Talkin' houses - and how we live in them

Talkin' houses - and how we live in them

When I tell people what I love about my job, I usually talk about the intellectual stimulation, the chance to meet interesting people, the importance of a free press, the lack of monotony, the crazy flexible hours, the huge pay and benefits ... oh wait.

Truth? I get paid to be nosy. Being a journalist (and blogger) gives you a unique entree into people's lives.

So I jumped at the chance to collaborate with my "HouseTalkN" friend Kerry Rossow on a project to check out the houses of some movers Blog Photoand shakers in Champaign-Urbana. We've spent many a happy Sunday afternoon at open houses, looking for the perfect next home (for us or somebody else), or just checking out the renovations and decorating possibilities. We devour the News-Gazette's "At Home" magazine, watch HGTV whenever we can steal the remote from our husbands and drool over pictures of kitchen makeovers.

It's gotten so that when somebody mentions that a particular house is on the market in town, we'll say, "Oh, the one with the funky spiral staircase?" or "The one with the great yard and front porch to die for?" Between the two of us, we usually know who owns it, when it was last for sale and how they've updated it since the last open house. Scary, I know.

Our new series on Kerry's blog, "HouseTalkN With ...," will explore how people live in their houses, and what their style says about their lives.

Check out the first installment on Kerry's website,, featuring our friend Amy Armstrong, the driving force behind Larkin's Place, the Champaign County YMCA's new recreational facility for children with special needs. Be sure to read Amy's latest blog post about life with her daughter, Larkin. And stay tuned for more!


Julie Wurth writes and blogs about families and covers the University of Illinois for The News-Gazette. Leave a comment below, contact her at (217) 351-5226 or, or follow her on

Photo: Amy wraps the walls of her house with photos of her four children. Kerry Rossow









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