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The Mrs. Earth Pageant

So I took a few weeks off of blogging to unwind after an amazing but busy few weeks! We went to the beach twice and I literally flew from the beach to Las Vegas to compete in the Mrs. Earth pageant. I got home at 10PM on a Monday night and was up at 5:30 getting ready for the rest of the work week! My Mama's birthday was the next weekend and last Sunday I celebrated my big 3-5 with all my family at my family reunion! It's been a whirlwind of a summer but we are all so excited for the school year and all the things that come with it, like the boys starting their new school!

I am so excited to talk about my experience at the Ms./Mrs. Earth pageant! First off, it was AH-MAZING and I had a blast! The one thing that was hubby and kiddos. I was so glad my Mama and Daddy flew out and met me there because it meant so much seeing them in the audience. They also served as house parents for several of my friends! LOL.

I started my adventure with an early morning flight out of Orlando. Okay, I know that I am used to flying out of the busiest airport in the world (ATL) but Orlando is crazy! I got there at 5:15AM for a 7:40AM flight and was about to have a panic attack I was going to miss my flight. Food for thought, if you can avoid flying out of there I would or just get there in plenty of time. I like to be able to sit down, get something to eat, gather my thoughts, etc. and after that I was just a ball of nerves getting onto a plane. Did I mention I don't fly well? Did I mention I was flying alone? Yep, I had to sit on the plane by strangers and have a silent panic attach and no one to hold my hand. Once I finally got my feet back on solid ground, though, I was so excited! It was also my first experience on Southwest. Being from Georgia, I am a Delta girl but I must say I had a great experience with Southwest. It was also extremely nice not having to pay for checked bags. The downfall, no move or delta map tracker to see where I was on the route. I did read my book, though, and managed to get a little nap.

We started off day 1 with orientation, crowning, and learning all the patterns for competition. Having the opportunity to meet ladies from all over the world was so awesome! I was lucky to have two amazing roommates that are fellow Eco Queens, Kristin, who was representing Ms. Eco US and Raquel, who was representing Ms. Eco US Elite. We all met at Nationals back in February, so this was our second time in Las Vegas together. We started day 1 with a group selfie before leaving to meet everyone and this became our tradition for the week!

After we finished day 1 rehearsals, we had a little down time before our Bowling Pizza party! Raquel got a new experience because she had NEVER seen anyone get a spray tan. She's naturally tan so she's never had the need for one but Kristin and I needed one so our friend, Lori, came to get us tanned up! Raquel finally said she'd seen enough and walked to the other room! Hahahaha!

It's finally time for the Bowling Pizza party! I was starving considering it was about midnight my time and I had not hardly eaten that day with traveling and nerves! We got some super cute Ms./Mrs. Earth t-shirts and our director told us to feel free to cut and style them the way we wanted to so Raquel pulled out the scissors and let's just say ours looked amazing!

Bowling was a lot of fun! I was more so socializing than bowling but I did stop long enough to throw a strike! We knew what an early morning we had coming, though, and after an incredibly long day I was exhausted!

We started off Thursday at 3:45AM with hair and makeup so we could be ready for our 6AM photo shoot by the pool! Talk about feeling famous, this was it. I had never done a swim photo shoot before but this was such an amazing experience. All of the ladies worked so hard for this moment and boy we felt like we were special!

Yep, I'm proud to say I'm a Mom of 2 kids and I rocked a swimsuit on stage and by the pool. After giving birth in 2015, there was a time where I thought I would never feel confident in a swimsuit again but instead of feeling sorry for myself and chalking it up to something I would never feel confident about again, I committed to getting healthy and setting a goal. Four years later I was standing on stage feeling like my best self and knowing my boys were proud watching Mommy "rock it" on stage. PS, whoever said a one piece can't be sexy obviously has not shopped the one piece aisle lately!

We were done with our photo shoot by 8AM and had the chance to go recoup before the afternoon festivities began! At lunch my roommates and I sat with team Asia and it got a little comical. If you have never tried to have a conversation with someone who does not speak the same language as you, you learn to get creative. My new friend, Jun, speaks English so she was remarkable at helping translate to the ladies who did not speak English.

Next it was a boat cruise! But before we went on the boat cruise I was able to see my parents! They flew across the country to support me so that Eric and the boys could stay at the beach with my In Laws. I think they were excited for a chance to go back to Vegas because it had been a few years since they had been.

We got all fancy and took a 30 minute drive to Lake Mead where we boarded a cruise boat for dinner and drinks. One thing I noticed was what is called the "bath ring" around the canyon surrounding Lake Mead. The water line has dropped around 70 feet in the last few decades due to over-population, water waste, and not as much ice melting to fill the lake. It's not only devastating but scary to think what the lake could look like in 20 years if the water continues to recess.

The cruise was so beautiful! I was a little fearful of getting sea sick so I had a few doses of dramamine and sported my sea bandz like I was in an 80's workout video but luckily for me it was a smooth ride! One thing that was amazing to me was getting to see Hoover Dam from the opposite side! How cool was that!

The boat cruise was amazing but at that point we were exhausted and it was definitely time for bed!

Friday came with so much fun because the younger girls were competing for their titles! Eek! We had rehearsals and then were released to get dressed to watch our littles take the stage. This was the first year there were younger divisions. I cannot wait to watch that area of the pageant grown in the coming years!

Our Eco girls, Raven and Karlee, both took home a title! We also had some great entertainment!

Once the pageant was over we were released for some free time and Kristin and I were able to go to the strip for dinner with my parents! This was so nice to be "normal" for the night, even though it was over 100 degrees even when the sun went down! We had dinner at Cabo Wabo and then off to bed because prelims were the next day!

Back at it with some early hair and makeup. Noemi and Lacey took the best care of us! I wish I could have them do my hair and makeup all the time! Talk about talent!

Once we were glamorous and ready to go, it was time for rehearsals and then Prelims! We first wore our Nation wear outfit in a non-judged opener for the promotional video. We were the first class of Earth contestants to do this. Next year this portion will be part of competition. I went for an Americana wonder woman type getup. My favorite part was my USA boots. Unfortunately for me the professional photographers failed to capture a lot of "good" pictures on stage so this is the best I got. Ha!

We wore black dresses for opening number in a style of our choice. Luckily we had a fairly easy pattern to walk around in before we made our introductions! Next was swimsuit and evening gown!

It was a great competition and felt confident in my performance. I knew that no matter the outcome, as long as I gave it my all then I could walk away feeling proud. Once Prelim was over it was time for interview. This was the first time I was on stage looking down to the judges for an interview but I felt that it went great.

Once we were done with interviews we were released for the evening. We had a cookout by the pool and then a few of us went for pictures and videos on the strip for the promo video! That was so much fun! Again, I took one of my new friends who spoke very little English. She and I giggled a lot but it did not take much for us to figure out how to communicate. She had never been to the strip before so she was absolutely amazed!

Up again early for FINALS! It was the final day and time to practice a walk through on stage and then get ready for the top 5 to be announced!