Tonight, as I have almost every other year of my life, I will watch the Miss America pageant. I will be cheering on Miss Georgia and Miss Alabama, as I always have. Tonight's pageant will be different, though. While I'll always be a Georgia girl at heart, tonight I really want Miss Alabama to win. You see, I've met her. How often does one get to meet a Miss America contestant live and in the flesh? I would imagine the answer is "not too often".
Liz Cochran is Miss Alabama 2009 and is competing for tonight's crown.
I sat down in church one Sunday morning this past June and the preacher began making his announcements. He told us that our very own Liz had won the Miss Alabama pageant the night before and would be competing in the Miss America pageant in January. In my head, it went down something like this: OUR very own Liz Cochran? What does he me- OHMYWORD!!!! SHEGOESHERE!!!!!! Breathe, Jfer, breathe. Calm down. You can NOT stand up and holler in the middle of church!
I didn't get to meet her that day.
Fast forward to October. The kids are in school and are settled into their routines. Slick's October calendar that's stapled inside his folder has "Miss Alabama visit" on one of the dates.
Ohmygosh-she's coming to the school!!! *squeal*
I made up my mind right then and there that I was going to whatever presentation she was giving to the kids. I honestly would not have cared if she was going to set a bag of snakes loose as her presentation, I was going to be there.
I showed up and waited for my daughter's turn to see Liz. As it turns out, she shared her platform "With Every Beat" which focuses on cardiovascular and heart health. She's even written a children's book and shared the book with the children that day. She's a smart, beautiful and very accomplished young lady. Alabama has a great representative tonight. The part I'm most proud of is the fact that she's a Christian and isn't afraid to admit it.
I managed to get a picture with her as well as one with her and Poodle. I can't express to you how over the moon I was at just the opportunity to meet her as well as for Poodle to meet her and to have a positive role model who is in the public eye. Most "celebrities" leave a lot to be desired. Not so with Miss Cochran.
I'd like to close with a journal I wrote on March 1, 2009. This was before I knew anything about Liz. I wrote this on CafeMom as the result of one of their prompts of the day. The subject was "What did you want to be when you grew up?" I titled it "Aspirations of a Young Girl".
"What did I want to be when I grew up? That's one of my favorite questions. This is a journal I wanted to write but didn't realize it until today's question was posed.
Are you ready for this?
Did I strive to be a doctor? Lawyer? Orthodontist? Vet? Teacher? Sure, for a few days over the course of many years throughout my childhood and teenaged years.
What I REALLY wanted was to be Miss America.
Yes, Miss America. You know...Atlantic City, tiaras, flowers and some schmaltzy guy singing "There she is...Miss America. There she is, your ideal."
I'm a girly-girl by nature; ruffles and bows and dresses with full skirts were all appealing to me as a child. They still are to an extent. Maybe it was the glitz and glamour of being THE prettiest and THE best liked in the eyes of the judges. I was never even in pageants. It was just something that I really wanted to be. I mean, not too many women on this planet can claim that title.
I don't have Daddy issues or anything like that. Maybe it's because I wasn't in with the popular crowd during any of my school career that I had this secret desire to stand out in such a way.
I still watch the pageant every year. When they announce Miss Georgia and Miss Alabama I get super excited as they are from two states that are near and dear to my heart. I have little daydreams when they're announcing the winner that it's one of MY girls strolling down that runway. The mere thought makes my eyes well up with tears of pride every year and they're no where near of age to participate.
Maybe if I get my butt in gear and drop a few pounds I could try for Mrs. America. Or maybe not. Maybe I'm all I need to be for my family and my husband just the way I am. That epiphany alone is worth a tiara and a gorgeous bouquet of red roses, in my opinion."
I leave you with pics of myself and Poodle with Miss Alabama 2009, Liz Cochran. Poodle and I will be rooting for you tonight! GO LIZ!
That's me on the left, in case you were confused. ; )