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Wendy Williams Slammed for Saying ‘Gay Men Should Stop Wearing Our Skirts and Heels’ – NBC4 Washington

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Wendy Williams was slammed for saying “gay men should stop wearing our skirts and our heels” on an episode of her daytime talk show that aired Thursday.

During the Hot Topics segment of “The Wendy Williams Show,” she asked who in the audience would be celebrating Galentine’s Day, the Valentine’s Day alternative popularized on the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” NBC News reports.

“I don’t care if you’re gay,” Williams said, adding that gay men don’t menstruate every 28 days. “You can do a lot that we do, but I get offended by the idea that we go through something you will never go through.”

Williams went on to say: “And stop wearing our skirts and our heels,” which some interpreted was a dig at “Pose” star Billy Porter.

Her remarks were met with swift backlash online.

Read the full story at NBCNews.com.

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Surfer Kelly Slater to Build World’s Largest Man-Made Wave in the Desert – NBC4 Washington

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Kelly Slater is planning to build the world’s largest man-made wave in the desert.

Plans for Coral Mountain, announced on Tuesday, feature the largest rideable open-barrel human-made wave in the world with technology from Kelly Slater Wave Company, a division of the World Surf League.

The 11-time world champion surfer is teaming with private real estate investment and development firm Meriwether Companies and Big Sky Wave Developments, founded by Michael B. Schwab, son of brokerage pioneer Charles Schwab.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2021 with the opening slated sometime in 2022, pending design and amended approval. The land was previously approved for 750 homes and an 18-hole golf course. The new proposal maintains the same density and will require less water than the previously approved golf course.

“We chose to do this project because it allows us to further build on our technology and also because one of our founding partners, Michael Schwab, is heading up the group running the project,” Slater said in a statement.

“We’re excited to make another KSWaveCo design and I’m personally excited to create a new wave that will be a stand alone design that nowhere else in the world has. This can become the blueprint for new developments around waves and surf parks going forward and is in line with some of my original ideas from when we started this project. I can’t wait to get underway.”

The wave basin will be part of a 400-acre site in La Quinta, California, set at the base of Coral Mountain. The master-planned community in the Coachella Valley will include a full-service resort, residential homes, a private club, multiple dining venues and adventure sport offerings.

The $200 million complex will have a 150-room hotel and up to 600 homes in the $1 million to $5 million range. Access to amenities will be exclusively available to homeowners, hotel guests, members and their guests. Dining will be open to the public through reservations.

The centerpiece of the complex will be the 18 million-gallon wave basin that has room for roughly 25 surfers — about five on the main wave, 10 each on the smaller waves at the ends of the basin. It will feature waves for all levels of ability and preference.

“I originally invested with Kelly in 2013 for my own personal surfing progression,” Michael Schwab, said. “I had no idea the impact it would have on my life, and I realized immediately that I had to share this opportunity.”

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UK Singer Duffy Says She Left Spotlight After Being Kidnapped and Raped – NBC4 Washington

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Welsh singer Duffy said in her first public Instagram post Tuesday that she left the spotlight during her ascent to stardom almost 10 years ago because she had been kidnapped and raped, NBC News reports.

Duffy, whose real name is Aimee Anne Duffy, said that she opened up about the incident to a journalist, who is not identified in the post, who found her last summer and that it felt “amazing” to talk. The 35-year-old artist said she wasn’t sure why it felt like the right time, but that she wanted to share her story with the world.

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You can only imagine the amount of times I thought about writing this. The way I would write it, how I would feel thereafter. Well, not entirely sure why now is the right time, and what it is that feels exciting and liberating for me to talk. I cannot explain it. Many of you wonder what happened to me, where did I disappear to and why. A journalist contacted me, he found a way to reach me and I told him everything this past summer. He was kind and it felt so amazing to finally speak. The truth is, and please trust me I am ok and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days. Of course I survived. The recovery took time. There’s no light way to say it. But I can tell you in the last decade, the thousands and thousands of days I committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again, the sun does now shine. You wonder why I did not choose to use my voice to express my pain? I did not want to show the world the sadness in my eyes. I asked myself, how can I sing from the heart if it is broken? And slowly it unbroke. In the following weeks I will be posting a spoken interview. If you have any questions I would like to answer them, in the spoken interview, if I can. I have a sacred love and sincere appreciation for your kindness over the years. You have been friends. I want to thank you for that x Duffy Please respect this is a gentle move for me to make, for myself, and I do not want any intrusion to my family. Please support me to make this a positive experience.

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“The truth is, and please trust me, I am OK and safe now, I was raped and drugged and held captive over some days,” Duffy said. “Of course, I survived. The recovery took time.”

The message is the only public post on Duffy’s verified Instagram account, which has more than 36,000 followers.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com.

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Here’s How to Improve Your Credit Score Right Away – NBC4 Washington

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As a general rule, the higher your credit score, the better off you are.

However, a missed payment or default can quickly drag your score down, sometimes significantly.

As many consumers know, your credit score plays a big role in daily life. It can determine the interest rate you’ll pay for credit cards, car loans and mortgages — or whether you’ll get a loan at all. 

Those three digits can save you tens of thousands of dollars over time, or cost you just as much.

“Depending on your credit history, a 15- or 20-point shift could mean the difference between being approved or declined or better terms or higher costs,” said Rod Griffin, the director of public education at Experian, a major credit-reporting firm.

The good news is that average credit scores have steadily ticked higher since bottoming out during the housing crisis about a decade ago, when there was a sharp increase in foreclosures. Now scores are at an all-time high, according to FICO, a leading credit-scoring company. FICO scores range from 300 to 850.

The best way to increase your credit score comes down to paying your bills on time or reducing your credit-card balance. (The common advice is to keep revolving debt below 30% of your available credit so that your utilization rate doesn’t hurt your credit score.)

Your payment history and utilization rate typically account for 60% to 70% of a credit score, according to Experian.

Such positive credit behaviors can start to improve your score as soon as a few billing cycles. “As a rule of thumb, you could see an appreciable difference in six months,” said Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

However, that also depends on the issues you are trying to overcome. (See financial comparison site SuperMoney’s charts below based on data by VantageScore and FICO.)

For example, “if a missed payment has dragged your score down, your score could rebound in a month or two, a series of late payments will take longer to make a full recovery,” Griffin said.

Being late on a mortgage payment is a more serious problem, yet you can recover from that in as little as nine months. File for bankruptcy, on the other hand, and it could take 5 years to 10 years to get back to where you once were, according to Miron Lulic, the founder and CEO of SuperMoney.

In addition, the condition of your credit history also plays a role, Griffin added. “The better your scores are to start with, the more difficult it is to improve them.”

That’s because a lower credit score reflects a pattern of missed payments. Adding one more missed payment is not as significant as it would be on someone who has a clean credit report, according to Lulic.

More from Personal Finance:
91 million Americans fear maxing out a credit card
The 30% rule of thumb about credit card use could cost you
Fewer women now pay their credit card balances in full

The goal isn’t to have a perfect score, Griffin said. “The goal is the have a score that qualifies you for the best terms of rates, generally 750 or above.”

Regardless of your starting point, to achieve very good or excellent credit, there are simple things you can do that will have an immediate impact. Here are five tips from SuperMoney to give your score a boost:

  1. Check your credit report and dispute every error you find.
  2. Pay your bills on time. Late payments stay on your report for seven years.
  3. Pay off your credit card balances. This will reduce your credit utilization ratio, which will do wonders for your score.
  4. Stop applying for credit. Hard inquiries ding your credit for up to 12 months.
  5. Ask a relative or friend who has good credit habits to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. As long as their payments are made on time, your credit score will improve.

This story first appeared on CNBC.com. More from CNBC:

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MAC Announces Sequel to Selena Collection in Honor of Late Tejano Singer – NBC4 Washington

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Pucker up, Selena fans – MAC Cosmetics is bringing makeup
lovers a sequel to its Selena collection this spring.

In honor of the Queen of Tejano’s legacy, the cosmetic company announced on Tuesday that the new line will launch in April. It teased fans with a preview of its Bidi Bidi Bom Bom lipgloss, which was featured in the original line.

Rare video of late Tejano superstar Selena that has not been seen in decades has surfaced.

The first collection launched in 2016, a year after fans of the iconic singer started an online petition for MAC to create a line in Selena’s memory. It featured products that were named after her biggest hits, such as “Como La Flor,” “Dreaming of You” and “Fotos y Recuerdos.”

Just like the first launch, the singer’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga, teamed up with MAC to create the collection.

“I am forever grateful to MAC for allowing me to bring my creative vision to life and to celebrate my sister’s 25th anniversary,” Arriaga said in a statement posted by MAC.

The limited-edition collection is celebrating 25 years of Selena. Her legacy influenced a generation of artists and has even inspired an upcoming music festival in honor of her life.

Selena superfans can click here to sign up for email updates on the collection.

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What Hurts Most About Vanessa’s Speech Isn’t the Extraordinary — It’s the Ordinary – NBC4 Washington

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As Vanessa Bryant made her way up to the stage in Staples Center, about to speak for the first time publicly to the world since her soul mate and precious daughter were tragically taken from this world, many in the audience and watching from home were surprised she would have the strength to speak.

She and Kobe, after all, had been together since she was 17 and a half years old, decades together, through happy times and sad times.

As Vanessa first delivered a heartfelt message to her daughter, Gianna — Mambacita — tears began flowing in the crowd.

The pain of losing a child for most is unimaginable, and for parents to consider, unbearable. 

Photos: Stars Pay Tribute to NBA Legend Kobe Bryant at Staples Center

Jennifer Lopez’s tears flowed down her face as Vanessa’s voice broke, ever so softly, when talking about Gigi’s smile, and how it took up her whole face.

As she talked about her remarkable family life, however, it wasn’t how glamorous, or extravagant, or how jet-setting their lifestyles could be that resonated with the crowd — it’s how normal their family life is and was that struck a chord. 

Vanessa talked of how Gigi loved watching “Cupcake Wars,” and how Kobe coached her on the basketball court.

She spoke of how Kobe and Natalia watched movie marathons, debating “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars” films.

And while yes, Kobe had the ability to rent out a movie theater for his girls, it was the moments of life’s simplicity that brought tears to the eyes in the crowd.

This was a family that watched Disney movies, and where big sisters gladly helped mom take care of baby sisters. 

Vanessa also touched on a scenario, while not at all familiar to those of us who can’t imagine courtside seats, can very clearly imagine a spouse checking up on his other half. 

“Kobe somehow knew where I was at all times, specifically when I was late to his games. He would worry about me if I wasn’t in my seat at the start of each game and would ask security where I was at the first time-out of the first quarter,” Vanessa told a crowd of thousands. “And my smart ass would tell him that he wasn’t going to drop 81 points within the first 10 minutes of the game.”

The familiar banter of a couple married for longer than a decade made many in the crowd laugh, and nod. 

We balanced each other out. He would do anything for me. 

I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. 

Vanessa

But it wasn’t the tales of courtside seats or renting out theaters, or the purchase of the actual dress Rachel McAdams wore in “The Notebook” that made our hearts ache.

It was the stories Vanessa told of Kobe lathering his babies in lotion after bath time, of Gianna’s affinity for TikTok dances, the handwritten notes, the long waits for Kobe as he arrived early to pick up his girls from school — those are the moments that make parents’, and husbands’ and wives’ chests hurt. 

Athletes and entertainers joined the public and the Bryant family to celebrate the life of Kobe Byrant and his daughter Gigi during Monday’s ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles. 

It’s the text messages we write to our spouses, saying, once things slow down, I’d love to spend time with my best friend again.  

And what makes the Bryants so extraordinary is actually that they are ordinary. They are us. And that’s what hurts the most when you watch a mother weep over her soul mate, her daughter’s infectious smile, and the many memories that are yet to — and will never — happen. 

“God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other,” Vanessa tearfully said. “He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi. And I got Nani, B.B., and KoKo. We’re still the best team.”

Read the full text of Vanessa’s speech below.

First I’d like to thank everyone for coming today. 

The outpouring of love and support that my family has felt from around the world has been so uplifting. Thank you for all prayers. 

I’d like to talk about both Kobe and Gigi. But I’ll start with my baby girl first. 

My baby girl… 

Gianna Bryant is an amazingly sweet and gentle soul. She was always thoughtful. She always kissed me goodnight and good morning. 

There were a few occasions when I was absolutely tired from being with Bianca and Capri, and I thought she left without saying goodbye. 

I would text and say, ‘no kiss?’ She would reply and say, ‘I kissed you and didn’t wake you.’

She knew how much her morning and evening kisses meant to me. 

She was so thoughtful to remember to kiss me every day. She was daddy’s girl, but I know she loved her mama. She would always show me and tell me how much she loved me. 

She was one of my very best friends.  

She loved to bake. 

She loves putting a smile on everyone’s face. 

Last August, she made a beautiful birthday cake for her daddy. It had fondant, and looked like it had blue agate crystals. Kobe’s birthday cake looked like it was professionally decorated. 

She made the best chocolate chip cookies. 

She loved watching cooking shows and “Cupcake Wars” with me. 

And she loved watching “Survivor” and NBA games on TV with her daddy.

She also loved watching Disney movies with her sisters. 

Gigi was very competitive like her daddy but Gianna had a sweet grace about her.

Her smile was like sunshine.

Her smile took up her entire face, like mine.

Kobe always said she was me, has my fire, my personality and sarcasm. But tender and loving on the inside. 

She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine. 

Kobe and Gianna naturally gravitated to each other.

She had Kobe’s ability to listen to a song and have all the lyrics memorized after listening to the song a couple of times. It was their secret talent.

She was an incredible athlete. She was great at gymnastics, soccer, softball, dance and basketball. 

She was an incredible dancer too. She loved to swim, dance, cartwheels, and jump into our swimming pool. 

Gigi loved her TikTok dances.

Gigi was confident but not in an arrogant way. 

She loved helping and teaching other people things. 

At school she offered the boys’ basketball coaches to help give the boys basketball team some pointers. 

Like the triangle offense. 

She was very much like her daddy, in that they both liked helping people learn new things and master them. 

They were great teachers. 

Gigi was very sweet, always made sure everyone was OK. She was our shepherd, she always kept our family together. 

She loved family traditions, family movie night and game night on vacations were important to her. 

She always looked out for everyone. She was very much in tune with her feelings.

Gianna was smart. She knew how to read, speak and write Mandarin. 

She knew Spanish. 

She had great grades, and kept them up all while becoming an incredible basketball player. 

She was president of school spirit, on student council. She was director’s assistant for school play, just like her big sister. 

She was looking forward to graduating 8th grade and moving on to high school with her big sister Natalia. 

I’m so happy she was given the opportunity to know she was accepted to the same high school. She was really happy. 

Gianna made us proud and she still does. Gianna never tried to conform. 

She was always herself. She was a nice person, a leader, a teacher, wearing a white T, black leggings, a denim jacket, white high top Converse and a flannel tied around her waist, with straight hair – it was her go-to style.

She had such swag and rhythm ever since she was a baby. 

She gave the best hugs and best kisses. 

She had gorgeous soft lips just like her daddy. 

She would hug me and hold me so tight, I could feel her love me. I loved the way she looked up at me while hugging me. 

It was as if she was soaking me all in. We love each other so much. I miss her so much. 

She was so energetic. I couldn’t keep up with her energy. 

She lapped Natalia and I on a track once. She was about 6 years old. We let her have a head-start, she still bested us.

I miss her sweet kisses, I miss her cleverness, her wit, her sarcasm. I miss that adorable sly smile, followed with a grin and a burst of laughter. 

We share the same “cat that ate the canary” grin. Gigi was sunshine. She brightened up my day every day.

I miss looking at her beautiful face. 

She was always so good. A rule follower. I knew I could always count on her to do the right thing. 

She was the most loving daughter, thoughtful little sister, and silly big sister. 

She happily carried the littles’ diaper bag, or played with them. She liked helping me with Bianca and Capri. Bianca liked going to the playground, swimming and jumping on the trampoline with Gigi. 

I used to tell Gigi that I thought KoKo considered her the best sister. 

Capri would smile from ear to ear when Gigi walked into the room, and Capri reminds me a lot of Gianna. 

They look alike and just smile with their whole face. Pure joy. 

We will not be able to see Gigi go to high school with Natalia and ask her how her day went. 

We didn’t get the chance to teach her how to drive a car. I won’t be able to tell her how gorgeous she looks on her wedding day. I’ll never get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle, have a father-daughter dance with her daddy, dance on the dance floor with me or have babies of her own. Gianna would have been an amazing mommy. She was very maternal ever since she was very little. 

Gianna would have most likely become the best player in the WNBA. She would’ve made a huge difference for women’s basketball.

Gigi was motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports. 

She wrote papers in school defending women and wrote about how the unequal pay difference for the NBA and the WNBA leagues wasn’t fair. 

And I truly feel she made positive changes for the WNBA players now. 

Gigi’s goal was to play in the WNBA. 

I’m still so proud of Gianna. She made a difference and was kind to everyone she met in the 13 years she was here on Earth. 

Her classmates shared many fond memories of Gianna with us, and those stories reminded me Gianna showed everyone that no act of kindness is too small to make a difference in someone’s life. 

She was always, always, always considerate of others and their feelings. 

She was beautiful, kind, happy, silly, thoughtful, and loving daughter and sister. 

She was so full of life, and had so much more to offer this world. I cannot imagine life without her. 

Mommy, Natalia, Bianca, Capri and daddy love you so much, Gigi.

I will miss your sweet hand-made cards, your sweet kisses, and your gorgeous smile. 

I miss you, all of you, every day. I love you. 

Vanessa’s word for Kobe

Now for my soulmate…

Kobe was known as a fierce competitor on the basketball court. The greatest of all time, writer, an Oscar winner, and the Black Mamba, but to me he was Kob Kob, my Boo Boo, my Bae Boo, my Papi Chulo. 

I was his VeBe, his principesa, his reina, his Queen Mamba. 

I couldn’t see him as a celebrity nor an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. 

He was my everything. Kobe and I have been together since I was 17 and a half years old.

I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidante, and his protector. 

He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words. He was the early bird, I was the night owl. 

I was fired. He was ice, and vice versa at times. 

We balanced each other out. He would do anything for me. 

I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. 

He was charismatic, a gentleman, loving, adoring and romantic. 

He was truly the romantic one in our relationship. I looked forward to Valentine’s Day and our anniversaries every year. 

He planned special anniversary trips and a special gift for every year of our marriage. 

He even handmade my most treasured gifts. He just thought outside the box and was so thoughtful even while working hard to be the best athlete.  

He gave to me the actual notebook and blue dress Rachel McAdams wore in the movie. 

When I asked him why he chose the blue dress, he said it was the same as when Allie comes back to Noah.

We had hoped to grow old together like the movie. We had an amazing love story. 

We loved each other with our whole beings. Two imperfectly perfect people making a beautiful family and raising our sweet and amazing girls. 

A couple weeks before they passed, Kobe sent me a sweet text and mentioned how he wanted to spend time together, just the two of us, without our kids, because I’m his best friend first. 

We never got the chance to do it. 

We were busy taking care of our girls and just doing our regular everyday responsibilities, but I’m thankful I have that text. It means so much to me. 

Kobe wanted us to renew our vows. He wanted Natalia to take over his company, and he wanted to travel the world together. We always talked about how we would be fun grandparents to our daughters’ children. 

He would’ve been the coolest grandpa. 

Kobe was the MVP of girl dads, or MVD.

He never left the toilet seat up, he always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are. He taught them how to be brave and to keep pushing forward when things got tough. 

When Kobe retired from the NBA, he took over dropping off and picking up the girls from school since I was at home pregnant with Bianca and just recently at home nursing Capri.  

When Kobe was still playing, I used to show up an hour early to be the first in line to pick up Natalia and Gianna from school and I told him he couldn’t drop the ball once he took over. 

He was late — one time — and we most definitely let him know that I was never late. 

So he showed up one hour and 20 minutes early after that. 

He always knew there was room for improvement and wanted to be better.

He happily did carpool and enjoyed spending time in the car with our girls.

He was a doting father, a father that was hands-on and present. 

He helped me bathe Bianca and Capri almost every night. 

He would sing them silly songs in the shower, and continue making them laugh and smile as he lathered them in lotion and got them ready for bed. 

He had magic arms and could put Capri to sleep in a few minutes. 

He said he had it down to a science, eight times up and down our hallway. 

He loved taking Bianca to Fashion Island and watching her play in the koi pond area and loved taking her to the park. 

Their most recent visit to the koi pond was evening before he and Gigi passed. 

He shared a love of movies and the breakdown of films with Natalia. 

He enjoyed renting out theaters and taking Natalia to watch the newest “Star Wars” movie or “Harry Potter” films. 

And they would have movie marathons, and he loved every second of it. 

He loved tearjerkers too. 

He liked watching “Stepmom,” “Steel Magnolias,” and “Little Women.”

He had a tender heart. 

Kobe somehow knew where I was at all times, specifically when I was late to his games. 

He would worry about me if I wasn’t in my seat at the start of each game and would ask security where I was at the first time-out of the first quarter. 

And my smart ass would tell him that he wasn’t going to drop 81 points within the first 10 minutes of the game. 

I think anyone with kids understands sometimes you can’t make it out the door on time, and eventually, he was used to my tardiness.

The fact that he could play on an intense professional level and still be concerned with making sure we made it to the game safely was just another example of how family came first for him.

He loved being Gianna’s basketball coach. He told me he wished he would’ve convinced Natalia to play basketball so they could’ve spent even more time together. 

But he also wanted her to pursue her own passion. 

He watched Natalia play in a volleyball tournament on her birthday and he noticed how she was a very intelligent player. 

He was convinced she would have made a great point guard with her vision of the court. 

And he told me he wanted Bianca and Capri to take up basketball when they get older so he could spend just as much time with them as he did with Gigi. 

And he always told Bianca and Capri that they were going to grow up and play basketball and mix they ass up. 

Now they won’t have their daddy and sister here to teach them, and that is truly a loss I do not understand. 

But I’m so grateful Kobe heard Coco say “dada.”

He isn’t going to be here to drop Bianca and Capri off at pre-k and kindergarten. 

He isn’t going to be here to tell me to “get a grip, V,” when we have to leave the kindergarten classroom. 

Or show up to our daughters’ doctor’s visits for my own moral support. 

He isn’t going to be able to walk our girls down the aisle, or spin me around on the dance floor while singing “PYT” to me. 

But I want my daughters to know the kind of person, husband and father he was. 

The kind of man that wanted to teach the future generations to be better and keep them from making his own mistakes. 

He always liked working and doing projects to improve kids’ lives. 

He taught us all valuable lessons about life and sports through his NBA career, his books, his show “Detail” and his “Punies” podcast. 

He was thoughtful and wrote the best love letters and cards, and Gigi had his wonderful ability to express her feelings into paper and make you feel her love through her words. 

She was thoughtful like him, and so easy to love. Everyone naturally gravitated towards them. 

They were funny, happy, silly and they loved life.

They were so full of joy and adventure. 

God knew they couldn’t be on this Earth without each other.

He had to bring them home to have them together. Babe, you take care of our Gigi.

And I got Nani, B.B., and KoKo. 

We’re still the best team. 

We love and miss you, Boo Boo and Gigi. 

May you both rest in peace and have fun in heaven, until we meet again one day.

We love you both and miss you forever and always, mommy.

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