Why blog?

It's therapeutic... specially for dorks like me who communicate better when they have the chance to process their thoughts, select their words, and write precisely what they want to say. As much as I'm a "talker", I stumble, stutter, and don't always say things right. English as a second language might have something to do with that (unfortunately, I don't think I could blog in Spanish... I lost my grammar in that language). I like to pour out my thoughts and leave it out there in the cosmos (or the world wide web) for other people to mull over...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Now what?

So I'm now trying to blog about something else to keep my mind off how I physically feel. *blegh*

There's been a lot of questions in my mind, and I guess even though I've been here in Anchorage for a year I'm still trying to find my place. I love my job, and I'm disappointed when I can't physically go because I truthfully don't mind being at the office at all. Still, do I want to go into law? Nope. Not at all. What do I want to do? Here's what I've concluded: I either want to be America's Next Top Model, or a Vet, or a physical trainer (exercise coach).

But guess what? There are no veterinary schools in Anchorage. At all. Not even tech schools. I'd have to move to FAIRBANKS. You non-Alaskan people can look it up on a map. If you thought Anchorage was far, FAIRBANKS is like a rock's throw away from the north pole.

I need to lose 30 lbs before trying to teach others how to be healthy! I'm working on it.

Soooo I guess I will send in an application to ANTM and see what happens. The worst that can happen is rejection, which now that my skin is much tougher, I can live with that! In fact, rejection I can deal with. Hypocrisy I can't. Backstabbing either. I've experienced enough of both and it's only by the grace of GOD working in me that I'm not a paranoid, un-trusting freak.

So that's a crossroad that I'm at. I dunno whether to stay or go in a lot of different areas in my life so I'm opting for the path of total inactivity until I make up my mind or its made up for me. I feel this way about my church too. So I guess I'm going back to my original question, "God, why did You bring me all the way to Anchorage?" Because He had the power to provide Paul a good job in Florida, where we were already settled in an AWESOME church, and had the support of our AWESOME family... Where Christmas and New Years and Thanksgiving were AWESOME... and all our AWESOME friends since junior high were there...

It's hard not to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side!

And then again, I LOVE Anchorage. I love the weather, believe it or not - or at least, how extreme it changes. I love the mountains. I love the scenery. I love the downtown and I love the suburbs. I love the fresh air and the 10 months or so I haven't had a migraine headache (with 2 exceptions). I love that my kids can play in the back yard (when the snow isn't 4 ft high) and I can watch them w/o worry. I love seeing the Moose (or "Meese", as I call them in plural) off the side of the road.

But once again, here I am asking, "Now what?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I am having a rough time. I've hit a screeching breaks halt in my life right now in my goals and just my energy, period.

Lately I always feel like really bad allergies - on my way to a sinus headache - you know, that burn you feel just before you sneeze? Imagine being on "pause" at that very moment all day, and feeling that burn all the time. That's how I feel.

I'm sleepy all the time. But at 10pm, when I NEED to sleep, I'm wide awake.

I started focusing on my weight goals again and I exercised Monday, but not today because I was tired and sore. Then I tell Paul I'm going to sleep at 9pm, but get a surge of "I can't sleep" because everything hurts so I do groceries instead. What in the world!?

At least I know I'm still watching what I put in my mouth. And at work, the biggest chunk of my day, I do pretty good! I'm watching calories and not counting them in detail, but being aware of serving sizes.

I'm short fused with the kids and I have no patience with them whatsoever. And it's because of always feeling exhausted and running on fumes. Then I'll try to relax and pick up my Bible and I can't focus on what I'm reading because it hurts to read.

Which, by the way, is a major part of what I do at work. I need to read documents and read stuff and type stuff in correctly and I've contributed to deforesting 1/3 of the planet based on all the pages I had to shred because I wrote "Cape" instead of "Cave" or "46,442.00" instead of "44,462.00". Not to mention the waste of billable hours.

I need strong prayer support! Paul comes home not this week, but next week. Vanessa has been a great help. The kids haven't been THAT bad. But I have this secret goal I am pursuing and I need to get myself together. At least physically.

The kids need me to. They need me to play and read to them and I've stunk completely at being a mom.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Had such a bad hair day...

Ok I guess I want to blog about what I decided to do.... shave my head... which is by far the most spontaneous thing I have EVER done... but I want to walk through it in prayer that you would understand.First of all, I have always .. ALWAYS... been moved by cancer patients and cancer survivors. I had a minor case of cervical cancer, and short of a minor surgery I was fine. But then I remember my grandmother's long, and defeating battle. How she died about a month after our wedding... How much I wanted to fly her up here and how clueless I was to how sick she really was - because she never let on that she was DYING from cancer. All her conversations were about you: How are YOU doing? What are YOU up to? What do YOU want me to send you? So when 2 weeks before my wedding she says, "You know, I just don't feel well enough to fly up there right now... but maybe we'll see each other this summer? Or you and Paul can vacation here for Christmas?" I was disappointed, but no where near as aware of what happened until my mom called me in tears. My mom was able to see her before she passed away... and my mom still can't talk about what she looked like or how that experience was - and it was 5 years ago!

Then I remember keeping up with my Aunt's status reports after she was diagnosed with breast cancer... How she kept losing weight.. How she lost her hair... and some teeth. Which she was already a very thin woman with short hair - I couldn't imagine her any thinner. My mom went down there that summer and helped her out a bit. She recovered, and is cancer free now. I never fathomed what I would look like any other way than this:
I signed up for Relay for Life and I had a few wonderful people donate $130 out of my $300 goal. And I thought that was awesome! And I can totally walk for a whole day if that helps advance cancer research. And I'm still prepping to borrow a tent and pull together a team to walk with me.

Then one Saturday morning my sister-in-law wants us to go to something that she was invited to somewhere... I'm like, "Sure!" And then this is what is going on:

People have pledged to shave their head in exchange for donations. And the donations are for treatment for children with cancer. And when I walked in, they had raised already $19,000+. They also had a bone marrow donor booth where you can sign up for the registry if you let them take a swab of the inside of your cheeks. They had face painting, auctions, etc. And I saw beautiful, bald young children making friends with Anakin.

And as I asked how it works and all, I had an inward conversation with myself (and maybe God? I guess I don't know) and I just felt... Lord, we've had it so good. And we are so comfortable. And I can't remember the last time I did something that required some stretching on my part. It's like we have reached a new age of Christianity where, here in the US, we're not even familiar with sacrifice; we serve where we are able, when we are able, but we never inconvenience ourselves. Lord, how can the world truly know who YOU are?

Well, it's been my prayer theme this week too. I want God to shine through me. What can I do to live above the status quo? Raise the bar on my own definition of being a city on a hill. I want to know at the end of my road that I gave it my all, and left it all here, and there are no regrets. That I loved with everything I had, and then some. That no matter what their previous or other experience was, people would have a more accurate perception of my loving Savior because of having known me - if nothing else.

Then I thought, who could need to know about Christ more than a child who is struggling with cancer? Who could I think of that would need to experience His love the most in this present moment than the children who are relying on this event? And you know, it would irritate me to be condescended by another Christian who maybe would feel the only appropriate way to give is through a church... not that it has happened, but it's a potential peeve.

So I donated my hair to Locks for Love and I registered to raise some $$.

Now please don't assume that I'm insinuating you have to shave your head to be a good Christian, it was a personal challenge to ME to be more sacrificial - God will lead you in your ways. But now my prayer is that I didn't just shave my head to do so, but that it raises funds.
So I'm going to include the link below, and I'm begging you to give. You don't have to shave your head bald. I did. You can just give. Skip out on ONE starbucks, or McD's, and give $5. If every friend I had did so, I can well raise over $500. No exaggeration. Just pass it along.

See, most people think that to give you need to wait until you have an extra $100. Well that never comes. But you CAN choose to say "I can pass on eating out one time this week" and donate the money you would've spent.

Here it goes!
Maria Hass St. Baldrick's Participant Page