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.