Thursday, December 31, 2009


Wow, where has this year gone. It is only fitting that I write this on the last day of 2009. This has been such an amazing year and certainly unforgettable. I have been very fortunate to have had this opportunity and am grateful for all the doors that have been opened by taking a "leap" of faith into a new adventure! To my family for your unending support I am forever grateful~~you allowed me the chance to capture a dream and I am thankful for your love and support. To all of my friends and especially to all of the new friends I have met through this year your words of encouragement and support are something I will always treasure. My motto this year in speaking to groups for the American Heart Association has been, "Leap, Live, Love, Laugh & Leave a Legacy". This all started with a Leap, I certainly Lived every minute of this great adventure, I am grateful for all the Love that has come my way, I without a doubt truly know how to Laugh (especially at myself~~especially when high heels are involved) and I pray that I have left a Legacy to be proud of!

Val Whitehead Mrs. Iowa International 2009~~~officially signing off:)

And........A New Mrs. Iowa International is CROWNED!

Congratulations to the beautiful FERYL YORK! Feryl has been crowned Mrs. Iowa International 2010 and is pictured here with her husband Ryan. It is with sincere admiration that I congratulate you on all that you have already done and will continue to do to support Iowa in 2010......a true queen! Make sure and follow Feryl's year

Miss Iowa USA Pageant

Ashley Hanson and I after the pageant. Ashley you are an amazing woman and a dear friend! It has been a wonderful year and I can't wait for the rest of our "adventures" to begin!
Truly a priviledge to be part of such an amazing group of women! Left to Right: me, Loni McNertney Mrs. Iowa America 2009, Michelle Berndt Mrs. Iowa United States 2009, Feryl York Mrs. Iowa International 2010 and Laura Diers Johnson Mrs. Iowa America 2008.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Go Red Luncheon December 4, 2009

What an amazing event! I had the priviledge to be the keynote speaker at this years 6th annual Go Red Luncheon in Sioux City. Over 700 women and men were in attendance! A great fundraiser for such an important organization. To make the day even better my mom had the opportunity to come with me........thanks for being my biggest "cheerleader"!

Go Red Luncheon Sioux City Iowa

After the luncheon I had the opportunity to do an interview with KTIV news promoting the importance of heart health awareness for women and men. GO RED! Kristie VerMulm, KTIV News Anchor, was the Master of Ceremonies for the event. We had fun doing a heart health "quiz" with the audience, using all the proceeds to benefit the American Heart Association.

Go Red for Women Luncheon, Sioux City Iowa

I am pictured here with Cindy Paasch and her son. Cindy shared her survivor story at the luncheon. She had a stroke at the age of 35! Despite this she continues to fight each day to get stronger. She is working on her college degree, has an amazing, positive outlook on life and should be an inspiration to us all!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Miss Nebraska USA Pageant - Sunday Oct. 25th

This was our idea for a last minute road trip. Loni McNertney, Mrs. Iowa America 2009 and I took off for Norfolk, Nebraska to watch the pageant. Despite a few technical difficulties...we arrived home at 2am in one piece, although very tired the next day. Great pageant with some very lovely ladies and also meant many fellow "Mrs.'s" and some great connections. Next time we will remember the ID:)

Dan Davis Photo Shoot

WOW is all I can say about this day. What a blast. Thank you to Dan for a wonderful time and also to my dear Ashley Hanson for once again making me look my absolute best. From fair volunteer to "glammed" up this has just been an incredible are just a sample of Dan's great work....

Clay County Fair Volunteer Day

This post is a little where does the time go! So was taken on Saturday the 19th of September at the Clay County Fair. My husband I worked at the booth selling the famous "nutty bars". What a gorgeous week! The fair had a record number of attendees and we worked hard! But had fun! Great fundraiser for the local Spencer YMCA. Wishing for a little of the nice sunshine and heat now:)

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Twins Contest" Clay County Fair 2009

Kelsey Salton, Clay County Fair Queen, myself, and 1st runner-up Hannah Brockshus got our work-out today. We judged in "2's" looking for the group of twins in each category that looked most and least alike, oldest, youngest and so on. Forty-two groups of multiples registered and wow...I don't know how some of those parents keep their kids straight they all deserved a prize! In the end our youngest group was 3 months, oldest was 70 years, and we gave the overall best prize to a couple of ladies that even at age 50 still looked identical. What a fun time!

Clay County Fair 2009

If you have never attended the Clay County Fair you should make the trip to is worth it! Boasted as one on the world's largest county fairs there is truly something for everyone to see and do. Pictured here with one of the antique tractor collections. By day two of the fair reports say that over 120,000 people had already attended the event.

Mrs. America 2009 Finals Night

Pictured here with the beautiful Loni McNertney, Mrs. Iowa America 2009. Way to go Loni for winning the fitness award -- quite an accomplishment!

Not only is she beautiful, but an amazing singer...Mrs. World 2008, from Ukraine, was in attendance at the pageant. She will give up her title at the Mrs. World pageant in November.

Mrs. America Pageant 2009

Tucson, Arizona was the setting for this years' pageant. This photo does not do justice to the beautiful landscaping of the area. Beautiful resort and amazing lightning storms for night time entertainment. Ashley and I made the trip into Tucson on Sunday Sept 6th....despite every possible travel mix-up we made it with luggage intact. Thankfully our trip home was much less exciting.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Iowa's Mrs....2009

Representing Iowa with PRIDE..
Loni McNertney: Mrs. Iowa America
Val Whitehead: Mrs. Iowa International
Michelle Berndt: Mrs. Iowa United States

Mrs. Iowa America -- Loni's Send-off Party

What a great group of ladies...we gathered to wish Loni the best as she heads off to the Mrs. America pageant in Tucson, AZ. Good Luck we all know you'll be great!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mrs.' Iowas...

Celebrating together our exciting year representing the great state of Iowa...This is me and Loni McNertney, Mrs. Iowa America 2009 at the pageant. Good Luck to Loni as she heads off to the national Mrs. America pageant in September!

Miss Kossuth-Winnebago Pageant

Sunday August 9th at the Miss Kossuth-Winnebago Pageant. Celebrating with the 2009 winner Chandra Peterson, 2008 Miss Kossuth-Winnebago Victoria Newton, Loni McNerney Mrs. Iowa-America and Amanda Hamilton Miss Kossuth-Winnebago's Outstanding Teen 2008.

Day Breakers Kiwanis Presentation

Monday August 3rd...This morning I got up bright and early to give a presentation to the Spencer Day Breaker Kiwanis Group. We talked about my year as Mrs. Iowa International and most importantly discussed the many ways to get involved with the American Heart Association. I am pictured here with the Chapter President.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mrs. International Finals Night!

Ashley you are the BEST. You have a gift, are a true artist! I am so happy that you were able to be a part of this with me, it would not have been the same without you. You are a dear friend and I cannot wait for our next adventure! Thank you with all my heart!
What an incredible week...hard to believe it is over and went by so fast! To all my new friends in the Mrs. International class of 2009 it is a priviledge to know you and be part of such an amazing group of women. To those of you that helped me get here my thanks and appreciation!

Mrs. International Pageant 2009!!! Family Photos

What can I say...thank you is hardly enough! To my family for all of your love and support through this year and always you are all my treasures and my proudest accomplishment. I love each and everyone of you! To Tucker, soon you will be off on your own....your future is glowing! You have no boundaries and will achieve all you want, I am so proud of you. To Madison, my are truly beautiful inside and out! As you start these teen years that pass by so quickly I pray for you to follow every dream you have and never hold back, I know you will accomplish all you set out to do. To Luke, you are still my will soon grow bigger and stronger than me, but never so much so that I can't hug you tight! I know you are my biggest fan and I am thankful that I am so blessed. To Ron, what can I even say....after all these know me more than I know myself and always let me chase my dreams with unending support. Thank you for always believing in me and being a rock for all of us to hold on to. I love you all more than words can say. To my parents....even at 38 years old you are still "mom and dad", always supporting us, there to lend an ear or helping hand. Your love has truly been unconditional and I can only hope that my children will someday be able to say the same. Thank you and I love you!

Mrs. International Day Three: Meet and Greet

Busy Day of Rehersals, Interviews, quick chance to say Hi to my family as they arrived in Chicago and then dressed up to attend the pageant meet and greet with the Chicago Chamber of Commerce. Lovely supper and then off to bed....time is flying by! Tomorrow (7-17-2009)starts Preliminary!

Mrs. International Day Two: Appearances

Today we were out and about for a fun day in the WINDY city of Chicago. We made several stops at local attractions and signed autographs at Water Tower Place. Back to the hotel for a quick supper and then off to rehersal...we all look a little windblown, but no rain so it was a great tour!