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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Love Story + Design*Sponge Book Signing!

I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this post on Design*Sponge a few weeks ago.

I knew D*S was coming to Atlanta, but I never dreamed they would come so close to us!  Mr. Great Indoors and I live awfully close to Athens, so I immediately signed us both up for this book tour event.  It just so happened that the book signing coincided with our very first date ten years ago.  So I figured this post would be a good time to tell you a little bit about how the Great Indoors family came to be.

Mr. GI and I went to the same high school and were in marching band together, he on trumpet and I on flute.  I evidently caught his eye in my freshman year (he's a year older than I am), but it wasn't until the next year that we went on our first date on November 2, 2001.  Too bad I don't have any of those high school pictures scanned in-- they're priceless.  The best I can do is one of the last pictures we took as a couple, scanned in from my Mom's photo collection.

Visiting Mr. GI at his Air Force base in summer 2004

We dated through high school, through Mr. Great Indoor's first year in the Air Force (isn't it fitting that his name is Mr. GI??), and a few months into my freshman year in college.  

Our second "first" date in January 2007 at a gymnastics meet

At that point we'd been dating for three years and hadn't seen each other much the third year (a 12-hour distance will do that to you), so I broke it off.  And broke Mr. GI's heart in the process.  

Ready for dinner on our second "first" date in January 2007

But all good things come in time, and after two years apart, Mr. GI made a visit by my college apartment on his way back to his AF base in December 2006.  We went on our second "first" date a month later on the day he left the AF, then he popped the question in April 2008.  

Engagement photo taken by my sister.  :-)
We got married in a sweet country church close to our hometown exactly a year after our engagement, bought the house a few months later, and the rest is history!  How is it possible that TEN YEARS have passed?  You'd think we would have grown tired of each other by now.  :-)

Wedding photos taken by Tommy Blaylock

All that to say that November 2 is sort of a special day in our history.  So it was even more exciting to know that Grace Bonney herself would be in our little corner of the world on that date!  (I've included links to all the Athens spots I mention just in case you're interested in visiting!)

As soon as I had gotten us on the list for the book signing, I bought the new Design*Sponge book, which I (of course) already had on my wish list.  Back when Grace started the final book production last July, I got on board to be on her sneak peek email list.  She emailed every few weeks when the book was being written, photographed, and edited, and it was really cool to see the creative process behind the book, including what got kept or tossed in the design process.  She posted later about the evolution of the cover, posted a preview of the home tours featured, and gave a taste of the DIYs that were included.  It really is a beautiful publication, and I plan to read every word of it, cover to cover.  I'm about halfway through.  :-)

Ciné is a cinema house in downtown Athens, and it was actually the first time either of us had been inside.  It was the perfect venue for D*S to come to Athens, though, especially since it's right next door to one of the tastiest restaurants in Athens, The National.  So wish we had gone there for dinner, but we opted for another (more affordable) downtown favorite, Casa Mia.

Ciné welcomed us well, with an art installation just inside the front doors.

Of course I brought my copy of Design*Sponge at Home and had Grace sign it... and of course forgot to take a picture with her.  They had her set up at a corner table with (what else!) a pink pen.  She was just as precious and genuine as I had imagined her to be, although I'm sure she must be exhausted by this part of the national tour.  It began in September in NYC and finishes in December in Toronto, with almost 30 stops along the way.  I got the chance to chat with Amy Azzarito, D*S managing editor, and she said they do get weekends to rest up a bit before heading back out for more tour dates.

There were a ton of people in a relatively small space, with doughnuts catered by local bakery Ike & Jane; their doughnuts are to die for.  Mr. GI had a Lucky Charms doughnut and a I had red velvet/chocolate doughnut.  Like I said -- to die for.  More dessert than breakfast.

The book signing in Athens was part of a national tour, and most of the stops included some sort of crafting activity with Grace.  The event in Athens, though, was a book signing and concert with a set by The Corduroy Road, a local band (who also played at Grace's wedding in Savannah)

Just like the other tour events, this one had a beautiful piece of art as a photo backdrop.  I wish I had taken a close-up, but this shot will have to do-- it's a series of book pages dyed in varying shades of pink to match the book.  So cool.  

They give you a remote to take shots of yourself in front of the backdrop.  Mr. GI and I took a few together, and I asked him to take one of me.  I really have to thank him publicly for putting up with me that night.  I. WAS. SO. EXCITED.  And he was one of probably five guys there.  Sweetie, I love you with all my heart.  <3  (Sickening, I know.)

Mr. GI was looking pretty hot, too.  He was on his second day of Movember; it's still a little weird to see him without a full beard.  (Psst... if you'd like to donate to the Movember cause -- prostate cancer awareness -- I'll share his personal donation link.)

To wrap up our fun night out, we stopped by local bar The Globe for a night cap.  Unlike our very first date, we can actually drink the yummy things they have on the menu there.  Mmmm.

I've heard that we actually don't have a very strange story (at least one of the people who volunteers for me has told me a similar one of break-up, separation, and reunion).  What's yours?  Or do you just have a love affair with D*S's new book?  I know I do.

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