What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been! I had the amazing opportunity to compete in the Miss Idaho Scholarship Pageant for the third year in a row and meet some more absolutely incredible women.
The week started off with anxious me jamming my life into 2 suitcases, a duffel bag, Rubbermaid container, and 6 dress bags. After squeezing in my running shoes (my life saver during that week!) a few packs of double sided body tape (never can have too much!) and a huge can of hair spray that could keep a whole pack of pageant girls’ hair in place I was able to pass out and rest up for the crazy week that I was about to encounter.
Check in was early Monday afternoon, from when I woke up at 5:45 am until 1:00 pm I had squeezed in an hour of cardio, pedicure and manicure appointment, bikini wax (YIKES! whoever said beauty is painful was not lieing) eyebrow wax, and 25 minutes to breath and inhale my chicken lunch. I was happy to see that when I checked in I wasn’t the only one who had packed my life away.
We then changed into our Tie Dye St. Al shirts and went to play with the kids at the Kuna Boys and Girls Club. Played Ghosts in the Graveyard (or something like that!) where the kids lay down and we had to stand over them and try to make them laugh without touching them, just faces and saying funny crazy stuff.
Those kids were good!!! One boy just kept raising his eyebrows at me and would only blush when I asked him if I could be his girlfriend. Ha ha, cute funny kids! Met my new best friend, a 9 year old boy who said he knew I was going to be Miss Idaho because I looked like I got straight A’s and was 30. (Haha he was close!) Playtime was followed by a delicious dinner cooked by the Robertsons and a skit performed by each group, alpha and sigma. Sigma won, but personally Alpha brought their A-game and rocked it! After that we headed to Goody’s where we were able to make our own ice cream behind the counter! The owner was there and helped us with our divine creations…great way to start out the week!
I forgot how intense people are about racing to make it to the hotel gym each night! Monday began the 2 minute sprint from the hotel room to the gym. First 3 people were rewarded with a treadmill, those who came after were left to do their weights first or ride a bike. For some reason everyone wants those treadmills though! The trick to getting down there first is to lay out your work out gear that morning so when you come back that night you litterly run in, throw on your work out clothes, sprint out the door (take the stairs!) and throw your hair in a pony tail as you run down the stairs and into the gym. It’s quite the task to master and this is what each night was like until Thursday when the pageant started. To not feel rushed though I would do half my cardio that night and then wake up early and do my other half in the morning which was relaxing because it was absolutely EMPTY!
Each night we would also come back to our rooms with a little gift on our bed from the Miss Idaho Board…there’d be a T-Shirt for each day to wear, little notes, even spuddy buddies with crowns on them! They treated us so well that week!
I was blessed with the perfect roommate this year! There was no intensity, sabotaging of each other’s wardrobe, fake attitudes…unfortunately she had to take the week off from school so she had tests to take through out the week. Made for an interesting night as we guessed our way through her 100 question True/false comm test.
Tuesday morning, after a nice little treadmill jog, we all headed out to a dance studio downtown across from old chicago. For those of you who are unaware, I am one of the most uncoordinated people in the world when it comes to dancing! But I do try and have been taking a couple months of ballet to help with my gracefulness and coordination. I swear,after that days rehearsal I’m surprised someone didn’t tell me to just give up now and go home! It was a blast learning the choreography though and watching our dance instructor dance salsa and the charleston.
We then continued our rehearsals at the Morrison Center and dance our little butts off (still couldn’t get the choreography down though!) That night we had dinner at Red Robin followed by the rush to the gym when we got back to the hotel room.
Wednesday was interview day! Duhn duhn duhn! I was contestant number 7 so my interview was in the morning. I wore a fun and sophisticated tangerine colored Antonio Melani dress suit with some cute brown heels. Interview went fantastic! I was able to talk about everything I wanted to including my platform (Building the 3C’s through Girl Scouts- Courage, Character, and Confidence) put my current event studying to work, a little about my talent, and some other fun facts! The judges were great! We then had rehearsals that afternoon. For dinner we went to Old Chicago to enjoy some salad and got ready to do the Children’s Miracle Network (our national platform) fashion show at Dillards!
I got to wear a dressy casual pair of bermuda shorts with a white blouse fun wedges and huge fancy shmancy purse that I could never afford in my dreams! It was a fun little event with the Boise State Football players and our Miss Idaho little sisters (a mentoring program through the Miss Idaho organization). My little sister Katie got to wear a fun little summer outfit she had picked out with capris and a big peace sign on her shirt. Needless to say, we had an absolute blast as we walked the catwalk and striked a pose! That night, after working out it was time to paint on my stage tan! (go ahead and be prepared to laugh when you hear about the process!) So it’s this tan in a spray bottle and typically you have someone use a sponge brush and paint it on you (yes, paint it on) but my friend wasn’t feeling well so I was put to the test to see how flexible and coordinated I could be. Once again I’m completely lacking coordination so this was an hour adventure. You take a small sponge paint brush and use it all over your body to apply the tan, but you have to be careful because it streaks easily! That wasn’t too bad though, the hard part was getting my back and having to arrange our closet mirror just right so I could see what I was doing! I must’ve looked like a crazy person attempting to do all sorts of yoga stretches just to reach everywhere. Not something I would suggest doing the night before your pageant fyi!
When I woke up that next morning, I was BROWN, no malibu Barbie tan for me. After a shower though my tan had evened out and was streak free, even on my back! I was a little impressed with myself and relieved to see the final result. That day was the first night of prelims and I still hadn’t gotten either of our dance numbers down perfect so I was a little nervous going into that night. Plus I had talent and onstage question, the two most nerve wrecking events! It didn’t help either trying to dance in 4 in heels and a short little cocktail dress (though they were very cute!). When the night came, I stood behind stage anxious as the music began to play. I remember hearing cute little Kylie singing along to the song and myself feeling as if I was going to poop my pants right then and there! When the song was over (and I nailed it! thank goodness because I was placed right in the front and where the judges were!) and they announced our contestant order we all raced upstairs to get ready for the night of competition. This was the first year I played with background music and I played Rhapsody In Blue by George Gershwin. It was an absolute blast to play and I have never smiled during the duration of a piano song but I loved it. My onstage question that night was about whether I felt the Miss America Organization should keep the Children’s Miracle Network as their National Platform. Nailed it and felt amazing about my answer! I breathed a sigh of relief as I walked offstage after that, the hard part was over! That night’s prelim winners were the amazingly talented Kylie Kofeod for talent and Amanda Richey’s rocking bod for swimsuit!
I came home that night to a beautiful arrangement of flowers from a couple friends, aaron, and my wonderful sister. My family had also been sending me little packages of good luck and encouragement through out the week and that night I received a package of Ben and Jerry Goodies and gift card! YUM! Makelle and I both passed out pretty quickly that night and were relieved and pumped to have the first night over and looking forward to the next day.
Friday morning was another 8 am gathering as we headed over for rehearsals at the Morrison Center. I was finally getting down the dance routines and was incredibly eager for that night. Since it was swimsuit that evening, I was limiting my water intake and making sure to not overload my body with carbs which made for an interesting day but I survived as 7 pm approached and we headed out to get ready for the last night of preliminary competition. Opening number went well and I had a blast in swimsuit competition as I was able to put the last 6 months of intense training and nutritious eating to work! I put on my shoes that I swear are the modern day version of Cinderella’s glass slipper (see shoes in the opening number pink dress!) and rocked my black two piece suit as I walked out to katy perry’s “California Girls”. After swimwear I inhaled a piece of chicken in the duration of the time it took me to run up two flights of stairs! Evening wear was the highlight though. I was able to wear my dream dress, a tightly fitted black gown that loosened up at the knees and flowed back with a trane and had white ruffles at the top with a rhinestone at the bodest. Never have I ever felt so glamorous and classy as I walked out to Israel Kamakawiwo Ole’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World”. I walked out with my Miss Idaho little sister Katie who looked so pretty in her little dress and we walked out hand in hand and did a little hug and twirl in the middle. That night, talent preliminary winner was Lindsey Lopez and Swimsuit winner was Kristen Tatilian. We all then went to a Luau Dinner at the Red Lion and were able to visit with our families. I’ve never been so excited to see my parents! With everything going on, it’s enough to bring out the emotional side of you to say the least.
Saturday we were able to sleep in until 11:00 which felt amazing. Well, I wouldn’t know actually because my dad came that morning at 8 to pick up my stuff! But it was nice to have a little time to myself to run and absorb everything that had been going on that week. That day at the Morrison Center, there wasn’t a whole need of rehearsal time so we found ourselves places to fall asleep in the auditorium and all over the place (you’d be amazed at the amount of places you’d find girls!) Since the Ironman Triathlon was taking place during the same time, we had to postpone our performance a half hour so we didn’t start until 7:30 which made the anxious wait even more unbearable as we all eagerly awaited to find out who would make top 11 that evening!
After getting through another opening number (nailed it all three times for the first time ever!) we all lined up and waited for our number to be called saying that we would go on to compete in every area of competition that night. I don’t know who was more nervous, myself or my mother! I remember waiting and waiting as they called the first couple girls up. Then the first five. My heart raced faster and faster as they named the eighth contestant in the top eleven, then the 9th! Trying to stay composed and hold myself together I was overjoyed when I heard my name as the 10th final contestant. After thanking the judges and congratulating Monique next to me we all ran offstage to get ready to perform our talents again. Keep in mind I didn’t have a single meltdown all work, but after talent I was so nervous and anxious I felt like at any moment I was about to burst at the seams! Next was swimwear again followed by our final night doing evening wear. This time we put a lei on our little sisters as we greeted them onstage. Katie and I both beamed at each other and gave our last final hug onstage. I wanted to stay in that moment forever as I beamed from ear to ear and absorbed every last moment I possibly could. If I could go back I would without hesitation. After that, the top 11 went back onstage to hear the announcement of top 5. I went not thinking I would make the top 5 but was overjoyed that I was able to perform again that night. I heard Amanda Richey’s name, then Kylie Kofoed, and then thought I was going to pass out from happiness as I hear my name in the final 5. Words can’t express how thrilled I was, the night could have just ended there and I would have been ecstatic beyond words. Megan Rowe and Rebecca Boyle were the last of the top five and we all beamed as we celebrated making it this far.
They then named the new Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen as Katy Lootens. An absolutely phenomenal girl who is doing an amazing job so far. Fantastic pick!!! I was able to enjoy watching the Miss Gem County pageant, Miss Dairy Days Princess, and ride in the Meridian Dairy Days Parade with her earlier this week.
Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting and preparing for the last year for. The coronation of the new Miss Idaho! Everyone came onstage as the Spirit Award was given to Monique Schal (well deserved!) the scholastic award to Carly Campo, myself being award the service award for two years in a row (such an honor and where my heart truly is!)Then they called off the runner ups. 4th runner up went to Meg Rowe…my heart started to race as they called third runner up…Rebecca Boyle! Amanda, Kylie, and I all exchanged beaming smiles and stood there hand in hand…it was down to the final three “Shane’s Girls!” (our personal butt kicker trainer and one of the most amazing men ever! after my dad of course!) We couldn’t be happier! Then, the announced 2nd runner up, palms sweating, I remember closing my eyes waiting for my name to be called. Amanda Richey! Kylie and I both looked at each other and exchanged huge hugs of excitement. It was the most amazing feeling to be up there with my closest friend there and be able to know whoever won deserved it and would be a genuine and amazing titleholder who would work hard and fulfill the position of Miss Idaho. I always told myself I will not cry onstage but there I was standing there as tears flooded both our eyes and smiles across our face. First runner up, was ME! I was ecstatic to have placed higher than I ever had and to have won the community service award (which meant the world to me!) I was the first to give Miss Idaho, Kylie Kofoed a hug and congratulate her. There couldn’t be a more deserving woman there to have earned the title and I will never forget her shocked look on her face and how excited she was. You know the judges picked a true winner when everyone on stage is smiling and thrilled for the girl who won.
After pictures were taken and congratulations were given, we all packed our belongings up and met up with our parents to head to the celebration party at the Red Lion. There I was climbing up and down steps in my long formal gown, barefoot, carrying loads of Rubbermaid containers and my gowns. If that isn’t a work out I don’t know what is! The party afterwards was like a family reunion…after competing for 4 years you start to grow relationships and build bonds which is like a family since all mine live on the east coast and midwest. I finally got into my car around 1 am to head home…only after stopping by winco to pick up a frozen pizza and chocolate bar. The whole thing was gone by the next morning 🙂 Binging has never felt so good! Since then I’ve enjoyed chocolate dipped strawberries, Mai Thai, ice cream galore, my mom’s home cooking *amazing*, and SO much more that I have missed. I told myself next week I’ll be good…so tonight’s my last night of indulgence!
For those of you who were wondering what the week of Miss Idaho looks like, I hope this summed it up (as long as it was!). One of the most amazing weeks of my life and some of the most incredible friendships I will forever cherish. Thank you to all of you for making that week so special and truly unforgettable.
Your Miss Meridian 2010