Browning, Traver Family

winter games

january 2032
previous update
Luca Browning (36 years), Nadia (35 years), Kai (15 years), Mavis (8 years), Clio (4 years), Thea (4 years)

Kai is learning to drive with his permit, just as a winter storm moves in. Luca insists he will be fine, and that he needs the practice in inclement weather. Nadia didn’t feel as confident being a passenger, so she gladly allowed Luca to take the reins.

When they get back, Thea and Clio are outside playing in the snow.

Kai immediately joins them as Luca goes in to explain to his Mom how well he did driving, at least Kai hopes he says that.

Thea is the most gullible, so Kai points for her to look away while he quickly rolls a snowball.

Thea is also a good sport, so Kai knows she’ll join in on a solid snowball fight instead of cry about it.

Her twin, Clio jumps in without needing any invitation.

She’s also the first to get cold, always.

Clio pushes herself though, enjoying the snow. There hadn’t been a big snow storm the previous year, and they don’t know if there will be another this season.

Mavis is eight years old, and she has more aversions to the cold than Clio. She stays indoors, and happily does her homework. Her and Kai are stellar students, something the twins haven’t gotten the hang of yet.

While her parents helped her reconnect with Penelope, she’s also been maintaining her friendship with Evan Holmes as well. Whether it was from her parents and teacher meddling, or if she just needed time, she’s interested in friendships now.

Even still, she enjoys quiet time to herself, and playing with Tatum while everyone else is busy.

Nadia and Luca make plans to take the kids ice skating downtown. Over the past few years, it feels like they are struggling to connect as a family, and now that the twins are older, it feels like they can finally do things together as a family again.

Its the twins’ first time, and Thea struggles to maintain her footing.

Mavis remembers being a baby like her sisters, and she’s glad she knows how to skate now, and pretty well too.

Kai invites his girlfriend, Elodie, and her Dad brings her down. All the girls like Elodie, and they are all very interested in her personal life. They find the idea of step siblings to be intriguing, often forgetting that their brother Kai is only a half-sibling. It just isn’t something that comes up.

Mavis wipes out, and she’s happy to notice Elodie isn’t paying any attention to her.

Luca takes the twins around the rink, trying to give advice, which Clio ignores even if it means she will fall again and again.

Eventually Clio and Thea meet in the middle, and they practice spinning without falling a single time. It feels like a great success!

Then like usual, Clio gets cold and makes a run for the cocoa shop.

Thea catches Clio warming her butt from all the times she’d fallen on the ice.

Clio kindly sits down to allow Thea a turn to warm her own bum.

While the girls warm up, and their Mom buys them cocoa, Kai and Elodie keep warm with snuggling on the bench. It feels like they don’t get much time together anymore, now that her baby brother, Noam has been born. Her Dad and family keep her busy, or at least can’t always bring her anywhere, and her Mom doesn’t ever want to drive into North Albany; she feels she does it enough when it’s Quint’s weekends.

Now that they are sophomores, they are relationship official. Kai thinks that is why Elodie’s Mom doesn’t bring her around, she probably doesn’t like her daughter dating.

Back at the house, Kai’s Mom helps him with homework. He’s slightly embarrassed that his Mom still helps him, but he has an A+, and he knows it’s because of his Mom’s assistance.

He’s still friends with Logan, but it got awkward a while back when he tried dating Isla. She let him know she wasn’t interested, and he continued pursuing until she cut off the friendship. Kai doesn’t get his obsession with getting a girlfriend, and he knows Logan has his eye on Ronda. Kai does have a girlfriend, but he didn’t pursue her, their friendship bloomed, and he’s been respectful of her feelings the entire time.

He gets bored listening to Logan’s quest for love, and he refuses to take part in any of it. No, he won’t ask Ronda if she likes Logan.

Thea and Clio play together in their bedroom, never really needing anyone but eachother. They’re too busy giggling and learning Mary Mack to eaves drop on their brother in his room.

Luca sneaks a rare moment alone with Mavis to dance and goofaround with her. She’s the most difficult child to spend time with, seeing she always wants her nose in a book.

After they get all the kids to bed, especially the younger two, Nadia and Luca head down to their basement suite.

It feels like the rhythm in their life is going well, except for alone time together. Nadia brings up her desire to spend time with her husband without kids, and he nods along as he brushes his teeth.

The next morning before she heads to the bookstore, he surprises her with a romantic dance move. He text Chris and Emma Holmes, and they are game for an adult night at the Flamingo Club.

Nadia couldn’t be happier owning her own book store. She slung pancakes for years, always smelling like breakfast food and sticky with syrup. This is a dream come true.

She promoted Carrick to manager, to help run the store more when she’s home with the girls. He’s been with her since the beginning, and she trusts him completely.

Customers constantly give her praise, loving her selection, and book clubs.

Ordering in new books is one of her favorite activities.

Instead of being tired from working all day, she’s invigorated by the work, and she’s pumped for the night out.

Kai is babysitting, and he’s already getting Thea wound up.

Mavis is whispering shenangians and pranks they intend to pull on Kai, and both parents are happy to have the night out.

It feels good to get out with Emma and Chris; it feels like actual years since they’d hung out. Nadia had Mavis when they had their twins, Evan and Dax, but then Nadia went on to have twins herself a few years later, and their friendship hadn’t rekindled. It was exhausting having twins, which Emma completely understood.

They pick up their conversation like they’d just hung out the day before. Nadia has many women friends, but only a few that are willing to spend a Saturday night at the club, and Emma is the best of the bunch.

Luca orders their drinks, and they all catch up as the drinks keep coming.

Emma gets the idea someone should go in the ElectricDance Sphere, and Nadia is surprised when Luca volunteers.

Luca selects the hardest difficulty, despite Nadia’s apprehension. In the end, she cheers him on while Emma watches quietly.

Suddenly, Luca slips out, drunk and completely unharmed.

Afterward they head to the back patio to cut loose a bit more.

Nadia hasn’t partaken in bubbles since college, and she’s pretty sure she shouldn’t be now, but she’s feeling the best and most young she’s felt in a long time.

Afterward, laughter ensues. They share stories about their crazy kids, and they’re both so happy their boys are friends and Evan is friends with Mavis.

Chris starts singing pirate songs, and Nadia finds herself joining in without any inhibition. Luca is sobering up, and Emma is not drunk enough to sing in public, so they step to the side to talk about their crazy spouses.

When they the night is over, Nadia is giving Luca the look, and he’s surprised since they are in the car, and not in their bedroom.

She doesn’t even mind though, she feels the most alive and like herself, in a way she hasn’t felt in years, and she wants to take full advantage of it.

The next morning, Luca wakes up and makes the family strawberry pancakes. The girls are thrilled for the special treat.

Luca tells the girls corny jokes, which completely tickle them.

Evan Nadia enjoys the humor, but Kai isn’t there anymore. He’s fifteen now, and puns aren’t actually funny.

The rest of the weekend, the kids spend playing and exploring their hobbies.

Kai is into reading, but he tries painting since his step-Dad Luca does such amazing paintings. He knows he couldn’t inherit genetically, but perhaps he has a hidden skill he’s never discovered.

Mavis puts her book down long enough to play with Thea in the living room.

The kids keep them busy, but Nadia would never want it any other way.

Notes: I fixed some friendships which had fallen off, so Mavis is friends with Penelope again and Evan. Ironically, Mavis’ wants were all to make friends, which surprised me since she’s extremely shy.

Nadia is part of my largest friend group, but I think only Emma and Chris would be down to party hard at their age. They all had a great time. Nadia and Luca don’t roll many wants for one another, but their ACR game is strong.

Nadia’s bookstore is doing well, she started selling some chessboards too, which is helping to make it a bit more lucrative for her.

Thanks for reading!

6 thoughts on “winter games”

  1. It is always a relief to me when a toddler ages up to child (especially twins!) and the whole family can easily do things together again. Plus, just having more extra time and freedom for the parents. It was fun seeing Luca and Nadia, and their kids and the bookstore. Car woohoo makes me wonder if another baby will be coming along soon?!

    1. I feel you on the toddlers aging up, it’s nice having them able to go to lots without me having to cheat them there.

      I really enjoy playing the bookstore, just because I want to put myself into the game and visit it myself. My town sorely lacks in a local place like this, which I wish we had!

      They definitely enjoyed themselves on their date! Thanks for commenting Shannon!

  2. Aw, Kai and Elodie! They really are cute. What is their chemistry like, out of curiosity? They’re so young but I’m wonder if there’s enough there that they might end up going the distance. Not necessarily all the way to marriage but maybe until college or something.

    I loved Luca and Nadia’s little double date night! It’s good they were able to revitalise things a bit. And yeah, if Nadia wanted to party, I think Emma was the right choice there!

    Oooh, Nadia’s book store! I hadn’t thought of how book stores might be kind of low profit but chessboards are a good idea to boost that. I wonder if that electronics kiosk from Uni might also fit in for a book store?

    1. Kai and Elodie have super higher chemistry. I wanted to keep them apart, but they weren’t interested in my notion of waiting. So while I can’t say they’ll make it to marriage, I don’t see them breaking up unless they get some random ROS roll like Oliver and Paloma which broke them up in the end.

      Nadia has a good group of friends, and I love she has “Mom” friends, and then fun ones like Emma would be. They all had such a great time, it was nice getting them out of their houses without kids. Emma and Chris both want to revisit the tropics, so I know they enjoyed that vacation. I think Nadia and Luca would have fun going away back up to the mountains again, maybe next summer for them.

      The kiosk is a good idea. I will have to give it a try, I think the low profits from a bookstore, and all the dawdling/mingling they do, is pretty realistic for a book/coffee shop, but Nadia isn’t looking for realistic, she has a big family to feed.

      Thank you for commenting Carla!

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