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Announcing My Baby Naming Guide

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I wrote a baby naming guide! I titled it, “Choosing the Most Perfect Name for Your Baby: Demystifying the Naming Process and Honoring Your Heart.” I started out my copywriting career doing a bit of professional naming—creating monikers for brands, companies, products, technologies, etc.. I loved it. When I had my own kids, and had to name them, I realized that the professional naming process could be bent to help expecting parents.

I’ll be the first one to say it, parents don’t need my guide to name their baby. It’s not like there is a nameless baby problem. But, what my guide does is expose the process. Once parents are aware of that process, the discussions around names and the final decision can be made with a bit more ease and confidence.

The guide is not a huge list of names. It does 3 things: It lays out the groundwork you need to do in order to figure out what kind of name you want. Then, it goes on to describe those different types of names. Finally, there is a list of different evaluations you can do as you sift through your list of name ideas.

Friends, this is a passion project. I love baby names! So, I paired my copywriting experience with my intuition as a mom and wife and wrote the guide. I’ve made it available through Amazon’s Kindle program, because I want to share it with the whole world! Head on over to get your own e-copy of “Choosing the Most Perfect Name for Your Baby: Demystifying the Naming Process and Honoring Your Heart.”

40 Before Forty Update: No. 06

6. Complete my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt top…and then put it all together.

Month 4 took me forever to complete. In fact, I’m about half of a month behind. First, I had to pick out 10 new fabrics. Then, I had to cut out a bazillion little pieces. Of course, when you have a bazillion pieces, you have to stitch them together. My sewing machine lives in a storage tub under my desk. So, I have to have a clear schedule to pull it out.

Finally! That day (or 2 or 3) came. Behold the next installment of my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt!

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Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017, Down the Rabbit Hole, Month 4 Complete

Okay, it was a lot of work, but I’m LOVING it. I’ve been sweating in the fabric store as I pick out new colors. I’ve been trying to use some of the same colors over. For example, the house roofs are made from the same fabrics as the flowers and the wedges of the center circle. The small center circle, flower centers, and windows are all the same yellow fabric. My goal is not only to keep some consistency within the colors, but to use up as much fabric as I can–not that a stash is a bad thing!

As you may have guessed, because I was behind on this, I’m behind on month 5. But, it appears to be less work and uses techniques I’ve already learned with this quilt.

Writing About Yourself

Talking about yourself is tough. Your insecurities can obscure your understanding of your talents–even what you want your talents to be can cloud your self-awareness. In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin says,
One of my Secrets of Adulthood is “You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you like to do.” I have a lot of notions about what I wish I liked to do, about the subjects and occupations that I wish interested me. But it doesn’t matter what I wish I were like. I am Gretchen.
Isn’t that the truth? Ugh, it makes writing resumes, bios, and brand guidelines so tough!

Late last year, I helped the John Budnik Band write member bios along with a history of the band. Yes! It is my brother’s band and yes! they are located in my home state, Alaska. I conducted quick interviews via email to accommodate the full-time work schedules of the members and the four-hour time difference.

Instead of asking the members only questions about themselves, I asked them to provide their basic info: what instrument they play; how/when they learned to play. I then asked each member questions about the OTHER bandmates. Each member provided personality and talent insights about everyone except themselves. This gave outside perspective, but also a genuine portrait of who these cool cats are.

I did something similar last year when my co-workers and I were told the website we were writing for was shutting down. While we were all looking for new employment, I organized and ran a workshop of sorts to help with resume writing. Together we unearthed and articulated everyone’s talents and skills. “Unearthed” is the key word. We focused on one person at a time and I asked each person to answer the question, “If on the first day of your new job, you walk in and see that so-in-so also works there, you would be excited because…”

The answers were amazing and filled with valuable resume fodder. I think that collectively the soon-to-be-former coworkers provided each other with skills to add to their resume. These skills were always there, but we don’t always know what talents are most valuable to our cohorts. Or, we quickly dismiss our own value because it’s not what we are striving for. This exercise provided a positive outside perspective on each of our talents.

The key to both of these examples is that an outside perspective can be clear and genuine. We often think about who we wish we were and how maybe we’re not quite there and let it cloud our self-perception—much like Gretchen Rubin discusses. When you ask for an outside opinion (and pose positive questions—very important!) you can clearly understand what talents are really important and impactful to your fellow band members, co-workers, clients and business partners.

If you’re stuck on your resume or perhaps you’re trying to define your business/brand/agency, consider getting an outside perspective. Being able to see yourself or your band or your business from a different position is invaluable as you put into words who you are.

Baby Names Inspired by Movies

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DailyMail.com just published an article claiming that the name “Kylo” is fastest growing baby name in the U.S.–because it’s the name of the villain in the latest Star Wars movie.

I came across this article on DailyMail.com this week and it got me thinking that there must be a lot of people out there naming their babies after movie characters–maybe even characters from television series and novels.

So I ask, would you name your baby after a character (good or bad) from a movie or book–popular or not?

The article also mentions the decline of names that have received “bad press” of sorts. Like, ahem, “Caitlyn,” “Hillary,” and “Donald.” Which makes me wonder, would you avoid a name that was recently in the spotlight even if it had special meaning or significance to your family?

I truly believe that baby naming is part process and part matter of the heart. But, this is a tough baby naming issue. You don’t want the most perfect name to get away simply based on “principle”. I say, honor your heart before jumping on the bandwagon or letting it pass by! Because, your heart is never wrong and you’ll always be confident with your name choice.

40 Before Forty Update: No. 06

6. Complete my Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017 quilt top…and then put it all together.

I’m nowhere close to having this quilt done, but I have completed the third month of the pattern! Behold!

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Sarah Fielke Block of the Month 2017–Third Month Completed

I’m happy with the colors. And, it’s such a relief, because I’m not necessarily the best with putting colors and prints together. Month 2 and 3 had a lot of hand stitching in the form of needle turn applique. That thin dark blue border was machine stitched. Because my sewing machine doesn’t live out in the open, it is an occasion when it comes out. I try to only break it out when I know I have enough time to tackle my current project, plus something on my “to-sew” list.

So, when I stitched on the border, I also stitched loops of ribbon onto my kids’ towels.

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Ribbon loop sewn onto a towel for hanging convenience.

I saw this on the Internet a year or two or three ago and mentally cataloged the idea. I put some semi-permanent hooks onto their bedroom doors. It’s such an easy solution. Bonus: because they’re just towels, I didn’t have to fuss over ribbon or thread colors. What I had was what I used. Function over form!

Now, I’m working on Month 4 of the block of the month pattern. There are a lot of little pieces I have to cut out. Everything is machine stitched, too. We’ll see if I can get all the stitching done in one sitting–I’ll keep you posted!

Baby Name Regrets

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Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

Baby names and regret? Yikes. I’m not sure I would have ever thought it was possible to regret—or at least have second thoughts—about your baby’s name, but Pamela Druckerman discusses in her book Bringing Up Bébé her inner turmoil after naming her twins (boys, fraternal).

We settle on Joel—whom we’ll only ever call Joey—and Leo, who defies all attempts at nicknames. …Amazingly, I still find time to be neurotic. I’m obsessed with the idea that we’ve given the boys the wrong names, and that I should go back to the town hall and switch them. I spend my few leisure minutes ruminating on this. …Before the little ceremony [circumcision], I confess to the mohel that I fear I’ve given the boys the wrong names and that I may need to switch them. He doesn’t offer me any spiritual advice. But being French, he explains that the bureaucracy I’d need to go through to do this would be a labyrinthine and excruciating. Somehow this information, plus the consecration of the circumcisions, erases my doubt. After the ceremony, I never worry about their names again.

Now that I reread this passage, I don’t know whether Druckerman means she wanted to flip flop her twins’ names (Joey becomes Leo and Leo becomes Joey) or if she means she wanted to give them completely different names. I can find the humor in the situation: the self-admitted neurotic nature of this obsession. Been there and done that postpartum!

I can’t help to wonder, though, have any other parents regretted or had second thoughts on the name they gave their baby? What would you do about it—change it legally, call them by a nickname? Would you ever admit it? Do you have a “friend” who has experienced this? (Wink!)