Tassels, Tiaras, and Two Weeks

13221646_10209166550832011_3516464117704372866_n This week (now two weeks away from P-day)  has been a week of incredible ups and downs.  The biggest UP was my first-born, Dazlin, graduating with her Master’s degree in education! So Proud!

Her program was one through Arizona State University, where they cover the tuition for her to be certified to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and she was awarded a year-long living stipend.  In exchange, she commits to teaching two years at a local Title 1 school. She was offered a contract just over half-way through the program, so she is set.

Also, she took her teacher certification tests and aced them! She only missed like one question out of three sets for each test. This is the kind of teacher we need.

The DOWNs were mainly me and the pageant. I bought a dress at the start of this in a size up from the size I hoped to be (these dresses are generally made small). I have lost quite a bit in pounds and inches – going from 29% body fat (actually within limits for my height) to a 24%. lost an inch and a half in the arms and three in the waist. All my weight is pretty much belly. [I could seriously pass for pregnant and that might not be horrible in a Mrs. pageant, they value moms! bwuhaha] But apparently, I was a little too ambitious and will not reach the size I need for my amazingly awesome dress. And I don’t want to buy a size up. So….I will be out shopping for a new dress (that’s an UP coming from a DOWN).

The swimsuit represents the lifestyle and fitness portion. I am incredibly fit!! I am no longer using a walker, rarely have to use a wheelchair, have been off serious meds for years, hold a full-time busy job, plus consulting, teaching two law school courses, volunteering over 500 hours a year. And trying to finish my PhD dissertation. “Fit” to me is being able to participate in life. Expert level achieved! And I have set a goal – doing a triathlon. My training may take longer than most, c’est ma vie.

My DOWN? I was mostly okay with the swimsuit part until I tried it on. Can I opt out and do a talent instead? I was mortified (through no fault of the swimsuit… this is ALL ME). First, in my real size, the torso is too short and the top barely covered the important part of my breasts. On my lower abdomen, my c-section and hysterectomy scars hang out the sides and everything  is cinched (yea! Carol Wior) in for the middle (nice) and puffs out the edges (not so nice). I will wear one 2-3 sizes up to cover me from boob to butt. However, going up sizes means the boobs are huge (I’m a all-natural 32DD, so it’s not like I got nothing). sigh. First world problems, right?  The swimsuits ain’t that bad….it’s my body in it. I got some dangerous curves, baby. They just can’t be contained!

And the women competing are simply fabulous! They are so beautiful and sexy and smart! They look great in the swimsuit, too. And they seem to know what they are doing – some have done pageants before and here’s little, ol’ non-pageant me doing my own thang.  Huge UPs, I have hired the amazing Kelly Wisniewki to do make-up and will be getting spray tanned by the phenomenal Spray Tan Queen, Wendy Carlson. Elegant Rebel Skin Care, Laura Becker, has been taking care of all the facial and waxing (yep, went there) needs. Plus, physical training by the Pastor 0f Pump, Dave Ashley… truly whipping this body into better shape. I have researched and studied everything possible (including coaching by Red Haute Mama Kirin Christianson) and have practiced walking and posing, with the help of lots of friends, notably Laura Lawless Robertson, who was Miss Arizona 2002 and placed in the top 15 nationally. Now THAT is one sexy, intelligent woman right there. One of the best UPs?  My mentor, Tracy Elliott, Mrs. Arizona 2008. She talked me off the ledge after I tried on the swimsuit.

And sponsors! Mark Monson with V.I.P. Mortgage, Blue Orthodontics, Reveal Body Contouring (after the pageant, they will take care of the last 3 stubborn pounds), and Fitness by Design (Dave Ashley). These are some major UPs in my corner.

And I cannot thank my supporters often enough, loud enough, or long enough. My family and friends are definitely in my corner, cheering me the whole way. I won’t go into a Oscar speech here, but they all know who they are – and they are from all over the world. It’s humbling to be loved by so many people and I will strive to make them proud of me in this effort.

14 days and counting!!




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