Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Race for the Cure- SIGN UP!!!


In just 3 weeks, it will be time for Race for the Cure again! 

Last year, I couldn't run, as I was at one of my very best friend's baby shower! I was definitely in the right place that day, but I am looking forward to running in it this year!

The last time I ran in Race for the Cure, I still had drains in from one of my reconstructive surgeries. This year, I am drain free, healed and whole! I can actually run! I am starting to run to make sure I can actually run it:)

This was my family that ran it 2 years ago with me!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Anniversaries That Just Slip By


Do you guys realize that just about each week in my life there is some sort of "Cancerversary" for me? Is that even a word?!

It is like this internal battle I have within myself to want to tell the whole world of each milestone, while at the same time, realizing that people know my story. I don't have to constantly put it in their face. Is is just SO good, it is hard to not tell everyone!

In May, it was 2 years from my first radiation treatment. In July, it was the 2 year anniversary of finishing my radiation treatments. 

This was the morning of my last radiation treatment. The ENTIRE Stanfill home was decorated. The stairs, balloons, a banner on their balcony, door decor--- the Stanfills do NOTHING halfway! Can you tell we miss them?!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

"I'm Praying for You"

"I'm praying for you." 

Most of us who are believers have said this or heard it be said. What a comforting statement. I know, for me, it is the most comforting thing for me to hear. To know someone is approaching the Father on my behalf is not only humbling, but comforting to know that people are praying for me.

Sadly, I have told people I am praying for them and haven't. I either had no intention of ever praying for them, just said it as a "passing statement", or simply forgot. After going through cancer, I have tried to be much more mindful when saying this statement.

I not only say it less, but I pray a lot more. I know that is sad (the irony), but I want to be a prayer warrior. I want people to know I will pray.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Faith- What is It Really?

How I Used to See "Faith"

Before my cancer/healing journey, I saw faith as something you believed in. Such as "He has a Christian faith" or a "Muslim faith." I also remember thinking of faith as an almost impossible goal when compared to the mountain example in the Bible. Can faith really move mountains?

I mean, most of us at one time or another looked at a mountain and commanded it to move, right? Or am I the only goober out there? Hey, I thought I would try it! God says it's possible, right?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Wasn't Made to Be a Mother

I Wasn't Made to Be a Mother

Yes, it's true, I wasn't made to be a mother. Do I believe I will be a mother? Yes. Do I believe God has called me to motherhood? Yes. But is it my purpose for living? No. Absolutely not.

Several months ago, I received an email from a friend whose daughter was having infertility issues of her own. She learned that she could not have children and was looking into other ways of becoming a mom. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wedding Day Flashback- 8 Years

July 22, 2006- 8 Years Ago

Hope you enjoy a little Throwback Tuesday. Here is a short 5 minute video of some of our wedding day highlights.

8 years ago today- WOW!

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Moving Day

Here is a joint post from me and some thoughts from Josh. Enjoy:)

Our Move

Aly: Our moving day was crazy for us. Yes, it was crazy with the moving van and getting all the last minute stuff out of our house, but our emotions were even more crazy.

I saw Josh that day around lunch time and he was a wreck. He literally couldn't get a word out of his mouth without crying. He kept apologizing to me and telling me he was okay but has just been an emotional wreck.

Josh: I don't struggle with attachment to houses. This wasn't a house though.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Moving On- Peace When Circumstances Don't Match Up

Moving On

Well, as many of you know at this point, we have moved! And yes, 
it feels like we just moved in. Literally.

If you remember, when I was diagnosed, we were in the middle of building our house.
 We built this house as a home that we knew we would sell in a couple of years as 
real estate. Yes, it's not the most fun to build a house, live in it for 2 years and sell it, but that is what we have chosen to do!

This was us on our final day at the house. Sweaty, tired, and wishing it wasn't 100 degrees outside.

Friday, June 27, 2014

It Never Gets Old for God to Show Out

Houston Fun 

Thank you all so very much for the prayers the last couple of days. We are back home in West Monroe after a few amazing days in Houston. We love when we can schedule some fun around our doctor's visits in Houston. And That is just what we did- had fun.

We had a blast yesterday at an Astros' game with our second mom, Ms. Tammy. We then got to hang out and have dinner together before we had to leave. I love having good quality time with the Stanfills. It always makes the trip so much better.

This was our fun day at the Astros game. Everything is more fun with Ms. Tammy!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Because Sometimes You Need a Mattress in the Living Room...

Dothan, AL.

When Josh and I were first married, we lived in Dothan, Alabama. His job at the time took him there and it is a time we will always treasure.

All of those "firsts" coming up with our way of doing things as a married couple.

When he received a job offer that brought us back to West Monroe, we packed up all of our stuff in our 1 bedroom apartment and were planning on leaving in the morning.

We were all packed up that night and Josh says, "Why don't we just leave tonight?" What he didn't know was that I was really wanting our last night in the apartment to be really special.

Cue the waterworks. Josh could have gotten frustrated and thought I was too crazy and sentimental, but no. What did he do? We packed up everything except our mattress and set up our mattress in the living room.

This is us in front of our first home. Our first 1 bedroom apartment in Dothan, Al 2006

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's Good to Be Home...In Houston

Our Houston Home

Yes, we are in Houston. No, we aren't moving to Houston. With the recent sell of our house (which we'll be blogging about later), we've had several people question where we are moving.

We will still be in West Monroe, Lord Willing. But for today, we are in Houston.

It is truly amazing to come to a place 6 hours away that truly feels like home. Our Stanfill Family, our fave places, and even MD Anderson.

They bring a familiarity that is fun to come and visit. So many hurdles and so many victories in our lives involve Houston.

This was us today at the Galleria. Josh was ready to shop after sitting at the Apple store for 3 hours. I had been walking the  mall. Let's just say that one of us was tired and one of us was ready to go:)

Monday, June 23, 2014

I am 27! When Expectations are Squashed.

Planning=expectation killer

By now, you all know I am a planner. And by planner, I mean it can really be bad.

Some of our biggest marital struggles have been because of my over-planning and Josh's lack-of-planning. It really is funny how different we are in that area. By God's grace, we are STILL trying to meet in the middle.

Even from a young age, I had my life somewhat planned out. For instance, here is what I expected:

1.) Get married at 22
2.) Start having babies at 23
3.) Be finished with babies at 27
4.) Stay at home until school age
5.) Travel and live happily ever after...

AND the NAIVETY and LAUGHTER begin...

By no means am I saying to not expect things in abundance from God, because He is such a giving and good God, but my expectations are not equal to God's will. 

Proverbs 23:18 "You will be rewarded for this; your hope will not be disappointed."

Yes, he wants to give me the desires of my heart. But when His plan (which is better for me anyways), doesn't match up with my desires, his will trumps mine. Every.Time.

My Life Imagined Was Different

I am beyond grateful to be 27 years old. As I've mentioned before in birthday posts, I love getting older. Oh how I used to take life for granted! Oh how there are days when I still do! But I realize that each year is a gift. The best birthday present I could receive- LIFE!

So needless to say, I thought my life would look a lot different at 27. Obviously I would have never imagined that my life would have involved cancer...and to think I would be married for almost 8 years is crazy!

I always imagined being the "young mom" and being able to run around with my kids. We always said we would wait a few years to have kids when we got married, but I would have never dreamed or expected that we would wait 8 years. Obviously, that was not of our desire, but we are still trusting.

Expectations are relationship-killers

I still struggle with expectations in my life. I've learned that I generally have really high expectations of things. But normally not things that matter for eternity- dates, events, birthdays, presents, etc..

As I've gotten older, I realize that these expectations can KILL relationships. Yes, they can kill them. If I put all of my expectations into Josh doing something super special for my birthday or graduation or Christmas, I am bound to be disappointed.

I've gotten better about being more open about my expectations and I've really worked at lowering them. Yes, I know I am being vulnerable:)

But, here is what I've learned about myself. I think those high expectations are God-given. But I need to redirect them. To eternal things.

Expecting God to show up big in my life.

Expecting God to come through on a prayer request I have been praying for years and doubt if it will ever happen.

Expecting God to do what His promises say he will do, even if people think I'm crazy.

So, yes, expectations can kill relationships. They can also set you up to be hurt. They can set you up to be disappointed.

But here's the good news:

God requires expectation and rewards it. The risk is so much less than the reward. When I think of all I expected God to heal me from---HE DID IT! How devastating it would have been to put my expectation in healing and not get healed.

But, the risk was worth the reward. Put your expectation in something radical. Something eternal. Something supernatural. I can't wait to hear how God supercedes my expectations when year 28 comes around!

Expecting Miracles,


Saturday, June 21, 2014


Page Girls Take NYC

It's been a busy few weeks and I am making myself sit down today and write! We had such a wonderful time in New York. With my sister living in Shreveport, my mom living in Monroe, and me of course in West Monroe, we all three are rarely all together-- just the 3 of us. So, needless to say, when the original 3 get together, we always have fun and LOTS of laughs!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

3 Ways to Make Time Slow Down

3 Ways to Make Time Slow Down

Wow, so much has happened since graduation. CCS (the school I counsel for) had their last day just a couple of weeks ago, and it was quickly followed by our church's beach trip- easily one of my favorite things! Our church rented out condos right next to each other and we had about 300 in our group! A week with my favorite people and church family- awesome!

Right before we left for the beach, these 2 girls came in town, so we ran a
memorial day race together:)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Closed Doors. Open Doors.

Closed Doors

Closed doors are often thought as a negative thing, or an opportunity that is no longer available. Recently, I have had some closed doors in my life that have been wonderful to close. One of those is finishing my PhD.

I graduated Saturday and a HUGE door was closed in my life, and I welcomed this closed door. For

Friday, May 2, 2014

2 Awesome Weekends

Easter Weekend

We had an awesome Easter. Seriously amazing.

     This was on one of the rainy days and we
went to look at a camping store.
For the last 3 years, we have gone to the beach on my Spring or Easter break.

Every time we take a little getaway trip like this, we realize how rejuvenated and refreshed we feel when we do. As we have told you guys before, after my diagnosis we have really focused on resting- truly resting and figuring out what that was.

We are very busy people by nature, so for us to slow down and rest has been a struggle.

God says we have access to this rest, but I really don't think I have experienced it in the way he intended in a long, long time.

We of course strive to rest on the Sabbath, and to also be in a state of rest throughout our weeks, even when our life is crazy.

1 Kings 8:56 "Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise, which He promised through His servant Moses."
This is from our trip a few weeks before my mastectomy.

We are so much better at it now. Of course, we don't always have to go to the beach to rest, but it is a place that really forces you to do nothing else.

The first two days it rained, but we didn't care. We had our noses stuck in books and watching criminal minds/ law and order marathons.

Yes, we are old people. We know.

The first year we did this trip was right before my mastectomy surgery. It was a great trip, but filled with fear knowing that the inevitable was coming.

Last year, we took this weekend trip and this is when I got shingles...that trip was filled with lots of fear and pain, as we weren't sure what was going on at the time.

From our 2013 Trip. Shingles = Not Awesome.

This year, I had no physical ailment or fear that was tormenting me. Wow- praise God!!! Just to sit out by the pool or the beach and not have something hurt, really hurt- I cannot express into words what that felt like.

 I finally feel like myself again!

Friendly Couple Competition
Josh and I are very competitive, and we really enjoy doing activities together. I used to play golf with Josh (before my pec muscle got so tight after radiation), and we play volleyball together, ping pong, and he runs with me (occasionally:)). 

We used to play tennis together on our family nights when we lived right by a tennis court. We haven't played much since then outside of a few times with friends. So, we played tennis a few nights at the beach while we had access to the courts.

It was funny to say the least. I am terrible. Seriously terrible. Josh was so patient with me and we had lots of laughs. 

But of course my favorite moments were cuddling with this guy watching Spencer Reid and Penelope Garcia.


Aunt and Uncle Weekend

Last weekend was a great weekend as well. We got to keep my sweet nephew, overnight! My sister lives out of town, so any time we get to see them is a treat. 

He seriously is the sweetest, cutest, best little boy there is!

My awesome sis-in-law had her 30th birthday party, so we got to spend time with my niece and nephew together. It really doesn't get much better than that.

So, Rachel's sweet mom, Tina kept trying to make the little ones laugh. They smiled great, but she was too good! Almost all of the pics I am dying laughing at her attempts to make them smile. When I start laughing, it is soo hard for me to stop...

There are weekends that are good, and then there are weekends that are awesome. I really encourage you to schedule time for rest. Even if you don't "get away"--- but to truly schedule resting time. 

I can promise you- I know for our lifestyle, if we don't schedule rest and time to "be still", it normally doesn't happen.

If we can get good at this now, I assume it will help us balance family life once we add a little one to the mix. I SO desire my life to be simple. To be restful. Thankful for weekends of rest and family time.

Resting in Him,


Monday, April 28, 2014

Why we Blog Part 2: I blog for the Husband at MD Anderson Right Now.

Aly wrote a great post last week about why we keep blogging.

There are three reasons for me why we are still actively writing this story.
  • We believe God has called us:
    • Aly - Speak to women/ kids about her story. 
    • Josh- Speak to men about brokenness.
  • There is a guy that is sitting with his wife today as she is told she has cancer or some other diagnosis that sends their world into a spin.
  • Men need to know that it is better to be broken before God instead of whole before men.
To elaborate a little on these 3 points...

1) We truly believe God desires to use our story. It is not the most convenient option for us to continue down this road.

Aly just obtained her PhD and has already had 3 legitimate, high paying job offers. Easy road is take those jobs until we have a child. 

I have been blessed to have many opportunities.

While these opportunities are wonderful and remind us how blessed we are, we do not want to simply do something that "makes sense" financially or culturally. We want to follow our calling.

We simply have made choices that will not deter us from doing what we feel is a calling.

A few thoughts on calling from Andy Stanley:
  • A calling is usually more meaningful than measurable
  • A person with calling lives with an abiding awareness of Who it's for and Who it's from
  • My results don't determine my calling.
  • We can be good at a great deal of things.
  • What wakes us up early?
  • What makes it difficult to go to sleep?
  • Our calling = our passion and at this point in time there is a high chance of a passion helping you create a life.
  • A calling is emotional.
  • A calling is edgy.
2) There is a guy that as I write this is hearing the news that his wife is diagnosed with something. 

I believe my story can help bring life faster to husbands that are desperate to do it right. 

What is my story? In a nutshell, bullet point style:
  • Previous to Aly's diagnosis simply tried to not be exposed
    • No active relationship with God.
    • Running from sin.
    • No deep friendships. 
  • Aly diagnosed Oct 17, 2011
    • Realized I was not the man she needed or would need.
    • Vain imaginations
      • Death
      • Suicide
      • Depression
      • Financial Failure
  • July of 2012 My change moment.
    • Friend called me on my lack of trust in God's plan.
      • Mind you, this is AFTER Aly had been deemed cancer free after mastectomy.
    • An about face
      • Truly stopped everything.
      • No real estate.
      • Backed out of an incredible opportunity after obtaining all licenses to begin.
      • Committed to be quiet and allowing God to break me and form what he wanted during this time.
  • May 2013 Finding Radical Mentoring
    • It will be the tool I use to connect to small groups of men at a time and show them what is possible when we take off our masks as men.
    • Now on my second group with incredible results so far.
I will explain more of what Radical Mentoring is in an upcoming post...definitely a calling for me.

That is the no story, all fact version of 2 1/2 years of God breaking me. He is not done and that is clear daily. 
Last but not least. At our 2 year anniversary party we had in October I said, 

"I would rather be broken before God than whole before men."

I hadn't really even realized I said this at our 2 year celebration. One of my great friends, Andy, showed me where he wrote it in his phone, as it spoke to him. 

I promise I am not that smart to come up with that. That was a heart's cry for God to be the most important.

If men and boys can grasp this concept their world will change. 

So yes, we will keep posting. We are going to be changing the blog and updating it to reflect our goal of sharing our story to an even wider audience.

We desire to speak to groups. Groups of 10- Thousands. If you have a group that you think Aly and I or one of us could share with you can contact us at or

Aly and Josh are not impressive. What God chose to do in Aly and Josh since October 17, 2011 is impressive. Mind blowing. Miraculous stuff.

That is the fuel. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

3 Reasons We Blog: Part 1

Blog Phobia

As most of you know, our blog was started just 3 days after my diagnosis. I remember Josh waking me up with the biggest grin on his face showing me what he started. You might assume that I was appreciative and happy to know he did this, but actually it was quite the opposite. I immediately got sick to my stomach and thought, "I do not want the world knowing all of this about me! I am a private person!"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Revelation and a broken nose. You interested yet?

To follow up to my last post about learning what I have to do to be healthy. If you didn't read it then I would advise you to do so before proceeding. Click HERE to read.

Yep. Read
< First
Then scroll down to see
how this happened.
1. Must spend time with God. 
2. Must be ok with Aly.
3. Must intake new information or look at opportunities in my job.
      ***This is like a drug for me.
4. Everything below here is just icing. I have learned that when I leave off one of these first 3 that I am headed for trouble.

What have I committed to do to not let myself get in a bad spot again?

Journaling  my prayers. I use the ACTS method and then learned a new method of separating the page into 2 sides. On one side I write my questions or thoughts to God. On the other side I write what I hear him say to me either in the form of words (which rarely happens) or wisdom he gives me.

I am committed to loving Aly. Her way. I will stay in her space. Ask about her day. Listen to her details. I loved her because she was so unlike me so making sure I see all those awesome things about her is what fuels my love for her today.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Acupuncture, Formatting, a Broken Nose, and Another Milestone


It's been a while since I have written, so I have taken the time to write this post about things that have been going on lately in our lives. First up- acupuncture! So, as most of you know I have been struggling with headaches since October. I never have before, and let me say for all you headache sufferers- I AM SO SORRY! Wow, can it be debilitating. Well, my sweet mom offered to take me to an acupuncturist who we had heard amazing things about through a really good friend. It was crazy, and it kind of hurt. I was there for over 2 hours, and they tried so many things on me, but I still left with a headache! HOWEVER, the last 2 weeks, my headaches have been minimal, so maybe it helped???? My mom and I had a fun trip nonetheless.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Can You Climb Out of a Dark Hole?

How do you climb out of a dark hole?
Catching Aly Sleeping. 

I will not ask if you have been in a dark place. You have. How did you get out?

Someone needs to hear about the experience. Why?

So the next time it starts getting dark they will know what color rope to throw down to you.

I can't put my finger on when it happened but I know a general time. It was a positive thing that occupied my brain.

I was preparing for a big event in my job, and much of my time and attention went there instead of focusing on what gives me life. 

I forgot somewhere before the event to give God part of my day. I forgot that the only way I am in a place to do God's work is because of God's time.

You see, sin would be easier to avoid. This was kingdom work so I wrapped myself in it and pushed ahead. What an event.

Friday, March 14, 2014

What my Ph.D. Means To Me

Kinda Crazy

I have gotten so many congratulations in the past week and it really means the world to me. Graduate education can be kind of a silent battle, as most people my age are full-time working and people can forget I am still in school. I often get the "You're still in school?" looks and comments. Which I totally understand! 9 years in college---wow! What kind of crazy people do that? Yep, that is apparently me.

Here is a pic from my undergraduate graduation in 2009.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"No, I can't be the school nurse now!"

Not that kind of doctor

"Now that you're a doctor, will you be the school nurse now?" ha. Yes, one of my students asked me this yesterday at school. We had a little discussion on M.D. doctor vs. Ph.D. doctor---not sure if she understood at all, but I tried my best! I passed my dissertation defense, and that is what I've been up to lately, hence the lacking of blog posts.

Some middle school students decorated my office door celebrating my "doctor" status!

Yes. I passed my dissertation defense! Wow, what relief. Some times in life, I have had a goal and once I reach it, I don't really feel what I was expecting. I tend to have high expectations, and over the years I've learned to lower them somewhat, as I know they are relationship killers. But these expectations were MORE than reached!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Moments- Part 2.


Several months ago, I wrote a post on "Moments" and described a few moments through my cancer/healing journey that have stuck out for me. Read it here. Well, this past weekend, I had another one of those moments when my husband and me completed our first half marathon together.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Resistant Emotions- 6 Month check up!!!

6 Month Check up

My 6 month check-up has come and gone, and wow, I am so thankful. It's crazy how much anxiety I was holding on to. I often times find it hard to even talk about my anxious thoughts and concerns, as no one can really understand, but I slept the best I've slept in months on Friday night. Each good check up is like a breath, a deep breath that has been waiting to come out.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gingerbread houses- VERDICT. Our giving update.

Pinterest Fails

So, I've had lots of guesses on the gingerbread houses, and most people guessed right! I know it will be a huge surprise to most of you, but yes, Josh won the gingerbread contest. Surprise, surprise. I thought I had given myself a chance by following Pinterest's advice, you saw, mine soon collapsed. I should have a website devoted to my "Pinterest fails." It was still fun to laugh about. It always starts out as a great idea and then goes terribly wrong. Wreaths, calendars, pictures, you name it- I have brought it to a craft party so excited and left with something to throw away the next day.

Trying has to count for something, right?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I Don't Need a Baby to Believe

I am all about a baby. In fact, I am ready for it. Waiting.

Only question is will I believe with no baby? God has proved he's active and living in our life. I don't have to look far.

Healing of Cancer.

Breaking of my hard heart.

Birthing of a desire for change.

I made a mistake about 7 months into this journey where I found myself abandoning part of God's plan when I found a backup plan that made sense to me.

You see, I didn't abandon THE plan. I just abandoned the part of the plan I found a replacement for.

I will not repeat this heartbreaking mistake. I will lose all I have to not repeat this.

I am tired of the world I became comfortable in. It was built around the wisdom of man that was bound to fail.

Are you making your love for God and desire for him conditional on something you are asking him to do?

In my prayer journal I pray by the ACTS method. The last one is supplication. I ask God to do all kinds of things. The first being for us to have a baby. Multiple babies at that.

Right now I can see those babies. My latest pictures are two girls. Curly brown hair for one and blonde for the other. I want a replica of their mom. I pray their hearts are broken for God now. Before we ever know them.

I only get to ask God to do things after I have given him adoration, after I have confessed my sins, after I have thanked him for all that he has already done.

My requests are known to God. Maybe my biggest request should be for his plan. Not mine.