Maddie Poppe Won American Idol, and It's A Big Deal for Iowans.

Maddie Poppe Won American Idol, and It's A Big Deal for Iowans.

She's someone I’m proud to share a home state with.
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If you were even remotely following this season of American Idol, I’m sure you’ve seen and heard all about the winner, 20-year-old Maddie Poppe.

Like many fans, I was perched on my couch on Monday night, eyes glued to the TV screen as the 2018 American Idol was pulled out of the three remaining contestants.

My money had been on Maddie for a while. Her voice is absolutely amazing, and she surely deserved to win by that factor alone, but it wasn’t the only reason I was rooting for her.

Maddie is from Clarksville, Iowa, a little town of about 1,400 people. Clarksville happens to be about an hour away from my own small, Iowa town. It’s an understatement to say Iowa was backing Maddie; everyone was absolutely thrilled that an Iowa native was in the running. Scratch Cupcakery, a cupcake business famous throughout the state, even created a special “Maddie” cupcake flavor for her return to Iowa in the show’s “hometown” week.

Maddie radiates the spirit of an Iowan and represents us well. Her smile and attitude are that of a girl who knows what it’s like to have dreams and work hard to achieve them. Every time she got on stage to sing, I couldn’t help but grin with pride for a small-town Iowa girl like myself. She was living her dream.

...And she totally rocked it!

I screamed gleefully when it came down to Caleb and Maddie (and screamed even more when Caleb and Maddie announced their relationship status!). I knew a couple of my close friends were watching in their own houses across town and screaming too, because Maddie Poppe is a big deal to us. Maybe it’s because we identify so strongly with her. She inspired one of my friends to sing a solo in the high school variety show – something she says she wouldn’t have done if she hadn’t seen Maddie on American Idol. That being said, we were watching intently.

And then... MADDIE WON! My mom and dad and I all got up and danced around our living room. I quickly Facetimed my friends, and we screamed some more. We couldn't have been more happy for her.

In watching her win, I have to say I love how Maddie is very much NOT a diva. Seeing the way she embraced the people of her town and performed joyfully for her fellow Iowans at the hometown concert, It was obvious Maddie wasn’t prideful or changed by her rise to fame. I’d like to say Iowa takes credit for that (because we’re generally pretty humble, down-to-earth people here) but in truth, it really speaks to who Maddie is, and who she’ll continue to be even after becoming the winner of one of the most highly contested shows on television.

She’s someone I can get on board with all the way, someone whose songs I can sing at the top of my lungs. Someone who inspires me to keep pursuing my dreams, like writing and teaching. But perhaps above all, Maddie Poppe is someone I’m proud to share a home state with.

Cover Image Credit: News24Feed

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13 Movies Every Couple Needs To Watch Before They Get Married

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories.

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These 13 movies are the foundation of any long-lasting relationship, and I'm not joking. Each movie will show you something new about your partner, and make you ask each other the hard questions. How many kids do you want and how are you going to raise them? What would happen if you got into a horrible accident? Some are less serious though, like what if you could time travel?

I promise that not every one of these movies is a Nicholas Sparks classic, and I also promise that not every movie has Rachel McAdams in it!

1. "The Time Traveler's Wife"

This movie is both heartbreaking and amazing.

2. "About Time"

Let's be honest, Rachel McAdams is in all the best love stories. It's on Netflix right now, so grab some snacks and turn it on!

3. "Like Crazy"

This infamous Tumblr gif came from "Like Crazy." It's about a couple who goes long distance and build their life together. I used to cry every time I watched it, and I'm no crier! It also has the (now famous) Felicity Jones in it.

4. "The Notebook"

Every girl wants this kind of love.

5. "The Last Song"

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are literally married now so if that isn't good luck, I don't know what is.

6. "Safe Haven"

You guessed it! This is another Nicholas Sparks classic. This movie has a dark twist as well, which men will love.

7. "Inside Out"

You may be thinking that this one is a bit weird. Well, this movie will help both you and your partner understand each other's emotions better.

8. "The Choice"

This movie is great because the female lead is feisty and extremely intelligent, which usually doesn't happen in love stories. How do you keep the love alive with a woman who is hard to get, and even harder to keep entertained?

9. "The Longest Ride"

Originally I could not stand the main female lead (Britt Robertson) but now she is in one of my favorite shows (For The People), so I have no choice. This movie had me on the end of my seat, and as a rom-com it is a must.

10. "The Age Of Adaline"

I began loving the name 'Adaline' thanks to this movie. This unlikely love story and self love journey really gets me.

11. "The Vow"

Imagine falling in love with someone and building a life, but an accident forces you to start all over?

12. "Titanic"

If they don't have any sort of reaction to this movie, they are probably not the one for you.

13. "Yours, Mine, & Ours"

Yours, Mine, & Ours is a true classic. Are you Helen or Frank Beardsley? You should figure that out before you tie the knot!

You're welcome!

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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