Then I Remember My Favorite Things


February is an Eeyore kind of month. Gray. Gray skies. Gray snow. Gray trees. Gray clothes. Gray mood. But today, the sun is out. I’m wearing hot-pink. And I decided to make a list of some of my favorite things. You know, I think Rogers and Hammerstein had Maria give us some very solid advice.

There are things that I enjoy and like. And then there are my favorites: the things that I can’t stop talking about. The things I want everybody to try. I like it so much. I want you to like it too.

If you’ve been to my house some evening this winter, chances are I’ve made you drink Ina Garten’s Mulled Wine. It’s so perfect for practicing hygge-cozy, delicious, and hot. The perfect accompaniment for good conversation. Unless you are not into wine. I don’t make you drink wine if you are opposed to it or underage. I’m not really a wine pusher.

Do you live in the Minneapolis area? Do you ever travel by Lake Calhoun? Have you been to Rustica Bakery? Have you tried their bittersweet chocolate cookies? My sister calls them magic cookies. Because that is exactly what they are. Magic.

Monday night, I finished reading Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove. I cried and laughed my way through that book. It is simultaneously heartbreaking and funny. That’s the best combination. It left my heart feeling bigger and broken open just a bit when I finished it. Have you read it? No? Oh, I really want you to.

Have you watched the movie Sing Street? We watched it about one month ago. Last Friday, I was moping around: “I’ve told everybody I know to watch Sing Street! Has anyone watched it yet? No, not one.” That night I received a text at 9:01 from one sister: “Jess, we’re watching Sing Street right now!” At 9:03 I received a text from another sister: “Jess, we’re watching Sing Street!” You don’t know how happy that made me.

Do you like movies? Music? The 80’s? Ireland? Funny and heartbreak at the same time? You should watch this movie. I must be a Sing Street pusher. I really want you to watch it. I really want to watch it again.

If you have ever received a book from me, chances are that book is John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us. I’m an unashamed O’Donohue pusher. His words are so wise and true. They have changed me. I can’t loan you my copy, because I haven’t stopped reading this gem since I bought it almost 4 years ago. You should get your own copy.

What are some of my other favorites? Mary Oliver, Frederick Buechner, Rumi, Parker Palmer. I’ve told a lot of people to read their books. Gosh, I sound really bossy.

I guess this blog exists because I can’t stop talking about contemplation, practicing presence, God. Those are my deep-down favorites. They change me. They make me more me. They break my heart open and make it a more spacious place. I hope I’m not a pusher here, I’d rather be an inviter. This stuff is good.

Oh. And this guy. Isn’t he so cute? He likes me. And I like him right back.


What do you know? Those are just a few of my favorite things, and this list thing worked. I don’t feel so gray. What about you? What are your favorites? What do you want everybody to try? Maybe I would like them too.


6 thoughts on “Then I Remember My Favorite Things

  1. Favorite things…
    Watching the birds at my feeders and nest boxes
    Visits with our neighborhood deer. Yes, we chat. Did you know they listen? Except while they’re eating from my gardens…
    Surprise encounters with Hummingbirds, as I sit on my front porch
    Sunny days especially in winter
    The blanket of the comfort of a cloudy day
    The hush of snow falling
    The colors in creation
    Flowers! Looking at them, smelling them, growing them and sharing them
    Laughter, my husband’s laugh, the giggles of my grandkiddos, my own laughter at myself
    My daughters as moms, and friends with one another
    The love that is shared in this family
    The blessing of nine beautiful grandchildren.
    The love of God, the Three in One. Creator of the universe
    The love of my beloved
    The love of friends
    Just a few of my favorite things… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being in my kitchen makes me happy. Today, making our beloved son’s favorite cheesecake for his birthday on my 45-plus year-old standing mixer that was given to us by our special friends for our wedding, and also celebrating that friend’s 70th birthday this weekend. Family, friends, great food, the ability to be happy . . . so thankful.
    I’m not sure I would have pondered enough to feel this happiness today, Jess, if I had not read your post. Thankful for you . . . God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This made me smile. 🙂 It is such a gray time of year. When I think of favorites, some of the first things that come to mind are the things I’m missing right now…warm days, green forests, long walks, the ocean. But there are plenty of favorites right now, too. It’s good to remember them. I don’t think I could ever pick a favorite book. I have a whole shelf of favorites right next to me. My newest favorite is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Candlelight. Snuggling on the couch under my favorite blanket with my favorite dog. Warm socks. Hot coffee. New refills for my favorite pens. Leisurely weekend brunch. So many favorites. Thanks for the reminder, Jess!


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