Monday, June 27, 2011

life lately

Soo..since I am clearly not great at blogging on a regular basis - this one might be a little long. But don't worry, I will block it off in categories, so you can pick and choose the sections you actually care about - or you can read it all!

Miss Tennessee Week:

For the first time in 6 years, I did not compete in a State Miss America pageant. For the first time in 4 years, I did not compete for the title of Miss Tennessee - I sat in the audience as a cheerleader! I thought it might feel weird or make me feel sad, but I was actually VERY excited to be watching for a change! There was no pressure, I could eat anything I wanted, and I had a BLAST cheering for someone else! For the past 6 months, Studio 10 (Ashley and I), have been helping Sarah Stonier, Miss Walking Tall get ready to compete for Miss TN. But we have also built an incredible friendship and love for her! She became like a sister to us! So I think Ashley and I both felt like it was our little sister on that stage! Let me just say, now I know how my mother felt all those years, nervous as can be before I went on stage! I was more nervous for Sarah than I ever was for myself!! And everytime her name got called out: SS Preliminary winner, top 15, top 12, top 10, Miss Congeniality, and CMN Miracle Maker Award - You would have thought Ashley and I had just won the pageant - we were screaming and jumping - people were we didn't care! We were so proud of her!!! It was also great to watch the other girls that I had competed with and become friends with over the years! All in all, it was a great week! I loved seeing all the directors and people who have become part of my pageant family!! Also, a huge shout out to our new Miss TN, Erin Hatley! She was incredible all week! I can't wait to see what God has in store for her this year!!

I'm moving back to NASHVILLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be moving back to Nashville at the end of July to be the Manager at Snap Kids in Green Hills. For those of you who know me well, you know how much I love Nashville, and how much I loved working at Snap before! When this opportunity came up, I just couldn't turn it down! Also, after being away from Nashville and the music scene, I realized how much I want to be a part of it! So I will also be putting some time and effort into music! God gave me this gift for a reason, and I don't want it to go to waste!!! The only sad part about Nashville, is that I won't be living with my best friend Ashley anymore.. :(  But that just means I will have to make more of an effort to be a VOL and come back to football and basketball games with her! :) 

Since I will be in Nashville and Ashley will be in Knoxville - Studio 10 now has 2 locations!!! We will consult seperately during the week and then take turns traveling once a month to either Nashville or Knoxville to do "workshop days"! I think this is going to be a huge opportunity for Studio 10!!! We can't wait to start working with new and veteran girls for the upcoming pageant season!

Life After Pageants -  the dating edition:
So here is what I've noticed about pageant girls when they're done competing: They've either found the love of their life, get engaged, married and start popping out babies immediately - or like me, they are single and good guys are no where to be found. And, most of the girls in my situation attract psychos, jerks, and losers! Where are the good looking, accomplished, nice guys? I'll tell you where some of them are - on the Bachelorette - fighting for a girl who's hooked on one of the psycho, jerk, loser types - SERIOUSLY!!?!? Nevertheless, I'm trying to stay optimistic  - there have to be at least a few good ones left!

I think that's all for now - I will try to make more of an effort to blog more than once a month - I'm hoping life gets a little more entertaining once I move back to Nashvegas! Adios Amigos!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

twenty - four

I am just bad at blogging - I haven't done it in a month - but I haven't had much to write about lately.

Anyway - I had an urge to write today and after celebrating my 24th birthday yesterday (so weird), I've decided to reflect on what I've done with my life for the last 24 years.

I've been a girl scout, taken piano lessons, danced in numerous dance recitals, played softball, played basketball, been to Disney Land and Disney World, been on a real cattle drive, been to Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, traveled to over 25 states, been snorkeling in Hawaii, become a christian, been baptized, been a cheerleader, started a dance team at my high school, sung at 7 NASCAR races, met Lisa Marie Presley, been kissed by Tony Stewart, sung at the Arlington Music Hall in Texas, threw out the first pitch at the Little League World Series, volunteererd, competed in a state Miss America pageant for 6 years, won a talent preliminary and 4th runner up, was named Miss Congeniality, joined a sorority, graduated college, moved to Nashville on my own, moved to Knoxville, been the Ambassador for Character Counts, spoken to hundreds of kids about character education, helped teach a child to read, been a nanny, had my voice heard on the Miss America stage, had my heart broken, broke someone's heart, have been a big sister, have made some of the greatest, most supportive and encouraging friends in the whole world, and so many other things that I'm not even writing down....

I have been so LUCKY and BLESSED to have the life I have had for the last 24 years. It hasn't always been easy or perfect, and I may not have always felt lucky - but my life has gone exactly how God has intended it to go.

So looking foward, I have some goals and dreams for the next 24 years:

Live my life more for God and less for myself, find a GOOD man to spend the rest of my life with, have babies, pay off my student loan, own a successful business selling wedding and pageant gowns, continue interview and talent coaching, possibly become a Miss America preliminary director, learn how to play my guitar, write songs, have a career in the music industry, continue to volunteer for Character Counts, travel more, continue to try to be more physically fit and healthy, and do everything that makes me happy!

There are so many things I want to do in my life - but we'll start with these!

I will do my best to blog again before another month goes by!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Life lately

So...I started Weight Watchers! I've been doing it for a week and love it! I still eat yummy food, but I am paying WAY more attention to what and how much I am eating - and I never feel hungry which is great! I'm doing it online, so I don't go to meetings or anything - and I have to weigh myself every Sunday, so Sundays will probably become my new blogging days and I'll include an update on the weight loss! Setting a goal weight was a little tricky b/c what used to be my goal weight was "pageant weight" but that is not a weight I can maintain - so I think I set an attainable goal. I've gained close to 30lbs since Miss TN (which is really scary for me to actually say out loud) - and my goal is to lose at least 20-22lbs. I've also worked out everyday this week - doing at least 30 minutes of cardio, and I've realized 2 things. One, it sucks to start over! Two, I forgot how much I enjoy working out! I have had way more energy, slept better, and just felt better about myself all week long! So, I'm on a roll! If anyone wants to join me in getting healthier, I'm happy to be here as an encourager or just extra accountability! I can use it too!!

On a pageant related note, I heard a story this week that really touched my heart and got me thinking about some things. A lot of people assume that girls who compete in pageants have a lot of money because it is a very expensive! But that's not always the case! I for one, certaintly don't and never did have a lot of money - a lot of sacrifices were made by my mom for me to be able to compete for so long. And the generosity of other people made a huge difference in the wardrobe I was able to afford. But think about it, girls compete in the Miss America SCHOLARSHIP Organization for many reasons: they want to win their state title and go to Miss America, they enjoy pageants, their mothers encourage it, they truly desire the job of the state title holder, OR they need the scholarship money. It's funny how needing scholarship money is normally not the first thing on the list for most girls, because it is a SCHOLARSHIP pageant. But think about this, a lot of girls who compete in the Miss America system are incredibly intelligent, well-rounded, talented women - they already earned scholarships for college. Yes, many of them use what they earn to further their education - grad school, law school, med school, etc... but a lot of girls already have full paid scholarships to the University of their choice. But, there are girls who NEED the scholarship money. There are girls who pay for every piece of wardrobe on their own. There are girls who choose to compete in the Miss America Organization because it is the largest scholarship provider for women - and with out it, they might not have enough money to cover their books one semester, or their meal plan. The opportunity to earn scholarship money by being well-rounded, talented, intelligent, and service-oriented young women is an incredible thing. What other organization offers this to young women?

So, after all that I have several points. One, support the Miss America Organization because they are giving out scholarship money to girls who not only need it, but they've earned it and they deserve it. Two, don't assume all girls who compete in pageants have a ton of money - it's a really bad assumption - and 9 times out of 10, I'd bet you'd be wrong. Three, appreciate the blessings in your life instead of dwelling on the negatives. Be thankful for the life you've been given, and if you don't like it, do something about it - because I bet there is someone out there who would be willing to change places with you.

Ok, I'm off my soap-box, just really felt like I needed to share those thoughts!

Here is my last thought  - it's more of a challenge to myself and anyone who reads this - at the end of the day today and everyday, ask yourself this question: "What did I do for someone else today?"

Monday, March 21, 2011


"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself."

–Anna Quindlen

I saw this quote on someone's facebook status today and immediately connected to it because it is exactly what I'm trying to do these days. I just got back from workshop weekend/TN Outstanding Teen pageant..and for the first time in 4 years, I wasn't there as a competitor. I thought I might feel sad or regretful for not competing, but suprisingly I felt relief and a sense of peace about the decision I made not to compete this year. However, I was incredibly nervous about being there because I have gained weight since I stopped competing, and my weight was always my struggle when I was competing. I am a very confident person, but for some reason, I was so intimidated and scared of what people there were going to think about my weight. I know that "pageant weight" is not normal weight, but for the last 4 years, "pageant weight" was normal to me because I was trying SO HARD to be perfect. So now, I am trying to figure out what healthy, normal weight is for me. I know it isn't where I am now because unfortunately my jeans don't fit these days! I also know it isn't where I am right now because I literally eat everything I wasn't "supposed" to eat for the last 4 years! haha! And I can count on one hand how many times I've been to the gym since September! I think after so many years of eating grilled chicken and veggies twice a day - and 2 hours a day, everyday in a gym - I just got burned out - and well, I became a true rebel of healthy eating and exercise habits and hopped on the junk food band wagon!'s time to figure out what works for my lifestyle (and wardrobe). And I'm hoping that if I share it with other people, that I will actually stick to it (b/c I have said "my diet starts Monday" almost every other week for 4 months)! So, this time it's not a diet! This time it is going to be healthy choices - not eating out as much - smaller portions (lol) - and exercising at least 3 times a week for now. I also just want to feel better about myself and I always feel better physically and emotionally when I'm working out regularly.

So, back to the quote at the top - I'm officially throwing perfection (and pageant weight) out the window because it will never happen, and I am going to figure out what to do to make myself feel beautiful, regardless of what the "judges" think!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Now what?

I started this blog for several reasons. One, I like to write and be creative. Two, I feel like I am in this weird transition period in my life and I know I'm not the only one. Three, I'm a former beauty queen, and I have some pretty funny things to talk about.

So here's the rundown. I spent the last 6 years of my life trying to be Miss America. I got close to a state title, but it never happened. Like many other pageant girls, being Miss America was my dream, and preparing for that job took over my life. In college, I skipped social functions with the girls to do community service. I skipped the pizza on Grey's nights at my house and opted for air popped popcorn with no butter (via my trainers orders). I spent hours in the gym, never got to go on Spring Break, and my mom and I haven't been on a family vacay in 6 summers.  Now, don't get my wrong, I am fully aware that I did all these things by choice - but it was what I thought I needed to do to win, and I don't regret any of those decisions. I think I am a better person for my years of competing - and I credit a lot of who I am today because of my time competing in the Miss America Organization. I wouldn't know a lot of my best friends, I wouldn't have had some of the opportunities I was granted, and my skin would probably not be as tough either.

But - because I opted to make being Miss America my first priority, I forgot to focus on what the heck I was planning to do with my life once competing was over. I guess I always thought that after I won a state title, opportunites would open up for me - it never crossed my mind that I wouldn't win b/c that wasn't an option in my head. Unfortunately, that's where I am now. Although I could have competed again this year, I chose not to. I have a rule about competing in pageants: when it stops being fun, stop competing. And that's what I did.

So - I moved to Knoxville with my best friend Ashley last fall on a whim - I just thought I needed a change. I got a job working in development, and although I'm overjoyed to have a job in this economy, I don't think development is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But here in lies my next problem - I wanted to be Miss America - that was my career goal. I also want to be a recording artist - but again, that is another career that requires a lot of luck. (right place, right time, right set of judges) So I'm trying to figure out what to do with my life! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! My mind changes everyday - singer, teacher, PR Exec, Fashion Buyer, grad school, law school, boutique owner...this list could continue on and on... so for now I'm going to do what Dolly Parton sings about, and work 9-5, blog, consult on the side (will discuss in a future blog), get back in shape, and try to figure out what the heck to do now that I've been de-throwned....

Until next time...