Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful In Utah

This Thanksgiving I have so much to be grateful for. We were able to travel to Utah to spend some time with my family. My dad was retiring from the police department after 35 years of service. 

All my family (parents, brothers & sisters/spouses & our kids  
(missing my brother John who passed away & his daughter Whitley who couldn't make it that day)
He made a special request to have his entire family here for it. He's been battling 4th stage lung cancer and 
now brain cancer, which hasn't crushed his spirit.
 Incredible gift he was presented

 The Mayor congratulating my dad (he also spoke)
 The line went out the door forever...people waiting to talk to my dad
 He received a much deserved standing ovation
 My dad with Present & former Police Chiefs
(he filled in as acting Chief before his retirement)
 He is such an inspiration, finding joy everyday even through the excruciating pain and struggles.

My dad, Dave (Marine Corp.) with his mom, Violet
I'm thankful for the gift of each and every day with loved one's. Life's too short. You never know what tomorrow holds...seize the day. Don't forget to tell loved one's you Love them, don't just assume they'll always be there.

I'm thankful to my mom, for her faithfulness in listening to the Lord and following His will for her life and the example she and my dad always show. I'm thankful for the knowledge that the Lord is watching over us each and everyday. 
 My cup runneth over! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Jullien's 20 Today-Is It Possible?

photo by: Pino Gomes
20 years ago today, I gave birth to a long, skinny, string bean baby boy, with huge lips and dimples. A persistent little bugger who wouldn't let me out of his sight. 
Bright and early I called my son, Jullien, to wish him a Happy 20th Birthday. As the words were leaving my mouth, my mind screamed, "How is this possible?" What's even harder to comprehend...he's been gone for 3 years already, since he was 17 years old, when I sent his pictures to a Top New York modeling agency. They swept him off to the Big Apple, Paris & Italy two days after graduating high school.
British Elle Magazine 25th Anniversary w/Supermodel Coco Rocha/Jullien Herrera

Jullien with his girlfriend-model Nichelle
 Jullien Herrera in Pierre Cardin 60th Anniversary Runway Show
Imagine, my little guy, Juju, who spent his life hiding and scowling from the camera, now making a living gracing the pages of magazines, video's & strutting in front of hundreds of flashing camera lights on the runway.
He perfected the intense look he's famous for on the football field, baseball field & basketball court. He has an inner intensity that pushes him to excel, and succeed at whatever he puts his mind to. He learned to be an achiever by having to compete with kids a year or two older than him in every sport. He started school when he was 4, (which to this day, I never hear the end of.) But I think it has helped him realize that in life, everything requires hard work and dedication, no one is going to hand you anything. 

After an accident this past year which left him potentially scarred & possibly ending his career, he stayed strong, did what he could...finally completely healing. After getting his start and being represented by Red Models for two years, (whom he is very grateful to and continues to maintain a close friendship w/agents George & Dave) he decided he needed a fresh start. He received several requests from Top Agency's to sign with them and finally decided to go with the very large, well established, worldwide agency,  Major Model Management,...once again succeeding.

He has made me so proud! Even during unforeseen life set backs, he picks himself up, brushes it off and moves on...refusing to give up. These are the same characteristics he has displayed since he was a toddler. Persistence. It's who he is. It's an inner personal drive that is undeterred. It's what makes him special. A leader. An example. 

Today I celebrate a special gift from God, my son Jullien. I Love You & am proud to be your mother! 
Our 'Brady Bunch' family several years ago 
Streetwear Today Magazine - photo by: Stephan Kallaus
Sid Magazine - photo by: Reno Ranger
Details Magazine - photo by: Eric Ogden

Sisley (Campaign) - photo by: Terry Richardson


Wednesday, November 9, 2011


After receiving a prayer request for a young, 13 year old, Pop Warner Football player, Donnovan Hill, who fractured his spine last Sunday in the Orange Bowl Championship game, I felt like I needed to do something. I have a little talent...not something most people would consider anything special, but it has served me well in a number of situations. I often refer to myself as the research queen. I can hunt down information, find email addresses, names, companies, whatever it may be...I'm persistent. I decided that this family needed some hope, guidance, and direction in the days, weeks, and months ahead. I can't begin to imagine, nor would I want to, what this family and boy will be having to deal with. BUT...I wanted to do something.

I had five boys play Pop Warner Football and thank the Lord, nothing serious ever happened. But it touched my heart & I started looking for help. I came across an amazing, incredible man, Eddie Canales & his son, Chris, who started the non-profit organization, Gridiron Heroes, after Chris was paralyzed in the last game of his high school season. They had nowhere to turn. There wasn't any help out there. Most people wanted to sweep the 'ugly side' of contact sports under the rug. So instead of sitting in their sorrow, they decided to make a difference. Eddie Canales & his son, Chris have made such an incredible impact on the lives of so many athletes seriously injured in sports. Eddie is one of CNN's Top 10 Hero's & is up for the CNN HERO OF THE YEAR AWARD (PLEASE VOTE FOR HIM HERE-he'll win money for his charity!) He also was featured on HBO, the Today Show & several news feature stories such as MYFOX Houston.

I sent an email to Eddie & that very same day he called me back. He wants to help this family. He's lived it. He is someone who can make a difference in this young boys life. He didn't hesitate...he stepped forward and offered his assistance, all the way from Texas. He has now been in touch with the Pop Warner Organization & will be contacting the family as well.

I'm not sharing this with you for a pat on the back or an 'atta girl.' It's to remind each of you, when you have an ability, no matter how small or insignificant it may be...please, take a step out of your comfort zone and do whatever you can to help someone in need. You never know the difference one small act can make in someone's life. BE THE DIFFERENCE!

*If you'd like to help Donnovan Hill & his family, send Donations to:

Orange Empire Conference
c/o Donnovan Hill
PO Box 7652
Huntington Beach, CA 92615

Please keep him & his family in your prayers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


On Saturday my boss and her sister went to go watch a Halloween Thriller dance out in Riverside that she heard about from the news. Unfortunately the dancers never performed that day, but they they had a nice day out. While heading back to their car they spotted a Ford Explorer with their hazard lights on, obviously broken down in the middle of the road. The cars were piled up behind my boss, who's 60, and her sister who's also in her 60's ran over, got beside & behind the car and yelled to the lady who had her window cracked to put it in neutral and they'd push her off to the side. The lady struggled, but eventually was able to, never looking back to see who had offered or saying anything. As they began to push, a young guy ran from across the street to help.

While struggling behind the weight of the car, they noticed there was a man in the passenger seat & two teenage kids sitting in the back. The man slightly opened his door as the car begin to slowly roll due to the efforts of the two 60+ year old ladies...but then closed it. He actually sat there letting them push him safely to the side of the road! 

The lady waved her hand at them, as my boss & her sister looked at each other in amazement but just said, "Well, I guess we did our good deed for the day."

All I can say about that is, "WOW...ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"