Michelle’s Favorite Things

In the month of March Stephanie and I both celebrate birthdays!  We thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you a little bit more about ourselves. Stephanie posted hers on her birthday March 4th. If you missed it you can check it out here. This was difficult for me to do, I am a reserved person and I have never felt that I am good with words. I feel like writing is one of my shortcomings. But, here I go … and it’s actually been fun!

I grew up in a home where creativity was encouraged. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money, so we made do with what we had. My dad was a hard worker, and believed in teaching his children HOW to work.  We worked beside him and my mom. He had his own construction business for awhile, so I learned how to change truck tires (I’m talking about dump truck tires!), help with repairs on the equipment and help with his bookkeeping. I really loved going to work with him and there was a time when I was a teenager I wanted to be a truck driver.  Can you imagine that? That changed as I got older and decided that I loved interior design.

My mom recognized my love for creating, and while she was not really a crafter, she would take me to the craft store and let me buy whatever I needed for my creations. At the age of 10, I was able to completely decorate my first room, my bedroom. I chose everything from the black and white wallpaper, black fake fur bedspread (this was the 70’s), furniture, shutters and valance for the window. I even helped with the wallpapering. Oh, how I wish I had a photo of my room! (My mom wasn’t very good at taking photographs of us.) When I look back on what I had created it was really good! I do have a photo of me wallpapering my sister’s room though. 

Last April my mom unexpectedly passed away. Some days my heart aches to be with her, but I’m grateful for my belief that we will be reunited and be together as a family forever. She was an amazing woman and everyone she met instantly became her friend.

In this photo, I’m on the ladder hanging the wallpaper in my sister Cami’s room. She was also involved in this task!

As a child I was constantly rearranging the furniture too. If you can believe it, mom encouraged me to do it. She loved what I did! My dad, not so much. He often said he was afraid to sit down when he got home from work for fear the couch wouldn’t be there. One evening when I was supposed to be babysitting my 4 younger siblings, I believe I was 12, I decided to start a project down in the workroom. I couldn’t find any stain, so I had the brilliant idea of using the propane torch to darken the wood. My project turned out beautifully. I was really pleased with myself, but it’s a miracle I didn’t burn the house down. Who knew that I was experimenting with the ancient Japanese art of Shou Sugi Bon.

I begged my parents to get a piano when I was eight years old. I loved it so much, I couldn’t walk past the piano without playing a note of two. I took lesson for eight years and it is definitely one of my favorite things to do!

My dad was quite a DIYer, he reupholstered furniture, built a brick fireplace, re-roofed the house, built patios and just did everything around our home and I often helped him with these projects. I thought that all men were good at the DIY thing, so when I married my husband, Steve I sort of expected that of him. Thank goodness he is handy and goes along with most of my ideas.  He has really become quite a carpenter!

He built this amazing built-in for Alex & Megan in their home in St. George. Not bad for a days work! Megan and I were so thrilled to see it, we started decorating the shelves before it was even painted!

I also have a talent for organizing. My mom would often give me the job of reorganizing closets and cupboards. This is something I still LOVE doing. I almost get like a high when I reorganized a space! It makes me so happy!

I married my best friend Steve in 1981 and we began our family. This was always a dream of mine, to be a mother. I chose to put my dreams of becoming an interior designer on hold to raise my three amazing children. They are each so talented!  

I adore my family. They mean everything to me and I find the greatest joys in life, being with them.

My favorite little people in all the world have to be my adorable grandchildren. I love every minute I get to spend with them.

I also have 2 sisters and 3 brothers and love spending time with them. Over the years our home has become the family party home. We love hosting family parties and get togethers here.

One of my greatest accomplishments that I am proud of is the fact that I have lost over 100 lbs., and kept it off for 10 years now. I was over weight for more that 20 years, didn’t feel good about myself and I was determined to make a change. I began by implementing a simple exercise program that I knew I could follow and made simple changes to my diet. I would fill 1/2 of my plate with vegetables and 1/4 with a protein and 1/4 with a starch. This helped me to loose my first 30 lbs. Then I got stuck and knew I needed a little more help. I joined Weight Watchers and was able to reach my goal in 2009.

As my health improved, I took up jogging with Stephanie and we did a few races together. I will never forget how great it felt to accomplish my 1st 5K. My next goal was a 10K which I did with Stephanie and my sister, Brooke. I will never forget the amazing feeling as bystanders were cheering me on, encouraging me that I could do it. Due to an injury, I’m no longer able to run, but I still enjoy hiking and snowshoeing in the beautiful mountains near our home.

I also love hiking in southern Utah in our amazing national parks. This past summer we were able to hike The Narrows at Zion National Park with our grandson, Gavin. We had a blast! Slot canyons are some of the best hikes. While in Kawai we were able to hike the Napali coast.

I love to travel! I love visiting the National Parks and exploring this amazing world. I was able to visit Europe 13 years ago and can’t wait to go again. I would love to travel to Scandinavia and Ireland. A few years ago we visited Hawaii. What a wonderful experience that was! Our next big trip we are planning is New Zealand! We also just returned from a cruise in the Southern Caribbean. It was amazing!

I have a thing for period piece movies! I love Downton Abby, Call the Midwife, Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Poldark, Anne of Green Gables, just to name a few. I also love romanic comedies. My all time favorite is American Dreamer with JoBeth Williams and Tom Conti. 

I am a big fan of of HGTV. I absolutely love to watch the decorating shows.  My current favorites are Home Town, Windy City Rehab, Flee Market Flip and Fixer Upper.

Every year I just can’t miss the Parade of Homes. I love to wander through these amazing homes gathering ideas and dreaming of future projects. With camera in hand, I spend usually 3 days photographing some amazing designs.

Anyone who knows me knows I love old stuff. I love to frequent yard sales, thrift stores and vintage markets. On a recent trip to Vintage Market Days of Northern Utah, with Stephanie and my sisters Cami and Brooke, we literally had the SUV stuffed. GOOD TIMES!

Last year I was diagnosed with Graves disease. This came as a total shock! I had gone to my doctor and mentioned that I has alarmed at how quickly I was loosing my hair. After some blood work, the test came back positive for Graves disease. I have always thought of myself as quite healthy, and the past 10 years I have considered myself very healthy. I do not know of anyone in my family that has been diagnosed with it and I had never even heard of it before.

I began reading all I could about it. It is an autoimmune disorder affecting the thyroid gland causing hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid. With this disease, my immune system attacks the thyroid and causes it to make more thyroid hormone than my body needs. Left untreated it can cause serious problems with the heart, bones, muscles, eyes, menstrual cycle, and fertility.

I did have symptoms like racing heart, intolerance to heat, trouble sleeping and weight loss. I had attributed them all to menopause and I loved the fact that I lost more weight. When you’ve been a chubby person your entire life and you suddenly loose 10 lbs. it great!

I began a treatment program 9 months ago with medication to see if we can get in under control. Initially, my body responded well and the thyroid hormone levels were leveling out, but in December my medication needed to be increased which resulted in some other complications. Hopefully I will soon be regulated again and I hope to go into remission. 

A major part of who I am is that I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a follower of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I enjoy reading his words daily and try to put into practice His teachings. I have served in the Church throughout my life, playing the piano, teaching children and youth. I am currently serving in a leadership position working with these amazing women Jeri, Sharon and Diane, serving the children and their leaders. It is a blessing in my life to share my love and testimony of the reality of my Savior with these children. I hope to help them to know that they are loved and that they will grow up to be amazing adults.

For our birthdays, we have a gift for you! More free printables. The post “Dated Bathroom to Black & White Beauty” has been our most popular post. We also get a lot of feedback from the bathroom art above the toilet. So we have created for you some fun bathroom art. Be sure to check it out here.

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