36 Birthday Favorites, and a Prize!

Hey, Friends! It’s that time again – this week is my birthday, and it’s tradition around here to share everything I’m loving right now, and the things that have made this last year enjoyable/delicious/successful/positive in any way.:)

For the past two years, I’ve made this a month long thing, which ended up feeling very…long..to me. It kept me from blogging about other things I enjoy writing about, so we’re going to do it a bit differently this year. I’ll do a week of favorites, and we’ll still end with a prize – every time you comment and share your favorites with me, your name will get entered in a draw, and I’ll announce the winner next Monday.

The prize: I’ll share my birthday money with you, and buy you something on my list of favorites! The last two years, it’s been a book, because that is my most favorite thing to get, but we’ll see what I’m in the mood for this year.;)

So, let’s get started!

We’re going with an “Entertainment” theme today! Here are my first five favorites:

1) Movie

As I’ve explained before, I don’t watch a ton of movies. Once our girlies are in bed, it feels kind of late to start a movie, so Ben and I prefer watching an episode from a favorite TV show instead, but I really do love a good movie. The story-teller in me still craves this form of entertainment – and it is such a relief to watch something that doesn’t leave you in suspense at the end! TV shows are the worst for that!

So although I didn’t watch a lot of movies this year, I would have to say that “Saving Mr. Banks” was the best one I saw. I didn’t have very high expectations for it – how can you make a movie about making a movie??! What is the point?

Saving Mr. Bankssource

Oh, there is so much of a point! That movie is just beautiful. Humongous lump in my throat for most of it. The author’s life story is beautifully and painfully portrayed, and the connections between her real life, and the writing of Mary Poppins ensure I will never view that old movie in the same way again. Loved it.

2) TV Show

We’ve still stayed true to our old favorite, “Once Upon a Time”, although Ben did get very, very frustrated with the writing during this third season! He felt it was much weaker than it has been in the past, and yet we still keep coming back for more!:)

Once Upon a Timesource

But we definitely also enjoyed the Canadian version of “Amazing Race” last summer, and are eagerly anticipating the beginning of the new season tomorrow night! But who could ever replace Jet and Dave??!

3) Book

source

This is an easy choice – Switch on Your Brain was life-changing. Seriously. I wrote about the book in this post, and I have gone through three different 21 day brain detox cycles since first reading the book, just starting my fourth round. I cannot believe how this book works. I have battled some intense, deep-rooted issues in my thought habits, and absolutely love how the steps described in this book have brought me freedom.

Because it is most effective to only work on one negative thought/issue at a time, and each cycle takes three weeks, it is a bit time consuming, but completely worth it. Painful situations from the past that I thought I would carry with me for the rest of life have finally been brought to a place of peace.

I could just go to a counselor, and have someone walk me through it, but from my counseling experience in the past, I learned that I still needed to do the hard work myself – I needed the discipline to change my thoughts, and nobody could do that for me but me. I think it would still be super beneficial to go for counseling, and a book doesn’t replace that, but for this season of my life, exciting things are happening from the changes I am making with the help of this book.

4) Fun Song

Love this one! Tragically, Anika informed me she doesn’t like it anymore. We must have played it too many times!

5) Serious Song

This one was a bit harder to choose! I had two songs that carried me through December – I must have listened to both of them every single morning for a month straight. I shared the other one in this blog post, so I’ll share the second one today:

And now it’s your turn! I want to hear your favorites! Any awesome books, movies, or music I need to know about?

Un-Easter-ish Easter

Yesterday did not feel like Easter. For me, it feels like Easter when I’m in church singing all the classic Easter hymns, spending the day with family while everybody eats ham, Easter bread, and chocolate eggs, and there must definitely be Easter lilies around.

But today we had to stay home. We get Easter next weekend!

So today, we sang our own Easter songs:

And relaxed:

And dyed Easter eggs:

So even though it didn’t really feel like “normal” Easter, it was still a good day!