Sincerely, Shantelle

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Witty one-liner goes here

2018 was a year of challenges, both good and bad. Coming into the year with my husband’s employment status still looming, annoyances with the house we were renting, and an overall down mood, the year started off quite shakily. In March, we took a huge leap of faith and relocated from MA to TN with the help of my gracious best friend and her husband.

Cue more shakiness, as we all had to learn to live with 4 very different kids and 4 equally different adults in one house! 😳 We knew it was temporary, so we all managed and pressed through. My husband’s diligence and hard work with the job search landed him a contracting job less than a month after moving, which became a full time offer in June, and allowed us to move into our own place in July. Those 4 months were such a whirlwind, that I hardly remember any of the details, but WOW!

In all of this I was connected to the local MOPs chapter from a mama that I’ve known online for a while. Not only did I find a tribe of mamas to grow with, this is how I also found a church to plant in for the first time. I made a fresh start with God in June, got water baptized in October, and have strived each day since to live a Christ-honoring life. Through the freshness of my faith, I am able to see the wholeness of my life, each and every day.

I got baptized!
I got baptized!

Back in August, I made a personal commitment to myself to start sewing one item a week. Around the same time, I was speaking to one of my sewing friends, and she got me plugged into the pattern testing team at Ellie and Mac. I jumped in the first test I saw posted (the Batwing) and I never looked back. I’ve been in TONS of tests & pretests since, and feel so blessed with the friendly and supportive team I have become a part of. I’ve become a tester for Halla and Annelaine Patterns, as well. After not being selected for a couple of strikeoff teams I applied for between September and November, I somehow managed to land my first TWO shots at being a strikeoff seamstress right before Christmas. Talk about EXCITED!!! I looked back over my projects since August, and not only did I see my growth over time, I saw that I managed 17-26 items per month!!! WAAAYYY over my one a week goal. My sewing has truly progressed tremendously, and I’m definitely seeing the fruits of those labors paying off.

Some of my sewing from this year1
Some of my sewing from this year1
More of my sewing projects2
More of my sewing projects2

My husband and I also celebrated our 1 year anniversary in October. We got to go on our FIRST date of the year (yes, you read that right) and it was so amazing. We spent hours in downtown Memphis, just walking around, laughing, loving one another, riding scooters and giggling like school kids, and truly focusing on US. We also decided that DAY dates are an excellent reset and we need a million. More to come….

We had a great day date out on Beale Street
We had a great day date out on Beale Street

This year felt like the longest-shortest year ever. Soooooo much happened, yet when I think back on it, everything zoomed by like I was viewing it all in a time lapse video. There are parts of that time lapse that stood out to me. These parts really made my year.

FAMILY: We are resilient. We can take almost anything and still come out on top. My kids had some adjusting to go to with the move, but I’d say they’ve settled pretty nicely this year. My husband and I remain standing as strong as ever.

FRIENDS: From moving to planting to living a new life in a new place, my friends have consistently shown up for me. Be it a text from my MOPs mamas, a message from a sewing friend, or meeting for a cup of coffee or vent session with my Bestest, I’ve got the most supportive people in the world around me. I am forever grateful.

FAITH: My anxiety has lessened significantly and I’ve had less depressed moods in the latter part of the year. I owe that all to my growing faith and relationship with the Lord. I remember a time where I never sought Him out in my sorrows or joys and I always felt so alone. Now, in everything, I know He is with me.

PASSION: In August after my AHA moment of “I need something that is me, that gets me out of funks, just something,” I decided to start sewing again. Through this, and sharing in my online communities, I have gained so many more amazing friends. I’ve become more confident in myself and my skills & far surpassed any challenges I’ve set out for myself. I’m so encouraged by all the talent around me and look forward to my continual growth as I learn from my fellow sewists. Sewing is truly where my joy is.

2018 was pretty great. Started out shaky, ended up strong. I wouldn’t change a thing.

I'm praying for each and every one of my friends for PEACE, PROSPERITY, true JOY, and all the LOVE in the year to come. Happy New Year, y’all!

2018 TOP 9 from Instagram
2018 TOP 9 from Instagram