Chapter 3.23

Note from SweetPoyzin: Sorry it’s so short.  I didn’t want to do it but it had to be done for reasons that will be explained later.

Car accident.  It was worse than I could have imagined.  We lost Mike, too.

Mom was a mess.  Someone had to plan a funeral.  So I got on the phone and made the arrangements.

“Yes, yes I’m sure I want it on the beach.  Yes, only black table clothes and chairs.  No, make sure everything else is colorful.  Yes, I’m sure she would have wanted lots and lots of color.”

After I made the plans Xander grabbed me.

“Let’s take the kids.  You know Mike and Liv would have wanted them to be raised by family.  Who better than you?”

Bug and Pickle.  Shit.  I hadn’t even thought about the kids.  I may have lost my twin but they lost everything.

“The social worker stopped by when you were on the phone.  There’s a hearing tomorrow.  If you want them she said all you have to do is show up.  We should do this, Penny.  Liv would kick your ass if you let them go into foster care.”

He was right.  I have no idea where I am going to put them but they have to come here.  Tomorrow.

The next day before the funeral I headed to the courthouse.  I wished that convincing a judge I’d be a good parent was the most difficult part of my day but it would only get worse from here.

The venue was perfect.  It was just what Liv would have wanted.

I wished that Mom’s photos were being used for a better purpose but I wanted a celebration just like we used to have for our birthdays.  We were going to celebrate her life not mourn her death.

I still lost my shit when I saw her urn though.  How was I ever going to raise her children the same way she would have.  She was so much better than me at everything.  How was I going to get through this without the person who had been through everything with me?

Katie handled it all so well.  She stood there and let others mourn for her mother but never cried.  I knew we would be dealing with that later but for now I was glad she kept herself together.

Mom and I did the eulogy.  We did our best at least.

We both looked a little crazy but I don’t think anyone was going to hold it against us.

Later Adam, Bug, Pickle, and I went to the cemetery together.

We all just cried and held each other.  It was the best we could do.

We had all lost the glue that held us together.  It was up to us to hold each other together now.

Please, please, please.  Olivia, if you can hear me…please help me raise these babies.

Chapter 3.22

Note from SweetPoyzin: Don’t hate me.

Xander and I had some things to think about after our dinner conversation.  I realized we should have had this chat earlier…like before the wedding.

Luckily I was able to convince him that maybe we should wait just a tad longer.  I told him I would consider having a baby after he got off the night shift.  I got too little sleep as it was.  I didn’t need less with him working all the time.

“So…now that we have that settled…how about the beach?”

I was planning on throughly enjoying the rest of this trip now that I didn’t have to worry about babies all the time.

However, my family had other plans.  My phone was ringing off the damn hook.  It was my mother.  Whatever she wanted could wait.  I was going to enjoy every second I had left of this trip.  I earned it!

I silenced my phone and forgot about bills, work, babies, and life.

I checked my phone after dinner and had 132 text messages and 57 voicemails.  After reading the text from Adam that said “Call Dad” I decided to respond so I could get some peace.  Dad answered on the first ring.

“CHRIST, PENNY!  Thank God you are ok!”

“Of course I am, Daddy.  I am on my honeymoon.  Forgive me for shutting the world out for a few days.”

“I know, honey.  I’m really sorry about interrupting your trip honey, but you need to come home.  Now.”

I silently rolled my eyes at him.  He’d better have a damn good reason for asking me to come home.  Xander and I waited nearly a year for this trip.

“Well.  Xander and I still have a week left in paradise.  We will be home next Friday so we will see you then.”

“Now, Penny.  Tomorrow.”

“Ugh, Daddy.  You’re being too dramatic.  What’s got your feathers ruffled?   Who died.”  I rolled my eyes again and went to hang up the phone when dad responded.

“Olivia.  Olivia’s dead.”

Chapter 3.19

Christmas came to Starlight Shores before I had time to blink.

Of course, this meant that I got to buy new furniture and rearrange the house again which is my favorite part of the holidays!

Adam’s favorite part is the break, of course.  He took time to sleep in and be a bum.

I was hosting the big Snowflake Day party (ugh) but that morning I had other plans with my favorite folks.  Liv, Bug, Pickle, and I were off to the Winter Festival.

Having never seen so much snow before, Bug and I took to the fields to make the biggest snowman ever.

“Hey wait here, Aunt Penny…I’m going to go get us some stuff to make his face!”

10 minutes later Bug was still missing and I had to go on a Bug hunt.

“AUNTIE PEEEEEPEEEEE!”

“NANNY NANNY FOO FOO!  YOU CAN’T HIT ME!”  Bug had wandered over to the snowball fight arena and was attempting (poorly) to challenge me.

“Oh yeah?!  I dare you to hit ME!” I taunted back.  “Come join us, sis!” I yelled toward Liv.

“No…I think I’m good over here with Dylan….you know, where you can’t kill me.”

I might have been a bit rough on Bug…

I won, of course.  I’m not about to let a kid beat me even if she is my favorite kid!

I got her some goodies with the tickets I won so it all evened out in the end.

Mike came and grabbed the kids so Liv and I could have some “grown up” fun in the snow.  Unfortunately it all ended way too soon and I had to get to the party planning.

Luck for me,  Adam was way ahead of the game because I completely forgot to make the roast.

Luckily for everyone else his cooking has really improved!

Xander, was the problem chef tonight.  He started cooking steaks but then got called into work and left.  This did not end well.

I got home just in time to deal with the mess.

“Remind me to kill him later, Adam”

“Only after I kill him first, Penn.”

Sounded like a plan to me.

Adam also ended up putting the lights on the house and a snowman in the yard.  He’s going to make some woman seriously happy one day.  One day soon in fact…the boy is nearly a man.  Sheesh!

I put the prizes from the fair until the tree for Bug and Pickle.  I wasn’t leaving that little booger out of the fun!

Everyone brought gifts to the party as is tradition.

I wanted to wear an awesome Christmas sweater set I bought (I got one for Xander too) but after the fire I forgot to change.  Next year there will be payback.

Everyone loved their gifts.

I tried to make the roast quickly before dinner but roasts are not a quick thing.

Mom saved the day with lobsters.  No complaints here!

Aunt Lanya and Mom cleaned up which was the best Christmas gift EVER

Chapter 3.18

Being down one child has its perks!  With Katie in school and Dylan in half day preschool Liv was able to spend more time over at our place these days.

Adam would join us in the garden to paint on his days off.

He is really stepping up his game with college looming.  I suspect it has something to do with the car he wants for his graduation.  He’s been going around town snagging gems for my collection.

It was the weirdest thing that gem collection.  One day it just vanished while I was at work.  Xander had no idea what happened even though his butt is home all day.  Men are so unobservant.  Nonetheless Adam is helping me build it up again.

He’s also helping out around the house a ridiculous amount.  I mean, he was helpful before but now it’s just silly.

He even fixed the washing machine and the kid has no handiness skill.

It’d be nice if he’d clean a toilet or two but I suppose that it just too helpful.

The day of the annual Feast Party arrived and I set my team to work.  Xander was on yard duty.

I cooked my butt off in the kitchen.

And did some meager decorating.  My mother is the party lady at our house.  I just look silly.

We were way behind on our party planning this year which meant that I forgot the most important part…pumpkins.  Adam had the fun job of heading to the festival grounds for those.

We did our family duty of carving Jack-o-laterns together in the backyard.

Adam and Xander’s pumpkins got a place of honor on the front walk.

We hid mine in a corner of the dining room and hoped nobody would notice.

Just before the guests were due to arrive the doorbell rang and this little monster was waiting.

“Are you coming back for the party later, Bug?” I asked.

She rolled her eyes at me, “Not as long as there are houses with candy, Aunt Penny.  Bye!”

Granny and Gramps ganged up on Xander during the party.  Apparently there was some rumor about Xander being a crime boss in Starlight Shores and they wanted to get to the bottom of it.  He reminded them that his dad was a top DNA profiler for the CIA so if anyone was a crime boss it was not going to be himself.

Mom and Adam caught up a bit.  Mom was still a bit crabby about Adam running off to live with me when she had two babies she needed help caring for at home.  I sided with Adam that it’s not really his job to care for her kids.  That did not go over so well…

Dad regaled us all with his new guitar songs.  Liv chimed in on piano and Granny played the drums.  We’re a hot mess.

Adam’s girlfriend Rory sat on the computer all night.  She’s an odd duck.

The worst part about these damn parties is the clean up.  I don’t know why nobody stays to help.

The best part is drinking the left over wine.  No complaints about that one.

It was 5am before we got bed.  Never again.

Chapter 3.17

Autumn came quickly to Starlight Shores after the wedding.

The wedding was stupidly big news.  Your’d think nothing else happened the day we got married.  It was all over the paper.  Xander read every single article about it.

“Honey!  This one says “Top crime boss married world’s best surgeon in a star studded gala!”

“Xander, that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.  Your dad might be a celebrity but neither one of us is a criminal.  Your dad would have outed it already!”

Xander and I both got time off for a honeymoon after the wedding but with Adam heading into his final year of high school and one big birthday right around the corner we put off the trip until summer.

We still managed to have a good time at home despite the lack of honeymoon.

Me being me I took the time off to remodel and refurnish the dining room.  I loved the gift our friends and family created and I wanted it displayed in as much glory as possible.

While I was changing things up at home, Adam was gearing up for some major changes himself.

He and Rory were completely inseparable.  They were constantly out together (never at our house which was weird but who am I to judge).

When the basket of university goodies arrived it was clear why Adam and Rory couldn’t get enough of each other.  She is only a junior and won’t be going to university with Adam.  They wanted to get in as much time together as possible.

Adam’s summer prep courses paid off when he took his college entrance exams in the fall.  He would get a full ride scholarship no matter what major he decided to pursue.  That, of course, was the hard part for him since he loves so many different things.

Adam was in full preparation for his house at university.  He did not want to stay in the dorms so he started collecting all kinds of cheap garbage for furniture.

This meant that it was all going to fill up my basement for a year until he left and took that crap with him.

I ended up with some fun kitchen gadgets for wedding gifts and I intended to make good use of them!

I started out easy with cupcakes.

Even though I am a master chef it was still exciting the first time those little buggers came out right.  I immediately put them into my replicator for later and then got started on the next big adventure.

Bug’s birthday was tonight and I’d be damned if I was gonna let that kid have a boring store bought cake.

As luck would have it, the cake was perfect.  Bug totally did not get the whole blow out the candles thing so Liv helped her out.

Bug was even more beautiful than any of us could have imagined.  We knew she’d be a looker but she stunned us all.  She was more stunned by the cake than the fact that she was growing up.

Speaking of growing up, Pickle exploded into a toddler without anyone giving him permission! One day he was a baby and the next he was beginning to be a little boy.  I suppose that’s how it is with kids.  I feel like Liv and I were just children ourselves and he we are celebrating our weddings and our children (Bug and Pickle are my kids, too)!

After the cake I went upstairs to give Bug her present in private.

“WHAT IS IT, AUNT PENNYEEEEEE! GIMME GIMME GIMME!”

“Alright, alright.  It’s more of a big kid gift, ok?”

“I’ll love it just lemme see it!”

Bug had a hard time hiding her displeasure.  Apparently a spa day with Aunt Penny just wasn’t as cool as she was hoping.

Chapter 3.16

Note from SweetPoyzin: This post is mega picture heavy.  Penny is by far my favorite member of this legacy.  I put a great deal of time into these photos and into the text.  Sorry for the delay.  I wanted to savor this memory privately for longer than is possibly sane.

I decided to treat my wedding day like any other day.  I was not going to Bridezilla over this thing.  I’d leave that to Liv.

I woke up and did some gardening.  The end of the season was right around the corner and I wanted to stock up on as much as I could.

I wasn’t the only one taking the wedding day chill pill approach.

Xander spent most of the morning sleeping.  I was concerned he might not wake up for the wedding.

Adam is becoming quite the prolific writer.  His comic books are bringing in huge royalties.  He spent the morning working on his newest comic.

Right before the wedding Adam volunteered to grab the wedding cake so I could take a bubble bath and get ready.  He’s a pretty awesome kid.  I’m going to miss him when he heads off to college in a year.

So I did the whole bubble bath thing and woke up Snorlax so we could head to the venue.

We all piled into the car so I could go get married.  It sounded super weird even to me.  I was already getting cold feet.

Liv was right.  She does know me better than anyone.  When she decided to be serious in Bridgeport she found the most sunning dress for me.

Despite my excitement about marrying Xander I really needed a break from the whole deal.  The wedding wasn’t going to be for several hours anyway so I headed down to the beach for some alone time.

“I can’t believe my baby girl, my first-born, is all grown up.  You’re even more beautiful today that you were the day you were born.”

I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t even notice Dad had been watching me.

“It can’t be that hard, Daddy.  I was a small wrinkly prune baby who screamed day and night.” I smiled sheepishly.

“Daddy?”  I didn’t know how to say what I wanted to say, “Am I marrying the right man?  Is everyone always this nervous or am I really making a bad decision?”

“I think Xander has his faults but I think he’ll be a damn fine husband.” Dad said with conviction.

“If he does turn out to be a bad guy he will have to answer to me.  I’m sure Adam, Mike, Oliver, and Vic will also come a-callin’ if he steps out of line.”  I didn’t doubt him for a second that there would be an ass whooping if need be.

“Thanks, Daddy.  You always know what to say.”  I sniffled into his shoulder as I hugged him.

“You will be fine, kiddo.  No matter what happens you will always be ok.”  He gave me one more good squeeze and went off to find Mom.  No doubt to shed a few tears of his own.  I wasn’t alone for long though…

“Well, if you aren’t the most beautiful bride!  How are you holding up, my dear?”

It was that long ago that I was standing in my parents’ bathroom asking Liv the same thing on her wedding day.  How time flies.  Back then I was still in med school and Liv was pregnant with Bug and neither of us quite knew what to say.

She’s always been the maternal one.  I’m glad I have her to take care of me when I need it.

I still didn’t know what to say.  It’s nice having a twin because sometimes I don’t have to say anything and she knows exactly what I am thinking.

Live pulled me into a hug.  “You know he’s not perfect…but he’s perfect for you, right?”

“How can you be sure, Liv?  How do I know this is what I’m supposed to do?”

“Penelope.  You know what?  I’m not the one you should ask.  Why don’t you ask Xander yourself?”

She wandered off to grab her camera and before I could protest Liv had reappeared with Xander.

“You’re breathtaking, Penny,” Xander mumbled as he embraced me.

The way he held me in that moment sealed the deal.  He was head over heels for me.  I was just being silly.  Probably lamenting my loss of freedom or something.

No, I was getting married today.

“Look, if you are having second thoughts…” Xander shrugged as if to say I could make this all disappear with one word.

I cocked my eyebrow at him in mock thought.

“No, we should get married.  I mean, we paid a fortune for this whole get-up.  And I love you and all that jazz.  Come on, it’s 4:30pm already.  It’s nearly showtime!”

And with that we headed up to the venue where everyone was already waiting for us.

Mom and Dad sat in the front row looking beautifully young and trying to keep it together.  You’d think after Liv’s wedding they’d have this down but I guess this is just proof I am the favorite.

Uncle Oliver and Lucy sat together.  Lanya didn’t get to come because the twins were sick.  She also said she had the flu but I’d bet dollars to donuts there is another little Lox on the way.

We had a sit wherever policy.  We’re all family now so Mike sat with Xander’s dad Isaac.  Adam was the best man and Liv was maid-of-honor/photographer so they got to sit up near the wedding arch.

Despite being divorced you can tell that Isaac and Staci still cared for each other.  They didn’t sit next to each other but they didn’t bring their significant others to the wedding either.  Seraphina was also able to make it to the wedding but Isabella was studying at boarding school still.

I stood under the wedding arch and stretched, “Are you ready?  Cuz I got my game face on…”

“Yes, my precious.  I wants the precious in holy matrimony.”  Oh we were a match made in heaven.  Either that or we were just too weird to marry other people.

Next thing we knew, it was sunset and it was showtime.

“Penelope, the moment I laid eyes on you in the university commons I knew I wanted to marry you.  I’ve always known it was you.  And even though you haven’t always been sure I was the one who would be your husband, I’m so glad you finally came around and decided to jump in with both feet.  I love you more than life itself and I will give everything I can to make you happy.”

“Xander, I knew you were the one I was going to marry the night we went cosmic bowling in college.  You fell face first in the bowling lane and instead of being absolutely humiliated, you giggled like a squirrel on crack.  I knew then that I wanted to spend my life with you.  I want someone by my side who can make me laugh no matter what even during life’s darkest moments.  I may have made you work to get to this wedding arch but I wouldn’t want to be here with anyone else.”

From somewhere in my mind I heard justice of the peace say “I now pronounce you husband and wife” but I was so lost in the moment it didn’t register.  I was standing at the altar with my best friend while our families joined us in celebrating our union as one.

We stood under the wedding arch a while longer while our family and friends cheered us on.

At sunset the justice of the peace finally said the words everyone was waiting for:

“I now present to you Xander and Penelope Sutton!”

Xander snagged one more surprise kiss under the arch.  It was perfect, the cheers from our family, the sunset, everything was perfect.

We went inside to cut the cake.  Our family had signed their wishes onto a photo matte with a print of Xander and I holding hands in one of our engagement photos.  It was a total surprise and all I could manage to do was smile dumbly at Xander.

Finally I came to my senses and cut the cake.

Liv and I stayed upstairs eating cake long after everyone had wandered downstairs to dance.  We deserved that damn cake.  We had both dieted and exercised for months.  We were going to enjoy us some cake.

Finally we headed downstairs to dance.  Liv followed everyone around like a creeper taking photos non-stop all night.

I had to admit, despite my reservations I was thrilled.  It was a wedding for the books, really.  Everyone had a blast.

Xander and I danced long after everyone went home.  That night it was just us.  We’d deal with the world in the morning.

Chapter 3.15

Note from SweetPoyzin: This is seriously picture heavy.  How could it not be when my three favorite ladies hit the big city in search of wedding dresses and fun?

Xander and I decided to head to the spa on Wednesday.  It’s the only day we both have off together.

“So I still need a wedding dress, you know”

“What about it?  I’m sure you’ll find one.  I mean…the wedding is two months away.”

“Yeah, but I was thinking I need to travel to find one.  Liv mentioned something about a great bridal shop in Bridgeport.  I think we might go there.”

“Bridgeport?  That’s like…8 hours from here.  Do you really need to go there to find a dress, sweetie?”

“Men…You just don’t understand.  ”  I sighed.

“Yes, I do need to go.  Liv, Mom, and I are leaving tonight.”

And by tonight I meant as soon as Xander and I got home.  Liv and Mom were already waiting for me when we got back.  We loaded up the car and headed off to Bridgeport!

We arrived at our condo late that night.  It wasn’t much to look at but it was cheap as hell so it would do.

We all slept in the next morning.  We didn’t have to be at the bridal shop until 1pm so we were taking advantage of the quiet.  I didn’t have the kids that Mom and Liv have to deal with but my pager can be just as annoying!

Mom made grilled cheese sandwiches for breakfast…which was actually lunch.

Liv and I dragged our butts out of bed with barely enough time to eat and change.

Despite being grown women, we were still nearly late for our appointment at the dress shop.

As soon as we pulled up I knew I was in over my head.  I wear scrubs and jeans all day every day.  This place was a wee bit too fancy for my tastes.

“Ok…so how does this work?  I just go find some dresses and try them on, right?  I don’t want anything too fancy.  It’s just not me.”

Mom already looked worn out as Liv studied me.

“Nope, that’s not how this is going to work.  I’m going to find the dresses and you will wear them.  Who knows you better than your twin, eh?”

“You’re going to make me look stupid just so you can take pictures and post them online for everyone to make fun of.”

“GIRLS!  Can we just get this show on the road?  I’d like to get my drink on while we are here.”

“Yes, mom’s right.  You go into the dressing room and I’ll find some dresses.  Go on now.  Git!”

Mom seemed frightened by the first dress Liv found.  I had a feeling she didn’t even try to find a good dress at all.

“Liv this is perfect!  I’ve always wanted to be confused for a wedding cake.”

“I know.  I’m sorry, Penny.  I tried to find one with a big bow on the butt.  Alas, no luck.  Maybe next time.”

“Ok girls…who wants to hit the bar?”

We looked at a couple more wedding dresses before we all had had enough of Liv’s silliness.  We went to a local dive bar for happy hour.

I was denied access to the VIP room!  So Liv and I devised a plan.

“While I distracted the bouncer, Liv snuck right in.  After breaching the hull, she flirted with the bartender and bit until both mom and I could get inside, too.

Still, I paid off the bouncer to make her feel special.  Or maybe it was because I suck at sneaking and she caught me.

After getting a few drinks in, we all decided it would be a good idea to strike up a band on the main stage.

Spoiler alert: it is never a good idea to play on the main stage after a few drinks.  We got kicked out of the bar.  It didn’t matter though.  We needed to get some sleep before our second fitting at the bridal shop.

“Ok, you go find a room.  I saw THE PERFECT dress yesterday and you must try it on immediately.  Go, go, go!  Shoo, shoo!”

Oh the mirth that spread across Liv’s face when I tried this one on.  It was only matched by the sheer terror plastered on my mother’s.

“What are you smoking, Olivia!?  This dress isn’t even funny for a joke!  God in heaven this thing is awful!”

Liv couldn’t even speak.  She was consumed by silent giggles.

Mom looked concerned for our sanity.

Just then we heard a woman scream in the reception area.

I’m a doctor.  I help people.  I suppose sometimes you just have to put on a smile and help people while wearing a stupid dress.

Thank goodness the guys at the hospital didn’t see this.  I’ve never live it down.  Her husband was not helping.  I couldn’t tell if he was more upset by his wife’s sudden illness or the fact that she was being aided by a woman in my attire.  I wouldn’t blame him on the latter.

I put on my best smile given the circumstances and handed the woman a pill.

After that extravaganza I changed and we hit the bars again.

We totally got bounced at the first bar went went to.  So mom and I headed home to change while Liv went down the street to butter up security.

For a nearly 30-year-old mother of two, the woman knows how to work it.  Mom and I returned and we got in no problem.  Liv was having a grand ol’ time flirting with the bartender again.

Mom and I played it low key.  We just had a few drinks and danced.

This place was obviously too fancy for us.  They had a fish tank built into the wall.  We are not those kinds of people.

Before I could stop her Liv was headed to to rooftop bar.  Again, flirting her way past security.

“Where is your sense of adventure, Penny?”  Mom asked as she, too, headed up to the roof.

I had to admit, I was not disappointed once I got up there.

We chilled in the hot tub until we turned into prunes.  I went to grab more bar snacks and drinks for us but when I got back Mom and Liv were missing.

It was not difficult to find them though.

You’d never know they had children at home.  Or that they were respectable members of society.  Jeez.

We stayed out all night.  I’m too old for that crap.

We had one more fitting at the dress shop and Liv came through for me after all.  She found the perfect dress.

We did not go out to the bar that night because we were all still hungover from the night before.  Needless to say we called it early that night and passed out.  Our insanity filled trip had come to and end and it was time to actually plan a wedding.

The Last Nights of Freedom

I don’t have a ton of images from the Bachelor/Bachelorette parties.  I was too busy enjoying the insanity that ensued I forgot to take screenies.  Especially with Penny’s party.  You’ll see why shortly…

The guys had their party at a local pool.  Mostly so they could be my playtesters.  They ate burnt hotdogs, drank at the in-pool bar, and Xander tried to get too friendly with the party dancer so Garrett banished her.

All in all it was an awesome party.

The party begins.  I have no idea what Mike is doing in the background.  The seemingly random guy is Xander’s brother-in-law Roux who married Athena (she has two kids and a step-daughter now…weird).  You probably recognize the rest of the family.  Probably one of my favorite images of the generations.

Issac attacking Xander with fizzy nectar.  Warm fuzzies.

And now Garrett gets in on the action.  Xander was very sticky that night.

The party dancer shows up and there was more fizzy nectar sprayed all over Xander.  Also the look on Issac and Garrett’s faces.  So awesome.

Ok…this.  Garrett what the eff is that?!  I love this so much.

The ladies did not have such a great time.  All the biggies attended: Lanya, Liddy, Mollie, Liv, Athena, Seraphina, and Isabella, Staci.  For some reason there was animosity between Mollie and Staci and they got into a slapping fight (wtf?) which then made Xander’s people hate Penny’s people.  Lanya did the crosseyed-pregnancy glare, popped, and went home.  Nobody ate the food and Liddy passed out on the floor.

The party was still a hit though so win?

So Mollie showed up to Penny’s party in this getup.  She’s looking good for a middle aged mom of five!  Although…seriously?  Why that outfit?

Is Penny pleased with this party dancer?

Oh yes.  She likes him very much.

You don’t mind if I stare down your shirt?  I like me some cougar!

Sorry, I needed to see this again.

Next time Penny, Liv, and Mollie hit the big city to shop for wedding dresses and one last crazy night out!

Chapter 3.14

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter is a bit short.  You’ll thank me for the brevity when we get to chapters 15 and 16 which will be so picture heavy and full of feels it might break your computer and/or your sanity.  My apologies in advance.

I had been a world renown surgeon for about two weeks which meant I’d been engaged just as long.  Xander and I set a date for the end of summer giving us just three months to get everything in order.

With all this stuff hanging over my head I did what any intrepid young woman would do: I got a makeover and invited my boss to dinner in hopes of a raise.

I played up the fact that I was getting married in a few months, working to send my baby brother to college, and trying to make ends meet.  Most of which is true.  The ends meet more or less depending on how much shopping I –er…Xander– does.

Nobody needs to know that I laced the food with a potion made specifically to force my boss to do my bidding.

Needless to say, my powers of persuasion did the trick and after some steak, angel food cake, and lots of wine I was granted a $57 an hour raise.

It was great timing, too.  Liv, Mom, Granny, and I were headed out venue shopping this weekend and I’d need a hefty chunk of change for a down payment.

Would you believe Xander decided to take my raise to the furniture store and redid the whole living room?

I didn’t think so.

Well someone had to redo it.  It was getting old and boring.

It might as well have been them since they spend their entire lives in there playing video games.  They are totally obsessed with this game where they are chased by llamas.  I have no idea either.

On Saturday I left the boys to their llama battle and met up with the women of the family at Delmar Beach.  I didn’t want the same wedding that Mom and Liv had.  I wanted something new and exciting.  The beach sounded like the perfect place.

Mom and I arrived early and took advantage of the warm weather.  Let’s be honest, the building wasn’t going anywhere and it could wait.

Once Liv arrived she took the helm and kept mom and I in line.  We abandoned our patch of sun and toured the building.

It didn’t take much convincing.  This was it.  I put down the outrageous payment and went to track down Liv who was now taking up my towel on the beach.

“So I need a maid of honor still and you are my twin…so?”

“Like there was ever any doubt?!  Seriously.  I’ve already got the bachelorette party planned for tonight and next weekend you, me, and mom are headed to Bridgeport to find you a wedding dress.”

At that moment I could only think one thing:
I’ve created a maid of honor monster.

Chapter 3.12

Having people with three very different schedules living under one roof is difficult to coordinate but we were finally getting the hang of things.

We all agreed that I would be the sole chef of the house as I am the only one who seems capable of not burning food.  I’m ok with this arrangement because I don’t want to eat horrible food either!

Most days though I barely taste my breakfast because I’m working 7am to 9pm six days a week.  I love my patients but damn it would be nice if they refused to get sick on weekends!  I am a rising star at the hospital though so I should be a master surgeon before too long.

While I’m off saving lives at the hospital Xander cleans the house.  He’s working as an overnight security guard from 9pm to 3am.  So we rarely cross paths these days.  I’m hoping that’s the reason he has yet to propose and not because I’ve scared him away.

I haven’t the foggiest idea what he does while I’m at work and Adam is at school.

Something work related I assume.  They always seem to have side jobs for him in the afternoons.

I’d like to say that I get a break when I get home but that would be a lie.  I’ve been selected to compete on the hospital’s behalf in a medical knowledge competition.  If I make the hospital look good I get a promotion and a huge monetary reward.  So I’ve been spending long hours studying.

Yep, studying.  Well, everyone needs a break.  Liv and I have been honing our skills at the bar.  She’s a phenomenal singer.  I’m…not good.  But at least we didn’t get booed offstage like the guy before us.

The night before the competition I was up way, way too late studying.  I was only a C-student in college so I really didn’t want to eff this up and get fired.

Thank God for coffee.  I was tempted to take a shot of whiskey before I left but then I remembered I’m supposed to make the hospital look good and thought better of it.

After some cleaning (because it’s fun and relaxing for a neat freak…don’t judge) I was off to the competition.

Of course I won.  I’m awesome.  I was given a $10,000 bonus which meant I had $20,000 in my bank to do whatever I wanted.

Being the responsible adult I’m pretending to be, I did some house renovations.

I HAVE TREES NOW.  It’s so much nicer to look out my bedroom window and see trees instead of the vast empty waste of space that my lot used to be.

I put fences everywhere because this neighborhood has developed a Zombie problem and after Xander was attacked in the Spring I’m not taking any chances with Bug and Pickle.  Their mother would kill me if I sent home Zombie Babies.

I really missed the knowledge garden in China so I made my own half-assed attempt.  It’s not bad to look at and chess makes everything better.  I’m not much of a painter but who knows what Bug might want to do as she gets older.  Always got to have something fun for my boogers.

I’ve also taken to gardening in my spare time (which isn’t much but I have a dragon named Dork who helps me).  I’ve planted some fruit trees and some berries and we will see what happens.  Again, it’s all nicely fenced since I had a run in with some Zombies who thought my plants looked tasty (I’m glad they weren’t eating me but still…have some respect).

My favorite part is the gazebo.  It’s so relaxing to sit on my patio with the fire blazing.  It’s going to be a hopping party spot now that summer has arrived.  Once I get some more cash I’m going to enlarge that sucker and I’ve been toying with the idea of a pool.  Maybe when Bug and Pickle are older.  If they fell in…nevermind.  Nobody needs a pool ever.

I’ve promised Adam he gets to host the first party.  He’s straightened up after his rebellious streak.  He’s on the honor roll again and doing his thing in a really amazing way.

I didn’t realize that Xander had planned a trip with his buddies after work on Friday but Adam picked up when Xander called to remind us.  

Since then Adam has really stepped up around the house this weekend while I’ve been working.  He turned Rory down for a date just so he could clean and feed the pets.  

I still can’t believe I forgot about Xander’s trip.  I’m going to need a calender so I can keep track of everybody’s plans.