First off, I must thank Chelle for the Starbucks card that she gave me at my homecoming. I have managed to have several appearances with very little sleep because of it :) The only problem is that I have really grown to love that cappuccino in the morning!!
On Sunday, I had the privilege of being an interview guest on the Hour of Power. It was a bit surreal to stand in the pulpit and have my name in the bulletin as a guest since I have spent most of my life sitting in the audience as a part of the church congregation. It was an absolute blast and Laura Story, a fabulous christian recording artist as well as Ken Duncan, an internationally acclaimed photographer were both there on Sunday as well. Sheila Schuller Coleman interviewed me and at the end Dr. Schuller came up too! There is a two week tape delay, so the show will air on Saturday November 28th on TBN and on Sunday November 29th on the lifetime channel. The Hour of Power is aired internationally, check your local listings for times.
During the interview with Dr. Sheila Schuller Coleman and Dr. Schuller
She is giving me her form of a "good luck charm"
With my grandma (third one in from the left) and friends
I was even on the corner sign!
With my parents :)
After the Hour of Power, I rushed home, changed clothes, touched up my makeup and was on my way to Temecula! Mary Bette picked me up and we headed to the Miss Southwest Riverside pageant. The venue was beautiful! I took some pictures with the Murrietta varsity dance team who performed that evening. The Miss pageant had five contestants and the Outstanding Teen division had three contestants. I had the opportunity to ask the onstage questions, speak for a few minutes as well as crown the new Miss Southwest Riverside and the Oustanding Teen! I have never crowned anyone before, so I was very excited to get to do this! Congratulations to Christyn Richardson!
Me and the Murrietta High School Dance Team
Monday morning I worked out with Mike... and Tuesday morning I was sore :)
On Tuesday, after Nutcracker rehearsal, I visited UCI medical center. What a fantastic visit! I toured the hospital with Leanne Funada (Business Development Director), Susana Perez (RN Transport Coordinator), and Thy Ry (Communications). We were also joined by Vicky Lombardo, the Associate State Director of Program Services for the March of Dimes. The tour started with the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I have now toured several NICUs and UCI's blew me away! Their state of the art equipment and large facility make them an excellent choice for neonatal care. I saw one baby who only weighed one pound... it amazes me what these doctors can do and I am always in awe at how tiny their little fingers are and how perfectly God put them together... even at 25 weeks!
After the NICU, we toured the Obstetrical Unit and we were met by Dr. Hameed. She was so sweet! I got the chance to meet the entire Labor & Delivery team and several residents as well as many of the nurses from the unit. At one point on Tuesday, there were 11 women in labor at the same time! It must be contagious! I toured the unit and even got to visit the nursery where two healthy babies were sleeping away. I also got to visit several patients who were on bed rest as well as one happy mom who had delivered earlier that day. I learned about the reasons why moms should carry their babies to full term. With each day and week, the baby is developing at a tremendous rate and if at all possible, the mom should strive to carry the baby to 40 weeks. Visit the March of Dimes website to find out more http://www.marchofdimes.com/home.asp
After visiting several soon-to-be mommies, we went to the pediatric unit. UCI is the only pediatric trauma hospital in the area and if children suffer from serious trauma or car accidents, they are sent to UCI and then transferred to CHOC when they are more stable. I had the chance to visit with William and Tony while I was there which was great!
At the end of the visit I was met by Terry Belmont, the CEO of UCI Medical Center. He was such a nice man and was so welcoming! I really enjoyed meeting him. Thank you Leanne for arranging this visit, it was wonderful!
After that, I headed home and did a phone interview with the Orange County Register (regarding Miss California and the Glory of Christmas) and then I was off to Glory of Christmas rehearsal! It was a really fun night because we are now rehearsing with the entire cast (this includes the donkeys, camels, flying angels and singers!)
On Thursday I went to the GEL meeting that occurs twice a month. GEL (stands for Growing Exceptional Ladies) is a mentoring program that I started about three years ago with my mom at my former middle and high school and the program has really taken off! I write the curriculum and then the high school girls mentor the junior high girls during their 45 minute lunch periods every other week. It is a wonderful way to facilitate lasting relationships and it not only gives the junior high girls a safe place to talk about their lives, but also gives them role models who are close enough in age that they can relate to each other. I am thankful that I still get to be a part of this and give leadership to this program! (For those of you who are wondering, I started GEL before I was involved in pageants and then it was my personal platform this year at Miss California as well).
My classes are nearing an end and i have just three short weeks of school left... I have been locked up in a cave (aka my room) trying to stay motivated to finish all of my work! While writing my blog is always a great distraction, but I better get back to the homework :)
That's it for now! Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am really looking forward to spending time with my family. Oh, and as of Friday I will officially be allowed to listen to Christmas music... I can't wait!
Countdown to Miss America: 58 days (Can you believe it?)
Quote of the week: (thank you Auntie Ahna!)