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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#51 Old 30th May 2012 at 2:36 AM
Thanks guys (:
It would have been up by now but my game is being kind of glitchy. Hopefully I can get the rest of the pics I need ad have it up tonight (:

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#52 Old 30th May 2012 at 6:18 AM
Default 2.8 Tabby Narrows it Down


A year and four months later, the boys celebrated their 13th birthday, and that made me feel beyond old, but also very happy. We did still have a party at the house, but the next day, Kenny took the boys on a weekend camping trip, which is something they both still talk about.



Paige adored her horse, as she was nearly almost always outside with her and they seemed to have a close bond. She would spend her days outside riding China then toward mid-afternoon take her into the stable, brush her, give her food, clean her hooves and dart inside for a short while, shower, and then go off and spend her nights with Jordan.

She was always doing something. It might have been the guitar, piano, bass, riding China, on the phone with Jordan, on a date with Jordan, or talking to some friends.

Most nights, she and Jordan would be at our home for dinner. I thought that Jordan was a really nice guy, and that he was going to be good for my daughter. He just had this look in his eyes whenever he'd glance at her, and she gave him the same look in return, and I knew that it was simply a matter of time before they got married.

Kenny was starting to warm up to Jordan, but just barely. I knew he saw the way Jordan looked at Paige, and there were times when he'd catch my eye and we both knew that it wouldn't be long, especially when it got nearer to Paige's 21st birthday.



On her 21st birthday, Paige and Jordan went out to dinner, along with Kenny and I.
After dinner, they walked outside, hand in hand and a few moment's later, the entire restaurant smiled when they heard a loud, high pitched "Yes!"
A few days beforehand, Jordan asked us if we were okay with him proposing to Paige. Kenny said that he was okay with it if I was, and I definitely was more than happy to have my daughter marry such a nice young man, however, we didn't expect him to propose so soon.
Kenny and I walked outside and gave our daughter a hug, she was beaming with tears of joy in her eyes.
I began to cry as well, my beautiful daughter was going to get married! I was going to be a grandmother! The joy I felt in my heart for my daughter at that time was unbelievable. I had high hopes for her and her soon to be husband.



A few weeks after Paige announced her engagement to the family, I found out that the oldest of my beautiful twins had a boyfriend. A Mr. Nicholas Rapp. He was a complete opposite of her. He was loud, sometimes rude, and very opinionated, while Julia was very quiet, extremely polite and soft-spoken. They complimented eachother beautifully.



Six months after the engagement was announced, the twins celebrated their 18th birthday.

It was a huge party where all the family, and friends came over. Everyone had a blast, and I looked at my girls, how beautiful and strong they were, and I realized how difficult choosing a heiress really would be.



Both girls made incredibly beautiful young women. I keep getting told that the resemblance between me and Nat is astounding, and I kind of agree. She looks almost exactly like I did when I was her age.

Nat is quite the character. She's always been a little on the "edgy" side, and is very loud and kind of demanding. She knows what she wants and how to get it, and I can see that she's very strong, and capable of doing anything she sets her mind to.



Julia is also extremely beautiful, and she looks a lot like Kenny. She is very soft, gentile, kind and a fantastic writer. She is very reserved, and while she's soft spoken, she has the ability to make sure she gets her way.



Nat is also very artistic. She is always painting something and isn't happy unless she has paint on her hands. She adores art, and her lifetime wish is to master both photography and painting.



Julia is always at her computer. She recently got a job in the journalism career, just like her aunt did when she was about her age. She was very determined, however to actually accomplish her lifetime wish.



Things between Nat and Cliff keep getting more and more intense. Throughout the years, they have been very on-and-off, but looking at them, you know that they're in love, and I know that it wont be long before Kenny and I get approached by him. Nat insists that it's nothing-like she always has, but the way she looks at him is unmistakable. She's in love with him, and he's in love with her, and someday soon, they'll be exchanging vows.



A few weeks ago, Julia called me into her room.

"Hey, mom!" Julia smiled as she got up from her chair and gave me a hug.

"Hey sweetie." I grinned, "What's up?"

"I need to talk to you about the whole heiress thing." She whispered, looking down at the ground.

"What's wrong?" I asked when I saw a tear escape her eye.

"Nothing, momma," she whispered, "I just don't want you to be disappointed in me."

I gave her a hug and smoothed down her hair, "Julia, honey, why on earth would I ever be disappointed in you?"

"Because, mom," she let out a ragged breath and then whispered into my shoulder, "I don't want to be the heiress the the legacy."

"Why?" I asked, curious.

"Because, I feel like that would seriously be too much for me to handle. I don't want to have any more than one child, ever, and I wont do so until much later in my life. I need to be a star news anchor, and I wont get there if I have to worry about upholding the legacy. It's too much pressure for me, mom."

"I understand, Julia. It's okay, I'll decide between Nat and Paige then, okay? You go ahead and do whatever you want with your life, okay? You won't have to be the one to uphold the Stephens legacy."

"You're not disappointed?" She asked in a soft voice.

"No sweetie, I'm not." I said as I hugged her tightly

"Thanks mom." She whispered as she hugged me back before stepping away and telling me she had to get back to writing an article due in three days for the Riverview Times.



Later on that night while I was cooking dinner, I let out a sigh of relief. My choice was just made that much easier, and I knew that I was going to have some long talks with Kenny in the near future about who will take on the Legacy.
After all, I was going to be turning 65 here in just about another year or so, and I need to make a choice before then.
Well, at least it's now going to be a little bit easier.

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#53 Old 1st Jun 2012 at 5:11 PM
I just added some stuff to the first post. Basically, just some links to a few things that you guys may be interested in, such as the family tree, and a website that's dedicated to Stephens Family Extras, basically things like baby pictures, wedding pictures, family pictures, random stuff that may have happened in game, and generation overviews, so, here's the link to both of those here as well.
Stephens Family Tree (May contain spoilers)
Stephens Family Extra's Website A look at all extra things Stephens! For example, wedding pictures, baby pictures, and generation overviews.(May contain spoilers)
Let me know what you guys think! (:

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#54 Old 2nd Jun 2012 at 10:22 AM Last edited by Shababygal : 4th Jun 2012 at 5:18 PM.
Default 2.9 Tabby Watches Paige Get Married


As the time to chose a heiress got ever closer, the longer Kenny and I would spend together talking about who would take over for me. It was a hard choice, and I wanted to make sure that the daughter I gave the legacy to would be able to give my grandchildren the kind of life I gave them. A good one, with both parents in their lives, and with both parents loving them.

"Kenny?"

He smiled and kissed my forehead, "Yes, my love?"

"Who do you think I should give the legacy to?" I asked in a small voice.

"Honey, we've gone over this," he began, "I'll support you and whoever you choose."

"I know," I said, resting my head on his shoulder, "but I want to know, who do you feel would be best suited to inherit the legacy?"

He chuckled a little, "Well, if I had my choice, I would probably say Julia. She has a lot of patience, she explains things very well, and she's compassionate. However, she doesn't want to inherit it, so she's out. Now, between Natalie and Paige, I'm not sure. Paige want's to be in the spotlight, and that's not good for a family. And while Jordan seems like he's going to be a good match for her, I'm not sure. Now Natalie, that little girl has some fire in her. In some ways, she reminds me of your mother. Harmony told me some stories about when she was younger, and it sounds a lot like Natalie. Those two also had a really close bond when your mom was alive. However, the on and off thing with Cliff either needs to stay on or stay off, and she needs to settle down if she's to inherit the legacy."

I smiled a little, "Yeah, Nat is a firecracker. I also agree that she needs to settle down if she wants the legacy. Now as far as Paige goes, she want's to do a little bit of music on the side. Jordan is going into medicine. He's going to end up making bank and he'll support his family beautifully. He's a hard worker, and a good man. All that being said, Paige wont have to work, she'll be able to take care of the house and children, and have time to do whatever she pleases."

He gave me a soft smile and tilted my head up and gave me a deep, loving kiss.

"Once again, my dear," Kenny paused, "It's your choice, and I'll support you."

I looked up at my loving husband. The man I have known since I was a young woman. The man I've been in love with for nearly 40 years and I kissed him softly, and lovingly.

"Thank you," I whispered.

"Anytime, my love, anytime." He smiled as he kissed my hair softly.

It was then I knew what I had to do.



Kenny and I still went out on dates every now and again, now that the kids were all grown up enough to take care of themselves for an evening. We would never go really far, or for too long, just for an evening at the bistro for dinner, and then a walk around the park. It was never very much, but, it was always pleasant, and I enjoyed the time I had with my husband.



A few weeks before Paige's bachelorette party that her sisters insisted that she have, I got a call from a sobbing Courtney.

"Courtney? Honey, what's wrong?" I asked.

She sniffled and then let out a ragged sigh, "Regina, my youngest daughter, she...she's dead."

"What?" I gasped, feeling tears spill over.

"She drowned. She was driving along Riverview Highway, and she was trying to avoid a deer in the road, and she swerved too far the car fell into the river. The fire department and the EMT's got there as quickly as they could but, it was too late-she was already dead. She couldn't get out of the car...oh dear god, Tabs, my baby, she's gone, my baby's dead, Tabby!" Courtney cried, unable to control her emotions. I heard Lukas in the background, trying to soothe her, and when that failed, he took the phone.

"Hey Tabby." Lukas murmured.

"Hey," I replied.

"The funeral is going to be in a few days, and we want to know if we can lay her to rest in the family plot in the back of your property, where everyone's been laid to rest so far."

"Oh, of course! Not a problem. We can lay her down there. That's completely fine." I rushed.

I sat there and started to cry as the realization hit me. Regina was so young-the triplets' birthday had been just before the girls' birthday. She was only 19. The realization struck me like a ton of bricks, and it hurt.

"Thank you, Tabby. This means a lot to Courtney. We'll see you in a few days."

"Alright, bye."

We hung up and I put on my strong face and went to tell my family what had happened to their favorite cousin.



The funeral was very sad, although, one good thing did seem to come out of it. The romancer of the two of my boys, Chase, seemed to have found a girl who caught his eye. Maureen was the younger sister of one of Regina's friends, and she and Chase hit it off instantly.

Chase had been more what I assume to be, more like my father. He loved all sorts of girls, and every weekended for his entire teen life, up until he met Maureen, he was going out with a different girl, after he met Maureen though, he only wanted to go out with her.

It was quite cute to watch them, to be honest.



When Paige's bachelorette party came around, everyone was excited. She asked me to go, and I did. We all danced, cheered, and had a really good time. However, whoever invited the old man strippers, which certainly was not me, has a cruel since of humor.



Courtney even came by, which I didn't expect, and she also said that she had a great time.



As the wedding got closer, Paige would spend more and more time with Kristin, who wasn't only Jordan's sister, but also her Maid of Honor. They met each other in first grade, and it was through her Jordan and Paige met, so it was only fair I suppose. Those two were like to peas in a pod, and I was very happy for my daughter.



When the wedding came, everyone was excited, it was a beautiful ceremony, and everyone cheered, and cried. Even Kenny cried a little, and said that he was happy for his oldest girl.




I made the wedding cake, and everyone told me that it was really good, and I'm not going to lie-I thought so too.

All in all, the wedding was beautiful, and even though we were missing one guest, I'm pretty sure everyone still had a good time.

All I had to worry about now was who I was going to pass my legacy on to.

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#55 Old 5th Jun 2012 at 3:42 AM
2.10 Tabby Passes on the Legacy



The next three years passed by in a flash, and before I knew it, I turned 65, and by the time this year was over, I would have to pass the legacy on to either Nat or Paige.

However, on the night of my birthday, when Kenny took me out to our favorite restaurant in town, I let myself not think about it for awhile, and I let myself bask in the happiness of my life. I had reached the very top of the painter career, and even got an article written about my accomplishments as an artist in the paper by none other than Julia. I had also finally mastered the cooking and gardening skills, on top of painting, writing, logic and athletic skills. I was very proud of my life so far, and even though my mother left me big shoes to fill, I feel as if I have done so, and done it well.



This was also the year when the boys turned 18. My baby boys. It seemed like only yesterday they were in diapers. I know, that's so cheesy, but it's true. Their birthday was a blast, and the entire family came over to celebrate.



They grew up to be incredibly handsome young men, and I couldn't wait to see what they did with their lives. Chase, (right) wanted to go into politics and eventually become mayor. He was very charismatic, and loved to work, so I think that career path would be perfect for him.
Scott (left) wanted to become a Firefighter. He was very brave, and wanted to do what he could to help others. I was worried for him joining that career, of course, but I also knew if that's what he wanted, it was best to support him.



Two days after the boy's birthday, Julia decided it was time that she move out. Everyone went into her now-bare room and said their goodbyes to her individually.



I cried a little as I gave her one last goodbye hug.

"I knew this day was coming," I sniffled, "but I was hoping you were going to change your mind."

"Aww, momma," she whispered, hugging me tightly, "I'll be fine. Nick and I have already gotten place together. He's a good man, momma, and he'll watch out for me, I promise."

"I know sweetie," I sighed, "but it's gonna be hard for me to let you leave nonetheless. You hardly even know how to cook! Does your new place have a fire alarm? What about a burglar alarm? Will there be room for you two to start a family?"

She laughed a little and patted my shoulder as she broke from the hug, "Mom. I'll be fine. Daddy put in the alarms two weeks ago. You went and saw the house, it's a four bedroom, of course there's room for that. Nick is a great cook, plus, I'm not the housewife, I'm the evening news reporter. Remember? I'll be just fine, I'll call you every week, okay? I promise."

I sighed a little and stepped back. "Alright sweetie, just remember you can always come home if things don't work out, okay?"

"Alright, momma," she smiled, "I'll remember."



She and Paige also said their goodbyes, giggling as they recalled some of their childhood antics.



And something similar happened when Natalie and Julia said goodbye.

After everyone said goodbye to her and all of her boxes were packed into Nick's truck, she left and was officially moved out of the house.



I went grocery shopping the next day for some of the meat we had run out of, and as I was walking up the porch steps I saw a beaming Natalie, latching on to an equally happy Cliff. I looked at them and I saw the small, sparkling diamond on Natalie's finger, and tears in her eyes. Cliff hadn't come to either Kenny or I, but I'm pretty sure that he knew that we'd be more than okay with it.

Cliff and Natalie had literally known each other their entire lives. They met when his family moved just up the street. He was about three years old, and she was a brand new baby. You could say that they have been best friends ever since. They have been through just about everything together. They would always play together as children, and he would help her inside every time she fell and scrapped her knee, he stood up to some of the bullies that were picking on her in elementary and middle school, he was there for her when my mom died, and he had been there for each other after every bad relationship ended. Even though they were very on and off, it was obvious that they loved each other. I knew it was only a matter of time before this day came. I'm surprised it took this long, to be honest.

They had the kind of love that they put into the love songs and fairytales. It was magical, intense, and very real. It ran deep and true, and when they were around each other, you could almost see the sparks. This was the kind of love that was going to last through anything.

It was at that point, I knew exactly who was going to get the legacy.



Once Cliff left, I told Natalie to wait for me inside. I went upstairs and I got the same box my mother had given me the gift of the legacy in. I took off my necklace, got THE keys to the house, and placed them all inside. I then slowly walked downstairs, and handed her the box.

Her eyes opened wide, and she gasped softly.

"Mom?" She asked, "Is this what I-?"

I laughed softly and gave her a small nod.

She squealed and opened the box, gasping and crying a little when she saw the necklace and keys, I helped her put it on, and smiled at her.

"I-" she laughed, "I can't believe it! Thank you Momma! This is such an honor! I hope I can do as good of a job as you have. Thank you so much!"

I laughed and gave her a hug, "You're welcome my dear, I know you'll do a great job at upholding the legacy."

We both smiled, and went to bed for the night.



A few weeks later at breakfast, Paige stopped eating and cleared her throat.

"Yes, sweetie?" I asked.

She looked over at Jordan, and he nodded slowly. She then took a deep breath and said, "Jordan and I want to start a family, so we're going to be moving out of here in just a few weeks. We bought a house right next to Julia's. Since I'm not the heiress, and I know that there's hardly going to be enough space here with Clifford moving in, I just think it's best we move out."

I looked at her, shocked. I knew she was going to move out eventually, but so soon after Julia?

Natalie smiled over at her. "I understand sis. I'll help you move and settle in too. I can't wait to see the house!"

Paige smiled and so did Kenny, so I had to as well.

I gave her a strained smile, "Alright, alright. I'm happy for you. I'll help you start your garden when you move in to your new house."

She gave me a big smile and we continued on with breakfast, discussing her new place.



When the day finally came, I cried. She swore up and down to give me a call every week, just like Julia. I nodded and sighed, knowing that this was for the best.



I think Kenny cried more than I did when I said goodbye, he and Paige and always had a special bond, so I knew it was going to be extra hard on him.



Paige apparently also told Natalie that she was happy for her, and that she wished her and Cliff the best.



I watched Paige and Jordan drive away, a heavy feeling in my heart. I knew that all children grow up and move away, but it hurts when they do. I looked over at Natalie, and she smiled at me. It was then I knew that this was the end of my time being the center of the Stephens Legacy, but just the beginning for Natalie.

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Test Subject
#56 Old 5th Jun 2012 at 6:13 PM
Love it! Everybody's all grown up and moving out of the nest. I'm glad Nat was passed the legacy, Now maybe we'll get to know Cliff better as a character.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#57 Old 6th Jun 2012 at 1:04 AM
It ended up having to be a coin toss between Paige and Nat, but I'm glad that Natalie got it too~she's going to be fun to write, and I have a bit of plotline that I'll probably start being able to use this gen. & Yes! I hope so, Cliff is also pretty cool, I really hope to get into their back story. It's gonna be pretty cute (:

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Test Subject
#58 Old 6th Jun 2012 at 4:31 PM
aww! Can't wait!
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#59 Old 9th Jun 2012 at 1:53 AM
Default 3.1 Natalie Takes Over



"It's been a little over a year, hasn't it?" Clifford asked one morning just a few days before our wedding.

"A year since what?" I questioned, grinning as I let my arms wrap around him.

"A year since we got the house renovated, and a year your mom started your housewife training," he paused, giving me one of his sexy smirks and laughing at my slightly offended stare.

"Okay, you buthole," I started, "Just because my mom has been teaching me how to cook and garden does not equal housewife training! She's not gonna live forever, and I need to make sure I can make things that are edible. Plus, that garden was started by my grandma, and weren't you the one that came over on Saturdays when we were small children to help her with it?"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever, Nat." He laughed, giving me a deep, but very quick kiss and then looking me in my eyes, making me blush ever-so-slightly. "You know I was just playing with you, sweets."

I giggled a little, "Yeah, I know."

He grinned and swept my hair back from my face and gave me a soft, loving kiss, that took my breath away.

I laughed softly and stared back at him. He's been my best friend for my entire life. I don't ever remember him not being in my life. Ever. In one way or another, he was there. We've always been best friends, and honestly, we've probably loved each other before we even thought we had an idea of what love could be. It took me the first fifteen years of my life to realize that he and I should be together. I remember the first time he kissed me. It wasn't my first kiss, but it was the only one worth remembering. It had been nothing but a soft, sweet peck, and it sent a jolt of electricity through my body, making me weak in the knees. Even now, nearly ten years after we started dating, every single time he kisses me, it's electric.

"Let me guess," he began, letting out a low chuckle "You're thinking about our first actual date, aren't you?"

"What?" I gasped.

"You're thinking about our first date." He smirked.

"Yeah, well, it's one of my favorite memories." I blushed.

He chuckled, "Yeah, it's one of mine too. Although I think my favorite memory of you was when we raced down to the lake near my old house and you attempted to jump in the water via the rope swing, but instead you flung off and hit your face against the bank." He laughed loudly when he noticed me glaring at him, "Or maybe it might have been when you and Julia were about 8 and you found had found a frog right next to the lake, and you went to go show her after you showed me, but she thought it was gross and she ran away. I remember watching you chase Julia around my yard for a good 30 minuets until you tackled her and shoved the frog down the front of her dress."

I laughed, recalling the memory, "I got in so much trouble for that! I thought it was seriously the most hysterical thing. Mom didn't think so." I giggled.

Cliff smiled at me and then wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me closer to him and then whispered into my ear, "Or it may have been the first night we made love," he paused, giving me a soft kiss on my neck, "It brought us so much closer together, in a few different ways. I remember you were so nervous before hand, but once we got going, mmm. I never knew you could be so....creative." he chuckled suggestively.

I scoffed a little and shook my head, and seeing this reaction, he chuckled.

"Fine," he smiled, cupping my face in his other hand, "My favorite memory of you is when you said yes to my proposal. Your eyes lit up, and you jumped into my arms, and in that moment, I could see the happiness in your eyes, and I knew that despite all the bull we've been through, you'd be mine forever, and in three days, you will be. Finally." he paused, kissing my forehead. I let my head down to rest on his shoulder as I felt his strong arms surround me completely. He then smiled and continued on, "But, in three days, when I see you walking down the isle toward me, and we exchange vows, rings, and kiss, sealing the deal that you're mine and I'm yours, forever...that will be the happiest moment of my life."

"How do you do that?" I asked, my heart pounding in my chest.

"Do what?" he questioned, smoothing down my hair.

"Make me feel so incredibly unbelievably happy?"

He chuckled at me and shrugged, "I don't know, maybe the same way you do it to me."

I laughed a little and let my eyes fall closed.

"You know," I began, talking softly " when you first picked me up for our very first date, it wasn't very different than when we would simply go out to the park to hang out, but it was because we called it a date. When you picked me up that night, you gave me my favorite purple flowers. Then, when we went to the park after dinner, you pushed me on the swing set, just like when we were little kids-"

He cut me off, "And when you stopped swinging, I took your hand. I new I had to get you home soon, and that I had my chance, so I led you over to the kids play building. You leaned up against it and smiled at me. I stood in front of you and I was-"

"Shaking like a leaf? I'd say so," I giggled.

He ignored my side comment and continued on, "But you didn't go anywhere, so when I leaned in, and you leaned in, we kissed."

"And it was amazing, and every kiss has been just as, if not more so than that one."

He blushed softly and led me over to our bed and nodded.

"Indeed."




We laid down together and I smiled widely when I snuggled up next to him. I felt so at home in his arms. It had been a year since he officially moved in, and that meant the legacy was officially "mine" now, as I learned from my mom for the past year about all the ins and outs and how-to's of being a Stephens heiress.

It had also been over a year since Paige moved out. A few months ago, she and Jordan had their first baby, Devon Adien Stephens. It was awesome to have a new baby in the family so soon, and Paige had called me a few weeks ago, and we joked about how she knew I was going to be the next one with a baby on the way. I laughed it off. I didn't think I was going to be the next, especially since Kristen, Jordan's sister had gotten married just three months after Paige did, and since Norman, Clifford's younger brother had just announced that he would also soon be getting married, I honestly doubted that I would be the next in our family to have a baby. Plus, I know I didn't want to get pregnant too soon, but I knew that that kind of came with being the Stephens heiress.

The day mom put the legacy necklace on me, the weight of being the matriarch of the family hit me. The cool metal of the necklace brushed my skin, suddenly making me feel a surge of power, and responsibility. It tingled on my skin, and at first it felt heavier that it really was. In that moment when mom smiled at me and clasped the necklace I knew that I had to step it up. The house was mine, the family that will eventually grow up here is mine. Everything that is within the walls of this house, and most of the things that happen in this family is my responsibility to take care of.

That's partly why the very first thing I did after becoming heiress was having the house re-built, hoping that we'd never have to do another addition.

It now also just set in that in a few days, I would be getting married, I would be the new official "Mrs. Stephens". I was thrilled and terrified all at the same time, as I wasn't sure what exactly I was going to end up getting myself into.

However, those thoughts could wait, as I was much more excited about Clifford's and my honeymoon trip to Egypt, and so I let my thoughts drift to that, and I wondered what I would want to tour first once I got there.



The day of the wedding came in an instant, and when I was getting ready, my mom came up to talk to me for a bit.

"So, how are you feeling, sweetie?" she asked.

"Oh momma," I sighed, "I'm nervous, but in the best way possible. I mean, I can't believe it! I'm marrying my highschool sweetheart. Actually, my childhood sweetheart, and I don't know, it almost seems too good to be true! But I'm so happy, mom, and I know my wedding is going to be a blast."

She gave me a hug and brushed my hair back.

"From now on, darling, you're the one who makes all the decisions. I basically monitored them for the last year or so, but I won't be doing that anymore. The moment you go from Miss to Mrs Stephens is the moment the family becomes completely your responsibility. Do you understand, sweetie? After today, I wont be able to help you as much anymore. I'll still be here, but I wont be able to make decisions for you, do you understand?"

I nodded and sighed a little, "Yes momma, I understand."

She smiled a little at me, "Good. I'm so happy for you my dear. Oh, by the way do you have everything you need packed up for your trip to Al Simhara? Your flight is about an hour and a half after the wedding ends."

"Yeah momma, I know, and yes, everything is all packed up." I sighed.

"Alright Natalie," she smiled and gave me a hug and whispered, "I'm so proud of you, I know you two are going to last just like your father and I have."

I smiled a little and hugged her back, "Thank you for that, mom."

"Anytime Nat, anytime." She whispered.



I knew there was going to be nothing like walking down the isle toward the man of my dreams, my best friend, my one true love, or whatever you want to call him, but even still, I don't think I can describe what it was like. It seemed as though it took me forever to walk down the isle, but when I finally reached Clifford, I don't think there's any word to use to explain how I felt.

Clifford smiled and took my ring, and placed it onto my finger, and as he did so, he said, "Natalie Jessica Stephens, I have known you my entire life. When we were kids, I told you that one day, I was going to marry you. You laughed, and as per usual, didn't think I was serious, but it was at that moment, when you were ten and I was thirteen, on the old playground as I pushed you on the swing watching your hair blow in the wind and seeing that smile you gave me that I meant it, and now, here we are. Natalie, this ring I give you is a small physical symbol of my love for you. Natalie, I Clifford Allen Gaines, take you as my wife, for now, forever, and for always."

With happy tears in my eyes, I placed the ring on his finger, and said, "Clifford Allen Gaines, there has never been a time when I did not know you, you've always been there for me. Through everything that has happened, you've been there to help me get through it. You're everything to me, and to not have you in my life would be like not having air to breathe. Clifford, I give you this ring as a small physical symbol of my love for you. Clifford, I Natalie Jessica Stephens, take you as my husband, for now, forever, and for always."

And then, of course, we kissed, and everyone who had come to watch the wedding cheered.




When we cut the wedding cake later on that evening, everyone rushed to get some of it as mom had made it for the wedding, and everyone knew that my moms cooking was the best in town, especially when it came to making cakes. However, my mom always insisted that she wasn't anywhere near as good as my grandmother when it came to cooking.

Dad came over and gave both Clifford and I hug. He said that he was happy for us, and knew that we had nothing to really worry about, as he knew that we could make it through anything. He didn't admit that he had cried, I mean after all, he was Kendrick Stephens, one of the biggest sports stars in Riverview history, and even though he'd been retired for a few years now did not mean it had turned him into some "sissy", as he said. However, I knew my father and when Clifford and I turned around to walk back down the isle, I saw him with a few tears in his eyes.

We stayed and we danced and had our fun for the rest of the night. However, the moment the wedding was over, Cliff and I ran upstairs, changed our clothes, and went to the airport and off to Al Simhara.



After an incredibly long flight, it was mid-evening the next day, so the very first thing we did was grab a bite to eat at one of the local resturaunts. It was a very interesting meal that I honestly don't think I can spell properly, so I wont even try, but either way, it was really good.

We spent the rest of the first day in the marketplace and we got a few things we could bring back home. I also got a camera at the general store, as well as a few books to take back home for my mom.



After dinner, we went to go find our campsite. It took a bit of driving, and when Cliff just stopped at the end of a road and got out of the car, I gave him a quizzical look, to which he just smiled and bolted off, shouting "Come on!" over his shoulder, to which I just sighed and darted after him.

"You buthole!" I yelled after him.

All I heard him do was laugh as he ran quickly down the hill, telling me to hurry up.



He got down to the campsite a few moments before I did, and he started a fire. I was out of breath by the time I got down to the campsite. He set up a few chairs and I plopped down in one of them and attepmpted to catch my breath. He smiled at me widely and chuckled a little. We looked up at the sky and he asked me proudly, "So, what do you think? We're camping right on the SimNile!"

I looked at him and smiled, "This is beautiful."
I wasn't just saying that either, the lush ground around us, the deep blue of the river that flowed right next to us, and the sandy mountains in the distance under the light of a full moon really was beautiful.



He smiled and looked over at me, "Yeah, but you're much more beautiful."

I laughed and blushed a little, "You're so corny."

He chuckled, "Yeah! But that's why you love me!"

I giggled and we sat there and talked for a good few more hours before he and I realized that we had to get some rest, the next day we were going to go tour the pyramids and the Sphinx.



The next few days were filled with tours, wonder, and lots of um...extra curricular activities. The entire trip was a blast, and by the time we realized we had to go home, we sighed. We had a lot of fun while in Al Simhara, and it was certainly a trip neither of us is going to forget.



About a week or two after we got home, I noticed I wasn't feeling too well, and I was ever-grateful when my mother walked into the room with one of her soothing teas.

"Drink this sweetie. It might help settle your stomach," she said while she handed me the steaming cup.

"Thanks mom." I sighed, leaning back into my chair and taking a sip.

She just smiled and patted my hair, "Just remember sweetie, sip on it slowly, okay?"

I nodded and sipped on the tea for a good 20 minuets, my mom sitting there and keeping a close eye on me, worrying that I may have gotten some horrid foreign disease. I sighed and told her not to worry and I stood up. On my way to wash the cup out, I got the dire need to vomit and I rushed to the bathroom.



I sat there at the toilet and groaned, feeling like utter crap. From what I heard from my sister and my mother, this could mean one of two things, and I was hoping that I had just eaten something bad and that it was not the other possibility. I was too young to have the other possibility.

I guess we'll just have to wait to find out.

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
#60 Old 9th Jun 2012 at 4:58 AM
Yay! This is so wonderful. I'm ecstatic that Nat got it, at first I thought you were going to give it to Paige lol. She and Cliff and very cute together. Great change with everyone moving out as Jamila said. I loved that transition. I can't wait to read what happens next.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#61 Old 9th Jun 2012 at 9:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovethMia
Yay! This is so wonderful. I'm ecstatic that Nat got it, at first I thought you were going to give it to Paige lol. She and Cliff and very cute together. Great change with everyone moving out as Jamila said. I loved that transition. I can't wait to read what happens next.


Thank you! I really tried to really WRITE this chapter rather than be like, "oh so then this happened and then this happened," kinda how the last gen. was. Ahaha, it really was a flip of a coin, and I'm actually really happy to be writing Nat! She's quite fun, and spunky. At first I did too, but while I think all of them could have had really awesome stories, I think Natalie's story will be the most I don't know, maybe moving, I suppose? I really think everyone is going to be able to relate to her pretty well. I know! While I was writing those two I kept "d'aww"ing. xD Thank you. :3 I just figured that would be a good way to tie up Tabby's gen and start Nat's. Plus, it ended up being really good as Paige had a baby, and if she and Jordan had stayed in the house, there wouldn't have been enough room, aahaha xD

Thank you! I'm going to be off to take some shots in just a little bit! I think with this gen's storyline, the characters are going to seem much more real, and this gen might end up being a bit more intense, ahaha xD

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
#62 Old 12th Jun 2012 at 12:52 AM
Well...if the sparks continue to fly between Nat and Cliff like they have been, I can only image how much more intense it will be! Great job!
Field Researcher
#63 Old 12th Jun 2012 at 6:04 AM
Err, I can only see the stories if I make it look like a thread! I have no idea why.

I am MOHAAPlayer on Discord
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#64 Old 12th Jun 2012 at 7:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovethMia
Well...if the sparks continue to fly between Nat and Cliff like they have been, I can only image how much more intense it will be! Great job!


Oh these two have actually been in game friends their entire lives, so, I'm sure that they will, the story I have for these two is hopefully gonna be really good. xD & Thank you! :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbc100
Err, I can only see the stories if I make it look like a thread! I have no idea why.


Hmm. Sadface ): I'm not sure why either, as every post that involves story has a title...o3o.

~

Next chapter should be up in a few days. :3

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Field Researcher
#65 Old 12th Jun 2012 at 10:36 AM
Because it says "Join us in out Live Chat" or something like that!

I am MOHAAPlayer on Discord
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#66 Old 14th Jun 2012 at 10:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbc100
Because it says "Join us in out Live Chat" or something like that!


Hmmm. It should be better now?

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#67 Old 14th Jun 2012 at 10:52 AM
3.2 Natalie Goes Through Pregnancy



"Natalie?" Clifford asked me.

"Yeah, honey?" I replied one afternoon while I was laying down with my arm over my head, feeling awful. Ever since I had come back from the honeymoon, I was feeling a bit off. Mom insisted that I go to the doctor, but I told her I probably just had the stomach flu, and that I'd be better soon.

"How would you feel about us getting a kitten?" he questioned.

"A kitten?" I paused, removing my arm from over my eyes for a moment to look at him, "Where on earth would we get a kitten from?"

"Your aunt just called. Her cat Snugglez just had kittens, she wanted to know if we would like one of them. I told her that I would need to ask you." He said.

He looked a little shy about asking me this, and quite frankly, it was adorable. I knew he loved animals, his parents always had two in the house throughout his entire childhood. I didn't think he'd miss having one, but it's kind of obvious now.

"Do you want one?" I asked, to which he just nodded sheepishly. It was one of the most adorable things I had ever seen in my entire life.

So, of course, I couldn't say no. I've never been an animal person, but I wont lie, when I saw the little guy I have pictured, I couldn't stop petting him. He's just so cute! Needless to say, we took him home. We named him Felix. Why, I'm really not sure. I think I suggested it as a joke and it just stuck. He stays on the main floor right now, he's too tiny to make it up the stairs, but he has everything he needs downstairs, a kitty condo, a box of toys, his food and water dishes, and his litter box. He was quite shy at first, but he's slowly warmed up to us over the last two weeks.



After nearly a month and a half of being sick, my mom marched into the house after going out to the grocery store and shoved a pregnancy test into my hands, and demanded I go check to see if I was pregnant.

"And if you aren't," she said, "I'm dragging your sorry bum to the hospital. Now get your ass in there and see if you've got a bun in the oven!"

As soon as I got into the bathroom, a strong wave of nausea overcame me. I lunged for the toilet and groaned. I threw up mostly in the mornings, I realized sort of off-handedly.

After about 10 minuets of me telling myself it was okay, I ended up using the test. I waited for those incredibly awkward, think-a-thousand-different-situations, worrisome, and just flat out uncomfortable 15 minutes.

"Pregnant." I mumbled dumbly after I looked at the test.

The test said that I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it.

I walked out of the bathroom and just sat down on my bed. I didn't look when my mother sat down next to me and patted my shoulder.

"So, you're pregnant?" She asked.

I simply nodded, "According to the test, yes. I am."

Before my mom could say anything else I grabbed my phone and I called my doctor. After a few minutes, I set up an appointment for a little later that day. I had my mom come with me. You can call me a 25 year old baby if you want to, but Cliff was still at work, and I wanted to get the test done as soon as possible, and I didn't want to go by myself.

After my appointment was over, I said I would get a call in a few days.

For the next three days I was very much on edge. Clifford asked what was wrong, and I told him nothing, but he knew me better than that, so rather than just taking my "No, I swear, I'm okay" as an answer, he simply kissed my forehead and said, "Okay, sweetie. Whatever you say, but when you want to tell me, I'm all ears."

I just smiled at him and continued to wait for the call.

When I finally got the call I'd been waiting for, I answered in a heartbeat.

"Hello?" I asked.

"Hello, Mrs. Stephens?" a soft, feminine voice replied.

"Yes?"

"Oh, hello there! I'm Doctor Phillips. I'm calling so I can give you your test results."

"Oh, okay then," I sighed, pausing for a moment, "what are they?"

"Well, Mrs. Stephens, you came in for a whole bunch of tests, including a pregnancy test, is this correct?"

"Yes ma'am." I spoke softly.

"Well, all of your blood work came back normal, and we didn't find any illnesses."

"Oh!" I smiled, "Excellent!" I giggled, "So that means I'm fine?"

"Yes, Mrs. Stephens, you're perfectly healthy, and, you're six weeks pregnant." Dr. Philips spoke with a smile in her voice.

"I'm what?" I squealed, shocked.

"Congratulations, Mrs. Stephens!"

The doctors words set in and I blurted out, "Um, I'm sorry, you might have one of my sisters, this is Mrs. Natalie Stephens."

"I'm positive it's you, Mrs. That's the name we have on the result sheet and in our records."

"Are you sure it's me?" I paused, "This is Mrs. Natalie Jessica Stephens, twin of Julia Naomi Stephens, daughter of Tabitha Joy Stephens and Kendrick Alex Stephens... Granddaughter of Harmony Cheryl Stephens and Don Chase Lothario-Stephens." I gasped, as if there would miraculously be another Natalie Stephens in town. Of course there wasn't. All the Stephens in this town were related to me. However, I was trying to make sure I heard this right.

"Yes, Mrs. Stephens, this is you. If there is a problem, you're still not too far along for an abortion if that's what would-"

I cut off the doctor, "No!" I paused, "No, that wont be necessary, Dr. Phillips. I'm sorry, I'm just shocked. I didn't think I'd get pregnant so soon..."

I simply heard her chuckle, "Yes, we get that reaction from a number of young mothers. Anyway, Mrs. Stephens, would you like to set up your next appointment now? We need to continually check up on you throughout the pregnancy to make sure that you and the little one are healthy."

"Yes, yes of course. When should I come in?"

I set up my next appointment and hung up with the doctor. During all the commotion I had stirred up my mom came in, a sly smile on her face. As soon as I hung up my mom beamed at me.

"I'm gonna have another grand-baby!" My mom smiled widely and gave me a hug. I just grinned at her and hugged her back.

"So," she paused, "When are you going to tell Cliff?"

"I don't know, but I will soon." I sighed biting my lip.

My mom just brushed my hair back and smiled at me and then said, "I'm going to go make some tea to help settle your nerves and stomach, okay?"

I just nodded, and she left me in my room to ponder.



"Cliff?" I mumbled softly a few days later right as we were going to sleep.

"Hmmm?" He murmured sleepily as he pulled me closer to him, then softly nuzzling his head into my back.

I let out a ragged sigh and that caught his attention, he soothingly kissed my shoulder and lovingly whispered into my ear.

"Love, what is it?"

I turned to look at him, his blue eyes searched my green ones. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closely to him. I in turn wrapped my arms around his neck and we laid like that for a few moments. It was one of those silences where it wasn't awkward, but there was an expectancy of something. I sighed one more time and he gave me a reassuring squeeze. I closed my eyes for a moment and when I opened them, I said what I'd been thinking about ever since I found out.

"I'm pregnant, Cliff."

I felt him stiffen, and his eyes lit up, a hint of excitement in his voice, "What?"

"I said," I paused, looking him in the eyes, "I'm pregnant. We're gonna have a baby."

"Really?" He asked, squeezing me a little tighter. He didn't even give me a chance to respond as he turned us over and gave me a deep, loving, excited kiss.

When we finally stopped kissing, I was giggling a little bit. He looked at me with a smile on his lips and in his eyes.

"We're really gonna be having a baby?" He smiled, laying back down on his side, causing me to do the same.

"Mhmm. We are." I smiled, snuggling back down as I felt his strong arms wrap back around me.

I then felt him tenderly place one of his hands on my stomach. I looked back over my shoulder at him and he grinned.

"I've always wanted to have the chance to be a father." He smiled, rubbing my tummy.

"I know, but I was still nervous about telling you." I admitted.

"Why?" he asked, kissing my shoulder.

"Because, we haven't even been married for a year yet, I mean, we're having this baby so soon..."

"Shh..." he cut me off, soothing me, "we've been together since we were teenagers. I was 18, you were 15, so that means we've been together for 10 years. We got married on our 10th anniversary, remember? So yes, we may not have been married for a year, but we've been together for 10 and a half years. So it's not all that soon anyway. I love you, Natalie. I love you with all of my heart and my soul, and I will love this baby we have together just as much. I will protect you, and all the children we have together with my life, because you, and any children we may have are my life. Okay?"

I rolled over onto my other side and smiled at him, nodding, a tear in my eye.

He wiped away my tear with his thumb, making me smile a little. I pulled myself into him and held him as tightly as I could, nuzzling my face into his chest.

I softly mumbled out, "I love you with all my heart and soul too, Cliff. I just never want to lose you, over anything. I want us to stay together our entire lives, and when our lives reach an end, I want us to die together at the same time, in each other's arms. You're my soulmate, Clifford. You're everything to me."

He softly rubbed my back and held tightly onto me and after I finished speaking, he said, "Natalie, darling, I've known you my entire life. I've seen you at your best, and your worst, and you know what? I loved you every second of it. Nothing will make you lose me, not even death. We'll be together, forever, no matter what. Our love surpasses time. I promise you, Natalie, that you, will never, ever lose me. That's what these rings we wear are for, right? To symbolize our eternal love?"

I glanced down at the ring on my finger. God, it was beautiful. It shimmered, even in dim light. To answer his question, I just nodded and then let out a soft yawn.

He just smiled and kissed my hair.

"I love you, Natalie."

"I love you too, Clifford."



"Oh!"
I gasped one morning after I got out of bed, my hands instantly going to my ever-growing baby bump.

Clifford darted over to me, "Are you okay, love? Is everything okay? Is there something wrong with the baby?"

I laughed a little and nodded, "Yes, honey, I'm fine, the baby just kicked. I...I hadn't felt that before. It just surprised me a little."

Clifford smiled and then placed his hand on my tummy and I giggled as I watched his eyes get wide.

"Oh my god! He's kicking!" He chuckled.

"He?" I asked, with a raised eyebrow.

Clifford chuckled and shrugged, "Yes, he. I want to have our son first."

I laughed a little, "Why's that?"

"So that he can protect his baby sister." Clifford stated like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I just laughed a little.

"Alright, but you know my family has a lot of girls, and even multiples. So if anything, I think our baby is a girl. Who knows, we might even have babies."

He grinned a little and then felt my tummy again.

"What do you want to name our baby if it's a girl?" Clifford asked.

"I don't know," I said, pondering it for a moment. "I was thinking either Victoria Shea Stephens or maybe Rebekah Brianne Stephens, or baby both, if they're twin girls."

He chuckled, "Both names are beautiful. What about if we have a boy?"

I smiled, "I'm not sure, I was thinking maybe Layton Blake Stephens, or maybe Todd Xavier Stephens."

He chuckled a little. "I like Layton Blake. I think if we have a son, that's what we should call him."

I smiled and nodded a little, "We'll think about it some more, I mean, we have another four months."

He nodded and then looked at the clock and went and hurried back to get ready, "I gotta go to work, babe. Have a great day here, okay? Maybe you should go to the day spa and let yourself relax or something."

I smiled and went up behind him and gave him a loving hug, "I'll see what I can do, stay safe honey."

He smiled and finished getting ready and he turned around and gave me a quick kiss, and letting his hand rest on my tummy, "Don't worry, Natalie, I'll always come back to you and our child safe and sound."

And with that, he left for work.



As time went on, I read every parenting book I could get my hands on, and I even gave a few to Clifford so he could read them and be as prepared as I was. Some of them my mom recommended to me, others my older sister Paige, of whom, I talked quite often to, especially since I became pregnant. We talked nearly every day.

"Natalie! How's my favorite baby sister doing!" Paige said one afternoon that she called.

"I'm doing well," I said, smiling into the phone, "Just the baby's deciding to kick a lot today. God I can't wait to have this kid! I feel like a balloon!"

I heard her laugh, "Oh honey, I was there too. Do you know what gender the baby is yet?"

"No, I want it to be a surprise." I smiled.

"If you say so, darlin', but I would find out so you can pick out the name, and just about everything else easier. I mean when I had Davion, I made sure I knew it was a boy before I did anything."

"Yeah, I know," I spoke softly, "But I like to be surprised. And how's little D-man doing?"

I heard her let out a giggle, "Oh, well, you know, he's a toddler, and he gets into everything. Although, he's learned to walk, he's learning to talk, and pretty soon he should be potty trained. I'll be finishing up with him while you're getting started with yours, ahaaha."

I just smiled and shook my head, "Thank you for reminding me, Paige."

"You're very welcome, Nat!" I heard a loud bang, and then Davion crying.

"That's my signal to go, he probably knocked something over. Have a good day, Nat, and remember honey, I'm just a phone call away if you need anything."

"Thanks Paige," I smiled, "I'll talk to you later."

And after that, we hung up.



When I wasn't reading, talking to Paige, or my mom, or spending time with Kenny, I was in my room painting. I loved to do it, just like my mom and grandma did, and as a pregnant lady, there really wasn't too much else I really wanted to do.



Maureen, who is Chase's long time girlfriend moved in soon after their engagement, which took place around month 8. They're going to be married soon after the baby is born, although, they're going away to have a private wedding, rather than a party.

Since she moved in, she took great interest in helping me out and asking a lot about pregnancy. She was barely 19, my brother, barely 20. She was a real sweetie.

"I can't wait until I'm actually a member of your family!" She enthused.

I smiled and giggled, "I can't wait to have you as a sister in law. I'm sure you and Chase are going to be good for each other."

"I'm glad you all think so, you guys are such great people." She smiled.

"Aww, thank you sweetie."

"You're welcome!" she smiled and then she tilted her head at me, "Can I listen to your tummy?"

I giggled and nodded, "Sure, if you want to."

She leaned her head down and her eyes got wide, and after she was through listening, she stood up and asked me a question I really wasn't prepared to answer.



"Do you think Chase and I will have babies someday, Natalie?"

I smiled, a little taken aback, "I'm sure if that's what you guys want, then of course you will."

"Do you think they'll be pretty like you? I mean let's be honest here Natalie, everyone in your family is beautiful, and I can only hope that the kids Chase and I have are beautiful like the rest of your family."

I smiled and laid a comforting hand on her shoulder. "I'm positive, you're beautiful too, Maureen, and I know you and Chase will make beautiful Nuun-Stephens babies."

That seemed to make her happy, and it was about time to make dinner, so she darted off to help my mother finish cooking.



Sure enough, on his due date, at 1:14 in the morning, my water broke. I woke up with a start and I instantly woke up Clifford, and we drove to the hospital as fast as we could.



I would like everyone to meet the newest addition to the Stephens Family.

Everyone, let's give a warm welcome to Layton Blake Stephens, my first born son.

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#68 Old 19th Jun 2012 at 2:08 PM
Default 3.3 Natalie Settles In




"You two are so cute together!" I smiled as I continued to snap pictures of the soon-to-be-married couple.

Chase smiled a little and squeezed Maureen's hand and she giggled softly.

"Thank you, Natalie." Chase grinned.

"You're welcome, Baby Bro." I giggled. He gave me a mock glare and then stuck his tongue out at me and mumbled something under his breath that caused Maureen to elbow his side.

"Also, Natalie," Maureen paused, her eyes full of joy, "Thank you so much for taking our wedding pictures for us. With us having a private wedding and all, we didn't think we'd have them. At first, I didn't think I wanted them, but then I remembered how much I loved looking at my parent's wedding pictures and I knew that I can't deny our future babies the option the look at ours."

I smiled at her and continued snapping away, "You're very welcome, Maureen. Can you guys change poses? Oh! I like that one, stay like that-yes, good." I paused, focusing the camera and zooming in a little, "After all, it's obvious that I love photography. This is a reasonable excuse to take pictures. I've taken so may of Layton since we brought him home that I think he's sick of seeing me with the camera." I laughed a little, and so did Maureen.

"That's so cute!" She giggled, "You'll have to come over and take pictures of our babies when we have them, right Chase?"

Chase smiled down at her and kissed her forehead, "Of course Maurie, if that's what you want."

I smiled and clicked at the perfect time, getting my favorite shot of the day by far.

Maureen grinned and looked over at me, "I'm going to miss living with you Natalie. I'm an only child, so I don't have any siblings, and you were exactly what I would want in a big sister. You and Tabby have been so wonderful to me, it's going to be hard when you two are no longer in the same house with Chase and I."

I gave her a soft, knowing grin, "Aww, Maureen! You're such a sweetie. I'm the youngest girl in my family, and you're going to be a great sister-in-law. Don't heasitate to call me about anything, alright? Even if it's about my brother. Chase can be a dick sometimes." I paused, laughing at the face my brother made at my statement. "What? It's true!" I laughed, and soon Maureen did too. "I know it might be hard at first, but it's going to be nice to have some privacy, yeah? Plus, we're only a phone call away."

"I suppose you're right." Maureen nodded, "Plus, the house we bought is beautiful! I can't wait until I actually get to live in it!"

"You'll need to send me pictures." I giggled, causing her to do the same.

"Oh, I will!" She smiled.

I grinned at them and took the last shot before I was told that my memory card was full.

"Alright, guys," I said, turning off the camera, "I'm out of memory. So, it looks like it's time for you two to head out."

I stepped forward and gave them each a hug.

"Bye, sis." Chase whispered as he gave me a fair-well hug.

"Bye, Chase, you take good care of Maureen, okay? Be nice to her, and remember, she's the best thing that's happened to you, baby bro." I said as I hugged him back.

"I know, and I will. I promise. I gotta go change and finish packing up the car, I'll see ya, Nat."

"Bye, Chase."

I then went over and gave Maureen a hug.

"Thank you for being so kind to me, Natalie. I really feel like a part of your family. I'll be good to your brother, and I'll be sure to keep in touch." She whispered.

"I know, we'll need to hang out again when you guys come back from your vacation. Bye, Maureen." I said as I hugged her goodbye.

"Bye, Natalie." She said as she walked over to Chase's car and waited for him to come out so they could leave.

I walked into the front yard and waved goodbye to my youngest brother and his wife.



"Mommy." I said gesturing to myself, attempting to teach my young son to talk. I started teaching him his basic skills after he became a year old, which was only a few months ago. I was teaching him how to talk, Clifford was teaching him to walk, and we both took over potty training duty. We hoped by Clifford's 30th birthday, which would be a few weeks before Layton's 3rd birthday, we'd have all his basic skills down.

All I got back was excited toddler gibber. I smiled a little and tried again, "Mommy."

Layton tilted his head a little and made more little noises, that sounded like he was trying to say, "mama" or something. I got all excited and tried once again looking down at him and pointing to myself.

"Mommy." I said again, dragging out the sounds of each letter.

He looked at me and gave me a cute little smile and said, "Mommy."

It wasn't perfect, but it was close enough to where I understood what he was saying. I got so excited. I clapped, making him laugh and shout out "Mommy!" again.

I got so excited, I called Clifford at work. It was noon-ish anyway, so I knew he was on his lunch break.

He answered after the second ring, "Hello?"

"Cliff!" I squealed happily.

"Nat?" He asked, sounding concerned, "What happened? Is something wrong?"

"Everything is fine," I laughed, "I just had to call you because Layton said his first word! He just said Mommy! Oh, oh my god! I'm so happy! He said mommy!"

I heard Clifford chuckle on the other end of the line. "I can't wait to hear him say it when I get home. I bet it's adorable!"

"It really, really is!" I smiled and then I saw Layton go and attempt to stick his hand into his training potty. I ran over to him and picked him up, making him cry and give me a sad face. I guess he thought I was ruining his fun.

Cliff shuffled on the other end when he heard Layton cry. "Is everything okay, sweetie?"

"Yeah, Layton's just mad because I wont let him stick his hand into his training potty."

He let out a low laugh. "Ah, I see. Anyway, Nat, I gotta go back to eating my lunch so I can finish all this paperwork I have to do so I can come home on time. I love you, Natalie."

I smiled and bounced Layton softly on my hip, "I understand, I'll see you when you come home, I love you too, Clifford."

With that, we hung up, and I snuggled and soothed my crying baby. I never really thought I'd make a good mother, but I really enjoyed taking care of my son, and my mom told me that I was doing a good job. She was really good with giving me tips and advice on how to take care of Layton, and just children in general. I knew that my mom's advice was good, after all, she raised me and my four siblings, so I listened to her, for the most part, and when I didn't listen to her, I followed my intuition, but even then in a way, I was still listening to her advice.



Later on that night it was bedtime for Layton. I gave him a bath and put him in his pajamas and sat down in the rocking chair across from his bed. I sang him the same lullabies my mom sung to me, which were sung to her by my grandma. I rocked back and forth slowly, letting the song I knew by heart flow from my lips as I held him in my arms.

He was so small, but I knew that would eventually change, no matter how badly I wished it wouldn't. I looked down at him at the end of the fourth repeat of the song and his eyes started to close. I started going through the song one more time, and after I was finished, I looked down at him and I heard his soft little snoring.

I smiled softly down at him, careful not to move too much. He was so warm, so small. He was my first little boy, my first baby. I wondered then how it was possible to love something as much as I loved him. I was told from childhood, that the love a mother feels for her children is indescribable and one of the most powerful kinds of love, but I didn't really comprehend it until I held him for the first time. It amazed me how much I love this little guy. I would do anything to protect him, anything at all. His life is more important than mine, or anyone's, even Clifford's. If it came down between Layton or Clifford, it would hurt to lose Clifford, but I'd chose my child. This thought really didn't surprise me too much, though. I knew the moment I first held him in my arms that he was the most important thing to me.

I watched my little Layton sleep for a good 30 or so minuets before I put him down in his little bed and kissed his forehead and I pulled the blankets up around him. I smiled as I went and quietly opened the door, knowing for sure that my little boy was safe.



I walked downstairs and saw Felix, who was now a fully grown cat playing with one of his toys. He was a really sweet cat, and he tolerated Layton very well. Often times we'd come into the living room to find Layton half-way laying on Felix, and petting him. Felix really didn't care too much, as long as he was getting some sort of attention.

That was one of the great things about this cat. He was very tolerant, and he loved to be petted, and he seemingly considered any sort of touch to be pleasant. Even with the pulling and prodding from Layton, he never got agitated, sometimes, he'd even purr.



"Alright, that's it, come here Layton!" Clifford urged as our son took wobbly steps to his dad.

Layton was hardly stable, but with each time he practiced with his daddy he was getting better. He was nearly three now, and had learned how to talk and we could hardly get him to stop after we got him started.

When Layton finally reached Clifford, Cliff smiled and picked him up and spun him around three times, cheering.

"Yay Layton! You did such a good job, buddy!"

Layton giggled and said, "Daddy! No fall!"

Clifford smiled and ran his hand through Layton's hair. "That's right, you didn't fall. You did such a good job. Right, Momma?" Clifford asked, turning his head to face me.

I walked the rest of the way down the stairs and the moment Layton saw me he got very excited, "Mommy!" he cheered.

I looked over at Clifford and Layton and I nodded, "Yeah, Layton! You did such a good job! Daddy's a good teacher, isn't he?" I smiled over at Clifford.

"Yes!" Layton agreed happily, "Daddy good!"

I laughed a little and so did Cliff. He kissed Layton's forehead and then set him back down at the start point.

"Alright, little buddy," Cliff said, smiling, "let's show Mommy how far you can walk, okay?"

"Yeah!" was Layton's happy reply.

Clifford got down low all the way on the other side of the room and Layton walked all the way over to his daddy. He put his arms out a little to help him balance, and while still not a hundred percent there, he made it to his dad and giggled.

I smiled and Cliff brought Layton over and passed him to me.

"So, what do you think?" Clifford asked me.

"I think Mr. Layton did a fantastic job! Yay for Layton!"

Clifford laughed and said, "Yay Layton!"

Layton laughed and then hid his face into my shoulder, making both Clifford and I laugh.

"Well," Clifford said, "I know that I'm very proud of my little man."

"I'm proud of him too," I smiled.

Layton blushed and then said, "Yay!" sending both Clifford and I into a fit of laughter.



A few months later after bath time, I cleaned up the bathroom while Cliff went and got Layton ready for bed.

When I finished cleaning up and stepped back into the bedroom, I couldn't help but smile when I saw Layton playing, and Clifford playing with him. It was so beyond cute.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," I said as I closed the bathroom door, making both of my boys look at me sheepishly. The resemblance between them was uncanny, even at Layton's young age. I simply laughed and went over and picked up Layton, who in turn looked at his father for help in stopping bedtime from actually coming.

I smiled at both of them, "It's little Mr. Layton's bedtime."

"Mommy!" Layton protested, shaking his head, "No bedtime!" He said as he tried to wiggle out of my arms. Clifford stood up and took Layton, who by this point was sniffling, looking quite upset.

Clifford looked down at Layton and sighed, "No buddy, I'm afraid Mommy's right, it's bedtime."

Layton gave his dad a betrayed look and Clifford kissed his head and passed him back to me.

"Come on, buddy," I said as I walked over to his bed.

"No! Mommy!" He cried, "No bedtime! No!"

I shook my head and put my snuffling toddler down onto his bed, and I went to go get the blanket and he jumped down from his toddler bed and ran behind Clifford.

"No bedtime!" He shouted again, sniffling.

Clifford picked him up and looked Layton in the eyes. "Hey, Layton?"

"Daddy?" Layton questioned.

"Mommy is boss. When Mommy speaks, the debate is over. Mommy is Shwimbo." Clifford said sternly.

"Shwimbo?" Layton and I asked, simultaneously.

Clifford smiled over at me and then looked back at Layton, "Mommy is Shwimbo, she who must be obeyed."

Layton looked Quizzically at Clifford and I just laughed. Shwimbo. I liked it.

"That means that you have to do whatever Mommy says. If she says it's bedtime, well then sweetie, it's bedtime." Clifford explained.

Layton just looked defeated and Clifford set him down and he made his way back over to his little bed and laid down. I tucked him in and after fifteen minuets, he was asleep. I walked back out into the hallway and I saw Clifford and asked the first thing I thought of.

"Shwimbo? Where did you get Shwimbo?" I asked, laughing softly.

Clifford just laughed, "My dad used to say that all the time. I picked it up from him, I guess. It seemed to have gotten the point across."

"I suppose so," I said laughing.




"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Clifford, happy birthday to you!" Layton, my mother, my father, my younger brother and everyone else who came to Clifford's 30th birthday party sang.

When Clifford blew out the candles, Layton clapped and said, "I want Cake!" causing all of us to laugh. I passed Layton over to my mother who got him a piece of cake, which he ate happily.

Clifford and I ate our cake and after we had cleaned it up, my mom had already put Layton to bed. It was only about 8:30, and my mom told the both of us to go out and enjoy the rest of the evening.

We went for a walk around our neighborhood, our hands clasped tightly together. It was a beautiful night, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We walked in a comfortable silence. We didn't always need to be talking to each other and we've always been that way. As we walked through the neighborhood, I smiled at the memories that lined these streets.

Down at the end of the neighborhood there was a playground where Clifford and I would go all the time as children. We'd race each other down there almost every day when I was in elementary school. It was also where we had our first date. There was a big old tree three houses down where our names are carved. Down by the fence at the other end of the road was where Clifford caught up to me a month after our first break-up. He had seen me down on the swings and went to talk to me but I ran off, but he caught up to me pushed me up against the fence and kissed my tears away. Back in the woods behind the brand-new home that had just finished being built was where Clifford and I would go to make out, and it was back there where Clifford and I set up a little "camp" and we first made love. Down by the old home across the street is where I fell and sprained my ankle and Clifford carried me all the way back to my house. There were so many memories here, and each step I took seemed to cause more and more to come to my mind.

"Looks like we can say we've done good as parents." Clifford said while we were walking, bringing me out of my thoughts.

"I suppose you can say that," I smiled, "after all, Layton does know all his basic skills, which is good." I said after a moment of letting my thoughts come back to the present.

Clifford just smiled at me and then he stopped. We were nearly back home and he gave me a deep, loving, beautiful kiss that caught me off guard.

I sighed into the kiss and wrapped my arms around his neck, smiling as I realized that even after all this time I still felt a fire inside when he kissed me.

He picked me up and carried me back into the woods behind the new house, still as dense as ever. He pushed me up against a tree. I just giggled a little and wrapped my legs around his waist and I smiled. I mean, after all, it was his birthday...



A few weeks later I realized that I was late. Late as in the fact that Aunt Flow hadn't come to visit yet. I also noticed that I was feeling a little...ill. Nothing too awful, just nauseous for the most part. Slowly as I started to mentally add everything up and after I looked back on my experience the first time these symptoms came around, I knew that I was most likely pregnant. I gave my doctor a call and I went and saw her later on that day.

She did a few tests and said that I'd have a call from her offices in just a few days. Sure enough, three days later, I got the call confirming the results with a congratulations.



Later on that night, after I got the call confirming that I was pregnant, and after Layton went to bed, I went and talked to Clifford, who had recently got a hair cut.

"Hey, love," he smiled, wrapping his arms around my waist.

"Hey," I giggled.

"Something on your mind?" He asked as he gave my neck a gentle kiss.

"A few things." I said, letting out a deep breath.

"Oh?" he asked, kissing my neck again.

"Mhmm," I nodded.

"Well then, my dear, what's on your mind?"

"Well, one, I'm still not used to your hair," I said as I ran my hands up through his hair, messing it up, not that he really minded.

"Yeah, well, I did have that other hairstyle my entire life. It's going to take awhile for you to get used to seeing this. Plus, I really had to cut it, my long hair apparently wasn't 'professional' enough, but this apparently is, at least, according to my boss. He's the CEO, so I kind of have to listen to him."

"I know, but still. I mean, I like your hair, its just very, very different." I laughed.

"I know baby." He laughed as he kissed my hair, "Anyway, what else is on your mind?"

"Well, I saw the doctor the other day." I said causally.

"Oh? What for? Are you okay? Is there something wrong?" He asked, worry covering his features.

"Cliff, honey, I'm fine. I just realized that my period was late, and I was feeling a little sick, so I went in for a pregnancy test. She called back with the results today. I'm pregnant. We're going to have another baby."

His entire face lit up, "Really!" he asked excitedly, "Another one?"

"Yup!" I giggled, throwing my arms around his neck.

He smiled and kissed me softly, "So Layton is gonna be a big brother, eh?"

"Mhm, he is!" I laughed.

"I can't wait! I wanted another baby, but I didn't want to make you feel like you had to have another one if you didn't want to..."

I smiled, "One, we need to keep having babies until I have a girl to pass the legacy to, and two, I really enjoy being a mom, so having another one is definitely something I want to do."

Clifford smiled and gave me a loving kiss, looking so incredibly happy to have another baby Stephens on the way.



As I got bigger, Layton began to notice. One day while his dad was at work I had picked him up and was playing with him, and he asked me a question that surprised me.

"Mommy?" Layton asked.

"Yes sweetie?"

"Why is your tummy big?" He questioned, tilting his head.

"Well sweetie," I paused, unsure how to really answer his question.,"remember when I said you were gonna be a big brother?"

"Yeah! I'ma be a big brother!" He nodded, very excited to have that title.

"Well, my tummy is getting big, because your younger brother or sister is inside my tummy, and they're getting bigger." I explained.

"Oh." He said, surprised. "Mommy?"

"Yes sweetie?"

"How will my younger brother or sister get out of your tummy?" He asked, perplexed.

I sighed to think of a way to put it without giving my three-year old a sex-ed lesson.

"I go see my doctor and then she'll get your younger brother or sister out of my tummy because she's a special doctor and she does that."

"Oh. Okay Mommy. When do you go see the doctor?"

"In a while. Your younger brother or sister will tell me when I need to go see the doctor." I sighed again, trying to make sure I didn't lie, but wasn't graphic.

"How?" he asked, his big blue eyes wide.

"They just tell me, I'm the mommy, so I'll know. " I said, not being able to think of a way to put the actual way gently.

My response seemed to be good enough for him so he just smiled and nodded, "Okay Mommy!"

I smiled at him and he looked at me again, "Mommy?"

"Yes, Layton?"

"Can I go play with my toys, Mommy?" He asked, his big blue eyes wide.

"Of course, sweetie." I smiled and put him down and he ran for his toy box. I smiled over at him, "Layton?"

"Yeah Mommy?"

"I'll be up in half an hour so we can have lunch, and then it'll be nap time, okay?" I said, giving him fair warning.

"Okay mommy!"



"I think the baby's ready." Cliff smiled about a week before my due date.

"Oh you do, eh?" I laughed as he leaned down and listened to my tummy.

"Yup!" He chuckled, "As a matter of fact, I'm positive. It wont be long until our new baby's here."

"I don't know, Cliff. We have another week or so before the next little Stephens is born." I laughed a little.

"That's what you think,"Cliff chuckled, "I wouldn't be surprised if you went into labor tomorrow!"

I glared at him, "Don't even joke! I see my doctor in a week, and I'll already be in the hospital, and it'll be fine. I don't want to wake up in the middle of the night because my water broke again."

"I'm just joking with you, sweets." He laughed as he stood up and gave me a kiss.

"I know, but still..." I sighed.

He smiled and wrapped his arms around me and then kissed my forehead.

"I know, I just can't wait until we get to meet our new baby. I'm very excited. I want to know what gender it is, who it looks like, traits it may have, everything."

"I know. I really hope it's a little girl. I mean, I'll love the baby regardless, but we do need a female heiress, preferably more than one if possible..."

"Well, if we have a boy, we'll just have to go and make more babies." Clifford laughed.

"I'd be okay with that," I giggled.

Clifford smiled sexily, "Yeah, baby making can be rather....fun, don't you agree, Mrs. Stephens?"

I giggled a little, "Why yes, yes it can. But, we can talk more about that later, I need to go get some sleep." I laughed as I walked passed him and a few moments later, we were both in bed, fast asleep.



At four-thirty in the morning after I had gone to bed, I woke up, screaming loudly. My water had broken.

I gasped and sat up, breathing heavily, and although we had done this before, Clifford freaked out.

"Uh! Where's the bag? Should I go wake up your mom? Should I go get the car? I-uh-er!"

"Clifford!" I yelled, making him stop his freaking out for a moment, "Go get the bag, it's in the closet, then on your way down to the car, wake up my mom. I can get to the car just fine on my own, okay?"

"Okay!" He gasped and started doing what he had to do.



We got to the hospital just at sunrise, and at 7:00 AM, my baby was born.

Everyone, welcome the newest member of the Stephens Clan, Todd Xavier Stephens, my second born son.


*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#69 Old 29th Jun 2012 at 12:02 AM
Default 3.4 Natalie's Life Marches On



"Cliff," I said with a sigh, "I don't know how you convinced me to come out today. I told you, I didn't want to celebrate my 30th birthday. It just means I'm old now."

"Nonsense," Cliff smiled, "It just means you're 30 years young, beautiful and full of life experience."

"Yeah, but I don't want to be 30." I mumbled.

"Natalie," Clifford laughed, "Just because you're 30 now doesn't really mean anything. It's just marking how many times the earth has gone around the sun since you were born. It doesn't make you any less beautiful or any less amazing or any less desirable."

I just smiled a little and shook my head, "If you say so, Cliff. I still feel old."

"Just because you feel old, my love, doesn't mean you are."

"I suppose..." I sighed and let a small smile play across my lips, "and I guess that the food here IS really, really good."

"That's my Natalie." Cliff laughed, "Plus, this is your favorite restaurant, yes?"

"Yeah, it's only been my favorite place to eat since, I don't know, forever?" I giggled.

"Do you remember when we used to come here with our families every other weekend?"

"I do!" I laughed, "and after dinner we'd run around down at the old gazebo and play games like hide and seek as well as tag. It was great. My sisters and I loved playing down there. Once, Paige climbed up to the top of the gazebo. My mom got so mad!"

"I remember that!" Clifford laughed loudly, "Your mom had to call the fire department to get her down, didn't she?"

"Yeah, she did! Paige was grounded for so long, it was hysterical."

Clifford chuckled, "Let's not forget your shinanagins either, missy."

"You mean that one time at the Neighborhood Grill-A-Thon that we all went to and they had a kiddie pool set up and I ran up behind you and shoved you in?"

"And then I pulled you in to!"

"Yeah, you did! But I escaped and you chased me all the way down to the City Hall building and back." I giggled at the memory.

"We both got in so much trouble for that, didn't we?" He laughed.

"Yeah, I think we were both grounded for like a month."

"I think we were as well."



Clifford gave me a smile and signaled our waitress and paid the bill.

"Natalie?" He asked, breathing softly and taking a step closer to me.

"Yeah?" I said while turning around, gasping a little when I saw how close he was to me. Even after 15 years of being with him, he still could make me forget how to breathe.

He wrapped an arm around my waist and leaned in for a sweet, soft kiss.

"Happy birthday, my love." He purred into my ear.

I giggled softly and kissed him lightly back, "Thank you, Cliff. I enjoyed my birthday dinner."

"You're more then welcome, Natalie. I enjoy taking you out, especially on your birthday."

I blushed a little and he grabbed my hand as we walked back to our car.



"Can you say Mommy?" I asked my little toddler. Clifford and I were once again going along with the I teach our kids to talk, he teaches them to walk, and we both go with the potty training.

Todd just looked at me funny for a moment and shook his little head.

"I know you can! Come on, say Mommy." I said, tickling him a little.

"Mommy!" He giggled squirming around a little.

"That's my boy." I laughed. "Now, can you say Daddy?"

"Daddy!" He laughed a little bit again.

"What about bottle?"

"Bowtle!" He giggled.

"No, its bottle. Can you say bottle?"

"Bottle!" Todd smiled widely.

"Yay Todd!" I laughed, tickling him again. I continued like this for quite some time, giving him different words and phrases to try. He was getting to be quite good at talking, and it wouldn't be long until he had it completely down.

When Clifford came home he came into Todd's room to check on us. Todd saw Clifford open the door and as soon as the door was opened, Todd's little eyes lit up.

"Daddy!" Todd stood up and wobbled his way over to his dad.

"Up, up Daddy!"

"Hey there, Todd!" Clifford grinned as he picked up his youngest son, "Were you talking with Mommy?"

"Yeah!" Todd laughed.

"Good job, little buddy!" Clifford smiled and ruffled up our son's hair, causing him to giggle.

"Daddy?" Todd asked.

"Yeah T-man?"

"I love you!" Todd grinned as he gave his Daddy a big hug.

I smiled and gasped a little, and Clifford was very much taken aback, but he snuggled little Todd and with a soft voice said, "Aww, I love you too, Todd."



"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Layton! Happy birthday to you!"

Layton laughed. He was so happy. He turned five today and in the fall, he'd be starting school. He blew out the candles on his birthday cake excitedly and then demanded he get the biggest slice of cake.

After we ate the cake, it was time for opening presents.

"Here ya go, Layton," my mom said, passing him a small little box.

"Thanks, Grandma!" He smiled as he tore open the little box.

He grinned when he realized that he had gotten a video game that he could play. He was very excited and said that he would play it as soon as the party was over.

Layton loved the outdoors very much, so my younger brother Scott gave him a book on all the different kinds of plants and animals that were in the area.

"Thanks, uncle Scott! Will you read some of it to me?" Layton asked.

"Of course Layton. How about on Saturday night?" My younger brother offered.

Layton shot Scott a big smile, "That sounds perfect!"

Layton was five now, and Clifford and I knew that it wouldn't be long until he'd want to start riding a bike around town. He'd been eyeing the big box in the corner from Cliff and I the entire party. When we finally told him he could open it, he darted over to it and ripped open the paper and the box.

When he saw the shining red bike and helmet, he got so excited. He ran over to Cliff and gave him a big hug, and then he gave me an even bigger hug, smiling widely.

"Thank you Mommy! Thank you Daddy! Daddy, are you going to teach me how to ride the bike?"

Clifford gave Layton a smile and patted his hair, "Of course, Kiddo. On my next day off I'll help ya learn, okay?"

Layton smiled so incredibly wide, it probably made his poor little face hurt. I just laughed and smiled, loving the fact that something so simple could make Layton so happy.



"C'mon, Todd! Come 'ere my little man!" Clifford said to our youngest son, getting him to walk all the way across the room to him.

"Daddy!" Little Todd giggled when he reached his father.

"Go Todd! That's my lil' man!"

Todd was two years old now, and getting bigger and bigger each and every day. He had mostly learned to walk and was well on his way as far as talking went. He was becoming so big, so fast just like his older brother did.

"I hate to intrude on the male-bonding time, guys, but it's time for Todd to go to bed. It's nearly nine o'clock." I said looking at the two of them.

Right on cue, Todd yawned and laid his head down on his fathers shoulder.

"No sleepy." Todd said, shaking his head. "Daddy playtime!"

Clifford just shook his head, "Nah little man, we'll play more tomorrow, okay?"

"Okay," Todd sighed and Clifford picked Todd up and then passed him over to me.

"Mommy's gonna go put you to bed so I can shower, okay?" Clifford said to the little toddler now laying in my arms.

"Okay Daddy!" Todd said, smiling, "Ni-ni Daddy!"

Clifford smiled and ruffled up Todd's hair, "Night little man."



"Oh good, you didn't burn them." My mom said as she walked out into the kitchen one morning after I had made some waffles for breakfast.

I nearly jumped and let the waffles fly everywhere, but I regained my composure and set them on the counter.

"Jesus, mom! You scared the hell outta me!" I sighed.

"I'm sorry dear. Move, I wanna see how these waffles turned out." She grinned.

"Let me get mine!" I giggled and we went out into the dining room to eat our food.

"Mmmm," my mom mumbled as she ate her waffle, "you're getting better. You're still not good, but you're better, much better."

"Thanks Mom," I laughed, "What can I do to make these better?"

"Cook them a little longer, maybe 30 or so seconds, and add a little extra flour to the mix when you're mixing the batter, they're a little too moist."

"Anything else?" I asked, sighing. Cooking was hard. I had no idea how my mom became so good at it.

"Practice more!" Mom said enthusiastically, "That's the only way you ever get better. I used to be an awful cook, and I burned everything! However, I kept practicing, and eventually, I became pretty damn good."

I smiled and laughed a little and nodded, "Okay, mom."



"Ugh!" I groaned as I lunged over the toilet just in time, my stomach quickly getting rid of everything that was inside it.

This was the second time I threw up within twelve hours. The only time this ever happened was when I was pregnant. I gave my doctor a call and I went in to see her. Sure enough, the pregnancy test came back positive.

When Clifford came home that night I ran into his arms and giggled, "Cliff! I'm pregnant!"

Clifford gave me the biggest smile and hugged me back tightly,"That's amazing! We're gonna have another little Stephens running around!"

"I know!" I said giggling. I really loved being a mother and taking care of my children, I loved watching them grow and develop their own little personalities.

"Do you think it'll be another little boy?" Clifford asked

"I don't know," I laughed, "If it is, we'll just need to keep trying."

"What if it's a girl?" Clifford smiled, brushing back my hair.

"I would be very, very happy." I said honestly.

"I would be happy too." Clifford laughed.

"How many more children do you want to have, anyway?" I asked giggling.

"As many as you want. I love our kids, and I'll love any more that we have. You have them, I'll feed them." he explained simply.

I just smiled at him and hugged my wonderful husband tightly, "You're the best husband ever."

"I try my best to be, so I can be good enough for you, the best wife ever."

We smiled at each other and I gave him a soft, loving kiss.



Time marched on, and I got bigger by the day. Most days later in my pregnancy I liked to sit and read books on cooking and gardening, as instructed to do so by my mother. I didn't tell her that I enjoyed reading up on it though. At first it was a little boring, but as I became more and more advanced, the more I enjoyed reading and attempting to do the things I was taught to do in the books.



The only reason I was really even able to do this was because my dad would sit and watch the boys while I read for a few hours.

Layton loved playing with Todd. They were really close and even though Layton was three years older than Todd, Layton was more than happy to play nicely with his younger brother through the time I was pregnant. My dad only had to step in and play referee a few times. That was probably mostly due to the fact that the boys' favorite game was peak-a-boo.



Before anyone knew it, it was time for me to bring the newest baby Stephens into the world. My water broke at 2 AM 2 days before she was due. Clifford was still freaking out over it, even though we had already done this twice before



At four-thirty in the morning, Victoria Shea Stephens was born. Welcome to the world, little one!

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Test Subject
#70 Old 29th Jun 2012 at 8:11 PM
aww! Adorable
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#71 Old 2nd Jul 2012 at 9:43 AM
Thanks! :D
Sorry for taking so long to respond to ya, my power was out for the last few days. .-.

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#72 Old 15th Jul 2012 at 5:33 AM
Default 3.5 Natalie Encounters Sudden Complications


"Victoria, can you say 'Mommy'?" I asked my little daughter, my first, and only possible heir.

"No!" Victoria stubbornly said, shaking her head. "Play now! Play now!"

"Victoria Shea!" I sighed, letting my face go into my palm.

She just giggled a little. I knew from the instant she was born that this little one was going to be a handful. She was barely two and already she was giving me a fit. This kid was gonna be a hard one to raise, I could tell that for sure.

"We can't play yet. It's learning time right now." I explained gently.

"No!" She shook her head vigorously, "Play now! No learn!"

"Victoria." I said sternly.

"No!"

"Victoria, if you don't finish learning time, you wont have playtime." I spoke while I ran a hand through my hair, trying to calm myself down.

"No! Play!"

"Okay, kiddo. We can play any game you want in five minutes. Alright?"

"No! Play now!"

I sighed heavily and wondered exactly what I had gotten myself into with this little girl.



"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Todd! Happy birthday to you!"

The entire family sang to a now-five year old Todd.

I sighed. He was going to start school in just a few weeks, and I simply couldn't believe it, he had gotten so big, so fast, and now, the only toddler I had in the house was little stubborn Victoria.

I mean don't get me wrong, I loved my little Tori but she was a handful to say the least. The boys didn't give me anywhere near as much trouble as my little girl had. I heard from a number of people that the boys were always the worst ones to raise, and that the girls were going to be easier than the boys. In my experience, that was complete bull.

She was quite stubborn, very smart and she knew how to manipulate her daddy to give her anything she wanted. Sometimes it was cute, other times I had to step in to prevent Clifford from over-spoiling her, and little miss Tori did not like that.



"That's it Tori!" Clifford smiled as he guided Victoria across the floor a few months after Todd's birthday. "One foot in front of the other, little one. There we go!"

"How's our little marathon walker doing?" I asked as I came into the room after doing some laundry.

"She's doing excellent! Right Tori?" Clifford laughed.

"Yeah!" She laughed as her dad spun her around.

"Good job Victoria!" I smiled and walked over to her and messed up her hair a little, causing her to giggle.

"More spinny, Daddy! More spinny!" Victoria insisted.

"Well, if we want more spinny we have to do more walking."

"Daddy!" Tori pouted.

"Nope, in order for there to be spins, there must be walks." Clifford chuckled.

Victoria began to wiggle in his arms so he put her down and walked to the other side of the room. She walked all the way over to him quickly and he spun her around again, as promised.

"Mommy!" Victoria giggled, "Mommy! Spinny!"

I laughed and then did what Clifford had done beforehand, making her giggle with complete joy. I held her in my arms and gave her a tight hug. Even though she could be a little much at times, there was no doubt that I adored my little girl to itty bitty pieces. Mom says that she's a lot like I was when I was her age, and insisted that turn about is fair play and if Tori is anything like me, she'll grow out of it.

All I could do was sigh and hope that my mom was right.



"Natalie?" My mom asked one evening while we were watching Victoria play.

"Yeah mom?"

"I noticed that you're not pregnant yet. Victoria has learned all her basic skills and she's nearly four years old. You should be already with another possible heiress," my mom stated calmly.

"Mom!" I gasped, surprised at her bluntness

"What?" She questioned, "You need to have another possible heiress. It wouldn't be fair to Victoria if you didn't give her the option to say no. She may not want to be apart of this, you have to give her the option to accept or decline. To force her into it would just make her bitter. You can't just assume that Victoria will want to have the respectability of being the Stephens Family Heiress. What if she dreams of traveling the world? What if she doesn't end up wanting children? What if she isn't attracted to males? What if she doesn't want to marry? These are all questions you need to ask yourself."

"I see your point, mom," I sighed, "but one, I may not end up having another girl. I could have another son. Two, even if I have another daughter, she may not want children, or she may dream of traveling the world or she may not be attracted to males or never want to marry. There are too many unknown factors."

"There may be, but if you have another daughter at least you'd be giving Victoria the option to decline."

"If Clifford and I end up having another child, then okay, if we don't that's fine too. I have time, mom." I smiled, "I'm barely 35, I have what, another 10,15, hell maybe even 20 years before I start menopause? I don't need to worry about that right now. I have a lot of life left to live and a lot of that life can be used for making babies. I'm in no hurry. I have tons of time."

My mom just smiled sadly at me, "You know, Natalie, that's the problem with life. You think you have all the time in the world to accomplish something, but then all the sudden 20 years turns into 20 minutes and all the time you thought you had is lost. Life is what happens when you're making other plans my dear. Remember that."

I just looked over at her and tilted my head and wondered if I would ever understand what my mom meant by that, and really everything that had been said in our conversation. After a moment I sighed and turned to my daughter who was happily playing with her toys.



Is it fair to not give Tori a choice? I don't understand why she wouldn't want to be a part of this legacy. Julia just wanted to be sure she could accomplish her Lifetime Wish, if she could have doe that then she would have been happy doing whatever, including being a mother and continuing the legacy. Paige and I both were happy and wanted it, and from what I understand, it was the same way with my mom and my aunt.

I don't see why Victoria wouldn't want to be a part of this. It's an honor. If I don't have another daughter, it might not put her under the stress that both Paige and I underwent as we were waiting for mom to make her choice. That was awful, and it tugged at our bond as sisters.

I was deeply lost in thought, pondering if I was going to have another child or not, and if I could be sure it's a little girl, so when my mother gently touched my shoulder, I jumped.

"It's alright Natalie. You do have some time. Just think about it, okay?"

"Okay mom." I sighed as I turned and gave her a hug.

"Your father and I are going to go to dinner. We'll be back later, okay honey?"

"Alright, mom! Have fun!" I laughed as dad came down the stairs.

"We will, wont we Kenny?" My mom smiled as my dad got her coat and helped her put it on.

"Of course, dear." My dad smiled, "Come, let's go to dinner."

My dad opened the door for my mother and the way my mom smiled at him made my heart melt, and I couldn't wait until Clifford and I could be like that.



Later on that night, right after I put Victoria to bed, I got a call from my mom.

"Hey, mom." I said happily.

"Natalie?" My mom sobbed.

I instantly changed moods, I never heard my mother cry before, not like this. She was crying because she was in pure agony.

"Momma?" I gasped, "Mom, what's wrong?"

"It's your father," she cried, "he-he-he had a stroke..."

I couldn't quite understand the rest of what she said, and I tried to get her to calm down, but soon enough the phone was taken from her.

"Natalie?" I heard Jordan, my sisters husband ask.

"Jordan!" I gasped, relieved that he was working that night, "what's going on? What happened?"

"You need to come down to the hospital, Natalie. Your dad is in critical condition. He's had a massive stroke and it's taken out anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 of his brain. We're not quite sure yet. He continues to have mini seizures, and we just did an MRI, and it looks like there's a blood clot in his brain. We're going to see if we can get it out. If we can, he may be able to make a full recovery, if we can't, the outcome will not be good for anyone in this family."

"I'll be there as soon as I can." I said softly.

We said our goodbyes and hung up and I called a babysitter for Victoria, gathered the boys and my husband and drove to the hospital as quickly as I could.




"Is Paige here?" I asked.

"Yeah, she's here with your mom right now. Davion is also here."

"Okay, good. Are you dad's doctor? Or did you just oh so happen to be the unlucky one who got to call and tell me what happened?" I asked.

"I called because you needed to know. Yes, I work here, and I am a surgeon, but I'm not a brain surgeon. However, Dr. Richards is going to be taking care of Kendrick, and he's the best doctor in a few thousand miles, so he's in good hands. Plus, we'll only have the best for Riverview's all time best sports player."

"Thank you, Jordan." I smiled a little. He just shrugged and went to go sit by Paige.

I opened the door into my fathers private room and gasped at what I saw.

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#73 Old 11th Aug 2012 at 5:38 AM
Default 3.6 Natalie says Goodbye to Kendrick



"D-Daddy?" I cried softly, feeling like a lost little girl. I had walked into the room and my mother was collapsed near my father's bedside. My dad looked lifeless, old and fragile. I had never seen him look anything like this, and it scared me to no end. I began to shake as tears cascaded down my face.

"Daddy?" I cried again, taking a step closer and touching his hand, "Daddy? You need to wake up. Momma's here, so are all your kids. Julia, Paige, Scott, Chase and I. We're all here for you Daddy, but you need to wake up, please..."

There was no response whatsoever. The only noise in the room was my mothers agonizing sobs.

I looked down and over at my mom. She wasn't just crying from sadness, she was sobbing out of pure agony. The feeling of complete and total loss was apparent in her cries. Her heart was breaking and she was letting it be known to everyone. I really couldn't say that she was in the wrong for doing that, though. She had been with my father for nearly 55 years, that's over half a century. She gave all of her heart to my father just like he gave all of his to her, and everyone knew the moment his stopped beating, hers would shatter.

I knew I couldn't say anything, so I just stood there and squoze my moms shoulder, but that simply seemed to make her cry harder, which I didn't think was possible. I sighed and took a step back, running my hands through my hair and attempting to compose myself enough to go out of the room so other members of my family could come in and see our father. However, the nurse seemed to have a different idea.

I open the door to leave and the nurse shuffles in my husband, Todd, Layton and my younger brother Scott.



"I brought you all in here because you all live in Mr. Stephens household, yes?" The nurse asked as she leaned up against the desk.

"Yes ma'am." I replied in a shaky tone. I didn't like the way she looked at us. Her eyes were sad and very dim, but full of sympathy, signaling that whatever news she had for us was not good.

"I hate to inform you that from the test results that we have received, we see that Mr. Stephens has lost nearly 3/4 of his brain. With so much loss, it's surprising that he's still breathing. If we were to do a surgery to remove the blood clot, you'd very well be left with a vegetable on your hands, and that's if he woke up from the anesthesia. Currently, Mr. Stephens survival is in question. Dr. Richards doesn't think he'll survive another three days. I would suggest that all of you get your goodbyes in."

We all sat there in silence, stunned. No one had any idea what to say. Mom, who had quieted down while the nurse spoke once again erupted into intense sobs, laying her arms over my father and crying loudly, begging him to stay, to come back. It was painful to watch.

I looked over at the nurse who was looking at my mom with a sympathetic expression and cleared my throat to get her attention. "Thank you for letting us know. It might be helpful if you went and told the rest of the family what our father's current outcome may be. They all need to know as well."

She simply offered us all a weak smile and nodded softly as she left the room. The door fell closed with a click and we all stood in the room in silence.



The first thing to break the silence was my youngest son Todd.

"Momma?" He asked, looking up at me, "Did the nurse just basically say that Grandpa is gonna die?"

"Todd!" Layton shouted over at his brother, "You're a dummy! You don't just ask things like that."

"Well I wanna know!" Todd pouted at his older brother.

I looked down at the both of them and shook my head. "First, Layton, be nicer to Todd, he actually wants an answer to that question. He didn't understand what was said so he asked, and that's okay. Second, Yes, Todd, that's basically what the nurse just said."

Todd nodded, now having his answer. Layton sat on the floor and looked over at his younger brother and let out a bit of a sigh.

No one said anything else for a good five or six minutes. Everyone in the room was reflecting on what may happen to my father, and how my mom was going to cope.

I wrapped my arms around Clifford and before I could contain it, I simply started to cry into my husbands shoulder. He tried to soothe me, but that was nearly impossible, because after I started to cry I was crying almost as hard as my mother, which in turn made both my boys to start crying as well.

My brother was trying to make sure he didn't cry too, he wanted to be strong but this was our dad and not getting worked up over this was impossible.

After an hour or so, we all had managed to say our goodbyes to my father and we left the room to give my other siblings a chance to say goodbye. The only person who was constantly in that room and refused to leave was my mom.

Mom didn't leave my fathers side until he passed away, and she only left then because the doctors pulled her off of him.



"Time passes by so quickly
But I guess I thought you'd be here forever."



When my dad's funeral came I was flooded with childhood memories. On the days he had off dad would take one of the kids down to the park or wherever they wanted to go and he would spend time with just one of us. He went in order of the oldest to the youngest child. When my turn came around, I was always so excited. I always loved going to the park, and my daddy would push me on the swing so high I could swear if I reached out I could touch one of the clouds in the sky. It was wonderful. I'd swing and talk to him and it was fun to be able to spend some one on one time with my dad.

"I never even had a chance
To say goodbye
There's so many things to tell you
Left unsaid until now."




"Can you hear me when I talk to you?
Do the words I say ever make it through?
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I knew."




"Every night I have the same dream
The one where you get to hold me
We laugh and talk until the morning
And then you vanish, yeah
It always leaves me feeling helpless
When I wake up and you're not there."




"Can you hear me when I talk to you?
Do you know how much I'd love to be with you?
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew."




"Living in this world without you
I constantly search through my memories
Hoping that I find some treasures
That I passed over,yeah
All that I took for granted
Means so much now and I won't let it go."




"Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I never said some things that I meant to
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew."




"You know I never said some things that I meant to
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew."




"I miss you Daddy."



I stayed outside next to my father's fresh grave for a long time. Clifford didn't leave my side, he just held me while I let myself cry. The funeral had been hard, everyone saying some final words for my father, praising his career and how he did well in managing being a great father and superstar athlete. None of that made it better though, no one said anything that could fix the pain. He was still dead. He was still gone and there was nothing anyone there could do about it or could have done about it.

Nearly the moment the last person left the funeral, my mother went inside and into her room. Scott came out a few times to tell me that he hadn't been able to get her to come out, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to do anything either. The boys kept themselves quietly entertained and Scott tended to Tori while I was outside with Clifford.

Clifford knew better than to talk. He knew I needed it to be quiet, so all he did was hold me and rub small circles on my back, in attempt to calm me down. It did after awhile, but I'm not sure if I had actually been calmed down or if I simply ran out of tears. The first option doesn't sound as depressing, so I'll let myself think that he actually calmed me down.

After about 30 minutes of standing there without crying, I went back inside. The rest of the evening was hard but I went about my usual evening activities such as playing and attempting to get some sort of learning into little miss Tori, checking the boys homework and it was my night to prepare dinner.

By the end of the night, I was worn out and exhausted. Scott mentioned that mom had not come out of her room all day and I promised that I'd speak with her in the morning.



On my way to go to her room the next morning, I actually ran into her as she was walking out into the kitchen.

"Hey, Momma, how're you holding up?"

"How am I holding up?" She asked quizzically, with a slightly annoyed edge.

"Yeah."

"How do you think I'm holding up, Nat?" She asked with tears in her eyes, "The love of my life and partner for the last 55 years just died. I'm doing absolutely terrible! I have no idea how to hold myself together and I'm not sure if I even want to right now! I'm angry and sad and I wish he was still alive but there's nothing I can do to bring him back. I'm completely heartbroken and this all doesn't feel real and I'm hoping this is simply a nightmare and that I'm gonna wake up. But I waited all night last night to wake up, and guess what, I didn't wake up. I'm miserable."

My mom looked so defeated by the time she finished speaking, and I had tears in my eyes as well. I wrapped my arms around my mom and gave her a tight hug. "I'm sorry Momma. I didn't mean to upset you so much. Do you wanna sit down? I was just about to go make some tea and you could have some with me."

Mom looked over at me and sighed, "Tea would be lovely. I'm sorry for snapping at you Natalie. You didn't deserve that. I'm just very upset right now."

"It's fine mom, I understand. Now go sit down on the couch while I go fix us some tea."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(AN: The song that I used in this chapter is called "Can You Hear Me" by Ashley Gearing, and you can listen to it here. )

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
Field Researcher
#74 Old 11th Aug 2012 at 2:20 PM
That last chapter took awhile, power cut or writers block?

I am MOHAAPlayer on Discord
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#75 Old 13th Aug 2012 at 8:08 AM
Mostly it was just not being able to word it right. I wanted this chapter to really pull at the heartstrings, so I wanted to make sure I wrote it right. :3

*~~*~~Shababygal*~~*~~
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