Tackling The Hard-Hitting Issues Of 2010

Well, considering the fact that yesterday moved past mere procrastination into real-live action, I think it’s safe to say that it exceeded my expectations. I NOT ONLY showered and put on real clothes – but we went out to lunch and ran a few errands, too. My MUST-PREPARE-HOME-FOR-THE-NEW-YEAR gene kicked in, and I found myself looking longingly at Rubbermaid storage tubs and cutlery organizers in Target. I managed to contain myself (GET IT? THE WACKY ORGANIZATON PUNNY-NESS?), though, and all I bought was some cushion-y shelf paper for the cabinet where I keep my pots and pans.

I’d hate for the newest members of the family to be uncomfortable, after all.

Hasn’t shelf paper improved by leaps and bounds? I remember when blue and peach plaids were all the rage, but now the shelf paper is much more modern and kicky and fun.

Anyway, after we got home this afternoon I started taking down Christmas decorations (I know. It’s probably too soon. But I need to deep clean this house, and it’s difficult to deep clean when you’re swimming in a sea of garland.), and as I was working I started to think about some highlights of 2010. I wasn’t thinking about anything deep or meaningful or anything like that – just your various and sundry memorable moments in entertainment. So here are some of my favorites from this year. And keep in mind that I’ve been pretty behind on television, and I don’t read that much, and I rarely go to the movies, so basically what I’m saying is that I’m quite the expert.

1. Into the Morning – Ben Rector – This was hands-down my favorite CD of 2010. It was our summertime soundtrack, but more than that there are some incredible lyrics that will stop you in your tracks with the wisdom. Can’t recommend it enough.

2. Friday Night Lights, Season 4 and Mad Men, Season 4 – Both of these are shows for grown-ups, and they’re not always easy to watch. MM was even tougher this season because of Don Draper’s spiral into alcoholism, and the ongoing struggles of the Taylors and Tim Riggins made FNL almost unbearable sometimes. But SWEET MERCY there was some brilliant acting in the mix, and that acting (plus really good writing) is what kept me coming back week after week.

3. 30 Rock with Jan Hooks as Verna – I laughed, I howled, I clapped my hands. Great one-liners, perfect timing – it was a comedic treasure (“Wear something real nice like white jeans and a Dan Marino jersey”). Adored it.

4. This. Because do you see how it’s been viewed about 49,000 times? I’d be willing to bet that the members of my family account for about 3,000 of them. It’s a delight.

5. Surprised by Worship – Travis Cottrell – I actually read this book for the first time after I’d tried to break every bone in my body by falling down the Cottrells’ front steps. And do you know that I stayed up until almost 2:30 in the morning reading every single word? This book really prompted me to reflect on times when I’ve been surprised by worship in my own life – and remembering God’s faithfulness is always a very good (and encouraging) thing.

6. The Best Thing I Ever Ate – I don’t know if I’ve ever watched a TV show that helped me solidify dining goals like this one has. Every single time I watch, I can’t help but think THIS IS SOLID TELEVISION GOLD. The combination of delicious food and the chefs’ commentaries is just perfection. The “snack foods” episode will forever be a precious memory for D and me. With “totally fried” a close second.

7. Phineas and Ferb – Listen. We are all about putting limits on TV time for our little guy, especially during the school year. But things loosen up a bit in the summertime, especially late in the afternoon after we’ve spent most of our day at the pool. This past summer we ran across Phineas and Ferb, and it’s probably the first kids’ show that we’ve loved to watch together. It’s hilarious. HILARIOUS. I haven’t seen a single episode since August, but I can’t wait to watch it again when summer 2011 rolls around.

8. Despicable Me – In 2009 my favorite family movie was Up. This year it was Despicable Me. It was funny and smart and tender – and I actually saw it twice AT THE THEATRE. Such a sweet message about how love changes everything, and Steve Carell is great in it.

9. “Andy’s Play” – The Office – I’ve been a little disappointed in The Office the last couple of seasons, mainly because at some point the characters started to get on my nerves a little bit (the same thing happened to me with Glee last year – it just wasn’t the show that I wanted it to be, so I stopped watching). All that to say: this episode brought me great joy (by the way, you might not want to click over if there are kids in the room – LITTLE EARS, you know). I just love how earnest and sincere Andy is…totally endearing. Not to mention that Creed’s expressions at the end of the episode are priceless.

10. Big Fish by Daniel Wallace – I read this book a couple of months ago, and it has stayed with me like nobody’s business. At the end of the day it’s all about letting loved ones have their own stories – and letting go of our need to control or interfere in the narrative. It’s a beautiful book.

Okay. What about y’all? What were some of your favorites this year?

p.s. There aren’t any affiliate links in this post.
p.p.s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.
p.p.p.s. I just felt the need to clarify.
p.p.p.p.s. Remember, overexplaining is my spiritual gift.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. I have to admit that I’ve never watched FNL (gasp, I know.) but I can’t wait to start watching the seasons on dvd. There is something about jumping in, smack in the middle that messes with me. I can’t explain. Weirdness. Once all the seasons are on dvd, I’ll watch them all. Please don’t hate me.

    My favorite movie this year was Tangled! SO SO SO cute! A winner with my hubby and 2 girls, too! :)

    And… I have to know if you watched the Christmas episode of The Office? It has been kinda lacking the last few seasons, but the Christmas episode CRACKED ME UP. Such old-school Dwight and Jim. Ahh- good stuff. ;)

    I love reading your blog! :)

  2. Right at the top of my list, thanks to you, is reading your pastor’s book, “Radical.” From that I discovered his podcasts, especially the Secret Church podcasts. Both the book and his podcasts have totally enriched my life this year.

    Also, no surprise, Annie’s book being published is totally at the top. Also at the top is our precious 16 year old niece’s coming to live with us: Jeremiah 29:11 playing out right before my eyes.

  3. I’m going to go geek a little and admit my favorite book this year was “Knowledge in the Blood,” about Afrikaner society. It reminds me a little of pre-civil rights era Southern society: closed society where church, home and culture all reinforce each other, often in toxic ways. It’s only of interest to people who are into South Africa, but I’m living there, so I’m into it. And, you know, in it. Oh, the puns.

    Movies: Themba, a little South African movie, was a delight. Loved Harry Potter, can’t help it. And Letters to Juliet was just pretty, and made more charming by the fact that the romance was between Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero, who played Guinevere and Lancelot in the musical Camelot and fell in love in real life and are married COULD IT BE ANY MORE ADORABLE I MIGHT DIE.

    Music: I will not shame myself by admitting to my musical tastes. Safe to say if you came out of the Disney machine, I probably like you.

  4. I got new cookware too! I am cleaning out my entire kitchen today.;..well, I am going to try to. I am going to take out all of my old pots to make room for the new ones.
    now….the next thing on my list is a new knife!

    Happy cleaning!

  5. Oh my that Santa video really made me laugh! I must show it to my hubby tonight.

    I have been wanting to see Mad Men. I might have to buy it and watch it.

  6. Love this post! We discovered Phineas & Ferb last summer, too and I howl! It is really smart and funny! 30 Rock is my new favorite show of all time! It’s my Seinfeld of the new millenium. Do people say that anymore? We stopped watching The Office a few seasons ago but catch it here and there. FNL has been on my list of things to start watching and I will but the new season of The Bachelor and American Idol will be starting so that may have to be put on hold. The Best Thing I Ever Ate does ROCK! Gets me very hungry. Travis’ book sounds amazing. I think I will get it on Amazon, need to place an order – why not add it to the shopping cart?!

  7. FNL is my FAV-O-RITE tv show. Since I don’t have direct TV, the last season is still before me starting in January. I rewatched all episodes on Netflix this summer (before school/teaching took back over my life). I think the episode about Saracen’s Dad’s funeral was The Best episode in television history. Hands down. Bar none. The end.

  8. Mad Men and 30 Rock would both make my list too. Great stuff!


  9. You know what? I have never been much of a reality-TV fan at all, but this year opened up a whole new world of reality TV that I just LOVED. 2010 was the year of reality TV for Amanda: Jerseylicious (about a hair salon in New Jersey where hair is every bit as big as the South), Swamp People (about gator huntin’ in Louisiana – fascinating, seriously), and Bama Belles (which had better become a series after 3 episodes because I love it and I love the ladies’ hair).
    2010 was also the year I discovered Beth Moore and her books. Safe to say my life has been so positively enriched by Miss Beth! And she also has fabulous hair.
    I am sure you detect a trend with the mentioning of the hair.
    Maybe 2010 was actually the year of the hair for me?
    I will have to go check out the CD you mentioned and the book. And perhaps the TV watching as well. :)

  10. OH! OH! OH! And I forgot to mention we are diehard P&F fans in this house. I love poor old Doofenshmirtz and his “evil” plans.

  11. I never EVER have time to watch TV. I just watched a movie this past weekend for the first time in about 3 or 4 months. I fully understand that I am a rare level of pathetic.

    Some of my favorite random non-TV things of the year:

    1. My 4 new cookbooks (the most recent being the Pioneer Woman cookbook I got for Christmas). The “Crappy Little Kitchen” cookbook is a winner too. Some people read magazines. Some people read novels. I read cookbooks.

    2. The iPhone 4. No, I don’t have one. Yes, my mother does. She just learned how to change the ringtone for every person in her family plus some. This includes the dog groomer, which makes a barking sound when they call. It’s a scream.

    3. Moving to “sophisticated cowtown” Fort Worth. From “hippie” Austin. Oh. my. I suddenly have to fix my hair and wear grown-up clothes when I leave the house.

    4. Watching my Longhorns go to the national championship (EARLY this year… let’s not rub salt in painful wounds now shall we…).

    5. Starbucks ice cream. It’s not new, but I discovered it this year, and OH THE CELLULITE GLORY.

  12. I’m usually all about the comedies, but I mourned for the passing of LOST this year. Why, Jack? Why did you have to go into the light? I miss you! Come back to me!! I haven’t been so lonely since Seinfeld signed off! *sigh*

  13. Love Phineas and Ferb, too. I think it’s hysterical.

    I’m ready for our Christmas decorations to be taken down for a deep cleaning, too. I keep walking by the tree thinking that somebody ought to start taking ornaments off… Why is it that packing up the Christmas stuff is not nearly as much fun as putting it up?

    Oh well, as Scarlett said, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

  14. I LOVE LOVE that shelf paper. Now I’m going to be on a mission to find that cute liner for my pantry. Good grief – I think mine is palm trees :)

    I’m not a big tv watcher – although I love to have QVC on in the background as I play, er um…work on the computer. I do look forward to Army Wives each season. It’s pretty much the only show on tv that I will plan to stop and watch.

  15. 2010 was little bit the same as 2009 until Aug rolled around…..and OH MY the glory experienced on the plains! 2010 ended w/ my beloved AU Tigers sitting on top…and I hope 2011 gets off to a gangbustin’ start around the 10th. Your Bdogs faired well too !

  16. I LOVE Phineas and Ferb! It’s so clever, and we all just quote it all the time! “Doofenschmirtz Evil, Incorpo-rated!”

  17. Seeing Toy Story 3 with my little people was a definite media highlight. I love these movies.

    Watching Chronicles of Narnia all the way through with my little people and they didn’t get scared…..they love ASLAN….I am touched and so excited to take them to see the new Narnia in the theatre.

    We’re still big NCIS fans here…and we love Chuck too, though I think the writing has gone done a few notches this season.

    Discovered Francine Rivers after all this time hearing about her….love Redeeming Love and the Mark of the Lion trilogy. The Mark of the Lion books READ MY MAIL, SOPHIE. READ MY MAIL

  18. big Fish, on the list. thanks for the recommend, I’ve never even heard of it. BTW, picked up an issue of Home Life a few weeks ago, from Easter,and ran across an article by you!

  19. I got my husband the Big Fish book for Christmas. I knew someone had recommended it – it must have been you. Thanks! He LOVES the movie so I thought he should read the book too.

  20. Regarding “Despicable Me” — my kids have watched it twice in the last week, and I’ve fallen asleep twice during the first 20 minutes. I can’t decide if I’m just exhausted or if I just don’t like the movie. Maybe it just starts slowly?

  21. just found mad men this year and watched season 4 trying to figure out what was going on but i loved it. a friend bought me the 1st 3 seasons for christmas and i’m working my way through it joyfully. good television is a rare treat.




  23. oh, law, boomama.

    first, you turned me on to dave barnes and i can’t even stand it. i saw him with drew & ellie at their first christmas show in raleigh. he is as funny as he is talented. LOVE HIM.

    second, big fish. just stoppitrightnow. i haven’t read the book but i will now. but the movie. law, the movie. let’s not even talk about it. except to say that at my dad’s funeral we had a time of impromptu sharing and i told everyone that his life and death was like ‘big fish’ for me and to see everyone who loved him in one room and to see faces of the names of people that belonged to his stories…

    i guess you had to be there.

    or didn’t.

    anyway, it was special and the movie is hands-down my favorite. and it was even before, but made even more poignant when my own ‘big fish’ was set free.


    p.s. geez, who invited debbie downer to the party? somebody send her home.

  24. and, p.s. i ah-DORE the office, but especially 30 rock. have mercy. LOVE them.

  25. This is so sad. I did not know “Big Fish” was a book. I teach reading and did a collaborative lesson with the writing teacher on the movie last year. So have to get the book. (And there was nothing that compared to sharing that movie with a roomful of middle school students and me sobbing through the whole ending.)

  26. My favorites list is not quite as long as yours; however, I do have a few. Beth Moore and Joyce Myer and I have become big buddies. I have struggled alot this year, but they and the good Lord have gotten me to it. “Get Out of That Pit” is an awesome book as well as “Battlefield of the Mind”. I focused alot on making me a better person for myself, my family and my friends. I enjoy reading your blog. I am one of those “stalkers”.

  27. Could you please direct me to your article on worship without music that is referred to here?


    I cannot seem to find it. Thank you so very much for your help!

  28. Mad Men is always atop my list. Some seasons are better than others but the first is still the best. It’s nearly always a roller coaster of love/hate for the Don Draper character.

    Surprising!… I accidentally watched the pilot for another AMC original series, The Walking Dead and was hooked. I have to squeeze my eyes shut during the gory goopy parts but I still liked the developing story. Shocked, yes, I was, to learn that the lead character, a Georgia cop, is a BRIT. He sure looks his part and plays it well too.

  29. Oh, I am a first-timer here. I’m last to the party. But! You had me at FNL. And Mad Men. And 30 Rock. And Andrew Bernard.

    We are media twins!

  30. I am in absolute tears after watching that Santa video! Poor Santa just fell apart! I haven’t laughed that hard…well, in a few days, but I really needed it today!

  31. You were dead on with the Ben Rector recommendation. Just downloaded. THanks!

  32. First of all, Ben Rector is amazingly talented and for such a young fellow, his lyrics are full of wisdom. I have listened to his CD since I bought it at the Dave Barnes comedy show in July. As a matter of fact, I was jamming to it this morning in the car. Good times.

    Also, Phineas and Ferb = awesome. It’s hubs favorite of the kids’ shows. Actually all 4 of us enjoy it, and that’s unheard of!