When we first bought our house in Portland, Oregon, I kind of muddled my way through all of the post offer/pre close items on my checklist: negotiating on a price, setting up inspections, buying appliances, etc. The other thing I did was spend a LOT of time online searching for inspiration to try and decorate our house on a dime. I was still unemployed at the time and we’d just taken every last bit of savings we had and dumped it into the down payment, so we were desperate to decorate the house beautifully but cheaply, which roughly translated to doing everything ourselves. I’m not sure HOW I ran across this website, but it was probably using a search string like this:
“before and afters” OR “makeovers” OR “painting techniques”
Lo and behold, I stumbled across the website/blog, Young House Love
I’m sure MANY of you know of Young House Love – probably because a crazy friend (might’ve been me) told you about it at some point. I was one of those stalker people who just found them doing a random Google search back in the day when their website was still called “This Young House” (which they had to change in mid 2009 due to a copyright battle with This Old House – no joke!) and before baby Clara was even a glint in their eye…Yea, I’m a little obsessed, I admit it.
If you’ve never heard of them before, they’re essentially a young (about 31-ish) married couple with a house, a Clara and a Burger (their shenanigan-loving Chihuahua that I want to steal to make puppies with my Maggie). The kid and the pup are top notch, but their house….mmmm…not so much. So they decided to do the young married couple thing and renovate not one, but TWO down-and-out houses that needed some serious love completely on their own – i.e. – these people are not professional renovators or contractors. They’re just a couple of Marketing geeks that know a thing or two about using the internet and library to their advantage and don’t mind getting their hands dirty trying to do it all by their selves! Couple all of that with their easy-to-follow tutorials, misadventures in renovating, hilarious writing style and personalities and it makes for a pretty good time killer over my morning coffee everyday.
I also credit them in a huge way with inspiring me to start THIS blog. After finding (and completely devouring) their blog back in 2009 we tackled so many projects that were directly influenced by their tutorials and advice and, dare I say it, balls-y-ness. Everything from their bathroom remodel which gave us the guts to tackle our bathroom remodel and even painting furniture like our old hutch that needed some serious love and a grody old bookcase were done entirely using their painting method tutorials! And in a weird twist of life imitating art, I then re-shared my hutch makeover story with them and they featured ME on their blog way back in 2009! Crazy, huh?
Long story short, to say that I am obsessed would be an understatement. Hence, the title of this blog post, It’s like MEETING Aerosmith!
Yes, I’ve met them! And I may or may not have been a little star-struck the first time. You read that right. The FIRST time. I’m a bit of an obsessive fan so I’ve actually met them TWICE! Once last year when they visited our previously quirky home of Portland and the Portland Home and Garden Show (photographic proof below).
While we didn’t register a mention on their blog when we met them (we’re sort of low key and shy people), the whole thing was sort of an out-of-body experience because not only did Sherry recognize me and give me a big ol’ glorious hug like we were BFFs, but I got recognized by OTHER bloggers who were there and shouted, “Hey, Tell’er All About It!” John and Sherry were just as nice as could be and we got to chat with them and compliment them on how much they’ve influenced us to be more gutsy in our renovations. It was nice to come full circle. Meeting other bloggers, however, was definitely an out-of-body experience for us. A few people gushed over our bathroom remodel that had made the rounds in Bloglandia and were excited to meet US – so much so that they wrote a blog post about it on THEIR blog! Ack! Now we totally get what John and Sherry say on their website when they get all shy and blush-y with fans. Dr. J and I felt TOTALLY awkward. We have groupies! But THEY think I’m hilarious! That’s right, naysayers, I AM hilarious.
Fast forward to a few weekends ago and we got to meet John and Sherry a SECOND time at the West Elm in Palo Alto for a book signing for their brand new book! Yes, now they’re bona fide published authors! So all of you technophobes will now think of me as slightly LESS of a stalker because I happen to like a “book author” as opposed to just a “blog author”, which still doesn’t seem any less creepy, but there ya have it…
Look! I’m wearing different clothes in each picture so you KNOW it’s taken on separate days! Haha!
The best part? They recognized us from their Portland adventure the previous year! Which really confused them. I think it was easy for them to remember Dr. J because he’s probably one of a handful of guys that considers himself a fan (although, I think he just says that to make me feel good). But their first question was, “Wait, do you live here or there?” Imagine their confusion when we said, “Well, both!” Because it’s kind of true – haha!
But onto the book signing! Because it was a lot of fun!
It was held on an absolutely GORGEOUS winter California day. Beautiful sunshine and crisp temperatures. The line started well before we even got there and we showed up around 10am! In fact, when we showed up it was looking like this snaked all around the building – crikey!
Fortunately it wasn’t raining, but it WAS a little chilly. So the West Elm staffers kept us warm by coming out with trays full of cookies, hot chocolate and other nibbles and bites! I may have overloaded on these uh-ma-zing turtle bars that were oh-so-friggin-good, though I abstained from the hot chocolate because it just didn’t contain enough calories or sugar – haha! It was fun chatting to people around me about the blog and to meet like-minded people who if I pointed to some random guy on the street and said, “Doesn’t he look JUST like John?” then they would totally get where I was coming from! Seriously, there was this guy wandering around who could’ve been John’s brother and it kept throwing me for a loop…ANYway…
The line gathered a lot of attention from passersby in the street and somebody came up to us and asked, “What’s the line for?” to which I responded, “Aerosmith! Or, rather…the Aerosmith of bloggers!” After explaining it a little bit more, the guy sort of nodded weakly before walking away shaking his head and then I realized, “He’s probably not the type of guy to DIY his bathroom shower so he wouldn’t really get it.” This WAS Palo Alto, California after all…
Once the doors opened, we were allowed to snake inside the store (thank goodness – it was chilly for California at like 55 degrees! Haha!) and wait our turn to get to chat to John and Sherry. The line took forever, but we were able to get a few snaps of them while we were still waiting:
…and then the main event was being able to chat with them for all of 60 seconds, get recognized immediately from Portland the year before and then eject the purse and coats so we didn’t look fat (Portland pictures = lookin’ like fatties!) and smile big and wide after they had signed OUR book:
Lookie, lookie, I got an autograph!
Thanks, YHL! It was a blast! Next time we move, maybe we’ll get to meet you there?
Oh, and just to prove I’m not the ONLY completely obsessed uber-fan out there, check out these blog links to see other fans talking about the YHL run-in! Click here, here, here, here, here, or here! Apparently, I’m a little late to the party, but at least I’m in good company!