The Little Miss Project Continued…

Little Miss has helped me and continues to help me every day. As the days go by, I come across new obstacles and new struggles, and I can always listen to Little Miss to remind myself that it’ll be okay. The Little Miss Project really opened up the fact that no one is alone. There is always someone in the world that feels the same as you do even if you think there isn’t.

The last thing we created was a book to represent this project, but I feel like there are so many more stories out there that people should have the opportunity to share. My proposal is that we keep sharing our stories.

With the original video in mind, please email me two photos. One of the photos is your story. You can write it (as one sentence) on a piece of paper and hold it, or get as creative as you would like. The second photo will include the part of the song that makes you feel better. (It’ll be alright again, sometimes you gotta lose ‘til you win, I’m okay, you are loved)

Depending on how many we get, I would like to try and post a new photo to the Blog, Facebook, and Twitter every day. If it starts off slow, I’ll probably break it up to a few a week, or every other day.

I will start by posting my photo tomorrow. I hope you will join me! =)

Please send your photos or any questions you have to littlemissproject@gmail.com.

With your permission, I will use your first name when posting the photos. If you would like to remain anonymous, just state so in the email.

Thanks!

Erica

The Little Miss Project Book is HERE!

After all the anticipation, The Little Miss Project Book is finally HERE!

It is 7×7 inches. The price is $36.95 which includes a $5.00 donation to one of Sugarland’s favorite charities. (We will figure out one once we have accumulated a sum of money.) I will keep everyone updated on the Facebook page on how much money we have raised.

THAT’S NOT ALL!

Be one of the first 25 people that buy a book by forwarding me your email order confirmation, and you will be entered to win a pair of Custom Converse Chuck Taylors by MAG from Punk Your Chucks!

MAG will create a special, “Little Miss” inspired shoe valued at $300.00! He is donating his time and artwork just for The Little Miss Project! The shoes will take approximately 3 months as he is backed up, but I think this will most definitely be worth the wait!

Forward me your order confirmation & shoe size to littlemissproject@gmail.com
I will reply to your email and let you know if you are one of the first 25!
As of January 25th at 2:15pm CST, we have 17 order confirmations.
We have sold 29 books and raised $145 so far!

The books will take anywhere from 10 days to 2 weeks to ship. You can choose the shipping when you checkout.

Thank you, EVERYONE! I can’t say it enough.

I really hope you enjoy this book!

Erica

P.s. The preview below is only a sample preview. The actual book is 74 pages!

Direct Link to purchase: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2924944

Little Miss Meghan

Hi! My name is Meghan. I live in Maryland. I don’t have a blog and every time I try to start a video, I can’t seem to be able to finish it. The story below will probably show why.

I’ve been struggling with how to tell my story for awhile now. I’ve even been crying since starting to write this. This song has come to mean so much to this past year that tears still form when I hear it. That and this story begins well over a year ago.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2010. After a long surgery she was in remission. To celebrate, my aunt, mom, & I did our dream trip to the CMA Fest in Nashville. Right after Christmas, mom said something just didn’t feel right. In early January, my mom was told that the cancer came back and was more aggressive. She underwent one treatment, was devastated losing her hair, but was determined to keep fighting. Then major complications arose after a fall and treatment just wasn’t possible for several weeks giving the cancer time to grow quickly. Mom fought hard with my dad, brother & myself at her side everyday, but passed away just after Mother’s Day.

I was devastated. My mom was more than a parent, she was a mentor, my best friend, & my biggest supporter in everything I’ve ever done. You’re never truly prepared to deal with such a hard loss no matter how much you try and how long you know you have.

I had first listened to Little Miss on the drive from work to the hospital one day. I was feeling rather upset that day and didn’t really have much of a reason. I had listened to the Incredible Machine many times before, but before Little Miss didn’t have the same meaning. When it got to the line, “Little miss I’ll get tough don’t you worry about me anymore,” it grabbed my attention because that’s what mom had been saying since we found out about the cancer and something she was trying to say in not so many words before she passed. When it got to, “Sometimes you gotta lose ’till you win,” the tears flowed and didn’t stop. I just had to listen to it again and again. I must have listened to it a dozen times that day.

My mom, brother, & I were planning on seeing Sugarland in Columbia, MD in May. Mom really loved Sugarland and she said how much she wanted to meet Jennifer but we could never seem to win one of those infamous Meet & Greets. She passed about a week before the concert so it was the first thing we had really done since everything happened, My friend and my brother’s friend came with us instead. My friend & I were in the Sugarpit and were having a great time and I heard the beginning of Little Miss. I froze and just watched Jennifer start to sing. By the time that she got “It’ll be alright again” I was sobbing. Thank goodness I had my friend there and everyone in the pit started supporting me even though I didn’t know any of them. It just hit me like a brick. Like it says, “sometimes you gotta lose till you win,” but no matter what, “you are loved.” I know my mom still loves me no matter where she is and when I need to remember, I just put on Little Miss to remind me that “it’ll be alright again.”

There are still a few Little Miss stories to go, but we want to keep them coming! See how you can be a part of the next step here: The Little Miss Project Book

Little Miss Brianna

Brianna writes about how Sugarland holds a special place in her heart, and has even written a song for them. And if you haven’t seen it yet, she wrote a BEAUTIFUL poem about the tragedy in Indiana. (See below)

As I am writing this to you, I am listening to ‘Little Miss,’ and I can’t help but think about how many times I’ve listened to this song, and how I seem to learn something new every time I let the melody ring within me. That’s one of my favorite things about Sugarland and their music; I learn something new about myself every time I play one of their songs.

My name is Brianna and I am a senior at Illinois State University double majoring in graphic design and arts technology. I’ve thought for so long about what to write and how to write it, and I’ve chickened out every time from fear of letting out my secret. I grew confidence in seeing other people’s stories, so to anyone who has submitted a LMP story, thanks! =)

In the summer of 2008, I attended summer school at ISU, and lived in a dorm room all to myself. Not many students take summer classes, so the campus was practically empty. Everyday I went to class for a few hours, came home, and did my homework. I started writing poetry about various things that had happened to me in high school, because I was holding onto grudges sometimes, and I found that poetry helped me let go of the past. Those poems soon turned into songs, and for the entire summer, I went to class, came home and did homework, and wrote songs. Every day. Since 2008, I have written almost one hundred songs (92 to be exact), but I have yet to tell a single person about my dream of being a songwriter, until now that it is.

Three years is a long time to keep a secret, and throughout these past three years I’ve had days where I want to give up on this dream and stop trying to figure out ways to accomplish it, because in reality, I know the chance is one in a million, but I can’t help but feel like I’ll regret it later if I don’t try now. It’s hard trying to live out your dream when it’s a secret that you’re trying to keep to yourself.

So, this story brings me to Sugarland. Jennifer and Kristian are my absolute two favorite people in the entire world. I went to their concert in Bloomington, IL and when they first opened and I saw them and felt their energy, I couldn’t help but be completely consumed by their words and music. I’m heading to the Rockford, IL show next, and I can bet that it will only be another awe-inspiring experience. I admire their energy, their willingness to push the boundaries and to try new things, and their astounding vocal and instrumental abilities. What I love about them the most is how they seem to write a song about every single emotion or experience that I have been through. They have a song for me to dance to and a song for me to cry to, and several that fit in between. When I have had a bad day, the first thing I do is turn on Sugarland, and it somehow puts everything back into perspective. It fixes me; it takes all of the little broken parts and puts them back into a whole again.

I have adopted the infamous Sugarland heart symbol into my life. I believe that Jennifer and Kristian have a different kind of heart. They have this inescapable ability to take all of the stories from those who adore them (us fans), and put them into songs, and share them with us. They see who we are without really knowing us, they feel what we feel, and they open their hearts and let us in, and I hope that we as fans do the same for them. I feel as though I am finally ready to openly start to achieve this dream. I think it’s time. Sugarland’s lyrics have taught me well, and the song Little Miss in particular will continue to strengthen me and teach me new lessons everyday. That little heart with two wings means more to me than anything in the world, and Little Miss epitomizes me to my core. If there is one thing that I have learned from Jennifer and Kristian, and the anthems that they sing, it is to let your heart fly. Let it take you to new heights, to different places, on a journey that makes you who you are. I’ve written a song to Jennifer and Kristian called ‘Sugarland Heart.’ It’s a song filled with words that I would say to them if I could ever meet them. It’s about what they’ve taught me, and all that they mean to me, and what that little heart with two wings will continue to do for me. That Sugarland Heart is simply amazing.

The song:

The lyrics:

The words, you sing
They invade my soul, like you’ll never know
When I feel, so gone
I turn on your music and it proves me wrong
And I know that I’m loved, that I’ll somehow get up
From the place I’m in
You’re slowly teaching me how to smile again.

Because when I’m searching, to find my soul
You take all the parts, bring them back to a whole
When I’m broken you fix me
Tell me that it’s alright.
When I feel like the ends coming near
Your music’s like lending an ear
Helping my troubled soul find its way through the dark,
With your Sugarland heart.

My name’s, little miss
And I cry at night, hiding behind
My secret, dreams
That I silently wonder if I’ll ever achieve
But you know what it’s like, to spend your whole life
Trying to please everyone but yourself
I’m slowly getting stronger with little miss’ help.

Because when I’m searching, to find my soul
You take all the parts, bring them back to a whole
When I’m broken you fix me
Tell me that it’s alright.
When I feel like the ends coming near
Your music’s like lending an ear
Helping my troubled soul find its way through the dark,
With your Sugarland heart.

Not pretty enough, never been in love
Too scared to speak my mind.
But with Sugarland’s heart, I’m beginning to start
To learn how to shine my light.

Because when I’m searching, to find my soul
You take all the parts, bring them back to a whole
When I’m broken you fix me
Tell me that it’s alright.
When I feel like the ends coming near
Your music’s like lending an ear
Helping my troubled soul find its way through the dark,
With your Sugarland heart.

Brianna also wrote an incredible poem about the tragedy in Indiana. Absolutely beautiful.

One little heart, two little wings
A symbol of love, that strongly sings
Of raising your voice, when the darkness falls
Of lighting the fire, to be felt by all.

Seven angels fly, above overhead
Tears fall from the eyes, of the ones that were left
They pray for the strength, to get through every day
But even when it’s sunny, the sky feels gray.

The grieving is hard, the healing is rough
But you’ll make it through, surrounded by love
Shed all your tears, like rain to the ground
Because come one day, it will all turn around.

The haze it will lift, the sky it will clear
The anger subsides, and so do the tears
It’s not always easy, but you’ll make it through,
Because we see the strength, you don’t see in you.

One little heart, two little wings
A symbol of love, it strongly sings
Of raising your voice, when the darkness falls
Of lighting the fire to be felt by all.

Little Miss Mallory

Hi my name is Mallory, I’m fourteen and I live in Indiana,

I started listening to Sugarland in 2008 when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’ve always listened to country music my whole life listening to Shania Twain and Faith Hill. I remember when I heard “Baby Girl” for the first time on the radio. I was immediately perked up I instantly fell in love with “Dear Mom and Dad” what I used to call it! I was in first grade when Sugarland released “Baby Girl” in 2004! Everyone remembers “Stay” from “Enjoy the Ride” the 2007 Song of the Year! I’m not sure if I watched it or not, I was in 4th grade at the time. In 6th grade the obsession began, “All I Want to do” was so catchy and I was singing it a lot. I quickly purchased “Love on the Inside,” and “Twice the Speed of Life.” I listened to “Love on the Inside” every day! My favorite song was “It Happens.”

Whenever I needed motivation during this time I’d listen to “It Happens.” That was my song for about a year. My favorite part of this song is the chorus, “Ain’t no rhyme or reason no complicated meaning Ain’t no need to over think it, let go laughing! Your life don’t go quite like you planned it we try so hard to understand it. The irrefutable, indisputable, fact is it happens!” This tells us all when life doesn’t go as planned all you need to do is let go laughing! Laughing is amazing! In the booklet for “Love on the Inside” it says “Life is short. We are reminded not to take ourselves too seriously. Some days we can just take a step to the side and let go laughing.” I have a post note saying this on my bedroom door and by my computer.

2008 was the worst year of my life, and Sugarland was my shining light during this time. My mom was so fragile and sick all the time I couldn’t bare it. Nights after school I’d lock myself in my room with my Sugarland CD’s and sing my heart out. That’s what made me feel better! I sang and sang all the time. It made me feel better; when I sang “It Happens” I always had a smile on my face.

I picked up “Enjoy The Ride” one afternoon at Target and I fell in love with “Everyday America” that was my favorite song it described my community that I live in. “Joey stares at a trophy he took us all the way to state back in ’85. A shining moment and a dusty reminder, he never felt so scared he never felt so alive.” It reminds me of our sports team success at our high school. Our football team won state championship in ’84 and girl’s basketball state runner up in ’08 and ’09. The whole message to this song is so relatable.

July 23, 2010 was when my song changed. I switched my favorite song from “Everyday America” to “Stuck Like Glue” I was so excited for “The Incredible Machine” to come out in October. I was literally counting down the days! When the music video came out I immediately bought it, I’m so glad I did! One of the best music videos I’ve seen. Jennifer is now a crazy stalker lady, but we all love her anyway. (:

On August 20, 2010 I traveled to our state’s capital (Indianapolis) singing every Sugarland song on the way. Why? My best friend and I were going to see them in concert! Best day of my life, and all the stress was gone for awhile. I sang my heart out in the grandstand and was so excited to see Jennifer & Kristian in person! And of course Little Big Town opened the show; I’ve always liked their music too which made it even more fun!

That night I heard several new songs from the album, but the one that stuck out to me the most was “Incredible Machine.” This later defined the whole CD for me. That night opened my eyes.

Once I got home from Indianapolis my focus went back on my mom. Struggling still, and this broke my heart. I never talked about this to hardly anyone. Just a select few Aunt April, Natalie, and Rachel. Not many understood and every time all I got from someone was “I’m sorry.” This didn’t help me at all.

October 19th arrived and I heard “Little Miss” for the first time and I cried. “It’ll be alright again, I’m okay.” I often said “I’m okay,” or “It’ll be alright.” That song is relatable for anyone! I recommend it all the time to everyone I meet. If you’re my facebook friend you hear about Sugarland daily. The most important message in this song is that you are loved! This is just the beginning of my Sugarland journey, many more stories, laughter, and smiles are to come.

Thank you for shining down on me, Jennifer and Kristian.

Mallory (:

Little Miss Katie

Katie talks about living with Turner’s Syndrome and getting through her parents divorce with a little help from Sugarland and “Little Miss.”

Hi my name is Katie Oliver, this is why I’m a Little Miss….

When I was 5 years old my mom realized something was wrong with me. I wasn’t growing and my hearing was abnormal. She tried and tried to tell the doctor that something was wrong. He looked at my records and too realized something wasn’t right. I was sent to see another doctor 3 hours away in Columbus where they did a genetic test. It was then I was diagnosed with Turner Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects only girls. Girls with Turners are missing a chromosome. It throws our development off and causes complications with our hearts (we are at risk for aortic dissection and defects.), kidneys ( some girls are born with horse shoe shaped kidneys or other complications), our ears ( hearing loss, infections), etc.

Once I was diagnosed , I underwent more tests. One was a hearing test, which I failed. Upon discovering I was hearing impaired I became the proud owner of my first pair of hearing aides. Since then I have had numerous surgeries on my ears to correct my hearing or fix problems. My most recent was last April, I had an implant inserted to hold a cochlear hearing aide.The cochlear was reccomended after the previous surgery had failed. I got the hearing aide in June,just 2 months after surgery. I have noticed a huge diffrence in my hearing after getting it! :)

We thought i was lucky to escape the major complications other than hearing loss, until I underwent an MRI to check for the heart complications that come with TS just weeks before my high school graduation! I was strapped to the bed for 2 hours, I could not move, i had an IV that was not making anything better ( I found out what the IV was for towards the end when they shot a freezing cold liquid through it. I could feel it going through me. weirdest feeling EVER! bbbrrrrrr!). the test was done and as walked past the room my mom and the doctor were talking in, the look on my Mama’s face said it all. I was taken to a room where my IV was removed and they took my vitals again and again. My mom and the doctor were standing there but I was kept in the dark. We just kept watching the numbers and lines on the monitors. There was nothing but silence and occasional beeps. they took the monitors off, I changed, and my mom and went out to the waiting room. I finally got the knot out of my throat and asked her what was wrong… She told me the news… the doctor had found defects. I started to cry. My mom just held me there. I was so scared.

We were called back again and the cardiologist that viewed my scans went over the results with me. I had a kink in my artery (it’s shaped like an hour glass!) and I had a bicuspid valve (two of my valves are fused together). he wanted to see us in his office as soon as possible. he wanted to do an ultrasound of my heart to see how hard it had to work to get blood through the kink in my artery. if it was working hard enough i would need surgery to put a stint in to open the kink (g.r.e.a.t). Mom and I went and got coffee, made phone calls , talked about the results ,and then headed up to the Cardiology Dept. of Akron Childrens Hosp. where we waited for more than an hour. I was finally called back, I laid on the table, watched Shrek… my heart was fine! Thank goodness! I am going to have another MRI in the next few months. Surgery is still a possibility if the results show the kink has gotten bigger.

My life is filled with doctors appt. after doctors appt. i see 3 diffrent Doctors. a cardiologist, an Otolarynologis (ear, nose, and throat doctor), and an Endocrinologist ( growth and other stuff). I was put on growth hormone shots when i was little and have been off of them since I was 12, so I am short for my age (I’m 21 and 4’10″) Thats one reason to call myself “Little Miss” right? ;)

On top of my TS and everything, My parents divorced when I was 10 and there was a time my dad wanted nothing to do with My brother, sister, and I. He would call and tell us he was coming to get us for the weekend, Friday would rule around, we would have our bag packed. He would call and say forget it, Leaving a 12, 10, and 8 year old to wonder what they did wrong. My dad remarried and my stepmom got sick. She passed away from cancer in Dec. 2004. He remarried again and we added a 4th child to the mix! my newly adopted brother Adam ( My new stepmoms son). My relationship with my dad is better but I’m still trying to heal.

The first time I heard “Little Miss” I felt Jennifer was singing about me. the lines “I’ll get tough don’t you worry about me anymore” reminds me of all the tests I’ve been through, medical and emotional. “Little miss big ole heart beats wide open, she’s ready now for love ” Reminds me of healing my relationship with my daddy! The road to getting to where we are now, the point i felt accepted and loved again like a daughter should by her father. But I know he loves me. He’s my dad! I still can’t forgive him though. “It’ll be alright again, I’m ok.” makes me realize that i am going to be ok. whatever comes my way, whether it’s a doctors visit or whatever, I know ” I’m ok” and ” it’ll be alright again” . :)

Jennifer’s voice is so soothing in Little Miss and Kristian joining in on the reassurance makes it so special. They are amazing! Love you sooo much Sugarland! :)

Click HERE to find out how YOU can be a part of The Little Miss Project Book!

The Little Miss Project Book Submissions

Hello Everyone!

Well, it’s here! We are finally taking submissions for The Little Miss Project Book! I’m incredibly excited!

This idea has been brewing in my head for months and there are still some things I need to figure out but I thought it would be great if we could at least start putting the book together! Once we have everyone’s submissions and it’s all put together, we will try to spread the word and maybe get some sponsors and donations. We’re still researching on places to have these books made. We’re looking for the most affordable company or possibly ones that will give us a deal for a good cause. If you have any suggestions, please let us know!

Here is what we need from you for the book:

1. Your “Little Miss” story in one sentence or less. For example, if you were in the original Little Miss Project video or you were participating in the Little Miss Project LIVE, what would your sign say? You can send us your one sentence story or maybe you want to take a photo of yourself holding up your sign. Get as creative as you’d like. Let us know if you have any questions! You may remain anonymous (just let us know in the email you send us) or you may put your first name and last initial with the city & state you’re from!

2. If you don’t have a story, maybe you’re creative and would like to send us a Little Miss inspired piece of artwork. These can be paintings, drawings, photography, whatever you would like! Please include your first and last name with these so we can give you proper credit!

3. We’re also looking for lots of pictures from any Little Miss Project LIVE! I know there are lots out there! Send us high quality photos so they will work well in the book! Please include the city the show was in, and again, your first & last name so we can give you proper credit!

You may do one or all three of the options above! Please send your submissions to littlemissproject@gmail.com with subject: “Little Miss Project Book Submission.

The deadline for these book submissions will be Wednesday, September 14th.

Please help spread the word by telling your friends & share the link to this blog on your Facebook. We want as many people as we can possibly fit in this book! (Hence, the one line stories.)

Again, if you have ANY questions, we’re here to answer them!

Thank you! We can’t wait to start putting this together!

Erica & Maria