“Verily, with hardship comes ease.” (Quran 94:6)
God never gives us more than we can handle. I am a firm believer in what path my life has taken, I was meant to be on this journey. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 10 years ago. My disease was so progressive and on the cusp of colon cancer; I had to undergo a hand-assisted laproscopic total proctocolectomy with a temporary ileostomy and a J-pouch in 2008. I lived with an ileostomy for some time while my J-pouch healed and had my takedown surgery in February 2009. However, my J-pouch failed, and in November 2010, I underwent another surgery to have a temporary ileostomy for a year in hopes that my J-pouch would heal, but that never happened. I had to have another surgery in September 2011 to make my ileostomy permanent and remove my J-pouch and affected intestine. I now live with a permanent ileostomy. In May 2015, I had to have another surgery to remove approximately 30 centimeters of small intestine in a resection surgery along with a relocation of my ostomy due to a prolapse. Severe complications set in with an internal infection, a subQ leak from my stoma and other issues which nearly cost me my life. More recently, I underwent another surgery to remove the anal area because an abscess had formed internally causing a very critical situation. The doctors felt that removing this area, it would prevent further complications down the line. My medical story keeps writing itself and it never gets easier, but a positive attitude and a life of purpose helps me get through the hardest days. Crochet has been a lifeline.
I began crocheting to pass the time during all the numerous hospital stays I had endured through my journey with Crohn’s disease. Soon this hobby took on a life of its own and I began to crochet as a form of therapy. I love to pick up a hook and start creating. Creating things helps me feel accomplished. I started a mini shop, called YARNutopia, to sell some of my crocheted creations in 2012. A portion of each sale is donated to research to find a cure for inflammatory bowel diseases, a disease that has affected me personally.
Everyone has to deal with the hand they have been dealt. I am no exception to that rule. I just feel that out of something negative, it was vital for me to turn it into something positive, and for me to not allow this disease to take from me more than it already has. I really wish I could do more in my life, but hospital stays and surgeries have stalled some of the progress that I would see my life taking. Being able to crochet and build awareness through my craft is the detour my life took when this disease tried to put some roadblocks in my way. I am extremely thankful that I found this outlet, and I feel better that I am able to give back in this way.
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Recent Blog Posts
Dance the Night Away- One year ago, and the memories are fresh as if it were yesterday!! I think we can agree that Nate and my dad are pretty good on the dance floor. See our First Dance here: See our Father-Daughter Dance here: (And how cool is the surprise dholi we had enter during the father-daughter dance?! Watch […] Crochet Tutorial: Baby Hiking Sandals- Summer season is around the corner. Time to start getting that wardrobe ready. Here is a cute little addition for baby’s layette. These baby hikers can be made in any color and added to any outfit for just the right touch! My dad will continue to be the videographer, editor, and photographer for […] Crochet Tutorial: Think Spring Cowl- Groundhog Day came with the promise of spring, but with the way the Wisconsin weather has been, you would never know! So it is time to think spring with my new Think Spring Cowl! This lightweight beauty was created using this elegant yarn by Willow Yarns. Verbena was the perfect fiber for this piece with […] Crochet Tutorial: Otter Amigurumi- Another year of *playful* Punny Valentine’s have come to an end! These have been truly *otter* this world, and I hope they left you like you are *swimming* in love and happiness! I always try to do my best *otter-wise* it defeats the purpose of doing these. No time to get *laid back* over these […] Crochet Tutorial: Bunch of Grapes Amigurumi- I’m “grape-ful” that we are about to wind down another year of puns! Everyone has done a “grape” job with sharing even more puns and projects along the way. I think we all did a whole “bunch” for “raisin” awareness how punny Valentine’s Day can be. I was a bit “crushed” and practically let out […] Crochet Tutorial: Clam Shell Amigurumi with Pearl Bead- Today, I am happy as a *clam!* I am about to *open up* to all of you and share with you how much you are all *chowder* this world! When I face a new project or new pun, I think “Nadia, the creative world is your *oyster!*” I am not trying to dispense huge *pearls* […] Crochet Tutorial: Octopus Keychain- Wouldn’t it be awesome to have more “arms” to crochet? I think it would be “ink-redible,” and I am not “squidding!” I would be well “armed” to take on any project and could “octopi” my time more efficiently! I would “squeeze” a lot more projects into my schedule and would “sea” a boost in productivity! […] Crochet Tutorial: Pineapple Jar Cozy- I have a *sweet* new project *fresh* off the hook! I just love it *tid-bits!!* This Pineapple Jar Cozy started out to be a *pine* in my neck, and I started to *pine* away for an easier project! I was feeling a bit *crushed,* but in the end, this piece turned out so *pine!* Now […] Crochet Tutorial: Egg Amigurumi- I’ve been a little “terra-fried” to try another year of Valentine Puns. I was so “eggs-cited” to give it a “fry,” but at the last minute I “scrambled” to come up with some funny, punny projects. So, I sat down with an “egg-spresso” and got to work on seven new puns that are pretty “egg-cellent” […] Crochet Tutorial: Cupcake Amigurumi- Each February, I do the “Punny Valentine” Series. This year I will do SEVEN new crochet patterns alternating with past patterns as we move toward Valentine’s Day 2019. FOURTEEN days of cheeky puns to put a smile on your face as we “share the love” this month! 💕 Let’s begin with a happy cupcake pattern! You all […] Crochet Tutorial: Simple Infant Booties- I have a sweet, brand new niece to crochet things for! Congratulations to my brother and sister-in-law!! ❤️ Girl things, boy things, we have it all covered in this family! Check out the tutorial for these super simple booties and make bunches of them today!! Follow along with this video tutorial to learn how to […] Crochet Tutorial: Owl Be Warm Hat- The Owl Be Warm Hat is such a fabulous hat for your winter wardrobe!! Use Hygge Yarn from Red Heart Yarns to add mounds of texture to this fluffy piece! Change things up with this hat to make it uniquely your own–Eye color, Pom Poms, and yarn color can give this owl different characteristics! Even […] It’s a…. Gender Reveal!!!- It didn’t matter – girl or boy – we would still be filled with the same joy!! We are over the moon excited to announce that we are having a…. Thank you for sharing in the joy of this experience. We are so happy!! My mom found the onsie on Etsy, you can see […] Crochet Tutorial: Wiggles & Giggles Baby Blanket- Well, the time has come to start stocking up on a few nice essentials for baby! I made the Wiggles and Giggles Baby Blanket as the first piece in my baby’s layette! This design uses the double crochets to make a zig-zag design that creates beautiful rich texture. It also creates a completely different profile on […] The Cat’s Out of the (YARN) Bag!- It’s no secret that my battle with my health has been mostly an uphill one. Numerous surgeries have taken their toll on my body for the past ten years as I continue my fight. My Crohn’s disease has to be considered in every facet of my existence. My life, daily decisions, activity, diet, my body, […]