Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

These past events have been a BLAST to say the least! I've loved being able to ring in the Christmas Season with the royalty and Orem City!

 First there was the "Lighting of the Riverwoods" on Friday the 13th! McCall, Daisy, Kapri, Miss Provo, and I, all broke hundreds of glo-sticks and handed them out to kids who were present at the event.

After that, we all got together and danced to the music provided by an exceptionally talented gospel choir. We spun around in circles dancing with kids, and took turns in making up dance moves and copying each other.

 Then we got to be on the gazebo for the countdown to light the Riverwoods. I had never been to the lighting before, and so watching all the lights turn on at once is a pretty magical experience.

On Monday the 23rd, the royalty and I attended the "Lights On!" event at the Orem City Center. The Northridge Children's Choir sang a few Christmas songs, and then the royalty and I sang "Silver Bells." We were a little nervous because there were so many people in the crowd, and we didn't want to go viral in a video entitled, "Silver Bells Gone Wrong!" But it turned out just fine!!

This sweet girl turned on the lights for all of Orem. We were so lucky to have her there!

Having Donna Brayton and the Mayor there made for a great night. They hold this City together!

Following the lights, we were able to mingle with a lot of kids and adults from Orem while they waited in line to see Santa Claus. It was great talking to them about what they wanted for Christmas and how they liked the "Lights On!" event.

What's really cool is when kids will recognize me and say, "Hey! It's you again!" and I remember them too. It's really great knowing that we're not just seeing people for a short time, but we're actually developing friendships!

On November 29th, the day after Thanksgiving, Jacki, Kapri, and I all attended Santa's arrival at the University Mall. Let me tell you, Orem citizens are made of something else because it was unbelievably cold... and still they waited for Santa with no complaint!

The girls and I had to run into Costa Vida to keep warm, but we didn't care because it was 100% worth it!

Miss Inspiration Donna Brayton was also there and greeting everyone. She is always in such high spirits no matter what her call of duty is.

Not only did Santa show up, but several Disney princesses and Marvel superheroes did too! I couldn't pass up an opportunity to get a picture with my two favorite super heroes at the same time.

Santa certainly lived up to his reputation as a "Jolly Old Elf" and was kind enough to stop for a quick photo with us.

For this Christmas Season, I am so grateful for what Christmas actually signifies. It signifies the birth of Jesus Christ and the peace, joy, love, and compassion he brought into the world. I'm grateful for his life and service, and that at this time of year we have the opportunity to replicate it to a degree.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Jesse Craig
Miss Orem 2015-2016

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Its The Holidays!

Its the holidays!! My absolute FAVORITE time of the year! Thanksgiving, Christmas,  then New Years.  The season to be grateful, and I thought I would talk about how incredibly grateful I am to be the 2015 Miss Orem Teen.  I am convinced Orem city is the best place to be.  This year as we have attended many events throughout the city I have been even more convinced.  Everyone is so kind and welcoming.  Attending an event, taking pictures with kids, serving others and the community makes my day. I am also very very lucky to be working with such incredible people; Jesse and her royalty, Kapri, Mcall, and Daisy.  They are all so talented and have such a passion to serve the community and share their platforms.  It is such an amazing opportunity that I have been given.  Thank you to all those who have been so kind to us and help us serve our amazing city! Merry Christmas!

         2015 Miss Orem Teen
                     Jacquelyn Jenkins

Monday, November 23, 2015

Veterans Day 2015

Veterans Day this year came at a time when we needed it most as Americans. Having Veterans Day to remind us that our freedom is not something to be taken for granted, and that it has been valiantly fought for by brave men and women, was perfect timing in light of the recent tragic events in Paris.

On Saturday November 7th, Jacki and I were able to perform and speak for the Veterans Day program. I was able to speak about what freedom means to me. After recently reading books about women living in Pakistan, Iraq, and Iran, I have more poignantly felt what freedom as an American means and loved having the opportunity to convey that in my speech. 

Following the program, we took pictures with vehicles from World War Two and the Vietnam War and met a few members of the family who owns them. It was incredible seeing vehicles that were actually part of events that I've only read about in high school history classes! It kind of hits you like a ton of bricks, that this was real life.

On actual Veterans Day, the royalty and I attended the program at the Orem City Cemetery honoring our veterans. The Mountain View and Orem High School bands played the military anthems while our veterans raised the flags of each branch of the military. We then listened to our key notes speaker: Vietnam veteran Rick Nye. Rick recounted several experiences of his platoon in Vietnam to the crowd. 

What's amazing about Rick Nye and all veterans is that not only do they sacrifice time with their families, but they also sacrifice their psychological well-being. Rick Nye has suffered from PTSD for decades, and is constantly on edge, and many if not most other veterans suffer from this as well. They deal with the memories, the nightmares, on a daily basis and they did and do it all for the United States of America. How easy it is to disregard the struggle they experience daily.

Today I am grateful for these veterans. So many suffer from repercussions they can never escape, some lost their comrades in battle, some saw things we can only imagine. They did it for us, and because of their service we do not have to succumb to authoritarian rule, or servitude to another world power. May we never forget!

Jesse Craig
Miss Orem 2015-2016

Monday, November 2, 2015

This is Halloween!

This past week was filled with fun, festive Halloween events! The first was Orem City's Trunk-Or-Treat! It was held at the City Center and hosted by the Police and Fire departments of the City. Even though the weather was cold, plenty of families lined up to go trunk-or-treating. The royalty and I had a blast meeting princesses, superheroes, vampires, and hobos!!

There were so many adorable kids that there are too many to describe them all! The Incredible Hulk was one of them, though. He was so willing to take a picture with us, and even though he is so tough and muscular, he had the cutest little voice when his mom told him to say "cheese!"

This family is one example of all the creative costume ideas that were at the event. Here we have a ringmaster, a clown, and an elephant for a cute circus theme! I hope I can have that kind of creativity when I have a family... :)

The next event was the Celebration of the Eagle event at UVU which honored boys and men who have worked to receive their Eagle Scout award, as well as helped others to achieve it. The royalty and I helped the recipients and their families check-in, as well as usher them to their tables. 

We then were provided with glorious food, I mean, it doesn't get better than a whole chicken and cheesecake. 

I also had the opportunity to perform my "Orange Blossom Special" which is always such a treat to perform.

Following dinner, we and the Provo Royalty escorted the distinguished Eagle Scout honorees onto the stage for their recognition. The event was a huge success on all levels! Orem City and the Tech Crew at UVU were phenomenal.

The following morning, Kapri and I woke up bright and early to help with the Haunted Half-Marathon. It was great to see so many volunteers on a Saturday morning, especially on Halloween morning! We poured apple juice and unwrapped medals for the first few hours, then were able to meet students studying at Rocky Mountain University. They were so great to talk to, and we bonded over funny college stories about professors.

When the runners arrived, we handed them protein bars, towlettes, water, and medals. Most of them were stumbling and dazed when they arrived at the finish, and who could blame them?! 13.1 miles of running will do that to a person!! They were all awe-inspiring. Some were running in full on inflatable costumes and I don't know how they did it, but I have so much respect for all of them!

This Halloween was one for the books, and I hope yours was too! Until next year!

Gratitude thought for the day:

I am thankful for Fall. Why? Pumpkin bread, colorful leaves, the beginning of a new semester, hot chocolate, pumpkin bread, football, haunted attractions, and pumpkin bread! Haha have a fantastic week!