Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top 5 at Mrs. Texas!!!!

Twenty-two amazingly beautiful and inspiring women descended on Corsicana, Texas last weekend to compete in the Mrs. Texas America pageant.  I was super-pumped and excited to be one of them!  Every year, I ask myself at least once or twice why I put myself through the stress, dieting, working out, etc. to get ready for the pageant.  I always get my answer by the end of the weekend.  I had an amazing time hanging out with good friends - and I did pretty well in the pageant too!
The competition was tough this year!  When the contestant photos were released a couple weeks ago, I got that, "Oh crap!" feeling.  There were obviously some seasoned pageant competitors in the bunch.  One thing I noticed was how many beautiful African American contestants there were this year.  For the last couple of years, there might be one or two of us - this year there were six!  For me personally, it was wonderful to see so many beautiful women of color representing in the pageant.
Flashback to Corsicana last January - my 4th time competing in Mrs. Texas was awful!!!! After unexpected issues with both my custom gown and swimsuit arose, it was hard to refocus and get my mind right for the pageant. After my interview, I went up to my room and cried because I wasn't happy with how I'd done.  I made the first cut but didn't finish in the top five (but ironically won the Best Evening Gown Award in a borrowed dress - go figure).  It was disappointing.  Competing in the pageant this year was about redemption for me. I had to prove to myself that I could be successful. I worked hard, prepared, and made sure I was mentally ready this year for competition and it paid off!
We took contestant pictures on Thursday then a couple of us decided to see Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2.  It was my second time seeing it and an awesome distraction to pageant stress.  Sitting in that theater smelling that popcorn was tough though - good thing we snuck in Subway sandwiches because we were starving.

We rehearsed all day Friday!  We start by running through the evening gown and swimsuit competitions bright and early.  Swimsuit rehearsals were particularly fun since we had new props this year - white furry (snow)balls to go with the Christmas theme of the pageant.  Those balls provided plenty of laughs for the rest of the day.

Friday afternoon we learned an exciting and fun opening number to Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" which happens to be one of my favorite holiday songs.  I was designated a "Present Girl" for the dance.

We wrapped up rehearsals a little after 4 p.m. and rushed back to the hotel to get ready for our pre-pageant party at the Corsicana Country Club.  Ryan was unable to make it to the party this year (BUMMER).  In year's past, we'd always gone to the Two Doors Down coffee shop to have some fun singing (or attempting to sing) karaoke.  We were bummed to find out Two Doors Down went out of business, but the country club had set up karaoke for us!  It seemed like all the contestants could sing this year - I decided not to destroy the evening and kept my best karaoke to myself.

Then the day of competition arrived.  We had another rehearsal to review what we learned the day before, then it was back to the hotel to prepare for interviews.  I was so pumped this year - I was contestant #2!  That meant getting my interview out of the way early.
Something happened before my interview that really helped me.  I ran into one of last year's judges in the elevator after grabbing some lunch.  She told me she googled me after the competition last year and told me I was too humble.  She said she knows I don't like to brag, but pageants aren't the place for humility.  Something about that conversation gave me the courage and confidence I needed to get through my interview.  After calling Ryan crying last year because I knew I'd bombed my interview, this year I called him crying because I thought I'd nailed it.  Redemption for sure!
I'll wrap up an already long story - the pageant was great.  Here I am wearing my stunning Frankie Couture gown (that I tripped on once or twice, but kept it moving)...
I made the top 13 and was beyond thrilled when I heard my name announced for top 5.  After giving a pretty good final question answer, I really thought I had a chance of winning.  Unfortunately, my name was called when they announced fourth runner up.  It was a little disappointing, but I feel extremely blessed to have made the top 5 at all.  Again, the competition was so tough this year and any of the ladies on that stage could've been standing in my spot.

Even more exciting, I won two additional awards - Career Achievement and (drum roll please....) BEST INTERVIEW!!!!  I think I was more excited about winning that award than I was making it into the top five!
At the evening, the beautiful Austen Williams won top prize.  She's an amazing young woman and I have no doubt she'll represent Texas well this year.
At the end of every pageant I always say I'm done!  I'm not getting any younger and it gets harder to prepare every year.  But I can't imagine not having this experience every year.  It's become such a highlight and something I look forward to.  We'll have to wait and see if I make another run for the 2014 crown.

Again, a special thank you to my dear husband for his support and my friends who made it down to Corsicana to support me in person.  There are no words to describe how important having you in the audience is to me.  I could not do this without you.

Thanks to all of you who supported me on Facebook during the "Like" competition as well.

And finally, another thank you to my amazing sponsors!

Sheila Stoutmire, Sheila’s Training – www.sheilasfitness.com

Bonnie Benavidez, Avasiare Professional Skincare and Cosmetics - www.avasiare.com

Debbie Quintanilla, 2Q Salon/Lashes & Brows – www.2qsalon.com

Katie Tellor, Katie Tellor Hairdressing – www.katietellor.com

Klix Hair, Inc. – www.klixhair.com
Thanks to Larry Wright for most of the pics used above.


Gigi said...

Loved the blog! Also, I saw the video on your son & I thought it was beautiful. You are such a great role model Dawn.

Dawn said...

Thank you so much!