The second annual Julia awards

Last night (and this morning) the Oscars took up my living room and our Twitter feed and my dining room table:

SO. MUCH. FOOD. And yes...those strawberries are wearing tuxedos. It is the Oscars, after all.

SO. MUCH. FOOD. And yes…those strawberries are wearing tuxedos. It is the Oscars, after all.

It was lovely…and LONG. I don’t know why this year felt sooooo long…or soooooo snoozy…I’m going to go with it’s because I’m getting old.

This year, the Oscars were hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, a funny, engaging guy. The trouble? He’s no Ellen. Or Tina and Amy. Or Seth. NPH is…witty. And zingy. And the night is long and I loved the bits, but he just wasn’t my favourite.

I will tell you what my favourite was, though! Hanging out with awesome ladies, gossiping and laughing, and eating and eating and eating. Having an Oscar party is pretty damn amazing – there’s a room full of ladies who get my gossipy obsession, who can out-trivia me and back me up on dress judgments and Spanx guessing. It’s dreamy. And lovely. And there’s tons of food and comfy clothes.

I know they look demonic, but I swear they're really nice (and I have no idea how to use a photo editor...)

I know they look demonic, but I swear they’re really nice (and I have no idea how to use a photo editor…)

And now, without further ado (unlike the end of the Oscars where NPH stuck YET ANOTHER BIT), here are my picks for last night’s BEST:

Best Dressed

All the ladies, both demonic and non-, agreed: who on earth would be best dressed? There was no clear front-runner for any of us. But, I’ve come up with my favourite of the night:

Jessi Cruikshank of the Canadian eTalk team was stunning in this muted gown. When I saw her on my Twitter feed, I immediately wrote her name down as a contender.

And my runner-up was Naomi Watts. She was stunning in this peek-a-boo dress, that showed flawless skin and toned torso. I’m also a sucker for tiny, tiny spaghettini straps…because I’ll never be able to wear them.

Naomi_Watts

Best Speech

For me, it was a 3-way tie:

Mr. Pawel Pawlikowski, the Polish director who won Best Foreign Language Film for Ida. He spoke so long, he was cued off with the music…but then, he refused to budge. And he didn’t. He just kept talking. Until the music STOPPED and he was given MORE TIME. Finally, the music started up again..and he did eventually leave the stage. But it was awesome – you work your whole life for the top accolade. Why on EARTH would you ever leave the stage before you’re ready once you’ve achieved it?

Pawel Pawlikowski

J.K. Simmons, who won Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash. He told everyone that if their parents are alive, to call them. Not text, not email, CALL them. Pick up the phone and talk. I love J.K. Simmons.

87th Annual Academy Awards - Show

And our third winner, Graham Moore, who won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game. In his speech he not only honoured the subject of his movie, the late Alan Turing, he also talked about his battle with depression and his attempted suicide at 16. His best advice was to the kid that thought they were too weird, too different: “Stay weird. Stay different. And when it’s your turn to stand on this stage, pass the message along.”

Graham Moore

Best Underwear

Yep. There was underwear. And all we can say is, Mazel Tov, David Burtka, Mazel Tov.

WOWZA

WOWZA

Best Irony

Or worst…because REALLY? There were a lot of causes highlighted last night, and for good reason – there’s a lot we can do to fix this world – but the worst one was Patricia Arquette standing up for equal pay for women after winning Best Supporting Actress…and Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez emphatically agreeing with her.

Meryl-Streep J-Lo gif

The cause is real. But beyond making more money than most of us will ever see, what are these women doing for the “women of America”? Because all I can see are rich ladies demanding equality in a world where equality is a joke.

Best Not-So-Veiled-We-Were-Snubbed

Before, it was Ben Affleck accepting the Oscar for Best Picture in 2013 with his “You can’t hold grudges” bit in his acceptance speech acknowledging his perceived Best Director nomination snub. This year? It was all about Selma all the time.

Terrence Howard took his presenting job as the chance to highlight the emotion behind the movie Selma, to highlight the fact that it wasn’t nominated, although it did overwhelm him.

Terrence-Howard-467

Some say it was a teleprompter problem. Others wonder if he was drunk. I’m going with, Selma wasn’t nominated for anything but Best Song and Best Picture and this was his chance to make it shine. What do you think?

Best Joke

Last year John Travolta just couldn’t get Idina Menzel’s name right. It came out Adele Dazeem…which isn’t even CLOSE. So this year, I vote the use of the John Travolta Name Generator as best joke. (It wouldn’t let me embed the video, so here is the link.)

Ben Affleck pronounced as Benedict Cumberbatch?? Awesome.

Best Creepy Moment(s)

All of John Travolta’s. No seriously.

With Scarlett Johansson.

travoltakiss3A

With Benedict Cumberbatch.

John Travolta and Benedict Cumberbatch

With Idina Menzel.

john-travolta-idina-menzel-lg

Creeeeeeeepy.

Best SHOCKER

Ummm…Lady Gaga can SING. And as everyone on Twitter pointed out, she kicked Carrie Underwood’s ASS.

lady-gaga-oscars-sound-of-music-2015-billboard-650

And the last award of the night…Best WIN Face

It has to be Eddie Redmayne, because how can you argue with JOY like this:

eddie-redmayne-was-absolutely-shocked-by-his-first-oscar-win

It was a looong show and a looong night and an early morning (hence the lateness of this post), but the people I got to hang out with, the gossip I got to rehash, and the food I got to eat all make it worth it…sort of. Now, for coffee. 🙂

~ Julia

Musical motivation

Ever since I can remember there has been music in my life. My dad introduced us to Queen, Pearl Jam, David Bowie, The Tragically Hip, Neil Young, Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers, and Metallica, while my Mom showed us The Rankin Family, Blue Rodeo, Seal and so many others.

    

 

My sisters and momma were all in the choir at our church, and still to this day music surrounds us!

I am blaming the early exposure to music for my now current obsession with musicals and music in general.

From TV shows, such as Glee, to movies (once theatre musicals) like Chicago, Rent, and Burlesque, add music and a dance number to actors like Merly Streep to express the stress of three men possibly being the father of her child!?!?!?! AMAZING! To make it even better, add some comedy and I am tickled pink!

 

In fact as I write this, Toni and I are giggling away as we watch Pitch Perfect. Seriously!
Best!
Movie!
Ever!!!!

If you have not seen it, I am allowing you to leave this blog for the hour and a half that it will take to watch it! …. I’ll wait here. Go on!

……

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, I feel you can appreciate musicals so much more. Cody also shares in my love of music, however hates that I love musicals. This may be because there is a no way to make a musical manly… even if the protagonist is shooting machine guns, while riding a great white shark, somehow adding a musical number for him or her to sing along with it would change the genre from badass to beauty queen (badass beauty queen that is)!

Not a man, but still pretty bad ass… and a little weird!

Although it’s not technically a musical, Nashville pulls at my musical heart strings. It combines my love of country music and good TV. I have been watching since the first season and tell everyone I know who also shares my love of country music about it! Like, for example, my supervisor at work. Every Thursday morning we squeal over the characters’ drama, relationships, deaths and most of all THE MUSIC!!!! I have my phone beside me as I watch to quickly Shazam any and all music that they sing in order to download it from iTunes.

 

I have music with me throughout my day, which means I pretty much live in a musical. So I asked myself what my daily routine would look like without music… My morning run would be fuelled by the song of the birds and although I do enjoy nature’s soothing sounds, somehow I don’t think I would get the same results as if I were being motivated by Beyoncé.

I sing constantly at work, whenever I am around music – my desk mates will have to agree with me. My renditions can be painful and comical but it makes the day go by faster when the sounds of the fax machine and phones are accompanied by Bruno Mars featuring yours truly.

Making dinner would be the simple sizzles of simmering sauces instead of the soothing serenading of Eric Church or Eddie Vedder.

Music makes life better. I suggest you make your life a musical. I did!

~ Jacqui

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! 🙂