THE LIFESTYLE MANUAL FOR THE MODERN MOM
SEPTEMBER 2017 Â· THESAVVYMOMS.COM
SUICIDE PREVENTION FINDING ANNIE
A SURVIVOR AND HER MOTHER SHARE THEIR STORY
MEET OUR AMAZING TEENS
HOW JENNY HENRY SUPPORTS AND ENCOURAGES HER FAMILY OF ATHLETES
A COMMUNITY OF MISSION
FIND YOUR HOME AWAY FROM HOME Student body represents all 50 states and 54 nations and territories
Study abroad programs in Australasia, Chile, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia
Numerous domestic and international educational excursions for individual majors include major U.S. cities, global missions and more
Specialized programs for students from China and Latin America including ESL support
A great education expands more than your intellect; it expands your world. Our students come from across the country and around the world. We offer numerous opportunities for students to travel as part of completing their education and finding their calling. Whether in a residence hall or on an international excursion, Harding feels like home. At Harding, we believe who you learn with and who you learn from are vitally important. Our Christian faculty and high-quality degree programs equip graduates with an exceptional education and a Christ-centered worldview. Visit harding.edu to learn more. Or better yet, come visit and see for yourself.
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FUN & FRI GHTS & LOTS OF LIGHTS!
SEPTEMBER 2017 MODERN MOM 18 MAMA SAID A MOTHERHOOD-INDUCED IDENTITY CRISIS
20 MIND, BODY & SOUL IS IT MORE THAN A HOT FLASH?
22 SAVVY STYLE FRESH FALL KICKS
24 FAST FOOD EASY, POST-PRACTICE DINNER RECIPES
33 SAVVY'S AMAZING TEENS READER-NOMINATED TEENS YOU'LL WANT TO MEET
37 THE SOCIAL SIDE OF SUICIDE EMULATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLAY A PART IN RISING NUMBERS FOR YOUTH
41 FINDING ANNIE ANNIE DERAMUS SURVIVED SUICIDE TO SHARE HER STORY AND HELP WITH PREVENTION
50 RAISING HENRYS JENNY HENRY IS RAISING FOOTBALL AND VOLLEYBALL STARS
IN EVERY ISSUE 6 EDITORâ€™S NOTE 10 NEWS & NOTES
CALENDAR, CRAFTS & MORE!
54 BAG CHECK CONSTANCE SUEN
ON THE COVER: GET EDUCATED ON SUICIDE PREVENTION. PHOTOGRAPHY BY LILY DARRAGH.
SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Saturday, September 16 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
LEGO Robots Car Take-Apart 3-D Geometric Sculptures Catapults
Regular Museum Admission
Activities for all Ages
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Little Rock, AR 72201
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
FOOTBALL, FAST FOOD AND FEARLESS KIDS September is an exciting time in Arkansas. School is back in full swing, the kids are signed up for afterschool activities that keep parents in constant motion, and the familiar buzz of weekend Razorback games is in the air. Saturdays in the fall are big in my house. My husband and stepson are glued to the television, tensions are high, cheering is frequent and screen-time limits are out the window. At halftime, we run plays in the front yard fueling my stepson's dreams of becoming an NFL player, which isn't too unrealistic if you you're a member of the Henry family. We sat down with Little Rock mom, Jenny Henry, who is raising a volleyball athlete and three football stars at the NFL, college and high school levels. Read her story on page 50 to see how she raises exceptional athletes, manages to push two full grocery carts at a time through the store, and juggles catching the games of Hunter, Hayden, Hudson and Hope each week and still make time for herself. If your kids have you running to practice, dance, meetings and more with just enough time to crash land at the dinner table, you have to check out Kerry Guice's "Fast Food" recipes on page 24. She gives a couple of options for healthy, fast meals you can prepare on the busiest nights of the week. I continue to be so impressed with Arkansas's youth. So many push themselves to make good grades, excel in sports, volunteer in their communities and be all-around great kids. You'll want to meet our Amazing Teens on page 33. They are cleaning up public parks, rebuilding towns after tornadoes, exceeding expectations and more. There are so many ways our kids can show strength and ability. Annie Deramus showed exceptional strength after she was able step "Out of the Darkness," after a suicide attempt five years ago. She and her mother, Laura Gladwin, open up about their struggle to help spread awareness this Suicide Prevention Month. Read their powerful, candid story on page 41 and learn how to keep your own kids safe from this growing problem in our communityâ€”and increasingly within Arkansas's youth.
Amy Gordy Editor, Savvy @SavvyAR
SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
CENTERS YOUTH AND AND FAMILIES FAMILIES CENTERS FOR FOR YOUTH YOUR YOUR STORY. STORY. OUR OURFOCUS FOCUS. . YOUR HOPES. HOPES. YOUR
THE THEPARENT PARENT CENTER CENTER OUTPATIENT OUTPATIENT COUNSELING* COUNSELING* SCHOOL SCHOOL BASED BASED THERAPY THERAPY DAY DAYTREATMENT TREATMENT SCHOOL SCHOOL THERAPEUTIC FOSTER FOSTER HOMES HOMES THERAPEUTIC TRANSITIONAL LIVING LIVING TRANSITIONAL RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT TREATMENT RESIDENTIAL *same day day access access available *same available
Ourknowledgeable knowledgeabletrauma-focused trauma-focused team Our team works workswith withyour yourchild childand andyour yourfamily family buildresilience resilienceand and restore restore hope hope when totobuild when depression, depression,anxiety, anxiety,ororbehavioral behavioralchallenges challengesarise. arise. Whether it’s as simple as attending a few parenting classes to accessing outpatient Whether it’s as simple as attending a few parenting classes to accessing outpatient counselingthe theday dayyou you call, call, to to residential residential treatment, counseling treatment,we weare arehere herefor foryou youwith witha awide widerange rangeof of services to help you build a stronger family. services to help you build a stronger family.
CALLUS USTODAY TODAY CALL 501.666.8686 or 888.868.0023 501.666.8686 or 888.868.0023 Little Rock • Monticello Little Rock • Monticello www.cfyf.org @TheCentersAR www.cfyf.org @TheCentersAR THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
Visit our website for information on services, upcoming events, and access to our resources! Kidsourcetherapy.com Services We Provide: •First Connections Early Intervention •Therapy Evaluations •Speech/Language Therapy •Occupational Therapy •Physical Therapy
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A PLACE FOR FANS OF SAVVY TO DISCUSS, CONNECT AND GET ADVICE.
talk.thesavvymoms.com A NEW, ONLINE COMMUNITY FOR MOMS AND PARENTS OF ARKANSAS.
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LOOKING FOR AUTISM SERVICES? At UP Therapy your goals are our priority
• Communication • Potty training • Decreasing tantrums • Attending school • Playing with friends KERRY GUICE is a food blogger and photographer living in Little Rock with her husband, two kids and their dog. When she’s not sharing her latest meal on Instagram, Kerry is planning her family’s next Arkansas adventure or crafting with her creative tots.
ANGELA E. THOMAS is a proud University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate and a member of its Alumni Board. For 11 years, she served Central Arkansas as editor for a locally owned magazine. Thomas is founder and owner of the greeting card company GODsent Greetings.
We teach life-changing skills in a fun, playful environment. Call us today to learn more about our unique 1 on 1 ABA program.
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Someone precious in YOUR life is struggling with thoughts of ending THEIR life. You can help them find hope. Call 501.803.3388 any time, day or night, for immediate help, guidance and support. Visit MethodistFamily.org to learn how we can assist you and where we are located throughout the state. DWAIN HEBDA is a writer and editor living in Little Rock. He and his wife, Darlene, are the parents of four grown children. The empty-nesters spend their time traveling, working out and spoiling their two dogs.
You are precious, and you are not alone. Call us.
MethodistFamily.org info@MethodistFamily.org 501.803.3388 Rebuilding the Lives of Children and Families Since 1899
LILY DARRAGH is a photographer in Little Rock. She studied photography at Parsons the New School of Design in New York. Currently working out of a photography studio in downtown Little Rock, Lily loves to shoot people and places unique to Arkansas.
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news & notes
If you’re wild for craft beer this adult-only event at the Little Rock Zoo is a must! Zoo Brew is a craft beer fest where you can taste dozens of brews in a souvenir cup, meet new animal friends, order from food trucks and listen to great live music. New to Zoo Brew this year is the first-ever Bear Pong Tournament. Enter as a team of two for this single-eliminationstyle game. Instead of plastic cups, there will be five-gallon buckets and oversized ping pong balls. littlerockzoo.com.
Sunday Grandparent’s Day! Saturday Thea Legends of Arkansas Paves the Way
Bring the whole family to Legends of Arkansas, an annual all-Arkansas music and art festival at the North Shore Riverwalk Park. It’s an all-day, familyfriendly event with local art and craft booths, food trucks, workshops, competitive games, kids’ interactive art projects and live music. All proceeds benefit The Van. legendsofarkansas.com.
Hunger Action Month
September is Hunger Action Month and the Arkansas Foodbank is hosting a fun, family-friendly event to help raise awareness about the important work they do. Harvest Night includes a southern-style dinner, local craft beverages, live entertainment and children’s activities, including a petting zoo, face painting, balloon animals and bounce houses. Adult admission $40; kids under 12 are free. arkansasfoodbank.org.
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Cover the sidewalks in chalk from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Thea Paves the Way on the grounds of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. Registration is free, and participation includes entrance to the Clinton Library valid the same day of the event. Look for face painters, mimes and performers to make sure everyone is having fun! theafoundation.org.
Discover your creativity at Tinkerfest, the Museum of Discovery’s annual all day event with more than 40 hands-on, interactive activities. Each activity engages children and adults, teaches visitors how everyday objects such as cars and computers work, and provides opportunities to explore the engineering and science behind building. museumofdiscovery.org.
21ReStore & After
ReStore & After is not your average art auction! Guests are invited to enjoy an evening of music, cocktails and one-of-a-kind art at Embassy Suites benefitting Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas. Local artists will have repurposed items from Habitat’s ReStore up for auction. habitatcentralar.org.
“Giggle, Giggle, Quack” Another season of children’s theater opens with “Giggle, Giggle, Quack” at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. Based on a bestselling children’s book, this performance tells the story of an adorable farmyard adventure that begins when Farmer Brown leaves for a much-needed vacation, leaving his brother Bob in charge. arkansasartscenter.org.
Hey, Teachers! Tuesday
26 Friday 29 Shine a Light
School is in session, and for a lot of teachers that means coming to a classroom with bare cupboards and closets and trying to figure out how to stock them for their students. So many teachers can’t bear to ask their students’ parents to contribute because they know their school consists mostly of low-income families. Thea’s Art Closet helps teachers across the state get the art supplies and other creative materials they need without placing the burden on students. Sign up and receive a donation from Thea Foundation to fund half of your goal and raise the rest online through tax-deductible donations from friends, family members and colleagues. theafoundation.org/theas-art-closet.
Join Literacy Action as it celebrates the year’s accomplishments of students and tutors at Shine a Light on Literacy from 6-9 p.m., Sept. 29 at Next Level Events in the Historic Union Train Station. Guests will enjoy libations, heavy hors d'oeuvres, music, a wine pull and an author-signed book auction. literacyactionar.org. THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
A CANDLESTICK PAINTER
Now that everyone at my house is settled back into school and work routines I have time to look around and take note of all the little projects I need to finish. While things like organizing the garage need to be done, doing something crafty to add a splash of color to our home would be much more fun! For this project, I look for inspiration from my dear friend Wes McHan, a local artist creating art auction items for ReStore & After, Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas’s annual art auction. He found three candlesticks at the Habitat ReStore and saw potential for a lovely décor piece. His work is stunning and really pushes the limits of repurposing ordinary objects. Walking through Wes’ simple steps below, you’ll see that you really can create your own original artwork that adds personality and charm to your home without breaking the bank. Follow these steps and light up your artistic side!
•• Flat white paint •• Various colors of liquid acrylic paint •• Brushes •• Sandpaper •• Stain •• High-gloss varnish •• Cloth towel
1. Paint candlestick with the flat white paint and let it dry completely. 2. Use liquid acrylic paints to create your own unique, colorful design, then let it dry completely. 3. Using sandpaper, strategically scuff and sand randomly throughout the candlestick to create an aged, rustic look. 4. Wipe away residue from sanding. 5. Stain the entire candlestick and wipe off excess stain with a cloth towel. 6. Let the stain dry completely, then varnish for a high-gloss finish. 7. Behold! You’re an artist. Display your artwork for your whole family to enjoy!
By Becky Pittman, communications consultant for Habitat for Humanity of Central Arkansas. Find this and many more crafts up for auction at Restore & After from 6-9 p.m., Sept. 21 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton. Purchase tickets at centralarkansastickets.com. 12 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
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A MOTHERHOOD-INDUCED IDENTITY CRISIS
everal years ago, my daughter drew a picture of our family. We were stick figures—artistic talent does not run in our family—but that’s not the important part. What mattered, what sucked the breath from my very soul, were the labels she’d written above the figures. Mine read “haws clenr.” House. Cleaner. I tried not to take the label too seriously, too personally. But really, how could I not? It was how she saw me. Not the woman who rearranged her whole life to be a mother. Not a nurturer or a teacher. Not the woman who’d worked so hard to finish grad school while she was still a toddler. None of those things. Looking back, the profound realization I received from that drawing was probably why I went back to work. It’s why I’ve tried so hard to show my kids something tangible, something more than a clean house. Don’t get me wrong, being a mother is enough. It’s a beautiful and important—and tough!—job that’s fulfilling and right for so many great women. It’s enough for me, most of the time. But in that moment, I looked around the house, I looked at her, and I looked inside myself. Is that what I’ve become, I wondered. Is she right? After becoming a mother, my body had changed, sure, but everything else was the same. Right? Well, no. I’d quit my job when I realized I couldn’t leave her. I had travelled more before becoming a mother. We had dinners out more often. I went to concerts and community events and laughed with friends. I had a social life. Suddenly I realized whether they were conscious decisions or not, I’d let go of so many things I enjoyed. I had changed. Who am I now? In many ways, we mothers aren’t really in control of our own lives those first few years. We sleep and eat on someone else’s schedule. We put our children’s needs before our own without a second thought. Many of us can’t find time or energy to do hair and makeup like we did before, or even shower. We’ve changed. Who are we now? Even though the choice to spend most of my time at home with my children was mine—and I don’t regret it—motherhood came with a lot of shocks. For one thing, there’s no outside validation for a job well done. Not a whole lot of collaboration or comradery, if I’m telling the truth. Performance evaluation? Raise? Yeah, right. Not unless you count the bonus of someone else in my bed. Some mothers feel guilty for no longer financially contributing to their family. Some feel inadequate because
they need help. Others thought they’d excel at motherhood, that they’d be naturals like Claire Huxtable, only to find theirs is more the style of Morticia Addams. This mothering business is a perpetually demanding and often thankless grind. Anyone who says different is full of number two. Now, are there sweet, perfect moments like a baby’s first laugh, or when a toddler says you’re the best mom in the whole world? Sure. Do those moments make all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it? You bet they do. But—and I’m guilty of this myself—I think we have to be careful about displaying only the cutesy side of our lives. Real life doesn’t pin pretty. Moms face a lot of pressure to make it all look effortless and perfect, and it’s just not. Perfection isn’t possible and, frankly, we’re not doing ourselves any favors by pretending it is. What we need is a whole lot less judgment—both of ourselves and each other—and a whole lot more kindness and support. How can a mother be kind to herself? By forgiving herself if she can’t do it all with a smile. By asking for help. By giving herself permission to pause, and taking time to relax and regroup. By allowing herself mistakes and trying to do better next time. I’m as guilty as the next girl of not practicing these, but I promise to try. I’m working to make motherhood a part of me, not everything. The identity crisis I mentioned earlier upon discovering my daughter saw me as a “haws clenr?” What about moms who feel guilty for wanting to get out of the house and go back to work? Those who don’t know who they are without laptops or speadsheets or board meetings? The ones who thought it would all come naturally, but it just hasn’t? My best advice: Take the time to seek out former—or even a few new interests. Plan a poker night, get involved with the PTA, start a mom’s Bible group. Whatever. Do something that makes you feel like more than the sum total of pumped ounces. In my opinion, playdates make the new mom world go ‘round. If you don’t know any moms, you’re not alone, trust me. I met some of my best friends at the Central Arkansas Library System’s story times. Maybe you will, too. For me, perspective helps. Phases pass. You won’t always be pregnant/nursing/carrying a 40-pound car seat/dragging a screaming toddler. Much too soon they’ll be going into fourth grade, like the artist I mentioned, who right now thinks I’m the best, smartest mom in the whole world. Yes, I know. This phase will also pass…but I’m ready. THE 'HAWS CLENR' AND HER FOURTH GRADER!
Jen Holman is determined to be a voice of reason amongst reality TV and mom-judgment-gonewild. Her newest novel (as yet unpublished) won the 2017 Rosemary award for excellence in young adult fiction. She lives in Little Rock with her husband and three (im)perfect children.
18 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Beautiful smiles, happy children ... that is our goal.
•Orthodontics •Conscious Sedation •Hospital Dentistry
501.868.3331 | 14114 Taylor Loop Rd., Little Rock kitchenspediatricdentistry.com
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mind, body & soul
IS IT MORE THAN A HOT FLASH?
We’ve all heard the stories about the symptoms of menopause—hot flashes, mood swings—but what if you’re a young woman, say in her 30s and you’re experiencing these symptoms? You may be experiencing premature menopause. BY ANGELA E. THOMAS
remature menopause, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), affects about one percent of women under 40 years of age. “The technical term we use most often is primary ovarian insufficiency,” said Dr. Leticia Jones, obstetrician/gynecologist and owner of Genesis Women’s Clinic in Little Rock. “It’s also referred to as premature ovarian failure and occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working. Most often primary ovarian insufficiency occurs as a result of surgery or chemotherapy and radiation. However, some women may experience this due to chromosome issues, such as Turner syndrome or problems with their endocrine system (Turner syndrome is a condition in which a girl is born missing or partially missing the X chromosome). Typically, we’ll see this in women who haven’t ever had a period or who stop having their period in their 20s.” Jones recommends women seek medical attention if they’ve not had a period for three months. “We’ll perform a full exam including testing for increased testosterone production, decreased estrogen production, and check her follicle-stimulating hormone levels and her thyroid. These tests will tell us what’s going on between the pituitary gland and the ovaries.”
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Jones said women who are experiencing primary ovarian insufficiency are prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT), but not due to the same reasons as women who undergo menopause at the typical or average age, which is 51. “We treat them with HRT to help prevent osteoporosis due to bone loss and to help prevent cardiovascular disease,” she said. The treatment and type of HRT differs as well. Typically, if a woman has experienced a complete menopause, it’s irreversible; however, she can have children using donor eggs or in vitro fertilization, Jones said. If the premature menopause has been caused by chemotherapy and/or radiation, depending on the woman’s age and where she received treatment, her body may recover and return to its normal function. Becca Tally was just 38 when she underwent a total hysterectomy. She had endured years of pain due to endometriosis. “I had very heavy periods, sometimes they’d last a month, and the pain from cramping was extreme. It was off the scale, and I had pain at other times. I’d experience pain when using the restroom. I remember holding on the walls while urinating and just crying,” Tally said. Her doctor prescribed birth control twice, to no avail; the first time, she said, she bled for three months, the second time she vomited nonstop.
“I visited my gynecologist in February 2009 and begged him to ‘fix me,’” Tally said. She had a total hysterectomy on April Fool’s Day 2009. “It was the easiest, difficult decision I’ve ever made,” she said. To deal with her experience, she blogged. Soon after the surgery she realized she’d become depressed, so she took antidepressants for a short time. “A few weeks later, I was standing in my kitchen, washing dishes, and I realized I was listening to birds chirping. I knew then I’d be OK.” Tally has taken HRT now and then, however, she had heart palpitations, so the doctors took her off the medication. “Oh, yes. I went into full-fledged menopause, and it was bad for a while,” she said. “But my advice to women is to accept it, know the symptoms, and don’t be embarrassed about it.” She also recommends sleeping under cotton sheets or a lightweight cotton blanket. “And always keep the ceiling fan on,” Tally said, laughing, “no matter what your husband says.” Dr. Jones said a hot flash or two twice a week is typical. “However, if the symptoms are unbearable or embarrassing, there’s no need to suffer through it. Talk to your doctor. Also, watch for triggers, such as stress, alcohol or caffeine, and limit those. Avoid saturated and trans fats. Incorporate soy into your diet, and increase your calcium intake.” She said exercise also helps. “It helps with cardiovascular health, and weight-bearing exercises will help protect your bones. It’s also been proven to help with depression in addition to helping mitigate weight gain.”
EXERCISE TO EASE SYMPTOMS Kris Mougeot has been a certified fitness instructor since the 1990s and the 55-year-old, who all but breezed through menopause, said exercise made a world of difference for her. “I’ve been an instructor for a few years now, so I’ve established a following of students. We’ve aged together, and those of us who consistently exercise didn’t really suffer from the effects of menopause as others have,” she said. Mougeot welcomed menopause: “It’s nice not to have to worry about my period and needing a tampon when on the go. I can be hiking on a mountain in South America and not have to worry about such things.” She added, “I’m also a healthy eater. I eat nutritiously dense foods, fruits and vegetables. I don’t drink soda, though I do enjoy a glass of wine occasionally.” Mougeot teaches hour-long classes at the Little Rock Athletic Club and works out every day for 60 to 90 minutes—“I’m not talking 47,000 burpees here, but yoga, walking, weight-bearing exercises”—and as a result, she didn’t experience hot flashes or weight gain. “Listen, it’s nothing heroic, just healthy living and a lifestyle I really enjoy.”
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
FRESH FALL KICKS
It's time to hang up those sandals and embrace the comfort of closed-toe shoes. We've got slides, sneakers and booties to add some fresh, autumnal accents to your shoe collection. 1. Slip into this super-soft crushed velvet bootie by Qupid. The sleek silhouette makes it perfect for work or a night out with friends and the gold zipper adds extra bling. Available at Runway Seven in the Promenade at Chenal, runwayseven.com. 2. These loafers by Free People are floral, exotic and the perfect statement shoe to jazz up your wardrobe. Slide on the embroidered velvet loafers with a beautiful, refined look and a backless design. Available at Warren's Shoes, 501-225-3515. 3. Get double the style in this two-toned ankle boot by Diba True. It's a versatile, split-shaft slip on style with gray suede and tan leather that helps them coordinate with almost any outfit. Available at Warren's Shoes, 501-225-3515. 4. We are wild about these cheetah print lace-up sneakers by Kendall + Kylie. The platform style makes them stand out and the funky fur accents make them an instant favorite. Available at Warren's Shoes, 501-225-3515. 5. Rifle Paper Co. and Keds combine to bring this gilded, glamorous lace-up sneaker. It's a casual high-top look with a golden floral pattern that pops against a canvas, slate-colored background. Available at riflepaperco.com or keds.com. 6. Feel sporty and slinky in these slip-on leather sneakers by J/ Slides. The embossed style creates a faux snake skin look and a classic rubber platform adds an edge that can't be beat. Available at Warren's Shoes, 501-225-3515.
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Build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter
People in Central Arkansas, and all over the world, partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. With our help, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and their families. Foundation - Core Values
• Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive • Strong and stable homes help build strong and stable communities • With a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own • Bold actions speak louder than words • Working together, side by side, promotes understanding and self-reliance
Your Donations Help Build Homes for Hardworking People in Central Arkansas. Donate and We’ll pick it up!
Building materials, working household appliances, furniture, fixtures, home decor, clothing and books.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
24 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
Skip the weeknight drive-through with these five-ingredient, quick meals you can make after practice! STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY KERRY GUICE
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
ust when I think we're getting into a good â€œnew school year groove,â€? all the after-school activities start back up and I turn back into an after-school chauffeur around town all week. It's hard to think so far ahead to keep a good hot meal on the table when it only feels like 10 minutes between dropping them off for school in the morning, and taking them to soccer, tennis, taekwondo or dance practice at 5 p.m. In short, week night dinners are pretty hard to pull off! I decided to come up with a handful of recipes that use five ingredients or less so I have no excuse to drive through the nearest fast food restaurant. These are two of my favorites!
26 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
ROTISSERIE CHICKEN CAESAR WRAP
1 whole smoked chicken (my favorite is from Edwards Food Giant) 1 bag Caesar salad mix Whole wheat tortillas â…“ cup grape tomatoes
DIRECTIONS: Combine the bag of Caesar salad mix according to directions. Set aside. Slice grape tomatoes in half or fourths and set aside. In microwave, heat up tortilla for 20 seconds, and then fill with Caesar salad mix, rotisserie chicken and sliced grape tomatoes. Serve with chips and/or fruit.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
VEGGIE RAMEN Serves 2-3
1 package Koyo Instant Ramen 2 cups chicken stock 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 cup chopped broccoli Â½ cup shredded carrots DIRECTIONS: Instead of using water, boil chicken stock to cook Koyo's heirloom noodles. Add noodles when stock comes to a boil. After noodles cook for 2 minutes add carrots and broccoli. After 4-5 more minutes, add the soy sauce and turn off heat. Add Sriracha hot sauce if desired.
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We provide care closer to home, so you can go further than you ever expected. Snell Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory has ten locations across the state to conveniently serve our patients. So regardless of which office you decide to visit, our professional staff will be waiting to take care of your prosthetic, orthotic, pedorthic or post-mastectomy needs.
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017PM 8/8/17 4:04
PUBLIC EDUCATION: PROVIDING OPPORTUNITIES
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WOODLAND INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH GROUP OFFERING RESEARCH TO RURAL AND URBAN AREAS IN ARKANSAS Clinical research trials are being conducted at Woodland International Research Group for a variety of indications. Clinical trials are conducted to assess the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, treatments, or medical devices. Volunteers are enlisted to participate in trials, based on their medical history and the products that are being tested. Volunteers are recruited from a broad range of ages and backgrounds. By volunteering to participate in a clinical trial you are helping others better understand how an investigational treatment works. In order to find out if you qualify for a clinical trial, contact:
WOODLAND INTERNATIONAL 910 AUTUMN RD, LITTLE ROCK, AR 72211 (800) 611-4873 | JOINARESEARCHSTUDY.COM 30 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
g n i z ama
s n tee
There are so many teens doing big things in Central Arkansas. From volunteerism to scientific research, disaster relief and more, they are impressive and sure to do big things in the future. Meet Savvy's readernominated Amazing Teens!
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
Chris Gay is a 15-year-old sophomore at North Little Rock High School where he makes As, and in his spare time enjoys playing golf and basketball. Chris also plays the trumpet in the band and is first chair. He loves giving back to the community. He assisted in building a ramp on East McCain for veterans, and recently renovated a community basketball court in North Little Rock as an Eagle Scout project. Chris, son of Russell and Linda Gay, was nominated by Isaac Henry, special assistant to the mayor of North Little Rock, who aided him with his basketball court project. Here's what Henry had to say about this go-getter: "Without a doubt, Chris Gay is an amazing young man. I met Chris when he was referred to me about an Eagle Scout project he was trying to coordinate to restore a basketball court in the city of North Little Rock. He did all the planning, and my only job was to provide the resources for him to get the job done. Chris planned the project for two months and when the day came to actually rejuvenate the basketball court, he showed up with 15 other scouts and they knocked the project out like champs. The Mayor came out and congratulated the boys on the awesome selfless job they were doing. Chrisâ€™ scout troop adopted the basketball court and a sign is now on both sides of the court to recognize all of their hard work."
Micaiah Roberts is a senior at Maumelle High School and honor student planning to attend Purdue University next year. She's originally from Watertown, NY, by way of the U.S. Army Base Fort Drum in New York, but has called Arkansas home for the last 12 years. She was nominated by her mother, Jacqueline Doss-Cola of Maumelle, who is so proud of her artistic, kind and clever 16-year-old. Here's what Mom had to say: "Micaiah is kind, clever, creative and generous to a fault. Art is the air that she breathes! She started drawing when she was 2. In the fall she'll be double majoring in Anime Media Art and Art Education and minoring in Percussion. She's a phenomenal young lady who loves God, family and helping others. She has volunteered for the Central Arkansas Salvation Army North Little Rock Corps and was a member of Girl Guard. She also helps with the Marine Toys for Tots with Small Wonders, Inc. She is a published author and illustrator of two children's books, and is currently on her third season as a majorette for the Maumelle High School Band, "Marching Machine." She is the Tympani Player of the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra for three seasons, Arkansas Symphony Academy for the two prior seasons, and was the first female and African American to audition and make the "drum roll." My kid will be a great commodity to the world with her loving and compassionate nature, entrepreneurial spirit and amazing art."
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Danaka Davis is a well-rounded teen with big plans for the future. She wants to study psychology at the University of Central Arkansas to build a career that will allow her to help people. She's an 18-year-old animal lover, artist, cheerleader, former Ms. Teen Vilonia, community volunteer and strong-willed girl who graduated at the top of her class from Vilonia High School. Her parents, Jeff and Michelle Davis of Vilonia, could not be more proud of their ambitious teen. Here's what Mom had to say about her: "Danaka has a pure heart for helping others. She unfortunately suffered a minor back injury which kept her from cheering half of her senior year, but kept a positive attitude through her back treatments and continued to cheer for her squad and teams from the sidelines. She has been through two tornadoes that left major destruction in our little town. The first tornado hit our house while she was inside taking cover. She helped for countless days with clean up wherever she was needed. Her perseverance to push through tough times with a positive attitude is amazing. She is goal-oriented and has a smile that lights up any room and a heart of gold."
Hunter was born at 22 weeks and 5 days, and doctors told his parents, Brant and Mandy Hill, that he would not survive. After 94 days in the NICU, he was home and doing great. Doctors said Hunter would never walk or talk and would be mentally disabled; however, after being diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy, as a 15-year-old he has succeeded and excelled all expectations. Hunter was featured in Savvy's January 2015 special needs issue, and his mom assures us he continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Here's what she had to say about her amazing teen: "Last year as an eighth grader, and without any help from a special education class, Hunter managed to maintain honor roll for the whole year and even made all As for the last nine weeks. He is a big part of the Poyen Junior High football team even though he can't physically play the game. He was asked to play in the last home game as a peewee in the sixth grade and scored two touchdowns. It was an amazing thing to watch as friends and family and even people whom we have never met watched and cheered him on. Hunter has always been a fighter and very determined young man. I truly believe without a miracle from God he wouldn't be here today."
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
ELIZABETH SOLLEDER & ASMSA'S NATIONAL PARK SERVICE VOLUNTEER TEAM
(Standing from left) Katherine Evans, John Ostermueller, Cameron Rhoden, Elizabeth Solleder and Hollie Hagler. (Seated from left) Lily Ann Easley, Sarkis Kalajyan, Nadia Teske, Riddhi Modi and Alyssa Easterling.
34 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
DUPREE PARK FRIDAY 3-10 & SATURDAY 9-10
Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts is full of some of the best and brightest young minds in the state. A group of ASMSA students was recently recognized by the National Park Service for Outstanding Volunteer Service in Washington, DC. Under the direction of Dr. Lindsey Waddell, Research in the Park students work diligently within the national park, offering their time, working throughout the school year in a variety of scientific fields. From studying the bacteria of thermal spring water to identifying the insects currently present in the park's forests, the information and studies performed by these students offer insights into the changing ecology of the park. Team member Elizabeth Solleder's parents Shea Childs and Bill Solleder nominated their daughter and the team for their outstanding community service. Here's what they had to say about their 17-year-old academic and public servant: "Last year, my daughter Elizabeth was chosen to receive the Pulse of the Planet Award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for her project questioning the potential dilution of the spring water. Each of these students' projects was well thought out, executed with precision and oftentimes published in peer reviewed journals. I applaud these amazing teens. Their energy and intellect is an asset to the future."
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THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
“Save Lives and Bring Hope to Those Affected by Suicide”
-Loss and Healing -Public Policy
Find More Information and Educational Opportunities at AFSP.org/Arkansas
36 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
November 5 Register at ARwalk.org
The Social Side of Suicide Suicide prevention has been around for centuries, but has found a new enemy in social media. Know what to look for and how to keep kids safe and educated. BY DWAIN HEBDA
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
Nationally, 44,193 PEOPLE died by their own hand in 2015. The age category with the highest incidence of suicide were middle aged (ages 45 to 64), at
MORE THAN 45 PER DAY. Nationwide, 5,400 young people (age 24 and below) died by suicide in 2015. This equates to one death roughly every 90 minutes and the second leading cause of death in this age group. A little less than half of the suicides among young people were carried out by persons 19 and younger; over 400 were 14 or younger. Caucasians die by suicide at a rate almost six times that of all other race groups combined.
Firearms accounted for half of U.S. suicide deaths in all age categories.
3x Source: â€œMortality in the United States: 2015,â€? CDC/NCHS
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as many males die from suicide than females in the United States. Ironically, females attempt suicide at a rate three times that of males.
xperts in the field of suicide prevention and counseling say with improved communication channels information arrives faster and more detailed, which makes the problem thornier than ever. From one angle, suicide is the same as it ever was; from another, it’s a byproduct of a dangerous new world of social media. “Suicide is a complicated behavior, not caused by a single event like a bad grade or the breakup of a relationship,” said Cyndi Coleman, outpatient administrator with Methodist Family Health. “Suicide risk can be exacerbated by traumatic and stressful life experiences such as abuse, death, divorce, relationship breakups, bullying or school failures. “Social media has provided a platform that not only makes bullying anonymous and easier to engage in or be the target of, but it can also impact a teen’s self-esteem and amplify feelings of rejection. Additionally, LGBTQ youth are at significantly higher risk for suicidal behavior due to the complicating factors of rejection by their own family. Coleman said about the only thing that’s truly constant is Arkansas’s sad place of distinction on national suicide rankings, 10th in the nation at last count. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 577 Arkansans died by their own hand in 2015, a rate of just over 19 deaths per 100,000 people. More than twice as many people killed themselves than died by homicide. Over the past decade, suicide rates in Arkansas have decreased only twice—in 2009 and slightly in 2014—and have risen over that 10-year period by about 32 percent. And even those sobering statistics probably don’t tell the whole story. “The thing is, with suicides we’ll never have an accurate number of attempts because you could try to kill yourself and no one would ever know about it,” said Susie Reynolds Reece, violence prevention specialist for CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs and founder of Suicide Prevention Allies. “We do know that for every one death we’re looking at between 100 to 200 attempts that are being made. That’s a significant number and those numbers are higher in our youth population.” Reece placed some of the blame on social media for the rise in suicide deaths. She also said particularly among young people, emulation is another factor, whether it’s a classmate or a celebrity. “If you’re struggling with suicidality and you look at someone like Robin Williams who is well-loved, who is famous, who has money, who has all of these things and you have none of those things and he dies from suicide, your thoughts may be ‘If he did that, why should I live?’” she said. “Any time we see celebrity deaths from either suicide or substance overdose, even with Philip Seymour Hoffman or Prince, you see those numbers go up with our National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.” Making matters worse, for as much attention as these deaths receive, suicide remains arguably the most taboo subject matter for parents to broach with their children. “What healthcare professionals and mental health advocates want children and parents to know is, suicide is a real threat,” Coleman said. “Do parents, in general, talk about this soon enough? No.
“Parents should start having conversations about mental and emotional health as part of wellness early on and continue and evolve that conversation as children become teenagers. Even if your child is not at risk for suicide, the chances are that someone they know or care about will be.” Reese agreed, saying for as far as society has come technologically, strategies for getting to the bottom of what your child may be going through really haven't changed all that much. “Suicide prevention virtually began in the 1500s, so there’s nothing new under the sun,” Reece said. “I would say, know what your kids are doing, know what they’re into because there’s some things that are disturbing. Be aware of this issue. Try and listen to what’s going on in the schools as well. Kids are talking about things and they often know if Billy’s struggling with something that the teachers may not know about. “Unfortunately we can’t know everything, but if we would all work together on these things, it would be a lot easier for all of us.
See Something, Say Something Few people spontaneously take their own life; most give hints and display warning behaviors well before they actually attempt it.
SUICIDAL WARNING SIGNS FOR KIDS INCLUDE:
• Talking about dying, disappearing, jumping or other types of self-harm. • Recent loss through death, divorce or broken relationships, losing interest in friends and activities. • Change in personality such as becoming sad, withdrawn or irritable. • Change in behavior, sleep patterns or eating habits. • Fear of losing control, acting erratically, harming self or others. • Low self-esteem, feeling worthlessness, shame or self-hatred. • No hope for the future, believing things will never get better or ever change. Source: American Psychological Association
THE MINUTE YOU THINK YOUR CHILD MAY BE CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE IS THE TIME TO ACT: ACKNOWLEDGE: Take it seriously and listen. If you are noticing warning signs or you hear something that sounds troubling, recognizing that something is wrong is the first step. CARE: Take the initiative and show and/or voice your concern. When someone is suffering it can be difficult for them to remember there are people that care. TREATMENT: Get professional help immediately. Source: stopsuicide.org
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
Five years ago, at age 25, Annie Deramus attempted suicide. She and her mother share their journey to that dark place and their struggle for Annie to find herself and become a passionate advocate for suicide prevention. BY DWAIN HEBDA
nnie Deramus entered this world the first time on New Year’s Eve, 1986. She entered it again in 2012 after trying to take her own life. She considers both dates her birthday. “Oct. 15 is the day I attempted suicide,” she said. “The first few years I was terrified of it. I remember the one-year anniversary very vividly. I bawled my eyes out. It was scary. Now as I kind of get away from it, it’s a special day to me because it reminds me of how far I’ve come.” Dermaus’ attempt came during what she calls her perfect storm, brought on by a mental illness that disintegrated her relationships and shattered her self-worth so completely that she felt excruciating, unrelenting pain. “On the surface things looked good. Inside, I was the most miserable I had ever been in my entire life,” she said. “I had no meaningful relationships that I believed in. I had no selfesteem. I berated myself and caused others so much angst they no longer wanted to be around me, which in turn kind of perpetuated that cycle.” The night the event occurred, Deramus’ mother, Laura Gladwin, was talking to her daughter on her way to an appointment. She’d spent the past two weekends with Deramus, lending moral support, but she held no illusions about how much good that did in the moment. “I hung up the phone and said to myself, ‘Tonight’s the night. It’s going to happen,’” Gladwin said. Deramus’ journey toward that fateful day began in fifth grade, the year her parents divorced. It was the first time she felt the struggle of emotions within her, well before being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, a mental illness that affects moods, interpersonal relationships and self-image. Even at that tender age, she perfected a complicated matrix between what the world saw and what was devouring her from within. “I saw no red flags,” Gladwin said. “She was a dancer at a very young age then sports took over. She always made good grades, she always had good friends. Very normal.” “I was scared of when’s it all going to fall apart. When am I going to make the move that throws this facade off?”
Annie and husband Jeremy on their first anniversary. (Opposite page) Annie and her mother, Laura Gladwin, on her wedding day.
Deramus said. “I was very anxious, very paranoid that people don’t like me or people are talking about me or people are lying to me. A lot of those feelings.” The intensity of her condition and the pain it brought mounted daily until Deramus began to envision how to end the long-playing charade. But like everything in her story, it would not be that simple. Even as she marched toward what she saw as a comforting inevitability, part of her desperately wanted someone to intervene. “I was dropping hints hourly, daily, pleading, all but on my knees screaming at my parents and my family and friends and everyone, saying I need help,” she said. “The majority of people who die by suicide have given some sort of invitation to have that conversation of ‘Are you thinking of suicide?’ Most people give signs.”
“That gave me hope that I mattered, that I was cared for and that my life was worth being around for.”
SHED SOME LIGHT AND TAKE ACTION
Take action to raise awareness on suicide prevention in Arkansas by participating in an Out of the Darkness Walk near you. These walks are the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s largest fundraiser producing millions for suicide prevention programs; they unite those who have been affected by suicide and help facilitate communities that are smart about mental health. Sept. 10, Northwest Arkansas, Orchards Park in Bentonville Sept. 23, Texarkana, Bobby Ferguson Park Oct. 8, Fort Smith, Ben Geren Park Oct. 28, Hot Springs, Entergy Park Nov. 5, North Little Rock, Dickey-Stephens Park
It’s a weighty thing to open your eyes after a suicide attempt. For Annie Deramus her second birth found her in much the same position as her first—surrounded by family and with no idea what life would hold from then on. “There were two feelings: one, I was scared as hell. It was like, what do I do now?” she said. “The second was, there was hope. I was hopeful because there in the hospital was one of the only times my parents were in the same room since the divorce.” “That gave me hope that I mattered, that I was cared for and that my life was worth being around for. And that was something that I had not felt in a very, very long time.” Therapy has followed that moment, both for Deramus and family members, notably her mother. Gladwin said she learned not only how to help her daughter, but come to grips with her own emotions. “This is a really hard thing for me to say, but the night that it happened I knew there was nothing I could do at that point. If it happened, it happened,” she said. “I couldn’t save her if she didn’t want to be here. And that was the hardest thing for me to swallow.” “For anyone going through this, go see a professional so you know how to react and interact with them during that time. As a mother, I want to fix and make it better. But she’s an adult and I have to respect that and back off and let her make those choices for herself.” Dermus has nearly completed nursing school and is eager to help others. She’s found a certain grace Annie and Jeremy at the University of Central in educating people Arkansas Out of the Darkness Walk. about suicide, serving
on the board of the Arkansas chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She also talks openly about the dark places and thoughts which lurk still on the periphery of her life. “Yes I have had ‘that day’ again. I have experienced that emotion. I have been in that place where I would like to not be here,” she said. “There are times where I have thought I would really like to not have this [pain] anymore, I would really like to just go to sleep and not feel it. Yes, most definitely I have, unfortunately, had those times since.” One element of her perseverance has been her marriage, now approaching its second anniversary. She and her husband, Jeremy,
“On the surface things looked good. Inside, I was the most miserable I had ever been in my entire life.”
For more information on suicide prevention log on to afsp.org or call 1-800-273-TALK.
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even symbolically planned their honeymoon over the top of her suicide attempt anniversary. “[Jeremy] and I met about six or seven months after my attempt, so he was with me the first year. And the first couple years were really tough,” she said. “When we scheduled our honeymoon we knew that would be a day where it was more joyful than it was depressing.” “Now I’m able to look at it and see it as a really exciting day for me, a day of growth and strength and overcoming. I enjoy that.” Somewhere tucked into her archives, Annie Deramus has a note she wrote at the urging of her therapist. It looks like she’s sketching out a story, with names of characters and a description of each one’s personality traits. There’s an Angela, an Amy and a couple others, all neatly catalogued with their likes and dislikes, their tendencies, what they believe and what they reject. One of them, and the most important one, is a woman who loves people, who is a sucker for sentimental stuff, who loves her family, who’s carefree and funny and friendly. Her name is Annie. “Annie is my true self and was probably one of the hardest ones to write,” Deramus said. “That whole exercise was kind of helping me figure out who is Annie and how do we get back there.”
RESOURCES: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention 1-800-273-TALK afsp.org/chapter/afsp-arkansas
Arkansas Crisis Center 888-274-7472, arcrisis.org
Catar Clinic for Addiction and Rehabilitation 4260 Stockton Drive, Suite B North Little Rockâ€‹ 501-664-7833, catarclinic.org
Community Service, Inc. 818 N. Creek Drive Conway 501-327-9788, csiyouth.com
1815 Pleasant Grove Road Jonesboro 870-933-6886, familiesinc.net
Little Rock Community Mental Health Center
1100 N. University Ave., Suite 200 Little Rock 501-686-9300, lrcmhc.com
Methodist Family Health
1600 Aldersgate Road Little Rock 501-661-0720,methodistfamily.org
Pinnacle Pointe Hospital
11501 Financial Centre Parkway Little Rock 501-223-3322, pinnaclepointehospital.com
Rivendell Behavioral Health Services 100 Rivendell Drive Benton 501-316-1255, rivendellofarkansas.com
Stockton Medical Group
4260 Stockton Drive, Suite A North Little Rock 501-916-9129, stocktonmedgroup.org
Suicide Prevention Resource Center 800-273-8255, sprc.org
501-686-9300 24 Hour Crisis Services
Including Assessment & Placement
Individual and Group Therapy Medication Management Evidence Based Programs Including First Episode Care Addiction Assessment
Supported Housing Day Treatment Services Psychiatric Pharmacy
21 Bridgeway Road North Little Rock 800-245-0011, thebridgeway.com
MEDICAID | MEDICARE | PRIVATE INSURANCE
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
HOW PEER BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE TEENS When it comes to teenagers, peers often hold much more influence on their decision making than parents or family members. That’s why parents need to be particularly aware of trends on social media, popular culture and even within the population at school, especially as they pertain to thoughts of suicide. “You want to know what’s going on in their environment,” said Laura Huff, social services supervisor and adult services program coordinator with Rivendell Behavioral Health Services of Arkansas. “Teenagers are really secretive anyway, and teenagers don’t want to tell their parents what’s going on in their lives. If you notice that they have intense, painful, long-lasting moods where they’re more often in angst than not, it can be a red flag.” “If someone is having extreme mood swings, they may verbalize it. A lot of times people will say, ‘This isn’t worth it,’ or ‘I just don’t want to even exist anymore.’ When they verbalize those kinds of things that’s a red flag. If somebody says, ‘I wish this all would just end,’ start asking some questions,” Huff said. Given young people’s reticence to talk about their life at this stage, parents often have a hard time separating everyday moodiness from legitimately serious issues. That’s where parents sometimes have to read the terrain of social media and peer group activities to gain a better understanding of what their teen is facing every day.
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“If you notice a change in their personality, say a child is really outgoing and all of a sudden you notice that they are just withdrawing and they are not spending time with friends or family, check out what’s going on,” Huff said. One big issue that parents should pay particular attention to is called the contagion effect, which could also be thought of as a sort of copycat behavior. This can be particularly serious when the subject is suicide, Huff explained. “If there’s been suicide at their school or by someone they know, that is a big red flag. You want to pay lots of attention to your child during those times,” she said. Another portal into the child’s world that parents should monitor is their child’s social media accounts. Whether or not parents suspect anything is wrong, Huff said having the ability to monitor these accounts is crucial, given the pervasiveness of their use on a typical teenager’s life. And if there is something damaging going on, such as bullying, the negative effects can be substantial.
KIDS ARE CONNECTED ALL THE TIME NOW. WHAT THEY’RE HEARING THAT BULLY SAY AT SCHOOL, THEY’RE GETTING THOSE MESSAGES IN THEIR BEDROOM ON THEIR PHONE OR ON THEIR COMPUTER. IT’S NEVER-ENDING. “When we were kids if we were being bullied we’d go home,” Huff said. “We could go home for the weekend and not have to see those bullies or think about them and worry about going back to school Monday morning.” “Kids are connected all the time now. What they’re hearing that bully say at school, they’re getting those messages in their bedroom on their phone or on their computer. It’s never-ending.” What’s even more dangerous, Huff said, are trends that circulate widely over social media networks. Things that seemingly no rational individual would pay attention to (such as the Blue Whale Challenge, which encourages participants to harm or kill themselves) take on a different significance in the mind of a troubled teenager.
as physical or sexual abuse are also contributing factors for those who would end their own lives. Huff said it’s not just having the courage to raise the topic with your children, but knowing how to do it in a manner that’s compassionate yet direct. Don’t dance around the subject or replace terminology, she said, but ask specifically if the person is thinking about suicide. “It’s so important for people to know that if you directly ask someone if they are thinking about suicide—not hurting themselves, but actual suicide—you will not plant that in their mind. If they’re thinking about suicide, most of the time they’ll tell you,” she said. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh, he’s really depressed. I don’t want to ask him if he’s suicidal because that might give him an idea.’ If they’re thinking about suicide, you won’t plant the idea in their head but you really could save their life by just flat-out asking.” Once a parent has broken through—or more tragically, once a young person attempts suicide—formalized steps must be taken to get help. “If someone is thinking about suicide that’s an emergency most of the time,” Huff said. “Parents can call Rivendell 24/7, our assessment department is open and they are happy to answer questions. If someone meets criteria, then they may need to come into the hospital for a few days for safety reasons and to let us assess them to see if they need medication or get some counseling.” Someone who has attempted suicide should always be taken to a hospital for their own safety. Rivendell employs a team approach in these situations including psychiatric, nursing and therapy professionals. There’s also a lot of work done to ensure supports are in place for after the person is discharged. “We work with the families to make sure they have a solid discharge plan and an appointment to see an outpatient therapist within seven days,” Huff said. “If they need drug rehab or if they need residential care, we help arrange that too. They have to have a solid discharge plan before they ever leave the hospital so they can continue treatment and start getting better.”
“Every person that I’ve worked with who has decided they’re Call TODAY. We can help. hopeless doesn’t see any other way to escape the pain they’re in,”
Huff said. “There’s one thing I ask my patients who are suicidal; I Confidential Assessments always say, ‘Do you really want to die or do you just want the pain available at the noanswer charge to end?’ Ninety percent24/7 of the time is, ‘I just want the pain to end.’” Of course, mental illness is often a contributing factor, in fact, some statistics place the correlation as high as 90 percent of suicide deaths. Substance abuse and experiencing trauma such The Joint Commission Top Performer on Key Quality Measures 2013
100 Rivendell Dr., Benton (800) 264-5640 rivendellofarkansas.com www.rivendellofarkansas.com
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Most insurances accepted including Medicare,
CounselIng And MedICATIon
Work TogeTher To Help pATIenTs
In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died from opioids … Hidden behind the terrible epidemic of opioid overdose deaths looms the fact that many of these are far from accidental. They are suicides. Dr. Maria Oquendo, President of the American Psychiatric Association Dr. Oquendo wrote these sobering words in an April blog post for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. She also cited a study in the “Journal of Psychiatric Research,” in which researchers found that prescription opioid misuse was associated with a 40 to 60 percent increased risk for thoughts of suicide in the general population. With such staggering statistics, it’s easy to understand why opioid abuse and misuse has been termed an epidemic. Stockton Medical Group is on the front lines of this epidemic, treating patients to help them overcome opioid addiction. “Most often, patients have experienced trauma, which is at the root of their addiction,” said Michael Casillas, LCSW, director of operations for Stockton Medical Group. “Their drug use is a way to mask the pain. The addiction is symptomatic of that trauma— there is quite often a direct correlation.” Thus, Stockton Medical Group employs a two-prong solution to opioid addiction: therapy and medication. While it’s true, some become addicted to opioids as a result of abusing prescriptions given to alleviate physical pain, Casillas said, often patients are fighting depression or have experienced a precipitating event. He added, “And as they use the drug more and more, they become dependent upon it and it becomes a physiological issue.” He explained the mechanics of opioid addiction. “Opioids occur naturally in the human body. They’re unique in that they are necessary for the body to function. The opioid receptors are
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located in the same part of the brain that is tied to survival. When a person is abusing drugs, their brain tries to compensate to the new flood of opioids. When the new receptors are under utilized, the individual experiences withdrawal. The symptoms of which can be life threatening. This is why many individuals who try to quit without assistance, relapse. They may, as a result, experience a loss of hope.” Along with administering medication in a controlled, guided manner, the staff at Stockton Medical Group also provides on-site counseling to teach patients to how to deal with stress, especially the stresses they may be experiencing as a result of their addiction, such as financial strain, relationship issues and more. They offer individual, group, family and couples counseling. “Without a positive support system, recovery is difficult, if not impossible,” Casillas said. “Our counselors help our patients with treatment plans to help them problem solve. Our program is half pharmacological: our patients are stabilized with the medication to address the dependence, so that the counseling can address the addiction. We help them address the issues, such as past trauma, with life skills and coping skills to help them recover.” This is especially important. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “suicide and opioid misuse and abuse risk factors, such as pain, other addictions, mental disorders and disruptions in social support, can overlap.” Casillas said the administration of medication helps patients return to work and to caring for their families, and counseling gives them the emotional support needed for a successful recovery. Stockton has fulltime, licensed counselors who see patients on a regular basis. When patients begin the program, they can participate in therapy every day, if they choose to. Eventually, patients enter a maintenance phase during which they receive counseling and medication monthly on a longterm basis, just as someone who is diabetic would receive insulin.
“We work with our patients to work toward a level of freedom and independence that they feel comfortable with, however, it’s mandated, and we require every patient to come in at least once per month, though we often encourage them to come more often.” The staff at Stockton Medical Group has specialized in addiction treatment for opioid use disorder since 1994, and Casillas said they have some patients who’ve been with them for more than 10 years. “Addiction impacts everyone, people from various economic backgrounds, people of all ages and all situations, people who have experienced serious trauma, people who have PTSD … we treat people from all walks of life. We also work with a number of behavioral health agencies and develop individual treatment plans to ensure success,” he added. The goal is to help patients enjoy a healthy, happy life. “No one should have to suffer through recovery. We are here to help. Our focus is to help patients recover, to make recovery work, and to make it last.” Stockton Medical Group operates five outpatient facilities in Arkansas. For more information, log on to stocktonmedgroup.org.
The Center for Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation or CATAR Clinic has provided community-based, medication-assisted treatment for adults 18 and older since 1994. The facility’s big focus is relapse prevention, according to Lee Manns, LADAC, clinic administrator. CATAR is addressing the issue of opiate dependency, which can help efforts to prevent suicide in our state. “Statistically, individuals with substance abuse disorders are six times as likely to report suicidal thoughts, if not suicidal behavior. I’ve seen studies that show individuals who use opioids, cocaine and sedatives are slightly higher at risk than others,” Manns said.
injury, just as it’s common for a person to take drugs as a way to cope with life. “Opioids have the same numbing effect on emotional pain as they do on physical pain,” Manns said.
It’s also not unusual for an individual to become depressed, hopeless and even suicidal as a result of their drug abuse or the inability to conquer it.
“CATAR is a substance abuse clinic, but we are keenly aware that some of the people we serve may also have bipolar disorder or depression “I can easily see how patients who abuse opioids or any number of mental health issues that go can become suicidal, and I strongly suspect that’s along with, or may be a part of, their opioid abuse. the case with many individuals,” Manns said. So, we work with a number of mental health professionals [to address the According to the American Foundation overall issue].” It’s important for Suicide Prevention, “a significant number of opioid deaths are related to understand to suicide.” In its 2017 Advocacy For example, during a patient’s initial assessment, CATAR’s that substance Forum, they recommend that the U.S. staff works to determine his Congress provide “funding across abuse is a needs. They may refer the the continuum for prevention and disease, and patient to a mental health early identification to treatment and professional to address his treatment is recovery.” mental and emotional state available. while CATAR’s staff addresses Federal government regulations, the substance abuse. Manns said, recommend patients are treated for 1 ½ to 2 years as a minimum. CATAR “We work simultaneously. This helps with relapse has patients who have been in treatment for that prevention,” Manns said. long and longer. Once a patient is admitted to the program, the CATAR treatment team of doctors, nurses, counselors and senior administration, meet to determine the best approach. Manns said, if they make a referral to a mental health professional, patients are asked to sign a release, so they can exchange information. “This way the mental health professional knows about the services and medication the patient is receiving from us and vice versa. We maintain open communication.” It’s not uncommon for an individual to become addicted to opioids that were prescribed for an
“Opioid addiction is highly complex. There are individuals who started using opioids as teens and are now in their 40s seeking treatment. Some patients may need to be on methadone for the rest of their lives,” Manns said. “Treatments are highly individualized.”
must adhere to a strict treatment schedule to demonstrate stability taking medication independently. Eventually, patients taper off to visiting 4 days a week, then 3 days a week and finally to once per month. However, no matter the phase, patients must continue to take methadone daily. They’ll continue to meet with counselors a minimum of once per month, even when they are stable and receive monthly “take home” doses of medication. During treatment at CATAR, patients undergo individual therapy and cognitive behavior therapy. “Cognitive behavior therapy helps patients recognize their self-destructive thought patterns and to change the way they look at themselves and other areas of their lives. It helps them recognize that opioids may have been a quick solution for dealing with their feelings or pain, but in the long run, it produces a negative outcome,” Manns said. It’s important to understand that substance abuse is a disease and treatment is available. “Methadone is ‘chemotherapy’ for people with addictions,” Manns said. The staff at CATAR Clinic is available to administer potentially life-saving solutions and to assist with treatment and recovery. CATAR Clinic is located at 4260 Stockton Drive, Suite B in North Little Rock, Arkansas. For more information about CATAR Clinic and the services offered, log on to catarclinic.org or call 501-664-7833.
Generally, once an individual is accepted as a CATAR patient, he begins by coming in 6 days a week and medication is administered in the presence of a nurse. He must meet with a counselor once a week. This takes place for the first 90 days. It’s pretty intense, Manns said. However, patients THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
Invest in Kids Early to Build Trust and Communication
up when something is wrong. And that, he said, starts long before there is a problem, by investing enough time to let your child know you care about their happiness and well-being as well as knowing their highs and lows.
Children and teens today experience largely the same ups and downs of previous generations, with some notable differences. New technology, social media and easy access to opiates and other prescription medications have all contributed to depression, addiction and the impact of suicide.
“Parents should know their children better than anyone else,” he said. “Consistently, the more parents engage with their children through conversation, participation, affection and the like, the more they become aware of changes with their behaviors.”
Parents have an obligation to face such issues as suicide head-on, according to Jason Miller, CEO of The BridgeWay.
“Don’t be afraid to ask them about their feelings. Don’t hesitate to know their friends and their whereabouts. Don’t forget to visit with their teachers about their performance and behaviors at school. And do not ignore signs that your child could be depressed, even if you don’t believe they could be.”
“The most important thing to remember is that while speaking about suicide is a tough subject, it does not mean it should be ignored,” he said “Parents were teenagers once too. We remember being smarter and more ‘in touch’ than our parents probably recognized. “Remembering that our own children are the same, we can find ways to have logical and poignant discussions with them about important subjects like addiction, social pressures and suicide.” Miller said being direct starts with building the kind of emotional capital that entitles you to speak
Determining that a problem exists, while important, is just the first step on the road to a happier, more productive life. Often families in crisis have little previous exposure to therapy or other behavioral health services and find it hard to know where to start. “All of us who work in behavioral health understand that there are questions about where to turn and what to do,” Miller said. “At The BridgeWay, we operate 24/7, 365 days a year and
can help families day or night. I would always encourage a parent to never assume they have all the answers and make contact with our Intake Department to seek help.” “Sometimes inpatient treatment is necessary to stabilize the patient, but there are other resources available as well. A good intake department will explain the risks of not receiving treatment, offer the right level of care based on symptoms and provide options and where to find them.”
The BridgeWay, the first freestanding behavioral healthcare system in Arkansas, is the largest and most expansive behavioral healthcare provider in the state. Programs are as effective— outcomes have consistently shown as much as a 12-point improvement in depression cases—as they are varied, and include art expression, yoga and pet therapy. “We continue to grow in our programs to serve our neighbors and friends in the state,” Miller said. “But more importantly than that, we take the issues facing our children seriously and know how to keep them safe if they are ever faced with depression, addiction or thoughts of suicide.”
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death overall in Arkansas.
That over twice as many people die by suicide in Arkansas annually than from homicide.
On average, one person dies by suicide every 15 hours in our state.
Yet suicide is preventable. Based on the most recent 2015 data from the CDC
Join us as we walk to prevent suicide.
Be the VOICE to
48 SEPTEMBER 2017 | THESAVVYMOMS.COM
When: Sunday, November 5, 2017 Check-in at 12 noon Walk at 2:15 PM Where: Dickey-Stephens Park Register: ARWALK.org
SuiCide Warning SignS
iF A PerSon tAlkS About:
• Being a burden to others • Feeling trapped • Experiencing unbearable pain • Having no reason to live • Killing themselves
SPeCiFiC thingS to look out For inClude:
• Increased use of alcohol or drugs • Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means • Acting recklessly • Withdrawing from activities • Isolating from family and friends • Sleeping too much or too little • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye • Giving away prized possessions • Aggression
PeoPle who Are ConSidering SuiCide oFten diSPlAy one or more oF the Following moddS: • Depression • Loss of interest • Rage • Irritability • Humiliation • Anxiety
behAviorAl heAlthCAre SyStem • Inpatient facility for children & adolescents ages 5-17 • Acute inpatient care • Residential inpatient care • Partial Hospitalization • School – based services • Outpatient services • Day treatment services 11501 Financial centre Parkway little rock, arkansas 72211 501.223.3322 • 800.880.3322 PinnaclePointeHosPital.com Credit: AmeriCAn FoundAtion For SuiCide Prevention viA AFSP.org
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
Jenny Henry has cheered for volleyball, football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse—any sport her kids have picked up, she’s been right there with them, wearing the team colors and helping to guide them through major life decisions. BY AMY GORDY
his season, you’ll find Jenny Henry in the stands rooting for her four athlete children four days a week, and making time to recharge her faith and support her husband, Mark, on Sundays in the sanctuary of Fellowship Bible Church where he is a pastor. Sports are in the Henry family’s blood. Jenny’s father played basketball at the University of Arkansas, Jenny was a swimmer and cheerleader, and her husband, Mark, also played football for the University of Arkansas. Now her son Hunter, 22, plays professional football as a tight end for the Los Angeles Chargers after a successful career at the University of Arkansas; Hayden, 18, is beginning his freshman year as a linebacker for the Razorbacks; Hudson, 16, plays football at Pulaski Academy and is ranked among the best tight ends in the country for his class; and Hope, 13, plays volleyball and cheers at Pulaski Academy. “Sports have always been part of our life, and it started early,” Jenny said. We moved to Atlanta when Hunter was about to go to kindergarten, and they start you in full-on tackle football in
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(Top from left) Hayden, Mark, Hunter, Hope, Jenny and Hudson Henry cheering on Hunter as he accepted the 2015 John Mackey award for best tight end in the nation. (Below from left) Mark, Hunter and Jenny Henry at Pulaski Academy where Hunter received his official invitation to play in the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game.
kindergarten there. Lots of the kids going to school with him were going to play and he wanted to so bad so we signed him up. Over the years he did football, basketball, baseball—we were going from one sport to the next, it was pretty crazy.” The Henrys have always been supportive of their kids’ passions and have made it a rule in their family to cheer for and encourage each other. While they ask that the kids commit to only one sport per season to keep them from over extending themselves, Jenny and Mark let the each of them find their own paths, and never pressure them—even as the stakes get higher.
While all three Henry boys have fallen into football, it wasn’t the sport they grew up loving. “Hunter played football one year in kindergarten and didn’t play again until fourth grade. He played basketball and baseball until he was in the ninth grade, when we moved to Little Rock. He was a huge basketball player up until then and had played on an AAU team. He had planned to quit football if we stayed in Atlanta and focus on basketball. When we moved he started at Pulaski Academy and it is such a huge football school, it gave him a whole new lease on football and it became his love. It’s interesting to think what would gave happened if we hadn’t moved back,” Jenny said.
Hudson receives a trophy for excelling in sixth grade basketball.
Hayden and Hudson were both devoted lacrosse players in Atlanta, but they too caught football fever in Arkansas. Hope, still just 13, has dabbled in soccer, cheerleading and basketball, and recently found her passion in volleyball. “We told all of our kids, ‘You don’t have to play college football because Dad did. Even when offers came I remember sitting down with Hunter and saying, ‘If this isn’t what you want to do, you don’t have to,'” Jenny said. Even when Hunter made the decision to go pro, Jenny urged him to take pause and weigh his options. “Hunter decided he wanted to play
in the NFL and I was really concerned about concussions. He had one in high school and it really scared me. We got through that and he hasn’t had one since then, that I know of, but it is definitely scary. I asked, ‘Are you sure this is what you want to do?’ He’s a grown man and I can’t step in and tell him he can’t.” To deal with her fears, Jenny got the idea from a friend to write Bible verses on the backs of buttons to wear over her heart during games. “Making these buttons gave me a tremendous amount of peace. Them playing football can really grip me with fear and worry, and creating these buttons has been my calming force,” she said. As a mother, Jenny wants to protect her kids from the physical dangers of sports, but when they advance on to play at the college level a whole new world of off-the-field concerns enter the picture. This begins with the intense process of college recruiting, and helping to guide them to make decisions that could ultimately change the course of their lives kept Jenny and Mark on their toes. “Recruiting is an overwhelming process. I know that there are a lot of kids that don’t have much parental guidance, and I know after watching my kids go through it that recruiting really messes with you. You go to these schools and it so exciting and glamorous and you get on this high and you really have to come down to earth and say, ‘Let’s look at this logically, put it on paper and think about the pros and cons,’” she said. The Henrys do set rules for recruiting to keep their kids grounded and from making emotional choices. “Getting through recruiting takes a lot of guidance from both Mark and me. Our rules are when you go to a school for a visit you cannot commit on campus, you have to come home and process. Recruiting has become a really narcissistic process, and for lots of kids it becomes all about them. We remind our kids it’s not about you. We told them, ‘God has given you a platform to do good in this world,
(From top) A collection of Jenny's homemade prayer buttons. Jenny, Hudson, Mark and Hayden after an away game playing for Pulaski Academy in 2016. Jenny with Hope in her volleyball uniform.
THESAVVYMOMS.COM | SEPTEMBER 2017
and you have to use this opportunity to show your faith. It’s not about you making yourself better and becoming the greatest.’ Staying humble and grounded is a huge deal for us.” It’s not only the school’s reputation and team rankings the Henrys have to think about, but the coaches of the teams as well. As parents, they are essentially handing their child over to a team of coaches who will become primary mentors in their athlete’s life. “It’s hard, because coaches are putting on their very best performance and you have to be able to weed through the mumbo jumbo and be able to step back and ask yourself, ‘Is he being genuine?’ It’s hard sometimes, and we have been so thankful for our experience with Arkansas. Coach Bielema is who is says he is, and who he portrays himself to be. He’s not veered from that in all the years we’ve known him. I hope our fan base will give him a chance to prove himself. He’s a great guy.” The Henrys love their experience at the University of Arkansas, both with Hunter and now Hayden embarking on his first year. “Hayden was a late bloomer, so he didn’t get the attention that Hunter got. He didn’t get recruited until really late. He had a really great senior season then Arkansas didn’t have a place for him, but offered him a blue shirt. He was leaning toward the Air Force Academy at that point, and when this opportunity came available it was what he
really wanted. He’ll go on scholarship in January and we just got the news that he’s going to be playing some backup this season so we are going to try to make it to all the Fayetteville games and some away games.” At this point the Henrys have a University of Arkansas legacy going, but they are careful not to put that pressure on Hudson. “Just because his brothers went to UA, I don’t want him to feel pressure to commit. He has several offers and there’s still time. I’m sure he feels some pressure, but we tell him if he wants to go somewhere else we understand that. I don’t know what he’ll choose. He loves Arkansas and he’s a huge Razorback fan, but he’s keeping an open mind. I will wear whatever colors. I will be a dual fan if I need to. I’ve told him, ‘No matter where you are I’m a fan of you,’” Jenny said. Through all the excitement and buzz over the boys in the home, Jenny makes sure to give her daughter, Hope, the much deserved spotlight when she can. “Hope has had to deal with all of it. She’s awesome. She knows so much about football and loves sports. I make sure she knows she’s special and unique. She’s got a really bubbly personality and that helps,” Jenny said. Jenny said the recognition that has come with their family’s success can be overwhelming at times, but they continue to support each other and be Henry family cheerleaders. “I think the hardest part for our family through all of this is notoriety that Hunter has gotten. We can’t go out to dinner without being recognized and that stuff sometimes gets old, but he handles it so well and realizes that’s part of it.”
(From top) Mark, Hayden and Jenny on Hayden's signing day. Jenny with Hope getting ready to cheer for the Bruins. Hayden, Hudson, Hunter, Jenny, Hope and Mark on New Year's Day in front of Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, the former home of the Chargers. (Right) The Henrys join Hunter on the road at Ole Miss during his sophomore year.
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Now that some of her chicks have flown the nest, Jenny’s days of pushing two carts full at the grocery store are over. “You can’t imagine what my monthly grocery bill used to be,” she said, laughing. “It’s so exciting to watch your kids do the thing that they love. It’s been fun for me to switch gears and watch Hope do volleyball. Having her be the last one and really taking the time to enjoy it is a totally different thing.” Her schedule is still jam-packed however, with volleyball practice Mondays and Wednesdays and games on Thursday, Hudson’s football games Friday nights, trips up to Fayetteville Saturdays to see Hayden, catching Hunter playing on Sundays when they can, and making it back for church on Sunday. In addition to Jenny’s cheer career, she also helps out with her dad’s business two days a week and every now and then steals away a moment or two for herself for prayer and quiet time. “I’ve learned to be a morning person so I can find time for myself. I try to make sure on the days I don’t work not to schedule a ton of stuff and just be. Mark and I love to travel, which is usually scheduled around football games. It’s been fun for me to watch and cheer, and I really love my kids. They are such fun people and I see them being launched into adulthood and they are becoming these great human beings—someone you like to be with. It’s so rewarding as a parent. I’m a proud, crazy, crazy sports mama and I love it.” Mark and Jenny at their first Chargers game in San Diego.
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