Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Exhausted November has passed by in a blur of goodness. Or at least I think it was good, I have been super busy but have a hard time remembering why. I do know last week I celebrated two Thanksgiving dinners which were both filled with amazing food and awesome friends and family!

Packing or at least I should be? We are hoping to move in December but it is still unknown due to waiting for our kitchen to be built. Plus I may be procrastinating a tad. I know organizing and packing our stuff will be a huge task that I’m not looking forward to. We are only moving a few miles away but I want to clear out a lot of our stuff and try to make it easier on us unpacking. Otherwise I would just run through the house throwing everything rather unceremoniously into boxes. There’s still time, I may still end up doing that.

Eating things involving leftover turkey and pumpkin. Its the end of a long, busy month, and there’s plenty of leftovers to be had!

Writing or not actually writing. Sadly with all of the holiday craziness I fell behind in my word count goal to meet at the end of November. It's looking doubtful I will meet the deadline, but I will give it my best shot!

Listening to Christmas music! I don’t know when I started loving Christmas music, I’m thinking it was somewhere around the time Michael Buble released his Christmas album. Now I have quite the collection. I want to name them all because I love them and want you to love them, but here I am, showing self control. (I will email you the list if you really want to know)

Crafting has taken a break this week. I did pull out my knitting (and by knitting I mean I am still working on the same scarf I started 2 years ago- my first knitting project ever) I want to finish it because I have plans. Bigger and better plans. Seeing that Christmas is coming up, this week I plan on getting all my Christmas crafts together. Time to pull out the advent calendar!

Celebrating Thanksgiving is over and its time for Loy Krathong. In Thailand it is one of the biggest holidays and is the celebration of light. All of the fireworks and lanterns are breathtaking as they are constantly being launched into the night sky. As much as Thanksgiving is the precursor to Christmas, Loy Krathong has joined the line-up and it truly won't feel like the Christmas season without celebrating Loy Krathong. It is simply stunning.

[Currently blog inspired from Adventure + Ink]

Yours Truly,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Failures as Mom

Lately I have struggled, awkwardly, through answering the questions “what do you do during the day?” or “what does a typical day look like for you?”. First off, I find it such a strange and rather personal question but in the last month I have been asked it several times. As of late it has especially been difficult to answer because I am not particularly pleased with the answer. Because if I answer honestly it feels like I am giving rights for judgement to be passed on me. I feel like the true question is “what kind of mother are you?”

The thing is that I know that is not what they really mean, but while my brain racks to think of what to confess to, I don’t admit to how often my son watches movies because I am afraid of how poorly that will reflect my parenting, or how messy my house is more often than not.

What is the right answer? I know I have this ideal of the type of mother I ought to be, which might be as extreme as a 50’s housewife. Nonetheless, I live with a sort of guilt that I am not able to do it all, that sometimes instead of cleaning the house I take a nap or spend too much time on Pinterest.

Most of all I regret how very often I say “no” or “not right now”or “maybe tomorrow”. The days are too short, time slips by too quickly; me, floundering to grab hold but never being able to get a firm grip.

What I am deciding in all of this, is to choose to be glad that I am not content with my life as it is. I want to always strive to do better, to be aware of the things in my life that need to go or that I could learn to do differently. While I may be at a place, currently, where I can see a lot of things that need to be thrown out or changed about my everyday life, I choose to let go of the guilt. It holds me back, making it more and more difficult to invoke positive changes.

I guess this post is for me more than anything. Thanks for bearing with me on this, even if its scattered and incomplete.

And wrapping up so I can get off my bum and tackle this messy house.

Yours Truly,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


As some of you may know I am participating in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month), which, as you may be able to guess, is writing a novel in a month. Or more specifically writing 50,000 words in the month of November. Its a time for writers to come together and write with reckless abandon, forgetting punctuation, spelling and too often their own plots. 

This may be the reason why I have been lacking in the blogging area. So rather than procrastinating, because my creative processes are so consumed by novel writing, I am pulling out the archives and am sharing a story I wrote a few months ago.

I have written this sentence ten different times! I am super nervous about putting my writing "out there" even though I know most of you who read this are my family and friends. But it still gets my heart racing and worrying. Well without further ado, and before I change my mind....

The Burden of Life

Tears and sweat ran freely down Beth’s cheeks, spreading the streaks of dirt she hadn’t bothered to wipe away. She was surprised by being able to produce any more tears, if only she could drown in such.

The gray-cast morning offered a gloomy light for her morbid task. The Monday morning air was fresh from the night of rain, fog still remained hiding the rest of the village from sight. A distant wail of anguish echoed across the hills, but Beth paid no heed to it. There was nothing she, or anyone else could do. There had been nothing for anyone to do for her either. She was left alone with her anguish, her wails silenced days ago.

She hurried to finish so she would be gone before too many others joined with their own tedious work.

Day number seven. Over a week ago her life had reason to fear and worry, now her worry lay dead, her fears a haunting truth.

Today she buried her baby. Yesterday had been her husband and her fifth. The day before that- she couldn’t remember. This week of hell had melded together into one unimaginable nightmare.

Her warm tears flowed anew, clearing the dirt from her face. The grave master had helped her with several of the graves, somehow he had managed to be unharmed from the disease, as did she.

She thrust the shovel hard into the soft mud kicking the head down into the earth. She tossed the new load aside bringing with it the smell of grass and soil. Some of the harder clumps of dirt rolled from the pile trying to settle, coming to rest at the feet of Thomas. 

Thomas laid beyond the pile too weak to sit up. Beth wished she could have him home in bed, tending to his fever, but her baby had died in the night and needed to be put to rest. Thomas would have to wait and endure, wait for death to take him soon, as surely it would as it had with all the rest.
The hard black tokens covered his frail little body. The only sign of the life still within him were his eyes following his mother as she toiled.

Beth paused for a breath and looked down the row of graves she had dug over the past week. This was her sixth, Thomas would be the seventh. Overwhelmed with her loss Beth’s fingers lost the grip of her shovel. Her knees gave in, pulling her to the ground. Banging her fist against the moist grass- against the evil that stole her family from her- she gave in to her pain. She begged and wished that she could join them. How could she have been left alone? Alone to dig their graves.

Her silent sobs heaved in her chest, she could not go on. Minutes passed, the fog gently rolled across the hills offering no clemency. Still life favored her and would not adhere to her pleas for death.

She slowly sat up, Thomas’ eyes were wide with fear. Her moment of self-pity was gone with a renewed sense of burden. Today she would bury her baby, tomorrow she would bury Thomas.
Her arms and back ached from the relentless digging. She wished she could dig both graves today and get it over with, but she dare not leave an empty grave waiting, for fear of someone taking it in the night, too wrought with grief to dig. 

The small village had rules, to minimize the spread of the illness. The only contact she had had was from her own dying family and the lone grave digger who had fallen ill but had somehow cheated death. Or as Beth liked to think of it- death had cheated them. 

Her body was thankful but her heart was sore at the size of grave she dug today. Her dirty, blister-covered hands shook as she reached for the small bundle. With great care she placed her sweet little child into her new resting place. A silent prayer was all she could offer, as she began to refill the hole.

Before the village had broke their fast, Beth returned home. Little Thomas strung over her shoulder, his wide eyes staring back at the small graveyard where he would soon be laid to rest.

Yours Truly,

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fun- have it all the time!

I remember being told often that life is hard. 


As a six year old, though, I don't remember that being true. Life was great! You got to play, in fact, does "Just get out of here and go play" sound familiar to anyone else? Our parents encourages us to play, be outside, swim, be involved in spots, and just about anything else to keep us busy. At six, I had few chores and the worst thing EVER was cleaning my room. Looking back, that being the worst was pretty amazing. What else made six the best? Candy, games, kindergarten, coloring, watching the same movie a million times, toys, the magic of holidays (really the magic of everything: the first snow, camping, the stars...) and I could go on!

Basically six is amazing because life was filled with fun. So, naturally, I try to add as much fun to my every day as I possibly can. 

For example, we bought a pack of Angry Bird wall decals for no other reason than they were cool. But what to do with them? I decided that I would place them throughout the house and create an unending game of hide-and-seek (well, mostly just seek.) The door into the garage also happens to be covered in Mario wall decals. 

Another family favorite is the story game we play while we eat occasionally. Each person is allowed to say one word at a time, moving around the circle from person to person, progressing the story one word at a time:













You never know where the story will go.

Granted, it is easy to find the fun of a six year old with one in the house but I try to harness as much of it as I can. I know I will never say, "Gee, I think life is getting a little too fun, I better mellow it out!" Hehe!

What do you do for fun? Don't forget to laugh...


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

paper & ink

I love to read. There is not much that compares to the time spent deep in the pages of a book, becoming entwined with the adventure, glimpsing into another’s challenges and being with them as they succeed (or fail) at what life throws at them.

While I have enjoyed a many great deal of books there are a few that rise above the rest. These books are ones that have embedded themselves so deeply that their ideals and inspirations have woven themselves through my heart strings becoming a part of me. This is not just a list of favorites. These are the books that make up my reader persona. [that’s a real thing- I’m pretty sure]

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I was 14 the first time I picked up The Sorcerer’s Stone. Still young enough to think of myself as growing up with the novels. It will always be at the top of my list. Sometimes it sounds juvenile admitting that Harry Potter is my favorite book. I guess that makes me one of “those”, whatever that means, but when you spend ten years absorbed in a story, waiting in angst for the ending, all the while never wanting it to be done, how can it not affect you so deeply?

The world Rowling created is so real and fantastic and clever. She spells out every child’s dream of being able to do magic, in a world where flying is normal and pictures can talk. Where even children can take on evil and defeat it.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Shrouded by controversy this trilogy tends to get a bad rap. Yes the author is atheist and yes he kills “god” in the story. But its a great story nonetheless. I love the characters and the somewhat “steam-punk” era that its set in. 

It was after reading this trilogy that I realized my favorite genre: fantasy. 

King Raven Trilogy by Stephen Lawhead

Robin Hood is a story I have heard and seen countless times growing up. Same old, same old. While I do love the many renditions of the story this one is by far the best. Lawhead's knowledge of Britain is clearly extensive as he was able to dredge up a story that is a more likely scenario of the anti-hero we know as Robin Hood. His character surpasses the original Robin Hood in valor and integrity, while plotting creative retaliation on his enemies.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

If you have read this book, then you know why it has made my list. While romance novels rarely touch my shelves, this story beautifully composes the story of redemption in a tangible way, the power of unconditional love and the hope of second and third and fourth chances. I cried a lot.

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin

Anyone that considers this purely a love story has missed the best parts of Jane Austin’s work. She is witty and clever. She uses lots of irony and satire [a few of my favorite things] to put a hysterically ingenious twist on the typical love story. Every time I read the book or watch the movie I realize some clever bit that I had never noticed before. Well and Mr. Darcy.

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

I can’t remember what types of books I read before reading this one. Everything I knew about books and reading changed. Perhaps because this was the first book I read that wasn’t required reading or on my mother’s shelf. Perhaps because it wasn't some random selection at the library, perhaps because it is just that awesome. Ever since, Card has been one of my favorite authors. His writing is outstanding and one of my greatest inspirations as a [hopeful] writer. Plus Ender is a third, and being a third born as well, we are pretty much the same.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

I didn’t want to flood this list with a bunch of C.S. Lewis books, which would be easy for me to do. He is my inspiration as a Christian, as a writer, as a person. The first memories I have of my Dad reading to us at night was of the Chronicles of Narnia. I remember staring at this cover wondering why a girl in a funny dress that covered her head was fighting a man with a sword.

See what I mean?
Reading The Great Divorce was more of a life altering moment. Not blatantly, but it was a moment in which I realized how narrow minded my view of God was and how he is so beyond what I can fathom. C.S. Lewis offers a tiny glimpse into that knowledge and shows how one dimensional our views can be, and how they can hinder our understanding.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

So random its genius, or maybe its so genius its random? There were times when I was reading this series that I could not stop laughing [enough to get weird stares from my husband]. There were also moments that I realized I had no clue what was going on or what he was talking about. But there were a few moments where everything came together and chaos all fit together and made sense. Its brilliant. Just brilliant.

Abram’s Daughters by Beverly Lewis

In steps random books about Amish. This is the first series I read of Beverly Lewis and about the Amish. Growing up in Colorado the only thing I knew about Amish people was that they dressed strangely and didn’t like electronics. Not only are they great reads but they also inspire me to work hard and want to bake pies.

The Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind

I have already talked about these books in previous posts. While its been more recent that I read this series, I was totally sucked into these books. What can I say? I read the Goodkind....[and there it is]

Twilight by Stephanie Meyers

Just kidding. [making sure you're paying attention- for the record, I super dislike]

I’m cutting myself off. I realize there have been many books that have shaped me. Hopefully I continue to find them.

Yours Truly,

Friday, October 19, 2012

12 Names- Girl Edition

Here it is, the 12 sci-fi/fantasy names you must name your little girl.

12. Lyra

I can’t help but picturing a bobbling two year old with pigtails: sweet but not cutesy, frilly. I must note that I prefer the way I pronounce it (where y = i as in infant) over the way it should be pronounced (where y = I). The choice is yours- either way, it’s a great choice.  

11. Trillian

For those hoping for a fresh, space-age-y name, this should be the perfect fit, right? Not to mention, Trilly makes a pretty awesome nickname for a kid to out grow. 

10. Rosamond

I originally contemplated Rose (a lovely, safe and simple name used in both LOTR and DW), but why stop there? I think I love Rosamond even more because of the story around the name. If you haven’t yet, read The Lost Princess by George MacDonald and this name will quickly climb to the top of your list! It is a beautiful name that could potentially be rooted in several sci-fi worlds, whichever one you fancy.

9. Tamina

I will admit that this name is probably on here because Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time happens to be my current all time fave. **This is where I must apologize to all the gamers out there, to which this is probably a disappointment. But, ultimately, that is why Tamina is hanging in position 9 as opposed to the top 5 where I originally had it.

8. Hermione

My first choice was truly Bellatrix, but without Helena Bonham Carter behind the name it is just a villain with a cool name. Therefore it is probably not appropriate for your little angel. Beyond that, HP is loaded with great names, how do you just pick one? Simple, Hermione happens to be in the rolling credits for Star Wars Episode IV.

7. Emia

You probably have not heard of this name, but it is my go to name for many of my fantasy novels. It is a spin on a classic that is super cute, yet has that fantasy twist. It also happens to be the safest name on this list. So, if you want to go sci-fi/ fantasy, but you don’t want to go over the top, this is the name for you.

6. River Song

Could this name pairing be any more perfect? No. I thought I would just use River over River Song, but let’s be honest… River Song is what makes it such a phenomenal sci-fi name. (You could use Melody Pond, it is just as great!)  It is just as versatile with last names as well- River Song Dunham, River Song Beale, River Song Starbird… need I go on?

5. Karena

What can I say, my parents got it right. It is unique and awesome, any little girl would be lucky to have such a fantastic name. And yes… I am sci-fi, therefore, the name is sci-fi.

4. Aravis

Love this name. Even more so, I would love to meet someone with this name. C.S. Lewis could spin a good name, brilliant man. Aravis Gracie Ullrich has an amazing sound to it; I think the Ullrich crew could totally pull off Aravis…

3. Yvaine

There is more to this name than the fact that this character is a star (my absolute favorite things in all of space and time!!) It is cool, it looks awesome in cursive (so if you don’t write in cursive, forget about it, hehe) and did I mention it is the name of a star?

2. McKenna (or Makenna, depending on your spelling preference)

Once again, I am not too sure how sci-fi/ fantasy this name is, but it should be. Not only do I know a McKenna that could have come straight out of fantasy series (yes, little… er, not so little Miss Gwin- that would be you), I can think of plenty examples where McKenna would have been a better name for the series. McKenna is the perfect fit for the fairy in your own fantasy series.

1.  Rohan

Beyond epic! I cannot tell you how much I love this name. Every little girl deserves an epic name, right? I often kick myself for not thinking of these names before I had kids. My eldest should be a Rohan Faith Bost. I would be happy with a Rohan Fitzpatrick though, Liam agrees. No pressure…


Sunday, October 14, 2012


loving life. While this may come naturally to some people its definitely a learned skill for me. I’m still learning but with every new day I am greeted with a cup of coffee it gets a little easier.

reading the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, specifically the Dragon Reborn. And At Home by Bill Bryson. And Parenting with Love and Logic (then again I'm always reading that one)

writing my outline for Nanowrimo next month. For once I feel like I actually have a story to write and am excited about it. 

listening to Mumford & Sons. new album <3 ...and the Brave soundtrack (but lets just keep that between ourselves)

wearing clothes. and different ones everyday at that.

missing fall. The mountains and changing aspens. The cold weather and pumpkin patches. Wearing long sleeved shirts and jeans and scarves. Its my most favorite time of year.

teaching my son to do other things than watch movies. Its a challenge to come up with enough activities in one day to keep him occupied but I don't feel like a such a terrible mom at the end of the day. He still asks a quadrillion times a day.

playing Portal 2. And Small World. Its becoming one of my new favorite board games.

drinking Italian sodas. Anything with “soda” or “shoppe” sparks a childlike desire in me. I’m sure at one point in my childhood I was denied a beverage from the "Soda Shoppe" and am just now finding my redemption. That, or they are just super delicious. And refreshing.

sleeping far too little (see reading)

Yours Truly,

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Geekery Project: Sonic Screwdriver

Toys are for kids. Unless they are my toys, in which case I would rather my kids leave them alone. For example, my Lego Christmas Village pieces are mine, and no, the kids are not aloud to play with them. So naturally, with the arrival of my Sonic Screwdriver I became overly protective, much to the disappointment of my children. Much to the happiness of everyone, I had a brilliant idea.

Enter: project make your own Sonic Screwdriver!


3/4 inch wooden dowel (we got one that was about a yard long for $1.39 at Hobby Lobby)
1/4 cm square wooden stick- used for the buttons (also at Hobby Lobby for about $1)
Craft paint (black, grey, silver, and we got a pearly colored one to add texture to the middle section)
Paint Brushes
Hot Glue
Garden Stones (the colorful ones you put in a vase- blue)
Circular Saw (or traditional saw, just some means to cut the dowel)

Step 1:

Cut the wooden dowel down, into about 6 inch sections.

Step 2:

Sand down the edges to make it smooth. 

Step 3:

Cut the square wooden stick into small sections (button sized.) Some of us ended up cutting the small sections in half again for a more low profile button, where others kept them thicker. 

Step 4:


Step 5:

Hot glue on the accessories! (The buttons, as well as the garden stones on the end.)

Yay! For an awesome project!


The fun didn't stop here though! We invented a game- nothing beats a run-around-the-house-in-the-dark sort of game, eh?


The Doctor and his Companions are under attack of Dalek Sec and they must rescue all the Sonic Screwdrivers and get them back to the TARDIS to defeat Dalek Sec, but if you are not careful: EXTERMINATE!

To start, get three buckets, baskets, containers (or whatever will hold the Sonic Screwdrivers.) Place all three of these containers in different parts of the house. In the Dalek's bucket (whichever one you chose) place all of the Sonic Screwdrivers. In your group, assign one person to be the Dalek, all others will be Time Lords or Companions. Turn out all (or most) of the lights in the house. The purpose of the Time Lords and Companions is to get a Sonic Screwdriver and bring it back to the TARDIS (represent by the other two remaining containers.) The Dalek's mission is to stop them from reaching the TARDIS. If the Dalek catches a Time Lord or Companion two things can happen: 1) If they don't have a Sonic Screwdriver the Time Lord/Companion must stay frozen for the count of 15. 2) If the Time Lord/Companion does have a Sonic Screwdriver you must play a game of Sonic Screwdriver/ TARDIS/ Dalek (rock/ paper/ scissors.) **You can make your own symbols for this, we did! Play best two out of three. If the Dalek wins, he gets to return the Sonic Screwdriver back to his bucket, if the Time Lord or Companion wins they must remain frozen for the count of 15. The game ends when all the Sonic Screwdrivers are returned to the TARDIS!

**We found it useful for the Dalek to carry a flashlight to be used only during the Sonic Screwdriver/ TARDIS/ Dalek face-off.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

All our problems are gone!...well mostly

So we have had some problems with the blog. I spent a good portion of time this week trying to get it all worked out and toyed with various solutions. We are trying a different hosting site, allowing that it is dummy-proof we should be good!

That means that the Reader Give Away is still on. Please read the previous post to get the details and we hope you will participate! Also, it means that you are now able to subscribe to our blog. Just enter your email in the box on the right and you should then automatically receives emails whenever we upload a new post.

Thanks for hanging with us as we learn!

Yours Truly,

These are the words of whispers

There are some dreams from childhood that still hold a portion of magic; a piece I cling to still in adulthood. Scenes from movies or books that made me wish something beyond what I could see or feel, a hope that life was more than what meets the eye.
I treasure those dreams, hold them deep within. In the same place where I have a love of curling up with a book or drinking a hot beverage. The place where snowfall is beautiful and magical. Its a place that is fed frequently by Doctor Who and Harry Potter, shooting stars and chocolate cake. It is where my own stories are born, taking hold of these pieces and working them to form something new. It is a well into my soul.
To some it is silly and childish. Wishes and magic are nothing more than fairytales. To me, they are real. Real because I can truly feel them. Just as I can feel the sunset. It is in those moments I can revel in majesty. Adore creativity. Bask in something greater than myself. Love and Create. It is what compels me to do.
There are days my mind tells me otherwise, but my heart screams it louder. A compulsion, as addicting as breath.
It is often with abandon that I finally submit. Fear still itches, constantly nagging; it will never be enough.
Maybe, just maybe, it will all be worth while.
“The true harvest of my life in intangible- a little stardust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched” Henry David Thoreau

Yours Truly,

Jordan Skywalker

The minute we stumble in the door, Jordan grabs my hand and enthusiastically drags me to his domain. I instantly transport to another galaxy, far away. The black walls surround and captivate me. Hundreds of glow-in-the-dark stars pop out all over the room forming uncharted constellations. An impressive Star Wars mural consumed the largest wall, the gravity of the room.
Jordan wastes no time showing off his Star Wars collection. “My bed is more comfortable because it is Star Wars, plus it helps me with ‘the force’ when I want to practice. This is my Star Wars water bottle and I keep it here on this shelf so I can have a drink when I get thirsty, I don’t have the force right now, but when I do I won’t even have to move, I can just make it come to me.” He grabs the water bottle and takes a long sip. “See, perfect!” Jordan points to the small white shelf just to the side of his bed and continues to explain his Lego Darth Vader alarm clock sitting next to his water bottle. “Darth Vader and I get to wake up at the same time, only I get to go play at school and he doesn’t.”  
Jordan jumps from his bed, rolls head first to the corner and pops up after briefly shuffling his now misshapen bleach-tipped mohawk. “These are my light sabers, I even made this one!” He holds up a red one, larger and more detailed than the other four, “All real Jedi have to make their own light sabers!” He waves it over his head and down his sides, fighting some invisible opponent.
Jordan eyes me, unsure if there are rules he should follow. “Can I play with my Legos yet?” He quickly asks. Before I can answer, he pulls out two large bins from under his bed. I step back, giving him ample room to play, not wanting to interfere with his agenda. “I feel like I just like to play with Legos instead of talking,” he adds. His eyes light up and his infectious smile slips onto his face. And it begins.
Quicker than I can keep up with, Jordan enlists Jedi knights, Storm Troopers, and “Roger, Rogers” (or droids to the rest of us) out of the bins, strategically lining them up. Next he unveils the arsenal of Lego weapons.  A minute later a battle of “good vs. evil” unfolds before my eyes. The miniature figures lose limbs and heads all around, Jordan’s sound effects compete with the best of any movie, and he spares no expense for dramatic emphasis. He does not make it far into the battle before he enlists some additional Lego Jedi to aid him, adding new ones as quickly as the others are dying off.
The battle continues on with hardly any words, Jordan’s fingers moving quickly as he searches for a blue light saber. Within seconds he locates it and assigns it to a dodgy Storm Trooper, “Don’t worry, he is still a bad guy,” he assures me as the light saber wielding Storm Trooper invades Luke Skywalker and faces an unfortunate end. “The bad guys never win,” he passively adds.
My presence slips to the background as Jordan’s concentration moves to the repair of his X-Wing. His big sister, Haley, and baby brother, Peyton, slip into his world to watch, but he pays no attention to them either. He sits with his back to us, legs crossed, a steady wiggle rippling through his whole body; apparent to me he has to pee but evident he has no time for a potty break. I bite my tongue and let him continue. He quickly turns around and holds up his repair. “We should buy the Death Star so I can fly this in there and blow it up, that would be awesome!” Jordan’s face beams with his brilliant, new revelation. “Don’t be ridiculous,” Haley speaks up for the first time, “it is over four hundred dollars, you will never be able to get it!”
Jordan’s grin just gets bigger, “I am going to get it, I will use my piggy bank!” Haley rolls her eyes and Jordan shifts back to his battle unfazed by her pessimism.  
I look on as Jordan pours everything he has into his game, not overlooking any details and not sparing any silence, the “whurzzz” of the light saber mixed with the blasts of the laser guns all interspersed with hums of “do, do, doo, do, do-doo, do, do-doo.” Jordan bounces about, never still, his energy protruding wherever possible. This world he creates becomes as equally real to him as the one he eats and breathes in, but much more interesting and intriguing, capturing the very essence of his dreams and wishes.
“Do you know who my favorite is?” Jordan abruptly announces, his first actual words in over fifteen minutes. I shrug. He holds up a small black figure, masked and caped, and whispers “Darth Vader, and did you know that in the end he comes to the good side? That is why it is good to like Darth Vader.” Jordan clips a red light saber in Darth’s hand, points it at me and yells, “On guard!” I grab the closest Jedi with a light saber, return the gesture, and indulge in a mini duel; not only does my Jedi lose his limbs, his head and his life, so do I, to which Jordan collapses into a joyous rage of laughter. “Jordan is the winner,” he squeals as the laughs subside, “whew, that was hard work.” Haley rolls her eyes again, unnoticed by Jordan.
“I am pretty sure I am going to be a Jedi one day,” Jordan giggles.
“Jedi?” His sister retorts, “You can’t actually be a Jedi, they are not real. You will probably be a Lego engineer.”
“Yeah, a Lego engine-ja-neer! Well, that and a Jedi cause those are my favorites, Star Wars Legos, and the Wii.” He stares anxiously into my eyes. “So, can I play the Wii? Oh, wait, I shouldn’t ask that should I? It’s a school night.” Looking at me hoping I might say yes anyways.


Happy Birthday Karena*!

2 posts in one day?!?!  Well it is my day to post but it is also Karena’s birthday, so what kind of sister would I be if I didn’t use our blog to wish my sister a Happy Birthday. So here is to you, Karena. Hope you have an amazing birthday!

10 Names You Don't Want

This week I had been creating my own list of sorts [which I will still do, eventually] but I could not resist the chance to talk about names. Karena shared her top favorites to inspire our youngest sister, here is my top list.
[Chance to share a super cute picture of my son as a newborn]
Aiden 1 week old
Ten Names found in Sci-fi/Fantasy that you should never name your son:
10. Merlin
Merlin will always be the name of the great wizard during the time of King Arthur. I would also include Gandalf and Dumbledore to this list. Basically, if the name is associated with a long white beard: pass.
9. Jar Jar
A quick shout out to the most annoying and unnecessary character in Star Wars. This name jars me [hey, Karena was allowed one cheesy pun!] It almost seems pointless to add this one, because no one in their right mind would ever use this name.
8. Spock
If you have a son who is half Vulcan, then you can name him Spock. He will need the ability to be unfeeling as all his peers mock him [although, if he was half Vulcan his peers would probably make fun of him for that regardless of what his name was] It just isn’t a great human name and I have yet to think of a pairing that would work. Spock Fitzpatrick? Spock Bost? Spock Smith? Spock Smock? Maybe…
7. Gollum
Sméagol isn’t a whole lot better, but at least it is a real name and not just an onomatopoeia. Might as well name your son Hock-a-Loogie.
6. R2D2
Let’s just sum this one up as: do not name your son after an android. Or cyborg. [on a side note, this week I had the realization that I knew the difference between an android and a cyborg. I don’t remember ever learning that]
5. Bilbo
I think this one is fairly obvious.
4. Worf
If you could guarantee your son would grow up to be a bodybuilder or football player or Klingon warrior then it could work. But if you had a little geeky child [slightly more likely] it would just be mean and ironic.
3. Gimli
Also fairly obvious.
2. Voldemort
If you are not a fan of Harry Potter, I don’t see you ever considering this. If you are a fan of Harry Potter, I don’t see you ever considering this.
1. Slartibartfast
Douglas Adams was a genius and a master of random and weird. He sat and thought of the most ridiculous things imaginable and compiled them together to make The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I think it would be safe to say that if you named your son this, you would be naming him the most ridiculous name in the universe.
[Just one more because he was so darn cute!]
His hair was awesome

12 Names

One of the first things you do as a mom is name your child, in fact, all too often we have the baby’s name before we have the baby. The moment you find out you are pregnant, you start tossing around baby names. Wait, as a girl, we start doing this at age 5. I knew when I was five my daughter’s name was going to be Megan.
What a fantastic responsibility. After all,  it is the one thing they will share with almost everyone they meet. Your child will bring it to school with them, it will be printed on the roster of their sports team, their report card, job application, and maybe (in the best way possible of course) on the front page of the newspaper. It is one of the few things they will keep from the day they are born until the day they die.
Well, in honor of my youngest sister who is expecting her second naming responsibility I have come up with a list of the top 12 sci-fi/fantasy names you need to name your boy.  (Girl edition to come later!)
12. Shia
Now, I am never a fan of naming your child after a celebrity but this is my one exception (not because he is some sort of outstanding citizen, I don’t know much about his person life, but because his name is that cool.) Put aside that he is a real person (ha!) and just assume he is Transformers.
11. Aragorn  
This comes in at number eleven because it is my biggest stretch. Love the name, not entirely sure how it would work on a two year old, even less sure how it would work in middle school. So, caution: this may be for the extreme, but one cool extreme!
10. Holmes
I debated between Holmes, Benedict and Sherlock on this one, but in the end Holmes won out. A little more subtle than Sherlock, but just as smart. Holmes Shia Ullrich. Perfect? I think yes. (Now I am taking the liberty of naming other’s children, hehe!)
9. Lucas
Lucas pops up all over the sci-fi world, but it is also my safest bet (for those of you looking for a sci-fi name without the risk of being extreme.)
8. Olivander
I decided I would only pull one name from HP, so here it is. Sure, Severus would have been great, as well as Albus, Hagrid or Dobby. But, come on, no one would take you Sirius. (Ha! I couldn’t help myself!) Olivander Ezekiel Fitzpatrick, we can call him Oli… just sayin’.
7. Edmund
Who doesn’t love a strong British name, especially when it is highlighted in such an epic series? Now all that is needed is a Londoner accent so it sounds just as cool when it is said aloud as it does in my head.
6. Link
Let’s face it, how many Lincolns are out there just so they can be called “Linc”? Be bold, just name the kid Link, you know you want to. Plus: 1) Halloween will be a lot more fun when he is three 2) they will be famous when they are in third grade and 3) just think of how cool his own kids will think he is…
5. Axel
I am not sure how sci-fi/fantasy this name is, but it should be. It is a cool, smart name with an edge of “tough” for those of you who are hoping for a pro footballer. “Axel and Emmaleah!” Has a good ring to it, eh?
4. Qui-Gon
This. Name. Is. Top. Notch. Had I known for sure our oldest son would have been a boy, he would have undoubtedly been Qui-Gon. If I ever come across a time machine, I might just go back and adjust. Qui-Gon Noah Bost, absolutely!
3. Ender
Confession: I have never read the series. Gasp! But it is on my list. Despite that, I still think this has got to be one of the greatest names. So unique and original, yet so simple.
2. Fister Foss
I know (most) of you have never heard this name, but my niece invented this name a while back for her mom’s car. I eventually sought “legal” permission (hehe) to use it in one of my fantasy novels. This name has the IT factor. This first and second name pairing matches up with just about every last name out there: Fister Foss Jones, Fister Foss Wade, Fister Foss Robinson, Fister Foss Cappiello…. I could go on, but you get the point.
1. Stoick
For those of you who know me well, this comes as no surprise. I love, love, love this name. If How to Train Your Dragon would have been released before the birth of all three of my children, you know for sure I would have a Stoick in the ranks! This is not just the best sci-fi/fantasy name, it is the best name. Period.
Allons-y!                                                                                                                             Karena*