all family photos by elle and arre photography
Oh, friends. Brace yourselves today because things are about to get honest in here! 🙂 With Valentine's Day coming up, my sweet friend Claire of Claire Brody Designs asked if Donnie and I would want to participate in this year's rendition of "So I married a blogger..." where the husbands take over the blog and answer questions about their wife and blogging. Now I have let Donnie take over the blog before, but most of the time he's been talking about going paperless or installing a kitchen or making money blogging. Never have I ever let him have free reign to talk about ME! Yikes!
But I hesitantly handed over the reins and let him spill all of my secrets, and I even tried not to interject and defend myself too much... 😉 A bunch of my bloggy friends have taken on the same challenge with their husbands, so be sure to check out their interviews via the links at the end of the post.
How involved are you with Abby's blog?
Pretty involved. I started helping Abby with blog business/marketing in February 2014 and then in February 2015 I started working with Abby full time on the blog. She’s the “face” of the thing, and I’m more behind the scenes helping with technical issues, marketing, and business strategy. One of my lesser-known roles is that of Abby’s support system. I'm a sounding board for ideas, encourage her when she's feeling down about how things are going with the blog, and celebrate with her when things are going well.
How often do you read the blog? Are you an avid reader or do you see enough at home?
I read every post and I love it! Abby is a fantastic writer, so all of her posts are fun for me to read. Occasionally she even lets me write a post or two.
How much time does Abby spend on her blog? What are her hours like?
It’s more than 40 hours per week, but the challenge is that neither of us have “regular” business hours. We have kids, their school, their activities, and a lot of other family. We rotate “work” days and then fill in other free time with blogging.
Are you the cheap manual labor or is there hired help for that? In other words, does Abby use you for your handy work?
I do all the major renovation projects. The bathroom, the kitchen, tile work, trim work, etc. Abby is getting good at how she approaches me about these ideas. She drips them out over time so as to not overwhelm me. I really do enjoy building things and working my hands, the problem is that I’m slow which is frustrating for me and I’m sure frustrating for Abby.
Not frustrating! I just appreciate that he's willing to do it! SO MANY of the projects wouldn't be possible without Donnie's mad handyman skills! 🙂
Describe Abby's style.
Her decorating style? I would say simple, classic, and modern. Maybe those three words don’t fit together but I think it makes sense. She definitely doesn’t “over decorate” and fill our small space with lots of unnecessary decorating stuff.
Describe your style.
For the house? Whatever Abby tells me it should be. If I was designing my own office without Abby’s input it would have lots of wood and even more metal. Lots of lighting and lots of bookshelves.
Donnie's Standing Desk
How often does your home change?
It’s different more than it’s the same if that answers the question. There’s no such thing as being “done” with it. It’s always evolving. Abby changes wall picture layout constantly. And somehow she’s convinced me that she’s incapable of using a measuring tape and level so I end up doing all the picture hanging stuff. I’m hanging something for her most weeks.
It's like once or twice a month! He's right though. I struggle with wall art and am never happy with what I have on the walls. It's a work in progress. 🙂
How many different sofas have you had since marrying Abby?
We’ve only purchased one! We started with a few “donated” sofas when we started married life together. We’re grateful for the generosity but they were truly terrible sofas. One was like a white camo pattern and the other one sat about 4.5 inches off the ground.
One day the toilet upstairs in our kids' bathroom overflowed and the water poured down through the ceiling onto our sofa in the living room. We bought a new sofa the next day.
How often do you offer decorating advice? Does she consider your opinion?
For the big things she asks advice all the time. We look at paint colors, flooring, tiles, and cabinets together. Not sure how much she values my opinion, but she at least humors me, which is nice.
What's your favorite room in the house? Why?
Abby’s office. My office is in the corner of an unfinished basement. It’s freezing cold in the winter, no windows, with spiders everywhere. Abby’s office is beautiful, heated, and has walls. I’m jealous.
What does it really look like behind the camera?
I don’t know because I try to get out of Abby’s way on picture days. She spends hours trying to get the perfect shot and usually she’s walking around talking to herself about wanting to get better at photography. I just stay out of the way!
What is a project that you hate but have never voiced (or maybe you have)?
One time she added a cushion to the top of this little wobbly piece of furniture and then put it at the dining room table for people to sit on. I felt like if I looked at the thing the wrong way it would break. Plus it was super short and looked weird. Fortunately that thing is nowhere to be found.
False. First of all, it is a bench and is super cute and not wobbly at all. Second, it is the same height as a standard dining chair. And third, it is currently at the foot of our bed looking beautiful and Donnie uses it all the time without realizing it. And it is still sturdy and going strong. I rest my case. 🙂
Do you know of Abby's blogger friends? If so, who's your favorite?
Because of Abby’s private Facebook group for her Building a Framework bloggers I get to interact with some of her blogger friends. I have no problem picking favorites so here they are:
-Lauren Lanker of The Thinking Closet - She just seems like the nicest most genuine person ever. I’ve never met her in person but I feel like I trust her already. I’m glad she’s friends with Abby.
-Jackie Hernandez of Teal & Lime and School of Decorating - Jackie is super nice and every time I talk with her she’s always smiling and positive. She’s also terrific business person and sets long term strategic goals and then makes it happen.
-Laura Smith of I Heart Planners - I admire Laura’s focus and business skills. She always seems less worried about what others are doing and laser focused on what she wants to do. If I have a business strategy question I really value Laura’s advice. Plus, she’s a Pittsburgher.
There are dozens of other people I could name here. I’m thankful Abby has such a wonderful community of people that understand her and support her.
What's your favorite aspect of Abby being a blogger? Least favorite?
I’m so thankful Abby started a blog in January of 2013. I remember a few weeks before she launched she sheepishly told me she wanted to start one. She was shy about it and almost embarrassed. It’s amazing how far it’s come. I’m so thankful for Abby’s work ethic and what it’s done for our family. I’m home with the kids and Abby more than I ever thought I’d be. It’s a blessing.
The least favorite part (and this is minor) is that it can sometimes take over your life. There’s no such thing as leaving your work at the office for a blogger. It’s always there. There’s always more you can do. There’s always someone who needs something. It’s hard and it’s a lot of work. But totally worth it!
What are your household chores?
I fix/build things, do any of the outside work, take out the trash, and do all the dishes each day. Abby is in charge of cooking, cleaning, and laundry.
What's something about Abby that her readers might not know (but she would be okay with you sharing)?
Abby has two incredible parents but she’s much more like one than the other...
Abby with her sister Brittany and her parents
Abby is incredibly ambitious and driven. Her work ethic is off the charts and she has trouble turning it off once she gets going. She’s a tremendous leader and effective communicator in front of large groups of people. She’s also very passionate with lots of highs and some lows. She gets all of these things from her Dad who’s a pastor and the director of a non-profit. If you want to hear Abby speak, make sure you go to the SNAP Conference in April.
It’s interesting that sometimes I talk to Abby’s mom and we commiserate about how we both are the (necessary) opposite of our spouses. Both me (and Abby’s mom) are the detailed and organized spouses. We’re less emotional and more level headed. We’re not easily rattled and we’ve both learned when to urge our spouses to put the brakes on a bit and be more rational and less driven by emotion.
Abby and I make a great team.
What does Abby REALLY want for Valentine's Day, and what are you getting her?
Abby probably wants some time to herself on Valentine’s Day, but I’m not going to leave her alone. 🙂
He loves me, I promise! 🙂 It was so fun for me to read his answers to these questions because many of them I wouldn't have guessed! I feel so blessed to have Donnie as my partner in life and in blogging, and I couldn't imagine doing any of it without him!
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, a bunch of my friends have let their husbands take over their blogs for the day as well, so be sure to pop around and read their answers-- they are hilarious!
A Thoughtful Place
Burlap and Lace
Claire Brody Designs
Cuckoo 4 Design
Design Post Interiors
Dimples & Tangles
Dream Green DIY
Driven by Decor
Emily A. Clark
House of Hipsters
Just a Girl and Her Blog
Life on Virginia Street
Our Fifth House
Primitive and Proper
Style Your Senses
The DIY Playbook
Thanks so much for popping in today, friends! Have a wonderful weekend!