Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bream Center Pre K

I had the incredible opportunity to visit Bream Center in Charleston, WV where I spent time with the Pre K class! We talked about my title, our lives (including LOTS of talk about furbabies), read 4 books and took pictures! Visiting the children in our state has been, by far, one of my absolute favorite parts of being Mrs. West Virginia International. The memories are ones that I will hold onto forever!

A Day With My Miss WV International!

My Miss West Virginia International, Kalyn Bordman and I had the awesome opportunity to visit the Davis Children's Shelter in February to spend time with the residents. We brought tons of goodies for them and about 50 heart-shaped sugar cookies and decorations. We had a great time talking and decorating cookies and they did, too! :)

Go Red Kickoff - Charleston, WV

I had the incredible opportunity to speak at the Go Red Kick Off event with the American Heart Association at Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston, WV.

This year has given me the opportunity to speak and serve as a voice for so many wonderful organizations and this one touched my heart, as it is the official platform for the Mrs. International Organization!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter 2014 - It's Cold!

It's been a few weeks since I last posted. After the Holidays, it seems like we are ready for the cold weather and snow to be over, but instead, it's just snowed MORE and gotten COLDER! (At least, in WV it has)

My arthritis feels the temperature change and it sure lets my body know. When it goes from warm to freezing in a matter of hours, the pain sets in.

This winter, I've tried to manage my pain a few ways:

  1. Staying Warm. I've really limited how much time I spend outside
  2. Eating Right. I've watched my diet to make sure my  nutrition keeps me feeling great
  3. Heating Blanket & Heating Pad. I've used these to help keep cold joints warm!

Pain management is different for everyone, but take time to pay attention to what works for you and your pain. I'm usually an Ice Pack Girl, but this winter, I've really embraced the power of warmth on my cold joints.

Think Spring...It will be here soon! :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Night Before I Was Crowned Mrs. West Virginia International

Today, I am sharing a personal story.

As pageant girls know, the weeks leading up to a big pageant, things get a little crazy. Extra time is filled with those extra workouts, manicures, pedicures, alterations and finalization of wardrobe, modeling practice and interview practice. Then, as the days come before the pageant, here comes the spray tan...And coming from a redhead, I can promise you that this is an important piece of the pageantry preparation puzzle.

Two days before the Mrs. West Virginia International Pageant, I headed to Glow on the Go in Hurricane, WV for my showtime spray tan. I got my first few coats with plans to come back the next day for a final coat for that perfect stage tan. 

The night before Mrs. WV International, WVU had a baseball game at Power Park in Charleston and my nephew, Gage, had been selected to throw out the first pitch. He was so excited for the event and my whole family was going to go watch him.

Usually, the night before the pageant, we're packing and preparing and a nervous wreck. And in this case, I was thinking about my final spray tan, so I didn't plan on attending the game.

I had a total change of heart the day of the game, though. Thinking about missing his big first pitch broke my heart and I decided that I had worked so hard for this title...If it was my year, it was going to be my year to win regardless of whether or not I had a final coat of spray tan or not.

I threw on clothes and met my Hubby at the game and we had the most incredible time with family and friends and watching Gage on his big night. The usual nervous jitters were eliminated because I wasn't focused on the next day, I was focused on something far more important than any title, any crown, any sash...I was focused on my family.

I learned a very important lesson that weekend, as I was crowned Mrs. West Virginia International the next day. Don't ever take things for granted. Spend time with your family and remember that everything happens for a reason. Those important moments with your family only happen once...don't let anything take you away from the things that matter most. :)

(PS: My spray tan was still rocking, regardless of the final coat. Thank you, Misty McMinn at Glow On The Go for always making me look like a rockstar!)

West Virginia Association of Fairs & Festivals Pageant....Good Luck and Sending My Love to the Current Titleholder, Nichole Greene!

Throughout my year as Mrs. West Virginia International, I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet pageant girls throughout the state. I have judged, emceed and helped with pageants, so I've made a whole new pageant family of directors, competitors, families and friends. 

One of the biggest opportunities for West Virginia titleholders begins tomorrow: The West Virginia Association of Fairs & Festivals Pageant. Miss Division competitors from fairs and festivals all over our state come together (totaling over 90 girls) to compete for the reign over the West Virginia State Fair.

I am blessed to say that the current Miss WV Association of Fairs & Festivals, Miss Nichole Greene and her mom have both become close friends of mine this year. I remember judging her when she won the Golden Delicious Festival Pageant and thinking that she was seriously one of the cutest things I had ever seen in my life. Any girl who talks about Beauty & The Beast and being a bookworm gets an A+ from me, haha. Getting to know her family and spending time with them at events all over our state has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and let me tell you why:

1. Nichole is a true example of being beautiful on the outside and the inside. She cares about others and she is genuine. Those are two things that are so important when it comes to a titleholder.

2. She competed to win Miss WVAFF for many years before capturing the crown. She worked very hard, competed many times and continued to try until she made her dream come true. It proves that hard work and dedication really do pay off! 

3. She truly embraces pageantry and has developed strong friendships through it. She is always kind and she is a humble winner. She is a true role model for other competitors.

4. She embraced her year as Miss WVAFF and traveled miles and miles and spent so much time taking it all in all year long. It's such a joy to see someone take this title and represent our state to beautifully. The girls who win this title are always such classy girls who love the state of West Virginia and she truly continued the tradition and made it a year she will never forget.

5. She continues encouraging future competitors by serving as a role model and always offering kind advice and words of wisdom along the way. She knows the hard work it takes and she shares that wisdom to make an impact on the lives of others.

As she begins preparing for her final days as Miss West Virginia Association of Fairs & Festivals, I hope she is proud of the year she has had. She has been an incredible representative and I cannot wait to see where her journey takes her next. 

And to ALL of the amazing girls competing this weekend. Embrace this time! You have a few days to spend time with girls from all over the state who have represented and who truly do want to make a difference. Talk to them, get to know them, make friends and be remembered. You each have worked hard to win your title - now it's time to rock it! :)

Love you all!