Lake Norman Woman February 2023

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YESTERDAY BEGAN AS AN AUSTRALIA DAY. at’s what we call really rotten days in our household in honor of Alexander, the main character of the children’s book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day," who after a series of unfortunate mishaps decides he wants to move to Australia.

My Australia day started when I woke up already late for a meeting because I had set my alarm for 6:30 pm instead of am. Bolting into the kitchen to grab a much-needed cup of co ee, I discovered we were out of Keurig cups. And after showering, I put hand lotion in my hair instead of gel. en, nally dressed and running out the door, I not only stepped in cat vomit, I slid across the entry way in it, coming to a stop only when my butt hit the oor. Since I assumed eau de cat vomit might not be the best scent to wear to my meeting, I headed back to my closet to change. As I nally rushed out the door, I snapped at my husband (the co ee thief) and my cat (the regurgitator), and forgot all the paperwork I needed for the meeting. Well past the only gas station on the way into town, I realized all I had in my tank were fumes, and turning around, mentally began packing for my trip Down Under. I also started a conversation with God, sure that at this point, my only hope was for Him to change my circumstances.

God didn’t send me a digestively stable feline or a spouse who hated co ee. Instead, he sent me the Huntersville cone weed, or at least a reminder of it, through the

discussion on the radio talk show I was listening to as I drove. is wily weed had garnered worldwide attention a few years ago when, despite the harshest of circumstances (living alongside a busy thoroughfare inside an orange tra c cone), it had decided to follow its heart and bloom anyway. Quite the ambitious one, this weed not only grew to an impressive height and stature, it blossomed into what may be the most in uential roadside weed ever by inspiring a community-wide e ort that raised more than $14,000 for charity. In fact, the cone weed made such an impact that, though it met an untimely end at the hands of the department of transportation, its memory lives on in a display at the Huntersville re station.

at mighty sprout inspired me as well. After all, if a weed can thrive in the midst of chaos, surely I can too? I needed the reminder that some days stu just happens that is beyond my control—petty annoyances like those of my morning, and even terrible, horrible, no good stu . But like the weed that grew through a tra c cone to fame and fortune, I can follow my own heart by making the best of any situation and bloom where I have been planted. Besides, I think vomiting cats are everywhere, even in Australia. w

Dr. Michael Foran; Katie Howard; Lindsay Martell; April Dean McConnell; Laura VanSickle

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A different kind of
features 14 HERE SHE IS: Annie Hanson 28 COVER STORY: Straight From The Heart 36 SUCCESS STORY: Focus On The Heart 42 WOMAN TO WATCH: Dr. Monique McEachern BRIDE guide Indigo Photo & Video 10 FEBRUARY 2023 . 42 contents 16 LAKE NORMAN WOMAN'S BRIDE GUIDE 22 Creative Ideas For Your Special Day! 24 Before You Say "I Do" To A Wedding Venue FEBRUARY 2023 Dr. Monique McEachern SMILE PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY & ORTHODONTICS PHOTO: CHELSEA BREN CELEBRATING THE SUCCESS OF WO MEN 16 pg

Whether you are gifted new jewelry from a loved one, become engaged, or have valuable antique jewelry passed down to you, you’ll want to think about insuring any expensive pieces on an insurance policy.

Most Homeowners policies limit coverage for jewelry to only $1,500 for theft on premises, which is where scheduling or listing your valuable jewelry on your policy becomes beneficial. Scheduling your jewelry ensures you get the full appraised value of the item after a covered loss –even if it is mysteriously lost, which we know can easily happen with such small pieces of jewelry.

The general cost to schedule your jewelry is 10% of the appraised value of the item. You should have your jewelry appraised every few years to make sure you have adequate coverage.

in every issue 48 WORDS MATTER health 12 8 THINGS: 8 HeartHealthy Habits 38 The Scoop On Dental Implants 40 Raising The Barre . FEBRUARY 2023 11 8 HEART-HEALTHY HABITS pg12 self 34 Creating Room And Opportunity 46 TIPS, TRICKS, & HACKS: Romance Edition 50 MIND, BODY, SPIRIT: What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye Wodzinski Homes STEPHANIE, KELLY, BRELIN, & STACIE Annie Hanson THE CLOSET NICHE ON THE COVER: LINDSEY & DR. AERIK WILLIAMS OF DAVIDSON WINE CO. & SHOOT 360 CHARLOTTE PHOTOGRAPHY BY: CHELSEA BREN
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Stretch it and move it.

Yoga improves balance, flexibility, and strength; it lowers stress, and research shows it is good for heart health— lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Red wine and green tea.

Red wine can help raise levels of good cholesterol and has been shown to lessen blood clot formation and artery damage. Similarly, green tea has been linked to lower rates of angina and heart attacks.

Eat fish twice a week.

Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help ward off heart disease. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring are good sources.

Spill the beans! Add some beans to your meals—a diet rich in soluble fiber can help lower bad cholesterol. Other rich sources include oats, barley, apples, pears, and avocados.




Don’t just type it, do it! Laughing lowers stress hormones, decreases inflammation in arteries, and raises levels of highdensity lipoprotein (HLD), your good cholesterol.

Dance like no one’s watching.

Dancing raises your heart rate, gets your lungs pumping, and burns lots of calories!

Make stuff. Research has shown that creative activities are beneficial for our hearts. Try knitting, sewing, crocheting, woodworking, gardening, baking, or crafting.

Yes, it’s THAT important!

Eating a nutritious breakfast every day can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight. For a hearthealthy breakfast, reach for whole grains such as oatmeal, lowfat dairy products, and fresh fruits. w

12 FEBRUARY 2023 .

The long and winding road … Having worked in sales, massage therapy, manufacturing, big box retail, and a few other career adventures, it has been a journey trying to find what felt “right” and where I belonged. Before COVID, I worked as a regional sales manager for a coffee company based near Manhattan. I had just had my youngest son and traveling frequently (which I was having to do) did not suit my idea of a work/family balance. A friend recommended a custom closet company she knew about and while I wasn’t too sure whether it was something I wanted to pursue, I jumped right in. With a lifelong passion and vision for decorating, home projects, and transforming spaces, it turned out to be a great fit. I surprised myself not only by how much I enjoyed it, but as it turns out, I am darn good at it!

What do you find sacred about what you do? As much as I love a challenge, I enjoy the relationship with my customers the most. I’m going into people’s homes, in their personal spaces, and bringing their visions to life. I believe it all starts with a strong connection — to truly understand the customers and their needs.

Annie Hanson is founder and CEO of e Closet Niche, located at 197 Byers Creek Road, Suite H, in Mooresville. You can reach Annie and her team at 704.635.1150 or visit today at

Who taught you to “Go For It”? My mother, Sarah, inspires me the most. She worked in banking for over 30 years with the same company. She exuded professionalism and top-notch performance at every job level. My mom is a true inspiration who taught me that if you want anything in this world, you need to go after it and work hard … nobody is going to just give it to you.


How do you manage to make time for everything — and everyone — you love? This is the most challenging area for me. My husband, Jon, owns his own business as well, so we had to get really good at communicating. We have a shared family calendar for both our companies, school, church, and sporting events for our kids. We share in our daily successes as a family, and we try to shut down devices and gather for dinner. My goal is to be present and always show up for my kids … it’s not always easy, and I don’t always get it right, but my family inspires me daily to keep pushing forward and—with God’s grace— take it one day at a time.

What soothes your soul and fills your heart? Without question my family! My husband and kids are my world … they are my safe place and where I feel loved and supported in everything I do. And on a different note (pun intended), I LOVE to sing. I have performed at church, schools, weddings, funerals, sporting events, musicals, etc. since I was 4 years old. Now that I’m older and have a family, performing is a rare occasion but you can certainly hear me singing around the house. w

14 FEBRUARY 2023 . . FEBRUARY 2023 15
Charles Mack Citizen Center, Mooresville Join us for an inspirational morning as we celebrate International Women’s Day. Proceeds benefit the Women’s Health Fund at Iredell Health System. Keynote Speaker Rebekah Gregory Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor and Inspirational Speaker Master of Ceremony: Molly Grantham, WBTV News Anchor Women in Medicine Speaker: Princess Thomas Williams, MD $65/ticket or $500/table of 8! Online: or scan the QR code Phone: 704-878-7669 Email:
March 8, 2023
Bride Guide

BRIDE guide barn

When it comes to planning a wedding, options abound in our lake/mountains/beach environment—even more so than other areas because of North Carolina’s remarkable location and climate. Once you decide on the venue, there’s budgets to consider … then there’s the guestlist, food, libations, décor, music, and the list goes on. That’s why Lake Norman Woman Magazine is once again pleased to present our annual Bride Guide. In the following pages, you will find a large bouquet of ideas, plus some unique twists in the wedding knot that might have you thinking outside some of the more traditional events. So grab your notepad and check out the best options around the region as we break it all down for the couples of 2023!




No matter what kind of wedding you fancy, our area is rich in choices. THE CHARLES MACK CITIZEN CENTER in Mooresville has all your bases covered for both the wedding ceremony and reception. With beautiful outdoor courtyards and six distinctive ballrooms, you can nd the right space for your speci c vision. If the romantic vibe of a barn adorned with owers and twinkle lights is your calling, CHICKADEE HILL FARMS in Statesville will set the scene perfectly with its 25 gorgeous acres complete with lavender, sun ower, and wild ower elds. ey o er three sites from which couples can choose their ceremony setting, plus a climate-controlled post-and-beam barn that accommodates 150 guests and features an elegant bridal suite with porch overlook and silo bar. Similarly, yet nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, WHISPERING RIDGE FARMS is another location for weddings and receptions in nature. With incredible mountain views from their private 189-acre farm near Elkin, North Carolina, they also have an indoor facility in case of rain or inclement weather. e property boasts amazing photo ops and it’s only a 15-minute drive from local hotel accommodations. Traveling now to Denver, North Carolina, where rustic meets elegance, DUGAREN VENUES & VINEYARDS is a family-owned and operated business that sits on 32 acres of picturesque landscape. e entire venue is 10,000 square feet and o ers a covered drop-o area with plenty of parking. Additional amenities include a covered veranda and portico, grand stone replace, spacious bride and groom suites (each with a private restroom and dry bar), WIFI and music streaming by room, prep kitchen, and lots of natural lighting.

Whether you are looking to attend the BEST OF CHARLOTTE BRIDAL SHOW as a vendor or you are a newly (or soon-to-be) engaged couple, this event has it all. Unlike any bridal show you’ve seen, this is a one-of-a-kind wedding planning experience. No other expo takes the entire wedding party into consideration like the show in Charlotte, guaranteeing a good time for brides, grooms, family, and friends. Charlotte’s best wedding and event vendors will be in attendance along with special activities for brides and grooms. Beer, wine, mocktails, foods, and sweets will be in abundance as well as samples, swag items, and prizes galore! is year’s event is March 19th at Camp North End so be sure to mark your calendars.


BUY THE shoes,



With a passion for fashion, CLASSIC BRIDE & FORMALS is the premier bridal and clothing boutique of Lake Norman, Charlotte, and the surrounding areas. Classic Bride is excited to o er handpicked selections of bridal and formal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, everyday boutique clothing, and accessories. ey also inject a bit of their own creativity into the process to help you nd the perfect attire for any occasion. Featuring innovative designs from around the globe at inviting prices, Classic Bride o ers friendly, personal service in a warm and welcoming environment. Equally fun shopping involves the ever-important centerpiece—the CAKE! At SWEET CAKES BAKERY, they take that very seriously and make the wedding cake ordering process pleasant and fun. Sweet Cakes can partner with your wedding coordinator to plan out the delivery, set-up, and staging of your cake and other desserts. A combination of cakes, cupcakes, and sugar cookies is a recipe for success that will please all in attendance. Sweet Cakes also o ers vegan, dairy-free, and glutenfree options.

Indigo Photo & Video Sweet Cakes Bakery . FEBRUARY 2023 19

DEANS’ DUETS & QUARTETS is a team of professional, classically trained musicians who curate event music to create unique and magical moments. Playing throughout the Southeast, they specialize in exciting covers of top 40 and modern music. ey have developed the art of perfectly timed music so that your wedding or event is enhanced by crescendos and climactic moments at the right time. Whether you are looking for a fairytale entrance, a garden vibe, or an epic dramatic performance, they want to hear more about your event and allow your vision to become their vision. On a similar note, the professionals at MUSICALLY YOURS, based around the husbandand-wife team of Randall and Jayne Sprinkle, have a lifetime of experience playing live music for a wide range of events. Jayne’s harp and Randall’s harp guitar paired with cello and violin provide a new approach to the string trio/quartet ensemble. eir song list covers the classics, and they have an extensive selection of contemporary music as well. ey will work with you to put together a program of music that re ects your unique tastes and sets the mood for your big day.

dance home

e team at THE MORTGAGE PLANNER focuses on exceptional service before, during, and after the mortgage process—including live weekly updates, on-time closings, and savings from their premier partners. e Roche family has been in the mortgage business for more than three generations. ey have been a staple in the lending community for decades now and are truly experts on how to process and deliver a great experience for their clients. And when it comes to searching for your dream home, LKN HOMES is the leading real estate agency specializing in North Carolina homes in Mecklenburg, Iredell, Cabarrus, Catawba, and Lincoln counties. MAUREEN ROBERGE’S extensive expertise in negotiations and outside-the-box solutions delivers remarkable results. Every member of LKN Homes is highly trained and dedicated to providing exceptional customer satisfaction. Also putting couples in their forever home is JILL MONROE FITZGERALD OF EXP REALTY®. Jill has a special knack and insight for the Lake area and understands that buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make; she is a pro at making folks feel empowered and comfortable throughout the entire process. She prides herself on building relationships and takes it as a personal mission to help you achieve your homeownership dreams. w





Creative Ideas for Your Special Day!

OF ALL LIFE’S BIG EVENTS, joining a partner in matrimony is perhaps one of the grandest—or at least we plan, spend, and put effort forth as if it were! The average cost of a wedding in 2022 was nearly $30,000 and most couples plan for an entire year. Whether you’re planning a big wedding or hoping to jaunt off to a nearby beach, we have a few unique ideas for your special day:

Consider a Micro Wedding

If a big bash is right for the bride and groom, they should go for it. But if exibility, lower cost, less stress, and more intimacy are appealing, a micro-wedding is worth consideration. In the end, what is important is that the couple goes with the wedding format that brings them joy and peace of mind.

Familiar Flowers

Carry your mother’s or grandmother’s bouquet … or rather one designed to look the same. Give your orist a photo and you’ve got something old AND something new … priceless!


I’ll Dance to That!

In your invitations, ask your guests to write down a few of their favorite songs on the rsvp cards to help compile the playlist for the reception; it is a great way to get folks out on the dance oor.

Something Old

To add special meaning to your dress, veil, or bouquet, add a bit of fabric from the past—a piece of your grandmother’s gown or perhaps a swatch from a baby blanket or clothing.

Personalize the Party

If you are going to use place cards for the tables, write a personal note on them so when Aunt Joan takes her seat, she will get to read a loving tribute from you.

What? No Cake?

Instead of a wedding cake that often provides more leftovers than anything else, have an ice cream sundae bar. You can also stack desserts in tiers or create other shapes with them such as the couple’s initials or wedding date—think heart-shaped brownies, small cheesecake squares, cookies, or cupcakes of various avors and décor. w . FEBRUARY 2023 23


YOU'VE SAID YES TO THE DRESS, the bridal party has been selected, and you have begun compiling your guestlist, but now it's time to choose a venue. Since we live in one of the most beautiful spots on the planet—with both mountains and beaches in the mix—the task can be quite daunting. So, where do you even begin? Here are some pertinent points to consider as well as questions you will want to ask when you tour the venue:

Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall

Determining what season is a big first step. If you are having a classy black-tie wedding in the winter, you may choose to have your wedding inside a banquet hall, hotel, or indoor event space. A summer bride looking for an outdoor setting may opt for a barn venue with lake or mountain views … or perhaps the everpopular beach wedding!

Budget Matters

Size of Guestlist

The size of your guestlist will help you choose a venue that will comfortably accommodate all your guests without feeling like the space is too big or too small. Looking for a venue that fits within the parameters of your guestlist ensures that you have the appropriate amount of space within your budget as well—larger venue spaces tend to cost more, so make sure you aren't paying for extra space that won't be utilized.

While this may seem like an obvious consideration, going off budget is one of the biggest mistakes couples make in their planning. The last thing that you want to do is tour a venue, fall in love with the space, and find out that it is WAY over your budget. Decide the range of your budget before touring a venue.

April Dean McConnell is the owner of Deans’ Duets & Quartets based out of Charlotte. With a full team of classically-trained musicians specializing in modern pop cover songs, April and her team perform for weddings and other events throughout the Southeast. Connect with Deans’ Duets on social media or at

Questions to ask at the venue:

1 Do you offer any wedding packages? How many are there to choose from?

2 What does your inclement weather plan look like?

3 What is the average budget couples spend here?

4 What are things you don't allow at your venue?

5 What are the common add-on fees that couples forget to ask about?

6 Is there an additional cost for having the ceremony at your venue?

7 Do you allow us to have a rehearsal the day before our wedding?

If catering is included, be sure to ask:

1 How do we schedule a tasting?

2 What's the most budget-friendly option? Buffet? Stations? Plated?

3 What do you supply? Plates, silverware, décor, etc?

4 What's the most memorable food option for guests?

5 When do we need to send our final guest count?

6 How do tips work? Do we tip the catering staff? Are tips built in?

7 Are there extra costs that tend to come up with catering that people don't plan for?

8 How many hours before my event do you like to be on-site for set up? w


First the Wedding Planner, NOW The Mortgage with

*This branch will provide $1000 as a consumer incentive to be used toward the payment of the loan closing costs. Available for properties located in NC & SC only. Borrowers are eligible for a credit toward closing costs on the CLOSING DISCLOSURE. Loan must be secured by a first mortgage or deed of trust (New Loan) only, subject to qualification, requirements met no later than 60 days prior to the New Loan closing date. Only one consumer incentive permitted per loan. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other current promotions. This consumer incentive is void where prohibited and is non-transferable, subject to the terms herein, and valid on all complete applications received on you choose, and that it meets your unique financial needs. Subject to Debt-to-Income and Underwriting requirements. This is not a credit decision or a commitment to lend. Eligibility is subject to completion of an application and verification of home ownership, occupancy, title, change at any time without notice. For Arizona originators: AZ# BK-0934973. In Alaska, business will only be conducted under NFM Lending and not any of our affiliate sites. NFM NMLS# 2893. Brade Roche NMLS# 135191. Angela Roche NMLS# 2243530. Jacob Roche NMLS#
Planner! Our Wedding Gift to You! $1000 Consumer Incentive* Brad Roche II Mortgage Planner Marketing Angela Roche Mortgage Planner NMLS# 2243530 Jacob Roche Mortgage Planner NMLS# 2223194 704-728-0191 400 N. Harbor Place, Ste G Davidson, NC 28036 Brad Roche Mortgage Planner NMLS# 135191 qualification, approval, and closing with Element Home Loans. Loan must close within 60 days from the date of loan application. Consumer incentive may not exceed $1000 in total and may not be used for any other purpose. Consumer incentive (marketing piece) must be presented at time of application and all eligibility on or after 1/1/2022. Loan must close on or before 12/31/2022. ©2023 NFM, Inc. dba Element Home Loans. ®Trade/service marks are the property of NFM, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. Equal housing lender. Make sure you understand the features associated with the loan program income, employment, credit, home value, collateral, and underwriting requirements. Refinancing an existing loan may result in the total finance charges being higher over the life of the loan. Not all programs are available in all areas. Offers may vary and are subject to NMLS# 2223194.

THE heart


WRITER Leslie Ogle PHOTOGRAPHER Chelsea Bren

Ibelieve it was Steve Jobs who said that if you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle … as with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

And, like any successful relationship, it just gets better with time. Lake Norman power couple Lindsey and Dr. Aerik Williams have embraced this philosophy not only in finding their respective careers, but in all areas of life, for nurturing and cultivating relationships is at the heart of who they are … at work and at home—and perhaps even more so in their entrepreneurial pursuits: Lindsey is the owner of Davidson Wine Co. and, in addition to running his private medical practice in Salisbury (and being a published author!), Dr. Williams recently opened Shoot 360 Charlotte, a state-of-the-art basketball training and workout facility.

When it comes to following your heart, this dynamic duo sets the gold standard. Not only would their chance meeting lead to many follow-your-heart moments in the years to come, but their ability to successfully craft their lives—individually and as a team—is inspiring.

It was a chance meeting … a cold afternoon at Ohio State University when a young Aerik was in medical school and stepped into a campus restaurant where he locked eyes with Lindsey. Born and raised in Ohio, Lindsey pursued the legal profession and was an attorney for over 13 years.

After their move to North Carolina many years ago, Lindsey decided to swap her nine-to- ve job to follow her heart and her calling which was to open an urban winery right in the heart of downtown Davidson. “Wine has always been a passion of mine,” she explains, “and as I started exploring careers in the industry, I decided to pursue a winemaking certi cation and start my own business. e alcohol licensing process was challenging and since my concept was totally outside the box, it involved a lot of approvals and regulatory

"Not only would their chance meeting lead to many

fo ow your heart moments

in the years to come, but their ability to successfully craft their lives—individually and as a team—is inspiring." . FEBRUARY 2023 29

discussions in the beginning. Fortunately, my background as an attorney helped to navigate all the red tape.”

Lindsey, now a fully certi ed sommelier, was eager and motivated to open her wine shop, but she also wanted to provide an approachable environment where guests can gather with their neighbors. “I wanted it to be a destination,”

Lindsey says, “a place where people can come together, feel comfortable, and just enjoy the moment. I’ve always wanted to bring something special to Davidson … and my business and place in the community means a lot to me.”

Similarly, Lindsey’s husband also understands the many levels of business ownership and its inherent service to people—not only in running his medical practice but also as a franchise owner. “One of my favorite scriptures,” Dr. Williams shares, “is Matthew 25:40 where it says, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ is verse keeps me mindful of the needs of others and my place in this world.”

e de nition of success is di erent for everyone, but the Williamses have found that it is all about relationships. ey have mastered the husband/ wife union as is evidenced by their unwavering support and respect for each other. eir ability to give of themselves and put their passion and full hearts into all that they do is, quite frankly, a rare and admirable quality.

“I’ve found as I’ve gotten older,” Dr. Williams explains, “that success in life equates to happiness and peace … it is most certainly NOT a monetary number. I believe success becomes achievable for goal-oriented individuals who place relationships with people above everything else.”

Both Lindsey and Aerik agree that challenges keep life interesting. With experience, we know that this too shall pass, and we are more steady, rm, and con dent in our responses—and in our overall capabilities to

Their ability to give of themselves and put their passion and full hearts into all that they do is, quite frankly, a rare and admirable quality.

embrace change and the situation at hand, no matter how di cult it may be.

“We all came face-to-face with our obstacles during the COVID pandemic,” Dr. Williams says, “and I know for me, running a medical practice and being concerned about our son during remote learning was challenging. But we overcame it all by accepting the reality. No need to panic. No need to worry. No need to complain. We’ll get through it together … and so we did!”

Indeed the Williamses have a perspective of love, faith, and gratitude that serves them well in life. Worthy of emulation, their service to community, their unwavering passion for people’s wellbeing, and their love and respect for one another is straight from the heart. w . FEBRUARY 2023 31

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There are many taxdeductible outlets for clothing. I always try to think local first. Two that top my list are Safe Alliance and The Hope House in Huntersville. Dress for Success is another outstanding organization for women. Each Dress for Success client receives a suit when she has a job interview, which she can then return for work clothes when she finds employment. This global organization has a location right here in Charlotte. If you come across worn bedsheets or towels, you can donate them too … local animal shelters are in constant need of these items.

Creating Room


WITH THE HOLIDAYS NEATLY PACKED AWAY AND New Year’s Resolutions made, it’s time to initiate the “Toss, Keep, or Donate” plan … it’s time to get organized!

Letting go can be hard for some of us. Some items hold sentimental value, which keeps them hanging unused in our closet. Others feel too good to let go. Who likes to toss a piece of clothing that still has the tags on it?

e way to overcome this emotional resistance is to shift the focus away from the guilt of throwing away and focus more on the gift of giving to the needy. Items that do nothing more than take up space in your closet can change the life of someone less fortunate if you donate them.

Now that you’re on a roll, don’t stop at your closet. I bet your kitchen could use some attention. Local food pantries are always in need of items, particularly canned vegetables and fruits, coffee, rice, baby food and formula, powdered milk, canned meats, peanut butter, and sugar. Some local organizations in need of donations are The Mooresville/ Lake Norman Christian Mission, Loaves & Fishes, Ada Jenkins Food Pantry, and the Mooresville Soup Kitchen.

One last area you may want to tackle is the garage. Think about how many times you go in and out of your garage a day. Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of that old furniture or the pile of toys the kids no longer use so you could pull your car into a clean, organized space? Garages are filled with treasures for charities like The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity, which sell them to support their programs, or use them to help give a family their first furnished home. w

Laura VanSickle is the owner of ClosetsbyDesign in Charlotte. With free inhome consultations, their designers will assess your space and create a layout that is a ordable and customized to meet your individual needs. For more information and locations, visit www. or call 704.588.7272.

WRITER Laura VanSickle SELF
34 FEBRUARY 2023 .
WWW.LKN-SLP.COM AT LKN SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY, our team of exceptional therapists has over a century of combined experience helping children & adults of all ages overcome speech & language disorders so they can lead more empowered lives. Conquer Barriers To Clear Communication. Call 704-641-0338 today to schedule a consultation. Above Main Street Books | 126 S. Main Street, Suite 2A, Davidson Marianne Umphlett, MSP, CCCSLP, Owner Diane Drakulic, MA, CCC-SLP Amy Elder, MA, CCCSLP Kaitlyn Kimrey Miller, MS, CCCSLP Marissa Deddens Larkin, MS, CCC-SLP Articulation Language Fluency Voice Disorders Auditory Processing Reading/Writing . FEBRUARY 2023 35

Focus heart

WHEN YOU THINK OF DREAM TEAMS, do you default to celebrated athletes like the 1992 U.S. men's Olympic  basketball team? Or to the Magni cent 7— a group of glorious gymnasts who won the rst ever gold medal for the United States in the team competition?

ese trailblazers may seem otherworldly, but at the core, they are dedicated, committed team members (with maybe just a little bit of genetic superhuman-ness thrown in). e devoted women at Wodzinski Homes Team know all about what it takes to turn a dream into a reality—how hard work, communication, and passion intertwine to transform lives.

Kelly Wodzinski, owner and listing specialist, says her passion for real estate bloomed when her youngest child, Brooke, was in her nal year of preschool. “I’ve always loved houses and helping people and having been a teacher, I was eager to return to work, so it was a good t for me,” she explains. “At that time, I didn’t really have a grand vision of a big business. I just knew I had a passion for helping others—whether by getting them through the journey to homeownership or helping my team achieve their real estate goals. Changing lives is our purpose and our passion. Building relationships is our bottom line.”

For Stephanie Belk, transaction coordinator and marketing director, being a part of a bustling real estate team is like kismet, something meant to be: “Kelly and I are neighbors. My husband, Nick, works in the home building industry, so the two of us tend to talk shop a lot. She mentioned she needed someone part-time and wanted to train them in the real estate business, and I said, ‘Helllooo … I'm your girl!’ Our work personalities and drive just clicked.”

Speaking of clicking, Stacie Johnson, director of operations and transaction coordinator, has a laser focus when it comes to teamwork, no matter what. “My heart and passion are to help others succeed,” she shares. “I am happiest in a support role where I can assist others to achieve their dreams and goals. I’m that behind-the-scenes gal taking care of the tedious details of all the documentation and paperwork so the agents can focus on building

their relationships with their clients. ey do the people work, and I do the paperwork.”

If you were to ask Brelin Menard, Team Wodzinski’s buying agent, where her passions lie, this former California-based cosmetologist will tell you she absolutely hearts helping people. “I’ve always loved seeing people’s houses, so I jumped into real estate and have loved every minute of it. My greatest accomplishments in this line of work are in assisting families achieve one of the greatest investments of their lives—their home!”

is is one dream team whose collective heart beats for their clients. When asked how she gets revved up for another day with her incredibly talented team, Kelly can't help but feel the rush that comes from listening to her favorite song by country star, Carrie Underwood. “When I listen to “ e Champion,” it sets my mind right to conquer the day, week, month, and year. It's a reminder that we all have a champion inside us.”

e Wodzinski team is focused on making a positive impact, one relationship at a time. And if you remember that quote about it taking a little more to make a champion, this team makes it look easy. Just focus on the heart. Always. w

WRITER Lindsay Martell PHOTOGRAPHER Chelsea
36 FEBRUARY 2023 .

W H O K N E W?


IN THE PAST 25 YEARS, IMPLANT dentistry has grown by leaps and bounds. It has gone from a rare and unique procedure to one that has become part of everyday dentistry.

e father of modern implant dentistry was a Swedish physician studying blood ow in bone during the 1950s. During his experiments, he would place titanium cylinders into the bone to help with his measurements and, ultimately, he found that the titanium could not be removed. e cylinders had become fused to the bone. Using this new discovery, he spent years designing a practical application, and in 1965, he placed the rst titanium implant into a human mouth and the eld has been evolving ever since.

Dr. Michael Foran is an oral/maxillofacial surgeon and partner at Carolina Oral & Facial Surgery (as well as Lake Norman Implant Dentistry), located at 19910 North Cove Road in Cornelius. You may reach them at 704.892.1198 or visit them at

Implants have many advantages and allow for restorations that were not previously possible. Prior to implants, missing teeth were replaced with dentures or bridges. Dentures are generally disliked because of their lack of retention and stability, as well as the fact that they are removed at night. Bridges o er a nonremovable option with more stability; however, you have to grind down adjacent teeth to allow the bridge to t, and maintenance can be challenging. Additionally, bridges cannot be used to replace the most posterior teeth since there is no other tooth to “bridge” to. Implants are free standing, easily cleansable, permanent restorations. e implant(s) can be used to support one tooth, multiple teeth, or even an entire arch of teeth. Some implants require a couple of months of healing prior to having a tooth placed on it, while other implants can have teeth placed immediately, depending on the speci c situation.


On the day of surgery, the surgeon will make a gentle incision in the gingival tissue and prepare the bone for the implant. After it is in place, a healing cap is put on the implant and the gum tissue is sutured around it, allowing the implant to heal. is is when the special properties of titanium take over and the implant starts to fuse to the bone. After 6-12 weeks, the implant will be integrated and unable to be removed. It is now ready for the new crown.


When looking for an oral surgeon to place dental implants, they should be pro cient in a few key areas. Successful implants are based on atraumatic extractions of the non-restorable teeth, good site preparation (bone grafting), and sound implant techniques—including implant brands that use quality materials and have a long track record of use and success. Make sure the provider you choose ts these criteria, and you can look forward to having dental implants restore your smile and oral health with as much ease as possible. w


Raising the


WHEN THE NEW YEAR ROLLS around, many of us resolve to work on self-care: to improve not only our body, but our minds and our spiritual health as well. But would you believe that 80 percent of us will abandon that resolution by February 1?! What if, instead of setting impossible-to-achieve goals and watching them fail, we tried something new?

A barre workout could be the solution to your resolution. It’s a full-body workout that transforms you physically and mentally, all within a 50-minute class. It blends elements from different exercise styles including ballet, Pilates, and yoga—focusing on low-impact, small movements that strengthen and tone your entire body. The best part is that, though inspired by ballet, you don’t have to be a ballerina to enjoy the benefits of barre—and no tutus are required.

Katie Howard is the owner of Pure Barre Mooresville located at Morrison Plantation (129 Market Place Drive, Suite C).

is mother of three mixes her passion for tness, business, and her love for the Mooresville community into one energetic and welcoming studio. Call 704.360.9901 to schedule your rst class for free.

Still not convinced that barre can cure those resolution blues? Check out the following five benefits of a barre workout:

No dance background is required. ere is a common misconception that you must have dance experience, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many barre instructors and class participants do not have any dance experience at all—but the workout helps you achieve a lean dancer’s body nonetheless.

Barre works every muscle group in your body. You can expect barre class to address multiple muscle groups, including arms, legs, core, and glutes. Our instructors here at Pure Barre in Mooresville will show you how to use small, isometric movements to target the deeper muscles of the body that are often ignored. ey will also incorporate items such as free weights, exercise bands, and exercise balls to work muscles even more.

You’ll see results after the first class. e advantages of a barre workout are many and varied and depend on the individual. However, our clients report that they see muscle rebuilding, improved circulation, increased metabolism, increased strength, increased con dence, and an elevation in their mood and energy after only one class.

Barre exercise is fun! You won’t get tired of barre workouts. Here at Pure Barre, we’ll keep you on your toes with cheerful instructors, awesome playlists, and endorphin-pumping movements so you won’t get burned out. After a few months, you’ll notice an improvement in your balance and coordination, as well as your exibility, range of motion, and your lung capacity. You should also notice a decrease in feelings of anxiety and depression.

Barre is perfect for any age or fitness level. Barre is a fantastic whole-body workout that’s great for anyone, from beginners to pros. Because we teach small isometric movements, barre is low impact and easy on the joints.

Clients who stick to barre for a year will notice improved cardiovascular health, stronger bones, and decreased risk of obesity. w

WRITER Katie Howard 40 FEBRUARY 2023 .
YOUR TRUSTED Lake Norman Real Estate Expert SOLD I am here to provide service for all your real estate needs, and to help you to find a home that you love. SOLD 108 Bantam Place | $1,260,000 113 Ragsdale Trail | $850,000 T otal Closed Volume Of Over $12 Million In 2022 Erin Ficenec Broker | REALTOR® 704.728.5657 | Contact Me Today For a Complimentary Consultation.

on CHILDHOOD REVISITED: I grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. My father, who passed away when I was very young, served in the United States Air Force, and my mother worked in personnel security for the United States Army. I had a very active childhood—participating in ballet, tap, jazz, cheerleading, and softball. I also loved music and learned how to play the clarinet in middle school. Not only did I letter in every sport, but I also lettered in band.

on LIVING WITH INTENT AND PURPOSE: Married for more than 21 years now, we have a 15-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son. With active teenagers at home, it’s tough trying to juggle it all but I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband who helps protect my well-being by splitting the chores. I design my workday schedule so that I am finished seeing patients earlier in the day—allowing me to pick up the kids at school and have some time with them before evening activities begin. I prepare meals ahead of time and have help with housekeeping. I also find it extremely beneficial to incorporate meditation in my morning routine. This allows me to go into the day with intention and calm focus.

on FACING FEARS AND DIVING RIGHT IN: I am most proud of learning how to swim as an adult and competing in triathlons. I grew up being afraid of any open body of water. I remember having heart palpitations and anxiety just walking along the beach. For my 40th birthday, I decided I wanted to complete a triathlon, so I signed up for a race and began training. Already a runner and able to ride a bike, my big challenge was learning to swim so I enrolled in an adult swimming class. Fun fact … I was the only one in the class, and my lesson was at the same time as the youth swim practice. During my first lesson I was learning how to bob and breathe when I heard a voice cry out, “You can do it Dr. Mac!” To my surprise, two of my patients were on the swim team, so every week they provided moral support as I learned new skills.

on PURSUING YOUR PASSIONS: My aunt is a pediatric dentist, and she is the one who talked to me about the profession—encouraging me to combine my passion for healthcare with my love for kids. Building my pediatric dentistry practice from the ground up has been very rewarding. Ownership has allowed me the freedom to care for my patients in the way they deserve by providing an atmosphere that is nurturing, educational, inviting, and fun.

on SMILING, HIGH-FIVING, AND HUGGING: When a child is in my chair who is extremely fearful, and I am able to slowly and calmly walk them through what we are going to do—and they come out on the other side smiling, high-fiving, and hugging—it is the best feeling in the world! It’s a joy to watch them realize that it wasn’t as bad as they thought, and it brings them a sense of accomplishment when they understand that they can do hard things. w

Lindsay Martell Dr. Monique McEachern, “Dr. Mac,” is the owner of Smile Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics located at 9916 Couloak Drive in Charlotte. You can reach Dr. Mac and her team at 704.971.7272 or visit them today at MONIQUE M c EACHERN, DDS
42 FEBRUARY 2023 .
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Approaching Divorce in a Healthy Way in 2023


an opportunity for new beginnings. While it is a di cult and challenging topic, for some families, a new year may also mean divorce. In fact, the rst few months of a new year are typically the busiest for family law rms as we receive an increase in inquiries for the divorce process.

As a Collaborative Family Law attorney and certi ed mediator who has also been through a divorce, I know how important it is to research the ins and outs before beginning the process with your spouse. Divorce doesn’t have to be destructive or combative – and unfortunately, I learned that the hard way. My personal experience almost 15 years ago inspired me to found ROAD to RESOLUTION and help others divorce in a non-adversarial manner. If you and your spouse are considering divorce, here are my top ve suggestions for preparing for the process:



If separation has crossed your mind, a pre-divorce education is an incredibly helpful place to start. This type of confidential introductory meeting is essentially Divorce 101. If you don’t know where to begin or what your first step should be if or when you’re ready to separate, a pre-divorce education will help prepare you and give you the confidence you may need.



There are many ways to get divorced and it’s important to learn about your options. I’m personally passionate about newer and healthier divorce processes that will save you time and money while keeping you out of court. Through voluntary options like Mediation and Collaborative Law, you and your spouse can get divorced without resorting to litigation that is often harmful with long-lasting, negative effects.

It’s essential that you determine what you want out of your divorce by looking ahead to the future rather than dwelling in the past. This can include familial, financial, and emotional wants and needs. For instance, some of my clients make goals for their co-parenting plans, living situations, and/or finances and investments.


Choosing an attorney who you are comfortable with and can trust is the most important part of preparing for a divorce. Research attorneys who focus on the type of process you’re interested in pursuing by visiting their websites, looking at their social media, and reading reviews. When you find an attorney you like, call their office and schedule an initial consultation.

5 STAY POSITIVE No matter which divorce process you choose, there will be tough conversations and difficult decisions. Prepare yourself for these types of overwhelming emotions by practicing mindfulness and taking time for yourself. It’s important to remember that the divorce process is only temporary but the life after a healthy divorce resolution is full of new opportunity, happiness, and peace for you and your family.

We’re Here to Help

ROAD to RESOLUTION can help you effectively navigate your separation and divorce journey. Our legal team can provide education and guidance before, during, and after divorce. Please give us a call at (980) 260-1600 and we can discuss your legal options through Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Family Law.

Robin M. Mermans is a Collaborative attorney, certified mediator, and co-parenting coach. She owns ROAD to RESOLUTION: Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Family Law, in Charlotte. With her unique perspective as an attorney, mother, and stepmother, she is an expert in shared parenting solutions and co-parenting guidance. She is committed to using her personal story and passion to help her clients save time and money, while avoiding unnecessary emotional turmoil during their divorce journey and on their road to resolution.

980.260.1600 | is article is intended to be informational only and shall not be construed as legal advice.
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We know how busy life can get—kids, work, family, friends … sometimes just getting dinner on the table is a Herculean feat! So in an effort to save our readers some time, effort, and money here are a few tips, tricks, and hacks that might come in handy in your busy world!

I It!

You can get super-creative with heart-shaped foods—think pancakes, cookies, personal-sized pizzas, or whatever you can dream up! Heartshaped turnovers are as easy as a tablespoon of jam in some pu pastry and, VOILA, a special Valentine’s Day treat for the whole family!


Yummy Brie Bites for Your Valentine!

Preheat oven to 375, spray mu n tin with non-stick spray and line with crescent roll dough; add a small slice of brie cheese and a generous scoop of whole berry cranberry sauce (not jellied) on top of that along with a fresh rosemary sprig. Bake for about 15.



Love You More!”

Leave love notes, Valentine’s Day swag, and small gifts all over the house…some visible, some hidden!

Make a Scrapbook.

It’s fun to reminisce about your life together, so go back through your photo les, souvenirs, and other memorabilia to create that perfect one-of-a-kind memory book.

Meet Me at 8:00.

Get creative with your date nights—Recreate your rst date; enjoy a Lake Norman sunset with a romantic picnic; have dessert and co ee at a jazz club; set up a tent for a cozy movie night at home.

46 FEBRUARY 2023 . . FEBRUARY 2023 47

WORDS matter

it. 48 FEBRUARY 2023 . LO
heart is the softest place on earth.
care of
–THE NOTEBOOK –NATIONAL HEART, LUNG, AND BLOOD INSTITUTE When we take care of our hearts as part of our self- care routines, we reduce our risk of heart disease and set an example for those around us to do the same. The best love is the kind that awakens the soul, that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. –JOHN LENNON LOVE IS A PROMISE; LOVE IS A SOUVENIR, ONCE GIVEN NEVER FORGOTTEN, NEVER LET IT DISAPPEAR. . Locally Owned, Operated and Manufactured! . BEST PRICE GUARANTEED! or we will price match . Free In-Home Design Consultation . 2 - 3 week turn around Niche! organizational solutions are our Where custom closets and Specializing in: . Closets . Pantries . Drop Zones . Mud Rooms . Garages . Wall Beds . Built-Ins . Offices . Laundry Rooms . and more! ANNIE HANSON, OWNER (704) 635-1150 Visit our NEW showroom in Mooresville! 197 BYERS CREEK, SUITE H, MOORESVILLE, NC 28117 . FEBRUARY 2023 49 Cut these out & use for inspiration wherever you need it!


MIND body spirit

By mixing the ingredients of attitude and action, we can change the flavor of our own lives. Learn to nurture your body and soul to lead a more balanced life.


The Little Prince by French author Antoine de SaintExupéry was first published in English in the United States in April of 1943 and has been firmly entrenched in our hearts ever since. The story follows a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses all the humanness of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss. Despite it being categorized as a children's book, The Little Prince makes profound and insightful observations about life, adults, and human nature in general. One of the most poignant and famous excerpts is a great example of how to follow your heart! w

"It's madness to hate all roses because you got scratched with one thorn, to give up all dreams because one of them didn't come true, to give up all attempts because one of them failed. It's folly to condemn all your friends because one has betrayed you, to no longer believe in love just because someone was unfaithful or didn't love you back, to throw away all your chances to be happy because something went wrong. There will always be another opportunity, another friend, another love, a new strength. For every end, there is always a new beginning. And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."


50 FEBRUARY 2023 .
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We will always find a way. We create innovative opportunities and deliver solutions. We don’t sit and wait. We take initiative and follow up, follow through and follow back. We are relentless and accountable. We stick to our promises.

We love what we do and we have fun doing it. We stay positive and energetic no matter what comes our way. We have a drive to help others which keeps us motivated to constantly learn and evolve. We believe every person and every interaction matters.

It’s more than just the transaction; it’s about forming lasting relationships. Our clients mean everything to us and we respond to them with honesty, patience and empathy throughout the entire process.

All Services in One State-of-the-Art Office FREE Cleanings! For insured patients. Call for details. Appointments 7am–7pm & on Saturdays! Families Welcome! With Trusted, Gentle Dentistry 175 Cross Center road • denver, nC 28037 704-951-8300 easy online Booking availaBle! WatersidedentalCare.Com
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