MM: 22 Keeping on!

Well, not much to say. It’s been months since I even thought about blogging. But I’ve been kept very busy. W4HAV has been the primary focus, but Blessed Reunions is getting a lot of my attention too.

As is Houghton. That man, he’s always up to something. The project he was so worried about during the early days of our marriage is complete. His investors—of which Luc is one—are all very pleased with what he came up with. I knew they would be. My husband is nothing if not brilliant.

But Luc and Houghton are working to bring a branch of Lucas Tech down here to Value specifically. And we’re facing more opposition than I would have thought. Marc, too, as governor, is struggling to get backing for his initiatives.

Me, personally—I’m fully behind what Marc is trying to do. Barratt County is one of the smallest in the state. And it’s never been a factory-town kind of place. It’s mostly agricultural. But jobs are scarce. Marc, Houghton, and Luc are trying to change that. But the opposition’s stating that the area doesn’t need another factory to pollute the area.

Which is ridiculous—Luc has dedicated years to developing cleaner industrial technologies. Tech that’s designed to actually clean up the industrial process, as well.

It’s not a miracle cure, of course, and I understand the desire to protect the environment, but people around Barratt County need decent-paying jobs, too.

It is a delicate balance, I suppose. But Luc is throwing himself into it. Marc, and even Houghton, too.

When the three of them get into cahoots like this, I honestly think there’s nothing they can’t accomplish.

It’s all Payton, Ari, and I can do to keep them contained at times.

It’s Ari that worries me. Adjustment to the fishbowl has been tough for her since she married Marc. Payton had her baby, a boy who looks just like Ari and Paige and not like his father at all, four months ago. Patrick is a beautiful little man. They’re supposed to be coming down here tomorrow; it’ll be the first time they’ve traveled with the baby. I can’t wait to get my hands on him again.

Houghton and I visited St. Louis a month ago. Houghton was fascinated with the baby—like he is with all the kids in our life—and I could see the wishes he wasn’t going to voice. Not to me.

The doctors don’t think I’ll be able to have a child. And Houghton doesn’t want to try; at least not yet. Not until I get stronger. I’m not certain how I feel about it yet. Adoption is a strong possibility, but that’s a discussion for when we’ve been married longer.

In the meantime, there are plenty babies and kids around that I can cuddle when the urge hits.

Sara Anne looks so much like Brynna’s baby photos. She’s absolutely beautiful. And we’d unofficially become aunt and uncle to Marc and Ari’s two. Ari is a beautiful mother, and thankfully is healing after what happened to her.

But the best part is that Jillian and Rafe have decided not to wait. And those two overachievers have already managed to make me another niece or nephew.

Dad is over the moon.

Jillian, too. Rafe is terrified, but I think he’ll do just fine. Once his morning sickness subsides, anyway… Jillian says he deserves it. Something about him not wanting Jillian to play on the W4HAV softball team I organized. We played against the local chapter of a popular charity organization in a fundraising event.

We won, too.

But Rafe didn’t think Jillian needed to be pitching that day.

I’m inclined to agree. But my sister has a stubborn streak a mile wide. And she’d worn padding over the baby. I suppose I have to trust Jillian at this point, right? I mean, she’s darned good at taking care of herself–and whoever else is in her sphere.

In the meantime, I’ve been kept busy. I’m still going through the journals I found at the Barratt Ranch. I’m reading a bunch from the late 1800s. It’s where Jude’s story came from. I hope to have another chapter or two rewritten by the end of next week.

I also found a trio of journals from three women in the 1920s. I’m really looking forward to reading through them, as it looked like something ominous was going on at the Barratt Hotel in 1926…

I have to go. Gretchen Reynolds, from St. Louis, is supposed to call me in fifteen minutes.

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