Thursday, May 29, 2014

On Being a Has-Been

This week is always a little bitter-sweet for me. Every year sometime in early summer my Facebook feed is flooded with pictures from girls competing for Miss Nevada. For the past several years I have cheered from afar as friends have been crowned as Miss Nevada, but this year and last year I haven't really known anyone in the pageant, but their photos still make it to my feed through one mutual friend or another. I recognize a few faces from the Teen program or from a smaller pageant called Cinderella that I competed in for years, but I don't know any of them, not really.

In previous years I waited for the text or call to tell me which of my pageant sisters had won because regardless of the outcome, I probably knew the winner. Now I just wonder what it would be like to still be there myself. It's funny though because I'm still competing age. This year or next would probably be my last before I "aged-out." But I chose a different route. I chose to become a wife and a mom. Which I swear I do not regret. Not one little bit.

But half of my life I was a pageant girl. I was in my first pageant when I was eleven, and I continued to compete until I got married at twenty. Pageants were part of my identity. They made me a little different. And honestly I think that is what I miss. When I chose to get married and start a family I knew what I was giving up, and I was completely sure that is what I wanted to do. But I don't think I realized that I wasn't just giving up competing, I was kind of giving up part of who I was.

When people ask me what I like to do I can no longer say, "Well I like to read, play video games, and, oh yeah, I'm Miss {insert title here}." But when I could say that, I got the best responses. Some people would think it was super cool, and others would go on a rant about their idea of pageantry, but regardless, it always sparked a conversation. If you talk to me now all you hear about is how my kid refuses to nap or potty train.

But even though I'm no longer a "pageant girl," and I don't tell people immediately that I used to be one, it never really goes away. In the pageant world it is common to hear of the "pageant bug," which usually refers to a girl who competes in one pageant and just can't stop. It really is catching. But in the process of competing, you catch so much more than what meets the eye.

I became comfortable in front of crowds (enough to wear a swimsuit on stage), I learned public speaking, I gained interviewing skills, I became passionate about service. I'm never nervous when I have to present in class or go in for a job interview because, honestly, I've never been in an interview more difficult than a Miss America Organization interview. And I made relationships with some of the most impressive and dynamic women the state of Nevada has ever seen.

So even thought I am no longer able to introduce myself as Miss Something, I feel different, better for having been a pageant girl. And even though I'll never have the chance to walk on that Miss America stage, I am so glad for the years I got to walk on the Miss Nevada one.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

6 days.

I considered separating these out into neat and tidy posts, but then I decided I'd never get around to them if I did that. So stay with me as I jump around to the random events of the last six days.

On Thursday, May and I drove down to Mesquite to visit my parents for the weekend. I got a chance to catch up with friends and hang out with my parents. Always a good time.

We had to visit the angry ducks, of course.

We visited Papa at work and little girl stole his glasses. (Pretty sure my brother and I have a thousand pictures like this with our grandparents.)

And May was Gam's "Big Helper" in the kitchen all weekend.

Then we drove back home to make it back in time for Ryan's first downhill mountain biking race of the season. Monday we drove up the canyon to watch his race and it was so fun! Seriously, I had no idea what a big deal it was. People were camped out to watch the bikers all day. Next time we will be better prepared, but we had a blast.

Then today we got to be a part of Jackson proposing to Niki! He planned the whole thing at the Hogel Zoo, but needed a good excuse to be there! So we all went together. Seriously so cool to get to watch these two love birds get engaged! Congrats Niki and Jackson!

After the awesome proposal, we got to hang out at the zoo all day. Can't beat that.

Sorry for the all over the place post! Hope you all had a wonderful Memorial day weekend too!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May's 1st Dance Concert

This weekend was Maylie's first dance concert. And by concert I mean FIVE concerts crammed into a two-day period. Considering all the craziness we put this little two year old through, I think she did great.

{I feel the need to give a huge shout out to my mom for years of getting me ready for pageants, 'cause seriously, this was no joke. Trying put make-up on a two-year old, forcing her to wear white gloves where she can't touch anything, and making her wear a little crown that seriously did not want to stay in her pixie cut hair was just asking for a stressful weekend for mom and baby. So thanks Mom! I know I was a bit older when you had to get me ready for pageants, but I know I was just as much a pain.}

Anyway, back to the concert. May performed five times and did great. The last two were a little rough, so naturally those are the ones I filmed. She danced at the first three pretty well, but the last two were a struggle. She lost her crown in the forth, which was kind of traumatic. And right before the last concert she was having a melt down backstage. The helpers back there told me they barely were able to convince her to go on. But it was almost nine, and her fifth concert, and she was just done. So she danced a little during the last concert, but she mostly bossed her friend Lucy around the entire time.

Overall it was so fun watching her dance! But by the end she was so over it. After the last concert she kept yelling, "I'm done!!" whenever we tried to take her pictures. Thanks May for putting up with us!

And thanks Rik for teaching little girl and being patient with her all year! You're the best!

Here's the video of May's crown falling off. Feel free to get a good laugh out of it. We sure did!
(Side note: ignore my loud laugh in the background. I just can't help it.)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

So I'm a Grad... Kind of.

3 universities. 6 years. And I am finally done. Well, almost. I have a few electives to finish up over the summer to make up from the last transfer.

It gave my parents an excuse to come and visit, and it was kind of nice to have a ceremony that makes it feel complete.

I will be stoked when it is finally done, but I also will be a little sad. I have loved college. I have loved learning all of the time. Hopefully one day I will be able to continue my education, but for now I'm excited to have a little break.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Maylie Monday: A Visit from Gam and Papa

Wanna know what Maylie has been begging for for several weeks? Gam and Papa. I made the huge mistake of telling her they were coming to visit soon, and then she could not quit talking about it. First thing in the morning, "Gam and Papa here?" First thing after day care, "Gam and Papa coming?" Every day right before bed, "Gam come tomorrow in her car and bring Papa."

I felt so bad because every day I would have to tell her that it was x-amount of days before they were actually going to get here, and she couldn't quite grasp that.

Finally, though, they were here and we got to spend a whole fun-filled weekend with my parents. Little girl was so excited to have them here, but she has been really confused where they went when they left. She keeps saying, "Gam and Papa come back." Too cute. We will have to make a trip to Mesquite soon because I doubt she is going to make it very long.

Naturally I took only a few photos this weekend, and most of them were for graduation (which I'll post about later), so here's just an adorable one that my dad sent me this morning.

My parents took May up the canyon and they found some fish, which May was really excited about. She got to feed them and everything. 

Thanks Gam and Papa for the awesome weekend! Come back soon!