Saturday, December 3, 2016

Holiday Party Planning

It's Tuesday evening, following Thanksgiving and Ember is in her kitchen preparing for guests.  Her mother, Fatima, and Aunt Tandra have already arrived. 

Fatima:  Those nachos look delicious.  I thought you were only going to have a short get together just so we can talk about Christmas.
Ember:  I am.  I thought having food would be good just in case anyone gets hungry or we take longer than expected.  Syren is picking up little dessert, but that's it.  I just need to put out cups for the drinks.
Fatima:  What kind?
Ember:  Just some Lime-Aid stuff and some tea, in the green pitcher. 
Fatima:  Can Erwyn have some dessert?
Ember:  Not tonight.  She's upstairs and it will be bedtime soon.  I don't want her to have sugar this late.
Fatima:  Okay.

Ember:  Aunt Tandra, did Windsor and Quinn want to come?
Tandra:  I didn't bother to tell them.  You reminded me your place is just big enough for a small group.  I'll let them know what we decide later.  They'll be fine with that. 
Ember:  Okay. Henna told me she can't make it either.  We'll just catch everyone up and let them know what we figure out.  By the way, you look really nice this evening.
Tandra:  You are so sweet.   You know I must look my best.  That reminds me (reaching for her handbag) I need to freshen up my lipstick. 
Ember:  You look fine.
Fatima:  You know that doesn't matter.  Just let her be.

 Tandra pulls out her lipstick and a mirror and re-applies the lipstick.  She stops to check her application and look at herself.

Tandra:  You see?  I needed just a little more.
Fatima (laughing):  I see it.  You know what you're doing.
Tandra:  I know you poke fun at me, but I look beautiful.
Ember:  Yes, you always look good.
Fatima:  I'll give you that, you do.
Tandra (shooting Fatima an annoyed look): Sweet and smart.  I love you my niece.  So, who else is coming?
Ember:  Cyann and her friend Avery.  You'll like her. 

Fatima:  Before I forget, you know I need to take my baby girl to New York this year.  Which works better, this coming weekend or the following?
Ember:  The following would be good.  I'll get her packed up and ready.  Just let me know what time you'll be here to get her.
Tandra:  I should go with you and take Tylyn.  She's getting older.  She may like that.
Fatima:  Okay.  Make a decision soon.  We need reservations.
Ember:  You haven't made them yet?  Well, I guess not if you're just now asking which weekend is best.   It's going to be expensive to book now.
Fatima:  Don't worry, I have it covered.

The doorbell rings.  Ember goes to get it and Tandra and Fatima follow her to head to the living room.  It's Syren at the door.  Ember lets her in and then goes upstairs to check on Erwyn.

Tandra:  Hello, Mi Querida! 
Syren: Hi, Aunt Tandra. Mom, I brought the best cream puffs ever.  You'll have to try them.
Tandra:  Give me my hug and then we can talk sweet things.
Syren (laughing):  Yes, ma'am.

Syren hugs her aunt and then her mother and has a seat.  They chat until Cyann and Avery arrive and enter the living room.

Cyann:  Hi!  Hi, Everyone!
Avery:  Hello.
Syren:  Aunt Tandra, this is Avery.  Avery, this is my Aunt Tandra. 
Avery:  Hello.  It's nice to meet you.
Tandra:  Hello. 

Cyann introduces Avery to Fatima and then they both have a seat.  Aunt Tandra insists Avery sit by her.  Ember comes into the room to get started planning.

Ember:  So, we'd like to see what everyone's thoughts are on having a holiday party.  To save money, we'd all have to bring food and drink.  We'd all be assigned something.  It would be nice to get together and socialize.  If you don't want to, it's understandable.  I know we'll see you, Aunt Tandra and Mom, but we can expand on celebrating by including Cyann and her family and Avery and hers.
Cyann:  I love the idea.  You know I'm always up for a party.  Gray can't protest because it's not costing him much.
Syren:  I'll be there, of course. (singing) It's Party Time.  Oh, it's Party Time.
Fatima (laughing at Syren):  You know Tandra and I are here just for this reason, so you know our answer. 
Avery:  I think that's a great idea.  Just let me know what my assignment is.  Craig shouldn't have any issues with coming.  Can my mother and father come if they are here?
Fatima:  Of course they can.

The group starts chatting about what they will bring.  After preliminary assignments and volunteering for what to bring, they chat a little amongst each other.  Tandra turns to ask Avery a question.

 Tandra:  So your parents are coming to visit you for Christmas?
Avery:  Yes, I think it's possible.  My father usually comes.  Perhaps my mother will too.
Tandra:  That's so nice. 
Avery:  I think it would be.  Aviana just loves her grandfather.
Tandra:  Oh, so you already have a child.  When are you expecting this new little one to arrive?  It's exciting to be having another baby, yes?

Avery just pauses for a minute.  Everyone else hears the question and they stop.  Cyann, Ember and Syren are surprised.  Fatima just smiles.

Ember:  Aunt Tandra, I can't believe you said that.  You know insulting that can be to a woman putting on a little weight.
Cyann:  I'm sorry, Avery.  You'll have to forgive Aunt Tandra, sometimes she just says what comes to her mind.  She doesn't mean to insult you.
Tandra (to Cyann and Ember): Are you saying she is just putting on weight?  That is not what I see.  I am not confused or insulting her. (to Avery) I'm sorry, I did not know you not tell anyone yet.
Ember:  But, Aunt Tandra, she's not pregnant.
Fatima:  Umm, Ladies, I think you are jumping the gun here.  Maybe you see what you want to see, but I see what Tandra sees too.  If we are both wrong, we will apologize.  Besides, Avery hasn't said a thing yet.  Let her talk.

Avery:  Well...Ember and Cyann, I appreciate your wanting to be supportive of me, although now I'm a little self-conscious about your noticing I put on weight and secretly thinking I'm fat.  But neither of these ladies owes me an apology.  They are both correct.  I am pregnant.  You owe your Aunt Tandra the apology.

The room is silent for a few seconds.

Tandra:  Thank you.  I could tell.  Look at your lovely skin and that belly so easy to see on such a slim girl. I know these things.  I looked right at my own daughter and told her she was pregnant, even before she took a test.  I know these things.
Syren:  Uhuh.  Remind me to hide from you if I'm ever pregnant and don't want anyone to know for a while.

Cyann:  I can't believe it!  You didn't tell me!  I'm so happy for you!  What a way to find out!
Syren:  Ooooo, Ember.  You chastised your aunt and you were the one who was wrong.  Oooo.
Ember (blushing):  I'm so sorry, Aunt Tandra.  I should not have said anything.  I apologize.  That was wrong of me.
Tandra:  It's okay, Baby. I forgive you.  You didn't know I was right, although you should know I'm right But I forgive you.
Cyann:  I'm sorry too.  I was just as wrong.  Please forgive me.
Tandra:  Of course I forgive you.  But next time, just know I am right.  I know these things.
Fatima:  I'm just surprised she's your good friend and you didn't pick up on it before we did.
Cyann:  I guess you're right.  We see what we want to see.
Ember:  Congratulations, Avery!
Syren:  Yes, congrats.
Cyann:  So tell us everything.  Give some details.  I have another party to plan now.  Shower time!
Syren (singing): It's shower time, Oh, it's shower time.

After Syren finishes her little song, Avery shares some information about being pregnant.  After a while they wrap up their meeting and everyone heads home.

Well, for some reason Avery hadn't told Cyann yet about being pregnant, but the cat's out the bag now.  I guess Ember and Cyann have learned their lesson about doubting Aunt Tandra. 

May your season be bright. ~ Jaye

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Family Holiday Photos - Peters and Foster


Holiday Photos have begun.  The first family or families to take photos are the Peters and Fosters.  Technically, only Samantha's last name is Foster, but Marcel is still a Foster by family line. 

So you'll understand the dynamic, Samantha Foster and Richard Peters were once together and from that relationship had Marcel.  The relationship didn't work out and they split.  Richard later fell in love with and married Kenya and had a daughter, named Sasha. 

Richard has always been in Marcel's life and co-parents with Samantha.  Kenya treats and loves Marcel as her own, considering him her son.  Kenya has tried to form a decent relationship with Samantha for the sake of the children, but Samantha has some issues and still hasn't been able to let go of her anger that Richard married someone else.  Fortunately, Samantha did allow herself to love Sasha since she is Marcel's sister and Richard's daughter, but that's about as far as she will go. If you haven't had a chance to get some insight on Samantha and her behavior, please read this story.

Samantha has agreed to join the Peters as they take family photos, in the spirit of the holidays and for her son.

Sasha, Kenya and Richard


 Marcel (he still hasn't let his hair grow back yet) and Samantha

Richard and Kenya - cute couple



 Samantha was caught on camera acting up because of the 'couple' photo.  Good grief.


 Richard, Sasha, Kenya and Marcel

 Kenya, Marcel (he's on his knees, leaning forward on the chair) and Richard


 Dad with his children

 Kenya and her children

Samantha chose this pose hoping that while Richard is looking at it later, he will realize just how sexy she still is.  Move on already, Woman!

Sasha just loves her big brother and he adores his little sister.


The whole family - looking so happy

This photo shoot went pretty well.  The behind the scenes team is working on setting up more appointments and figuring out some poses for each of the families, including how to best utilize the studio space.  So hopefully these just get better as we go along.

Happy Dollidays! ~ Jaye

Friday, November 25, 2016

Prepping for The Holiday Photos


Waverly:  Hi, Everyone and Happy Holidays!  I'm Waverly and I will be co-hosting this short holiday theme introduction.  This is such an exciting time of the year and we are looking forward to celebrating and enjoying every minute of it.  The fun, the parties, the shopping and the photos.  You may remember that last year the three of us were fortunate enough to take several photos to share with you.  We have a different theme this year, but we'll get to that in a minute.  First, my co-hosts would like to introduce themselves.

 
Taren:  Hi, I'm Taren.  I am so pleased to be here with you today to discuss the new theme.  It is going to be a good one, however, as Waverly said, we'll get to that in a minute.  Now let's meet our other co-host.

Song:  Hi, I'm Song.  It's been a whole year already, hasn't it?  I am so happy to be with my friends again for this year's holiday decorating.  It's going to be a good one and we hope you'll enjoy it.  Now, back to Waverly who will get us rolling today.
 
Waverly:  As you may recall, there were five of us last year and you may be wondering where Leera, our wonderful fashion designer is.  Leera has been busy this year and she may not have the opportunity to join us.  She has been consulting on some other lines, although her focus is mainly for the adult females around here.  We'd love for her to be here, but if she can't make it, we understand.  Now we do have our very talented camera professional, Dallas, here.  Dallas, can you please step over here for just a minute to say, 'hello?'

Dallas:  Sure I can.

Dallas:  Hello, Ladies.  I'm Dallas.
Taren:  Dallas, there may be men here too.  You can't leave them out.
Dallas:  But I'm interested in the ladies.  I'm still single, you know.
Taren:  Maybe, but this isn't the Love Connection, this is the Holiday Photo introduction, so you should address everyone.
Dallas (sighing):  Okay.

Dallas:  Hello, Ladies...and Gentlemen.  I'm Dallas and I'm happy to be the photographer again this year.  I'm here to wow you with my skills.  I do private shoots too for the ladies.  You may have seen my work this year with some of the models.  I'm very professional and I'm available for private...
Waverly (interrupting):  Dallas, we appreciate your taking a minute to step out here and say, 'hello.'  You're such a dear.  But we don't have much time, so maybe we should get back to what we're here for.  Okay?  Please?
Dallas (sounding disappointed):  Well, okay then. 
Song:  Thank you, Dallas. 

Waverly:  That board with the signs behind us is covering the work area.  It's almost finished and ready for us to get started.  We don't plan to start until December, so around the first the holiday photos will begin.  This year, we won't be in all or even most of the photos.  The residents are taking family photos this year.  This will serve a dual purpose since the photos will be used for reference on who's who around here.  We may not get every resident, but we will get lots of them. 
Song:  This is going to be so awesome.  Waverly, Taren and I are going to be administrative support staff.  That means we'll schedule appointments for the families, make sure they have the props they need and just help out with whatever needs to be done for lovely family photos.  Oh! We'll also be assisting with poses and things.  Dallas is a great photographer, but we'll be here to help him with his creativity.
Waverly:  That's right.  For most of the photos, you won't see us, but we'll be in the background helping out.  I think that pretty much wraps up what we're doing.  Did I forget anything?

Taren: I would like to add something.  In 2016, although we were all hopeful about it, we didn't get a chance to be seen in our lives.  But in 2017, there are some good things to come and you'll see more of us.  We're so excited about that.  I know I'm very happy with my life. I can hardly wait to be able to share it with you.
Waverly:  That's right, Taren.  Thanks for bringing that up. The good news is that we're definitely getting there and we just need to be a little more patient.
Song:  I agree.  It's been a while and it will pay off.  Patience is a virtue.
Voice from the side:  Did someone say patience?

Everyone turns to look.
 
Leera:  Hi, Guys! I'm sorry I'm late and I do appreciate your being patient and waiting for me.  I know I can't make it for most of the shoots due to my schedule, but I did want to make it here to see you all again and for the holiday photo theme introduction.  You all look great!
Waverly, Taren and Song:  Hi, Leera!
Dallas (from behind the camera):  Hi, Leera!
Taren:  We're glad you made it. Will you be making any fashions for the photos?
Leera:  Sadly, not for most.  Many of the residents have their own clothes they'd like to wear.  However, I've recently taken on the challenge of working on fashions for curvy ladies, so you'll see at least one fashion from me.  I'm going to widen my horizons and expand on my customer base.  I have to think big.  But I do provide something, I'll make sure you know and you can let out audience know.
Waverly:  Thanks for coming.  You can sit with me. I'll scoot over.

Leera sits down next to Waverly.
 
Waverly:  How have you been?  We need to catch up.  We're all going out to eat after this.  Can you join us?
Leera (laughing):  I'm doing very well.  Yes, we do need to catch up, so I will join you. I'm hungry.
Waverly:  Lots to talk about.  I'd love to hear more about your current lines and the new one.  Sounds interesting.
Leera: Oh, it is. 
Song:  I want to hear about it too.
Waverly:  We'll have time while we're eating.  For now, we need to wrap this up so we can go get our grub on.
 
Taren:  Isn't this wonderful?  The gang's all here. 
Waverly:  It sure is.  I'm in heaven. 
Song (speaking quietly to Leera):  Do you think at least the three of us can get something designed?  We'd really appreciate it.
Leera (speaking quietly):  I'll see what I can do.  No promises, but I love you guys, so I may make that happen.
Song:  Okay.


Song:  Well, Everyone, that's it for our introduction of the Holiday Photo Theme.  Stay tuned!  On behalf of myself, Taren, Dallas, Waverly, Leera and Miss Jaye, thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve

It's Thanksgiving Eve, after 9 PM and some of the residents are winding down for the evening.  I thought we'd just check out what some of them are up to.

Ember takes a nice bubble bath after getting Erwyn settled into bed for the evening.  It's so relaxing to sit and let soothing music play on her Ipad.

 Grayson and Brenna have fallen asleep on the sofa.

After her leisurely bath, Ember went to her bedroom where she sees she has missed a call from Parker.  She puts on her pajamas and then gives him a call.  Ember moves around a lot as she talks, so she'll be changing positions quite often.

Parker:  Hello, Ember.
Ember:  Hi, Parker.  I'm sorry I missed your call. 
Parker:  No problem.  I didn't mean to disturb you.  I understand you must have been busy.
Ember:  Well, I'm just settling down for the evening, so not busy any more.  How are you? 
Parker:  I'm well.  How are you this evening?
Ember:  Good.  So what's going on?
Parker:  Nothing important.  I just thought I would call and see how things are.
Ember:  My mother arrived today and not a minute too soon either.  She and Aunt Tandra are doing most of the cooking tomorrow.

Parker:  I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving.  Avery is cooking.  It just be the four of us, me, Avery, Craig and Aviana.  But I just heard from my father and he'll be here for Christmas, so that will be fun.
Ember:  That's so nice Avery is cooking.  It's also nice your father will be visiting. 
Parker:  Yes, I haven't seen him in a while. 
Ember:  Does Avery cook a huge meal?
Parker:  She cooks a small turkey, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, string beans and rolls.  We have desserts too, like pumpkin pie with ice cream.
Ember:  I love pie, but we normally have sweet potato pie, cheesecake, and anything else Syren grabs at the store.  She's usually assigned dessert.
Parker (laughing):  Are you implying she's not allowed to cook?

Ember:  She can cook alright, but not exactly as good as some of the rest of us.  She does have her specialties though. 
Parker:  Oh.  What is your specialty?
Ember:  Hmmm...Good question.  I make a mean potato salad, a requested macaroni salad and delicious deviled eggs.  Well, those are my normal contributions, although I'd do a great job with the greens and a few other things.  But when my mother or Aunt Tandra are around, you feel like a child again.  So you just get out of their way and contribute what they allow you to make.
Parker:  I guess you just get your assignment and that's it?
Ember:  Pretty much. 
Parker: Do you have any Thanksgiving Day traditions?

Ember:  We also watch the parade on tv.  Do you ever watch it?
Parker:  When I was younger we did.  But now I just wait for the football game to come on.  Avery doesn't exactly enjoy it, but she suffers through because Craig watches it too
Ember:  Poor Avery.  I hope you and Craig appreciate her sacrifice.
Parker:  We do.  We always clean up and do the dishes.  We also try to get her excited about what's going on, but that doesn't seem to work.  She'll bring out her laptop if she's really bored.  I think she starts her online shopping for Christmas.  It's pretty obvious when she starts asking questions.

Ember (giggling): Now shopping to pass the time is a great idea.  Smart woman.  Do you shop online?  It keeps stress to a minimum.
Parker:  Unfortunately, I'm that guy who isn't always sure what to buy, so I go to the store and the salespeople have to help me figure it out.  I get them to wrap for me too whenever possible. 
Ember:  I like shopping in person at the store, but online is pretty good.  You also need to research, especially for the best price. 

Parker:  I'm not sure if I'm ready for online shopping for Christmas yet.  I would have to know what I'm looking for first. 
Ember:  That would probably help. 
Parker:  Maybe this year you could go with me and help me shop.  It may go faster or, at the very least, I can get your opinion instead of driving the sales people crazy.
Ember (smiling):  I could do that.  Just let me know and I'll show you how to really shop...like a pro.
Parker:  I'd like that.

Ember:  I need to start giving some thought to what to buy this year, come to think of it. If I'm going to help you shop, I may as well pick up some things I need too.
Parker:  That's a good idea. 

Parker and Ember continue chatting.  Meanwhile, at the Hamilton's, Avery is having a snack. 

She had been in the bedroom with Craig watching TV, but she left the room only saying that she'd be back.  She couldn't make up her mind what to have, so she pulled out anything that looked good at the moment.   Craig realizes it's taking a while for Avery to come back to the bedroom, so he goes to check on her.

Craig:  Hey, Babe.  What are you doing?
Avery:  I was hungry so I'm having a snack and watching TV.  Were you waiting for me?
Craig: Sort of.  I mean, you don't have to watch TV with me, but I just wanted to be sure you're okay.  Especially after you were sick a little earlier.
Avery:  It comes with the territory.  Thank you for checking, but I'm fine.  Just hungry.
Craig (looking at the food and two drinks in front of her):  From the spread on the table, you look ravenous.

 Avery:  I know.  That's what it feels like.
Craig:  I know you have a bigger appetite right now, and I don't want to tell you what to do.  But you have to watch what you eat, Ave.  Just a little indulgence every so often.
Avery:  I know.

Craig:  Do you remember how upset you were when you held on to just ten pounds for a little while after Aviana was born?  I thought you looked just fine, but it bothered you a lot.  I don't want to see you go through that again.  So instead of going down that road again, maybe you  should try watching what you're eating right now.  I'm not saying don't eat, you can just make some better choices when you're this hungry.
Avery:  I know.  It doesn't help that I'm cooking a big dinner tomorrow either.  But, Honey, I'm just hungry right now and this is what I want.
Craig:  Okay.  I won't say anything else.

Craig walks over to the refrigerator.

Avery:  What are you doing, Craig?
Craig:  We're going through this pregnancy together, so I'm joining you.  If you end up gaining a little more and have to lose it, we can do it together.  Then you can't tell me I don't understand what you're going through.  We'll going to go through it together.
Avery (touching his back gently):  Thank you.  That's the sweetest thing you could say to me right now. 
Craig:  Mmm...I hope there are still some chips in that can.

Well, it looks like everyone is just waiting for Thanksgiving to arrive.  They have asked to not have dinner made public this year (it wasn't last year either), so we'll just let everyone enjoy the day off and time with family and friends.  We hope you will do the same.

Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Jaye and the Gang


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Getting the Low Down, the Day After

It's Sunday afternoon (the day after Parker's and Ember's first date) and Grayson is sitting in the living room playing his video game. Brooklyn is with him while Erwyn and Brenna are playing in Brenna's room.  Cyann has run out to pick up something on sale before the sale is over.  Ember is on her way over to pick up Erwyn.

Grayson:  Aw, Man!  Did you see that Brook?  Man, this thing is cheating.  Daddy's better than that.

Brooklyn is talking, but it's baby babble. 

Brooklyn is happily playing with her newest toy, propped up by her bobby pillow since she can't sit up yet.  The door bell rings and Grayson quickly goes to get it so he can get back in the room.  He figures it has to be Ember.

It is Ember. Grayson invites her to come into the living room and let's her know Brooklyn is there waiting.  Ember heads to the living room followed by Grayson.  Grayson can see Brooklyn is still where he left her.  Ember can see the game up on the television.

Ember:  I'm sorry I'm interrupting your game.  Is Erwyn ready?
Grayson:  I know she's dressed and most likely ready to go when you are.    But, as you can see from the missing car, Cyann ran out to the store.  She should be back any minute and I'm under strict orders not to let you leave.
Ember (laughing):  Of course you are.  I wouldn't want to get you in any trouble., so I guess I'll have to wait.  We don't want you to feel the wrath of Cyann, now would we?
Grayson:  Hey, I'm not 'fraida her.
Ember (smirking) :  Really?  You sure about that?
Grayson (grinning):  Yeah, I'm the man 'round here.  But, hey, there's no need to tell her, let's just let her live in her delusion that she runs things.  It makes her happy.
Ember:  Sure, sure.  We wouldn't want to make her live in reality, now would we?

Grayson just laughs.  He asks Ember to have a seat, but on her way, she puts down her purse and gets on the floor to pick up Brooklyn.

Grayson:  So, I don't know why she needs to speak with you but she must either need to tell you something or it has something to do with your needing a sitter last night.
Ember:  It's about last night.
Grayson (smiling):  Oh!  Well, I don't know what you did last night, but it looks like you're in for some questioning then. 
Ember (grinning):  I'll say, but I'm prepared.  I knew it was coming.  By the way, the pajamas are cute.
Grayson:  Thanks.  

They hear the front door open and after a few seconds in walks Cyann.

Cyann:  Hey, Girl.  I knew you'd show up while I was gone.  I'm glad you're still here.
Ember:  I told you when I'd be here this morning and you risked missing me?
Cyann:  I know, but I had to go grab this while it was on sale. It's a Christmas present and I had to get it before stock ran out.

Ember:  It's okay.  Grayson did as you asked, he told me I had to stay.  It would have been funny though had I grabbed Erwyn and left.  But I had mercy on Grayson.  He shouldn't suffer for my actions.
Grayson: Not a big dealI would have been okay.
Cyann:  What did you say?
Grayson:  I said, "I'm glad I will be okay."  You know since Ember was nice enough to stay.

Ember and Cyann laugh.

Cyann:  I'm going to go put this away, I'll be right back and we can talk.

Grayson turns off his game and gets up to go turn off the television and put the controller back on the stand.

Grayson:  I guess I'll retire to my room for a while.  It was good seeing you.
Ember:  I'm sorry you're not able to finish your game. 
Grayson:  It's okay.  It was cheating anyway.  Besides, I know how it is when you ladies need to talk.  It's time to just get out of the way.  Besides, I get to store these times up to use for when I need the room for the guys and I to watch a game.  It's living room takeover credit.
Ember (smiling):  I like that term.  Good way to think of it.

Cyann returns as Grayson is leaving.  She stops him to thank him.

Cyann:  Thank you for understanding I need to talk to Ember alone, Honey.
Grayson:  No problem, Sweetheart.  Do your thing.  I'll be in the room.

Grayson heads to the bedroom while Cyann sits down.

Cyann:  Okay, Girl.  Let's just get right to it.  No detail is off the table.  Tell me everything.  How was it?  Where did you go?  Did you have a good time?  Did Parker have a good time?  If you think he did, how could you tell?  Did he say so?  And, most importantly, are you going to go out again?
Ember:  I'm sorry, are you sure that's your entire list of questions?  I wouldn't want you to forget anything.
Cyann:  For now that list will work.  I'm sure I'll have some follow up questions, but that's enough to get us started.  So what happened?

Ember:  Well, I will answer everything as succinctly as possible, but I'm not going into that many details.  Just the important overview. 
Cyann: Okay, I guess that will suffice.
Ember:  I had a great time.  Parker was a gentleman, as usual.  You know, we've had conversations before, but our conversation last night was different.  He was definitely more talkative and I could tell he was truly interested in sharing and listening. 
Cyann:  Really?
Ember: Yes.  We went to Artaste, a really nice restaurant with great service, delicious food and nice artwork.  Girl, I have to figure out how they make their gelatin with these flavored mandarins.  I would definitely eat there again.  Anyway, I enjoyed every minute of it.
Cyann:  Oooooo!  I love it.  What else?
Ember (spotting Erwyn and Brenna entering the room):  Hi, Girls. 
Erwyn:  Hi, Mommy.
Brenna:  Hi, Auntie Em.

Erwyn:  Is it time to go, Mommy?
Ember:  Soon, Honey, but you have a little while longer.  I'm catching up with Aunt Cyan for a little while.  Do you have your things together?
Erwyn: Yes.  All my stuff is in my bag.  Does that mean I can play some more?
Ember:  Sure, Honey.  I'll come get you when it's time to go. 

Erywn:  Mom, does Erwyn have to go home today?
Cyann:  Yes.  You both have school tomorrow. Maybe we can have her stay for a few days over the holiday when school is closed.  That will give Auntie Em some time to do some things she wants to do, like shop or other fun things. (Cyann looks up a Ember and winks.)

Ember just smiles and shakes her head.

Cyann:  You and Erwyn don't have much more time to play today, so you should probably go back to finish playing while we talk.  Okay?
Brenna:  Okay.  It's grown up mommy talk, right?  We'll go play. 

On their way out of the room, Brenna stops to let Erwyn know she knows why they can't stay in the room.

Brenna:  You know why we have to leave?  So they can talk about grown up mommy things?
Erwyn:  What's that?
Brenna: You know, like what to buy us for Christmas or new furniture or if we've been good all day.  I think sometimes they talk about tv shows too.
Erwyn:  Oh.  I think my mom talks about her work too sometimes.
Brenna:  Yeah!  When I'm a mom, I'm going to talk about that stuff too. 

Cyann (laughing to herself):  Okay, Girls.  (pretending she doesn't hear) I don't know what you're talking about, but your time to play is limited, so you'd better get going.

Erwyn and Brenna leave to go play.

Cyann:  Okay, they're gone.  Where were we?
Ember:  Well, I was telling you how great a time I had. 
Cyann:  I know.  So what else happened?
Ember:  Now I need you to remain calm when I tell you this. 
Cyann: Okay?
Ember:  When we were about to leave the restaurant, Parker kissed me. He really surprised me!

Cyann lets out a scream of joy. 

Cyann:  Now I'm surprised.  Parker is a gentleman, but he's also smooth, huh?

Brooklyn starts crying. 

Cyann (handing Ember the bottle sitting on the table):  She's probably thirsty. 

Cyann:  So, how was the kiss?  Can he kiss?
Ember (smiling while remember):  Yes, he can.  He absolutely can.  You know, I haven't felt like that in a very long time.  After...well, I didn't think I'd never date again, but I guess I never expected to feel so, well, excited about someone again.
Cyann:  I understand that and I'm glad you feel excited.  Remember, he's not a replacement, but he can be a fresh new chapter.  Do you see what I'm saying?
Ember:  Yes. 
Cyann: Good, just roll with it.

After having drank for a little while, Brooklyn starts whimpering and reaching for Cyann, so Cyann gets up to take her.

Cyann: So are you going to have another date?  I'm assuming the kiss was a good sign.
Ember:  Yep, we're going to go out again.  We're going to start talking and just see where we go.  No rush.
Cyann:  Yeah, no rush, but at some point, you'll need to figure out expectations on both your parts.  But you have time.
Ember:  Yes, we do have time, but I do think once we figure out if we want to keep seeing each other, we'll talk about it. 

Cyann:  What about Erwyn?
Ember:  Well, she won't know anything until quite some time from now and only if we even get to a point of wanting to get serious.
Cyann:  Good.  That's best.  I'm excited, but I'll keep my cool.  Gray doesn't even know.  It's just between us until you say it's okay to discuss.  But you do know that Gray could find out, right?
Ember:  How?
Cyann:  Craig and Parker come over to watch games sometimes.  Parker's the quiet type, so I don't know if he'll even say anything any time soon.  But he's still a guy hanging out with guys, so you never know.
Ember:  If he says something, I can't stop him.  But I will be honest with him about not wanting Erwyn to know anything.  We've crossed paths before while out and about, so I will need him to not make it obvious that something is going on if we see each pass each other and she's with me.
Cyann:  I'm sure he'll respect your wishes.

Ember:  Me too. I'm not going to get ahead of myself.  Again, no rush. Nice and slow.
Cyann:  I am sooooo happy!  This was the highlight of my week.  I'm glad you went out and had a good time.  I won't drive you crazy with update requests.  I'll just be cool, like an ice cube.
Ember:  Yeah, sure.  That works, but let's see how long that ice keeps from melting.

ADDITIONAL NOTE

Avery's pregnancy has me on a kick (yes, I'm easily side tracked by the next big idea) to make maternity clothes and baby items.  That means working on designing the items and testing patterns.  So I made the Boppy pillow for Brooklyn just to include in the scene and test the pattern.  I may adjust the pattern just a little, but I am happy with the fit both for the baby and around mom's waist. 

Here's Cyann with Brooklyn on the pillow.  Although I'm not showing it, the Boppy is just the right height for breastfeeding.  I'm sure Avery (and other future new mommies around here) will appreciate that.

Here is Brooklyn with a better shot.  It supports her well. 

We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Jaye