Saturday, December 31, 2016

Port Day

My journey continues with the recent placement of my port in anticipation for the beginning of treatment on January 3rd.

The port was placed on my right side just below the skin and will be used for all treatments, blood work and scans.
(Sadly it had to be on the right side as that is the safest and most effective place- Cooper's "Happy place" is on my right side and it was the first thing he commented on when I came home. Another adjustment for the sparkles and their Momma).

While I know that having a port will be a blessing (less poking) it has not felt like a blessing these first few days.  It has been an unanticipated struggle but a another valuable lesson has been learned.

I have realized how important it is for me to know and understand what will happen, what to expect both in the short and long term. And my long list of questions and concerns for my next appointment is evidence of it :)

I knew very little about the procedure to place my port and as a result had a few unexpected surprises (no showering- full water submersion for 7 days), liquid stitch and dissolvable stitches (very itchy) and while I was to be asleep for the procedure my definition and the surgeons was different.
Nothing life threatening or hard to deal with but enough to rock my boat and spiral me into a few days of anxiety and a huge reality check of the journey ahead.

Thankfully the port is easily hidden by my favorite shirts and when in doubt there are always scarves, the wounds will heal, and I learned a lesson that will help me in the next steps. The pain decreases each day and each day is one day closer to a regular shower :)
For all of that I am thankful and counting blessings.

Thanks for sharing the journey
May your days be blessed with joyful moments (mine are)

Winter Break Adventures

I have loved having the Sparkles home for the last two weeks. We enjoyed a visit with our Florida family (thanks for braving the cold), seeing friends, sleeping in and having the time to just be together. 

Here's a look at a few of our favorite adventures :)

Walking on the pond at the Cowboys house- an adventure always awaits the Sparkles 
 Sledding together (the first time Cooper would actually go down a hill on a sled)
 Skating with our favorite twins
 Seeing the movie Sing in the reclining VIP chairs. (the movie was great and the company fantastic)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Treatment Schedule

The next several months are going to be a challenge and we know there are several friends and family members who want to help. We have decided that a cancer-support website might be the best resource to help coordinate our needs during the chemo treatments.

Please visit

If you haven't already received an invitation and would like to join in, there is a link on the page to request to join. Included in the site are the chemo infusion schedule, some details of our family's preferences (such as pizza toppings), and probably Rob's travel schedule.

Please know that the greatest gift you can give our family is prayers, love and encouragement.

Thank you for sharing this journey we couldn't do it without you.

Florida Invasion

When you need them... they come.

We were blessed to be all together for the weekend with Rob's family from Florida.
His Mom, Bob, brother, sister, spouses and our niece and nephew flew up to our wintery wonderland (it snowed 3+ inches the day before they arrived) to spend the weekend with us.

We ate, played, and laughed together.

Just a few of the highlights (more pictures to come).

Time with the siblings is always great.

The Littles enjoyed having Daddy and Grammie bring them lunch to school.

I especially enjoyed watching the cousins together.
Here are Cooper and Thea discussing Bubble Guppies :)
Thank you for coming up. Can't wait to be reunited again.

Like Father Like Son

Cooper and his Daddy

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Choosing Joy

Some individuals pick a word of the year, others set a goal or a resolution, and in 2016 I did a little of both. 

I chose the phrase... Live Loved and set a goal to share that message with those I encountered. Some in tangible ways such as gifts or letters of encouragement and others a simple smile :)

While I was blessed (and hope I blessed others) by choosing to Live Loved, I learned the greater blessing of Choice.

Throughout the year I was reminded often of the CHOICE we face each day. I can choose to be negative or I can find the good. I can choose to Live Loved or I can choose to feel unloved or unwanted. In all circumstances it boils down to choice and that choice is my own. I  can't get bogged down with stinking thinking, riding the merry go round of things I can not change: my past or the actions/feelings of others, or circumstances beyond our control.

The only control I have is in how I choose to respond to life situations.

2016 was a challenging year. Along with the normal adventures of raising 3 sparkles, a traveling husband, and maintaining a home and office, I have been dealing with some health issues that eventually culminated into a diagnosis in November.

It has been a year of tests, several rounds of varying antibiotics, hospital visits, exploratory procedures, and lastly the removal and biopsy of a lymph node in my throat to reach the diagnosis.

I have been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

I realize this will come as a shock to many, and as the shock fades, I know there will be many questions. How am I? How are the Sparkles? How is Rob?

I am peaceful with my diagnosis. I prayed that doctors would find what was wrong and that it would be treatable. God was faithful. I like my doctor and we are beginning to formulate my treatment plan; another answer to prayer.

Our Sparkles are learning to trust God in difficult situations.

Our marriage is facing the "in sickness" part of our vows.

Each day we are faced with a CHOICE...

and each day I Choose Joy... despite my illness, symptoms and the journey (fears) ahead.

Sunday, December 25, 2016


 The best part of Christmas is being together.
 Everyone wearing their new Christmas clothes (or at least some).
Getting ready to head over to Nana's for presents, lunch and play time together.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Snowy Day

What could make a more perfect day....

Snow Snuggles and Selfies with my love
 Snow Angels

Snowball fights and more

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Palooza

I love decorating for Christmas... we call it Christmas Palooza at our house. A tree in every room downstairs, some big, some small, all dear to this Momma's heart. 

Each tree has a theme (Star Wars, S'mores, Nativity, Snowman and more) and every corner that you turn has a twinkle of lights to greet you. 
Starting with the Star Wars Tree

My greatest joy this season was to sit back and watch my Sparkles decorate the family tree. 
It is the largest tree of our collection (nearly 8ft) and displays our FAVORITE things. 
I had the best seat in the house... snuggled up in the Momma chair and watching as the Sparkles brought the tree to life. 
Carefully choosing and hanging each ornament, each bringing their own bit of flare to the decorating process and above all filling our tradition with love and laughter. 

Finally, how absolutely thrilling that our Christmas card Picture should be the ending to our beautiful night
May you Choose Joy this season and always. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Take our picture
 Now a funny one

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Collections and Displays

Lillian was recently asked if she was interested in having her collection of Take A Part Erasers put on display at the local Library.

She was quite excited to take her collection of over 80 erasers and to put them in the display.

While Lillian was thrilled for the opportunity, she daily asks for when she can have her display back :)

Thursday, November 24, 2016


While it wasn't quite the same as when the Meierdiercks crew is with us, we still had a lovely time together celebrating Thanksgiving.

We have much to be Thankful for :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Room School House

Lillian's 3rd grade class at the opportunity to visit the County One Room School house. The students were encouraged to dress in period attire for the 1890's and to bring their lunches in a pail or basket.

Lillian was quite excited for the trip and had a great time :)

Thanks to all who helped make this day a success for Lillian

Friday, November 11, 2016

Spa day with my Bestie

The best medicine is time with a friend :)

Who says its all work and no play?

Enjoying a lovely cup of tea and time with my bestie at a nearby hotel and spa. Long chats and pampering was the perfect beginning to my week in the UK.

 Blessed to call this woman my friend for the last 8 years.
Looking forward to our next adventures together.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

London 2016

Spending the day in the city with my love :)

After arriving on the early flight from the US, we dropped our luggage at the house and headed by train into the city for the day (mostly to keep ourselves awake and to adjust to the time difference).

We enjoyed lunch at this fantastic pub 

 Chicken and Mushroom pie for me and Beef and Bacon pie for Rob.
The atmosphere was fantastic and so quintessential English. 

We decided to continue our adventure and see the play No Man's Land with Patrick Stewart (when in the city why not get a bit of culture too).
The play was a bust (post modern nonsense) but the company was good.

It was a wonderful day together- good food, great company and a city I love.

Until our next adventure.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

BOA Regional Champions

Another first place finish for the Avon Marching Black and Gold at BOA Super Regionals this past weekend.
Avon 1st
Carmel 2nd
Homestead 3rd

This was the same ranking and finish for the the bands as at State Finals the previous weekend :)

BOA (Bands of America) Super Regional consists of bands from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois.

Well Done Madi!!!!

This weekend the band competes in its final competition for the year in BOA Grand Nationals.
Avon will compete against the winning bands of Regionals, as well as, bands from across the country.

Avon performs Thursday at 8pm in Grand National Prelims then Semi Finals Saturday morning/afternoon, and hopefully Finals Saturday evening.

Go Forth- Madi.

Then and Now

Its not often that pictures are "re-created" in the Sparkman house- so its a real treat and pure joy for this Momma when it happens.

5 years ago

This picture hangs in our dining room, a constant reminder of the journey we travel together as a family, with the next adventure just ahead

And here we are, 5 years later- a little taller, and many more adventures ahead

This just happened by accident... you can't help having a great back ground 

I love my Sparkles (and their Daddy). 
I am blessed!