Married to a chef: Q&A with Shanndelier
I’ve followed Shannon’s blog for over a year now and always inspired by her posts, keeping busy and plenty of the great outdoor photos. Head over to her blog to check out her posts and photos. :)
Here’s a little Q&A with Shannon Hall!
1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Shannon and I live in Salt Lake City, UT with my chef husband, Colby. We have a black and tan shiba inu pup (no kids) and have been married for just over two years, so I’m just getting into this #chefwife thing!
By day, I work as a marketing director for a swimwear company, and by night, I run my travel blog, which often involves wandering around in the wilderness in search of adventures.
I love to read – my favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie; eat – favorite foods are pizza and wings; and of course, travel – my favorite place has to be Oregon! I’ve also recently started trying to get better at photography and Colby has gotten me into fly fishing, so I guess I do a little bit of everything.
2. How did you meet chef?
It’s a long, crazy story if I get into the whole thing, but basically we met online. It’s funny because we actually went to the same high school and grew up within a couple miles of each other, but since chef is 5 years older than me, we never crossed paths.
When we came across each other on OkCupid, we were living 3 hours apart, but in less than a month after meeting up, chef left his job to move closer to me so we could date. It was a huge commitment that we were both very nervous about, but luckily it worked out and after dating for a year, we got married!
We’ve always been on opposite schedules – I was still at university when we met and was working evenings, and back then it was actually chef who was working during the day as the chef at a girls’ school. When we got married and moved back to the city, I got a 9-5 and chef went back to working nights at a fine dining restaurant, where he still is, so luckily it wasn’t a huge shock as far as the chef schedule goes when we got married. We were used to spending a lot of time apart.
3. Did marrying chef change your career goals/ direction in life?
Yes and no. I always knew that I would work and have a career, so even though marrying a chef made it a little more of a necessity, it wasn’t a bad thing at all. It’s definitely changed the kind of work environment I envisioned for myself, though.
I worked in a corporate office for almost two years and while it wasn’t horrible or anything, it was definitely hard to not see chef very much. I work from home most days now and it’s improved our relationship a ton – we can have the same days off to do things together and I can see him for more than just a quick goodbye in the mornings.
I definitely want to continue to have that flexibility in the future, especially once we start to think about kids. But then again, we are constantly figuring it out as we go. So many things can change and you just have to be able to adapt!
4. Best thing about being married to a chef?
There are so many good things, but my favorite has to be the passion that chef has. I love seeing his eyes light up when he’s creating a new dish or when he tastes something phenomenal. He has so many dreams about what he wants to do and how he can make people happy through food.
It keeps things interesting and fun and I love that he loves what he does. There are too many people out there who don’t love their work. It just makes life better overall when that passion is there, and it reflects into other aspects of life, too.
5. Work, life and chef schedule balance – how do you manage it all?
We are super lucky right now that chef works at a restaurant that is only open for dinner and is closed on Sundays, so we can always rely on having that one day a week together, as well as most mornings. As for my schedule, working from home has helped so much.
As long as I plan ahead, we can spend time together in the mornings or on chef’s other day off and I can catch up when he’s at work on the weekends. We try to plan little getaways as much as possible (usually a Sunday-Monday camping trip when there’s a Monday holiday) and we plan at least one actual vacation a year.
I try to go out and do things without chef, even if I might feel awkward without a date or if I end up taking myself to dinner alone. The one thing I’ve learned about chef wife life is that I can’t wait for him to be able to join me for everything, or else I’ll never end up doing anything at all.
6. Pet peeve about being a chef wife? (apart from dealing with the repetitive “oh you must be so lucky with professional gourmet meals daily!” haha)
There are so many of these too! Probably the biggest one is when family plans something important around a big holiday like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day and then gets super upset and offended when we can’t be there.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been the target with both mine and his family for not being able to make it, and I have to put out the fire because chef is at work and can’t respond to texts. (Extra scary when it’s his family I have to deal with!)
I understand that holidays are the best time for other people to get together, but it’s the complete opposite for us! I wish more people would think about that.
7. Your love of nature, your dog, the great big outdoors, photography and social media. How would you sum up your blog and life as a chef wife?
Life as a chef wife is always an adventure, but we make it work. It’s actually been amazing in so many ways because there is always someone home with our dog when we have opposite schedules (and hopefully that will be a perk for our future kids as well – and something that will allow me to keep working!), it gives me time alone to spend on my hobbies like blogging, hiking, and photography, and it has helped us both to really appreciate and make the most of our time together.
Both chef and I are massive introverts, so we need alone time to recharge. I always say that marrying a chef has saved my marriage for this reason – we’re not constantly together and pulling our hair out because of it. I’m sure things will get crazier and more difficult as we get farther into life together, but I always know that chef will put us first and that’s what makes it all worth it.