Finding my famous niece, Jillian, in Houghton on Thursday evening

OK, readers.  First we have to define the word “famous”.  I’m calling my niece, Jillian, “famous” because she’s in Martha Stewart’s Wedding magazine (somewhere around page 100) in the spring issue.

Now we know she’s not famous like Cindy Crawford or Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith (I just had to look up names of models because, well, frankly, I don’t really know any except for our Jillian.) 

In our family it doesn’t take much to be famous.  I’m pretty sure my husband is famous because he’s had a weekly newspaper column in the L’Anse Sentinel for over a quarter century.   My brother, Tim, is probably famous in the Thumb of Michigan because his business has vans upon which are printed the family name. 

I don’t know.  I’m just givin’ you examples of how arbitrary “fame” is.  In a small town, half the population is famous.  Heck, I might even be famous to readers of this blog!  (ha ha, don’t stretch it, Kathy…don’t let it go to your head…)

Two of my three beautiful nieces, June, 2009 (Tianna & Jillian)

Anyway, our Jillian is nineteen years old and living in Singapore.  (Although her family lives across the street from my mom and dad downstate in Yale.)

She’s really done remarkably well in the modeling business.  She’s been married at least a dozen times.  (I AM KIDDING!  She has never been married.  But she’s been a photographed bride so many times you wouldn’t believe it.)  She’s been in the Ambassador Magazine in Detroit (click here for some pics), the winter edition of Martha Stewart’s Wedding, the cover of Female Brides in spring, 2010, Her World Brides, Detroit Style Line, Hour Detroit, and the first edition of an Indian fashion magazine called Iris. 

Heck, those are only the magazines my mom knows.  Who knows how many other magazines she’s been featured in?

Close-up of Martha Stewart Wedding magazine, spring issue

Before anyone starts remembering what a rough-and-crazy world fashion modeling can be…I want to tell you about Jillian.  She’s one of the sweetest most ordinary girls I know.  (I mean–a young woman.  Yikes!  She’s 19 already!) 

She’s got a wicked sense of humor, a sharp wit (like many of us…) and a keen intelligence.  She recently started college in Singapore and she’s volunteering at an animal shelter.  I don’t know when she has time to model anymore. 

Except she must!  Because we saw her in Martha Stewart magazine in the Houghton bookstore the other evening.

Hello, Jillian!  It’s good to see you–even though you’re far away.  Even though I sometimes see you and Tianna and Keely on Facebook.  (Tianna and Keely are the other beautiful nieces who are equally famous in my eyes.)  I miss you guys a lot.  Even though it’s so fun seeing what you’re doing in your beautiful lives!  (sorry, crying a little bit.)

Does anyone think I should go to visit Jillian in Singapore one of these days?  Hmmmm?  It sounds awfully good to me.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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36 Responses to Finding my famous niece, Jillian, in Houghton on Thursday evening

  1. holessence says:

    Oh how fun!

    yes, Yes, and YES again – go visit your niece Jillian in Singapore.

    • Kathy says:

      Doesn’t Singapore sound lovely?? However, I must firstly vist a) San Diego and b) Georgia before going to c) Colorado. Alas…when shall Singapore present itself???

  2. Dawn says:

    Well of COURSE you should go visit her! Grab opportunity to see the world when you can! She’s beautiful!

    • Kathy says:

      OK, will try to figure out that trip, too…wouldn’t it be so much fun?? She is beautiful…but when I imagine her, I remember her spirit & quirky personality…

  3. What a lovely post, Kathy! I especially love how you say all three of your nieces are equally famous to you. I can never quite put my finger on how to describe that “something” that bonds a family together, almost as if you can “feel” each other, across distance, years, even death. Jillian looks so beautiful and it’s wonderful to hear that she is beautiful both inside and out! (so to speak!) 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      They all are equally famous to me–their aunt! The only sad part is when we live so far away from one another, and only see each other ocassionally. Thank goodness for the Internet.

  4. john says:

    That’s famous in my book! On the list of people I would like to spend an evening with, but probably never will, are your parents. They must be pretty special people to have children and grandchildren like they do. They have apparently instilled in their children and through them their grandchildren a real sense of self with solid foundations and a sense of wonder. Those are the people who can venture out into the world and truly take benefit of all it has to offer. People like that naturally attract like minded people.

    While you only travel outside of the UP several times a year, you manage to touch people from the four corners of the earth every day through your words and pictures. Barry touches so many people through his writing and his music. He truly helps to set the tone and perspective of the entire region. Then you have your coastal off-spring who venture into the unknown with open, bright minds and cheerful spirits. Their cousins, especially your niece in Singapore, move forward in the world un-intimidated by new and varied culture and customs and succeed at things that others don’t even dare to dream.

    Yep, you have a pretty special family who makes their marks in each of the worlds they choose to dwell. It all had to start somewhere and I think looking to your parents for the seeds of wonder, confidence, intelligence and poise would probably be a pretty good place to start.

    • Kathy says:

      John, I have alerted my parents to come back and read your comment. They’ll get tears in their eyes–just like I did. Thank you for pointing back toward my wonderful parents.

  5. barb says:

    Gosh, I was so taken with Jillian, I almost forgot to go back and read your comment to me. Yikes – that must REALLY mean she’s famous! Actually gorgeously famous… (Just like you, Kathy)

  6. Robin says:

    Go. Definitely, without a doubt. Go. 🙂

    (I am currently on vacation so my usual rambling comments have been shortened so I can sort of keep up.)

    • Kathy says:

      You’re not in San Diego again are you, Robin? Darn, I know you’re not. You do great if you read other’s blogs while on vacation. I usually go on a blog-reading vaction while vacationing. (Which I will if I ever go to Singapore, as well…)

      • Robin says:

        We’re in Florida. Funny how you and I wind up on opposite coasts at nearly the same time.

        I probably won’t keep up for much longer. I only do it when it rains or we have time in between activities. Or in the early morning hours. My husband likes to sleep in so I generally have an hour or two to myself. While at the beach I use most of it watching (and photographing) the sunrise. But if he still isn’t up when the sun is too high for photos or for staring, then I have a little time to catch up with folks online.

  7. janeofwisconsin says:

    It is always amazing how brave the next generation is. They don’t bat an eye at living in some far off exotic place working in careers we would not have dared think of. Very Cool for Jillian!

  8. Jillian says:

    I’m so lucky to have a family to make me feel famous- you guys have always been my biggest, and perhaps my only, fans!! 😉 Aunt Kathy you are right about this business being crazy and out of control, and that is another reason I’m lucky to have the family I do. If I hadn’t been brought up the way you all raised me, I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle it.
    Currently I’m going to castings in the morning, class in the afternoon, and jobs in the evening. Luckily Singapore is small and has a good public transit system which makes it all possible. Please please please come visit!!!! The spare bedroom is waiting for you, and i think I could be a pretty good tour guide. 🙂
    This post makes me feel lucky to have such a supportive family, but it also makes me a little sad. I miss you along with the reast of my family Its been eight months since I’ve been home.:( But I’ll be home in June or July and I hope to see you then. I love you Aunt Kathy. Thank you for all your support!! Xoxo

    • Kathy says:

      Jillian, your comment brought tears to my eyes. This is EXACTLY why I think of you as sweet good-hearted young person who hasn’t become crazy & out-of-control from the modeling world. You know we think about you so often (and the rest of your family, too). I am really really thinking about ways to figure out a trip to Singapore. (And you know who else would want to come!) but first have to visit Christopher in San Diego and then Barry’s folks in Georgia and then friends in Colorado. Don’t know when this could happen. Let me know if you hear of a cheap flight sale! Love you…

  9. emaclean says:

    Wow. Your niece is gorgeous and I love the dress! Sounds like a wonderful life, famous or not. And yes, you should go to Singapore. Why not? And in my book you are famous too. I think Andy Warhol was wrong. At least in your case.

  10. Shelly says:

    It sounds like Jillian has done AMAZINGLY well for herself. Everyone in my family (and friends) say I should be a model, but honest to GOD I CAN NOT do high heels, balance problems. Love the photo’s as per usual :). I love the picture of her in the RED dress she pulls it off fabulously. I have a new blog if you want to check it out.

  11. Marianne says:

    She is beautiful, Kathy. And yes, I agree, you should go visit Jillian in Singapore.

  12. Colleen says:

    Hello, yes! What a wonderful oportunity.

    Your neice is very lovely….it obviously runs in the family.

    • Colleen says:

      And as beautiful on the inside 🙂

      • Kathy says:

        It’s lovely when there’s a beauty match on the outside and the inside. I’m usually most interested in finding out what a person is like on the inside. When you see that, you can usually find beauty on the outside, too.

  13. She is absolutely gorgeous! And YES, you should definitely go visit her!

  14. Karma says:

    Beautiful post, beautiful girl! And such a sweet reply back to you. College in Singapore! Wow! Sounds exciting and terrifying all at once; I wonder how her mother handles it!

    • Kathy says:

      Wasn’t that a sweet reply? That was the best part of this post…reading what SHE wrote. (As a mother, I wonder that myself, too. It was hard for me when Kiah was wandering around Europe by herself. Yikes!)

  15. Barbara Rodgers says:

    I agree with Jane, it is amazing to me how brave the next generation is, traveling the world and living on their own wherever their hearts lead them. What beautiful nieces you have, inside and out, dwelling in possibilities, creating their dreams… I hope you will visit Jillian in Singapore and I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences there!
    (It’s comforting to know I’m not the only one who can’t manage high heels!!!)

    • Kathy says:

      I like what you say “dwelling possibilities, creating their dreams…” I think that’s what we wish for all our children. Heck, I think we wish that even for ourselves!

  16. kiwidutch says:

    Take it from me, Singapore (“S’pore” to it’s friends) is a Wonderful place! Definitely our favourite stop-over point on the way to New Zealand and back.
    Excellent to know that your niece is loving it there too 🙂

  17. flandrumhill says:

    You have beautiful relatives Kathy. I wonder if they realize what a beautiful aunt they have? Probably. (Hard to keep that a secret 🙂 )

    • Kathy says:

      Since I’ve never once thought of myself as “beautiful”, Amy-Lynn…must say, you’ve made my afternoon! (But I do have some beautiful relatives.)

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