Monday, July 25, 2011

Twenties and Tiaras

Oh boy what a weekend. I am still worn out and it is taking all of my strength to stay awake right now, but the weekend was totally worth it! You may remember that way back in November my sister was in the Alabama USA pageant (and came in 3rd Runner Up, may I remind you). Well, after the pageant, the director of the Princess America Pageants approached her about representing Alabama in his pageant in Orlando. Of course, she jumped at the opportunity, as did all of us, and this past weekend, we all went to Orlando to watch her. When I say "all" I mean my mom, Aunt Sue and cousin Sara, Aunt Fran, her son Stevie and wife Melissa, and my grandmother. Forrest wanted no part of the girly weekend (which is probably my fault for insisting on watching Toddlers and Tiaras weekly) so he had a nice relaxing weekend to himself while I was fluttering around Orlando. By "nice relaxing weekend" I mean taking a 63 mile bike ride into Georgia (omg-seriously) and studying for his boards. Clearly he and I have differing definitions of "relaxing". Anyway, back to the pageant. My mom and sister left on Monday, Stevie, Melissa, Fran, and Mimi left on Thursday, and Aunt Sue, Sara and I left on Friday. I didn't realize that Sara hadn't flown since she was 3 years old, so when we got to the airport, she was pretty nervous, as was Aunt Sue. I am no fan of flying either, but I ended up having to be the "calm" one of the group, which Forrest thought was hilarious. Anyway, we didn't realize that the flight had "open seating" which means of course that you just walk onto the plane and grab a seat. Well, unfortunately, we are assigned to group "C", meaning we were the last 3 people to board the plane. NOT COOL, especially with the freaked out flyers. The crew was very pushy and were snapping at us to "find any seat" as soon as we got on the plane. It became clear that we were not going to be able to sit together or even anywhere near each other---panic! One of the attendants found Sara a seat and then one for Aunt Sue, and I found myself as the only person standing up on the plane, with everyone staring at me and I know they were thinking---just sit DOWN already!! Well then I started to get a little nervous and was frantically trying to find any open seat. Another crew member came up to me and said "Oh, we have an exit row seat available". Now, mind you, I didn't know that this was the ONLY seat available or I would have just taken it, considering the hostility towards me that I felt building by the second. My reply was, "Oh, I can't sit there--I'm not good in emergencies". WRONG ANSWER!!!!! Apparently quippy comments are not appreciated on airplanes nor by the other passengers on this plane. I asked if there was another seat or if the exit seat was the only one, and of course it was the only one, so I told the lady I would be fine and I would just sit there. Then she snaps at me "Well, since you said you can't sit there, I can't let you sit there now!!!!" Oh-GOOD-GRIEF now everyone REALLY hates me. Another crew member tried to entice me to sit there by explaining that there was lots of extra legroom in the exit row to which I replied "I"m 5'2", I don't need leg room". Again, humor was getting me NO WHERE. By this time I am nearly crying and of course the other crew lady tells Miss Leg Room that I already said I couldn't sit there and now I"m begging her to just let me sit down, but then she humiliates me even more by announcing to the WHOLE PLANE that "Is there any one that would like to sit in the exit row?? This young lady won't do it". MORTIFICATION!!! Thankfully, a large gentleman shoots up and says that he would love sitting there, I'm sure because he wanted more leg room. Then, the evil crew lady says "Sir, there are already 2 larger men sitting there, you may be uncomfortable" and it was at that point I realized that it wasn't just about me, she was just mean!!! I thanked him profusely and quickly took my seat, which ended up being next to Sara. She and I were so relieved!!! Thankfully, the rest of the flight was drama free!!! As soon as I got off the plane I called Forrest to tell him that the crew tried to make me sit in the exit row, to which he replies, "Why not? You get way more leg room." UGH.
We were staying in the hotel that was hosting the pageant and OMG it was wonderful! There were lots of different restaurants, the rooms were super nice AND big, and it had an amazing pool with a waterfall and a slide!! The first day we settled into our room and turned right back around to go to the Orlando Premium Outlets for some quick shopping. After an unsuccessful trip, it was time to get back to the hotel to get ready for the preliminary pageant! I got ready in my mom's room so I was able to see MMM before she headed out. She looked great and felt so calm, which is more than I can say about myself!!! I enjoyed watching her primping preparations, especially when I found these on the bed:


The pageant was divided into Jr Teen, Teen, and Miss categories, and since she was Alabama Miss, she was in the last group to go. We enjoyed watching the other girls but were all so anxious for it to be her turn!!! I don't know why we were, because when she came out, she totally rocked every event! She got lots of cheers from the audience and she worked those judges too!! She competed in swim suit, casual wear, and evening gown. I tried taking pictures, but unfortunately my nerves wouldn't let me hold the camera still, so they all turned out pretty crappy. We left prelims feeling like she definitely had earned herself a spot in the Top 10, and were anxious to hear the results the next night!!

Prelim night entourage

Casual wear

Evening gown--clearly she is moving in this pic or else it is just my wiggling hands!

Sara and I with MMM after prelims
On Saturday Aunt Sue, Sara, and I shopped til we dropped at the Premium Outlets on Vineland. I got 2 pairs of cute shoes and a couple of tops for a great price but nothing too spectacular. After a amazing lunch of TCBY and cookie cake, we went back to the hotel and hung around in the pool all afternoon. Nothing is more refreshing than a cool pool on a HOT summer day and on Saturday there was no exception! We rode the slide and swam under the water fall and all in all had a terrific afternoon.
That night, we were so anxious for the pageant, but finally the time came. After the opening number they announced the top 10 in each division. She got it! Oh, the screams!!! Our group was so loud in supporting our girl!!! The top 10 got to do each event again and she did a great job. Before we knew it, it was top 5 time. Well lo and behold she made that too!!!! AHHHHH! We were all going crazy!!! She also won Miss Photogenic and the Runway Style Award, which means she was the best dressed in the pageant (I think). Then they announced the winners and she was 2nd Runner Up!!!! Hooray!!! What an awesome job!!! Not only was this only her 2nd pageant, but it was a national level pageant too!!! We were all so proud of her. Again, my hands were shaking so badly that my pics are terrible. I'll just show you some after shots instead.

The Top 5 winners!
KY (4th), TX (1st), OK (Winner!) AL (2nd), UT (3rd)

After the whole shabang

Mom, me, and our beauty queen!!!
After such a busy and nerve wracking weekend, it was great to get home to my hubby and my sweet fury babies. We are staying local for the next few weeks so hopefully I can get some rest! I do want to give a shout out to all of you that were rooting for MMM. We appreciate all of your encouragement and support! Also, sorry if the texts I sent you during the pageant were incoherent. It was all I could do to type out the good news!!!! She'll will be competing in Miss Alabama USA this fall, so please continue to support her!!!

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