Mrs. Kentucky Int'l 2013

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Coming to a Close

Well friends it was a fun week during Mrs. International pageant week. I didn’t bring home the big crown, but I learned some interesting things (about myself mostly), and another very beautiful and accomplished lady won so I’m not disappointed. However, I feel like I’m standing at the crossroads in my life right now. Not really sure which way to go, but I know God will never lead me wrong.

I would like to say how thankful I am for my husband, Chris. He truly has been my biggest supporter, and I Never would have or could have done this without his encouragement. Also, it is impossible to put into words the love in my heart for our two children. They are my world. Finally, I’d like to thank my family and supportive friends. Nothing can reveal to us more who our true friends are than great success or failure.

As the Mrs. Kentucky International chapter of my life comes to a close, I find myself praying and pondering over what other works remain unwritten. I am excited for the next adventure to begin!

Truly wishing you all my best~
Meredith Stewart

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Happy Birthday America!!!

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As I prepare for our family gathering this afternoon, I wanted to take time and say how thankful I am to live in this great country.  There is a song we sing at my little church that says, “Thank God I live where men are free, where there’s love and liberty.  God has been so good to me.”  Those words sum up exactly how I feel today.  I hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating our great nation and remember those that made our freedoms possible.  Happy 4th of July!

 

 

Good Health and Good Times

ImageHey everyone!  Hope all of you are enjoying your summer.  Here in the beautiful Commonwealth of Kentucky things are definitely heating up (inside and out for the Stewart family).  While lately I have been busier than ever getting ready for the Mrs. International pageant my mom had another heart scare. Due to her recent health scare, I felt it a good time to again take stock of why good health at any time of year is a must!

Many of us, in the colder months, find it harder to get enough exercise and also (thank you holidays!) we tend to not watch our nutrition as closely.  However, the summer months can pose some fitness challenges too.  Here in the South (where you can cut the humidity with a butter knife) and across the globe allergies as well as rising temperatures are revved up.  These factors can make outdoor exercise difficult.  If allergies are causing you problems by all means seek a good doctor’s care and opt for more indoor exercise, via a workout dvd, treadmill, elliptical, etc., until the bothersome allergen conditions improve.  If the heat and humidity prove to be too much don’t “sweat it” (forgive my moment of dorkiness)!  There are ways to avoid overheating and still exercise outside.  The main thing I would suggest is…MODERATION and good common sense.  If it is warmer in the middle of the day where you live, try working out earlier or later in the day.  Also, drink plenty of water.  Hopefully everyone is doing that any way, but I needed to put that out there just in case.  I was not much of a water drinker as a teen I’ll admit it, but I have learned to love water and all it’s benefits.  Finally, if you still aren’t motivated to keep up your exercise regime–find a work out buddy or two!  I know most of us have heard that a workout buddy helps but it really does.  Remember how earlier in this post I mentioned my mom’s health scare?  Well, I’m happy to report she is following these tips I gave you (yep, I’m her buddy) and she is improving!  She still has to go for her checkup in another week or so, but she is very motivated to eat better and exercise as much as she can.  That’s all any of us can do.

So remember to keep trying to make good food choices, get as much exercise as possible (even if you break it up into three 10 minute sessions throughout the day), find a workout buddy if that helps motivate you, and get those regular check ups with your doctor!   If you want to have good times with your family this summer, remember, good health is a must!

Memorial Day Ceremony 2013

Memorial Day Ceremony 2013

Posing with my grandfather, Dallis (a Korean War veteran), at the Edmonson County Memorial Day Ceremony. I was truly humbled to take part in this ceremony. Our country cannot do enough to honor our service men and women.

Happy (Safe) Derby Day!!!

Today marks one of the biggest days for our beautiful Commonwealth of Kentucky…Derby Day. I can honestly say my eyes never fail to tear up a bit when I hear them play “My Old Kentucky Home.” I am very proud to be a Kentucky girl and though I was unable to attend the Derby this year I hope everyone enjoys this special day safely!

Time Flies…

Behind the scenes at Clay Spann Photography

Behind the scenes at Clay Spann Photography

Can’t believe it has already been two months since my last post. Yikes! As competition time draws nearer, it seems I get busier and busier. That’s a good thing, though, and brings to mind the old expression “trial by fire.”

There have been stressful moments for this usually organized and upbeat girl. Such as realizing the deadline for EVERYTHING from ads, paperwork, dress registration, etc. is May 1st! WHAT?!? However, I feel I have “rolled with the punches” fairly well and things like a little family getaway and fun photoshoot have also helped to bring things back into focus, and I believe we are never too busy to say thank you when help is given. So I feel the need to take stock and appreciate those who have stood by me even when they may not have understood this journey.

First and foremost I thank God for being my best friend. He has never left my side. Not just during this moment but always. Second I thank my husband, Chris, (the official president of my “fan club”) and all my family and church family. When I hear “I’m proud of you,” “You can do this,” and “You are an inspiration” from those who know me best and I value most; it makes it easier to keep my chin up when others would like to see me fall (and, yep, that’s one of the stressful parts of this too). I just try to remind myself it isn’t me that makes them unhappy or petty it is their own insecurities, and I wish them well in finding peace. Last but not least, I give a shout out to my sponsors (the list keeps growing–yay!–and specific names to come soon, because the monetary cost to this mission is more than I realized. I repeat: stressful!) and to my platform friends at the American Diabetes Association. Bringing awareness to the necessity of a healthy lifestyle is my number one motivator for entering this (new to me) pageant world. I cannot stress enough, if I can do it you can do it!

So time really does fly but that is part of living a full life. Stress, disappointments, joy, and surprise are also part of life, and I must say I feel awfully happy with this life I have been given. The good has far outweighed the bad and I am satisfied!

So, have a great day Mrs. Kentucky Int’l blog reader! I have enjoyed sharing these moments with you, but now I have more work that must be done. Until next time…all my best!

Love was in the air…but so was the stomach virus

100_4672Hope everyone had a love-filled Valentine’s Day!  I apologize for the delay in post updates but, unfortunately, beauty queens and their families are not immune to the stomach bug–YUCK!  I am happy to report **with fingers crossed as I’m knocking on wood** everyone in the Stewart household is feeling much better.

Thankfully before the virus struck, Cupid’s arrow struck us with Valentine’s parties and romantic dates (okay school parties and dinner out with friends, but still).  Also, I had the good fortune of being a guest speaker at South Edmonson Elementary this past month.  Loved my time with those sweet kiddos!  One of my favorite things is getting to speak with people of ALL ages on the importance of good nutrition and physical fitness.  I may have inspired a few people at school, because I was invited back to help with the Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart fundraising event.

I was extra proud to help out with Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart as the International Pageant System Inc. is actively involved with the Go Red for Women initiative, and my own mother has recently suffered a scare with her heart health.  I was reminded once more this past month that we are never too old or too young to take care of ourselves AND each other.  Luckily Mom has had a reality check that she must take better care of herself and show more “love” to herself as well as her family.  And now I’ve updated my blog once more I will sign off with much “love” to you all and best wishes for a heart healthy month and year ahead!

XOXO,

Meredith

Happy New Year Wishes!!

CrownI would like to wish all my friends, old and new, a happy and safe new year.  2012 has been a very full year for me and my family.  There have been blessings and lessons alike throughout this past year.  I am looking forward to the new year and all the amazing experiences I’m sure await us!  Bring on 2013!!

Dear Blog…

I won my title a little over two months ago and in that short time period there have already been many amazing experiences.  However, I’m not gonna lie.  It isn’t always sunshine and roses.  As silly as it may sound, being a “beauty queen” isn’t always easy.  I am human with human flaws and there are times when I feel like I royally mess things up.  A time or two I have felt like Eliza Doolittle having to watch my grammar (although I’ve never blurted out “move your bloomin’…) and be as poised as possible (did I mention I have flaws?) at all times. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I was thrilled and still am thrilled to be the reigning Mrs. Kentucky Int’l, but I want so much to be the kind of representative that makes my state, community, family, and friends proud.  I want you all to see the many facets of this job.  Not just the “elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist, touch your pearls and blow a kiss” side of this job.  There is so much more to being a good representative than just riding in parades and signing autographs (that is stuff is SO fun). So forgive me if I make mistakes, but please know I have a sincere desire to serve you all well.  Some of you may wonder why I even began this journey.  A few of you have asked,”why did you do get into this?  You never entered pageants as a kid did you?” and the answer is no I had never competed in a pageant until last year.  So what happened?  Did I go off the deep end and think momma needs a crown?!  Lol–NO! 

The main reason I entered my first pageant is simple.  I had a couple of friends who talked me into entering one just for the grins and giggles of it.  I thought why not?  It will be good to show my kids that no matter how old you are it’s good to keep setting goals and trying new things.  So I did.  And guess what…I didn’t win.  Again, I thought well this will be a good life lesson for my kids and I will show them how to be a gracious loser.  Then about a month later I had several ladies in our community ask me if I would help them get fit.  They knew me and my background as a fitness instructor.  They also knew of my hypoglycemia and how I, for the most part, have managed it with diet and exercise.  These ladies believed in my ability to help them. 

I felt so honored by their faith in me, and I felt inspired (think hallelujah chorus kind of moment) in my ability to go out and help others and this, my friends, is the Number One reason why I entered another beauty pageant.  I realized the Mrs. category afforded the opportunity to reach many people of all ages with my message and for my platform (the ADA).  It is my passion to help motivate and educate others in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle.  So I said to myself someone is gonna win why not somebody like me with good family values, feet firmly planted on the good ole solid rock, and a desire to truly make a difference?  That being said win I won my first title, Mrs. Western Kentucky State Fair, I was beyond shocked.  I actually said (while the previous year’s queen tried to put the crown on my head) and I quote, “Shut the front door!  Me?!!  I won??”  I did mention earlier that I sound kinda like Eliza Doolittle sometimes right?  😉

I hope my message, my triumphs, and my failures (although let’s hope there is only a few of those) help to inspire you and maybe even entertain you as well.  Those of you who know me well know that I am an honest person, and I will be honest in my posts.  I am not fake and I do not know how to be.  I feel like we owe each other honesty as well as kindness.  I truly could not make it without the support of my community, friends, and family.  So thank you for reading my posts and may God bless each and everyone of you!

 

 

First Annual Edmonson County ADA Community Walk

A great big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our community walk this year.  Together, we raised over $2,000!  I am so blessed to live in such a caring, close-knit community.  Thanks to everyone’s hard work the American Diabetes Association has more funds to go toward finding a cure and bringing even more awareness to the diabetes disease.

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