In a nutshell... I disappeared.
Over the last 3 years, life has changed so much. When I began writing patterns in 2011, I had 6 children and we were stationed in Maryland. (For those of you who don't know, my husband is Active Duty Air Force in the United States military.
In 2012, Gregory deployed for 15 months, and I moved myself and my family back home to Tennessee. During the year that he was gone, we discovered that I had some pretty major issues with my spine, degenerative disk disease, and I ended up having a triple level fusion surgery on my neck. There's no way to describe the pain or trials of that diagnosis and surgery. I was left with numbness in my hands, and a left hand that just... didn't quite work the way it used to.
Needless to say, that caused some pretty big issues with being able to crochet, make videos, sit and look at my hands for long periods... I just simply couldn't do it, no matter how badly I wanted to. It took me MONTHS to finish one pattern.
I can't tell you how badly I WANTED to be designing, and creating. I really felt quite lost.
|This is a lot of "OUCH" to go through.|
I'm VERY happy to report that 2 years post surgery (February 1, 2013), my left hand is working again, and I am 90% better. :)
Fast forward a bit, we moved from Tennessee to Georgia, and Gregory came home from deployment. :)
I'm seriously married to the most amazing man on the planet. That time apart was HARD. That time apart, being responsible for our 6 children, and having a major surgery was SUPER HARD.
Then our family grew.
|This amazing photo was taken by my good friend from church, Jessica Lantz of Jessica Lantz photography.|
I mean, it GREW!
Within the space of a year, we added 5 children to our family. Our 4 godchildren came to live with us, and I became pregnant with Peter, our youngest (born July 31, 2014).
My life changed so much in a matter of just a few months. We've now had our godchildren for over a year, and I feel like we are finally "adjusted".
We are so super blessed to have them in our lives, but the transition hasn't been easy. Going from 6 to 11 is a BIG jump.
Most days, the only time I sit is to nurse Peter, or sit in a waiting room. My days are full of appointments, meals, shopping, cleaning, holding, hugging, kissing, and enjoying being a mom to this amazing crew of kids. Suddely, free time didn't exist. My time with my husband, my time with friends, my time to create, my time to SLEEP... vanished. Suddenly, we had a HUGE shift in finances. Taking on 5 more children, and not being able to design more patterns, or market the ones I had.... it changed things. A LOT. I had to learn to do a lot more with less money.
That's a hard lesson for anyone, and it can feel like you are juggling jello.
After Peter was born, I experienced the "baby blues."
Okay... let's call it what it is.
I had full blown post partum depression.
Suddenly I was juggling jello while trying to balance a planet on my head. I'm so thankful for a supportive husband, family, and amazing doctor who got me through that. But post partum depression isn't a light switch. Coming out of it has been a slow and painful climb.
So here I am. I'm healthy. I've recovered from surgery, my hands are working, I beat post partum depression, and I've adjusted to our "new normal".
Dare I try to rebuild The Lovely Crow?
You see, the GUILT that comes from watching something you love and work so hard to create crumble... it's overwhelming.
Even during the moments when I've wanted to start creating again... I couldn't convince myself that I'd be able to keep it up. I made every excuse I could. Some of them valid, others a product of my pity party.
I felt like I'd disappointed my family. I felt like I'd disappointed my mother (she is, by far, my biggest fan). I felt like I'd disappointed my testers. I felt like I'd disappointed my customers. I felt like I'd disappointed myself.
How do you move past that?
Well... I'm not sure. But here it is, I'm going to try. :) So wish me luck, I'm jumping back in. I've worked out a schedule with my family, giving me time to work, and I've managed to do quite a bit in the past few weeks.
First, I've brought my mom on board.
Well... she's been on board for awhile, helping me to keep things running, while I juggled everything else. Chances are, if you've asked a question on Etsy, or Ravelry, you've been talking to her. :)
I am SO thankful for my sweet mama.
|From LtoR my sister Suzanne, my sister Cassondra, my mama, and me, pregnant with Peter|
Today, I am FINALLY releasing the "Little ComBrat Cap" pattern.
You can find this pattern on Etsy, Ravelry, or Craftsy.
MY ETSY SHOP
MY RAVELRY SHOP
MY CRAFTSY SHOP
So... YAY! :)
Also, coming soon.....
Something a little different from me.
This last Christmas, I made a lot of the gifts for our children. One of the things I made for my three teen girls were handmade purses. They've gotten so much attention from their friends, and people everywhere we go ask where they got them. So... I wrote the pattern. :)
It is currently with my testers being tested, but I hope to release it in a couple of weeks.
Want a preview?
I'm really excited about this pattern because it really is SO different than anything I've done before. :)
I have a notebook full of sketches and ideas for things in the future, and I hope this is the beginning of me becoming "me" again. I hope you'll check in often! And PLEASE SHARE!!
Thank you for all of your patience and support over the years! I have the most amazing customers! Fiber artists are just amazing people, ya know?