Blogger Recognition Award

Mei-Mei (whom I share my Fan Art Friday’s with) recently nominated me for a Blogger Recognition Award.  While most of the time I don’t do these awards (who am I kidding, why did I even write that lie…I love doing them every time because I get to write about me for a bit, which is a refreshing change from Star Wars lol), I liked this one because it provides advice for new bloggers.

Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated and provide the link to the post you created.

So:

  1. Thanks Mei-Mei!
  2. Here’s my post. Hi!
  3. Star Wars Anonymous started through a culmination of reasons.  I used to have a blog over on hyperspace (back when starwars.com had an official fan club where you had to pay a fee in order to have your blog hosted with them) through some of college.  When I got the notice that hyperspace was shutting down, I was too lazy to save all my posts.  Stupid me.  I took about a two to three year break (I think, I can’t actually remember) from blogging.  I began to miss blogging and considered starting up my blog again because I had very few friends to talk to Star Wars about and I was bored at work and wanted to write about Star Wars while bored.  I then made a Star Wars parody video which went semi-viral and decided that I would finally start up my blog again so that I could direct some people to my blog from the video.  Again, I was lazy and didn’t want to do too much work actually building a community from scratch.  Silly me (again) – that plan backfired and I did end up putting a lot of work into building a community of other fans on WordPress.  I’m glad I did though!  I’m not sure how my name came about though, sooooooo can’t answer that question.
  4. My two pieces of advice is this: 1) Blog regularly.  Try to blog at least twice a week for a year.  That will get momentum and help with SEO, along with helping other fans on WP/internet, find you.  Make sure that when people comment, you take the time to reply back to them.  Your blog should be a conversation that you started, it doesn’t end when you publish your post.  (Okay that was more like 3 pieces of advice).  2) If you want to become a “famous” blogger or perhaps make your blog a source of revenue – build social media accounts that relate to your blog and drive people back to it.  Social media is a great way to make your blog a business.  (No, I have not done that with my blog but I have done it for clients in my day job so I kinda know what I’m talking about)
  5. 15 bloggers?????  Uh, no.  I’ll give you two blogs that I have recently found and like though: There Has Been an Awakening and Graphic Novelty².

Have a great rest of the day guys and MTFBWY (oh, and happy St. Patrick’s Day!).

 

The Highs and the Lows: 2016

Another year has come and gone.  I always feel like 12 months is so long in the beginning of the year and then at the end, I feel like it was a blink of an eye.  “The days are long, but the years are short,” is what someone told me when ARM was a newborn and I totally get it now.

This blog didn’t have so well of a year as it did in 2015, primarily for two reasons:

  1. I posted a lot less, and
  2. TFA really helped out my blog last year.

That said, it didn’t do as badly as I feared either!  Only ~7000 views less than last year.  My most viewed post was Costuming & Characters on Princess Leia, followed by the Han Solo, and lastly Luke’s costume analysis.  I remember how long those took to write last year so I’m happy to see they are still getting traction.  My most viewed post that I wrote in 2016 was In Which I Defend General Hux and Speculate on Supreme Leader Snoke.

When searching the Internet, most people came to my site by way of “pregnant Padmé”, “Boushh Scene” and “Princess Leia Endor Ewok costume”.

 

2016, overall, was a great year for me personally.  In fact, there were more highs than lows which is always a GREAT thing, but I feel like the lows had longer effects.

 

The Highs of 2016

  • Obviously my daughter’s birth. With a middle name of Rey, I’m hoping this child grows up strong in the Force, independent; open to change, and a kind hearted person.  After having two failed pregnancies, it was nice to see this come to fruition and meet our own
    One of my favorite photos taken in Ireland

    One of my favorite photos taken in Ireland

    child at last.  I really was hoping she would come to this world on a Star Wars date, but alas, that didn’t happen.  I love her anyway though.  😉

  • We still traveled quite a bit this year: Florida in the earlier part of the year, Ireland and London in October, and Nashville in November.  I went by myself to NYC last month as well.  I’ve wanted to go to Ireland for years so it was nice to finally have that dream of mine come true.  I loved the Western Coast the best and we stayed in a beautiful, relaxing Airbnb right on the coast.  The backyard was a cliff to the ocean! London was way more fun than I thought it would be and I sincerely hope that I get to go back one day. We visited family and stayed for two days and I really wish I had stayed longer!
  • My business continued to thrive, despite having to figure out an unpaid maternity leave. I lost some clients, but also gained some!  I have also learned how to be picky on who I bring on as a client as my new schedule with a young baby does not give me as much availability as before.  But on the other end, I now am working very early in the morning and until late at night, so there is a darker side.

 

The Lows of 2016

  • The election. I actually had a whole post devoted to this, but then scrapped it because I don’t want my blog to be about politics.  But I can write about it briefly here!  In a nutshell – I am a registered Republican, but was/am appalled by Donald Trump.  I am trying to keep an open mind now that he’s been elected, but I do worry about the direction our country is headed.  That said, I did not think padme-gifHillary Clinton was a good choice either…but I thought she was the lesser of two evils.  Trump reminded me of the Empire, in fact, many times uncannily so.  I am hoping I will never need to say Padmé’s famous line of “So this is how liberty dies, with thunderous applause,” during the next four years.
  • My health. My health has taken quite a beating this year and I am still having issues.  I got the flu back in March and let me tell you – when you have any kind of sickness and your pregnant and/or breastfeeding – life gets a whole lot harder!  Being pregnant with the flu was horrible.  You can only take Tylenol, and not a lot of it, but it doesn’t help much.  If I got a coughing fit, I would pee my pants due to the baby sitting on my bladder/extra pressure.  It took a good month and a half for me to feel well again.  Fast forward to mid-October, I get another cold…that hasn’t gone away.  I found out I had strep throat for a few weeks without knowing it.  I took the antibiotics and broke out in a horrible rash.  I stuck with them and though I am slightly better, I am not 100% and it’s been 3 months now.  I went to a naturopath Monday and am hoping I start to get better.  We are experimenting with cutting out lactose for a few weeks (ugh) and she has me on a few different supplements as well.
  • The death of my grandmother and godmother. I was not especially close with my grandmother and she lived in Australia, but it’s still a family member.  I have funny memories of her and she was quite a quirky woman (the complete opposite of my dad).  However, she was older, in a nursing home, and it was an unspoken thought that it was only a matter of time.  But I was close to my godmother, despite the distance.  She died unexpectedly and that is always hard to deal with.  I still have all her texts on my phone and even now, a few months later, I can’t believe she’s gone.
  • This blog and learning a new life with a baby. I’ve definitely been posting a lot less since having ARM.  I knew it would happen but it’s funny how fast the weeks go by.  I’ll have a draft started and it may take me 2 weeks to finish it!  Or, I work on a post and by the time I’m almost done, I change my mind and decide it’s now irrelevant (a lot of Rogue One posts had that happen).  I also haven’t been able to keep with other people’s blogs on WP as much as I would have liked either.  Having a baby is a total adjustment.  Not only with blogging, but with life.  If people joke around that marriage is a ball and chain, life with a baby is that x10!  My life revolves around her nap time.  If something wakes her up too early during her nap time…ugh, I’ve almost had break downs.  Nap time is my time and it’s interesting at how much I cherish those few hours now.  I love her, but it’s hard to take time for yourself.  (Please note that this is barely a “low” of my life – it’s more of a big change)
  • Carrie Fisher’s death. I guess 2016 was not content with the death of Kenny Baker, our beloved Artoo, it also had to take our beautiful princess from us.  I think anyone my age knew that we would be alive to see the main 3 OT characters die, but no one wants a shocker death.  I’m curious as to what this means for the other saga films (she was done filming VIII, but was slated to also appear in IX) and what they are going to do with it.  I don’t want more CGI Leia, but it may be the only option at this point.  Killing her off-screen would be cheap and CGI would suck.  So we’re left in a no win situation.

 

MTFBWY Carrie Fisher on your next adventure

MTFBWY Carrie Fisher on your next adventure

2016 was overall a much better year for me than the past two.  I had very little lows that actually connected to my life, other than the death of my grandmother and godmother.  The birth of my daughter, though an adjustment to my life, has been so amazing.  Now that she is past the newborn stage, I’m loving her more and more every day.  She’s the joy of my life and I look forward to hanging out with her (isn’t that weird?  She can’t even talk).

In 2016, I learned that time passes even when you think it’s going so slowly.  There were moments of doubt, days with little sleep, fatigue due to sickness, and so much but I did learn that the “days are long, but the years are short.”  It’s so, so true.  My goal in 2017 is to appreciate more, love more, complain less.  Easier said than done, but it’s been so easy for me to fall into the complaining trap, especially when sleep deprived.  Is a positive attitude that hard?  Is smiling a struggle?  My goal is to fly a little bit more casual.  I have so much to be thankful for; I am so blessed.  I need to remind myself of that every day.

Thanks to all you guys for sticking around as I posted less in 2016 and my life has continued to evolve.  Here’s to Episode VIII.  Let’s hope Rey is as awesome as she was in TFA and has more personality than Jyn (teehee).

 

MTFBWY.

When I’m gone…

Did you start singing the song from Pitch Perfect?  If you did, you get cool brownie points in my book.

I had a blogger friend/commenter/follower, Nathan, reach out to me last week asking if he could be a guest blogger while I’m on my indefinite hiatus  as I deal with a new Jedi in our family.

Of course I said yes!

So I just want to let everyone know that I’ll be handing over my blog to Nathan for when he wants to write anything about Star Wars.  He has some cool ideas that are definitely not my forte in the Star Wars universe so I can’t wait to see what he brings to the table.  This is what I love about this WordPress community…even though I’ve never met Nathan and have no idea what he looks like, I’ve emailed him enough and trust him to hijack my account (and give it back when I’m ready).

If anyone else wants to guest blog – please let me know.  I’d be happy to set you up with access.

You’ll hear from me on June 3rd where I’ve scheduled a blog post to match Mei-Mei’s Fan Art Friday posts with the Star Wars coloring book, but that’ll be it for a month or two.  Or less.  Or…I don’t know, fly casual?

Please be very welcoming and comment on the posts Nathan puts up!  We all know what it’s like when we work hard on something and then no one comments.  😦

May the Force be with me as I get ready for this new adventure in my life!  Stay tuned…

Yup. My life. Very soon.

Why did I sign up for this again?

 

Haiku Me Friday! 1987

My birthday was yesterday.  I have always loved my birthday but I feel like as I get older, they kind of fade into the background.  I miss my mom making a big deal out of everything I do when I was younger, I miss my locker being decorated by my friends when I was in middle school, and I miss skipping all my classes in college and watching a bunch of TV in bed.

I bet someday I’m going to miss being childless and having time to do little things like my Star Wars blog, haha.  So maybe I should just enjoy this.

I’m due in a month and half, by the way…kind of cray cray, right?  I went to an ultrasound last week and they said my little girl is going to be small and has long legs – just like me!  I was a little baby with really long legs too.

She does have a few Star Wars things, a cute BB-8 dress and and Ewok onesie along with a crocheted Yoda hat and leg warmers.  My boppy pillow also has a Star Wars cover…the room is not Star Wars themed though.  I’m trying my best to let her decide what she will like and dislike and not force Star Wars on her but there’s only so much I can do since my whole life is Star Wars.  She is going to be brainwashed to some extent. 😉

 

Another year gone Time passes so quickly now Twenty nine years old

Another year gone
Time passes so quickly now
Twenty nine years old

Yes – I’m one year away from the big 3-0!  That’s me yesterday getting my cake (I’ve had a major craving for anything with fruit lately so I got a fruit tart instead of cake).

I decided to take a look back and see what memorable events happened in 1987 with Star Wars.  Good thing Wookieepedia has a whole page devoted to it.

Most notable:

It’s strange to think that next year is the 40th anniversary of A New Hope.  40 years since that movie came out and changed so many of our lives…I’m still hoping my little girl will be born on May 25th, the same date that ANH was released in 1977.  I think that would be quite fitting.

The Highs and the Lows: 2015

I’ve decided this year to split the books I’ve read from this past year and my life recap into two separate posts.  It was getting to be too long with both (other than last years, where I wrote it and then somehow ended up deleting all of my reviews).  This way you don’t have to read the one post a year where I talk about my life if you’re more into books, haha!

This blog had a fabulous year!  I’m sure a lot of it was helped by The Force Awakens, but I’ll take it.  I had a secret goal of doubling my views from last year and though that didn’t happen, it still did very well.  I completed my one major goal of finding 10 things I liked about AOTC and wrote some other posts that I was very proud of: my three essays on costume analysis of Leia, Han, and Luke in the Original Trilogy.  My most viewed post was Environmental Attitude (I think because of the images, not the content lol), followed by my costume analysis on Leia.  The Jedi Code Absolutes did well again this year and took home the bronze.

My most commented post was the recent review on The Force Awakens and the highest day for views was December 18th (duh, release date for TFA).  My top commenters were Mei-Mei and Data Glitch.  Thanks for hanging around!

 

2015 was interesting.  It was more highs than lows, and for that I’m thankful.  2014 was very evenly balanced in terms of the highs were great and the lows were horrible so 2014 was a perfect yin and yang of duality.

The Highs of 2015

  • I went to Star Wars Celebration Anaheim in California. This was definitely one of the best parts of the year.  I bit the bullet, scraped together my money and headed off on an adventure with my reluctant husband.  Despite almost ruining my costume and standing in line for 15+ hours In line for IMAX TFAover 3 days, it was one of my favorite parts of this year.  And now my husband is used to standing in lots of lines for brief Star Wars panels, so there’s that too. 🙂
  • The Force Awakens was released! Finally!  After almost 3 years of waiting, we got the next installment in the Star Wars universe.  Overall, I liked it and was not disappointed.  I love Rey and continue to use her as an example in random parts of my life, mostly with mantras of, “If Rey can do this, I can do it,” even if Rey never had to open a particularly hard jar of olives in the movie.  Now that the foundation and storyline has been set, I’m interested to see where the universe continues to take us with the anthology movies and Sequel Trilogy.
  • I quit my full-time job and went solo with my Virtual Assistant business. It happened faster than I thought.  It’s been an interesting process and definitely is nerve wracking every time I try to renew a client’s contract.  So far, I haven’t lost anyone but I know it’s bound to happen so am waiting for that time.  Right now, I’m still working out kinks, dabbling in subcontracting, and trying to figure out how to grow my business but somehow not take on tons more work in the process (LOL).
  • We got a new dog! After we put Chewie to sleep last year, we waited out the winter (smart move, lemme tell you) and got Yogi at the end of March.  He is much crazier than Chewie and more of a handful but can also be the cutest little thing.  I wanted to continue the Star Wars naming tradition but he was too much of a cute Yogi Bear (though his size lends more to Boo Boo).
  • I’m pregnant! This is especially joyous as it’s take number three.  Many of you who read my blog post last year remember that I miscarried.  I also had an unfortunate, difficult experience with pregnancy this spring so finally getting news that this one is healthy and doing well is a relief (though I’m not near as excited as most first time pregnant people are – that’s been kind of been robbed from me and I’d like to describe myself as cautiously optimistic).  I am 4.5 months along and the baby is due in May.  You know what that means right?  MAY IS STAR WARS MONTH.  There are five auspicious dates when I’m hoping this momentous event will happen:
    • May 4th – duh. That is a little early for me and my doctor is actually hoping that won’t happen, but, you know, it’s Star Wars day.
    • May 16th – AOTC release date
    • May 19th – TPM and ROTS release date
    • May 21st – ESB release date
    • May 25th – ANH and ROTJ release date

I find out the sex of the baby in less than two weeks.  If it’s a boy we will most likely name it Luke because my husband is the best person ever (it’s also not suspiciously Star Wars-y and he thinks it’s a strong name).  If it’s a girl, no idea.  Definitely not a Star Wars name because that’s too obvious and even I don’t want that.    

It's nickname has been "The Little Jedi"

It’s nickname has been “The Little Jedi”

The Lows of 2015

  • My second pregnancy. Unlike the first time in 2014 when I miscarried, this time I carried the baby completely through the first trimester…only to find out in the initial screening that there was something very, very wrong with it.  It was not growing correctly and not moving.  They sent me to specialists at a local hospital, who then sent me into Boston for further testing and genetic counselors.   After a discussion with my husband, and multiple doctors, we decided to get rid of it and have an abortion.  I know everyone’s political views are different and this was a very difficult decision (trust me), especially as we had to rush all of our evaluations since I was beginning to show.

The hard part was the doctors and specialists only had guesses based on ultrasounds, not any conclusive evidence though they promised me that they were 99% sure it was this one issue and it wouldn’t live past 5 years old.  The tests would take almost a month to get back so we had to make a quick decision.

Well guess what?  A few weeks after getting rid of the baby, they called me and told me that what they initially thought was incorrect and they were continuing to test the chromosomes.

My heart dropped and I freaked.  I had been doing okay, but when I realized there was a chance that I got rid of a baby that may have lived – I lost it.

Mercifully, two weeks after that news, they called me again to tell me they found out what it was and it’s something SO rare that only happens in 1 in 50,000 pregnant women.  It’s not genetic (thankfully) and completely random.  They said I would have either miscarried it later down the line or had a stillborn because it’s very rare these types of babies live.

It was a horrible time…the worst was the one month period when we had to make fast decisions, when dreams were shattered, and the first misdiagnosis left me in despair.  Once I got the final test results back, I felt more at peace and was able to move on with my life.  What’s done was done, and I like to believe everything happens for a reason.

This is a very, very short version of the month when it happened.  I wish I could go more in depth of how hard it is to carry and connect with your child only to make the decision to get rid of it, the guilt that follows, the debilitating, cruel jealousy over friends who get and stay pregnant with no problems, and struggling to be upbeat when no one knows what you are going through (only my husband and sister knew while it was happening…since then I’ve opened up to some close friends and my parents, but not while it was happening).

HOWEVER – I do want to say that if anyone ever struggles with pregnancy issues, please connect with me because I’ve been there.

  • The winter of this year. This seems lame compared to my last bullet point, but trust me – it wasn’t.  The winter in Boston was record breaking in many ways…and it also almost broke our backs when we shoveled.  Every week there was a snowstorm, which didn’t allow the previous snow to melt.  I pulled my back for the first time ever and it still gives me problems on and off since then.  It was very depressing and it took until April for the snow to melt.  I hope to never, ever see that kind of snow again.  We had a 7-8’ snow bank at the end of our driveway.
7 foot hill of snow at the end of my driveway. Fun times.

7 foot hill of snow at the end of my driveway. Fun times.

 

As you can see, I had two lows compared to multiple highs.  Though my second pregnancy took a lot out of me physically and emotionally, when I’m here in January looking back on 2015, I realize that I think 2015 was a good year overall.  The beginning of the year was horrible with our winter, but going solo as a business owner was huge for me and a big leap of faith.  Anything and everything Star Wars related were bright points that only shined brighter as the year continued.

2014 was a year of learning about myself, learning what I’m made of.  2015 was a year of learning how to feel, that it’s okay to feel and not resist (“what you resist persists” was one of my favorite sayings this year) and to be more empathetic to those around me.  You never know what other people are going through even if everything seems okay on the outside.

Thank you for bearing with me as I took my normal deviance from Star Wars posts to reflect on this past year.   I’m ready for 2016 (and a baby Jedi!).