Sunday, May 5, 2013

Well, it's May! Time to Look Back + Forward

Hope everyone is well on the first Sunday of May, the day after the Kentucky Derby, which happens to be Cinco de Mayo! As I watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs and listen to a few new jazz records, I thought today I'd write briefly today about the last month and a half since I was crowned, and then what I'm looking forward to between now and nationals. Enjoy!

I can't even believe that it's been a month and a half since I was crowned your new Mrs. Kansas United States! It feels like it was just yesterday, and I have been so fortunate to be so busy in that short amount of time. Between appearances, work, photo shoots and preparation for nationals, it seems like it will be June ... or even July ... before I know it! I love making appearances, so if you'd like me to stop by an event in your city, feel free to email me at or leave a comment below.

John Vannatta, my director, sent along the dates for our summer "boot camps," which I am really looking forward to! Boot camps are three days in Kansas City packed with walking and modeling practice and interview preparation, among many other things, with all the Vanbros titleholders and our world-class sponsors (see the list to the right) to prepare us for nationals. I can't wait to see Mrs. Missouri United States Kristy Kelley again, and meet my newest sister queens, Mrs. Tennessee United States Amanda Uggla and the new Mrs. Texas United States, who will be crowned yet tonight!

Also, as promised, I wanted to share a few additional photos from my first official photo shoot with Rachel Imdieke of Rachel Imdieke Photography/Simply Joyful Photography. If you scroll down to the bottom of this post, you can check them out. I had such a great time shooting with her, and I thought the pictures really came out great!

I submitted my official biography a few weeks ago for John to include with a headshot from this photo shoot, so hopefully the Mrs. United States website will be updated with everything very soon. I know the reigning Mrs. United States Aquillia "Q" Vang, who also happens to be one of my wonderful sponsors, has been busy working with the national directors to come up with the itinerary for nationals week in Las Vegas this July! I can only imagine all of the fun activities and appearances we have planned in between rehearsals and the competition.

I know I've said this many times before, and I'm sure I'll say it many more times, but I am so lucky to have such supportive people around me! A wonderful director (with quite an eye for style), a loving husband, fabulous sponsors, exceptional sister queens and a family who has always, and will always, stand by me through thick and thin. I can't even tell you how excited I am to represent the great state of Kansas at nationals this summer with all of these people behind me!

Have you ever thought about competing in a pageant in Kansas or any other state? If so, I would urge you to check out my website, follow me on Facebook and Twitter or email me at with any questions you may have. Pageants in general, but especially Mrs. United States state pageants, are great experiences that you can learn so much about yourself from, while meeting wonderful people and having the chance to give back to your communities in a truly meaningful way. In Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas they're always accepting applications and it's never too late, I promise! Join the Vanbros family!

Even though the weather has been absolutely crazy here in Lawrence (crazy even for Kansas), at least we are nearing summer! Well, that's about all for today - have a wonderful week!

All the best,


Rachel Imdieke is truly talented!

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