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APW Happy Hour


With the best Thursday afternoon wedding reception ever

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical WeddingAPW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HEY, APW!

I got to go to a wedding this week!! I’ve written about this before, but the combination of growing up in a poor area plus a lot of bohemian friends means that weddings are a rare event on our calendar. But our friends got married at San Francisco City Hall on their ten year anniversary, with their baby girl in tow (I KNOW), and then the kiddo and I got to attend the reception at a local coffee shop (I KNOW, TIMES TWO). Our friends might not get married often, but they get married riiiiigggghhhhtttt. I’ve been promised a How We Did It on the most awesome super budget Bay Area wedding I’ve ever been to, but till then, enjoy these cute shoes.

And now, it’s Friday, and we’re leaving for a quick forty-eight hour road trip to LA with a sixteen-month-old. I mean, what could possibly be wrong with that plan?

It’s your open thread, hop on it!

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

WedStock!

My engagement story is funny, but am I the butt of the joke?

Tiny steps to adulthood returns! I’m still waiting for my tiny briefcase.

Hurricane force winds at your wedding? Stunning. Biblical.

Tomboy flower girls, throwing petals, splashing in puddles, wearing bear hats. Like you do.

Will anyone show up to the wedding? You bet some of us had dreams surrounding that question.

Happy Friday! You deserve a drink. AND a fancy hat.

Link Roundup

#APW entrepreneurship is back on our Instagram. This week I talked about the idea of working to embracing failure (my internal project these days), plus I spill about that time I pitched a TV show, super pregnant.

One of the smartest things I’ve read (amidst a pile of not totally off-base snark, but still mostly snark) about the American Blogger controversy was written by our very own Rachel. Plus, thoughts about the race issue at play in “Finally, Someone Thinks Of The White Women.”

Moving For Love: The Modern Relationship Milestone.” It’s about time we started talking about this. Forget engagement, for us, like for so many others, this was our big commitment.

Cry warning: “For Life.”

New Army grooming regimens look pretty racially biased against black female soldiers. The woman who started a White House petition to change things says, “I’m kind of at a loss now with what to do with my hair.”

The ever-so-smart Liz got a nod from Jezebel for bridesmaid advice!

“When the women negotiated for themselves, they asked for an average of $7,000 less than the men. But when they negotiated on behalf of a friend, they asked for just as much money as the men.”

Everything women could buy if they were paid the same wage as men.

And, to take you out—eight million flower petals over Costa Rica.

APW’s 2014 Happy Hours are sponsored by Monogamy Wine and Promisqous wine. Thank you Monogamy and PromisQous for helping make the APW mission possible! if you want to learn more about monogamy (and possibly win birthday treats), head over here and sign up for their newsletter.

 

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Granola

    Happy Friday! Thank God the weekend is here.

    Great picks this week APW Team.

    The moving for love relationship milestone really needs to be more examined. It’s hard for everyone, and can we add “women making some sort of life change for love” as a thing we should haven’t to be ashamed about? It’s taken me years to make progress on that front.

    • joanna b.n.

      There was a part of me that worried I’d given up the equality in our relationship on some level when I moved to be with my husband (twice), which was ultimately reserving judgment until he moved to follow my job last year. Only then did I feel totally justified/safe in my judgment that it was right to move.

      • Granola

        Man, that sounds really hard. I will say though, FWIW, as the person who has been the driving force in two moves at this point, I feel *really* guilty about it.

        • joanna b.n.

          Hmm, Granola, that’s unfortunate too. I don’t think carrying that guilt is any better (more useful/more appropriate) than me carrying doubt. In fact, I think both partners have to work to be sure everyone truly benefits from any move decision, so that there is no need for guilt. And then we each have to work to let it go.

          My worry was that he would never move for me, if it came down to it. In fact it was a totally unjustified worry, not even supported by anything he had done or said. Just a basic anxiety I carried around for personal reasons. And which was only dispelled when he proved my irrational self wrong by doing it.

          So my point to you is – if you’d move for your partner, and you KNOW that deep down, then banish the guilt. (SHAMEBLASTERS, anyone?)

          • Granola

            I’ll second the shameblasting. In a slightly different area, I’ve had the same worries about my partner – that I was doing more housework and stuff when he had a really long commute. I was terrified that I was becoming a beleaguered wife and that he wouldn’t do the same if the roles were reverse. But then they did reverse and he totally stepped up and banished by worries and I felt really sad that I’d been so defensive of it before.

            Instead of giving into that defensive “you give first” posture, I’ve tried to just incorporate more generosity of spirit. Deep down, I know my husband is a good and kind person, and our life together is not a chalkboard tally. So I try not be afraid to give first, and usually that helps create a positive cycle that comes back around.

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

            I’m late on reading through these comments, but this is fantastic advice, Granola.

    • Michelle

      I’m planning to move for my relationship in a little less than 3 months and it is so stressful to figure out. And although my family has an idea that it’s happening, they don’t know when yet. (I know that may seem cruel to some people, but last time I tried having a conversation about it being a possibility I was told “Well, that would be really difficult for me” and decided that I can’t spend more than 2 months listening to how me changing my life is going to be a problem for others.)

      My close friends have been amazingly supportive though and are constantly reminding me that I’m doing the right thing not only for my relationship but for my life & for what I really want out of my life (which is very true). I know that I’m doing this for the right reasons, but it’s still a scary thing to go through.

  • Rebekah

    Happy Friday, all!
    We’re 3 weeks out and I’m wishing I had set the RSVP deadline earlier, because I’m sitting here twiddling my thumbs instead of making adjustments to the rental dishes, seating charts, trivia cards, gift bags, and catering order.
    To fill the time, I went through the makeup archives and will be off to the drugstore tomorrow to start practicing on myself.

    • Stacie

      Three weeks from tomorrow! We have 4 more days left on our B list RSVPs, so I haven’t even STARTED my seating charts!!

      I’m swinging back and forth between “We have SO got this!” and “OMGOMGOMG, how could I have forgotten this totally essential (probably not that essential) thing!”

      I guess I should start writing my vows, though…. eep!

      • Granola

        Go with the vows. You can always scrap the seating charts at the last minute if you don’t get to them. Our wedding was delightful and everyone figured it out. A compromise would be setting aside a table for some elderly relatives so they’re close to you and have chairs and letting everyone else fend for themselves.

        • Stacie

          Totally would, but FH is not really helping… He apparently has had his vows for weeks, and refuses to tell me anything about them- length, format, etc… he wants it all to be a surprise. Which I get, and all, but… what if his vows are BETTER than mine???

          I want a little guidance!

          • Lawyerette510

            As a suggestion, have you thought about framing you desire to know a little about the vows to your FH in terms of why it’s important to you and how it would help you, then he would be willing to give you the information that would help you in writing your vows.

            For instance, something like “I know you’re really excited about this being a 100% surprise, but it causes me to feel insecure about my vows. I want to feel confident and unified during our ceremony. Would you please tell me approximately how long yours are/ give me an idea of the format/ etc?”

            That said, if you write your vows from your heart and your goals of what you are bringing to your marriage and what you going to do in your marriage, then they are going to be perfect-for-you.

          • Anon

            Hi Stacie, we wrote our vows separately, then asked a close friend to read them both to make sure they were ‘balanced’. It meant we had that lovely surprise on our wedding day but knew we both had a similar length and mixture of heartfelt & funny! Perhaps this could help? xo

    • memery

      I’m 3 weeks out, too! RSVP deadline is today, but I have about 10 stragglers… planning to mess around with a curling iron tomorrow, myself. :)

  • Lawyerette510

    The wedding is 31 days away! And things are kicking into gear (we’ve only been planning for 40 days so far). This last week we went on vacation we had planned before we got engaged and decided to get married so quickly, and what a great idea that was. It gave us time to write our ceremony (using lots of tips and ideas from APW), make some calls that work had been getting in the way of, and just reconnect.

    I had ordered 6 different dresses online from Nordstrom and some other places with good return policies, and I just some friends over the other day for a “try on party” we had sparkling wine, snacks and I tried on all the dresses. The winner was this http://www.jilljillstuart.com/shop/spring-2014/lily, which looks a whole lot like Meg’s and which I found thanks to another APW weekend open thread.

    The rings have been ordered, the menu and wine will be finalized this weekend, he is shopping for his clothes next week, and we have 100% of our RSVPs in 1 day before the deadline (bonus thing about appycouple.com, they automatically bug your guests for a reply so you don’t have to).

    Two weeks ago I thought we had made a big mistake about planning the wedding so quickly, but in the last few days, I am gaining confidence this is going to be perfect-for-us!

    • Lisa

      Oh, man, I didn’t realize Appy Couple did that. I’m so glad we went with them then now!

      The dress trying party sounds awesome, and I’m sure you will look beautiful in that dress. It’s so much fun!

      • Lawyerette510

        Yes, I didn’t realize they did it either, and then one day I got an email saying “your guests will be reminded that RSVPs are due in 2 days, to change this go to your settings” and I thought “oh, no thank you I will not be changing it.”

        Also, in the interest of full-disclosure, when you’re only inviting 60 people and it’s a Monday and short-notice, it makes it easier for people to RSVP.

        • Lisa

          I guess this means I need to go in and add everyone’s e-mail addresses now… That was the one thing my mom didn’t include when she gave me all of the physical addresses.

          • Lawyerette510

            True, it won’t work without the email addresses. :S

    • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

      This is so awesome! I love short engagements and you are going to kill it with that dress. Do you have shoes yet (tea length = great shoes! yes?)?

    • Felicity

      Beautiful dress!

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you!

    • Fiona

      I LOVE that dress. It’s a stunner.

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you! I’m so excited about it!

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      Wooooooo I found this dress!! If I was getting married this week, it’s exactly what I would wear. You’re going to look stunning!

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t imagine a more perfect-for-me dress!

  • Rachel102712

    OK, APWers, I am freaking out a little bit, but in a good way. I have been waiting for Happy Hour all week to share that my husband and I will be traveling several states away this weekend for a job interview. If he is offered the position, we are looking at the possibility of moving to Boone, NC!

    I am trying my best not to put the cart before the horse, so to speak, but if this happens for us, this would be a huge life-changer! Meanwhile, I am still adjusting to the shift of thinking in terms of “we” in making major life decisions. I moved around a lot throughout my 20s, but I was always just doing it for me, not we.

    Anyway, if any of you just so happen to live in Boone, please let me know! Otherwise, please send some positive vibes our way–on Monday, during his interview, to be exact. Happy Friday everyone! :)

    • Lisa

      Good luck! Lots of good and positive thoughts. :)

      I know what you mean about the I -> we transition. It’s been rearing its head lately and forcing me to reorient my thinking.

      • Rachel102712

        Thanks, Lisa! Same to you!

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

      I’m from NC and I love Boone!! :)

    • jashshea

      Boone is wonderful! I’m a few hours away, but try to get up there a few times a year – I love me some mountains!

      *Positives for the interview*

    • macrain

      I’m getting married in NC! Never been to Boone but have been to the area, and it is so ridiculously beautiful. Good luck!

    • Emily

      I grew up near Boone – it’s a cool town and a beautiful area; lots of outdoors things to do!

    • Jenny

      We got married near Boone. It’s lovely!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

      I don’t know anything about Boone, but the Asheville area is fun and not too far away… And it’s beautiful in the NC mountains!

  • Lindsey d.

    Happy Friday! It’s festival season in Louisiana! Tomorrow we are headed to the Baton Rouge Blues Fest and then Sunday we’ll go the French Quarter Fest in New Orleans. I can’t wait!
    Waiting seems to be the theme of my life right now. Which is funny because you would think that would have been the case before the wedding?
    – We are supposed to get our wedding photos on Monday. Before we can look at them together, we will have to get through Seder with his parents. I have a feeling the Haggadah will never seem as long.
    – It’s the Legislative Session in Louisiana. Basically the longest time of year and it always makes me hate my job. I realized last night that it’s the session making me crazy, not my actual job. What a relief.
    – We just started TTC last weekend and I’ve had heartburn like crazy since Tuesday. I have at least a week before I can take a test and the anticipation probably isn’t helping the heartburn symptoms.

    So here’s to staying calm and managing the anticipation.

    • Lisa

      Good luck on the TTC! Lots of good thoughts for you.

  • Kayjayoh

    When I read yesterday’s Girls With Slingshots, I started wishing it were Friday already:

    http://www.girlswithslingshots.com/comic/gws-1827/

    • Jessica

      Ahh! I love GWS and this plotline has made me both upset and happy (upset because Mimi isn’t communicating well with Thea) but then everything is working out in today’s strip! Ahh!

  • Lisa

    We’re officially 6 months out today!!!

    For anyone curious, we still haven’t decided if my fiancé is going to take the position at the less-than-favorable university. We’re waiting to hear responses on some e-mails he sent to the different professors and should hopefully have a decision made by next weekend. Thank you all for your support and thoughtful advice last week!

    • Lawyerette510

      I’ll have my fingers crossed for quick and informative email responses for yall!

  • Leslie

    I’ve been waiting for Happy Hour excitedly since I saw this earlier this week, and wanted to share: http://www.lingerietalk.com/2014/04/08/lingerie-news/yellowberry-meet-the-teen-titan-who-is-taking-on-the-youth-bra-industry.html

    • Jessica

      This is really interesting to me, as a lingerie-blog follower. As someone who is really into lingerie and the smaller brands, I know that sometimes things can get a little over-the-top sexy, but at the same time there is a tween-area that can be over-the-top cute. I think there is a much-needed need for something that focuses on the tweens. I do think there are brands out there that have sizing for young teens, but they are more well-known for their adult products. If this becomes a wide-spread brand and idea, they will see competition from those lingerie makers.

      (when I needed my first bra, my mom was pissed because all I wanted to wear was sports bras. She bought me a “real bra” without taking any measurements or sizing or my own preference in color in account. She would not want to spend $50 on a sports bra looking training bra).

    • Meg Keene

      #godblessteenagegirls

      ALSO. There are lingerie blogs? Tell me MORE!

    • Emily

      It’s so crazy to think that there was such a lack of appropriate bras for girls! This kid is awesome.

  • SarahG

    Random question: has anybody had to turn down a wedding gift, and how did you do it? My partner’s mother is a big time art collector; her collection is actually a huge source of stress and friction between them for various reasons. Anyway, as her wedding gift to us, she wants to buy us art — like, expensive art. I think what we have on the walls is currently totally worth maybe $100? Mostly because of the frames (from Target)? (Yeah, we have some class differences in terms of how we grew up.) What we actually NEED is someone to help us with honeymoon flights (visiting elderly relatives far away who can’t make our wedding). I feel like a total ingrate saying “no thanks” to Salvadore Dali (yeah, she has her eye on some Dali sketch) but we just don’t want art, nor do we have the insurance, nor do we want to take care of something that priceless, and it brings up a lot of painful childhood stuff for my partner (which his mom doesn’t totally realize, to be fair). I realize I sound ungrateful even typing this… argh.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Can you accept it, but ask that she hold it in trust? (That means, she physically has it, but it belongs to you.) I know no one who cared about serious art would want it in our apartment – too small, untreated windows (leads to fading), lots of trip hazards, etc. Explain that you love the idea of the gift, but couldn’t care for it properly, so would she do so, please?

    • Jessica

      Oof. If you don’t want to accept it because of the emotional issues and that you’re just not into starting an art collection right now (emphasize right now, perhaps), maybe ask that she start a savings account for you two so you can explore the idea in the future? Or ask that she contribute to an IRA so you can invest the money for something you both want? Or just come out and say that rather than a gift that you two wouldn’t appreciate as much as she would, ask for help in visiting the relatives? I think trying to acknowledge what a huge gift that is while diverting the idea into something more useful/practical/desirable for you and your partner is the key.

      Just read ElisabethJoanne’s comment, and I think that could work too, but it doesn’t change the emotional baggage.

      • SarahG

        Thanks for the advice — it is a bit tricky, and you’re right, the emotional stuff that’s layered onto it makes it harder. My partner’s general way of dealing with her is to take the path of least resistance and then gripe about it/feel sad. I’m trying to encourage him to do things differently :) so I’m more in favor of talking to her instead of having her hold the art (as ElisabethJoanne suggested, a totally reasonable idea as well). I think at least if she held it he wouldn’t have to look at it. Hmmm. More to ponder. Thanks women!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Also, I feel you on the unwanted gifts. My MIL gives trinkets she thinks are cute but we think are junk. In my family, we’d exchange or donate such gifts with no hurt feelings, but my husband says any disposal of such gifts could lead to a huge blow-up years later when his parents found out, and he insists they’re sneaky enough to press such issues. I think there are polite ways to decline expensive gifts that take serious caring for, but I don’t know how to decline an ugly coffee mug (or cheap earrings for pierced ears when I don’t have pierced ears). Our solution is to dedicate a closet to such “smials.” If the gifts get beyond the dedicated space, I’ll put my foot down.

      • Lawyerette510

        Sorry you have to deal with this… especially earrings for pierced ears when you don’t have pierced ears? That’s a really horrible gift, even just as a trinket. Also, if this is the kind of thing that’s going to lead to a huge blow-up, then I’d think there are some underlying issues that have long gone un-addressed. Good luck!

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Oh, my in-laws have undiagnosed, untreated mental health issues and were abusive, etc. All sorts of underlying issues. The trinkets are the least of our issues, which is why I tolerate them.

      • Caroline

        Yup, my MIL is huge on trinkets. I hate trinkets. Lots of guilt. She wants us to drive to visit sometime so she can give us all this stuff to drive home with. Motivation enough to only fly to visit with tiny carry-one only.

        I love the idea of one space for trinkets and no trinkets allowed that don’t fit in it. Mostly, I accept all gifts, and agressively and silently goodwil those which are not to my taste. Someone else very well might enjoy that conservative pink sweater in the wrong size. Me, I once picked a team besides my partner’s at trivial pursuit because he picked the pink marker/token thing.

        • Granola

          My aunt gave me this mantra: “I can love the person and appreciate the thought, and not want or keep the stuff”. I trot that one out when I get ridiculous gifts I don’t want.

          • Caroline

            Exactly! I can appreciate that my MIL loves me and shows that love through lots of small gifts, even if I don’t keep the gifts.

    • Laura C

      I don’t have an answer, but I have a ton of empathy. We are in the process of figuring out what to do about the fact that many of my fiance’s relatives in India want to bring us gifts from India — things like rugs, bedspreads, wall hangings. Which…of course we appreciate the love and thought behind it, but these things are mostly major decorative elements of the kind that you really need to design a whole room around. Big size, bold colors, etc. We live in a small apartment and will be moving to an only slightly larger apartment where we don’t know what size/shape rugs we’re going to want and are not going to be able to design an entire room around each of several different gifts that will have been bought by different people and not necessarily go together. So getting them feels like a lot of work, actually, and like we’re losing the opportunity to make our own design choices, but we can’t figure how to express that or just deflect some of it. Because of course we don’t want to make anyone feel unappreciated.

      • Granola

        Just throwing this out there as another small apartment dweller. I bought a small persian rug and now I wished I’d just bought a big one and it could have filled the room and when we moved to a different apartment used it somewhere else. It might end up being really meaningful to have big piece of house decoration that you keep for a long time. Could they all go in on one thing though? So you have something nice from that side of the family, but not ALL your decorations?

        • Laura C

          My fiance’s mother already has a fairly large (not sure exactly how big) rug for us that she’s storing until we move. And it’s BEAUTIFUL and I’m excited to plan a room around that one…but it’s also not the colors I personally would have chosen, so the room we plan around it will be not the room I otherwise would have planned. Which is fine! It’ll be lovely. But I think it also contributes to my anxiety about this other stuff being proposed. The going in on a gift together is an interesting thought; I’m afraid the people involved may be from several different parts of the family and not really know each other, but I will try to feel that out.

          • SarahG

            Yeah, the going in on a gift thing sounds like a good option, maybe? Thanks for the empathy. It’s hard… you want your space to have family mementos and reflect your backgrounds, and at the same time, it’s *yours*. I keep trying to find ways in which my MIL can help us that feel good for her and us so that when we tell her no (have had to do before) she doesn’t feel too rejected or that we’re incredibly ungrateful. Anyway, back to your problem — is there any possible way to coordinate with the gift giving, if not having them give 1 big gift, maybe say “we have a small amount of space, here’s what we could really use…”?? and a list of serving platters, small rugs, etc? I dunno. Gifts are so nice and also hard.

    • Meg Keene

      OMG.

      Sorry, now that I got that out. I think what you can’t do is ask someone to use wedding gift money in a different way. IE, she’s not offering you cash, she’s offering you a gift. You can not take the gift, but you can’t really ask for her to spend the money on something else instead.

      I’m not sure what the right answer is, but the idea of holding it in trust is a really good one. That lets her give the gift, you guys don’t have to actually deal with the gift, and after she’s gone, you can do what you want with it. (Included sell it, shhhhh…)

      • SarahG

        Ha! Yeah. My family was on welfare when I was a kid, and sometimes I see the art my partner’s mom collects and I’m like… that could have fed my family for several months. Possibly years. Anyway. I agree, we can’t suggest a substitution. She also offered to help with wedding finances, so that may be the place to ask for help with flights. Gifts are gifts; if only they didn’t come with such big underlying emotional baggage attached. Ah, family.

        • Meg Keene

          Oh, I mean I GET IT. But still.

          I would suggest a momentary time out where you consider the amazingness of the fact that someone wants to gift you a Dali sketch. In fact, I’d even suggest a time out where you consider accepting it, and what that feels like. I’m saying that because I see two clear options: if she’s giving it to you with a lot of strings attached emotionally, or to be controlling, it’s a clear “thank you, but no.” However, if she’s giving it out of love, because it’s something she cares about, and the issues are more that you’re uncomfortable with how much it costs, in that case, I’d personally urge you to consider saying yes. We can’t control the forms other people’s generosity takes, and learning to accept generosity with grace is one of life’s big struggles.

          THAT SAID. It might really be the former. We’ve been through some of that and I super duper get it.

          • Jess

            “We can’t control the forms other people’s generosity takes, and learning to accept generosity with grace is one of life’s big struggles.”

            Erg. Yes. That.

          • SarahG

            Hmmmm. Yes yes yes. Food for thought. I think I’m both uncomfortable with the size of the gift and a bit worried it’s a controlling thing (she has tried to “store” art at our house before because she has run out of room; it seems like we might end up in a 2 bedroom apartment crowded with paintings). But I may not be giving her enough credit, and I may also just be working through my own class issues on this one (it’s not her fault my family couldn’t afford diapers). Thanks for the perspective! And after all there are worse things in life than someone trying to give you a Dali.

  • Cathi

    Has anyone ever been asked to “talk more”? I think it’s code for “listen better” but I’m honestly not sure, ha.

    My husband told me the other day that, after going to confession and talking with the priest, he thinks we need to talk more. He’s not 100% sure what he means, just that he doesn’t feel like, super duper close to me and that he doesn’t necessarily “feel married”. I’m a little confused, because we talk all the time (not usually about deep, life stuff but we do also frequently talk about us/the future) and we’re also not really lacking in quality time, where we’re together and focusing on each other.

    He says it’s not some sort of crisis, just a thought, so I’m not freaking out about it…yet. But it’s a need he’s expressed and I can’t really parse what it means for me in order to do better in this department.

    • SarahG

      I feel like “talk more” is super vague — one of those pieces of advice people give all the time, but what does it really mean? Maybe you could ask him to model what he wants? Although he may not know, himself, exactly. But that might be a starting place…

    • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

      My gut instinct is that he may have some things that he wants to open up more about and share with you (not specific things, just in general) but that you guys are not in a place yet where he feels comfortable with doing that. My husband expressed that he wanted to talk more and for him, that’s what it meant. He wanted to tell me about his hopes and fears and vent to me more, with me listening and supporting rather than trying to fix things. We actually have a reverse of the standard “generally accepted gender roles” in that way. Maybe it’s partially that he does not feel comfortable yet being that vulnerable with you and he’s trying to ask you for reassurance of your support if he opens up. Does this help?

      • Cathi

        That actually has more than a little ring of familiarity for me. My dude isn’t the most open, even when I ask direct questions about his feelings. Maybe I’ll just start asking more, listening more and “fixing” less, and see if that results in anything…

    • Meg Keene

      My instinct is that you guys should do a few therapy sessions together to work on figuring it out, and getting him to “feel married”, whatever that means to him. This is EXACTLY when marital counseling is the best. You want to do it when you’re not in crisis, in fact, well before you’re in crisis, if you can.

      To answer the question though, I have NEVER been asked to talk more ;)

      • Granola

        Can there be a post on how to find a therapist and/or what things to ask so you can feel comfortable or evaluate whether they’re someone you want to work with? I like the *idea* of therapy, but actually trying to do it seems monstrously complicated and intimidating.

        • Kelly Mine-His

          there was a wordless wedding a few years back that had one of the listed vendors as “pre-marital counseling” and I did some research and ended up using them!

          I called and talked to people about their ideas and philosophies etc. and sort of just went with my gut. Also, insurance coverage. That was a bfd, too.

          • Alison O

            Yeah and I’d say it’s helpful to go in with the attitude of trying it out, understanding that you might not fall in love with the first person. I’ve had therapists I LOVED and a couple I was very ‘meh’ about. It can be hard and tiresome to keep putting yourself out there with new people, but sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs, and it’s worth it.

        • Emily

          I once compared finding a good therapist to finding true love. It’s hard, but worth it. My method was to look at people’s websites; if I liked the words and images they had chosen for their site and had availability (a major issue, I found) I would try them for three sessions. At the end of three sessions I feel like I can tell if this is a person I’m willing to really talk with or not. I look for a connection, a “click.” Obviously it takes time to create a relationship (like months).

          Premarital counseling was harder because I was looking for someone for my (now) husband and I. My husband was very trepidatious about any kind of counseling, so I really looked for someone that I thought he would click with. The person I found had a rock climbing video and country-looking rocking chairs on his website; my husband was very willing to talk with him once the rock-climbing bond was established. He was an okay fit for me, not fantastic, but in my personal test three sessions I saw worse. I felt like we created a good space that we can return to in the future if we need to.

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

      yep I second the therapy recommendation.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Ask your husband what he means. If he can’t explain it, and it’s ’cause of something the Priest said, tell him he needs to clarify with the Priest so he can clarify with you. My husband and I don’t go to confession (we’re bad catholics), but we do go to therapy, support groups, etc., and sometimes what makes perfect sense there makes less sense when we get home and try to explain to the other person.

      And, gee, I’ve been married 18 months. When did I finally “feel married”? When we opened our first joint bank account a year before we got married? On the honeymoon when I got to use “my husband” a whole bunch for the first time? When we got back and I did the paperwork to add him to my insurance? The first time he got sick and I took care of him? After our first big fight? When I bought him clothes that required knowing his size and build? Last week when he caused me financial problems and I barely resented it, just wanted it fixed?

      When will I “feel married”? When we get an apartment I haven’t lived in alone? When I close my separate bank accounts? When we have a child together?

      “feeling married” is not all or nothing. It’s something you grow into.

      • Cathi

        We’ve been married about a year and a half too :) I told him I didn’t necessarily “feel married” either, but what I do feel is sure of him. That seemed to make him feel better. And I think he’s having that seem problem: what seemed to make a lot of sense at the time really didn’t translate well 36 hours later.

    • KC

      Absolutely on the trying to figure out what it means and on the yay, therapy if you can find a good therapist thing.

      If it means “I don’t feel like we’re getting to know each other enough more” or “I don’t feel like we know each other as well as we should”, then you could potentially have a go (when both partners are not tired, hungry, or angry) at conversations about:
      1. priorities, both big and small (is there something you’ve envisioned owning or doing “when you grow up”? have you always wanted a piano/a dinner party/to go skydiving/to have a baby/to own chickens? what does financial security look like to you? what does a balanced life look like to you? how many pairs of socks would you ideally like to have?)
      2. history, again both big and small (what was it like to grow up poor/rich/middle/nerdy/short/tall? what was your favorite movie/book/meal/sport/activity as a kid? what are your clearest memories of family members? do you remember any triumphs or failures? did you like playing in mud, or was it icky? how did your parents relate to each other and to you?)

      If I feel like “we haven’t talked” for a while, it usually means that we’ve been only talking about the current “errands” for a longish time (things like “do we have milk?” and “when is your dentist appointment?” or even “practically speaking, how are we going to split our time this visit back to home-city?”). Sometimes I have specific things I want to get at but don’t know how (like “seeing books on their sides on the bookcase drives me absolutely up a wall but I don’t want to nag you” or “I’ve been thinking more and more that I’d like to learn how to do X but it would cost money/time” or existential questions); sometimes I just feel like we haven’t been getting to know each other more lately, correctly or incorrectly.

      If other people say “You should talk”, it usually means “you are telling me things that really, you should be discussing with your partner and that will fix things better than telling me”. So if someone told him that he should talk with you, and he can remember what he was talking with them about, that may provide… clues. :-)

  • lady brett

    i did it! i’m going to be working 3 days a week come July or August (still hammering out the details)! only caveat is that i’ll be doing occasional full-time during our “busy seasons,” which is no big (and i’ll probably be happy for the extra cash by the time that rolls around =).

    *and* my honey is officially accepted into her major! so the 2-years to graduation plan is a reality =)

    • Kelsey

      Woooo!

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      Yaaaaaaay!!!!! Sorry for the delayed yay, but I was at work during happy hour. But yaaay! I’m so happy for you!

      • lady brett

        =D thanks!

  • Kayjayoh

    Last Sunday night, I had to tell me fiance not to talk to me anymore about anything related to the groomsmen’s outfits. I will absolutely not care about them on the day of, but hearing him talk about them kept tearing away any shred of zen I had about it and reminded me of how very much I hate the idea of having them in matching outfits and even more of how much I hate the specific things he picked, which would then start to get me angry about the whole thing. “Honey, I love you. You need to stop mentioning this to me.”

    It was kind of weird, and I hope he understands. As much as I wish he would make a different choice on this matter, its really important to him. I want to stay out of brat mode. (“If you loved me you’d do it *my* way!”) Hence, the embargo on discussion.

    • Kayjayoh

      I *have* jokingly told some of my bridal brigade that it is their job to spread the rumor that the bride had nothing to do with anyone’s outfit but her own.

    • Jess

      I’m kind of proud of you. Way to be like, “Hey, this isn’t helping me love you more. It isn’t helping me come around to the oufits. Let’s just not talk about them, since we cannot change it.”

  • Kelly Mine-His

    Tomorrow I am finally wrapping up my first major contract since becoming self employed… and I already have three meetings set up for next week with excellent leads on the next thing! It’s almost 6 months since I left my “real” job and I finally am feeling like I made it over the hump and I’m not scared about how this will all shake out long term.

    Also, hubby and I have decided to expand our baby family! We are adopting a new kitty early next month, and can’t wait to bring him home.

    Last winter was long and scary but I’m finally feeling like Spring is here, just in time for a new chapter. Hooray, April!

    • Lawyerette510

      Congrats on the momentum behind the position and the kitty-baby!!! Our “kitten” will be a year old next month. She is a total maniac, but we love her. Survival trick we found useful at about the 3-4 month mark when she was just so energetic was to get some sort of toy she loved to chase (for her it was feathers on the end of a string or this snake thing) and use it to run her around until she fell on the ground panting. And to do that every morning and evening. It made it so we could actually sleep through the night, and she wasn’t wanting to attack/ hunt us so much!

  • Felicity

    Afternoon all! What is the APW wisdom on wedding websites? I’m looking for something with beautiful designs and a good RSVP feature. I was thinking about AppyCouple and SittingInaTree

    • Lawyerette510

      We’re using AppyCouple and for the most part I’ve liked it. I found it easy to set up, I love having the app on my phone and I liked being able to either import or export contacts as well as images to the gallery. Plus, if you have guest email addresses in there, it tracks down missing RSVP responses for you.

    • Mezza

      We used AppyCouple and actually found it pretty annoying. Hardly any of our guests actually managed to RSVP correctly, and they weren’t, like, our grandparents or otherwise out of touch with technology. The person has to enter their name EXACTLY as you did, which is a problem when you address their invitation to “Mr. Robert J. Smith” or whatever and then he tries to RSVP as “Bob Smith.” So the list of attendees it generated was wildly inaccurate and we had to manually fix everyone’s replies. Also, the app turned out to not be useful at all because practically no one downloaded it, which made me sad because I loved the app idea.

      It did make a great website, though! And the photo functionality is pretty good.

      • Lawyerette510

        I think that’s a good point. Our wedding was more informal, we sent post-cards announcing it was happening and to go to the site, and because we went with the option of having it tied to email addresses and an access code, we didn’t run into the thing with the name mismatch.

      • Felicity

        thank you! this is just the kind of info I’m looking for. The RSVP function matters to me a lot, but I’ve had a hard time figuring out how they work just from the website info.

    • stella

      Squarespace!

    • Caroline

      We used wix. It was easy and looks beautiful and you have a lot of freedom.

    • Katelyn

      We ended up with Squarespace – which meant a little more legwork as far as the RSVP but I’m really happy with how it turned out. You can make a custom form with lots of different types of questions – text boxes, drop downs, radio buttons, checkboxes, etc. I found it to be a much more robust set of options than Google Forms. The coolest part is that you can still synch to a Google Doc as well as get e-mail notifications.

      To make it easiest for our guests, I typed up a list of “household names” that they can select from a dropdown list – then a follow-up question to specify which guests can make it to the wedding (it is filled in as “None” by default for declines).

      I also set up a secondary option by creating a Google Voice number and recording a custom message for our less tech-savvy guests.

    • Kelly

      We’re using glo, and you can customize it to be your own or use templates. It took me a bit to get the hang of the guestlist and rsvp features, but now I really like them. You can set up multiple rsvps and make them available for different people or households. We also sent our save the dates and will be sending invitations through the site, so the fact that it’s all integrated is very helpful. I will say, though, that we had to send out a separate message to guests explaining what to do, because even though we thought it was all very intuitive many folks didn’t get it (and they’re all people “of the information age”).

    • NrgGrl

      We are using Glo (paperless save-the-dates and invitations, with an RSVP feature) as well.

      Pros:
      – I can’t say enough about how great it is on the customer-service side. I wanted to customize the site design a particular way, and emailed the website founder about it — she responded within 24 hours and actually did the work for me. My website is awesome because of her!

      – Great interface for tracking RSVPs and website views. I have sent out Save-the-Dates and a few housing-related messages to guests quite easily. I haven’t heard of any guest difficulty with accessing the wedding website.

      – Speaking of sending messages, the site allows you to easily message all guests. You can also assign guests to groups (e.g., out-of-towners, people with kids) and send targeted messages to them. It allows you to track whether guests have viewed your messages, which is a nice feature.

      Cons
      – I still needed to send a few snail-mail Save-the-Dates (since my grandmother can’t really put my wedding website in a scrapbook).

      – It’s not free. (But it’s worth it.)

      I haven’t sent out invitations yet (and therefore don’t have any insight into difficulty with RSVPs), but I am optimistic that it will go smoothly (and if it doesn’t, you can email Taryn at Glo and she will give you great advice).

    • Ashlee

      We are using WeddingJoJo. The designs are very pretty, simple, and modern, which I thought to be a strong selling point over some of the others. They actually look like real websites, and I find the functionality very intuitive, from both the behind-the-scenes and the guest perspectives. Their prices look a little steep compared to others, but if your wedding is a ways away, they do a discounted monthly fee, and it ends up being very comparable to something like Glo. There’s not the same level of RSVP management as Glo, but I decided that, for us, I think that works better, because I’d rather not have people worrying about passwords or going to the site based on their own personalized link or whatever.

    • ASH

      We used WeddingJoJo. It seems a little pricy, but it has been easy to use for us and easy for people to RSVP online.

    • Ashley

      We used WeddingWindow and had a great experience with it all around. Several guests RSVP’d through the website and when we received RSVPs by mail, we would enter them ourselves in the planning tool that comes with the website so that we had all the data in one place. It also allowed us to track gifts and thank-you notes easily which was a *huge* help after the wedding! (I’m sure other sites let you do that as well.)

  • Natalie

    So – Question! One of my bridesmaids has let me know that she is trying for a baby this next year (AND I AM SO EXCITED!) but she has asked me to think about having a pregnant bridesmaid, and the stress that that might include. She’s scared of stressing me out, and I’m scared of stressing her out when she might be pregnant/having a baby (we’re getting married next March). Have any ladies out there had a pregnant bridesmaid/was pregnant while being a bridesmaid? what are some tips for keeping stress levels low?

    Thanks!

    • macrain

      One of my bridesmaids is planning on being pregs for my wedding. The only thing that’s been a little tricky was making sure the dress selection would work for her. Other than that, she seems to be on board for things. My sister is also a brand new mom (my niece is two weeks old, yay!), so I’m being flex in terms of her ability to attend wedding related events. I’m just telling myself that it probably won’t happen, and I’ll be delighted if it does. She seems determined to make it to the bachelorette party, but we’ll see how things go. I think it’s important to adjust your expectations and understand if they can’t come to everything. I thought my sister would be an issue but it’s been surprisingly drama free. I scheduled my shower at a time that I knew would be challenging for her with the new baby, and she was understanding. I’m doing my best to be understanding too.
      This is probably good bridesmaid advice period, but particularly good for this particular situation.
      Good luck!

    • Fiona

      I have a pregnant lady as well. The cool thing is I picked some VERY general color families, so she can find what she wants. Also, her already borned daughter is going to be the most precious flower girl ever, so family pics are going to rock for them. As for stress levels, my friend is taking on what she wants to take on, and I’m glad for whatever I get (not overly strenuous expectations = happy with whatever, for both of us).

    • Lawyerette510

      The idea of a bridesmaid is so broad. Part of it depends on what you’re expecting from her and what she is expecting to do. If you can align expectations while remaining flexible because it’s really impossible to predict what a pregnancy is going to be like, then it should be all good.

      If you want someone who is going to be at your every beck-and-call and 100% focused on you, then a pregnant bridesmaid (or a bridesmaid who has anything major going on in her life) is probably not going to work out well. But if your expectations are clear and you are the kind of person who won’t take it personally if she is too tired or sick to make it to something etc, then it should be fine.

      Oh and the dresses, it can be really hard if you’re going the traditional order-the-dress-from-bridal-store route for a bridesmaid dress and you really want her in the same thing, but if you were going to let people pick out their own in a color scheme or you are down for her having a different cut that accommodates growing boobs/belly then great.

      I’ve been a fellow ‘maid with pregnant ladies 3 times and they were no less involved than other bridesmaids who had major life stuff happening.

    • Meg Keene

      I mean… I feel like I’m missing the real question. Find a dress that looks good on her. Let her sit down if she’s not feeling well. Understand if she misses it because she’s giving birth/ in the hospital. Understand she might not be able to travel a lot or have energy to throw a party. But. It’s just being a bridesmaid. Pregnant people can do a lot harder things than that!

      • Natalie

        That was my initial reaction. But she got married almost two years ago, and said her SIL was pregnant at the time, and it was really stressful for her. I don’t really care what she wears, if she sits or stands, or even if she has to miss the wedding if she’s you know, having the baby. I told her it’d be kinda fun if I got married on her kids birthhday, she laughed. I just wanted to check if it really was as hard as she thought it might be.

    • stella

      I haven’t had one or been one, but have had a friend who wasa pregnant MOH. I think if you give her the option to bow out at any time she feels the need, and literally put no demands on her other than turning up and standing with you if she’s able to, you should be fine. Let her pick her dress and just think of it only as her being with you on the day, expect nothing more. Honestly I actually had only two bridesmaids and requested nothing more than this from either anyway.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My mother did not have her only sister as a bridesmaid at her wedding because my aunt was pregnant at that time and “it just wasn’t done.” My mother regretted it forever. (not seriously/deeply, but sincerely)

      Maybe go back to that discussion from about 10 days ago about turning down being a bridesmaid. Being a bridesmaid doesn’t have to be this big thing. My bridesmaids were underage – no boozy bachelorette for me. Church ladies planned my shower. My maid of honor was mostly on the other side of the world for my engagement. My bridesmaids commented on dress, shoes, flower choices and showed up in the attire we all agreed on. That was it.

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

      My sister/MOH was 5 months pregnant at my wedding. While she certainly wasn’t pregnant when we got engaged, nor when we picked out bridesmaid dresses, we knew it was a distinct possibility. So, when we picked bridesmaid dresses we picked something potentially pregnancy flattering and she purposely ordered a size up (which worked out perfectly! She didn’t need any alterations). We had no problems or issues with her being pregnant during planning etc.

      That being said – my sister and I are super close to each other and our Mom. So any slack was picked up by my Mom. Also, my sister isn’t generally the biggest planner/organizer anyways, so when I asked her to be my MOH it wasn’t so she would help with stuff, it was because she’s my sister and best friend. I had other girls in my party who are super crafty to help with other wedding crap. Maybe your friend’s SIL took stress and pregnancy (which can be super hard for lots of women) really hard so it did suck for you. My sister is not a stress-er and had a pretty easy pregnancy, all things considered.

  • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

    We have a move date! We’ll be moving out to Denver on May 31, a week after the wedding. I’m super excited but also pretty dang nervous — I still have to get the ball rolling on the job hunt, and with wedding stuff going on I feel like there’s not enough time in a day sometimes… or enough room in my brain for everything that’s going on!

    We’re doing our rentals this weekend, and that’ll be the last big thing aside from our playlist. The rest is all details.

    I’m sure I’m forgetting something small stuff for the wedding.. Anybody have a list of some kind of the small things to take care of before the day? We’re not having a seating chart or anything like that and my grandmother is making most of the floral arrangements the day before, so I don’t have to worry about any of that. I’ve got to get a guest book and plates/forks/knives, etc still… other than that, what could there be?

    Frankly, I’m SO tired of planning the wedding. I’m at the point where I just wish I could stop thinking about wedding planning, and now that we’re 1.5 months away it seems like it’s all my guy and I talk about anymore. I’m ready to get back to real life. :(

    • memery

      “or enough room in my brain for everything that’s going on”
      AMEN!
      I’m 3 weeks out, and just SO ready for the day to come so we can enjoy it and stop THINKING about it. I’m also curious if anyone else has last minute list of things not to forget. I am afraid I’m forgetting things. Or will.

      • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

        Oh goodness. I think I’m going to be a nervous wreck at 3 weeks out. You’re so close though!! How exciting!

        • memery

          I swing from nervous wreck to nonchalant. apparently by the minute. :)

    • NicoleT

      I feel you on the wedding planning. I’m not really close to my wedding (year away- we had to move the date), but I’ve been planning for about one and a half years now (off and on) and I am *done*. But you’re almost there, which is awesome!! Congrats!

      • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

        Yes, that is one good thing about wedding planning: it has literally FLOWN by! :) Thanks!! I’m so ready, at least mentally. Whether my actual wedding is ready is another story but it’ll work out. :D

  • Mezza

    We’re leaving for our honeymoon in two days! …Six months after our actual wedding. But still excited! It’s also my first time taking an actual vacation from work – all other trips have just been traveling-while-unemployed.

    Also, last night my wife and I went to a local meeting about how to have a baby as two women. Mostly we were just being information sponges, but we ended up learning that the way we’d prefer to do it is actually much much less expensive than we thought. Which means it could happen sooner (we could technically afford it now). Which is both excellent and terrifying. Yikes.

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

      such great news on the babyfront! my fiance and I want a family sooner rather than later but are discouraged by the “how” and “how much” of it all. so this gave me hope!

      • Mezza

        Yay! I’m glad to have brought hope. We are still pretty young (for our community) to have kids, so we’re waiting AT LEAST a year still, but it’s kind of cool to know that we could.

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

          Yay I’m young too!! My partner is 14 years older and all of her friends have kids and all that..I’m turning 24 next month and totally have baby on the brain too..interesting to be at that life stage when most people aren’t (except for people i know from high school in the South!). We’ll probably wait at least three years though…

  • Beth R

    Speaking of buying houses in the bay area (a while ago)…my husband and I put our first offer in on a place this week and…didn’t get it. Womp womp. We offered 15% over the listing price and they ended up going with an offer that was 30% over. *Sigh* This is not going to be easy. On the plus side, my husband and I really do make a great team, which this experience has confirmed even more. <3

    • Emily

      30% over asking price! Holy cow!

      • Beth R

        Yeah, it’s pretty nutso. Our realtor let us know that places have been going for 10-20% over, so we tailored our search with that in mind, but if things are now going to be going for 30% over? I just don’t know.

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      We’re heading into our 4th offer… chin up!

  • Kayjayoh

    Mom news: the tumors they removed on her neck were malignant, but had not yet spread to her spine. So they are going to make a new treatment plan for her, possibly with radiation. On the upside, I get to bring her home from rehab on Saturday.

    (On the downside, she got notice that she needs to vacate her apartment by May 31, so now we get to deal with packing and moving her stuff to a new place.)

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

      Wow that is such a lot to be going through. I can’t imagine how hard it all is. I’m glad the tumors had not spread. My partner’s dad has been battling cancer for almost 4 years. It’s HARD. and scary. My thoughts and prayers are with you both! xxx

      • Kayjayoh

        Thank you.

    • Emily

      Wow, what a rollercoaster ride! Glad she’s on the mend from her surgery, hopefully the moving process is as smooth as can be for her and for you.

      • Kayjayoh

        Thanks

  • Kelly

    I feel like this should be added to happy hour: Maker’s Map of Gratitude

    http://www.makers.com/blog/who-inspired-women-who-inspire-us?ncid=edlinkusmake00000001&ts=1397238820

    • Kelly Mine-His

      I love this! Such a happy thing for a Friday afternoon. I have considered Madeleine Albright my pesonal hero since I was 15, and my mom is taking me to see an exhibition of her pins in June. A chance to spend an afternoon with the two women who have influenced me most!

      Who are your inspirational ladies, APW?

      • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

        She wasn’t on the map but mine is Meredith Viera! I feel like both personally and professionally she is just so inspiring.

  • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

    You guys, this week I threaded a bobbin, loaded it, threaded my sewing machine, and sewed a napkin this week all by myself! You may recall that learning so sew was a 2013 goal of mine but, well, it got put on the back burner in favor of other things. But I finally made time for it and I’m so proud of my first little napkin!!

    • macrain

      Yea Rachel!!!

    • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

      That’s awesome! I worked at a fabric store in high school and I think sewing is kind of the best. You can actually make a lot of cool things with the skills you already have now and it’s so helpful to be able to hem stuff on your own.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the first step! Throw pillows for couches and beds would be a fun and easy next step. :)

      • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

        Yes! While my mom and grandma always sew clothes, I think stuff for the house is going to be my jam.

        • Lisa

          My mom is an awesome seamstress, and she taught me how to sew via 4-H projects, but I haven’t done it in forever so I’ve forgotten a lot! Thankfully I still know enough to make Halloween costumes and hem curtains.

    • Kelly

      Good job! Just leave that little sewing machine out on the table, so you can do a little at a time! Mine just sits and gets dusty if it isn’t right in my face.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      Yay! Learning to sew is also a goal of mine…

    • Jess

      I’m hoping to start learning to sew in the next 2 years. I’m starting at stage 0, and I’ve got plans to start with a napkin. It seems the best way to start.

    • Amy M.

      Congrats! It’s such a fun feeling of creative accomplishment, isn’t it? My suggestion for your next project is placemats, which can be made to match your new napkins (Let me know if you want a link for inspiration :-) Have fun!

      • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

        Ooh great idea! Would love some inspiration!

    • Emily

      Yaaay! Well done!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Congratulations! Sewing is so rewarding. If you like sewing fun, simple, house things, you should get this book. I looove her patterns (which are included) and best of all they are EASY. http://www.amazon.com/Lotta-Jansdotters-Simple-Sewing-Patterns/dp/0811852571

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      yay! nice work! you should try a pillow cover next! just as easy, and then you can appreciate your work while you’re sitting on the couch!

    • StevenPortland

      Congrats! I’ve sewn all my life and while I’m still a hack at it, it is such a useful skill. My goal 2 years ago was to make lined “real” curtains for the bedroom. For some reason I had a big fear of doing it and kept putting it off. You know what? Once I figured it out it was really easy and I am really proud of them. I’m writing up a simple how-to for a Pinterest post. Keep sewing! And don’t forget youtube videos. That’s a great way to learn how to do something on your sewing machine!

    • Kara E

      :) I started with double sided flannel baby blankets for one of the zillion friends having babies.

  • Fiona

    This week, el hombre and I got one (tiny) step closer to immigrated-to-the-US-bliss beause our application is now being “processed.” I’ve discovered that I don’t even care about wedding planning that much anymore (WHAT) because I just want him to be here so badly, and I’m becoming very afraid that 4 months to W-Day isn’t enough… (Many sad faces over here).
    On another note, the APW article about engagement rings got me exploring into the archives, and I decided that I’m going to ask el hombre to marry me! Ok so we’re already engaged and have been for nearly two years, but who doesn’t want some nice bling and a romantic proposal? My plan is to pop the question when I’m in Haiti for the visa interview. Any amazing ideas on a dramatic and awesome proposal for my already-fiance??

    • Therese

      Good luck with your immigration process!!! Binational relationships can be kind of crazy. I hope everything goes smoothly for you!

  • jashshea

    Oh sweet jesus, why did I read “For Life” at work?! Wow. I’m gobsmacked.

    • Alyssa M

      I knoooooow… I somehow made it to the authors note at the end without crying… but then I lost it…

  • macrain

    I’m having big time guest list regret.
    There was this one person, a friend of mine, that I was pretty certain I would not invite since we have fallen way, way out of touch. She is pretty elusive and despite our living really close by, we don’t really see eachother or talk anymore (if we do, it’s very rare). I agonized over it but in the end I just threw my hands up and invited her, thinking that would be the path of least resistance and put the ball in her court. She lives close by and so is also invited to my shower and bachelorette.
    I 100% regret inviting her. I wish I could take it back. I feel silly for putting myself in this position and ignoring my gut, which I’m pretty sure was correct. We are having a small wedding and the people who are invited are like- the type of friends I would throw myself in front of a bus for. She doesn’t fall into that category.
    I’m more worried about the shower and bachelorette than the actual wedding. I have some grievances with her that are unresolved and I don’t want her being there to make me angry.
    I know that this probably feels much much bigger than it will feel in the grand scheme of the wedding and how I will experience it. I just wish I had listened to my intuition.

    • Kelly

      Ugh. I don’t have advice to offer, but I’m in a similar situation. In my case, the person is invited to the wedding but not the bachelorette. I’m waffling on inviting her to the bachelorette because she does live so close by and is kind-of friends with some of the people who are invited, so if she isn’t invited it will be A THING. But if she is invited (and she shows up), a few people (including our hostess for the weekend) will be uncomfortable and I will not enjoy myself as much as I would if she wasn’t there…Friend politics…BLEH.

    • Kelly

      I am nervous about a similar thing. Before RSVPing “no” to a far-away friend’s wedding, I told her that I was hurt by how she was treating our friendship. She shut down and we never talked about it. (note to self: trying to force meaningful important conversations right before someone’s wedding? mean.)

      I invited her to our wedding as a gesture… and she is flying across the country for it. Seems like to should hash it out in advance so we aren’t fake at the wedding, right? Someone needs to force me to be a grownup and just DO IT.

      Good luck! Maybe it would be helpful to put another shower guest in charge of running interference if things get awkward?

    • Lisa

      I’m so worried this is going to be me. I have a group of friends from high school that used to be close, but we hardly talk now. We were all invited to one girl’s wedding two years ago, and now that it’s my turn, I’m faced with the fact that I’m not interested in inviting most of them (1 definite and 1 possible out of 7). The one I’m waffling on is the previous bride since she did have me at her wedding. She, too, lives in a nearby town, but I rarely hear from her and haven’t seen her in over a year.

      Also… co-workers? There are four of us in my office, and we’re all invited to one person’s wedding, which is 2 months before my own.

      No real advice here, but I have lots of internet hugs.

      • Emily

        One of my “grew up together” group we’ve since mostly lost touch with got married last fall. I attended her wedding, and as we were saying our goodbyes that evening, she invited herself to mine! Most of the rest of the crew are her 3 siblings (plus about a dozen kids), and now I feel obligated to invite them all. Really, I think I would love if they came, but there are just so many of them!

        • Lisa

          I completely understand this! I saw my HS friends for brunch over Thanksgiving, and I felt kind of awful by trying to be super vague about the details with them. (“Oh, the wedding is… this fall…. in Current City.”) But they are also the ones who didn’t respond to any of the personal text messages I sent them to let them know about our engagement immediately after it happened and a full week before it was announced via social media so I’m trying not to feel too bad about not inviting most of them.

      • Rebekah

        Funny enough, The one guest I was unsure about inviting was part of a close high school group of 6. I knew she’d be very upset if she didn’t get invited, and our friendship has been rocky since we graduated from college, but I decided I’d rather have her there and give her the plus one I knew she’d expect than snub her for a brief evening of calm. She’s not all that dramatic, and I can assign friends to buffer me if it comes to that. She might surprise me in a good way.
        The best part is, though, that the 6 of us haven’t been together at once since my 19th birthday party, and every one of them will be at my wedding. That means more to me than most things, so I’m not too regretful about her invite.
        Hugs for both of you.

        • Lisa

          I always kind of thought my wedding would be a chance for a reunion, but there is one girl with whom I had a falling out at the end of high school, and she still refuses to friend me on Facebook/blocked my messages/won’t hug or shake hands with me at the end of gatherings/pushes for times that I can’t make when we’re scheduling meet ups. As a result I know that I don’t want her there, and my wedding won’t be the reunion I (and the whole group) wanted. I could have stomached inviting one or two I was unsure of, but the actions of the rest of the group (ex: several didn’t respond to my personalized text messages announcing my engagement to them personally and made no comment until they said, “Let’s see the ring” in a deadpan voice at a recent meet up) solidified my decision not to invite most of them.

          I envy what sounds like will be a happy and fun reunion for you though! That will be really nice to have everyone together again. :)

    • macrain

      In reality, this is kind of a no win situation, isn’t it? Is there even a good solution?
      Who knows, maybe if I had said no I would regret it too. I don’t know guys!

    • AG

      I regret inviting one person to my wedding. We’re not close, but we have a lot of the same friends and they’re invited. I figured it would cause more drama than it’s worth to not invite her. Now that she’s coming to the wedding (because it is a rule that the people you don’t want to be there will RSVP yes), I’m totally regretting it. I know that one person out of over a hundred people won’t make a difference, but I’m still mad that a person I don’t like or respect is going to be part of a really meaningful day.

      • Emily

        “Mad that a person I don’t like or respect is going to be part of a really meaningful day. ” I feel exactly this way about a plus-one we’ll likely have attending! I keep evilly hoping the relationship disintegrates sometime in the next couple months.

        • anon

          had to go anon for this, but we have a similar plus one situation. a guest has started seeing a former friend I don’t care for. I’m worried they will be asking for a plus one. sigh. i feel kinda bad, but at the same time, this person is pretty terrible…

        • Cathi

          I don’t know what kind/how big your wedding is, but I can say two things from experience:

          1) I didn’t even see the guy I 100% viscerally dislike at my ceremony, even though I was scanning the pews trying to take in all the smiling faces. I seriously only saw the people I loved. I was really shocked to see him afterwards, and if I had warned someone to distract him and keep him away from me I never would have known he was there.

          2) You’ll probably be really busy during your reception. Whether it’s busy talking to other people, or busy being heavily focused on dancing your ass off, ain’t nobody got time for nuisances at their own wedding.

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

    So this week has been so busy, and we are just under two months out (June 7!) and shit’s starting to feel real. On Tuesday we ordered our wedding bands, Wednesday I picked up my wedding gown and Thursday went to get it altered. Getting the RSVPs back is so exciting! I feel like we are possibly a little behind on things (ahem decor? writing our ceremony? music?) but thanks to APW I figured there’s no real timeline for anything so we’re fine? That it will all come together? Ha, at least that’s how I’ve felt throughout this whole process. I really haven’t been stressed at all (yet) except for when dealing with technical shit when we were trying to design and order our invites. It kind of creeps me out how nonchalant I am! Oh, and I’ve been having some dreamsssss. Two nights ago I was going to marry Rachel Maddow (I was really excited….)

    • Kelly

      Rachel is a lucky lady.

    • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

      I know how you feel……

      I’m just hoping it’s all going to come together cos I am SO nervous that I’m forgetting something huge (our wedding is May 24) or that the day is going to be a logistical nightmare…I’m working on the day of timeline and planning to ask my aunt be my “day of coordinator” (she likes to be in control of things, so it will work well, I think). I just worry too much, I think! Ahh!

      I mean, I know none of it matters as long as I end up married (I want that more than I wanted a reception), but I know how stressed I can get, and… I don’t want that. That’s why I have to put my aunt in charge.

      Funnily enough I’m not having dreams anymore. I had bad wedding dreams when I first got engaged (wedding day but no dress, wedding day but nothing is booked, etc) and now I’m more worrying in real life. ;) It’s gonna be ok though…. yep… :)

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

        Yeah the dreams – I’ve only had like one or two about logistical stuff but SEVERAL involving other people. Thanks a lot psyche. Reminds me of Elisabeth’s post from last year (the intern) about needle in a haystack (I think?)..

        And yeah I worry I am forgetting something too. We haven’t really “coordinated” a lot with colors or anything…I’m just kind of like..if it’s all pretty colors won’t it be pretty? the bridesmaids are wearing different colors…who knows if they’ll “go” but I have decided to own whatever ends up being our wedding day.

        • macrain

          We don’t have colors and have just been choosing stuff we love. So in short, YES- if it’s all pretty colors it will be pretty. :)

        • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

          Hee, I don’t really have a color scheme. My sister is my only bridesmaid. I’m thinking about changing my flowers… (because I’m indecisive like that, and my grandmother is doing the centerpieces). I’m just doing the flowers blush pink roses, white daisies and some green filler. I hope that will look ok, because I only just recently decided on the shades. Other than that, I don’t even really care. And I hope that looks good.

          If it doesn’t, then oh well.

          My sister has yet to get her dress but I asked her to make it pink. Other than that, I’m really not losing sleep.

          I really wouldn’t worry. It’s gonna be AWESOME no matter what. That’s all.

    • Kelly

      High-five to being “creeped out” by your own nonchalant-ness! We’re about three months out and we’re just kind of…doing things…here and there…The big pieces of the puzzle are in place, and otherwise we don’t have any real timeline for getting things done. But every now and then I get panicked that I’m not panicking enough.

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

        exactly!!

      • sara g

        Yeah we have a “short engagement” (engaged in January, getting married in August) and I’m totally out of things to do. We have the venue, caterer, officiant, and photographer, we both have our attire. Sent out save the dates last month. Now I feel like I should be doing something, but… I don’t know what! I’ll be designing and printing invitations sometime in April/May but other than that I don’t have much. I keep feeling like I’m totally missing something.

    • macrain

      Rachel Maddow is a dreamboat, can’t say I blame you there!
      Good luck! You can do it!

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

        yes. she is. !

    • Laura C

      Oh my gosh, I just realized we’re under four months out. Yikes.

      ::Staggers away to breathe into a paper bag while thinking about everything that needs doing::

    • Jess

      haha, we’re in a similar boat but we’re May 16th, for the exact same categoies….decor, writing the ceremony, music. haha. what is it about those things that get put off?

      for the ceremony part, we probably would have put it off for forever, but we had a friend come over and walk us through the APW writing your own ceremony guide. not as painful as we thought it would be. It’s still only an outline, but its a start!
      (and aren’t those RSVPs fun?) good luck!!!

    • Hannah

      If it makes you feel better, we wrote our vows 2 days before the wedding, and didn’t pick out any music until the week before. You can do it!

  • js

    I’m pregnant! I’ve been waiting for this for almost seven years (due to various health and financial issues) and by the end of this year, I’ll be the mother of a teenager and a newborn! Crazy. 13 years ago, I was pregnant and scared and alone. Now, I am scared (but it’s a good kind of scared) and I am no longer alone. It feels so good. Happy Friday Everyone!

    • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

      So so so many congrats to you!

    • Lindsey d.

      Congratulations!!!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

    • Luz

      YAY! Congrats!

  • Kelsey

    Attention people who want to get married in Colorado! I went to a super fab brewery in Louisville last night: Gravity. Delish beer, nice staff, and the space made me want to throw a party reallll bad. Plus! The brewery shares its building with some sort of VFW-esque hall. Lots of possibility. Also, across the street from Lucky Pie pizza, which let us do carry out back to the brewery. You should DO THIS with your wedding. Or, birthday party. Or, next Saturday.

  • Kelly

    I’m in need of advice, again! Is a second photographer worth it? We have about 120 guests, so not too many, but our photographer only charges $300 for ALL day second shooter.

    • Heather

      For $300?! HELL YES it is worth it, from a bride’s perspective. We had 2 photographers and a videographer and I still didn’t get all the photos I wanted with our 210 guests.

      But maybe Maddie can say better?

    • Kelly

      I say go for it, but I’ve also reached the point where I’m like, “what’s another $300?”. The more photos, the merrier!

    • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

      Number of guests is only one factor I would consider when making this decision. Are you guys getting ready at the same location or different locations? Do you want coverage of cocktail hour while you are doing family formals? Do you have an interest in getting multiple perspectives of parts of the day (for example: a shot of you walking down the aisle from the front AND a wide shot from behind you of you going down the aisle)? These are all great reasons to consider a second photographer. It can also be helpful if some super-quick moments (like bouquet or garter toss) are very important to you – 1 photographer can definitely cover that stuff but having 2 increases the chances of getting a really great shot of those things.

      • Lisa

        The main reason I’m considering getting a second photographer is because ours showed us an AMAZING photo that his second shooter took of a bride and her father silhouetted against a rose window in the cathedral as they walked through the back doors. We’re getting married in a similar venue, and I’m kind of dying for that photo…

      • Kelly

        Yes to all of those things! I’m pretty sure I was just hoping people would say “Yes, it’s worth it!” so I felt more justified in spending the extra $$ :)

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Relating to baby-steps-to-adulthood, I was checking on an investment account and saw I could do the beneficiary-on-death designation online. But, golly, were there a lot of relationship choices. “spouse,” “surviving spouse,” “adopted
    child,” “child,” “child blood relative,” “child by marriage,” “child no
    relation,” “child unrelated,” “natural child,” and “totally &
    permanently disabled child” (also step-child and foster child) I’m a lawyer. I took extra trusts & estates classes, and I still don’t know what all those kinds of children mean. Luckily (?), I don’t have children, so I don’t have to sort it out.

    I’m going serious in-person shopping for clothes for myself for the first time in years this weekend. I need new bras and want a new dress for my cousin’s wedding in June. Wish me luck!

    On the marriage/medical front, we keep talking. I’m learning that with my husband’s ADHD, I really have to slow down my expectations for the more executive household chores, like challenging credit card statements. What I do in 20 minutes takes him months.

    • Lindsey d.

      Wait, “child no relation” and “child unrelated” are different?

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I’m guessing the bank’s list is so long because it’s using language from all 50 states. So, New York could have all this case law on inheritance rights of a “child no relation,” while the corresponding Texas law uses the language of “child unrelated.” A legal specialist could tell us which to use for our state.

        • Lindsey d.

          Ah, that makes sense…

    • memery

      wow, I hear you on the ADHD. 20 min/months is not an exaggeration sometimes!

    • Jess

      Ah! Bra-shopping. It’s on my list of things to do – but I’m so fed up with not finding things that I never go. Maybe this weekend.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Have you (or anyone else) tried True & Co.? It’s a mail-order bra service. It’s step-2 if I don’t find something this weekend.

        • anon

          It’s wonderful. I’ve pretty much only bought bras from them for the past 2 years. But I recommended them to my sister and she said they made her boobs look weird so YMMV.

        • Jess

          Nope. Guess I’m going look into that. Maybe they have bras that will fit. I need a real fitting, but always hear, “Well, we don’t really carry that size.”

    • http://www.superfantastic.blogs.com/ Superfantastic

      I’m the one with ADHD around here and the distinction you made there is an important one – executive household chores. I think our distribution of household work is fair (which in our case is not equal because he works a lot more hours than I do) but figuring out who does what did involve working around my ADHD. If something is time sensitive and detail oriented, like bill paying and doing taxes, it makes more sense that he does it. I do the bulk of the cleaning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Being knowledgeable about my ADHD and how it affects me helps me come up with strategies and coping mechanisms to help get this stuff done relatively efficiently, but also if I get distracted and the toilets don’t get cleaned today, there’s no late fee involved.

  • MisterEHolmes

    Ongoing bridesmaid drama:
    Bridesmaid A: She’s apparently having some kind of life issue, but we haven’t talked so I don’t know what. I emailed her to check on her; she emailed back 4 days later with little detail and only vague answers. I emailed back saying that if it’s too much, she can cancel the just-started bachelorette party planning. No answer; been 4 days. Don’t know if my good intentions are coming off as bitchy or if she is ignoring things or if she truly hasn’t checked her email. (Why over email you say? I haven’t had more than 4 minutes free this whole week!)

    Bridesmaid B/MOH: Haven’t actually spoken words to her in 5 weeks and was feeling hurt and isolated, so I geared myself up to have a Come to Jesus talk and called her, using the premise that she just got a new place and I needed the info (nope, she didn’t tell me she was planning on moving or anything. Found out via FB). She didn’t answer, so I had to leave a voicemail. The next day she G-chatted me with minimal detail and that didn’t seem like the time/way to have the talk, so now I don’t know what to do. Perhaps she’s not been in touch out of pure self-absorption? In which case I’m still hurt but don’t know what to do about it at all.

    TL:DR: Not much of an improvement in bridesmaid drama world and I don’t know what to do.

    • joanna b.n.

      Is their responsiveness level here normal/typical behavior for them? I found that when I was wedding planning, I had a much shorter timeline in my head for reasonable time between a message and a response than I would in “normal” life.

      • MisterEHolmes

        Phone avoidance is typical, I guess…but the MOH is under doctor’s orders for hand exercises for “texting thumb.” So… feeling a little isolated.

    • Laura C

      I keep waiting for there to be a week you don’t have further drama; sorry it wasn’t this week.

      • MisterEHolmes

        Well, to be positive for a change, my other friend/bridesmaid sent me a really nice and generous birthday present and has been checking up on me and making me feel loved. So there is a little bit of sunshine.

        • Jess

          yay! I’m going to celebrate that upside for you.

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

      I can relate (a bit at least). im having a weird thing going on with one of my bridesmaids too…feeling kind of isolated as well. she’s been non-communicative which i find just bizarre and passive aggressive. its her own shit to work through but im just confused and want to be like “look if you dont want to be a bridesmaid just tell me” she can be a bit self centered and in a way (dont know how much i am internalizing here) makes me hesitant to empower myself with “being a bride” or whatever. i want to be able to celebrate and be all cheesy but feel like she isn’t comfortable with it being about someone else, in a way. if that makes sense. so yeah. weird..

      • MisterEHolmes

        “hesitant to empower myself with “being a bride” or whatever. i want to be able to celebrate and be all cheesy but feel like she isn’t comfortable with it being about someone else, ”
        YES, so much this! I want someone else to intervene and save me the trouble of confrontation OR for there to be some movie-like ending where they come to their senses and we’re all best buddies with rainbows and unicorns and glitter or something. I don’t think I’m going to get that…

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

          YES to the intervening thing. Since she hasn’t been responding to me and I don’t want to be a nag (and I hate confrontation), I have asked the other two bridesmaids to message her about “have you ordered your dress yet??” in an excited way so it doesn’t seem like I am being bossy or something…really dumb situation to be in because we shouldn’t be made to feel this way at all. my other three are totally excited and on board but i feel like with her i am walking on eggshells.

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

        Oh and to add to this: said bridesmaid also ordered the wrong dress color – the wrong shade at least. I’m just confused and then feel like a nag or like I’m being bitchy or power-trippy if I say something. It’s too late now because the date is so soon I’m not going to ask her to change it. But it’s so not the shade I requested in the email. It’s like just little things like that…the not paying attention todetail, or what I’m actually wanting or asking (and all i mean is the dress- i haven’t asked for anything from them, they arent doing a party or anything) that comes off as passive aggressive and disrepectful.

  • Luz

    I got engaged this past Saturday!!! He did it at the NY Botanical Gardens during the orchid show and I was so surprised. It was beautiful and everything I ever wanted and though some people (family) have sucked I’m not letting it get me down and am enjoying every moment! Also he did am amazing job at finding the perfect vintage ring! It’s been a fantastic week!

    • Fiona

      I’ll say! haha. Your week rocks!

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

      congrats!!!!

    • Kelly

      Orchids! Vintage ring! Swoon!

      • Luz

        I’m so beyond impressed with him especially since he got the moment on photo and its so beautiful! Oh cloud 9 for a while haha

    • macrain

      Yayyy!! Sounds amazing! Congrats!

    • Emily

      Congratulations! That ring is gorgeous!

    • Stacie

      YAY Vintage rings!! I haz one too! Congrats!!

    • Nina B

      WOW! That ring is gorgeous!!! And orchids! Congratulations!

  • vegankitchendiaries

    2nd Art-Gift question of Happy Hour… My MOH’s mother, a woman who helped raised me in a lot of ways, has generously offered to buy me and my sweetheart a gift of ART for our wedding. She said to start thinking about what we might want but suggested “something in the $300 range”. I am so excited by this awesome gift but I don’t even know where to START knowing how to window-shop for art… Or how to make suggestions? My immediate thought it something colourful and abstract… Any ideas, real-life grownups?

    • Jessica

      Are there art fairs in your city or a city nearby? They are a fun date (walk around and look at pretty artwork!) and can give you both an idea of what you like that’s in common. The artists generally have business cards to give away so you can keep track of who you like and make a couple suggestions to your friend.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Try some of these if you want to shop online! Etsy is good too, surprisingly, though it takes some digging.
      http://www.saatchiart.com/buy-art/originals-for-sale
      http://www.20×200.com
      http://www.gallerynucleus.com
      A nice abstract artist on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/siiso?ref=pr_faveshops

    • Sarah

      What a wonderful gift idea! If you’re in a larger city, I would look into the exhibitions art schools in the area will be putting on this spring (most do graduation or end of the year shows; one art school I know does a big art/gift fair around Christmas) – they’re often a great place to pick up art for an affordable price. There are a couple of art centers in my area that either have a gift shop or house artist studios that might be available for tours or a regular open house (then you’d get to know the artist a little too!). If you go this route (rather than some of the great websites mentioned below), I would take your time finding something you both really love (rather than buying something you only like just because you find it before the wedding). Good luck and happy shopping!

  • Emmers

    We’re in the midst of choosing a venue, and may be moving from looking for an outdoor venue to an indoor venue, mainly due to cost reasons. I’m sure it will still end up being a great party together, but I’m a little disappointed that we may not have the outdoor wedding we originally envisioned, and I think it won’t quite be as pretty, now that it’s inside.
    I’m also trying not to stress over finding a venue in our price point (for September! and for lots of guests!), and apparently I veer towards stress a lot.
    Any advice? This will all be OK, right? At the end of the day we’ll be married, right? And in 5 years I’ll just be glad we’re married, right?

    • memery

      Yes, it’ll all be ok. I have found throughout the whole process that I am indecisive and that I obsess over each decision. And then once it’s made and we move on, I can kind of laugh at myself — the decision becomes the new normal (venue, or whatever), and it’s like looking back at a younger version of myself who was worried about the venue. Hindsight is a funny thing. Anyway, short answer: yes, no matter what you choose, it’ll all be fine, and you’ll be married!

    • NicoleT

      It will be awesome! I went through (and am still sort of going through) a very similar thing. At the beginning, it was: “no WAY am I getting married inside a building”. Fast forward over a year and now it’s: “mmm, this indoor place is actually pretty nice”. I’m sure you’ve heard and seen it all by this point, so please forgive me as I put in my two cents (and feel free to completely ignore this). Have you considered a public park? You have to rent tables and stuff, but sometimes catering companies can be cheaper than actual restaurants. I’m dealing with a caterer right now in Los Angeles who’s giving me a great deal (at least for LA): ~$9,500 for food, tables, linen, silverware, etc. for 140 people. Plus, with the outdoors, you’ll save butt loads on flowers.

      That being said, indoor venues can also look fabulous. I looked at some that I actually really liked and I think the reason I liked them was because they had personality- they weren’t just a room in a hotel. If you don’t mind a non-traditional setup, there are some gorgeous restaurants out there that are decently priced (from my LA perspective, where most things are pretty expensive). You won’t have to do as much with decorations and you’ll have some place that’s still beautiful. If you want to do decorations, try just a few flowers, but lots of lights! Lights just make everything more awesome, IMHO. They bring pizzazz to a somewhat boring (or even not so boring) venue and are usually cheaper than flowers (depending on what company you go with, etc.).

      Sorry that this was kind of long! I wish you the best of luck and I know that it will definitely work out and be awesome, wherever you end up. :)

    • Jess

      could you find an indoor venue with an outdoor patio perhaps?

    • Emily

      It will be oK! You’ll save yourself the logistical headache of dealing with the weather, if it doesn’t cooperate with your sunny-day outdoor plans, at any rate.

    • Emmers

      Thanks, all! We’re narrowing down venues. At the end of the day, I’m just so glad to marry this man, be it outside or inside. Thanks for the support.

  • Alison O

    Only had time to skim the “Moving for Love” article, but YES. I applied to grad school this year while partner was applying to medical residencies. He matched in Los Angeles; I learned he would be ranking it #1 back in January after I’d missed the deadline for UCLA (and other CA schools, though UCLA is the only one I’m interested in). And it wasn’t a done deal that he’d really match there until late March. I’ve gotten offers from 4/6 schools I applied to – 2 are still pending, and one highly ranked program in Chicago in particular gave amazeballs scholarship financial aid. Like, as far as tuition and fees go, I could get my degree (a two-yr program) for about $25K.

    But…it’s been a helpful exercise for delineating my priorities. I want to be with my partner. He wants me to be with him in LA. He is in medicine and like many other professions, it is not that flexible. He will be the primary breadwinner in our relationship. My family is also on the west coast. It would be hard to come to terms with moving to Chicago, a place with EVEN WORSE winters than I’ve experienced in the last few years, after this long winter and getting real cozy with the idea of LA weather (albeit heavily slathered in sunblock). And getting used to a new city/living alone, etc. doesn’t appeal. UCLA has a good MSW program I can apply to next year. In-state tuition potential. Lots of considerations.

    We think we’ll get married but aren’t feeling it right now. But saying no to grad school and moving so far is a big, big deal. To me it says practically the same thing as, we’re getting married, but it’s not…it’s an interesting space to be in. It doesn’t feel too modern feminist of me to ‘follow’ my guy in this way. But with the info I have now, if I died in near-ish future (or if we broke up), I’m pretty sure I’d rather have spent it with him in LA, even struggling to find a new job etc. etc., than pursuing my career goals somewhere else. Especially a frigid somewhere else.

    YOLO LOL

    • Libby

      Is the school you got into Uchicago SSA? Sounds like it might be, I graduated there 2 years ago – have to put in a plug for how amazing it is. I loved it. BUT if you are looking at MSW programs and think you will eventually end up in California, I would really really look into the requirements for licensure between the states. California is known for it’s very strict requirements for licensure. They have very specific classes you have to take and often people who go to school out of state and move there end up having to go back and take classes to meet their child welfare requirements.

      If you get your MSW in Cali, the classes for licensure will be worked into the curriculum. So although I’d love to get an APW’er into SSA – it would suck royally for you to spend 2 years away from your partner to find out you have to take more classes. If you plan correctly, I’ve heard you can take the right classes at SSA that will apply in California, but it really limits you. Happy to provide anymore insight if you have further questions!!

  • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

    Do y’all think white daisies, blush roses and green filler sounds like a nice bouquet???? Also, not sure what kind of filler? Any other flowers I should add? I’m so lost. I hope I can call the florist and change stuff up. I mean it’s only two bouquets.

    I’m going back and forth on my flowers and we’re 1.5 months out (I originally picked a darker pink shade for the daisies and realized recently I don’t like that. That’s why I probably should have waited to decide on flowers…). Someone help me. Pleez.

    • Granola

      That sounds lovely. And really, who cares what all of us think as long as you like it. No one will judge your flower choices. If they do, they’ll probably have the courtesy to keep it to themselves.

      • Emmers

        It does sound lovely! I like blush roses. And green filler! And white daisies!

        • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

          That is sweet, thank you! :)

      • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

        This was me, by the way. I was worried I was overreacting (lol, I am), and tried to delete it… Thanks, this makes me feel better. :D I think I’m going to run with it. I like it better than the original colors I had chosen and it’ll be nice and light. I was just going to go with the original colors and hope for the best but I think for my own sanity I have to change it to the above. ;)

    • Jess

      White daisies make me smile. So… You’ve got my vote!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

      My bouquet was almost all white daisies with some white tulips too and some little green berry things. I LOVED it. I think your bouquet sounds really pretty!

  • Caroline

    Yesterday was 4 months to the wedding and I can’t wait. Lots to do still but we’re also agressively accomplishing our task list. I had a dream last night about the wedding ceremony where everything was over the top intensely intense and joyful and perfect (emotionally, not that there were no snafus, I didn’t notice). Kind of the opposite of a stress dream. I can’t wait to marry my partner!

  • Kelly

    Does anyone have experience making backdrops and bunting using greenery and ferns? I’m thinking something like this http://www.pinterest.com/pin/396246467186931048/

    In that photo it looks like greenery might just be pinned to the wall, but I’m wondering how to best go about making hanging decor with greenery that won’t get all wilted and shriveled (we’ll be decorating the day before). Maybe I should just go find some ferns and do some experimenting.

    • Lindsey d.

      That is gorgeous! My first thought is actually going with faux ferns. If live is the best route, maybe spritzing the whole backdrop with water after you finish putting it together the day before would keep them fresh?

      • Emmers

        That was also my thought. Because this would enable you to do things in advance and not worry about them being brown or wilted.

        • Kelly

          Hmm…perhaps I’ll have to investigate faux. Our wedding is at a state park in Washington and I was planning on using the abundant natural resources to use as decor (not from within the park, necessarily, but there are ferns all over the place), so it might be kind of odd to have fake greenery in such a naturally green space…but perhaps for sake of sanity it would be best to go faux, at least for a big backdrop. Or maybe I should forget the ferns and find something a little heartier… Thanks for the input!!

      • Lindsey d.

        Oh, and in my head, this was on a sheet, not sheetrock. I don’t recommend wetting down sheetrock.

    • KC

      I do not have experience making backdrops with ferns, but I would note that some ferns stay “alive” for ages after they’re cut, and some wilt more rapidly. Unfortunately it’s generally the more frilly ones that wilt faster. But if you can get some fern, cut it, and put it indoors in a humidity and heat similar to what would be expected on the day, you may be able to get a timeline (hours? days? a long time if you’re super-gentle with it but not long if you bruise it?).

      Sword ferns should last a longish time (in the days-to-weeks range, if I had to guess). Bracken fern, not so much, although it might make it 24+ hours (it’s just a *lot* less durable than sword fern). If you swap to short branches of evergreens (esp. cedar or other very flat branchy ones), they’ll last quite a while and give a visually similar effect.

      I’d note that if you hang anything in spots on a sheet, the sheet will drape weirdly unless it’s held tensely by a frame, so sheetrock or plywood or foam core board or something similar might actually be the way to go, oddly enough. (you can “try this at home” with a regular sheet and safety-pinning, say, socks to it where you would put the ferns, and see what you think)

      Good luck!

    • Jess

      I think design love fest did something similar for one of their blog shops. Maybe it was someone else. In whichever one I read about, the ferns were tied to fishing line and then hung up. :)

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Oh, and I read the Army’s PowerPoint on the new grooming regulations – interesting stuff, particularly about use of fatigues v. service uniforms. If I looked at the regs harder, I’d now be able to tell what soldiers I see are up to (training, deploying, etc.).

  • Anon

    I am wondering if anyone has advice on how I can best support a friend right now as I am at a loss. On Monday, she told me she and her kids left her husband and filed a protection order. She has stayed with him since high school- 20 years-through verbal abuse, physical abuse, and alcoholism. He became sober a few years ago after a domestic violence charge. Before she could tell me why she finally left him, he texted saying he had done something dumb. He was hospitalized, tested positive for drugs and was transferred to a treatment facility. In one breath she tells me she finally told someone their whole story and that she can’t go home unless she knows for certain he can’t get out and in the next told me everything will be okay once he gets sober again.

    For years I have listened, offered a safe place to stay (which she has declined because “he would kill you too”), asked questions carefully and encouraged her to seek help. I’ve listened to stories of odd behavior the last 6 or so months and questioned why she leaves him at home with the kids. This week I was a horrid friend and lost all patience with her support for him after saying she would take him back. I know she is under his control and she needs to want help to get out. I know this isn’t about me, but I am terrified that he will get out and hurt her and the kids. Do I just keep listening to her, reach out to family, suggest talking to a pastor or counseling? Something else?

    • MisterEHolmes

      Can you direct her to a hotline for victims of abuse? They might be able to help her in ways you haven’t been able to.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      1. Contact a domestic violence support center or hotline. There doesn’t have to be an immediate crisis, and you don’t have to be the victim, to get help and answers. So you don’t have to google it: 800-799-7233. Keep it in your phone, too.

      2. Learn about the protection order and other available legal processes, and offer to help. Some of those have quick turn-around times, and courtrooms can be intimidating (though must judges are super-nice in these situations, they just have to be super-efficient, too). Just having a friend there can be a real help.

      3. If she has a house of worship or is familiar with yours, clergy are a great resource. They’ve attended the hearings. They know the hotlines, shelters, etc. Just having a clergyperson aware of her situation can be a help in the future – for you and her family.

    • Emily

      I agree with the advice below. Something that changed my thinking was to learn that it takes women on average a huge number (like 7) attempts at leaving before they are successful. And that is on average so obviously many take more attempts than that. It was also helpful to me to understand the cycle of abuse, especially that reconciliation and calm are part of the cycle. If your friend is saying that he will kill you too, she is likely correct. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous position. Good luck to you and your friend.

      This link does a good job explaining the the cycle of abuse: http://www.heart-2-heart.ca/women/page5.htm

  • Jessica Nelson

    Hi all! So I really want to take pictures after the ceremony, but that means that the cocktail hour/social hour will be a little longer (wedding at 2-3ish [Catholic Mass], 30 min drive to reception site, drinks/apps from 4 – 5:30ish, buffet dinner around 5:30). The wedding ceremony time can’t be changed and my parents and fiancé are opposed to a “gap” because we’re in a pretty suburban/rural area and there’s nothing much to do between the ceremony site and the reception site except, say, go to Target. :) I’ve been stressing and worrying about how to make the social hour “feel” shorter, how to entertain the guests, etc etc, but I finally realized this weekend — *I*, personally, don’t like cocktail hours that much. I get tired of the chit-chat pretty quickly and want to get onto the main events. I always think of it as very much an “in-between” time where you’re really just waiting for dinner but it’s disguised with a fancy name haha. BUT, there might be lots of people who actually love cocktail hours! Including our guests! Not everybody necessarily feels the same way I do!
    So… who here loves cocktail hours and really values the chit-chat time? Help me escape the mental image of 250 people who all (like me) enjoy the first 15 minutes of cocktail hour and then can’t wait for it to end. :)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      We had a similar set-up. Observations: There are people who would rather watch you take pictures than enjoy free food and drinks. Have a plan, and discuss it with your photographer. (Ignore them, designate someone to politely ask them to leave, etc.) Realize that your guests will feel the reception has gone on longer than you feel – ’cause they’ve been there while you take pictures – so step up your mingling/visiting earlier than you might feel like.

      Weddings are usually the only time I see certain groups of friends and family, and I’m glad to have as much time to talk to them as possible. Ideally for me, guests would stand and mingle during cocktail hour, rather than arriving at the reception site and immediately finding their tables. Then I feel trapped with just those few people until after dinner, cake cutting, and duty dances. But, few wedding venues are set up this way.

      • Kelly

        I LOVE cocktail hour and having a chance to chat away with people (assuming I know at least a few people). As long as I can have a snack and something to drink, I’m great. I was recently at a wedding where I didn’t know a whole lot of folks and I appreciated being able to join others in some bocce ball so that we had something to focus on. We didn’t play “properly,” we just threw the balls around the yard. I will say, though, that all of my most favorite cocktail hours were outdoors. I like being able to stroll around, explore the grounds, appreciate the scenery, watch the little kids run around, etc. If we were just standing around in a room I might start to get a little antsy about moving on. What would bother me the most is not having a schedule of what to expect. If I know the buffet isn’t for 45 more minutes, no problem! But if nobody knows what’s happening or how much longer until dinner, that’s grumpy time.

    • Jess

      I love cocktail hours! Especially when there’s a wedding with family/friends that I haven’t seen for a long time and we get to hang out and talk. I once went as a plus one to a library for a wedding, where I had met people exactly once, and we ended up pulling down novels and competing to see who could find the naughty sections the quickest. So… people can entertain themselves remarkably well given the opportunity.

      Also, there’s adorable food and drinks. I do not turn down adorable food.

    • Lindsey d.

      I’m on board with long cocktail hours! Especially at that time. Your guests will have had lunch before they came and dinner at 5:30 is still on the early side. So they won’t be ravenous. Cocktail hours is a great chance to see old friends, do the hug thing, check out the cute groomsmen, etc. 90 minutes isn’t crazy.

    • AG

      As long as I have food and something to drink I can cocktail hour for as long as you need me to! I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of them as the “in-between” time. For me it’s usually time to fix my makeup after sobbing during the ceremony, and catch up with friends.

    • Ellen

      I love cocktail hour and am having sort of the opposite problem with my almost-identically-timed Catholic ceremony: my fiance wants to do lots of photos, and want to be able to be at as much of the cocktail hour as possible! We’re OK with a gap and will ultimately figure out a thing that works for us, but I really just mean to say that I’m such a fan of cocktail hour as a guest that I’m explicitly trying to arrange my schedule to maximize my cocktail hour exposure as a bride.

    • Jess

      Cocktail hours are the best! So much the best that we’re turning our entire reception into a cocktail party. As long as their are tasty treats and tasty drinks, I always vote for letting cocktail hour go on as long as possible. :) So, that’s another vote for “it will all be ok and your guests will be fine” :)

  • anon

    I wanted to share an experience from my bachelorette weekend because it involves some in-law/ bridesmaid issues and… I thought that might be relevant here! I’ve always had a rocky at best relationship with my future sister-in-law. She was pretty awful to me the first several times we met, and even though she eventually warmed up, she and I still keep each other at arm’s length. This is fine, we don’t have a ton in common and I think we’d both be OK with getting together occasionally but not much more. I asked her to be a bridesmaid when B and I got engaged, and she said yes. She was incredibly unpleasant and rude at both my engagement party and shower. Not wholly surprising, but not fun. It made me really worried about my bachelorette weekend because I hated the thought of her ruining the weekend. SO. The weekend comes around and she was amazing! I don’t know what the difference was (although I have some ideas), but she was fun and game for everything and just great. I doubt this is the beginning of a complete change in her personality, but it made me feel like it was worth it to give her a chance, even if she had disappointed me before. I also do feel a subtle change in our relationship now that we have this positive, shared memory.

    So, here’s a vote for giving dramatic in-laws and bridesmaids another chance. It might not work out, which is a bummer. But it might, and then it’s fun.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Thanks for sharing a happy experience!

    • MisterEHolmes

      Thanks for providing the hope of a silver lining!

    • Anon

      Kudos to you for being open-minded and motivated to give the relationship a second chance!

    • LE

      I needed to hear this today! It’s been a rough couple weeks on a similar front. Thank you!

  • ktan

    Hi APW!
    I don’t post very much, but I just had to jump on the HH today.
    After a hell-ish week at work, including a complete computer server meltdown and the loss of ALL of my emails, contacts, calendar events, files, and more, I’ve somewhat come to the conclusion that I’d like to find a new job. Let me rephrase, I think I have realized that I want to quit my job (gasp!) and I’m really not sure what to do. I’m really scared and nervous and completely unsure. I’ve looked into a few opportunities and I know that I can find something else, but where do I go from here? Can I really quit? Can I really find something better? Encouragement or stories of bravery and success would be much appreciated.
    Cheers!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I stayed at a bad job too long. I don’t like change, and I hate interviewing. What finally pushed me was needing to provide for my family with a better-paying job. If it were just me, I’d put up with the 8-hour meetings with no food, the yelling, etc.

      I started networking and interviewing without quitting. I was afraid word would get back to my bosses, but my husband, with 11 more years professional experience, assured me that would be considered highly unprofessional. He was right. Even when I interviewed at a place my firm worked with every day, they didn’t tell my employer. Or, if they did, my bosses ignored the intel. It took 11 months of networking and interviewing while working full time, but I finally found a great job through craigslist.

      It helped me to set aside certain times each month to tackle the job search. I couldn’t send out 5 resumes or create a monster.com profile in spare time. I needed a dedicated 3+ hours twice a month. Obviously, you can’t fit meetings or interviews in there, but it was a huge start.

      I lined up references through networking, volunteer work, and staying in touch with a former employer.

  • Pippa

    We’re getting married in two sleeps! Right now we’re running around trying to get all the last minute stuff done, which is keeping us on our toes, but I just can’t believe it’s nearly here. And will be over just as quickly.
    I’ve been going back over parts of the APW book to try and calm myself but we had a fantastic session with our counsellor yesterday – she was one of the first people to acknowledge our difficult history within the context of providing a healthy foundation for our coming marriage. She said we’re going into it with real expectations and real experience of facing adversity together, and it was so lovely to hear, and just at the right time too. I’ve never heard our relationship framed so positively before, so it was a much needed boost before the day. Wish us luck!

    • Ariel

      Good luck! It’ll be awesome!

    • Emily

      Good lucK !! Only one sleep to go now!

  • Kamala S.

    Alright, I’ve been lurking around APW for months now, but I finally got engaged about a month ago (yay!). Folks keep asking me if I’ve got bridesmaids figured out yet and I mean, I do, mostly, in my head. I haven’t asked anyone yet because we’ve got literally NOTHING planned yet, I mean, it’s only been a month. Family/friends keep looking at me like I’m insane for not having this ish figured out yet. I’m not crazy right? I figured I didn’t need to ask anyone to be a bridesmaid until I have some sort of plan but maybe I’m wrong?

    • NicoleT

      I say *do not* ask bridesmaids until you’ve got some sort of plan. I thought that I had my bridesmaids figured out, so I asked them about a year and a half (actually two and half years once we pushed the date back) before my wedding. I’m really regretting that I did that now. The friendships have changed over time and instead of 7 bridesmaids, I really only want 3 (although really, I’m obligated to have two of the 7 in my bridal party). So, I guess just see where everything is going and think hard. These gals are going to be pretty deeply involved in your wedding (if only because they’re going to be at your showers, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, etc.). Make sure you have a solid friendship and you *really* want them there.

    • Lawyerette510

      You are not crazy. You do not need to have this figured out, and you don’t have to ask people to participate in your wedding until you’re ready to. Personally, I think it’s better to wait until after you have a date, location, and vaugue idea of what you expect from a bridesmaid, before you ask someone. Otherwise, the people you ask can’t really give a meaningful yes.

  • JDrives

    That flower petals article was my FAVE. Amazing pictures!

  • NicoleT

    My wedding has been cut from 140 to 50-60 guests! I actually fought against this for awhile, since my fiancé wanted a big wedding. But he insisted that this would work out better (which is true). Once I realized that he was actually okay with it and not just saying he was, I went along with it. Turns out that this was actually what I wanted all along! I didn’t realize that until I found myself inexplicably happy after we made the decision.

    Small wedding with a small reception, and then a huge party with the original guest list the following week. :) And we’re now looking at the Santa Monica pier for our wedding! I’m excited, but slightly nervous about the June gloom. Anyone out there who has had a beach/coastal wedding while it was cloudy and cold-ish? How did that work out? Did it take away from the celebratory mood, or was it still awesome?

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

      oooo Santa Monica Pier! I’m a fellow Angelino :) I mean, about the June gloom, to ME, it wouldn’t matter at all. This is coming from someone in love with Seattle who loves a grey sky. It depends on what you want, but I really don’t think it’s going to take away from the celebratory mood. Unexpected weather is exciting for weddings and often creates a special kind of energy throughout the day I think…it depends on your priorities and how attached you are to a specific vision. :)

      • NicoleT

        Thanks! Yeah, I went to the beach recently when it was cloudy and I still enjoyed it. Your thoughts on unexpected weather is a good way of putting it! I have to agree that it does bring a little something extra to the day. :) I guess I just got a little concerned when my FMIL said (in the most serious voice ever) “but what about June gloom??” I hadn’t thought about it then, but now that I have, I’m pretty sure I’m still going to enjoy it! (and potentially rent some heaters)

  • Emily

    Hi all,

    I appreciate the acknowledgement of class differences and issues here. I’m interested in the APW communities input on this family issue:

    My three step-children live with us full-time and visit their Mom once a week. My husband has full custody of them; he pays her alimony and she pays no child support. She constantly, constantly badmouths him to the children, telling them the divorce wasn’t fair, it isn’t fair that she doesn’t see them more, it isn’t fair that we take them on vacation, he should be buying her a new car, on and on and on. They also see her in rough situations: for instance, she has recently been called to court over collections for a 5-year-old $1500 dollar bill that she has apparently just ignored all these years. She is trying to get my husband to pay that bill. It isn’t that we aren’t charitable people, but we know that with her there is always another bill, another crisis. How to explain that to kids?

    He strongly believes that it is bad for the children to talk about the divorce or her, and we strictly only talk about her in a logistics sense (have you called your Mom? What time are we getting the kids to Mom’s this week?).

    The older kids are in therapy (two are older than 12 and one is under 10) and I hope this issue is dealt with in there. I feel like I need to defend him! It’s BS that she is the Disney Mom, only watching movies and playing video games and feeding them junk food and we do all actual work – homework, laundry, food, clothes, doctors, etc. People tell me that the kids will figure it out on their own in time. I am not a child of divorce, so I don’t have personal experience and I do want to respect my husband’s wishes.

    Your thoughts and experiences are welcomed.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I don’t have experience, but my advice would be to ask the kids’ therapist for advice. Maybe your partner can do this casually at the appointment or over the phone, or maybe it’s worthwhile to have a session with the two of you instead of the kids. I know my husband’s therapists have either invited family members to come to the occasional appointment, or would allow it if the family member asked and my husband agreed. If it were a bodily health issue, you’d ask the pediatrician how to address it at home, right – outside earshot of the child, if necessary? Why not with mental health?

    • Michelle

      As a child of divorce, I can tell you that I figured it out on my own. My parents divorced when I was very young and I don’t even remember them together. Of course, I heard them fight a few times when I was being picked up for visits and I didn’t always understand why, but hearing their fights and hearing only one parent badmouth the other gave me an understanding of who the “bad guy” is so to speak. (I know that their mother isn’t the bad guy, but it’s the best way I can think to describe it at the moment!)

      I will also add that my step-mom, never said a word about anything. And if she had, I probably would not like her as much as I do. Of course she wanted to defend my dad, but she knew that she needed to stay out of it and just be there for me with whatever I needed. And that’s one of the things that I appreciate most about her.

    • Nina B

      As I child of divorce, I definitely figured it out. Sure I have great memories of summer camping trips with dad, but he never really parented me. My mom is the one who put in the hard work. Dad got to take us to the movies every other week, but mom was there for us through thick and thin. Today I have a close relationship with mom, and I’m just not that interested in having a relationship with dad. It probably did help that my mom never badmouthed my dad and that I didn’t know the reasons why they divorced until I was old enough to understand it. Your kids will figure it out.

    • Alyssa M

      Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if the older two are already figuring it out. They may not know how to express it until they are adults, but I remember all of my friends as early as Jr. High knew which parents were REAL parents and which ones were just fun to be around. As teenagers their selfish minds (cause thats just how your mind works at that age) may see it as something to be exploited, but once they grow out of that they’ll already know who was really in their corner the whole time.

    • Emily

      I’m the one who posted this (having trouble with Disqus at the moment). Thank you all for your input; these are things I really need to hear regularly: that they will figure it out in time (a long time it sometimes feels) and that I need to concentrate on being there for them and not get involved. I keep coming to the conclusion that it is an opportunity for growth for me. Thank you again for your thoughts; I knew this community would have smart comments on the situation.

  • Shotgun Shirley

    I’m 34 weeks today!! This pregnancy has been tough, but the end is in sight. I get to start tapering off meds today, and off bed rest in just 2 more weeks. 2 weeks is totally survivable.

  • aldeka

    ZOMG. :D :D :D

    After over a year unemployed, and having to stop payment on my student loans and completely bum off my fiance… I have a job offer.

    And they want to pay me almost 25% more than my last job.

    And as far as I could tell during interviews, the team is awesome and there’s at least two coworkers I already want to be friends with.

    Part of me is kind of wondering what’s wrong with this job. Surely something has to be wrong…?!! :P

  • Alyssa M

    I’m a little late to the party, but I wanted to update all of you who supported me last week, that I talked to my doctor on Tuesday and I got new meds! A non-chemo DMARD which will hopefully have all the benefits of the methotrexate and not kill me for a few days every week. I took the first one today, and for the first friday in months I’m happy and awake and functioning! YAAAY

    Also yay! All of my wedding ducks are lining up in a neat row. I’ve got a great Bakery making three cakes for UNDER $300. Hired my DOC. Had coffee with the coolest florist ever, who seems super excited by my hanging out by the bonfire wedding. And I’ve found a caterer who I think will handle both the fancy pizza rehearsal dinner at a restaurant and the fajitas and chile rellenos reception at the campsite!

    If I didn’t have to work this weekend (and thus sleep through Happy Hour) to train my new part timer, this would be a pretty perfect week.

  • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

    What’s funny and crazy and strange is, I have made progress this week. But not enough to speak of. I was left solo in the floral department this week which was great and scary because I really don’t know what I’m doing, but my manager told me that my arrangements so far are much better than the average beginner. I guess I do actually have some innate design abilities. This makes me super happy. Anyway, while I was alone and working on processing flowers, I kept thinking to myself, would it be so bad if I was happy doing this? Even for a little while? Later that day I got an email from my mom encouraging me to keep applying for jobs, any jobs, that something will eventually come up. This week I worked five days, volunteered on a sixth and I’m just tired. Can I take a brief break, maybe two weeks, and just process flowers? Use the time as meditation and process my thoughts, my creativity, and breathe in the green?
    Today is my first day of four days off. We’re taking a quick road trip to go to my aunt and uncle’s 50th (!!!) wedding anniversary party. It really is possible. And then we’re going to hit a winery or two in easter washington wine country. I’m just hoping it will be enough to let me relax and recharge. happy weekend!!!

    • Sarah E

      I had the thought this week that for the past three years, I’ve always been looking for the next job, thinking about what would fit me better, what should I be doing. Right now, I’m working with bosses I truly respect, and even when I have tasks that I’m not thrilled about, I need to just sit with it for a while. Instead of looking for the next job, I need to DO this one for a while, to let myself rest from the constant search and to really dig into tasks, rather than making a snap judgment on whether this is “right” or not for me.

      Taking two weeks to just DO the job, rather than look for the next one, seems like a perfectly sane choice. Also, saying “This is what I’m doing now.” doesn’t mean you’ll do it forever or that you shut your eyes to every other opportunity. You can find contentment with where you are, even as you’re open to new possibilities. Happy road tripping!

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/ Jenny/Adventures Along the Way

      I am glad to hear you are enjoying arranging flowers and practicing your sense of design… I do think floral design is a creative act and I am glad you are enjoying doing it! I think your idea of using the time as a creative, meditative time is good. I think you’ll know what you want to do and what’s right for you when you give yourself the time to listen and relax. Enjoy! :)