Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Selbyville Style Send-Off

On Saturday my family, church family, friends, and fellow Selbyvill-eans (totally a real word) threw me an unofficial send-off party. Over 150 people came out to enjoy food, drinks, and the company of good friends to send me off to Las Vegas in style. Many donations to Children's Miracle Network were collected, lots of fun was had, and I must have received about 200 hugs, (no complaints here). It was great to see my Salem United Methodist Church family, as well as friends from around the community, and lifelong friends. I want to thank Doyle's Family Restaurant, a local business for donating their time and delicious food to the party, Hocker's Grocery Store, owned by Senator Gerald Hocker, for donating food as well, the Bunting family for helping set up, my family for helping put the whole thing together and putting it on, and everyone for showing their love and support. Y'all have no idea how much I appreciate your kind words, love, and undying encouragement. 

I appreciate all of the kind words from my family, my second Mommy, Miss Irene, and Representative John Atkins that are presented in the article. I got a little choked up reading about my little sister, Remi, finally deciding that she wants to follow in her "Sassy's" footsteps one day, and be Miss Delaware 2024. She has never been a fan of the pageant scene, but she told reporter Glenn Rolfe, that her sister becoming Miss Delaware is the "best thing that's 
happened in her life." It is incredibly gratifying and humbling to know that my work is appreciated, and I cannot thank everyone enough for being there for me, not just this year and at the send-off, but throughout my life; I am so blessed to have y'all. Thank you for being a part of my journey, because I certainly couldn't do it alone. I'll be carrying these warm thoughts and well-wishes in my heart all the way to Las Vegas, as a reminder of where I'm from, and the reason I'm competing for Miss America.

With Alex, one of my longtime friends

Cutting my cake!

Hanging out with Krysta, Justin, Nate, and Tc

My main man, Jake Atkins

Be sure you check out Missde.org to see the details for my official send-off, which is being held on Sunday, December 9th at Dover Downs Hotel and; Casino. You wouldn't want to miss a chance to preview my fabulous Miss America wardrobe!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Basketball games, Pageants, and Parades!

Hey everyone, happy black Friday. While all of you shoppers are getting elbowed in Wal-Mart, I'm snuggled up on my couch blogging, no complaints here. I will be heading to the gym later, but I guarantee a training session with Paul is much less painful than trying to hit the mall today. Anyway, back to Miss Delaware life, since I know that's what y'all want to hear!

 I was fortunate enough to emcee the Little Miss Millsboro pageant. I had a blast getting to spend time with all of the contestants and watching their talents, which ranged from hula-hooping, to cheerleading, to singing. Katie Favinger won over the judges singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee," and I was able to crown her the new Little Miss Millsboro. I can't wait to see Katie at parades and events throughout the year!

I have a confession to make: I am terribly uncoordinated and unathletic. I've always been more of an artsy type, I have always excelled in music, I play 5 instruments, I sing, and I dance. Sports, however, have never been my thing. I swam in high school, but I was never great, and the one time I tried to play soccer wasn't pretty. I don't think I ever actually hit the ball off of the tee in Tee Ball, and I was always picked last in gym class. Having said that, when I got an offer to play basketball with the Harlem Wizards, there was no way I was turning it down. I spent the morning at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford, DE at assemblies for the children. I was pleasantly surprised when the player, DP, who was running the assembly serenaded me with "Call Me Maybe," and even though at that point we had not spoken, I knew we would get along just fine! I should have worn more comfortable shoes, I had no idea I would be doing the wobble, Gangnam Style, and the Dougie. After a visit to the school nurse, DP and I walked around to all of the classrooms, spending time with the children and getting them excited for the game that night. I hauled back to my hometown of Selbyville to be in our Halloween parade at 7, then was back at Seaford by 8, nothing short of a miracle, to play basketball with the Wizards. I use the term "play basketball" very loosely, as I never actually made contact with the ball and spent most of the time running up and down the court and begging the other Seaford Stars NOT to pass me the ball. I did, however, dance and sing on the court, and put on a pretty funny show for the spectators.

Parades are probably my favorite appearances, mainly because I usually get to sit on the back of a car and smile. Also because my driver, Donald is the bomb. Recently I've been in the Selbyville Halloween parade, Milford's Halloween parade, Return's Day in Georgetown, and the ABC and Dunkin' Donuts Parade in Philadelphia! 

I have to elaborate on Return's Day, because I was fortunate enough to have met our Vice President, fellow Delawarean and Blue Hen, Joe Biden. I was honored that he took time out of his day to chat with me about Miss America, UD football, and other mundane topics. Before this becomes a forum for political debate I must say, whether or not you voted for VP Biden, as Americans we must respect his office and the service he is giving to our country. I performed a dance outside, on the asphalt, in the 30 degree weather, in a teeny tiny little costume, and after I warmed up, I got to ride through the parade. I later found out that I actually won the "Beauty Queen" category of the parade, so all in all it was a pretty successful day!

The ABC Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia was televised, and I was lucky enough to share a float with Miss America, Miss NJ, and Miss PA! There was even a close up of me, (I'd like to thank the academy.) No seriously though, I got to hang out with my Miss America sisters, Miss America herself, AND All 4 One, the boy band (fangirl moment.) Luckily I have an awesome Mommy who recorded the parade so I could watch our float and see Laura, Miss America sing, as well as my Miss Delaware pageant sister, Morgan Burris sing! Morgan is Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen, and she was asked to sing in the parade, so now I'm just waiting until she's super famous so I can say I knew her when. She never fails to blow me away every time she performs!

I also had an incredible time at Collabagala, a James Bond themed event to raise money for 10 different very deserving charities. I spent time being a Bond Girl on the red carpet with Maria, Miss Delaware 2011, and then we tore up the dance floor with our friend Mike from best buddies. We had a blast and they raised a ton of money for some great causes!

I'm compiling most of the photos from recent appearances into one big slideshow for your viewing pleasure. 

Until next time,

Where liberty dwells, there is my country.

Seeing as it's the Holiday season and yesterday was Thanksgiving, I feel that this blog post is necessary. In early November my Step Father, Floyd was sent to Training before he leaves in December to fight for our Country. He will be stationed in Afghanistan for a year with his Military Police Unit with the Army National Guard. There is never a good time to send a loved one off to war, but it is especially hard to close to the holiday season. Thanksgiving is strange when someone you care about is so far away, and Christmas morning will not be the same this year. Though it's selfish of me, I am most upset that he won't be able to share my Miss America experience with me, seeing as Floyd was so supportive and helpful on my journey to Miss Delaware. 

I want to encourage all of you to thank someone you know who has served, or is still serving this great country we call home. It is these people who preserve our freedom, protect American justice, and fight to ensure that we are able to have the rights our founding fathers fought so hard to give us. It takes a true hero to give of themselves for a greater cause, and I for one am so proud to say that one of these heroes is in my family. Take the time out to send out a thank you, and send up a prayer for those in service, and remember that there are people who are fighting to protect you, your families, and your rights as citizens of the United States of America. God Bless the U.S.A. and thank you and Godspeed to our military servicemen and women.

 "This nation will remain the land of the free, only so long as it is the home of the brave." -Elmer Davis

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Most Thankful Post

 Hey all! I just returned home from the ABC Dunkin Donuts Thanksgiving Parade in Philadelphia; what an AMAZING experience. How many people get to say that they rode on a float with Miss America in their lifetime? Well now I can, so, ha! No seriously though it was absolutely incredible to spend the day with the lovely Miss New Jersey and the fabulous Miss Pennsylvania, and of course Laura Kaeppeler, our incredible Miss America 2012! It was the experience of a lifetime, and one of my best days so far as Miss DE! I'll have a more detailed blog post about my recent appearances as soon as my computer and I get some alone time, but I thought I would present you with a short list of things I am thankful for.

  • My family is the greatest. They have been incredibly supportive of all of my far-fetched dreams and have helped me make them a reality. Thank you for always being there for me and helping me achieve my goals, even though they might be a little lofty.
  • I have so many amazing friends who have been with me every step of this journey, thank you all for allowing me to be in your lives!
  • Super thankful for being able to represent this wonderful state at the Miss America pageant in January, and for God making it all possible.
  • The supportive and wonderful Miss Delaware Board of Directors, who volunteer their time and expertise to help prepare me for Miss America, and treat me like one of their own children.
  • As a general rule of thumb, I hate cats, but my cat is super awesome and I'm glad that he's seriously confused and thinks he's a dog. You rock, Ziggy.
  • I'm thankful for coffee, my one true love, the one that will never let me down, (unless it's decaf.)
  • Thank you to all of those who have served and are still serving our country. You are true American heroes and you are greatly appreciated.
  • Thank you JK Rowling for being a huge part of my childhood, even though you don't know it. Still waiting on my letter to Hogwarts, though.
  • Thanks for the Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins, and showing me that life goes on after Harry Potter. 
  • Thank you Lancome for your amazing mascaras. If Hypnose lashes was a man I would marry him.
  • I'm thankful for lipstick, especially of the red variety.
  • I'm thankful that Magic Mike was created. Seriously, thank you, from the entire female population of the world, and especially for casting my fictional celeb boyfriend, Matt Bomer.
  • I'm thankful for high heels, even though I'm already obscenely tall.
  • I'm incredibly thankful for Alpha Xi Delta for giving me a place to call home at the University of Delaware, and for giving me over 100 sisters that God forgot to give me. Xi love y'all.
  • I'm glad I have an 8-year old sister so I sort of have an excuse for watching as much Spongebob as I do.
  • I'm thankful for bacon, but only crispy bacon, and scrapple, love me some scrapple. 
  • I'm thankful for Lana Del Rey's music, because she is a boss.
  • Thank you to my big comfy bed for always being here waiting for me when I return to home base, you're the bomb.
  • One last huge shout out to Cherry Chapstick, you have my endorsement along with Katy Perry's.

Okay, now I'm off to stuff my face with everything and anything on the table, sorry Paul Timmons, aka World's greatest personal trainer. Everyone have a safe, happy, and fattening Turkey Day! God Bless!

Ephesians 5:20

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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