Thoughts I Had During “Winter” – a Gilmore Girls Reflection


Winter

“I smell snow” I squealed. I admit. Not just because I love snow, but because I honestly thought they might start with Fall. You know, since it’s Fall when this is releasing. But then I wondered if maybe they would end with Fall, since that’s clearly what the show is known for. Wow. I’ve thought about this a lot.

“I’ve missed ya, kid” Yes, Lauren Graham choked up. So did I. A nice nod, a nice moment, to give the fans. Yes, it has been years.

Coffee and tacos? Sounds just gross enough to work. (See what I did there? The die-hards will know.)

One day? Who can afford two transcontinental flights in three days?

From Ben Affleck? What pop culture reference is that? I’ve never seen the Marvel movies, so probably something there. Iron Man. It starts and end with that for me.

Rory soooo doesn’t have any coffee in her cup.

Three phones? That’s nuts.

Rory, don’t say crap during a work call. So unprofessional. 

And don’t run once you find a clear signal. Haven’t you EVER lived in a small town?

Climbing up on a ladder in Dosee’s? Throwing the cabbage and saying “Come again!” Gilmore Girls is back. Squeeeeeee.

Wow. Dosee’s is so bright. So professional. So not small town anymore.

Kirk!!!

Not finding the Ooooooober thing all that funny. 

The pig from the promo is Kirk’s? Of course it is. She’s cute.

Wait, since when does Al’s make coffee?

Ok, the pause for the snow? I get it, but it’s a little forced. Took me out of the moment. Boo.

The troubadour!  I have two of his albums because of this show. Grant Lee Phillips, in case you are wondering.)

I love Stars Hollow at Christmas. The lights really get me in the spirit.

Amy wrote this one? Thank God. Daniel was never a good voice for the show.

The rabbi!!! Great call back.

Whoa. That is one bright kitchen.

“Trigger warnings” I love Amy.

Luke, Lorelei, and Rory in the kitchen… the dialogue and banter doesn’t get any better.

Why in the word did Rory send her boxes to more than one place? Does she enjoy being disorganized? The girl who bought a folder for each class assignment in high school?

Travel wherever the story is to write? If she consistently writes on speck there is no way she could afford this, an apartment, and three cell phone bills.

Paul looks like that singer guy. What’s his name, with the curly hair and the opera voice? 

Using a Trader Joe’s coffee container for a vase… Love it. And I kinda love that I know that a Trader Joe’s coffee container. French Roast. If Lorelei is like me, it’s the low acid kind. But they didn’t show the front so I can’t tell. But it’s clearly the best choice.  

JOSH GROBAN! That’s his name.

Two years? The cotton anniversary. Bye Paul.

Why is Rory wearing a sleeveless dress? It’s January in Connecticut

Scott Patterson’s toupee is just not good. Was all the budget spent on the new lighting? Because they couldn’t given a few hundred to the makeup trailer to fix that.

Loving the old pic of the girls in the bedroom (with the orange scarf). Awwwwww. Nostalgia.

Ok, the tapping thing is kinda funny. She is really bad.

Coffee? It’s the middle of the night. I mean, I know. But really?

Rory is so lost. And she knows it. I see it bubbling under the surface.

I love the Luke bit with the Wi-Fi passwords. It’s so him, though I’m ashamed I didn’t figure it out right away.

Rory’s New Yorker piece fits on the back of a menu? With a large picture of her? How sad. What, did she get paid $50 for it? That wouldn’t pay for a plane ticket to London.

Luke makes a Fudgy Banana Milkshake? Yeah, right. But that sounds amazing. I’m thinking he should go next door for that.

Love Lorelei throwing bagels at Kirk.

They forgot Paul? He orders tea for breakfast? Bye Paul.

What in the heck did Rory order that filled two grocery bags and took 2 minutes to make?

She forgot Paul again. This bit is gonna get old.

Michel!!!!!!!!! I have a feeling they were only able to make him gay because the WB wouldn’t allow that back in 2000.

Hate the couches in the Inn’s living room. Yuck.

Why are there so many Christmas decorations still up? I thought this was after Christmas.

Why is the Inn’s kitchen so dark when everything else on set is so unnaturally bright?!?!?

Roy took the coffee maker? Bye Roy.

I miss Sookie already.

Wait, that’s the size of the coffee maker? I’m sorry to be a wonder killer, but a restaurant would not have a tiny coffee maker like that. And it doesn’t even take up any counter space. Ugh I know, wonder killer.

The Carpenter’s! As weird as the music cue is, I still love it.

Ok, the Gypsy/maid this is just a horrible idea.

Seriously, worst wig ever.

Kelly Bishop looks amazing. That woman is ageless.

Cyrano? Nice moment there.

They are all wearing navy. Interesting.

The painting. Oh, the painting. The Gilmore stare. 

I miss Richard.

The fact that Emily refuses to send back the painting (which is completely out of character) totally proves my consistent point that you just don’t act like yourselves during a trauma.

Rory spitting out her martini during the bellowing of “Wizard, you shall not pass” is one of the funniest missed moments for me so far.

I don’t think I can watch this flashback. So much pain.

THAT TOM WAITS’ SONG.

I totally don’t buy that Jason would come to the funeral.

Ugh. Off with that toupee, Luke.

Rory really has to leave early the day of the funeral? Just. No.

I know this scene with Lorelei telling the story about the steamer trunk and her dad is awful. And it’s so hard to watch. Yet I have sympathy for her. Because again, you just don’t act like you should during a trauma. Grief messes you up.

This fight scene is so utterly Gilmore and so utterly epic.

These two actress just know how to be mother and daughter, and ASP must have a tumultuous relationships with her mother to write this dialogue so well.

“I’m surprised you didn’t have a pizza delivered during Ava Maria.” Wow. Low blow. Even for Emily. 

The stuff about Luke? Honestly, needed to be said, #confessyourunpopularopinion I’ve always thought Lorelai was selfish when it comes to Luke.

“You never let me make a mistake!” Oh, so painful. Gilmore and grace have never been great at mixing.

”I just lost my father.” WHY doesn’t Lauren Graham have an Emmy?

“Full-freakin’ circle.” I get that reference now that I’ve seen all four episodes, but what did it mean at the time? Emily accuses Lorelei of going back to the town to tell her friends how awful her mother is  How is this a full circle moment? It would be full circle if Emily told her friends how awful Lorelai was, thus completely the circle of Lorelei telling a story to Richard’s friends about how Richard was a less than stellar dad. But it’s not full circle with Lorelai doing what Emily accuses her of heading off to do. The only way this is kind of full circle is that Lorelai accuses her dad, then Emily accuses her daughter. Even then, that’s a half circle at best.  I’m really frustrated by this.

Boxes at Emily’s? That three places so far. Driving me crazy, and is very out of character for Rory.

There is NO WAY Emily knows who Llewyn Davis is.

I hate how rude Emily is to Luke.

“That moment at the Twickim house?” Didn’t it happen at the Inn? It was about the Twickim house, but it wasn’t AT the Twickim house, was it?

I’ve seen this show too much if I know that, I think.

Glad Lorelei is examining Emily’s accusation about her not considering Luke. The one thing always consistent with Emily, despite her feelings and behavior toward Luke and Lorelei’s relationship, is that she always wanted Lorelei to understand what a good marriage takes. (i.e. the conversation she had with her about Christopher and their wedding party.)

See, I really have seen this show too much.

Paris always wanted to do research and find a cure for cancer in medicine, so my guess is that she only ended up here for money, since her family ended up in trouble in that area.

BAHAHAHAHA. Paris is still Paris, firing Smith grads and making Buffy references. I just love her. And partially hate her.

There are a lot of weird things about this whole surrogate thing, but it makes no sense that the color of the surrogates hair is something Paris brings up. Shouldn’t their health and age be the larger issue? 

Ewwwww. “Junk in the trunk… if you like that kind of thing.” Seriously, no wonder Luke thinks this involves him sleeping with someone.

Doogie Howser. That show was on the air for 4 seasons over 20 years ago and it’s still in the pop culture lexicon. Amazing. (On a side note, I wonder whatever happened to Vinnie? Didn’t I see him in something recently?)

…Checking IMDB. Yep, I did. Interestingly, Inside Llewyn Davis is what I saw him in.

Of course Luke left. This whole thing is not only weird, Paris is the WRONG person to sell this surrogacy idea on Luke. He hates her.

This whole Naomi Shropshire storyline is annoying.

I mean, I know it’s coming, but I was still in denial this time around as Rory was talking into the void and then we realize it’s Logan… I just wanted it to be that they were just friends.

I want to like Logan. I do. But he was just so crappy to Rory, as was his dad, and he is just too pretentious for her.

Ew. They are really just each others’ booty call. Gross. 

Wait, she’s having dinner with Paul? Where does he live??

Paris in Stars Hollow is my favorite.

Wait… why does Luke even have Wi-Fi in the diner? It’s not like he lives there anymore, or would ever use it himself. Oh, wait. I can totally see Lorelei making him get it just for her.

Carol King’s daughter!!! I love that Amy made her the troubadour’s sister… so we could hear her sing.

Rory is back in Stars Hollow. Another transatlantic flight. What’s it been, 4 days? Oooooookay.

Ha! They made Doyle a screen writer. Nice nod, Amy. I’m starting to feel like this whole script is just one big love letter/inside joke between her and the cast.

Zach and Lane’s house looks suspiciously like Jackson and Sookie’s house.

Wait. Why is Kirk leaving if he needs an extension cord from Lane? And why didn’t Rory ask Lane for one? That’s kinda rude.

Does Brian still live with Zach and Lane? I wish we learned more of his back story.

The twins are cute!

Rory is keeping the Logan thing from her mom. Yuck. And has she learned NOTHING from the Dean situation?!?

I miss Gil’s crazy hair. And just…no to that eyeliner, Sebastian.

I’m genuinely impressed at how these actors have kept up their musical skills. 

BAHAHAHAHA. Ok, I loved Lorelai’s “Holy Shiiiiii-“ trailing off at the site of her mother in jeans and a Candie’s shirt, which is so clearly Lorelai’s from high school. 

Seriously, Kelly Bishop looks amazing. Even in jeans and a t-shirt. And she is wearing that gold necklace, still. The one she wears in every. single. episode. That never made sense to me. She’s filthy rich, she couldn’t change it up a little in 8 seasons?

The ongoing bit of Emily trying to communicate with her staff with large gestures isn’t really that funny to me.

“Taste it. See if it brings you joy.” Ha!

I’m glad Lorelei checked in on her mom. Because it’s true, nothing is going to bring her joy right now.

DUDE. Have you ever tried to play guitar in the snow like that? It’s not possible (your fingers would freeze and you couldn’t press down on the strings) AND it would be really bad for your guitar.

I know. Wonder Killer. BUT I CAN’T HELP IT. Early recaps with Pamie on Television Without Pity are all rushing back to me. I learned from the best. However, she hated the troubadour and I don’t. That’s where we differ.

I love that Luke is ok with Lorelei dressing Paul Anka up as him. He loves her so much.

Dirk? Would’ve been funnier if they used Mick, the first character Kirk ever played on the show. The die hards will know.

Emily took Lorelai’s advice!!

Lorelei’s face when Emily thanks her is heartbreaking. A daughter should never be so stared for affirmation fro her mother. A reminder of why I can’t like all of Emily. Manipulation, yes. That’s appropriate (not in life, but character development-wise) considering their relationship. But the way she constantly makes Lorelei not feel good enough? Can’t ever be okay with that. And it shouldn’t be overlooked by al those who think she’s awesome. She’s just not.

Luke figured it out before Lorelai… again, this is how starved she is for her mom’s approval. Sad.

Dolly over the end credits???? So weird. Where are the la-las?

an early advent celebration

I’ve been usually anxious to start celebrating Christmas this year. I mean, my itch for Christmas music and shopping for presents always hits me a little early, but the pull has been much stronger. To the point where I listened to Christmas music for several hours at work the last couple of days, and I even indulged in some Christmas decor shopping at a local town event this last Thursday night. (Oh, and I bought some Christmas decorations at Hobby Lobby over a month ago, but I told myself it was just because last year I saw, loved, and then waited too long and all the things I wanted were gone by mid-November.
The itch always starts too early, but rarely have I given in like I did this year. I mean, I even got out boxes of my Christmas decor this week. And I put things on my walls today.
So I got to thinking. What is it about this year that I allowed myself to start early?
For the last 10 years, I’ve been very stingy about my Christmas spirit, telling myself I was choosing to savor it until after Thanksgiving. Some of it was because I believe in the importance of being thankful. Despising how we’d become so consumed with the materialism that comes with Christmas, I have always railed against starting Christmas so early because i wants to properly celebrate Thanksgiving and being thankful for all that God has given me.
Advent comes into play with all this, too. There is something so special, so poignant, about spending the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day pondering and considering what it means to WAIT. In a world, a culture, a life where waiting isn’t necessary or honored in any way, shape or form, waiting is a powerful tool to prepare out hearts for the joy of celebrating Jesus coming. I still believe in that.
So I’m still pondering… perhaps I’m indulging in Christmas early this year because how so many negative things that have happened in 2016. Not for me… I’ve had a wonderful year personally and professionally. But 2016 kicked everyone’s behind. So maybe I’m reacting to that. All the negativity on social media has everyone worked up. So designing an advent calendar with Christmas music blaring in my earbuds was a way I escaped from all of that.
But, I actually think it’s something different. Stay with me.
2015 was a terrible year for me. If you’ve read some of my posts from here, you can piece together some things and figure out some of what I’ve went through. I’ve kept details private because they are just that, private. But the feelings, the writing, I’ve tried to keep authentic. And I think you can see that when you look back over the posts. Even back into 2014 when the awfulness began.
So it’s been awhile since I’ve had a happy Christmas. 2014’s Christmas was one of the most painful times of my life, and the worst hadn’t even happened yet. A lot of it was over by 2015’s Christmas, but there was still a lot of uncertainty and questions I carried around with me as well as some residual pain from some things earlier in the year… and then some fresh pain from some things that happened in the Fall.  That Christmas, I was in the middle of selling my house in Tucson, on the heels of so much transition and some significant personal heartbreak due to lost friendships. That was a weird time. I was longing for grace. I was chasing it will every fiber of my being, because my reaction to that trauma screwed so many things up. But I wore it out. Grace was not to be found in the places where I kept chasing it.
Despite how 2016 has kicked everyone else around, my 2016 has been pretty amazing. I left some things behind in January that I never plan to pick up again. The day I watched them take three wooden crates on the back of a semi into storage was the same day I loaded up my car with my “Brave” flag and my U of A cooler and left Arizona. Forever. I made it to New Mexico at about 8:30pm, found a hotel, and felt the weight of the world life off my shoulders. It was like that whole state represented everything in my life that was miserable and painful and it was finally out of my life.
So this pre-Christmas season, after a sweet and wonderful year of healing (though I have a long way to go. Today alone proved that, as my loss kicked me in the can) I am soooooooo ready to celebrate. I am so ready to rejoice over a little baby that came to rescue me and the world. This weary soul is rejoicing.

 

Praise.

woven threads

So I had to bake a peach pie.

Those words came into my mind on my drive to work this morning. 

The trail to get there went something like this:Memories of feeling left out -> a chosen blog post -> a forgotten chosen blog post – > bread -> sacramental baking -> I had to bake a peach pie

(Welcome to my brain.)

I wrote about making that pie in a blog post a couple of years ago. I wrote it in response to author Preston Yancey’s call for submissions for his blog on the theme “An Everlasting Meal and a Movable Feast: where food and faith intersect.” He was taking a break from posting while he finished up his first book, Tables in the Wilderness. In the end, he had 90 submissions and only 12 spots to fill. I was one of the “chosen” 12. I was chosen among a lot of other amazing authors I respected and loved their words very much. (Some of them had published books!)  It felt like a huge honor.

And then he forgot to post it.

He posted it later as an “open call” for guest posts on Thursday, which felt a lot less special to me. I wrote it specifically about the idea of faith and food intersecting. It was a powerful story from my life, and it changed me. And it was forgotten by the very person whose choice had made me feel special, and someone whose actions inspired the story to begin with. (He not only chose my post, but his class was why I baked the pie to begin with.)

As someone who struggles with rejection, this hurt. It hurt a lot. It hurt when I read the last post of the series, and realized I’d been left out. It hurt when I asked him about it and he apologized. It hurt when he suggested it be moved to a different guest post series. It all just hurt. And yes, people may say I’m overly sensitive. But I had a reasonable expectation, was excited about the opportunity I had to be published somewhere else (and the fact it was chosen by an author I respected) so I told people about it. They were waiting to read it. It was all so anti-climactic when it finally was published – because it felt like it was only published because I had to point it out to him. There I was, sitting on the floor in gym class, as the captains of the kickball teams chose classmate after classmate with my arm kind of half-raised, mumbling, “I’m still over here…”

Here’s the thing, though. I needed to tell you all that in case didn’t know the story, or remember that I once guest posted for an author. It was, after all, a few years ago, because the memory of this, while unpleasant (when it could have been such a joyful one) isn’t where my mind went after the words, “So I had to bake a peach pie” entered my mind this morning. That was the title of my post, and it’s the story itself that has me all turned around into knots right now.

Here is the post: http://bit.ly/1UaRihf

This story is no longer a sweet memory, or a positive one, and it has nothing to do with the fact it was forgotten about almost three years ago. It’s because the people in that story are no longer in my life. I made a mistake and it was too much for them.  Things remain unfinished because after I reached out to make amends, my amends were refused. My phone call was never returned, my voicemail never answered. This also, hurt.

It got me thinking about defining moments. A lot of people have defining moments that are huge… marriage, pregnancy, finishing a degree. For me, I look back over my life and the big stuff doesn’t come to mind. But little stuff does. Like the story of me and the peach pie. I guess when you are single and childless, defining moments just look different.

This was a defining moment for me, and that’s why, when Preston first announced that he was looking for guest submissions, I knew immediately what I could write about. The fact that it was chosen among 90 submissions just confirmed what I believed in my heart: that this was an important story. That it mattered. That it was a big deal. A tiny moment, a big deal… for me, for my heart, for just so much. 

But honestly, it no longer feels like a defining moment for me. This moment has been marred by circumstances that have happened since. It’s no longer a nice memory, because I am struggling to have nice feelings about the people who are in that story.

One of the most important takeaways I have from the counseling I went through in seminary is that your past does matter. Because it’s part of your story. When I first walked into my counselor’s office, I told her I didn’t want my past to define me, because I didn’t want to give people who’d hurt me the satisfaction of changing me. In my mind, that wasn’t fair – I wanted to be the sole person responsible for who I was.

But I’m not.

Our lives are made up of complicated and messy woven threads of people we like and dislike. Of people we trust and don’t trust. Of those that hurt us and those we hurt. People that healed us and people we healed. What are we to do with these woven threads? Threads that have the good colors and the ugly colors, colors that fit neatly in our color scheme and those that don’t? I know, deep down, that the people and situations we dislike are part of our story and what matters is what we do with their part in our story. But my inner child wants to have a temper tantrum because those big ole’ mean people JUST DON’T DESERVE IT. *harrumph* *stomp* *fist clenched* *snort*

My adult side will simply say that my sense of justice hates that the negative stuff has altered me. I should be stronger than that, right?

I wish the negative stuff didn’t matter. I wish when I was a child in music class, the one class where I excelled, that it wasn’t a painful moment to not be chosen when we had to partner up in the 6th grade for the spring concert to play ukuleles. And since our class had an uneven number, I was by myself and it was immortalized on film and in a photo album. (And in my brain, too, I guess.) I have a lot of stories like these. I hate that they still sting. I hate that they still matter.

The negative defining moments in my life often make me angry. Mostly, because there was some element out of my control and something bad happened. As well as an unmet expectation of mine. (As you may remember, expectations are something of a vice for me.)

What I’m realizing, with all these messy and mismatched woven threads of my life, is that they still matter not just because they are part of my story, but they still hurt because I am working through the grand, overall lesson I must learn: that I am an accepted child of God and his love for me is bigger and grander than all those people who’ve hurt me. There are days I get this truth. There are days I don’t.

Someday I hope to look at that picture of my 6th grade music concert of me without a partner and not feel the rush of rejection I felt back then.

Someday I hope to be able to make that bourbon-caramel peach pie and not get a horrible pit in my stomach.

Today is just not that day.

34 Episodes You Need to Watch Before the Gilmore Girls Reboot on Netflix

I admit it, the second I saw this Netflix trailer, my heart soared. I love Gilmore Girls and it’s always my go-to binge watch show when I need some joy.
Because the creators of the show left before Season 7, I always felt cheated out of a great ending. So that is my explanation for my heart soaring. I’ve been watching the show on and off for the last couple of months, and when the November 25 date was announced, I read some pieces in the vein of , “Episodes you must watch for the reboot comes out.” But they were all subpar and clearly not written by true fans of the show. Yes, I’m that fan.
If you have already seen all the episodes, but want a refresher before November 25, this list is for you. There are episodes that are needed for plot points, but I didn’t include them if they weren’t at the very top of the Gilmore Girl game. If I included episodes that help with major plots points, you might as well just re-watch the whole show. Plus, Netflix was great to put the “previouslys” on the episodes to help with this.
If you haven’t see the show yet, just watch them all. I could maybe create a list for those unfamiliar with the show, with a couple of episodes a season where you don’t miss much, but let’s face it. It’s just best to see the whole thing. The show is that good. And don’t read this list if you haven’t already seen the show, because spoilers.
Season 1
1.) Pilot. The opening scene of this show is unparalleled in it’s outstanding introduction to what the show will be like, despite how slooooow they are talking. Amy hadn’t quite found her writing voice for the show just yet, and the actors hadn’t reached Gilmore-pace yet. But it’s such a strong pilot.
2.) Forgiveness and Stuff. From Luke’s inability to be in a hospital to Lorelai’s almost speech to her dad, this episode is a can’t miss. Plus, grossest hamburger ever.
3.) The Break Up, Part 2. You get a full dose of Lane, which always makes an episode better. Plus you start to see a glimmer of Paris and Rory’s friendship starting.
Season 2
It’s my personal belief that this season of this show is one of the finest pieces of pop culture to ever grace the world’s stage.
4.) Nick & Nora/Sid and Nancy. The introduction of Jess and some epic scenes and fights with Luke and Lorelai.
5.) The Bracebridge Dinner. This show is at it’s finest with the background characters in Star Hollow are allowed to shine. This crazy and weird episode provides lots of fodder, plus some awesome stuff with Lorelai and her parents.
6.) A-Tisket, A-Tasket. The first episode I ever watched, which made me fall in love with the show. This is really just added for sentimental reasons, but that’s of sweet things happen here.
7.) There’s the Rub. More incredible scenes with Lorelai and her mother, where they both learn so much about each other. Plus Rory, Jess and Paris together? Great stuff.
8.) Help Wanted. This is one of my favorite episodes because you finally see some real bonding with Lorelai and her father.

9.) Lorelai’s Graduation Day. Despite the ridiculous storyline of “Lorelai’s the rich kid” at community college, everything else here is Gilmore Girls perfect.

10.) I Can’t Get Started. While I despise a lot of what is happening with the main characters in this episode, it’s Sookie and Jackson’s wedding. Enough said.
Season 3
11.) They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They? It’s the Star Hollow Dance marathon and more ridiculousness ensues. Again, the best episodes highlight the townspeople. Plus one epic breakup scene.
12.) A Deep Fried Korean Thanksgiving. Lane’s first kiss. Thunder dome on Sookie’s lawn. And a fight with Lorelai and Emily. So much goodness. and laugh out loud moments.
I would like to include Dear Emily and Richard at this point, but this episode loses major points because of the appearance of Sherri. She is one annoying character. It’s not because she took Christopher away from Lorelai. Nope. Couldn’t care less about it. Simple fact: she’s annoying. That said, if you watch it fast-forwarding most of her scenes, it’s pretty great. You get a glimpse of what it was like when Lorelai’s was pregnant, (the parallel with Shari’s labor experience was very well done.) and you see Emily and Lorelai bond in the sweetest way. Bridges are being built as Lorelai’s reflects on how they burned in the first place. I would also include “That’ll Do, Pig,” except that I can’t stand Gran. (Actually, it’s more the actress I can’t stand to watch the character of Gran.) But Lorelai explaining how she deals with her mother’s criticism is gold. Then watching her mother use that on her mother-in-law, platinum. Which really just goes to show that I should do a top scenes list, too. Because some of the best scenes aren’t in the best episodes because other plot lines are weak. And maybe I should do a “best lines” list, too. #popculturenerd
13.) A Tale of Poes and Fire. The inn catches fire and we have the sweetest and saddest endings of an episode (save the series finale) ever.
14.) Those are Strings, Pinocchio. Rory graduates and the Inn becomes a reality. Plus Brad sings.
Season 4
I realized after reviewing all the seasons that this is surprisingly one of my favorites. Though we are first introduced to Liz and TJ in season 4, they hadn’t reached the level of annoying (that broke me) until much later.  I’m also not really a fan of Digger, but watching Lorelai and Sookie pursue their dream of opening an inn is awesome. I also think I enjoy it so much because Rory is completely boyfriend-less, and so that drama isn’t there, so yay.
15.) Ballrooms and Biscotti. Everything about this episode is perfect. I mean everything. It might be my all-time favorite episode.
16.) The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale. Save the annoying freshman counselor, watching Lorelai try to drive Luke’s truck and helping Rory adjust to college is particularly wonderful.
17.) An Affair to Remember. Watching Lorelai defend her mother to a childhood friend? Priceless. Plus I really need to have some of Sookie’s Lobster Pot Pie.
18.) In the Clamor and the Clangor. The Star Hollow bells get fixed and drive everyone crazy. Lorelai wears the best winter white sweater ever and she and Luke have another epic fight and then make up. And Lane finally fesses up to her double life with her mother.
19.) Scene in a Mall. The bulk of this episode involves shopping so it’s no wonder I like it. Emily has the best meltdown ever. But the sweetness of the episode (and why I am including it) lies in a moment in the food court.
20.) The Reigning Lorelai. Gran dies (finally) and the breakdown of this family unit is quite epic. Richard, Emily and Lorelei all have equally fantastic meltdowns and it’s a sight to behold.

21.) Last Week’s Fight, This Week’s Tights. Lane’s mom finally meets Zach and Brian and it’s awesome. Luke and Lorelai go on their first date, even though Lorelei doesn’t know it. The rest of the episode is just “meh” but the moment. You know what I’m talking about. THE MOMENT.

22.) Raincoats and Recipes. It’s finally time to open the Inn, and of course, much ridiculousness ensues because the practice weekend involves Sookie and Lorelai inviting the town to stay there to work out the kinks. I don’t need to say anymore except that we finally get to see the first kiss between Luke and Lorelei, and it involves Kirk running around naked. Yep.
Season 5
23.) Written in the Stars. Stars Hollow is all a flutter now that the two townspeople who run eating establishments are in a relationship. But the real story is what’s in Luke’s wallet.
24.) Wedding Bell Blues. This episode is awesome because Lorelai reveals that despite all her and her parents have done to repair their relationship, that she is still willing to cut them off if they cross the line. Plus Ed Herman is a gem and Emily’s bachelorette party is hysterical. Plus, Cop Rock.
25.) Say Something. As self-indulgent as this episode really is, I love it. I guess because we’ve all felt this way at some point. Plus watching Lane (as a surrogate daughter) and Rory do everything she does for Lorelai is amazing to see.
I need to mention A House is Not A Home here, only because it’s a “need to see” episode plot-wise in order to understand the whole of Season 6, as Rory deals with the consequences of her stupid decision to listen to her boyfriend’s father. Lorelai is once again stabbed in the back by her parents, and as a huge bonus, Mrs. Kim gets Hep Alien on tour.
Season 6
This season is rough because the first half has our two Gilmore Girls apart and the show just felt wrong. Also, April. When the second half of the show shifts focus to the relationship between Luke and April, it’s so hard to watch Lorelai suffer. My next to last favorite season.
26.) Welcome to the Dollhouse. Actually, welcome to Sores and Boils Ave, the new address for the Dragonfly. And finally, Richard admits his daughter was right and Rory has made a huge mistake quitting Yale. Emily tries to smoke out Lorelai by sending her random things from her childhood. Plus, any episode that starts with a town meeting is awesome.
27.) Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ring Out. Jess knocks a little sense into Rory and murderously cute soccer girls get sponsored by Luke. Lorelai breaks and becomes all of us when Paul Anka gets sick.
28.) Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Rory finally tells her grandparents that her dad is paying for Yale, which means all of pandora’s box is opened from their relationships and even all of Lorelai’s stuff, too. Culminating in an epic Friday Night Dinner menagerie of fight scenes. Plus, Paris has the breakdowns of all breakdowns and Rory rallies the staff to get the paper out. Also, the best final line of an episode ever.
29.) I Get a Sidekick Out of You. Lane gets married, and the reception is epic. We also meet her grandmother, and she’s scarier than Lane’s mom.
Season 7
The problem with Season 7, besides the obvious that Amy and Daniel left the show, is mainly two things: first, the scenes are painstakingly long. Waaaaaay longer than they needed to be, and way longer than the show had typically done before. It’s borderline painful because the writing is just not Gilmore. Second, the constant presence of Liz and TJ. Ugh. I CAN’T STAND THEM, and without Amy’s writing, they are even worse. I mean, Andrew’s acting isn’t stellar, but at least his personality is palatable. The acting and the personality of both Liz and TJ is just. so. painful.
30.) ’S Wonderful ’S Marvelous. Emily lands herself in jail. ‘Nuff said.
31.) I’d Rather Be In Philadelphia. Richard’s in the hospital again, Christopher fails to come through once again, and we see all three Gilmore Girls be real with each other sans humor. Pretty sure there is nary an obscure pop culture reference to be found (for shame) but it’s heartfelt. So it works for me, only because of Richard.
32.) Will You Be My Lorelei Gilmore? It’s the big baby shower for Lane and Zack, and for once in Season 7, the writers hit the right note.
33.) Hay Bale Maze. Rory makes a pro and con list about a job offer, Taylor is allergic to hay, which is unfortunate, because he decides to take over the town with a hay bale maze, and Logan and Lorelei come to an uneasy truce.
34.) Bon Voyage. “You’ve given me everything I need” Yep. I bawl like a BABY every time she says it.

build

How do you know?
When it’s time to build? Time to tear down? Time to repair? Time to start over?
My own life feels like a series of tearing down and tearing down. Then building part of something. 
Then tearing it down again.
(You always build it better the second time around)
Some things need to be destroyed in order for the world to be better. For your family to be better. For you to be better. But there is something so sacred about what you built that tearing it down feels like you are ripping your heart right out of your chest. Because you don’t build something that doesn’t matter to you. Good or bad.
You build it precisely because you believe it’s important. Necessary. Key to your life’s happiness. So to tear that down means more then just tear it down.
It means tearing yourself down.
Which means you have to build something else. Which was hard enough the first time, right? But when what you built must be torn down it means so much of what you thought to be good and true and right is no longer good and true and right. So you must rediscover what else is good.
And true. And right.

 

Then build from there. Hoping that each brick that you take from a memory or experience or a person will not be torn down next time because it’s like taking pieces of your heart and building something new.

of sorrow and joy [good friday hurts]

 
There are many reasons Good Friday is a sad day for me.
 
It’s the day I lost my grandfather when I was 14 years old.
 
It’s the day my Savior died.
 
It’s the last day I spoke to one of my best friends.
 
So… not my favorite day.
 
The sorrow of the day is only compounded by my tradition of watching The Passion of the Christ. Why do I torture myself when the day is already sad? Because I believe that in order to fully experience the joy of Sunday I must enter into sorrow of Good Friday.
 
We need Good Friday, or Easter Sunday just becomes a day of eggs hunts and dressing up in our Sunday best. We need Good Friday because of our sin, not just our salvation. (We simply can’t have one without the other.) We need Good Friday because God’s wrath is fully expressed on this day, so his mercy means all the more in the days following.
 
We need Good Friday because we needed a Savior.
 
And God gave us one.
 
I wish this day didn’t have so many painful memories attached to it. They distract from the true meaning of God’s sacrifice for me. But I also realize these painful memories speak loudly the pain of this life. Death and loss are realities of this world, because of sin. And one man entered into that mess and came to redeem.
 
The tragedy of this day is no longer just about Jesus for me. It’s about the brokenness in the world around me, the people around me, the brokenness in me. It’s because of me he died. It’s because of me that I lost a friend. The weight of that is simply… massive.
 
I suppose that’s why this day I feel all the feels. I cry all the tears. I reflect on my sin. I think about His sacrifice. I mourn my loss. I miss my friend. I just…
 
hurt.
 
I guess I understand why they call it Good Friday. It is a good day. It doesn’t feel good this year.
 
But Sunday is coming. I will rejoice.

on moving, goodbyes, and community

I went through those double doors for the last time, and briefly paused as I heard the glass door rattle behind me as they latched. From what seemed out of nowhere, my heart filled with sadness and tears threatened to brim over as I realized the chapter I was closing in my life.

For the last two and half years, this place was my Monday night home. I would go there for over two hours and wrestle with God’s word. And I got to do it with women who were wrestling just like me. This had become a sweet community, and especially in the last year, the community I desperately  needed to get through some extremely tough times. And this community that was a large part of why I chose to stay in Arizona when faced with that choice last summer.

But now this is all coming to a close.

I don’t know why the Lord wanted me in Tucson for the last 6 months. I don’t know why, when faced with the choice of Tucson or Kansas, that I felt like God wanted me to stay. But now I can tell you, that whatever the reason, healing was done in this time. It was done through the wise and challenging counsel of a pastor leading blessed and tiny church on Overton Rd. It was done through phone conversations (and one face to face meeting) with a Memphis counselor who understood painful ministry transitions. And understood Tucson. It was done through mountain views and long commutes to work and friends who became my family when they took me in. 

It was also done through this community of Monday night women who knew me, loved me, and for some reason thought I was awesome.

Before I left the church tonight, one of the BSF leaders held me tight, in a full-on hug, and prayed for my transition and thanked the Lord she got to know me. How humbling. I don’t deserve that.

Whatever God’s specific plan was for these last six months, all I know is the result was me finally able to move on and say, “Arizona, I’m done with you. You’ve both blessed and hurt me these last five and half years. And while I’m thankful for so many things you gave me, I believe we’re finished. I’m not only ready but excited to move on.”

If you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, you may recall how, when I drove away from St. Louis to come here, I just didn’t feel done with that town yet. And maybe I’m not. But I’m done here. The Lord knew that I wasn’t ready to go last summer, and perhaps these six months were simply his grace to me. I do know that I learned so much about myself. I saw my failures and my pain in a totally different light. I was able to see I cannot control where amends are refused. I learned what more of my deal breakers are. I learned how grief alters you. I learned what real friendship looks like, and how in ministry, those friends don’t always stay (and this truth really hurts). I learned how easy it is to be a bad friend when you are self-absorbed. I learned that sometimes all it takes is one mistake and the refusal to forgive to ruin a beautiful thing (this also really hurts).

…and so much more. In six months. It was awful. But still I learned, and that is never a waste.

I am thankful for the last few years of BSF and the women I grew to love and somehow grew to love me back. I am thankful for this community. Thank you, Jesus, for knowing what I needed and providing. I am undeserving.

no longer and not yet


The last six months have been about the space between the “no longer” and the “not yet” for me. Have I honored that space? Not hardly. I screwed a lot of things up. Perhaps I handled it as best as I could have expected to handle it, without ignoring what I was going through completely. I could have compartmentalized it, moved on without grieving and just pulled myself up by my boot straps and plowed forward.

But I didn’t.

I think I fell somewhere in between honoring it and ignoring it. I was very aware of the place, and I tried on some level to grieve. The hard part for me was that life still had to go on, and things still happened around me. And I was not in any kind of emotional place to deal with them well. I sought counseling from a few places and people. I tried to be aware of my emotions and my pain without trying to give them more attention then they needed. The last thing I wanted was to become a martyr. The counseling helped… but time ultimately was the most effective thing in helping me through the grief.

There were a lot of layers to my emotions and what I went through. And as life continued to happen around me, more layers were added. I didn’t deal with things as myself, because I simply wasn’t myself. I was a new version of myself, almost a hollow version of who I had become, beaten down by so many things that caused me pain.

One day in the car, I was feeling particularly overwhelmed by everything I had to deal with and I remember having this image of me sitting on a chair in the middle of a tornado.  I felt like everything was happening around me, and everything was happening to me. I was not in control of a single thing – things were just happening to me. It was all I could do to merely react to this tornado, rather than act with any kind of intentionality.

And that’s what it was like. For months, all I did was react. There was an overwhelming amount of change in my life – and only about two things in my life were stable. When your life is in an uproar like this, acting doesn’t feel possible. For me, reacting was all I was emotionally capable of. As things ended: a job, a home, a friendship… as those thing become the “no longer” in my life, I am still looking ahead to what is “not yet,” hoping it will be better than what no longer is. Because honestly, going through all of that was really awful. It was a lot of loss that I had to go through alone.
I am moving on to another season in my life. I am looking forward to this one, and may I be ever mindful of the space between where I just was and what is to come.

the "INFJ Door Slam"












One thing that INFJs tend to do is read a lot about their personality type. Because we are rare, that also means we are difficult to figure out. So reading to try and understand ourselves simply goes with the territory.  Today I was reading about the “INFJ Door Slam”. Here is part of what I read:


There’s this thing called the “INFJ Door Slam.”  People talk about it.  Other personality types trash it, but few people try to explain it in simple terms.  It’s different for everyone, no doubt, but in simple terms…
The INFJ door slam is what happens when we are burned out by unresolved emotions, so we resolve the issue by deciding that the relationship is over.
INFJs are deeply emotional creatures.  We don’t feel as much as it looks like we do (that’s mirroring, which is a whole other topic), but when we feel…we feel deeply and fully.  That means that we burn out.  If we are emotionally toyed with, abused, or overloaded, and there is no end to the emotional assault in sight, we have to do something.  Unlike some other types, we cannot simply live with or ignore that emotional onslaught.  We crave resolution.  If we cannot get it – whether it is denied or the situation is just ignored – we resolve it ourselves.  Frequently, we resolve it by ending the emotional ties that overloaded us in the first place.  The INFJ door slam is not some abusive act of anger.  It is not an act of revenge.  It is an act of self-preservation, and once those emotional ties are severed, it is almost impossible to re-attach them.  If your INFJ is angry or crying, things can be repaired.  If they’re coolly friendly and ambivalent…you may have a door slam problem. 

I’m not one to burn bridges. I find that idea lacking grace – and I don’t see that in the gospel. So the attitude of this door slam, almost a “you are dead to me” mentality is part of my personality type I don’t particularly identify with. Most of this is because I find it difficult to connect with people, so when I do connect I don’t want to let that go easily. I have a small amount of friends I am close with, not a large amount of friends I share everything with. I invest in that small number of people, and to slam the door to them after investing all that emotional energy seems like a terrible thing to do, to them and to myself.


However, if you read between the lines of this short description, you will see that the door slam is about resolution. I really zeroed in on this today, because when there is something in my life that is open-ended, it feels like torture (for a first world basic white girl, anyway). There have been times in my life where there is no resolution and it actually feels like tiny bugs are crawling under my skin when I think about it: this lack of knowing – this lack of understanding. It’s emotionally painful for me when something isn’t resolved, and especially when I can do nothing to resolve it myself.

So in a way, forcing a resolution is like a door slam for me. I did this a few months ago, hoping for very different results than I got. It wasn’t intended to be a door slam – it was actually an act of reaching out, meant to reassure but also to elicit a reaction when nothing I’d done up to then had garnered one. This type of reaching out was extreme for me, but I was desperate. The tiny little bugs of an unresolved friendship were crawling and crawling and one night I just couldn’t take it anymore. The other person held all the control and I was frustrated that I was being held in limbo, when the last words said to me were, “I just need some time to figure this out.”

I was in a holding pattern for a long time, and I honored that request for time for months. And then my INFJ door slam came in the form of a forced resolution, which resulted in a lot of misunderstanding. But when a person refuses to communicate and I, the over-communicator, is communicating too much, I felt I had one last choice. So I resorted to it.

I regret it, because it hurt the other person, and they are refusing to allow me to make it right. But on the other hand, I was so relieved when it was all over. I finally had an answer I’d been waiting for months to get… and a 1,000 pound weight lifted from my shoulders. 

I still don’t believe in burning bridges. I believe in grace, and I am still learning what it looks like to extend it the same way Jesus does to me every day. But I’ve learned the unfairness of making someone live in limbo, and so in a way, the door slam is still about grace. For myself.

i was wrong [portrait of an apology]

It’s hard being remembered for what you did wrong.

It’s hard to be remembered for something you did wrong. I’m sure a lot of people in the public eye feel this way… presidents, artists, CEOs. When you’ve filled your life with a lot of rights (and a lot of wrongs) it’s hard to think that you’ll always be remembered for the wrong… And not the rights.

I was wrong. I am sorry. (I’ll be honest, I just can’t say the third part of this statement right now.) I could say a lot of things to try to explain myself and defend myself, but what would the point of that be? It matters not what my intent was, what the misunderstanding was, what the miscommunication was. What matters is that I undid a heart. That’s never ok.

I will never get the chance to make this right. That bothered me at first, but it’s settled (if somewhat uneasily) in my mind now. Because that is a measure of control you wish to have over the situation. I completely understand that. I wish it didn’t mean you remembering me for the wrong I did. But I can’t do anything about that. I can only pray that the hurt I caused will fade in your heart someday.

I could say a lot of things to try to explain myself and defend myself, but what would the point of that be? It matters not what my intent was, what the misunderstanding was, what the miscommunication was. What matters is that I undid a heart. That’s never ok.

I wish I could say that I never meant to hurt you. But I think maybe I did. I was hurt, and trying to be kind and gracious didn’t work for a very long time. So I tried another tactic. It got a response, just not the one I wanted. What was meant to reassure ended up in despair. I can never take that back.

There is a lot I’m still confused by. But none of that matters, because I am not confused about how I made you feel. I will never forgive myself for that.

They say that when a person goes through a trauma the way they behave is significantly altered. I wish I could just blame the trauma, but the fact remains is that my choices are still my choices. While I used to be an Elinor, I suddenly became a Marianne. What I did made you never want me in your life ever again. While that has not been hard to accept – it felt like it was a long time coming – it has been heartbreaking to know that reconciliation is the heart of the gospel, yet I will never be able to reconcile with you or redeem what I did.

It’s hard being remembered for what you did wrong. It’s also hard to live a life without grace. I pray for grace to penetrate our hearts… For us to learn how to offer it to ourselves, more than anything. We have never been very good at that, have we? But grace stands at the heart of the gospel. So I pray for grace.