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

 

An ode to Jacqui

WE’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAACK!

It may not be Tuesday, but Julia and I decided to pull a switch-a-roo so I could have the honour of writing a post to mark this day of our very own Jacqui’s birth.

JQ, my baby duck, happiest of birthdays to you. I hope you have the best day possible today, regardless of responsibility and have to’s required of you today.

I’ve got to say, getting to be your big sister has been pretty kick ass so far, as I am sure it will continue to be. Getting to watch you grow over these past 26 years has been a wild, rewarding ride.

I mean, I got to know you from this point:

Her pants are SO inflated with fart.

Her pants are SO inflated with fart.

And watch you grow into this:

BAM! (she's still 12!)

BAM! (she’s still 12!) [Photo credit: Photography by Heather ]

I can’t believe you’re 26 though. I mean, it really does seem like yesterday that we were much shorter, standing in our country home, getting into whatever shenanigan we could to entertain ourselves…

I love that this picture exists

I love that this picture exists

And now we’re all grown up, trying to navigate all of life’s crazy adventures as they come…I hope it goes without saying, but I’m really grateful I’ve got you by my side through all of them.

I have loved watching you grow into your own person and become even more ‘you’ these past few years. You’ve inspired the hell out of me with your strength in your battle with epilepsy and conquering a shit ton of obstacles to celebrate two years seizure free this week. (Seriously, you KICK ASS)

Last year's one year anniversary tattoo

Last year’s one year anniversary tattoo

I admire your heart, your incredible wit and humor – I seriously still vote ‘stand up comedian’ needs to be added to your resume – and your need for peace making. You’re brave, smart and gorgeous from your heart out.

I hope 26 is incredible for you in every way – with more laughter, love and magic than you can hold. I know you’re already off to the best possible start.

Sisters ♥

Sisters ♥

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, dear Jacqui! We LOVE you!

~ Toni

That time we were almost cast for TLC

Have you ever experienced one of those moments where time seems suspended in midair and you observe the situation you’re in from a slightly removed perspective and know somewhere deep in your bones that this is a pivotal moment? A moment with a fork in the road and it could change your life completely if you go one way, or it could stay the exact same if you go the other?

Well did that EVER happen to the Sisterhood last week!

Roughly a month ago, we were contacted by a development company called Crybaby Media out of NEW YORK CITY (yeah, New York, New York!) regarding a mandate that had been sent down from the TLC and Lifetime networks to find and cast families with four or more sisters for a new docu-series they were looking to develop.

You can imagine our surprise when our wee-baby, fairly personal blog put us on the map and got us noticed. Reading and re-reading the initial email we were all pretty convinced we were probably being duped and that it had to be a scam of some sort. Our mama was just worried we would John & Kate Plus 8 the crap out of our lives if we participated.

....I can see why she would be concerned.

….I can see why she would be concerned.

As with all big, scary, exciting news, we met immediately to discuss our stance and if we wanted to proceed with the Skype interviews they had requested and aired our concerns. We decided to see what the show was about and what we would be giving up to participate.

To say the initial process left us feeling like we were in good hands would be a stretch – scheduling conflicts and poor communication led us to really question the legitimacy of the opportunity. After expressing our concerns after being stood up and emailed after the fact to reschedule us – again – things seemed to take a turn for the better and we were finally able to Skype with McKenna from Crybaby Media.

The initial interview was for McKenna to get to know us more and see if there was enough about us as a Sisterhood that people could relate to and was the rawest of the process. We nervously accepted her call as we heard Skype ring through our set up laptop at the bottom of Julia’s basement stairs where quiet, decent lighting and stacked seating were available.

McKenna was friendly and warm which put as ease fairly quickly. She got right into it and asked us to round-robin introduce ourselves and give a snapshot of who each of is, our lifestyle, age and position within the Sisterhood. We were asked to describe each other, our childhood, our parents, what we do together for fun, what we do apart that makes us unique – the typical kinds of questions you would expect for a reality-based series participant to divulge about themselves. After about 20 minutes of us cautiously answering the required questions, McKenna let us know she would like to pass us through to the second stage and interview, which would be taped and then cut down to make our 2-4 minute ‘pitch’ video to the network.

We logged off the call with instructions for follow-up and instantly burst into a common commotion of chatter throwing around concerns, questions, statements and ideas for how to get all of this to process through our overloaded brains.

What just happened?

Did our little blog just set off a series of events for us that we could have never imagined? Did we even want to participate now that we knew what we’d be sharing with the world? How would this affect our lives and relationships? There were so many questions and unknowns it was hard not to get too ahead of ourselves. We were still reeling from even being found on this wide world of the internet and to be honest, our concerns for our little lives were beginning to surpass our interest in being cast.

Maybe a little too real for reality TV?

Maybe a little too real for reality TV?

After confirming our follow-up taped interview, we were provided a general guideline for the questions and style of answering in order to get a good cut for our final video. When the day of the taping came we met early to discuss what had come to the surface for each of us over the two days between interviews. We were sure to be honest with one another about what we were comfortable discussing and what we would rather not shed light on just yet – surprisingly there are still things about us that we are just not ready to let our readers learn just yet. We determined a good rule of thumb to be if we were comfortable writing about it here, we should be comfortable being honest and open about it on camera.

Our taping went really well and I think I speak for all of the sisters when I say that we might have benefited from the structure and style of the conversation more than anyone. In the 45 minutes of taping we were able to learn a little more about each other, what we want out of this blog, how we view the world, our childhood and each other uniquely from one another.

Most importantly, we uncovered that we wanted to raise our blog to be a community for people to come and experience what it is to be a part of such a tight sisterhood, to feel not so alone with the battles they wage daily, and to know that there are a bunch weirdos out there stumbling through this insanity that we call life just as awkwardly as any one.

We all didn’t express it then, but we were all filled with anxiety of the changes that may come into our lives if we were picked up by the network and it wasn’t an eager anxiety. Personally, I made sure to pray on it that if this was not meant for us or would not bring only light and love into our lives it would be removed from our hands to choose.

Please? Or, no thank you?

Please? Or, no thank you?

A day later we received an email stating we had been passed on and ironically enough were told we were not nearly “outrageous” enough for the casting – which if you’ve ever been to one of our family events you know this is not entirely true – however, we did take that as a compliment when we considered the network that had put out the mandate.

Can you IMAGINE if we had made it through!?

When we all found out about not making it to the next round there were shared expressions of relief – we weren’t exactly sure we were ready for TLC… or if TLC was ready for the likes of us.

So for now, we are your humble community blog, focused on sharing our lives with whoever happens upon us. Who knows what the future brings though – stranger things have happened!

~ Toni

Wonderful world of work

So there a couple things you should be 100% aware of when it comes to me… I am not normal. Working in an office environment is not normal for me.

This is so more me.

This is so more me. (Photo credit to UCS and their photo of their studio, which makes me miss college and the studio that I got to use there.)

I have never worked in a normal office environment, and I never thought I would ever be working in a cubicle, let alone being excited about it. I am more the type to have weird, in-between jobs that you never even thought someone would have, and I have had quite a few of those…

Have you ever heard of someone working in a turkey farm? Or know of anyone putting away books at the wee hours of the morning?

No? Of course not. Because no sane person decided that they would deal with turkeys, or put away heavy books at warp speed (or as fast as humanly possible) at 5 a.m. Besides the point of this post though, this is about my job now.

This is the most normal job I have ever had. I work roughly 8 hours a day. I come into work, use a punch clock and then punch out when I leave. I have never had a job like this, and although I have never seen myself in this kind of job, there is one thing I love about this job.

The people are AWESOME.

All of them are so unique, and I have made so many new friends that I can hardly count them all. Even my supervisors are awesome and very helpful people and my manager is really funny and nice.

Now, I haven’t told a lot of people at work about our blog at all, so I am so not trying to butter them up through this. It is just nice to be able to like the people you work with and work for. I have found some really good friends in my colleagues while I have been here, and although I am not going to mention any names, they know who they are and they know (from me telling them on a constant basis) how truly awesome and sweet they are.

They make it easier to come into work on my bad brain days because I know I will smile at least once from something ridiculous someone says or does, or that I say or do, and at work I am one of the more random people.

I am truly blessed to not only have a job but have a job where I actually get along with and like the people.

I know this is just a temporary position, but for the time being I have a found a place in the company full of awesome people, and that works just fine for me.

~ Andreah

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

Directionally challenged

The other night I went out, phone in hand as always.I have had this phone long enough that it no longer has a warranty, but not so long that I get mindless stares because it is obsolete when I pull it out in public. It’s an iPhone so it pretty much became the oldest model as soon as it was put on the shelf to purchase.

My battery was at 20 percent, to other iPhone users this is about the time you try to locate a power source. No? Just my trusty hardware? Okay then.

I didn’t sweat it, the place I was going I had been three times before, once I even drove. So I should know where I am going …if I wasn’t directionally challenged!

I got in the truck, turned on my GPS and headed out.

Humming along with the radio and cautiously listening for my male Siri adviser to direct my course because the female version has told me what to do long enough, I noticed my phone light flicker and then the ominous circle of death showed its ugly face as my phone turned off.

There I was phone-less, and suddenly thoughtless. Where was I going? Did I remember the address? Could I some what make my way and then ask for directions once I got closer? Would people know how to give directions these days? Did I just say these days? WHAT IS HAPPENING!!!!

I couldn’t do it – I had to go back. I had to turn around to go and get a car charger. I needed to tell the person I was meeting that I would be late. In order to do that I would need my phone! What did we do before cell phones? Carrier pigeons!?!

Now I was in a full on panic!!!

Calm down – I can do this, I just need a plan!

Step One: Turn around and SPEED home to minimize amount of time I would be without said phone

Step C: Get charger and plug phone in. Wait until phone turns on again and advise acquaintance of my tardiness due to phone being a piece of junk. That’s right this is all the phones fault…right? My dependency is not my fault!

Step V : Put co-ordinates into GPS and SPEED to said destination.

Final Step: Figure out how I handled life without a phone!!!!!!

I bought my own phone in the 10th grade. It was a pay as you go Telus phone which you could purchase unlimited text messaging for 10$ as long as you had money on it to make calls. This is really all I wanted it for. One more way to keep in constant communication with my boyfriend at the time. Silly naive Jacqui.

I quickly upgraded to a real phone as soon as I turned 18 and didn’t need a parent to sign for one. My very first flip phone with a qwerty keyboard. It was blue and SO EXPENSIVE! Silly younger Jacqui.

Then came my first Blackberry, because I was a middle aged man needing to keep in contact with my partners at the firm and monitor my portfolio (ha!) at all times.  I was important… it was white with a pink case. I was bad-ass!

I have become, no our society has become addicted to constantly being available! Thats right if I am going down you are alllll coming with me! Blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, messaging, pinning, emailing. It’s amazing and yet so CRAZY at the same time!  We share too much, in too many places as long as there is a device or piece of technology involved we think it is okay to spout what ever nonsense we want. Real face to face interaction has slowly become a rarity as we all have our heads buried in our devices whether they be an Android, iPhone, Blackberry or blueberry!

What’s even more ironic is that I am spouting off my dependency of technology on our online blog… but I am still going to continue my rant.

I am the worst for this! I stare at a computer all day at work only to come home and stare at my phone.

There was a post on Facebook that I read which stated “If you were offered 3 million dollars, and all you had to do was not go on Facebook, Twitter or use your cellphone could you do it?”

I would like to think I could live without my phone, but I proved to myself on last Wednesday that I couldn’t.

I have since then purchased an up to date map. You know the ones you see in movies from a decade ago. They still exist! I KNOW, I was shocked too! I have also tried to set a goal of cutting down my social media time by an hour  per day for the first week. I am hoping by the end of the month my phone is not my third hand.

I am also going to put it away when I am with friends and family and focus on what is happening in front of me instead of what is going on in the land of Facebook or even through a lens.

Wish me luck – and know I am not ignoring you. Or am I…. now you will never know.

 

~ Jacqui

 

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

This first

You will always remember your firsts.

First love, first car, first job, first time, first heartbreak, first real love, first accident, first kiss – all of the firsts.

This blog, my first time contributing to a personal blog, this first real and very public project with the sisters, turns a big huge ONE today. The Weather Vane Sisterhood celebrates its first anniversary. A pretty big first in my books.

I kind of can’t even believe it.

It feels oddly similar to the first birthdays of my precious nieces and nephew. I’m bursting with pride, but struggling to understand where all that time went.

It really does just seem like yesterday that we sat down at Jacqui’s house, gathered around her kitchen table, to determine what we wanted this to be, where we thought it could and might go.

I remember then feeling nervous and unsure if I had any writing chops at all – especially compared to my genius sisters. Somehow that feeling never truly goes away and I feel it flutter through my stomach at the scheduling of every post. Some posts are raw and honest, some are lighthearted and maybe even funny, and some may be deeply personal.

This blog has taught me that I am usually not alone in how I feel – not only through connecting with you, our fabulous readers, but also reading the insightful and inspiring stories from my sisters. I’ve learned so much about our sisterhood in this year and, as Julia expressed yesterday, no matter how small our readership may be, I am so thankful for you following along on this crazy journey of our sisterhood. I’m so excited to see what year two holds.

Now that the mush, love and gratitude has been expressed, I get to be Oprah and give away cars!* (here is where I will use the Julia-coined  *Oprah Clause: The word cars in this case represents small tokens of our affection and not actual cars or automobiles, or vehicles of any kind…please don’t sue us. We’re not actually Oprah.)

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

When it came time to choose what I’d like to give you, I had to reflect on the sudden, incredible, completely exhilarating love in my life: my Yoga practice and the incredible community of Moksha Yoga Cambridge.

I have chosen to give away an RBX yoga mat in honor of my passion for the practice of yoga. Between the peace it has brought me during the past few tougher months, to the inner growth I’ve experienced, I cannot put into words what it has done for my life. More than that, until you’ve tried it and let go enough to let it work its magic, I will never be able to describe it to you unless you’ve felt it. All I can say, with 100% conviction, it it’s totally worth it.

To keep you moving

To keep you moving

In addition, I would like to invite you to Moksha Yoga Cambridge  on Friday nights for their Karma practice. It’s $5, a great way to stretch out from your crazy week and, even better, all of your $5 goes towards a different charity on a rotating monthly schedule. This month the proceeds of the Friday evening Karma practice are benefiting The Bridges – Cambridge Shelter. So, even if you don’t win this mat, please grab one and join us at 8:00 pm every Friday to participate in a little good karma.

In order to enter any and all of the giveaways, all you have to do is leave a comment answering the question for that day. You’ll receive one entry for every comment on that day’s giveaway – you can leave one comment or 100 comments, just make sure you’re answering the question. Be sure to enter all of the giveaways before 12:00 am EST on Saturday, February 14th in order for your entries to be considered.

I’d be honoured to share my love of Yoga with you! To get started, all you have to do is answer the question: what is your favourite yoga pose and why? If you’re not a yogi per say, what is your favourite exercise and why?

I look forward to hearing from you, our dear readers. My heart is grateful for this, our very first year.

~Toni

A year of blogging

This week is BIG for us here at the Sisterhood. Big because it’s a birthday week (Toni’s on the 12th!). Big because it’s Valentine’s Day week (Hello, LOVERS!). And BIG because we have our first anniversary of blogging.

Last year, on February 10, 2014, we published our very first post and introduced our blog to the world (mostly our family and friends).

We wanted to dedicate our posts this week as odes to the blog, reflections on a year of blogging and then, of course, giving you, our readers (family and friends and THE WORLD), gifts for hanging out with us, reading us, supporting us, commenting on us, and letting us share our Sisterhood with you. To celebrate our very first anniversary we’re going to hold our very first GIVEAWAY.

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

#WVSisterhood #Giveaway !!

OH YES.

We are OPRAH. And EVERYONE GETS CARS*. (*The word cars in this case represents small tokens of our affection and not actual cars or automobiles or vehicles of any kind. And the word everyone means select winners chosen at random, not every single person in the world. Please don’t sue us. We’re not actually Oprah.)

To enter our giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment. Every comment gets you one entry into that day’s giveaway. That’s right. I said THAT DAY’S GIVEAWAY! We’re doing FOUR giveaways and a GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY. Because we’re CRAZY in LOVE with you! Each regular blogging day this week, a sister will select and introduce a prize. Leave a comment on the blog post, answering the question the sister poses to you! Each comment you leave gives you one entry into the draw for that prize. You can leave one comment or you can leave 100 comments, just make sure you’re answering the question. All the comments from all the blog posts this week will be put into the draw for the grand prize giveaway. Only comments posted before 12:00 a.m. EST Saturday February 14, 2015 will be considered.

We’ll make the draws and announce the winners on Valentine’s Day because we’re CRAZY in LOVE, remember!? We love you. You love us (we hope). And because it’s our BLOG-BIRTHDAY!!!

Questions? Worries? Concerns? Let us know. Love notes? Wishes for our 2nd year of blogging? Hopes and dreams for our future together? Let us know.

And sincerely – THANK YOU – for reading with us, hanging out with us, and cheering for us. Thank you. ❤

Okay. Enough Oprah. It’s time for me to reveal what I am giving away!!

For me, this year of blogging has been a test of sorts. A test to see if I had it in me to stick with a writing project longer than five minutes here, four seconds there, an hour there…and then nothing for MONTHS. I’ve been fairly busy getting knocked up and having babies…which isn’t full of bon-bon eating and story-watching like it’s hyped up to be. It’s actually hard, mean, rewarding, tricky, exhausting, energy-sucking work. It takes a lot out of me every day…and that’s just getting out of bed. 😉 So to commit to a blog, even one with my sisters who are my most favourite people on earth (besides all of my other favourite people on earth…really gotta work on this list, otherwise my Oscar speech for Best Adapted Screenplay is going to SUCK), was a huge deal for me.

Will I get overwhelmed?

Will I suck at writing because my brain is mush and my babies are sucking me dry in all the ways?

Will I have interesting things to say besides I have babies, babies poop, babies, poop, babies, poop?

Will I hate it?

Will I resent it?

Will I be able to form coherent sentences every single week?

Apparently, no, not so much, not so much, no, no, and sort of! 😉

This blog has let me write about my life in ways I haven’t been able to commit to before. It’s helped me reawaken the part of my brain that is writerly, the part that speaks in narrative and sees everything as it would be described on a page. It has given me the chance to look through my crazy, zany, nutty, chaotic day and find the threads to write about.

It’s made me sit down and write for at least an hour every week. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when your whole day is usually spent counting down the hours until you get to go back to bed every day, spending solid time, regularly, on writing is a giant gift.

So for me, this blogging year has been about writing again, putting words out there again, and reminding myself that this is the reason I went to the fancy school and got the fancy writing degree and want to be a writer when I grow up (Ha!).

When thinking about what I’d like to give to you, readers of all the words, I immediately thought about giving you MORE words (because I’m classy that way).

I’m giving away a short story collection from my author-hero, Alice Munro. She is so many things to me. She represents a strong, Canadian female author, something I’d like to be considered as. She is a mother of three children and yet still writes. She had her first story published in university and her first short story collection published when she was in her mid-30s. As someone in her mid-30s, this is very encouraging. And she won the freaking Nobel Prize in Literature. She’s incredible. And awesome. And I want to be her. And I love her stories.

The collection I’ve chosen is called Too Much Happiness, a beautiful book full of well-spun stories, and quotes, like, “Always remember that when a man goes out of the room, he leaves everything in it behind… When a woman goes out she carries everything that happened in the room along with her.”

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro

I really love this collection. And I love what it represents for me as a writer, a mother, and a Canadian woman. I love all of the things. And I’d like to share it with you! All you have to do is answer this question: What is your favourite book? Or who is your favourite author? 

And thank you, again, for this year. It’s been awesome. ❤

~ Julia