A fun weekend.

I had no idea what I was going into when I showed up for Ms Wheelchair Kansas. I only knew one girl, Amanda (Ms Wheelchair Kansas 2009) prior to signing up and had to talked to Carrie Greenwood online. I was nervous, but it was apparent as soon as I got to the hotel and was greeted by Angel, Carrie, and Mandy that it was going to be a good weekend.

(All photos by Stacy Greenwood!)
16258679093_fcf14b202b_kI also met one of the other contestants while I was in the lobby, Jessica Soderland.
16691024618_cd31039325_k That first night, we had a little orientation session for everyone to come together and get to know everyone else. I was the newest member of the group. We did a few exercises that dealt with things we like and don’t like and some that got us thinking about how we are perceived by others. There were a lot of laughs, and I left feeling like I had again found a “group” that I fit in really well.16671289467_ce48b98d3a_k 16852750526_dfef9e23da_oOn Saturday, the judging began. Between judging sessions, we had different people come to speak to us about things like social media presence, interviewing, and advocacy. It was a lot of information in one day all held together with frazzled nerves, but it was a good time too. I learned so much and felt very empowered and motivated.

The judging sessions were not near as nerve wracking as I had imagined. The judges were actually very relaxed and seemed to have more of a conversation than a typical hard-edge question and answer. I left the first interview feeling both silly, because talking about my daughter made me cry, and confident. 16258534903_60bc35a82e_k 16691162350_a844f5d364_kThen we Zumba-d with Joanne Fluke, Miss Wheelchair Kansas 2005.

16690892988_36ae3a16d1_k 16877265692_4876654cec_kAfter a little break, we traveled to the Ronald McDonald House in Topeka, and we made pizza for dinner. It was so fun, singing along to Jenny’s iPod, and hearing about how much Delaney, our Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas 2015, LOVES One Direction. We had a ton of leftovers, and I hope that the visitors at the RMH enjoyed them later!

16693077069_d9250a079f_k 16879194855_9b9fcb4d02_k 16853307186_d71c734e73_kThat night, we held a little pajama party in Bridget’s (Ms Wheelchair Kansas 2014) room. There were games and snacks and a ton of laughs.

16691527088_f338216ac0_k 16691748260_c9bf663712_kSunday was the day of the actual pageant. We had a few early sessions and went off to get beautiful for the big event.

The pageant made me very nervous. Normally, I do not have to talk in front of big groups of people, especially people I don’t know. I will admit to shaking a little bit.

After they had crowned our adorable Little Miss, Delaney, came time for our platform speeches and questions. (You’ll hear plenty more about her on this blog this year also!)

16877728422_4feadce477_k 16878891595_66478ab7b2_k

Keara and Jessica had awesome speeches, and I was intimidated as the last one to deliver mine. I somehow made it through my platform and 2 judges on-stage questions, even though I had to later ask my husband what they had asked because I couldn’t remember!

When they called my name as this year’s titleholder, I couldn’t believe it. I really did not think that I would win given that Keara and Jessica had such strong speeches. Those two ladies deserve a huge round of applause.

16258999623_79ae3fb3f2_k 16877967981_eaaf54cfc7_k 16853086786_1bd5716dc2_k 16691457450_31335f5533_kI was exhausted when it was over. As fun as the entire weekend was, I was so worn out from nerves and excitement.

I am still excited for the rest of the year. I want to make a difference. I want to change people’s minds. I want to go out and let them know that we are here and strong and living like everyone else!

It’s going to be a great year!

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