Where do I begin? Let's begin with whoa...I'm a college graduate. For some who read these words, they may not resonate as much. Being a college grad hits deep with me.

I am the first in my immediate family to graduate from college with a four year bachelor's degree. My mother has an associates degree in computer science, my stepmother a degree in textiles and my husband is well on his way, but I am "the first!"

I started off my college career straight out of high school at Otterbein College. I found out quickly that Otterbein was not for me. I graduated high school with more than 430 students in my class. At one point, in high school, there were more than 2,000 kids in all four classes. There were less than 1,500 students that lived on Otterbein's campus. For me, it felt smaller than high school and that wasn't the way I thought college was supposed to be.

I took another big jump and decided to move back home and take classes at Columbus State Community College, to obtain enough credit hours to transfer to Ohio State University. In 2006, I was accepted to OSU! I took classes for one year and was named Miss Ohio 2007!

I was more than happy to put those last few quarters on hold to be Ohio's representative. But back to school for me in 2008 and on August 29, 2010 I was announced as an OSU alum! Wow, wow, wow. It has been such a journey for me. If you can imagine, this is why I feel so elated with pride, humbleness, gratefulness, thankfulness.

My mother taught me how to be committed at an early age. All my hard work has paid off. It's a bittersweet feeling. It feels odd to go home and not have to write, research, study, etc. When I'm doing something now, I can just do it and not have to worry about having enough time to read this chapter or update that group assignment, and so on.

This event in my life, well everything in my life, is a God thing. It all comes from Him. Without Him I would not be where I am today. My graduation gift from my husband is a new kitchen. My graduation present from my parents was my grad party. My graduation gift to myself is a trip to Washington, D.C.! Suffering produces perseverance, perseverance to character, and character, hope. -Romans 5
I have had and will continue to have a lack of blogging presence this week and the coming weeks.

I'm graduating from The Ohio State University on Sunday!!

Approving our counter top slab before it's cut.
And so it is done!

Our beautiful granite counter top (above) is being delivered and installed today!! I'm visiting my good friend in D.C. next week!!

I will share photos of commencement, my grad party, the new kitchen, and our trip to D.C. soon!

Until then...keep checking Abby's blog for updates on the Miss America Outstanding Teen pageant and how our own MOOT, Cecili Weber is doing!
I finished watching the Miss Universe pageant this morning, ha! I had to DVR it. Even though it was exciting, my little eyes couldn't stay open last night.

I got almost half of the Top 15 right!

My picks were:
  • Colombia
  • France
  • Guatemala
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Puerto Rico
And the judges picks to round it out were:
  • Albania
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic (Not lying, I had her bubbled on my list the other day.)
  • Ireland (I'm sorry, I wasn't on board with everyone else when it came to her.)
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Ukraine
The only ones I scratched my head about were Philippines and Russia. I was also surprised Puerto Rico didn't make it further.

Just as I wasn't on board with everyone loving Ireland, I absolutely LOVED Jamaica! Abby B. suggests to current contestants to not copy her styling when competing. I agree with Abby, in that her dress was really too short and even though the neck line was flattering (as well as the color), she's such a gorgeous woman, she could've done much better.

I'm happy with the woman they chose as Miss Universe 2010, Miss Mexico. Ha ha...I love this stuff!(Photos from Yahoo)
Becky...I couldn't find a picture of it, but Mexico's hands were on top! Smile.

Blessings to you all.
No kitchen renovation for us today. Steve & I spent hours laying our ceramic tile floor yesterday and we're waiting on it to dry. Since we can't currently walk in the kitchen, we're enjoying this time to relax! Steve really needs this because he took time off work last week to get a good start on everything. That was really his job, but with 10+ hour days. Here are just a couple pics of our progress:

From construction to pageantry...

There have been online interviews added of the Miss Universe contestants as well as more photos. I guess I should've spent more time on picking my "Top 15" because there are some changes. Again, these are based solely on online interviews and photos posted on the Miss Universe website:

~Egypt (But why doesn't she get a video?)
~Haiti (I'm really feeling her...)
~Netherlands (What is with her hair during prelims?)
~Puerto Rico
~Spain (But "holy hair" in her video!)
~Venezuela (I love that she has shoulder length hair. If she makes the Top 15/10, I hope she wears it down.)

I had Ghana but she's off my list now after her video. Switzerland is also out. I also changed my mind on Turkey, her video was a bust for me. Guatemala's video was so-so but I still think she's beautiful and I'm a little bias since my grandmother is from there.

This dress looks familiar...are Albania and Ireland wearing the same dress?

Blessings 'til next time!
**How could I have forgotten to give a shout out to my Miss Virgin Islands?**

Congrats & good luck to Janeisha John, 2010 Miss Universe contestant!

It's time for a fun post!

I feel like I haven't been in "pageant mode" for a while and with Miss Universe (and Miss America's Outstanding Teen) right around the corner, I thought to check and see how our Miss USA is sizing up to the other contestants. Abby B is always so helpful in keeping me up-to-speed on things in "Pageantland!"

I decided to pick a Top Ten for Miss Universe based on photos alone, their "headshot" and in evening gown but it doesn't give me much to go by. Either way, if you're interested, here's my list:
  • I love Colombia
  • Guatemala is next on my list (Which is awesome because I have Guatemalan heritage!)
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • Japan
  • Puerto Rico
  • Spain
Bubblers (which actually brings it to 11 and not 10) to finish out my list are:
  • Haiti
  • Netherlands
  • Ghana
  • Australia
There are a few more I like but I can't decide if I want to add them to my list:
  • France
  • Indonesia (I like her headshot but it looks like she dyed a potato sack hot pink.)
  • Korea
  • Sweden and Switzerland are tied
  • Turkey
We can't forget my "honorable mentions" who are:
  • Albania, her dress is my favorite
  • Brazil reminds me of Sandra Bullock
  • Germany reminds me of Ashley Tisdale
  • I have no comment on Ireland's attire
  • Georgia has a Lady Gaga vibe in that dress (Yikes!)
Here is Alabania's dress, which if I were still competing, I would think about wearing something like this:
Does Miss Singapore remind you of 2nd runner-up at Miss Ohio 2010, Marisa Buccheit or what?! The dark and curly hair with the hot pink cut out dress!
(Pictures from Miss Universe website.)
Camp Sharp & Wicked pics:Two more weeks of class left! Ahh! My heart skips a beat when I think about it. Week 2 of kitchen renovation began this morning! Whew! I have a mini photo shoot this upcoming weekend AND I get to see my Miss Kentucky! Will write more when I get a chance.

Love & Blessings.
I'm stealing this idea from a friend, Emily. Here's her blog.

After reading her entry about the contents of a woman's purse, it has me intrigued as to what kind of junk is in mine. Like I have the time to go through it all! Ha, I don't care...I'm interested.

1 purse holder from Miss America 2008
4 different kinds of "lip stuff"
Bobby pins anyone?
Lots of biz cards ranging from CrystalJoFoto to Miss Ohio '10 to my eye doc
1 pack of tissues & a handkerchief
Ladybug wallet
Coupon "clutch"
Check book
1 shout wipe & 1 tide-to-go
VS pure seduction spray (the name makes me laugh)
Hand sanitizer
1 pencil
Covergirl powder
Eye drops

Am I missing anything?

Of course, I should be studying but instead blogging. This always happens. I'm looking forward to seeing Wicked tonight at the Ohio Theater! I'm traveling to Lima tomorrow after work to interview my friend, Kirsten Haglund, for my final/feature project before I graduate and she just happens to be in town to host the Miss WCO/Lima Square Fair/Crystal Lakes pageant.

We started demoing our kitchen on Monday night! We drove to Detroit on Saturday to pick up our new kitchen cabinets. I have no kitchen right now, but I'm ok with that! We've wanted to do this for a year now and I can't believe the time has finally come!

I should have more time next week to write, share photos from Camp Sharp, from Wicked, maybe some from Miss WCO/LSF/CL, and some of our new kitchen!
The Missy's go to...

Abby's all ready announced a few of her Missy Award winners and I'm not surprised by any of them. What a cute idea, Abby!

The latest "winner" is Kristy Moneysmith who is the reigning Miss Maumee Valley and the one who you voted for to cross over and compete at Miss Ohio USA.

Our new Miss Ohio, Becky Minger, has won two Missy's: Best Headshot and Best Evening Gown!

Here's Abby's blog with all the details!