The Mark vs Pete Challenge!

So I challenged Pete to a contest the other day and I'm hoping I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, (that statement will be more funny here in a sec). You see Pete & I are the two especially blessed members of Sanctus Real. We are the two who aren't naturally skinny mini. We both love to eat good food and aren't necessarily the biggest fans of running, the consequence of which is a little bit of belly. So here's the deal: I challenged Pete to a contest to lose 20 pounds by Sept 1st. If one of us doesn't do it, that dude has to pay the other big $, we haven't decided how much.
I'm already figuring out that my eating habits are worse than I've realized as I've spent the last two days watching closely what I consume as well as having to resist eating things and/or large portions of things I normally wouldn't think twice about. It's about time though, I am 31 now. I've got a beautiful wife and two beautiful kids and I declare in the name of Jesus Christ that, as long as it is the Lord's will, I will live plenty long enough to see all of them live out their lives. I will not cut myself short because I was too undisciplined early on to maintain healthy habits. In Jesus' name I WILL see 85 years of age at least! (Unless Christ comes back before that. I'd be just fine with that too). So anyways,on a lighter note, this is your warning that Pete and I are going to be looking pretty great in the new record's cd packaging. Maybe we'll even give Chris a run for his money. So pray for us that God would give us the grace to not bite off more than can, (or should), chew and that we will both have success in our goal of 20 lbs lost. (Which would be good because if I lose I don't actually have any money that I can pay Pete with. Don't tell Pete that).
Oh yea, my official weigh in is 171. So the goal is 151. I'll keep you posted ;-)


My wife is awesome! She's making me blog!

So let me tell you all how awesome my wife is; she just handed me my computer and said, "Here, blog!". I of course responded with my typical stubborn, dumb attitude by saying, "Blog about what!?!" I was just kidding really, I like writing blogs but it just seems to take me longer and longer to find that perfect combination of inspiration + motivation + time I need to actually sit down and write. Apparently though there is a new blogging app for the iPhone that Matt was telling me about the other day. I guess you can upload pic's and everything. So I'm going to find that app and then I'll bet my blogging consistency will increase 50% because I will be capable of writing a blog anywhere anytime.
So tonight was a good night; we threw my Mom a surprise birthday party at Max & Erma's, she's now 55. Her kids, kid-in-laws, grandkids, brother, sisters and two sister-in-laws all got together to honor her. It was pretty great bringing her into the restaurant and seeing the look on her face when everyone yelled surprise. Good times.
Now Susan and I are sitting on the couch watching an episode of Alfred Hitchcock. It's pretty amusing. I'll probably be going to bed soon, we have church in the morning. We go to Toledo Vineyard and love it. It's one of those churches where you're allowed to just be yourself and nobody looks down on you for it ever, no matter how messed up you are. It's a safe place where I feel loved. It's nice to have a church like that to go to with my family when I'm not on the road. If you're interested at all in checking it out here's the churches website:
Our Christmas tree is still up, I wonder how it will be before Susan wants to take it down. I'll bet we'll end up taking it down tomorrow because I'd rather wait until Monday;)
I think I'm going to try and get all the drumheads on my drum kit changed tomorrow because we're scheduled to go to Nashville and record a song with a new producer that we've never worked with before. We're going to see if he's the guy we want to do the next record with. So yea, it's true; next Thursday & Friday we will be recording the first song for the next Sanctus Real record. I'm already quite excited about this record because Matt has been writing a lot and the demo's he's been sending to us are great. We also got together and jammed as a band last week for the first and ended up writing two really cool songs. So things are starting nicely, hopefully that "flow" will only increase as we get further into this project.
Alright, so at this point I've just simply decided that I'm going to make this the most random blog ever because that's pretty much how it's turning out anyway so lastly; here's one of my most favorite drum videos of all time:


The Amazing Adventures Of Tommy Snare!

So my wife gave me one of the coolest gifts she's ever given me while I was home on a quick two and a half day long break last week. The gift? Tommy Snare! Who's Tommy Snare? Well he is a pet monster that Susan hand stitched. Pretty cool huh? She named him Tommy Snare after my obvious love for drumming, (Tom Toms & Snare Drums). So this week Tommy has traveled the country with me going from Ohio to Oregon, Washington, Montana & South Dakota. It turns out he's quite the "Rock Star"; he likes hanging with the fans at the meet & greets, getting his picture taken, eating only the green M&M's and frolicking in the fruit tray. Despite his need for attention and the fact that he won't let me play my drums unless it's show time, his is a good hang. He gets me out of bed before noon, encourages me to eat healthy and checks my email for me when I don't have time. So thank you Susan for my new friend Tommy Snare! I love you and just want you to know that he's lots of fun, (not as much fun as you of course), but he fits in my pocket which is pretty neat!


A Couple Of Fine Young Men

So We Need Each Other the tour is going great! Really great in fact, it's blowing our minds! Many sold out shows and very positive feedback from the attendees. We've been told multiple times that our set on this tour is the best Sanctus concert people have ever seen. So I'm happy about that, but never the less I'm still thankful for a few days off at home with my wife and baby boys! Today we went to a great little family photo place in Perrysburg called Portrait Innovations and got the boys' pictures taken. Susan really wanted to get pic's done of Nate before he loses his beautiful little blues eyes, (Ben's turned hazel/brown around six months and Nate just turned five months old!). So anyway, here's some of the Benjamin & Nathaniel photo shoot results, a couple of fine young men if I do say so myself.


What a crazy week...

This has been one crazy week! You know, me and the Sanctus boys have been anticipating our Fall tour for quite awhile and now that it's here and rollin' I must say that I'm even more excited about it just because it's been such a great first week! I've got to tell ya' though, this stuff is exhausting. I'm wiped out and there's still 29 more shows left to do! Yep, I'm gettin' old. In fact, part of my problem right now is that I somehow pulled some muscles in lower back and so it's been just killing me the past few days. O'well. I can't be young and invincible forever I guess.
Anyways, this week has been great but really busy. Pete and Dan came in from Nashville Tuesday night. We rehearsed our set and tried to figure out ways to make the show fun and unique for those who have seen us a hundred times already. I think I got to bed around 1 am that night and of course with two kids I don't usually get to sleep much later than about 8 am. We met back up at the rehearsal space Wednesday morning, loaded up all the gear and proceeded to meet up with Vota at Cedar Creek Church in Perrysburg, (Toledo suburb), where the first show was to be. We loaded in, set up and did sound check/rehearsal all day long. The Tenth Avenue North guys and Sammy Adebiyi all showed up through out the day and we slowly got things figured out and in order so we could kick off the tour right the next evening. I think I got to bed at 12 am but poor baby Nathan kept us up most of the night. He's apparently teething.
Then we kicked off in our hometown of Toledo, Ohio on Thursday with a great first show. There was about 1000 people there, the concert went great and Sammy's message managed to motivate 193 people to sign up for Mocha Club setting a new record for sign ups in a single night at a concert! I think I went to bed around 2 am.
Friday morning we got early to drive to The Underground in Cincinnati, Ohio. Played to a crowd of about 4-500 people. Again the show went great, but I was rather sad to have to do the three hour drive back home again afterwards. I got to bed about 4 am.
Saturday we got up and drove to Spring Arbor, Michigan to play at the university there. We had about 1200 people attend and the crowd was great, but I must say I felt like I played like poop that night. We had some technical difficulties right off the bat and they kind of continued through out our set making me feel rather nervous and insecure which caused me to make dumb mistakes in my playing. I get really frustrated at that stuff even though I probably shouldn't. I need to allow myself the freedom to have a bad show on occasion. Otherwise I'm simply training myself to be a perfect little robot up there on that stage and actually sucking the life out of the whole concert experience anyway. Who do you want to see in concert; a "play it safe" lifeless machine behind the drum kit or a passionate musician who his confident, fearless, and playing every note as if it were his last?
Sunday was really crazy because we went back to our hometown to do a benefit concert for a family who is going to be on ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition. This event sold out and we got to play in front of 5000 people, meet the cast of the show and even have Paul Dimeo play a song with us. Pretty nuts huh!?! Tomorrow we're going to the site of the build for a little VIP tour and to hang with the cast some more. Fun stuff!
Then Wednesday we'll fly to Oklahoma and do tour show #4 of 32.
Probably the thing I'm most excited about though is the fact that Mocha Club's goal for this next year is to build 30 wells in Jaque Darfur Africa. and in just three show's we have enough people signed up to fund the building of four wells! These wells cost about $15,000 to build because they are in such a dangerous and remote area in the Sudan, but one of them can supply clean water for up to 500 people. That's a good thing because there about 70,000 people there in need of it!
I believe God could very well use this one tour to supply more than enough funding for all 30 wells to be built. Please Jesus make it happen! For your glory God! YOU be lifted up through all this! In Christ' name I pray, AMEN!
Oh, lastly; check out www.tomsshoes.com to be a part of yet another revolution.
Love you guys!


I like John Mayer...

Anyone heard that newer John Mayer single "Say"? I keep hearing it on the radio, (Susan's been on a kick where she's listening to 101.5 The River a lot, which is totally meant for her demographic, I find that slightly humorous), and I just love that song! I've always dug Mayer's stuff which honestly I feel slightly less than manly admitting that, but hey; the dude writes GREAT songs! Also, he's pretty much the Eric Clapton of our generation when it comes to playing guitar. If you don't believe me you need to check out his new live dvd called Where The Light Is, it's literally unbelievable. So yea, anyways, just thought I'd tell you guys that I really like that song.
Ok, what's actually going on is that I tried to buy that song on iTunes just now but my debit card was declined because someone stole my card and the bank had to shut off the card. I wish I could listen to that song now but I'm going to have to wait until I get my new debit card. So for now I'll just talk to all of you...Until my card gets here... Then I'll buy the song... And go listen to it... And finally leave you all alone... I'm rambling aren't I?.. That's what happens when I can't listen to John Mayer when I'd like to... Sometimes I just feel like I need to hear those bluesy pop hooks that run deeper than an infection... Ok I'm definitely less than manly now... I'm just going to be quiet... Shoooosh Mark... (silence)... Should I be embarrassed?.. Anyone other dudes out there like John Mayer that much?.. Are you all too busy crying with laughter or making fun of me to answer?.. Just say what you need to say...



Meet Sammy...

Hey everyone! I just wanted to take a minute, (well about 8 minutes actually), of your time to introduce you all to my good friend Sammy. Sammy is going out with Sanctus Real on our Fall tour which starts Sept. 4th at Cedar Creek Church in Perrysburg, Ohio just outside of our hometown; Toledo. Sammy's pretty much one of the coolest dudes ever. I'm excited for you all to not only get to know him and see all the joy and love for Jesus that just kind of radiates off him, but I'm also anxious for you to hear his heart for helping those in need! We're out to save Africa and change the world this Fall so come be a part of "WE NEED EACH OTHER" THE TOUR EVENT!!! Check out this video about how God called Sammy into ministry and then check out www.sanctusreal.com to see when the tour is coming to a city near you! Hope to see you all there!
P.S. If you want to, you can look up Sammy on facebook by searching for Samuel Adebiyi. Drop him a line of encouragement and tell him how excited you are about his ministry after you check out the video. Also, don't forget that Tenth Avenue North & Vota (formerly Casting Pearls) will be on the tour as well! Peace out.