My stomach felt like three giant knots tied into one as I stood backstage watching my wife on the live feed of a small flat screen tv. I stood there with the other husbands waiting eagerly and wondering which one of us would be stepping out on stage shortly to crown his beautiful bride. The moment seemed to linger on forever until the MC finally said, “And your Mrs. North Dakota International 2017 is…”
I'm just thankful nobody was in close enough proximity as I buckled over then released an upward double fist pump into the air in celebration!
Introverted or not, I become pretty expressive when the woman I'm completely in love with succeeds in life. It’s as if something is just leaping on the inside of me! This was the beginning of a great year for Angelina as she took her first walk as Mrs. North Dakota International 2017.
To be quite honest, when my wife approached me three years prior about entering the world of pageantry, I was a little skeptical. This was an area foreign to me, especially growing up with three nature-loving brothers and no sisters. Since that time though, I've said yes to the journey and learned some things along the way that have reshaped my perspective. Here are a few of them:
Pageantry doesn't make women great, it gives those already great a platform.
Of course you need to compete in the area of fitness and have your wave down, but I've discovered it's much more than that. The on-stage competitiveness of pageantry is such a small part in comparison to the community service. I loved seeing Angelina take every opportunity to use her crown to be a light, an encouragement and a strength to those around her. “You get out of your year what you put into it” her directors would say. I have been one proud husband to see my wife using her platform to challenge and serve young people across our state in a variety of ways.
Pageantry provides opportunities for continual growth and perseverance.
When Angelina spoke to students at a district youth event, I remember sitting and listening to her words flow from one thought to the next with such impact and wisdom. It was as if I was hearing it for the first time. This year I watched my wife reach new levels in her public communication. Each opportunity displayed her progress as she learned new ways to prepare and deliver messages. Communication is an art. There isn't a one size fits all for delivery style and it was an incredible moment as she spoke with confidence in the unique style God has given her.
Pageantry requires a great deal of mental prep
Interview questions range far and wide from easy answers to brain busters. However, both have one thing in common: three seconds. This is roughly the amount of time you have to internally construct a credible, worthwhile response before delivering an answer. I was nothing short of amazed to hear Angelina tackle the tough questions. Angelina taught me interview prep is less about studying individual questions and more about studying the person in the mirror. Who am I? What makes me tick? What is my stance on current political, social, and economic issues? Why do I believe what I believe? I’ve watched confidence blossom in my wife this year as she has developed a greater level of depth, faith, and intelligence.
Pageantry in our life has set the stage to be able serve in a great deal of ways. It has been busy with schedules, events, and dresses and meeting new people and making great connections, and traveling- most times in the spotlight. Sure, there have been stressful moments as we approached the national pageant, but the journey has been worth it! To see the growth and success of my wife on stage, and even more so off stage… To see little kids light up when she walks into a room and watch her treat them as if they are the only one in the room… To see the inner fulfillment in Angelina and her connection to the community…these have been the best parts of this experience. My privilege as a husband has been getting a front row seat to it all while watching my wife transform into the woman she has always been destined to become. And I am convinced this is just the beginning!
Husband of Mrs. North Dakota International 2017