November 16, 2012
Have you noticed that stores seem to skip right over Thanksgiving and go from Halloween to Christmas decorations? Case in point, here I am with Baby E at one of my favorite stores, West Elm, this past Thursday.
A trip to West Elm is always a treat for me. I’ve found some great things for my house there like Little A’s chairs and plenty of pillows. But the real gift this time was getting to meet The Youngsters, aka John and Sherry Petersik, from Young House Love.
They were in Houston signing copies of their new book, which features 243 ways to show your home some love. Since I’ve been reading their blog for years now (since this post back in 2008) and it has made such an impact on my home-improvement efforts, there was no way I was going to miss meeting them in person.
If you know me (in real life or through the blog) you know that I have a thing for home decor. Back in 2005 when my twin sister and I bought our first house, the first thing that we did as soon as we got the keys was to paint the living room.
Even though it was a brand new house, we wanted to put our unique spin on every room and tried out all kinds of paint techniques. We even painted a half sandpaper-paint textured wall in the guest room with a striped painted chair rail (sounds crazy but I promise it looked great) and a sponge-painted wall in one of the bedrooms. No paintable surface remained untouched. I didn’t have a blog back then, but here are a couple of pictures that I found so that you can see our handiwork:
faux textured front hallway(left) next to the brown living room wall
red kitchen accent wall next to the amber dining room wall
Besides showing how young that my husband and I looked in our dating years, you can see that my DIY spirit was already intact.
Fast forward to a couple of years later after we got married and I moved into his house. At first, the idea of moving from a brand new, “only been lived in by me” house to a 1970s “seen better days” house was a little tough. I could tell that the house had really great bones (better even than my builder basic house), but there was a lot of cleaning to be done at our new home, not to mention that the place was in desperate need of updating to get it into the current century. We’re talking paneled walls and brass fixtures everywhere!
From my very first YHL inspired project (spray painting the dusty old mirror in our hall bathroom), day after day of reading about another newlywed couple slowly fixing up their older home let me see the potential in our house. It also helped that I loved their fun and relatable writing style as much as their corny 90s pop culture references. :) Four years and many DIY projects later, we had totally transformed our house into a cool little home.
So back to the book signing! Luckily, I’m still on maternity leave with Baby E, since arriving early to the 6pm signing was a must! I would have loved to take Little A with me as well, but standing in line for hours with a 2month old and a 2-year-old probably wouldn’t have turned out very well for me. I got to the store around 3pm and immediately spotted a couple with their toddler son that was there for the event. So, I was glad to see that I wasn’t a total nut for arriving that early, especially since they had actually made the drive all the way from New Orleans that morning and were driving back that same night!! :)
I chatted them up a little and then staked out the location to see what kind of set up there was going to be.
By 3:30, a couple of other people had started to line up outside, so we also headed out to get a place in line. Here’s a picture of the line with E’s stroller holding our spot at #3.
I took this picture from the back seat of fellow mommy, Jennifer’s car (she’s the blond at the front of the line). I should mention that she was a complete stranger that I had met just a few minutes before who amazingly offered to let me nurse E in her car parked in front of the store. It just proves how sweet YHL fans are!
All day long, I had been little nervous about meeting the Petersiks. Before this, the only famous people that I’d ever met were Sean Paul (who signed his new CD for me back in ‘02) and Snoop Dogg who I ran into at the security line at L.A.X. a couple of years ago. Random.
But once I got to the store, my worry was that there would be some kind of Baby E-related event that would keep me from getting my book signed. My plan was to keep her fed and happy and hope that she would fall asleep long enough for us to make it through the evening.
So far, so good!
The weather was still nice and sunny, and time went by pretty fast while I chatted with Jennifer and Jessica, another girl who was also in line in front of me.
At about 5pm, the line moved into the store and the West Elm workers told us that the signing would start right at 6pm. It turns out that Thursday was John’s birthday, so they brought out the coolest cake from What-a-Cake! into the room.
The paint can, tape measure and paint swatches were all edible.
At 6pm, John and Sherry arrived right on time and gave a short welcome before starting to sign books.
This is right about the time that E woke up from an hours long nap and started getting grumpy. I started rocking her and patting her back when I noticed the unmistakable sound and smell of her doing her “business”. Since I was third in line, and the the first person was already up, there was no time to duck out to change her diaper before my turn. My only choice was to stick it out and hope that my worst nightmare scenario for the event was not about to come true.
Before I knew it I was up! I was a bit tongue-tied, but the Petersiks were very friendly and I told them about how Little A likes to watch Clara videos. John asked how old Baby E was and he mentioned that she might be the youngest one that they’ve seen on the tour. I’m taking that as a good thing :) He had to ask me twice because I think I was grinning like a doofus the first time and forgot to answer. Also, in my nervousness, I may or may not have mentioned her recent bodily functions. So embarrassing! I can’t believe that I’m bringing it up here again, but it was pretty funny.
The West Elm workers were super helpful in taking pictures and even wrangling my stroller. As soon as we took our picture with John and Sherry and stepped out of the line, Baby E had reached her limit and started crying her head off, so we had to leave.
The line was all the way to the front of the store and there were more people lined up outside.
But not without first stopping by the restroom to change her diaper. All I can say is, blowout narrowly averted! I was so proud of Baby E for letting me have my moment, that I wanted to reward her by putting some ice cream in her bottle. Only she doesn’t do bottles, so instead, I just got myself an ice cream cone on the way home. :)
This is her grumpy face.
The whole thing went very smoothly and I was home by 7. I’m so glad that I went and I can’t wait to read the book!
Your turn: Have you ever met anybody famous? Tell me about it in the comments section. Did you stay cool or totally geek out?