Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Congratulations Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014

Here we are at the "big day."  This is the day I say my thank yous and farewells and Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014 is crowned and begins her exciting year.  We all get the benefit of pampering time so we look beautiful and the ladies get time to practice the ceremony and talk with steering committee members to help calm their nerves.  (As much as possible anyway).  :)  This year was even more memorable since it was the 10th crowning ceremony.  We celebrated the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program, our amazing State Coordinator, and many of the previous title holders were on hand at the ceremony to help celebrate and even brought their crowns and sashes for display.  Thank you Carrie for all you have done for the program to help it get to its 10th anniversary.  I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Here are some pics from the event

The judges: Jaime Slack, Kenny Foust, and Alice Zhang
 and judge coordinator: Rebecca Branam

Waiting . . .
Congratulating Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014, Brigid Schwilling
The three lovely contestants:
Keara Hockman, Brigid Schwilling, & Jessica Soderlund

Adding the boys: Hagid and Grady  :)
Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014, Brigid Schwilling
and previous titleholders:
MWKS 2004 Carrie Greenwood
MWKS 2005  JoAnne Fluke
MWKS 2006  Ranita Wilks
MWKS 2008  Amanda Steiner
MWKS 2009 Marie Clement
MWKS 2010 Tiffany Nickel
MWKS 2011 Jennifer Kreutzer
MWKS 2013 Angel Shaver

Me and Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014, Brigid Schwilling

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014
Brigid Schwilling

Congratulations Brigid!  I hope you have an exciting year filled with lots of adventure and sharing the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas mission and your platform around the state.  You have joined an amazing sisterhood.  Don't for one minute think you are alone out there.  Feel free to use the resources of the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas organization.  Good luck this year and know we are all here for you.

This post will close my blog.  This is a bittersweet moment.  I'm am thrilled for Brigid and can't wait to hear all about what this year has in store for her.  Finishing this blog is my final official duty as Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013.  Posting this will mean I'm closing the door on one chapter of my life.  But, I think I'm ready.  The second grade class asked me if I would be sad.  And, I meant it when I told them that I was excited to add another titleholder to the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas sisterhood.  I will always and forever be Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013 and will always be a part of this amazing program.

Come to the Kansas Sampler Festival in Wamego, May 3&4 to see me, meet Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014 on Saturday, and see the debut of the amazing new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas display created by Eric Shaver.  :)

To learn more about Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and keep up with their events, you can visit their or follow them on Facebook

My passion for my platform, "Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude" did not end in March.  That is a passion I will continue to hold and share forever.  Keep being thankful no matter what happens in life.

Thankful thoughts for today:
Getting an answer

"Life is full of give and take.  Give thanks and take NOTHING for granted."
                                                                    Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adding to the Sisterhood

Here it is.  What has become one of my favorite times of year.  I look forward to this weekend every year.    I can't wait to see, in person, the women who have become part of the sisterhood of women who helped me learn how to live a successful life with my wheelchair.  I absolutely love a weekend where I don't have to think about accessibility for one minute.  I love heading into the room and there already being spaces for wheelchairs at every table.  I love not having to physically manipulate obstacles.  And, if there happen to be any, everyone is working to make sure they don't exist.  I love the familiarity of seeing old friends.  And, I love the chance to meet new friends and add women to the sisterhood.  :)

This year was a slightly different experience since I am Ms. Wheelchair 2013.  I had the privilege of getting to meet the amazing contestants, two of whom I had the chance to meet before.  I had the chance to get to spend time with them and share what I had learned throughout this year.  I loved answering questions and just getting to know these amazing women.  I hope they plan to remain connected and a permanent part of the sisterhood.

On Saturday, we got the chance to give back after a full day of judging and sessions for the ladies.  We got to work together and make a meal for the Ronald McDonald House.  It is always telling to work side by side with someone and I love the bonding that happens during that experience.  A big thank you to the steering committee for making that happen smoothly.  Even a little rain didn't dampen our spirits.  In fact, a little rain in Kansas is often a welcome event.  :)   After the Ronald McDonald House was the opportunity to share some more bonding and girl time with the party in my suite.  :)  That is a moment I've been looking forward to all year.  I love when we can all relax and just enjoy our time together.

Some more bonding pictures from the weekend:
Dinner Friday Night 
Breakfast Saturday morning
Enjoying the sisterhood on Saturday

Stay tuned for my post about the Crowning Ceremony and Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2014

Thankful thoughts for today:
Easy fix to problem

"A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues."
                                                                        Marcus Tullius Cicero