How to Live Your Dreams in 2014

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2014

2013 is winding down, in fact it ends in hours. The year is usually as good as over once we celebrate Christmas – the remaining days go away very fast and so also many dreams.

People lose out in life most often than not because they give up too easily. Those strong quotes about winning and winners usually seem to be enough to change the way we think, but they truly never are. Winning needs one thing most people don’t add to their dreams and wishes; it’s action.

If people get rich by just dreaming, I’d be one of the richest young black people in the world today. If people achieve great feats by just dreaming, my name would be on everyone’s lips. But it takes more than dreaming to achieve everything you want.

The new year is just hours away and we are all making resolutions…don’t be in a rush to do this. Sit down and think about why you failed in 2013. Make up your mind on whether you want to succeed in 2014 and how much success you’d love-be true to yourself- then make those resolutions.

There are so many people looking for jobs today, but are not ready to get a job. Are you surprised? Okay, let me break this down. You want a job but you don’t have a CV; how does that work? You go about with smart phones and all you have on your memory cards are a thousand and one songs by those guys who have made it. Why not spare some kilobytes for your CV and copies of your credentials so that you can send it to people who may want to help you without wasting time?

A brother was speaking to colleagues at work sometime ago and they all complained about not getting promoted as at when due. They wanted to leave, but they all had one problem; they were not ready to leave.

The man asked them if they had updated CVs highlighting their qualifications and experience, training and all; none could produce one. In fact, one of them confessed he did not know how to prepare a CV, I’m talking about a bank worker on the level they call ABO. Are you surprised?

Don’t be surprised. There are so many job seekers out there who can’t prepare a CV or write a cover letter or an application letter. I get calls often from people who need to write application letters, and even letters to ask for salary increment … that means such people are working already. You want to ask how they got there in the first place.

So my friend, as you go into 2014, you have to position yourself for the success you hope to achieve. Learn everything you need to be eligible for all you want.

One last word; you can’t keep talking about wanting things, you have to go get them. Remember what we discussed about action? Action is very important. You can dream all you want, if you don’t act, you may never achieve those dreams. It’s just like having a beautiful car that runs on fuel without fuelling it; it won’t take you anywhere.

Start that business in 2014. Leave that job and get another (you may want to get another before leaving o! wisdom). Register that company in 2014. Marry that girl in 2014. Buy that land in 2014. Apply for that job in 2014. Apply to that school in 2014 (stop dreaming of studying abroad without applying…look for the application fees and apply). Bury that bad habit in 2014.

You sure can’t leave out the place of prayer; prayer works.

I wish you the best in the new year.

@ScotorJay

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My Life So Far In 300 Words

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my life

 

My name is Niyi. I was born 26 years ago into the family of Aderibigbe, a middle class family living in Oyo town. Welcomed by four older siblings, my parents were happy I had a lot of shoulders to lean on.

I was very brilliant and aced all my classes until my fourth year in primary school when Lanre Ogunronbi had to contest for my top spot. He got it twice, but I was determined the third term to win back my place, and that I did. Lanre was good with numbers, and I was good with grammar. So, he scored highest in Mathematics throughout primary school, and I was the best in English Language. I didn’t lose this even in secondary school as I ended up as the best student in English Language.

All through these years, I wasn’t quite sure which path I should follow, as I was good at almost everything, but my brilliance made my parents encourage me to study Medicine. After four failed attempts, I settled for Zoology which was the best University of Ilorin could offer me at the time. I knew I was doing the wrong thing, but I didn’t have the guts to opt out and follow my dreams.

Graduating with a Third Class Honours opened my eyes, and I was suddenly ready to follow my dreams and take full responsibility for whatever happened next. Nothing short of extraordinary has happened ever since. I’m happy, I’m fulfilled, and I earn a respectable income because I followed my dream. A lot of people still find it hard to see the sense in what makes me happy in what I do, but who cares? I am a writer! I’m proud to call that a profession anywhere and I earn a living from it.

Nelson Mandela’s Notable Quotes: Wisdom From Madiba

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Nelson Mandela, former South African president has died at the age of 95.

The widely respected leader inspired countless individuals with his life and the words he said.

Here are some of the words of the Nobel Peace Prize winner the world will never forget:

1. “Difficulties break some men but make
others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul
of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed
with the hope that he will rise even in the
end.”

2. “It always seems impossible until it’s
done.”

3. “If I had my time over I would do the same
again. So would any man who dares call
himself a man.”

4. “I like friends who have independent minds
because they tend to make you see problems
from all angles.”

5. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all
for the freedom of their people.”

6. “A fundamental concern for others in our
individual and community lives would go a
long way in making the world the better place
we so passionately dreamt of.”

7. “Everyone can rise above their
circumstances and achieve success if they
are dedicated to and passionate about what
they do.”

8. “Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world.”

9. “I learned that courage was not the
absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The
brave man is not he who does not feel afraid,
but he who conquers that fear.”

10. “For to be free is not merely to cast off
one’s chains, but to live in a way that
respects and enhances the freedom of
others.”

11. “Resentment is like drinking poison and
then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

12. “Lead from the back — and let others
believe they are in front.”

13. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge
me by how many times I fell down and got
back up again.”

14.”I hate race discrimination most intensely
and in all its manifestations. I have fought it
all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so
until the end of my days.”

15. “A good head and a good heart are
always a formidable combination.”

16.
“If you talk to a man in a language
he understands, that goes to his
head. If you talk to him in his
language, that goes to his heart”.

17. “If you want to make peace with your
enemy, you have to work with your
enemy. Then he becomes your
partner.”

18. “There is no passion to be found
playing small – in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are
capable of living.”

19.
“After climbing a great hill, one only
finds that there are many more hills
to climb.”

20. “There is no easy walk to freedom
anywhere, and many of us will have
to pass through the valley of the
shadow of death again and again
before we reach the mountaintop of
our desires.”

21. “There can be no keener revelation of
a society’s soul than the way in
which it treats its children.”

22. “In my country we go to prison first
and then become President.”

23. “We must use time wisely and
forever realize that the time is
always ripe to do right.”

24. I detest racialism, because I regard
it as a barbaric thing, whether it
comes from a black man or a white
man.

25. “A good leader can engage in a
debate frankly and thoroughly,
knowing that at the end he and the
other side must be closer, and thus
emerge stronger. You don’t have
that idea when you are arrogant,
superficial, and uninformed.”

26. “Money won’t create success, the
freedom to make it will.”

27. “There is nothing like returning to a
place that remains unchanged to
find the ways in which you yourself
have altered.”

28. “Does anybody really think that they
didn’t get what they had because
they didn’t have the talent or the
strength or the endurance or the
commitment?

29.
I dream of an Africa which is in
peace with itself.

30. Let freedom reign. The sun never
set on so glorious a human
achievement.

31. “If there are dreams about a beautiful
South Africa, there are also roads
that lead to their goal. Two of these
roads could be named Goodness
and Forgiveness.”

We All Can’t Be Entrepreneurs: 10 Reasons Why Your Business May Fail

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entrepreneurship

One of Nigeria’s greatest problems is youth unemployment. Schools turn out thousands of graduates every year, but there are no jobs.

Crime has increased exponentially over the years due to increasing number of idle youths.

Youths have therefore been encouraged by motivational speakers, parents, and even the government expected to provide jobs, that entrepreneurship is the way out.

Sure, it’s a great idea, but there is more to entrepreneurship than meets the eye. Most youths, fresh from the university who can’t get a job are not wired to be entrepreneurs…or maybe I should say they lack the mindset of an entrepreneur. This is why they have failed in business. This is why unemployment still remains a headache for a lot of Nigerian youths.

Your great idea, solid business plan and even a decent amount of startup money may not mean much if you lack some qualities every entrepreneur should have.

There are qualities you should possess as an entrepreneur; these qualities are well explained by Dan Steenerson, a business speaker, consultant and author.

According to Steenerson, starting a business isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t glamorous, he warned would-be entrepreneurs. While there’s no formula for the perfect entrepreneur, the commitment and dedication it takes to be a business owner does require a few key personality traits, and they aren’t ones that everyone naturally has.

Steenerson identified 10 warning signs that a person isn’t meant to start and run a business. If any of these “red flags” apply to you, you might want to reconsider your entrepreneurial goals and stick to your day job.

1. You can’t stand the heat. Before you jump into self-employment, make sure you’re very comfortable being uncomfortable. Every day, you’ll need to try something new for the first time. You have to be ready to put yourself out there and do things you’ve never done before — all with less financial security.

2. You have professional ADD. If you get bored and frustrated easily, or you’re the type of person who likes to go in a new direction every 60 days, business ownership may not be for you. Being an entrepreneur requires unwavering laser focus to achieve your business goals.

3. You get stage fright. As a business owner, you are the primary spokesperson for your company. You need to be ready and willing to take center stage and spread the word whenever possible. If you’re uncomfortable in the spotlight or you don’t like public speaking, you’d better master these competencies before you launch.

4. You hate roller coasters. As a business owner, you never know what’s around the corner. It could be a really steep hill or gut-wrenching free fall. There will be countless ups and downs, and you need to be prepared to hang on and enjoy the ride.

5. You think complexity is cool. Complexity may be cool, but it’s hard to create, market and sell. The simplest solutions are the most successful, and as a business owner, you need the ability to distill concepts to their simplest forms so they can be easily communicated.

6. You can’t explain the steps of shoe-tying. Tying a shoe is a complicated. So is running a business. You have to be able to delegate tasks and to direct others, meaning you need the ability to break big ideas into easy, actionable steps for implementation.

7. You don’t believe in marketing. Marketing makes the business world go round. If you don’t embrace it, you’ll never succeed. You need to be ready to dedicate effort and money to the task of marketing your company, and give it time to work using a variety of mediums. There’s no silver bullet.

8. You’re easily winded. Once you get past the adrenaline rush of starting your own business, you’ll encounter a portion of the journey called the “middle mile.” This is where you face challenge and drudgery. Your feet will hurt and your breathing will be labored. Despite these inconveniences, you must be able to place one foot in front of the other and press on.

9. You’re a problem passer. In business, there are problems that must be decisively resolved by the owner. Sometimes customers and employees will be unhappy with your decisions and that’s OK. Successful entrepreneurs never postpone difficult choices.

10. You’re on the quest for quick cash. Profit shouldn’t be the reason you are in business. You are in business to solve problems and to serve others. If you find a way to deliver a better solution or service than your competitors, you will make plenty of money, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

US Marks 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech…Watch Video Of Speech

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The US is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom, the civil rights rally at which Martin Luther King Jr made his “I have a dream” speech.

President Barack Obama is to mark the occasion in Washington DC with an address from the same spot.

Members of the King family and veterans of the march will also be present.

Mr Obama, the first black US president, has described the 1963 protest as a “seminal event” in American history.

The march was considered a catalyst for civil rights reforms in the US.

President Obama arrived at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall to deliver his address just after an organised ringing of bells by churches and other groups at 15:00 local time (19:00 GMT), marking the exact time that Martin Luther King spoke on 28 August 1963.

Mr Obama was joined by former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, who also spoke.

Obama, Carter

Former President George W Bush, who is recovering from a heart procedure, sent a message of support.

In his statement Mr Bush said Mr Obama’s presidency reflected “the promise of America” and “will help us honour the man who inspired millions to redeem that promise”.

Chat show host Oprah Winfrey and actors Forest Whitaker and Jamie Foxx also attended the event.

On Saturday, thousands of people, including King’s eldest son, marched to the Lincoln Memorial to mark the milestone anniversary.

Half a century earlier, Martin Luther King led some 250,000 protesters down the same strip and delivered his famous speech from its steps.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character,” he said, in one of the most celebrated pieces of American oratory.

martin_luther_king
His address marked the peak of a series of protests against racial discrimination that had begun when seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat for a white passenger in 1955.

Her action sparked a bus boycott campaign across Montgomery, Alabama.

Marchers opened Wednesday’s damp commemoration by walking the streets of Washington DC behind a replica of the transit bus that Parks once rode.

King became a dominant force in the movement and so was called on to make the final speech at the march.

He advocated the use of non-violent tactics such as sit-ins and protest marches, and was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1964.

Four years later, his assassination led to rioting in more than 100 US cities.

Thousands of people have braved rain in Washington DC to commemorate a half century since Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech

Thousands of people have braved rain in Washington DC to commemorate a half century since Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech

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Organisers of Wednesday’s commemoration are focusing beyond racial issues to address the environment, gay rights and the challenges faced by those with disabilities, among other matters.

In an interview on Tuesday with a radio show, President Obama said he imagines that King “would be amazed in many ways” about the social progress made since that speech.

He cited the prominent role of many African-Americans in the political and business spheres, as well as equal rights before the law.

Mr Obama, whose own oratory is often praised, said his address on Wednesday would not match that by the civil rights leader.

“It won’t be as good as the speech 50 years ago,” he said. “I just want to get that out there early.”

“When you are talking about Dr King’s speech at the March on Washington,” he added, “you’re talking about one of the maybe five greatest speeches in American history.”

Source: BBC

Jobs: How To Get A Job Immediately After NYSC

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jobs

To the batch ‘B’ corps members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC who just completed their service year, sorry I couldn’t get this across to you the day you passed out, but it’s better late than never they say.

It would have been great if everyone could just get a job after the one year compulsory service to our fatherland, but it’s never so as the number of graduates looking for jobs often surpass the number of jobs available in multiples.

I’ve heard stories of folks who had to wait up to 7-8 years before getting their first jobs, and you wonder what they did during those years. 

Some worked small jobs while they waited for their big breaks and survived those years with their ‘meagre earnings’, while others did nothing throughout their long/short wait.

Come to think of it, how much could a job seeker have saved from those daily home lessons that afforded him the luxury of buying every available gadget (you’ve seen them buy iPads, and latest Blackberry phones). How much could he have saved? 

As much as I wish you the best and hope you get your dream job ASAP, I have to remind you of this truth; not everyone will get a job. Not everyone will get a good job.

If you agree with me, we must now discuss the way forward.

If it’s true that you may not get a job, especially if you don’t have a dad or an uncle who is a top executive in a big company, multinational, or government who can make it easier for you, then you have to resolve to make it on your own-yeah, I know that’s harder than it sounds if you want to stay clean.

Gone are those days when First class or Second class upper honours assure you of a good job- in fact, I have a First Class graduate in my Masters class who said he only came to postgraduate school because he couldn’t get a job. So, who cares if you graduated with a 2.1, when thousands more graduated with same?

I’m not trying to make you feel unappreciated after working so hard to graduate with your good degree, but I just want to open your eyes to see beyond it. Your degree doesn’t necessarily have to be what puts food on your table. 

You must have read about the wealthiest people on earth one time or the other. Have you ever noticed their degrees or academic background hardly mattered in their success?

I should give you examples of people who learnt early enough that certificates aren’t the ultimate. Life stories should convince you.

Let me start with myself. I finished youth service in February 2012, and I’ve been employed once by a publishing company that paid me N40,000 per month in Lagos, but I was writing freelance all the while. The crazy thing was I wasn’t making as much as I was writing from the comfort of my home in the publishing company work I was doing.

I can also tell you about a friend who earns well over a N100,000 now in a job he never interviewed for with his certificate. In fact, he just finished youth service this June and he lives better than a lot of people who claim to have a job. What he has working for him are the skills he has gathered over the years. He is a field support engineer for one of the leading V-SAT providers in Nigeria. He has attended many seminars and undergone several training in the field he has now chosen over the Mathematics he studied in school. He is a fulfilled man, I tell you.

You don’t have to be a job seeker my friend. We all can’t be job seekers; who will provide the jobs? The government has proven its incapability to provide jobs, why must we wait? The economy isn’t reflective of the statistics our leaders tell the world. There are no jobs lying around my friend. If you can’t find one, make one!

Now, no one has a problem with you being the high flyer who wants to work at the top multinationals around, but you can’t render yourself useless because you don’t want to settle for less. If you they won’t give you what you want, why not just find another way to get it?

Someone/some people started those big firms where you dream of working, you could build someone else’s dream job too. If you get it, fine. But if you don’t, that doesn’t end You, it just redefines You, and should open your eyes to possibilities around You.

If you’d just open your eyes wide and wouldn’t allow Shell, Chevron, GT Bank, Mobil, Zenith, etc. blindfold you, maybe you’d be able to see how limitless the possibilities around you are.

There are over 170 million Nigerians whose needs you can meet to make a living. The time to act is now.

Be Inspired! Meet The First Woman To Fly A Plane With Her Legs

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J coxx J. Cox Jessica Co Jessica cox jesss

 

When Jessica Cox was born without arms, doctors warned her shocked parents she would never lead a normal life.

“She’ll never be able to feed herself,” they said. “She’ll never be able to drive a car, brush her teeth or live on her own.”

Yet today, despite her physical limitations, Jessica, now 30, has gone on to achieve more than most people will in their lifetime – including becoming the first woman to fly a plane with her feet.

And Jessica’s dexterous toes are just as useful on land, where she uses them to text her friends, apply make-up and even play the piano.

Speaking from her home in Arizona, US, Jessica, who recently married Patrick Chamberlain, a karate instructor, reveals that while life hasn’t always been easy, she can do everything – and perhaps more – than many able-bodied people.

“Growing up I always felt like I was living in an alternative universe where everything that comes naturally to most people was extremely difficult for me to learn,” she says. “But since embracing my uniqueness, I’ve realised my life may not be ordinary by society standards, but it is extraordinary.”

No one knows why Jessica’s arms didn’t develop – there is nothing beyond Jessica’s shoulders – or why it wasn’t picked up on ultrasound scans during her mother Inez’s pregnancy.

Jessica has an older brother, Jason, 32, and a younger sister, Jackie, 28. Neither of them had any birth defects, nor does anyone else in Jessica’s family, so it is not a genetic disorder. Doctors told Jessica’s shocked parents Inez, 62, and Bill, 71, a musician, that she would always be physically dependent on them.

“For a long time my mum blamed herself for my condition and thought she’d done something wrong during her pregnancy,” she says. “My older brother Jason had been born perfectly normal and my deformity is rare – a one-in-a-million chance of happening according to our doctors. Right away she started wondering, ‘How is my daughter going to eat when she’s older? How will she play with other children? Who is going to marry her?’”

But Jessica soon started to reach the usual childhood milestones in her own way. At five months old she shuffled along on her bottom instead of crawling. And by the time she was 18 months old, she’d built up her core muscles enough to stand up on her own and start walking.

“I developed normally like any other child, I just didn’t have arms to break my falls,” explains Jessica. “My parents were so concerned about it that I constantly travelled with pillows around me just in case.”

Jessica’s parents tried hard to make sure she led a normal life, so they didn’t treat her condition as a disability, but encouraged her to try new things like gymnastics and tap dancing. She excelled at these but was still frustrated by her limitations.

“I knew I was different, but it wasn’t until I was about three years old that I started getting angry about my condition,” she says. “It made me feel very isolated to not be able to do things independently like tie my shoes or brush my hair.

“When I’d see my friends play on slides or watch my brother swing on the monkey bars I was upset because I desperately wanted to play the same games, but my limitations kept me from being able to do those things.”

Jessica’s problems were also compounded by the fact that she struggled to fit in at school initially.

“Kids would look at me funny in class because I was raising my foot instead of my hand and I was drawing with my toes, but eventually it became more normal,” Jessica says. “Sometimes there would be an activity like volleyball or ice-skating that I wasn’t able to participate in, but the other kids would try their best to involve me. They’d hold on to my shirt sleeves rather than my hands so I could play along.”

Incredibly, Jessica says she learned to be confident of who she was at the age of four when she asked her teacher if she could be on the back row at her first dance recital.

“I didn’t want people staring or laughing at me,” she says. “But my instructor said, ‘Jessica, there is no back row, you’re going to be right up front with the other girls.’ That lesson has stuck with me my whole life.”

Jessica continued to push her boundaries, learning how to use her feet to brush her teeth, feed herself at the dinner table, wash her hair and write. But despite her rapid progress, Jessica’s parents wanted the best for her and decided that she would benefit from being fitted with prosthetic arms in 1987 when she was four.

“I remember getting teased for not having arms, but when I finally did get them the name calling became even worse,” recalls Jessica. “The other kids called me Captain Hook. The arms were really heavy. They didn’t allow me to feel things with my senses like hot, cold, smooth or rough, and they were very mechanical looking.”

Even though they made it easier to open doors, carry schoolbooks and participate in class, Jessica hated the prosthetic arms so much she took them off as often as she could at home, preferring to use her feet.

“I really did live a normal life – I just had to train my feet and my toes to do the work of other people’s hands and fingers,” she says. Eventually in eighth grade she ditched the false arms for good.

“They weren’t mine, they were foreign objects on my body that were forced on me for 11 years,” she says. “When I arrived at school without my prosthetics some of the boys made fun of me by putting their arms in their T-shirts to imitate me – but a lot of friends stuck up for me. I felt liberated and I promised myself I would never look back.”

Since then Jessica decided to never let her limitations hold her back. At 14 she earned a black belt in karate, at 15 she became a competitive swimmer racing able-bodied teenagers and at 26 she began surfing.

“That was easy as my balance is spot-on,” she says. In 2005 Jessica started taking flying lessons with a fighter pilot, and over time he allowed her to take control of the plane, leading to her eventually gaining her pilot licence. She is now qualified to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of almost 3,050 metres.

“Some people are scared to fly with me because they don’t understand how I’m able to handle a plane by using only my feet, but they eventually get used to it,” Jessica says.

“Flying is the one place where I feel entirely independent and genuinely proud of myself. I’ve proven that anything is possible if you just believe in yourself.”

Despite Jessica’s incredibly daring achievements, she admits she’d given up on finding someone who would see beyond her disability. But all that changed in May 2010 when she met Patrick, an instructor at her karate school.

“Right from the start Patrick didn’t see me as the girl who could do weird things with her feet, nor did he see me as the sad girl with no arms – he just saw me as Jessica, which is why I fell in love with him,” she says.

“I have no insecurities when I’m with him and I never feel uncomfortable when we’re together. He never judges me and I know he never will.”

Jessica and Patrick got engaged a year after meeting and were married the following year on May 12, 2012.

“I always knew that I was different from other girls, but that never kept me from feeling pretty,” says Jessica. “Some guys I dated in the past were superficial and only saw what was on the outside, but Patrick sees me for me; he thinks I’m beautiful despite not having arms.”

Walking down the aisle, Jessica says she’d never felt more beautiful. “My wedding gown was exactly what I dreamed about since I was a little girl, which made it feel very special for me,” she says. “Patrick and I also had a secret first dance prepared for our guests, which was a great surprise. And when we cut the wedding cake I put my foot in Patrick’s mouth, which gave everyone a good laugh.

“When it came to exchanging rings I put Patrick’s ring on his finger using my toes and he gave me a beautiful white gold bracelet to put around my ankle. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect start to our lives together.”

And now as the couple adjust to living under the same roof, Jessica admits she cannot wait to start a family.

“It’s been an adjustment moving in together as I’ve always been very independent and relied only on myself when it comes to cleaning, cooking and laundry. But I’ll admit it’s nice to finally have a pair of hands around the house for once.

“Thinking back to my childhood and even early adulthood, there were moments when I wondered if I would ever get married and have kids, but finally that day has come.

“We have a lot of memories to make together and within the next year we hope to start a family of our own. I cannot wait to face the challenge of being a new mum.” [GN]

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