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APW Happy Hour


Thanksgiving edition

by Maddie Eisenhart, Digital Director & Style Editor

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Hey APW,

Maddie again! We’re kicking off the Thanksgiving week early with all-day Happy Hour (because we’re mostly pretending to work today right? Are the bosses even in the office?) We’ll see you next week, rested, relaxed, and full of leftover mashed potatoes.

And now, it’s your pre-Thanksgiving open thread, so hop on it.

Cheers,
Maddie

Highlights of APW This Week

What it means to be the child of a hoarder.

You guys, two sisters got married a few months apart, and it didn’t ruin things! Everything TLC ever told me is a lie.

Is there a bad time to say thank you?

Glitter-free holiday dresses! Because…velvet. And also? Velvet.

And to cap off family month, a reminder to let the stress go, and enjoy the holiday moments.

Link Roundup

Just in time for Thanksgiving, “I Love My Family But Loathe Their Politics.”

In adorable married news, America’s longest married couple recently celebrated their eighty-first anniversary.

Filed under rad: in 1963, this sixteen-year-old student asked some of the most famous contemporary authors if they intentionally include symbolism in their novels. They answered.

A rare look at the tunnels under San Francisco.

A custody battle raises questions about the rights of women.

We can’t help but promote this awesome recent post from Rachel: six questions to ask couples that aren’t “So, when are you getting married?” (You can send it straight to your nosy uncle, c/o APW.)

Thumbnail image by Gabriel Harber (APW Sponsor)

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

More in Happy Hour Recent Posts Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • http://writemeg.com/ Meg

    Definitely pretending at work today (and Friday, when I will quite possibly be the only person in my department. Cue writing clandestine wedding thank-you notes?). Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I’m looking forward to cuddling up for our first married holiday, eating slice-and-bake cinnamon rolls while watching the parade and later meandering over to my parents’ house with green bean casserole. Y’all enjoy!

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      I love how laid back your days sounds, meandering over later in the day. I always seem to be running behind for our scheduled arrival time at his mum’s – the in-laws, who I love, yay! – particularly for Thanksgiving. :)

    • Elisabeth S.

      slice and bake cinnamon rolls…please share this recipe! It sounds amazing.

  • Cbrown

    Ooh that’s a nice surprise. I’m UK based so sadly deprived of Turkey Day (and gathering fellow expats for a shindig isn’t viable this week, damn you, indy ref) but will be enjoying pie with some friends this weekend.

  • ANON FOR THIS ONE

    I read with interest the post on the two sisters getting married a few months apart. I’m so glad it worked out for the author and her sister. They are lucky to have that bond. I was in a similar situation. The older sister, engaged first and my younger sister decided it was an excellent idea to get married 10 weeks after me. She is 3 years younger and hadn’t even met her now husband when I got engaged. There was no need for the rush. Our relationship is massively complicated as she is an identical twin. I am the odd one out, I have always been on the outskirts. We have never bonded at all, much to my parents’ disappoinment. My entire life has been overshadowed by how special and rare these identical twins are. Everyone has always made a big deal about special their bond is – that I couldn’t be part of. I wanted to be the special one. Just this once. For the most important event in my life. Her wedding could not and cannot ruin my marriage but it certainly did ruin the run up to my wedding. It really wasn’t about the weddings though, the problems started 24 years earlier and have never been addressed. The dismissal of my feelings in relation to this by my mom and dad meant that they weren’t addressed now either. I suspect they never will be but I just wanted to post to say that sometimes problems that seem superficial that surface at wedding time go much deeper and I believe it’s ok to feel how you feel, even if others just don’t get it. That said, I’m delighted for the sisters in the post. It must be great to have that relationship.

    • Caro

      I’d be curious to read a full a post on your experience as an identical twin getting married so close to your sister!

      • ANON FOR THIS ONE

        Alas, I’m not a twin. I’m the elder sister of twins. A much less interesting story. I only mentioned that she is a twin to explain why we have such a strained relationship. I’m in the shadow of their cool relationship that everyone is understandably fascinated by. Hence why I wanted that wedding time to myself, to be the one people were interested in for once. Hopefully some twins will read this and write a post though. Sorry I can’t help personally!

        • Anon Too

          Still a very interesting story! Worthy of a full post!

        • Superfantastic

          I am an identical twin and I always HATED the fascination with us. Felt like a circus side show freak. I love my sister and we are very close now, but weren’t those super-tight twins growing up. No secret language here. No dressing alike, no dreams of marrying twins and living next door. I definitely get wanting that wedding time to just be your own. My parents used to joke about us having a double wedding to save money and it was my own personal nightmare. It turned out to be moot since she got married five years before I did. (Which presented its own issues – I was in a relationship at the time that was clearly not headed for marriage and didn’t deal well with all of the “your turn will come!” from relatives.)

          I’m sorry that your feelings weren’t taken seriously by your family. You certainly have every right to them. As much as I don’t love a lot of attention and was definitely not the “it’s MY DAY” bride, it was nice to be singled out (which sounds strange in the context of marriage, but here I mean as opposed to being lumped in with my sister – we were always “the girls” or “the twins”) to be the special one for a few days. Everyone who wants that should get it.

    • Jo

      I feel ya, I’m the third sister too. :) Issues arise at family gatherings that only I feel. Fist bump.

      • ANON FOR THIS ONE

        Fist bump gratefully received. In all my years I have never met another singleton sibling of twins. Nice to virtually meet you :)

    • Anon

      I just want to give you a hug because I feel you so, so much on this. I’m not in your exact situation but I have two sisters and have frequently felt overshadowed by them for much of my life. The kind of pain that this causes can be so crippling. I actually see a therapist because I struggle with self worth issues. I just happen to be very different, personality wise and otherwise, from them and it took me years in therapy to understand that that difference isn’t bad, it just is.
      I also was under the impression that now that I’m engaged this would finally be my time to be in the spotlight, and in some ways I do feel that way and in others it just feels like same old same old.
      I also really feel you on the part where you said your family dismisses your feelings and that your issues will probably never be addressed. I relate to that 100%. I actually suffered from depression in high school and it went completely unaddressed by my parents. Same with any issues happening between me and my sisters- their policy is to completely stay out of it. I completely understand how painful that can be.
      I think it’s helpful to remember that even sister relationships that are good (like in the post) have their fair share of struggles. Just like no marriage is perfect, no sister relationship is perfect. These relationships can be so loaded and so complex, so so much more so than friendships.
      Thanks to Stephanie for writing that post and opening the door for these conversations. This is clearly something that so many of us struggle with and need to talk about.

      • sara

        I am brand new, and man, do I get the twin challenge. I am the younger sister of twins (fraternal brothers) and now to make life more interesting, I just got engaged to a twin! (should I even bother to mention that I’m a Gemini to boot?). Fiance has a twin sister, who is he very close with, but we have had quite the roller coaster relationship over the past 8 years, a lot of jealously and competition as the other non-twin woman. Thankfully, after the engagement, we had a heart to heart about becoming sisters, so I’m feeling pretty positive about the wedding with full support of the twin. The downside is that now her and her BF are getting bombarded with ‘when’s YOUR wedding?’ questions…as if they are expected do to this milestone together as well. The previous poster is spot on with sibling relationships having their share of struggles.

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    Hey Yall! I just got to North Carolina last night for the holidays (sans fiancé unfortunately)! I did so good on the plane (I hate flying) and was so proud of myself! It feels like Christmas morning with all this pouring rain…coming from LA where it never rains. I hope everyone is having a lovely day and happy thanksgiving! :)

  • Jacki

    “(because we’re mostly pretending to work today right? Are the bosses even in the office?)” Ahhh I wish! Sadly – this is my busiest, craziest, most pull-my-hair-out day all month (billing day, paying 2 groups of subcontractors and trying to fill in for several people who are on vacation) so I’m saving this post and coming back later to read the links!

    • Stacie

      Me too! So busy! I work in the gift industry, so this is nutso time!

      (But not nutso enough to make me miss Happy Hour!) :)

  • jhs

    I have a question that I feel like you lovely commenters could help with! Even though I love my fiances family to death, I’ve always had a vague defensiveness when it comes to large family gatherings. Chalk it up to a combination of my family being far more fragmented (divorce, remarriage, spread out) than his (everyone lives around each other and they all do the same things for every holiday every year), and my distrust of being folded into a “group” of any sort. Anyway, now that we’re getting married this seems to be becoming more pronounced in me. I keep feeling like I need to take a stand about our independence as a couple and somehow prove that I will not automatically be folded into his family, like the cultural narrative suggests. Or that he will equally be part of my family as I am of his. This is all well and good to argue in an abstract way but it’s been making it really hurtful for him whenever actual family plans are concerned.

    Did anyone else feel this worry when they were engaged/dating/etc? That you want to make sure your family life doesn’t just become his family life? Thoughts?

    • Cbrown

      Yes! And what makes it harder is that they are lovely, lovely people!

    • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

      Although your comment is pretty vague, I’m wondering if its simply the way you’re approaching the whole topic – like you seem slightly combative. Why not look at it like just another situation you and your fiance need to hammer out? Discuss what to do for holidays, how to celebrate birthdays. Instead of worrying about what you DON’T want, plan for what you DO want. Unless I’ve completely missed your point?

    • TeaforTwo

      OMG yes. My fiance and I both come from big, closely-knit families, and our families are very important to both of us.

      However, my mother died years before I met him, and my father recently remarried and moved out of my childhood home and into a much smaller place. In contrast, my fiance’s family still live in the large home that he grew up in. His bedroom is still there, and his parents love to host. So we often go there for dinner, and often stay over, because it’s a comfortable place to be with a nice pool and a stocked wine cellar, etc. (She even has fluffy robes in all the guest bedrooms, WHAT?!)

      I love spending time with them, too, but I worry ALL THE TIME that because my family is “broken” without my mom around, his family (and accompanying maternal guilt trips) will “win.”

      I don’t actually have a solution to this, just a fist bump because it’s still very much something that we are working on.

      • jhs

        Yess exactly! It’s not that we are or aren’t spending enough time with anyone. It’s that because his whole family is together they’re gonna be considered the “real” family. So glad I’m not alone.

        • TeaforTwo

          For me, it’s concern about the future: when we have kids, I don’t want to them to think of my in-laws as their “real” family because it’s easier to stay there, etc.

          But then we do spend plenty of time with everyone – like you said, it’s not like there is someone we aren’t seeing. And when I think back to my childhood, I had special/favourite aunties on both sides of the family, even though one side was more functional than the other. So I try to be grateful that we have such expansive and loving clans. But I do absolutely know what you mean.

        • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

          Ah! This makes more sense. I don’t actually have a family of my own so technically my husbands family is the only family as well as the “real” one. It is hard when you don’t want everything to default be theirs. I manage this by telling my husband which holidays are ours, by compromising on how often we go see them, and I make my own family by planning things with my friends for holiday celebrations. And as for your husbands family being considered the “real” family, that’s actually totally up to you and your husband. You guys get to decide how family is viewed, treated and acknowledged in your relationship.

    • never.the.same

      I’m a little confused. Is the problem that you aren’t spending enough time with your family of origin and too much with his, or is it that you aren’t spending enough time together as just a couple?

    • Anon

      Yes Yes Yes. My family is teeny tiny. My husband’s family is huge. He is the oldest of 5, with parents who are also both one of 5. This means holidays at his house are full of siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins galore. They are a very close knit group who all live close together and celebrate all holidays together. As a result, holidays with his family are just plain more fun than with my family. His holidays last all day and often late into the night as they finish off the wine while having raucous sing-alongs. My family eats quickly and quietly at noon and everyone is home by 3. Because our families are separated by 2000 miles, every holiday means a choice.
      I was worried that my family holidays just wouldn’t be able to compete, and that my family would always “lose” to his family simply because they are bigger, louder, and more fun. However, that isn’t really how it has turned out at all. My husband has been great at switching off. Last year, we spent Christmas at my parents’ house. It was the first time he spent Christmas away from home. There was a huge snow storm so we ended up staying mostly at home doing puzzles and watching Christmas movies with my parents. I was worried that he would be bored, but just last night he recalled last Christmas and said it was one of the best Christmases ever! He said it was nice to have a break from all the big, loud celebrations and just get away and relax. He actually LIKED our quiet little Christmas. While we are going to his family this year, we will be with my family again next year. So far, we have carved out space far our family life to include both of our families, and have learned to appreciate them for their differences.

      • Kara Tanoue

        This sounds so much like my situation- my husband is the oldest of 6, and has a huge boisterous family. The first Christmas we spent with them was so overwhelming. However, things have worked out quite well because his family is Japanese, so New Years is actually a bigger family holiday than Christmas (that’s when the whole extended family gets together). So it often works to do Christmas with my family then fly out and do New Years with his.

    • Hey Nonny Nonymouse

      My FMIL, upon getting pushback from my fiance on her attempts to set the terms for holidays going forward: “Oh, I was just hoping that since she’s an only child, we could sort of adopt her family.” Um, no, we are not just going to become a satellite of your family! So yeah, definitely something we’re having to fight against, in an ongoing, don’t have it beat yet, kind of way.

      • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

        My mom thought she was going to do the same with my husband’s family, but they quietly declined and continued to have their lowkey, food for days, holiday celebrations. They’re happy to adjust to the Eve when Christmas my aunties and uncles falls on Christmas day but they still do their own thing, just without Matt on I.

      • jhs

        Oh my god, I worry so much about this as an only child! Also, FMIL was an only child too, but the type of only child who always wanted a huge family, and she says that’s one of the reasons she married my FFIL. Whereas I, while loving my fiances family, also love mine, however small and “broken” it is. Obviously no one is suggesting I somehow give up my family, but yeah, we are not a satellite.

        • jhs

          Follow up: So we spent Thanksgiving with my family this year (six people total) and FaceTimes with my fiances family (about 20) and his dad goes “Oh well next year, we can just stop the back and forth and bring all of your guys to our Thanksgiving.”

          I feel bad because I gave him SUCH a look.

    • Gina

      Unless there are serious issues with boundaries, I would stay away from “taking a stand” about your independence as a couple. Main reason being that your families probably both love you a lot, and are excited about having a new family member, and have nothing but good intentions. So regardless of how you phrase it, it could feel like you’re saying “I actually don’t want to be a part of your family” and could end up being hurtful. Instead, I would take it on a holiday-by-holiday (or event-by-event) basis. As long as you and your fiance are on the same page about how to navigate having two family groups instead of one, everyone else will have to accept the arrangement you two come up with.

      I know how you feel about being folded into a group, because my now-husband’s family started all this hulabaloo when we got engaged about me being a new member of their family, and I think in his rehearsal dinner speech my FIL actually said “welcome to the family and sharing our last name!” which just made me all kinds of sad, because MY family is my family. We’re tightly knit, we share a really unique and Italian last name, and I have tons of siblings–I did NOT want to be a part of anyone else’s family. But I decided to let it be, because they had nothing but good intentions–and I know they weren’t trying to exclude my family. I had to put my fiercely competitive nature aside and be grateful that I was being welcomed with open arms.

    • Alison O

      What I hear in your comment is more about feelings and less about logistics. Since you love your fiance’s family and didn’t mention any specific conflicts that have arisen in terms of negotiating spending time with them vs. your own family, I wonder if underlying feelings of sadness, loss, regret, insecurity, inadequacy (perhaps leading to jealousy), or something along those lines with regard to your own family are manifesting as the defensive feeling you get around your husband’s family and the territorial instinct you feel rising up around your marriage. This seems to be compounded by a secondary fear about conforming to the cultural narrative of women giving up their own family, which they were historically forced into, even though you are not.

      If that resonates at all, it might help to focus first on just recognizing and accepting all these different feelings, being compassionate toward yourself, rather than taking any kind of action or sending a message to anyone. The feelings can coexist (and actually, joy is really just the other side of sorrow, so in a way opposite feelings always coexist, the one in relation to the other). It is okay to love and not love your own and your fiance’s family for different reasons. Families do not have operate the same or have the same strengths to be equally valuable. The frequency and duration of visits with one family don’t have to be a statement about the value of the other family, either. Really seeing and feeling the feelings might make you feel more at peace with the way things are on either side. Or, maybe they will help you clarify actual actions you do want to take, like making a concerted effort to plan more visits or phone calls between your fiance and your family to help strengthen that bond.

      Based on what you said, it sounds like you are being welcomed with open arms and there’s no indication that his family in any way means to negate or overshadow your own family or take precedence over your marriage. It’s awesome to love your in-laws! You can be glad that unlike women in past eras, YOU can “adopt” a great new family while not losing your own. They might even fulfill needs in you that your own family doesn’t, but it doesn’t mean your family is less important.

      This is my read as an outsider on not too much information, so it could be way off base, but you asked for thoughts… ;)

      • jhs

        I mean yeah, that’s exactly it. “Broken” family + Independent streak+ fear + feminist = YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. But that’s great advice. Thank you.

    • Lauren

      What about when you are welcome but not included? My mister’s family is awaiting our engagement announcement happily, but 95% of them have made little to no effort to get to know me. I get a lot of small talk or culture pushing, they are first generation Americans and prefer to speak their own language. So even though they open their homes to me, share meals, ask about me, I feel like an outsider. I get the sense that the culture is more about the community as a whole than individuals, but to someone not part of the community I don’t seem to fit in to the two things they care about, culture and family. They think they can just mush me in there and call me family but on my end I don’t feel it and I am not sure how to work within this model.
      I wrote up a longer version of this and submitted it, but I think I may have scared them with the level of complexity lol.

      • jhs

        Oooh that is rough. I’m first-generation on one side and yeah, it can be heard to break in sometimes. I think this is where your mister has to be on your side, and sort of fight on your behalf, whether that means including you more himself (with language, explaining traditions, etc.) or telling his family that they need to make more of an effort to make sure you are included.

      • K.

        I’m not sure what culture your SO’s family is from, but I relate a lot to this with my fiance’s family, especially the ones who live overseas. Basically, the cultural difference comes down to my belief that hosts should be the ones to reach out…whereas, culturally, in my fiance’s family, the guests are meant to reach out to the main familial group. I think this can sometimes be a very basic difference that is tough to put your finger on right away!

        As a concrete example, in my family, it is expected that if the people who have known each other longer start talking about inside jokes, the host will turn to the newcomer and explain it. In his family, they assume you aren’t interested if you do not ask, “Hey, can someone explain the joke?” And it extends to more complex matters as well (e.g., I’m expected to learn their language of origin rather than them using what they know of English. I want to do this anyway, luckily, but there’s an element of my learning the language being a pre-requisite to “truly” being family, they won’t ask a thing about our personal lives outside of work so I have to offer up the information if I want it shared, etc). This was really, really, really tough for me to get used to and it’s still an ongoing challenge. I can enlist my fiance’s help to a certain extent (he can note when I need help being included, etc) but ultimately, I’ve had to put my own cultural ideas aside and “force” my way into the more in-depth, non-small talk conversations that I’ve had.

        Not sure if that’s the case for you, but it was definitely eye-opening for me and helped me realize that it truly WAS a cultural difference, rather than it being about me. And it helped pinpoint exactly how I could “work within the model” as you said. :)

    • jashshea

      My mother’s family is HUGE (mom is 1 of 7, her parents are 1 of many as well) so I grew up used to chaotic holiday gatherings with a, ahem, demanding matriarch (love you, maternal g’ma!) who dictated where holiday events were and who brought what side dishes. My father’s side is smaller with only my one uncle + his wife & kids and I always appreciated those gatherings for the simplicity/relaxing vibe.

      My husband’s family is also on the larger side and generally local to one another, but are medium sized compared to what I’m used to with my mom’s family. Since we live closer to his family, we typically do holidays with his and do a non-holiday visit with my parents/family.

      But…

      I think I see what you’re saying: You want to be able to forge your own identity/couple traditions w/o feeling like someone else’s traditions are being forced on you.

      I like loooow key holidays where I’m still in my PJs at 3 PM and have as few people around me as possible. That’s not what I get when I attend events at the in-laws, nor, frankly, is it anything like the Thanksgivings or Christmases of my youth. The bargain I’ve made with myself is that we’ll take some time on each holiday to do something our own way, create our own traditions. Definitely a learning experience!

  • Ariel

    I was all upset that I missed happy hour last week because I wanted to tell you guys that my thesis got approved! And all I had to do was a presentation! And I’m finally almost done with my Masters!

    But now I have to make more corrections, wahhhh! I just want to be done!

    Happy Thanksgiving! Apparently I love exclamation points today!

    • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

      Yay for the thesis approval! and Exclamation points!

      • Ariel

        But it’s not approved anymore :-(

        • Ariel

          or something. I’m not even sure. One advisor approved it, someone else gave me more corrections, someone else hasn’t responded.

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

            Boo! I’m sorry – I posted before caffeine and misunderstood. Exclamation points are still good, as is holiday :)

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

    Definitely at work today, but I have plans to go to the cat shelter where I volunteer after I’m done tonight. My husband is sick at home, but sounds SO MUCH BETTER than he did yesterday. Last night I baked rolls for tomorrow, and tonight I’ll be making zucchini bread. And enjoying a nice red wine.

    • Crayfish Kate

      That sounds awesome! As a fellow die-hard cat lover, thank you so much for volunteering! I love hearing about people helping kitties, it just makes my day every time. I will give my kitties an extra hug for you today :-)

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

        Aww, thanks! We fostered a mama and her babies (who were born in my guest room) this summer and I love volunteering with the fuzzies! It was fun to watch a litter of kittens grow and now that they’re all adopted (or up for adoption) I love helping at the shelter and adoption events. Enjoy your kitties, too – we have several of our own :)

  • Kaitlin

    Any suggestions for books on relationships/marriage from a non-religious and/or feminist perspective? The background is that while my partner and I would really like to do premarital counseling, we haven’t been able to find anyone in our area that isn’t religious (he’s Jain, I’m agnostic, so religious counseling is not something we are interested in). So we’d like to read some books together and discuss. I’d really love a feminist relationship/marriage recommendation because I’ve been struggling with how to balance and make sense of marriage as a feminist. Thanks everybody!

    • TeaforTwo

      We did a pre-marital workshop last weekend. It was…not feminist, and I nearly walked out on the Friday night. But! The conversations on Saturday (which was spent almost entirely one-on-one with my partner, rather than with the facilitator talking) were good. From what I understand, a lot of pre-marital counselling boils down to “did you talk about xyz? Make sure you talk about xyz.”

      The conversation guide we used in the course was based on the book, 10 Conversations You Must Have Before You Get Married. The conversation guide in the APW book covers similar territory.

      I will say that, as we’ve been together for three years and live together, we have already had most of these conversations. We’ve talked about chores, we’ve talked about money, we’ve covered whether we want kids and when. But it was still a really nice chance to sit down and focus on each other, especially with the wedding so close. (He is articling right now, so getting to spend a whole weekend together talking and not working was a treat in itself.)

      • Ashley

        10 Conversations! I gave that book to a friend when she was engaged. And then when I went to get it for myself & now-husband about a year later, it was out of print. =( (Friend couldn’t find her copy to loan us either.) But that’s another good one if you can find it at a reasonable price! :)

    • Lynsey

      Relationship Advice Books are one of my weaknesses. While I don’t have a lot of specifically pre-marital advice books, I loved Spousonomics by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson which applies economic principles to common relationship problems. It is a very pragmatic and unique perspective on resolving or reducing conflicts in a marriage.
      Also, though not traditional “advice books,” I thoroughly enjoyed Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon and Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman. Though not written as companion books, these collections of stories and essays written by husband and wife offer a very interesting perspective on marriage and parenthood and are ripe for discussion.

    • Caroline

      I love the Gottman institute books, and they are based on actual science about improving marital relationships.
      Also, we’re considering a pre-nup, and I just read Nolo’s pre-nup guide. I want us to read it together, because to make a pre-nup you have to discuss finances on sub a deep level and I think whether or not we decide to use a pre-nup, the prep work will be good for us.

    • Ashley

      I second the Gottman Institute suggestion. Specifically, we got partway through “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” and really appreciated what we read and the discussions it led to. (We have every intention of finishing, but wedding planning and traveling apart from each other for work took over at some point before our wedding ~a month ago.) :) Several of the questions in the book are written for couples who have already been married for awhile, but we just reframed them to things like “What are some of your favorite memories from when we first [started dating, moved in together, etc.]?”

  • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com/ Addie

    So this past weekend Manperson and I went to the Macklemore concert in Miami. It was awesome btw. But my absolute favorite moment of all time was when the opening strains of “Same Love” came on. The crowd (a mix of all ages) roared and sang. every. word. with such jubilation. It was an amazing display and made me cry. Watching these two teenage girls reciting the lyrics to their parents, the only thing I could think was “one day these girls can vote.”

    Dear Florida- You can’t live in the dark ages forever. We will overcome. One rap concert at a time if we have to.
    Love – Addie

    • BreckW

      This comment almost made me cry!

  • C

    I’d love some advice on wedding albums. Can anyone recommend affordable options that don’t involve designing the layout yourself (i.e. pay for someone else to design it but the printing isn’t exorbitant). So far we’re striking out.

    • amc

      If I read this right, you don’t want to work on the design, so feel free to disregard this comment. But, if you’re interested I use KodakGallery (which is now shutterfly) and got a truly awesome 40ish page book with a linen hard cover for less than $50. I felt like I beat the system and I still love it.

      • Stephanie B.

        Also, if you registered at Target and still have the folder of stuff they give you when you register, there may be a $20 coupon for Shutterfly, good for a year from the date you registered.

    • The Chronically Ill Bride

      There’s a Shutterfly option where you upload the pics and they lay it out for you, chronologically, and you can just move things around if you’d like, but don’t have to do all the layout yourself. I did this for my mom’s album, and was happy with it.

    • Emmy

      We used Kolo and Artifact Uprising for our wedding albums. Both have design templates and they’ll lay out your photos automatically if you prefer. Then you can go in and adjust if you’d like.

      • Kara Tanoue

        Second on Artifact Uprising- their templates make it pretty easy.

    • KM

      We used A La Carte Albums (an APW sponsor/advertiser) for our parents’ albums, and had a great experience – even in the holiday rush period. We sent a collection of photos and she proposed a layout design, then we had some back-and-forth to make certain sentimental photos more prominent etc, selected a cover (wide range of textiles and price ranges). It was so easy…now we just need to do the same for our own album.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      It’s not for everyone, but I enjoyed laying out our albums on Shutterfly. I used the “simple path” option so I didn’t have to deal with fancy backgrounds, lots of text, or pictures set at an angle.

      Shutterfly has big sales, especially around January. I got our biggest album for 50% off, which was a better deal than our best man, who used to work for Shutterfly, could get us, even with his inside information about upcoming sales. (Actually, I got 2 copies of our biggest album for 50% off the regular price of one. The first copy came with one page wrinkled in the corner. I complained, and they sent a free replacement.)

      If you’re considering using Shutterfly, sign up for their email alerts. I’ve gotten big prints, hundreds of regular-sized prints, and whole photo books for free or next to free based on emailed discount codes. If the best man still worked there, I might feel guilty.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Second for Shutterfly!!!

        We just finished making our guestbook on Shutterfly. It’s really similar to a photobook, and the layout tools and all of that make it really easy to make something that looks good.

        Do *not* pay full price for anything. Like Elisabeth says, sign up for their Email alerts and wait for a sale. Also, check their FACEBOOK! We ended up getting our guestbook “free” (free being $13 including shipping to Canada) because it was one of the many promos they had going on their Facebook page.

        Pretty sure we’ll do our albums the same way. :)

    • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

      “Affordable” is always subjective, so forgive me if I’m suggesting anything outside the range you had in mind, but Jane at A La Carte Albums does a great job on album designs, and she has options that include the design and the products (which range from cheaper press printed books to full-on flush mount leather albums) for a one-stop shop.

  • Dr. Pregnant

    I know there are quite a few academic APWers so here goes. I have been applying for tenure track faculty jobs and was just invited to an on-campus interview in a few weeks. I am also currently 31 weeks pregnant (interview will probably be when I’m 35 weeks along). Has anyone interviewed for academic jobs (or other jobs) very obviously pregnant? Do you have any advice?

    Also, I can’t wear my usual interview clothes. What is easiest and most comfortable right now is dresses but I wouldn’t usually wear a dress to a job interview. Kahkis, a nice shirt and cardigan or just go with a dress?

    • The Chronically Ill Bride

      I’d say go with a dress, with an open blazer over it, if you can. This is what I wear to fancy work things in general, so I’d say you’re fine.

      Good luck!! I have no advice, but am solidarity hand-holding all the way.

    • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

      I always wear dresses to interviews. A simple dress, a blazer or jacket on top and in my opinion you’re as professional as if you were in a business suit. And in my opinion, I look a heck of a lot better in my sweet dress and jacket combo than I would in some cookie cutter business suit.

    • Anon

      Interview fashion advice! This is a great topic! I say wear the dress to be more comfortable. Interviews are uncomfortable enough. You don’t need to add uncomfortable clothes on top of all that! But, maybe throw on a blazer or suit jacket to dress it up a bit. If you can’t button it, don’t worry about it! They won’t care!
      And, Congratualtions! Go get em!

    • Cbrown

      Can you put a blazer on over the dress? Maybe an open front or waterfall blazer? Check Corporette for their recommendations.

    • swarmofbees

      I second blazer over a dress. I was working in a formal environment when I was that far along, and I just wore my regular suit jacket over a maternity dress or maternity skirt most of the time. It didn’t button, but they got the point that I was dressing for a professional environment.

    • never.the.same

      It’s illegal for them to bring up your pregnancy, or let it factor into their decisions. So the best advice I have is to treat it as a non-issue. If they do bring it up, be prepared to change the subject or have a practiced, firm answer that directs attention back to your qualifications or academic work.

      And wear a dress! You want to be comfortable. Also, comfy shoes!

      • Emmy

        Yeah, as ridiculous as it sounds, I’d just go in and act like I wasn’t pregnant. Good luck!

      • ktmarie

        I don’t believe it’s illegal for them to bring up your pregnancy (as in, acknowledge that she is pregnant, or say congratulations, etc), but it is illegal for them to make decisions based on it.

        Good luck!!

        • Kayjayoh

          Sadly, they can always find a reason that isn’t related to it, even if it is a factor. Boo!

          Not to be a negative Nelly, good luck! I’m pulling for you. I work in an academic setting (and am helping to arrange tenure-track searches) so I know the number of hoops you end up having to jump through. My fingers are crossed.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      replying only to say WEAR A DRESS! you being comfortable is the most important thing.

      ps. i work in academia and the last time we hired an academic it went to a candidate who interviewed in a KILLER (almost sexy!) BRIGHT RED DRESS. i thought it was a brave move, but it obviously didn’t hurt her chances. :)

  • The Chronically Ill Bride

    I am so not getting enough work done today. Partially because tomorrow is The Turkey, and partially because I’m anxiously waiting to see if I’m pregnant. And as my physical therapist just told me (helloooo intersection of chronic illness and wanting to be a parent, already), given how I’m feeling, if I’m not pregnant, there’s something wrong and I need to see a doctor quite soon.

    So… solidarity hand-holding? Any reassuring stories out there?

    • Catherine McK

      Lots of solidarity hand holding! How long ’til you find out? Any chance of getting bloodwork done? I think they can determine it earlier that way? I know that when I was in the early pregnancy days if I hadn’t known I was pregnant I would have thought something was very wrong. Good luck!

      • The Chronically Ill Bride

        I should know on Saturday, I think. If it weren’t the holiday, I think I’d try for bloodwork, given that otherwise I’m having some kind of unprecedented rheumatological flare-up. The thing is, I feel crazy, being so sure that I’m pregnant when obviously I totally might not be, and being so mentally invested in it – being this distracted at work! I know a lot of people get like this when trying, and I’m trying to give myself some leeway because of the impact it is probably having on my health… I think I just feel insane.

        • Caroline

          I think it is a pretty common experience to be sure that you are pregnant before you “know”. I’ve heard a ton is stories like that, so I don’t think it makes you crazy.

    • Pollyanna

      Solidarity hand-holding. Woke up to my period, so…not this month. I can be thankful for all of the wine I can drink at Thanksgiving is what I am telling myself.

  • Diamond Solitaire

    About two years ago I inherited my grandmother’s diamond solitaire engagement ring. My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year and a half and while we are not at the engagement stage yet I feel like we are not that far away. I know the wisdom on here is ‘do whatever works for you’ but I’m curious if anyone has a story about being given a ring that they already owned.

    • Shiri

      I do! My now-husband’s mom gave us her great-aunt’s ring at Christmas the year before we got engaged. He and I had been talking about getting engaged (and she asked me just to wear the ring home, to which I believe I said something like, “I know you really want us to get married, but I’m pretty sure you can’t ask me to marry him for him”. Anyway, we reset the stone because the ring was too delicate, and once it came back from the jewelers, he hid it and went on his merry way with proposing when he wanted to. I think having it in the house would have worked the same way, because he really wanted to actually ask, but that depends on what you guys want.

      Is there a specific part of this that you’re not sure how it would work?

      • Diamond Solitaire

        I guess I just pictured it being awkward. Him asking me if he could have the ring to purpose with. But reading these two stories made me realize I was picturing the whole thing in a silly way. I just wanted to have a baseline idea for when we do get to that point.

        • Anon

          My mom gave me my great-great grandmother’s diamond for my law school graduation. I discussed it with my now-fiance and we knew we wanted to use it as an engagement ring “someday.” I simply put it in a very safe place and told him where it was so he would know. He was able to sneak in, grab the stone and have it re-set in only 2 days. I never knew it was missing and was utterly surprised when he proposed.

        • never.the.same

          Put it somewhere that he can access and tell him. “My grandmother’s ring is in the closet, on the top shelf.” Or, “For safe-keeping I put my grandmother’s ring with our passports. You know how important it is to me!”

          For your sanity, put it somewhere you don’t check daily. You don’t want to be disappointed/hopeful every time you open your sock drawer.

          • Diamond Solitaire

            I love this. I’ll keep it in mind.

        • Alison O

          Seems like maybe you want to think through more–independently and in conjunction with your boyfriend, as the time nears–how important it is to you that the proposal be a surprise, and/or that if your partner will be the one to propose to you, that he already have a ring at the time the proposal happens. That might help guide how you go about considering the possibility of using this ring and getting it into his hands pre-proposal (or not). Some people find it more appropriate or traditional or romantic to go the “hint hint” route. Other people (myself included) are control freaks. :-)

          I would *love* to inherit my grandmother’s engagement ring, but dreaming about it too much would be morbid since she is 90 and wonderful and still going strong, haha. With seven other grandchildren, four of them female, it would also probably be a little eyebrow-raising if she gave me something worth several thousand dollars, not to mention the sentimental value, and basically nothing to anyone else. Although, I AM the oldest. (kidding)

    • Cbrown

      I do! My great grandmother gave me a 1930s diamond ring which, frankly, we had assumed was paste. I mentioned it to my (then) boyfriend as up to him but something I’d love to use. He had it repaired and cleaned and proposed with it (it was in my parents’ safe so he asked them for it).

      I wouldn’t have wanted him to spend any money on something new and had pretty specific preferences so it worked out quite well.

    • kcaudad

      I used my mother’s ring. My mom passed away when I was a young ‘tween’ and my father gave her wedding ring to me and my sister when we were young adults. Fast forward 10 years; My sister was already married and we only wore the ring on special occasions. My (now husband) then serious bf, discussed the possibility of using the ring and how much it meant to me. I also discussed it with my sister, who was happy to ‘let’ me use it as my engagement ring. My sister then kept the ring for ‘safe keeping’. My bf coordinated with her to get the ring and plan the proposal. (My sister also ‘lied’ to me about my bf not having the ring so I would be surprised at the time!) My sister also gave my bf a note about the ring and how much it meant to her to have me wear it and how she approved of him coming into our family. Once we were engaged, I talked to my bf and sister and other family members about using the ring as my wedding ring and wearing it all the time. The family did not want it disassembled to just use the diamond in another setting, so we decided to add an ‘anniversary’ band to the ring when we actually got married. We picked out one that coordinates really well with the original ring and looks like it has been there all along. The family seems happy with my/our decision to use my mother’s ring. And, anytime someone asks about it, I get to say, ‘it was my mother’s ring!’. I just love wearing it. My, long winded, response it to say that I would suggest getting your family’s approval and okay for anything that you decide to do with the ring, since it is a family hairloom. Also, think long and hard about how you might, or might not, want to alter it in a perminant way.

      • jashshea

        Got a little dusty in here when I read your story. Oof – your sister giving him a note! Oy. So sweet.

    • TeaforTwo

      I plan to use my mother’s wedding band!

      I already wear her diamond ring on my right hand, and have for a few years. My fiance had suggested proposing to me using that, and it didn’t feel right to me – I told him that I was happy to have no ring from him (he was a student when we got engaged, and didn’t have much money) but that the diamond wasn’t about him; it was about remembering my mom. I also didn’t want to move it over to my left hand, because I was happy enough to wear a ring that was a gift that he bought me (he did wind up proposing with an antique pearl ring) but that I wasn’t into an engagement ring if it was only a “TAKEN” symbol on my left hand.

      Now that we’re getting married, I am going to wear my mother’s wedding band. I didn’t already have it – my dad was holding on to it – so it feels a bit different. And it’s a reminder of my parents’ 32 years of happy marriage. Plus I like that it is actually getting used, instead of just sitting in a drawer until everyone who remembers her is gone.

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      I received my grandma’s wedding set when she passed away. The set was gold, and not my style so Matt and I set off looking for a new set that we could transfer the small diamond to. It was nice choosing something together.

      As for giving him my grandma’s set to take to the jeweler I did it one morning and he pretended to propose that very moment. It was very sweet and only slightly awkward. It felt a little like proposing to him. He kept it somewhere safe and when the time was right took it to jeweler.

      ps. I went nutso waiting for the “officially official” proposal. Silly girl. Seriously, we’d already booked the venue.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        On another topic, I keep hearing about this kind of thing on APW, but I don’t get it. If you’ve booked a venue, how are you not engaged already? If you’ve got a date and venue that sounds an awful lot like agreeing to marry someone… ‘engagement’, no? :)

        • Rebekah

          Ooh! Ask me!
          I’ve looked at venues and catering and all kinds of things. I’ve booked a photographer. We’re not “engaged” in that he hasn’t proposed, but we’re engaged because we decided 4 years ago to marry each other and we decided over the summer what month to do it in. Technicalities!

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Haha… technicalities or semantics? I’m starting to wonder now… Am *I* engaged? ;-)

          • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

            We totally did that. We bought rings, booked a photographers, got a permit for the park for our wedding date, but we kept hemming and hawing over whether we were “engaged” because no one “proposed.” I said, “just so you know, I want to marry you someday, and sooner rather than later.” And he said, “me, too!” Then we started planning.

            In retrospect, we would have saved ourselves a ton of stress if we’d just called that time an engagement, but we honestly didn’t even realize that was an option until I found APW.

        • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

          Right, I was so wrapped up in the idea of a-down on the knee proposal. I mean we were engaged for all intents and purposes, I just wanted that moment. He did do it, and it was adorable. He asked me to join him on this crazy sleigh ride called life, it was Christmas Eve morning! :-D I can offer no advice, just my own ridiculous experience.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      My feyoncé (I’m totally spelling it like this from now on) and I picked out my engagement ring together at a jewelers in a horrible, suburban shopping mall. I was so excited by the proposal and stupidly thought I had to immediately get a ring on my finger before we could tell friends and family. I was in way too much of a hurry, but by some miracle my ring is unique, gorgeous, and under $300. (Win, win, win!)
      I assumed we’d just get some VERY low-priced, plain bands for the ceremony but my future mother-in-law suggested I might want to wear her mother’s ring. It’s a beautiful, true vintage, band and it fits perfectly. I wanted to cry when it fit perfectly! It’s gold and silver and, because my engagement ring is rose gold with brown diamonds, I thought for sure they’d clash but they actually look RAD together. The ring is actually from a failed marriage (his grandparents divorced, ultimately) but I don’t really care about that kind of superstition. I think it’s really special to have a ring with family history and I feel so touched that it’s his family who want me to wear it. :)
      I don’t think having a great ring with family history (yours or your partner’s) is anything other than LUCKY! It warms my cockles much more than nervously looking at pricey blood diamonds at Zales.

    • Sarah

      This happened to me! I have owned my great diamond ring since I was 16, when my great grandfather gave it to me. It only fit on my pinky because it was so small, but I wore it sometimes over the years since it reminded me of her.

      Fast forward to two months ago, when my then-boyfriend and I had an immensely awkward conversation about engagement where I was stating my preference to get engaged within the year and him being evasive. He eventually admitted that he was saving for a ring, but because we had already merged finances, I knew he couldn’t be saving much. I told him that I wanted to use my great grandmother’s ring that was literally just sitting in my jewelry box. He asked to keep it, and he proposed the next day (because he just couldn’t wait, aww). We got it resized about a week later and I love it even though I’ve had it for more than 8 years. Its like a whole new ring now, my size, clean and sparkly, and on my left hand. I say do it!!

  • Laura C

    At work/on my parents’ couch in yoga pants. Working on the internet is good. Then this afternoon, I’ll pick up my save the dates. The ones printed on recycled paper with a union bug, thankyouverymuch.

    We are doing the kick-the-can-down-the-road, last-holidays-before-we’re-married holidays apart, so while I’m home and comfy, A is only heading to his uncle’s halfway across the country tonight and I hope his plane is not too badly delayed.

    • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

      Don’t you love when you go to your parent’s house and its kind of like youre a kid again and everything is exciting? I flew in last night (fiance couldn’t make it cause of work :( ) and luckily my plane was fine. Right now the fire is on (which I don’t get in LA) and I’m just being cozy around the house..I love it. :)

      And where did you get your save the dates? We have been looking on the usual sites – I really want to have eco friendly save the dates but I haven’t seen any I’m crazy about and am actually surprised about the lack of variety and selection for eco-friendly STDs?

      • Laura C

        I used a free template from Wedding Chicks (we’re doing a Printable Press invite, but for various reasons the matching save the date wasn’t quite right) and sent the files to a copy shop that’s local to my family — worker-owned, only uses recycled paper, etc. I’m not sure what I would have done if I hadn’t happened to know about this shop and it wasn’t local. Doing that meant enough to me that I didn’t even compare prices, but now I’m looking at a couple sites and looks like we also got a good deal — under $100 for printing 160 double-sided, full-color postcards, so even when we’re paying Printable Press for the invitation, it’s still going to be very reasonable. In the unlikely event your family is anywhere close to here, it’s http://collectivecopies.com/about/about.htm

  • swarmofbees

    Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone! I want to try to crowd source some advice on my wedding date. Really, what I want to know is how and when to bring up the issue of my wedding date with my parents. We got engaged over the summer, everyone was very happy, and we had almost settled on a date for next summer, but then life got complicated. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and it devastated the whole family. Everything wedding was put on hold while we dealt with his immediate medical needs. Life is starting to get a bit more stable now, but the future for my dad is still uncertain, to say the least. I don’t really feel like wedding planning, but people have started to ask about the date so that they can arrange their work schedules for next year, So far I have told them to back off. But, I do realize that people need to know, and we need to start booking venues and whatnot. I want to wait to see what kind of prognosis the doctors have for my dad and to get a better sense for when he might be well enough to attend a wedding. But, I am beginning to realize that we will never know those things for sure and perhaps I should just go ahead with a date and hope for the best. Any advice? Thank you!

    • LM

      Best wishes for your dad! I don’t think there’s a right thing to do. You sound a little hesitant to move forward so there’s no reason to do so unless you want to. If it seems like there is new medical news coming, then you could
      certainly wait for that, but if it more nebulous, than moving ahead could be a good option. Maybe a family discussion (after discussing with fiance) about the best course of action might be helpful? If you do you pick a date, you can make plans with your dad in mind. Obviously, you want him to be able to attend with bells on, but if that’s not in the cards, you’ll figure out how to work around it. This is in no way the same, but my dad got what they thought was pneumonia two days before my wedding. He ended up being able to attend (although he was not rocking the dance floor) but if he hadn’t, my husband and I planned on getting married wherever he was with just our immediate family, and then doing our planned wedding. It wouldn’t have been what we planned, but the important thing to me was that he be there to see me get married. Best of luck!

      • swarmofbees

        Thank you for that. Having a private ceremony with the family is a good idea – I will definitely keep that in mind. That way I can have my Dad at my wedding and still have a celebration with everyone else.

    • Stacie

      HUGE hugs to you. My dad got diagnosed before we got engaged, so it’s a little different, but I can completely understand what you’re going through.

      The first thing I did when he was diagnosed was make sure all our paperwork was in order so that if we needed to fly off and get married in a private ceremony so my dad could be there, we’d be able to. Then, I told my not-yet-fiance that if he was serious about the marriage talk we’d been having, he might want to get the lead out… :) Once we got engaged, for one hot second I considered getting it all done within six months, but in the end, I took my cue from dad, who said that we should wait until the spring so that there would be less chance of travel snafus. I asked him if he was sure, and he said “I’m not going anywhere.”

      He was diagnosed in Sept of 2012 and told he had between three and ten months. As of today, he’s still living his life pretty fully (knock wood). I tell you this so you’ll understand that even a prognosis that is backed up by second and third opinions is not a crystal ball. There is no right answer. Am I terrified that he won’t be at my wedding? You bet. But if he’s not, I will be OK. Somehow. I don’t want him to hang on in pain merely to be at my wedding, y’know?

      Good luck to you and love to you and your family. It sucks.

    • Grace

      Sorry to hear about your dad’s diagnosis – I hope you get some more answers soon.
      There are a few things to consider, in no particular order:

      1. Is it more important to you to have the perfect wedding or one where your dad is present? obviously I hope there is a good prognosis for him, but if there isn’t you may have to decide to get married either much sooner or later than you planned
      2. Never underestimate the power of having something to look forward to. While your wedding vay feel trivial or unimportant, for some people it will provide a welcome distraction and maybe even something to love for for your dad
      3. If you have some news coming soon, then by all means wait for it before making a decision. But unless you are waiting for the results of a specific test, you’re unlikely to be given the kind of concrete information about your dad’s condition that would be helpful for a while.

      On a side note, a friend of mine found out her father had cancers a few weeks after getting engaged. It was already at a late stage and they were told he might not live more than a few more weeks. So, my friend cancelled all the plans she had made for a wedding the next summer and frantically arranged a wedding within 3 weeks. Her dad made the wedding and friends told me it was really emotional but absolutely beautiful. It gave her the opportunity to have professional photos of him with her and her family which she now treasures.

      I hope you get some good news about your dad soon

      • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

        I love Grace’s response. Number one and two especially!! My fiance’s dad has been battling cancer for awhile now so I can semi-relate. Having something joyous to look forward to is a wonderful thing. I know a lot of people dealing with illness would LOVE the opportunity to talk/think about ANYTHING other than illness!

        And I am so sorry the diagnosis. Praying for good news and good health for him!

  • Kelly

    Grad student here feeling stressed about taking time to travel and visit my fiancee’s family for the holiday. I have two giant projects/presentations due next week (plus a giant stack of papers to grade) and would love nothing more than to spend the weekend on the couch working away. We had “Friendsgiving” last weekend (which I often love more than “real” Thanksgiving), are staying home by ourselves tomorrow, then traveling 3-4 hours on Friday to celebrate and spend the weekend with his family, who we haven’t spent much time with since getting engaged (and some who we haven’t seen since last Christmas). Am I allowed to opt out? I enjoy spending time with his family and would feel guilty for missing celebration time, but I feel like I would spend the whole time stressed out/trying to find time to do work and would come back to the school grind feeling extra crazed. Anyone else wishing they could just skip it this year?

    • Emmy

      Two thoughts.

      One: Yes, you can opt out.

      Two: Maybe you can go but decide with your fiancé ahead of time that you will take a few hours on Saturday and Sunday to work, and he will be your family-buffer. Maybe he has an easy family and you can just say, “Hey guys, I have a lot of school work, so I’m going to go do some it for a bit.” May they’re trickier and he needs to run interference. But you might be able to figure out a way to both visit AND take time to get some work done.

      • Jess

        I do this! I’m pretty introverted, so many people (and many in-my-face people) is crazy draining. I state that I need to ____. (For me, it’s run. I have established that I run, that it’s part of my routine, and that I need to train for something.) And then I let people know that I will be running at X time. And then I do, and it gets me out and away and I can have an hour or so to myself and my thoughts can calm down.

        It works and because I have established that this activity is something I do and I need to do, nobody feels upset or angry or like I am avoiding them. (PS This works in day-to-day life too. Don’t want to spend the afternoon AND evening with very loud people? “Oh, I’m going for a long run at 2, but I can be there at 5!”)

        Side note: it worked extra well when I was in school because nobody can claim that your course work isn’t necessary for you to complete without disrespecting your studies!

        • K.

          Damn, this makes me want to take up running! Brilliant. ;)

        • Jennifer

          As a serious introvert, I run too. I am also currently doing a bodybuilding program. So a great reason is ‘oh yeah, it’s legs day so I have to go to the gym for about an hour but I can meet you later for coffee.’

    • Amy March

      Sorry, but I don’t think you can opt out on 2 days notice. That’s just rude. I love the ideas for carving out some recharge time with a walk though. Good luck!

  • Anon for this

    Looking for some advice. When we were planning our wedding we had the finances talk with our parents. My in-laws agreed to pay for our (very modest) rehearsal dinner. The week of the wedding they backed out last minute and we covered the cost with some help. Come the wedding day both my partners parents and sister came to the wedding, said they had a great time, but didn’t give us a card or a gift. I waited a few weeks to see if maybe in the business of everything they had forgot to give it to us but that was simply not the case. They have been to dozens of other weddings and have always brought a card so I was offended when we didn’t get a note. My partner thinks telling them that I’m offended, or disappointed will make things worse, but I see it as not supporting our new baby family. Not sure what to do but thanks for the space to rant!

    • Anon

      I definitely understand your hurt—my husband’s brother didn’t get us so much as a card either. But the bottom line is that gifts aren’t required, and there’s really no way for you to say anything without sounding rude. If this is a one-off thing, give yourself time to be hurt, but then try to focus on the ways they DO support you. If it’s part of a larger pattern, then you might have to talk with your partner about setting up boundaries.

    • Caroline

      I agree with your partner that mentionin it probably wouldn’t help anything. It sounds like maybe they had some big stuff going on in their lives that you didn’t know about. I’m sorry you feel offended and let down. APW is a good place to come vent.

    • Alison O

      Maybe this is not what’s going on here, but often with my immediate family members I’m more lax about presents and cards than I am with other people because it feels like we are close enough that they know I love them, the symbol of a gift is not really necessary. My family is also not really big on formal gift-giving, though, so if there’s a different dynamic in yours/husband’s, I can see how veering from that just in the case of your wedding might be upsetting. The backing out of the rehearsal dinner thing suggests there’s bigger stuff behind the scenes, though. Do you know why that happened?

    • TeaforTwo

      Only you will have enough context to know what is going on here, but…some people just don’t do cards. My fiance has never once written me a birthday or anniversary card. He feels awkward writing them and never knows what to say. And we are close enough that he doesn’t think it’s necessary. I disagree, but since he shows me in other ways how much he loves me, I cut him some slack.

      I also know that I’ve put in some time as a flaky little sister. I didn’t give a gift or a card for either of my brothers’ weddings (I was 18! And then…20 and a bridesmaid at the next one. Whoops.) I supported them, and was thrilled to be involved in their weddings, I just felt so close to the action that a gift or card never occurred to me. It would now, obviously, but didn’t then.

      So there may be other ways that they are showing you that they don’t support your baby family, but I think that the gift/card thing – while a bit odd – doesn’t necessarily reflect that. They may just have gotten so caught up in the wedding that they forgot, or may not usually be card types of people.

  • lady brett

    i’m (tentatively) so excited about the holidays! i *may* have managed an awesome family gathering plan: myself, the spouse and the kiddos are going to my folks’ place for the week after christmas – and i think i have talked my bro (who i haven’t seen since our wedding almost 3 years ago) and his girlfriend (of 4 or 5 years, who i’ve never met) into coming down at the same time – *and* i think my in-laws are going to come in for part of it!

    i am excited about it, and i’m pretty proud of myself for starting to pull that together (i am *not* a planner), plus my mom is thrilled about the idea. now to see if it actually works out…

    plus, it’s kind of alleviating the knot in my stomach that i get going into the holidays (the consumerism + religion is *hard* for me).

  • Kayjayoh

    Also, we sent out our save the dates on Monday, and some people have gotten them already! Fiance and I had a little assembly line Friday night for each step of assembling the (not very complicated) mailing and it went very quickly.

  • malkavian

    I’m doing some actual work today, but I’m not really that motivated to do so. The experiments for my doctoral thesis have decided to stop working yet again, and I seem to be unable to collect good data. I’m trying to figure out at what point I should cut my losses and decide it’s not working out (and what the hell to do with myself if I chose this option). I’m also getting really frustrated with my PIs ‘work all the time’ attitude. I need my free time and my hobbies to keep me sane, dammit.

    It’s not helping that a chronic illness that had been in remission for the past two years or so has been flaring up for a few months, making it difficult for me to spend as much energy on my PhD work as I probably need to. And it was getting better for a few weeks, but I came down with a fever this weekend and it seems I’m getting sicker again. It’s so very frustrating.

    We’ve having an orphan thanksgiving with some other grad students tomorrow, so at least that should be fun.

    • celinad6

      Experiments not working = story of my life

  • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha Smith

    I too am “working” today.

    Can’t wait to stuff my face tomorrow. Bring on the bird!

  • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

    I’m super happy my little brother, who works at Best Buy, doesn’t have to go in to work at noon tomorrow after all! This year, after moving several hours away, the husband and I are flip-flopping holidays, and I was pretty bummed that My Family Turkey Holiday was going to miss one of my two brothers. Retail, man. It’s sucking the family out of family holidays not just for those working, but those visiting too! :( But yay, he’ll be there for most of it after all.

    Best of luck to those flip-flopping the holidays. It’s feeling a little rough, knowing I won’t see them at Christmas, but I’m hoping tomorrow is good enough to last me a while.

    • Alison O

      Ugh, I find Black Friday right after Thanksgiving pretty twisted, period, but even more so now that it has turned into Black Thanksgiving at many retailers. Having people work on holidays for non-essential services is lame in general, but even more so when Black Friday is all about prices being slashed, and the reason so many of the big box stores can have such low prices on merchandise is because they provide sh*t for salaries and benefits to their employees. If I go out and get a new XBox tomorrow (do they even still make those?), I’ll be sure to add “and exploitation” to the list of things I’m thankful for, like health, family, and XBoxes. Okay, rant over. It’s great your bro will be home! :)

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      I’ve always hated black Friday shopping, are the deals really that good? So many people! People die! As more people jump on the angry at shoppers/stores bandwagon though, I feel bad about the mocking and anger being directed at those who are shopping. I just talked with someone who’s been doing this for 20 years and it’s a family tradition, they get the same coffees and eat the same lunches…

      • malkavian

        I’ve only ever really done Black Friday shopping online, mostly on Amazon. My husband’s birthday is right before Christmas so I can usually get lots of cool stuff for him for both holidays that way, without getting up really early or personal risk. That or I’ll keep an eye out for clothes I need or home items that need replacing. I mean, this year the husband and I took advantage of a Black Friday sale at our local game store, but we were there anyway for a tournament so we just picked up a new board game (Arkham Horror!) and some supplies for MTG.

  • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

    It’s been a weird day. My iPhone is awol, I forgot it in the bathroom yesterday and somebody walked off with it. Luckily, I have insurance so I’m getting it replaced with a 5c. Should be here on Friday! Was upgrading to Office 2013 and somehow crashed my computer. A tech had to come reinstall it.

    I’m definitely in the “mostly pretending to work today, office is empty” camp. So I’ve read all the comments and I’m trying to pick out a phone case. Soon I’ll decorate the office for Christmas and ready my desk for next week.

    Tomorrow, will be our first married holiday, with the exception of Halloween when we thought Matt might have passed out his wedding ring to a trick-or-treater for an hour, ugh!, and we’ll be with my in-laws. There will be an infrared turkey, a new brussels recipe, Detroit Lions football, Pumpking beer, and it will be a great kick off to a lowkey, food for days, holiday weekend.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      PS. Would you like to help pick out my new case? All courtesy of Society 6. http://society6.com

      • vegankitchendiaries

        The chevron designs are AWESOME! I also liked the coloured, diagonal checks on the last cover!

      • Shiri

        Ooh fun! I like best: the top right corner geometric one, the elephants, and the tree with lights. And the cat in the bowtie. I can’t skip him. Also maybe the sparkles in the middle of the bottom row.

      • Kayjayoh

        They are all good looking. For sheer awesomeness, I’d have to say the elephants.

      • BreckW

        Glitter gold and pink stripes!

      • Lauren from NH

        I love the wintery branches, also your style generally is awesome!

      • LondonSarah

        Top right! Or, third from the left on the top row… or… perhaps I should just buy myself one!

      • KH_Tas

        I brought the meow one for my FI yesterday (shhhhh)

      • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

        The very first one or the glittery gold! Edited to add: Oooh or the branches!

  • Kayjayoh

    Um, weird. My first post from today is gone. I wonder if I accidentally deleted it while editing?

    Anyway, the Goldieblox discussion from last week made me want to share this:

    More Girls Target Archery, Inspired By ‘The Hunger Games’
    http://www.npr.org/2013/11/27/247379498/more-girls-target-archery-inspired-by-the-hunger-games

    “The indoor shooting range at Archery in the Wild in northern Colorado used to be dominated by camouflage and hunters. But on this Saturday morning, the archery range is dotted with ponytails and 7-year-old girls like Y’Jazzmin Christopher.”

    Which really brought home for me *why* media depictions are so freaking important. I bet Disney’s “Brave” plays a part in this trend as well. This is super exciting, especially among the deluge of pink sparkly princesses (including the “updated” Merida).

    And then on the topic of female media depictions and the Hunger Games:

    What Really Makes Katniss Stand Out? Peeta, Her Movie Girlfriend
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/11/25/247146164/what-really-makes-katniss-stand-out-peeta-her-movie-girlfriend

    “Don’t get me wrong: In real life, we all know couples of all gender alignments who operate in this way and in lots of other ways, whether they’re male-female or two guys or two women or whatever; there’s absolutely nothing about baking, physical strength, or emotional accessibility that is inherently gendered in real life for real humans with any consistency. But the movies, or at least the big movies, are different. Going by the traditional Hollywood rules, make no mistake: Peeta is a Movie Girlfriend.”

    Yes! Yes! So very much yes.

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      As a PCHH and Linda fan, I love the love that Linda Holmes gets here!!

      • HannahESmith

        PCHH is my favorite podcast. I look forward to it every week. Also, Linda Holmes in my hero.

        • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

          I love that too!

    • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/ Rachel Wilkerson

      I saw Catching Fire this weekend and 1. wanted to take archery lessons and 2. was struck by how often Katniss was out there kicking ass while Peeta held back (and that was even after they intentionally made Peeta a little more badass in this movie). It was awesome to watch Katniss just taking care of business like it was no biggie. Throughout the series, she rescues him time and again (though he rescues her in some ways too) and it’s such a great flip of traditional movie roles.

      • Kayjayoh

        If you are interested in learning archery, I’d suggest looking into the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) in your area. Especially given that you also love costuming. I’ve been going to SCA target archery for a few months now, and it has been great. I don’t know if it is the same everywhere, but I was able to show up at a practice session and they were able to set me up with loaner gear and get me started. Super friendly and helpful group. (And most folks at the target practice were in jeans and t-shirts.)

      • Kayjayoh

        Hmm. Another post I wrote and could have sworn I posted does not appear.

        Anyway, if you are looking to learn archery, you may want to see if there is an active chapter of the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA) near you, and if they do target archery. If they are anything like the chapter near me, they are welcoming, friendly, and helpful, and often have loaner gear for the newcomer to try things out with.

  • Lauren

    Has anyone seen this?! I can barely contain my anger!

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/11/22/why-women-still-need-husbands/

    • Shiri

      This is awful.

      “In time, “never depend on a man” turned into the full-blown belief that men are superfluous. In 2010 Jennifer Aniston claimed women needn’t “fiddle with a man” to have a child. This may strike you as an isolated case of stupidity, but Aniston’s willingness to put it out there speaks volumes about modern cultural attitudes.”

      Stupidity?!

      And then: “That women prefer part-time work is simply irrefutable… And there’s only one way to get it: rely on a man’s more linear career goals.” And.. “There’s no way to be a wife, a mother and a full-time employee and still create balance. But you can have balance by depending on a husband who works full-time and year-round.”

      This is disgusting. I actually don’t even know where to begin.

      • Lauren

        ” if you’re going to take such an anti-feminist stance, at least do your readers the service of taking a remotely sensical, intellectual bent.”

        Exactly.

      • BreckW

        I deduced from your comment that I should not click the link if I don’t want to spend the rest of the day raging around the apartment. So thanks for that.

        • M.

          Well-reasoned! ;)

        • Shiri

          I’m glad to have made this sacrifice for you, then. My response has been more nausea than rage.

    • M.

      “She is also the founder of Women For Men (WFM) a news and opinion website committed to improving gender relations and to providing much-needed support for the American male.”

      Say what now??

      • Shiri

        I fell down a rabbit hole of pro-male internet craziness after an article about it was listed on an earlier happy hour (the piece Meg posted was speaking more to a counter movement that tries to teach men to be feminists). It was one of the more confusing hours of my life. I work with a lot of young men in the military who feel that affirmative action is anti-white and that different physical (military) standards for women oppress men, and I can’t see this movement outside of that lens. Frankly, I’m not sure it deserves to be seen outside of this “we’re losing our stranglehold on success in America” lens, anyway.

        • M.

          I feel like my brain is short circuiting.

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

            Me, too. I’m sitting here agape at this article.

        • BreckW

          “we’re losing our stranglehold on success in America”

          Perfectly stated.

        • copper

          I’m pro-male. Love ‘em to bits. Still don’t see why they need extra rights, activists, etc. What a misnomer.

      • Lauren

        Yes – my jaw dropped open when I read that part (though, to be honest, it was open throughout the entire article…)

  • ElisabethJoanne

    It’s been a week of ups and downs. I gave notice at my present job ’cause I’m starting a much better job Dec. 9. I’ve never quit a job before and was strangely nervous about giving notice. Now I’m mostly in that great they-can’t-touch-me stage, but I’m also trying to be conscientious about training my replacement.

    My husband and I spent some time celebrating after I got the new job offer, but we found out Monday he needs surgery. We just enrolled in a high-deductible plan! But with the job change, we have an opportunity to delay the surgery and switch to a no-deductible plan. I feel bad for asking him to endure another month of pain, but it’s a savings of $3,000. Thank you Affordable Care Act that lets us enroll in new insurance without mountains of paperwork! [Anyone else ever apply for individual coverage before the ACA? It wouldn't be worth even $3,000 to pull up every doctor's appointment from the last 5 years, every test, every possible diagnosis, etc. And, of course, someone who needs surgery could never get coverage for the surgery before the ACA.]

    And today I couldn’t log into my personal email for a stressful hour. But that’s fixed.

    When I couldn’t log into my email, I checked the credit card statements online and saw a $300 charge from today for my husband’s doctor’s appointment unrelated to his upcoming surgery. I asked him about it. They had asked for his insurance information well in advance but still refused to bill the insurance before him. Isn’t that illegal? So that’s another upcoming paperwork battle.

    Sometimes being a grown-up is tough.

    • jashshea

      Congratulations on the new job!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Thank you! APW helped so much with the search and interview and offer process. I realize my problems are mostly good problems to have.

  • ItsyBit

    I’m moving FOR REAL this weekend!! Aaaand could use some good vibes, if anyone has any to spare.

    A few months back I posted that I was going from LA to NYC (unlikely that others remember, but I used to be “ItsyBitsy” before Disqus). My fiancé and I drove across the country (epic), attended a family wedding (amazing) and… got stuck. Job searching, including temp work for me, has been less-than-fruitful. We’ve been staying with family in the Boston area and while it’s been a lovely break from regular life, it’s also been frustrating for me to not get any responses. Anyway. While I am still job-less, he has freelance work + an interview next week and we decided to take the plunge and just go to New York anyway. Sort of lights a fire under you re: finding employment to have more rent due in January, eh? So while it’s exciting (!!!), here’s to finding gainful employment before mid-December.

    • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

      Good luck!

      I know what that job limbo feels like, and it sucks so hard. I moved out to NYC a few years ago with a job offer, but nowhere to live and no one I knew. And then that job turned out to be . . . insane. You’re coming for some of the least hospitable time in New York, so if you’re in need of hot booze and listening ears, there’s a lot of APW folks out here!

      • ItsyBit

        Thank you! And sorry about the insane job, that sucks. Hopefully something better came along. I may take you up on the hot booze and listening ears once we’re settled. Once we get in I’m seriously going to walk around my neighborhood with a resume and hopefully just get a cashier gig or something temporary while I look for something more up my alley.

  • Kara Tanoue

    My brother-in-law is coming in today from L.A. to join my family for Thanksgiving (my husband’s family lives across the ocean, so we’re the closest family). He’s going to be our first house-guest in our new house, and I’m so excited!

  • Samantha

    Really big week this week. Turkeyday with my family tomorrow. First dress fitting and cake tasting Friday, and bridal shower is Saturday. We’re long distance planning so we have to cram a bunch of stuff into home visits. But fun stuff this time!

    • TeaforTwo

      Oh, have fun! My cake tasting was (unsurprisingly) one of the most fun parts of wedding planning. I was in a foul mood that morning over some communication snafus, and it completely turned my day around.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    I remember my senior English teacher talking to us about the symbolism in the poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams. He then showed us the poem “This Is Just To Say” and we talked about the symbolism that poem could be conveying before he told us the latter was just about some plums, nothing more.

    I think we spend far too much time insisting on symbolism that isn’t there rather than enjoying good literature and poetry.

    • Kayjayoh

      I love “This Is Just to Say”.

    • http://theartofhintz.blogspot.com/ Jenniferjuniper

      I had to make a painting to accompany “The Red Wheelbarrow” in college… I don’t think I’ve heard that poem mentioned since then. The professor’s favorite from the class was a very simple painting that he described as being “like a hug – simple, without need for an explanation”

  • http://www.sophiaspockets.wordpress.com/ AutumnE

    Tomorrow, I will be fasting instead of feasting. Just wanted to share my way of envisioning tomorrow’s traditions, since isn’t that what APW is all about? Make tradtions your own. http://sophiaspockets.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/turkeyless-thanksgiving/

  • Loz

    Hi APW. Looking for feedback on a guest list situation that I’m too far into to see objectively. Here are the facts:

    – I’m from Indiana, he’s Australian, we live in Australia and our Sept 2014 wedding is in Hawaii.
    – We want to keep our guest list to 50 people, max, but more importantly we want that to be made up of our closest people…i.e., not those we rarely see but feel compelled to invite. We spent lots of time and emotional energy into crafting a list that we were both (mostly) happy with.
    – My mom mentioned that at her friend’s daughter’s small wedding, the couple ‘gave’ each set of parents two free passes to invite whoever they wanted. I said that if there was someone she and my dad really wanted to invite, let’s talk about it. Open discussion.
    – My mom misunderstood that to mean that she could go ahead and invite two of their friends, which became three friends (because a married couple counts as one?). We have not yet sent out STDs but these three friends are apparently under the impression that they are coming, and are planning a Hawaiian vacation extravaganza with my parents.
    – I know these friends and have known them since I was little. If we were having a bigger wedding, they would likely be invited. My fiancé has met them and isn’t their biggest fan as one in particular can be overbearing. We’d already considered inviting them and decided against it.
    – When my parents and I realized the situation, my mom immediately apologized. If they can’t be invited (i.e. if fiancé & I nix them – eek), she’s offered to handle the awkward conversation. I feel absolutely no guilt trip or pressure from my parents at all, they are 100% respecting our wishes, which I appreciate.

    Now. (gosh this is long, sorry) Here’s the thing. My parents are deaf. Besides my 2 sisters, a boyfriend, a cousin, and my fiancé, there won’t be anyone else at the wedding who speaks ASL. (Parents’ siblings don’t know it…don’t even get me started). I hate the idea that at their eldest daughter’s wedding, my parents will only have a handful of people who they can communicate with in their first language. We’ll have an interpreter, but it’s not the same. I’m now torn between saying ‘F* it, let them come,’ or keeping our intimate guest list as we’d planned it.

    I know that I’m the only one who can make the final call, but…argh. Hoping that unbiased thoughts from the APW community might clear my perspective!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      You’ve already said it… it’s your call to make! And it sounds like your parents are willing to take the heat if you decide that you *don’t* want these ‘extras’ at your wedding, which is a relief.

      For the reasons you’ve mentioned (they already think they’re coming because your parents invited them, you want your parents to be able to converse with more ASL-speakers) maybe it’d be good to let these guests slip under the radar and attend. Since your wedding is a destination wedding, it’s probably pretty likely that at least three of the people you plan on attending, won’t be able to attend anyway. The *numbers* would still be quite intimate!

      • Lacey Williams

        I agree with this. I think that an extra couple of people may be worth it to give your parents some other people to talk to. And you can still preserve the intimate nature of the event with 52 -53 people instead of 50.

      • Jennifer

        As a member of a Deaf couple… I see both sides of this problem. My husband and I are Deaf and we both speak ASL fluently. It sounds like your mom definitely sees your predicament as well. Personally, we ended up inviting some of my parents friends to our wedding just because they insisted. And honestly I agree with the fact that three more people won’t change the wedding situation all that much but it might make your parents feel more comfortable.

        As far as the overbearing friend, you and your husband will be very busy at the actual wedding trying to talk to all 50 or so people. The most you’ll have to say to this person is hi and thank you for coming. :)

    • Emmy

      I vote that you invite them. Three people isn’t such a huge number that it makes or breaks the bank or the intimacy (usually), and you already know how happy it’ll make your parents to have them there. I know the wedding is about you and your partner, but really, your parents made you you and it’s nice to honor them if you can.

    • Jennifer

      oops, I replied to vegankitchendiaries. look below this one. as one member of a Deaf couple I think it really really helps to have more people there you can talk to … and three more people won’t change your wedding numbers or the feel of it that much.

    • TeaforTwo

      Your mom sounds great – it wouldn’t be easy to un-invite her friends, so I think it’s wonderful that she’s offered to have that difficult conversation and shoulder the heat.

      Weddings are a big, big deal for parents, and while the day isn’t about them…it’s a bit about them. And family friends who are willing to put the time and money into flying to Hawaii for your wedding are family who are really invested in your parents and your family.

      One thing to consider, though, is that you may also need to give two or three passes to your future in-laws. If you tell them that parents’ friends are not welcome, and then they meet your parents’ friends at the intimate dinner, it might rankle.

    • Loz

      Thanks to everyone for the comments. I do agree, and I think my intuition has been telling me all along to invite them. And yes, my parents are pretty great! As far as his parents’ friends, we’re really lucky in that neither set of our parents has exhibited one iota of an attempt to control any aspects of the wedding. Actually, when my FMIL found out that more of her family members planned to come than expected, she offered to contribute more to the budget so my parents’ friends could come. (His parents are pretty great, too!)

      The borderline obsession with the number 50 is in part due to the fact that the cost of our venue goes up if we go over 50 (sustainable land trust). We’re already planning to invite ~60 with the knowledge that not all will make it. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. I’ll be so much happier if I know my parents are more comfortable and able to fully enjoy the day. (I must remember that above all, a wedding is meant to be a celebration!!)

      Oh and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • tashamoes

    Hey guys (scuffs feet around shyly…) – I’m new here! Long time reader though. Just got engaged and ready to jump in to conversations in this amazing community more often now that I’m thinking wedding thoughts more often. High fives all around, and happy thanksgiving from this neighbour to the north!

    • ART

      welcome and yay!

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      Hi! *waves awkwardly but jubilantly* *oh, high fives, sure!* Happy days to you.

    • Emmy

      Hi five! And congrats!!

    • Grace

      You officially graduated from the pre-engaged state? Amazing. Congratulations! submit a post about this maybe? I still feel under-represented!

      • tashamoes

        I did! That is a good idea – maybe I will!

  • Natalie

    Hello from a newish person! My partner and I have decided to start having a screen-free day per week because we found that although we’re next to each other, we’re not actually spending time together. Today, we’re spending the evening setting up and playing the Wii U he got through a trade. Thanksgiving is pretty boring for us, especially since he may have to go to work tomorrow. The upside is that I get to tag along and I get a new tattoo, per our new tradition. Post-thanksgiving is more exciting because I start my long-awaited new job Sunday and my mom arrived on Wednesday. I’ve lived in Vermont for nearly four years and this is the first time she’s come to visit! She’s here for a month so we have plenty of time to go dress shopping!

    Also I accidentally posted a picture of me and one of my dogs. Ignore.

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      Accidentally, hehe.

    • tashamoes

      Ooooh, what sort of tattoo are you getting? As a fellow newish person – glad you’re here!

  • M.

    Read this adorbz interview with a 6 yr old boy about the movie Frozen and his thoughts on princess movies and female heroes – little feminist in the making! Good thoughts on bad guys too. :) http://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/a-conversation-with-a-six-year-old-boy-about-frozen-princess-movies-and-female-heroes.php

  • Anon

    So Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, but this year I am skipping the celebration. The reason is that my sister, who lives a 16-hour plane ride away, is visiting with her infant. She conceived the 1st month she was married. I have had 2 miscarriages in the past 3 years and sometimes it’s so painful I feel sick. I can barely talk to my sister, never mind see her with her baby. My sadness (?jealousy) has also cost me my relationship with my former best friend, who just had her 3rd baby. Of course intellectually I know that isolating myself from people I love doesn’t help, but emotionally I just don’t know what else to do. Any thoughts or advice?

    • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

      Oh dear, I am so so sorry. I can’t imagine the pain you have gone through. I know that nothing I can say will change your experience, or make it any easier. Have you gone to therapy? It helps me tremendously. There is beauty and strength even in sadness. Your capacity to feel your pain is equal to your capacity to feel your strength, your love, even your joy. And you’re ability to be broken mirrors your ability to be whole. As you feel this heartache and helplessness, know that you are stretching your soul’s walls – and while it feels that it’s only gouging a bigger hole inside, know that it is also expanding the space you have to heal, to let the light in. Reading poetry by Rumi really helps me through dark nights of the soul. Also, have you read the book Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron? I promise you that you are fully capable of handling these feelings, and more than that, you are fully capable of dousing yourself in the self love needed to heal. Breathe, meditate, strengthen your spiritual practice. Just because those lovely souls are not with you physically, they are always tied to you, always. We don’t simply disappear, we are interconnected, no matter what form our physical selves take. You can do this, you are not broken. Dig deep into your pain and sadness knowing that its depth is proof of the profound connection between you three. They came into your life for a reason. I feel like anything I say right now will just sound like therapy cheese and I know it will not soothe your pain but please know that you will get through this, that you are strong, and try to greet yourself with compassion and warmth. If you ever need to vent, I’m here!

      Oh, and did I mention therapy??

  • Laura

    I’m having one of those, “nothing will change but everything will be different” moments today. Got to the ‘rents house and realized that this is, in fact, the last holiday season that I will not be married. This is also the last holiday season that I will not be 30 (or more). Just throwing that out there into the lovely APW community that “gets it.” Happy holidays, everyone.

    • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

      Ah I know! I won’t be 30 but this is my last holiday un-married too! Weird, but in a way it feels good. Not as sad as I expected.

  • Grace

    Happy Thanksgiving from across the pond! My American friend showed me this yesterday, I am embarrassed to say this is quite accurate: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NbMJ1JFMMSM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DNbMJ1JFMMSM
    Enjoy :-) xxx

  • TeaforTwo

    Productivity in Canadian offices must skyrocket this week, when the internet shuts down but we are all still at work.

    Somebody do this as a wedding dress, please? http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/lauren-moffatt-gold-lang-design-dress

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I was just about to leave a comment saying exactly the same thing!!! :)

  • vegankitchendiaries

    Yo, crafty folk! Hey, fabric people!
    If I wanted to recreate something like this (http://isa2.stylemepretty.com/wp-content/submissions/uploads/daniellecapitophotography@gmail.com/36951/095a7558$!400x.jpg) or like this (http://www.greylikesweddings.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/new_orleans_louisana_bayou_purple_wedding_9.jpg). This look seems a) foolproof and b) cheap. I hope I’m not wrong… Does anyone know what the best type of fabric to buy would be? And would it be relatively inexpensive?

    • Laura

      I would take these photos to the fabric store (the locally-owned one… With the people who havw worked there since the beginning of time) and ask them!

    • ART

      i’d say muslin would probably work -it comes bleached or unbleached depending on what color you want. it’s super cheap. and depending on the wind possibilities at your venue, think about how you weigh/anchor the bottoms down. pretty!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        I also think muslin is the best bet. Thank GOD it’s cheap!