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Wedding the


+ h om e + healt h + wellness + fam i ly


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MANDAN 204 E Main St Mandan, ND 58554 (701) 663-9345 info@hagakommer.com

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This is what a good day looks like.

ORTHOPEDICS LIKE NOWHERE ELSE Here, our hobbies become our work, and our work becomes our passion. But when joint pain keeps us from doing what we love, it can affect our entire way of life. That’s why we meet these challenges head on — one by one, day after day. So whatever your good day looks like, we’ll find it together. Get started now — call 701-364-HURT or visit EssentiaHealth.org. 32nd Avenue Clinic Orthopedics & Sports Medicine 3000 32nd Avenue S | Fargo

Walk-In Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 8:15-11:30 am and 1:30-4:00 pm

february MARCH 2019


10 :


wedding 16 22 24 26 28 30

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health 44 46 48 50

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home 34 : 40 :


family 54 56 58 60

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profiles 64 : 66 :


76 :


on the cover FIND SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY a vintage treasure hunt with the WHITE HOUSE CO photography by abby anderson hair and makeup by adae salon clothing by clothes mentor flowers by love always floral




are the voice of Area Woman Magazine. They bring to life the Fargo-Moorhead area and the incredible stories of the women we feature.

t h e s e a r e t h e ta le n t e d co n t r i b u to r s s h owc a s e d in this issue. Learn more about these and our other contributors at areawomanmagazine.com.

ABBY ANDERSON photographer

Our cover story on page 68 was written by Alicia Underlee Nelson and photographed by Abby Anderson.

Abby is a wedding and portrait photographer who looks for the magic in love, the loveliness in people, and the joy in life. When she is not photographing, she can most often be found in her kitchen cooking a giant pot of soup with every colorful vegetable she can find in the fridge. She lives in Moorhead with her husband and two daughters.

ALICIA UNDERLEE NELSON Alicia is the creator of prairiestylefile.com, a website that explores the arts, culture, shopping, events and fashion of Fargo-Moorhead and the upper Midwest. She frequently travels across the region in search of what's beautiful and what's next.

ASHLEY HAM Ashley is a full-time wedding, lifestyle and destination photographer with her husband Ryan at FloraPine Photography. She is passionate about documenting the every day, writing about home simplicity and renovation projects, and writing music.

MEGAN ELGIN Megan grew up on the family farm in small town North Dakota and graduated from MSUM. She loves all things creative including her job as the art director here at Area Woman Magazine. She is passionate about reading as many books as possible and loves discussing them with others. Megan lives in Horace with her husband and son, loves camping with her family in the summer, and snuggling on the couch with them in the winter.



Wasifa is a dentistry graduate, full time blogger and makeup artist. She blogs and makes videos about beauty, makeup, fashion and lifestyle on her blog sifascorner.com.

Balancing life of family, friends and fashion. Whitney lives for laughs, good people and great clothes, with a few other things too. Whitney graduated from UND with a degree in marketing. She goes by the title of "fashion maven" (also known as a fashion influencer). You can see her daily fashion posts, and catch her crazy ideas on Instagram @whitney_lynne.Â

SIRI FREEH Siri is a former Miss Minnesota, media personality, and current RN health coach at Sanford Health. She focuses on helping people living their best life possible and enjoys gourmet cooking, hot yoga, and the occasional (vegan) burger.

CORI JENSEN Livin' the dream as a mom of four and wife to a smarty pants teacher. She can't live without self-deprecating humor and coffee! Fortunately, her day job is her dream job on the radio. BOB 95 with Chris, John and Cori in the morning.

MOLLY YEH GIGI K. Gigi's experience as a professional nanny gives her a unique perspective to assist families navigating life's unexpected hiccups. Her advice blog "Ah, Honeychild!" answers the tough questions all parents ask.

Molly is the star of Food Network's new series "Girl Meets Farm." She is the author of the IACP awardwinning cookbook, Molly on the Range. She is also the creator of the acclaimed lifestyle food blog mynameisyeh.com. Molly lives on a farm on the North Dakota-Minnesota border with her fifth-generation farmer husband and their little flock of chickens.

a r e a wom a n

| areawomanmagazine.com


celebrating all things woman


art director MEGAN ELGIN


advertising MIKE SHERMAN 701-306-5119 DEBBIE TROMBLEY 701-729-1910 JON-MICHAEL SHERMAN 701-306-1288

graphic design intern HELENA NORRAW

marketing intern LINDSEY WAGNER


read it online issuu.com/areawoman

find us areawomanmagazine.com

Area Woman is a proud member of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. It is published bimonthly by Area Woman Publishing, LLC and printed in the U.S.A. ©2019 Area Woman Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from AW. Area Woman is a trademark registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Area Woman Publishing assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs and does not necessarily agree with content or advertising presented.

“It’s a huge weight

lifted off my shoulders.”

Member advocates from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. Inspired by fighters like the Jones family. While Marcie Jones focuses on her son, Chase, and aggressive leukemia treatments that routinely take him across the state, her member advocate personally oversees the claims paperwork and any out-of-network referrals. Marcie stays focused on Chase, and keeping him in remission.

Read Chase’s story at BCBSND.com/Chase

wedding area

photo: abbyanderson.com

fe brua ry. m a rch 2 0 19


words by MEGAN ELGIN


liz + will J U N E 9, 2 01 8

Fargo native Liz found her future husband when they were both stationed in San Diego, California, serving in the United States Navy. After a less than stellar blind date, Liz was invited to a party where she met Will, and they’ve been together ever since. When it came time to plan their wedding, the couple centered everything around a place they had already fallen in love with — downtown Fargo. Currently living in Virginia meant planning everything from afar so Liz and Will turned to local wedding planner Christy Tehvan of Love Always Floral to help them bring their vision to life. “We were going for a classic, elegant wedding. White florals, navy blue and some dusty blue accents combined with Christy’s vision really helped us achieve that look,” Liz says. “Everything in our house is decorated in navy blue and white. It just feels so timeless.” The sunny June morning of their wedding day began with getting ready at a downtown landmark, the Hotel Donaldson. Later, as guests arrived at the Abovo events space for the ceremony, they were treated to a small bar with wine and beer. Liz and Will have a passion for visiting local breweries, wineries and distilleries, so seeing everyone seated with a drink during their vows set the mood for a fun and laid back celebration. What was their favorite part of the day? Liz says “We loved the atmosphere of the entire day, but the ceremony was so special to us. We’d been planning the big day for so long that it felt surreal to be holding hands saying our vows to one another.” Following the vows, a traditional sword arch sent the bride and groom off to the reception. “It was so fun to share that tradition with friends and family who hadn’t seen it before,” Liz says. White florals were brought to life by navy tablecloths and gold and white place settings that sparkled against the wood beams and bricks walls of the Plains Art Museum. Guests sat down to dinner as the skies darkened with rain, followed by a beautiful rainbow visible through the museum’s windows. The weather soon cleared and Liz changed into a second dress of white lace for dancing, and more downtown photos complete with sparklers. “We loved dancing the night away. Drew from Fuze Entertainment nailed it and we had a blast!” Liz exclaims. Liz’s advice to brides-to-be is simple. “Have a good planner on your side. We were planning our wedding from afar and having Christy was key. She took our vision and brought it to life.”

The newlyweds left the day after the wedding for a cruise in Alaska. Liz says, “It was a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.” When they aren’t enjoying the great outdoors, Liz and Will love cooking together and spending time with their goldendoodle, Harper.

Liz has incredible taste and the wedding turned out like a fairytale!” — C H R I ST Y T E H VAN , We d d i n g P l a nne r, Lo ve Always F lo ral

be au tifu l e n gage me n ts rooftop ce re mon ie s u n iqu e space s exce ption al food h an d crafte d cock tails

wedding memories that will last a lifetime

Fargo has so many amazing vendors that it was easy to keep it local.”


J E SSI CA R E I D 701.478.2939

jessica@hoteldonaldson.com photography by Abby Anderson

101 Broadway. Fargo, ND hoteldonaldson.com

— L IZ ceremony: Abovo reception: Plains Art Museum photographer: Two Birds Photography hair + makeup: ADAE Salon floral design + wedding planning: Christy Tehvan, Love Always Floral catering: Chef’s Table dj: Fuze Entertainment videography: Grassfire Studios ceremony bridal gown: Marni Gown by Hayley Paige — Lovely Bride DC reception bridal gown: Jolie Gown by Catherine Deane — BHLDN cake: Nicole’s Fine Pastry donuts: Sandy’s Donuts acrylic signs: Erin Breean Creative on Etsy decor rentals: The White House Co.

[ aw ]

UPSCALE EATERY WITH THE DECOR AND MENU OF A big-city restaurant, the warmth and familiarity of a small-town joint and the mystique of a 1920’s speakeasy.

Located downtown Fargo behind the historic Fargo Theatre 309 Roberts St, Fargo • dinemezzaluna.com


words by MEGAN ELGIN


alex + chris J U N E 2 2 , 20 1 8

When she met Chris at the Annual Food Truck Festival through a mutual friend, Alex immediately thought he was an interesting character. A few days later, she took matters into her own hands and messaged him asking him out. His reply led to a first date at the Casselton Shooting Range followed by an evening of burgers, darts, music, and great conversation. It was clear from the beginning they were soul mates. “We felt like we had known each other for years,” Alex says. Fast forward nearly three years later, Alex and Chris said their vows in a traditional wedding ceremony at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. As a photographer who is first on weddings at Scherling Photography, Alex knew right away that quickly booking a reception venue was imperative. They chose Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead because their policy is to only hold one wedding at a time. “We loved that exclusivity of having the staff concentrate on our wedding for the day,” says Alex. A classic color scheme quickly emerged with knee-length maroon bridesmaid dresses and Chris choosing navy suits for the men. Alex added rose gold and blush accents in wherever possible, from the elegant cake stands on the dessert table down to her sparkling rose gold sneakers peeking out beneath the tulle layers of her gown. For a couple that enjoys camping and the outdoors, Gooseberry Park made the perfect photo location for a little alone time before heading to the church for the main event. Alex advises any bride-to-be to plan some time alone as a couple. “It can even be 15 minutes, where you and your significant other are alone to be with one another and tell them how much you love them,” she says. “Tell them how happy you are, that you have found the person, your favorite person, to share a life with, how much you appreciate them.” As a professional photographer, Alex has seen it all and offers lots of helpful advice for planning your own wedding, saying, “Timing is everything.” She suggests booking venues and vendors early, following a checklist, don’t be afraid to ask your vendors questions, and make a timeline for the day. She says, “Keep a positive note in mind and realize that things happen, and not everything might go perfectly in order, but it is what it is and don’t let the little things stress you out.” Alex and Chris decided to wait and take a honeymoon this February when the weather here in Fargo is not the best. “We knew we wanted to go somewhere we both had never been so we can experience the city together,” Alex says. Where did they decide to go? New Orleans!

We always say ‘I love you’ before we go to sleep, we always support each other through hardships, we are soul mates.” — ALEX

ONE WEDDING, ceremony: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fargo reception: Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead photography: Scherling Photography bridal gown: Alan Evans Bridal bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal men’s attire: Halberstadt’s hair + makeup: MJ Capelli engagement ring + wedding bands: A Cutting Edge flowers: DIY by the Bride cake: 4.5.7 Cake transportation: All Occasions Limousine & Coach

[ aw ]

one stop shop,

imagine the possibilities... indoor or outdoor ceremonies | décor packages exclusive use of our ballroom for your special day getting ready room | and much more... FRIDAY SPECIAL: On top of weekend inclusions, you also receive waived room rental and a free keg of domestic beer! 1080 28th Ave S, Moorhead 218-284-1000 | marriott.com/farcy Certified Wedding Planner, Liz Lilja email: lilja@raymondteam.com


words by MEGAN ELGIN

photography by ABBY ANDERSON

breanna + erik J U LY 7, 2 0 1 8

When high school sweethearts Breanna and Erik began planning their wedding, they set about infusing personal touches into every single detail. They started by choosing a meaningful wedding date that reflected their seven years together: 07-07-18. “We wanted it to be us. Very unique and nothing generic,” Breanna says. Breanna’s love for flowers sparked their use throughout the entire day, from the invites, to décor, to the one-of-a-kind rose petal aisle installation. Ranee, of Flowers by Ranee, included roses everywhere and came up with the rose aisle installation idea as a nod to the bride’s middle name, Rose. As the wedding party walked down the aisle to begin the ceremony, the rose petals spread out creating a beautiful pink carpet for the bride. Erik says his favorite moment was watching her walk down the aisle. During the ceremony, the couple donned safety glasses to pour two flasks of liquid into a large beaker creating a chemical reaction that turned the united liquid pink. “We are pretty nerdy and like science stuff so we wanted something showy and meaningful to us,” Breanna says. She used her nursing and science background to create the unity ceremony based off the saying, “When people meet and there is a chemical reaction.” They saved the resulting pink liquid and turned it into Christmas ornaments to hang on their tree each year. After the vows, guests headed over to the barn for dinner and dancing where they signed a homemade periodic table guest book, which now hangs on the newlyweds’ wall at home. The couple opted for custom Sandy’s Donuts instead of a traditional cake. The donuts were reflective of memories of mornings spent having breakfast at Sandy’s while the couple lived in Fargo. Guests took home jars of homemade salsa from the newlyweds, who grew all the vegetables and made the salsa themselves. This romantic, hot summer wedding ended with nighttime photos and a sparkler send-off.

Detail-oriented Breanna had everything planned out and structured so the couple could relax and enjoy the day. “Our vendors played a huge part in making the day really successful because they were all very genuine,” says Breanna. “I came up with a lot of crazy ideas and they just said let’s see how we can make that work.” Photographer Abby Anderson and the DJ from Harmon Entertainment were key in creating schedules for the day that went off without a hitch, which made for a very relaxing, blissful day. Breanna’s advice for couples planning their wedding day is to plan ahead of time as much as possible and don’t leave anything to the last minute because that’s when it gets stressful. “Things you plan to do yourself, do as much ahead of time as you can so you aren’t stressed about finishing them last minute.”

Your photographer makes a huge difference and is such an important part of the day. Now we have so many photos that perfectly capture who we are and our wedding day.” — BREAN N A

701.566.6581 | twomenfargo.com 658 Main Ave. W. Ste. 1 | West Fargo, ND 58078 Each frachise is independently owned and operated. | U.S. DOT No. 3220190

natural beauty.

ceremony + reception: Rustic Oaks photography: Abby Anderson bridal gown + jewelry: Your Day by Nicole bridesmaid dresses: Your Day by Nicole hair + makeup: Cally Jo of Cloud 9 Salon & Spa floral design: Flowers by Ranee ceremony music + dj: Harmon Entertainment catering: Concordia College of Moorhead donuts: Sandy’s Donuts

[ aw ]

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VOT E D 201 8 best wedding venue

218 . 343 . 0347 ,< rusticoaks.net a r e a wom a n

| areawomanmagazine.com



words and photography by ASHLEY HAM, FLORA PINE PHOTOGRAPHY

Follow Ashley on INSTAGRAM: @florapinephotography

a letter to the bride


go as planned

Dear Bride,

When it comes to wedding planning, there are quite a few things a bride can control. Things like the colors, the design, who gets invited, etc. And then there is this other thing that unfortunately no human soul has control over â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the weather. Over our years of photographing weddings, we have seen the weather cooperate and the weather decide it wants to do it's own thing. But regardless of what it decides to do on your wedding day, don't let it rob your joy. When I was planning our wedding, I checked the weather app every day just in case it would be able to magically tell me what the weather of our wedding day would be a month out. But thankfully my husband encouraged me not to check the weather app the whole week of our wedding, and I am so grateful he did. It's the one thing I had no control over, and it's the one thing I had to surrender my expectations of. Thankfully we had beautiful weather on our wedding day, but that hasn't always been the case for the brides and grooms that we have photographed over the years. But you know what has been the most beautiful part of it all? How they have embraced it and made it a part of their wedding day story. Whether it rained torrentially in May or snowed in October, our couples and their amazing bridal parties decided to make the best of it and embrace whatever weather the radar forecasted that day. Because at the end of the day, you will be married to the one you love most. And that's the whole point of the occasion, right? If it rains, gather up the umbrellas and make the most of it. You only wear these dresses and suits once.

Bringing couples back to Love

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th2fargo.com * 4654 Amber Valley Parkway, Fargo * th2fargo@gmail.com * 701-541-4092

If your outdoor seating gets wet, have the best ushers and personal attendants you can find help dry off seats before the guests arrive. If your ceremony gets rained out? You say your vows and commit your love with just a couple of witnesses, and run down the aisle hand in hand because â&#x20AC;&#x201C; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re totally married! If it starts to rain and hail during your dance, have the band play "Here Comes the Sun" and dance the night away. If your wedding reception gets rained out, grab your closest friends and family and enjoy a dance under the falling rain. If it's so cold that you can see your breath and you can't feel your toes, quick breaks and long embraces are a must. If it blizzards on your wedding day and it happens to be October, grab your winter boots and take some magical snow-filled photos. All of this to say: When the weather doesn't go as planned, close the weather app and take a deep breath. At the end of the day, you will be married to your love, and that is the best and greatest part of the whole celebration. Yours truly,


[ aw ] a r e a wom a n

| areawomanmagazine.com





“I DO”


fashion too

Follow Whitney Lynne on INSTAGRAM: @whitney_lynne


e got down on one knee, and I excitedly forgot the rest. Maybe even to answer his question: “Will you marry me?” I remember thinking and asking too many times, “Is this real life?” And, of course, pure happiness, joy, then more, “Is this real life?” The shock was so real I cannot recall if I cried tears of happiness, or if the happiness shut my brain completely off.

When we began sharing our news, the infamous question “What’s your date?” surfaced within seconds every time. If you’re anything like me, your dress isn’t hiding in your closet, the venue isn’t booked, Pinterest isn’t

holding all your ideas, and you’re just flat out clueless. Basically, I was a clueless ball of happy, hoping Luke had the day planned before asking. I can dream, right?

get a binder

breathe. relax. celebrate.

meet with vendors ahead of time

So if you’re engaged, first of all — congrats! I wish you a life of endless happiness! My first tip is to allow a few weeks to just simply enjoy the engagement. Go out to dinner together — buying the fancy champagne to compliment your fancy dress — and celebrate! After all, finding your forever-man is definitely worthy of some attention before diving into the planning process. Trust me, it’s not going anywhere. But now — down to business. I’ve been through the planning process. And I’m going to happily help you learn from our experience. When the planning starts, it doesn’t end. I am going to help you learn from our mistakes, and give you tips that helped make things easier.

Put all your wedding stuff in it. Notes, receipts, ideas and everything wedding — glue this onto yourself. Not really, but keep it readily available. I say this because we paid for things and we learned records can disappear, charges can be added, etc. Things happen, be prepared. To us, “ahead of time” ranged from four days, to months before. I’ll clarify for my engaged self, “Whit, you must do this months before, girl. Meet with photographers, venues, florists, DJ services, etc. ahead of time. Big tip, make sure you meet the specific person involved in your day. Huge emphasis on “specific person.” We met with our DJ service, but didn’t meet with our actual DJ until days before — via phone. Huge mistake. Between you and me, we ended up playing iTunes later in the evening. On the flip side, we had a miscommunication with our florist, who we had met and communicated with up until the week of. She made a special trip to our venue, delivering an additional bouquet with a sweet note (thank you Country Greenery) free of

charge. This is why I say to know the specific person involved, not just the general vendor. The people involved can make or break your day, and your stress level.

what to wear

Here is what I suggest when it comes to attire (cue the violins please). Kidding! I’m more of a Bruno Mars kind of girl anyways.

1. Define the style or theme from

the start; classic, modern, boho, country, etc.

2. Pick your theme first, then find “the dress”

3. Decide your wedding colors 4. Select bridesmaid dresses that compliment your dress

5. Find men’s suits and tie options


cAn Be eXPenSiVe!

We offer carefully selected pre-loved, quality items


And let me just say, take every rule you know about weddings, and throw it out. Start fresh, pave your own way. Your day, your rules! However, be respectful of your wedding party. Everyone wants to be comfortable and look beautiful. Be realistic with your expectations. The rules I’m talking about; the men’s ties don’t need to match the bridesmaid’s dresses. And the bridesmaids don’t need to have the same dress. It’s fun if you add your own personal touch and let them be who they are. I requested my bridesmaids to wear long black dresses, and they had rein to select their own style. Rent the Runway (renttherunway.com) is a great dress option for dress rental. I had several bridesmaids rent rehearsal dresses and bridesmaid dresses. It’s a money savor, and they have gorgeous dress rentals. My husband cropped his pants and wore a tux, while his groomsmen wore suits. Some guys wore ties, some wore bow ties. What I’m trying to say is, it’s your special day, so don’t let the so-called “rules” steer you away from your vision.

bridal gowns • accessories • bridesmaids flower girls • mothers of the bride & groom cocktail • gala • prom • pageant 1 8 8 th s t r e e t s o u t h , s u i t e a

fa r g o

• formallyyoursfargo.com

fargo moorhead ’ s

Newest Wedding Venue

have an assistant

This is my final tip, and one of the most important on our day. I asked a friend to be our wedding assistant. She was a huge help to me, the bridesmaids, and the entire flow of the day. Without her the day wouldn’t have gone as smoothly as it did, and she took a lot of stress off my plate. Okay, I lied, I have one more tip. Have Fun with It. And remember to not take it too seriously. It’s about the person you’re marrying, not the party. If you have any specific questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.

Enjoy the process, and happy planning!

xx, Wh�ney[aw ]

W EDDI NGS | R EC EP TI O NS | EV ENTS 1710 Center Avenue Dilworth, MN 56529 701-261-2525 takmusicvenue.com where music comes first


Custom made from hand selected fabrics to match your wedding theme and colors perfectly. aendeehandmade.com | aendee.com



13 South 8th St, Fargo 701-232-6430 nicholesfinepastry.com

photo by Fernweh + Liebe

Allison Lunde hello@floretandfoliage.com floretandfoliage.com


Elegant & feminine dress by Joseph Ribkoff Shoppes at BLU 3265 45th St S, Fargo lauriesfargo.com


Assorted wedding and greeting cards 300 Broadway N, Fargo 701-478-2012

photo by Two Birds Photography


Vintage meets modern; classy and elegant. Offering everything from tufted velvet sofas to beautiful gold rimmed china. warehouse: 910 Main Ave, Fargo by appointment only 701-552-9881 | thewhitehouseco.com


1650 45th St S, Fargo | 701-364-2253 | gigiscupcakesusa.com


South of Costco 835 23rd Ave E West Fargo 701-639-6990 shopolivestreet.com


1450 25th St S, Fargo 701-235-5864 dalbolflowers.com


18 8th St S, Fargo formallyyoursfargo.com


Herbie the Photo Booth Camper 2201 14th Ave S, Moorhead 701-412-3782 | gatheredrentalsandevents.com


701-205-8710 hello@lovealwaysfloral.com lovealwaysfloral.com

a r e a wom a n

| areawomanmagazine.com





Avalon Events Center EN T E R S I TS


he interior spaces of Avalon Events Center gleam. Creamy white floors and rich, warm wood give the building a feeling of timeless elegance. Bottles of spirits glow in the soft light behind the handsome bars. Graceful chairs are tucked into quiet spaces for an intimate chat amidst the murmur of cocktail party conversation. A fire flickers under the sweeping staircase that whisks guests up to the mezzanine that overlooks the property’s marquee attraction, the Millennium Ballroom.

This sleek and modern ballroom is the largest and most photographed space in the complex. In addition to the main ballroom and the mezzanine, which offers a bar and table seating, it also holds The Loft — a versatile space that’s hosted intimate dinners, wedding ceremonies and cocktail parties — and dressing rooms for the wedding party. But there’s much more to Avalon Events Center than the Millennium Ballroom. And although the space is known as a wedding venue (it even won weddingwire.com’s Couple’s Choice Award Winner in 2018 and 2019), Avalon Events Center does a lot more than just weddings.

second act

“I think when people see our building from the outside, all they see is larger events, but we’re really capable of doing smaller events and making them extremely personalized,” explains Andy Richards, Avalon Events Center’s chief marketing officer. “We want people to know that we can do anything. We can do weddings, we can do huge corporate events, we can do small trainings. We also do non-profit events, we do expos.”

The Sheyenne Ballroom’s wood wainscoting makes the space feel classic, weighty and perhaps quietly masculine. Across the hall, the Dakota Ballroom’s recessed walls and ceilings, striking chandeliers and stately columns give the room an air of historical elegance that belies its recent construction. Chandeliers fashioned like a tangle of delicate vines grace the pressed copper ceiling of the Prairie Rose Ballroom.

A wide range of banquet spaces makes this versatility possible. They’re all equipped with built-in bars, ambient LED lighting and the technology required for presentations, but each has its own unique character.

“Our Roosevelt Room is gorgeous,” adds Richards. The warm, welcoming room is completed paneled in luxe, warm wood, making it a cozy spot for business meetings, investor dinners and donor events. “It’s just like taking out a prospect or donors to eat at a high end restaurant, but you don’t have to deal with all the noise around you,” Richards explains. This focus on events other than weddings is part of a move toward a more community-oriented mission and a very customer-centered experience. The facility is under new management and Richards is very frank about the changes his team has made over the last year.

hair EXTENSIONS the hair you

awas reame o!

“Bad news travels so much faster than good news, and one burned bridge that happened three years ago with someone who’s no longer here is a resounding noise that causes a wave we feel today,” he says. “We’ve spent the last year talking to businesses, people that got married here and different professionals to see what we could improve upon. And we’ve been implementing those suggestions.” As a result, Avalon Events Center is intentional about adding value for customers and keeping clients informed. Prospective customers sip champagne on free VIP tours so they can see the space and sample menu items. Centerpieces and linens are available for no extra charge. The facility waives the room rental fee for non-profit organizations and provides a free limo for weddings. The staff is happy to connect their clients with area vendors. An online CRM system allows customers to create and coordinate every aspect of their event with the staff, while mock invoices provide pricing transparency. These extras really add up.



3 4 7 5 4 5 th ST S , ST E 1 0 0 FA R GO 701-356-0701 • 701-799-5058


f r om s mal l i nt i mat e e v ent s t o l ar g e gat he r ings


“There were 22 event centers in the Fargo-Moorhead area three years ago and now there’s over 60, so it’s very competitive,” says Richards. “But it’s better to go shop your dream venue and price everything out, because when it comes to the very final price in Fargo-Moorhead, you’d actually be shocked at how close everything is in price.”


Avalon Events Center is entering its second act. And it’s ready to welcome new partnerships with area businesses and non-profit organizations. “We are the premiere event space in the Fargo-Moorhead area,” says Richards. “We’re the most beautiful space in town. We’re the most versatile space in town. We’d really like to be able to talk to the decision-makers in the community and engage them in more activities here.” [ aw ]

2 5 2 5 9 th

av e s far g o




avalone ventscenter.com

a r e a wom a n

| areawomanmagazine.com



words and photography by WASIFA AHMAD HASAN

. west eastvs W EDDI N G MAKEU P S HOW D OW N

the ma ny cust oms of am e ri c a n & s o u t h a s i an w e d d i n g s


ndoubtedly weddings are one of the most special occasions in almost all the cultures. So many mixed feelings are felt this day, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a small or big lavish event. Being a makeup artist and a beauty blogger, I am always intrigued by the many forms of wedding makeup around the world.

One of the most asked questions I get from my American friends is what are the main differences between an American and a South Asian wedding. Well, there are many differences and some striking similarities between these two cultures. However, to keep the article short and sweet, I am going to focus on the brideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s side. South Asia encompasses a vast area, and the cultures there vary in each region. Every culture adds its own characteristics to the wedding traditions, making the events similar yet unique.


Most of the time a South Asian wedding has more than three major events leading up to the main event. Some events may also extend after the wedding ceremony itself. Each of these events represent South Asian cultural and religious customs. These can be just as costly as the main wedding ceremony. An American wedding, however, has smaller pre-wedding events leading up to the main ceremony. Each of these events represents the sanctuary of marriage, family and of course, tradition.

color scheme:

In an American wedding the bride chooses mostly lighter colors for her own attire, whereas most South Asian brides choose red or other vibrant bold colors. Many South Asian brides nowadays are opting for lighter hues such as light pink or pastels. As South Asian brides have many events leading to the wedding, they choose various color schemes for each and every occasion.


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dress & jewelry:

South Asian bridal jewelry is heavier in comparison to that of American weddings. I have seen American brides wearing just a pair of delicate earrings and the wedding ring but I have never ever seen a South Asian bride wearing just only one or two pieces of jewelry. Even if they wear only one, it will be a big heavy one for sure. South Asian brides also apply henna (temporary brown tattoo) on their hands for the wedding along with pretty manicures. This is a big part of a bridal preparation.


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The dress choices are also numerous for a South Asian bride. They can choose a saree or sari (a garment consisting of a length of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body; a salwar-kameez (“salwar” refers to the pajama-like pants and “kameez” is a long tunic); a lehenga (a full ankle-length skirt worn with a tunic or top); or a gown. An American bride opts for a bridal gown or dress in different designs. Her wedding preparation is also completed with beautiful manicured hands.


American brides go for rosy cheek, healthy dewy highlighted face and softer colors for their eye and lip makeup. South Asian bridal makeup can have both bold eye and lip makeup, or sometimes just one bold part. The face is contoured heavily and it is kept matte. As you can see, I have tried to recreate my version of a typical American and South Asian bridal makeup here. I love both cultures and the uniqueness they present. Yes, these wedding ceremonies have many differences but the main similarity in both is that they are both joyous occasions completed with family, friends, good food and music. [ aw ]


I believe that makeup is completely a personal choice and it doesn’t have to be defined by any race or nationality. Still, South Asian bridal makeup is comparatively heavier and bolder than an American bridal makeup.

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SWING BY OUR INSPIRATION CENTER, OPEN 6 DAYS A WEEK! 4779 41st St S, Fargo| Cottagewood Connect with our Sales team today! sales@heritagefargo.com | 701.281.7184 BEST OF THE RED RIVER VALLEY

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photography by MIKE SMITH

ighteen months ago, Heritage Homes hinted something B-I-G was in the works. After 20 years of helping thousands of happy homeowners fulfill their dreams and winning homebuilder awards, hadn’t they already thought of everything? Like being the only builder in Fargo-Moorhead: • With one-stop-shop personalization at their welcoming Design Studio • Certified as North Dakota’s exclusive Woman-Centric builder • And offering a one-of-a-kind HomeCare program. Last fall Heritage Homes opened three brand new model homes right next to each other in the Cottagewood Community of Fargo. Walking through each of these beautiful and very different homes is convenient and most importantly invites people to physically experience Heritage’s designs, finishes and innovative amenities. Also the spacious on-site Inspiration Center offers one-of-akind, state-of-the-art tools for exploring a wide array of design options.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Tyrone Leslie, owner and Troy Mattern, director of sales

These model homes and the Inspiration Center aren’t the only thing up their sleeve. Another collection has been three years in the making and the Heritage Homes team was driven to get it right. Tyrone Leslie, owner of Heritage Homes, says, “We’re thrilled to unveil our new Odyssey Collection at the Home and Garden show in February. Seven brand new, smart floor plans were designed with the same top-rated Heritage quality and style, yet at a value unparalleled in our market. This collection will fit a variety of homeowners, from first-time homebuyers to young families to ‘right-sizers.’ Our research really focused on millennials and what they look for when making large investments. Homes in the Odyssey Collection are smart, easy and fun. “Young buyers will be excited to learn they don’t have to wait forever to buy a new house. With our low down payment plans, monthly expenses can be similar to renting. We’re ready to help first-time buyers make wise choices and live their dream of home ownership.”


CREATING COMFORT for over five decades

Leslie continues, “These designs are well thought out, woman-centric approved and our Inspiration Center creates an experience for our clients unlike anything in this community.” A woman-centric home is a haven for her and her family. The approach is derived from real-life experiences to capture the true essence of livability. It caters to all needs and desires the family is looking for using four lenses: entertaining, de-stressing, flexible living and storage. Research finds women make 91 percent of household decisions. A uniquely designed quiz helps define your style. It takes just five minutes to answer 15 questions regarding personal preferences. This approach helps direct the entire Heritage Homes team on how to fit your home to your family’s daily routine and lifestyle. Along with the three model homes and Inspiration Center in South Fargo, three Odyssey Collection model homes are opening in the Wilds 9th Addition in West Fargo near Legacy Elementary School. All models will be finished, furnished and fabulous. Again visitors will enjoy walking through three homes in one stop. Their models are open six days a week. People can drop in to visit or make an appointment. A three-bedroom home in the Odyssey Collection starts around $275,000 with land. With a 10 percent down payment, a monthly payment could be about $1,600. Several smart technology packages will be available with a wide variety of options. Leslie continues, “Purchasing a home is very emotional. It can be exciting, scary, invigorating, frustrating, rewarding and everything in between. So we’ve created an Inspiration Center at the model sites to help buyers visualize their options and preferences.

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“The model homes are staged with furniture and decorative elements in every room as most people can’t visualize a furnished home. Today people want to touch and feel before they commit to a purchase and that’s what makes our center so engaging. You get a real feel about our product.”

F R E E I N - H O M E E S T I M AT E • F U L L I N S TA L L AT I O N S E R V I C E

JO U RN E Y Many journeys start with a little hesitation, but the Heritage Homes friendly team will settle your nerves in no time. New homeowners, Alex and Allie Jenson say, “We met Lindsey, our new home specialist, at an open house and she immediately had us sold. She took us through every aspect that makes Heritage Homes a unique builder in the area.” Leslie says, “We have a team of people that genuinely love what they do. We’re passionate about helping people find their forever home. And while we ask many questions to get to know the buyer, the buyer should also want to know their builder. What are they about? Are their customers happy? How is their builder involved in the community? Do they take care of you after you move in? “We have a systematic approach from the minute the buyer walks into the Inspiration Center all the way through move-in day, and really beyond that. Our warranty and HomeCare team stays in touch with our homeowner for years to come, through regular reminders about seasonal maintenance or precautionary suggestions.”

D ESIGN Most people think of building their dream home someday. Heritage Homes can help you build that home today. They believe your home is your haven, so they pay close attention to clients’ every word in order to personalize their home around their lifestyle. Troy Mattern, director of sales, says, “Today most people settle for an existing home by figuring out how their family can fit into that home. Our goal is exactly the opposite. After understanding the homeowner’s lifestyle — from daily routines to activities and hobbies, we fit the new home to the client. Plus we’re conscientious about what they can comfortably spend.” Clients learn early on what is included in the price of their home. For instance, appliance packages, three-stall garage, countertops, cabinetry and more. Mattern continues, “After one meeting our clients go from thinking we can’t afford a brand new home to how can we not afford a brand new home? Often the cost is minimal to own a new home over purchasing an existing home or even renting. “Our process not only gives them a home to meet their needs but also their wants. Again the woman-centric approach contributes to the livability of a home and ultimately higher future resale values.”

Leslie adds, “Our plans include great organizational conveniences. For instance, inside the garage entry, a locker area and bench seating make it easy for kids to put away their coats and shoes.” In-depth discussions with clients begin covering a wide, yet focused range of topics. What do mornings or evenings look like for each family member? How often do they like to entertain and how many guests? Do they want a kid-friendly space? What pets will occupy the home? Will there be a future need for multi-generational guests? Is there a desired community or neighborhood where they want their new home to be located? After delving into every possible nook and cranny, the design team gets to work to create that personal dream home. Speaking of nooks, they identify interesting uses for any wasted space. For example, under the stairway to the lower level, they could design a comfortable reading bench, a bookshelf, a wine grotto, mini-bar, a kid’s fort, a pet retreat or a sewing space. The possibilities present themselves from their indepth understanding of your household. The Jensons say, “We were surprised at how many wonderful options are included in the base price of the home. Plus they were patient with us, allowing multiple design meetings, which let us explore some options we never thought possible.” The Inspiration Center takes a lot of guesswork out of what can be a frustrating process. In this one-ofa-kind space, the new home specialists help you try different options to find what fits your dreams and then provides a visual through computer-generated three-dimensional floor plans.

B ELIEVE You’ve heard it said: build it and they will come. Their homeowner referral rate of an amazing 98.3 percent is indicative of another important final product — happy homeowners. That definitely contributes to building over 1,000 homes since 1995. The Jensons would recommend Heritage Homes to anyone looking to build. “In fact, we referred our best friends who built a Heritage Home at the same time and theirs turned out just as beautiful as ours.”

Heritage Homes builds personalized homes in a 60-mile radius of Fargo-Moorhead. Homes can be built on sites owned by Heritage Homes or anyplace the buyer desires.

It’s not about our style...

it ’s about

Some surprises aren’t fun; Heritage Home ensures 100 percent of their homeowners have no economic surprises at the day of closing. That’s because communication is on going throughout every step of the build.

B U IL D By the time the building process begins, the relationship between the client and the Heritage Homes team is solid. The homeowner and builder are fully committed and engaged in a mutually understood plan with a proven process to complete the build on time and on budget. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the national average to build a home is seven months. Heritage Homes averages four to six months from purchase to closing date.

The Jensons agree the Heritage team was amazing to work with throughout each phase of their home build. Alex finds the fireplace mantel extra special. He picked out the timber, sanded it and stained it. That special twist truly made it their own. Allie loves the elevated barn doors, which allows them to open up the loft if they so choose. Allie requested this feature, which Heritage Homes welcomed with enthusiasm.

EN J OY & EX PE R I E N C E At the end of your homebuilding journey, it shouldn’t be a surprise that your new haven will perfectly fit your family. After the closing, the entire Heritage team gathers in celebratory fashion to warmly welcome you to the Heritage Homes family, hand over the keys to your forever home, and officially say, “Welcome home.” [ aw ]



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Leslie says, “Our project superintendents regularly stop by each building site to see that every aspect of the plan is followed. Our trusted local trade partners are equally committed to each project. We ensure everything big or small is spot on, from flooring to drawer pulls.”

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f e brua ry. ma rc h 2 0 19


words by SIRI FREEH

photography by MIKE SMITH


, redesigned

fit elements

new look to refresh the whole woman


It’s not how most would describe a fitness facility — until they have been in Fit Elements. Your first step in the door is like stepping into your best friend's home — no expectations, no pretenses. The reason? “We want women to find a place where they can just be themselves,” owner Teresa Pazdernik warmly shares, “not a place that they need to get ready to go to.” How does she and her team achieve this? By designing a space for women, by (who better) women! One step into Fit Elements and you can see how successful this approach has been. Each room brings a clean and spacious, spa-like feel. "We cater to women who are looking for a place to unwind from their busy lives, whether that is through fitness, relaxing at the spa, or just a place to get away and spend time focusing on their self care,” says Morgan Hausauer, marketing coordinator for Fit Elements. Over the last year, the facility has made some extensive renovations and additions to bring everything a woman needs to one place. No doubt, a busy woman’s dream! The gym itself offers weights and cardio equipment, as well as personal training and

small group training programs. In addition to over 50 fitness classes offered weekly, perhaps what they are most known for is their daring classes: “gravity” and “silk yoga.”. After a great workout, a healthy meal or snack is available onsite within the facility. No need to rush out to your car in the cold and drive elsewhere. The onsite smoothie bar offers nutritious drinks and snacks to refuel. They also offer personalized nutrition assessments and counseling, as well as weight loss programs to help women reach their own personal goals. Let face it though, sometimes after a hectic day, we all need a little pampering. Fit Elements promises to take care of those

we’ve created

the Perfect Girls’ Day

needs as well. As Pazdernik points out, “We want to provide everything for the full woman.” They offer everything from hot stone massages, cupping and facials; to spray tans, hair removal and nail services. Could you have a reason to stop in to Fit Elements each day? Absolutely. According to Pazdernik, “The entire space is a place that you can come and make it whatever experience you want and need that day.” Perhaps one of the most prominent times when a little toning, good nutrition and relaxation is needed is leading up to a bride’s big day. Fit Elements has so much to offer, including the unexpected. “Starting at her bachelorette party with silk yoga and full lounge access, we’ll take care of the decorating and clean up,” Hausauer explains. “We can also help with all of the preparation that goes into the big day, including personal training nutrition counseling and facial and chemical peel services to get the bride glowing.” Even the day of, they have space and services to prep the bride and her wedding party. But most intriguing is Fit Elements “bridal bootcamp” — eight weeks of personal training, body wrap, lipolaser, and spray tanning. It takes "sweatin’ for the wedding” to a whole new level. Needless to say, Fit Elements has evolved tremendously over the last year, offering more than it ever has before. But the reason behind it comes down to something deeper for Pazdernik, "It is a place you can come and feel comfortable and empowered. And as a place especially for women, empowerment is really what it’s about.” [ aw ]

— on your wedding day and every day —



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words by ALEXA OLSON

photography submitted by FM AMBULANCE, KADIE STOLTZ and SCOTT SEILER

heart attack

STO PS YOUNG MOT HER I N H ER T R AC KS how stress and emotional health took a toll on one woman’s heart

Kadie Stoltz, a 35-year-

old mother of three, would have been considered a healthy, active woman before she suddenly collapsed from a heart attack on Nov. 25, 2018. Her 8-year-old daughter, Sloan, did not fully understand what was happening to her mother, but she knew something was seriously wrong. After her mother collapsed, Sloan used FaceTime to call her aunt, who instructed her to go to her neighbor’s house for help while her uncle called 911.

“She’s always been like that as a child; she keeps her composure and she’s very observant,” Stoltz says of her daughter. “I think she just trusts my sister enough that she thought, ‘If I call my aunt, she’ll be able to help me.’” Sloan ran barefoot through the snow to her neighbor Mark Donarski’s house. “He just thought she was coming over to say hi,” Stoltz explains. He soon noticed, however, that Sloan was barefoot and her aunt was yelling for him to help her on the phone. Donarski followed Sloan to the house and began performing CPR. “He was there for a couple of minutes before the fire department arrived,” Stoltz says. “They used the defibrillator, and shortly after, the paramedics arrived.” Stoltz was taken by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo where she was admitted to the intensive care unit after suffering a heart attack known as SCAD. “SCAD stands for Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection and is a rare form of a heart attack usually related to stress and hormonal changes,”

Sanford Health cardiologist Dr. Susan Farkas says. “It’s very uncommon for young women to have heart attacks, especially without any known risk factors.” On Sunday night, Stoltz says she was sedated and cooled to try to regulate her body. The following Tuesday, she opened her eyes for the first time. On Wednesday she was able to respond to commands from her doctor, and that afternoon had an angiogram and a stent put in. Stoltz says she doesn’t remember anything from that day, but does remember the day before. “I went to a CrossFit class that I always go to,” Stoltz recalls. “My parents had come down for the weekend, and we did our normal routine with the kids.” “The day of, I had what I thought was a little bit of heartburn, but that’s it,” Stoltz says. Prior to her heart attack, Stoltz had been very active. “I had just completed my first half-marathon in October,” she says. Since the heart attack, however, her routine has changed.


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“We have slowed down. We spend more quality time with friends and family and at home,” Stoltz explains. “I’m trying to reduce stress and anxiety as we are learning that mental and emotional health is very connected to heart health.” Stoltz is also attending Sanford’s Cardiac Rehab. “I go a few times a week, and I try to walk on the treadmill at home when I can. I’m hopeful that I will eventually start running again,” she says.

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As far as looking back on the incident, Stoltz says it was eye-opening. “It was a wake-up-call to me that living in the now is very important, and you have to just take things one day at a time.” Stoltz credits family and friends with helping alleviate some of the stress. “We have amazing friends and family who help take the kids when there are appointments, and help with getting them to and from school and activities,” she says. “I’m pretty self-sufficient now, but it’s so nice to have all of the help we do.” Throughout this process, Stoltz recalls how amazed she has been with the team at Sanford Health. “The many different medical staff I have come into contact with have not only focused on my heart and physical health,” she says, “but also how I’m doing overall and how I’m handling things. It has made me more comfortable in expressing my fears and uncertainties.” According to Stoltz, the gratitude her family has for the amount of support they received from the community, family, friends and the Sanford staff that cared for her is profound. “We could never say thank you enough to everyone who prayed and sent well wishes,” she says. Visit Kadie Stoltz’s Caring Bridge journal at caringbridge.org.

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MAY 10, 2019 • 6:00 PM

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[ aw ]

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words by KARISSA LAMONT, MSU Moorhead Marketing Intern photography by DAVE ARNTSON, MSU Moorhead

Mary Sluke

PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT: Mary Sluke, MSUM Assistant Professor Jill Beuckens, and speechlanguage pathology graduate student Meredith Egeland.

speaking with intent msu m h e lp s pa rk i ns on’ s pat i e nt s re g a i n t h ei r voi c e


arkinson’s disease affects up to one million people in the United States and more than 10 million people worldwide. Parkinson’s presents both movement and non-movement symptoms, with about 80 percent of individuals experiencing speech difficulties. Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic is helping patients regain their voices as a Speak Out! and Loud Crowd provider.


a r e a wom a n

Jill Beuckens, assistant professor in the university’s speech-language hearing sciences department and the clinic supervisor, is a Speak Out! provider. There are 11 Speak Out! providers in North Dakota and 32 in Minnesota, six of whom work at the MSUM clinic.

“The Loud Crowd tells our clients we care, we want them to keep doing well, and we don't want medical expenses to hold them back,” says Beuckens. “Every three months we also check in with each client to see where they are at with their individual vocal demands.”

Speak Out! is an effective speech therapy program developed by the Parkinson Voice Project. It focuses on strengthening the muscles used for speaking and swallowing and teaches patients how to speak with intent. Clients attend 12 weekly one-on-one sessions with a certified provider before transitioning to the second stage of the program, Loud Crowd. This phase includes free lifetime access to weekly group maintenance therapy.

Speak Out! providers receive specialized training from the Parkinson Voice Project. Since one of the specialty areas in MSUM’s clinic is adults with voice and neurogenic type disorders, they received a grant allowing one person to travel to Texas for training. One of Beucken’s specialties is voice, so she attended the training and was surprised by the organization’s generosity.

| areawomanmagazine.com

PARKINSON’S DISEASE Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects up to 1 million people in the United States. Parkinson’s strikes 50% more men than women. Doctors diagnose as many as 60,000 new cases each year. Early signs of PD: Tremors, rigid muscles, speech changes, trouble sleeping, fainting, soft/low voice, and loss of automatic movements Mary Sluke’s first symptoms: Unsteadiness, falling, dizziness, dropping things Mary’s biggest challenges living with PD: Walking, speech, bladder control, and the unknowns of MSA (multiple systems atrophy)

“When I went down there, they said they would give five more free online trainings to our faculty,” says Beuckens.


home WI T H YO U

After an intense three-day training, Beuckens was certified as a Speak Out! provider. Five additional faculty members received their certifications online shortly after, and the clinic has been transforming the lives of Parkinson’s patients ever since. Speak Out! client Mary Sluke and her husband David are thankful for the program. From the welcoming atmosphere in the MSUM clinic to the encouragement Beuckens and the student clinicians provide as they coach, the program has allowed Mary Sluke to speak with intent. “The Speak Out! program has given Mary tools to maintain volume, speech control and recommendations for safe swallowing,” says David Sluke. “Without this program, she might not be talking at all.”


MSUM students also benefit. “The Parkinson Voice Project decided if a university supervisor became certified, they would allow students to complete the same online training the providers do,” says Beuckens. “These students can perform the Speak Out! program and guide the Loud Crowd as long as they are under the supervision of a certified speech pathologist.”



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“We have been fortunate to have three great teachers who helped Mary. We are amazed how each student has been so positive, caring and totally loving the job they are doing,” says David Sluke. “The Speak Out! program is a success because of the leadership of Mrs. B and those she leads.” Six graduate students have completed the online training and can apply for certification after graduation. MSUM continues to be indispensable to the community by helping patients cope with Parkinson’s and giving students real-world opportunities to prepare for their careers. “Everybody deserves the ability to communicate,” says Beuckens. “When a client reports back and says they were able to read a book to their grandson or make a phone call to a loved one, you feel like you’re doing something right.”

IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE about the program, contact the MSUM Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic at 218-477-2330 or speechclinic@mnstate.edu. Learn more about the Parkinson Voice Project at parkinsonvoiceproject.org. [ aw ]

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the power of


Hugging a child. A gentle touch on the shoulder to comfort a friend. Holding hands with your partner as you walk down the street. All of these interactions rely on the same powerful force: human touch. It’s the first language we learn, it’s the last gift we might give. Touch has the power to calm and soothe, and we can also learn to add more touch to our lives.


ouch is absolutely fundamental to our human experience,” says Megan Spencer, a licensed doctor of psychology with Essentia Health.

“The power of touch is profound,” says Spencer. “It can strengthen communications, it can heal, it can communicate, it can influence.” Spencer sees patients at Essentia Health South University Clinic in Fargo. She became interested in psychology in high school, and is fascinated by the nuanced ways that the same psychological condition can present itself in different patients. She often helps her patients see how important the role of human touch is in their lives. “In all reality, we need touch,” Spencer says. “We need the comfort of connection, and security.”

Touch is important through all stages of life. Research indicates that even before birth, babies can sense the throb of their mother’s heartbeat, and the vibration of people speaking. And as soon as they are born, babies respond positively to gentle touching. “The more nurturing touch you have as a child, the more you thrive,” Spencer says. Research shows that children who have more positive touching have more advanced visual skills, and better motor development, Spencer says. There are also plenty of physiological reasons why welcome touch feels so good. Healthy, affectionate touching releases oxytocin, a hormone that makes people feel close, secure and loved, Spencer says. “Oxytocin release nurtures feelings of trust,” she says. Oxytocin also helps reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Skin is the largest organ of a person’s body, and every inch of your skin is primed to register touch. While some kinds of touch can be perceived as bad or unwelcome, wanted touching can actually reduce your blood pressure and cortisol levels, Spencer says. As little as 20 seconds of affectionate touch is enough to trigger the release of oxytocin.

MEGAN SPENCER, PsyD Essentia Health

Affectionate touching can include intimate acts like holding hands, snuggling or touching someone’s face. But the benefits of touch aren’t limited to couples, Spencer says. A simple tap on the shoulder, a quick arm squeeze, or a pat on the hand can yield benefits, she explains. “For people who are more uncomfortable with touch, that may be easier than embracing, or holding hands,” Spencer says. Human touch also encourages compassion. “It brings people closer,” Spencer says. You have to be right next to someone to be able to touch them, which brings more meaning to an apology or a voice of concern, she says. “A gentle touch can make your ‘I’m sorry’ sound even better,” Spencer says. “Also, that apology triggers a part of the brain called the insula, which helps process emotions.” Comfort with touching varies a lot among families, cultures and genders, Spencer says. You may be fine with touching and being touched, but others may not be. Spencer suggests asking before offering touch, perhaps by saying, “Is it OK if I give you a hug?” Healthy touch benefits both the giver and the receiver, Spencer says. Even if, for example, a loved one has suffered a medical issue that has left them seemingly unresponsive, gentle touching can still be helpful. “The brain is still processing that information, that touching,” Spencer says. “Even if they can’t physically see, can’t hear, can’t smell, they still have touch.”

H OW TO G ET MORE H E A LT HY TO UCH I N YOUR LIFE: ♦♦ Healthy massage can reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. ♦♦ Self-massage, such as rubbing your own arms in the shower, can release more serotonin in your body. ♦♦ Touch doesn’t have to be lengthy: a casual pat on the hand, an arm squeeze, or a hand placed gently on the back can communicate a lot.

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words by GIGI K


Ah honeych ild! meet the nanny DEAR MOMS and DADS, Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart, am I right? From sleepless nights to kissing booboos, it takes a special person to nurture a child. But what about those moments when you don’t know what to do? Where do you turn when you need time-tested advice? That’s where I come in. Hi, I’m Gigi. It is a pleasure to meet y’all! With over 20 years of experience as a professional nanny, I’ve pretty much seen it all. And if there’s one thing I’ve noticed when it comes to parents, it’s that y’all have a lot of the same questions.“When should I start sleep training?” “Why is potty training so [bleeping] hard?!” I know it’s important for parents to have a trusted sounding board they can turn to when the going gets tough. It brings me so much joy to use my unique perspective to help families navigate through life’s unexpected hiccups. So go ahead — ask your parenting questions. Tell me your kid concerns and let me help put your mind at ease.



childcare conundrum DEAR GIGI, We are expecting our first child in September. My husband and I are lucky enough to each get three months of parental leave from our jobs. Once my maternity leave is up, my husband will then take his leave so we can ensure our child has full-time care for the first six months. After that, we are stumped on what we should do. There are so many options out there. Daycare facilities, in-home daycare, at-home nannies — it’s all so overwhelming! How do we choose what is best for our family? Confused About Childcare


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DEAR CAC, First and foremost, congratulations on your expanding family! Secondly, there is no wrong answer here. What’s best for some families won’t work for others. The important thing to do is identify and prioritize your needs and decide on a budget. Check with your employer to see if there’s a childcare reimbursement plan in place to help offset the cost. Some families feel it is important to have their child at home with a nanny full-time to insure one-on-one care and support. Others feel it is important to have their child interact with other children to encourage developmental growth. Others find a happy medium between the two with part-time nanny care and part-time daycare. The choice is up to you and what fits your needs. Whatever you decide there should be lots of research involved, and that research should start now. Many daycares, both in-home and facilities, have waiting lists and if you wait too long your options can become limited. Make sure whatever type of care you choose is provided by folks who have your child’s best interest at heart. Research a daycare’s policies, insurance and accreditations; check a nanny’s education, contract requirements, references and driving/criminal backgrounds, etc. Arm yourselves with as much knowledge as you can and you can’t go wrong. And the best part: Nothing is permanent! If you choose full-time daycare and find you don’t like it, you can switch to either part-time daycare and part-time nanny care, or go with full-time nanny care entirely. Creating a system of care can be challenging, but with a bit of research you can find the best fit your family.

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NE E D PARE N T I N G A DV I C E ? Send your childcare questions to gigi@ahhoneychild.com The information provided in “Ah, Honeychild!” should never be used as a substitute for the advice from a medical professional. If you or your loved one are in medical distress please contact emergency services immediately.

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recipe by MOLLY YEH – creator of the popular food and lifestyle blog my name is yeh, author of Molly On The Range and host of Food Network's "Girl Meets Farm" photography by CHANTELL and BRETT QUERNEMOEN

mac & cheese

everything bagel

Serves 4

To prepare for the birth of my baby this spring, I am filling my freezer with freezer meals these days and I've been told that the two best things to have in your freezer when a baby arrives are things you can eat with one hand (I'm planning to make lots of veggie burritos and muffins) and super hearty comforting dishes, like this mac and cheese! During this pregnancy, I've dealt with many different cravings including cold midwest tap water (it has to be cold from the tap, iced is too cold, and midwest water is so good), cream cheese — anything as a vehicle for cream cheese — matzo, tater tots, cashews, cold carrots and bagels. My craving for bagels was sky high during my first trimester but our options in Grand Forks for super chewy dough bagels are very limited, so when a friend of mine in New York heard about my craving she surprised me with a shipment of Black Seed Bagels. I nearly cried. They are so chewy and delicious.

This recipe is a perfect hearty way to satisfy my cravings for bagels and cream cheese!




½ pounds pasta (I prefer rigatoni) Olive oil ¼ cup unsalted butter ½ yellow onion, finely chopped Kosher salt ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 ½ cup whole milk 4 ounces cream cheese 4 ounces white cheddar or Gruyere or a mix of both, shredded 1 ounces parmesan, shredded 1 ½ teaspoons barley malt syrup, optional Crushed red Black pepper ½ cup chopped chives or scallions Bonus points: 2 cut up cooked hot dogs or veggie dogs

¾ c (75g) panko breadcrumbs 1 tb unsalted butter, melted 1 tb each: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion a few pinches of kosher salt ketchup, for serving

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clu es: Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Prepare the pasta according to the directions on the box, cooking for one minute less than directed. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil, and set aside. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium high. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring until soft, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the milk and cook, whisking continuously, until thick-

ened, and then repeat with another cup, and then the remaining 1/2 cup. Add the cheese and stir until melted, and then add the barley malt syrup (if using), a few pinches of crushed red pepper, a few turns of black pepper, and salt to taste. Stir in the pasta, chives and hot dogs, if using. Transfer to an 8-inch baking dish or a dish that’s a similar size. In a medium bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs and melted butter and then distribute it over the top of the mac and cheese. Combine the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced onion, dried minced garlic and salt in that same medium bowl and sprinkle it liberally over the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly and then serve with ketchup.

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MOL LY Y EH is the star of Food Network’s new series “Girl Meets Farm.” Her memoir, “Molly On The Range: Recipes and Stories from an Unlikely Life on a Farm,” earned her a place on the New York Times top releases of Fall 2016, became winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals judge’s award, and was selected by NPR as one of their “Great Reads of 2016.” Yeh followed with the release of the book “Yogurt,” featuring recipes dedicated to an ingredient she calls “the duct tape of food.” Yeh is the creator of the acclaimed lifestyle food blog mynameisyeh.com. She has been featured in the New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and New York Magazine, and has contributed to Vanity Fair, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, Food52, and The Jewish Daily Forward. She was named to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list for 2017 and Apartment Therapy’s 10 under 40 list. Outside the kitchen, Yeh is a Juilliard-trained percussionist and has performed with orchestras around the world, in off-Broadway theater, and as the glockenspielist for the pop-band San Fermin. She lives on a farm on the North Dakota-Minnesota border with her fifth-generation farmer husband and their little flock of chickens.

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p r e m a r i ta l agre e m ent s i n n o r t h dakota


new year is here! For many of us, the new year will bring adventure, big milestones, and possibly, a new last name. An important “to-do” on your wedding planning list is a premarital agreement — a precautionary step to prepare for the best outcome just in case your fairytale doesn’t end with a “happily ever after.”


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our own property what is A PREMARITAL AGREEMENT? Have you ever heard the phrase “pre-nup?” In North Dakota, “prenups” are called premarital agreements. You may be asking yourself, “Why would I want to plan for the end of what I hope will last forever?” The answer is simple and can be summed up in three words: protection, security and investment. A premarital agreement is a contract that you and your fiancé enter into and sign before you become husband and wife. This agreement will likely outline issues surrounding division of assets and debts, spousal support and much more. A premarital agreement is absolutely critical when you are entering a second marriage, anticipate receipt of inheritance or are involved in a family business with anticipated ownership someday.

what can you agree to BEFORE YOU SAY “I DO?” The main consideration in a premarital agreement is identifying separate and marital property. Separate property is property that belongs to one spouse prior to the marriage. Marital property is property that is earned or acquired during the marriage. While marital property will be divided between spouses in a divorce, separate property will not. Absent a premarital agreement, it is not that simple. In North Dakota, almost all property is subject to division upon divorce. The phrase “what’s mine is yours” may ring true if you don’t have the protection and security of a premarital agreement. A premarital agreement will allow you to confidently say to your spouse, “I love you, but what’s mine will remain mine.”

Parties can also agree to spousal support in a premarital agreement. Spousal support is when one party gives financial support to the other after a divorce. This is an important consideration when contemplating marriage, particularly when one spouse chooses to stay home and take care of the children or makes significantly less income than the other. It is important to note that child related issues, such as child support or child custody issues, are non-negotiable. Any child related provisions in a premarital agreement will be unenforceable and the court will replace any such provisions with a parenting plan in the best interest of the child(ren).

how can you MAKE SURE YOUR PREMARITAL AGREEMENT IS ENFORCEABLE? Take your time. A close timeline between signing on the dotted line and walking down the aisle tends to show that at least one party was pressured into signing the agreement without fully and fairly considering its contents. This may lead a court to decide the agreement is not enforceable, and all the work and preparation you have done to protect yourself was all for nothing. Give yourself ample time to get it right. Communicate and disclose all of your assets fully and fairly. In order to have a valid agreement, each party needs to know exactly what he or she is agreeing to. At minimum, you and your future spouse should provide a detailed list that provides each party’s income, assets, and debts. Now is the time to lay it all out there; after all, you are about to be sharing almost everything. Be separately represented. Each party to a premarital agreement has a right to their own attorney. This right can be waived; however, this is likely not in either party’s best interest. Now, you may be seeing dollar signs at the thought of hiring two attorneys to draft and review an agreement. Trust us, with a premarital agreement, you will greatly reduce your legal fees should you pursue a “d-word” (divorce) in the future. Perhaps most difficult, put your emotions aside. A premarital agreement is much like a business transaction. Remember to be smart, be conscious about your future and not to let romance or pressure cloud your judgment. Add a premarital agreement to your wedding “to-do” list, your future self will thank you.

LET OUR FAMILY PROTECT YOURS Vogel Law Firm’s family law attorneys provide a wide range

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ATTORNEYS ARIANA MEYERS (left) and MEGAN GORDON are members of the Family Law practice group at Vogel Law Firm. They provide a wide range of services to clients in family law and other civil matters. For more information, visit vogellaw.com. [ aw ]

vogellaw.com 877.629.0705

With offices in Fargo, Bismarck and Grand Forks, ND, and Moorhead and Minneapolis, MN


words by CORI JENSEN



a regular person's perspective I am a regular woman who is about to talk to you about something that maybe only authorities on the matter should. But first, my lack of credentials: I'm a wife, a mom and a career woman. I do a morning radio show with great people. Our jobs are fun because we get to entertain music lovers who want to know about celebrities and things going on in our community. You might see me writing here in Area Woman about lifestyle and kids’ stuff — more light, and fun stuff.

The loss of a child.

As a person that has a job in the media, I try to keep things real and show my imperfectly human side while doing my job, or parenting. So, “real talk” then. I'm going to share a very "regular" thing that absolutely sucks. It's regular because it's common. And something I have no pedigree in giving guidance on. However, sometimes “real talk” from a regular Joe is exactly what is needed.

We lost our baby girl.

I've been a quiet contributor of Area Woman for a few articles because I'd been really sick with severe morning sickness (Yay — a baby! Boo — so sick you can barely function and have no energy for any extras like your fun job and side gigs). I had finally passed the halfway point. I made it up to 23 weeks in my pregnancy and something happened.

One day she was squirming and growing. And then one day she was not. Really, that was it — with a tender hand squeeze by the midwife, saying, "I should see the chest move indicating a heartbeat and I do not."

your milk. You are me. Us — one in four that may have carried that baby full term, whose angel was born looking as perfect as a newborn, but instead never took a breath. You too belong with us. I cover the checklist of the “one in four” women with a few ticks. Come to find out my handful of devastations can be a mere blip on the radar to some regular women who have had to endure that pain by the tens or dozens of times. Friends, ladies, women — this is very regular. When 25 percent of us have lost a baby, those stats are too common to not be talked about more. Too high to still feel like it’s taboo to bring up.

Insert the part where a grief professional, a counselor, a pastor, an authority on loss and grief management steps in this article. Only nope — it's still me. The regular lady who makes jokes on the radio, burns the meatloaf, and forgets her kids’ dentist appointments steps in.

I just went through this hell in November, on my husband’s birthday. It was the worst thing my heart and body has ever, ever, ever had to endure. One morning my six month belly was distended and hard with babe, and the next morning my distended pregnant belly was soft and empty. The world looks at me and sees pregnant. But I am not. I'm a devastated form who is afraid to answer questions; who doesn't want to make eye contact in passing; who only wants to cry and mourn and wallow in the hurt all alone. And you know what? That reaction for me and women just like me? Regular. Totally normal feelings and reactions to loss.

You and I. We may have something in common. If you are one in four women reading this who has gone through this experience, you are me. You have had a miscarriage. I have too. It is devastating. If you are one of those four women, then you may have also had a baby you went through the pain of labor and delivery with, and got to hold; but never heard cry and never needed

I have a stack of brochures from the hospital and the funeral home. I have books about infant loss and grief. I have pastor visits and grief counselors’ messages I could regurgitate to you. But, dear sweet readers, if you are me, you have all that same stuff. It is really good and helpful stuff. However, instead this is regular old me sharing with you a very unpolished and real message.

All of our dreams for our growing family, our regular, but "perfect to us" life, no more. Our baby had died.

Follow Cori on INSTAGRAM: @corijensen�� and her backyard adventures: @mysunrisehill

You will hurt. You will make some bad decisions, despite good advice. You will want to disappear. This won't get better. Not like you want it too anyway, because you won't get to reverse time and take the loss away. You will be different. Maybe this grief will set you on a path of depression and deep despair. That would be normal too. You will feel this and relive it in some way every day. You don't want to hear this side when you are in the valley of grief, but, there is always hope. You will connect with regular people that have endured the unthinkable: miscarriages, stillbirth and infant loss. The solidarity will bring some love to your brokenness. It can bring you comfort. You will smile and laugh again — I hated to at first because I felt guilty. But tears and laughter seem to go hand in hand for some reason. I have four incredible kids who are funny and dynamic so this therapy helped my soul. I pray you allow laughter in. People will say dumb stuff, usually unintentionally. I have actually heard, “At least you have four kids at home.” That is not something grieving parents necessarily take solace in. We are aware of our blessings. We are also very aware of the gaping hole in our chest where our lost children are. There is more, but folks this hell is still so fresh for me that I'm in a valley and I don't necessarily trust what advice I can offer, but I felt it very important to have a real conversation that is raw, and from a regular person. I wanted to share, because “one in four” being talked about will help someone not feel like they are alone. We now feel much more comfortable talking about these losses in 2019. I wanted you to know that this article wasn't about one family's loss. It's about the losses of one in four. It's about the woman sitting a couple chairs down. Maybe you know her story. Maybe you don't have a clue. That's what I have learned so far. We are more common than you think. Regular and normal women. If there is a take-away from my ramblings, it's the old adage, "Be kind. You never know what some[ aw ] one is going through.”

FEBRUARY 5, MARCH 5 and APRIL 2 6:00 – 7:15 PM

"Living with Grief" is our monthly drop-in meeting on the first Tuesday of the month held at Boulger Funeral Home. A topic on loss and grief begins our conversation for the evening. for more info: boulgerfuneralhome.com These meetings are led by our Grief Support Coordinators Sonja Kjar and Ann Jacobson.

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photography by JUSTIN EILER

NDSU Educational

leadership academies

spread across the state A N N C LA P PER

came to North Dakota State University as a big-thinker and doer. She co-piloted a program that has spread across the state, strengthening our communities’ schools. Clapper, associate professor of practice in NDSU’s School of Education, and Thomas Hall, retired associate professor in the School of Education, are program coordinators for the NDSU Educational Leadership program.

“You can lecture a lot on research, but the work that we do in the schools as teachers, principals and superintendents — just knowing the research is not enough. You have to put research to practice,” says Clapper.

This skills-based view of teaching helped Clapper and Hall form the NDSU program, with the help of Kansas State University’s teacher academy model. The academy is tailored for specific school districts. It blends research with application to the classroom and provides the school district with a strong method for helping teachers develop their leadership skills. All of the classes are held within the school district. At the end of the fivesemester program, teachers earn a master’s degree in educational leadership.


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NDSU piloted the program with West Fargo Public Schools in 2014 and it was a success. The following school districts followed suit or will start their academy within the next couple of years:


Love My Bank !”

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⊲ FARGO ⊲ NORTHERN CASS ⊲ OAKES ⊲ MANDAN ⊲ BISMARCK ⊲ MILNOR-RICHLAND 44-WYNDMERE ⊲ VALLEY CITY ⊲ HARVEY-RUGBY ⊲ EDGELEY-JAMESTOWN Clapper works with district liaisons to target material for each district. She enjoys seeing the master’s students learn and development more skills and leadership. “It’s a front-row seat to adult growth. We see their willingness to try, to be vulnerable, to be imperfect and practice difficult conversations — all in a safe environment,” says Clapper, who came to NDSU in 2005. All of Clapper and Hall’s work with the educational leadership academies across the state led to the Sodbuster Award for Excellence in Growth Mindset award from North Dakota’s governor in the fall of 2018. They were honored for their positive impact on state government and the lives of North Dakota citizens.

“To have NDSU’s Teacher Leader Academy model honored by our governor was a high point in my career,” says Clapper. “Because

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the academy model is unique and still quite new, there have been many opportunities for us to practice a growth mindset. We’ve been lucky to have school leaders who were willing to take a chance on us and implement an academy in their districts, so they’re sodbusters too, as they laid the groundwork for other districts to follow.”

CONTINUE YOUR PROFESSIONAL growth with a graduate degree at NDSU. Visit ndsu.edu/gradschool.

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words by SIRI FREEH


to have to hold empowering couples to realize their happily ever after


anquet room for 300 guests? $1000. Flowers? $3,500. The dream marriage we hope we already did everything in our power to realize? Priceless. But is picking the "right one" the only real power we have when it comes to a dream marriage? Our culture would sometimes seem to tell us that. If you find yourself worrying over that same question, Wendy Regner, licensed professional counselor assures, “There is no right one!” And she encourages, “You have the power to make it great.” Regner, the founder of To Have & To Hold Couples Care, works with many couples — starting as young as their late teens to well into their 80’s — helping them discover that power together in order to learn, prepare, nurture, or heal.

Regner’s passion stems from a deeper calling to her work. “I didn’t choose this profession, it chose me … rather, God chose it for me,” she says. “And who am I to argue with Him!” Her work includes couples counseling, premarital preparation and individual counseling through Journey of Hope counseling. Regner also offers group support, providing both enrichment and educational opportunities for individuals and couples to learn new tools and to learn from others; reminding them that they are not alone and their experiences are not isolated, unique or unfixable. It can be an incredible encouragement to hear, “I’m there,” or, “I’ve been there too.” But if experiencing the best relationship possible is merely a phone call away, what keeps us from taking that first step? For many, the fear that something is wrong with us attacks our confidence. Regner offers

comfort. “Seeing a counselor is not unlike taking care of our physical health and going for check-ups,” she explains. “Bringing in a third party brings perspective to your relationship health.” She empowers couples and individuals to see who they are for themselves, and not to not let the worry about other people’s perspectives or opinions keep them from experiencing an even better relationship. In fact, fear of judgment is what keeps many couples from seeking help. For couples that are just starting out, or even for those married a long time, Regner advises, “Do not say what you think the other person wants to hear. Be real, be honest. It might be uncomfortable at first, but years of build-up and resentment will result if you don’t.” Another common worry Regner addresses when couples first meet her is the fear she will take sides, “I don’t take sides, instead

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my role is to be an interpreter as you are often communicating in different emotional languages.” Focusing on how both individuals are speaking to one another is one aspect of the care she provides couples. Among many of the different tools Regner provides, she helps couples identify which of the five “love languages” they speak. Originally noted in Dr. Gary Chapman’s best-selling book, those love languages might be words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, acts of service or receiving gifts. Discovering each other’s language is one thing, but learning how to speak your partner’s is a whole other. “If you’ve ever learned a second language you have some idea of the challenge,” Regner explains. The process takes practice outside her office to experience success and discussion inside her office to work through challenges and make adjustments. Yet the rewards couples experience are worthwhile. Regner describes one woman’s joy as she shared with her that things started to take a turn for the couple when Regner asked her, ”Are you trusting his heart?” Now whenever the woman is fearful, anxious or angry, she says she asks herself that question, and it completely changes her perspective. Regner says couples also note that their children become calmer as the two of them work on their relationship. In addition to love languages, Regner also uses communication building tools, emotional intimacy building processes, attachment theory, and educating about perceptions of love and respect to give couples tools to work through challenges or take their relationship from good to great. And regardless of where couples start, she promises, “It is never too early and it is never too late.” So amidst the rollercoaster of emotions you might have as you prepare for your big day, Regner offers this last piece of advice, “As long as

you see marriage as a process instead of an end goal, you will succeed in it.” [ aw ]


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IA y ALIC wo rd s b



N | p

d or xtra


NDE A B BY A y b y h p h o t o g ra

ith w t n re hu u s a e . tr O e C g a E t S a vin E HOU ON


A E SA L p by AD u e k a E N TO R m HES M a ir a n d T h O | L C L A by S FLOR c lo t h in g A LWAY C O. | E & V K O A L by by D f lo w e r s - s h ir t s e g ir ls t s u o h e t h e w h it


This particular chair in The White House Co. warehouse is just one of the many pretty vintage items neatly arranged by category. It’s among the more understated items in the company’s rental collection, which includes everything from elegant velvet sofas and gleaming gold goblets to rustic wooden barrels and old-fashioned cameras. It’s visually appealing as anything in the Fargo warehouse, a space that is as cheerful and bright as The White House Co. aesthetic. Even though the chair is part of a quartet, you might miss it at first glance. That’s easy to do, since it’s stored alongside showstoppers like sleek, midcentury modern rattan chairs, sweet little pink tufted perches shaped like hearts and a pair of regal armchairs upholstered in deep, luscious goldenrod. But when you see this particular chair in a meadow, draped with a garland of greenery, the pale pink of its flowers echoed in the cheeks of a lace-bedecked bride, you suddenly understand that it’s something extraordinary. Every item selected by The White House Co. is designed to wow, whether it’s viewed on its own or as part of a tableau. This unique business grew from a passion for vintage design and the thrill of a good old-fashioned treasure hunt. Sisters Sam Klinkhammer and Katie Schiltz are long-time junkers, who grew up picking through tables and boxes at garage sales, thrift stores and estate sale. “It was in our family — auction sales, antiques,” explains Klinkhammer. “It was already in our blood.” Their long term love for vintage, Schiltz’ degree in interior design and textiles and Klinkhammer’s hands-on decorating experience led them to start their business together in 2011. The White House Co. arrived on the scene at a time when an interest in upcycled, repurposed and vintage furniture and décor was just beginning to expand to a wider audience. The company’s name grew out of this first location, their parents’ farm outside of Thief River Falls. “My mom was always asked, ‘Are you that big white house in the middle of nowhere?’” laughs Schiltz. “We did sales four times a year. Through this we met Amanda on social media.” Amanda Rydell loved to lead craft workshops and was an expert at creating displays, a perfect skill set for the fledgling business. She joined The White House Co. in 2015. The trio set out on junking trips together to build up their stock. Although they share a similar aesthetic, each partner brings her own design sensibility into the mix. “Amanda’s pink, pastel and kind of a minimalist,” says Klinkhammer, whose own personal style includes both neatly coordinated looks and bohemian styles. “Katie’s all over. She’s very eclectic. She likes a lot of color.”

vintage furniture is so classic. IN 20 YEARS WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AT A PHOTO, ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;LL STILL BE B E AU T I F U L SAM KLINKHAMMER

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the ‘color outside the lines’ bride. W E H AV E


TH E S I G NAT U RE WH I T E H O U S E C O. LOOK — colorful, whimsical and bright, with eye-catching flea market accents, clean lines and a dollop of charm — grew out of this collaboration. Word spread and the business grew. But commuting to Thief River Falls four times a year began to feel like work. Schiltz and Klinkhammer had young children to consider and all three women were ready to reimagine the business closer to home. Instead of simply selling their stock of vintage items to customers, they began renting furniture and decor for weddings, events and photo shoots in 2015. As The White House Co. began styling more weddings, shoots and events, the trio’s collection quickly outgrew several garages and storage units before they secured their current warehouse space at 910 Main Avenue in Fargo. “As soon as we walked in here, we were like, ‘This is our place,’” Klinkhammer says. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve stopped growing. “We keep adding on space,” she continues. “It’s always a domino effect. We just knocked down two walls the other day to open up our warehouse for photo shoots, mini sessions and small events.” As is their custom, they did most of the work themselves. “Us girls can hook up a 15-foot enclosed trailer and set up an event,” says Schiltz. “You wouldn’t want to arm wrestle us. There’s not a lot we can’t do.”


But even the queens of DIY need a hand every now and then. Klinkhammer and Schiltz’s husbands assist as needed and their dad serves as their all-purpose handyman. He’s helped them brainstorm ways to spruce up a sofa, solve carpentry dilemmas and

helped them restore a sweet little pull-behind trailer to its retro glory. Schiltz’s kids Betsy, 13, and Andrew, 9, and Klinkhammer’s oldest girl Kora, 6, are in school during the day, but four-year-old Everett can often be found playing in the warehouse while his mother goes about her business with six-month-old Edith in tow. Schiltz and Klinkhammer’s mom pops by to help with babysitting in a pinch, while Rydell’s mother steps in to help staff major events. The White House girls found that, despite the success of their rental business, they couldn’t stay away from retail for long. They experimented with a pop up shop on Broadway, before settling into their new retail space at 14 Roberts Street in 2017. The shop is White House Co.’s signature style, personified. The long, narrow storefront (which they share with Love Always Floral), overflows with treasures, textures and colors. A classic bicycle on the sidewalk out front indicates that this isn’t your typical establishment. A table set with colorful dishes shines from the front window. There are cozy flannel shirts and stacks of wool blankets for chilly Midwestern nights, artfully arranged displays of vintage books and maps and globes that display the boundaries of another time. Shelves are accented with charming little bookends and statuettes. Cheerful vintage textiles and glassware are artfully displayed, and stacks of vintage suitcases reach toward the high ceiling.


It helps them think outside that box,

not to be like everyone else. The store and the warehouse are two sides of the same coin. The shop allows customers to take The White House Co. signature looks home and helps the owners build relationships and get honest feedback about what people respond to. It keeps new and interesting items flowing in constantly. And if a customer doesn’t see something they want to buy, there’s an excellent chance it’s available in the warehouse. “We love our job because there is no normal work day,” says Schiltz. “We all meet at 8:30 in the morning and do our thing. It could be at the warehouse prepping for an event or a wedding, it could be organizing or cleaning. We have meetings on a weekly basis with brides, event coordinators and businesses. Otherwise, we’re at the store, cleaning, restocking the shelves, resetting the store or working at the store, or we’re on site, setting up for an event.” Connecting with other vendors at local events has plugged the White House girls into a strong community of female entrepreneurs in the Fargo-Moorhead area. They frequently collaborate with photographers and other wedding professionals on shoots and events and enthusiastically recommend each other’s services. If they need to be in style themselves, they call up ADAE Salon and Clothes Mentor. When it was time to design and print The White House Co. shirts, they enlisted the help of Dak & Co. “It’s great to work with people that lift you up,” says Rydell. “There’s no competition. Everyone wants everyone to succeed.”


As a result, their rental business is booming. It’s easy to make an appointment to stop by the warehouse or check out their available inventory online to find the perfect item, whether it’s a plaid thermos and picnic blanket for a photo shoot for the family Christmas card, a delicate cake stand for a bridal shower, a cute little beverage cart for a birthday party or the colorful and curvaceous vintage sofas and chairs that have become a White House Co. signature (and frequent photo opp) at weddings and parties. “Vintage furniture is so classic,” says Klinkhammer. “In 20 years when you look back at a photo, it’ll still be beautiful. You won’t be like, ‘What was I thinking?’” While many customers opt for this more a la cart rental (with an option to pick it up yourself or have it delivered), others prefer a more comprehensive event planning experience, the kind of White House Co. design immersion that the company has provided for clients as diverse as West Acres, Sanford and the state of North Dakota. The trio created a sumptuous tent for Fergie and Lionel Ritchie’s concert inaugurating the new Sanford hospital and styled North Dakota’s ad campaign that starred Josh Duhamel. Local brides often request the same experience.

“We don’t get the typical bride,” explains Schiltz. “We have the ‘color outside the lines’ bride. It’s about adding that extra little touch, down to the gold silverware setting, the colored glassware at your head table.” “I don’t think people realize all those little details until they meet with us,” chimes in Rydell. “It helps them think outside that box, not to be like everyone else. Especially when there are only so many venues. When someone’ s already been to a venue and seen a wedding, they want to make it their own.” This is a time of unprecedented creativity and customization in the wedding industry, which means couples have more opportunities to make their wedding their own than ever before. The White House girls have helped their clients embrace Friday and Sunday weddings and hold their receptions in unconventional venues like tents, family farms and museums. The White House Co. has put its own spin on trends like sweetheart tables, harvest-style community tables and hand lettered signage and provided customized bar set-ups, striking table settings and seating for the bride and groom that ranges from claret colored velvet sofas to boho wicker thrones. Every item in The White House Co. is intriguing on its own. But when classic vintage pieces, a client’s vision and The White House girls’ expertise combine, that’s when the magic happens.

“People want to be different,” Schiltz says. “Give us your dreams and we’ll make it happen.” [ aw ]



Note: All events are subject to change. Confirm dates and times before attending.

for a good cause NOW ­– FEBRUARY 20 YWCA’S WOMEN OF THE YEAR Nomination Application Open Nominations are sought for the 46th annual Women of the Year awards honoring women in Fargo-Moorhead with significant achievements in 13 categories: advocating for equality, arts and culture, business management and entrepreneurship, communications, community and volunteer service, education, faith community, health and wellness, lifetime achievement, science and technology, young women of today and tomorrow (ages 15-22), and youth advocacy. There is also a category to nominate a local business that empowers women to thrive professionally and economically. Honorees will be announced during the event on May 6 at the Delta Hotel by Marriott. For event sponsorship information, please call Morgan at 701-232-2547 or email msvingen@ywcacassclay.org. SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATIONS ONLINE OR IN PERSON: ywcacassclay.org YWCA Cass Clay administrative office. 31000 12th Ave N, Fargo





CCRI POLAR PLUNGE on Giving Hearts Day

Fundraiser to help victims of human trafficking in the FM area. Dessert banquet, collection of new purses, program and raffle. Funds raised will bridge the gap to help victims get back on their feet and into the community. Tickets $15 available at Atonement Church or pursespurpose.eventbrite. com. For more info: 701-237-9651, thenextstepnd.com. 6:30 – 8:30 PM Atonement Church 4601 University Dr S, Fargo

The CCRI Polar Plunge is an event for the whole family. Plungers with a little courage, a warm heart, and a desire to support a worthy cause will be taking the icy dip to support people with disabilities. There will be a light supper (free will donation), campfires and hot chocolate, in addition to the plunge entertainment. Sign up at creativecare.org or call 218-331-2036. FREE 4:00 PM CCRI | 2903 15th St S, Moorhead

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FEBRUARY 21 CRAFTING, DINNER & DESSERTS! What’s better than doing crafts? Doing them with friends! No art/craft smarts required. It’s the art of socializing, invite a friend to join you. It’s guaranteed to bring out creativity, fun and laughter. Hosted by the MOMS Club of F/M-IR. Funds raised this year will be donated to Churches United and the YWCA. Registration is required. Seating is limited. Email penelope.vand@gmail.com and put “fundraiser” in the subject line or call 701-781-0042. Tickets $35. 6:15 PM DINNER, 7:00 PM CRAFTING River Valley Church 1716 Center Ave W, Dilworth

MARCH 2 DIAMONDS & DENIM CHARITY GALA An evening of cocktails, dinner and entertainment along with a silent auction and live auction benefiting Jordan’s Guardian Angels — researching a cure for a genetic condition related to Alzheimer’s and Autism, called Jordan’s Syndrome. Call 701-388-3955 for more information. 5:00 PM Avalon Events Center 2525 9th Ave S, Fargo

MARCH 22 AND 29 BOWL FOR KIDS’ SAKE Support youth in the Fargo-Moorhead community by joining Big Brothers Big Sisters for Bowl for Kids’ Sake! Register, form a fundraising team, collect donations, and come to your scheduled bowling party. All participants must raise at least $125. Your participation in this fun event ensures more kids in need of a mentor can be matched with a Big Brother or Big Sister who will guide them along a path to achieving their full potential. For more information, visit BBBSFargo.org. 3:30 PM OR 9:30 PM West Acres Bowl 3402 Interstate Blvd S, Fargo

APRIL 2 SWEET FREEDOM Clay County Jail Ministry Dessert Social and Fund Raiser. Tickets can be purchased online at claycountyjailministry.org or at: Melbergs, Centre For Hair and Wellness 6:00 PM SILENT AUCTION, 7:00 PM PROGRAM Courtyard by Marriott 1080 28th Ave S, Moorhead Chanyce Dahl 612.360.5232


offering HOME HEALTH and HOSPICE SERVICES NOW SERVING the Fargo-Moorhead area It’s your HEALTH. It’s your HOME. It’s your CHOICE. Choose CHI Health at Home to provide your health care at home!

YOU BE YOU Be brave. Be bold. Be strong. Be there. Join BIO Girls for a not-so-formal fundraiser celebrating our girls. This family-friendly event welcomes adults and children ages 7 and up. Fun for the entire family including special guest speaker, US Olympic Runner Carrie Tollefson, dinner, silent auction, kids’ carnival and more. Semi-formal, but wear your sneakers! Tickets $45 available through March 22 at biogirls.org/youbeyou. 6:00 – 9:00 PM Avalon Events Center 2525 9th Ave S, Fargo

CHIhealthathome.info 888-538-0069

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fargo moorhead community theatre for more info and tickets: fmct.org | 701-235-6778

FEBRUARY 1-3, 7-9 THE CURIOUS INCIDENT of the DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME A contemporary twist on a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery. Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries in the world and every prime number up to 7,057. He has an extraordinary brain and relates well to animals, but he’s ill-equipped to interpret everyday life and has no understanding of human emotions. When a neighbor’s dog is found speared to death with a garden fork, Christopher is determined to investigate, forcing him to confront his fears along a frightening journey that upturns his world. FEBRUARY 1, 2 & 7-9 | 7:30 PM & FEBRUARY 3 | 2:00 PM Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre 333 4th St S, Fargo


FEBRUARY 14 & 15




Join the Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre for an evening of music, appetizers, and libations as part of this signature fundraising and performance event hosted annually by FMCT. Spend your Valentine’s Day weekend with us for what is sure to be a unique and romantic evening while supporting the theater. This is a 21+ event. $45/person, $125 for a sweetheart table for two. 7:00 PM SHOW, 6:30 PM DOORS Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre 333 4th St S, Fargo

Ten-year-old Violet is determined to show the world, not to mention the cool kids at school, just how special she is. With the help of her assistant Freddy, she sets out to break a world record, but becomes accidentally extraordinary when she's struck by lightning (twice) and gains control over all things electric. Under the name Miss Electricity, Violet zaps her way through circuits, bullies and tests, but could lose everything when the power goes to her head. 2:00 PM Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre 333 4th St S, Fargo

MARCH 14-16 MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE presented by FMCT and Santa Lucia This interactive show holds a murder investigation while you dine. Like any engaging crime story, this fiendishly good mystery will have you asking who-done-it, as everyone aids in solving the murder. This is a perfect show for the entire family, a corporate event, or a night out with friends. Tickets $45 6:30 PM SEATING & DINNER, 7:30 PM SHOW Studio 6 Broadway 6 Broadway North | Downtown Fargo


FARGODOME MAR 7 – 10 DisneyOnIce.com

Accomplished and career-focused journalist, Mitch, learns his former professor, Morrie, is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Prompted by this information while feeling guilty that he had lost touch for all those years, Mitch reconnects with his terminally-ill teacher for a simple visit. That turns into another visit, and another, and every Tuesday Morrie had left in his life. Their wise and loving conversations — a last class in the meaning of life — became the basis for the best-selling novel from which this play is adapted. MARCH 21-23, 7:30 PM | MARCH 24, 2:00 PM Fargo Moorhead Community Theatre 333 4th St S, Fargo


music + theater MARCH 7-10

“Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 corinthians 13:13


DISNEY ON ICE presents WORLDS OF ENCHANTMENT From wheels to waves, icy wonderlands to infinity and beyond, see some of your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life! Tickets at fargodome.com, disneyonice.com, the Fargodome box office, or 855-694-6367, with opening night ticket prices starting at $15. MARCH 7 & 8 AT 7:00 PM MARCH 9 AT 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM MARCH 10 AT 1:00PM FARGODOME 1800 N University Dr, Fargo

MARCH 12 SHINEDOWN Attention Attention World Tour with Papa Roach and Asking Alexandria Each online ticket purchase comes with a digital copy of Shinedown’s latest album, Attention Attention (not available on re-sale tickets). Tickets $33 to $78.50. VIP package info at fargodome.com. 7:00 PM SHOW, 6:00 PM DOORS FARGODOME 1800 N University Dr, Fargo

MARCH 14 KINKY BOOTS Kinky Boots is Broadway’s huge-hearted, highheeled hit. With songs by Grammy and Tony winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover, and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Tickets $36 to $66.50 at fargodome.com. 7:30 PM SHOW, 6:30 PM DOORS FARGODOME 1800 N University Dr, Fargo

APRIL 3 Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE SOUND OF MUSIC The Hills Are Alive! A brand new production of The Sound of Music is coming to Fargo. The beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony, Grammy and Academy Award-winning Best Score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Edelweiss” and the title song. Tickets $36.50 to $66.50 at fargodome.com. 7:30 PM SHOW, 6:30 PM DOORS FARGODOME 1800 N. University Dr, Fargo


fun events with

family and friends FEBRUARY 22-23 9th Annual UNGLUED: CRAFT FEST Showcasing the creative work of 70 plus makers and creative opportunities all weekend. Friday night is the ticketed Craft Party Preview with live DJ, included DIY projects with admission, cash bar and exclusive first-look shopping. Saturday is free admission with free workshops, young maker’s market, scavenger hunt for kids and adults, and a craft beer garden. Tickets sales open Feb 1. FEBRUARY 22 5:00 – 9:00 PM FEBRUARY 23 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Plains Art Museum 704 1st Ave N, Fargo ungluedcraftfest.com

FEBRUARY 28, MARCH 1, 2, & 3 54th Annual 2019 RED RIVER VALLEY SPORTSMEN’S SHOW North Dakota’s and northern Minnesota’s biggest and best sports show is back at the Fargodome! You will find the very best in resorts, lodges and camps from the Midwest and Canada. Boat Show pricing on the newest fishing boats and pontoons, tackle and electronics and more. RV show pricing on the best campers and trailers by the area’s best dealers. Great hunting and fishing seminars and fun for the whole family. $2 off advanced tickets coupon available online only at fargosportshow. com. Adults $9; Children ages 6-12, $2.50; 5 and under, FREE. FARGODOME 1800 N University Dr, Fargo

MARCH 29 & 30 PRCA Rodeo CHAMPIONSHIP RODEO The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will bring over 200 top professional contestants from across the country to compete in seven action-packed events as they try to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. Each performance matches the sport’s toughest athletes against the award winning stock of Mosbrucker Rodeos on the roughest playing field in America. Each night you will be at the edge of your seat with the most intense, bone-jarring two hours in sports — eight seconds at a time. Advance tickets: Gold Buckle (all ages) $40; Reserved Seating $30 (kids 2-12, $15); General Admission $20 (kids 2-12, $10). All tickets increase $5 day of shows. 7:30 PM BOTH NIGHTS, 6:30 PM DOORS FARGODOME 1800 N University Dr, Fargo fargodome.com

QUOTABLE: "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Then you will seek me and find me: when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord." — JEREMIAH 29: 11-14



Copyright © 2015 Joseph Ribkoff Inc. All rights reserved. Any reproduction and/or use of the Joseph Ribkoff logo for commercial or promotional purposes is forbidden without the written authorization of Joseph Ribkoff Inc.


dessert social and fundraiser

T U E S D AY, A P R I L 2 , 2 01 9 silent auction 6:00 pm

program 7:00 pm

Co urty ard by Marri o tt

10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

1080 28th avenue s , moorhead

tickets available at: melbergs, centre for hair and wellness, or online at claycountyjailministry.org $10 per person, $200 per sponsored table

our mission: Win the lost to Christ

Disciple them in the ways of God Assist them with a successful transistion into society


3265 45th STREET S FARGO, ND | 701-282-8180 | lauriesfargo.com

for more details:

claycountyjailministry.org •


menr sum ductio



Grades K-2

half day: AM (9am-12pm) or PM (1-4pm) pro g ram dates: June 5 – June 21 tu ition: $200

Grades 3-5

full day: (9am-4pm) pro g ram dates: June 5 – June 28 tuition: $325


Graduate Programs MSU Moorhead’s nationally accredited graduate programs are flexible, convenient, personal and affordable. Online Curriculum & Instruction Educational Leadership (M.S., Ed.S. & Ed.D.) MBA MBA - Healthcare Management Healthcare Administration Nursing Special Education

Online/Hybrid Counseling On Campus Accounting & Finance School Psychology (M.S. & Psy.S.) Speech-Language Pathology Teaching English as a Second Language

Grades 5-8

full day: (9am-4pm) auditions: July 8 & 9 pro g ram dates: July 15 – August 9 tu ition: $325

Learn more at mnstate.edu/graduate

Program enrollment is on a first-come basis.

REGISTRATION OPEN NOW AT fmct.org/summer_2019.html Minnesota State University Moorhead is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

ph oto gr a phy by t w o bi r ds p hot og r a p hy

Farewell adieu

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