Ben - Our First Year

A Personal Post

I never dated a whole lot growing up. I've had a few boyfriends here and there but no long term relationships at all. I wanted to only date guys that I could see myself marrying & not just date for fun. Also, I didn't really think I was good at this whole relationship thing. I was usually the third, fifth or even my personal record, a 7th wheel. I felt like Jennifer Lopez  in The Wedding Planner (except I didn't run off with one of my grooms). You know that quote in the movie "You know, those who can't do, teach? Those who can't wed, plan." Well, it was like that but photographing weddings;)

July 9th, 2012 - It was a pretty typical Monday night for me. Jacki Hill & Ally Brantley and I had dressed up to go to dinner in Lake Oconee.

We have a girls night every once in a while and we love to be able to get out of Milledgeville for a change of scenery. We were almost to the restaurant when my phone  pops up with a Facebook message from some Ben Smith guy. I read it quickly and laughed to the girls about it. I said something like, 'Ha! Check this guy out, he wants me to go to dinner or church with him, pfft' (I was kind of mean to guys). The girls immediately wanted to know exactly what he said, who he was, what he looked like, etc. I wasn't really sure who he was though. Apparently we had mutual friends on Facebook(my brother Levi was one of them) and he had added me a couple of months ago. I remember viewing his page & thinking he was cute but that was about it. Asking someone out over Facebook was weird in my opinion & and when I looked at his page I really didn't think we would have much in common & that he was probably weird (overthink much?). The girls wouldn't let it die though. They kept saying, "What would it hurt?! Just give him a chance." I reluctantly said I might message him back. I mean, after all this weird guy was pretty cute;)
The next day I wrote Ben back. See, he had literally asked me to dinner OR church. Church? On a first date? WHHHATT?! I can't imagine a more awkward first date than going to church with someone. I'm a Christian and firm believer in going to church and all but definitely not for a first date. I could just see us meeting in the pew and standing there awkwardly. Needless to say, after a few messages back and forth, a very specific question about him being an ax murderer, me texting several of our mutual friends to make sure he wasn't nuts, I agreed to a date.
July 12th, 2012 - We met at The Brick. I remember being SO nervous. You see, I'm awkward in general & I'm even more awkward on first dates. Blah blah blah, blah blah blah, 3 hours later & only a little bit of our food eaten, we left The Brick. The whole thing went so well I couldn't believe it. I remember thinking that we would end up dating. I couldn't get over the fact that I was able to talk to him so easily & nothing was forced. I definitely went home that night with a crush on this Ben Smith guy.
We  became completely  inseparable ever since that first date. On August 17th Ben survived his first "Family Friday" at my parents house. He met my parents and most of my siblings. Surviving one of those put him on a different level with me. I knew if he could survive meeting all  6 of my brothers without being killed, we were good to go. On August 22nd I  finally visited Ben's church in Warner Robins. I met a lot of his friends and  most importantly I met Chuck Morseman. See, Ben had been debating over if he should contact me and ask me out or not. Chuck gave him a little push just like Jacki and Ally did with me. I gave Chuck a high five that night and told him thank you. After we left church, Ben asked me to be his girlfriend in his parents driveway. I definitely said yes!
Here are a few pictures of us over this past year...
Our first Valentines....
A few months into our relationship, we were going through Ben's Facebook pictures and came across this...we both freaked out.
Yep, that's me behind Ben at church (Voice of Truth), it was posted on Facebook July 8, 2007. Ben & my friend Patricia were friends and so I know I MUST have met him while at church! Oh my goodness what a small world!
March 12, 2013
Ben asked me to be his wife!!! I wrote the whole story out on Facebook, here is what I wrote...
Ben & I have been talking more "serious" for a few months now. Lately we have talked about how we wanted to get married in November or December of this year. By the way we talked and discussed things, I figured we would get engaged sometime this summer. That is why this was a TOTAL surprise yesterday. I had absolutley NO clue.
Every Tuesday night, for the past two months, Ben has come to Milledgeville for a Dave Ramsey class. When he got to my house we went through our normal routine of me running outside to see him when he got here, hugging it out for a bit, and then returning inside to change and relax. Yesterday was also our 8 month anniversary from our first date. We kept being cheesy and talking about that as we sat on the couch. Ben was planning on asking me later in the evening after dinner but apparently I set it up for him pretty well. He mentioned that it was a really pretty day so I asked him if he wanted to sit on the front porch. He agreed and we went out there with Bruno(my dog). I sat on the swing as Ben started playing with Bruno. He kept playing with him so I finally asked him if he was going to ever sit down with me(demanding much?;). He then took both of my hands and said he was going to get a little sentimental on me. I figured it was just because it was our 8 month anniversary. He started talking about how the front porch was where we had our first kiss, how much his life had changed since he met me, what I meant to him, etc. For the very first time, he told me that he loved me(when we first started our relationship we talked about how we didn't want to throw those three words around until we REALLY meant it and were ready to commit and never stop loving each other. This was extremely hard because we've both wanted to tell each other for so long. I already knew he loved me though). After he said those three amazing words, he told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. At this point that was the only thing that started making me question if he was going to ask me to marry him. I literally still thought he was just being sweet on our anniversary. The next thing that made me wonder if he was about to pop the question was when his hands started shaking. I barely had time to wonder(maybe 5-10 seconds of thinking this could be it) before he got down on one knee, pulled the ring out and asked me to be his wife. I was in shock but obviously said yes, a few times;). I did this weird crying-laughing thing(I'm still not sure what that was) as I hugged him. I still can't believe it because I had NO CLUE. He then put the ring on my finger. It was his great grandmothers ring, grandmothers, mothers, and now mine. That made it even more special to me. We are both still in shock but soo excited. I am so excited to be his wife.
This has been THE best year of my entire life. I am so grateful to God for bringing Ben into my life. He is the man of my dreams and prayers. I feel like I've prayed for him for forever. God's timing is perfect though. I get emotional just thinking about God's gift to me. Ben is the biggest blessing & the most amazing best friend. I hope and pray that our relationship brings glory to God for forever.
I ask that you would please pray for us as we get married this November. We are so excited!
Ben, I love you with all my heart.