November 5- November 8

Hello Friends!

As you may already know, one of my dearest and closest friends, Julia, was married last weekend. It was one of the greatest honors of my life when she asked me to be a part of her wedding. Being a bridesmaid and standing at the altar with such a terrific couple was an experience I won't soon forget. If you do not know Julia, she is one of the most beautiful people I know-inside and out. I know that I can always count on her, and she will always be by my side. Julia was my roommate during Miss Delaware 2008 Pageant week! Ever since then we have stayed close and she has been one of my greatest supporters.

Friday, the 5th, began the two days devoted to Julia and her wedding :) We had a girls day with manicures and pedicures before lunch and wedding-related errands. We then dolled ourselves up and were off to the rehearsal! After rehearsing at the church, we all had a delicious meal at Kid Sheleen's where I was constantly laughing since I was sitting at the table with Chris, Mr. DE 2008 and Brittany Dempsey, Miss Delaware 2007! Post-rehearsal we just relaxed and kept the laughter going with Chris and Julia and a few others at her house.

Saturday morning Julia seemed so calm from the moment she woke up! It was her BIG day but she was as cool as a cucumber, even as we ate our breakfast of champions (cereal)! The morning was filled with hair and makeup by Sal of Michael Christopher's and we just spent time together getting ready. Everything went so smooth, and before we knew it, the time had come! Julia was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. The best part of it all was that Julia was truly just excited to spend the rest of her life with Mike.

We took pictures before the wedding, outside at the Brandywine Zoo and they were gorgeous photos from what I have seen! Julia is a photographer so the pictures were the biggest priority for her :) When the wedding began, Chris (Mr. DE 2008) and I were the first to walk down the aisle. During the processional is when it all set in to me and of course, I began to cry. I promise I maintained composure. All sorts of emotions were going through my head, and I was thankful to have my friend, Chris, by my side. The wedding was perfect and couldn't have been better! The bride, the groom, the wedding and reception- it was all tremendous. We had such a great time and ... Julia and Mike were married!!! What a weekend :)

Immediately following the reception, I drove from Wilmington to Rehoboth Beach. This is not my favorite drive to make, but I am not a morning person, so it needed to be done! After a bit of rest, I was up at 6am to speak at the North East Regional Volunteer Forum which was held in Delaware this year! It was an honor to speak in front of professionals who are living examples of what it means to give of yourself unto others. I shared with them my experiences in 4-H and how they have shaped me into the woman I am today, and how 4-H has prepared me for the job of Miss America.

My mother was attending the conference, and so after we checked out, my family and I dined at my favorite beach stop- Nicola's! Nic-a-boli's are the most delicious meal on the board walk, and bring back lots of memories from my childhood.

From Rehoboth, I drove to Milford (my hometown) to rehearse for the Diamond Dance Company's annual production of The Nutcracker! I will be dancing several parts this year, including the Dream Fairy! It is hard to believe that eleven years ago, I was the first "Clara" in DDC's very first production. Be sure to come watch this holiday tradition at Milford High School December 4th or 5th!

After rehearsing and making a few phone calls, I was off to bed! This was such a busy weekend, and I had begun feeling sick so I knew I needed my rest. Just as I suspected, I woke up Monday feeling just awful and thankfully my doctor was able to fit me in and my schedule was rearranged. The "World's Best Mom" Award goes to Rhonda Martell for driving to Dover to pick me up, take me to the doctor and then the pharmacy since I could barely lift my head. I love you, Mom!

Boy, what a busy weekend! I can't believe it is already November! The Miss America Pageant is just around the corner. Keep checking back to see what happens between now and then!

Be sure to mark your calendars for my Send-Off Celebration which will be December 12th at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino from 2-5pm. Tickets are $25 reserved or $30 at the door, and $15 for children age 12 and under. This is your chance to see all of my Miss America wardrobe and see how hard I have been working to prepare for January! Please contact Faye at if you are interested in ordering/reserving your tickets!

God Bless!


May Updates

Hello Friends!

These past few weeks have been extremely busy, to say the least. I had four final exams, one presentation and a dance performance all within the last week of April. The Miss Delaware Gala was about a week ago and it was a beautiful event, honoring our Miss Delaware 2009 Heather Lehman and the incredible service she has given our state this year.

Just after the Miss Delaware Gala, my mother and I hopped on a plane to San Francisco, CA for the Children Youth and Families At-Risk Conference (CYFAR). My amazing mother was presenting a training of Kreative Kamps for Kids- which is something she has much success in. We were able to cover as many of the hot tourist spots as we could, during my 48 hours there. Mom and I rode a trolley, saw Alcatraz and ate some terrific food! We enjoyed family style food and a tea-tasting (like a wine tasting) in Chinatown. We sought out to find Bubble Tea, my favorite food product in the entire world, and we were successful. But the bubble tea was not as good as St. Alp's in NYC. We also visited the Fortune Cookie Factory, where the fortune cookie originated. Who knew that fortune cookies were not an authentic Chinese staple??? Also while in San Francisco we visited Ghiardelli Square and sampled some outstanding chocolate (we shared a banana split, but don't tell anyone)! We walked around and ate seafood at Pier 39 and spent time watching the sea lions! I enjoyed spending some quality time with my mother, and we even opened our own oysters and made rings with the pearls we found! What a fun trip!

The minute I landed in San Francisco, I received a very exciting voice mail with some life-changing news. I am not allowed to publicly discuss the contents of the voice mail until the press release has been published, but I will be sure to update you as soon as I can! I made a mistake and almost posted the news on Facebook, but luckily I took down the post as soon as I could.

I spent a few days in Delaware after returning from San Francisco to finish the choreography for my Miss Delaware talent piece. Saturday was Miss Delaware Orientation and it was wonderful to be around all of the girls and begin preparing for the pageant in June! I will be contestant #9 of 16 which means I will be first of my group during the preliminary competitions. Thursday June 10th I will compete in Talent and Evening Wear, and Friday I will compete in Swimsuit and On Stage Question. Some of the most exciting news of all is that Marcie Smith, Miss Rehoboth Beach, will be my roommate the week Miss Delaware! Marcie and I were roommates two years ago and we have been close friends ever since. She is such a wonderful woman and it will be a relief to have a friendly and positive roommate.

This past Sunday was Mother's Day and I hosted a Princess/Queen Tea Party for women in the military and their children. The event was a huge success and we all had a blast! I spoke about how we all are Princesses, Queens, Princes and Kings and that we should all embrace what makes us unique. My own mother was at the event, and so we spent time together there. Thank you so much to my friend and mentor, Brittany Dempsey and her mother Vicky for helping to setup the event.

Miss Delaware is just weeks away and everything is coming together! I have all of my wardrobe and my talent is complete! Tickets went on sale today, please visit the Miss Delaware website to find out where to purchase your tickets! Have a wonderful day everyone!

Love, Kayla

Happy Earth Day!

Good morning everyone!

In honor of Earth Day, how about we try a few new and simple things to make a long term difference!

  • When you get your afternoon Java today, take a reusable thermos instead of wasting a paper cup!
  • Be sure to recycle your water bottles, newspapers, aluminum cans and boxes instead of throwing them in the garbage!
  • Bring your own bag to the grocery store! I always do :)
  • Reuse old water bottles to make ice packs for sick days (fill it up with water and store in the freezer- pull it out and cover with a sock when you have a fever or for a post-workout cooler)
  • Waste less water AND play a game with your family- put a kitchen timer in the bathroom and set it for 6 minutes. See who can wash their hair and body and finish in time!
  • Whenever I forget my grocery totes, I ask for plastic bags and save them to clean up after my dog outside!
  • Make your daily "to-do" lists and weekly grocery lists on your cell phone. This way you aren't wasting paper every day!

These are just a few of the fun tricks I have incorporated into my daily life to try and help the environment!

What do you and your family do to help the environment?

Red Light, Heart to Heart

Hello Friends!

This week has been full of busy things with school, and we are finally down to the two week countdown for the semester! Amidst all of the stress of finals, it is refreshing to have an experience that makes you step back and appreciate the good things in life.

Tonight, on my way home from school with a classmate, Daniela, I had the greatest thing happen to me! I was at a red light in Arlington, and a woman rolled down her window to get my attention. Lucky for me, my air conditioning is broken in my car, and my window was already down- so her attempt was successful! When I first saw her I noticed she was wearing a scarf, and the first thing she said to me was, "You are so brave!" She was amazed that I was out and about with a bare head, and no wig. She was such a beautiful woman, with a stunning face, but she shared with me (while thankfully at the longest red light in history) that she can't stand to see herself in the mirror anymore. She was diagnosed with breast cancer this year and lost her hair less than 8 weeks ago, so this is still very new for her. We joked about how uncomfortable it is to wear a wig this time of year, and she opened up to tell me that she was afraid she wouldn't every re-marry because she has lost her hair. We had such a wonderful conversation, which ended with both of us in tears, because everything she said meant so much to me. Anyone who has the strength to not only endure, but defeat cancer is a hero in my book- and that is exactly what she is.... a true hero.

It is moments like this that remind me of why I want to become Miss Delaware. My platform may deal with Alopecia but I can relate to so many women, men and children across America who have lost their hair from chemotherapy, Alopecia, or even stress and old age! :) Just as I told the woman in the navy Nissan tonight, God would not give you anything that you cannot handle. And the best thing you can do is look yourself in the mirror and say, "You are beautiful!" It might be difficult at first, but I promise it will be worth it. If you can love yourself, and embrace whatever it is that makes you unique, I believe you can overcome anything.

I am so thankful that God allowed me to meet her and I am even more thankful that Daniela was in the car to wipe my tears of joy away as I was driving my manual Ford Focus ;)

Have a wonderful night, and before you go to bed I think you should do exactly what I tell my students to do- go look at yourself in the mirror with your makeup off, in your oversized PJ's with your lime green retainer in and tell yourself you look beautiful :)

Spring has Sprung!

Hello Friends,

These past few weeks have been very busy. School is winding down, and I began teaching a new session for Barbizon with a wonderful group of girls. Working out has become a top priority in my preparations for Miss Delaware along with continuing to work with my platform, find sponsors, and shopping for the perfect competition wardrobe!

I was notified today that I have been nominated for the second year in a row for the TOYA- Ten Outstanding Young American Award. I will find out the results on June 4th, shortly before Miss Delaware! This past week I was in Delaware for the Miss Delaware Orientation meeting which went very well. It was great to see all of my fellow contestants and friends, since I am not home as often as I would like. I was fortunate enough to work on my talent piece and have my wigs styled by the superb and generous Salon Rispoli! They have sponsored me for the past year and a half, and without the owner, Mario and his talented stylists I would look as if I have a rat's nest on my head!

On the drive from Delaware to Virginia on Saturday I found a little dog on the side on 301, a relatively busy highway. I pulled over and was lucky that she didn't run away from me. She ran right into my arms and thankfully I saw that she had an ID tag. While we waited for her owners to call me back, ZITA and I played in the field with one of Bridgette's balls. After about an hour, her owners were on their way and were so relieved to know Zita was safe. We really bonded, but I know that Kevin and my family were thankful that Zita returned to her rightful home, and not to mine :) Then, on Easter Sunday I went to Philadelphia to watch the Flyers win a fantastic game!!!

I have begun my final Children's Miracle Network fundraiser, and will make a separate post, for the sake of length to update you on the details. I pray that you all had safe and happy Easter's that were spent with your loved ones. Thank you so much for following me on my journey to Miss Delaware 2010, and wherever else life leads me.

Enjoy this beautiful weather!

Love, Kayla

Dream Job!

Hello Friends!
I apologize for not being a faithful blogger! I have been so busy lately with school and work that I haven't had much time to blog but I felt really inspired this evening and wanted to share the joy. I went into my email inbox tonight and saw an email from a current student of mine. I just met her during our first session last Saturday and Sunday. She is fourteen and was very shy and insecure at first. During the first day of class each student gives a little presentation about themselves to help us get to know them. This student, in particular, shared that she had never worn high heels before that day, and never wears dresses. I could sense that she was unsure of herself and sent her an email that first night with a few encouraging words. We have emailed back and forth throughout the week, but her email tonight was the most special of all!

She sent me a long email saying that she learned so much from our first weekend together and that she already noticed a feeling of confidence in herself. She thanked me for taking the time to help her and talk to her about her life. The best sentences of all said, "Thank you so much Miss Kayla for everything, you have changed my life. I hope to be like you one day." Just writing about this brings me to tears... I feel so blessed to have a job that allows me to help others. Working with teenagers makes me want to be the best person that I can be. Not many people are fortunate enough to feel so fulfilled by their jobs. Some people read inspirational quotes and stories to feel uplifted and have a reminder about how great life can be- but I think about each girl that I have taught, and how much they have changed my life. And for that, I am so lucky.

Have a wonderful evening everyone and God bless!

Big hugs,


Miss Kent County 2010

For those of you who I have not been able to talk to over the past few months, you may not know that I was struggling with the decision to or not to compete for Miss Delaware this year. My college had informed me that my full scholarship was non-renewable, and expires on my 23rd birthday. This would mean that if I were to win Miss Delaware 2010 I would sacrifice my last year of a full tuition scholarship, to be able to fulfill my lifelong dream.

I spent months (literally), going back and forth about whether or not I should compete for Miss Delaware again. There was not a day that went by that I didn't think about it. I called my friends, former local directors and titleholders and family to help me weigh out all of my options. I felt crushed knowing that I could be sacrificing a full scholarship to attend a wonderful private school that I could not otherwise afford, or sacrificing the opportunity to live out my dream.

As you may know now, I decided about TWO weeks ago that I needed and wanted to compete again this year. I knew there were very few local pageants left, and I was so fortunate that one was being held that Saturday (just a few days later). I called my dear friends Julia, Julie, Chris, Brittany and Laura after talking to my parents about my decision- so that everyone could know that I had essentially changed my mind.

After emailing and writing back and forth to my Alopecia penpals across the country, and hearing how proud they are of me and how supportive they were of whatever decision I made, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. It warms my heart to know that whether I place in the top 5 at Miss Delaware or not, I have girls with Alopecia who are proud of me for just having the confidence to compete. Every year, the Alopecia community has supported and embraced me on my journey to becoming Miss Delaware- with and without a wig. I was told recently by a young girl with Alopecia that I am her hero whether I win Miss Delaware or not. This was a defining moment for me, and I knew that I should not let any opportunity to live out my dream, pass me by.

And SO, I competed for Miss Kent County March 7th because it was the very next local pageant. The competition was tough, and I was unsure of what the outcome would be. I danced to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" and had such a great time being back on the stage. At the end of the night Erin Magnin was announced as 1st Runner Up, and my name was called as Miss Kent County 2010. I am so excited to start preparing for Miss Delaware RIGHT AWAY!!!! And I am honored to be following in the footsteps of one of my closest friends, Miss Kent County 2009, Julia Fuller (1st RU to Miss Delaware 2008 and 4th RU to Miss Delaware 2009). I have VERY big shoes to fill, but I am up for the challenge :) AND it is Julia's birthday today!!! SO don't forget to wish her a happy birthday!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me throughout the years, and to all my Miss Delaware friends for supporting my last minute decision to compete. I promise I will make Kent County, and all of you proud in June!