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

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Can we try a little acceptance?

Remember the old saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me’?

Well, I call bullshit.

It’s hard being plus-sized, and times don’t get any easier when younger generations seem to get harsher.

When you walk into a store, and hear people talk about you, your size and the way you look, it doesn’t hurt any less than when I was a kid and all my playground to high school bullies would comment on my size over and over again.

It hurts and the flashbacks aren’t any more fun than experiencing it the first time.

I am trying and working on loving myself, but when I hear from four teenage girls who I don’t even know, “Can she get any bigger?” I think it’s gone too far.

When you tell your child, while I am looking through the plus-sized section, not to eat too much because you don’t want to look like her, well I just say that goes too far, and although I don’t make a comment, and just try and brush it off, it still gets to me. It still hurts.

Made by Epic Designer Carol Rossetti!!

Made by epic designer Carol Rossetti

I just want to say one thing when people out in the world make me feel like a tiny insignificant speck of nothing – Screw you.

I like food, and although I am working on cutting down the fat, I love good, delicious, healthy-for-you food, and didn’t get this way by eating fast food. I got this way by having poor eating habits, not eating choices. I got this way by being severely depressed, wanting attention, and getting it through the wrong means. And yes, I am paying for it now, but I didn’t do anything to your child, you, or anyone around you, so why must you comment? Why comment on people’s lives, their weight, or anything else about them? Why can’t we all just be nice to each other regardless of what they look like, and why the hell can we not appreciate who they are?

That person who you are talking about? Yes, they may be overweight, but they can still hear you!

Made by Epic Designer Carol Rossetti!!

That person may be wearing outrageous colours, but maybe it makes them feel good, and what right do you have to comment on how they look?

Granted, I am a firm believer for dressing according to my body size, but just because I don’t think I can’t make a tube top work, doesn’t mean anything about you! It means that I can’t flaunt all of me yet. I will get there, and I will learn to love my body, but it doesn’t happen overnight and weight loss doesn’t happen in one swift moment. Trust me, I know.

But one thing that would probably make everyone’s lives a ton easier is to stop judging based on appearance.

Made by Epic Designer Carol Rossetti!!

Stop belittling other people because you think it makes you sound better than you are. One day those teenagers are going to learn what it feels like to be on the other side, and the next time I may actually say something. That mom in that store may one day have an overweight child and will learn to accept their faults and love them regardless.

I may not be able to teach you these lessons, but I hope one day we all can learn to accept faults in ourselves, because that’s where we should be looking first.

I do want to end this blog post on a high note – that no matter what I think of myself and no matter what anybody says, I know Joe thinks I am beautiful; he says it to me every morning when we wake up and every night before we fall asleep.

~ Andreah