I believe we miss so many special moments being in too much of hurry, distracted by our schedules, our phones, our worries….I am glad this past weekend on three occasions I was stopped in my tracks, and had three special moments of gratitude.

The first happened when I came home with an arm full of groceries, ready to start cooking dinner for a houseful of hungry people. I walked over to turn on the TV to entertain myself while I began cooking and the channel that was on was MTV, the show; That 70’s Show. I realize that is not particularly unusual, I can’t imagine how many times that show airs in a week in syndication around the world. What struck me was that it was the pilot. I have such vivid memories of Jeff and I going to New York for the week in 1998, all those memories came flooding back as I stood in my kitchen cooking.  We were going to stay at Ashton’s new apartment and we were looking forward to a great time together. He was so excited that first night to show us the pilot to the new show he shot, we had no idea what to expect. We gathered around the TV, he popped in a VHS tape, and we laughed so hard…this was a great show!  So much had changed so quickly. Afterwards we went upstairs to the roof top, looked across the New York skyline, and we all shared our hopes and dreams for the future. Amazing to see what has happened in all of our lives….

The second happened Sunday morning getting ready for church. I was in a bit of a hurry and like most people, your thoughts are all over the place, the never ending list of things to do the rest of the day, and we had such a big week coming up, I was making a mental list of what needed to get done before that. I jumped in the shower and took a sigh of relief, letting my thoughts drift and bit and relax. Karlie spent the night and we had been really enjoying down time with us all together. For whatever reason, I have no explanation of why,  a flash and a vivid memory flooded over me. When we moved to St Louis in June of 2001, we moved with so much hope for more opportunity. September 11, 2001 happened and everything changed…our business barely hung on. All these years later I had forgot something I said over and over during that time. It was a statement, a mantra, a prayer, a confession. I believed it through really tough times. How did I forget it all these years later how much I spoke and believed it? “WE ARE GOING TO FIND THE NEXT AMERICAN SUPER MODEL” Oh my goodness, I forgot how much I used to say that in the midst of trial and challenge…Ten years later, here we were enjoying the weekend at home with one of our dear models, the beautiful inside-and-out Karlie Kloss, I ran downstairs and told everyone my revelation. Karlie would have been 9 years old at the time we were believing that it would all come to pass…and it did.

Third, we were on the way downtown and we needed to stop at the grocery store. Karlie and I ran in to Dierbergs to get water and a few other things while Jeff waited in the car.. We went up to the express lane, looking forward to a fun evening, and while I am standing there, directly in front of us is a big size issue of TV Guide with the cover title “Highest Paid TV Actors”, and wouldn’t you know it, right there big as day is Ashton’s picture. In front of me is a picture of our dear friend and massive success story who crossed my path in 1997, and next to me is the beautiful young woman rising and rising to Superstar status who we discovered at a mall model search for the Threads For Hope benefit in 2005. If I had the time I could have stood and literally broke down in tears with how humbled I am that God has used our small company to accomplish so much, and it lterally is just the beginning.

I heard a long time ago from a friend that in many ways God gives each of us our own “Garden of Eden” The place that you grow and nurture your life, your family, your business.  I like to look at the people we discover and manage to always be a part of our garden. We all gain from each others success, support, and we believe each person in our garden can achieve more together than we can ever imagine and God has a big plan for each of us. Our children, Miss Willa Mae, the two of us, and all of our models…. Our journey has just begun and I always want to make sure I stop and enjoy those rare and special moments, and give gratitude for all that we have been blessed with.

Our small roster of models are destined for great things. We believe that 100% and Jeff and I always want to fully commit and be there to help make their dreams happen. It is a privilege and an honor to be on this journey, though good times and bad, it has been a joy in our lives.



Categories: Mother Mary