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.

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 3.7

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter is HEAVY in adult subject matter and language.  Readers discretion is advised.

The night I told Adam about how I got pregnant was one of the worst nights of my life so far.

“So…does Xander know yet?”

“He’s…he’s not the father, Adam.”

“Oh.  Um…do you know who is?  I don’t mean that in a bad way either.  I’m just confused I guess.”

“I met this guy back in France.  He was twice my age but we hit it off anyway.  It was supposed to end there!  Just flirting but then…  I found out right before I left that he was married.  And his wife was pregnant, too.  I’m such an idiot.  Before you ask: No, I’m not keeping it.  I have an appointment set up first thing Monday morning.”

We sat in silence for a few minutes.  I wasn’t sure what Adam was going to say.

“You are not an idiot, sis.  That asshole played you.  I’d rip his balls off if I could.  Anything to prevent you from this situation.  At least there’s a reason for you puking 900 times a day.  I thought you’d gone bulimic on me.  Not that this is any better.”

“Adam, please please don’t tell anyone about this.  Not with what Liv is going though.  And if Xander ever knew…well.  Just please don’t speak a word of it.”

“I’ll take it to my grave.  I swear it.”

“Thanks baby bro.  You are going to be a great man one day.”

It was 3am before either of us crawled into bed.  I don’t know how well Adam slept but I tossed and turned all night.  I crawled out of bed at 10am the next morning looking like a zombie.

Adam was in the kitchen whipping up some waffles.  I really had to hand it to him.  For only being 16 he really puts other people first.

Despite the prowess he showed with his toy oven the waffles were horrible!  They were a giant pile of charcoal!

We had a good laugh about it but ended up tossing them after neither one of us could dare the other into eating them.

I snagged Adam after breakfast to have another chat.

“I’ve got to go down to the resale shop and get some new clothes.  The parasite inside me is starting to take over and my pants don’t fit anymore.”

“Oh well…perhaps I could drive you?  You shouldn’t drive in your condition.”

“Adam, I’m pregnant, not incapacitated!  You don’t even have your license yet!  I’ll give you some lessons when we get home.”

“I wasn’t trying to get lessons out of you.  But if you insist.  Also, could you grab me a tux and a yellow shirt while you are out?  Prom is tonight.”

Short notice much?  I headed off with no money in my pockets and a lot to purchase.

A new clothing resale shop had opened up on the edge of town.  It looked cute on the outside but it was wretched inside.

I guess I should have figured it would look cheap.  If I can get a new wardrobe for $100 I shouldn’t expect it to look like a Neiman Marcus.

I ran by the salon on the way home.  I thought it might be too conspicuous to have lighter, flowy clothes at the beginning of fall so I needed a new hairstyle, too.  That way I could say I just wanted to change things up.

I found my new look hard to complain about even under the circumstances.  I’m such a hottie.

“Lookin’ hot, sis!  How about those driving lessons now?”

“Lookin’ hot now goes under the things you can’t say to me category.  Have you ever driven a car before?”

“Not legally.  Once I backed Dad’s car down the driveway and into the mailbox.  That’s about it.”

“Get in the car.  I swear if you even think about crashing my car I will never let you do anything fun again!  Just homework and housework!”

Adam was out the door and in the car before I could even blink.  The look in his eye was a scary combination of excitement and determination.

He did really well though.  I was still I little worried he might run over kids at the playground but he kept it on the road.

We got home just as the limo I ordered pulled up.  I figured if I had to buy him a tux I might as well rent the limo, too.  I was also living a bit vicariously through Adam since I skipped my own Prom.

Adam’s girlfriend Rory was already waiting when we got home.  He neglected to tell me she was going to come over so I felt kind of shitty about her waiting alone.  The limo seemed to make up for any anger she had though.

It was 11pm when I crawled into bed with no sign of Adam.  I figured he’d be home eventually or the cops would bring him home.  One way or another he’d show up!

I wasn’t going to set a time limit on his fun.

Chapter 2.39

Greetings from the North Pole!  Well, really it’s just Starlight Shores but it’s easily confused this Christmas Eve.

With the coming of Christmas it was time to hold our annual Gift Giving party.  We had more folks coming than usual this year.  Not only was my whole family going to be there but also Mike Hepworth’s family.  He and Liv have gotten pretty serious so we figured they should come, too.  Xander Sutton, Penny’s “friend” was also coming.  Rounding out the party would be Rory Duncan, a little girl Adam met at school.  So roughly 15-20 people, our biggest shin-dig yet!

So I did what I do every time we have a party–I cooked.  There were pies to be baked, roasts to be roasted, and of course the cookies were going to be a big hit with the itty-bits!

On top of all my fun, I had to make an early morning grocery store run as well.

Garrett had gotten into Nectar making and wanted to try out some new flavors at the party.  Of course he lacked the ingredients so off I went.  It’s not like I had other work to do!

I figured while I was out I could stop by the gallery and see how things were going.  It was Christmas Eve so it wasn’t busy at all.  Nevertheless, I was thrilled.

I sent Lora, the barista, home to be with her family.  While I sat and enjoyed a cup of coffee I had to admit I really loved this place.  Garrett was right.  We needed to have something to leave to our girls.  And the $10,000 a week it was bringing it wasn’t bad either!  Adam was going to be a teenager in just a few short months so we really needed to save up some money.

That thought made me realize my procrastination and I decided to head home to get the party room ready.

Since Garrett cleaned out the greenhouse we’d been using half for a studio and half for parties.  I think I successfully turned it into a winter wonderland.  Penny was not amused by my mad elf skills.

When I got back inside I found Adam busy in the kitchen.  Well, busy isn’t the right word.  He was using his genie magic to cheat.  He was so proud of his Angel Food Cake that I just went with it.  Tis the season for magic after all.

Adam decided to get in one or two more brownie points with Santa and helped me set up the food outside.

I may have out done myself this year!  Along with my usual roast we had three other types of meat dishes and three seafood dishes.

We also had Garrett’s nectar and some coffee.  I may have stolen one of the coffees to keep myself going.  I mean, the party didn’t even start until 7pm and I had been up since 5am!

Finally we had the dessert table.  Adam’s Angel Food Cake was the centerpiece of our dining experience.  He was thrilled.

Then everyone started to arrive with their gifts.  After that is was just your average Lox-Hanks party.

The kids played tag late into the night.

I cleaned up the mess caused by the dishwasher.  It really has something against our parties.  It has broken every single time.  You’d think Garrett would upgrade the darn thing since he is a master of handiness but whatever.

And no party would be complete without my parents trying to play in the sandbox with 8 inches of snow on the ground.

I hope we didn’t scare the potentially new family members too much!

We never did get to open gifts.  They were stolen during the party.  It didn’t seem to matter because everyone had a great time anyway.

The last of the guests finally left around 3am.  I am getting too old for these parties.  I have got to get these kids out of my house so they can take over!

As per my usual course of action after the party I decided to head to bed and leave the mess for tomorrow.  Perhaps Garrett could use his genie powers and give the gift of housecleaning in the morning.

Note from SweetPoyzin: The gifts really did disappear.  I clicked for everyone to come open the gifts and the pile vanished.  This is the second time I have done this party and the second time the gifts went wonky.  Sorry!  I hope you had fun anyway!

Chapter 2.37

Note from SweetPoyzin: I really loved hearing from Garrett before and it seems like you all did, too.  Mollie’s birthday post is coming from Garrett’s POV.  Weird, I know.  However, I adore Garrett way more than any of my Gen 3 guys so I’m going to ride this high for another post!  Also it is super photo heavy.  Sorry!

Lucy woke us up the morning of Mollie’s birthday.  Lil’ Bit didn’t care that mommy wanted to sleep in, kiddo was ready for the day.

“Hey, before you run off, I wanted to give you one of your birthday presents.”

“Oh, why can’t we just forget the whole day, Gar?”

“Well, hear me out.  Since you’ve done such a wonderful job of losing all that baby weight I thought I would send you on a trip to the spa.  You can get a makeover, new wardrobe, massage, whatever you want!”

“Is…is that a bad gift?  I don’t mean to say you look bad now or before but I just thought you might–”

“It’s wonderful!  I’ve never been to the spa!  I can’t wait!  I know just what I want!”

“There’s baby food already in the fridge.  Adam likes waffles or pancakes for breakfast.  The bus comes at 7 so have him ready.  I have to go!”

I told Mollie to meet me at her favorite cafe for lunch and she was off.  Good thing, too!  I still had so much work to do for her birthday!

After Mollie left I called in sick to work (I’ve been doing that a lot lately).  Then I got Lucy up and ready and I fed both the kids.  I was feeling pretty awesome about my fathering abilities.  I caught Adam as he was heading out to school.

“Hey, how would you feel about a sick day today?”

“This seems like a recipe for getting in trouble.  Why, Dad?”

“Well, I’ve got a lot of things to do for your Mommy’s birthday and I could use some help.  Are you up for it?”

“Am I gonna get in trouble?”

“Of course not, Nugget.  I will.”

I had to drag a ton of stuff out of the attic and into the greenhouse.  All the plants had died because…well we aren’t gardeners and we had four kids.  So I was going to turn it into a party house/photo studio for Mollie.  With the kids getting older I thought she might want a place to work should she ever decide to go back into business.

And being the awesome kid that he is, Adam kept Lucy entertained while I worked on some new wine for the party.  Before long it was time to rush off to lunch.  Things still weren’t perfect but I needed to show Mollie the biggest and best part of her gift.

I picked her up at the spa and was floored by her makeover.  She looked 20 years younger.  Not that she ever looked old.  Wow, I should not speak.

We went to Mollie’s favorite little Bistro and sat at “our” table.  This was the place where we decided to bring Adam into our family.  This same restaurant was the place we brought our daughter before sending her out into the world.  So many memories happened in this place.

“So, your party starts in a couple of hours and I still have one more gift for you.  Shall we head out?  It might take a while…”

“Oh my…what kind of gift is this?”

“Not that kind.  That is later.  This one is just down the road.”

We hopped in the car and not even five-minutes later we were at our final destination.

“Garrett, I really appreciate you bringing me to the Art Museum but I don’t think there is time to look around right now.  The party starts –”

“Mollie, honey, this is YOUR art museum, cafe, and gift shop.  I bought it for you.  Happy birthday.”

“How the FU–heck–did you afford to buy a whole museum!?  We’ve been selling off our stuff just to get the twins through college and the younger kids birthday gifts.  Hell, Christmas is coming up.  How are we going to buy gifts now!?  How did you afford this place?!”

“I sold the boat.”

“Garrett…we don’t own a boat.”

“No, no we definitely don’t own a boat.”

I may have forgotten to tell Mollie we owned a boat.  More specifically I owned a boat.  However, now neither of us own a boat and she has an art gallery.  Perhaps she will forget.

“Well, it’s about 2:30 now and you know how your mother is always early to parties.  I bet she is at our house right now.  Let’s go home and tomorrow we can bring your photos and get this place ready to go.”

“And while we are doing that perhaps you could tell me about this boat?”

I think I might need to work tomorrow…

I was wrong about Mollie’s mother being early.  She and Victor arrived a bit later and with a surprise in tow.

“Mrs. Lox, I think we should visit more often!  When is my new brother or sister-in-law due?”

“Any day now it seems.  And, Garrett, you’ve been married to my daughter for nearly 20 years.  I’m pretty sure you can call me Liddy.”

“Oh I’m pretty sure I can’t, Mrs. Lox.  Come on inside, you two.  It’s getting cold out!”

Before we could get inside though, Mollie came looking for me.

“Garrett where the heck are you?  The doorbell rang 15 minutes ago!  Holy shit…”

“Wow, Mom.”

“So aren’t you out of rhyming names yet?”

“Actually we were thinking Golly or Jolly.  He’d fit right in!”

“Oh, you forgot to tell me you were birthing an elf.  Does dad know?”

“Oh jeez, Mollie.  Really though the only name left was Polly and your father vetoed that so this kid gets a boring name.  Come on, I want some birthday cake.  Don’t you have some aging to do or something?”

With Liddy’s prompting Mollie went a blew out her candles.  Vic and Liddy got the seat of honor next to the birthday girl.  I mean, she is their daughter after all.

After the candles Mollie disappeared.  She didn’t even have any cake.  I had a feeling she might be having a midlife crisis moment and I went to track her down.

She was cleaning the house.  I knew then it was bad.

When I found her she was scrubbing Cueball’s cage.  I was concerned she might scrub right through the glass.

“Sweetie…is now the best time to be cleaning?  What’s up?”

“HAVE YOU SEEN ME?  Gar, I have wrinkles!  And saggy boobs!  I’m hideous!”

“Sweetie, everyone is done with cake.  How about I kick them out and I’ll show you just how beautiful I think you are.  And then tomorrow we’ll go and work on the shop?”

“Fine.  And you’ll tell me about this boat.  Oh, and you’ll also tutor Adam since you pulled him from class today.”

Only two weeks until the girls got home and I was going to need to kiss ass all 14 days.  I just knew it.

Olivia’s Letter Home — Year 1

Hi Guys!

I love our house here!  Of course I am the neat freak and I’m doing ALL the housework.  My room is impeccably clean!

OMG.  There is so much laundry!  They never do their clothes!  I’m so sorry if I was a slob, Mom.  Wtf was wrong with me?!

I learned to cook!  I was seriously getting tired of pizza, soda, and candy bars so I took a class!  I can only make mac and cheese but it is really darn yummy!

We have a “family” dinner night on Thursday.  We all get done with class early so we sit around and eat mac and cheese.  Sometimes Penny’s friend Xander joins us.  He seems nice.  No, Dad, they aren’t a thing.

I’m working really hard in my art classes.  I was struggling for a while.  You guys know school isn’t really my thing but I’m having a great time.

The drawing classes are my favorite.  Maybe one day I will the next Michelangelo!

Mike has been helping with my drawing classes, too.  He keeps it fun.

I have some room for improvement when it comes to human portraits…

Well, it’s Friday night which means Penny, Mike, and I have a study group.

I’ll see you guys soon!  Only a couple of weeks until break!

Love,
Olivia

Chapter 2.36

It’s that time of year when I wonder why I bother to put my dining room back together.  After Adam’s birthday comes Feast Day, then Lucy’s birthday, then mine, then Snowflake Day.  All of the holiday parties are at my house, of course.

This year I decided to throw one big Feast Day/Birthday Combo party.  If anyone wanted to complain about it they could have the Feast Day party at their house!

My brother took the family photos.  His professional photography business would give me a run for my money!

I had never made a Stuffed Turkey before so I read up how to do it while watching some celebrity chef make one on the cooking channel.  Adam wanted to help with the cooking this year so he hung out with me.

I spent the morning baking like some sort of crazy woman.  Garrett kept trying to sneak bites of my pies and salads so I finally threatened him with my butcher’s knife and he ran off to play with Lucy.

Since Adam was showing such a desire to bake we bought him a toy oven to practice with.  He honestly loved it and I had a blast baking with him for Feast Day.

Of course it was my baby’s birthday, too!  I love her and all but I’ve never been a baby person.  At least toddler’s sleep…sometimes.  I was not really going to miss this baby stage and I can say with full certainty that she is our last.  I know Garrett wants another boy but he’s going to have to quit his job if he ever wants to try that mess again!

Adam has also really taken a liking to building.  By building I mean destroying buildings.  It doesn’t matter if they are blocks, sand, or dollhouses.  I will have to watch him when Lucy starts getting into dolls!

I’d like to say that I was finished baking by the time everyone started arriving.  Layna showed up first with Lotus and Luka.  Poor Louis had the flu so he was staying with her parents so Ollie could visit as well.

Lotus is the spitting image of her mother!

And Luka could be my brother 25 years ago!

My brother is getting older, too!  Hard to believe he is 35 when I watch him playing video games with my husband.  And to think I’ll be 40 in a week!

I was still panicking about food when my mother arrived.  She proceeded to show me that I was too pent up by dancing around my kitchen while screaming “YOLO”.

We did have plenty of food.  Not only did everyone bring something but we also had birthday cake.

Miss Lucy’s birthday was incredible.  I have no idea where that stunning red hair came from but my Dad says his mother had the most beautiful curly red hair this side of heaven.

After dinner I was still trying to get people to eat the two tons of food I made.  My father politely declined.  Colleen also said no because she had other houses to visit.  She would not give up the name of boy.  And Holly ignored me the way kid sisters tend to do.

Everyone did their own thing after dinner.  It was fun watching Oliver interact with his son.  Mom even got in on the sandbox action!

Adam thought the best time to try and sell his goodies was after a big Feast Day meal.  He looked so proud of himself that his aunts, grandma, and I took pity on him.  Kid made out like a bandit!

Lucy got covered in cake so after a quick bath she settled in to play with Lotus.  Those two are going to be thick as thieves…and heart breakers, too!

It was about 11pm by the time I finally got everyone cleared out.  I’d been waiting all day to get the final shot for my collage.  Now it feels complete.

I took Lucy upstairs and tucked her into her big girl beg for the first time.  She was a bit nervous but settled in after a short time.

When I knew she was asleep I went into the computer room to read Olivia’s latest email.

Penny’s Letter Home — Year 1

Dear Mom and Dad,

OMG!  We made it to college!  It was a long drive but the house is totally bitchin’ awesome!

There’s some early snow on the ground here.  Can you believe it is only October but there is snow already?!  It’s gonna be a long semester!

There was a college-wide get together the first week and Olivia and I had a blast.  People totally don’t believe we are twins!  They don’t know we are witches either so the professors better not fail us!  HAHA!

Our house has two bedrooms.  Olivia and Mike have the smaller room.  I took the big one for myself!  It’s ok…they like “cozy.”  Ick.  Don’t worry, Dad, I’m keeping an eye on the lovebirds.  No funny business!

Olivia and I have a super early class.  It’s dark when we leave…

..and dark when we get home.  I have classes ALL DAY on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!  From 8am to 6pm!  Jeez you’d think they’d want us to learn or something!

We are eating pretty well.  Of course I spend so much time in class that sometimes we have to order pizza.

Classes are going really well!  I’m getting A’s in EVERYTHING.  They said Medical School would be hard but whatever.

I had to give a presentation in one of my classes!  It was great.  I totally rocked it.

Olivia and the professor were the only ones to show up but I kicked ass anyway!

OMG you guys!  Olivia is getting really great at drawing!  She was awesome to begin with but now she is even better!  She is really dedicated.

We found this AWESOME bakery just down the road from our house.  They have the BEST brownies.  No, Dad, they are not THOSE kinds of brownies.  I know what you were thinking.

Oh, by the way, I met a boy.  No, Dad, it’s not serious.  I am bringing him home for Winter Break.  NOT BECAUSE IT IS SERIOUS.  Sheesh.  He’s from Starlight Shores…sorta.  He’s really from Sunset Valley but was born in Sunlit Tides.  So his family is new to our area and I’m going to show him around.  GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER, DAD.

We’re just friends.

I gotta run!  Class and all the jazz!  See you over break!

Love Always,
Penny