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APW Happy Hour!


APW Happy Hour! | A Practical Wedding

Today we’re introducing  feature I’ve been dying to try: Friday open threads. The APW community is full of truly awesome women, and we thought it would be fun to end the week with a freewheeling discussion. What’s going on with you? Planning questions you want advice on? Marriage stuff you want to talk about? News stories you want to discuss? Movies you liked? How was your week? (And seriously, what a crazy, f*cked up week it’s been.) It’s all fair game. Think of it as Happy Hour (BYOB).

**Note: It’s strange to be introducing this as Boston is on lockdown, and we’re all glued to the news. But if you guys are anything like me, you may need a place to be around good people, and feel less alone. I’ve been spending time on Twitter, just to feel in good company. So, feel free to use this space to do whatever you need: talk news, talk weddings, or just share cat pictures. We all respond differently. (APW staffer Lucy recommends Emergency Puppy.)**

Meg

** Highlights of APW this week **

Crazy amazing British wedding with bangs and tattoos and hats, from the woman who sends me all of Caitlin Moran’s columns from behind the firewall (APW readers = The Best).

Dispatches from the front lines of America’s unspoken class divisions (and how this effects our relationships).

Part I of Maddie’s interview with me on early Motherhood, and a kick-ass comment thread.

Rachel’s powerful story of growing up mostly without a father in her life, and trying to puzzle out men, as she gets married.

Liz’s crazy smart advice on how to feel loved in your relationship, which made me see the light.

*****

And now, your open thread. Jump on it!

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  • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

    <3 <3 <3

    Thank you for being classy about Boston, APW. I welcome any distraction!

    (Note: I'm from Boston, but currently in Minnesota. It's hard to be away while my friends and family are so surrounded by such horrific events–some much more close to danger than others. Everyone I know is safe at this point, and I'm so grateful).

    Now. Off to follow Emergency Puppy.

    (Oh, and I LOVE the introduction of regular Open Threads!)

    • meg

      Lots of empathy. I lived through 9/11, so this stuff is… I just wish I didn’t know what it felt like. Also, long time members of the APW community have been effected, so my heart is aching right now.

      • Steph

        I’ve been thinking a lot about the similarities and differences between today and 9/11. (I know 2 ppl on lockdown right now). I keep reading the news online and thinking how strange it is to be on the other side of it. 9/11 was awful to live through but in my 11 years since memory I remember the immediate danger passing in the span of maybe 12 hours, with the height of it being about 6 hours. This on-going lockdown seems just as if not more horrible. I pray it ends soon with no more innocent people hurt!

        • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

          New York seemed so far away, and everything happening on 9/11 seemed so far beyond my scope of comprehension, that I don’t really have a frame of reference for it, outside of itself (if that makes any sense?).

          What did hit scarily close to home were the DC/Beltway Snipers. Those feelings are what emerged instantaneously when I heard about Boston, and heard there were no suspects in custody. It’s a hard miasma of emotions to swallow when you feel like you’re constantly looking over your shoulder, or staying as far away from windows as you can.

          • http://writemeg.com Megan

            Oh, the D.C. sniper. My sister and I were just reminiscing about that awful chapter in local history this morning. We live in the D.C. suburbs and watched helplessly as the murders seemed to inch closer and closer to our hometown . . . the paralysis of our area that fall was just terrible.

            I remember zigzagging through parking lots, wearing dark clothing, being on constant watch for that elusive “white van” (which, in the end, I don’t think ever existed). Just awful. And now I need a drink!

          • Steph

            Ugh I remember that too. I’m from Philly, went to undergrad just outside Baltimore and started grad school about a mile from ground zero 3 weeks before 9/11. Thankfully no one I loved was injured or killed in these incidents, but I will never forget being on self imposed lockdown in NYC but panicked that something was about to happen in Philly (after NYC DC and then a plane crash near piitsburg it made logical sense that Philly might be next.) That experience changed me in a way I can really describe. This week has made me realize that even more

        • meg

          Well. I mean. It really depends. Since I was actually there, I can assure you that those hours of being afraid you were going to die were pretty awful. Which doesn’t mean the Boston lockdown isn’t awful. It’s just that you can’t compare these things, they just fall under the rubric of TERRIBLE.

          • KB

            Word – apples and oranges. And word to being from D.C. and dealing with both 9/11 and the D.C. sniper and how they were stressful in different ways. With the sniper, it was just this constant state of dread, I imagine folks in Boston might be feeling a similar way. Here’s to many hugs and hope that people “sheltering in place” are comfortable and with people they love.

          • Steph

            Definitely agreed. I was about a mile from ground zero that day, it was definitely terrible. As is what’s happening today. Definitely glad for this open thread.

      • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

        Even though I was quite young then (I was eleven), it definitely brought back memories of the 1996 Centennial Park bombing. We were at that park almost every single day including that one, though we left several hours before it happened. We went back for some of the other Olympic events after it too, and I just remember the shift in people. The tension, in spite of the celebrations continuing.

        That said, I do think the thing to do is seek out comforting/happy things. That and be a helper, in whatever way you think best.

    • Jess

      Sending hugs. I was a 16 year old exchange student living in Belgium when 9/11 happened. I am from northern New Jersey, and I can’t even begin to describe the ways that day affected my family, friends, and town. Being so far away from home when your family and friends are on the front lines of something painful and huge is hard. Please remember to take care of yourself.

      • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

        Kelly-Emergency puppy. Epic win.

    • Itsy Bitsy

      Bostonian in LA right now and I am so with you. (“Exactly” wasn’t enough.) Internet hugs & solidarity fist-bump.

  • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

    Can I just say THANK YOU for this? The timing couldn’t be better to start open threads.

  • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

    I love this. If I wasn’t at work, I’d have a 7&7 in my hand as we speak.

    I just accepted my first real grown up job! I’m finishing my Master’s in Student Affairs in August and I start this new job at UT Dallas in June, working in a Residence Hall. I AM ELATED TO START MY CAREER. I think this is exactly what I’m made for.

    At the same time, mu husband and I currently live in Rochester, NY. Where I grew up and where every single one of my family members live. I’m terrified to move away. BEYOND TERRIFIED.

    Thank the good Lord in heaven that my husband is the best teammate I could ever ask for.

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      WOOHOO!! Congratulations!!

      • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

        oh my gosh Jackie.
        Ups For Rochester!!! I’m from Brockport. I moved away after undergrad. Don’t worry, you’ll do great!
        The only thing I really miss in Rochester is the home-town feeling. If you’re goig to a big city that might widdle away but fortunately it sounds like you have an amazing support.

        That must be such an awesome feeling. I’ve done the first 8 years in the most wrong of wrong careers in a soul sucking environment. But the benefit of living in a big city…it won’t be all that hard to start over soon! :)

        • Katie

          Err, responded to wrong comment. Welcome to Dallas! And congrats on the job :)

          • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

            ha I just did the same thing. Thank you so much :) And woo Dallas! I know nothing about the city, so any tips any of you guys have would be more than appreciated :)

        • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

          Blair, Really?? I’m in Spencerport and my husband is finishing school at SUNY Brockport! What a small world :)

          I am worried about missing the small town thing, but we’re moving outside of Dallas, to Richardson, so maybe it won’t be that bad. We’ll see. And yes, the awesome support is going to be the best part. I hope you find your dream career soon!

          • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

            Go West Side! Although Im still bitter you guys crushed our football team.

            Rawwrrrr!

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

        ah thank you!!!

    • LikelyLaura

      I’m from Dallas. It’ll be different, I’m sure, but the scene is really changing right now. You’re coming at a great time!

      Edited to say: Congrats on the job! Very exciting!

      • Katie

        Welcome to Dallas! :)

    • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

      WOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Congrats!

    • EBASS

      Congrats Jackie! If you have a dress in Student Affairs and are going to go live in a ResHall, I’m assuming you’ve been on staff before so you know that they become your family :) However, I’ve moved from Cali to DC and now in Pittsburgh and I know how it is to make those huge moves and miss your family and friends. I’ll be honest and say that it takes time to really settle in to a new place and make friends and feel at home. But a weirdly awesome thing about being away from your family is that it makes your memories, traditions, and moments with them so much more special. While I would love to be closer to my family, being farther away has brought such a different perspective on them and my relationships with them. I feel like, almost in a way, I’m much closer to my family emotionally now that we’re physically farther away. I guess a different twist on the “distance makes the heart grow fonder” thing :)

      • EBASS

        idk why it says “dress” and posted this comment twice, sorry about that…

    • EBASS

      Congrats Jackie! If you have a job in Student Affairs and are going to go live in a ResHall, I’m assuming you’ve been on staff before so you know that they become your family :) However, I’ve moved from Cali to DC and now in Pittsburgh and I know how it is to make those huge moves and miss your family and friends. I’ll be honest and say that it takes time to really settle in to a new place and make friends and feel at home. But a weirdly awesome thing about being away from your family is that it makes your memories, traditions, and moments with them so much more special. While I would love to be closer to my family, being farther away has brought such a different perspective on them and my relationships with them. I feel like, almost in a way, I’m much closer to my family emotionally now that we’re physically farther away. I guess a different twist on the “distance makes the heart grow fonder” thing :)

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

        Ebass, the distance from your family thing totally makes sense. I’m really going to try to give myself time to settle in and combat the homesickness. It’ll be hard but I hope I’ll just need time. Thanks for the encouragement :) Are you in Student Affairs?

        • EBASS

          I work Faculty Support now for CMU, but I spent all four years of undergrad as a Resident Advisor. I seriously considered going into Student Affairs, but my heart lies in getting a PhD in Literature one day (i.e. once the economy gets better). And you can do it! Good luck with everything :)

    • lily

      Yay!! Congrats on finishing your masters and on your new job!! I finished my masters in student affairs last year, and moved away and started a new job in a res hall in a place far away from all friends and family this year too! I felt totally beyond terrified as well. Don’t forget you’ll very likely have a network of professionals who speak your language to help out when the transition gets tough! I’ve found res life to be incredibly supportive, and just the place for me to feel safe and understood when I was dealing with culture shock and building a new social circle. So excited for you!!!

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

        Thank you so much Lily! It’s so cool to meet other people in Student Affairs too. Where are you working now? Res Life is so supportive with the transitions, which is part of why I want to get involved and help students make those transitions too. It’s all so exciting!!! Thanks for your support!

        • lily

          Yay! That’s exactly how I feel about supporting students. I am working at Concordia in Montreal, but am moving to Detroit next year, and am slowly job hunting. Sending you lots of good vibes for your move!

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

      Moving is so terrifying — but starting a career is so awesome! And moving with a partner is SO MUCH BETTER than going it alone. Sending you all the good thoughts!

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

        Especially scary cause I’ve never moved before! But I’m so glad we’re doing this together. Thanks for the encouragement :)

        • Rebecca

          I will throw in an entirely unsolicited piece of advice/ recommendation- pay other people to move for you. I hear tell some jobs actually pay for you to move, but even if they don’t, for a move that long definitely get quotes from movers and seriously consider the value of not driving an enormous truck a very long distance.

          • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com jackie

            Rebeccam thanks for the tip! I actually just booked our movers yesterday, so we are all set. The company pays about half but it’ll totally be worth it to not have to haul our shit ourselves. I’m pumped.

    • Moe

      I started adding bitters to my 7&7s. Total life changer.

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

        Ooh, I need to try this.

      • http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com lady brett

        bitters is a total life changer!

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      YAY!!! Congrats!!

      Sending lots of well wishes and good “moving” karma your way :)

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

        Thank you!

    • Rebecca

      Congratulations! I lived in Austin for about two years (and am moving back soon, if all goes as planned), so here are things I have tangentially learned about Dallas:

      -Dallas/ Fort Wort is awesome for culture (oil money). We’re talking world-class museums (go to the Kimbell!), theaters, etc.

      -Central Market is the best grocery store ever.

      -Texas barbecue. You should have some.

      Also, when it is sunny and beautiful in Dallas and unbelievably crappy in Rochester, you should totally gloat. That is what living in a milder climate is for. But they get to gloat when it’s a bazillion degrees in the summer and you’re melting from the heat. It’s only fair.

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com jackie

        Rebecca, yes for Texas! I’m so excited about all of these new experiences. Especially the barbeque. And I will gloat until my family thinks they can’t handle any more and then I’ll just keep going. Good luck moving back to Austin!

    • Amanda L

      Woot for Rochester! I’m from Gates. Congratulations on the new job. I also took several years to figure out what I wanted to do… so I’m a little jealous!

      I spent my first 17 years in ROC and my next 20 in 6 different states (MD now). You’ll learn some things about yourself that you wouldn’t if you stayed right next to your family. I won’t sugar-coat it, it will be hard. But I think that is mostly because of something we’ve talked about before on APW: by choosing THIS path, you aren’t choosing another one (I.e. living close to home).

      I wish you all the luck and am happy to be a shoulder/ear if you need one! amandamiller22 {at} gmail {dot} com

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com jackie

        Amanda, you are too sweet. It’s cool to see how many other Rochestarians there are out here. I know moving is going to be hard. I just came home from a whole day with my extended family and I talked to one uncle who moved out to Idaho right out of high school. It is going to be hard. I’m gonna miss the hell out of them and I’m just resigning myself now to the fact that I’m going to be incredibly homesick. But I will learn about myself and I will grow and it’ll be good for us.

        Thank you so much for your encouragement. I just may take you up on those e-mails once the total reality of moving sets in.

        • MDBethann

          And just remember – you aren’t going alone. You’re making this move and transition with your husband, so you have a partner on this new adventure, which can make things easier sometimes – you don’t have to figure things out alone, you get to figure it out WITH someone and there is someone going through the same/similar things you are, at the same time you are. Best wishes!

          • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

            so true. I’ve heard from some people that my husband and I will get even closer because of this move and for that, I can’t wait. Thanks so much!

  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

    This thread is a great idea. My nephews and brother and sister in law live in the suburbs of Boston, and we’ve been glued to the news for updates. What a crazy, awful week.

    Lucy, Emergency Puppy is just the greatest.

  • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

    You guys, between the home buying, the packing, the renovations, the move and the unpacking, I don’t remember how to cook, nothing will ever been clean again and we are hemorrhaging money. Someone reassure me that it will (mostly) end? And I will be able to walk on my floor without my feet being filthy and not spend my weekends painting / unpacking / installing backsplashes?

    (On the bright side, if someone in DC wants a good plumber, I can rec you one)

    • meg

      It will. I only say this because if we’re somehow managing to cook with a five month old, humans must be resilient, right? This felt impossible 4 months ago.

      FUCK YEAH BACKSPLASHES.

    • Marina

      It will end. It will be four months this Sunday since we closed on our new house, and last night we ate a home cooked meal, sitting at the table, just like grownups. We don’t have curtains yet, but we are all unpacked! Except for one box. But I’ll unpack that box this weekend, I swear.

    • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

      It’s funny because we have almost an opposite situation. We’ve spent every weekend either out of town for a wedding or out of town for family, and now we just want to stay at home for one good weekend and mow the lawn / paint / clear out the backyard.

    • Rosie

      It will get better! I must believe, as I’m navigating a cross-country move at the moment. Keep the faith!

    • p.

      I went through this last year — money pit renovations, moving into our first home but living without a working kitchen for six-weeks. It was brutal. But I can say definitively that it does end! You will cook again, live in a clean house again and you will financially recover. For me, this year has been totally different than last year: we now spend our days off out on hikes or in our garden rather than doing house stuff. Because we aren’t spending every cent on house stuff, we can now start considering taking a vacation.

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

        It will get better. I told my fiance multiple times in our first six months as homeowners that I wasn’t sure how I felt about this decision anymore. We got through it. We got through the 4 weeks without a stove, the 2 without cable (the horror? it’s how we got netflix), and the 8 without a functional dishwasher. We also got through the summer of “how much room can watermelons take up in the garden anyway?” (answer: they cover the whole. yard. holy cow not doing that again).

        You’ll get through it!

        • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

          I think this is going to be me, if we ever become homeowners. I definitely tend to have a sense of “oh gosh, wrong decision, wrong choice, life is ruined” in the short-run, regardless of if I know deep down that things will work out/are for the best in the long-run :)

          • http://katemuehe.com/blog Kate

            I was a little “THOSE DON’T MATCH! LIFE IS RUINED!” when we bought our house. Now I am all “I am too tired to think about whether or not life is ruined, so I declare it is not so that we can just move on with this day. And no, dear, those don’t match.”

    • http://katemuehe.com/blog Kate

      Not only does it get better, but suddenly you look around and things are AWESOME.

      Including the backsplash.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        YES. THIS. How does this happen? Who cares. IT HAPPENS.

      • http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com lady brett

        p.s. i highly recommend seldom-but-positive visitors while you’re dealing with renovations/improvements. if you’re doing ongoing home improvement, it’s easy to forget that things are actually changing and getting better. it’s super awesome to have someone over who hasn’t seen the place in weeks/months/years to be all “oh my god, y’all have done so much work; it looks amazing!” and then you can remember that that is completely true.

        (especially useful since you will know *exactly which tile* you fucked up installing the backsplash, and they will not notice.)

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      Oh, cooking. I used to do that. I forgot to pack that skill when we moved to China a few ago. Between not having an oven (common here), not having access to most of the ingredients I’d usually use, and having super plentiful and cheap restaurants nearby, I fear it’s a losing battle.

  • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

    watch this video and do not laugh, you guys. My BFF just sent it and I failed the challenge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im4TO03CuF8

    • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

      I lasted 9 seconds.

      • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

        The more I watch it, the funnier it gets. I’m crying!

      • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

        I lasted 7. HE DOESN’T BLINK! HE’S SO SERIOUS ABOUT IT!

        • Colorado Laurel

          5. He totally looks like Puss in Boots from Shrek.

    • kgoesgallivanting

      Hilarious!

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

      I was good until he finally got his face sucked in and was like OH MY. Then I cackled.

    • http://pinterest.com/katerees711/ kate

      eight seconds to smile. 28 seconds to laugh. thanks.

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      Pseudo-bookmarking so I remember to watch when I’m at home :)

    • http://thecelebrationgirl.com/ Marcela

      Here’s another one with cats ;) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4517377140741

  • Caroline

    Excellent timing. Love the idea of open threads weekly. Life has been ROUGH lately. Continued unemployment combined with dwindling savings, a pregnancy scare, a heavy course load, what seemed like a major which will be a good career path has turned out to be incredibly difficult to get even an unpaid internship related to, things have been hard. Just this week, things have started to get incrementally better. I’m not pregnant (yay! Someday I hope I will be but thank G!d not now. Screw you, super irregular cycles.), and my fiancé had a little wok which might turn into steady work. I’m getting caught up on school. Life is getting a little more manageable. I’m still burnt out, exhausted, dragging a bit, but I’m starting to feel like we’ll survive.

    (Also, has anyone else thought they were likely pregnant when they didn’t want to be, and feel like it takes over your life? I spent a week completely obsessed about how I couldn’t keep the baby if I was pregnant because we can barely feed ourselves right now, but how I couldn’t have abort a baby I really want but can’t have right now? I was so distracted.)

    Wedding planning is really stuck. We’re having a hard time finding a Jewish officiant for our interfaith wedding. We found one guy we loved, turns out he isn’t available for any of the possible dates. We’re talked to 8 rabbis who do interfaith weddings, and have yet to find someone a) we like, b) we can afford (that’s a joke, the cheapest are 1000! But you know, that are as close to that as possible.), and c) is available. At least we are in the Bay Area so we have by no means exhausted the list of rabbis who perform interfaith weddings. I’m getting exhausted looking though.

    • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

      Caroline, I totally feel you about something taking over your life. I’ve devoted lots of mental energy to crises and it felt like I couldn’t think about or do anything else. I’m still kind of amazed I managed to get work done during those times. It sucks.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        “I’ve devoted lots of mental energy to crises and it felt like I couldn’t think about or do anything else.”

        Oh this is such a fantastic way of articulating what I do. And what, apparently, a lot of us do :)

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      Girl, I am WITH YOU. We can be sisters in super-irregular cycles, which has unfortunately led to more than one super-panicked, super-stressed Am I Pregnant? week. I couldn’t focus on anything else. It completely consumes you. And in the middle of everything else you’re dealing with? Major high fives and a glass of wine to your non-pregnant self for getting through all that.

      • Caroline

        Oh man, so much. My “average” cycle is about 28 to 70 days long. Yeah, we kid of burn through the pregnancy tests around here. So I’m used to it, but there hits that 60+ day point where you kind of go… I’m probably not, right?……… This time, I had several dreams I was pregnant though. That especially freaked me out.

        • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

          Do you get the little strip ones like the doctor’s office uses? You can get like, 50 of them for $15 on Amazon. (The brand is Wondfo if you want o check ‘em out.) Makes me feel so much better about compulsively testing when I need to. My tracking app says that my average is about 43 days, but there are months when I’m every four weeks and then I’ll go three months without one. Have mercy, it’s so stressful.

          Here’s to better dreams for you!!

          • Caroline

            No, I usually use dollar store ones, but that’s a great idea.

    • StillSmiling

      I really hope things continue on the upswing, and in the meantime, know there are folks out here cheering for you!

      On a slightly random note, (seriously, I’m sorry if this is a totally random plug for something I know is not the most un-controversial of topics) I just wanted to throw into the conversation a recent discovery of mine. In the last few months, I’ve started charting my cycle using Natural Family Planning. There are great books (Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler, offers a great, non-religiously-based intro) and even apps for your phone. I post this today, because, in this process (which I was hesitant about from the beginning), I’ve felt like I’m finally getting to know my body! I feel so much more comfortable with and aware of what happens to me over the course of a month, and so much less like I’m at the mercy of what seemed like a totally fickle body. It’s so strange to say that I feel like I had no idea how much I didn’t know about myself. It’s been amazing to see my body doing things (somewhat) predictably and it’s given me a whole new sense of the rhythm of life in the patterns of my own body. It’s kind of amazing.

      We happen to be planning to use these charts for actual family planning, but even if that’s not where you’re at, I offer this as a thought excercise. This came to mind as I read, because it has helped me be much less stressed about things like pregnancy and other things, like something actually being wrong with my body (does anyone else have a weird pain and suddenly assume it must be because something terrible is wrong?). Anyways, here’s to understanding myself better, even in this most physical of ways. Random rant of joyful discovery done.

      On a more broad note, here’s a virtual toast (which will be followed up when I get home from work with an actual toast, with actual beer…good beer…now there’s a happy thought) to the strength and creativity that keeps things going when stuff is hard.

      • Ashley

        I am SO glad to hear someone else is practicing NFP. My husband and I started in January and it’s been a really difficult road. I’ve always had regular cycles, but through NFP, I totally understand what you mean by “finally getting to know your body”. It helps you know when you’re fertile and when you’re not so you don’t have those ‘am I pregnant’ freakouts that I’ve definitely experienced in the past.

        Yay for free threads! I’d love to see a post on NFP.

      • Meghan

        Thanks for the recommendation and posting about this! My fiance and I just decided we’re going to try this method out, and I’m glad to hear it’s working so well for you!

      • Caroline

        NFP/FAM has been on my “Things I really should get around to doing” list forever. I tried at one point, but my life was not regular enough that getting up at the same time to temp every day was happening. I should get a new thermometer (mine broke) and try again. Thanks for the reminder.

        • Paranoid Libra

          I just pay attention to cervical mucus. Obviously it all isn’t fool proof, but it definitely helps to quell the oh shit am I pregnant times a lot. …or sometimes thoroughly reinforce it if breakage happens.

    • Rebekah

      Stay strong! I’m sure you’ll find someone to officiate your wedding.

      In other news, if you need someone to meet up with for a detox ice cream/strong drink, hit me up. I’m in the Peninsula.

      • Caroline

        Haha Rebekah, I totally insisted on a huge banana split yesterday. A “I thought I was pregnant, but I’m not and then the day after I tested got my period with really bad (even for me) cramps, which is great, because I’m not pregnant, but sucks because owww, f*** this s***, I’m having a sundae ” banana split. I’d love to meet up for detox ice cream/ a drink. I’m always looking for new friends an APW people always end up being my kind of people. My email is ctaymor at gmail dot com. I’m in the East Bay.

  • Ana in Boston

    Hi guys! In Boston right now, holed up at home with my engagement pup (it sounds like there are more engagement pups that we’ve acknowledged!) My fiance works at a hospital so he’s at work. On Monday, when the bombings happened, we weren’t together– he was at the hospital, I was walking a 4 mile trek home from a friends house. We were able to get in touch by phone which was a relief but I think we were both very much nervous about each other’s safety until a few hours later when we were home together. We hugged and cried together when we went to sleep that night and I’ve never felt more sure that this is my family– me, my boo, and our engagement pup. Good things can come of tragedy sometimes. I still wish it weren’t happening, and I wish he were home, but there is a pre-marital reassurance that comes from feeling this strongly about someone/something. Boston strong :-)

    • meg

      Love to you AND engagement puppy.

      I’m all the way over here, abet having personal history with terror stuff that’s screwing me up, but I sort of irrationally want everyone home in one place, so GET IT.

    • Moe

      What kind of puppy? :D

      • Ana in Boston

        He’s a mutt– probably a hound, shepherd, pointer mix. Although that’s all speculation– maybe others will have a more clear idea. Here he is: http://imgur.com/thVCCqP

        • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

          CUTE!

        • Moe

          Your guess sounds pretty close. He has a sweet face!!!! Looks like he needs a lot of exercise?

          I ask because I’m a dog lover, and my chihuahua runs my life. She only needs about 30 minutes of walking a day though.

          • Ana in Boston

            He needs some exercise beyond walking but we have a local dog park that we go to several times a week, so it’s not so bad, especially when it’s nice out. With the lockdown today, he’s just going out back for quick bathroom breaks and he’s been napping all day.

          • http://mydnyht.wordpress.com Aurora

            I have a chihuahua husky mix. They really do run your life! So adorable though. Until he starts licking things he’s not supposed to. When he does that, he’s marginally less adorable.

        • http://www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

          I LOVE THAT PUP.

    • Mer

      I’m in Cambridge- holed up inside, too. Though I did open my windows because it is Beautiful outside. So glad you and your family are safe.

      • Ana in Boston

        I used to live in Cambridgeport but now I’m in JP and YES IT IS GORGEOUS OUT. I have however been laying on the couch all day long. Glad you are safe, too, Mer!

    • Alicia

      I’m in Boston, too. It was a surreal day Monday and it keeps getting more surreal. Your pup is such a cutie and I have the same sense that you do…I’ve got my fiance and two dogs here and this is my family.

      Take Care, and Stay Safe…Hope your boo gets home soon to be with you!

      • Ana in Boston

        For those wondering at home, we are all together and home and safe now and sticking together for the weekend.

  • Jillian

    When I first read this, I thought “Amazing, an APW happy hour! I hope they’ll be doing one in my city.” Can we do this? APW meet-ups that involve alcohol and are unrelated to a book tour?

    • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

      THIS WOULD BE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Moe

      I’m down for a Los Angleles happy hour. Just sayin’

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00388929873803169413 Kristen

      I wish….

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

      I want to meet local APWs so bad. Once someone posted and mentioned they were in my city (Roanoke, VA) and I wanted SO BAD to reply and be like YOU THERE BE MY FRIEND! but it would have been a little derailing. Point being, how awesome would meetups be?

      • Jillian

        Right? It gets around that whole being a total creeper thing.

      • marbella

        APW-DC has awesome meet ups and a great facebook community. I know Roanoake is closer to Richmond but I’d imagine there are some Southern VA readers around too! I miss them sincerely and have been trying in vain to get an APW-AZ group going since I moved here, but so far no luck. Desert APW’ers, where are you!!!!

        • A H

          Where are you in AZ? I’m only in AZ for about 6 more weeks but I feel like there are no APWers out here!

          • marbella

            nooooo! I am just outside Phoenix, in Gilbert. Please join the APW-AZ group on Facebook! Where are the rest of us?!

        • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

          Yeah, I’m super bummed I just moved away from Richmond since I would TOTALLY go to DC from there for APW. 8( Although there *is* a train in Lynchburg…

        • Rebekah

          I tried to find the rumored APW-AZ FB group when last week had an AZ vendor, but to no avail. I’m technically in the Bay Area but am from Mesa and can’t wait until life lets me move back. Good luck, AZ ladies, and let me know when your get-togethers are so I can crash them! (Hint: Four Peaks)

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        …I have this reaction All. The. Time. Regardless of if they’re in my city or not. Although Philly APWers, consider this a shout-out :)

        • Katherine

          whooho Philly represent!

    • Shiri

      And New York! Apw happy hour please!!

      • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

        There are SO MANY of us in NYC. We should seriously do something! That book tour party was so freaking fun.

        • Rachel

          I would love to meet some APWers in NY – I was so bummed to realize I discovered APW immediately after the book tour party. Happy hour/book club please!

          • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

            I’m so in!

          • Jess

            I posted separately further down in the comments before I saw this NYC section!

            I’d love to do a happy hour and meet some other APW people. Just found a Facebook APW nyc group, but doesn’t seem like there’s been much activity on it lately from what I can see on my phone.

            Does someone want to actually organize something?

            I’d be glad to, but I’m having one of those weird moments when I feel like since I don’t know anyone already, I shouldn’t be the one to organizing the meeting of people if someone else out there DOES know people already. Which, is so silly, so I should get over that. Hahaha.

          • Jess

            Sarah and Rachel…In case you have your notifications set to let you know when people comment on your comments:

            I posted my email address below, trying to get some nyc APW gals (or guys) together for real life happy hour.

            Let me know if you want to join!

      • Jess

        Ok! I’m going for it! Email me if you wanna figure out some sort of NYC real life happy hour:

        imafry30 at aim dot com and I’ll reply from my real, has my last name in it email address that I don’t wanna post on the Internet!

        In a separate comment thread on this post I already have one other recruit! Yay!

        • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

          Just saw this today. Should we all band together to try to revive that facebook group? There’s been no activity for a year! My email is studio at sarahhoppes dot com

          There’s a great bar in the East Village that has decent (for NYC) prices, board games, and a backyard space -Lunasa.

          There’s also a really kickass bar in Park Slope where the APW book tour party was – The High Dive.

          I’m sure other people have suggestions as well. Maybe we should just pick a date that the vocal recruits can make, pick a bar based on one of the suggestions, and post it in that facebook group so any interested people who just didn’t want to have to organize one MORE thing can just show up. Thoughts?

    • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

      Atlanta people that are lurking about: we totally have a Facebook group. It’s kinda dead at the moment, but let’s revive it!

      • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

        Also, thanks to Lucy, I looked it up, and there’s an NYC APW group!

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/172566896095860/?fref=ts

        • http://theambershow.net Amber Marlow, theAmberShow

          I just made a request to join the APW NYC Facebook group, and I’m happy to call around to bars and get group specials, etc.

          • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

            YOU’RE THE BEST!

    • Another Meg

      We’re doing a St. Louis one a week from Saturday!

      • http://www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

        YEAH WE ARE. I get excited about it like every 12 hours and squeal a little. I’ve been reading this site for 2.5 years and have yet to have any in-real-life connection. STOKED!

      • Lindsay

        HECK YES!!! will. be. awesome.

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      Please please please can we do this? I’m moving across the state to Philadelphia later this year and could really use some awesome ladies to meet and make friends with.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        I AM AN AWESOME (somewhat-displaced) LADY IN PHILLY!!! (self-proclaimed, but I can get you references ;) )

        • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

          WOOOO! I think being an APW lady is enough of a reference, to be honest. ;)

          Honestly, just this one comment from you has made my anxiety about moving shrink a bit, so thank you. Like, I KNOW there must be cool people in Philly, but where do I find them? It’s a big ol’ city, and my Mister is an introvert (and I’ve already uh, borrowed the like, only friend he’s made in the years he’s been there) and I am at times painfully shy (though you wouldn’t know it from all the rambling I do on the internet). Let’s be friends!

          • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

            Aww! I am so glad :)

            I moved to Philly from suburban verging on rural Maryland in 2008 with every intention of moving back after grad school…except then I met my fiancé and…well, so it goes :) He’s a freakish extrovert (said with love!!) whereas I’m quite introverted myself and believe me, that whole “painfully shy” thing really resonates with me!

            I’ll hit up your blog when I get home from work and we can chat more there, and we can exchange info of a sort if you’d like :)

        • Jess

          Gah! Sorry!

          Accidentally reported instead of exactlying. Sigh. Sorry!

      • Melissa

        YES please Philadelphia/outlying suburbs. Please please please. Cheesesteaks and pretzels and Italian Market with APW gals? Have I said please yet?

        • YetAnotherMegan

          It’s a slight stretch to call the Lehigh Valley part of the Philly suburbs, but I can totally make the trek in if you’ll have me!

          • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

            Yes yes yes! I’m in Norristown, so there’s a Philly Suburb for you! I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO THE ITALIAN MARKET! I…erm…have been in denial basically since I moved here, thinking some day I’d move back to Maryland. So I resolutely refused to engage the world around me under the blatant misplaced assumption that I’d just be leaving again anyway…and then time passed and suddenly, this July, ill be celebrating five years of being here.

            TL;DR I am determined to embrace this city and the surrounding areas and can’t wait to get exploring!

        • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

          Yesssss!

        • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

          So, since we can’t reply to my comment below (above? WHO KNOWS) – how do we make this happen?

          • Melissa

            If my internet wasn’t out cos of this storm, I’d put a facebook group together. I’m actually out in Phoenixville, and I used to live in Norristown!

        • Hintzy

          oo! does northern delaware count as a philadelphia suburb because I’d definitely be in… cheesesteaks and tasty kakes for all!

    • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

      DCers, we have a pretty active community and also a book club, next meeting on Tuesday!

    • Ana in Boston

      Boston area group? Would love it!

    • Zoe

      I get the impression that there are many of us who have moved to new places where we don’t know anyone (for our partners or for other reasons) and would LOVE to get to know this community in person.

      Soo… San Diegons? Let’s make it happen!

    • http://pinterest.com/katerees711/ kate

      Michigan APWers?! basically Bay City here

      • E

        Detroit area here! I would love an APW meet-up in somewhere in the mitten!

      • Rachel

        Grand Rapids here! I would love an MI meet up/book club.

      • Anne

        Ann Arbor! So I suppose anywhere in the Detroit area…

    • Breck

      Hahaha, I just posted my own comment about this separately, but I had a feeling that someone must have already suggested this. SF-Bay area, anyone?

      • Ashleyn

        That is what I thought too! I got so excited.

        Anyway, I moved to Los Angeles (Sherman Oaks area) not quite a year ago and I still don’t know anyone here! Meetup? Book club? Smart sassy lady conversations? I’m down.

        • Catherine

          I’m in LA! :)

          • Ashleyn

            We should get something together! Is there an already existing fbook page or anything? Seriously, I’ve been dying for a book club that isn’t for classics I’ve read a hundred times or just for the latest fad books.

      • Rebekah

        I’m down. East Bay has a small rally cry lower down the thread, but I’m Peninsula.

        • Audrey

          Peninsula unite? I’m terrible at getting into the city and would love something down in this neck of the woods!

      • Caroline

        I’m in the East Bay, but can do the city too.

    • CinColorado

      Any Denver-area APWers out there? I’d love to meet up somewhere fun. I’m a month out from the wedding (after a seriously overlong 18 month engagement). Halfway through the engagement, I was laid off. BAM!! My income was slashed. Brutally. I felt like my identity was slashed, too. I know I am not my job, but still… I loved it and haven’t found anything else to take its place. I’m lucky to be on my sweetie’s insurance, but seeing his name on my Rx card was tougher than I thought. Hard Stuff. We decided not to postpone the wedding, that it was too important and we had already waited five years. After all, as long as we end up married, it would be a perfect wedding. And that has been the mantra ever since.
      I read The Book before I ever heard of the APW site, and I swear, if it wasn’t for both, it would have been a much, much tougher journey. It’s all coming to a head too soon, and it is still so much harder than I thought it would be.
      Boston put things into perspective…. but still. Between the WIC, being an unemployed bride, and still being unable to make the damn hair flower from the How To page… I need a Denver APW Happy Hour! Or more puppies and kitten clips.

      • Amber

        Used to be in Denver. If things work the way I want them too I’ll be back eventually. In the mean time, I’m in Santa Cruz, CA, commuting to the East Bay for school every other week. Any other APW folks in Santa Cruz by chance?

      • Rebecca

        Former Denver-ite (hoping to move back some day, but apparently I have an “unfair advantage” according to the hubs). I sadly cannot help with a Denver APW happy hour, but I will supply possibly helpful native knowledge…
        Way up Hwy 285 in Park County there is a barbecue place called Hog Heaven which is awesome. It’s a pretty drive and the comfort food is totally excellent. Eat there and get a slab of ribs to throw in the freezer for later. Pine Valley Ranch Park is nearby and has some decent hiking (certainly the best hiking readily adjacent to good barbecue).

        None of this is equivalent to a happy hour, of course. But we work with what we have.

      • Rachelle

        Yay Denver! I’m late to the thread, but would love to do a Denver APW Happy Hour!
        I’m getting married September 7 so I’m sure we’re in very different planning stages since you’re only a month away! I’ll totally try my hand at helping with DIY hair flowers :)
        Are you close to downtown or elsewhere in the metro area? Happy hour this week/weekend?

    • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

      Any Madison, WI APWers? I know there *have* (from reading all the old posts) but not sure who is current.

      • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

        And why do I always forget to click “notify me of replies via e-mail” when that would actually be useful?

        • Amy

          I’m in Milwaukee, fairly close…

          • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

            If only we had that train we were supposed to be getting, it would be even closer.

    • http://www.snippetsof.blogspot.com Sarah E

      I’ll throw in Eastern Nebraska, just to see? I could travel as far as Kansas City in a weekend, too . . .

      Or are all the Midwesterners in the Twin Cities and Chicago? Le sigh. CO and WI, I feel for you.

      • jlseldon7

        Sorry I’m in Chicago. Which I’m surprised there aren’t more of… :(

        • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com Sarah E

          Ha, no apologies necessary! I agree, the Chicagoans must be lurking. I think I’m going to take APW-reader concentration into account for my next move :-)

          • jlseldon7

            I know right? Except my next move looks to be closer to Milwaukee… which doesn’t sound any more promising in terms of APW-readers

    • Catherine

      my dream come true!!!!!

  • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

    So, I had my first drama-bride moment this week. And I am not proud. I’ve been in contact with this really great (and really affordable!) photographer, talking to him and trying to figure out if he would be a good match to work with my fiance and me, and I emailed him last week to ask him to officially book with him.

    He emailed me a the contract on a Tuesday, which I then forwarded off to my fiance, who lives five hours away. Two days later I get the signed copy back, print it out and sign it the next day, then stick it and the retainer check in an envelope… and promptly forget to put it in the mail because I’m helping my little sister get ready for prom (it’s now Friday). So it went into the mail first thing Monday. The very next day, my photog emails me to tell me that he has another couple who has expressed interest in my date, and since he hadn’t heard from me in a while (it had been a week!) and hasn’t seen a contract he’s told them the date is still open, and that I have 24 hours to make a decision.

    And ladies, I lost it. I sent the mother of all cranky-caps emails to my mister, raging about how it had been ONE WEEK and now he wants to GIVE MY DATE AWAY and how I couldn’t EMAIL him the contract or anything, was I supposed to overnight the dang thing? And my mister, bless him, took it in stride like a champ. Looking back, I know it’s probably pretty reasonable that he keep the date open until he has contract and retainer in hand, and maybe I was a little slow in getting it back to him (he got the check the very next day, btw)… but at the time I couldn’t see any of that.

    Sigh. Only 18 more months of this to go!

    • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

      Hey Sweet!

      Sounds like you did the best you could and you took a little pre-wedded shot to the chin. I am right there with you, girlfriend. Hyper-sensitive/barely human/oddly targeted temporary insanity.

      your minister sounds so sweet! And honestly, if that photographer was so quick to jump ship on you, it looks like you might have actually just dodged a bad experience. Do you really want to work with someone that is so demanding? Im sorry you might have to resume your search but maybe this was for the better?

      • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

        Thanks, Blair!

        We’re actually still booked with Mr. Impatient Photographer, though I did go through some panicked “omg what-if…” type of thinking, like what if this was some sort of omen of terrible things to come and what if for as nice as he was in our whole getting-to-know-you stage he was going to be a total wreck to deal with now that he has our money. BUT… I tend to catastrophize sometimes (most of the time) and I keep telling myself that it’s not personal, it’s just business (I usually hear this in Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks’s voice) — maybe he’s been burned by no-contract-signing brides-to-be before. I don’t know. I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed and try to remember to breathe.

        • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

          Oh you’ll be ok! And in that case congrats for nailing them down!! Sounds like the latter is likely true based on what Sarah said.

          Goodness I think we are all catastrophizing, especially this week. I think there’s also something to be said for the emotional dichotomy between what is going on in the world this week and the excitement and distraction of our weddings.
          Emailing photographers and re-doing pretty inspiration boards (sorry Meg! Couldn’t help it!) kept me going this week. Maybe feeling like you were coming apart at the seams over the photographer kept you from wanting to come apart at the seams over some catastrophies of a different type. I know, for sure, that was the case for me.

    • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

      That sucks. As a photographer, I can say I also require the deposit and contract to fully hold a date, as do a lot of people. But it’s really annoying from your perspective.

      If it’s helpful for wedding/other vendors in the future, you can use hellosign.com for free to sign any document online. You just upload the file fill out your details, and draw or type your signature, and it’s legally binding. Echosign.com is another service like that, and it’s free as long as you don’t have many transactions per month.

      In the grand scheme of dramatic moments, yours isn’t so bad at all. It happens!

      • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

        Sarah, thanks so much for the suggestion!

        • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

          Sure thing!

    • EBASS

      haha, I know this feeling. Granted, I’m 5 WEEKS away and still can’t find an Indian DJ to do our wedding! The DJ we used for my fiance’s brother’s wedding won’t effing call us back! Other DJs are already booked or won’t return calls and an “American” DJ probably won’t work since most are well enough versed in Indian music (let alone for a Muslim crowd) to know how to blend it with American music. I’ve been going crazy trying to find someone and apartment search at the same time (June is NOT the month to try to move somewhere in Pittsburgh). So I made an appointment to see a place on my lunch break, it starts raining, I don’t have an umbrella, the bus doesn’t come, so the realtor cancels the appointment and can’t reschedule until next week. I lost it myself and called my fiance to vent for 55 seconds and didn’t say love you at the end even though it wasn’t his fault. He definitely deserves an apology :(

      • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

        You’re a Pittsburgh girl? Me too! Let me see if I can get you the name of the DJ who my bff used for her wedding, she’s Indian and might have some suggestions!

        And seriously. The rain, the bus, everything. I feel ya. Hang in there!

        • EBASS

          Oh wow! How funny and what a great coincidence :) That would be AWESOME if you could get the DJ’s name! And of course, if you want any suggestions on anything, be sure ask :) Our wedding is actually going to be in Deep Creek, MD, but a number of our vendors are in Pitt and are delivering. Good luck and stick in there!

      • Slade

        Oh my God, moving in Pittsburgh is a nightmare. And June is miserable to do it in. I’m so sorry. Everything is hot, but it’s not fucking snowing so everyone wants to move then. I don’t live in the burgh anymore, but I grew up there. Happy hunting, darling. Get a case of Yuengling.

        • EBASS

          I’m a lionshead fan myself :) but yes, oi. Our problem is that we just really want to live in Shadyside but it’s so heavily student populated that most of the leases are for August, so our choice is really low.

          • MDBethann

            I lived in Shadyside during grad school, on Aiken Ave. right across from the hospital. You might want to call and check with the management companies to see if they have any early openings. There are some folks, like me (10 years ago this week – yikes!!) who need to move out after we graduate and can’t wait until August to move, so we notify the property manager that we need to move early & hope that someone is able to move in before the official end of our lease so we’re not responsible for it until August. I was sadly unsuccessful in my attempt, but you might be able to help someone else out. At least it doesn’t hurt to try. I rented from Mozart Management – they had a bunch of properties in S-side a decade a go, though not sure about now. Good luck!

  • MDBethann

    My sister lives in Cambridge, MA – I know these areas they’ve been talking about and it has been a horrible day being so far away from her today. Catching up on APW columns has saved my sanity today as I sit so many hours away from my sister. Thank you!!!

  • http://dylanandsarah.com Sarah T

    1) Sending happy vibes to APW Bostonians. I had a great time at the Boston book club (the Caitlin Moran one), the only one I could make it to before moving.
    2) Book club? Pub night? Can we revive a local, global APW get-together? I’m in London now, just to put it out there.

    • Shiri

      Ack, accidentally hit report on phone when meant to exactly! Sorry!

  • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

    I’ll toss this out, since I think it will be good for me to get advice rather than roll around in my own head for weeks.

    So, Bryan just got a new job, super exciting! With it comes some excellent benefits and a pretty significant pay increase. Like, nearly half my salary increase. The salary increase means that I could potentially quit my job (that I have loathed for over a year, been trying to find other employment), and we’d be okay living off one salary.

    So this seems like as good a time as any for me to quit, though I do want to continue working in some full-time capacity. In the long-run, career wise, I want to be somewhere that is flexible on work schedules and close to home. It seems like I will have to go into freelance design to achieve that, which absolutely terrifies me. The thought of quitting without another job lined up is also terrifying, but it’s been near impossible to look for work with my current schedule and terrible commute.

    Also, now it seems we’ll need to replace our home A/C within the next month, which will be expensive.

    So I’m rolling around in my own head a lot these days. Words of encouragement are welcome.

    • meg

      I think: 1) You always want to make sure your financial bases are covered first, because money stress SUCKS (aka, buy that AC). 2) You have to actually jump for the net to appear. AKA, you don’t have time to set up freelance work now, but if you have the time and no huge money pressure, there is a damn good chance it will happen. And if it doesn’t, fuck it, you go find another job.

    • Martha

      I say, as soon as that A/C unit is replaced and paid off, pull the plug on the crappy job. In the meantime, put effort in to building a solid contacts list to pull from so free-lancing could become an option. I think that if you can afford to live off of his salary for a bit while you fully dedicate yourself to the hunt for a more fulfilling job, more power to you!!

    • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

      I would never have gone freelance when I did if it wasn’t for my current boss retiring and our wedding 2 weeks later. The thought of living in NYC on one salary is/was terrifying. And based on the raw data, there was nothing to support the idea that I’d be able to bring in enough money from photography/production/design gigs to make it viable. But at the same time, I was working in an industry where “stability” is laughable (I have such, such stories) and trying to push photography and comic books like I was working full time, with only the hours on nights and weekends, and totally burning out in the process.

      The reasons I didn’t search for a new job were: 1. We have lived in our apartment for a year, have a long term lease, and have both been putting money into a savings account for long enough to have emergency funds. 2. He’s a freelancer and was living proof that you can not only survive without a boss, but can make more money than being on salary. His freelance gigs were also very, very steady. 3. If not now, when?

      It’s too soon to make any judgements on my experience, but we aren’t bankrupt, and we’ve been able to produce more in the last 6 months than the previous year and a half, without either of our health, sanity, or our reationship suffering. And what meg said about the net not appearing until you jump is SO TRUE.

    • Rachel

      Start using your blog to get customers for the freelance design work you think you want to do. Those book covers on your blog are awesome! This lady: http://jeremyandkathleen.blogspot.com/ did a really good job (I think) of using her blog to get freelance design business. Read her archives and see how she did it. Tell your readers what you can do for them, and how to hire you to do it.

      • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

        Ooooh, I really like her site. Thank you!!

    • http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com lady brett

      that’s exciting! i say do it! carefully.

      that might be me projecting. but i’d figure out how much of a money cushion would keep you from panicking/actual trouble if your freelance doesn’t work out or (more likely) take a minute to get off the ground, and keep working till you get there – but only till you get there. having an end in sight can really help the crappy job, and having a “trigger” could help you quit if you start getting too nervous about it.

    • Amy

      If you want to go freelance, that’s a different animal, but from what I’ve heard, job-hunting without a job is MUCH harder than job hunting with a job. It becomes a strike against you (employers wonder why you’re out of work, why you left your job without one, etc.) If you just want another full time job, I’d hunt while you’re working, schedule and commute be damned.

      • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

        Normally I’d agree with you, but I’ve been looking while working for nearly 7 months now. The biggest problem is that it’s very difficult to make excuses to go to interviews – GA is a right to work state and if my company knew I was looking, it’s grounds to let me go at any time. Some places are not hard-nosed on that…but I am not at one of those places.

        Also with design jobs, the portfolio tends to be stronger than the resume. If your work shows that you’ve been producing things even without a full time job, they don’t tend to ask what you’ve been doing in the gaps.

    • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

      Here’s a resource in Atlanta for help with home energy stuff: http://www.seeawise.org/cities/atlanta-ga

      Even if they can’t offer assistance/rebates with the A/C, they may know someone who can! There are many programs available that are incentivizing energy upgrades, so a little homework could mean saving a lot of $$ on the project.

      This has been your Public Service Announcement from sustainability workers-r-us :-)

      • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

        Oh, that is an excellent resource! Thanks for the tip!
        Luckily my dad flips houses and always seems to “know a guy,” so we have at least one or two well reviewed A/C people to turn to, and I’m sure they could offer up some assistance with this.

        Further on down the road we’ll probably also change out the water heater for a tankless, half for the incentives and half because it will give me way more space in our outdoor closet for garden supplies. (Priorities.)

        • http://www.snippetsof.blogspot.com Sarah E

          Also, the better insulated/sealed your house is, the smaller (cheaper!) an A/C unit you need, and the less energy it takes to cool your house. That way, while you’re feeling the financial sting of a new unit, at least your utility bills won’t also be skyrocketing.

          Best of luck!

        • MDBethann

          We switched to a tankless gas water heater last summer when our old one decided to leak water all over much of the basement floor. There are definitely pros and cons to it:

          Pros:
          -no more water tank leaking all over your floor (have had that happen to me now in 2 different homes; it sucks)
          -takes up a lot less space (it’s the size of a large suitcase)
          -theoretically saves energy (our gas bill has gone up, but that could be due to an aging furnace & a really cold winter; not sure yet)
          -Some energy efficiency tax deductions are available from the federal gov’t if you haven’t hit your lifetime cap for them yet.
          -Once the water gets hot, the temp is consistent

          Cons:
          -Higher up-front cost than a tank
          -The farther away your sink/shower is from the tank, the longer you have to run the water until it gets hot. Ours is in the basement & the sinks right above it warm up fast, but the showers on the 2nd floor take awhile. There is no such thing as “instant” hot water anymore.
          -Running the water to make it hot is going to increase your water bill a bit.

          We’d probably do it again, because it is more efficient, but these are just some things I wish I’d known going in, as I didn’t know anyone with a tankless when we bought ours last summer (3 months after buying new windows for half the house last April, 2 months after our wedding, & 2 months before replacing our car – 2012 was definitely an expensive year for us!!)

  • Martha

    Jillian, I swear I thought the exact same thing! Similar to how EHarmony started doing actual events for people (but you know, for making awesome APW friends, not lovers).

    I am, how do you say, in the trenches? Only 36 days to go until the big day – I am not freaking out, but I am freaking out about freaking out. A friend of mine just posted to facebook “You there, Friday! Welcome back, you sexy son of a bitch! We’ve been looking for you since Monday!” My sentiments exactly. So happy it is the weekend so I can power through some wedding stuff.

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      You are absolutely going to ROCK the next 36 days!

      • Martha

        Thanks!!! I’m just repeating my favorite piece of APW advice (I think it’s from the book) “don’t stress out about what doesn’t come together.”

    • Jillian

      I got married last May and also was not freaking out but freaking out about the prospect of freaking out. I just kept waiting for something terrible to happen and for the whole day to be ruined. Shockingly ;), the disaster never happened. There were some bumps along the way but nothing that required true freaking. I calmed my freaking out about freaking out by being productive. It was incredibly effective. Good luck in the home stretch.

  • Moe

    How fun, I have always been curous about the other regular faces/icons I’ve seen here.

    I got married (again) last weekend. I’m a wedding graduate! Has there ever been a post about how exhausted a bride is after a wedding? Maybe I should write one.

    On Monday while on a very spontaneous honeymoon (thank you for cash gifts!) I heard about the Boston bombing and at my husband’s request stayed away from news reports so that we could enjoy our time together. I’ve completed several half-marathons and the idea of someone targeting runners really horrified me. My heart goes out to the people of Boston!

    I work in downtown Los Angeles and there is always a police presence when I arrive at the train station but now they are on heightened alert and have begun searching bags before passengers board the trains. Scary times indeed, makes me want to hug everyone a little tighter.

    • Martha

      Please, please write the post about post-wedding exhaustion!

      • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

        I second that motion!

        • Moe

          Thanks ladies, maybe after I take a nap I’ll take a stab at it. *yawn*

    • Heather L

      Dude, I did my quals right before the wedding and ended up sleeping through most of our Vegas honeymoon due to exhaustion between the two.

      • Rebecca

        We eloped to Vegas four days after I turned in my Master’s thesis. And we both had head colds. It was..actually pretty nice, since we (I) hadn’t really had any time to spend together for, like, at least a month. But tired, yes.

        And even though I was healthy for our family ceremony/ reception/ everything but the legal bits wedding, it was still exhausting. I am not really built to talk to lots of people all the time for an entire weekend.

  • Kat

    News! I’ve been reading this blog since a terrible engagement to the wrong person that (very luckily) ended 4 years ago, and am happy to announce that I have finally met the man of my dreams and am now engaged! So, I can officially stop lurking now! :) Thanks for the posts!

    • meg

      You know, you’re really far from alone. There are lots of readers that called off engagements or got divorces and then hung around and met someone else and got married. Crazy and cool, right?

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      Yay! Congrats!!!

    • Ana in Boston

      Yayyy! Congrats!

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      Woohoo!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!

      • Kat

        Thanks, y’all!! :)

  • Jess

    So, in the scale of awful things going on this week, this obviously doesn’t win – but has been super annoying: someone somehow stole my husband’s debit card information (not the card – which is safely in his wallet, but the electronic data associated with the card?) and drained our checking and emergency savings accounts buying thousands of dollars of GUITARS and home improvement supplies?!? Has this happened to anyone else? What a nightmare!

    Also, the timing couldn’t be worse because I’m leaving my current job next Wednesday and won’t start my new job until May 6. So I won’t be getting my first paycheck from the new job for a few weeks, and have $0 accessible cash at the moment (it will take a few days to tap external savings accounts). How annoying!

    • http://dylanandsarah.com Sarah T

      Have you called your bank? You need to do that ASAP, and if within the window, I think you won’t be held liable for fraudulent charges. But I seem to recall it’s if you tell them by 24 hours since you discovered something was wrong.

      • Jess

        Oh yeah, we’ll be getting it all back – but they said it could take 10-60 days because they have to follow dispute resolution procedures, we have to file a police report, etc…

        I knew it happened within 24 hours because I started getting insane “low balance” emails from my bank – somehow these idiots bought so many guitars we had a negative balance?! It’s been crazy.

        • http://dylanandsarah.com Sarah T

          Ugh, well glad it won’t have long term damage. But up to 60 days, that’s a long time!

      • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

        Can we swear on APW? That’s so f&*cked up. I’m sorry.

        I second Sarah’s suggestion to look for reimbursement but then CYA as much as possible. Might I suggest the medicate, recuperate approach? I’d find the bottom of a bottle-I mean glass-of noir, get all of your accounts together and change everything.

        But keep it somewhere! Don’t get drunk and make changes and not save that stuff. That would be an even bigger problem :)
        You’ll be ok. Hang in there!

        • Jess

          Haha good idea! We are opening all new accounts and adopting some new policies (the linking between checking and savings that let them run through both accounts is first to go!) And we’re both going to try to switch over our spending to credit cards (especially at gas stations – read below!) to hopefully prevent this in the future.

          Also, maybe cash under the mattress, hah.

          • Not Sarah

            I have a credit card with Chase and they can text me about so many things. One of them is authorizations at gas stations. It’s really reassuring to get a text and know it was me who just bought gas, but would be super helpful otherwise. It even gives me the address and time of the authorization.

            I also have my checking account set up to text me IMMEDIATELY whenever a transaction happens on my account. It’s annoyingly only when the money posts, but still helpful.

            I’m so sorry that this happened, ugh!

          • YetAnotherMegan

            I have something similar to Not Sarah set up through my Wells Fargo accounts. I get daily e-mails of all the transactions that have posted to my checking account and a weekly balance summary for both my checking and savings accounts. Both my checking account and credit card text me immediately for any transaction over $150. It took a while to look over all the options and get the best set-up, but it’s definitely worth it.
            Good luck getting everything straightened out!

    • Bubbles

      I had that happen once! In my case, it was (probably) a gas attendant in New Jersey. I had to file a police report and all that jazz, but my bank got my money back to me lickety split! The thing that took a while was getting a new debit card.

      Everything will be ok!

      • Jess

        Haha yup, we’re in Jersey.

        • Brenda

          This is why I’m always reluctant to pay for gas with my card in New Jersey (or get gas in New Jersey at all – I’m a Philly girl, I pump my own!) It just creeps me out to give them my card and not really know what they’re doing with it.

          Sorry to hear crappy things have happened you guys, good luck sorting it out.

    • Laura

      I’ve had this happen to me too! And it was also just the card number, I still had the card. They didn’t wipe me out, I was lucky and noticed it just a few hours after they got started, but it was a lot of money still. To top that off, my bank was totally not helpful with getting the money back. They printed out a list of telephone numbers associated with the transactions, closed out my card and said good luck. I had to call all the numbers myself and convince them to refund the money. It was awful.

      Hopefully your bank is a lot more helpful than mine and it doesn’t take you too long to get back to normal!

      • Amy

        Oh lord. When this happened to me, Chase a: caught it and started calling/text me b: locked my account c: immediately refunded the money. The was, if it turned out NOT to be fraud, they’d take it back. Oh, and the criminals spent all my money at Neiman’s in Houston. So they have better style than I do.

  • Hayley

    I just really need some smart ladies to laugh with me and not judge me about this: I write smut online for money and am basically funneling it into my and my husband’s IVF savings account. It’s smut about, like, centaurs and shit. THIS is the world I’m living in: where I pay for my healthcare by writing centaur-banging.

    Centaurs.

    My liiiiife.

    *takes a shot*

    (I don’t mean to start a super serious discussion on here about healthcare, really, aside from OMG THIS IS BANANAS RIGHT? Because US healthcare is bananas. And crazy-making. And also the writing sometimes makes me feel like a Bad Feminist, but I kind of feel like it’s empowering to write stuff which — I think — is being bought primarily by women. Centaurs!)

    • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

      That’s awesome.

    • Jess

      This is incredible. I am so glad its a thing (for you – not so much the centaurs!)

      • Hayley

        Oh the centaurs consent, so it’s all good for them too!

        bracket slash end sentence I never thought I’d write end bracket

        • Anon

          So….one could call them CONSENTAURS.

          Sorry, I had to! Hayley, you are AWESOME.

    • meg

      I’m having an awful day and that just made me laugh coke.

      • KB

        BAHAHA, oh my god, this is the money comment of the day.

        • meg

          Yay typos.

          • KB

            BAAH, hitting submit before finishing = fail.

      • KB

        BAHAHA, oh my god, this is the money comment of the day, Hayley.

      • Class of 1980

        Centaur sex.

        Well, this just seals it. Meg has the best job in the world. ;)

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      Centaurs!

      Let me just say that if I had that opportunity, I would totally take it(if I could write a paragraph without giggling). You gotta do what makes you happy, even if this is a more indirect route to eventual happiness.

      Also, I think it’s effing awesome.

      • Hayley

        I often start completely breaking down as I write it and have to gasp out what I’m writing between bursts of laughter to my husband in the other room. It is hilarious.

    • Shiri

      Is it wrong that I really want to know how to break into this? Like, really?

    • Heather L

      My husband actually wrote a few smuts, too. I edited for him. It doesn’t make us very much money, but I’ll take any extra I can.

    • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

      I would read the sh*t out of some centaur smut. Do you have a link to which you can direct us? Sounds AMAZING.

      • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

        I feel like some centaur book may have been one of the Vaginal Fantasy book club’s pick one month. Maybe it was this one!

        • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

          I want to click on that link so badly but I am at work and so I am nervous to click on it. Things to do tonight!

    • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

      Hayley writes on resume:
      “Published freelance writer with x years experience.”

      ::Lands dream job by supplementing income writing about centaurs doing the nasty::

      • Hayley

        What’s funny is that I had a legit freelance gig prior to this (writing theater reviews) and this makes me more money! My main concern is staying under the radar since I have a job I loooove that I got a Master’s for and don’t want any smut-writing to make me look bad for my employer or something. STEALTH SMUT FOR THE WINS! (This thread is as open about it as I can be!)

    • Jaya

      WHERE CAN I BUY THIS SMUT!?

    • Bri

      That is amazing and all I want to know is how I can get that kind of gig.

    • http://www.verhext.com tamera

      [Hey Meg! Can I do this?] There’s an org called Resolve.org and they’re going to DC to try to get a bill introduced to get infertility treatments covered by insurance / financial breaks for infertility treatments: http://familybuilding.resolve.org/site/PageServer?pagename=advday_home

      They are def worth checking out / signing petitions for. I recently blogged about the insanity of IVF costs & the utter helplessness in facing needing that kind of money. It sucks. I must say that centaur smut never occurred to me. KUDOS.

      • Hayley

        I really, really wanted to go to their infertility advocacy meeting in DC that’s coming up where you lobby for infertility benefits and stuff, but it’s a weekday where I couldn’t take off. I’m super bummed because it’s definitely something I’m really passionate about. I also used Resolve to find a support group in my area, something which I’m very grateful I did. :)

      • meg

        ‘Course you can. That’s what this thread is for. That’s awesome, and something I totally didn’t know about. I like that you tied it into centaur smut.

    • Class of 1980

      This is the funniest thing I’ve read all day, and likely the funniest thing I will read all year.

      Can’t. Stop. Laughing.

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      This…is awesome. And I might be a little bit jealous. How did you discover this, erm, outlet, if I may ask?

      • Hayley

        One of my best friends sent me an email one day a few months ago confessing that he couldn’t NOT tell somebody any longer that he’d been making a few hundred every month writing under a sexy pen name and telling me that if he could do it, I could too. And down the rabbit hole I fell…

        • http://partialto.tumblr.com LIZ (SINCE 1982)

          But like … specifically about centaurs? And if not, how did that come up? And if so, how did he realize that sexy mythological creatures are where it’s at? Inquiring minds!!

    • Slade

      BALLS. I’m sorry, I’m totally the idiot right now hitting “report” instead of “exactly.” I’m really, really proud of your centaur-boinking career.

      Some people work in banks and shit, having “normal” career paths. Life must be very boring for them. Maybe they need centaurs.

      • Ilora

        I’ve been giggling my way through this topic but I just completely lost it at ‘centaur-boinking’ and I wanted you to know. Hah!

    • Rebecca

      My grandmother totally bought herself a red Corvette in retirement due to some honest smut-writing. Also, smut is how I get my brain to stop thinking about work. I am completely supportive of all smut-creating activities.

      Also, if you want a fun, smart community based around smut, Smart Bitches-Trashy Books is a fun place to hang out.

      • Aly

        That blog is fantastic!! I don’t even really read smut (although I totally would if I had more time) and the site is just excellent. It’s also written by hilariously smart ladies.

    • Carolyn M

      I write smut online for money too. It’s a crazy life!

  • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

    Quick planning question for the board.

    Destination beach wedding. Ceremony music is pretty much covered. We have our hearts (but not our wallets!) set on Steel Pan Drums, Band AND DJ.

    We are also a house divided. Lovey wants Band, I want steel pan drums (to honor his culture, no less) and DJ.

    I know self-DJ is absolutely an option but I’m also worried about the number of hours in the day (or lack thereof)…

    Thoughts?

    • http://andshelovesyou.com youlovelucy

      I think maybe you’d be able to get the Steel Drums and the Band (idk on prices though) and then self DJ. Thinking from a time perspective, having the steel drums and Band would probably mean you’d only need to self-DJ through a few set breaks, which isn’t very many songs to have to hunt down/put together.

      I can also recommend crowd-sourcing your playlist, if friends are nearby. We did our playlist in one night by inviting friends over and plying them with pizza and alcohol to help us rate songs via Spotify.

      • Hayley

        I will just add, self-DJ-ing was REALLY FUN for my husband and I (still need to upload our playlist). It was one of the very first things we put together after getting engaged. We had a blast just sitting around one weekend putting together the best playlist we could think of (my husband’s a musician so was especially SQUEE about it).

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

    so… my bachelorette party is tomorrow and I just want to crawl under the bed. Except it’s dusty under there and I have allergies. It’s been a hella overwhelming week I’m also starting to wonder when we’re going to be able to plant our flower bed and redo around our lovely magnolias in the back yard this summer. Our weekends are planned to the max until after our wedding (may 25th!) and it’s SO overwhelming.

    • Martha

      AH! May 25th Wedding, represent! If you crawl under your bed, I’ll meet you there.

      That sounded creepy. Just meant I feel you being overwhelmed. “Can you ever just be whelmed?”

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

        I have wondered that a lot! and not creepy at all! Yay for May 25th weddings! You can totally join under the bed. We can make it a blanket fort with ice cream.

        • KB

          I second this – my bridesmaids have been asking and asking and asking about the bachelorette and I, too, want to crawl under the bed. I picked a date and even though I DO want to have one, I don’t want the hassle that goes into planning it myself or the drama of having other people plan it for me. I feel like just as there’s pressure to have THE PERFECT WEDDING, there’s also pressure to have THE ULTIMATE BACHELORETTE/SHOWER, and it’s totally in my personality to just avoid, avoid, avoid…except they’ve caught on to that so at some point I’m just going to have to roll with it, gah.

          Edit: It’s not the type of event that’s giving me heartburn, it’s the event itself rather – I looooove going to other people’s bachelorettes, wine tours, bar crawls, spa days – even hanging out in a random apartment. I just don’t want the stress of worrying if everyone is having a good time, am I having a good time, etc. etc.

          • Bubbles

            ASK FOR A SPA DAY. Seriously. Best bachelorette I’ve ever been to.

          • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

            What Bubbles said. I have already decided that if a bachelorette happens for me I am going to request a spa day. A spa day with my lady friends sounds like the perfect way to go. And then maybe like, sushi or something. Perfect.

          • Lauren

            We are doing a morning/early afternoon spa trip and then making bouquets and centerpieces! I am actually super pumped for my bachelorette, when I thought I would be terrified.

          • Caroline

            I would totally dig a spa day bachelorette party, that would be the best, but, side effect of marrying young, my friends are all pretty broke, as is my sister who is super excited to throw me a party (it was definitely in the guess what! I’m engaged conversation, that she wanted to throw me a bachlorette party). That said, if it’s affordable for your friends, I think a spa day would be awesome.

          • MDBethann

            We did a bridal party (men included) day at the AA baseball team near our families in PA. Unfortunately our original date was rained out, but at least we got the food at the picnic pavilion & then tickets to a later game. The next time we could get everyone together for a game was after the wedding & honeymoon, but it was still a lot of fun. Another friend did something similar as well. A bachelor/ette party can be co-ed if you want it to be (and showers can be co-ed too!) & you can just do something where you all hangout doing something the bride enjoys.

            I’ve been in the weddings of several friends and the only one where we did a bachelorette party ended up being a girls-only beach weekend. The MoH’s uncle had a place at the Jersey Shore south of Atlantic City, so we had a big slumber party there and then a scavenger hunt along the Atlantic City boardwalk. It was a blast and pretty affordable too (the bride LOVES the beach).

        • CinColorado

          Mine’s the 24th, so I’ll dust under the bed when I get there. For the allergies. And the ice cream!

      • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

        WAS THAT A 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU REFERENCE?

        IF SO, “I THINK YOU CAN IN EUROPE.”

        • Martha

          YES IT TOTALLY WAS! Three cheers for someone understanding my random movie quote!!!!!

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

            This made me giggle at my desk. I needed a giggle!

      • Samantha

        I think you can in Europe.

    • Moe

      What is it about the bachleorette that makes you want to crawl under a bed?

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

        It’s been one of those weeks where everything just hits you at once and I am desperate for downtime. I just found out I get a lazy day in two weeks, so I’m less crawl-under-the-bed-inclined. There are wedding-planning details that are just details and aren’t very important but to me and I am trying not to obsess over those.

        There’s also something about all of the tragedy thsi week that makes going out and celebrating tomorrow seem so silly and inconsequential.

        Mostly, it’s a desire to SLEEP.

        • Moe

          Is it too late to maybe change the bachleorette plans into something more relaxed and low-key?

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

            It’s actually already pretty low-key – we’re going bowling. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not the bachelorette party itself that i’m stressed over – it’s everything else. This is stress-RELIEF.

    • Lauren

      I feel you on having super jammed weekends. I have ONE free weekend in the next 11 weeks. And then we get married.

      AAAHHhaaaaaHHHHAAAAaaaaHAAAAAAaaaaaaa

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

        Can I just say? THIS. SO MUCH THIS.

    • http://butnothanks.blogspot.com NB

      Oooh. Big e-hugs. We went through this, too, and not being able to do the yard work that I wanted to (we got married later in the year, so: tomatoes. Tomatoes were An Issue) gave me no small measure of heartburn. Not working in the garden, and doing wedding things instead, gave me exactly the same kind of icky feelings I had when I had to bail on a dear friend and to spend a weekend working in the office. In a word: boo! Especially this time of year.

      I bet you have some really lovely friends who would come over to dig and keep you company for an hour or two some afternoon after work, if you can squeeze it in. (I will! Do you live in Northern California? I have recently taken up champagne-gardening, and let me tell you: it. is. awesome. I recommend it).

      It is so disappointing when you can’t garden, and you want to. I promise, though, that your yard will be forgiving (and think of how delightful it will be when you settle into it, sans-wedding-planning, in the first week of June!)

      (Ok. It will probably be stupid-hot in June. But maybe you can add a really nice set of garden shears and a good lemonade pitcher to your registry? And then take a great big garden-nap).

  • KE

    Y’all! I am back from my honeymoon and all caught up on APW.

    And the wedding was just perfect. Like not perfect in the “everything went exactly as I carefully planned” sense. There were some screw-ups that, if they’d happened at someone else’s wedding, I’d have thought, “Oh God, her wedding is falling apart” (there’s a judgey, perfectionist, control freak side of me that’s not pretty). But it was perfect in the real sense, where I was so happy and everybody had fun and there were unexpected pleasures. And I just feel so happy thinking about it.

    Thanks for letting this be a safe space where I can gush without being thought of as smug. :)

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      Gush away!! That so-happy feeling? That’s what I love about being engaged, that’s what I’m looking forward to about being married. I am SO GLAD you are full of that feeling!

      And not to ramble, but that’s one of the things that I worry about, when I’m talking about the wedding planning, that people I know are going to be judgy about my smug-levels. This isn’t me turning wedding-crazy (okay, maybe just a little) but how can you not expect me to talk about this huge, exciting thing that’s going to be a big part of my life? I’m marrying my person, and you expect me not to love it? Whatever.

      • KE

        I found it helpful to identify a few people who I knew would always be excited and interested in wedding gushing. I have some very close friends who are unhappy in their romantic situations and didn’t want to come across as smug or inadvertently pour salt in their wounds. So I had three girlfriends who were always willing to let me talk about finding the perfect hair comb and how adorable my fiance was being, and I spread my happiness gushing out among them. God bless those ladies.

      • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

        Sweet Starling, you are the cutest thing. I love all of your supportive comments! Being married in AWESOME and I’m so thankful that we do have this place to gush all we want, even when real life people are getting sick of hearing us :)

        • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

          Aww, thanks! Really I’m just banking on the fact that if I can put some supportive vibes out when everyone needs them, they’ll be around when I need them, too. ;)

          But seriously, APW ladies are the best and it’s the least I can do to be supportive when the site and the posts and the comments have given me so much.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        I feel this to the point where I DON’T talk about it. Like at all. Which apparently caused me to ramble about it here, below :)

        I’m so acutely aware of the expectation or assumption that people will think all I want to talk about – that all I am – is wedding planning that I inadvertantly end up changing the conversation when other people bring it up, because of this fear that they’re setting me up and as soon as I start getting excited they’ll like point and shout “A HA! I knew this was all you cared about!”

    • Moe

      Congrats!! You are a 4/13 too? Bask in the happiness!! I’m glad mine happened and that it’s over.

      I know things went wrong at mine, but things that no amount of planning could have prevented. The perfect golden sunlight that I envisioned at my 5pm ceremony was replaced by cloudy overcast skies that made all the ladies cold and some people left early. Boo.

      But damn, the tacos were tasty!!

      • KE

        Congrats to you! I’m a 4/6-er. We were able to get away with a long honeymoon.

        My wedding zen let me smile when my brother’s cummerbund fell off during communion instead of thinking, “OMG, WHY ARE YOU SHEDDING YOUR CLOTHING DURING MY WEDDING CEREMONY?!”

        • Moe

          My bridesmaid stumbled when she walked down the aisle. :)

      • Rebecca

        Glad that it happened and that it is over is the most perfect description of how I feel about our (also 4/13!) shindig. Exactly * 1,000,000

    • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

      No smug judging here! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Perfect in the real sense is the best kind of perfect.

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      Unexpected pleasures.

      LOVE this sentiment!

  • A. Nony Mouse

    YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS.

    I think my fella is going to be proposing to me next Saturday! But I’m not supposed to know about it! It’s a surprise, you see. But I am nearly certain that it’s going to happen, and I am SO EXCITED I COULD JUST BURST. We’ve been together nearly ten years, and I’ve been certain that I wanted to marry him since three months in.

    So now I feel like a combination of ten-year-old Me the week before Christmas, and Gollum. (The engagement ring will be my birthday present, you see.)

    I AM NOT GOOD AT PATIENCE. How am I going to get through the next week without exploding???

    • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

      SQUEEE!!! So many early congratulations!!!

      (I refer to my engagement ring as my Precious. Just sayin’.)

      • Martha

        My fiance and I recently bought a new set of frying pans with the many, many gift cards I got at the shower – he referred to them as “my precious” and it definitely, as Meg said, made me snort coke.

        • EBASS

          “made me snort coke” may just become part of my vocabulary now :)

          • KEA1

            I know that we’re referring to the soft drink, but (ahem) snorting coke sounds like something entirely different!

          • Martha

            Ah! “laugh coke” is what Meg said and I went and boogered it up. Alas . . . but I have snort-laughed coke.

    • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

      CONGRATULATIONS.

      I am 99% sure I am getting proposed to TOMORROW so I totally feel you. The anticipation is so intense. Just try to stay busy and occupied, it will go fast I promise. I was dreading this week too and it is already Friday!

      The Precious…wants it…needs it…precious…. (High fives to all the girls calling their rings The Precious, totally with you there!)

      • A. Nony Mouse

        I am finding it very difficult to act like NOTHING IS HAPPENING and NOT walk around with a gigantic goofy-ass grin on my face.

        My parents are coming over to help me with an unruly tree in the yard tomorrow. I *know* they know. This going to be SO HARD.

        • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

          It is okay! I don’t know if you are able to do this but I have stopped pretending. My friends pretty much know it is going to happen. My parents DEFINITELY know (my dad texted me a really sweet message after my manfriend called him to ask whatever a 2013 already-cohabiting version of “permission” is) and it is basically a done deal. Part of this is time constraints–the past few weeks have been hectic and I worked all last weekend on an art event that I was directing (so I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind for a proposal)…buuuut both sets of our parents are leaving the country tomorrow for several weeks (separate trips, they just happen to be leaving the same day) so I know it has to happen before they get on their planes and don’t have regular cell phone access. So uh, the point of my rambling message is: it is okay to not pretend, but if you *want* to pretend that’s great too! Either way, enjoy this fun time, the calm before the storm! Yay us yay getting engaged!

          • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

            YAY FOR ENGAGEMENTS!

            I don’t know why, but my fiance and I had been discussing marriage seriously since August of 2011, and we window-shopped for rings and whatnot, but for some reason once my birthday hit (January 2, 2012 in this case), every single time we went out to dinner or he presented me with a gift, or HE SAT DOWN ON THE COUCH NEXT TO ME I was like (GASP) IS THIS IT??

            BANANAS.

      • Rebekah

        Update please!

    • EBASS

      I knew almost every detail of how my fiance was going to propose – and it was multi stepped! (He inadvertently gave away wayyyy too many clues) But the one thing is, you never really know what s/he may do when it all goes down! Mine finished up everything I knew was going to happen (including the proposal) and then actually surprised me when he took me back to his place and our friends had a surprise party for me – only to find out that we were the ones surprising THEM with the engagement. Even though I knew what would happen through the night, remembering all the love was the best thing about the engagement :)

      • http://thedilettantista.com/ The Dilettantista

        Love your story. Can’t wait to find out how my story will unfold tomorrow. SO EXCITED.

    • B. Smelliott

      Oh gosh, I’M RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! I know I’m late to this APW happy hour party (and commenting in general — first time commenter here, 3 year lurker) so I’m not sure if anyone’s reading this, but my guy is taking me on a very conspicuous picnic tomorrow and I’m so nervous I could barely eat dinner tonight ;) I guess nervous is the wrong word — I think it’s just general anticipatory anxiety getting the better of me. And clearly, knowing what the ring looks like doesn’t make me less Gollum-like. Might make it worse, knowing how badly I want to wear it!

  • Alicia

    Hi There, I’m in Boston, stuck in my house for the day. Still no news of when this all will end. Luckily I’m nowhere near the police activity going on, but my job is so we had to make calls that all the massages would be canceled today (I’m a massage therapist.)
    It’s so crazy that this is all happening in Boston. I’m home with my fiance and we’re both glued to the TV waiting for something to happen.

    I’ve about had with the the news though, so I started doing other stuff, like ordering my bridesmaids’ dresses, yay! I got convertible dresses that will be tailor made from an Etsy shop. Does anyone have experience with this? We are ordering them with enough time that the ladies will be able to play around with different ways of tying them.

    Appreciate the emergency puppies, I’ve got our “puppies” (5 year old chocolate lab, 1.5 year old great dane) here keeping us company.

    • meg

      Just when you think it couldn’t get worse, you hear about MASSAGES being canceled. N’ok, universe, n’ok.

      • Alicia

        I KNOW! We could all use a massage today

    • Corrie

      Couple days late here, but….GREAT DANES FTW! Mine just turned 6 at the beginning of the month. I am probably biased, but danes are the best. dogs. ever.

  • KB

    Yay = our invitations just came in this week – they make me so happy, it’s ridiculous. Like, I feel foolish at being excited for little pieces of cardstock, but it makes my heart warm because they look so smooth and colorful and perfect. *sigh*

    Nay = I am still jet-lagged from a work trip literally halfway around the world. I keep walking up at 2:30am every single night this week and can’t get back to sleep until 5am – and then I have to get up and go to work. I mean, it’s been a couple of days now and I’m still effed up – any remedies? Should I invest in some NyQuil?

    • Moe

      I was jazzed about invites too. It was my favorite project by far and I was super-excited to drop them in the mailbox. Take them out and stare at them for a while if it makes you happy. Enjoy!

    • Heather L

      The ingredient that makes Nyquil make you tired is basically benedryl (diphenyhydramine), so just take that since you don’t need a cough suppressant or pain reliever.

      Or, try taking melatonin. Jet lag is a circadian rhythm issue, which melatonin helps with. Your body usually produces it to help you get to sleep, but now you’re producing it at off hours. You might need to play with the dose, though, and it makes some people overly groggy. I have DSPS and it works pretty well for me, though I need a high-ish dose. I also know people who have had success using Valerian root as a sleep aid.

    • Kathy

      I travel halfway around the world for work and I LOVE ZzzzQuil. It’s Nyquil without the cough medicine and it is fabulous. It kept me asleep while I was there and helped me get back on track when I got home.

      • Another Meg

        I also heart ZZZZQuil. It’s the cats pajamas when I’m home alone (which for me = weird panic attacks at 2am).

        Life. Saver.

    • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

      Melatonin. It is amazing. I tend to try to buy the bottle with the smallest dosage I can find and then take half or a quarter of a pill when I have insomnia. It will knock you OUT.

      • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

        Melatonin is great, but I found that it can be pretty awful if you’re in the wrong head space. I had a lot of trouble sleeping after one of my best friends died of cancer in 2009, so I took melatonin to help knock me out, and the whole time I was taking it (about a week), I had the WORST nightmares I’ve ever had. Terrifying but much, much, much more vivid than I’d ever had before, and because the medicine did it’s job knocking me out, I had a lot of trouble figuring out when I was actually awake and when I was waking up to new, horrible things in my dreams. I’ve taken it a few times since out of desperation and found that the times I’m really stressed and on it, I have awful nightmares. Just something to consider, that may or may not be just my experience.

        • KC

          Vivid dreams are definitely a documented side effect of melatonin. It’s worth trying (that stuff can return you to normal sleep schedule very nicely!), but if you get extra-weird-nightmares while on it, the melatonin is probably why.

          Or you might just get highly colorful, absurdly detailed dreams involving elevators that require propitiatory offerings of fake feather trees before taking you to floors that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Giant elevators with landscaping and waterfalls in them. Someone theoretically might have had a dream like that this week.

          • Shiri

            That’s really interesting. I’m one of those people who gets REM rebound – terrible, terrible vivid night mares after I stop taking sleeping pills. Is that basically the same kind of thing?

          • kc

            For me, there’s a range of vivid and then a range of nightmare, mostly predicated on my emotional response in and after the dream. So, zombies could be chasing me in a dream, and I could be handling it analytically and it’s not really a nightmare because I’m not emotionally invested; or there could be a line of ducks outside our apartment and for no particular reason, that could be terror-inducing [I have no actual fear of ducks. Flocks of large and angry geese, maybe. Ducks, no.].

            For me, melatonin seems to definitely make things vivid with changing the emotional aspect of the dream so much. So, high-definition movie, but very rarely nightmare. For me, nightmares seem to have more to do with other physical or emotional factors (stressed? way too warm? physically ill? more likely to end up with a nightmare), whereas the vivid-ness is sort of on a different coordinate system?

            Obviously, vivid+nightmare+realistic situation is more likely to be something that makes you unhappy for longer than the five minutes after you wake up. If you get a nightmare in which you are irrationally afraid of ducks, then odds are good you’ll shake it and laugh pretty soon, but an extremely detailed, vivid nightmare about something that really is or could be a fear, then that’s more of a problem for the day, potentially?

            I haven’t done withdrawal from sleep medication, so have no idea how they compare even for me; sorry!

          • Shiri

            KC, it isn’t letting me reply to your reply to me, but thank you, this is really interesting! I actually don’t have real withdrawal, but am sensitive to REM rebound, I guess, but hearing the way you describe the differences is your dreams is actually quite thought provoking. Thanks!

          • kc

            I’m glad it was interesting! Two techniques for nightmares: 1. distract yourself immediately with something unrelated (because random dreams usually vanish really fast if you don’t reinforce the memory at all upon waking), and if 1. doesn’t work, laugh at them wherever possible. (seriously? I was *that* upset in a dream because of X?) And if you’re still upset later, look at why you’re upset: a real fear triggered? (of spiders or rejection or failure or something?) And try to address that fear at its source rather than just letting the dream make you vaguely uneasy.

            I’m guessing that REM rebound might possibly be a bit similar, from how you’re describing it (extra REM sleep should mean extra dreams, yes?), but don’t know whether REM rebound is more likely to produce nightmares (as opposed to just weird-and-vivid dreams which don’t provoke an innate emotional response and don’t really do any harm unless you get weirded out by the fact that you just had a dream about, say, furniture being made out of macaroni, and what does that really *mean* – in my opinion, some dreams are just not worth psychoanalyzing) and in what circumstances, etc.

            I guess: your mind is trying to make sense out of a really odd combination of inputs. Sometimes it does that more fluidly than others. But in any event, in my opinion, unless there are recurring dreams or dreams that upset you long after you wake up, no big deal? It’s just leftover confetti from the corners of your brain, glued together into weird shapes in weird ways by your physical sensations and emotional state and stuff.

    • http://becomingbrown.wordpress.com Jennifer Lyn

      try melatonin. it’ll knock you out at the right times and help you get your sleep back on track.

    • Jessica

      Melatonin; I’d get melatonin, in the vitamins section of most CVS, Walgreens type stores, and take 2 an hour before you go to bed. Went to China & back in a week, that helped me adjust there & returning.

    • Rebecca

      If you don’t want to go the drug route (or want some backup to get your sleep cycle back on track), make sure to get outside/ get lots of natural light into your eyeballs. Even 15 minutes in the morning and a quick walk around the block at lunch should help a lot- natural light plays a huge role in how our bodies regulate sleep.

      As a corollary, avoid blue light at night- try turning off the TV/ computer a few hours (okay, at least an hour) before you go to bed- blue light tells your body it’s morning (and outdoor light is usually bluer/ brighter than what we use inside, which is why going outside in the morning is helpful).

      • Corrie

        For the non-drug route people, I would also like to offer up valerian, which is an herb. You can get it in pill form at the drugstore. It’s the ‘sleepy’ in Sleepytime Tea, but the supplements work much better if you’re really having trouble sleeping. Bonus: no grogginess in the morning.

    • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

      We are still months away from even send out save the dates, but I am goofily excited about designing the various invitation bits. InDesign is all fired up, and I keep an eye out for VistaPrint Groupons.

      (I plan to design and print thing in batches, as we have the info and I score deals for the printing. Since we have the place and the date settled, our save the date magnets get sent to VP by the end of May. I think I will be doing the RSVP cards by October.)

      :)

      Speaking of, if anyone needs it, there is currently a $70 for $17 VP Groupon deal going.

  • Ashley

    Hey all,

    I’m a long time reader based in Beantown (yes. Still on lockdown).

    I just wanted to say thank you from all of Boston for the support. There has been so much love from friends, family, clients and total strangers, and it is making it easier for our community to heal.

    Thanks!

    • KB

      BOSTON LOVE!!! I have to say that I’ve loved all the Boston love on FB this week, including my personal favorite: “Keep wicked calm and carry the hell on.”

  • Lauren

    Yall. This is such a good idea! I love this community so much.

    This weekend is weekend number two of the 13-weekend long streak until we get married. WHAT. It’s 71 days away. That seems like forever but there is still so much to dooooo…

    *slap*

    Anyway, today I sucked it up and told my part-time freelance gig that I need to cut back my hours and they totally understood! Yay for little victories! And on Saturday I am getting my hair cut, going to a housewarming shower, and picking up my altered dress! EEE. On Sunday I’m buying undergarments and my bridesmaid dress for my BFF’s wedding AND going to Costco to get some trial-run flowers!

    I am excited, even though there is a whirlwind of stuff going on! Thanks for letting me squee!

    • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

      Costco win.
      That place never ceases to amaze. And apparently they treat employees really well and that. is. awesome.

      • Melissa

        Costco is the best. For reals. My honey works there, and they treat him riiiight! I could write a book about all the awesome that is Costco, but that might be the free membership and discounted gas talking.

      • Rebekah

        A pro-Costco comment: My dad has worked there for 33 years and raised our family of 4 on their salary and benefits. He and my mom met working there (back when it was Price Club). Obviously it’s not what it once was (I worked at a warehouse in another state for 8 months and was miserable), but Costco the company – as well as the founder and former CEO – treats its employees very well.

      • Caroline

        Yeah, I love costco. I don’t have a membership, (I shop there once a year with my mom, but I’m sure when we have kids we’ll get one.) Holy heck does that once a year trip save us so much money. Bread bakers, get your yeast there. That’s all. 2 lbs (about 1 loaf of bread a week for 1-2 years) for 3 dollars. Aka the same cost of 3 packets of yeast at the grocery store. 3 dollars!

        Edited to add: I don’t mean that’s all you should/can buy at costco, but it is enough to make me love costco.

  • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

    Hey y’all Im heading home from the office. Not sounding the alarm but lower east coast gonna get that storm that socked the mideast the other day. Keep an eye on weather alerts.

    Stay dry, stay safe. Thinkin’ about you, Beantown.

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I’m in Eastern PA and this whole half of the state practically and bits of NY and NJ are under a tornado watch until 11pm tonight. We’re not in the midwest. We don’t really have a frame of reference for this kind of weather, so it’s just one more thing for this week.

      • Martha

        I am an Eastern PA native who transplanted to the Midwest and out here they are no joke! At first I was like “what does that even mean ‘tornado warning’? Those happy in PA all the time and mean nothing.”

        Stay Safe!

        • MDBethann

          I live in MD now but the small town in Berks Co. where I grew up got smacked with an F-3 tornado in late May 1998 at shortly after 9 pm at night. Apparently there are some small “tornado alleys” in PA along some of the hill/mountain ridges. I have taken the warnings seriously ever since then, and the DC/Baltimore area get one or two a year. Granted, they are in no way as severe as the ones out in the Midwest, but the one 15 years ago is still a vivid memory.

      • Slade

        I’m from Western PA, and we had tornado drills every year in elementary school. All of us small children would stumble through these things, ducking our heads next to walls in the hallway for forever…with no idea why the fuck we were doing it. BECAUSE PENNSYLVANIA DOES NOT GET TORNADOES. WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK IS GOING ON.

        (Also, why didn’t we have flood drills?)

  • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

    I just want to gush about my wedding, dammit. Or rather, my wedding planning. My stepmother’s in Maryland, as is my Maid of Honor. My mother and I do not have the type of relationship that would encourage her being a part of this, at all, except to show up on the day of. My bridesmaids are in New York, New Jersey, and PA, and while the one in PA is maybe forty minute’s drive from me, she’s a wife and a mother of a very demanding (not in a bad/critical way!) three year old. They SHOULD be her priority.

    I’ve done everything – literally EVERY. SINGLE. THING – by myself. And you know what? I’m totally okay with that. My fiance has had input – both the kind he’s wanted to give and the kind I’ve forced him to give (“I DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE AN OPINION, PICK ONE TO MAKE MY LIFE EASIER!!”) – but I’ve done all the research, all the corresponding, all the budgeting, all the planning.

    And again, I’m totally fine with that. I’m thrilled with it even, most days. But…there’s no one to gush to. There’s no one to flail with me about the hand-crafted glittery save the dates, all of the amazing vendors I’ve come across on Etsy (invitations? check! seating chart in lieu of escort cards? check! cake topper? check! bow ties and suspenders for the groomsmen/ushers/ring bearers? check! guestbook alternative? check!), my dress, the totally awesome florist I randomly happened upon and AM SO GLAD TO HAVE MET AND GET TO WORK WITH, the DJ who apparently has rheumatoid arthritis (WHAT), my totally awesome-from-APW photographer…it’s a weirdly lonely but strangely fulfilling place to be.

    And you can be sure you’ll be getting either a Wedding Grad or Wordless Weddings post from me come September!

    To that end…LOVE Friday Happy Hour. Brilliant!!

    • Alicia

      Yay! You rock!! What day in September are you getting married? We are September 7th!

      I totally feel you. I have done all of the choosing and corresponding with vendors. My mom wants to help but she had kind of a rough last year so every time I had brought stuff up she would say to put it on the shelf. It go to a point that I said, screw it, I’m not going to OK all my decisions with my mom because she’s paying for it. I’m just going to tell her who I’m choosing with back up info about price in case she’s worried about that. And you know what? It’s been working. I feel like I’m totally in charge. It does feel pretty gratifying to know that on our wedding day all of the decisions that I made will be put into action!

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        September 8!!!

        I totally feel you on the whole…I don’t need twenty seven people to agree with my decisions thing, even if their the ones paying for it (that probably sounds a lot worse than I actually mean it!).

        When I started this whole process, I ran every single item I was considering by my parents, and it was beyond exhausting. It was NOT helpful for me, or for them, especially when they were offering all sorts of opinions (mostly negative, without any suggestions as to alternatives) when I was doing all of the work, so I finally said ENOUGH. I now let them know when we’ve found someone, run through the details with them, listen to and address their concerns, and then book the vendor if we all feel good about him/her.

        It’s gotten SO much easier just having them focus on one vendor at a time, instead of giving them multiple options per vendor. I’m so glad I cottoned on to this when I did!

        And I am amazed by how well things seem to be coming together! And I agree – it’s going to be so worth it when I look around on our wedding day and see everything we worked so hard on come to fruition (or, you know, doesn’t and I just don’t care!).

    • KE

      I know this is the most obvious suggestion ever so forgive me if there’s a reason you aren’t doing this… but what about phone/email/text? I don’t have a single close friend in my current town (ugh), but still got to gush. Texting a photo of the invites when they arrived to my MOH, for example, was an easy way for me to have someone be excited with me, and it took her all of 15 seconds to text back something fun and encouraging.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        Hahaha! True – I do definitely send pictures. I just also have this fear that since I’m engaged, if I start talking about wedding trappings, people (…whatever that means…) will treat me as though that’s the only thing I’m interested in, you know?

        And I recognize I’m probably totally selling my friends and family short, but it’s hard to overcome that fear.

        • KE

          No, I totally get that fear. I barely talked about my wedding unless someone asked for the first three months of my engagement, even with my closest friends.

          But like I told Sweet Starling above, what made all the difference was identifying three girlfriends who were always interested in hearing about wedding stuff, and spreading out my gushing between them. And I felt less guilty if I started the conversation with, “Hey, I really wanna talk wedding stuff. Can I talk about that for like 15 minutes, and then you can tell me all about your job?”

          And of course you can always gush here. :)

    • http://sweetandwildchild.blogspot.com Jackie

      gush away! Wedding details are the best! If we were in the same area, I’d take you out for a drink and listen to as much gushing as you wanted. so exciting!!!

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        Aw, thanks :)

    • Beth

      Yay! Good on you for taking on everything yourself! I also don’t really have a group supporting/helping me here, but I’m lucky that my fiance has been pretty involved (after I explained to him that I was going to lose my mind if he didn’t take on some of the planning), so there are a lot of high fives in our house. It can be overwhelming, but also so rewarding when you realize you just found the MOST AWESOME vendor to work with. You did that. All by yourself.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        YES EXACTLY.

        And my fiance has been super supportive, especially after he finally understood that I didn’t care that he didn’t have an opinion about, you know, linens, just that he needed to make one up if I was asking him because I needed SOMEONE to help me narrow down my options.

        Huzzah for #supportive fiances LOL!

    • http://becomingbrown.wordpress.com Jennifer Lyn

      Hooray September weddings! We were married on the 25th in 2011 so it will be our second anniversary around then.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        YAY! Early congrats :)

      • Aileen

        Yes! 9/22/12 here. :)

    • Moe

      ^ 5 to you on all of your DIYing! My mom is in assisted living and is in her early 80s with mild dementia. My sister didn’t come to my wedding at all (long story) and I didn’t miss her. Early on I had a good cry about doing a lot of things myself and then I moved on.

      I kind of liked that I didn’t have to hear any dissenting opinions. I was in control of just about everything. When I needed to gush to someone I had my co-workers and even my day-of coordinator. I can’t wait to see the pics/post from you! Plan on!

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        It’s sort of like, super liberating. And thanks!!

    • KB

      I totally feel you as well – there’s a weird plug sometimes on the gushing, the pressure to be totally chill, lest you sound like a Bridezilla or “too excited” about the wedding. But just like there are some people who shouldn’t be forced to be excited, we shouldn’t be shamed for being excited :-) You gush girl and go on with your bad self here!!!

      P.S. I have totally done that with my fiance – been like, “Here are your options, but please pick Option A because I want to do that” and “Here are your options, I have no opinion, please pick one to make my life easier for the love of God!”

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        YES. Yes, this exactly.

        THANK YOU!!!

  • BT

    I am 37 days out from our wedding (oh holy crap, when did that happen…?) and I am starting to have mini-panic attacks and crazy-bride moments. My parents came to visit last weekend (first time since we got engaged 5 months ago) and it was a full weekend of having to explain and justify every. single. decision that my fiance and I have spent the last 5 months making. I know they are just trying to wrap their brains around it and make sure we’re not forgetting anything, but wow. As if making a decision the first time wasn’t hard enough?

    I had one moment where we were at lunch and they brought up some totally useless suggestion about photography (which I have A LOT of experience with) and I kind of lost it. It was like another person was talking. As the words came out of my mouth I knew how obnoxious I sounded and I knew that the people sitting at the next table over were thinking, “Whoa, crazy bride over here.” But I couldn’t stop because WHY MUST YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING? Awful. My fiance told me later that it really amused him because it did not sound like me at all. Oy.

    I’m ready to just be married already.

    • KE

      Ooh, the last month was totally the month when all the family who hadn’t been involved in planning decided to start offering suggestions and (it felt) second guessing every single carefully planned decision I made. I feel you.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Same here. The first 4 weeks and the last 4 weeks (after RSVPs were due in) were the only parts of wedding planning that were bad-emotional/hard.

    • EBASS

      I’m 37 days out too! Holy crap does this last 5 weeks get to you! All I can say is that I feel you BT. I feel so bad that I can’t emphasize with anyone that is so happy over this detail or that detail. All I feel like is: god, get this event over with! I just want to be married and live our lives together! It’s almost like I feel a little guilty for not being super excited.. and a little worried that I’m not going to enjoy it :/

      • BT

        Yay 5/26 brides! I finally now understand why people get wedding planners. I was okay with handling all the big stuff (until my parents decided to question it), but trying to coordinate all these little details and make a coherent day-of schedule and make sure everything is where it needs to be. Ugh. I’m just ready to show up and have whatever happens happen. And then be married.

        • EBASS

          yes, the details are the parts that are overwhelming! i’ts like, how am i going to remember EVERYTHING? and plan it all, and do it all? my bridesmaids and mother are all far away, so i don’t feel the same sort of support that i feel like others get :/ On top of this, we’re apartment searching AND (due to extraneous circumstances) trying to find both a DJ and an officiant still. agh!

          • BT

            Good luck with everything!

      • KE

        I worried about being too stressed to enjoy it, too. But then I had a light bulb go off about 10 days out, and was uncharacteristically blissed out through the wedding (except for a period of nerves pre-ceremony).

        I also stopped responding to wedding-related emails and voicemails that were an emotional drain, and that made a biiiiig difference in my sanity. Anything that started “What if instead…” or “Why do I have to…” was promptly deleted from my inbox and brain.

  • http://mydnyht.wordpress.com Aurora

    My fiancee was supposed to take the civil service exam tomorrow, but it was postponed because of all the Boston stuff. I’m kind of bummed because I’ve been praying daily that she’ll do well and now I have to wait *even longer* to see how she does. Oh well.

    I just made spinach noodle kugel and asparagus with tomato and tarragon quiche from The Veganomicon. The kugel was excellent and the quiche (which I’m saving for dinner tonite with my fiancee) smells sooo. gooood. Can’t wait to eat it!

  • http://www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

    I don’t even have anything specific to share but I like this concept and happy hour camaraderie so much I wanted to post.

    *fin*

  • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

    Ah man, love this today. So today is my 3rd day at my fabu new job (career path, baby!), it marks about my 4th week in the house we just bought and biggest of all it means that in 8 days my teeny, tiny baby DUNCAN TURNS 2! Holy. Crap.

    • meg

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUNCAN.

      (Sara was the first person who ever wrote for APW about calling off her wedding… which lead to her having an awesome baby y’all!)

  • Sabee

    Open threads?! Awesome idea!
    Trying to start a gratitude journal, because I’ve been feeling anxious about the future and need to keep things in perspective. Plus….this week was from hell. Seriously. My heart hurts.
    Right now, I’m thankful for Skype chats, homemade apple coffee cake, and the fact that I have my orientation session for my college program on Thursday.
    I got accepted to the Health Information Technology program I wanted! (I had like…a 5% chance of getting in, so I am SUPER excited.) Seriously, I’m not sure I was this excited when I got into college the first time around. But I’m also worried. I’m basically starting over from scratch with this whole higher education thing, and given how College Version 1.0 went (needy relationship, called off engagement, ugly breakup, heavy drinking, serious depression and all around disaster) I’m nervous. As in, I’m losing sleep over it.
    Also, I’m curious if there’s anyone out there who lives near by. I live just north of Jackson, MS. Never seem to hear from any one remotely close to my decidedly un-urban location.

    • Aileen

      Love the idea of a gratitude journal!

    • Jessica

      Congrats on getting into your grad program! That is great news. Best wishes to you… and sadly I am nowhere near Jackson, MS.

  • Laura

    I”ll be making invitations this weekend with my FH and mom. I’ve been feeling a little behind in planning and progress recently, so if we can manage to get the invitations completely finished that would really make me feel better. I ran out to two post offices over lunch looking for the stamps I want for the reply envelopes. Neither one had them, so when I got to my desk I started calling through all the post offices near my house. I really meant to decide on stamps a few weeks ago and just order them online, but I didn’t. Luckily I found a PO that has them near home, so I’ll be running out tomorrow morning to pick them up.

    Also had complications all week with the printing company that was going to print the invites for me, so I’ll be running out to Staples tomorrow as well and hoping they don’t charge me an arm and a leg for what I need.

  • Meg

    Thanks so much for doing this, Meg. (This weirdly feels like writing to myself; I know lots of Megans but no other Megs.) I live in the Bay Area now but spent a year living in the Back Bay of Boston. It’s a place I love and remember very fondly. I still have many friends in Boston, and all of this has felt surprisingly personal. Friday “Happy Hour” is a very welcome distraction. Are there any plans for APW Book Club/Meet-Ups in the future? Though I rarely comment, I started reading APW when it was a much smaller community and miss those aspects of it.

  • Not Sarah

    APW ladies in Seattle? Anyone want to do a non-book related meetup on a Friday night?

    Er, adding an email address so I can coordinate: notsarah at comcast do net will resolve to my gmail :)

    • Katie

      Um, absolutely!

      • Not Sarah

        I edited my message with my email address after you posted, so here’s to hoping you have checked the notify box.

        My email is notsarah at comcast dot net, which will resolve to my gmail.

        Yay!

        • Katie

          Emailed you!

    • Jennie

      I’m in.

    • Rebecca

      Yay! Totally in…especially if I’m not coordinating!

    • Louise

      I would love to!

      • Not Sarah

        Email me! We are organizing something for Friday, May 3rd! notsarah at comcast do net

  • Kristin

    I asked the universe for this a couple weeks ago (basically, a way to communicate with all of you wonderful and beautiful people), and BAM open thread, just like that! See, I’ll be moving to DC (from Wisconsin) in June, and I’m a little out of my league. Anyone have an apartment/condo/house they are trying to rent? Also, anyone just want to hang out? (Because I’m going to count anyone who hangs out on APW as my people, sight unseen). If we could hang out at a Packers/Brewers/Badgers bar, that would be best ;)

    • EBASS

      Awesome! DC is such a great place to live! I lived there for two years during grad school. First off, do you want to live in DC proper or in VA or MD? I only lived in DC proper. I was in Crestwood (mile north of Columbia heights metro) and it was nice but not close to the metro. But there was a great bar called the red derby that was my fave :) I highly suggest looking in Mt Pleasant or Columbia Heights. I lived there my second year. It is adorable, close to the main bar areas, close to a metro and multiple bus lines, and close to the zoo! It’s more affordable than the posher areas, but still expect DC prices. Also, you can look into group houses on Craigslist. These are often houses of 4 or 5 people who work in non profits or on the hill, etc. good luck with your search and you’ll super love it!

    • Rebekah

      Go Packers! I live in the Bay Area now and am contemplating getting tickets to the season opener. There’s a Packers bar in San Jose, but I sadly don’t know about DC. Maybe ask the WI senator’s office for suggestions ;)

      • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

        Be sure to ask Tammy…Ron is useless.

    • Jessica

      Congrats on moving to DC! It’s a really fun place to live. I’m a fellow Midwesterner (Illinois) who was a DC transplant for 6 years, although now I’m back in Illinois for grad school. Glad to chat with you more about the whole where to live / housing search stuff, but I’d second Columbia Heights or Crestwood as places to live. Georgia-Avenue-Petworth too, with the caveat that I’d stay closer to the metro in that neighborhood.

      Hmmm…. I lived at The Yorkshire apartments in Columbia Heights for a while – http://www.flickr.com/photos/37640374@N04/4481086728/. I think the rent’s gone up quite a bit since I lived there. But it was a good starter place if you overlook a few things.

      I’d say get on Craig’s List too or Air BnB – https://www.airbnb.com/ – maybe even find a sublease or 3-month thing til you get to know the neighborhoods you like. I did that the first 6 months in the city. I 2nd the group house thing, that worked out really well for me for 2+ years and was definitely the most affordable option.

    • Kristin

      Oh, my gosh you guys are all amazing. Columbia Heights is a great suggestion. I’ll be working in Bethesda/Rockville, so I’ve mostly been looking close to that end of the Red line. Craigslist has a lot of places, but oh I just hate apartment hunting so so much.

      • MDBethann

        Rockville is pretty nice and affordable. The catch with that section of the Red Line is that it can be on the pricier side – Montgomery Co. and upper Northwest DC aren’t exactly cheap. That said, Montgomery Co. is starting to come out of the housing bubble so I don’t know what the rental market will look like. The good news is that they are really trying to build more housing options near Metro stations and/or run shuttles from complexes or Ride-On (County) buses service Metro stations as well. I lived in Gaithersburg & Germantown for 7 years but now live closer to Baltimore.

        I have a number of colleagues who live in Grover Park (right above Georgetown but below Tenleytown & next to Cleveland Park) and they seem to really love it there. Lots of 20 & 30 somethings. However, it isn’t really Metro-accessible; people seem to take the bus from there. But if you’re willing to take the bus, you could get to Tenleytown or DuPont Circle or Cleveland Park and then “reverse commute” up. Another option would be to take a bus from Columbia Heights to either VanNess or Adams Morgan & catch the Metro (a friend’s husband does the reverse to get to the Green Line & his job @ UMD College Park).

        Best of luck on the apartment hunt and welcome to the DC area!

      • Jessica

        Ok it’s Jessica again. If you’re working in Bethesda/Rockville, but still want to live in DC & have an easy commute, I’d recommend Woodley Park, Cleveland Park or Tenleytown. Both are sleepier than Columbia Heights, and feel less urban, but they both still have restaurants & coffee shops. Tenleytown has a grocery store so that’s convenient. Woodley Park and Cleveland Park are relatively quick for getting to Dupont or downtown DC (e.g. fun times at night).

        Columbia Heights is still not a bad commute to Rockville/Bethesda, though… Good luck!

  • http://katemuehe.com/blog Kate

    My week in my wedding planning:

    My wedding dress arrived! Love.

    My save the dates arrived! Like.

    My fiance did not finish getting addresses for some guests. Hmm. Don’t Like.

    In an effort to be “that super hip, chill DIY bride” I was painting the inside of recycled glass with enamel paint (yes, I was really). I accidentally spilled a small jar of the paint which promptly COVERED my engagement ring in dark blue, plastic-esque paint (read: impossible to get off). Did I mention the part where the ring is his great-aunt’s engagement/wedding ring from her 1943 wedding? Vomit.

    Here’s to a better week in wedding planning next week [raises glass].

    • http://pinterest.com/katerees711/ kate

      oh crap. I nearly vomited with you. I hope that you find something that makes it possible to get off! ughhhh

      I had a nightmare last night that I lost my engagement ring.

      • http://katemuehe.com/blog Kate

        Me, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, a fingernail brush, and a good ugly cry with heaving and snot bubbles. But it’s the cleanest that ring has been in 70 years!

    • Another Meg

      According to the googles you can use enamel thinner or brake fluid (!), “best applied with a cloth” if that helps at all.

      Hugs and lots of boxes of wine.

  • http://pinterest.com/katerees711/ kate

    So I really want to read all of these comments and hopefully will soon. This weekend is a very exciting and absolutely overwhelming weekend. WE ARE MOVING! Just a couple of miles away from where we are now but a new town a new neighborhood. I am excited for this new place and a new page for us.

    It’s been a very long, stressful time coming. With a horrible neighbor driving us away, stress of that (of feeling guilty that someone elses rude behavior makes us UNHAPPY in OUR HOME/of the hatred of him in general) – stress of finding a new place – stress about fear that our next neighborhood might be just as annoying – stress that this is our house together not my house that he moved into….

    In the end it will be good, particularly to let go of all that crap.

  • http://mydnyht.wordpress.com Aurora

    I’m from the Boston area (but not in Boston currently, thank God), and I saw this on Facebook and wanted to share. Warning: NSFW.

    http://www.happyplace.com/23282/man-being-interviewed-about-boston-bombers-forgot-to-hide-his-huge-pink-penis-shaped-water-bottle

    • Shiri

      This is awesome. Really, really awesome.

  • Breck

    I’m so excited to read all of these comments–the APW community is amazing! I’ve only gotten about halfway through the first page (pesky work, and such), so I’m not sure if anyone has suggested this (or would even be interested), but would anyone like to get an in-real-life happy hour group together? I just moved to the East Bay and don’t really know anyone in the area, and I would love to chat with some of the smart and hilarious woman whose comments I read everyday. I’d be happy to organize if people were interested.

    • MarieKD

      Yes! May I second this? I moved to the East Bay recently and I would love to meet up with some APWer’s. This community has been a source of comfort for me all year and I’d love to go to an in-real-life happy hour with all of you!

      • Meg

        I also live in the East Bay and would love to meet more APW people.

        • Breck

          Yay! If you’re in the SF-Bay Area and are interested in some kind of monthly meet up (I’m thinking cocktails because Friday afternoon, duh), email me at breck {at} cbcondimentco {dot} com.

          • Caroline

            I’d love a meetup. Emailed you Breck. Also, I’m thinking maybe an ice cream sundae party would be fun. I could totally host an ice cream sundae potluck at my place.

          • MarieKD

            Emailed you! An ice cream sundae party sounds great.

  • Beth

    Having a small dress crisis. I picked up my dress (yay!) and love it. It’s strapless and, while it’s not going to fall off, it does seem to slip down just a bit lower than I’d like after a few minutes. The seamstress recommended trying it on w/ a strapless bra, so I got home and did that and…it still slips. Have any of you used that fashion tape stuff? Does it really work? Should I be trying to find more of a strapless bustier type thing?

    Additionally, I’m kind of pissed at the seamstress because my dress has two layers and she hemmed the top layer so that it ended up being slightly shorter than the bottom layer, but only in some parts. And now I feel like the dress is too short by maybe 1/2″-1″. Not huge, but enough to make me have to go out and buy different shoes (I was already wearing flats, so I can’t make myself much shorter to fix this). Sigh.

    In better news, it’s Friday and the weather is beautiful and I’m going to the flower market tomorrow to do a bouquet test run and that sounds fun! I also just got the best haircut I’ve had in ages (I have curly hair so this is hard). Woot!

    • Moe

      My bridesmaid used that tape on her strapless dress. Somehow the tape only stuck to her boobs and the dress still slipped. So there were times she had this weird wrinkly strip of skin that was covered by clear tape.

      Get the dress fixed.

      My dress was six inches too long. It puddled around my feet and there was no time to have it altered professionally because I received it 24 hours before the wedding. (The story is long and full of high-intensity drama that made me break out in hives)

      Looking back I wish I had just cut the dress with scissors before I walked down the aisle.

    • Brytani

      Get thee some body glue. It’s what beauty pageant girls use to keep everything in place.

    • KE

      Bustiers really push your boobs up and out, so that might fix the situation. I had the same problem but in reverse once– had alterations done wearing a strapless bra, then tried to wear the dress with a bustier and couldn’t zip it.

      But if you have time, go back to the seamstress and have it taken in. You shouldn’t have to pay extra for this; she didn’t do her job correctly in the first place.

      • http://becomingbrown.wordpress.com Jennifer Lyn

        Exactly this. Any seamstress worth her actual salt will FIX the dress for you. If it doesn’t fit properly, it’s not you, and you paid her for a service so she needs to follow through.

    • Martha

      You need a better seamstress! My dress is strapless too, but it’s tightened at the waist instead of the bus line to avoid falling down. I never would have thought to do there, but it worked! (caveat, my dress is a ballgown shape with a tiny waist that poofs out, so I don’t know if that has something to do with it).

    • Darcy

      Former theatre seamstress here. Get the waist of the dress fixed. If the waist actually sits at your waist the dress is less likely to shift down. One way to do this is to have elastic sewn in at the side seams at the waist that meet at your centre back with hooks and eyes basically creating a seatbelt.

      • KE

        You know what I’d really like to see on APW? A guide to alterations written by a seamstress (or an interview with one). It’s so intimidating to give someone the most important dress of your life and hundreds of dollars and hope it works out. I’m pretty assertive and even I was second guessing my own feelings. Lots of “Is it supposed to fit like this?” “Yes.” “Oh… ok…” Luckily my seamstress knew what she was doing and the dress fit perfectly, but I wish I’d been more informed going in.

      • MDBethann

        Not a seamstress, but my dress had elastic bands inside of it that hooked together in the back to hold me in place and my strapless ballgown did. not. move. the entire day last year. I danced, got hot & sweaty and nothing moved all day.

  • La

    Please know that my thoughts are with Boston and the USA at the moment. We are glued to screens here in New Zealand too. Much love xx.

    These two videos from New Zealand’s parliament as it passed through marriage equality sum up my week:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW4DXOAXF8U (The Bill passing, followed by Parliament singing Pokarekare Ana together, a Maori love song)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCDEiaoEP2U (A little bit of humour).

  • Brytani

    Well, in December, my husband and I decided it was the right time for him to leave the military. If he re-enlisted, it would get harder and harder to leave and pursue a life that we can control. So even though I’m still in grad school and only working part-time, we made a gamble that we would do what (will be) best for the team, no matter how uncomfortable we had to be. I started looking for something full-time and he started thinking about his education and the possibilities for a career he could be passionate about.

    I haven’t landed a job to keep us as comfortable as we have been in the last year, but we’re very lucky to have benefits from his service that will sustain us until I can. Meanwhile, he’s had time to figure out what he really wants and I’m so happy when I come home to find him researching and enjoying his studies–talking all the time about what he wants from his career. He’s…giddy. There’s no other word for it.

    I hate that the job search is so much harder for me than I thought, but I’ve also been able to grow tremendously in my position. I’m a public librarian and though I work in a reference position, I’ve been able to take over and enhance many of our youth services, which is what I love most. This summer, I take over teen programs completely. It’s a huge challenge because our teen services have never, ever been well-used or attended and our director has been thinking about cutting their programs for the year. As scary as it is to take over something that’s notoriously unsuccessful, I’m so excited for the opportunity to change that. I dream about the task at hand. All the time. Seriously.

    I think if someone looked in on our lives, they might be concerned. We’re living on a combination of unemployment, the GI bill, and my part-time earnings and everyone keeps looking at me like I should be worried. Somehow I’m not. We’ve never been happier.

    • Aileen

      I don’t really have anything productive to say…except GO LIBRARIANS! I’m almost done earning my MLIS!

      • Remy

        Is it worth it? (You, too, Brytani, and any other librarians lurking.) I want that youth services job, but the economy is so depressing and public library applications around here take like 2-3 years to grind through the list. With job prospects so grim, sometimes I think I made a $30k mistake. (That’d be my student loan total for the past 2 years of MLIS; I now have most of it saved up to repay immediately after graduation.)

        • Aileen

          Well, I haven’t started job searching yet. Ask me in about 8 months. What I do know is that I’ve wanted to be a librarian since I was in middle school, and unless I can get paid to read books all day, it’s the only thing that will do.

          • MDBethann

            Book reviewer. That’s what my sister does. She works for The Horn Book Magazine as an assistant editor and gets paid to review young adult books, children’s books, and picture books. The pay isn’t great, but you should see her library (my sis-in-law’s kids & my cousins’ kids have oodles of free books from her & I have some too).

        • http://Weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

          MLSer here. I moved away from my dream city for my job ( I wrote about it for APW a while back, Kindling Bravery) and I will tell you, finding the right library job is so, so worth it. I’m genuinely happy to go to work every day and I’m confident about my career long-term. Im not gonna lie, my job hunt was very depressing until I let go and gave up trying to stay where I lived. But landing the right job? With people I like? Worth it. My advice is to let go and just set yourself to applying for x number of jobs per week, as in, if your city runs out of jobs for you to apply to, branch out further. Libgig was super helpful for me in my search, btw. Break a leg!

        • Brytani

          I’m not in my dream job yet but even so…hells yeah. I love, love, love my work. I don’t have a great boss, but even considering that, I’m never stressed when I go home. Actually, I’m really inspired by my job. It really does depend on what fulfills you, though. I love it when I high-five boys for reading “girl books” and teach parents about early literacy activities. It’s the best to me. Maybe you could intern somewhere to find out if it’s really for you?

          Here’s something you may not know. There’s a new-ish government program providing incentive for public service work. Basically if you work full-time anywhere in public service, you’re eligible to pay only income-based payments and then after ten years, your loans are forgiven. Public library service definitely qualifies for that.

  • Moe

    …and finally, shameless sharing of my wedding photos from last weekend: http://www.flickr.com/photos/92741366@N06

    • KE

      Beautiful! You look radiant.

    • Lauren

      I totally creeped. You are stunning! The leopard cardigan! I swoon.

    • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

      Gorgeous! Love that cardigan!

    • KEA1

      OMG–seconded (uh, fifth’ed by now, I suppose??) on how stunning you are and how happy you look and how beautiful everything is. Best wishes for an even more beautiful life together!

  • http://threlkelded.net Emily

    I have nothing to add except this photo of my cats napping:

    http://twitter.com/threlkelded/status/325278103041609728/photo/1

    • Moe

      My dog does this too, for about 20 hours a day. What a life.

  • http://becomingbrown.wordpress.com Jennifer Lyn

    Hm. It has been a rough week. I went home for a week without my husband (my first trip without him), and ended up coming back in pretty bad shape emotionally. I feel like we’re starting over in our marriage in some ways because I lost a bunch of the confidence we had finally found for me over the year we’d been married.

    But in positive things, I finished the bookwork for my personal training program. All I have left to do is the CPR certification and the final exam. And then I can look around for jobs as a personal trainer/get certified to be an aqua fitness instructor.

    And I’m super shy. I created the APW Atlanta facebook group, but if any of ya’ll want to meet up or plan stuff PLEASE do so. I would love to meet more locals, but as I said, I’m shy.

  • YetAnotherMegan

    Can I just say how wonderful it is to take a break from the news and turn on Golden Girls? Such a great group of women who were totally 80s/early 90s and yet ahead of their time.

  • Jessica

    Hubby told me the other day that although we’re both not where we want to be in our careers, he has confidence he will get there one day (in 10 years or so, but it’s out there). Then he said, he worries I never will and it’s not because I can’t, but because I have no goal. It was so sad to hear it from someone so close, but he’s totally right. I’m 5 years out of graduate school and in my 2nd job. I left the first after 18 months, because it was driving me to drink (literally) from the boredom and was so excited to find a job with an amazing commute, WAY better pay and benefits and the potential to work with smart people. Almost 4 years at this new job and although those three things are still true, I’m BORED. My skills and time are not being utilized here, but I can’t bring myself to leave, because I’m convinced any other job in my field will be similar. Plus, I’m a planner and I have a lot of sick time saved up here for potential baby-making to start in 2014. Oh and did I mention I get every other Friday off, and will earn 4 weeks vacation very soon. I also am in a loan program which if I stay here (or any where in the public sector) my loans will be paid off free and clear. This program also allows me to pay a fraction of what I should be paying, because it’s based on my income.

    I told the hubby I’m going to stick it out in my field (at current job or elsewhere) for at least the next 6 years and then allow myself a reset. Any ideas on how to keep myself entertained/prevent wailing sadness from having to suck it up? I think 37 is still pretty young for a reset, right?

    • Rebekah

      With all that time off from work you have saved up, what do you want to do with it? Go to an African nation and provide aid in some way? Help with local community arts? Master the art of French pastries? Get a group together to organize a school library or paint classrooms?

      I’d say spend the time doing what excites you. If that’s helping others, awesome. If that’s crafting and selling it online, awesome too. If that’s writing (centaur smut, as noted above?), super cool. We’re behind you.

      • Jessica

        Clearly, I need to figure out what my non-work passion is too, besides cleaning. :(

        These are all super good ideas though to get me started. Thanks!

    • Heather

      I feel like I will get bored in any job that I do. I just don’t think that I have a work passion. That said, there are parts of my job that I like better than others, so when I get really bored I focus on streamlining/innovating the parts that I like doing. I work at a university that offers free IT classes to staff. I’ve taken a few series that have helped me learn new skills that I can use for my job. I get very excited about efficiency, and I have implemented several new procedures that will make the job easier for everyone down the line, which it turns out people like. I’m not sure what kind of freedom you have to make your own work, but if you can add to your job responsibilities or innovate in ways that you find exciting you might feel better about what you’re doing and make yourself indispensable to your company.

      Also, it’s ok to not have huge career aspirations. I quit grad school after I got my Master’s degree and I got a lot of flack about wasting my talent, but it was making me miserable. If you want to climb higher that’s great and you should pursue your dreams! But it’s ok for a job to just be a job too (as long as it’s not making you miserable and bored, that would be the worst combo). My partner is in his dream job, loves going to work, staying late, and thinking about his research all the time. I. Would. Die. if I had his job.

      I hope this is a bit helpful, and that everything works out for you! I think 37 is fine for a reset :)

      • Jessica

        Thank you so much for this! I have secretly started to wonder maybe I don’t have a work passion too. My all-time favorite job was being the women’s shoe department cashier at Nordstroms. I try to think about what I loved about it and it’s that every day was different, because new customers would come in and there would be different time-sensitive problems you have to fix. I wish there were more professional jobs that were not computer/desk-based because I really need to meet/talk to people to get me through my day. My absolute least favorite days is when there are NO meetings and I can spend the entire day in my cube by myself.

        You’re also awesome for being willing to quit grad school, because it’s a really hard decision especially if you know it’s not because you can’t do it, but because you don’t want to do it. I’ve definitely decided no more school for me.

        • http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com lady brett

          i just want to second the idea that there’s nothing wrong with not having big aspirations.

          i have never in my life aspired to anything but being generally happy; it took me a long time to get through the cultural bullshit that this is not good enough – that only people who are worthless don’t have big aspirations. i have so little patience for the idea that career=life. anyhow, depending on your financials you might need a job, and it would be ideal for it to be better rather than worse, but you don’t *have to* like it. i have the best job i could imagine for myself, and i often still hate it, because working is not what i love.

          i suppose what i’m saying is: solidarity, and best of luck.

          • Remy

            That sounds nice. :) I am working on the happiness part.

        • Brenda

          It’s not really clear what field you’re in, but can I suggest looking into higher education? If you’re an adminy-organizey-customer service sort of person, there are lots of professional positions in university administration that involve lots of daily contact with students, which provides the kind of customer service and varied interactions it sounds like you like, at a higher level of experience and pay then working in a shop.

          I work in the Careers office of a university and I love talking to and helping students, but there’s also a good amount of computery researchy stuff.

          Edited to say that I also second the idea that it’s totally okay to not be a work passion person. I’m not – I like my job, but it’s just my job, it’s what I do to earn money so I can live the rest of my life. We don’t all need to have a passion for work, as long as we can find something we like enough that pays the bills, it’s okay for it not to be the defining feature of your life.

  • Jess

    Any Brooklyn/NYC ladies (or gents) want to do an APW meetup? I’d love to hang out with some of you awesome commenters.

    If there’s any interest, I’ll throw my email address up in a reply comment!

    • Jessica

      I’m not an NYC lady yet, but I will be right after Memorial Day & would love to meet up! On that note, I welcome any tips from New Yorkers to moving-to-NYC-first-timers. I’m SO excited.

      • Jess

        Ha. nice name! Someone else reading this conversation is gonna think I’m talking to myself.

        Hit me up here:
        imafry30 at aim dot com

        And I’ll get you my real (has my last name in it so I don’t wanna post it on the interwebs) email address!

        • Jessica

          You too! I just emailed you – my email also has my last name hence why I didn’t want to put it on the inter webs either.

  • Rachel

    Would you like to share some joy?

    Here in New Zealand, we passed Marriage Equality law by a 7 to 4 ratio this week

    Watch us “Unlock the doors!” in the link on this page (scroll down).

    Watch a speech in support (spoken pretty much off the cuff).

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/8572941/NZs-big-gay-rainbow-MP-does-his-90-year-old-mum-from-Matamata-proud

    And the singing when it passed – “Unlock the doors”
    http://publicaddress.net/hardnews/the-treasure-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow/

  • Remy

    Can I get some support around grad school, and milestones? I turned in my thesis-equivalent project Sunday, got feedback this week, and I passed. But I am so burnt out — and still working on some final papers/projects for the other classes in this final semester — that I am finding it hard to care at all. (Also, I’m trying really hard not to be butthurt about the criticism, since it wasn’t enough to fail me. But my feelings are hurt, and I feel silly because of that.) Once I graduate… OMG what do I do next? I don’t have the energy to put into a job search. (I’m employed now, so that’s not an immediate concern, at least.)

    How do I do this adult thing?

    • Caroline

      Hey, congrats on passing your thesis-equivalent project! That’s so exciting.

      Ugg, I so get you on not having the energy from school for a job search. I applied to 15 internships for this summer, and haven’t heard back from most of them. It’s been long enough since the deadline that there’s only one or two I’m still hopeful about. I do not have the energy to search for anything else right now, I’m struggling to get the energy to care about turning my homework in. I don’t have enough of a job for the summer, so would need a summer job if I don’t get this internship, but I just can’t even start.

      So not much advice on the adult thing. Just a lot of commiseration. Being an adult is HARD. (Way less terrifying/traumatic/helpless than being a kid, but also way more confusing and more work.)

      • Remy

        Thanks. It is definitely a lot of work to be a grownup.

        That is the phase of job search I dislike so much! My school’s internship program is going to start being explicit to hiring sites that students rely on application feedback to register for courses, plan finances, etc., so they need to let everyone know when the position is filled or if they reject an application. Rather than letting us hang out in purgatory. Sometimes employers don’t have it together on their side, and end up making a decision later than they said they would. So I hope that you hear some good news soon!

    • Jess

      As someone who was just accepted into grad school last month, I’m sending some good thoughts your way. I have no experience like that to speak from (…yet….ahhhhhhh) but I totally get what you mean about criticism. So instead, I’ll focus on the congrats! Cause, yay!! You did it!!

      :)

    • kc

      Congratulations and tiny cocktail umbrellas to you! That is fantastic! Also good, albeit painful in the actual, that they thought it was worth giving you feedback! (and, duh, worth passing you; but they kind of *have* to either pass or fail you, and they do not have to give feedback, so they thought it was worth their time to put the work in, yes? Unless the feedback was exclusively, I don’t know, kitten sketches and bad jokes?)

      Most likely, once you graduate, you may have to breathe for a little while and knit or watch grass grow or feed ducks or something, but burnout will go away and at least *some* energy will come back (especially with self-care like sleep, exercise, etc.). You can set goals (this many applications per week); you can give yourself vacations from those goals; you can find out what works for you. (hint: many times, time management and motivational strategies that work for you in school also work in finding a job and also work when freelancing and also work when… you get the gist. You already know stuff about yourself from wading through school; you are already partly ahead of the game! You just need to figure out how to apply those skills and that knowledge, which is way easier than your thesis-equivalent project, I bet. :-) )

      Good luck to you!

    • Rebecca

      Hooray!!!! You are almost done, and that is awesome! Also, unless your GPA is vitally important to your future (like, you for some reason want to do more school…), you just need to get the rest of it done. Take an evening off (a whole day, if you can), dive back in, and get’r’done.

      Criticism is hard, especially when it is your -last thing ever- and you really want it to be perfect. Hopefully when things are not quite so fresh you’ll be able to feel proud of what you achieved. I just finished my thesis/ Master’s program in December, and I’m feeling much more kindly towards my project now that we’ve had some time off.

      I am finding the adult thing goes okay if I try to do one adult thing a week or so. On good weeks I sometimes accomplish multiple adult things! Also, you don’t have to be employed the instant you graduate. (Hey, you’re already employed!). Waiting a week (heck, a month or two) after you graduate to start job hunting will probably not make an enormous difference on your total life outcome, so if you need a break, take a break! You know, in case you needed permission from a total stranger on the internet or something.

  • http://www.thedaviesdealings.blogspot.com Kara

    American, (not from Boston, never been to Boston, never been anywhere remotely near Boston, unless you count flying through Dulles on my way to upstate NY), married to an Aussie, living in Australia, working on getting Aussie citizenship.

    I’ve been avoiding the saga of Boston all week. No tv in our house, except for the Aussie/Kiwi rugby match last night, no newspapers (we don’t read them), no nothing except what I’ve seen on MSN. I only heard about the Texas fertilizer explosion via the interwebz while checking my email yesterday. And just today I went past an accident on the major intersection near my house! Glass everywhere, fire trucks and an ambulance on scene, a person (looked like a lady wearing shorts from what I could see) lying on the ground receiving emergency medical aid. She wasn’t covered up with a sheet so I knew she wasn’t dead.

    It’s my habit to pray a quick “Godspeed!” when I hear sirens or see lights. I certainly wasn’t expecting to see this when I was coming home from an extra shift at work! I’ve no idea what happened, who hit who, if the people involved are ok, etc. All I know is it looked pretty bad from all the glass spread out across the intersection.

    There’s been too much death and destruction this week in my homeland and my new country. I’ve been staying up in our guest room/office/recording studio/scrapbooking studio where it is nice and sunny. I’ve been scrapbooking and catching up with my blogs. I’m distracting myself from the horror that’s going on around me. I’m eating an early dinner and might just go to bed soon. (Dinner being leftover honey soy beef and hokkien noodles with a freshly fried runny egg on top.) It’s also my Daddy’s birthday today. :)

    I’m dreading the 2nd of May, my daughter’s 4th due date. Had she lived to term, it would be her 4th birthday. Instead, this November 24th is her 5th birthday after she was stillborn at 17wks. Her baby brother’s 3rd birthday is a month later, his death date a measly 4 days after he was born. Too much turmoil to comprehend and manage in my noggin. I need distraction and something to make me happy. Back to my dinner and scrapbooking. *heavy sigh*

  • Amber
    • Ilora

      That was so cute that I actually teared up, and I usually don’t!

  • Laura

    So glad my laptop just decided to do its protracted update configuration reboot so I can read these 428+ comments (from my work desktop, which I could not be using any more productively right now, of course).