Hi I’m Emily Stark, director to the Mrs. New Mexico America Pageant. It’s an honor to be a part of the oldest and largest pageant system honoring married women and to be named Director of Year in 2013.

My mother is actually responsible for my love of pageantry. She took me to see the Miss Maui Pageant when I was just eleven years old and it made a lasting impression on me that would last a lifetime.

Like most little girls I watched the televised pageants and dreamed about winning one someday, but it wasn’t until I had graduated from UNC with a degree in biology and chemistry that my mother actually suggested I enter the Miss Colorado USA Pageant.

I entered in 1994 and placed first runner-up and I was hooked! I loved the preparation and the thrill of the competition. I returned to the pageant in 1995 and left that night as Miss Colorado USA. I had a great time representing our state at the nationally televised Miss USA Pageant held that year in South Padre Island and serving as the state titleholder for the remainder of the year.

Four years later, I married the love of my life, James. Not long after the wedding I entered the 2000 Mrs. Colorado America Pageant and placed in the top ten. I was thrilled and knew I would return for another try, but destiny intervened and that summer I discovered I was pregnant with twins.

Half way into my pregnancy we learned that our precious twin daughters were conjoined. From that moment on, James and I began to focus our hearts and all of our attention on our daughter’s health. Our twins were born just one day shy of thirty weeks in March of 2001. Their first surgery was scheduled just twelve hours after their birth and the decision to separate them called for many more. Of all the tough decisions we faced, deciding to separate the girls was not one of them. Many surgeries and procedures followed all summer which led us to the miraculous day of separation in October of that same year.

I had gained eighty pounds with my pregnancy and let’s just say it didn’t magically melt away especially since most of my days were spent sitting around in the hospital. I began to lose myself; overweight and exhausted I didn’t even recognize the woman in the mirror anymore. That’s when I knew it was time for me to sign up and compete once again for the title of Mrs. Colorado America. You might wonder why, at such a chaotic time in life, I would choose to add something else to my plate. Quite simply, when you sign up for the Mrs. New Mexico America experience, you embark on a journey; a journey to find yourself again. It’s an opportunity to dress up, to feel and look beautiful and the date of the pageant competition gave me a deadline set in stone to accomplish my weight loss goal.

I started to put myself back on the “to do list” which in turn made me a better wife and mother. It gave me the opportunity to appreciate myself. Before I could love anyone else, I needed first to love myself. When the director questioned the timing of my decision and asked me, “Why are you here?” I told her that I needed something for me.

I started to physically collect myself and get into the best shape of my life through exercise and a healthy diet. I had a good time preparing for the pageant and it paid off when on May 18, 2002 I took home the Mrs. Colorado America title and crown.

That year my twins were two years old, I served on the State Grand Jury every Friday, made tons of appearances as Mrs. Colorado America and launched my speaking career. I traveled back to Hawaii where I grew up and competed at the nationally televised Mrs. America pageant; placing in the top ten.

In 2008, it was my privilege to take over the duties as the director of the pageant system that I’ve loved for so long. It’s been an honor to be an ongoing part of the Mrs. Colorado America legacy and tradition that has now extended to the state of New Mexico.  The 2018 pageant will mark my 1st year directing the New Mexico pageant. 

Recently as part of a marketing campaign I’d sent out over a thousand postcards to people on my mailing list. One of our past participants postcard was returned marked, “Dead.” That’s when it hit me; life is so short to wait for the “perfect” time to dream. Now is the perfect time! That’s what I learned through the medical challenges facing my twins; life is too short to miss an opportunity.

I don’t believe in coincidence, God places people in our lives at the right time. If you’re reading my message then there’s a reason you were led to do so. Today I’d like to be the one person who challenges you to examine your life, maybe expand your horizons, and dream that dream. Call me today, and join the other community representatives to compete for your beautiful crown at the Mrs. New Mexico America Pageant.

“May your days be many and your troubles be few.
May all God's blessings descend upon you.
May peace be within you, may your heart be strong.
may you find what you're seeking wherever you roam.”

                                                     – Irish blessing

With Abundant Blessings,
Emily Stark
Abundance Productions