The Little Miss Project LIVE: Scranton, PA

Megan talks about her night in Scranton and rocking The Little Miss Project LIVE all by herself. This story gave me chills just thinking about how powerful it was of her to stand there, alone, showing her story to the world. You did a great thing, Megan, and there are so many people out there praising and clapping for you right now for being SO BRAVE! This hard time WILL pass and it WILL be alright again. It’s definitely not a bad thing feeling so connected to Sugarland. There are lots of us out here who feel the exact same way. I never question it. I just remember the happiness and excitement they’ve brought to my life and how looking back, I don’t know where I’d be without them. It’s a good, GOOD thing! Here’s Megan’s story… (video link below)

My friend and I drove 5 hours yesterday to Scranton, Pa to see Sugarland-I got to meet them, which I’m still so amazed at…it went so, so fast though, we barely got to say “hi” to them, the people running it were rushing everyone so bad, but I managed to give Jennifer a letter I wrote so that was okay.

I actually wasn’t planning on holding up a sign…this week has been so crazy stressful and I didn’t have time to grab signs or markers, but before I left for the concert I put my sign from Pittsburgh into my bag, just in case. Then, when I heard the first chords of Little Miss, I took out my sign and held it up without really thinking about it…I was the only one with a sign. (My sign says “Survived abuse and rape” and “Little Miss brand new start”.) It was overwhelming, painful, powerful…made me feel like I actually had a voice, for a minute. Jennifer pointed at me when she sang “it’ll be alright again”. And then the front part of my sign, abuse and rape, was on the big screen, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe…people in the pit all turned around to look at me, and some were taking pictures, and I wanted to stop holding it up because I was so ashamed, I wasn’t ready for admitting what’s happened to me like I thought I was…it wasn’t like Pittsburgh, because at Pittsburgh I wasn’t holding up a sign all by myself…but then I looked up at Jennifer and Kristian and they were singing with all their hearts, and I thought about all the brave Little Misses all over the country that have held their signs high, and I realized I COULD do it. I focused on them, and on the words, and I was shaking but I was okay. When I flipped the sign to the “little miss brand new start” and it got on the big screen again, everyone around me cheered. That felt kind of good. And then when it was over I was thinking, maybe there was someone, even if it was just one person, that saw that I kept my sign up even though I was terrified and almost crying, and maybe they can admit what happened to them, too. If that makes any sense. The most powerful moment for me was when Jennifer sang “you are loved”…I so badly need to hear that, especially right now. I wanted more than anything to just hug her and hear her say that to me…sorry, that’s probably weird. She was saying that to me anyway, in a way.

I feel really down today. Yesterday was so emotional for me…meeting them, and Little Miss, and knowing that Jennifer and Kristian probably have read my letter by now…I’m just so drained, and so sad. I don’t want to have a sign that says “survived abuse and rape”. It’s not fair. I’m so terribly alone right now. Yes, I have the Little Miss Project and Sugarland, but you all aren’t HERE. I’ve been crying all day on and off. I just want someone sitting here with me. My heart is breaking and I don’t have anyone that I can call and say, please, it hurts too much. You know I don’t even know the names of the guys that raped me? And they get to go on and live their lives and I’m stuck in that night, I’m stuck in hell, and maybe I get a few moments where I feel strong, like last night, but it doesn’t last. I hold on to Sugarland’s music and two people that basically don’t even know I exist and somehow it’s been enough and I don’t understand WHY. It scares me how much Sugarland means to me. I just wish I had that same feeling with someone, anyone, in “real life”. I’m just so lost and sad.

Video from the show:


Little Miss Bonnie

Bonnie writes about how Sugarland has saved her and her family… Her story really demonstrates that even though times can get tough, it’ll be alright again.

I’ve been wanting to submit my story since the LMP began. I finally had a change to sit down tonight and write a blog post.

Before I start into the LMP, I do want to mention how much Sugarland’s music has changed my life. In the fall of 2010, I fell into a grim depression. My only glimmer of hope and my shining light was Sugarland. Every single bad day, I listened to Sugarland. And they gave me hope that change was coming, that sometimes I had to lose till I won. And you know what?? They were right!! March of 2011 things in my life changed and I broke out of my spell of depression! I know I would not be where I am now without their inspiring songs!

I am Little Miss I’ll take less when I always give so much more. I put my whole heart and soul into my job and my family and I just felt I was getting nothing in return. I have a degree in Elementary Education and have been a substitute teacher since I graduated in December 2004. After almost 6 years I had enough of subbing. I was tired of being good enough to substitute, but not good enough to be hired full time. The problem I faced was I had so many teachers who loved having me in their classroom. I had teacher’s requesting me, but it still did not help in the employment department. As my husband and I struggled with my finical instability of not knowing if I was working every day and being unemployed during the summer (with no pay), I just slipped further into depression. My husband and I started growing apart and were on the verge of possible separation. We wanted to work it out though, especially for our 2 year old son. We just could not put him through a separation like that. I especially did not want that since my parents divorced when I was young, so I knew what it would be like for our son to go through a divorce. The one lyric in the song that I touched the most was “sometimes you gotta lose till you win.” Yes, these things were tough and I felt like I was losing all the time. I felt worthless. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right. It was a terrible place to be. However, I did eventually lose until I won!

Before the Incredible Machine was released, I listened to the song “Something More” very often. The lyrics became my anthem- “There’s gotta be more something more, gotta be more than this, I need a little less hard time, I need a little more bliss. Five years and there’s no doubt that I’m burned out, I’ve had enough.” Every single bad day, that was my anthem- there’s gotta be something more. Then Incredible Machine was released and “Stand Up” was an instant favorite. I absolutely love this song. This song was what pulled me through the worst of my depression. I wrote some of the lyrics on sticky notes and posted them on my computer desk. They are still there. Even though this song is a call to revolution of love, to me, it was my own revolution. After the new year rolled around, I chose “change is coming, can you feel it?” as my theme for this year. I just knew things had to somehow get better. I could not go on living in the thrashes of depression. The lyrics I have on my desk are:

There’s a comfort
There’s a healin’
High above the pain and sorrow
Change is comin’ can you feel it
Calling us into a new tomorrow
Won’t you stand up
When the walls fall all around you
When your hope has turned to dust
Let the sound of love surround you
Beat like a heart in each of us
Won’t you stand up

Then one day in February 2011, I read a post about an office position opening at a local plumbing business. I decided that I had to go for it. Even though it was only part time, it was steady work. I felt that if this was meant to be, it would happen. In March 2011, I was hired and I started working at the office. This was the change I was waiting for! From then on, things improved in my life- both at work and at home. I am forever grateful that Sugarland has touched my life in the way it did. As I said above, I know I would not be where I am today without Sugarland. Their lyrics have touched my life and carried me through the hard times.

I will be at the show in Scranton on June 18. I cannot wait to hear and see “Little Miss” and “Stand Up” performed live!!! I have a feeling I will be shedding a few tears during these songs that have touched my life! (P.S. exactly one week before the show- June 11- my husband and I will celebrate our 6th anniversary!!)

Little Miss Missy

I love how she words this… great story, Missy!

Hi! My name is Missy Gore and I live in Texas!

My story isnt like many of the others I’ve been reading and watching. I wasn’t molested or beaten. I didn’t grow up in a broken home. My parents took me and my siblings to church regularly. In fact, we were viewed as quite a normal family. But there is one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older, and that is that we live in a broken world.

Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc… it’s obvious that our world is not a safe place. At any moment in any persons life something tragic, foreseeable or unforeseeable, can happen. You’re life can change in an instant or gradually over time. There’s no simple equation or solution to obtain in order to live a perfect life. There is a remedy, a healer of the broken, and hope for a future without pain and suffering, but the world will continue as it is. And amongst our world will roam broken people with no hope, and healed people with Joy despite the falling world around them.

I used to be broken and had no hope. I’m healed now. This is my story…

Little Miss Melody

This is Melody’s second submission for The Little Miss project. First it was her battle of breast cancer, and now, read on to see what she wasn’t strong enough to share before.

Last month my story about a recent scare with possible breast cancer was published on the Little Miss Project and it was a message for all of my female SugarFamily members to make sure you do not pass on those mammograms. As I was writing that story there was something buried even deeper inside of me that I wanted to write about, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take that journey. With the help of Jennifer and Kristian, telling us to “stand up and use your voice” and with the support of my SugarFamily, I think I am now ready.

For over fifty years I have lived a lie and chose instead to hide in the shadows as it was easier to deny than to be true to myself. After all, acceptance and fitting in with “the norm” is what we all seek isn’t it?
For the first thirty years it was self preservation and wanting to belong. Who wants to be left out, broken and less than perfect?

The next sixteen years were spent protecting my son. I could not and would not scar or have unfair judgment past onto my son. After all this was my burden, not his and I had no right to ask him to take this on.

I grew up in a time when women were fighting for equal rights. We wanted equal job opportunities, equal pay, and the freedom to be able to explore endless possibilities, but it was also a time when you “went along to get along”. There really wasn’t room in the 70’s and 80’s to “march to the beat of a different drummer” unless you had a very strong will and the backbone to stand up.

Each time I thought about stepping up and being true to myself I would read an article or see something on the news about people loosing their jobs, being beaten up or some cases even loosing their lives and for what? All because they were gay.

I will never forget about people like Matthew Shepherd, who in 1998 was beaten, bound to a fence and left to die all because he was gay. I lived in constant fear that someone would “out me” and I would loose custody of my son, my job as a basketball coach or even my very life.

Last July, I had been listening to Jennifer and Kristian’s music about love being all around and finding the “love on the inside” and I took my biggest step ever by getting a tattoo of the gay pride flag on my ankle. I wanted it near my foot as this was a symbol of my first big step.

In November, the fan club site moved over to it’s new home and with in one week, a very brave young woman, who I now call my hero started the LGBT thread. I had always felt at home with the SugarLand fans, and now I had a special room in our new home where I could bond even more with family members.

Last month, that same young woman asked if we wanted to share our “coming out” stories as a way to help others who might be going through this process. I was one of the first three and one reoccurring theme that took place in all three stories was that in “coming out”, we had all been cut off from family members. For me, my son asked a few years ago if I was gay and since I have never lied to him, I told him the truth and he responded with “that’s cool” and has been supportive from that point on. My lost family member is my mother who couldn’t wait to run out and tell her friends, my employers and anyone she ran into that she was in need of their support because her daughter was “one of those”.

When I was coaching high school basketball, two male coaches thought it was funny to talk behind my back and make jokes at my expense. I have endured the looks, the jokes and the pain of those who don’t understand or just don’t care about others.

My SugarFamily on the other hand have always been supportive, accepting and caring and Jennifer and Kristian would not have it any other way as that is the kind of example that they have set for their fans to follow.

“Little Miss hide your scars”
“You are loved”
“I’m okay”

Thank you Jennifer, Kristian, Madelblue and my entire SugarFamily and for the record, I am more than okay!

Little Miss Jacqueline

Jacqueline opens up and shares her story about her father fighting cancer and going through a deep depression.

I love what you have done with this song and what you have done with this project. I sport my Little Miss Project shirt proudly all across my college campus. Thank you for creating this project. Hearing others stories has given me the courage to finally share my own story and reach out to others.

September 2010 – My father/best friend/greatest man I know is diagnosed with Prostate Cancer
October 2010 – Sugarland releases “The Incredible Machine”

Between those two months I found myself regressing back to the person I was five years ago. This person was not someone I enjoyed staring back at in the mirror every morning. I was an emotional wreck. I was angry at the world and myself. I didn’t have a way of getting my emotions out so I hid them inside where only I could find them. All of my emotions were buried deep inside my heart and I just didn’t know how to release them. I didn’t have any friends to talk to because I have never known the feeling of a true friendship. I couldn’t talk to my family because whenever I tried I’d get laughed at or my dreams would be crushed. I thought I was asking too much of others. I found myself thinking I was a burden to others when I wanted to talk because I didn’t think I had anything good to say. I learned to keep my mouth shut and suck my emotions up. I can’t remember shedding one tear or cracking one smile. I held everything inside.

As far back as I can remember this was my behavior. I am not sure of exactly what sparked it, but it could’ve been my grandmother’s death or being the only one getting in trouble at home and having no one to turn to. I can’t really say. I have always been quiet, shy, a loner, and a tomboy. I learned to be independent and to only rely on myself. Even then, being the quiet, shy, loner that I was I looked to music to lean/rely on. At this point I didn’t know who Sugarland was and I’m pretty sure Jennifer and Kristian didn’t even know each other so I leaned on a popular artist of that time, Eminem. For many years I leaned him and his music to get out my anger, frustration, sadness, and fear. The very first song of his I ever remember touching me was “Hailey’s Song”. In the first verse he states, “Some days I sit staring out the window watching this world pass me by, sometimes I think there’s nothing to live for, I almost break down and cry”. These words hit home for me back then. It was exactly how I felt at the time and coming from a place where there isn’t a country music radio station, this was the music I listened to. Eminem was able to save me from a lot of lonely nights, but he couldn’t cure my depression. My parents hated the fact that their ten year old was listening to such profane music. My dad always tried to get me to listen to anything else but rap, but I just never could find a good substitute. Until one day, my dad told me to listen to “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw. I was immediately hooked. I shared this song with my cousin Megan, who also loved rap, and she was hooked too. This song quickly became our anthem. Now that my dad had taken care of my coping mechanism, he and my mom started to work on my problems of being shy, quiet, and a loner.

They were always hounding about staying home on Friday and Saturday nights, wanting to know why I didn’t have any friends. They blamed me for not being outgoing enough. One night I found out that they thought I wasn’t making an effort to make friends at the new catholic school I was going to. They bombarded together while my sister’s weren’t home. After they finished screaming at me and making me feel like a failure at life because I had no friends, they left to go out with their friends. I was feeling lousy and was crying my eyes out because I felt like I had failed them at life. I felt like I had failed at life. I just wanted to give up on life and figured no one would miss a failure. I didn’t feel loved or wanted by anyone. I was sitting on the floor of my room ready to slice open my ulna artery and bleed out, when all of a sudden my computer decides now would be a good time to turn my screensaver on. It popped up and started showing pictures of my cousin Megan and me as it was playing “Live Like You Were Dying” (the only country song on my computer) in the background. This startled me and made me realize that there are people who care and love me even if they don’t show it everyday.

Soon after I discovered how amazing country music is back in 2005, Sugarland released their new album, “Enjoy the Ride”. I fell in love with the first single and I am proud say that this album was the second country album I ever owned. I was hooked and just couldn’t get enough of the duo. Now four years later, their album “The Incredible Machine” was the thirty-second country album I have ever bought. I automatically fell in love with this album and still can’t choose a favorite song off of it. This album was released at the perfect time with the perfect songs on it. As I found myself trying to deal with the news of my dad, who I have become extremely close with since 2005, having prostate cancer and coming off of a really stressful freshman year of college, I found my spirits being lifted with every song that went by. But the one song that meant the most to be off of the album was Little Miss because of the hope it gave me that my dad (and my GPA) would be all right again. I have been little miss down on love, little miss I give up, little miss hide your scars, little miss who you are is so much more than you like to talk about, but now I am little miss brand new start, little miss big ole heart beats wide open, she’s ready now for love and I am okay and I know it will be all right again 😀

Since then, my dad has had surgery to remove the cancer and was officially announced to cancer free on December 13, 2010 and that was the best Christmas present anyone could ask for. My GPA has improved from the 2.3 it was to a 3.5. I have also found a lot of people to talk to about every day things that I used to keep inside through the Sugarland community online and through my blog. I look to all of my friends to help brighten my day or to just help me get through a boring class.

Things have been recently looking up for me even more. I had the opportunity to win tickets to see Tim McGraw for free and I won the tickets, which just so happened to be in the second row (I took my cousin Megan with me). (This made two of my dreams come true: see Tim with my cousin and be in orchestra seating for one concert in my life). I saved enough money to see Sugarland live for the first time on May 21, 2011 in NJ (another dream come true). I have become living proof that things will be all right again and that dreams come true 😀

In one of my boring classes I wrote a little something about Sugarland and how their online community has affected me… I entitled it A Magical Place

There’s this magical place where you can be who and what you want

There are no worries inside of this land

There is no war and everyone is a friend to one another

You can share your troubles from the outside world with complete strangers who are kind, understanding, and non-judgmental

You will soon find that these strangers have become your friends

Giving you advice, and including you in their thoughts throughout the day

Whether you’re searching for encouragement, understanding or just some fun

Someone will always be there for you

We all keep in touch night after night

And meet up once or maybe even more throughout the year

We look forward to that night all year long and pray for it to come sooner rather than later

Then it’s here and we don’t want it to end

In our eyes that night should never end

But when it does we will meet again the next day when we are asked ‘were you there?’

We can respond yes and relive that night over and over

This magical place is only possible because of our fearless leaders

Who distribute this magic to our souls

They are our hometown heroes who have their feet on the ground and their heads in the clouds

We look up to them but feel like their best friends

They may keep their personal lives private but their personalities radiate

Some of us are even lucky enough to be able to meet them or share a smile with them

This magical place is real and its name is SUGARLAND

Our fearless leaders are Jennifer and Kristian

And they bring us all together online

And again once a year at their concerts (to us Sugarcubes the greatest night of the year)

Thanks J&K for giving me friends from far and near and for chasing your dreams!!

Thank you for watching and reading!

Little Miss Brenna’s Rock Poetry Project

Jennifer’s daughter came home from school with an assignment called, “Rock Poetry.” She tells us how Brenna went about choosing a song and how “Little Miss” was the song that got chosen. It was really fun to read this! Here’s an excerpt from her blog. There is a link below for the full story!

“The first task was picking an age-appropriate song that did not contain any foul language or controversial topics — more of a challenge than you would think. We could immediately negate Rihanna, Britney Spears, and Katie Perry; artists that young girls tend to be drawn to. My girls have been exposed to Sugarland pretty much their whole lives: we have been to two Sugarland concerts together (5/20/11 in Boston will be the third one), they wear their t-shirts with pride, and watch the videos over and over on their iPods. Without hesitation, Sugarland was Brenna’s first choice, and album by album, we began to research the lyrics of some of her favorite songs. She started with some of the older albums and worked her way up to the newer ones.”

Click here to read the full story!