Blogiversary IV: A Day In The Blogging Life

As we mentioned yesterday, it’s Blogiversary Week, baby (still can’t believe it’s been four whole years). And since we shared a day in the life during our last annual celebration (and about a year before that too) it’s time for this year’s breakdown (similarities: no day is ever the same, differences: now we have a toddler running around and a 260+ page book we’re writing on the side). This year we had fun recording a full day from both of our perspectives so you can see what each of us (and even Clara and Burger) may be doing at any given time. Woop, here it is:

7:30 am – 8:00 am

JOHN: Clara’s awake early enough (7:30) and the weather’s good enough (and I have enough energy) to take Clara on a run in the ol’ jogging stroller around the neighborhood. After changing her diaper, filling up her milk, and grabbing some goldfish for her to snack on we hit the road. I manage to squeeze in four miles and return home within about 40 minutes.

SHERRY: I wake up around 7:45 and the house is too quiet so I know John and Clara are on a run. Burger stays in bed, but I drag my butt up and walk straight to the office and sit down in front of the computer. I’m not ready to make major decisions like which t-shirt I’ll wear today or what I’ll have for breakfast, so I check blog comments and answer a few questions instead. I also glance at my planner which always looks like this. I know it’s crazy, but it makes sense to me (I use it to write notes about post ideas, appointments/calls we have, book stuff that’s due, deadlines for our BabyCenter & Do It Yourself magazine columns, etc). I check what’s going on for the day and notice that I have a call with USA Today at 2pm for a furniture painting article they’re writing (they just want a quick quote) so I set my phone alarm to go off at 1:58 so I don’t forget.

8:00 am – 9:00 am

JOHN:  After returning from my run around 8:30 I take a quick shower and make breakfast for everyone (yogurt for Clara, two scrambled eggs for Sherry, and a bowl of cereal for me).

SHERRY:  I continue answering comments and Facebook questions until John gets home from his run with Clara and I get to smooch that face. Well, both faces actually. I play with Clara a little bit while John takes a shower and makes breakfast (we read books and do some highly coordinated dancing). Yes, this is a picture of me in my pjs answering comments. Gotta keep it real. I’m still not dressed.

9:00 am – 10:00 am

JOHN: I watch Clara while Sherry does blog stuff. We read books, play with a ball and a car, and she helps me put in a load of laundry. She loves laundry.

SHERRY: This whole hour feels like it’s a minute. I spend it proofing the morning’s post which usually goes up between 9:30 and 10:00. On this specific morning it goes up right at ten because I need the whole hour to proof read. Proofing usually involves previewing what we wrote to make sure photos are centered and reading it through at least two times (sometimes three times if it’s a detailed tutorial- just to make sure things make sense and are in order and I haven’t written “somebody punch me” when I mean “somebody pinch me”). I also add links to things that I reference and additional info if I think something needs more explaining. We still average about two typos a post so I can’t imagine how bad it would be if I didn’t read things through beforehand.

10:00 am- 11:00 am

JOHN: I continue to hang out with Clara while Sherry does more blog stuff (we do more reading, play outside with a ball, and read even more books). Most mornings involve the me-with-Clara ritual since Sherry usually answers comment questions, which roll in furiously in the morning (she has better recall for the “where did you get X” and the “how much did that cost” queries). Although sometimes we switch. Every day really is different (so I might have more Clara time or more project time one day and Sherry may have more of it the next day).

SHERRY: I’m on comment duty the whole hour. Over two hundred of them roll in over the course of an hour, so I furiously try to keep up and answer every single question we get (and delete the occasional spam message that sneaks in there). Here’s a screen grab that I snapped when I got it down to 30 pending comments, which is usually when I can breathe again.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

JOHN: I start measuring and planning for our next project, which is to add trim/molding to the bottom of our wall to wall desk to make it look more built-in. After taking measurements, pow-wowing with Sherry about ideas, and drawing a quick sketch to keep things straight, I head off to Lowe’s to grab the trim that I need. (NOTE: This is what happens after Sherry says I don’t look “dynamic enough” taking trim out of the car).

SHERRY:  Eleven o’ clock means it’s time for Clara’s morning nap, so I take a break from the computer to change her diaper and “tuck her in” (which really just involves turning off the light, closing her blinds, turning on her sound machine, and saying “sweet dreams”). While John is measuring and running his errand I toss on real clothes (jeans and a black t-shirt) and hop back on comment duty since around 80 more have rolled in before noon.

I also glance at my email but it’s too overwhelming so I just skim the page and delete the junk mail so the number in my inbox gets slightly less intimidating…because seeing 76 new emails at 11am (!!!) when there were none the night before can make ya crazy. A lot of it is sponsor and giveaway stuff that we have to manage along with book stuff or column stuff for DIY mag/Babycenter. Mixed in there are sweet reader letters that we love. I star those and read them out loud to John a few evenings a week so he can share the warm fuzzies with me.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

JOHN: Clara’s still napping (she usually gives us about an hour to an hour and a half) so Sherry and I meet up to chat about what we think about a few trim options/methods for the base of our new desk and I go down to the basement to make some cuts to see how trim looks around one cabinet before cutting the rest of it. I also quickly check email and coordinate the next week’s giveaway and send a few sponsor renewal notices.

Sherry – I have a little meeting with John about the trim, answer more blog comments, get through a few emails and am just about to begin writing a post for the next day when Clara wakes up at 12:30. So I change her diaper and hang out with her while John finishes the rest of his trim project. The bean waits for no one.

1:00 – 2:00 pm

JOHN: Trim project is finished, so I turn my attention to lunch. Usually it’s sandwiches, but today we’ve got quiche leftover from last night’s dinner along with some other random leftovers (some spaghetti, corn, and beans). With everything reheated and Clara in her seat, we finally have a moment for all three of us to spend some time together (Burger is still sleeping). But about fifteen minutes later we’re done and I take Clara to go play and read some more. Note: ignore the crazy furniture placement in the kitchen- we are perpetually moving things around and it makes no sense.

SHERRY: I try to proofread as much of the afternoon post as I can (which usually goes up between 2 and 3:30) before lunch is ready, but I don’t make it all of the way through. I finish up after lunch by adding some links, catching some more typos, fixing a few unclear parts and it’s finally ready for posting at two.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

JOHN: Clara and I hang out while Sherry tends the afternoon post. She “helps” me fold laundry and we play ball with Burger outside (who is finally out of bed- yes he moseys out of bed around 2pm).

SHERRY: I have a quick call with USA Today (they want that speedy quote for an article they’re writing about painting a chair). It takes fifteen minutes tops (maybe twelve if I’m being exact?). Then I answer comment questions for the rest of the hour.

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

JOHN: Time to trade with Sherry (she takes Clara, I head back to the computer). I do a bunch of emails involving more giveaway and sponsor stuff along with exchanging a few messages with some guys at our blog hosting place (they’re doing some back-up server work and we want to make sure the site doesn’t crash). I also catch up on Twitter messages that I need to reply to.

SHERRY: I hang out with the bean. We put things on our heads, sing songs, chase the dog, and Clara looks tired again around 3:45 so I change her diaper and put her down for an afternoon nap. Sometimes we get one and sometimes we don’t, but she actually falls asleep right away today. Sweet girl.

4:00 – 5:00 pm

JOHN: I edit and size photos that we’ve already taken and begin writing a post for tomorrow afternoon. I also set up the tripod and shoot the wall-to-wall desk trim project that I did this morning for a future post about that (the thing about sharing 8 in a 5 day period means you always have to be working on future ones while proofing/publishing/answering questions on the ones that are already written).

SHERRY: I had big plans to spray prime the office chairs (the first step in painting/reupholstering them) but it’s already four and I haven’t written the next morning’s post (a project that we already shot, but I still have to write it and edit the pics). So that takes priority. Those chairs and my can of primer might have to wait until tomorrow. By 4:30 Clara is awake, so I don’t get to finish my photo editing/post writing, but at least it’s a start.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

JOHN: The bean is restless so we decide we should go for our evening walk now because it’s supposed to rain a little later. Burger’s psyched and ready to go.

SHERRY: We walk around the neighborhood for about an hour and brainstorm post ideas for the following week. We also briefly talk about the kitchen floor plan and toss out a few more potential layout ideas. Who the heck knows where we’ll end up with that- we just believe in talking things to death until we land on something we both can’t wait to do.

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

JOHN: I cook a recipe that I tore out of Everyday with Rachel Ray (chicken with apples, raisins, and olives). It takes about 25 minutes to make, so Clara plays on the floor of the kitchen while I cook and we chat whenever I’m not furiously trying to make sure nothing burns.

SHERRY: I’m back doing blog comments, finishing up that post I started for the next morning, and editing some photos.  Dinner is on the table around 6:45. And it’s awesome. John even gave me extra olives. I’m a lucky lady.

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

JOHN: Time to clock some quality family time together before Clara’s conked out for the night. We three, er, four (Burger decides to join us) hang out, read more books, and generally try to tire Clara out.

SHERRY: Burger is full of energy, so he’s zooming around the room and Clara finds it hilarious. But 7:45 is here before we know it and its time to put that baby to bed. After brushing her teeth and saying goodnight to her grandparents (well, a photo of them) she’s out like a light.

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

JOHN: Now that Clara’s in bed for the night we can do most of our work. It’s normal for us to both have laptops going until midnight or later, but we try to sit in front of the television and occasionally chat so it feels more casual. Some nights we do major DIY stuff together instead of sofa-computer stuff (since during the day it’s hard to get anything other than very small projects done with a one year old around), but not tonight.

SHERRY: We sit in front of the TV (Project Runway’s on) and I finally finish the post for the next day that I’ve been writing on and off. It’s normal for a post to take us around 2-3 hours to write since we have to edit/size/upload photos along with writing detailed steps (that doesn’t include the time it actually takes to buy materials and do the project). Unless it’s fast like a giveaway – those only take around 30 minutes to write (but probably take an hour or two to coordinate via email beforehand).

9:00 pm – 10:00 pm

JOHN: Then I realize that we need to record our Q & A video since that will take me a few days to edit so I’d like the weekend to work on it. I set up the tripod & Flip cam in the office and quickly organize the 80-ish questions that people submitted on Facebook (removing any duplicates so we can just read the rest off as we go on camera).

SHERRY: I get ready for the video, including  a very important outfit change from a t-shirt to a sweater (I’m a wild woman, what can I say). It’s finally time to sit down, turn on the camera, and answer things in a one-shot-only-no-do-overs way (we hate feeling scripted, so having the one-take rule is nice because it keeps it real). Hopefully we can knock it out in about 30 minutes.

10:00 pm – 11:00 pm

JOHN: General weirdness and chattiness ensues as we film our answers to a variety of questions. Gosh we’re dorks. And boy is this taking longer than we thought.

SHERRY: What he said. The thirty minute goal of completion is shot, but we’re having fun talking to no one (aka: the Flip cam).

11:00 pm – 12:00 am

JOHN: We’re finally done with the video and I get the uploading process started while I respond to a few more tweets and emails. Then I turn my attention to Google Sketch-Up, which I’m teaching myself to use so we can render a few kitchen layout ideas in 3D. There’s a bit of a learning curve here, but not the kind that prevents me from eating some ice cream (with whipped cream) in the process.

SHERRY: I begin writing another post, but realize I haven’t updated our House Tour page with new photos since sharing some bedroom and office updates, so I add the “progress” label to those pics and update those. Five minutes later I realize that I need to update them in the Paint Colors and Where We Got It pages too, so I do that. Then it’s back to comments and emails.

12:00 am – 1:00 am

John – We talk about going to bed, but I pull a “give me ten more minutes” so I can try to finish my Google Sketch-Up rendering. But it’s nearly a half hour ’til it’s done (we like it, but not enough to make any decisions or anything – we’ll keep ya posted whenever we decide to stop flip-flopping). I go around the house and turn off lights, turn the alarm to our “night” setting, and do one last check on Clara, our sweet little sleeper.

Sherry – While waiting “ten more minutes” for John I start writing a BabyCenter post. Don’t quite finish it though. Still need to add pics. But for now I just want to get my contacts out and myself into bed. Can’t believe it’s nearly 1 am already.

1:00 am – 1:30ish?

JOHN & SHERRY: All three of us are finally snuggled in bed (the third “person” being Burger). We recap some of the highlights / issues of the day and do a quick run-through of any important plans for tomorrow (gotta write ten book intro chapters, spray prime those chairs, proof and publish the two almost-finished posts from yesterday, try to get our inboxes back down, etc). It doesn’t take long for our conversation to turn into sleep. But not before making an out-loud wish that Clara miraculously sleeps until at least 8am. (Spoiler alert: she made it to about 7:45).


    • says

      We have those two columns (for Do It Yourself magazine and BabyCenter) and we also have our book that we’re writing. John also very occasionally will do consulting for advertising (he got hired a few weeks back to do a two hour speaking session about account management, which used to be his full time job, so he squeezed that in too).


  1. says

    Wow, that sounds like a full on day! I already knew you guys worked hard, but that is something else. I love that you make so much time for Clara though, it really shows where your priorities are.

    Thanks for sharing (and oversharing) so much with us, your posts always put a smile on my face :-)

  2. Stefanie says

    So when do things like house cleaning happen? lol. I try to get all of the major cleaning done (vacuuming, bathroom cleaning, bed sheet washing..etc.) Friday evenings or Saturday mornings so I have the weekend to relax. To keep up with it during teh week I set aside 20 minutes of cleaning per evening to kind of tidy up a little.

    • says

      Usually before bed we pick some stuff up off the kitchen table and wash things in the sink, but otherwise we just try to fit in an hour of vacuuming or dusting throughout the week whenever we can squeeze it in (sometimes on the weekend when Clara’s napping someone will do blog stuff while the other person vacuums/dusts all rooms but Claras and then we’ll do hers later when she wakes up).


    • Sophie says

      I think things change and kids go through phases. =] They might play well alone, and then all of a sudden they demand your attention. Keeps things interesting!

  3. Sophie says

    Love this post! While it seems like you have a crazy busy day, its so nice to see that you guys get to spend so much time together. Its also fun to see how your day evolves as Clara grows older. I’m interested to see how that will evolve over the next year, as she blossoms into a 2 year old. I used to work from home (with a nanny) a couple days, and the difference between trying to do that when my daughter was 1, 2, and 3 is so great. Now, even with my husband or nanny at home, I can barely get work done, because my daughter always wants to play duck duck goose or something of that sorts. =] I have no doubt you guys will handle it beautifully though!

    • says

      Yeah, it’s definitely getting more challenging as Clara gets bigger (we joke that after she came home from the hospital we never got more work done because she just slept all the time and now she wants us to read books to her 24/7). Haha.


    • Lindsey d. says

      It seems to me that she’ll be old enough to play independently in a year or so, so that will definitely take some “be with her all the time” pressure off.

    • Katrina says

      You might get lucky as Clara gets older. Our daughter (now 2.5) can play independently for up to 2 hours now. After that we need to reconnect and play together. Obviously we keep a close eye on her and the family room looks like a hurricane of toys blew through, but her ability to play independently is my saving grace when I have to work from home and watch her at the same time. I do think it’s a learned skill though – encourage it early!

    • says

      Oh man, we tried to log some independent play this afternoon and it did not work. Lots of clinging and even some fit throwing/crying. She’s getting her molars so it was one of those days. We’ll keep trying and see what we can come up with. It’s definitely a good skill for her to have instead of being scared to leave our side!


    • says

      I’m really curious how that will work out too. I had a fairly successful blog going strong up until my littlest guy got a couple months past 1 year. He became so high maintenance (totaly switcheroo from the easy-going babe he had been!) that my blog has all but died. :( He just so exhausts me these days. I just can’t keep up with the behind-the-scenes stuff at ALL…and blech, it’s just all come undone.
      My hat is really off to you guys, I have only had a miota of the success you guys have and it was just too much for me. You guys are really great at what you do.

  4. says

    Wow, you guys really burn that midnight oil. But, I must say I think it’s awesome that you get the perks of being able to see your daughter all the time. So nice that she will grow up with two parents on hand. I can only wish the same for myself some day. Working until 1 AM is totally worth it when you get to be your own boss/be full time parents. :)

  5. Pip says

    Now THAT is a busy day! Sherry your planner is craazy and dynamic John is hilarious. Am a teensy bit jealous that you don’t have to sit in the dark for an hour with Clara to get her to sleep :)

  6. rachael says

    This exhausted me just reading it! I’m glad to see tons of family time in there though. Speaking of typo’s….Your schedule at night goes from 11pm-12pm, and from 12pm-1am. It should be 12am. :) Can’t wait for the rest of the weeks posts!

  7. says

    Clara is one lucky little girl to get to spend so much time with both of her parents! I’m sure both of you feel lucky as well.

    Also glad I’m not the only one who works from home and doesn’t necessarily get out of pajamas right away. LOL

    • says

      Absolutely! If it weren’t something we’re hugely passionate about (remember, we did this for free for years!) it would suck – but we love it beyond belief! Blogging is kind of our other baby along with Clara and Burger.


  8. Nerina says

    Wow – I’m exhausted just reading that – full time blogging is really full on!!

    Anywho, Happy 4th Anniversary guys xxx Long time reader from Australia – first time commenter – can’t believe it – but I’m up late (it’s midnight here) doing some work myself and saw that I’d be one of the first commenters so I made the commitment, and here I am!

    Love your work and your new website. It looks fab!

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