Sunday, April 8, 2012

This Is My Now!


Life gets more and more amazing every day! I cannot complain about anything. I have my days where I am exhausted, stressed, and for a few moments I wonder how I am going to make it through the day, but then I remember that my dreams have come true and I am Miss North Dakota International. I don’t think there is a day that goes by where I don’t watch my winning moment on my computer. I find so much joy and laughter in that moment that I want to strive harder for my platform and everything I am doing with my title. 

I attended Fargo’s St. Patty’s Day parade on March 17th! Olivia (Miss North Dakota Teen International) and I rode in a red Thunderbird convertible with Kathy driving! It was so much fun and there were so many people that attended. I love watching the little kid’s faces light up when we smile and wave at them. I used to be one of those kids standing in awe when I saw a queen in her crown. It was a fun way to spend St. Patrick’s Day! 

The last weekend of March, I attended Julie’s Jamboree. Julie is an amazing woman who was diagnosed with ALS about eight years ago. She reminds me of my mom so much. Julie is so strong and has so much faith! She doesn’t let ALS bring her down.  Julie, along with her family and volunteers, created the Jamboree to raise money for the ALS Association.  All monies raised stays local to help ALS families. I helped sell raffle tickets a couple weeks before the Jamboree, and then I volunteered at the front door the night of the event. I had such a great time! My sister queens, Olivia and Ashley came to support me, and I was so happy to see them! We are so close and we ALWAYS have such an amazing time together!

My latest and greatest news of all is that I will be flying out to Washington D.C. with my sister May 11th-15th to attend ALS Advocacy days! I was going to pay for everything to go out there because I wanted to go, but I spoke with someone from the National ALS office and they are flying us out for free. I am officially an advocate for ALS and I will be representing my state of North Dakota. My sister and I will be meeting other families who have been affected with ALS, attend different conferences on ALS, and on the last day I will be talking with congressmen from North Dakota. I will be sharing my story with them and hopefully gaining their support to keep funding for the ALS Association and sharing with them why it is so important to receive these funds. I am so blessed to have this opportunity and I cannot wait! 

My advice this week is to follow your dreams and never give up. Becoming Miss North Dakota International has been a dream come true for me, and as Jordan Sparks says in a song “this is my now!” There was times in my past when I almost gave up on my dream, but I didn't and I don’t think anyone should ever give up on their either. I am doing as much as I can with my title because “this is my now” and this is my time to make the difference I have always wanted to make in people’s lives.

Love Always,
Erica Lemna
Miss North Dakota International