Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Pageants to Parenthood

M&H Staff

Caitlin Morrall is a former Top-15 finalist at Miss USA and successful television broadcaster, but that barely scratches the surface on this beautiful blonde. She excels - greatly - as a wife and mother. Caitlin is far more than a pretty face; she is focused, direct, and ambitious. For years, she's radiated an effortless confidence some go their entire lives without unveiling. She is a natural role model for every young woman whom has the pleasure to meet her. Caitlin is the epitome of accomplishment, working hard with a pearly white smile.

Let's meet the fabulous Caitlin!

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Tell us about your experience serving as Miss Wisconsin USA.

Miss Wisconsin USA was an incredibly whirlwind experience. I had spent many years competing in the Miss America Organization and had always placed as one of the runners-up at the state competition. During one of those years, a judge suggested I try out the Miss USA pageant because my height, my styling and my fashion choices fit the "USA look" a little better. I entered the pageant on the very last day entries were being accepted and really went into it kind of blind! I had watched the Miss USA pageant and the subsequent Miss Universe pageant on television but I had never seen the state pageant in person even. I remember very clearly, during our orientation, the directors during that time telling us "we aren't looking for Miss Wisconsin USA today. We are looking for the next Miss Universe". Those two sentences really struck a chord with me and every time I walked on that stage, I pretended I was competing in the Miss Universe pageant.

After I won, I spent much of my year championing the official charities of the Miss Universe Organization, Breast and Ovarian Cancer Awareness. The organization also teamed up with Best Buddies, I particularly loved those events. I continued work with my personal community service platform of Character Education and I also spent a lot of time preparing for the 2007 Miss USA pageant that was held in Hollywood. I still say the night of the Miss USA pageant was the best night of my life. As a wife and mother, I sometimes feel bad saying that. Shouldn't I think my wedding day or the birth of my child were the best nights of my life? I look at it this way - you get a lot of amazing days and nights in your life. Marriage and children are things that so many people get to experience. But competing on that stage, hearing your name called in the top 15... only a very small group of women will ever get to have that happen. It's a truly special moment.

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Explain your time as a newscaster.

I had originally studied Education in college. I wanted to eventually become a special needs teacher focusing on students with cognitive disabilities. I had done a lot of substitute teacher's aide work in this field and I really enjoyed anytime I got to work in the classroom. Once I traveled to Los Angeles as part of the Miss USA pageant, I was introduced to a whole new way of life. We were on red carpets, in front of cameras that belonged to Access Hollywood and E!, and finally we were a part of a live telecast on the national NBC network. It absolutely fascinated me! When I returned home, I changed my major to Professional Communication and then worked toward finding internships in broadcasting. I had an amazing radio internship with ESPN Milwaukee. It allowed me to learn about marketing, event planning, sports recap writing and more importantly it gave me on air experience in the realms of talk show and reporting for High School Football. The people I met and worked with during this internship encouraged me to audition for a job on Fox Sports Wisconsin. Since I didn't have any television experience at that time, I did not get the job - but the producers saw some potential in the work I was able to show them and hired me as a freelancer to sideline report during the Wisconsin High School Football championships at Camp Randall. They also hired me to do a few feature reports for Bucks Live, the pre-game show for Milwaukee Bucks telecasts. After that I stayed in the sports industry and did some marketing and on-camera work for a Fantasy Football company that was located in Southeast Wisconsin.

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Little did I know that my television break would actually stem from my work in Education! A parent at the school I worked Summer Camp at for many years was a producer for the morning news broadcast on Milwaukee's NBC affiliate. Their traffic reporter had given her notice and he knew I had dabbled in on camera work previously. He got in contact with me and I interviewed for "Live at Daybreak" two days later.

I was the traffic reporter at Today's TMJ4 for five years. I loved my job more than I can even say. The hours... not so much! I had a daily wakeup call of 2:30AM (it moved up to 2AM once I became a Mom). But the job made it so worthwhile! The people I worked with were incredible and I made some lifelong friends working there. I think I loved working in broadcasting so much because even though you went to the same job every day, it was always different. I am someone who craves variety in her work. It was also so inspiring to meet different people who came on our show from time to time. People who were doing amazing things in the Milwaukee community, people who had accomplished incredible things and even a celebrity here and there!

My most memorable day on the air was a morning that started with what we thought was an abandoned car on that major freeway leading out of downtown. What we found out shortly after was that there was a man and his girlfriend in the car refusing to get out. It was also believed they were armed. The stand off lasted until after 10:00AM and we usually went off the air at 7:00AM. We basically did one huge traffic report for 5-6 hours! As exhausting as those long traffic days were (sometimes during a snow storm I would be there for 15 hours!) they were the most fun because I got to be creative and do some out of the ordinary reporting.

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Do you enjoy being a wife and mother?

I absolutely love being a wife and mother. I am in a very unique situation being married to someone who is finishing his medical training. It requires me to be what I call "a married single Mom". I would never in a million years compare myself to a real deal single Mom. Those women are the true superheroes! Basically what I mean by that is that I am managing life day to day without the ability to count on help from my spouse. My husband completed his plastic surgery residency in 2015 and is now finishing the last few months of his orthopedic hand surgery fellowship in Boston. After that we will relocate to Los Angeles for his (finally!) permanent job.

Being married to someone who doesn't work set hours and someone that many days has to be on call to come in at any moment forces you to try and live an independent life while still being flexible to change plans at a moment's notice. It was a lot easier to do that without a child in the mix. I was a working mom for the first 18 months of our son's life. Working the hours that I worked and having a spouse with even crazier hours really proved to be a challenge. We were fortunate to have great young women who got up in the wee hours of the morning to come nanny while I worked and my parents were instrumental in picking up the slack anywhere it was needed. Eventually, I decided that in order to keep my own sanity and to be a better wife and mother, I needed to stay home. Being a stay at home mom is some hard work, let me tell you! I think the most difficult thing is that if you're having a bad day at "work" you don't ever have the ability to leave the office, so to speak.

The greatest joy I've gotten out of staying home is being able to watch our son learn and grow on a daily basis. He's really thrived during this past year living in a city where so much is available to us. He learned his colors by riding the subway, he's learned about taking turns and sharing on the neighborhood playground, we are able to visit places like the New England aquarium and the Boston Children's Museum whenever we please. It's just a really cool perspective. I'm very excited to see how he tackles a new city and new experiences when we head to the other coast!

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Advice for singles waiting on Mr. Right?

Mr. Right will always come when you least expect it! The night of the Miss USA telecast, after I placed in the top 15, I was on top of the world. I had just gone through an incredibly romantically challenged year and wanted nothing but to be by myself and start on a new journey. I had now become interested in the entertainment and media industry. I had gotten a taste of modeling and that was interesting to me as well. Most of all, my confidence and love of myself was renewed and I was ready to just be in a relationship with me and grow a new and improved life. Well, the very next day I boarded a plane... that plane would take me to Denver and I would have a three hour layover there until I boarded another plane to Milwaukee. A 20 something medical student was sitting in the terminal in Denver, waiting to board my same flight to Milwaukee where he was attending Medical School.

He turned to the friend he was traveling with and said "I am going to marry that girl standing over there." Wouldn't you know, I ended up sitting in the same row as that guy and we've now been married for five years! Just last year, I was out with my best friend the day after Christmas. She was visiting home from Manhattan and we wanted to have a drink and catch up on life. We ended up at the bar of a good family friend of mine that was just down the road a bit. There was a guy in there who had just been out with his friends, kind of doing the same thing we were. He started talking to us a little and asked if he could call my friend sometime. She gave him a smart little answer of "you could write me a letter", Well guess what? He wrote that letter and they will be getting married over Labor Day! You just never know when it will happen and you can't force it. Mr. Right is in the place you least expect him! 

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Advice for future mothers?

Don't compare yourself or your child to others! Everyone has to make choices based on their own lifestyle and young children hit milestones on their own time. It's easy to look at Facebook and feel ashamed about the choices you make - bottle or breast, crib or co-sleep, stay at home or work, in home childcare or daycare, etc, etc. There are just so many choices to make and to be frank, every single choice will make you feel guilty in some way, shape or form. Is your child having nourishment? Great! You're a success! (And let's be honest, it doesn't matter what they eat as a newborn because come two years old, all they want is chicken nuggets and grilled cheese!). Our son was born at the beginning of a very difficult year during my husband's plastic surgery residency. It was a very heavy workload that year on top of him having to travel for fellowship interviews. That year also presented him with an opportunity to do a medical mission trip in Colombia. Some of the choices we had to make in those early stages were based out of convenience for our day to day lives.

This leads me to my next advice - ask for help and take help when it is offered. I love to do things by myself. I'm what you call an outgoing introvert. However, I was so fortunate to live near my family during the first two years of my son's life. My Mom sometimes wouldn't take no for an answer - she would camp out on our couch or she would insist we stay at their house on a weekend when my husband was traveling. Let me tell you, living on the east coast now and preparing to move to Los Angeles in the next few months - I really miss having Grandma and Grandpa just a short drive away. Thank goodness for Facetime!

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Dreams for the future?

I would love to do some freelance work, whether it be broadcasting, on camera stuff or even voice overs. I really miss that part of my life, but I'd like to find a way to incorporate it nicely into the daily life that works best for my family. I would love to maybe explore entertainment reporting or focus on lifestyle and beauty. I've always been very into the beauty industry and have done a little work in makeup artistry and styling for pageants and special events.

What would you tell 18-year-old Caitlin?

I would tell my 18-year-old self to not be afraid of failure. I, like many people, am afraid of rejection. And what is the easiest way to avoid rejection? Avoid putting yourself out there. Some of the biggest breaks I had in my life and in my career were because other people pushed me to go out on a limb or they helped me do the leg work. As Wayne Gretzky said "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take". When I've become comfortable in life, I've often avoided taking the shots that might take me to the next level. Looking back, I have realized that we will all fail at some point, but that is not the end of the world. You learn and grow from those instances and, in fact, those aren't "failures"... they are challenges that push you to rise above.

Miss Wisconsin USA on her faith and marriage and advice for young women

Favorite inspirational quote?

"In the end everything will be ok. If it's not ok, it's not the end."

I can't remember where I got that one... but I try to always remember it. Sometimes things in life happen and you don't understand why your journey has taken that specific path. The answers usually become clear at some point. It's not always an immediate revelation. Sometimes it takes years to understand! But I like to think there is a plan for all of us. I look back on some of the most challenging moments in my life and for the most part I can always find a reason why I went through that particular trial and I can find a positive outcome that happened because of the challenges. 

Pageant tips for young women?

The late, great Don Baker always said "don't worry about things you can't control". The only thing you can control is how you prepare yourself. It is also important to remember that the only person you are competing against is yourself. The ultimate goal is to become the best version of you that you can possibly be. You can't control what the judges are looking for and you can't control what the girl next to you is doing. If you spend time worrying about those things you are taking away from your personal development. Some of the most successful young women I've worked with never won the crown, but it didn't matter. By being true to themselves and what they loved and had convictions for, they all found a path that was far greater for them.