Page 1

featuring

DR. NICOLE NAYLOR & DR. AMBER BROOKS OF WEST LAKE DENTISTRY

a son belongs forever:

10

clues YOU'RE ON TRACK TO A STRONG MARRIAGE

y l i m fa e h t n i l l a

INCLUDING 6 LKN FAMILIES THAT WORK TOGETHER!

ONE FAMILY'S INFERTILITY STRUGGLES


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.

STAFF

.

PUBLISHER DANA NIETERS

dana@lakenormanwoman.com

volume x, number iv

September all in the family

EDITOR AMY HALLMAN

amy@lakenormanwoman.com

OPERATIONS SUPPORT & CONTRIBUTING WRITER LESLIE OGLE leslie@lakenormanwoman.com

SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE STEPHANIE SULLIVAN

stephanie@lakenormanwoman.com

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE MICHELE SCHUERMANN michele@lakenormanwoman.com

DISTRIBUTION MANAGER JULI SIMMONS ads@lakenormanwoman.com

ART DIRECTOR CHELSEA BREN

chelsea@lakenormanwoman.com

S E PT E M B E R CO N T RI BU TO RS :

Michelle Love; Adam Breeding; Starr Miller Debbie Parrott; Joanna Roop

C O N TAC T U S : PO Box 1000 | Cornelius, NC | 28031

704.895.6168

WWW.LAKENORMANWOMAN.COM

Ad Submissions: 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.

“ YO U C A N C H O O S E your friends, but

you sho’ can’t choose your family.” That’s what my favorite fictional father of all time—Atticus Finch—taught his children in one of my favorite books of all time: To Kill a Mockingbird Mockingbird.

It’s no secret that happy families are on the decline, and maybe Atticus’ insight helps explain why blissful families seem to be fading faster than marigolds in August. It almost seems that the dysfunctional family is now the norm. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the only family that isn’t dysfunctional these days is a family that has only one person in it. I come from a wacky family. And while we have a number of dysfunctions, the wackiest, or at least the hardest to explain to well-meaning inquisitors (i.e., people who are certain that we belong in the movie Deliverance) is the double relationships created by the marriage of my mother’s sister to my father’s brother. Sounds incestuous, doesn’t it? It’s not; though, I do have double first cousins with whom I share both sets of grandparents and a quarter of my DNA. As you can imagine, we look quite similar— people often mistook one of my cousins and me as twins.To complicate matters further, my dad and his brother went into business together, and our families lived right down the street from one another. Those wellmeaning inquisitors never could quite figure out who belonged to whom. Despite the convoluted family tree, though, we managed to be quite functional for many years. Our holiday gatherings were attended by the entire gang of double cousins, double aunts, double uncles, and grandparents from both sides of the family. Oh, there were some irregularities, of course, such as a member or two who could be described as rather eccentric, the impetuous and wayward youth (ok, I admit, that was me), and the occasional unresolved conflict that would rear its ugly head. But for the most part, we managed to stay well on the functional side of the scale. Until my parents divorced. After that, half of the double couples was no longer a couple,

which made the holidays somewhat problematic. Put yourself in my mother’s shoes for a moment: post-divorce, she spent every holiday with not only her ex-husband (he was, after all, still her sister’s brother-in-law), but her ex-mother- and father-in-law (who were still her sister’s in-laws). Though Mom did an excellent job managing her emotions, there was more than one occasion in which she felt like either hitting a relative or hitting the bottle. Maybe it was the soothing effects of whatever was in that bottle, but as dysfunctional as the post-divorce family gettogethers were, somehow she made it work without bloodshed or rehab. In the end, I think my wacky family is like most other families. Some relationships are loving and wonderful; others are confusing and even painful. But the family bond has little to do with DNA and a lot to do with that matter of choice that Atticus so aptly pointed out. We may not have the option of choosing with whom we share a last name or a roof, but we can choose to accept one another as we are. At my next family function, when Nate’s excessive eye rolling (which will probably need surgery one day to unstick his eyes from the back of his head) drives me to drink; when my sister shows up with her “side dish” of several bottles of wine she refuses to share; and my husband tries to break the ice by telling wildly inappropriate jokes that are only funny to him, I’m going to take deep breaths and embrace my wacky, unconventional, sometimes exasperating family. At the end of the day, I’ll know and love that they are mine; and more than anything, I’ll know and love that I want to be theirs—not because I have to, but because I choose to.

-dana

DANA NIETERS

. PUBLISHER

C O N TAC T D A N A V I A E - M A I L AT D A N A @ L A K E N O R M A N W O M A N . C O M


SEPTEMBER 2016 |

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Contents

SEPTEMBER 2016

46

LAW AND THE FAMILY

12

44

KERI WASS CARING TRANSITIONS OF LAKE NORMAN

in every issue 38

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WO M E N O N TH E M OV E

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5 THI N GS TO D O I N S E P T E M B E R

Features

LKNW STAFF QUESTION: What Song Represents Your Family?

18

WHAT I KNOW NOW: Barbara Johnson

20

ALL IN THE FAMILY: Families That Work Together

28

SUCCESS STORY: The Smile Odyssey

32

COVER STORY: Keep Smiling!

44

WOMAN TO WATCH: Keri Wass

48

SPECIAL FEATURE: Home Sweet Work Home

52

SUCCESS STORY: Family: A Son Belongs Forever


20

Campus Safety Tips

54

O N THE C OVER:

DR. NICOLE NAYLOR &

DR. AMBER BROOKS OF WEST L AKE DENTISTRY PH OTO G R A PH Y BY:

CHELSEA BREN

30

Home

Living In The White House

Y

50

SIT

10 Signs You're On The Right Path To A Strong Marriage

IZ

IN

ER

26

R'S BE

Family Fun!

WINNER

LAKE NORMAN WOMA N MAGAZINE

N

{

16

Champions of Diversity Award

OG

DAWN WILHITE DAWN S. WILHITE, ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST

Are Your Children Living In Fear?

NORMAN CH KE AM A L

REC

28

14

Family

TH E

FAMILIES THAT WORK TOGETHER INCLUDING DAVID AND KELLY TRAUGOTT

DI GE XCELLENCE IN

V

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CELEBRATES

Self

Mobile Fashion Heats Up As Fall Arrives At LangTree LKN

46

Law And The Family

56

MIND BODY SPIRIT: Preparing For The Storm

years VISIT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR SPECIAL GIVEAWAYS!

SEPTEMBER 2016 |

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w Staff ’s

LKN

What song represents your family… 1. in your childhood, and…2. now?

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” Rolling Stones NOW: “Stand By Me,” Ben E. King

THEN:

NOW:

Dana Nieters

“My Wish," Rascal Flatts “Getting Better,” The Beatles

THEN: NOW:

Chelsea Bren

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Diana Ross “Love Will Keep Us Together,” The Captain and Tennille

THEN:

NOW:

Michele Schuermann

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“Through the Years,” Kenny Rogers “Good Day,” Nappy Roots

THEN:

Stephanie Sullivan

THEN:

“Turn Around,” Malvina Reynolds NOW: “I Hope You Dance,” Lee Ann Womack Leslie Ogle

“Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid,” Hall & Oates NOW: “You Are Not Alone,” Michael Jackson

THEN:

Amy Hallman


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family

Are your children living in fear? By: Debbie Parrott

or adolescent spends more than seven hours per day involved in various forms of media, including social media, television, Internet, radio, or movies. With recent violent events being reported basically nonstop on almost all types of media outlets, how is this information affecting our kids? T H E AV E R A G E C H I L D

When I began working with adolescents and their families in my counseling practice nearly a decade ago, we discussed the media influence on issues such as unrealistic body image, materialism, cyberbullying, and promiscuity; and these remain challenges in our culture. However, over the past couple years, my office has been filled with children and teens suffering from a different problem: anxiety. High schoolers are anxious about boyfriends/girlfriends, grades, and competition for acceptance into the “right” college. Middle school-aged kids are anxious about fitting in with peers and dealing with their changing bodies and moods. Elementary school children are becoming more anxious about friendships, homework, and busy extracurricular schedules. And all ages are becoming more anxious about safety. Media literacy is defined as “the ability to ‘read’ television and mass media and to access, analyze, and evaluate such media.” Many published studies suggest that media literacy education can produce less vulnerable children and adolescents, and some educators are incorporating media literacy into mainstream curriculum. So what can parents do to help their kids navigate and understand the messages portrayed in the media, especially what seem to be the never-ending reports of violence?

SAD

VIOLENCE

DANGER

FEAR

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First, limit your children’s exposure to the news. When the news is on, kids are listening. They may not act interested or like they are paying attention, but they can’t help hear it. This is especially important for younger children who lack the capacity to understand that a shooting

© Letuve | Dreamstime.com

somewhere else doesn’t mean that they are in danger of being shot if they walk across the street in your neighborhood, nor are you in danger if you leave for work. If older children do watch the news, or see a report of violence on the Internet, have a conversation about what it means to them if there are riots or shootings somewhere. Explain that although it is horrific and sad to see these events taking place no matter where they are, it doesn’t mean your family is in danger where you live or during your normal activities. Remind them how many times you have gone out to dinner, to the movies, or to the mall, without incident. Educate them on the fact that events make the “news” because they are not common, and that the same events reported on several different forms of media makes it seem like it’s going on everywhere, all the time, but that’s simply not true. Finally, if you notice your child becoming more nervous about going places or more anxious about your leaving the house, ask him why. Acknowledge that you understand how things can seem scary based on recent reporting of events, and remind him that your job as a parent is to keep your family safe. Discuss ways to stay safe such as staying together in public, avoiding dark parking lots, and always letting someone know where you are. Debbie Parrott maintains a private counseling practice in Davidson, where she sees adolescents, adults, couples, and families. Debbie can be reached at 704.607.8976 and via Facebook.


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y l i fam

put a twist on the lemonade stand

n ! N u U f F

Since we’re celebrating families in September, we thought we’d share fun activities to do with your crew. After all, a family that plays together stays together!

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Make football-shaped cookies decorated for the teams playing that weekend; or have the kids make other team-related trinkets to sell, such as banners, flags, and bracelets, and attach cookies or candy. Try selling hot chocolate with a peppermint stick on cool days.

do science experiments

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com © Anyaberkut | Dreamstime.com

go berry picking

plan a “remember when” party

Have each family member write down a favorite trip or event, then all can share their memories and tell why they were special for them. Find pictures and mementos to create a scrapbook while you’re reminiscing.

stay in a local hotel

It’s a treat for the whole family to have a change of venue, and everyone will enjoy an indoor pool or Jacuzzi; then back to the room for a movie and room service.

© Romrodinka | Dreamstime.com

Afterwards, everyone can help bake or make preserves from your freshly picked produce. Check www.pickyourown.org for farm locations near you; this site also has a fruit- and veggie-picking guide and canning directions.

Who doesn’t love a homemade rocket? For ideas, check out www. sciencebuddies.org.

have a different kind of movie night Write and film your own movie—with the kids! Or construct a tent in the backyard, order pizza, and watch a movie in the cute little family nest you’ve built together, complete with blankets, pillows, and twinkle lights.

have reading night

Go to the library, and check out some favorite books to read aloud as a family. Assign roles to read so each puts a voice to his or her character.

© Noblige | Dreamstime.com

explore team-building activities

There are a number of fun, organized team-building activities you can do as a family. There’s paint ball or rock climbing, or our very favorite, Breakout Lake Norman. It offers a fun, family experience in which you find clues and solve puzzles to try to escape the room within the 60-minute time limit.

© Haywiremedia | Dreamstime.com


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Toby Keith may lament he’s not “as good as I once was,”and John Cougar Mellencamp may want to “hold on to 16,” or at least that’s what they say in their songs, but the women of Lake Norman are proof that life just keeps getting better and better. With life experience comes wisdom, and we’re asking area women to share what they’ve learned on the topics of lifestyle, attitude, beauty, self-confidence, relationships, and, yes, getting older.

WHAT’S THE ONE SKILL EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE?

Be an inspiration to others and empower them by sharing your talents. It is a blessing to be a blessing! WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE THE YOUNGER YOU?

Real passion takes self-evaluation and a determined work ethic. Know yourself; know your interest; know your skills; know your value. It’s okay to make a mistake, learn from it, and move forward. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM YOUR MOM?

Recognize true friends and value their presence in your life. Always treat others with respect because respect should not be taken for granted. WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU HOPE YOUR CHILDREN LEARN FROM YOU?

I hope my children will learn to make small talk with anyone, no matter what age they are.

what i know

WHAT ADVENTURE CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

NOW!

M E ET:

Barbara JOHNSON By: Dana Nieters

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AGE:

49

OCCUPATION:

Director, Winnie L. Hooper Center LKN TOWN:

Mooresville

A 3k race and an obstacle course! I am thankful for the soft landing on the other side of the wall on the obstacle course and the opportunity to walk, not just run the 3k. I was able to network and share stories with the other participants about the importance of being a champion for change and helping to make a difference in the lives of others.


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ALL IN THE FAMILY:

w�rk families that

TO

GETH

R E

Compiled By: Dana Nieters

f

or better or worse, we all love our families. After all, blood is thicker than water, right? So, why wouldn’t you want to work with family? You know them, and you trust them, so it should be a no-brainer. But the ties that bind aren’t always easy—working with members of your family has the potential to be a very trying, sticky, and challenging situation. It can bring out the best in you and your relatives—and also the worst in your working relationships. But read about some LKN families who have it all figured out!

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david traug�tt state farm insurance & financial services Who Works Together:

HUSBAND & WIFE DAVID AND KELLY TRAUGOTT

DON’T ANSWER THAT: “One of the

biggest challenges of working together is that when we are at home with our kids, or on vacation, or on a date, we are

tempted to talk business. We have to work hard to guard our down time. We regularly say things like, ‘Sorry, we shouldn’t be talking about the agency right now. Don’t answer that question!’”

SOLID AS A ROCK: “While we

strive to keep business out of our down time with each other and our children, we don’t totally separate home and business. We want to be who we are at all times. The love and care we have toward one another and our kids play out in how we do business all


sherrill, blake & harris�n, cpa, pa Who Works Together: MOTHER & DAUGHTER CINDY SHERRILL AND BROOKE SHERRILL

BOSS LADY EXTRAORDINAIRE: “I’m not blowing

smoke when I say my mom is truly the best boss ever. She is incredibly giving and sees the value of all staff members, from entry level upward. But she also makes sure we understand that work is not everything— we have to live life, too. We work hard together and play hard together.”

BURDEN OF PROOF: “Everyone has this preconceived

notion that when you work for family you really don’t work, that you’re getting a free ride. So I have to work even harder to prove myself. Thankfully, my mom always stresses to anyone who finds out we’re related that I do, in fact, work hard, which I greatly appreciate.” the time; and the lessons we have learned in business impact how we love and care for our family.”

TAKING OWNERSHIP:

“Functionally, we operate as joint owners, and this works very well. Each area of the business is ‘owned’ by one of us, and we work to solicit input from the other on our areas; but ultimately, the decisions within each area are the call of the one who oversees it. For this to work,

there must be foundations of respect, trust, and humility.”

COMMUNICATION IS ALWAYS IN SEASON: “Sometimes

we’re crazy busy at work, and sometimes we’re crazy busy with the family…it all looks different at different seasons. The biggest help is regular and consistent communication. We have grown tremendously in this area over our 15 years of marriage.” 

ONE BIG FAMILY: “All three owners (My mother is a

partner with two other women) have children, and they all bring their motherly attitudes into the workplace. As a result, we’re really all one big family. People are amazed that 10 women working in the same office can get along, but we more than get along—we hang out together outside of work and truly care for one another.”

(NOT) TAKING IT TO HEART: “As we’ve gotten older,

we don’t argue as much, but we still get on one another’s nerves from time to time! But we know each other so well that we know when to just walk away. One minute later, it’s as if nothing ever happened. It’s business, and at the end of the day, she is still my mom and I am still her daughter, so we don’t really take anything to heart.”

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�rangethe�ry fitness Who Works Together: HUSBAND & WIFE

DANIEL SCHLOSS AND KATHLEEN O’DAY

HUBBA, HUBBA!: “We

the U center Who Works Together: SPOUSES RIKI &

MCLEAN HARPER

YIN AND YANG: “We collaborate really well together and truly love spending time together. We view working together as just another part of our adventure.”

GIVE AND TAKE: “We’re both pretty stubborn (We’re both Taurus, after all), but luckily we communicate very well. We also work very hard to create balance and to honor each other’s boundaries. We know and recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

DOG DAYS (& MORE): “Although we’re not 100 percent successful, we make a conscious effort to separate our work life from our home life. We have so much fun together that, most of the time, it’s easy to let work go. We like to spend lazy lake days together with our dogs; or when we’re feeling more adventurous, we like to be outdoors, hiking, mountain biking, or kayaking.”

CAN WE TALK? “We argue every now and again—what couple

doesn’t? But we always talk things out until we feel the issues have been resolved to the satisfaction and understanding of each of us. We make sure to leave any and all tension at the door, just like any other job.”

DYNAMIC DUO: “McLean is a force to be reckoned with! She has

a dynamic personality and a huge heart, and is a powerhouse when it comes to networking, branding, and marketing. And as for my best qualities, well, first, she would say I have a nice butt (Can I say that?), and second to that, she thinks I’m smart!”

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truly can say anything to each other, and bounce ideas and problems off each other without worrying about hurt feelings or negativity. We have this great dynamic of calm and reasonable (Daniel) and passionate, loud, and decisive (me)! Somehow this works. It helps that he is hilarious. When I’m upset, Daniel just makes me laugh. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s hot!”

WORST FEAR: “We

both have the fear of disappointing each other. That can be very emotional.”

24/7: “Orangetheory

Fitness is a part of our lives 24/7. But that’s ok. It is who we are. Sometimes I feel like we probably don’t have our kids in enough activities because we’re just too busy…but then I remember they’re only 3 and 5, so we have

time. And besides, we grew up in the ‘80s when parents didn’t do anything with their kids, and we turned out just fine (LOL!)!” 

FOR THE FUN OF IT:

“When you’re a small business owner, it’s like having another child. But we try to find the fun in everything we do. When you work with your favorite person, you get to joke and laugh and have fun while working— what’s better than that?!”

LIVING THE DREAM:

“Everything we are trying to do, we are doing to make a better life for our family. That understanding that every sacrifice and struggle is for our family makes everything worth it. And we try to keep everything in perspective. We have two healthy, wonderful kids, and we are living the American dream; we are pretty lucky.”


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the st�ner gr�up Who Works Together:

HUSBAND & WIFE CHARLES “CHUCK” C. STONER & EILEEN STONER, AND SON, CHARLES “CHUCK, JR.” M. STONER

A FAMILY BUSINESS GROWS:

“Chuck became a financial advisor in 1990. As his business grew, he realized he needed a partner to help ensure clients’ families would continue to receive the attention they deserved—but that partner would have to be hardworking, trustworthy, and smart. He didn’t have to look far; I joined the practice in 1996. Our oldest son, Chuck, Jr., joined the practice in 2001. He serves as a financial advisor as well.”

THE FINE ART OF DISTRACTION: “We keep business out of our personal time by focusing on activities we love. We spend a lot of time with our preschool-age

grandsons, and we enjoy fly fishing. Also, I design, bake, and hand-ice deliciously beautiful cookies—a hobby that Chuck, our grandsons, and our church family truly appreciate!”

TRUE TEAM WORK: “Our strengths complement one another. Chuck has the ability to see the big picture, especially when clients are faced with a decision and need advice that supports their short- and long-term goals. I excel when a situation calls for exceptional attention to detail and strategic implementation.”

KEEPING THE FAITH: “Our faith reminds us to honor

and respect one another. And, after 37 years of marriage, we’ve learned to step back and consider each other’s point of view when a difference of opinion arises. We genuinely love each other and are best friends.”

CAN’T GET ENOUGH!: “When

John was in medical school and then his residency, we rarely got to be around each other. So what I like best about working with him now is all the time that we get to spend together. Plus, it’s comforting to know that even at work we will always be there to have each other’s back.”

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS:

charl�tte center f�r pelvic health Who Works Together: HUSBAND

& WIFE DR. JOHN HETTIARACHCHI & CATHARINA HETTIARACHCHI

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“Even though we have a rule about not talking business during specific times—such as a dinner out or while we’re on vacation—the business often overlaps into our everyday lives and we break our own rule. We are very passionate about our business.”

FLEXIBILITY RUNS IN THE FAMILY: “I’m fortunate enough to have the flexibility to work from home, so my schedule revolves around the family’s school and sports schedule. However, we are in the medical field, and our patients’ well being is of the utmost importance. As a family, we understand this and know that patient emergencies can and will occasionally affect family time. Sometimes, it’s a real juggling act trying to keep the necessary hours for the business and the time at home to raise four children!”

SWEET TALK: “One of my biggest challenges in working with John is remembering not to call him ‘Babe’ while we’re at work!”


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1

Signs You’re On the Right Path To A Strong

marriage “Caring, kindness, support, encouragement, and empathy,” say the experts at Psychology Today, “are the watchwords of a good and loving relationship. There is simply no room for rudeness, meanness, jealousy, insulting, degrading, blaming, guilting, criticizing, judging, or physically acting out.” The following tips are paramount for a successful union: For more information on relationships and marriage, visit www.psychologytoday.com.

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

You are a team, and you always have each other’s back. You have mutual respect. Successful couples do not speak disparagingly about one another; instead, they brag about their spouse! You both keep your own identity. It’s important to have your own sense of self and to fully support one another in individual goals and endeavors. You have fun together, and the union is built on a solid friendship. You have enough in common that trips and date nights are still valued and enjoyed. You encourage each other to grow and change; you inspire each other to be a better person. You can disagree in a solution-based manner without it mounting into an argument of hateful words. And listening is key: hear what your spouse is saying and acknowledge his feelings. You keep intimacy alive and well. You are a united front when it comes to raising children. You do not keep secrets from each other. You understand that marriage is not about keeping score or always being right; it’s about managing your life together.


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Dr. Dawn Wilhite DAWN S. WILHITE, ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST MOORESVILLE, NC

The Smile Odyssey By: Michelle Love | Photography By: Chelsea Bren

B Y T H E A G E O F 1 5 , Dawn

S. Wilhite, DMD, PA, had learned from her mother a selfsupporting and diligent work ethic. “My mother was a great role model,” she says. “She went back to college when I was in middle school and ultimately earned a graduate degree, too. She inspired me to work after school to earn money for my first car. It was only $700, but I was proud!” The transition to orthodontic specialist in Mooresville was a natural one. As a little girl, Dawn always loved going to the dentist; but when Dawn’s younger sister got braces, a spark ignited. Amazed and intrigued by the change in her sister’s personality and bolstered confidence that coincided with the change in her smile,

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Dawn’s dream of becoming an orthodontist was born. Dawn’s dedication to reach her dream never faltered, and she continued to work hard. Financing her own undergraduate education at the University of Florida at Gainesville, Dawn worked 30 hours a week as a bank teller. In 1998, after graduating orthodontics residency from the University of Louisville, Dawn moved to Mooresville to open her own practice. To pay off her student loans from dental school, she also worked at an orthodontic office in Charlotte while building her own clientele and budding practice. Dawn asserts that as a female orthodontist, it is possible to have a great balance of work and

family. Away from the office, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters who are now 12 and 15. They often go to the barn at Fox Hollow Farms, where the girls ride horses. “It’s peaceful,” Dawn says, “a real sanctuary for me.” In 2013, Dawn was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a great show of strength and determination, Dawn continued to work. To prove that cancer

would not defeat her, Dawn scheduled her treatments around her workdays. She admits that the resulting fatigue was difficult to combat, but her doctors were able to manage the treatment side effects. She says her faith in God and the prayerful support from her Elevation Church family were instrumental in her battle. Very open about her cancer with her patients, families, and staff, Dawn says they also helped motivate her to keep going. “I went in to see my patients, bald head and everything,” she smiles. “Everyone was so supportive.” Now, a three-year survivor, Dawn confesses that having cancer has made her a better doctor. It also changed her perspective. “I’m more laid back, more calm,” she says. “Things that used to bother me just don’t anymore. I love my job. I love the kids, the patients’ parents, and my staff. I want the kids to look back at their time in braces, see it as a positive experience, and remember Dr. Wilhite as a great orthodontist.”


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P R O M OT I O N A L F E AT U R E

mobile fashion

Heats Up as Fall Arrives at LangTree LKN with a tween or teenage daughter, you’ve gotta be at the top of your Mom Game. You already know the parenting “Don’ts,” right? Don’t grab something from a rack and enthusiastically say, “This is cute.” The likely response will be “Ew, Mom,” or worse, a withering eyeroll in Dad’s direction. W H E N YO U ’ R E B A C K - TO - S C H O O L S H O P P I N G

Fortunately, if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Lake Norman, LangTree’s got your back for back-to-school with a reinvented shopping experience. LangTree Lake Norman has officially become part of the mobile fashion experience that’s popped-up in places from Charlotte’s South End to L.A.’s Venice Beach. Luckily for you, the spontaneous Pop-Up Shop Saturdays that debuted in August at LangTree will continue from 5 p.m. until dusk on Saturdays as summer changes to fall. Here’s how fun-loving families “shop ‘til you pop.” When the parking lot around all the great stores and restaurants in LangTree fills up with fashion trucks and popup shop vendors, you can let your energetic offspring explore it all. Anything goes in this new “don’t box me in” pop-up shop culture. Both LangTree’s permanent shops and pop-up merchants have all kinds of fun, lake looks, fashionforward and vintage styles, and fashion accessories. You can even stumble upon designer pieces for yourself at wholesale prices. Part of the fun of coming to Pop-Up Shop Saturdays is finding out

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which of our area’s best mobile boutiques will have pulled in and set up shop. You’ll often see South-End trendsetters such as Curvaceous Closet, Dress Like A Girl, and many others. You’ll love the surprise finds and the variety. After your daughter scores her max-cute outfit, and your son perfects his surfer dude look, you can all head to one of LangTree’s newest family hot spots: the signature retro soda fountain known as Johnny Rockets. While the kids are in hamburger heaven, slurping delicious milkshakes, you and Dad can secretly plan a Date Night at the new upscale, butchershop-themed Block and Grinder. Chances are, you’ll like hanging out at this energizing LKN destination so much that everyone will want to come back to see a band at the LangTree LIVE Free Concert Series, which continues through

October on Thursday evenings.

Come school shopping at LangTree soon and prove once and for all that you know how to play the Mom Game better than any other woman at soccer practice. Now more than ever, moms have more fun at LangTree Lake Norman, right beside I-77 at Exit 31.

IF YOU’RE GOING… Get the GPS address, plus info about the shops, restaurants and LangTree LIVE band schedule at LangTreeLKN.com.


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a Bren

else raphy By: Ch gle | Photog By: Leslie O

Naylor, le o ic N . r D When e Dentistry k a L t s e W f owner o she wants s y a s , r e v n e in D smile, she le p o e p e k a to m g pearly in x fi n a h t e means mor of love ll u f t r a e h a whites. With e wants h s , n io s s a p and com smiles and h it w g in m to be brim e f li ’s e n o y r eve e her own. k li h c u m — happiness


!

in a small town in West Virginia and completed undergraduate and dental school at West Virginia University, graduating with honors. She married her dental school sweetheart, John Wells, in 2014, and they settled along the shores of Lake Norman. Daughter Ava (17 months old), two Yorkshire terriers, and a cat complete the Naylor-Wells household. D R . N AY LO R G R E W U P

Having conducted research in the field of endodontics, Dr. Naylor won the William Reed Butler Scholar Award in 2009, and received recognition as one of America’s Top Dentists by the Consumer Research Council of America in 2011. She also participated in the Mission of Mercy (MOM) project, which included a 10day mission trip to Guatemala in 2009. Additionally, Dr. Naylor and her entire staff regularly dedicate numerous hours to community service, providing free dental treatment for children in need. SEPTEMBER 2016 |

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“I can’t change the world,” Dr. Naylor acknowledges, “but I can do my part. If we all treat people the way that we want to be treated—with honesty and respect and compassion—the world would be such a better place. My team and I have worked really hard to live by that motto. We strive each day to make the dental office more welcoming and not so scary, all while providing standards of care that we would only accept for ourselves and our families.” West Lake Dentistry is expanding with the addition of new associate Dr. Amber Brooks, as well as a move to larger office space just down the road in Denver. “Dr. Brooks has joined our team and will be here full time with me at the end of September,” Dr. Naylor adds. “She is an exceptional addition to our team, and we are very excited to welcome her aboard.” Dr. Brooks is a self-proclaimed “Navy brat,” and subsequently lived in many states before her family settled in Chesapeake, Virginia.

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She graduated summa cum laude from Virginia Tech, and earned her doctorate in dental surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Dentistry. Dr. Brooks has also participated in MOM projects and served in clinics throughout rural Virginia, delivering dental care to those who cannot afford it. “Through a series of connections, I was put in touch with Dr. Naylor,” Dr. Brooks says, “and it just so happened she was looking for someone to join the practice. Our philosophy of patient care and dentistry in general, and our personalities all seemed to mesh well. We knew we’d be a good fit working together.” With both doctors aiming to make people smile and improve quality of life, their respective outlooks are inspiring. “I’m often told that I always seem happy, and they constantly see me smiling,” Dr. Brooks grins. “Whether it’s a stranger passing on the street, whether I’m happy or sad, no matter what the circumstance, I do my best to carry a smile. I love bringing happiness to others and making their days a little brighter. It’s also because I have true joy in my heart that isn’t dependent on

what I’m going through. Life is too short, and we are all too blessed to be anything other than appreciative and positive.” Dr. Brooks and fiancé Felipe plan to be married at Keswick Vineyards in Virginia next May. While perfectly content to stay at home with their pups, they also enjoy Carolina Panthers football games, riding bicycles, trying new restaurants, and traveling. “I have traveled a lot with Felipe,” Dr. Brooks explains. “Because we met during a monthlong trip I took to Europe after college, we have traveled to 11 different countries together, touring London, Paris, Amsterdam, Greece, and Italy, among others.” Both of these exceptional women have found their passion in life and profess the same advice. In Dr. Naylor’s words: “Be confident and strong, and if you want something bad enough you can achieve it. Nothing in this world that is worth anything comes easily. We all have bad days, and sometimes a nice gesture to a stranger can make the difference. Keep pushing hard but relax and have fun, too; don’t dwell on the small things that you cannot change— treat others the way you want to be treated, and remember to keep smiling!”


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women on the move Huntersville resident BRANDY COX ranked first nationwide in sales for Stampin’ Up Scrapbooking recently. Also, she was recognized as the fastest million-dollar achiever in the company’s history by reaching $1 million in nine years.

HEATHER EDMUNDS, owner

of Moments by Heather Edmunds Photography in Mooresville, just completed a diversity photo shoot entitled Shades of Love, to foster positive relationships by focusing on the unity and the “real people” in the community.

SARA THOMAS, PMP , is

the director of project portfolio management for Charter Communications. Also, she has been elected to the Pine Lake Preparatory School Board for the 2016-2017 school year.

EBONY A. JONES has been

named director of education at Pinnacle Institute of Cosmetology in Mooresville. With more than 23 years experience, Ebony holds numerous certifications in mentor training, color techniques, salon team leadership training, marketing, OSHA and environmental safety, chemical relaxing, and Keratin treatments.

AMY HALLMAN recently earned

a certificate of completion of the Institute of Special Education Advocacy at William & Mary Law School. This program is aimed to instruct attorneys and experienced advocates of children with special needs.

704.608.9470 AnnieLewisEventPlanning.com Over 20 years of experience planning Corporate, Non-Profit & Milestone events

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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 amy@lakenormanwoman.com.


Push’em back, Push’em back, waaaay back. David Traugott, Agent 108 Gateway Blvd, Suite 102 Mooresville, NC 28117 Bus: 704-696-8355 quote@davidtraugott.com

Get discounts up to 35% Call, click, or visit on your car insurance and find out how you can save money by switching to the #1 team. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. CALL FOR A QUOTE 24/7. ®

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calendar

12

5 THINGS AN LKN

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OMAN SHOULD DO IN SEPTEMBER

FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS, & SUNDAYS, SEPT. 10-NOV. 6:

AMAZING MAIZE MAZE

Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Rd., Huntersville Night flashlight mazes start Sept. 23

It’s that time again! Whether or not you’ve ever tried a maize maze, this 7-acre puzzle will keep you coming back year after year! Challenge a friend, go for some interoffice teambuilding, or enjoy a nighttime exploration with the family. Check www.ruralhill.net/amazingmaizemaze.asp for times and details.

F RIDAY & SATURDAY, SEPT. 23 & 24:

14TH ANNUAL DENVER DAYS FESTIVAL

Photo courtesy of Rural Hill Facebook page

SUNDAY, SEPT. 11:

TASTE OF BIRKDALE

3 to 7 p.m. Birkdale Village, Huntersville

This annual food festival features 15 Birkdale Village restaurants, plus food trucks and wine tasting. There will also be a silent auction and live music. Proceeds will benefit LKN Hospice and Palliative Care. Photo courtesy of Lisa Crates Photography

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3 4 S ATURDAY, SEPT. 24:

THE GREAT CHILI COOK-OFF

(rain date: Oct. 1) 4 to 9 p.m. Mooresville Town Square, 227 Williamson Rd, Mooresville $10 admission (children 9 & under are free, but sorry: no chili with a free ticket)

5 Rescue Squad Park, 7835 Galway Ln., Denver

SATURDAY, SEPT. 17:

‘TAWBA WALK XII: ARTS & MUSIC FESTIVAL

2 to 8 p.m. Catawba Ave. & Main St., Cornelius

The ‘Tawba Walk Music & Arts Festival is back! This biannual, all-local entertainment street festival features 80+ artists and craftmen, bands, performance groups, food trucks, microbreweries, and more. Photo courtesy of Bella Love Facebook page

At this family-friendly event hosted by multiple Rotary Clubs in Iredell County, enjoy live music, local vendors, inflatables, beer and wine and, of course, chili! This competition has a $2,500 first place prize in the hometown cooker category ($1,000 for 2nd and $500 for 3rd!). There are also awards for spirit, best restaurant, and people’s choice. Photo courtesy of Great Chili Cookoff Facebook page

Sponsored by the Denver-Lake Norman Rotary Club, this family-friendly event—with something for everyone— includes amusement rides and entertainment, food, and many vendors. Visit www. denverlakenormanrotary. com for the varied times and information on student fun nights and special needs day. Note: no pets, no alcohol, no firearms, nor concealed weapons. Photo courtesy of Denver Days’ Facebook page


Studio 73 Dance

Our 18 Seasonth

Ballet ~ Tap ~ Jazz ~ Lyrical ~ Pointe ~ Hip-Hop ~ Competition ~ Adult Classes

Empowering individuals to grace the stages of life through DANCE! Open House - Sat, Aug 13, 10am - Noon 2016-17 Dance Season Begins Thur, Aug 25

www.studio73dance.com ( 7 0 4 )

8 7 5 . 9 9 1 1 SEPTEMBER 2016 |

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PA I D A DV E RT I S E M E N T

W Wome n’s Health ealth Symposium VAGINAL REJUVENATION MYTH OR MAGIC?

OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS

the topic of vaginal rejuvenation has become quite popular. Patients, colleagues, and friends are all asking the same question: What is vaginal rejuvenation and the use of heat sources all about? For many years, devices have been used to heat skin tissue to perform precise, minor surgeries, remove lesions and more recently, to reduce wrinkles in skin resurfacing. Technology has now been expanded for use in the vaginal area to stimulate vaginal collagen remodeling and lubrication and to improve elasticity and cosmetic appearance.

Historically, addressing these issues required the insertion of vaginal creams, taking a tablet containing estrogen hormones, and surgery. Many patients have been told to perform vaginal Pilates, such as exercises or Kegel squeezes as their best way to maintain vaginal youthfulness. For patients with estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as breast cancer, the use of estrogen supplements is not an option. Terms such has rejuvenation, revirgination, and vaginal enhancement have been used to describe the procedure. Honestly, when I first heard of nonsurgical treatment for these conditions, I was not a believer. But after speaking with physicians who provide the therapy and patients who have undergone treatment this past year, I am now a believer. A number of clinical studies support the fact that these therapies are working. Recently, I had the pleasure to sit down with Dr. Lauri Givens, a board-certified OB/GYN with Leone Medical Group, and a provider of ThermiVaTM, a radiofrequency treatment for vaginal restoration. Dr. Givens states, “I am so excited to be able to treat patients who have been suffering with vaginal laxity; painful intercourse; loss of tone, sexual sensation, and lubrication; and urine

© Kurhan | Dreamstime.com

These procedures are meant to address a number of issues related to life after having children, menopause, and illnesses such as vaginal dryness. Some physicians and patients also report these procedures improve vaginal tone, decrease pain with intercourse, improve sexual sensation and pleasure, in addition to alleviating bladder-control issues.

leakage with a treatment that is painless and truly works. Men have Viagra®, it is exciting that women now have a way to maintain their intimate health. "The ThermiVa ermiVaTM is a small wand that is inserted vaginally for internal treatment, but can also be used externally to treat the outer parts of the vagina to give a more toned, youthful appearance," she adds. Patients have given glowing responses because it is performed in the office and only takes 25 minutes, with no pain or recovery time. Patients can return to normal activities and even have sex that same day. The full course of therapy involves one treatment every four weeks for three months. While laser therapies offer similar benefits, they require a couple days of limited activities. I have had the chance to speak with a few patients who report the procedures are quick, and they only feel a little pressure, but no pain. As a surgeon I have found this to be an exciting new area of therapy. We’re able to treat these very common, intimate, quality-of-life changing conditions without painful surgeries in a non-invasive way; which traditionally required cutting, suturing, and long recoveries. I recommend all women who experience vaginal dryness, loss of tone, sexual function, and bladder control to first seek consultation with a board-certified gynecologist as these symptoms could be related to other conditions.

DR. G. BERNARD TAYLOR is an assistant clinical professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and assistant program director of the Carolinas Healthcare System Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship program in Charlotte. He is a fellow in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive pelvic surgery.

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Dr. Taylor practices at the Women’s Center for Pelvic Health; 704.304.1160 or 704.403.6350. | SEPTEMBER 2016


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keriWASS

LKNW RECOGNIZES A WOMAN DOING EXCEPTIONAL WORK IN THE LAKE NORMAN COMMUNITY, A LEADER WHO IS PAVING THE WAY TO CHANGING OUR ATTITUDES AND INSPIRING CONFIDENCE IN THE FUTURE.

on MY JOURNEY: I spent 27 years in corporate America working in credit, underwriting, and accounting, primarily for global commercial finance companies. After earning a master’s in management with an accounting concentration from the University of Maryland in 2014, I began considering careers outside the corporate world. After significant soul searching and research, I found Caring Transitions, a company focused on helping older adults and their families through late-life transitions. on A BUSY LIFE: I am originally from Burbank, California, and I’ve lived in Maryland and Massachusetts. In 1995, I moved to the Lake Norman area, and my 19-year-old son, Taylor, attended UNC Charlotte. As a member of Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church for nearly 20 years, I’m very active in women’s activities and various committees, and I currently serve as a deacon. on

UNDERSTANDING IT’S MORE THAN BOXES: In 2009, my grandmother

Keri Wass CARING TRANSITIONS OF LAKE NORMAN HUNTERSVILLE, NC

passed away. She was born before the Depression, and having worked hard her entire life, she never got rid of much. My father and I took off work to travel to her California home to begin the arduous process of managing her belongings. I know that planning, packing, moving, and then unpacking everything can turn your world upside down, but I’ve also learned that home is where you make it.

on WHAT’S NEXT: I’d like to become the go-to resource for older adults, their families, care managers, and retirement communities. A strong believer in continued learning, I am currently working on earning a Certified Senior Advisor designation, focusing on the aging process, communication, financial issues, and ethics of elder care. I plan to continue to help others in this life transition that we all must face—and to offer them love, compassion, and understanding along the way. Keri Wass is the owner of Caring Transitions of Lake Norman in Huntersville. For more information, contact her at 704.274.3248, or visit www.caringtransitionslkn.com.

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By: Leslie Ogle | Photography By: Chelsea Bren


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S Self

We have both happy animals and unhappy animals visit our law firm. We have Momma Bears who want to protect their cubs. They make Papa Bear come in for a consultation, and we happily create an estate plan that protects assets, keeping all the familial wealth in the metaphorical cage for the cubs. We have disconcerted Free Birds that flew the coop (or that metaphorical cage), but want to go back in just long enough to get their stuff. We even have the occasional Snake slither into the office, which we refer to another lawyer. We have Cougars and Honey Badgers, and Sloths and Jackasses—and we help them all. We’ve never had a Unicorn, but I’m holding out hope. The point is we have all kinds of animals of diverse habits and propensities, all of whom have unique legal needs. Almost all those needs revolve around family. In most cases, our services are directly related to the modern day nuclear family. Sometimes, however, we’re dealing with issues tied to an extended family: business partners, employees, or neighbors.

LAW A AW and the

FAMILY By: Adam Breeding

to write this article under the family theme, my initial instinct was to dig deeper into the meaning of the word family. As I suspected, the original Latin (root) meaning was quite broad compared to today’s nuclear family. There were many definitions and progressions of those definitions since the English adopted the word in the 16th century. My favorite definition comes from the Century Dictionary (1902) and describes a happy family as “an assemblage of animals of diverse habits and propensities living amicably, or at least quietly, together in one cage.” By deduction, and assuming that the cage is metaphorical, I suppose an unhappy family manifests when at least one of those animals considers the living arrangement disagreeable. WHEN FIRST ASKED

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If you want to boil our legal work down to one simple phrase: We help families— happy families and unhappy families alike! The law binds and supports families. From household rules and schedules to complex domestic statutes and estate procedures, laws are developed around the notion of the family as an imperative element of society. In turn, families prosper and grow by using legal tools like LLCs, trusts, and family partnerships; and when families regrettably fail, they rely on domestic laws to piece together a forward-thinking transition. Whether your familial cage needs to grow or requires downsizing, or whether it needs protection or remodeling, it really is “all in the family.” So from our family to yours, happy Labor Day—and football season! Adam G. Breeding is the managing partner at Lake Norman Law Firm. For more information about Adam or the firm please visit www.lknlawfirm.com, or call 704.765.1617. © Iakov Filimonov | Dreamstime.com © Ksena2009 | Dreamstime.com


Right Before Your Eyes

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HOME SWEET workHOME By: Dana Nieters | Photography By: Chelsea Bren

KADIE DELLINGER

CRYSTAL PARDON

TAMMY BYUS APRIL CLINE

ANNE BROOKE LAZORIK RHONDA BALLARD

LAUREN SUTTON

KALISSA LONG

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DR. TODD HAMILTON


Most people might mutter the phrase, “Home sweet home” only when they pull into their own driveways at the end of a long day at work. But not the staff at Hamilton Orthodontics. Because they have created a work environment that emphasizes trust and values and treating one another as family, they enjoy coming to work as much as they enjoy going home.

the

hamilt hami hamil lton st lt staff

QUINN SADLER

JENNIFER GORDON

PENNY RUMMAGE

T H I S C O N C E P T O F FA M I LY transforms the

Hamilton staff from an ordinary group of co-workers into an extraordinary, caring group of supportive individuals all working together for a common good. The result is a team spirit and sense of togetherness that is contagious. “The orthodontic team is the foundation of the practice and sets the tone for the entire office as well as the patient experience,” Dr. Hamilton explains. “The old adage ‘There is no “I” in Team’ definitely applies to this orthodontic group.” Like any family, each team member at Hamilton plays an important and unique role, and each member is as important as any other. Because no two days are alike and each patient’s needs are different, the team often has to shift gears quickly. And when everyone is running at full speed, knowing that they have each other’s back and can depend on one another makes a tremendous difference not only for the staff but for the patients, too. “We want to provide the highest quality orthodontic treatment in an environment that people want to come to because it’s a happy place. We want to be the reason our patients smile after each ALLISON ALLRAN appointment,” Dr. Hamilton says. The Hamilton team doesn’t just spend its work hours together; as Dr. Hamilton explains, “We do life together!” Because the majority of the team has worked together for so long, they’ve lived a lot of life side by side, both on and off the clock. “We share everything—food, clothes, jewelry, and most importantly, stories. If any of us has news, good or bad, we have to share it,” Dr. Hamilton notes, adding with a smile, “Sometimes, it’s ‘TMI!’” When people spend a lot of time together, conflict is inevitable. All families have times that are, well, less than ideal. The Hamilton team, though, takes a family approach to conflict resolution, too. Because they know each other so well, they recognize one another’s strengths and weaknesses; when one is struggling, the others pitch in to help and get the job done. Though Dr. Hamilton stresses that conflict is rare, when it does arise, they practice honest communication and forgiveness— two behaviors every family needs to survive and thrive. When it comes down to it, being part of a family doesn’t really have anything to do with sharing DNA. Family is the people you share your life with, who want to share theirs with you—the ones who accept you for who you are. And, as Dr. Hamilton asserts, it’s about sharing your heart: “We respect and appreciate each other for what each person brings to the team. We work very hard to love and accept each other unconditionally. That’s what real love is, after all!” SEPTEMBER 2016 |

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family

Campus Campus

SAFETY TIPS

T H E A I R I S T U R N I N G C O O L , the leaves have a yellow tinge, and campus dorms display their

“Welcome, Freshmen” signs. While this time of year can bring fond memories of our own college days, it can also be a worrisome time for parents, especially with all the violence on the evening news these days. Since September is National Campus Safety Awareness Month, we’d like to offer some safety reminders for you to share with your college kids:

Be aware of your surroundings. Is someone walking too closely? Are they dressed inappropriately (i.e. heavy clothes in warm weather)? Do they seem out of place? Report suspicious behavior, and familiarize yourself with campus security (blue light locations). Walk in groups in well-lit, high-traffic areas.

© Nejron | Dreamstime.com

Have a party plan.

© Igor Stevanovi

c | Dreamstime

When going out with friends, keep your wits about you. Make sure you have a plan in place to get home safely—a fully-charged phone, name of a reputable cab company, emergency cash, etc. Stay in a group of friends, and don’t leave your drink unattended. If you drink alcohol, drink responsibly.

Be tech-savvy. Don’t be preoccupied with your phone and other electronic devices—and, yes, that includes Pokémon GO! Headphones keep out important sounds you need to hear and cell phones distract; walk around campus like you mean it!

For more information on campus safety, contact RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest antisexual violence organization, at www.rainn.org or the Association of American Colleges & Universities at www.aacu.org.

safety apps All Apps available on iOS and Android; subscription fees vary.

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bSafe you: Invite friends to follow your location via GPS, send location information to friends, and set a timer that will automatically send an alarm, or initiate a phony call if you want to be interrupted for some reason.

StaySafe: This app notifies your emergency contacts by email or SMS if you don’t check in after a certain time. The message provides your exact location should you need help. There is also a business version which provides personal protection for workers anywhere in the world.

OnWatchOnCampus: This has six customizable alert modes, allowing you to alert friends, campus police, local 911, or a combination of all three. In just two taps, an alert is sent via phone, text, email, and Facebook.

© Leisuretime70 | Dreamstime.com

© Photographerv8 | Dreamstime.com

Don’t share your class schedule or other regular details of your day. A good rule to follow: If you wouldn’t share it with a stranger, then don’t share it online.

.com

Be cognizant of your online life.


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Marie & David Ostroff, with son Ezra, announcing the impending arrival of baby brother Zayden.

they could have a biological child would be for David to undergo an extensive, expensive sperm-retrieval surgery. They changed doctors. But another semen sample showed they did have enough sperm. Each egg was individually injected with a useable sperm. Only two embryos were viable and transferred into Marie’s uterus. They were hopeful. But they were not pregnant. And with no embryos to transfer, they would have to start over. The second cycle yielded a pregnancy, but at the 7-week ultrasound, Marie learned she’d miscarried. “I asked David how God could tell me everything’s going to be okay but then a baby dies inside of me? David reminded me that God said everything would be okay—but he never promised timing or ease. After that, I had to believe it would be okay.”

Family:

A Son Belongs Forever By: Amy Hallman | Photos Courtesy Of David Ostroff

M A R I E A N D DAV I D O S T R O F F, of Huntersville, married in

college in 2001. Five years ago, the couple was ready to have children. “We had no reason to believe it wouldn’t happen quickly,” says Marie, a physician assistant at Charlotte Radiology. A few months later, at a routine gynecological visit, Marie requested a semen analysis order for David. “I figured let’s start with him,” she says. “Our fear came true: he was diagnosed with azoospermia, no sperm count.” After seeing a reproductive endocrinologist, they were devastated to learn their insurance didn’t cover infertility treatments or in vitro fertilization. Treatments and medications average $16,000 per cycle. “We prayed to be able to accept whatever the outcome. We couldn’t afford it,” Marie says. Also, a urologist, specializing in sperm extraction, told them the only way

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During surgery to remove the pregnancy, doctors discovered a large uterine fibroid. In further surgery, doctors found Marie had a unicornuate uterus, and removed her right fallopian tube. “My half-a-normal uterus was a higher miscarriage risk and growth restriction if I could sustain a pregnancy,” she says. They created six embryos, and endured three additional transfers, two chemical pregnancies, and another miscarriage requiring surgery. With little hope, they transferred the final two embryos—successfully! Their son, Ezra, arrived via c-section in March 2014, more than three years later. When Ezra was 10 months old, they decided to try for a sibling. Marie had two more miscarriages. After four IVF cycles, 10 transfers, and one successful pregnancy, Marie and Baby Zayden arrived, happy and healthy, last month!

David changed specialists. The new cycle yielded only three embryos. “We were called to come right in for the transfer because none would survive genetic testing or freezing,” Marie says. She had another positive pregnancy test, but after a second blood test, her levels hadn’t doubled, as hoped. Two days later, they still hadn’t doubled. But the numbers were increasing. “At 12 weeks, when the sonographer started measuring fluid, I knew something wasn’t right,” Marie says. “The measurement associated with a higher risk of chromosomal disorders and heart defects. My Down syndrome risk was 1:18. When the doctor called, she said some women with these results choose to terminate. Instead, I did a harmony test, which is very accurate for three major chromosome issues.” Eight long days later, Marie learned the results were negative. Marie declined an amniocentesis because of the risk. At an 18-week scan, they couldn’t see the baby’s stomach, potentially signaling anatomical abnormalities. They did a fetal echocardiogram, and monitored for preterm labor. In August, four weeks early, Zayden was born, with no permanent health issues. “Our faith definitely took a beating,” Marie says. “Sometimes, we didn’t know if we’d pull through as a couple, but going through this made us stronger. “Without this experience, I’d never have my two sons. But our timing and God’s is much different. He knows how far we can be stretched and how much we can handle. Although it may not feel like it at the time, you have to know he has your best interest in mind.”


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living in the

WHITE house By: Starr Miller

No, not that one. The one you thought you might like to try again when you heard that Benjamin Moore was forecasting the resurgence of Simply White and Sherwin Williams picked Alabaster as its color of the year. White like a breath of fresh air. Not beige, not gray, but simple and uncomplicated white.

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Screech...... Wake up. Remember, you have kids— and a dog! That’s not happening. Or is it? As our American lifestyles change and most homes no longer have the formal living room where only Mom and Dad go, you will find the interior design industry is on board with you. You can live in white rooms. You can even have a white sofa. So, if you want to whoop it up and use white (or any other color for that matter), you simply need to make the investment to choose your finishes and furnishings wisely. It may pay off to spend a bit more now and not have to throw all of your furnishings away when the kids go away to college. Disposable income should not be spent on disposable furniture.

Because your family deserves beauty, too, here are my top five suggestions for beautiful living with pets and kids: 1. Use outdoor fabrics, indoors! Today, outdoor or “performance” fabrics can have texture, pattern, and not look like an awning. They are beautiful. Albeit a bit more expensive, they will hold up over time, kids, and dogs. 2. Use paint made for your circumstances. Do not just tell your painter the color to use. Talk to them about the finish and quality of the paint. You can even find easy-clean flat paint. This was unheard of just a few years ago. 3. Consider wallpaper. If you go into a commercial space like a fine hotel, you bet they have planned for hard wear and tear. They use vinylbased wall coverings, which protect the walls and are easy to clean. They also come in some of the most beautiful, sophisticated designs you could imagine. 4. Real wood lasts longer and wears better than fake. True wood furniture gets a patina with wear. You can refinish it; you can live with it for many, many years. But, furniture that is made overseas in bulk and built of particle board will fall apart quickly. Make your value judgments with this in mind. With a high-low plan, you can splurge on the items you will love for a lifetime, and scrimp on items that you may love today but do not want forever. 5. Use Crayola Color Wonder products for your kids' projects. They only work on the Color Wonder paper and not on your carpet, walls, or furniture. Starr Miller is the president and principal designer at StarrMiller Interior Design, Inc. Contact her at 704.896.3321 or visit www.starrmiller.com.


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MIND body spirit BETTER ME

BETTER YOU

BETTER WORLD

PREPARING

for the

STORM By: Joanna Roop

AT S O M E T I M E , we all face situations

in which it seems there is no escape. You try to move forward but feel pulled backward. Something seems to conspire against you. You feel pushed down relentlessly. It can feel like there’s no point in asking for help. Nothing we’re told brings relief, or it’s only short-lived. Once we return to our internal thoughts, we’re right back to feeling alone in our darkness. We become consumed by an internal hurricane with enough force to devastate us and bring us to our knees. I was born in New York City, but grew up in the Dominican Republic. One of my many experiences there was preparing for real hurricanes. I remember as a child seeing my parents buying plywood to board

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the windows; moving furniture in front of doors; protecting the vehicles’ windows; and collecting enough candles, matches, food, and other resources, in the event of a state of emergency in which we could not leave the house for days. How we prepared our homes for the storm is similar to how we should prepare ourselves for internal storms that we may face. As believers, we have spiritual weapons available to us. Ephesians 6:11-17 reminds us to: “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes….so that…you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. “Stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace...Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows…Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…Be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

At all times, we have full access to what we need to encourage and motivate ourselves during difficulty. We can step confidently out of darkness and walk in light. In painful situations, we know we won’t always have the answer to why things hurt us, cause deep wounds, and leave us with scars. But we know we will have to face our own hurricanes. Having faith is being proactive and preparing for such storms. Isaiah 4:6 says, “It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and the rain.” Also, we need to prepare for what we don’t yet face. We need to be filled with the word of God, so that when those times come, the damage can be minimized. I’m not saying we should worry about the things that tomorrow will bring because Matthew 6:34 tell us, “… Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Still, continually seek to walk in the spirit. We need to have words of life in us, so that we can be ready to speak them into our lives and to be prepared to speak them into others, as they face their own storms.

Joanna Roop is the founder and CEO of The People Tree, a leadership development and consultation business, with 20 years corporate organizational development experience and certification. For more information, visit www.theppltree.co. | SEPTEMBER 2016

©Andybor | Dreamstime.com

THE MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT ARE INTIMATELY CONNECTED. Because unhealthy thoughts and emotions can create a vicious cycle that leads to unhealthy physical patterns, we can choose a victorious path that includes a positive, healing, uplifting spiral. 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.


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September 2016 Lake Norman Woman Magazine  

Lake Norman Woman Magazine September 2016

September 2016 Lake Norman Woman Magazine  

Lake Norman Woman Magazine September 2016

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