Sixteen years ago, Tiffany and I were both expecting new little babies.  Kathryn arrived in December of 1994 and Nick joined this world in May of 1995.  Our kids grew up playing together and being in the same classroom for their entire school career from preschool to fifth grade!

They were even chosen to play the parts of Mary and Joseph in the Christmas play at church when they were about six years old……..precious memories fill my heart as I think of Kathryn, the bubbly social butterfly, and Nick, the contemplative listener, who we just knew would be the perfect husband for her some day…..decaf coffee I’m laughing now as I realize that I am not even sure why Tim photographed Tiffany and me holding a can of coffee….maybe because we both love to enjoy a cup together, no matter what the brand or the occasion. (This was just the first picture I could find of us together…we are usually covered in paint or some other kind of messy project supply.)

Tiffany walked a tough road with her marriage at the same time I was walking a tough road with Nick’s cancer, and we are constantly amazed at the similarities in our grief, our heartache, our agony, our pain…….

We both have over two years of pain behind us now, and thankfully, God has taught us a lot about faith, hope, and trust even when life doesn’t make sense.

Saturday, I had the privilege of watching Kathryn compete in the Miss Grayson Outstanding Teen pageant where she chose Basket of Hope as her platform.  In her interview, she shared about what Nick meant to her and how she wants to help others who are fighting cancer.

I screamed when they announced the winner of the 2011 Miss Grayson Pageant!

Number 8!!

Miss Kathryn Wilhoit!  Isn’t she beautiful!!!?!!?

She’s like a daughter to me, and I don’t think I could possibly be prouder!

032611047 As I thought about the whole day’s experience, I realized this:

While Kathryn is now a queen, Nick is in the presence of the King of Kings!!

They are both winners, and for that reason alone, I smile with every part of my heart and soul!

I’ll let you know how she does in June in the Miss Kentucky Outstanding Teen Pageant!!

I Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.