I love birthdays. People make fun of me for how much I love birthdays. I drag my birthday out so much no one even knows when my real birthday is. Why exactly am I like this? Beats me.

I mean, you know I love being extra, so that could be part of it.

But on the other hand I think everyone should like birthdays. Life is hard and short and unpredictable and often totally surprising. I love that birthdays serve as this sort of continual bookend to mark the passage of time, compartmentalize phases, remind us that time just keeps on ticking so maybe we should savor it better.

I’ve gotten into this pesky habit whenever I’m at a birthday dinner with friends that I’ll ask for their highlight reel. Name your top five memories of the last year, I’ll say. And everyone will groan and it can feel a little forced but ultimately who doesn’t enjoy a walk down memory lane? Life, according to Boyhood is, after all, about moments, man. They find us. So the very least we can do is just acknowledge them.

So since I’m an egomaniac and yesterday was my actual birthday, here are the highlights of my 25th year. It was hard to choose because, let’s be honest, it was a pretty good one.

#1. Meeting the Babies

I technically became an aunt in my 24th year, which was pretty exciting. But I didn’t meet them until last May when I went home to start gunning for the Favorite Aunt Award. I’ll never forget ogling them, instantly and helplessly becoming a baby person as they drooled and stared and did nothing but let me force them to dance to Justin Bieber. Like, it’s like playing with playdoh guys. New babies don’t even know what’s going on but they’re game.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset^^ Look at how I hold them. I’m a natural.

#2. That one time clubbing

I love dancing. I love it so much. And New York has great dancing. Cheap (as in free), no dress code, just-come-to-dance dancing. So when I realized I would be leaving NYC I knew I had to get one more run in. And boy did we make it count.

Processed with VSCO with t1 preset^^ Yes, those are bogo dancers behind us. And yes we are sweaty and disgusting and this picture is the worst. But also no we are not drunk.

This night was hilarious and timeless and literally unforgettable–if only for the level of grinding involved. …For some of us.

I DIE.

#3. Leaving New York

This is bittersweet for so many reasons, but at the top of the list was leaving my bffs in crime, that THT crew. The whole last month before I left was basically a blur of desperate favorites and memorable moments. Twisting my ankle riverdancing. Taking a pole dancing class. Goodbye parties galore.

But for our very last night together, we put on matching pajamas and had a dance party/epic photoshoot and everything was just right in the world. I mean, I think I spent the rest of the night crying and I became so violently ill I had to pop dramamine just to get in my cab to leave. But that night was my favorite. Chugging OJ and setting up that camera timer for some epic photos.

I mean, how could we not?

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

#4. Getting engaged

Moving to Houston turned out to be the best thing I ever did if only because my long con convincing this guy to marry me finally paid off. He proposed to me in a park with a fancy heirloom ring (no pressure; I only check it’s still on every twenty-five seconds). We were both too excited and buzzed and in the moment to snap a good pic. I mean, we missed magic hour by just a smidge. But good photos do not a great memory make. So you can bet these blurry, fuzzy, shaky-cam photos are forever my faves. Because I am a total sap like that.

IMG_9164-ANIMATION

#5. Our vows

I don’t know if you heard, but I got married. And that was a phenomenal, fun-filled, fantastic day. And I’ll never forget it. (or let you forget it tbh.)

But my favorite moment was definitely saying/hearing/giving our vows. I mean, he promised me a puppy. So you know that’s basically the best day of my life. And you can bet I’m holding him to it. …just as soon as we get to a pets-allowed apartment (prayers are much appreciated).

ShelbyRob-362

And that’s it. Another year done and gone. I’m 26 years old and that’s just crazy to me. Sometimes I forget I’m no longer 21, no longer some college coed, no longer someone who should enjoy Chef Boyardee as much as I still do. Twenty-six is one of those numbers that seems so big and also so, so small. I’ve packed a lot of life into this quarter of a century and 25 was a perfect capstone year. You just know there were more than five memories to forever treasure.

I mean, I got to see so many old friends at my wedding shower and actual wedding. I visited home more than ever before (mostly because those dang cute babies). I got some new family and luckily they’re pretty bomb. We have a house and a home and a mariage and a couch. Also, Psych announced they’re coming back for a movie. And Miley Cyrus is back and sober, y’all. And also Brad Pitt did that hilarious photoshoot for GQ (honestly, it was all too good).

So it was a good year. But here’s to 26. It has a lot to live up to by way of milestones and good memories, but if my love of Miley taught me one thing and one thing only…life’s what you make it so let’s make it rock.

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