some women in Dallas [bloggers, writers, journalists, entrepreneurs and philanthropists] along with Jenna Bush, the editor of Real Simple magazine, the founder of the Next Door app and Neighbor’s Table. The basis of the tea was to discuss the importance of community and how we can do our part as community leaders to take online relationships offline.

Being from Dallas, Jenna Bush was a natural fit to help host the tea. She was already friends with a few of the women there and I loved hearing her take on how you always take Texas with you wherever you go. As an editor for Southern Living and correspondent for NBC news, I was interested to hear all she had to say on raising daughters as a working mom. She was so down to earth and talked about last-minute babysitters, etc. like we all do!

We were talking about being from Texas and how people always assume you are just based on our state. She goes, “You know, the number one thing people say when they meet me is how normal I am. People just go on and on and on about how normal I act. Then in my head I think well I’m kind of special, right?! Why can’t someone just meet me and say how special I am.” She was seriously so funny and personable!

I also loved meeting the founder of the Next Door app. Full disclosure, I used this app religiously in our last neighborhood. It’s like Facebook for your neighborhood and people would post things they were selling or say if they found a lost dog. But we got to hear how this app truly saved lives during the flooding in Houston. People would say what roads to not go on, when to evacuate, what to take, etc. Neighbors would ask others to go rescue their dogs if they couldn’t get to them. It gave me goose bumps to hear.

You also have to take a second to read the Neighbor’s Table website. Sarah, the founder, was there and she was just incredible with her stories of hospitality. I have to share a quote from the site. Sarah relocated to Dallas after wanting to slow down. “I slowly began focusing on being more than doing and I started to confront the things that had held me back from being who God designed me to be.” Oh that line convicts me! I’m constantly battling, “Is this me just doing more or doing something to be more?”

Ultimately, what struck me most from the afternoon was the importance of slowing down and meeting your community. We loved our neighbors in our last home and we have lucked out to adore our neighbors in our new home. We haven’t even moved in and the wife and I talk every single day. Our daughters are a month apart and I’m so thankful to give Maxi that experience growing up next door to a friend.

But if anyone is guilty of feeling “too busy to slow down” just in life it would be me. That quote above from Sarah speaks to me so much! I can get extremely caught up in the tasks of a day that I forget to just take those small moments with others. I partially blame working for myself with this one. There is so much flexibility [and blessing] in being home working with Maxi. But I also have to work odd hours to work around her. Say I’m given an invite to grab coffee with an old friend. The easiest thing to think is how I could grab coffee but I’d work until 1 a.m. to make up for that time. As humans consumed with “doing” we don’t focus on the “opportunity” as easily. This tea was a wonderful reminder to slow down, rest and just enjoy community- whether that be through your neighborhood, your children’s school or your local church. I want to be known as someone who “is” as opposed to someone who “does.” I want my friends and family to say, “Katey is a great friend.” Not, “Katey always does XYZ.”

What’s your take on community?

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  1. I love the tabletop and decor of the event. So beautiful!
    Community and knowing your neighbours is so important. I just wish it was more of a thing here in Hong Kong.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 26 Oct 17Reply
  2. Drew wrote:

    What an incredible message! Thanks for sharing things like this, Katey!

    Published 26 Oct 17Reply
  3. Leslie Carlson wrote:

    I love this post. It was a great read to start my day. It seems everyone is always in a rush to complete the next task for sure and we could all benefit from slowing down a bit and enjoying one another in our community. What a lovely tea party you attended. Beautiful tablescape.

    Published 26 Oct 17Reply
  4. Britt M wrote:

    I really needed to read this today. I am a social worker and sometimes I can get fixated on the tasks, rather than the PEOPLE I serve. That’s typically when I know that I am close to burnout. It’s always a struggle in balance. I LOVE the end of this post. It is going to be added into my daily reminders to be more intentional in my interactions. Great read! 🙂

    Published 26 Oct 17Reply
  5. Diana wrote:

    Love this post! I’m on the same journey, trying to slow down and taking a moment to enjoy the relationships I have with my loved ones and the people that surround me.

    Published 26 Oct 17Reply
  6. Shelle wrote:

    needed to read this today. With going back to work fulltime and having a four month old, I’ve been struggling getting everything done to my standards. I need to sit back and reprioritize what is truly important.
    Thanks for the reminder!

    Published 27 Oct 17Reply
  7. I really love this post and what a beautiful event. So cool you met Jenna, I watch the Today Show every morning and she is one of my faves! Community for me is all about turning off my phone and just hanging out with family/friends or getting involved with local events.


    Published 27 Oct 17Reply
  8. Melissa wrote:

    Great post, just saddened by the lack of diversity.

    Published 29 Oct 17Reply
    • Katey wrote:

      Hi Melissa!

      I appreciate your comment, thank you! I was not in charge of the guest list but I do know many individuals in the Dallas community were invited and these were the individuals that were able to make it. I do appreciate that you noticed this, you may not know but I come from a multi-racial extended family and appreciate when diversity is not lacking. I was simply invited to this event and wanted to share what we discussed as I think readers can relate to community discussion. Thank you for reading! Xo

      Published 29 Oct 17Reply
  9. Melissa wrote:

    Katey, you are phenomenal! Thank you for your response. Please keep inspiring others. We never know how events like this could grow. I’m am glad you attended and shared this post. I come from a pretty close knit community in Houston, and we all were communicating with each other during the floods. We were hit pretty hard due to the release of the damns. We all pulled together to support each other during the floods and to encourage and help each other after the floods. So, I totally agree with the concept behind this event.

    Again, thank you for your response and continued inspiration.

    Published 31 Oct 17Reply
  10. Katy wrote:

    So inspiring! I look up to you as my idol for work ethic, humbleness, and a woman of Christ! Keep on workin it girl!

    Published 13 Nov 17Reply