Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted. Feels like so much has happened! Well, it has! Family trip to L.A. for the holidays, the Mrs. Texas pageant... the last month-and-a-half has been a whirlwind. I'll do my best to try to get caught up - I'll post some pics soon from the L.A. trip, but tonight, I've got something much more important to talk about....
Mrs. Texas 2012....
The pageant was Saturday, January 21st in Corsicana. This was going to be my year. I was getting a dress custom-made based off of a red dress Nina Dobrev wore to an awards show a while back. I had a swimsuit designer custom-designing a competition suit for me. I'd been working my butt off - literally - training at least twice a week with my trainer while fitting in workouts between work, family, etc. I had the hair going on, the eyelashes, the fake nails. I'd been practicing my walk and poses, working on study questions to prepare for interview. I was ready. Yes, this was going to be my year...
Well, it just wasn't meant to be. So many things happened that were beyond my control that just kept stacking the cards against me. It almost became a bit of a comedy! I just had to laugh sometimes to keep from crying!
Without getting into any detail, I had to improvise with my pageant wardrobe this year. Fortunately, I'd ordered a back up bathing suit to wear (you've always got to have a back up because anything can happen - and it did). I felt good in it, but didn't feel amazing. You've got to feel AMAZING when you're on that stage or it shows.
My evening gown didn't quite work out either. I had a back up all ready to go - my white dress that got me into the top five the previous two years was on standby. Problem is, I lost some weight for the pageant this year and the dress didn't fit properly. Not to mention the fact that I never got the dress cleaned after the pageant last year. It just wasn't stage ready and I wouldn't have felt good in it.
Fortunately, one of my fellow contestants (Whitney) let me borrow her "back up" gown. When I saw the dress, I almost passed out - it was beautiful. I thought, "If this is her back-up dress, what does her "dress-dress" look like?" The dress was stunning and fit like a glove. I had to spend two hours steaming it the day of the pageant, but it was so worth it! The irony of it all is that I ended up winning the evening gown award - IN SOMEONE ELSE'S DRESS! That pretty much sums up the craziness that was the pageant this year. Here is a shot Ryan managed to get at the pageant - formal pics from Larry Wright will be here shortly and you know I'll share!
Dealing with my wardrobe drama was enough to send me over the edge. Fortunately for me, I kind of roll with the punches and refused to let these issues destroy the pageant experience.
We took our opening number shots before orientation Thursday before the pageant....
Then some of us got together for a Zumba class in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express - good times! We were grooving! We wrapped up the night at Chili's - lots of grilled chicken at that table.
The following morning, we were up early for rehearsals...
Then headed to the Corsicana Country Club for lunch...
Then we went back to the theater for more rehearsals...
That evening, we had our annual dinner with the hubbies. Bless Ryan's heart - he drove all the way to Corsicana for the dinner, just to turn back around and head home to Frisco, just to come back to Corsicana the next day for the pageant. He's a trooper.
A highlight of our pageant weekend is our karaoke outing. Last year, I convinced one other person (DaLana) to come with me to the Two Doors Down coffee shop for karaoke. This year, we had a whole group! It was awesome! We ended up naming it "Karaoke with the Double Ds" (Dawn and DaLana) - the irony being that both of us have to use chicken cutlets when we get up on that stage during the pageant! But karaoke was just a blast - we sang everything from Bohemian Rhapsody to Etta James "At Last." (DaLana can actually sing beautifully, and she sang the song wonderfully - a touching tribute because we'd lost Etta James earlier that day). Karaoke with the Double Ds was definitely a highlight of the weekend!
The next morning, we were back at the theater for rehearsal at 8am.
Once rehearsals were done, it was game time - time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the first part of the competition - interviews! I knew I was going to wear the same interview suit again this year - it's so perfect and the color is amazing! I feel great in the dress. I wish I could say I didn't have a problem with it either, but the inner-lining was hanging a bit low and I had to scramble to get it taped and put in place before heading downstairs for my interview. It worked out (thank God for double stick tape).
Interview is always one of my strong points - y'all know I can talk and hold a good conversation. Unfortunately, I let a last minute judging change throw me off of my game, and I wasn't happy with how I'd done. I was told later that my interview was good but I know I could've done better, and like every other year, I had the BEST answers for all of my questions after the interview was over.
Frazzled from my interview, it was hard for me to get my mind right. I even left my contestant number in my hotel room! But it was game time - I managed to get it together so I could throw down on the stage.
Opening number went great. Round 1 of swimsuit and evening gown went well also. I even had someone tell me I looked the best I'd ever looked while competing. That calmed me down a bit - I needed to hear that because my confidence had been shaken.
They called the top 15 - I was relieved when I heard my name. The way the pageant weekend had been going, anything was possible. Had my name not been called, I wouldn't have been surprised.
We competed again in swimsuit and evening gown. Again, I felt great! I might even say I felt pretty confident. Sort of. I still had this weird feeling that things were just off. So when they called the top five, and the last name called wasn't mine, I was sad. Not devastated - I didn't rush off the stage crying or anything. I was slightly shocked, but not really. Disappointed - yes. It just wasn't supposed to be my year. The sad thing is - the top five question this year was about little girls and fairytales. After spending almost two hours in line at Disneyland last month so Bryn could take pics with the princesses, I would've nailed that question.
Kayla Wharton was crowned Mrs. Texas at the end of the night. I know she'll do a great job - she's already set a goal of breaking the appearance record for the year. I have to congratulate my fellow contestants on a job well done. The competition was fierce this year, but we still managed to have a great time. That's why I keep going back every year.
The rest of the weekend was just odd. Total strangers came up to me and told me they had me in their top 5. I woke up the morning after the pageant thinking, "What the H happened last night? What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? How did I not get into that top 5?" I drowned my sorrows in a cinnamon roll, a bisquit covered in gravy and a couple pieces of bacon. Ah.... it felt good to eat again.
Looking back, I had my first real lesson regarding the subjectivity of pageants. Same night, same contestants, different judges - there might've been a different outcome. The good news is I plan on competing again - looks like the next competition will be December 1st. Lots of lessons learned this year - there is plenty I will do differently. But one thing that won't change is that I'll continue being me - a wife, mother, careerwoman - and if I'm supposed to be Mrs. Texas, I'll be Mrs. Texas with a little bit of cellulite and a whole lotta REAL!
Thanks again to my sponsors, and a special shout out to Bonnie Benavidez of Avasiare. She hooked my make-up up again and did her thing!
See you in Corsicana in December!