Anniversary Musings

16 years ago, I finally became a Mrs.

It was a beautiful day, albeit a little cold, being November!

A year of frantic planning, which had followed a beautiful four-year romance, during which we made the choice to be together forever ♥

We did the whole shebang, full on traditional craziness, from all the colourful customs, like the Maaiyaan (turmeric ceremony) and the Chura (Bangle ceremony), to some more modern, personal ones like a fancy dress night – well my family did anyway!

And the day itself was magical.

The beautician turned me into a princess, and my prince was there waiting for me at the Gurdwara, ready to take our vows in front of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and our loved ones.

We had a beautiful ceremony, followed by a fun-filled reception (I even had a bubble machine for the kids – and me!)

The Doli (leaving ceremony) was emotional, where it really hit home that I was leaving my parents, but after a heart-wrenching set of goodbyes, we finally set off on the journey that would take me to my new home.

And here we sit, 16 years on.

Happily together, with our own home, two crazed tweens, a furbaby and two feathered ones too!!

My Hubby Dearest has been my rock for the last 20 years, to be honest, and every day my love and respect grows for him a little more. He’s put up with my craziness over the years – and there is still plenty of that to come! He lovingly calls me ‘#Hashtag-Valiye’ – Hashtag Girl, basically, having had to share me with this blog, and all the social media that comes with it for the last few years.

I can truly say that I would not want to spend my life with anyone else but him.

Hubby Dearest- Happy Anniversary my darling, I love you more each day, thank you for being who you are, and for accepting me for who I am. Thank you for gifting me with our two children. Thank you for your never-ending support, and belief in me and my capabilities. My wish is that we are together forever, writing new chapters of our life together as we gain wrinkles and memories ♥

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Our First Dance

And so today we are off to celebrate our 16th Wedding Anniversary – sans children or pets – with a weekend away!

Flash Fiction Challenge – Meshed #CarrotRanch #FlashFiction @Charli_Mills

I’m taking a chance on one of Charli’s 99-word prompts over at The Carrot Ranch!

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, and I was prompted to write something that tied with this momentous occasion when reading Charli’s prompt this week. ❤

November 16, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use the word mesh in a story. Mesh is both an object and a verb, which you can freely explore. You can play with its sound, too. Go where the prompt leads.

Here’s my take!

Meshed
Sitting together in the backseat, our fingers met and slowly entwined. Our eyes met and a smile spread across our faces.
It had been a big day today. Emotional, but worth every tear I had shed.
After vows had been taken, congratulations had been exchanged, music and merriment, feasting and festivities had finished, the final goodbyes had started.
Looking back, I saw my family waving. Looking forward, his family held their arms open, welcoming me.
It was then I realised that there was no them and us, but two families, forever meshed together because of our love and union.

What is ‘Family’? #ThrowbackThursday

An old post I wrote a while back that I felt like giving an airing to!

 

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Over my life time I’ve seen many different types of family, and I’m lucky to be part of a huge, crazy parivaar (Punjabi for family) where there is no lack of love and laughter. But where you get a great amount of people, there are always going to be fallings out, and that one person, or maybe more, that you cant stand!

I think we can all relate to that!

As I said, I have been blessed with this gigantic extended family, and they took up most of my childhood,  every weekend we were together, be it at a wedding, a party, or just at each other’s houses for dinner.  It was character building to say the least, I was the youngest girl cousin on my Pops side out of a good 20, or so, cousins so was spoilt by many, but there were the odd ones who may not have liked the attention that being the youngest afforded me… still, I was brought up well, and wouldn’t make a fuss, I just got on with life.   Then on the flip side, I was the oldest grand child on my Mum’s side, so I had a different stature there!  The ‘Big Sister’ role!

But it’s my immediate family who I will always be thankful for.  A father who did everything for us, to provide us with a stable upbringing, and still catering for the other families needs. A mother who was there for us, at every step of our growing up, she didn’t even follow her chosen career path, choosing to be a full time mum to us, supporting us, helping us, bringing us up when we were down, grounding us when we were too big for our boots. A brother who was the biggest irritant of my life for the first 15 years, but then morphed into one of the most trusted individuals in my life. Then beyond, his wife, my sister-in-law, who is the sweetest person I know, who has also moulded the raw man that was my brother into a most amazing husband, and fantastic father too! And not forgetting my precious little bundle of laughs, my baby nephew!

Talking of husbands, around 14 years ago, I suddenly had a new branch grow onto my family tree, and I acquired new parents, another brother, and another whole new extended family, through my husband!

Hubby Dearest, well he is my rock, and thanks to him  (and a little bit of me) we created our own family, with the additions of Lil Man, and Lil Princess, and the ability to love unconditionally grew considerably in both of us. These two little people, here on Earth because of us, and looking up to us to nurture them, and hopefully encourage them to grow into strong, independent individuals with heart.

But is that all family is? Blood ties, and marriage?

I don’t think so, personally.

I seem to have little pockets of ‘family’ elsewhere in my life, my school ‘family’, my university ‘family’, my work ‘family’, my friends ‘family’, my WordPress Blog ‘family’…

Each of these groups of people have as much of a profound effect on my daily life, as my real family do, in their own way. They are all as important to me, and as essential to me being who I am today, as my parents were. The experiences I have shared with them over the years have also shaped me as a person, and made me the Ritu you see before you.

So, what is ‘family’ to me?

I think the true definition of family is those people who help to shape you as the individual you are today.

Written in response to RonovanWrites #BeWow writing initative.

But I Smile Anyway...

One-Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Loss

Poignant:

“If you love someone, show them, not tomorrow, but today – life has a funny way of foiling plans…” – Ritu

Thinking of a precious soul who left us yesterday. RIP Nanaji – you will be missed by us all.

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.

Finland – The Finndian Way!

I apologise in advance, there will be lots of pics, but then again there are gaps in the photos, as they include my kids and nephew, and we don’t generally put them on the blog!

 

As you all know, we had our surprise trip to Finland planned for the half term holidays. The main aim of the visit was to surprise my Pops for his 70th birthday!

Things are never smooth sailing, as I mentioned in a previous post to you all, but it started with traffic before we had even arrived!

Then once we checked in, the security check was another obstacle! I had all my liquids in a little bag, and was confidently striding over to take my bag off the conveyor belt when I realised that it was on the other side of the perspex screen… erm… what have I done now?

It ended up not being me, but Hubby Dearest slipping a roll on deodorant in my hand luggage! As the security guy checked everything, he asked me whether I had ever been told I resembled anyone… Nope, not really, apart from my mum!

Apparently I am the spitting image of Shappi Khorsandi, the Iranian Comedienne!

 

Shappi

You Decide!

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Me!

 

We managed to release ourselves from there relatively quickly after the guy told me that was a great compliment, and Hubby Dearest muttered “Hitting on my wife… in from of me!” under his breath as we walked away!

The flight was as uneventful as it could be, with two kids who can’t be near each other for too long!

 

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The sea of cloud we flew across

 

Arrival and taxi to the hotel was fine, and we were greeted by the sight of several older folk literally staggering around the front of our hotel, drunk! There had a vow renewal service there, and obviously, it was a very good party afterwards!

My brother was sat inside cringing… What a first impression of Helsinki! But we loved it! Looked like a great place to be!

The room was compact but able to accommodate all 4 of us, but there was no air conditioning, and considering the weather we had there, ranging from 23-25 degree Celsius the whole time, it was pretty hot!

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I had my one and only drink there, a traditional Finnish brew called Original, made from grapefruit, that my brother introduced me too. It’s a shame I ended up too tired most evenings, as that would have been a nice end to each of the days!

 

The next day we were picked up by my brother ready for the main event, the photo shoot. Pops was speechless when we walked in, not expecting to see his whole little family in one room at the same time! I think we truly made his year!  Many photos were taken, of the family and various combinations of this person and that!

 

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This is what love is!

 

 

I snuck in and took some candid shots of the shoot taking place, and this is one of my wonderful parents!

 

It was so amazing to all be together, seeing my brother, sister-in-law, and my gorgeous nephew! Seeing our children bonding was priceless. They don’t get that chance much, but I was so happy to see it all!

After the photo shoot, we were whisked back to their flat for lunch. We experienced the Metro and walked through parts of the city too.

20160529_115043 This was when we saw Pii Poo… Sorry, I had to giggle at that name… toilet humour… runs in the family! It was a toy and Lego shop that Lil Man was desperate to go to, but it was always closed when we went there!

 

After lunch, my brother took the boys to Team Helsinki’s cricket ground, which was like a dream come true for Lil Man, who got to play in their nets! He surprised a few there too with his skills!

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We spent at least an hour a day, if not more, at various parks during our stay there, as there are these amazing parks for children all around the city. Children are given the opportunity to learn through play so much, and learn independence, and social skills through learning to share!

The next day we walked LOTS! From the hotel, we went down the Boulevardii.

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One of the main  roads in Helsinki city, it has a mix of amazing buildings and eclectic shops down it, cafes and restaurants spring up all over the place!

 

There are so many wonderful buildings to see, like the Cathedral, and various theatres, and the main station with its iconic 4 figures at the front.

We walked up the steps to the Cathedral, and my brother took an arty shot from the bottom, but I haven’t got that yet! It’s kind of ‘spot the Indians’! But I do have Pops and me helping each other down the stairs!

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We went to a park named The Plague… beautiful park, gruesome history! Basically, when the Bubonic plague hit Helsinki it lost two-thirds of its population, and this was where many were buried.

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A memorial to those that died of the Plague

We saw the Wooden Church, (surprisingly all made of wood), that was in the middle of the City.

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We crossed numerous bridges too, over the canal…

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There is also this great installation near my brother’s flat, on the dockside. Basically, a charity drive was set up called Horizons, to raise funds to clean the waterways around the city. Those that donated had their names on little metal plaques. They are all attached onto this wall, and when the wind blows they look like the waves in the sea!

I can’t forget to mention the Pissing  Man! What a funny installation!!

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The next day was a trip to the Zoo which is on an island! We walked in through the city to the docks to catch a ferry. Boy, was it hot!

I don’t entirely agree with zoos, and animals in captivity, but it was pretty amazing to be so up close to so many magnificent creatures, like lions, tigers, bears, to name a few!

Can’t forget the beautiful Peacocks and Peahens!

Oh, and I got attacked by a Canadian Goose! I unknowingly went to close to its nest, and it flew at me and pecked at my head! I still have a sore spot there!

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This is not the crazy duck, but one with two gorgeous ducklings!

 

 

I also caught Pops and Mum strolling romantically through the enclosures!

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And we can’t forget the giant mosquito!

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That was also the night Lil Princess suffered heatstroke (told her to drink plenty and keep her hat on, but would she listen?!) so we dealt with vomit and all sorts, thanks to a great hotel staff!

The next day meant that I had to stay in with her, as she wasn’t right, but the rest of the Finndian contingency went on a boat ride courtesy  of my Sis in Law’s brother. Lil Man got to steer the boat too, he was so excited! And they went to one of the numerous islands on the coast to paddle in the sea!

 

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Lil Man sailing!

 

 

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My Family

 

 

Popped for a coffee with my Pops, Mum and Brother, while Hubby Dearest had the kids at a play centre, and sis in law took my nephew for his nap!

 

It was a wonderful trip, all in all!

Here are a few other random shots from the trip…

 

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Dog parking anyone?

 

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Breakfast fit for a Queen!

 

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Egg Box Lego! How cool!!

 

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Good indicators!

 

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A boat Lil Man insisted I take a picture of!

 

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Row upon row of Nakki – or Sausage to you and me!

 

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Luggage packed, it was time for home…

 

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Helsinki cried as we left…

 

And to top it off on the plane, Lil Man had a pocketful of change so wanted to buy something from the Dutyfree… he found Jellybeans for five Euros. Then he promptly spilt half of them on the floor. As he was eating some of the surviving ones, this happened!

 

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Yup, that’s his tooth! Luckily it was already wobbly!

So now we are home, my piles of laundry are done, and it is back to the real world… one more day before school starts back…

I only wish I could share the video of Pops being surprised… I was just sent it today, but it has the children in it… Still this whole holiday has been a time to create priceless memories, and to cement relationships for the kids with their other family.

It was wonderful! I hope you enjoyed a little stroll through Helsinki with me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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