Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Big Thank You....

Where would I be without these ladies? I wonder many times where I would be if I had not 'listened' to the people that God has placed in my life. Mrs. International 1996, Carolyn Mosher introduced the International Pageant system to me just shy of a year ago. I had never even considered entering a pageant. I am the 'tough' military girl who like many people has been through many different trials in life. I am not the one who does things for myself. This was a tough concept to grasp onto but Carolyn got my interest. I am forever thankful for this experience to find myself, grow my faith, confidence, and belief that all things happen for a reason. I am so proud to represent North Dakota on so many different levels. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. 
I don't know that I really fully appreciated the way God has put people in my life. I had heard time and time again how we have such wonderful state directors in ND; hearing things and understanding them are very different. It wasn't until my time in Chicago at the International Pageant week that I really understood just how giving and supportive these ladies are. My sister queens and I have received nonstop advice, assistance, and guidance throughout our reign and preparation for Nationals. Not all directors spend time preparing their queens and spend the weeks with their queens at Nationals. Kathy and Allison were there physically and emotionally the entire time and were there to share in powerful prayer prior to private interview. 
I don't know how to thank all of you enough for helping me find and believe in myself during this process.  These words are all I have to offer at this point......Thank You!

It's About the Journey, Not the Destination!

Maybe it's not about the 'happy ending', maybe it's about the story. Many people have been asking 'how I did' at the Mrs. International Pageant. I need to say that I am so blessed to be able to have had that experience and tell everyone that it isn't always about winning! When I set out to compete for Mrs. ND I didn't have any plans in mind but to just step outside of my comfort zone and grow. I did that and regained my confidence. God blesses us in different ways than we would ever imagine sometimes. So, for all of you who are afraid to take a chance, I say TRY IT....whatever that dream is for you! I didn't win the title of Mrs. International but that really is OK. My goal was to be the best ME I could be, I did that. I did the best I could and it's OK if I wasn't 'the' person for the job. I think it is important to note that it's beautiful even if we don't always win at everything we set out to do, and that was such a great lesson for me to share with my oldest daughter Ally on our drive home. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. I have a husband that loves me, beautiful children, supportive family, and wonderful friends that believe in ME! If I touch, inspire, empower just one person then I have completed my mission. I met some amazing women last week and for once in a long time believed in myself too. I have my title of Mrs. ND International through November, so have a lot of things to still accomplish before then! Thank you all for your kindness, words, thoughts, and prayers!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Miss International Pageant Is Finally Here!!!!

Miss International week has finally started! As I sit in my hotel room getting ready for orientation, it is astonishing to think about my journey here. Four years ago, as a senior in high school, I came across the North Dakota International Pageant website and decided to compete. That year I vowed to myself that I would some day walk across the national stage, and now here I am!

I had competed in other pageants, but instantly fell in love with this pageant system. The first thing that attracted me to it was the fact that it is platform based, or what I like to call, beauties for a cause! My state directors are the other main reason I came back year after year- they are amazing women who I am blessed to know.

After competing for four years in a row and receiving a second runner-up title as well as 3 first runner-up titles, I almost didn’t compete in the 2013 pageant. About a month prior to the state pageant, I came across a website that had been posted on Facebook by a woman from my area whose daughter had committed suicide. After looking at the website, I knew then and there that I was ready to open up about my struggle with depression as a teenager in order to prevent more tragedies like the one this mother had to face. I
 e-mailed my state directors that night and signed up!

It’s amazing how God’s plan works- everything he does has such perfect and precise timing. My time thus far as Miss North Dakota International 2013 has had such a positive impact on my faith, and I feel so blessed to be representing my state this week! Go Team North Dakota!

XOXO, Taylor 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Quotes To Live By and My Platform!!!

This is a favorite quote of mine; one that we sent with our daughter on her summer journey. “If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart. I'll always be with you.”

Work, travel, saying farewell, preparation, and more travel. We managed to fit several activities into just a little over 24 hours. My husband and I, my oldest daughter Ally, and a friend of hers traveled to Minneapolis to take Ally to the airport. We had a memorable evening on the way as a storm hit and power was lost. We ended up eating dinner at a gas station! We were able to relax a bit that evening and the next morning I began appointments to prepare for Nationals. Thank you to Cheri, Sarah, and Brandi for fitting us into your busy schedules!! We said farewell to Ally as she boarded the plane for her summer trip which broke my heart. Thankfully my husband was my rock during these few tough days.


“Never stop doing little things for others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.” This is one thing I always try to live by and believe wholeheartedly. I know that my circle of friends and family have always been there for me, but this holds especially true over the past year. With the help of these special people in my life we were able to pull off a fairly large event in the span of just a few weeks. I was drawn to tears as I tried to speak the day of my fundraising event. It was unbelievable how hearts opened up and those that wanted to help did that and so much more. They gave their time, gifts, talents and money to help the fundraiser become a large success.  Thank You!!

Thank you to the Hankinson Teens for Life who helped the youth attending the event make crafts, play games and just have a great time! This comes from the Teens for Life website: “Everyone needs to have a plan-a plan for success, a plan for making good decisions, and a plan for following through on the unique design of your life. The fact is you are part of a grander scheme called life. You are not a mistake. God created you to be who you are, and when your plans coincide with His plans for your life, it’s like you’re running on all cylinders.” I feel that this aligns perfectly with where my own life is going and why I was called to be a part of the International Pageant system. I am here for a very important reason and I believe that reason is to help guide and support others on their journey of building a family. My national organization The InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID-pronounced “inside”) is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals and couples explore their family-building option. INCIID provides current information and immediate support regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of infertility and pregnancy loss, and offers guidance to those considering adoption or childfree lifestyles. Infertility and child loss is a tough road to travel but there is support available. Infertility is a process - not an event.