Fourth Times A Charm

So I accomplished 3 out of the 4 of my last goals; unwillingly I did become a stranger to the blogging world for some time. But I will not let that happen again(and you can quote me on that!) because for the next year I have a feeling I will have much to share with the world.

This past week has been one out of a living dream. A little over a week ago, I began my adventure at Miss Idaho for the fourth year in a row. My hopes this year were slightly different than most. In years past, of course my goal was to have a great experience, make friends, and ideally end up taking home the crown. Now I wasn’t a cut throat, out to kill for the crown kind of contestant, I would end up making friends with the competition and leave in tears from laughing at the hysterical moments that took place that week. After placing 2nd runner up my first year, 4th runner up the next, and 1st runner up last year, my perspective changed.

For those who don’t know, I competed at the National Sweetheart Pageant in Hoopeston, Illinois. All the first runner ups in the country have the opportunity to compete at this pageant to have the experience of what it may be like compete at Miss America as your state titleholder. I made the most amazing friends and had the experience of a lifetime. It was then that I realized why I was competing and it was then that my goals going into Miss Idaho took a slight change.

Going into Miss Idaho this past week, I set out once again to make the most of my experience, have a great time with friends (after you compete for that many years you tend to know most of the women going into the competition!), but this time the main goal wasn’t for the crown. Of course it was one of my goals and a dream come true if it happened, but for me I wanted to go into this year with the most sincere and genuine approach. Being Miss Idaho is something that I have wanted for so long, but I knew that if it was meant to be it would happen. So for me, this week was about having the best time I could, being true to who I was, and feeling as if I did everything to the best of my ability. And if after all that was accomplished and I was meant to be Miss Idaho, then I couldn’t have felt more blessed for the gift that I had been given.

Miss Idaho week was yet another great experience and I had so much fun. I had the best roommate, Makenzie Stevens, who made me laugh my way to a 6-pack by the weeks end! All the contestants and our little Miss Idaho sisters participated in a shoe fashion show sponsored by Dillards and the Boise Art Museum. We also were able to visit some of the patients at St. Alphonsus Medical Center. One of the mornings required a 4 am wake up call to be on channel 7 with Larry Gebert while we rehearsed our opening number during his morning show. After a long week of rehearsals, we found ourselves taking naps whenever possible in the most random places possible! The floor of the Morrison Center, chairs that had been strategically placed together in the break room, Meg Rowe and I even found a little futon to share. Who would have thought a cement floor could have felt so good to sleep on!

I had one of the best interviews of my life; a good mix of laughter, talking about my passions, the work that had gone into my platform and what I planned to do in the future, my talent, and so much more. I even got to joke about my nickname “Spud” that I had received while competing at Miss America Outstanding Teen. Needless to say, I walked out of there with a huge smile on my face and knew it couldn’t have gone better.

It was a rocky experience after talent the next night but I followed it up with confidence in my onstage question. The next evening I won the swimsuit preliminary and had the best time walking out in my Sherri Hill evening gown with my little sister Hannah. When Friday came, I was announced as the 9th contestant out of the final 11 contestants to compete for the title of Miss Idaho. I couldn’t have been happier that evening after nailing my talent to perfection, winning the swimsuit area of competition for the final night, being awarded the Community Service Award for the 3rd year in a row, and when it finally came time for evening gown my smile hadn’t stopped all night as my little sister Hannah grinned back at me, eagerly waiting to walk out on stage for the final time.

As they announced the top five, I felt confident in my performance and my experience at Miss Idaho. I was proud of myself, and knew that even if this was the last time walking out on that stage, that I was satisfied and knew I had done everything in my power to be where I was. They announced Whitney Wood, Kelsey Roper, one of my very good and best friends, Meg Rowe and her sister Shannon Rowe, and myself as the final 5. Then came fourth runner up as Shannon Rowe who was competing for her first time at Miss Idaho and couldn’t be more proud of her followed by my wonderful pageant sister Meg as 3rd runner up. As I stood with the remaining 3 it was almost like deja vu to the year before. Kelsey Roper was announced as 2nd runner up which left myself and Whitney Wood. Each with tears in our eyes and grins across our face, we stood there embracing each other waiting to hear the next name they called. It’s a weird feeling as you stand there, hoping to not hear your name until the end but at the same time just wanting to hear it so you know they didn’t forget that you are still standing there. They talked about the importance of 1st runner up and then started to announce her name, I held my breath and my heart stopped beating as I waited to hear who’s name was announced. Whitney Wood was 1st runner up, meaning I was the new Miss Idaho 2011! A flood of emotions took over my body as tears filled my eyes and I thanked god for what had just been given to me. All the years of hard work and determination brought me here and had led me to this. I thanked the judges and gave Kylie Kofoed, Miss Idaho 2010, the biggest hug as we both started crying even more.

I am so thankful and appreciate of all the support and encouragement I have received from my friends and family. Brenda Tanabe, the Robinson family, and the Miss Idaho Board, thank you so much for all the support over the years and getting me to where I am today. I am so excited for my journey as Miss Idaho to begin! Rochelle Edvalson and Mary Croteau, thank you for helping prepare me as Miss Tri-Counties and having faith in me. Tami Urquhart, Shauna Brown, Jaylee Patterson, and the Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen Board, you are my foundation to this organization and I can not thank you enough. Mom, dad, my beautiful sister, and the rest of my wonderful family, I love you all so much and can’t believe you haven’t disowned me yet! Thank you so much for being there through thick and thin and making this journey one I’ll remember a lifetime. To all my friends, you each have played such an important role in my life and have taught me such valuable lessons as well as given me so much support. I would do absolutely anything for each and everyone of you. Thank you so much to my judges from this year as well as years past, for having faith in me to represent my state at Miss America as well as for the positive and constructive feedback they provided. My supporters and sponsors, thank you for continuing to support me over the years and believing in me to make it this far. Girl Scouts of Silver Sage Council, I could not have chose a better platform than “Building the 3C’s Through Girl Scouts: Courage, Confidence, and Character”. Girl Scouts is the reason I am the ambitious and confident woman I am today, determined to make a difference. Thank you so much to anyone who I may have failed to mention, there aren’t enough words to explain just how appreciative I am of everything you’ve all done to help get me here today. Can’t wait to see what lies ahead!

hugs and love,