Morgon Newquist

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”

Category: Uncategorized (Page 2 of 2)

Art From Life

The real problems came with toddlers – when the parents had waited to have their kids baptized for one reason or another. Sometimes the parents were recent converts to the church. That he understood, and he always welcomed them, challenge and all. But most of the time it was just lazy parents who couldn’t be bothered – the “CE Catholics” who only came on Christmas and Easter, or who waited a year and a half until Grandma was in town to do the baptism.

Baptising toddlers was a pain in the neck. Most of them were just frustrating. The little tykes just couldn’t sit still. But some of them were downright infuriating. He’d had children sit on the altar giving him the stink eye.

That is an excerpt from my husband Russell‘s short story Knight of the Changeling, that can be found in the anthology Between the Wall and the Fire (which is an awesome collection by the way, if you need some new reading material). A deacon is talking about his experiences baptizing children after he just witnessed a supernatural occurrence at one.

I thought I would post the inspiration behind it, because it cracks me up and I like to see how life inspires art.

Our eldest son, S, was not baptized until he was a toddler. Russell and I joined the church at Easter in 2011, and we waited until we were full Catholics before having the ceremony.

And this happened:

seamusbaptism

We printed a copy and gave it to the priest, who just laughed and laughed.  And there is photo proof of that throw away line in the short story.

Pink, Purple and Sparkly

I tweeted about this a couple of days ago, but I feel like it needs a full blog post, because this is something I’ve been bothered by for a long time.

The tweet was in response to this article, about a woman who was offended that Target had a two signs on their aisles – “Building Toys” and “Girls’ Building Toys”. Cue the general outrage you’d expect from such a heinous sin. Thankfully, Target didn’t fall all over themselves to correct it – just commented that customers preferred the signs because it made navigating the store easier.

So beyond the practicality of that – how novel an idea, labeling aisles according to toy type, in a logical matter – I’d like to talk about this feminist inspired idea that is plastered all over the media as of late.

The idea that girls who are, well, girly – are broken and must be fixed.

Let me preface this with my belief that kids should be able to play with whatever they want to. Your son wants to play with dolls? Ok, sure, let him have fun. Your daughter wants fatigues and a gun? Let her have fun with that too. Life is too short to micromanage what your children enjoy, whether you’re feminist or traditional.

So now that that is out of the way – why does it matter if there are “Girls’ Building Toys”?. We saw a similar backlash over the newly released LEGO Friends Line, as if because this set of Girl Legos existed it immediately disqualified children with two X chromosomes from playing with any other Legos.

Now it isn’t – “Hey, let’s make sure that there are girl options for toys”, or even “Girls should be allowed to play with boy toys”, it is “Girls must only play with gender-neutral or boy toys. Girly toys are bad.”

This is an issue anyway, but it bothers me personally because my little girl – who is funny, smart and creative, and just fine exactly the way she is – is girly and now  many people (at least the main stream media/feminists) are acting like she is less of a girl for being this way, that she is illegitimate and must be changed. That she is not ok the way she is, and should be shamed because  her favorite colors are – in her words – pink, purple and sparkly. She also loves Princesses, and Mermaids, and dressing up, and playing with her play kitchen. And, horror of horrors – she helps me make dinner many evenings, because she wants to. I know. I should hang my head in shame for such a travesty.

Now, as I am sure someone will think this, no one has directly said it in those words…”shame your daughter for liking girl things”, but it permeates every article that condemns the availability or creation of toys that would appeal to her. Her likes aren’t right. Her likes don’t serve the cause. So even though she’s three, she should be changed to better fit the proper feminist mold of a girl. How is this remotely ok?

Pink was my favorite color growing up, despite being very tomboyish, especially from mid-Elementary School through Middle School. For whatever it is worth, I would have loved the Lego Friends when I was younger. I didn’t play with Legos, other than at my grandparents. But a couple Christmases ago, my husband bought me this Lego set because I’d never put one together, and I loved it. I think the girl colored Nerf things are awesome too.

Because why should a girl have to become a boy to like “boy” things? Or building toys, robotics, weapons, or science toys? So what if E wants to build with pink and purple Legos, or get the Sleeping Beauty princess Lego set? This is even ignoring the push to get more girls to enter into STEM subjects – if it gets girls playing with “boy” toys, why should they care what color it is? It is accomplishing their goals.

Of course, most if it is just because the type of people that get upset at signs accurately labeling the location of toys in a store are the kind of people that always find something that offends them.

But beyond that, my daughter is great. In addition to all her girly likes, she plays superheros with her brothers, likes cars and trains, and has just started taking Karate.

And do you know what color her new Karate gi is? Pink. Because she asked for it.

Stop telling her it isn’t ok for her to be the way she is. Let her enjoy her childhood. And if your daughter doesn’t want girl colored building toys – great. Buy her blue and green ones, or even plain wooden blocks with no color at all. I hope she loves them. But don’t make it out like my daughter is a lesser woman because she doesn’t innately jump towards feminist-approved activities, desires, and colors.

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Meet the Family

Here is a quick introduction to my husband and kids, to make it easier to follow whenever trip diaries/daily life posts happen to appear.

disney vacation 1272This is Russell (pictured when our youngest was a baby). I go ahead and use his full name as he is a fellow author and hosts a blog here.  We met at a Karate studio, and have been married since 2007. He is a joy to share my life with, and I will never allow him to cut his hair, since people seem to think that I’m just itching to make him do it. You remember what happened to Samson, right? On the plus side, everyone remembers him once they see him, so we meet (or re-meet) people all the time.

We converted together to Catholicism after much discussion, and joined the Church on Easter 2011. We continue to journey together, learning more about our faith and working to structure our lives around the seasons and requirements of the church after both of us growing up without a lot of that. He is a Sandan in Shin Nagare Karate and runs a school teaching it. In his day job he is a programmer.

Our oldest son was born in January 2010. S is rambunctious, smart, and helpful. He lovesIMG_9412 Batman, Legos, Minecraft, Star Wars, and lots of other nerdy things. We frequently have movie nights with him, and so now he has seen all the Star Wars movies, all the Harry Potter movies, the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia movies, just about all the current superhero movies (minus The Dark Knight, a fact which irks him very much) and more. His next goal is to learn how to read, because we promised him he could start playing World of Warcraft with us once he learned. Stay tuned because S gets to take his first trip to Dragon Con this year, and he has lots of costumes planned and is very excited.

Our middle child and only girl is E. She was born in December 2011. She is a tiny pixie of a blonde girl that is alreIMG_0802ady excellent at using her cuteness to get favors from strangers. Luckily (or unluckily, as she probably currently sees it) for her that it doesn’t really work on her parents, especially her daddy. She is as girly as one can be, but she also loves our movie nights and is able to hold her own against her two brothers (one of which is affectionately called “wrecking ball” in the church nursery). E currently loves Rapunzel, Ariel, mermaids and The Princess Bride.

The youngest was born in May 2013. A is a beast of a kid who will gladly share his special brand IMG_9942of aggressive affection with you. He is as tall as his big sister and heavier, and now I often get the question if they are twins. A is a clown, who will keep doing anything that makes someone laugh. Mickey Mouse is his best friend, and we now have more stuffed Mickeys in the house than children. He also has a unique and amusing way of grumping about things, so the phrase, “A, no more demon voice,” is commonly used in our household. He absolutely loves playing with balls and climbing, and is rather skilled at getting around various types of childproofing and gating to get what he wants.

So that is our household for now. Hopefully we can have fun sharing stories and experiences about ourselves. Now you know who everyone is when you start to read recaps and posts :).

Hello! Obligatory Introduction Post time!

Good morning! What follows is the obligatory introduction post for a new blog. I’ll try to get through this quickly so we can get on to the interesting stuff 🙂

My name is Morgon, and I am a writer, videographer, wife, mother and martial artist. In case you thought that covered everything, it doesn’t really…among other things, we can add gamer, singer, actor, devout Catholic, and more. If you think that is an odd mix of things, well…it is.

And that is how this blog will be. It will be an odd mix of things. Part mommy blog, part reviews & pop culture, part author blog, part homeschool/DIY/homesteading, and part anything else I happen to find interesting. It will be eclectic, but I hope that will serve to keep things interesting, rather than just all over the place.

I own and operate a special event videography service that specializes in Weddings named Ever After. I started that in 2010, and how I got there is probably another blog post. I also co-own and help teach at my husband’s Karate dojo Madison Martial Arts. I teach one of the preschool karate classes. My other business hat is as an author for the publishing company Silver Empire. I have several published short stories, and also have a novella and novel that should be forthcoming. My husband blogs here if anyone is interested.

But I mostly stay at home with my three kids, even though it may not sound that way from the resume that I wrote above. All these businesses cater well to me being able to adjust them to fit into our family life, where I am not away from the kids too much, either literally or figuratively while I am working on my computer. It’s a hard balance that I struggle constantly to keep.

I read and watch a lot of TV. My family also makes an effort to eat paleo/primal/Weston A Price foundation (I basically pick and choose between them all based on my own research and what works for our family) so I’ll have discussion, posts and recipes pertaining to that. I love food, and to cook, and I also love food history, so those topics will make an appearance as well.

We live in a brick rental house, and are working our way towards purchasing our own land and building our own house, and heading in the homestead direction. I can’t say how hard-core we’ll end up being, or even what we’ll do on our land, but it is a goal and also something that I am interested in.

Thanks for coming to my corner of the web. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Since this will be sort of a mommy type blog, I’ll also have a following post introducing my husband and my kids, and then we’ll jump all the way into this blogging venture.

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