When you have a channel and reach certain milestones as a YouTuber, you are rewarded in a variety of ways that recognizes that accomplishment. Today, YouTube sent us our first milestone award The Silver Play Button recognizing 100,000 subscribers to our channel!
Although we reached that goal in October 2016, and our channel now has 147,300 subscribers, it still holds immense thrill to receive this award and to know our hard work continues to be appreciated by so many! YARNutopia.com is what it is first and foremost because of EACH of YOU that show up to watch my videos, subscribe and follow me on social media! We hope to continue to provide great content and crochet videos so that we reach each milestone together! Your support means more that you will ever know!
So, thank you for helping us reach this goal. Thank you for sharing my videos and believing in us. It feels like a myriad of emotions all balled up like a ball of yarn! Humbling, thrilling, exhilarating are all the feels going on right now!!
Before closing this blog, special attention has to go to my wonderful parents. There are no words to express how much each of them do behind the scenes. My dad is the best cameraman ever and without those mad skills, we would not be who we are. My mom’s creativity is out of this world! There are no words. I am so grateful for the ongoing support of amazing parents, my brothers, my sister-in-law (and future Matron of Honor), my nephew (who makes the best model ever), my Nate who walked in to the life of a YouTuber no questions asked and embraced what it all entails, and to each one of you that invite me into your home each day, thank you, thank you! This award belongs to all of us! We are looking forward to our next milestone!
A special thanks to YouTube for recognizing our accomplishments with this very cool shadowbox plaque.
Yesterday, I had a follow up physical and doctor appointment after having a bit of a health scare last week where I ended up in the ER. After going through a number of tests and scans, it was determined that we will postpone any surgery for now, and I will undergo additional testing and possibly a HIDA scan, for newly discovered issues that are affecting my gall bladder and other organs. Other than that, things were looking pretty “Normal for Nadia” as my doctors like to say! I’ll take that!
During this appointment, I was telling my doctor about my recent engagement and how Nate proposed on our trip to Europe. She was so genuinely excited for us. She hugged me three times and was overjoyed because she has seen me through so much. She also asked about how the transition will be as I prepare to transfer some of my medical care to a new city. Although it is far down the line, I will need to find a new physician and leave her behind. That’s a very difficult thing for me to do. It began to hit me how many changes are about to take place not only in my health journey, but life and business as well! Oh Boy!
Support goes a long way
My entire life has been spent with my parents; it is no secret that my Mom is my best friend. Although I did spend a short time away from home attending university, illness/surgeries impeded my ability to continue. After 6 separate attempts at going back to college, I decided to postpone it indefinitely. Illness won that battle. (I am still winning the war) I may consider going back one day, but for now, it was the best decision.
During those struggling years, my parents encouraged me to start a small Etsy shop and website to showcase my crocheted items. It was also during those times that, while in the hospital, so many nurses, nursing assistants, and doctors asked for help learning how to crochet. I began showing them basic techniques and taught while I was in the hospital. Teaching crochet in that setting helped me SO much. It also gave me a great idea!
Planting the seeds to grow a dream
I will always be grateful to my mom for her insight to give me yarn and a hook so long ago. She pushed me to do something constructive during those long months when I was in isolation or just spending a month hospitalized for whatever health problem I was having that kept me there.
When you are isolated and feel alone, having a skill or hobby to pass the time becomes invaluable. It becomes a lifeline that keeps your mind occupied and stops it from wandering straight into depressing thoughts. Thankfully, I was able to take that time to hone my skills in crochet and develop my craft into such a blooming network and community. It helped to open a platform that I could teach others my craft. My dad helped me start a YouTube channel, and I could reach others with my video tutorials. Having that connection to others quite literally SAVED me. There, an idea born out of a desperate situation, became the seed to grow this dream.
Looking forward to next year (2018), I am excited to be getting married and starting my life with Nate. Out of respect for my Pakistani culture and my personal beliefs, I will not live with Nate before we get married. What has me feeling a bit anxious is how my life will be structured to continue YARNutopia from a distance. I will not only have a new marriage, new doctors, a new home, and a business to balance, but an entire change from everything I know. Moving even a few hours away from home hits me at times that is both exciting and scary. This weekend, while celebrating Mother’s Day, we sat down to discuss this.
Structure and Discipline
Presently, we try to film 2-3 videos a week. Prior to filming, my mom and I design several items that I create off camera. I perfect and refine the pattern and then proceed to head into the studio for filming. It is in the filming process that we decide what videos to keep, what projects will be popular, or what ends up on the cutting room floor. Sometimes only one video will make it to our channel. This process is lengthy and tedious. It requires many hours invested and a lot of trial and error. Our days are planned, structured, scheduled. We each execute our particular tasks and responsibilities. My mom handles a majority as she also takes care of our home on top of everyone in our family as well as running and managing our business.
Having the structure and discipline of working with parents who have built a photography/videography business from the ground up so many years ago has been priceless. I just hope when I move away into my own home and start my life with Nate, the lessons they taught me will carry over into our life. I have never had the opportunity to work outside the home and this will be a big challenge to maintain this work ethic on my own, which incidentally, I never have had to be alone. Nate’s career has him working 8-12 hours a day. That is another idea that will take some getting used to.
Nothing Can Stop Us
Recently, Nate and I have begun to search for our “build a dream” home. We have been scouring the listings for a house that can accommodate our must have list. We sat down and made a checklist of things we want in a forever home.
My top priority is a place for a craft room/studio (and a dishwasher, but that’s another story!) We have gone through several places that have potential. Let’s see if we are able to find a place where we can create our life and provide me with the ultimate craft room! (That will be a future blog post of its own).
My dad will set us up with an in-home studio, and his plan will be to travel and film at our home. My mom and I plan to design, create, and work remotely via Skype. So many fun and exciting changes to come in the next 300 days as we plan out this move! As much as I look forward to all these changes, leaving my old life behind and starting over feels a bit daunting and overwhelming at times. I’m just eternally grateful for the support of a wonderful man, my parents, and all of YOU, who will continue to accommodate all these changes in order to see YARNutopia through this growth and transition.
Oh song lyrics, you give me the feels!
When I look back and reflect over the past nearly nine years of health challenges and life detours, I never pictured this being the way my life would turn out. I honestly wasn’t sure I would ever meet anyone willing to accept not only the voluminous health issues I came with, but also accept that I would need to manage a job that would fit my abilities and challenges. I could not ask for more in anyone and somehow through God, or destiny, it led me down this path. There is a song lyric that says, “This much I know is true, that God blessed the broken road, that led me straight to you.” No words could ever be truer to describe how I arrived to this place in my life. At times when I faced another health challenge, I always asked “Why!??” maybe this was always the answer.
“What is meant to be will always find a way” ~Trisha Yearwood
Usually it’s only my hands that are seen. As we passed over the 100,000 subscribers mark on our YouTube channel, we felt the best way to express our gratitude to those who are watching, sharing, and recommending our videos was to post this small personal video of thanks.
Thank you doesn’t even begin to express all we wish to say to you for the love you have shown us over the past two years. Because of you, we have been able to do something we love. It is hard to believe that a few of years ago, I picked up a hook and a skein of yarn to help me cope with long stays in the hospital and that would lead me on this amazing path, but here we are!!!
I could not have reached this amazing goal without YOU, but my family has been instrumental in making YARNutopia what it is as well and deserve a mention of sincere thanks. My mom is my creative guidance, the person who helps me bounce around ideas, a constant support and best friend. My two older brothers and my sister-in-law are one of the most encouraging teams around! My nephew, who shows up from time to time as a model, is the cutest little guy anyone could ever ask for. And of course, Nate. He is the one who is there to cheer me on when I am frustrated and helps me untangle my yarn when my projects go awry! But the most important Thank you behind the scenes goes out to my Dad! His camera skills are unsurpassed and he does so much work in the studio that no one sees.
In this video, I am onscreen with my Dad, Fuad Azmat – yes, my dad comes out from behind the camera to give a huge shout-out to everyone and to tell you how much it means to us to have you as a part of our YARNutopia community. We love bringing you crochet tutorials and hope to continue to grow for years to come!
Thank you once again YARNutopians, you are the BEST!!