Saturday, February 25, 2012

Paradise Island!!!

Hello from Paradise Island!

Slowing things down once in a while to enjoy the simple blessings in life, is something that I think is so important to remember. My simple blessing in life is spending time with family. My two sisters and our three men were welcomed by my parents with a giant hug Saturday night when we arrived at the resort in the Bahamas. As we told stories of our travel here, I could not get over the fact that for the next week, our schedule would be based around mapping out our family adventures for the day and our dining reservations. The only other event scheduled was our 1/2 day of deep sea fishing. We landed 2 beautiful Mahi Mahi, one averaging about 35-45 pounds and was extremely difficult to reel in so my sister's fiance and my husband tag teamed this trophy. We had our fish filleted, brought it back to our villa and prepared it for cooking that night ourselves! There is nothing like living off the was delicious!!

 When life becomes consumed with business, you start missing simple things in life that are beautiful. As a family, we have more than enjoyed our time together combined with the overwhelmingly beauty of The Atlantis Resort. The Atlantis is a fantastic man made property, but the beauty of it is only realized by looking at what God has created for us. For example, to really stand on the shore of the ocean and study the power of the waves, how they sweep onto the beach and erase all sign of human footprints; or really studying the marine life exhibit and the hundreds of different species of fish and sealife and recognizing the significance of each.

There is a difference between seeing something and really noticing it for what it is. 'Seeing it' is to casually walk by and look at it, whereas 'noticing it' is to really think about how it came to be, how God created such beauty such as a fish with vibrant colors and transparent fins or even the fine sugar sand that sifts through your toes as you walk along the ocean.

I guess that is what vacations should be all about. A chance to rest up, recharge our batteries, but to remind ourselves what a wonderful world we live in and how fortunate we are.

Ashley Voigt
Mrs. North Dakota Int'l 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Little Moments

Hello again!

February is upon us and I have already had an eventful couple of weeks!! After returning from our awesome girl’s weekend in the cities spent, shopping, bonding, and of course more shopping, it was time to get back to school work and more pageant activities. My sister queens and I were stationed outside of Macy’s a couple weekends ago promoting the Go Red For Women Campaign. We had a blast taking pictures and informing passerby’s of how to live a heart healthy life. After our Macy’s appearance we had the pleasure of attending the annual Heart Ball put on by Go Red. We had such a great time at the ball raising money and awareness about heart disease. A couple of highlights for me were “modeling” the live auction pieces, which in my case included a cumbersome badger fur coat. Another highlight of the night was definitely the photo booth. Taking goofy pictures with the girls (as clichĂ© as this may sound) produced memories that will last a lifetime. 

                Just last weekend my sister queens and I had the opportunity to judge a Girl Scout cookie contest at the West Acres mall. We spent a good majority of the afternoon held against our will, being forced to consume rare delicacies… just kidding! We actually had an awesome sampling the treats that these Girl Scout Troops had baked for us. The highlight of this appearance for me was when a little girl came up to me and asked me if she could wear my crown. Her eyes just lit up when I placed that crown on her head, and she was grinning ear to ear for the cameras. I asked her if she wanted to be a princess when she was older and she looked back and me and vigorously shook her head YES! Little moments like these are the ones that mean the most to a person. When you can see it in someone else’s eyes how much they look up to you, that is how you know what you’re doing is good. An unknown source once said, “It’s the little moments that make life big,” and I might be getting ahead of myself when I say that I hope to leave an impact on someone  throughout my lifetime; whether it be my family, my friends, or maybe even this little girl. I just hope that when all is said and done I have made a difference in the life of another person, because in the end, it’s the little moments strung together, that form our life-lasting memories.


Until next time
Olivia Naylor
Miss Teen ND International 2012