Episode 3.4 Down Memory Lane (LASL)

Cathy Tea talks with Lizzie

“Did you hear about Ali and Leon?” Cathy Tea asked.

“Yes! I’m so happy for them,” I replied. “It sounds like they’ve settled on a spring wedding.”

To be honest, I was slightly jealous. I became a mom of four almost overnight. Sometimes it was overwhelming. I was happy to be with Joseph and I loved my kiddos, but I missed some of my freedom. A spring wedding was definitely something to look forward to, but I would be hard-pressed to fit into any of my old dresses, and I kinda wished I was going on a honeymoon trip again. The kiddos demanded loads of attention, and Joseph and I rarely had time for each other, not to mention alone time. Tonight, Ali had offered to babysit so Joseph and I could go out for the evening.

memories

It was hard to believe the Spice Festival had arrived yet again. It seemed like just yesterday when I first arrived in San Myshuno. So much had changed since then. The air was still filled with strong scents of summer savory and robust rosemary, but the colors didn’t seem quite as bright… or as magical. The city felt more challenging, larger than I imagined. I had yet to explore all of the city’s hidden corners and lovely nooks and cozy crannies. Instead, I was baby proofing the corners of furniture and finding parenting tips on my nook, and brushing crumbs in the couch. It wasn’t as romantic as I thought it would be.

Joseph wants to move to the city

I recall when Joseph said he wanted to move to the city. We weren’t even dating yet, and he asked me to pack my little black dress and come with him on his next business trip. If only I were so carefree now… He said he could see himself living in the city. Now I wasn’t so sure I wanted to stay. I hadn’t exactly shared these thoughts with him yet. I wasn’t sure how he would feel about leaving San Myshuno.

Cathy and Lizzie chat

“Simterra to Lizzie!” Cathy said, shrilly. “Did you hear a word I said?”

“Oh…um…” I made a face, feeling sheepish.

“A spring wedding in Newcrest!” Cathy clasped her hands. “Isn’t it divine? I love destination weddings. We’ll get to ride a train there.”

“Yeah, sounds… nice…” I trailed off.

Train to Hidden Hollow

Last time I took a train, Joseph and I ended up in an unexpected place. Hidden Hollow was our first honeymoon, our first official vacation together as husband and wife. Of course, it wasn’t at all like we planned, not like we planned to be in a pyre hollow in the first place. Even so, I recall it was fun, in a weird way, and we bonded. We were just starting life together…

Vlad
…only to be interrupted by a voracious vampire. I still couldn’t believe someone had wanted my husband so badly that he was willing to drive a wedge in our marriage. If it weren’t for the meddling obsession of an ancient vampire, I wouldn’t have lost our baby, Joseph and I wouldn’t have fought, I wouldn’t have…erm… passed on… and we probably wouldn’t have ended up where we were. We were stronger for it, but sometimes I found myself daydreaming of another life I could’ve had.

Cathy says earth to Lizzie

“Uh… Liz… you look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Cathy interjected. “No mind… I’ve seen plenty in my day. So many generational stories…” she appeared to drift off into her own little thought world. “So many lives loved and lost. Passing to the beyond.”

“Lizzie?” I could hear Joseph calling me.

“Uh, I should go, Cathy,” I said, quickly. “It was great catching up.”

“Anytime. You say the time, the place. I’ll be there,” Cathy said, offering me a hug. “Now where did I leave my pen? I have some notes to compile. A new story idea… maybe about ghosts!” she made a spooky ooo sound and walked away with an odd wave.

meeting Cathy

I shook my head, and smirked. Cathy was a dear friend. Never dull. Always brimming with ideas. I recalled the day we met. I was totally a fan girl because… who hasn’t read Cathy Tea’s works? And she had on that lightbulb tee shirt.

It’s to remind me to have only one idea at a time!” Cathy had said.

She sometimes said the silliest things, but that was part of her charm.

“I prefer expressing my big ideas in little words. Like Wow! Every heard of Wow?”

Joseph reserves a karaoke room

“Are you ready, Liz?” Joseph inquired.

Joseph reserved a room at the Waterside Warbler in our old neighborhood. I wasn’t so sure how I felt about singing since my pipes were probably a smidge rusty, but Joseph encouraged me and said it would be fun. Still, I was filled with trepidation when I walked up to the karaoke machine to sing to the crowd. Thankfully, there were only three in the room- a woman I had never seen before, Marie Carter, dressed in a strange outfit, and of course, Joseph.

“I’m hiding from the paparazzi,” Marie claimed.

Recently, she had made some sort of major scientific breakthrough. Unfortunately, I was a little preoccupied with diapers and dinner plans for six to read the paper or watch the news lately.

singing in coffee shop

When I continued to hesitate, Joseph walked up to introduce me, with a big goofy grin on his face, selecting the very first song we ever danced to and sang. That day in the coffee shop, our first date, felt like ancient history. He had been reluctant but I persuaded him through a combination of teasing and bold flirtation. The memory gave me enough confidence to try in a shy, sweet soprano.

Lizzie sings

Some day, yeah
We’ll get it together and we’ll get it all done
Some day
When your head is much lighter
Some day, yeah
We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun
Some day
When the world is much brighter

oh don't you dare

Joseph went next, because we’re partners, and he wanted to support me. Of course, he picked another song that incurred fond memories.

Oh don’t you dare look back
Just keep your eyes on me
I said you’re holding back… she said

Shut up and dance!
Shut up and dance with me

dancing on the balcony

I had assured him it would be fun, and we had lopped and swayed in the moonlight. We may have been close to broke then, recently spending everything we had to secure a deposit on our new place, but we knew how to enjoy ourselves.

Are your eyes on me?” I had asked.

Joseph belting his heart out
She took my arm
I don’t know how it happened
We took the floor and she saaaaaaaaaaid

Tonight proved that we could still have fun together. I mean, who wouldn’t chuckle or smile a little at Joseph’s warbly out-of-tune-heart-totally-into-it rendition of “Shut Up and Dance With Me?”

Lizzie falling asleep

“Come on Lizzie, you’re conking out on me,” Joseph teased.

“Hmm? What? Uh… sorry…” I murmured, nodding my head to the rhythm.

Joseph set down the microphone. “How about I take you home and we call it a night?”

“Yeah… sounds like… a good… idea…” I yawned.

Lizzie and Joseph at home

“You were pretty good tonight,” I remarked, nudging Joseph’s arm as I settled on the edge of our four poster bed.

“Aww… yeah…” Joseph puffed up his chest tonight with a smug smile before he relaxed into a softer one. “No really, you were better.”

“No, I thought your… efforts were…” I searched for a word. “…commendable.”

He grimaced. “At least you were in key.”

“But we both needed this… a night out…” I replied. “And…” I bobbed my head, my words trailing off.

Lizzie falling asleep

“Joseph Joe?”

“Yeah?”

“Staaaay…. right there…” I yawned, and closed my eyes, only about every other word slurred out. “…I…sleep…your shoulder. If you don’t…” I yawned, and closed my eyes.

Joseph smiled and finished my thought. “I don’t mind.”


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. Seemed like a good time for some nostalgia as I struggled to write this chapter. It wasn’t that the content wasn’t good because the characters are always great. I was just stuck in a rut creatively until I included the flashbacks. Hope you enjoyed. This chapter featured Cathy Tea’s Cathy Tea,  LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself, and TheYayToast‘s Marie Carter. 

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Side Tracks: Let’s Stay Together

Ali learns she's late
She was late. Late for a very important date. So late that she decided the only way to figure out why was to take a test. When the little screen blinked and displayed ‘yes,’ she couldn’t have been more thrilled. She patted her stomach.

“Hey little one,” she whispered.

telling Leon
“Leon, I have some news! Big news! Really big news!” she declared excitedly.

“What is it? How big? As big as…” her boyfriend asked, patting his tall ‘fro.

“Bigger!” she grinned, and covered her mouth almost self-consciously.

“Well, spit it out,” their roommate, Lewis sighed, with a hint of annoyance in his tone. “And would ya stop leaving books in the sink?”

“Opps,” Ali grimaced. “Sorry. I was reading some Friends of Foes while doing dishes tonight and got distracted.”

“It’s the third time,” Lewis groaned.

“What’s the news, love?” Leon prompted.

“I’m expecting!” Ali shrieked.

Leon gasped.

“Expecting what? A maid? Because that’s not what I am,” Lewis shouted as he waved his hand and walked out the front door for his night shift.

Leon and Ali alone

“A wee little one?” Leon inquired.

“Yes,” Ali bobbed her head. “And I hope he has your eyes,” she cooed.

“And your smile,” Leon said.

They stood still for a moment, drinking in the news, and then jumped up and down for joy.

“Come on, love, let’s celebrate,” Leon said, taking her hand. “Let’s make some music.”

“Didn’t we already make the music?” Ali frowned.

in bedroom

“Can’t hurt to make some more,” Leon said, softly. “I hope she has your eyes. Those lovely eyes behind those frames.”

“Uh uh,” Ali shook her head. “I look horrible with these glasses.”

“You look perfect,” Leon said. “And little Ali will be perfect too.”

“Or little Leon,” she said.

The front door slammed.

“Okay, guys, I’m back, because some-body STOLE MY BIKE,” Lewis yelled in frustration in the hallway.

“Uh oh, he’s back,” Ali bit her lower lip.

“You know what that means?” Leon smirked.

Ali giggled as her boyfriend walked over to the stereo to find a playlist for the evening.

Lewis returns

CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE TONIGHT?

Lewis talking loudly

“Amy, Amy, you can pick me up?” Lewis was saying.

Ali settled at the dining table with her grilled cheese and glass of milk. All that vitamin D was good for the pregnancy.

“Great… Thank you… Yeah… They stole my bike… Can you believe that?”

“Bye love,” Leon came over and kissed Ali’s cheek before leaving for his night shift.

“I’ll be tuning in,” Ali sighed. “And thinking about… the music?”

Leon chuckled. Lewis rolled his eyes.

“Would Cathy mind if I crashed at your place tonight?” he grunted, half-teasing, half-serious.

“Do me a favor, love?” Leon said. “Wait ten minutes, then come out of the apartment.”

“Why?” Ali puzzled.

“For a surprise,” Leon said, a big toothy smile spreading across his face.

Ali reads note

Ali stood stone still as she read Leon’s latest note. It was handwritten in black pen on a torn sheet from a lined notebook. He had posted it where anyone could’ve seen it, partially covering the poster advertising new soups at Garden of Olives, and next to the notice to remember to lock your mailboxes. In all lower case letters, Leon wrote,

love, let’s stay together. through the good times and the bad. whether we’re happy or sad. let’s stay together. baby, be mine? you are so divine. being apart is so vile. let’s get hitched on the aisle. your lover, leon.

It had an arrow pointing to a calendar for the month, and requested that she circle a date for their wedding? Ali squealed and clapped her hands. I’m getting married!


Author Notes: Thanks for reading! This chapter featured SoulGal7’s Leon Squires and Lewis Goldwin, and friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison.

Episode 3.3 Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

bathtime with Joey
Bath time is always a challenge. The triplets have their own bathroom yet on the night we planned to have company over, of course, Joey climbed into his mom and dad’s Jacuzzi in his diaper and then splashed so much water out of the tub that Joseph was soaked by the time he finished bathing the kid.

Joey and Mamma

Joey was a complete angel for me. I arrived home from work and he kept saying, “Mama… mama… love you… love you…”

“Aww… I love you too, Joey,” I replied, snuggling him close.

Triplets eating dinner
While I got the kids settled with their dinners – pb&j for Parker, chicken nuggets for Nathan, and a plain tortilla for Joey…

carrie bath time
Carrie enjoyed a toddler-free, uninterrupted extended bath time…

Joseph gaming
…and Joseph grabbed a shower, and beat his high score on Blicblock.

Joseph tells the kids it's time for bed
“Bedtime,” Joseph announced.

“No!” Parker, my night owl, howled. “Eat! Eat!”

She’s also the world’s slowest eater, when she wants to be.

“Why?” Nathan, my inquisitive one, inquired.

He appeared anxious. Lately, he’d had a few nightmares at beddie-by time, and was scared of sleeping.

“Mommy and Daddy have a guest coming,” Joseph said. “So you all need to sleep.”

“Who?” Joey tilted his head.

Joseph asks Joey to guess

“Guess who?” Joseph picked up Joey.

“Santa!” Joey exclaimed.

“No!” Parker kicked her legs. “No Santa!”

“You’re not ready for Christmastide?” Joseph teased.

“Oof…” Joey pointed to his teeth. “Oof…” he repeated and flapped his arms.

“Tooth fairy?” Joseph deduced. “Nope.”

“No bed,” Nathan said, declining participation in the game. “See ‘end.”

“No, you can’t see Mommy and Daddy’s friend,” Joseph replied. “Not tonight.”

Joey sleeping

“Sleep tight,” Joseph planted a kiss on the toddler’s forehead.

Joey went down the easiest.

HUGGING NATHAN

Nathan sleeping in Parker's bed

Parker

Nathan wanted endless hugs and wanted to sleep in his sister’s bed.

Parker wanted to eat. Then play. Then dance. She grumpily agreed to sleep.

washing hands

I was just finishing changing from my work outfit and washing my hands in the bathroom when the doorbell rang.

Ct talks to the bear

bear and dog

cathy and marshall

Carrie let the guest into the apartment. She wanted to show Miss Tea her room. Cathy took a particular interest in the giant stuffed bear Carrie won at a carnival last winter.

“Now, you…be good to my little Carebear. She deserves so much love. All the love you can give her, and if you don’t, I’ll come back and unstuff you,” Cathy threatened.

Marshall barked in agreement, eyeing the bear mischievously.

“I guess I’ll let you sniff my hand, but if you want to lick it, we can’t be friends,” Cathy said in mock-annoyance. “Oh okay… come here, boy!”

Lizzie makes dinner

I got started making dinner – fruit salad – as Cathy had turned vegetarian. She wanted to preserve Simterra, she said, and felt that abstaining from meat was a good way to do so. I pulled out the lettuce, mango, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and golden apples to wash and chop. I was happy so many fruits were in season this time of year.

Cathy and the trash

“Doesn’t anyone take out the trash around here?” Cathy grumbled.

“When you’re a mama of four, it’s hard to get to every household chore. I have to pick and choose,” I replied cheerily.

Joseph mopped the floor

Joseph brings in a plate

Joseph mopped the floor while waiting for the food, and carried in a plate from the bedroom.

“My cheese plate from earlier,” I winced. “I was watching a show in the bedroom.”

“It’s okay,” Joseph excused.

“Do you think she’s coming back?” I made a face.

We had waited almost twenty minutes for Cathy to return from the garbage chute.

Joseph digs in

“This looks delicious, beautiful!” Joseph smiled, digging into the fruit salad.

“Good for a hot summer night,” I remarked. “Ah…” I sighed. “It’s so nice.”

“What is?”

“Peace and quiet. All the kids are asleep.”

“Enjoy it while it lasts.”

Cathy excited

“Mangos! I love mangos!” Cathy remarked, suddenly appearing again, and taking a seat at the counter.

“Did you get lost?” I asked.

“Did you fall in?” Joseph giggled into his water.

“I was talking to Ali,” Cathy answered. “Apparently, she’s getting new glasses.”

“I didn’t know she wore glasses,” I remarked.

“She’s nervous it’s going to change her appearance,” Cathy informed.

“Nonsense, the nerdy look is in,” Joseph replied.

Joseph and Lizzie compliment

“And I know one person who can rock the sexy nerd glasses look,” I said, coyly.

Joseph made a sound that was a cross between a gasp of pleasant surprise and a slight choking on his dinner.

Carrie is awake

“Hello Miss Tea,” Carrie pitter-pattered into the kitchen in her bare feet. “I hope you enjoy Lizzie’s fruit salad.”

“It’s very good, honey…” Cathy said, and then stared off into space with excited inspiration. “Ooo… honey would be good drizzled over the salad. Got any?”

“In the left cupboard next to the sink,” Joseph said.

“Carrie, what are you doing up? It’s a school night,” I asked.

book request

“I was… wonder…wondering, Miss Tea? Would you read me one of your children’s books?”

“And then you’ll sleep?” I asked.

“Yes,” Carrie sighed, hopefully.

“Only if you want to,” Joseph said, looking at our guest.

“Hmm,” Cathy puzzled. “I might have just the story for you, Carrie.”

“The ones about puppies?” Carrie asked. “Marshall and I love that book.”

“Sure thing, kiddo!”

Carrie and Cathy return
When she returned, Cathy plopped down at the counter.

“I love telling kids stories. Remind me to host a sleepover at my house and Carrie can come sometime,” Cathy offered.

“Really?” Carrie’s eyes lit up. “You’re the best, Miss Tea.”

“Don’t mention it,” Cathy shrugged.

“That was very nice of you,” Joseph remarked.

“Carrie, did you brush your teeth?” I inquired.

“Yes… and…um…Lizzie?”

“Yes?”

“Would you tuck me in?”

“I’d love to.”

Lizzie yawns
“Lizzie, why are you yawning? Don’t adults stay up late all the time?” Carrie asked.

“Oh…ah…uh…I’m…slee..py…” I said, between yawns.

“That’s conta…gious…” Carrie said, yawning herself. “I learned that word in school the other day. It means I catch what you have.”

“That’s a good word to know,” Lizzie said, shaking her head to try and rid herself of the cobwebs forming.

Lizzie tucks Carrie in

“Good night, sweetheart.”

“Good night.”

Lizzie offers to Cathy
“Thanks for that,” I said.

“She’s a good kid. Tough break. She said she misses her mom,” Cathy said.

“Yeah,” I winced.

I had heard Carrie call Joseph ‘dad’ a few times, which surprised me, since she was close with her father, my ex-boyfriend, Rob. However, she still didn’t want to refer to me as “mom” or anything other than Lizzie. The therapist said not to rush things. She may never, and we would just have to accept it.

“You two have been good for her,” Cathy reassured me.

“I hope so,” I sighed.

“Look I know when it’s time to leave. I’ll see myself out.”

“You don’t have to do that. We were going to watch something or talk about our novels or some-thing,” I yawned uncontrollably.

CATHY LEAVES

“Get some sleep,” Cathy said. “I will call you tomorrow.”

Carrie sleeping

Parker

Nathan changed

Joey

Lizzie and Joseph


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. I was hoping Amy Cat, Cathy’s spouse, would come over for a visit, but she never arrived. I had to throw in a bit of humor from the forums as friendsfan is or was (as she might have them by the time I post this chapter) getting new glasses. This chapter featured Cathy Tea’s Cathy Tea,  LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself, and InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley. 

Side Tracks: Trouble in Paradise

Riley arrives home

“Where have you been?”

Akira’s tone was unusually harsh as he greeted his partner in the hallway.

“I went to Lizzie’s,” Riley replied, tilting his head in surprise. “But she and Joseph were going out for a night on the town.” He cooed. “Isn’t that wonderful?”

“Dad!” Oliver interrupted. “I cleaned my room, and I took out the trash, and I cleaned up my cereal in the kitchen too from this morning. And I got my homework done.”

“Very good, son,” Riley praised.

“I wanted to clean the toilet but…” Oliver made a face. “…I couldn’t find the brush or the supplies.”

“You don’t need to worry about the toilets, Oliver,” Akira said, exasperated. “You’ve cleaned them twice this week.”

Oliver’s lower lip wobbled.

Akira glares

“The toilets are clean enough,” Riley reassured. “Why don’t you go play? Or listen to music?”

“Could we play the ‘Clean Up’ song?” Oliver asked. “I like that one.”

“Sure, and you know what? I’ve got a great idea for your Spooky Day costume?”

“What?”

“Mister Clean!”

“Ooo… the one with the gold earring? I’m going to go draw my costume right away!” Oliver declared excitedly.

Akira jealous

Akira scoffed. “Why do you encourage him? This is ridiculous nonsense. Our son is not a live-in maid.”

“I know that,” Riley said, turning to his spouse. “But the therapist suggested we try to go along with his interests… for now.”

“Too long,” Akira shook his head. “And you were really at Lizzie’s?”

“Stop being jealous, dear,” Riley said in a mocking tone. “Green is not a good color on you.” He fluttered his eyelashes.

Mia dancing with Miko

“And this is how we do the shopping cart, little Mia!”

Miko showed her roommmates’ daughter a few dance moves.

out on the balcony

“Did I leave my coloring pencils out here?” Oliver asked.

“Why don’t you draw outside?” Riley suggested. “Hello Miko. Mia, darling, you’re dancing?”

“Ugh! Horribly!” Akira rubbed his neck. “What is this terrible music?”

“It’s called ‘Kids’ and it’s fun,” Miko replied, defensively.

“It has an annoying pitch,” Akira grumbled.

“Mmm… someone got up on the wrong side of the bed today…” Riley teased. “You’re such a bear…” he tickled his partner.

“Stop it!” Akira shouted.

Akira shouts

“Da da! Da..da…” Mia wiggled her little booty.

“Dance…” Riley’s eyes lit up. “Let me show you how to dance!”

He changed the station to some Michael Jackson. “Now let’s groove!”

Riley dances

“Not me. I’m going out,” Akira grunted. “Someone has to work.”

“Oh stop being a grouch!” Miko said. “The kids are having fun.”

Riley whooped and did a fish wave as he plugged his nose as if under the sea. Mia giggled, and even Oliver cracked a smile.

“Yeah… my child of a spouse too,” Akira snapped and left the balcony.

“What’s gotten into him?” Miko leaned over and whispered.

“Dunno,” Riley shrugged, frowning.

He didn’t understand why Akira was so mad. It was unusual. Ever since they adopted Mia, he wasn’t quite the same. Maybe three kids was too much? But they both agreed based on how much they loved children. Riley decided he wasn’t going to let it bother him. He didn’t want to discuss his marital problems in front of his son, daughter, and roommate.

“Come on!” he shouted excitedly. “Let’s Thriller!”


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. This chapter featured simscognito‘s Riley Cognito. Unfortunately, Hamilton, Riley and Akira’s other adoptee, didn’t make an appearance in the game so I couldn’t add him to the chapter. Akira was so grumpy and jealous the entire time I played their household. Uh oh… is this trouble in paradise for the lovebirds? 

Episode 3.2 Night on the Town (LASL)

in the hall “Ma! Ma! Ma!”

Staying inside the apartment didn’t last long. Parker, our little escape artist, somehow managed to wriggle through a locked door.

“Kids,” Leon shook his head as he examined the posting for an upcoming international chess tournament on the community bulletin board. “Little Simdinis.”

“Little attention magnets,” I muttered.

“What was that?” Joseph asked, standing up from scolding Dulcie.

“Nothing,” I sighed, turning to my little girl. “What is it, Parker, sweetie?”

“Eat!” the girl demanded.

“Auntie Ali is going to feed you,” I picked up my daughter and carried her inside the house. “Your Daddy and I will be back later.”

Parker stomped her foot and stuck out her tongue before disappearing into the house after hearing Ali mention something about animal crackers. I returned to the hallway just as loud Groovin’ music floated from Bugsie’s apartment… and Lewis began belting “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!” from his apartment followed by loud clattering, and Riley arrived in the elevator with a fully opened umbrella, whistling Singin’ In the Rain.

“A circus!” I threw my hands up. “I live in a freakin’ circus!”

“Or a jute box!” Joseph laughed. “Is it raining?” he asked Riley.

“No, no! I’m getting into character for my novel,” he replied. “Hey where are you two off to? I was coming to hang out and get a little inspiration.”

“Out,” Joseph took my hand. “And if we don’t leave, we’ll miss our reservation.”

“Bummer,” Riley pouted. “I guess I’ll go visit the kiddos…” he teasingly poked Joseph. “Nice abs.”

I arched my eyebrows in surprise. Riley disappeared into the apartment, and Joseph made a face.

Lizzie kissing Joseph's neck “I guess I should go change my shirt,” he said.

“Don’t you dare!” I said sternly. “We’ll be late.”

“For our night on the town?” Joseph said. “I just said that to move Riley along,” he added as he began buttoning his shirt.

‘Sides, I like the look… stay just…” I continued flirtatiously as I leaned in, tugging on his lapels. “…like… that…”

“It’s hot enough today…” Joseph shrugged and gave into my kisses.

Joseph ordering

I love living in San Myshuno. We have all sorts of pop-up food booths all over the city. There is all sorts of color and excitement. Joseph went to order two plates of fried rice while I stopped to talk to some citizens waving picket signs. When I asked what they were protesting, they claimed to be protesting starving children in Strangetown. I felt a bit guilty joining my husband for lunch.

eating in the city

“And tomorrow they’ll be protesting goldfish in the fountains,” Danny Spinks grumbled as he plopped down at our table. “Ignore them. They only want to guilt you into giving them money, which they’ll probably spend on vending machine binges between protests.”

“Someone’s grumpy,” Joseph said.

“Someone’s jaded,” I remarked. “What’s up, Danny?”

Danny complaining

“I moved to the city to do serious charity work, and these…” Danny glared over at the group of loud activists. “…people are picking a flavor of the week.” He dropped his head, glumly. “And I’m stuck writing radio jingles to afford my apartment.”

“Mmm!” I exclaimed, with food still in my mouth. “I heard one the other day.” I covered my mouth as I swallowed. “It was really good.”

“Thanks,” Danny said, and he still didn’t look happy. “I want to make a real difference though, not just write mindless ditties.”

“I’m sure things will pan out,” I replied. “Gotta start somewhere. And you are doing something… you’re entertaining folks.”

“And enticing them to buy consumer products,” Danny grumbled. “Frivolous consumer products while I can barely afford toilet paper.”

As we went to leave the square, Joseph gave Danny a firm pat on the back. “Come by my office sometime and we can do lunch. I’d be happy to give you some financial advice.”

“Really? Mr. Simself?” Danny looked surprised. “Thanks.”

“That was nice of you,” I smiled, and linked arms with my husband.

We wandered around the city for a few hours, listening to street performers, observing street artists, and finally catching a subway across town to our old neighborhood.

arriving at the restaurant

When we arrived, Joseph received a phone call. After he hung up, he looked concerned.

“That was Mrs. Kornhall, Carrie’s teacher.

“Yes?”

“She says Carrie isn’t doing well in her classes. Her grades have dropped significantly and she wants to schedule a parent-teacher conference.”

“What? I thought Carrie was adjusting!”

We had removed our care dependent from public school because she was bullied by some kids, and placed her in a private academy, The Good School. Carrie claimed to see her deceased mother and father floating around town, and that she received messages from them. This was incredibly concerning to both Joseph and I, but after my brush with the supernatural, anything was possible, I supposed. We went to see a counselor with Carrie, and were told this behavior was normal for children who suffered intense loss or trauma, and not to worry. She would most likely grow out of it. Still, I worried and wondered… as any mother would.

“She was caught cheating off another student’s test.”

Lizzie arrives at the restaurant

“Let’s try and enjoy our evening,” I said, even though I could feel tension rising in my back and neck as a result of the bad news. “We can discuss how to handle this later.”

“I guess,” Joseph said, but he didn’t look convinced.

“Hello,” I greeted the host. “We have a seven o’clock reservation under Simself.”

“Welcome to The Old Salt House,” the dark-haired man smiled and pointed the way to our table.

have a seat

“Would the deck be sufficient?”

“I don’t know,” Joseph frowned. “The winds might kick up here. You don’t have a sweater.”

I smiled politely, and shook my head. “It’ll be nice. Plus the sun should be setting soon. We’ll have a beautiful show.”

“The views are most excellent,” the host assured us.

perusing the menu

“Should we order an appetizer?” I inquired as perused the menu. “Or a soup maybe… if you’re cold…” I nudged my husband teasingly.

“I wonder why Carrie is getting C’s,” Joseph said, distracted. “She’s a bright girl. Maybe I should be working with her each night, helping her with homework more.”

“Joseph, don’t worry about it. Right now let’s find something to eat,” I said softly. “Clam chowder is always good, but ooohhh… maybe we should try the tiger shrimp in smoked dewdrop broth.”

“She could be acting out, or maybe she’s struggling this year. She is in fifth grade. She’ll be in middle school next year,” Joseph surmised. “The subjects are bound to be harder.”

watching the sunset

“Please, let’s just try to enjoy this night out on the town,” I begged. “We really need it. And this festival was the perfect excuse to go out.”

“Deeply discounted foods are a good incentive,” Joseph remarked, setting down the menu. “Alright, tiger shrimp in smoked… er…”

“..dewdrop broth,” I interjected.

“…dewdrop broth it is,” Joseph declared.

“I’m happy so many restaurants around town are participating this summer,” I added, glancing out across the algae-covered bay.

“It is a city-sponsored holiday,” Joseph added. “The restaurants get good press and a grant from the city government.”

“I wonder…” I tilted my head.

“What?”

“If the restaurants would consider sending food to Strangetown.”

“You sound like Danny.”

talking about Strangetown

“He has a point. It would be better than just standing around protesting. It’d be actually doing something. And I hear the orphanages in Strangetown are horrible… and downright awful to supernaturals. Someone should do something.”

Joseph kissed my head. “Alright, Lizzie, I’ll talk with the Sim.tv execs at my company about doing a spot on our channels to raise more awareness. Maybe we can convince some restaurants to send money and food to Strangetown.”

“Would you?” my face lit up.

“Yes, beautiful,” he caressed my cheek. “I love it when you do that.”

I blushed.

dinner arrives

dinner

Our dinner arrived shortly after we finished appetizers. Our waitress whisked the old dishes away and brought Joseph a steaming lobster thermidor and a grilled salmon with garlic butter and green beans. Since we were celebrating our first date all summer, Joseph ordered us drinks too – a Sunset Valley with a papaya topper for me, and a Sea Splash with citrus garnish for himself. The sun set over the bay, and the stars began to peak through the hazy Simune sky. In the distance, I heard a fog horn, reminding me of our early days in the city.

“You remember when I saved for a month to get fresh fish at the fish market?”

“Yes, and you insisted on learning how to make blackened bass,” Joseph smirked. “I think…” he wiped his mouth on a napkin. “…it was more burnt than lightly blackened.”

“The grill on our porch was aggressive,” I protested.

“You just needed more practice,” Joseph teased.

“It attacked you once.”

“Because I used too much charcoal,” Joseph pointed to himself. “It was user error.”

talking

I took a long time to finish my food, but Joseph, patiently, entertained me with some jokes about ducks that he heard around the water cooler.

What do you get when you put six ducks in a box?” he asked.

I shook my head, sipping my beverage.

A box of quackers!”

He cracked up laughing, pleased with himself.

waitress laughs

“That’s a good one,” the waitress chuckled heartily as she approached our table and tried to convince us to try the dessert specials.

I wasn’t sure chocolate caviar sounded all that appetizing.

“I’ll be back,” Joseph slid from his chair to use the restroom.

Joseph talking to a waiter

“I would’ve expected this place to be crowded with the free dishes tonight,” Joseph remarked to a waiter as they both climbed the stairs to the balcony.

“Dunno. I don’t know if we got the word out in time that Old Salt House was participating,” the waiter replied.

“You do have great art on your walls.”

“Local gal does them. Neon is the name. Courtney, I think.”

Joseph frowned. “Why does that name sound familiar?”

head pain

As he stepped into the restroom, Joseph felt a twinge of pain in his head.

“Ugh! Not now!” he groaned.

Memories from “that” time often triggered headaches. He hadn’t told Lizzie yet because during that time, he was more concerned about her recovery than his own. Even so, he had to grab the edge of the stall to keep himself steady. They had their hands full with the kiddos. He could tell Lizzie later, or if it got worse. Every time he remembered anything from then, he felt so powerless. It wasn’t every day a vampire screwed with your mind and walked around in it, convincing you of things that weren’t there.

Joseph still got steamed when he thought about it, and the child they had lost because of everything. Sometimes he imagined his unborn baby running around in the afterlife in a field of flowers. Sometimes it was a boy. Sometimes a girl. Every time, the kid was laughing and smiling. Joseph shouldn’t still feel sad. He had a full life. A beautiful wife. Four beautiful kids. A beautiful cat and dog. A great job. A great apartment. And great friends. It was strange. How could you miss something… or someone you never had?

washing hands

He washed his hands. Maybe he should tell Lizzie. The headaches were growing more frequent. She didn’t seem to be having any problems. Maybe he was just stressed with work. Or maybe he should give Caelen Vatore, the supernatural physician, a phone call. Dr. Vatore might have some answers for him, and he wouldn’t need to involve or worry Lizzie. Somehow a little voice in his mind told him it wasn’t a good idea to keep secrets from his wife. It got him in trouble before. If he was going to say anything, tonight might be the night… while they were alone.

Lizzie sleeping

Yet when he returned to the table, the mother of his children had conked out, sleeping upright in her chair, her head swaying slowly back and forth and tiny little shuddering breaths expelled from her mouth. She must be exhausted with chasing the kiddos and writing her books.

It’s not a big deal, he convinced himself. Honestly.


Author Notes: Thanks for reading. I jammed a lot in this chapter so if you’re new to this story, my apologies. I tried to explain the little bits of game play while still reflecting back on past problems and issues, still surfacing. I am still convinced they are recovering from the trauma of everything that happened. So much so that I was shocked when Joseph rolled a whim to talk to his child who died (a ghost version of a kid I never actually revealed in story, and only appeared in my glitched game). It was like the game was telling me something about these amazing adaptive Sims. This chapter featured LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself, skcaga6‘s Danny Spinks, SoulGal7’s Leon Squires and mentioned friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison, SoulGal7’s Courtney Neon and Lewis Goldwin, InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley, Bugsie2016‘s Bugsie Sims, and simscognito‘s Riley Cognito. 

Episode 3.1 A Letter to My Sister (LASL)

Dear Lee,

Hi sister. You asked me how I’m doing in your last letter. Well…Parenthood? What can I say about it? Well, it’s much harder than I ever would’ve imagined. Some days I’m lucky if I get two of the same colored sock on, and of course, there are days when I put the milk back in the cupboard and the cereal back in the fridge.

Dulcie on countertop, Lizzie drinks coffeeThe one morning I managed to get all three of my triplets down for a nap at once, I poured myself a big steaming cup of Simlombian coffee. It is a favorite of mine. Expensive too. Joseph indulges me. It was the brand he offered me that first night we met. Ahh! I smelled the mellow nutty undertone, and thought this is just… about… heaven. Then the cat shrieked.

“Dulcie!” I screeched myself, dropping my coffee, the ceramic mug shattering on the floor.

Three, two, one… Nathan cried like clockwork. He’s sensitive to noise. 

“Dulcie, you know better,” I sighed under my breath and shooed the cat from the counter.

Joseph Jr., we call him Joey now, doesn’t like to go to bed. He’s up and down now that he knows how to crawl from the covers. Joseph often has to chase him. What’s funny is we both came home from work the other night, went straight to our bedroom, and climbed into bed. We were exhausted. The boys had fevers for a few days, and we were up and down with them all night. Joseph had a presentation at work the next morning, and I had to fly out to see my editor in Oasis Springs and return same day. It was a wonder we weren’t both sick ourselves. Then we both realized we hadn’t checked on the kiddos.

babysitter curses Parker's bedUnfortunately, we had to fire the babysitter. Parker had begged me to read a story, and Joseph was corralling Joey as usual. When I sat on Parker’s bed, I realized the babysitter was putting Nathan to bed, and she was only wearing a tee shirt. We didn’t think it was appropriate. She whined a bit, and said it was hot. I politely, and reasonably requested she put pants on, and she refused.

When we insisted she leave, she got upset and cursed Parker’s bed. Yes, you read that right. She used her magic voodoo and threw a curse at Parker’s bed. Our poor child was terrified as her bed glowed with a strange white outline. I was furious. Joseph had to keep me from strangling our teenage witch of a babysitter.

at the SoundWe tried to take the kids to the waterfront last week. By the time we arrived, it was night time because Joseph worked later than he expected, and wanted to jog and shower before playing with the kids. I returned from Carrie’s swim lessons, and never fully got to change from my suit since both boys tried to wrestle Marshall in the kitchen. Nathan banged his head off the cupboard and howled because he was on the counter, and then Joey screeched when he stepped in the cat food bowl.

What the….? I don’t even know. When we told the kids we would only stay a few moments, Parker wouldn’t stop running in circles and crying. She wanted to play. Joey froze when it started to rain, terrified of the lightning. Nathan wouldn’t stop kicking his sister, Carrie and wiggled like a wet fish in my arms when I tried to scold him. Joseph just laughed. 

“It’s not funny,” I grunted. 

“Better laughing than blowing up,” he knocked his hand against his skull. “I am a hothead you know.” 

I rolled my eyes. 

Sneaking a moment for loveWhen we finally got the kids to sleep, we half tackled each other with kisses in the toddler’s room. When do you find the time?

We totally forgot all about the kids, until Carrie burst in. Rather poor timing. She forgot she needed Popsicle sticks for a class project tomorrow morning at eight a.m. and we wouldn’t let her eat all the freezer bunny pops just for the sticks. It was eleven on a school night. Of course. Thank the Maker we live in a city with a 24-hour Sim-mart. 

Karleen drinking

Dash doing his business I can’t help but think I’m doing okay. I’m not a bad mom. I hate to compare myself to Karleen, but at least I’m not wearing sunglasses in the house at night because I’m still hung over from the previous day, and letting the dog do its business on the couch because I’m too tired to care. Poor Karleen. Her Mexsimican mom came to stay with her, and she’s criticizing everything Karleen does. It was supposed to be to help out with the kiddos, but I think Karleen is ready to kick her mooching mom to the curb. 

Karleen's computer died

Munter plays with PepperThe Bacons lost power in the penthouse two days ago. Karleen was out of there so fast, not even waiting for the generator. Her mom took baby Maple for a walk in the stroller, Munter played with Pepper upstairs, and Karleen came over and crashed on my couch, played video games for four hours, and ate three bowls of cereal. From the way she’s acting, I think she might be popping out another one fairly soon, if you know what I mean. I told her to lay off the juice at least until the doctor can confirm via a test.

neighborsOur new neighbors are nice. Bugsie has adopted a little girl named Mariposa. She likes to play with the triplets while Bugsie exchanges gossip with everyone’s favorite pizza delivery guy, Lewis, in the common hallway. Leon, Ali’s boyfriend, is a soft-spoken giant and sweet to the kids. He really has a way with Joey. He won him over with his massive shoe collection. I know. Don’t ask. Joey calls him “Unky” Le-oh. Joey can’t quite say “on.” But there’s one thing we won’t be calling Leon anytime soon…

attack of the Dulcie …and that’s animal whisperer. Dulcie seems to hate him. As much as Joey likes his “adopted” uncle, Nathan dislikes him. Today he totally egged Dulcie on, teasing and pushing her, until she attacked Leon in the hallway.

neighbors angry about Dulcie Everyone was mad! Even Nathan, who couldn’t understand why he was sent to timeout. 

Dulcie gets lecturedJoseph scolded the cat while I dealt with Nathan. Joseph and I planned an afternoon out on the town today. We really need the away time. The kids are a handful, but Ali insisted she could handle everyone. She’s been a Godsend, watching the kids whenever we need to run out to get eggs or put gas in the car or move the car so we won’t get ticketed. Parking rates are outrageous here. 

Of course, Parker waddled out into the hall as she wanted the millionth kiss from daddy before he left. Ali enticed her back into the apartment with some candy. Not the healthiest, but effective.

I should go. Like I said, Joseph and I are headed out for the evening. Give Presley and Paisley my love. Write back soon. 

Lizzie


Author Notes: Thanks for reading everyone. My first chapter back into the LASL world. What a crazy summer! I’ve been stocking up screenshots, but it is hard raising triplet toddlers, a cat, a dog, and a young girl. As usual, Karleen cracked me up with her antics. I decided to include it in the “letter.” Hope you enjoyed. This chapter featured InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley, LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself, Munter Bacon‘s Munter Bacon, Bugsie2016‘s Bugsie Sims, SoulGal7’s Lewis Goldwin and Leon Squires and mentioned friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison. (I somehow didn’t manage to get a screenshot of her Simself).I will warn you. This season might get a little crazy. I’m trying to get around to other households but it is a challenge managing a cat, dog, adopted daughter, and triplet toddlers. *sigh* I’m exhausted just watching sometimes. Lol.

Seasons of Change in the LASL World (Updates)

After two months of silence… I have the new cover for the third season of Generation 1 of          Livin’ A Simmin’ Life. Ta da!

LASL Season 3 Cover

And there’s many more characters revealed over on my updated Part 3: Chapters & Characters page. For the record, I don’t have internet set up in my new house yet. If you don’t see your submitted Sims that’s because I haven’t been able to add them to my game yet. I’ll add them soon (no promises on exact timeline since I’m still trying to get settled in).

And don’t get your hopes up for a LASL chapter soon. Sorry folks. :/ I’m still plugging away on The Krazy Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright, Second Edition, but I wanted to give you something for LASL.

In the meantime, enjoy the life updates and bios of the characters with completed profiles. Find out what your submitted Sims are up to in Livin’ A Simmin’ Life, Season Three: Parenthood. And if you haven’t already, I’d love for you to read Kass’s story, if you need a reading fix from me. 😛 

I’ve been playing the game for fun a bit. Here’s some of my initial thoughts on the game and my newly added, Seasons. (Apologies for the lack of pictures… I haven’t snapped screenshots obsessively like I do when I’m writing. I’m over at my old house writing this post without access to any of the photos I did snap on my desktop at the other house).

Family Life: Having triplets is tricky, and when I popped into a certain household with quintuplets, it was even crazier. I have a feeling the Simself-Greens will need a lot of extra help this season staying sane erm… properly raising four kiddos and keeping their romance alive.

This isn’t the first time I’ve managed a large family (Cora Mae and her quadruplets) and at least she had servants, and TS4 doesn’t make it easy. I suppose it’s trying to be realistic, but goodness! Lizzie and LegacySims2017‘s Joseph are exhausted all the time, stinky (I can’t remember the last time either one of them showered), struggling with bladder issues while they try and potty train their tots, starving and eating quick meals constantly, and stressed out. And the triplets absolutely hate thunderstorms. Poor Parker is probably the worst. She’s terrified.

Once the family decided to head to the park. It took 1 hour for the toddlers to show up, and three hours for Dulcie, and by that point, it started storming. Joseph went back and picked up Joey to speed things along, and Lizzie went to grab Parker. Poor Nathan toddled along for another hour in game.

I tried to send Carrie to help pick up Nathan, but she couldn’t. I didn’t realize kids can’t pick up toddlers so InfraGreen‘s Carrie hasn’t been much help, and poor dear… she’s still adjusting to a loud household because I swear the toddlers break down and throw tantrums once every few hours. Carrie has been hiding out in her room and playing with the giant dollhouse, especially after she walked in on her adopted parents in their bedroom during their one “peaceful” moment. Poor kid! I think she’s pretty scarred.

Pets: Unfortunately, the pets have been kind-of neglected… so much so that Dulcie ran away. Don’t worry. She came back after a day. Friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison found her. Thank the Maker! Dulcie, then ended up, with some illness and Joseph dropped everything (and left work) to take her to the vet (which I forgot is in Newcrest). Not very realistic here, people! Haha. Newcrest is very far away in my Simworld from San Myshuno (in Simnadia!).

Lizzie was concerned, but she was struggling to feed the tots in their high chairs while a storm raged outside. Does it ever stop raining? Marshall always seems to be muddy, like he is rolling in a perpetual mud bath. Lizzie tries to walk him as often as she remembers. They had a cute moment on the plaza outside the Cabash Gallery where Marshall gave her a hug. I swear, the frazzled Lizzie looked about ready to burst into tears of joy. She needed that hug.

Television: Waltzing With Celebrities is a favorite new TV program to watch in the Simself-Green apartment. I catch Carrie dancing to music frequently in the living room when no one is around and at two or three in the morning (girl, you need to be in bed!). Maybe she’ll be a dancer someday.

Lizzie fell asleep watching Game of Llamas, trying to find new ideas for her novels. Parker napped next to her, and Dulcie curled up on the couch across from them. The “ladies” need to find something more exciting to keep them awake. Lol.

Joseph watched The Real Housewives of Windenburg (I promise, I won’t judge), and then proceeded to come curl up in bed with his wife. In the morning, he was extra attentive.

Activities: Carrie joined scouts as her after-school activity. She managed to earn one scout badge and unlocked “Scout Cookies.” Darn! She has to be a teen to bake. This incident was followed by another flour-and-chocolate-syrup-on-the-floor mess (because when you can’t bake, you might as well make a mess with the ingredients, right?).

Joseph corrected her and sent her to her room.Then he went out and bought a cupcake at a street vendor, put it in his inventory, and left it on the counter. He’s trying so hard to be a good dad to his adoptee.

I am pretty proud of Carrie gaining the “Social” badge. She made friends with simscognito‘s and Akira’s kids, Hamilton and Oliver, and invited them over to listen to music and dance. She was pretty in awe of Rikira’s penthouse when she visited there but sadly kids can’t use the karaoke machine. They would’ve made one sweet trio, I think.

Lizzie got asked to join the “Flower Arranging Club” by CathyTea‘s Sugar Maple Bough, and she turned it down. When would she have time? And then Lisabee2‘s Lisa Bee asked Lizzie about an hour later to join the same club. Do they get points for recruiting people? I’m not sure if Lizzie has the green thumb.

Seasons: Seriously, does it ever stop raining? I swear it storms every day in my game. Carrie is awfully cute when she plays in the rain. Lizzie was so exhausted and dirty one night that while walking Marshall, she took a nap on a park bench and *gasp* showered in the rain. Thankfully, she was in a secluded corner of Myshuno Meadows, but still! I didn’t think she was bold enough… then again, she and Joseph left their wedding reception to “get busy” in the flower bushes. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised with her comfort level with the au naturale approach.

I’m so excited that there’s finally a gifting option in game. Joseph has been gifting Lizzie things quite frequently. I think the tired, overworked mamma appreciates it. 🙂 I need to get out of spring/summer to really experience the other seasons. I can’t wait for autumn!

Food: New recipes always makes me excited. Nora came to visit and made honey cake. I’m going to assume she and MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau are beekeepers now, but I don’t know for sure. Lizzie hasn’t visited them yet, settled into their new home in Newcrest. All I know is you need honey to make honey cake, but perhaps she purchased it.

Lizzie did visit CathyTea‘s Cathy Tea and Shadami’s Amy Cat in their renovated apartment and CT served bee tea. Lizzie approved.

Lizzie and Joseph’s only date, as of yet, has been to the food stalls (she got a chocolate parfait and he got a vanilla) before they were called home because the “sitter” disappeared? Lizzie also grabbed an iced coffee while walking Marshall one evening and chatted with Munterbacon‘s Munter Bacon, who was out walking Dash.

Harvestables: The money tree is back! Woot! I tried planting it in the living room but that was a bit weird so I removed it. Joseph and Lizzie don’t own property and this new apartment doesn’t have a balcony. Still, I want to work out some sort of story line where Joseph, whose lifetime wish is to be fabulously wealthy, plants a money tree in this story.

He did buy a lotto ticket, but didn’t win. Karleen did! As if she needs the moula with her new husband’s wealth! Ha! But she used her own income to start her own mascot costuming business and a food critic blog.

Calendar: Lizzie was invited to a Weenie Roast but she couldn’t make it because she had to go to work or lose her job after working from home, skipping work, and calling in “sick” for two weeks (because it’s hard raising toddler triplets).

When I switched to control Joseph to help with one of the tots, he received a notification about a Shopping Rebate. He headed over to the Flea Market and purchased a new decor item for his home office at a fraction of cost.

Lizzie and Joseph also received the “Night on the Town” notification, but I wasn’t able to send them because that’s where I stopped playing the game. They could sure use it though.

Gardening: Lisa Bee is a new Sim in town, and is employed in the gardener career. I rolled at random for career choices, and figured someone new should be a gardener. Because this is San Myshuno, I had to set up planter boxes beneath the windows in the kitchen for Lisa. I’ll be curious about indoor gardening. Maybe if it succeeds, I’ll let Joseph plant the “money tree” in their apartment. 😉

That’s all for now, folks! I’ll keep you posted with new chapters!

Epilogue, Part 2: Can’t Stop the Feeling (LASL)

Since Wintonborough was the site of our reunion, Joseph and I decided to plan for a ceremony one year out. We selected our actual anniversary. We picked a old church in the woods for our locale. Sage called and offered to watch the triplets, the cat, and dog while Joseph and I celebrated our special day. Friends and family came from different parts of the country. Geeta Rasoya flew in to cater the ceremony, and her son, Raj baked our cake.

Carrie makes a mess

Carrie was so mad she didn’t get to help that she threw flour on the floor of our sanctuary. Joseph had really become a great dad in the last year. He couldn’t replace Rob for Carrie, but he was kind and guided her in a gentle way. I was in the middle of getting ready, walking to the dressing room with my bridesmaids, when I saw him take her by the hand and explain there was a better way to process her emotions. She sighed and said her dad bought her an easy bake oven and cooking made her feel close to him. I smiled as Joseph offered to help her make a cake after we returned from our honeymoon.

Joseph calms Carrie

“You promise?” she said, looking so hopeful. “You’ll come back?”

“Of course, I will, sweetie,” he replied.

That’s my man.

Karleen flirting

Before the wedding, Karleen and Riley were trying to decide which one of them was hotter. Of course, Akira did not approve. He felt threatened as the two old friends bantered in typical harmless flirtatious tones. Akira chewed Karleen out, saying she needed to back off his love. Karleen rolled her eyes and said Akira needed to lighten up. He shouted some forbidden words.

Karleen and Munter and Akira

Munter got in the guy’s face and told him to back off and not speak to his wife that way. It ended in Akira trying to shove Munter and Munter punching him.

“Oh!” Karleen exclaimed as Munter rubbed his hand. “I’ve never had someone defend my honor before.”

Riley quotes Simspeare

“Akira!” Riley gasped. “Don’t worry, my love, you will not go down alone.” With a dramatic flourish, he quoted Simspeare before crashing to the ground in a heap, “I’ll be brief. O happy dagger. This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die.”

Akira groaned. “Riles, just…help me up.”

Riley lifted his head from Akira’s chest. “You know I’m yours and only yours.”

“Then elope with me later tonight,” Akira begged.

“What? Lizzie and Joseph are getting married tonight,” Riley protested.

“I’m tired,” Akira said. “I’m ready to fully be yours.”

“You know what?” Riley smiled. “Sure. We’ll go tonight after the reception.”

Thankfully, Riley and Akira avoided Karleen and Munter for the rest of the evening so there was no more drama… other than my sister, Nora acting all whiny, and Julian complaining to Joseph about her mood swings. I suspected she was pregnant again, but now was not the time to discuss it.

Cathy plays piano

I thought the evening would never come. Cathy settled on the piano bench to play our entrance song. Joseph picked it out as a surprise. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Eddie and Lizzie

“Really?” my dad smirked as he sauntered toward me, ready to escort met down the aisle. “Shut Up and Dance With Me?”

“It’s perfect,” I croaked.

“The green is a nice touch,” he remarked.

hugging Dad

“Thank you,” I smiled, swiping at the tears threatening to ruin my mascara. “I didn’t want to wear white.”

“You look radiant,” Dad said, hugging me. “You ready, kiddo?”

“Ready!”

selfie with Dad

“Wait, wait!” he pulled out his phone from his tux jacket. “A picture with my beautiful daughter first.”

Ash and Karleen

My bridesmaids, Ash and Karleen walked the aisle before me. Everyone was all smiles, but especially Munter and John.

Joseph

Joseph stood at the end underneath a flower-trimmed archway, grinning at all his guests.

on the aisle

I stepped onto the white rose petal lined aisle and caught my breath. He really did look fantastic in a tux. I was marrying… no I was already married to the best guy ever. Nothing could ruin our beautiful day.

Lizzie on the aisle

…not even Riley returning fashionably late.

Joseph sniffles

“Are you crying?” I inquired of my sniffling husband.

“Oh Lizzie, I thought this day would never come,” he sighed quietly. “You look… beyond beautiful. You’re gorgeous. And I can’t believe you picked me.”

“I’d pick you ten thousand times over,” I whispered, caressing his cheek.

The minister grinned at us, leaning forward as he inquired, “Are you two ready?”

Joseph hands me a rose

Joseph handed me a single red rose.

“You have my heart,” he said. “All of me. I’m a simple guy. I don’t have fancy words or an impressive speech. I didn’t write you a sonnet or love song. I just…” he cleared his throat. “I love you, Elizabeth Green.”

“Simself,” I corrected as I swished my floor-length green gown.

Simself is the name

“What?” he blinked a few times as if caught off guard by my interruption.

“Simself… Mrs. Elizabeth Simself-Green,” I said, cheekily. “I changed my name.”

“But… the Green legacy?” his eyes widened.

“Joseph, I am yours. It’s my legacy. It’s my name. It’s my life. I can do what I want. And what I want is your name. What I want is you!” I declared.

Joseph dip kisses Lizzie

“Oh wow!” Joseph exclaimed, dipping me back for the sweetest kiss I think I’ve had in my entire life.

Our guests clapped and cheered. The minister smiled.

“Well, I now pronounce you man and wife,” he said. “I would say kiss your bride… but you’re already doing that.”

“Let’s party!” Riley whooped from the crowd.

Everyone laughed.

club dj dancing

Ash hired the same DJ who was at one of the clubs for Riley and Karleen’s bachelorette party. She was fantastic and really got the party grooving. This was a celebration for the ages. Confetti rained from the ceiling.

“Hello Wintonborough!” the DJ shouted. “Can I get a whoop whoop?”

“Whoop!” Riley indulged her.

And then the DJ put on the perfect track.

dancing 6 Ah, yeah, ah, yeah
I got this feelin’ inside my bones
It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flyin’ up, no ceilin’, when we in our zone

dancing

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)
I can’t take my eyes up off it, movin’ so phenomenally
Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don’t stop

dance 1

And under the lights when everything goes
Nowhere to hide when I’m gettin’ you close
When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine

Lizzie dancing

Nothin’ I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feel a good, good creepin’ up on you 

dance 1

So just dance, dance, dance, come on
All those things I shouldn’t do

dancing 16

But you dance, dance, dance
And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’

Dancing with Joseph

I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance

I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance, come on

dancing 9

Ooh, it’s something magical

It’s in the air, it’s in my blood, it’s rushin’ on (rushin’ on)

dancing 10
I don’t need no reason, don’t need control (need control)

I fly so high, no ceiling, when I’m in my zone

dancing 11

‘Cause I got that sunshine in my pocket

Got that good soul in my feet

I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)

dancing 12
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally

Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don’t stop (stop, stop, stop)

dancing 13

Under the lights when everything goes
Nowhere to hide when I’m gettin’ you close

dancing 15
When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine

dancing 17

Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance 

Feel a good, good, creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on

dancing 14

And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’
I can’t stop the feelin’ 

dancing 18

So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’

dancing 20
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’

dancing 21

So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’ (yeah)
So keep dancin’, come on

dancing 8

Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feel a good, good, creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on
All those things I shouldn’t do

dancing 7
But you dance, dance, dance
And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’
I can’t stop the feelin’
So keep dancin’, come on

dancing 22
Everybody sing (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Got this feeling in my body (I can’t stop the feelin’)

Got this feeling in my body (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Wanna see you move your body (I can’t stop the feelin’)

dancing 22Got this feelin’ in my body
Break it down

Everyone was so excited about dancing they didn’t notice we slipped out. Joseph started whirling the sparkler lights, creating our own send-off.

dancing 23Got this feelin’ in my body (ah)
Can’t stop the feelin’
Got this feelin’ in my body, come on (ooh)

We didn’t even make it back to our decorated car with streamers and cans attached. Joseph and I decided to make a pit stop in the woods.

“You ready, Mrs. Simself?” Joseph asked cheekily.

“Are you, Mr. Simself?” I smirked.

coast is clear

He slipped through the flower bushes and into a romantic secluded section of the forest. We could still hear the music in the distance. Everyone was having fun. No one would fault us two lovebirds for sneaking off.

“Coast is clear,” Joseph said, pushing the leaves aside.

“Good,” I grinned, leaning my chin on his shoulder. “Now come help me outta this gown.”

I can’t stop the feelin’ (yeah)


Author Notes: Thus concludes Part 2 of City Livin. I couldn’t help myself. I had to include the wedding before moving onto Part 3: Parenthood. I was thrilled with the pictures. Since Joseph and Lizzie are already married, I set up the walk down the aisle and cheated to put Joseph at the end. Then I initiated one romantic interaction between them. The rest? They did it all on their own. And the dance sequence was so great. I couldn’t pick so I included almost all of them. This was probably one of my favorite scenes to shoot ever. And the best part is 99% of the interactions were autonomous. 🙂 The song is Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling. I just thought it was super perfect for this final awesome scene. 

Thank you for reading and following me along this journey. I am actively recruiting for Part 3 (the last of the Lizzie/Joseph arc before the next generation). I’d love your help in deciding some of the goals for Part 3 in the following categories (so throw down suggestions in the comments or over in the forums): skills, career, city life, parenting, friendships, romance, aspirations, travel, etc.

If you have a Sim individual or family you’d love to see in Part 3, feel free to let me know where I can find your gallery upload (plus any traits/bio you’d like me to be aware of). I’d prefer limited CC, but I use it so let me know where to find it if I need it for your submitted Sim. This is an ISBI (I’m Surrounded By Idi*ts) Challenge, meaning I’ll only control my Simself and everything else is left up to autonomy and game mechanics (short of a few minor things, and I’ll let you know in author notes). And I welcome pets! 

This chapter featured Shadami’s Amy Cat,TheYayToast‘s Ash Toast, InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley, Cathy Tea’s Cathy TeaLegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself,  Munterbacon’s Munter Bacon, simscognito‘s Riley Cognito, and MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau and Sammy Sarafin.  

Epilogue, Part 1: Play the Right Music

Joseph and I were back together. Things were back to normal. Well, normal is overrated. Things were better than normal. I think we were better than we’d ever been before. We just needed to find the right music again.

Joseph had flown back East to take a job interview and see me.  On his drive down the coast,  he had horrible reception and a tire exploded on his rental.  He had to wait much longer than expected to get it fixed.  But he did.  And he made it. Back to me. I couldn’t have been happier.

On the day I moved back, I received a text from Joseph when walking through the airport. “I can’t get you out of my mind!” I had a long layover in Magnolia Promenade and he asked me to meet him at the new restaurant across town – Limoni. I didn’t need much encouragement. I dragged my suitcase into the bathroom, fixed my hair, touched up my makeup, and pulled out the new dress I bought.

Joseph hugs Lizzie
“Hey beautiful,” Joseph greeted me with the warmest hug ever.

“Joseph Joe,” I murmured.

It had only been eighteen hours since we had seen each other and I was walking on sunshine. Joseph caught an earlier flight to make plans for Carrie to move in with us. Carrie stayed with my sister since we couldn’t take her across state lines until the paperwork was signed. I promised her it wouldn’t be long. I felt bad about leaving her, but I wanted to make the apartment nice for her too. She was distracted by my nephew, Presley, and assured me she would be okay for the long weekend.

Lizzie hugs Joseph

Joseph felt incredible. I closed my eyes and rocked into his shoulder, covering his neck and shoulders with kisses. He laughed.

“Lizzie, this is a tux, you know?”

“I don’t care,” I smirked, but I reached up and wiped the lipstick smudge from his collar. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a tux.”

“And I look good,” Joseph bobbed his head smugly, and then reached to kiss my hands. “But not as fantastic as you.”

the Tea Cats

“Hey look, it’s the Tea-Cats,” Joseph smiled as we were seated at a table near our friends.

“Tea-Cats?” I repeated. “Hi Cathy. Amy.”

“Isn’t that the purr-fect nickname for us?” Cathy purred.

“I love it,” Amy exclaimed. “Joseph thought of it when he stayed with us.”

“It’s real good to see you back together,” Cathy added.

Joseph brags

“Thank you,” Joseph grinned. “Don’t I have the most beautiful wife ever?”

“I don’t know,” Cathy winked at Amy. “I’m pretty biased.”

“Shush, Cathy,” Amy mock-scolded. “These two lovebirds are enjoying their night out.”

My cheeks were a pleased pink. “And I’ve got the most handsome husband.”

“He is rocking that tux,” Amy remarked.

“Stop it ladies, you’re making me blush,” Joseph cleared his throat and stretched his neck like a proud peacock.

“He is pretty handsome in this tux,” I smiled, reaching out and tugging on his bowtie. “But…” I lowered my voice. “You look good without anything too.”

“We haven’t even ordered an appetizer yet,” he coughed, as if nervous by the sudden attention.

I was enjoying every minute of it.

“But I want dessert,” I pouted teasingly. “And I’m not sure I can wait…” I winked at him. “You know what I mean? You always looked good without a shirt. Should I come fix your stereo, sir, if you know what I mean?”

Joseph grimace

drinking root beer floats

Joseph indulged me. Dessert first. I think he was a little embarrassed by my bold flirting in a public establishment,  but I could tell he was pleased too.

Carters

The Carter family was enjoying a night out on the town too. Marie was pregnant… again!

“Congratulations,” I exclaimed.

“Thank you,” she replied. “I hear you have news too.”

“We’re adopting a little girl,” Joseph said, and I beamed as I heard the love in his voice.

He really was going to be a great dad.

“And I’m expecting too,” I added, rubbing my belly.

“That’s awesome, Lizzie,” Marie grinned.

Lizzie eating and surprise

Joseph downed his bowl of soup. I snacked on a pretzel.

“I’ve got a surprise too,” Joseph said. “And I think you’re going to love it!”

“Really? What? Don’t tell me. You already got a promotion at work already?” I asked. “I’m so proud of you.”

“No,” he grinned. “But since I’m making more than ever before…and we’re starting a family, I figured we outgrew our old place. I found us a new home!”

Ali talking to Dulcie

Joseph was hopeful that I wouldn’t be upset that I didn’t participate in the apartment hunting process. I told him I was so excited to start our new life together that it didn’t matter where we lived. While we were at dinner, our friends helped move everything into our new place in the Arts Quarter. Ali had a long conversation with Dulcie in the hallway.

“Now you’re gonna have a whole household of friends,” she explained. “Joseph and Lizzie you already know, but they’re having triplets… do you know what that is?”

Dulcie meowed.

“Three,” Ali squealed and clapped her hands. “Three little babies. Oh the love,” she swooned. “And then there’s Carrie… and Dulcie?” she leaned down to whisper. “Show Carrie a little extra attention. Poor kiddo is adjusting to life without her daddy and mommy. Can you handle that?”

Dulcie purred.

“Good kitty. I knew you would,” Ali squeezed her eyes closed and smiled.

settling

Joseph and I settled into a happy routine in our beautiful new apartment. The place had three bedrooms and space for an office, two bathrooms, and a dining room. It could’ve been the tiny little cramped place back in the Spice Quarter and I still would’ve been over Luna for Joseph, but it was nice to have the space. Plus the size of our family more than doubled. Marshall moved in with us along with Carrie, whom we officially adopted. Dulcie wasn’t all that thrilled about a dog in the household, but she stuck to the countertops to avoid Marshall’s big paws.

Parker Sophia

We welcomed the triplets in the late spring. Parker Sophia was totally going to be a daddy’s girl.

Nathan Robert

Nathan Robert was going to be the apple of his mama’s eye. Oh, I breathed. I’m a mama now.

Carrie

Carrie picked the middle name – Robert for her dad. It was touching. The triplets would have a built-in big sister.

Joseph Elliott

And then the third one of the babies – Joseph Elliott. I could tell my husband loved all his kiddos, but he was especially pleased to have a son named after himself.

bachelorette party

Karleen and Munter welcomed a baby girl of their own before we did – Pepper. Yes, yes, Pepper Bacon. Karleen decided to change her name too. Karleen Bacon. Oh the cooking jokes… get outta the kitchen, woman!

After a few months, Munter promised to give Karleen the big white wedding she always dreamed of. Around the same time, Akira and Riley became engaged. Bring on the double bachelorette party!

Joseph calls

Joseph offered to watch the kiddos so I could have a night out with the girls. It was the first time I had been out in almost a year. Around eleven, he called me, sounding sleepy.

“Are you having fun?” he whispered.

I wondered which of the triplets he was rocking to sleep in his arms.

“Yes, I am,” I beamed, listening to Cathy regale the group with tales of her world travels. “Thank you for calling, Joseph Joe.”

“Good night, Lizzie,” he yawned and hung up.

dancing

When the club closed, and we were kicked to the curb, the group didn’t want the party to be over.

“Come on, Lizzie,” Karleen exclaimed. “Lead us in a dance.”

Dancing Queen!” Riley whooped.

“You guys,” I shook my head, shyly.

Someone found a stereo.

dancing 2

dancing 3

You can dance

You can jive 

Having the time of your life 

dancing 4

Ooo see that girl

Watch that scene

Dig in the dancing queen

Riley

We took the party to Uptown. Of course, Riley, the diva she is, required an outfit and hairstyle change.

“Come on, girl, get outta the bathroom,” I yelled through the door.

All other stalls were taken and I desperately needed to relieve myself.

“Okay, how do I look?” Riley inquired, returning to the dance floor, twirling. “Fabulous? Uh huh… come on… you know I am.”

“Riley, I love you!” I laughed.

Ash dancing

Ash was pretty pleased with herself. She and John just got back from a trip to Champs les Sims. John had never seen the Marsian Tower and he snapped a couple dozen failed selfies and sent them to me everyday. I was so glad that he found happiness. He and Ash seemed to be a solid couple.

Dancing 5

We took the dance floor by storm.

Riley checking out

I think we had a little too much alcohol. Riley kept checking out every guy’s butt that walked by. None could compare to Akira.

Cathy and Lizzie

At some point during the night, Cathy and I ended up at the bar at the same time. She was amazed by the colors and lights and sparkle.

pushups

We went back to the hotel. Unfortunately for us, the pool was closed for the night. That didn’t stop us from splashing, diving, and cannonballing into the water. A little alcohol and a lot of dancing and we were rebels. Someone started a game of truth or dare. I don’t really remember who, but it was pretty fun. Cathy and Riley tried to do one hundred push-ups. Riley collapsed on the pool deck in defeat. Cathy won. She was pretty proud of herself.

marshmallows

We sneaked onto the roof and roasted marshmallows that Karleen had in her bag. I don’t think we were supposed to do that over there heat boxes, but no one seemed to care. The night was coming to a close and we were enjoying living in the moment. Riley broke into a spontaneous serenade – Walkin’ on Sunshine. Whoa!

“And starshine,” Riley warbled. “And moonshine! Whoooaa! Ooo…” she threw her hands up.  “Moonshine!” She tripped over the corner of the heat box. “We should get some.”

“Someone’s a little juiced,” I teased.

“I might have a flask in my bag,” Ash said.

Ooo… and don’t it feel fudd,” Riley belted.

“Food?” Karleen tilted her head.

“Good,” I corrected.

“No fudd….” Riley shook her head.  “Fun aaaaannnd good. We are young…  and on fire.” She hit her chest dramatically.  “This girl is on fi-ire.”

“Alright,” I reached for Riley’s arm. “You’re really gonna be on fire if you keep singing and swinging around. Sit down please.”

marriage Munter Karleen

Karleen and Munter 2

Munter and Karleen 3

Munter and Karleen’s wedding was beautiful. Karleen wore a shockingly modest dress. Well, she was a mama now too. It was stunning. She wrote Munter a poem. In typical Karleen fashion, it was quirky and silly and slightly inappropriate. I think I heard Munter’s mom gasp. She wasn’t particularly thrilled with her new daughter-in-law, but Munter was an only child and Pepper was her only grandchild. For now she would tolerate the woman, and hopefully grow to love Karleen like we all did. Munter’s dad was a little bit more relaxed and open. He even joked around with Joseph about keeping Munter in line.

dress

Karleen picked pretty bridesmaids dresses too. Ash had an emergency and wasn’t able to be a bridesmaid so Riley stepped into fill the spot in his white suit so I was the only one in a bridesmaids dress. I was loving the minty green, and I think Joseph enjoyed it too. He kept glancing over in my direction and winking at me.

Riley and Akira 1

Riley and AKira 2

While Riley and Akira were engaged, they didn’t do the official proposal and ring deal until Karleen’s wedding day. Karleen didn’t care. She was so excited for them, and honored that Akira chose her special venue as the site of his official proposal.

Munter push ups

Munter decided to do a few push-ups while waiting for Akira and Riley to move along so he and Karleen could take wedding photos on the bench.

“What are you doing, babe?” she inquired.

“Working up a healthy shine for the picture, love, so I can match your glow,” he explained.

Joseph steals a kiss

“Hello gorgeous!” Joseph came up and stole a kiss while we waited to see off the newly married couple.

“Aww… you’ve upgraded from beautiful,” I beamed.

“What do you think, Lizzie?” he nodded toward the wedding party. “Should we do it? Should we get officially hitched?”

“What are you saying?” I giggled as he nuzzled my neck.

“I’m saying you and me… a wedding… for our family and friends. We did the whole legal ceremony, but I never got to give you a big day,” he remarked.

I smiled.  “But I’m already your wife.”

“I know, but you deserve a day like this,” he said, grabbing my hands. “What do you say, Lizzie? Stand up with me? Be mine… forever? Marry me?”

“Joseph Joe?” my voice cracked with emotion. “I’d be honored to officially marry you.”


Author Notes: Yay! Happiness! I’m so glad things are working out for the better. Oh the roller coaster of emotions with these two. They’re back together and happier than ever. 🙂 FYI, the game picked Pepper Bacon as a name. I loved it. So punny! Lol. And then the game also decided the proposal at Karleen and Munter’s wedding because my game glitched out and Akira and Riley hadn’t gotten engaged yet somehow. It all worked out. 🙂 

This chapter featured so many Sims… friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison, MadameLee‘s Anne Charming,Shadami’s Amy Cat, TheYayToast‘s Ash Toast and the Carter family, InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley and Marshall Buckley, Cathy Tea’s Cathy Tea and Sugar Maple Bough,  LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself and Dulcie,  Munterbacons Munter Bacon, and simscognito‘s Riley Cognito. Congratulations Karleen and Munter and Akira and Riley! And welcome to the Green-Simself babies! 🙂 

Goal #23: Back to You (LASL)

I’m not sure when it happened, but I laid my head against the cool stone bench and dozed. The temperature was a little too chilly for a sleep beneath the stars, but I was exhausted. My emotions had been all over the place for the past few days. It was time to sort things out… when I woke up. Despite the fact that I cancelled my flight for the obvious reasons, I felt so disappointed. Disappointed and depressed. I wasn’t going home. At least not yet.

Joseph hadn’t called me back. I didn’t blame him. I served him divorce papers.  Oh what’s wrong with me? A few days ago when I decided to go home, I had express mailed the torn up papers home in an envelope with a sticky note – Forgive me? I’m sorry. I love you. attached. I don’t know if he read it.

When I was a baby, my parents told me I would self-soothe by cooing and singing to myself. This was a habit I kept up into my adulthood. I hummed a little as I glanced up at the sky. Looking at the stars made me wonder where Joseph was. My heart ached and I wondered why he was so far away. Because you let him be… I thought in sheer misery. I was going to be a mother of three… no four… and I would probably have to do it alone because I pushed Joseph so far away. The moon shone brightly when it slid from behind the clouds and the stars twinkled, trying to assure me everything would be okay. What do they know about love? I snapped my eyes shut.

1

Ooo, child, things are gonna get eas…” my voice cracked as I tried to whisper-sing. “...ier. Ooo… child, things’ll get bright…er...”

I didn’t try to stop the tears forming in my eyes and sliding down my cheeks. Brighter? Like the moon? Like the stars? Was it terrible I wanted that passion of a fiery sun again? I ached in places I didn’t know I had, and the worst part was I brought it on myself. Joseph was a kind, caring, funny, intelligent, and amazing guy.

“I’m sorry, Joseph,” I whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

Sure he had his flaws. Who didn’t? But I had the best partner in the world and I blew it because I couldn’t get my act together long enough to put my selfishness aside and think about what he needed and wanted.

“If you ever...” I began shakily. “...fall down...” my heart plummeted at the words. “...straight to the bottom… and you can’t get… back where you started… with no strength...” it was like pushing myself through molasses. “…to stand...” my voice collapsed.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to say the vows I had so horribly broken.

“…I’m gonna reach for your hand.”

I heard a voice in the distance. At first, I thought I was imagining things.

When the going gets rough right when it’s hurting I will be there to help any burden.” 

My eyes snapped open. I’m not imagining things, my heart leaped with hope. That same familiar deep voice I fell in love with was here. He’s here?!?

Any place any time…You gotta know for you I’ll fight…” he sang.

“Joseph?” my voice cracked as I turned to run toward my vision.

2

3

And he was running back to me. It wasn’t at all like the movies. I think I tripped twice, and my heart was pounding so fast I couldn’t think straight. The grass made a grating squishy sound from the wee morning hours dew as my sneakers pounded across getting wetter with every step. It was too cold for a spaghetti-strap tank top and my body was shivering, I think. I didn’t care. It didn’t matter. Joseph was here. I wanted him to be here. I missed him fiercely. I wanted him to come for me. He finally came. I sort-of laughed and sobbed simultaneously as I reached him. I hesitated as I reached out my hands to grab his arms. Please don’t let this be pregnancy brain, I wailed internally.

“Are you…” I was totally out of breath.

Joseph finished my thought as my hands collided with reality, sinking around his muscular arms as his own arms engulfed me.

4'

“I’m real,” he assured with a chuckle. “I’m here. I’m really here.”

“You’re really here,” I repeated with a girlish squeal.

We stood and hugged, laughing, crying… well, mostly I was crying, but Joseph had a tear or two glistening in his eyes when I told him I loved him.

“Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you say that, Lizzie?”

“Oh Joseph Joe, I love you,” I said, repeating myself to drive home the fact that I truly did still care deeply about him.

“I don’t want to fight anymore,” he said, tiredly.

5
I melted into his arms.

“Joseph, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I should’ve come sooner. I should’ve called sooner. I shouldn’t have run away or sent you those papers. I was so scared and confused and worried we’d never be the same and I let my pain drive a wedge between us.”

“I’m sorry too.”

“No, please… it’s my fault.”

“Lizzie… we’re in this together. We both made mistakes.”

“I’ve been drowning in this ocean alone when I could’ve just reached for your hand once. And I’m so sorry.”

“I did the same thing, Liz. I need you to forgive me too. And I want you to take me back.”

6

Instinctively I grabbed his hands and squeezed.

“I don’t want to fight anymore even if things get rough again,” I said. “I don’t want to fight this war we’ve been having. I’m done with it. I don’t want to give up. I never…” my voice wavered. “…want to give up again. I wasn’t fair to you.”

“I wasn’t fair either,” Joseph interjected. “And if I hadn’t been so jealous and caught up in my own grief, I would’ve seen that. I don’t blame you, but we’re in this marriage together for better or for worse. And it’s been worse…” he laughed awkwardly. “…much worse… but I think this love is worth saving, beautiful.”

I slid into him, and his foot bumped mine, stepping on my toe. I winced.

“Opps, sorry,” he grimaced.

“Come here, you,” I pulled him closer, placing my lips inches from his. “I…”

7

We did a little dance trying to figure out the most comfortable position for a kiss. Finally, I just sighed, closing my eyes and resting my forehead against his.

“I’m done…” I sighed.

“Done?” he jerked back and repeated.

“Oh no… I mean done with this nonsense. Done with running away. Done with fighting,” I said, quickly, trying to reassure him. “I want you, Joseph. I need you. If we’re in this together, we’ll make it out alive. Will you…Joseph Simself… be mine… again?”

8 Before I knew what was happening, he was dipping me back. My eyes widened and I was momentarily worried he would drop me. His arm was quivering.

“I got you,” he said, softly.

My face relaxed into a smile. “I don’t know why I doubt.”

“You just… made me the happiest man alive,” he grinned, as our lips finally met.

All those fears came to a crashing halt. All the lies I told myself evaporated. All the worries that he wouldn’t take me back evaporated. I knew I was safe in his arms. I knew I was wanted. I knew I was loved. The moment was pure magic… even if it was misting and my arms were freezing and my stomach rumbled. I could feel a baby kick inside. Oh yes!

9 “Joseph,” I pulled away, even if I wanted to stay against him forever. “There’s something you need to know?”

“What is it, beautiful?”

I sighed. I didn’t know where to start. So much had happened in our time apart. I decided to open with the most recent news. I began to explain what happened with Rob and how he asked me to be Carrie’s legal guardian. I wasn’t sure what Joseph would think since Rob had been his competition for so long, but I saw no jealousy spark in his eyes. I couldn’t read his expression either, and so I nervously rambled through my jumbled thoughts and wishes for the future. I wanted us to take care of Carrie. I think it was best she stayed with us, but I ultimately did want Joseph’s input. When I stopped to finally catch my breath, he was still standing stoically.

“Does that change your mind?” I asked, my heart fluttering into a slight panic. “I want to do this, but like you said, we’re in this together. I know it’s a lot to ask, and with everything that happened with Rob before…”

Joseph cut me off. “Lizzie, I always… felt… like I wasn’t good enough.”

“Are you kidding me?” I exclaimed.

He did? What? Oh! Tears pricked my eyes again as somehow it all made sense.

“Let me finish,” he shook his head. “I didn’t have the right job or the right things to say and I wasn’t your first,” he sighed. “You seemed to want Rob more than me. And I let you because I wanted you to be happy, even if it hurt like hell. When he left, I didn’t want to crowd you so I kept my distance. When you and I finally did chat, I wanted to tell you everything. That I still cared about you. That I had fallen in love with you. But I didn’t know how. I was too chicken. When I saw you at Lee’s wedding, everything changed and I decided to go for it.”

“I’m so glad you did,” I breathed.

10

Joseph took my hands and kissed them tenderly, surprising me.

“There was some part of me deep down all this time that still struggled with the fact that I had to pursue you to get you to want me.”

“It’s not like that, Joseph,” I gasped.

“When I thought I lost you the first time, I figured it was punishment. I stopped trying so hard to make you want me because you were so distant and then that vampire screwed with my mind. I know it’s irrational, but I just didn’t think I was good enough.”

I swallowed hard and shook my head. “You are. You are. Don’t think for a moment that I regret my choice. Don’t think for a moment that I don’t want you.”

“I…” Joseph started. “I realized I was being silly. That it didn’t matter who pursued whom. That nothing else mattered. You did pick me.”

“I did. I chose you, Joseph Joe. I’d choose you again in a heartbeat.”

“You have no idea how happy that makes me,” he whispered.

“Oh I think I do,” I grinned.

“Lizzie, we’re in this together. I’ll take your hand. I’ll be here for you. Nothing is going to change my mind. Not even Rob or Carrie. When you lost the baby, we kind of lost ourselves. I know how hard that was for you, and still I kept my distance. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me,” Joseph continued.

“Of course, I think we’ve moved past the I’m sorry stage,” I teased.

“We’ve always wanted to be parents,” Joseph said. “This is the universe’s way of telling us we’re going to be whether we’re ready or not.”

11 “Actually…” a smile tweaked at the corners of my mouth.

“What?” he said.

His eyes were so full of love for me. I swear my heart melted into a puddle of joy.

“I’m pregnant.”

“WHAT?”

“Yes, you, Joseph Simself, are gonna be a daddy…” I bobbed my head.

He sucked in air, his eyes shining with the sudden onset of happy tears. “Again?”

“Yes,” I confirmed, feeling about ready to cry myself as I stared into the eyes of my husband. “Of three. We’re having triplets!”

12

Joseph let out a whoop of joy so loud that a neighbor shouted down at us to be quiet since it was the middle of the night. We didn’t care. He grabbed me around my waist and I threw my arms around him and we kissed as if this were our last moments on Simterra. But it wasn’t. This was a new beginning for us.

Life isn’t a fairy tale. We fought. We separated. We came back together. The promise of our own children and the plan to adopt Carrie wasn’t exactly what I expected when I ran away to Wintonborough. This marriage was worth fighting for. This life was worth fighting for. This love was worth fighting for. We were going to make it. The babies jostled around in my stomach as Joseph and I talked until the sun came up. I was going to be a mother. Joseph and I were more in love than ever. Sure we might have our issues in the future, but we would be together and that was all that mattered. For the first time in a long time, I felt something incredible. Peace.


Author Note: This is the end… of part two. Thank you for reading and joining me on this incredible journey that took so many weird and wild turns. I was rooting for these two all along and it darn near broke my heart to see them separate. Lizzie genuinely asked Joseph to break up, which of course, neither one of them took well. It took all of three in-game days for them to come back around and for this scene to happen, although I dragged it out in the story timeline. All this time I’ve known they’d come back together, but it was a bit torturous waiting for all of you to catch up with me. Thank goodness things are good again… and good for good. I don’t ever want to go through this again, but never say never. Who knows what the future holds for these two lovebirds and their kiddos?

I’m writing one more part focused on Joseph and Lizzie as they raise their kids (and Rob’s daughter) together, and then other parents in game also (can’t forget Karleen… lol… and the other adorable ships in this game). 

As for the goals, they kinda went out the window as I tried to keep up with all the ebbs and flows of this story. 

Goal #2 – Move into the city and take part in city livin’.   ✔

  • Whims: Follow whims as much as possible  ✔ (I did it, even if it killed me a little inside) 
  • Emotions: Remain relatively positive with emotions X (next to impossible with all the drama) 
  • Traits: Do trait-related activities on a semi-regular basis X (that kinda went out the window too) 
  • Skills: Max at least one skill level. Learn a new skill never before attempted.  ✔ (dancing and mixology) 
  • Aspiration: Complete an aspiration. (not quite. Lizzie’s up there at level 8 for writing). 
  • Living: Keep up with rent in city apartment. Upgrade to a new apartment by this part’s end. Befriend landlord.  ✔ (befriended Geeta Rasoya, landlady, did manage to pay rent, and you’ll see the new place I have picked out for Lizzie and Joseph) 
  • Career: Be promoted to level 7 of a career and maintain good work performance.  ✔ (level 8) 
  • Friendships: Make as many friends as possible in the city. Get to know your neighbors. Throw a house party.  ✔ (Made so many new friends. Met all neighbors. Had a Christmastide party) 
  • Romance: Maintain a positive relationship with boyfriend. Get engaged and married.  ✔? (so they got engaged and married right away… but the positive relationship thing was so up and down). 
  • City Life: Unique game rules for City Living… Attend at least one of each type of festival. ✔ Participate in as many festival activities as possible.  ✔ Explore every neighborhood to the fullest. (not quite) Perform on the street.  X Level up the karaoke/singing skill.  ✔Collect festival trinkets and souvenirs. ✔
  • Children: Babies are NOT allowed until marriage… unless both Sims roll a whim. 😉  ✔

 This chapter featured  LegacySims2017‘s Joseph. Thank you for reading. I’ve got a two parter epilogue and then maybe some reflection. Stay tuned. 🙂 

I’m also actively taking suggestions for Part 3 goals : I want reader input this time. Throw down some thoughts for goals in the following categories for Lizzie (and/or other characters… no promises there though since it is an ISBI): skills, career, city life, parenting, friendships, romance, aspirations, travel, etc. If you have Sims to submit, let me know. I’d love to add to the game.