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 3.21

Nearly a year after the wedding we finally got our honeymoon!

Xander and I decided to travel to Sunlit Tides.  He really tried to convince me that France was the way to go but in light of my past I felt that France and my husband should not meet.

We got a suite in an amazing resort right on the ocean.  Contrary to most newlyweds we weren’t planning on spending the whole trip in our room.  In fact, we spent only a few hours a day together each day.

Xander was totally obsessed with learning how to surf.  He tried windsurfing, regular surfing.  He practiced on the ocean and in the pool.  It was funny because it was all he talked about even though he wasn’t very good at it yet.

I, on the other hand, was eager to learn how to snorkel.  I remember the seashells mom collected when I was a kid but Starlight Shores had limited sea life.  There was a bounty of underwater critters here and they even offered lessons on how to snorkel (the hotel, not the critters).  I jumped at the chance when the concierge asked if I wanted to sign up with their trainer.

We did manage to spend some time together.  One evening Xander rented a boat and we went on our own mini sunset cruise.  We had heard rumors of secret islands but we didn’t find any.  We also didn’t see the Kraken that the front desk attendant warned us about.  Old wives’ tale to scare the tourists and drum up business I’m sure.

I also challenged Xander to a fishing showdown.  We are both master anglers but I convinced him I am the better fisherwoman.  Xander took the bait (pun intended) and learned not to question his wife when she tells you she is better at something.

Our hotel had a sushi buffet and Xander and I were not about to pass that shizz up.  We headed over and got our noms and sat down near the pool when Xander started on about “it” again.

“What if we went home with a permanent souvenir of our honeymoon?”  I looked over at him and noticed the goofy grin on his face.

“Oh.  You mean like a parrot, right?”  I asked nervously.  I hadn’t been taking my regular birth control for a couple of weeks now but I may have slipped a morning after pill in there a couple times.  This conversation couldn’t go anywhere good.

He cleared his throat.  “I was thinking more along the lines of a baby.  You know I want a family, Pens.”

I realized then that we had never discussed when or if we wanted kids.  I wasn’t sure what to say because I still wasn’t up for the whole baby thing.  I didn’t want kids now.  I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to be a mother.

So I said the first thing that popped into my head…

“Could you pass the salt?”

Chapter 3.20

Suddenly winter turned to spring and summer was nearly upon us.  I started working in the garden again and Adam prepared for graduation.

Xander rocked the upgrades and gave the entire house a boost.

Adam was also making a bit of a name for himself as a writer.  He had moved past comic books and into novels.  He was bringing in nearly as much money as I was…only it took me an entire week and he got it done in one day.  He’s doing it right.

I prepped for Adam’s birthday and went on a gift spending spree.  I snagged him a guitar and a laptop.

Xander remembered how often his own laptop died in college and so he upgraded Adam’s to be unbreakable.

Oh…I may have gotten him the car he wanted, too.

Then it was time for the party.  I used my new oven to make the cake.  I am really becoming a little…obsessed.

We set up the table with all of Adam’s awards.  He won something in every club and prom king.  He’s going places.  At least, he better be after all this time I put into him!

Everybody showed up.  Well, everyone but mom and dad.  The baby was sick so they had to miss out.

Adam was more or less amused by the party antics.  He just wanted to be done with the mess.

Before too long…

…he was done.  My baby brother was an adult.

Adam took his college entrance exams and all his planning paid off.  He ended up getting scholarships in whatever degree he wanted.  Now all he had to do was choose one.

“Fine arts.”  He announced on graduation day.  “Or communications.  One of those.  Yep.”

“Good choice, kiddo.  One of those…yep.”  I wasn’t too worried.  Adam has always had a good head on his shoulders so I had no doubt he would settle on something eventually.

Xander and I got to the ceremony early.  We were loitering when we saw  him.

“I have arrived.  Yes, yes, thank you.  I know I am amazing.”

“Oh, Christ.  Get in there and graduate you dumbass,”  I said as I rolled my eyes.

Adam was named Valedictorian and Most likely to have five kids.  Good luck to him if that is true!

“Bow down to my awesomeness, Penelope.  I am BOOMSAUCE!”

Despite having no idea how long his god-like mindset was going to last I was mostly just glad that I had raised a successful, college bound graduate regardless of my own faults.

My prayers of gratitude were interrupted.

“So…we’re down a kid and that one wasn’t even ours.”

“HA!  I have to change.”  I had a vague idea of what Xander was getting at but I just didn’t want to go there today.

“Penny?  Let’s have a baby.”

There it was.  We had been dancing around it for months.  Here we were, nearly one year married and child-free.  I liked it.  It was good.  Why mess that up with a kid?

“Erm…what?”  Smooth, Penny, I thought to myself.

“Yeah, baby.  You’ll be a wonderful mother.  Look how well you did with Adam!  If we had one of our own you would be just as awesome if not more!”

“Oh, yeah.  Well, I guess.”  He wanted this so badly.  I’m sure he was right that I’d be a great mother.

“So…let’s throw caution to the wind?  Toss the pills and stuff, yeah?”

“Yeah, yeah ok,” I said with less reluctance that I expected.

What had I gotten myself into now?

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.

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.