Archive for January, 2012

The Real J-Boom

First off, in kitchen progress news, all of the chaotic electrical work has been completed! In just five hours actually. Woot.

So we’re cleaning things up, taking pics, doing some pendant hunting, and writing a big ol’ post about it for you guys on Monday. But apparently when Sherry shared “The Real $herdog” on Tuesday there were a bunch of requests for a John version. Color me surprised (I honestly thought Burger and Clara would get mentioned before I would). And since I don’t really have a cool street name like Sherry, she has suggested that I use “J-Boom” for the time being. It’s a little too close for comfort to a certain busty Jersey Shore cast member for me, but since I figure there’s little risk of confusing the two of us – I’ll use it for now. It certainly has more flare to it than my childhood nicknames of “JP” and “Petersik.” Anyway, since Sherry stole some shared facts for herself (about our marriage and our daughter) – my list might be a bit more random than hers. Here goes nothing.

#1 – I don’t always enjoy shopping and decorating. If reading our blog has given you the impression that I’m always the dutiful husband who skips merrily alongside Sherry on shopping trips for our latest decorating project, well – that’s not 100% accurate. I may participate in (and often enjoy) running house errands more than the average husband, but I also do my fair share of groaning when I’m told we “need to go out for pillows.” Same goes for tasks around the house. Let’s just say I don’t bound joyfully from the couch every time I learn we’re hanging curtains or need to go up in the attic to carry something that “takes two people, one being the strong and helpful husband.” But when worst comes to worst, I just try to find the humor in being the tagalong husband:

#2I’m the king of typos. Case in point, my fingers originally made that “I’m the kind of typos.” I’ve accepted this about myself: my brain and fingers don’t always work in unison and my eyes don’t do me any favors by catching them. Sherry has little tolerance for it (especially since I will even drop an entire word or three here and there). Yes, sentences like “then I spread the grout with a trowel” might get typed out as “then I with a trowel” and Sherry is left scratching her head. It’s one of the reasons Sherry proofreads every post before it goes up and also why I’m not as active in the comments (along with the fact that I have no idea where each of our ten million pillows hails from). I confessed my typo problem in a local interview two years ago where Sherry and I had to submit secret responses about each other separately. I said I loved Sherry because “she fixes my tyops.” Sherry told me it was a sweet and clever answer… until I further confessed that I hadn’t done it intentionally. It was just the most well-timed typo of my life.

#3 – I’m sometimes insecure about being a stay-at-home dad. Those who caught my BabyCenter post a few months ago already know most of this. And though I think I technically qualify more as a “work-at-home” dad, I still often feel funny about not getting up, putting on work clothes, and trotting off to the office like other “normal” dads. Even though I can rationalize that being home with Clara is actually a very good thing, it still just feels off to me sometimes. Especially when Clara and I are checking out at the grocery store in the middle of the day and I get that “oh, he must be unemployed” look from the cashier. But I’m doing my best to just embrace it and be as good at it as I can.

#4 – I’m a shameless consumer of “new” things. Maybe it’s the former advertising exec in me (or the reason I got into advertising in the first place) but I’m a total sucker for new products. They don’t even have to be totally new – maybe Hershey Kisses’ just released their seasonal flavors, for example. I. Must. Try. Them. All. Heck, I even bought a box of Life cereal the other day just because the packaging had been redesigned. Sherry knows whenever I go food shopping alone that she should brace herself for the weird new flavor or product I’ll come home with (Dulce De Leche Cheerios? Check).

#5 – I sing. A lot. And not that well. Sherry and I are both guilty of bursting into song pretty often, whether it’s singing along to the radio or crooning an original tune that narrates what we’re doing (“a grouting we will go, a grouting we will go, high ho the tile-e-oh, a grouting we will go”). So maybe this goes along with Sherry’s admission that she’s painfully cheerful? It’s like a slightly off-key and slightly-sarcastic Disney movie up in here sometimes. And it’s probably why Clara isn’t shy about belting a little medley out too. We aren’t “real” singers or anything, but we can both (key word: sort of) carry a tune. And sometimes harmonize. Sometimes even on purpose. If we were to try out for American Idol we’d be in that in-between group that’s neither good nor bad enough to see the judges. You can catch a snippet of me singing in this mockumentary my college improv group made about a squash tournament (that obviously needed to close with a big mediocre musical number). Fast forward to about 12:10 for my extremely brief verse. Or if you care to watch the whole thing, start here with part one (warning: I can’t guarantee it’s entertaining for anyone beyond those of us who are in it).

#6 – I don’t really read Young House Love. Since Sherry proofreads every post (see #2 if you’ve forgotten why) and responds to most comments (questions like “where did you get that mirror?” are like asking me what color earrings Sherry wore three days ago), she reads just about every single word that ever gets posted on this site. So with all that we juggle each day, it’s not really the best use of our time for me to read everything too. I barely find time to read other blogs, let alone the one where I already know how things end. So if we ever talk in person and you reference something funny that Sherry wrote, please forgive me if I just smile and nod. Does it make me feel like a bad person? Sometimes. But c’mon, you know brevity is hardly a virtue of ours…

#7. I can get pissed like the best of them. This might come as a surprise but I can get pretty darn peeved in the middle of a project that’s going anything but well. I have even been known to throw a screwdriver (maybe “lob it at the ground” is a better description) while grappling to fix an incredibly frustrating mailbox issue. I’m working on it, but just know that I’m not Mr. It’s All Going To Be Hunky Dory during every project. Sometimes I’m just gritting my teeth and muttering under my breath. But when it’s all said and done and we’ve lived to tell the tale, it’s 100% worth it. Which probably explains why I keep jumping back into the ol’ DIY arena. I’m like Russel Crowe in Gladiator – except significantly less ripped.

So maybe my list was less “surprise, I’m not perfect” than Sherry’s since I figure you guys already knew I was no Matt Damon / Edward Cullen  / Justin Bieber or whoever else is the epitome of male perfection these days. Just don’t tell Clara that. I think she’s pretty convinced I’m all that and a box of raisins. And I’d like to keep it that way.

Pssst: We are not famous. But somehow we’ve been invited to be part of the Richmond Comedy Coalition’s series called “Richmond Famous” that’s happening next Friday night (Jan 27). We’re not totally sure what we’re in for, but supposedly we’ll tell some true stories from our lives and they’ll improvise scenes based on them. And yes, Sherry is beyond nervous that we actually “have to talk” so we’d love to see you guys there. At least I would. Sherry might rather hide in the car. Get more info here.

Psssst again: We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.



Reader Redesign: Glam-a-rama

Even though we’ve been embracing a clean-lined and colorful aesthetic lately, we can definitely appreciate all sorts of styles. And we’ve still got a soft spot for the warm, layered neutrals that we filled our first house with. So when Rhoda sent over this redo of her sister Renee’s room, it was like a shot of wow to a part of our design brain that we hadn’t exercised in a while. And we kinda want to curl up in what looks like a SUPER comfortable bed. Here’s Rhoda’s letter:

Hi, Sherry & John! Just wanted to share my latest project: a redo of my sister’s master bedroom suite. It’s a big space that had not been touched since 1999, so it was in dire need of an update.

Here’s the new view walking into the room now. That stenciled wall just makes it, I think! My sister and I worked on it together.

She has great taste and had already decided on the colors she wanted for the room, as well as the start to the fabrics.  She just asked me for some help picking out the rest of the fabrics, rugs, artwork, accessories, lamps, and drapes. It was really fun to put our heads together.

She already had these nice wingback chairs, so instead of buying new, we opted to have them recovered by a local upholsterer and he did a great job.

We had so much fun putting this room together and I hope you love it as much as we do.  My sister feels like she’s in a brand new place now. Thanks for the look!  – xoxo, Rhoda

Isn’t it crazy to scroll up to that first shot and see how much it has changed? Rhoda’s got a ton of extra photos and info about the makeover on her blog, so head on over if you want to soak up some more. She even has a peek into the equally swanked up bathroom and sitting room over there. But while you’re here, let’s play the what’s-your-favorite-part game. I’m really digging the recovered chairs and Sherry’s all sorts of in love with that plush striped rug.