a snowstorm, giant cookies, and Young House Love
I think it's safe to say that Young House Love is one of my favorite blogs ever. It's full of inspiring, doable projects infused with family and a personable, quirky, lovable writing style. John and Sherry just released their first book (Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love) and one of their first stops on the book tour was West Elm in Boston. No way was I was missing it.
While the blog world allows people to make amazing connections, it can also be very contained: you know who you follow and to some extent who follows you (if you blog), and occasionally connect with another commenter on the blogs you follow, and that's it. A perk to real-life blog events is you sometimes discover people you know and love in real life happen to be fans of the same blogs as you. Thanks to the YHL event, I connected with one of my coworkers and we made plans to attend together.
The day of the book signing, it snowed in that wet, not-really-cold-enough-to-be-pleasant kind of way. We were a little worried we'd have to wait outside, but West Elm had cleverly snaked the line around inside the store. We waited and chatted for 30 minutes in the home office nook, and then John and Sherry appeared to cheers. They quickly ran through some travel-friendly book projects they brought with them, then moved on to the signing portion of the evening.
We waited in line for a little over an hour, but it was fun to spend some time getting to know Sarah (we have so much in common!) and West Elm kept handing out house and heart cookies (made by a local bakery) and hot chocolate. We slowly browsed the majority of the store thanks to the winding line (brilliant marketing) as we moved closer and closer to the signing table.
Finally, our moment arrived! I'm discovering that meeting bloggers in real life is actually not that surprising. Blogs are often a one-person (or couple) show, which means if you follow that blog, you have a fairly accurate representation of that person (or couple). Just as I expected, John and Sherry were sweet, funny, and open, taking time to chat with us as they signed our books, not distracted or rushed by the still-lengthy line behind us.
We didn't do anything crazy or attention-grabbing (brilliant photo ideas, witty comments, thoughtful gifts) so I'm sure, with the thousands of people they have met and will meet on this book tour, they won't remember me. But I'm okay with that, because in those few minutes, they made me feel like I mattered to them; that they appreciated we showed up in the slush and faithfully read their blog.
John and Sherry, just in case you read this, it was so much fun to meet you; you are both so gracious and kind. I look forward to your blog posts every day and love the book (which is currently full of to-do flags). You inspire me to do more to make our apartment feel like our home, and give me confidence that I can make it happen.
And if you were wondering what happened to the leftover cookies, I dragged Ian to West Elm a couple days later to look at Christmas decorations (Ian hates to do anything Christmas before Thanksgiving) and discovered they styled them around the store. They looked cute with the ceramic owl mug, which seemed very appropriate!