Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

"You were put on this Earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly."
-Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

       It is with great excitement that I write this post.  In exactly seven days, I will be en route to Ocean City for Miss New Jersey week!  While I know that there is plenty to do, I can't help but find myself wishing today was move-in day.  The experiences I've had as Miss Eastern Shore have prepared me in numerous ways, and I am so grateful to have come across such amazing people along the way.  Here are some of the fun things I've been doing since my last post...
       Of course, I've been kept very busy working at Fireside Florist, interning at The Volunteer Center of South Jersey, hitting the gym (A LOT), and rehearsing my talent!  In between those components of my hectic schedule I've had the pleasure of making several appearances as Miss Eastern Shore and helping out with plenty of community service activities.  I was especially thrilled to see my wonderfully talented seamstress, Debbie for all of my fittings!  I gave her plenty to keep her busy-God Bless Debbie for her willingness to take on all of my competition wardrobe alterations :)
My workout partner, Julie!  When she competed for Miss
New Jersey she won preliminary swimsuit!  I would say
I'm in good hands ;)

Did I mention I made the dean's list for both semesters of my 
Freshman year at college?! That's refrigerator worthy in my book :)

       I went with fellow Tricia Sloan Dance Center dancers to Paulsboro Middle School to teach students some hip-hop moves!  The students had a jam-packed day full of activities that had to do with a book they read in class.  We met with 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade kids to show them some moves and host a school dance!  I was so impressed by how well they picked up choreography and loved seeing them use the moves they'd learned during their school dance.
       The following day I was so happy to meet with the fabulous Miss Vicki!  I met Vicki when she judged the Miss New Jersey's Outstanding Teen pageant the year I won.  Since then, Vicki and I became fast friends.  While I don't get the pleasure of seeing her very often, when we do meet, we can talk for hours on end!  Luckily I don't think our friends at the Outback minded our marathon lunch date where we caught up on each other’s families, my school year, Vicki’s travels, and anything else we could think of  :)  I can't wait to see her shining face in the audience at Miss New Jersey!

       Another way in which I've been preparing for competition is having mock interviews!  The selfless shore directors give their time to help out their girls and give us several chances to practice feeling comfortable in the interview room.  I had my second set of mocks last week and feel even more ready for my interview in Ocean City!  
       One of the ways I was able to promote my platform was visiting a class of 1st grade students.  But not any 1st grade class-I visited my very own 1st grade teacher!  Mrs. Spicer (Miss Falzarano when I was her student) allowed me to come for the last hour of the school day to teach her students what it means to be a volunteer.  I read an adorable book, "The Littlest Volunteer," and explained to the kids what volunteering meant to me.  I then asked my new friends if they were willing to be little volunteers, and was overjoyed when they agreed to take on that challenge!  We colored pages and they all donated their masterpieces to the ManorCare of West Deptford.  All of the boys and girls worked especially hard to color in the lines and even added phrases like "Get well soon!" and "Be happy!" to the pages they colored.  They all seemed to really understand what being a volunteer means and enjoyed working hard to brighten someone else's day.  I was so proud of my new volunteers and promised them I would deliver the gifts to patients and residents at ManorCare the next day.  

       On my trip to ManorCare to distribute the donated artwork, I brought my Little Stars, Brooke and Olivia!  We gathered residents to play a little bingo.  Brooke and Olivia helped by handing out the artwork, setting up the bingo boards, helping out the bingo players, and handing out prizes of candy to the big winners of each game!  The girls and I had a great time and even got to play a few games ourselves :)
Prior to our bingo game, I visited the amazing Karen McGowan to try out my
spray tan for Miss NJ!  Excuse the no make-up look I have going on :)

       I invited my fellow Miss New Jersey contestants to be "buddies" for the Miracle League!  One of my pageant sisters, Courtney, was able to join me in playing baseball with some amazing kids.  While it was extremely hot, our team had lots of determination and energy!  I was paired with Nicole, and we persevered through the heat to play a great game!  Courtney and I were also able to have a little photo-op with the other players!  Lots of crownings were involved ;)

My buddy, Nicole, being crowned!

Meet the "Pirates" coach, and close family friend of mine, Mrs. Lang!

Nicole rounding third base!!

Cheyanne might've been from the opposing team, but
we were all friends at the end of the day :)

Another Miracle League buddy, Elise, loved wearing a crown and sash!

       With each event in which I take part, I am humbled and inspired.  I have met so many selfless people that are truly changing the world for the better.  With the state pageant approaching, I feel luckier than ever to have this opportunity before me.  So many of us grew up wishing to be Miss America-I am honored to represent this organization that has given so much to me.  I look forward to enjoying my time with my fellow contestants, and soaking up every moment I spend in ocean City!  Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far.  I hope to update my blog as much as possible with short posts and photos during pageant week...stay tuned to follow my unforgettable week!