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 :)