My Mrs. America experience began with a farewell dinner for my husband and love of my life. After all, I wouldn't be a Mrs and a mom without him. Heartfelt thanks to Robert Gitre of Epicurean catering and Mario Reid from Mangia Bevi for helping me to pull off a very special evening.
Next, I was treated to a fun evening and send-off party by my Mrs. Colorado America queen sisters. I was seriously not expecting to be showered with so many wonderful gifts, especially the Poopouri :). Above all, their words of advice and support meant the world to me and prepared me well for the days ahead.
Then I was off! The Mrs. America pageant was hosted at the beautiful Westgate Hotel. When I arrived, I could hardly contain myself as I was SO anxious to meet my AMAZING and GORGEOUS roommate Heather Fronk, Mrs. Ohio America!! Can I just say that she is even more beautiful on the inside? I absolute adore her.
Next, it was time to meet all the other state delegates at the orientation dinner. It was so fun to finally meet the amazing ladies I had been talking to on our private FB page for weeks.
I came to really love each and every one of these ladies. Each one of the delegates were incredibly inspirational to me as wives, mothers, business owners, and in all that they did in their communities. I have to say, I was intimidated by all of them!
It was quite the honor to meet the reigning Mrs. America Madeline Gwen and Mrs. World, Candace Abrams. These women are STUNNING!
The week continued as we presented our state gifts to David and Jackie Siegel, owners of the Westgate Hotel and to America's TV mom, Florence Henderson.
One of my favorite parts of the week was the gift exchange where we each gave one another a gift that represented our state. My gift included SOCKS of course, Copper Mountain Ski Resort beanies and a Starling pin representing the motto of 'Together We Are More' from Kempe Foundation .
After several days of bonding and fun, things got real when it became time for the interview!
The interview went surprisingly fast and was very enjoyable. Each of the judges were friendly and extremely comfortable to talk to, and I came out feeling very happy and confident that I had done well. Before I knew it, it was SHOW TIME! Eek!
For my state costume, I chose to represent the Denver Mint as Walking Liberty on the Silver Eagle Coin. My coin didn't turn out like I was hoping, but it worked well enough. The costumes from all the state delegates were AMAZING and VERY creative.
Next was the swimsuit and evening gown competition. I was originally going to wear my white MacDugall but opted for my champagne Walter Mendez instead.
Although I didn't leave Vegas with a new crown, I did leave with a publication award, 51 new friends, cherished memories, and a suitcase of full of brand new baby socks (which I was able to donate to Children's Hospital in Denver in their behalf). Yes, each delegate brought me infant socks in their suitcases, FOR ME. I mean, who does that?
I really truly loved my experience at Mrs. America. Even though I was completely exhausted every day and literally got maybe 3 hours of sleep each nite, I wouldn't have traded my time at nationals for anything. I came home a tired but better person because of it.
There are SO many people to thank, and I am quite certain I will be spending several months if not years thanking each person who helped me along the way. At the top of this list are:
*Melyn Campbell and Limitless Worldwide,LLC for being my biggest supporters for many years and for being my official product and AD sponsor.
*Diane Lessnau of Soignee for my gorgeous evening gowns.
*Rooted Boutique and Yera Brand for my fashion wear for the week.
*Courtney Graham for letting me borrow your closet of dresses and suitcases.
*Erica Kumar for your inspiration, friendship, and jewelry!
*Daniel McDermott and Kari Kisch for my hair and makeup and for being there for me at any hour I needed.
*Lonnie Somers and Fetal Health Foundation for your generous donation, support, and friendship always.
*Scott Farish and Bravura Health for your generous donation, support, and friendship and for being the best neighbors ever.
*Phillis Shimamoto and Susan Lee for the darling delegate socks from the Sock It To Em Sock Campaign and for your friendship and support.
*Copper Mountain Ski Resort for donating 51 winter beanies.
*Victoria Gartelos and John Faught from the Kempe Foundation for the Starling pins. #togetherwearemore
*My daughter Alexa Nofsinger for being an incredibly supportive and wonderful daughter who took care of her siblings all week long so that I could be gone for a week.
Lastly to finish where I started, I thank my best friend, my soul mate, and my belayer for life, for being by my side always and for supporting me 100% in everything I have EVER done.