Road to Mrs. American
Updated: Feb 4
It has been a hot minute since I have posted but I promise I have a good excuse. As most of you know I spent 10 days in Las Vegas for the National Mrs. American Pageant. I am not sure anyone can truly prepare themselves for 10 days in Las Vegas nor the marathon the Mrs. America pageants are- but what a journey it has been. I am always in awe of the love notes GOD sends my way and thankful that I am usually open to them and can see them the moment they appear. This pageant experience has been full of them and some of my favorites so far.
It was my mission to represent each of you, Bombshell Beauts and do justice to our cause of Thriving and Feeling Beautiful after breast cancer. I love every moment I get to speak on your behalf and share my journey as a survivor and of course wearing the pink crown of survivorship (along with my Mrs. South Carolina crown). The Mrs. American pageant allowed me to do this on a national stage, in fact it, was the same stage Elvis Pressley performed on for 5 years of his residency in Las Vegas (check out pictures from Elvis Night at Mrs. America in his suite on my Instagram page @mrssouthcarolinaamerican).
From the moment I was crowned as Mrs. South Carolina American, I knew God had a purpose for me to take my Blonde Bombshell platform and share it to the world. I was so honored to be in the presence of such amazing women at the national pageant who each had an equally important and wonderful platforms to share. It was humbling for so many to come up to me and already know about my platform and share their own stories of scary mammograms, family members who are survivors and others who lost their family members to this awful disease. I have prayed that my platform and blog reach many but to know that it has already has is beyond a love note from GOD- it is my purpose HE gave me.
So let me tell you about nationals- I had an overwhelmingly calm feeling the entire week. I have no idea why I was so calm but I was. Perhaps it was the prayers I prayed for God to allow me to remain calm and steadfast and for me to speak the words He gives to me for this journey. Perhaps it was going through breast cancer and knowing that these moments are fleeting and to soak them all in. Or perhaps it was the words of wisdom my performance coach shared with me that allowed me to finally understand I can not control the outcome but I can control all I give in these moments.
I soaked up each moment from all the rehearsals to the events each evening. What other time in life do you have an incredible makeup artist like Chelsea Sorrell doing your makeup everyday and every evening? My wardrobe was top notch and national worthy. I felt like a beauty queen every moment of the day. Some of these moments involved photoshoots in the desert. Some involved stopping for photos with people in the casino and hotel. And others involved dinners and events like the Motown show we were invited to. There were several times this week that I would talk to my husband about what I did that day or send a pic like the photoshoot at the pool and both of us were so thankful and in complete awe of how far I have come in 2.5 years. If someone were to have told me I would be Mrs. South Carolina American and be competing for a national title in Las Vegas when I was diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, I would have thought it was a cruel joke. Yet here I am though- living proof that you can thrive and live your dreams after breast cancer.
As I stood on that stage competition night I was so excited. I knew my family was in the audience and I knew other family members were watching at home. Everything seemed perfect. I lived in every moment that night. I wont go through all of the details of the evening but I will tell you the highlights. The first was being chosen as Best Original Costume. I made this costume (with the exception of the wings) and it was my desire to honor the 8 military bases and the over 400,000 veterans in South Carolina with it so to win for best original was such a proud moment.
The next moment was standing behind the stage as the Top 15 was called out. Each name that passed my heart sank a little more. I was really hoping to make Top 15 but I knew the competition was fierce. I knew I would be disappointed, but I knew that I gave it all I had. Then as the got to Number 14 I heard- Mrs. South Carolina!!!!
I stood on the stage for just a moment and then next was TOP 6. The first name called...Mrs. South Carolina. I could hardly believe it. I was so excited and so calm. I was focused on the on-stage question that would coming my way and I knew I would be the first to have to answer. The question was-"What would you like to tell the judges that they may not know about you." I knew I had briefly touched on my platform in the interviews on Wednesday with them but I did not get to get into detail in only 4 minutes and with so many other questions they were asking. I took this opportunity to hopefully make you all proud.
Standing in the Top 6 at Mrs. American seemed like a dream but that dream was fleeting when I was first to be called in the TOP 3! Oh my goodness! I stood next to Stephanie Brode- a beautiful woman from Ohio with a wonderful career and platform and Trenette Norris, Mrs. New Jersey who had a dream to start a platform. Once again, as the first person to have to answer the question. This time the question was about social media. It was after we answered the questions we chose from the bowl that they announced Second Runner Up- Mrs. Ohio. This left myself and Mrs. New Jersey. As I stood face to face with her I knew this moment no matter what was special. I would either be first runner up or Mrs. American 2023. I was...First Runner Up. (**Check out the latest post to see I won Mrs. American 2022)What an honor...what a journey. Gods plan is always bigger than on our own and I know he is not going to let me know down now!!
What is your dream? Do not let cancer, a double mastectomy and treatment stop you. If you have breath in your lungs you and desire in your heart- you got this beautiful!