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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Nataleigh's NAM Journey

I shared some HUGE news yesterday HERE!
Nataleigh won the title of Miss Tennessee Princess for National America Miss!

Since giving up her Cinderella Tot Title back in June, we've been researching all the different systems that she can compete in, because we have a solid two more years until she can compete in Tennessee's Cinderella system {which we are still crazy about} again, so a friend of mine reached out to me saying that Nataleigh would be perfect for NAM. I immediately started googling & messaging all my pageant mama friends who know so much more about pageants than me, and I fell in love with the system. One thing Joe & I love about pageants are the life skills that Nataleigh is gaining. At 5 years old, she is great at public speaking, she already has so much poise and confidence. When looking into different systems, we look for competitions that require backstage interviews & focus on natural beauty looks. I just don't love overly dressing my 5-year old up, and NAM specifically asks their younger contestants to remain makeup-free. They want the little girls to look their age, and like Cinderella, I LOVE THAT! Nataleigh has plenty of years ahead of her to wear makeup and dress up.

Now into our NAM Journey..but let's start a week before when we had a major scare.
While at my practice Friday before the pageant, Nataleigh took a big fall off of one of our referee stands, face first. Her entire forehead was instantly black and blue, and like I said earlier, no makeup allowed. I was panicked for sure, but I was so scared that she had a concussion. After getting her checked with a nurse, we could confirm that she did not have a concussion. Total God-thing that she wasn't hurt worse. We had people send us all kinds of things, and Panaway from Young Living & arnica gel & a whole lot of prayers cleared her forehead up completely!
We checked our girl out of school after lunch, and Nana, Nataleigh, and I hit the road for Nashville!
{I love how excited she was to see us. She loves school, but she loves girl time most}!
We met up with our buddies for Target, Starbucks, and silly faces!

Then we checked into the hotel & got the girls ready for the pajama party.

Rocking our favorite Matilda Jane pajamas & our favorite Mega Bow from One Stop Bow Shop!
Nothing like the Cupid Shuffle to get the girls giggling & having fun!
A bunch of the cutest Tennessee/Kentucky NAM contestants ever!
We headed back to the hotel for some pool time & an early bedtime!

Our boys got to the hotel a little later, and I was so happy to get some snuggles & one-on-one time with my favorite middle. He got up early, so he could head to breakfast with mama!
LOVE him!
Sweet pageant sisters!!
Love these two precious, funny, silly girls so much! Camryn is such a sweet big sister for Nat, and I just adore her precious mama!
We got all checked in & ready for orientation!
After orientation, we snuck to Dunkin Donuts for a quick breakfast before her first rehearsal started.

We wrapped up formalwear and intro rehearsals with some of our favorite people, and then we hurried to get ready for the formalwear competition.

This girl amazes me!
This was the first time she had ever walked in a long dress, and she killed it. She had so much poise and confidence up there that I wish I could have bottled it up to store away for those dreaded teenage years. Joe also killed it while escorting her out there.
Thankful for this beautiful girl who saved my kids' hair! She's my incredible hairdresser who I swear is a miracle worker!!

The next morning was super early with personal intro and interview before finals started.

We got her ready for personal intro & snapped a couple of pictures before she took the stage. This is where she walked on stage and had to say her name, age, and a little fact about herself. This is one of my favorite areas of pageant competition. She has learned to exude confidence while proudly stating who she is! She killed it, and then she got ready for interview. She had 6 one-on-one interviews with each judge, and she said it was her favorite part of the competition. When asked what she was asked, she said that they didn't ask her many questions, but they just 'chit-chatted' the whole time!
 Then we grabbed our girls for some fun pictures!

Mabry is such a sweet buddy of Nataleigh's. Her mom is one of those pageant moms that I've bombarded with all the questions. She's also a great seamstress who sewed both of these gorgeous dresses!! Talent overload.

After a quick lunch, we got all the things ready for finals to start, and we waited nervously for the results.
She surprised us all with this win!

 Then we snapped pictures with our new sisterhood!
 And a quick sweet & silly picture with our Team Nataleigh..
And Nana, who we couldn't do any of this without!

With this win, she now gets to compete nationally, and it's in Los Angeles. EEK! The Hensleys will be heading to the west coast for Thanksgiving, and we couldn't be more excited! Follow her journey as we prepare for all the things Los Angeles & NAM!



  1. Congratulations to your precious little girl! I am so glad she was okay after that fall!

    1. Yes! Thank goodness she was okay. Mama was scared.

  2. 6 interviews! Wow - Nataleigh is so impressive! When I think what I was like at that age, so shy and not even comfortable in a photo - you are doing an amazing thing for her supporting her in this. And the dresses your friend made are gorgeous, I was going to comment on this - and even more impressive that someone tailored them specifically. Will Nataleigh need to do anything this year as part of her title? Sounds like you have a great support network - have you thought in the future of going into pageant coaching yourself, using all the info and experience you are getting now? Joanne x

    1. Ha I’ve thought about offering consulting just because I have so many good connections of people with wisdom far beyond mine. :)

  3. How exciting! Your Thanksgiving is going to be so much fun this year. Also, your babies are all such a mix of you and Joe! Congratulations Nataleigh (and family...because it takes a village!).

    1. It definitely takes a village, and I just love my village! We can’t wait to see the West Coast & Disneyland for Thanksgiving!

  4. So exciting and that dress is stunning on her, did you have it made? I am so excited to follow along on this journey with you all :)