Does it ever happen to you where things just so look crummy that you can’t help but laugh? Thats basically been this week (this year) for me… for us… for our home. Ooof, what a week. I know I said it, but it’s like I’m stuck in a bad Lifetime movie or someone has some major pin action going into a voodoo doll named after me. Either/or, life is basically laughable right now. This has without a doubt been the hardest year for me ever, you guys know that. Between the c. diff ruining my life and getting some sort of completely crippling viral infection— I’ve been on a slow painful mend. I thought for sure, we could only go up from here. And I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m still going up– but the constant swirl of sickness in the house has been overwhelming. Well, it seems that our inability to get better might be due to more than Marlowe entering school and partially (or primarily?) due to a recent discovery we’ve made…. mold. We’re in moist, sub-tropical south Florida, mold is inevitable, it’s everywhere. We’re not the first or the last to have a nasty mold situation in our home. It’s one of the top home lawsuits down here. It’s everywhere. It’s annoying because it’s always something thats on my mind. I’ve always been paranoid about mold— and/but we’re clean freaks over here, you guys know this, but it still happened. I had a company come out recently to do mold testing (what a freaking rip-off)– the guy seriously just walked around our house and was like “no, I don’t see or smell anything”– well neither do I buddy, and I’m not an expert, and I’ve been sick and struggling to take care of crap for 6 months— thats why I called you to help me to do a professional inspection. But he said, it looks and smells fine, that we shouldn’t need additional testing– and that was that. But then a few weeks later, I plop on the bed to chat with Alex, facing the wall, instead of laying against the wall, and notice something off between the curtains. I pull back a curtain to find a mold stain spanning four feet across our bedroom wall. Thanks for nothing, mold guy. (So FYI, friends if you ever need testing done, don’t use THIS company– they’re available across the country and are absolutely worthless.) Whether or not the mold has been the reason for my chronic throat issues and Alex and Marlowe chronic cough and congestion issues, I don’t know. But I’m sure it was’t helping. But we’re obviously now doing everything possible to fix that one spot and any other problem areas ASAP.

You know, this isn’t even the beginning of the week from hell. The true horrendous week started when Marlowe’s chronic cough got worse. And the mucus spread to her ears. Then her eyes. And I couldn’t take it anymore. You know, I feel grateful, because in her five years of life, she’s never been sick enough where I’ve had to take her to the doctor– but here we are this month, where I’ve now had to take her twice for the same problem. She was fighting it and fighting it and would get slightly better than worse. And with me struggling enough just to feel sane each day, well, I felt like I was going to break down. Really truly breakdown. And something in my gut said it’s more than just school germs. That there’s a problem going on. And our (newish) doctor who understands where we’re coming from about staying away from meds and especially antibiotics, said it, unfortunately, it looks like it’s time for one, that whatever was happening, didn’t look like she could fight it off by herself anymore. And while I’d like to believe he was wrong, I don’t think he was wrong. Week after week I’ve watched the problem never truly go away– just get slightly better then a bit worse, then turn terrible. There’s so much fear in me now. So so much. I’m scared of what could be causing the problems. I’m scared of “the solution” to the problems. After this year? I’m scared of almost everything. And everything about these last two weeks has made me nervous.Everything from a headache to an irregular bowel movement makes my heart stop for a second and worry that something else could go wrong. But pulling back the curtain to find the mold? That was it. It just all didn’t seem real anymore. For months I had this (slightly irrational, but really not) fear of mold making my own problems worse— and no one would believe me. Alex looked at me like he just didn’t understand. My dad said it seemed as if I was just paranoid and making stuff up— but it’s not like I was crippled by fear or completely irrational thoughts— just fearing that everything I was fighting this year could still be lingering and that there could be little problems standing in the way of complete recovery from my problems and from all our recent smaller scaled health problems. And then there it was, one of my biggest fears, staring me right in the face.

I remember years and years ago, seeing someone I followed on IG posting about their mold issue. Complaining about all the shoes they lost because of it and whatever else– and me thinking (and writing) to look on the bright side— that their families health was intact. Sure, it sucks to lose your material shit, but health and safety comes first. And here I was, with no real damage to my belongings or things, just a giant spot of mold creeping and growing where I place my head each night. I’d happily give up my belongings to know our health concerns were not in part due to this garbage, but really, I’ll never know.

To get some air and feel a bit better, we left our house the next day. We decided to stay at my brothers house, not too far away, while Alex and I could tackle our mold issue. Have us all sleep somewhere safe, while Alex and I put our time in to figure out if it was just a surface thing, or if it went deeper, and see where else it could be growing. We didn’t know how long we’d be staying away, we just packed a few things and headed out. The next morning, we probably should have headed right home. Instead, I asked Alex to drive me out west to my breast follow up. The appointment took a few hours. Another ultrasound. And another freaking lump. How many lumps do I need to have in my breast? I mean, crap, they’ve already removed a golf ball from there. But fine, whatever, another lump. At this point I hardly flinch when I get told I have a new lump, cyst, tumor, whatever. My body just loves to make them I’ve decided and whatever they are, I can handle them later. The lumpy cherry on top of the week— or so I thought.

Alex drops me off at my brothers and heads home to grab a few things, to tackle some of the problems— and to walk into our house to find it broken into and robbed. Our freaking house burglarized. Are you kidding me? Seriously, I’m laughing as I type. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? We leave the house for health and safety concerns and come back 12 hours later to find it robbed? I’m just so over 2015. I mean, realistically, it’s not like there’s that much to even take from us. I never mind leaving the blinds right open cause I assume someone could and would look in and see we don’t have tv’s, fancy electronics, or anything of real monetary value in our home. But here we were, finding someone had broken into our space, trashed all our things, digging and searching for money or something of value that we could offer them. Alex is majorly freaked out by the robbery. Understandably. Yeah, I’m nervous about it and yeah, it’s definitely made me question our safety a bit, but I know things like this happen, and at the very least, I feel lucky weren’t home. It could have been worse. Two computers stolen, a handful of tiny electronics (iPods, chargers, Marlowe’s computer thing), Alex’s favorite (only) watch, mostly a sentimental piece. And a bunch of my jewelry is gone. Good luck pawning my sentimental (hardly worth any money) jewelry, douche bag. If my jewelry had been stolen at the beginning of this year, I probably would have been sadder. Memories of the sweet moments, romantic and kind gestures, one of a kind lucky finds— but after this past year? I don’t know, nothing material holds any real value for me. It didn’t before anyway, but especially now. And like I said, we didn’t own anything expensive in the first place. Yeah, we like nice house things, but things like comfortable beds to sleep on or comfortable couches to prop our feet on. Our house is free of extra unneeded fancy do-dads and things anyway. I just want myself and my family to be happy and healthy— and safe. Thats all I want.

This whole thing really feels like a bad dramatic joke. Oh dear drama, I wasn’t kidding, right? I feel like I should apologize for all the nonsense that’s happened really. I know it’s beyond me, but it all just sounds so dramatic and ridiculous. Like at any given point someone could jump out and tell me this whole year has been staged and I’m on candid camera. We came back home today, after six days of being away. We’ve had the house sprayed down, we’ve dug into walls, tore up wood, did almost all the necessary steps to fix any tangible and visible problems. (We have a list of extra preventative measures to work on this week.) And like every other night we’ve spent here in this home, Marlowe is tucked away in bed. While I’m here sharing my thoughts and life photos patiently waiting for Alex to come home and kick his feet up with me… except now, I’m just trying to think as rationally as I can… that we are safe. That nothing more will happen. I’m trying to just keep laughing it off, not be scared, and I’m trying not to lose it.

I wont. I wont lose it. But honestly, I feel like no one would really blame me if I did.

So there’s my life update for the week. Every single time someone asks me how I’m doing this year, an almost instant, unthought response comes out, “I’m breathing in and breathing out”— and it’s the same thing now. I’m looking for the good things and just trying to remember to breathe in and out through every single thing that comes my way.

How has your week been? I genuinely and whole heartedly hope that you guys have been swimming in good things in our place— good moments, good experiences, just moments of little and big joys around you. And I’m genuinely believing that I’ll feel and be in that again soon. That this year will end and a new fresh year will start with only good moments for our little family. 

You know, I love a good quote. So let’s end the post with one that makes me smile: Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant. It just makes me want to set myself on fire. -Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development. 


  1. Oh gosh, so sorry to hear of your troubles. I've never commented before but felt compelled to after reading of your mold problems. We lived in a house a few years ago where I got pretty sick in, horrible asthma problems/ food sensitivity problems/ sinus congestion problems, felt terrible. We ended up discovering mold as well and once we moved, my health started coming back.
    I'm so glad you found the mold at least, so that you can work on fixing/getting rid of it.
    Hoping better health and days for you guys.

  2. But also, my senior year of high school we had black mold in our house and I was so sick all the time I ended up dropping out of school and it majorly de-railed my life. Im super sensitive to mold now and know instantly when its around and lurking and hiding. I will straight up tell people, you have mold, and they look at me like Im crazy.

  3. God bless you, this just made me cry. I am so ungrateful in my nice and cozy life and this just hit me. God bless you, I need to stop taking things for granted.

  4. Jeez Drea, I'm so sorry this year hasn't been very good to you. However, I'm glad you and your family are safe following that terrible robbery. You're one of the most positive-thinking women whose blog I follow, and I know that you will get through all this. Just continue to think positively and before you know it, all this will be behind you. I know that I'm not alone when I say, as a reader, you don't need to apologize for writing about what's going on in your life or thinking that it sounds complain-y. This is your life, and I'm just happy to be able to follow along with your little journey, through the good times and bad. Hang in there!

  5. I am so very sorry – there should be a universal rule about the number of shitty things allowed to happen to one person at the same time – you are way over quota!! Our home was burglarized this year and I know how horrible it is and how unsafe and scared you can feel. I really hope things get better for you all very soon. Sending best wishes and brighter days your way. xo

  6. The. Worst.

    I'm so sorry that the universe keeps piling crappy thing on top of crappy thing on top of you.

    2015 has been pretty epic-ly bad all around. Can't wait for some new year juju.

  7. Sending you positive energy from the other side of the world! I can't believe what you've been going through this past year, and still staying strong. You, and the family, rock!

  8. This is shitty.
    I like your outlook on it, though. It's okay to wallow in the feeling of "whaaaaat's going on in my world?!" And it's okay to be active and look on the bright side. But it's pretty healthy to go back and forth between the two.

    Things will get better. But for now–they're terrible.

  9. (Long time reader, first time poster) Drea, this is all so overwhelming, I can only imagine how it must feel for you, seriously. I just had to comment to say that I went through something similar a few years ago and it seemed like a cruel joke seeing my life dismantled like that. But I have to say that I've realized, slowly, in the aftermath, that it was for a purpose. Life had a different direction for me and my life just had to be brought down to the studs so that I could evolve.

    It may seem like a dumb thing to say now, but I'm sure this is the universe stripping your life down for your amazing reinvention. Hang in there, look for the signs and be open to evolution. Everything is always as it should be <3

  10. I don't even know what to say… if anyone could use a break, though, it's you guys and I'm hoping the universe can give you one. Lots of love and light – I can't imagine having to deal with all that crap.

  11. I was so relieved to see the title of this post…and I'm saying that out of empathy, solidarity, and "thank god someone else is having a sh*t week", even though that's not a terrible nice thing probably. We tried to move into our new house last night (after being delayed multiple times over the last week by contractors), and en route I wrecked my car. With my pregnant self and a friend in the car. Everyone is fine, but sure enough my car is out of commission for several days (if not forever) AND turns out we couldn't move in after all. So, yeah. week from hell. I truly am sorry for everything your family has been dealing with, all I can offer is an internet hug from NC. Keep up the breathing, and thank you for reminding me to laugh.

  12. Oh my gosh I feel for you. I cant even imagine. I think we all have a day like that, or a week… maybe a month. But this is ridiculous! It's like there's a curse going on that you've got to break.

    I really hope that the mold WAS the problem because then you have an answer at least! Something that has a solution. I'll be thinking of all three of you <3

  13. I don't know what to say. That is beyond ridiculous and there is nothing that I would love to do more than help you in some way, but from across the country all I can really do is let you know that I'm thinking of you, your family and sending all the good vibes I can to you all.

  14. I am so sorry to hear all that! It's totally reasonable to loose it 🙂 and not feeling that your child is safe where you live must be the worst feeling in the world! I keep you in my prayers! I know it's sounds cliche, but this too will pass! It will… it's always darkest before the dawn…okay, I stop the bad metaphors now and just wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart!

  15. Oh Drea, I don't know what to say, except that I'm so very very sorry for everything you're going through. The burglary is a horrid thing, so very unpleasant to have your home broken into and your things taken and spoiled. And you are definitely right to treat the mold issue seriously and get it irradicated. I do hope that good things are right around the corner for you and yours. Sending you a big cyber hug. CJ xx

  16. Ohhhhh babe. Trust me I feel you on the mold issues! We have moved FOUR times in the 12 months we have lived in to UK because of mold. Because it's sooooo normal in the UK people just don't take it serious. I literally had an entire floor infested in the last place and a test in my hand proving it was the toxic type and the landlord was just like "eh no big deal"! Needless to say we were out of there the following week!

    Now we've settled into a safer home but there's still a little bit of damp to deal with, just need to be preventative.

    Seems like the universe is setting you up for something good though…in the future. Hard to see/feel it now but life is about balance, everything will come back into balance. Try and keep your head up! xoxo

  17. Jesus, that really is a lot of crap. I sincerely hope that things start to improve for you. I guess finding the mould could be a blessing (?!) because that could definitely be a significant factor in a lot of the health issues you guys are dealing with. You can do this. Keep breathing. XXX

  18. Ugh. What. The. Hell.
    All of it sucks. Being never endingly sick, having your beautiful space violated, feeling like you can't protect your family from mold and assholes. I'm so sorry Drea. That just sucks.