The Brady Bunch

Family Time, Lifestyle/Personal

My very pregnant sister, brother-in-law, and nearly two-year-old niece moved in this past weekend while their house is undergoing some renovations. My sister moved out three years ago after she got married. Even though it was an adjustment, we all seemed to get used to a quieter house and one less person at the dinner table.


Fast-forward three years and instead of four people and a dog in one house we’re eight and a half people (including Alex) and a dog. It’s a little hectic and slightly crazy to say the least. Izzy is a handful, a delightful ball of energy just wanting to play with me or workout with me or simply watch her Big Hero 6. As someone who appreciates her me time, it’s going to take a while to get used to.

All in all I’m insanely happy about them all moving in. Izzy brings a smile to my face every time I wake up and I missed having my sister in the same house as me. Yes, my wardrobe has doubled because of it but it’s more than that. When my sister is close by I feel calm, relaxed, and safe. She exerts that kind of energy, that everything will be okay kind of energy. With all of us under the same roof once again the house feels like even more of a home; something I didn’t think was possible.

It’s wonderful to have conversations with both my siblings as adults while still being able to make each other pee with laughter. It’s cathartic knowing that we can all hang out in the basement, one of us blogging, the other on their phone, and the other paying bills and still have so much to talk and laugh about. It’s crazy seeing the way our relationship with each other has changed over the years, how much stronger its gotten.

We might be the Brady Bunch at the end of the court for the next few months but I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. 

“One day you will do things for me that you hate. That is what it means to be family.”
― Jonathan Safran FoerEverything Is Illuminated

Love Always

Vanessa Xo

I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister [Book Review]

Book Reviews, Family Time, Lifestyle/Personal

Only two sisters can understand the complexities and varying shades of their relationship. There are times when you love each other, times when you hate each other, times when jealousy rears its ugly head, and times when you are so proud of your sister it overwhelms you. A sister is the only person who might be confused by what you’re doing and may not even understand why you’re doing it  BUT they still know WHO you are. A sister, if you’re lucky, is your best friend even when she is your worst enemy.


I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister is 146 pages of truth. Amelie Sarn captures the essence of having a sister and mixes it in with the taboo subject of religion. Djelila and Sohane once shared everything, beliefs, adventures, and dreams but somewhere along the line Djelila began to walk a different path from her sister. She no longer abided by or even believed in her religion, she no longer needed her older sister to save her. Just as her sister’s beliefs melted away, Sohane’s beliefs grew stronger.

Sohane starts wearing a head scarf, her school insists that she remove it or she’ll be expelled. Meanwhile, Djelila is repeatedly harassed by neighborhood bullies for not following Muslim customs. Sohane can’t help thinking that Djelila deserves what she gets. She never could have imagined just how far things would go.

Tragedy strikes and Sohane is left to pick up the pieces of her own heart. With poetic integrity I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister had me on the edge of my seat and on the brink of tears. You don’t have to have a sister to understand or feel the truths that this book shines light on, all you have to do is have an open mind.

When mom and dad don’t understand, a sister always will. ~Author Unknown

Love Always and Forever,

Vanessa Xo