Let’s get it Started

I’ve read this email 20x. There is something about it that I cannot stop going back to it.


Several days ago I was thinking back to the day that we met.  It was only last May, but it seems like it was years ago.  I remember sitting at that winery in Missouri, incredibly nervous to meet you having just found out that I had won the “highly coveted” 435 contest.  LOL  I mean so, so nervous.  Nervous that you thought I was cooler than I am, nervous that I might show my true colors and say something incredibly off-handed and inappropriate (which I believe I did), and just plain nervous you were going to change your mind about the win.
I recall giving you a warm, welcoming hug in that balmy air and sitting down to shake off the nerves.  I instantly started talking Matilda Jane cause, well, that’s all I knew to talk about at the time.
We chatted about the upcoming Art Fair and I told you my sad story of a girl and a blog.  A girl in her depths of despair.  A girl losing her husband to cancer.  A girl I didn’t know, but desperately wanted to bring to Indiana.  You had done so much for me in the past 4 years that I wanted to “pay it forward” to someone who could use a smile on their face.

Well.  I called this girl explaining who I was and why I was calling.  There was lots of screaming.  Lots of confusion.  And several phone calls going back and forth on whether or not she would be able to join me.  First call: No.  Second call:  OMG, YES I CAN GO!!!!”  Third call: OMG, you’re going to kill me, I can’t go.
After contacting your sweet David several times to change plane tickets, I found out on her blog several days later that we had miscommunicated.  Throughout all of the screaming, crying and OMG’s, we had confused dates.  She could have come and we screwed it up.  I was heartsick, nearly threw up and had to completely block it out of my mind.
After I shared my dramatic story with you, you looked at me and said, “Yeah, well, things happen for a reason.”  Oddly enough that put my mind at ease and I moved on knowing my sweet friend Cat and I would have a wonderful time.  And that we did.

Unbeknownst to me, you had gone home, contacted the girl with the blog and invited her to come as well.  A couple of days before Art Fair, I emailed her and asked her what her daughter’s size was.  I felt horrible about the miscommunication and wanted to pick out some wonderful things for her little girl.  She returned my email by saying, “well, she’s a 2, but really chubby.  Why don’t you just let me pick it out.”  ????? Huh, that’s kind of rude, I thought.  I’m not going to text you photos of every outfit they have, woman!!
But then I read on………….. “BECAUSE I’M COMING WITH YOU!!!  Denise wanted to surprise you, but I just can’t take it anymore!!”

I just about died.  But only for a moment and then my heart starting flipping in my chest and tears came streaming out of my eyes.  I text you some mad woman text about how amazing you are and thank you, thank, you, and you say “how’s that for a surprise?”  Short and sweet.  Sweet and simple.

Thus, the beginning of a friendship for so many……………………….. I hope I have thanked you enough for it all.

It’s been a tough few days for me.  Feeling helpless and far away and unable to do anything for a friend who is hurting.  I know you feel the same way.  We have both been holding back until the family has gone home, the friends have gone back to their routines and she is left with normalcy again.  Except it won’t be normal.
You were the first person I came to about the “fundraiser” knowing I could trust your honest opinion.  You tend to give that to me whether I like it or not. 🙂
It is my hope that this can be all about Friends supporting friends.  Sisters loving their “sisters.”  Women rallying around women.  My hope is that this will help our friend with things we aren’t close enough to help with.  With the things we want to do, but can’t.  Watching the “chickens”, doing the laundry, cooking nutritious meals.

I want her to have the time to be a Mama, because that’s where we all want to shine and that’s where we all feel like we’re failing.  I want her to have the time to be the beautiful woman that she is, because we all deserve to nurture that.  I want her to have the time to be an artist, because I would miss it terribly, if that should go away.
I just want her to have time and peace, and as a friend that is what I would choose to give to her.  I don’t want her to LOSE HER!

I briefly told you about a company called Confident Care of Colorado who does all of these things.  The beauty of it is, the owner knows Val.  But even better, the owner is a true ray of light.
Her name is Jessica Press and I can’t even imagine the care and love they would give Val and her beautiful “chickens.”  I would feel so good knowing everyone rallied together to give our friend what we wish we could give.  Support, support, support.  I can text her sweet nothings ALL day long, but in the end, I hope they are cared for.  Her brave, yet tired shoulders should not have to bear the weight of it all.

Thank you for always being on board when it comes to helping a friend in need.  I assure you, that’s not why I texted yesterday.  I was fully prepared to take this on and make it a success, but I love your support and know it will be bigger with MJ behind it.  We CAN do this and it will be amazing.  Amazing because of the incredible relationships that MJ builds.  Amazing because women REALLY do want to take care of other women.  We want our sisters and friends to be safe and happy in a village WE build, with a love that knows NO walls.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around 19,000 facebook fans.  To me, you will always be 3 employees in a garage with a scant few blog followers.
And I loved you guys then like I love you now.

You and your group of MJ girls amaze me.  LET’S GET THIS STARTED!!

I could not have written it better. So I asked Jami if I could share the email with you.  We have been inspired by Christne at Bamboletta and the auction she held a couple weeks ago.

We will have an an auction starting Feb. 28th to help give support where she will need it most.  In the home. We have all asked, “What can I do to help?  I live so far away.” Well, all of the proceeds will go to a company that will give her support, reprieve, childcare, nutritious meals and most of all, time to take care of her precious babies.

We are still seeking donations of all sorts. No donation is too big or small, it can be 5 bucks or something from your favorite artist or an item you create. Thank you in advance for your generosity in helping this friend we’ve all come to love.  I can assure you, it WILL make a difference.  Please email  jami.davis@mac.com All donations must be received by February 21st

I feel so good about this, we feel so good about this.

Jami - February 14, 2011 - 12:40 pm

Cariann, yes I can!! Thanks a million, sweet lady.

Cariann - February 14, 2011 - 11:47 am

Denise, all I need to know is if Jami can receive paypal at this email address?
Thank you for extending the reach of those who want to help care for others that are in need.
May this precious Mommy and her little ‘chickens’ be blessed!

Joy Williams - February 14, 2011 - 7:22 am

Wow! Powerful message! Great idea! Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

Pamela - February 12, 2011 - 5:11 pm

Hi Denise – Another great cause! I was following her blog for awhile and stopped, but I am so glad you mentioned it again! She is in our thoughts. Are Joe’s bags going to be a part of this auction or will they still available separately for his cause? If so, when will that occur? Thanks for all you do. 🙂

jill s - February 12, 2011 - 6:14 am

I just emailed Jami too!

It’s not much…but I’m happy to help even a little!

You are an inspiration.

Stephanie - February 12, 2011 - 12:18 am

I would love to be a part of this generous cause. I have already contacted Jami. You have made such and impact on me since I discovered MJC almost 2 years ago. I have started my own business from the inspiration your blog has given me. Your caring way is contagious. Thank you

Rya hibbard - February 11, 2011 - 9:50 pm

I can’t wait to help. I’ve already contacted Jami…thanks for allowing us to help.

Hillary C. - February 11, 2011 - 6:15 pm

Wow! Just…wow! In a world where so many are hurting (for one reason or another) it’s so wonderful to hear that others care. I love that you get involved so much in making this a better world. Makes me want to find one way each day to make a difference too.

brandi c - February 11, 2011 - 2:48 pm

i am constantly amazed by your generosity to others! this (and the fact that your clothes are truly precious) is why i would rather buy from you than from any big clothing company, you and the girls at 435 have hearts of gold and truly care for others like no one else…..i stand inspired! God has truly given you a servants heart!

alibodally - February 11, 2011 - 2:27 pm

I visited #6’s blog. Heart wrenching and beautiful all at once. I am so looking forward to this journey with MJC. Bring on the fundraiser!!!

Erica - February 11, 2011 - 1:46 pm

Wow! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story, Denise. It has truly touched me!

Steph S - February 11, 2011 - 1:00 pm

Christina at bamboletta is an amazing gal, as you are Denise. My wheels are turning to find a unique contribution to this auction! Val and her chickens are in my prayers. And my family and I look forward to helping. Thx for sharing this email.

Lil - February 11, 2011 - 12:45 pm

Christina is an amazing woman and i adore her, she has a heart big as the sky.
With tears in my eyes and a full heart. It will be a pleasure to help/donate to Val and her family.
Sad but beautiful story. XXX

Cpuhl - February 11, 2011 - 10:31 am

Oh my goodness…let’s get it started for sure! I agree with an earlier post, it is so nice for those of us who befriended Val only through her blog (which we learned of through MJC) to take part in something so beautifully, wonderfully touching. If we can help make Val and her children’s world just a little bit brighter, it is so worth it! Nothing can fix it, nothing. But just to ease the burden a little. I love you ladies of MJC, again you amaze me.

Amber - February 11, 2011 - 10:27 am

Cannot wait – trying to figure out what pattern to make right now 🙂

luci - February 11, 2011 - 10:08 am

This is just one example of why I love MJC so much. It is not always about the knot dress, the ruffle pants or the tights I learned to cut off from you. It warms my heart to see how people rally together. Thank you so much for sharing.

kelsey b - February 11, 2011 - 10:06 am


DanaOh(DaytotheOH) - February 11, 2011 - 9:36 am

See, this is why it is so important to surround yourself with good peops, specifically good strong women… Go Jami, girl… go denise. This is going to be amazing and so glad I can be a part of something bigger than myself. This is what this year is all about for me and the two of you are helping make that happen. I’m so blessed. Loves. xoxo
pee.ess. This is ALL I’ve been able to think about, when I “should” be thinking about Photo Love. It’s hard to ignore the heart… the heart feels what it needs to feel and give it’s time to. But I’m glad. It’s a year of MORE.

MJC fan - February 11, 2011 - 9:27 am

wow – what a great gift!

Jennifer Nelson - February 11, 2011 - 9:19 am

Wow….You guys are the luckiest gals around. Having a friend like that is truly priceless. I would love to help…emailing now. God Bless Val and her family. Thank you Denise. Xo

emily bradshaw - February 11, 2011 - 8:25 am

Funny because yesterday my friend and I took the girls to a playplace and while we were there I was talking about super human moms and wives and told her about your #6 the back story until now. I told my friend that I pray that God gives her the strength to keep being that same kind of mom and human. Since the first time I ever read her blog I now strive to be a superhuman mom like her..ok so just a better mom and wife is all I’ve managed…Im so glad she has such wonderful people in her life that see’s her beauty and knows that she will need help not to lose it during this difficult time.

Farrar Lindner - February 11, 2011 - 8:25 am

I’m in! What a great story and a great friend : )

Jessica Grinsteinner - February 11, 2011 - 8:11 am

WOW! You two ladies are AMAZING! You truly inspire me to be a better person and I so thankful to have both of your friendships. My heart goes out to Val and her family and I know she will be touched by your generosity.

keira's mom - February 11, 2011 - 7:57 am

I would love to help! Such loving and caring women here, it is truly heartwarming.

Emily C - February 11, 2011 - 7:49 am

“Women rallying around women”….enough said : )

JacyS - February 11, 2011 - 7:47 am

I’m in, too!!!

JacyS - February 11, 2011 - 7:46 am

I’m in, also!!!

Michelle Huesgen - February 11, 2011 - 7:42 am

So so wonderful!! If either of you need anything…I am always willing to help!!

Berkley Cate - February 11, 2011 - 7:36 am

I went to bed last night sad. Sad for a girl that I had never met who just lost her husband. I had just read your blog a few hours before and couldn’t shake the saddness. Shortly after reading (and fighting back tears), my husband disciplined my little girl when I thought he should have given her a chance to do better. I left the room crying. Part of it that…most of it for your friend Val and her family….I woke up this morning and read this. You have put a smile on my face when I really needed it. I was kind of feeling sorry for myself because of my crazy life (My husband works in another town 1 1/2 hrs away, we are renting our home there until it sells and staying in a bed and breakfast a few nights a week while he works, then we come to our other house that we sometimes call home, only this week we were stuck at the B&B 2 more nights due to a snowstorm, got home last night to get ready to do it all over again this Sunday.) This made me realize that it doesn’t matter if we are “home”. The only thing that matters is I am with my daughter and my husband who works hard so that I can stay at “home” with my daughter. Thank you for putting things into perspective for me and thanks for reminding us all to pay it forward.

Sarah L-B - February 11, 2011 - 7:25 am

God is truly at work 🙂 It is so wonderful and refreshing to see such caring.

Eva - February 11, 2011 - 7:16 am

I am truly touched by the insight, wisdom, and thoughtfulness of you and your friend Jami. Amazed by the sense of community you created with a bunch of ladies all in their own homes across the country, most of whom have never met…face to face. I can’t tell you how Val’s blog (I say that like I actually know her) has affected me. I look forward to helping as much as I can. Thank you (all of you) for sharing your heart. It amazes me how the call of a friend hurting can inspire the most primitive instinct to help. XOXO

Katie sessions - February 11, 2011 - 7:03 am

I am in! Keep us posted on how we can help!

Jen Nibe - February 11, 2011 - 7:01 am

I don’t know Val, but she and her family have been on my mind constantly for the last couple of days. I have been trying to think of something I could do to “help” (without seeming like a crazy stranger). Thank you so much for giving people who only know Val through MJ or Val’s blog, a chance to do SOMETHING. I can’t even imagine the difficult time she is facing…

Ana Esteves-Amaro - February 11, 2011 - 6:47 am

Truely touched my heart <3 this is amazing….true friends are hard to come by and this is what it means all summed up!

CourtneyG - February 11, 2011 - 6:44 am

Wow. Happy tears down my face. So eloquently written, touching. As we say it our house, LDT! Lets do this! 🙂

Nicole Myers - February 11, 2011 - 6:42 am

My girls have just awoken, twirling around the kitchen, pouring their own cereal (missing the bowl) my coffee maker is beeping, Morning madness surrounds me, and I am lost in this post. Not sure I even blinked while reading it. Can’t wait to help “get it started” Couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the day xoxo

Annethra - February 11, 2011 - 6:33 am

That’s just too awesome!!! Thanx for sharing.. Yes a few tears, but happy ones..WoW…=)

Colleen Genovese - February 11, 2011 - 6:26 am

What a touching story, you always hope in times of need someone will be there for you. What a great example of great friends helping and loving a friend. Thanks for sharing!

Christine - February 11, 2011 - 6:25 am

Thank you for sharing. It is amazing what a group of people can do. Love just grows.

Angela W - February 11, 2011 - 6:20 am

YES!! Let’s get it started!

Shanna S. - February 11, 2011 - 6:15 am

Amazing! Can’t wait to help. . .such a beautifully written email!

Wendy - February 11, 2011 - 6:13 am

Oh wow. Just Wow. Awesome.

Trudy Cihak - February 11, 2011 - 6:09 am

Goose Bumps!! Love it. What a GREAT way to pay it forward! Thank you for sharing this e-mail.

Janet C - February 11, 2011 - 6:05 am

Amazing….that’s all I can say. 🙂