Saturday, December 1, 2007

Children's Miracle Network

Hello dear friends,

As many of you know, Miss America has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network and adopted the organization as Miss America's national platform. This incorporation of the Children's Miracle Network has raised some criticism among contestants. I have talked to many Miss North Dakota contestants and the common concern I have heard echoed among contestants is that we, as Miss North Dakota/ Miss America contestants, have chosen a personal platform that is very close to our hearts. We have spent countless hours developing the platform, volunteering and speaking on it. The concerns arise when these girls are asked to volunteer and promote an organization that, although a very wonderful organization, is not close to their hearts.

I understand these concerns and, to be honest, actually felt these concerns myself.

That is, until I was given the opportunity to visit the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Fargo, ND. Not only was I given the opportunity to tour the hospital, but also, was able to meet, talk to, and sing to these wonderful, beautiful children. It really put my life into perspective.
Visiting these children and talking to these parents really impressed me upon what is really important in life. I met parents who were so strong and optimistic even in the most trying situations.
This young girl was especially charming. I got to sing to her. She was a joy.
This humbled me. God has given me all I could ask for and more. Coming face to face with these amazing kids, some of them fighting for their lives, really put my life into perspective.
This opportunity really endeared the Children's Miracle Network to my heart. Because of that, I am working with WalMart and MeritCare to put on a carnival-type benefit for the Children's Miracle Network. Stay tuned and we'll keep you up to date on the event.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I don't think that autumn could display more beauty than on the great plains of North Dakota! I love watching the colors morph into shades of gold, red, and orange, mixed with the last remains of green from summer. As much as I love summer, I think I have to say that autumn has to be my favorite season. I love school shopping (it's even better when school doesn't follow). I love seeing little kids on the first day of school. I love the air getting crisper and campfires feeling warmer.

I didn't think that it would be so difficult to not go to school as it has been for me. This is the experience of a lifetime and I would not give it up for anything but I do miss the routine of being a college student. However, I think I'll live! haha

Wow, its been so long since I've blogged! I'm so sorry! We'll let's recap the end of summer and the beginning of fall.

Chokecherry Days in Williston was so much fun! I really enjoyed getting to meet such inspirational students and a teacher who encourages her students so much! I was able to meet Governor Hoeven that day. I was very impressed with our state's leadership.

School started all around North Dakota just a few weeks later. I started working on the Grand Forks School District to kick off my school tour! It will be a great year!

Miss America set the dates for our competition. January 26 is the final night on TLC. Be sure to watch! And so, with such news, started preparations. The Lord has sent me a great friend. Shannon Vodden, from Grand Forks, has been setting up mock interviews for me since mid-August. He is so encouraging to me! I spent a good amount of time with B. Michael Quale in Williston working on Miss America wardrobe. We found everything!! I'm very excited about all the beautiful gowns and costumes that I will be taking to Miss America.

I got very excited when Miss America informed all the contestants that we would be spending 10 days in sunny California. Los Angeles to be exact. This is mostly a "for fun" trip. TLC will be filming a reality show with 5 hours of Miss America-ness to be aired leading up to the final night of competions. We will be gone in November, which is a perfect time to savor the last remains of summer.

Well, I think that's just about it for now. Up next on my schedual is a trip to the Cities to visit with a school that wants me to come and speak at their school. I hope to also be able to spend some time with Jacqueline Johnson, Miss ND 2006. Next week is NDSU's Homecoming week and I will be a keynote speaker at the black tie celebration event!

Yes, God is very good. The year is off and running!

Blessings to all,


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Willow Creek Leadership Conference

Hi Everyone!!

This week I am out in the Twin Cities area for the Willow Creek Association Leadership Summit. It has been amazing!!! Our speaker's list includes: Bill Hybels, Carly Fiorina, Rev. Floyd H. Flake, Marcus Buckingham, Colin Powell, John Ortberg, Richard Curtis, and President Jimmy Carter. I am so excited for the wonderful things I can now bring back to the organization as well as to my message!

I also had the opportunity to have coffee with Jennifer Hudspeth, Miss Minnesota 2008. What a sweet girl! Jennifer's platform is about understanding autism. Jennifer has two autistic brother's and her passion for her platform is very evident. She will be a great representative of her state and do many great things for her platform.
Next weekend in Williston is the Chokecherry Days Festival. If you are around the area, I would love to have you join me, our Governor John Hoven and Congressmen on August 18!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My reign so far...

Hello all,

First of all, please pardon the length of this post as I am just having the ablility to fill you in on my life so far.

I hope that the summers are treating you great! Right now I'm dodging the 90+ degree North Dakota weather in a wonderful little coffee shop and thought it would be a great time to fill you all in on my reign so far as Miss North Dakota 2008.

My first official Miss North Dakota apperance was July 7th in the western North Dakota's beautiful town of Hettinger. Miss North Dakota 2007, Annette Olson, was able to join me for the town's centenial celebration. Former Miss North Dakotas Stacey Anfinson and Charlene Seifert joined us for an afternoon of entertainment and fellowship with the community who welcomed us all with open arms. I was able to share a little about my platform, which is Stop Bullying in Schools: Saving the Spirit of a Child, as well as provide some entertainment. Annette spoke about her year as Miss North Dakota and Charlene was able to share, not only about her year but also about her experience as one of the judges for the pageant this last year. The trip was very enjoyable. Congratulations Hettinger on a wonderful celebration.

This last week, in Fargo, I had the privilage of speaking the Superintendants of Class A schools of North Dakota. It was great to be able to meet the leaders of our school systems in North Dakota as well as be able to tell them about my message for the year and all the things I want to accomplish.

This year I have chosen to partner with a group called Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF). This group organizes the Pay It Forward Tours. For more info on STLF log onto

I hope you are all enjoying this last month or so of summer.