The morning started of bright and early. As most of you know, I am a full time student at North Dakota State University pursuing a bachelors of science degree in nursing. With that being said I am a very BUSY Bee. I was scheduled for hair and make-up with Janelle at West 13th salon at 8:00 am, because between shooting I was going to attend class. But before I could head to the shoot, I needed to drop of a homework assignment at the nursing offices north of campus. So my morning was earlier than expected.

            Janelle started by styling my long, beautiful, and luscious Cinderella Hair Extensions. I had spent the previous nights looking over headshots that previous queens had, and what kind of “look” that they had captured. I decided that I was going to take advantage of my brand new long hair, and get some big voluminous curls. Janelle hit it right on the head with my hair style.

          Next, we were on to makeup. There is nothing that can really compare to sitting back and relaxing while someone else makes you look beautiful. Growing up I was on the dance team at my high school and they always did our make up, which was great. I was so ready for someone time to kick back and relax.

          Ludvik Herrera had began setting up the lightening, backdrops, and set. We began with several test shots to try out the lightening. Ludvik then asked me what kind of look I wanted to capture for my headshots. I had several photos on my iphone from previous queens, and Ludvik knew exactly how to coach me to be relaxed and most importantly enjoy my time shooting. By the time I knew it, my hour was up. Payton had shown up and her pampering was about to begin.

          From the salon, I rushed to campus to meet with my professor for a group meeting. I felt silly showing up with “pageant hair and makeup” and casual clothes. While I did get several questionable looks most of my classmates know I hold the Miss North Dakota International title, they soon shrugged it off. From the group meeting, I ran straight to campus where I had to complete a test for a research class in the nursing program. I showed up several minutes early so I could look over my notes before entering the exam.

          Shortly after the exam, I went back to the salon. When I entered, Angelina was still shooting and the entire pageant family was there. I was surprised and also very thankful to see every one. It had been since the pageant that all of us had been together. While some of the girls still had to eat, and Wiljar still had her hour session to shoot. I could finally kick back and relax. I was able to chat with everyone while they continued on with their business.

          From there we shot group photos together in our opening number outfits for the cover of the program for next year. It was crazy that we were already shooting for something to use in a little over 11 months away. We then shot in our Go Red for Women t-shirts that we will be using for advertisement for the American Heart Association.

          My favorite part of this pageant system is the family aspect. Since I had lost my mom at a young age, I began to look at other female figures in my life for motherly qualities. I can see so many qualities that my directors Meg and Janelle have that I will adopt into my lifestyle and as well as the other pageant moms have. I do not feel left out because my mom isn’t there like the rest of the girls’. But I feel like each and everyone of the pageant moms are so welcoming and warm and allow me to feel like I am one of their own. Which is truly special.

So a day that started out to make us queens feel special turned into a day of myself reflecting and feeling extra grateful for the women that are involved in my life.

Forever and always,

Miss North Dakota International 2017
Siam Simpfenderfer

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