Sometimes You Just Fix It

DeathtoStock_Clementine4

There was a viral video that came out a couple of years ago in which a woman is complaining to her husband about a problem and was upset because he just kept trying to fix the problem instead of listening to her. It would cut to her husband intermittently, and he would exhaustively plead with her to simply fix the problem and that the solution was so obvious. In the middle of the video, we see that she has a nail stuck in her head, and her husband was trying to get her to stop complaining about the pain and simply remove the nail. They go on to argue about the situation and he finally gives in and “listens” to her talk about the problem some more.

Here, you can just watch it for yourself.

This is a bit sexist, pretty funny, and sadly, painfully true.

My husband is a pretty patient man. He has been there for me through now two pregnancies, two c-sections, and 4 ongoing attempts at child-rearing. It has not and is not pretty.

On Saturday, I had a meltdown that I wish I could blame on hormones, but it pretty much only stems from my own impatience and pettiness for my body to get “back to normal.” (2 weeks postpartum/post-op… seems reasonable, right?) Give me a break, feeling comfortable and somewhat attractive in clothes is a big deal! Anyway,  I was complaining that I didn’t have a lot to wear and that I was tired of looking this way and bah blah blah. I cried, you guys. Bryan sat patiently and waited for me to finish blubbering and then calmly responded:

“Ok, lets go get you a couple of things then.”

Like oh ok.

Why do I make things so difficult?

We drove the three minutes it takes to get to Old Navy where they happen to have been running a Mothers’ Day sale with BOGO free t-shirts and 20% off shorts (Which is what I needed the most). I was a happy camper. I feel 100% better knowing that I have a couple of things that actually fit me right now. Just whatever if they will be too big soon. You can take that logic and hit the road, sir. Alls I know is that I have crap to wear now.

Sometimes, the answer really is black and white. Sometimes, we need to shut up, stop talking about the problem, and just freaking fix it.

(Yes, Mom, I know you’ve been telling me this for years.)

Love, Alex

That Time at Mentor Camp

april seggebruch

This is April Seggebruch. She owns a company called Movista. She also played basketball for the Razorbacks. Soooo yeah, it was a pretty cool interview.

This is probably going to totally embarrass my husband, but let’s be honest, when has that ever stopped me? (That was a joke, it has actually stopped me a lot, believe it or not. Oh the stories I could tell…)

On Wednesday, I went with him to Mentor Camp, which is a thing that happens in different cities around the world (for reals) where people who are successful in business and entrepreneurship come together and meet with less seasoned companies and coach them. The founder, Permjot Valia, chose Northwest Arkansas as one of these cities. We’re officially the cool kids. Forbes thinks so too.

Mentor-Camp-Logo

Anyway, because my husband does cool things, namely, The Go Rogue Podcast, he and our friend Jason from Red Barn Studio  were able to set up a mock studio at the event and interview some really cool people from all over the world. I’m not gunna lie, you guys, seeing my husband talk shop with the big timers was pret-ty sexy. The sexiest part, however, is that he is super respected in this field. There were plenty of times where he was asked a difficult question or put on the spot in a way that made me nervous for him, but every single time, he handled himself so gracefully that I was impressed with him all over again.

joe stump

This is Bryan interviewing Joe Stump from Portland, Oregon. PORTLAND! Needless to say, Bryan had much to talk to him about his favorite city.

Uh, here's me "helping" with mic check. It was really just a lot of snarky answers to Bryan's test questions.

Uh, here’s me “helping” with mic check. It was really just a lot of snarky answers to Bryan’s test questions.

There have been lots of times recently where I have questioned how thinly Bryan spreads himself. He does a lot of stuff. And don’t get me wrong, I still hold to the fact that he needs to learn to manage his time with all of his side ventures in a better way, but it’s reminders like this that remind me to encourage him to keep going.

It’s only recently that I’ve been able to admit to myself that my husband is cooler than me. This is a pretty deep subject to delve into, but let’s explore it a little. There are two different reasons why this statement is not bad, but actually a good thing.

First, it helps me see the division of responsibilities that must exist between us. After working together on our businesses for almost 5 years now, we have finally started learning the importance if roles. I am not as outgoing or “Salesman-y” as Bryan, and that doesn’t make me less-than or a slacker. I’m good at the administrate stuff. And that has to be ok with me.

Second, it shows me the areas in my life where I could stand to be less afraid. Bryan is cooler than I am, he has less fear, I’ve written before about how much of a dreamer and eternal optimist he is, and that’s true in every facet of his life. He is doing such amazing things, and instead of thinking that he has worked hard to get to where he is and that he has earned it, he feels just so truly honored to get to be there with all of these successful people. It makes me want to be more like him. More brave. Less fearful. More carefree. Less cautious.

I strongly encourage all of you to support your significant other. Sure, we have to keep our dreamers grounded sometimes, but I never want to tether his soul too close to the earth. I needed this reminder, Mentor Camp. You keep doing you.

Love, Alex

P.S: Keep checking in at goroguepodcast.com to hear all of the interviews from Mentor Camp, including Stephanie McCratic (Who I LOVE), Permjot Valia, Joe Stump, April Seggebruch, Ross Webb, and Abby Kiefer.

Catching Up

**Remember how on my last post I said that the post I had all typed and ready was lost forever and I was ready to sing a Celine Dion song about it? Well it turns out that WordPress is much smarter than I gave it credit for, and it saved it! So here it is guys. Keep in mind, I typed this over a week ago and am too lazy to reread it right now, but here ya go. :)**

 

I swear I will get better at this, ok? This week/weekend has been CRAZY. Like, the craziest in a long time. I’ve been taking it surprisingly well, although I expect a full-on meltdown in the works soon. I’ll keep you posted on all of that…because I know you’re dying to hear more.

For now, I’ll share a recap of the Phoebe photos you’ve missed while I’ve been MIA. A good Phoebe Photo will always brighten the day.

After Phoebe’s worst nightmare of having to share her house and bed with my parents’ dogs this weekend, she rolled into Bryan’s bear blanket, which he shares with no one except for Phoebe apparently. She looked like she was swaddled like a baby. So pitiful.

I included an arial view so you could fully enjoy the patheticness.

Phoebe has all the energy necessary to play, but she doesn’t know how. I kid you not, she gets all excited and acts like she wants to play, and then when you try she will cower like a scardy cat. The only thing she does with toys is destroy them. Don’t even get me started with fetch. So when Mali is playing fetch with her tennis ball, Phoebe just requires a lot of attention to feel adequately and equally loved. This is usually the result.

Just ignore the letters drying in the corner there. I’m hosting a baby shower at my house this weekend with 3 other ladies and since I am craft-illiterate, my friend Dia, who is in charge of decorations, gave me the simplest job she could think of, and I love her for it. Oh, and I found a way to mess even that up. If you need an ego boost on craftiness, hit me up. I’ll tell you about my failures and make you feel better.

Finally, We are hosting Kanakuk Kampout counselors this week, which means we have 3 college guys in our house. Thankfully, we got some cool ones. They even did my dishes last night. Shortly after their arrival, Phoebe had them in her good graces, especially this guy, who asked if he could hold her like a baby. I told him she prefers it that way.

 

That’s a wrap guys!

No More Ms. Waaay Too Nice Girl.

While I like to think that I’m not a cocky or arrogant person, I will admit to being good at a few things. Among those are strong logic skills, the ability to help others through conflict, and mediating conflict with a relatively clear head. You know what else I’m good at? Arguing. I’ve been told my whole life that I should be a lawyer because of my logic and argumentation skills.

I have a degree in Communication which specializes in the interpersonal variety. I spent 4 years studying human communication in regards to relationships, conflict, business, broadcasting, and the list goes on.  I had a pretty decent GPA at the end of it, and I am proud of myself for the work I did.

Unfortunately, this very expensive education had little to no effect on my own personal experience with conflict. I fail in minor areas such as not being able to see the logic through the rage, getting frazzled and overwhelmed and outraged by all of the many thoughts going through my mind and whatever you just said, and getting tongue-tied out of utter confusion that someone else could POSSIBLY think whatever it is that I don’t agree with. Possibly worst of all, instead of truly believing the fact that I am an adult on the same level as other adults, I make up hierarchies of people in my head and don’t allow myself to get past it. This includes most people of authority, the parents of people my age, and any adult who knew me as a child.

Instead of putting that pricy education to good use and learning how to grow up and emotionally protect myself and my family, I have learned some very bad coping practices. I either do nothing at all out of fear of embarrassing myself, not saying the right thing, or worst of all, hurting someone’s feelings, or I try to argue my points but falter because of the afore-mentioned frustration. I am the queen of “I should have said/done/mentioned/brought up ______. That would have shown them!”

Though I know it will shock you, this sort of behavior brings out many unhealthy habits. I am guilty of slander and gossip. Of stuffing frustration and letting it linger and build. Of inviting bitterness into my heart and allowing it to build and shape me. Of being afraid to live my life the way that God leads me to out of fear for upsetting others or disrupting their expectations of me. Of disregarding my husband’s feelings because I know he will forgive me, while I’m afraid others won’t. (<– the WORST.)

As Christians, we care called to mature conflict. As adults, it is expected in order to thrive in community with others.

God expects more out of His children than this. We’re not supposed to be cowards, but I so am. Regardless of the fact that history (and God Himself) has shown that God will always be on our side when we act justly and wisely in His name. History has also shown that the most respected and trusted people are those who aren’t afraid to be themselves, speak their minds maturely, and keep negative words against others at bay.

So knowing this, what am I so afraid of? Who am I more willing to disappoint?

My husband?

My family?

God?

Or everyone else?

Something’s gotta give. This is bad for me and bad for my family and bad for whoever I am frustrated with.

I am resolving to more phone calls and coffee dates with the source of my frustration and not about the source of my frustration. To better assessment of when to act and when to let it go. To be stronger and less afraid to stand up for myself and rid of unhealthy relationships, but mostly unhealthy situations. This is because I truly believe that things would be better if we were on the same page instead of me stuffing my anger. I truly believe that relationships thrive in mutual respect and much much less passive aggression. I’m resolving to command more respect for myself from others, and to stop allowing myself to be stomped on be everyone who tries, regardless of my own perceived hierarchy.

I’m resolving to start acting like the adult that I am.

Solidarity? Anyone else handle conflict like a child? Ugh, this is going to take work….and liquid courage from time to time.

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!**

Sqeezing out the Yuck, or Something Like That.

Before we got married, Bryan and I went through premarital counseling with our pastor and his wife. I’ll never forget how she described marriage on several occasions. She said that marriage has a way of bringing all of the yuck inside of you to the surface and then squeezing it out. Lovely isn’t it? Somehow, I love that analogy. Like it has a way of showing us all of our ugly parts and forcing us to either rid of them or call it quits, and we all know which one of those is the healthy choice.

So Bryan and I have been looking at houses. We are becoming all too familiar with the phrase “Catching the house bug.” We’ve caught it. Oh has it been caught.

We rent right now, and neither of us has ever owned a house, so we get to go through this little taste of hell adventure together. The problem is, we see this process very differently from each other, and it’s bringing out all of the yuck in me. I think I’ve made it clear how refinement and the realization that I am not perfect makes me feel.

Bryan has always lived in smaller houses and grew up not having a lot of money, so he sees every house we look at with such amazement, I swear he thinks he’s looking at the Wonka Chocolate Factory. He is just so grateful for the fact that a house like that is even in the realm of possibilities for us. It’s all so sickeningly charming.

I, on the other hand, grew up living in decent-sized, while certainly not huge homes, didn’t have a share a room for most of my upbringing, and am just generally a selfish person, let’s just be honest. I look at each house as imperfect and not something I could possibly settle for.

I knew that admitting this would not be fun, but as I type it, I realize just how much yuck I have in me.

Sheesh am I the worst. How much of a horrible a-hole can you be if you find ways to complain about something that most of the world does not have. Gross gross gross. I am officially disgusted with myself.

I hate that I can’t see things with as much contentment as he does. His grateful heart and the sheer thankfulness that he encounters with each house we look at is astounding, and it simultaneously makes me feel like a terrible person and makes me want to be a better person.

God is really showing me a lot with this process. I am learning how yuck-filled I am and how thankful I should be that the wonderful man, friends, and Family that I have been blessed with put up with the apparent ton of crap I put out in the universe. I am learning that my dream home can definitely wait, and that all of this is God’s anyway, duh. I think I need to take a harder look at the yuck in me and do a better job of forcing it out instead of harboring my negativity.

Besides, I could never forgive myself if I made Bryan as jaded as I apparently am. I love that he sees the world in a brighter hue than I do, and I am going to start trying harder to rise to his level instead of bringing him down to mine.

Oh the joy of finding new areas of life that need work. Sooooo much yuck.

Please tell me I’m not the only who needs a dose of humble pie. What about you? What areas of your life have you recently found that need work?

The Daily Fav Day 23: My Loved Ones

So today is the day! After a year of waiting, getting excited, and talking a big game, my birthday is here again!

This year, as always, I wanted to spend it with the people I love, and that I did. On saturday, I got to spend the day with my momma shopping, eating lunch, getting our nails done, and drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages! I got to see my grandparents Saturday night, and Sunday I got to go to church, teach FPU and eat at my favorite restaurant (more on that tomorrow) with my favorite people and eat cake and ice cream (which y’all know I love)!

I have always known that my family dynamic was a little different from most, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are a witty, rambunctious, overly open and honest, loud, close-knit group. Bryan (Of course) fits right in with us all and has navigated the waters of pile-ons, dishing it out AND taking it, and flurries of pop-culture references like a champ. While we are, of course, polite and non-obnoxious in public, we rather enjoy seeing the looks on grandparents and other family members’ faces when we show our true colors.

They always make my birthday so special and beautiful. My family has graciously participated in my overly celebrated day for my whole life, never squashing my enthusiasm or making me feel unspecial or ordinary. Bryan has spent the entire month taking me on unique dates and treating me like a princess to celebrate this ridiculous holiday. I feel so overly loved and thankful.

I’m so glad that I come from where and who I do, and that I married who I did and inherited his family as my own, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yay Birthday!