From pep talks to prepping .... it's game time

Well ... play time is over! I've been up since 2:30am and just couldn't sleep. Whether it was worrying about getting everything done by 3:30 or triple checking my packing list and ba-zillion suitcases or thinking of things to add to my to-do list when I should be crossing them off! Finally I got vertical, did laundry, took care of the chins, played with Gigi and Pearl and then decided to update the website - which now brings me to this moment.

Since last year, TCM girls have been working towards right now. We've competed in prelims, state pageants, more prelims, more state pageants - all to get us to 2017 summer nationals. Concentration, determination, goal-setting (and achieving), volunteerism, designing clothes, picking clothes, and practicing have all lead us to right now. I couldn't be more proud of all of my TCM girls from coast to coast. Through ups and downs, they continue to push themselves towards their own goals. If we are knocked down, we get right back up. If we are tested, we ace with flying colors. We have grown as a family and our family has grown.

The best part about my job is that it's really a passion so even though there are plenty of hard times and difficulties, I'm reminded daily of WHY I continue to do this. I'm reminded when I hear the excitement in their voices when we come together for practice or for fun. I'm reminded when I see those smiles. I'm reminded when they can't wait to tell me about something awesome that happened to them. So each day I push myself to be better so that I can in return help them be even greater! Some people don't understand what I do or even why and that's okay - they don't have to. They just have to step back and watch us with an open mind and see that TCM isn't just about pageants. TCM is about teaching important skills that'll be useful throughout their lives from interview skills, public speaking, adaptability, grace under pressure and more. Sure, winning is awesome but it doesn't define who you are forever. A crown will one day be put away in a box and every so often you'll take a walk down memory lane. A once pristine banner will be folded and tucked away in a box, most likely stained from your adventures. And people won't remember you as Queen Miss So-and-so but most likely they will remember you for the times you were just a neighbor or a friend or a vigilant community member.

Competition is hard. It isn't easy. It isn't for everyone. But what is more important is taking the journey. There will be tough times. There will be amazing times! There will be loss and there will be wins. But through it all we have our TCM families to support everyone. Our wins are everyone's wins. Our losses are felt by everyone. That makes everything better when you know you have love and support no matter what.

So here's to everyone competing this summer - win, lose, or draw you are all awesome and I am proud of each of you! And as always - in the end, we celebrate with pancakes!!!

I start my adventures today as I travel to Little Rock to join Christian Louque, Miss LA Jr High School America, at the High School America National Competition. TCM girl, Hannah Zeagler is also there as Christian's Crown Academy Princess. (Pics to come later) Looks like they are having a blast so I can't wait to join in on the fun. I'll finish my packing and kiss my babies goodbye and embark on 19 days of straight pageant adventures and fun!