I also make a Vlog of behind the scenes:
A producer and I had been talking back and forth for a month about the show and HOW they wanted to feature me. We had brainstormed a few ideas, like one that included my whole family flying to Nashville and my own kids modeling the clothes I had made. (I’m very happy this plan didn’t work out, because long hours traveling with four kids under six and expectations that they would “perform” in front of cameras with a live audience gave me slight anxiety.)
Wednesday, September 13th they called and said they had the new plan: they wanted me to make four new outfits. They were going to have dads walk out with their kids in creations I had made. The dads would be wearing the shirt and they were going to overnight matching shirts to me for me to bring for four kids, different sizes and genders. I did the math and thought, “that gives me three days, Thursday to Saturday, to work before I fly out Monday September 18." I don’t work on Sunday and so I didn’t count it.
I anxiously awaited a package on my door step on Thursday. It never came. That night I emailed the producer to ask for the shipping number and found out it wasn’t going to arrive till Friday night. My stomach sank! How would I do this unless I worked on Sunday? There is no way I could possibly get four outfits done in one day. I did not sleep well Thursday night.
That night, I woke up and couldn’t sleep, I felt so stressed. I didn’t want to work on Sunday but maybe I could justify it. Then a memory flashed in my mind.
When I was in high school I didn’t get the best grades. My goal was a 4.0 and I never got one. My twin brother came home with straight A’s every semester but I was just really good at getting Bs (my twin is so smart academically and I always struggled with reading and writing and was actually diagnosed with dyslexia in college). When college came I applied to Brigham Young University and only got accepted because I applied to the Arts program at the same time. I actually received two letters the same week from BYU, one was a letter declining my application to the school and the other was an acceptance letter to the Art Education program. Talk about confusing! But I ended up getting accepted and my first semester I had such high hopes of doing my very best and getting A’s. Sad enough, that first semester I came home with C’s and B’s but felt like I had never worked harder. I felt I didn’t deserve to be there and I was so discouraged. I prayed for help and decided I was not going to do homework on Sunday in hopes that God would help me achieve my 6-year goal of coming home with straight A’s.
The next semester I took mostly general classes and two art classes. I was in a drawing class that the teacher started the first day by saying he never gave out a perfect score because there is always room for improvement … You gotta love when a teacher says that. Every Sunday that semester I made a conscious effort to not do homework. I was half way through the semester and doing really well, but one Sunday afternoon I realized I had not even started a drawing assigned three weeks prior. My heart sank, I was going to have to work on Sunday to complete this 11X14 inch project by the 9am drawing class the next day. I started to rationalize my commitment and justify the need to do homework as stress rushed over me. Although I felt defeated I decided to not work on the drawing and set my alarm for 5am the next day. Monday morning, I woke up and went to work. I had three hours to pull something together. I made it to class proud that I had at least something to turn in. A week later our teacher returned our drawings with our grades. I quickly turned it over to see my grade on the back and was shocked to find a 98% and a note: beautiful work, I almost marked it down because of the paper.
I was shocked! I had done the drawing on the wrong paper and still got an A. Immediately I knew it was blessing because I had kept my commitment with God. At the end of the semester I got the first 4.0 I had ever earned. The blessing didn’t stop there. I continued to keep my goal of not doing homework on Sunday and continued to get straight A’s. My junior year of college I earned a full ride scholarship and an arts scholarship which paid for all of my schooling expenses and my housing.
To me these blessings are undeniably gifts from God for a renewed commitment to the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy.
When I considered adjusting my standard for Sunday to fit in finishing these projects I was very tempted. I honestly thought I couldn’t get it done otherwise and thought about it till I fell back to sleep. Friday morning, I woke up determined to keep my promise to God. I prayed pleading for help and promising that no matter how far I got I wouldn’t work on Sunday.
That package finally arrived Friday at 1pm. Immediately I got to work on the shirts as Jon took care of the kids. I didn’t stop. I worked till 12pm that night—I set a curfew, only stopping to breastfeed my baby and eat. I went to sleep with the Gingham Ruffle Dress done and half way done with the Plaid Bomber Jacket.
Saturday I woke up at 6am and started working again. I only stopped to feed my baby however, took a long one-hour lunch break. I finished the Bomber Jacket and Denim Oversized Overalls by 5pm and was feeling really good but super exhausted.
I started the Boy’s Two-Piece Jumpsuit warn out and uninspired with what I was going to make. I was going to make a romper but my tired hands kept messing up. At 9:30pm, I took the outfit over to my brother’s house to try on his 14 month old and it was too small. I was so stressed!! I was making it for an 18 month old and this definitely wouldn’t fit. I took it home and brainstormed for 45 minutes and finally reworked the design with the material I had left.
I finished up at almost 1am. I was beat! But I finished! I didn’t think I could but I did. I slept so good that night.
Sunday I woke up feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude for the divine help I know I received to finish four refashions in only a day and a half.
Monday I wanted to wear something on the show that I had made and like a crazy person woke up again at 5am to sew myself a dress. I made that dress in three hours and by noon we were leaving to the airport for Nashville.
That first night in Nashville I felt like I had run a marathon. We got dinner and went to bed early. We had time to explore the city after my interview and we both said we could move there because it is seriously so beautiful.
Overall this was such a wonderful experience and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to be artistically challenged, like on Project Runway, to go on a vacation with my husband, and to be on TV. Thank you Pickler and Ben for this experience!