lose TRACK OF
small talk THAT GETS PEOPLE
talking pg. 42
A GREAT CHRISTMAS GIFT pg. 54
a s t a ' h t and
! P A R W featuring
MAKE YOUR WRAPPING AS SPECIAL AS THE GIFT pg. 44
The Leading Ladies Of LKN Charities, including Mrs. USA Universe 2019, Katy Clatterbaugh
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Crossovers SUVs Trucks
V O L U M E
X I I I
FIND US ON
N U M B E R
A S I S AT D O W N I N F R O N T O F T H E T E L E V I S I O N on Halloween
night to await the tricksters and treaters, merrily consuming most of the Snickers bars I planned to give them, a saccharine commercial featuring a family celebrating the Christmas holidays, complete with a cheerful reunion, a couple kissing under the mistletoe, and children thrilled at their gifts interrupted my gluttony. Just like that, the onset of holiday anxiety killed my chocolate buzz. Those sugarplum-filled commercials stress me out with their implications that if I could decorate, prepare, cook, and shop just right, my Christmas would be less mayhem and more Norman Rockwell. But no matter how I try, my Christmas never resembles those of the idyllic TV families rocking around their perfectly adorned Christmas trees in their perfectly bedecked homes, sitting down for a perfectly presented feast. Mine instead includes panicky last-minute shopping; bumper-to-bumper traffic; an overdone turkey (Dang it! Why can’t I cook a decent turkey?); an over-served wine drinker or two; judge-y family members who inevitably say something awful; presents that don’t hit the mark; an outrageous credit card balance; a number on the scale that rivals that of the national debt; and, when it’s time to tackle the clean up, the realization that the living room has actually exploded. I think I have to accept the fact that my family is simply not a Norman Rockwell kind of bunch. We’re human after all, and… well…sometimes we just get on each other’s nerves. This year, though, I’m ditching the commercial-induced stress and embracing my quite messy, not-so-elegant, at times frustrating (but always interesting), beautifully flawed Christmas just as it comes. No pressure, no second guessing, no getting bent out of shape. I don’t think it will be difficult to let go of the ideal. It’s not the Christmas trappings I covet in the commercials that make Christmas special. The real gifts are what I already possess: a family, imperfect as it is, that gives and receives joy from one another on this holiest of days even if we don’t roast chestnuts around a fire or look like fashion models in our matching sweaters. Yes, the turkey will be mostly inedible, a tear or two will be shed, and a mess that requires a team from FEMA to clean it up will be generated, but I can still be grateful for the remarkable people who surround me. I may not be able to give them Norman Rockwell’s version of the holidays, but I can give unconditional acceptance of them for who they are. I certainly can’t give them Rachel Ray’s Tuscan-inspired holiday banquet, but I can give them an open heart with which to love them generously. I know that they’ll gladly give the same back to me, my own imperfections notwithstanding, and the memories we make in the process will be cherished far longer than a Martha Stewart-esque table setting. And while you might not find us in a Hallmark commercial, that is close enough to perfect for me. w
DANA NIETERS PUBLISHER
Cyndy Etler; Michelle Love; Cindy Ray; Kristopher Sowa; Anna Stowe; Laura VanSickle
PO BOX 1000 | CORNELI US, NC | 28031
W W W. L A K E N O R M A N W O M A N . C O M
ADS@LAKENORMANWOMAN.COM Lake Norman Woman reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing that does not meet Lake Norman Woman standards. Submissions are welcome but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Lake Norman Woman assumes no responsibility for information, products, services, or statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. An advertised special printed in this publication is subject to change without notice. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.
december contents 2019
L A KENORMAN
ladies of charity 20
SHERRY HARKEY & CAMI MEADER: Angels of 97
CRYSTAL HOPSON: Hartmanâ€™s Haven Dog Rescue
SHANNON CARNEY: Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats and Programs
JESSIKA TUCKER: Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen
LEE SYRIA: United Church Homes and Services
KATY CLATTERBAUGH: Taking A Stand Against Domestic Violence
ROCHELLE DEARMAN: Serenity House
TEENS ALOUD: Teenagers And Holidays And Phones, Oh My!
Getting Organized This Holiday Season With Gifting In Mind And Heart!
LKN, Do You Love It Or List It?
The Art Of Giving Back
8 THINGS: 8 Christmas Party "Small Talk" Fun Facts
Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas
Holiday Gifts With Meaning
MIND, BODY, SPIRIT: Losing Track Of Time
in every issue 12
ON THE COVER: MRS. USA UNIVERSE 2019, KATY CLATTERBAUGH
LIVE, LEARN, GROW
WOMEN ON THE MOVE
5 THINGS TO DO IN DECEMBER
P H OTO G R A P H Y: CHELSEA BREN
SCENE WITH LKNW
Robinson Tabor 19 years of Real Estate Experience
7945 Buena Vista Drive, Denver $659,000 Fabulous brick home with pool, pool house and boat slip in the popular subdivision of Sailvew. Soaring ceilings in the great room and foyer. Formal office and dining room. Master suite on the main level. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a bonus room up. 2 level covered porch out front. Awesome outdoor living space with patio, pool & pool house with steam shower and golf cart storage!
172 Balmoral Drive, Mooresville $1,649,500 Waterfront home with 200 ft of lake frontage. Custom brick home built in 2003 has over 4200 sqft, 4 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. 1.5 story with finished basement. Almost an acre lot. Grandfathered Boat Ramp. Screened in porch, deck and covered patio below all have awesome views of the lake. 3 car garage. Treed front yard. Circular driveway. No HOA!
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FROM ALL OF US TO ALL OF YOU—
Happy Holidays! Every Christmas Eve, we play “Family Trivia” with a homemade Candyland-style game. It’s great fun… we laugh, poke fun, and learn about each other, our family history, and even some family secrets!
My fondest memories are our family Christmas Eve parties … we played games
with everyone and
had some amazing food. I never cared
My fondest Christmas tradition with my family, which I continue to do with my own, is opening one present right after Christmas Eve service.
about Christmas presents. I only cared that we were all in one house and making memories together!
On Christmas Eve, we always get together with my brother’s family, including my two nieces, and go to church … then we do a pizza dinner. It's a nice break from all the party food, traditional dinners, and stressors of the holidays.
Our family gets together at my uncle’s house and before any gifts can be given we sing Christmas carols. My mom also makes her traditional homemade cookies every year.
Our Christmas belonged to our grandparents as we adored our time with them. The warm memories of Grandmother Ogle’s cozy home, wafting with holiday ﬂavors and laughter, are tucked ﬁrmly in my heart. Her house at Christmas, in a small town in Tennessee, was straight out of a Hallmark movie!
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CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT
I CAN CAST A STONE
ACROSS THE WATERS
TO CREATE MANY
RIPPLES.” - MOTHER TERESA
Life takes practice! And though they don’t always come wrapped in a shiny red bow, the lessons we learn along the way are invaluable gifts that are worth sharing. Here are a few noteworthy examples featured in this issue: YOU WILL BE COMFORTED and encouraged when you
read about the mission of Lee Syria and her team at United Church Homes and Services for the elderly in Newton. On page 28, Lee reminds us that growing old is a beautiful thing and when events seem overwhelming, “focusing on the strength of your ‘why’ is what we need to remember." A SPECIAL LIFE LESSON awaits you on page 31 where
Rochelle Dearman of Serenity House (a home for terminally ill people) explains, “Caring for someone at end-of-life is an awesome gift. We focus on the dignity of life and a peaceful ending to a precious journey.” WHEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Mandi Meador and Laura Barnette were involved in a fatal car accident in 1995, love brought their families together. Read the heart-warming and inspiring story on page 20 of how one fund-raising spaghetti dinner turned into a philanthropic effort that has helped countless people deal with their loss and memorialize their children.
KATY CLATTERBAUGH, MOORESVILLE
RESIDENT AND THE NEWLY CROWNED
MRS. USA UNIVERSE 2019, IS ALL TOO FAMILIAR WITH
THE PROBLEM OF
INTIMATE PARTNER ABUSE—AND
STOPPING IT IS
THE CAUSE SHE
HAS CHOSEN TO
HER REIGN. SEE HER
REMARKABLE STORY ON PAGE 30.
the art of giving back Maya Angelou perhaps said it best when she said, “No one has ever become
poor from giving.” If you are looking for creative ways you and your family can give back to your community, here are a few suggestions:
CHECK WITH LOCAL HOSPITALS. Children’s hospitals, especially, have many volunteer opportunities—from rocking newborns to donating art supplies and games.
GET PET FRIENDLY. Donate used blankets and towels to a local animal shelter or bake homemade doggie treats to give. Contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) for tips on becoming an animal activist in your community.
THINK ABOUT THE HOMELESS. Items such as socks and travel-size toiletries are luxuries that are often overlooked and greatly appreciated. Brown-bag some sandwiches and hand out to the homeless with a small note and a $5 bill attached.
BRING ON THE TECHIES. Local community centers and lowincome neighborhood schools would love your old electronics when you upgrade.
SPREAD SOME DOUGH AROUND. Get a stack of dollar bills and give them away throughout the day to those in need. Perhaps even lend an ear and listen to their story … you might just change their life!
GIVE A PRESENT TO MOTHER EARTH. Adopt an eco-friendly habit such as taking reusable grocery bags when you shop or start using environmentallysafe cleaning products at home. Visit www.greenamerica.org for more ideas.
BUY A TICKET TO RIDE. Purchase a bunch of bus transit passes that can be used any time and then make the rounds to area bus stops, handing out passes to folks who could use the break.
ENTERTAIN THE ELDERLY. Visit a nursing home to spend quality time with the residents who would cherish a companion for reading, letter writing, taking a walk, learning something on the computer—or ask about taking your dog in for visits … canine therapy is beneficial for everyone!
STAY SWEET! A wonderful way to give back and say THANKS to those who serve our community (such as firefighters, police offices, teachers, EMT’s, etc.) is to get busy in the kitchen. Drop off your favorite baked goods or cookies and watch their eyes light up and their hearts melt!
GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE. Donating blood and plasma is always needed; and if you are a nursing mother, become a breast milk donor to aide premature, critically ill babies. Look online for nonprofit milk banks in your area. w
For more creative ways to volunteer and give back, visit www.volunteermatch.org.
Hear Trae’s story at iredellstories.org • 704.873.5661
“Iredell made me feel like a king!” Trae Johnson was struggling to breathe. Hospitalized with asthma, pneumonia and pleurisy, the active 9-year-old who usually felt healthy and strong was not himself — in fact, he was miserable. Thanks to staff who went above and beyond at Iredell Memorial Hospital, Trae received the expert care he needed to get back to doing what he does best — being a kid. We were there for Trae when he needed us, and we’ll be there for you and your family too. This is your health — don’t settle for anything but the best.
My health. My Iredell.
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B. GOOD DICK’S SPORTING GOODS FAB’RIK JANIE AND JACK LOFT POPPIES RED ROCKS CAFE WHITE HOUSE BLACK MARKET
y a l p , p eat, sho MOR
RANTS U A T S E R D N A S P E THAN 70 SHO
ladies of charit PHOTOGRAPHER CHELSEA BREN
The Lake Norman community may have a small-town feel, but there is no doubt that the heart and spirit of the community is as big as the starry sky above. We give to the causes near and dear to us in all kinds of ways, from donating money, to volunteering, to participating in awareness events and more. But for the seven ladies featured in this special issue, giving back is a way of life. They have devoted themselves to helping those who are suffering and work every day to change those lives for the better. In doing so, they spread help and hope and purpose throughout our communityâ€”and beyond.
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"Continuing in this way is out of necessity – a survival of sorts … a way to feel helpful toward others, and joyful at our success, despite the agony of dealing with such loss."
Cami Meador ANGELS OF 97 SHERRY HARKEY PRESIDENT CAMI MEADOR BOARD MEMBER
hen you lose someone close to you, that love doesn’t just end when their heart stops beating or when breath ceases to make their chest rise and fall. The love continues, and those of us who have lost a child can attest to the fact that the love for your child somehow levels up after their death. When your child dies, you feel the need to make sure that he or she is remembered – that those who didn’t have the opportunity to meet your precious child can know them through the stories you tell. Telling these stories is part of the mission of the Angels of 97 Memorial Scholarship Organization. When high school students Mandi Meador and Laura Barnette were involved in a fatal car accident in 1995, love brought their families together. Charles Guignard, a long-time friend of Laura’s mom, Jane Bolton, had an idea to honor the girls, and to raise money, they would have a spaghetti dinner. Charles contacted Jane with the idea, who contacted Sherry Harkey, Mandi’s mom. This idea led to the creation of the Angels of 97 organization in remembrance of the five students who graduated North Mecklenburg High School’s class of 1997 in spirit. Mandi’s younger sister, Cami Meador, was just a 14-year-old sophomore when her older sister died. She remembered thinking the next morning, “When I have kids, they won’t know their Aunt Mandi.” Cami, an Angels of 97 board member, now has three children, Mead (3), Ward (2), and Ellie, who was born in July. “Now that I have children, we work hard for them to know about their Aunt Mandi,” she says. “When we decided to do something to honor Laura and Mandi, and met to plan a dinner fundraiser, we didn’t realize at the time it would be an annual event,” says Sherry, the Angels of 97 president. Over the years, Angels of 97 has adopted many other angels into their fold. “Continuing in this way is out of necessity – a survival of sorts,” says Cami, “a way to feel helpful toward others, and joyful at our success, despite the agony of dealing with such loss.” Sherry agrees that losing her daughter was her single most life-changing experience. “Without God, my family, and friends I don’t know how or if I would have survived,” says Sherry, “and even after all these years, it’s still a daily challenge.” The mother and daughter team would like to invite everyone to participate in the Angels of 97 fundraising efforts – the annual spaghetti dinner, the Angels 5k run, and golf tournament. “We award scholarships, so the more money we raise, the more students we are able to invest in,” says Sherry. “We get a significant amount of work done with a handful of people, and can always use some new ideas and new energy,” adds Cami. She invites anyone who is interested in being a part of the organization to send an email to the committee. w WRITER MICHELLE LOVE
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DOG RESCUE CRYSTAL HOPSON FOUNDER
ou already know about Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals. A lesser known seraph is the Piedmont’s own animal saint, Saint Crystal of Catawba.
Crystal Hopson is the founder of Hartman’s Haven Dog Rescue, a group that has saved more than 7,200 dogs’ lives since its inception in 2010. Few rescues can make the commitment to those most desperate animals: the elderly, injured, and infirm. Hartman’s Haven is one of these rare breeds. As with most saints’ trajectories, Crystal’s mission found her. She began volunteering at the Humane Society and noticed that none of the dogs were brought in from animal control facilities. They had all been surrendered by their owners. “What happens to all the strays?” she wondered. The answer shocked her: the unadopted were euthanized, while sick or injured dogs were almost guaranteed to be put down. Those who had suffered the most were the least likely to find love and safety. This, she could not abide. Crystal’s first independent rescue was Cezar, a skin-and-bones Shar-Pei with a large, open, fly-infested wound. The owner said the dog had “chewed his tail off,” and that he was unable to cover the vet bills. The wound told a different, more horrifying story, which we choose not to share because of its harsh nature. The owner turned Cezar over to Crystal, who fostered him, raised funds to cover his extensive vet bills, and found a home for him in South Carolina—with two other dogs to play with and some horses! “I visited him once a year until he died,” Crystal says. “He got fat and happy.” Saints need miracles to do their work. According to Crystal, the community always provides those miracles. “Every time we take a dog who has medical needs, I’m worried. ‘How am I going to pay for this?’ And every time, the community pulls through with donations.” In addition to running Hartman’s Haven, Crystal works full time as a physician’s assistant at an urgent care facility, parents her toddler son, and cares for her own dogs—all 13 of them, including two hospice fosters and two regular fosters. Her dogs have free reign of the basement, outfitted with a doggie door that leads to the Hopson’s one-acre, privacy-fenced back yard. Apparently, saints don’t require much sleep. Our Piedmont saint is not as well-known as Saint Assisi, but the dogs know Saint Crystal. In their own wagging way, they thank God for her heart and generosity. For Crystal and the Hartman’s Haven volunteers, those wagging tails are the only most thing that matters. w
As with saints’ trajectories, Crystal’s mission
WRITER CYNDY ETLER
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"They decided to live life on their own terms, based on their values of compassion, supporting others with cancer, and realizing that there is more to life than making money."
Shannon Carney WIND RIVER CANCER WELLNESS
RETREATS & PROGRAMS SHANNON CARNEY CO-FOUNDER
othing provides a shift in perspective quite like a health crisis. Shannon Carney, cofounder of Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats and Programs, and her life-partner and co-founder, David Pschirer, wholeheartedly agree. Shannon and David were part of the corporate workforce until Shannon was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in 2003. She was working as a lawyer for Wachovia at the time, and as the couple forged ahead with her cancer treatments, they realized that the medical community was great at taking care of treating the cancer, but they were left on their own to manage her fatigue, exhaustion, and emotional stress. “In each three-week cycle of chemo, I would have just a handful of good days, so Dave and I took that time to get outside, go to the mountains, ride bikes, or go to a music festival,” Shannon shares. Each Sunday night before the start of another round of chemo, they
would have a “chemo party” with friends on their back deck. “This was our way of maintaining some normalcy in our lives,” says Shannon. After work in July 2005, Shannon met her breaking point from being emotionally exhausted. “Dave looked at me and simply told me not to go back,” she recalls. The couple sat down and discussed what they wanted more of in their lives, and what they wanted less of. Shannon explains, “It was a very helpful exercise, and although we didn’t know it at the time, it gave us a powerful filter for making decisions going forward.” In 2006 the couple left their jobs and purchased seven acres in the foothills of western North Carolina to focus on a more holistic approach. “We created a retreat center, complete with wooded land, a vibrant creek, 15-foot waterfalls, gardens, and a variety of walking trails,” Shannon describes. They left
their well-paying jobs on the corporate scene and decided to live life on their own terms, based on their values of compassion, supporting others with cancer, and realizing that there is more to life than making money. “Our favorite word – then and now – is simplify,” acknowledges Shannon. The Wind River Cancer Wellness Retreats and Programs just celebrated its 13th year of providing no-charge retreats to survivors. Participants at the retreats are able to experience tai chi, yoga, healing touch, nutrition classes, and time for journaling, art, and music. It is a time to encourage survivors to slow down, explore healthy living choices, and learn from each other’s experiences. Wind River is funded by individual support and is the beneficiary of funding from the Colon Cancer Coalition, 24 Foundation, and the Lung Cancer Initiative of NC. w
WRITER MICHELLE LOVE
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"We our neighbors with .”
Jessika Jessik Tucker
ANGELS AND SPARROWS
JESSIKA TUCKER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
ou’re greeted by name, with a welcoming smile, as you walk through the door. Once you’re seated a server takes your drink order, then returns with your delicious plated lunch. Vibrant colors and fresh, organic produce are the fare of the day. A tray offering a variety of dessert treats comes next. You linger, chatting with friends, as the plates are cleared away. Is this the script for a ladies-who-lunch commercial for a country club? Nope. It’s the lived experience, five days a week, of the guests who visit Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen in Huntersville. As the charity’s executive director, Jessika Tucker, describes it, “We nourish our neighbors with dignity.” This year, Angels and Sparrows has provided over 62,000 meals to folks in need, thanks to Jessika and her team of staff, volunteers, and donors. The need in the community is tangible. While the Charlotte area has experienced exponential economic growth over recent years, the poverty rate has increased 10 percent. “I see the best and worst of society every day,” says Jessika. “Many of our guests have experienced the worst life situations such as being sex-trafficked as a child, or the loss of their home and possessions due to medical bills.” She goes on to say, “I also see the
best of our community in the volunteers and numerous people who donate food and funding to care for our neighbors in need.” Those donations are the charity’s greatest necessity, as sudden expenses—for HVAC repairs, equipment maintenance, and utilities—frequently arise. The biggest annual fundraiser is the Gather and Give, featuring live music, a silent auction and raffle, a wine pull, and a fine dinner, expertly prepared by a local chef. There is also the Angels and Sparrows 5k Turkey Trot, which is held in Birkdale each Thanksgiving morning. Growing up in a single-parent household, being the first in her family to earn a college degree, Jessika understands the struggles her guests face. This personal connection is what drove her through the final six months of her degree program. She completed her Master of Science in Business Management, with a focus in nonprofit leadership, while working full time and taking over her current role as the charity’s executive director. She succeeded with the support of her husband and her faith…and her commitment to upholding Angels and Sparrows’ objectives: enabling guests to reserve their resources for their jobs, education, and plans for the future, while enjoying a nutritious meal and the company of other guests from all walks of life. Angels, indeed. w
WRITER CYNDY ETLER
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"When the work seems overwhelming, focusing on the strength of your ’ is what we ‘ need to remember.”
e e L Syria
HOMES AND SERVICES LEE SYRIA PRESIDENT/CEO
ee Syria, president and CEO of United Church Homes and Services (UCHS) in Newton, believes that focusing on the mission and core purpose of your business is essential for not-for-profit organizations. She says, “When the work seems overwhelming, focusing on the strength of your ‘why’ is what we need to remember.” Lee started out as an HR coordinator with UCHS at the Abernethy Laurels community and after a variety of roles, she was selected to lead the organization. “When I joined UCHS I thought I may stay for just a few years; however, I fell in love with the mission and impact that we have on enriching the lives of older adults,” she smiles. UCHS is a Christian ministry which provides vibrant living opportunities, diverse outreach programs, and compassionate services. Last year, UCHS provided over $10.3 million in unreimbursed charitable care. “Our mission is supported in part by fundraising, but the majority of the donations we receive each year are from planned legacy gifts,” Lee explains. “I try to
remember, and also impart to my team, the importance of focusing on our mission and goals – not to dwell on things we can’t change, but to direct our energy towards the things we can impact and make a real difference,” she adds. One of the goals for the nonprofit next year is to expand their PACE program. PACE, or Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is an outreach campaign designed to address the needs of frail elderly who wish to remain in their own homes in the community. “Our first PACE program – Carolina SeniorCare – currently serves a four-county area,” says Lee, “which includes Davidson, Davie, Iredell, and Rowan counties.” Another goal is
to see the completion of the 174-bed replacement healthcare center project at the Abernethy Laurels community. When contemplating the most important lesson she has learned through working with UCHS, Lee states, “Age is relative – and no matter your stage of life, we are all aging.” She encourages society to stop speaking about aging in a negative manner, and exclaims, “Aging is a beautiful thing!” Lee believes there are a lot of experiences, opportunities, and fun to be had in the second half of life, and the entire team at UCHS makes sure their seniors experience it every day! w
WRITER MICHELLE LOVE
Katy Clatterbaugh TAKING A STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE KATY CLATTERBAUGH MRS. USA UNIVERSE 2019
ou may be aware that domestic violence is a major issue in the United States. After all, it is the leading cause of injury to women in this country. What you might not be familiar with is emotional abuse, which is the most common form of partner abuse that has staggering statistics of its own. For example, one in three girls will be in a controlling, abusive dating relationship before graduating high school, and 39 percent of women report experiencing emotional abuse in a relationship in the past five years. Katy Clatterbaugh, Mooresville resident and the newly crowned Mrs. USA Universe 2019, is all too familiar with the problem of intimate partner abuse— and stopping it is the cause she has chosen to champion during her reign. During her early twenties, Katy was in a relationship with an abuser who put a GPS tracker on her car and controlled what she could wear and who she could spend time with. He wore away at her self-confidence, even convincing her that no one else could ever love her. At that time, though, she did not realize she was being abused, much less that there were resources available to help her. Thankfully, Katy attended a Women for Courage luncheon, and her eyes were opened. “I heard the stories of survivors—and those who didn’t survive—and it clicked,” she recalls. Though it was not easy, Katy is one of the lucky ones because she got out before the relationship became violent. Unfortunately, many women do not. Had Katy been educated about what constitutes an abusive relationship, she believes she would have left the relationship much sooner. That’s why she has made the implementation of educational programs that teach the warning signs of abusive relationships to young adults her mission. “Hearing the stories of so many victims has been powerful. It is my duty to share these stories and change the stigma of domestic violence,” she says. Ideally, it is her hope that others will find the strength to walk away as she did.
"It is my duty to these stories and the stigma of domestic violence."
While Katy’s duties as Mrs. USA Universe demand a busy traveling schedule, she still manages to run an international wedding photography business, Katheryn Jeanne Photography. But her foremost priorities are in Mooresville: her husband, Chad, and her 5-year-old son, Camden. “There is no other way I’d prefer to spend my time than being with my family,” she asserts. “The memories we make together set my heart on fire.” w
WRITER DANA NIETERS
"We focus on the
dignity of life and a peaceful ending to a precious journey.”
Rochelle Dearman SERENITY HOUSE
ROCHELLE DEARMAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
he heavenly powers-that-be don’t make mistakes. That point is evident in the surname of the executive director of Mooresville’s Serenity House: Dearman. As in, dear to mankind.
This story’s purpose is to introduce you to Rochelle Dearman. To her heart, her purpose, her work. When I reached out to interview Rochelle, though, she didn’t respond to my questions with words about herself. Instead, she said this: “Caring for someone at endof-life is an awesome gift.” Serenity House is a loving home for terminally ill people. “We focus on the dignity of life and a peaceful ending to a precious journey,” says Rochelle. She goes on to explain the cultural shifts in hospice needs. In the 1980s, when Medicare hospice was established, a majority of families were centered in the same community. A stay-at-home caregiver was the norm. Thus, the hospice program was founded on the availability of a family caregiver as a pillar of care. Today, Rochelle explains, the family unit is more fragile, more stressed. Most families are unable to provide 24-hour-care in an end-of-life situation. Thus, she says, every community needs an alternative option for family care giving.
WRITER CYNDY ETLER
Serenity House offers that care, with an emphasis on caring. Residents have a prognosis of three months or less, and a desire for a natural end to life. The patient, along with their family and physician, choose a hospice program, which provides professional services. Around-the-clock family-style care is provided, free of charge, by community volunteers, who become the surrogate family. On the topic of family, Rochelle divulges a sound bite of personal information. She grew up in Waco, Texas. She has two children—Alex, 28, and Grayson, 24—and a crazy Goldendoodle named Oliver. She counts her grandparents as her greatest inspiration: “They encouraged us to serve our neighbors.” Her favorite quote is from Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Read Serenity House’s description of their purpose, and it’s clear that the impossible is exactly what they’re doing: “We aim to meet the need of people who wish to die at home but lack the caregiver necessary to achieve that goal. We are devoted to the care of dying people and to the support of their loved ones.” Serenity House, and its guests and volunteers, are blessed to have Rochelle Dearman at the helm. Those heavenly powersthat-be. They get it right, every time. w
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move ON THE
recently returned from serving an 18-month mission in Frenchspeaking Tahiti with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “In reality, we are all missionaries,” Savanah said. “We’re here to help others.”
SHARON E. REED
was awarded the gold medal in the gift category for the Living Now Book Awards in September for her published work, Walking the Heart Path: Bite-Sized Bits of Wisdom on Living & Leading from the Inside Out (Heart By Design).
First grade teacher
has been nominated by the IredellStatesville School District for the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching’s Beginning Teacher of the Year. This recognition was developed to honor beginning teachers and to retain teachers who show promise as excellent educators and leaders.
DR. KELLY KNOLHOFF recently
opened Birkdale Audiology in Huntersville. Earning her doctorate degree in audiology from Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Knolhoff has served the people of Lake Norman for the past 12 years and is now proud to welcome new and existing patients to her private practice.
JODIE GOLAB, program manager of the
American Cancer Society Southeast Region, was in attendance among many at the North Mecklenburg County Road to Recovery recognition event on October 2 to celebrate their amazing volunteers.
CONNECT WITH US! Whether you are a woman on the move, looking for events, new businesses in the area, or are willing to contribute your opinion, follow us by visiting www.facebook.com/lakenormanwoman or e-mail email@example.com. w OM AN.C OM
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SHOULD DO IN
SATURDAY, DEC. 7
North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade
THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, DEC. 5-DEC. 7
The parade starts at the intersection of Grifﬁth Street and Highway 115 and ends at the intersection of Highway 115 and Catawba Avenue. Enjoy high school bands, horses, tractors, school groups, civic organizations, and more!
Christmas in Davidson
Trolley rides, shopping, a holiday village, entertainment, story time with Mrs. Clause, and a visit with Old Saint Nick himself are highlights of this annual festival. Free / 6-9pm Downtown Davidson
Free / 1pm Downtown Davidson
More information: http://christmasindavidson.com
More information: http://townofdavidson.org
Northern Lights of LKN A lighted boat parade beneﬁtting Barium Springs Home for Children. Live music, an auction, refreshments, and holiday characters will be at Stumpy Creek.
Free / Times Vary The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 7036 McIlwaine Rd., Huntersville
Free / 5pm-9pm Stumpy Creek Boat Landing 160 Stumpy Creek Rd., Mooresville
12th Annual Community Nativity Festival
This free family-friendly community event features nativity displays from around the world, a stable with nativity costumes for dressing up, children’s crafts, a scavenger hunt, and musical performances by area schools and church groups.
SATURDAY, DEC. 7
More Information: www.visitlakenorman.org
THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, DEC. 12-DEC. 14
© Michael Warwick | Dreamstime.com
More Information: https://nativityfestival.com
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, DEC. 13 AND DEC. 14
Walk Through Bethlehem
Go back in time to the ﬁrst Christmas at this free, interactive, Biblical-era drama and marketplace with activities, food, and music. Free / Times Vary Camp Wesley 3090 Deal Rd., Mooresville More Information: www.walkthrubethlehem.org
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LKNW Editor Leslie Ogle and her twin Laura enjoy a day in Delray Beach, Florida.
LAKE NORMAN WOMAN is getting out and about each month, looking for great events and the fabulous and exciting Lake Norman people who are making them happen! So next time you’re at a chamber event, a new business in the area, or just out having fun, look for Lake Norman Woman and our camera. Who knows, you just might ﬁnd yourself in next month’s “SCENE WITH LAKE NORMAN WOMAN!”
Publisher Dana serving on the panel at a Professional Women’s Network conference in September.
Anna Stowe, owner of Great Design 4 U, aboard a Disney Halloween Cruise in the deep seas. Thanks, Anna, for spreading our message far and wide!
us Send or tag f o to ho p in a you with an W issue of LKN ! re he it e se &
Kelly Cutler and LKNW’s Kim Cross at the Professional Women’s Network conference in Mooresville.
Denise Williams, vice president of Truliant Federal Credit Union, and LKNW Publisher Dana at the September 8th Carolina Panthers season opener.
this holiday season with gifting in mind and heart! regifting is one of life’s great guilty pleasures. If you think about it, it’s a win-win for everyone! You get to eliminate an unwanted item sitting in the back of your closet, someone else gets to enjoy opening up a present….and the whole exchange doesn’t cost you a cent! (Okay, maybe that’s two wins for you!) A D M I T I T:
Now that you’re on a roll, don’t stop at your closet. Cleaning out the pantry can also uncover hidden surprises. (I can’t be the only one who has accumulated too many cans of cream of mushroom soup for that casserole Cleaning out your closet can have the same I never made.) Food pantries are always in uplifting benefits. Eliminating all of the need of items, particularly canned accumulated clutter will clear vegetables and fruits, coffee, rice, your mind, while someone less The way to baby food and formula, powdered fortunate can benefit from your overcome this milk, canned meats, peanut donation of shoes that have always emotional butter, and sugar. Some great been a little too tight to wear or resistance is local sources are The Mooresville/ a purse that your mom gave you to shift the Lake Norman Christian Mission, three Christmases ago. focus away Loaves & Fishes, Ada Jenkins from the guilt Food Pantry, and the Mooresville So why do so many of us avoid of eliminating, Soup Kitchen. cleaning out our closets? To and over to the some, it is a monotonous, mindgift of giving And don’t forget your numbing task. Others struggle to others. garage! Wouldn’t with the sentimental value they it be nice to get attach to too many items. Then rid of that old furniture there are those who feel remorseful tossing a or the pile of toys the piece of clothing that still has the tags on it. kids no longer use so you could pull your car into a The way to overcome this emotional clean, organized space? resistance is to shift the focus away from Garages are filled with the guilt of eliminating, and over to the gift treasures for charities of giving to others. Items that do nothing like Goodwill more than take up space in your closet can be a real treasure for someone less fortunate. and Habitat for Humanity, which There are numerous tax-deductible outlets sell them to that are happy to take gently-worn clothing. support their I always try to think local first. Two that programs, top my list are Safe Alliance and The Hope or use them House in Huntersville. Dress for Success to help give is another outstanding organization for a family their women. Each Dress for Success client first furnished receives a suit when she has a job interview, home. w which she can then return for work clothes when she finds employment. This global organization has a location right here in
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Laura VanSickle is co-owner of ClosetsbyDesign in Charlotte. With free in-home consultations, her designers will assess your space and create a layout that is affordable and customized to meet your individual needs. For more information and locations, visit www.closetsbydesign.com or call 704.588.7272.
Charlotte on Clanton Road. If you come across worn bedsheets or towels, you can donate them too. Local animal shelters are in constant need of these items.
WRITER LAURA VAN SICKLE
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8 things Santa must visit 823 homes per second to deliver to the 2,106 million children under age 18 in the world.
The U.S. Postal Service delivers 20 billion cards and packages between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
8 CHRISTMAS PARTY
German craftsmen made the ﬁrst decorative nutcrackers around 1800 as a way of mocking authority ﬁgures, leading to the phrase “a hard nut to crack.”
The writer of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” planned to name the resplendently snouted hero of the tale “Rollo,” but his daughter suggested Rudolph instead.
An average of 5,800 people end up in the ER after suffering injuries from holiday decorating.
Poinsettias aren’t deadly. Latex in the stems and leaves can be irritating, but not much more, to humans and animals.
In the Netherlands, Sinterklaas (the Dutch version of Santa Claus) arrives from Spain, not from the North Pole.
Household waste increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
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gift wrapping ideas
Fancy paper, tinsel, ribbons, and bows—there is a lot to choose from when it comes to making your gifts festive. But perhaps you can shake things up this year. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices ﬂowing this holiday season.
WRAP WITH FABRIC.
You can use a scarf, bandana, or just decorative cloth to create a unique look.
GET BACK TO NATURE.
Use a sprig of pine or pine cones to adorn your gifts. But be careful with mistletoe as it can be poisonous if ingested, especially for pets and children.
Wrap and hide individual gifts with clues that lead up to the main present … kids of all ages enjoy this hunt for the holidays! TREASURE HUNTING IS A GIFT IN ITSELF.
© Maglara | Dreamstime.com
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE PLAIN BROWN PAPER.
Simplicity with a red ribbon—perfection! ADD CANDY AND SMALL GIFTS.
You can tuck a candy cane, smaller-wrapped present, or perhaps a homemade goodie to the top of your package. PERSONALIZE WRAPPING PAPER.
Have the kids draw and create their own wrapping paper. Family members will appreciate the special touch. Or create a picture montage in a Word document and print out on regular or legal-sized paper for wrapping smaller gifts.
GIFT BASKETS ARE ALWAYS FUN.
Cellophane comes in all variety of colors and patterns and baskets abound, so get creative in making personalized gifts. How about a Spa basket full of aroma candles, facial scrubs, and manicure kits? Or perhaps a Panther’s football-themed basket— especially if you have tickets to give! w
© Arinahabich08 | Dreamstime.com
For additional creative gift giving and wrapping ideas, go to www.pinterest.com
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F AMI LY
Want to have your struggle considered for an upcoming Teens Aloud column? Send Cyndy an email about what’s going on at firstname.lastname@example.org
YOUR TEEN, TRANSLATED
and and I T ’ S T H E H A P- H A P- H A P P I E S T TIME OF THE YEAR.
Unless you have company coming to visit the house where an adolescent lives. If you have a lifestyle where the whole family is in constant chill mode, where nobody cares who shows up at the dinner table or how much time the teens spend staring at their phones, good on ya. This one’s not for you.
! y m h o
interested, engaged young adult when distant relatives arrive?
you prefer. I’ll text you Thursday night to check, if I don’t hear from you.”
Here’s the Jedi mind trick: you’re not. See that verb there? “To make”? Yeah, nope. You can’t “make” a teen do anything. Developmentally, teenagers are stepping into an awareness of their own autonomy. And they’re flexing it. As they’re supposed to, to prepare themselves for life on their own. Now more than ever—more, even, than during the terrible twos—they dig their heels in. They do what they want. They simply ignore your demands.
There are so many wins here. You’re giving the teen what they want, and still getting what you want. You’re letting them choose when they respond, while making clear when you need that response. You’re following up with text, most teens’ preferred mode of communication. And if you adopt this as a habit, over the long term, your teen will want to spend more time interacting with you and the family, because their budding adult autonomy feels respected.
If, however, you’re like the majority of moms who do want the family to have meals together, who are concerned about limiting their teen’s screen time, who do want the relatives to spend time with their bright-eyed teenybopper, I see you. And I see the panic-balloon over your head when you think about visitors, holidays, and your hermit crab of a teen.
A lot of parents understand this but keep trying anyway, because what else are they supposed to do? Now here’s the life coach mind trick: replace the demands with options. Come up with two alternatives, both of which are fine with you. For example, “Hey, your grandparents are arriving at 4:00 on Friday. Would you rather go with me to the airport to get them, or go to Brixx with us at 6:30 that night?”
If you can’t make your kid maintain a conversation with the nuclear family on a normal Tuesday night—and you definitely can’t make them participate in a family outing on a Saturday afternoon—how on earth are you supposed to make them act like an
Then—and this step is key—turn and walk away. Don’t stand and wait for an answer; that communicates the same feeling of control you’re erasing with the options. Instead, allow them the autonomy they crave to make their choice. Try, “Just let me know what
And the very best bit? You can tell grandma and grandpa that the kid texted you Thursday night to say they wanted to join you for this event! Just… maybe wait until the kid leaves the room. Because Mommmm, please. w L K N e x p e rt
Cyndy Etler is a board-certified teen life coach and award-winning young adult memoir author. Her work has been featured on CNN, NPR, CBS’ The Doctors, Huffpost, Today’s Parent, and other international media. WRITER CYNDY ETLER
sometimes it’s a white elephant gift exchange; and sometimes it’s just buying last-minute “whatevers” … but the holiday season is more than bows and presents. It is a time of giving, yes, but giving can come in many forms and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here are a few suggestions for gifts this year that are inherently full of love and meaning— SOMETIMES WE JUST GET GIFTS FOR THE KIDS;
GIVE BACK: Whether it’s rescuing animals, working with the elderly, or simply serving at your local soup kitchen, volunteering with friends and family is a wonderful gift. Visit www.volunteermatch.org for information on volunteering for the cause that inspires you.
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Everyone can appreciate a yummy casserole or a basket of muffins. Or prepare all ingredients for a crockpot recipe in Ziploc bags, so all they have to do is put in the pot and press “start.”
MAKE IT PERSONAL: Put together a “favorite things” basket for Dad, or frame a special picture for Mom. Investigate folks’ social media pages for fun photos that you can give them in the form of a book or montage.
GIVE THE GIFT OF GIFTS: Literally give them 12 gifts (go to the dollar store and purchase 12 generic, low-cost gifts such as candles or small decorative items) along with a box of stationery so they will have gifts on-hand throughout the year. They will think of you with a warm and grateful heart each time they send a gift (and they didn’t have to shop!).
OFFER YOUR TIME: Help a friend or family member organize their closets or pantry; offer to clean their house or babysit; or perhaps help them with a painting party—you’ll bring the pizza! w
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Lindsay Jayson, PA P -C • Mari Klos, CMA, LE • Erin Dice, PA P -C • Kerry Shafran, MD, FA F AD • Ashley Noone, PA P -C • Nikki Faldowski Leahy, PA P -C • Brittany Kingrey, LE
And Thank You for allowing our Riva Team to take care of all your skin health, wellness and beauty needs! Y u have made Riva the #1 Dermatology practice in the LKN community, and we are proud to serve you. Yo Have a safe f , happy, and healthy Holiday Season! fe
V ted Best in Vo i LKN K ! KN
“Imagine your skin at its best”
Off Of ffi fice ces es in Mo M ore res re esville, e Co e, C rnelius & Denvvveer. r.
G e n e r a l & C o s m e t i c D e r m a t o l o g y f o r Yo u r E n t i r e Fa m i l y
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DO WHAT YOU CAN WITH ALL YOU HAVE
WHEREVER YOU ARE. –THEODORE R O O S E V E LT
Words are magic. They actually change our brain chemistry! As wordsmiths here at LKNW, we are especially fond of words that will resonate with our readers, in hopes they will help guide & inspire you:
“Sometimes your faith makes you look stupid,
then it starts to rain.” –NOAH
ink you have h t u o y n happens whe ll at once. a g in h t y r e v te to figure ou
Breathe. Take it day by day.”
You’re strong. You got this.
“Our visit to this planet is short, so we should use our time meaningfully, which we can do by helping others wherever possible.” –DALAI LAMA
“MAY THE BLESSINGS OF THE SEASON BRING YOU SMILES, GRATITUDE, AND A LOVE-FILLED HEART …
and here’s to an outstanding 2020!” –LAKE NORMAN WOMAN M A G A Z I N E S TA F F
do you love it or list it? LOCAL EXPERTS GIVE YOU SOME ADVICE!
I T V E R Y W E L L M AY B E O N E O F T H E M O S T D I F F I C U LT D E C I S I O N S I N L I F E — do you stay where you are (sometimes
lots of memories and emotions here!) and remodel or does it make more sense to move? If this question is on your radar, chances are you’re going to make a change of some kind. Maybe you’ve outgrown your current home and it no longer ﬁts your family’s needs, or perhaps it’s showing signs of age. A home renovation might ﬁx the problems, but moving also has its advantages in many cases. Either option will affect your bank account, but other things are in the balance as well. Think neighbors, school districts, and work commutes. You’ll want to make the choice that’s right for you. Here are some tips to help you decide:
REASONS TO RELOCATE
• If the town, county, or HOA gives you the thumbs down on your proposed plans.
• If it is currently a seller's market and you can maximize the value of your home.
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• Your renovation will be a very timeconsuming project.
• You look around your neighborhood Interior design professional Anna Stowe and broker/realtor Kristopher Sowa combine their talents to bring you ease of transition and expert guidance whether you’re building, relocating, or renovating. Great Design 4U, 704.305.0139, GREATDESIGN4U.COM and Lake Realty, 860.913.3036, KSOWA.COM. Also, visit their website at www.renovaterelocate.com for more information on how they can assist you on making this crucial decision.
• You’re going to have a higher resale value if or when you do decide to relocate.
• You love your neighborhood; you
love your school district; and you’re not going to be able to find a home for the same price that you purchased your home for many years ago.
• You have plenty of unfinished living space to utilize.
and realize that expanding your home will no longer fit in.
• You have equity in your home that you
• It’s going to be very costly and
• You’re outgrowing your home and/ • Commute time has become longer. • You can’t afford the upfront costs of remodeling.
• Your home has become too big to take care of.
• Children are entering into the school age.
REASONS TO RENOVATE
can borrow against and after the renovation your home will be valued higher. disruptive to relocate.
• You can custom design your house the way you’ve always wanted to.
• There were items on your wish list that you didn’t get when you purchased the home.
• You truly want this to be your forever home … the home where you can age in place.
WRITERS ANNA STOWE AND KRISTOPHER SOWA
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BETTER ME … BETTER YOU … BETTER WORLD
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.
losing track of time
George MacDonald reminds us that, “Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.” Do you take time regularly to “Lose Track of Time”? AS WOMEN WE OFTEN MEASURE
ourselves by our busy-ness or ability to check things off daily lists. We miss opportunities to plug into what is really going on with ourselves. How often do you remember to turn everything off including your brain? It is important to sit, rest, relax somewhere quiet and just chill out. Sacred scripture recommends once a week. I see many people who have no idea how to unplug. In my work as a therapist, my favorite questions to pose for a client who may be too busy, is to give them permission to think about what they would do if they could have two days off and money was not an issue. Where would they go? What would they do? What would you do? Let’s look at some real-time experiences that might help us lose track of time. For many people, sitting on the beach is a way to lose track of time. The regular rhythm of the waves seems to methodically reset an internal clock to slow down. Breathing in the salt air is also very beneficial.
Without a beach close by, some of us can escape to a portion of the lake for the same rhythmic relaxation of the water. There are apps that recreate the sounds and rhythms too.
"LOSING TRACK OF TIME IS AN
investment IN YOUR
quality of life." Losing track of time for you may be engrossing in a creative project, or playing with children, or reading. It may be doodling, drawing, bird watching, paddle boarding, or kayaking. What are some other ideas you may have? Keeping a journal is helpful for some people to unplug and get inside to name feelings and unpack situations. Years ago I worked with a client who took a legal pad to the beach and wrote pages upon pages. She said at the end she was exhausted and could not even
read what she had written, but she felt so much better! She was able to purge deep emotions that needed to be surrendered and forgiven. Recently I discovered a journal type magazine called Bella Grace. It is chock full of ideas to write short snippets about thoughts and dreams. I find I pick it up every week or so to add thoughts and ideas. It has been a creative way to express desires of my heart and embrace gratitude. I encourage you this holiday season to include some “losing track of time” experiences. If you will be traveling to visit children, family, or friends, make time to lose track of time with them. Make a memory by going out for coffee with your adult child or grandchild alone. Losing track of time is an investment in your quality of life. Give yourself permission! w Cindy Ray, MS, LPC is the Regional Director for CareNet Counseling, an affiliate of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Cindy is a licensed professional and pastoral counselor and works with clients of all faiths. The offices are located in Mooresville, Statesville, and Gastonia.
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December 2019 Lake Norman Woman Magazine