April 5, 2018

Behind the Scenes

I've had this post in my drafts for a while but have been hesitant to post it. Why not today! :)

A while back when my sister was visiting, she made a comment about what followers on Instagram must think about my daily life. We had a good laugh about the chaos and mayhem that is usually just out of frame and didn't discuss it much more. The more I thought about it though, the more I felt I should speak up. I always assume that because most of you know that I have 3 little boys, you already know that my life is anything but glamorous. But in case you don't, let me elaborate.

We rent a small house on a very ordinary street. It is nearly always messy inside and I am generally under-showered and wearing some form of yoga pants which, in my case and the words of @letterfolk, are "anything-but-yoga pants". I don't make time for exercise beyond walks, though I know I should. The boys fight sometimes, and I lose my patience. They break everything! Neither my husband nor I are very proficient in house repairs, and we have holes in the wall, rips in the flooring, and smudges/scratches/stains on literally everything. LITTLE BOYS! So cute, so heart stealing, soooo destructive.

My husband hasn't been working for terribly long, and we've spent most of our marriage with him finishing school. If any of you have started a family during grad you school you know the financial sacrifices and mental/emotional strains can be intense. Having had our first babies in apartments, we feel beyond blessed to have this little house where the boys can play outside. Oh to have a yard! It still feels like a dream. Though he makes decent money now, we live in an expensive state and have massive school loans, so we live simply. So far the most expensive thing we've ever purchased was an 8 year old Toyota Yaris with automatic nothing. Our couch was purchased on Craigslist, as is most everything else. This works out well actually, because if the boys ruin something I don't get upset because I didn't care about most of it in the first place! I did care about the baby vegetable plants that they smashed yesterday, but don't get me started on that.

We decided in 2016 that my intense love of quilting not only did not fit into the family spending, but could possibly be put to good use in helping the family finances, so I started Woodberry Way writing patterns. It is still in the early stages, but I have high hopes for it, especially as my children grow a little older and more self sufficient. Some amazing opportunities have already come from it- it's remarkable what can happen when you are brave and try new things! Business doesn't come naturally to me, but quilts do, and I feel really lucky that I have had the pleasure of creating this little corner of the quilt world.

That is the reality of things. And you know what? I love it. And I mean LOVE love it, with a pretty intense level of daily joy and satisfaction. We are cozy and safe and fed, and immensely grateful for good health. We get to walk out past the edge of the neighborhood and look for little creatures and pick wildflowers. My husband is a good man. I get to put the crazy little ones in bed and go to my room and sew pretty things together. Man I love to do that! I find joy in a sunset, a tasty dinner, a sweet snuggle, a quiet walk, a child's prayer, in CREATING.

Here is a quote from the brand new prophet of our church, President Russel M. Nelson:
 "The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives."

No matter one's city, family situation, job or lack thereof, or bank account, we all have the power to feel joy. I believe that power comes from a focus on the gospel of Jesus Christ. His example and words show us the very best, happiest way to live. Not that we do it perfectly, ever, but the daily trying brings peace and blessings that can't be found any other way. 

If you had told me as a young adult that I'd be raising (soon to be) 4 boys and running a quilt business, I would have laughed. I may have cried with a little bit of fear/disgust/disappointment to be honest. It certainly didn't fit with my idea of myself at that time. Yet it came, and here we are, and I have learned to love it so much. I hope that wherever you find yourself today, you find ways to love it. Some things can be changed, so start changing! Other things can not, and must be accepted and loved. I didn't mean to get so bossy today, the main thing that I wanted to say was- I share pretty pictures of quilts because they make me happy, I want to inspire others to create, and I would really love for people to buy my patterns that I've worked so hard on. Please remember though that the daily reality includes a lot more.... mess, and bugs, and hollering :) And that is just fine by me.

Now back to quilt posts! I have some really fun things coming up that I can't wait to share with you. See you soon!


  1. Thanks for sharing so honestly! As we age, I'm 65 now, we learn that life is not about what you have or own. Happiness is sharing your time and your heart. Quilting brings me great joy and I share my joy as gifts to others.

  2. Life is what you make of it, eh? Sounds like you're finding joy in the "making". :)

  3. Amen to this! I’m a mom of 4, including a lovely boy with Down Syndrome and I know exactly what can be behind the pictures I like so much. I try to show the pretty pictures too, because those lift me up as well when I come across them. Thank you for sharing, I now feel like I have a sister across the ocean, somehow. Sandra Robben from the Netherlands

  4. Thank you for your honest post. Isn't it wonderful how playing and creating with fabric can bring so much joy? You have a wonderful eye for color and love your fabric pulls.... I've copied down your quote to my planner as it's so true.

  5. Thanks for sharing, and many times the sharing is the most difficult because one has to reflect. Proud of you. I am 65, and have worked all my life, having to make others happy, content, and keeping them safe. Today, I take time for me, I enjoy colors.. as my Mom did (she was an artist), photography, and quilting. I am now sharing my quilting by teaching a young woman, it gives much joy and satisfaction. I want to share my photos, as a view of the beauty that the Lord gives me everyday. Thank you. I love your designs and creations.

  6. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and without him we can do nothing. Have a blessed Sabbath, God’s 7th day.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope you find your niche in this ever expanding quilting world.

  8. Such a beautiful and real post! Thanks and bless you and your family!

  9. What a blessed girl you are to know the truth so early in your life! My boys are finally out of the breaking, ruining everything phase but hand me down couches were how we rolled too and I wouldn't change a thing.
    Besides no one will notice your yoga pants when you are rocking that awesome hair! ;-)

  10. Oh I just adored this post! Thank you so much for sharing more about yourself and your life. I envy your talent and drive to create a business out of your passion. Many blessings to you and thank you for your honesty and for speaking the Truth. (And your Star Kisses quilt is my favorite!) :) @sewsunnyinside on IG

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