Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is it time yet?

I may or may not be listening to Christmas music on Pandora today....okay I am. But I refuse to decorate until after Thanksgiving!

When do you start celebrating Christmas?

Monday, November 16, 2009

{Wrinkles of Time}

When I was younger I remember taking frequent trips to Perimeter Mall with my mother and grandmother. After parking, I would watch them pull down their respective visors and use the vanity mirrors to freshen their lipstick before going into the mall. I come from a long line of good Southern women who taught me many valuable lessons, not the least of which is "thou shalt not enter a public gathering place of any kind without fresh lipstick". I would watch them pucker their lips and apply, and sometimes Grandmother would let me put on a little (ever so little) bit of lipstick myself. In doing so I noticed something, my eight year old lips were smooth, whereas hers had lines in them. I thought the lines were beautiful, and I was jealous. I remember mentioning this fact to her once, and she was quite appalled that I would refer to such a thing (I should probably mention here that my grandmother, even still, doesn't have that many lines, people actually used to ask if she was my mother, so she was probably not accustomed to such questioning). I could not understand her reaction, I wanted those lovely lines; they made the lipstick look so much better in my opinion!

Earlier this week upon my arrival at school, I drove in the parking lot, pulled into my space, and proceeded to pull down my visor to freshen my lipstick in my vanity mirror. After all, I was taught by the best, and I too am a good little Southern lady. It was then I saw them. Despite the fact that I have religiously applied Vaseline to my lips EVERY MORNING and EVERY NIGHT since I was 15 years old (a beauty tip from Mama) there they were. Lines.

I. Freaked. Out.

It was not the first sign of age I've noticed this year. I as approach my twenty-ninth birthday, my body seems to be looking for ways to advertise my increasing years. Two years ago I noticed that the two lines that appeared in between my eyebrows when I squinted didn't immediately disappear when I relaxed my face. Instead they remained indefinitely. In the past couple of months I've also noticed my cheeks seem a little different. Less smooth perhaps? It's hard to quantify it exactly; all I know is the skin looks different. In discussing this with my mother, she told me that when you hit thirty it all "goes downhill fast", and "don't I use any wrinkle cream"? Well, I do as a matter-of-fact. As a teenager Grandmother also taught all us girls that it was never too early to have a skin care routine. My main problem, however, is that while the wrinkles are starting to appear, I'm still getting adolescent pimples, so what's a girl to do for a skincare product?

Here's the thing, I've always found lines and wrinkles on women to be beautiful. In fact, I think most women only get more beautiful with age. So why do I recognize and admire that beauty in other women, but not in myself? I think the main reason is that as the changes occur, I see them as transforming me from the true person I am into someone I am not. As pondered on this, however, I came to a realization. Are not these lines and creases more of who I am than the smooth skin of 16? Life writes its story over all of us, in the smile lines around our mouths and the crinkles around our eyes. If we are lucky, most of our lines will settle into pleasant ones, inevitably though, there will be some of sorrow and of worry.

I made a decision that from now on when I look in the mirror and discover this line or that, I will accept them. I will know that living and loving will leave its mark, and I will cherish each one as a badge of honor; proof that I've lived and experienced in full all the joys and all of the sorrows that womanhood has to offer.

That being said, a little cosmetic help never hurt anyone….and I just discovered a combination anti-wrinkle/anti-blemish cream made by Neutrogena. This good Southern girl bought two tubes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Repost: No Jackie O

Today marks the one year anniversary of my fall from grace in my front yard. In celebration, I'm reposting the original blog here. FYI, I had several x-rays of my foot and they didn't find anything, but said if pain continued to go see a foot specialist b/c they can do more in depth x-rays. Well, still had pain, didn't go see anyone (yeah, Ben was thrilled about that), and 365 days later it still hurts when I walk a lot or workout. So, most likely it was fractured. Whoops. I should also note that the day after this happened Ben went ahead and purchased crutches so there will not be a need in the future for a bar stool walker. He decided crutches were a sound investment when he had a wife like me.

Here's a Friday laugh for you at my expense!

Originally posted THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2008

No Jackie O

Those of you who know me well know I LOVE Jackie Kennedy. There are many ways in which I try to emulate her. I wear pearls as my signature jewelry item (and mine are fake, just like her signature three string pearls), I send out handwritten notes on personal stationary, I try to be the perfect hostess, and I try to choose a classic way of dressing that is stylish yet timeless (that is a work in progress, it's harder than it sounds). There are many many ways in which I will never ever be like her. She was always graceful in walk with her shoulders back. Well, I inherited my fathers gait, and while it's great for a man it's less than attractive on a woman. I've tried very hard to change. I've even walked over and over towards mirrors. It doesn't work. My shoulders also slump. I think I inherited that from my mother, who was never proud enough of her 5 feet 11 inches and therefore always slumps (and just in case the height wasn't enough to make you hate her, she's skinny like a supermodel too). Jackie spoke in a quiet soft voice that made gentlemen have to lean in to hear her. If you've spent .7 seconds with me, you know I'm LOUD. It's another thing I try to change. In college I decided instead of fighting it I would just channel the trait into becoming a speech communication major. I never made less than an A. Go figure.

So why the sudden dissertation on the strengths of Jackie and the weaknesses of Angela? Because tonight I had another reminder of why I can never be like her. I arrived home after nine tonight from an SAA meeting. I got out of my car (and I would like to insert here that it was raining all day and the ground is quite slippery) to walk to the trunk to get out a bag and WIPE OUT! You know those times when you fall when you just don't know where you lost your footing or how, but suddenly you're out of control? Well, I slipped on the ground, twisted my ankle, and rolled a little ways down our front hill with the contents of my purse strewn over the lawn. There was searing pain through my ankle and foot. I managed to drag my body to my purse, fish out my phone, and call Ben who was inside. When he came out the door his response was not, "Oh my goodness, poor baby, are you okay?". Nope, it was "Why in the heck are you laying in the middle of the yard, get up!". Now I ask, if I had been able to get up, why I would have called him? He also said, "You are officially the clumsiest person I know." OUCH. I'm pretty sure Jack never said that to Jackie. He really shouldn't complain. He hasn't taken me to the hospital for my clumsiness nearly as many times as my college roommate Elizabeth did. The UGA Health Center knew us well! Anyway, he carried me in the house and did some manipulations on the ankle. While I have complete faith in him and know he would never do anything to hurt me, in the midst of the pain in my ankle I found myself screaming, "Please don't!! Remember you are not yet licensed to practice medicine!" He keeps telling me how dramatic I am, but how can talking about how bad something hurts if it really hurts be dramatic? So, I cannot put any pressure on my ankle AT ALL. Ben, being the clever boy he his, devised a way for me to get myself around the house.

Used to be a bar it's my walker.

So I'm in the bed, and I ask Ben to bring me orange juice and my computer so I can blog and he said I was PUSHING IT!

He brought the orange juice, but do you know that he refused to bring me to my computer so I could blog? He said I am way too addicted to blogging and he refused to be an enabler.
This is me, devastated, desperate, and begging!

So, I did what any dedicated blogger would do. I got my stool/walker and began the slow trip across the house myself to update the blog with the night's adventures. I do know Jackie was determined to get what she wanted, so here's an A+ to me for stubbornness.

And...come to think of it...Jackie did sprain her ankle while participating in one of the rough Kennedy tag football games at Hyannis Port, so hey, maybe there's hope for me yet!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We All Need a Hero...

...and the good news is we are all surrounded by them. They are the men and women in uniform who sacrifice for us every day. Today is Veterans Day. I love to use this day to celebrate my husband who is training to be an Air Force doctor. I think he's always a little taken aback by my efforts, though. He has such an immense respect and awe for those in battle he doesn't feel he's earned the right to be celebrated. This morning he received an email from a classmate of his. She sent this to him and his classmates who are in the military, and I think it describes beautifully why they should be celebrated. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing.

Hi Guys and Gals,

I want to take a moment and say thank you. Today is Veterans Day as you know and while some of you may not have gone to battle, you are learning the skills you need to take care of our soldiers. A few of those soldiers are members of my family and it warms my heart to know that one day they maybe in your office or on your operating table. I am comforted by the fact that I know they will be receiving care from individuals I would entrust my very life to as well.

God Bless you all.

I thought this was so beautiful, it inspired me to write my own letter:************************

Dear Lt. Goins,

I am proud to be your wife. I am proud that you have always had a call to serve. From the first months I knew you, I knew you would serve in the military in some capacity. If it wasn't as a physician, it would have been in some other way. Your obligation to this country has always been as strong as your desire to be a doctor. I am humbled by someone whose lifelong ambitions have been to serve and care for others, and honored to share a small role in that endeavor.

My father instilled in me a deep love of country and respect for those in uniform. Deep down, I always knew I would be a military wife and that the man I chose to love would serve. When looking into my future I always saw myself in a military life, just as you did. Now I know that God was preparing me for you and our life together. Isn't His plan awesome?

Now you are on the road to fulfilling your dreams. Not only will you be caring for people as a doctor, but you will be caring for the best America has to offer, our men and women in uniform. One of the proudest moments of my life will always be standing in your medical school and pinning on your lieutenant bars after you took the oath of office. It was the realization of a lifetime of ambitions.

I remain, respectfully and humbly,


Ben and I did not spontaneously acquire this devotion we feel to this wonderful country of ours. It was born into us and nurtured by our families who have also served. We would like to honor our parents and grandparents on this Veterans Day:

Connie Brewster Hice, United States Navy (Ben's grandmother)
Laurens Hice, United States Marine Corp (Ben's grandfather)
Herbert Robinson, United States Army, Purple Heart Recipient (Ang's grandfather)
Arthur Couch, United States Air Force (Ang's grandfather)
Jeff Robinson, decorated United States Army (Ang's father)

We also have many other uncles and cousins who served in the military from WWII through Vietnam, too many to list here. We are thankful for their service and will devote our lives to ensuring their sacrifices were not in vain.

Have you thanked a veteran today?

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm His Girl

I am an expert at going without my husband. When we were first married we both worked long hours and didn't see each other that often. When we moved to Tennessee for medical school he was in class from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and then often stayed at the school to study until midnight. The June after his first year of medical school he was in officer training for a month and I didn't see him at all for four weeks. And then we got to the third year. For the most part (except for surgery) the hours of his rotations have been pretty decent. Of course, two nights a week I'm not at home because I'm in class, but generally we are able to spend lots of time together. Lots of time. We don't need to schedule a date night anymore, we have a date life. We are really and truly best friends, two halves of the same whole. We operate in a wonderful little world of our own. When he's gone our home is empty and lifeless without him.

I guess that's why it was very difficult to drop him off at the airport on Saturday. He's only going to be gone for four days which should be a cakewalk for me. But, when I pulled away I got an incredibly empty feeling. I told myself to get a grip, for goodness sakes, he's working on scheduling rotations in San Antonio and Biloxi, he'll be gone for a couple of months in a row. Not to mention the fact that I'm a Air Force wife and will possibly have to deal with future deployments. This was nothing.

But I can't help it, I love that guy. I've always had a soft spot for men who adore me and think I walk on water (blame my father). I felt shame, I was not acting as a brave military wife should. I signed up for a lifetime to separation. If I couldn't even handle four days without sadness, how was I going to get through my future?

Warning: Climbing on my soapbox now....
I was then reminded of something that frustrated me when Ben was in officer training. Some people didn't seem all that concerned with how I was coping because they knew "I could handle it". Some seem to equate "handling it" with not feeling that badly over it at all. Let me assure you, that is not the case. I have other women tell me things like "oh, good for you, but I could never be apart from my husband like that." Do they somehow think their love for their husband is greater than what I feel for mine? Do they think it's easier for me? Its not. Its just as hard but I do it anyway. I know they think it seems impossible for them. It seems that way for me too. IMPOSSIBLE. In the future, I'll have to be stronger than I ever wanted to have to be, but I'll do it.

The next time you see a military spouse saying goodbye to their husband and wife, think about being in their shoes. Think about how it would feel to have an entire part of you severed and removed from your life, and then to have to carry on. I'll have it easier than most, as a physician Ben will not be on the front lines and the Air Force only has 6 month deployments. Those who have loved ones on the front lines for a year or more have my admiration. I know it isn't easy for them, I only know they do it because they have to.

So driving home I came to the conclusion that its okay to hurt when he leaves. Being brave doesn't mean being numb, it means going on even when you feel like your world is in disarray. So be it New Orleans, San Antonio, Afghanistan, or an Asian land war (as Ben likes to joke); 6 days or 6 months, I'll miss him just the same. I'll just remember how lucky I am to be able to love someone that much in the first place.

Hurry home Honey.