Friday, December 31, 2010

Breaking News with Maggie: Happy New Year and an Email from Katie

Happy 2011!!  Is everyone ready for the new year to begin?  I am!  Who knows what exciting things this year may hold for us?  Are any of you staying up until midnight to bring in the New Year?  Tess, Emma and I get to stay up, but the younger girls are already getting ready for bed.  Mama said the three of us could stay up late if we promised to behave ourselves and be quiet.  It's so cool being the oldest!

Right now, the three of us are eating popcorn and trying to decide what movie to watch...whenever Papa decides to stop playing the Wii, that is.  That's why I'm typing this now...we have a bit of time to wait before he's done.  He got the Wii for Christmas, so he loves playing whenever he gets a chance.  Of course, I shouldn't be complaining about it.  Since I'm stuck with the 2 Austen nuts, I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I won't be choosing the movie tonight.  Sigh.

Oh, I almost forgot!!  The whole reason I did this post (besides wishing everyone a Happy New Year) was to let everyone know that we heard from Katie!! Well, that is, Mama's girls heard from Katie.  Tess was a little miffed that Katie emailed them and not her, but I think she's gotten over it.  Especially since it sounds like Katie should be coming home soon! :)  Here's a copy of the email (sent on Wednesday):

    Hi Girls! Hope you are all doing well- Since it's been a little while since I've written, thought I would say hi. How was your Christmas? I've so been enjoying myself here- had a wonderful Christmas. It is quite strange here though- things are so different than home. The leaves just finally turned colors at the beginning of December-I was so impatient, I thought they never would. It is so warm here too. Some days we even wear short-sleeved shirts- in the winter! But the last week or so has been different. We have had SO much rain, very unusual for here. I don't mind though, it makes it feel like home. Because it's been colder, we've been enjoying the warmth inside, reading by the Christmas tree, and sipping hot chocolate while watching it rain outside. Because it has been raining so much we haven't been out and about too much lately.
   But, I am so very excited to tell you of a special place I will be going in a few days. On Saturday morning, if you turn on the TV there will be a HUGE parade called the Rose Parade. All the floats are made out of flowers or plants- it's amazing! There will be marching bands playing music, famous people and lots more. But the most exciting thing is... that I GET TO GO!!!  There will be lots of people- millions actually, but I'm so excited. It will definitely be a once in a lifetime experience- so watch for me on Sat- you might see me along the parade route. :-) Well, probably not, but I'll be sure to take pictures and tell you all about it afterwards.
   Also, I will most likely be coming home the middle of January. Not that I don't like it here, or my friends are making me leave, but I do miss you all so much and have so much to tell you of my adventures here! :-)
   Take care- I'll write again next week!
        Love, Katie
Tess just about started jumping up and down when she heard that Katie was coming home in the middle of January.  She's missed her so we all have!  It will be great to see her and hear all about her travels. 
Well, gotta go for now.  It sounds like Tess and Emma are deciding between the long version of "Emma" (please don't ask me which actresses are in it...I really don't know) and the really long "Pride and Prejudice".  Oh joy.  I was longing to spend four hours watching a period film with two fanatics.  Talk to you all later...if I survive, that is. :)
P.S.  Do you like our new header and footer?  We went on again! :)  Tess had this super romantic header on here with her, Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy.  Thankfully, it turned out too blurry for her taste.  I mean, this blog is called "Jane Austen and Unicorns", and it's by Tess and Maggie.  That header was just a little too one-sided, don't you think?  Okay, I'm done now.  Talk to you next time...after my torturous movie session.  Ooh, I wonder if Papa has any ice cream stashed in the freezer? : D
One of the pics from our photo shoot.  This is my "coy" look.  :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Emma's Christmas

Hi!  It's Emma, here to share some pics of my fantastic Christmas with Mama and her family.  Hope you enjoy them.  And sorry if this post isn't professional or's my first time blogging.  I'm not a writer like Tess or Maggie, so don't expect any fancy words or great creativity or anything.  :}

Mama's aunt's house was decked out so festively for Christmas.  She pulled out all of the stops this year since she knew everyone would be staying there.  I thought it would be fun to take some pics around different parts of the house:

Here I am with all of the snowmen on top of the movie shelf.

This is Mama's aunt's really cool vintage cardboard fireplace.  Mama says her aunt puts it up every Christmas.

The snack table, full of delicious goodies.  I think I must have gained 5 pounds from all of the sweets!!

All I can say is yummm!!  This is the gingerbread and fudge that Mama's other aunt makes every single year.  Mama (along with everyone else) looks forward to it every Christmas. 

Papa had a Christmas party at work and was given this pack of glass Coca-Cola bottles:  my favorite!!  It was a little hard for me to drink from them, though. :}

Check out this humongous pile of presents!!  It sure was fun opening them!

Here I am next to Mama's aunt's beautiful Christmas tree.

There were even decorations in the bathroom!!  See the cute little snowman soap dispenser on the right? 

It was really fun in there...I'd never seen a full-length reflection of myself before. :)

On Christmas morning, I couldn't sleep, so I sneaked out (sneaked?  snuck?  I don't know) to peek at the tree before everyone else woke up.  The colored lights were so beautiful!  We just have white lights on our tree at home.

 Christmas morning finally came, and with it, lots of excitement!  Mama got each of her girls a doll for Christmas this year:

Josefina for her oldest...

Felicity for her middle daughter...

...and a Gotz Precious Day doll for her youngest (her youngest girl calls the doll Molly after the American Girl doll of the same name...Molly's her favorite, but Mama figured 2 1/2 was a little young to receive her first American Girl doll).  :)

I got some presents, too! 

Mama gave me this adorable Coca-Cola polar bear...she must have read my interview! :)

(Yes, I know my hair was a bit messy, but hey, it was Christmas morning!) :)

I also got a Squinkie kitty.  I was so happy to have one of my very own...I've enjoyed seeing the other girls' Squinkies.

Here I am with my fun presents:  some American Girl stickers, a Lemon Heads lunchbox, my Squinkie and Polar Bear, a Glitter lamp (like a lava lamp), and my Hot Wheels Nissan 370Z (it's one of Papa's favorite kinds of cars). 

I had so much fun at my first Christmas!!  It was nice to get back home and see all of my new friends again, though.  I hope all of you had wonderful Christmases, too.  God bless you! :)

P.S.  Thanks, Tess and Maggie, for letting me post on your blog. :D

Tess's Tidbits: Emma's Return

What a week it's been!  I don't know about you, dear readers, but I'm completely exhausted after all of the Christmas excitement.  Mama, Papa and their girls got back home yesterday with all of their Christmas goodies and overnight bags, and things have been crazy ever since.  The house wasn't really that clean to begin with, and now it's completely chaotic. 

Of course, Emma came back when Mama did.  I wasn't sure how I'd feel when I saw her again.  It was so hard that she was the one who got to experience Christmas with Mama's family this year, while I stayed behind.  I had a wonderful Christmas with my sisters and friends, but I still missed being with Mama. 

When she first came in the door, Emma headed straight to the doll room where we were all waiting for her.
Greetings and conversations flowed all around us, but I found it difficult to contribute.  I didn't really know what to say to her.  I didn't want to make her feel bad, but I didn't really feel like acting all endearing, either.  I noticed Emma catching my gaze a couple of times.  She looked concerned. 

When the excitement had died down and most of us had gone back to playing with our new Christmas things or rearranging the doll room, Emma pulled me aside from the others. 

"Tess," she began quietly, "I...I read your Christmas Morning post."  Her eyes were pained. 

I felt my face turn red, remembering some of the conflicting feelings I'd written about.

"I only read it because I was with Mama and she was making sure it had published properly."  Emma looked down at her feet.  "I saw my name and couldn't look away."  She looked up at me again, her eyes brimming over with tears.  "I had no idea you felt that way!  I wasn't trying to take your place...if I would have known, I would have insisted that Mama take you instead.  Or maybe I could have stayed here too, or..."  Her voice trailed off.  "I'm so sorry," she whispered.

I was ashamed of my feelings.  I should have known that Emma wouldn't try to usurp my place as Mama's favorite.  It was a position I'd never asked for in the first place, so why should I be so defensive about it now?  I wondered if Emma had been able to enjoy her Christmas at all after reading my post.

"I'm sorry, too," I finally said.  "It's just been a little weird, you know?  I know you're not doing anything to try to influence Mama...I just never realized how much I valued being her favorite doll."

"I think you still are her favorite!" Emma said.  "She talked about you a lot, especially when she was looking at your blog.  She's really glad you and Maggie are getting more followers and making it a success."  Emma chewed her bottom lip.  "I wish I could write like you do."

"And I think you're her favorite," I replied.  "Mama hasn't been able to stop talking about you or taking pictures of you since you came.  She's never won anything as exciting as you before."

"How could I be her favorite?" Emma contradicted.  "I just got here!  I feel like a fish out of water, the outsider while all the rest of you have your own little niche."  Her face was sad.

I felt bad.  I'd never thought about how hard it would be to be the new girl when all of us were already so close.

"I think," I said carefully, "that we've wasted too much time worrying about which of us is Mama's favorite.  I mean, it doesn't really matter.  She loves all of us."  It was hard to spit those words out, but after I'd said them, I realized they were true.  Mama did try to love all of us as equally as possible.  Emma would always be special to her because of the way she came to be a part of our she looked a lot like Mama.  But each of us would always have a special part in Mama's life too.  "I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'll try not to be so sensitive about it.  I'm sorry, it might take me a while to get used to things the way they are, but I'll try."

Emma was beaming.  "Thank you, Tess," she said softly.  Suddenly, a mischievous look came into her eyes.  "Hey, I brought you something," she whispered confidentially.

I looked at her curiously.

She pulled a folded napkin out of her pants pocket and handed it to me. 

I unwrapped it and gasped in delight.  "Mama's aunt's Christmas fudge, and one of her gingerbread cookies!  Oh, I've been missing these all year!"

Emma grinned happily.  "Mama said they were your special favorite.  I snitched some from the snack table before we left."    

I bit into the fudge and closed my eyes in pure bliss.  There was nothing like Mama's aunt's fudge and gingerbread at Christmas time.  As I took another bite, I asked, "So, did I hear you telling Hailey that you took some pictures?"

Emma nodded.

"How would you like to do your own blog post, about your Christmas?"

She blinked.  "Really?  You'd let me?"

"Sure!" I agreed.  "I'll talk it over with Maggie first, but I don't think she'll have a problem with it.  I think our readers would like to see how you spent your Christmas, too."

"Wow..." Emma said slowly.  "I don't know what to say!  I mean...sure!  I'll do it, if you really want me to."

"I do," I said firmly, more to myself than to her.  It wasn't easy to open myself to the possibility that Mama liked Emma better than me, but I knew that I would be missing out on a great friendship if I let bitterness take over my heart.  Another thought hit me, and I grinned.  "And we still need to have a nice, long chat about Jane Austen.  Maggie only lasts about 5 minutes before she starts rolling her eyes or yawning."

Emma's whole face lit up.  "I'd love that!!"

So, Emma will be doing her special post right after I'm done with this one.  I hope you all enjoy it and give her lots of encouragement, as it is her very first blog post ever. 

Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, we still have another Belle post in the works.  We're all trying to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. :}

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tess's Tidbits: Christmas Morning

"I can't believe it's already Christmas Eve!" I whispered to my sisters as we sat bundled up together.   I couldn't see Hailey and Ella in the dark, but I could almost feel their excitement. 

"I can't wait until Christmas morning!" Ella whispered back eagerly.

"Me too!" Hailey agreed in her own whisper.  "What time is it?"

I glanced over at the digital alarm clock on Papa's nightstand.  "It's only 12 pm...not time yet."

"Will you girls be quiet over there?" Maggie's hissing whisper reached us from the other side of the dresser.  "You're going to wake everyone up!"

I leaned over close to my sisters.  "I say we go out to the living room and look at the big Christmas tree...what do you think?"

"Let's do it!" Hailey agreed eagerly.

We got up and started climbing down the dresser, fumbling in the dark.

"What are you guys doing?" Claire whispered frantically.  "We're supposed to be quiet!"

"Mama and Papa and the girls are gone, remember?" I reminded them in a hushed tone. 

"Then why are we all whispering?" Maggie asked.

"I don't know...habit, I guess!"  I peered through the darkness, trying to see them.  "We're headed out to see the big tree in the living room...want to come with us?"

"Sure!" Maggie answered.  "Wow, Tess was this your idea?"

"Yes," I answered defensively.  "I'm not a complete stick in the mud!"

I could hear Maggie chuckling as she, Claire and Lucy climbed down the other side of the dresser.

It wasn't long before we'd traveled down the long hallway and made it to the living room.  We had to stack some things to reach the light switch, but it was worth it to see the beautiful lights.  We all sat in front of the tree and gazed at it in happiness. 

"I love Christmas!" Hailey burst out, overflowing with joy.  "I wish Mama and Papa would keep a tree up all year long!"

"Then it wouldn't be as special," Claire pointed out.  "We'd be so used to it, it would be no big deal."

"I guess so," Hailey admitted reluctantly. 

"We'd better just enjoy it while we can," I said, leaning my head back to see as much of the huge tree as possible.

"It sure is weird not having Emma here," Ella remarked.  "I figured Mama would keep us all together for Christmas.  I'm just so glad she got Emily fixed in time!"  Ella smiled over at her best friend, who returned the smile.  Yes, Emily was finally back with us.  She was still pretty weak, but she was back.

I noticed Maggie watching me carefully.  Are you all right? she mouthed.  I nodded and tried to swallow around the lump in my throat.  This was the first Christmas that Mama had taken another doll instead of me with her. 

Everyone knew I was Mama's favorite.  It was a little embarrassing, and I felt bad for the others, but I didn't know what I could do.  Thankfully, no one seemed to be too hurt by it, and no one gave me a hard time.  Maggie was fiercely protective of me...maybe that was why no one said anything.  They probably would have ended up with Maggie's fist in their face.

I tried not to worry too much about Emma.  These things happened in a doll's life.  And Emma was so sweet, it was impossible to be upset with her.  It was an odd feeling to have second place in Mama's life, though.

Oh well, at least I would be able to spend Christmas with my sisters and my close friends.  One thing about being a doll is you realize how much you need to treasure every moment.  Our lives are filled with uncertainty.  There's no guarantee that we'll all stay together, or last the same amount of time.  There's always the prospect of eBay or Craigslist looming over us.  Claire was the only one who hadn't had a previous owner, but even she understood the seriousness of our situation.

I knew Mama loved us, but I also knew she'd been really stressed out trying to care for us all.  I shook my head.  It would do no good to think about all that now.  I wanted to live in the present and enjoy this Christmas as much as possible.

I suddenly had a crazy idea.  "Hey, does anyone want some Reese's Fudge?" I asked mischevously.

"At midnight?" Hailey asked me skeptically.

"Why not?" I grinned.  "Just for's Christmas!"

Maggie eyed me suspiciously.  "Okay, it's official:  you've been hanging around me too long.  Since when have you come up with all of the bad ideas?"

I just laughed and ran back to the bedroom where my tin of Reese's was waiting beneath our tiny tree.  Then I hurried back to the living room and opened the lid.  "Merry Christmas, everybody!" I said happily.

Everyone took a piece of Reese's.  After I'd served everyone, I took a piece for myself and sat down again.  I took a small bite and let it sit, melting in my mouth.  I wanted to savor every bit of fudge, just like I wanted to savor every moment of this Christmas time together. 

The Reese's were good, but one piece was definitely enough.  We got drinks of water from the fridge and then headed back out to the big tree. 

All at once, Hailey broke out into a soft rendition of "Silent Night."  One by one, we all joined in.  I stared at the lights on the tree as we sang, picturing that first Christmas so long ago when Jesus came as a baby to the earth.  What must it have been like for Mary and Joseph on that night in Bethlehem?  And the shepherds, visited by many of God's angels?  I wished I could have been there.  It must have been wonderful!

We finished "Silent Night" and moved on to "Angels We Have Heard on High".  I smiled as I heard Hailey's sweet soprano on the glorias.  She really did sound like an angel.  I could hear Maggie's strong alto, Lucy's childish warble, Claire's soulful warmth, Ella's timid notes and Emily's voice, slightly off-key.  I closed my eyes and let the music surround me.

By three carols later, my head was nodding and I was finding it difficult to keep my eyes open.  I wasn't the only one.  Lucy had already dropped off to sleep, her head in Maggie's lap.  Ella and Emily kept making each other yawn.  I lay down on my side and listened to Hailey, Maggie and Claire, the only three still at it.  They made a beautiful trio.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up from laying on the floor, stiff and cold.  The soft, grey light of morning was peeking through the curtain.  I sat up slowly and looked around me.  Everyone else lay in various uncomfortable postisions, sound asleep.  I peered up at the clock, trying to clear my fuzzy head.  It was 6:30 in the morning.

I climbed up onto the glider rocker where Hailey was sleeping and shook her on the shoulder.  "Merry Christmas!" I said softly.  She rolled over and blinked up at me sleepily.  "What?"

I pointed to the clock.  "It's Christmas morning.  Want to help me wake everyone?"

A grin spread across her features, and she nodded excitedly.  Within moments she was up, shaking shoulders and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

Giddy with excitement, we all hurried back down the hallway to our little tree.  Mama had been kind enough to take our stockings down, so that we could reach them, and fill them for us.  We started with those, oohing and ahhing over the fun goodies.  Each of us had a yo yo and a little koosh ball.

We decided that we were all pretty hungry, so we headed out to the kitchen to fix breakfast before opening our gifts.  Maggie and I got down the cereal, while Claire and Hailey got out the milk.  Thankfully, Mama had a smaller carton in the fridge that we could actually manage.

We all sat in a circle and ate our cereal.  Maggie finished first and read us the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2 and Matthew chapter 2 while the rest of us finished up.

When everyone had eaten, we put our dishes in the sink, washed up, and hurried back to the bedroom to open our gifts.  We'd all drawn names so that each one of us got a gift for one other girl.

I had drawn Hailey's name, so I grabbed her gift and handed it to her.   I couldn't wait to see her open it.

"It's a Rapunzel doll!" she shrieked excitedly.  "Oh, thank you Tess!  I love it!"

I gave her a hug.  "You're welcome," I told her.  I had known she would like it.  Ever since we'd seen the movie 2 weeks ago, she hadn't stopped singing the songs.

Now everyone got up and gave each person their gift.  Maggie beamed down at me as she handed me a box.  "I was so glad I got your name," she confided.  "I hope you like it!"

"I'm sure I will," I assured her.  I opened the box and found a beautiful porcelain church.  When I picked it up, it jingled.  It was a bell!

"Thanks, Maggie!" I told her.  "It's beautiful!  It'll be perfect with all of my figurines."

"That's what I figured," Maggie said happily.

All around us was a flurry of brightly colored paper and cheers and laughter.  Everyone was opening their gifts.  There was a soft elf doll for Emily, a little Scotty dog figurine for Claire, a set of bear Peter Pan figurines for Maggie, and Christmas dolls for Ella and Lucy.

There was one package left that remained unopened.  I blinked back tears as I looked at it.  I had really hoped that my cousin Katie would be back by Christmas.  Her coming would have made this Christmas complete.  I said a quick prayer for her, that her Christmas would be special, too, even though she was far away from us.

"Look what I found!" Maggie suddenly called out.  She was holding a package that said:  "To all my gals from Mama".  Inside was a miniature Nativity Set.  There was Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, an angel, a donkey, a camel, two sheep, a shepherd, the star, and the three wisemen.  They were so cute and tiny!  We all took turns admiring them.

"Let's set them up," Lucy suggested shyly.

We all agreed, and in no time, they had a place of honor on our shelf.

Maggie turned and looked at all of us.  "Merry Christmas, everyone!"

"Merry Christmas!" we all said back.  Then, laughing, we went back to our gifts and chattered the rest of the morning away.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Breaking News with Maggie: Emily is Back!!!

Hello, this is Maggie Wilson with important news:  Emily has returned from surgery, and just in time for Christmas!  We're all excited to see her again, especially Ella.  She's missed her best friend terribly.  It's so nice that Emily will be able to share Christmas with us.

Sorry, there are no pics because Emily was still feeling really tired and a little queasy after her ordeal, so she wasn't really into having a camera in her face.  We'll be sure to post pics when she's feeling better, though.

In other news, Tess is planning on doing a special Christmas Day post, so if you have time in the middle of all your festivities, come by and check it out.

I'm actually a bit worried about Tess.  We've all known for a long time that she's Mama's favorite doll.  Everyone's okay with it, and we're happy for her, even though it embarrasses her.  So you can imagine our surprise when Mama mentioned today that she'll be taking Emma with her to their family's Christmas celebration.  This is the first time in the 2 years that Mama has had Tess that Tess won't be going with her to Christmas.  Mama said it was because she wanted Tess to be able to spend Christmas Day with her sisters, but it was still a shock.   I've been keeping an eye on far she seems okay, but I can tell she's hurt.  She's been making the best of it, going on and on about how fun it will be to have the house to ourselves and to be able to do a really big post on Christmas Day.  I know her better than that, though.  It's a big disappointment for her.

I'm trying not to be annoyed with Emma.  I know it's not her fault that Mama likes her so much, but it's hard to not say anything when my friend is hurting.  I'm hoping after Mama gets over the novelty of a new doll, things will get back to normal around here.

Well, gotta go for now.  I'll keep you all posted if anything else happens.  This is Maggie Wilson, signing off. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Breaking News with Maggie: An Interview with Emma Grace

Here it is, the post you've all been waiting for.  I have the exclusive interview with Emma Grace Roberts, here on "Breaking News with Maggie".  Everything you ever wanted to know about our newest family member, you'll find here.

I sat down with Emma on a cold, crisp day in December, eager to ask the questions that had been at the tip of my tongue since her arrival last week.  Now, at last, I would have the answers.  Emma looked amazing in her Liberty Jane Clothing purple tee and grey skinny jeans (I'm so jealous...designer clothes and everything).  She wore a unique necklace with a "Team Knightley" scrabble tile pendant and a red and silver rose charm.  Her hair was down, with casual curls resting around her shoulders.  Her green eyes sparkled as she sat, ready to begin. 

M:  Thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview, Emma.

E:  No problem, it's a pleasure.

M:  I'd like to ask you a few questions, just so we can get an idea of who you really are.

E: (grinning) Ask away!

M:  Okay, for starters, we already know your full name is Emma Grace Roberts. Can you tell me how old you are?

E: I'm 14 years old.

M: Just a year older than me!  Now, I'd like to go to a big question.  What is it that people should know about you?  What can you tell us about yourself?

E:  Wow, you really don't believe in easing a girl into this, do you?

M:  (grinning) Nope!

E:  Well, let's see...I love to laugh, dance and have fun.  I enjoy going new places and meeting new friends, but I'm also just as content to spend an afternoon sitting with a good book and a cup of tea, or sketching in my sketch book.  I'm a Christian, and I love being involved in church and telling others about Christ and what He's done for me.  My goal is to read my Bible and pray every day, but I don't always do it as often as I should...oh, and I'm also a Nascar nut.  My favorite racer is Jeff Gordon.  Is that good for a start?

M:  Perfect!  So, do you have any secret dreams or wishes? 

E:  I would LOVE to be a voice for a Disney Princess.  I read somewhere that Disney Animation probably won't be doing any more princess stories.  If they do though, I'd love to be a voice for one.

M:  That would be pretty cool.  What's one thing you'd change about yourself if you could?

E:  (laughing)  Well, I tend to blurt things out before I think them through.  Sometimes, something comes out meaning the exact opposite of what I was intending.  I've gotten myself into some pretty embarrassing situations that way!

M:  I hear you there!  My mouth is always getting me in trouble!  Okay, if you had a million dollars right now, what would you do with it?

E:  What a fun question.  Let me think...I suppose I'd use some of it to travel to India and England.  They're the two countries I'd love to see the most.  I'd give some to my church, and put some in savings.  And maybe shop a little bit, too.  (laughing)

M:  (laughing too)  Wow, you did great with those!  So, now we can get back to the basics.  What's your favorite color?

E:  Ooh, that's a tough one.  I'd have to say either red or purple.  But not together!  I'm not quite ready for the red hat society yet! (she laughs)

M: (laughing too)  I think you're a little young.  Okay, so what's your favorite book?

E: "Emma" by Jane Austen, without a doubt.

M: (rolling my eyes)  Great, another Janeite in the house!  Tess will be thrilled.

E:  Tess likes Jane Austen, too?  How exciting!!  Which book is her favorite?

M: Whoa, whoa, hold on!  You guys can have your Jane Austen fan club meeting later.  I did want to ask, though, if you could BRIEFLY tell me why that's your favorite book.

E: Well, because I share the same name as the heroine, for starters. (grinning)

M: Of course.  Anything else?

E: The other reason is that I love the character of Mr. Knightley and his relationship with Emma.  He can be condescending, but it's always because he cares about her and wants to see her become the woman he knows she can be.  

M:  So I suppose that explains the reason for your necklace?

E: (nodding)  With all the Twilight stuff going around, I thought this would be a fun conversation starter.  I'm definitely partial to Mr. Knightley over those other guys.  Call me strange, but I'd rather not date someone who was interested in eating me or drinking my blood, even if he was a gentleman.

M:  (grossed out)  I'm with you on that one, although I'd go more for an Aragorn or Legolas myself.  You really should talk to Tess.  She wrote a whole blog post on that.  But we need to move on!  What is your favorite movie?

E:  Oh, there's no way I could choose just one!  Okay, there's "Emma", for starters...

M: (mumbling) Surprise, surprise.

E: ...the 1996 version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam, not the newer one.  I love a lot of things about the new version with Romola Garai, but no one can top Jeremy Northam.  He will always be Mr. Knightley to me. 

M:  Wow, okay, more than I ever needed to know about Emma movies...unfortunately I've already heard most of this, you said you had more than one favorite? 

E:  Oh yeah!  Let's see, I'd have to add "Veer-Zaara" to the top of the list...

M:  Isn't that a Bollywood movie?

E:  Yes, and if you haven't seen it, you absolutely have to!  You have to be okay with random song and dance routines and some oober emotional acting though.

M:  Mama loves that movie...she actually has it,.  She even did her own custom doll modeled after Zaara.

E:  (gasping)  Mama has a Zaara doll?!  Can I meet her?

M:  Probably...after we finish the interview, though.

E:  How exciting!!

M: Don't get too worked up.  It's not like she's actually the Zaara, you know.

E:  I know, but still...

M:  Movies?

E:  Right, okay.  I have two other top movies:  "Beauty and the Beast"-the Disney one, and "Tangled". 

M:  We saw "Tangled", too!  It was a great movie.  Hailey especially loved it.  She hasn't stopped singing the songs since.

E: (dreamily) The wonderful Alan one writes songs like his!!  I just wish I could sing well enough to do them justice!

M:  Well, we'd better move on.  I still have a lot of questions for you.  The next one is what is your favorite CD?

E:  I actually like way better than CDs because I can pick and choose the songs I like and make my own compilation.  But if I had to choose, I'd have to say the soundtracks to "Emma", "Veer-Zaara", and "Om Shanti Om"...that's another Bollywood movie (I do fast-forward one of the songs when I watch that's too sensual for me).  I love Bollywood music and classical music the best.

M:  Mama is ALWAYS playing Bollywood songs.  I even heard she's getting a Bollywood workout DVD for Christmas from Papa.

E:  How fun!  I'll have to try it sometime!

M:  Fun isn't exactly the word I was thinking, but I guess whatever floats your boat!  So, what's your favorite food? 

E:  Coconut shrimp.

M:  Wow...well, everyone's entitled to their own opinions.  How about a favorite dessert?

E:  (thinking) Probably berry pie, although I could choose others.

M:  Favorite drink?

E:  Coca-cola.

M:  Favorite animal?

E:  Polar bear, especially the Coca-cola polar bear. (grinning)

M:  Do you have any hobbies?

E:  Let's see, I like drawing, dancing, shopping, watching Nascar (go Jeff Gordon!!), watching movies...I don't know.  Is that enough?

M:  That should do.  How about what you'd like to be when you grow up?

E:  I'd love to be an illustrator for children's books.

M:  How cool!  I want to be a children's author, or a journalist.  Maybe we could do a book together!

E:  That would be fun!

M:  Okay, but we can't get distracted talking about that right now.  Do you have anything that you collect?  We're big on collections in this house.

E:  Well, I don't really collect one specific type of thing.  I'm interested in die cast cars, Disney stuff, classic Coca-cola collectibles, and Bollywood posters and stuff.  Right now I pretty much just have my teddy bear, Shahrukh.

M:  I'm sorry, what was that name again?

E:  Shahrukh.  It's pronounced shah-rook.  I named him after my favorite Bollywood actor, Shahrukh Khan.

M:  Poor teddy bear.  What ever happened to Bob or Fred or just plain Teddy?

E:  (defensively) I like it.  It's unique.

M:  You can say that again.  Just one more question for you.  What's your favorite store?

E:  I love Best Buy, but I also love shopping on eBay!

M:  Good choices.  Well, that's all I had.  Is there anything else you'd like to share with our blogging audience?

E:  I don't think so...except to thank all of you for your warm words of welcome.  Mama let me read her blog and I was so touched by what all of you had to say...

At this point, Emma completely lost her train of thought, because Tess, who had overheard Emma's comments about wanting to meet Mama's Zaara doll, had sent her out to the set of the interview.

I was shocked.  Zaara never leaves her place in front of Mama's curio.  "Zaara, what are you doing here?"

"Tess sent me," Zaara replied.  "She said there was someone here who wanted to meet me..."

"Zaara Hyatt-Khan?"  Emma interrupted.

Zaara nodded.

"Oh, wow!"  Emma said excitedly.  "It's such an honor to meet you!" 

Zaara smiled.  "Thank you, but I hope you realize I'm not the real Zaara.  I've never even seen the movie, so I can't answer any of your questions or anything."

"You've never seen the movie?" Emma gasped in disbelief.  "Oh, you have to!  I'm sure you'd love it."  She eyed Zaara over.  "You look pretty close...I don't remember her wearing red, though."  She stared into Zaara's face.  "Is that a real nose ring?"

Zaara laughed.  "No, thankfully.  Mama found some stick-on gems for me at a craft store.  Pretty convincing?"

"Definitely," Emma agreed.  "Now, if only Mama had a Veer doll." 

Zaara shook her head.  "Sorry, she doesn't, but I have the next best thing."  She held out a poster with a handsome Indian man on it.  "Mama put this poster next to me a month or so ago.  I guess it's the guy who plays Veer in the movie.  I have absolutely no idea who this guy is, and I'm not that sentimentally attached to it.  Tess seemed to think you might like to have it."

Emma looked like she was going to faint.  "Oh my goodness!! I'd love it!! Are you sure?"

Zaara nodded.  "Of course.  I've been trying to figure out what on earth to do with it."

Emma took the poster and stared at it.  "Wow!!" she suddenly squealed.  "My very own Shahrukh Khan poster!"

"I have one more thing for you, too," Zaara continued, picking up a beautiful jeweled trinket box.  "Mama found two of these trinket boxes.  She loved them because they looked like something from a Bollywood movie.  I only need one, so I thought maybe you'd like the other one." 

"Oh, it's so beautiful, Zaara!"  Emma breathed.  "Thanks so much!"  She gave our local Bollywood doll a big hug. 

"You're most welcome," Zaara smiled gently.  "I should head back now.  I normally don't leave my spot like Tess and Maggie do."

That about sums it up, folks.  I couldn't get a sensible word from Emma after that, she was so excited. 

 Thanks for joining us for "Breaking News with Maggie".  If you actually made it to the end of this post, I congratulate you for your perseverance.  Sorry it was so's hard to keep things brief when you have such a talkative doll to interview (and an unexpected guest).  Emma's really sweet though, even if she does like Jane Austen and name her teddy bear Shahrukh.  Keep checking back for fun Christmas posts and a post about the room tour that Tess and I gave Emma when she first got here.  I was going to include that in this post, but it's already long enough as it is!  Until then, this is Maggie Wilson of "Breaking News with Maggie."  Have a holly, jolly Christmas! :)