Baby Birthday and Body Building!

I don’t think I will ever write another blog about more opposite topics… but welcome to my life!!  On Saturday, I attended my niece’s first birthday party and emceed my first State Championship of Body Building! It was so much fun!

Leading up to Saturday, I spent a lot of time catching up with friends, reading books, getting a haircut, and of course… keeping up with the Olympics!  In fact, I met my three college roommates on Tuesday for a movie and dinner!  Then we headed back to Whitney’s house for an Olympic watch/slumber party!  It was so much fun, and I am so thankful for their friendships!

Saturday was a big day!  My beautiful niece, Addison, celebrated her first birthday with 50 people, including lots of babies!  I believe she is the BEST dressed one-year-old.  For her party, she was wearing an owl monogrammed t-shirt and an adorable colorful tutu!  But her bloomers…!!  They were just precious!  

I really regret not taking more pictures of the party decorations because my sister-in-law went all out with the “owl” theme!  My brother, Mark, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and of course my grandmother brought a birthday cake!  She has not missed making a birthday cake for a family member that I can remember… EVER! When it was time for the cake, we had to take off the tutu and fancy clothes!  She had her own blue owl-shaped “smash cake”.  A little hesitant at first, she didn’t hold back once she tasted the icing!  

 Addison needed a little help blowing out the candles!

Then, it was time to open the presents!  Addison got lots of toys, books, clothes, and outdoor toys!  She also received two tickets to the zoo and a bag of animal crackers… her favorite present of all!  Mom and Dad gave her a shopping cart full of groceries, which excited the one-year-old on the verge of walking.  I gave her a toy cell phone.  I may not be a positive influence on my niece...  Haha!
 Addison's mom, aunts, and cousins... girls rule this family!

After the birthday party, I headed home to change into my black leather dress!  Several weeks ago, Sandie Kight called to ask if I would emcee the Arkansas State Body Building Championships since the scheduled emcee had to cancel.  Sandie co-owns Fine Lines Training with my Miss America personal trainer, Ann Marie Gibbs.  Both ladies have held state titles in Women’s Figure and Physique, and Sandie now helps to expedite the state competitions.  I knew very little about the competition, but they promised I would have an emcee notebook from which to read!  After selecting my leather dress, I felt ready for the challenge!

The state competition was held in Robinson Auditorium with approximately 500 people attending.  More than 90 male and female contestants competed in Bikini, Figure, Physique, and Body Building.  The contestants ranged in age from 16-60, and the 60-year-old man was clearly popular with the crowd!  Onstage in my silver heels during most of the four-hour competition, I had an occasional opportunity to relax backstage.  Contestants doing push-ups created an obstacle course to the water fountain.  It was a really new world to me!

Sandie and me!

Competing in a fitness competition requires an incredible amount of self-discipline!  Most of the athletes prepare for years, with constant attention to workout and diet.  Then, they prepare a 90 second posing routine to music of their choice… and, as you can imagine, “I’m Sexy and I Know It” was a popular song!  Haha!  There are nine judges who score the competitors.  I got tickled when I saw them passing around a pizza box.  I mentioned to Sandie how cruel it was for the judges to eat pizza in front of competitors who have been on strict diets.  Laughing, she confided that the contestants had pizza in their dressing room and were chowing down after their onstage appearances.  Haha … reminds me of Miss America! 

The announcement of the overall body builder winner was intense.  I had observed the judging trends and decided that it would come down to the back-flipping Gareeno or the crowd favorite, Brett.  Finally, I announced the judges’ decision, “The Arkansas State Champion of Body Building… Brett Cotter!”  He had an emotional moment during the announcement and doubled over with a few tears, but I mustered the courage to ask for a photo afterward.  I knew my blog followers would want to see a picture!  All of the division winners will be invited to the National Olympia Competition. 

With the excitement of the weekend behind me, I am now transitioning to school mode!  Orientation for Pharmacy School begins on Monday; classes start Wednesday!  My white coat ceremony will be on Friday, and I have a few special events coming up as well.  I am SO excited about my life right now!  I know God has big plans for this pageant girl/science nerd, and I will trust His guidance!  

Show me your ways, LORD,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25: 4-5


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