Thursday, November 18, 2010

Our Deepest Fear

Alright, I'm heading to the hotel tomorrow (where I'll be staying the whole weekend with the other contestants with little contact with the outside world) but I have one quote to share before I go.  It pretty much speaks for itself.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
-Marianne Williamson
Maybe read it one more time.  Let it sink in.  Write it down.

And with's time for some fun!!!!!!!!!!!

If you are interested in watching the prelims or the pageant live online, check out
7pm MST (AZ), 8pm Central

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Universal To-Do List

So this weekend is also a big weekend for another member of my family, my baby sister Maddy!  She is a super studd on her high school varsity volleyball team in South Dakota, and they are at the SD State Championship Tournament right now!!!!!!  So apparently our family is pretty cool right now.  Special THANKS to our parents for being the best supporters a kid could ask for!  My dad will be in SD cheering the girls on, and my mom and 2 friends are flying out to support me!  What a blessing this truly is.

The best part:  When two sisters have a Big Weekend, apparently only ONE packing list is needed to cover any situation.  So, thanks to Maddy for making a very detailed packing list for her volleyball tourney, and also thanks for leaving it out for Dad to steal and scan to ME!  This is basically everything I'll need for my pageant weekend.  Just change "nice shirt" to my Evening Gown, and those "kakie pants" (maddy..Kakie??) to my Interview Dress,  and the "spandex" to my Swimsuit, and we're all set.  I may or may not leave the head bands at home.  Oh ya, and mom when you come can you just bring the money?  Great...thanks!

GO PANTHERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

3 Days To Go!

A few weeks ago we had our Contestant Orientation.  Our Pageant Director (Britt) pretty much spoke to us for 6 hours about logistics, rules, tips, everything we needed to know about the upcoming weekend.  The main thing that she kept drilling into us was that “This. is Just. a Pageant.”  I really appreciated that, because with the amount of money, time, energy, and outward support connected with this weekend, it is really important to keep it in perspective with the rest of our lives, the rest of our world, etc.   So I think this is something we can all think about in the midst of the “big things” in our lives (not that they’re not big of course), and I hope that this attitude carries over in my next big adventure, whatever that may be.  In the Grand Scheme of Things, i.e. family crises, childbirth, learning to love others, getting to Heaven…this is just another experience to prepare me for the next thing to come in some way or another.  I mean…knowing where to find body adhesive?  Check.
Another thing our Director talked about which has stuck with me even more, and I hope to carry this into the rest of my life as well, is to have a Goal beyond the Goal.  This weekend, my goal is to win Miss Arizona USA.  That would be great, right?  But this is sort of something I can’t control once the weekend begins…I can do my best, but it is completely up to the judges.  So it’s good to have another Goal, something that I can control, that will make me feel like I “won” Sunday night no matter what, to make this an even more meaningful experience.  What a great way to live our lives, if every time we tried for a certain “goal” (wanna win State Volleyball anyone?) we had another goal in mind as well that we had 100% control over that we can still shoot for and WIN at, and make our experiences that much richer…AND to realize that there are more important things than winning and losing.
So I’ll just tell you a few of mine (of course I have more than one!  Do you know me?!). 
1.  To be fully present at all times.  This is definitely something I struggle with… “I can’t wait to go to college..”; “I can’t wait to get married..”; “I can’t wait for Bootcamp to be here..”; “ I can’t wait for Bootcamp to end!!”  …on and on.  I am making it a general goal in my life, but especially this weekend.  This also includes having fun in every situation.  Rehearsals: fun. Sharing a room with (sort of) a stranger: fun.  The frightening experience of being on stage: fun.  Bleeding Blisters from fancy heals right before I step out on stage: dude so not fun.  But I promise to smile.
2.  Connect, even a little bit, with each contestant (I think there are 49??).  So I also have a tendency to stick with who/what I am comfortable with, and in doing so I miss out on connecting with others, stretching myself, etc.  So sitting with a different group of girls each meal, hanging out with different people, etc. is the game plan.  OH and making them laugh of course.  This could potentially make blisters fun.  Noted.
And Lastly, Britt told us to set an appointment on the Monday after the pageant to do something for someone else.  Another great idea!  Seriously, especially during the last 2 weeks I have felt like everything has been about me…what we talk about at lunch, what I talk about over drinks with friends, emails and texts and Facebook messages, going to fitting appointments, wardrobe advice, people consoling me when I cry… I mean I am kind of gagging on myself to tell you the truth.  At the time Britt told us to do this, I was like – “ya, great idea…this is right up my alley.”  But lately I have realized just how wise this advice really is when we do something like this!  I literally am SO Excited to do something for somebody else, and not talk about the pageant, and just focus on what I’m doing and who I’m with.  This needs to be about Them.  A little humility, a little back to reality, and we’re all set.  And of course I’m not telling you what I’m doing.

I don't know how these two are both true at the same time, but they just are:
This is just a Pageant.
This is more than just a Pageant.
I hope you take away some of this for your next Big Thing.  Stay grounded, and have fun!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

AAANNND some pictures

My Dressss

Booty Shot

The Suit, minus the is this OK?

Fancy Shoes..

Oh and Ellie my Elephant.  Just a little gift from the love of my life, plus a source of pure enjoyment every time I prance past it in my heals during those commercial breaks.  Everyone should have a little project while they work on a Big Project that's just for fun.  Let's not get too serious people. 


So TOMORROW is the one week mark (oh. em. gee.), and apparently my grandmother keeps bugging my dad about what I have been doing to prepare in these final days.
Knowing how often I get this question as well, I might as well answer it here huh?  Even though Grandma doesn’t get the internet, somebody please fill that woman in!
1.       I’ve started with the Tan.  I’m not super excited about this since I swore it off years ago, but it’s back one last time.  Maybe leave this out for Grandma.
2.       Alterations!  My evening gown -I just tried it on today and it is looking AWESOME; Swimsuit – maybe the most awkward thing to get fitted…two ladies with strong (Brittish??) accents in my nether regions.   The experience may have tied with the lady without the private changing room. Interview dress – standard;  Heals – yes I needed to get my heals altered.  This is pretty much because I bought them online, and then subsequently got a tongue lashing from who I like to call my Russian Cobbler Couple (extremely nice) about the idiocy of purchasing ANYthing without trying it on. 
3.       Working out…same ol’.  Though a big black guy asked me the other day if I was an athlete, because my leg muscles “were so defined”.  I will admit this pretty much made my day.  Now if he had said “Are you training for a Pageant?”…… I may have been a little weirded out.
4.       Kicking the clean eating up a notch.  Plus No cheating, i.e. no sweets. I will have to say…working the discipline muscle on a regular basis, though causing fatigue at times (and failure), does make you stronger!  This has surprisingly become less of a big deal each day. 
5.       Going in for a hair practice appointment (something I made up) at my hair salon!  This is going to be fun.  Um, how can I make my hair bigger please? 
6.       Reading the local newspaper and the Huffington Post.  
7.       Practicing answering questions…I downloaded 200 pageant questions to my phone (great first date questions too, if anyone is going on one of those..) and I usually answer a few while I drive each day...mmm, probably leave that out for Grandma too.
8.       Wearing my heals at home….walking around at commercial breaks, wearing them while I make dinner…it’s quite the sight my roommates will assure you.
Thank you thank you THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me along the way!  All your support and encouragement has gone a LONG WAY, and just being there when I cried (which actually happened each day for the following four days after I wrote that silly post), or helping me out financially, or giving me advice, or "liking" my posts, has meant so much to me.  Rally Hats people...One week to go! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Four States of Crying

I’ve got to be honest, watching, hearing and reading people’s reactions to the news that I’ll be doing a pageant has been very interesting.  I would like to discuss one such reaction.  Let’s call it the “I could never do that!” reaction.  I’ve done more than a few things in my life that has caused this to come out of people's mouths, and finally it is time to set the record straight.

On my most recent road trip I was reminded of the time I decided to transfer to a college all the way out in Ohio when I was 19.  This was a pretty big deal for me, my family, everybody, you know?  I mean, people (amusingly) called it the “east coast” for goodness sake!  Even though it was so exciting to me, I cried and cried and cried.  I mean, I cried in my car with my little 9-year-old sister crying next to me until we got to Illinois.  That’s four states of crying!  These types of things aren’t easy.  But I went for it. 

So now it’s time to introduce a little idea I got from my bff Stephen Covey.  The idea of the “Personal Integrity Account.”  For today’s subject, we’ll call it the “Personal I-Can-Do-This Account.”  It works just like a bank account…you make withdrawals and the account lessens, you make deposits and it grows.  Sooo every time I do something a little crazy, far from home, FARTHER from home, in a desert, in a delivery room, in a leadership position, etc. etc., I make deposits. Every time I convince myself I can't do something and don't even try, I make withdrawals.  Deposits obviously help me become more confident that I can at least try whatever I set my mind to.  It’s just a matter of building up the account, you know?

Remember that the next time you say to yourself “I could never do that!”  What we tell ourselves usually becomes true.    

Did I cry on my trip down to Arizona?  Yes. Probably 20 minutes.  Did I cry the morning of the first day I was the new Director of a house with 3 other staff plus 6 pregnant and hormonal women who were NOT happy I moved in?  Yes.  Have I cried at some point along this pageant journey?  Yes.  Did I cry on the plane to study abroad in Europe?  No.  Who cries on their way to Europe?

I hope you get my point.  Try something new!  Build up that Personal I-Can-Do-This Account.  It gets easier, you get stronger, and it’s a LOT of fun.  Crying about something just means you’re being stretched…which usually means it’s worth it.