Thursday, May 18, 2017

10 Things I Love About My Mom

One of the best compliments I am able to receive is “Payton, you look just like your mom”. I feel so incredibly blessed to have such an indescribably amazing mom. She is the best possible stage mom a girl could ask for! Without her, there would be unzipped dresses and a lack of Starbucks and overall happiness. In honor of Mother’s day, I am going to list my 10 favorite things about my mom. This list was extremely hard to come up with because I could list hundreds of incredible things about my mom. Happy Mother’s day to all the incredible moms that shape our lives for the better!
1.    My mom is always able to make me laugh even if I am having a tough day. My mom has a silly side and sometimes we can giggle for hours.
2.    My mom makes the BEST grilled cheese sandwiches in the entire world. As an actress with a very unpredictable rehearsal schedule, there is nothing more comforting than a home-made grilled cheese sandwich and soup after a late night rehearsal.
3.    She loves to shop just as much as I do! Whether or not I am sad, happy, angry or anxious, my mom and I find retail therapy helpful in almost every situation.
4.    She has the kindest heart and she would do anything for anyone.  She is truly selfless.
5.    All my friends think she is amazing and most of them call her Mama H. and they love her too.
6.    She always knows what I need.  She knows me better than I know myself. She knows when I need a hug or a reminder to "get over myself."
7.    She appreciates theatre and music even though she was a sports girl. 
8.    My mom is a great listener and has been such a good role model for me to do the same.  I think that is one of the things that makes her most charming.
9.    My mom is a wonderful teacher who loves her job.  She would do anything for her students and I know that kids feel loved and learn to read, because of her.
10.    My mom is my biggest fan.  She believes in me more than anyone else ever could.  She loves me unconditionally and always encourages me to follow my dreams.
I love my mom for these reasons and a million more!  I am truly grateful and blessed. I think these words sum it up best. 
"All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my mother," -Abraham Lincoln. 
Yours In Harmony, Payton Hausauer Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day.  It’s a bittersweet time of the year for me. It’s another day that comes and it goes, we cherish the ones we love and let them know how much we appreciate their tenderness, thoughtfulness, and bliss because there is nothing like a mother’s love. But how do you celebrate this day without a mom?
    I’ve learned to take this time to appreciate the memories I have, and use the day to thank the motherly figures in my life that have stepped up to the plate and shaped the person I am today.
    From an early age I knew life was going to be different for me after my mom passed away. While everyone had sundresses and bouncy curls, I had matching track suits from the boy section and my hair in a messy ponytail – because that’s the only thing my dad knew. Don’t get me wrong, my dad is great but dads are for dad things, and I was on the look out for a “mom.”
    To my sisters, Ying and Chonny, thank you. Thank you for being two of the greatest sisters that I can look up to and look to for guidance. Seeing the both of you with your husbands, and two beautiful children in hopes that one day I can follow in your footsteps. Being so much younger than you both, I am able to watch your mistakes and achievements and learn from the lessons they have taught you.  Thank you for being there for me when I haven’t called in over a month, but will sit on the phone with me for over two hours just so I can vent. For allowing me to just come sit on the couch in your presence to forget about life’s stressers for a minute, and not bugging me with questions of asking what’s wrong instead waiting until I am ready to open up. Thank you for putting up with you kid sister, and shaping me into the person I am today.
    To my bus driver, Sally, thank you. Although you were my best friend’s mom, growing up I watched how you raised Whitney and it had a second-hand effect on me. Thank you for always including me with family activities, and allowing for a positive environment. Waking up bright and early to climb on the bus to see a smile started off my day in the right direction. To know that you truly cared for me like your own, even though. I was just some neighborhood girl.  Thank you for going out of your way to make me feel loved, and shaping me into the person I am today.
    To my volleyball coach, Janet, thank you. Thank you for pushing me when I wanted to quit. You taught me that there are many options in life but to be successful you have to push yourself to your limits. I spent more time with you in high school than I spent with my own family, and I watched how you loved every single one of us on the team like we were your own. You showed me that even after mistakes are made you can forgive and still love us just as much. You believed in the things that I could achieve even when I didn’t. Thank you for your persistence, and shaping me into the person I am today.
    To my friends Anne, Samantha, Whitney, and Delaney thank you. Thank you for allowing countless hours together, a shoulder to cry on, and an ear to listen. Thank you for encouraging to my crazy wild ideas, my inability to make a decision, and my spur of the moment adventures. Thank you for inviting me into your life and teaching me the qualities your mothers taught you. To trust me with your secrets, and to tell me when I am in the wrong. To know that even time passes you’re all still there for me. Thank you for being there when I don’t know where to turn, and shaping me into the person I am today.
    To my grandma, Carrie, thank you. Thank you for rising beyond all expectations. Although you may have the wildest spirit I have ever met, I can only hope I am half of the person you are one day. Your ability to worry but still have a carefree time still impresses me. To know that you have the right things to say at all the wrong times, and to know when ever I have something to say, I know you’re there to listen. Thank you for providing me with a roof over my head, and waiting up countless nights until you knew I was okay. To bring me along with your crazy adventures with your friends. You showed me the importance of making time other influential women in your life, because you know they’ll always be there for you. Not many people can say their grandma is their best friend, but I can. You amaze me with your ability to be a handy man, but still have woman’s touch. Thank you for loving me unconditionally, and shaping who I am today.
    I know there are so many more amazing mom like figures in my life that have shaped me into who I am today and I thank every single one of you.
Although I miss my own mother, and I think about how life would be different with her here I wouldn’t have found such great importance with these other relationships in my life. I believe everything happens for a reason and I am thankful for all the amazing women in life that have contributed or will still influence my life in the future.
So, this Mother’s Day, if you can I urge you to hug your mother tight and let know how much she is loved.

Forever and Always,

Siam Simpfenderfer
Miss North Dakota International 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Prom Hair & Makeup by Mrs. North Dakota International

It's Prom season in Wahpeton, North Dakota! And it’s a BIG DEAL. Everyone looks forward to Grand March {You know, where the whole town gets together and the couples walk out and everyone "ooohs and ahhs" and takes pictures}. If you’re confused as to what I’m talking about, don't worry, I've been there. I had no idea what Grand March was when I moved to North Dakota. My high school had way too many students for something like that. I didn't understand it at first, but now, I look forward to it! I have loved seeing students from our youth group and girls from my dance class have their special moment! This year, I decided to get even more involved in the festivities of Prom.

It all started with a fundraising idea. 

A few months ago I was racking my brain trying to figure out ways to raise money for nationals. I wanted to do something new and creative that would allow me to connect with more youth in my community. In the past, I have used GoFundMe and social media for my fundraising, but this year I wanted to try something new. After much thought, I decided to put my hair & makeup skills to use.

I don’t claim to be a professional, but I do have a lot of hands on experience. With two busy parents growing up and my picky sense of style, I learned how to “groom myself” from a very young age. I learned to curl my own hair in the 3rd grade. Since then, I was always fascinated with doing my hair and friends’ hair. I wasn’t allowed to wear real makeup until middle school, but I was involved with the mime team at my church and learned how to do clown makeup on myself at a very young age. (that counts, right?!) Once I was finally allowed to wear real makeup, I wore it every day from 7th grade until now! From theatre class to school fashion shows and dance recitals, I loved doing people’s makeup. I learned how to do makeup professionally at 18 years old when I became a professional cheerleader. Everyone on the team was required to know how to do their own hair & makeup for games. We all took workshops from a salon to learn the proper techniques. On game days, we would be inspected by members of salon and our coach before we could go out on the field. If our hair & makeup wasn’t up to their standard, we had to redo it until it was. I remember putting on fake lashes in the back of a tent in 100 degree weather - talk about skills!   

I’ve always had the ability to do hair and makeup, but never looked for an opportunity until now. I decided to put myself out there and provide hair & makeup services to high school girls at a reasonable price. I hung up flyers around town and right away people were contacting me to be part of their big day. I held my little business in a room at a local hotel. This past weekend I got to work with three ladies for Prom. The best part is that while I spend 2 hours with them, I get to talk to them and learn more about their lives. I enjoyed getting to know each one of them and I feel like I walked away with 3 new friends. They were all so sweet!

Special thanks to Rhaeghn who agreed to be my model. Doesn’t she look gorgeous?! 

Something that started out as a simple fundraising idea turned out to be a great way to meet some amazing young ladies in my community. It was so fun going to Grand March and seeing these girls enjoy their moment. In a small way, I got to be part of the moment with them. I got to help them shine. That feeling is priceless. 

Until Next Time,

Angelina Yarbrough
Mrs. North Dakota International 2017

Turning Moments Into Movements

Monday, May 8, 2017

Photoshoot Day!

Have you ever dreamed of getting your makeup applied perfectly (and having the most awesomely glossed lips!) as well as your nailed painted prettily?  How about getting your hair done (and then done again, and then being touched up every few minutes so every hair is in its place?) AND, the chance to wear your crown and sash all day long while taking a lot of photos?
Well, that was a dream of mine that I never thought would actually happen – but it did!
My “official” photoshoot as Junior Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017 was held at West 13th Salon in Fargo. I had to miss a day of school, which I was sad about, but in the end it was even better than a school day! (And that is coming from me…the girl who loves school and hates to miss a day!) 
My pageant directors, Janelle and Meg, spent the entire day with me – making sure I looked my best and helping me with tips along the way.
Janelle Finseth and her awesome crew at West 13th took great (actually MORE than great!) care of me. They were so professional and sweet.

I have to say that getting my hair and makeup done was pretty cool! I felt like a movie star. The hairspray smelled super good. At the end of the photoshoot, my hair was a little “crispy” from so much hairspray and it even hurt a little bit from so many fingers touching it! But it was delicious smelling and the scent reminded me of all the fun I had on this special day.
Ludvik Herrera, our photographer, was super nice and easy to work with. Poor Ludvik…he had a hard time getting me to make a face that wasn’t smiley! I’m a pretty smiley girl, so those were the most difficult shots for me. I also had to do poses that were a bit silly or strange, but those photos were some of the ones I ended up liking best!

I had six outfit changes. Four of the outfits were just for my individual photoshoot. The other two were for photos with my sister queens, Wiljar, Angelina, Siam and Payton.  We are all ambassadors for the American Heart Association this year, and some of our photos will be used in their promotional materials throughout the year.  I think that is pretty cool!  And a group photo of us may even make the cover of the 2018 pageant program book! How fun is that?!
My sister queens and I had a lot of fun together! We were all cracking jokes and trying to make each other smile during our shoots. I couldn’t believe when it was all over! Even though we were there all day…the time went by so quickly and it was so much fun.
The images from my official photoshoot will be a wonderful reminder of not only the fun I had that day, but the amazing opportunities that I have before me this year as Junior Miss Teen North Dakota International.  The photos will help bring back all the emotions and excitement of this incredible year. I am truly blessed.

Alexis Thompson
Junior Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017

Friday, May 5, 2017

"You Matter" Event on May 11th

With May quickly approaching I have begun to plan my upcoming appearances. I want to invite everyone to join us for an event held on May 11 hosted by Sara Dukart, Mrs. Great Plains International 2017. Sara created "You Matter" as an educational social to raise money to donate to the North Dakota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Sara and I both share a passion for suicide prevention and awareness. "You Matter" will feature several guest speakers, including myself, where we will touch on subjects on mental health, physical health, and suicide. I am honored to have been invited to speak at this event. We will also have a special guest amongst us, the current Mrs. International 2017 - Priscilla Pruitt! How cool?!

Sara and I met in late 2016, while volunteering for the Salvation Army as a bell ringer for the holidays. We began speaking about the upcoming state pageant, and she began to ask questions about my platform, school, and really showed an interest in my life. I told Sara I was attending North Dakota State University for nursing, and she mentioned she worked for a local hospital as a nurse. We had a lot in common with all of our life interests. I told her that I planned on having my platform related to suicide prevention and awareness, and little did I know this was her passion as well. Sara has a very touching life experience with suicide, and once I shared my story I knew this pageant system was setting me up with such great and influential people.
My favorite thing about Sara is how caring and inviting she is. During this entire pageant journey, Sara has invited me to join in appearances, and has kept me up to date with events in the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Sara took an interest in myself that afternoon, and that really allowed me to find confidence in my platform and show that I am really making a difference.
I urge you, if you find yourself with time on May 11, to come to Dakota Medical Foundation to listen to so many inspiring individuals and educate yourself with mental and physical health.

Yours truly,

Siam Simpfenderfer
 Miss North Dakota International 2017

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Oh Romeo

“Oh Romeo, Romeo, were for art thou Romeo?  Deny thy father and refuse thy name. Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love And I’ll no longer be a Capulet…Tis but thy name that is my enemy Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.  What’s Montague?  It is not hand or foot, Nor arm nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. Oh, be some other name! What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet: So Romeo would, were be not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes without that title, Romeo, doff thy name, and for thy name, which is not part of thee take all myself.”                       William Shakespeare
Over the past few months, I have been working to “brush up my Shakespeare,” as part of the cast of Romeo and Juliet.  We just finished our run of the show on Sunday.  I fell in love with my complicated character, Lady Capulet and with the work of William Shakespeare. The cast for this show were amazing and supportive! I do not know if I have ever enjoyed a cast and crew this much. It was so fun to share all that we learned about the history, the language and the social expectations of this time.
One of the things that was most challenging was memorizing lines. In the beginning, reading the script was like learning a foreign language.  Our directors were amazing at breaking down the meaning and helping us understand the semantics and the dialect. Early on, I can remembering wondering if it was all going to come together in the end.  It took a long time for the language to feel natural and the delivery to be polished.  
Another interesting, but time-consuming thing, was the choreography involved in the sword fighting scenes.  Our fight director spent countless hours meticulously directing every move.  About a week before our show opened, there was a sword fighting mishap. Tyrese, who played Romeo, got cut by a sword, just below his eye. He took a trip to the hospital and he ended up with four stitches. There was no time to waste and he was back fighting the next day.
Costume fitting is one of my personal favorite times in a show. Costumes seem to breathe life into a play, especially a period piece. This to me is like putting the final touches on each character. The actors start to both look and feel the part. My costume was a red velvet dress and robe with gold accents. This seemed very fitting for Lady Capulet.  The other costumes were all coming together as well.  I was beginning to feel like we were traveling back in time, to 1595, Verona, Italy.
The set was a very complex design and required countless hours of planning and construction. Each cast member is required to put in at least ten hours of “tech work” on the set, in addition to daily rehearsals.  We have a wonderful and creative set director at Fargo South and it was truly fascinating to watch his vision come to life.  The intricate stone detail added to the drama that the stairs provided for the fight scenes. 
One of the things that was most challenging things for me as an actor was being required “to cry on demand.”  The tragic plot of this story had my character in tears in many scenes.  In the final scene, I weep uncontrollable when I realize the fate of Romeo and Juliet. A spotlight shines on the three of us and then the theatre goes dark. 

Yours in harmony,
Payton Hausauer - Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Stressed out?

            As May approaches us with the wonderful spring weather, there seems to be so many things on my plate that’s needing to get done. From school work to family, work, appearances, finding a second job for summer, and managing to maintain a social life. This can be quite difficult to manage.  However, as time progresses I have found new ways that help me stay calm and push through anything. Now I’m not saying that this is the solution to your life if you’re trying to manage stress. Everyone is different, what may work for me may not necessarily work for you.
           Organization! First things first when I want to make things less stressful for myself I organize everything in my personal surroundings. For example, every Sunday I dedicate this day for cleaning. By doing this I can have a clear mind and I can focus and start the week off fresh. From bleaching my kitchen countertops (best cleaning supply ever!) to mopping the floors, re-organizing my wall calendar, cleaning my bathroom, cleaning my bedrooms and more. This process is a pain and it usually lasts for four hours. I pace myself and watch Law and Order to make the time fly. When that’s complete I feel like a load has just been lifted off me. I can think clearly and focus a lot better.
          Find your positive energy!  I believe that when your around positive people it can have a good impact on you. One thing that I find that clears my energy and puts me in a positive mind set is burning incense and/or candles. It gives off a peaceful aroma that helps me feel at peace and centered. Some may find this strange, but there’s just something about smells that tap into your senses. For example, if you come home and instantly smell the stench of garbage, most likely you’re not going to feel peace or happy thoughts. Feelings of disgust and being grossed out will surely come into play. Now let’s switch the smelly garbage with and infuse smell of the rainforest. I think you’ll be feeling a lot better about stepping into your home, getting an assignment completed, managing work and more.
            Talking to family and friends! “For there is no friend like a sister, In calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, To fetch one if one goes astray, To lift one if one totters down, To strengthen whilst one stands”  Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market and Other Poems We all need that one person to vent to when we are stressed out. Sometimes we aren’t looking for a solution, we just need an ear to listen and let out all that’s been bottled inside. I find it helpful to talk to my close friends (you know who you are), parents or my siblings and just let out my stress. After I finish, my stress has lessened and I feel relieved. Like crinkling up a paper of frustrations and tossing it in the garbage.
          One out of the many things I have learned in life is that God only gives you what He knows you can handle. If you are experiencing a stressful time right now, just know it won’t last forever. With finals approaching so soon for myself and all college students, I find these very helpful for me. I hope they’ll be of use to you too!
Carpe Diem, Wiljar Ojuro North Dakota International Ambassador 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What is your talent?

Many of us will never know our strengths and weakness until we push ourselves into something new.For four years now a hobby of mine was singing. I wouldn’t consider myself the greatest but it’s what I go to in times of stress and just needing to take a break. Volunteering to sing at fundraising events is always fun. I remember my very first performance was performing at International night at NDSU. Bringing creative ways to introduce the Fargo-  Moorhead community different cultures from across the globe. From then on it was fundraising events and my most recent event was for the Hip Hop for Hope event at NDSU. Raising funds and awareness for the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center.
So now I ask, what is your talent? If you know what your talent is how are you using it to help others? You’d be amazed by how one can make a huge difference in lives by just sharing their gift. By volunteering to help others, skills and new trades can be developed. Connections can be made; this is something that I don’t think many people realize when they hear the word volunteering. I can’t say I would have felt this way when I was younger, I only saw volunteering in a very simple way. Help and go on your merry way but now being where I am today I have come a long way to realizing that this is not the case.
By volunteering to sing it has helped me ease my introverted ways and my stage fright. I feel like every time I perform my confidence just gets better and better. With this I can talk to strangers, get to know the people in my community and learn things that I haven’t learned before.My singing talent has only begun and on the 29th of April I will be singing an African song in the language Yoruba. This is an Annual event held by the African Student Association at NDSU to educate and show the beautiful african countries music, food and more. I am excited and looking forward to being an MC it’s something I have never done before. I think it is important to push yourself into positive things in life that you haven’t done before.
Though I may not know how I will do, I have confidence that I can do it and so that is all that matters. My favorite quote I would like to end with is by Erma Bombeck “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me.” I don’t know what else I can do but I look forward to finding out! What’s your talent?

Carpe diem,
Wiljar Ojuro North Dakota International Ambassador 2017