It is hard to believe that I have been your Miss Delaware for two months now. Time has really flown by! During my interview with the Miss Delaware judges I made a promise to them that I would never let a single day go to waste, and looking back at my first two months on the job, I think I have still lived up to my promise. I only hope that I can continue to have such wonderful experiences and that I can make you all proud as my year progresses.
Saturday, August 14th was my longest and most tiring day as Miss Delaware so far! And unfortunately, I was not able to spend the day with my best friend, Brittany Dempsey, on her birthday! So-- Happy Birthday Brittany!!!! Thank you for being such an incredible friend, and for helping me to achieve my dream of becoming Miss Delaware. I'm not sure what I would do without you, but I know I am lucky to have such a great friend! I hope you had a relaxing day! :)
That day I woke up very early to be in Wilmington at the Riverfront to speak at 9am. I attended the Women of Greatness and Power Expo and spoke briefly to the large crowd in attendance. I only wish I could have stayed longer, because I heard the inspirational speaker was outstanding! I left the Expo and was on my way down to Ellendale to attend the Ellendale Fire Company's Open House until 2pm. I was able to ride the fire truck and blow the horn, have my blood sugar levels and blood pressure tested by the lovely ladies from Beebee Medical Center, and sign many autographs for children in the area! It is heartwarming to see the faces of young girls who have never met a Miss Delaware before. It is easy for us to think we are just normal people, but to a little girl, we are a real princess!
From the Open House, I drove back up to Wilmington to throw the first pitch at the Blue Rocks game! Let me be honest with you. I had great intentions of practicing my pitching skills so as not to embarrass myself or live up to any person's expectations of a pageant girl. But, I only found five minutes the day before to rehearse with my second father, Kevin Gillis Sr. Luckily he was patient with me, and I felt confident that five minutes was enough :) So when I go to throw the pitch I focussed on one thing- not letting it hit the ground! So I threw the ball, and it made the shape of a rainbow! But, what is most important is the catcher caught it, and no one was harmed in the process! :) Plus, the crowd was kind enough to cheer!
I drove immediately from the game in Wilmington to my apartment in Northern Virginia. Sunday morning I taught my final session at Barbizon with my students in Fairfax, VA (where I was attending college). I was sad to say goodbye to them, but I am so proud of how much they have grown. They were a terrific group of girls, and I can't wait to see them at their graduation!
Monday, August 16th, I drove from Northern Virginia to Rehoboth beach to have a fitting with the White House Black Market in preparation for their upcoming fashion show! I then drove from Rehoboth to my Executive Director, Debi's house in Wilmington to pick up the dresses Johnstown Bridal Suite. Ronnie and Debbie Weaver from the Bridal Suite had donated three cocktail pieces for me to wear while at the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, FL! Then, I drove back to Dover to get some rest, since the rest of the week appeared to be very busy! Lots of driving!
Tuesday I met with Paul Timmons, the Miss Delaware Personal Trainer in Rehoboth Beach and caught up on some blogging, correspondence, paperwork and so on. I take every opportunity I get to be productive! Then, Wednesday I visited with the kids attending Delaware Burn Camp at Camp Barnes in Frankford, DE. We were supposed to be swimming together, but Mother Nature just wasn't having that! So we ate lunch and made fun t-shirts together instead! Thankfully, that night I was able to spend time with Justin, a lifelong friend of mine from my hometown. I truly value every chance I am given to spend time with my friends, and just be Kayla for a little while.
Thursday I spent time on the sand in Rehoboth Beach with Meagan and her mother Karen who are great friends of mine from Harrisburg, PA. Meagan has Alopecia Areata as well, and we have been friends for quite a few years now. She and her mother attended Miss Delaware every year, to support me. And they are even flying to Las Vegas to cheer me on as I compete for Miss America 2011! I love spending time with Meagan because she is like the little sister I never had. She is a freshman in high school this year, and I know she is going to have so much fun making new friends, and experiencing all kinds of new things!
That night I modeled in the White House Black Market Fashion Show on the Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. The fashion show was amazing and I felt as if I were a part of fashion week in NYC! I modeled three outfits and loved one so much that my mother gave it to me as a present after the show! I had a little cheering section in the audience since my parents, and Laura Mattey's family came to see me walk the runway! I am blessed to have such wonderful family and friends supporting me throughout my journey.
That day happened to be Laura Mattey's birthday and of course I scooped up the opportunity to dine with her and her family after the show, to celebrate!
Friday August 20th, I had a doctor appointment, and worked out at the gym. Then I headed with my parents to the Denton Summer Festival in Denton, MD. I walked in the parade, and was so delighted to have one last taste of 'fair food' before the summer was over! I only wish Lindsay, Miss Maryland, and I could have attended on the same day!
Saturday I worked out at the gym again, and met Crystal from Channel 3 News at Dover Downs to film an interview. I went home to change and then headed to Sunnybrae Mansion in Milford to attend a fundraiser for our wounded soldiers. I spoke briefly about the importance of supporting our troops, and why this is such a value for my family and I. My father is a disabled veteran and both of my grandfathers served in the military, and many of my friends have been deployed in recent years. I have seen firsthand how essential it is that we financially support our troops, but that we also physically and emotionally support them as well. I feel very blessed to be the daughter of a U.S. Veteran and I am thankful for the support he and my family receive.
During the event, many local actors from my hometown, including my childhood dance teacher, Maria Fry, and family friend/Sunnybrae owner, Karen McColley, entertained us with a "Who Dun It?" performance. They were superb and kept me laughing the whole time! They even involved me, and had the audience wondering if it was me who stole the gold! From the fundraiser, my family and Kevin's family celebrated with a crab-picking dinner! Our favorite summer treat!
Sunday, August 22nd, I attended the Lighthouse Christian Church for Friends Day with my friend, and Miss Delaware board member, Chuck Ivins. They were all so welcoming and just excited to meet me. And their musicians were some of the most talented singers I have heard in a long time. My uncle, Harvey Kenton attended as well, and I love every opportunity to spend time with him. Thank you to Lighthouse Christian Church for inviting me, and including my family and I in such a beautiful service.
That afternoon I attended Representative Dave Wilson's fundraiser at Sam Yoder's and was able to see my Uncle again, and other members of my family!
Thank you for being a part of my journey to Miss America, and for following my year as Miss Delaware. Your support means so much to me, and I hope to make you all proud at the Miss America pageant on January 15th!