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Meeting Mike Holmes

Last November.  I stood in line with a couple hundred other folks to meet Mike Holmes from HGTV’s Holmes on Homes.  My husband Steve and I left our house at 8:30 a.m. to drive to the Books-A-Million in Colonial Heights, VA.

We arrived around 11:00 a.m. and got in line.  It was great chatting with the people in front and behind us.  Mike has a lot of fans!  As 12 noon chimed in we could hear a commotion towards the front of the store, people started cheering. He arrives in those classic overalls he is well-known for wearing on every show.  Huge applause and cheers broke out as Mike approached our section of the line.  In a humble boyish grin and he raised his arms half way in their air and said ‘Hey folks, I’m just a contractor.’

The Holmes crew was organized, prior to Mike’s arrival they went through the line and asked for your first name and wrote it on a sticky note and then placed it on page 9 in the magazine.  One by one Mike shook everyone’s hand and hugged those who asked for a hug – even some of the guy builders in line (made me smile that he’s not afraid to hug men – reminds me of my Dad).  Mike was all smiles.

As the line dwindle before us, I started to get excited – I was going to meet THE Mike Holmes – how cool is this!  As we approached, one of his team members grabbed my magazine, another grabbed my camera and I heard Mike say ‘Hi Lisa!’ I turned around and he stood there with his hand stretched out.  I reached out my hand and he said ‘it is so nice to meet you’!  I was mush!  All I could do was smile, he greeted Steve by his first name and shook his hand.  Such a gentlemen.

I stood next to Steve and Mike jumped in between us to take a picture he said ‘I’ll be the monkey in the middle’ (too funny).

Mike took the time to sign our Holmes Magazine.  He also signed a poster for our son Isaac – he wrote:  “To Isaac, the next Pro!”

The fella taking the picture caught Steve turning to see what Mike was writing.  I’ve got my business card in my hand to give to him.

This pictures makes me laugh, both Mike and I talk with the hands!

Steve and I were both impressed.  He’s not a HGTV star, he’s a contractor and he really cares about giving every waking moment his best.  I could tell he was tired, he had traveled all over the place doing these meet and greets, but he put himself aside and took time for all of us in line.

The overall sentiment from everyone there was ‘Man I wished you lived near me!’  Steve and I both echoed that sentiment.  This past week I’ve spent time catching up on my HGTV shows via my DVR.  I had not watched any of the Holmes Inspection series.  How can you help but not love this man and all the people who work with him.  What an incredible team.  It does my heart good to watch TV where people are actively educating and helping those who don’t know or those who need a helping hand.  I learn so much and it gives me the courage to go and do these things myself.

I hope one day he will open a Holmes Contracting Trade School and offer training and certification.  It is the best way for him to teach others his code of construction honor and work ethics.  It is the only way he can stretch himself out across this great land of ours and live in every neighborhood too.

Outside the store I had to snap a photo of the Ford truck emblem on Mike’s truck.  One day Stevie, I promise, you’ll have one too!

Small but just as passionate about design as he is about construction!

Me with MY hero and love of my life!

Make it Right!

Tomorrow my sweet husband is going to drive me 2 hours and 20 minutes to Colonial Heights, VA (according to google maps) so I can meet HGTV personality Mike Holmes.

I woke up this morning, thinking what will I say to him? I’m sure everyone Mike has met on his Holmes Magazine USA Tour 2010, is telling him ‘We LOVE Your Show’! I’ll say the same but I want to let him know what a difference he is making when it comes to educating those like me and my husband who do the work ourselves.

Steve and I try to save as much money as possible in all of our projects. More so than the saving, we like to see work done right. We learned this from Steve’s Dad – Sam Altizer and my Dad Phil Morales who both built their homes when Steve and I were kids. Steve was directly involved in the labor of his Mom and Dad’s house, and I had to watch from a distance as my Mom and Dad worked to build what I thought was a castle.

Steve grew up in Richlands, Virginia in a classic brick rambler with full walk-out basement. His childhood home had four bedrooms, two living rooms, two kitchens (one upstairs for formal meals and one in the lower level for everyday use). His parents still live there and we love coming home – so many great memories for Steve growing up. When we get together during the holidays with his brothers and sister, there is always fun stories about the house being built that brings us to tears because we laugh so hard.

My childhood castle was located in East Andover, Maine. My parents purchased 13 acres of woodland and cleared 5 acres. The land cleared had a nice size hill perfect to build the house on. They purchased a single wide mobile home and put it in front of the building site and we lived there while they built. The Chalet style home had four bedrooms, galley kitchen, living room, full basement with bulk head door access, large wrap around deck on the main level, and a balcony off my parents bedroom. I felt like a princess when we moved in. What fun my brothers and I had growing up there. Shoveling mountains of snow off the deck every winter, not so much – it did give us a good work ethic, though. And like my Steve’s family – when the Morales’ get together we retell house building stories that bring us to our knees with laughter.

I’m so very grateful for our parents. While Mike Holmes is one of my heroes he will never fill the shoes of our parents. Our childhood homes still stand today. Our Dad’s were smart enough to think things through when it came to building them. Both our Dad’s went above and beyond with the construction to make sure the homes were energy-efficient, and solid enough to hold up against 4 kids in one and 5 kids in the other. Our Mom’s Deanis Altizer and Kathy Morales literally knew how to design on dime! Their resourceful design skills made our houses, homes. Reflecting today makes me realize how heavily influenced good building and design was impressed upon me at a young age.

Mike represents on HGTV the personalities and integrity of both our parents. He is a voice for many in todays world who never had the luxury of learning the details about home buying and home building.  Mike instills confidence to the home owner that it’s your money and you have every right to question the contractor and educate them if they don’t what they are doing.  He empowers the home owner to take their single biggest investment and Make it Right.  I now know what I’m going to say to Mike – ‘You remind me of my parents’.

We are heading to Richlands to celebrate Thanksgiving. My parents who now live in Florida will be up the first week of December, I’ll make sure I get photos from both of them to share with you in a future post.