Here’s the month-late recap of our visit with our friends John & Sherry & Clara Petersik.  As most of you know, they had this little publication come out and it was kinda sorta successful.  As in, it was a New York Times Best Seller. 

If you don’t already own this book…sucks for you.  Seriously.  I am totally unbiased (ahemfalse) but you need this book.

Anyhoo…so when we found out that Atlanta would be included as a stop for the YHL book tour, first Sher and I screamed together on the phone and we planned the dates that they would stay with us.  Most of their stops, they didn’t bring Clara with them so this would be one of the special ones that she would tag along (much to her toddler fiancee’s excitement).  Oh right…Clara is betrothed to Will.  It’s a done deal.  Even if I never have a baby girl, I will have the most stunning daughter-in-law :)  And I will spoil her with loads of cute accessories that only gals could appreciate.  Like pearls and flower headbands and glitter and polkadot anything.

Man…I’m distractable today.  Back to the point.  They came down to sign books for the hundreds of people that waited in the dark.  in the cold.  in the rain.  And I wanted to be first in line to get my own copy with their John Hancock.  I also wanted this photo:    

So stinking proud of them. 

Now here’s what happened after the craziness of the book signing.  Jer, Weston and I headed home in our car, John & Sher in theirs to meet a sleeping Will and Clara and my mom & dad who were babysitting.  Apparently both kids had a great time running and jumping onto my dad’s bald head…and doing a Valentines craft with my mom…and were totally conked out.  When we got home, we all shared the amazing gifts everyone brought us.  I was seriously so surprised that so many folks thought of us…especially since it wasn’t our book signing!  There was a solid thirty minutes of ooing and awwing.  It sounded like The Price Is Right in there. 

John & Sherry also had brought us gifts – some toys for the boys and a sweet hostess gift.  Sher pulled the infamous mustache pacifier out of her purse…telling us that a reader had brought it to a past signing.  We all laughed about it for a while.  The funny part is that we had tried A MILLION pacis with Weston to no avail.  Will was a paci kid (he kept the same one from the hospital for two years and wouldn’t take others) so we are experienced with keeping up with a single paci and how to transition a kid off one.  Weston has always been keen on sucking his fingers and hand, so we figured that he is more likely to be a thumb sucker (enter frowny face) and I hoped to get him attached to a paci.  So far no dice.  Then enter the mustache.  He loves that sucker.  It’s ridiculous.  And equal parts awesome.  Apparently the kid just really likes facial hair. 

Much of the weekend we did a lot of low-key stuff.  The kids are at an age where it could be a complete melt-down in a restuarant or perfect little angels…so we did a lot of meals at home and kept our dining experiences to low-key places. 

The backpacks were awesome at keeping them occupied during the waits.   And yes, the entire time I was taking these pics I was envisioning The Notebook : Toddler years :)

Sherry and I snuck away to get our toenails done and grab some starbucks.  She got Chai skinny something with healthy on the side and I got a mocha mocha mocha something with extra mocha.  and whipped topping.  Yes.  I have zero self control. 

I love that we can all be low key together.  That’s a true friendship in my book.  When you don’t depend on activities but just ‘being’.  That is the sweetest to me.   

And I love that she loves my boys as much as I love her Clara. 

 Toddler finger painting art.  I named this one “butterflies dismembered”.

Some cute decoupaged and painted pots.  Sherry and I were hyper and decided to put that energy into a craft.  Now they live with crayons and markers in them.       

John getting baby duty.  I love John. In a totally not-creepy-he-would-make-an-awesome-brother-kinda way.  Also in a he-balances-out-my-best-friend kinda way and is such a freaking hilarious and kind and a true giving and gentle spirit.  Sherry already knows what a rare find he is…and I love seeing them in love.  I know this all sounds weirdo but in a world that is filled with heartbreak and resentment, I like seeing two people together that are truly happy.  It’s like watching a favorite rom-com in real life and with no commercial breaks.  I feel like Jer and I learn so much about balance in relationships every time we hang with them.   

Speaking of my darling friend…I snapped some pics of her with her little girl…

They are beautiful, no?!

I love that Clara’s hair isn’t fully grown out yet.  It’s hanging on by a thread to that ‘still-a-baby’ phase.  I know that once it does grow out that she will be a big girl through and through and it’s like the last bit of baby-ness left in her.   

A little ring around the dead grass…

Oh yes…this kills me.  I might be framing this bad boy…

I will definitely be framing this one….(and hoisting it above my head while Clara walks down the aisle one day!)

Sher, Weston and I also hit up a few antique malls.  It’s so different to antique than to thrift.  I sometimes can’t get over the prices.  I walk in and expect to buy something for a dollar.  Not.  gonna.  happen.

I was tempted.

The last full day we had was our “Atlanta Day”.  We hit up The Flying Biscuit for brunch.  Since the wait was so long, we were thankful that the kids had live entertainment outside on the sidewalk.   They danced and jumped and laughed.  Note the tongue.  It comes out when he’s focused.  Apparently his Gangnum Style required concentration. 


Then it was time to head to The Childrens Museum. 

The kids literally ran for it once we got in the door.  You could hear the roar from the other room.  Slightly scary.

Again with the tongue.

And again…

I have no idea what they were doing…but obviously it didn’t require as much concentration.

Will is right at home on a John Deere.  I should rename him Will Deere :)

Right before they had a complete tiredness meltdown, they played with the giant train table.  I was obsessed with the cute trees…they look like sculptural pieces.

Will and Clara wrestling in his bedroom.  Probably the last time I will ever say that statement.  hopefully.

And no this was not staged. 

Neither was this.  There was also a version of this where tongues were out…and it wasn’t for focus or concentration.  It was hilarious.  They totally did it on purpose because of the STOPNOSTOP screaming.  I’m sure that in 15 years, they will do alot more crazy stuff to make us scream. 

Overall, a really really fun time.  I’m sure Jer’s folks will love seeing their grandbabies…even if it is a month late.  Now who votes I go back and buy that black naked manikin?  Jeremy put your hand down :)



  1. says

    So touching. You seven are so lucky to have each other. We used to have a couple like that, we took turns at least once a week making dinner at each other’s houses . Loving each other’s children, vacations, painting walls….Then they divorced. I miss it all.

  2. says

    The picture of Sherry and Clara looking at each other made me tear up. Sweetest picture ever. I need to remember that for a photo session for me and my daughter.

  3. says

    Love it! It’s so great to see young moms be friends. So many of us lose touch with good friends during these busy years of raisin’ up youngins! Or we get crazy and be competitive with other moms. You two are such a good example of moms just having fun together. (And setting up arranged marriages!)

  4. Christine Williams says

    Great friends. Great photos. Great times. Great Life. You guys are blessed to be friends that enrich each others lives. Makes me feel gratitude for my besties. xo


  5. says

    “She got Chai skinny something with healthy on the side and I got a mocha mocha mocha something with extra mocha.”

    — this made me laugh out loud. You are so funny, Katie.

  6. says

    Hi Katie!

    Will and Clara are adorable together and there’s totally a chance they’ll get married someday. It does happen. It happened with me and my husband who have known each other since we were tiny little things. There are a couple of pictures of us in preschool together at the top of this post:

    Also, I rarely comment (I think I did once before about night terrors) but I love your blog. Your sincerity and warmth and love for your family shines through in such a good way.

  7. Lauren says

    Hi Katie! Sorry to ask a “where did you get it” question but I have been trying to find some brown leather chairs like the one John is sitting in holding Weston (men holding babies = so adorable!)

  8. Chaucea says

    Oh wow. That shot of Clara’s hand on Sherry’s face as they look at each other completely unglued me. *dabs at tears* What a fantastic picture! :D

  9. says

    I’m pretty sure the picture of your boys with their quads made my ovaries burst! It’s so special you can share so much with your best friends, no matter how far away :)

  10. keri says

    oh, man, i feel like a creeper – i just thought “that picture of will and clara would be so cute on my wall”

    WHAT?! I don’t even have pictures of my own family up…………..

  11. says

    OMG I love this post. :) I’m such a fan of John & Sherry, and love that you guys are BFFs fo life. And that picture of the boys with their 4-wheelers is just too perfect for words. You have to frame that bad boy.

  12. says

    I’m totally with you Will! I do a mouth open/ tongue out thing all the time. I wear a mask at work (thank goodness) since I work in the OR. I’ve literally drooled in my mask because it was open for so long. So lame!! It’s then followed by a few looks to see if anyone saw somehow. Hope he wears a mask at his future construction job ;)

    Glad you guys found such wonderful friends! I think everyone should have another couple like that in their lives!

  13. Jessica says

    You are such fun families! Will is really growing up!
    Can I ask where you got that cute spring coat you are wearing at the antique mall? I love it!

    • says

      It’s from Gap. It’s a couple years old but every once in a while, they come out with a new version in a different color :)
      xo – kb

  14. Becca says

    “A little ring around the dead grass” literally made me laugh out loud for a full minute. Haha! It’s the little things I guess. :)

  15. says

    First – I NEED the YHL book. I missed them when they were in Toronto. *sigh*
    Second – your kids are adorable together… love the balloon/kiss pic so much!
    Third – the 4 wheeler/ATV pic with your hubby and little guy is so adorable.

    I love following Bower Power and YHL and doubly love the posts you do together or about your time together. So fun!

  16. TheOtherKTBower'sMom says

    Makes my heart go flippity – flop to see that Will still has his blue blankie ! We are getting another grandchild in July! A BOY this time !!!!

  17. says

    Oh those kiddos are cute! My best friend and I have totally adorable photos of her son and my daughter hugging in bed when they were 3. So cute now! But maybe not so cute in about 10 years. Eek!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *