Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Photo Shoot

I have to say; today has been an all around fun day!! 

     State Coordinator Sam Moreno told me last week that I would need professional pictures for the Ms Wheelchair America Pageant.  My first thought was to call the girls with Bloom Photography.  Skye and Dee were excited and more than willing to offer their services, and at no charge.  Bloom Photography will now be located on the Sponsor's Page of the  Thanks girls!!  I can't wait to see the pictures!!

     I already had a hair appointment scheduled for this morning with my fabulous friend Tabitha Colston at Tanglz 2 Toez. If you know me, you know how much I LOVE fresh hair! So, fresh hair and a photo shoot all in the same day was perfect!!  Tabitha did not disappoint and I headed home with pretty, fresh hair.  (If you are in the Chattanooga area and looking for a great hair stylist, you should give her a call.)  It dawned on me on my way home that I should have taken some pictures of Tabitha in action.  (Me with a head full of foil is probably not what you want to see though.)

     Back at the house, I had some help getting in my pageant dress from my dear friend Faye Moore.  By the time Skye, Dee, and baby Clair (a total bonus!!  this girl is too cute!!) arrived, I was crowned, sashed, and ready to smile.   

     We started in my office.  I thought it might be nice for everyone to see where most of the social media magic happens.  Maggie Long was our behind the scenes photographer and took some great shots.  (Thanks, Maggie!!) 

     After we wrapped up in the office, we headed outside.  We took some photos next to the front door.  I really wish we could have waited a few weeks for everything to be in BLOOM (pun intended) and for some warmer weather!!  There were several pretty trees in bloom down the street, so off we went. 

     As we went up the driveway, I told Skye and Dee about how overwhelming these first few days have been.  I didn't realize what all happened after you won the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee pageant.  I am excited about all the opportunities that lie ahead.  I truly hope I am able to make a positive impact on the lives of all those I will come in contact with this year. 

     Once we made it to the pretty trees, the cameras were busy snapping away.  I know I have already said it, but I CAN'T wait to see the pictures!! I was really glad when Skye and Dee said they thought they got some really good shots and it was time to head back in.  My feet were ice cubes by this point. 

     It was back inside for a wardrobe change.  I thought we might need some pictures in something a little more casual.  I won't be running around all year in my fancy pink dress.   ;-)

     We took a few more shots at my desk and went back to the cold outdoors.  I hope you can't see my chattering teeth in the final pictures.  :-)

What a fun day!!  I think I could do that everyday. 

     Thanks again to Bloom Photography for donating their services so I could have some wonderful pictures to use this year!  Check out their website and get a Spring session booked.  Don't forget to tell them that Ms Wheelchair Tennessee sent you. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Platform Video

Yesterday, I posted the written version of my platform speech.  Today, I am sharing live footage from the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee 2013 pageant.  The following YouTube video is my platform speech from the morning of the pageant for the judges scores.  As you will notice, there are some differences, as I didn't have my speech memorized quite as well as I thought I did.    


Platform Speech

This was my platform speech for the Ms Wheelchair Tennessee 2013 Pageant.  The pageant was held at the Double Tree Hotel in downtown Chattanooga on Saturday, March 16 at 5:30 pm.  

Ms Wheelchair Tennessee 2013 Platform

Each one of you in this room today has something you struggle with.  Simply stated, each one of us has a disability.  What separates us is how we chose to deal with our disability.  

Even though I lead my life from a wheelchair, I don’t feel as though my day-to-day activities are different from anyone else’s.  I have Muscular Dystrophy and I, in no way, let that stop me from leading my life.  
After my diagnosis at age 17, I was told my muscles were going to slowly deteriorate to the point I would no longer be able to walk.  In the blink of an eye, my future seemed so uncertain to me.  I began to wonder if all my hopes and dreams would come true.   As scary as all this was, I soon realized that life is about more than the steps you take.  All of my hopes and dreams were still going to come true, as long as I was willing to adapt.   Two of my current dreams are to be a role model to those with disabilities and to promote the accomplishments of others in wheelchairs.   

I want to be a positive role model for those who struggle with a disability.  I plan to use every media outlet available to encourage individuals of all ages to embrace their differences.  I will share my story, which comes with many struggles and also an abundance of success.  I want to take advantage of social media, Facebook and Twitter will allow me to reach numerous individuals.  I hope to show children and young adults that having a disability is not a reason to stop living your life or dreaming big.  Most of the time, the only person stopping you from making your dreams a reality is you.   

To promote the accomplishments of others in wheelchairs, I will need to call upon the disability community and their family and friends to nominate successful individuals.  I plan to spotlight a different nominee each month that has a positive attitude, successfully focuses on their abilities, and does amazing things from a wheelchair.  I feel it is very important to recognize the accomplishments of these individuals, as they are amazing role models for our youth. 

If crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee, I would like to use my voice to be a positive role model for those struggling with a disability and to shine a light on the amazing accomplishments of individuals in wheelchairs.  With a little help from a crown and a sash, I can show Tennesseans that life is about more than the steps you take.