As the clock ticks down on 2009, I thought I post a few things that were real highlights for me, all discovered during the past year.
The most enjoyable movie of the year for me was "The Blindside." It's an absolutely wonderful feel-good, go-out-and-make-a-difference movie. But for me, the most important movie of the year was an oldie that I saw for the first time--"Fireproof." It wasn't the most perfectly acted film, and it was certainly didactic and formulaic in places, but the lessons on improving a marriage, and the illustration of the sacrifice required to keep a marriage strong were inspiring, and I plan on buying copies of this film for all my kids. I might also make this a gift I tuck into all wedding gifts this year.
The song I've played the most this year is probably Jon Schmidt's instrumental remix of "Love Story." The music is absolutely gorgeous, but watch the joy on the faces of Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson, the cellist, and you'll see why I love it so.
The Bonefish Grill, with The Cheesecake Factory running a close second. Both are eateries that can make your mouth water through each and every course at an affordable price, but The Bonefish's Bang Bang Shrimp and Calamari are amongst the best delights I've ever eaten.
I've read so many wonderful novels this year, but I still have to confess that nothing I've read has the staying power--the ability to reach, teach and inspire like the scriptures. I make time for a chapter or two from them before I pick up anything else. Life is busy . . . and time is at a premium, so I invest it carefully, and this is where I begin.
That said, I have enjoyed some stellar fiction this year. I'd rate "The Good Guy" by Dean Koontz, the most heart-pounding thriller; "Counting the Cost" by Liz Adair the most heart-wrenching; and "Am I Not A Man" by Mark Shurtleff, the most enlightening.
This economy has made all of us vigilant about value and quality. My two picks are notorious for providing both. I'm now a bonafide fan of Amazon Prime. It's well-worth the $75 annual fee to sit home and buy practically anything within two days, with free shipping. For walk-in shopping, Kohl's is now my numero uno place to go--great quality, stellar value and a wonderful rewards program.
So that's a brief list of items that impressed me this year. If I thought longer, I'd probably be able to add many more, but these certainly left impressions. What tops your list from 2009? I'd love to know.
Happy New Year.