18 things to do before you get married

When I called home yesterday Alex presented me with a list of 18 things i needed to do before i got married. (It turns out the list came off the back of a cereal box and really had nothing to do with weddings.) I should just tell you i love to make lists. and as opposed to all my other checklists, I am in surprisingly good shape :)

1. Ride the Worlds Biggest Roller coaster.
~ Until 2005 the world's biggest roller coaster was in Japan. Now, the record holder is in New Jersey. slightly more doable, but taking into account the cost of admission to Six Flags, price of gas for a cross-state trip, the amount of time it would take, the fact that Micah gets sick on rides that go around, and the fact that eventually, someone will build a bigger rollercoaster, i decided to see if i could negotiate on this one. It turns out that Lakemont has the world's OLDEST rollercoaster. let's face it, no one will ever build an older roller coaster. it defies logic. lakemont is closer to home and the cost is about 82% less than six flags and includes a water park. so there is a trip planned to lakemont this summer.

2. Bungee jump
~ I hate the feeling of free fall. I almost squeezed all the blood out of my friend Matt's hand when we went on the Tower of Terror in Disney world. i love rides that spin, swing or flip, but the drop ones, no thank you! but since it's on the list... Alex says that one of those extreme swing rides at amusement parks would count. a trip to Kenneywood is planned for this summer. I cant believe i plan on doing this (dont tell Alex, i also plan on chickening out :) )

3. Score the winning goal.
~I have done this. Playing Asbury College Soccer. I believe it was against Kentucky Christian. I would recognize the field. I scored. we won. Check.

4. Win an award.
~I got a ribbon for reading at Forst Hills Elementary School. We have pictures of this, bad hair and all. I also got a certificate for "most patient counselor" at Heart Camp and I was on the deans list once too. Checks all around.

5. Learn to play an instrument.
~I play the trombone, and i can plunk out a tune on the piano. Double Check.

6. Go Backstage at a concert.
~I was IN the band ;) (seehow cool that makes me) I have been "backstage" at marching band competitions, Christmas concerts, ajudications, parades, you name it. Check!

7. Meet your Idol.
~ This met with confusion. i'm not sure my Idol is alive. I'm not even sure who my idol is. (Besides the Cliche SundaySchool answer of "Jesus".) Alex's take: "you met Micah. Check" the kid's rooting for me.

8. Be on your favorite TV show.
~I'm not sure it counts as being on the show, or that it was my favorite show, but one of my videos was on TV here two weeks ago and my name was in the credits. it was even spelled right (which is more than i can say about my HS yearbook!) we decided that was impressive enough. Check!

9. Meet someone with your name.
~When i was in Greece for the Olympics, I actually did meet another Anastasia. She went by Sia. Check!

10. Make a discovery.
~Sunday afternoon, i discoverd that my bread was moldy, before i ate it too. Check.

11. Play a successful practical joke.
~ I am certain that in all my years of youth camp, i have done this. one time we Pushed the Asst. Director's car about 100 yards down a trail into the woods. i'm sure there's better, but that's all i can remember on the spot. check.

12. Have a pointless collection.
~If all my t-shirts don't count, i dont know what would. My favorite is a tie between the glow-in-the-dark Einstein and the Primatologist convention shirts. Check.

13. Invent a word and get it into the dictionary.
~ Nauffy. (adj) being like the creamy part of stroganoff in consitancy. EX. It is a really nauffy day outside. Also, I claim the verbation of the word happy. as in "that happys me"
neither are in the dictionary, YET. Half-check, but two of them, so check :)

14. Conquor your biggest fear.
~ See #2. plans are in place.

15. Raise money for charity.
~ I did the math-a-thon for St Judes. this is really funny if you know me. math. me. it's like abi and digital clocks. anyway, Check.

16. Road trip across the country.
~This is in the planning stages for directly after the wedding. I was granted an extension. if someone calls me on it on my way down the aisle, i'm claiming that the family vacation to South Dakota counts. sorta check.

17. Turn 25.
~Alex made this one up. The cereal box said 18. Due to poor scheduling of my birthday, i'll still be 24. what was my mom thinking having me in November! :) since he made it up, Alex says i have till I have my first child to do this one.

18. Pass your drivers test the first time.
~not to brag but, Check!!!

y'all are really brave to have read all this. i think it was probably a lot more entertaining to be part of the conversation. But i was entertained and I figured that some of you might appreciate having more than a 5 month notice on the requirements for marriage.



ever been to a wedding with a 50/50 raffle?

I dreamed that My Micah and his brother Judah, the best man, decided to do some male bonding. so they dyed their hair. for the wedding.
crayola green!
Micah said to me "green is one of the wedding colors, right? just chill out, dude"
It went down hill from there. trying to dye it back straightens out all the curls AND the green still shows. his solution is shaving his head. totally bald!!
have I ever mentioned here how much i Love Micah's blonde curls? or how much I love the idea of wedding pictures? it was not a happy dream.

we have actually had a conversation about wether or not he will get his haircut in the 6 months before the wedding. he would like to see how long he could get it. I told him he would get a haircut 10-14 days before the wedding. and not just a trim either!

In fact, we have had a number of crazy ideas thus far in the wedding planning process.
For instance, the idea of a unity sandwich instead of candles. (his mom puts peanut butter on a slice of bread, my mom does a slice with marshmallow fluff, and we make a sandwich. and then eat it!)
Micah took the picture of the couple who got married in McDonalds that I sent him as a serious suggestion.
Abi would like to have a coloring contest.
Judah says that the best man's only real job is holding the ring. And if we give his job to a preschooler, he wants to carry a gun to point at the congregation when Pastor Cope says the part about "any objections". (Judah will be carry the ring.)
Aunt Sara suggested putting the flowers in wheelbarrows so that we could move them from the ceremony to the dinner site and then the park more easily.
Micah says he will be in exactly one wedding picture and he wants it posed like the painting "American Gothic" (but with a rifle instead of a pitchfork)
Then there was my dad's idea of having the extra groomsman selling 50/50 raffle tickets at the door.
And no matter what Micah says, I will recognize him when I get home. That will put a wrench in his plan to have his friend Matt stand in for him at the altar. (I expect a few nightmares about this sometime in the next 5 months.)
After pawning me off on Matt, Micah and Chris will run off to party in Vegas with all the money from the 50/50 tickets.

Micah's brother offered to pay the judges fee if we eloped. Sometimes I wonder why we havent taken him up on it. :)


food i miss

biscuits from KFC
barbeque sauce
Primanti Brothers sandwich...bacon and cheese
Chicken salad with french fries and ranch dressing
Mango Salsa
corn bread and chili
German Chocolate Cake with teh coconut icing
Heinz Ketchup
taco bell....the mushy buritos....the cinnamon twists....

ok i'm gonna stop now.


a quiet place.

I've been stressed this entire year. it sounds much more dramatic that way rather than saying i've been stressed the past 2 weeks :) actually, i've been on the edge since before the holidays, and i'm starting to get back to normal.

it's not that i dont trust, it's that i forget that i do.

on repeat today, (with Great is Thy Faithfulness, and He's Always been Faithful):
When the enemy invades my peace
And I find that I need rest,
Battle weary I trudge along
And my faith’s put to the test.

I long for a quiet place
Where chaos does not reign,
Someone to bring serenity
And peace to my life.
My God’s in that quiet place
Where my strength can be renewed.
Come to that quiet place
Where He heals me and you.

When my spirit’s dull and dry
And courage needs to be restored,
When the condition of my soul is weak
And I’m longing for so much more

I long for a quiet place
Where chaos does not reign,
Someone to bring serenity
And peace to my life.
My God’s in that quiet place
Where my strength can be renewed.
Come to that quiet place
Where he heals me and you.

~Rev. T. Chris Alderton



i have been having the weirdest dreams the past week.

first off, and by far the freakiest, i have dreamed that i went blind THREE nights. and two of those times, i had kids. and once it was a special needs kid! this is freaking me out. imagine all the things you can't do if you are blind. Video editing, photography, reading a new knitting pattern, reading a book (i find braille VERY intimidating). you cant make sure your kids arent licking steak knives and sticking them into electrical sockets, you couldnt even change a diaper!!

second weird dream aslo dealing with kids. i set a little girl on fire
to be fair, i didnt willfully set her on fire, i was in charge of watching her and she crawled into the bonfore that was inexplicably in the front of the room. i got to her before she caught real fire and only her hair singed and the ruffled edge of her shirt.

THEN, i had an entire dream in the form of a flashback. it was all about the time that i used to be friends with someone. somehow, even though it was never shown, i knew that in the present time we were enemies. the real kicker was not hte flashback aspect though, it was that the enemy was Marissa, and in my dream she was a gymnast. the leotard the balance beam. really funny.

so yeah, i now dream in dramatic devices....what's your point, Alex's dreams have outtakes like on a DVD.


new year, new week....

"Maybe we need to rethink our time frame.

Maybe, instead of setting resolutions for an entire year, let's choose a resolution or two for this week. Who knows where we'll all be by spring? Let's set a goal or two that we can achieve by Friday -- and maybe, just maybe, we'll build on that achievement next week -- and the week after that."

~Butch Ward

like i said, resolutions scare me. but I like this. because i do want to be a better person. thus begins my new feature....."this week's resolution!!"

hmmmmm maybe i need a better title for this....lol i declare this the beta version! when i leave beta, i'll retitle it.

at any rate, this week, only one cause i'm starting on wednesday

drumroll please

i resolve to stretch every night before bed


Have you made your list of New Year’s resolutions yet? I thought about it and decided not to make a list for 2007, it’s just too intimidating.
Instead, I sat down this morning and wrote out my 2006 resolutions. It was a lot more fun. Plus, I have everything checked off already! And everyone knows that the fun of making lists is checking things off of them.

To Do in 2006:
 Move a LONG way from home and family.
 Fall in love with a city you have never heard of before.
 Realize there is nothing wrong with asking how to flush the toilet. (Do this more than once)
 Make all new friends with wonderful people.
 Learn fun and useless Slovak words: “soldering pen,” “better than having wire in your eye” and “I am a confused blueberry”.
 Find a great Slovak teacher and learn Slovak. (I’d learn more if I studied like I should.)
 Thoroughly embarrass myself with the help of the language barrier multiple times.
 Cry a fair deal.
 Laugh a whole lot more.
 Acquire a passable skill and tolerance for using public transportation.
 Feel glaringly out of place.
 Feel like I fit right in.
 Hike up a few mountains and through a river.
 Travel to Prague, Berlin, Budapest and all over Slovakia
 Visit my first Castle. Don’t stop at just one.
 Experience God’s faithfulness first hand over and over again.
 Get engaged (Micah visited twice and the second time he brought a ring. I said yes)
 Make a number of videos that I am proud of. (They have been shown to literally thousands of people and we just sent one to Slovak National Television!)
 Become a Jane of all trades. (I have done everything from making video clips and nametags, to cutting out admission tickets. From setting up projectors, photographing and cutting video, to wrapping cable.)
 Eat a TON of ice cream!! (2 scoops, 45 cents!)
 Pray a lot (I knew I was prayed for even more.)
 I worked and lived in a construction zone. (I learned and grew so much that I might as well have been a construction zone.)
 Celebrate Easter, The 4th of July, Thanksgiving and my Birthday in a foreign country.
 Get my hair cut in a foreign language.
 Switch to speaking about Presov as “home” and YFC Slovakia as “we”.
 Be a part of something big that God is doing in Slovakia

So, that’s my list AND I still have 3 and a half months left here in Slovakia!

This has been a big year for me. I have had more blessings and stretching opportunities that I could have ever imagined. I hope that your year has been as blessed as mine and that next year will be even more so.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,