Saturday night was another first for me and my career. I was co-hosting the Idaho Miss Amazing Inc. Pageant for the first time with my great friend Maggie O'Mara from KTVB News Channel 7! Let me share some of the amazing moments with you, including a lesson I learned right before the curtain closed for the evening.

Idaho Miss Amazing 2017 Queens

Sign me up! Forever! I was stunned, humbled, happy, thankful, gracious, and a long list of other words when it comes to my feelings at this year's Idaho Miss Amazing! What is this pageant? Well, it's much more than a pageant, and instead of telling you in my words, I'm quoting right from their website:

"For five years the Idaho Miss Amazing Pageant has been celebrating the multi-faceted identities, valuable abilities and strengths of girls and women with disabilities. Idaho Miss Amazing is so much more than a pageant. It is a platform for girls and women with disabilities to share their abilities and ambitions. It is an experience that inspires all people to empower themselves and each other. By encouraging its participants to dream big and reach their full potential, Idaho Miss Amazing proves that the world is a much better place when the talents and ambitions of all people are celebrated and valued. Idaho Miss Amazing is a collaborative effort made possible by our dedicated sponsors. -"

Can I really put this event into words? No. Let me share my photos to help paint a picture of what you missed and all of the happiness that surrounds this night! Let me also give you my personal breakthrough moment of the evening!

First, I was surrounded by stars! Maggie O'Mara from KTVB News Channel 7, Rick and Carly from WOW Country 104.3 (I literally work in the studio next to them daily), Kelsey Anderson from KBOI 2, and so many others! One of the most amazing moments for me was seeing so many familiar faces! Some of these women stand up with us against child abuse each April for Live for 175. The love in that Nampa Civic Center on Saturday night was unmatched. Priceless!

I would like to thank so many of these women and everyone involved. The lesson I learned was simple and humbling: I was standing at the podium with Maggie saying thank you to everyone and closing out the evening when I kind of stopped. I looked around and suddenly became somewhat disappointed. I was leaving in five minutes back to my home, then to a station event, and back to the studio on Monday. I'm headed back into judgment. I'm leaving this safe place where nobody is judged, everyone is smiling, and politics aren't even a thought! The people in that building and the women standing on that stage have been able to grasp onto and prioritize what is MOST important: Love.

Idaho Miss Amazing Queen 2017

The women that stood in front of me on Saturday night loved everyone! They wanted to win, but in their minds - they'd already won! In that room, it wasn't about coming in first place, it was about celebrating all of the fellow women standing next to them. A sisterhood. If I could have come up with the perfect words as the Idaho Miss Amazing concluded, It would have gone like this:

"Thank you so much tonight. You have made me not want to leave. These women and families have given so much of themselves to better the ones around them. We live in a crazy world and just the thought of leaving saddens me because I won't see you. It's all too rare that we see that love at the grocery store, at a stoplight, or in the office. While it disappoints me, I'm overjoyed to know, because of all of you, that there is hope. YOU are the hope. YOU touch people's lives every day and remind us of what love is REALLY all about. Everyone participating tonight, the judges in front of me, our news media, the volunteers, family and friends:  There is promise because we can teach our kids that it's okay to be just exactly who they are! I've read the bios from all of these incredible ladies, and there is a common thread that even furthers my excitement! They want to be better people! They want to help as many individuals as possible, and their hearts are STRONG!  These women have the ability to remind us of all of the simple things that we tend to take for granted - on a daily basis. There is so much we can learn from them! We need to teach ourselves how to love one another again. Sadly, so many of us have forgotten. Social media can't always be the excuse that breeds the constant and overwhelming hate and tragedy we have seen. We are parents, we are brothers, we are sisters, aunts, cousins, and friends. WE are responsible for what we do and what is taught. It's time we practice what we preach. We might not be able to change the world, but we can definitely start with our community first. It starts with us and we should use those women as OUR inspiration.

Thank you for reminding me of what love truly is: AMAZING.



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