Where the Last 1,000 Miles Have Taken Me
I hit a pretty big milestone this past week! Crazy enough, my current wheelchair has an odometer on it. All of my previous wheelchairs did not have this feature and I almost giggled when I saw it on my newest model. Now I see that it actually has been a great tool in measuring what I have accomplished since purchasing this latest model as I hit 1,000 miles this week! This caused me to reflect back in seeing what I have accomplished and thought I should share it with you!
Doug and I had been dating for about 4 months. My friend, Vernessa, who convinced me to create a profile on ChristianMingle, was the one getting married. I was a bridesmaid and Doug was my date – and I caught the bouquet!
After being crowned Miss Wheelchair Wisconsin, I traveled to Ohio to compete in the Miss Wheelchair USA competition. My entire family went with, along with a few friends and Doug! After a fun filled week of judging, practicing, and preparing, I was crowned Miss Wheelchair USA 2012!
On October 8, 2012 Doug proposed! Doug and I went up to Grand Marais to see the beautiful fall colors. Overlooking Lake Superior, with a lighthouse off to one side and the beautiful fall trees on the other, Doug proposed. It was a total surprise and I could not stop saying how excited I was and said yes eight times!
Mayo Clinic nominated me for the National Rehabilitation Champion Award, and in November 2015 I found out that I was selected from among all the other nominations in the nation. I traveled to Atlanta to receive this award. What an honor!
After 2 ½ years of hard work, my first book, My Last Step Backward, was released! The first shipment arrived December 15, 2012… Just in time for Christmas gift-giving. The first 500 copies were sold out within two weeks!
On August 17, 2013 I got to roll down the aisle in this wheelchair to meet my handsome husband to be! I would never have imagined that I would be marrying someone so wonderful!
Three days after the wedding we traveled to Door County, WI to spend a few days on a mini honeymoon. We didn’t leave the hotel very much, but when we did we went to shops, ate good ice cream, and sat by the pool.
The real honeymoon was in January, 2014, as we had saved up to take a cruise to the Western Caribbean. This was a wonderful nine days of eating amazing food, relaxing by the pools, and enjoying leisurely reading and good books. Our cruise ship stopped in three different places – Jamaica, Haiti, and Mexico. We can’t wait until we can go again!
In March 2014 we traveled to Tucson Arizona to be a part of the Tucson Book Festival. We were in good company; many other authors and 130,000 book lovers were in attendance!
In March I also became a NATIONAL speaker as I traveled to Las Vegas to speak at an international conference.
I received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award in October 2014. It was and honor to be nominated and selected for this award from my alma mater, Winona State University. After a full weekend of festivities, I could not have been more proud to be a part of this wonderful university!
Doug and I started writing our second book in the summer of 2015! We took a break from speaking and began working on our sequel book along with Jan Pavloski (who also helped me write my first book).
We celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary in August. I am amazed at how wonderful married life is and I’m so thankful for the amazing man that God gave me.
Officially hit 1,000 miles on September 19, 2015!
From east to west, from Las Vegas to Boston, and north to south, near the Canadian border to Mexico. From May 2012 to this very day, I have spoken 181 times in this wheelchair! In other words I have been enjoying my ride and am so excited for the future!