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Peekaboo Northwest Arkansas’ Family Magazine

Celebrating our




Thank you Northwest Arkansas!



FREE Magazine




Kimberly Enderle Editor-in-Chief | 479-957-0532

Jonathon Enderle Creative Director | 479-586-3890

Addi simmons Associate Editor

Columnist Kim and Jonathon with Ava, Grant and Holden Enderle. Photo by Main Street Studios

contributing writer/Editor Frances Wilson

Distribution/ Circulation Joyce Whitaker Judy Evans Marcedalia Salinas

Ben Lacy Dad’s View


Jeremy Whitaker Michelle Dodson

Peekaboo Publications

Veronica Zucca Story Design

PO Box 1036 Bentonville, Arkansas 72712 Please send inquiries to: or call 479-957-0532 Peekaboo may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Views expressed herein are those of the authors and advertisers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the magazine.

Peekaboo Northwest Arkansas accepts writing contributions

Kristin Hvizda Dalai Mama


Jennifer Cristofaro Events

Peekaboo nwa W h at ’ s I n s i d e | M ay | 2 0 1 6 16 |

Having Hope

18 |

Free-For-All at Crystal Bridges

by: Lisa Guinn

by: Linda DeBarry

22 |



A Dangerous Portrait

28 |

Our Make-A-Wish Trip


Celebrating Baby’s 1st Hug

by: NUK

by: Frances Wilson by: Jessica Lais

with Huggies

34 | 38 |

2016 Camp Guide Meet the Tot Tote by: Loria W. Oliver

46 |

Hadley’s Story

54 |

Dad’s View

60 |

by: Valerie Sappington with Ben Lacy

Inspirational Woman: Meet Becky Shaffer by: Deja Frieden

62 |

68 |

How Getting Rid of My Stuff Made Me the Mom I Always Wanted to Be by: Allie Casazza

COVER PHOTO BY: Kate Spencer Photography

Mom in Action: Meet Rebecca by: Rachel Higgins

72 |

An Empowering Woman: Meet Kim Hadley by: Mandy Moore

on the c ov e r : Edward, 5 and Konrad, 3. Sons of Kent and Loria Oliver of Rogers

Cover Sponsored by: Northwest Health System

from the editor A look ahead: If you have a story to share, or an idea for a story, please email and be a part of the Peekaboo family!

as a parent, we get a little taste of the colorful perspective we once had by looking through the eyes of our children.

To be a part of the NUK photo outtake feature next month, email your final take as well as a funny or silly outtake to: See this month’s edition on page 22-23.


th Issue! May 2016 - Peekaboo’s 100th month sharing local...! When Jonathon and I first created Peekaboo, we had no idea how much it would become an intrical part of the parenting and family community in Northwest Arkansas. It is such an honor to be a part of something that connects readers each month with businesses, events, and--most importantly--each other. While the name “Peekaboo” was inspired by our daughter’s favorite game at the time, it represents something even greater. Peekaboo is a special look into Northwest Arkansas - through the eyes of a mom, dad or grandparent. Peekaboo represents a unique perspective into all things parenting and family. Lately, though, my favorite way to see the world is through the eyes of my children. I love the way they can turn mundane experiences into something extraordinary. To my three kids the glass is always half full (unless some of it spilled onto the floor, which it quite often does). To a child magic is not reserved for the imagination, but lives all around us. As an adult, the world often becomes black and white but,

Grant, age 3, in awe of what goes on behind the scenes during a routine oil change.

Inside this issue, you will find a fabulous feature (Chasing Date Night) that we ran in the very first issue. It was submitted 99 issues ago by a contributor who is now an award winning author and a great friend of mine, Lela Davidson. She is a great example of the many amazing women I have met since printing the very first issue. Through this adventure, I have been lucky to connect with so many special people through the stories they have graciously shared in the magazine and can not wait to see who I will meet during the next 100 issues! This is why it is very fitting that the 100th issue would fall on the same month as Mother’s Day. My fellow “mommy” friends have molded me into the person I am today, and I owe them greatly for my ability to stay sane amidst the chaos of mommyhood. This month is a big one for Northwest Arkansas! The Bentonville Film Festival is in full swing May 3 through 8, with so many great activities and events. It all wraps up on May 8 with the League of Their Own Reunion Game that includes the Peekaboo Kids Fest at Arvest Ballpark.

14 May 2016

Photo by: Ever After Portraiture

But first, on May 7 make sure to head to the 4th annual birthday party expo at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade from 10-2pm!

Having Hope


Story by: Lisa Quinn

hen I handed in my letter of resignation last April, I never would have thought that my reason for not working would change completely. I had worked as an elementary school teacher for 13 years in Springdale, when I decided to take a year off to relax and spend more time just being a mom. All of that changed on July 22. My husband and I were outside relaxing when, all of a sudden, I had a sharp pain in my right breast. I felt around and discovered a small knot underneath it. I saw my gynecologist the next day and was sent to The Breast Center for my first mammogram and an ultrasound. The doctor immediately told me that she believed that it was cancer. I was in disbelief. How could I have breast cancer at the age of 36? I went in for a biopsy the following day and was told that I would receive a phone call that weekend or possibly Monday. One of my best friends, Whitney, and I had planned on taking our sons to Branson that Sunday for an overnight trip. Five minutes before she was due to arrive, my cell phone rang. I looked at my phone and immediately knew it was the call that I was dreading. I was told that I had cancer. It was aggressive. It was also in at least one lymph node. I decided I was not going to let this news keep me from living that weekend. I left with Whitney and our two sons and tried to have an enjoyable weekend. We went to Silver Dollar City,

16 May 2016

where my son rode his first rollercoaster with me. That night at dinner, our server’s nametag said that his name was Andy; however, when we received our check it said, “Server: Jesus.” At that moment I knew that I was not alone. God has been with me every step of the way. The next day I went in and discussed having genetic testing done. I didn’t really see the point. There was no breast or ovarian cancer in my family history, but I decided to go ahead and have the testing done anyway. That evening, a fellow teacher called and asked if she and a few other teachers could come pray with me. I was not surprised at all, because that’s how we did things at the school where I taught. Around 7 p.m. that evening there was a knock on my door. When I opened it, all I could see was people. I was completely overwhelmed and a flood of about 30 teachers entered my home to pray with me. Even though there is no breast cancer in my family history, it is genetic. My children have a 50 percent chance of having the same gene mutation that greatly increased my chances of breast cancer. The following Friday, I had a breast MRI. It revealed six additional tumors in my right breast and at least one more lymph node with involvement. I was told I would have a PET scan on Tuesday to make sure it hadn’t spread, and then I’d start chemo. That evening I decided that if I was going to start chemo, I was going to have a party first. I invited all of my Facebook friends to a local restaurant for the following night. I had 50+ friends show up. It was the first night I felt normal since my diagnosis. My husband and I went to a “chemo class” and then saw my oncologist for my PET scan results.

The PET scan showed cancer in my bones. I was stage IV. The next plan of action was to skip chemo and have my ovaries taken out. My breast cancer is ER+, which means it is fed by estrogen primarily. I ended up having a full hysterectomy and oompherectomy.

I just want to see my kids grow up.

I never dreamed that I wouldn’t have the chance to see my own kids get married and have children of their own. While I was in the hospital, I was blessed with a nurse named Hope. I started an estrogen inhibitor, Letrozole, and another newer drug, Ibrance, which stops progression. After three months of treatment I had my next PET scan. It showed a quick response to my medicine. All but one of my bone mets were inactive and the metabolic activity in my breast had greatly decreased. I soon added a once-a-month shot, Xgeva, to my treatment plan. This shot pulls calcium from my blood and uses it to repair and strengthen my bones. The median life expectancy after diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is about three years. I have met a number of women through social media that have lived 5, 10, 15, and 20 years. I have also known those who have lived only a couple of years. My hope is to raise awareness about MBC. Most people don’t realize that breast cancer doesn’t kill if just in the breast--it has to spread to other organs. Most commonly, breast cancer metastasizes to the lungs, liver, bones and brain. Nearly 30 percent of those who are diagnosed with any stage of breast cancer will eventually become stage IV, regardless of former treatment. My dear friend, Kelli Parker, was diagnosed at age 26 with stage I. She underwent chemo, radiation, and a double mastectomy. Five years later, her original breast cancer was back and had spread to some lymph nodes and was then stage III. At the age of 32 her cancer had spread to her bones and was stage IV. Stage IV is terminal. There is no cure. Kelli came up with the idea for The First Annual Northwest Arkansas Metsquerade to raise awareness and funds for stage IV breast cancer research. As soon as my husband and I realized that Kelli lived in Northwest Arkansas too,

we knew that we wanted to get involved. Our goal is to hold this event annually and expand the event to other cities across the United States. Metavivor, a nonprofit organization out of Annapolis, Maryland, was started by a group of women with this disease. They use 100 percent of donations they receive to fund grants for metastatic breast cancer. The NWA Metsquerade is comprised of silent and live auctions, dinner, speakers and live music. I don’t know how long I will be able to live with this disease. I may not be teaching elementary school any longer, but my new purpose is to help educate others about metastatic breast cancer and where their dollars should go if they want to give 100 percent to research for a cure. Do I think a cure is possible? I don’t know. I do know that I believe better medicine is waiting to be discovered. Medicine that can help me and others live a better quality of life and live longer too. My children deserve to have their mommy around. The most difficult thing about this disease isn’t that I’m afraid of dying. I just want to see my kids grow up. I never dreamed that I wouldn’t have the chance to see my own kids get married and have children of their own. Let’s face it... Chances are slim that I will see my 7-year-old graduate from elementary school. All I want is to have the chance to be their mom.

Free-For-All at Crystal Bridges By Linda DeBerry

With apologies to Game of Thrones... Summer is coming. Are you ready? If you’re not quite prepared for the kids to be out of school and the long, hot, “MomI’m-bored” days of summer vacation, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville has got you covered. For free. Yes, free. You heard me. Free. Of course, admission to view Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection is always free, thanks to a sponsorship by Walmart. But this summer, we’re making the deal even sweeter for you and your family by offering a host of familyfriendly, fun, artful, and FREE programs and events. Summer Family Fun is a free, interactive music and art program that takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. outdoors on Crystal Bridges’ Walker Landing. We’re featuring high-energy percussion performances by the drummers and dancers of Afrique Aya on June 8, and a “Drum Safari” on June 24 with Kansas City musicians Brandon and Teryn Draper, who will present music from around the world, followed by a community drum circle. We’ll even provide instruments! What a great way to dance and drum away some of that youthful energy! The fun continues into July, with weekly Summer Family Fun events, beginning on July 7 with a free family-friendly performance of Twelfth Night by Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. Keep your eyes on the Museum’s website for details about more Summer Family Fun events, scheduled for July 14 and 27.

Credit: Photos courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art On Father’s Day, June 19, from noon to 5 p.m., Crystal Bridges offers up a dad-centric Family Sunday, featuring live music by the Doo-Dads, a Kansas City kid-cool rock band, and activities in the galleries to introduce you to some of the interesting “dads” in our collection. Kids can also drop in to the studio to make personalized gifts for the dads in their lives. All for free! If artmaking is your thing, we offer free drop-in artmaking projects in our studios every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Museum Educators will walk you through the steps to create your own take-home art project. All materials are provided and no registration is needed. Also, if you choose to visit us on Saturday, drop in at 1 p.m. for a free Family Tour and get to know some of the favorite artworks in Crystal Bridges’ galleries. Our experienced Gallery Guides will lead you on a fun, interactive experience suitable for all ages. Kids will receive complimentary “I Spy Gallery Glasses” as well! No registration required, just meet your Guide in the Museum’s lower lobby about five minutes before 1 p.m. A new, temporary exhibition opens at Crystal Bridges on July 2. American Made: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum features more than 100 artworks from quilts to weathervanes, furniture to toys—handmade by Americans when our nation was young. With such a wide variety of things to see, this exhibition is sure to be attractive to kids, and might even inspire your family to make some

art of your own! There is a $10 admission fee for adults to this exhibition, but kids ages 18 and under are always... you got it... free! (Museum members also receive free admission to temporary exhibitions, along with discounts on programs and Museum Store purchases. You can learn more about becoming a member and getting a whole year of free stuff on the Museum’s website: It’s always free to take in the outdoor artworks on Crystal Bridges’ grounds. Bring your family to view the new sculptures that have been installed on the Art Trail and Orchard Trail. Have you seen the big faces made of giant fruit, flowers, and greenery in the woods along the Orchard Trail? These monumental sculptures are part of one artwork, Four Seasons, by Phillip Haas. They’re only here for a short time, and will be leaving in the fall, so don’t miss them! Also, if you haven’t experienced James Turrell’s Skyspace, The Way of Color, in a while, be sure to take the short walk down the Crystal Bridges Trail from downtown Bentonville to this installation, located at the entrance to the Art Trail, and enjoy its amazing display of light against the evening sky. The display begins about ten minutes before sunset and

lasts about half an hour, every night. For a flashier light show, drop by Leo Villareal’s illuminated sculpture, Bucky Ball, located on Museum Way. From dusk until 10:30 p.m. nightly, the work features a continuous display of vibrant, ever-changing colored light. Sit back in the comfy “zero gravity” benches, and enjoy the show—for free. Finally, the Museum grounds themselves are open every day from dawn to dusk for you and your family to explore and enjoy. Visit beautiful Crystal Spring in its enchanted hollow just a short walk from the Museum’s south entrance. Look for butterflies and lightning bugs in the Skyspace Meadow, dabble in the cool waters of Cindy Springs along the Art Trail, or relax in the evening on the south lawn to enjoy the outdoor sculptures and the songs of bullfrogs, tree frogs and dwarf American toads along the edge of the stream. This performance is repeated nightly and is absolutely free. Family Sunday is sponsored by Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee, Proctor and Gamble, Rockline Industries, and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. American Made was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, in collaboration with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Sponsored at Crystal Bridges by Bob and Becky Alexander.


20 May 2016

Every family picture posted on social media or framed and hanging in the hallway has a story behind it - a “real” story. A picture is worth a thousand words, but the outtakes are worth even more!

! s e k OU i i a

NUK® Magic 360 10 Ounce Cup keeps kids’ picture day clothes mess-free. Magically drink from any edge, like a regular cup, without the worries of spills or messes. Great for transitioning to an adult cup.100% leakproof and spill-proof, guaranteed! NUK® is the only cup that uses WOW technology, which means less parts and won’t leak.

Our May cover models did an amazing job, but couldn’t help having a little fun. You would never know that the shot that made the cut was thanks to mom Loria hopping around behind the photographer and giving bunny ears. Photography by Kate Spencer Photography

NUK® Bottle with Perfect Fit™ Nipple provides a natural way to bottle feed your growing baby. 9 out of 10 Babies Accept, based on research among NUK® users.

22 May 2016

Skylar, 10, and Chase Ballay, 6, brothers and best friends!!

We went to get professional photographs taken but Caden was refusing to smile!-- he was actually working at not smiling! I had to turn away and stop watching for him to loosen up. - Katy Preston Photography by: Angela McCoy Available at

I love this “mess up” from our princess’ first birthday. We had not planned to have a “family” picture because our family looks different, but when someone asked, of course we acquiesced. My wife’s twin couldn’t make the party but her crazy and fun little man made the shot in the bottom of the photo. My dad is trying to give some wise advice, I’m sure, the ladies are all smiling and beautiful and waiting of course, but my favorite part of this photo is the princess in the middle. She didn’t want to pose and smile. Her bubba had been away all weekend and this was the first time she got to see him and she just wanted to snuggle. So this is an outtake... and it’s perfect. I didn’t even take another. - Brandon Norrell Photography by Focused by B www.focusedbybcom

The Bowers Family Photography by: Jessica Ritchie Photography

The Farmer Family

For your next photo shoot, keep baby calm with the new NUK® Airflow Orthodontic Pacifier

Pictured: Tate and Finley Ritchie Photography by: Jessica Ritchie Photography

Scheduling a photo session is the first step to the end product. And while the goal is to capture people, emotions, relationships, and make memories, there is a lot that goes on in between. Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes smiles. And more often than not, there are a lot of laughs. It is the in between that really creates the feeling of a session. All the little outtakes are the story unfolding before the camera. It’s when people act up, act themselves, and let their guard down that I am able to step back and capture the true essence of a family or a moment. My favorite images typically come to life during this time.

If you would like to be a part of the June Outtakes, email with the final shot, the fun outtake, and photographer name. If you are not a photographer but have great shots on your camera or phone, we want to see those, too!


new upscale party event center specializing in custom children’s birthday parties hosted by your favorite fairy tale princesses.

Now offering full service parties at our new party palace or let us bring the magic to you with character appearances at a location of your choice!

Now Open!

Bo ok Yo ur Sp e c i al Part y To day! Mother’s Day Event!

Join Alice and her friend the Mad Hatter along with one of their favorite Princess friends as they host a Mother’s Day Tea Party Wonderland Style! Get tickets online at

A Dangerous Portrait The Danger of Train Tracks and Photography

by: Frances Wilson


oyously jumping in a pile of leaves, wearing matching jean shirts and smiles, donning cowboy boots while pretending to strum a guitar, gazing into the distance over railroad tracks...all of these are familiar photographic portrait scenes, but one of these is not like the others. One of these is illegal and potentially lethal. Railroad track shots are as common as they are cute and symbolic, but the dangers of actually participating in these photo shoots range from financially inconvenient to life-threatening. Of course, Facebook photos tell a different story. How many of us has ‘liked’ a pensive shot of our niece or best friend walking off into the distance on a track, carefree and perfectly shot? Everyone seems to celebrate their senior year, wedding, a new baby, or even just their first photo shoot with a trip to the rail yard. The perspective is striking, the background industrial, the intention artistic. These popular shoots, however, are “not just illegal, but fatally, inherently dangerous,” said Chief Ron Sparks, Director of Safety, Training & Legal Affairs at Arkansas Missouri Railroad. “The weight ratio of a train to a car is the same as that car to a 12-ounce aluminum soda can. A person wouldn’t even register. Trains can’t swerve, so, if you can see the train, it won’t be able to stop in time to avoid you.” Some folks think that, since the multitudes of drivers seem to indicate that driving is very nearly a sport, if not the ‘national pastime,’ railroads aren’t really used that much anymore. Surely a train won’t come while we’re taking this quick shot for my Instagram, right? According to the Federal Railroad Administration, however, rail use by both passengers and freight companies is at a new high, while “trespassing along railroad right-ofway is the leading cause of all rail-related deaths in America.” Additionally, according to Operation Lifesaver (, every three hours a vehicle or

26 May 2016

person is hit by a train. More trains mean that more folks need to watch out, and keep away from the tracks--even tracks supposedly deemed ‘safe,’ ‘inactive,’ or ‘dead.’ Some have pointed to rust on the tracks as an indication of a ‘dead’ track that doesn’t pose a threat, but “that rust can form overnight,” according to Chief Sparks. “Plus, there aren’t ‘normal’ train times anymore. You can’t expect to know how much time there will be between trains. Finally, all railroad tracks are the private property of the railroad company, so you shouldn’t be there anyway.” If you’re caught on these tracks, trespassing, you can receive a fine of up to $10,000. That’s right...more than a year’s worth of college education, or a car, or that series of trips to Disneyland you were hoping to take your kids on. Railroad companies are, as a matter of reputation and policy, deeply dedicated to safety, and want to discourage folks putting themselves in harm’s way as much as possible. Unfortunately, they simply cannot defend themselves against those who wilfully place themselves on tracks. Unlike cars or bikes, trains need a full mile, at least, to come to a complete stop, and a collision with a person or vehicle is deeply traumatizing, physically damaging, and incredibly expensive for all involved–not to mention 100 percent avoidable. For instance, in January of this year, a man in Van Buren was severely injured while trespassing on the downtown tracks, severing his leg when

had to issue many warning letters a train ran over him in the According to the Federal for just this offense, a number middle of the night. Similar Railroad Administration, rail that has increased by 150 percent occurrences have happened in use by both passengers because of the prevalence of downtown Fayetteville, where social media advertising. tracks intersect Dickson Street and freight companies is and are frequently used as a How can we be safer around at a new high. More trains quick, and dangerous, shortcut railroads? First of all, as the Federal back to campus. Sometimes means that more folks need Railroad Administration reminds us, alcohol is involved, sometimes to watch out, and keep away ALWAYS expect a train. In that vein, photography, and sometimes from the tracks--even tracks just don’t cross the tracks–or linger folks are just trying to get to to take photos--where you aren’t class or work extra-quickly supposedly deemed ‘safe,’ supposed to. This includes fishing with their headphones in. ‘inactive,’ or ‘dead.’ from railroad trestles or riding ATVs Such incidents show us that along the railroad’s right-of-way. constant vigilance and extensive education is Even wandering along the edges of the train’s path can still needed in our community... especially if you have children. “Children don’t know any better,” be dangerous, as trains can extend up to three feet off the Chief Sparks said. “If you set them on that track, sides of the tracks. The railroad companies have created you’re responsible as both the parent and the designated paths and crossings for cars and individuals, photographer. You shouldn’t be putting your child with lights, sounds and clear demarcations–they’re easy to find and even easier to use. at risk for a photograph.” Even if you emerge unhurt from a photography Arkansas is truly lovely after all, and “there’s plenty session on the tracks, posting these photographs of beautiful places to take pictures around here online encourages a laissez-faire attitude about that aren’t on a railroad track,” said Chief Sparks, the tracks that could lead to someone else being “Just don’t risk it.” seriously injured. In addition, railroad companies have proof that you’ve been on their tracks, and can take legal action against you for trespassing. Facebook literally distributes hard evidence against you on this front! Chief Ron Sparks has

For more information on trespassing prevention, as well as safety data and statistics, please visit the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration’s website at, as well as Operation Lifesaver, at


Hudson Our


story by: Jessica Lais photos by: Jessica Ritchie Photography


ive years ago, our lives looked completely different. Barrett and I were newlyweds in the throes of promising careers and busy social lives—and I was expecting our first child. My pregnancy was normal until the 32nd week, when one night I woke up with a terrible stomach ache that, at first, we shrugged off as food poisoning. When hours passed with no relief, we finally drove to the emergency room where, several days later, I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. By the time I was diagnosed, it was too late. Hudson lost the ability to breathe; he was delivered via cesarean section, and his doctors required a full 15 minutes to revive him. Post-delivery, my own body began to shut down alongside Hudson’s. I experienced renal failure, six blood transfusions and several grand mal seizures before being life-flighted to a specialist in Little Rock—hours away from my newborn son and my husband. Doctors told Barrett that it was not likely Hudson or I would survive. Our baby was premature, and that initial lack of oxygen severely damaged most of his brain—despite a healthy heart and set of lungs. I returned to (almost) normal. And at first, we thought Hudson would, too, with therapy and medicine and time. The words “brain damage” had no real meaning to me then. Obviously, I knew that our brains control our entire bodies, but I didn’t really know what that meant until I became a mother of a child with brain damage.

28 May 2016

A couple of weeks before his first birthday, Hudson—all 12 pounds of him—had surgery to implant a feeding tube after being diagnosed with “failure to thrive.” Until that moment, we had spent hours trying to help him finish a bottle and urging his brain to tell his lips, tongue and throat how to work together to swallow. Starving, exhausted and in terrible pain, he cried as much as 22 hours a day—exhausting his parents in the process. The following years brought more bleak milestones. At two, still unable to sit up, crawl, talk or walk, Hudson received a formal diagnosis of severe Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, along with a very grim prognosis for the future. At three, he battled months of debilitating seizures that caused more brain damage and loss of the few skills he had worked so hard to achieve in therapy—skills like holding up his head, grabbing his toys and rolling over. At four, he developed several obstructions in his airway, making respiration nearly impossible. It was then doctors told us there was nothing medically left to do. It was time to involve hospice in his care. In spite of these annual heartbreaks, each birthday was itself a celebration. If you had asked me a year ago that Hudson would live to see five candles on his cake, I would have laughed bitterly. There were nights I spent wide awake, listening to his exhausted breaths over the monitor, hearing his body fail him. I tried my hardest not to think about the time we had left together, because it would never be enough. Hudson was the happiest, most loving child I have

ever met. Through all of the medical tests and needle pokes, he never complained and always smiled. (Trust me; he couldn’t talk, but we always knew when he wasn’t happy.) He was the best cuddler and had an absolutely infectious laugh. He recognized voices, and he kicked his legs and laughed when he was excited to see his his parents or friends. He embodied the purest joy. People constantly remark at how “strong” Barrett and I are and how much our story inspires them. About 90 percent of the time, it makes us proud, and we appreciate the fact that our struggles don’t go unnoticed. But the other ten percent of the time, I don’t want to be the one in the inspirational story for whom the rest of the world feels sorry. I fear that I am supposed to be the one with all the answers, the one keeping everything together for everyone. There are times when this image of strength and bravery makes me feel ashamed of the days when grief takes ahold of me—days when I feel as though I pray more than I breathe, and moments when just the thought of my son’s fate knocks the breath out of my chest. There are days when I collapse on the bathroom floor, begging God to stop my broken, beating heart before the pain does. Thankfully, those days don’t last forever and they are far more rare now than they used to be. The human heart can handle anything with the right support. When Hudson entered hospice care, we didn’t tell many people outside of our family and closest friends. Many people don’t understand what it means anyway. Hospice allows your loved one to return home and die in peace. Most doctors cannot predict how long the child will live— months or years—and there’s almost nothing left to do but keep him comfortable. When we did this for Hudson, we didn’t want the world to know. We knew we were doing the right thing, but we were ashamed. We worried that others might think we had given up. For a long time, I wore a brave face, and when people asked how Hudson was doing, I said, “Fine.” I kept my words light and easy. Many people followed our story since his birth and knew things were really bad in the beginning, but nobody knew how bad it would always be. Then the Make-A-Wish foundation contacted me about granting my Hudson a wish shortly after his doctors recommended moving him to a hospice. When news broke about our Make-AWish experience, I finally felt free of the burden of holding it all together. Part of getting your child’s wish granted is talking about his or her illness and the prognosis that goes along with it. I had to

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in his father’s arms. He smiled the wide, crooked grin I love so much; the smile that only comes out when he is happiest. After we got him undressed, my husband placed Hudson in my lap. He immediately turned his face toward me and opened his mouth as if he were trying to give me a kiss. I nuzzled his cheek and hot, happy tears rolled down my face. His day with MakeA-Wish had been so perfect, and I desperately didn’t want it to end.

be honest. For the first time in five years, we could tell Hudson’s story uncensored and unabridged, without fear or pride. Welcoming Make-A-Wish into our lives was easy; choosing a wish for Hudson was not. Normally, the foundation interviews each child to learn his or her favorite things, activities and dreams. Hudson could not speak, wasn’t mobile, and could not play independently. There were very few activities we were able to enjoy as a family, but being in the water was one of them. When Hudson was in water, his little body was weightless and his arms and legs could move freely and easily. He loved to float and splash. At the time, we had already planned a family trip to Florida, so we invited Make-A-Wish to give us a special day on the water with our extended families—17 people in all. The foundation did just that: On a sunny morning in July 2015, we cruised the Gulf shore in a private boat, watching dolphins play and giving Hudson all our love and attention. I have a vivid memory of the end of that boat ride that will never fade: Riding back to the marina, my husband Barrett held tightly to our son as I peeled off his soaking wet life jacket, swim shirt and trunks. Next to Barrett and his year-round golfer’s tan, Hudson looked like a china doll; but his perfectly pale skin was greasy from sunscreen and slightly pink from a day spent under the Florida sun. His thick, wavy hair was messy and windblown, and he thrilled at the sight of the ocean and sunshine, the feel of the wind as we raced over the water, the sound of his cousins laughing over the hum of the motor, and the feeling of being held

Our Make-A-Wish experience was so much more than a vacation. It gave us peace. I never saw Hudson as full of life as he was on that day at sea. Gathering as a family to share his joy and celebrate his life was a priceless gift. The people surrounding Barrett and Hudson and me on the boat were the same people who held us on our worst days, and that day was our best day. It was as if we all knew, without saying a word, that that vacation would be the last we took together. As Hudson’s mother, I thought of that in almost every circumstance: This could be the last time we enjoy Christmas together, or that would be the last time we sing “Happy Birthday.” The Make-a-Wish Foundation gave me a day, and it wasn’t even for me, but I will relive it forever in my mind. On that one day, we lived like any other family; together, happy and whole. Like every other mother, I am very much a work in progress, learning as I go. Having a special needs child taught me compassion and grace that I never knew I desperately needed. My son taught me how to love selflessly. I learned how to let my husband lean on me completely, and how important it is to realize that it’s okay to experience the journey differently, as long as we are still experiencing it together. I’ve learned that it is okay to take turns falling apart. Most of all, Hudson taught me that there is a big difference between being brokenhearted and being broken. On March 10, 2016, Hudson went to be with Jesus. It was equally the worst and best day of my life: a piece of my heart and soul is now gone forever, but he is finally free from pain and we no longer have to helplessly watch him suffer. Our life is now much different than it was back in July on our Make-A-Wish trip. Out of all the memories we packed into five short years, holding him in the ocean on that trip is by far my most beloved. Though Hudson’s body failed him, his spirit never did. Now I’m attempting to live my life as fully as I can for both of us.

Celebrating Baby’s

First Hug


rom the moment Mom finds out that she’s pregnant, she imagines seeing, hearing, smelling, and, above all, holding her sweet little one for the first time. When she finally does, that first hug is indescribably perfect and worth the wait. It is a real gift from mom to baby and baby to mom.

Gosh, so many emotions!! With both Taylor and Thayer when I got to hold them (I had c sections with both) it was an immense feeling of a love that you only can have with your child. With Taylor, I was in recovery for awhile, so I didn’t get to hold him right away. But when I did, I felt relief that he was here and a sense of purpose that I had never known. I understood in that short moment how much my mom loved me and why I was put on this earth. It was also scary!!! I don’t think anything can prepare you for that moment. I don’t think anyone understands that kind of love until they have lived it.

My oldest son, Shepherd, was taken from my arms quickly and rushed to the nursery to work on some breathing issues. I was finally wheeled to the nursery to meet him and he was bundled up asleep in his little bed. All I did was say his name softly and his eyes shot open and stared straight at me. Shepherd recognized my voice and knew I was his mommy. He was waiting for me and my heart melted as I held him tightly for the first time.

With Thayer, the emotions were different yet similar in many ways. After losing Taylor, my pregnancy was very different. I worried about Taylor so much and that he would think we were trying to replace him. But when Thayer was born and I held him, I understood that he was a gift from God and Taylor. I felt the same relief that he was finally here but also so much thankfulness that I got another chance at being a mom. I felt like I had a reason and a desire to breathe again. It had been so long since I had felt that way. There is nothing like that warm feeling of immense love and gratefulness that washes over you when you hold your baby. Never take it for granted, because life can change in an instant....

- Julia Faught

- Ella Shelton

But there’s another monumental moment Mom hasn’t thought about yet, the one where she hands the baby off to be dressed and swaddled. Even out of her arms, she wants her baby to still feel embraced and loved. Let the second hug be just as special as the first with a soft, comfortable diaper from Huggies. with Now us n o b 6 rs diape

My first hug/snuggle with Emma Jane was an incredible experience. She was crying when she came out, but as soon as they placed her on my chest she stopped crying and just snuggled right down. Watching as she was totally contented by just the feel of my skin was an incredible experience! We laid together like that for almost an hour. Just the two of us (and dad) looking into each other’s eyes murmuring to each other. That bonding opportunity was one of the best experiences I’ve had.

- Jill Vick

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ide u G p m a C 6 1 20 5 Imagine Studios

SUMMER ART CAMPS 2016 at Imagine Studios

479-619-6085 Fire up your creativity and join the summer fun! At Imagine Studios, campers will expand their imaginations as we explore the world of art. We’ve got so many themes that your budding artist will be sure to find inspiration with us! Weekly 1/2 day sessions are offered in the morning and afternoons Monday through Thursday. Campers are welcome to bring a sack lunch and stay for the day.

School of Rock -2603 W. Pleasant Grove Rd Suite 106 Rogers 479-936-8838 SCHOOL OF ROCK offers rock music camps for musicians of all skill levels who play guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and vocals. Students ages 7-18 can develop their musicianship and learn new skills in a creative and fun environment. Our camps emphasize live performance through workshops, clinics, and group rehearsals, where students learn about playing together in a band and developing stage presence. Our camps are a great introduction to School of Rock, or a perfect complement to our year-round program. Larson’s Language Center Summer Camp and Summer Club! (Ages 3-13) - 479-633-9900 1730 W. Poplar St. Rogers

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Learn Spanish while playing! Foreign language, crafts, cooking, games and more! Our 2016 Summer Camp has new hours (Before and after camp care) More fun, more language exposure, and more experiences.

The Little Gym

2603 W. Pleasant Grove, Suite 118, Rogers, AR 479-636-5566

Little Gym’s expert instructors fill each three-hour camp day with fitness and fun. Obstacle courses challenge them. Arts and crafts engage them. And group activities, snack time and special events give them time to interact and build their social skills – all in a non-competitive, nurturing environment.

Super Science

1034 Reed Valley Rd Fayetteville (479) 444-0303 Super Science one-day camps are most popular with 4- to 12-year-olds. We keep kiddos busy with Estes rocket building and launches, T-Rex dinosaur tooth (fossil) casting, a light and laser show, fun science games and more, culminating with all-youcan-eat cotton candy. Yes, there is science behind the invention of cotton candy!

Most amazing and original summer camp ever! Make new friends! Martial Arts Action! Pizza Party! Bullying Prevention! Board Breaking Tricks! Games!

ATA Martial Arts 127 N Steamboat Dr. Fayetteville Fayetteville – 479.443.5425 Bentonville – 479.273.1212


Crystal Bridges Summer Camps

Register now for Crystal Bridges summer camps for kids 6 to 12! Explore the museum galleries and grounds, enjoy art-making and theatre activities, make friends, and have fun! All materials and healthy, nutfree snacks are included in camp fee.

Ozark Natual Science Center 479-202-8340

ARTS Live Theatre 818 N. Sang Avenue Fayetteville 479.521.4932 Camps for everyone ages 5-18. Get Up and Dance Camp, Musical Theatre Camps, Create a Play Camps and many more! Each camp will end with a free public showcase performance the final day of each camp.

Little Giggles Summer Camps 3301 South Walton Boulevard Bentonville . 479-268-4949 Select weeks in June, July and August Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 2 - 5 yr olds (must be potty-trained) Limited space available. Must reserve space before first day of camp. Themes include Frozen, Superheroes, and Pirates & Princesses. These super-fun camps will include a variety of guest appearances, music classes, cottage crafts, themed games, plenty of open play, yummy snacks, and much, much more!

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Rogers Activity Center --

Day Camp and Summer Sports Camps 315 West Olive Street -(479) 631-0336

Choose the weeks you want. Camps run from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 1st through 7th grade. Field trips, fun activities, breakfast, lunch and snack! Also offering summer sports camps to enhance your child’s skills in their favorite sport.

Fast Lane Entertainment Summer Camps! (479) 659-0999 June 6 -10 and July 11- 15 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (or 1 p.m. with lunch option) For kids ages 5-11, with activities including bowling, laser tag, spin zone bumper cars, play structure and arcade! Campers will recieve camp t-shirt, lanyard, and snacks.

Trike Theatre, 209 NE 2nd St. Bentonville,

Trike’s 2016 Summer Camps: Register now and create memories that will last a lifetime. Fine arts camps, production camps, and young actors camps!

Meet The Tot Tote! Feature by: Loria W. Oliver | Photos by: Kate Spencer Photography,


s a local mom, I feel honored to launch a new product in Northwest Arkansas. We may live in a small(ish) town, but it’s one that’s big on entrepreneurship.

I’ve worked on developing The Tot Tote for over a year and, after many prototypes, securing a patent pending status, developing relationships with retailers and creating an e-commerce platform, I’m so excited to be able to extend The Tot Tote to you. My husband and I have two young boys, ages 3 and 5, and traveling with them was a bit challenging at times. Little race cars, apple sauce pouches and crayons would be lost at the bottom of my purse, thrown on the floor of the car, or worse, left behind at the airport; time after time. I felt compelled to solve my own organizing issue, and The Tot Tote was created to make traveling long or short distances with kids a bit easier and more efficient. The Tot Tote can work in many ways depending on your traveling needs. It can be worn as a backpack with its adjustable straps, carried as a tote bag, or hung as a backseat organizer on a headrest. It works great as a diaper bag or a quick changing mat solution for kids that are still rear-facing in the car or not old enough to carry their own bag. I’ve even used it on picnics to hold our food and snacks within the inside pockets. The Tot Tote was designed to grow with your child’s traveling needs, and can be used by tots from birth on up.

It is made of 10 oz canvas, has seven pockets, and comes in fun, classic and timeless designs for kids. The Tot Tote can also be monogrammed in four different styles and ten colors. Our very first collection, The Hilstone, is available for purchase and includes designs such as The Owl, The Dancer, The Racer, The Bike and The Vintage Airplane. The Hilstone is everything we loved about being a kid; riding bikes, having adventures, being sweet and learning what it means to be wise. Each collection of Tot Totes is inspired by special family memories, like our travel stories, inspiration from our boys and interactions within our community. My greatest hope is that The Tot Tote can help other families while on the go like it helps ours. May celebrates National Small Business Week and we, along with other local small enterprises, would graciously appreciate your support and feedback. If you would like to purchase a Tot Tote or want more information, please visit one of our retail partners or visit us at I wish you and your family an amazing summer! FIND THE TOT TOTE AT THESE LOCATIONS: Logo -n- Stitch Springdale, AR Rollie Pollie Bentonville, AR Scott Family Amazeum, Curiosity Corner Store Bentonville, AR Summit Aviation Bentonville, AR

As a local mom, I feel honored to launch a new product in Northwest Arkansas. We may live in a small(ish) town but it’s one that’s big on entrepreneurship. I’ve worked on developing The Tot Tote for over a year and after many prototypes, securing a patent pending status, developing relationships with retailers and creating an e-commerce platform, I’m so excited to be able to extend The Tot Tote to you. My husband and I have two young boys, ages 3 and 5, and traveling with them was a bit challenging at times. Little race cars, apple sauce pouches and crayons would be lost at the bottom of my purse, thrown on the floor of the car, or worse, left behind at the airport; time after time. I felt compelled to solve my own organizing issue and The Tot Tote was created to make traveling long or short distances with kids a bit easier and




2016 May

May Library storytimes: Bentonville Public Library: Fayetteville Public Library: Springdale Public Library: Rogers Public Library:

Special Events: Bentonville Film Festival Family Films and Events


For more listings and to reserve tickets at

Wednesday, May 4 The Great Gilly Hopkins 8:30 - Old High Auditorium - Bentonville 12-year-old wisecracking Gilly Hopkins finds herself shuffled from foster home to foster home until she meets Maime Trotter.

Friday, May 6 Ghostbusters - During First Friday -- bring lawn chairs for viewing 7:00 p.m. Stuart Little-21C Museum - Outside- 5:30pm

Saturday, May 7 Keeping up with the Kids Panel Discussion 10am - Vudu Lounge The media landscape is dramatically shifting from content to consumption to distribution. Content creators are re-inventing how they conceive, produce and distribute content to appeal to how children consume an on-demand digital life. Parents are seeking entertainment that reflects the diverse stories of our society. Major brands want highquality entertainment that families can enjoy together.

Sunday, May 8 A League of Their Own Reunion Ballgame Arvest Ballpark, Sunday, May 8 Gates Open for Family Fun Activities at 12:00 pm First Pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm ALL Tickets $5 In addition to the ballgame, gates will open two hours early to allow guests to enjoy Family fun outside and inside the ballpark. The Smithfield/Eckrich/Nathan’s area outside the stadium will feature food sampling, inflatables and games appealing to all ages. Inside the park the Peekaboo Magazine Kid’s Zone will entertain families with:Inflatables, obstacle course, putt-putt golf, whiffle ball, the NWA Naturals Kid’s Train, photo booth, laser tag archery, art station, kids mechanical bull riding and much more. Bring mom and families to enjoy a great Mother’s Day of fun, food and softball at the BFF A League of Their Own Ballpark Reunion game.

42 May 2016



Birthday Party Expo 10-2 p.m. Pinnacle Hills Promenade The best party vendors, bakeries, boutiques, and businesses have teamed up to bring your family the ultimate birthday party experience. Enjoy free admission, free cupcakes, vendor giveaways, live entertainment, pony rides, a petting zoo, arts and crafts, bounce houses, climbing walls, boutiques, and so much more! Mark your calendars – you don’t want to miss this day of free family fun! Make a Wish - Walk for Wishes 8:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Arvest Ballpark Make-A-Wish® Mid-South invites Northwest Arkansas residents to participate in the first-ever Walk For Wishes, a community-wide celebration of the organization’s mission and local wish granting efforts. Following the less than two mile walk, activities will include inflatable games, crafts, magicians, face painting, photo booth fun, music and more. Mini Derby - Equestrian Bridges 3-7 p.m. Parkerman Stables Kentucky Derby Watch party benefiting children with autism and their families. Lemonade Day Big Brothers Big Sisters of NWA Rogers Lemonade Day is a FREE, fun, experiential learning program that teaches youth how to start, own and operate their own business – a lemonade stand. Lemonade Day is a program championed by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas. We hope to have 1,000 youth participating in Lemonade Day in the region! Walmart Cars, Bikes & BBQ Event 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. 805 SE Moberly Ln Parade- Downtown Square Our Associate Volunteers are dedicated to helping children and helping you show off your cool rides. There will be food, vendors, DJ, Kids area, silent auction, drive-thru judging. Cars will cruise thru the Bentonville square at 1:30 pm. This event is free to spectators & all money raised from those who enter their cars in the show goes to ACH. Demolition Derby Parson’s Stadium, Springdale Rodeo of the Ozarks brings you a night of fender bending devastation, metal crushing destruction, and daredevil motorized mayhem. Participants from the four-state area compete for thousands in cash prizes, trophies, and bragging rights. This has become one of the most popular events in Northwest Arkansas and attracts thousands of cheering fans and team supporters.




Beauty and the Beast @ Walton Arts Center Walton Arts Center, Fayetteville 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the smash hit Broadway musical, returns to Northwest Arkansas! This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song.




Greening Of The Garden Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks The Greening of the Garden is our signature event celebrating the spring season. The event showcases our exceptional Garden to friends, family and introduces new guests to this one-of-a-kind attraction in Northwest Arkansas. Wine and hors d’oeuvres are served in featured gardens followed by dinner on the Great Lawn enhanced by beautiful floral arrangements and local musicians.




Discovery Tots workshop 10 a.m. Amazeum , Bentonville Discovery Tots 10-11 am Ages 18 to 36 months old and a caregiver per child/adult pair: Members $10 non-members $15 Advanced registration and payment required.




Bellaflies Strides for Strokes 5pm - 5k starts at 6:30 p.m. Downtown Rogers A benefit event for children impacted by strokes Obstacle course, race, fun run, auction, fun zone, music, food, and more. www.bellaflies.corg/stridesforstrokes




Trail Mix 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Razorback Regional Greenway Join us for a festive day of free programs with artists and musicians in various locations across NWA – we’ll start with a kickoff celebration at the Fayetteville square, then meet up again for the Springdale Front Porch Festival in the Mill Street District. There will be live performances at Mercy Trailhead in Rogers and a final celebration at Lawrence Plaza just off the Bentonville square. Bike parades, interactive performance art, live music and dancing and farmers’ markets! Kendrick Fincher Hydration Celebration Pinnacle Hills Promenade 1/2 and 1- mile run, a 5K run, duathlon, diaper dash and toddler trot. Proceeds benefit Kendrick Fincher Hydration for Life. Therapy Dog Storytime 10 a.m. Bentonville Public Library Reading with a dog is fun and can help children increase enthusiasm for reading, develop reading skills, and gain confidence in interacting with animals.




Egg Walton Arts Center Live matinee performances in a variety of art forms including dance, theater, puppetry, and world music to school groups. These performances are opportunities for young people to explore world cultures, make connections to important works of literature, or to learn more about art forms through lecture/ demonstration format.




Mudtown Days Lowell Ward Nail Park Join us for a family fun-filled event including the ATV and Side-by-Side Mudcrawl, carnival rides, petting zoo, free concert, vendors, car show, fishing derby, pageants and more.




6th Annual Block Street Block Party Fayetteville’s best local party, with 5 outdoor beer gardens, over 60 local bands, 150 vendors, and everything we love that’s local about Northwest Arkansas.

Mini Media - Review from Around Town My name is Vivian Higgins (age 6). My favorite place in Bentonville is the farmers market. I like the farmers market because it has local food. I like local food so much. My favorite foods there are the chickens and the bread and the cookies and fruits and vegetables. I like it because it is a healthy place. I have a straw basket that I put tomatoes in. There are nice people there. My favorite part last summer was when I got the cookies from Ms. Brooke. I like to see the princesses and the plants. I like everything at the farmers market.

hadleY’s sToRy by: Valarie Sappington


y husband and I were so excited to announce that we were going to be adding to our family after our devastating miscarriage on December 25, 2014. Things seemed like they were going as planned, until I woke up one morning at nine weeks pregnant, bleeding. We went in for an ultrasound later that morning to find out that I had a Subchorionic Hemorrhage (SCH); this is a condition classified by bleeding underneath the placenta, which can lead to miscarriage, extreme pre-term labor or pre-term labor. I was told that it may or may not resolve by 20 weeks, but most often they do. In the meantime, we found out that we were having a girl and decided to name her Hadley Grace. Our 10-year-old twins, Abbie and Lauren, were so excited to be big sisters. We were over the moon. At 17 weeks, we received our Alpha-Fetoprotein Test (AFP), which is a test that measures the high and low levels of a protein called alpha-fetoprotein, which can predict the probability of some genetic disorders. We later received the results from our doctor, which suggested that Hadley may have Spina bifida, even though I had taken folic acid throughout my pregnancy. We were referred to a maternal fetal specialist for further testing. Although an ultrasound later ruled out Spina bifida, the maternal fetal specialist wanted to continue to monitor me for the SCH. At 24 weeks pregnant my water broke, a condition called Pre-term Premature Rupture of Membranes

46 May 2016

(PPROM) occurring in women prior to 37 weeks. I was admitted to Willow Creek Women’s Hospital in Johnson for hospitalized bedrest. Hadley only measured 1 lb 7 oz, so we needed to keep her in as long as possible. I was given two steroid shots to help mature her lungs and help her to gain weight, just in case I went into labor. I was on bedrest for three weeks during this time. On the morning of October 12, 2015, after being on magnesium to try to stop labor, Hadley Grace Sappington was born, weighing 2 lbs 4 oz and 14 Ÿ inches long. She was beautiful in every way. She was SO tiny. I had been trying to mentally prepare for this moment for weeks, but nothing could have prepared me for the tiny baby that laid in the isolette in front of me. She literally took my breath away. All I could keep thinking was that we were never going to make it out of there. I felt helpless and hopeless. As I sat there staring at this tiny miracle, I decided that we were going to make it--somehow, some way. She was breathing with the help of oxygen through a nasal cannula, and getting breastmilk half a milliliter at a time. In the days following, she had a PICC line put in to take the place of her umbilical line, so she could continue receive total parenteral nutrition (TPN) through IV fluids to supplement her daily nutritional requirements.

On October 18, 2015, I was finally able to hold her for an hour and a half while doing skin-toskin therapy (Kangaroo Care). It was so hard to watch my newborn in an isolette with her skin so thin and translucent, being forced to rely on others to care for her. It killed me knowing that other people were there with her during the times that I should have been, like her first bath, changing her diapers, consoling her when I should have been doing it instead, and being able to touch her anytime that they wanted. They will tell you in the NICU that your experience will be much like riding a roller coaster, and that’s exactly right. She was up to 10 milliliters of milk when her doctor decided that it was time to fortify her feedings. That next day, her morning X-ray revealed that she had “stacking” in her intestines caused by inflammation. The pressure from her distended belly made it difficult for her to breathe so she had to be intubated. That night we stayed with her, as her NICU team kept a vigilant eye on her, watching for signs of Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC), which occurs when the intestinal tissue is damaged and begins to die. She spent the following weeks recovering from her tummy troubles and was finally able to tolerate her fortified feedings. After spending a little over three weeks on the vent, she was miraculously able to be extubated without the use of steroids. Hadley does have chronic lung disease as a result from being intubated for so long. This is managed with the use of an inhaler on an as-needed basis.

On January 3rd, 2016 after 84 long days in the NICU, Hadley was ready to go home. She is truly a miracle, and I thank God every day that he chose me to be her mom. One of the hardest things about having Hadley in the NICU, aside from the ups, downs and the unknown, is continuing on with everyday life at home with her 10-year-old twin sisters. While Hadley was in the hospital, we celebrated holidays and birthdays, but the hardest was Christmas.

We are so thankful to the March of Dimes for organizing a parents’ lunch and bringing in a professional photographer to take family photos for all of the NICU families free of charge. Our family is forever grateful for Dr. Canzoneri, Dr. Wagle, Dr. Lin and all of the amazing nurses, respiratory therapists and NICU staff at Willow Creek Women’s Hospital. Without all of the advancements in research, technology, lifesaving medications and testing pioneered and funded by the March of Dimes that Hadley received while in the hospital, I’m not sure what our outcome would have been. Now Hadley is 5-months-old and weighs 11 lbs 3 oz. She is healthy and brings so much joy to all of those around her #GrowHadleyGrow

A Fighting Chance for Every Baby Contact the March of Dimes local office for more information about prematurity and healthy pregnancies or to find out ways you can get involved. March of Dimes- Northwest Division 3291 S. Thompson Street, Ste. E101 Springdale, 479.717.7071 •

E x c l u s i v e ly F o u n d at

Willow Creek Women’s Hospital Critical services for mom and baby should the need arise


illow Creek Women’s Hospital is a crowned jewel of Northwest Arkansas and surrounding communities with uniquely sophisticated capabilities to care for the most fragile babies. Moms and families who live in our region are afforded local access to these modern services, programs and technology at our 64-bed facility with 24 NICU beds located in Johnson right off exit 69 of I-49! Willow Creek is the only dedicated women’s hospital in NWA offering the largest Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) whose onsite (not telemedicine) clinical teams include board certified neonatologists; certified neonatal nurse practitioners; respiratory therapists with specialized training in the care of fragile newborns; physical, occupational and speech therapy; pastoral services; and social workers. Forward thinking is a part of the Willow Creek Women’s culture, so our clinical teams practice family-centered care promoting mother-baby bonding. The most important factor, however, is first getting baby stable. “Babies not requiring a lot of respiratory support and not having a lot of events such as bradycardia or apnea go into a private room right away where mom and dad are encouraged to stay with baby,” said NICU Director Courtney Reeves, RN.

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Many babies require more intensive care and are admitted to open bay rooms where they receive the support they need and parents can stay bedside as much and as long as they like. “Our team knows that mother-baby bonding is crucial for newborns’ optimal development so we want moms with their babies from day one, and we move babies to private rooms as soon as possible. We are the only NICU in northwest Arkansas with single family and private rooms,” Reeves added. Willow Creek’s NICU also offers our mothers specialized and individualized care from a board certified lactation consultant. Although not exclusive to Willow Creek, lactation consultants at our facility make daily rounds and assist with breast pumps and breast-feeding to assure each baby is getting the benefit of their mother’s milk to optimize baby’s health. The lactation consultants are also available to answer questions and concerns from mothers and families in regards to feeding their baby in the NICU. Our focus is to assist mothers in their efforts to care for their baby’s nutritional needs, and we provide the experts to make that happen. In addition to being voted “Best place to have a baby” by readers of two Arkansas publications for three years straight, the following are some of the unique clinical capabilities that distinguishes Willow Creek Women’s Hospital from other facilities in NWA that deliver babies:

The professionals at Willow Creek’s NICU are able to serve mother and baby as early as 23 weeks gestation all the way to term (40 weeks). Our Neonatal ICU transport team picks up fragile and premature babies born at hospitals that do not have a NICU. Neonatal Nurse Practitioners (APNs) also attend high risk deliveries of mothers with babies expected to need NICU care but were unable to be transported to Willow Creek Women’s hospital prior to delivery at these outlying hospitals. The transport team includes a NICUtrained registered nurse and respiratory therapist to bring baby to WCWH where the neonatal specialists can provide the care baby needs. High Frequency Ventilation (HFV) helps maintain lung recruitment by delivering small, tidal volumes at a constant rate to keep tiny lungs open and to better prevent lung injury. This technology is needed because some preterm babies do not do well on conventional ventilation and others must be on the ventilator for extended periods of time, which may cause injury to the lungs. Inhaled Nitric Oxide (iNo) Therapy is used to treat hypoxic respiratory failure in infants that is associated with pulmonary hypertension or high arterial lung pressure. This therapy reduces the need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) which increases the risk of bleeding. iNo Therapy uses Nitric Oxide, which improves oxygenation for babies greater than 34 weeks gestation. Whole Body Cooling (Therapeutic Hypothermia) is induced hypothermia for babies after birth. Body cooling provides cerebral (brain) protection for newborns affected by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This complication occurs when there is a reduced level of oxygen (hypoxia) or blood flow (ischemia) to the baby’s brain or body. Body cooling significantly decreases the risk of neurological damage after a traumatic birth.

Amplitude Integrated electroencephalography (aEEG) tests detect seizure activity and baseline brain function on admission and is an invaluable tool to monitor brain function 24 hours a day in high-risk newborns with brain injury or malformation. It can tell doctors if there is abnormal electrical activity in the brain, and in some cases, the types of seizures that are happening. This information can then be used for diagnosis. NICU Graduate Care Clinic is a two-year program and the only follow-up program of its kind in NWA. Neonatologists, pediatricians, social services, speech therapists, nutritionists, and occupational therapists follow baby for two years after they ‘graduate’ from the NICU to ensure appropriate growth, weaning off home oxygen, resolution of breathing pauses (apnea), consistent swallowing and feeding and developmental milestones are being met. Ophthalmologists examine baby’s eyes and diagnose any problems baby may have. Babies born prematurely and/or who required mechanical ventilation and high oxygen levels often have special needs for the eyes and Willow Creek Women’s Hospital’s eye specialists make sure these needs are met. Respiratory, speech, occupational and physical therapists dedicated to the NICU work with babies and their families at the hospital as well as in baby’s home. Dedicated NICU Dietician who monitor’s baby’s nutrition, calorie intake and growth. Extremely preterm babies are given an exclusive human milk based diet from birth until 35 weeks by provision of donor milk and a human, milkbased human-milk fortifier to prevent growth failure and bowel injury.


Night out!

by: Addi Simmons

NWA Escape Room

Instead of the usual dinner and drinks, change up your girl’s night out routine for something a bit more… mysterious. NWA Escape Room allows you to channel your inner sleuth by searching for clues that will lead to hidden pieces of information, which will eventually lead to your escape – if you can beat the clock, of course! At NWA Escape Room, you have the choice between two different rooms, each with a different theme that is changed out every few months or so to allow visitors to solves as many different mysteries as possible. For our girl’s night out, we were locked inside of a Sherlock Holmes-themed room for 60 minutes.

We can’t reveal much about it, but there were many surprises, and we had a lot of fun working together and digging for clues. NWA Escape Room is not only a fun idea for a girl’s night out, it’s also perfect for birthday parties and is a great way to get co-workers together to help build and encourage teamwork. They will have to rely on each other’s strengths and leadership in order to work together and beat the clock. Having to look for clues and solve mysteries in a limited amount of time also encourages working and thinking under pressure, plus multitasking to make sure everything gets done. If you don’t have a large group, that’s okay, too! NWA Escape Room would be fun for a date night, but there is a possibility of other people solving the mystery with you. Kids are welcome to join you, but those under the age of eight might have a hard time understanding the clues. Because the rooms are designed for adults over the age of 18, the clues are very challenging. Many adults don’t even solve the mystery before time runs out! At the end of the night, whether you make it out in time or not, you’ll get your photo taken holding signs that might say, “We escaped!” or “Missed it by that much!” Luckily for our group, we made it out with a little time to spare. So, which sign will you be holding in the end? Good luck!

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Duck Hunt

Don’t stress out, but plan it out. Speak to your spouse. Decide what is important and work together to maintain a united front.

Dad’s View

by: Ben Lacy

Ladies, please read this article. It’s not really about duck hunting. Guys, please read this article. I mean, check it out, it’s about DUCK HUNTING!!!

However, the first part of this article is not about duck hunting. Confused yet? Okay, here we go. What is most important to you? Or, more specifically, what is the most important thing you want to teach your children? What is your primary focus as a parent? For this article, you only get to pick one! It’s not so easy to pick just one. Is school most important? Athletics? Religion? Family? My wife and I continually play the “shell game” meaning, moving what is most important to us around continually, which leads to massive confusion for all involved. One day it is “You absolutely must go to Youth Group on Wednesday.” Then Wednesday rolls around and it’s “You have a C- in Literature so you need to skip Youth Group to bring that grade up.” The weekend comes, and it is “You must see your Grandmother on her birthday, but you have a rescheduled basketball game so you must go to the game and not let your team down.” We’re kind of bananas; I feel for our offspring. Now; let’s talk about duck hunting. Stay with me... there is a correlation. Last winter, my very nice, but frighteningly foolish friends took me to South Arkansas to hunt Daffy and Donald. It was a bold and daring invitation, as my previous hunting experiences involved “hunting for a good deal on an iPhone” not shooting lethal devices into the air at fast moving targets that are only a few yards away from the skulls of my besties.

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My buddies spent the entire 4-hour ride explaining to me which end of the gun was the business end and continually pleaded with me not to shoot them. Good fellas these guys are. Upon arriving, our guide said the same thing to me: “Please do not shoot me.” My gut tells me he might have been tipped off as to my experience level. My “buddies” left out a great deal of information regarding the hunting of ducks. Like the part about waking up at 4:30 am, or the part about it being in Dagobah-meets-Hoth-like conditions (Star Wars Reference #1) or the part about the Zen-like patience you must have, or the part about being super quiet and keeping your teeth chattering to a minimum. Finally, it was time. Suns up, ducks up, guns up. Our ever-patient guide called in the first “victims” and I impatiently waited for the call to “shoot”. If you’ve never been duck hunting, you should know that when the ducks get close their wings sound like a freaking Apache helicopter is about ready to land on your head – but you can’t look up because they can see the whites of your eyes and for reasons unknown and untold to me, ducks don’t like the color white. So, anyway, the guide finally yells “SHOOT!” and I look up to see four ducks no more than 10 yards away from me. I mean, they are so close I should have been able to hit them with a shot put. All of the ducks have this “Oh crap, he’s got a gun” look on their face while I have an “Oh crap, there’s actually ducks” look on my face. I open fire in a furious, frenzied and frenetic form and hit absolutely nothing save for the massive lake behind the ducks. I mean, even Stormtroopers could have hit one of these quackers (Star Wars Reference #2 and side note: If you aren’t a Star Wars fan then you won’t get the reference and, sadly, we can’t be friends. But the Stormtrooper reference is to the fact that there are thousands of

them shooting at the good guys, but they never hit any of them. Therefore, Stormtroopers must have terrible accuracy). The guide, face blank with 90 percent disbelief and 10 percent rage, looks at me and says “Son, you can’t shoot them all at the same time!!!!” Meaning, pick one and don’t try to shoot all of them at once. It’s the same way with kids. You have to pick a focus; you can’t do it all at once.

We lasted about 36 hours before we were off track. But that’s cool, because it’s impossible. Like I’ve said before, every kid is different and every parent is different and every parent/kid situation is different – and even if it is the same parent and the same kid, it could be at a different time with different priorities. Serenity now!

So, my unsolicited advice o’ the month: Don’t stress out, but plan it out. Speak to your spouse Look, we want to mold them into perfect little – that is verbal talking, not texting or any of that Play-Doh robots, but the truth is that’s not other social media mumbo jumbo (man I sound possible. Much like the ducks, you can’t focus on old). Decide what is important and work together everything at the same time and besides, we’re all to maintain a united front. These days, the little frazzled enough, let’s not pass that late 20th/early whippersnappers (seriously, what is with me, I’m not that old!) are sharp, and if they sense indecision 21st century trait onto another generation. or weakness it is like blood in the water. Aligning with We tried to “pick a duck” this school year. We lined your spouse is never a bad up the priorities for the kids as follows. thing (right honey?) and it 1. Church will remove a lot of questions and confusion with the 2. Family youngins (okay, I need to get 3. School out more). 4. Friends

5. Sports

The “logic” was like a twisted game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. ✓ If you have a family event and a church event then church wins. ✓ If you have a math test and basketball practice then school wins.

Long story short, if you ever go duck hunting with me, I have one piece of advice… duck! Pun absolutely intended.


Giving Hair


antene Beautiful Lengths is a hair donation program established by Procter & Gamble that creates real-hair wigs for cancer patients completely free of charge. In 2007, P&G hosted its first local Pantene Beautiful Lengths event as part of the inaugural LPGA tournament in Northwest Arkansas. This year, Pantene Beautiful Lengths and the Walmart NWA Championship presented by P&G are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the event by collecting 1,000 donations this year for women battling cancer right here in Northwest Arkansas. Pantene Beautiful Lengths brings together the entire community through the support of generous donors, businesses and organizations, hair salons and schools. Local salon owner Samantha Clark and school administrator Michelle Wright are both involved in Pantene Beautiful Lengths in different capacities, but both offer a unique and compelling perspective of why Pantene Beautiful Lengths is meaningful to them. These inspiring stories highlight the spirit of giving that is evident throughout the Northwest Arkansas community.

When I received a flyer five years ago about the Pantene Beautiful Lengths event, I immediately recognized that this was a chance for me and the girls of Salon 102 to give back to our community and make a difference. Most people know someone who has had or is currently dealing with some form of cancer. I personally have had to see my children’s great aunt pass away from cancer, but I also am very proud to say that my sister-in-law is a survivor of cancer. As a stylist,


Salon 102 Owner and Pantene Beautiful Lengths Stylist At Salon 102, we have a passion for Pantene Beautiful Lengths and I am grateful for the opportunity to share our story with you. To begin, I want to thank all the girls from Salon 102 for their help in getting so many hair donations this year. We were challenged by Pantene Beautiful Lengths to collect a minimum of 10 donations and the girls and I are proud to have gone above and beyond our challenge. We have already collected over 50 ponytails from our generous clients at Salon 102.

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I have had clients who are about to walk into chemotherapy come in and shave off all of their hair before going into treatment. Knowing that these patients have the opportunity to receive real hair wigs through the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program motivates us at Salon 102. I enjoy coming back each year to be able to make a difference in the lives of the people getting their hair cut to donate and knowing the happiness of the ones receiving the wig. I want to thank everyone involved with Pantene Beautiful Lengths for their support and most importantly, allowing me to be involved in such a great opportunity to make a difference.



Four years ago, the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program was introduced to the Northwest Arkansas school districts, including the Rogers School District. When the flyers came to Russell D. Jones Elementary that first year, I honestly did not know how many students would want to cut 8 inches of their hair. During my classroom guidance as a school counselor, I began to talk to students about leaving their mark in the world. Helping and serving others was one positive way to do this and the PBL program provided an opportunity for students to do that. We also discussed how all of us have been touched by cancer in some way, whether it’s someone we know and love or if we have experienced the disease ourselves. Discussing these two concepts with students and staff and getting them to look at the bigger picture has been the driving force behind the success in the schools. One of the greatest things to witness is a student

commiting to donating, and then watching them encourage others to do the same. Two years ago, I had a 1st grade girl come to me and make the commitment to donate. Her words to me were, “Mrs. Wright, it’s only will grow back.” Those words became a theme for the building that spring and before long, one young girl’s simple words motivated an entire school. Last year there were 53 participants in the PBL remote haircut program at Russell D. Jones Elementary. At Westside Elementary this year, there are already over 40 students and staff that have made the commitment to do something amazing. It is great to know that over the last four years, so many students have left their mark in this world through this program. Most importantly, they have learned to inspire others to give, and as a result, they have helped many people that have lost their hair due to cancer treatment believe that there is always hope.

Give hair and hope to those in need by becoming a Pantene Beautiful Lengths donor, stylist or advocate. If you are interested in making the kindest cut of all, please visit Pantene Beautiful Lengths will host its community-wide hair donation event on

Monday, June 20 at the Walmart AMP as part of #NWAChampionship Week.

An Inspirational Woman Meet Becky Shaffer by: deja frieden


hroughout our lifetime, God plants people in our lives that leave a meaningful impact upon it; Becky Shaffer is one of those people in my life.

I had the privilege of meeting Becky four and a half years ago as I was coming into the Saving Grace program. Becky is the Executive Director of Saving Grace NWA, a Christ-centered transitional living program that gives young women the opportunity to break generational curses of poverty and homelessness while finding freedom in Christ. Becky, through hardship, dreamed of creating a place where she could provide young women a safe and loving home; a place where they can learn life skills and become successful and impactful women. Having been a part of Saving Grace, I have personally witnessed Becky pour out her heart into making the program fit each ladies’ individual needs while also finding resources that provide emotional and spiritual healing. With the Lord by her side, Becky bravely and boldly shares her powerful testimony and big visions with potential donors all over Northwest Arkansas. This act of courage has blessed the Saving Grace program with a beautiful facility, and many other resources to meet the needs of the brave women coming into the program. Saving

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Grace is an incredibly unique program that has gained a great deal of support within the NWA community. The beauty of Saving Grace’s success is that Becky Shaffer will direct you immediately to God. “To our God, and Father be glory for ever and ever Amen,” (Philippians 4:20). One of the most admirable qualities that Becky possesses is the way she loves others. “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing,” (1 Corinthians 13:2). Becky loves each young lady that walks through the doors of Saving Grace like one of her own children. She intentionally shows this through her acts of service, and personal relationships with each individual girl. Her heart is to see each one of the girls in the program be successful and know how cherished they truly are. Becky also makes sure her work life never takes priority over her family, scheduling days that are sacred to spend time together, and love on them. In her testimony, Becky tells about how growing up she was in and out of foster care, because she had a family that wasn’t there for her. But you would never know it because the love of God flows from her. Becky is a mighty warrior for Christ; she spends

time in the word each day to fill herself up with truth and light. Her faith and knowledge of the word of God is a blessing to anyone that knows her. When I think of the Proverbs 31 woman, I think of Becky. She embodies everything that a Proverbs 31 woman should, “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies, her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.. She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: there are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all! Charm is deceptive and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise” (Proverbs 31:10-31). However, the most captivating thing about this amazing woman is the glory she brings to God. The story of God’s love that is written in her testimony.

“Becky loves each young lady that walks through the doors of Saving Grace like one of her own children.” Becky was raised in and out of foster care and dealt with hardship that should have made her another unfortunate statistic. Instead, Becky stood on the promises of God, “You intended it to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save lives of many people,” (Genesis 50:20). Becky created an amazing program that has and will continue to lead young women to the ultimate provider – Jesus Christ. The success of Saving Grace is proof enough. I know that God is looking down on Becky right now and is saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness,” (Matthew 25:21.) Becky Shaffer is a true example of what God can do with our brokenness; she has become a modern day she-ro (female hero) in the lives of so many, and sets the precedent of what is to be a woman of God and follow the calling we have on our lives.

How Getting Rid of My Stuff Made Me the Mom I Always Wanted to Be

intentionally g in liv d an ss le g n si oo A story of ch by Allie Casazza

and curled up on the locked the bathroom door hands, as tears rushed floor, my face buried in my dler continued to throw down my cheeks. My tod fan on and covered my his tantrum, so I flipped the feat washed over me as I ears. Humiliation and de t circumstance. thought about the curren


“This is the type of mom I am now? This is what motherhood is?” I sat there at my lowest point, flashing back to the yelling and the epic meltdown that brought me to the bathroom. I was suddenly very aware of how exhausted I was. My legs ached, and I realized that this was the first time I had sat down all day. I heard my oldest creep up to the door and gently tap, barely audible over the wailing toddler. “Mama? Can I have a snack?” Time to get up and get over it, but I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t go out there again. “Just one second, sweetie,” I muttered. I wiped the collection of tears from my face and put my head back against the wall. This isn’t working. This isn’t who I want to be. This isn’t the mom I want them to remember. Something has to change. This was the reality of my motherhood almost four years ago. That day is burned into my memory as the day I started looking for what needed to change. I spent most of my time cleaning up. The play room was full of bins and those were full of toys, the dresser drawers were overflowing with clothes that led to endless piles of dirty laundry, my to do list grew faster than I could cross things off, and it seemed like I had a choice to make each day–either have a clean house or have happy kids. I was almost always trying to find a way to keep

my kids busy (usually the television) so I could get things done; I was always overwhelmed and constantly exhausted. Flash forward a few months, and I had stumbled over something that was slowly changing my days, and then my motherhood, and then my whole life. It all started with the toys. I had read a blog post about a mom who took away all her kids’ toys and had seen amazing, positive results. I wasn’t about to take them all away, but I figured there was something to this idea of less, so I started to purge. I got rid of everything except several beloved toys, and toys that encouraged imagination–trains and tracks, blocks, dress-up clothes. The first week Allie Casazza is a blogger, author and inspirational speaker. Her passion is helping her fellow women find hope and light when chaos has stolen their motherhood. She believes motherhood and humor should always go handin-hand, otherwise you’ll never get through it. Allie is the wife of Brian, her seventh grade algebra partner turned sweetheart. They have four small kids who were born in five years, and they’re SoCal natives living in the beautiful Northwest corner of Arkansas. You can find Allie writing about living with intention and a lot less stuff over at her blog, The Purposeful Housewife.

was rough. My kids were bored, they whined, they were so fussy and miserable, I almost gave in, except that I couldn’t... because I had gotten rid of all the other stuff! It wasn’t that my kids missed the toys I had gotten rid of (they couldn’t have told you what was missing if their lives depended on it), it was the fact that the playing was being done for them. There were too many toys; they were overwhelmed. They didn’t know how to get themselves busy. After that first week, I began to see changes. My kids started making up games, imagining scenarios about unicorns and dinosaurs and cowboys, building cities out of wooden blocks; they started going outside a lot and getting along better. I realized that my kids hadn’t known how to play, and their imaginations had been stifled by too many toys and too much TV. This new idea of less began to leak into every other area of my house. I decluttered my bedroom, the closets, all the drawers and cabinets, I got rid of all the needless dishes and appliances in my kitchen and actually had some empty drawers! Pretty soon, I began to see that getting rid of all the stuff I didn’t need that was taking up space in my home had given me so much more time. I felt like I almost never needed to clean up. I had my usual tasks of laundry, vacuuming, dusting

and dishes, but they took me about 75 percent less time to complete, and the constant picking up had completely stopped. I was always ready for company to drop by, and that felt so good. I spent the bulk of my time on the floor with my kids building train tracks, or outside playing soccer, or coloring pictures of princesses. I was growing closer to my kids!

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of what we most value and the removal of everything that distracts from it.” - Joshua Becker

The evenings when my husband came home from work were no longer spent cleaning the kitchen and stressing about what wasn’t done. They were spent watching old James Bond movies with him, splitting a bag of popcorn and catching up, or busting out our Super Nintendo and battling it out with the Mario Brothers. My marriage was better! The pursuit of less made me blossom, and gave me so much more than I ever had to begin with. Suddenly, I was less busy, less stressed, I enjoyed my home and I was a better person in general, all because I got rid of the stuff I didn’t need. A life of choosing to live with less is a life of intention, purpose and a lot more joy. I know that for sure.


Aquatics Q& with Children’s Therapy TEAM’s Co-Founder Kym Hannah

Q: Your own daughter receives Aquatic Therapy. What impact has this had on her treatment? A: She loves it! Since Myrah uses a wheelchair for mobility, the water has a significant impact with the freedom of movement it provides. She is motivated to build strength in the water without her really even thinking about the fact that her muscles are working. Q: What is your favorite aspect of Aquatic Therapy? A: As a Physical Therapist I have found the body of research supporting Aquatic Therapy to be phenomenal. But, as a mom, I love the psychosocial benefits, such as my daughter’s sense of relaxation, fun and increased confidence. Q: Was your daughter your inspiration behind starting the Aquatic Center in 2015? A: She was definitely part of it, but we also felt a strong call to offer this service to our community for all children receiving therapy services. For years, Northwest Arkansas has had scarce water-based therapy options for children. That needed to change.


Q: What makes the Aquatic Center pools different from other pools? A: Well, we exclusively serve pediatric populations. However, really the most significant difference compared to other pools is that our water temperature is within a therapeutic range of 92-94 degrees year-round. Also, because our pools were designed exclusively for therapeutic use, careful attention to every detail has been made.

Q: Why is water temperature so important? A: A major function of a therapeutic pool is to relax muscles, so the water must be warm in order to achieve this. A shivering, cold child simply will not be able to reap all the benefits that an aquatic setting should offer.

Q: How are skills transitioned to land? A: When a child gets a movement down in the water, the skill can immediately be taken to the land surface around the pool. We keep the air temperature just one degree higher than the water temperature, so it is a perfect transition zone for land-based therapy. Q: Who qualifies for Aquatic Therapy? A: Any child receiving therapy services from a Speech-Language Pathologist, Physical Therapist and/or Occupational Therapist may be eligible. Q: What about kids already receiving school-based therapy or therapy through another provider? A: We happily collaborate with community therapists, both public and private. Introducing aquatic therapy as an add-on service while maintaining the child’s current therapy offerings can be a great way to reach therapy goals more quickly.

L E A D I NG P E D I AT R I C T H E R A P Y C A R E I N No rth w e s t A r k an s a s

Children’s Therapy TEAM offers:

Adaptive Recreation Activities • Aquatic Therapy • Developmental Therapy • Family Support Services Funding Support • International Outreach • Occupational Therapy • Orthotics • Physical Therapy Serial Casting • Speech Therapy • VitalStim Therapy... all in one FAITH-BASED TEAM!

Call 521-TEAM (8326) to learn more.

Believe in KIDS.

A Mom in Action

by: Rachel Higgins

Meet Rebecca Nimrod R ebecca Nimrod is one of those people you just automatically feel comfortable around. She is there with a shoulder when you need to cry, a glass of wine when you need to celebrate, and guidance when you feel lost. She lets your dog out when you cannot make it home, and she plays with your kids when you need to run to the store. But I don’t just see Rebecca as special because she is my friend, she is an empowering woman because she is an inspiration to everyone she meets. Rebecca was a stay-at-home mom when her two boys were young. Together, their family traveled the world gaining once-in-a-lifetime experiences and showing her boys how different cultures live. They traveled to Nepal to spend time with friends who were living there, serving the poorest of the poor. “We spent time with women and children who spent much of their day on the street, selling goods, begging, trying to make a life for themselves. It was an honor to sit with the women and watch our children play together. The heart-language mothers and children share is powerful and does not require words. It requires open hearts, held hands and wide eyes,” Rebecca said. When their son Elliot was 5, they took him to Gulu, Uganda. Gulu is the city which was made known by the documentary “Invisible Children,” spotlighting child soldiers and the Lord’s Resistance Army. On this trip, she led a group of college students who served the children in the community with a weeklong camp during a school holiday break. Elliott attended the camp and spent time with a local family. He even had sleepovers in their traditional round hut homes. It was an experience of a lifetime and one he still remembers with fondness. She has raised their children in faith and love. Their family moved to our little corner of the world about five years ago when her husband was offered a job for Walmart. Rebecca quickly became

an active member in the community. She received a certified holistic health coach degree from integrative nutrition and began changing people’s lives through healthy living and exercise. Rebecca has since taken this a step further by creating her SixEight Bar, which is a nutrition bar made with love to fuel your own Created Capacity. “Created Capacity is when our bodies, minds and spirits are cared for and treated well with compassion, kindness and nutrition and we reach our very highest potential. We change the world in which we live. We smile bigger. Skip higher, laugh harder and hold hands longer,” Rebecca said. The name of the bar, “SixEight” comes from a few words in the Scriptures from the Old Testament prophet Micah. When the people asked him what God required of them, it boiled down to these three things: Seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly. --Micah 6:8 Ingredients in the original bar include dates, figs, almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao nibs, raw sunflower seeds, unsweetened coconut, maca powder and pink Himalayan salt. The bars are currently available at Cafe 211 and Freeride Studio in Bentonville and Mama Carmen’s in Fayetteville. While Rebecca’s transformation from stay-athome mom to a woman owning her own business is amazing, I think that the most inspirational thing about Rebecca is her focus on the table. No matter where they were in the world or how busy the day was, she always made sure the family was together around the table. This family time is sacred. It allows everyone to talk together (screen free) and enjoy a meal that fuels their soul. Eating together and playing together are her founding principles. Her prayer is for her kids to learn the importance of using your gifts (Created Capacity) to be a world changer.

Learning begins with play. Little Giggles is an indoor playground providing a safe environment fostering educative, creative play for young children.

Loved by children and enjoyable fo parents, too! r

Camp Details: 2 - 5 yr olds (must be potty trained) Limited space available. Must reserve space before first day of camp. Guest appearances, games, craft, open play! Snacks and PIZZA LUNCH included! * 50% non refundable deposit is required, and balance due on the first day of camp.

Camp Hours: 9:30am - 12:30 p.m. June 6 - 8: Police, Fire & Doctor, Superheros June 13 - 15: Building & Construction July 25 - 27: Animals, Bugs & Mother Nature Aug. 1-3: Princesses, Knights & Dragons

$95 for three days or $35 per day. Siblings and members discounted to $85 for three days or $30 per day.

3301 South Walton Boulevard, Bentonville



Now Registering for Summer Camps

Polka Dots, Ruffles, & Stripes

Heather Hill Clothing - the official name of the brand - is more than just a creative outlet for Siloam Springs business owner, Heather Lanker. The California native has always had a penchant for fashion design, and her love of crafting unique outfits for her two young daughters soon grew into her own childrenswear brand. “So many people would ask me where I got my daughters’ outfits,” Heather recalls. “When they found out that I had made them, they asked if I could make clothing for their daughters, too.”

Meet the Mom behind Heather Hill Clothing

At first, Heather started by hand-sewing every piece sold. Inventory was stored in the living room, and the attic room served as a work room. Then, in 2010, Heather decided to open a storefront on Broadway in Siloam Springs – a charming, colorful shop across from a local favorite: Café on Broadway. She painted the walls, added playful décor, put up fabric as wallpaper, and welcomed the Northwest Arkansas community across the threshold into a shop-like version of her daughters’ closets.

That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of


by: Ann Simmons

patchwork puppy dog graces a striped knit dress with polka-dot sleeves. Unicorns, deer, and sparrows appliquéd to contrasting fabrics make for a head-to-toe whimsical look. Sassy southern sayings cover the back of raglan t-shirt dresses, complete with tiered ruffles and unexpected color combinations. If you walk into Heather Lanker’s shop on Broadway in Siloam Springs, you’ll see these bestselling designs hung on an assortment of fixtures, all beneath a rainbow crystal chandelier dangling from the ceiling in the center of the store.

For the first six years, Heather focused on supplying her store and maintaining her online shop: Trunk shows and supplying local boutiques were eventually added to the mix, and soon, Etsy and Amazon became channels for selling product as well. In 2014, Heather began partnering with Zulily, an online marketplace that sells everything from clothes and toys to home products. Zulily hosts Heather Hill monthly “events,” during which Heather Hill products are featured as part of a theme Zulily has chosen to highlight. As demand for Heather Hill Clothing has grown, Heather has moved production overseas. All designs are still original, and many embellishments or screen-printing is done locally. When dreaming up new designs, Heather believes in collaborating with local talent as well. Last fall, Siloam Springs teenager Cate Pastoor created a variety of southerninspired illustrations that were printed on the backs of Heather Hill knit dresses. The item was a favorite for back-to-school, and ended up being a perfect addition to the one-of-a-kind aesthetic Heather Hill Clothing continues to represent.

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In fact, Heather is committed to staying true to her vision for the brand. According to Heather, the pressure to fit in and look a certain way starts when children are very young. Name brands and styles worn by teenagers often appeal to elementaryaged girls long before they should be concerned about how they look. Heather strives to combat this by creating looks that inspire individuality and uniqueness – looks that capture the free spirit and glee of little girls. “I always want girls to feel comfortable and unique, and highlight their innate beauty,” she says. Her hope is that the polka dots,

ruffles, and stripes prevalent in her designs not only please moms, but inspire their daughters, nieces, and granddaughters to have a positive self-image.

“My goal is to always complement and enhance the innate beauty and exuberance of each little girl.” Heather Lanker

Heather Hill Clothing is here to stay, as the business has just purchased a 14,000 square foot building – still on Broadway – in order to expand the retail storefront and add a shipping and receiving area. “I love design, whether it’s restoring a building or making clothes. People have loved my clothing and I’m hoping this revitalization will bring them to love Siloam Springs as much as I do,” Heather says. Over the years, Siloam Springs has been a wonderful community to start a business in. For example, since Heather Hill Clothing started, John Brown University students just down the road from Heather’s store have partnered with Heather periodically as part of an entrepreneurship club called Enactus. Over the years, students have helped with social media, merchandising, PR, and selling. Recently, Enactus students helped coordinate a photo shoot with Main Street Photography to update website and promotional content. “Getting to work with Heather over the past few years has been immensely rewarding for our students,” Long-time Enactus advisor, Clayton Anderson, says. “She is a very talented designer and it’s been a rich experience to have a behindthe-curtain view of her growing business. Our students have been able to contribute because of

her desire to excel and her openness to new ideas. Best of all, Heather’s having fun. It’s no secret she believes in what she does.” And, it’s evident. Heather’s belief in her mission and the fun she has accomplishing it is contagious. Just try walking into her store without buying into this mission (figuratively and literally) yourself!

100 West Center, Ste 101 Fayetteville 479-444-7778

An Empowering Woman Meet Kim Hadley by: Mandy Moore


im Hadley is currently the Vice-President for Finance and Administration at John Brown University and is the only woman on the President’s Cabinet. She is a doctoral student at Anderson University, but by the time this article prints, she will have successfully defended her dissertation becoming Dr. Kim Hadley. She is the proud mom of two and a devoted wife. Elizabeth Stone said about motherhood, “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” The first time I heard the Elizabeth Stone quote about motherhood was nearly 10 years ago from my colleague, Kim Hadley. At the time, Kim and I were faculty in the College of Business at John Brown University, but we were in different life stages: Kim was a mom with elementary-aged children and I was a fresh-out-of-graduate school young professional who was not yet a mom. I could tell the way her eyes teared up when she shared this quote with me that motherhood was sacred to her and the most important aspect of her life. Since being promoted to Vice-President for Finance and Administration, she has communicated that being a mom is her most important role. It is empowering to hear a senior leader talk about motherhood and to see her continue to be herself. Watching Kim, I saw a woman who has asked God to guide her steps in career and motherhood, and who

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listened to His discernment. With every position and potential role, she asked God to guide her steps and she wrestled with making the best decision for her family. When her children were young, she left a successful accounting career because she felt there were clear signs signaling that was the right decision for her family at that time. It is empowering when women have choices, and Kim made the choice to step out of the professional workplace for a period. While her children were young, she spent her days as a stay-at-home mom, but taught as an adjunct professor in John Brown University’s degree completion program in the evening for eight years. After her children were in school, Kim went back to work full-time at JBU. She has held a variety of positions at JBU, but has been quickly promoted because of her excellent performance. Watching her navigate motherhood and career has empowered me and provided me with a role model. Kim has been particularly impactful in my life. It was Kim who encouraged me to get a doctorate. When I wondered if I was capable, because I had a fear of failure, it was Kim who convinced me I was. She provided the encouragement I needed to enroll. When I went to her in tears because of the shock of that first doctoral syllabus, it was Kim who admitted she was nearly in tears when she saw her first doctoral syllabus too. When I thought about quitting my doctorate in the dissertation stage, it was Kim who told me I was crazy and to finish it. When I achieved success in my career, it was Kim

who was the first to offer congratulations. When I struggled balancing motherhood and work, it was Kim who shared her wisdom with me as someone who has walked this path. When I became a mom to a toddler via adoption, it was Kim who expressed support when I told her I needed to leave the job I loved to stay home with my daughter for a time. When I made the decision to go back to work, it was Kim who helped me process through different childcare options. I am confident that I would not have achieved what I have at work if it had not been for the encouragement from Kim. Because of what Kim has experienced in her life as a working mom, she has empowered me in my decisionmaking and has offered a place to process. She has also offered a model of outstanding performance in the workplace.

With every position and potential role, she asked God to guide her steps and she wrestled with making the best decision for her family.

I most admire Kim’s humility. She will admit that it is hard to achieve balance as a working mom - that some days we might do a great job in one role, but feel like we are lacking in the other. Kim also shows her humility with her self-deprecating humor. When a colleague showed up to work with

a large stain on her suit from her child, it was Kim who communicated understanding and shared about the time she had dried spit up in her hair and down her back at work. As Kim shared her story, I could visibly see how our colleague relaxed, felt encouraged and understood. Our colleague could see that Kim, the Vice-President, had been there. Kim did not have to share her story, but by doing so, she encouraged a colleague. “Kim Hadley is an outstanding supporter of women on our campus,” said Amy Fisher, Director of Human Resources at John Brown University. “Kim has the unique ability of being tough when it is required while maintaining compassion in the midst of her tough stance. Kim is always looking for ways to develop women, she has met in groups and one-on-one with various women across campus to hear their issues and look for ways to address those issues in a healthy, productive way. Kim recently organized an option for our employees to have first access to openings for good, quality childcare that is close to campus and convenient. She has gone above and beyond her responsibilities to JBU, time to do the research on various options in our community and meets with different providers. She worked hard to find a good solution that will hopefully make a difference for parents and their children.”

Kid’s College At Northwest Arkansas Community College


his summer, let your kids experience life as a college student (without the stress and heavy textbooks!) by sending them to Kid’s College at Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC). Kids can choose from a variety of staff and facultyled classes such as computer coding, cooking, presidential elections, robotics, junior medic and many more. In this college environment, kids will be able to explore many career fields and discover where their interests lie. The opportunity to experience college and have fun while doing it can inspire students to pursue a higher education. Nathan Sorey, a Geographic Information Systems specialist and lab assistant at NWACC will be teaching four classes this summer having to do with geospatial technology and mapping. In his classes, kids will learn how to use computers to map out the areas around them and will promote teamwork through group, hands-on activities. They will explore and learn to map areas of Earth, the moon, and even Mars. Other classes are also made kid-friendly through hands-on interaction and demonstrations. “I plan on keeping the lecture components as short as possible,” Sorey said. “It will be more interactive. I’ll be having conversations with them, not just getting up to talk to them.” Sorey, who also teaches at NWACC, said the difference in working with kids as opposed to college students is their willingness to learn something new and their creativity.

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“They’re just a pleasure to work with. I’ve found that kids are easier to inspire. They’re not as stressed out and they’ll just take on things and use their imagination with whatever it is they want to explore,” Sorey said. “College is usually so structured that college students just want to know what the objectives are and what they need to do to get the grade, but kids aren’t burned out yet. They’re still inspired by learning.We try to teach the students to take on learning as something that belongs to you instead of just fulfilling requirements.” The classes offered are either half day, which is about four hours long, or a full day, usually from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The full-day classes include a break for lunch and both will provide breaks as needed. The age group ranges from 9 to 13 depending on the class. Kid’s College summer camps started in 2004 but the classes are always changing, especially as technology and curriculum evolves, particularly around science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects. “I think the real strength of (Kid’s College) is that no matter what class their taking, the opportunity to come on a college campus and experience something that they want to learn is something that will really help them later in life,” Sorey said. “It’s a similar setup to how college really is. You get to pick what you’re studying and what classes you want to take. By the end, they’ll have a better idea of what they really want out of life.” To enroll visit: by: Addi Simmons

en in as se boo peeka e 1! issu

Chasing Date Night

Lela Davidson is an award-winning author of Faking Balance: Adventures in Work and Life and Blacklisted from the PTA. Her thoughts on marriage, motherhood, and finding balance are regularly featured in magazines, websites, and anthologies around the world.


fter eleven years, two kids, and every rerun of “Law and Order,” it had come to this: Date Night. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s supposed to make us better, stronger, more romantic. Chasing that illusion, I painted my eyes like an Arabian princess and lured my husband away from familiar platters of cow-and-tater with a wink and a promise. We hit the highway. Away from PTA, soccer, and the backyard BBQs of our tidy subdivision. I tasted youth. It tasted a lot like lip gloss. In the university district, a bistro beckoned. Blue neon ‘Jazz’ lit up the window. Even better: convenient parking. As we waited for our table, I admired our reflections behind the bartender. Totally still hot. The hostess led us past the Beautiful People with their tiny bowls of pasta to a small stairway. Ooh, what now? A lower level? Not only had we found the hippest spot in town, we were now being shown into its inner sanctum. Date night rocked. The grotto grooved a different vibe. Retro, with booths, hoola-dancer lamps, and pop-art. Very Bradys-go-to-Vegas. “Good choice, gorgeous,” my husband said. But as I waited an unreasonable interval for my chardonnay, I missed the candlelight upstairs. How soon would all the eye paint settle into my not-so-fine lines? Once the wine arrived, I tried to pretend it didn’t taste like yesterday’s tea. The soup had to be better—cream of asparagus and crab could be nothing less than divine.

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“Do you notice anything about the people down here?” I asked. “No,” my husband lied. But everyone around us sported thicker waists and thinner hair. “I think this is the Old People section,” I whispered. “Nah.” As I forced myself through cold, starchy soup, springs dug into my motherly rear. I poked at mediocre shrimp and soggy salad. Date Night evaporated like a mirage. Not having spent time on eye make-up, my husband was less vexed. “This place might not last long,” he said. “It’s crap,” I said. The whole place looked like a yard sale that had been plowed over by a wood-paneled station wagon. This basement sucked. Just then, a Cowboy and his Girl moseyed in. Neither Old nor Beautiful, and worlds away from cool, they cleared things up. We had been banished. Not to be seen by the real clientele. Hidden away like a cousin with Herpes at the church picnic. And me with my best mascara. I knew complaints wouldn’t earn me a place upstairs. But such a severe humiliation required resolution. I needed chocolate. At the steakhouse a friendly waitress promptly served us a fudgy cake-frosting-sauce concoction, which delivered more than it promised. As our cheeks blushed under the light of a Budweiser sign, we found the satisfaction that had eluded us all evening. So maybe we should start at the steakhouse? Nah. After all, dating is all about the chase.

At a

Glance ARTS and MUSIC Crystal Bridges (Pg. 15) (479) 418-5700 Kindermusik (Pg. 31) (479) 636-5566 School of Rock (Pg. 47) (479) 936-8838 Trike Theatre (Pg. 39) (479) 464-5084 Walton Arts Center (Pg. 41) (479) 443-5600

BANKS First Security (Pg. 45);

CHILDCARE/NANNY SERVICES ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 67) (479) 202-5691 Better Beginnings (Pg. 78) (800) 445-3316 Mary’s Little Lambs Preschool (Pg. 63) (479) 273-1011

DENTIST Dr. Nick DDS (Pg. 55) (479) 876-8000 Pediatric Dental Associates and Orthodontics (479) 582-0600 (Pg. 21) Smile Shoppe Pediatric Dentistry (Pg. 12) (479) 631-6377 Rogers

DERMATOLOGY / SKIN CARE Advanced Dermatology / Skin Care Center (479) 268-3555 (Pg. 73) Lipes & Lines (Pg. 35) (479) 330-1201 NWA Center for Plastic Surgery (Pg. 2) (479) 571-3100


The Elizabeth Richardson Center (Pg. 27) (479) 441-4420 (Fayetteville) Kids Unlimited Learning Academy (Pg. 77) (479) 300-8400

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Larson’s Language Center (Pg. 49) (479) 633-9900 Little Giggles (Pg. 67) (479) 268-4949 The New School (Pg. 25) (479) 521-7037 NWACC Kid’s College (Pg. 75) (479) 519-4280 Super Science (Pg. 19) (479) 444-0303 Trike Theatre (Pg. 37) (479) 464-5084

FAMILY FUN / ENTERTAINMENT Arts Live Theatre (Pg. 37) (479) 521-4932 Crystal Bridges (Pg. 15) (479) 418-5700 Fast Lane Entertainment (Pg. 59) (479) 659-0999 Fayetteville Public Library (Pg. 60) New Life Ranch (Pg. 77) www. Princess Party Palace NWA (Pg. 24) Rogers Historical Museum (Pg. 37) (479) 621-1154 Starlight Skatium (Pg. 57) (479) 444-STAR Super Science (Pg. 19) (479) 444-0303 Trike Theatre (Pg. 37) (479) 464-5084

FITNESS/SPORTS ATA (Pg. 4) Bentonville: (479) 273-1212 Fayetteville: (479) 443-5425 FreeRide Studio (Pg. 35) (479) 802-6245 Rogers Activity Center (Pg. 13) (479) 631-0336 Soccer Post (Pg. 43) (479) 464-0344

FOOD / DRINK TCBY (Pg. 3) (479) 636-8229 (TCBY)

HAIRCUTS Pigatils (Pg. 51) (479) 935-4121

HEALTH AND WELLNESS Northwest Primary Care (Pg. 8-9) Tate HealthCare (Pg. 50, 81) (479) 271-6511

To advertise and become a part of the Peekaboo Family email:

JEWELRY AND GIFTS David Adams (Pg. 71) (479) 444-7778

LEARNING CENTER ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 65) (479) 621-6126 The Elizabeth Richardson Center (Pg. 27) (479) 443-4420 (Fayetteville) Kids Unlimited Learning Academy (Pg. 77) (479) 300-8400 Larson’s Language Center (Pg. 49) (479) 633-9900 NWACC Kid’s College (Pg. 75) (479) 519-4280

MARTIAL ARTS ATA (Pg. 4) Bentonville: (479) 273-1212 Fayetteville: (479) 443-5425

OPTOMETRIST Pediatric Vision Development Center (Pg. 17) (479) 795-1411

PEDIATRICIAN Bentonville Pediatric Clinic (Pg. 44) (479) 273-5437 Best Start Pediatric Clinic (Pg. 29) (479) 575-9359 Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 58) (479) 524-2458 Siloam Springs Living Tree Pediatrics (Pg. 82) (479) 282-2966 Northwest Arkansas Family Medicine & Obstetrics (Pg. 39) (479) 282-2737 Northwest Arkansas Pediatric Clinic (Pg. 40) (479) 443-3471 Northwest Pediatric Convenient Care (Pg. 7) (479) 751-2522

PLASTIC SURGEON NWA Center for Plastic Surgery (Pg. 2) (479) 571-3100

PRESCHOOL/ PRE-K ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 67) (479) 621-6126 Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 58) Lowell: (479) 770-0744 Siloam Springs: (479) 524-2465 West Fork: (479) 839-3359 Mary’s Little Lambs Preschool (Pg.63) (479) 273-1011 The New School (Pg. 25)

THERAPY ABC Happy Kids Learning Academy (Pg. 67) (479) 621-6126 Children’s Therapy T.E.A.M (Pg. 64-65)

The Elizabeth Richardson Center (Pg. 27) (479) 443-4420 (Fayetteville) Friendship Pediatric Services (Pg. 58) Lowell: (479) 770-0744 Siloam Springs: (479) 524-2465 West Fork: (479) 839-3359 Tate HealthCare (Pg. 50, 81) (479) 271-6511

WOMEN’S HEALTH Birth Center NWA (Pg. 66) (479) 372-4560 Lifespring Women’s Health (Pg. 35) (479) 271-0005 Northwest Arkansas Family Medicine & Obstetrics (Pg. 39) (479) 282-2737 Northwest Women’s Health Associates (Pg. 83) (479) 553-2525 Parkhill Clinic for Women (Pg. 31) (479) 521-4433 Siloam Springs Women’s Center (Pg. 79) (479) 524-9312 Willow Creek Hospital (Pg. 5) (479) 684-3035