After all of the exhaustion and excitement of Thursday I will admit to being a bit tired Friday morning… THANK GOODNESS for the wonders of Kara’s makeup making me look beautifully refreshed.
More and more and more rehearsal… AKA getting to know the other ladies. I realized how much I absolutely love so many of them. Mrs. AL has the brightest ray of sunshine and heart always, Mrs OH is FAR tougher than she lets on… Mrs. NW is another military wife that just PCS’d to South Carolina. Yep, I love getting to know each other.
Preliminaries are scary… sorry no way around it but they are. It feels like you are putting ALL of your eggs in one basket and then running through an obstacle course on the show WIPEOUT. Once it started (and Mrs NC counted our steps in opening number) it just flew by. Before I knew it I was headed to Taco Bell with my family and laughing. Headed back to the room… and to bed NERVOUS.
|My handsome husband and I after prelims|
|My wonderful mother in law (AKA rehearsal outfit maker extraordinaire!)|
|Krystina changed as fast as she could! I love my daughter|
|Mrs. VA Amber and I before opening number|
|Army Wives (and her Active Duty Navy hotness) Fitness Rocks|
|Blondes have more fun! (L-R GA, MT, CA, East Coast, AL)|
|BEAUTIFUL Mrs. CO and I after 5 years of praying to be here together|
|Mrs. Alaska, Rocky, and I.. another Army Wife!|
|My Bryan K Osburn Custom Gown|
Looking back on the week Saturday was my FAVORITE day. Saturday we got to give and hear our 30 second platform speeches. It was the first time that we were able to hear the passion of our peers. I learned so much about each woman, some speeches made me laugh, others cry and ALL made me think. ANY one of us would be a great Mrs. International. I knew from that moment, more than any before, the judges’ decision was hard.
As we got ready, practiced and began the opening number my heart was racing. As they called the top 15 I was hopeful… then #15 and it … wasn’t me. I hugged Mrs. VA, wished her luck and headed to the consolation area. I felt defeated but know that it wasn’t my destiny. Then the Top 10 was called… that’s when backstage got fun. In each room we rallied around our sisters, got them dressed and sent them back out. As competition was done we all headed back to stage to find out who our representative would be as the new Mrs. International 2014.
As the Top 5 were called I was elated to see that our new Mrs. International was Mrs. Illinois Amy Gregorio! Amy and I had a wonderful conversation just before the pageant started about our children and explaining this pageant craziness to them, win or lose we are still winners. Back to the dressing room, clean up our things and off to the Coronation Ball.
When I met Grant, Krystina, my mother in law and Kara in the lobby I wasn’t sad. I looked at the pride that each had and was perfectly happy with my placement, my family loved me regardless. Grant and I headed to the Coronation Ball, danced, hung out (totally stress free) with other contestants and their husbands and just enjoyed the journey.
|Mrs. KS, Mrs. VA and I being silly!|
|The man who has changed me immensley. Eddie (Mrs. California Intl director) is one of the most inspirational men I have had the honor of meeting.|
When I got home there was a huge let down, I have been preparing for this most of my life. I am proud that I accomplished the goal I set, I am looking forward to the future for my family and our organization. I am looking forward to the wonderful events coming up and to being Shana Smith, Mrs. California International just a little bit longer.
I am grateful for the 69 women I met, I am grateful for their stories and their struggles because they were the most wonderful and thoughtful women I could have ever asked to be around. I look forward to watching the rest of their year and watching Amy represent married women with class and grace.