1.When you hear the saying "be the change" what comes to your mind first?
My year as Mrs. Illinois International prompted a feeling of pride in myself. Not in a boastful way, but in an appreciative sense of deciding to take chances and go for that title. This endeavor taught me that there are many other wonderful opportunities waiting for me as well.
2.How would you describe your husband?
My hero is a group of people -- the parents/caregivers of children with severe emotional disorder diagnoses. The stigma surrounding mental health diagnosis makes it extremely difficult to accept and be persistent with ongoing treatment. They deserve respect and encouragement instead of blame for a disorder based on medical facts.
3.If you could revisit one memory as a child in your mind, what would it be and why?
My life experiences are my most prized possession. They have made me into who I am today. I am thankful for every triumph and tear I have had as a child, wife, parent, and friend. It has given me the ability to understand and help others just as God intended.
4.How would someone describe you when you were in high school?
I never really had a nickname until recently. In my new employment, the fun group of ladies I work with lovingly call me "Barbie" -- yes, like the doll. I consider it a fabulous compliment because Barbie never goes out of style, and her hair and make-up is always perfect!
5.If money did not matter.. what would you buy for your husband and why?
I wait very impatiently every year for daffodils, tulips, and especially peonies! Spring is the ultimate season to me because of the blooming flowers. I love to cut them and bring them in the house. It's great to brighten a friend's day too with a heartwarming vase of spring color.