10.29.2013

Dear Ellen:

Dear Ellen:

Good morning! I am writing to you today to tell a story about someone doing something pretty remarkable for people like the email you will read below. 

There is this girl, well actually woman, but if you asked her she'd say she's still a girl...

Anyways, her name is Jill Smokler. She is the creator of the blog Scary Mommy and has written two bestselling books, CONFESSIONS OF A SCARY MOMMY and MOTHERHOOD COMES NATURALLY (AND OTHER VICIOUS LIES). Now I understand you probably do not think any of this is remarkable and I agree, it is not. However here comes the remarkable part. 

In 2011, well I think it was 2011, she launched a confessional on her blog. It is a place where anyone can go and post ANYTHING anonymously. You see it all there, funny, sad, embarrassing, shocking, etc... In the fall of 2011, Jill noticed that there were more posts with mother's saying how they were not sure if they could provide Thanksgiving for their family that year. The reasons varied, but one thing was clear; Jill needed to do something. 

So she concocted a plan and sent it to all her followers. She blogged about it, facebooked it, tweeted it, emailed it and encouraged people to share. You can read all about it here.

The cliff noted version is, she set up a pay pal account where people could donate $25 and had people contact her if they needed help. She then paired up two $25 donors and sent the families in need a $50 gift card to help provide Thanksgiving dinner. It raised tons of money (see the results here) and reinstated her faith in humanity. She did it again last year, but with the pressure from the year before she had to limit it to only 200 families.

This year she is doing it again (read about it here). She has help these days so it is going much smoother. One of the big differences this year is, once you donate, she is emailing you information about your family. It is their story and it shows why they need help. 

Below I have copied the exact email that was sent to me.
Date October 25, 2013
Dear Danielle:
Thank you so much for your generous donation to Scary Mommy Nation’s Thanksgiving Project! Because of you, a mother is able to provide a loving holiday meal for her family; a family who otherwise would have gone without. That’s a pretty amazing thing!
We thought you might like a little information on the specific family you helped…

Name: DenesseStory: both my fiancĂ© (55) and I (49) are full time students at Virginia college raising Gabriella (11 yr old granddaughter with Asperger's ) and making things work on 140 of AFDC for gabby and food stamps and Steven gives plasma 2 times a wk . Although things were tight we managed . As of late Aug. we have added Gabby's other 2 sisters Carmen and Sophia , as the police dropped them at my door step because my daughter was picked up on drug charges and a failure to appear .....well my daughter only spent 1 wk in jail was released with a fine and new court date ,she is still doing drugs the girls are still with us child protective services has gotten involved only because 6yr old Carmen had never gone to school ....so there are now 5 of us in less than 600 sq.ft we are in a mod rehab program which is housing for parents that are either disabled or in school ....im in my last term for Medical Assistant doing my extern now at the take care clinic in walgreens Steven still has another yr for his associates in networking engineering , Gabby is homeschooled due to her Asperger's so life is a bit hectic our food stamps have been cut and because I still only have power of attorney for Carmen only we are not eligible to receive any benefits for the other girls and since steven has been donating plasma for a while now there are some wks were he can only donate 1 time a wk if at all due to scare tissue so there goes that 40 dollars and I have MS and am on different meds at different times me donating plasma is not an option , I know that this is ...a bump in the road and this too shall pass ....as I hope to be working after graduation in dec and after passing my certification in jan ......these last 5 yrs have been tough 5 yrs ago my 18month old grand son (different daughter) was beaten to death and my daughter was incarcerated for 6 months was found innocent via medical examiner and polygraph ...all of the hardships of incarceration and trial and raising gabby my resources ran out I had a fulltime job working 60 hr wks as a personal shopper for Talbot's all within a 24months I lost my mum (she lived with me for 20 yrs) baby was murdered, daughter incarcerated, murder trial and then homelessness when my resources ran out and my MS took a turn (do to stress im sure) gabby and I and my now released daughter ended up in a shelter program and we all have been moving forward in healing .....so I know there is a rainbow at the end of this storm .W e just need a umbrella ! 
As you celebrate your own holiday, please know Denesse is spending her Thanksgiving being thankful for you. As are we.
If you’d like to encourage your friends and family to give, (or simply brag about how awesome you are for doing so) a collection of buttons can be found here: http://www.scarymommy.com/thanksgiving-buttons
Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday season,
MikkiOn behalf of Jill Smokler and Scary Mommy Nation

I read it once and did not believe what I read, so I read it again... 

This time I felt as if I was punched in the stomach, so I read it again...

This time left me in tears, so I read it again...

This time I knew I had to do something.

Writing to you is me doing something.

Now because this is my family that I know I have helped...

Not nearly enough... 

But it is a start... 

I am asking you to help them. 

I know nothing more than what is written, however, Jill and her staff have graciously agreed to work with you if you choose to help this family.

I also am asking for you to please share what Jill is doing to all of your millions of fans and followers. 

One person can change a persons life, but more than one can change the world. 

Here are the current stats as of this morning, October 29 at 7AM:

THANKS-TRACK

That is pretty remarkable considering she only launched this last week. 

People will help if you ask them.

Please help her, please help this family, please spread the word!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this long, almost equivalent to a dissertation, letter...

Much love,
Danielle Morgan

UPDATE 10/29 1:13PM: 


12.03.2011

Crossroads...

I am at a crossroads.

I think.

Here I sit, 1 year 3 months and 14 days after I said (out loud), "I can't do this anymore."

Initially it was like 500 pounds were lifted off of me, but now that I know in four days I can officially start to make "it" official, all 500 pounds plus some are back.

There is nothing I can or want to do. Yet, here's the feeling I so hate.

Maybe it's because the happiness I thought I would have or gain or finally get to experience isn't mine. Maybe it's because the one person who was there with me through it all from day one is suddenly a stranger to me. Maybe it's because I still don't have any of the answers. Or maybe it's as simple as I'm alone, like really really alone, and he's not.

He's moved on.

He loves someone else.

He learned something after all and treats her like I always wish he treated me.

I'm okay with that.

August 2002 I met someone who I hated a little too much. But not really.
September 27, 2003 the choice was no longer ours.
October 2003 I heard the three words every girls wants to hear.
November 21, 2003 our life together started.
August 1, 2006 we made the best thing ever.
March 26, 2007 we made it officially official.
August 19, 2010 I gave up.
March 2012 it will be officially over.

Somewhere there's a circle and it's full.

Maybe I'm having these feelings cause it's around the holiday's or maybe it's the lack of sleep I get these days, either way I'm feeling sad these days.

11.13.2010

So I did a marathon...

This past Sunday I thought it'd be a good idea to participate in a measly little race some like to call a marathon. Since I never did a race before I figured I would participate in the biggest in the world. Now 3 years ago I did have a thought process behind applying for said marathon. I knew that it was a lottery process and that NO ONE gets in on their first, second or third time. But their fourth time, just for being so patient, they automatically get in. So in February 2008 I gave NYC Road Runners club my $11 application fee and went on my way. That is until June 2008 when I got my, "Congratulations you've been accepted (out of 100's of 1000's of people) into the NYC Marathon." WTF????!!!!! I canceled that year and went ahead and canceled last year as well, but this year I was doing it.

This is where one would think that I would start training. Obviously that one does not know me. I've got issues. Those close to me know this. See for whatever reason I would rather fail at something knowing I didn't try than fail knowing I did everything in my power to succeed. For instance, say I would have trained and logged 50+ hours a week running through the streets only to not be able to finish 26.2 miles. I would be devastated. Ruined. BUT, say I don't train at all, like seriously, not at all, then if I can't finish it makes sense because I wasn't prepared. See issues. This is also the reason why I don't study for things. ISSUES!!

Fortunately for my ego I finished. I went in knowing that in order to get a medal I needed to finish in 8 hours and 20 minutes. My official time was, 8:04:58. Moral of this story is, if you ever want to do a marathon, you totally can. If I can, I promise you can.

Before the start.

There I am. And yes I'm sobbing. And no it did not take me 9 hours.

10.06.2010

10.03.2010

The annual Olan Mills portrait session.

So every year I have this uncontrollable urge to get Rhys' picture taken at Olan Mills. I usually do it for Halloween, that way I can totally justify the cheesiness. Last year I flaked at Halloween, so I chose to do it for Christmas. For the 5 of you who read it, you may remember, but for the 5 more of you who may read this now, here it is. Anyways, I always try and pick the most obnoxious photo...to an extent. Below, you will find the four I was deciding between.

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Her face is pretty funny, but a column??
Really?
She's a mermaid, not a Greek goddess.

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I stared at this one for a long time, but I couldn't get past her having no neck.

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This one was ALMOST the winner...
but I think I was looking at how awesome her hair looked...

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Here it is, the winner of this year's cheesy photo award!!

Two things:
1. My kid would make an awesome mermaid.
2. No you can't buy this costume anywhere, because this is what happens when I ask my mom to make Rhys a mermaid tail, since I don't know how to sew. Yes she made the entire thing. Yes she's crazy.

10.01.2010

There's nothing like going through boxes in the attic to make you feel like a hoarder.

So I've been going through boxes in my attic with the attempt at purging some of the junk AKA: garbage. Since August 1996, I have moved approximately 20 times. True story. Every summer I would come home from college and start a new plastic container of much needed stuff. You know, notes from Sociology, drunken pictures of people I didn't know, random movie stubs and so on. These plastic containers were housed in my mother's basement. Every year she would give me the same speech,

Mom: I don't know why the hell you're saving all this shit, but don't you dare think I'm keeping it here forever. Just remember, you don't really live here anymore, this is just a place for you to hang your hat.

Me: Yes mother, I know I can't keep my prized possessions at your house forever. I promise I will take all of them when I live somewhere for real.

Mom: You're so goddamn dramatic.

Me: *blank stare*

So when I finally stopped going to college I stood by my promise and took all the containers with me. For the last six years, they've gone through four moves and I'd yet to go through them. Well, about two weeks ago I decided to start the process.

I think I'm a closet hoarder.

I had papers from my senior year of high school. That was 1996. And when I say papers I'm not talking about papers with good grades, I'm talking about class notes. Now these are notes that I didn't understand when I copied them, so why I thought saving them was beneficial, I'll never understand.

Today, I went through two big containers and found some gems. Some of this stuff is from the 3rd grade. I believe if my math is correct that was the 86-87 school year. Naturally, I took some pictures.

First picture is a tape from Kennywood Park, where you could get in a sound booth and sing whatever song you wanted. They then would broadcast it throughout the game area so everyone could hear you. This is from 1991.

Seriously?? Ice, Ice Baby...
And yes, in the background, that is me in an old-time photo from 1996.


Okay so who remembers Pocket Rockers? Oh course I don't have the actual Pocket Rocker, but I did unearth some cassettes. This is the 3rd grade find.

Here we have "Walk Like An Egyptian,"
"Heaven is a Place on Earth" and an unidentified one.


AND the final treasure that I found...

MY OLD GLASSES!!!
I don't know what made me pick them out, but Christ, this is bad.
I also don't know when they are from, cause I don't ever remember being this geeky.

The plus side of today is I did get rid of two bags of garbage. The downside is, I must now go plant a forest to compensate for all the paper I threw out.

9.08.2010

Yes this blog still exists and yes I suck at posting things, but since the universe (facebook) is telling me to post here I am.

Since it's "Wordless Wednesday" I have an excuse to be lazy.
I am, however, taking this advice from the facebook astrologer and posting.
Tomorrow (probably not), I will try and post something with more than 30 words.