It has been over two months since my last entry, which is absolutely unacceptable! However, I must add that the past two months have been the busiest two months since my preparation for Miss America. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m always saying, “Things are just crazy busy right now!” And those who truly know me know that this saying is absolutely true, just about 99.9% of the time! That being said, I’m tickled beyond words to finally have the time to start blogging again. Which is funny that it is nearly midnight on a lovely Friday summer evening, and I’m sitting on the couch in my lounging attire, glasses, a pore refining face mask (hey, after a “crazy busy week” I had to find a way to pamper myself somehow), and 12 page intense paper on “social issues in our democracy and their solutions” under my belt. Nothing like the feel of accomplishment early on in the weekend!
An immense amount of activity has happened in my life since my last post, and I’ll attempt to sum it up the best that I can. I’m proud to say that not only did I accomplish my first goal in my last post, but I had the absolute best time running in the Famous Idaho Potato Run! It was the most beautiful 6.2 miles as Mr. Idaho and I ran along downtown Boise and past the Boise River. I couldn’t help but to do a happy dance/jump like a crazy lady when I beat him by what he swears was only a few steps but I could argue it was much more. We both enjoyed a few delicious spuds and cheered on the finalist including the Idaho Potato Commission’s Frank Muir as he finished his first half marathon!
I also was able to finish my year off feeling more inspired and at peace than I could have even hoped for. The two highlights from my final appearances were the best reminders of the importance of the job as a titleholder as well as how impactful the simplicity is of a kind touch and gentle word. I made an appearance at Emmett’s 4H 100th Anniversary Barn Dance where I ran into a couple of the kids I had worked with at some of the local elementary schools. That’s always such a joy for me to be able to run into people I’ve met over the past year and have them still remember our acquaintance.
I met one girl who had her face all painted with sparkles which matched the little twinkle in her eyes as she gazed up at the crown on my head and told me she had never met a real life princess. I asked her if she wanted to touch the crown which she enthusiastically nodded her headed to. Well, after dancing the night away and potentially eating my weight in candy, it was time to call it a night.
Before I left, the same little girl approached me and asked if she could try on my crown. Here’s the thing about letting people try on the crown, when you let one person try it on, everyone wants to wear it. I mean EVERYONE! Little sisters, their cousins, their brothers and dads even! And that’s a lot of pinning and placing to do in one night. So I told her to allow me 10 minutes to say my goodbyes and then meet me in the back of the barn. A couple minutes went by before she asked the popular question of her age group “How many more minutes now?” I laughed and told her 7 minutes in which she came up to me 2 or 3 more times before I was finally able to take her to the back of the barn. Before I let someone wear the crown, I like to educate them on the fourpoints of the crown- service, style, success, and scholarship, as well as what it means to wear the crown.
That you must be confidence and proud in your own skin, devoted to your education, and most importantly be respectful and kind to yourself and others. I asked her if she thought she could do that, which she eagerly replied yes to. She was bursting at the seams to try on that crown. I unpinned the crown from my head and proceeded to place it on hers, taking each bobby pin and pin it into her ponytail. As I placed the last pin I stood back and felt myself beaming back at her.
‘How does it feel?’ I asked her. She took a second to smile back at me before responding ‘Magical. It feels magical.’ The power of the crown is a powerful thing. ‘Do you feel magical when you wear it?’ she asked me. I nodded with an overwhelming feeling of pride and absolute awe of this sweet girl. ‘Absolutely, every time I wear it.’
I knew that my last official appearance as Miss Idaho would be emotionally difficult, but I had no idea I would be so emotionally withdrawn by the time I was at the elementary graduation I was speaking and performing at. This year has been one that I can’t even describe in words (well, maybe with all the words in the entity of this blog!) and it all went by in the blink of an eye it seemed. I spoke about what true success is and what it really means to follow your dreams. After speaking and playing my talent, I didn’t have much time to mingle since they had a schedule for their last day of school.
A few kids tried to sneak in last minute pictures as one girl patiently waited back. Right as I was about to leave, she came up to me and pointed to my sash. “Can I have one of your diamonds?” she asked me. I told her that they weren’t of much value since they weren’t the actual diamonds that were worth a lot of money. She asked what they were and I told her that they were rhinestones. She didn’t really care what they were though; she just wanted to have one to take with her. I had never had anyone ask me for a rhinestone on my sash so I was surprised but proceeded to take one off and placed it in her hand. She wrapped it up in something she pulled out of her pocket and pushed it back deep into her pockets so as to not have it fall out and then gave me one of the biggest hugs in the world. As I walked out of the school, maybe it was just my imagination, but it was as if those kids knew it was going to be my last time being out in the public as Miss Idaho. They were all so enthusiastic giving me hugs, waving at me from classes, and grinning at me with the biggest smiles. This was the best job I had ever had and it just reminded me that even though it was all coming to an end, the impact that I have been able to have as well as receive will be everlasting.
The first week of June, I said my farewell to being Miss Idaho. One of the hardest things I realized is saying goodbye. In my speech, I talked about many themes and lessons I learned during my involvement. But I also talked about how with any dream, you imagine what it would feel like to accomplish it. What it would feel like to hear your name called as the next Miss Idaho, what it would feel like to have that crown placed upon your head and proudly represent your state at Miss America. But what you don’t imagine is what it will feel like the last time you introduce yourself as Miss Idaho. The last time you place that crown upon your head. What it will feel like to say goodbye to some of the most extraordinary events in your life. I decided though, that one doesn’t say goodbye…but rather reflect upon that experience, be grateful of all that it have given you and taught you, and pass that joy onto someone else. On June 9th, I proudly passed on my title to the lovely Whitney Wood who was also my first runner up from the year before. She has been an amazing representative for Idaho and I can only imagine all that she will accomplish and how proud she will make us in the coming year as she spreads her love and platform of “Handbags of Hope” throughout all of Idaho.
Since then, my life has been consumed with summer school, moving again, working more consistently at White House Black Market, emceeing Miss Western Idaho with one of my favorite ladies of all time, and catching up with what’s been going on in the lives of my friends.
Summer school is unlike anything I imagined! Waking up at 6 am to attend my first class which would require hours of reading and note taking each evening in addition to a potential quiz every day based on Technology and Social Change. Each morning I left class feeling as if the world was going to be taken over by computer generated robots at any minute. But it was a fascinating class. I then followed it up with a short break, typically enough time to go for a run and finish the additional hours of reading required for my next class which is about Communication and Democracy. An absolutely fascinating class but incredibly heavy material. If you asked me what season it was right now I would definitely not guess summer! But my last week of class is next week and I could not be more excited to finally get somewhat of a vacation to enjoy a little bit of Boise’s summer! I plan on getting in more runs with my golden retriever, doing some rock climbing, floating the Boise River, running the Dirty Dash again, attending a few weddings including being the Maid of Honor in my best friend of 15 years wedding, and of course looking into graduating this December!
Now that we’re finally all caught up, my blog posts will once again be more frequent but I’m transitioning over to my average daily life to write about in my posts. Which can be incredibly random so it should be a very entertaining and promising read!
Of course I couldn’t go without stating my 3 goals for the week!
1. Focus hocus pocus! These last few days of summer school are a little chaotic with a group presentation and project due Monday, a group research paper due Tuesday, and a class final on Wednesday. Oh ever relaxing yoga and deep breathing don’t fail me now!
2. Figure out the best gift for my baby sister who will be turning 19-years-old this next week!
3. Schedule a time to sit down with my advisor and make sure that everything is a go to graduate this winter so I can start planning my internship and next steps into the real world this spring!
It feels GREAT to be back!
Much love and hugs