Remember that time we used to blog?

WOW.

We literally took forever off.

Okay, well not literally. But it sure feels that way. Our last post is dated October 8 2015. Last year. Almost 8 months. That sounds ludicrous as I type it, but it almost seems further away than that somehow.

Tonight, I can’t sleep. Sometimes when I can’t sleep I try meditation, or I read, or attempt to wake up one of three of my pups to tell them I can’t sleep, or I stare into the abyss until I drive myself absolutely mad and can’t stay in bed any more.

So tonight I can’t sleep and this is where the not being able to stay in bed any more part kicks in and I found myself here in front my keyboard wanting to write, but not wanting to work at one o’clock in the morning.

We’ve been talking about our blog, our baby, a little bit here and there in passing, and a lot more lately in focus. We get the odd message too now and then from some of our loving readers (Hi mom!) that say they miss our posts. I figured, what better way to try to write my insomnia away than by writing a post committing us to it again?

We have had the most CRAZY, INSANE, OVER THE TOP break though. SO much has happened in the past seven-ish months.

I know each of the sisters would prefer if I not spoil their pool of blog post ideas as they are probably the most full they’ve been since we started; also I know that each piece of these past months will require and deserve their own posts.

So YES, we’re back!

However, each of our lifestyles have shifted in new ways, presenting new challenges – it is time for a change for us as a Sisterhood with this baby of ours. (Side note and just because I am a proud sister and AUNTIE again – there were literally babies during our break!!! We will for sure see posts from Jacqui and Kim regarding said babies – promise)

We’ve figured out a way that we can try to do it all – we do love our little community of readers and miss writing about our lives, and our thoughts and our ‘things’ that we deal with by sharing. We loved how connected it made us feel to each other too.

sisters

While we’re not quite set on a ‘schedule’ just yet, writing will happen! Keep an eye out for our posts – check out our Facebook page too if you’d like! Hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other.

There – I think I can sleep now.

Hope you all have the best Friday! I will for SURE need the most coffee ever.

~ Toni

 

We REALLY miss you

Oh beautiful readers, we miss you dearly!

Sorry we’ve been a little less than consistent lately – we’ve had a lot going on over here at the Sisterhood and we can’t wait to fill you in on all the excitement!

With only 17 days left in the countdown to Jacqui’s wedding, things are NUTTY to say the least.

We REALLY, REALLY do!

We REALLY, REALLY do!

We promise to write when we can and hope to be back to our regular schedule after the wedding bells have rang, and Jacqui is hitched!

Love,

The Weather Vane Sisterhood

5 Things I learned being a little sister

I have learned that being a little sister is not always the joy ride that most people expect, and that you tend to learn things differently. So, here are my 5 things I have learned from being a little sister.

It is NOT always about you.

Granted, some people are going to tell me differently, and some people when they have their youngest child it really is all about them, but not for me. I have a problem of putting everything and everyone first in my life before my own well-being, and sometimes my own welfare. I am not the little princess of the family, but I do know that as a result of me being born last I was raised a little differently than my older siblings.

You will get blamed for a lot of things.

Growing up sometimes (i.e. not all the time) I would get blamed for the actions of my older siblings, knowing full well that they did the incident. Sometimes I took the blame, but other times I would fight tooth and nail that it was not me! And yes, of course, I got to blame my older siblings sometimes, but 7 out of 10 times they wouldn’t believe me anyways!

I was a horrible younger sister.

I really and truly was a terrible younger sister. I would not listen to my sisters when they were in charge, I would go behind their backs when I didn’t like what they were doing and call mom, I was a huge tattle-tale, and, frankly, I was a huge pain in the butt. I always whined, always cried, and just was not a nice person growing up. I am still learning to be a better little sister, but I know I still have a ways to go before the whiny child side of me is gone for good.

You have built in friends.

I did not have a lot of friends growing up, and spent a lot of my time alone, but I knew when my sisters were home and they were not busy with their big sister homework that I could spend time with them, play, and get into some small amounts of mischief.

You will always have them.

I know that no matter what is going on, if all my friends get mad at me or hate me, that I will still have my three sisters at my back, in my corner, fighting with me and for me when I need them, and when I don’t need them I know that they are my silent cheerleaders for whatever I may be going through.

This sums it up... Love you guys!

This sums it up… Love you guys!

I may not be the best little sister ever, but hey, I am a little sister, so at least I survived the childhood part!

~ Andreah

Motherhood: I love this choice

When my sisters and I sat down and decided to honor motherhood this week, I have to admit I experienced a fair amount of anxiety about my post.

I didn’t know if I should write about what motherhood means to me because of the amazing examples in my life, if I should write about the part of me that as a woman, I’m not quite sure I have what it takes to be a mother, or if I should draw from my experience as a step-mama.

I decided to write from my heart.

Motherhood to me is a choice. It’s not a must-have right of passage because society deems it to be the way it is supposed to be, it is a choice. It is the conscious and sub-conscious choosing, every day from the day you decide to create life, until your last breath, to often put another’s needs, wants and desires before your own. It is a choice I wish more women would be more conscious of making. It is a choice I wish some women would realize they are allowed to choose not to make without fear or judgement – at least they should be. I love this choice.

Sometimes the children you choose to mother are not yours by birth-right, but are brought into your life because little did you know just how much you needed them. And sometimes you get to be the person they need. That’s the choice I made. It’s not to say that I won’t one day have a baby of my own, but for now, helping to raise Michael’s children is the right choice for me. Hearing M introduce me to her new host-family via Skype as her “mere”, the “I love you” I get unprompted from J when we’re dropping him off after our weekend together, lets me know that while I am not a necessity in their lives, I am wanted, loved and appreciated by them. I love this choice.

M, myself and J ♥

M, myself and J ♥

Sometimes the mothering we choose to do is for our siblings or our sibling’s children. These past few months I have caught myself on a few occasions mothering my big sister – standing up for her when she couldn’t do it herself, sending her for naps and time outs when I could see on her face she so desperately needed one, making sure she said “no” to people when she could not handle another responsibility being put on her and sometimes even refusing to let her handle the tough stuff on any given day. I love this choice.

Sometimes the only comfort good enough in the world is that of our own maternal mama. To this day, telling my mother about something that is hurting me, something I’m facing that is hard or even telling her I got a speeding ticket, can be the biggest release of emotion of all – even a week later when the wounds are not as fresh. There is something about the way my mom comforts me that gives my must-always-have-your-shit-together-self the permission I need to let go and let it all out. Sometimes I even choose not to be fully open about my heartaches to anyone but my mama. I love this choice.

Sometimes the mother we choose is our sisters. Recently, I received some news that personally reminded me of my own heartache I had been facing. Thankfully, my sisters were not far away. In minutes I found myself on Julia’s couch with a tissue box in my lap, earnestly being reminded that what I was feeling was not, as I had repeatedly referred to it, “stupid”, but completely relevant, real and appropriate. A tea, some more tears and a piece of Julia-baked cake later and my heart was reminded why God had chosen these beautiful women as my siblings and why life chose them as my best friends. I love this choice.

I love this choice!

I love this choice!

To all of the mamas out there: I choose to admire you, honor you (not just on the second Sunday of May), and be in awe of you. Your courage, strength, grace and wisdom are breathtaking. I love this choice.

~ Toni

Transformation of the kin kind

I am often puzzled and perplexed by the relationship that others have with their siblings – please note that I said siblings. The proper definition of a sibling is each of two or more children or offspring having one or both parents in common. Siblings are linked by genetics! 

Us - the younger years.

Us, the younger years

I feel for people who do not have a close bond with their “siblings” as I have with mine – I have more than just siblings – I have sisters, confidants, motivators, cheerleaders, mothers (yes, my sisters mother me…all of them!). They are my best friends – the ones that call you out on your shit and take on your battles like they were their own.  The ones who at any time of day or night, you can call and they will answer and stay up with you until you have cried out your frustrations, agreed with all the nonsense you just spewed and stay on the phone until you have fallen asleep, only to follow up with you the next day with ice cream and dirty magazines just to be with you and to hang out.

It hasn’t always been this way though. I haven’t felt this way about my sisters my entire life, and I know they have not felt the same way about me. I was an asshole of a teenager and I took advantage of my sisters ALL THE TIME! So I started to think – when did our relationship change? When did our bond become more than genetic? When did it change from a cordial hug to bum rubs?

No caption required!

No caption required!

We were not always this close. I mean, we were close (we kind of had to be) because we lived out in the middle of nowhere, with not a lot to do other than to create and be each other’s friends…at home that is. I remember having friends over, who would be nice and play with the other siblings during our childhood, and the fights that would ensue were very much “SHE IS MY FRIEND NOT YOURS!”

We would argue, scream, cry. We would say mean, hurtful things to one another in our teenage years. Then one day, I think when we all attempted to grow up, some of us forced (*ahem* me) when we really needed each other, and our world was falling apart, we found the best support system that you could find – each other. The love and connection of sisters. We bonded over heartbreak, and carefully picked up each other’s pieces and put them back together. We made promises to each other to always stay close, and be each other’s best friends.

Best Friends

Best friends

We all know each other from the beginning of our time, we know all the men from our past, and we do not judge…well, maybe not out loud. We have been with each other from diapers to training wheels, from puberty to acne. From uni-brows to the first painful plucking experience. We. Know. It. All.

We all have a difference of opinion, lifestyle, values, but the one thing we all share and respect is each other. I now do not go a day without speaking to one or more of my sisters. I do not go a day without thinking about them. I have hopes for our futures, and our children’s futures to ensure that we all stay together and support one another. I would love to go to every one of my nieces and nephews’ events, just like I would hope my sisters would do for my hypothetical children.

In the last few years I have had the pleasure of meeting two families. The first is my amazing co-worker who is a mother of four beautiful girls. Every time she talks about her girls, there is nothing but love… and maybe a little concern with the arguments that they have. I tell her that it will get better, it will get SO MUCH BETTER. It brings a smile to my face, and a glow to my heart, because it will…they will grow with each other, and will learn that the bond of sisters is everything, and when you have nothing left, they will be there to pick up each other.

The second family was introduced to me when my friend Jeff came into my life, and I met his amazing, hard working mother. A couple of years later I met his aunts at a party and I fell in love! These women attracted you with their energy and love for each other, I couldn’t get enough!  They are four sisters who are just awe inspiring and I absolutely adore them. They give me hope for the future. Their children are close, and they are close…oh my, how they are close.

I would not be who I am today without my sisters. May be a little cheesy, but it is all true. I love you ladies, and I can’t wait for the next 50 years.

~ Jacqui

Dear 16-year-old me

Dear 16-year-old me,

This is the year that you change high schools (by choice this time), the year you start grade 10 as the new girl again, meet and fall in love with two of your still-close girl friends, meet and fall in like with a few boys and then finally meet and fall in love with your first serious boyfriend. He will teach you that laughter really is one of the most important things in life and also that saying goodbye to people you love is hard, but sometimes completely necessary.

Michelle, myself, Katey

Michelle, myself, Katey

I want to tell you that you should be a little more sure of yourself, you’ve got more to offer the world than you give yourself credit for and you shouldn’t put so much weight on the negative influences you’ve faced. I want to tell you that your anger was so, so wasted and it took some joy out of what could have been even better moments. I wish I could tell you that if you could have been a little softer, a little sooner, you might not have been so quick to cut people out of your life. But, you eventually get it in your own time – go you!

You will know by now that your curves – especially your boobs – can and will be both a curse and a blessing. You will one day embrace them for both sides of the coin, especially when it comes time to attend court for your first speeding ticket…don’t worry, he lets you off way easier than the cop did.

You will kick yourself when you realize you should have thanked your big sister sooner for stepping in, every time, without question, whenever, wherever and however you might have needed her – she kind of raised and saved your ass…a lot. (Seriously, thank you, Julia.)

Where would I be without you?

Where would I be without you?

You don’t know it yet, but you are about to make the bold, almost stupid, decision of not attending college directly after high school – I want to thank you for that. Seriously, good move. You get to meet the next great loves of your life – your future fiancé, the man you will marry and his beautiful children – because he remembers you years after your stint in the automotive industry is over. He’ll contact you on a site called Facebook (which I won’t even attempt to explain to you) and the rest is history.

Future You still doesn’t fully understand the feeling women are talking about when they say they “can’t wait to have a baby!” and that’s still okay, but stay open. Try not to let the influential voices in your life dictate this one for you – it is a choice that only you are allowed to make as you are the only one who will live with the results of that choice. And when women who don’t understand your indecisiveness about it make you feel small and ashamed, please don’t let them get into your heart. Not wanting or wanting children of your own does not shape the woman you are and the quality of life that you will have. Those women can suck it.

I wish I could find some way to tell you to be kinder and to go easier on your mama (not that you would have listened, you mule). She has always been your biggest cheerleader and your biggest defender – whether you believe me or not. One day you will be blessed to count her as one of your best friends and won’t ever be able to make it up to her for all the heart attacks and aches you’ve caused her. No matter what path you will choose – even the decisions you’re not proud of (there are eventually a few, trust me) – she will never leave your side. She’s also kind of the best example EVER for a mother’s love and will unknowingly provide the strength and wisdom you need when you become a step-mom.

mama and me

Mama and me

Also, it turns out there is a way to get what you want out of life without fighting and building brick walls at the first hint of heartache. You don’t have to be so ready to fight for your life at a moment’s notice and you will learn the hard way that people will only love and care about you when it’s good for them too. You will also learn that if you continue to make it impossible, they will walk. And some never come back.

Please don’t stop painting. I guarantee you will regret it.

You foolishly will stop running when you begin your first full time job. Thankfully, somewhere in your mid-20s you will fall in love all over again – with the freedom you feel mid-stride, heart pumping, legs aching, sweat dripping, telling yourself just one more kilometer, every kilometer, until you feel satisfied. It’s an even more amazing and rewarding relationship the second time around. ***Bonus hint: this rule DOES NOT apply to all relationships…but you’ll learn that one eventually too.***

Yes, you still cry easily – when angered, when happy, when sad, when overwhelmed, when frustrated, when elated…even commercials do you in. You don’t yet fully love this trait so innate to you, but you get used to it. Eventually. I hope.

You should be warned that people will tell you whatever you want to hear to get what they need or want from you. You learn this rule the hard way a few times (See a theme here? Donkey.). However, be grateful that it still has yet to harden your heart and you learn to always hope for the best from people, every time. The good thing with this is you’re a lot happier this way and more in tune with your gut feel about people or situations.

16 year old me

16 year-old-me

You still have an amazing circle of people that love you and want only the best for you – you have just become a whole lot more appreciative of them and almost hyper-aware of how incredible your friends, family and loves are.

Please, try to remember daily – you are so blessed. Never forget what God has done for you.

Love,

~Toni

Sisterly similarities

I like thinking about similarities. Things that are the same in every family, things that are the same in friendships, finding the lines that run parallel with each other throughout everyone and everything. Some similarities I have stored and keep with me. They are the similarities that run between me and my sisters. I have noticed that we have small traits that are very similar; they are the things that keep them close in my heart when I’m having a long day, or when I’m sick and need to remember connections to home.

Jacqui and I grew up at the end, so when we were little we spent a fair bit of time together. Whether or not that was because we wanted to actually spend that time together is uncertain, especially when you have a strange younger sister like me (I am an odd one), but we have some similarities that I think are strange. We both wash dishes in the same stance. One foot is curled up and resting against the other leg in a strange way, but I noticed it at Lillian’s birthday party. It made me smile quite a bit, cause I thought I was the only one. Another one is our need to change things around – we both like reorganizing and moving our furniture around. To the outside world it may seem like we are not happy with the placement of things, but for me I just like a fresh start every once in a while, and it gives me a new timeline of memories when the furniture is placed in a certain way.

Now Toni and I have something very similar within each of us, but we deal with it in very different ways. We both have the same anger and frustration that brews inside. Toni has a better grasp on hers, and I can’t seem to actually construct coherent thoughts with mine, but sometimes when I am seething angry I think of Toni, what she would do, what I would do, and then I find a middle. Toni and I also love music. Every chance I get I listen to music, whether it is kitchen dance parties, or writing the blog post for the week, designing things or editing photos. It helps set the pace and rhythm of whatever I am doing. That and dancing is just plain fun, even if I do look ridiculous.

Julia and I have very few similarities in the way we act, and our personalities, although I looked up to Julia constantly in my formative years as a role model. A couple things I have noticed are small things. We both curl the same leg up first when we sit, and we both have a crazy array of facial expressions. That and we have been mistaken for twins, which I think is awesome.

I like keeping these small traits I share with my sisters close to me. When I’m doing my dishes, I hear Jacqui’s laugh, her amazing full-bellied laugh. When I’m dancing around, I can see Toni’s cheeky smile. When I’m reading or watching a movie or playing a video game with Joe, and I curl my leg in, I think of the movie nights past where Julia has done the same thing, squishing into the couch to get comfy.

We all have different lives, and different things that make us so wonderfully unique, but I like having the little things that remind me of my sisters, and remind me that even though we are different there are hundreds of ways we are always connected.

I love you guys, and I am missing you terribly!

~ Andreah

 

The new girl

Growing up, we moved. A lot. Which means that I was the ‘new girl’ at school, A LOT.

New Girl

New Girl

By the time I was 16 years old, I had attended five elementary schools, two high schools and my future-self would face two more colleges. While not a completely unfortunate or unique situation (army-brat, anyone?), I often find myself a tad envious of the friends that can revisit their childhood home anytime and still have some of the same friends they did in elementary school. That legacy and history sometimes tugs at my heartstrings and make me yearn for a childhood with a few more roots.

However, I attribute our moves and the inevitable new schools that came with them to some very positive personality traits that have helped me in everyday adult-life and even some priceless lessons that have helped me conquer some pretty big demons.

While being the new girl had it’s many disadvantages – especially when you attend a snobby country school full of rich kids whose parents had forgot to teach them basic kindness – it also had its many advantages.

can't sit with us

Mean Girls

1. The less they know, the more they want to:  If I were able to remove the inevitable nerves that come with a new crowd or situation, the allure of being the mysterious new girl is one that I secretly enjoy. Realizing at a young age that I had the control to be able to pick and choose the pieces of myself that I wanted to reveal, when I wanted to, helped me a lot in my dating life, but also when it came to making new friends. Even now as my career life evolves and I face another new team and a whole new set of people, the idea that these people know nothing about me is sorta thrilling.

Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed

2. The popular girls aren’t all they’re cracked up to be: I was once immediately accepted by the ‘popular’ girls – this never happens, especially true in elementary school. As an outsider, the popular girls were a group you really had to work to be a part of – something I never had a knack for, so you can imagine my surprise when a group of 10 of the most liked, prettiest and wealthiest girls wanted to hang out with me. It was the worst week of my life! They wanted to control everything – from what brand of jeans I should ‘tell’ my mother to purchase, to how to wear my hair, who I could socialize with, who I was allowed to be nice to, how many turns I had to take at the end of the double-dutch rope… seriously, horrible. After that, I stuck with the boys and the misfits – so much more fun and I was accepted just as I was.

Mean Girls

Mean Girls

3. Variety is the spice of life: Often times we fight to hold on to the old and familiar. Throughout our lives we become attached to people, places, things – the things that provide comfort and give us the feeling that we belong. Not having the chance to create those deep-seeded roots through school coupled with the constantly changing scenery has given me a certain kind of advantage that one might not expect. While I do find comfort in the familiar, I am fiercely independent of the need for these things and have very little fear of being alone. This ability to be comfortable anywhere, with almost anyone has allowed me to meet some pretty funky characters, go on some amazing adventures, sit down at some of the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants and have some of the best meals of my life without hesitation. I often find people who are creatures of habit lack the ability to do this and I chalk up the ease at which I step outside of my comfort zone to the frequency of moves made in my young life.

4. You only get out what you put in: As a self-proclaimed expert in all areas of being the ‘new-girl’, I can tell you this is 1000% true. If you don’t try, be kind, stay open, make an effort, there will be no reward in return. If you close yourself off, play cool, be cold, not take that leap of faith, you will forever be sitting on the sidelines – even if it is just the sidelines of the Kings Court game with the super fun crew at recess.

5. The mean kids get theirs too: And no, I don’t mean that you’ll run into them 15 years down the road, working at the local gas station while you’re busy driving your dream car, paid for by your dream job, gassing up at said station, looking oh-so-fabulous…well it might. But, what I mean by this is it’s easy to forget that after the bubble of high school is popped, life has its own way of leveling out the playing field. Not all of those mean kids will realize it right away, but how popular or mean you were in school has little play in real life and it kind of boils down to your brains, skills and drive.

Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion

Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion

6. No one knows your older sister: Thanks to the age gap between myself and my BRILLIANT older sister Julia, I was always fortunate to be the first of the sisters to make the mark on any new school I attended…sorry Jacqui and Andreah. Thank goodness. Seriously. After the first round of elementary school, which Julia and I attended together, and her reputation of being a somewhat goody-two-shoes, I was happy that this was also the last as I was less than stellar in the areas of listening and rule following…sorry mom. It was the first time in history that I didn’t have a reputation to live up to – both thrilling and terrifying. While I didn’t know it at the time, I was getting my first lessons in first impressions and I made sure to make my mark a memorable one…again, sorry mom. Thankfully, my understanding of the importance of first impressions has evolved and I feel that I owe my ability to usually nail them properly to the multiple chances I was granted at every new school I attended.

7.  Everything is so temporary: I have not always been the best at putting life’s funny surprises into perspective – something I really am only mastering now and still have far to go. However, much like my stints throughout multiple schools, the realization that situations are only temporary was one I did happen to grasp quickly. Sadly, during one particularly rough year of middle school, thanks in large part to a group of girls to whose standards I just didn’t measure up, I remember sitting on the bench of the baseball field and telling myself that everything would be okay because next year it would be a different school, with a different bunch of kids to fit in with. It was temporary. I’m not sure how I exactly came to this conclusion, or why that memory of 11-year-old me has stuck so well, but it is one that has helped me to face every inch of adversity in my life with a bit less panic than innate Toni would have managed. If life isn’t going so well, just remember, it’s all temporary.

That Charlie, so smart

That Charlie, so smart

8. There will always be that one teacher: For me, it was Mrs. Radkey. As previously mentioned, I was not exactly a teacher’s dream student. I was rambunctious, outspoken and opinionated. I was tough. I had to be. And the majority of my teachers made sure I knew it. The truth being, I was and still am, kind of hard to love. Mrs. Radkey was different – she accepted me, dealt with me in kindness (even when I really didn’t deserve it) showed me patience and love and, for what seemed like the first time, I was thriving in school. She was my favourite elementary school teacher. Not confined to the walls of an institution, every once in a while, special teachers come along – to show us grace, humility, love. To make us come alive in ways we had not yet learned about. These teachers can be partners, friends, unexpected relationships, children, seniors. They come in tough bosses, and kind ones and in the least expected, sometimes temporary people. And, of course, they come in sisters. Be open to the teachers that spend a little extra time with you and make you want to learn whatever lesson they were sent to teach you. Often times it’s a lesson about what’s in you and what you’re really made of.

~ Toni

You asked, we answered!

We sent out a call for questions last week and questions we received! Thank you to everyone who asked (a.k.a. all of our relatives! 😉 ). Take a look at the questions we collected and the answers we came up with. 🙂


 

Are all of you going to be answering these questions (hopefully, yes. Like The Social)? ~ Ben

Julia: You betcha!

Andreah: Except this one. 😉

 


 

What was the inspiration behind starting a blog? ~ Tasha

Julia: This is totally a Jacqui question! It was her idea. So, in short (ha!), this whole blog mess is her fault! 😉 But seriously, I think she would be the best one to answer this one.

Toni: Haha, short… It’s true! It’s all Jacqui’s fault.

Jacqui: Throwing me to the wolves! I wanted to write a blog, so I started researching them! Everywhere said to make sure your blog is unique to you and nothing is more unique to me than the amazing bond I have with my sisters. Also, bringing them in would also mean bringing in different personalities, opinions, ideas and voices! When I introduced it to Toni and Julia it was just an idea that they all loved! And so birthed our beautiful blog.

Andreah: When I was told about it, I thought it may just be the best idea to keep us more connected!

 


 

What do you get out of the blog/blogging? ~ Ben

Julia: So many things! I am a writer by trade, so having something to write about and for every week is lovely – it gives me focus and purpose for my craft beyond diapers, potty training, screaming babies, and Frozen on repeat. I’m loving reading my sisters’ posts as well. We talk a lot. A. Lot. And we’re really loud. But some of the stuff that is written in these posts I never knew before, or hadn’t realized how important those moments were. Also, I’m adoring reading my sisters’ writing – I’m so proud of them! Who knew we could all write?!

Toni: For me, I think learning about my sisterhood and the women that it is compiled of has been the biggest blessing. It’s easy for me to say that I know my sisters, but reading their blogs has allowed me to learn about them in their own voice, instead of just from my perspective. I’ve also been reminded that I love to write – after demanding college papers, reports and projects, and writing for a few technology-based firms, it’s been a big change to write again from my heart and I’m loving it.

Jacqui: I have to agree with both Julia and Toni in that this has brought us closer together, if that’s even possible! Also I have always wanted to journal as an outlet – it was suggested as one of the many therapies to help with my epilepsy. This is so much better, because your journal doesn’t give you feedback, and no one is there to tell you when you’re being ridiculous.

Andreah: I like sharing with my sisters. I haven’t been very good at doing that in the past, and this is letting me open up to them more! I was told by my favourite counselor to start writing and this is a really positive outlet to do so.

 


 

What is your favourite post (excluding ones you wrote)? ~ Ben

Julia: I think my favourite is Jacqueline’s post about her first seizure. I was there (obviously…) but I don’t think she’s ever actually told me what it was like for her that day, nor what it was like for her living with it. I loved how it was written and I loved how revealing it was. Such a hard day for our family, and such a life-changing one for her.

Toni: This is a tough one for me to answer as I have so many moments of surprise, pride and laughter reading the other sisters’ posts. If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be a toss-up between Julia’s post about her fairy-tale ending and her admittance to struggling with PPD again. Her fairy-tale post is so real, relatable, and true that I think it helps to remind people that relationships are not the rom-com or fairy-tale that Hollywood or Disney would have us think, but instead messy and full of surprises. But on the other hand, every time Julia speaks about her battle with PPD, I cry. Not tears of sorrow, but tears of pride. Absolute pride in my big sister standing up for herself and any woman who has ever felt alone in their own struggles and being the beacon of light they needed. Shine on, sister of mine!

Jacqui: I have two! The first is Andreah’s long-distance sistering post. Dee, like all of us, is very stubborn, and when she told the three of us that she was moving, it was pretty hard for us to handle. For me, at least, there were some heated, tear-shed “conversations” because I couldn’t wrap my head around it. So when she wrote it, it was like a weight was lifted off my chest – I can’t tell you why, but reading that her being away from us is hard made me understand her decision a little bit more and reaffirm it wasn’t my bad B.O. that caused her to run away 🙂 LOVE YOU DEE!!! The second is Julia’s most recent post. It really hit home with me because Cody and I are planning on having babies and I am so scared. Excited, scared, and prepared. Because of Julia’s bravery I know what to look for, I am not scared to ask for help, and I have the best role model to help me fight through it IF it does come. LOVE YOU JULIA!

Andreah: I have a favourite of each. Julia’s would have to be her second post, Strength in defeat. I love how open she is and her ability to share – it made me proud and hopeful to have a sister that amazing! Toni’s is her first post, Measuring up. I felt a camaraderie with her feeling the same way I have most of my life, and just loved it! It really puts you in her shoes. Jacqui’s would be the one that almost made me pee my pants laughing, Here’s the short of it. Seriously, how did we get so lucky to have a sister this funny?

 


 

What is your favourite memory together as a group? ~ Kim

Julia: This is a hard, hard question. You have to understand that there is 8 years difference from top-to-bottom in our sisterhood, which means you’re asking us to recall something where we were all present, all cognitive, and where we all liked each other. 😉 I think our baking nights (which we turned into our working out nights, thank goodness) are my favourite memories. We would get together every week to bake a recipe one of us had found online. We’d all pool in resources for hosting and for ingredients, have dance parties, write down the funny things we’d say (read: the nonsense things we’d say) and end up full of carbs, sugar, butter and laughter. All in all, not great for my butt-size, but definitely good for the soul. Loved these.

Toni: Well put, Julia. We’ve always been kind of all over the place due to the age gap, but I would say lately, when we are all able to be together in any grouping, it’s become such good, quality time together. It’s like we’ve learned to appreciate the gap and the preciousness of our time and that’s been an awesome realization for me. I also enjoyed baking days (sorry, ladies, not as much as our workouts though ;)) but I think a major highlight for me would have to be any movie or gaming night we’ve ever had…even ab night can’t replicate the soreness from the laughter that ensues on these evenings. Another one would be my birthday this past February – planning the launch of our blog was the best birthday present, ever.

Jacqui: HANDS DOWN – THANKSGIVING 2011? 2012? I have never laughed so hard! This was during a not-so-easy time for us and our family. We all gave up, let go, drank a little…some of us a lot…and laughed until our stomachs hurt! There are so many inside jokes that have come out from then! Next time you see Toni ask her how to spell OPEN! Seriously crying laughing over here just thinking about it! HAHA!

Andreah: It was 2011, Jacqui! Remember I brought the demon leprechaun? But I have to agree with Toni, the movie and game nights are the best. My abs and face hurt from laughing and smiling after those awesome nights!

 


 

Describe each of you as an animal? Why?~ Kim

Julia: This is just MEAN. Seriously. I had this question in a job interview and totally blew it. I said ‘deer’. You know, the skittish, hunted creature of the woods? The one who gets slaughtered in a Disney movie?!?! Yeah, blew it. I have no idea. What animal would I be? Me. I’d be a human animal. Done. Next question. (HATE that question).

Toni: This made me laugh! So mean, Kim. I had a hard time with this one…I asked Mike and he dug himself a lovely grave with his answer…so that didn’t help. I would have to use my fail safe – a tiger…cause I’m Toni…get it?

Tony the Tiger

Jacqui: Honestly the first thing that came to my mind is a llama – like The Emperor’s New Groove llama! If you haven’t watched the movie, I feel sorry for you. You should probably call in sick to work and watch it! If you have and you know me, I think you will agree! I am spunky, awkward, I have been told I am hilarious AND I will spit at you if I need to!

Llama

Andreah: I am having such a hard time answering this question. I think I would be a bird, cause I keep flying around and there’s the migration patterns. And the whole flock thing… Yeah! I think I would be a bird. Joe’s Grandpa called me a duck, but I think I’m more like a cardinal.

 


 

Which actress would play you in a movie about your sisterhood? ~ Kim

Julia: Young Julia – Anna Kendrick, because I love her. Middle-aged-goddess Julia, Julia Roberts, because obviously (same name equals same person!). And Hot-Older Julia, Helen Mirren. Me-ow. 😉

Anna Kendrick | Julia Roberts | Helen Mirren

Anna Kendrick | Julia Roberts | Helen Mirren

Toni: Young Toni, Mila Kunis, only because she’s my ULTIMATE girl-crush, and hey, why not? Middle-aged me – Monica Belluci, because it’s a movie and I can. And saucy-older Toni – Jaclyn Smith, because again it’s my life and you’re not the boss of me.

Mila Kunis | Monica Bellucci | Jaclyn Smith

Mila Kunis | Monica Bellucci | Jaclyn Smith

Jacqui: Oh boy! Young Jacqui – Leighton Meester, because two words: Country Strong. Middle-aged Jacqui – Julianna Margulies – I have the biggest lady-crush on her! Older Jacqui – Susan Sarandon – she has sass and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her. I feel like I would be like this in my older age! AHAHAHA – I like this game!

Leighton Meester | Julianna Margulies | Susan Sarandon

Leighton Meester | Julianna Margulies | Susan Sarandon

Andreah: Oh I don’t know… Mary Lambert for me now (she is so awesome talented and beautiful!), Emily Deschanel for a bit older me cause she is quirky and weird, and I’m just going to say it cause I freaking love her, Meryl Streep for elegant, aged me – I love her in It’s Complicated.

Mary Lambert | Emily Deschanel | Meryl Streep

Mary Lambert | Emily Deschanel | Meryl Streep

 


 

What is your first memory of each sister? ~ Mom

Julia: My first memory of Toni isn’t really a solid memory. I sort of remember her in the periphery of my life since I can barely remember a time when she wasn’t there. I remember graduating preschool and she was there, somewhere. I remember moving from our apartment to our first house and I remember holding a houseplant in the front seat of our car, and thinking how important I was because I was helping with the move (holding the houseplant is a major contribution) and wondering where Toni was. I guess my most solid memories of Toni are of us playing in our giant yard at our first house, and of Dad and Mom actually making a room for us when Jacqui was being born, just off of our playroom in our first house.

My first memory of Jacqui is of the morning she was born – I woke up and our Memere (grandmother) and Uncle Kevin (our Mom’s younger, bachelor-y brother) were there, which was SO weird to me. I had to go to school that day (I was in grade 2) and it was very concerning with these strange people there – they weren’t my everyday people.

My first memory of Andreah is similar: I recall going to school knowing that she was going to be born and I couldn’t wait to tell my class. My teacher wouldn’t let me tell anyone until after we had settled in and it was actually show-and-tell time and then I blurted out, “It’s coming!” Very clear. Very eloquent public speaker. I just remember being wiggly with excitement, kind of like when I had to go pee and was cutting it close. 😉

Toni: First memory!? Wowza Mom, way to ask the tough question. I think my first memory of Julia was of her reading to me on the stairs just off the kitchen in our first house…that and the time she had crawled up on the back of the toilet to get her nail polish out of the bathroom cabinet and I opened the lid of the toilet so she would step in the toilet bowl when she went to get down – and she did…and she wanted me BEHEADED.

I think my first memory of Jacqui would have to be us playing with the Tonka trucks in our sandbox that Dad had made for us at the second house, that and always getting stuck at the dinner table after dinner because she wouldn’t finish her juice. Other than that, I have the same hazy memories that Julia had about me, of Jacqui and Andreah, just kind of always being there, but my favourite memory of Andreah is the time she fell asleep in her spaghetti at the cottage. When Mom moved her to the couch, she sleepily stumbled back into dining room devastated that she had been removed from the table. Annoying then, adorable now.

Jacqui: Because of my seizures, a lot of my memories are very hazy so I am sorry if these aren’t quite accurate. My first memory of Julia is her talking to a group of trees that were in the back part of our property at our second house. She was the princess and the trees were her father – the king – and her mother – the queen.

Toni and Andreah are blurred together. Toni was pulling Andreah and myself around in a red wagon. We lived on a tobacco farm and the property was set up with two houses (Ed. There were actually three houses. The workers’ house was also on the property. ❤ ): ours and the landlord’s. Our landlord had a mean old dog and somehow, one way or another, we came face to face with him and he attacked us. Toni jumped in front of him and blocked his teeth from me and Andreah, taking all the pain and the lovely teeth. I am pretty sure she still has a scar. Forever Toni would be my protector.

Andreah: Yeah, this one is hard. First memory of Julia is her reading a poem during a Christmas program one year. I remember because I got shaken awake by Dad because the sound of Julia’s voice lulled me to sleep, not in a boring way, in a comforting way. It was the year I was wearing the velvet green dress.

Toni was when I was riding a tricycle still and I couldn’t keep up with her. I got upset that she kept leaving me behind, so I went inside to get her in trouble and Mom said that I would either have to try and pedal harder or ask her to slow down.

Jacqueline I just remember always being there! A favourite one was when we had one of Julia’s high school friends Barbie babysitting us and we built pillow forts and played airplane, where we would lay on her feet and she would hold our hands and it would feel like we were flying!

 


 

If you have any questions for the Sisterhood, let us know! Comment below, get us on our Facebook page, tweet us, or email us at weathervanesisterhood at gmail dot com. If you ask, we’ll do our best to answer! 🙂

Where have all the sisters gone?

I consider myself exceptionally lucky to be a part of this sisterhood.

These sisters of mine are my cheerleaders when I am down, my voice of reason when I am ridiculous, my sounding board when I need to vent, my support system when I struggle, my teachers, my inspiration, my mirrors, my reminder where we came from and where we are going – the ultimate touchstone. I am so lucky in fact, it makes me sad for anyone that has a stressed or estranged relationship with their sister(s), or anyone that wasn’t blessed with a double-X chromosome-carrying sibling.

My biological sisterhood

My biological sisterhood

While the sisters I speak of are blood, I am also exceptionally lucky to have found myself surrounded by a group of women that I consider a part of my sisterhood – my beautiful, supportive, uplifting and inspiring girlfriends. Personally, I am selective of who I let in, and even more selective of who I let stay in my life and for good reason – sadly, women can be each other’s worst enemy, biggest critics and more often than we would like to admit, the first to freely pass judgement on each other.

That being said, lately I have noticed a newer trend among women that I could do without – a constant stream of stories of women ganging up on each other, using their social media soapboxes to bash, bully and verbally maim other women.

While I am all for women having a voice, I often wonder – where did the focus of our universal sisterhood go? As women, should we not be lifting each other up, praising and promoting our strengths? When did it become okay for us to attack one another and so publicly? While I am not suggesting that we need to always agree with each other, or even see things from another’s side, I am suggesting that this catty, degrading behaviour is outright appalling and needs to stop.

Thanks to our technologically-driven, addicted-to-social-media society, you don’t have to go far to find a woman with a voice, some worth hearing, some not so much. I may not always agree with the message, post, tweet, status, opinion, article, or even the chosen delivery of the message, but I am not about to allow it to turn me into the very kind of woman that I disassociate myself with on purpose. Call it self-preservation, selective socializing, whatever you like – I cannot stand when women attack other women because they disagree with them. What happened to the art of disagreeing with grace? Were you not raised with the rule, “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all”? Have we really become so desensitized to the effect that our words can have that we cannot remove the catty from our reactions?

It is my strong belief that deep down, the women who bandwagon to negatively dismantle another sister are severely struggling with their own insecurities and need help coming to terms with them.

What makes the woman who flaunts her hard work on her physique and asks a blunt and honest question a “fat-shaming bully” a la Maria Kang? Shouldn’t we be applauding her for reaching her goals, working hard and calling out those that want to be more fit, more healthy and more active to diminish their own excuses?

'No excuse fit-mom' Maria Kang's Facebook that caused a HUGE uproar among women

‘No excuse fit-mom’ Maria Kang’s Facebook photo caused a HUGE uproar among women

What makes the opinionated female journalist a ‘bitch’ for having a different viewpoint of an issue that you might not have considered before she shed some light on it? Why is the attractive woman, with curves dripping in sex appeal, so threatening that she is labeled a ‘slut’ by other women? What makes the career-driven, successful female CEO who chose her career over raising a family a cold, heartless, selfish, shell of a woman? In turn, what makes the woman who gives up her own dreams or goals to selflessly raise a family an anti-feminist?

All of these negative reactions stem from personal insecurities and they need to stop dictating how we deal with one another. We look RIDICULOUS. Is this really what the feminists who pioneered and fought for equality envisioned when they gave us a voice? I think not.

So, the next time you open your mouth, or fly to your keyboard to craft a hostile or rude response to something a fellow sister has bravely let out into the world, please stop to think of the damage you may be doing to our universal sisterhood with your hasty actions and consider this:

Girls tear each other down. Women build each other up.

~Toni