Beautiful Boughs

Guess what? Linda is still here! I was thinking maybe I’d ask Grim to write this chapter–you know, give me a break from writing about birthdays and births–and deaths–but Grim is still on vacation! Which means that Linda got a chance to:

  1. See Madrona’s twins Daryl and Irving age up into kids (sorry no pictures–they haven’t yet come to visit)
  2. See Salix age up into a teen
  3. Meet her fourth grandchild, Aspen’s new baby

And each day continues to bring greater happiness than the last.


You know you’re feeling gratitude when you’re as tired as tired can be and you’re still wearing a huge grin while cleaning up after the party.

Cradle Rock is once again full of five beautiful Bough girls and women. And this time, it’s Niko who is happy as a king.

The day before her birthday, Salix completed all the milestone tasks for Whiz Kid, but just as happened with Poplar, because she already had the A in school, the game didn’t register the completion of the grade task. We were hoping the latest patch had fixed that. That’s ok–Salix is modest, and she feels that having completed two aspirations is plenty. She’s just happy that she earned the A, maxed mental skill, and got started on building logic.


“I’m super proud of you, Sal.”

There’s been a burst of creativity around the house. Salix has reached level five piano. Aspen maxed cooking and has been interested in painting. This painting of the rocket reminds me of Cedar.


Something about being pregnant really brings out Aspen’s creativity.

Linda, finally and for the first time in her life, got to meet another bro–the new maid! We’re so happy that she gets the experience of bro bumps and bro hugs and boasting about conquests.


First bro hug EVER for the Cupcake

Finally, too, somebody who has exactly the same sense of humor.

“So, can you get these intellectual types? ‘I have deduced that there is something common underlying all factors of differentness!'”


“Yada, yada, yada–right?”

We had a great birthday party for Salix–only silver medal for some reason. I think it was because we were too busy having fun to tick off all the party tasks!

We hired Mesquite for the entertainer. The guests love his jokes. Seems like ghostly Mesquite has gotten over his loner trait–he’s always happy telling jokes, and I don’t think I’ve seen him tense from stranger-danger once!


Mesquite has mastered the piano skill, but he prefers stand-up comedy whenever he works as the entertainer.

Madrona showed up in a wild party outfit. To me, she always looks elegant, even when she’s trying to pull off a goofball look! She’s just got class. If she’s wearing it, it suddenly becomes “what to wear.”


When you look that good, you can wear whatever you want!

Aspen took family leave so she could be home for the party. Plus, the new baby was due any time.


“Which is bigger? My belly or the party-size mixing bowl?”

Salix thought long and hard for just the right wish.


“May my grandma be around to meet the new baby.”

It was hard to concentrate on making up a wish with everybody singing, yelling, throwing confetti, and blowing party horns. But Salix is a master of concentration.


“Yay, Salix! We love you!”

And then… the twirl. The sparkles. The beautiful Latin Willow.



Salix was such a modest child–super cute, quiet, focused, disciplined, happy, and self-directed. She had a funny profile as a kid, with her dad’s sharp angles of nose and chin. I wasn’t really expecting much in terms of her looks–I knew I’d love her for who she is. She’s an amazing Sim.

And now. She’s as almost as beautiful outside as she is on the inside. And in my eyes, she might be one of the most beautiful Sims I’ve ever known, outside and in.


Oh, you’ve got the same shape face as your mom!

She rolled romantic and Friend of the World. This is going to be fun.

I took so many pictures of her because I just couldn’t believe this face! It’s like getting to know her anew. And I keep looking to see how child Salix expresses herself through this beautiful teen version of herself.


Same quiet smile.


Same amused gaze.


Same love for Gran.

You know, now I think I know why sometimes my grandma would look at my sister for what seemed like hours. My grandma would have this same expression that Linda wears–just a loving gratitude and incomprehension that such a beautiful, miraculous being could come through her family line. Heck, I’ve always looked at my sister like that, too. “You’re such a miracle! You’re so amazing! Beautiful! Creative! Talented! Intelligent! And we’re family? No way!”

It’s enough to make you feel awe.

After the party, Aspen went into labor. She joined Salix at the picnic table and just breathed through it.


Aspen knows Salix is all that. You can see her profile here–still that Roman nose and sharp chin.


This picture serves no purpose in terms of the story–it is just for beauty’s sake!

While Aspen headed in to sleep through the last few hours of labor (how does she do that?), Poplar joined her niece.

Salix may just be Poplar’s favorite. Sure, she’ll be mean now and then to her–but not often. And through Poplar, Salix has learned how to befriend mean Sims. Many of the wiener heads grew up mean during the rash of meanness that hit Oasis Springs about the time of their young adult birthdays, and it’s been hard for any of them to make or keep friends. But Salix, as a child, has befriended several of them. She knows not to take their yelling personally and she’s learned how to turn an unpleasant conversation around. I guess, thanks to her aunt, she’s discovered that even mean people need friends.


“Ok! Now you’re old enough that I can tell you all the really good jokes!”

Being romantic, Salix soon felt flirty. She did grow up an artistic prodigy, so expressing her romantic feelings on canvas came naturally to her.


Wow. Are you sure this is the first painting you’ve done?

Before morning, the new baby came, another girl. I had forgotten all about names–I even forgot for a second we were naming all the babies after trees! I had been thinking before that we might name a boy Acer–kind of a cool name, I think, with Ace for short. It’s Latin for maple. But somehow it didn’t seem right for this baby.

I thought we could call her Maple. But Aspen said, even though it sounds corny, we should call her Sugar Maple. This way, we’ll think of her grandma, the Cupcake, whenever we say or write her name.


Aspen, you’re such a great mom.

I can’t believe we have another beautiful baby girl at Cradle Rock. Sometimes, playing a legacy isn’t sad at all. Sometimes, my heart overflows with happiness. I still have tears, but they’re the tears that come when there’s so much tender happiness that all the happy memories of a lifetime express themselves through those saline drops so rich in prolactin.

Soon as the baby was born, Salix ran to the bassinet and cradled her.


She’s a good sister, too.

This baby’s going to be lucky: all these beautiful, strong, independent, and unique women around to love her and show her what it means to be a Bough.


“You’re our little Sugar Maple!”

Gosh. Maybe this is what motivates me to play a legacy and share this family’s story. All these beautiful amazing Sims. Somehow, they inspire me to be more me. And I hope they inspire you to be your beautiful self in all your shining, sparkling wonderfulness, too.