As we ring in the new year, we celebrate another year of wonderful memories with friends, family and clients alike (though I’ll have to admit that those lines can be blurry at times). It’s been a truly amazing journey, and we couldn’t have done it without all of you. For those who’ve been following us since the beginning, you may have noticed our relative (in)activity on social media/blogging/etc this past year. And while some of it had to do with managing two brands, raising two Little Monsters, and assuring brides at 2am on most evenings that their images were on the way; it was mostly because we’ve been busy…searching for our new home.
Our home had been on the market for as long as I’ve known Karis (just about 8 years), which is pretty ridiculous if you really think about it. Long story short, we needed to move and planned to find a place before the rush of the spring wedding season. This was certainly wishful thinking on our part.
Over the course of the year, I’m not exaggerating when I say that we must’ve looked at 100+ homes. All our years of watching HGTV did not prepare us for all the nightmarish conditions we found in these homes. I mean, seriously, how do people allow themselves to live under those conditions!? Leaky roofs, holes in the walls, stains, smoot and odors galore! There are no words in the
english ANY language to describe the horror that we found in many of these homes. I’ll confess, much of our agony was apparently due to our meager budget. We didn’t know exactly how poor we were until we actually started looking, and it was a disheartening experience to say the least. Our accountant put it best: “The only home you’re going to get in Northern NJ with your budget is gonna be a very fancy dog house!”
Duly noted :).
This past October, after a pain-staking year filled with house-hunting, disappointments and heartbreaks (and changing multiple lenders and real estate agents in the process), Karis and I finally closed on our very first home together.
It’s certainly not that fancy, and it’s only slightly bigger than a dog house :).
For comparison, this was the original condition of the home.
This alone would’ve brought the Property Brothers to their knees.
(More before/after photos coming, promise!)
We’re thankful, to say the least. I never dreamt that our journey into wedding photography would ever amount to very much, much less allow us the opportunity to provide a (semi)comfortable life for our kids and for our parents. It’s been a long, hard road for us this past year (I believe Karis was “this” close to killing/divorcing/severely maiming me during this time as well), but we wouldn’t trade these past few years for anything in the world. This calling in life has provided us with more friends, financial stability, and blessings than we ever could’ve imagined, and now it’s provided us with a beautiful new home.
And we have all of YOU to thank for that.
We’re thankful for all our early clients for believing in us, when all I had was a camera and a dream. We’re thankful for all our present and future clients for choosing us, even though the NJ/NY market is simply bursting at the seams with photography talent. We’re thankful for our lender Larry at First Alliance Home Mortgage, who jumped through hoops for us when others scoffed at our supposedly laughable dream of homeownership. Most importantly, we’re extremely thankful for all the love and support of our parents. Without them, this career in wedding photography never would’ve happened. THANK YOU.
And with that, we resume our originally scheduled programming. It’s been an amazing 2014, and we already know 2015 is going to be an amazing one.
Happy New Year, everyone! See ya’ll on the flip side :).
Ben & Karis (and the Monsters!)