Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Your Story Blog Hop: Your Family

It is finally Week 1 of the Your Story Blog Hop! Hoda from Joojoo Azad ~ Free Bird and I have been planning for the launch of this link-up for the past few weeks and I am so excited to finally launch it!

Hoda and I have been talking for the past few weeks about how much we so badly wanted a way to incorporate our cultures, religions, stories, and backgrounds in a way that we could also get to know other people and they, in turn, could get to know us! That was when we came up with the Your Story Blog Hop.

This week's first prompt was announced last week to get people excited and thinking about doing this with us, and hopefully you will join us! This week's prompt is all about your family:

What is your family like? Do you have siblings? Were your parents married growing up? Who do you consider your family?

Of course, you didn't have to answer all of the questions in this order or anything like that, but they were just a way to get you thinking about your family. All you have to do is tell us about your family! You also don't have to go into deep and serious aspects about your story with things like rape, abuse, or anything like that if you are not comfortable. I'm not trying to make you feel uncomfortable; I just want to get to know you a little better.


My family. Where do I start? 

I'm the oldest of two girls and I come from a divorced home. If you can tell by the two pictures, the adults in the pictures are my mom and dad. These pictures are both really dated and both go back to my high school graduation and Christmas 2012. This could also probably tell you about how I don't take pictures with my parents very often. And while I have more recent pictures, these ones also have my sister in them. And I also have a couple recent pictures of both of my parents with me, but I wanted to separate them to show... well, the separation.

I hope you're not alarmed with how easily I'm able to talk about my parents being divorced. They divorced when I was in first grade, I think. So for most of my life, I've lived going back and forth between my parents' houses. I used to think it was normal up until I was older and I'd go to my friends' houses and their parents were still together. I started really feeling the effects of having divorced parents in high school when situations came up where one parent (usually my mom) wouldn't agree with certain situations and it caused a lot of tension between my parents. For the most part, it's not like that for me anymore, but more so for my sister. 

My sister is only a year and a half younger than me, so I really don't remember life without her (not meant to sound corny!) because I was still a baby when she was born.

Lots of people say that they were always best friends with their siblings growing up and all of that. Honestly, I almost feel like we hated each other growing up because of how often we fought, haha. We would even throw each other under the bus when we got in trouble! But of course, as we got older, our relationship improved and we got closer, especially after I left for college. I'm glad we did, and now she will be leaving to go to college 6 hours away in the fall! It'll be weird, but I'm sure this little brat will love it. Just don't go too crazy, Katie!

These next two pictures are of only a small portion of my families from my mom's and dad's sides. The top photo is with my dad's side of the family in the Philippines when I last visited 4 years ago, and the bottom picture is a recent photo of my mom's side. Both are definitely not complete pictures of my families, but they can kinda give you an idea of how big they are.

Why do I include my extended family when I think about family? Well, as part of Filipino/Asian culture, you tend to grow up collectivistic and when you say family, you're talking about everyone. It's not just you, your parents, and siblings. No, it's your grandma, your aunt, your cousins, their kids, and so on. You have to consider everyone, and with good reason too. I mean, look how big my families are and this isn't even half of everyone.

However, I've always loved having a big family. It just means more people to love. :]

So if you're interested in linking up with us and sharing your stories, here are some rules to keep this link up fun for everyone: 


1. Respond to the prompt of the week, sharing as much or as little as you feel comfortable! We encourage using photos and would love to see photos integrated in your posts!

2. Link up! (Make sure you are linking your blog post, rather than your blog!) using the widget below. 

3. We encourage you to read and leave comments for everyone’s posts, but we only require you to do so for the person who linked up immediately before you! 

4. Follow your hosts, Kriselle and Hoda on Bloglovin'. 

5. As an added bonus, your hosts will retweet/share any of your social media posts that you follow and tag us in (Twitter: @hodakatebi and @krisellerhiax) (Facebook: Joojoo Azad ~ Free Bird and Livin' and Lovin'). Don’t forget to use the hashtag #yourstorybloghop!

Take our button below and link it in your blog post so people can come here to find more stories!

Livin' and Lovin' Blog

Now here is the link-up! You have until next Monday, June 2nd, at 11:55pm PST to link up your post!
Happy linking! Hoda and I cannot wait to read your stories about your families :]


  1. Aw this is a beautiful idea, and I loved reading about your story! <3 Might just hop on this train:)

  2. Aww yay! I'm glad you did, Kate :] I would definitely love to see you write about your family as well!

  3. Hey Kate! c: You totally should hop on! I'd love to read all about you! xx

    <(') Hoda | JooJoo Azad ~ Free Bird

  4. Ahh this is so cute! All the photos of your family are so heartwarming! That's so nice to have had a sister that is so close to you in age (even if you used to fight all the time ahahah)! I've always wanted a sister but instead got two brothers ahaha oh well! They are definitely in part responsible for my boyish side haha
    And Iranians also grow up collectively with alllll of the relatives! It's sounds sooo nice! (But unfortunately all of my family lives in Iran and we are the odd ones out to live in the USA ahah) Oh well, getting to see them this summer--so excited!
    Large families are the best! xx

    <(') Hoda | JooJoo Azad ~ Free Bird

  5. I love how open you are about the divorce. It's interesting to see that perspective!

    ♥Emma, of It's Emma Elise

  6. Love all the pictures! And I appreciate the tidbits about Filipino culture...I feel so sheltered in my suburban New England life. I know so little about other cultures and it's very sad >.< Can't wait to see what next week is about!

  7. Haha we have so much in common! And I love my sister despite how much we fight; siblings are so fun! Haha and I get what you mean about being the odd ones out in the U.S. On my dad's side, he's the only one in Southern California. We have family in Northern California and Chicago, but the rest of my dad's side is mostly in the Philippines.

  8. Aww thank you so much Emma!

  9. Aww haha don't feel so bad! The point of this blog hop is to allow all of us to get to know each other and the different cultures we all come from :] I'm glad you linked up and are enjoying the link-up!


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