I had so much fun putting this together – and I hope you have just as much fun reading it! 🙂 There’s conflict (every good story needs one), climaxes (awesome!) and an over-all generally cute photo story that you will enjoy! This is a pretty big photo story, just warning you, so get a snack and get comfy. 🙂

~Now told in the POV of Cecile~

IMG_5120Hello, lovely readers of the world! Missed me? First of all, I want to say, I know Hang on to Hope has been put on a little pause. Terribly sorry about that! I’m sure you all know how life goes – IT’S BUSY! We’ve been unpacking (ugh, it’s taking forever!), having summer vacation, and are trying to establish routines for a little less chaotic life.

In the midst of all this, however, y’all have not been neglected! Season 1 of HOTH is almost over, so after that season, we’ll take a little break from the series and focus on posting more often. But there definitely will be a season 2. 🙂 In the near future, we’ll be putting up a page where you can easily access the parts to every photo story series we’ve done, so if you miss a part, you can effortlessly find it there!

IMG_5121On a totally random note, what do you think of this shot mom took of me while I was making the above speech? I am looking right at you… From the corner of my eye… This is kind of creepy now….

IMG_5123I then got interrupted by Molly’s sobbing. I didn’t really have anything more to say in my speech to y’all, so I immediately went over to my sis.

IMG_5124She was holding onto a book.

IMG_5125“Molly! I sat down by her, exclaiming. “What’s wrong?”

IMG_5126Molly sat up, sobbing, and revealed her precious book. She had read it nearly a million times. Josefina and I each had our own meet book as well, and it was very special to us. But why was Molly crying about hers? “What’s wrong with your book?” I asked her tenderly.

IMG_5128I lovingly put my arm around her shoulder as she explained; “Well, the new doll is coming tomorrow and I really wanted to give her a welcoming gift, you know… And…. I wanted it to be very special. Not just something I picked off the shelf to give her because everyone else is. I want her to know how much this means to me, and that I care a lot about her to give it to her…
Molly let a tear roll down her cheek again. “And I am going to miss this book so much, because it is practically the most special thing I own…. And she might not take as good care of it as I would!” Molly sobbed a little more.

“Molly, you don’t have to give the most special thing ever, unless you feel led in your heart that you should. Do you feel that way?” I asked. Molly slowly shook her head, sniffling a little more. “No….I don’t feel lead in my heart. I just figured…. You know… She being the new girl and all, that, well, I should give her something special…”

“Then don’t give it. Give her something nice, but don’t cry over it.” I smiled at her, watching her expression get brighter.

IMG_5129Molly glanced down at her wrist and pulled off a pink rainbow loom bracelet she had on. Mom’s best friends, Allie and Piper, had made it for her dolls.

IMG_5130“I feel like I should give her this,” Molly announced, smiling through her teary face. “It’s special to me, but I won’t cry over giving it to the new girl. I really feel like she should have it,”

Happy that Molly had finally found the perfect gift to welcome home #56 with, I jumped up from the bed and observed the room.

IMG_5131Molly was now finding a cute gift bag to put all the goodies for #56 in.

IMG_5132Jasmine was deciding on if she should give one of her pearl bead necklaces, or just a pair of cute earrings and dangles.

IMG_5133“Hmmm…Madison did say the new girl will be coming with pierced ears, right?” Jasmine mumbled to herself.

IMG_5134“Arrg… These or these?!”

IMG_5135IMG_5146Josefina was giving her one and only handbag, and rummaging through hair accessories and other trinkets to put in it as little surprises.

IMG_5147Emelie had all these colorful bracelets and a necklace before her, pondering on whether to give all the bracelets with the necklace or just the one that matched best.

IMG_5150I found a “Kind” charm from a MyAG outfit we hadn’t put on the necklace yet, and decided to give that to her along with the charm necklace we had. I’m sure she’ll find it interesting to see some MyAG Accessories, when all she’s really known is Truly Me so far. I thought to myself. (Later, I found out that it suited her personality perfectly!)

~Now written in the POV of Ellie~

IMG_5151I was taking a nap when I heard commotion.

IMG_5152I sat up. Something was going on!

IMG_5153Exciting chitter chatter about getting gifts together for #56 was heard from Jasmine and Molly.

IMG_5154Exchanged opinions on how well #56 would like the gifts each girl was giving was coming from Josefina and Emelie.

IMG_5155And Cécile was mumbling to herself on whether or not she should throw in a headband.

IMG_5156I furrowed my eyebrows.

Something wasn’t right.

IMG_5158Everything seemed normal – each and every doll was preparing for #56’s arrival the next day, with presents, goodies, practicing things to say for her….

IMG_5159…And then it hit me like a rock.

Nobody gave ME any awesome presents or went through so much trouble for ME when I came!!!

I put on a SCOWL.

I shouldn’t. I really shouldn’t have. But…I let green envy bubble up inside.

IMG_5163“Aren’t you going to give the new doll something?” Jasmine asked, taking notice of my idleness. “Why should I?!” I snapped. Then I added in a mumble, “Nobody gave me any awesome presents to me when I came.”

IMG_5164“ELLIE!” Jasmine barked in a scolding sort of way. “How could you say something so awful?!

“What did I say?!” I demanded.

“YOU received a wonderful room ALL TO YOURSELF. On top of that, a desk, a bedside table, and you got the computer, chair, and desk set! Along with a bunch of jewelry and handmade dangles made just for you. Just by that, you got way more then #56 is getting! Now why don’t you stop being such a stick in the mud and do something considerate for a change like MAKING A GIFT FOR THE NEW GIRL!!!!”

IMG_5165“Whatever,” I mumbled after Jasmine’s rant-like outrage. Like nothing ever happened, Jasmine turned around and happily bounced back to sorting through her jewelry. That was just like Jasmine, but what she said still bugged me.

IMG_5166Stop being such a stick in the mud … You got way more than she’s getting … Why don’t you do something considerate for a change?

I just turned even more jealous, and didn’t make her a gift. That night, I tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep. I didn’t have any comfy PJ’s on either – I was still wearing my clothes, for Madison was gone (getting #56 on her summer vacation) and everyone was too excited about #56’s arrivals the next day to rummage through piles of hardly-unpacked clothes for PJ’s. I was too tired either way, but still couldn’t fall asleep.

IMG_5521So the late that next afternoon, almost everyone held up a banner for #56.

IMG_5522Cécile held the gift bag, and I just sat to the side, not taking any part in the action.

IMG_5523“I bet the new girl is ugly.”

“Something stinks – I think she’s here. She smells AWFUL!!!”

“The new girl is such a snob – look at all these gifts she demands!”

I negatively spoke little rude things like that every thirty seconds we stood there. None of which were true…

“ELLIE, STOP! She’s going to be here any minute now, wipe that grumpy look off your face!” Somebody would scold me.

“Why should I?!”

“Just stop talking!” Cécile, highly annoyed, snapped.

“Well, SO-RRY! I guess I had the MISTAKEN ASSUMPTION that we were in a FREE COUNTRY.”

“Just. Stop.” Cécile growled.

“I guess I thought we had the freedom of speech. I guess I thought everyone was supposed to know that, after all, we are AMERICAN GIRLS-“

“JUST STOP!!!!!!!!” She shouted.

IMG_5525All of the sudden, we heard the door open. “THAT’S HER!!!!” Jasmine screeched. We heard the voice of Madison saying, “Okay, go down that hallway and turn right. That’s where your roommates are. I’ll be there in a few minutes, I have to help bring our stuff in. Have fun getting acquainted!” A small, unfamiliar voice responded with, “Alright.”

~now written in the POV of Jasmine~

IMG_5526I could barely keep my jaw from dropping open as the new girl stepped to the doorway. For a moment, we were too stunned to say anything, but it was Josefina who saved the day by starting the cheer of, “WELCOME TO YOUR NEW HOME!!!!”

“Wow!” Was all she could say. The happy, grateful look on her face was priceless. “Hi, I’m Chloe,” she finally introduced herself with a big smile.

IMG_5527Chloe looked really sweet, and I adored her blonde hair. In case y’all didn’t know, I’ve always wanted to be a blonde.

I dropped my end of the banner and rushed to meet her. I wanted to be the first to shake her hand.

IMG_5528Apparently, everyone else had the same idea, and Josefina and Molly ended up tripping over each other. (Ellie, scowling, stayed behind.)

IMG_5529“Oh gosh! Are you OK?” She gasped as she saw the two topple over each other.

IMG_5530“Oh yeah, they’re fine,” I laughed, dashing to help them up. (I wanted to impress the new girl – when Ellie arrived here, she was warned not to get on my bad side. For the first few days, Ellie was really careful around me, and we both felt really awkward. I didn’t want it to be that way with Chloe, therefore I was being very, very kind. Not that I’m not already! ^_^)

IMG_5531Molly (unfortunately) was the first to shake her hand. “I’m Molly. I was Madison’s first doll, so if you have even the slightest question ’bout anything, you know who to ask!” Molly told her. “Cool! I’m Chloe,” Chloe smiled.

IMG_5532So we all sat around as Chloe talked a little about herself and we all got to know one another.

IMG_5533Then, Chloe opened her welcome gifts! This lilac-lavender purple ribbon was from Madison (it matched with her dress.).

IMG_5534Chloe adored the adorable handbag and the cute hair accessories inside!

IMG_5535Emelie’s necklace and bracelets were a huge hit with her. Chloe says, “Back at the AGP, I’m known for being the “Adventurer in Style”. I’m always found sneaking out of my box, looking fab while at it! It really depends on the day, though, when I’m adventurous – sometimes I just like to be quiet and work on a good story I’m writing.”

IMG_5536Of course, I believe that my earrings to her were the best gift of all (though Chloe was too nice to say so.). Chloe gushed over them, thanking me for ’em and telling me how she always loved heart earrings!

IMG_5538Cécile’s headband proved to be very useful to Chloe, because she explained how her curls sometimes would get in the way and having this would be perfect to pull them back when she was focusing on something, i.e. writing a story.

IMG_5539She also couldn’t wait to put the charm CéCé also gave her on the necklace!

IMG_5541Here she is with all her goodies. Though Chloe didn’t say anything, everyone Ellie glared at her, she became quiet, and a little of the sparkle from her eyes was gone. She was probably wondering, though she was way too kind to say so, why there was not a present from Ellie.

IMG_5542Later than night, she started unpacking after Madison made her a bed.

We all watched her, just staring.

IMG_5543We watched her as she put on her new nightclothes.

(I AM SO JEALOUS OF THEM!!!! AHHHH!!!! SHE GOT GRACE’S PJ’S!!!! IUKBJENWDVPOIRWHEKRJFNDSPUTH!!!!! WHAT!!!!!)

IMG_5544We watched her as she unpacked her little stuffed animal (given to her by Piper and Allie!).

IMG_5545We all watched her as she curled her hair neatly before bed.

There was one awkward moment when she stopped curling her hair and looked at us curiously. We all just stared. It’s not every day you see something new. “Stop being rude Jasmine! It’s impolite to stare, even if she is the new girl and everything she does is awesome.” I told myself in my head.

IMG_5546So when she asked if there was a hanger to hang up her dress with, I jumped up and quickly offered to do so for her.

IMG_5547“You’re welcome to all of our clothes,” I told her. “What’s ours is yours!”

IMG_5548“Thanks,” She smiled (she smiles a lot. Ever since she’s been here, she hasn’t said one thing rude or unkind, and always keeps the peace!) as I sat down by her.

Then all of us (except Ellie) chatted with her a little bit before going to bed.

IMG_5549We couldn’t help but keep watching as she pulled her covers over her.

IMG_5550When it looked like she was finally asleep, we all huddled together.

IMG_5551“Operation “Make Chloe Feel Special” has almost been accomplished!” Molly whispered to us. “Yes, there was only ONE hindrance.” I mumbled.

IMG_5552I snapped to Ellie. If she’s forgotten all the times I’ve ever made her feel bad, she’s fixing to remember NOW. She’s being ruder than I’ve ever been, and that’s saying something.

IMG_5553“ELLIE IVY LING!!!!” I started by whisper-shouting. “YOU ARE ONE RUDE, MEAN, COLD-HEARTED MERE THING OF A DOLL! HOW CAN YOU BE THIS WAY? NO BODY WAS MEAN TO YOU WHEN YOU CAME. YOU NEED TO STOP BEING SO SELFISH AND THINKING ONLY OF YOURSELF! YOU’RE MAKING CHLOE FEEL INSECURE. IF I TELL – no, WHEN, I tell Madison, YOU ARE GOING TO GET IT!!!”

IMG_5552Ellie just stared at me, her brown eyes slightly getting wet. Her cheeks were crimson red, and she opened her mouth to say something, but she just clamped it shut and didn’t say a word.

IMG_5555“Woah, Jasmine, calm down…That wasn’t very kind of you to say,” Molly whispered gently, touching my arm.

IMG_5556I snapped back form her. “No! It needs to be said!”

IMG_5552“Ellie, you’re the most mean person I’ve ever known! Just wait until Madison finds out how cruel you’ve been. Oh, I can’t WAIT! You’re going to be in SO much trouble. I am telling her first thing in the morning. You deserve WHATEVER YOU’RE GETTING!”

IMG_5554Ellie still didn’t say anything, just stared at me with teary eyes.

IMG_5557She finally looked away from me, trying not to cry. I could tell I made her feel bad…maybe too bad… Whoops. There was my temper. I glanced at Chloe – how was she sleeping through all this? Something told me, she really wasn’t sleeping. As we all got ready for bed, everyone was silent, especially Ellie. She excused herself for multiple trips to the bathroom, and during those times we heard muffled sobs.

“I should’t have said that to her,” I put out when she was in the bathroom for the seventh time, bawling again.

“Yes, you shouldn’t have. There’s enough drama as it is. You need to apologize to her.” Josefina told me.

“I’m sorry,” I sighed. “Half of it wasn’t really true. She’s not being the meanest person ever. And I didn’t mean what I said about telling Madison either.”

“You need to tell that to Ellie,” Molly told me.

“As soon as she comes back, I’ll apologize to her.” I promised.

But by the time she came back, everyone was truly asleep.

~Now written in the POV of Ellie~

IMG_5558I came back from the bathroom, wiping my face. The lights were out, and everyone was asleep. I hugged Snowy tightly.

“I am tired,” Snowy told me, looking up at me.

“I know, Snowy. We will go to bed in a minute.” I replied.

IMG_5559I walked over to Chloe’s bed.

IMG_5560I gazed at her peaceful, snoozing face in the dim nightlight, and whispered,

“Oh, Chloe. I am so sorry. I am so mean. I am so cruel…I am horrible!”

IMG_5570I cried softly a little bit more.

IMG_5581“I am the most mean, selfish, uncaring, insulting, wicked…” I couldn’t think of any more negative words to call myself, so I continued, “…Wicked doll ever. I was jealous because I’m used to the attention of being the new girl, even though the feeling of being a new girl died a long time ago. I just missed getting that special attention, and, well, I was so mean to you…and…” more tears flowed, and I continued, “I’m sorry.”

I looked at her sleeping face one more time, and with a heavy heart, turned back to go to bed.

“That was beautiful,” Snowy said, sniffling. “You have a talent for speeches!”

I didn’t answer, just started walking back to the bed I shared with Jasmine and Cécile.

IMG_5592“Ellie,” I heard a voice behind me.

IMG_5593

*read this next part slowly, while listening to this beautiful music. It enhances the moment!! 😉 Be sure to skip to where it’s forty-three seconds in, then start it. Awesome….*

Chloe wasn’t actually sleeping!

“Chloe! I’m so sorry-” I began, but was cut off by Chloe saying,

“It’s OK. Let’s forget it ever happened, and let’s be friends,” her sweet, forgiving, reassuring smile breaking through the night overjoyed my heart.

IMG_5595I gave her a hug, and it seemed to last forever.

“I’m TIRED!” Snowy crankily put out.

“Did your stuffed animal just speak?” Chloe asked, bewildered.

“Yeah…” I answered.

“I thought Splotch was the only one!” Chloe laughed. Turns out, her Dalmatian puppy stuffed animal, Splotch, was alive too.

IMG_5596I went to bed easily that night, having happy dreams about playdates with our two stuffed animals together and Chloe and I going on picnics….

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

IMG_5598ZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

To be continued!