Soulmates.

I was out, but at a computer, missing the Artist. I was studying for a midterm, and of course full of stress and anxiety about it. I am waiting to hear if I got into the MA program I applied to and interviewed for, and I am really stressed about that too. Stressed if I don’t get it, yet anxious if I do. If I don’t get in, that is a lot of hard work applying (and applying for a scholarship) that didn’t pay off, and my plans will have to change. But if I do get in, that is 2 more years of what I know will be really hard work. I want to take on the challenge, but still, I know that lots of hard work would be in my future. Not to mention the stresses of daily life, trying to find time to do laundry and cook and all that.

I had been feeling particularly stressed at that moment, my body feeling restless and anxious, and I was yearning (and still am) to take a vacation with the Artist. We took an amazing week long vacation to the Dominican Republic in 2010, and we went to Chicago for a few days exploring in 2015, but that is it. We have bee talking about wanting a vacation together for so long, even just a few nights away somewhere within driving distance where there is a cheap motel where we can watch a “movie on TV” and order all kinds of takeout and junk food for a few days while we enjoy an outdoor pool, restaurants, sightseeing, a beach, etc. Even that seems impossible when you are broke AF, let alone going somewhere tropical or otherwise expensive like NYC or Florida.

But, my number one way to redirect my anxious thoughts it to think about my love, and how we get to share our lives together, no matter what. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we get to be together. Master’s program or no Master’s program, vacation or no vacation, money or no money, we will make it. We will figure it out. And then I checked my email. The Artist sent me an email with nothing in the body or subject line, just a link to a video. The video was of a car commercial, and the song of that car commercial has become associated with our lives. I was just saying that every time I hear that commercial, I think back to last summer. We had just moved, it was a hard, hard move with lots of obstacles. We were even more broke than we are now. I had classes start the day after we moved in, I didn’t know my way around and had no phone to use GPS, on top of the nerves of just going back to school after 5 years off. The summer was spent in a realm of anxiety and stress, with boxes everywhere as we tried to balance school, job searching, and unpacking. I was so stressed that I had no appetite and didn’t sleep well, and if you know me, you know that this is VERY unlike me. And somehow, with that commercial always coming on, the song somehow became associated with that period of our lives.

But now, the song is a reminder that no matter how stressful life gets, I have this guy by my side making me laugh, supporting me, and enriching my life on a daily basis. He sees beauty in such ordinary things that I never would have noticed before, and it reminds me to stop and smell the roses. So we would stop the craziness for a few hours, go exploring in our new city, and have some laughs.

I teared up watching this video, it was like he knew exactly my stress levels and that I was thinking of him, and sent this video to let me know he was also thinking of me, and that whatever happens, we will find a way to flourish, together ❤

The 27 year old undergrad.

It has been a busy, stressful summer.  I started classes the day after moving into our new apartment and we still aren’t completely unpacked and set up.  We have been frequently thrift shops looking for furniture, but haven’t had any luck.  Things are slowly coming together back up in the great white north!

My summer semester was definitely hard, it is such a shock going from the working world back into school full time.  But I made it, and with decent grades.  The biggest shock of all, however, was the fact that I am at a completely different life stage them most of my classmates.  Being a 27 year old in undergrad classes, I am 8 years older then some of my peers.  Although that really isn’t much when you consider one’s lifespan, it is quite a difference in what “phase” of life is happening.

I am 27, will be celebrating my 6th wedding anniversary with the Artist at the end of this month, I have lived on my own and with the Artist for many years and in turn have many bills to pay, and my favourite pass times include reading, watching films, listening to CBC radio, cooking (well, I am the assistant- the Artist is the actual cook!), relaxing while listening to our record collection, getting crafty, and powerlifting.  Through conversation with other students around campus, it seems, as it should when you are 19, that going to bars and hanging out with friends are what the kids are doing these days.  I wish I was saying that I was declining invitations to go out to the bar because I just wanted to go home and relax, but it must be obvious that I am an old lady.  Either that, or I come across as an unapproachable person.  Its probably both.  Chandler from Friends articulates it perfectly…

Chandler Bing

I also feel like I am one of the last people to be fit the “starving student” archetype.  I feel like I am surrounded by people who can afford all kinds of travelling and vacations, Mac laptops to bring to class for note taking, take-out food whenever they want, and no problems paying tuition or rent.  Meanwhile, I am doing my laundry in my bathtub, using the campus food bank, sharing a laptop with the Artist (we need a computer equally for our own livelihoods) as well as a cell phone, and taking notes in class with a notebook that my parents bought for me and a pen I took from their  house.  I filled that notebook completely, so lets hope they buy me a new one for the upcoming term, LOL.  I also have no idea how I will be paying my tuition that is due at then end of this month, not to mention bills, and I continuously sew together the same few clothing items that keep gaining new holes or tears.

It is all very weird, being in undergrad classes at 27.  When I was 19, I thought for sure that at 27 I would have the best job that ever existed and been done school with a prestigious degree(s) and have my dream home and life all figured out.  Well, I have come to the conclusion that you never really figure life out.  It is an ongoing journey with changing goals and aspirations along the way- so you might as well enjoy things, one day at a time.

Today I enjoyed bacon, egg and veggie scramble, and hash browns for lunch.  I enjoyed grocery shopping and still having about $10 left over for any other food needs that might arise this week.  I am going to workout later with the Artist, and despite my current sciatic pain, I will enjoy that too.  I will enjoy watching the Olympics tonight snuggled up with my love, and I will enjoy how beautifully gloomy and rainy it is this afternoon.

To see more photos of me enjoying the simple things in life, check me out on instagram @capitaineflash

As much as I would LOVE to travel and take a vacation, not have to worry about how I will pay tuition, or go shopping for new clothes and shoes whenever I feel like, I am sharing my life with someone who makes me smile and laugh every day, who shows me unconditional love, supports me, and inspires me….and that is more important than anything.

Suddenly, the mangled and torn insoles of my shoes seem so insignificant ❤

Free Spirit.

The Artist and I have frequent hear to heart talks, discussing life.  These talks are really heart felt and intense, but in a good way.  During one of our more recent talks, he told me about how he saw me as such a free spirit when we first met.  He said that I was very “real”.  That I was unafraid to be myself 100%.  And that he admired this, and my free spirited-ness inspired him to be more relaxed and stress free.

I was a little surprised by this, I had never really thought of myself as a free spirit, so I asked him why he thought this.  (Note: The Artist and I were roommates, with another roommate and two people living in the basement of the house during college, read more here: https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/3-years-of-the-best-marriage-ever/ ) He said that he was very uptight and felt stressed all the time with regards to things like doing paperwork, house chores, etc.  He admired how I left my dishes in the sink for a few days before washing them, and how it didn’t bother me.  How I slept in on weekends and walked around the house in my pyjamas in the middle of the afternoon.  How I stayed up late watching a movie I had been craving to see while eating a big bag of chips, even though I knew I had to get up early.  How I threw my dirty laundry on the floor of my bedroom.  How I wanted to carve pumpkins at Halloween and put up a tree and a million knick-knacks during Christmas.  He said that I would get ready to go out with friends in just a few minutes, and look amazing.  How I gave honest opinions, and was direct with people on what I wanted.  How I would wear flip flops in the middle of winter to take the garbage to the curb……among so many other things.  Initially, I was thinking that this just proved that I was a slob, and kind of lazy.  But as we talked, he explained how it inspired him to live life in a more mellow, relaxing way.  To go with the flow, and stop to smell the roses along the way.  And that the way I seemed unafraid to be myself, even in front of a stranger, he said I was very “real” and wasn’t acting in a way that was unnatural to me or that I was trying to impress someone.  He said that I have changed his life, for the better.  That he is now more mellow, and doesn’t let things bother him.  And that this has carried over into his art practice, he stays up until the wee hours of the morning if he is on a roll with a good idea- instead of doing the so-called “sensible” thing and going to bed at a reasonable hour.  He doesn’t feel as much pressure to produce paintings quickly, but rather, lets the creative process take him over.  And that the result is works that are launching his career.

This really touched me.  I really never thought of myself as a free spirit type of person, and I still don’t know if I am.  But the way he expressed these feelings to me was very moving, and my heart almost exploded ❤  I had no idea I had touched his life on such a deep level.  Of course we love each other and have an amazing, fulfilling life together, but this story touched my soul in a way that I simply cannot describe.  I don’t think I have ever heard someone articulate how they saw their loved one, and how they fell in love.

Then I thought, am I still the free spirit he fell in love with?  And I sort of panicked, as I wasn’t sure if I was a free spirit then, let alone now.  As I was saying this, we were getting ready to go shopping before the store closed, which was soon.  I was starving so I microwaved some left overs on a plate, grabbed my purse and got into the passenger seat of the car- like it was no big deal. He looked at me, smiled, pointed at the plate of leftovers and said, “free spirit”.  And he continues to do this now, as I was having a hard time seeing in myself what he saw.  One time, I didn’t want to wait in line in the fitting room at a store, so I tried the shirt on over top of the shirt I was wearing.  One time I couldn’t find the lid for my Magic Bullet smoothie cup, so I screwed the blade back on, put it in my purse, and headed to my office.  Another time, I spilled a giant gob of salsa on my shirt, and proceeded to lick it off and continue eating.  On a rainy Saturday, I sat on the couch for several (and I mean several!) consecutive hours watching TV in a nest of blankets.  I am convinced it is more laziness, but my Artist continues to tell me how I inspire him, as I do what I want and indulge in a lot fun things.  And when we indulge in watching TV until our eyes burn, cuddled together, late at night, and having these heart to heart talks, the Artist points out what a fun night it was spending this time together giggling and being silly.  That it isn’t laziness per se, that yes- we could have cleaned the apartment or done something more “productive”, but instead had a wonderful night together.  And in my books, taking the time to live and love is way more productive in the grand scheme of life ❤

A Glimpse of the Day I Turned 25.

This 4th of July, I turned 25.  Yikes.  25.  Life is moving so fast.

The Artist asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday.  There are so many fun things to do on a budget in St. Louis, but all I ever want is just some good, quality time together.  I had been wanting to go bowling for awhile, so we decided to incorporate that into our day, and there is so much good food around here of which I have a hard time choosing where to eat, I asked the Artist if he would pick the restaurant and then not reveal it until right before we left.  That in itself is a great birthday gift, haha, because I can never make a choice and am always overwhelmed by the oh-so-many delicious options.  It was SO nice to not even have to think about where to eat!  He decided on one of our favourites: Mission Taco.  Read about the extreme levels of awesome they have here, https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2014/03/09/moving-food/

But even after we made these plans, I told the Artist that I didn’t care if they didn’t happen or if we ended up doing something else, that if the night organically led us elsewhere, or nowhere other then the couch, I wouldn’t mind.  The Artist and I spend a lot of quality time together on a regular, daily basis, and we are always going out on dates and doing fun things.  So my birthday was like any other day when you boil it down.  Even if we both have a busy day, we always take some time together, even if it is just a few minutes.  Sometimes we will chit-chat and snuggle and giggle before we go to sleep, or sometimes we will take time out of our busy days to cook together, which always brings about great conversations.  This is a quality about our marriage that I just love; we don’t use special occasions as a “reminder” to do something nice for one another or to go out on a date.  Actually, the last 2 years we weren’t even in the same city on Valentine’s Day, and we did our own little thing weeks earlier.  But on that day, we knew we were thinking of the other, and that is enough ❤

My birthday ended up including a delicious breakfast of chocolate pancakes and bacon, sleeping in late, a great after-breakfast conversation about our favourite actors (which included Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep, Nicolas Cage, Steve Carell, among so many others), a present, drinks, bowling, RummiKub, and tacos.  I have been loving the TV show Orange is the New Black, and really want to read the book.  But all the libraries around here have pretty large waiting lists, and each person have have the book for up to 3 weeks!  I was so disappointed when I discovered this, because I have such a craving to read it!

To my surprise, when I opened my birthday present, was a brand spanking new copy of Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman.  It smelled amazing.  I even fanned the pages a little because there is just something about the shininess and smell of a brand new book that is just so satisfying.  We usually use the library to read books, or get them for a quarter a piece at thrift stores or library book sales and in used conditions, so this brand new copy of my very own is such a treat 😀

He also got me new sunglasses because I broke mine and my backups are scratched like crazy, and then took me to the new candy shop that just opened down the street to pick out some candy.  He gets me.  He pointed out Sour Patch Peaches to me because he knows how much I LOVE peach candy, (a very specific flavour, I know, haha) and I couldn’t resist.  I also picked out some taffy, a cherry jolly rancher stick (which is awesome because that is the only flavour I like and didn’t have to buy a whole pack to get a handful of cherry candies), and what I was most excited about: the Harry Potter Chocolate Frog.

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Then onto a blueberry lemonade Smirnoff slushie, tacos and bowling.  I grew up with 5 pin bowling with tiny balls, so this intimidating 10 pin stuff was hard!  My goal of zero gutter balls went out the window in a hurry.  But it was fun, and we will be back.

 

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When we came home, we decided to play RummiKub, which is one of our favourite games.  We turned on some oldies music,  and of course, I won 😉

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We finished the night with some silly pictures, and watched Corner Gas in bed.

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Perfection.

What a wonderful life I have ❤

Reasons that you know are in the best, happiest marriage ever.

Reasons that you know are in the best, happiest marriage ever.

1. When you have a bad day, of any kind, it is not a positive turn of events for YOU that makes it all better- it is hearing the awesome news your spouse comes home to tell you, the great day they had, or simply seeing their beautiful smile.

2. When you have a bad day, of any kind, it is not something out of the ordinary that your spouse does to make you feel better- it is simply being themselves that hits the spot.  Just being together, smiling , laughing, and loving.  Because not only special occasions should be special, every day is special in our household.  Every day is a little out of the ordinary in some way.  I say to my husband often, after an improvement in my mood simply after we are reunited at the end of the day and we talk about our days and smile and laugh, “thank you, for just being you.”

3. You are always thinking of ways not to make your day go as smoothly as possible, or better in some way, but how you can make your spouse’s day better.  And you carry out these ideas.

4. Your spouse truly inspires you, and that provides encouragement to make you, a better you.

5. Your spouse is always supportive, no matter what.

6. When you both have your thinking caps on, there is nothing you can’t figure out, no roadblocks too big, and nothing that will get in the way of what you are after together.

7. When you say, “oh I don’t need a gift, just time together”….you actually mean it.  From the bottom of your heart.

8. You recognize all the little things your spouse does for you, appreciate them, and express gratitude.  Even if it just making your morning coffee, posing your teddy bear in a humorous way, offering you the curly chips out of the bag even though you didn’t pick them out, because they are your favourite, or bringing home your favourite ice cream, just because.

9. Homemade gifts melt your heart, and bring tears of joy to your eyes because they are so thoughtful and heartfelt.

10. Hugs, kisses, saying “I love you” and other things like that, is the best medicine.  For colds, flus, worry, anxiety, sadness, stress, or nerves.  Or even when you had an amazing day, these things just put it over-the-top-amazing.

11. You are sure that your marriage exists in this other dimension of marriages, because it is so awesome, and you are so happy, because it is so ridiculously amazing.

12. You are the best “version” of yourself when you are together, you are 100% you, and you spouse allows you to be you, and brings it out in you even more.

13. Intimacy does not always mean sex.  Intimacy can be a conversation, a hug, a moment, anything.  It is felt with your heart,  and not necessarily always bodily pleasure associated with the latter.  And with this, you are intimate many times a day, because your hearts are so connected.

14. You develop a sort of, kindred spirit.  One that only comes with hearts that are truly connected, over time.

15. This one is personal, as it is controversial and I am sure not many people will agree with it- But I know I am best, happiest marriage ever because the day we were married, we were concerned only with that- our marriage.  We did not want our wedding to be about the wedding, but about the marriage.  The life-long commitment we made to one another, and the lives we were about to start.  We couldn’t have cared any less about receiving compliments about our decor, or flowers, but rather focusing on our love for one another and celebrating our commitment- not our table setting choices or how high our wedding budget was.

I am so, so lucky to have met the Artist.  It was truly on a whim, and it almost didn’t even happen.  If I had to go through some really rough times in life, and in love, to get to the level of happiness and love I have right now- it was worth every minute.

I feel that my life is very enriched since having met the Artist.  I look at things so differently, it is amazing.

Happiness is contagious ❤

Movies, Food, and Love

The Artist and I had 4 glorious nights in a row of evening movie dates and good food at home.  He is really busy for about half the week with class and stuff, and then the weekends are filled with painting and doing other related things, and we also do our errands and shopping, and fitting in something fun together.  Evening 1 consisted of Halloween and Halloween II with candy, chips, and chocolate.  Evening 2 consisted of National Treasure and homemade chicken wings with raw veggies.  Evening 3 consisted of National Treasure 2 and homemade thin crust pizza and a side salad.  And evening 4, consisted of baked chicken and orzo with mediterranean inspired flavours, and a side salad, while watching The Office, an episode we were craving to see.  We snuggled under a big comforter on the couch and only had our side table lamp on- which gives the best soft lighting.  Perfect for together time.

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Homemade dough by the Artist, homemade sauce by me, low fat mozzarella, and oregano sprinkled on top. To keep it healthy, I have a protein shake on the side and some veggies.

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Look at those nice arms 😉

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Homemade dough by the Artist, homemade sauce by my, low fat mozzarella, grilled red peppers, slices of baked chicken breast, basil pesto dollops, and a bit of tiny diced tomatoes. Having a shake and veggies to keep it balanced! Also, we make 1 batch of dough, and the Artist cuts it in half to make these 2 pizzas, each the size of a baking sheet. It is super thin, and hard to stretch, but it works. We liked the thin and crispy crust for these dishes, and it keeps the carbs lower.

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Homemade chicken wings with a slightly spicy buffalo sauce. The main ingredient in the sauce be Frank’s hot sauce. Not breaded and baked keeps them healthier them if you went to a restaurant, and cooking them so they are nice and crispy and falling off the bone is delicious!

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My currant favourite side salad; arugula and maybe some romaine, mixed veggies, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of an olive oil-herb-vinegar dressing.

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Mediterranean style chicken with orzo.

The Artist and I were in the kitchen together making these meals, which is one of my favourite things to do together.  Seriously.  Cooking together brings out really great quality time together, great conversation, jokes, giggling; the works.  And the Artist is such an amazing cook, and we both love eating delicious food, see how it is just perfect?  We also have great heart-to-hearts when dining in at a fast food place like McDonald’s, and end up sitting there talking for an hour.  Or right before we go to sleep, while laying bed, or while we are getting ready to go somewhere.  The Artist has a really absurd sense of humour, as do I, and a lot of people don’t always get his jokes or antics.

The Artist: (after saying something crazy about having chicken bits all over his hands) See, you get my jokes.

Me: Not only do I get them…

The Artist: (excitedly interrupting) Not only do you get them, you do them too!

Me: (smiling) I know, I love it.  Not only do I get your jokes, I love them.  I yearn for them.  If we haven’t seen or talked to one another all day, especially since we don’t have cell phones, I find myself craving some Artist-style jokes, humour, gestures, and general silliness.

We get one another.  Like crazy.  I have never felt so understood by someone else before.  And it was the Artist who helped me find the words for that, he is amazing with words.  He told me that he has never be able to be himself so much until he met me, that I allow him to be him.  That we bring out the most potential in one another.  And that I bring out the best version of himself.  I had been feeling this way, but couldn’t put it into words.  He nailed it.  As always.  He is so good with words, in every sense.  He is poetic in every aspect of his life.  He can articulate things like you wouldn’t believe.  His vocabulary will blown your mind.  He loves to read poetry and finds it amusing- seeing the humour in words.  He then uses that an ammunition for his own word humour, fuelling his crazy sense of humour.  I use word humour as well, the Artist brings it out in me.  And sometimes I let little things slip when I am out or talking with someone else, forgetting that is the incorrect way of saying something and that it is not just me and the Artist being goofy at home.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love life.

Happiness is contagious.

 

Love.

One of my oldest, long time friends Adam posted this on Facebook recently:

“I live in my parents basement. I am a nerd. I play way too many video games, read too many books at the same time, and know way too many movies off by heart. My friends in high school always used to say “you’ll never get laid when all you talk about is games.” I would always say the same thing back: “Why would I want to sleep with a girl who doesn’t like games?” It may sound silly but in essence, I meant that I wouldn’t get serious with a girl I have nothing in common with just to “get laid.” I’m not the guy with a mile long list of ‘kills’ or ‘wins’ and I see that as a good thing.

About a year ago I met a girl who, with her 2 year old daughter, lives in her parents basement, plays too many video games, reads way too many books, and has a movie collection to rival my own. Together we spend as much time together as we can, doing the things we love together, from playing games together or just reading in silence beside one another. They say no matter who you are, there is someone out there for you. I have been lucky enough to meet her.

Best part? I get to be me, in my favourite place in the world; with my two girls.”—

It touched me, because I can relate to this- big time.  Adam, I hope we will reunite one day, like how we ran into each other randomly at Georgian College, when I didn’t even go to that campus.  And we will reminisce about spending so many high school lunch hours talking about movies, and laughing at the funniest parts.

Here is my version of this….

I am a dork.  I love reading, movies, listening to classic rock on vinyl, and laughing.

Boy do I love to laugh.  Lots of people would look at me like I am crazy, being the only one laughing at something funny while watching a movie.  I would be laughing so hard there were tears flowing from eyes, and sometimes we were in a theatre.  But no one noticed the weird facial expression, or subtle line, let alone think it was funny.  If we were at home and I could rewind it, they saw it, and didn’t think it was funny at all, but did however, think I was insane for laughing so hard.

I love reading, and learning, and value the education I have.  I can write an essay at super human speed, and get a near perfect grade on it.  I can write a test and ace it, without having studied as hard as my classmates, having skipped a class, or not even buying the textbook let alone reading it.  I always joke that I am like The Matrix, I can just type a code and boom- I know all the materials.  I love what I have studied, and hope to do it again one day.

I watch movies like crazy, recite lines, and do bad impressions.  I find Nicolas Cage absolutely hilarious.

Why was Rock95 always on in my car- my high school friends wondered.  Because I don’t like country.  Haha, that’s right folks from back home, I don’t like it, and never have really.  I like the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Elton John, etc. and even have vinyl records of them.

I love my family.  We are super close.  We live far away and I miss them a lot.

I am a very passionate person.  I am sensitive, and loving.

I was always the strange one, or at least I always felt like it.  Getting comments on my “non-matching” outfit, because I loved plaid, weird colours, and vintage styles.  I had old taste in music.  I liked movies no one else liked.  I wasn’t in teenager-avoid-your-parents mode, I thought my parents were cool and enjoyed spending time together with them.  I love grocery shopping with my mom, even still today.

I never had dates or guys who were interested in me- ever.  My first boyfriend and guy who was even interested in me wasn’t until I was 17, and finishing high school.

But about 4 years ago I met the Artist.  He not only loved to laugh at the things most people overlooked, but he loved to make others laugh.  He does hilarious impressions, and finds Nicolas Cage just as funny as I do.  He listens to the same music, and enjoys the sound of vinyl.  He even bought me a record player for our 2nd wedding Anniversary!  He loves movies, and introduced me to even more hilarious titles.  We have the same, weird sense of humour.  He loves to read and learn even more then I do, and is so smart and intelligent, it blows my mind.  He loves weird styles, and vintage, and gets comments on his plaid shorts and striped shirt (which I think looks amazing!).  He loves his family, and now loves mine just as much as I do.  And grocery shopping with my mom- is now a trio, and full of even more laughing and giggling.  He too is a passionate person.  He is very sweet and sensitive.  He was attracted to the qualities of me that normally got commented about or that I felt different and a little insecure for.

So there is definitely someone out there for each person, no matter who you are.  I have found my someone, and am happily married to that someone.  I feel so lucky and fortunate.

My life has been so enriched, in so many ways.

Best part?  I have never been myself to such a high degree.  Being with the Artist has allowed me to be me, to the full extent possible.  And even being aware of this is all thanks to the Artist, because, he was telling me how I allow him to be him, to the full extent possible.  And I was like, hey- I feel the same way.

I love my Artist.

Happiness is contagious.

Then:

This photo was taken before the Artist and I were even dating.  It was shortly after we became roommates and instantly best friends.

This photo was taken before the Artist and I were even dating. It was shortly after we became roommates and instantly best friends.

Now:

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