The One with the Birthday List

Seriously, I've said it a million times — without your birthday you wouldn't be here. So stop saying, "Oh it's just another day." And start acting like it's a magical miracle you're even alive.

I personally made it a life goal to celebrate my birthday and the birthdays of loved ones as if it's freaking Christmas morning. For those school administrators in the future wondering why little student Arnold is missing school every year on the same day — birthday. That's why. Wake up, explode with excitement, and celebrate every minute.

On December 5 I took the day off of work with no agenda other than to go to the DMV and renew my license. Who doesn't like a little DMV on their birthday? I then went to Starbucks to buy a super high calorie drink AND drove through Wendy's on the way home because why the heck not? It's my day.

On this 26th edition of Brandi's birthday (and Walt Disney's) I thought I'd celebrate and reflect on all the things that made 25 so freaking great in pictures.

01

I started year 25 as everyone hopes to — drinking too many pitchers of beer at a bowling alley with my best friends. We went there with intentions to play a round or two and ended up closing the place down. I don't regret a thing.


02

Looking back, last year's Christmas will always be something special to me since it was the last one with Grandpa around. He always opened his presents before he was told so no one got to see his reaction — that'll be something I miss this year.


03

We spent Christmas in Jackson Hole with Ty's family and this was one of our favorite vacations ever. Spending two nights in a remote cabin at the top of a mountain, snowmobiling in -22° weather to a hidden lodge for hot cocoa and hotdogs, snowshoeing in a valley in the mountains, and seeing 17 stockings hanging all in a row were just a few of the highlights.


04

We threw a last minute New Years' Eve party that would even blow the socks off Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve — which by the way I always think has all the words in the wrong order.


05

On January 11th I started a new job at Hudl. I can't thank this company or these people enough for giving me so much in one short year. Between beers, cookie blenders, sporting events, ski trips, Spongebob GIFs, retreats, Vega$ and rooftop-basketball-court conferences it's hard to imagine we were able to accomplish anything.


06

One of my best friends, Mindy, got married in March! We love everything about weddings because it's just one more reason to celebrate life together with all of our favorite people. It was a cold and (surprise!) snowy day but nothing can kill the small-town wedding vibe.


07

Spring months were full of prep for our wedding and all the celebration to come. Between showers, bachelor/ettes, gift wrapping, and vow writing, I'm both glad it's over and so wishing I could do it all again. Let this serve as just one more THANK YOU to everyone who helped make that time so special.

You've probably seen a million photos of our wedding but here's a few behind-the-scenes in planning that shows WOW just how crazy things were. Word of the wise to you soon-to-be brides: document EVERYTHING. When you get your RSVPs, when you buy your rings, when you pop some bubbly — you won't regret it when you're looking back a year later.


08

We got married! I'll spare you the mushy stuff, but here's more unedited photos and our amazing video by Suit & Tie. I can't believe it's already been six months.


09

We went to La Jolla for a week-long honeymoon and I highly recommend it to other couples. We stayed at La Valencia hotel which had a lot of striking similarities to the hotel we were married in in Nebraska. I'll never forget the time we got lost walking to find a supermarket to buy a gallon of wine (not a typo) and cheap sandwiches.


10

We went to the zoo for a day! Who doesn't love the Henry Doorly Zoo?


11

In July we took our annual trip to Crawford, Nebraska which is where Ty's mom grew up. It's always a fun holiday filled with lots of uninterrupted family time. This year was difficult because Ty's grandma had passed away so we made a video to commemorate every special thing she taught us about this little section of the world.


12

To celebrate Ty's 27th birthday we went glamping! It was a hot and humid night in a glorified tent without air conditioning, but I'd definitely do it again.


13

Jake and Candi host a huge party at their house for the first Husker game of every year. This time we brought our whole crew along which made it probably the best one yet (in our experience).


14

Husker game days. Always a favorite of the year.


15

We roadtripped with Andy and Brooke to Colorado for Mallory's birthday. This was the first time the six of us went on a weekend trip together and it was probably one of the highlights of my year. 


16

The girls and I spent a day at Nebraska City "picking apples" which is code for drinking mimosas at brunch and taking way too many pictures.


17

My brother got married in St. Thomas! Ty and I were limited how long we could spend traveling because of work but that didn't stop us from enjoying every last second. Heading straight to the beach after waking up, watching Jake cry when he first saw Candi, and sailing all day to St. John were just a few of my favorite moments.


18

I ran my first half marathon all thanks to my friends who pushed (or dragged) me along! Probably won't ever run another one re: bad knees. But it was such an accomplishing feeling and thanks to it I have a new goal to run one race every month — more along the lines of 5k, 10k, not 21.1k. (See additional race pics below!)


19

My friend Mal had a wine and cheese night with a few of our high school crew which was such a great time to celebrate the holidays and finally just be together. I left early thanks to a horrible cold that I'm still fighting, but it was definitely a good last piece of year 25.


I feel like there's so many more memories I want to talk about but if I wrote about them all you'd fall asleep and I'd be here until I turn 27.

So here's to year 26! May it be as amazing and full of love and trips and family and weddings and everything that's good in life. I'm so grateful.

Brandi Arnold