Let me hear it from everyone who loves shoes. Well this girl certainly does and so do 50 girls who arrived at Shoe Station yesterday morning who were greeted with quite a surprise. Each girl walked away with a pair of Yellow Box sandals, New Balance Tennis Shoes, Girlie Girl T-shirt, Beach Floppy Hat, Socks and 20% off anything in the store. I cannot believe the generosity of this store. Their kindness and willingness to go above and beyond to make this experience unique for the girls blows my mind. THANK YOU Shoe Station for the perfect escape from a busy schedule. photo 1-2IMG_0301 I’m excited to have made my first purchase of Chaco’s and a Tervis Tumbler. I’m becoming a little more southern by the second! Then we hopped, skipped and jumped over to Bel-Air Mall where we got to meet so many amazing kids, sign autographs and the girls did various activities with them. IMG_0315IMG_0312IMG_0309IMG_0317IMG_0306IMG_0305 Once that was through, it was back to the church where I was greeted by two of my host sisters and the most precious little picnic that they had set up for us to have lunch. I have been so blessed by them. Taylor and Kyndel, you two light up my world like no body else. IMG_0330 In the evening we traded our t-shirts for ball gowns and loaded into antique cars to head out to the annual Mardi Gras Ball. My favorite part was having Corporal Thompson brake right in the middle of an intersection, stopping the cars and turning on his sirens and lights while we all passed through the busy hustle and bustle of Mobile traffic. We all felt like the Queen of England. photo 2-3 Once we arrived at the Ball the dates were looking dapper and the girls like princesses. I had the honor of introducing each one to them as they were escorted down the stairs by the Conde Cavaliers. Then it was time to dance again! We all had such a great time; these Bama Boys can dance!

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I tried my first crawfish. One of the guys had to show me how to eat it, I was afraid it was going to come alive!! About half way through the night I left the dance a little early to return to my host family’s house where they were having the Has Beens Orientation. The Has Beens are all the girls I competed with last year who have decided to come back again for more fun in Mobile. It was SO NICE to see all of them again!

When the house cleared out I geared up for my big surprise of the night. My chaperone Kathy is celebrating 25 years of volunteering for Distinguished Young Women. THAT IS AMAZING. So I wanted to catch her off guard and let her know how loved she is.

So here’s what I did:

Baked her Salted Caramelitas (she likes sweet and salty things)

Bought her some flowers (she loves flowers and gardening)

Brought an Elmo Balloon…naturally (who doesn’t like balloons?)

Showed up at her house at 9:45pm with my sister, host mom, her son and Megan my manager

Sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to her (like Christmas Carolers)

Threw a Mini Party for her and told old Junior Miss stories all night long.

Kathy you are so special to me and have made such a positive difference in my life. I can’t thank you enough for the ways you’ve encouraged me and helped me grow into a more confident young lady. You have a very special place in my heart.IMG_0314 I think it’s so important to be spontaneous and do things just because you want to and because they’re fun. People need to know they are important and loved so ALWAYS take the opportunity to do something nice for them even if it means buying them an Elmo balloon. Live life bigger. Love bigger. We only get one life so let’s not waste another minute of it! IMG_0318 Love always, Nicole #dostuff #dolifebig #DYWofAmerica

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