time is love [a 2012 recap]

2012 was the year to end all years [literally, said the Mayans]. So many good things happened and I want to remember this year forever. So, here goes the remembering:


January: It started off with a trip to New York City with my graduating class, in which Ben surprised me on a bridge in Central Park and proposed. The rest of the month I was pretty much giddy, we did basically all of the wedding planning, and I started my last semester of my undergraduate degree.

February: We got in the swing of things with Ben being back in school [after missing last semester because of his deployment], me doing school and working, and wedding things. We registered, which was pretty much awesome, and I made the coolest fort for our Valentine's Day celebration. My mom, sister, and I went to D.C for a volleyball tournament and I also met Megan in real life finally and we drank our money's worth in mimosas.

March: During March, it was oddly nice outside, so I spent a lot of time going for runs and reading on the lawn outside of my dorm room and riding around on the motorcycle. Ben made a kick ass bar in his new apartment basement and we threw an awesome party and I got my first tattoo! That was it, really. It was a laidback month.

April: April was pretty much consumed by schoolwork again. That and job applications, which actually yielded no desired results. Which is why I now work at Macaroni Grill. As for fun things, we started pre-marital counseling this month and got our engagement pictures taken. I drunk vlogged and Ben and I were nauseatingly excited for our wedding. I think the engagement phase is like a pre-newlywed phase, all googly eyes and love notes, so that was my profound thought for the month. We also went on a third wheel date to my last formal with my roommate and did an awesome bar crawl with our friends afterwards. 

May: I graduated in May! We celebrated with Olive Garden and moving truckloads of my junk back to my mom's house. Then, it was time to get down to business. To-do lists out the wazoo. My little sister went to prom for the first time and I got crazy in my joblessness. We had a few date nights and banged out more wedding planning. Hardcore wedding planning. I had a little wedding dress meltdown, we celebrated Memorial Day with beer and some Kan Jam with our friends, and we also celebrated three years of being together.

June: June was consumed by wedding things. Crafting, building, planning, etc. We banged out our to-do list and I finally felt like it was all coming together. I surprised my little sister with tickets to Lady Antebellum for her birthday, which rocked. I also finally had time for myself, since there was no homework to be done. I fell in love with mornings and I fell in love with running through training for my 5k and was probably the skinniest I've ever been, which was awesome. I also read a whole bunch, so that was nice. My sister [and co.] threw my bridal shower and I felt so so loved. Also, we got a lot of cool stuff. We celebrated my brother's 23rd birthday, I started a new job, and by the end, we were both pretty much ready to just get married.


July: July, July, July. This was the best month of them all. At the beginning, I ran my first 5k with Ben right at my side, encouraged by my soon-to-be-in-laws cheering for "Mrs. Quigley" whenever we ran by them. We celebrated my little sister's 17th birthday, and a few days later, Ben and I got our marriage license. We finished up last minute wedding things, spent time with out of town people that were in for our day, some last minute baking and bike rides in between, and then all of a sudden, it was two days before our wedding. Wednesday was pampering and picking up my dress, Thursday was getting the park ready and having our rehearsal dinner, and Friday was the best day ever. Then it was honeymoon time. Then camp. Then moving in to our new apartment. It was a really busy month, in case you couldn't tell.

August: The theme of this month was home. We moved in, slowly settled in, and then started figuring out how to live together. The only thing is, Ben was gone for a lot of it. Dumb Air Force. Good news is that I got to spend a lot of time with my little sister and mom while he was gone. I opened my Etsy shop, we joined a kickball league with our friends, and we explored our new little town. Also, I gained back all of that lost running weight by eating more queso than a person ever should.

September: We settled. Ben started school again, we spent late nights on the couch watching HIMYM and eating peanut butter and frozen peanut M&Ms off a spoon, and we figured out a system for grocery shopping. We spent every Wednesday night with our friends at kickball and out at the bar afterwards and we settled in to each other. Into living together, into being one unit, into being a new family. The weather was beautiful, but I was already nostalgic for summer, and I think I always will be. This was the best summer of my life. But I tried really hard to focus on the life we were living now and it kind of worked. At the end of September, we celebrated my mom's birthday, and Ben's too, and our friends threw a big Cowboys & Indians themed party at Ben's request.

October: We started October out right by going to Brooklyn with our friends. I started grad school online and I had a lot of Saturday mornings to myself, while Ben was making up Air Force time he'd missed before. We made Thursday date days a tradition, usually just going for a bike ride, some exploring, and sometimes some homework, but they always started with slow mornings in bed and a pot of coffee. Ben got called to help with Hurricane Sandy relief, and while he was gone, I had the hardest week I'd had in a long time. October started off well, but I was glad to see it go.

November: Once Ben was home, everything kind of settled again. We decided to lease a SmartCar and had a lot of fun going to and fro to get it. We hung out with friends, spent a free night at a bed & breakfast on Veteran's Day, and I turned 22. We threw a Thanksgiving potluck feast at our place for our friends the day after, while I tried to survive my first real hangover, and we did the multiple families celebrating Thanksgiving thing later that week. I also decided to cool it with the blogging thing and that was one of my favorite decisions.

December: I was all about the new traditions this month. We decorated for Christmas on the 2nd [because we were out of town on the 1st], and I left no Target deal behind. We cut down our own tree, spent a day banging out the shopping list, made a fort on Christmas Eve Eve, and had about a thousand different celebrations. Grad school got a little more intense this month, which was bad timing because Ben finished up his semester and took my productivity with it, but somehow I made it.

2012 was the year of change. Positive, hoped-for change that I ran at with open arms, but change nonetheless. I got a degree, a husband, a new identity in my new last name, and a new home all in a matter of 4 months. And now I'm working on another degree in hopes of a new job and a big move in the next year as well. It's a bit incredible when I look at where I was last New Year's Eve compared to where I am now, but I love that about my life. I love the unknowns. Best part is that in July, some kid signed on to adventure with me so that the rest of our years will be spent together. Let's do this, 2013.

the first Noel

Things from our first married Christmas:

It finally snowed! Big, heavy, white snowflakes that stayed right up until Christmas day. Plus more Christmas Eve night and again last night. It's winter up in here for sure. 
My parents are divorced, so Christmas has always meant tons of running around to different celebrations. Now that Ben's family is added into the mix, it's even crazier. We knew we wouldn't be home for more than 20 minutes after Christmas Eve Eve, so that night, we built a fort in the living room, got some McDoubles and fries to go, and ate up in the fort while we exchanged gifts. I think that's gonna be a thing from now on. 
One of my gifts for Ben was a Foldable Me and he loved it. It's more like the Asian version of Ben, but it works. 
A family tradition has always been a sibling sleepover on Christmas Eve. My brother skipped out this year, but my sister, Ben, and I totally kept it going.  
Christmas morning means no makeup. You're welcome for this giant picture. 
The Mom fam on Christmas morning.

Like I said, Christmas is crazy in my family. But Ben is my new family and we did things our way and it was wonderful. It's the most wonderful time of the year and I hate that it's always over so fast.


Watching a lot of things. This season of How I Met Your Mother is awesome and I'm still totally into The Mindy Project. Ben is too, which is hilarious because he was so against it at the beginning. We're also catching up on this season of The Office and watching Christmas movies when we can. The cold weather is so perfect for cuddling up on the couch.

Thinking about my future career. Grad school is more work this month and I only get one week off for Christmas, but it's rewarding to know that this is something that will help our future. I'm going to a big job conference in February and am oddly intimidated by that, but I'm excited too. Taking risks is exciting.

Listening to nothing new, really. I'm content with my James Taylor Christmas cd and the few random Christmas records we've found at thrift stores, but if anyone has some new music suggestions for after the holidays, I'd love to hear them.

Excited about my week off! I have a paper due Sunday night, but then there will be nothing to do again until the week of New Years. I'm excited for all of our Christmas plans and celebrating our first one as married people, for seeing my brother-in-law & sister-in-law, and for just relaxing the rest of the week. Also, I'm excited to give the gifts that we bought! I lovelovelove giving gifts, so I hope everyone likes theirs!

Reading The Book Thief by Mark Zusak. It's beautifully written and so captivating. I haven't had much time to read lately, but I'm hoping to finish it up during my time off.

Loving all of these new traditions that Ben and I are making. I love that kid so much and building our life together is so much fun.

Looking forward to our wedding video! The videographer texted me today that it should come in the mail any day now and I'm giddy just thinking about it. I CANNOT wait to see it. And of course, I'll share it here as soon as I get the chance.

 Remember that I'm @wildchild_jack on Twitter and Instagram if you miss me on here or whatever. I probably won't be back on here before Christmas, so Merry Christmas to you all! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with the people you love.

And thanks to my sweet friend Megan for the idea for these posts.
"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing." 

  -Camille Pissarro

'tis the season

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. 

This is our first married Christmas [obviously] and our first Christmas living together and we're loving it. I, especially, am loving it. New traditions and making the season our own and all that. Christmas has always been so magical to me and I love sharing it with my family, but this year, with our new baby family of just the two of us, it's wonderful in a different way.

p.s. That second picture, in the kitchen, was taken to remember how I love that making each other lunch is one of our things. But I posted it here to show you guys the snowflake banner,cute Noel plate, and fancy Nativity scene. Ben cussed up a storm putting the snowflakes up cause glitter went everywhere, but it was worth it. Glitter is always worth it. 

and as always, you can follow along on Instagram: @wildchild_jack

these days

Here's a little update of what life has looked like these days:
The night before Thanksgiving, my sister Jessa slept over, so we watched the Macy's Parade in the morning, she was a doll and straightened my hair and then we had a photoshoot on the way to our aunt's. Ben cooperated, until he didn't. Isn't that the way it always goes?
The day after Thanksgiving, my mom and all of us kids made our way to Albany to spend time with her family. The cousins all have a tradition of going to the nearby park and taking pictures on the dinosaur, so along with some football and impromptu board games with rules we made ourselves, that's what we did.
Last week was the perfect relaxing week. I can be a homebody sometimes, but there's something so nice about being home every night, with nowhere to go and nothing to get dressed up for. Monday night, we started to decorate for Christmas, Tuesday I worked on my Summer Book [and tried to finish it since summer was done a few months ago...], Wednesday we addressed Christmas cards and watched the SNL Christmas special, and Thursday night was homework night. So nice and productive.
And, as always, I took a thousand pictures of Ben. He was dressed up a lot this week, once for a class presentation, once for a wedding we went to on Saturday, and once for church Sunday. He's so cute when he dresses up, especially when he steals my glasses and pretends to be a hipster. We got to spend a lot of time together this week and for that, I'm thankful. Oh, and also, there's a random France picture in this collage, because I still miss it.

and a little snapshot of us at that wedding this weekend. After getting married myself, I saw the day in a different way. It was odd. And I never go for the bouquet toss anyways, but for the first time, I wasn't eligible to. So odd.

So that's what my days have looked like lately. Though I still catch myself whining sometimes [mostly about having to work while Ben & my friends are having fun], I'm incredibly thankful. This is such a sweet time in life.

oh, and as some of you have noticed, I got a little blog design makeover! I won a giveaway and have been working with Jessica on turning this space into something I love, so please be patient as we work the little bugs out. Thanks!