Monday, July 29, 2013

Exhausted Service

Ok, so after a little hiatus I am back.  This past week was one of inspiration, fun, challenge, and pure exhaustion.  Quite literally, I even took at three hour nap yesterday and slept all night.  So, here goes all I have learned in a blog. 

Thursday and Friday of last week were competition days for the Miss California State Competition.  Most people hear this and think beauty pageant.  But it isn’t. There is no judging on beauty, swimsuit, or poise.  It is strictly a scholarship competition with areas of competition including community service, academics, interviews, fair industry (the title holder is the official hostess of the California State Fair), community advocacy, impromptu, and talent (no beauty in any of those areas).  The organization that puts it is on is Youth Focus, Inc. being an advocate for the advancement of youth. 

I have worked with this organization since 2005 when I first competed and have served as competitor, judge, and now chaperon.  I have seen a variety of All Star Teams, but this one will always hold a special place in my heart.  This team was unique as there was a very special guy competing for the title of California State Ambassador.  He was talented (extremely – he plays 8 instruments and focuses on 4), kind hearted, and compassionate.  But what made him unique was that we competed with Autism.  I have never seen a special needs individual compete, much less at the high standards required of this competition.  That was special enough, but watching his team mates join around him and support him was something else. 

Most often, contestants will help each other out, but try their best to stand out on top.  This year they all helped David without any care to where it would put them in the competition.  He was so inspiring; they just could not help it.  He came in second with the title of Golden State Ambassador with a perfect score in talent (his harp playing brought me to tears it was so beautiful).  When they called his name, he didn’t realize what it meant.  The girl I chaperoned all week, and who was named Miss California State 2013, Madi Wackerman was standing next to him.  She leaned down to tell him he won and we were just so excited.  I do not think he has ever won something this big in his life.  The entire contestant pool erupted in cheers…it was truly beautiful. 

Miss California State 2013 Madi and Me

California State Golden State Ambassador 2013 and Me

This competition kept me on my feet about 14 hours a day four six days in heels.  Those of you who know me know I am always in heels, but by the end of the week my feet were numb.  Quite literally, two days later and I still can’t feel my toes.  But, it was worth it to see this team.  They truly blessed me.  I was able to write an article (thank you to Josh for catching a mistake…that’s what I get for writing on 2 hours of sleep…thank you).  Thank you to all who read it for me. 

I was very successful at avoiding the ex last week.  Though on my way out of the final luncheon he tried to catch me.  All I could was wave at him and hurry out because I was hosting a birthday party for my sister that night and still had a three hour drive ahead of me.  So close but no cigar, sir! Too bad I have to do it all over again this week at the fair.  He is judging and I am working with the girls.  Good news, Miss California State (who I chaperoned last week) and my mini-me will also be there  and they run great interference.  Plus, even with the two hour time difference, Robert said I could call him and use him as an excuse.  He is the best boyfriend ever. 

I made it back to finish set up for the birthday party with only a couple hours to spare, but it was a great party made more intimate by the orchard setting.  It was lovely.  I got to see my siblings I seldom get to see because of distance and schedules, and enjoyed watching everyone.  I was so tired though I could barely stand up by the end of the night.  I didn’t even do the beer tasting because it would only make things worse.

Birthday girl, my daddy, and me!

I hadn’t been able to talk to Robert all week (it felt like eternity).  So, I called him on the final ten minutes home (yes, I know it was illegal, but I put him on speaker phone and drove with both hands on the wheel).  It was so nice to hear his voice.  You never know how much someone means to you until you can’t talk with them or see them.  Those ten minutes were not enough.  Though, he succeeded in doing something no one else really has been able to do – calm me down in less than five minutes.  So, after the party, though I was so tired, I crawled into bed and Skyped him on my phone.  I think he was shocked to see how tired I looked.  Oh, but it was so needed to see him and reconnect with him.

Yesterday, I did the 5th Sunday celebration at my mom’s church. She does only one service on 5th Sundays of the month so that everyone at church can see everyone.  This week she made a 20 foot ice cream sundae.  I helped in the drama and on the worship team and served.  It was fun.
Me at the 20 foot ice cream sundae

I then had lunch with my grandparents and great aunt.  They wanted to know more about Robert and asked to see a picture of him.  I showed them one of him in his dress uniform and they just about lit up!  “How handsome!”  “What nice eyes,” and “Wow!  Does he have a lot of ribbons…speaks well of him” seemed to pepper the conversation. They are anxious to meet this wonderful beau of mine  (two more months grandma.) 

Robert in dress uniform for me

I crashed when I got home.  A three hour nap and two episodes of the West Wing and I was just beginning to feel normal again.  I Skyped Robert and we started planning the trip to Maryland (getting really excited about it).  He had a test this morning he was stressing over.  But, when you prepare you succeed.  Who has a handsome beau with brains that got a 97% on his test he was just hoping to pass?  Me!  So proud of you, honey! 

And now, to start another day back in the orchards.  Here we go!!! 

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