For starters, my best friend and roommate got ENGAGED!! Kate is one of my very best friends whom I love as a sister. You should hop on over to her blog and give her some congratulations! :) Here is the video that I put together! Bethany recorded with my Flip cam and I took all the pics! Enjoy!
Also - two of my best friends have had a birthday! And another best friend's birthday is on Saturday! So I will take a little time to wish them happy birthday!
HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY, MRS. ANA DEL RIO!
You have been such a great friend to me! I hate that we live so far apart, but I love that whenever we talk, we pick right back up from where we left off! I still can't believe that you are a married woman! I have loved seeing you have so much courage and strength while Nathan has been away. Just remember he will come back to you soon! Know that I'm praying for you and Nathan both :)
HAPPY (belated) BIRTHDAY, SAMMY JO!!
You have been my best friend for 11 years now! It's crazy how time flies when you're having fun! I will never forget the countless weekends spent together in junior high and high school. Sleepovers. Donuts. Palettes in the floor. Never Been Kissed. While You Were Sleeping. Egg rolls. Enough said :) Just like Ana, you live far away from me! But that never seems to get us down. I love you and could not imagine my life without you being in it!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. SARA WILLIAMS!
Friend for liiiiiife! As my best friend of 12 years, we have been through so much together! And just like all of my other friends, you have to life far away from me too! But I am so thankful that we have remained as close as we are! You have been such a great friend to me and I am so thankful for that!! Please convince Jesse that Little Rock is the place for you :) Love you!
Ok now that we got the birthdays out of the way, lets talk pageants! I know many people have different outlooks on pageants. And believe me, I know exactly where you all are coming from. I didn't really get into pageants until I was in college and I had friends competing in the Miss Arkansas pageant. And when I say "get into pageants" I mean ONLY watching them. I never ever considered doing one. Obviously - not for me. But, for some reason, I absolutely and positively LOVE watching them.
Over the past 4 years, I've had several friends compete. Bethany Briscoe (competed the last two years but sadly her pag days are over), Lauren English (who has done very well and even got 1st runner up one year), Alyse Eady (the current Miss Arkansas), Maegan Inzer (who started last year and rocked it with tons of alpha wins), Cortnie DeVore (this is her first year and I'm SO proud of her!), Bethany Whitfield (who always looks stunning), and Hannah Brickey (this is her first year as well and she's done amazing already!). I have seen these girls work super hard and accomplish their goals. I have seen them win thousands of dollars in scholarships. I have seen these girls prepare the HEALTHY way, not starving themselves or altering their body only to look better.
Now, I see where people think that pageants are completely superficial and shallow. If you are an outsider looking in, I completely get that. You see girls starving themselves or getting surgeries to make them feel better about themselves. And yes, that is superficial. You might also see the awful show "Toddlers and Tiaras", which I actually can't stand. I can't stand to see people put make up, fake eye lashes and false teeth on their children. I can't stand to make these girls feel like they have to be the "prettiest" to win. I don't believe that is right. But the girls competing in Miss Arkansas are all adults and they have chosen to do what they do. These girls prepare very hard. They keep up on the current events going on. They stay on a healthy diet and exercise. They prepare their amazing talents. They are confident in who they are. They are all-around beautiful girls.
You might say that me loving pageants is a shallow thing to do. But I won't apologize for loving what I love. I will always enjoy them. And I will always support the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Program.
With that said, the Miss Arkansas pageant is this week! Preliminaries started last night and will continue tonight and Friday night. The top 10 will be announced Saturday night as well as the new winner! I am thrilled for these girls and to see their hard work paying off. You should definitely come on out and enjoy it with me!