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.