There’s another new contributor I can’t wait for you to get to know better! Her name is Amy Hackworth, and she is a writer. More than that, she is a writer with heart. And no matter what she writes, her easy graciousness and innate compassion come shining through. Whenever there’s a topic that touches me deeply, I wonder how Amy would phrase her own response. She never disappoints, whether she’s discussing if picture books are still relevant (they are!) or those sweet loveys I hope have been an integral part of your own lives (they were!). And luckily for me and for you, her kind words have found a new home on Design Mom. I can’t wait for you to welcome her in warmly!
Q: If we only knew four things about you, what would they be?
A: I am mother to two darling boys, married to one remarkable husband. I believe whole-heartedly in good manners. I am bookish through and through; one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received is that I look like an English teacher. I am friendly; if we sit next to each other on an airplane, I desperately want to ask you all about your life, but will probably refrain (see note about manners). That’s more than four things, depending on how you count. So here’s another thing: I’m not very good at counting.
Q: How did you get here?
A: I grew up in the small town of Rexburg, Idaho, with my parents and older sister. Rexburg was home to a small college and a big farming community, which made for an interesting mix of ideas, culture, people, and news stories (small towns have the best news!). I love the way Rexburg shaped my thinking, taught me the peace of open space, and introduced me to the best people on earth.
Some of my best friends growing up were the characters of books; given the chance, I’d have traded my life for Anne Shirley’s in a heartbeat. Being an English major was an obvious choice, but one I stumbled into when I came across a class I desperately wanted to take — Intro to Literary Criticism— for English majors only. Decision made. I became an English major, and also studied education.
I worked for a few years after college coordinating a mentoring program for at-risk youth, but haven’t worked full-time since we started having kids. Reading and writing have continued to play a huge role in my life, and I’m so thankful to be working part-time as a writer now. It’s absolutely a dream come true.
Q: Tell us about your life today.
A: Right this very minute, our two boys are asleep in the room next door and Justin and I are sitting in bed, both typing away on our laptops. We’ve been married for 12 happy years, and Justin continues to teach me the true definition of love. He is patient, forgiving, and adoring, among a host of other great qualities. Our two boys are eight and six, and some of the cutest kids you’ll ever meet. I mean, really.
I am a behind-the-scenes force in Justin’s photography business. I like to call myself his muse. I am joking when I say that. Kind of. I also work as a writer here and there — more projects than I have time for right now — and spend most of my time at home with our boys.
I’m in the process of discovering the truth in some adages that have previously made me cringe a little. Things like “you can’t do it all” and “happiness is about the journey, not the destination.” I’m learning to make more careful, conscious choices about how I spend my time and how I love my family. I’m working on savoring small moments, enjoying the now. All that stuff.
Q: Three things you love, and three things you don’t love at all!
A: I love yoga, chocolate (treat yourself here — you totally deserve it), autumn. I don’t love snakes, being shushed, or injustice (even small wrongs get under my skin).
Q: How do you spend the favorite part of your everyday?
A: So many moments come to mind, but I think my favorite is just after dinner, when our family is gathered in the kitchen. We’re working on homework or drawing or cleaning up, the boys are joking with each other or telling us about school, Justin might be playing the guitar, and we’re just together. These are moments when time slows down and I feel so thankful for our little family’s life. Moments like this remind me that this is what I’ve always wanted.
Q: The last thing you saw online that moved you…
A: Right here at Design Mom, the video about Cecile Pelous, the French fashion designer who built an orphanage in Nepal. Honestly, I was a little nervous to watch it, afraid of that helpless feeling of being so small in a world of such great need, and afraid, too, of an incriminating sense that I’m not doing enough. But the video was beautiful, and my appreciation for Cecile overcame my feelings of inadequacy. I was heartened that something as big as building an orphanage started with a simple desire. This is a message I will continue to think and think about. I also felt encouraged to do more in my own little sphere of the world. I can do better here, too.
Q: If you were given one do-over, what moment would you choose to change?
A: Whatever moment it was that I learned to procrastinate. That’s the moment I’d love to change!
Q: Please replace the blanks: If I weren’t a (blank), I’d probably be a (blank).
A: If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a jazz musician. I’d be a terrible one, but wouldn’t that be a cool job?
That’s brilliant, Amy! I can think of a few traits I’ve learned along the way that I’d love to go back in time and unlearn! Thank you for a highly joyful read, sprinkled with a few very tasty reminders: the chocolate and how you’re living your life right now, to name just two. I can’t wait to read more of you. Friends, you can find all of Amy’s work right here. Enjoy it, please.
P.S. — You’ll be meeting the rest of my lovely and smart contributors soon!