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).


  1. says

    Despite the hard work and long day, it’s still a pretty awesome schedule because you get so much time with Clara. I’m in the process of trying to figure out a work schedule where I can be home to get my daughter off the bus 5 days per week instead of 3. Challenging. Clara still takes 2 naps?!! That is awesome, but you might get a better long afternoon nap if you go to one… So much more productive to have one nap instead of two but the transition can be a bit horrible for a week or two! Thanks for being so open book about your lives.

    • says

      Yeah it seems like she’s going to one because she sometimes skips her afternoon nap and yesterday decided to skip her morning one! Still trying to figure that out. Haha.


    • Erin says

      That happened to us. Pretty much the day my son turned 1 he went to one nap a day. If he napped in the morning he just wouldn’t nap in the afternoon. We gradually made his morning nap later and rather than 2x 1.5 hour naps we got one solid 3 hr nap. He’s 2 now and still does the 3 hour nap. Some weekend we get luck and get a 3+ hour nap. It’s awesome!

  2. says

    Loved reading this. It makes me feel like I could do more. While my little girl is a gem at helping unload the dishwasher–folding laundry seems impossible with her by my side. And the jogging stroller in the am….uhhhhh. No excuse. :)

  3. Molly P-H says

    YOU’RE WRITING A BOOK???!!! HOORAY!!! First my beloved Design*Sponge and now YHL?! Hallelujah! The publishing world is finally coming to its senses! The corner of Design*Sponge at Home on your desk did not go unnoticed:}.

  4. says

    Wowza! I’m tired just reading this! I almost didn’t want to leave a comment, because that’s more stuff for you to read, but i wanted to. :) love your pics, your projects and your house! thanks for running such an inspiring blog.

  5. Sara says

    Being the YHL stalker that I am, I finished this post and promptly read your previous day in the life posts from past years – the one from 2009 reminded me that you used to do stuff like your design dilemma and reader redesigns – would you consider reviving your reader redesign submissions? I love me a before and after!

    • says

      We love those too! Right now they’re over on our Facebook page where folks can submit them for themselves, so they’re up instantly (there’s an amaaaazing kitchen makeover going on right now). We do toy with bringing them back but aren’t sure since we still have the occasional House Crashing tour and our readers demanded more “our house” stuff when we had more other people’s makeovers going on about a year ago so it’s a hard line to walk. We definitely think about it because there are so many amazing makeovers though!


    • says

      Ooh that’s an idea! Not sure how long that would take and if we can squeeze it in (sometimes Facebook gets so chatty it takes us ten clicks to get back to yesterday, so we’ll have to see if we can swing it). Love the idea though!


    • says

      Just adding my two cents about Reader Redesign… what about doing a Link Party where readers can link up to their own post about their room? Less work for you (just setting it up & monitoring) and lots of browsing for us. You’ve probably seen other Link Parties around (it’s a little widget thing you can add to a post to let others submit a link with a thumbnail).

    • says

      We love Link Parties after trying it with our Pinterest Challenge, so that’s always an idea. Just not sure how we’d do it so people know to go back to a post with a link party after other posts start being shared above them (if people add those links over time as they do makeovers, ya know?)> Maybe just sticking to sharing one Reader Redesign a week or so with a linky party option under it works for others to share their weekly projects? Definitely something to think about!


    • Sara says

      I’m yet another longtime YHL reader who misses the reader redesigns. While I love looking at your house, it’s nice to see something different once in a while. I just love good before and after photos, it helps to see the potential and get design ideas for my own home.

    • Jenna says

      I totally agree. One of my favorite things on design blogs are reader room make-overs, sneak peeks, and before and afters. Design*Sponge was always my favorite place to go for this, but for some reason every sneak-peek they are showing these days all look alike to me. I’d love to see a more versatile collection on YHL!

    • says

      I also love the idea of doing a reader redesign once a week with a “link party” option below… sounds fun and motivational! I follow you on facebook but I’m often confused by the order of pics there, so I don’t check it that much.

    • says

      Offbeat Home (and Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Mama) do a round up on a monday of all the best things from their Flickr groups – anyone can join the group and share photos, then I’m guessing it’s really easy for them to pick them out of flickr (as you can grab the html and stuff), if doing it from facebook proved too much, but I like the idea of a weekly post with a link party under it as well.

  6. Beverley says

    This is a great post – a great sneak peak into how your typical day has changed/evolved over the past year. Can’t wait to see the rest of the posts for the week!

  7. Jeanne Chilcote says

    Awesome, interesting post! Thanks! All I have to say is you are both lucky (and so is Clara) to be able to spend the whole day with your daughter. I’m sure she’ll have no attachment issues when she’s grown. ;-)

    I’m the mom of a 27 & 24 year old and realize the benefits of one or the other parent with your child at all times at that young age. I’m not sure if I could have kept up your posting pace, though! Love your blog and have been a reader for quite a while now. It’s on my top spots to stop list.

  8. megan w says

    I’d like to ask a parenting question if I may… Has Clara always been such a great sleeper? Did you guys use some sort of sleep training method? I have a 3 month old and dream of days like yours… easy naps…easy bed times.. sleeping till 7:45 am… So I guess Im wondering if you guys had to work to get it that way or if she is just naturally rythmic?

    • says

      I think she was just born that way. Even in my belly she hardly moved at all at night (never woke me up by kicking me) and she slept so long they even had to wake her up in the nursery overnight for me to feed her after she was born. We do try to keep naps and night sleep consistent (she does have a harder time when things get shifted, which seems to stress her out) and have the same routine every night (close blinds, sound machine on, lights off, say night-night. We love that it’s not a long involved routine but it’s enough that she can pick up on the cues.


    • Katie says

      Yeah, I was wondering the same thing about sleep. There is hope for those days! My 5 month old still needs help falling asleep.

      And, where do you shop for cute clothes? :)

      Lastly, do you still recommend “baby led weaning?”

      Thank you for sharing your days with us!!! Loves me some YHL!

    • says

      Yes! Still love baby led weaning – we actually recently wrote a post about how much we adored our experience with it for Babycenter. As for cute clothes, we get a lot of Clara’s from Old Navy on the clearance rack. I love that they have so much color and pattern.


    • says

      One person’s love is another person’s yikes! Haha. I’d hate to be a math teacher (that’s actually a reoccurring nightmare that I have) but my dad loves it and never wants to retire!


    • JennyB says

      You’re following your passion & doing what you love AND you get to spend so much time with each other and your baby girl. Sounds like a great life to me! You’re definitely very busy, but when you do what you love, a lot of it doesn’t feel like work, does it?

    • says

      Completely agree! The projects and posts and family time are awesome! Some of the photo editing and bookkeeping stuff definitely feels like work, but all jobs have that “maintenance stuff” going on, so we’ll take it! Haha. This is definitely a life we never knew we could have and are extremely thankful for every single day!


    • Lindsey d. says

      I agree, Sherry! It may be a long day, but you get to do something you love and spend time with the people you love. Sounds like a dream job to me!

    • says

      I think one of the things people need to remember is that we all make choices that effect our life and it’s up to us to make the best of it and choose what is the right path for us. I choose to homestead and do a lot more prep time than go and buy stuff a lot – that’s my choice. Yes, it’s more work but there is an immense satisfaction to it. It might be hard for people to remember that you guys chose to quit your jobs and pursue this full time. It’s not always fun, and sometimes it’s downright hard to push through when you work for yourself or have your own business but there is also an incredibly feeling of accomplishment that comes with it. When you love what you do, it’s all worth it.

    • Kristi says

      I don’t understand the remark that you don’t have a life. It sounds like a wonderful life to me! You do what you love and you get to spend time with your child. I own my own business and work from home the majority of the time. I often don’t go to bed until midnight in order to meet deadlines, but I get to pick my daughter up from school most days, which I never could working 8 to 5. The time I now get to spend with her is invaluable and worth those times I stay up very late! I’m sure you guys feel the same way. Plus the fulfillment and satisfaction of doing it all yourself is amazing. So kudos to you guys and all your hard work! I think your life sounds fabulous. :)

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