Tornadoes to Tablescapes: Life Inside the Lifestyle Blog
For those of you who might not know me, I’m Joe, Kate’s husband. A few things I’d like to get out there before going any further…
No, I didn’t anticipate a stranger ever coming up to me and confessing her love for my wife, and the kitchen we make our toast in each morning, but I’ve slowly become accustomed to it. And in many cases, I’ve come to embrace my role as husband of a blogger, but not in the sense you might expect.
Yes, we met at a #menswear event, I took her out for a fateful cup of tea for our first date, which turned into dating, quickly became an engagement, and two months later, a marriage, shortly after a home, a puppy we call “Bear”, and most recently a baby boy born in July that we named August. None of this is likely news to you through, because you’re a reader of this thing that I live with, and it’s called Wit & Delight.
No, I really didn’t know what I was ‘getting into’ when I started dating Kate. I didn’t know she procured a blog. I vaguely remember her ‘liking’ an Instagram photo that I had taken where I had quoted Sufjan Stevens, and then being shocked at her 10k Instagram followers… I wondered how a designer in Minneapolis might acquire that sort of massive following… but didn’t think much of it until my mom commented that I might recommend we watch Casablanca on an upcoming date. I found out later that my mom went deep into the Wit & Delight archives to discover Kate considered a guy who enjoyed the film Casablanca to be a quite impressive trait for potential suitors. So, on our sixth date (Valentine’s Day) and the most cliché move ever, we watched that film and finally (as Kate’s remembers it) shared our first kiss. It was bold and borderline creepy. Here I am though, and the rest can be found randomly on this very website if you feel like digging through the past four years.
Now that I have the sappy business out of the way, let me tell you why I’m here. To tell you what it’s really like to ‘live with Wit & Delight.’ Kate and I are both a bit conflicted when talking about WHAT W&D is. It’s certainly not a real time all-access pass to the life we have, and it’s definitely not like living on a photo shoot, but it does give glimpses into the life we share mixed in with Kate’s passions and hobbies, which have become her career. I see my wife work day and night to build an idea into a business, but you see a couple, in a house, with a baby, making meals, investing in your home and sharing it with people who are inspired to do the same. It makes things confusing and we’ve spent the past couple years figuring out how to separate life from work and work from life.
Yes, being married to Kate is in some ways the same thing as being married to W&D, and yes, the walls of our home really are that white, the countertops really shine like that (when they’re not covered in last night’s dinner), and for the last time… the couches are from Article.
And no, our house doesn’t always look like it does on Instagram. I feel like this goes without saying, but from interacting with W&D followers over the years, I’m convinced otherwise.
Kate once described herself as a ‘tornado’ –she moves so fast that there are at times, a wake of destruction that followers her. This is an understatement. It’s more like a tsunami. Just when I think we couldn’t fit more stuff in our house, I come home to a complete rearranged house and a mountain of boxes. I’m told to not worry about it, but I do and I remind her that compulsive redecorating might be a condition to get checked out. I kid, but truthfully, one of our biggest arguments happened after I came home early from a work trip while she was rearranging our tiny apartment. I lost it. I just wanted to come home, know where my stuff was, and watch tv with my wife. Instead, we were measuring for a new rug and looking for a new home for the last piece of furniture I had contributed to our marriage. (One leather chair remains.) Additionally, there are at times, piles of clothes that sit just outside the art directed photo of our bedroom, makeup in the bathroom sink, and dishes that are strewn about the house after a photo shoot. It wasn’t until we learned to share in each other’s goals that we began to make room for each other’s ticks. It wasn’t just getting accustomed to the constant change in our home, it was getting accustomed to the pace of life we each preferred and acknowledging our needs were different, sometimes contradicting. Communication was key, and knowing when to say “I’ve had enough” was how both Kate and I found a way to live with W&D and still have our private life. Now, the mess and the boxes and the weekend photoshoots are something that I’ve not only become accustomed but started to enjoy, as making things– experiences, meals, etc, is part of our life. It hasn’t been easy and I’ve had to learn how to live with her workaholic tendencies and her ADHD. It would be dishonest to say otherwise. It drives me nuts that she likes to wait until the last minute to get to the airport or that she wears my clothes and stretches out the arms. I’m not over the fact she shrunk my favorite sweater. Or that she took down my Michael Jordan memorabilia in the basement. For all the little things that we fight about, I realize they’re also the reasons we got married. She never sold me a picture perfect life, in fact, she presented her flaws before I had the chance to get to know her. I knew what I was getting into.
Life at our house is life with a dog that sheds too much, and a growing boy that leaves my shirts spotted with who-knows-what and me- who has a knack for leaving my size fourteen boots just where you might trip on them- mixed with moments that look picture perfect. ‘Wit & Delight’ is the product of the beautiful mess that we call life.
Joe Peters lives in Saint Paul, MN with his wife Kate, son August, and trusted Labrador, Winnie. In his spare time, he’s the head of marketing for Vasque Footwear.