I had a teacher in high school, who’s name I can’t remember… or what subject he taught and to tell you the truth, I’m not 100% sure of the high school I was at (I went to three), but I’m pretty sure it was my Florida high school, and if it was, I was probably in my junior year. If I had to make an educated guess, I would assume he was a psychology teacher, but again, I’m not sure, because I’m pretty sure the topic he was discussing wasn’t incredibly relevant to our studies. (I do in fact have the worst memory ever.) Mr. Whatever-his-name-is was talking about poverty, divorce, marriage, and families. And his theory was that one of the reasons the divorce rate keeps climbing is because people are now choosing to get married later in life. Before, people married young, much younger than we do now. It wasn’t uncommon in our grandparents time to be married at 18 years old. Where many couples nowadays are finally settling into each other and their new partnerships, marriage, families,  and what-have-you’s in their later twenties and early and mid thirties. This isn’t an exact quote, but he said something along the lines of “people married when they had very little and they had to learn to grow, struggle, and make something out of life together. Growing out of hard times helps to build a family and keep it strong.” This, out of everything this man said, was the only thing that really clicked in my head. This, then and now, still kind of makes sense. I’m of course in no way, saying that people who marry older are more likely to get a divorce, because honestly, I don’t think thats true at all. I think if you (both) want a marriage, you keep a marriage, at any age. But I guess he’s right in the fact that things are more easily disposable, that you haven’t worked and struggled for. I do believe, that in life in general— at every and any age, we’re falling into that patten and lifestyle more, disposable things—- because really, what’s not disposable these days? Even I’m guilty of it (very guilty), dropping things off that I just don’t want or need and I’m happy to not deal with again. I don’t like this, I don’t want this, it’s not worth my time. And poof, it’s gone. I love and hate that part of me. That part of me, keeps me safe. Safe from clutter, safe from overstimulation, safe from harm, pain, and disappointment. But part of me thinks, “well shit, Drea, maybe that part of you makes you quit on people too easily”. Maybe. But I shrug and think “but I’m happy, I didn’t need that clutter, it wasn’t good for me.” and I continue on.
I’ve had a hard week over here, like a really hard one. I’m not sure when it happened, but my body seemed to take a turn for the worse. If I showed it to you, you’d think I’m pregnant. My stomach is swollen and I’m in pain. Superficially, I’m pretty bummed about it and I don’t feel good. Emotionally, I’ve also been down and hard on myself. I don’t feel awesome when I’m in a less-than struggle, internal, external, whatever. I tried to detox my problem away (mind you, I wasn’t sure what my problem was). I thought maybe weight gain, carby party bloating life– but I haven’t been eating that bad. I questioned pregnancy, but I knew there was no way. And looking 20 weeks-ish pregnant? Do the math, impossible. The uncomfortable feeling worsened and my pain moved from my pelvis, into my legs, into my feet, and back up towards my hips until I couldn’t sit without shaking and I couldn’t lay down without a fire in my legs. I had to face it, this wasn’t going away. I went to urgent care, they ran tests and I was scheduled in for an emergency ultrasound. It seems that lately (and always forever), despite what I do,  my cysts are uncountable. My breasts, my kidney, and my ovaries—- I’m no stranger to cysts, fibroadenomas, and ‘questionable masses’.  I’ve had them since I can remember. I left with set of drugs and luckily it’s been helping. I’m now functioning and can get through daily tasks as long as I don’t have to bend over. But I’ll tell you, this round, this round scared me a lot more than I’d like to admit. Because questionable lumps or no lumps, I’ve never experienced a debilitating pain throughout my body like I did in this round of cysts. And my stomach…. well, it’s still pretty swollen. I’m feeling better now, but the truth is I’m still scared— or maybe not completely scared, but nervous and uncomfortable with it all.
I’ve been writing this post over the past week or so— well, not the last part about the medical concerns… I’ve gone back and forth about sharing that tidbit. It feels like such a downer. And I definitely didn’t want to write about it without knowing what was going on first. But the main thought that’s been floating in my head when I look around, no matter what I’ve been doing is “I am grateful.” Each day I fall more in love with this transitioning and changing life. It’s not always easy, and in fact, different aspects and struggles have been coming out that have been quite tough…. and things I was hoping we’d never have to worry about are here, present, and real. But even with all of that, I feel like we are growing stronger, together.
That guy that I struggled with and fought back and forth with for so long, well, I’m happy it’s him I ended up with. We’re not exactly young in age here, but we’re starting young and hoping to build something bigger, stronger, and lasting. He’s been such a big part of my (our) life around here these days and such a big help in this past painful week. And that little girl we share? At the risk of sounding like a completely mushy mom, I am so in love with her. I’m not sure how I ended up so lucky with such an amazing kid. She’s so easy going, loving, soft, gentle, careful, and caring. It’s really nice to have a kid like her— a three year old I can take anywhere, in and out of doctors offices or ultrasounds and never have to worry. She makes this life such a joy to live in, and honestly, rarely a struggle. I’ve always loved her and would always do anything and everything for her, yes. But it took me a while to really fall in love with her and feel that instant “where have you been my whole life?” that new mothers seem to feel so easily. I have that, and more now. She has the full and complete ability to warm every part of my heart now. She’s pretty amazing. I’m so happy to share my heart and my home with the people in my life. Maybe things and people are more easily disposable these days, but the people closest to me, my family, my friends, the really good people I’ve come to find— they aren’t going anywhere I am so lucky for them and so grateful for all the details— seen and not seen that they create in my life.

he opened my computer to this and asked “but when did this happen?”



him too.

I had so much more to write for this post. Thoughts and rambles that came to me in and out of the countless hours I’ve slept this week. They’ve all passed me now— either way, I’m slowly feeling more like myself, more human. And these are a few pictures that show tiny moments of simple gratitude.

31 Comments

  1. Hello! I just found your lovely blog! I read this post, and I have to say it sounds like you have classic signs of a food allergy! I went through the exact same thing… Bloated painful stomach and prone to growths. I had to quit gluten, soy, and dairy, but I feel so much better. That could be what you are dealing with! In any case I hope you feel better!

    <3 a Girl on Rope

  2. I just recently discovered your blog and after a little exploring came across this post. I hope you are completely well now!

    Your life and home are inspiring 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    Coincidentally, the stuff about marriage I have really been thinking about myself lately and wrote about in my blog http://leminy.blogspot.co.uk/

  3. I'm a little late to chin in and read this, but I can't even imagine. You poor thing! I hope you are feeling better now. I've been reading your blog for a while and have seen you talk a lot about food 🙂 and that you're a vegan. I'm also super interested in eating well and maintaining my health by way of eating well. Yay, for good and healthy food. I don't know if you eat a lot of soy, but that might be why you're dealing with cysts and growth. Soy is no bueno unless it's fermented soy. I don't know much about fermented soy other than what I just wrote, ha. When it's not fermented, it causes a HUGE hormone disruption in males especially, but females are also impacted by the soy…mainly by way of struggling to get pregnant, BUT there are other concerns to consider too… after all, it takes its toll on the whole body, not just the uterus. ANYWAY! I just wanted to share a little of what I've learned on my quest to eating well and staying well because I also have a child and it's never easy when you're down and out physically so maybe it's the soy, maybe it's not. Whatever it is, I hope you're soon on your way to wellness! 🙂

  4. Hope you feel better soon!! its truly inspiring to see how positive your attitude is regardless of the situation. I think that's why I love your blog so much! Keep on keepin on! and that sweet little girl of yours… shes a reflection of you (and Alex of course) so take pride in all that you are teaching her to be such a sweet little girl. I can only hope I have that same reflection on my little guy. The terrible 2's are kicking our butts right now… man oh man!
    Again, keep your chin up and thanks for sharing as much as you do. Its really inspiring!

  5. Oh no, medical problems are absolutely no fun! Glad you're feeling better, and sending lots of positive vibes your way!

  6. i am so so sorry about the sh%tty time you are having 🙁 I'm glad you have some lovely people to surround yourself with though

  7. this was a great post..a post about being humble and satisfied..and that is a great place to get to and stay awhile..just take a long nap in that place..as for your health I pray it returns to you…your post was really great reading and seeing that it is 3 am where I live and I am up because my 6 month old son is not feeling well it was something I needed to read..feeling so tired and sorry for my self having getting next to no sleep caring for a sick infant..no fun..but after a cup of tea and reading your post..I feel rad..I feel humble and grateful…that I have this wonderful little person to care for..and the other 4 are still fast asleep..the house is so quiet and I had time to read your post without anyone needing me!!
    Blessed!

  8. Whoa..what a post..I was like every emotion I can imagine..scared..happy..sad..depressed..high…low..worried..nervous..happy again…happy some more..
    Hoping your health returns soon..and it isn't it a good feeling..just a totally like hit you in the face feeling when you feel grateful..humble and satisfied with what you have around you…I love that..and I loved your post..even in searing pain and worry you still found so much to post about being happy…thats rad..and thats a great place to get into and stay awhile..
    ENJOY!!

  9. I'm wondering if your bloat and pain might be a result of the Maca? Since reading your post I've been using Maca every day (I love it). I did a ton of research and learned that we're supposed to only ingest the gelatinized Maca, as the raw can cause bloating, stomach pain, and general digestive issues? Maybe worth looking into. Hope it gets better!

  10. I think there are so many different factors that go into a divorce. I keep finding so many young people getting divorced and I think it's because divorce is probably easier than fighting for something/confronting things. Marriages (relationships) are hard work. It's not supposed to be easy. It shouldn't be hard all the time, mind you, but it's never going to be sunshine and roses all of the time. I'm at a point where I'm trying to think of my future and what I want out of my future partner. I'm with someone now and we're doing the tentative marriage talk thing and I'm trying not to be swept up in the romance of it all and really thinking of things critically instead!

    You have had such an interesting road to get to where you are today and even though I don't know you, I certainly wish the best for you and your family. I think what you and your husband have is beautiful and little Marlowe is proof of that. She looks like she is so full of love and nothing could be more perfect than that. ♥ Sending good vibes your way!

    The Rambling Fangirl

  11. I am sorry to read you're ill, and in such a terrible sounding way. When one's guts, etc are unhappy it is impossible to ignore. I hope you feel like normal ASAP, but am glad to read how everyone is comforting you.

    Re: marriage, I think it's less common among younger generations — X and younger. I read Baby Boomers are STILL divorcing at higher rates than the norm, even as they are entering their senior years. I'm not sure what that says about them as a generation (have theories, but will play nice for now), but a lot of us who lived with divorce as kids see it as a last resort more than they seem to.
    muffeeeeeeee.blogspot.com

  12. So sorry you're not well Drea, I do hope you are feeling much better very soon.

  13. When we feel like our bodies are betraying us it is SUPER scary. And how vulnerable of you to share with your blog community. Amazingly brave.

    As for marriage. I didn't get married unit last year and I'm in my low 30's. I like that I waited until I knew what I want and who I am. Good for you for doing the same.

  14. thank you so much for being open and sharing! You are in my thoughts and prayers! What your teacher had to say is so thoughtful. I have never looked at divorce that way, but it makes so much sense. Good luck and I hope you get feeling better! 🙂

  15. I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope you get some answers soon. You gave such a beautiful reminder for us all to cherish the little things in our lives & always be grateful.

    • oof me too. looking forward (I guess, heh) to a proper follow up with a specialist later.

  16. Dear Drea, I hope you'll get better soon, my thoughts are with you and please keep us posted as to how you're feeling. As to the rest of the post, it is a great inspiration for an essay, conversation and a little comment space is all that we have but I'll keep it short 😉

    I start with your opening thoughts as to getting married young and not divorcing easily…
    I don't fully agree as there are many variations to that statement. Our grandparents got married young, had more than one child, never divorced even if had problems within their marriage. Divorce was a rare thing, controversial in pre/post-war times, only few couples were brave/wealthy or hard working enough to make it work on their own. Pre-70s generation of our parents brought freedom to every part of their lives – my mum got married at the age of 19, I was born two months later. They're now divorced and happier than ever. I met my husband when I was 21 but actually married him six years later. We're not perfect (far from it!) but we're trying to make it work and I think that marrying young or little older has nothing to do with the rate of divorce. It is about the people involved and times we live in. Young people think they're so in love that they can get through everything together but really they are at more risk of getting apart than any other age group.

    Will I encourage Nadia to marry young? I will encourage her to aim for love and feeling loved, respect herself and follow her ambitions.

    You wrote "Growing out of hard times helps to build a family and keep it strong" and with this I totally agree but somehow age is not always a valid factor in it.

    Above I feel grateful to be here and read your words encouraging thinking and sharing it.
    Don't change a bit, Drea. xxxx

    • I didn't write that people who marry young don't divorce easily. What I wrote about divorce was a statement a teacher said in high school. I wrote: "I'm of course in no way, saying that people who marry older are more likely to get a divorce, because honestly, I don't think thats true at all. I think if you (both) want a marriage, you keep a marriage, at any age."

    • I know what you've written Drea and saying I don't fully agree I meant I didn't agree with the statement itself and the person who actually believed it. I don't fully agree with the teacher's words, I just put in my comment – I didn't agree with the statement which actually meant the same. Because you've written it, it doesn't mean you believe it.

  17. Have you ever been tested for celiac's or gluten intolerance? I know it's trendy but, it's real and it's the first thing I thought of when you were talking about your stomach. Hope you feel better.

    • nah, it's not either. I actually had been avoiding gluten for about week prior to (And all throughout) any of the pain and bloating. I'm usually pretty good with gluten, thankfully!

      and thank you!

  18. this sounds absolutely miserable girl, i'm so sorry. but, i loved seeing the beautiful pictures of your family/life after reading about your struggles lately. Family sure can put things into perspective.

    (and I read recently that divorce rates are no longer 'climbing' as they were in the 80s/90s… and those that are staying high are not later marriages, but earlier ones. I, like you though, have no idea where or when I read this or how reliable it was. I just grasped onto it though, because I was married & divorced young and am hoping that my current partner/babydaddy and I stay together for-ev-er).
    as always, thanks for your honesty. <3

    • Yeah I think rates are still about 50-55% or so, I really don't know anymore. Kind of crummy, but happy it's not 'climbing' anymore!

      I hope you guys stay together for-ev-er too 🙂

  19. sorry to hear about the medicial problems, feel better soon! and this was a very sweet and moving post. your love for your family really shines through 🙂

  20. I hope you start feeling better soon and can get some answers to your medical stuff. Your family is so wonderful..I read every post, but rarely comment. xoxo

  21. Hang in there, Drea! I'm so sorry you're going through this, but I'm glad you're starting to feel more like yourself. I love how you're always able to find the good in things. It's the simple things I'm grateful for, too. Hope you're feeling better today!

  22. i am not sure about your teacher's theory about divorce being part of people getting married in life but i am sure of this, Marlowe is all she is because she is a reflection of you and all you provide her with. keep on taking good care of you. xo