Let's get started, eh?!? Section 1 is Birth and Family.
What is your full name? How did you get that name? Do you have any nicknames?
My full name was Michelle Renee Kletz. I am named after my grandfather (mom's dad) whose name was Marvin (M for Marvin, M for Michelle if you're not seeing the connection), and my middle name is after my mom's grandfather Reuben. As for nicknames, people (as in mainly my brother or sister) occasionally call me Shell. Growing up, my uncle used to call me Shelly Belly. And I think that's about it.
What are your parents full names, birth dates, and birth places?
Mom's full name is Susan Heckel (her maiden name) Kletz. She was born in Richmond, Virginia on December 29, 1954. Dad's full name is Todd David Kletz. He was born in Monroeville, Pennsylvania on October 30, 1955.
|I don't have any pictures from back then, but here are mom and dad now|
I was born March 19, 1981. I was born right here in Virginia Beach at Virginia Beach General. Aside from the fact that I was 17 days late (!), there was really nothing unusual about my birth. Oh, and my mom didn't realize she was pregnant with me for almost 5 months...supposedly she took several pregnancy tests that came back negative.
What are your siblings full names and birth dates?
My brother is Ryan Patrick Kletz...born on December 23, 1982. My sister is Genna (pronounced Jenna) Ashley Kletz...born on November 6, 1984.
|to the best of my knowledge this was the last time we took a picture of just the three of us (no spouses, kids, etc)...|
almost 4 years ago!
How was your relationship with your parents and siblings?
Being the oldest of three, I seemed to be the one who was able to pick which sibling I wanted to be friends with each day and then we would gang up on the other one...nice, huh?!? Of course, as we got older, my sister and I seemed to flock together over shared interests. My brother and I were on the high school swim team together and even worked at the same pool together (my sister later joined us there). We certainly didn't see eye to eye all the time, but got along in general (although much better now!).
My mom was pretty strict growing up and honestly I didn't necessarily appreciate that when I was younger! My dad worked really hard when we were younger to build his business and provide us with a certain lifestyle. Despite his schedule, though, he never missed any of my swim meets, school events, etc...nor did my mom for that matter. I used to have a huge complex growing up about how my mom favored my brother because he seemed to be held to a different standard(and I still joke her about it now because there is a little bit of truth to it), but we have developed a very special relationship since I left home.
What are some lessons you learned from your parents?
I could probably list several, but I'll stick with the biggest two:
The importance of family...my mom used to always tell us the old cliche that friends come and go, but that we would have each other forever...so true!
The value of hard work and always doing your best. We were held to a pretty high standard growing up, but in the end, I am very grateful to have been taught such a strong work ethic, level of commitment, and value of persistence.
How did you help in your home?
I remember we had some sort of chore rotation where we were each assigned dusting (either bedrooms or living room/dining room) or bathrooms at some point. But my mom was (and still is) totally OCD about cleaning, and we never really did a good enough job cleaning for her, so we were demoted pretty quickly. I had to make my bed each morning, though, and I'm thinking that may be about it.
Chapter 1 done. Happy weekend everyone!