Friday, September 30, 2011

Taking Pics

When I was at the Walk and Roll at the Mall of America Sunday I handed out pictures of me with my crown and sash on. I already had professional photos done a while back, but I wanted some different ones printed. So last Friday I got all dressed up and went outside. I had my sister, Kristen, take a bunch of pictures of me (78 to be exact). It was so much fun! Although by the time we were done my cheeks hurt and my eyes were bugging out from the flash. Other than that I think they turned out extremely well.

I picked the one I thought was the best and then fixed it up a little with highlighting, filling and shadowing. Then Kristen took them in and got 200 copies made. I definitely think that it looks professionally done; she did a great job! I told her that she should go into photography. I'm lucky to have a sis like her. She's been great through all of this and very helpful. I appreciate everything she does for me. Thanks Kris! I posted the pic below.

She also printed 300 business cards for me to hand out. I think they turned out really well. I love getting my information out there for people to see what I'm up to and contact me.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Walk and Roll

I had a great time today at the Walk and Roll at the Mall of America. It was put on by Midwest Special Services. I sat in front of two huge lights for most of the time taking pictures with everyone and giving out signed photos. Next to me was Miss Minnesota 2011 and Miss Minnesota Collegiate 2012 also taking pictures. There was also an Elvis impersonator singing while people did a lap around the mall.

I really enjoy attending events and using my title to help others. I'm glad that I have a chance to do opportunities that arise like this. It's really exciting and a great experience to be a part of so many amazing things and meet new people.

If you know of an event or speaking engagement that you would like me to attend, please contact me.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Feelings Written, Feelings Heard

Sometimes I find myself drifting away, staring at the wall, thinking of things that I know I have no control over and that I cannot change. It's difficult to be in a situation where you're so vulnerable to others and in which your privacy is gone; where the only place that feels safe and comfortable is inside yourself. At times I feel like letting go and giving up everything to the unbearable grasp that is holding me down. Then again I have to remind myself that things happen for a reason and that you either live life or leave it. I choose to live and that is what keeps me together. My struggle with the feelings I have cannot continue to bind me anymore than it already has. I want to be as strong as possible and not look back because doing so puts me at a crossroad in which I do not know where to turn. It pains me to feel this way and to let others know the side that hurts most; the side that may need help; the side that struggles to keep it together. These feelings are not often shared even to the closest of people in my life. Why I choose to write them now will never be known even by me. I know that I will find peace. I'm a very strong person and I also know that I'm helping others just by being me. I'm only human and I hope that these words only bring you closer to understanding some of the things I go through. The quote below has helped me tremendously to deal with the overflow of emotions that creep up from time to time. I hope it resonates with you.


"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greatest achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you!"
-Christian D. Larson

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Some Amazing Women!

Below I have compiled a list of some amazing women with blogs. They all have a disability but strive to showcase their abilities. It's amazing to me how many people are out there making a difference and helping others. I feel honored to know and talk to empowering women like this. Visit their blogs to see what they're all about:

Colleen has muscular dystrophy. She's been through a lot in her life but pushes to move forward despite.

Heather is a quadriplegic, but doesn't let that stop her. She believes things happen for a reason and is happy in her life.

Cheryl has cerebral palsy. She is a strong woman and activist for people with disabilities.

Ruth is a quadriplegic, who is determined to empower others using her blog.

Tiffany is also a quadriplegic. She is a freelance writer and advocate for others with disabilities.

Chrissy blogs on her life and struggles as a quadriplegic. She also shares info about spinal cord injuries and paralysis.

Katy writes about her journey through recovery as a quadriplegic.

If you know of other amazing women with blogs, let me know and I'll add them to the list!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ode to Nurses

I'm very fortunate to have the nursing help that I do. Although I don't always want nurses around and no matter how independent I'd like to be, I need every hour with them that I can get. They are my hands; they are here to help me do the things I cannot do for myself. They're there for me during the times I need them most, and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it easier for me. I'm grateful that I have a full staff of nurses because I know there are many others out there in similar situations who do not have the adequate care or nursing that they need. Thank you to all the nurses out there who help people live life to their fullest potential.


"Nursing care comes in many forms. Sometimes it is the ability to make someone feel physically comfortable by various means. Other times it is the ability to improve the body's ability to achieve or maintain health. But often it is an uncanny yet well honed knack to see beyond the obvious and address, in some way, the deeper needs of the human soul."
~Donna Wilk Cardillo, A Daybook for Beginning Nurses

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Remembered

When 9/11 happened 10 years ago today, I was 14 and in eighth grade. I remember sitting in English class and there being a big stir going on in the hallways. All of a sudden they announced over the intercom for everyone to turn the TVs on to a certain channel.

My first reaction was awestruck. I couldn't believe what was unfolding in front of me. I think we were all glued to the television for at least a couple of hours. I can't remember the whole day, but I know that they stopped teaching so that we could see what was going on.

To everyone who was affected by this tragic event, I am praying for you.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Change of Pace

My article in the Sun Sailor came out yesterday. Being Ms. wheelchair Minnesota has been a great experience so far, and I'm excited for everything that's to come. It's such an honor to represent all of the amazing people with disabilities. I'm happy that I have the chance to educate others and be a "roll model". To read the article click here.

Since my trip to Michigan, I have changed a lot. Because the schedule was so crazy, it forced me to get up earlier in my wheelchair and get back in bed later than usual. I found that I actually slept better because I was doing things that required all of my energy. I learned my limits but also how far I can push myself. Since I've been back my whole routine has changed. My schedule is more flexible and I'm not so stuck in my original ways.

I've been getting out more, especially in the evenings, and have been staying in my wheelchair a couple of hours later than I had before. I would normally transfer back into bed around 5 PM. After doing range of motion I would sit up, eat dinner and either watch TV or go on my computer until 10:30 PM. This is all changed. I no longer get back into bed at any certain time, only when I feel like it. Some nights it's later some nights not.

The only reason I had the routine I did, was because in my mind I thought I could only stay up in my wheelchair 7 to 8 hours. I realized after Michigan, that my body can tolerate being up much longer and do more activities. I'm extremely glad that I went on the trip and figured this out because if I hadn't I probably wouldn't have realized that I could do things differently.

It's all about opening your mind to new things, and I've definitely done that!