Astonishing. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of this past Saturday night. Over the last 36 hours I’ve had a chance to let the fact that I am Mrs. Colorado America 2015 sink in. I’m not sure it’s completely there yet. I’m excited, overwhelmed, humbled, honored, nervous and eager to get started. I’ve pinched myself a few times just to make sure this isn’t just an awesome and very realistic dream! I sat for a while yesterday and reflected on the past year, the last few weeks and last week in particular: what I’ve done and especially what I’ve discovered. Then I thought about the year ahead and what that may bring. And I’m SO excited!!
Since this is just the first blog entry for me as Mrs. Colorado America I promise to keep it relatively brief - I have a whole year ahead of me so I don’t have to try to get everything out of my head and typed out all at once. What I do want to share right now is what I was thinking and feeling Saturday night.
Nervous would be an understatement. I stood there with my fellow contestants waiting for the names of the Top Twenty to be called. I felt the excitement for my friends as they were called as well as the hope that I would join them. Whew! Made it. That same nervousness and anticipation followed me and grew more intense as the night progressed. As the field narrowed those feelings intensified. But then something unexpected happened: by the time I heard my name called into the Top Five the nervousness was replaced by pure excitement and I was simply elated. It’s difficult to explain, but I was suddenly calm and I was able to really enjoy the moments as they were happening. The nerves I was expecting to have answering the on stage question weren’t there. As I stood there waiting for the results of all of our hard work it occurred to me how special it was to be standing there with Jordan, Erica, Megan and Valerie. I was sharing this moment with four women who I really admire and like. I mean seriously, I was honored to be standing there with them because no matter the outcome I knew I would really like the woman who would become Mrs. Colorado America.
So let’s be honest, I would lay odds that every one of us was was standing there hoping her name wouldn’t be called out yet. Hoping our name would be the last one said. When it was just Jordan and me left holding hands my mind was all over the place. I cursed my lack of signal in the theater because I hadn’t been able to pull up a picture of the friend that I swear Jordan looks like, I wondered what was going through Bill’s mind, I was trying to remember what we were supposed to do if called out 1st runner-up and even more what we were supposed to do if we were named Mrs. Colorado America 2015. Then it happened. Seeing Nicki’s sweet face smiling at me was amazing. Feeling that sash slip over my head and to finally feel the crown on my head was a dream come true. I remember Bill coming toward me with flowers and the immediate comfort that washed over me when I saw the look on his face. I could see my friends jumping around like fools and I could see my little sister’s face and I just knew this was real.
I’m still excited and a little nervous. I’m looking forward to the opportunities waiting for me this next year and for the relationships that will grow deeper; for the sisterhood I’m now so proud to be a part of. I’m still humbled that five people ultimately helped make this dream come true for me and honored to represent the married women of our state. Yeah, it turns out I’m REALLY REALLY excited.
I felt a rush of satisfaction Saturday night - a sense of accomplishment and pride. But not because I won a pageant. It’s because through all of this I have remained true to myself. True to what’s real and who and what I am. I felt it because I was my best me. Crown or not, I had no regrets, no second-guessing of anything because I didn’t compromise my beliefs or myself in the process. Happy because I spent four days with an incredible group of women with unique stories, accomplishments, challenges and motivations. I laughed and shared duck tape with old friends and made new ones. I am so thankful for the abundant blessings I have been given. I am grateful for Bill’s love and support and the enthusiasm of our three boys Nicholas, Christopher and Kyle. I am truly blessed to have my friends and family by my side for what I hope is the best year ever and I can’t wait to get started!