Saturday, December 26, 2015

Who Would They Be in the Future? Addy

It takes me a very long time to write the future predictions for the characters and I'm sorry for that. Unfortunately, they take up quite a bit of my time because I don't want to throw just anything together. I want the predictions to be fairly plausible with enough detail that people reading might learn something about the time period under discussion.

And of course I'm always learning. None of us are truly experts at things-more information comes to light or is brought to our attention. History is my passion and I spend a lot of time reading biographies and books about the lives of women (currently reading Stacy Schiff's new book on the Salem Witchcraft Trials). But despite my life long interest in the subject, I still learn.

For example, my understanding of life expectancy has become a bit more nuanced. Neth from American Girl Outsider pointed out to me after my Felicity and Elizabeth prediction that I was using life expectancy statistics that predicted life expectancy at birth. Since a major factor in low life expectancy in the past was child mortality (which is defined as children dying before the age of 5), that statistic wouldn't really apply to Felicity and Elizabeth who we know were 9 at the start of the series. Therefore the dismal life expectancy of 36 doesn't really factor in. In other words, while it is plausible (if depressing) that Baby Polly died very soon after the story wrapped up, that wouldn't have such an impact on Felicity and Elizabeth.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Molly's Evergreen Velvet Dress and Emily's Holiday Gown

Again, happy holidays everyone! I'm back to give you one more seasonally appropriate post before preparing for Christmas (pretty much everything on my wish list was AG or book related) and heading out of state to spend time with my family.

Many of you know that I am a military wife, and I feel really lucky that I have never missed a Christmas with my husband. If I ever do miss a Christmas with him, it won't be because of the military either-this is his last year. By Christmas 2016, I'll be back in my hometown with the rest of our family, ready to start my own career and help him with college. Maybe we'll have children then-I'm not sure. I have mixed feelings about him getting out-on the one hand, I'm ready for the next stage. On the other hand-I love this life, and I love being a military wife.

But I have been very lucky in terms of his service. He has never been in danger, and the most I've gone without him is a month and a half or so. I have put my own aspirations on hold, and I have spent a lot of time away from my family and friends, who I was very close to. Yet I've looked at the bright side-the time away from a job that wasn't just there to keep me busy and buy extra stuff gave me time to focus on my creative writing, and the time apart from everyone else we cared about other than two cats taught us how self sufficient we really are, and brought us closer together.

But many military families are not so lucky. Their service member is in danger, and they often spend holidays away from their family. That reminds me of Molly and Emily, two girls who suffered horribly because of WWII. They were both away from people they loved-Molly was away from her father who was serving as a doctor in England (and in the mysteries it is later revealed that he is suffering from some form of PTSD) and Emily, who had to leave behind her entire family and her home because of the bombing of London.

The challenges military families face today are not as severe as those faced by Molly and Emily. Phone calls and the Internet make separations easier in most cases. Deployments aren't as long. Fewer Americans die. But the pain of being away from the people you love is the same now as it was then, and that is what American Girl is all about-yes, it shows the ways that things have changed, but it also highlights the multitude of ways that life has remained the same. Love, family, the desire to spend time with the people you care about during the holidays-those things have remained mostly the same.

So, since this is my last Christmas as a military wife, I wanted to go ahead and cover Molly and Emily's Christmas outfits-two girls who would have spent their holidays away from people they loved.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Elizabeth's Christmas Gown

So if you celebrate any holidays around this time of year, Happy Holidays!

I hope all of your holidays are turning out well and that you're spending time with your family or friends, and that they're not annoying you too much. Holidays are funny like that-we're allegedly supposed to look forward to them but often they involve being around people you otherwise avoid throughout the rest of the year. Try to be around positive people and, if you can't for whatever reason, remember that this month will soon be over. Take care of yourself-this is a hard time of the year for a lot of people.

I personally celebrate Christmas (though I am not Christian) but we have dolls celebrating a wide variety of holidays in my apartment. Kirsten is celebrating St. Lucia Day soon, Rebecca is celebrating Hanukkah, and Kaya is enjoying the winter season. My holiday traditions include dressing my dolls in their holiday gear and so today my post is going to focus on Elizabeth Cole's Christmas gear (I'm trying to cover more dolls instead of my usual Josefina, Rebecca, Kirsten, and Caroline).

Elizabeth Cole is a lovely doll-I know there are a lot of complaints (for good reason!) that they changed her to a blue eyed blonde. I would have loved a dark haired Elizabeth but I still think my Elizabeth is beautiful. We share a name so of course I adore her. :)