As all of you are aware, the national platform is Go Red For Women through the American Heart Association! I was recently invited back to Jacksonville for the Go Red for Women 2015 Luncheon!
I was given the exciting job of taking over the social media accounts for the Jacksonville American Heart Association! I floated around the luncheon taking pictures of the guests and sponsors and then posting them online! I actually used to do this for a living so it was a perfect job for me!
I was then able to walk in the Go Red Fashion Show! I wore a white and blue summer tunic and worked that runway!
It is imperative that you ladies are informed on your heart facts for the 2015 pageant! Take the time to learn all about the Go Red movement and why it is the national platform!
This was one of the last things on my mind before heading to the International Pageants, but it is something that is important to think about before competing for the title!
As you have most likely noticed, every International pageant queen has a catch phrase that she signs each blog with. I hadn't thought about what I wanted mine to be in advance if I were to win the pageant, so the week after my crowning I was stressed about making this decision.
Even though this isn't a huge deal, I believe how we sign off our posts says a lot about who we are and leaves a little bit of our social media legacy. Keep in mind that each titleholder writes over 100 blogs during her reign so people will see this phrase a lot!
I am going to share some titleholders phrases so you have some inspiration. However, make it your own and be original!
Me- If you believe in something, believe in it all the way
Samantha Riddle (Miss Int’l 2014)- Ignite your spark
Maggi Thorne (Mrs. Int’l 2014)- Live what you love
Haley Pontius (Miss Teen Int’l 2013)- All my love
Jesse Ladoue (Miss Int’l 2013)- Seek happiness
Amy Gregorio (Mrs. Int’l 2013)- Be the change
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where I explain how my phrase came about and what it has meant to my pageant journey!
If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!
These past few weeks have been extremely bittersweet as I visited three final elementary schools before they let out for summer. As I reflect on the goals I set for myself the first week of my reign as Miss Teen International 2014, the first was about how I could have a strong impact on students’ health by promoting Fuel Up to Play 60 in schools, and I am proud to have worked very hard to do so.
I am extremely thankful for the support, resources, and guidance I received from the leaders of FUTP60 this year. This organization has had a tremendous impact on my life, and being a 2014 Student Ambassador was a dream come true!
My heart breaks as it begins to sink in that I will no longer be the “pretty princess” that young students adore. The crown and sash have given me a loud, strong voice to speak out about the dangers of obesity and have allowed me to be an example and role model in children’s lives. My most cherished memories of the year are definitely with these sweet little ones.
Some of the funniest and sweetest things that have been asked of me this year are below:
“Do you live in a castle?”
“Is your crown made of REAL diamonds?”
“Do you have a boyfriend?” When answered yes, I got lots of varying responses!
“Can you stay forever? I don’t want you to leave.”
“Why do you get to wear this?” Pointing to the sash. It never gets old explaining the International Pageant System!
When playing soccer with a group of fourth grades, one little girl was so impressed she yellow, “Dang, princess! You go girl!”
“When will you be back to see us?” Served with some big puppy dog eyes.
And my favorite: “Are you the president?!”
These cuties wanted autographs not just on my photo but on their arms, then they wanted to sign my arms, too. Thank goodness it was erasable marker!
The pre-k students might not be the best at taking pictures but they definitely ask the funniest questions!
This is the game that led to the soccer quote, ha!
The selfie stick was always a hit!
Thank you to the all of the students I have met for all of the amazing memories! I will cherish them forever. I am sad this school year has come and gone, but I am so thankful for the opportunities I had to interact with hundreds of students throughout my reign!
If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!
Thanks to being Mrs. International 2014, the preparation for the journey and the journey itself as Mrs. International has trained and shaped me in ways unimaginable.
This question has been happening more and more…’What’s next?”.
Before leaving my previous job, I had in mind what future career potentials laid ahead. During the decade long career at the Nebraska Athletic Department as job demand grew, so did our family. Over the last couple years it became harder and harder to have a 8 to 5 (which my job was more like 7 to 7) and live a practical balanced life as a family. There was additional stress and a fast pace life style that if just not healthy for anyone to live in long term. Every career has its season of busyness, but mine was constant. The fact that I loved my job and considered it a “dream job” didn’t make it easier to leave, but the reality is I love my family more. After realizing another career was always possible, and this time in life with our kids is so short, we began to strategize what leaving Nebraska Athletics looked like, and what a future career path could be.
As my heart changed towards community service after the impact of life’s events, it became even more apparent that we needed to make ourselves more available as a family to our kids, each other, our friends, our community and global outreach.
After departing Nebraska Athletics we began a beta test so to speak of starting a business for marketing, social media, branding, graphics, web development, and project management consulting (and likely anything else someone asks for help with!). It went well, so over the last couple months our customer base has grown and we are overjoyed to announce our next venture: Vivid Imagination!
The name was a 3am idea when I was working on a project. The name literally just popped into my head and after trying to keep working on the project at hand, I spent until next morning searching if the name was taken, writing a business plan, designing a logo and had business cards ordered by 8am.
I so extremely delighted to help other business’s celebrate their success and act an extension of their companies as we strengthen their brand. It has been fun as well to do one on one social media and personal branding consulting with a variety of people whether competing in a pageant or looking for a new career promotion and even starting their own new business.
This new venture offers us the most priceless thing of all though, flexibility to put our family first and work from anywhere in the world! We want to stay a small business while our kids are young, but will someday look to expand.
Beginning in August our social media accounts will become active and you can follow the business on twitter and instagram @vividimaginehq and facebook I will be posting to public “Maggi Thorne” page. Our web info for business services will be under www.maggithorne.com as we develop other ventures along the way.
It’s slightly terrifying to be a small business owner, but I LOVE the challenge and LOVE people.
Meet two of the clients!
Client: The Schwarz
Provision of Services: Branding Development, PR, Community Events Organizer, Construction Project Manager, Web Developer, Social Media Director
The Schwarz is a new upscale condo development in Lincoln’s growing Haymarket community. We are renovating a historic building and paying homage to the past while our tenants live in the now of our growing community. We will begin construction immediately upon my return from Mrs. International!
You can like them on facebook “The Schwarz”and follow on instagram and twitter @TheSchwarzLNK
Client: The Flatwater
Provision of Services: Integrated branding, Interior Design interior and exterior updates, social media director, PR, Construction Project Manager
The Flatwater is a locally owned from scratch kitchen and was voted Lincoln’s Best New Restaurant in 2014! As the customers have grown because of the delicious food, we are updating the interior and exterior to meet the demands of diners and provide the best experience possible!
You can like them on facebook “The Flatwater”and follow on instagram and twitter @Flatwater_LNK
There are some days the reality doesn’t seem real that I was Mrs. International 2014, but then there is the fact that I was. Our family’s lives have been forever changed through this journey and I want to thank everyone for their support, involvement and of course all of the shoes!
Our tally at the end of the year is…..drumroll…………….43,154 SHOES!!!!!!!!!!
From the bottom of my heart, there will never be enough thanks for how everyone has helped!
Recently Fred and I attended a yearly marriage retreat where Jose and Michelle Alvarez were the speakers shared the following with us at the end of the weekend “No matter how much good we do in our lives, the greatest good we will ever do is how we love our spouse”.
I personally really needed to hear that. By nature there is an inner drive in my heart that can get so focused, the people around me the most can get pushed aside sometimes. Do I love them any less? Absolutely not, but my drive takes over in my “get it done” mode. The role of Mrs. International 2014 was taken very seriously we have one year with the job to fulfill many duties.
The “married with kids and a crown” few weeks ago about my experience incorporating my family into this year was our “how”, but this blog is really one big giant thank you to my husband Fred. People will joke if there is really a Mr. International and I always say “YES! It is my husband”. Most of the pictures throughout the year are me, but there is that person who has behind the camera, behind the wheel and behind me holding bags and bags…..and bags of shoes. Our journey has been very public as our family grew up in many ways through the public eyes the last few years. It is only fitting for someone who has been right there with me literally every step of the way to get a public thank you!
Fred thank you for jumping into the world of servicehood and pageantry. Thank you for staying up late nights, helping stuff marketing packets, giving up football practices, taking time off work, your free time and making many sacrifices. Love can’t be counted on a sheet of how who did what for who, but I can only imagine the endless pages of how you served me over the last few years during International Pageants. Thank you for praying for me, making meals, letting me rest while you took care of evvvverything and being one amazing human being. Sitting here writing this really puts into light the magnitude of how much YOU did and how the year would not have been possible without you.
Thank you for going outside of your comfort zone my “introvert” into the extrovert zone ☺ As oneness is not a destination, we are on a continual path of growth. Love you, Maggi.
Ladies, I want to really encourage you that the biggest thank you of all should go to your husband. This is a time for you to join together, have a blast. As Jose and Michelle said, the greatest good we can ever do is how we love our spouse….for better….or for worse.
As we get ready to hand over the crown, there have been a lot of fun events local and in other states during this summer. In the month of June alone, we drove nearly 6,000 miles with many more smiles from the people we had the fortune of meeting!
They have all been happening back to back amidst traveling weeks, but here is what the Thorne team has been up to!
We took part in a Boys and Girls Club fashion show to raise funds for their summer programs. Our family loves walking the runway together for charities!
Taking part in the HumanEx YLS summit was such an honor for me as a keynote speaker. I have dreamed to become a part of their speaking series and that came to life through being a part of Teammate events earlier in the year
It is great to travel internationally, but we love local events too! We took part in a local fundraiser for a playground and they let us collect shoes for Soles4Souls as well!
Sitting at a table signing autographs with NFL players from around the country was definitely a really neat moment!
For the last few years we’ve ridden in the NebraskaLand Days Parade and this year was just as special as every year before! I love being able to meet some of the kids before hand and having our daughters ride in the car with us
This year I attended American Ninja Warrior to cheer friends on instead of a competitor, and I could not be more proud of the ones who made it and poured their hearts out into training! Make sure to watch the finals as you may see us with one of the competitors on NBC!
Rounding out a recent trip we made the trek to visit Miss International 2014 Samantha Riddle! Love this lady!
The month of July is upon us, cannot wait to see everyone soon and what adventures are ahead in our family’s final weeks as Mrs. International.
There are many reasons the saying Never Give Up is so important in my life. Losing my brother and best friend had a tremendous impact on my life and continues to this day, but there is another reason, a major one for Never Give Up. There have been alot of people hurting lately or scrolling through social feeds people are here today and gone the next day in an abrupt exit from this world in an attempt to escape pain, but instead leaving behind a legacy of hurt for those that love them. This is a window into one of the darkest moments of my life.
In the spring of 2002 I sat in a room that had been demolished. My clothes half torn off, glass broken, items strewn everywhere. I was supposed to be heading to track practice, but instead sat in tears and felt an overwhelming amount of embarrassment, shame, and a feeling of being tired of life. At the age of 19 I married a man who ended up being abusive. Before that, many poor life choices had precipitated the decision to marry that person. Our family tree is not normal, a lot of pain surrounds with branches of alcoholism, jail, co-dependency, emotional isolation, suicide, you name it.
Sitting there in that moment it felt like I was just destined to be on that same tree forever and follow in everyone else’s footsteps. It was an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and despair. My husband (now ex-husband of course) had left the house, and there I was after hiding the abuse from everyone. It had started on our honeymoon and was going on nearly a year of nearly daily assault. My inner spark for life was gone and allowed myself to feel like I deserved it from all of the mistakes made in life. It was a very low point.
Looking over at the broken wedding topper from our cake, grabbing a shard of it and began to cut. I wanted to die.
Laying in a hospital bed, my wrists wrapped in bandages my mom and dad sat next to the bed along with a police officer to file a report on the assault. My dad had found me after my track coaches called when I didn’t show up to practice, the practice I never missed. The police officer told me no man was ever worth losing my life and I was valuable. The doctors told me my wounds would heal and likely not even be noticeable. I resumed back in to normal life, eventually divorced my husband at the time after regrettably getting back together only to get a death threat ending up in getting a restraining order from him. Moving to Nebraska was a life changer and the beginning of growing a different branch of our family tree.
July 3rd, 2004 I accepted Christ. It was the first time in my life I felt free, whole, and like life had purpose. Two months after I found my purpose with God, my brother took his life at the age of 32.
When I think of Never Give Up, it isn’t just an inspiration for other people, but a daily reminder for me that LIFE IS HARD, but there is always, ALWAYS hope and we will get through the struggles of today. Sometimes the though crosses my mind of what if I had left the earth that day? There would be no Charlie, Fiona or Ellie, no Fred, no Mrs. International. Some of the best experiences of my life have come from turning the pain I used to experience in to purpose.
You see, most people look at the 4th of July as the day of Independence, but my day of independence is July 3rd, because that is when I experience true freedom by God’s amazing grace.
The scars on my wrist the doctors said would go away did not, and I am glad. It is a daily reminder for me of the life I used to live and the life I daily choose to live now…a daily decision to NEVER GIVE UP!
I don’t know your struggle, your pain, but I do know there is hope and to just hold….Never Give Up.
You will soon realize that behind the scenes of the pageant can be a little hectic… A lot of people felt crammed and some girls misplaced items because they weren't organized. However, with proper preparation you will be good to go!
The dressing room has seats, a long countertop, and bright lights running down both the left and the right side of the room. The middle of the room is clothing racks for all of your beautiful competition items. There’s one room for teens and one for miss contestants. You will be assigned a seat in contestant order. Everyone will have some counter space and there is also room under your seat by your feet. With that being said, here’s a few tips!
Only bring what you really need, but also don’t under pack. I suggest making a checklist of the things you'll potentially need backstage and include them in your packet. I think I brought three small bags over, and it was a lot but the things I brought definitely came in handy!
Organize your belongings before you arrive and stay organized during the show! I looked around the room at the end of the night and people’s stuff was EVERYWHERE. When you use something, put it away. I can guarantee you that the dozens of matching fitness wear outfits, opening number dresses/shoes, and earrings for both will get mixed up if not cautious.\
Put your name in and on everything!! That way if your belongings are misplaced, you will be able to detect them and retrieve the items. I’m talking wardrobe bags, tags of dresses, bottoms of shoes, the whole shebang. This is super duper helpful!
Put your jewelry for each outfit in a separate zip block baggie, poke a hole in it, then put it around the top of the hanger of that wardrobe piece. Then you don’t have to dig around and find the earrings you're looking for! When you finish, don’t try to put them back in that bag but instead have a bigger bag for all of your accessories after they've been worn, then reorganize at the hotel that night.
Help your fellow contestants! Zip their dresses, loan them something if they can’t find theirs, and have fun with one another! This can relieve a lot of stress for someone and is what International Pageant sisters should be doing.
And last but not least, don’t forget to take pictures throughout the night in your fabulous wardrobe pieces and with your friends. The night goes fast so it easy to forget, but I promise you’ll be disappointed at the end of the week if you don’t have some fun pictures. I’m sure you will all have a lot of people following your journey, so be sure to share these gorgeous photos to your social media!
Remain calm, stay organized, and have fun bonding with your sister queens backstage during the pageant! It’s going to be a blast!
If you believe in something, believe in it all the way!
It has officially been 3 years since I have lost 70 pounds, while I still struggle on a daily basis to make healthy food choices, I am proud to say that I have kept the excess weight off!
Each and every single person’s fitness journey is different, what works for one person will not always work for another. I had to really focus on quitting junk food. I was a vegetarian (AKA a Carbatarian) so my usual meals consisted of pasta, pizza, or anything covered in cheese! While those items are ok in moderation, that is what my entire diet consisted of. Well, that potato chips, chocolate and soda.
Saying goodbye to my loved ones… HEHE I couldn’t help myself, I thought this was too funny!
After I learned how to make healthier food choices I realized I wasn’t able to put on muscle as easily as others. So I went to the doctor and found out I had a severe protein deficiency. I was shocked because I ate protein filled foods, aka protein bars and shakes. The doctor suggested I try adding chicken into my diet and after fighting him for 6 months, I finally caved. I have actually learned to enjoy chicken now and it has become a staple in my diet.
While I work every single day to be a healthier me, it is still a huge struggle for me. Hypothyroidism runs in my family and causes us to put on extra weight for no apparent reason. While I have managed to maintain my weight for some time now, I wanted to share my story because I know as pageant contestants we compare ourselves to other girls constantly. I wanted to let you know that everyone (even Miss International) struggles with their weight. You are not alone.
I will never be a size 0, and there is nothing wrong with that. Whether you are a double 0 or a size 16, you were made in gods glorious image. You were born to accept yourself for all of your beauty. I am a huge proponent of “every woman is beautiful, no matter her size” but I do also believe in health. As long as you are healthy and making the right nutrition and food choices you should be proud of your body!
I can’t wait to see you all very soon and good luck as these last few days progress before nationals!!!!
We live in a world of mirrors and image. Even as a child at age 5 and 6 how they view themselves is more of a determinate of their success in life than their IQ.
Did you know how you view yourself is pivotal in the quality of your life and the quality of your relationships?
Recently my daughters and I traveled to Chicago for what is the start of an annual Thorne girl’s trip. We of course visited the infamous “Bean” that reflects the city and the people surrounding it. As we stood there, the selfie sticks were out in force and clicks all over, which we of course joined in the fun. We took our pictures, and as I watched our daughters run around it in amazement, try to move it (lol) and walk up to look at their reflection, it reminded me of competition week at Mrs. International.
Have you ever been in one of the funhouses at a carnival or fair and looked into a distorted mirror? Before showing up at Mrs. International it is very easy to have a positive view of ourselves and a sense of accomplishment for the work we have completed, but the moment walking into orientation being surrounded by all of these other women from around the world. It just breaks my heart to see anyone look at themselves less valuable than they really are because YOU my sister are priceless. It can be like walking into a house of mirrors and not seeing our real reflection anymore, but we begin to see a distorted image.
Do you ever find yourself asking Who am I? Where do I belong? Do I fit? Am I significant?
There are a few different kind of distorted mirrors.
The appearance mirror. This one says “My value depends on how I look”
The performance mirror. This one says ”My value depends on what I can do”
The status mirror. “This one says “My value depends on what other people think of me”
These mirrors if we let them can destine us to feel inferior, always trying to look like someone else, climb every ladder of success and fit into pieces of puzzles that will never work for us.
When you look into the mirror, what do you think? What do you see?
Do you think I am full of potential? Unique? Beautiful? What messages do we say to yourself?
In a world of imitators the thing I always find the most amazing is that not one single person can ever match us, nor us them because we were literally made so unique. You are not a print; you are an original and significant.
Before you show up, write down on a piece of paper the 10 things you know to be true (what you know in YOUR heart, not what anyone else has said) about you that are amazing (all positive statements). Bring these with you and carry then in your purse or put them up in your room. When you feel down, take a peek and reminder yourself of your value. We are objects of love and compassion built in the image of God.
Sit in front of the mirror, but close your eyes and picture what is being reflected in your heart to that mirror. Add these to your list.
Positive self talk may seem silly, but it is so important to know in your heart who you really are because everything around us will always try to tell us differently one way or the other.