Looking Back: The Big Twelve in 2012
Looking back at 2012 it went so fast and there were so many things that happened that I wish I could remember. Hence, another reason for starting this blog. I want to start by recapping twelve of the biggest moments that happened in 2012. I am going to try and do them in the order they occurred.
1. Moved to Winston-Salem, NC
In January 2012 we moved into what I thought was the most darling house (pictured below). Come to find out this quaint little place came with some big problems, including: bugs, heating & cooling issues, and doesn't get clean no matter how hard you try!
2. Started the Accelerated BSN Program at Winston Salem State University
On January 11, 2012 I had my first day in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and I thought my life was over. This program is the typical 24 months of nursing school crammed into 13 fast-paced months. For the first 8 weeks of the I went to class Tuesday-Friday 8-5, studied every day, and had roughly 3 tests a week. Luckily that time has passed and now I have just 5 weeks left!
|I wrote this on the first day of orientation in the program|
3. Met These People
When I first started the program I thought: get in and get out. I wasn't here to make friends, I was here to get my BSN and a job. However, I met these people who would potentially change my our life forever. We knew little about each other, but shared the common bond of the program. Now they are some of my best friends.
|Todd, Me, Melanie, Elizabeth, & Josh on Saint Patrick's Day 2012|
|Todd, Elizabeth, Me, Melanie, Kailee, & Josh at pinning|
|Elizabeth Poulose: I am pretty sure we were separated at birth.|
4. Jared Started at John Deere Hitachi
When we first moved to the Winston area Jared was working for GEP which put him at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Things were going well until around March when R.J. Reynolds decided to cancel the contract with GEP. This meant that Jared would either have to move with the company to New Jersey (not an option in my mind) or find a new job (during a time when it seemed impossible). I was in a panic, but Jared reassured me that everything would be ok. Turns out it was more than ok! Jared was offered at position at his dream company, John Deere Hitachi in Kernersville, NC! I say "dream company" because in 2009 when Jared was first back in school he made a list of potential job opportunities and the only one he could list was "John Deere." This job offer was just the start to Jared's new path in 2012 :)
|One of my favorites: Jared with Downtown Winston behind him the night he accepted the John Deere Hitachi offer|
|The List. Our friend Layne took this picture in early 2009. It is blurry, but cracks me up|
5. James Graduated from East Carolina University
My brother James is one of the most amazing people in the world. He is one of my best friends and a major support system for me. This year he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Services Management from East Carolina University all while working one full time job, a part time job, and going to class online. Talk about dedication! He is now attending George Washington University pursuing his Master of Science in Health Care Quality.
|My brothers Michael (left), James (right) and I at James' graduation dinner!|
6. Became Obsessed with Cooking
It started out as a way to separate myself from studying, but quickly turned in to an obsession. I would get on Pinterest daily in search of new recipes to try. This then lead me to blogs and sites that only fueled my love of trying to cook new things. My favorite thing to do is find "healthier" options of our favorite foods. This also helps get Jared to eat vegetables! There are too many pictures to post of the meals that I have cooked in the past, but I promise to update with pictures and recipes from here on out.
7. Jared Became a Demon Deacon
Jared was looking in to Master of Business programs to start after I got finished with school. This was not something that he had planned on venturing into until after he was settled in his new job for a little while and I was out in the working world. However, in early August Jared was approached by a representative from the School of Business at Wake Forest University. Two weeks later Jared took the GMAT and was accepted into one of the top rated Master of Business Administration programs in the country! He will complete the program in August 2014 and I could not be more proud of him!
|I think I cried when the acceptance package came in|
|Jared and I have very different methods of studying|
|Through the MBA program we met these gems, Gwyn and Neil! And fell in love.|
8. We got ENGAGED!
Obviously, this was the biggest and most amazing thing that happened to us in 2012, but like I said I wanted to keep the events in order of how they happend as best I could.
Jared proposed on August 31, 2012 around 12:40 pm (yes, I remember every detail). I had just finished my Pediatrics Nursing final and we were on our way to watch N.C. State take on Tennessee in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, G.A. When we pulled over at the rest stop at the North Carolina-South Carolina border I was not expecting Jared to ask me to marry him.
He pretended like something was wrong with the car and that we needed to pull over. Getting to a reststop to me meant I had a chance to use the bathroom. When I got out Jared had the hood to the truck popped and I thought, "Oh, great we are going to be stranded in SC (again) and miss the game." Little did I know my life was about to change forever. He asked me to come look at something. I was not amused because I know nothing about cars, but I played along. This is when he took my hands, his were really shaky, and said, "I have a really important question to ask you..." He proceeded to get down on one knee. I couldn't believe, 1. That is was happening and 2. That this was happening here of all places. He asked me to marry him and I said YES
and then called him a jerk. It was perfect.
|First picture taken after we got engaged (looking rough)|
On the way down we were able to call all of our friends and family to share the wonderful news. When we made it to Atlanta, some our friends did not know yet because we wanted to surprise them in person. Well, it worked! The faces and sounds that came from Alyson and Hannah will never be topped. When we returned to Winston from our trip, Jared had my mom and brothers surprise me at the house! Just another reminder of why he is such an amazing man! The weekend was perfectly filled with love and support from family and friends.
9. Learned the True Meaning of Family and Friends
Although 2012 was an amazing year for the two of us, it was also an extremely difficult one. We were in a new place, starting back to school, and starting new careers. We were starting fresh with little money and little idea of where this crazy road would take us. Our family and close friends remained by our side and supported us every step of the way and we could not be more thankful for them. Below are just a few of my favorites from 2012 with our amazing friends (more good times to obviously following in 2013)!
|Layne, Caitlin, Me, Hannah, & Alyson|
|Chad, Jared, Thomas, Bunn, Hawkins, & Hillman at Men's Night Out 2012|
|I don't know what I would do without them|
|Christopher Chinn: Best Man|
|The Happy Meal--Best Friends til the End|
10. Began Wedding Planning
Let me just tell you, this is not as easy as Martha Stewart, David Tutera, and Southern Living make it out to be..
I am learning about budgeting and compromise. The main thing that Jared and I want out of our wedding is that our family and friends have an amazing time. At the end of the day not many people are going to remember what centerpieces we had and whether or not we gave out favors. So far the process has been minimally stressful because I am wanting to save most of the heavy planning for once I am out of school. We have tackled, venue, date and dress. I am pretty impressed with us. I am excited to dive in once school is finally over!
11. Rice Family Portrait
It is a Rice family tradition to take a family professional portrait every five years. Well this year at Christmas time in Texas (which in itself is amazing) I was asked to join the family photo since I will soon be joining the Rice family. I am so excited to be part of such a wonderful family. They have welcomed me with open arms since the first time they met me five years ago. I love them very much and feel so blessed to soon be officially part of the family.
|Rice Family in the Trees|
|Future Sister: Charli Kay|
12. Last Holidays as a Spicka
Although I am excited to join the Rice family, it will be a big change to leave some of my own family traditions behind. As many people know, I am very close with my mom and brothers. For a long time it has only been the four of us. Christmas has always been a special holiday for us and typically we go on a trip together around that time. However, this year was different (mainly, because I am in school and we couldn't go anywhere). I was lucky enough to spend Christmas Eve with the Rice and Culbertson families which are both HUGE traditions in Texas (Jared hasn't missed a Christmas Eve in 27 years if that tells you anything). Then I flew home on Christmas morning to be with my family in Wilmington. Next Christmas we will be married and changes will be made to traditions on both ends.
|Brothers and Best Friends|
|Guess Mom or Mimi is going to knit Jared a stocking|
Looking Forward: What's to come in 2013?
Only time will tell.
For right now I am focused on finishing school, getting my BSN, RN, and getting a REAL job!
Will keep you all posted on all the fabulous events as they happen!