I spend a lot of time without my hair and make up done–99% of the time. 80% of the time, I do not wear make up at all. Like most, I love to be comfortable—appropriate for whatever situation, but comfortable and fully myself.
Coming to see the Boyds is HUGE treat. Meredith Boyd is QUEEN BEE when it comes to hair and make up. I always feel SO beautiful. And I love working with a husband and wife team since my hubby and I work together as well.
I can feel how much more powerful this set of photos were and cannot wait to post my official headshot on pageant weekend!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to go on this trip.
A previous High School Spanish student that I taught a decade go contacted me to see if I would be willing and able to go. I was not sure of the logistics, but as soon as I told my husband, he was excited and said YES! He had already been praying and strategizing for a way to send me on a trip to rejuvenate me, and literally two hours later, this opportunity presented itself.
He knew the people that needed my presence there and He knew the people whose presence I need as well.
Relationships matter most. Humans are valuable. We have to care for those that are seen as the least of us and let them know that they are, in fact, not the least of us.
“I am not merely an economic unit. I am human. How far off are we that that can sound confusing?”
I can see the inner world changes appearing in physical differences in my face–my eyes, my smile–and in my body–my posture, my walk.
The 2021 pageant was very different than the COVID Judges only pageant of 2020. I enjoyed hearing the audience cheering every time I was on stage. I knew beforehand that it would help, I did not realize how much it would help me keep my energy and enjoyment. I am grateful for each audience member that was there waving the signs and screaming as loud as the could and smiling at me as we made eye contact throughout.
When people show up to support other people, energy is created–movement is created–growth is possible.
I do not believe that solitary growth is possible. We were made for relationships and we thrive best when we are with other likeminded people. I am evidence of that–and this pageant has changed me and helped me heal.
I am so excited for Darcy Castro to compete in Mrs. America. She is so humble and sweet spirited. She is going to do an amazing job representing Georgia.
And I am so honored to be the People’s Choice Winner and 2nd runner up overall–and improvement from last year’s 4th runner up placement.
I am going to take some time to process the areas of growth I need before training again, but I am excited about being part of the 2022 cohort next year!
As I have been talking to friends throughout Georgia about competing in the pageant, I have realized that there are a lot of questions about how to get started. I was 32 for my first pageant, and I needed the input of my friend and coach immensely. I read any book I could find, listened to Win A Pageant podcast, and watched YouTube Videos.
Because the getting started point can end up being a stuck point for many, I decided to create a guide that would encourage potential contestants that they are capable and this journey is worth the effort and energy!
I have given checklists and resources and some worksheets to help you unpack your WHY pageantry answer.
It is FREE! Download it today!
I have ALWAYS loved singing. As a little girl, I spent hours in my room singing with my Mariah Carey CDs–trying do hard to hit the high notes like she did and express the emotions in all the words. I wrote my own poems and songs, and continued doing that through college–in my room, alone. I was given a solo part in choir in High School and found that the anxiety of my voice being the only sound heard in the room freaked me out TOO much to even do it consistently in practice. So, this solo, this honor and acknowledgement of my gifting, was turned into a trio because of fear.
I sang the national anthem for every home volleyball game during high school—as a duet–never alone.
I sang in the worship band for my church–in the soprano section.
My gift was hidden because of the immense fear that I was not good enough to be heard or listened to.
2021 has been a year where I have grown into a new understanding and embodiment of my value and abilities.
I was given the opportunity to sing the national anthem for the Atlanta Rugby team this month. How did that happen?
Well, my husband loves to brag about me while he is networking for our business. He started talking to the Community Coordinator for the Atlanta Rugby team and while she was excited about community partnerships, she was really looking for someone to sing at a game. Brandon said that he would ask but it was unlikely that I would say yes since he knew how much I feared singing in front of anyone much less a stadium full of people!
He asked me that night, and I immediately said yes knowing that saying yes to the scary stuff is part of the growth process.
So not only did I sing (and get cheers from the crowd) but I did it while it was raining!
I conquered a fear and felt so alive for doing it.
Was it perfect? I think my voice coach will have some critiques, but did it spark joy in others and in me? ABSOLUTELY.
Yesterday was a dream come true, a vision fulfilled. An Evening of GRACE came to life.
I find I have so many ideas—so many ways that I want to share beauty and compassion with others and bring people together in unity.
I have been blessed with an incredible “new-ish” friend that helped me take one of these ideas and turn it into reality within a matter of THREE weeks! Sandy, God has clearly brought us and our families together. I am abundantly grateful for you.
We could have delayed until next year, but it was so clear that it was needed now. This year. This family.
Dance Tech & Talent were phenomenal in organizing their dancers and bringing powerful storytelling through dance. Beau & Kristin are one of a kind as studio owners, and I have been so encouraged by their support—the studio even raised money for the family through a Caring Coins Campaign!
After last night, we have raised over $2,500 for the Faddis family in less than two weeks. Thank you community for showing up for them.
If you wanted to support, you have not missed your chance yet! We have decided to keep the PayPal account open for another week before delivering a check to the family.
It is spring of 2021, and I have begun the process for preparing for the pageant in August. There is just something about the sun coming out and the life that emerges that makes Spring exciting for me. There is a rush of new and renewed energy, and I am feeling all of it!
I have tried so many new things in the last month, and while the butterflies were there through the process, I was so glad I did it. An example, I can give: we started going to a rock climbing gym as a family. Now, I am extremely scared of heights, and while I know that the harness is there to secure me, I am still so afraid of falling. My son wanted me to climb next to him, which I did. I got about 2/3 of the way up and decided it was time to come down, but I could not JUST LET GO and trust the harness system to catch me. It felt so unnatural and counterintuitive. I held on tight for minute after minute. My husband had to come up to my level and talk me through it. My heart was pounding, and I could hardly breathe. I determined that I was not going to trust the system from that height, so I climbed down and gave it a test closer to the floor. I was grateful to have my young kids with me that only wanted to go a little ways up and jump down because it allowed me to get used to the feeling of being caught by the harness.
Another visit, I was determined to go to the top of one of the easier courses because for me, I was going to overcome this fear (maybe not of heights, but definitely of trust). So, I got to the top, freaked out a bit, and climbed down to a comfortable place. I tried repetitively, and each time, I just COULD NOT bring myself to take the fall. In transparency, to this date, I have only allowed the harness to take me down from about half way up, but I WILL get there one day.
While there have been other new experiences, this one has been sticking out to me because it is much like my pageant preparation. There is a set of butterflies in my stomach just thinking about sitting and answering questions in my interview, walking in a bikini IN FRONT OF EVERYONE, and gliding across the stage in a gown. There is strategy to doing well, and Mrs. Georgia America is truly about outer AND inner beauty. I have to learn to face the anxiety, breathe, and allow myself to stay in that moment rather than avoid and retreat. So, I will practice putting myself in situations that raise my anxious feelings and staying present. I will also be giving myself GRACE for where I am right now.
God has been talking to me a lot about GRACE recently. He even gave me a lovely acronym: Giving Radical Acceptance of and Caring for Each other. When I give grace to myself, I am radically accepting every part of myself and still choosing to care. When I give grace to my friends and family, I am radically accepting where they are in their OWN journeys (because they are not mine and never will be) and choosing to care and support them however I can. And when I give grace to the acquaintance or stranger, I am radically accepting the UNTOLD story of their own struggles and choosing to care for them.
These grace talks with God have led to starting Evenings of G.R.A.C.E. I am so excited that we were able to get the first event going so quickly this May to benefit the Faddis Family–a family that I do not personally know but are definitely in need. They have gone through so much from what I gather from my friend who connected us, and they are currently in need of $15,000 to replace Matthew’s teeth after a long struggle with severe chrohn’s disease. The event will be a catered dinner accompanied by a performance by the students at Dance Tech & Talent. For more information please visit our Event Facebook Page.
In 2019–I was afraid to be seen. I hid behind my husband. I let him be in the spotlight. I feared someone noticing me, calling me forward, and then being disappointed that they ever had given me a chance.
Thankfully–there were people in my life that saw me anyway and continued to call forth the good things God placed within me—the beauty He bestowed upon me as a woman—and the fierce love I have for those I lead.
“But you own a company and lead a team… didn’t these people see you?”
Well… vulnerability is an interesting journey, and I am not quite sure where or why I began to hide who I am. Childhood Experiences + Teenage Stupidity + Sexual Trauma + Career Decisions + Getting Married + Becoming a Mom probably all had their ways of communicating expectations to which I couldn’t measure up. To be fair, these factors did not actually communicate the expectations, but rather, my perception of who I SHOULD be considering all the things in my life led to a pretty grotesque view of a Brittany Mae Browne that just simply did not exist–and really would never be able to exist because I was not designed to be her! (wow that was a long run on sentence)
I am in the process of unlearning, relearning, and just good ole fashioned learning who I am designed to be throughout my lifetime.
I am unlearning the characteristics of stiff, rigid, shy, unavailable, depleted. I have been all these things for years now, and I just can’t anymore.
I am relearning the characteristics of creative, colorful, spontaneous, interested, and open. They’ve always been there and would peak out from time to time in the last decade, but I am freeing them more and more each day.
I am learning the art of presenting myself externally as a full reflection of who I am internally.
The 2020 Mrs. Georgia America Pageant was a wonderful opportunity to showcase how far I have come in one year. Maybe it was a quiet transformation to most. Certainly strangers would have no idea.
I am looking forward to competing again, to sharing a weekend with other beautiful and inspiring women, to spending invaluable time with coaches and mentors in preparation, to connecting with the Kennesaw community in meaningful ways, and to documenting the process diligently.