Bryan’s Journey: Part Seven

Bryan’s Journey: Part Seven

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

Bryan has three treatments left! Praise the Lord — seriously! The thought of only a remaining 1/4 of treatments left, is very exciting.

We were able to participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk, and it was an inspirational and emotional experience. Bryan did not attend the walk, given the amount of people who would be there, as well as his lower energy level, but I can tell you that he felt extremely loved and supported by the people who walked alongside us, as well as those that had donated to the cause. This walk will be one that we continue to participate in, and next year Bryan will be there walking with us!




So awesome to see lanterns lit everywhere. I was brought to tears to see everyone supporting Bryan, and as the words played to “Fight Song”, I just couldn’t handle it. Bryan has been such a strong fighter, and even more so, God has been fighting on his behalf, and I am so, so thankful. The weather was perfect, and our team raised over $1,000 to support blood cancer research, which is what it is all about. Thank you to those that were a part of this night!

Bryan is still tolerating treatments well, but is more fatigued after each one. It takes him a little longer each time to recuperate, which is what we expected would happen at this point. He is otherwise staying healthy, which is a huge blessing in itself!

We would love continued prayers for Bryan, that he wouldn’t be nauseous, that he would have energy to continue working and doing things he loves, and that he would continue to stay healthy and avoid any cold and flu germs. Actually, prayers that our whole family would stay healthy, would be wonderful as it seems that if one of us gets sick, we all do. If you think of it, continue to encourage Bryan as well — cards and phone calls and texts have really meant a lot to him, and while we know the chemo is working (the biggest answer to prayer!), treatments are tough, and it is hard for him to not feel like himself. Thank you to everyone who continues to ask what they can do to help — to our neighbors who faithfully mow our lawn, to our friends who send us encouraging Scripture verses and texts, to our family who helps with our kids and brings us food, and to those who are faithful in praying. We appreciate you!




Looking for more?

Bryan’s Journey: Part One

Bryan’s Journey: Part Two

Bryan’s Journey: Part Six

The Influence Conference: Recap

The Influence Conference: Recap


Let’s rewind to September of 2014. I was sitting at home with my four-month old baby, and my Instagram feed was flooded with pictures from the Influence Conference. And I so so SO wanted to be there! So much so, that I bought my ticket as early as I could for the coming years’ conference…and the countdown began. I am by definition an introvert, and so I wanted to find a friend who would be willing and able and excited to join me at the three-day conference this year. Luckily, I have a sweet, brave friend (Angela!) who was willing to go on a trip with me!

As the months turned to weeks and then to days, my excitement grew and grew. Not only was I going to have a chance to not be a “mom” for a few days, but I was going to have the opportunity to meet some of the bloggers and business owners I have always admired from a distance. I was going to be able to hear so many good speakers and participate in wonderful worship. This conference definitely did not disappoint!

I could quite literally write a novel about everything I learned over the course of last weekend. I was filled up with so much knowledge and wisdom and encouragement just from listening to the speakers. I was able to relax and re-charge as I spent time with like-minded women all striving to follow God’s calling on their lives. I was able to eat dinner without feeding my kids first (can I get an Amen!?), and just sit and have some great conversations.

There are two things, in particular, that I learned last weekend, that I want to share with you:

  1. I have influence right where I am. I don’t need to be the most followed blogger or the most successful business woman for God to use me right where I am. Maybe it’s my influence at home that is most important right now! I don’t need a huge audience. God has put me where I am for a purpose — a purpose that only I can fulfill. And I am going to stop comparing myself to everyone else! (Or should I say I am going to “try”?! Our world and social media make comparison so extremely easy!)
  2. My kids are not a distraction. They are my “tribe”, my little “disciples”.  I need to bring them alongside with me, as I live my life. As Lisa-Jo Baker said, “When you follow Jesus, your kids will grow up and know what that looks like. If you don’t teach them Who to follow, they will quickly follow someone, or something else.” I am a really goal-oriented person, and I often struggle being a stay-at-home mom, because I feel like my goals are sometimes put on hold. But what an important job I have right now — I am not putting my life on hold. I am bringing my kids along with me, so they know firsthand what it means to follow Christ. That is a job description that I can not take lightly!

Jess Connolly gave an amazing talk about how to demolish pretenses and strongholds in your life: “Our defeated pretenses become our ministry.” Hayley Morgan spoke about having an undivided heart: “God can sustain you. We need to clear things out so we can hear better!” Erin Loechner talked about how to “lean back” and recognize when you are struggling and how to deal with that: “We’ve been so busy painting portraits of perfection, whether online or off, that we don’t want to smudge our masterpiece of self-reliance.” Rachael Kincaid spoke about grace: “He is the key to an unlocked life. Grace and forgiveness are not unattainable things. Grace compels us to make a difference!”

I am still processing and reflecting on all that I saw and heard — it was a lot, but it was all so, so good. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go the Conference, and I am thankful for all that I learned. (And, I have a HUGE list of books on my reading list!)

I have been a member of the Influence Network for about a year, and the value of the classes alone is definitely worth the membership! So, if you have been pondering joining, ponder no more — just do it. I promise you will not regret spending the $10 a month! On top of the benefit of one free class a month, you also have access to the Network forums, the opportunity to join a community group, and monthly member downloads, podcasts, etc. It is a really such a great community of women! You do not need to be a blogger, or business owner, or author. You just need to be you and know that you have influence right where you are!


Ali Wren & Angela & Me



Jess Connolly & Me


Hayley Morgan & Me

Before I end, I just have to say thank you again for your continued prayers for Bryan. He has his 8th chemo treatment this coming week, so he will have four left after this one is finished. This has been a long, and tiring road for Bryan and while we are thankful that the cancer is gone, I know Bryan could continue to use your prayers as he finishes up treatments. They are exhausting, both mentally and physically. He could use continued prayer for strength, energy and that he stays healthy, in general as we approach cold and flu season. I am thankful that I don’t have a lot of updates to share and that the end is almost in sight — God is good!



Football Cupcakes

Football Cupcakes

I really miss blogging, so this is my attempt to come back for a bit and blog about something light-hearted…and since football season is upon us, so I wanted to share a quick and easy treat idea for the games!

**Before I move on with this post, I just want to say thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers as we continue to go through everything going on with Bryan. It seems we have sort of fallen into a little bit of a routine. Treatments are bi-weekly, and while the treatments themselves have become somewhat miserable at times for Bryan, we are so thankful that we can count down now. He has six treatments left, and so as of now, he will be finished the week of Thanksgiving — talk about a huge blessing to give thanks for this year! We still miss our normal social lives, and being careful around being around crowds has been a bummer as we have had to miss things we would have loved to attend. But, it’s a season of our lives right now, and the hope that life will resume as normal as can be after this is a huge encouragement. Your continued prayers especially on the days of his treatments and the few days following where he feels the worst, would definitely be appreciated! God has given us a wonderful community around us and we feel very loved. If Bryan could hug each one of you, I know he would!**

Bryan and I had a Fantasy Football draft over the weekend, and I wanted to make something football-ish for dessert. I scoured Pinterest for ideas, but nothing really struck me. So, I decided to give this easy treat a try!


The frosting took a little bit of time, but less than I was anticipating, so I am still calling these easy. 🙂

What You Need:

  • Football Party Picks: Amazon (You can reuse these too!)
  • Frosting: I will post the recipe I used below, but you could use any frosting you like!
  • Green and Blue Food Coloring
  • Chocolate Cupcake Mix
  • Cupcake Liners
  • #233 Decorating Tip: Amazon
  • Decorating Bags & Coupler: I bought these at a local baking store a while ago, but you could buy on Amazon too.


  1. Bake the cupcakes according to the box directions.
  2. Mix the frosting (recipe below) and color it green. Tip: Use both green and blue food coloring if you want a dark green. Mine didn’t turn out quite as dark as I wanted to, but that’s because I found the idea to use blue after I had already used too much green.
  3. After the cupcakes have cooled, use the #233 tip to make “grass”. Set up your decorating bag & coupler with the decorating tip. The best way to do this is to go on a straight angle and pull up quickly to make the “grass” effect. You can practice on one first to make sure you like how it looks…plus, then you have one to sample yourself. 😉
  4. Put in the football picks!
  5. Refrigerate. I refrigerated mine because the frosting I used was buttercream and it was starting to melt a little as I decorated. This would be optional depending on the type of frosting you decide to use!

Buttercream Frosting

8            tablespoons butter, softened

3            cups powdered sugar

3-4        tablespoons milk (divided)

1            teaspoon vanilla

Blend butter on low speed until fluffy for 30 seconds; add sugar, 3 tablespoons milk and vanilla; blend on low speed for one minute until sugar is incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat about one minute until light and fluffy; add up to 1 tablespoon more milk if frosting seems too stiff.

I hope you enjoy this quick and easy idea to add a fun football treat to game days! We are happy it is almost fall and football season around here!




Looking for more?

Bryan’s Journey: Part One

Candy Cookies

DIY: Hair Bows

Bryan’s Journey: Part Six

Bryan’s Journey: Part Six


(Photo Credit: Bryan took this picture last night — pretty great timing!)

I can not believe we are already at “part six” of this journey! I am just beyond excited to be able to share with you that Bryan’s PET scan came back completely NEGATIVE!!! There were NO signs of lymphoma! You guys — I can’t even type that without sobbing. I know that as Christians we say this all the time, but God is SO good. So, so, so good. And there isn’t even any other way to put it!

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He sent forth is word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.” Psalm 107:19-21

Throughout all of this, God continues to show me over and over again His goodness, His power, and His presence. I hate that it took something like going through this to strengthen my faith, but I know that is how He works sometimes!

Bryan’s treatment plan will continue on as planned — he will finish out his remaining eight chemotherapy treatments. *sigh* We would love continued prayer that he stays healthy, has minimal side effects and that he is able to finish up these last few months as quickly as possible! Please also pray that the kids continue to stay healthy, and that I am able to be whatever Bryan needs for me to be as we tackle these next treatments. Chemo is still really not fun, so we would appreciate continued prayers. We know God will continue to walk with him through the rest of this, but in the meantime, we are going to be jumping up and down and praising Him with all that we have!

Thank you for your love and prayers — we are so grateful!

Bryan’s Journey: Part Five

Bryan’s Journey: Part Five

“The storms in my life have become workshops where I can practice my faith in God’s sovereignty.” Jill Briscoe


Yesterday was treatment #4 — 1/3 of the way done! Some days are going by so slowly, but then I think about how this entire journey really began around Mother’s Day and everything that has transpired since then, and then it seems like the days are flying. I guess it might depend on who you ask…Bryan may say the days are slower as his days don’t all look the same as they did before this all happened. I, however, see that most of my days remain the same, maybe with some additional duties, which I suppose is why I think the days are going by more quickly. All that to say, Bryan has 1/3 of his chemo treatments done! We are excited about that!

Bryan will have a PET scan next week and we will finally be able to see how his body his reacting to the chemo. It will be nice to “see” what is going on inside his body. We won’t find out anything about the results until his next treatment, but I will make sure you to keep you all in the loop. Bryan’s 3rd treatment left him feeling more nauseous and “off” than the first two, and the symptoms followed him for a few more days directly after than they had in the prior two treatments. So far, the fourth treatment went better itself, and we are praying the side effects are less and more manageable this time around. Other than fatigue and occasional nausea, I think Bryan seems to be doing really well physically. We are grateful for that. The mental part of all of this, continues to be a struggle, but as we are getting into somewhat of a routine, it seems like everything is really seeming like a normal part of our life — not a fun, part, but a part, no less.

A dear, sweet friend of mine, texted me this Bible verse yesterday morning before Bryan had his treatment, and it just really spoke to my heart and how I was feeling at the moment:

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.” Lamentations 3:21-25

We are not consumed. He never fails. So often during these last weeks, I have felt overwhelmed and really consumed by fear, doubt and just the unknown. But we have a God whose Love is GREATER than anything we are going through. We have hope and He truly makes each morning new. Every morning, of every single day, we know that there is a God who has an unfathomable amount of grace awaiting us.

Passion’s, “The Lord our God” is now a family favorite song these days as I have been playing it nonstop in the car lately.

In the silence, in the waiting
Still we can know You are good
All Your plans are for Your glory
Yes, we can know You are good

I think I speak for the majority of people when I say this but it is SO hard when God gives you that silence, or you feel like you are just waiting for answers. As an obsessive planner, this is especially hard for me, and I am willing to admit that. But, both Bryan and I believe that His plans, whether confusing or not, really are all for His glory. However this journey continues to unravel, we can know that He is good. He is here. And He has a plan.

I know this post isn’t really much of an update, but I wanted to make sure to keep you prayer warriors updated and let you know that Bryan is continuing to fight this with strength and a smile. We would still appreciate any and all prayers! Specifically, pray that Bryan would continue to be healthy, as his neutrophil count remains low. Please pray that he would feel well, and that symptoms would be minimal. Pray that he would have strength and energy to keep working and to keep living life as normal as possible! I would appreciate prayers for energy, understanding, peace and strength as well. While we know we have a Mighty God on our side, it is easy to forget that in the midst of stress and uncertainty. Your prayers, love, and support are amazing! Thank you for your texts, calls and all the ways that you are helping! Thank you for being a part of this journey with us.



Looking for more?

Bryan’s Journey: Part One

Bryan’s Journey: Part Two

Bryan’s Journey: Part Three

Bryan’s Journey: Part Four

Bryan’s Journey: Part Four

Bryan’s Journey: Part Four

“In Your everlasting arms, all the pieces of my life, from beginning to the end – I can trust You. In Your never failing love, You work everything for good. God, whatever comes my way, I will trust you.” Chris Tomlin, “Sovereign”


I am starting this update on Bryan with a really positive thought — Bryan is 25% done with his treatments! WOOHOO! We will take any reason to celebrate through these chemo treatments, and being even a portion done, is super exciting. Yes, my accountant side is revealing itself as I keep track of treatments done and treatments left to go. 🙂

Bryan is still doing pretty well — I mean, really, check out the handsome guy up there! He has moments where he is just feeling “off” and not himself, moments of fatigue, and moments of nausea, but it is a huge praise that the moments of nausea (the biggest fear Bryan had with side effects), have been minimal and manageable. He is having nights where he is not sleeping well, so that has been a struggle at times. Bryan had his third treatment early this week, and did not feel well during it, but he is feeling better and back to work now. I have been able to go with him to all of his treatments so far, and they are getting more efficient and going more quickly as we progress, which is really nice. The less amount of time we have to spend at the hospital, the better, especially given Bryan’s low neutrophil count. (Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells.) It is expected that this count will continue to be low for him throughout the remainder of his treatment, so keeping him as isolated as possible from germs and infections are high on our priority list! Again, super hard to do with our two little ones running around the house, but so far, so good.

I am actually so thankful that I do not have any super bad news to report about how things are going so far — such a huge answer to our prayers. Bryan will have another PET scan mid-August, and we will then know how well the chemotherapy is working and are expecting to see great progress! I have sometimes been feeling that time is going SO slowly. Our life has been so different this summer than others. We are home more, and not making all those fun summer plans that we used to be able to participate in without a second thought. If you have ever talked to Bryan, even if just for a minute, you will know that “social” is his middle name. He thrives on human interaction and is such a social guy. While being home more often has its appeals to a quieter person like myself, it has been difficult for Bryan.

It is difficult to try to plan our lives out with so much unknown. We are definitely counting down the days to the PET scan as this will be a great indicator about how well things are going, but it is very hard to not be able to see what is going on inside of Bryan’s body and just trusting in the “unseen.” And of course, praying that God has got it all under control. I was talking with my mom the other day about how it is hard to make plans for things going forward — even just the everyday normal things. I am a planner extraordinaire, so it is not in my nature to not have a plan! But, as I was talking these things through with her, this verse came to the top of my mind:

 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

We are not going to be here forever. We are, as God says, literally a “mist” in the grand scheme of His overarching plan. Now, while I don’t think this means that we shouldn’t plan and just make crazy decisions, I do think it is a good reminder. While the hope is that Bryan will overcome all of this and lead a healthy life going forward, who is to say that I will remain healthy? God has promised us that “in this world, you will have trouble” — but HE will overcome. This entire situation just continues to scream at me that today is today. We are here today, and we might not be here tomorrow. Life. Is. Short. I don’t mean this to be morbid, as I truly believe God has the power to heal Bryan and that he will be just fine, but I say this because, we are not guaranteed anything. I certainly didn’t plan to find out that my husband had cancer in June of 2015. So I am saying this: Live your life. Don’t worry about the petty things that don’t matter in the perspective of eternity. Don’t hold back doing the things that you love. Live today – for today.

Something else that has really helped me through all of this, is keeping a gratitude journal. How often I catch myself whining about something (something that really doesn’t even matter), that I could be spending that time being thankful. While, I don’t love that Bryan and I are dealing with this health issue right now, God has SO blessed us in so many other ways. It is so, so, SO easy to get caught up in the moment, and feel bad for yourself — wondering why you were dealt this unfair hand. But, you know what? There is so much worse in the world. And in the midst of it all, we are seriously drowning in blessing upon blessing. My entire outlook changes, when I remind myself how much I have to thank God for — the list never ends!

Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. Colossians 2:6-7

So, how can you continue to pray for us? Please pray that Bryan would remain healthy, and that his treatments would go smoothly and as scheduled. Please pray that he would feel well, and that he would be able to have more restful nights of sleep. Please pray that Bryan would remain positive (the mental mindset is so important through all of this), and that he would continue to feel loved and cared for by the Maker of all. Please pray that I would have the additional energy I need to help both him, and keep up with everyday life with the kids, and our home. And, please continue to pray that these treatments are doing their job and that we would see great results at his next scan.

We are so thankful for everyone that has spoken kind words and prayers over us. We have had neighbors show up at our door unannounced with food. Bryan received a care package from a friend who went through this same journey years ago, filled with necessities. My mom’s group at church dropped off a basket of “sunshine” filled with so many wonderful things. We have a neighbor that texts me at least weekly asking specifically what our needs are for the week, and how they can help (and really meaning it – i.e. showing up to mow the lawn moments later!). My family put together a care “bag” for Bryan and included with it were notes and cards from many of you — these notes are truly moving Bryan to tears at times as he can’t help but feel so loved. I am taking notes about all of these things so I can use them to bless others, because these intentional ways of giving and caring for us have meant so much. The cards, emails, texts, and phone calls are also so motivating and really helping us get through this. God is truly using you in our lives, and for His glory. If you are mentioned here, I pray you know who you are, partially because I have not been good at sending out thank-you cards, but also because I want you to know that you have made this journey more bearable, and we are so appreciative.




Looking for more?

Bryan’s Journey: Part One

Bryan’s Journey: Part Two

Bryan’s Journey: Part Three

Rainbow Birthday Party!

Rainbow Birthday Party!


I am going to take a quick break from posts on Bryan to blog about our sweet girl’s 3rd rainbow birthday party! When I was thinking about themes for her birthday party this year, I had a few ideas, but this seemed to be the easiest one and with everything else going on in our lives, I am so glad we went this route! A rainbow theme is easy to pull off for either a girl or a boy and you can make it as simple or as complex as you want! (This was definitely a more simply decorated party that Gavyn’s Monster Birthday!)

I loved the brightness of all the different colors and Madalyn had fun with the rainbow of colors, too. You could throw in different shades of primary colors or even throw in some pink to make it a little more girly, if you want. There are lots of options!











Birthday Cake: Costco (Seriously, their prices can not be beat. And if you have a theme that fits the options they give you for decorating, go with it!)

Rainbow Balloon Garland: DIY (I followed the tutorial on Design Mom, and used this waxed cording from Amazon, and instead of sewing the balloons to the string, I just twisted them together in clusters of four. I then just twisted them around the cord and hung the garland. No sewing needed — super, super easy and fast to put together.)




Balloons: Target & Party City

Plates & Napkins: Walmart – just solid primary colors and mixed together for display; cocktail napkins; luncheon napkins

Candy: Rainbow Twizzlers, M&M’s (we sorted these ourselves), Skittles, Rainbow Suckers, Pixie Sticks

Water Bottle Labels: Chickabug

Party Favor Bags: Amazon

Rainbow Party Favors: Notepads, Pencils, Beach Balls, Sunglasses, Mini Flying Discs

Rainbow Tutu: Etsy

Rainbow Necklace: Homemade

Happy party planning!




Looking for more?

Monster 1st Birthday Party

Minnie Mouse Centerpiece Decorations

Turning One: DIY Pink Ruffle Lanterns

Bryan’s Journey: Part Three

Bryan’s Journey: Part Three


“Hardships often prepare ordinary people, for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis

Bryan had his second chemo treatment yesterday which means we are 1/6 of the way done! I will take any excuse to celebrate being partially done 🙂 I haven’t updated much specifically here, because, honestly, so far Bryan seems to be doing well. I know that it is definitely still early and the cumulative effects of treatments may add up, but for the moment while he is not quite himself, he is doing better than we thought he would be.

He has taken anti-nausea medication a couple of times so far, and his appetite has stayed fairly normal. While Bryan is definitely more tired than normal, the fatigue isn’t causing him to be unable to do his usual activities, but it is still noticeable at times. He has been working pretty much as if his life was normal, although some slightly less longer days than what he would usually do. We are so thankful that his job is flexible, because without that, this would have made everything even more difficult. For the moment, we have managed to avoid all of the terrifying side effects that they warn you about before you start your first treatment. We are praying that that remains the case and that he continues to handle the treatments and side effects with as much ease as possible.

The treatments themselves, have gone smoothly other than some unplanned waiting time as they figured out scheduling and orders and all of that. Those of you who know Bryan, will not be surprised to know that he has already been making friends with the nurses in the day hospital, and they are getting to know him. I love watching Bryan interact so joyfully with the people around him during treatment, because even in the midst of this struggle, he is still doing what he does best — connecting with people. These nurses are seeing the light of Jesus shine right through him, and that is so, so awesome. The treatments are long, but they have gone smoothly, and we are really thankful for that.

His labs yesterday did show that his white cell count is pretty low, and so risk of infection is now probably going to stay high for him through the rest of treatment. It is really tricky to find a balance between isolating yourself, yet still living. Not to mention, having two kids ages three and under make germs almost impossible to completely avoid. The first oncologist we met with, referred to kids as “little petri dishes.” Gross, but probably true! We are taking greater measures with hand washing for everyone as well as sanitizing what we can and avoiding others that we know are sick, but we are also just praying hard that he will avoid getting sick.

While the physical side effects are definitely not nonexistent, our biggest struggle this past two weeks has been mental and emotional. I have so much respect for the spouses of people who have gone through cancer with their other half. I do not mind in the least picking up extra responsibilities because I love Bryan more than life, but it has definitely taken a bit of toll on our family. This past holiday weekend was spent doing some solo parenting and celebrating, and that was tough. Tough for me, and also tough for Bryan who would have rather been a part of everything, instead of resting at home. I think it has been a natural instinct for me to just take off running with all of this, and in some ways, that’s been really good. I am planner and an organizer, so as my sister said to me, this has been my “moment to shine”, in some ways. I am positive that God gifted me with the skills I need right now, to help Bryan.

However, all of the running around and scheduling and additional chores taken on, have also taken away time for me to process everything. I had a moment last week when I was with my mom and sisters (sans kiddos and husband), and in that quiet, it was like everything all of a sudden hit me. I haven’t really had the time or energy to think and process, and sitting there at dinner with them, talking about my husband…my husband who has cancer…it just really, really sunk in. And, my heart just hurts for him. I never could have imagined while we were holding hands and saying our vows less than five years ago, that here I would be — sitting next to him while he gets chemotherapy. This situation would have never crossed my mind. Honestly, it gets hard to even go on social media sometimes and see everyone enjoying normal fun activities with their family while we are planning chemotherapy treatments and keeping Bryan as safe and comfortable as possible. This is hard stuff!

The further I take these thoughts, though, the further I see myself sinking away from the truth. We have so much hope. The God who died on the cross for our salvation has already walked this path for us. He has already suffered it all. While it doesn’t make our current struggles any less real, it does give us such great peace.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

See? A guarantee that we will have trouble. And while I hope that this is the worst of what we deal with for now, that isn’t even a guarantee. But the God of all, is telling me that I can take heart. I can relax. I can have peace, in the midst of such uncertainty. He has overcome it all and I am so thankful that we can rest in that truth.

So, where are we at now? We have ten treatments remaining and while it’s less than twelve, it still seems so daunting. We would appreciate your continued prayers for Bryan to feel as normal as possible and that he would remain healthy and free of infection. Please pray that Bryan would have the emotional strength that he needs, as this has been a struggle. It is easy to quote yourself the truth from the Bible, but to let it really get in your heart and mind is not always easy, especially in the midst of something like this. Continued prayers that the treatment would work and rid Bryan’s body of the cancer would also be wonderful. Please pray that I would have strength, and energy and the wisdom that I need as I walk beside Bryan through all of this. I truly believe, that God is going to use this situation for good. I wish I knew what that was right now, but it is my prayer that He use it to make more of Him — and less of me.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to lift our family up in prayer, as well as those who have come alongside us already with helping with the kids, bringing food, care packages, sending cards, etc. I know there are so many more of you that have offered the same, and as we get further out with things, I imagine our need for that help will be greater. You have all been like an extension of family to us — and we are so grateful.




Looking for more?

Bryan’s Journey: Part One

Bryan’s Journey: Part Two

What I Wore Wednesday: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

What I Wore Wednesday: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

I am hoping to blog another update on Bryan soon, but for the moment, things are going okay, and we are happy for that! God has definitely been answering prayers! Each chemo cycle is 14 days, and we are on day eight today. This first cycle is kind of a ‘watch and wait’ cycle, as we see how Bryan reacts to things as we move forward. This will be our blueprint for the future cycles to come. Bryan is tired, but we are moving along and happy that treatment #1 is done and out of the way. We are ready to keep fighting this!

“Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil and let us see what we are made of.” Charles Spurgeon

If you missed my social media post about the final results of Nora’s fundraiser


So, so awesome you guys! We exceeded our shirt sale goal, and we had so many super generous people who donated above and beyond the shirt sale! Thank you so much for being the hands and feet of Jesus to this family. They are so appreciative! Remember, you can stay updated on Nora and how you can be praying for her, by visiting her blog. I know they would definitely appreciate your continued prayers.

I received my super cute t-shirt from the fundraiser in the mail this week and felt that it was only appropriate to show it off for What I Wore Wednesday with The Pleated Poppy this week!



I know the mirror makes the words impossible to read, but I love the simple reminder of this shirt that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” — even when I don’t feel like it! And, every time I wear this shirt, I will be thinking about sweet Nora and sending love and prayers her way.

I looooove these jeans, too. I have only had them for a month but I have already worn them a lot (hint: size down if you order them!)! And the hoodie is also a favorite! I have a really long torso and so I like that I can buy it in a “tall” size so it has some extra length in both the torso and the sleeves. It also comes in a bunch of different colors (I may, or may not, own like five of these hoodies already…)!



Shirt: Nora’s fundraiser

Jeans: Gap

Hoodie: Old Navy

Thank you for all your continued prayers and support for my husband, as well. I will update more when I get a chance!




Looking for more?

Nora — Little Light of Mine Fundraiser

Bryan’s Journey: Part One

Bryan’s Journey: Part Two

Bryan’s Journey: Part Two

“When I said, “My foot is slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19

This week has been a crazy whirlwind. Since my last post, we received a different treatment option and instead of starting chemotherapy on Monday, Bryan will be starting it today (Wednesday). Over the last few days I found myself constantly asking, “why is this happening?” “what is the purpose of going through all of this?” “why did the second opinion that was supposed to reassure us that we were making the right move, end up stressing us out and confusing us?” Valid questions, all around, but the problem is that there isn’t really a clear answer to any of those questions. Instead of finding peace, Bryan and I were busy going around in circles trying to make the right decision, having no clue if what we were thinking was correct.

Last week Friday, we met with a different oncologist at a different hospital, for a second opinion. Hodgkin’s Disease, from what we know, follows a little more of a standard form of treatment. The people we know who have gone through treatment for Hodgkin’s have followed the same form of treatment that was suggested to Bryan by his original oncologist. We went to the second hospital assuming that the doctor would confirm that the “standard” of treatment would be what he would recommend for Bryan, and while he did agree, he presented us with a lot more detail about Bryan’s specific situation as well as a completely different option for treatment that we were totally unaware of. This second hospital is much bigger and a research-focused hospital. It is linked to a medical college so it makes complete sense that a lot of their staff is really interested in and knowledgeable about up-and-coming clinical trials and research.

This oncologist proposed a clinical study to Bryan that is in its third phase. Basically, the study proposes to take out one of the four “regular” chemotherapy drugs used for Hodgkin’s and replace it with another non-chemotherapy drug that is specifically used to treat relapsed Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The drug that they want to remove from the standard treatment can be really tough on the lungs and physicians have been looking for ways to take this drug out of the mix for a long time because of its lung toxicity. This new drug, the one being proposed as a substitute for the study, is one that is used often as a third line of defense for someone who would relapse with Hodgkin’s again a second time and it has high success rates used alone. The purpose of the study is to see if this using this new drug right away for treatment would help decrease the chances of Hodgkin’s relapsing in someone who had already beat it. The study actually makes really good logical sense and isn’t some crazy, risky trial.

To be in the study, you need to be a first time stage 3 or 4 Hodgkin’s (which Bryan is). The study is a random draw, so Bryan would be given either the regular four drugs, or the three drugs plus the newer one. He would know which arm of the study he is getting, but the study organizers would be the ones to choose. So, 50/50 chance that he would receive the new drug, and 50/50 chance of getting the standard treatment. There are approximately 1,000 people already in the study and they are looking to add around 100 more people (this is a nation-wide study). There’s a lot more to this clinical trial, but I just wanted to graze the surface so you could get a sense of where we are coming from.

We went home from meeting with this oncologist with a completely new option to think about. We were not prepared to make a decision on Friday and wanted to think about it over the weekend. There were so many questions we talked through and we wanted to ask some of the people closest to us with medical backgrounds, what their opinions were. Do we take a risk that the potential benefits of this study would outweigh the potential risks? Do we stick with the tried and true method? What in the world do we do? We had varying opinions from people we love and trust, and just realized that this was a decision that we needed to be comfortable with, which both oncologists echoed that fact. Neither doctor wanted us to do something that we were uncomfortable with, regardless of how they felt about the study.

Monday came around, and we still didn’t know what to do. We chose to have Bryan’s port installed (which by the way, I am quite sure I will never cease to be amazed by medical technology — really a crazy thing), which was already scheduled to occur anyway and then meet with the original oncologist to get his insight on the study. So, enter yesterday. We were now on day four of thinking about what we should do and being worried about making the right decision. Totally exhausting. And really, just running around in circles in our head, not getting anywhere.

There is so much unknown with this newer drug as it hasn’t been around long enough to know the exact long-term effects. This is scary when you are talking about potentially administering it to someone who you love more than anything. While the immediate results seemed super interesting and really promising, there was just no way for us to wrap our heads around the unknown. We thought about joining the study and just letting God decide what group to put Bryan in…I mean, He already knows which treatment route we will go, right? We wrestled with the idea of leaving the original oncologist that had first walked us through this whole idea of cancer and how we could handle it. We had built a relationship with him over the past couple of weeks and weren’t prepared to let that go. We still liked the idea of the bigger hospital with greater resources and a bigger sense of security. We prayed and prayed. And prayed. And we just did not have a resounding sense of peace about any of the options.

On Tuesday morning, Bryan woke up and still didn’t know what to do. He received a phone call  that morning from the research department at the new hospital and found out that the CT scan that he had had done was more than 30 days past from the start of when his treatment would be (32 days to be exact). Therefore, the researchers could not use that scan and he would need a new one done. The cost of a new CT scan would not be covered by the study and would likely not be covered by our insurance.

Okay, God. We hear You. I mean, could it have been made any more clear? I am still in awe of the fact that He quite literally closed that door for us. I was feeling lost, conflicted, and confused and now I have that peace I was praying for. And Bryan does too — we feel that the trial is just not right for us, right now. Maybe someday we will know why, and maybe we never will, but we are set in our decision and have that peace that we were desperately praying for.

Well, now that the trial was off the decision table, we needed to pick which hospital and oncologist to continue to work with. Bryan feels a greater confidence and peace with the bigger hospital because of the greater resources and great depth of staff, and while we really loved the first oncologist we met with, we are going to switch to the new doctor. The hospital he has chosen was decided based on the fact that it was the perfect combination of “head” and “heart” in Bryan’s mind. The moment that Bryan decided what he wanted to do, was such a freeing moment. Yes, we still have chemotherapy to be nervous about today, but we know that God is totally here. He is next to us as we make these super hard decisions. I think this was truly the hardest decision I have ever made in my life…because it involves a whole life. And not just any life, but the life of my best friend and the one person I love more than anyone else in the world.

So, Bryan starts his treatments today and there is a lot of unknown. Will you please continue to pray with us for Bryan’s overall emotional and physical health? The port procedure wasn’t as easy as explained or expected, and so this week continues to weigh heavy on both him and me. Our kids have been combating some sort of virus, too, so sleep hasn’t been great and attitudes have been a little down. We are praying that Bryan does not catch any of those germs. Prayers that Bryan tolerates the chemotherapy well and that he would have limited to no side effects would also be so appreciated. This is all so unknown to us and we would appreciate any prayers for comfort and peace as we begin!

On a positive note, again, we are beyond overwhelmed with all of the love, support, prayers, and positivity from our friends and family. Neither of us are very good at asking for help, and haven’t really wanted to, but that hasn’t stopped people from offering help and really coming alongside of us. Our neighbors have brought us food and mowed our yard for us. Our family has put together a care package for Bryan as he begins treatment, filled with encouragement and necessities. Friends and family have written encouraging notes to Bryan that will uplift him as he is bound to need throughout this journey. We have received some really uplifting cards in the mail. Our kids have been watched and cared for so I have been able to be with Bryan every step of the way so far. People we barely know, have been in touch with Bryan to share their experiences with beating Hodgkin’s and answering his questions. And we have had so many people just listening and talking us through things. It is truly amazing to me that there are so many people who care for Bryan so much. We feel so surrounded and so, so loved and supported, so thank you for every kind word, deed and prayer. I may not call you out on it, but know that it is not unnoticed or unappreciated!

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; stuck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We know that God is the ultimate Healer and we know that regardless of who here on earth is treating Bryan, He is the One whose hands are in this entire process.

Cancer — we are coming for you — and we have the strongest Fighter on our side! Let’s do this!

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14