Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I'm Not a Stalker (How I Had a Private Meet & Greet with John & Sherry of Young House Love!)

It's not like stalking is beneath me...I mean, watch out Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw! It's just that Young House Lovin' couples just aren't quite my thang! You see, way back in November, I read on my favorite blog, Young House Love, that the slightly geeky, yet super funny and completely inspiring authors, John and Sherry would be touring the U.S. for their book tour and that they would be coming to my neck of the woods! I was stoked! I definitely planned on A) buying their new book as soon as it hit the stands (which in true mom of an infant style turned into buying it the day before they came for their book tour stop!) and B) trying to get access to the private invite only meet and greet set up with them for local bloggers. I now have no idea where I even read about it...now I'm starting to wonder if I made the whole thing up, but here is the story of how my persistence paid off (oh yeah, and also why I'm not a stalker!)

In early November, I sent the following message to the Young House Love facebook page totally not expecting to hear back. Not only did I hear back, but they messaged back that same day!



After receiving that message I decided that I was really going to try to make it happen. You see, ever since being on maternity leave, my world has become consumed by blogs and blogging and thinking about blogging since I've been up feeding the baby at all hours of the night. Thanks to my iPad, I have been able to follow blogs instead of just stare at the paint on the wall or watch the digital minutes flash by or think about how much I'd rather be sleeping. So, I decided to e-mail the publishers of the newly minted Young House Love book and the organizers of the Tacoma Home and Garden Show (site of the YHL book tour stop in our area).

As cool as I thought it would be to meet John and Sherry (um hellooo...they have millions of followers and are pretty much a household name!), I was just as excited to learn more about blogging and to possibly meet other local bloggers in my area. So, I continued to send e-mails until I was connected to the right person (ok, so I think there were a total of five e-mails...again, this is why I'm not really a stalker! Five is reasonable, right?). My dad always taught me that if you don't ask, you'll never receive, so I figured there was no harm in asking for an invite (heck, it's not like I was inviting myself to dinner with them or trying to figure out which hotel they were staying at...that would be stalkerish!). In my e-mail, I stated that it was ok if I was not to be included in the bloggers only session, but that if I wasn't to be included, I would like to know why. Finally, last Monday I heard back from the PR guy with the following e-mail!


Although it was a little vague (and the date was written wrong), I was stoked! Persistence truly pays off! I invited my way into an invite only blogger session! I'm thinking at this point I'm going to be the only one their with a little tiny "hobby" blog and that I'd get to shmooze it up with the big league local bloggers! As I'm sure you are beginning to gather...this is not what occurred.

Friday morning arrived. I wanted to make something funny for John and Sherry to sign so that I might have a chance to get referred to on their blog (they write reviews of each of their book tour stops and show pictures of people that brought unique items or had funny faces at the signings). I wanted to make a t-shirt for Phil that said, "My wife got 4 months maternity leave & a brand new house. All I got was this Young House Love T-shirt." But, I didn't get my act together. Instead, at the last minute, I found my fabric pens and a white onesie and wrote out #1 Fan Young House Love on it for Micah, which was not unique and turned into just #1 Fan Young House, since the Love part hid under his little jeans!

#1 Fan Young House...Where is the Love?

I gave myself plenty of extra time to drive down to Tacoma since I was not only hauling a four month old baby, but I was also dragging along my mom and gramma, who were visiting from California! I figured John and Sherry and the other local bloggers would appreciate someone rolling in with an entourage that if we all couldn't get in (or if I peeked and thought we all wouldn't fit in), I'd go by myself and they could babysit Micah for an hour. Turns out the people manning the door of the giant Tacoma Dome had no idea about the blogger meet and greet, but they were super friendly and said they would find out for me. Not long after, the gentleman from the PR firm came to meet us and welcomed me, entourage and all, into the Show Room. He very casually said that he was glad that I e-mailed him, that he had e-mailed a few others bloggers kind of at the last minute, and that we may just have a private meet and greet. He kind of laughed, so I figured he was just joking. Still, he led us into the room which only had two round tables set up! Holy crap, this guy was serious! This really is an invite only session! Even if the thing filled up, there would only be about 16-20 bloggers (not to mention that three of those seats are now being filled by myself and my barely-know-what-blogs-are family members!)! Mr. PR then offers us coffee and donuts, hands us an information packet about the Home and Garden Show, and hands us each two free Media tickets for the event...Media! That sounds so cool! Excuse me, coming through, important people here...we are Media! Thank you, thank you!

the crowded room at the invite only Meet and Greet

Excuse Me, Coming through! Media, coming through, I said!

As we are waiting, I figure I've got a little time to feed Mr. Micah and wouldn't you know who walks in, but John and Sherry! Seriously!? This really is going to be a private Meet and Greet!? No freakin way! This is crazy! I pondered getting nervous, but then thought that would be silly since although John and Sherry are now pretty famous (at least in the blogging world), they are just normal people who do normal things, who I happen to have a lot in common with! I mean, think about it. They are young, Phil and I are young; they love their house, we love our house; they have one child, we have one child; they have Burger, we have Charlie! See...the list goes on and on.

Totally Adobe Lightroomed that shiznit ;-)

To make a long story short, we really enjoyed our time with the Young House Lovers. My mom asked a zillion questions (since she had flipped through their book the night before and just love love loved a bunch of their ideas!) and I asked a few about blogging. We learned a bit more about their background and their friends and family that I either forgot about or maybe just maybe they haven't written about on their blog (did I mention before that their blog is amazing?). I thought it was funny that Sherry had worked on the Got Milk campaign in her previous life as those ads were randomly what I collected and taped up all around my room during high school. As expected, John and Sherry were totally nice and down to earth. A few things surprised me. #1) I thought they for sure would have someone working for them or leading them around from place to place all day, but it was basically just them. What!? They didn't have an entourage of people waiting on them hand and foot!? #2) While reading their blog, I've occasionally wondered if they really spend that much time with their daughter (I know, I know...I feel so bad since I hate when people are judgey of other people...especially about parenting stuff, but seriously...how on earth can they do so much blogging, crafting, remodeling, book touring, and still manage to hang out with their little girl!?). Turns out they do most of their projects and blogging while Clara is sleeping. They also said that their sweet little girl has even gotten to be with them for some of their book tour locations, which I thought was pretty cool. You can tell how much they love her and how much they were totally missing her. #3) Their slightly geeky blog writing humor comes off as slightly geeky humor in person! They sure are witty. I'm always impressed by witty people since I'm rarely one of them. Phil is, but that's another story. Now I'm just rambling!

I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet them, chat with them, and learn from them. I hope that I can continue to grow this blog to the point where I might be able to connect with other bloggers and make friends with some of them as they have done with other awesome bloggers like Katie Bowers of BowerPower blog. Add the opportunity to my Once in a Lifetime opportunities list! Actually, don't. Hopefully they'll come crash our house when we're done remodeling and decorating! John & Sherry...how does 2015 sound?

Mom, Gramma, Micah and I took a few photos with them and they took some of Micah. Thanks John and Sherry for not seeing just us and turning back around deeming it not worth it! Thanks also for spending the whole time with us! Let's just say, I learned a few things from you guys, my mom is still bragging and raving to anyone and everyone she knows and sees, my gramma is now following your blog, and Micah is still in a daze from staring at Sherry's shiny earrings sparkling face and glowing personality!

Sherry in photo taking action. I swear I've already lost the baby weight! This is an odd photo of me, ugh!
New fans with the Best Selling (and now signed by the authors) book!

We stuck around the show until they did their main talk for the General Public. They had a really sweet PowerPoint presentation and told the history of themselves and their blog and then did a little Q and A. We even stuck around for the book signing part since I decided to buy another book for my best friend. We were towards the front of the line, so we didn't get to see all the fun creative things that people brought and made for them or fun things for them to sign. The crowd was full of young couples and there were even lots of other kids around. Micah fell asleep under my sweater again as they were speaking to the crowd and he was still like that when it got to our turn in the book signing line. John cracked a joke about how he always seems to see me this way. Oh, breastfeeding humor! How you never get old.

Not scared of their own mugs

Tips and tricks

The super crowded event for, you know, those common folk!

It was a long, yet super satisfying day. As you may have noticed, I've neglected to say much about the actual Tacoma Home and Garden show. Let's just say that my parents (and Bambi) taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. I am trying so hard to not tell you that Tacoma really did nothing to impress me. Trying so hard not to say how much more amazing the Seattle Home Shows and the Seattle Garden Shows are. Trying so hard not to talk all about how terrible the lunch at the Tacoma Dome was. Trying so hard to not shout out to John and Sherry that it stinks that they had to go to Tacoma instead of Seattle and that they missed the best parts of life by the Puget Sound. So, I won't. I'm a good girl after all. A good girl that does not stalk blog celebrities. Now excuse me while I go read their latest blog post and read their most recent tweets, and look at their most recent instagram photo, and see what they just posted on facebook.....

13 comments:

  1. Too funny! I love your enthusiasm. This was a GREAT post to read, I was smiling right with you all of the way! :-)


    ~Sarah
    www.aninvitinghome.com

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  2. Grace_senseandsimplicityFebruary 8, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Wowzer. Lucky you. That must have been fun. I wonder how it all went down behind the scenes, but no matter how it happened I 'm glad they were gracious and you had such a fun story to tell.

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  3. How fun! Way to stay persistent! :) I met the Pioneer Woman at one of her book signings and it was so fun. No fancy meet and greet for me though!

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  4. Thanks Sarah! I checked out your blog and love your bedroom on your house tour!

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  5. I seriously wonder too! Seems like such a missed opportunity. Thanks for reading my post!

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  6. Thanks Brittney! I'm not familiar with Pioneer Woman, so now I'm going to check it out! Thanks again!

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  7. You're so lucky. I totally wish I'd thought of that. I went with the MR, and he doesn't do crowds or lines well. So didn't even get my book signed, but I loved their talk. They're so cute and inspiring. Good luck with your blog and the new baby. He's very sweet.

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  8. Thanks Brittney! I'm not familiar with Pioneer Woman, so now I'm going to have to check her out! :-)
    Sincerely,
    Ali Vrbas
    858-837-1114
    AliMVrbas@hotmail.com
    Sent from my iPad

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  9. Thanks Sarah! I just checked out your website and I really like your home tour...especially your bedroom! Thanks for stopping by!
    Sincerely,
    Ali Vrbas
    858-837-1114
    AliMVrbas@hotmail.com
    Sent from my iPad

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  10. you're just a girl you makes things happen :)

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