Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Congratulations to Mrs. California International 2014

Friday night I arrived in Palm Desert for the 2014 Mrs. California International Pageant.  As soon as I arrived and unpacked I saw the beautiful Amy Gregorio, Mrs. International 2013 checking in.  I helped her to her room, and we decided to have a few moments of catching up and let me tell you that I am SO excited to watch her year as Mrs. International.  When you remove the crown/sash from this woman, she is as sweet and gracious as before.  Amy is a real person – she is a proud mom, wife and huge advocate for CASA.   It was such a pleasure to sit and talk marriage and children together – being moms is always a great ice breaker.  She also taught me a little more about CASA.

That evening we attended the Mrs. California orientation.   After meeting the contestants, each very sweet and excited, I had a few more ‘tearful moments’ and headed off to bed.  When I woke up Saturday morning, I felt calm and ready.  I went in and began to tape my farewell speech – thanking my amazing family brought me to tears.  Competing and being a titleholder is a family event, it’s an all or nothing on board type of a year.  I am so very very blessed!  Attending rehearsals was such a neat feeling - I teared up talking to every contestant as I remember being in their shoes last year, seeing their excitement and hope.    

Saturday night was my final walk as Mrs. California International 2013 – I was, admittedly, very overwhelmed with emotion.  Sharing a few moments with Grant before my final walk was precious.  He is the man that will continue walking by my side just as he always has.  He is my best friend. 

Before I knew it… it was time to present awards and crown the new Mrs. California International 2014.  With each award I could feel the tension grow until it was time. 

Congratulations to Stacy Ortiz-Davis Mrs. California International 2014.  She will do great things this year and is in great hands – I look forward to watching her.

I will say this in closing – as I left on Sunday and hugged each contestant I was reminded how much of an impact I have made over the past year, I have left a legacy that I can be proud of (I even had a sweet young girl tell me that she follows me on FaceBook).  I am grateful to each person I have met along my journey, grateful to Eddie Peterson for being who he is (I can never begin to articulate all he has given me without ever knowing), grateful to Dennis Cooke for a perfect farewell and grateful to the International Pageant organization for allowing hard working women to follow their dreams and promote their passions.

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Here I am... Mrs. Grant Smith

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