Archive for the ‘Bliss’ Category

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Finding my feet…and foot

28 November , 2018

Now THERE are some words of wisdom! Remember this one kids. It’s so true…

These two, thick as thieves and getting more so every day. I just love watching them together.

I can’t remember if I mentioned it in my last post, but Nicola has blossomed into a full on Daddy’s girl…guess she was just waiting for the right father figure.

It’s “a bit” of an adjustment not being my pink terrorist’s favourite parent anymore,or at the time being anyway. Haha, I’m not complaining, mind you…just adjusting. Can’t really want to be a two parent house and still have a single parent mindset, can I? What makes it infinitely easier than my previous attempt at white-picket-fenceness is that Andy is just as attached and invested in Nicola as she is in him.

Lots of love all round…

Look at our beautiful Hibiscus. Definitely summer now. I wish I had leave and some cash, I could totally pretend to be a beach bum for a week or two.

This has been one hell of a year…

Where we stay now our stove is a gas situation. As luck would have it, and as we’ve sort of expected would happen for some time now, the gas ran out right in the middle of dinner prep one night.

We Mcguyvered it with a little impromptu braai! Not so secretly, I think we were all thrilled. It was a nice change, and Andy’s been dying to try out the braai for ages.

Of course at a braai, even a McGuyver one, you can have a little drink. Only thing is my wine glasses are still in storage, so I had it in a cooldrink glass. Andy giggled at me about my choice of receptacle until I pointed out that he was having a beer out of a flower pot, haha! (Not really, it’s a German Beer mug made of pottery – but it really looks like a flower pot).

A good time was had by all… 😀

My happy…

We’re using these camp T-shirts as pajamas, and the stars aligned one night and we all had them on at the same time. So Nicola called for a selfie.

Some lovely words on Time that I spotted at the Slow Lounge in Sandton.

I have a proper boo-boo.

You may or may not remember that I broke this bloody foot a few years ago? Well it’s been fine since then, and then all of a sardine it felt like I had a bone sticking out under the skin. You can sort of see the knob on this photo, below the pinky toe halfway between the toe and the heel. And it is sore! Look at my poor puffer foot!

I would have probably left it, but the pain became a bit unbearable so I dragged my sorry self off to the doctor for X-rays and a diagnosis.

Good news…sort of…it’s not a bone sticking out.

It’s something called Capsulitus, which is apparently quite common although I have never heard of it before. There’s a membrane around the bones, especially in joints, filled with liquid that helps movement, and when you spring a leak this is what happens (amongst other things, seriously don’t google this, it’s gross!). So in a nutshell, I’m leaking hydraulic liquid and it’s causing this hard bone like thing to stab me, and a fair amount of pain and inflammation.

I have been stabbed in the but with anti-inflammatory and cortisone, and I got a script for more of the same (I would have had the tablets by now, but the current medical aid and I are having some artistic differences around my day-to-day cover now that I’ve given them notice that I plan to move to another medical aid – so I’ll go get the meds after pay day).

The long and the short (and the puffy) of it is that this treatment has a not so spectacular 20% chance of sorting out my issue, and in the likely event that it does not I will have to go for a small operation on my foot to sort it out.

Good times…Maryna reminded me that should this end up needing an operation she would pray for the safety of those around me. I get very aggressive from anesthesia. Hahaha, I almost forgot about that! *Note to self* Remind them again that it would probably be best to strap me down while I’m asleep, they won’t be able to once I wake up, and I don’t want to hurt anyone or rip my stitches.

In case you just thought I had canckles in general, here are some reference shots of what my feet usually look like when I’m not leaking vital fluids into odd bone-like bubbles.

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Results are in!

8 October , 2018

I phoned and emailed and carried on with no results all day. The suspense was not great…

Eventually tracked down my GP in the hope that they maybe sent him a copy, and yay they did!

Not cancer – phew!

Something that can hopefully be cleared up with a SERIOUS dose of antibiotics and a follow up sonar.

My relief and thankfulness knows no bounds!

Thank you to each and every one who has messaged and or called and kept me in your thoughts and prayers.

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Venterskroon 2018

3 October , 2018

These past few days we had the opportunity to attend our third Venterskroon camp with the Voortrekkers. This is our thing, really the one camp we make sure we never miss!

It was fun and sad at the same time for many reasons. Fun…because duh! Venterskroon! And sad for us personally because we missed Andy. He was supposed to come with but couldn’t due to work that had to be done. Bittersweet in general for many of the campers as one of the main organisers who everyone had camped with for many many years passed away shortly after last year’s camp. Whenever you saw someone looking a bit glum off to the side, it was usually one of those moments where they remembered what he would have done or said in this particular case. Lots of hugs were given, the kids seemed more or less oblivious to the undertone and just got on with enjoying their camp as they always do.

It was incredibly hot, dry and dusty. If you see that in the photos…imagine it at least 3 times hotter and drier and dustier than that! On the way there we almost thought we’d end up having a wet camp, since we drove through two storms on the way there…wet camping is not for the feint hearted, I’ll take the dusty over the muddy any day of the week.

Anyhoo, the photos tell the story much better than I can – so let’s jump straight in.

Nicola and bestie L at the start of the camp. You can tell because they’re still more or less spotless and their hair is brushed.

I lent my tent to Nicola and two of her friends to sleep in and set up in her tent instead. It’s just for sleeping in after all. I dubbed it the Barbie-dream-house tent and I’m sure I would have been perfectly fine in it, but Silezia took pity on me and insisted that I bunk with her instead in a more grown up tent, hahaha!

Estelle and I. Let the selfie fest begin! We helped out at registration and had a little catch up. Estelle was our course leader last year, and we have shared loads of laughs!

Tents, tents and more tents! This works fine. When I was a kid we usually camped in those massive army tents and the groups got mingled. I sometimes think that that might have been a better way to get to know other kids. (And to keep tents tidy)

Nicola and pals…

First assembly in the making. Look how clean everyone was!

Nicola and L in the queue for dinner. I love taking un-posed photos like these.

Marietjie and I – selfie. Marieks was in my team when we were in school. We’ve known each other FOREVER! Lots of great chats during the camp. Dankie Marietjie!

This is what about 500 hungry kids look like waiting for dinner.

Pretty sunset over the mountain.

Everyone is colour co-ordinated with hats so that it’s easy to spot someone who’s not where they’re supposed to be. Also somewhat helpful to keep the sun off your face. 😉

Nicola’s team did the Spoorkennis badge this camp. Sort of like intro to tracking, and the course leader gave each of us a camo buff. Too cute, although it makes us look a bit dodgy. This thing is incredibly handy, let me tell you! It’s my first one so I was a bit oblivious to all it’s many uses, but I’m on it now and I don’t think I will ever camp without one again.

Firstly, you can use it as a scarf or mask – which is kind of obvious. If it’s super windy and cold, like it was on one or two evenings, you can pull it up under your cap to keep your ears and head warm too. You can also use it like ear muffs for when 500 kids are screaming team chants at each other, or when you go to sleep so that you don’t hear the wind howling round the tents. Apparently you can also soak it in water and keep yourself cool on hot days with it round your neck. I haven’t tried that yet, only cottoned on to that use on the last day – thanks Andries, it never even occurred to me!

Morning has broken. This was after my guard duty, just before the kids started stirring. You don’t actually guard, it’s more like being on the lookout for kids who sleepwalk, or cry or cough so that you can help them. Everyone gets a turn and it usually turns in to an interesting chat with people from other groups in the same shift as you.

Cutie pies…

My cutie pie…

K, L and Nicola – tent mates. Those girls don’t keep a tidy tent at all, hahaha! I actually made a decision not to go look after the first morning. It just made me twitch, and I didn’t want to deprive them of the opportunity to experience the big clean up on the last day.

Me, Nicola and Silezia…

Campers getting ready for the day ahead.

Elize, who was our course leader – doing morning Bible reading and chat with the kids.

Nicola doesn’t do cereal or bread or eggs, so camp breakfast food is usually a challenge for her. She won’t eat it. And then by 10:00 she’ll turn into captain cranky pants. So for everyone’s safety I pack her a little sandwich bag of biltong per day.

Elize and Willem, the two course leaders for our group. The group was soooo big they had to split it into two more manageable groups – 78 in total! And then within our group we further divided them into four smaller groups for when you need to follow tracks or spot animals.

Yummy breakfast one morning.

Learning about camo.

The kids got to paint themselves with shoe polish. Nicola went for the minimalist approach.

Wild things…

L with her camo face on…

N with the least amount of face polish on…

When in Rome and so on…

Off to go find animals in the ostrich camp.

We went in with the female, who left us to our own devices. The male is a bit more territorial as I understand it.

I think you can see how dry and hot it was there.

I just liked the look of this branch. So now you have to look at it too. 😉

Taking a short break to drink water and catch our breaths.

Salt lick, thoroughly enjoyed by the animals in this camp. Imagine how much licking this thing sees to make the dents in that crystal.

I also just liked the look of this telephone pole. You’re welcome. Oh, obviously hardly any cellphone coverage in Venterskroon. If you’re on Vodacom you can get about three bars in two or three spots on the camp, but anyone on any other network had no chance whatsoever.

L-bestie nursing a knee graze.

Hungry kids ready for lunch. I felt like we were more or less eating all day, but we certainly burnt off all that energy. Very very busy!

Other L in camo. She went all out!

The sign for Go Home. I was very ready to head back to camp at this point. The other parent who was helping out at our sub-sub-group was very knowledgeable about all sorts of things and the kids learnt plenty – which is awesome – but I usually drive a desk in mild temperatures so the extra miles we walked in the blistering heat in search of this knowledge had my tongue on the floor with exhaustion.

As hot as it is there in general, the exact opposite is true of this pool. It’s very cold, and a great place to cool down after a never ending walk chasing springbok and blesbok around an ostrich camp.

Nicola and I at the pool…

You know I love these hand shots. Whenever I get the chance, I take it.

Silezia and a few of our girls…

Important to drink lots and lots of water! I think I drank about 3 liters or more a day myself. And I walked round watering anyone who looked a bit wilted too.

Bordesakkies…nothing says camping with the Voortrekkers like rows and rows of these bags. Everyone brings their own plate, bowl, mug and cutlery and this rack of pegs is where they live between meal times.

Oops, I’ve been spotted taking photos…

Isn’t it pretty?

And this…also pretty! Aren’t we lucky that we get to spend time in these wide open spaces? I love it!

Selfie with Nicola that she decorated to send to Andy…so sweet. Andy says we look like cute little terrorists with our buffs on. 😆

Giggles with tannie Maryna.

Another gorgeous sunrise…

Maryna’s hubby Chris, who is a tent master. I suggested that he present a course on how to put up and take down tents, because he is the only person who can get mine to fit in it’s bag like the manufacturers do. Actually he folds it so neatly, you could probably fit two tents in there!

Frikkie, Anna and Ex-Frikkie. Neither of the Frikkies are actually named Frikkie. It’s like a mix between a camp mascot and the ring master. Frikkies have to keep the program moving along smoothly and resolve any discipline problem between the kids. Anna is almost like the Frikkie of the grown ups, not so much the running of the program but resolving any disputes and keeping morale high.

She also keeps up a steady supply of hat decorations. Hoed foefies is what I’ve decided to call them. Everyone loves them and those who have been camping for many years look like Christmas trees!

Nicola and I. It was the 40th birthday of this camp, and there were many celebrations held. every camper also received a purple camp T-shirt as a gift.

The bus. I love riding the bus, it’s hilarious!

After morning parades the officers get on the bus and march up and down and do odd things in a very disciplined manner. It’s hard to explain, you need to ride the bus to fully understand its magic.

A sea of purple shirts…

Maryna and Maryna, at it again.

Oh my goodness, we had such a laughing fit during the course!

Elize was taking questions from the kids and one girl asked what should you do if someone gets bitten by a snake? Elize said that it’s very important to find out what kind of snake because the doctors needed to know what anti-venom to give the patient. Then she went on a bit about snakes in general, and I must have temporarily checked out a bit in my head from heat exhaustion. What caught my ear next was when she said, “How will you get him calm?” And I thought, the snake? Why does it matter what he feels like? She said, “First thing, get him to lie down…” and in my head I’m seeing a snake and thinking lying down shouldn’t be a problem since it doesn’t have legs. “And put him in the shade…” Oh no no no…this is very reckless, we shouldn’t be telling kids to move snakes. “So that his heart can beat as slow as possible…” aaaah, okay – I think she’s talking about the patient and not the snake.

I look at my fellow Maryna and I see she’s looking just as confused as I was, so I tell her it’s the patient and not the snake. She says, “Oh riiiight!” and we burst out into a fit of giggles imagining someone trying to calm down a snake by making it lie down in the shade. We could NOT stop laughing. I still giggle when I think about it actually.

French toast breakfast – yumm!

The girls…

Selfie with Elize…

On the Sunday they got this very high energy dominee in to do the service. This guy was amazing and so funny! I tried to take a video but something went a bit pear shaped with my phone just then (I think I ran out of space and it got flustered and flushed the video).

Seriously so good! If he was closer I would definitely go to that church.

Our course head quarters.

Frikkie came to have a friendly anti-bullying chat with the youngens.

More watering…soooo hot!

This kid was taking no chances with sunblock. Go big or go home, right?

Nicola and L…in the background you can see the inflatables that they got for the kids to play on as part of the camp birthday celebrations.

Anything can be a chair if you’re tired enough…

Maryna, literally hugging a tree for shade…

One of the other courses made these bird feeders. I just liked the look of it, so you get to see it too.

Love this T-shirt!

Maryna, me and Silezia…

My friend Ina, who spends most of her camp in one of the outside rough it groups.

She congratulated me on raising Nicola right, haha! Apparently she wanted Nicola to come give her a hug, and Nicola just told her “I don’t know you.” She thought maybe Nicola didn’t recognise her with the hat so she took it off. Nicola looked her up and down and said, “I still don’t know you.” 😆

To be fair, Nicola has met her…but doesn’t exactly KNOW her, hahaha!

Very peculiar, but very practical hiking shoes of M – she led our walk up the mountain and she’s as nimble as a goat!

Chris and Maryna…

Me, Mariska and Maryna…getting ready for our turn to dish up.

Andries leads the kitchen on this camp and the food is always amazing!

The girls, telling me about the wind that squished their tents during the night…

Mieliepap for 550 people in the making…

Me and Tanya. This woman is like an energiser bunny! And I don’t think I have ever seen her in a bad mood. If you could bottle this kind of spirit and sell it, you’d make a fortune!

The kids are woken up by horn in the mornings…

Maryna and Maryna, this machine runs on coffee and plenty of it. Although I had a lot less than last year!

Pap-worm! What a genius way to carry many pots with few hands! 😆

Poor Attie…the best signal was to be found in the smoking area away from the kids of course. He had work to do, so joined us for some second hand smoke.

Estelle, Maryna and Maryna…

Another yummy breakfast…

Our mountain hike…holey macaroni I’m unfit!

Ian and myself…

Ian and his baby L…

Venterskroon gifted L with this very special rock…so cute!

Mariska, Tanya and Silezia…

Myself and Anna…

Tanya and Liana…they are both energiser bunnies!

The kids prepping to make hand prints on the volleyball court…

Yumm…home, or errr camp-made ginger beer (no kick variety). This was really delicious!

Pretty evening star over the washing line…

Campfire concert on the last night…

The lighting ceremony…

Love this photo where you can see the sparks flying…

All the kids by fire light…that fire was HUGE!

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Mmmm, coffeeeeee…

At this point I was really super grateful that I didn’t end up in the Barbie dream house tent, since my legs were pretty useless after following the “she-goat” up a mountain. I couldn’t crawl into anything if my life depended on it!

A last night party for the grown ups to celebrate the camp’s 40 years and this particular camp.

Our last sunrise at Venterskroon for this year…

Last morning Bible session with the course…

Cutie pies at breakfast…you can now clearly see what hair looks like that hasn’t been brushed for 5 days. 😆

I liked this marshmallow tree they made…Estelle laughed at me when I said, it’s a little bit like life. Jy moet die soet saam met die steek vat. 😉

A sea of purple…

Nicola’s hand print. Freshly liberated from the volleyball court.

Packing up time…

Camp closing ceremony…

I have a little bit of pebble envy for L’s heart shaped pebble, but I feel like I got a good one too. Strongly suspect this one might be a piece of meteorite, but even if it’s not then I still love it for the jaunty little stripe thing it has going on.

Nicola and I started a tradition a while ago, where we always pick one rock to take home for our bookshelf when we go somewhere on a vacation or an adventure. So this is our Venterskroon 2018 rock.

Thank you everyone! It was another fantastic camp and we’ll definitely be back next year for our annual top up of dust, fun, laughs and love…

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Let me catch you up…

11 September , 2018

What a month!

I have had the best time ever. Seriously, so many changes in such a short time – but all of them good, so complaints from me.

Firstly, on the work front I have done something that I have never done before. Applied for positions while still employed, hahaha! Every single job I have ever started has been as either a temp or a contractor and then they decided to keep me. So a big first for me. I am starting in my new position in October, and I am very excited about it.

Secondly, on the home front we have moved in with Andy. We all moved into his garden cottage, so it is TIGHT…or if you’re being generous it is cosey, but it is filled to the brim with love and laughs and all three of us are doing great with the new living arrangements. The plan is to look into a bigger place early next year.

That’s the major highlights in a nutshell…now for some of my favourite pictures over the last month.

Cuddle puddle at a visit to my cousin…

Nicola, trying her hand at Sims on an old built up computer…

 

Lets just say I didn’t miss my calling as a dog groomer…Polka, sporting a seriously layered look. I was tired of sorting out “passengers” out of her winter woolies. Every second day the seasons seem to change their mind around here, so I haven’t taken her to the parlour yet for her serious spring shave. Interim haircut…check!

Birthday party for my old boarding school roommate…

Hahaha, definitely my baby…

Lofty and I…love you buddy!

This is my daughter who does not like hugging people! She has decided Andy belongs to her too. These two, just make my heart mush to see them together.

So serious…

Look, I was also there! Birthday party for my friend Fluffbunny…

New bed bought selfie… 😉

The school’s box car day…

More fun at the box car day. They had water slides for the kids too, if you were a bit confused about the swim suit.

My dad after his serious spring shave…he had received a few enquiries for Christmas bookings at this point already, hahaha!

Moving day…it’s a jungle out there! Just part of my portable garden. I still actually have 3 or 4 pots to move.

Our office…

So cute…I love this!

Nicola has really blossomed. Without prompting she washes dishes, makes coffee (first time ever and it was STRONG as she decided two spoons coffee was the way to go!). It makes me really happy to see her gaining self confidence to do things herself, even when she doesn’t get it 100% first time every time.

This kid is a speed reader! She grabbed one of my Harry Potter books off the bookshelf and half an hour later she was about 80 pages deep into it.

We have a mother-trucking HUGE bee hive in the roof! I stepped on one. My poor toe looked like a little sausage for two days. If all goes according to plan they will relocate them this week. If all works out to desire, we will get some honey out of this in the process too…yumm!

On our way to a meeting…

Me and my Bfly, after the meeting…

Some selfies with a few of my amazing team members. These guys…I’m really going to miss them.

Nicola is man down with some bacterial airway infection. She has more or less been asleep and at 40’C for three days now. Poor baby, wish I could take it on on her behalf.

I had a rip roaring scuffle with the bloody medical aid about the meds the doctor prescribed on Monday. I pay R4223 per month for us to be on medical aid, and they won’t bloody pay for the cough syrup because it has cortisone in it, and the spectacular co-payments because I won’t be painted into a generic corner was also ridiculous. I have money available in my day-to-day benefits…thousand…and they won’t pay. Assholes. I let them have it!

Not fucking impressed. I am now in the market for a proper medical aid for next year. Suggestions welcome.

Truly, it was a super blue Monday. Sick Nicola, and then my car’s battery decided to unceremoniously die. Grrr…

My hibiscus plant flashing me hearts last night. It obviously saw I needed a little pick me up.

How are you all doing?

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Happy Birthday to me!

8 August , 2018

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The big FOUR-OOOOOOoooh…

Can you believe it? I can hardy believe it myself. To be honest, for a large part of my life I was pretty sure I would never get here. Interesting things always happen to me, it usually doesn’t make for a long life. I don’t know why, but I was convinced I’d be dead before I hit 40.

I am glad I was wrong though, because I am really enjoying still being alive! I might be enjoying it more than most of what has come before it. Life is GRAND! I can’t wait to see what happens next. 😀

Interesting things still happen to me, but it looks like I have a knack for surviving them somehow – so I guess I’m here to stay.

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What am I doing to celebrate this milestone?

Not much really – haha! I’m having my brother-bear and his peeps over for dinner tonight, and possibly playing a little hooky from work today (there’s no “possible” about this really – I’m definitely doing that!).

I did have plans to go to the forest and surround myself with green and peace and quiet for a couple of days, but it didn’t work out the way I wanted to so I’ll have to take a rain check on that adventure. It’s okay though, I’m not stressed about it in the least.

What I’m not doing is having a party. It’s not really my thing anyway, why should this birthday be different? Some of my friends are going to be really pissed about this. Love you guys lots, but enjoy you most in one on ones, not large crowds. 😉

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It’s my day, and I am seizing it!

I am going to have some laughs and take it easy…and do whatever the hell I want to…

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And take a few moments to count all my blessings…because I so have MANY!

Thank you all for being part of my journey.

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Exhale…

5 August , 2018

This is more or less when things usually go pear shaped for me, but it is just getting better and better. ❤

And instead of running or pulling away, he runs towards me and pulls me closer…every chance he gets.

Is this how it is for you guys who have working relationships? I like it…I like it a lot. I can see why you’ve been going on about it for all these years.

It is wonderful NOT having to wonder if the rug is going to be yanked out from under you any second now. It is incredibly liberating to feel safe and trusted. And it is absolutely mind blowing to feel like you can’t get enough of someone, and to KNOW that they feel exactly the same. 😁🔥

And it is breathtakingly fantastic to be with someone who doesn’t tolerate my daughter, but genuinely enjoys her for who she is and revels along with me in all her quirks and special traits.

Bliss…pure bliss.

We are having a roast off to see whose roast is the best. We are doing it in turns though and Andy got the first go.

It was yummy…I have my work cut out for me.

Nicola…tablet on the trampoline 🤣

So cute!

Well halloooo there blossom…

So sweet…

Happy us…

My little miracle…

Obviously very comfortable…

Dance to your own beat my little terrorist ❤ you always bring the magic…

A Nicola burrito. Apparently our queue to go home…

Mine…

This wet noodle was a I-want-to-go-home burrito 5 minutes ago?

Life is unbelievably good. There are A LOT of things weighing on me at the moment…but this isn’t one of them.

This is my happy.

If I’m dreaming, don’t wake me up.

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All the love…

21 July , 2018

Everything is going so well, I really couldn’t be happier!

Nicola and Andy adore each other…and team up against me…hahaha! I don’t even mind really. It’s lump in the throat business this.

And the very straightforward, sometimes reserved (obviously not anymore when it comes to Andy) Nicola, asked him how he would feel if she called him daddy? And he said he’d like it very much. So she said, cool, when he marries me she will – and she thinks next month would be a great time for that! 😆

We are not quite planning a wedding for next month, but it’s super cute to see how the two of them interact and love each other. If I’m dreaming, please don’t wake me up!

Some photos:

Us at Monte Casino Bird Park last weekend…

Going for a walk…or a carry in Nicola’s case…through the vlei.

Andy and I built an army of fondant bunnies for baby shower cupcakes my mom needed to make…

See? I built the spares and he put them together.

Water fight between my two loves…

I just like this…

Pulling funny faces…

Andy built Nicola an apple swan, cause she saw it online and thought it would look cool…

Dressed for dinner at Andy’s…

Mmmmine…

Us…

Clowning around…

Look at Nicola’s eyes hahaha!

Love this photo!

Blurry one of us eating her up cause she’s so cute!