Stolen Book Review

I was excited for the opportunity to review the book Stolen by Katariina Rosenblatt. I, as many others, have been learning terrifying truths about the sex trafficking of youth in America. Recently I was shocked to learn that the highest source of trafficking in West Michigan is just 10 minutes from my house! It’s so hard to understand how these problems that we’ve heard happen in other parts of the works are happening her in our communities too. I’m thankful for those doing the hard work of rescuing these children.

Stolen is a brave book. It tells the hard story of a young girl caught in this vicious world. It also shows God’s grace and protection for her, and consequently many others through her work to free victims from this slavery.

I highly recommend Stolen to anyone wanting to learn more about sex trafficking in America.

I was given this book by Revell Books in exchange for my honest review.

I have tiny, itchy blisters on my hands!

I’m done blogging here but I want to throw this up really quickly because I feel like people go to extremes trying to diagnose this condition.   It’s a mystery to my why doctors and dermatologists don’t diagnose it more accurately.

Several times a year,  often in a seasonal pattern,  or as a reaction to stress or low immunity,  I get clusters of blisters on the palms of my hands and fingers.   They are super itchy and sometimes they hurt.   If I pop the blisters they are fluid filled.

The condition is called Dyshidrotic Eczema.   It clears up on its own.   The worst thing you can do it itch the blisters.  

I only thought to post this because I got a small flare up yesterday.   No surprise,  I have had some low immunity this week followed by an invasive medical procedure that had me somewhat stressed.   By yesterday afternoon the blisters were there.

They are hard to photograph well.


But I found if I used flash I found they showed up more clearly,  and the tiny dark dots in the last photo are also individual tiny blisters.



If you have these, don’t be too concerned.   You don’t need medication necessarily and it is not dangerous or anything.   It’s a simple form of eczema and you can find lots of info online now that you know what is called. 

Last night I used Clove essential oil to calm the itch. This is usually my method of attacking the painful itch. Today I got better pictures of each hand. In a few days this skin may die off and harden, then it will peel off in thick pieces. The thin layer of remaining skin will be very tender. I will be using my healing salve in hopes it helps avoid the dying, peeling skin. That’s often the worst part, because I the essential oils take care of most of the painful itchy stage.



Good luck!

The end of this

It is time to close this blog down.  

I started blogging about 9 years ago.   I blogged when few knew what a blog was,  when mommy bloggers exploded onto all corners of the Internet,  through trials and triumphs.  I have been to blogging conferences and done social media work for an awesome company,  I have shared a bit of everything and too much of other things.   I have made treasured friends online and I have seen time and again the destruction that comes from social media and human error.   I just don’t have the heart for it anymore.   It isn’t important to me anymore.

I will quit posting for now,  and when I have the time to go through and save what I want I will decide what to do with the rest.   It’s unlikely I’ll do anything this year – it’s just not that big of a priority to me.   But, what I have concluded is that I don’t really feel a need to add anything to the many voices online.  

I think part of it is that I’m just busy and I like my real life.   Connecting online isn’t that important anymore.   I’m kind of sick of the Internet in general.   In a lot of ways I love it as a resource,  but I think it would be awesome if there was no social media too.  

I miss real connection, before texting and Facebook and email.   Have you ever considered how small your social circle would be without Facebook?   I have very few friends I have time to maintain friendships with in real life.   If I were to shrink my social media community to the size of relationships I can comfortably maintain I would love that.   Why don’t I?   I frequently wonder this myself and it really boils down to hurt feelings and the weight of offending people who never communicate with me or aren’t even close to me.  

This is the baggage of expectation that comes with social media, for me.   I’m tired of it.  I want off this ride.   And one thing I can do is close up shop on this little blog of mine.   I can go back to writing in a journal – in fact,  I’ve been doing that for a while now.   I like it.  

And maybe I can find a way to reckon with Facebook next.   I hope so.   I do enjoy much of it, but it just doesn’t feel very authentic.   I’m in all of these groups and what I see is the glaring difference between people’s real life and their online life.  Sometimes I see it in me too and I don’t like it.  I’m in search of authenticity and I have found it in very few corners of the Internet.  


Mani Monday

I love a fresh manicure and pedicure. 


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


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


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.  


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.









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. 


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


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.