Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's a FAMILY AFFAIR


I love being Mrs. International. I had the chance to travel back to Chicago 4 days after being crowned to attend the Miss Teen & Miss International Pageants. I was welcomed with open arms by the Richardson family! Mel & Mary are just amazing people! Not only do they absolutely love the International system and what it stands for, but they “LIVE” the motto, “It’s a Family Affair”. They made me feel right at home the moment I arrived and I was honored to sit with the entire Richardson family during preliminaries and finals.

With Mary & Mel Richardson

The night of Teen Miss preliminaries, I immediately realized as I sat in the Richardson’s theatre box that my “fan club” sat very close to the Richardson’s theatre box during the Mrs. Pageant. If you were not able to attend the Mrs. Pageant, you missed Halle-Grace reminding everyone that I was HER mommy each and every time I hit the stage! YES, she was adorable! Jason was seated with the 50+ husbands and was able to witness her cheering, “that’s my mommy, that’ my mommy…hey mommy” a section over. During the evening gown portion, he escorted me on stage, and although I didn’t hear him, he assured me he cheered, “that’s my wife, that’s my wife”. Haha! Halle-Grace was so excited! She loved every minute of the show! This was my first time competing as a “mom” and I know I was beaming with pride and absolute JOY! Smiling was the EASIEST thing for me to do! I will save our mommy/daughter “preparation for the pageant” story for a future post…it’s just too cute!

My Fan Club! My Mom, Halle-Grace and My Awesome Friends, Julie & Wendy

As I mentioned, I had the best seat in the house and I was blown away at the caliber of young ladies competing for the titles of Miss Teen International and Miss International! On finals night, I was moved to tears during the on-stage interview portion. Seriously, these young ladies touched my heart! To give you an example, Miss Teen California was asked to share with the audience more about her platform, “Luggage of Love”. She spoke so eloquently about a young girl in foster care who would carry her belongings from place to place. That young girl was Miss Teen California!

Since being adopted, she has collected over 2000 pieces of luggage to share with foster children so they have an actual piece of luggage vs. a paper bag to carry their personal belongings when they move from foster home to foster home. She is now with her forever family and helping children across the country! I wanted to adopt her myself! Talk about a precious young lady! Each of the top 10 finalists in both the Teen & Miss pageants touched my heart. Each and every one of them incredibly accomplished! At the end of the evening, the judges selected Juliana McKee, Miss Teen East Coast as the 2010 Miss Teen International and Ashley Smith, Miss Texas as the 2010 Miss International. Both ladies are SO beautiful and they work very hard for the causes they champion. It was truly a great night! Congratulations ladies, I look forward to an amazing year together.

Adorable Halle-Grace During Finals Night of Mrs. International 2010

Until next post, God Bless,


Shannon

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