Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Holidays from The York Family

We were just planning to have Zipp's picture taken with Santa, but he really wanted mom and dad in the photo too!

We hope you had a Very Merry Christmas and wish you a Blessed 2010!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Families Helping Families 2009

Families Helping Families ... what a rewarding opportunity! Pictured above are a few volunteers from The MAC (where we work as group exercise instructors) for this active start to the holiday season.
Families Helping Families is a non-profit organization that feels strongly that family is an essential factor in the development of children. Their primary focus is meeting the needs of foster families. This year's Christmas Event was held at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids. A variety of events for the children included pictures with Santa, live reindeer sightings, group exercise (provided by The MAC), face painting, and the list goes on!

Pictured above and below with Cedar Rapids Roller Girls. We had so much fun posing nice for the camera and then they decided to get "roller tough" with me in the photo below. I can't wait to check out their first home bout in April!

One of the children and I catch a photo opportunity with Ricochet ... the mascot for our local hockey team. Join me on January 16th for my appearance to advocate for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to cheer on the Roughriders as the face off against Chicago!

Pictured below with The Grinch ... he promised to not steal Christmas this year!

One of our local CR Spirits Cheerleaders stopped to say "Hi" after their GREAT performance during the evening.

Pictured below are a group of very talented young ladies at our booth. Look at them go with the hula hoops!!

A crowning moment for this lovely lady after she practiced balancing on our balance discs at our booth. All of the kids did such a GREAT job and we had such an enjoyable evening!


Miss Iowa USA 2010

What a FUN day in Ames, IA! On December 13, Ryan and I attended Miss IA and Miss Teen IA USA Finals. Thanks for always standing by my side Ry ... what a FABULOUS Mr. Iowa!
Pictured above with a few members of my "pageant family." From L-R: Valarie Whitehead ~ Mrs. Iowa International 2009, Loni McNertny ~ Mrs. Iowa America 2009, Michelle Berndt ~ Mrs. Iowa United States 2009, Feryl York ~ Mrs. Iowa International 2010 and Laura Diers ~ Mrs. Iowa America 2008.

Pictured above with Loni, Michelle and Chelsea Gauger ~ Miss IA USA 2009. Chelsea did a wonderful job representing IA at Miss USA in Las Vegas and their wasn't a dry eye in the house during her final words as Miss IA USA.

Michelle, Laura and I stopped in at a great store in downtown Ames. "It's All About Me" is a wonderful shop owned by a very friendly and vivacious woman named Kathy. She carries the "Fight Like A Girl" merchandise that was initiated in Ames. The three of us have loved ones in our family that have been touched by Breast Cancer. We are excited to say we will be partnering with Fight Like a Girl this year for a fund raising even to be held at "It's All About Me" ... what a GREAT opportunity!!

Yet another photo opportunity at "It's All About Me."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

WOW ... blizzard like conditions here in Iowa! With nearly eleven inches of snow and sustained winds of 25 - 35 miles per hour, Cedar Rapids looks like a winter wonderland!
Pictured above and below: Ryan and I snow blowing on early Wednesday morning to "dig out" for the day. Thankfully, Ryan had used the snow blower and shovel several times from Tuesday evening on so we could actually get throughout the super wet and deep snow this morning ... what a GREAT husband!!

Look at my pink Uggs ... they really got a workout today!!

Pictured below: The final project ... for now that is! The news is predicting an additional couple of inches of snow today along with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour. True blizzard conditions!
Pictured Below: Even Zipp had to bundle up for these conditions!! Poor Little Mr. Iowa International!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Fire and Ice Parade 2009

"Dashing through Downtown ..." Downtown Cedar Rapids that is! The 2009 Fire and Ice Festival and Parade was held December 5th in Cedar Rapids. What a FUN event and a chilly one too! If you click on Fire and Ice Parade 2009 above, you can watch the parade in the warm comfort of your own home!
Many thanks to Neil Boudreaux for such a sweet ride ... I truly felt like a queen!
The Downtown District provided our 26th Annual Holiday DeLite ... we certainly are getting closer to rebuilding downtown Cedar Rapids after the devastation from the floods of 2008.

A HUGE thanks to my husband Ryan (a.k.a. Mr. Iowa) for driving me in the parade! You are such a wonderful support system!!
Pictured with Kristin (she rode along and kept Ryan company) and her family friend Lucas. Lucas is a volunteer firefighter in Hiawatha, IA. Thanks for all your volunteer efforts Lucas!!

Pictured below with Emily Rose. Emily is our reigning Miss Linn County Princess. Former Miss Linn County, Amber Ferry (not pictured) was also with Emily for the holiday festivities.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Taking time today to count our blessings in the York Household! Best wishes to all and a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Girls on the Run

Today I had the honor of participating in Johnson County's Girls on the Run 5K. What an AMAZING experience!! Girls on the Run is a non-profit national organization that is geared toward girls in grades 3-6. This program and it's volunteers promote and educate these young ladies to live a healthy lifestyle. Topics such as physical exercise, proper nutrition, social and emotional health are touched on while they are training for a 5k cross-country event.

Their banquet was held today after the 5k to mark the closing of the 2009 season. I had a great time talking to the participants about the importance of being healthy both inside and outside. I'm so proud of each of them for having the confidence to participate in today's event ... YOU GO GIRLS!!!

Pictured with Mrs. Johnson County Iowa America 2010. She ran today today with some great young ladies!

The girls got in the running spirit with fun hair spray in many colors! Pictured is the finished product for some of lovely young ladies!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Light The Night 2009

This year's Light the Night walk was held in Iowa City at Kinnick Stadium on October 17th. I volunteered as team captain for "Team York Walks for Rhonda." For those of you who don't know, Rhonda is my wonderful mother, mentor and friend. She was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in June 2008. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society funds Brian Dunker, MD who lead the research for the medication that is helping my mom live with leukemia. What a GREAT honor to be a part of a fundraiser that raised over $129,300 for research to find cures for blood cancers!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hoopla Commercial

This year, I had an AWESOME opportunity to represent Mrs. Iowa International by appearing in a commercial for Hoopla. Can you find me in the commercial ... look quick about mid-way through the commercial and see if you can pick me out. :) Hoopla is a weekly entertainment and networking magazine featuring the latest information in Iowa's Corridor. This was a GREAT experience and don't forget to check out your copy today!

Miss Iowa and Miss Teen Iowa USA

In October, I had a GREAT time with Sarah Moses from The Pageant Shop! I was honored to work with Sarah (pictured left) as she showcased her FABULOUS wardrobe expertise to the contestants for Miss Iowa and Miss Teen Iowa USA in Ames. I know first hand, Sarah's true gift for making all of her clients feel beautiful on the inside and out. Thanks so much for the opportunity Sarah!! I also had the added excitement of connecting with another great friend that day ... Laura Diers, Mrs. Iowa America 2008 (pictured below). What a great surprise Laura ... it's always great to see you!!

Naional Council on Youth Leadership (NCYL)

In September, Ted Kepros, PT (Physiotherapy Associates) and I were guest speakers for Eastern Iowa's NCYL Conference at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids. NCYL's focus is to empower the youth of America by recognizing and fostering high ideals of leadership and integrity. Ted and I challenged Iowa's young leaders to "Dare to Make a Difference." While highlighting the importance of mental, physical and emotional health, I highlighted how becoming an advocate for The Leukemia and Lymphoma had changed my life and led me toward my quest toward Mrs. Iowa International. These individuals were truly inspirational. It was a great experience and I truly feel we are in good hands ... these children are our future!

My Journey Begins

One area I love volunteering is for The Jefferson High School Swim Team. My husband Ryan is the head coach for the J-Hawks! One of the swimmers and I sell t-shirts in stands as a fund raiser for the J-Hawks at the state swim meet in Marshalltown (pictured on the left). My sister-in-law, Anne and I work a fund-raising booth for the J-Hawks during J-Hawk Relays in Cedar Rapids.