After raising children for about forty-six years, it was time for Kenzie and Tyler to downsize their home. Dean was a junior at EU, and it didn’t sound like he’d be needing his old bedroom after graduation. He didn’t know exactly what he was going to do, but he had options, and so they sold their home.
They stayed on the same street, but moved to a one-bedroom bungalow, and no pesky stairs for Tyler to trouble himself over. With Zeke and Marshal’s help, they were able to update the kitchen and paint all the rooms. It went together quickly and was quite affordable after the selling of their larger home.
Kenzie invited her older brother, Ethan, and twin sister, Delaney over for breakfast and coffee. It wasn’t often that they all got together. Christmas was fast approaching, but no one had the space to host for all of the families, and so they celebrated separately.
Ethan seemed to be in a better place these past few years. Ironic to Kenzie, that it would be his grandson, Thomas that seemed to give him a purpose. Likely due to the fact that he always favored Caitlyn, even if he tried to deny it.
Delaney had never been fond of her big brother’s life choices, and didn’t find breakfast the most enjoyable thing to partake in with him.
It seemed Kenzie was the only one that could get along with them all. She was the one who had held the siblings together all these years after their parents’ passing.
Delaney ended up being the only one that could count herself successful in a monetary form. She’d made it to be a top Chef, just as she always said she would. She even thought they could retire in a few years now that they’d downsized and paid off a large portion of debt. Kenzie wasn’t sure if she could retire, not because of money, because Tyler did well with his non-fiction writing. There was just too much social work to be done.
Ethan didn’t add much to the conversation on that, he was still working low-end jobs, wishing that he’d somehow made it rich just attending parties. Careers and retirements were a sore subject for him.
Kenzie arranged to meet with Ella on the first day of Christmas break. She wasn’t technically her case anymore, she’d been stable for sometime. Matt only picked up Ella now and again once his boys graduated high school. He was busy with a grandbaby, Quinn from what Kenzie had heard.
The band seemed to be the perfect medicine for Ella, and she was elated to hear that Ella was on the verge of a full-scholarship to EU. Ella admits that she isn’t sure she wants to attend. The idea of a dormmate makes her queasy, but her Dad, Cesar really thinks that living alone would be too much.
Kenzie agrees with Cesar on this one, especially given Ella’s history and her Mom’s depression. Ella doesn’t seem to take it that way though, thinking it’s just her Dad, being her Dad, and Kenzie is tickled that Cesar is her Dad, and Matt is just Matt.
The whole visit was surprisingly uplifting, even when Ella was serious on an issue, it was a normal teenage concern. Kenzie felt very pleased with how Ella’s life had turned around. Kenzie was finally ready to spend the rest of the month with her family.
While Tyler wasn’t quite there yet. He stayed up late working to finish his latest novel so that he could enjoy Christmas without it looming over him. He wasn’t terribly social, even with his own kids, that he didn’t want that anxiety compounded with getting a book to his editor.
Everyone arrived to celebrate Christmas on the Eve, Kenzie wanted all the kids to be able to wake up to Santa and play with their toys on Christmas Day.
Kenzie could cook, but she wasn’t that interested in fussing in the kitchen instead of enjoying family, so they ordered Chinese and pizza.
Dean came to spend a few nights at home, bringing Evie along with him. They both doted on little Otto, and practiced their skills at changing diapers which was a nice break for Lorelei.
Thomas and Penelope mostly got along famously.
Vivienne and Cicely set up at the table, to talk and giggle about school. They got their drivers permit, and were both equally thrilled at turning sixteen in June. Kenzie wasn’t sure that Morgan and Zeke were going to give them the driving freedom that they were expecting.
They invited Morgan’s Dad, and Tyler spent a good portion listening to John talk. This worked out well for Tyler, who often spent his time at gatherings trying to keep quiet.
Zeke and Morgan made use of the mistletoe that Kenzie had found when unpacking. It was nice to see her eldest so settled after all the years of turmoil, his first heartbreak from his absentee Dad. He still wasn’t terrily fond of Tyler though he appreciated how well he treated his Mom and that was enough for Kenzie.
When Thomas got momentarily tired, Morgan cuddled with him on the sofa. Thomas didn’t seem to struggle with Morgan, not like his Dad, Lewis did. Morgan had been taking care of Thomas since birth though, between being his doctor, but also babysitting, he was rather attached to his Grandma.
Kenzie’s happiest surprise was that Lewis actually did join the party. She wasn’t sure he’d have a nice story like Ella seemed to be forging for herself, but she was glad that she didn’t have to pick him up from jail for a while. He was too much like his Father, and naturally, they both butted heads a lot.
Lewis seemed to be in a good mood though, talked with Dean on maybe living together after he graduated, which was just one of Dean’s many options.
Lorelei entertained Thomas and Lewis with stories of how she used to babysit Lewis, and Thomas got a kick out of his Dad being a baby.
Evie was a delight as always. All of the women in Kenzie’s family were diverse and strong in different ways; she thought that Evie would fit naturally in if Dean decided to propose one day. If he was even thinking about it, Kenzie didn’t know. He didn’t share much when it came to his personal relationship.
The only disagreements, were Thomas and Penelope over an intense marathon of rock, paper, scissors.
When Thomas started rubbing it in, Penelope lost her temper and they had to be momentarily separated.
It ended up being the nicest Christmas that Kenzie and Tyler could recall.
Notes: My game is back in working order after I accidentally filled my main HD. oops. Meg is my last household for this round, and then finally onto the next!
Kenzie and Tyler are living in one of Starr’s Chicago styled houses. I demolished Kenzie’s old house, I was sick of looking at it. I love bungalows irl, and this works perfectly for these empty-nesters. As for Dean after graduation, he could live with Evie, Lewis, alone, another friend… he’s pretty well-liked. I don’t believe Dean or Evie had any marriage wants, but I’m just getting relationships added back into the game, so I’m not concerned.
Thanks for reading!