Nothing happens by chance, no such thing as luck. A meaning behind every little thing, and such a meaning behind this. -Richard Bach

Well it is in fact that time again. Time to try to sum up to the best of my abilities a month’s worth of festivities and stories of fascinating people! The month of March was busy for our local pageants. With orientation for Miss Idaho being a little earlier this year, there was pretty much a local pageant to go to every weekend, which was a blast for me! I got to get to know our new titleholders and even was able to emcee a few pageants. And if you know me, there are few things that I love more than having a mic in my hand and the challenge of trying to leave an audience in a laughing fit.

The first local I went to that month was Miss Rexburg. I traveled up early to Eastern Idaho to make it in time for the Hillcrest Father Daughter Dance co organized by our Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen, Melanie Ross, to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network. The theme was Tropical Luau and what a blast we had as we danced to “Cupid Shuffle”, the Beach Boys, and “Dynomite” while competing in hula hoop competitions and seeing how low we could go while limboing.

The next morning I greeted the contestants prior to their interviews with the judges. Later in the evening, I was able to help out at the pageant. Miss Upper Valley was awarded to Makenda Bickmore, Miss Madison County Kayli Schwendiman, and Miss Rexburg to Jessica Bracey. Our trip wouldn’t have been complete without a trip to Frontier Pies…a story in itself for those of you who have been there. If you haven’t, well, you will have to experience it yourself to understand. But be fully prepared to have to run around to other people’s tables if you want to have any condiments with your meal.

The next week was a busy one for Girl Scouts as we celebrated our 100th Anniversary! I also found out that Girl Scouts shares their 100th anniversary with 4H, Oreo’s, Titanic, Chevrolet, and Fenway Park…what a monumental year 1912 was! We started out at Meridian City Hall where we broke out into a flash mob to the “Cupid Shuffle” as all the Girl Scouts gradually danced up to the steps of City Hall. I’ve always wanted to be part of a flash mob so now I can cross that off of my bucket list! After I finished speaking on the steps of City Hall, a little Brownie Girl Scout came up to me and said “Are you the President?” with the biggest wide eyed look. Part of me wanted to say, “Yes!” simply to feel what it must be like to have that kind of power! I laughed a little as I gave her a hug and told her no, but I was kind of like the Princess President of Idaho. She told me that made sense and of course proceeeded to ask me where my castle was. I told her it was on Quail Ridge (I love living on a street that sounds majestic!)
We then went to the Boise Town Square Mall where Girl Scouts from all over the state congregated in the middle of the mall as we participated in campfire sing a longs and celebration. I was able to share my experiences in Girl Scouts and how the organization has effected my life. The day wouldn’t have been complete with out seeing some of my favorite girls and receiving some huge bear hugs from them!

The next day I headed over to spend the day in Emmett. I started off at the local high school helping the Miss Gem County board recruit contestants for our teen and miss program. I forgot how chaotic break time is in high school, but I think we had quite a few girls interested! I then headed over to visit the residents at River’s Edge Rehab and Living Center. I was able to play “21” with cards bigger than my hand (I need to get my own deck!) and made quite a few friends.
Helen told me all about the different places she lived across the country and about how a little kid thought her name was a bad word. I thought she was going to fall out of her chair laughing when she told me that story! And she was a great story teller, I felt like I was really with her in all her stories. She started telling me about her husband, and the way she described him you could tell he was the absolute world to her. A heartbreaking story it was though and I tried to put a more positive twist on it as I could tell she was getting slightly emotional. She then squeezed my hand and said “This, is why you are Miss Idaho.” and then gave me the candy that she had won during our last hand of “21”.
I will never forget the look on her face when she said that and the way she held my hand. The lady next to me, Mary, was the sweetest little lady and just a tiny thing! She had never won before and let out the cutest little squeal when she beat us all. I loved her laugh and wish I had a picture of her smile with a little recording of her laugh. At one point I turned to her after we played and asked her what she wanted to do. She looked at me with a little scrunched up face and said “I have to go to the bathroom.” I wasn’t exactly expecting that answer and couldn’t help but to start laughing. She laughed with me and said “Well, you asked, didn’t you? What did you want me to say!” I wanted to fold her up and put her in my pocket! (I have a feeling after all the wonderful people I have met this year, I am going to need some pants with HUGE pockets to be able to do that.)
I then played piano for them as promised and made sure to get a big group picture before we left.

After that I headed to Kennth J. Carberry Elementary School and Shadow Butte Elementary. I love working with elementary students, they crack me up everytime and I learn so much from them! My first group was full of questions and an immense amount of energy.
Before I knew it I was out in the group giving high fives, being “jinxed”, tying shoes, and in a huge group hug. At the next school, I started talking with a little boy who quickly became attached to my hip! One little girl gave me a drawing with a picture of me and a heart around it (I absolutely love receiving artwork and have it all over my room now!) with a Valentine’s sucker attached. Well, the little boy must have felt threatened that our friendship was going to be put on the line by this action so he ran over to his backpack and started rummaging around and raced back to me with a cut out piece of paper in his hand.
He told me it was a bell and that I could take it home and color it whatever color I wanted, then asked me what color I was going to color it. I told him I love the color yellow but that seems like too typical of a color to use, so I would color it red. He nodded in approval and said that was a great color for a bell.

The next day was a busy one running around town picking up things for that weekend and preparing for yet another busy week ahead. But I was incredibly excited to go to hot yoga that day because Sumit (the creator of Sumit’s Hot Yoga) was in town and teaching. His class was incredibly inspiring and he is such an amazing instructor. Very moving and encouraging.

I met up with Miss Capitol City, Laura Hampikian, at St. Luke’s Hospital for the Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon. We were able to take people’s calls for donations and also inform people over the radio about our experiences with the Children’s Miracle Network and our platforms. While we were taking calls, this glamorous older woman came over to us and asked us what we were doing. She said she couldn’t help but notice the crowns on our heads (they are hard to miss!) and said that she was Miss Colorado back in the day.
She told us about her experience and how they had certain requirements. Your weight had to compliment your height, you must be fluent in a few different languages, you had to have a high IQ, and a clean backgroud check. I had no idea there were so many prerequesites! She was a riot though and such a sweet woman!

That night I went to the Boise State University Military Ball with ROTC Army Cadet Brad Fussner. He had asked me a couple months back through a youtube video if I would go with him, and we had the best time! I learned about how you should tap your spoon on the table to clap, there are certain rules that must not be broken or else you are required to drink out of a boot that is filled with “sweat, gravel, oil, and many other ingredients”. I was definitely on my best behavior that evening!

The next day was Miss Tri-Counties, and St. Patrick’s Day! Me, being the holiday enthusiast I am, I had to make sure I was wearing a green cocktail dress so I wore my favorite Tony Bowls cocktail. Miss Tri-Counties holds a special place in my heart for many different reasons.
It was the first local I ever competed in and was also the last for it was the title I held right before I won Miss Idaho. I was able to talk to the women vying for the title about what my year has been like and shared some insight to competing. I also was able to help with the Little Princess Program and ask them their onstage questions.
I asked one little girl who her best friend was, she then proceeded to tell me “I actually have a lot of friends and am quite popular, so I’m not able to answer that question right now.” Sounds like a potential future politician/comedian to me as she had the whole crowd laughing! Kristen Tatilian won Miss Nampa that evening and Miss Tri-Counties was given to Mikayla Arrington.

That next week I headed to Glenn’s Ferry to give a self-esteem workshop to a Girl Scout Visions troop. I had met one of the girls earlier last summer and had my picture taken with her. I had remembered her from her big sunglasses and cute little sundress, but I couldn’t believe how tall she had gotten! They then thought it would be fun to see how they all compared in size to me if I took my heels off, sadly, many were about the same height as I am, if not taller!

The next day I headed over to Fruitland to visit with their middle school girls about confidence and goal setting. It ended up being much more in depth than I thought it would be! The girls asked very specific questions on dating advice and what to do when they are having problems with other girls. It was definitely a reality check as to how girls are growing up at such a young age and that their challenges and struggles are more relevant to mine than I thought. Before I knew it, we were having a very purposeful conversation about why it was important to surround yourself with friends who support you and encourage you, and how it’s equally important to have relationships that are postive and uplifting as opposed to negative and manipulating.

That weekend was Miss Meridian, another local title that I’ve held before that I absolutely loved having because the community is incredibly supportive. I helped out with interviews in the morning and then assisted with rehearsing a bit. Except we were locked out of the buiding so we had to practice our walking patterns outside in the freezing cold! Talk about a group of champs! I was able to emcee that evening and had a blast cracking jokes and getting the audience involved in some Miss America Trivia during breaks and intermission. The one that was a big hit was “Which two contestants found out they shared a common interest, which was a two timing military cadet boyfriend! Miss Iowa and Miss California.” Looks like he found his 15 minutes of fame! That evening Yvette Bennett won Miss Meridian, and Shalese Kofoed won Miss Treasure Valley.

That week I headed up to Idaho Falls for an eventful week spent with the Miss Riverview contestants and Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen contestants. I also got to practice my emceeing skills once again! Miss Riverview was won by Giovanna Sweat and Miss Grand Teton was given to Kaitlyn Anderson. This was our last local to qualify for Miss Idaho 2012, which meant they were headed to orientation for Miss Idaho that weekend.
The next day I helped with rehearsals for the Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen Preliminary night. Having been a former Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen (2006), it was fun to sit back and watch the contestants interact with each other as I relived the experience. However, it was quite sad and a reality check to watch Melanie Ross, give away her title as Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen 2011 because that meant my time would be coming up very quickly.
I am so proud of her for all the work she did with promoting music in our schools and simply being a positive role model for those around her. I emceed the preliminary night and then came back the next day to emcee the final evening with Dani Beckstrom, Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen 2008 and also one of the most hysterical people that I know! There were times when I was onstage that I couldn’t keep my laughter to myself. But I guess that’s the sign of two great emcees, you feel comfortable enough to make a fool of yourself up there and just laugh it off in the end! As a double whammy, we also announced the correct names for the placement and winner of Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen 2012! I am so excited to announce Ashley Southern as our representative in the 2012 Miss America Outstanding Teen Pageant this August. I know she will do a wonderful job representing Idaho and I’m looking forward to all that she will do in the coming year during her reign.

Goals for this week!

1. This week I will be running in Beat Coach Pete again! We beat him last year, let’s see if the 3 musketeers can beat him again this year!

2. Learn about the history of HAM, HAM Radio that is! I’ll be working with them next week and look forward to a fun day with them!

3. Working on memorizing an extended version of Rhapsody In Blue…I will not let myself be intimidated by the length of the piece and the complexity, yikes!

Much love and hugs!