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FA M I LY L I F E S T Y L E N E W S M A G A Z I N E JANUARY 2014


Our Town onthly M

F A M I LY L I F E S T Y L E N EW S M AG A Z I N E

Publishers/Editors

Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the

Linda Demery & Lori McLinden

West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to

Graphics and Design Terry Tanner Tanner Graphics, Inc.

edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers.

Account Executive Sara Young, sara@ourtownmonthly.com Feature Photographer Shanon Bell Contributing Writers Holly and Diana Parks Jason Goggans Shelia Frey Deborah Ratchford Charles M. Pesson, MD Mark Orler Lori McHugh Amber Burckhalter

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Entire contents copyright 2014 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

Our Town Monthly 109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060

678-337-7844 Fax: 678-337-7825 info@ourtownmonthly.com www.ourtownmonthly.com

in this issue 6

8

9

Calendar of Events

About the Cover

Passport to Independence

10 Health & Fitness

12 January Crossword

14 Shopping with Shelia

17 Real Estate in Our Town

18 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions 20 Resolve, Resolve, Resolve…

24 Cobb Mentoring Matters

26 Change Is in the Air at K-9 Coach

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Our Town


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january calendar of events

MOMS CLUB OF SMYRNA: Are you looking for a support group of other stay-at-home moms and their children? You have found it! The club is intended to be a resource for mothers at home to meet and learn from others. For more info visit momsclubofsmyrnaviningswest.webs.com., or email us at momsclubsvw@gmail.com. Our club is zoned for Teasley, Nickajack and Russell elementary school residents in the 30080 and 30082 zip codes.

MOMS CLUB OF SMYRNA WEST: MOMS Club of Smyrna-West is a national nonprofit organization which offers support to stay-at-home mothers. Our chapter includes mothers of all ages, as well as those who work part-time, in or out of their home. We offer you the opportunity to share activities during the weekday with other moms and their children. MOMS Club plans a monthly calendar full of events for mothers and their children, including park play dates, playgroups, trips to local attractions, Mom’s Night Out and more. MCSW includes the King Springs and Norton Park Elementary School Districts. For more information please contact us at momsclubofsmyrnawest@yahoo.com. SMYRNA MOPS (MOTHERS OF PRESCHOOLERS): Smyrna First United Methodist Church’s MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group will now offer a Night Group in addition to its traditional program. Keeping up with the program demand and meeting the needs of working Moms, the Night Group will meet once a month on Wednesday evenings. All Smyrnaarea Moms of kids age birth to Kindergarten are welcome, both SFUMC members and nonmembers alike. If you are interested in joining the MOPS Night Group, please contact smyrnafirstmopsnight@gmail.com or visit www.smyrnafirstmops.com.

JONQUIL GARDEN CLUB: “The Prettiest Native Plants” Master Gardner and Master Gardener Volunteer of Cobb County garden tour docent, Carmen Cudd, will present a visual program of the prettiest of the native plants; including trees, shrubs, and perennials that will encourage all of us to “ go native.” The Jonquil Garden Club meets every 4th Tuesday at the library in downtown Smyrna at 10:30 a.m. The objective of the Jonquil Garden Club is to beautify and preserve our environment by encouraging conservation and plantings, not only in our own gardens, but in public places as well. For further information regarding registration or inquiries about membership, contact Marilynn Parker at 770-949-6640. You may also want to learn more about the club and upcoming events at: www.jonquilgardenclub.org

12th ANNUAL TOTES 2 TOTS SUITCASE DRIVE: Sponsored by Georgia Cancer Specialists (GCS) and Northside Hospital, will take place Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Twenty-seven GCS offices across Georgia – including 19 in Metro Atlanta – will participate in the drive, which delivers new or nearly new backpacks and kid-sized suitcases to foster children in Georgia. To participate in Totes 2 Tots, simply drop off a new or nearly new bag on Friday, Jan. 17, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., at the nearest Georgia Cancer Specialists office. For a list of participating locations, visit www.gacancer.com or facebook.com/Totes2Tots, or call 1-877-716CARE (2273). Financial donations may be made securely online at give.northside.com/totes2tots. JUNIOR LEAGUE OF COBB-MARIETTA MARDI GRAS RUN: SAVE THE DATE - The 5th Annual Marietta Mardi Gras 5K Run will be on Saturday, February 8, 2014 on the Marietta Square. All proceeds benefit the Junior League of Cobb-Marietta and its Community Partners. Visit www.marietta5K.com to register and get detailed information. COMMUNITY EDUCATION CLASSES AT EMORY-ADVENTIST HOSPITAL

Bookkeeping / Tax Service “COMPLETE FINANCIAL THERAPY”

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Evening & Sturday Appointments • Over 25 Years Experience

Diabetes Education Classes: Whether you have pre-diabetes, have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or have had to live with diabetes for a while, this class is for you! The class is conducted by a Registered Nurse, a Registered Dietitian, a Podiatrist, and a Pharmacist. Topics include signs and symptoms, monitoring, key test results, complication prevention, exercise, medications, a personalized meal plan, carbohydrate counting, label reading, eating out and sick day management. The classes will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. and are held in the hospital’s cafeteria. Cost is $45.00 for three classes. A support person—without diabetes—may attend without charge. Fee is payable the first night of class. Call 770-437-6913 or 770-438-4373 for upcoming dates or to register. You may also register on-line at www.emoryadventist.org/education-events.

Managing Diabetes with Insulin: If you are knowledgeable about diabetes, but want more information about insulin or are having problems with your insulin, this would be an excellent review class for you. This free class is held in the hospital cafeteria on the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. Please call the Education Department at 770-437-6913 to register or for further questions. If you have an event for the Our Town Calendar, please e-mail us at info@ourtownmonthly.com. Listings are free, but space is limited! Deadline for calendar submissions is the 15th of the month for the following month’s issue.

www.FlanaganAccounting.com

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about the cover

Meet The Bachman Family

770.805.9977

NOW OPEN IN OUR NEW LOCATION: 4500 West Village Place Suite 1011 Smyrna, GA 30080 Monday - Friday: 10:00AM - 7:00PM Saturday: 10:00AM - 4:00PM

John and Jen Bachman met at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. After many cold winters in the Midwest, they moved south to Raleigh, North Carolina in 2003. In 2007, John and Jen moved to Cobb County, and now have three beautiful daughters, ages 8, 5 and 3. All three girls have attended preschool at Smyrna First Baptist Church. The family loves visiting the many Cobb parks and enjoys easy access to the Silver Comet Trail. John appreciates the relatively short commute to Midtown for work at WSB-TV, where he anchors the 4pm news. John plays golf when he can and enjoys taking the girls out on the driving range. Jen loves competitive sports and gets her fix by playing on two ALTA tennis teams. Many of the family’s weekends are spent at the soccer fields for games with the Smyrna Soccer Club. The Bachman family is blessed to have made many good friends in this community.

feature photographer Shanon bell

After 23 years as a professional model, Shanon Bell decided to move from "in front of" the camera to "behind" the camera. As a Children's Lifestyle Photographer, Shanon has been able to combine two of her passions, working with children and photography.

From her years as a model, she has had the opportunity to work with world-renowned photographers, learning from them and picking up invaluable tips. She has greatly enjoyed taking that experience and knowledge and translating it into a wonderful memory for a family.

Twelve years ago, Shanon and her husband Glenn were blessed with twins - a boy and a girl. So, when she first picked up a camera, she started taking photos of what was around her…her kids! She moved on to her friends' children and now she specializes in Children's Lifestyle Photography. Simply stated, she captures kids just being kids! Laughing, interacting, loving and playing. This relaxed approach allows a child's personality to shine! www.shanonbell.com

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PASSPORT TO INDEPENDENCE by Holly and Diana Parks

I wasn’t worried when I approached Mom about living abroad. After all, what’s the adage about the apple not falling far from the tree? If she resisted, I was armed and ready to remind her that she and my dad met in Hong Kong. Had someone told me two years earlier that I would spend my first year out of college and on my own working in another country, I would have wagered my pitiful savings against it. But a semester in Italy my junior year had introduced me to good wine and stinky cheese, not to mention ancient aqueducts and the old Masters.

If the college study abroad program came with training wheels, then boarding the plane alone after graduation felt like crawling up on a Harley. I was in for the ride of my life, and I left my parents in a cloud of dust. I quickly learned that the dust takes a while to settle, no matter where you land. Reality hit when I walked through customs into a sea of people speaking a language I did not understand. It blind-sided me when I pocketed only half the euros I should have received at the money exchange, naively trusting the brusque banker. And then reality outright body-slammed me when I exited the terminal and couldn’t decide whether to hail a cab, catch a bus, or sit down and cry.

Ok, so I might have teared up a little, but I did not sit down, and I fell asleep that first night in my new flat. Within a few weeks, I was piecing together enough Italian to barter in the market. I beamed the morning I walked into the café down the street, and they called me by name. Ten months later I reveled in the mistake of being taken for a local. Had I insisted on Milan catering to my American tastes and habits rather than immersing myself into their way of life, I would have fared better to stay in the states. With that mindset, Italy might rather have had me stay there as well.

My mom, though, was thrilled that I went. She and my dad met backpacking through Asia before handheld computers or cell phones topped every packing list. She knew the benefits of resourcefulness that come when the revelation of family being only a phone call away means little more than a shot of moral support. After all, what good is a call when they’re two thousand miles away and you’ve missed the last train out?

I’ve been back stateside for more than two years now, but my brother is currently working on a pig farm in New Zealand. Just as the stories I heard growing up of my parents’ travels through Asia inspired me to move to Italy, I apparently became the inspiration for my brother to strike out for the land down under. Our horizons are broader, our perspectives are keener, and our exposure to other cultures not only minimizes our inflated view of America but also heightens our appreciation for a country full of freedoms we too often take for granted.

As Colton hoisted his bags out the door, he said, “Holly, if you had the courage to move to Italy, then I can surely manage New Zealand.” I chose to take that as a compliment. Diana and Holly Parks are a mother-daughter duo who have co-authored the book I Didn’t See Me Do It. Visit their website at www.ididntseemedoit.com or go to Amazon to order.

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Our Town turns 10 this Month!

Happy Birthday to Our Town! It’s hard to believe but our first issue mailed in January of 2005 to our West Cobb neighbors and friends! We’ve learned quite a few things along the way, but the one thing that has never changed is the great community that we live, work and play in! As we enter the New Year, we’d like to thank our loyal advertisers, contributing writers, our creative team, sales staff and you, the readers for a very thankful decade!

Linda andLori

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Do Not Even Think of Getting Fit this New Year…Unless… by Jason Goggans

Well, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are over, the New Year is here, resolutions have been made, and the gym parking lots look like Atlanta rush hour at 5pm on a rainy day. Of course, the number one resolution this year will once again be to lose weight and get healthy… and once again over 95% of people will fail and fall off the wagon before January even ends.

I am all for resolving to get fit and healthy. I think there is no more important pursuit in life than health; without it we have nothing. The issue I have with New Year’s resolutions is that people are resolving to get fit, lose weight, and get healthy for all the WRONG reasons. They do it because, well, that’s what you’re supposed to do in the New Year, right?

That’s like someone telling you they are getting married because they’ve been with their significant other for 3 years and getting married is just what you’re “supposed” to do next. If someone told you that you would probably think that marriage is doomed from the get go.

That’s what I think when people tell me “It’s the new year… time to get in shape!”

This is because they are approaching it with the absolute wrong mindset. Getting fit and healthy should be much higher on the priority list than something you decide to do every January. Getting healthy and fit is something you do because you want to feel good, look good, live a long time, set a good example for your family, avoid the doctor as much as possible, have energy, etc. These things aren’t only important in January. They’re important all the time!

Exercising, eating right, getting enough sleep, and limiting stress are not easy things do. Therefore when you do them for the wrong reason you almost zero chance for success. There’s just not enough internal motivation there to push through when times get tough…and they will get tough. That is the inherent reason that New Year’s resolutions almost always fail.

If you are serious about getting healthy once and for all don’t start by making a New Year’s resolution. Start by changing your mindset and figure what is your true motivation. Once that’s determined then go ahead and make the resolution. Just don’t let the resolution BE your motivation. As the saying goes “To change your life you have to change yourself. To change yourself you have to change your mindset”.

One last piece of advice I will give you to help your chances of success in the New Year is do not make weight loss your primary goal. Even when you are doing things right weight loss can be a weird and funny thing. Weight loss is rarely linear. There are peaks, valleys, and plateaus. You can lose 5 pounds one week, two pounds the next week, and no pounds the week after that. While that is very normal, it can lead to frustration and a belief that all this hard work is not worth only losing two pounds in two weeks.

Instead, how about exercising and eating right to be healthy, to feel good, to live a longer life, and a happier life. When you exercise and eat right these things will happen and frustration will often be avoided. Fixate on the number on the scale and you will often be let down, frustrated, and confused. The best past is if you concentrate on these other goals the weight loss will happen as well!

So this New Year do not even think about getting fit and healthy unless you focus on the right goals, change your mindset, and do it for the right reasons and utilize the right motivations.

Happy New Year and make it a great 2014!

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january crossword

across

1.31.14

1.31.14

1 Birds that make a gaggle 6 Kiss 10 Replace a striker 14 Author Poe 15 Opaque gem 16 Unmixed 17 Acrobatic 18 Not any 19 Father 20 Relax 21 Excursion 23 Charged particle 24 Flightless birds 26 "Sticky" fastener 28 __ Day O'Conner 31 Boyfriend 32 Legume 33 Slow, shelled animals 36 Tigers 40 Canal 42 Federal Bureau of Investigation

43 Joint 44 Idiot 45 Asian fiber plant 48 Sticky black substance 49 Animal stomach 51 Me 53 Crocheted blanket 56 Clock sound 57 Deface 58 Repair 61 Otherwise 65 Middle East dweller 67 Deviate 68 Horse 69 Greek letter 70 Dueling sword 71 Blemished 72 Paradise 73 Marsh grass 74 Fake

down

1 Hiking equipment 2 Advance 3 Aegis

38 Bluish green

4 Cured

39 Slave

5 Before, poetically

41 Engrave

6 Incentive

45 ___ College in southeastern Indiana

7 On 8 Fell into the water 9 Shirt part 10 Hotel 11 Square 12 Bower 13 Board game 21 Common spanish name 22 Drink 25 Married woman 27 Good fortune 28 Hurried 29 Air (prefix) 30 Hammer's partner 31 Radar target 34 Some (2 wds.) 35 Large computer

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co.

37 Stake

46 Native ruler in Asia 47 New York City 50 Radiation dose 52 Draw 53 Baffle 54 How you got along 55 Scrape 56 Played 59 Point 60 Oak 62 Comedian Jay 63 Was looked at 64 Whirl 66 Censor 68 Tree gum

Our Town


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77% OFF 2” wood blinds 404.351.4464 • 4880 South Atlanta Road • Smyrna, GA 30080 (1 mile inside I285 on the right hand side, look for the British flags) info@englishmansfurniture.com • www.englishmansfurniture.com O PEN M ONDAY - F RIDAY 9 AM - 5 PM • S ATURDAY 10 AM - 4 PM

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Shopping with Shelia real style for real women

FASHION RESOLUTIONS YOU CAN MAKE AND KEEP You and millions of other people will be doing the same thing come January: resolving to make your life better by changing a habit or two or three. They might even come from this list of common goals: • Lose weight • Be nicer • Make more money • Be less impulsive • Get healthier • Count my blessings Wouldn’t it be grand if we could accomplish all of that? Yes! But chances are we won’t. However, using our fashion eyes we can make a difference in every single item on this list. It could be easier than you think! Lose weight. Instead of focusing on losing some pounds this year, how about learning how best to wear clothing that suits your shape. You can actually LOOK like you’ve lost five pounds or more just by putting together an outfit that suits your frame or balances it. Make more money. Instead of worrying about increasing your income by 10%, how about focusing on getting more value from your current investments? This year could be the year you create more outfits from the clothes and accessories that already live in your closet. By reworking your wardrobe and creating new outfits from your existing wardrobe, you are decreasing the need to go out and spend more.

Get healthier. Did you know that you could look healthier, younger, even refreshed by choosing colors that inherently make you look that way? It’s hard to believe it could be that easy but wearing your best colors could result in a comment like this: “Wow, you look like you’ve been to a health spa for a month! What’s your secret?”

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Be nicer. Being nice to others is an admirable goal. Start by being nice to yourself. For instance, take time for yourself to get ready for your day and create a positive image. This in itself is a gift to others. Make a pact with yourself to compliment yourself and other people each day. Soon it will be a pleasant ritual.

Be less impulsive. Are you impulsive when it comes to shopping? Are you quick to buy sale items even when they’re not quite right? Do you purchase clothes without trying them on? These impulsive behaviors can disappear when you replace them with a new habit. Vow in 2014 to only buy what you love and only those items that stay true to your style. If you’re shopping online or shopping without time to try things on, be sure you take time when you’re home to see if everything fits and looks great. If they don’t, send them back.

Count my blessings. Focus on what you have rather than what you don’t. You can look great just the way you are. You don’t need longer legs, a thinner waist or more money in your bank account. You just need to appreciate and work with what you have. Be the best version of you and you’ll naturally be a blessing to all. Do these goals seem unattainable? They aren’t. I can help you look your best and feel your best in 2014. Working together I can help you be smart about how you shop, educate you about fit and styling, and teach you how to gracefully accept the compliments that will be coming your way.

Happy New Year!

My Personal shopping service is available for women who don't have time to hunt through racks of clothing, don't know what looks good on them, or just don't like to shop. I can take the stress and frustration out of looking your best. Contact me at Sheliafrey.com or 770/893-8944.

For Advertising Information Call 678-337-7844 • www.ourtownmonthly.com

Our Town


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• Small group fitness classes • Zumba,TRX, Spin and much more • 30 day Fit and Fab Total Transformation packages • Personal Trainers for every fitness level and goal

REAL ESTATE IN OUR TOWN by Deborah Ratchford

FINDING YOUR DREAM HOME IN 2014! The first step in finding a home is getting set up with a reputable lender to get prequalified. Once you have accomplished this task then you should contact a local Realtor to assist in starting your home search.

A few things you should consider discussing with your Realtor are location, schools and neighborhoods that have an association. 1. Are you looking for a swim/tennis neighborhood? 2. Discuss price points of neighborhoods. 3. Safety should be a consideration. Check the crime statistics. 4. Your Realtor can recommend several reputable lenders that you will be able to sit down with and compare your options. 5. Your Realtor should be able to refer you to websites with school test scores if this is important to you. 6. Hire a Realtor that knows the area you're interested in. He or she should be able to pull recent comparable sales, so you can be assured the values are there. 7. Don't forget to discuss the taxes on the home you are interested in. Find out if you pay city and county taxes.

You should drive through the neighborhoods and speak with neighbors about the areas you're interested in. Check out the landscaping to see how homes are maintained. Have your Realtor check and see if the community you are interested in has a good neighborhood association.

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A home is where you will live for several years, so you want to make sure you hire a good Realtor to direct you to the properties that best meet your criteria. An experienced agent can get you from contract to close with out any issues.

Please feel free to call with any of your real estate needs and don't forget to visit our website at www.debsellshouses.com.

I wish you good health and prosperity in this New Year! I can be reached at 678-570-4779 or 770-874-6382.

Deborah Ratchford Keller Williams Realty Cityside 678-570-4779 debratchford@kw.com

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january crossword solution

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Our Town


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Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

Covenant Christian School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

3130 Atlanta Rd. Near Smyrna Market Village

770.435.1596 ccssmyrna.org

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions by Charles M. Pesson, MD ’Tis the season for New Year’s Resolutions! We’re all familiar with them. Those aspirations we have to do better or do more. Many times they revolve around healthy living. You know, that short-lived inspiration, the promises we make to ourselves to “eat healthy,” “exercise more,” or “lose weight.” Unfortunately, those goals are often abandoned before we’ve even begun to work towards them. So why is it that New Year’s resolutions like these seem doomed to fail?

Well it may have something to do with the type of resolutions we make and even the time of year in which we make them.

One of the problems with healthy New Year’s resolutions is that often, the specifics are left out. We set general goals like “eat healthy” or “lose weight” without creating an action plan designed to map out how to achieve those goals. Not to mention, New Year’s comes as we are approaching the coldest time of year! The cool temperatures make it difficult to want to head outside for a jog or go on a bike ride with a friend. So what can you do this year to give your healthy New Year’s Resolutions a fighting chance at survival? Here are a few ideas to help you maintain that inspiration and ultimately reach your health goals.

The first and most important step is to be specific in setting New Year’s Resolutions.

Don’t simply resolve to “exercise more.” Plan to exercise at least 3 times a week. Try something new like walking to your favorite coffee shop or taking the stairs rather than the elevator. By setting small goals for increasing exercise, you’re more likely to reach them and enjoy the satisfaction of staying true to that resolution.

Similarly, rather than aspiring to “eat healthy,” make a specific resolution to eat the recommended 6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. If 6 servings seem too ambitious, set a more modest goal to start and make small changes in your diet. Try substituting a side-salad for your French fries, or have apple slices or celery for a mid-afternoon snack.

By making real and attainable goals to increase your exercise and improve your diet, you will certainly improve your health and be on your way to weight loss. Also, it is important that you don’t let the cold weather keep you from exercising.

Winter weather can frustrate even the most motivated exercisers and can all too easily discourage those that are trying to kick-start a new fitness plan. However, maintaining your exercise routine in the winter months is just as important as it is during any other time of year.

If you’re not afraid to step out into the cold to work on your healthy New Year’s resolutions, make sure you warm up first. Low temperatures can make your muscles tight so a proper warm-up of stretching is key to preventing injuries. Also, make sure you wear lots of layers to insulate your body from the cold. Another important reminder is to stay hydrated. Though you may not feel as thirsty as you do during a hot summer work-out, it is just as critical in the winter that you get enough water during your exercise routine.

At Pinnacle, our physicians maximize results and minimize recovery time. How? By using leading edge technologies and the most innovative techniques. We take this advanced approach in every area of orthopaedic care, including Pinnacle specialties such as sports medicine, joint replacement, fracture care, spine, foot and ankle, hand, general orthopaedics and pain management.

770-944-3303 PAGE 18

Visit www.pinnacle-ortho.com for a complete list of services, physicians and locations near you.

Once you Get to Know Pinnacle, you won’t want to go anywhere else.

If the temperatures outside are too much for you to bear, don’t give up! There are plenty of ways for you to meet your fitness goals while indoors. Try walking at an indoor location, such as a mall or spend 20 minutes walking up and down the stairs in your home or on a break at your office. You can also join a health club to have access to indoor exercise equipment, or create a home gym. Work-out equipment doesn’t have to be expensive. Try hitting sports stores after Christmas for sales. With just $50.00 you can easily set up a great work-out routine with a set of dumbbells, an exercise ball and a jump rope. You can also swim laps at an indoor pool or simply visit your local library to rent exercise videos to follow at home.

So this year, as you start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions, think in terms of specific, attainable goals and create a detailed action plan. Make sure you’re well prepared for physical activity when outdoors, or plan to do indoor exercises which can be just as effective. With a strategy like this, you’re sure to find better success in keeping your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions and meeting all you healthy goals. Good Luck and Happy New Year! Dr. Charles Pesson is an orthopaedic surgeon at Pinnacle Orthopaedics. Get to Know Pinnacle. Call 770-944-3303 or visit www.pinnacle-ortho.com for a complete list of services, physicians and locations near you.

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We are excited to serve you and your family. We want to provide your child with high quality healthcare and give you and your family the excellent service that you deserve!! • Warm and friendly atmosphere • Board-certified pediatrician with 12 years of experience • Full-range of primary healthcare for newborns through teens • Modern, attractive office

• Convenient location minutes from South Cobb Drive and I-285 • Same Day Appointments Available • Prenatal/Meet the Doctor visits • Sports Physicals • We accept most major insurance plans.

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West Vinings Pediatric Group • 3644 Highlands Parkway • Smyrna, GA 30082 Please call for more information: 404-446-3960 • westviningspeds.com PAGE 19

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Resolve, Resolve, Resolve… by Mark Orler

This year my wife and I decided to handle our New Year’s Resolutions differently than we have in year’s past. Instead of pensively sitting around the mirror looking at our own unique shortcomings and faults and coming up with a list of “self-improvements,” I suggested that we each do the other’s resolutions for them and see how that worked out? So, now that I am newly single…

Actually, it worked out better than I thought. Instead of a list of things like, “You resolve to get off your duff and help out around here a little more.” or, “You resolve to pay attention to where the toilet seat is and focus on first, ‘missing it’ then second, placing it in the horizontal, not vertical, resting position when done,” I gave my wife the following resolutions.

“You resolve to expect more from your husband and to quit making excuses for his shortcomings.” “You resolve to get more support in the household budget from your husband.”

“You resolve to expect respect from your children, enforced and then reinforced by your husband.”

And finally, “You resolve to take a break from being the head-of-the-household and let your husband fulfill his duties.” Let’s just say that after I presented these Resolutions, I was as far away from “single” as I could be!

The reality is that a New Year’s Resolution is nothing more than a goal, and we shouldn’t wait until January 1st each year to be setting the goals for our marriages and our families. Every self-help guru with any worth will tell you that without goals humans tend to act like ships without rudders; blown about by any dominant breeze and forced into areas of danger by unseen currents lurking beneath their hulls.

What are these prevailing winds and currents? They are many, but by and large they can be categorized as either unfulfilled personal expectations or external stressors. An unfulfilled expectation may seem slight, but these build up. And before you know it you are having a seismic event over something relatively small and both of you are looking at each other a few minutes later breathlessly asking, “Where did THAT come from?”

External stressors can be something like, oh, I don’t know, a septic-tank backing up. Let’s pretend someone’s tank recently backed up and it caused a lot of stress on that individual. Let’s further say that the individual did a forensic investigation on water usage in the household and determined that their spouse had done A LOT of laundry, in addition to A LOT of dishes and A LOT of baths in a short amount of time. And let’s suppose that information was presented in a less-than supportive manner. Let’s just say the tank back-up wasn’t the only amount of….never mind.

I Resolve to…

In conclusion, sometimes it doesn’t matter what your motivation is when making your goals. Whether it be self-fulfillment or self-preservation (my motivation), the basic truth is that your goals will most likely benefit not only yourself, but those around you. Mark Orler is a full-time husband, father and part-time observationist. Mark can be reached at mlorler@yahoo.com

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by Lori McHugh

We have all had a time in our lives that we have needed some extra guidance or just someone who will listen. Perhaps it was academic help we needed, or help in making the right decisions. Whatever it may have been, there seemed to be that special person to guide us in the right direction. Someone who really had an impact in shaping the person we have become. Unfortunately, many youth in our school systems do not have that special person.

Some of them are struggling academically, missing a lot of school and making bad decisions. There may be issues within the family structure, difficulty with peers, mental health, parents who are incarcerated, homelessness or the loss of a loved one. A good mentor can be a valuable resource for some of these students. Many studies have shown that kids who have a strong adult figure in their lives are more likely to succeed. They are more likely to stay out of trouble and graduate from high school. A website for mentoring, www.beamentor.org, lists some positive findings about mentored youth and the choices that they made with their lives. It states that “through four large commissioned surveys, the California Mentor Foundation learned that the effects of mentoring on youth are extensive: 98% avoided gang participation 85% did not use drugs

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In 2011, the Cobb County School District, Social Work Department launched Cobb Mentoring Matters. The mission of this school-based mentoring program is to empower at-risk youth in our community to make positive life choices to enable them to maximize their personal potential. The goal is to provide prevention and intervention strategies that reduce the risk factors that can come between a young person and their ability to learn. Mentors spend an hour a week with the student on school grounds. Mentors serve as positive role models both to inspire and empower youth to be the best that they can be.

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The impact that a good mentoring program can have on our community is far reaching. Research overwhelmingly shows that students who are not engaged in school are at a much higher risk for dropping out. Youth who do not graduate from high school are much more likely to participate in criminal activity which negatively impacts the entire community. Somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of Georgia’s prison inmates are high school dropouts. They are much less likely to have jobs that pay well and more likely to have to rely on public assistance.

Cobb Mentoring Matters has recruited some wonderful mentors for our schools, but we are always looking for more. Not only will the student benefit, but mentors benefit by feeling like they have made a difference in a youth’s life. You could be that one person that makes a difference for them and inspires them to someday do the same. January is National Mentoring Month and a great time to consider becoming a mentor to a student in need. For more information please visit www.cobbmentoringmatters.org and click on “I Want to Be a Mentor” or call 770-429-5846 for information on how you can “Join the Movement!”

www.SweetDreamsGeorgia.com 770.880.1596 • info@sweetdreamsgeorgia.com PAGE 24

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Change Is in the Air at K-9 Coach by Amber Burckhalter

I typically write these articles on ways to help your pups be a fun part of your family, with tips on toys, training, etc. At New Year our thoughts turn to new things, to renewal, excitement and change.

WOW! Change is really in the air at K-9 Coach. We are happy to be opening our New Year with a fully renovated space at our facility in Smyrna allowing the whole family to be a part of Rover’s life as well as being a beacon location for competitive dog trials and community educational events and seminars.

3. Leaving your pup while you travel can be difficult for everyone. Fear of stress related illness or injury during boarding causes anxiety for many owners. Our new boarding facilities have taken us to a new frontier of excellence. We reviewed scientific studies and visited other cutting-edge facilities nationwide, to plan our major upgrades! All of our guest will now be treated to self-contained, individually climate controlled cage-free suites with a multitude of safety-enhancing, and stress reducing, amenities.

We looked at 9 (of course!) areas of improvement. Training that allows your dog to become a real part of your family; exercise as a critical element in physical and mental health; eliminating anxiety for dogs and owners alike when travelling; grooming as a part of a healthy dog’s regime; food and stimulating toys that encourage good health and mental and physical agility; our customers’ experience at K-9 Coach; safety and security as an essential part of the K-9 Coach experience; having fun with your dog; being a partner with the dog community at large, both in Atlanta and around the country.

5. Keeping your dog entertained at home is so much easier with the proper toys and treats. Our new, larger retail area offers improved and more varieties of dog food, treats and training related products and will include educational events and seminars!

When we started planning these improvements we had one major goal. How can we improve our customers’ experience, not only when they are with us at K-9 Coach, but as dog owners overall?

1. Training is so important for a well-mannered family dog, yet only 5% of dogs ever see a professional trainer. Simple obedience, sport training, tricks for fun as well as trials for the competitive family all help to get everyone involved with the dog in you life! Check out our new training area which has increased by more than double and now features a private entrance, competitive agility matted flooring, a spacious waiting area, the K-9 Cafe and more. Get the whole family involved with our new training offerings!

2. An overactive dog can be tiring for all the family! Exercise is vital to the physical and mental health of a dog and lack of exercise is one of the top reasons for behavioral and health issues. So that all dogs can get proper exercise, we’ve doubled the size of our private outdoor park and now have a fantastic competition agility-footing field. We will also be offering additional sporting related activities, access to the private dog park for you and to exercise your pup safely, and a new indoor, heated, triple filtered pool system with individual safe water-play for older dogs with arthritis, doggie swimming lessons and more!

PAGE 26

4. A clean, well-groomed dog is healthier and happier! Nails that are too long can be painful or cause injury, ear infections can be hard to spot and suspicious growths can often be hidden in that fluffy coat. While you should check your dog’s coat and skin regularly, a skilled groomer can be a second set of eyes and can catch issues that your vet needs to know about. Our completely redesigned, open grooming spa is here to assist your family with keeping your dog healthy and handsome.

6. Creating a dog-centric community increases the likelihood of a successful canine to family match. We have added a new Customer Cafe complete with free, fast WiFi, coffee and snacks to encourage our families to be a part of our dog-centric world.

7. Safety first! Having adequate personal space for your dog so that he or she feels safe and so that you can navigate the environment helps prevent fear related aggression or injury. Our new, state of the art check-in and out system as well as our expanded customer areas are built to provide adequate space and encourage safety. 8. It should be fun!! Playing, living with and loving a dog should be fun not frustrating! Our new facility and offerings encourage FUN, FUN, FUN! 9. Finally, our new facility allows us to work closer with our K-9 partners such as Atlanta Pet Rescue, Atlanta Boxer Rescue, local vets, local schools and more. Education is key and we look forward to offering many additional education seminars and events, the first of which will talk place this month! See our website for more information!

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PAGE 27

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Our Town Smyrna/Vinings  

Happy New Year! January 2014 Smyrna/Vinings Family Lifestyle Magazine

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