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Revisiting 2012’s Most Popular Posts

11 Jan

Now that 2012 has come to a close, it’s fun to look back at all that happened last year.  Here are my top five most popular posts from the past year.  Did you catch all of them?!

5. Renewed Hope: God Speaks Through a New Friend

This post discussed one of those little a-ha moments for Adam along his journey this past year.  Be sure to keep checking back at least monthly for updates as he discovers what God is asking of him in regards to his music.

4. August’s Dreamers in the Spotlight

I was so excited when I found out about Dignitas Magazine last summer!  Then, I was able to interview the founders of the magazine for this blog!  How awesome!  Thanks again, Abby and Catherine!

3. 7 Quick Takes #2: Dreamer in the Spotlight Edition!

So many inspirational people in one post!  And quite a variety!

2. 7 Quick Takes #3

Half-way through 2012, I set some simple goals for myself regarding the blogging world.  I began posting weekly, following other blogs on a regular basis, and I started participating in a link-up on occasion which has allowed me to get to know so many great Catholics via the blogosphere!  This was one of those posts.

1. 10 Inspirational Quotes about Following God’s Will

Words can be so powerful!  I love coming across great words of wisdom.  This post includes some of my favorites so far!  Apparently, other people like words of wisdom, too!

Can’t wait to see what God has in store this year!  What are you looking forward to in 2013?

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Go Irish! 7 Quick Takes (#5)

30 Nov

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 197)

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I’m just going to go ahead and begin with it – How ’bout them Irish?! Notre Dame is finishing the season at #1 and going to the National Championship! What a crazy, fun season it has been! It’s been great to see this 2012 team be so bonded together and supportive of one another!

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Living in Tennessee, all we hear about is SEC, SEC, and some more SEC, so it will be an interesting game whether Alabama or Georgia wins this Saturday… It’s just going to be hard to wait until January 7th for the game. Let’s go ND! (Cue motivational Rudy theme song!)

Also need to give a shout-out to the ND Men’s Basketball team who beat Kentucky last night! I loved seeing the support from Manti and the entire football team, too!

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I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a Tokens Show at the historic Ryman Auditorium the other weekend. It was a nice variety of great music, comedy, and theology. Not too happy about some Catholic jabs (as it is a protestant-based show), but it was good especially since one of my all-time favorite artists, Vince Gill, performed a couple songs! The theme of that night’s show was about coming home, so it was fitting for him to end the show with “Go Rest High On That Mountain”!! The Ryman is where the music video was shot for this song years ago, so it was pretty amazing to hear him live at such a special venue! The only thing missing was the amazing harmony on the chorus, though! If you’re not familiar with the song, you need to check it out now! Close your eyes and listen! You will get goosebumps – guaranteed!

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So… my husband is turning the big 3-0 this coming Monday! I know that 30 is not old, but something about this age just makes you stop and say, “Wow, I’m really an adult now.” I’m only one year behind, so my time is coming soon! I’m so proud of how hard my husband works for our family and what a great father he is to our daughters! I’m very blessed to be married to him. Happy Birthday, Adam! I love you!

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Speaking of Adam working hard for our family, he really has been working his butt off, especially the past few weeks! For example, the guy worked a full shift Friday evening and then worked a double-shift Saturday, slept on the couch at the office overnight (otherwise he only would have gotten 4 hours of sleep at home), and opened the building early at 6:30 am. He then worked another double-shift to cover for a co-worker. Needless to say he was very sleepy Monday morning. Thanks to my mom for offering to watch the girls all day so Adam could get some extra Zzzz’s! Working behind the scenes in the music industry is definitely a service-based job. Plus most days of the week, my husband watches both girls before going to work, so he doesn’t get too much time to rest.

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And just in case you Nashville fans are interested and missed a previous post, Adam works at Soundcheck where several scenes are filmed. He worked there one day when all four of the large rehearsal rooms were being used for the show and he couldn’t believe how many people are involved in production, etc. I have to say that I’m kind of surprised that Adam is hooked on Nashville now. I didn’t think he’d watch it.  A recent episode actually featured a song written by someone that he played guitar/sang background for and my cousin toured with as a drummer for awhile – Sean McConnell. Adam recognized his song “Kiss” as soon as Avery started singing it. Oh, and you should check out Sean’s music! He’s had several cuts by major artists, including Rascal Flatts and Tim McGraw. He’s absolutely one of the truest artists and best songwriters Adam and I have ever heard. You will become addicted to his honest, passionate voice!

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Changing it up… Now that our oldest daughter is 3, we’re trying to figure out just how to handle the whole Santa Claus thing. I’m not one to lie, but as a child there is a certain special magic and mystery when it comes to Santa. Adam found a good book called A Special Place for Santa that starts with Santa feeling bad that so many people are focusing on him instead of Jesus. It then discusses a little bit about the history of St. Nicholas and how he evolved into the Santa legend. It’s a nice book. We also had a family friend give us a book last year that is similar but goes into more detail about how different parts of the world have different names for Saint Nicholas and different traditions. Anybody have any stories or tips about how they portray Santa to their children?

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And just since this is so cute and makes me laugh, I have to share a photo of my 3-year-old’s Christmas tree decorating!

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Her younger sister has pulled them all off a few times now! Good thing for soft, non-breakable ornaments on the bottom of the tree!!!

Be sure to check out Jen’s and today’s other 7 Quick Takes posts at Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes (#4)

16 Nov

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 196)

I’ve missed doing my Quick Takes for the past several weeks! I have still been keeping up with many other participants’ posts most Fridays though! Here’s some randomness from my corner of the world…

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Did you check out October’s Dreamer in the Spotlight yet? Cecilia Rodriguez Schwartz of Dance Immaculata was featured!

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As I mentioned in my previous Quick Takes post, I have been taking some web design courses via the MBD Training Center. If you’re interested in learning more about web design for yourself, check out the site and tell Ro Little that I referred you!

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Since Thanksgiving is next week, I have to share this amazingly delicious pumpkin recipe that I stumbled upon via Pinterest – Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes! It’s like pumpkin pie with a cookie crust! I’m definitely making it again this coming week!

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I recently finished reading Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit by Jim Cymbala. The personal stories and insights shared in the book truly show the Holy Spirit at work. God can do amazing things in us if we just ask and believe! It was definitely the perfect time in my faith journey to read this. I highly recommend it.

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I’m sure I am way behind on this, but I just found out about Goodreads. I think this will be my new way to keep track of the books I’ve read and the ones that I want to read! Anybody else use this site/app?

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I’m a little in denial that Christmas is less than 6 weeks away! I need to get my shopping list together! I have ordered my Christmas photo cards, though! I got them for 80% off via Vistaprint. I just checked and I think the offer is still good at this special link I saw in a coupon insert a couple weeks ago.

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So my kitchen floor is in need of some serious scrubbing. I love my Swiffer for regular mopping, but I’m sure I need to give it a good old-fashioned hands and knees cleaning. A friend suggested a steam mop. Anybody have any product suggestions or cleaning tips?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Be sure to check out Jen’s and the other 7 Quick Takes posts at Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes (#1)

31 Aug

7 quick takes sm1 Your 7 Quick Takes Toolkit!

I’m trying something new this week! I have seen so many bloggers who participate in the 7 Quick Takes link-up at Conversion Diary that I decided to get in on the fun myself! Let me know what you think!

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The past few weeks I have been compiling a collection of craft supplies. My 3-year-old is obsessed with “cwaft” projects right now. She would use a glue stick all day long if I let her! “C” looks forward to our weekly Catholic ABC’s time. This weekend we’ll be discussing the letter “f.” I have a lot of the basic craft necessities to do all of these projects and now I just need to get some cheap plastic bins to organize this stuff! My husband is going to be building some shelves soon to store all of these items, so I can’t wait to have everything easily accessible in one place! I see many more hours on Pinterest in my future!

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I love the new Over app for the iPad! The husband of a high school friend developed this app and it allows you to type text over photos. I’ve had fun creating captions on pictures of the girls! Warning: it can be addictive! I will be featuring it heavily in my post next Friday, so check back!

On Notre Dame campus Fall 2011

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I just finished reading the book, The Temperament God Gave Your Kids. It was pretty insightful, but I think I’ll have to wait until the girls get a little older to see how their personalities develop more. I have glimpses of what motivates and triggers them, but I don’t think I know enough to identify their dominant personality-types yet. I do have my husband figured out, though (phlegmatic and part sanguine), but I was frustrated that I couldn’t fully identify with one main temperament. I felt that I had strong elements of 2-3 of the temperaments. I know us humans can’t be categorized in boxes, but I was hoping to gain some more revelations in to what makes me tick! I know for sure that I don’t have a sanguine temperament, though!

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Okay, I just have to throw this one out there. It’s kind of a new pet peeve for me! Maybe some fellow bloggers can appreciate this… As I have been researching marketing strategies for Adam’s music, I have run across some amazing articles about sharing interesting and useful information with supporters and fans. Unfortunately, I’ve read a cliche’ that was used in several of them that I never want to hear again – “content is king.” Trust me, I get the importance of the point, but can’t people come up with something more original to say about it in their articles? It’s a little ironic that I have an issue with the content of articles about good content. Just sayin’… 🙂  I promise it hasn’t ruined my day, though!

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Adam and I are implementing a “we can’t hear whining” policy. As any parent with a 3-year-old knows, this can wear you out! I read about a mom acting like she was incapable of hearing her child when he whined and soon that behavior decreased. It’s not like ignoring whining is a new idea or anything, but if Adam and I consistently stick to this, I’m hoping asking for things politely, etc. will be a more routine occurrence.

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Adam’s parents are coming in town for Labor Day weekend! We’re excited to see them and I know they’ve been missing their granddaughters! I’m working on making my grocery list for meals for the weekend. I always seem to revert back to the same basic, simple recipes whenever I have company. A favorite meal that I like to prepare is White Bean Chili served with tortilla chips. I probably need to try something new one of these visits, but am often too preoccupied to devote brain power to it. If anyone has any simple, crowd-pleasing suggestions, I’m open!

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Speaking of the weekend, it is Notre Dame’s first football game of the season! Go Irish! (I miss northern Indiana in the fall! There’s no place like home! At least our basement keeps us from feeling too homesick!)

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The former man cave – now a “family cave”

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Be sure to check out others’ 7 Quick Take posts today at Conversion Diary. Have a great weekend!

Support THE LiNE on The Voice!

7 Feb

Did you watch The Voice last night on NBC?  If so, then you saw that the duo, The LiNE, comprised of Hailey Steele and Leland Grant made it past the blind auditions!  If you missed it,  click here to read an article about how it all went down on last night’s show and view the video of their performance of “American Girl.” 

The LiNE and Adam Lee on the Nashville To You Campground Tour (photo by Abby Corcoran)

Hailey and Leland performed on the Nashville To You Campground Tour with Adam the past two summers.  They sang harmony on each other’s songs, which Adam loved since he is obsessed with amazing harmonies!  On the weekends, they all played beach volleyball during the day and sang around bonfires with campers in the evening.  So it’s pretty crazy to see them on The Voice now!  We are so excited for them and can’t wait to see how they do on this journey! 

Good luck pursuing your musical dreams, Hailey and Leland!

A Custom Creation

13 Dec

Custom Cake by Abby Head

Adam’s birthday was the other weekend, and I had a friend (August’s Dreamer in the Spotlight), Abby Head, create a special cake to surprise him with for his birthday.  She posted about the process and took some great step-by-step pictures on her blog, Creative Crumbs.

Please click here to view this awesome football/music creation!  It took us awhile to figure out exactly how to combine these two, but we were able to make it happen!  If you can believe it, the cake tasted even better than it looked – easily the best chocolate cake I have EVER eaten!  I wish you all could taste it!

Abby, your future in delicious confections continues to look bright!

ADHD: A Gift and a Curse

13 Jun

Most people who know Adam already know that he has Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.  Adam has always been open about this and the fact that he takes medication for it.  Granted, there are a lot of children who have had this diagnosis officially, or unofficially, slapped on them, when what they really need is some structure and discipline in the home.  At the community mental health center where I work, I’ve seen too many parents think that all their kid needs is some medication and then they will be a perfect angel.  Of course, there are some, like Adam, for whom medication has made a world of difference.

Adam started taking Adderall his sophomore year of high school.  He went from earning C’s and D’s  to making A’s and B’s in classes.  He graduated high school as one of the ten most improved students academically.  He is the “poster child” for a medicated person with ADHD.  When he takes his medication he has more motivation and focus.  He also has much better impulse control.  Trust me, we have quadruple the arguments when he does not take his meds consistently!  It is a much happier home when he thinks before he speaks (and can handle my occasional freak-outs more calmly)!  It also avoids some version of the following conversation (that we have had too many times to count):

Me: I didn’t know that you were going to (fill in the blank).

Adam: I thought I told you.

Me: No, I would have remembered that.

Adam: Oh, I must have forgotten.  Sorry.

Adam struggles sometimes, though, with whether or not he should take his medication based on what he needs to do/how he wants to be perceived.  Often, he is more quiet and withdrawn when he is on his medication.  He feels that he is not as funny or creative.  People can often tell when Adam has taken his medication vs. when he has not, based on his demeanor.  There are definitely pros and cons to both sides.  If he wants to come across to an audience as more outgoing and witty, he may not take his meds, but he may risk forgetting the words to a song.  He has tried a lower dosage but he does not feel it works as well, so it will probably always be something that he will have to deal with…

Whether it is labeled as ADHD, or not, this is what makes Adam creative and talented.  It is part of who he is and what he does.  Adam would not be Adam without this mixed blessing!

Making an Impact

2 Jun

Lately, I’ve been paying attention to successful artists who seem to have the same goal that Adam is pursuing.  One artist who I’ve listened to since his first single, “Stay Gone,” came out awhile back, Jimmy Wayne, has many positive and meaningful songs.  I have been rocking out to his latest CD in the car for the past several months.  He has a great voice and some catchy melodies.  Jimmy has also used his fame to bring attention to a good cause.  Last year, he walked across the country to bring awareness to foster children who are aging out of the system.  Jimmy was in the foster care system himself when he was younger.  I think it is amazing to see someone sacrifice and give back like that!  Check out http://meetmehalfway.jimmywayne.com to read more about his story and his project.

An artist who recently caught my attention, when I was reading an article about this month’s local celebrity parent in June’s Nashville Parent magazine, is Matthew West.  He is a Christian artist who is married with two daughters.  I checked out his latest album, The Story of Your Life, on iTunes and all the songs were written about the life experiences that he read about in over 15,000 letters.  I sampled a few and was very impressed.  It’s refreshing to hear acknowledgment of real pain and difficulties, as well as hope.  His website is www.matthewwest.com.

Update:  Adam survived his first two full days with the girls – all went well!  I also survived my first couple days in the office.  It’s always a little interesting when you come back to work to find that you have double the responsibility, but I’ve worked in the field of social work long enough to know how to go with the flow… Thankful for the job!