Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Blinked . . . and Now it's Over

Twenty seven state titleholders--what a tough job for the judges!

What an incredible experience!

I cannot believe my week at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant is here and gone . . . I had the time of my life! I knew it was going to be a great week when we moved into our rooms and were greeted by shiny, new acoustic guitars! Santa came early and I was so excited; the only thing that would have made it perfect is if I only knew how to play it. Maybe as an afterthought Santa will bring me a "teach yourself to play the guitar" DVD in my stocking.
Cheese! L to R: Ashlee Stallings (NM), Kadee Coffman (CA), Kelsea Walker (IL), and I heading to the Cowboy Christmas Auction.

After the guitar, things only got better. The group of girls was wonderful; I got to know 26 great friends and reminisced with those who I knew coming into the pageant. The horsemanship portion of the pageant was one of my highlights because I drew a really nice little bay gelding who sat down and slid about 10 feet for me to complete my first pattern! I think I was more impressed than the cheering crowd because I have never sat something that felt so wonderful before; it was like the horse just folded under me. Amazing!

Doing a little tiger wrestling and recapping of how it looked as I "started my year off with a BANG" into an out-gate post . . .

I had a great time learning the dances for the fashion show and was very proud to model my beautiful Ashley Kelber leather dress--she definitely out-did herself! Though the organized dancing wasn't as bad as I thought, I was rewarded by the opportunity to shake a leg and cut a rug at the "Get Acquainted" Party. There was a great one-man-band who provided some great tunes to polka, swing, two-step, and waltz to, so I was in seventh heaven! Not to mention it was on the same day as horsemanship, so it was definitely a great day because any day the begins on a horse and ends on a dance floor is bound to bring a smile to my face!
Ann, Ty, and Butch Murray--I was honored to meet all of them! What a wonderful family!

One of the highlights was getting to meet the "King of Cowboys" Ty Murray! His mom was one of our judges, so it was a great suprise, and I now have a prized autographed picture to frame and hang! I began my auctioneering career on the "Cowboy Christmas" stage as I introduced the items I had brought to raise money for the Miss Rodeo America Scholarship Fund. I was glad the proper colonel took the microphone back because I definitely not great, but I had fun. That same morning I got to see Jerry Dietz and the rest of his family! They came out to support me and broadcast live--it was great to see such shiny, southwest Iowa faces!
Jerry Dietz of KCSI Radio in Red Oak, IA interviewing me moments after coronation in Las Vegas.

As the week went on, it was easy to relax and be myself. Though I was not as well-prepared as some of the other girls, I had a great time and turned out alright. You can breathe easy now, I came home with two scholarships, so that will cheapen your future vet bills by a small percentage! I was very honored to end up placing where I did, but would have liked to place Iowa higher since we live in the best state of the fifty united!
Friends! L to R: Chelsea Stramma (WI), Brittany Sing (AR), me, and Jesse Budd (WA) looking photogenic at check-in!

Thank you for the endless support this year. I have been humbled by everyone's kindness and hospitality. I am sad that I am now an official "has been" and cannot believe that a year has passed. It was fun to see so many wonderful friends, family, and supporters out in Las Vegas. It made me smile and think that if I did nothing else right this year, I at least came out with many new, genuine, and lasting friendships. Some of my best memories were made this year, and I am so thankful and fortunate for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The reality check of having to come back and take finals right away was not as fun as I hoped, but as I finished the last test, I had a wave of satisfaction come over me . . . I did it.

"Oh, you better not pout, you better not cry, you better watch out I'm telling you why . . . Santa Claus is coming to town . . . "

Thank you, I love you all, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season! I really appreciate all of the thoughts, gifts, and emails I received during the week of the pageant--it was very comforting and reassuring. If you would like to see more pictures of the pageant, visit Make sure you are extra good these last few days before Christmas because Santa is watching!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Congratulations Amanda - Top 10 and More!

Amanda was named a top-ten finalist at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant on Saturday. She also earned the Central Region Scholarship, being the highest scoring individual in her region who was not in the top-five. In addtion to these awards she was honored with the Raeana Wadhams Spirit Award. This award is given to a special young woman who has particular focus, drive and goals along with a positive attitude throughout the pageant.

Amanda is now home and taking her finals as she ends her first semester as a student at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State. Once she's finished with her finals, and things settle down a bit, she will be doing a summary of her Miss Rodeo America experiences here on her blog. Thank you to everyone who sent her well-wishes throughout the pageant through the pageant email. Your messages helped keep up her spirits during a grueling week of competition.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Way to go Amanda!

Today it was announced that Amanda had won second place in the Scrapbook competition! The cover was created by Cary and Laura Veach of Veach's Leather Goods in Ankeny. She received a rosette ribbon and a cash award for her efforts!