I’m Still Mrs. Texas, Y’all! Kori Zwaagstra Shares Thoughts from Mrs. International Pageant

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I’ve had a week to reflect on my experience at Mrs. International and I would love to share my thoughts with you.  Competing at an International level was an amazing honor and it has taken all of the last week to begin to process the memories, new friends and feelings.

I must start by saying I had an absolutely fabulous week.  Mary and Mel Richardson and their entire team truly run the pageant with organization and efficacy at the forefront.  I, along with all the other contestants was treated with respect and care.  I loved meeting such accomplished women from all over the globe and I’m blessed to have forged real friendships with many.  My roommate, Summer Drake, Mrs. Oklahoma International was simply the best.  We connected through social media a few months ago and even texted the week before arriving in Jacksonville that we were slightly worried about the “roommate thing”—I know God had his hands all over that I couldn’t think of a more perfect lady to share my personal space, makeup and hair products and late night room service with.

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One of the biggest challenges in any pageant is our own personal tendency to play the comparison game.  Thankfully Team Texas has amazing sponsors that help with that aspect too!  Our Texas International interview coach, Valerie Hayes, and I worked on specific tactics to talk myself off the comparison cliff.  Our wardrobe sponsor Laine Berry of the Royal We helped design a look for the week that had me feeling so confident in what I was wearing I didn’t worry about what everyone else was dressed in.

I’m not ashamed to say I had a goal heading into Mrs. International, and that goal was to make the Top 15.  Contestants in the Top 15 give their platform statement on stage and answer a follow-up question.  I’d worked incredibly hard writing and memorizing my platform statement and I honestly felt that when I gave that speech I would be speaking for every woman who had or is currently suffering with perinatal mood disorder.  I wasn’t one of the Top 15 and didn’t have the opportunity to share my platform.  Was I disappointed?  Heck yes!  I’d worked extremely hard since being crowned Mrs. Texas to improve all areas of competition while making meaningful appearances that related directly to my platform.  Did I cry?  Yes.  Was it the end of the world?  No.

For me (and I would assume for many) the best part of competing in pageant is the personal development that takes place long before you enter the interview room or step into your evening gown.  All that self-work actually prepares you and strengthens you to hear your named called—or not.

I continue to be grateful that I represented the great state of Texas on an international stage and just as thankful I will continue to represent the Lone Star State until we crown our next Mrs. Texas International next spring.

Still your Mrs. Texas,

Kori

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Miss Teen Texas International Advises Safety for our Furry Friends this Halloween

Saving Our Best Friends, Savannah's platform, encourages a safe - not scary! - Halloween for our best friends.

Saving Our Best Friends, Savannah’s platform, encourages a safe – not scary! – Halloween for our best friends.

Halloween is an exciting holiday for more than just children.  It can also be a fun night for your furry friends by dressing them up and having them be a part of your Trick or Treating escapades.  When coming home from a fun night of filling your candy bag, please be sure to not feed your pets any candy, especially chocolate. Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs and cats.  Halloween treats containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also harm them.

Be sure to put your animals up and don’t leave them outside in the front yard. Younger children have been known to pull  pranks and tease any animals that are outside.  You should also be extra careful to keep your black cats in the house during Halloween festivities as they have been known to be taken on occasion.

Dogs can be territorial so it would be good to put them in a safe room to protect them while when opening and closing your door to give candy to trick or treaters.  Kids like to dress up in unusual and sometimes scary costumes and your dog may feel threatened by a child that doesn’t mean any harm.

Another good tip is to not keep lit pumpkins around  your pets — they may not realize what it is and could possibly knock it over and start a fire or get hurt.  Lastly, please be sure to verify that your pet has an ID tag on its collar. If they happen to squeeze out the door at some point during the evening and run off to celebrate their newfound freedom, your chances of getting them returned to you are a lot higher than if they don’t have a way to locate their owner.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

Savannah Wahrer

Miss Teen Texas International 2015