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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Never Say Never: Pageant Edition

I think I'm the kind of girl who always says "NEVER," and then I have to eat my words. There are so many things that I've said, "I'll never; we'll never; my kids will never;" etc., so I thought I would do a few posts that are all about those "never" statements that we have made! 

First, up when we found out we were expecting our sweet Nataleigh, Joe adamantly stated that she will never do pageants. Toddlers & Tiaras was always on TLC, and he had me convinced that pageants would be a no-go for us...funny huh?! Well, our entrance to the pageant world began with a challenge from Joseph to my mama, Nana, one Christmas, and sure enough, she entered Nat in the Appalachian Fair's pageant last summer! Nataleigh had a blast, & finished 2nd runner up in her very first pageant. Here are some of our pictures from this past year's pageant experiences!!
1st pageant! 
Little Miss Purr-fect High Point
 Little Miss Kingsport Toddler
 Tennessee Cinderella Cameo Girl
Novice Supreme 
Little Miss Southern Allure
 Little Miss Tri-Cities
Miss ETN Relay
Read more about this special pageant HERE
Wee Miss Jonesborough
Pageants have taught us both so much over the past year. Nataleigh has made such wonderful friends that are truly like our second family! They are true God-sends in our lives. In a time when I felt my heart hardening towards 'friends,' God sent these beautiful women to encourage me & my baby girl! I've watched my 3-year old sit in front of the stage and cheer louder than anyone else for her friends. I've seen my 3-year old high-five her fellow competitors before they took the stage. I've seen her tell her friends to 'go wock dat stage' before they competed. She's learned to sit like a lady on stage while having a full conversation with an adult. She's done so much more than I ever would have had the confidence to do. She's taught me so much about the woman I want to be in the future. I am so proud of this little firecracker, and it has nothing to do with any crowns she has won! She is beautifully brave, genuinely kind, super silly, and loads of fun! 
I shared this on a fellow pageant mama's Facebook last week, and it's a perception that I too had to change! I was a sports-girl...not a pageant girl! If you have a negative attitude about pageants, I would like to encourage you to connect with a local pageant girl, and see the hard work & hours of volunteerism that she devotes herself to. Don't judge that girl on how pretty her shoes are, and don't judge that pageant mama that you know until you've seen her teaching her daughter these life-truths! Take time to celebrate the beauty of that little girl & her mama. Celebrate that little girl. In a world where you can be anything, be kind...even if it's something that you don't understand or necessarily agree! It's hard raising daughters in today's society, so I encourage you to encourage that mama and little girl!

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