My Favorite Things

The Best Thanksgiving Episodes. Ever.

So as part of my new Thanksgiving tradition, last year I scoured the web for the best Thanksgiving episodes. This year I plan on watching them while I cook on Wednesday night and Thanksgiving day. These episodes are either nostalgic or classic.

Please feel free to include any you think I am missing in the comments. Spread the joy!! Share the tradition.

The one with all the Thanksgivings

Friends “The Ones with All the Thanksgivings”

Stuffed to the brim, the group start reminiscing about Thanksgivings past. I love this episode because of the 80’s flashbacks.

season 5 ep 8 netflix

turkeydrop

“Turkeys Away” from WKRP in Cincinnati

This year was first time viewing this episode and I laughed out loud. I have faint memories of WKRP from childhood but actually started working my way through the first season because of this episode.

Season 1 ep 7 Hulu

Big Bang Theory “The Platonic Permutation”

I love BBT. Enough said.

Season 9 ep 9 (Try youtube. It moves around)

MadAboutYou_Giblets_L

Mad About You “Gibblets for Murray”

Trying to make everyone happy at Thanksgiving is impossible. But these two will die trying hosting Thanksgiving for the first time at their home. Cranberries come from a can.

season 3 ep 8 youtube

happyslapsgiving

How I Met your mother  “Slapsgiving”

The show in general is sketchy but the whole concept of Slapsgiving is brilliant.

season 3 ep 9 Hulu

bewitched

Bewitched   “Thanksgiving to Remember”

It’s a classic. Like pumpkin pie.

season 2 ep 4 youtube

amy's speech

Brooklyn 99  Thanksgiving

Boyle Bingo, Amy’s toast and a clogged toilet. Triple threat.

Season 1 ep 10 hulu

Cheers225ThanksgivingOrphans

Cheers “Thanksgiving Orphans”

Another show I remember from being little. This one had me in stitches last year. And also very thankful that my holidays have never been this dramatic.

season 5 ep 9 hulu

Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving

Gilmore Girls “A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving”

Can you believe the Girls are getting back together!!! Dreams do come true!!!

Season 3 ep 9 Netflix

George Thanks for the Memories

Greys Anatomy “Thanks for the Memories”

I will also love the first 3 seasons of Greys. This episode is fall to me.

Season 2 ep 9 Netflix

Last one…

josh-lyman-episode

West Wing “Noel”

This is a Christmas episode. But it is amazing. And an important reminder that the Holidays can be hard for others. Josh is struggling with PTSD after the shooting. And he finds healing. It also has one of my favorite recovery dialogues of all time.

Season 2 Episode 10 Netflix

Please feel free to include any you think I am missing in the comments. Spread the joy!! Share the tradition.

Love, Love, Love

The Girl Who Lives In My Head

P.S. Here is a list I found of a best of Christmas episodes on Netflix. Can’t wait to check them out!!!

Singlish for the Holidays. 

This year, I’m not quite single for the holidays. I’ve got the FFK* with me.

But as I mentioned last year, I have learned that I need to be intentional about the holidays so that I don’t end up singing Blue Christmas. As a singlish person living on a tropical island, fall and the holiday season can create a little sadness, loneliness and longing. For home. For more. For a simpler time.  And lets be honest…It doesn’t feel like the holidays when the sun is shining and everyone is wearing bathing suits.

So may I present to you this years….

CREATE THINE OWN HOLIDAY TRADITIONS 2016

October 1.

Decorate for Fall. Start drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Light a fall scented candle.

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Mid-October.

Head to the Pumpkin Patch with the FFK and a few friends. Wear a sweater. Drink lavender tea at the Lavender Farm. Snuggle up with Finding Father Christmas and a blanket (and the AC cranked).

November 1.

Begin Operation Random Acts of Kindness. This addition is inspired by my friend Jenna. Something happens in my soul when Christmas starts shining in the distance. All of the sudden I am aware of all the things I want. This year, I want to focus on meeting the needs of others. Hopefully with the FFK  in tow, we can get creative and spread a little light and a little joy. Don’t tell her though. It’s a surprise.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving.

Because I travel for Christmas, I have found that decorating early makes all the difference. So bring on the Christmas music and lets deck the halls!!!  I am one of those saps who needs at least 6 weeks of Christmas music to feel like I got my moneys worth.

The night before Thanksgiving.

Last year I struck tradition gold. I compiled the best Thanksgiving episodes of all time (in my humble opinion).  The FFK and I will while away the evening watching these classics as we cook our Thanksgiving delights. There is a slight chance that the FFK will roll her eyes and mock my television brilliance. If so, we will end up watching The Walking Dead. But here’s hoping.

Thanksgiving.

This year I’m planning on attending Gluten-Free Thanksgiving with the usual suspects. The FFK decided she wants to join us because, “that way I can have two Thanksgivings. One with you. And one with my mom on Saturday.” I’ll be honest. I choked up a little when she was making the plan. This fostering thing is tricky. You have to keep both an open hand and an engaged heart. It’s an interesting balance.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving.

2 words. Gilmore Girls. 3 more words.  All day binge. Thankfully the FFK will be feasting with her mom all day.

December 1

To be honest. That’s about all I can get my head around at this point. I am a born antcipator but life has gotten a little more full. So the plan for December…will have to wait.

In the meantime…

How do you celebrate fall and the coming holiday season?

I’d love to know!

Love, Love, Love,

The Girl Who Lives in My Head

  • FFK=Future Foster Kid. It started as a way to refer to whomever I would end up fostering. As in, here is the FFK room. Once she came to live with me, I still call her that in my head at times.

 

Living Your Best Life: Favorite Books for Personal Growth

We have already established that I love books. Sometimes, and by sometimes I mean mostly, I love to read mindless fiction so that I can escape reality.  I call it candy. I love real candy and book candy.

These books are not candy.

These books are fresh fruit. With incredible benefits for your soul. They are designed to heal. To uproot lies and replace them with Truth.

 Like apples of Gold in settings of silver is a word spoken at the right time | Proverbs 25:11 | The Girl Who Lives In My Head

My friend Sandy loved Proverbs 25:11.

I can still hear her voice sparkling with delight as she read it from her Amplified Bible.

Imagine a beautiful silver bowl filled with luscious fruit.

apple

Or basket after green basket of fresh ripe berries.

berries

 

Here are five books that were a well-spoken word in the right season.

They came into my life when I needed them most.

 The Divine Romance | Gene Edwards | The Girl Who Lives In My Head

  1. The Divine Romance

This book changed the way I saw God. And my understanding of how God sees me. It is an allegory of creation. All the way to the Cross. And beyond. If you have ever struggled with the whole “Bride of Christ” concept. Read this. Yesterday.

Here what the back of the book says, “A breathtakingly beautiful saga spanning from eternity to eternity, presented from the view of angels. Experience creation, the crucifixion, and the resurrection from this unique viewpoint, and gain a better understanding of the majestic love of God. Gene Edwards’s classic tale is the greatest love story ever told.”

 Shattered Dreams | Larry Crabb | The Girl Who Lives In My Head

2. Shattered Dreams

Larry Crabb say that in everyone’s life, some dream will shatter. Something you thought you could count on won’t come through.  No one leaves this world unscathed. And whether you believe God allowed it or ordained it, He could have prevented it. And you have to make peace with that God*.  That is what the last eight years of my life have been about. Making peace with a God whose plans are different than mine.

Cure For the Common Life | Max Lucado | The Girl Who Lives in my Head

3. Cure For the Common Life

I read this book when I hated everything about my life. Especially my job. It gave me hope. And the courage to make a change. What really helped were the exercises at the back of the book that help you rediscover what you really love. And what you were made to do. It’s what led me to teaching. And back to Young Life. It was also only $.99 on Kindle at the time of this post. Click the title to grab it.

Daring Greatly | Brene Brown | The Girl Who Lives In My Head

4. Daring Greatly

Brene Brown. Is. Rocking. My. World. It is why I talk about her here. And here. She is a researcher who decided to study shame. And made a startling observation. People who live wholeheartedly embrace vulnerability. The rest of us do three things to avoid it.

Numb it out.

Perfect it out.

Or in my case, forbode it out.

I rehearse tragedy so I don’t feel pain. Meaning, I have spent most of my life running worse case scenario’s so when things don’t pan out, I’m not devastated.

But her discovery, you can’t feel true joy without feeling vulnerable.

She explains it so much better. Trust me. So worth the read.

And if perfectionism is your game, check out her book I Thought It Was Just Me.

 Jesus Calling | Sarah Young| The Girl Who Lives In My Head

5. Jesus Calling

Jesus Calling is my jam. I read it every day along with My Utmost For His Highest. It’s a daily reading written as if God is speaking to you. Not everyone is a fan. Fair enough. But I am. God uses it all the time to speak to me, encourage me and reaffirm His incredible love for me. If you decide to give it a whirl, I love the large print edition because it was the scriptures written out on the bottom. And there’s room to journal. Unofficially.

 

What is a book that changed your life?

 Or brought a well-spoken word in season?

I’m always looking for something new to read.

 

Love, Love, Love,

The Girl Who Lives in My Head

P.S. This book is wrecking me right now. I’ve just started and already cried twice.

 Looking for Lovely | Annie Downs | The Girl Who Lives in my Head

 

 

 
Formatting issues stink!!

Stories You Can Get Lost In: Christian Fiction

I heart books. They are some of my best friends.

I can tell you where I was when I read them the first time and why I treasure each one.

I have been thinking a lot about books lately because I am heading to my first ever writer’s conference in a few weeks with my friend Andrea. She is seven chapters into her first novel and I am tagging along for the ride.

And since I’ve been thinking about books, I thought I would share with you a few of my all-time favorites.  At least the ones that fall into the Christian fiction genre.

mark-of-the-lion

1. The Mark of the Lion Trilogy

I read the first book, “A Voice in the Wind” while I was on Christmas vacation in high school. My parents then spent the rest of the trip driving me around Florida in search of the second and third books.

Why I loved this series:

First of all, I am a history buff. And Francine Rivers brings the 1st century to life . This novel puts flesh and bone on the early Church and paints a riveting picture of life almost 2,000 years ago. It honestly transformed how I see the New Testament.

Secondly, Mrs. Rivers started her career as a romance novelist. After she came to faith in Jesus, she vowed to write for God’s glory. And she can write a really good love story.

Romans. Pagans. Jewish slaves. Socialites. Gladiators. Lions. Depravity. Love. Courage. Selflessness. Power. Hope. Darkness. Transformation. It’s all there in beautifully crafted layers.

rekindled

2. Rekindled by Tamera Alexander

I could not put this book down. And it is one I could re-read over and over again. I’m kind of jealous of those of you who get to read it for the first time. Savor it. Take in each word slowly. Because it is that good.

It is a story of redemption. Second chances. When all hope is lost, our God is bigger.

The publisher says it this way, “Left for dead, Larson Jennings, returns home badly burned. His obviously pregnant wife Kathryn is losing their ranch. Disfigured beyond recognition to most–Larson is determined to save his family.”

blink

3. Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker

If you have read any Ted Dekker’s books you know that he writes some dark and trippy things. This book is not dark. But it is trippy because it deals with the idea of multiple possible outcomes. Two lives intersect-a young graduate student who can suddenly see the future and a young woman from the Middle East trying to escape a predestined future. The results are thrilling!!!

The reason I love this book is because Mr. Dekker takes you on the adrenaline packed adventure of a well written story. What’s amazing to me is that while he keeps you on the edge of your seat, reading furiously,  he also shines a light on what life is like for young women in the Middle East. On top of explaining the conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims. But because his execution is flawless, you don’t even know it is happening. It’s like chocolate chip zucchini bread in book form. Except instead of vegetables, you are feasting on history.

 

wildflowers

4. Wildflowers by Robin Jones Gunn

This is the last book in a series that I read for the first time in college. (Did that make sense?) I think it is really odd that it is my favorite because the entire Glenbrooke series is about young women the in their 20’s except this one. It tells the story of a wife and mother named Genevieve.

The others books in the series were delightful. This one feels raw and real. It is about dreaming again. And God’s redemptive power when all hope seems lost. As a young girl, I saw my mother’s life in the main character. And I related to the daughter as she watches God make beauty from the ashes of her family.  If there were ever a book of Robin’s I would like to see as a Hallmark movie-it is this one.

“After 26 years of marriage, ‘all the doors to her heart were shut, and all the shades were pulled down tight,’ and she’s withdrawn from her faith (Crosby).

Thispresentdarkness

5. This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

Growing up, my parents were notorious for listening to sermons on road trips. Painful. So when my dad popped in a book-on-tape as we headed to North Carolina, my sister and I threw a hissy fit. Then we begged him to keep driving once we arrived at Grandma and Pop’s because we were captivated by the story.  Which he did.

This book changed how I saw the spiritual world. It enriched how I read the verses about spiritual warfare. Where Paul says that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.”

It also changed the way I pray.

I love this book because it offers amazing insights into the heavenlies and explores what might be happening all around us. All the while telling a really great story. Keep in mind as you read that it is a fiction. A possibility. An imagining of the spiritual world. Designed to open our eyes to schemes and plans of the one whose  goal in life in life is to steal, kill and destroy us.

 

Whew. That was harder than I thought. And I feel like I’m throwing a party and had to leave some dear friends off the guest list.

What are some of your favorite Christian fiction novels?

Why did they make an impact on you?

I’m always looking for new books so let’s spread the wealth!! And please don’t worry-if your favorites don’t fall into the Christian fiction genre, there will be many more lists to come.

 

Love, Love, Love

The Girl Who Lives In My Head