Little Miss Kylee Jo

How “Little Miss” will always be close to her parent’s hearts. What a beautiful story.

Hello! I was beyond excited when I saw you were doing this project! I think it is such a great idea and couldn’t wait to share my story because this song will forever be in my husband and I’s hearts! Where to begin……

Little Miss Kylee Jo…..
I was due Christmas Day with our first baby! A girl! We could not wait and my pregnancy had gone really well…we had a healthy baby girl on the way! Kylee Jo decided to make her arrival on Sunday, December 19th and words cannot describe how we felt to instantly meet this little person and fall completely in love! Immediately you know you would do anything for this little person. A few hours after she was born, a nurse thought her color looked a little “off” and put the pulse oximeter on (a way to measure the oxygen level) and it was 60%!! It should be close to 100%. She thought the monitor was broken because our baby did not look like one who should have an oxygen level that low. Well, it turned out to be correct and was not coming up when they put oxygen on her. My husband and I sat for what felt like hours watching a whole crew of nurses and doctors come to assess her. Away to the NICU in an incubator went our little baby girl and we could not have been in more shock. What was happening? We did everything right to prepare for this baby and what was wrong with her? We weren’t sure if she was going to make it or not until we could find out what was wrong with this full term, healthy baby.

As it turned out, Kylee had a heart defect called Transposition of the Great Arteries, that was missed during my ultrasounds. We are beyond blessed to have been at the right hospital with the right people and a nurse who followed her gut instinct and realized something was wrong before we were sent home. We may not have our sweet baby girl with us today had this been missed before going home. It is hard to think about that, but we have so much admiration for our daughter and learned to never doubt her strength ever again. She underwent open heart surgery at 11 days old to correct her defect and things could not have gone more smoothly for our baby girl. It was a long 11 days to get to surgery and then the LONG day of surgery, but she is worth every minute of worry, panic, and stress that we went through! We went home FINALLY when she was almost a month old!

Having to be in the hospital for our baby girl’s first Christmas was very hard, especially because we pictured sitting with her around the Christmas tree at our home opening ALL of her presents (she was spoiled before she was even born!!). My husband and I would hear the “Little Miss” song everyday either on the way to or from the hospital. One day my husband read my mind when he said that song reminded him of Kylee. I couldn’t stop crying! I thought the exact thing! This song means so much to us, especially the parts:

“Little Miss you’ll go far, Little Miss hide your scars”
because although she has a scar that is visible and will always be a part of her, she is here to make her mark on the world and will not let this define her. My husband and I have scars in the inside of our hearts for her, but everyday as her heart has healed, ours have healed too. She is such a strong little fighter! She is more brave and tough than anyone I have ever known, and I could not be more proud to have her as my daughter!

The part that gets me every time in the song is:
“Little Miss big ‘ole heart beats wide open, she’s ready now for love”
For me, this speaks volumes! Kylee had open heart surgery and literally let her heart beat wide open and now that her heart is fixed, we are able to love her all the more! The love you feel for your child is unlike anything I have ever experienced and if I could have endured any of what she went through, I would have done it in a heart beat. My heart beats for hers.

What I envision my courageous daughter saying to me one day is:
“Little Miss I’ll get tough, don’t you worry ’bout me anymore”
I don’t think I will ever stop worrying just like Kylee won’t ever know what we as parents went through and how scared we felt. It is overwhelming being first time parents, let alone making the decisions we had to make within her first few hours of life. We learned our first parenting lesson very early on, which in a weird way makes us very grateful. We learned to not take one single day for granted with our baby girl. We leaped out of bed at night to feed her and take care of her once we got her home! (which was only a week after surgery! Our little girl amazed some of the best cardiac doctors with her recovery and strength!) When she cries, we tell her she can be as mad as she wants! It wasn’t fair what she went through the minute she was brought into this world, but we always tell her she has a very long time to make herself known in this world! She is here for a reason and we could not feel more blessed and grateful for every minute of every day that we have with her! She has such a bright future ahead of her! Kylee Jo is our own “Little Miss Everything”
“It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright, It will be alright again. I’m okay. It’ll be alright again.”

Thank you Sugarland for making such beautiful music! You are my favorite band and I am beyond thrilled to be going to see you on the Incredible Machine Tour! I could hardly wait when I found out you were going to be in my hometown! My husband, Rob, and I will be at your show March 18th in Bloomington, IL!! I know there will be tears in both of our eyes when you play this song! It holds such a special place in our hearts and helped us get through such a scary time! Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! (I attached a couple of pictures of our Little Miss Kylee Jo! She is quite the firecracker and is very sassy at her young age of 2.5 months!)

Love,
Stephanie Epperson

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Little Miss Grateful for Sugarland Music

Sugarland music has been inspiring, encouraging, and lifting me up for years. I’ve never been to a live show, but I have most of their CDs and I know any time I’m feeling stressed out or having a bad day, putting one in the player and setting it to repeat is the best cure.

When my husband and I were married almost six years ago, money was tight. Tighter than tight. We were making rent payments on a credit card, paying the minimums on our bills, and racked up more debt than I care to admit. Neither of us had family we could turn to for financial help, so it was sink or swim. For years our heads were barely above water. Just Might (Make me Believe) was my life. I look back now and I don’t know how we made it; financially or personally. I listened to that song countless times and just told myself that love had to get us through because we had nothing else! We slowly started to emerge from the sinkhole and I created a to-do list for us: pay off bills; buy a house; go on a cruise; have a baby. Bills are still a work in progress, but I’m happy to say our credit cards all carry a $0 balance, we bought a house almost 3 years ago, we just booked a cruise for this October, and hopefully baby will follow. I once thought this was a “dream” list that would never materialize, and now I’m living my dream.

I took a job and worked my way to the top of the ladder, reporting to the President of the company in just three short years on the job and I had a paycheck to match the position. It’s the reason most of our debt is behind us. I knew I was unhappy, that couldn’t be hidden. The job had some very stressful, horrible moments. Deciding to walk away from a job that on the surface I loved, to walk away from the fat paycheck, was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. While I do regret walking away from the money (if only I’d hung in there we’d have more bills paid off), I knew there had to be something more, had to be more than that, I needed a little less hard time and a little more bliss, I had to take my chances, take a chance that I might find what I was looking for, I just knew there had to be something more. I walked away from that job and took a nearly $25,000 pay cut. A year and a half later it’s come full circle and I’m in a job that I love. I make a little more money than I did when I first walked, but I’m working my way back up and most importantly, I love what I do and I feel like I’m making a difference.

I’ve always been overweight. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t. Working in a stressful job just packed on more extra pounds. It got to the point where the amount I needed to lose was so huge that I didn’t think it was possible… so I would eat more! When my father died of a heart attack at the age of 54, I knew I needed to turn my life around. But, it was such a daunting task. It wasn’t possible! I couldn’t even think about it. Too hard! Last year, I decided I ain’t settlin’ for just getting by, I’ve had enough so-so for the rest of my life, I’m tired of shooting too low so raise the bar high, “Just enough,” ain’t enough this time, I ain’t settlin’ for anything less than everything. Days when I didn’t want to go to the gym, I forced myself to. And if I had to, I’d put Settlin’ on repeat on my iPod and listen to it for an hour straight as I worked out. I’m proud to say I lost 30 pounds last year and have a goal to lose 40 more this year! To me, it’s no longer just about the number on the scale. It’s about being healthy, happy, living a long life, seeing my future children grow up, and never settling for anything less than everything!

I now realize that since the beginning, nearly six years ago, I’ve just been looking for a happy ending. I’m still dreaming big and I probably always will, and still just getting by. But, that’s how it goes in everyday America. I live in a little town, I have a great big life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you Jennifer and Kristian for inspiring me in so many ways, even more than I’ve mentioned here. Please continue making great music, and I promise to keep listening!

Little Miss Samantha

Samantha has walked a very rocky road, but Little Miss was there to make everything okay again… She writes…

I am 17 going on 18 and I have no idea who I am or who I am going to be. This song has inspired me to take all the hard times that I have faced and turn them into something positive.. When I was around five my grandma and my great grandma died within a few months of each other and a few weeks later my older sister had fallen ill and went into the hospital. She was only eight years old and had cancer and a brain tumor. The time that she spent in surgery and recovery took such a giant toll on my entire family and life style. It took months, years, to get things back to normal again and even though she survived (which proves that the power of positive thinking really works) it still has affected me more than I ever let anybody know about. I have also watched both of my parents battle a form of cancer and other than them I have literally lost anybody left in my family. Having to go through all these deaths has been so hard on me, it’s something that I can barely think about without crying for hours. I know that my parents have struggled so I decided very young to never bug them with any of my emotions so I faced them alone.

I’ve never been comfortable in my own skin and I went down the wrong road when I was thirteen or fourteen and began to self harm myself. My ‘friends’ at the time all saw the scars and they all knew that I was ready to end my crazy life. I was never suicidal, I just wanted a way out. I wanted to feel skinny and to feel beautiful. I wanted to be happy with who I was and have some sort of meaning. I went down this bumpy road never telling anybody what was going on. I was truly depressed. I had no feelings what so ever and I cut because I felt like I was finally in charge of something. I knew deep down inside it solved nothing but for some reason I kept at it for a very long time.

As cheesy as it sounds, when I started listening to Sugarland, I no longer felt a reason to cry myself to sleep, never felt the need to hurt myself again. I felt like Jennifer had stolen my diary and wrote my life story into an album. When I saw them in concert for the first time in 2009 I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be in front of the two people who saved me. I can’t thank Sugarland enough for the impact they have had on my life. Sadly, a few months ago I started cutting again and honestly, I had stopped with my obsession so I hadn’t yet heard the song Little Miss, and when I was in the car and heard it on the radio I had to pull over my car because I couldn’t stop the tears. The second I heard “Little Miss hide your scars” I knew that Sugarland was back in my life. This song truly reminded me that everything will be alright again. I am starting to feel like myself again. And, I shouldn’t regret my past but learn from my experiences because everything will be okay in the end.

I honestly hope that no teenager (or adult) has to rely on self harm in order to feel complete and that if they do I hope they talk to someone. ANYONE. I relied on my best friend, who I happened to meet online. We met over a few online forums, one for a television show and one through a website for sexual assault survivors and supporters for a foundation to give healing to victims of sexual violence and abuse. I’ve shared some of the most horrific details of my life with her and in fan mail to Jennifer and I can honestly say I probably wouldn’t be here without the help of Little Miss Tyler Alesia or Sugarland. I could never thank them enough for the impact they have had on my life.

Erica, thank you for creating this project and allowing me to find hope and healing. You are incredible!

Love, Little Miss Samantha Kay Taylor.

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GET ELLEN TO NOTICE THE LITTLE MISS PROJECT!!

It’s time that we spread the word about the project, and since Ellen is amazing and recognizes people on Youtube- telling Ellen would be a good way to start. She has millions of fans so we need to make an impact and do a MASS facebook wall post and Tweet around the same time so she will see it!! We’re going to be doing it all day TODAY!!!

Write on Ellen’s Facebook wall telling her to please check out the Little Miss Project with a link to the video/blog.
http://www.facebook.com/ellentv

Then if you have Twitter, tweet @TheEllenShow telling her to please check out The Little Miss Project with a link to the video!
http://twitter.com/theellenshow

Get as creative as you’d like! Let’s just make sure this happens and SHARE and invite as many people as possible!!!

TODAY is the day!! Let’s make it happen!!!