Just like last year (here and here) we decided to answer as many random and personal questions from our Facebook & Twitter friends as we could in honor of this year’s blogiversary. With over 200 questions to choose from (you guys are curious!) we couldn’t tackle them all, but we did our best to answer a bunch. Here’s hoping we don’t sound as lame to you guys as we sound to ourselves.
Q: What is the weirdest question you have ever been asked? – Jessica
Sherry: Someone actually asked me while I was prego if I was a thong wearer. I assumed they were from the UK and replied that I wasn’t wearing flip-flops anymore because I needed more arch support. Turns out they weren’t talking about my feet (they commented again to clarify). I pled (and still plead) the fifth on that one.
Q: Besides Burger and Clara, if you were stranded on a deserted island what 5 things each would you have to have? – Sara
Sherry: sunscreen, sunglasses, a never-ending supply of a chocolate covered bananas, a magical TV that gets reception, and a camera (because Clara and Burger would definitely do cute things worth catching).
John: a kayak (not necessarily for escaping, but for fun), Yahtzee, an iPod (or an iPhone if we got wireless service- you know, if the desert island is in AT&T’s network), lots of ice cold sweet tea, and a toothbrush.
Q: Would you ever leave Richmond? – Beth
Sherry: We adore Richmond and have zero desire to live anywhere else, but lately we’ve learned that we should never say never…
Q: Do you guys only eat organic? – Allison
Sherry: No way- we can down a box of Oreos like the best of them. We do our best to live a balanced life in general, so if we’re feeling full of junk food we might aim to eat healthy for the next few meals. But not only do we appreciate organic food when we can (and trips to the farmer’s market) we also eat generic grocery store fare along with the occasional junk food binge.
John: We’re human, we promise.
Q: How did you know the time was right to start a family? If you had any what were your “pre-baby” things to check off the list financially, personally, professionally before you decided to try? – MariaJose
Sherry: I don’t know. One morning we woke up and were ready. A few of our family members had recently had babies and we looked at them and thought “we could do that- let’s give it a whirl.”
John: I think there’s truth to the statement that if you waited until you checked off a bunch of things on a mental list to be ready, you’d never actually be ready.
Q: How many bambinos are you guys hoping for? – Stacy
Sherry: We definitely don’t have that mapped out very definitively. Some days we want a gaggle (we both grew up in houses with 4-5 kids) and other days we’re good with the idea of just one more.
John: Yeah, I’d say we know we’d like Clara to have at least one human sibling (no offense, Burger) but right now we’re so content / busy with one that we’re not making any plans beyond two at this point. And we’ll definitely wait a few years for a second (so no need for bump watch yet).
Q: Do you two ever fight or disagree on designs or purchases? – Susanna
John: Do we fight or disagree about things we want for the house? All the time! But if we don’t agree on something the rule is that we don’t get it.
Sherry: That way every item in our house is something we both agree that we need and want to purchase – so there’s no resentment like “ugh, there’s the chair that John made us buy that I hate.”
John: And I’m not stranger to breaking out the line “Do we really need that?” when it comes to a lot of Sherry’s suggested purchases. She relents, we save money, and our house isn’t full of impulse buys.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to? -Christine
John: Panic At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Black Eyed Peas, Death Cab, Eminem, The Killers, Britney Spears, Lily Allen, The Ting Tings, Vampire Weekend, Lady Gaga, Glee soundtracks, we’re all over the place.
Q: Sherry, did you have any cravings when you were pregnant? – Erin
Sherry: Baked potatoes. John used to joke that I required three potato courses per day (yes, even for breakfast). I had morning sickness for over 100 days straight, so something heavy, bland, and starchy was all I could take. I couldn’t get enough of chocolate milk or lemonade in the end. And interestingly enough, onion rings made me instantly sick throughout my entire pregnancy. Even well past the morning sickness phase. I was basically allergic to them until I had Clara and now I can eat ‘em again.
Q: What do your neighbors think? -Stephanie
John: Well, one neighbor of ours is in her eighties, so we’re not sure she knows what a blog is. But some people in our area are onto us, so they’ll walk by and say things like: “love the new curtains!” which is always kind of funny.
Q: What goofy little quirks do each of you have that drives the other nuts? My hubby always leaves closet doors open and it drives me BANANAS! – Laura
John: I finally broke Sherry of her habit to leave dirty bowls and dishes on the counter above the dishwasher instead of just putting them in.
Sherry: Hey, in my defense that started when I was hugely pregnant and it was hard to bend over and load up the dishwasher. But admittedly I am able bodied again, so I’m glad to be back into the habit. John’s weird quirk would have to be “sneaking” candy at the store. I can’t really complain because it’s highly entertaining, but we’ll get home and unpack grocery store bags and I’ll find things like Double Stuff Oreos and some weird new candy (Skitttles Crazy Cores?) and I’ll look at John and he’ll sheepishly be all “how did those get in there?”
Q: What are your cultural/ethnic backgrounds? – Patricia
JOHN: I’m half German (my grandfather came through Ellis Island – where his name was changed from Petrik to Petersik) and the other half is a mixture of Swedish, Swiss, and Irish.
SHERRY: I’m Italian (my mom’s full name is Diana Teresa DeCesare LaPadula) and Austrian (dad’s side).
Q: What do you think YHL readers would be most surprised to know / find out about one (or both!) of you? – Constance
Sherry: Performance anxiety. Ack, I can’t think of anything remotely interesting. Well, I was in a Dr. Pepper commercial once.
John: And I have an unhealthy obsession with Dr. Pepper. Oh and when I moved to NYC I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get involved with anyone because I wanted to leave before I got attached and things got complicated. Good thing I tossed that idea out the window when I met Sherry and she was cool enough to move to Virginia with me.
Q: I’d like to know about some of your future career goals. How you set them and steps you are taking to achieve them. Do you have an ultimate desire? Or are you a more play it by ear type? – Christa
John: I’ve never been someone with a specific career masterplan- I just aim to earn enough to support my family and enjoy what I’m doing in the process. So I’d be happy doing some form of blogging or home improvement or even diving back into advertising at some point.
Sherry: I’ve always thought it would be fun to save up for a second property and fix it up and rent it. It’s definitely nothing we can do anytime soon, but it’s always in the back of my mind as a future possibility. John’s dad purchased a rental property for each of his four kids over a span of two decades and sold each one to help pay for college for each of them when they got older. I think that’s pretty darn cool.
Q: What were you guys like in HS/college? I’ve heard you mention that John was in the marching band (what did he play?), but what about you Sherry? I’m just so curious! – Lindsay
John: Yup, I was totally the band geek in high school. I played the French horn and was actually elected band council president my senior year. Not only was I captain of the geeks, I very proudly won the official title of “friendliest male in the band” a few years in a row. But I stopped playing when I got into college (where I “graduated” to slightly cooler fringe groups by joining an improv comedy group and a coed honor fraternity).
Sherry: I was the loud girl with blonde hair and fake nails. I’m from Jersey (born and raised, so it’s also where I went to hs) so I guess I can blame my environment for some of that but I’m also just your typical first child (type A, a smidge bossy, and way too enthusiastic for most people- especially in the morning). I was also on the swim team (I even went to states one year) and I was obsessed with art (taking everything from ceramics to oil painting). Then I went off to college in NYC to study fine art (I actually have a Bachelor Of Fine Arts in advertising, which I switched into after two years of fine arts training since I worried that I wouldn’t make it as a starving artist). My hair was no longer blonde then but I was still definitely the loud girl. Still am actually.
Q: I just want to know if John ever does improv for Sherry (I used to be in his improv group in college). – Jamie
Sherry: John makes me laugh five times an hour. The snorting gaffawing kind of laughter. Much like I used to say back at work when we met in NYC: nobody knows how hilarious that John Petersik kid is. I seriously started a campaign at work about how that quiet tall account guy is the most hysterical person I’ve ever met in my life. His sarcastic one liners kill me. I love that he can make me shoot milk out of my nose on a near-daily basis.
Q: List 3 keys you consider to be essential for success in marriage. – Lissa
Sherry: Sense of humor, respect, flexibility.
John: Laughter, dialog, admiration.
Q: Who does the most cooking? Any favorite or go-to dishes?- Tracie
Sherry: John cooks 99.9% of the time. I’m a lucky lady. He makes this really good cold pasta with avocado and chicken and we also have a ton of dishes from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution since John is cooking his way through it (like Julie and Julia, except it’s Jamie & John).
Q: Do you cook with as much gusto as you design? – Melinda
Sherry: I eat with gusto. I leave the cooking to John for the most part.
John: Definitely not. I stumble through the cooking thing, but I enjoy figuring things out and learning as I go. So I guess that approach is similar to our home improvement philosophy.
Q: Do the people who sold you your house follow the blog? It would be interesting to see what they say. -Evan
Sherry: The original owners of our house actually wrote to us and it was amazing.
John: Check out that post here.
Q: Sherry, you always dress so cute! What are your favorite clothing brands?- Candice
Sherry: You’re too nice. I’m definitely no Sarah Jessica Parker, but to answer your question: cheap stuff! Nearly everything I own is from Target, Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic Outlet, or DSW. This girl loves a deal.
Q: What is your absolute favorite movie ever? – Andrea
Sherry: For some crazy reason I fell in love with Zombieland when I saw it right after we had Clara (that angel slept right through it). So unless it was one of those weird prego-hormone things I would have to say it’s my current fave movie ever (if I watch it again and hate it, that might explain why).
John: The movies I can watch over and over again are quirky improv movies like Waiting For Guffman and Wet Hot American Summer.
Q: Is there anything regarding your personal redecorating or DIY projects that you look back on and think “what was I thinking?” or “what that ugly?!” – Keighley
John: Um, our whole house in 2006 (check out this video to see what we mean). Seriously.
Sherry: We look at the terrible layout and the all-over-the-place color scheme and thank our lucky stars that we kept evolving our house and experimenting with different layouts and colors and styles until we got closer to something that made us smile every time we came in the door.
Q: With all the work you all do… and with Clara now… are you able to find chill time together? Date night? What do you do to keep the spark alive? – Michelle
Sherry: Maybe house projects keep the spark alive? Because there’s not much else going on these days between blogging, DIYing, and caring for Clara. But we’re loving it. I guess the key is just doing things that you enjoy together to keep the spark alive. So even if that’s painting instead of enjoying a fancy meal, whatever works, right?
John: Though we do enjoy a casual “date night” a few nights a week after Clara falls asleep at 8-ish when we spend a couple hours watching TV and eating ice cream on the couch. Okay, maybe I’m the only one with the ice cream.
Q: How did the chair in Clara’s room work out for you? -Teresa
Sherry: Thankfully it’s very comfy! Admittedly I nurse all over the house, but it’s one of the places that I do it often, and it’s nice.
John: I also read to Clara every night in that chair as part of her bedtime routine. We’re definitely happy with it.
Q: Since you both work with each other from home, do you ever get tired of each other as “co-workers”? – Emily
Sherry: Sometimes we’ll realize that that other person is acting a bit fried so I’ll say “John, why don’t you go for a run?” which is code for “you’re acting a little cranky-pants so go have some me-time and hopefully you’ll come back refreshed.”
John: Yeah or I’ll recommend that Sherry take a shower or go for a walk or do something else that’ll snap her out of her stress-ball self sometimes.
Sherry: The key is trying to have a sense of humor about things and getting some me-time in there when you can.
Q: Do you guys ever fight/argue/get mad at each other? You both seem so in sync about everything it is hard to imagine. – Betty
John: Um, Sherry’s Italian… and from Jersey. Let’s just say that she has a “distinct” way of making her voice heard. She calls it being passionate. Sometimes I call it shouting.
Sherry: John’s the level headed, less prone to scream one. But he can definitely get his sulk on when he’s mad. He’ll just clam up and you can practically see the steam coming off of him.
John: We can both get peeved like the best of them, but we try to remember that we’re on the same team and we’re working towards the same goal- so more often than not we’re mad at the situation, not each other. And it’s all forgotten about a minute later.
Q: I’m just wandering do you ever feel inadequate? If so, how do you deal with those feelings? – Polina
Sherry: Sure, there are definitely moments where we feel like we’re not doing things fast enough or well enough (whether that’s due to our own self scrutiny or to something that someone else has said). But at the end of the day, we can usually pull ourselves out of that funk by reminding ourselves that there are probably people who like us too much and people who dislike us too much, and we’re most likely somewhere in the middle.
John: In the end it’s really all about enjoying each other’s company and loving what we’re doing each day. Because we’ve learned that it’s impossible to expect that everyone who reads our blog will love every post or project. So it all comes down to being happy with who we are and what we’re doing.
Q: I read you don’t spend a lot of money eating out. How do you do it when you go out with other couples or friends? Or receive invitations? Do you say no? I find it difficult when it comes to saving money and doing things with other people. – Judith
Sherry: We invite people over our house for a meal instead (spaghetti is seriously like a dollar a person and a big spaghetti dinner with friends is so fun).
John: It’s also nice because it starts a cycle where we can just go back-and-forth to each other’s houses instead of having to go out all of the time.
Q: What is something each of you can’t let go from your past or childhood and refuse to get rid of? – Dan
John: Embarrassingly enough, I have a baby blanket with sheep on it from when I was little that I’m still kind of attached to. So I did the logical thing and handed it down to my son Burger. It’s now Burger’s blankie in his crate and I loves that it’s still around (better yet, it’s an heirloom- ha).
Sherry: I have these ridiculous tiny saddle shoes from when I was 1 or 2 and I just can’t part with them so they’re in a box in my closet. Maybe someday Clara will wear them or we’ll make some cute art with them for her nursery.
Q: If you won the lottery (I’m talking 20 million or so) would you move into a mansion? And would you still remain as focused on saving money as you are now? – Maky
John: We’d probably buy five other charming old modestly sized houses that we could makeover for the blog and then rent out. That would totally be our idea of a good time.
Sherry: And we’d still deal hunt and scrimp wherever we could. I honestly think that our parents have ingrained that behavior into who we are- so even with 20 million big ones we’d still be tiling our own bathroom (with clearance tile). Because as sick as it sounds, that makes us happy.
Q: If I walked into your house right now, how messy would it be? – Sarah
John: Honestly it would be a three out of ten on a scale from clean to messy.
Sherry: When we’re in the middle of a project it can totally get to an 11, as in embarrassingly chaotic. But since we’re selling our house we’re trying to keep it together.
Q: What was the first concert you each ever went to….and what was the last concert you were at? – Nichole
Sherry: First- The Warped Tour in 8th grade (with Eminem, the Black Eyed Peas, Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit) Last- Panic At The Disco or Rooney. Can’t remember.
John: First: Tricia Yearwood (with my mom and my godmother in 6th grade). Last- Panic At The Disco or Rooney. I can’t remember either.
Q: What are your most embarrassing moments? – Alison
Sherry: Honestly, it’s when we get recognized around town. We just have to apologize to anyone who has come up and talked to us because we’re so embarrassingly awkward. We always joke that it’s a major let down to meet us because we’re total dorks in person.
John: The person who approaches us always has something so nice to say about our house or our blog and we just stand there like “uh…thanks… so….”. It’s not like we can comment about that person’s blog or that person’s latest DIY project (since they know all about us but we don’t know anything about them). So it’s weird.
Sherry: And I’m a gets-beet-red type of person, so it’s just a big ridiculously awkward mess. So sorry we’re not cooler! It’s unfortunate.
John: Oh and I fainted at work once. Onto my boss. I basically bounced off of her chest and landed in her lap and then rolled onto the floor.
Sherry: It was epic. I was working there too (we met at work) and I nearly died laughing when I heard about it (after learning that John was ok of course).
Q: Has having Clara changed your relationship with Burger? If so, how? And was that a surprise to you? – Heather
John: We honestly wondered if we would bond well with Clara during the whole time Sherry was pregnant because Burger would do something cute we would say “this baby better be pretty darn adorable to compete with this little guy.”
Sherry: Thankfully Clara came along and she was pretty darn adorable and then some. So we’re happy to report that we love both the beanette and Burger like crazy. They’re a huge part of our family and we’re so thankful for each of them.
Q: What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you as a result of your fame? – Amber
Sherry: Does hearing you refer to “our fame” count? That’s pretty strange to us. Tom Cruise is famous. We’re just two random bloggers.
John: But it is trippy to see pictures of our house in international magazines, especially with a foreign language around them. To think that people across the globe are looking at photos of our four walls is actually kind of mind blowing.
Q: What is the one thing that you always have the other do, because you dislike the task so much? -Emily
Sherry: John changes around 90% of the diapers, not because I hate it but because he sweetly made a deal that if I’m in charge of imports (feeding Clara) the least he can do is be in charge of exports (changing her). Love him for that.
John: Sherry’s the present wrapper/gift manager of the house. I remember birthdays for the most part, but she’s definitely in charge of making the presents that we pick up look festive.
Q: Was your transition to parenthood easier or more difficult than you expected? What were your expectations like before Clara came and looking back do you think they were high (setting you up for frustration) or low (setting you up for happiness)? – Sarah
John: People told us when Clara was born that we wouldn’t know what day it was and that we’d forget to eat and drink and we’d basically be zombies so I think we were pleasantly surprised.
Sherry: We definitely hit the jackpot since she’s such an amazing sleeper, but in general it has been a really nice transition to parenthood. So far it hasn’t felt like anything we can’t handle, so we’re loving the fact that we have Clara around. And thankfully Burger has adjusted really well too (which is something else we worried about) so we have to say that we’re really appreciating how things are going right now.
Q: What shows do you guys watch? Other than HGTV and decor stuff? Any reality shows or weekly dramas that catch your attention? – Katie
Sherry: Flipping Out, Housewives Of DC & NJ (since they’re both of our “hometowns”), Glee, Top Chef, 30 Rock, The Office, Saturday Night Live, America’s Next Top Model, and Grey’s Anatomy- there’s nothing like good TV after a long day of DIYing.
Q: Do you ever have a bad day? Things over at YHL always seem perfect. – Heather
Sherry: Yes, we have bad days all the time.
John: Things definitely aren’t perfect over here. We’re just do our best to be positive people, so we try not to whine and complain too much- especially since our blog is about home improvement and decor (which explains why we don’t chronicle the annoying things that might happen behind the scenes, like when five posts magically delete themselves). We do love sharing when projects don’t exactly go as planned, just because we like to remind people that we’re not immune to those pitfalls either (check out a few obstacles and flops here, here, and here).
Sherry: We try to maintain a sense of humor around here and remind ourselves that we’re not saving the world so we don’t take things too seriously (which always results in more stress and crying). In fact one of my mantras is: it’s just a blog.
Q: If you could go back to the last weeks/days/months right before Clara was born, what would you tell yourself? Do you have any regrets/recommendations about how you used your last few weeks as a childless couple? -Sarah
Sherry: John was actually out to lunch on his last day of work when I went into labor. I literally called him as he was finishing up his burrito and he ran out, grabbed me, we sped over to the hospital, and a few hours later we were holding our baby girl. We had planned to have a big celebration (go out to dinner and really soak up the whole that-was-your-last-day-of-work-and-now-you’re-going-to-be-a-full-time-daddy-and-blogger thing but instead we were celebrating the birth of our bean.
John: So if we could go back maybe we’d make Thursday my last day of work so we could still have time to soak all of that in. Although it was really exciting to have it all happen that way on Friday, so honestly we probably wouldn’t change a thing.
Q: Will you homeschool, do public, or private? – Priscilla
Sherry: We plan to send our kiddos off to public school. I attended a private school until 6th grade (Montessori) and then went public while John went to public schools from day one. He even got into a magnet high school (called Thomas Jefferson in Alexandria, VA- which was public). So although private school is definitely something we can appreciate, we have a ton of confidence in the public school system.
John: And who knows, Clara might follow in her dorky dad’s footsteps and get into some magnet public school someday too.
Q: What’s next on the list of things you guys want to do to green-ify your life? – Jennifer
John: I want a bat box.
Sherry: And a bee box. Is that what it’s called? We want to encourage bats and bees to pollinate and eat mosquitoes and do their thing.
John: And when we move, we definitely want to look into the possibility of using these (thanks to Meghan for telling us about them).
Q: Do you exercise? How do you stay so fit? – Anne
Sherry: Right now my exercise routine consists of carrying Clara around, going on long walks around the neighborhood every night, and nursing (which burns a pretty surprising amount of calories). I’ve never been a gym rat or very into exercise in general so I just do my best to watch what I eat if my pants feel tight. Or I get bigger pants. That works too.
John: I gave up my gym membership when I left my job downtown, but I still sneak in a morning run when I can and I have a 10K coming up soon.
Q: Would you ever travel without Burger? – Julia
Sherry: Well he came with us on our honeymoon to Alaska so we’re thinking it’s fair to say that we don’t like to leave home without him. Or Clara for that matter. We’re a four-pack. Although if something came up and we knew Burger would be happier at home than with us (he does love hanging with Grammy and TomTom…) I think we’d consider leaving him behind. We just want him to be happy. And not chew up our pillows out of spite. Ha!
Whew. So there you have a plethora of questions and answers. I hope you grabbed a Coke in the middle there when you found yourself falling asleep. Admittedly we’re not as interesting as some people think…
Melissa H says
You guys are so great to let us “readers” into your lives. And even though John is a HOO, I’ll still read your blog. :) ha ha. Go HOKIES
wow John, I didn’t know you went to TJ, that’s impressive! I went to Annandale High School, and then went to UVa and graduated in 2005. funny that we lived so close together for so many years, and now i read your blog. small world!
Lol…Sherry, why don’t I remember you meeting you at the Altar Boyz show that night?! Clearly I’m a jerk!
Haha, no worries. I’m really not that memorable. John fainting? Now that was memorable.
John, I’m an RIT Alumni (Rochester Institute of Technology) and also a PSP member… I guess that makes us brothers! I read your “coed honor fraternity” comment and I instantly thought Phi Sigma Pi!
So funny to meet so many virtual brothers!
This just took up a good chunk of my work day- thanks for the good read! The Dugger pic of John def. looks like Kenneth-hilarious!!!
Thanks for making us feel like we aren’t losers for not doing anything but work on our house! Sometime I feel like we really should get out more- but we just love painting and demo and can’t wait to finish our projects.:)
Have you heard of this? http://www.thebagster.com/index.aspx
I saw it on HGTV- looks really convenient for a big time reno…
Ooh that does look pretty cool! We’ll have to check it out!
John, No way! We are brothers! That is awesome. I was President of the frat in 1998 or 1999. LOVED it and made so many friends. Hope it was fun for you. In fact I met my now husband thru one of the brothers. We now live in Alexandria and have an-almost 4 month old little girl. And we also lived and worked in NYC from 2003-2007. We are NOT handy at all (but we own our home and still love your blog!) but otherwise, talk about parallel lives. Too funny.
Hello, I thought I’d better correct your thong reference in the first answer lest it lead to an embarrassing incident next time you talk about sandals to an Englishman. In the UK “thong” very much does refer to underwear. Perhaps you are thinking of Australia?
All the best x
Haha, Australia then I guess! You’re right, that misunderstanding could have led to quite a predicament…
Katie Y. says
Thanks for figuring the “missing picture” thing out… yes, work does block all videos. So, that’s why it wasn’t showing up. I’ll take a look at home.
Ok I’m sorry John but when I read you fainted at work (onto your boss to boot) I could not stop laughing!
I bet you wish you caught that on film Sherry!
My little sister had a similar episode like that a few weeks ago that I will never let her live down (I’m the cruel older sister like that). She had her first rotation with a Dr. in her athletic training program in college. They had a patient come in with an eye injury, and as the Dr. was inspecting it my sister passed out (hitting her face on the exam counter as she went) face first onto the floor. (she’s fine) The Dr said not to worry, all students pass out at one time or another….usually it takes about 3 faints before you build up a tolerance! HA I can’t wait to hear about the next one :)
So at least you have a good story to tell!
Michelle Kersey says
Hey, you answered my question!! I feel special. ;)
Thanks for the thong song video! I actually sang it to my daughter the other night because she has “dumps like a truck truck truck. Thighs like what what what. Baby move your butt butt butt” :D I should add… what do you sing to Clara?
So funny we’ll have to sing that to C. As for what else we sing, a favorite is “Tomorrow” from Annie (which started when we brought her home and she was always doing that morrow reflex thing, so we sing “To Morrow!” instead).
I can’t believe this wasn’t a top 10 question. Sherry, why don’t you ever where your hair out??? Just wondering :-)
I actually answered that one last year! Just click the two links at the top of the post!
Chicago Mama says
You are selling your house?!?
Yes! Scroll back a few posts for that big announcement!
That duggar picture was the highlight of my afternoon. Hilarious!
Also, Montessori is awesome. My kids go to a great school, I love it for them!
You answered my question in your post! I bet it is weird to you that I think that is exciting.
Sherry, while you two might not be Tom Cruise I think you definitely qualify as famous. Just imagine, thousands of people you have never met talk about you on a daily basis. Strange, huh?
As a matter of fact, I only refer to you both as young house love because it seems too weird for me to talk about what John and Sherry are up to or doing in their house… you know, like we are long lost friends. haha
Oh, and after reading this post I promise to pretend not to recognize should I ever run into you around Richmond. =0)
Keep up the great work!
Haha!! This post totally made me laugh! John’s fainting story is hilarious and the picture of you guys as the Duggars is priceless!
You guys are the best. I love your taste in not only home decor but also apparently in music and TV – if I lived in Virginia we’d have to become IRL friends. :)
I am resisting the urge to sing the TJ fight song right now but rest assured that I continue to fight for science and tech and the glory of TJ High etc. I met my husband there (totally weird)and he was also a member of the marching band. ( I have a pretty amazing picture of him in the full colonial uniform). He played the clarinet but I tell people he played the flute which makes him crazy for some reason. Some sort of marching band bravado I guess. We live in Richmond now but if we run into you we’ll pretend we don’t know you to avoid any awkwardness : )
Wow, it’s funny how you resemble Kenneth in that pic, John…it took me a few minutes to get Kenneth’s accent out of my head when I was reading the rest of your responses, especially Sherry’s candy quote, “how did those get in there?” (Speaking of 30 Rock, the werewolf bar mitzvah bit is also a favorite in my house–what a brilliant 15 seconds :)
Funny to find out that John played the french horn–the horn is obviously by far the ‘coolest’ not that I’m biased or anything. Have you heard of the book, “A Devil to Play” by Jasper Rees? He gave up the horn after hs, and decided to revisit it after many many years. His detailed account of the process is actually quite hilarious–(especially for it being a non-fiction book about a band instrument!)
Anyways, thanks for all of your inspiring work and ideas, John and Sherry. I’m excited to follow your home adventures through another year!
Well there goes one thing off my list of potential books to write. Haha.
I have a question for y’all… I’m a little late, sorry! Are you guys football/sports fans?? I know John went to UVA but I’ve never heard a mention of your favorite teams/sports. At my house we are HUGE college football fans. We go to almost all of the home Gator games… and if we aren’t there we are most definitely watching from the couch. Just curious!! And for good measure…. Go Gators :)
Is painting and sledge hammering a sport? We actually aren’t big die hard fans of any college or pro teams but we do like going to baseball games once in a while. We’ll pretty much root for anyone.
I think the pictures made the post! I laughed so hard at the Duggar picture. Then I just kept imagining Sherry yelling like the girls on Jersey Shore. hahaha.
And seriously… someone asked the thong question? Wow, just wow!
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I completely forgot about that song, talk about a blast from the past
John, LOL. Sorry he had to go and steal your thunder. I guess you’ll just have to consider it a potential read! :)
I died a little inside when I saw the question about undergarments…oh my too funny! I have to tell you, my 18 month-old daughter loves any and every picture of Burger…she is mesmerized by him! I showed her the video and she loved it. would Burger feel awkward if approached in public by fans LOL? :0
Burger’s the ham of the group! He loooooves getting recognized. He might even be getting an ego problem…
Im from the UK, thongs are very much underwear over here! im thinking its australia that call them thongs! Cant believe u guys get asked such random questions
Love the blog!
We must have meant Australia! At least we know if we’re in the UK we won’t get caught up in any weird footwear/underwear confusion!
I am not a laugh-out-loud-while-reading person, but I guffawed at your fainting story (“I basically bounced off of her chest and landed in her lap and then rolled onto the floor.”). You’re going to make me wake the kids from nap! Stop! :) :) :)
I absolutely love your answer to the “most embarrassing moments” question. I’m a designer and photographer and people assume that I’m cool. Um, no. It’s sadly not the case. I played the baritone horn, John! ;)
haha…the first question about thongs. Yes, that’s what we call flip-flops down here in the Southern Hemisphere. Also, what you guys call a ‘fanny pack’ would be referencing a part of a females anatomy (the front end)…ahem, and when you use the term ‘we’re rootin’ for you’…well down here ‘rooting’ is the crude way of talking about…getting intimate. I hope that’s not too much info!
BTW, love the big family photo. For a second I actually thought it was real :)
Hysterical Carolyn! It’s like a whole different language! And it could certainly lead to some funny misunderstandings…
liz @ bon temps beignet says
I think the Dugger pic might give me nightmares.
Sherry, I am *so* glad you’re a loud girl. People often tell me I’m loud, and I haven’t been able to tell whether it’s a compliment or an insult ;) But if Sherry Petersik of YHL is loud – girl, it’s gotta be good!
wow I forgot all about writing that question. John I think maybe you should break out some backwards-alphabet-3 voices-buzzer for Sherry’s enjoyment tonight. … also that picture of you guys as the Duggars is the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know if someone mentioned this or not… I thought about renting boxes similar to the green box but in the end it wasn’t cost effective. I ended up searching craigslist for someone giving away free cardboard moving boxes and then when I was done with them I gave them to someone else for free on craigslist. Nothing beats free. And I bet you can even find a mover for a reasonable price in your area if you need one.
Love that tip Barb! Thanks for mentioning it!
K (Barking BabyMama) says
Sherry – would you ever share your birth story? I loved reading just the snippet about John leaving lunch and rushing you to the hospital – was it really just a few hours later that Clara was born? I’d love to hear more if you want to share it!
Clara’s birth was both traumatic and miraculous, so I did explain it a few times in the comment section but never wrote a post expressly about it (probably because it still scares the pants off of me). It can be summarized as this:
I noticed on Friday morning that I was having some pretty intense contractions and by the time I started timing them they were four minutes apart. I called John who was out to lunch with all of his coworkers to celebrate his last day and told him to get home fast! By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were already two minutes apart and they sent me straight into labor and delivery. As we waited for the doctor to arrive and check my progress (I was already 3.5 cms dilated and 80% effaced at my last appointment) my water broke in the hospital bed- but instead of being clear it was bright red. So much blood. Very scary.
Immediately the room filled with frenzied nurses and doctors and they explained that I was having a placental abruption, which happens when the placenta inexplicably detaches from the uterine wall before the baby is born. This is extremely dangerous for the baby (since they get their oxygen/nourishment from the placenta) and the mother can hemorrhage so it’s a pretty dire situation all around. Within about a minute they had me in the OR and within three minutes they had sweet baby Clara out thanks to an emergency c-section. They saved her life by acting so fast.
Once they got in there they saw that not only was she in distress from the placental abruption, but the umbilical cord had somehow been pinched (which is called “cord prolapse”) so she was struggling to get oxygen from that complication as well as fighting to make it through the abruption. Basically it was the scariest day of our life, but we are SO THANKFUL that the doctors and nurses worked so quickly to come to our rescue. We feel so blessed to have Clara here! And John even got to be in the OR (in full body scrubs of course) since they worked fast enough to be sure he was there to hold my hand. Thank goodness. I couldn’t have done it without him.
The recovery was cake compared to the scare Clara gave us. We’re practically floating on air because other nurses and doctors in the hospital dropped in to see us for days just to tell us how lucky we were (they heard our story and were so glad that it had a happy ending). But no one is more glad than we are! So that’s the story of the scariest/best day of our lives. Whew.
I love you guys soooo much. After buying our first house this summer, I was at a loss of how to decorate. I Googled, “home makeover”, and wonderful google introduced me to your amazing blog. What a God-send!!!! And I could not agree more with considering y’all celebrities. I remember when I had emailed about a decorating question, and about 3 days later, I got an email back and I… FLIPPED… OUT! I screamed, I jumped up and down, I told my whole family, LOL, it was so fun. Happy Blogiversary!
Oh my gosh, and the John fainting story and Duggar picture totally had me giggling in my little cubicle.
What a small world. Here I am, writing this in Kansas, my brother living in California now, and I find out that John went to high school with him! You must be one or two years apart. Jason – a clarinetist in the band! I love finding connections everywhere!
I am a band geek too, but have taken it to another level entirely – getting my DMA in bassoon. 8-)
I love your posts thank you for all the hard work!
I love your announcement about going to a more free-n-easy blog schedule, I also second the comment on that den ceiling paint post about mixing up the language and keeping it real with words like “suck” and “nightmare” :)
Also I know you’re very careful to keep things home-related (giving us separate places to get most of our Burger/Clara-fix) but I think it would be awesome (and very home related) to start blogging some of “John and Jamie”! (someone has probably mentioned this already, but seriously, you should do it!) I’d love to see more of the work-flow of the kitchen, the functions of your appliances that you love/hate/wish you had, and all the other things that might come up while documenting some of the fabulous meals John must be making.
Thanks for doing what you do! I’ve been reading your blog for over two years now and I’m always excited when you start something new (like your next move!) My only other request is that you plan and execute another wedding! (vow-renewal? a little Burger wedding with the winner from his contest?)
Haha, we could always start planning Clara’s…
[email protected] says
My first concert was Vans Warped the summer of my 8th grade year also. :) You guys are too funny!
What a great post! I really enjoyed it!!!
So, Montessori, you say? Our 6-year-old just started at a Montessori School this summer. Sherry, how was that transition from 6 years of the Montessori method to a public high school? We’re taking it year by year, but I’m curious to see what will happen for our little guy. Granted, he’ll be a little different due to a significant language disorder, but still…
I actually went to a Montessori school until 6th grade (middle school) and the transition was pretty smooth. The only real difference I remember is that girls in the middle school that I switched over to liked boys and had crushes and even official boyfriends. Meanwhile I had to get used to that concept- I thought boys had cooties!
I know this post answered a LOT of questions, but it made me think of one other… What do you do with decorative gifts people have given you that don’t fit the look or taste of your home? For example, knick knacks that serve no purpose other than to sit on a shelf (random figurines, picture frames that have sayings on them, souvenirs from someone else’s vacation…) or things you’ll never use but have your name embroidered or glazed on them (so you can’t sell them and feel weird throwing it out – especially if the gift-giver ever visits)?
We’re actually pretty lucky that most of our friends and family either ask us what we want specifically (we make lists of books we’d like, restaurants we like to eat at, etc) or they know we’re into the decor thing ourselves so they usually stay away from that and get us board games or tickets to a game or some other non-house-related gift. On the rare occasion when we get something that’s not 100% our style, we thank the person sincerely for the thought, display it for a bit, slowly segue the item into a less obvious place, and eventually it gets donated or gifted to someone else that we think will appreciate it more than we do.
You guys are awesome :-) And I feel ya, I’m also one of those turns red super easily types of people… it is not fun!! haha!
Any chance you’d share that recipe for cold pasta salad with chicken and avocado? :)
Scroll back thru the comments for that info from Chef John.
Do you ever worry that you spent so much of your savings on renovations for your current house (i.e., floors, kitchen remodel, etc.) and you won’t be able to devote as many resources into your new home?
We actually look forward to doing more with the new house! We’ve learned so much and have figured out ways to do things even more affordably in the future! We have a few posts about how we save our pennies in general (on our Projects page) so those might help ya!
I’m so loving your blog, this is the fist blog I have followed & it’s perfect! I find so many similarities to your family and ours!
We have a baby girl, Noel who arrived April 13th..so similar to Clara, so I love reading the exactly where we are posts on that.
She also has a big brother..Moose (goldendoodle) that would love a sidekick like Burger! In fact I think he is Burger’s separated brother although think 82lbs of fluff! ha ha!
I’ve had so much fun learning about you all in the past week & a bit & can’t wait to continue following along the DIY road!
I love how realistic you are to a 28 year old’s life…and have a beautiful home too!
Happy blogging! :)
Okay, I looked at that pic of the super-sized YHL family and said, “That is the creepiest pic I’ve ever seen.” I was glad to see you acknowledged that right below the pic. Creepy. Really.
I’m curious … what’s your internet browser’s homepage set to?
Gmail. For both of us. Isn’t that boring?
Small world, John! My roommate, Margaret, was one of the founders of the Whethermen. She graduated in 2001, so I’m not sure if you guys were in the group together. I graduated in 2000, but I worked at Arch’s on the Corner from ’99-’01, so if you were a fan of their yummy fro-yo, I may have served you at some point!
erin pearce says
have you been watching the nate berkus show (on abc)?
i’m a design junky- but don’t get much daytime tv watching time and just discovered he got his own show a few days ago!
We seriously counted down the seconds til that show premiered only to learn that it’s not picked up in Richmond yet (since it’s syndicated it’s not available everywhere). Boo! Here’s hoping we get it soon!
Melissa E says
Whenever the writing is well done it is a pleasure to read. And both of you do it so well.
Melissa E says
Hello both of you,
I just saw that you say your homepage is set to Gmail and just incase you aren’t aware (though I don’t put it past either of you to be totally aware), Thunderbird is a fantastic mail client that receives mail from gmail.
I use it for school and for the part time job I have and it’s fantastic for viewing multiple messages from one person or putting things into folders and just for viewing mail in general.
Anywho, just a thought if you’re using your browser for mail ’cause a browser is a little more difficult (for me); I plan on introducing it to my family members soon (we just moved so computers aren’t quite set up yet.
and… HAPPY FRIDAY.
Hi Sherry and John,
Just discovered your blog the other day via Apartment Therapy and wanted to tell you how much I enjoy what I’ve read so far. It’s inspirational to see people that are creating beautiful spaces yet still living within their means. I particularly enjoyed your posts on how to save money because they were surprisingly honest. My husband and I are on a mission to live simpler and cut back our expenses so we can ultimately have more freedom to do what we want.
Anyhow, keep up the good work and I’ll look forward to reading your future posts.
Love the funny, human answers!
Btw, something I wish I’d remembered to ask… did John get any crap for looking so much like the last (douchey) bachelor? Or was I the only one who thought he did?
Yes! He got that a few times. I agree that Jake was super slimy but the real trouble would have started if anyone said I looked like Vienna. Seriously.