Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Moving...

Between being a farming wife, 3 kids, and working full-time, we also moved to a new house in October! I have moved numerous time in my life but never with this many people in a household! Wow, had we accumulated 'stuff' over the past 7 years in our old house! This was a full-time job in itself.....I know anyone that has done this can relate! So, I had to miss/turn down some events this month as Mrs. ND International which made me sad but a girl can only do so many things! We live out in the country now in a big beautiful log-type home and we are enjoying our new space (which will soon fill up!). I am parting with a big collection and will be making a big donation of plush bears to Sanford Childrens' Hospital, so be watching for news on that! 
 
XOXO,
Jennifer Mauch
Mrs. ND International 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pageant Weekend Tips

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to help out at the North Dakota International Pageant Workshop day. The pageant workshop is a great tool for contestants to utilize- it serves as a great icebreaker between the contestants and allows the ladies to ask any questions they might have! The ladies that attended the workshop had some great questions for the panel consisting of Kathy, Allison, myself, and some of our wonderful state sponsors.

After talking about the pageant weekend and going through a Q & A session, I also gave the girls some tips on walking and posing. This may sound silly, as walking is something one does every day, but a “pageant walk” must be polished, smooth, create stage presence, and work for your body!

It’s crazy to think that it is almost time to pass on my crown- the time sure has flown by! I am excited to see all of the contestants and can’t wait for another spectacular show!

Below I have written some pageant weekend tips that I have learned over the years! I hope they help!

Stage:
-          Practice. Practice. Practice. Each type of shoe (sling back, pump, wedge, stiletto) is different to walk in! Make sure to walk in ALL of your competition shoes, as well as any that you are going to wear during pageant weekend! I have been asked many times during my reign where I learned my stage walk, and it’s quite simple- I practiced it A LOT! While I did receive tips from wonderful coaches like Cheri Kennedy and Brandi Schoenberg, I still had to feel comfortable doing what they told me to do. Thus, I practiced until I could run in my heels (which comes in handy backstage ladies ;)).

-          The biggest component of your stage presence is CONFIDENCE! So slap a smile on and work it!
-          Make sure your smile is genuine. Everyone has a cheesy fake smile that is easy to spot- don’t use it! If you are up on stage enjoying yourself, it shouldn’t be a problem. That being said, you will be smiling A TON throughout the weekend, and your cheeks will probably hurt. To make sure my smile stayed big and genuine during the show, I always told my family to cheer extra loud for me- it made me laugh and my real smile was evident to the audience and most importantly, the judges.

Interview
-          Writing great paperwork is key. Your paperwork is all about yourself and your platform, so you should be able to do this easily! When I competed at state last year, I had two judges tell me how great my paperwork was! I was clear with describing my platform and laying out my plan, yet left room for them to ask me questions! Don’t flood your paperwork with every statistic and detail of your platform. Think about using bulleted lists- they are easy to read! Wear a dress or outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks! Once again, CONFIDENCE is key!

Other
-          I always hear people say that even if you aren’t confident in yourself, just fake it and make it look like you are. I personally don’t think this is a great strategy. When I judged a pageant in the past, I could tell when someone was truly confident and when she was pretending. Instead, find your insecurities and overcome them! Being confident doesn’t mean you don’t have any insecurities, it simply means you embrace them- everyone has them!
-          Wearing a sparse spandex outfit on stage will scare anyone, and it’s true, the fitness outfits are not the most flattering. To get your body in tiptop shape, you really need know your own body. For instance, my body doesn’t respond well to cardio, and so prior to nationals, I was doing a lot of weight lifting, body resistance exercises, and intervals. Paul Dyer, the official trainer of the North Dakota International Pageants, helped me reach my goal by customizing my diet and workout for ME!
-          Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat during the pageant weekend! The pageant staff is always great and keeping bottled water and snacks handy. I also kept protein bars in my purse, just in case! 



Xoxo, Taylor 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Never Give Up Hope!

This summer I was able to get in touch with the 'right' people at our largest regional healthcare provider, Sanford Health, to share our story of pregnancy loss and holding onto hope! What a great experience and opportunity to share my message of hope, all because of the North Dakota International pageant system. I have had several people contact me since then to share their story with me, to have a very understanding ear listen to them, and thank me for having the courage to share ours as well. Our story was featured on the Sanford Health main website during the month of September. Fortunately you are still able to see it on the Sanford Women's page at http://www.sanfordhealth.org/MedicalServices/COE/Womens
 
XOXO,
Jennifer Mauch
Mrs. ND International 2013

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cherish the Child - A Walk to Remember

It isn't for the moment you are struck 
that you need courage, 
but for the long uphill battle to faith, 
sanity and security. 
-Anne Morrow Lindbergh


Looking back a year ago I would never have imagined the opportunities that would be coming my way over the next year. Speaking at Cherish the Child - A Walk to Remember was one of the most rewarding yet difficult things I have done during my reign. It was not only difficult to talk about our pregnancy losses, but to look out into the audience and see the pain of other parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends mourning their loss. 

Cherish the Child - A Walk to Remember is sponsored by Wings (an area infant/child loss support group), Joseph Vertin & Sons Funeral Home, and St. Francis Riveredge Hospice, Breckenridge, MN.  The walk is held to honor and cherish the memories of children who have died.  The walk takes place at the Lake Breckenridge Trail (formerly the Lake Breckenridge Dam site).  The site is also home to the Cherish the Child Memorial Garden, a heart-shaped brick memorial garden.  The brick memorial garden is constructed from 4" X 8" engraved bricks bearing the name(s) of children who have died.  

Sometimes it takes reaching deep into your pain and sorry to help others, to be that source of caring and understanding. I met some people I maybe would have never had the opportunity to know had I not taken this opportunity, some with what I call a greater loss than mine. Focus on counting your blessings, we all have them, and tell your loved ones how much you love them. 







XOXO,
Jennifer Mauch
Mrs. ND International 2013