While flaunting the flashiest duds since Cher in her public life, the private Marie Osmond, 23, has been working on her baby trousseau. She started her collection at 7 with a pink blanket she bought in Brussels and later added nine christening gowns, including some little lacies she just whipped up herself. With their bundle of joy due around May 1, Marie and her husband of six months, basketball player Steve Craig, 26, will soon unpack the hope chest for a real Mormon welcome. “I feel my life is moving through seasons,” says Marie Craig (as she’s known in private life). “There was a season to grow up, a time to marry. Now this is the season to have our first child. It’s the very best season of all.”
The glowing but plumpish Marie (“The weight’s in front, not anywhere else”) made another television appearance last week as Josie Marcus in the NBC movie I Married Wyatt Earp, and she won’t stop working “as long as I feel well, and I’ve felt fine from the very beginning.” Nixing rumors that she’s working to save the Osmond family business from financial collapse, Marie is diversifying. She is designing a line of girls’ clothing for a Provo manufacturer, and next month she’ll cut a country album in Nashville and videotape a series of prepartum exercises (later to be a book), in which she’ll wear maternity workout clothes of her own design. “They won’t make you look as though you’re carrying a basketball up front,” she promises.
Hubby Steve might take offense at that crack. They met five years ago when the Brigham Young University basketball squad, of which he was a member, came to the Osmond studios to appear on a telethon. Steve’s hopes for an NBA career dwindled last year because of a foot injury. Now he’s coaching the junior varsity at BYU while finishing his undergraduate business degree. Already he’s managing his little family’s finances, and, says patriarch George Osmond, “If he wants to help the Osmond interests, it would be a nice benefit to us.”
But so far Marie’s independent husband politely asserts his free agent status. “I’m not intimidated by the Osmonds. I have plenty of confidence in my own ability.” Luckily, most family members realize Marie’s new ties may draw her farther from family. “Her priorities have changed since she got married,” says uncle-to-be Donny. “Family was always important to her, but now she’s all involved in rearing her own.” But he adds, “For us to split altogether would be a mistake. We can’t continue as Siamese twins either.”
Meantime Marie’s main man hammers away at their eccentric 20-year-old house in Provo, built for the swimsuit designer Rose Marie Reid. None of the rooms is square. One of the five bedrooms is being converted into a nursery with a rainbow on the ceiling. Coming are a brass crib and a custom quilt and eyelet canopy. Though Marie does most of the cooking and housekeeping (a maid cleans up once-a week), Steve “spoils me rotten,” she says. “If I’ve been working, he’ll tell me to put my feet up and he’ll take care of everything.” A nutritionist is guiding her pregnancy diet (the 5’2″ singer has put on “a little over 10” pounds), which excludes salt, spices and most meats.
Though George Osmond is pleased about the couple’s similar religious background (“A Mormon should marry a Mormon,” he decrees), there is one family tradition the young Craigs might break. Steve is one of seven children of a Beverly Hills high school basketball coach, and Marie is one of nine. Together, they’re approaching reproduction with moderation. Says the father-to-be, “We’ll start with one child and see how we handle it.”