Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meet My Ladies

And this is how we feel...

We still have a ton to do but are trying very hard to soak up this time of being engaged. 
This weekend we are finally finishing registering! 
I know Jared is just excited about scanning things with the price gun...
But it is time we get serious.

For the six month mark I thought it would be fun to introduce the six beautiful ladies of the wedding party...


Maid of Honor
Caitlin and I met in middle school and didn't exactly get along at first. However, we became inseparable the summer before starting high school. She is like a sister to me and I am so thankful she will be standing next to me on the biggest day of my life.


Where do I even begin? Meghan and I have been friends since as long as I can remember. My parents met her dad when we first moved to North Carolina when I was four. We grew up playing soccer together and became especially close in middle school. Typically one of us loses their voice when we are together, hopefully that won't happen before the big day!


I met Layne our Freshman year of college at NC State. She was my suite-mate and Caitlin's roommate. We became close fast. She has always been able to make me laugh and most of the time sometimes not even on purpose. She is one of the most genuine people I know and I am so lucky to be able to call her one of my best friends. 


I really wanted to write her name "HANNN-NNUUHH" because I screamed that down the hall of our dorm just a few nights after we met. Hannah doesn't like hugs or affection really, but she is blunt and cries at just about everything. I love everything about her. Thank you, University Towers for bringing two wild forces together. 


I met Alyson through Hannah our freshman year as well. First thing that comes to mind when I think of Alyson is, kind. She would honestly do anything for her friends and is always willing to help out with whatever is going on in our lives. She is also really good at making laugh, a lot. She is just my sweet little Aly. 

Charli Kay

Charli is my soon to be sister-in-law! She is Jared's younger and only sister. Luckily, I am just barely 4 months older than her because Jared always said he would never date younger than his sister ;) Charli and I have a lot in common. For example, we both enjoy eating brownies with ice cream for breakfast and watching documentaires about Robert Pattinson (this actually happened one Christmas in Texas). I am so excited to officially have the sister that I have always wanted and that we not only get along, but we are friends! 

This was one of my favorite posts thus far! I was able to walk scroll down memory lane looking at all the pictures and remembering the times we shared together. It was a task to find both "decent" and "appropriate" pictures for the collages I made for each of them. But, writing this brought back so many wonderful memories, reminded me of how much fun we have had, and also made me feel kind of old. I have known each of my bridesmaids for at least 5 years and that says a lot. 

I am beyond blessed to be able to share the most wonderful day of my life with these six lovely ladies! Friends like mine are few & far between and I want each of you to know how special you are to me. Thank you for all that you have done for me and my relationship with Jared over the past years. I love you all and can't wait to continue the memories! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Wine A Little

Yesterday we took a little day trip to a small winery located in Graham, NC. It was a Living Social deal and let's face it, we have a lot of time on our hands to kill, especially me being jobless and all.

Elizabeth's cousins were in town for a little mini vacation. They are from up north so being down in North Carolina brought on a number of comments about burning things, the Mason Dixon Line, hippies, Chapel Hill, racism, filters, Southern accents, tanning, hashtags, and more. Honestly, I haven't had that much fun or laughed as hard as I did yesterday in a long time.
Benjamin Winery in Graham, NC 
Lovely Ladies
Nurses Who Wine
Megan had too much strawberry wine 

We topped off a perfect day of wine tasting with slices of cheesecake from Cheesecakes by Alex in downtown Greensboro, NC. 
Strawberry Red Velvet Cheesecake!
My day of wine didn't end there... 

I cracked open my 2007 Zinfandel that I got on the winery tour we went on for my mom's birthday in January 2012. I held on to this bottle for a little over a year and wanted to wait until I passed the NCLEX to open that baby. 

Well as of yesterday my nursing license is officially active and posted on the NCBON registry! Hallelujah! I will drink to that. 
This may be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen
(other than my engagement ring)
However, my day would not be complete without these wonderful boys...
Looking feisty in his bandana 
This is my favorite
Love them

Finally, GO PACK!!! Today is our first NCAA Tournament game against Temple University! 
Survive and Advance! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

He Didn't Go To Jared...

Yesterday at 5am (yes, that time is right) I received a text from our good friends Gwyn and Neil saying that Neil had FINALLY popped the question! They are officially engaged and we could not be happier for the two of them! 
We met Gwyn and Neil about 2 weeks before Jared and I got engaged. Gwyn and Jared are in the same MBA program together. We became really close quickly! Since they have basically been on our engagement journey with us I am so excited to share in their experience and can't wait for all the planning to begin! 

He did it in a very sweet way and totally surprised her. We were joking last night that he didn't go to Jared (because obviously thats my future hubby's name), but then again neither did we...Anyways, her ring is gorgeous! We just couldn't wait to celebrate with them so we had dinner at the same place we celebrated our engagement with them back in September and then popped champagne! 

Getting the engagement pose down
Love y'all! 
More posing with the ring out
Bling Bling
Welcome to the club girl 
Jared loves posing
I laugh every time I see this 
Dixie is no longer an illegitimate fur child
Neil eyeing Jared's ring 
Congratulations again Gwyn and Neil! We love you both and couldn't be more excited for the two of y'all to start this amazing journey together! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recent Events

Well, a lot has happened in the past 14 days. It was a whirlwind of two weeks and I would not have changed a single moment. Especially since I spent all of them in Wilmington with my amazing mom!
Blessed to be able to call this home 

March 6-11, 2013 

Studied and prepared for the NCLEX...

March 12, 2013

I took the NCLEX-RN exam at 8 am. 

I took 75 questions (22 of them were select all that apply) in an hour and 45 minutes. 

Then I had to wait 48 hours to find out if I passed...

March 13, 2013 

Turned 24! 

Not much excitement there, just another year older. However, I know this is going to the best year yet! I became a nurse. I am hopefully starting my first big girl job as an RN. I am marrying my best friend. Doesn't get much more exciting than that! 

Last birthday before I am Mrs. Rice! 
Birthday Tradition: Japanese Steakhouse!
Birthday Cheesecake
Jared's parents also flew into Wilmington on my birthday to spend the rest of the week with us, attend the engagement party, and to look at rehearsal dinner locations. It was so wonderful having them in town and being able to show them a little of where I come from :) Only wish we could of spent more time together and we weren't so stressed with getting the engagement party together. Next time we see each other will be just before the wedding! 

March 14, 2013

I became Lauren E. Spicka, RN, BSN! 

I took the NCLEX-RN and PASSED! Yep, that is right, I am officially a registered nurse in the state of North Carolina folks! 

It only took 13 insane months, hundreds of tests and assignments, countless sleepless nights and tearful breakdowns from stress. And all of that came down to a 75 question test that would determine my future as a nurse. But, I made it and I am a nurse now!

Now I just need to find a job. I have a few interviews coming up so keep your fingers crossed! 

Montage of finding out I passed

March 15, 2013

Nothing really exciting happened this day...Just thought I would keep it in order. 

We did eat a fabulous dinner at my mom's boyfriend's place on Wrightsville Beach. The view was incredible and the company was even better. 
Future Mother in Law and Husband
What a view
Gorgeous Wrightsville Beach Sunset

March 16, 2013

Engagement Party Day!! 

This day we assembled a task force of my mom, brothers, Mark, Jared, and Jared's parents to help set up the morning of the party.

Our family friend who used to own Sweet and Savory in Wilmington, catered the appetizers for the party and they were out of this world amazing! We can not wait to see what he whips us up for the wedding. Really looking forward to our tasting with him in a few weeks! 

Then Jared smoked four pork shoulders that were so delicious and were accompanied by homemade baked beans, coleslaw, and potato salad. We wanted to keep it Southern and casual. The food turned out great! 

Handmade about 50 tissue paper flowers
Mom and I made cake pops all on our own
Not as easy as it seems 
"Yum" banner above the dessert table 
Can't wait for 09/28/13
Jared's pork pulling outfit 
My beautiful bridesmaids!
Just missing Charli Kay
Elizabeth came with Josh to surprise me at the party.
Couldn't be more thankful for meeting these amazing people
I only wish I had taken more pictures from the event, guess I will have to wait until people post pictures that I can steal :) 

Thank you to all our wonderful family and friends who made the trip to celebrate our engagement with us! We love you all and were so happy you came! 

Special thanks to my mother for making the whole thing possible. She is one awesome mother of the bride!