Knowing more

This past year has been a crazy one: moving away, finding new passions, trying new things, falling down, picking ourselves back up, engagements, wedding planning, moving back, and just generally trying to figure out what works.

This has been a year of learning for all of us with the blog, and in life. We are just living, and life always has a lesson to teach.

This has been an amazing, eye-opening experience for me.

I always knew my sisters were talented, amazing and beautiful women, but reading their thoughts has shown me new bits about each of the sisters.

I feel like you can find out a lot about people through their writing, and it holds true to this experience.

I mean, in all of our very first posts, there were timid steps as we each set foot into blogging, but we found our way, kept going, and the sisters and the readers all ended up inspiring me more than I had thought humanly possible.

This blog has been a new push through everything, and when I re-read all the posts, I realized how much we all changed, or at least I have changed. I realized how much I have been able to still keep pushing through all the negative that can come with change.

Change usually scares me, but this time, I’m not scared at all! I’m excited and can’t wait for the next blogging year for our sisterhood!

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

And now, without further ado, my giveaway is hand-crafted jewelry and a survivalist bracelet made from parachute cord made by my friend Kate, and a tea wallet so you can have that fresh tea anywhere made by Kate’s awesome Mama!

Survivalist bracelet, beautiful hand crafted ring, and necklace, and a tea wallet!

Survivalist bracelet, beautiful hand-crafted ring and necklace, and a tea wallet!

I want to thank you, dear readers. You have been a wonderful and captive audience, and we owe you lots of hugs for the past year! And my question I pose to you is: What is the one accessory that you’d feel naked without? 

~ Andreah

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Celebrating with a little country

I have a terrible time with timelines. Seriously, I do. I think that what happened a year ago actually happened a month or even a week ago, so reflecting on this past year? How do I do that? Was it even a year? Did anything even happen? Did we have Christmas yet? Where am I?

I took a trip down memory lane to try and help me out and I have to say, we really are a one-year old. We are on our feet now – it took a while for us to get our balance and to actually start standing on our own, but we are stumbling our way there. I like to think we have our legs beneath us.

My take away from blogging? It gives me a reason to write. I love writing so much so I am looking into creative writing courses. I suck at spelling and I like to add punctuation where it doesn’t belong??:,’; (because it makes sense and they are fancy!). It has also introduced me to new bloggers from which I draw inspiration. I love reading what other people are blogging about and the blogging community in general.

The biggest takeaway I get is connecting with my sisters. I know we all have our own voices, and that they are loud! Just ask my niece Sophie when there is more than two of us at the dinner table, as she shoves her fingers in her ears because we are…and I quote…”Way too loud!” She is one to talk, but she is right! We are loud and boisterous and I get to be a part of that EVERY week. Even If I don’t get to see them physically, I still get to read their blogs and get a piece of them for that day.

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

For my portion of the giveaway, I have decided that I want to give you a little piece of me. But because that is frowned upon, and might gross people out (after all we are trying to gather followers not push them away), I have decided to give away a home decor piece. These are my favorite pieces and I have a total of three in my house (so far, there will be more I am sure of it):

The rustic star! You see them on barns, sides of houses – they are the perfect bit of country!

One of my closest and dearest friends, Kim, runs a small garden and home decor store, Ayr Country Gardens. It is in the heart of our small downtown core, and it is one of my favorite places to visit. Other than the fact that I get a little Kim session while I am in there, they always have something new and exciting to look at. It is pretty dangerous to go in there because you are sure to leave with something EVERY time. It takes real strength to leave with the same amount of money you came in with.

So now my question to you is: what is your favorite piece of decor in your home? Is it family photos? A motivational sign? Maybe it’s a couch where you spend family time. Let me know what it is! Remember, every comment on our blog gets you an entry in the giveaway. Our mom is one of our avid commenters, so come on people! Get a-posting! Can’t wait to get a glimpse of your homes. You never know, if I get lucky enough to come to your house, maybe I’ll keep my eye out for those candlesticks you love so much!

~ Jacqui

Great things may come!

Well, a lot has happened in seven days. Sadly, I have no prospects yet on the job front, but I am still looking.

However a lot of good things have come our way. Joe is doing amazing at work and his bosses are really impressed!
He comes home, and instead of just being tired he is so excited to tell me about his day, how it went, and all the things he got to learn. He really loves being in the mechanics field and I am so happy he has such an amazing boss, great work and that he gets to go there and love his job.

Now for the continuation of good news – Joe and I almost missed out on what this week is.

Today we will have been together for two and a half years, and I know that doesn’t sound big, but to me that is an awesome milestone! I love Joe more and more with each passing day and I am so glad that I have found my rock and partner for the rest of my life! This is a small milestone, especially when you look at how long Julia, Toni, and Jacqui have been with their guys, but to me this is big! I never thought I would find someone like Joe to love forever.

Now, the second thing! Joe’s 25th birthday is tomorrow! I am super excited, even if he is not. I have a small celebration in mind for Friday night, but it’s going to be a general weekend of whatever we feel like, which I know Joe will love.

Joe and I don’t really get to spend a lot of time together, which sucks, but the time we do spend together is wonderful. Jacqui once described herself as a Hunter’s Widow, and I have been described by Joe’s Aunt Linda as a Mechanic’s Widow.

“At least you know he’s not with another girl! Just another car!” is one of the frequent statements by Aunt Linda, and there is so much truth in those words. I can go by the shop on my way to handing out resumes and Joe hardly looks up because he’s right elbow deep in the work beside his boss; however I am not complaining – Joe loves his job, his boss, and his boss’s family, who have indeed become like family to us.

And although the time we spend together is sometimes short, it is never in short supply of love and laughter. I am so excited for our many milestone and his birthday, and the future we have together unfurling before us.

Me and Joe being Silly!

Me and Joe being silly!

Joe, here is to many more years, birthdays, and wonderful moments together!

I love you!

~ Andreah

Doomsday preparer

I have marked a little milestone in my life as someone who has epilepsy – I have been seizure-free for 10 months now. TEN whole frickin’ months!

I am so happy and so scared all at the same time. Let me explain:

When you are diagnosed with anything, be it epilepsy or cancer, there is always a fear of the unknown. You can google, webMD and talk to as many doctors as you can until you are blue in the face, but there are no cookie-cutter symptoms.

I was lucky enough for my seizures that most of the time I could feel them coming, and since that feeling has left there is a pit in the bottom of my stomach looking, and waiting for it to come back.

Bad day at work? Where is that feeling?!

Out ’til the break of dawn with friends? Where is that feeling?

Stressed about family/friends/life? Where is that feeling?!

I am looking for it, I am waiting for it. A part of me wants it to come back just to get it over with! Like I am supposed to have one last hurrah!

When we go away, I still pack my emergency case: a heating pad for the aches that ensue afterwards, a security blanket/pillow for me to curl into, the medication that I worked so hard to get off of…just in case.

I have to be prepared, because the moment I am not is the moment it will come back. The moment that I taste that penny and my heart starts to race.

I count down the days and share my leaps with Cody, but I have never really uttered a word about how truly afraid I am that tomorrow will be the day that I have to restart the clock. It happens all the time.

It could be worse, I could still be having them as much and as often as I used to and I could still be medicated.

The future is a scary thing, especially when you are a doomsday preparer!

For now, I will still mark off the days in my calendar and plan my big 1-year celebration. But in the back of my head, I am still waiting for that penny to drop.

~ Jacqui

To us!

Eight years ago on this long weekend, something fairly magical happened.

Ben and I got married.

Just babies

Just babies

It was a wedding 30 months in the making.

It was a wedding that almost got cancelled because I was just graduating and Ben had lost his job, leaving us both unemployed and penniless. It didn’t get cancelled.

It was a wedding where we only met one couple that day – we knew everyone else we had invited. Both of us. All of them.

It was a day where we made official what we had already been practicing for our entire dating relationship – the delicate dance that is living each other’s lives with each other for each other.

It was cold and wet and rainy and there was some snow and very little sun.

It was perfect.

In the eight years since, we have held three of our children and said good bye to one.

We have survived our first apartment and bought our first house. We’re still in the first house, and we’re dreaming of the forever house.

We have watched friends get together, fall in love, get married, break up, get divorced, have babies, and go the distance.

We have worked a total of nine different jobs between the two of us. NINE. We have been unemployed a lot. We have worried about money a lot. We have never gone without what we’ve needed. NEVER.

We have worked hard in our church together. We have taken time away from our church apart. We have taken time away from our church together. We are working out what church means to our family right now. We never thought this would be a conversation or a question. Marriage has been surprising.

We have had really good times, where there was little to worry about and a lot to celebrate. We have had dark times, where the hole was deep and the pain was great and the light at the end of the tunnel was incredibly dim. In all the times we have stuck it out together.

We are a team. It’s what makes us strong and makes us work.

We are best friends. Seriously. I love talking to Ben. LOVE IT. It makes it tricky when I’m grumpy with him. That’s why God gave me so many sisters in family and in life. I’m sure of it.

We are in love. Not the shiny, new love of a dating couple, or a freshly engaged couple, or a couple just coming down the aisle, but the in-love of a couple who have endured more than few battles but are standing their ground in the war.

We take time to look up from the chaos around us, from the nuttiness that is having three kids under 6, and really seeing each other to make sure we’re both still okay.

We also forget to take time because of the nuttiness and we pay a price for that. And then we take the time.

We have a lot of stuff figured out. We have nothing figured out.

We are doing our very best with what we have. And it’s not going too horribly so far.

But we know it can all change in a second, an instant, a moment. It will not be the same tomorrow. It might be painfully the same tomorrow.

Eight years ago this weekend, friends and family came to our little town to help us celebrate us. And this weekend we went on a sad, old-married-couple date (dinner, shopping, hanging out with Dianne, Ben’s mom) to celebrate. But the date wasn’t sad. It was lovely. It was quiet, with conversation, hot food, and the best company.

Eight years ago I said yes to the boy beside me, having no idea what the heck I was agreeing to. Eight years later I’d say yes all over again. In a heartbeat. Because it was by far the smartest, best decision I’ve ever made and making it again over and over every day has proven to be the greatest blessing.

Funny faces

Ben – I love you. We’re 8! Here’s to the next 8 and beyond. I’m so glad it’s with you.

~ Julia