I'm so sorry it's taken me such a long time to update this blog, dear readers. As the 18 inchers mentioned on their blog, getting to the computer undetected has been quite difficult with Beast'sbelle's 3 daughters here in the house at all hours of the day.
Where to begin? I have so much to tell, it's almost overwhelming! I suppose I should start with Christmas Eve.
We got Emilie all settled in for the night, and then Robby and I headed out to the living room for some time alone. Eugene and Rapunzel had very graciously offered to watch her for us so that we could relive our last Christmas, when we sat under the huge tree and first confessed our love for each other. :)
As we made our way down the hall and across the living room, I was thankful for how far we'd come. Robby still has a limp, but he's gotten so much better at moving around independently. I remembered how hard it had been for him to get all the way to the tree last year, and how we'd had to take several rests on our way.
We spread a little Christmas blanket out underneath the tree and cuddled up next to each other, staring up at the beautiful lights. My mind wandered over all that had happened since the last time we'd done this.
An engagement, a wedding, a honeymoon trip to the coast, a year full of mostly blissful married life (I have to be honest, after all...everyone has disagreements from time to time). ;) And more recently, our first snow and the addition of a very special little doll. Here, on this beautiful, magical night, my little plastic heart felt warm and full. Once again, that annoying urge to break out into song bubbled up inside me, but I fought it with all my might. A croaky, off-key song from my lips would be the perfect way to spoil the evening!
It was the kind of night where we didn't need words. We just sat quietly together, enjoying each other's presence and the beauty of the Christmas decorations, while I swallowed my singing impulses and concentrated on the memories swirling through my mind.
After a while, Robby's hip and knee needed a rest from sitting on the hardwood floor, so we both stretched out on the blanket. I rested my head on his shoulder and put my arm around his waist.
"Merry Christmas," he whispered.
I smiled. "Merry Christmas."
"Can you believe how much has happened since the last time we did this?" he asked.
"That's just what I was thinking about," I replied. "Did you think we might be where we are now a year ago?"
Robby shook his head. "A year ago I thought it was all a dream, and that I would wake up the next morning finding I'd imagined the whole thing."
"It wasn't a dream," I told him tenderly. "I love you so much, Robby. More than I ever thought possible. I'm so glad we had that talk last Christmas. If we hadn't, and if we hadn't gotten married, I couldn't do this!"
I swooped over and gave him a big kiss, startling him. He didn't seem to mind too much, though. ;)
When I pulled away, he gave me a funny look. "That's something I used to think would never happen, but I sure dreamed about it a lot."
I laughed. "Merry Christmas, Darling."
A mischievous grin spread over his features. "Isn't that the line of a song?"
"Yes..." I answered slowly.
"What better night to serenade your husband than on Christmas Eve?" he asked innocently.
"Nice try, buddy," I said sarcastically, deciding not to mention that I'd been wanting to sing all evening. "I'm not about to ruin the mood with my tone-deaf rendition of whatever song happens to come out."
"I've heard you sing before, you know," he confessed in a low voice.
I propped myself up and looked in his face. "What?! When?"
That impish grin returned. "Last Christmas Eve. You were on the other side of the room, but I could hear you. That's when I knew it was all real. Only the happiest, deepest emotion would make you brave enough to sing out loud."
I did have a faint recollection of singing with abandon after Robby's confession of love last year, not caring who heard me...at least I had told myself that. But Robby had heard me? How embarrassing! And if he had heard me, who else had? Why didn't anyone ever tell me these things?
"Why didn't you say anything?" I asked him, halfway annoyed. "I can't believe you heard me!"
"I didn't want you to be embarrassed," he told me. "I enjoyed listening, though."
"Yeah, right," I told him with a scornful laugh. "Everyone loves hearing an off-key singer!"
"You're not that bad, Babe. Honest. I thought your singing was pretty." He stroked my cheek tenderly. "Besides, I'd rather be married to you, no matter what your voice sounds like, than married to any other doll, even if they sang like Christine Daae."
I have to admit, I was pretty impressed by this confession, one, because it flattered my vanity, and two, because I had a husband who actually knew about literary characters. I think it helped spending all that time by Beast'sbelle's bookshelf and having a whole library of books at our fingertips. ;)
I leaned my forehead against his. "I don't know if I quite believe you," I said grudgingly, "but I appreciate you for saying it." I could feel a song welling up at the back of my throat, but I still wasn't ready.
"Don't fight it," he whispered. "Let me hear you."
I blinked back tears at his sweet words, but was terrified that I would see that kind, open expression on his face become guarded, hiding a look of disgust. Hearing a voice from across a room was one thing, but hearing it right beside you was quite another. Still, his love made me want to do what he asked.
"Soon," I promised, wiping at the corners of my eyes. "I'm just...not quite ready yet. I hope you understand!"
He ran a hand through my hair. "I can wait," he said kindly. "Just don't make me wait forever. I want to hear your soul."
I suppose I should interject here with a bit more explanation than I have in the past. I've already explained that all Disney dolls are naturally created with the desire to burst into song during emotional moments, whether they are happy, sad, frustrated, or whatever. What I didn't explain before was the significance of a couple singing to each other. There are certain ways you can sing to each other before marriage that help you draw closer (and sometimes help you fall in love with each other...why do you think that they always sing a love song in Disney movies? Music is powerful!). But after marriage, singing to each other becomes something even more precious and intimate. Think about it. To sit in front of your spouse, open your mouth, and sing is one of the most vulnerable things you can do, especially when your voice is...ahem...less than stellar like mine. You have no idea how your spouse will respond or react. But in truly great marriages, this is something that helps couples bond even closer together. Your spouse sees what no one else sees: the music buried deep in your soul. Once a husband or wife is brave enough to do this, it is said that your marriage bond becomes even closer. You have shared your deepest, most private inner feelings with your spouse and are loved even more because of it (or perhaps in spite of it, in my case!).
I'm embarrassed to admit this much to all of you, because it shows what a horrible wife I am. Honestly, I should have opened up to Robby long before this. But I hope you all understand. After being told again and again how terrible I was at singing when I was at the Disney Store, I couldn't face another rejection, especially from Robby! And I don't want him to tell me he likes my singing just because he's being nice. I want him to truly accept me, to be able to look past my flaws and love me anyway. I'm pretty sure he would, but I'm so afraid. He has such a gorgeous voice, and in my past experience I've found that the dolls with the best voices have the hardest time accepting the ones who don't.
Anyway, bear with me, dear readers. I do hope to open up to my husband the way I should as soon as I can. But for now, he (and all of you!) will just have to wait a little longer, until I'm a little braver.
Shortly after the conversation I relayed to you earlier in the post, Robby and I headed back to our spot on the curio. Christmas morning would come earlier this year with Emilie here. What child, human or plastic, have you ever heard of that sleeps in on Christmas Day? ;)
As we suspected, Emilie was up much earlier than usual. Eugene and Rapunzel and Emmaline were up too, but Abigail was still down for the count. ;)
"Well, shall we let the girls have their gifts?" Robby asked Eugene.
"Oh, they don't want gifts, do they?" Eugene responded teasingly.
Emilie was not the type of child to screech in protest at this, but she could tell they were teasing and grinned from ear to ear. Emmaline was not quite old enough to understand what was going on, so she just looked back and forth between her daddy and her Uncle Robby.
Beast'sbelle had very graciously supplied us with three little fuzzy rabbits for the girls. Obviously, it's a bit inconvenient for Robby and I to go shopping, so we have to rely on Beast'sbelle for all of our needs. :} I knew the girls would love their rabbits.
Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you what my sweet friend did for me. Remember in one of my earlier posts, how I was wishing that we had a tree? Well, Rapunzel went over and talked to Emma and Charlie, who were going to be with Beast'sbelle for Christmas. They had a little fiber optic tree on their dresser, and she asked if we could use it since they would be gone. Emma and Charlie agreed, so we ended up with a tree for Christmas! :D That's Rapunzel, always remembering small details and thinking of others. What did I do to deserve a best friend like her? ;)
Rapunzel and I finally put an end to the boys' teasing. I picked up the little pink rabbit from beneath the tree (Emilie had shared earlier that her favorite color was pink).
"This is for you, sweetie," I told her. "Merry Christmas."
Emilie's eyes grew as wide as saucers. She took the rabbit from me and held it tight.
I looked over at Robby and he gave me a tender smile. There was something so wonderful about giving a gift to a child at Christmas. It was something I'd never experienced before.
Rapunzel chose the white rabbit for Emmaline. She immediately began chewing on its ear. ;)
They set the blue rabbit next to Abigail's cradle. Abby would enjoy her when she woke up.
Our Christmas Day was spent in a fun, lazy way. We walked over to the "Belle and Rapunzel" shelf, as Eugene has dubbed it, and visited with Isabella, Ben, and all of Beast'sbelle's display dolls. We raided food from the kitchen, read stories to the girls, and sat under the big tree again. Emilie was amazed by how huge it was.
Oh my, this post has ended up much longer than I was expecting, so I think I'll break it into 2. Don't worry, though, I'll publish the next post today as well. I don't want to leave you hanging! ;) Of course, you aren't necessarily going to like the ending...to be honest, I'm not too thrilled with it myself. But bear with me. :}
Click HERE for Part 2.