Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blowing It Up!

Yesterday was our annual "Khoatic KJ Klean-Up."  Every year, usually the last day of school, KJ and I go through her room.  Yesterday we totally tore her bedroom apart.  I mean, we emptied EVERY drawer, her entire closet, her bathroom, etc.  We reorganized, re-folded and threw away 2 trash bags of stuff and dropped 1 bag off at Goodwill.  Even though we've only been in this house 1 year, her room was never set up properly.  I let her unpack her room and I should have just done it myself.  She was not a happy camper when I woke her up and told her our plans for the day but she was a trooper.

Today she and Coach are visiting with their BamaLax family.  A couple of the teams are here in MD for a tournament.  They were originally supposed to be playing in Gettsyburg, PA but that tournament was cancelled so they were able to get in the MD one.  KJ was excited to see some of her former Bumpus classmates.

This week's weather has been amaze-balls.  No humidity and nothing but blue skies!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Back in MD after a wonderful, wonderful trip to MS!  Despite a rocky start with my luggage on 4th of July, we still had a great trip and couldn't be prouder of T! 

I cannot even begin to describe how professional and organized the Miss Mississippi pageant is.  Everything is top-notch . . the production numbers, the costumes, the choreography, the girls are treated like rock stars throughout the week and are very well cared for.  T's hostess mom was awesome and extremely protective of her two girls.

Sunday was her official check-in and Monday evening was the parade through Vicksburg followed by an autograph party at the Outlet Mall.  The weather in Vicksburg was perfect the entire week and the parade was so much fun!  T's two little princesses, Lydia and Sterling, were super sassy and T absolutely adored them!  One of the great things about the Miss Mississippi pageant being in Vicksburg is how the whole town gets behind the pageant.  Everywhere we went people asked if we were in town for the pageant, asked what our daughter's title was and followed it up with a "good luck" or "I'll cheer for her!"  Wednesday Cosmo, KJ and my parents all arrived and prelims started that night.

T had evening gown Wednesday night, swimsuit Thursday and ending prelims on Friday.  T wore a red, strapless, mermaid style gown with a layers of ruffles on the bottom -- KJ said she looked like a flamenco dancer!  It fit her like a glove and I love the color red on her!  The gown was very elegant, timeless, classic and totally T.  She also had on-stage question that night and did great!  Interestingly, everyone else's questions were about their platforms so they were able to give thought out responses.  For some reason they asked T about lacrosse so her response was a little more impulsive.

Thursday morning was another autograph party, this time in at the Coca-Cola Museum in Downtown Vicksburg.  Contestants were situated at various stores on Washington Avenue and the public popped in and out to talk to the girls and get to know them.  From there the girls had lunch with the Rotary Club at the Country Club.  Thursday night she totally rocked swimsuit.  Poor Coach!  He had never seen her bouncing across the stage in a bikini and looked at me and said, "Holy Shit."  It was pretty funny!  Honestly, I thought she should have won swimsuit prelim.  She really did look amazing.  Some of the girls were very muscular with extremely broad shoulders, T is definitely fit and athletic but more feminine.

Friday afternoon the Dew and T's best friend Tana arrived in Vicksburg and we had dinner at a Mexican restaurant before heading to the Convention Center.  T did an amazing job with her talent and the audience was clapping along.  She tweaked her routine a bit since I had seen it last and added a split and a few other moves.  She hit all of her turns and I really thought she had a shot at possibly winning a talent prelim but then the girl after her totally nailed her lyrical dance.  She was the clear winner that night.

All week I kept thinking that T was holding her own against the veterans and more experienced contestants and I was right.  Saturday they announced the top 10 and a little later in the evening they announced scholarship winners.  She placed 14 out of 41 girls.  Now, that may not seem great but this is Mississippi.  EVERYONE has participated at a pageant at some point in their lives!  The top 10 consisted of several returning contestants and even a couple of Miss Mississippi's Outstanding Teens.  These girls have been competing for years and most have pageant coaches in addition to their pageant directors, most have had vocal lessons or choreographers assisting with their dances, trainers to get their bodies in shape and unlimited budgets when it comes to wardrobe.  Some of the girls even had specially prepared meals brought in for them all week.  T joked around and said Tana was her trainer!  They worked out together almost every day.  T's directors were awesome and helped her with mock interviews and wardrobe selection, T said she taught herself how to walk in evening gown and how to pose for swimsuit.  She had a make-up lesson from the MAC counter at the mall in Tupelo before she left for the pageant and her hair and make-up looked amazing all week.

After each night of competition there was a visitation for the families to meet with their contestants and Friday and Saturday nights were cocktail parties at the casino.  That was a lot of fun because the Dew and Tana came to those and we really got to spend a lot of time with Taylor.  The Dew likes to dance so he and T hit up the dance floor each night. 

T had an amazing week in Vicksburg.  She met some wonderful new friends, learned a lot about herself and I think she'll be back next year!  (if she wins a local pageant!).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Wow!  Can't believe it's been almost a full month since I've blogged!  We've had such a busy, fun summer so far.  We had some lax friends visit us, our dearest friends in the whole world from Cincinnati visited us and then we were off to MS for the pageant! 

I flew into Memphis on 4th of July.  The flight was fine however I didn't see my luggage until late Sunday, July 6.  Apparently my luggage never made it off the plane despite it being a direct flight from BWI to MEM.  My luggage went on a nice little vacation to Orlando, Charlotte, somewhere in New England (Manchester, NH perhaps?), back to BWI and finally to Memphis.  Southwest did made special arrangements for my luggage to be delivered to me in Vicksburg despite it being out of their normal delivery range.  Unfortunately, the delivery service truck was involved in some type of shoot-out in Memphis and had all of it's windows blown out in a hail of gunfire.  Can't make this stuff up people.  So then I was told that they would get my luggage to me Tuesday.  At which point I totally blew a gasket and had to threaten a few people at Southwest with bodily harm.  Or, as my family would say, I "went all New York."  You do not want New York Valerie to come out to play.  Alabama Valerie is fine, even Maryland Valerie is OK.  New York Valerie will cut a bitch. 

We spent 4th of July at the lake house of one of T's friends and shot off some guns.  You know.  Typical 4th of July in Mississippi!  T, the Dew and I had a nice dinner in Oxford and Saturday morning we headed to Vicksburg for her first day of rehearsals.  Saturday night T got to meet her two princesses and on Sunday we had to check her in at the Convention Center.  I can not stress how impressed I've been all week with this program.  So far, everything has been extremely organized.  After check-in, I delivered her pageant items to her dressing room where I was assisted by a great group of helpful Boy Scouts.  After that I had to deliver the remainder of her luggage to the contestant's hotel where I was also met by Boy Scouts who helped unload the car and carry her luggage to her room.  I didn't have to lift a finger! 

Last night was the parade in Downtown Vicksburg followed by an autograph party at the Outlet Mall.  So fun!  I wish the parade could have looped around again and go through the town twice!  The girls all looked amazing, there was some awesome convertibles and T's little princesses are the sassiest ever!  The city of Vicksburg really gets behind the girls and everywhere I go someone asks me if I'm in town for the pageant and if so, what's my daughter's title and I usually get a "I'll say a prayer for her" or "I'll be sure to clap extra loud for her!" 

Today I had a wonderful pedicure.  I went to this salon back in late February/early March when I came into town for Orientation.  The stylist who did my toes also does the hair and nails for the reigning Miss Mississippi and the panel of judges this week. 

Tomorrow Cosmo, KJ and my parents arrive.  T has her interviews in the morning and Prelims start tomorrow evening.  She has evening wear Wednesday, Swimsuit Thursday and Talent Friday.  Thursday she has another autograph party and lunch with the Rotary Club at the Country Club.  Thursday's autograph party will be fun because my parents, Cosmo and KJ have never seen her in her sash and crown.  My parents haven't seen her since Christmas so I'm sure there will be a few tears of pride.  Both of my parents are big cry-ers!!! 

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