It's high time I introduced you to my fabulous youngest sister, Michele.
Shelly is one smart cookie. She has two degrees -- one from UVU, one from the University of Utah -- in fine art, studio art and printmaking. She reads everything from William S. Burroughs to Japanese manga. She writes expressively and well, with her own unique and authentic voice. She's also an excellent cook, specializing in food with Asian flavors and in the best salads you've ever eaten.
If you were to visit Michele's place you would see much evidence of her love for pop-culture girl power: She-Ra Princess of Power, Sailor Moon, Jem and the Holograms, Dita Von Teese, Catwoman, and the ultimate girl power symbol, Wonder Woman. Her favorite looks are reminiscent of the mid-century glamour girls -- a little Audrey Hepburn, a little Bettie Page, with a whole lot of attitude and a rocking set of high heels. And she's got a well-tuned and hilarious sense of humor.
Michele is a talented painter and a particularly skilled printmaker, a fact which would make her dad very proud. She loves beautiful things; she has a great visual aesthetic and a gift for putting things together with style and meticulous attention to detail. She's also a hard worker (at one point she was simultaneously going to school, holding down two jobs and being a single mom) and has a very strong work ethic.
There are very few people I know who are more spiritually sensitive than Michele. She is a true and loyal friend; if you become friends with her, you are likely to have a friend for life, and she will do whatever she can to help you. She has a gentle, compassionate spirit that expresses itself most readily in a love for animals. She has a special affinity for horses and has loved them since childhood; she rides beautifully and seems most at home on horseback. This sensitivity also means that she can be easily hurt, and so she often covers this inwardly sensitive nature with an outer shell of toughness.
Finally, Michele is a trusting person. She has given us permission to be temporary guardians of her daughter, the intrepid Miss V. I know she has a difficult time living a couple of states away from V, but Shelly's willingness to share a child makes a huge difference for good in our lives every day.
Michele is a beautiful person. Some of that beauty is on the outside...
...but most of it is within. I love you, Shelly.