Monday, July 16, 2007

Lightning Strikes – Literally…….

I have been busy with wedding planning and pageants this summer, however, my garden is still growing, although I am not keeping up on the weeding like I should.

In addition, right before I left for the American Renaissance Pageant, we had the worst lightening storm. Two trees in our yard were struck by lighting, and the damage is really noticable. The lightening storm hit as I was driving home from the tanning salon. I was greeted in the driveway with a portion of the tree that used to stand tall and proud in our yard!

Backyard Tree - lightening hit this tree and severed a large piece of the tree. The break area is close to two feet.

The branches from this tree greeted me the night before I left for North Carolina. From looking at the other similar tree, you can get an idea of the chunk of tree branches lost due to the lightening. Both tree used to look identical!

Monday, July 2, 2007

American Renaissance Pageant

Thursday Arrival
I arrived at the hotel twenty minutes before orientation. I was late to orientation because I was quickly throwing on a dress and makeup. Next time I have to be somewhere in North Carolina, I will have to anticipate that 90 minute traffic delay below Alexandria, VA!

Orientation was wonderful. It was very informative and relaxed. The contestants were friendly and we received our first gift - some wonderful hair care products and a t-shirt from the Humane Society.

Tracey and I created a little tradition - we always took a photo of the two of us without any outside help! I love being with girlfriends at pageants - we had SO MUCH FUN!

My neice was getting restless as we waited for the PJ party to begin. However, after the party got started, Marissa really came out of her shell. Everyone had to model their PJs. Tracey, her daughter, Hayley, myself, and my neice Marissa were all wearing TINKERBELL PJs from Disney. The four of us modeled together. At first, Tracey and I had to carry our little Tinkerbells. Then, the Tinkerbells wanted to walk the runway while holding our hands. THEN, Miss Sharon (Mrs. AR 2006) asked Hayley and Marissa to go up stage alone with just her. I was so surprised that both girls did!! Pictures to follow on this story :-)

Gifts: We received huge gift bags as well as many gifts from the contestants while at the PJ Party.

BEAUTIFUL Tracey after her interview! I had already taken off my interview suit, but you can get the idea of the beautiful make-up done by Sheila on both myself and Tracey.

My interview photo from the pageant photographer:

Renaissance Ball!
This was a fabulous event that was gorgeous! The room was incredibly decorated! There was a DJ, who made everything fun and really got the contestants involved. At the ball, the outgoing queens each gave a speech. Tracey and I kept looking at each other commenting how impressed we were with each queen. This ball is such a wonderful and classy event that it really made the pageant worthwhile! Tracey and I found ourselves saying that we wished that we had brought our families to the ball.
GIFTS: Each contestant received a candle holder with some beautifully decorated candy!

Pageant Rehearsal:

PAGEANT! Here are some backstage photos from the pageant. Opening number was in red. We were in a hurry, so we never got fitness photos, however please enjoy the photos in our opening number dresses and photos of us preparing for the gown competition!

Stage shots from the pageant photographer:

Saturday Party after the pageant:

Sunday Morning Breakfast
Tracey's husband took the photos of us, so we didn't have to do it ourselves :-)
Tracey is posing with the beautiful plates that were awarded to the winners and runners-up.

AND THE BEST PART OF THE WHOLE WEEKEND - BEING WITH MY NEICES ON SUNDAY! I fell asleep in the chair. Marissa stayed with me and watched a Barbie princess movie while I slept. Miss Hailee Monkey (my adorable blue eyed neice) had energy to spare because she took her nap while at church that morning!

Until the next pageant adventure!!!!