I'm a full-time wife and mom of two adorable boys. When I'm not busy trying to keep up with them I enjoy photography, traveling, planning parties and a little bit of reading.

In February of 2008 I was diagnosed with an incurable terminal lung illness, though God promised me a full and complete healing. While we wait for His timing, we're taking it one day at a time, and standing in awe of how God's using all of this for His glory. The tough road we've traveled has given us a new perspective on the fragility of life. Memories are more important to us than ever before. The goal of this blog is to share some of our family life - the ups and downs, the joys and probably some of the pains as well. It's mostly meant as a personal journal of sorts, but you're welcome to share in it. We'd like to take this opportunity to say ...


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Goodbye ... Hello

Yesterday was a momentous day in the Feitner household - the moving truck came. It was the biggest one Penske had (26 foot), and luckily came with a ramp and a lift gate (which was extremely helpful by the end of the evening when muscles got tired and furniture got heavier!)!

The truck arrived at 4 pm, and within minutes the men were working up a sweat! All together, 11 (or was it 12?) men (who came and left at different times) loaded all of our earthly possessions into the truck, one van, and one of our cars in a mere 4.5 hours! This even included a break (during a passing light shower) for dinner (sandwiches, chips, fruit & soda).

Aaron and I had a friendly bet going. I thought everything would fit - he wasn't so sure. The wager was a caramel mocha from Starbux. Well, after lots of creativity (and building up), I won! Yippee! The final things were finagled in, and the door was pulled down at 8:27 pm! The last bit took lots of creativity (notice the upside-down couch). Great job, guys!

So, finally it was time for the men to just visit a bit and let everyone's muscles relax a little before mustering up the strength to go home. Alex took the opportunity to dream!

My goal was to head out today by noon - and we were only 7 minutes late! (Not bad!) Aaron and his dad (driving the van) got on the turnpike and headed West. I decided it was time to get my prize, so I swung through Starbux (and did two other errands) before leaving town. But since I could drive a lot faster than they could, I caught up with them well before Pittsburgh.

After checking into the hotel, it was time to do the walk-thru at the new house. This was Alex's first time seeing it in person - and he was THRILLED! But he was less than thrilled that the kids were trick-or-treating in the neighborhood while we were there (and he wasn't). But we met some of the neighbors who seemed incredibly nice (the one is also a stay-at-home mom!), and they offered Alex some goodies. That helped to soften the blow of not dressing up.

While we finalized things with the realtor about tomorrow's settlement, Alex had a great time playing in the leaves. He "raked" them into a pile with his feet and jumped in them over and over again. He was extra excited because the development we just moved from didn't really have any leaves on the ground for him to play with. Finally - a real yard!

So - tomorrow morning we officially buy the house. Tomorrow five friends drive to town for the weekend to help us unload the truck, to get the furniture placed, and to do odds and ends around the house. Tomorrow we officially become Pittsburgh-ers - guess it's time to start rooting for the Steelers! Go team!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Alex has had a love affair with trains for several years now. We took him on a (diesel) train ride during the summer a year ago. He absolutely loved it. But on Thomas and Friends, diesels are the "mean" trains, and the steam trains are the "good guys." So, when we knew we were going to move out of the area, visiting Strasburg was immediately put on the "to do before we move" list.

Yesterday (before my sister and nephew left to spend this next week at my mom's) the whole family went to Strasburg for a ride on a steam train.

We barely made it in time, and the rain (mixed with the rush) was really tough for me. But after sitting still on the train for several minutes, I was able to catch my breath again, and lower the pressures in my lungs (I should have brought the oxygen with me, but didn't want one more thing to carry). I finally was able to enjoy the ride.

Everyone had a great time, but Alex had the best time of all! I think the smile was plastered on his face for at least 20 minutes!

The kids are gonna talk about the ride for years to come! They were the perfect age for this sort of adventure - it was simply magical!

This was one of the last photos taken ... just before Harrison (who wanted to exert his independence) suddenly jerked away from Daddy. He lost his balance, and fell on his face - with his teeth going straight through his lip. OUCH! Needless to say there was lots of blood, but that's why we have a well-stocked diaper bag. We used an old burp-cloth to mop up until I could get out the wipes. We did learn, though that a binky makes a great "pressure bandage" - the more it hurt, the harder he sucked on it. Not a drop got on his clothes or on the train itself! Luckily (for the other passengers) he cried for less than a minute. We didn't get a picture of his swollen, black and blue lip (it's healing amazingly quickly!) He's such a brave little kiddo (with absolutely NO sense of self-preservation or fear!). And on the way home, when we all stopped at McDonald's for a treat, he even ate salty french fries!

Right after this next photo, Alex asked me if the words on the side of the coach car we rode said "Annie" or "Clarabel". (For those of you not versed in Thomas, those are his two coaches.) How cute!

Mr. Potato Head

Excuse the closed eyes.
( The kid's smart, and knew the flash was coming, so he shut them.)


First of all, excuse the .......

messy kitchen
messy hair
boys in still pajamas at 11:30

They had a great time anyway!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


This summer we went to a pool birthday party for one of Alex's friends. Alex's gift to the little boy was 3-D sidewalk chalk. Ever since then Alex has asked me (probably once a week) if he could have some sidewalk chalk too. Well, we were on an extreme spending freeze (trying to live on only one paycheck each month, and saving the entire other one for the move), and I didn't want to have to scrub it off before a house showing. So, the answer was a decided "no." The poor kid was disappointed time and time again.

(Yes, you're correct in understanding that we've never owned sidewalk chalk. I know - my poor, poor kids - I'm such a mean Mommy - blah, blah, blah....)

A couple weeks ago I saw some on serious sale and decided to go ahead, splurge, and get it. I planned to save it for a surprise that I'd bring out after the house sold. Well, I kept putting it off and off (for absolutely no good reason). But with my sister and nephew visiting this past week, I decided it was time to pull it out. Of course I didn't bring it out of hiding until the coldest day of the entire week (oops!), but at least it was the final day of clear weather before the past several days of nonstop rain.

Alex was beyond thrilled! It was a splurge that was well worth the wait!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Playing Chicken

On the right we have a "Tahoe Man" who, though he's not quite three years old, has been heard this very week describe himself as "stronger than the mountains." He weighs in at roughly 30 pounds and is enviously tall for his age. He may be the new kid on the block, but don't let those training wheels fool you. He's a wirey one, and not likely to back down easily.....
And on the left we have the defending champ, who will do whatever it takes to protect his claimed "turf." Almost two full years older, he's certainly got experience on his side. He's no rookie, and most of his struggles have been with older kids to boot. He's pulling all his resources on this one, including "Spidey Power".
After tearing down the sidewalk, they both come to a screeching halt. Neither one wanting to back down, and both knowing the impending time-out in store if he is the one to crash into the other first. But more than just their pride is on the line - they're in this for "pinks." What to do? What to do???
The only thing to do is call it a draw... switch wheels and ride off into the sunset basking in the glory of "winning his cousin's sweet ride." After all, his friends will see the new bike and assume he won. When you're four, sometimes a pseudo-win (and not getting a time-out) is simply good enough!

Monday, October 12, 2009

(Bitter)Sweet 16

16 days from today we'll be doing this:

17 days from today we'll be doing this:

and then this:

18 days from today we'll be doing this as we sign our lives away for another 30 years:

and then this:

19 days from today we'll be doing this
(for a month straight!):