This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on September 26, 2019.
Kathryn Whitaker is a Dr Pepper super fan, Aggie-loving, Type A mom of six with a personality the size of Texas.
As a native Texan, Whitaker’s southern twang matches her Texas-sized sass. She met her husband at Texas A&M and, by the summer of 2004, had entered the workforce. She went from working for construction companies to collegiate Catholic campus ministry programs, Catholic schools, diocesan offices and more. This bundle of energy successfully managed to pull everything together until the premature birth of her fifth child.
That unexpected heartbreak threw her orderly world into chaos and ultimately led her to rethink her priorities. In Whitaker’s new book, “Live Big, Love Bigger,” she shares her journey towards living a life of authenticity with joy-filled purpose, love, and faith.
Whitacker’s book “Live Big, Love Bigger” is out now.
What are you hoping readers get from your book?
Conviction. I want them to own their mistakes and their short-comings and know that they don’t define who we are. I want them to discover what their “Hell, yes” is.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Be where your feet are. We worry a lot about how we’ll handle XYZ situation next week or next year, forgetting that time and life experience will equip us with what we need, when we need it. When we stay present, we stay mindful. As my friend Hallie says, “Stop living in the wreckage of the future.”
What does an authentic life look like?
It’s full of a lot more “no” peppered with a decent amount of “Hell yes.” When we really dig deep, we stop comparing our lives with everyone else and find our peace. It doesn’t mean life is all kittens and rainbows, but we are living our life, not our perception of perfection, based on someone else’s expectations.
How did road trips help your family live an authentic life?
Well, for one, we started enjoying them! When you lower your expectations and focus on doing things that bring you joy rather than the perfect Instagram photo, you actually end up having a blast. You’ll still pull the van over and threaten everyone within an inch of their life, but you’ll also have precious memories and a boatload of inside family jokes.
Has you new outlook influenced your family?
It’s true freedom. I no longer feel like we our slaves to our schedules. They’re overrated anyway. Plus, it gave us time to go on a 10-month BBQ pilgrimage around the state of Texas!
Where did you find the best BBQ?
All over the state of Texas. I’m partial to central Texas (Franklin, Valentina’s, Stiles Switch and Truth) and Tyler’s up in my stomping grounds of Amarillo. And, nobody beats the ribs at Stanley’s in Tyler, the carrot souffle at Tejas in Spring, the beans at Coopers in Llano, the mac ‘n’ cheese at Killen’s in Pearland or the hominy at Pody’s in Pecos.