These two ADORABLE twin baby boys are new additions to the Sarah Jane Team. But they are unfortuneatly the reason that we will be giving Ann, my studio manager of 3 years, some time away from the Studio for the near future.
Many of you have emailed Ann, or worked with Ann. She has been my right hand! She has taken care of all my customer service, wholesale accounts, emails, printing and shipping, sponsors and so much more!! She’s basically managed the studio to the point where I don’t have to even think about things like keeping up inventory and keeping the books….something I learned very early on that I needed to delegate or I’d never draw again! But after Ann’s very high risk pregnancy (she was on strict bedrest in the hospital for 5 weeks! I can’t even imagine!!) she delivered two adorable baby boys 10 weeks early and is needed at home so she can care for them 24/7. Darren and Jason were each a healthy 4 + pounds, and Mommy and Babies are doing well.
I’m going to miss Ann so much! Running a business takes such a team effort, and I’ve been so blessed to have her.
Allie just graduated from BYU here in Utah, and will be taking over for Ann! I can’t wait for you to “meet” her. She’ll be the one you’ll talk with if you ever have a question about your order, sponsoring here on the blog, or any other question about the Studio. She’s also going to be running the printing and shipping which is now back in our home studio! We’ve spent the past week setting up shop and it’s been tons of fun (mostly because Allie is tons of fun!) and she’s also the one to play with the Ella and Anders when I need to throw in some studio time in the day. Go Team!
The studio was out of house for the past 3+ years, and this will be the first time it’s been in my home for a while. I’m excited to be close to the shop again!
So, Thank you Ann for all you’ve done! And say “hello” to Allie! I’m really excited to see the new changes here at Sarah Jane! I wouldn’t be here without an amazing team!
Back to setting up shop….
I’ve been thinking about what my Word of the Year will be. It’s taken me a while, because last year was a challenging one for me, and I’ve felt such a fresh start to this one, and there are so many thing I’m wrapping my head around.
Life with 4 (very intensely alive and soulful) children and all that brings, striving to build my little business and see it bless my family more as well as more of the world, keeping creatively sharp and passionate despite the fullness of life, staying a good friend and staying aware of and serving the people around me, and learning to over come personal challenges all with the beauty of no sleep.
My husband found some old home videos on Christmas, and one night we pulled out the tape (yes a tape) of me and Kenneth backpacking through Europe in 2004. We’d been infertile for 3 years, and I was at my end of all the emotions that go along with that. I was tired and scared of turning into a worrisome twenty-something. I had stopped really “living.”
We had saved money for an infertility surgery that we weren’t sure if insurance would cover. And we wouldn’t find out until after the surgery. That took all my faith. And that’s another story. But in the end, insurance paid for it!
So, what did we do? Did we put it in savings? Did we put it aside?
We grabbed plane tickets and back packed through Europe for 5 weeks. We had a plan, but we left so much to chance. We had to release and relive, and that’s just what we did.
We stayed with an old Italian man we met at the train station on the Italian Coast who couldn’t speak english, but had a great view; We wandered through the sheep filled countryside in Wales and got lost until we found a bed and breakfast we could afford. We landed in a small town outside of Venice at midnight in the rain, and knocked on doors until we found an open room (that one was a little scary). We took a 3 hour train that we didn’t have tickets for (we got on the wrong train) and played cards in the dining car to avoid the ticket master (thanks Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby for that one).
All in all, I was fearless. I’d been so beaten down and disheartened from not being able to get pregnant, and I felt like I could handle anything.
Then the kids came. And we were witnessing miracles.
But something happened to my mother-heart.
I loved so much, that I started to worry just as much. I started watching every step. I would put on the alerts that only a mother can have. I would sleep with one eye and one ear open. I was always on the watch it seemed. And slowly, but surely, I’ve become just that. I’ve forgotten how to let go, and be BRAVE.
I’m not talking about the kind of BRAVE that you put on to mother children. That’s the BRAVEST of all the BRAVES!
I’m talking about the kind of BRAVE that it takes to break free from habits, try new ways, leave your comfort zone, and trust.
The kind BRAVE that makes you fearless. Willing to let go and soar.
I’ve grown up since those careless summer days in France, but I’ve also forgotten how to let go.
And that’s hard to do when you are responsible for little people.
But it’s my new goal. It’s my new road.
Sara Bareilles’ song BRAVE has been on repeat, and I’ve been pumped up ready for this new year. 2014 is my year. I feel it.
You are welcome to download this and use it for your personal use. It’s my motto this year.
I hope you all have had a LOVELY break. We did, regardless of the fact that we all had the FLU (it’s going around…did you get it? Fevers, coughs, no fun. Especially with sick baby. Boo.)
But we had a quiet holiday planned anyways, and with added sleep and rest needed, that’s just what we got. Kids are all at school today, and it’s back to the grindstone! I’m never ready:) I am really excited about 2014. I always get excited about a new year, and this one is feeling good. Last year had a lot of bumps for me, and they taught me, formed me and shaped me. I’m ready to give 2014 my best shot.
So much is happening behind the scenes here at Sarah Jane. I need to get my thoughts (and studio!) organized before I start sharing, but good things are coming!
Happy New Year! From our crazy house to yours!!
**UPDATE January 2, 2014: We have been able to raise $801 for this sweet family from just these cards. Thank you SO much for all who contributed! God bless!
For many of us, this Christmas Season is full of so much love, tradition and laughter.
And for the Teemant family, that’s always been the case. But this Christmas has brought new challenges and heartache as Leo, the father of 3 sweet children (8, 6 and 3) passed away Monday the 9th of December, just 2 weeks before Christmas.
Maya, the oldest, is in my son Ian’s school class, and I’m wanting to bring some joy to their incredibly sweet family.
Leo was diagnosed with melanoma right before his wedding day 11 years ago. It was treated, and he was cancer free for over 8 years. After a successful 10 year career at Novell, he decided to finish his bachelor’s degree and took 2 years off work to do so. Living off of savings, he graduated and was ready to take on new successes. But only a few days after graduation, he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, with no warning signs or preparation. Unable to get work because of treatments and his prognosis, their family has struggled but stayed so positive through it all. Leo was a volunteer at my son’s elementary school and their family has served so many people.
But a few weeks ago after much medical intervention, his situation took a turn for the worse, was too advanced, and he lost his battle with cancer last monday.
Needless to say, losing a father and husband is anyone’s worst nightmare. But added to that the financial burden of not having employment the past 2+ years, and depleting their savings to achieve his life long dream of getting his degree, their family could definitely use holiday cheer.
In these situations, you just want to do everything you can to help. And since I’ve been so late getting my holiday PDF cards out to you, I thought, this is the perfect thing to help out their family.
I’ve created 6 new cards for you to print and use for gift giving (or even framing!) this Christmas.
100% of the proceeds will go to the Teemant Family this Christmas.
I’ll report on the amount at the New Year.
Last year, if you remember, we raised $800 for the Sandy Hook foundation in Newton. This year I’d like to raise as much as we possibly can for this sweet family.
Tell your friends and spread the word. I hope we can make the ache a little less deep and bring a bit of cheer.
You can read more about the family and see the memorial fund set up in their name here.
Today’s giveaway is from Quilt Sandwich, and I couldn’t be more excited for you!
Quilt Sandwich Fabrics is two sisters, Kris and Becca, who love to sew and quilt. We love so many fabrics that we decided starting a shop was the best way to see a lot of them! We both felt that the fabric industry was something we wanted to be a part of because it’s creative and exciting – there are so many great ideas online, new collections coming out all the time, and tons of people we admire (some of our favorite fabric designers are Anna Maria Horner, Kaffe Fassett, Tula Pink, Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt and Heather Ross). We wanted to do something that we feel passionate about so we started our shop in 2009 on Etsy and have just recently moved to our own website, which we are really excited about. We hope that our new website allows us to offer a better selection of fabrics and also some new products – we have some beautiful ribbons by our favorite fabric designers, and we are going to be adding patterns and kits soon. We love choosing new fabrics for our shop and luckily we tend to like the same things, so buying is a lot of fun. We think we have a good eye for fun, eye-catching fabric and we have a fun sense of humor that we bring to our shop.
WHAT THEY ARE GIVING AWAY:
QUILT SANDWICH is giving away 6 quarter yard cuts of fabric to go with this LOTS OF DOTS quilt pattern (by Green Bee Patterns)
Quilt Sandwhich is also offering 15% off to Sarah Jane readers with code: SARAHJANE (now through Dec. 31st)
HOW TO ENTER:
1) Leave a comment below
2) Follow them on FACEBOOK and leave a comment below letting me know
3) Giveaway ends Sunday Night December 15th 10 pm EST
Thanks Quilt Sandwich!