Smiles, Sunburns, and Summer Fun! Week 45

What a week!  Even though we are preparing for the 2012 Miss Arkansas Pageant, I still have many appearances to make.  I have been very busy, but I am trying to soak in every moment!

Sunday, after the contestant meeting in Little Rock (see the last blog post for an update on the meeting), I headed to Stuttgart.  Studio Allegro, my home dance studio and workplace, was having their annual dance recital!  I was excited about the recital but didn’t expect the girls to be SO excited to see me.  Since I grew up in the dance studio and taught some of their classes, they consider me to be “their Miss Arkansas!”  The funniest comment that I received from the little girls was, “I thought you were at a pageant or something!?”  I guess I always attend pageants in their eyes.  Haha! 

Mrs. Micki is my dance teacher and mentor!  

Monday morning, I returned to Little Rock for the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation golf tournament and a visit with the contestants to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  When the tournament ended, I traveled back to Stuttgart for this spring’s final dance recital for Studio Allegro.  Both nights, I spoke before I performed and thanked the parents for letting their daughters study dance.  A very shy little girl, I credit dance performances and competitions with giving me confidence and stage presence.  I also learned work ethic, persistence, leadership, and passion.  Dance played a major role in developing my character and dreams. 

Lakeside Intermediate School in Hot Springs was the site of my last school program on Tuesday.  After we pulled into the school parking lot, Mom walked into the building to ask if Miss Arkansas was in the right place.  A father happened to be in the office to check his daughter out of school.  Hearing Mom’s question, the girl whimpered, “I didn’t know Miss Arkansas was coming today.  Daddy, can I please stay at school?!”  Her father explained that she had an appointment, and he would have scheduled it differently if he had known.  She started crying as they left.  When I later walked into the school, Mom told me about the little girl.  We asked around for her name, and I left her a special message on an autographed photo.  I hope it made her day a little better and eased her disappointment! 

The kids in the assembly were great!  They were very bright and interactive.  I will really miss visiting the schools but will always remember the kids that I met.  School visits are such a blessing! 

One of the classes from the assembly!

Wednesday and Thursday were my first days off in two weeks.  What a relief!  

Then, on Friday … back to work!  I attended the Special Olympics’ State Summer Games at Harding University in Searcy.  I had the honor of giving gold medals to the first place winners at the awards ceremony, where I high-five every athlete!    You wouldn’t believe how organized the event was!  I was impressed with the many volunteers who were committed to making the Special Olympics Games the highlight of the year for those athletes!  I fully enjoyed the appearance and didn’t even mind the sunburn!  

Proud of those medals!

I took a scenic route on the way to the Heritage Days Festival on Saturday.  I normally travel through Stuttgart to get to Gillett, but my GPS suggested that I go through Pine Bluff.  Blindly, I followed the GPS and explored several dirt roads and lots of corn fields.  I passed a few tractors and couldn’t help but think the farmers were laughing to see Miss Arkansas on a dirt road!  Thankfully, I made it to the festival on time.  I spoke at the Memorial Salute to the Veterans, honoring those who have served our nation.  I then signed autographs, met new friends, and saw a few familiar faces.

I spent the rest of the Memorial Day weekend with my family on the lake in Hot Springs.  This is the weekend that the Army Corps of Engineers will begin to release my public service announcements on boating safety.  I hope you enjoy the following video! 

I have received lots of positive feedback on my video project, where I asked 18 former Miss Arkansas titleholders for their advice to the next Miss Arkansas.  I’m excited to say that I have more material to share!  Expect another video release during the next week! 

Also, I hope you make plans to attend Spirited Art on June 5 for Charity Night!  We are painted a razorback and all proceeds will benefit Children’s Miracle Network.  I will be there painting, and if I can do it… you can do it!  The art instructor will guide us through the painting which makes the class fun and easy!  I am so thankful that Spirited Art is hosting this fundraiser and would love to see you there!  Don’t forget to reserve your easel at  

In my last blog post, I shared advice that my dad had given on how to be a good Miss Arkansas:  “Develop a servant’s heart.”  To emphasize it, I want to share a Bible verse.  “… With humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3)  When I won Miss Arkansas, I was told by several people, “This year is not about you.”  Even though it seemed blunt, it was very true.  Some advice to the next Miss Arkansas is to stay humble and put others first.  


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