Miss Minnesota week was incredible!! I had an amazing time reuniting with all the teens and cheering on all of the Miss contestants at prelims Wednesday and Thursday and at finals night Saturday. For our first event, Thursday, all the teens got together at the "Queens Tea." We ate finger sandwiches and scones and mini strawberry shortcakes and talked about the ending of school, summer plans, and of course what pageants we were all planning on running in next year. Leah Sykes, Miss America's Outstanding Teen, sat at my table and we all had so much fun getting to know her. Just after talking to her for that short time, I knew exactly why she was the national titleholder. She was so genuine and sweet. Friday was the Northern Lights Princess Party at the Mall of America. Each Miss contestant was matched with a princess and did crafts and danced with the Radio Disney crew. Once the Miss contestants headed back to their hotel, the teens got to partner with the princesses and explore the Sea Life Aquarium. I had so much fun with my princesses Jenna and Genesis. They kept me very busy at the aquarium. That afternoon, my sister queen Sadie and I ditched our heels for flipflops and hit the mall for shopping and a movie. Finally, that night, we changed into our evening gowns and back into our heels for the Crown and Gowns Gala. We enjoyed a red carpet dinner with great food and former Miss Minnesota speakers. They showed the clips of one of the oldest Miss Minnesota's alive at her pageant 50 years ago. It was so inspirational to see her then and hear her speak now about how the Miss America organization shaped her as a woman. It definitely confirmed my dream of one day being a Miss Minnesota. Finally, Saturday, we headed to the final night of competition, top 10 night. If you could have seen my face when I heard Lauren's name called for top 10, you would have truly questioned my sanity! I was thrilled when I watched Lauren come forward to join the other finalists at the front of the stage. I lost my voice cheering for her that night, but it was so worth it. Lauren was astonishing. Every performance she had left me smiling like a fool. She didn't go on to top 5 that night, but she so should have. I am so proud of Lauren and Katy both. They were fantastic, and they worked so hard for it. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for both of them. It was definitely an unforgettable week.
I can't believe Lauren and Katy actually got out of bed this morning for the Hay Daze parade, but I'm glad they did! Parades are definitely one of my favorite opportunities that come with the crown. I love seeing all the little girls getting so excited to watch the "princesses" ride by, and watching the little boys try to mimic the royal wave is priceless. Lauren and I also had a pretty great time jamming to "Fancy" by Iggy. That and "Royals" by Lorde have become our pageant appearance theme songs. I love my pageant sisters and all the amazing things we've been able to do together this year. They make me realize that the crown isn't what makes the girl, it's the girl who makes the crown. Opportunities like volunteering or making a little girl's day don't stop when my reign is over, they continue beyond the crown. As long as I keep reaching out, I can make years to come just as spectacular as this one.
I got to spend my first official day of summer celebrating my big sister's birthday! After finishing my last day of junior year on Friday, I spent the evening with her friends and family at her cabin. It was great to be able to talk to Lauren and give her our best wishes before she leaves for Miss Minnesota week tomorrow. I am so thrilled for her to be competing at state, and I know she's going to be spectacular. I've already sent flowers to her hotel and started making a huge sign for her cheering section! I may be a little excited.
Thank you for visiting my blog! Come back often as I will update with pictures and journal about various appearances I make, share my platform, and prepare for Miss Minnesota in June!