First Impromptu Birthday Party Appearance
As I sat at my computer, sifting through the many emails that had gathered in my inbox over the week, my doorbell rang, and in came my friend and neighbor from across the street. She seemed panicked and breathlessly begged me to come over to her sister's birthday party, as she had just been chased over by fifteen screaming ten-year-old's who were demanding she fetch Miss Nebraska. I acquiesced to my tiny fans, donned my Cinderella Halloween costume and crown, and armed myself with photo cards and a Sharpie. We took pictures and I signed autographs for everyone, and then changed clothing and accompanied them to our local Zoo's Halloween "Spooktacular." We had so much fun, and all throughout the evening there were comments like "You're so pretty...you could be Miss Anything! Miss Earth!" and when we found a huge line waiting at the Zoo: "We'll probably be able to go to the front of the line if we yell 'Miss Nebraska' loud enough!" and then the whispered statement from girl to girl: "Her real name is Teresa!" Nothing like an evening with some future Miss Nebraska's to keep you laughing and deeply encourage you! After all, they are what this is all about - inspiring the next generation to reach for what may currently seem impossible to them.
First Time Dressing Up for Halloween
On Saturday, I headed back to Chadron for the Miss Chadron/Northwest Outstanding Teen Pageant. I won Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen 2008, the very first year they started this program, so it's always so much fun to come back! This year, since the pageant was held on October 30th, the theme was Halloween, so everyone dressed up. I was Wonder Woman first, (not many people even recognized me with the dark hair!) and then changed into Cinderella after intermission. I co-emceed with Jon Marquez, who, after finding out I had never been, took me trick-or-treating for my first time... through the crowd! (There's another first) We got candy, gum, mints, little purse-sized shampoos, and even money! The whole pageant was so much fun, and the contestants did an outstanding job! A big congratulations to the new Miss Chadron Outstanding Teen Kaelia Nelson, and the new Miss Northwest Outstanding Teen Brooke Ludemann! These ladies will do an amazing job at the state pageant in June.
First Punkin' Chunkin'
On Sunday, I left Chadron for Petersburg, where they were having their annual Punkin' Chunkin'! This is a nationally sanctioned event where people built cannons to see who can shoot a pumpkin the furthest. The little town of Petersburg attracts thousands of people through this event, so I had a fantastic time watching the competition, presenting awards, and signing lots of autographs. Another first here: I signed several phones and ipods, as well as two stomachs! It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and the people there were so warm and welcoming. No wonder Petersburg has been voted the 32nd most family-friendly community in America!
On the way home, we stopped at the Kearney Archway, and I took a picture there to add to the tourism photo log!
Over-all, I had a fantastic Halloween weekend, and ended up logging quite a few "firsts!" Okay, I guess I have to share one last "first" I'm not quite so proud of: on the way home from Petersburg, my mom decided to drive and let me sleep a little bit. I woke up to her calling OnStar turn-by-turn directions, then looked out the window as we saw a sign for Julesburg, Colorado...not exactly "on the way home!" I decided to take over for her, and after correcting our little detour, we finally arrived home. Needless to say, we're using OnStar from now on!