Friday, December 28, 2012

I learned from California

Well, great. I'm just now getting around to posting the blog I wrote on the plane home from Los Angeles. I was going to post it when I landed, but my battery ran out, (my 1% on my iPhone lasted for an HOUR!) Daddy and I went to the Varsity, we looked at Christmas lights until I couldn't wait to be home and see my puppies. Then a few days followed and I took a lot of naps and forgot about it and then Christmas and now I'm typing this because the draft didn't save. I had it all wrapped up and tied in a pretty little bow, too.

I lived on Hollywood Boulevard for about 2 weeks before Christmas. I felt like I stepped into summer. There were palm trees, Ferraris, and so much sunshine.
I spent my days off with jogs on the Santa Monica Pier, strolling through Rodeo Drive, and lots and lots of shoots.

LA taught me how to say no to some very uncomfortable situations, and if you don't want to do something, you can speak up and say "that's not me" or "I'm sorry, I'm just not comfortable doing that." That stuff isn't easy. It's not easy to speak up, but you have to. Never compromise your standards because someone asks you to. Have a backbone, but not a smart mouth. It's something you need to learn if you want to be in the industry. I came away realizing the importance of knowing how to say no.

It was hard, but it was something I really enjoyed and there really is no place like California.
She taught me to be more independent, to play tourist, to be adventurous, and most of all to rely on the Lord for my every day.

So now with a nice little lesson on trusting in the Lord, I ring in the New Year with my adorable 6 cousins under 13, Sparkling Grape Juice, and fireworks. Then Passion!!! 

I'm glad I went to the West Coast, but there's no place like home for the Holidays. Home is where your mom is. ;)
I'm can't wait for 2013, but even more excited to see what His journey will be for me next!
Hollywood taught me a lot. I learned from California. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012


"Ahhhh." I breathed as I slipped into a hot bubble bath after a long day of castings. I looked at my feet. They looked ridiculous. I try to relax. "BEEPBEEEPP!!! HOOOONK!"
Well, there goes that idea.

I signed up for this. I want this. I know this is where I'm supposed to be. But I doubt I have ever been more tired than the week before fashion week. If I hear one more. 'Oh, NO! I'm out of comp cards!!!' again, I will go a little crazy inside. If I hear another 'OH MY GOSH! I can't believe it! I have ANOTHER CASTING?!' I think I will accidentally roll my eyes. Out loud.

Here is a list of things you will hear from models if you are part of casting for fashion week:

'Is there a sign-in sheet?'
'I need Starbucks.'
'Who was the last one?'
'Was I before you?'
'...I'm pretty sure I was.'
'I have a lot of castings, can I go before you?'
'Do I look okay?'
'This line is taking FOREVER.'
'My iPhone's going to die.'
'I'm so hungry.'
'Oh, I don't eat meat.'
'I had a veggie wrap for lunch!!!'
'How many calories does that have?'

I could go on for quite some time.
I can laugh because I remember Paul saying to "Count it all as loss," regarding the things of this world compared to the treasure of knowing Jesus. I'm living the dream. I love what I do. But it is literally nothing compared to the greatness of knowing Jesus. It can be easy to get so wrapped up in this fashion industry. Especially when you're swept up in the middle of it, but I would be so off center if I didn't have my Cornerstone.

Christ alone.
Weak made strong
In the Savior's love
Through the storms
He is Lord
Lord of all.
-Hillsong, Cornerstone.

That's what I'm holding onto when the pressure becomes too much. He's who I turn to when there is no rest for renewal. I honestly don't know how I'd get through fashion week without Him. Or life.

I am so thankful I'm here. I love New York. I love Manhattan. I love Midtown. I love my apartment. I love my mission field. I'm here for a reason. I'm here for Him. He is my Cornerstone.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Under Construction

I have changed so much since I have last written. Not only in my relationship with the Lord, but seeing myself a very different person than before, too.

I'll address the blog change first. Since I'm undergoing construction so is my blog! I still love the title 'Loved by a Savior', and I still live my life knowing that, but the changes He's working on in me are so cool.

I grew up in a homechooled family. Yes, I am working on toning down my awkward, but now that I am living part New York City, part Atlanta, I think that's something I don't have to worry about quite as much!
The point is, I never really had a mission field growing up where everyone already 'knew' Jesus, so it's really cool to be able to have my own now in this lost city. In Georgia, everyone knows how to 'talk the talk'. And  " 'praying for ya, girlie' " is thoughtfully said with the touch on your arm while they cast their first prayer up. Here in New York, to say things are VERY different would be an understatement. Coming from the South, where 'Southern Hospitality' comes expected, the Big City was quite a shock to my system.
Bottom line, I love being able to share a smile that causes people to do a double-take. It's like a dare to see if they can smile back. I'm sort of a stealth Christian without yelling in in their face.
(I do not recommend this to everyone. Parental guidance strongly cautioned when smiling at random strangers alone!)

Missionary in Manhattan. It's what, if not WHO I am. I am called to be a missionary wherever I live! Whether I am serving Him on the streets in Uganda or serving Him on the runway in New York, I don't care. (Okay, I do care. But personally I prefer a mud mask from the spa over a muddy mask from the ground!!) My life doesn't count unless it's embedded in mission of God. (Matt Lawson, Youth Pastor)

It's been a long time since I've written, but I can finally make it known. I am an official Next model! I met with them in April, and here's an excerpt from an unpublished blog I wrote.
"New York City was so pivotal for me. I had such an amazing experience. It's something I'll never forget.
Then again, I don't think anyone can forget their very first trip to New York City. Even me, being grown up in the relatively large city of Atlanta, it's a shock to your system.
A wonderful, glorious, oh-my-goodness-i-cannot-believe-i'm-here- feeling."
After a whirlwind of a weekend, I sat on the plane home humbled at how the Lord can work things!  (Okay, I might of pranced to my plane a little!) 
Fast forward through a lot of waiting, and I find myself temporarily LIVING in New York, booking my first job, finding my home church, hanging out with Candice Swanepoel and Bregje Heinen and meeting my favorite model ever Coco Rocha, and ESPECIALLY figuring my way around the city, subways, and streets.
I thought I was moving, and I was because I went without any knowledge of when I was coming back, but it ended up that I was there for only about a month.

The Lord blessed me with the best church, and without HILLSONG NYC, I so doubt that I would have made it without the awesome worship, preaching, friendships, and Jesusness in that city. I walked into that church on Sunday and started serving on Wednesday. I just knew that's where I was meant to be.

So now I am home, sitting in my room with my puppy curled up beside me. (Okay, pawing for me to pet her every 4.7 seconds, which is making this blog take F O R E V E R) but Life is so good, and I've never been so glad to be home.

I have exactly s e v e n  d a y s to enjoy Marietta, Georgia, before I am thrown into this whole new cycle again for fashion week! I am soaking up every minute at home, before I'm back in the Big Apple once more. If you're reading this and you know me, thank YOU for your encouragement and love on twitter and facebook, even though I'm only on the fb a total of never.

These last few months for me have made me into who I am right now, so I am so fine with being Under Construction!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Less Than a Week!

I would love to take the beginning of this post and praise the Lord for all He has done!
David said "Praise the Lord" like, a bajillion times in Psalms. I sure can for once!

Praise should come on the great periods of life and those that aren't. Right now, I am pretty grateful for what God's doing in my life.
However, on the times that weren't, and when I was waiting on Him for what seemed like a while, I didn't praise near as much. I don't want to be a fair-weather friend to the Jesus who DIED for me!

Anyway. 6 days from today I leave! AHHHHHHHHHH! (Sorry! Cover your ears as I scream!)

The good news is that I'm moving, but sort of not.
It is true that I'm not sure when I come back because I am there until they send me home, which makes it difficult to say when I'll be back,
but the good news is that they are keeping me in small periods of time that could grow to more. So depending on how busy it is in the city as far as fashion is concerned, it really is hard to pinpoint.

So far it looks like a few weeks which could turn into more than that, then possibly send me home until fall. I'm really excited about what's going down.

So if it's only two weeks or something then that is awesome because I'm definitely missing my family by then, because I really am moving indefinitely.

That's the update! I'm soaking up being home (and the barn!) as much as I can, because I sure am going to be missing my family in about 6 days!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


So I'm doing this post and the last post very backwards.
I told you I would blog about my fist trip to New York. I did. I haven't posted it yet, but I did.
But things aren't quite nailed down yet, so I can't exactly publish who offered me a contract when I'm not even signed yet.

So I'm just going to tell you that I'm moving.

Let me take you back to the moment that first sunk in. It hit me like a load of bricks (probably the load of bricks from our mailbox someone [not me] happened to...kill.)

Shock. Ecstasy. Fear. Thanking the Lord. Laughing. Screaming. Crying. Excitement. And wonder that the Lord could pull this all together and make my small dream into a reality without me lifting a finger. I'm amazed at all the doors He's opened when I surrendered my career to Him.

Anyway. You're probably reading this in slightly dazed realizing that a seventeen year old is trusting God in faith to move away from her family and everyone she knows, all for a calling.
You and me both.

I'm moving to New York City!
There are so many things I don't know. Especially the time frame. I'm there until they send me back. It could be two months, or it could be two weeks, I am clueless.

All I know is that it's not about me, it's about how God uses me.
This isn't for me being able to strut down the Prada show, I'm just a missionary in designer clothes, high heels, and a heart for Jesus.

Keeping that in mind, I'm walking in faith, holding my Jesus' hand as tight as I can, and looking up into His shining face.

Let's do this.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

To My Mom:

Dear Mommy:

I don't think I'm capable to wrap up how much you mean to me in one simple letter. There is no possible way. But, for the sake of letting you know my infinite appreciation of all that you mean to me, I am going to try.

Mom, you mean the world to me. I am so grateful for all of the hundreds of things you do for me on a daily basis. I take that so much for granted. You do so much not only for the whole family, but for demonstrating a quiet heart and working with what we have. You have made living at home easy, and being around you fun.

I cannot count the times where my friends have told me that they have "The best Mom ever." I have had to hold myself down so many times not to correct them that they are dead wrong. You have sacrificed so much just to see me happy, and I wish I would have realized what a treasure you are to me long before now.

I remember walking downstairs to a big delivery of chicken that had to be cut and frozen one night before bed. It was a large amount and it would take you a long time to get it all done. Normally I would have thought: "That's mom's job!" But, for the first time in my life, I turned and started cutting the chicken even though I hate raw meat, simply because I would have a chance to visit with you.

That's when I realized that you were my Very Best Friend. You had been there all along.
When I would tear up after coming home from an event because I felt like I didn't have any friends, you would give me the biggest hug and say: "But Cherise, I am your friend." Those words will be forever engraved in my mind.

Mom, you constantly drop what you're doing to be with me for shoots; watch me during shows; drive me to castings; and hop on a plane to New York. I cannot describe how much this means to me. You are the best friend I could have to put your life on hold for me. You've always been supportive of me as a model and you believed in me from the start.
One day I can only hope to repay you with as much as you've invested in me.

When I am feeling depressed or in a low spot, you always turn everything around and give me a new perspective. You always point out how the Lord is using this situation to grow me in whatever area, and how I can be content currently. You never let me walk away worse than I came to you.

You are continually thinking of me. Coming home with surprises either 'just because' or presenting me a gift and saying "This will help you because..." and then telling me why you thought of me. I am so thankful for the little things, that didn't end up being so little.

Mommy, I can brag on you because you are not in any way, shape, or form a moody mom. You never grumble, pout, complain. Never sulk, stomp, or whine. You bear your burden by keeping a quiet heart, and smiling through whatever you were going through when I was a kid, and oblivious.

I can not thank you enough for believing in me, being there for me, loving me anyway, understanding me, talking with me for hours, and being my Mother.

I am so indescribably thankful and grateful to call you that.
Happy Mother's Day, to my Very Best Friend.

Monday, April 9, 2012

What Happened on March 31st (Complete with irrelevant details)

I'm shooting tomorrow!
Literally this is a huge step for me.

That's as far as I wrote at 10:45 the night before. (And just to make myself slightly unpopular, that's late for me.)

I had no idea that shoot would get me here so fast.

My alarm goes off at 7:25 on March 31st. It's here!
I actually spring out of bed, then regret it as I clunk my head into the side of the wall jumping out of bed too fast.
With my morning off to a great start, I head to the barn to take care of two big beauties, then I jump in the shower, and get ready for a big day.
Good mornings always start with Chick-fil-A, so I pop by and grab something as I'm racing to my shoot. Little did I know that I would be 'up-and-going' from 7:25 am-7:17 pm. Hi, exhaustion.
I kicked, I jumped, I vaulted off of chairs, and basically whacked my body out which later had to be fixed by my chiropractor.
When I went back the next day to shoot extras we just didn't have time for, (if you remember, I was busy contorting my body out of shape the day before) I was sore to say the least. Was it worth it? UM, YES!

I'm off to New York City meeting with agents in just 2 weeks!!!

I'm going to try not to bounce off the walls of the agency, but I'm a little excited to say the least.
To the few people I have told, I'm not going alone. Actually, I will never be too old to drag my sweet Mommy up the East Coast just to hear her intuition and if she's comfortable with stuff.

Hey, if it weren't for her support, I know I wouldn't have gone this far. So Momma's coming to NY and we're jetting off this time. We were going to take a train (wouldn't that be so cool?!) but the times didn't match up right.

The flight booking was a complete rely on the Lord, who faithfully secured a wonderful fare for us, and I am just elated to see what he does in the Big City!

I'll post more as I know more, but so far, that's my big news!


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

West Coast Bound!

I can't believe it! I'm blogging from 35,000 feet while i am headed to the West Coast. The clouds look celestial, I am totally dressed up, jamming to my iPod and popping gum. I feel so excited.

I tried not to freak out while finding my way through Atlanta's international airport, catch underground subways, and ended up freaking out.

The moment my car drove away and I'm standing in front of the AIA I freak. But everyone knows that when you're wearing designer shoes and carrying Louis Vuitton you are required to act cool.
So I played cool, all the while wishing my mommy was there!

I'm blogging from 35,000 feet. I made it, I'm a big girl! I just took my first breath since 6:25 am.
I feel so happy. I hope one day I'll be doing this for a living, not just flying to a show, but being in said show. I hope one day this will be something that comes with the career. But I will never be the girl who gets used to "the norm." I will be the model that looks out the window every time, grinning from ear to ear as I take off. The one who still gets a chill if I ever see myself in a magazine. The girl who's still a girl at heart.

I'm off! I'm excited! I can't believe it! See you in a week, Atlanta!
I'm headed to Phoenix, baby!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

New Genre: Humitorial

My English teacher told me to write an humorous editorial, so I made up a new genre: 'humitorial.'
I decided to cast a little light on the modeling industry...let me know what you think!

I went to a fashion show. The models are wearing thousands of dollars of clothing, the most expensive heels, they get to have their hair and makeup done, and you know what? They look MAD!”

Well I know why! We’re hungry!
You think it’s easy? Allow me the pleasure of explaining…but before I start I want you to know that this does not come from your average model. Why? Read on…

You all think that we get dressed up in pretty clothes, walk down a runway and back, and we get paid for it. Let me fill you in on common model misconceptions because honey, you’ve got it all wrong. So take a step in my shoes—I mean 6-inch-heels—and let me tell you what’s really going on…

People think this is an easy way to earn a living. Show up for your shoot, someone gets to do your hair, someone else does your makeup, and you take a picture.
…It’s More like you arrive at your location, someone slaps some makeup on you, (Seriously, SLAPS) your hair gets choked with seventy pounds of hairspray, and you work for hours to get that one great shot. Sometimes I feel like I live off air and hairspray.

Come to think of it, photography is the only occupation where you’re legally allowed to shoot someone and cut their head off.

You have to be tall, and I mean SUPER TALL. You have to be comfortable with every stranger you encounter informing you of said fact, and being able to stay in your heels ALL DAY LONG. Not even the pro’s can do that very well.

You have to be able to act. Modeling is acting. You’re acting like your feet don’t hurt.
You have to be able to be a size 0-2 to be able to either slide or squeeze into designer’s clothes. This is just one of the rules of fashion modeling.

You have got to be tough. Tough enough to be able to push past the negativity, the rejection, and just keep going. This business is full of it. You better watch out.
I could write a paper on this subject alone. Not only negativity, but everyone who knows you feels like they should ’help you out’ and give you a little free advice. (meaning critiquing.)

Modeling is understanding that not everyone thinks that you’re perfect. Half of the world says: “She’s gorgeous. She’s so tall and super thin and just look how far she’s gotten!”
The other half of the world? Not so much. “She’s so beautiful and too thin and just perfect! I hate her!”

Modeling is watching your figure because now your body is your business. It’s doing 480 leg crunches a day and working out for five hours straight.
It’s nutrition—but it isn’t just not eating. It’s not making a big deal about calories or your current weight. It’s about putting the right kind of fuel in your body to keep it running. It’s about maintaining a healthy self image and not getting carried away with the scale.

Modeling is not about attitude. It’s not giving off the impression that ‘You’re sexy and you know it.’  You’re just the same as the normal people…even if you’ve been cast as an extra in a movie, walked for this designer or got shot by that photographer, or even knowing people your friend’s dream of meeting.

Of course you can’t forget that modeling is being playfully joked at and ALWAYS stereotyped. There are two types of people: whether they’re friends just stating one more joke or a fellow model at a casting, (actually casting glares) I’ve heard it all. Sometimes I laugh it off, and other times it gets old, but I would never trade it.

To take it a step further than most models would go, it’s my personal relationship with Someone that takes me out of said stereotype. Just about everything that’s considered normal in the modeling world is not to me. I live in another World. A World where my King has prepared a place for me. He came down to save the models I see everyday, to take them to another World. My King’s name is Jesus. He wants to capture their hearts to change this dark, dark industry. This starts with me.

In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” said Coco Chanel.
To me, modeling is about being a light in this dark industry for HIM.
That is why I am not your average model who is stereotyped to these common model misconceptions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First post of 2012!

Happy New Year! Hard to believe it's 2012, and also a year since I've been in the fashion industry! My calling was on January 16th, 2011, and I wrote about it in an earlier post Arise.  So crazy what God can do in a year. I am a completely different person.

My New Year has been great so far! I had an incredible shoot with Derek Shane, as you can see, I have the pictures up, and I had a fitting for this amazing jumpsuit/romper with Gene Gimono...two incredibly talented people I've been blessed to work with. I'm looking at five more upcoming shoots this month. That's a lot of shooting.

This year to grow in my walk with God I have been reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It's only been a mere 10 days and Jesus is teaching me so many things. Especially spending more time in His Word. Last year I wasn't so good about that as I am now. Where I was just wasn't enough to get to where I wanted to be.
I also promised my thoughts on Not a Fan by Kyle Idleman. To make a long story short, I'm not finished it yet, because Christmas and the craziness was intense, but it will be here...eventually!

As far an New York this Spring, I am still praying about that. Not as hard as I should be, but I realized that there's a difference between a good idea, and God's idea. Right now is not God's idea to go, so I am waiting.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE LONG AWAITED MOMENT OF MY BRACES BEING OFF, NO BIG DEAL. Those little monsters were off December 20th! So Lord willing, I will be able to go to castings and do some things around Atlanta! Now my agent can actually submit me for things and I can start on my journey!

And that brings me to the point of needing a car. Not just any car...a Toyota Prius. I really, really want a Prius. Don't try to talk me out of it, this is the car I want so bad, and there is not a chance I'm going to succumb to another old cheap car just to have one. I have dreamed about this car for ages! So to whoever's reading this, if you have one that's a couple years older that's for sale, definitely tweet me.

I wish I was better about updating my blog, but unfortunately I only tend to do so once a month...but all my not-so-blog-worthy-yet-still-slightly-monumental happenings are posted online here!