"Today was extremely fun because it was such a low key day. We didn't have a prelim competition and there was no rehearsal. Plus I was feeling good from getting seven hours of sleep.
The day started with breakfast and a workshop on mental management. Today the Teens in Action finalists had their interviews to determine the one winner. There were ten finalists and I wish I could say I was one of them, but that's okay. This award does not heighten nor degrade the work that I have done with my platform.
So while they had their interviews, the rest of us had lunch at the hotel then we were able to go back up to our rooms for a couple hours for more free time. I used this time to hang out with the three girls that I became closest with this week; Morgan (Delaware), Stevie (Kansas), and Grace (Illinois). These girls have truly become great friends and have made the week what it has been. I feel that my time here has been worth while because I have made three life-long friends.
We then got some time to check out the new official MAOTeen jewelry line at the Trade Show. The jewelry is beautiful! They have crown rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
After the Trade Show, all of us were pumped to have a pool party! This was the first time all week that we were able to be outside and enjoy the lovely Florida weather. The day was looking like it was going to be a sunny one but the minute all of us stepped outside a huge storm came and just about blew us all over! The thing about Florida is that the weather is so unpredictable.
After our little pool party attempt, we had more free time to get ready for the Princess Party. This was a fun event for both us and the little princesses. Stevie and I didn't have a princess from our state, so we stuck together and ended up getting a princess from Texas who knew exactly what she wanted. First, we did her make-up, then we headed over to the hair station and I asked her what she wanted. She said she wanted it curly and half up. I did just that and she demanded to see it before we move on and insisted that I smooth it out because it was too frizzy. After I did so, I quickly rushed her off before she could tell me that something else was wrong with it. The next station was the dress making. Her dress was made out of a pink plastic table cloth and you can imagine how hard it was to make a dress out of plastic. Our princess said she wanted a one shoulder dress with a train. I was so proud of us because we gave her the dress of her dreams! Complete with a yellow foam crown adorned with a chin strap so it would stay on. All of the princesses then got to strut their stuff on a runway in front of their parents and MAOTeen staff. It was hilarious to see them working the runway. I couldn't help but think that there were future Outstanding Teens in that room.
After the Princess Party we had time to get ready for the Evening of the Stars fundraiser. This event helped the MAOTeen scholarship fund. We had performers such as Teresa Scanlan and Joey Paige as well as speakers like Robin Fleming and Mac Dougall. The event was hosted by the very first MAOTeen, Meghan Miller and the three course meal they served was amazingly good! It was really great to see my support team there as well as a new addition, Bruce Vassar, co-executive director of Miss Minnesota.
When we got back to our hostess suite, we had Donna Bozarth speak to us a little but about how proud she is of us and how sad she was that only one girl could be crowned tomorrow night. We then had three former MAOTeens talk to us about how the year went for them when they were crowned. Meghan Miller, Maria DeSantis, and Taylor Fitch were all there and although the night got long, it was interesting to hear the things they had to say.
Finally we got the talk about packing up our rooms so our parents didn't have to do it for us tomorrow. This made me extremely sad to hear that tonight is our final night we will be staying here with our roommates and as part of MAOTeen Class of 2012.
Packing up all my stuff didn't take as long as I expected and I got to thinking about how excited I am for tomorrow. Even if I don't win, place, or made Top Twelve, I'm still so proud of myself for getting to this point. Over 10,000 girls competed in the MAOTeen program this year and I'm one of 53 girls to be competing on the national stage. I can't really put my emotions into words right now other than I'm just excited for tomorrow and I am so honored to be here."
Day 8 of MAOTeen week:
"Well today was the big day. I didn't walk away as the new Miss America's Outstanding Teen, nor did I make Top Twelve, but I'm at peace and I regret nothing.
The day started out a little earlier than yesterday with breakfast at 7:30AM. We had rehearsals today starting at 9AM because this how was completely different than the preliminary shows. We didn't say our state intros live tonight, they were pre-recorded so we didn't have to say anything, plus we had to rehearse how the Top Twelve was going to be called.
Lunch was at noon as normal and was really good. Instead of the bagged lunches we've been having, it was pasta catered by a local Italian restaurant.
Once lunch was over we had more rehearsal until 5PM. It was a full dress rehearsal and I was actually called as 4th runner-up (If only it wasn't rehearsal :)).
Before I knew it we were eating dinner and getting another inspirational talk from Rodney, our security extraordinaire. They always seem to make me cry. I also had a little Bible study and prayer sesh with Stevie and Grace along with North Dakota, Kaylee. This really relaxed me and I think that's why I'm so at ease with what has happened tonight.
I made sure that tonight I would just have fun and soak it all in regardless if I made Top Twelve or not.
I did just that. That was the most fun I've had with the opening number all week!
Of course I was a little sad that I didn't make Top Twelve, but when I truly think about it I realize that there was absolutely nothing I would change about the week. I did the very best I could and left nothing behind. I could not have done anything better. I'm okay with not making Top Twelve because I know in my heart that I'm leaving tonight with no regrets. God's plan is perfect and this was not in His plan for me because there is something greater waiting in my future. I don't know exactly what that is, but I know it's there.
I'm also at peace because I'm one of only seven girls to have walked across that stage who have represented Minnesota. That in itself is incredible and something I'm very proud of.
Plus, I get to come back home and enjoy the next ten months of my reign as Miss Minnesota's Outstanding Teen. I'm so excited to finish out my year strong and still be part of the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Program.
I can't wait to get home to see everyone! Thank you for all of the support and good luck wishes.
I want to congratulate the new Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2013, Rachel Yuki Wyatt from South Carolina! I'm so happy she won because of her strong faith and genuine nature. We all should be honored to have her representing us."
My sash got stuck on Grace's dress... we didn't want to say goodbye!!
Miss Minnesota's Outstanding Teen 2012 for ten more months :)