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).

Comments

    • says

      That’s so funny- John watched the same videos! I was like “um, it’s hard to watch TV with the google sketchup voices in the background). Haha. Love your sketch!

      xo,
      s

  1. Julie says

    I’m so glad you answer all your comments yourself (although I would totally understand if you had to have help with that). It makes it so personal! And you guys are hilarious! And I love the xo ending you use because it is such a sweet and unoffending way to end a response especially when you’re kind of saying thanks but no thanks to a suggestion you know you won’t take (smart girl!). So, how was the recipe?

  2. says

    In some ways I envy you guys (doing what you love, being with Clara and each other all day, etc.), but your schedule is one thing I don’t envy.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. says

    Wow, I need a nap just from reading that!

    I’m curious about your laptops. Don’t they burn up when you set them on the couch? How do you keep them cool? How long do your batteries last?

    I’m curious, because I have a MacBook Pro (it looks like that’s what you guys are working on as well), it’s about 3.5 years old and I’m on my 3rd battery. No matter what I do the battery starts lasting shorter and shorter pretty quickly and mine burns up if I have it directly on something.

  4. says

    I almost DON’T want to leave a comment because it will just add another to the “pending” folder but I just have to say that I am so so impressed with you guys! I will be truthful and say that many times I have wished that I “had more time like John and Sherry to work on home projects and blog about them” but yeah. I definitely take all of that back. It is really amazing to see how much busier you guys have gotten and how you really work a 24-hour a day full time job.

    In the words of wayne & garth – “I’m not worthy! I’m not worthy!”

  5. Tanya says

    And I thought my days were overscheduled! Wow!
    Although, i do have to ask, where does Pinterest fit into your daily routine?
    (I joined up because of your reference, and I’m totally hooked now too!)
    Keep up the awesome work. :)

    • says

      Oh Pinterest. That’s my happy place. I probably pop over there once or twice a week to catch up. Usually around 11:30pm because it’s not too busy (so it’s not slow/crashing then).

      xo,
      s

  6. Tori says

    Thanks for sharing that! You guys are so dedicated, and such inspirational balls of energy! Can’t wait to read the rest of this week’s posts.

  7. says

    I love your blog! It is seriously amazing and this post definitely makes me appreciate all the time you guys spend on posting — I never thought it was this hard but you guys dedicate so much into it, which is great. Keep it up! I also love how you get so much family time in there — I really need to start going on walks with my boy just to catch up. Sounds like a fantastic idea. Speaking of which, I’d like to know how you and John keep romance alive – with all the blogging and baby stuff, do you ever get a chance to go out just the two of you?

    PS – Maybe I’m just bad at grammar/spelling, but I never notice your typos. :)

    • says

      We do get a date night every once in a while thanks to John’s parents living in Richmond now. It’s awesome! We usually get sushi and watch a movie (we saw Bridesmaids and Horrible Bosses, both of which we loved).

      xo,
      s

  8. greta says

    I’ve always wondered what it takes to do blogging full time! Thank you so much for posting this and giving us a real sneak peak into your awesome lives. Eventually Clara can be our third person & take over some comment responses! ;)

    Looking forward to the rest of the weeks posts!

  9. says

    I love this! You are a full time independent buisness family, plus stay-at-home parents! As a stay-at-home mom and blogger (with none of the success ya’ll have, but enjoying it nonetheless), I am so enamored and inspired by your day.
    What a perspective for us to see!
    Thank you so much for sharing. You all deserve to see your hard work pay off!
    P.S. do you think Clara will be moving to a one nap anytime soon….?

    • says

      Yes, I think today might be the day actually. She’s still up (totally skipped her usualy 10:30/11 time slot – and yesterday she skipped it too). She has been phasing out afternoon naps so we’re going to try one big one around noon or one and see how it goes. Right now she and John are outside playing with a ball and she doesn’t seem tired at all. Haha.

      xo,
      s

    • Amy says

      She sure sounds like she’s ready! My son was about Clara’s age (he’s 6 mos. older) when he moved down to one long nap. It was nice for us, but I imagine is going to take some adjusting for you guys!

    • says

      Update: she’s still awake – so no morning nap. We’re feeding her lunch and then planning to try putting her down to see if she’ll combine things into one long nap. Heck we’ll take a short nap too. Just hope she’s not over naps altogether! Haha.

      xo,
      s

    • says

      Stick with it! Don’t let the naps go!!!! Naps are a neccessity for mommy and daddy sanity! We had some grueling days transitioning to one nap, but we stayed mostly consistent (I had to adjust the time- I tried keeping her up to 12 pm, but realized she would be overtired and then not sleep enough because her little body was full of adreneline, so now she goes down at about 11:00 everyday and it has been working). It probably took us almost a month to get it worked out!!! Also, we started to have a snack before nap and lunch after (she kept pooping during her nap and waking up!!) And there were some days in there where we went back to two naps (if she had a bad night). Sending you lots of mommy love and support!! She’s a wonderful little girl.

    • says

      Aw thanks Meg! We’re hoping to make it stick. We miraculously stretched her to 1pm today and she just woke up at 2:22, so that’s pretty good for us (since she was skipping so many random naps).

      xo,
      s

  10. says

    Loved reading this post. I can see what a full job this is for you guys! But I’m so glad (for selfish reasons) that you love what you do so you keep it coming. I think you’d still have all your loyal readers if you just posted once a day. I mean, I hate to admit that b/c I want like 4 posts a day b/c they’re so darn interesting, but it would be a way to scale back without “letting the blog go.” Love you guys!

    • says

      Yeah, sometimes we think about how we can keep this thing going without sacrificing family time/sanity as it continues to grow (if we’re fortunate enough to keep moving along our little trajectory). We have no idea what we’ll do but we’re just two people with a kid so we know we can’t do it all. Haha. Who knows where we’ll end up! The blog is always our first priority though (after each other of course)!

      xo,
      s