Saturday, February 11, 2012

That's right folks.....I'm Getting Married

Rhen & Anna Story: part I

This has been an interesting and long journey, but well worth it in the end! I have known my fiancée, Rhen, for about 7 1/2 years. So, that means we met at the awkward age of 14. I must say, I admit that I thought he was cute, but never in a million years would I have believed that I was going to marry him! We became good friends almost instantly and then the story really begins. He was always there for me, whether I needed to vent to him about teenage drama outside Starbucks at midnight or walking with me through the death of a loved one. He really is the most faithful and loyal person I know (I'm sure anyone who knows him would immediately agree with me). He is also the most selfless person I know. He's always looking for some way to serve someone else. He really does inspire me everyday. I'll stop gushing and get back to the story at hand. Now, Rhen and I's friendship was not at all drama-free and we definitely had our ups and downs. We liked each other, but hardly admitted it. It's the classic "I have a crush on him, but I can't tell him because I'm too scared and we're just friends. We're just friends." I can't tell you how many times I had to tell my girlfriends that. Every time there was a sleepover, his name would come up. Skipping ahead a couple years (we were probably 17 or so), Rhen finally got up the courage to ask me out on Valentine's Day (that's a pretty big first date, if you ask me). I said I would go, but I didn't know precisely how awkward it would be. We were not at all in the place in our personal lives that we could start a relationship, and there was all this tension of "I like you-I don't like you" that had built up over the years. He didn't have a car at the time, so we were going to take mine. I insisted on driving since it was my car (I will later find out that insisting on driving with my date in the passenger seat is a control issue-who knew?), and he was trying his hardest to make it a surprise. So, he was giving me turn-by-turn directions like a GPS and we ended up at J. Alexander's. We awkwardly split a dessert and attempted to compliment each other's outfits, but it just was NOT working. We came back to my house and watched a movie. I made sure that there was something between us on the couch so that he wouldn't try and hold my hand or anything (that would have freaked the heck out of me at the time!). I know I'm going into great detail, but I just have to share all of this so that you fully understand how amazing our God is for forming a perfect puzzle out of such misshaped pieces. I think this is a good place to leave off for part I. I tried to fit the whole story in, but it's just too long! I will leave you with how my darling Rhen proposed:

Ok, so I had seen this coming for a while.I knew he had gotten my dad's blessing (we have very good communication), and I had a feeling that he had the ring. I have been in love with my great grandmother, Nanny's, ring since I was probably 13. It is the most gorgeous thing and talk about an incredible legacy attached to it! Now, I was positive that Nanny would still be with us when I got married, so I wanted a ring just like it, but God decided he wanted Nanny with Him (I can absolutely see why!) a couple of years ago. Rhen was actually close to Nanny as well, which makes this even more special. I was convinced he was going to propose last Thursday. It didn't happen. Friday? Nope. Saturday? Still no. SUNDAY????? Sorry, no. This is exactly how I was feeling. I can usually read Rhen like a book, but he really stumped me this time. I knew he had a plan and I wasn't going to mess with it. So, on Friday (2/3), Rhen sent me to get a manicure & pedicure for "no reason". Yeah, right. I knew why, I just decided to go along with it. He also sent me to get a massage that afternoon (I know, ladies, I got a good one). That day proposal. On Saturday, he took my car and filled it with gas (that is a lot more expensive than it sounds). I actually didn't think much about this. I just thought "Wow, my boyfriend is the best". On Sunday, we were at the mall looking at wedding bands for him (we do things kind of backwards) and he wanted to take me to Forever 21. He bought me a couple of things there and then took me to Target to finish out the shopping spree. I don't like people buying things for me, so this was very hard. I thought "Surely tonight" proposal. By Monday, I had given up trying to figure it all out. I knew that night we were going to dinner and to our friend's house like we do every Monday night, so until then, I was cleaning my room. Rhen was over fixing my mom's phone (he's like a Mac Whisperer) and he asks if I'm ready to leave. The conversation went something like this:

R: Hey, you ready to go?

A: I thought you said I had time to finish cleaning my room. I haven't even vacuumed yet!

R: No, you do. That's fine.

Shortly after, my sister, Emily, and my mom say something about going to Whole Foods. Not unusual. So, I'm upstairs cleaning my room and Rhen sticks his head in, somewhat frantic.

R: Angie (Rhen lives with her and her husband) is locked out of the house and she needs my house hey. She's waiting at Barnes & Noble.

A: Can you just go and you can come back and pick me up?

R: Can't you just finish your room later?

A: *huffy breath* fine. We're just going to the Yordy's after, right?

R: Right.

A: Good, I'm just going to dress in sweats.

R: Why don't you wear something that I got you yesterday?

Ok, I'm a little suspicious. Why would he want me to wear a cute shirt to go hang out and watch a show? He eventually got me out of the house, dressed up and everything. We head to Barnes & Noble. This place has been a HUGE part of our relationship. We're in the cafe almost everyday and I live with my nose in books, so I LOVE it there. Also, some of our best friends work there (because we go there so much). So, we meet Angie in the cafe, and she's in a big hurry, so she runs out.

R: There's this devotional that someone said we should get. It's supposed to be really good and I want to buy it for you. (A new book??? Yes, please!!)

So, we head back to the "Christian Inspiration" section and he hands me the book "Love Dare". I open it and find not just devotionals, but a very sparkly something that resembles a....... a ring!!!! It's a ring!!!! Not just a ring, but my Nanny's ring.
I shut the book really fast, because I don't want to let myself believe it if it's really not true. But, when I look up, Rhen is on one knee, professing his undying love for me and then I hear these four words: will you marry me? I, of course, said yes! Then, all of a sudden, I hear claps and cheers. I look to my left and see my whole family, Barnes & Noble friends and Angie popping out from behind book cases like little elves and running toward me (with all of their iPhones out of course). I was overwhelmed! I was so happy that Rhen had included them all. After all the excitement sort of died down and I had hugged everyone in the store (including some I didn't know), Rhen said we had to hurry because we had reservations. He took me to Stoney River and we had a romantic dinner. After that, he brought me back home and surprised me (AGAIN!!!) with about 40 of my friends and family for a surprise Engagement Party! I have never felt so loved as I looked around at all the people surrounding us.
So, this gives you a small taste of how unbelievably incredible and amazing the man I am marrying actually is. I could write about him in a hundred blogs and I wouldn't come close to describing how wonderful he is. I will continue our love story in my next blog (part II). I'll leave you with this: No matter what we go through, God always knows and is forming the path ahead with the desires of our hearts in full knowledge and will almost ALWAYS work in ways we don't understand. Let Him. It always works out better that way.

Anna Smith (soon to be Anna Bovi!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Thoughts On...Tea

Ok, so first of all, let me make this extremely clear. I love coffee. Just in case you didn't catch that, I'll say it again. I LOVE COFFEE. I mean seriously. Coffee & Me = Best Friends. Now, do I actually need coffee? Eh, probably not (you could probably just ask anyone who knows me). So, I got a coffee yesterday and I can't lie to you, I wasn't really feeling it. It might be because I'm sick or it might be because I've had too much of it, but I just didn't like it that much. Then it dawns on me. I don't need coffee. I could save $4 a day by not drinking coffee. Coffee doesn't own me. Talk about freedom of bondage. Then another fact dawns on me. I'm addicted. That's right, folks, I'm addicted. Now I've gotta go through the pain of withdrawals (night sweats, tremors, you name it--not really, but you get the point). I do get these horrible headaches after about 8 hours of being apart from the stuff. Geez, it's more like an ex-boyfriend than a stimulant. So, I'm not feeling well yesterday, I have that aha moment with the coffee and then I come home. I'm thinking,"Man, I could really use a hot beverage right now." But, not coffee (I know better than to turn back to that controlling liquid). I go through the list of non-coffee drinks in my head: hot chocolate (incredible, but a little too heavy), cider (we are currently out of cider. Besides, way too sweet), tea----hold up. Yes, that sounds perfect. It's as light as water, I can control the sweetness so I don't fall over dead and there's so many flavors to choose from. So, I have tea. And it is MARVELOUS. I don't know what clicked yesterday, but I've had probably 12 cups of tea in about a day and a half. I guess my mom always tried to get me to drink it and I just assumed when she said it was the "healthier drink", that it was disgusting. Well, I was wrong (Mother, I am sorry). I've also noticed that I LOVE fruit teas. Pomegranate, blueberry, peach, pineapple (who knew, right?). I mean, this stuff's amazing. So, I leave you with this: Don't turn something away because it's healthy. It might just save you from over-caffeinating yourself, bouncing off the walls and having to be hooked up to a coffee IV. I'm telling you, you won't regret it. Drinking tea doesn't mean you have to take yoga or meditate out in a field at 5am (something that my brother actually planned to do when he was 18...didn't happen). Drink tea and think happy thoughts.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Thoughts On...Christmas

This was written on Christmas Eve:

Christmas is a strange thing. When you're a kid, every day in December is the longest day in the world. When you're older, it's like,"Where the heck did December come from? I swear it was July yesterday." So, here we are on Christmas Eve. I've got everything ready for Christmas and now I get to relax. Oh, how I wish those words were true. Truth is, I have a small habit of committing to way more than I have time for. This is when super powers would come in handy. Well, Christmas is here, ready or not, and I have some serious wrapping to do. Or perhaps I could start throwing my unwrapped gifts at their recipients. That would be a fun tradition to begin...

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Thoughts On...Snow

Ok...I have decided. I am not a huge fan of Snow. Let me rephrase that. I am not a huge fan of Snow unless I can stay inside next to a fire and play hooky from life until it clears. I have learned over the past couple of years that Snow brings its friend. He's called Ice. I despise Ice. I truly do. Nothing good comes from Ice. Right now, I can't get home. Why? Because of ICE! Ice belongs in the Arctic. Not Tennessee. I think this rant might be the product of my car doing a 180 on the ice a few years ago. Granted, it was funny at the time for strange reasons, but I don't much like the feeling of being out of control. But, I have noticed that men LOVE it. It's a challenge to them. "Make it home alive. Then I win." They try to be heroes. NEWSFLASH: MODERN DAY HEROES SAVE PEOPLE FROM FIRES. THEY AREN'T CONSIDERED HEROES FOR DRIVING ON THE ICE. THEY ARE CONSIDERED STUPID. It's not worth risking your life to prove that you're awesome. Men are STUBBORN. "Don't worry, honey. I have four-wheel drive!""I don't care. It's ice.""But we'll be fine! I have this under control.""Like you had the bathroom remodel 'under control'?-----that's what I thought." I don't mean to hate on men. I don't hate men. Just Ice.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On the Road Again...with Earl. we're back on tour after 2 weeks in Canada. We have stopped in South Carolina for a women's conference tonight. Tomorrow, we are off to South Africa...a wonderful 16 hours of flying. Since I'm not terribly fond of flying, you can have a sense of how excited I am. After Africa, we are headed to Zambia, Brazil, Costa Rica and Guatemala. I'm pretty stoked. I'm hoping to keep up this blog as I go, so you can feel like you're with us. Oh, and I brought my friend, Earl, to accompany me. He's not afraid of flying, so I've asked him to hold my hand throughout the flight. He's very supportive. He will most likely be showing up in my pictures throughout this trip. Hope that's all right.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Are You Mad At Me? Are You Sure? Really? Ok

Ok, so this post is about the sad "relationships" that surround us. I was in a store yesterday trying on some clothes and had to listen to the most unbelievable conversation I have probably heard in my life. This girl (we'll just call her Susan) was talking to her boyfriend about the Christmas parties she went to and how they weren't even good because there wasn't much dancing and a couple guys had asked her to slow dance (why she would tell this to her boyfriend that is out of town, I have no idea. STUPID MOVE #1). Then, Susan asks him, "Are you mad at me? Are you sure? Well, ok." (STUPID MOVE #2) Doesn't it make you mad when someone asks if you're mad? Well, it does for me. Then Susan starts getting onto him about not liking to dance. She literally said this, "You never dance with me. I swear, you won't even dance at our wedding. I'm gonna be out there dancing all by my lonesome." (STUPID MOVE #3) Seriously? Ok, why this girl thinks that she is even close to the maturity level of getting married is beyond me. Then comes this line again, "Are you sure you're not mad at me? Really? You just sound like you are. Ok." At this point, he's probably getting a little mad. If he puts up with her, he must be a very patient guy. I would have hung up already. She talks a little bit about what she ate last night (SUSHI!!!) and that she was so hungry the other night that she had to stop at a gas station and pick up a Hot Pocket (Oh, God forbid). Next, Susan talks about how she misses him. "I want you to come home. I was just telling Sarah the other day that I haven't missed you this much in a really long time." (Oh good, at least she missed him a little bit. STUPID MOVE #4. I get what she was trying to say. She just said it wrong.) Ok, you're out of town. Your girlfriend (or boyfriend) is at home. They go to parties. They get mad at you for not wanting to dance (what did I do? I was just spending Christmas with my family). They talk about your future wedding (our future what?). They haven't missed you this much in a REALLY long time (what is that supposed to mean, exactly?). So, to sum it up.....this is a REALLY sad relationship. To make it better, after a very sweet goodbye and asking ONE LAST TIME if he was sure he wasn't mad at her (he definitely is by now), she hangs up the phone and says to her friend, "I can't stand him!" Boy, the honesty in today's relationships blow my mind. I'm not gonna lie, it's pretty entertaining, but it's sad. Now, when's that wedding?

This story has nothing to do with college, but I've already titled the others with "COLLEGE STORY #_", and I like uniformity. My family and I were on a plane getting ready to go to back home after a beautiful wedding in Virginia. Tyler (brother) and I were sharing funny stories about weird things that have happened to us. There was a bit of confusion. This is how the conversation went down:

ANNA: Oh my gosh, Tyler, have I ever told you about the West End Starbucks story?
TYLER: Wait, the what?
ANNA: The West End Starbucks story.
TYLER: Are you saying Weston or West End?
ANNA:, West End.
TYLER: Oh! The West End Starbucks?
...5 second pause...
ANNA: So have you heard it?
Tyler: Oh! No.
At this point, the story doesn't really matter. That conversation was incredible enough. I'll tell you anyway though. The story consists of me getting the first Pumpkin Spice latte of the season at Starbucks. I was walking out about to take a sip. A car honked at someone and scared me to death. Well, let's just say that the Pumpkin Spice latte didn't end up in my mouth. Oh well...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Weigh Yourself Everyday for Better Health"....if only more people knew.

Ok, so it's been a while....I apologize for that. Once again, my life has decided to take the bumpy, off-road trail without warning me. School has gotten to be insane. I now know why college students are so crazy...they're sleep deprived, malnourished and over-worked. Alright, it's not that bad, but it's still bad. Today, I'd like to discuss the difference of college from high school. First, the freshman 15. Oh dear...touchy subject. I don't quite understand it, because when I got here, I lost 15 pounds. A little confusing. Then, I got stressed and gained 6...then the stress dialed down and I lost 3. Who knows where I am now. So, if someone asks me how much I weigh, I would honestly say, "I couldn't tell ya." It's a funny thing.
Also, something else that comes with college is the thought that comes with every morning: "Wow, I really don't want to get up. You know...I don't really have to get up. It is my decision. Mom's not here." That's when you get in trouble. But, surprisingly, students seem to come to class. Although, some of them are still in pajamas. Great effort, folks.
So, I'm taking the class "Introduction to Mathmatecal Reasoning". I can truthfully say that I will never use this in my life. Unless, of course, I run into a problem like this: "Hmmm...I have 52 cards in a deck...golly I wonder...just what would happen if I drew a 7 of hearts? What percentage of hearts are left? I must find out." Probability of a question like that making it's way into my brain: probably close to zero, unless college really does make me go crazy. Scary thought. Well, more comparison between college and high school in the next post and when I'm more awake and don't have to write 2 papers.

Ok, so this wasn't AT college, but I still count it because I was doing homework. I left my house one day to go to Startbucks to watch a movie for school. As I was going down the driveway I looked down and realized that there was a tear in my really nice jeans in the inner left thigh. I thought "Well, darn, my favorite pair of jeans. Oh well, nobody will notice." I got to Starbucks and sat on one of the "comfy chairs" (the ones that are squishy and nice). I was having a difficult time trying to balance the computer on my knees, while trying to eat and drink my Caramel Macchiato. I spotted an open table. "Awesome". So, I sat down on one of the hard wood chairs and I just felt the cold of the wood...I mean REALLY felt it. "Oh no". The one tear I saw unfortunately was not the only one. There was another hole that stretched across the back of about half my thigh. All I kept thinking was "How the heck do I get out of here?". So, I tried to pull my sweater down and walk strangely. I finally got out hoping no one saw me. I walked quickly to my car and of course, someone I knew was sitting right out front. At this point I didn't really care. True story.

P.S. If you're wondering about the title of this post, I saw it on one of those scales that are in mall and gas station bathrooms..the ones you have to pay to weigh yourself on...and I thought "Well, that seems ridiculous. So, you're saying that if I simply weigh myself everyday, I'll be healthy? Amazing".