...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Truth: I met John & Sherry! You guys. It. Was. Awesome. I’d never been to a book signing before this past weekend so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought I’d share my experience and thoughts for other rookie book-signing attendees and for those of you who are planning on hitting up the YHL book tour.

The signing I went to was in Cincinnati at a large book fair called Books by the Banks. There were tons of authors there signing books. Even though the event was kid-friendly and my kids love books, I made arrangements for Layne and Everett to stay with my dad and bonus mom for the day so I could soak it all up. I have to admit. I felt a tinge of mom guilt over not taking them. But I knew they wouldn’t enjoy the lines and waiting. Plus, this was the first out-of-the-house thing I’ve done just for me since Mabrey was born nearly seven months ago.

HH was my right-hand man {as always} and came with me to tend to Mabrey so I could focus on the book-signing. Luckily, Mabrey was in good spirits during the whole event. She loves being around people and having an entire container of Puffs at her disposal didn’t hurt either.

We arrived early and grabbed a bite to eat since we hadn’t been able to throw anything in our mouths during the mad dash out the door that morning. Looking back, we probably should have eaten at our house or packed some snacks as sitting down for only a few minutes put us at the end of a very loooooong line to meet John & Sherry. At this point, HH and I decided it was best for him and Mabrey to grab a few seats for us in the conference room where John & Sherry were going to be speaking and I waited in line.

The line for Young House Love was by far the longest line. In fact, now that I think about it, it was the only line. Any other table, you could walk right up and speak to the author. Even the Novogratz table – which I happened to hit up as well.

Robert told me he liked my bag and I about died but somehow managed to say ‘thank you’ instead. And I knew he was tall. But dude is crazy tall. I barely came up to his shoulder. I’m 5’3″/5’4″ and he’s got a good foot-and-a-half on me. They were both really nice and signed my book. I think I said something about being inspired by their style especially with all those kids  around. 7 kids. I. Can’t. Imagine.

Anyhow, back to the YHL line. It was long. Good long. Everyone I met in line was excited to meet John & Sherry and had no problem waiting for their turn. I think that’s a testament to how much YHL readers value John & Sherry’s ways…not over-the-top just down-to-earth, funny and friendly. In fact, I had fun in line. I met some great people. {Hey Kristin & Gauri!} I mean we’re all standing in line for the same thing so obviously we’ve got something in common, right? Why not talk about it?

When it was my turn at the table, it was less about getting my book signed and more about just meeting John & Sherry. To me, it was sort of like meeting a pen pal after a few letters back-and-forth. {Sherry and I have emailed each other for various reasons over the past few years.} I was super nervous. And just like Sherry has admitted to getting sweaty, talkative and weird when she’s nervous, I’ll admit that I get smiley, forgetful and huggy – as in I want to give everyone hugs.

Even other married men. In front of my HH. I swear I hugged Sherry too but somehow all the photos on my phone/camera are of me and John hugging. Is that creepy or what? So I was a creeper and smiled a lot and forgot a lot {I nearly forgot my signed copy of the book at the table!! and my camera bag on floor and totally forgot to formally introduce HH to J & S but they all shook hands so I’m pretty sure they knew who he was anyways. Still, HH kept Mabrey happy that whole time and I couldn’t even keep my wits about me to introduce him. Total failure.} and hugged a lot. I really need to get out more often. I forget how to act in public!

John & Sherry also gave ~45 minute talk in between signing books. If you’re planning on going to one of the book signings where they’ll be speaking, definitely make an effort to hear them out. The room was packed. Standing room only in the back. Yet it felt casual, personal and very YHL. Just like an extension of the blog. They are so funny and it’s a special thing to watch them together. I had a blast.

If you’re thinking of making one of the YHL book tour stops, here are my words of advice:

*Get there early. They sold out of books! I don’t think they/their publisher was expecting that but it didn’t surprise me or other fans in line. A few people speculated that it was because it was the very first stop before the book is officially released on November 6th but I have an inkling that lines are going to be long – good  long! – at all the stops before and after the release. John & Sherry were hard core. I saw them take one five-minute break and sign through their lunches {see their plates on their book-less table?}. If that’s not commitment then I don’t know what is.

*Make it a ‘me’ day. Even though the book-signing and talk were totally family-friendly, it was really nice not having all three kids to chase around/take to the bathroom/feed/carry/entertain. I was happy that I made babysitting arrangements for Layne and Everett. If you decide to bring the kid{s}, then bring another adult to tend to them. Thank you, HH.

*Bring snacks. We ended up spending four hours at the book fair. We brought snacks for Mabrey but I wish we would have brought something for ourselves as well. Even a bottle of water, a banana and some crackers would have been nice.

*Talk to people in line. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in line. Why not make the best of an already good situation?

*Be yourself. This goes for what to wear and what to say. I wore something I would wear on any other non-book-signing-day. I didn’t plan anything to say I just said what I was feeling at that moment. “I’m so excited!” was my motto. I saw one fan have John & Sherry sign a white ceramic animal that she smuggled in in her mom’s purse. How genius was that?

Have fun! Oh, and check out page 184. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and absorb the entire book yet. I’m not a flip-through-the-pages-first kinda gal. I have to block out a chunk of time to thoroughly enjoy it in its entirety. But, I’m telling you, you need this book. And I get nothing out of the deal. That’s just me giving you my two cents.

Thanks, John & Sherry, for making my year!

Truth: I experienced my first NFL game live! Well, now, isn’t that quite a broad spectrum of firsts in one weekend?! So the book-signing was Saturday and then somehow Sunday morning we scored awesome club tickets to the Steelers-Bengals game that night. Let’s just say we know people. Or let’s say our friends know people who know people who weren’t using their tickets and were giving them away. Thanks Heather and Dave!

I was leery of going. It meant leaving the boys for a second day in a row and leaving Mabrey for the first time since she was born! But it also meant first date night in eight months!! HH is a huge Steelers fan {which makes me one by marriage} and he had been my baby warrior the day before at the book fair so I couldn’t say no. Plus, I actually enjoy watching football.

Somehow we missed security and walked right up to the field as the Steelers were coming in from warm-ups. HH was pumped. I worried about Mabrey. But the Steelers won and turns out Mabrey was an angel AND drank a bottle. {!} Maybe there’s something to this date night thing after all.

Did you experience any ‘firsts’ this weekend? There was definitely a trade-off to spending so much time away from home this weekend. We didn’t get any projects done and I have a GINORMOUS pile of dirty laundry waiting for me but I’m so glad I said ‘yes!’ to new things.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

56 Comments

22.October.2012

I’m so jealous! I wanted to go to that but found out about it too late. Plus, we already had other engagements. It looks like you had so much fun and I’m happy you had a nice “me day” and got to meet John and Sherry. But nothing can compare to HH’s expression in that last pic! It’s like winning the lottery, Christmas and the brightest, sun-shiniest day ever, all rolled into one! You guys had an awesome weekend!!

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22.October.2012

You lucky duck! I wish John and Sherry were stopping by our neck of the woods, hopefully they add a Cali stop on their book tour. We actually had our first date night post-baby this weekend too. A Brad Paisley concert at the Hollywood Bowl. So fun!

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22.October.2012

The book signing was awesome! I kept looking for you, but I must have missed you. We were in line, but missed out on getting the book. They ran out about 5 people in front of me.

And I LOVE that you’re Steelers fans!! My husband converted me when we were dating and we’re big time fans. So jealous that you guys went to the game. We went two years ago when they were in Cincy and unfortunately they lost. :( But we still had a blast there. Glad you got to experience two awesome firsts this weekend!

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22.October.2012

YAY – Steelers won!

YAY – hugs with John & Sherry!

Since we’re getting ready for retirement & moving I’m not allowing myself to buy anything non-essential so no YHL book for me yet. Or I could get the nook version since I realized I can read them on the computer now that I downloaded the software. Decorating book (and cookbooks also) are a bit of a let down on my nook since it is older and not color.

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22.October.2012

So cool that you met them! I’ve RSVPed for the Boston stop on Nov 7th and I am so excited. Also super nervous which worries me because I tend to get shy when I’m nervous. But still really excited. :)

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replied on October 22nd, 2012

I’ll be at the book signing in Boston too! Can’t wait to meet them and I’m definitely anticipating loooong lines!! I’ve been waiting to get my book until the signing but now I’m nervous they’ll run out, maybe I’ll pick up a copy early and a copy at the signing to gift – or sneak in a ceramic animal for a signing :)

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replied on October 23rd, 2012

I’ve been waiting to get it too so I could pick it up at the signing. Hopefully they don’t run out this time. :) Maybe less will be bought at the signing because it will already be out at that point?

Either way, so excited! :)

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I’m so glad I’m attending an event on their book tour that involves tickets. Hello home Richmond! $25 is nothing for a night of book signing & hearing them speak (even some wine & apps too!). Hopefully it’ll be less crazy since the tickets sold out the first day!

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So So Exciting!!! How fun for you!! What a great day. And an NFL game to boot! Yay!

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YAYYYY!!!! I am going to see them in Chicago, I can not wait.

This just made me even more excited :)

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22.October.2012

Unfortunately, J&S won’t be near us so I’ll miss all the book signings. Got my book pre-ordered through Amazon, so I’m just hoping it comes a bit early! I’m also a Steelers fan by marriage. Glad you made it to the game!

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22.October.2012

It sounds like a nice weekend Millers ! I’ve followed the book tour stuff from far since J&S are not going to come in France but I just found out that I can order their book through amazon.fr. How great is that ?! My boyfriend is a huge fan of football (although it’s not big at all here in France but it’s his favorite sport) so he gets up at 2 in the morning to watch games on cable … No firsts for me this weekend, but I made progress in the powder room, I might have a big reveal at the end of the week. Take care !

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Wow- what a great weekend!! I was seeing your Instagram posts of the book signing and was soooo jealous!! I would have loved to have been there and met both J & S and you! Glad you had a good experience with trying some new things. I should do the same!

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22.October.2012

I’m going to try to go to the Dallas book signing, even though it will mean bringing my baby and husband along too. But I really want to meet them!

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22.October.2012

I love how excited you are about everything in this post! And I totally hear you on how exciting it is to do stuff specifically for *you* (my boys are 3 and 20 months)! Hooray for YHL day and a day-date with HH!!

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22.October.2012

WAY COOL!!! So glad y’all had such a great weekend! We didn’t have a thrilling weekend but this upcoming Saturday will be our first night without our girl since she was born (over 2 years ago)! A big first for this mommy! Will be sharing the picture of HH and the Steelers with my hubs! My hubs is a huge Packers fan but loves all things football so he’ll be impressed! :-) Good luck catching up from your fun weekend!

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Holy awesome weekend! John and Sherry AND date night? Whoop! They’re hitting my city too… by the looks of it, I should expect the line to be massive! I saw the Novogratz too last week. I’m even shorter than you so there was no way I was going to actually stand beside Robert for a photo, ha!

Yay kids for giving mom some free time this week :)

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22.October.2012

Eee! So exciting about J&S. Really grateful that you shared your experience with J&S because I know I’m freaking out a little for my turn when they come to Chicago. Will definitely be bring snacks, dressing normal, and getting there early.

Thanks!

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22.October.2012

What a great weekend! I’m so glad you and HH got some time out- I know how hard and wonderful that can be! It looks like the book signing was a blast, how fun. I remember when they featured your house way back when- seems like ages ago!

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22.October.2012

Oh my your HH is gorgeous!!

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22.October.2012

Okay… I know I’m a total lame-o but I didn’t know who YHL was… until now! Thank you so much for the “introduction”… I’m already in love. ;-)

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22.October.2012

SO JEALOUS!!! I wish they were having a book signing down here in FL, but no go! I would be just as excited as you! I too have never been to one so thanks for the advice if I ever do make it to one. Maybe they will eventually make there way down here. I can’t believe that the Novogratz didn’t have a line! CRAZY I totally love their style. Probably because it’s out of my comfort zone, but they do it so well.

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replied on October 24th, 2012

Hi Angela! They are in fact coming to Florida in January! Miami on Jan 9th and Fort Lauderdale on Jan 10th. Hope you can make it!

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replied on October 25th, 2012

Angela, are you in South Florida??

I will be in the one in Fort Lauderdale! I cannot wait!!!

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22.October.2012

Sounds like you had an awesome weekend!! I’m so excited to see The Petersik’s in the Seattle area in January!! I’m sure I will be completely awkward and a sweaty weirdo. haha!! Enjoy your book! I was thinking over the weekend how lucky people were to get it early!

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22.October.2012

I’m glad you guys had a great weekend! Sometime getting out and about can make us a better Mom. I’m crabby the longer I’m home for an extended amount of time. My kids are a bit older but I know it’s tough to leave when you are breast feeding and trying to accommodate naps, etc.

I’ve never heard about the second couple (seven kids!!) you visited at the book signing, I’ll have to look them up!

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22.October.2012

How exciting – I have their book on pre-order! They won’t be near me so I won’t be able to get it signed :(
Truth be told though – I would stand in any length of line to meet you too – you are a huge inspiration to me and I admire both you and your husband for the sacrifices you have made to make your family your number one priority! JoAnn

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22.October.2012

omg – just how cute are you, with your “sherry & john” crush? have to agree with joann, too: if you came to town, i’d take the day off and hang out in line with something to get signed and snacks. :) thanks for being so honest about your experience. it’s nice to know other people feel like that, too, sometimes.

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22.October.2012

Oh my gosh! I am the fan with the ceramic animal. As if that wasn’t dorky enough I was the one acting like a weirdo when I met you! I was just so excited/nervous, so thank you for being so kind and gracious and taking a photo with my sister and I. It was so good to meet you!

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22.October.2012

I can’t believe there was no one in line to see the Novogratz! They are such an inspiration and are amazing designers! I have their first book and love it! I’d definitely love to meet them!!

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22.October.2012

I’m so jealous you get the book early – I’m desperate for mine but I have to wait until it actually gets released, haha. So excited for them to come to Austin in January!

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22.October.2012

I’m so glad my sister (the one with the ceramic animal) and I met you! We love your blog and thought you were really sweet! I felt a little star struck meeting you and John & Sherry and the Novogratz’s!! All in the same day!! We had a great time…also Mabrey is adorable!

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22.October.2012

OMG that looks like so much fun!! Can’t wait to get my copy I pre-ordered on amazon! :)

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22.October.2012

If I were Sherry I would have been pinching Mabrey’s cheeks the entire time. I bet someday you’ll have a book out. I just know it!

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22.October.2012

Yep….I was at that game to last night. I wasn’t nearly as excited about the outcome as was your HH. :-(

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There isn’t a YHL stop anywhere near us (yet!) so this just made my day. Glad to hear you had such a positive experience!

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Ahhhh SO JEALOUS you got to stay the extra day for the game! We had plans back in Pittsburgh that we couldn’t put off, otherwise we were strongly considering scalping some tickets and going! Looks like you had a blast!

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23.October.2012

How much fun! I was in Ohio this week for work but then headed down to Kentucky to spend some time with family. I am bummed I couldn’t make it work to go to the book signing. I am patiently waiting for my book to arrive. I head out of town again tomorrow and not sure if I will get it in time to have some good reading on my flight. Glad you had fun!

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23.October.2012

Sounds like you had a fabulous weekend!
Thanks for sharing your book signing tips! I’m missing their first signing in VA, but am planning to make it to the second one that they just scheduled. I’m sure your tips will come in handy!

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23.October.2012

Well, that answers my question on if it’s easy to get a picture with the Petersiks! lol I’m going to try and do the hug thing also when they come to Dallas. heehee

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Aw, you’re so sweet! We had SO MUCH FUN meeting you! You were completely not weird at all. And I love that the remaining mystery is where John’s other hand was. Haha! We’ll have to hang out again asap. Seriously, maybe you’ll end up in Richmond for a visit someday or we’ll bump into you somewhere else. Smooch that Mabrey for me.

xo
Sherry (& the fam)

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replied on October 24th, 2012

Yes. ASAP. How’s tomorrow look for you guys? ;)

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replied on October 25th, 2012

Works for me!

xo
s

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24.October.2012

Thank you for the shout out! I had a blast hanging out with you in line and thank you for not laughing at me when I, knowing you from somewhere but not connecting the dots, asked you if you were John’s sister. I mean. Who does that??? sheesh. Anyway… thanks for making it not feel like hours in line at all! :-) I wish that everyone who read your blog and followed your life had the chance to get to meet you. You are so sweet, humble, easy to talk to, and not to mention fantastically stylish. HH also gets the award for super dad and husband of the day. Oh, and thank you for signing your guest blogger page for me too! I see more book signings in your future. Thanks again.
Kristen

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replied on October 24th, 2012

I took your question about me being John’s sister as a compliment! I had so much fun in line with you, your mom and Gauri!!

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24.October.2012

So bummed I missed the signing :( I too had prior engagements. Their blog was the first I started following religiously. Yours has been added to the list too. And had NO CLUE the Novogratz would be there. Double bummed.

Bonus* You’re from Ohio! I picked up on that through the blog a few months ago, but had no clue how close to Cincy you were. Great following some close to home peeps :) I live and work in Cincinnati and trying to muster up the confidence to start blogging. Heck, it took some pushing just to write this comment.

I would have been excited to meet YOU at the signing too!

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24.October.2012

How HILARIOUS that you only have pictures hugging John! I remember some Sherry hugs in there too. I’ll ask my mom what was up and why she only snapped those ha ha. Thanks again for a fun “in-line” experience! It was great meeting you!

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replied on October 24th, 2012

Oh, same here! No worries about the pics. We wouldn’t have had any otherwise!

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24.October.2012

I think you must have been a little behind me in line, Dana. I kept seeing this guy with a baby and some chin fuzz :) who I thought looked familiar walk by, but I couldn’t place him. Now I realize it was Handy Hubby!

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24.October.2012

Clicked over here from YHL and read as far as your Before and After post a few days ago. I had to come back and comment about what a fabulous job you are doing with your house. You have been thinking outside the box with envy enducing results. I know that living through it all hasn’t been easy but the results are so worth it.

I also appreciate the advice on going to a book signing. I will have trouble remembering that just because I ‘know’ John and Sherry, that they will have no idea who I am.

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24.October.2012

Congrats! YHL spilled the beans on what I assume is on page 184. Looking forward to reading your tips too now!

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24.October.2012

I love love your shirt, and you paired it up perfectly with white pants… Would you please share where you got it from, I am going to run an get it!

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replied on October 24th, 2012

Oh my, Linda. That button-up shirt is one of my favorites…and very old as well. It’s from Charlotte Russe and is at least 4 years old! But that’s how my closet goes. I buy classic pieces that I love and that fit great. Then I keep and wear them for years. I don’t have very many clothes but the ones I do have, I love. The white jeans are skinny jeans from Wal-Mart. Would you have guessed that? If an item fits great and is classic, I’ll buy it from pretty much anywhere. I don’t restrict myself to only brand name stores. You can’t seem them but I wore my favorite leather boots with the outfit. They are also a few years old.

When I’m no longer loving an item in my closet due to wear-and-tear, I’ll donate it then keep an eye out for something to replace it.

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24.October.2012

Just popped in for the first time after reading about the book fair on YHL. Great post! Totally get the Steelers fan by marriage thing. Since moving to Pittsburgh, I have become a Steelers fan by almost-marriage b/c my boyfriend is a native. It’s so exciting you got to go to a game!!

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24.October.2012

Hey there! I was the one who was sitting next to you during the seminar, the one who leaned over and said, “Do you read their blog? And where did you get your book?” haha, I felt kinda silly after that, standing in line behind you when I discovered you were in the book! I wasn’t able to snag one, but I’m excited to read it and see what awesome stuff you added to it!! <3

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I was at Books by the Banks too and met John & Sherry and the Novogratz! Such a fun day! Although I had my 2 boys with me ( unavoidable since the hub was out of town) and I would have MUCH rather went on my own! I actually didn’t wait in line because I knew it would be too much for the boys to handle, so I stalked the line all day in between amusing the kids in the kids corner and joined the line when it finally went down to only about a 10 minute wait. It was funny because when I was waiting in line I was talking to a lady and told her I am also a Design blogger and she asked me if I was you! Apparently the word got out that you were there too:)
Glad you had fun at the Bengals game! I went to my first NFL game after moving here a few years ago and they are pretty fun.
Take care!
Sarah

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