Girls Write Out
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Okay, take a good look at the second picture. No, don't look at the accidental blond, look at the hunky guy with the beard--no, not MY beard, Mel's! I had this on my laptop screen when he came home from work. I thought it looked pretty good. Mel wasn't so sure.

We knew on Saturday that we would have to either do a photo shoot ourselves or put ourselves at the mercy of a professional photographer. Since two of our favorites, Amber Zimmerman and Grant Schmidt, live too far away in opposite directions, we decided to make a date of it and try to do it ourselves.

Mel took his beloved little camera in his hot little hand and off we went to Jolly Mill, Missouri, and Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where our next books are to be set. It was a fun day because Mel loves taking pictures, and this was a rare day when I allowed him to photograph me. He went a little wild.

I pulled up some of the shots yesterday on the computer and showed them to Mel. The first picture you see at the top was his reaction.

"Crow's feet! I have crow's feet!" he said.

"Those are laugh lines. They're beautiful."

"Lines. That's what they are. Lines. Age lines. I'm getting old."

"They are marks of laughter, showing a life lived with joy and abandon. It shows your character. And don't forget, I'm older than you."

That shut him up, and he knows I believe what I said about the beautiful lines.

When I was a little girl, I looked at those lines on the faces of my parents and my aunts and uncles--who were all very attractive people--and couldn't wait until I had some of my own. So I laughed a lot, practiced in the mirror to see how naturally I could smile while producing those laugh lines. It took awhile. It took years. Actually, decades, but finally I have them, and I will not have Mel fretting over his.

Getting old physically is hard, but there are some good things about it. My favorites are the laugh lines that reflect a life of joy. Other lines reflect deep sorrow. Experience shows in the eyes, in the way a person looks out at the world. In some eyes, I may see beauty, but I may also see bitterness and cynicism. Unfortunately, I see that in the mirror on some days. Other days I see satisfaction, a deeper understanding, and my special favorite, I see the confidence that, no matter what I look like on the outside, or even what my heart reflects on any given day, God loves me unconditionally.

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? What are some of your favorite physical traits that you appreciate about yourself as you grow older and your beauty seasons?

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 10:16 PM  
  Comments (9)
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At 12:57 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

What a cool picture of you and Mel! You make the proverbial "lovely couple." Haaaa

When I look in the mirror I see my mother. Ack! I'm too young to look the way I remember her! Actually I am not, but often I don't want to admit that. I see the laugh/cry lines, the gray hair, the crooked smile...all the features from my mom that are burned into my memory. There are times when I pass the mirror and quickly glance into it that I see my mother instead of me. It's kind of shocking...especially so when I demonstrate the same personality traits. Oy vey! I've actually become her!!

At 10:02 AM, Blogger Crystal Laine Miller said...

I love these photos of you two. You look great.

As to the "getting older" business--I hate it. But, with that said, I remember this wrinkle between the eyes that I named the "Pierson worry wrinkle" because my grandfather, aunts, and my mom all had it. I wondered if when I got old enough for wrinkles if I would inherit it. I've tried really hard to keep my forehead smooth (though no Botox--ack! poison!) I prefer the laugh lines, frankly.

Our faces tell a story, don't they?

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I agree, Ruthie, except, I look in the mirror and sometimes see my grandma. Since I have at least 45 first cousins on my mother's side (yes, really) I see all kinds of family traits. One of my closest women cousins looks exactly like my grandmother did. Grandma was beautiful.

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I agree with you, Crystal. Botox scares me. I know a lot of people use it, but Mel wonders what could happen if it "woke up" or "got loose." LOL

I appreciate the attributes that connect me to family, especially since I have no brothers or sisters or children. That connection is important.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger Deborah Raney said...

Cheryl, I'd totally forgotten that I admired laugh lines in my aunts and uncles too! Wow! You've made me see my own crows' feet in a whole different way this morning. (Could you write something equally cheering about double chins?)

At 5:47 PM, Blogger celestemc said...

I loved this! What a refreshing perspective... thank you!

At 7:51 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

About double chins, Deb...LOL...all I know is I think I notice my own more than anyone else does. And if that isn't true, I don't want anyone to tell me!

For photo shoots, the V neck elongates, looking up at the camera diminishes double chin, and in a straight shot, lower your chin, don't raise it. I'm sure you know all these already, but I'm just learning them.

Celestemc, when you look in the mirror, try to see what God sees in you.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger jel said...

that's a nice shot of the 2 of ya!

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Thank you, my dear jel. I'm on a ladies retreat this weekend and missing my hubby.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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