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.

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Update

I know I’ve been totally slacking on this blog, and following others, but September has been a bit of a whirlwind.

On my business side, I am finally up to my full client workload again since having ARM, and I’ve even added a client (bad call? possibly).  I’ve also been trying to expand my business by growing from one person (yours truly) into a team with subcontractors.  Sometimes I really think I’m crazy because I don’t know how I keep up with everything with my little Padawan.  She is with my mom on Monday’s and at an in-home daycare on Thursdays, but that still leaves three days that she’s home with me.  Sometimes I love it…I get to play with her, read books, go to the library for Baby Lapsit (yawn, but you know, it gets me out of the house when she’s cranky), sit outside for picnics, go on walks, etc.  But then sometimes it’s really hard…I have a lot of emails coming in, a lot of assignments and if I can’t pay attention to her right at that moment she starts crying.  Some days she takes a 3 hour nap and it’s heaven and other days she decides she’s going to take one 45 minute nap and be cranky the rest of the time.

I finally feel like I’ve gotten the hang of how to do both but she is constantly changing.  Nothing is ever the same.  But, really, I feel like I’m beginning to get in the swing of adjusting to my life with a new Jedi in the midst.

On the personal side, September has been rough with the death of my grandmother (pseudo-expected as she was quite old) and then the death of my godmother (completely unexpected).  I was close with my godmother so that was hard on me.  It’s the first time in my life where someone has died that has been close to me.  I have those moments of, “I wish I texted her more…” or “I wish I called her more…”  Being in Australia, it made it tough to keep in touch but we still managed.  I talked on the phone with her at least every other month and texted when we could.  I stayed with her whenever we were there and I’m glad my husband got to meet her last time we went.  I keep rereading her last texts about how she was going to buy a gift for ARM on her Europe trip.  She had just gotten back from said trip but I’ll never know if she got a gift for ARM.

But I don’t want to end on a bummer of a note – today we head off to Ireland and London!  Some of me wonders if I’m crazy doing an international leprechaun-gold-pot-88489vacation with a 4 month old…but some of me is so excited that I don’t care.  We got a beautiful airbnb right on the Western Coast of Ireland for a few days and then we are in Dublin for a few more.  Next weekend we got to London to visit some family.  Ireland has been my top choice of somewhere to visit for at least 10 years now.  I was saving up for it a few years ago but because of family obligations, we had to go to Australia instead.  It’s a looooong story, but we were granted a lot of airline credit this past February that had to be used within a year and we ended up using it to book this trip.  Wish me luck, laddies and lassies!

I do have Star Wars blogs churning around and have started one as well.  Now that I feel like things are getting in the swing of things, hopefully you’ll be hearing more from Yours Truly as 2016 continues.

MTFBWY!

Where To Start?

There’s so much I’ve wanted to write about these past few weeks, but I don’t even know where to start.

In personal news – I’m thinking of starting my own business.  And by “thinking”, I mean, I’m actually in the process of looking everything up and I’m pretty serious about it.  I’m going to launch my own Virtual Assistant business where hopefully I’ll be getting my own clients and helping them with various administrative, creative, and organizational tasks.  All online and all from a home office…so essentially I’ll be running an online business.

This came about from reading Lean In and realizing that though women are gaining equality in the workplace, equality also comes from understanding unique differences in men and women and providing for them.  In this increasingly online world, corporate offices should be able to provide more flexibility to women (and men) who may want to take care of their children, but still be able to work the full eight hours required.  I understand that not every employee can work online, but often in my Executive Assistant career, the people I support have been absent more than present.  High profile execs are constantly traveling, and my job has unintentionally turned virtual for the majority of the time.

In my ideal world, if I have children, I would love to go to work from 8-1:00pm, come home and spend time with my children, and hop back online around 7 or 8pm for a few hours to finish working, while my husband puts the kids to bed.  And still get a full time salary for my work.  I just want the flexibility to be a working mother on my own terms.

Here in the suburbs of Boston, one month of childcare for one child is equal to my paycheck for a month.  Get that?   Wow.  So I could not work, and our income would still be the same.  This really got me thinking.  I love to work, I really do.  But for the time period in my life when I have young children, why would I pay someone else to take care of my children when I can do it myself and break even?  Why not still try to work, bring in money, but also take care of my children?

I don’t know if this will actually work, or if I’ll even get clients and be able to maintain a good income.  But it’s better than not bringing in anything and I feel like if I don’t try this venture out now…by the time I have children, I’ll be too busy and frazzled to try to start my own business.

This is clearly what my life will be like when my business is up and running. HA. HA.

This is clearly what my life will be like when my business is up and running. HA. HA.

Needless to say, I’ve been slightly overwhelmed as I try to juggle my full-time job and getting my VA business up and running on the side.  There’s so much to do!  So this blog has been slightly neglected as I focus my attention elsewhere, but I hope no one has really noticed.

Now onto Star Wars news!

Since my last update on Star Wars Rebels, there have been a few larger developments.  We now know the main crew of Ghost: Ezra Bridger, Hera Syndulla, Zeb Orrelios, Sabine Wren, Chopper, and former Jedi Kanan Jarrus.

Ezra Bridger is a human con artist and thief who has Force sensitivities.  Unknowingly, he’s used the Force to help him get out of situations before.  Kind of sounds like The Boy Who Lived, huh?

ezra bridger

Hera Syndulla is a Twi’lek!!  YAY.  I was all for seeing some Twi’lek love and super happy to see them finally getting some awesome screen time.  She’s the owner and pilot of Ghost.  Hera is described as the “heart” of the crew, “keeping the group together and bringing the best out of them.”  She owns Chopper and known to be independent, strong-willed and determined.

Hera_Syndulla

Zeb Orrelios is known as the muscle of the crew.  His species is a Lasat, and the species is based on early concept drawings that Ralph McQuarrie did of Chewbacca.  Though Zeb is trained as a warrior, he is also educated.

zeb orrelios

Sabine Wren is a Mandalorian who specializes in explosives, and is also a graffiti artist.  She is described as “spunky and feisty”.

sabine wren

Former Jedi Kanan Jarrus is a human who survived Order 66 and is in hiding (obviously).  He ends up mentoring Ezra in the ways of the Force and serves as the Ghost crew’s leader.

Your lightsaber is a dead giveaway, dude.

Your blue lightsaber is a dead giveaway, dude.

Female fans were a little upset that after all the hype around female characters in Rebels, there are only two so far, and they don’t seem to be main characters either.  My guess is that Ezra and Kanan will be the leads, with the rest playing supporting roles.   However, I think having Hera as a female pilot is great (kind of reminiscent of Starbuck in BSG) and I’m very interested to see what Sabine brings to the mix.  A talented graffiti artist who specializes in explosives?  I didn’t expect that.  Nor did I expect any artist to play a prominent role on a Rebel ship, so this could be a good thing for children to see.  It’s emphasizing that not everyone in this world is pure muscle and combat…you can also be creative and bring something to the mix.

There’s a rumor that Billy Dee Williams could be lending his voice to Rebels but reports are mixed on that (by the way – it was just announced today that he will be on the next season of Dancing with the Stars).  It’s worth noting that he IS listed on the IMDB page as a voice in Star Wars Rebels.  This rumor comes from when he was at Rhode Island Comic Con and said he would be a voice in a Netflix show called Rebels.  Netflix is not airing Rebels, so maybe he is in some of the unaired episodes of the Clone Wars?  Or he’s just darn confused since he’s 76 years old (can you believe that?!).

Which brings me to my next update…

The complete series of The Clone Wars is airing on Netflix this Friday, March 7th.  I already have a calendar reminder set up.  This also means the final episodes, “The Lost Missions”, that we haven’t seen are also airing with it.  Yay.  I can’t wait to check it out.   I’ve read up on The Lost Missions and been spoiled (why didn’t they write “spoiler alert”??) on some of the plot, which has bummed me out, but I’m still excited to see it.  I’ll let you guys know what I think…

TCW the lost missions

Finally, there are a lot of rumors swirling out there in regards to Episode VII casting.  People are swearing up and down that Adam Driver has been named the villain and that the original three are returning, but just as a reminder – until we actually hear it from LFL or Disney, they’re just rumors.  However, we are getting really close to official casting reveals!  Filming begins this May so they should already have some leads nailed down by now.

I’m the type that until it’s confirmed, I try not to get excited about anything.  What’s the point if we don’t know for sure?  I get excited knowing that something big is coming…like knowing that we’ll have some casting updates soon.

Have you guys been paying attention to the rumors?  Do you get excited or are you blasé about everything?