So You’re Probably Wondering…

Remember that one time when I posted about how my emotions and feelings were going haywire and I wasn’t sure why? And how I took a pregnancy test and it was negative and I was all “THEN WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH ME?!?”

Well… It turns out my body was like “Psych! You actually are PREGNANT!”

Two for good measure :).

Two for good measure :).

 

As you’ve probably noticed, I kind of fell off the face of the earth when it comes to blogging. A better person than I could have handled it much more professionally, but as we stayed tight-lipped and quiet about the pregnancy, I felt like it was hard to find things to say about anything else. This is kind of a big deal, you know? I mean…just a tad… in my world anyway. I have always intended the purpose of this blog to be to share things I learn about God and life in general as I journey through my own, and this is what was going on in my life, so I didn’t know how to talk about stuff without discussing IT.

But now that we posted this pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) announcement yesterday, I can spew all of the things and all of the thoughts from all of the days I haven’t been blogging! Woo hoo!

Shout out to our good friends Arden and Matt Baltzell for the use of their adorable nursery for who is sure to be their adorable daughter Cambrie coming in July!

 

As of yesterday, I am 11 weeks along. Why did we post a little early, you ask? Well, because we had a bit of a scare last week. I genuinely feel like God was teaching me trust in and thankfulness to Him through all of this. I had been dealing with a lot of fear of miscarriage and other things that go wrong in pregnancies, so I was praying through some of that and asking that God would give me a peace about the life of our baby either way. RIGHT FREAKING AFTER THAT, I went to the bathroom to..you know..take a pee, and I found some blood which scared me to death. I handled things calmly, and by that I mean called Bryan, my mom, and the doctor’s office whilst freaking the eff out with tears pouring down my face.

Somewhere between calling the doctor, waiting for a nurse to call me back, and rushing to the clinic to make sure everything was ok, I did calm down a bit. And if you know me at all, you’d know that this is in no way shape or form because of me. I don’t do “calm” very well. I do “panic and get crap donevery, very well.

I prayed A TON for this baby on that day. I prayed that God would help me put my money where my mouth was and actually trust Him with the life of my child. I prayed that He would leave the baby with us, here on earth, but that I could be ok with it if not. And mostly I prayed that s/he was ok and healthy and wonderful and ALIVE.

Mad props to Parkhill clinic for being on the ball. The nurse told me at first that the earliest appointment they had available was later that afternoon, then for some reason…could be because she could tell that this mama-to-be would not do well that day unless I could get in sooner…who knows… she told me to just come and they would fit me in wherever they could.

I am among the women who are terrified to have male doctors all up in my junk, and guess who my doctor was? A dude. But y’all? I loved him. He was wonderful and reassuring and I wouldn’t have had it another way. He made sure we knew quickly that our baby was perfectly fine and healthy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Check out those puffy eyes. So sexy.

Wait, what was that? Behind us? OH RIGHT it’s the first photo of our precious child! (#LilFitt for the hashtag savvy crew.)

Hand and foot in there, y'all. HAND AND FOOT.

Hand and foot in there, y’all. HAND AND FOOT.

 

Alright so… Some FAQs:

1. Were we trying? No. We had planned on trying in a few months though, so it’s not as giant of a surprise as some other couples.

2. How am I feeling? Like a pile of crap. I was thrilled and glowy for like a week and then I was over being pregnant because “MORNING” SICKNESS (12 pm-bedtime in my case).

3. Will I become a mommy blogger? Again, the purpose of this blog is to share the life lessons I come across through my journey, and that usually means talking about what’s going on in my life. Just expect more of the same, probably. Same self-deprecation humor, same expressions, same terrible-quality photos, same endless pop-culture references.

4. Does this mean you guys will fall off the face of the earth and stop hanging out and doing stuff, even last-minute? Heck. No. Please don’t stop inviting us to do things. We have zero problem with non-family babysitters or leaving our child in the capable hands of others while we go to the movies or out to dinner. Plus, even if we were, we have like 700 family members in our close proximity and plan on using and abusing them for date nights, weekends away, and the like as much as they will let us.

5. Uhhh yeah? What about that #IWillBeThere campain? Well, much like all the songs Mark McGrath’s girlfriend used to sing and their favorite TV shows, that sucker is gone out the window for now. Pre-pregnancy Alex was all “When I get pregnant I’m totally going to work out and stay super-fit!” and then Present-day Alex is all like “Bleghhhegh!” (<– That’s the sound of throw-up, lovely right?) I really do hope I can work out some later on in pregnancy, but for now an occational walk feels like when Rocky ran to the top of the steps and pumped his fist like a true champion. Ask me about it early next year, but for now I’m thinking I will not meet my goal of Size 6 by July.

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

Most recent preggo pic: 10 weeks!

 

How cute is he? BABY DADDY!

Expect to hear from me more in the future, dear readers, now that my exciting news-cat is out of the bag!

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I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just a Little Unwell

**Sidenote (…or topnote): I wrote this on Friday, but am just now getting around to posting it, hence the past-tense verbage.**

 

Y’all, this is my third post this week, crazy right? I am on fire. Or at least I feel like I am and we can all pretend a little can’t we?

Anyways…. soooo um, I have always wanted to foster a sense of openness on here. To be painfully real. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty “real” in real life too, but somewhere between my first vent-session with more people than I would like and a full on melt-down in front of waaaaay more people than I would like, I start to feel a sense of embarrassment. Like “Ok Alex, you’ve let them know you’re hurting and could use some prayer, but let’s quit while you’re ahead and before you let them in on the fact that you’re a crazy psycho sometimes.”

I get ashamed that sometimes the advice doesn’t help, it only reminds me that, try as I might, I can’t just get over it, or pray it away, or let it go. It’s in this place that I usually decide that people will tire of hearing the same hurts over and over again and consider me helpless because I seem to just be wallowing in my feelings.

I’m here to say that I’m losing it, you guys. Seriously. Losing my crap.

I have been a mess lately, and I don’t exactly know why. I tried on Monday to convince myself that the day of the week was somehow to blame, but it hasn’t stopped. All of the spaziness and clumsy moves have continued, and they’ve invited their friends Random Crying and Self-Loathing.

I have been just a loss-of-concentration away from tears at all times. I have been snappy and sad and unpleasant to say the least. I have not been doing my quiet time. It has been very difficult to find God in all of this.

There have certainly been actual contributions to my hurt, it’s not all crazy, I promise! But it sure feels like it sometimes. I know what you’re thinking and no, I’m not pregnant, which although we aren’t “trying yet” was one of the “actual contributions” mentioned above.

Although I know deep down that I am learning something crucial, I still have prayed that God would rescue me. I have told Him I can’t find Him, that I feel like He’s not listening. I know in my heart that He’s really with me and on my side, and that knowledge alone has kept me from relinquishing hope, but it has begged me to wonder why I feel so abandoned. I’ve allowed myself to crawl into a dark space and let Satan whisper to me that I am alone. That no one cares and I’m just being a drama queen.

It was today, on my 87th (est.) trip to the bathroom at work to prevent tears and tell myself to get it freaking together that God reminded me of something. I have fewer times in my life where I felt a true “God-moment” than I would like, but in that place I found myself looking at my hands. I heard God tell me that He made them, and I can curse them just like the rest of myself, but He created something and called it good, whether I want to believe it or not.

As I kept staring down through the floodgates that finally burst, He used those same hands to remind me that His own human hands were pierced for me. That may seem like Christianity 101, but in that moment I neeeeeeded that. I needed to be reminded that regardless of my hurts, pains, and failure to trust, He would allow His own perfect hands to be crushed again and again for me.

I’m still hurting. I’m still fighting back tears. I’m still resistant to change and advice that I’ve heard too many times before.

I’m still His. And although I deny that I’m worthy of His help even as I cry out for it, I know that there is light at the end of this crap, and beauty within it.

Maybe I should take my own advice, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck right now.

Solidarity anyone? Does your life suck right now and you may or may not know why exactly?

Alright Christians, Let’s All Take a Chill Pill – A “Noah” Review Guest Post!

I have never been a big fan of epics. I love movies and I will watch epics if I must, but they’re not my favorite. This is why I chose to opt out of seeing Noah with my wonderful husband Bryan this past weekend. He and our friend Chris saw it together, and I was impressed with his review of it. Having heard his take on the film and then reading the slander it has been getting from people who have not even seen it for themselves was a little disappointing. It is because of this that he has graciously agreed to do my very first guest post (!!) with his own views and thoughts from this very scandalous movie.

I hope you enjoy it and give him the same amount of love you wonderful people give me! Oh! and while you’re at it, check out his latest adventure, the Go Rogue Podcast! If you give ‘er a listen after they launch, you’ll catch a lot of recording copy written by yours truly! So excited to be able to be a part of his projects.

Since the debut of this *little* movie, Christians everywhere have been Freaking. Out. “Did you know the director’s an atheist?” “God gave him the instructions in dreams and visions, not by speaking to him, which is obviously how it really happened.” “There are ROCK PEOPLE, I mean come on.”

Well I, along with my youth pastor friend, recently ignored the danger of being led astray by a movie and went to see it. I have wanted to see this film since the trailer came out, and I wanted to see for myself what all the hype/fuss was about.

I gotta say guys, I really really liked it. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I’ll try to get through this review with very few spoilers, but if you’re seriously worried about it you should remember that THIS IS BASED OFF OF A BIBLE STORY and fretting over spoilers here is the exact same as being upset that someone told you that The Titanic sinks in the end. No, scratch that, it’s worse.

I truly think that stereotypical fundamentalists will never be happy with anything produced in Hollywood, save for your cheesy, feel good, corny videos that come out of Christian production from the 90s. And don’t get me wrong, I loved that crap as a child. But even The Passion of the Christ, which was almost spot-on to the biblical representation, had so many Christians out there hating on it that the movie got a bad rap over small details. There are currently three movies about God/the Bible in theaters: The Son of God, God’s Not Dead, and Noah. I’m sure this is due to the fact that it is so close to Easter, but still that’s awesome for the Christian faith to have so many spots in the limelight. However, it also opens the floodgates for criticism.

Growing up, the story of Noah was always told in a very fun-loving way in that all the animals on the ark were saved and how amazing and wonderful the whole experience was. The same is true for the story of Moses and the children of Israel getting out of Egypt. Really just the whole Old Testament is like that. We’re given the perfect storybook versions of The Old Testament, the OG Bible if you will, while in reality it is actually pretty gruesome and brutal for the most part. A lot of people died in masses for disobeying God before Jesus came and changed history forever. This film should not receive flack for portraying a violent version of a violent Bible Story.

First off, let me just say that I am a big Russell Crowe fan, and always have been. Unlike my lovely bride, I love dark, epic-type movies and I think we can all agree that Russell Crowe wins at them. Other than the awesomeness that is Mr. Crowe,the movie had many other pluses.

Although I already knew this, I walked away from the theater feeling that God was justified in wiping out mankind. The director, despite his apparent feelings about God in real life, does a great job of portraying God as just and holy in whole story. I’m specifically referring to the wickedness of man in the day. We have some knowledge about cultural practices in the day that led God to this very powerful action, and although I’m sure the horrific behavior was much worse in actual history, the movie does an excellent job of demonstrating that God allowed the flood for actual, real reasons.

God is referenced as the sole Creator. They understood God and had a holy fear of Him, and it was definitely a more reverent way of viewing God than we often see Him now. Even the “bad guy” in the movie quoted the scriptures, but twisted them for his own agenda. The creation story is very much highlighted in the film in wonderful ways. They really did a really good job visually making it come to life and showing how God loved what He created. I actually teared up during this part because of how much I take for granted God’s awesome power, just seeing how magnificent and wonderful He is and how he can do mighty things.

The flood story was told in a very gruesome and as I imagine realistic way. The most visual scene for me was when Noah has a vision of being in water and corpses are floating all around and screaming. It was difficult to watch, yes, but if you want to tell me that Noah was all smiling and happy like in the storybook Bible, then I will call you crazy. The movie takes you through the real struggles that Noah and his family probably went through. They don’t make it look easy. They had to deal with the deaths of the entire population around them. I think one of the most realistic parts of the movie was right after the flood started, and a scene opens up to Noah sitting in the dark. You can hear through the rain the screams of the people on the outside. I think that probably describes how hard it had to be for those that were on the ark to listen to that horrific noise for countless hours. The director held no bars in depicting this image.

They portrayed very strongly how we were placed here to protect God’s creation as our intended job. It talked a lot about taking care of the earth and protecting the animals. With a lot of recent news about the mass production of animal food and other environmental issues, I have really struggled with this and have felt convicted to do a better job of lessening my carbon footprint on this earth. I will stand before God one day and answer to what I did to take care of the world He created. How well did I protect the innocent? How well did I take care of those who are in need and in pain? How well did my life glorify God and His creation?

In every “based on a true story” movie, there are always scenes and depictions that we all wish could have been done differently, and this one is no different.

The connection between the struggles of being human and following God’s will is a tough one. They touched on this difficulty with the weird and twisted notion that Noah felt he had to kill his family because he thought that God wanted everyone to die. It’s tough to be certain of God’s will all the time, and it’s interesting that they brought up this idea, but I just think they took it way too far.

One of the biggest talked-about parts in the film is the Rock Creatures. They are portrayed as fallen angels cursed by God but decide to help Noah with the ark building. I think we can all agree that this is extremely far-fetched. The ark took a crap-ton of time to build, so this notion was most-likely there for production and effects’ sake. I do think it’s interesting that they included fallen angels into the story though. Although it was not included in the Bible, the book of Enoch talks about angels who have come down as watchers to help mankind, so that may have been where this idea came from.

Of course with any movie, there are going to be things that you wish were done differently.

I wish we could’ve seen the righteous Noah that was described in the Bible who didn’t want to see this many people being wiped off the earth. Crowe’s version seems to really hate people.

I wish I could’ve seen more of how they built the ark instead of relying on rock creatures to help them. There is historical evidence that people in that day were bigger and may have been more capable to build things like that with limited tools and man power than we are today.

I wish I could’ve seen more of the struggles that they went through on the ark. That’s a freaking long time to be cooped up with the same people! They coined the term “Cabin Fever.”

Lastly, I really wish that they had’ve made a bigger deal of the descent from the ark and them seeing the new world after the flood.

Overall, I think it was a great movie and it has definitely made me have a more interesting view of what most likely actually happened. Although they may have taken some liberties, the powers that be tried to make one of the most epic stories in the Bible into an epic film. They even try to cram several Bible stories into one with the story of Methuselah (who historians believe may have finally died in the flood) and by making the parallel between Noah thinking he needed to kill his children like Abraham did and to Sodom and Gomorrah. They also gave a nod to Adam and Eve in the creation story and the fall of man.

What I hope we can all remember is this: I don’t think we have to defend God or the Bible, I think He can take care of Himself. This is a gruesome but true story. Our God is a loving God, but He’s also a just God who should be feared and looked at as holy. Beyond all of the hype, I think that this film truly portrays the magnificence of our awesome God. This movie begs us to ask questions about God and His character, and I believe both were represented strongly. I personally have seen several social media posts from people asking questions about God simply through watching this movie, and I honestly think that this is the central theme of what we should be about as Christians. It makes me want to go back and look through the Scriptures and really do some digging to know more about the story. I want to know more about the Old Testament and specifically about creation.

The makers of this film used the special effects that Hollywood offers to attempt to hold even a flicker of a candle to how amazing our God is, and I think that’s pretty cool.

 

**I apologize for some of you getting this in your inbox twice. I actually just reposted it entirely because of a formatting issue that I am too “non-computery” to know how to fix. Thanks for understanding and sorry to blow up your inbox!**

…And Then I Came up Short.

So I had my first weigh-in since my little change of heart that led to this post, and I only lost 1.5 pounds this week, and not 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 like I was hoping.

Naturally, I freaked out and wanted to cry, but then Bryan was like “Good job Babe! You didn’t gain any weight and you actually lost some even though we haven’t been to the gym in the past couple of days and we didn’t eat great with my parents last night. You should be proud of yourself!”

I wasn’t proud of myself. I hate that some people can like, sneeze and lose weight. OR DO NOTHING AND LOSE WEIGHT. I hate that I have to try. I hate that I can’t eat and COOK what I want. I hate that I didn’t lose 5 pounds instead of 2. I hate I hate I hate.

I seriously let this ruin my morning.

It’s slowly hitting me, though, that he’s right. I SHOULD be proud of myself. I did eat not-so-great last night. I did succumb to not working out for the past two days because we’ve had stuff going on. And I still lost weight!

I’m slowly becoming as proud of myself as Bryan apparently is.

I am reminded of how I am such a brat to God. I try to be so independent, and worry instead of pray, and I don’t trust Him completely, and I don’t see the world and my life through a lens of Him like I should. And then I act all upset that I can’t do it all on my own. I let it get me down and I kick myself for not getting it right, like ever. Much like that whole weight thingie, it makes me feel like I will never get better or change or grow, and something in me refuses to see any growth that actually is there!

Ugh! This refinement thing is so hard in all areas of life! And yes I know that the definition of refinement implies the difficulty and pain. My blog is called REFINING ALEX, duh. I’m still allowed to forget and be shocked and surprised by it right? AAAGGH.

I AM learning though, I am. I am better with my weight and self-control than I was yesterday, and I’m still going to strive for that to be true tomorrow. In the same way, I can only hope that I grow more in God each day. And God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, in fact, He’s counting on me not to be, and He already has it covered.

I turned down a cookie the other day. A chocolate chip cookie. A FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. I am so Superwoman right now y’all. I don’t even care that I’m I’m self-complementing. I can do this.

I’m not giving up. I will be there.