I took Marlowe to our local park yesterday. We come to this park often, its close, there’s birds to feed, and a tiny playground that’s just her size. Yesterday though, yesterday I asked her if she wanted to climb the hill we sometimes pass. She did of course, and loved it. I can tell you the last time she climbed that hill, it was the first time she climbed it. It was over a year ago, 14ish months ago— last April. The day was similar yesterday– muggy, scattered storms, and fear of torrential downpour. Oddly enough, and completely unplanned, yesterday she was wearing the same dress and shoes as that day, but one size larger in each, and in different colors. 
I think about that day a lot, the first time she climbed that hill (but on the other side). It was a day that Alex and I both had off of work. It was one of the many times, we decided to spend our time together, to (sometimes hesitantly) try to work things out together– but without anyone knowing. We did this often, this back and forth, 1,000 more times than I’ve ever written about. It had been emotional and complicated, to say the least (but I think you know that). I’m tempted to write that “it was more work than it was worth at times”, but the truth is, it wasn’t— It’s something we’ve both worked hard for. That 1,000 times I’ve never written about were really good, sometimes bad, something that people hardly know about, and something everyone will view differently— even him and I. That back and forth, the tugging and pulling on both our ends— it got us here— to a place of real acceptance, acknowledgment, and unconditional love today. 
Anyway, I digress. Our moods weren’t great that day. I knew something was off, I could feel it. What was off, I’m not sure, I’ve forgotten about it now. We picked up falafel, and drove around looking for a place to eat. I told him I knew of a park, one I hadn’t been to since I was in summer camp, but I remember liking it once. This idea, this day, this secretive lunch date together, changed my life forever. As I navigated the way to this new-old park, I stumbled upon a “for sale” sign– a sign I wouldn’t have passed by otherwise. It pointed to a neighborhood I had never heard of before, something that looked small, but most likely agreeable. I took note, and drove back the next day. That day and that sign led me to this spot I’m sitting in today. No, I mean, it was more than that, there was thousands and thousands of some visible and some intangible events that led to this moment of who I am and where I am (and who I’m with), but that day? It’s a bigger event that no one really knew about that found me this house, I saw, I liked, I waited 6 months for, and I worked hard to create a space that I’m proud of. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. 
As I sit here with my family asleep, the hundreds of birds singing outside, and the sun making it’s point to rise just between the persistent clouds, I wonder how much I may have created and how much has just found me. I tend to be more passive. Indifferent to much, but always open to flowing with the changing events around me. I like to make the spaces I’m in beautiful and comfortable. I fight for what I believe in. I always fight for what’s right, even if it means me or the people closest to me are wrong and the opposing side is right. I like to fight for myself—– when its worth it. Even when coming to a point of (unneeded defense), I tend to just give a shrug of irrelevance, because my fight is not with someone’s vision of me, but with who I really am. That shrug, I do it a lot, it’s my safety to stay in the middle, I don’t have to do much but be myself, work for the life I want, take care of the people around me, be honest, and let the world keep happening. 
Sometimes I think it’s silly, but I wonder where I would be if I never started this blog. Not here, that’s for sure. I’ve gone back and forth a few times with whether I want to continue it or if I should just quietly sneak away from it all (like I do so often with so many things around me). But I like this place. And I’ve said it a lot, especially lately, but I’m certain that I’ve gained far more than I’ve lost from this blog. In fact, I haven’t lost anything at all… so why not keep going? Do I dislike the idea of people assuming they know me by the few words and pictures I share? Sure. Do I dislike the fact that people will shed judgement, whether I ask for it or not? Of course, but it’s part of it— that’s part of this whole open public sharing thing. It opens up your flaws and leaves you vulnerable– if you allow it. It’s human nature for people to assume, judge, and deduce without a proper second thought or accurate reasoning— we all do it, until we realize how artless it truly is. Maybe I’m bias, but the real art is in being open, honest, putting ourselves out there, completely aware of all our faults— not holding them against anyone else, and finally, most importantly, being able to shrug it all off (and laugh it off too). If I’m completely honest, which I always am, no one can ever hold anything against me. It’s all already out there, there’s no back and forth, I am aware, I am happy regardless of second judgement, and I’m able to just relax in this good place I’m at. 
When I look back on this blog, I wonder what I would have done differently, not much. I don’t, not for a second regret how open I’ve been. The crap between Alex and I, it would have been there whether I wrote about it or not. It’s a past we share. It wasn’t at all a fairytale, but it’s (really) good now— and thats what really maters for our family. It was truly awful at times, and no amount of puppy dog and kitty cat fluffing was going to make it better. It was good to get it out there, to gain connections with other people experiencing similar situations– to feel I wasn’t alone in the bullshit and for them to feel that too. That connection is lost for some since things have changed. I understand that, and I try not to take it personal, because life has changed, like it will always keep on doing. I’m certain I’ve lost readers with my back and forth and changing life, and this is something I’m absolutely okay with. I don’t write to create stories to please others and keep numbers, I write about my life and the small things I enjoy that keep me happy. I think theres only one post, I can maybe look back on that I don’t like… and you know what it is? Not one of open rambling thoughts where I let all my emotional vomit spew out, but a silly sponsored type post. It didn’t feel natural, and it felt forced. Now, I’ve learned, if something doesn’t fit organically, I turn it away. There are still sponsored posts and ads here, but that? Well, it’s a business that allowed me to raise my daughter on my own while leaving the house only part time and spend the majority of my time with her— something so rare for most single moms. And now it’s a business thats helps us cover so many of the expenses one has when having a family, a home, and a quiet and enjoyable life. But more than a business, it’s brought me connections with some of these women, blog writers, and shop owners, that have become real friendships– that I am SO incredibly lucky for.
This growing blog, while I never put much effort to make it grow, it did. And sometimes, sometimes I wish it wouldn’t anymore, because there’s always bad that comes with the good—- but it keeps going and shrinks and expands, and it finds it’s own path while I just sit here and let it go. No matter what, it will be ever-changing, just like life… but you know what? I’m grateful for it, it’s been good to me. It’s gotten me through good times, bad times, it’s been a creative outlet, a friend maker, a memory holder (and maker too!), and it’s supported my family along the way. It’s also played a big part in getting me in this spot, at this moment, this happy place— where I can look back on the good and the bad, without judgment of myself. I can go back and forth, but really, it’s this openness, this honesty, and the fact that I cannot make life stop or slow it down (even if I wanted to), that’s gotten me here. And I’m okay with it, I really like this place. 
I don’t expect anyone to read this, especially not today! It’s long, it’s a holiday, and its a party day! I’m off to set up for an amazing day of celebrating with new and old friends and I cannot wait. Happy fourth of July everyone!

50 Comments

  1. great post drea. for me, it felt good to read these words. i'm kinda going through my own personal journey with blogging and i'm not sure where the path is taking me. sometimes, there is too much judging and negativity out there for me. but, if it wasn't for blogging I would have never met you 🙂

  2. My favorite part of this was, "because my fight is not with someone's vision of me, but with who I really am." Because YES. Holy my. That is everyone's fight, but so few see it. Now I like you even more, which I did not think was possible (especially after making that vegan chocolate shake situation – good. lord.)! I sure am glad to have found this space a few weeks ago. xoxo

  3. Good lord. I love your blog and always will. Life doesn't stay the same, and neither should a blog ABOUT your life. ~ Tessa {ourbeachbaby.com)

  4. I've been reading your blog for a few years.
    I found it kind of by chance, and never stopped checking in on it.
    While I don't know you personally, it makes me feel in good company when I read your posts. Life is messy, but this space is testament that the best stories are ones with twists and turns.
    You've inspired me with your courage. It takes a lot to open yourself to judgment and scrutiny.
    People often take the safe road when writing a blog. To some degree, it lowers the tone for the blog reader and sometimes (inadvertently) underestimates their intelligence.
    I feel proud to have found your corner of the internet. I guess the Universe conspires to deliver you the reminder that every little thing: good, bad, crazy, silly, tragic and blissful is just as it should be.
    So thank you:)

  5. I read your blog because you have a real life that I can relate too. Thank you for sharing it with the world!

  6. Your story is very wonderful and REAL. I love that you share it and I am happy that things worked out for you guys and Marlowe gets to have her Mama and Papa around! Blessings to your family and thank you for writing! 🙂

  7. This post gave me goosebumps! These are my favorite types of your posts, because they are so real and are so wise. The hardest thing for me about blogging is putting myself out there and writing honestly. I love that you're able to. You're very inspiring to me, and I'm so happy that you're in a happy place. You deserve it, and you have the most beautiful family. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you had a great 4th of July!

  8. LOVE this post and love your writing! I have been reading your blog for a little over a year now and have read some of the ups and downs you have had but am here to say I am SO very happy for where you are at now. Your family is Beautiful and the three of you deserve all the happiness in the world!

  9. Just a simple, thank you for writing so honestly. Sometimes our story seems very similar and yet different and it makes me smile knowing that you are finding a bit more happiness in your life as I am too. Yeah for you to continue blogging,and maybe I will steal some of your courage someday.

  10. Yes. All of this. Yes.

    Yes blogging makes us more vulnerable and all of that but it also makes us so much better. I'm challenging myself daily. I take better care of my family. I work harder. Maybe because to an extent people are watching, but is that a bad thing? Isn't that a good thing? It makes me more real, more mindful, more present. And because of that, I'm a better friend, a better wife, and a better parent than I would be. I know that's not the case for everyone. But it definitely is for me.

    • I think it's definitely a good thing. I think its good for everyone to more mindful about their actions and their affects and if blogging makes someone work on that, then great.

      I like you Casey, Life with Roozle clan has been around here for me since the beginning, and I appreciate that.

  11. God, I am right there with you. I have wondered if I should step away from blogging. I am at a point in my life where it's not an escape like it used to be, I wonder if that's an indication. Really enjoyed reading.

    • Yeah, if it's more work than it's worth, I usually don't bother with things.

      I still like this a lot. I still gain a lot from it. I think the only not wonderful aspect is the negative cat ladies, but other than it popping up in my traffic source bar, it's not really a problem. Like I told you before, the best thing is just not read it, no matter how tempting or curious you might be, you know there's not going to be anything inspiring on the other side, just hateful waste. Maybe one day they'll find something actually positive and beneficial to do, until then, I shrug it off. I've got too much good around me to bother with their bad.

      Keep on keeping on, bekah. You've got good things around you.

  12. I love your blog, your honesty and your courage! Please post more vegan recipes!

  13. I love your blog, your honesty and your courage. Not many people can do any of this. I admire your journey. Please post more vegan recipes!

  14. I love your blog, your honesty and your courage. Not many people can do any of this. I admire your journey. Please post more vegan recipes!

  15. Oh no- where did my comment go? Anyway- I just said YOU ARE WONDERFUL! And you are. I am an aspiring vegan and have been very encouraged by this blog and I am grateful for it.

  16. This is a wonderful post. I love blogging for the very same reasons. It's a creative outlet that serves as a public journal. You can ask questions, get feedback, and reflect. It's a very special community. I, personally, am so honored to follow along with both the ups and downs of life. I have great respect for you for sharing them. After all, what's a life if it's not shared with others?
    Thanks for being so authentic and so honest. I think that's what draws so many people to your site.

    ♥ Natalie of LIVE TEACH ALASKA

    • Really though, when I started, I never ever dreamed it could be such a positive community with good people. I figured I would just be writing to the screen and my family, now it's my go to when I need advice, inspiration, whatever.

      Thank you 🙂

    • No, am not, but you obviously do.

      I'm not sure how this post would come up as defensive at all…. but then again, I'm not on a hate site, so I don't know the things you know, the things you think you know, and I'm not here coming from a negative place.

      I'd like you to know, that you're the only person I've ever had to moderate comments for, otherwise every other comment I've received has been great, good, constructive, or genuine spam. Your comments have never even been constructive. Only negative, full of put downs, and judgement. I'm not sure if you're whole M.O has been to be hurtful and only see negativity, but it's fruitless. But now it makes sense why, you buy into those things. I'm not going to tell you to not go to a hateful place, but I will highly recommend that if you're here to hate me, then you could be somewhere else, doing something else that actually makes you happy. This isn't your place my life and story doesn't do it for you, I can't do that for you. I'm sure you could spend your time better elsewhere.

  17. i loved this post.
    i have been reading your blog for years (like, since you were pregnant years…) and i feel like your writing and blog is one of the rare ones that hasn't changed in it's content and honesty with it's popularity.
    sure, you only write snippets of your life, but why would anyone expect any more. the snippets you share are more than enough.
    take no notice of any negativity – your decisions are just that, yours. how can someone on the other end of a computer reading about some parts of your life judge and make calls.
    i am sure i am not alone in that your honesty is what makes us love you & you blog. we are happy for you when you are happy, and sad for you when you're sad. it never feels like you are being cryptic in your posts; (even though it would obviously be your right if you were! 😛 ) – you are straight up, and i like that.

    keep on keepin on! <3

    • thanks dear! <3

      I take notice, I don't read it or bother with it. Not my style.

      keep on keeping on while I'm keeping it real 😉

  18. A lovely post Drea. I have been reading your blog for quite a while now, and I love the honesty and truth that shines through in your writing. I do so enjoy reading your posts, thank you for sharing your life. Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July.

    • Thank you. Yeah, I like it. Whether people or read or not, its a great way to keep track and hold of everything 🙂

  19. You sweet thing. We will always read! Enjoy your 4th, and as always thank you. xxoo

  20. I love your honesty Drea, and your blog. I try to live an honest life, no pretense, no BS, because I believe it's the only way to live a life to be proud of. You are my inspiration! Please, never stop blogging. Happy 4th of July!