Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My Adventures at Mrs. Oklahoma 2014

Mrs. Oklahoma weekend has come and gone and no I'm not the new queen but I did get called into the top 9 and I won a swimsuit award. I had no pre-conceived notions going in about winning I only had a goal to be called into the Top group and I was. I know now why I was not chosen the new queen and I am at complete peace with that.

I was very blessed to meet 13 other amazing women. There were 14 others in the competition but one was a dear friend already. These women were driven and passionate about their causes not to mention beautiful.

The morning of Friday March 21st I woke up super early and had a good healthy breakfast and then went ahead and got everything I needed loaded in my car you'd never know I was only going for 2 days with the amount of things I packed. I got to the temple a few minutes before 12:30 and met my dear friend Brittany on the stairs and we shared a special prayer time asking God to watch over us and put a hedge of protection around the competition and that it would be a positive experience for everyone. Those prayers were most definitely answered.

We immediately jumped right into photos in swimsuit and our opening number dresses. It was not cold but not warm on this particular March day in Oklahoma so while we stood around mostly freezing we made small talk to get to know each other. We talked alot about how it takes a special kind of woman to put herself out there like each of us were doing and how we were all so different. That's what struck me about this group of women that I quickly became friends with how different each of us were. It was truly a moment of clarity for me when I realized we were all just presenting the best versions of ourselves and that's all we could do. I instantly relaxed and stopped trying to compare myself to the other women surrounding me. The moment I did that I felt complete peace about the events ahead of me.

My registration picture in my opening number dress. Yes it's tucked into my swimsuit I had to take a needle and thread to it later in the evening to alter a little more to fit better. The wind came up just I was taking this pictures so I feel like I'm squinting to keep dirt out of my eyes but over all it's not terrible. In hindsight I definitely should have done full stage make up for these photos!

So we finished up with photos and settled in for orientation we went around the room and introduced ourselves and our reasons for competing, I shared my convictions in getting families to be present with each other through technology guidelines, as well as my desire to honor my mother through this competition, and my desire to challenge myself and shake up my routines as wife and mommy, then I met two very cool women. Austen Williams the reigning Mrs. America from Texas. This lady I really just wanted to pack her and bring her home with me. She had this amazing light about her and she was so real. The thing I loved most about her is that she was herself through and through it was so refreshing! Next I met Julie Pittman the reigning Mrs. Oklahoma this sweet woman of God spoke life into each of us all weekend long it was so amazing to witness. She prayed with each of us individually before interview and just had this incredible hospitable heart that was so welcoming.
These women were so sweet to take photos with my 3 three year old after the show and she was loving every minute of it! 
So  we practiced for a few hours on Friday and then we had dinner back at the hotel. I had to go without Jeremiah because he opted to stay home with our 3 year old. I had a great time with Brittany and speaking with the other girls at dinner.
 We sat with another contestant Heather and her husband and I asked her if she had any one peice of advice for Brittany and I since she had competed the prior year and was a returning veteran. I loved what she had to say she said she thought she did everything to the best of her ability in the prior year and it just wasn't her year, she mentioned originally thinking she would try to be someone completely different in this year's competion and then decided that wasn't being true to who she was and she didn't want to win under a false identity. I loved that so much and it spoke to my heart!
After dinner we went  back to our rooms changed into comfortable clothes and went back downstairs for more rehearsals. At this point in the day I think we had all worked the jitters out and we could just relax. We had a great time laughing at ourselves, and doing our best to remember the opening number that Austen had taught us earlier that day! "Friends don't let friends go out looking crazy" that was Austen's motto and she meant it. So we practiced and practiced some more. This night of rehearsals was probably in my top 3 best moments of the weekend!
Yes we totally rocked the Charlie's Angels pose in our silly fun picture of the night!
 After this rehearsal Brittany and I headed back to our room and just chilled we did a little devotional and tried to get to bed early. Although truth be told neither of us slept very well.
The next morning bright and early we headed back over to the temple for more rehearsal and I was super excited because my hubs would be there it was good to see him after a night of separation.
I was looking a little crazy with my hair in pin curls and absolutely no make up for rehearsal. But I wanted to be fresh for interview prep later on so I didn't want to have to remove make up.
So after rehearsal I said goodbye to the hubs knowing I would see him later for the show. I went back to the hotel room and tried to relax I ate a little lunch and just hung out until time to get ready for interview.
Then just like that it was interview time!
My interview flew by and I left the room feeling like it went well but not certain that I had won over the judges. I got to talk alot about my platform which was awesome. The one question I got asked that I wasn't expecting was "what's special about Oklahoma" I answered that I really thought it was the people I talked about times in my life that I felt like the people of this great state surrounded me and held me up. I talked about the pride that swelled in my heart when I saw all the volunteers ready to head in to total devastation after the tornadoes last spring. I mentioned that our state is no stranger to heart ache but our strength comes in being able to rebuild after tragedy, I also mentioned how if the people don't attract you to our state it could be our weather, after all we're the only state I know of that you can experience all 4 seasons in the same day. I went back to the room and hung out and just tried to relax until show time.
I felt like the hard stuff was behind me and now it was time to relax and have a good time. Before I knew it. Showtime was upon us. I got a quick opportunity to sneak out of the dressing room and say hello to some of my friends who were there supporting me I also got to sneak a quick hug and kiss in with my hubs.
Then it was time to rock n roll. We opened with opening number which went off mostly without a hitch and then it was straight into swimsuit!  I tried to channel my inner Victorias Secret model and be super confident. I was proud of all the work I put in to be competition ready and I just allowed every insecurity I've ever had about my body to disappear.

 Another one of my top 3 moments happened during swimsuit in my final pose on stage I heard a sweet voice yell out. "That's my mommy" It made me smile even bigger to hear my sweet girl!
After swimsuit we hurriedly changed into gowns I was so excited for gown because I knew my honey was going to be escorting me and I was looking forward to see him looking very handsome in his tuxedo.

 After evening gown we had a bit of a wait while the judges tabulated scores and the top 9 were chosen. I took the opportunity to take backstage pics.
Kayla truly made me believe that I could be Mrs. Oklahoma someday and made me realize my own value more than I think I ever have. She has an amazing heart and made me look and feel phenomenal!

 My precious and dear friend Brittany looked breathtakingly beautiful! I was glad to share this entire experience with her!

Then it was time we all gathered on stage for announcement of top 9.
They called 8 girls and I was still standing there I was looking to my right believing the next name called would be either my beautiful friend Brittany or the equally beautiful Stephanie. Imagine my surprise when instead it was my name that was called!  That was by far the best moment of the whole competition for me realizing that I had reached my goal of being called into the top group! I was beyond elated to be standing there included in the group of elite and precious women standing next to me!

 Then we had a small wait time and the top 9 lined back up for the calling of the top 5. This time I dared hope I might be called. Disappoint momentarily set in when I wasnt, but I immediately picked myself up and decided to be incredibly proud of my placement and my performance. I also had 5 new friends to cheer on I knew any one of them would make an amazing Mrs. Oklahoma!

Then it was time for awards! My dear friend Brittany was named Oklahoma's Mrs. Congeniality! I was surprised and excited to win a swimsuit award!

The beautiful, gracious and kind Michelle Evans of Tulsa walked away with the title of Mrs. Oklahoma 2014. Oklahoma could not have a more beautiful woman of God wearing the crown. I can't wait for Mrs. America she's going to do amazing and I will be cheering her on all the way!

 I am so honored to be pictured in this group. If only you could get to know these amazing women I know you'd be as much in awe of them and their beautiful hearts as I was and to be counted amongst them is such a blessing!
 Mrs. Oklahoma was an amazing experience. I've already been asked more times than I can count if I'll do it again and maybe some day but not next year our family has other goals we'll be persuing.
Thanks everyone for your kind words of support and encouragement throughout this process I am thankful to have experienced it!
With Love,

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Strangely Calm

So here we are less than a week away from Mrs. Oklahoma and I'm strangely calm. I have no pre-conceived notions going into competition I'm simply there to present the very best version of myself and if that's what the judges are looking for then I will do well. It's unusual for me to be this calm leading up to something I've worked really hard for, normally I am a ball of emotions and nerves.

However, I was sharing with a friend last night that in the past two weeks I feel like I've been given confirmation that I am in the right place at the right time in my life for this competition. I've grown so much as an individual in the last few years mostly because of huge life changes 1 being the birth of my daughter, and 2 being the death of my mother. I've learned a lot about myself and where I stand in my values, beliefs, and convictions.

I wrote a post here a few years ago called "Deeper" and I expressed my desire to know people more than just surface level I expressed my desires to really dive under the surface and see the real person hiding beneath the perfect facebook update. I believe that was my first real struggle with technology and it's ability to distance relationships. I feel like this has been welling up inside of me for years and God orchestrated everything for it to manifest in the form of a pageant platform. I've done the hard work of planning screen-free events, promoting the idea of technology guidelines to sometimes less than enthusiastic groups, and super pumped up groups. I've put the hours in at the gym, and I've done the fun work of picking out my wardrobe now it's just time to shine. I'm ready I'm so ready it scares me in the best way possible. I have no preconceived notions going into this weekend but I do know I'm as prepared as I can be.

It's all in God's hands now!

With A Smile,


Saturday, March 8, 2014

My competition wardrobe

So I decided to go ahead and share my competiiton wardrobe online. I am thinking everyone should have their own unique wardrobes and I'm not concerned about anyone copying me.

So without further ado this is my gown that I love! It's a mermaid fit and has beautiful lace cap sleeves the back is all lace as well.


Here's my interview dress I did not pick out my interview dress to match my gown but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did. Both have black lace trim.

 This is the opening number dress that all the ladies will wear. God did not bless me with a lot of curves so I decdied to get my dress early so I could have it altered if needed. Do not be fooled by this picture there are about 14 safety pins holding this dress in place.

I had my make up done at the MAC counter so they could help me put together my official stage make up kit that I will be using when I do my make up class with the Yukon Beauty College this next week. This is a terrible picture it's blurry and the lighting is bad but you get the idea.
and just for fun Here's me and my fabulous friend Mrs. B! She finally got her sash!
I'm now two weeks out from competition and I'm super excited! We got the judges biographies last week and I got to look those over and everyone seems like someone I will be able to connect with.
I've still got to go and actually pick out my jewelry at Dusteesm, and I've still got make up class at the Yukon Beauty college, I've also still got some mock interviews ahead of me but overall I'm getting to the stage of completely ready!
So that's a general update of what's been happening in my pageant world i am still trying to write the post about my sweet baby girl's 3rd birthday that passed at the end of February. Soon I hope I'll be able to put into words how her turning 3 has affected me.
With A Smile,

Monday, February 24, 2014

Strike A Pose

I was in desperate need of new headshots when I decided to enter Mrs. Oklahoma and I did actually take these back in October of 2013 with Jeremy Ostercamp at his home studio. I wore a bright green wrap dress it's a dress that I've gotten a lot of compliments when I wear regularly at work and I thought wearing it might boost my confidence with pictures. I curled my hair and did my best make up application but I just wasn't really feeling confident about the photos, that is until I got to the actual shoot and visited with Jeremy about what I was looking for in a photograph. He made me feel completely at ease and I didn't even feel self conscious about being my goofball self. Usually during my photo sessions I tend to tense up and you can tell in my expressions, in my posture and everything just seems off. I did not feel that way about these shots, and the photos didn't disappoint. I feel like I look like the very best version of myself.. If you're in Oklahoma City and you're looking for a fantastic and well priced photographer you should check out Jeremy Ostercamp he did a really fabulous job of making me feel comfortable and the pictures are amazing.. Here's his website tell him I sent you :)

We took a ton of different shots some outside some inside and I even did some with my crown and sash on to use for autograph cards. I didn't take any outfit changes and I kind of wish I would have but what's done is done. I was so excited  to see the images Jeremy captured. I did have one thing that I was really angry with myself for. I had went out and bought a fabulous new pair of jade earrings to wear in my photos (see I'm not a huge fan of my ears but somehow if I have cute earrings in I care less about them), but I left them at home and didn't have them for photos. I still think the photos are great because Jeremy did a great job of putting me at ease and making me feel confident.Here's the official headshot that went up on the Mrs. Oklahoma website and will be in the program book.

I'm completely in love with this photo, because while I feel like it's glamorous and and I feel truly beautiful when I look it. I love that it still looks like me it's not so photoshopped that you cannot tell who is in the photo. I feel like it showcases the best of my features without being overpowering and I'm not so heavily made up that it looks nothing like me in person. I feel like this photo does a great job of showcasing who I am.
Thank you Jeremy Ostercamp for the great headshot!
With A Smile,

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Facing My Fears

In High School and through most of my teen years I didn't really struggle with my skin maybe a little but nothing major or damaging. I hit my early twenties and my face erupted in big ugly hormonal acne. I struggled to cover it with cakey make up and just resigned to a life of dealing with it. On into my mid twenties my skin sort of calmed down and settled in to some pretty predictable patterns so I was able to control it for the most part just knowing when it would erupt.

Then I had Carys and it just got worse especially if I wasn't paying any attention to my diet. My arch nemesis in life is Dr. Pepper I'm addicted to the stuff and it's so so bad for me, it gives me horrible headaches and I generally feel lethargic and heavy after drinking it but, it's like sweet nectar on the tongue and I forget all the bad for that moment of sweetness. So If I'm being really careless and drinking a lot of soda especially my face just gets chaotic.

I share this because I finally realized my diet and wearing alot of make up to cover up my breakouts weren't doing my skin any favors, and with Mrs. Oklahoma fast approaching I didn't want to be trying to nurse my skin back to health during the competition. The last thing I need is to having something that waivers my confidence in myself. So I sat down and did some major research into hormonal acne and what I could do to help my skin. So I made a commitment to cut out as much processed food as possible and to drink water above anything else. I have one cheat day a week and I try to save it to the weekend but I usually wind up using it on Monday or Tuesday. I also switched to a witch hazel toner because I read alot about how it helps broken skin. I also made the scary commitment of not wearing any heavy make up until Mrs. Oklahoma weekend. So I've been wearing just a little powder and some mascara on my eyes and grooming my brows with some clear gel.

It's been a little scary facing the world without my mask on but I'm realizing make up doesn't make me who I am. It's not supposed to. I'm so tired of hiding behind a mask of gunk that's not good for my skin. Yes I'll be wearing stage make up at Mrs. Oklahoma but that's because I don't want my face to get lost in the lights. But I'm starting to feel really good about how my skin feels and looks.
I met up with one of my friends so our kiddos could play last week and I shared with her my hormonal acne issues because she had complimented my skin. She shared that she too struggles with hormonal acne and I know inwardly I breathed a sigh of relief. Acne as an adult has this way of isolating you and making you feel like you are the only one who suffers with it.

I know many women suffer and I just wanted to share I may be getting ready to compete in Mrs. Oklahoma and I am so honored to be doing so, but I'm not happy with all aspects of my appearance. I do struggle with my skin and I'm praying and fighting hard that my skin will remain healthy for pageant weekend. I was so thankful when my friend shared with me that she too struggles with this little annoying problem because I began to feel not so isolated. So I'm hoping that my post will do that for someone else!

Pageant weekend is getting close, but before I get to that I've got a major event this weekend. Our precious baby girl is turning 3. Today she had her first spa pedicure experience with her Aunt. She loved every minute of it. I definitely have a little princess on my hands :)

With A Smile,