Facebook friend gets recognized

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In this day and age, you’re not famous until you’re Facebook famous.

So when the Valencia County News-Bulletin reached out to its Facebook fans and asked them to help push the paper over the 1,000-like mark, readers responded.

Melanie Chiwiwi

To celebrate getting to 1,000 likes and beyond, the News-Bulletin randomly selected one of its readers to profile, living up to that “15 minutes of fame” promise.

Los Lunas native Melanie Chiwiwi was the lucky person selected, and over a cup of coffee at Starbucks, she let a reporter delve into her life just a little.

The 24-year-old and her husband, Karl, have a son, 10-month-old Jonathan, who is exploring the world of standing by himself. When asked how that was going for the youngster, Chiwiwi laughed.

“Scary.” That answer most likely reflects her feeling on the matter.

“He will stand up and fall, stand up and fall,” Chiwiwi said. “He’s very active.”

Working full-time in Albuquerque, the new mother said her favorite thing is to come home at the end of the day and play with her son.

Being close to her family — her parents Mary Alice and Danny Hawkes and her nine siblings — is what kept Chiwiwi in Los Lunas.

Her parents are pretty well known here in Valencia County — as a couple they have opened their home numerous times to foster and adopted children. Her father was the Division II magistrate for 15 years. He left the bench in October.

“We’ve always been a close family,” she said. “Since my dad was a judge, I met a lot of interesting people as a kid. From school board, superintendents to senators.”

After some prodding about her family, Chiwiwi confessed that she “likes them most of the time.”

Having her family close gives her son plenty of time with his grandmother, something Chiwiwi said is very important to her.

While she and her husband of a little more than a year just started their family, Chiwiwi said she isn’t sure if she’s going to try to emulate her parents.

“We’ll see,” she said with a laugh.

She met Kyle while they were in high school, connected by the brother of one of her friends. They were together five-and-a-half years before tying the knot.

In her free time, Chiwiwi likes to shoot her bow, and go hunting and fishing. She is a fan of country music stars, such as Luke Bryan, Alan Jackson and George Strait.

When asked which movie she could watch over and over, almost without a pause Chiwiwi named “Pitch Perfect.”

“Just for the music,” she said.

Her favorite New Mexico dish is her grandmother’s menudo, a dish she hasn’t tried her hand at yet, but plans to soon.

Chiwiwi did reveal some oddities about herself — when she has a bowl of her favorite cereal, Lucky Charms, she eats the marshmallows last so they’re soft from the milk.

“I’m pretty normal,” she said. Except for the fact that she bites peanut M&Ms in half, eating the chocolate coating first, then the peanut.

And like any new mom, her reading habits are heavily influenced by her toddler.

“The last book I read? I guess it was the “Mr. Potato Head Counting Book,” Chiwiwi said with a shrug.

As a woman who clearly enjoys her life, Chiwiwi said she tries not to get angry or stressed.

“And if I do, I try not to show my anger around other people,” she said. “A lot of times, they don’t understand it’s not directed at them,” she said.

And with that bit of life advice, Chiwiwi finished her coffee and headed out to join her husband and son for a quiet evening at home.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.