I’ve had this post on my mind for a few weeks, maybe even months now. And with hours left until the new year, it seemed like maybe the perfect time to sit down and let my thoughts spill out of my head. I mean, I have a million thoughts on the new approaching year(s) and what I want for myself and for my family… but this is a thought I wanted others to maybe keep in mind when visiting my space or others. Does that make any sense? Maybe not. 
I’ve written so many random, spilling thoughts in this place— it’s hard to keep track of them all and what I’ve shared, over-shared, haven’t shared, or things I may have shared maybe one too many times. I’m certain in one place or another I wrote about success, and how I read a quote that stated, it’s not limited. One persons success does not steal from another’s. It’s true (in almost all cases). This post can be about success, depending on what your definition of success is. 
It’s give and take, how you set your own life up to be. Though this has been the best year yet, and it seems to only be getting better— my life is not perfect. I choose to put effort into the things that make me happy. To take the best moments out of the shittiest of times and make them work. While everyone is shoveling snow or maybe struggling with a cranky heating system, or layering up on boots made for ice, we spend our (usually) perfect winter days at the beach. It’s perfect, right? Yes, for us. And in the summer, while everyone is enjoying another season change, and a dry sunny heat, with the perfectly contrasting crisp, cool firefly filled nights, we struggle to leave our home for the suffocation of heat is sometimes unbearable. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely not complaining. I love this heat— even on the most insufferable days. But it’s a give and a take, it’s not made for everyone. For me, this tropic life is the only one I’d choose— it’s been made perfect for us because how we view it. 
In this open world, with social media, and everyone’s perfect squares filled with perfect moments— it can be hard to know if we are certainly happy in our very own situation. It can force us to question and wonder if our situation measures up. I think yes, it does… if we choose it. I scroll through the comments of comparison, and I think yes, my life is pretty wonderful, but you’re comparing one photo to many of your own personal wants and differences. Months ago I posted a simple photo of our lunch, for the three of us. And one comment stuck out and has sat with me, “so jealous that you both have jobs that allow to have lunch with your little on a thursday” Yes, it would be nice if every family could have lunch together on a thursday afternoon…. or even better, every day. But it’s a give and a take. Our (almost) daily family lunches are in trade for dinners, weekends, and holidays—- those moments that most (maybe not “most” at all) families seem to have together, that we miss. We give those up (a choice, but not a choice at the same time) and we have  our lunch together.

For a long time I wanted those holidays, those dinners, and to be honest, sometimes I am still worried about our non-existent weekends because of a too quickly approaching school schedule for marlowe—- I see other’s have them, and I think “how nice.” And I’m sure it is nice, and perfect— most of the time. But to be honest, I’ve molded into this. I am now happy without our nightly dinner time and only with our lunches. But it’s not “only” is it? Our lunches have become not only enough, but also enjoyed by us, and even wanted by some others. It’s give and take. It’s making the best out of the situation you’re in. We don’t have everything…. and I’m guessing neither do you (whoever you may be— it really doesn’t matter, because not one person will ever have everything), but what we have is great, because we choose to not look at someone else’s wealth as what we may be lacking, but to enjoy it for what it is, something that can be (and is) perfect for us, if we want it. 

2013 has been one hell of a wonderful year. I’m looking forward to 2014.
Happy New Year, friends. I hope this new year is a perfect one for you.

*not that it really makes a difference, but it was bugging me, so I came back and edited the quote to be exact. it was a rough memory quote before 🙂 happy happy new year!  


  1. I cannot stand when people say things like "you're so lucky you can stay at home with your daughter" or just when they imply that certain parts of my life with my daughter are lucky. I work really hard ALL WEEKEND LONG where I hardly see her to be home all week and also, I work hard in general for the things in my life. It's not always luck, and sometimes having one good thing produces another bad thing. Comparing your life with others, especially when you only even know their lives through the internet, is just plain stupid. Of course I look at your life on here and am insanely jealous of almost all of it, but I also realize that these are specific moments you are choosing to show and that not everything can be perfect. Your perfect moments that you post do inspire me to try harder and be a better mom though, so I'm happy for such a great blog to follow 🙂

  2. Love this post! You're right; no one has it all, and I personally need to work on not comparing with others and enjoy what I have in my own life. Happy new year. 🙂

  3. you are so wise, drea. i think it's your thoughtful posts and well-nurtured life that so many (including me) love to peak into. i agree, it's so easy to project only the perfect parts of our lives on the internet. but, maybe that can be good, because we are focusing on the things that provide us happiness and pleasure. thank you for your thoughts <3

  4. You are so right, no-one has everything, and it is very easy to see things that others have and be envious. The trick is to be content with what we each have I think. The photo at the top is a very beautiful one, so very striking. I'm wishing you and Alex and Marlowe much happiness in 2014. CJ xx

  5. Good stuff. Someone posted a quote "Everyone you meet is fighting some battle you don't know about, so be kind." I think most people only post the positive in their lives on social media which is fine, but the others that view it can forget the negative, hidden aspects these people don't post. For every happy photo, there's usually 10 not so great things happening they didn't post. Helps to remember all of that.

  6. Love this. As a new (public) blogger, I have seen and started to struggle with this already, but quickly remind myself that these are simply (and beautifully captured) snapshots of our lives, certainly not the whole thing 🙂

    Happy New Year to you!


  7. We don't see what's not shown! But we don't remember that, and that's why we compare our whole year or lifetime to one lovely lunch. One thing we can all strive for is to live more beautifully – but that means different things to different people. Envy can make us strive to be better but also wear us down. Better to be happy that others are enjoying loveliness and find ways to enjoy our own.

  8. I definitely struggle with comparison too, it is so hard to remember that other people's lives are so much more than that one amazing looking photo! But, on the upside, I do find those same photos inspirational, just its important to remember everyone has downs as well as ups! Wishing you a lovely 2014!

  9. This is probably the most sense that I've seen in a new year's post. Our lives are exactly what we make it and full of our individual choices and compromises. Don't envy the choices of others, make your own. I hope 2014 brings you all the good things Drea,

    Chambray & Curls

  10. I struggle with comparison too. It sucks, but it's one of those struggles that turn into a lesson necessary for learning and growing. Happy New Year!

  11. Well put. I struggle with this. Less so comparing my life with others but more my self imposed desires as to how my life "should be". This been weighing on my mind a lot lately as I try to relax, accept (I hate thay word has to be a better one) and enjoy my/our life. Happy New Year!

  12. Well put. I struggle with this. Less so comparing my life with others but more my self imposed desires as to how my life "should be". This been weighing on my mind a lot lately as I try to relax, accept (I hate thay word has to be a better one) and enjoy my/our life. Happy New Year!

  13. Love this. It's so hard to not compare yourselves to other's seemingly perfect lives…I think you worded the thoughts of many very eloquently.