The next week I had an interview with Boise Family Magazine, Beth Markley as well as Natalie Craig from the Arbiter. I was able to share about my experience competing in the Miss America Scholarship Organization as well as my personal story of being involved in Girl Scouts. There are 50,000,000 women in the US who have been Girl Scouts, it’s incredibly exciting to think that I am one of many who get to share their personal story of growth and the journey I experienced.
For the past 16 years, my mom, sister and I have ran in the Women’s Fitness Celebration Run. The race is now the largest women’s fitness run in the country with 15,000 women. On Friday, I helped out at the Axiom Gym Booth (previously known as Gold’s Gym) with a couple of their trainers. I talked with visitors about the welcoming environment the gym offers as well as the great equipment and nice facility. There was live entertainment and booths set up from all over. It was a great way to get everyone amped up for the race the next day!
Saturday morning, the Nutting girls put on their “Stunt Tater” shirts for the Idaho Potato Commission to get ready to race our little hearts out! It’s a gorgeous run with the course going through the heart of downtown Boise, uphill to the Train Depot, through a neighborhood overlooking all of Downtown Boise, and downhill back to downtown. At the end there is food from all over including the best bagels from a local bagel company. And of course huge women’s celebration! My mom and I each finished 7th in our age category and my sister placed in the top 25 in hers. I’d say we did pretty good!
The next morning I went to speak about “Living the Dream” through the empowerment of girls and women at the Soroptimist International of Rocky Mountain Region meeting. I talked about what it meant to live the dream, how it seems as if “the dream” is something that is perfection. There are no worries, no fears and everything fits into place. But that isn’t the dream, nor is it even close to reality. The dream is rather a stage where we do have worries, we do have challenges. But we find the strength and the courage to overcome those challenges to reach our full potential and in the process find ourselves making a difference not only in our life, but in the lives of others. It was definitely one of those days where you know your message meant something, because I felt like I was already a part of that group of women after speaking, even though we had just met that day.
Another woman talked about what it meant to live the dream. She had just found her husbands daughter who had been kidnapped back when she was a child. She received a phone call 6 months ago and it was her husband’s daughter on the other line. She is now in her late 20’s and has children of her own, and having his daughter safe and sound was her dream. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room after she spoke, and especially after she introduced us to her step daughter.
I then went to Paul Mitchell’s “Princess For A Day” where girls could come and get their hair and make up done and were given their own crowns. One group of girls were with their friend who was preparing to move to Utah. They wanted one last celebration and the mom’s even surprise them with a limo to pick them up when it was over to take them out to dinner!
The Miss America Organization also has a national platform, The Children’s Miracle Network. Founded back in 1983, the Children’s Miracle Network has raised over $4.3 billion to help fund Children’s Hospitals around the country. In Idaho, St. Luke’s is the only children’s hospital and is where the proceeds that I raise will go towards. I went out Saturday morning to the Nevada vs Boise State football game. I went around and met Bronco Nation’s Fans, and it felt great to be back on my home turf!
I also got to meet Stephanie Smith, Miss Idaho 1992 who also competed at the National Sweetheart Pageant. It’s always so nice to hear about what previous Miss Idaho sisters have done, but especially to meet one who also competed at Sweethearts. She was there with Roseanna Holliday, Miss Idaho 1993 and a very good friend of mine. It was so much fun to hang out with both of them as well as spread awareness of the Children’s Miracle Network.
Interested in making a donation? My goal is to raise $1000 before Miss America. Every penny counts and can help to make so many children happy.
A couple of days later I went to Spalding Elementary School to give a self-esteem workshop to a group of junior Girl Scouts. Though I’ve given my work shop numerous times, there is never one that is just like the last and I always take something new from it. This one was no different. When I came, the girls had a huge list of questions to ask. They ranged from “What’s your mom and dad’s name?”, “How big is your house?”, “If you could do it all over again, would you want to be Miss Idaho?” and one that said “How do you always look pretty and perfect?”. One thing that I talk about in my workshop is the idea behind perfect. I actually tell the girls I don’t believe in the word perfect and think it should be removed from the dictionary! Because if you reach perfection, then there is no where to go from there. There are no challenges to overcome, nothing to work for, therefore no growth. So when I answered the last question, my answer was that I make sure I take care of myself everyday, treat others well, and smile a lot (I told her it was probably the best accessory a girl could have!).
One girl stopped me and said she thought beauty was from the inside out though. I then explained to her how the way you treat someone comes from the inside, and that will reflect out. When I see someone treating others with respect, I think that is what makes them look like a beautiful person inside and out. She then nodded and said she understood and smiled back at me with the cutest little grin across her face.
I then travelled up to Pocatello, Idaho to give a self-esteem workshop at the Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center for “Girl Scouts Beyond Bars”. I absolutely love everything about Girl Scouts, and had never seen a program quite like this. At any given time, there is roughly 300 women at the correction center. They are rewarded for good behavior, but it takes much more to be involved in this program. The must not have had any poor behavior in the past 6 months, go through different steps, and have the guardian’s of their daughters agree to have their daughters come and visit them once every month for Girl Scouts with their mothers. If they make one mistake or poor choice during that time, the mothers have to personally call up their daughters to explain why they can no longer do Girl Scouts. But for some, this is the only time they get to see their daughters.
I walked into the center, not quite sure what to expect. I had never given a workshop in an environment such as this, as was preparing myself for whatever could possibly happen. As soon as the mothers and daughters walked into the room, watching them embrace seeing their daughter for the first time in weeks made me feel so happy to be part of such a touching moment. One mother got to see her daughter about twice a week. For the other, this was her only opportunity to see her two girls. That workshop, we spent a lot of time talking about goals and motivation. What motivates us to accomplish those goals and to stay focused.
I asked the girls and mother if they had role models or things that inspired them to reach those goals when they felt like they were near impossible to reach. One mother raised her hand. She said that this program (Girl Scouts Beyond Bars) was the one thing that kept her motivated to be on her best behavior and not fall back. She held both her girls close to her as she talked about how this was the program that encouraged her to do better because this meant she would be able to see her girls. I could have stayed there all afternoon with them. I just wanted to go up to each mom and hug them, tell them they are such wonderful mothers for giving this to their daughters an that they are good people. I hope my smile helped to convey that to them.
It was one of the girls birthday so we had birthday cupcakes and then said our good byes. I gave each girl a Miss Idaho Spuddy Buddy of which they were so excited to have. One girl couldn’t wait to show it at Show and Tell! They then said good bye to their mothers of which I couldn’t stop looking. I can’t imagine going a whole month with out seeing my mother, but I was so happy that they at least had a few hours that day to spend time together. I think it will mean a lot to those daughters when they grow up and realize how hard their mothers worked so that they could treasure those few hours with their daughters. At the end we all held hands and stood in our closing circle. We were each to think one thing that we were thankful about ourselves and one thing we wanted to work on. I was thankful for that opportunity to have been there that day and promised myself that no matter how crazy things get sometimes, I will always look back to that moment and remember how important it is to cherish the small things.
Goals for this week!
1. Accept that fact that cold weather is coming in and I have to break out the fall/winter layers. This is a tough one for me this year for some reason and I am just not ready for winter!
2. Start going to hot yoga 3 times a week after I get back from Sun Valley. The nice thing about it being freezing outside, is I can’t wait to get into that 110 degree room!
3. The countdown is on! In three months I will be standing on the Miss America Stage at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Each day until then, I will remind myself that rather than be intimidated by all the other 52 gorgeous, talented, intelligent, simply amazing women, to feel fortunate that I am up there with them! I am so excited to be reunited with each of them!
Much love and hugs,