Friday, April 26, 2013


Hello, hello.  First off, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for your love, prayers, and support while my Grandma's time on this earth was coming to an end last week.  For those of you who don't know, she passed peacefully early Wednesday morning and, we believe, was greeted by Grandpa ready to spin her around a dance floor. :-)  Missing her funeral was one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with, however, my family is awesome and recorded the eulogy, done by my Dad, and the sermon.  Being able to listen to that gave me some peace and helped me to feel present. 
Best. Family. Ever.

In the last few days, Dusty and I have been under a lot of stress.  Well, we have been this whole time, but it hit both of us hard yesterday.  I was finally informed of what my cut rate pay would be for April and May due to my medical leave.  Without going into much detail, it was an amount that neither of us could have anticipated.  It had us reeling.  What can we do?  How do we figure this out?  I'm sure this is true for most, but it always seems that as soon as we "get ahead" and feel like we've got a good handle on things, something comes up and smacks us back into reality.  We were both sick over it last night.

Surprisingly, I got a great night's sleep.  I said some extra prayers yesterday, looked up a few more patron saints (because that's what us Catholics do lol), and woke up still feeling stressed and overwhelmed, yet peaceful.  I jumped on Facebook, because, isn't that what we all do when we first wake up lying in our beds?  ;-)  The FIRST thing I saw was this quote on someone's wall:
"You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it."
Bam!  Smack in the face.  Yes, we are strong enough.  I immediately texted that to my stressed husband who was already out the door to work.  Sign number one.

I got myself out of bed, woke up my sweet girl, and got her and myself dressed to take her to school.  (Today is Hoops Colors Day--can't miss that!)  Once I dropped her off, I found myself looking at Facebook once again.  This is what was first on my feed:
Bam again!  Two smacks to the face!  Lol.  I read this and said to myself, "Yup." Sign number two.

I began my drive back home, listening to the radio, and thinking about these two signs  that were presented to me this morning.  As I'm driving, George Strait's "I Saw God Today" comes on over the speakers.  If you haven't heard this song, do yourself a favor and look it up right now.  Here's a little piece:
"I've been to church, I've read the Book
I know He's here, but I don't look
Near as often as I should.
His fingerprints are everywhere
I just slowed down to stop and stare
Opened my eyes and, man, I swear
I saw God today."
Thanks to these lovely pregancy hormones, I was literally balling at this point.  Sign number three.

I HAVE to believe that these are all signs put in front of me to remind me to keep my faith. 
To keep our faith that my husband and I will get through this test. 
To keep our faith in each other.
To keep our faith that He will see us through this.

Monday, April 15, 2013


ma·tri·arch: What it means... 
  • woman head of family: a woman who is recognized as being the head of a family, community, or people
  • strong senior woman: a woman, usually a grandmother, who is highly respected by her family and to whom the family turns for advice and help

    ma·tri·arch: What she looks like...
    As our family's matriarch, Eleanor Felderhoff is a mother, grandmother, and great grandmother to roughly 50 of us crazies/ goofballs/ ftf-ers/outlaws/party animals.  Saying that we love her just somehow doesn't seem to do justice for what she means to all of there a word bigger than love?
    As she struggles between this world and heaven, I'm stuck here in California unable to hold her hand one more time.  There are a few us in the family stuck in places far away from home that I know are feeling the same way I am.  The only way I can describe this feeling is that it sucks.  Big time.
    We are a tight unit, this FTF family of ours.  Some people don't get it...they wonder how in the world do that many people in the same family like each other that much?  Well, it starts with our matriach, Grandma Felderhoff, to me.  What she and our patriarch, Grandpa Felderhoff, started June 19, 1951 is the reason we love each other as hard as we do today.  **Grandpa was taken from this world far too soon...1997...but remains with all of us always.**  Because of them, I know what a family is, what a family is capable of, and what it feels like to have roughly 50 people in my corner at all times no matter what. 
    What Grandma and Grandpa taught their kids, my Dad, aunts and uncles, has been passed down to all of us grandkids, and then on to our kids, the great-grandkids.  As a family, we won't always agree with each other, we won't always like the choices of others, we may bicker and argue, but the LOVE superceeds all of that.  I know when Dusty and I made the decision to move to California, not everyone agreed or thought it was wise.  My Mom and Dad struggled with it for longer than they will ever probably tell me.  They voiced their concerns as any smart parent would do, but always said, "We love you and support you."  When I let the rest of the family know we were moving, all I got in return was support, love, and prayers.  They will never know how much that meant to me...I still have the emails saved.
    We know, without a doubt, that we will always be there for each other, even if its not physically.  As most of you know, we lost my Grandpa on my mom's side of the family back in January.  Luckily, I was still early enough in my pregnancy and no complications/ risk factors had developed yet, so I was able to travel home for it.  Every one of my aunts and uncles from my dad's side, who could physically be there, were there.  And the ones that couldn't come, let us know they were thinking of us.  And sweet, sweet Grandma Felderhoff, who was dealing with her own sickness, came to the funeral in the bitter cold winter weather.  That's what I meant when I said I always know I have 50 or so in my corner at all times.
    I've got amazing cousins that are as close to me as brothers and sisters.  Some people grow up with tons of good friends...I have my cousins.   We are all insanely proud of our family and care about each other like crazy.  It runs in the family.  My aunts and uncles are the best in the business.  I adore them.  We are this way because of what my grandparents started.
    I know for me personally, the thought of Grandma being gone leaves me feeling "lost".  What happens now?  When Grandpa passed, it was so tremendously hard on everyone, but we still had Grandma at the helm.  Now what?  Who is our compass?  What happens next?  Do I still get to visit her house that I have so many cherished memories of when I go back?
    I haven't been back to Muenster since my Grandpa passed in January and it could be November before we are able to get back again.  All I can think of is how much my next trip to Muenster will be different.  It makes me sad.
    Whenever anyone talks about my Grandma, they usually say the same thing about her: she is so proud of her family.  SO proud.  She never missed an opportunity to brag about any one of us.  Every single card I've received from her always says how proud she was of me.  It's because of her devotion to our family that gives us more than enough reason to make her proud.  Does she know how proud we are of HER?  I hope so...
    Here's what I do know...when Grandma is finally released from this world and reunited with our Grandpa, we will have our shoulders full of guardian angels. 

    She has no idea how much she means to all of us.  She has no idea how much we will miss her.  She has no idea how happy it makes us knowing she will be with Grandpa again.  She is a true matriarch.



    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Silver Linings.

    Yesterday was Dusty's two week checkup and everything looked great!  His doctor was very pleased with the progress he has made.  He has kind of left it up to Dusty as far as what he feels he can do and when he can go back to work.  Typically, people who have this particular surgery are able to return to work within two weeks.  However, since Dusty is a welder and his job consists of primarily being bent over, lifting/ moving heavy materials etc, the doctor really wants him to take another couple of weeks off.  He will begin physical therapy twice a week for the next eight weeks to help get strength and endurance back to his core.  Thankfully, we don't have to make another trip to LA until June for his next appointment! 

    How am I?  Well...hormonal would probably be the best and only way to describe the mood swings lately.  Lol.  Physically, I'm feeling good for the most part.  My pain has definately increased, but not to an unbearable point.  My discomfort is now general end of pregnancy pain...swollen feet as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning,  incredible back pain, there is just really no comfortable way for me to sit/ stand/ lay down anymore.  Come on May 15!!

    My emotions have been all over the place.  I only have about 4 weeks until baby girl makes her debut and our solo time with Addy comes to an end.  While I am SO excited about this baby and seeing these two girls grow up together, I'm also a little sad about how it will change my relationship with Addy.  I wanted this time before baby comes to be spent with Addy doing special mommy/ daughter things, but because of all the extra crap this pregnancy has come with, I literally have NO energy anymore to do much.  Between all the health stuff Dusty and I have been through in the last month or so, I really feel like its been hardest on our sweet girl.  This is not at all what I had in mind!  I feel guilt when I take her to school because my one on one time with her is almost over, yet I also feel guilt when I keep her home because she loves school so much and I'm not much fun these days.  What am I supposed to do?!  Ack!!  This pregnancy is truly kicking my you know what...I don't know how women have 5 and 6 kids.  ;) Dusty says I'm being too hard on myself...which he is probably right.  I'm just ready to feel better and things get "normal" again...a new normal.

    Silver linings?  
    Addy likes to play "nurse"...Dusty is home for a bit longer so extra family time...Dusty is healing and getting stronger everyday...quality time with our "Bubbas" aka Duke...I have an amazing place in Addy's school that cares for her like family...we have a sweet baby girl coming in a parents will be here in two months...amazing friends and family that help us whenever needed...I get to watch Ellen everyday...I'm home from work so I can look at these beautiful mountains every single day!  All good things.

    The thing about Dusty and my relationship is that we always seem to overcome and end up on top!  Those that have known us for awhile, know some of the challenges we have faced head on in the past...this is no different.  Maybe we are being "challenged" again to remind us before our family grows to 4, just what a strong team we are.  That's a pretty awesome silver lining, don't ya think?!

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Surgery, Easter, Checkup...

    Been a couple weeks here is an update on us.  It has now been one week since Dusty had his surgery.
    Everything went "perfectly" as his doctor said afterwards.  The herniation was larger than what the MRI showed, but all was able to be shaved off.  His orders were to be down for two weeks; no bending, lifting, twisting etc.  We go back to LA on Monday for his follow up appointment and will find out if any of these limitations can be lifted.  He has been a pretty good patient! :-)  His first couple of days were a little rough on him, but he is definately getting better as the days go by.  He says the pain and the numbness he had been feeling is gone, however, he is still dealing with the incision pain/ soreness and some nerve pain.  (The nerve his herniation was sitting on was extremely inflamed so the doctor said it would take some time to heal and pain would be normal.)
    Between his surgery recovery and my pregnancy drama, Easter was definately pretty mellow.  We did everything at our house and Toni was up for most the weekend helping us.  Addy got to dye eggs with her Nana, bake an Easter/ Pop Pop birthday cake with her Momma, draw with her new sidewalk chalk with her Daddy, and of course, the egg hunt. 
    We got to celebrate Easter with Addy's school family on Good Friday.  HOOPS does an amazing job of reminding our kids what the holidays are all about.  However, they got to let loose on Friday and have a little Easter party with their parents.  She got to do an egg hunt with all of her classmates, have a pizza party, and play lots of fun games.  I always love getting to see her interact and play with her friends and teachers...really does show a different side of her.
    Today was my pregnancy checkup.  Things look good!  My ovary has not really grown much at all between the appointments which is a great thing.  My pain has increased, but that is to be expected as Baby Girl grows.  My doctor did give me a prescription for stronger pain meds if it gets to the point that Tylenol isn't helping.  As long as the pain doesn't become unbearable and/or I don't go into labor prior, we are set for May 15.  I will go in for a ceserean as well as removal of the ovary and attached tube.  We did get to see our girl and she is precious...could already see the chubby cheeks!! Can't wait!
    Things are going well...and the extra family time we have been afforded has been so nice! 
    Keep those prayers coming!!