Thursday, December 29, 2011

A MILLION TIMES THANK YOU

Hey, everyone!  The days are quickly dwindling down for me to leave for Las Vegas (9 to be exact!) !  To say the last 6 months have flown by would be the understatement of the century.  I would like to think that after that time, I have not only matured in my role as Miss Delaware, but also as a friend, sister and a person.  My send-off party took place just about 2 weeks ago and the amount of support I recieved was completely overwhelming (in a great way!).  Before I leave for Miss America, I would LOVE to take the time to simply thank those that have been so kind and giving.  I have had the most wonderful support any girl could ask for.

To my family - Thank you for being there through everything.  No matter what happened, good or bad, you stood right beside me, encouraging me all the way...except in the bad....then you just smacked me around a little bit...kidding...kind of :)

To Debi - my WONDERFUL executive director...After our first meal out together (McDonald's, of course) and I ordered the number 1 Big Mac Meal, no pickle, large lemonade, large fry and you ordered the number 2 Quarter Pounder Meal, I knew we were in for a fabulous year :)  Thank you for treating me like I was your daughter and doing everything in your power to make sure I felt the best I could before leaving for Miss America.  I can credit you for bringing me from "blonde-ish and blah" to "brunette babe."  I can say that I am prepared for the job of Miss America because of your guidance.

To Susan - There are people that you meet in this world that make you want to be a better person.  You are one of them.  Thank you for booking me on appearances all around the state...even places that I have never been or even knew existed....which says a lot considering the size of Delaware :)  You are the person that I can call to brighten my day.  Thank you for all you have done to get me ready!

To George and Carol - interview.  Enough said.  I always felt extremely confident in my interview but I feel even better now.  Thank you for setting me up with some of the brightest and toughest interview panels over the last couple months.  I have grown, not only as a speaker, but as a women knowledgeable in all sorts of current events (...don't worry, Carol...I will get Occupy Wall Street down eventually...)   I hope I can keep it together when I meet Kris Jenner...probably not though...

To the rest of my Board of Directors - THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done.  From letting me camp out at your house (Sandy and Bliss :)...) to escorting me on various appearances, you never cease to amaze me with your kind hearts and generosity.  I hope to make you all so proud in Las Vegas!!

SIDENOTE : Always plan a speech ahead of time.  At my sendoff, I wrote a few names (in lipstick, 5 minutes before I was to speak...) on a piece of paper and forgot some important people.  Ahead of time...and in pen, everyone.

Paul Pruitt (my wonderful, official photographer!) - PAUL!!!  I have to thank this man a million times, especially since he was left off my scattered (to say the least ) list at my sendoff.  Thank you for shooting my headshots as well as every picture at my sendoff.  The pictures are absolutely STUNNING  and I cannot wait to share them with the rest of the world!  I am ready for some crazy, out-of-the-box shoots!  Everyone check this incredible photographer out at paulpruittphotography.com!!!!!   .....right now.....seriously.....leave this page and visit this site!

Marisa - my ONLY local director, and the person (along with my family) who told me from day one that I could be Miss Delaware.  It seems like only yesterday that I was watching Miss America with you last year and we were getting so excited that I might have a chance at being on that same stage next year!  I cannot believe it is coming true :)

To Ronnie, Debbie and The Bridal Suite of Johnstown - thank you for making me feel and look like a million bucks.  I am so thrilled to be representing you at Miss America!  My wardrobe is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous and it is all thanks to you and your staff.  I am so glad you will be able to watch me work it on the Miss America stage.  Your kindness and generosity is astounding to me and something that I greatly respect and appreciate.

Paul and Marisol Timmons from The Firm - my AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, WONDERFUL trainer and nutritionist.  Out of everything that I have done so far, one of the things I am most thankful for is having you both in my life now.  It is because of you that I am now able to proudly say that I can do man pushups (when I first walked in the door, I could do zero....impressive, I know...), deadlift 135 pounds and backsquat 115 (up from the 25 I started out with...and having an extremely hard time while in the process...).  Thank you for helping me break the McDonald's cycle and showing me the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.   No, I may still not like sweet potatoes, but I am a work in progress, I promise. Not many people (I can't think of any, actually...) can get me down to 16% body fat (down from 21%) in a matter of 4 weeks.  Just goes to show how hard work can pay off!  I cannot wait to continue working with you for the remainder of my year!

Oh, you want me to flip a 240 pound tire?  Sure thing :)  check below :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMyswskU0_I&feature=autoplay&list=UUX6UomnrjfFjiQlvLuohGbQ&lf=plcp&playnext=1



Sal, Diana,  Gloria and the entire Michael Christopher team - Sal, in just 5 months, you brought me from a Miss Texas hairstyle to one of a Miss America. (Don;t get me wrong though...I will go back to that Texas hairstyle any day...)  Thank you all for completely transforming me in more ways than I thought possible.  I will never go to another salon again! 

All my friends - your texts, calls, email and words of support have meant the world to me.  Literally.  Thank you for loving and supporting me before this crazy adventure and after.  After this incredible journey is over, we will definitely be all hanging out ALL THE TIME again!!! I LOVE YOU!

Jennifer Sedler (Miss Arizona) - I love you, too. AHAHAHA!! I am glad someone stalks my blog.  Someone has got to do it :) See you soon!  <3
Delaware - no matter what the outcome may be on January 14th, I will do everything in my power to make you all proud!


Until Next time,

Maria Cahill
Miss Delaware 2011




"Anything is possible in Christ who strengthens me."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hello everybody!  From this moment on, I am NEVER promising to have blogs up more often because that plan always fails...massively.  As a lot of you know, I have just been SO incredibly busy the last couple months!!

SIDENOTE: You know it is a problem (or is it...) when your body's internal clock starts waking you up a 8 o'clock instead of the usual 11am...

In the past couple months, I have been in SOOOO many parades, on radio, television and in newspapers.  To this ay, I can't believe this is all happening to me!  Now, I am educating people on the importance of safe driving, good character through Character Counts and visiting all ends of my state.  Things do truly happen for a reason!

Some of my most memorable appearances have happened over the past few months and I just have to share!

I got the opportunity to be in the ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade as well as film two hits for Good Morning America with other state titleholders!  It felt like the entire state of Delaware came to watch this parade because our float (which was a kittens float....??) could not go two feet without me hearing "DELAWAREEE!!!" being screamed.  That was awesome to be a part of! 

With Sam Champion of GMA!


One of the many incredible appearances I have had happened just this past week!  I got the opportunity to work with the Delaware State police (THANK YOU!!) to travel to numerous hospitals, special needs facilities and schools to visit kids.  Talk about one emotional and incredible experience!  Nothing gets to your heart quite like a young child telling you that he or she wants "to get better" for Christmas and nothing else.  It really puts into perspective those things in your life that you take for granted each and every day.  I got to meet young kids (who thought I was dressed up as a fairy...) as well as some teenage boys and girls who loved the fact that a "beauty queen" came to see them.  Putting a smile on everyone's face made that long week so worth it.  I would do it every single day of my year if I could.  It was moving like nothing else.




I will have another blog about my send-off and other preparations up soon (and by soon, I mean before I give up my Miss Delaware crown in June...)!!


Stay chill and remember that things happen for  reason,
Maria Cahill

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

Sunday, November 20, 2011

NEW VS. OLD :)

HI EVERYONE!!!!

It has been a while since I have blogged....I have a good one in the works, but until then....enjoy some pictures of my new look! :)

(Pictures from the Del Tech Fashion Show)






It is crazy to think that in just June, I was competing for Miss Delaware, now it will be for Miss America in less than 2!! WOW!

Boy, how things have changed since Miss Delaware week!




A HUGE thank you to my wonderful board of directors for helping me thus far! I love you all and am beyond grateful for what you do for me each and every day!

I have so many thing to update you all on!!!! More pictures to come :) STAY TUNED!!



xoxo,
Maria

Sunday, October 30, 2011

PART 1

Yes!!! I am blogging less than a year after my last post...this usually never happens so everyone better love this one.... : )

ps. I wrote that sentence 2 weeks ago when I originally wrote this blog.  Fail.  So this is PART 1 of 2 of recent appearances!

Sometimes, I just like to take a moment to take in everything that has happened to me in the past months.  Last December, I could barely believe my luck as I was named Miss Rehoboth Beach.  Now, as Miss Delaware, I cannot believe how blessed I am.  Everyday I have the wonderful opportunity to put a smile on someone's face.  How many people can say that they have a job like that?!

The last time I blogged, I was just coming back from Johnstowns, PA, after picking out my Miss America wardrobe from the Bridal Suite! YAY! : )

After I got back from the best shopping trip ever, it was right back to work!  The next day,  I was off to the Delaware Auto show where I got to sign hundreds and hundreds of pictures, help out the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles and sit in fancy cars and act like I had 10 of them back home.  From there, I traveled to Harrington, DE, with one of my wonderful board members, George, to participate in the Rickshaw Races....for anyone that might not know what that is.....here is a visual....


 In the real race, I was NOT the horse...thank the Good Lord.

My "horse!"


Did we win?  Well....we didn't lose....


We had to race against at least 10 other teams.  Bets were placed to benefit Horse Lovers United!  What a fun event!!! : )


I had my first "student teaching" recently!  The "platform" of the Miss Delaware Organization is "Character Counts", a six pillar system which teaches school age children about respect, responsibility and so much more.  I had the opportunity to  speak to 6 different classrooms (over 300 kids!) at North Georgetown Elementary School.

SIDE NOTE :  I swear to you I am a 5 year old stuck in a 20 year old's body.  Case in point....



you get the idea....anyways...I love hanging out with kids.  Maybe it is because I get them and they get me...or maybe it is because I come from a family of seven kids and I had no choice but to love hanging around mass quantities of children....regardless, I had such a wonderful time!  Teaching young kids about respect for others at such an early age is crucial and hopefully, I affected them in some way.  While I ate lunch with them, I had to switch seats over 20 times to meet everyone and somehow managed to put my autograph on everything....books, notebooks, backpacks (also, black backpacks that hid my black, sharpie signed autograph...they didn't care...), casts for broken arms, milk cartons...you name it, I signed it.....I live for moments like this...it makes me want to be a kid again.  I cannot wait to continue my Character Counts teaching throughout all the schools in Delaware! : )

If I have a day with only one appearance and it makes me feel incredible after, imagine how I would feel after a day with 3 appearances back to back?  REALLY incredible...and wiped out! : )  One of these days started out with a car show in Maryland.  I have heard this state referred to as "God's Country..."  I am sure that the state of Maryland is absolutely beautiful, but so are the people.  I had such a blast meeting everyone and taking pictures.  Next, it was off to the Apple Scrapple Festival!!  Throw me in a place with food galore, 25,000 people and a couple of my board members and it's safe to say that I am in Maria Heaven! 

PS:  A HUGE thank you to my wonderful business manger, Susan, and her husband, Gene.  Gene had the maybe not so fun task of carting me from place to place.  Once they found out that I had a headache, I had an  Excedrin in my hands and then in my tummy in under ten minutes! You both are the best! : )

ANOTHER SIDE NOTE : Scrapple....who invented this?  It was not Einstein, that's for sure...Okay, I am not hating on Scrapple...well, not technically anyways...it is just that I had it for the first time that day and...um...hmmm...I guess I am just not that into breakfast foods...

After the Apple Scrapple Festival, I met another board member, Chuck, to head off to a fancy Del Tech fundraiser!  Has anyone seen the movie "White Chicks"?  Yes, folks, I was auctioned off for a lunch, "White Chicks" style.  BOOYAH.  One of the things that I am really learning how to master is the art of networking.  Being Miss Delaware is really good for that sort of thing : )


The next day, I attended the second local pageant of the 2012 Miss Delaware year, Miss Wilmington and Miss Newark.  A huge congrats to Erin and Steph for winning their titles and also a special congrats to Morgan Burris, who won Miss Wilmington's Outstanding Teen on her first try!  Both having gone to Aquinas Academy, a school with under 100 kids K-12, it was very cool to see another title holder come from my tiny school!

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Special Olympics Fall Fest!  Working with the Special Olympics has been one of my favorite organizations to volunteer with for over 6 years, so I loved being able to take it to a new level with my crown and sash!


Please check out the utter "bro-ness" of the picture below...especially the storm trooper to the right of me...




Stay chill and may the force be with you!
Maria Cahill

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23

Saturday, October 22, 2011

If You Want Things Done, Do Them Yourself...

I promised to blog specifically about my Tim Qualls interview.

Here we go.

I was asked to perform my talent on the Tim Qualls Show.  Awesome?  Yes.  No question there.

I picked out my music and had my dance all ready to go.  The last piece of the puzzle?  Press "burn" on itunes to put my dance music on a cd.  Easy enough....       So I asked my sister, Christine, to do that small feat for me.  Two minutes later, she handed me the cd.  Piece of cake. NOT.


I arrived at the show a little early.  I wanted enough time to meet the producers, meet the audience, and go over my dance a few times.  I was dressed and ready to go on in 5 minutes when the producer walked up to me.  She told me that the cd I gave her was blank.  Blank....BLANK?!?! As in no music blank?!?! CHRISTINEEEEE!!!!!!

I gave the producers of the Tim Qualls Show a cd with nothing on it.  A present, if you will.  Needless to say,  I had to pretend like that happens to me all the time and came up with something new in 30 seconds...typical.....

Ladies and Gentlemen, my offical, Irish Dancing (minus my music) debut on the Tim Qualls Show...

                                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOwK9RSJoQM


Hope you all enjoy!  Just a little sneak preview before January!



Stay chill and dance in random places without music!
Maria Cahill

ps. I love you, Christine!

"For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands."

(Psalm 92:4)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SAY "NO" ...to (mis)adventures...

"This is going to be such an adventure!!!"

It is usually at this point in time where one would tend to knock on wood....no such luck for me...
I had just come from an appearance where I danced and spoke at a senior center.  There was a photo booth there, so I spent half the time taking funny pictures with the residents there...typical, really...I was excited for the afternoon because I was going to meet my Executive Director, Debi, in Wilmington. We were to drive to The Bridal Suite of Johnstown, PA, to shop for my Miss America gown and the rest of my wardrobe!

When my sister finally dropped me off in Wilmington, the first thing I said to Debi was, "This is going to be such an adventure!"  Five seconds later, we were sitting in the car....which had decided to have a dead battery...that is when I realized we really were in for an adventure...just not the kind that I was thinking of.

Luckily, we were parked in front of the AAA Building where another one of my board members works.  PHEW!  He came right away bringing the BEST person ever with him...CHRIS!!!! Chris, who also works for AAA, made phone calls for a half hour, looking the closest person on duty to bring us a new battery!  Thank you SO much, Chris! We would have been lost (or at least there until 8pm) without you!!  I am getting my AAA membership soon...is it possible to request a particular person for all my troubles?  Hope so...

After finally getting on the road a couple hours later, we started our almost 5 hour drive to PA!  Even though traffic really slowed us down, I felt a lot better after my Number 1 - Big Mac Meal, no pickle, large lemonade, large fry...

SIDENOTE : McDonald's Monopoly gets me EVERY time!!!!! It is not my fault I want to win one million dollars....

After being stuck in "Penn State Homecoming/jack-knife tractor trailer accident" traffic for another couple of hours, it is safe to say we were both happy to arrive at our hotel.  It may have been almost 4 hours later...but we made it there in one piece with our tummies full!

The next morning, it was up early to eat breakfast at Eat N' Park with Ronnie and Deborah of the Bridal Suite of Johnstown!!


ANOTHER SIDENOTE : Wearing almost six inch heels to Eat N' Park not only gives you a great view of the entire restaurant, but it also warrants some strange looks from everyone eating....

After a wonderful breakfast, it was off to gown shopping!  I owe a HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to The Bridal Suite of Johnstown, PA, for helping me pick the most STUNNING wardrobe I could ever have imagined!  They were so kind and generous to me; it was really incredible.  Yes, I now have my Miss America gown, but it is a surprise!! If you want to see it, along with my other pieces, I am having my Miss America sendoff party at Dover Downs on December 11th!  It's going to be a party...so everybody had better go...!!  All I will tell you is that this dress will make you pass out...that is how beautiful is it!!!  I was SO incredibly happy with my experience at The Bridal Suite!  If anyone is looking for any sort of pageant or prom wardrobe, I would go straight to The Bridal Suite of Johnstown, PA.

visit : http://www.bridalsuitejohnstown.com/

or call 814.266.6924 and ask for Ronnie!  It is worth it!  Can't wait to share my Miss America wardrobe with everyone! :))


RONNIE!!! What a wonderful help she and Deborah were!

After such a wonderful day, I thought the ride back would be just as easy...wrong.  Halfway back, we realized that we were not going to the "home" place that we had entered into the GPS.  My director, Debi, said "my eyes are bugging out of my head and I don't know what home I am going too!!!"  Two hours later...we pulled into her driveway...


Needless to say, it was an adventure....and a memorable one at that!

Stay chill, find a "Chris," and go on adventures,
Maria Cahill



"suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character and character produces hope."
-Romans 5:3-4

Monday, October 10, 2011


HI TO MY "LITTLE SISTERS"!! I MISS YOU GUYS! :)

Look for a letter in the mail this week :))

<3

Maria


Friday, October 7, 2011

On the 7th day, I "blogeth"...is that a word?

So, apparently my plan to blog every week has failed....there is always next week, so don't worry!!  Since last blogging, I have been so incredibly busy...and loving every minute of it!!

Gosh, where to begin....hold on, I am going to go turn on some Yellowcard to help me concentrate...

Ok. Go.

When I was Miss Rehoboth Beach, I got the opportunity to attend and walk in a "GoRed" fashion show to help support Women's Heart Health.  Talk about an event that was made for me...While there, I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people, teach them how to do a proper runway walk and pose.  I was invited to attend another event a couple of months later.  Little did they know, I would be coming as Miss Delaware 2011 (although when I got there, they told me that they had a feeling I would win!  How kind!).  I arrived at the incredibly beautiful Baywood Greens to attend a luncheon and fundraiser.  Not only did I get to help with the silent auction and meet some of the funniest and kindest people to date, but I also got to learn about women's heart health and how important it is to recognize symptoms and be aware of when it's time to seek medical attention.


                              
                                    Yeah, camera.  Go ahead and act like you took this picture in 2009....



The next day, it was off to perform at the fundraiser "Delaware's Got Talent", put on by Artistry Representative, Michelle Falla!  Not only did I have the opportunity to perform my talent and raise funds for Children's Miracle Network, but I also had the opportunity to talk about the wonderful experiences I have had at the hospitals and share some personal stories from those visits.  (Not to mention that I met a former Eagles football player, among others....pretty cool.)  Thank you SO much, Michelle, for an awesome event!


One of my favorite appearances to date was when I attended an event with veterans of World War II and the Vietnam War!  I spent hours with them just listening to their stories, asking questions, laughing, and taking an occasional picture.  Hearing specific examples of their different experiences in war was definitely an eye-opening experience for me.

One gentleman, Norm, became my best friend by the end of the day.  He was a World War II veteran who just laughed at me all day while telling an occasional story.  One of my favorites was that during the war, he never used to drink or smoke - unlike any of his buddies.  He said that he was the "babysitter" of the group.   When they all went out and got drunk, he would steal their wallets and not tell them for a few days - that prankster!  A man after my own heart...  Needless to say, picturing Norm doing this had me laughing for hours.

He then said that he hoped he would live long enough to see me on television and, hopefully, win Miss America....WHAT. A. SWEETHEART.


NEW BEST FRIENDS! I LOVE NORM!

I had the opportunity to emcee the Little Miss Harbeston Pageant.  It was unlike anything I have EVER been to before and had an incredible time.  Anyone that makes me participate in a hula hoop contest off the cuff like that pretty much guarantees that I will have a great time.





One of the next big things on my agenda was the Wings of Hope Teal Ribbon Luncheon.  This fundraiser, to support Ovarian Cancer research, was incredibly eye-opening as well.  I had the amazing opportunity to speak to the entire room about the Miss Delaware Organization.  In telling the group about my life and experiences, I had the opportunity to share my personal story of losing a good friend to texting while driving and about almost losing my older sister in an accident of the New Jersey Turnpike.   My message?  Live every single day to the fullest.  I sat at a table with survivors of Ovarian Cancer and listen to their stories about survival and beating the odds.  It is very inspirational to hear that even though research for a cure for Ovarian Cancer is one of the single most underfunded programs today, they are able to put that aside to bring awareness to this cause.

I've also had the opportunity to speak at the Delaware Safety Council Luncheon about my platform and my goals to expand it.  A HUGE thank you to Harry Roosevelt for bringing me on-board with the Council while I was Miss Rehoboth Beach.  I also recently spoke at my first of many high schools the other day and the response was fantastic!!!

Another of my FAVORITE appearances was attending the Dover International Speedway for the Nascar Sprint Cup Series!!!! YES.  I don't think I have ever had my picture taken that many times in my entire life....but I guess that it what happens when there almost 100,000 people at one single event.  I was interviewed on the huge Sprint Cup stage and talked about my year as Miss Delaware and my platform, Project 16-26: Drive Safe, Drive Smart (which was perfect, considering the event!).  The craziest moment was after I received my tickets to watch the race , I started walking to my section of the track. There began a crazy amount of cheering and screams of "MISS DELAWAREEEE!!!!!"  Talk about a humbling experience! WOW!  After I took another million pictures, I got to watch most of the race and bond with the ladies next to me about our love for Dale Earnhart Jr.  Talk about a good day...



Other events I have been a part of include events for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, workouts with my trainer (talk about not being able to walk the next day...), training for Character Counts, photo shoots and interviews with Wilmington University, appearing on the Tim Qualls show, recording PSA's for 93.7 WSTW, fundraisers, and TONS of dance classes.

 Getting ready to dance for the Tim Qualls show....boy do I have a story about this....I will blog about it next time.



I have so much more to blog about!! AHHHH!! A HUGE promise that another one will be out this week! : )

Stay chill and play McDonald's Monopoly (Oh, yes....I went there)

Maria Cahill

P.S.  All politics aside, I sat next to Vice President Joe Biden in church the other day. (Just in case anyone wanted to know....)


"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."
Psalms 43:5

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just keep chillin...

Why, hi, hello!  Please ignore the fact that I haven't blogged in 45 days...give or take...

So many wonderful things have been happening lately!  First, I have FINALLY realized that I should probably stop referring to myself as "the new Miss Delaware..."  If I don't stop now, I can almost guarantee that I will be referring to myself as "new" all the way into next year...

Looking at my blog, the last thing I wrote about was my trip to Florida!  I have some serious catching up to do!

Delaware had a funny way of welcoming me back to my state after rubbing elbows with Disney characters for a week....all hail the powerful hurricane,  Irene.  Wonderful.  What does the Cahill family do when a hurricane hits?  Buy out half the grocery store, pull out the VHS player and watch home videos, then whip out our skateboards and umbrellas.  Skateboards and umbrellas you ask?  Why would we need these?  To Land Sail of course! (aka. stand/sit on the skateboard, open your umbrella, and let the heavy wind take you down the street!)  GREAT idea if you don't mind ruining 800 umbrellas....it was worth it for me..... Besides some missing siding on my house, downed trees, and flooding, we were fine.  Some houses were hit by tornadoes, so we were extremely lucky!

After a couple of postponed appearances  (because of good old Irene), next on my agenda was a photo shoot and interview with Wilmington University!!  They asked me to be one of the faces for the "What's My Story" campaign so I will be featured in a lot of their marketing!  I still have a couple more photo shoots and interviews to do with them and I am sooooooo excited!!!

The next appearance I had was at "The Children's Beach House".  "Children's Beach House (CBH) is a Delaware-based 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that fulfills founder Lydia Chichester du Pont's vision to help children with special needs reach their highest potential as functioning members of their families and the communities."  I got to mingle with all the guests, help sell items at the live auction, sample all the food (perfect!) and take so many pictures!  The craziest thing about events like this are the people that you get to meet! I met modeling agents and magazine editors just to name a few!!  However, raising  money for wonderful charities such as this make it all worth while!  Check out http://www.cbhinc.org/ to read more on the Children's Beach House!

The next week it was on to the Absolome Jones Senior Center!  While there, I was able to talk about the impact that the Miss Delaware and Miss America organization has had on my life in such a short period of time.  I  also got to dance for them!!  The residents of the senior center loved it. After I was done I got to meet every single one of them personally.  It was so wonderful to hear  their reactions and how they loved having someone so down-to-earth as their Miss Delaware.  Hearing that is one of the biggest compliments I can ever receive.  I met this one gentleman who was blind.  We had an instant connection after we found out that our birthdays were only days apart.  (He loved the fact that we were both Capricorns!)  After discussing our favorite music and the fact that one of my eyes is half brown, he told me that he knew that I was beautiful because I was so nice to him!  Wow!  I love meeting people who I would  never have had the opportunity to meet if I were not Miss Delaware.  Everything happens for a reason, people.


My FAVORITE appearances are those involving hospitals.  I had the extraordinary opportunity to visit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for the Radiothon for Children's Miracle Network.  Some of the little kids I met were absolutely incredible!!  It brings joy to my heart that the sight of a sparkly crown can make a child forget about their illness for a little while.

One of my favorite little girls was Christina, who couldn't wait to be a "hip hop cheerleader" one day!  Good for her....I could never do that.  I made her a crown so we could be matching! :)

At CHOP,  I also met three girls, Alli, Shelby, and Lexi!!  Hi, guys!!!   It was great meeting you three. Hopefully,  you learned a little about how cool we Miss America girls are! : )  Ps. I am still trying to decide  who had the better charactature....



BUCKET LIST SIDENOTE:  I am obsessed with caricatures.  I have never had one done, but have always wondered what I would look like as one...that's why it was on my bucket list!!!! Well, I got one done at the Children's Hospital! I will post a picture of it soon!  Boy, oh boy, being Miss Delaware is perfect if you have an everlasting bucket list!!

Right after my appearance at the Children's Hospital, I drove to Dover for Denim and Diamond, a fabulous event that benefits Meals on Wheels!  A HUGE shoutout to my wonderful executive director, Debi, who was one of the people that put the whole thing together and invited me!  It was fun to mingle, help sell the live auction items (which I have to admit I'm quite good at) and take pictures in the photo booth!  It was a great event to help out an even greater cause.  As I am writing this I am watching the Food Network. It makes me hungry.  Now, I am going to have a tiny bit of self control and not get food, but can you imagine not having the luxury to walk to the next room and make yourself a meal?!  Meals on Wheels provides hot meals to some of the 6 million seniors facing the threat of unanswered hunger!

On September 11th, I was able to attend a small event at Chelsea Tavern with Michelle Falla, my wonderful Artistry by Amway representative, her husband Brian, her cousin and his fiance!  15% of everyone's bill went to help support our troops!  I have never been more proud to buy a burger!!!  A HUGE thank you to our troops at home and overseas for protecting the greatest country in the world. I am forever grateful to you. God bless America!


Finally, one of my good friends, Stephanie, agreed to have a fun photo shoot with me!  Her one stipulation was that she had to first shoot me with my natural "fro" and NO makeup.  Yes, you heard me correct.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Big Fat Goose Egg.  (Eric Larson, shame on you for suggesting such a thing.)   Here are a couple of my favorite pictures.

If anyone ever cared to know how I look completely naked-faced with my natural lion hair, have a field day and knock yourself out....







CONGRATS, WORLD.  You just saw me in all my natural glory. MEOW.  Now to the other stuff...




 I have more blogs on the way!!  Do I need to start doing them more often? Why, yes...yes, I do!
Stay chill and support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals,
Maria Cahill

ps. feel free to start donating to my Children's Miracle Network account!  Please visit      https://missamericaforkids.org/m.aspx?i=22668758D9BE47FC3 . Thanks! :)   

"Little children, let us love, neither in word nor with the tongue, but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:18

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mouse-Hunting in Florida...

Disney World.  The land of an obnoxiously large castle.  The land of mice that run around wearing outfits calling themselves Mickey and Minnie.  The land of the 8 dollar (good grief) Tinkerbell key chain! THE LAND OF AWESOMENESS!!!!

Last week, I went to Florida for the Miss America's Outstanding Teen pageant with my mom and one of my sisters.  The trip started out great even though we had to leave at 4 in the morning.  I was feeling upbeat, had stretched, ran around my living room (because there is so much room for activities) and felt like I had successfully packed enough (which never happens. EVER.).  The day was going really great.  The plane ride was smooth.  I had my ray-bans on. I had my Glamour and Marie Claire magazines....AHHHHH this is the life....then we landed.

Guess what didn't show up.  One of our bags.  In it was packed my flat iron, curling iron, makeup, and ALL of my sister's clothes.  

Now, normally, this wouldn't bother me.  I have come to not like (believe it or not)  wearing a lot of makeup and, most times, I don't mind my hair going crazy....



...even though that is how my hair looks on a GOOD day...fail.

HOWEVER....this was one week I HAD to look halfway decent.  There was filming for Miss America, filming little youtube videos and pictures GALORE.  How could this happen to me?!?!?!

Okay...putting all drama aside....the bag did show up 6 hours later....that dumb thing just decided to board another flight to Orlando.  What a loser.  It showed up just in time! God, if that was you playing a joke on me....that was literally the most not funny joke EVER.

That week, I wore heels 20 out of 24 hours and wore a dress.  It was like an abridged (massively) version of Miss America!


Sidenote - Heels are very cute.  Not only do they give you a height boost which in turn gives you a better view of the room you are in, but it also elongates your legs which makes them look lean and mean.  However, some heels are the WORST!  Sure you may walk in Bebe and try on 6 inch nude platform pumps that are the greatest thing to happen to this fashion world, but the thing to do is to save them until the last day...unlike me.  Bebe heels = not so comfy.  Bebe heels = the worst blisters. Ever.

BEAUTY IS PAIN. BEAUTY IS PAIN. BEAUTY IS PAIN.

Goodness, as much as I try to tell myself...it doesn't work.  It is like telling yourself that broccoli tastes as good as a hamburger.  Just...no.

Anyway.... the week was a blast.  My  little "sister", Tori, did absolutely INCREDIBLE.  She is one of the most beautiful dancers I have ever had the privilege of watching.  She did absolutely wonderful and I have never been so proud.  She is doing such a fabulous job as Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen.  Love you, girl!!!

Not only were we there to root for our girls, but the 53 Miss America contestants got to film in Disney for Miss America and Disney promotional commercials, listen to talks by Miss America and the Miss America board members and so much more.  The most memorable part, in my (and I am sure many of the other girls would agree) opinion, was when we listened to a talk by Colonel David Sutherland of the United States Military.  I am usually pretty good at holding it together at funerals, sappy movies and things of that nature, but hearing him talk about losing his best friend right in front of him, the devastating effects that war can have on these soldiers, and when he ended his speech with "I am Colonel David Sutherland of the United States Military, and I WILL DIE FOR YOU," - there was literally not one dry eye in the room.  Incredible speech from an incredible man.

One of the other crazy experiences of the week was riding on the Tower of Terror.  Check off the bucket list?  I think yes!  I was really excited for it and Miss PA, Julianne Sheldon,  was really pumping me up!  The ride was great until...the end...  Who got stuck when the ride broke down for a good 5 minutes in the pitch black.  This girl...along with about 20 other Miss America contestants.  Perfect.  Making memories?  Yes.  On the bright side, one of the girls had Twizzlers and water in her bag so we could have lasted for a couple days...

Overall, the week was a blast.  I had a wonderful time getting to know the girls, meeting the current Miss America (who was FABULOUS and so incredibly gracious and humble) and getting a feel for the Miss America pageant in January.

A huge thank you to my Uncle Bob, Stan and Calvin Wilson for taking my mom, sister and I to Universal Studios after the pageant was over so that I can now check off 2 items on my never ending bucket list...one, to go to Harry Potter World and two, to go on the Jaws ride.

Sidenote - I have wanted to go on this Jaws ride for years and years...and after I rode it and a little boy started crying...I knew that it lived up to the hype...


ENJOY SOME PIX :)



LOVE my girl, Tori!! So proud of her!!! :)



PS.  THANK YOU to the people in my life who are so supportive of what I do during my year and remember that I am the same person with or without a crown.  I am SO lucky to have people like that in my life, especially now.


Also, I am starting to raise money for Children's Miracle Network!  Click on the link to the left side of the page ("MAKE A DONATION TODAY") and search my contestant name to help out!  Every little bit helps! :)

Stay chill and go on the Jaws ride whenever you can,
Maria Cahill

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Proverbs 37:4

All watermelon eating contests are NOT created equal.

WOWZERS!! I am way behind on blogging! Me, procrastinate? Never! .....

The past couple of weeks have been pretty insane...surprise, surprise.  I had an appearance at the Georgetown Festival of Hope.  This appearance was INCREDIBLE.  I got to meet SO many people, especially kids.  I came in 2nd place in a watermelon eating contest...second to an older gentleman who kept looking at me and laughing into his watermelon because 1. I was funny looking or 2. I was just entertaining while I shoved watermelon in my face.  I feel that coming in second should either win me free food for a year or at least earn me a silver medal...although I would prefer the former...

Sidenote - I like watermelon.  I really do.  I like eating it. I like smelling watermelon scented things.  I like spitting the seeds out at people. When someone asks me to join a watermelon eating contest, I get very excited.  I did a contest like that at the Delaware State Fair and ate that piece of watermelon as fast as I could.  This time, I expected my enthusiasm to be the same....UNTIL......I found out that this contest, instead of eating one piece of watermelon the fastest, it was to see who could eat the most watermelon in 5 minutes.........UHHHH.....


 How I looked before the contest....


How I looked after......
GROSS.
NEVER.AGAIN.



  At the Festival of Hope, I met this one little girl who gave me my first ever silly band (an elephant! YES!).  She came from an extremely bad home situation but was still so incredibly optimistic.  She gave me one of her bracelets so I would not forget her.  Talk about something tugging at your heart strings!!!  I just wanted to take her home, especially when I went to leave and she hugged me for a good couple of minutes and wouldn't let me go.

 Right after the festival, I drove to Milford where I was able to emcee the first pageant of  the season with the wonderful and talented, Bliss Soucek.  I crowned Chelsea Betts and Alyssa Murray (love you both!)   I was so proud of both of them! One pageant down, a million more to go! 


The next morning I was off to Cape Henlopen High School to speak at the Free to Breathe 5k walk/run (or in my case, a "sit there and watch"...). It is extremely inspirational to meet people who are so passionate about fighting lung cancer.  The stories of how their families have dealt with lung cancer was very moving.  Afterwards,  I was supposed to go to a parade, but is was rained out!  BOO!  What to do instead?  Head to a diner with my driver, Donald!

The next day was a HUGE appearance for me!  For anyone that doesn't know, Extreme Home Makeover is in the middle of filming here in Delaware!!  I had the opportunity to Irish Dance in a fundraiser concert, hosted by Telly Leung ("Wes" of Glee who was also in "Rent" on Broadway) in front of so many people!  There were cameras filming and, while I am not sure if they will air this concert on television, be sure to check out upcoming episodes of Extreme Home Makeover on ABC (the same channel as Miss America....woot woot!!)  What a phenomenal experience!  Being Miss Delaware has opened up my life to so many fantastic opportunities!

1. My "DelawareToday"  magazine cover shot (and article) is on stands now.  Pick yours up today! (....that was my way of being super convincing...).
2.  If you reside in Mobile, Alabama, listen for me on the radio tomorrow!
3. Happy day-after Birthday to my now 14 year old brother, Jack.  What a bro.
4.  Thank you to Bill Sammons of 88.7 the Bridge for the book "Jesus Calling."  This is a wonderful book of daily devotions that I got a chance to read while co-hosting.  So glad to have a copy to call mine.  Thanks SO much again, Bill!
5. stay tuned to read about my trip to Florida and more! Check back in the next day or two to read about my experience at Miss America's Outstanding Teen!



Stay chill and never eat massive amounts of watermelon. EVER.
Maria Cahill


"But if I say, 'I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."
Jeremiah 20:9








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