Mani Monday

I love a fresh manicure and pedicure. 

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I’m much too thrifty to indulge myself in the luxury and expense of a trip to the salon.   Instead I learned,  through much trial and error,  to do my own nails just as nicely.   The trick to maintaining a looking manicure is the quality of your polish choices.  

I am an OPI die hard.   This week I picked up a new color at the Great Wolf Lodge salon.

OPI Bastille My Heart

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And no mani can hold up to my abuse without Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat.   I’m super hard on my nails.

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Boundaries are good.

In my experience boundaries are one of the best gifts you can give yourself.

When people in your life can’t accept your reasonable boundaries, or don’t care about your feelings, then having them in place is a sanity saver. It’s totally possible to care for someone and to choose not be in a relationship with them. It is important to care enough for yourself that you can see toxic patterns in relationships and to be able to confidently set relationships aside as needed – sometimes that’s just for a season, sometimes that is forever.  This shouldn’t be guilt inducing if you are doing it for the right reasons.

So many people are in turmoil over relationships that wound them.  It can be crippling to be wounded time and again by someone you care about.  Your feelings do matter.  You have a right to have feelings.  If experience shows that your feelings just don’t matter to someone you care about, you should take time to evaluate that relationship.  If you are too emotionally invested to see it clearly, look to someone wise who can help you see clearly.

Be introspective, see your own flaws, be willing to make amends when you need to, but also be willing to step aside when a relationship is especially painful, abusive, or emotionally draining.

If you are the only one ever trying to fix the relationship, it’s not a healthy relationship.   That’s when it’s good and healthy to know what doors need to be closed.

My Mattie is 11 years old.  

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He is loving and tender – hearted.   He’s a little math whiz.   He is funny.   He is a bit of a stinker too.   I’ve always said Matthew came out of the womb swinging and he doesn’t mess around.   If his brothers wrong him,  he’s probably just going to punch them.   We’re working on it.   I tell myself that someday he will be a great protector and his wife will always feel safe with him by her side.   He is wonderfully content, for the past few years  he just wants clay and aluminum foil for gifts.   He’s artistic and creative.   He loves to sleep.   He loves Jesus.

We had a fun day celebrating his birthday.

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The bridge of my nose is sore and swollen

Something is wrong with my nose.   My husband is pretty sure I have a massive zit brewing inside my nose,  but my gut instinct is that something else is going on.  I am a believer in treating everything as naturally as possible so seeking a doctor is rarely my first plan of action.  I woke up this morning and just knew this was not a pimple in my nose.   I think this will be with recording.

About a week ago our youngest was sick with a pretty heavy cold,  mild fever,  sore throat,  croupy cough.   Then our oldest got it.   He is 17 and away from home daily.  He eats junk,  drinks junk (and very little water),  and never gets enough sleep.  He got knocked down pretty hard by the same thing.  I had a bout of it too,  but it was mild and we just rested a lot for the week.   We have been on the mend but I have still had a bit of a head cold,  nothing significant,  but it is worth noting that our immunity has been low.  As a result,  I have been taking probiotics for the last 2 days.

Two days ago we were out for a day of winter fun and in the afternoon I remember noticing my nose was tender on the right side by the bridge of my nose.   That night as we were driving home it was becoming increasingly sore to the touch,  enough so that I brought it up to Steve.   He was sure I was developing a pimple deep down in a pore.  I don’t get many pimples but it sounded logical.   It really hurt.

Yesterday my nose hurt even worse.  I kept feeling around for the bump indicating a developing pimple but nothing was there.   What I did notice was that the pain actually seemed to be coming from the cartilage inside my nose,  in the middle,  up pretty high.   It was very tender.

Today I woke up and my nose was very sore.  The congestion from this cold makes it worse because I am blowing my nose frequently.   When I touched the bridge of my nose it felt different,  warm and swollen.   I used my cell to snap this (not so flattering) picture in the dark. 

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I’m hoping my skin looks so bad because of the flash.  It doesn’t look as big as it feels but it looks more swollen than usual and it is a little pink where it hurts the most.   I just know it is something more than a pimple.

My nose really hurts.   It feels like I was punched right in the nose.   It is significantly warmer to the touch on the bridge of my nose than anywhere else on my face.  Also,  when running my finger down my nose from between my eyebrows to the tip of my nose there is a significant bump right where it hurts the most.

My thoughts?  I think I may have cellulitis,  which is basically a skin infection.  Cellulitis can be serious.   Typically I would try to knock it back immediately with an onslaught of natural treatment in place of antibiotics.   This is tricky though,  because my husband thinks it’s a pimple and I know that he is wrong.   If I start treating it now, this morning while he is at work, he will never believe it is/was more serious.  The thing is, if it is cellulitis, I can’t wait too long to act.   I’m giving it one day to see what happens.   I suspect it will get worse.

Also,  if I go and fix it right now,  I won’t know for sure if I am on the right track.  I feel like I have a little room to self experiment.

Tomorrow I will take 10,000 iu of Vit D in the morning and at night.   I will get a good bit of fresh garlic in my system as well.   My inclination would be to use powerful essential oils on it,  but I need to do a bit of research to see how close to the eyes oils can be used.  

After my shower without flash

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I will update tomorrow with pictures.   If anyone else has any other ideas besides cellulitis,  I would love to hear them.   I will be looking around online for others with similar symptoms today.  

Your Mom…

Last night I was driving home with my sick kid after he spent 4 days with Elizabeth’s family.  Nick wasn’t feeling well but he was talking to me and filing me in on all they did together.

And then I said something that shocked me.  I don’t know where it came from.   I can’t even remember what I was asking,  but it started out…

What did your mom… and I was referring to Karen, Elizabeth’s mom.

Where did that come from?  Maybe I just misspoke,  but I have never said anything like that before!  I wonder if Nick’s life is so shared between our two homes that I see Karen as a co-parent of sorts?

Karen and I have had really great conversations about life and parenting.   She’s helped me muddle through my thoughts on several occasions, and the other day I was wrestling with a situation concerning Nicolas and I wanted to call her and ask her about it.  She’d be pleased because I heard her voice in my head, “Have you prayed about it?” 

Maybe it’s that I recognize the role of influence Karen now has in Nick’s life.   Maybe it was just a weird misspeaking,  I don’t know.  But I said it and it surprised me.  Someday,  Lord willing,  I will have to share the title and I hope I do share it with Karen!   Someday there will be a first time a young woman I love but didn’t birth calls me mom… and all will be right in my world.

Boys will be boys

My kids being me so much joy. And because blogging takes a back seat to read life, I haven’t recorded even half of the happy memories and proud mom moments here. But, I do try to tuck away ones as I am able.

This isn’t exactly a proud mom story, but it’s funny still. I have learned it is okay to laugh with the antics of teenage boys doing what they do. And even more, to be thankful when they share their somewhat inappropriate humor with me. That’s a blessing – I know I never felt like I could share that stuff with my parents.

Nicolas called me from Elizabeth’s house yesterday, during another 4 day visit, to tell me “I just took the best pictures I’ve ever taken.”  And then he sent me this mini photo story.

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The back story.   Sunday afternoon Nick butt dialed me.   I listened in for a bit.   Mostly I couldn’t hear anything clearly,  but then Nick days something about a bomb.  Then laughter.  Then he says,  “you can make a bomb out of that!”  And then he says,  “Hello?”

You better not be making bombs!

He was stunned and then laughed.  It was a good opportunity for a gentle reminder.

I am always watching and always  listening.  I  love you

Apparently they were trying to buy dry ice and you need to be 18 to buy dry ice.   The following day they have secured dry ice. 

Boys will be boys.   These guys really have a great time together and I just love how close they all are.  God had graciously given Nicolas more than just a sweet love with Elizabeth.   He had given him 2 more brothers!

Christmas 2013

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Every year I still experience that wonderful feeling of Christmas magic when I look at the living room ready for Christmas morning.  It’s always late at night and the house is quiet.   The lights are always prettiest in that moment.  Everything is ready.   Stockings are filled and months of planning and saving and modest gift buying always wow me when the tree is overflowing with presents.  It still feels like magic.  And then we have to go to bed.   It’s hard to fall asleep!  Part of me wants to wake everyone up right then.

Christmas is my favorite.

We had the best Christmas we have ever had this year.   We took a blissful 4 day vacation to the Great Wolf Lodge before Christmas.   It was wonderfully relaxing for all of us.  Steve surprised me with an afternoon at the spa.   I had the most delightful massage and pedicure.  It was such a treat!

Christmas Day was great.  We went to my mom’s house after opening presents at home.  This was our first Christmas with  Alex,  Kimberly’s fiancee, joining us.   I could just kick myself for not taking pictures!  But, we were just having such a nice time enjoying the day that we didn’t need to take pictures.  Sometimes that is as it should be.

We came home that evening and we were just happy and full of Christmas spirit and love.  It really is just the most wonderful time of year.

Christian picked this ornament out for his Dad when we visited Bronners Christmas Wonderland. 

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Santa got Nick this speaker case that he wanted and didn’t even ask for.  Santa sure is smart!

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A really cool thrifted piggy bank for our Piggy.  This was the first got I bought and Christian loves it!   Our family has a thing for piggy banks

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Mattie asks for aluminum foil and non-drying clay every year.  Those are his favorites.   Just now he walked into my room with a giant sword made out of aluminum foil.  He’s so creative.   He decks his guys out in suits of armor,  builds them arsenals of weapons, he makes new guys with it… I just love how something so simple pleases him so much.

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Gabey loves Playmobile.   This was the year of dragons.   Gabey got the coolest dragon themed toys.  

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My stocking was full of delightful things.

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My file of Christmas pictures is on my broken laptop so missing here are all of our vacation pictures and the pictures with Elizabeth coming to visit.  I snatched a screenshot of our manger scene off facebook because I just love it so much.   And Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Baby Jesus.

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It’s worth noting that Nick and Elizabeth spent 15 consecutive days together over Christmas break,  shared between our two homes.   That’s the longest time they have spent together.  
I texted Elizabeth on day 14.

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And when Nicolas finally came home I wrote about how happy I was to have him back.

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It really was the best Christmas ever.