Crowning Moment

How does it feel when you rise up in the morning and wear your crown?  After all, you are a daughter of the Most High, a heavenly Princess, sent here to pour blessings upon others.  I want to share with you my experience of the “crowning moment” on stage last weekend at the Miss MN International pageant.

Let’s just say the decision of which dress to wear wasn’t easy.  In fact, I have three and it was a four-days-until-the-pageant decision…which means I have two brand new, never worn, formal pageant gowns hanging in my closet that will make their appearance when I make my appearances!  You want to wear dress that you feel comfortable, beautiful, and like a Queen in. They say “white” is winning but what if red looks good on you?  What if the fashionable color of the season is mint or pastel pink?

And then there’s the hair…how do you style your hair appropriately for the crown to stay on your head?  A top bun certainly wouldn’t work!  You have to achieve just the right amount of texture from hair styling products to make it stay but not weigh your hair down!  Needless to say, it’s all worth it!

Palms sweaty, knees week, heart pounding, you dream about it, lose sleep over it, wonder what if, but it’s not for certain until you actually feel the crunching of the crown into your bobby pins!  I remember the first time I wore a crown I scrunched up my shoulders, neck, and tilted my head to the side in such shock, after all you feel like a 6-year-old in a Disney movie if you actually practice your winning face prior to the pageant!  But this time would be different.  I would be standing, I would be gracious, I would be Miss MN International 2016.  And I would look up to the heavens and say “Thank you.”

Well, let’s say the story didn’t quite end that way.  They announced my adorable new friend, Reva, as 2nd Runner Up. They announced the beautiful, supermodel Ellen as the 1st Runner Up.  And for the NEW Miss MN International 2016….Sabrina Astar.  Well-deserved ladies.  I stood on that stage smiling, not shocked that I didn’t place, but SO grateful for the experience and the new friendships I have.  After all, we ALL are winners, we all still have platforms, and we are daughters of our Heavenly, Glorious King.  We are, Princesses.  We are crowned.  YOU are crowned.

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Welcome to my home {MN}

Hey ‘ther all you Minnesotans our ‘der.  Here is a fun list of the Minnesota State symbols according to the Minnesota.gov website:

State Bird
The Common Loon with its distinctive cry is Minnesota’s State Bird.

State Butterfly
The Monarch butterfly with its black and orange markings is Minnesota’s State Butterfly.

State Drink
In 2004, milk was designated as Minnesota’s State Drink.

State Fish
The Walleye, whose common name comes from the fact that their eyes, like those of cats, reflect light, are Minnesota’s State Fish.

State Flag
The Minnesota’s State Flag, adopted in 1957, is blue with gold fringe.

State Flower
The rare Pink and White Lady Slipper is Minnesota’s State Flower.

State Fruit
The Honeycrisp Apple is Minnesota’s State Fruit.

State Gemstone
The unusually beautiful quartz Lake Superior Agate is Minnesota’s State Gemstone.

State Grain
Northern wild rice is the official State Grain of Minnesota.

State Muffin
The blueberry muffin was adopted as the official Minnesota State Muffin in 1988.

State Mushroom
The morel mushroom, considered a rare delicacy by mushroom hunters, is Minnesota’s State Mushroom.

State Poem
“Minnesota Blue” was written in 1985 by Cordell Keith Haugen as a tribute to his native state Minnesota.

State Photograph
The world-renowned photograph “Grace,” depicting an elderly man bowing his head and giving thanks, taken in Bovey, Minnesota, in 1918, by Eric Enstrom, is designated as the State Photograph.

State Quarter
The quarter design features a tree-lined lake with two people fishing, a loon on the water, and a textured outline of the State surrounding its nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

State Seal
The official seal shows a barefoot farmer plowing a field near St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River.

State Song
“Hail! Minnesota” Written by two students at the University of Minnesota in 1904 and 1905. It was the official University song until 1945, when it became the state song.

State Tree
The Red Pine, commonly known as the Norway Pine is Minnesota’s State Tree.

Empowering Women through Strength and Beauty – the Mary Kay Foundation

The Mary Kay Foundation began in 1996 in partnership with the Mary Kay corporation.  In 20 years, they’ve donated over $20 million in cancer research grants.  Their support is actually two-fold: 1) find a cure for cancers in women and 2) end the epidemic of domestic violence against women and children.  They support hundreds of domestic violence shelters across the United States by giving more than a dozen $20,000 grants each year.  The also help support Habitat for Humanity and build homes in the greater Dallas, TX area.  They host MK5K events, silent auctions, and annual golf tournaments.

As an Ambassador for the Mary Kay Foundation, it is my role to increase awareness, education, fundraising efforts, and find volunteers to help promote the Foundation.  Locally, I’ve supported a January Jumpstart Silent Auction for the past 6 years where we’ve given over $7,000 to the Foundation.  Within my own organization, I’ve participated in Round Up to round up customer orders to give to the Mary Kay Foundation, registered as a virtual walker for the MK5K, and attended a Pink in the Rink night at a Minnesota Wild Hockey Game.

As Miss Hutchinson, candidate for Miss Minnesota International 2016, I’ve grown awareness for the Mary Kay Foundation by speaking about it, sharing it socially, and mailing out over 50 invitations to apply to be a Foundation Ambassador to women in greater Minnesota.  We’re currently fundraising for Team Up! For Women and soon launching a Beauty that Counts promotion in April.  For a six-week period, $1 from the sale of each Changing Hearts Pink lipstick color will go directly to the Foundation.

The opportunity to expand this platform to a national level as Miss Minnesota International will help the Foundation grow exponentially.  With this, we can save the lives of more women by educating on early detection for breast cancer, raise awareness of signs and symptoms, increase fundraising for scientists to find a cure, and encourage women who are battling this disease.  With my mom’s diagnosis in 2010, I’ve experienced first-hand watching someone you love through diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, and recovery.  After 5-years of being in remission, I’ve seen this disease in it’s full cycle and am honored to represent this cause for my Mother.

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Introduction to your Miss Minnesota International 2016 Candidate

“Jessica Wendland, 29, Hutchinson” is the 6-second introduction you will hear on stage at this weekend’s Miss Minnesota International pageant but I’d love to have the time to introduce myself a little bit more.

I was born in Hutchinson, MN, as Jessica Joy Wendland, firstborn to Curt and Julie Wendland.  I am blessed with two brothers, Josh, his wife Kellie, and daughter Collins, and Jake, a sophomore in college at South Dakota State University.  My parents are both entrepreneurs with my father working in the Tool and Die industry and my mother a CPA.  I graduated from Hutchinson High School with honors in 2004.  I ventured off to school at the College of St. Benedict, where I graduated with a degree in Management and a minor in Sports Medicine in 2007.  I continued to St. Cloud State University for my Masters of Business Administration in 2009.

Although I spent my first seven working years in banking, I have since launched two businesses of my own and become a proud, passionate, and loyal entrepreneur.  I’ve grown my Mary Kay business in eight years to hundreds of customers and 50+ consultants as well as owning a 24/7 fitness center with all the amenities.

Some of my favorite hobbies include running, teaching aerobics and spin classes, watersports such as wakeboarding, ski team, and swimming, as well as spending time with my family at our cabin in Litchfield.  I love shopping, doing my nails and hair, a fun girls night out, and spending time with those I love.  You can often find me in athletic gear ready to take on the next paved trail, hiking adventure, mud run, or obstacle course.

I believe in Jesus, loyalty, and the golden rule.  My personal mission is to build successful female entrepreneurs and women who believe in their dreams.  My business goal is to enrich women’s lives through my businesses of Mary Kay and America’s Fitness Center.  My goal as Miss Minnesota International would be to empower women through strength and beauty, while partnering with the non-profit Mary Kay Foundation to find a cure for cancer.

I’m so grateful for this opportunity and now that you know a little bit more about me – I’d love to know about you!  Please share!  I hope I get to see you at the pageant this Saturday!

Love and sparkles,
Jessi

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