A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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One, and the Show Has Just Begun!

Exactly a year ago, round about this time (1120 ish pm 🙂 ) the twinges started. She stayed put though. Just tiny stirrings, but nothing to heave about 😛 Till the next morning when it was confirmed that she was getting into the groove 😀 She led her mom a not so happy dance, but finally showed up late into the night, much to the delight of her big Sister, Naina, her parents and grandmoms 🙂

SHE showed up. We were ALL very certain, that it would be a HE,  don’t ask how. My thinking was, given the time that the doctors and the scans told us, this was a Made in Thrissur edition, so for some strange reason, it had to be HE. Plus a certain calculation of the appearance of the Momma. I’ve never been wrong. Oh wait! I have, I have. Just once before. With my own 😛 So sure was I that I was going to have a baby girl, that I asked the doctor to check, once he informed me that my second one was a baby boy. And this girl is the spitting image of her father 😛 Some miscalculation there! 😀

Paru had better sense and trust I know. He/She, it really didn’t matter, though it has cured me of my wish to try and predict the boy / girl thingy these days. Loss of faith 😀

So, yeah, this one, this ONE (hint hint hint 😀 ) was as cool as they come. Except that babies don’t come cool 🙂 Not in the height of summer. But darling Naira, to whom this blog is dedicated, was/is a pretty cool customer 🙂 For one thing, her parents (and grammies) were more experienced, and on top of the situation, and second, she had a great big sister to keep her sweet 🙂

Like her mother, and her paternal grandmother (as babies 😛 ), Naira has been really un-fussy. Her parents were boss, the rest of the family adoringly hers. She took to the car seat very young, and began her independently seated travel within three weeks. So easeful was it, that her mother could actually drive both kids around, by herself. So proud of you Paru, for that 🙂

Someone said, through a meme, recently, that the second borns are usually more troublesome. I’d say awesome is a better word. (Yes, I’m second born 😛 ) My second born would agree, as would Naira’s mom. 😛 We are really good babies. We love our Moms and Dads a LOT. More than the others. So much that we might just burst into tears if you just so looked at us. We’re sweet 😀

Naira is as laid back as they come. She took her time turning over on to her tummy, by about the end of the fifth month. Decided teeth were a problem and held off till the eleventh month, when she finally thought that her crawling might actually gladden others  – particularly her maternal grandmom 😀 Till then she was comfortable doing a little Michael Jackson-ish backward creeping/swimming, but getting to where she wanted anyway!

Through the nearly 3 weeks I spent in her company in March, I was sure that she would crawl one day, and give me the high of cheering her on. She waited, (did I mention she’s a cool customer? 😛 I know, I did ::D ) she waited, and slowly got on her knees. Then swayed gently, and lay flat again, on her tummy. She waited till the 2nd of April to finally move forward on her knees. Duh. She waited, oh yes, she did, till I left, to do that 😀 But once she found out about the pace she could use, there has been no stopping her 🙂 She also decided to show a couple of teeth, finally, so that all that murmuring around her would cease 😀

Naira means the shining one, the brilliant one. And she is all of that. A cheerful soul, smiles easily (now), and keeps you at arms distance if you are a stranger. Till she sees you regularly around her, she’ll smile, but keep her distance. Such a radical change from her friendly elder sister, Naina. 🙂

Naira, the second born is a determined young lass, already. She determines things right now, and somehow or other it does go her way. She calls you with a commanding Aeyyyy! Smiles when you respond, and gifts you a rare chance to carry her, just to please you, if you please her and let her be, initially 🙂

Babies do sense a lot about a person, and can hold back if you are too forthcoming. Patience is rewarded soon enough. This, I have noticed in the most startling way with this wee darling.

 

She’s one, today, the 16th of May, 2018. A day she will spend with her close family, since her Dad’s still on his way to meet her, having been transferred, and therefore being on the move.

Happy birthday, my darling gurl, our Naira ❤ You are wished much joy, and laughter. Happy times, fun times and the all encompassing love of family and friends that hounds you, scaffolds you, sustains you, surrounds you all the time!

Stay this cool always. This zany. With the brilliance of your beautiful smile zapping all those who meet you ❤

All our love, dearest Naira! Happy happy birthday to you!

16 May, 2018

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The Bees’ Knees

That is, quite enquivocally, what you are, to me, and a whole lot of others. 🙂 Who? We’ll come to that soon enough 😀 That is the way of this blog, and rambler. Together, they kind of mess up your reading skills 😛

I first heard this expression at a workshop in Kochi, where the resource person was an Englishman, a Prof. Richard Something or Other (do excuse me for not being able to recall – I hate that about myself :/ ), conducted by the ABS – Association of British Scholars (??? I think 🙂 ) in association with the British Council, I do recall. We, the thirty plus number of participants, were given a worksheet with several expressions in English, many quite obscure, and vastly underused hereabouts, and were asked to match them with their meanings. Yep, teachers doing match the following. No one was able to score an excellent 😛 Go on, rejoice at how them dratted English teachers got their comeuppance from a Sahib  😛 Serves them right, no?! 😀

Errr, back to the bees’ knees. Clearly we weren’t that. But it still remains in my mind as being one of the most delightful sessions at a workshop where you had a native speaker giving you the inside stories and the inflections of language and usage. Like a bat out of hell was another that caught my fancy…. Deep sigh. 😀

Oopsie, here I go again, rambling 😀 So, ummm, where was I? Oh yes, the who/what/how about the bees’ knees. Yeah, I’m working this one to death, aren’t I? As if them bees aren’t already working enough! 😀

So, bees? Yep they’re busy alright, and give us honey. Pack a sting too! So etymology (excuse me, while I break into laughter, that perhaps only Ashwin, Arjun and I can fully appreciate, since it is part of the spelling bee mimic’s repertoire 😛 😀 ) – apparently the bee collects/stores the pollen in its knees, and we know what a good thing that is right? From the etymology (teacher in full flow, pliss to note 😛 ) it is to be understood that the bees’ knees refers to something that is wonderful, excellent, very good…. you get the drift 😛

That’s it? Okay, you probably wonder. Do you? Then you aren’t a regular here. Avoid, confuse, then cause bedlam of thoughts and words and notions, is how this rambler works, sometimes 😀 We’re not done yet, that is what I mean 🙂 I mean heck! I haven’t even begun (past 400 words now, in case you need to split from this screen 😛 )

I’ll try and make this easy. He’s the bees knees, he is. A wonderful human, which in turn takes care of everything, does it not. Who’s knee at the moment is undergoing a bit of errr…. reconstruction 😀 You see how I couldn’t not call him the bees knees? He’s known to be a laid back Bahubali (the juniors have given him that title – so that makes me, who? Sivagami! Woah! Thank you Bwoys 😀 ) , someone who’s got everyone’s back, even if his knee is put to risk. Well, he’s the Bees Knees ain’t he? Whether he’s gunning away, full throttle, or easing to an idle, and lazing, binge watching, minding his babies, the right mixture of goofy sport and firm instructions, having a blast with his friends or holding the fort at the Ship, thwacking the youngsters there, or giving them some good advice, rollicking away – through it all one word stands out, which, at one point both he and I would have pooh-poohed 😛 Workaholic? Ask him and he’d certainly deny it, but I know that that is the perception, at least among quite a few.

And of course, as he has said, the secret of him being that way? “Chicken” he answered recently 😀 Whatever, it be, I know that he is the one Sane and Sensible voice in our rather zany family, though he too can collapse into bedlam at any given point! It’s been quite a year, altogether, from last year 🙂 He’s got another lovely daughter, Naira, a more articulate elder daughter, Naina, a beautiful gorgeous partner, Parukutty, and the love of good friends and family 🙂 Apart from a torn ACL, left knee (basketball match ), which had to be reconstructed 🙂 He’s got some much needed rest, and is still to recover completely. However, does that stop him being AWESOME? 😀 😀 😛

Nothing ever will, for this unstoppable offspring o’mine!

Happy day, I know it was, Arjun! Wishing you health, happiness, much more joy that your heart can hold, warm giggles with your girls, and great great times, where you’re headed! Love you to bits!

These are pictures from an early birthday celebration, as he goes in for his review for his knee 🙂

12 April, 2018, Arjun’s birthday 🙂

More from the previous years, here 🙂

2017

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011, and this 2011 again!
2010
And more if you just click HERE 🙂


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These are a few of my favourite things…

… about her, this DIL ka tukda (piece of my heart 🙂 ), an awesome Virgo girl, (LINK) partner in crime to the Lion in our family 🙂 Now you know how he flourishes! All because of this young girl, and the way she’s taken him by the hand and walked beside him, having got his back, being the guiding light, the one who fixes him too, and loves with all that she has, in her heart ❤ and soul 🙂

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Yes, Ashwin, HER! Happy Birthday, Neeti!!! 

As intense as they come and as fiercely loyal as they are, this one all of that and more. My DIL, my Neetikutty, an alter ego of all my quirky self too!Be it movies, the fun ‘ideas’, and the love of books 🙂 Both of us ‘hatke‘, me more, though 🙂 She too strives hard to ensure I stay that hatke! The perfect daughter a mom could have!

I know I’ve spoken about her too, a LOT, on this space, over the years, but what you love and admire about a person ought to be said enough times, I guess, and then some! And so it is with her too…

…like you can call her at any time of day or night, and know you shall hear an answering voice, even in the dead of night. Sometimes even your best buddies don’t, can’t do that!

….when life throws a spanner at you, you kind of reel, in slow motion and yelp and curse, right? She smiles, grabs it, puts it in her tool kit, to use, for tightening a few loose nuts around her, primarily her partner’s 😛 😛

… her sense of style and being able to carry off with grace and elegance, even a homely (hehehe Neeeettiiiiiiii 😛 ) sweatshirt and pants 😛 😛 But really, she’s just plain gorgeous!

….the way she can focus on what needs to be done (yep, I can, you can too, duh! but how long do you stay with it???!! Gotcha!!! 😛 ), and does it!

…. those Time Management skills! I’ve learnt a thing or two from her, about incentivizing (the self, people, the self!!!) and actually making it work! However, I’m still a work in progress! (pun-DUH-intended!!! 😀 )

… her ability to see the big picture, and then heck! join in the fun of circumventing it! The goofiness of a good laugh, thumbing one’s noses at such things… I love that about her!

…her deep deep devotion to those she loves. I still need a few lessons that a way! I’m still learning, as we all are, I know 🙂 But you know how it is, how it comes easy to some people more, over the others? She’s one!

… her generosity of her heart, her time, her work, and yes, her bosses do tend to take advantage of it 😛 Much as that is tagged as a no-no these days, it is something just as refreshing!

This, up  here, isjust a wee bit of what makes that gorgeous, zany, passionate gal who’s my darling Daughter In Law, my DIL, an echo of my own heart – and she celebrates her birthday today!

Happy Birthday Neetikutty! You’re a goo gu’l , you are!!! (remember that awesome night we dragged down the beds onto the floor to watch Eliza Dolittle??!! It was the best!!! And yes, I am a goo gu’l too!!! ) Here’s wishing you life’s best, with love, laughter, warm sunshine, romantic rains, stunning rainbows, and all the colours and passions of life to add to the masterpiece of life you are making, as you journey onward! May the Brush strokes of the powers that be, be gentle, healing, loving and soft! Live life Quantum Size, my dearest daughter! There’s no one else I know who deserves to!

I love you, Neetikutty! God Bless, always!

 

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My fav. pic of you 🙂

30 August, 2017

More, for Neeti:

A Goo’ Gurl She Is!

The Queen of His Heart!

Here’s wishing another dil ka tukda, Keerthi Gautham on her birthday too! Another girl who makes me wonder at how these beautiful souls manage to rise above the things life throws at you, take it in their stride and march on oblivious to it! Lesser souls would pause to catch their breath, not these Amazons of the heart and spirit!

A wisp of clouds in the sky takes her fancy, and her camera’s and she brings to you the most wonderful of pictures, words and stories she creates… our girl on Cloud No. 9! Uma, (her blog is HERE!) you’re wished a wonderful day today, and the best of times ahead too! Big hug!!!

Happy Birthday, you gals, Neeti and Keerthi and Uma!! I love ya’ll!


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Of pigtails and Pig Tales :)

There are certain days, certain people, and certain occasions, for who/which this rambler goes sincerely crazy. Otherwise, she’s just… weird. Yep, this rambler is certified… and she’s also oxymoron 😛
Like in the current flavour of the month (hers-movie wise), where I am at, this movie Moana, she (Moana)  asks her Grandma:
Moana: Why are you acting weird?
Gramma Tala: I’m the village crazy lady. That’s my job.
Kind of sums me up, you’d agree 😀 I’ve watched that movie, most of it, at least three times a day, from 25th of this month. 😛 So I know! And when you do too, enough times, and have a faint personal knowledge, you shall most certainly nod your head in total agreement. In fact, you millennials would probably go… tots bro!
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Ammoomma Monkeying around 😛

Chalo. But this isn’t about the rambler, though she wouldn’t mind wearing pigtails all over again.
It’s about a wee lass, her grammie’s, her Ammumma’s “cutie pie”,  darling, “kujikutty”, her momma’s “chinnooomaaaa”, her Arjun’s delightful daughter. Naina. Duh. 😀
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Pigtails Poser!

That “cutie pie” in pigtails, she’s turning three today. Woah! I tell myself. Three! Wasn’t it just yesterday, around this time I was pretty much worried as hell, because Pratibha had to stay overnight in hospital because of a “false alarm”? When I was all ready to fly across here, on 9 April, because the baby was due only on 11 April? And a few hours into the day, about 9.30 in the morning, I receive a call (expecting Arjun to tell me that Pratibha is back at home!) saying “Amma, a girl!”  It beats me how I found the will (rules and regulations notwithstanding 😛 ) to stay on another week, almost, finish the required work at school, and then head to Nainuland, to hold her in my arms, on 5 April, 2014. Sigh. Sigh… *Wanders off into those memories*… ❤ ❤
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5 April, 2014!

Three years of unmitigated fun, ever’growing love, impossible amounts of laughter, all kinds there are, and the omnipresent, omniscient worry and anxiety, that comes when you have every spare inch of your thoughts filled with a prayer for the well being of this tiny, perfect (and you’d do battle with anyone who says otherwise 😛 ) girl who rules your heart. (Every other member of my family is going to go ballistic when they read this – a certain one for sure, but then the subject of this blog is equally all pervading in her influence, so that voice shall also be concomitant to the views expressed herein 😀 🙂 )
Awesomeness needs no captioning! 😛 …⇑⇑
Not to forget the never diminishing sense of wonder and amazement, the sheer pride that threatens to consume you 😛 when you speak endlessly (yes, grammies are like that, they can’t stop once they start !!!) about every tiny facet of this beautiful gorgeous girl! No matter that she giggles and bursts into a riot of laughter to tell you “You’re sho funny!!!” as you try and gracefully eat spaghetti, saying, Ammoomma eating wiggly worms (laughing uncontrollably…) Ammomma eating wiggly worms” She can call you any kind of names, and you’ll beam with joy that is bundle is actually saying those things! 😛
Sample this. A few friends visited on Sunday, and the conversation turned to children speaking. There were toddlers present, ranging from 1 – 3 years old, and we began to speak of how kids pick up language, English in particular. Nainu has never ceased to amaze us with her range and recollection and her apt usage of the words. Apparently, she was using the word “grumpy” (gwumpy, as she says) with understanding. And her mother was saying, “Arre, I didn’t even know there was a word called grumpy till I was in high school!” Yeah. That sums it up for many readers here as well, right?
So how did she manage this? Exposure to language (my pet soapbox topic 😛 ) She, I do believe, is the finest example I could give you on how you could pick up a language if you surround yourself with it, on your own 🙂 She listens to nursery rhymes, and watches a few films, repeatedly, when she isn’t engaged in role playing with her army of toys, cycling around the house in her tricycle, reading from the tiny books she has, and watching videos of her favourite… wait for it….PEPPA PIG AND HER FAMILY!!! The movies range from Nemo, Tangled, Frozen, and now MOANA! (Those who’ve been in my class will now understand why I would recommend movies, quite apart from their sheer entertainment value 😛 ) Also, Nainu has perhaps picked up the linguistically strong genes from her father too! 🙂
Just a couple of days ago, she  received a set of her Peppa Pig toys, the entire family, consisting of  (yes, I know them ALL!!) Peppa Pig, her brother Georgie Pig, Daddy Pig, Mamma Pig, Granpa Pig (who’s grumpy sometimes 😀 ) and Grandma Pig. She took down her Elsa doll, a toy that moves on wheels, singing away “Let it Go!” , placed Peppa’s family on the petal like protruding bits of the doll, at the base, twirled it, singing Let it Go!!, and toppled the whole family to the ground! She did let them go!
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Naina and her Peppa Pig Collection! The Little one in RED is Peppa Pig!

She speaks quite clearly, my wee lass does. She speaks in English too! Which constantly surprises us, because no one has ever even tried to get her to sample the words and sentences. But she tries, on her own, right or wrong, and is quite oblivious to the joy, and the freak out sessions we have (duh. I have… 😀 ) when I hear her! Once in the car, she asks, Where we going? Once she’s had enough of the outing – Leshsh go home!  At play time, in her grandparents home, her Naani’s home, she asked her cousin to  come out, with a Lets go and build sand castles!  in the sand pit they had outside their home! I mean, Woah Woah Woah, not yet three and she says, sand castles?
The mystery was solved as to her acquisition of that when I was introduced to her Peppa Pig, finally, when I visited her last month. That’s a delightful family of yes, Pigs 🙂 Them brainy brainy creatures, cute as buttons 🙂 Complete with excellent, proper English, in an English accent. 🙂 These are kids (Peppa and Georgie)  who question, are curious, and equally naughty! She loves them so much, that when she was asked about her Birthday and what she wanted, she said Peppa Pig – and now she is the proud owner of a set of them figures, a couple of mugs, a backpack, thanks to Nammu Aunty, and a set of 6 small books! The happy birthday party theme? Duh! 😛
(Random off topic diversion – there had been a link, I shared on Facebook, speaking of how Peppa Pig shows create disobedient children, and cause … of all the things… autism! Cripes! How do people even write such things! Thank you Neethu and Rehan for telling me about it too!)
I hope the title is clearer now. I’m a fan of the entire clan Peppa Pig’s too! I love how stereotypes are broken there, how each of those films she loves has so much to inspire, about following one’s heart, of being cheerful, of having a loving family! It matters so very much what children read and watch, so much! And at this point I cannot not tell you how proud I am of her parents, Arjun and Pratibha, for keeping her grounded, and giving her her head in so many matters, letting her decide too, tiny tiny decisions… 🙂 A shoutout to another amazing person in her life, her Class Teacher from her Yellow Class, in Play School! Sheetal, you are a wonderful wonderful, empathetic teacher, who reaches out and helps foster that spirit of confidence in the tiny tots in your care. I know for certain that you shall ever remain her most favourite teacher in a long long long time. (Psst. I’ll tell you a secret – I’m jealous of how she so utterly  loves you, and even runs to you and hugs you, endlessly 😛 But I’m also glad that her impression of teachers will always be positive, thanks to you! The other teachers in her life have a huge image to aspire to, definitely! 🙂 🙂 )
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Naina and her Sheetal Aunty  – How a Teacher-Student relationship goes beyond … 🙂

 

Yes, I’m waxing poetic here, I know, but that is how this grandmother is. Absolutely, completely, uncompromisingly nutty… about her grandottie!
At almost 1400 words, I still haven’t told you ALL about her. An epic sized book wouldn’t suffice, as any Grandparent would tell you, when it comes to their precious bundles of joy! But yes, let’s leave some for the days and years to come, shall we?
(I heard that Phew!! Thank God, we’re nearing the end of the tunnel kind of sigh of elation  😛 😛 )
Naina. That’s who this is all about. My darling, My Sweetie Pie Naina. My Kunjikutty. Her birthday is today 🙂
Happy Birthday, my darling Nainu! May warm marshmallowy moments, and soft sweet and chocolatey (she loves chocolate 😛 ) dreams fill your realms and keep you sweet. May the craziness and naughtiness you have lead you on to be bright and independent. May the stories you hear and the stories you weave continue to enthrall and delight (she’s quite the story teller, and loves loves loves to have you read to her!  Or read from her own collection of books ❤ )! May the colours (and boy oh boy!! you do know almost ALL of them) fill your life with rainbows of feelings, each one precious and each one a journey to your own self. May you be blessed with good health, and this same sunny disposition! And may you continue to enchant us all and keep us loved and loving ❤ ❤
Psst… Thank you to her lovely parents too! Arjun and Pratibha, who’ve consistently given me parenting lessons, all my grandma wisecracks notwithstanding 😛 , for their patience and encouragement, and letting her have her head, or reigning in her over enthusiastic explorations, when occasion warrants it 🙂 May you continue to do your job just as wonderfully…! Blessed be!
Sigh. Sigh. I love you Nainu! Happy birthday sweeti pie!
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28 March, 2017
Birthday Blogs for Naina ❤
2015 (LINK)
2016 (LINK)


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That Virgo Woman

A pretty spectacle. Pretty. Spectacle. Decidedly determined. All spine. Made of steel too. Not just that. Loyal to the core.

“Her eyes are cool pools of pure love, and when she smiles, she can light up a whole room with her radiance. Better keep her”, said Linda Goodman. “You may never get so lucky again.”

 

I know I got lucky. He got lucky too, when he met her. And they kept each other, in the hallowed house of matrimony. They were pretty young when they did make that house, but you see, that is what it is about that Virgo Woman – you had better get her, for you might not get so lucky again. And he knew that, did he not? 😉

She’s not the sort, like her Leo partner, who’d make that entry and crack the wisecracks there be, but you betcha you’d notice her, there’s a mysterious, quiet, waiting quality in this woman, and “passion of the spirit” , a romance with life, if you will – knowing what comes and what goes, and where one deals with the realities and dreams of life.

She’s known what she’s about. Ever since I have known here, that is the one thing that struck me about her – a quietness, but a waiting quietness; a knowing; a knowing about those she cares, and tends to, with that same fierceness of one who realizes it is on her. No compromises there. 🙂 Told ya. We got lucky 🙂 ❤

There is a world of love, this moment, that envelops her, reaching out, from a hemisphere and half a world, as she waits patiently for ME 😛 to get to her, in a week’s time, from all of us, here! It would have meant so much to us, and duh 😀 her, for only she be missing in the midst of this family, here in the N. Hemisphere, and she be in the S. Hemisphere 🙂 For she celebrates her birthday, as the clock strikes midnight, four hours ahead of us here, and we begin her celebrations, in earnest, sending out our prayers, blessings, wishes and much much much love from each of us, starting with the littlest… Ammini 😛 , Changaran, Kunju… Nainu, Arun, Archana, Paru, Arjun, Kuttan, Paru (4 legged 😛 ) , Appu, Kiru, Lakshmi, Abhi, N’ammai, G’amman, Chitta, Anu, Viju, Trips, Vinu, Mush, Ammumzzz… and of course, and Ash… and the awesome writer of this blog… to who she is her DIL 🙂 🙂 🙂 😛 😛 😛

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Haapppieeeee Neeetiiiiii!!!!!

 

Happiieeeeee Neetikutty! It’s going to be a mindblowingly, jawdroppingly, amazing year. Has to be. It can’t not. 🙂 🙂 When the collective of the wishes are the sort we’re capable of generating, it WILL Danged BE 😛 😛 As it always has been 🙂 😀

And, by the way, I’ve actually succeeded in making the awesomest wish ever, in under 500 words!

God Bless, always, Neets 🙂 Love you soh soh soh much much much!

For 30 August, 2016

Missing you so much!