Tuesday, October 28, 2008

..I sure am glad I drive a Honda!

The past couple weeks have been packed with all sorts of events, presentations, and parades!!

I was invited to do two interviews for CN8 a couple weeks ago. I drove up to the Comcast studio, and unfortunately just missed one of their reporters, Linda Kurtz, Miss Delaware 2004. Hopefully I'll get to do another segment with her! I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the reporter as well as the other guests that morning: Liane Sorenson and Matt Denn. I had the chance to talk with them in the Green Room while we waiting to go into the studio. Because I am Miss Delaware during an election year, I bump into politicians all the time, so I've gotten pretty familiar with some of them!

The segments will air on CN8 beginning on Wednesday, October 9 (TOMORROW!!) and will run through November 11.


The Home Show was a two-day event that I attended recently. There were hundreds of exhibits that occupied every inch of space in the Chase Center. I spoke with exhibitors from a special-needs bakery, chiropractor practices, hardscaping companies, interior design companies, and everything in between. The second day of the show, I had to leave fairly early in order to make it to the Miss New Castle County/Miss Diamond State 2009 pageant! In my red, white, and blue cocktail dresses and gowns, I was the emcee for the evening, had the opportunity to ask the on-stage questions (the contestants did great!!!), perform two pieces on the piano, and help with the crowning. It wasn't too long ago that I was crowned Miss Diamond State 2008, so it was nice to be able to pass down the title. I truly had a wonderful year with Dineen and Tom, my two local directors, as I prepared for Miss Delaware.


After that weekend, the season of parades began!! The "season" lasts until Christmas! Poor Donald (my driver) went from worrying that his 1965 convertible corvette would overheat in the summer parades, to shivering down the street for these fall parades; one extreme to the next! It was nice to be back in Milford for their Halloween Parade. It doesn't seem all to long ago that I was a middle-schooler marching for the first time in that very same parade, but to be completely honest, it was eight years ago!! I must say though, I definitely enjoyed my updated Milford Parade wardrobe as opposed to what I had to wear in band those eight years ago. You see, trying to layer warm clothes underneath a CMS Band t-shirt was not that easy and not that warm!


Although I was a little sleepy from the four Right Decisions Right Now presentations I had made earlier that day, the chill in the air at the parade definitely kept me alert and awake!, not to mention the thrill and excitement of the crowd that night!!!

On Friday, I was back in the Hope Clinic volunteering as a dental assistant/gopher. I now know how to develop x-rays using an actual developer! Now that the times are changing, developers are not being used as often in dental offices. Because of this, the only way I knew how to take x-rayz was digitally. It's always nice to learn how things used to be done though; it makes you appreciate the conveniences that technology brings.

Saturday proved to be a nasty day outside, but that didn't stop the enthusiasm of the Special Olympics Fall Festival on the inside!, of the Bob Carpenter Center that is. It was a huge event, consisting of Boce Ball and Volleyball competitions all morning and afternoon! The athletes were so excited to put their skills to the test and show all of their fans what they had been practicing! In addition to the competition, there were all sorts of activity tables for arts and crafts, karyoke, stick-on tatoos, photobooths, and various games. There was something for everyone!!


Special Olympics is a wonderful organization and has many different related groups including the National Down Syndrome Society! I have been involved for some time now, although I have never been to an actual S.O. athletic event. I have, however, taken the Polar Bear Plunge THREE times!! Brrr!!! It's such a great event and it is more and more successful each year! In addition, I have walked the Buddywalk event! As a matter of fact, my cousin, Breck, is the face on the Buddy Walk poster if you've ever seen in posted in Rehoboth. I also spoke with some parents of Special Olympics athletes at The Home Show last weekend. The athletes were the bakers and employees of the dog treats/bakery exhibit!


The sun was shining, a perfect fall temperature, a nice breeze in the air, a bunch of children in costumes, classic cars, marching bands, and decorated floats...I'd say a recipe for the perfect parade! Sunday was the day of the Newark Halloween Parade! It went right down Main Street, through the University of Delaware campus. It was nice to be "back at school," if you will. Although I didn't dress up in a costume, I was decked out from head to toe in Halloween colors! We couldn't have asked for a better day, or a better crowd at that!


That evening, I drove home to spend my brother's birthday with the family. He turned the BIG 1-9 on October 25. It's not too often, with two working parents, a music teacher/choir director for a sister, a brother who is in college, and myself being Miss Delaware, that my whole family gets to sit down at the dinner table together to talk, laugh, tell stories, play with silly party favors, and eat! I definitely would not have missed it!..even though I had to be back up north in Wilmington the very next morning. It's that kind of "quality time" that reminds me of how truly blessed I am. Who says we have to wait until Thanksgiving to be "thankful?"

I was, in fact, back in Wilmington the next morning to make a dental presentation to a dental class at Howard High School of Technology. I spoke to 10th and 11th graders who were interested in various jobs in the field of dentistry. Of course, I was super excited to talk to them and hopefully encourage them with my own testimonies and stories. I basically gleam with enthusiasm at the thought of anything related to dentistry, so this was the perfect job for a Monday! The class seemed very tuned in to what I was telling them. I was even invited to accompany them on their trips to the Temple Univ. Dental School, as well as the Dental School at New York University! Although I'm not sure if I'll be able to attend those, it was so nice of them to offer. They had some excellent questions, some of which stuck in my head. 1) "Do you have to pinch yourself sometimes to remind yourself that you really are Miss Delaware and it's not a dream?" 2) "No offense, but do you have a social life?" 3) "If you become Miss America, will you come back to talk to our class?" 4) "You stressed the importance of networking to be successful; how do you do that?" These were excellent questions! and I was more than eager to answer them! I promised the students that I would post the picture of them if they watched the reality show..so here it is! Don't forget, Countdown to the Crown will air on TLC on Fridays in January!!


This afternoon, I made two more Right Decisions Right Now appearances in Millsboro. The fifth graders were so curious and eager to participate! Although the drive down was a little stressful (it was raining cats and dogs; the wind was blowing excessively, and my directions were slightly incorrect), I made it to the school and had two very successful presentations. There is nothing more rewarding than bringing a little joy and education to children!

Random note: I think I used exclamation marks (!) more than I used periods (.) when I write in this blog. haha


I'll be back soon to update you on more of my travels. I hope everyone has a great week!!! It's almost November!..can you believe it!? Be back soon!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Just a few days ago I arrived home from a long trip to L.A. I joined the other 51 Miss America contestants for three weeks to film our reality show "Miss America: Countdown to the Crown."

The trip began with an unfortunate case of strep throat! The antibiotics that I took while I was still home did not take care of it. I was not feeling well for the first week because of this and had to miss the Ellen Show, the Warner Bros studio tour, the trip to the Los Angeles Zoo, and flipping pancakes at IHOP. I did not, however, miss any filming days which I was very thankful for. About two days after I started my second round of antibiotics, I finally began feeling better and was certainly well-rested after two full days in bed.
Once my antibiotics kicked in, I was definitely more "myself," and really started to enjoy myself. My first day back with the gang was the day we took a trip to the South Coast Plaza mall to have some free time to shop; what a day to get better!! One of my purchases was common among many of the other girls; a shawl! Although we were in California, it was chilly at times, so it definitely came in handy.

We also joined a huge crowd to watch the L.A. Angels baseball game. It was nice to just grab a hot dog with the girls and kickback! Toward the end of the trip, we arrived at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital to visit with the children. There were so many activities and crafts that we were helping with, so we got to interact with the children one-on-one. I spoke to one of the mother's for about 15mintues and everytime I visit a children's hospital, I'm reminded that the children aren't the only ones that need attention; the parents do too. It is also always nice to see where the Children's Miracle Network fundraising, that we all work so hard on, goes and how it is applied.

As far as the show goes, it was very neat to see the other side of production when we were filming. Because the contestants were together for so long, I had the opportunity to get to know many of them very well! I can't wait to reunite in Las Vegas when the Miss America Pageant rolls around. For the sake of the show's success though, I cannot tell you any more about what we did! You'll just have to wait until the show airs in January to find out!!

I've also posted a few pictures from the Ms. Assited Living Pageant that I judged shortly before departing for California.


Now to update you on my appearances since I've been home! Susan (my business manager) couldn't have been more correct when she told me in an email that "Saturday is going to be a whirlwind." Boy was it busy! I went down to Bridgeville with Sue and Bob for the Apple Scrapple event. We had a great time chatting with people and many of the elected officials from Sussex County. The event was a lot bigger than I had imagined! I participated in the Scrapple Shuffle Board game along with many of the political figures in Delaware. The first round I overshot, and the second round I undershot. Apparently shuffleboard is not my specialty, althought I think if I had been given another shot, I may have gotten a happy medium. As soon as the game ended, I joined the other participants at Mayor Joe Connely's house for food, drinks, and conversation. They mayor's wife showed us all of the doll houses that she's built; from regular homes to fabric shops and churches! They were incredible!! She shares these with all of her grand-daughters. Unfortunately, I couldn't stay at their home for too long because I had to book it up to Newark for the Miss Brandywine pageant. I arrived a little bit late, but Marisa and Chris were able to emcee for me until I got there. After intermission, I also performed Chopin's Black Key Etude on the piano. A big congratulations goes to Tiffany who won the pageant last night!; our new Miss Brandywine.

I'll update in a couple days! Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

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