I don’t really even know where to start. I honestly thought that we would be writing this post around June 1st of last year. You know… about 30 days after we put our house on the market…. because it was going to sell in a matter of HOURS and there was going to be a BIDDING WAR… at least that was what people told us. Well, TEN MONTHS LATER…. we have a CONTRACT PENDING ON OUR HOUSE!!!!! PRAISE. THE. LORD!!!!!!! You see, this idea started to brew in our minds a long time ago. For those who have been following us for years, all you know is that we built this house that we just LOVE and now, three years later, we’re selling it….. but there is so much more to the story!
We built our current house because I woke up at 2am one night just two years after we were married and I had this vision of doing workshops in our home. My friend Melissa Jill modeled her workshops that way and I wanted to create an intimate experience like that for the photographers that come into our life. So, we found a perfect little neighborhood outside of town with a floorplan that we could afford and that would accommodate 16 photographers in the living room. When we built this house, the sales woman said “Now I have to tell you, this community is for people who DON’T HAVE KIDS, LIKE TO TRAVEL & HATE YARD WORK.” What she was saying was…. “You’re going to be the youngest ones in this neighborhood by 25-30 years”. Our response was “Well we DON’T HAVE KIDS, WE LIKE TO TRAVEL & HATE YARD WORK! I THINK THIS IS PERFECT!”
…. And it has been perfect…. except for the fact that our workshops have been way more successful than we ever thought! We were going to do two per year but because of the demand, we started doing four a year. We quickly started to realize that having a successful business and running workshops in your front yard isn’t completely HOA friendly. I think we could have gotten away with two, but four was a little much with the styled shoot, parking and excitement that happens on workshop days! So, we started praying about what to do. We built this house for others. That was the goal and the vision from the very beginning. In the last 3 years, we have had over 250 photographers come through our doors for educational purposes. We have learned over the years that we feel most at home when we are SERVING with our SPACE!!
So, what should we do? We know that in-person teaching and training has our hearts. We also know that we don’t want to host workshops outside of our home. So, we started dreaming….. again. We would lay in bed at night and scan through Trulia and Zillow together looking for land in our area and it was hard to come by. The 4-7 acre lots that we were looking for would pop up and be ridiculously expensive and by the time we bought the land, we wouldn’t be able to afford the HOUSE! So, we prayed about it and we waited. This was in Fall of 2014. December 12th 2014, we were heading to our Bridal Spa Day that we host for our KJ Brides and I told Michael that there was a little piece of land about 5 miles from us that I wanted to see beforehand…. ya know…. just in case it was “THE SPOT”. Well, it was! We found the most perfect 7 acres of land and we purchased it back in August. It’s been waiting on us every since!!! The story of the land is RIDICULOUS because IT WASN’T EVEN FOR SALE! … More on that later! Stay tuned!!!
We found the land and decided to put our house on the market in the spring of 2014. We went through dozens and dozens of showings, complaint after complaint and ZERO offers. The house had to be spotless every time we left for more than two hours at a time. It literally felt like we weren’t living there because it had to be kept so tidy and clean!! Fast forward ten months later and finally, we got the call that we had been waiting for!! Jamie from Jenni & Co realty called and said those four beautiful words…”You have an OFFER!!” The story of the offer is one-of-kind as well! Gosh, I have so many stories to tell apparently!! Stay tuned for that as well!
So, we are closing in a few weeks and we’re moving into our VERY FIRST APARTMENT!!!!! And we’re actually REALLY excited about it because we’ve never had a community POOL before!! haha When you grow up in the country, you don’t have “pools”….. you have CREEKS and MUD to play in. Pools were for those “fancy” people! ha!
Life is crazy right now. Some of you saw my instagram about our “exciting news” and I’m sorry it isn’t a “KJ Baby”! ha! Ya’ll crack me up! But this is seriously SUCH an answered prayer for us. We have been hoping and praying that our idea of moving and living on several acres in the country wasn’t just our idea. We know that God has a plan for us and this space and we’re trying to trust him in the process. It’s hard to trust when your home was voted “TOP TEN MOST VIEWED” by Zillow in the entire nation and yet it was the only one that wouldn’t sell. It’s humbling and it makes you realize that you’re not in control…. at all.
I have so much more to share about this story… like the house plans… where the land even IS… how we acquired it…. when it will be done… what our vision for workshops will be in the new space, etc. I have a BIG dream but I’m too afraid to say it right now and so I’m just going to leave you hanging for a while until I see God pointing us in a certain direction. The part that I CAN SHARE is that our “A Home Made for Hosting” series on our blog was actually created with THIS HOUSE BUILD in mind! So, we’ll be posting here and there but if you really want to see our behind-the-scenes of the process (like me trying to decide on exterior siding samples while walking through the Atlanta airport), we are so excited to share that we have a “A Home Made for Hosting” Instagram account!!!!! YAYY!!!!!! Enjoy watching this massive project unfold on Instagram! We still can’t believe it’s finally about to START!!!!
Thanks for reading my novel! Stay tuned for the “Story of Alsop Acres” and how God’s timing is perfect in so many ways. I also wanted to thank ALL OF YOU who commented, texted, and encouraged us in the last 10 months when it seemed like we had made all of the wrong decisions and that this house was never going to be snatched up! We appreciate you more than you know. I actually sat at Chipotle during our final showing and cried reading your comments on Instagram because they were so encouraging! The social world can be fake and annoying and petty sometimes but this little piece of it that we have is full of so much love. We’re thankful for you ALL!!! Here’s to another crazy journey as we build our “Home Made for Hosting”!!!!!
FOLLOW “A HOME MADE FOR HOSTING” HERE
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To view other posts about our Home, here are some links to check out :
I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!
Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!
I’m so excited to share another addition of Student Spotlights from our KJ Education community! It’s so funny to us, but quite often, we find that our friends who know us in everyday life but aren’t in our industry really have no clue what we do! They think we shoot 10 weddings a year and that’s the extent of our work these days but oh… that couldn’t be further from the truth!
When we first decide if we’re a good fit with our potential KJ Couples, we’re looking for a few things…. one of those things is that this couple keeps joyful! We’ve found over the years that couples what take themselves super seriously aren’t always the best fit for us! We love it when couples let their guard down and allow us to get to know them during their engagement session.
For some photographers, bridal details seem like a fun part of the wedding day… but for many others, it’s stressful. It’s the part of the day that throws them off, makes them wonder if they’re actually artistic and leaves them feeling flustered and panicked because they never get everything done in the time they have allotted for detail shooting. In my opinion, this is a REALLY tough way to start a wedding day.
Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.