So did you know, that if you go to google and type in the word “pageants” that my Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant website is the third listing? I’m pretty proud of that. There are a lot of pageants out there!
Geoff has actually been helping me with pageants since he was 12. When I directed my first pageant, he ran the music. I don’t think he ever wants to hear “Man I Feel Like a Woman” ever again because of that experience. After that, we had him and Brandon serve as security, guarding the judging panel with SECURITY printed large on the back of their custom t-shirts.
Since his return to Oklahoma he has helped with the Mrs. Oklahoma International pageant. Last year, flu ran through the pageant. Although he looked fine during rehearsal, Mr. El Reno began to turn green and had to leave before the pageant started. Geoff willingly filled in to escort Mrs. El Reno. It was funny that I didn’t even remember that he had done it until I was going through the photos and saw him. Oh look, there’s Geoff!
This year, Mrs. Kiowa County’s husband was in the hospital during the pageant. Geoff was more than happy to escort her during the evening gown portion. We had a snafu. He went back to the hotel to get dressed and called me telling me that I had brought the wrong suit jacket. Umm, no I didn’t. He had been working out so much that he grew right out of it!
I made a crazed call to our tuxedo sponsor, Costumes Balloons and Stuff, to see if she could fit him at the last minute. Maxine had already closed the shop but went back to make sure that Geoff was appropriately attired for the pageant. And then, she didn’t even charge me for the suit! Thanks, Maxine!
David’s schedule is never solid and, while I hope that he is able to be at the pageant there is never a guarantee. I am so thankful that Geoff is there to support and help me. It’s just how he is. Loyal, supportive, funny, and NICE. Thanks, Geoff!
Nutshell time (because you know I can go on). Saturday, March 6, began early, early. We asked the girls to be at the Stillwater Community Center at 8:00 a.m. and once we were all moved in, we began rehearsal.
We’re pretty good at the one day pageant. It’s what we’ve done every year since we started. With 12 contestants, it can be accomplished in a day if everyone works hard. We started out with opening number and then went through all the other phases of competition until the husbands arrived to rehearse their portion at noon.
Rachel, Mrs. Oklahoma 2009, is a phenomenal dancer and she is now our choreographer. She created an opening number to U Got the Look by Prince. Upbeat, fun, HARD from the looks of it. Oh no. I told the girls we walk, maybe move hands/arms, sway, but no dancing. This looks like dancing to me. But they got it! After a while, it all just came together and they looked fabulous up there.
We had technical difficulties. None of the music CDs I had burned would play. Sean, the technical guy at the SCC, should receive a medal or something. Infinitely patient, smart, helpful, he is a joy to work with and we got it all up and running with time to spare.
My day is spent running around taking care of so many things. I had left the rehearsal in the very capable hands of my former Mrs. Oklahomas, Shelly (field general), Rachel (choreographer), and Brookie (encourager in chief) and was free to move about, make that run about, the building.
The ladies had their one-on-one interviews with the judges beginning at 3. I had just enough time to change into something more presentable to greet our amazing judging panel. I was so honored to have Laine and Kevin Berry, Yvonne Stevens, Monique Terrell and Jon Conneely judge for us this year. They were well prepared, friendly and focused. Brookie served as our judge’s chair this year and I loved her in that role. She is so friendly, fun and helpful that I knew she was the one who should fill that spot. Oh, and I trust her with my life.
The day just speeds up after the interviews are over. Time for another costume change to get ready for the pageant to start. I was able to meet and talk to several people whom I hadn’t met before or seen in a while before the pageant started which was great.
The pageant was flawless. Gets me all choked up to think about it, again. The ladies were beautiful and did a great job. Shelly runs a tight ship and we moved through the program at a nice pace. Sherri, managed the stage for us and did a great job. It was sad to say goodbye to our three younger 2009 titleholders. But they will always be the queens of my heart.
Then it was time to say farewell to Rachel. She still doesn’t know how much she means to me, I’m sure. She was an amazing Mrs. Oklahoma and is an amazing friend. It’s always hard for me to say goodbye to the reigning Mrs. Oklahoma. I want her to know how much she means to me but I don’t want the new Mrs. Oklahoma to think there isn’t room in my heart for her because there is.
Our new Mrs. Oklahoma, Stephanie was crowned. She will be a wonderful Mrs. Oklahoma and I’m excited to spend the year with her. I look forward to our 12 hour car ride to Nationals, the experience of the national pageant, and then the remaining portion of the year we have left when we get back to Oklahoma. Growing her platform, growing the pageant, spreading the International word.
I don’t have my own girls and these girls, ladies, of the Oklahoma International Pageant are my girls. I love them all, could not do it without them. My life is so much better for being able to be a part of their lives. What we share is priceless and amazing. I am truly blessed.
I am beyond blessed. This past weekend’s Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant was, in a word, AMAZING! But even that great word can’t come close to expressing just what I feel about the experience.
We arrived on Friday and our first mission was to set up the stage at the Stillwater Community Center. Mrs. Oklahoma ’07 and Mrs. Oklahoma ’09 were there to help me. Sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do and pretty soon, we were moving these large and heavy platforms onto the stage. I joked around that one of the new requirements for Mrs. Oklahoma is that she should be able to lift 70 pounds like UPS. We are the purple! And we are a platform based pageant after all so we should probably add a platform lifting competition.
Orientation began at 6. This was the first time that all of the ladies had been together in one place. Because of our Go Red for Women affiliation, there are opportunities during the year for us to get together now before the pageant and that has been fun and rewarding.
I am such a sap. To see these beautiful committed women all in one room, knowing their hearts and their passions, well, it choked me up. We truly do have the most amazing women enter our pageant.
Amy Dunn, a survivor of heart disease, was first on the agenda. She is a young mother who has heart disease. I think we were all really impacted by her message given her young age. This could be any of us. I loved her completely Go Red attitude that included her hair and outfit! She told use she had never spoken in public before but you would have never been able to guess that. She had a powerful message for us.
We were then blessed with inspirational and encouraging messages from Mrs. Oklahoma 2000, Sandy Haesloop, Mrs. Oklahoma 2007, Brooke Good, and Mrs. Oklahoma 2009, Rachel Roberts. I sat there in awe, choked up again, at their composure, message and beauty. I have met many of the national Mrs. Internationals and these three women share the same wonderful qualities – approachable, friendly, well spoken, beautiful. Inside and out beautiful, cliche’ though it may be. It’s so very true.
My favorite part of the evening was when I asked each local titleholder to stand up, introduce themselves and tell us the coolest thing they had done with their platform. Wow. I have goosebumps as I type this. Again, I was choked up. Proud, proud, proud of each and every one of them.
I then had to add to the list, the coolest thing that I do with my “platform” which is “Encouraging Titleholders in the Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant“. Watching them travel the road from when they enter until when they compete is so awesome for me. I love watching their growth, sharing their excitement. This, my friends, is a priceless position that I fill and there really are no words to describe how serving as the director of the Mrs. Oklahoma International pageant completes and fulfills me.
Check back. When I get a second, I’ll tell you about the pageant itself.
PS – about the crying? You should probably see my previous post “We’ve got to carry each other” for an explanation about that. I cry. A lot.
Becky McCray over at Small Biz Survival opens up a brag basket every week. It’s really fun to read about the success of others and I’ve learned about some interesting resources for small business there, as well. I was totally inspired to throw my offering into the Brag Basket on December 18th. And here is what I said:
I am in my fourth year as the director of the Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant. I know that a lot of people laugh at pageants but I am so proud of my titleholders that I’d just like to brag here a little.
Our contestants, who are married, must have a community service platform. At the pageant, fully 50% of their score is based upon interviews regarding this platform. For this reason, we encourage them to enter early and work their local title. By this I mean, get out there, put their energy and their voice to their chosen platform and really get to know it. This helps them in two ways. The first, obviously, is that it will fulfill them like nothing else. We all know how great it feels to help others. Secondly, though, this community interaction helps them to become more familiar with their chosen cause and results in a better interview with the judges at the pageant.
The result for me is that I am so proud I could burst. I have amazing women doing incredible things all over the state of Oklahoma! From post partum depression, to sexual child abuse, to pancreatic cancer awareness and everything in between, our ladies are out there raising awareness, raising funds, and making our state a better place.
I thank you for letting me brag. I always feel that if more people understood our mission, they would be just as proud of these ladies as I am!
Cool, eh? Just like that I got to say out loud (well in print which is almost as good) what directing the Mrs. Oklahoma International Pageant means to me and how it fulfills me. I love, love, love these ladies, their passion and their hearts. I am blessed.