Wednesday, June 4, 2014

One Week to Go!

       One week from today, Miss New Jersey week will be underway!  I can't believe it.  These months of preparation have been so fulfilling, and I can't wait for the culmination in Ocean City!  Here's what I've been up to the past week since my last update…
   On Memorial Day, I had the pleasure of teaming with the Memorial Day Flower Foundation in leaving roses on graves of United States Veterans.  My Miss Seashore Line's Outstanding Pre-Teen and Teen, Emily and Gabi, joined me in memorializing our county heroes at the Gloucester County Veterans Cemetery.  The day became even more special when a gentleman visiting the final resting place of his father approached us with his sincerest appreciation.  My conversation with him was a reminder that the smallest acts of kindness can truly impact someone's life.

       The next day, I was finally able to take a trip to Ocean City for my first beach day of the summer!  While there, I couldn't stop thinking of how exciting it will be to share the very same boardwalk with the Miss NJ Class of 2014!
I couldn't help but snap a picture in front of our beloved Music Pier!! 

       Between gym sessions, mock interviews, talent rehearsals, and so much more, I was able to visit my friends at the Miracle League for another ball game!  I cannot explain how much I enjoy catching up with my "buddies" at each game.  They have such beautiful hearts and I feel so privileged to be part of their Special Olympics experience!  At this game, my fellow contestant and good friend Courtney was able to join!  We were also lucky to have had our reigning Miss New Jersey's Outstanding Teen, Sammy, with us!  I love getting to hear about Sammy's year thus far and her plans for MAOTeen--you heard it here first, she's going to do BIG things! :)
 My girl Elise is always first in line for a crowning picture :)
 Ella wasn't interested in holding my crown, but she was glad to shake my hand instead!
 I love leading the teams in the signing of the National Anthem!
Beautiful day for baseball :)

       To round out the week, I had the absolute pleasure of joining team "Fight Club" at the first ever Philadelphia NEDA Walk!  The National Eating Disorder Association provides support and assistance to victims of eating disorders and their families.  I felt so incredibly humbled and honored to walk for all of the amazing people I know who have suffered with a debilitating disorder.  
 HUGE shout-out to my beautiful best friend, Sarah, not only for being such an inspirational recovery warrior, but for being our team leader!  We love you! :)
Team "Fight Club" ready to take on the walk (and explore the venue--the Philadelphia Zoo :)!

       I was so glad to have been invited back to Centre City Elementary (my alma mater) to speak with some of my "Kindness Kids!"  These exceptional 1st graders truly have a grasp of what it means to be kind and selfless.  I read them my new book, "Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler!"
 Here we are taking a "selflessie" :)
As always, they have some rather interesting and unique questions for me!

       All in all, this has been such a productive, rewarding week!  I can't wait to see what the next 6 days have in store before it's officially here- Miss NJ week!!  Stay tuned for my last pre-pageant blog soon enough :)

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