Hello all! I have two great things to celebrate this weekend. FIrst off, we have announced and awarded the winner in The Chatterbox Make it Meaningful 2006 Contest. This year our winners were three amazing sisters, with a very unique, very humbling story to share.
Congrats to Cambria Anderson, Melissa Washburn, and Katie Anderson!! (love you girls)
WOW! All of this years contestants were truly amazing. I think this year more than any other year I was touched by the stories all of these women shared with us. I found that the albums I were most drawn to, were the ones that shared each individuals unique life history. I found it interesting that the ones with life history storries, didn't have perfect photo's but rather photo's of their childhoods, or periods in their lives that meant so much to them. History. Real life. I liked that. I like that they shared with me all of their life, whether they had perfect photo's or not.
I especially loved the unique story of Cambria, Melissa and Katie because not only did they document and complete a life history of their mother, who has Alzheimer's at the young age of 50.... but they also went beyond the story and shared thoughts from family, friends, and community who have been touched by this unique woman. But the story doesn't end there and this is where my heart just wants to grab each of these girls and hug them. I don't know how much information I can share but recently these girls found out that the Alzheimer's their mother has is a unique genetic disease (not sure if that is the right lingo) that only a small handful of families have within the world have. It is unique in the fact that it is genetic and is passed down from generation to generation. As I understand regular Alzheimers is not genetic. It is also unique in the fact that it presents itself early on life, as early as mid 30's. Now these three girls are faced with the real possiblity that they too, will have this disease and right now there is not enough research on this unique gene to give them answers that might potentially save their lives. Their entire family (their mothers brothers and their children) are all effected by it. There is so much more to this story and if I told you, you would not believe it.... It would seem so unreal... The great thing about them is they are truly so upbeat about life! They are a glass half full kinda girls and it amazes me the strength and postive outlook they have about the whole situation. We have invited them to come visit us next weekend, and we are so excited! We are very passionate about their story and want to educate not just the scrapbooking industry but seriously.. the entire world about it. We are going to document their story on film and hopefully be able to help them by utilizing our contacts in and outside the industry to get their story told. This will help eduacte others about it and in turn will provide more support for research to be done on this unique disease.
WOW.. can't say enough about it.
Okay! SO the second reason to celebrate?
MY FRIEND, LIz, WON MRS. IDAHO!!! I was SO excited.. so nervous.. when they narrowed it down to top 10, I thought I was going to puke.. because she was the last one they called, number 10!! Of course they go "no particular order" but you are just mad as heck at the judges for keeping you in suspense and calling her last! LOL..
Then it came down to the questions. Each contestant entered a question earlier and the top 10 left and were asked to draw and answer a queustion from the bowl they were in. I would have choked on hers because really it was a no win question. The question asked, "if you could have money or power, which would you choose?" She joked at first that she wished she could have power to see what the judges were thinking, then went on to say she thought power was better than money, because you have the influence to change lives for the better, to help those in need and make a difference. Good answer Liz.
Then it came down to the final 5, starting with 4th runner up. The girl who I thought for SURE would be her tightest competition (and probably win), got 4th runner up! I was so scared! I thought, CRAP! if she got 4th! Then what's Liz going to get? Then one by one, they called the other 3 winners, 3rd runner up, 2nd, then 1st..
I sat there with my fist clenched and looked down the row at her family and just shook my head and whispered.. "what the crap is going on??" (we had hoped she would at least place as 2nd or 1st runner up).. I thought.. well maybe they weren't looking for a well rounded individual who you could tell on stage and off, had had many years of pageant experience. (you could tell out of all 21 contestants that their were only a small handfrul that had pageant experience).
Then they called her name as Mrs. Idaho 2006!! I couldn't stop screaming and jumping up and down.. then I started crying.. sobbing, because I was so dang proud of her!!!
So, there goes our weekend getaways and Friday night dates for the next year! We seriously do everything with them. Double dates every Friday night, weekends at their cabin during the winter, camping just about every other weekend in the summer, Sunday dinners.. weekday hang outs.. Crazy how much time we spend together. Now her husband and her, will spend most of their weekends at service events, speaking events.. you name it. They will be busy people, towing their family with them everywhere they go. Makes me kinda sad now that I think about it! LOL.. Ben, my husband is best friends with her husband.... I leaned over last night and patted Ben on the arm and said.. well there goes your hunting and snowmobiling trips for the next year.. sorry bud (not really! LOL).
Anyhow! I know I type alot, but I might as well get the whole story down or it doesn't mean much to me later.
So that was my weekend! To great things to celebrate and both WELL deserved as well.
You can find pictures of the Chatterbox winners on our website. www.chatterboxinc.com.
I will post pictures of Liz later this week. Can you believe I forgot my camera? AHH! Got to get some from her husband.