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story.lead_photo.caption Melissa Hill poses Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, next to the fireplace in her favorite space, the living room of her Fort Smith home. - Photo by Andy Shupe

Melissa Hill

Where I live: in the Fianna Hills neighborhood in Fort Smith with my husband and four children. I love my house that looks like a cabin. It's exterior has a natural stone look, like it should be in the woods, but it's actually just walking distance from the school.

Occupation: I'm a fitness trainer at the Jones Center. After being hit by a car, I was a paraplegic for a while. My physical therapist was a personal trainer, and he gave me books on fitness so I'd start trying to walk. It worked.

My favorite space is: my living room.

Why: Because the fireplace is amazing and full of good memories. It's smaller than a lodge fireplace, but it's big for a house. It takes up a whole corner of our living room and you can fit a rack in it to cook on.

When we moved in one January, we only had beds. We had saved our money for years and sold our car. We had no cable or internet, only a TV antenna and mattresses. The heater didn't work well. So my family spent a lot of nights that first January roasting marshmallows in the fireplace. We would all hunch around the fire together. The kids eventually got their phones and Kindles back as we got internet. But I still look back on those marshmallow days fondly.

If I could make one change to improve this space, I would: make it bigger. All my kids are getting big, the oldest is almost 12. I would get a bigger house or make the living room my new bedroom.

HomeStyle on 02/24/2018

Print Headline: Personal Space

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