5. February 2010 14:01
I am sitting in the bathroom with you while you take a bath. It is our daily ritual and one of the most peaceful moments of our day. You in the hot, soapy water, me listening to you sing and talk to your animals. And then the occasional conversation between us:
Me: What was that?
Ben: A bubble fart!
Ben: Now I'm going pee pee.
It's our one pause of the day, a rare moment when we have nowhere to go and we're not rushing to the next thing. When will I ever learn to stop rushing to the next thing?
Andrea, thank you making me laugh! Love, Michelle
1. February 2010 18:10
Three more for 99 Memoir of Me in 33 days! Michelle nominated her children and here is her story. “I LOVE the books that you create and think that they are an amazingly special keepsake for anyone! I also think that what you are doing for the 99 in 33 is so neat. I also wanted to share with you the story of my special little one. I am married and the mother to 3 precious children. My middle son, who would have been 3 this month, went to Heaven to be with Jesus in June of 2008 due to an accidental drowning. Life has not been the same, and our family will never be complete again since we lost him. Brayden was special in so many ways. He touched the lives of many in his short little 17 months he shared with us and is missed terribly. I would love to have a book in his memory to share with his older brother, who was 3 at the time of the accident, and his younger sister, who never has the chance to meet her big brother. We try very hard to keep his memory alive and know that he will live on in our hearts forever. There are so many things I wish I could say to him and this book/letter may be one way for us to express some of that. I would love to have one of these special books for my other children as well one day and will keep your site book marked for possible future gifts! Thank you again for your heart of generosity! We are very excited for you to get your Memoir of Me books and keep Brayden's story alive.
The next book goes to Colby. Erin says, “I'd like to nominate my son Colby. He was two when he had a stroke from e.Coli poisoning. He is such a fighter and a trooper. He inspires me daily. He was healthy before the stroke but because of it he has lost all of his motor skills. He's basically a fully mentally functioning four year old trapped in a body that won’t cooperate. He's nonverbal and has a feeding tube but he is such an expressive boy with just his eyes. If you'd like to read more about Colby this is his two year survivor story blog post. Thanks for listening to Colby's story.” Erin, thank you.
This is the last week of 99 in 33. I've connected with so many people and so many touching stories. Love, Michelle
27. January 2010 14:51
Today, we give away books to the niece and nephew of Cami – who inspired our 99 books in 33 days. Here is her letter to them. “Dear Taylor and Thomas, You are two very special kids and the best niece and nephew anyone could ask for. I hope you will always remember the trip we took with your mom to Disneyland. We all had such a blast on the rides and eating junk food. But Mickey Mouse evaded us all day. We were on a mission to get your photo taken with him, but he was just too busy elsewhere to grace us with his presence. And then, just as we were about to give up, there he was, standing about ten feet away and there was nobody in line to take pictures. We got that great shot of you guys and your mom wearing your new, personalized mouse ears. It was perfect. You are both growing up so fast and turning into smart and loving young people. Remember that I will always love you and be here for you both. Love, Aunt Cami
The next two books go to Cerriah and Alexis, two amazing and spirited girls. Their mom Gina writes, “Hello! I read your post about the 99 books and I would love to nominate both my girls. Both of my girls were diagnosed with Type I diabetes at a very young age. My oldest, Cerriah was 3 and my middle child, Alexis, was 4 years old. In their lifetime they have endure 6 shots a day and 10 finger pricks a day. That may not seem bad, but when you do the math you see that they have had thousands of shots and finger pricks in their short lives. Cerriah has almost lost her battle numerous times. In 2008 we had the ambulance at our house every month. My neighbors already knew to come and take care of my other kids when they saw the flashing lights. Cerriah had strep on her blood stream and nearly passed away. Her temperature when we got to the hospital was 106.8 . That's not a typo. Life is never dull in this household! Both girls take their diabetes like champs. They never complain, take shots and blood draws better than most adults, and are always watching their carbohydrate intakes.
Although life is tough for them, they never take life for granted. Both girls have over 900 hours of community service and have raised thousands of dollars for various charities. Alexis won a national award in 2008 for her community service and Cerriah won a national academic and volunteer award in 2009! They have their own organization where they collect books and bears for hospitalized children. Being on the receiving end of books and bears has made their hospital stay a little brighter, so they wanted to make sure they extended that same experience to other kids.I thank you for the opportunity to share our stories. I am sure you have thousands of emails, but it felt good just getting this all off my chest. I have amazing girls that never let their "dis" ability affect their perception of this world.
Thank you Cami and Gina for your nominations for 99 in 33. We are praying for little Cerriah and Alexis. We hope your Memoir of Me books bring you special moments to share together. Love, Michelle
11. January 2010 12:30
I nominated the first three kids for 99 books in 33 days. Yay! Memoir of Me lives for cute kids stories told from the ones who love them most. I have an uncanny memory for cute stories shared by parents. The three books went to three of my high school friends that I've reconnected with through Facebook.
One of the first books of the 99 goes to Griffin. Griffin is the cutest little fun guy on the PNW coast! He can multiply at age three! This is amazing. He also remembers the 12 days of Christmas song because of the gift he has with numbers. He will definitely use his cute words and say thoughtful phrases when his brother and sister, who he loves a ton, needs a boost. Mom is a writer who will have fun sharing her memories on Griffin's Binky in a Memoir of Me book.
The second book goes to Grace, who told her dad that she knows what they both don’t like -- “Walmart and the Green Bay Packers.” Grace is a super candid and bright little girl and is her dad's most favorite side kick. Grace loves rock music and sitting on her Dad's Harley Davidson. The Memoir of Me book "Dear Grace, Love Dad" will be a special shared keepsake for some of dad and daughter memories.
And the third book goes to Maddie who, in a sweet persuasive attempt to get her mom in the swimming pool, said, “Mom, you’ll feel like a feather floating in the water.” Maddie is a dancer and also definitely has her own sense of style. She's spunky and keeps her family laughing. Mom and daughter will have fun sharing their Memoir of Me story together before bedtime.
So these are the first three Memoir of Me book recipients for our Gift-Giving Frenzy of 99 books in 33 days! Love, Michelle
ps Excited to connect with 96 more kids and create Memoir of Me keepsake books!
6. January 2010 21:51
This January 2010, I am launching a Memoir of Me gift-giving frenzy called 99 books in 33 days. Sharing stories is what Memoir of Me does best. Personal stories. Your stories. The greatest gifts I have to offer are my Memoir of Me keepsake books. To celebrate, we are giving away 99 books in 33 days.
I ask all of you to share your personal stories. Your stories can be touching, tragic, funny, or sweet about your child or a special child you know. I’ll take these stories and turn them into Memoir of Me books for the children that are nominated. The goal is to give three books each day for 33 days.
The inspiration behind 99 books in 33 days is Cami Walker who wrote the book “29 Gifts in 29 Days.” She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and spent late 2006 and early 2007 in the hospital. She’d been down and out when a friend suggested that she give 29 gifts in 29 days to help her feel better. Cami’s gifts ranged from sharing thoughtful insights with friends to giving a bigger-than-usual tip to a server. In giving her first gifts, Cami’s health and mood took an upward swing. The energy of her gifts reignited her spirit. By the end of her 29 gifts, her life had significantly changed for the better. Cami’s story shows that the impact in the power of giving.
To nominate a child all you have to do is send the name of the child and story to firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @memoirofme, Facebook Michelle Nelson LeBow or Youtube @MemoirOfMe77. Please include an address in which to ship the book or gift certificate. Some of the stories may even end up right here on the Memoir of Me blog, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube.
Happy New Year! I very much look forward to connecting with you through your shared stories.