Wandering through WACO

Our Texas Adventure

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I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


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You may think “Does this girl ever WORK?!”. Yes. Yes I do. I work quite a bit actually… probably too much. However, we have been blessed with some adventurous best friends who share a love for travel AND our same schedule!! Neither of us have kids and so we’re taking advantage of this very free season of our life. Like millions of other people on the planet, we love the show “Fixer Upper” on HGTV! Whoever made the final call to choose Chip and Jojo and create this series was a genius! Ever since they announced Magnolia Market was expanding at the Silos, I wanted to go visit!!!

We joked about making a trip down there just to go shopping and then we found the tickets. ROUND TRIP TICKETS FOR $81!!! To DALLAS! Amazing! Spirit Airlines was not amazing but hey, you can put up with anything for 3 hours when you’re getting such a cheap trip to Texas!!! We booked flights and we planned our trip to take place over Valentine’s Day strategically. Why? Well, unlike most couples, we love sharing our Valentine’s Day with our friends, Buddy and Jill!!

So lets start there! We landed and immediately found the most AMAZING BBQ lunch stop! The “Three Meat” plate was probably the highlight of Buddy’s whole trip… until we met Chip Gaines of course!!! That’s coming later! So we had an amazing lunch at SLOW BONE and thennnnnn…. the boys told us that they had a surprise for us! We already knew that we had dinner reservations at the Fearings that night but what we didn’t know is that Buddy and Michael had booked us couples massages at the hotel!! YAYY!!!! #husbandsoftheyear

Now you may have seen our past posts about our trips with the Powers and yes, we do share a room with them most trips to save money… and because it’s fun! However, that was NOT the case on Valentine’s Day!!! haha We had amazing rooms and our Valentine’s dinner was one of the best meals of my life! We got dressed up and headed to the Restaurant! We sat down at our table and a very nice man came and greeted us. As he talked to us, I noticed that his name was “Dean Fearing”… ya know, like the same name that was on the dinner plates. It was his restaurant!!!! Needless to say, we had a perfect start to this three day trip!

The next day we packed up and headed to WACO!!! JoJo here I come!!!! The Silos are amazing. What a genius idea! …. Shopping for all of the women who are JoJo obsessed and an astro-turf field for the husbands and kids to play on…. surrounded by food trucks of all kinds!! There’s a garden and a future Bakery and Seed Shop in progress along with a future area for a permanent stage… I think. I wasn’t in the planning meeting or anything but I did have fun asking the people who worked there all sorts of questions!! One lady said that she moved to the area JUST to work at Magnolia Market! Isn’t that crazy?! It actually made me feel a bit more normal about my Fixer Upper fan girl moments. Turns out, I’m not the only one excited about all that the Gaines have done in WACO. There were HUNDREDS of people there on a Monday!! Before we left VA I thought “Oh, We’ll probably see Chip or Joanna or Clint… SOMEBODY!”. Nope! It’s crazy-town down there!! So. Many. People. It’s so impressive!

So after Jill and I spent our whole trip’s budget at the store, we got coffee at Common Grounds and then headed to lunch at Manny’s on the River! Then we used our remaining daylight to stop by Harp Design Co.’s shop, visit Magnolia Home and take a little joy ride in farm country! This is embarrassing but after a long day experiencing Waco… we settled for endless soup and salad at Olive Garden for dinner. ha!

The NEXT day we drove out to Hillsborough because Buddy and Jill have some close friends who live on a farm right outside of town! Buddy and Grady used to farm together back in the good ol’ days…. like 3 years ago! We absolutely loved touring the farm and spending time with them and their sweet little boys! We actually made a trip back into WACO that evening to pick up a few little things we wanted to get from Magnolia Market (it’s addictive) and after playing ball with the boys we headed to dinner…. which turned out to be the BEST. DECISION. OF. THE. WHOLE. TRIP. Why? Well let me explain…..

We headed to a Thai place to grab some dinner and just as we were wrapping up, Buddy glanced to his left and thought he saw someone walk by the window that looked like Chip Gaines. We literally ALL said “Yea ok Buddy. Good one”. And then Buddy said “No I think it’s him!”. So he got up and went to the register and before we knew it, we heard Buddy talking to CHIP up near the register!!! WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?! We had been saying the whole trip “Ya know guys, MAYBE there’s still a chance to meet them! Maybe”. Well, this was our LAST night in WACO. We had given up on that dream because really, it would be like a needle in a haystack!! We all got to meet Chip, take a picture and he was so gracious. Poor guy…. he was just trying to grab some takeout and head to a viewing party for the show and we were being fan girls!! I don’t regret it though. I told myself that if I ever met them that I would tell them just how amazing it was that they were using their gifts and platform for the Kingdom… and I did just that! I probably sounded like a squeaky 12 yr old girl when I said it but… I said it!!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve felt so inspired by someone or something. I’m just in awe of what God is doing through Chip and JoJo. Our excitement and obsession isn’t because we’re just fan girls… it’s because we’re SO EXCITED about what’s happening with the show and Magnolia. It’s so amazing on so many levels. Business….Design….Ministry… Community Building….Economic Growth….I could go on! I’m SO glad I got to experience this and if you want an even BETTER recap, you HAVE to watch Jilly’s video!! She literally makes these videos on the flight home! It’s the BEST!!! This is one of my FAVORITES!!!!

Texas Trip | February 2016 from Jill Powers on Vimeo.

Ps. We flew on Spirit airlines from BWI for $81 for those who want to go! This whole trip (minus the massages) only cost about $600 per couple!

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Our Florida Vacation!

Our Camping Adventure!

Our NYC Adventure!

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Student Spotlight July 2021

Ah! It’s our FINAL STUDENT SPOTLIGHT!!! This July post has been a long time coming but it’s HERE and it’s LIVE and I want you to help me celebrate these amazing photographers who are making their dreams happen!!!


This six month update feels like it’s weirdly disproportionate compared to other monthly updates! Why is that? Well, last month I posted a couple of sets of images that were actually at the beginning of his sixth month and THEN we photographed multiple weddings, had several trips away from home for a few days and the dads were for several days!


Rhett’s Sixth Month


Hope + Jesse A Gillbrook Farms Wedding

Hope and Jesse are the sweetest couple. You can just feel it when you’re with them! You can see it when you watch them interact. You can hear it in the stories that their family members and best friends shared about them. They are truly soulmates and best friends. They have an undeniable love for one another and that is why even a rainy, misty wedding day could be incredibly vibrant, warm and joyful!!


Rhett’s Fifth Month

Rhett’s fifth month was full of fun. It’s crazy to me that I know I only take my big camera to about 10% of the things we do in a month and yet each month is SO full.


This beautiful wedding day took place in the rolling hills of West Virginia, just past the Virginia state line. Wild Goose Farm is a venue that I’ve never photographed before and let me tell you, it was a treat! We didn’t even have the sun join us for most of the day and yet we were able to capture beautiful portraits! Between the horses, old fences, stunning estate home, lily pad covered pond, old stone walls, rustic barn, open fields and a historic stone arch, I was in photographer heaven!


Brian + Shannon A Wild Goose Farm Wedding


Tim + Megan | Engaged Countryside Engagement Portraits | Harrisonburg

This session was just as sweet as it looks. We spent the evening with Megan and Tim in the country outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia. We were tucked away in the rolling hills in between beautiful fields and family farms. It reminded me all over again why I just love Virginia. We really have it all… beaches, mountains, history, and great schools! JMU, while it did play a role in Tim and Megan’s story, isn’t actually where it started!



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