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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Look Who I "Ran Into"...

And by "ran into," I mean I found out she was coming to Jonesboro and I immediately got a ticket to the event in the hopes that I could see her! :-)

Alyse Eady, Miss Arkansas, and Me

Yes, that's our amazing Miss Arkansas, Alyse! She came to my side of the state to be at the auto show hosted by the Lyon's Club here in Jonesboro. If I may...I know that everyone in Arkansas (and America) knows that Alyse is a talented woman, but what most people are happy to learn is that she is refreshingly genuine. The thing that always stands out to me is that she is the first one to ask how you are doing, and when you answer, she is genuinely interested in hearing what you have to say. I always think of the many questions I can ask Miss Arkansas about her experiences, but before I get the chance to focus on her, she puts the focus on me as though she is just a friend getting to know more about me! Such phenomenal and humble character! We are a very lucky state to have such a wonderful representative. Thanks for taking time to talk with me, Alyse. I can't wait to see you in May!

School begins again for me this week! Four more weeks until I complete my undergraduate degrees. Can't believe time has flown so quickly. The next couple of months are booking up fast. With school banquets, pageants, and fundraisers it is going to be a great start to the summer months. I hope to see you all at Miss Cotton Belle next weekend. I'll be there along with many of the other girls from NEA. Until next time...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On the Philosophy of Road Trips

As I mentioned in my last post, this past weekend I travelled eight long hours to Johnson City, TN to present a portion of my senior thesis at the 4th Annual Appalachian Regional Student Philosophy Colloquium at East Tennessee State University. I had a blast! My best friend, Michelle, and I made the trip together (we were both presenting). Getting to go with your best friend kind of makes all the difference! And wouldn't you know it, I have the smartest philosophy friend...I can make this claim because Michelle received the award for Best Undergraduate Paper Submission! Needless to say, we were pretty excited! While in Tennessee, we had the pleasure of meeting a few of the students from ETSU and they were kind enough to show us around the city. I'd never really seen the eastern side of Tennessee and I have to say, it was quite beautiful. I loved being in the Appalachians. In addition to all the fun I had on the trip, getting to present some of the research I've done for my thesis was very rewarding. Overall, I had a fantastic time, and I am very grateful to the Philosophy Department and Philosophy Club of ETSU for putting on the conference and for inviting me to be a part of it.

That brings me to the rest of my Spring Break, though I think it would be more aptly named Spring Miss Arkansas Prep Week! I'm so thrilled to have the time to really focus on my preparations. With 21 hours of classes at ASU, it is difficult to really fit everything in and I hate to say it, but I don't always get to practice, or work out as much as I would like to. So having this week to truly focus on Miss Arkansas is like a dream come true! At the end of this week, I will be having photos made. I am blessed to represent a pageant organization where these photos are donated to me. Thank you so much Schlosser Photography! Monday, I spent some time with my mum travelling to Little Rock. I met with Jane White, who does my make-up for Miss Arkansas and purchased some of her amazing custom blend foundation so I'd be ready for my photos. And later today, Wednesday, I'll be heading of to Batesville to check on some things for my Miss Arkansas wardrobe. With all of this prep work, I can really feel the pageant inching closer, and I can't wait!!!

And for some site updates, I added a link to the right of this page for donations to Children's Miracle Network, the official platform of the Miss America Organization. This is such a worthy cause and your support is truly appreciated. By clicking on the link you'll be taken to my personal donation page. Please do not feel obligated in any way, but I wanted to make it easy for you to access! Thank you for your support!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spending it with Friends

So the past couple of weeks have been, in a word, busy. Nothing new, right? Fair warning: because I like to make sure that I've kept you up to date on all things going on in my year, this post is a little off on chronology.

First, I cannot explain to you how excited (and a little nervous) I am about this upcoming weekend. I get to travel with my bestie, Michelle, to Johnson City, TN, where we will both be presenting our respective philosophy projects at the 4th Annual Appalachian Regional Student Philosophy Colloquium. I will be sure and keep you up to date! What a way to start my Spring Break! Spring Break plans? I'll get to that in the next post. ;)

Last weekend, in addition to my Miss Greater Jonesboro duties, I spent the morning in Blytheville, AR performing as Miss NEA on the St. Jude's Cablethon. I had a blast. Ritter Communications, who sponsored me for the NEA pageant, was there broadcasting the show live. It is so fascinating to see how all of the cameras, lights, technicians, and volunteers make a show possible! I'm working on figuring out how to upload video to my blog (any suggestions? Comment this message.) and if I figure it out, I'll post the performance. But here's a couple of photos, for now.

Me with the Ritter Communications' gang!

Courtney and me

Last Monday I met up (again) with my amazing friends Miss Central Arkansas, Maegan Inzer, and Miss ASU, Kelsey Dow, to fundraise for Children's Miracle Network at McAlister's Deli in Jonesboro. We spent the night filling drink orders and delivering food to tables. For our efforts, McAlister's will be donating 10% of the night's profits to CMN! Thank you McAlister's!! The following Thursday, the three of us got together again to judge a local school pageant. We had a wonderful time, and all of the Buffalo Island Central ladies were absolutely beautiful. We had a very tough job on our hands. Oh! And I can't forget to thank Ashley George for tagging along with us to all of these events! Not only is she a great photographer, but she is also a phenomenal friend to each of us. How about a couple of McAlister's photos, courtesy of Ashley...

Our group of three!

And one of me!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

MGJ 2010 Final Moments

I can't believe that my year as Miss Greater Jonesboro finally came to an end on Saturday! What a phenomenal year it was! I had so much fun spending the day with the Princesses in Training and getting to know the contestants backstage.

Here is the link to my interview with Diana Davis promoting the pageant: http://www.kait8.com/global/Category.asp?c=194386&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5624904

What a joy it was for me to crown Natalie Marcus! Natalie and I met while working at our campus bookstore together, and I encouraged her to enter her first preliminary. Now to be the one to place that crown upon her beautiful head, was an experience I am proud to own. The city of Jonesboro will be represented well at Miss Arkansas this year.

Congratulations, also, to a young girl who has worked so hard to achieve what she did Saturday night, Ranae Clines, the new Miss GJOT. All that hard work and perseverance paid off! You looked stunning.

I'll go ahead and copy some photos from the night below, and then, I am going to post a rather long thank you.

2010 MGJ Family
Sean Pollock, Sarah Hamilton (MGJOT 2010), Me, and Ellen Pollock

Me and Maegan Inzer, Miss Central Arkansas
It was too cute not to include it!

Crowning Moment
Natalie Marcus accepting her crown!

I want to copy my thank you speech/final walk to this blog. At Saturday's pageant it had to be edited for time, but I figure this blog provides me with a captive audience! If I can figure out how to get the video/slide show online, I'll do that, too. Don't get your hopes up, because I'm not the most technically adept. A transcript will have to work for now:

Last year at this time, I had the honor of becoming the first Miss Greater Jonesboro crowned in six years. Little had I anticipated the things in store for me throughout 2010. If I could say just one thing to the young woman I am passing the crown to tonight, it would be that your year as Miss Greater Jonesboro will be what you make it. I hope for you, that you choose the busier, tougher, road filled with little sleep. You won’t regret it!
This is how I strived to spend my reign, and I am so thankful for those who surrounded me with love and support. It is that support that carried me to the finish line at Miss Arkansas last July. There are so many people who were involved with getting me to Miss Arkansas and who are responsible for my being prepared to take on such and endeavor. To Christina Ryan and Brandi Adams for all of your many tips and tricks of the trade that you imparted to me last summer, I want to say thank you for helping me to look fabulous on stage. To the Miss Greater Jonesboro board and volunteers who make it possible for me to hold this title and who haven’t slept at all this week preparing for tonight. Your commitment to this program has changed my life and I am so grateful for you.
For making sure I always looked like I had just stepped off the beach for the onstage competition at Miss Arkansas with his phenomenal spray tans, I want to say thank you to Jerry Russell. See you this summer, Mr. Jerry.
Something you may not know, the Miss Teen Jonesboro Pageant was the first preliminary I ever competed in back in 2003 at the age of 13. That was my first introduction to the Northeast Arkansas Field Director, Marrietta Jerome. You believed in me then, Mrs. Marrietta, and I am forever grateful to you for your encouragement throughout the years.
The beautiful gown I wore at Miss Arkansas came from the Royal We in Conway. Laine Berry, you made a lifetime impression on me when I walked into your store and was greeted with not only your effervescent personality, but also with that peacock blue, liquid beaded, Sherri Hill gown that makes me feel like a million dollars.
To Shelley Kelley with the Royal We and Clark’s Bridal. You have taken care of my gowns for years, but it is your words of encouragement and unfailing support over these years that I thank God for everyday! I am so grateful to know you.
To the Adams family: John, Kim, Olivia, and Maddie! Thank you for letting me borrow both of your beautiful young girls as my Miss Arkansas Diamond State Princesses, and most importantly, for all of the support you have shown to me over the years.
Sarah Hamilton! The most amazing first teen queen that I could have asked for! I love you, dearly, and I am waiting to hear even more great things from you in the future.
To the best executive directors a girl could ask for on her first Miss Arkansas journey, thank you for an amazing year. Sean, I know we’ve had our ups and downs, but thank you for never giving up on me. And Ellen, thank you for keeping him in line! I love you both and to quote you, Sean, “now you’re stuck with me!” And to that I will simply add “for life!”
Finally, I must thank my family. To Lola, Bret, Memaw and Pops, Kim and Ashee, Dad and Mom for being there throughout the week of Miss Arkansas and all my life supporting me. Thank you!
To my biggest fan, and the woman who I hope with every fiber of my being that I will one day be like, Mom I love you and I thank God for you every single day. God blessed me more than I deserved when he made you my mom.
When answering my very first on-stage question as a teen in 2003, I quoted this scripture, “In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” Proverbs 3:6. This was my prayer then, and what I hope to live by forever. Thank you Jonesboro! It has been an honor.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I defied my gluten-free diet Tuesday, March 1st, for an amazing IHOP short stack! I mean, it was for a good cause! ;) So, March 1 was National Pancake Day at IHOPs all over the country benefitting Children's Miracle Network. As you may know, CMN is the national platform of the Miss America Organization and what an amazing partnership that makes. I, along with Maegan Inzer, Miss Central Arkansas, and Kelsey Dow, Miss ASU, spent time at the event requesting donations, taking photos with some of the donors, and hanging up donation balloons.

We were really excited about those short stacks!

Working hard!

Big Fans

*Thanks to Ashley George for the great photos!

I know there were many titleholders participating all over Arkansas! I'm so glad that we have a state full of young women who are not just involved at the bare minimum, but that truly have a passion for working in communities all over the state. Thank you ladies for "Promoting a Positive Future!" <-Shameless plug for my platform. ;-)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Children Helping Children

Yesterday, I kicked off a Change for Children drive at Fox Meadow Intermediate Center in Jonesboro. The kids were so well-behaved and genuinely interested in helping to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. I met with all 3 grades at 3 different times throughout the afternoon, and each time I was amazed at the number of children who raised their hands and said that they had been treated at Arkansas Children's Hospital. The number of hands that went up doubled when I asked if they had a brother or a sister who had been treated at the hospital. I was completely schocked to see every hand go up in every grade when I asked if they had heard of the hospital. The reputation of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is phenomenal. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to help fundraise and bring awareness to such a great effort. I can't wait to see how much these kids raise over the next week and I look forward to having pizza with the winning class!

One of my favorite things about the day was getting to spend time with my Miss Arkansas Diamond State Princess, Maddie Adams! Maddie is a beautiful young lady who I have enjoyed getting to know better over the last couple of years. Her sister Olivia was my princess at state last year. Olivia has since turned 13 and started to compete in Outstanding Teen preliminaries! I'm expecting great things from these two girls. Thank you both for letting me be a part of your journey!

Thank you so much to Debra Johnson, FMIC Principal, and Kim Adams for helping me to organize this fundraiser. I will post about my busy weekend soon; just waiting to get in a few pictures from friends that remembered their cameras! :-) Here are a few photos of my day at FMIC:

Maddie and Me

Me with the 5th Grade classes at FMIC