Posts Tagged ‘Family’

How you doing people? To my Nigerian readers, what did you get up to for the holidays?

I went to Lagos, spent some quality time with my best friend Wunmi, and her son (my godson, duh). Nothing like family!

Dodging the sun vs. basking in the awesome lighting! This is such a great and awful photo at the same time, lol.

I must also confess that my diet was abandoned (which is what good people do during holidays, lol) so I’m typing this from the treadmill, trying to redeem myself.

It was also a good opportunity for me to focus on myself, and the exhaustion I’ve been feeling lately. I’m grateful for the massages, the sleep, the absolute rest I was able to achieve. So thankful.

A bit about my best friend before I move on… She’s an amazing, real chic. Like, I know I’m going to contend with her swollen head later but she’s one of the strongest women I know, an amazing worker, even more supportive wife and mom, and I’m just thankful for her today. Get yourself a bestie like mine!

Okay, Wunmi worship done, here’s the reason I decided to write this. So, it’s still raining in Abuja for reasons I cannot fathom. It rained from 4pm yesterday till about 11pm when I fell asleep. Why? Sigh. Plus it was thundering like God was scolding us (anyone understand thunder-speak?) and totally defeated the ‘weather for two’ purpose of the rain. Just as well since Bobo is far away at the moment.

Anyway, so I was trying to get home when the rain subsided a little bit and there was traffic. Not the Lagos type of traffic that can last an entire pregnancy term but it was bumper to bumper on what should have been an express lane.

I trudged through it, and then around my area, I ran into some traffic as well. A little pissed off at the time I’d already spent navigating traffic, I decided to leave the inner (speed) lane I was on, and get ahead using the outer lane. Was quick for all of five minutes and then I realised I hadn’t factored in that I would have to contend with the ‘keke napep’ riders who use that lane.

I struggled in that lane a little bit, trying to avoid the keke riders who do not see the need to indicate but feel the need to stop abruptly wherever they please, or even the ones who tried to scrape my car in the name of driving rough getting ahead.

When I narrowly missed one of them rear-ending me, I asked myself why I was raising my blood pressure on a lane that ended up not giving me the speed I’d hoped for, and then quietly moved back to where I was earlier.

I thought about it before I slept last night and tried to relate it to everyday living and humans switching lanes thinking someone else has it better than we do. In truth, sometimes they do but we don’t know what else they have to deal with that we don’t. So before we jump into something we’re not ready for in the name of the grass being greener on the other side, maybe think through it a bit more carefully?

PS: I will blog more. It’s a super distraction while I’m jogging on the treadmill. Been using this app called Couch to 10k, I’m in the 7th week, and I did 2.5miles today (25 minutes non stop). Talk about progress, when I started I was barely doing 5 minutes without gasping like I was being strangled. Can’t wait to do a full 5k! Yeah, I’ve never done that before.

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How’s everyone doing?

Good weekend? Ready for the week? This is going to be one of my busiest but I thought I’d take a few minutes and say a big hello to everyone, play catch up a bit.

So my niece and nephew were ill, one had malaria and a tummy bug, and the other one had a cold that stretched at least two weeks, and she still had it after she gave it to me. We spent small time in the hospital, and that’s where the story about blood donation came from (I published that recently).

I’ve also done a bit of local travel, looking forward to when I can take a proper holiday… I owe myself two – one for my birthday and the other because life is short and we should take time off to rest and be quiet when we can. Amen?

God dey.

Work is alright… Moved into a new office in June and we’re getting settled in really nicely. Really thankful to God for that, and the immediate possibilities I see for expansion.

Still on work, got two interesting referrals recently, a stark reminder that clients, no matter how little, matter and an excited client post your custom might make a difference as much as 24 months after. I’m really thankful for the referrals, and now just need God’s help to ensure that we beat the standards we’re being held to. Amen?

On Saturday I was privileged to speak at my church’s business/entrepreneur summit, and I drew my topic/talk from some work I’d done for a client recently. I spoke on minding the gaps and facing the direction of travel. Corny I know but it was a good opportunity to fuse my love for trains with my experiences as a student, an employee, and now an employer. It was interesting for me to talk about some of the lessons I’ve learned, and how each step leads to the next, and the next, and the next. It was also very instructive to talk about the place of God in business, and the mistakes I’ve made simply because I ignored the still small voice telling me no. I had a good time, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

What else? I’m happy. Sweet baby Jesus this daughter of God is happy. I am joy-like-a-river, peace-like-a-fountain, love-like-an-ocean brand of happy. Such a beautiful feeling. Everything in my life; experiences, joy, sadness, mistakes, successes; everything that I have seen has prepared me for where I am now, and I am thankful to God for His many blessings and precious gifts. There’s a new mercy every single day! And I’m loving it!

Finally, I need to get back in the gym. Don’t know why I’m typing this instead of renewing my membership but yeah, this child needs to be back in that place where more calories are burnt than piled on. Yep. This week is out of the question sha, and I’m not bothered in the least what you think! *sticks tongue out*

Finally finally, lol. My nephew moves to reception next school session! Whoop! He’s officially a big boy now! Interestingly, he’s slowly outgrowing the millions of hugs and kisses I drown him in, and he’s only four! I thought they didn’t start all of that till much later? Arrrrrghhhh! Bring back my baby! *sad face*

Finally finally finally, I got a birthday gift yesterday… I know o, this is still for the birthday that passed in May. Is the Lord laying it on your heart to send me a pressie? Harden not your heart biko!

How have you been? Are you keeping okay? Are you doing well? Want to share? Please do!

Mwah!

PS: A song in the back of my mind for a few days now has been “we are h-a-p-p-y, we are h-a-p-p-y, we know we are we are sure we are, we are h-a-p-p-y!” (If you went to primary school in Nigeria this should ring a bell… or two… or three… or four… I’ll stop here)!

I’ve got family on the blog today! Whoop!!

Ejike is one of my older cousins, married to a really lovely lady, and they have two children with the best names (he didn’t share so I won’t… we don’t want you people to copy our names biko)!

His father is one of my favorite uncles and is super close to my dad, and I have very fond memories of hanging out at their house in the village when we were much younger. Not just my siblings and I, all the cousins! I remember bathing behind a massive metal tank in their compound (don’t judge, we were kids) with my female cousins, and all of us trooping out on Christmas Day to visit extended family to ‘tax them’, eat, play, and then move on. Most times we’d end up back at their house for dinner (which we would funnily end up eating outside, gisting as loudly as children can be), bathing (girls first, then the boys), then trooping to another uncle’s (or not) to sleep.

Memories I hope we can recreate with our own children. Dunno how yet, but I know it’s possible, even if it’s summer holidays or something like that. 

Maybe one of the next time I run the series I will feature only Agwuegbo’s, maybe call it ‘One day one Agwuegbo’, or An Agwuegbo a day’, I don’t know but I’m loving the idea already! And there’s enough of us to really pull this off!

Here’s my cousin Ejike everyone!

I’m Ejike Agwuegbo, Ibo descent, raised in Lagos. I’m married to an amazing wife and have 2 lovely children as part of the marriage benefits. I am a Fish Farmer by profession.

As the year 2015 winds down, one philosophy that keeps me going is “No man should measure his success by comparing with another man but by comparison with where he’s coming from”.

I am grateful for my immediate and extended family. The year has brought unimaginable joy into my home. In October we welcomed our son into world without complications. My 3 years old daughter is excelling in her studies. My amazing wife who has been my rock in all circumstances waxed stronger all through the year churning out different business ideas. Most importantly, we didn’t spend our resources in the hospital. Those who know me will testify that I’ve got the best siblings in the world and they made 2015 rock.

Having left the banking industry after 6 years of service to set up my Fish Farm in 2014, I must say the journey hasn’t been easy (as is the case with most start-ups) but in 2015 we achieved some expansion, modified our processes and have recorded greater returns.

I’m grateful for my close circle of friends who I wouldn’t trade for anything in this world. While the world is on a melt down, there’s virtually no month that goes by without something to celebrate.

Things I wish to undo;

Reneging on my vow to draw closer to God and His Word. Sunday sermons are just not enough.

As 2016 draws closer, I ask for the grace to help more people in need than I did this year and believe that more business ideas will be actualized.

Thank you Chioma for this opportunity to express myself.

 

Big bro!

Big bro!

Whoop! You’re welcome AGK, thank you for honoring my blog! Here’s to bigger successes in 2016 and many more reasons to celebrate!

PS: I have to come eat fish at yours soonest!

Every now and then you meet someone (even if virtually) who is such an encourager they act like they’re not on this same earth with all the attendant issues. That’s Eloho. From the first time she popped up on my timeline (I don’t know how) I’ve never seen her say an unkind word or anything that doesn’t uplift a spirit.

And she loves Jesus. Icing on the cake, or maybe the cake itself!

It’s so magical though, the way she is. And I’m sure you’ll love her entry as much as I did! She’s super special, and that’s why she’s up today, Christmas Day! Merry Christmas to you, and you, and you!

My name is Eloho, I am a financial analyst in Lagos, Nigeria and when I’m not doing that, I love to sing, read and just live life one day at a time experiencing God’s ‘stupendous grace.’ I also love kids, and love to see people happy and walking in purpose.

What did I learn? Let’s say I learned a whole lot. Let’s go

  • I learned that God IS!!! He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Like a pancake, seems like God turned me over just as I turned light brown to give me this assurance.
  • I learned that what we know will be tested and we had better be ready. 2015 tested my faith, my resolve and trust in God deeper than the most recent years. But I learned that God’s grace is sufficient, He doesn’t allow more than we can bear.
  • I learned about perspective and timing. It’s a new day at midnight, you know. But the only reason I can celebrate the new day is because I have knowledge and a clock. It’s the same thing with life. My attitude and response to the darkness is a function of my perspective.
  • I learned from my 6-year-old cousin, that ‘nice is different than good…’ Doing what is right and good doesn’t always feel nice but it is the proper thing to do. I’m still learning not to let the fact that the right decision might hurt someone stop me from going ahead to make it.
  • I learned that wisdom is greater than weapons of war. Not every time fight, sometimes just apply wisdom.
  • I learned that ‘Peace is a radar’, far above anything. It is the compass for my life’s journey. Constantly in my face is the image of boiling water and the lack of a reflection therein. Peace is all I need for clarity and if anything ceases to bring me peace, it has to go.
  • I learned that when we think we are infallible in a certain area, we set ourselves up to fail because we are least prepared in that area. Let Him who thinks He stands take heed lest he fall became very literal for me.
  • I learned that we cannot by an act of the flesh bring the promise to pass. Desperation and listening to people may make us feel as though waiting on God is not enough. But I learned by my own Sarah type experience to ‘lean in.’
  • I learned to appreciate the small moments. I lost a friend, Hammed Ajiboye this year. I miss him and wish I made some more time for him.

These lessons didn’t come easy. But I’m grateful that as painful as the experiences that birthed them might have been, I AM better.

Adjusts mic to an appropriate height at the award podium, smiles and pulls out a tiny sheet of paper.

  • I am most grateful for my stupendous wealth in family and my friends. I could go on and on here. God brought amazing people into my life as well. I was NEVER alone.
  • I’m grateful for favor. God continues to surround me with favor everywhere I go.
  • I am most grateful for revelation and clarity. Slowly and steadily, I am gaining a better understanding of what I am here for.
  • I am grateful for ‘discontentment’ and how it’s pushing me out of my ‘comfort zone.’
  • Grateful for my journey so far. Not the script I would have written but it has strengthened me and left me in awe of God’s sovereignty.
  • I’m grateful for service and the opportunity to give back. I derived so much joy from a lot of those moments.

To what I would do differently if I could? I would be a little easier on myself. Gosh, I was quite hard on myself for the mistakes I made but now I have resolved to fail forward and trust that everything is working out for good.

I would also imagine some more. Think I got jaded at some point and just existed. But no, God is able to do far more than I can ask or IMAGINE. So it is time to imagine wildly and boldly and LIVE again.

31 days of gratitude

She’s such a gorgeous soul! I can’t wait to meet you, has to happen in 2016! Merry Christmas @Eloxie (That’s her on Twitter, I say follow her, you’ll be glad she did!)

Excited about the entry for today, it’s one of my favorite people on this planet, my own Boo Boo Kitty, Nana! Nana is that kind of friend who will love you fiercely and not let you self-combust, who will stand in your corner at her own expense, even to her own detriment! She’s gorgeous (inside and out), and I’m grateful for the gift of her friendship.

That said, this my friend is a little mad. Sigh. As in, hold her or she’s going to put all of us in a pot and set it to boil kinda mad. But we love her, today, tomorrow, everyday!

Hi! I’m Nana, resident in Abuja, and I’m a lawyer (amongst other things I do).

This may just be a good time to talk about my 2015.

2015 started with me happily waving my mum off at the airport to go home to her husband…okay, I love my mum to bits but when you are the only daughter in an Igbo family you know how it is.

So I had told myself that in 2015, I’ll be much more secluded and less nicer to people but you know how New Year resolutions go; I ruined it all by going to church.

I have lived alone all my adult life and I can count how many times I went to Church. I was not an atheist, I was born Christian but I always had this different simplistic ideology about how life should work and it was okay for me but I wanted more so off to Church I went of my own accord and diligently too.

I moved houses around April. I fell deep into depression, I didn’t want to stay alone and so I went to live with my Aunt for a month. It was funny because I always appeared all put together, smiling and going through the motions but I had all these pent up emotions waiting to spill.

Some random day, I walked into the Pastor’s office and spilled a quarter of what was bothering me. I half expected the religious boobooyaya but I didn’t get that so I spilled some more and it felt good.

Sometimes I tell myself that my 2015 began in July. In a sort of way, it did. I had my much-anticipated graduation, went on the holiday of a lifetime with long road trips. At this point, I have to state that I am a horrible companion on trips; I had a modus, which was to drift off in the middle of the gist and pretend to be awake enough not to snore during my sleep and yell “exactly!” when jarred awake. It worked sometimes.

I was not prepared for 2015. I still don’t think I am ready for a year that has 11 days left in it. I will remember 2015 as the year I realised the power of friendship (No kidding, my friends are rubies). I’ve tried to drown so many times and each time I have gotten the pull and the push.

I fell in love in 2015. I was really kidding with #SeizeTheBae2015. Really kidding! I had sexual plans for 2015 and none of it fell within monogamy. Planned a celibate part of the year and a raunchy part to end the 2015 with. With the list of cities I was going to have sex in.

Each time a plan came up, I wonder whose prayers it was (suspecting my mother though) it kept getting knocked off and that was how it happened, unplanned.

I don’t know what 2016 may come with but I have decided to go against planning my life; I’m winging 2016.

To my friends, family and lover, I am grateful for the food, the gists, the time, the hugs, the encouragement, the love, the scolds, the truth and the companionship. I am 99% of an asshole and 1% human. Thanks for seeing just the human.

Me.

She didn't send a photo but I have like a million photos of the both of us!

She didn’t send a photo but I have like a million photos of the both of us! See her small teeth..

I love you Boo Boo! Thank you for bringing an unplugged honesty to my blog today! By the way silly, you’re more than 1% human jor, shaking my head! Here’s to a 2016 that’s full of love, joy, money (girrrrrrllll….), and fingers crossed, a different country! Yaass! 2016 here we come!

 

Brethren! Welcome to Day 2! We started the series with my friend Adenike, and I’m totally pumped at how much joy I felt publishing her entry! I can’t wait for all the others to come in!

About Ochuko; we’ve never met, but I love his blog. I don’t even know how he found my blog, but his blogposts sometimes are some of the most hilarious things I’ve seen! This post on how parents pressure their kids on marriage is everything! Other times, he’s quite therapeutic. I’m super grateful for my blog family (didn’t know I would ever use that term, but I mean it), because I know they are always there like an invisible court, ready to offer a kind word, advise, prayer, whatever.

Before I digress too much, I give you, Ochuko!

Hi everyone, I’m Ochuko A. Akpomudjere but everyone calls me Chuk (out of pure laziness I gather), fear would not allow me type out my full name. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m Nigerian, yes we are the ones with names longer than our lifespan, a 20-something year old student of Biochemistry, in the beautifully old city of Benin, Nigeria. As for what I do, for now I’d restrict my list to Photography.

So 2015, where do I begin? Well let me not lie, if I say 2015 wasn’t what I expected when I was dancing in Church on December 31st 2014, I would not be far from the truth. That guy was just dancing away, not realizing that life was just waiting to hit him with the fat stick that is “reality”. Well I can’t fling all the blame at life, wait actually I can, but that would just be denying that some of it, ok a large part of it was my fault.

Ok, 2015 wasn’t that bad, it was great actually, perhaps even my best year yet (yeah I still can’t say that with a straight face). I’m just going to come out and say this, if I was to pick one thing I am truly grateful for, it’d be the people in my life. I’d just start from the back, in the space of 3 months quite a lot happened and for a while it felt like I was standing outside life, watching things unfold in my life.

I lost 2 friends within the space of 3 weeks, made more mistakes than I’d made in my last 5 years of life, life bending mistakes that all but cost me my life, but through it all, God placed people in my life at just the right point when I needed them. I did some things that would have earned me lifetime achievement award in the “Disgrace to The Family” awards 2015, yet all I got in return was love from my family. I became friends with my dad, a friendship that helped me remind who I am as a person and not what my circumstances made me to be. PS: My dad actually said “as long as you don’t give up on yourself, I won’t give up on you”. In my mind I saw the Hollywood sign for weeks after that.

As for what I learnt this year, I’d some it up in one word “Rest”. I learnt the hard way that it’s easy to preach about a situation, when you gone through it. It is even easier when you’ve never experienced it. After all anyone can wake up, sigh and say “Na God” but when life slaps you, you forget all the sermons you preached, all the articles you wrote and suddenly “Na God’ becomes “But God why?”. I learnt to rest in God, more importantly, to rest in his word. The present is temporary and so is everything that is bothering you. Death however is permanent, so you can either worry yourself to death, or trust that there is a way out of that situation.

Honestly speaking, I don’t know if I’d want to change anything about 2015, but if I had to change anything, it’d be not trusting my family & friends with my problems early enough; there’s only so far you can go on your own before life reminds you that “Hey this is getting out of hand, you need to tell someone”.

Oh by the way, this is the first thing I’ve written in 4 months, I can now say that all is well with the world again. Ok I’ve gotten to that point in my write-up where I start typing gibberish, so let me just go.

Till next year I hope.

See his cute, googly eyes! Ladies please allow him finish school first o, hian.

See his cute, googly eyes! Ladies please allow him finish school first o, hian.

Bia, Chuk, what did you mean by “till next year I hope?” Hope that only has to do with you writing in another #31Days31Writers series o, ehen, because you’re not going anywhere (anywhere not positive and great that is). Thank you!

First off, there is a reason why I’m posting this the morning after – the way I felt yesterday morning wasn’t exactly the way I would have wanted to feel when I was writing this so I said I’d wait. And I’m glad I did!

So!! How did my birthday go?

I took a couple calls past midnight, and then afterwards I couldn’t sleep. You know when stuff just makes you think about your life, think about what you’re doing with yourself and how you want the rest of the year to go? Those kinda thoughts? Yup.

Finally fell asleep about 6am, was up at 7.45am when my sister sang happy birthday to me. Promptly pissed off my nephew who wanted to sing first so we had to beg him, and we made up for it by carrying him downstairs to the car. Na wa. Whoever said parents are slaves to children didn’t lie! Not like I’m complaining though, this munchkin has my heart!

Right. After they left I made myself boiled potatoes and egg sauce, and then I walked a mile with one of my exercise videos. I would have used the Brutal Hiit one but my sides and thighs were still super sore from the routine I did on the 19th. Na wa. This #FitFam life!

Had a shower, wore a new dress (very simple and pretty) and then it was off to Sheraton for a lecture from the Commonwealth Royal Society. I made some notes so expect that post in a bit. After the guest speaker was done, I went off to ‘chase money’. Did some work for some guys and how many months after, it just seemed like it was taking a while. Apparently it was God who asked me to go there because the person who was handling my paperwork had gone on leave. And didn’t hand over to anyone. Why? I was out of the country myself a week ago but I was still in touch. Why do people do that?

Anyway, that bit sorted, I went off to two banks to sort some transactions, then it was off to Chloe’s Cupcakes to get bites for the guys at the office. I think they loved the cakes!! Found out later that the POS transaction which I thought didn’t go through, went through. So I paid twice. Will definitely go back there today. Guess what? I didn’t even have a cupcake!

Got to the office, did some delegation (always great to do that, especially when the hands are competent), and then I had a quick, cheerful chat with one of the best bosses I’ve had in a while. I got the biggest compliments ever, that I had lost weight!! Yes! Yes! Yes! I know, normally, I’m annoyed with people commenting on my weight (and Nigerians loooooooove to do that) but abeg, I’ve been working hard for the past three weeks and it was nice that there was any change. Whoop!!

Sped off to a quick meeting which I will sign off on at 9am this morning, and then it was off to meet my sister and nephew at our aunt’s place.

Was nice to play with her children and just catch up with her, and she loaded our car with fruits as we were leaving. Team #FitFam in the building! Whoop!

We went to grab Indian, took it home, sat on the floor and ate it joyfully, and then my nephew insisted I carry him on my back. I did, and he was asleep two minutes later. By the way, my boy’s class have a sports competition on Friday and apparently, guess who’s representing his class? Ahh! Nothing on earth is going to stop me from attending! So excited!

Climbed into bed, took a couple more calls, and then it was lights out. A truly beautiful, fun day. Friday, we turn up!! Like, all the way up!! Massive love to my friends who are coming in from out of town to share that day with me, thank you!!

All through the day people were calling, others were texting, Twitter went crazy, folks put up messages on Instagram, Facebook, everywhere! God bless you guys! By the way, I found (thanks to @MrBankole) another Chioma on Twitter whose birthday was yesterday as well! Talk about namesakes and birthday mates!!

I’m grateful for a new year, for life, family, the opportunities in the offing, the lessons I’ve learned, people I’ve met, everything I’ve been blessed with, and the miracles I see every day.

I remember this day! It was a concert just before the elections! With these two guys (there's one more, Andy), I can confidently look for trouble anywhere!

I remember this day! It was a concert just before the elections! With these two guys (there’s one more, Andy), I can confidently look for trouble anywhere! And it does look like a mugshot!!

Thank you Boss, the one and only Big Mo! Still waiting to come on your show!

Thank you Boss, the one and only Big Mo! Still waiting to come on your show!

Dearest Mimi!! Thank you boo thang!

Dearest Mimi!! Thank you boo thang!

My one and only chekeleke who's flying in for my party on Friday! Love you boo!

My one and only chekeleke who’s flying in for my party on Friday! Love you boo!

Hello brurva!! Lol!!! Only Henry and the rest of the 'family' will understand...

Hello brurva!! Lol!!! Only Henry and the rest of the ‘family’ will understand…

Ha ha ha!! I sacrificed the photo of me for the message Anino wrote because it totally cracked me up! Last year I did the Sky Dive, and this year I think I'm going to climb Kilimanjaro. Hence all the warnings!!

Ha ha ha!! I sacrificed the photo of me for the message Anino wrote because it totally cracked me up! Last year I did the Sky Dive, and this year I think I’m going to climb Kilimanjaro. Hence all the warnings!!

My best friend got married yesterday. Whoop! Before I tell you all I can about the wedding, maybe I should tell you a bit about her.

I met Wumi in Birmingham in late in 2010, at church (the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Covenant Restoration Assembly, Perry Barr). Someone had gotten his friend to invite me to church, and I remember the morning they came to get me with the church bus, I wasn’t sure I had heard a louder group. But service was great, I fell in love with the church, and Wumi and I started to chat.

I don’t know when I fell in love with her, but I did. Real? Check. No airs? Check. Daughter of God to the letter? Check. Kind? Check. Caring? Check! I could go on and on. Wumi knows me sometimes a bit more than I know myself, and she loves me like that. Just like that.

We’ve been through sick days, heartbroken days, days we were broke (like last to our last 10 pounds type of broke), happy days, excited days, plenty money type of days, we’ve been through loads of stuff together. And we’ve come out stronger. Each and every time.

Ok. Before we have a problem keeping her head in check (with all my praising), on Friday my sister, nephew and I were supposed to fly into Lagos (I’d left Lagos on Wednesday), and then Momma was supposed to come in as well (see how special Wumi is to all of us)? Coordinated the flights so we’d land about the same time. There’s a little race of life story, one in which we forgot to take identification for Boo Boo so like halfway into the trip to the airport we had to run back to the house, and then start flying back to the airport.

Timecheck when we got to the airport gate and met the queue of our lives? 9.49am. Flight time? 10am. Let’s just say we still made the flight, and I’ll spare you the details of us pleading at the counter, racing to the plane, and then finding out that our friend at the airport had actually moved from one airline to the one we were to take! Na wa! To think we were looking for people to help us board!

Got into Lagos ok, Momma landed a bit after, and off to the hotel we went. Can I say money spent on hotels in Lagos doesn’t really go far? And I will leave it like that.

Wumi and Bimbo came a bit after, and then we really got in the ‘wedding’ mood! I had to nip off to Shoprite with our cabbie to buy some items, and Momma and the gang took a stroll. Dinner over, loads of gisting after, gifts presented, it was bedtime! Was I exhausted or what!

Saturday morning, D-Day!

Rushed a shower, and went over to the room where the photo crew, makeup artists et al were already at work. And here the photos begin!

See my girl!!! Gorgeous!!

See my girl!!! Gorgeous!!

Then we milled into our cars and headed to the venue for the engagement…

Gorgeous people!! Just gorgeous!

Gorgeous people!! Just gorgeous!

No he wasn't about to kiss her, he was just 'telling her something'...lol!! This pose was a special request from me to be honest, don't ask me why!

No he wasn’t about to kiss her, he was just ‘telling her something’…lol!! This pose was a special request from me to be honest, don’t ask me why!

Engagement over, it was time to change and head to the church. Did I mention my darling Boo Boo was ring bearer? Want to see his suit? Hotter than fire!!

Boo Boo of life and destiny!!! Dapper as!!

Boo Boo of life and destiny!!! Dapper as!!

Thank God for Beloxxi biscuit which my nephew loves and therefore can be used to get him to stand still!

Thank God for Beloxxi biscuit which my nephew loves and therefore can be used to get him to stand still!

A little side view... God finished work on my nephew walai, like there's nothing else that could have been done!

A little side view… God finished work on my nephew walai, like there’s nothing else that could have been done!

Sharing a kiss and a cuddle with Grandma! Did I mention he always mixes them up? So sometimes he calls the 'Pa', 'Ma'. Lol.. Love him to pieces!

Sharing a kiss and a cuddle with Grandma! Did I mention he always mixes them up? So sometimes he calls the ‘Pa’, ‘Ma’. Lol.. Love him to pieces!

Then, it was off to the car to be sure our super bride was ok, not needing anything, that kind of super FGS type business (he he he). Beautiful, so beautiful!

I'm definitely doing cream/ivory on my day... It's such a gorgeous color!

I’m definitely doing cream/ivory on my day… It’s such a gorgeous color!

Ahh!! Here’s the fun bit! We’d been trying to get Boo Boo to walk with a card that said “Here comes the bride”. Well, on the day it didn’t quite work. Want to know what worked? This photo of him and the little bride – cute as anything!

Two year old and one year old - something says we should stay in touch with the mom as per bride for my boy! What do you think? Baby girl had the cutest smile!

Two year old and one year old – something says we should stay in touch with the mom as per bride for my boy! What do you think? Baby girl had the cutest smile!

I managed to get a selfie with my boy inside the church – don’t even wrinkle your noses biko, anything to keep him awake, he was exhausted!

See his face...my boy!

See his face…my boy! Ignore the sweat on mine biko…

All the formalities done, it was time to head back to the events center for the reception! But first, a few photos!

Mom and the brand new couple!

Mom and the brand new couple!

The couple and the sisters!!!

The couple and the sisters!!! My nephew was two minutes from asleep at this point!

Then it was off to the reception, where I said a few words about the cake and the couple (couple I know, cake I didn’t bake), and the food was really yummy! Tokes came too (yay), and it was really nice to see her!

Then we danced! Wow! Turn up.com! At some point my people had to leave to catch flights back home and as soon as they were safely at the airport (Lagos traffic, sigh), I could relax. I think the number of squats I did yesterday (to pick money) has covered up for all the exercise I haven’t done in weeks!!

It was a really gorgeous day, and I’m so pleased that despite a few hitches that reared up during all the planning. we had a full, fun day. They’re married, God’s name was glorified in everything, and I’m looking forward to being a godmother to their munchkin (guys – take the hint and get to work already biko)!

Wumi and KP, I love you two to the moon and back, and I know your marriage is blessed, is fruitful, and will become an example for marriages everywhere. Success, peace, love, joy, togetherness, great intimacy, patience, I wish you both these and many more. Welcome to the best years of your lives!

Kisses,

Me!

What’s most important, on your list of important things? For me it’s family. My folks, siblings and nephew are everything to me, like nothing messes with that! Family to me is like a car service center where you go to just get refreshed. You know how you take your car to a car wash for it to be primed, cleaned, oil changed, tyres scrubbed, everything touched around till you come out all shiny and ready to take on the world? That’s what family (and friends who have become family) do!

And that’s why SungHee’s piece is so heartwarming, and babe I’m sending loads of hugs and warm thoughts to you and all your family at this time. xoxo

My name is SungHee Tark, and I am South Korean. I study Economics at Earlham College, IN, USA.

A lot has happened this year: from starting my year with my best friends in NYC to traveling in Europe and attending an eye-opening conference with a brilliant group of youths in the Netherlands. However, the very event that I learnt the most about the important thing in life was my grandpa’s funeral a week ago.

I was traveling in Europe after attending the conference in the Netherlands in the beginning of the summer. However, my travel had to stop when I got a brief text message from my dad one early morning in June.

“Your grandpa has passed away.”

There was no emotion or anything reflected in the text message. It was around 8’o clock in the morning. I jumped out of my bunk bed in a small hostel in Istanbul to grab my laptop. Then, I booked my ticket to come home in South Korea that afternoon.

It took me 10 hours on the plane and 5 hours on a bus to return home.

I saw all my family members, starting from my parents, sister, cousins, uncles, aunts and even far relatives that I haven’t seen in years all gathered in a hall at home. All of their eyes were wet, and nobody really spoke.

Although my grandpa had spent almost a year in hospital, his death still came as a surprise. Nobody was really ready for it. It came as a shock to me as well, especially because when I saw him last, he had wished me a safe journey to Europe, and I had promised him I would bring him a gift. And I had that gift with me.

I stood there, speechless. I cried helplessly for the whole day that day.

The next day, the air seemed a little different. Everyone in my family seemed to have decided to think that grandpa had gone to a better place. We started comforting each other, talking to the picture of my grandpa, wishing him a safe journey to a better place. We shared good and fun memories with grandpa and planted trees and flowers near his grave in the backyard of his old house altogether. We talked about grandpa but in a very different light. Everyone was still in shock but we focused more on comforting one another because we all knew that that’s what our grandpa would have wanted us to do.

Since then, we’ve been visiting my grandma who still lives in the old house every day, everyone very willingly.

My grandpa has been a very big man to me, always listening, and encouraging, and someone who had supported me through all my hardships and difficult times. Because he was the pillar of our family, his missing presence is being felt greatly. However, I am very grateful to have all my family members in my life. Without them, I don’t think I would be where I am right now and I wouldn’t be able to recover from the loss of our beloved grandpa.

Among all the things I hope to achieve and I am looking forward to in the second half of the year, I wish for my family to achieve what they desire in their lives, keep caring for one another and stay healthy the most.

Because I know I can overcome anything with them in my life.

Sunghee 2

My gorgeous friend SungHee!

SungHee

Hugs!!

 

I just thought to celebrate my canine today. My very first canine. I can’t wait to have my next one (which I won’t have till I have my own home and can ensure that I will never have to leave him to anyone to look after).

I came home from boarding school one holiday and daddy had this mischievous twinkle in his small eyes I couldn’t place. Did we buy a new car? Did they adopt a baby? Was Momma having a baby? I couldn’t place it. And he wouldn’t say anything beyond; “I have a surprise for you”.

That surprise turned out to be Blesso, our first German shepherd. He was about three weeks old, and was such a beauty!

Blesso (short form for Blessing – that’s what he was to us) became a member of the family immediately. I remember my mom making breakfast for my dad in one part of the kitchen, and my dad mashing boiled eggs and pouring milk for Blesso’s breakfast. As I type I can see the picture of both of them ‘working hard’ like it was yesterday.

Blesso was spoiled; truly spoiled. As a baby, if you set his food down and walked away, he would go have a look at the meal, look at you, and walk away. But if you pulled a chair and sat by the food, he’d come and eat. Even better if you fed him, he’d be seconds from purring! Blesso was spoiled, our truly spoiled baby.

I remember when he sprained his foot. Funny story. As a baby Blesso hated night time and going into his kennel, he’d do anything for a few more minutes of play every night. One night when we put him in, I don’t even remember how he was roughing the place up (angry that he was in his mansion) and next thing we heard something between a howl and a shout!

We all came out, and I promise you Blesso had tears coming out his eyes! He’d hurt one of his hind legs. Took him to the vet the next day, and it was bandaged a bit. Blesso milked it to death!! Ahh! He’d be walking normally o, once he saw one of us he’d start limping and whimpering. Just so you’d carry him. Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled!

But we loved him. Still do.

We had so many variations to his name, like Sir B, Blesso, at some point I started calling him ‘Jibi’, much to my brother’s annoyance (Lord knows how I thought that up)! Whatever I called him though, Blesso knew my voice, and that was enough.

After Blesso turned two, my fondest memories of returning from boarding school or from a trip would be letting him out of his kennel for my ‘inspection’.

Soon as he heard my voice, he’d bark nonstop till I appeared in front of his mansion. When I let him out, he’d smell my feet, lick it (perhaps tasting for consistency, lol), and then, satisfied it was me, he’d stand on his hind feet and use his fore to thump my chest. Boom!

For me, that was his way of saying, “welcome back boo! Where have you been?” And somehow, I started looking forward to this little ritual.

I came home once and not only was ‘home’ now in a different state of Nigeria (my parents had been transferred), but Blesso and his mansion were gone. Our lodgings didn’t have provision for animals and so my folks had given him out. Broke my heart so bad, I felt like someone died. For me, Blesso was ‘home’.

I’ve had two more canines since Blesso (Izzie and Waffles) but like the throes of passion only novelty induce, Blesso will always be in my heart.

P:S – I was inspired to search myself and write about Blesso after Priscilla from dogvacay.com got in touch to ask if I would write on the theme ‘home away from home’. Bringing up all the memories? Totally worth it!

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