Friday, October 22, 2010

September 27- October 2

Hi Friends!

I won't even begin by saying how busy I've been, because you probably know that by now! But, I wouldn't have it any other way. The job of Miss America is very busy, and she is always on the road. So, the past four months have helped to prepare me for the expectations of that job!

Monday, the September 27th, I had an appointment with Dr. Webster, who is generously making sure my teeth are perfectly straight and white for the Miss America Pageant in January! After my appointment, I worked out at Lifestyles Fitness Center. After a shower and quick dinner, I was off to a lyrical class!

Tuesday I was blessed with the opportunity to visit the kids at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This remains to be one of my favorite appearances since becoming Miss Delaware. I begged to be able to do room visits and spend one-on-one time with the patients, and Susan (the Miss DE Business Mgr) made it happen! It warms my heart to see the reactions of the children when I enter the room and get to know them. I met one boy in his teens who was in a terrible accident, and he had made such a quick recovery that they were sending him home early! He was so thrilled by the news, and I was fortunate to have entered the room briefly after he had been told. I signed a photo for him, and we joked that he could return to school and pretend he had spent the past three weeks with Miss Delaware!

I also met a little girl, who was undiagnosed and had a large and supportive family by her side in her room. We spent time talking about Hannah Montana and other Disney shows that she loves to watch. She had been told that morning that Miss Delaware was coming to visit her, and she had anxiously awaited my arrival for hours! The minute I entered the room, her face lit up as if she had just met Selena Gomez! Moments like that remind me just how important my job is, and what kind of impact I can leave on a child's life.

My most memorable moment was meeting a girl who had lost her hair as a result of medical treatment. I was visiting the hospital with my wig on, and as she and I were talking about her experiences at CHOP, she mentioned that she was waiting for her hair to grow back. She seemed quite concerned about it, so I thought I would open up and share with her about my hair (or lack thereof). She was so surprised and remembered that she had seen me in People Magazine! I know that I left an impression on her that day, and she has even emailed me to let me know that she is now home with her family. I thank God every day that I have the chance to meet so many inspiring people, and hopefully touch another person's life along the way.

That night I was thankful to have dinner with my family and reflect on my experiences that day. Wednesday morning I had an interview with Richard Gaull from Delaware Today Magazine at the lovely Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. We sat and talked for hours, and it was one of the best and most thorough interviews I have had to date. The article will be published after the Miss America Pageant. That evening, I drove to Wilmington for a mock interview!

Thursday I drove down to Paul Timmons at The Firm in Rehoboth Beach to workout, and boy, did he kick my butt! After my long and tiring workout, I stopped by Sun Dazed Tanning in Milford to tan quickly and spent some time with my father.

Friday was my busiest day of the week! I visited Benjamin Banneker Elementary School in Milford to give a Character Counts presentation in three classrooms! I left the school and immediately drove up to Wilmington to have lunch and meet with National 4-H's CEO, Don Floyd at the Hotel duPont. Our lunch was delicious, and it was a very productive and exciting meeting. I was asked to become a member of the National 4-H Council's Board of Trustees. This was quite an honor for me, because I am a third generation 4-H'er and I attribute so much of my success to my roots in 4-H. I learned to be a teamplayer, to give more than you take, and to continuously learn from growing up in a 4-H club.

After asking for a small to-go bag of the hotel's famous Coconut Macaroons, I was headed back down to Milford for a Breast Cancer Fundraiser at the Abbott's Grill with my travel companion and friend, Chuck Ivins. It was a pleasure to be a part of this event, and see so many familiar faces in my hometown. Since I didn't have time to eat, Chuck, Kevin and I went out for a Sushi dinner in Rehoboth after the event! I love the crab soup at the Cultured Pearl- if you are ever in the area, be sure to try it!

Saturday was one of my favorite days of the month! A young girl, named Jodi, came to Delaware from New York to visit with me and have lunch. Jodi, and her parents were the most delightful people, and we had such a good time that we just ate and chatted for hours! We met at Frankie's Restaurant in Dover Downs Hotel & Casino and the staff treated each of us to a delicious Tiramisu dessert! Then I gave Jodi and her family a tour, and she was able to see the stage where I was crowned Miss Delaware. We took some fun photos and just enjoyed the time together. Jodi has Alopecia, like me, but we had so much more to talk about than that! I hope the next time I visit NYC that we can meet for dinner and dessert! Jodi is an inspiration to me because she has such a positive attitude and a beautiful personality.

I feel so blessed to have this opportunity and the chance to make an impact every day. I cannot thank God enough for each of these blessings and for providing me with supportive family and friends to help me be the best I can be.

Thank you for checking in, and come back soon for more updates!

With much love,

Kayla

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