Log 2.7


09-15-15_10-36 PM

09-15-15_10-35 PM-2


09-19-15_3-26 PM

09-19-15_3-27 PM

09-19-15_3-28 PM

09-19-15_3-28 PM-2


09-16-15_12-31 PM

09-17-15_1-33 PM

09-17-15_12-52 PM-2

09-17-15_12-53 PM

09-17-15_12-53 PM-2

09-19-15_3-15 PM

Time passes, and change is inevitable.  Big changes are happening and will continue to happen in the small world of Newcrest.

Hani is happily living with her now-wife, Britta McMahan, and their recently adopted daughter, Cali.  Newlywed Ailani followed in her sisters footsteps, also moving in with her spouse, Van McIntyre.  They have two beautiful sons: the older, Cody, and the younger, Floyd.  Both families have taken up residence down the street from the Newcrests in two affordable starter homes. 

Eventually they’ll be playing musical houses, as these families continue to grow and their needs change.  Hale and Arielle will retire in Hale’s teenage home; Akoni will be welcome to stay as their “caretaker” for as long as she wants.  The McIntyres will inherit the big house, and the McMahans will inherit the McIntyre’s slightly larger starter home.  Last but certainly not least, the twins will be moving into a brand new (currently under construction) apartment complex catering to young bachelors and bachelorettes — at least, until they are no longer bachelors.  😉


Log 2.6

08-30-15_10-26 AM

“My birthday is coming up.  You guys gonna miss me?”

“Of course!” Ailani immediately responded.

“Sure,” their little brother mumbled through a mouthful of food.

08-30-15_10-42 AM

Hani had enjoyed her teen years: she did well in school, she had great friends, and she was close to all of her family members.  While she would be sad to leave, she was excited about the change ahead of her.  Spending the last few days of her teenhood building a rocket ship, she was confident in herself that she would be a well-respected astronaut someday.  Her sisters were supportive of her ambition and even helped her put the finishing touches on her ship.

“Someday you’re going to use this thing to the Sim race from aliens, right, sis?” Aleka teased playfully.

“You never know!” Hani chuckled, but underneath the playfulness, she knew she would do big things one day.

08-30-15_10-43 AM

The younger siblings spent lots of their time at the playground across the street.  The boys played “who can hang upside down the longest without their head exploding,” and roped some of the neighborhood boys into their games.  They led quite the active lives: physically and socially.

08-30-15_10-38 AM

Most importantly, Akoni was making some friends outside of the family and finally felt seen.  Not only did she feel seen, she felt wanted — perhaps even needed.  She was a leader in her friend group; they called themselves the “park girls” and wanted to be just like Akoni, to the extent of all braiding their hair the same way.  Her sense of self-worth sky rocketed; she might be the “forgotten child” in her family, but she was the coolest kid at the park.

08-30-15_10-51 AM

Time was flying by quickly as time seems to do when everything is going right, until one night it stopped dead in its tracks.  Screams emanated from the boys’ room: the house was on fire.  It was much more than a simple house fire; it was an attack on everything Hale had worked so hard for: this house was their home — no one could bear to see it destroyed — and even more pertinent, the family was in danger.

08-30-15_10-52 AM

Never underestimate the strength of a mother.  Following in her mother’s footsteps, Ailani helped Arielle combat the flames.  The rest of the family watched in awe, terror, and appreciation; they could have run to safety, but the family stuck together.  With the moral support empowering them, the women of the house won the battle.  The fire was out; the only casualty was the experiment table.

09-06-15_10-52 PM

The event weighed on Aleka more than anyone else.  “This is bullplum,” she grumbled to herself in the bathroom mirror as she got ready for school.  If Mom and Dad weren’t so plumming tired after work every night, they might have realized their son was experimenting into the wee hours of the morning, completely sleep-deprived.  She blamed her parents for the entire ordeal, especially when they adopted a “business as usual” attitude once the fire was out.  No one wanted to talk about it, but Aleka knew that changes needed to be made.

09-06-15_11-38 PM

If the adults in the house weren’t willing to make those changes, Aleka determined to make them herself.  If they would’ve just stopped having kids after me, we wouldn’t be in this mess.  Hani, Ailani, and I can take care of ourselves; we’re mature.  For plum’s sake, we built a plumming rocket ship without catching anything on fire! she thought bitterly to herself as she waited for her not-birthday cake to bake.

09-06-15_11-39 PM

This is the right decision.  Without hesitation, she blew out the candles and spun into premature adulthood.  Maybe when their kids start leaving them, they’ll realize what a mistake they made.  Watcher, let Hani and Ailani understand.  She prayed the silent prayer as she walked out the back door, sneaking out just before the sun came up.  By the time the others awoke, she was long gone.

This is bliss, she sighed to herself.  Her music was too loud, her drink too strong — just how she liked it.

09-07-15_1-31 AM

“This was the right decision.”

Update on the Newcrests

I thought I owed you guys a bit of an explanation as to why there haven’t been many updates recently.  The simplest explanation is that I haven’t been playing them much, partly because I’m participating a genetics challenge on teh forums (mini-updates are also posted on my Bloopers site), and partly because the household is too big to be enjoyable.

I’ve partly remedied this by aging up two Sims early: Akela and Hani.  Akela has changed her name and run away from home in hopes of participating in Love Shot: Wild Style, a bachelor challenge.  Finally an (albeit young) adult, Hani was excited to pursue her crush, a much older man named Rowan, but he has recently aged up into an elder!  I’ve decided to look for someone younger for her, someone to raise a family with.  That being said, the household is still at almost-full capacity.  Eventually, I will just suck it up and play until I get to a more manageable place, but for now, I’m not in the mood.  Sorry!

Hopefully some Building Newcrest and Such bloopers will keep you satisfied for now: Part 1 & Part 2

Log 2.5

08-24-15_8-37 PM

“We’re free, big-bro-by-seconds!”

08-24-15_8-37 PM-2

“And we look good.  Watch out, ladies,” Shilah added with a smouldering grin.  Recently sparkled into childhood, the pair was anxious to explore the town (and cause mayhem, of course).  They were in luck — Hale had a day off work for the first time in as long as anyone could remember.  He gathered up the family and headed over to the community park, built from the ground up by their long since passed grandparents.

08-28-15_12-03 PM

The older siblings took a little longer in getting there (“What?  You think I wake up looking this good?  Ha!” Aleka interjected), but better late than never.  Hani and Ailani were subtle in their entrance, but Aleka turned heads everywhere she went.  Her party personality and natural flirtatious attitude made her a total babe magnet (though she wasn’t opposed to the occasional football player).

08-28-15_12-04 PM

Thankfully Hale had the boys to distract him; watching his baby girl flirt (and be flirted with) would’ve been torture.  Sure, he wanted grandkids someday…someday, not today.  He submersed himself in his designated roll as sea monster, completely oblivious to Aleka’s romantic escapades.

08-28-15_12-06 PM-2

Akoni, the “forgotten child,” shook her head in disbelief.  Sure, when they want to go to the park, we go to the park.  When they want him to play sea monster, he starts flailing his arms around.  I’ve been asking for him to play sea monster for weeks and he’s “too busy” or “too stressed” or whatever.  Stupid boys. 

08-28-15_12-09 PM-3

Her bitterness only grew when Hale ran up to Shilah, pulled him off the ship, and gave him a big hug.  I’ve only gotten like, what?  One hug?  Ever!  She’d done everything she could think of to get his attention.  At first she thought if she dressed tomboyish, she would be his favorite because she’d be “the boy he always wanted.”  When that didn’t work, she even braided back all of her beautiful curly hair.  Nope, nothing.  Not even a, “I like the new hairstyle, Akoni!”   And now he had two actual boys.  She sighed, trying to push the topic out of her mind.

08-28-15_12-09 PM

On the other side of the park, Hani ran into an old friend from school, Rowan.  He was quite a bit older than her; he graduated soon after she started high school, but she was glad to see a somewhat familiar face nonetheless.

“So, you’re still in the area then?  Are you working, or…?”

08-28-15_12-11 PM

“You remember those lame field trips we used to take to the science lab when we were kids?  Well, I guess my grades were kind of impressive, because I got a payed internship there straight out of high school!  It’s pretty fun, actually, and it pays the bills.  What about you?  Where do you work?”

“Err…actually, I’m…still in school,” she admitted shyly.  Plum.  He’s so much older and…mature…she realized suddenly and felt a bit embarrassed.  “But that’s so cool!” she changed the topic quickly.  “I loved those trips — I’m actually pretty into that science stuff.  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m building a rocketship for my senior year science project.”  She couldn’t help but smile proudly at her own accomplishment; she was already two levels into her ship, and after the weekend, it should be fully functional.

08-28-15_12-11 PM-2

“Maybe…you could stop by my place and take a look at it sometime,” she added hesitantly.  “You know, for scientific purposes,” she added quickly, as to not be so obvious.   Ugh, crushes are so high school, she groaned inwardly.  But she couldn’t help but acknowledge the butterflies in her stomach when she thought of him…and herself…in space…ahhh.

“That’s…impressive!” Rowan exclaimed.  He was taken aback a bit; he wasn’t expecting Hani to be so…mature.  He remembered the mouthy kid in obnoxious flower glasses, and now he was facing a very grown up woman.  Sure, the age difference was a bit awkward, but he couldn’t help but think about the possibilities.  “Sure, I’m free on the weekends.  Call me?”

08-28-15_12-13 PM

Tired from his pirate adventure, Shilah sat down across from an old man at the chess table.  He wasn’t sure how he felt about old people; both sets of his grandparents passed away before he was even born.  He looked the man up and down, the finally asked, “What’s it feel like to be old?”

The man burst out in a hearty laugh.  “Sonny, don’t take your youth for granted.  That’s all I’ve got to tell ya.  Now, are we gonna play chess or stare at each other all day?”

Satisfied with his answer, Shilah moved a pawn.  Little did he know, that one move was the beginning of an epic chess match.

08-28-15_12-15 PM-2

After winning his very first game of chess ever, he puffed up his chest with confidence.  “I’m pretty good at this, huh?” he asked the old man.

“That you are, sonny boy.  That you are.”  He patted Shilah on the back, then started walking down to the trolley stop.

“Wait!  Where are you going?” Shilah demanded.

“Elders’ night at the Solar Flare!  Drinks are half-price for anyone with grey hair.  Being old isn’t all bad!” he yelled over his shoulder, then walked out of sight, his hearty laugh echoing in Shilah’s ears.

08-28-15_12-20 PM

Figuring she had nothing better to do, Akoni played him next.  “Look bro,” she started, “Don’t be upset when I destroy you, okay?  I’ve just been doing this a lot longer.”  She couldn’t believe her eyes when Shilah had her king cornered in just a few moves. “You totally cheated!” she accused, thinking of no other logical explanation for her defeat.

“Don’t be upset, okay?” Shilah said mockingly.

08-28-15_12-23 PM

She immediately ran over to their dad, telling him all about Shilah’s antics and demanding he do something about it.  Hale smirked as he took a seat across from his youngest son.  He raised an eyebrow, silently challenging him to make the first move.

08-28-15_12-25 PM

For the longest time, they were neck and neck.  There was no clear winner, and with each move, it only got more confusing.  They had begun to draw quite the crowd; some were declaring Shilah a chess prodigy, others were waiting for what they knew was inevitable — the Taylor sneak attack.  He’d finally figured out her “strategy,” or more accurately, “anti-strategy” — she made the most random moves she could without sacrificing her king and queen just to confuse her opponent, then got her knight in just the right position to take out her opponent’s king.  No one suspected the knight.

Little did Hale know, it wasn’t the sneak attack that threw Shilah off his game.  He was completely distracted by the beautiful teenager walking his direction.  “I call playing winner,” she announced as she approached the table.  He could’ve swore she was flirting with him (Akoni snorted; everyone knew teenagers didn’t like kids), but he wasn’t able to confirm, as Hale easily won the game and decided it was time to go home.

08-28-15_12-26 PM

“Aw, c’mon!  Laaame,” she called after him as he followed his family out of the park.

Shilah sighed deeply.  I’ll be back for you… he promised silently.

08-28-15_12-27 PM-2

The family arrived home just in time for dinner; Arielle was making spaghetti.  “Mmm, spaghetti!” Shilah exclaimed, having already completely forgotten the girl at the park.

Stupid boys, Akoni glared at her brother.

08-28-15_12-32 PM-2

Log 2.4

08-24-15_7-42 PM

“Welcome to the world, my beautiful son.”  Arielle held her first son in front of her proudly; he was perfect in every way.  Then he started crying again; she sighed deeply.  “No offensebut you are most definitely not getting any little brothers or sisters!”  She rocked him gently, trying to calm him for the third time in the past hour.

08-24-15_7-44 PM

“But don’t worry, you have a twin brother and four big sisters to keep you busy!”  Arielle assured him in the sweetest voice she could muster in her sleep-deprived state.  Shilah was the easy baby; he never made a sound.  Hakan, on the other hand, screamed anytime he wasn’t in someone’s arms.

08-24-15_7-46 PM

“Let’s see…” she continued, hoping a story would put them to sleep.  “There’s the oldest, Hani.  She’s already a teenage!”  Watcher, that makes me feel old…  “Then came the twins, Aleka and Ailani.  We thought we were gonna stop there — raising three kids is a full-time job…on top of working full-time jobs.  But then little Akoni came along!  She hopes you both have brown hair like her, because she’s the only non-redhead in the family, aside from…your daddy…” she trailed off, noticing Hakan’s eyes beginning to droop.  She set him down as gently as possible and crept out of the nursery.  Finally, they’re down to sleep and I still have two hours to sleep before work.  Thank the Watcher.

Hale and Arielle’s young adult years were so crazy and fun, time seemed to flash before their eyes.  It seemed like just yesterday they were getting married; now they had six children, were high up in their careers, and spinning into their adult years.

08-19-15_1-08 AM-2

Hale smiled as he thought back on the moment his mom met her very first grandchild; she was speechless.  She claimed that her heart skipped a beat; she had never seen anything so precious in her entire life (“Including you, Hale!” she joked).

08-19-15_1-09 AM

They didn’t know at the time, of course, but Hani would be the only grandchild Yusun and Fred would live to see.  When they came to visit that day, both were in pretty bad shape.  Fred walked more slowly than normal; Yusun was in a particularly irritable mood.  Perhaps it’s better this way.  They held on long enough to meet Hani — for that I’m grateful — but none of us wanted to see them suffer.

08-19-15_1-32 AM

When Arielle was pregnant with their second child, her parents began visiting often: her father, the artist, and her mother, the hippie.  They were thrilled that Hale wanted a big family — they didn’t believe in “safe woohoo” and had four children of their own (Arielle being the oldest).  Though Hale questioned their morals from time to time, their support was good for Arielle — that particular pregnancy was the easiest.

08-19-15_2-08 PM-3
To everyone’s relief, Hani took well to the twins (that is — when they weren’t screaming bloody murder).  She was a natural with them; Hale knew they’d all be the best of friends once the little ones aged up.  Boy, was he wrong.

08-19-15_2-26 PM

It all started with Akela’s — very outspoken — dislike of her siblings.  Being a middle child, there was no way she could have been an only child, but she would’ve settled for being the “baby” of the family.  She cried for days, begging her parents to simply “return” Ailani.  “It just doesn’t work that way,” Hale explained.  He figured he could at least sneak one life lesson in, for all the trouble the situation was causing.  “See, once you have a baby in your belly, you’re stuck with it, even if you don’t want it.  Remember that for when you’re older.”

She’d stuck her tongue out in disgust.  “No way!  I never want kids!”  Hale suppressed laughter; Good…one less boy-crazy daughter I have to worry about.

08-19-15_10-54 PM

Ailani couldn’t be any different from her sister if she tried.  Where Akela enjoyed time to herself, pursing creative endeavors, Ailani would trap you at the door and talk your ear off for hours.  She was popular at school, and secretly, she was Grandma Horner’s “favorite”; the two would watch soap operas and talk about Ailani’s future.  She wanted the “perfect” life: a devoted husband, two children — a boy and a girl, and a big mansion on a hill.  “With a white picket fence!” she’d always add excitedly.

08-19-15_11-54 PM

With Akela outwardly hating her twin, and Ailani making no effort to repair their relationship, Hani avoided them and their drama.  She spent a lot of time alone, playing chess or practicing typing in her room.  When she did have to participate in “family time,” she would sit in the corner of the room and work on her homework in silence.  She secretly hoped for another sibling; one who didn’t like drama and just wanted to play like her.  But she didn’t dare say anything; Akela would rip her head off.

08-24-15_1-22 PM

Before long, Hani got her wish — another sister: Akoni.  No one expected it; especially Hani, who was almost a teenager and had given up hope of another sibling long ago.  She jumped around excitedly at the news, immediately offering to share her bedroom.  Most surprisingly of all, Akela was unfazed.  She didn’t mind the new baby, in fact, she kind of liked it.  Ha!  Now Ailani will feel my pain of being a “middle child!” she snickered to herself.

08-24-15_1-27 PM

Being the “middle children” brought them closer together than ever.  They began acting like friends, let alone sisters.  They did everything together — Ailani introduced Akela to all of her friends; Akela taught Ailani how to play violin.  They did their homework together, drew pictures together, watched soap operas with Grandma together — and loved every second of it.

08-24-15_6-14 PM

Recently aged up, Hani became the designated babysitter.  Hale and Arielle got to spend more time together, thanks to Hani truly taking on an “adult” role in the household.  She was always the “mature” one, and her maturity began to shine in high school.  She was the smartest kid in class — always with her nose stuck in a book — and still managed to have a few good friends.

08-24-15_6-22 PM-2

However, her best friend was back at home — her littlest sister.  Though Hani wasn’t as active as she had been as a child, she encouraged Akoni to be, jogging with her in the mornings and taking her to the park on weekends.  The household was finally at peace; everyone was on a schedule, everything was in order … then the twins aged up.

08-24-15_8-10 PM-2

Ailani inherited the infamous Collins’ hotheadedness, suddenly getting irritated at every little thing that went wrong around the house.  Sure, she’d always been a bit of a perfectionist, but this was a whole other story.  Arielle tried to keep things in order as much as possible, but with a full-time job and four kids, chaos wasn’t uncommon.

08-24-15_8-17 PM

Ailani was nothing compared to Aleka.  Hale had been betting on her being the “easy” one — he thought she wasn’t interested in boys or babies or any of that terrifying stuff.  The teenage hormones hit, and they it hard.  Suddenly, all she cared about was partying, drinking, boys — fun.  Hale could honestly claim that she was single-handedly responsible for every gray hair on his head.

08-24-15_8-36 PM

When Hale thought his life couldn’t get any more hectic, the big “whoops” happened.  Thanks to Hani’s babysitting, he and Arielle got to spend more alone time together, which resulted in these lovely Sims.  He’d always wondered what it’d be like to have a son, and now he knew — he got two of them.  I’m well into my adult years, my oldest child is almost an adult, and here I am with babies.  But I couldn’t be happier.

Log 2.3

08-18-15_9-25 PM-2

“I’m only gonna tell you this one time, Jennie.  No eating the guests!”


08-18-15_9-17 PM

The wedding was hosted on a sunny Sunday afternoon, the only day both Hale and Arielle had off work.  They were progressing steadily in their careers, and didn’t want to take unnecessary time off.  Yusun, happily retired, planned the whole thing.  She invited all of his childhood friends she could get in contact with; rented a banquet table, complete with a drink fountain; and reserved the park for the whole day.

08-18-15_9-17 PM-2

Not everyone was thrilled with Hale’s excess of PDA, but he couldn’t care less.  It was his wedding, after all.  A hopeless romantic, Arielle was giddy with anticipation.  In just a few minutes, she would be a married woman.  She wondered if she would ever get tired of Hale’s sudden bursts of affection.  No, I don’t think I will, she thought smugly as he kissed her deeply.

08-18-15_9-19 PM-2

The couple got situated under the archway and stole a couple more kisses while they waited for the guests to gather.  Mrs. Hale Newcrest…  Arielle sighed wistfully at the thought.  She’d been waiting for this moment since they were teenagers, and now that it was here, she couldn’t be happier.

08-18-15_9-21 PM

A mass of family and friends witnessed their vows: “In sickness and in heath…for richer or poorer…”  Some seemed a bit bitter (probably wishing it were there own wedding they were attending), others sighed romantically.  Yusun smiled proudly; her troubled boy was finally becoming a respectable man.  Fred wiped a tear from his eye, his joy overflowing.

08-18-15_9-22 PM-3

The couple officially tied the knot with the ceremonial kiss; flowers and confetti raining down around them.

08-18-15_9-22 PM

Some somewhat familiar faces watched with congratulatory smiles on their faces.  Teagan North, Hale’s childhood enemy, made an appearance, as did Taylor, Ashton and Logan, Arielle and Michael Herr, and even some whom Hale recognized but couldn’t place a name with the face.

08-18-15_9-21 PM-2

The “reception” was a simple ordeal.  There was cake and fruit punch, and some upbeat music played quietly.  The whole event was very “summer casual” — just how Yusun (and the newlyweds, of course) wanted it.  Everyone seemed satisfied, at least.

08-18-15_9-28 PM-2

His parents were getting their share of refreshments, and Arielle was serving cake.  Hale found himself sitting alone by the wedding arch, staring at his knuckles.  How long is this thing supposed to last? he wondered silently.  I don’t want to rush anything, but…

“Hey, you,” Taylor’s voice interrupted his thoughts.

“Oh!  Hey, thanks for making it — I know you’re busy with your painting and all–”

08-18-15_9-31 PM

“It’s your wedding, Hale,” she stated the obvious, plopping down next to him.  “I wouldn’t miss it for the world!”  She tried to be enthusiastic, but deep down, a part of her always wanted him to want her like he does Arielle.  Well, too plumming late now, she groaned inwardly.  She put on the happiest face she could manage and added a dramatic arm-swing for good measure.

08-18-15_9-31 PM-2

Hale thanked his other guests for coming as well.  He gave his childhood friend Lianna a big hug, waved half-heartedly at Arielle Herr, and said hello to Logan from a safe distance.  It was like a big class reunion, seeing so many old faces.

08-18-15_9-34 PM

Arielle spent some time with the girls. She didn’t have any close girlfriend and therefore didn’t have a bachelorette party, so this would have to do.  She drank and gossiped freely (probably divulging a bit more than she should have about Hale’s bedroom habits).

08-18-15_9-39 PM

As the sun set and many of the guests prepared to head home, the moment everyone was dreading finally came.  Apparently white cake wasn’t good enough for Lianna; she wanted the cowplant cake, and she wanted it badly.

08-18-15_9-39 PM-2

Arielle saw the whole thing and intervened just in time.  “Jennie, what did Fred say?  Spit her out.  You can eat her any day besides today.  Got it?” she reprimanded the cowplant sternly, and secretly thought about how motherly she had sounded.  I’m gonna be the best mother…

08-18-15_9-40 PM-2

Her thoughts — and almost her stomach — were interrupted by a Sim-sized glob of slime rolling out of Jennie’s mouth.  Lianna, dazed, sat in the filth for a moment before crawling away to the bathrooms.  “Never again…” she murmured to herself, flinging mucus from her arms.

08-18-15_9-41 PM

Hale, oblivious to his surroundings as usual, was found behind the great oak tree, painting a particularly family-oriented painting.  He couldn’t get children off his mind; he wanted to get home and begin trying as soon as possible.

08-18-15_9-46 PM

We should’ve eloped, he laughed to himself.

Eventually, the wedding party did come to a close, and Hale’s wish came true.  The moment they reached the bedroom, Arielle pulled him close.  “Bed.  Now,” she demanded.

08-18-15_10-03 PM

Hale could’ve swore there were fireworks.  Or perhaps, he was just in love.

08-18-15_10-11 PM


Log 2.2

Arielle had been ignoring Hale’s calls for days.  He even tried having Yusun call, and she ignored that too.  He knew he would have to apologize eventually, but he decided to give her some time to cool off first.  In the meantime, he focused on the newest development in his career: he was commissioned by a high profile company on Simstreet to take portraits of its top investors.

08-18-15_12-17 AM-2

Logan Fisher, head investor, was sent as the company’s representative to get a price estimate and a couple of examples of Hale’s work.  She arrived late in the afternoon; if things go well, I might even get some dinner out of the deal! she thought to herself, proud of her clever idea.

08-18-15_12-20 AM

When they got settled into the dimly lit studio, she stroke a suggestive pose.  “How’s this?” she added with a wink.

Hale laughed nervously.  “Uh…perhaps a bit more…casual,” he suggested, unable to take his eyes off her.  “You know…to keep it more…professional.”  He averted his gaze, staring at some blank wall, hoping she’d take the hint.

08-18-15_12-21 AM

Plum.  This one’s gonna be harder to crack than I thought.  “Better?” she said dully, simply standing with good posture.  Though her body language was platonic, she smiled flirtatiously.

“Yeah, much.”  Hale snapped the pictures quickly, stopping only to adjust the camera settings, filters, and her position: “Okay, to the left a bit…now the right…try tilting your head up just a touch — your bangs are giving me a weird shadow…okay, yeah — that’s it…”  When he was behind the camera, he easily lost track of time; it felt as though he was freezing time itself by capturing the moment, but when he looked up from the lens, he realized it was dark outside.

08-18-15_12-22 AM

“Oh, plum!  Sorry for keeping you so long…”

“Don’t mention it.  It was fun!”  She lay her hand on his shoulder softly, hoping to get a reaction out of him.

He stepped back just far enough that her hand slid off of him; he rubbed his neck as he gazed out the window.  “Nice night, isn’t it?” he said awkwardly.

Logan followed his gaze and gasped at the view; she’d never seen such bright stars in her entire life.  “I grew up in the city…we don’t have nights like this,” she confessed.  “Could you…would you want to do some stargazing?”  Part of her just wanted an excuse to be close to him, but part of her was genuinely entranced by the beauty.

08-18-15_12-31 AM

They made their way downstairs, out the back door, and lay next to the darker side of the house.  “That one there is the Mighty Bear.  And that one is the Giant Snapping Turtle!” Hale enthused, pointing out all of the constellations his mom had show him when he was a kid still living at the park.  Logan couldn’t believe her eyes; she watched wordlessly.  “And that one–” Hale stopped short, feeling a pang of guilt in his chest.  “That one…that’s the Lover’s Hands.”

He immediately thought back to the very first moment he saw Arielle.  He was groggy from an unexpected nap in the park, and she was a strong pillar of fire before his eyes.  They had done this very thing — he pointed out constellations, while she looked on in awe.  When he’d gotten to the Lover’s Hands, she reached over and brushed her hand against his own.  He missed her touch, especially the feel of her soft, little hands in his rough, worn ones.

“Logan, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I’ve made a big mistake, and I need to go fix it before it’s too late.”  Without waiting for her response, he hopped up, sent a quick text, and started off toward the park.

08-18-15_5-43 PM

He breathed a huge sigh of relief when Arielle came into view; part of him didn’t expect her to show up.  “Arielle–” he started, but she cut him off.

“No — you listen to me.  I’m tired of this plum, Hale.  We aren’t a couple of young highschoolers anymore–”

“Shh,” he took her hands in his own and kissed them gently before leading her over to the arch of apple trees.  “Arielle Horner, this is long over-due, and I know that.  I’m sorry for that.  I’m sorry for all of the plum I’ve put you through — I’m clueless sometimes, I know.  But I’m better with you around, and I want you around forever.  Will you marry me?” 

08-18-15_5-44 PM-2

She couldn’t believe her eyes.  She’d fantasized about this moment for as long as she could remember, and finally…  it was better than what she imagined it would be.  She slid the ring onto her finger and nodded, eyes full of happy tears.

08-18-15_5-45 PM

Consumed by the emotions of the moment, he swept her off her feet — quite literally — in a passionate kiss.  It took him almost half of his young adult life to build up the courage to do it, but now that it was done, he only wished he’d done it sooner.  He couldn’t wait to start his life as a true family man — the man he’s always wanted to be.  No more uncertainty, no more drama, only promise.

08-18-15_5-47 PM

The newly engaged couple sat together, enjoying the park’s — and the moment’s — beauty for a moment longer.  There was nothing more to discuss; they knew each other well enough to know what’s coming next: first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a nooboo in a nooboo carriage.  The thought filled both of them with utter happiness.

08-18-15_5-51 PM-2

“Let’s go home,” Arielle whispered.

08-18-15_5-52 PM

Log 2.1

Something had been gnawing at Taylor for days; she couldn’t put her finger on it, it just felt…like something was…off in the universe.  She compulsively went through the lists in her head…  Wake up, get dressed, eat–wait, no, it’s wake up, shower, get dressed…did I shower today?  Yeah…that’s not it.  Okay…eat breakfast, paint, clean up studio, go to therapy…  What am I doing differently?!

It hit her — quite literally — while she was painting later that afternoon.  An old canvas fell off a high shelf, landing in a shredded heap at her feet.  Between a cup of paint water soaking it and fresh paint bleeding into it, she could barely make out what it was originally supposed to be: the Oasis Springs Park.  “Hale!” she gasped.

She checked her phone; still no messages from him.  After the fake party incident, he called her almost everyday demanding an explanation and an apology.  She never answered, but a satisfied smile always crossed her face when she saw his name on the caller ID.  At some point the calls stopped, and she suddenly realized he had been flat-out ignoring her since.

08-17-15_11-20 PM

As she approached the large brick home, she narrowed her eyes.  He can’t ignore me forever.  I’m his best friend.  Before leaving her house, she had done a bit of Simbook research and discovered Hale had moved into some new, big house in Newcrest.  Figures, he’d never leave this boring town, she smirked.  The closer she got to the house, the more nervous she became.  Just ring the doorbell.  Maybe he won’t even be home!

08-17-15_11-21 PM

“Taylor?” a familiar voice called out.

Plum nuggets, Taylor murmured to herself. “Oh, uh, hi!  Funny running into you here…” she excused weakly.

“What’s up?  I haven’t heard from you in ages.”  Hale couldn’t believe his eyes.  He hadn’t seen Taylor since high school — and that seemed like a lifetime ago.  He had been so busy with the house, Arielle and his parents were the only people he really kept up with.  The prospect of catching up with an old friend was something he couldn’t pass up, despite how bitter he still was over the party incident.

“Can I…come in?  Or something…”

08-17-15_11-31 PM-2

The two made their way to the back patio.  Honestly, Hale didn’t trust her enough to allow her in the new house, but he wanted to hear what she had to say.  This aughtta be good.

“So…nice place you’ve got here…”  Taylor stalled, hoping he would apologize for ignoring him and she would be off the hook.  “Nice…rose bushes…”

“Thanks, my girlfriend planted them,” he said very matter-of-factly.

“Girlfriend?”  She was taken aback at the sudden confession.  She’d known him since his first day of elementary school, and he had never once mentioned a girlfriend.  In fact, she often wondered if he was gay, but she didn’t want to make him uncomfortable by asking.  “So…what’s she like?  Do I know her?” she pressed him for information, wanting to know anything and everything about the poor sap.

08-17-15_11-31 PM

“Arielle Horner…she was a grade below us.  She has gorgeous red hair — and I mean red, like, red-red — and she’s so confident in herself, she won’t take plum from anyone — even me!  And–”  Hale stopped short when he saw a smirk forming on Taylor’s face.  “What?

“Nothing.  You’re just cute when you’re in love.”

Hale blushed.  “Yeah, I think I am in love…”  He sighed deeply, staring up at the sky around him.  Everything was more beautiful with Arielle around, even if she was only in his thoughts.  The sky was bluer; the grass was greener.  After a moment of awkward silence, he added, “Hey, no hard feelings about the party, okay?  It’s in the past.”

Taylor restrained herself from screaming with joy.  “No hard feelings!” she threw up her hands dramatically.  Thank the good Watcher in the sky, she thought with relief.

08-17-15_11-33 PM-3

The two hung out all afternoon.  Taylor gossiped about the scandalous painting studio she worked at; Hale talked about the elaborate future he had planned out for himself:  “I’m going to have a beautiful wife, three kids, and a good job by the time I’m an adult.”  They were having such a good time, if Arielle hadn’t called to remind him of their date, he would’ve completely forgotten about it.  “Plum!”  He piled the grilled fruit he was making for dinner on a plate, then shoved it toward Taylor.  “I don’t mean to rush you off like this — but I’ve got a date in about five minutes.”

08-17-15_11-36 PM

“Sorry I’m late,” Hale apologized when he saw Arielle standing on the sidewalk, waiting for him.  He pulled her into a big hug, hoping she wouldn’t be too mad.

“It’s fine.  I just want to go inside; it’s hot out here.”  She seemed more distant than usual.  Between the long house remodel and Hale’s “forgetfulness,” she hadn’t been very happy lately.  All she wanted was for the stupid house to be finished, so she could move in and start her own family.  She wanted a proposal as well, but she didn’t have much faith in him; he doesn’t have the plums to propose to someone. 

08-17-15_11-38 PM

When they wanted in, the jukebox was playing a song from their high school prom.  Hale grinned widely and held out his hand, “May I have this dance, m’lady?”  For a moment, neither had a care in the world.  They danced like no one was watching; their eyes were locked on each other.  When the song ended, Hale offered to get them some drinks.

08-17-15_11-40 PM

“Ashton!  Hi!” he called out, seeing a familiar face at the bar.  “How’s it going?”  He was in a particularly sociable mood — this was the second old friend he’d run into today.

“Hale!  C’mere, sit with us!  We’re having Single-Girls’ Night Out,” Ashton invited with a wink.

Hale gulped, then took a seat next to the red-headed woman on the end.  “Okay, just while I wait for my drinks.  I’m here with my–”

08-17-15_11-41 PM-2

“So crazy running into you here of all places!” Ashton interrupted.  “We all know you only leave Newcrest once in a blue moon.”

“Newcrest?  Like, you’re the Newcrest — the photographer, the founder of that little town on the other side of Willow Creek?” the red-head rambled excitedly.  “You were in the paper a few days ago, weren’t you?  Your photography is amazing!”  She leaned in a bit and lowered her voice.  “See, I’m a kind of a big-time investor over at Simstreet, and we’re looking for someone to do our portraits.  Do you happen to do commissions?”  She batted her eyes flirtatiously.

“Yeah…”  Hale rubbed the back of his neck nervously, hoping Arielle wouldn’t notice their flirting.  He looked at the bartender, hoping he’d hurry up with the drinks and give him his escape, but it was too late —

bad date

Disclaimer: Arielle asked him out on a date, and when I accepted, it took them to Oasis Springs.  Since I didn’t specifically send him to Oasis Springs, I’m gonna say I’m still within the rules…  😀

Side-note: The “Mayors of Newcrest” page has been updated, and house tours of the rest of the lower class neighborhood have been added to the “Builds” page.

Starter Homes

08-15-15_1-58 PM

I really, really love making tiny starter homes, and I would’ve liked the starter home community to be bigger, but I ran out of space!  (The irony.)  I have multiple variations of these two houses on the Gallery, but these are the two final products that made it into my game.  Both are perfectly on-budget at less than 20,000 simoleons each.

08-15-15_1-59 PM-3

Oak Alcove is a two-bedroom, one-bathroom starter home that would easily accommodate a small family.

08-23-15_9-04 AM-2entryway and living room

08-23-15_9-03 AM-2dining room and kitchen

08-23-15_9-05 AM-2bathroom

08-23-15_9-05 AMchild or guest bedroom

08-23-15_9-02 AMmaster bedroom

08-15-15_1-59 PM

Comfy Cubby is a one-bedroom, one-bathroom house designed for a single Sim or a couple without children.

08-23-15_9-09 AM-2entryway and living room

08-23-15_9-11 AM-2dining room and kitchen

08-23-15_9-09 AMbathroom

08-23-15_9-08 AMbedroom

If you’d like to download either of these lots, my OriginID is ‘JordanNicoleJJ.’  These houses are titled “Oak Alcove v2” and “Comfy Cubby v2” on the Gallery.  Packs owned (I probably used content from all of these): Outdoor Retreat, Get to Work, Luxury Party Pack, Perfect Patio Pack, Spa Day, Cool Kitchen.  CC-Free.  Built for the 20×15 lots “Oak Alcove” and “Comfy Cubby.”

No need to give me credit, just don’t claim the credit yourself.  I’d love to see these lots in your game — leave me a comment/screenshot if you use them!

Beech Byway

08-22-15_12-16 PM

Beech Byway is the location and name of the generation two home, built specifically to suit a Big Happy Family.  It is a two-story house featuring three bedrooms (four, if you were to convert the studio) and three full bathrooms.

08-22-15_12-21 PM-2entryway and formal living room

08-22-15_12-21 PM-3family room

08-15-15_5-43 PM-2dining room

08-15-15_5-46 PMbar

08-15-15_5-47 PM-2kitchen

08-15-15_5-48 PMbathroom (main floor)

08-15-15_5-42 PM

08-15-15_5-42 PM-2

08-15-15_5-43 PMmaster bedroom and nursery (main floor)

08-22-15_12-20 PM-4den

08-22-15_12-19 PM

08-22-15_12-20 PM first bedroom (second floor)

08-15-15_5-50 PM-3first bathroom (second floor)

08-15-15_5-51 PM-2

08-15-15_5-51 PMsecond bedroom (second floor)

08-15-15_5-50 PM-2second bathroom (second floor)

08-15-15_5-48 PM-3

08-15-15_5-49 PM-2studio (second floor)

If you’d like to download this lot, my OriginID is ‘JordanNicoleJJ.’  Packs owned (I probably used content from all of these): Outdoor Retreat, Get to Work, Luxury Party Pack, Perfect Patio Pack, Spa Day, Cool Kitchen Stuff.  CC-Free.  Built for the 30×20 lot “Beech Byway.”

No need to give me credit, just don’t claim the credit yourself.  I’d love to see these lots in your game — leave me a comment/screenshot if you use them!  🙂