Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 KY NAM Pageant Results

When I woke up this morning, I had some surprising mixed feelings.
  1. One to be back home and unpacked ready to move on with our normal lives
  2. A little sad the pageant is over
The only thing I can relate it to is my wedding. You spends months planning, searching, making decisions, looking for the right items and then the event arrives. A long day or days, lots of fun but exhausting and it goes by too fast. The next few days while relieved and full of memories you kind of wonder what to do with yourself.

I sort of feel like that.

But mostly I am immensely relieved. This pageant thing could have gone in any number of directions. I originally agreed to let Anna participate because she was feeling down on herself in many areas of her life. I took a chance that this may help her gain some self-confidence, make a few new friends and show her she is special too.

She is a very creative little girl and had her heart set on winning the optional Art contest portion of the competition. We didn't see any of the other entries so I was nervous she would be disappointed. Maybe I did it wrong, but I kept telling her that she needs to be proud of what she did and not compare it to anyone else. There were close to 50 girls in her division and there can only be 1 winner.

I think she got sick of hearing it. (actually, she is extremely blunt, I know she was sick of hearing it)

As I mentioned previously, she did literally, shockingly well at her formal wear and personal introduction competitions. Parents were not able to watch the interview so she was on her own there and given that she has no filter, lord knows what she told the judges. But she was very happy all weekend. Even learned and performed the dance number (for those who don't know her, she was blessed with her father's dance skills - poor thing). But she did it all with a smile and I couldn't have been more proud or happier for her.

At the finale, I had a feeling she would be in the top 15 and had high hopes the 10 ten was even possible. She had entered one additional optional contest beyond art, which was Top Model and I would guess only 15-20 of the girls were in that one.

They really flew through all the awards pretty quickly. They announce the runner up for art.

Not Anna.

Then the first place art contest winner. I held my breath as I knew the true test of the success of the entire weekend, last several months actually, rested on this one second.

Anna Stieby - I am such a sap, but yes I had tears in my eyes. I knew how important it was to her and she got it. She was taking home a trophy, I could now relax.

They went through a ton of other awards, then to the Top Model optional competition. Anna got 4th. Sweet, another trophy. I knew she would be even happier.

Then the envelope. The announcer began in no particular order announcing the finalists - the Top 10. I pulled out my cell phone and broke the rules by video taping it. They handed each girl a long stemmed rose as they called their names. With only 4 or so roses left, they said Anna Stieby.

I was so excited. I knew at that moment. Mission accomplished. She did not place in the top 5 and I am not sure if we will know her final ranking (somewhere between 6-10) and really it doesn't matter. There were a few girls with tears and my heart went out to them and their parents. This could have so easily turned out differently for us and I realized how big of a gamble I took. I don't know what I would have done if she had left upset after all that.

I went into this with an open mind and at the end of the this journey, I have no regrets. I think these girls got to experience something great, expensive, but great. The pageant (granted my experience of 1) seemed very well organized and professionally run. The trophies are extremely cheap and they could have invested a bit more in that respect, but over all, I felt it was a rewarding experience for her which is really what this was all about.

As for her retirement? I think we may actually do the next natural KY pageant in 2 weeks. It is closer, the hotel is cheaper and the entry fees are 1/2 as much plus we already have all the clothes she needs. Pete will kill me, but this one doesn't require a male escort so he can sit it out if he wants. Just a mother daughter thing. And the winner goes to compete in nationals in (Greg, wait for it) Disney World in November. I haven't signed anything yet, but am seriously considering it.


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