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I did my first radio show from my new home studio today!
SiriusXM kindly set me up with a studio in my house, which I put in a corner of my bedroom. I was amazed at how little equipment there is. I just need a mic, headphones, and a little box that hooks up to my internet connection, and I’m all set.
There was a slightly tense moment (read: I almost passed out from anxiety) when we had nine minutes to go until air time and I couldn’t connect the box to the NYC studio, but we got it all worked out. The show was a ton of fun, and we didn’t have a single technical issue!
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Attention home decorators and/or people who spend too much time looking at home decorating boards on Pinterest: I need ideas for organizing my home studio!
I have a very small space to work with – it’s about four feet wide and two feet deep — but I want to make the most of it. Hit me with any “creative offices in small spaces” pinboards, videos, or blogs you can find! And let me know if you have any ideas for how I can maximize my space.
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You should have seen the look on the engineer’s face when he showed up to set up the studio.
Keep in mind, I have six kids under age 10. We live in a small, three-bedroom house.
When he walked in the door, three of my daughters were getting ready to go to ballet but had gotten in a shouting argument about who was going to wear which sparkly hair accessory. My dad was assembling a new desk for me to use for the studio, so all sorts of tiny, sharp parts were scattered across the living room. The crazy toddler was letting us know she needed a nap by screaming and throwing herself on the floor. The baby had a touch of the stomach flu, and was crying as I cleaned vomit off the couch.
Into this situation walked the engineer from SiriusXM.
It was as if a ballet troupe had gotten locked in the howler monkey cage at the zoo, a desk exploded, and then someone started vomiting.
I can’t decide whether it was confusion or fear that I saw on the engineer’s face when he said to my ballerina daughter who’d answered the door: “I’m here to set up the radio studio?”
— 4 —
I had to move a bookshelf to make space for the studio, and in the process I found this schoolbook from 1914 that belonged to one of my ancestors, named Edward George:
I flipped through it to discover that it’s a reading book for elementary-aged readers — and, amazingly, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d been looking for for our homeschool reading lessons!
I’d spent hours searching Amazon and the big curricula sites and couldn’t find what I was looking for, but this one is a perfect fit. We’re actually going to use it for our lessons this year!
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Speaking of living in a small, crowded house:
For the longest time, I’ve had it in my head that we can’t entertain in this house. It’s too cramped, our back yard is sloped and doesn’t have any shade, the kitchen is small, the living room has no decorations aside from the drawings the kids tape to the walls — you get the idea.
Then, this year, I started going to a lot of parties at people’s houses.
My friend Rachael started what she calls “the Dinner Club for Underachievers” where a bunch of us take turns hosting potluck parties at our homes. The events are meant to be as stress-free as possible for the hosts, the main intent simply being for local families to connect with one another.
Having been to a few of these events, as well as other gatherings at people’s homes, I’ve come to see that having elegant decorations or a large, spacious area don’t matter in terms of making people comfortable in your home.
The people whose houses I’ve been to do happen to have lovely homes, but I realized that that’s not what I notice as a guest.
I’ve come to think that the only five things that are required to have a successful event in your home are (in order of importance):
- The host seems happy to see each guest
- There are a few options for food and drink (none of them have to be fancy)
- The environment is basically orderly
- The host leads the crowd (e.g. indicates where to put food or gifts that are brought, offers people a place to sit, introduces guests to one another, etc.)
- There’s background music (or a football game!) to provide ambiance
I am now convinced that if you can do these few things — or, honestly, even just the first two — you will have a hugely successful event, no matter what your house looks like.
— 6 —
I’ll be in Washington, DC all next week! I’ll post my schedule of events soon.
One of the things I’m really looking forward to is doing my radio show live from DC. I’m excited to announce that Lisa-Jo Baker is going to be my guest!
When I went to the IF Gathering with her earlier this year, she and I had a fascinating conversation about the differences between Catholic and Protestant culture, as well as how Protestants see Catholics and vice versa. I definitely want to go into that on the show, because it was one of the most interesting discussions I’ve had in a long time.
If you’re in the DC area, look out for my schedule so that we can hang out!
— 7 —
Have a great weekend, everyone!
When Hallie and I started the Edel Gathering, we thought it might be a one-time thing.
Actually, if I’m completely honest, we sometimes wondered if it might be a nonexistent thing when we pondered the sheer amount of work it would take to pull together a multi-day event for over 200 people. There were quite a few moments, especially early on, when there would be long silences on the phone, and one of us would say, “I don’t see how we can do this.”
What kept us going was the fact that this event felt right — so, so right.... Read More
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Well, yesterday was the big day: my first live radio show!
That picture was taken while I sat at a coffee shop next to the studio, about 30 minutes before air time.
I’ll just go ahead and admit that I was extremely nervous. Okay, “terrified” might be a better word. But then I sat in the chair at the studio, put on the headphones, heard the Gregorian chant / rap mashup, and I instantly relaxed. There were a couple of rough spots, but I had a blast with the show. I’m really looking forward to the next one!
(Right... Read More
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Thank you so much for all the wonderful responses to my big announcement! After I published the post, I was horrified to realize that I forgot to include the most important part:
In one of the demos, I mentioned in passing that my two favorite genres of music are Gregorian chant and rap. The visionaries at SiriusXM heard this, and have created custom intro music for my show based on that statement. Let me put it in all caps in case it’s not clear:
MY INTRO MUSIC COMBINES RAP WITH GREGORIAN CHANT. AND IT IS EVERY BIT AS AMAZING... Read More
I have spent a shameful amount of time offline this summer. I’ve had epiphanies while loading the dishwasher that I didn’t chronicle here on the blog, wry internal commentary that I failed to put on Twitter — I’ve even eaten creatively-plated meals that I didn’t photograph for Instagram! I am really hoping that Fall means much more time for me to stare at glowing screens! (That sounded less pathetic when I said it in my head.)
Anyway, I can finally tell you the reason for my absence (other than the book launch, book... Read More
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Happy back to school week! Or, as we know it here at the Fulwiler homeschool, the week where mommy pretends like she has a principled reason to start school after Labor Day and is not just sitting around and surfing Pinterest to see what’s working for everyone else first.
Also, I am particularly excited about the beginning of Fall. The only way to describe the weather in Austin right now is to say that it feels like you’re jumping into a pot of boiling slime every time you step outside. As if the usual heat weren’t... Read More
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I’m back! I haven’t been blogging much lately because I’ve been savoring my real life. I spend my mornings gazing out the window, prayerfully watching the morning sun filter through the clouds as I sip my coffee. In the afternoons, I bake healthful goodies with the kids before we do crafts related to the Scriptures we heard at daily Mass.
Ha, ha. I’m kidding, of course.
The reality is that having my book release and the Edel Gathering so close together made my to-do list snowball. Then I took a 10-day... Read More
I couldn’t get my post together for this week (taking a 10-day vacation with young children probably having something to do with it), but I look forward to reading everyone else’s. Have a great weekend, everyone! Happy Feast of the Assumption!
Read More →
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Greetings from the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina!
(At least I think I’m in the western part of the state. I keep trying to look up my location on a map, but every time I’m interrupted because my one-year-old has found a crayon and is writing on my aunt’s white couch or is pulling a lamp off the table.)
Anyway, it’s absolutely beautiful out here, and my aunt and uncle couldn’t be more gracious and welcoming. They have a little guest house separate from their own house, and it’s... Read More
I survived the flights out here to North Carolina, and am now at my aunt and uncle’s mountain cabin!
I have to say, for all my prophesying of doom, the flights ended up being…EXACTLY AS DIFFICULT AS I THOUGHT THEY’D BE. But we’ll talk about that more on Friday.
2.5 seconds after this photo was taken, I had to run grab the baby before he hurled himself down the deck stairs.
Meanwhile, one of the things I’ve been able to do here in my mountain hideaway is to clean up the audio files from the Edel Gathering! I know that... Read More
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The official pictures from the Edel Gathering are up! You can check them out at my uncle Kevin Geraghty’s photography site here. My sweet uncle generously offered to come out and handle all the pictures, and I’m thrilled with how they turned out.
You’re welcome to use them on your blogs or social media – just right-click on the images to save them (and I’m sure my uncle would love a link back to his photography site if you think of it).
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Hallie and I have been flooded with questions... Read More
I had this dream that I was on a dance floor with dozens of new friends, and I suddenly saw Abby Johnson to my left, and a unicorn in a dress to my right.
Oh, wait. That wasn’t a dream. That was the 2014 Edel Gathering.
There was singing.
There was wine.
There were talks so powerful that the Omni staff had to scramble to get enough Kleenex for all the sobbing women.
There was my amazing family — my mom, aunt Lisa, aunt Claudia, and uncle Kevin – who paid their own way to come and work the entire weekend, just to bless... Read More
I can’t believe that after all these months, the Edel Gathering is finally here! I’ll be updating on Instagram and Twitter, and you can follow the fun by checking out the #edel14 hashtag.
7 Quick Takes will be hosted by Carolyn Svellinger, so head on over there to read everyone’s posts!
Carolyn is a super-talented artist and photographer in addition to being a funny and insightful writer. For those of you who aren’t already familiar with her, you’ll love checking out her blog.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Read More →
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The Edel Gathering begins one week from today!
For those of you who don’t know the backstory, this conference came into being suddenly and unexpectedly. In November of last year, I wrote a post telling the story of how Hallie Lord and I took a risk and committed ourselves to this idea somewhat spontaneously. On paper, pretty much nothing about the two of us hosting a conference in this particular season of our lives made sense. Yet we couldn’t escape the sense that we were called to do it, and our husbands even agreed,... Read More
A fun and surprisingly intense debate has broken out among my friends over the past few months, and it revolves around this question:
The Fault in Our Stars: depressing or uplifting?
One of my friends summarized her impression the book by saying, “It’s a sad story where everything is bad and then more bad stuff happens. Why did I need to read that?” She is on Team Depressing, and a lot of people I know are with her.
A note my babysitter found in her copy of the book, left by her friend.
I, however, am on the other team. I loved... Read More