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








Thursday, August 11, 2011

Brrrrr it's cold in here! Must be a blizzard!

Hi.  A lot of exciting things have been happening!!!

A recap of my week so far, first?  Why, sure!

I had the great opportunity to attend the Delaware Electric Co-op with my business manager, Susan, and her husband, Gene.  When I was told this was going to be a large event, I had no idea that they actually meant HUGE.  It was just hours and hours of shaking hands, meeting adults and children, and taking pictures....and I LOVED every single minute of it.  These types of events, where I get to meet hundreds and hundreds of people, are the reasons that I love my job.

Sidenote - If you are 5'8'' and wear heels on top of that....that makes you incredibly tall....oh well. 

The good thing about high heels? The air is better up there...and you can see for miles.
The bad thing about high heels?  You are so tall that if it starts raining, it hits you first and you get soaked before anyone else. 

Eating fried chicken at the Co-op! :)
Photo courtesy of Dave Chambers

Thank you to Chuck for the earrings and bracelet and to Bliss for letting me borrow your dress :)


Me and Bliss :)


Today was Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen locations all around the country.  One dollar from every Blizzard sold went to Children's Miracle Network hospitals.  If you didn't get your Blizzard...shame on you.  Next time, get chocolate chip cookie dough like me!  YUM!  I went to the Middletown, DE,  Dairy Queen and got to meet people, talk about CMN and Miss America, and sign autographs.  The best part was talking to a man about Ireland (because it rules) and finding out that it was his birthday!  He told me that talking to me was the best birthday surprise he ever got.  The simple things, people...the simple things.

A lot of people I have been meeting have been commenting on the fact that they read about me in 'The Dialog.' For anyone that has not read that article...help yourself... http://www.cdow.org/dialog.html
---click on the box in the middle, then scroll down to the last page---
**One of the most heartwarming moments of my year so far was receiving a letter from a man who has a stepdaughter receiving spinal surgery.  He said he couldn't wait for her to be well enough to read my story.  I was completely touched and it makes me realize that there are people out there who appreciate what I am doing to spread the word about faith and family.  "I can do all things in Christ who strenghthens me..."





A HUGE SIDENOTE (that has nothing to do with anything) - Throughout this entire year, my goal is to show that not all pageant girls are the same.  I do things differently than most.  My goal is to appeal to the younger generation that might have a preconceived notion of pageants or the Miss America Organization.  We are fun and we eat (a lot), but we wear a crown, get scholarship money for education, and speak about things that we are passionate about.  So what if I crack a joke or ten?  If you can't tell by reading my blog....I refuse to take life too seriously.  It is just too short for that.   



Good golly, that was the most serious I have been in a long time....enough of that! 
 I have an AMAZING events coming up!

HERE IS THE BIG NEWS FROM MY LAST POST!!!!

While many people have read it on facebook, I am going to be a part of Extreme Home Makeover!!!!!!!  I am going to be performing at the pep rally at Cape Henelopen High school!  It will be filmed as part of the episode featuring a family from Delaware!!  This is such a huge opportunity for me and for the promotion of the Miss America Organization and I absolutely cannot wait!  For anyone that wants to attend the pep rally (it's free!) or help volunteer in any way, visit  http://schellbrothers.com/​extreme/ for more info! :)

Other SWEET events coming up/in the works!

-- a clothing designer (Spaceboyclothing.com) contacted me to help with their Delaware themed clothing line by putting my signature on their shirts! YEAH BUDDY!!! The project is still in the works, but it is AWESOME nonetheless!!

-- in talks to be on a radio show in Mobile, Alabama!!!

-- off to Orlando, Florida,  next week to root for Tori in Miss America's Outstanding Teen (and I am also filming for Miss America)!

--going to be in a full feature spread for Wilmington University magazine (shooting at the end of the month)

Last by not least...
Here are some of the pictures I promised from the Delaware State Fair!  Check out the rest on my facebook page!

Just kissing goats...

and holding chicks...

and riding bulls...

and making new friends along the way :)


Stay chill and eat cookie dough Blizzards (or just the cookie dough...),
Maria Cahill


"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit."
- Matthew 12:33





Tuesday, August 9, 2011

RULE 32: ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS

My busy week (from the previous post) was not over!!!  I was just sick of how long the post was...time for a new one! :)   The week was coming to a close, but there was no rest in sight!!  Next on the agenda?  A radio station interview in New York, then I was off to Tori's send off party for Miss America's Outstanding Teen!! She leaves in a few days for Orlando and I leave to support her on the 17th! I am so proud of her. Her wardrobe is stunning and I am so excited to see her dance on stage! Love you, girl!! Make Delaware proud! :)


Was this week over yet?!?! I THINK NOT! I had to wake up the next morning at 3....fail....to go to Oneida, New York,  for a wedding and an appearance!

http://www.oneidadispatch.com/articles/2011/08/05/life/doc4e3c979748058532573817.txt?viewmode=fullstory

YES.


Wedding = awesome. Congrats Joe and Ashley!!!

The next day was an appearance at the Hazel Carpenter Home to talk about my job as Miss Delaware and how someone prepares for the job of Miss America! I got to take a ton of pictures, sign autographs, and I might have met my future husband (who was 8...calm down...).  He dressed up so nicely just because he heard that I was coming.  So cute! 
Thank you to my wonderful grandmother and aunt for setting up this appearance! :)

Sidenote - there are some times when being Miss Delaware makes you feel like a total celebrity...example.... I finally got home to my grandmother's house to pack up for the return trip to good ol' Delaware.  My sister was outside on the front porch talking on the phone and I was laying on the couch...probably eating or something...my sister came in and said "Uhhh...Maria, someone is outside because he heard that Miss Delaware was here and he wants to meet you."  UNREAL...especially when you are not even in your own state!  Cool!!!!

My new friend, Trevor!


 If anyone can learn anything from my blog is it that I enjoy the simple things....even if it means someone standing outside my grandmother's house for 5 minutes and freaking my sister out JUST to meet me for 10 minutes.  BLESSED. BLESSED. BLESSED.



Another fun appearance was at the Delaware Feis (pronounced "FESH").  A feis is the name for a dance competition.  It was awesome because I am an Irish Dancer myself.  I have NEVER EVER EVER signed so many autographs in my entire life.  I think I literally went through 250...at least.  I got to meet dancers of all ages and levels.  It was so much fun!  I LOVE my Irish Dancing family!


Me with one of my dance students, Casey!  So proud of her!



HUGE BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!
I can't exactly say...I don't think.  Noone actually told me that I couldn't say it, but because it makes it cooler, I won't yet.  I will give you 3 hints....
1. It is for a national televsion show that everyone knows (or should know) about.
2. It is filming in Delaware.  I film next week.
3. It is kind of a big deal...

I will tell everyone in my next couple blogs!!!! I am SOOOOOO excited about it!! :))

Keep an eye out for VLOGS!!  I will be filming some, or at least different clips, for my blog.  It makes it cooler that way, right?

Check out this link :)  If you haven't seen my crowning video, then have at it! 


STILL CAN'T BELIEVE IT! STILL!


PS. I just told my mom that this particular post isn't that funny.  Her answer? "Life isn't always funny."  Personally, I think life is hilarious. 

* I like using capital letters when writing.  It makes things more fun to read.
* I miss my SVC friends :(
* I don't like HammerTime.  My tummy is sore.

Busy week ahead!  I will keep everyone posted!  Big things coming my way!

Stay chill and enjoy the little things!
              Maria Cahill


"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6





Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell...

I just had the biggest bowl of pasta.  I think I am going to roll away...

The last week has been so busy!!!!  After a few days off after the Delaware State Fair (pictures will be up this week.  Not just any pictures....EPIC pictures.), Hammertime began.

Sidenote- HammerTime is something I developed.  Because I am original.  Obviously.  It was desgined after the lightbulb went off in my head that my initials matched that of MC Hammer.  Since I am sure that he laid off the fast food, went to the gym twice a day, and had a six pack, I decided to name my workout plan, HammerTime. Please tell me that makes sense...if not....oh well....

PS. Hammertime is NOT fun. Nope.  No it is not.

While Hammertime was in full swing, I couldn't forget about my Miss Delaware duties.  I had a wonderful appearance for my safe driving platform.  I filmed a small PSA for one of the DMV offices (good thing I dressed cute) and got to talk to the people there about my platform and why it means so much to me.  One man approached me and said that his 16 year old was about to start driving and he was going to tell her my story to help her not text while driving.  Really incredible.



The next day, it was my radio cohosting debut on 88.7 The Bridge! I was excited and not excited for 3 reasons.

Excited:
1. I LOVE this radio station.
2. My career goal is to get into broadcasting. Perfecto.
3. It gave me the chance to talk about my faith and family without people poo-poo'ing it.

NOT Excited:
1. I have a man voice.
2. I have a man voice.
3. I have a man voice.

Why, just why, would I want a career in broadcasting if I can't even answer the phone without people saying "Hi, Joe, is Maria there."  SIGH.  I am working on that.

ANYWAYS....regardless of the manly nature of my voice, I was extremely excited for this.  I was up and on the road to Milford around 4:30.  SNOOZE....too bad I like the smell of coffee and nothing else about it.  I really do wish I liked coffee....the cups are so cute!  Good thing I had my Angels and Airwaves mix (my favorite band of ALL TIME.)

Sidenote - How would you react if you were driving somewhere at 4:30 in the morning and the girl in the car next to you was belting out songs?  Would you be weirded out?  At least it was keeping me awake so....

I got to the studio for my 1st of two 6am-10am slots.  It was INCREDIBLE!  Thank you to the always amazing Bill Sammons for showing me the ropes and getting me off on the right foot!  For anyone that was ever wondering, yes, the walls are completely covered in egg crate styrofoam "stuff."  I wanted to run into the walls the entire time so I could prove that it wouldn't hurt, but that wouldn't be very professional would it...
I LOVED getting calls with questions and reading facebook comments on the 88.7 The Bridge fan page.  I got to talk about everything from Miss Delaware and Miss America, to family, faith, boys and dating (HA!).  It is honestly INCREDIBLE to hear and read what God has done in some people's lives.  Incredible.

Seriously, go to facebook and "like" 88.7TheBridge.  Literally, drop everything.  All the cool kids are doing it.... 

After the first day of cohosting, I was hooked....man voice and all.  I was then off to the LOVELY Sandy's  house.  One thing about my Miss Delaware Board of Directors...they take the best care of me and treat me like I was their own daughter.  I don't know what I would do without them!!  I had a wonderful day with Sandy, new board member (YAY!) Bliss, and Mamma K!  Thank you, Sweet Baby Jesus, for yummy crab soup!  And thank you Sandy for all the jewelry!!!!! :)  ....AND to my new "wardrobe sponsor," Bliss :)  I had such a wonderful time with all three of them!  It was off to bed early...not really...for round 2 of my radio debut!

The second day was even better!  I was used to how everything ran, and the fact that I was wearing headphones and speaking into a cool looking microphone!  I got to listen and read even more incredible stories about how God has affected so many people's lives!  What an incredible two days!!! So eye opening and heartwarming to hear people tell me that they are glad that someone stands up to a world that is trying to get rid of religion.  I have gotten so many letters and emails from different listeners, and to any of you who are reading this, I will get back to you!


Stay chill and listen to Angels and Airwaves (now.),
                      Maria Cahill



"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16



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