What a great week in Southwest Iowa! I just returned home from the 84th Annual Sidney, Iowa Champioship Rodeo, and as always, it was a spectacular rodeo. It felt like a homecoming for me because I saw many familiar faces and places! The Sidney Rodeo Board and Williams-Jobe-Gibson American Legion Post 128 have been so kind to me over the years as a drill team member, rodeo queen contestant, and finally the queen. They are extended members of my family so I had a great time spending time with them. It was nice to fall right into the swing of things and not have to feel out of place because I know how the rodeo operates over there. Great job, gentlemen, on another successful year, and thank you for all you have done to shape me into who I am today!Congratulations Holly Soucie, the new Miss Sidney, who will have a great time promoting one of Iowa's best rodeos. I was honored to be in the presence of visiting royalty Kelsea Walker, Miss Rodeo Illinois, Rachel Burton, Miss Rodeo Iowa Teen, and Jessica Iodence, the Aksarben Rodeo Queen (I found out she will be a junior at THE BEST university this fall . . . Iowa State). Rachel and I were very graciously hosted by Cindy Bebout who has a house right across from the arena, so it was very handy to not have far to travel for a shower at night. Speaking of showers, the weather was typical August Sidney Rodeo weather: hot, sunny, and very humid--but it felt SO GREAT to be back in Rodeo Town, U.S.A.!
Rachel and I posing by my beautiful "Sunshine 'S' Trailer Sales" Featherlite horse limo!
During the week we visited my favorite radio host, Jerry Dietz, for a radio interview. Jerry is always fun to talk with and does a great job with his radio show. The neat thing about KCSI is that it is a family business and his wife and daughter work just as hard as he does to keep 95.3 FM one of the most informative and enjoyable radio stations to listen to! I also got the chance to see the beautiful Allie West, Jerry's granddaughter, who is one of my young queen hopefuls--Jerry just doesn't know it yet! She will be celebrating a birthday later this month, which is proof that great people are born in the month of August!
On Friday, Rachel, Holly, the bullfighters, and I also took time to visit the Sidney Senior Center as well as the nursing homes in Sidney and Shenandoah. We had a great time visiting with people and signing autographs. We also got to stop in the radio studio of KMA 960 AM and do a live on-air interview. We had a busy but fun day, and got to finish it off with coming back to the rodeo grounds and eating the best cowboy beans in the entire world made by Teresa Biermann of Quick Draw Todd's Smokeshack. This was the same recipe that was served at my coronation, so it had been WAY TOO LONG since I have been able to taste them again!
My beautiful youngest sister Kelli!
Friday also happened to be my birthday, so it was fun to celebrate it in Sidney at the rodeo (where I have celebrated it for the last 15-plus years)! McCarthy's One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning brought me over a large cake that we shared with passer-by's. It was delicious, but what made it even better was that I got to share it with my friends and family, including Megan Wiemold (Miss Rodeo Iowa 2004), Jerry Dietz, the Sidney Rodeo Board, and my sister Kelli who came over to the rodeo for my birthday even though she had just had surgery that morning! What a great sister! (Sara is a great sister too, but she was on a cruise!) That night at the rodeo I FINALLY talked the mutton busting champion for the night out of a kiss on the cheek! Little did he know, but it was a smart move on his part because I had been turned down the two previous nights and told myself that I was going to chase Friday night's champ around the arena until he gave in!
I just turned 23 and this was my first kiss--and what better company than the Friday night mutton busting champion?
It was a wonderful weekend, but after the rodeo Friday night, I was not done. I loaded up Pepper Ann and headed home so I could go to Greenfield Saturday for Bethany Jo Thompson's wedding! It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony, craftily planned and decorated by the one and only Paula Jameson (Bethany's mom)! Paula did a wonderful job, and I felt very honored to be one of the bridesmaids--not to mention we got to dance and sing karaoke at the reception! Best of luck to Bethany, Brandon, and LeDoux (the little red Australian Shepherd that wandered up to the reception hall while we were in the middle of rehearsal) for the wonderful future they will share together!
This week I am off to the Iowa State Fair for the parade, Cowgirl Queen Contest (I will just be observing), and GOVERNOR'S CHARITY STEER SHOW! I am so excited to show "Chopper" that I can hardly contain myself! I will be sure to have someone take pictures so I can share my experience with you on here--which definitely checks off one of the many things on my "list of things to do in a lifetime." Until then, take care!