Stylemaker Issue on stands now!
Last week we took Jude to New York City as I attended my 4th Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker event. It’s one of my favorite blogger things to attend, and it was extra special to go this year as we have an enormous spread in their newest magazine(!). More on this in a sec. It’s funny what a difference a year makes; last year I needed a solo trip so badly. I was so exhausted from motherhood and a new baby, and felt totally disconnected from me – real me. I needed a big fluffy bed all to myself and the permission to go to bed early. I was grappling with the big decision to close my shop and all that would entail.
In short, I was fried.
This year was so different, so much lighter and more joyful. I couldn’t wait to go back with Simon and Jude (see when we took him to NYC before here) and that was confirmed as we flew high over Manhattan late on Tuesday night and I listened to Jude’s excited gasps as we pointed out all the skyscrapers, glimmering below.
The event itself was in the Gramercy Park Hotel and it quickly became my new favorite little corner of New York. We stayed nearby in the W Union Square and the walk around the corner and past so many beautiful brownstones was that perfect “Fall in NYC” kind of moment. Bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils! Yes! The content was inspiring, as always, but the highlight was being a part of the brand new magazine that we were photographed for.
It was early spring this year when I got an email from one of the editors at BHG asking if I’d send photos of the house. They were planning on creating a new special publication called Stylemakers and it would release at the same time as the (wait for it) Stylemaker Event which also celebrates the Stylemakers issue of BHG. Confused yet? I know – it’s a lot of styling and making.
To be honest, after all the mayhem of the neighborhood home tour, I was like ‘ehh, what’s one other thing?’ And all the work on the house was already done, so it didn’t stress me out nearly as bad as the home tour. THAT was way worse (#neveragain). Although let me be clear: it was still a lot of stress. High Point followed by home tour followed by birthday California trip (and subsequent rush to buy a dress to be photographed in) followed by end of school year stuff followed by a magazine crew? Well, there was lots of eating my feelings.
So before I knew it, everything was all scheduled during Jude’s last week of school in May and they were actually going to come out to OKC for a few days with a stylist, photographer, assistant, and another editor from BHG. There was an allowance for me to get my hair, makeup and nails done (whaaat?) and there was the possibility of my story ending up on the cover. I scrambled to find something to wear.
A ginormous box of flowers literally the size of a small casket showed up on the front porch with instructions to put them in water ASAP and keep them in a dark room. Six rugs and numerous accessories also appeared.
And I can’t say enough good things about the experience. Lacey Howard was the stylist and beyond delightful. I wish she lived closer; down to earth and funny, I loved getting to watch her work and chat with her about silly things and serious things.
Internet, if I’m being honest, I worry that people will look at these photos and think “oh they must live so perfectly in a magazine-worth house.” The reality is that the dog had pooped on the floor right before they got here. It was my Room of Shame that I’d closed off because it was SO bad. It was piles of laundry and laundry rooms and all of us sharing a bathroom because the other one was full of flowers for the shoot. The reality was so much more difficult than a glossy picture make it appear. I was so exhausted and sleep deprived — in fact, it was right before this shoot that i kind of hit rock bottom about Archer’s sleep issues and spent almost two hours on the phone with the Tulsa Pediatric Sleep gal who pretty much saved our lives. In a way, this shoot was the beginning of the end of a really REALLY hard season. We survived.
Here’s Jude chowing down on the forbidden cherries once the shot was done. Simon and Jude couldn’t wait to get their hands on them — Lacey and I were both OMG DON’T TOUCH THEM UNTIL AFTER WE SHOOT.
Funnily enough, I ran out to pick Archer up from my mother-in-law’s while Jude stayed at the house while the stylist and photogs were working. When I came back, I found Lacey and Jude in the kitchen making Nutella sandwiches. He went in and told them he was hungry and so they stopped working (OMG) and made him a sandwich. I nearly died right there on the spot.
I’m still drooling over the photos I shot of all the gorgeous florals. Those peonies were showstoppers.
The finished product came in the mail right before I left for New York, and it will be officially on sale tomorrow, October 4th. The paper is oh-so luscious and velvety. I still can’t believe I’m actually in it. It’s ten full pages of our house, all spiffed up and shining bright.
There’s my Grandmother’s China cabinet and it makes me feel all the weepy feels. I wish she could know how often I think of her when I see it.
I look at these photos now and while I wish I were skinnier or less sleep-deprived in these photos, it says so much about our life at this very moment. I’m so proud of what our family is and how we live. And I hope that one day my children will look back at this and have so many happy memories of what their lives were like in this house, surrounded by parents who love and adore them.
Better Homes & Gardens, I’m so thankful for the opportunities you’ve sent my way. Thank you for seeing our colorful life here in Oklahoma City and sharing it with your readers. Thank you to Lacey Howard, Jay Wilde and his fab assistant whose name is TOTALLY escaping me right now but kept me laughing during 300 takes to get the right shot, and editor Samantha Thorpe.
From the bottom of my color-loving (and now more rested) heart.
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