It felt like it was just yesterday when she had walked into her fathers kitchen, attitude showing, sitting up on the kitchen bench bitching that she had to be here with her father when her twin sister was sitting at home spending time with her best friend. She remembered her fathers loathing of her attitude, Marks snapping at her constantly and the fact that her mother wasn't going to be at the airport to pick them up because just like usual it was anticipated that she would be in surgery.

She could still remember the surprise she had felt when her mother had greeted them, her arms embracing them in a way neither of them could believe. Her attitude had been roaring and she could read nothing but trouble in her mothers actions.

That had been the night her world had changed. It had been the night her family had expanded and her world spun on an awkward axis.

Funnily enough her daughters had been on that day, a year in the future.

She could remember her mothers insistence that they spend the night together with the instruction that they would be going out for dinner. She could remember that night as her mother had come into her room and begged her to be open minded. It had been the night she had decided to dye her hair pink which had been eventful to say the least, even if her mother hadn't really commented, but had sighed at the view before telling her that her previously blonde hair had been fine.

That night had been the night Meredith, Alison and Mark had met the Shepherd family and her mothers secret partner for the past 2 years. Suddenly there was a reason for her mothers absence, and it didn't stop there. The Shepherd family had been huge, and she had hated the way they had looked at her with their judging eyes.

It was after that moment that she knew that things were changing and she wanted to act out, and she had. She had met up with Alex that night in the middle of the high school football oval, and after celebrating the fact that she was back from Seattle she gave herself to him.

Now, 16 years later she was standing in her tired house, looking out the window thinking of the days that had passed and what was building up over the horizon. It would be an underestimation that this would be a momentous day for the girls. Their whole family was here and that included their Grandpa Thatch and Grandma Sue. It had taken a lot to organise but she had wanted to make this big for them. They hadn't had a lot in the last few years that was strictly about them and even now she hoped that things could change.

With the recent developments with Alex, and the hot sex that had kicked in after the family BBQ the week before she had to hope that the rest of the family didn't pick up on the new relationship developments as she was pretty sure it could lead to ruining her daughters party.

She could hear their feet on the stairs, she knew that they were finished getting ready and were almost ready to go to her mother's house. Meredith moved into the hallway and noted that both girls were wearing the pieces of jewellery Adele had given them the month before.

"Pops here isn't he?" Grace asked with a frown.

Meredith nodded knowing that the addition of her father had been a surprise that neither of the girls or herself had anticipated.

"Nanna Susan's going to be all weird again isn't she?" Hope asked with a sigh which caused Alex to frown.

"You know she's only like that because she doesn't get to see you guys as much." Meredith told them sympathetically. She had no idea what things were going to be like at the family BBQ tonight, she just knew that it would be very intriguing as it always had been whenever her family had gotten together and it always had a fresh spin whenever Susan and her Father came to visit. Meredith let out a sigh as she encouraged her daughters towards the door. She knew she needed to explain it to Alex, especially when the situation would be increasingly interesting by Lexie's attendance and the accompaniment of Richard and Adele.

...ls.

The party had started out awkward at best and it had been ovious that Ellis was nervous about Richard and Thatchers presence. She knew that she had managed to have made some sort of peace with Thatcher, more so when Meredith was pregnant with the tins, but still she wasnt sure what it would be like to have both of the men in each others company. She had watched as they had shaked hands, both keeping thier wives close by before moving off to different ends of the yard.

Meredith had watched as the family gathered, that being the Shepherd/ Grey siblings. They had circled around the food table binge eating and discussing their families. For a change their husbands had joined them as Mark and Derek took their turn to man the BBQ with Callie and Addison at their sides. There had been something inviting about the little group and Meredith had managed to coax Alex to join her over there, taking the time to offer their help, which had been turned down with a frown, as they had then encouraged Meredith to return to the other group.

Carolyn and Ellis had been in and out of the kitchen all evening as they had tried to keep the nibblies flowing. Adele had offered to help, but Carolyn was quick to push her away as she knew that Ellis was already uncomfortable by her presence.

Meredith had watched as Carolyn had worked her wonders of calming her mother down, and couldnt help but curl into Alex knowing that he too had that ability.

Slowly the night had drawn a little cooler and the children had moved to sit around the table taking up places close to their parents as the hot food was being set up ready for tea.

Meredith had watched as Susan attempted to mother the girls and she knew that she had meant well, after all it was Susan who had helped her when her parents first found out that she was pregnant. She knew that her daghters would grumble later about it, but also knew that they didnt really mind. Nanna Susan always spoiled them as they were her first "grandchildren" and she wouldnt be her if she didnt.

Meredith's attention came back to the now when she felt her mothers hand on her shoulder. Looking up at her she could see that she was showing Meredith that the time was right for family tradition. A tradition that Carolyn had started when the twins were born.

Squeezing Alex's hand she then moved to stand, offering her mother a small smile as she then moved to the head of the table, taking a quick swing of Marks beer before clearing her throat and waiting for everyone's attention. Meredith rolled her eyes at Allie who was now whispering an explanation to her boyfriend.

Meredith smiled as she saw her daughters move to stand between their grandmothers with Carolyn keeping an arm around Grace and Ellis with an arm around Hope.

"15 years ago a 15 year old girl gave birth to twin girls. Grace and Hope. Delivered via Cesearean: Grace came first, brought into the world just a minute before Hope. They were tiny, and precious and the mother, while alone in parenthood was surrounded by a large extended family. I am proud to say that i am that mother." Meredith said with a smile as she looked over to Alex, she knew that all of this was new for him.

"Grace was named after Seattle Grace Hospital where i spent some of my time having my pregnancy monitored, and a place where my own life had been greatly altered. Hope, well she was named after the Hope that filled me when my family grew and i witnessed the transformation Carolyn Shepherd had on my mother and my family. She brought me into a loving family and made me understand just what it was that i had.

Both girls have matured greatly this past year. They took their steps early into high school, both stepping into a world that was so insanely different and while Hope tried out for cheerleading and Grace looked into Mathletes - both being more like their aunts then myself - they found and handled ridicule from seniors and met boyfriends. They managed to maintain their strong bond of friendship and stuck by each other when things got rough - or other people did. Their bond has grown beautifully and so have they. Especially with the curve balls life has thrown them this past month and a half.

Together they have accepted the presence of their father and acknowledged Richard and Adele as their fathers guardians.

Im proud of my girls, im sure all of you are. As they continue through another year and whatever may arise i know my babies will step up over it with ease. I love my babies with all my heart. Happy Birthday girls. Enjoy tongiht." Meredith finished as she then moved back from the table and towards her spot next to Alex.

"Grubs up" Carolyn then announced as she then turned to kiss both of the girls on the cheeks. She was proud of them too.

The table grew busy as mothers began to serve up the little plates of food and then settled on an alternate table.

Meredith watched as her daughters opted to sit at the table with the other kids while she settled down with Alex...

..ls

Everyone was fed and sitting around the back yard quietly. The kids had settled down completely and the younger ones curled up on their parents lap for warmth, or to fall asleep.

Alex had watched as Family conversations shortened and some altogether ceased as they all grew comfortable with just being together.

Thatcher and Susan had slowly drifted inside to have a quiet moment and Meredith had worried that a lack of a mention about either of them in regards to the twins had made them feel guilty. Alex and her mother had reassured her that they were fine before Meredith then drifted off to have a quiet moment with Allie. It had never surprised their family in regards to how close the girls remained, especially with the distance and completely different life paths each had experienced. They had still managed to stay close, and the moment they had chosen to embrace would be one of the few available for the year.

After spending some time talking to Richard and Adele, Alex went in search of Meredith He had hardly taken his eyes off of her as he had spoken to his guardians, and he had lost her when the conversation had gotten a little important, but now he had just spotted her again.

As Alex neared Meredith he was surprised that the girls had started to play something with Mark on the keyboard. He hadnt known they were going to play tonight.

"This song is for my mom and Alex." Grace said, "and the fairytale Mom used to tell us about when they first were together, and the ending we both hope they will get one day." she said with a smile and Alex turned to listen - he was only metres from Meredith. Suddenly the sound of Love Story by Talyor Swift began to surround them as the girls had started to play. Feeling Meredith slip her arm around his waist and lean into him he kissed the top of her head quite happy to have her close.

His right hand shfted to his pocket and he pulled out what had been hidden in there, he had picked it up just the night before. Using his left hand he tilted her face up to his. "We we're both young when i first saw you." he said softly in time with the girls before dipping his head to kiss her softly. "I know ts early." he said as he kept her close, kissing her again, too scared that she would pull away before he could do this.

Transferring what he had into her hand, he closed his hand around hers, making her hold it before whispering to her "Baby just say yes."

He kissed her again quickly before looking down at her nervously as he drew his hand away.

Meredith looked down at what he had put in her hand and couldnt hide the surprise of the fear in her eyes.

Looking up, a small tear escaping she softly choked out a "yes"

We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes
And the flashback starts
I'm standing there
On a balcony in summer air

See the lights
See the party, the ball gowns
I see you make your way through the crowd
And say hello, little did I know

That you were Romeo, you were throwing pebbles
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
And I was crying on the staircase
Begging you please don't go, and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
It's a love story baby just say yes

So I sneak out to the garden to see you
We keep quiet 'cause we're dead if they knew
So close your eyes
Escape this town for a little while

'Cause you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter
And my daddy said stay away from Juliet
But you were everything to me
I was begging you please don't go and I said

Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone
I'll be waiting all there's left to do is run
You'll be the prince and I'll be the princess
It's a love story baby just say yes

Romeo save me, they try to tell me how to feel
This love is difficult, but it's real
Don't be afraid, we'll make it out of this mess
It's a love story baby just say yes
Oh oh

I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around
My faith in you is fading
When I met you on the outskirts of town, and I said

Romeo save me I've been feeling so alone
I keep waiting for you but you never come
Is this in my head? I don't know what to think
He knelt to the ground and pulled out a ring

And said, marry me Juliet
You'll never have to be alone
I love you and that's all I really know
I talked to your dad, go pick out a white dress
It's a love story baby just say yes

Oh, oh, oh, oh
'Cause we were both young when I first saw you