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APW Happy Hour


It's my birthday (and I hope I won't cry)

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

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

HIII APW!

It’s my birthday! If you think I’m sitting at my computer right now, you think wrong. Though I haven’t been… what’s the word… sleeping, thanks to some horrific teething, I’m still aiming for a good day. Maddie’s taking me out to get a manicure, so that’s a start, and then there is a baby bounce house thing happening, so where could we go wrong?

But enough about me, let’s talk about you for awhile. Open thread, you go first!

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

Our first edition of Ask a Psychologist, where is this relationship going?

Putting together a potluck wedding reception. Useful whether you’re from Florida, or perhaps Brooklyn.

When you can’t remember your awesome wedding day without remembering the awful months leading up to it.

I didn’t want to be a swan anyway.

Working on being kinder to each other, one cup of coffee at a time.

Proposals! Tricky things even when there’s just one to plan, let alone two.

Link Roundup

After the wedding, the bride takes her husband’s name. Her husband will be forced in turn to take the name of a stranger, who will then go nameless.

Maddie says this is funny; I’m dyslexic.

The case for paying college athletes. Explained at length on Colbert and The Daily Show this week.

The best op-ed we’ve seen of the “one shitty thing” theory.

What one man learned from Tweeting with a black woman’s avatar.

Photos of the bathrooms and kitchens of America’s bachelors. The text is sort of horrible, the pictures, well. Perhaps parents need to teach their sons about… cleaning?

The art of succeeding slowly, and the importance of side projects.

Musician on Musician insults.

Are you a feminist? Bless you, Buzzfeed.

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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  • Emily

    Happy birthday to Meg!!

    I am freaking the fuck out. Our wedding bands came in yesterday and they don’t fit right, they don’t look right, UGH. They were made-to-order from an Etsy vendor, thus final sale. I think/hope I can live with it, just disappointed they’re not all the awesome I was expecting.

    • Hayley Tuller

      Maaaaybe it’s an excuse to “trade up” on your anniversary?

      • MC

        Yep – we’re both getting simple, cheaper rings because, uh, we don’t have a ton of money. But we already have a local jeweler picked out for when we can upgrade & get custom rings – 5 years maybe?

        Emily, it might be worth contacting the Etsy vendor even if they specified final sale. Some of them are GREAT about customer service & will extend special offers to unsatisfied customers.

        • Lawyerette510

          I think there’s a difference between something not looking right/ not looking like it did in the pictures and not liking it. If it doesn’t look right, contact the seller!

          • Emily

            I didn’t think they looked like the picture in their shop, but when I took my own photos they do look pretty much the same. That’s kind of what bugs me the most about this, THEY didn’t do anything wrong! I received exactly what I ordered, so I don’t feel like I should complain. It’s not their fault if we’re not completely in love with it!

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

            I hope you still take a minute to contact the seller about your concerns, it’s something that they need to know and maybe they would be willing to work with you about what isn’t right in person.

      • Emily

        Maybe! They’re on the inexpensive side, since we don’t have the budget to shell out a lot on jewelry right now. I thought they were a good fit for where we are now, and maybe we could change them if we could afford or wanted something else later. So, definitely something that’s on the radar now!

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

      I’m sorry that you are disappointed in them and I hope you can work it out somehow so that you don’t end up feeling unhappy with your wedding bands…

    • Chronically Ill Bride

      Can you take them to a local jeweler and have them fixed? At least the fit, etc. My ring was custom and came in much thicker than I’d anticipated, and the fit was really uncomfortable. I had it fixed by a local guy pretty cheaply, and it was totally worth it. Could at least be a good conversation with a jeweler to see what they can do to make it better and how much various fixes would cost.

      • JSwen

        Yes this or, perhaps, the etsy vendor would take them back and sell them for a % of what you paid if you really hate them?

        • Chronically Ill Bride

          Yeah, good call. Wearing a ring you hate is sad!

          • Emily

            I don’t HATE it, really. I opened the box about 5 hours before my fiance got home, and by the time he did, I had kind of come to terms with the way mine looked and fit. I actually do like it!
            Then when he tried his on, it was SO hard for him to get it over his knuckle! That could definitely be fixed. I’m not sure he likes it though. It’s much wider than we thought, thanks to my faulty measurement in the first place.

          • lady brett

            i don’t know much about jewelry, so i’m not sure if this is something that can be “repaired” on a ring that’s already made, but it might be worth looking into for your fiance (or keeping in mind if y’all decide to go with different rings) – my wedding ring is something called “comfort fit” (or something), which just means the *inside* of the ring is rounded. it is the only ring in my whole life i’ve been able to get over my bony knuckles without serious work/pain – it slips right on and off *and* it’s not awkwardly loose when it’s on all the way.

          • Emily

            That’s his issue, big bony knuckles! He didn’t keep the ring on long enough for me to get a good idea of how it looked on him, but it did look a bit loose.

  • jashshea

    Happy birthday!

    Wanted to pass along a sincere thank you for Wednesday’s open thread. Really helped me slow down and be grateful/appreciative for this place in my life. Now, if you could just repost that every 45 days or so…

    • Liz

      Me too! I shared it with my fiance and we’ve been calling out all the kind things we’ve done for each other in the last couple of days. It’s a little silly at times, but it’s making us stop and appreciate little things every day. I hate it when he doesn’t shave–he can’t grow full facial hair so it just looks silly (and he doesn’t shave a lot of the time because he’s lazy) but yesterday I came home late from work and he had shaved for me because “he wanted to be kind” and brighten my day. It was really sweet.

      • jashshea

        Aww – gotta love the sweetness!

        We went out on a date last night! We spend a lot of our non-home time with our friends (who we love), but we rarely do a night out “just us.” Makes me remember why I love spending time with him.

  • Laura C

    Happy birthday! Sympathies on the teething — I have heard my mother’s stories and it is not good.

    We sent out half our invitations this week. Why half? Well, it turns out that my fiance’s mother, despite her aura of efficiency and being the person in their family who makes the trains run on time, is…not so efficient. Which I had been sort of cluing into gradually, but this week, oy. We’ve been asking her for the rest of her addresses for weeks (we have addresses for some who got save the dates), and finally after a lot of very disorganized communications, I was like “here is a spreadsheet of the addresses we have. Please fill in the rest and let us know if there are any of these where the invitations should include additional family members.” (Because it had come to my attention — after we had envelopes printed — that we had some addresses with one person listed where three people from the household are invited.) She sends back the spreadsheet with three families marked as having additional family members; two of the six total names she has spelled differently than she spelled them on her initial guest list. I ask about the different spellings. After some back and forth, her conclusion is that I shouldn’t sweat it, people can correct them when they RSVP. I’m like “this is their first introduction to me, I don’t want to spell their names wrong!” Especially since they’re Indian names and I definitely don’t want to be the white person who can’t be bothered to get Indian names right. It’s now four days later, we have gotten one email with one address, and the spellings haven’t been confirmed. So when I saw things heading this direction, I just decided that’s it, we’re separating out her invitations and sending the rest. That way we don’t have one person wondering why they didn’t get an invitation when their cousin did, but we get a good number of them out.

    • JSwen

      We asked my fiance’s mother for addresses and she returned with about 2/8. She does not keep in touch with people well so we went through other relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) to get that side of the family complete. It goes to show that you can’t expect someone to change just because you are getting married (thanks, APW)!

      • Laura C

        I’m just a little surprised since in their family she’s seen as the person who Gets Stuff Done. So I’m adjusting my mental image of her now. I just hadn’t fully built it in to my mental image of how our invitations would go out.

        (Our invitations, by the way, are from Printable Press and are possibly my favorite thing about the wedding right now, that’s how pretty they are.)

        • Emily

          That’s cool you’re so excited about the pretty invites! I love when things are worth it like that. Hopefully you get the addresses you need so everyone on your guest list can enjoy them soon, too!
          I got all the addresses myself, except for a couple. I asked my dad to help me with ONE, for my aunt, and he gave me her phone number so I could ask her for it myself. I lost the number, now I have to ask him for it again!

  • Rachel102712

    Happy birthday, Meg! I have an update about what I posted on last week’s happy hour thread: my husband was offered the job! Thanks for all the positive energy you all sent our way. I could feel it! Now we have until Monday to decide if we want to uproot our lives and move to Boone, NC. Uggghh–I hate decisions! I feel like this is the biggest joint-decision we will be making since deciding to get married. Anyone here have any thoughts about moving for your significant other’s work? I would love to hear them. Happy Friday to everyone!

    • Amanda

      What would the prospects be for you in the new place? Would your current job allow you to work remotely and maybe travel up for the week every so often? When I moved for his job, I was lucky enough to be able to keep the same job.

      • Rachel102712

        Thanks for the encouraging words! Unfortunately, I will not be able to pick up and move my job with me. I’m an art therapist/licensed professional counselor and will be looking for jobs related to mental health in the area. I have been at my current job for the past 3 1/2 years and am feeling ready for a change, but the thought of unemployment in the short term is daunting. There is an expressive therapy program at the local university however, so I feel like I am moving to a town that will (fingers crossed) have some good job prospects for me.

        • Amanda

          Feeling ready for a change and there being some options in the new place certainly helps if he does decide to take the job. Good luck with the decision!

          • Rachel102712

            Thanks, Amanda!

        • Elizabear

          Going through the same thing right now! (not the same field–but leaving after 4 years at a great job-ready for a change–to follow my husband) It seems fair to me though since he moved here for me 4 years ago…good luck!!

          • Rachel102712

            Same to you!

    • Marcela

      First off, congrats to your husband!!
      I did it, albeit with some gnashing of teeth on my end. The important thing for me was for my husband to realize how big a deal it was for me to leave my career, my family, friends etc and move to support his dream. And the promise that the next job related move will be based on my prospects. It was hard, but looking back it was the right decision. Meg’s posts about moving for David helped me a lot.

      “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.” Ruth 1:16

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

      Good luck with your decision! I moved to another country (with a different language) for my then-husband’s work. Unfortunately he is now my ex, but I am still glad I moved here. I have built a life here and am going to stay. I took me a few years to rebuild my career (partially due to the immigration process, during which I could not work), but for the last year, my artistic career is starting to pick up speed here and I have had some great opportunities.

      Yes, it was hard. Much harder than I thought. And yes, my plans went nothing like I expected and it got even harder last July. But at the same time, I am so glad to be here in this city and country. I would have never have moved here otherwise, and this location has allowed opportunities I never ever would have had anywhere else…

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!! I remember reading this last week and sending a little prayer into the universe for you guys.

      We’re in a similar situation right now, and I’m in a less happy place about it than it sounds like you are. (The prospects aren’t so great for my career in the new town.)

      Best of luck as you make this big decision together! :)

  • JSwen

    Yay for Friday birthdays! Definitely the best day of the week for a birthday, in my book.

    Funny story from this week: We got our first “can I invite someone” from a guest for our July wedding. My fiance’s brother’s partner asked if she could invite her mother. At first I was irked, but in the grand scheme of things, this is not a big deal. She is excited to be our DOC and inviting her mother is something I am happy to do if it means she’s still pumped to have a wedding day job. I’ll be over it in t-minus 5… 4…3… 2…

    And a request for advice: I’m not having a bridal party but I am planning to get hair and makeup done with the significant women in my life who want to get prettied. I’m a little anxious about getting everyone’s appointments set up and figuring out the timeline which really just needs to end with “dressed at the venue at 3:30pm”. Should I delegate planning this part of the day to one of those women? How did you plan (or are you planning) your pre-wedding activities?

    • Nicole Cherae

      I’d designate a person. Then that will be one less thing for you to worry about or have people texting you questions about.

    • Marcela

      We did hair and makeup in the bridal suite at our venue. We go there at noonish for a 6:00pm ceremony and had the stylist and makeup artists booked for that whole time. It ended up being a little more than the price it would have been to book separate appointments at a salon, but with the benefit of having everyone at the venue anyway and only having to decide one time. Everyone show up at Noon!
      It also helped because I was able to go down to the venue and help out with set-up to combat my anxiety. If getting ready at the venue isn’t an option, see if the salon you are interested in can do a similar thing.
      Good luck!!

    • AG

      I would call the salon and ask them about the timing, since they’ll have a good idea of how long it will take and when you should start.

      • JSwen

        That’s a good idea but I’m more concerned with coordinating my friends’ and family’s appointments than the timeline. Like, who wants what done.

        • Lawyerette510

          What about surveymonkey or a google doc, and you or whoever else is coordinating could send it out with a deadline for response, and then you’ll have it captured there for ease of coordinating?

          • JSwen

            Oh and that would successfully put me in “business” mode instead of “bride” mode so I’ll probably have less anxiety about it. Good idea. Thanks!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Also, depending on how many people, etc., you may not need appointments, precisely. For my wedding, we had “bride shows us at x o’clock, next person at y o’clock” etc. The salon didn’t care about which next person. They just reserved a set of slots for our group, and let us work out the order. But we were all getting a similar set of services.

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

    Happy Birthday, Meg! I wish you an amazing new year filled with adventures, laughter and joy!

    And I am excited because I am never able to be here for happy hour, but I am today! And I have been reading the book The War of Art recently because someone had mentioned it in a happy hour a few weeks back. It is amazing. What the author says is like a kick in the pants to stop procrastinating and get going on the projects you dream of doing… So thank you to the several people who shared about that book on here. :)

    And despite the fact that we had snow this past Wednesday, it feels like spring is finally here. I am able to wear lighter coats and normal boots instead of snow boots. (This is not the definition of “spring” I grew up with, but I will take it!)

    It’s been an unbelievably long, difficult winter, and I have been waiting so long for the renewal of spring. Today on the way home from work, I bought two little (Charlie Brown Christmas tree-ish) plants…a little pink-and-white tulip plant and some sort of little green leafy plant. I wanted to bring some life into the apartment. And the fact that they are a little pitiful but plucky seemed fitting.

  • KSB

    Please tell me it’s alright that I hate bridesmaid dresses.

    A dear friend asked me to be her bridesmaid, and I’m very pleased and honored. But right now we’re figuring out bridesmaid dresses and it’s driving me crazy. To be fair, the bride is quite reasonable. She picked a color, but is asking for input about style and cost and such.

    But I really don’t like spending more on a formal dress than I usually would, and it isn’t even a style or color that I would choose for myself. And I don’t like all the matchyness (there’s a reason I nixed bridesmaid dresses at my own wedding).

    I haven’t breathed a word of this to the bride (and of course I won’t).

    I hope this doesn’t make me a bad bridesmaid.

    Oh, and the bride is currently favoring a backless dress (it’s one of those wrap dresses). So, I have a practical question. How do I make that work as a 34DDD? What sort of bra/support can I get?

    • jashshea

      If she’s asking for input, tell her you’re not comfortable with strap- or back-less because of your chest. You shouldn’t be in an uncomfortable strapless bra all day if straps are an option!
      -Another larger chested gal

    • Katelyn

      You can get a bra extender strap to lower the back, but it’s still hard to work with backless. By ‘wrap dresses’ do you mean a convertible dress? In which case you can often purchase a matching bandeau to go underneath and cover up a strapless bra.

    • Sarah

      If she’s already asking you about style input, I would just mention to her your concern about a backless dress and boob support.

    • Amanda

      Has the bride/wedding party looked into Little Borrowed Dress at all? If not, you should! Each girl rents the dress, instead of buying them and they are SO much more affordable. They have a great selection of colors and styles, seriously. As far as back-less goes, that sounds a bit challenging for a 34DDD, do you think you can mention something to the bride? I think it can be really hard to find bridesmaid dresses — much harder than I think most brides imagine — so maybe she just needs that little bit of your insight.

      • KSB

        The bride is considering Little Borrowed Dress (I suggested it). The other bridesmaids sound less than thrilled with that option so far. They’d rather buy it (and spend more money) based on the conversation so far.

      • Lawyerette510

        I was just coming to say that. Also, sorry KSB to read that the other bridesmaids want to buy their dresses, which just strikes me as so strange, as I’ve never heard of someone being pumped to spend money on a dress they will only wear once. I guess there’s a first time for everything…

        • KSB

          I don’t understand it either. I’d rather rent a dress for much less money and then not have the guilt of it hanging in my closet for years before finally thrifting it.

    • K.

      Reiterating that you should express your concerns to your friend! I’m not a busty gal (32C or lower) so thinking about support/etc is not really something that enters my radar at all. But I would never, ever, EVER want one of my bridesmaids to wear something that was uncomfortable – in any way, but especially physically.

    • Jess

      Eh. I hate shopping/dresses on me (they don’t really sit with my vision of myself?). I said, “Here are my requirements: must have straps, must be able to hide a bra, must be at or below my knees.” You’re fine.

      Good luck with the backless dress – that sounds like a longline bra situation if you can find one.

    • Liz

      Depending on what backless means (does it mean your whole back is exposed? Or just that you need a strapless bra?) as a busty (34F ish) girl, I almost never wear anything that requires a strapless bra. However, I did recently convert after realizing how supportive a long line/bustier-like strapless garment can be. I wore one last weekend for my sister’s wedding and everything was totally fine! I had no idea I could find support from anything without straps.
      But backless could mean that even something like that couldn’t work and if that’s the case, I’m totally with you. Tell her you won’t look or feel good if you can’t wear any reasonable undergarment at all.

      • KSB

        The dress she’s considering is one of those infinity wrap dresses, and the only options I’ve seen show pretty much the entire back bare.

        • Sarah

          I’m pretty sure there are ways to wrap/style those that will cover your back and allow for a bra. Just do a bit of googling!

          • KSB

            I will keep that in mind, thanks. That would make things much simpler.

        • Ilora

          I’m a 32G and wore an infinity dress as MOH for my friends wedding last year. I bought a really good quality strapless bra to wear with and and the bride and I looked at all the styles and found one that I could hide the band. The bride is a busty gal herself so she was totally understanding in letting me mess around with the dress to find a style that worked. I found that I could pull the back up pretty high and tuck it slightly under the bottom of my bra band to help keep it in place. If there’s anywhere local that you can try one on I’d recommend getting a good bra and just playing around with it to see if it works for you. Good luck!

    • Sara

      I’m not sure how backless you mean, but I swear by my corset. I’ve also done a strapless/clear straps bra for a strangely cut dress at a friend’s wedding before, and it wasn’t super noticeable. I was just viglent before posed pics. Good luck! – A 32FF girl.

      • KSB

        The strapless/clear option is a good one. I’ll have to keep it in mind. Crossing my fingers that something else is decided.

    • AG

      You’re not a bad bridesmaid! My wonderful, sweet, stylish friend chose the most AWFUL shoes for us when I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. I could not understand it. I bought them (they were not cheap), wore them, did not say a word about it, but halfway through the reception I changed into different shoes, claiming the other ones pinched my feet. I still get mad about the dumb shoes whenever I see this designer in stores.

    • Laura

      Speaking from the perspective of a nine-time bridesmaid, i can say no, you are not a terrible person. I feel like most everyone hates bridesmaid dresses but we are brainwashed by the WIC. It sounds like you are reasonable and also have a reasonable friend who values your input, it’s OK to share certain concerns with her (such ad,maybe the backless option is not going to be functional). But there comes a point also where you just roll with it. You make sure you get to do hair and/or makeup in a way that makes you feel good and you make sure you get a few great “head-and-shoulders” shots with her so you can still remember the day but forget the dress. ;)

      • KSB

        I already put in a request for nothing strapless or such, because I worry that it won’t work with my 34DDD self. And then I will pay the money, complain to my husband, and be very happy at the wedding.

        • Laura

          That sounds perfect!

  • Katelyn

    My bridal shower is tomorrow! We’re grouping it together with Easter so my sister-in-law can be there. I’m really excited but also feel pretty horrible about the timing – I found out *after* the date had been decided and invites went out that my future MIL is having surgery today.

    I’m sure she told my fiance about it before the date was decided but he forgot to pass the word along, so now I look like a total asshole. She’s not really into weddings in the first place – she brushed it off like it was nothing but I realize that may not reflect her true feelings. I’m definitely planning on sending her flowers and a heartfelt note as soon as she’s home, but any other ideas to help patch up this mess?

    Secondly, any experiences with Rent the Runway? I have a dress for tomorrow but also have two from RTR sitting at my parents to try. I was a little disappointed in their sizes – I’m a 12/14 and couldn’t get a backup 14 in either option.

    • Nicole Cherae

      Maybe invite her to help on something wedding related or even just ask her advice (whether it’s needed or not).

      • Katelyn

        Unfortunately she is not remotely into the wedding planning, despite multiple invitations both direct and implied to help with various tasks. She’s the “here’s some money, see you at the wedding” kind of person.

        • Nicole Cherae

          In that case, is it just you feeling like the asshole or worrying other people will think that versus her actual feelings? If you think she’s okay with not being involved, then maybe there’s really nothing to worry about. In your note you could acknowledge the oversight, apologize, and say that she was missed.

          Oh and Happy Bridal Shower!

    • Jess

      RTR sizing can be all over based on the designer. BUT if the dresses don’t fit, don’t forget to tell them (online chat works) and they’ll credit your account with the amount you paid. I forgot to do that last time and ended up paying for the option I didn’t wear as well.

  • Nicole Cherae

    I got my dress this week . . . and for 50% off! It’s definitely getting more real. 183 days and counting.

    • Marcela

      I remember how excited I was when I bought my dress and it wasn’t even 50% off! Good on you, girl!

    • Emily

      Wow, that’s awesome!

  • Laura

    Happy birthday!

    Calling on the great minds of APW aside from wedding/relationships: anyone out there with insight into services for elementary age kids with an ADHD diagnosis in private schools? What to ask for, how to navigate, etc? What are schools required to provide? I know it gets more specific by state but even general info would be helpful at this point. Anyone have personal or professional experience with this?

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      If you have the time, researching blogs would be a great way to get info on what kind of accommodations might be necessary. I’ve found that there’s a lot more practical medical advice online posted by, in your case, moms and dads that have kids with ADHD, than you would be able to find with your doctor. There must be some blogs out there that have good advice or would be willing to answer questions.

      • Laura

        Yes great suggestion! And true about doctors. With it being so highly diagnosed you would think we’d have more experts!

    • YOQ

      I would think that the administrators (e.g., the principal, any assistant principals, etc.) at the private school would also know a lot about what they are required to do, and any extra assistance they may be able to provide beyond what is required.

      • Laura

        Unfortunately we have reached out and haven’t had much luck with administration so far. They don’t seem to have much experience and are really pushing medication which, we have already gone through several meds unsuccessfully and discontinued that for now. School seems to be coming from more of a problem-focused approach rather than solution focused and are quoting consequences (which, granted, do need to be part of the plan but not the only part) rather than plans to move forward. I know in the end everyone’s goal is for success in school, we’re just having a hard time getting on the same page.

        • Ann

          Hmm, I saw this after I replied. Given that, I have to ask: how much do you like this school? Are their other options? How long will your child be at this school?
          If the school/teacher doesn’t have much experience working with students with ADHD, that’s a big red flag for me. It’s hard *not* to get experience working with kids with ADHD these days, so it’s possible the school discourages students with learning disabilities from enrolling/re-enrolling.
          If you don’t feel like the administration/teachers will work with you and your child will be at this school for years, you will be EXHAUSTED from fighting for your child. Yes, that would happen in a public school, too, but at least there you have legal rights. And you wouldn’t be paying what could be an arm and a leg for schooling that’s not working for your child. Then you could invest that money in private tutoring/counseling that will help your child learn to manage on their own.

    • Violet

      While (at least in my state), private schools aren’t required to do 504s (and obviously not IEPs), many private schools will still offer some accommodations for the child. It helps the more concrete you can be as to what the student needs and why (Eg: A separate, quiet, testing location to minimize distractions). And YOQ’s advice as well. I’m sure it’s not the first kid with ADHD they’ve seen, so align with school personnel to see what they’ve done in the past.

      • Laura

        Concrete requests, thanks!

        • Violet

          You’re welcome! And after seeing your response to YOQ, the school might need help with “positive opposites.” So if they want to see less calling out, his behavior chart should be to earn points for every time he raises his hand and waits to be called on (which is the positive opposite of calling out), NOT deducting points/punishing for calling out. (Again, presuming they’ll agree to whatever accommodations you want to put in place, which some private schools are not open to.)
          They might also need a little psychoed around ADHD, particularly with regard to how punishment is not an instructional tool, while positive reinforcement is. If a kid gets a math problem incorrect, that kid won’t learn by hearing, “No, you’re wrong.” That kid will learn by then hearing what the RIGHT answer is. Same for kids with ADHD and learning to manage their symptoms.

    • Ann

      I used to teach at a private school with a lot of students who had special needs. What help you will get will tremendously depend on the particular school. The school I worked at was known for working with kids with every learning difference under the sun; they have a full time special ed professional (with a PhD) to advise the faculty and coordinate services. I received AMAZING support to learn how to work with all sorts of kids. Another nearby (also elite) private school did very little for students with learning disabilities, and they did not have an on staff resource person, though they did have a consultant who they would occasionally bring in. Several families with students with ADHD switched to the school I worked at after having poor experiences with the other school.
      No matter where you are, the first step is to have your child evaluated by a child psychologist who can provide a list of needed accommodations. Your child’s doctor should be able to provide a referral. It’s highly likely that insurance will not cover such an evaluation, and it will be expensive. Good psychologists will give you a form to have your child’s teacher fill out to use in the evaluation process. They’ll produce a document that you can then take to the school.
      Another option would be to talk to the school counselor for a referral, though I’ve known some parents who preferred to have their kid evaluated by someone without a preexisting relationship with the school. Generally, the school does not have to follow the recommended plan from the psychologist, but many will. It all depends on the school.

      • Laura

        Thank you! May I please buy you a virtual drink?

        • Ann

          You’re welcome! No need for the drink, though, I still have work to do today! One of the big perks of my last job is that I learned SO much about teaching kids with special needs, and I’m really grateful for that opportunity.

    • Aurora Parlin

      As someone who had a sort-of learning disability (I have bipolar disorder and it frequently affected my ability to do schoolwork), my suggestion would be to have everything written down by professionals as a concrete plan, versus having someone say “Oh, I’ll just make sure to keep an eye on her” or “I’ll make exceptions as needed”. I attended a public school, and I never had anything officially done until my senior year when my therapist was all “SURPRISE you need a specialized education plan and they should have done this for you when you were in middle school!” This made it difficult to keep records and pass things along to a college, because all of the help I had been given was done under the table, so to speak. For example, instead of writing up an education plan where “Aurora will be given extensions on certain overly stressful time frames but still expected to turn in work in a timely manner”, I would have a breakdown, ask the teacher for an extension, and they’d (sometimes) give it to me. This doesn’t translate super well into real life skills or a college setting.

    • laurabird

      I have zero advice, but as someone with ADHD who wasn’t diagnosed until two months before I graduated college, THANK YOU for doing this. I could get lost for hours going down the “what if my parents had noticed this? what if I had sought help for that?” and as amazing as my life is, I can’t imagine how much easier and how much more enjoyable school would have been for me.

      Seriously, if I hadn’t gotten that diagnosis when I did, if I hadn’t started getting help when I did, I literally would not have graduated. And I know if I failed that semester, I never would have gone back. So thank you thank you thank you for looking for help.

  • Ali

    So after several weeks of uninspiring phone calls with DJ companies, we think we found our DJ last night! He DJed a friend’s wedding, so we’ve experienced and enjoyed his work, and he was a good fit for us on every level. The downside is…he doesn’t have insurance. He said that he’d been doing this for 20 years and nothing has ever happened, and “he’s not that kind of guy” who would sue us if something did. Does anyone have experience with uninsured DJs? I know it doesn’t cost all that much to get liability insurance. If he refuses, I’m at least going to make sure that there’s a guest/host/venue indemnification clause in our contract so he won’t sue us if the impossible happens. I can’t imagine not having insurance just in case something did happen. Thoughts??

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

      Liability insurance is really affordable. We have a business in one of the most expensive cities in the country, and it cost way less than we thought.

      It would seem like you would definately need to get a clause in the contract for your own protection, but I’m not sure exactly how much protection that provides. Does your venue require insurance?

      • Ali

        I don’t think so (we haven’t heard anything about it and he has done weddings there before), so it’s not a total dealbreaker. I’ve heard that coverage is reasonably priced, so I’m really surprised that he doesn’t have it. He seemed surprised that I asked and a little defensive that he didn’t really need it.

    • Teresa

      Your venue might require that all of the vendors that you bring in have insurance. Ours required copies of the policies for each vendor be faxed to them, so check into that before you sign a contract with him!

  • Valerie

    My mother is taking over my brain. We’ve been going dress shopping together. We have very different tastes, and every time she criticizes something or points out an aspect she doesn’t like, it just ruins it for me. I’m beginning to think that I can’t include her in the process and still find something I like. Halp!

    • jashshea

      Saying this as someone who had the opposite problem (my mom said “oh, that’s pretty” “this one’s nice” or “you look good in that” about every dress):

      How comfortable would you be saying to her what you typed here? Just the facts, I mean: Mom, you and I have very different tastes, so can we please be objective about specific details and focus on the overall appearance?

      • Valerie

        She knows we have different tastes, and I know she’s actually trying to be respectful and tactful. However, she’s a very judgmental person in general (she doesn’t think she is, but…), and her judgment of other people combined with her very polite and conscious “non-judging” of me just reminds me that other people are going to be looking at me. And then I start looking at myself in the dress from a judgy outsider’s perspective, and I don’t like it anymore.

        Aaaaand, all of this typed out looks crazypants…

        • Amanda

          Honestly, you just have to go with your gut. When I was veil shopping and had narrowed down to two options my mom and MOH sister really liked one of them and I liked the other one. In the end, I’m the one wearing it and I want to feel like myself so I picked the one I liked. Once I made the decision they found things they liked to comment on about the one I selected.

          • Valerie

            Yeah, I think I just need some time and distance to figure out what my “gut” wants. Right now I can’t hear it because I have too much mom-voice in my head.

          • Amanda

            Good luck! You will look wonderful and obviously a kitten photoshoot will be awesome!

        • jashshea

          Not crazypants!

          Between my mom and I, I’m the super judgmental one and the one who would say “that’s ugly” when what I mean is “that doesn’t complement your figure or skin tone well,” so I have to really try to be neutral when solicited for feedback.

          How far away are you guys, stylistically? My mom worse a long sleeved, turtlenecked dress to her wedding whereas I had no straps and would have worn a mini-skirt if I hadn’t fallen for my dress. And that’s not just because she got married in a more conservative era – she’s just not into showing skin. If you both like a certain silhouette/fit, do you think you could work on beading/bling/lace differences of opinion?

          Either way, I’m sure you’ll be a knockout (and you should totally do a wedding day pic like your avatar!)

          • Valerie

            Thanks! I think part of the problem is that what I like doesn’t fit her vision of who she thinks I am. She flat-out said to me “your style is classy and elegant!” (which, the word “classy” also makes me cringe), and when I said “well, actually I like quirky” she replied “what? You’re not quirky! Your sister is quirky.” Just, blarghhhh.

            And I might have to do a wedding-day kitten photoshoot, now that you mention it. We foster, so there are always kittens around!

        • Laura C

          Not crazypants! My mother is sort of like that. Maybe not so much, but she has very strong opinions that she tends to express as facts (Dr. Pepper is nasty, v-necks are unflattering, button-down shirts make me look like a waitress, etc), and when she disapproves, she’ll try to be good by not saying anything negative, but I am a fluent speaker of my mother, you know? I can tell when she’s holding her tongue, and I’d almost rather she say something negative so I can fight with her about it and dismiss it rather than having this niggling doubt that maybe if she told me what she didn’t like, I’d realize it really was a problem.

          • Valerie

            YES. This is exactly what my mother is like. My dad says she has “absolute taste.” :)

          • Elena

            Absolute Taste. Brilliant phrasing there.

        • Sara

          No no no, I have the exact same problem with my mother. You are not crazypants. I haven’t gone wedding dress shopping with her, but I once showed her a bridesmaid dress that I had to wear (that I actually liked), and her comments were stuck in my head alllllllll day. So now, we have a rule that she can’t see important outfits that I like until after the event. I don’t really have a good game plan for when the big dress shopping venture happens, but I would say that you should go without her at least once so you can get an idea of what you do like without her in your ear.

          • Valerie

            I’m coming to the conclusion that I just can’t involve her in the dress shopping the way that I had planned/hoped. I know she already feels badly because she can’t contribute financially, and this was one thing that I thought she could help with. But, as I should know by now, people don’t change who they are just because I’m getting married.

          • Sara

            The first couple times I refused to show my mother some dresses, I could tell she was hurt. But for my sanity, I just had to put my foot down. Maybe there’s something else she could help with like flowers? Something that you won’t care as much if she has strong opinions on?

          • Hannah B

            Valerie, it’s ok! I see so so so many brides who bring people to their appointments that are just not conducive to a happy shopping experience. You are the one who has to wear the dress for 8+ hours! And you are the one paying for it! So, you get to pick it. I know it’s hard to pick something that your mom might not like, but ultimately, she just wants you to be happy and feel pretty (I hope). If you can’t bear to leave her out, maybe just instate a rule that she has to wait for you to voice your opinion of the gown before she gives hers. And that before she says anything negative, she has to say what she likes about the dress. Also, this is a situation where you stylist can actually be a great support system. When I have a gal who needs a little help I often announce to the room “Oh she loves this one, don’t you agree” and that usually gets a few seconds of silence while people have to remember that going “NOPE” as soon as the bride walks out is super, super, super rude. While it’s not ok for a stylist to “run the appointment” in a way that makes you uncomfortable, we do tend to be good at crowd control, and will totally advocate for you if you give us the go ahead. We’re not all pushy commission mongers :-)

            Another idea is to go shopping alone or with a supportive friend, and then when you narrow it down or find the dress, bring mom to see it. Or buy it solo, and bring her to your first fitting. You are definitely not crazy, and you are not alone.

        • Nicole Cherae

          No crazypants! I researched dresses online, then went to try them on with just two friends. I love my step-mom and other family members, but I knew their opinions would get in the way of me figuring out what I wanted.

    • JSwen

      I recommend shopping without her, finding several that you like, then inviting her to look at just those dresses to narrow it down.

      Or…. just go shopping on your own, pick a dress, and take a picture of yourself in it to show her *before* you order it. Make sure to GUSH about it before you send the pic to her so she realizes there is no going back.

  • Amanda

    Oh hey guys! Long-time comment snooper finally joining the party :)

    I’m looking for some venue advice this afternoon…after touring two venues this week, my fiance and I are SO overwhelmed by the extra unadvertised fees. Although both initially looked like do-able options, turns out the reception alone would be way too close to our $10,000 budget. We’ve always just kind of envisioned getting married outside and having a rockin’ open air party under a tent/barn/somethinglikethat. However, we’re having a really tough time finding a space like this that doesn’t have a required caterer (read: super expensive booze) or a bunch of hidden fees. We live in Boulder, CO, so there’s tons of public open space, but very few areas allow amplified music past 8 pm. Anyone have any thoughts on how to find this wedding venue unicorn!? Or better yet, got married in the area and have a you-must-check-out-this-spot venue?

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      No good ideas for you but welcome to the comment craziness :) Wouldn’t it be great if venues just advertised the ACTUAL price?

      • Amanda

        I know right!? I was SO excited about how affordable one venue was, but it turns out they have a mystery 15 percent service fee. Craziness!

        And Katelyn…thanks for the perspective :) definitely good to remember!

    • Katelyn

      I don’t have any specific venue recommendations, and I think you should keep looking, but also realize that you may need to let the unicorn go. Compromise has been a HUGE part of our wedding planning.

    • AG

      My only suggestion would be to be open to lots of ideas. I had a beach house wedding in mind when we first got engaged and it simply was not possible. We’re getting married at a museum now, and after I got over the initial disappointment of not being on the water, I’m so happy with our choice.

      Good luck! You’ll find something!

    • Nicole Cherae

      I agree with the compromise comments. You might also look for a space that isn’t technically outdoors, but has a patio or the like where the party could spill out onto. Check out restaurants, B&Bs, and maybe even places you hadn’t considered like hotels and country clubs. As for the catering, consider having an appetizer or dessert reception. I’m sure you’ll find something that works. Good luck!

    • Valerie

      It might be helpful to think about what specific aspects of your original vision are most important or indispensable to you, and how much it’s worth to you to have those things. After our first venue that we were set on fell through, we had two other options. One was waaaaay cheaper, but in the end, it was just too much of a compromise. Even though the venue we ended up choosing was more money than we had originally planned for, it was worth it to have the things that were most important to us.

      Anyway, not that I’m saying you should blow your budget! Just that when looking at secondary options, it’s really helpful to know what your priorities are.

      • Amanda

        Thanks to everyone :) really helpful to just take a step back and realize that it’s ok if the original thoughts just might not be do-able…but also to remember when to re-examine the priorities.

    • em

      how many people? I live in the area and might have a few suggestions

      • Amanda

        About 125…open to any leads you’ve got! Thanks!!

        • em

          In Boulder: check out the stone and wood shelters at the flagstaff summit (can book the sunrise amphitheater for the ceremony in a wedding that size)

          Just outside Boulder:
          1. Planet Bluegrass in Lyons (depending on the date — they were damaged badly in the flood but are rebuilding)
          2. Chief Hosa lodge
          3. gold hill inn

    • mimi

      Do you know anyone with a house and outdoor space who would let you use that for the wedding? Or what about a condo/apartment clubhouse space? Or maybe a school or other public space that can be rented out? Or what about somewhere outside of Boulder? We had our wedding last summer on family property in northern Michigan, which is about a 3.5 hour drive from our home. We didn’t have to pay any fees to rent the place, but we did have to DIY/rent almost everything else.

    • MB

      I wanted to throw out the possibility of renting silent disco equipment as a possible way of getting around the no amplified music rules.

      If you haven’t heard of/been to a silent disco before: essentially, everyone wears a pair of bose-style headphones that receive two channels, each playing a different set of songs. Once your guests pick up the headphones they can listen to the dance music at their leisure, switching back and forth between whichever channel is playing the music they prefer. Sometimes the two channels will be run by two live DJs “battling” each other, but I’m sure you could just set up two playlists instead! There’s no external noise, other than the shuffling of feet and the occasional spontaneous singalong.

      Personally, I’m not a super keen dancer but my favorite dance parties have always involved silent discos! I think I feel less self-conscious when I know no one can be sure what I’m dancing too. It’s also pretty hilarious to walk into a room/tent that is completely silent, yet everyone is rocking out.

      • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

        I have always wanted to go to a silent dance party! Sounds amazing.

    • kt

      We are getting married at the Wedgewood Boulder Creek, formerly the Red Lion Inn restaurant out on Canyon about 10 min outside of town. While it is not inexpensive, it does not feel outrageous, especially compared to other venues in/around Boulder (I had to seriously adjust my feelings on the budget once I realized we wanted to invite all our family/friends, and we wanted to do dinner/dancing since they will ALL be coming from out of town). It has an outside tent area and is right on the creek. They are very nice to work with and we have had really good meetings with all the included vendors. Also the best part is all fees are up front – we were looking for a way to know exactly how much everything will cost and didn’t mind a limited vendor list so this venue has been excellent for us.

    • http://www.tricen.tv Hawk Z

      Have you taken a look at 63rd Street or Lone Hawk Farms (tho they may have an early music cutoff) yet? I remember they were both on the less expensive end when we were looking, though that was with 2012 prices so ymmv. If you were willing to go a little further afield, we almost went with the Lyons Farmette… Though again, I’m not sure about current pricing.

      I agree, the open space/music cut off issue here is painful :).

  • lady brett

    happy birthday!!
    i think the kiddo is going to *buy his first bike with his own saved up money* tonight. $43 earned a quarter or dollar at a time. proud =)

    • a single sarah

      Awesome effort kiddo! I’m impressed :)

    • HannahESmith

      Such a great way to teach kids about money. When I was a kid, I had to save up half the money for an American Girl Doll ($41 at the time) with 50 cent allowance. I think it has helped me be a saver ever sense.

      • scw

        that’s how I got my American Girl Doll, too!!

      • Liz

        Me too! I will never forget when I finally got my 82nd dollar to buy Samantha!! I was so excited to call up the Pleasant Co and order her.

        • Kayjayoh

          Can I just say how lovely it is to hear someone talk about the original company, rather than the Matteled version?

    • Meigh McPants

      I wanna parent like you. Teach me your ways. I’ve got 6 months left, that’s enough time, right? Right?

      • lady brett

        haha. my ways, huh? it goes something like “try thing, thing fails, start over. try thing, feel like an asshole, apologize, start over. try thing, thing is awesome! tell internet about awesome thing.” on the bright side, you’ve probably got way more than 6 months to figure out how to give personal finance lessons ;)

  • http://peckishadventurer.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Happy Birthday, Meg! I want you to know that we’re all really glad you were born! This community you’ve created inspires me and challenges me and makes me laugh every day! Your post a couple months ago even gave me the push I needed to start my own cooking blog. Let everyone spoil you a little bit today, you deserve it and more!

  • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

    I finally made it to a Happy Hour! Happy long weekend. I’ve started my four days off with a margarita and good TV to counteract the snow that’s happening outside. Anyone else have big plans for the weekend?

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      Also, my roommate just noticed that my dog has a broken tooth. Which I would never have noticed because he’s been happily gnawing away on bones like usual. Anybody with vet experience know what it’s going to cost to have a large dog’s tooth removed? I’m hoping he won’t have to have general anesthesia as that seems to be where it gets pricey but I’m really not sure how this works and the vet is closed for the stat holiday.

      • JSwen

        Call your vet and ask – i have the same situation and my vet said it would start at $550 and go up from there. I’m going to spend money on chew toys instead and hope he loses it on his own. One way to tell if it is bothering him is if he stops chewing on bones, eats slower, or eats less than normal. Otherwise, keep on keeping on!

      • AC

        I JUST saw a vet about this! We recently adopted a dog with a cracked tooth :( Our vet (in Seattle, may cost different elsewhere) said they do have to put them under and it would be anywhere from $350-$700 depending on how long it took to get out (varies based on size of tooth, how deep they have to dig, in multiple pieces, etc.).

      • Jenna

        Check with your vet to make sure it actually needs to be removed. My big golden guy broke one when he was a baby and it’s been fine ever since (he just turned 10 in March). It’s a little one, though, so if your pup cracked a canine or a molar then it will most likely have to come out (according to my vet). Good luck!

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

      snow and margaritas and TV sounds sooo good right now.

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

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  • Fiona

    HAPPY WEEKEND BIRTHDAY. The very best kind.

    I did a very dumb thing a few minutes ago, but one that was sooo important. My boo and I haven’t seen each other since before christmas, and we’re in pre-visa limbo without any good idea of when it’ll end. So I spent money I don’t really have on a ticket to go visit him in a month for just 3 days. But it’ll be so gorious. Bad for our bank accounts, good for our souls.

    • MC

      I fully support spontaneous money-spending to see your partner. Sometimes it is just so, so necessary. And now you have something to look forward to!

    • Pileofstix

      You can make up for lost money (within reason). You can never ever make up for lost time, no matter what people say. Enjoy yourself!

    • Fiona

      Also HOLY GIGGLES I returned home to a package containing my fiance’s engagement ring in it. He literally has no idea it’s happening, and now I have a when to do it!!!!!

      • Nicole Cherae

        Congrats!

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

      They say that happiness comes from experiences (and not acquired items), so…enjoy the experience! :) Long distance relationships are hard. And sometimes you just need some in-person time…

  • Sara

    Happy Birthday!
    I am so looking forward to this weekend – my friend from HS is home from the Air Force after being overseas for 7 months, I’m getting my hair done, Orphan Black returns, and I’m hosting Easter Brunch for just me and my parents since my brothers are at in-laws and college repectively. And that brunch will end with us going for a round of golf because spring is finally here in Chicagoland! Now if my clients would just wrap up their business so I can go home….

    • Lisa

      The most recent weather is AWESOME. I was walking around without a coat on last night for what feels like the first time in aaaaages!

  • Amanda

    We sent out our invites last week and have gotten so much feedback so far on how wonderful everyone thinks they are! If anyone is in the DC area, we worked with Jenn at Ribbons and Bluebirds. She is awesome and a fellow APW reader :-) We also picked out our wedding rings this week too!

    • Emily

      Woo-hoo! Progress and decisions are so much fun.

    • GCDC

      I second Jenn’s awesomeness! She is fantastic!

  • MC

    Here’s some happy Friday inspiration: http://samuel-warde.com/2014/04/open-letter-phyllis-schlafly-12-year-old-madison-kimrey-guest-post/
    “When I’m thinking about what kind of career I want to have, it’s a lot like shopping for a bra. I want to find something that fits me and appeals to me, and I’m not thinking about pleasing a man. Anyone who wants to be my partner in life is going to have to truly respect me, appreciate me for who I am, and honor the choices I make.”

    I wish I was this much of a badass feminist when I was 12!!!

    • Fiona

      I spoke to Pyllis Schlafly on the phone for an hour several years ago for research. Amazing experience, speakign to living history. She’s a fascinating woman. She’s sharp as a whip and really thinks about the social implications for things. That doesn’t detract from how very wrong she is.
      I also want to point out that she has been this way since she burst onto the public scene in the 60s, though she was more successful at making social change then (her group overturned the Equal Rights Amendment to the constitution).

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

    SO. That op-ed on suffering was really good. I particularly liked, “trying to redeem something bad by turning it into something sacred,” and how “suffering drags you deeper into yourself.” I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the idea of transformative suffering…

    • Violet

      Remember Kayla’s post, This Is Life? And how one commenter wrote, “don’t waste the suffering”? I thought of that when I read the Times piece.

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

        I do remember that amazing piece! I ended up in a very similar situation, unexpectedly, just a couple of weeks after that post and I went back to re-read it. Then I wrote her to tell her how much that post helped me, and we’ve stayed in touch now and then checking in on each other in our journeys through. And I have been writing and doing art as a way of processing… As an artist, I know that pain and suffering can be pretty fertile ground for creativity and new beginnings…

  • Beth R

    Happy Birthday, Meg!

    This week and last were full of craziness! We put an offer on a house and did not get it (not even close), all while my husband was doing job interviews. I don’t recommend this combination, but he pushed though and…got the job! Hooray! Aaaaand my work decided to send me to the Philippines to do some training with our team in Manilla! Aaaand, because of the way the timing works out, husband will get to come along with me and make a mini-vacation out of it before he starts the new gig! I’m very excited.

    Also, this weekend is seder with friends and next weekend is camping, so what I’m saying is, everything is coming up Spring (except the house stuff).

    • Nicole Cherae

      Good luck on the house hunt!

      • Beth R

        Thanks!

    • Ann

      I feel you on not getting a house. In two weeks of house hunting, my husband and I have put in two offers, and we’re 0/2…

      What’s weird is going through this process of picturing what your life would be like living somewhere and then end up having to move on. But move on we do!

      • Beth R

        Dang, you guys must be much more decisive than we are. We’ve been looking since January and this was the first offer we put in. I actually thought I would be more upset considering how much time we spent debating and researching and hemming and hawing before we put in the offer. But, as you say, move on we do. There are always more houses out there. Good luck!

        • Ann

          Thanks!
          There are a few things leading to the fast offers:
          1) SUPER COMPETITIVE MARKET. Boston area real estate is crazy.
          2) We’re renting, so I need to move by a certain (not distant…) date
          3) It’s likely only a home for the next 4-5 years, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just comfortable enough for us and possibly a little one who we’re hoping to try for in about a year or two.
          As a first time home buyer, I totally freaked out when putting in the first offer. We put in a ton of research, and time from us and our agent. I really wanted the place, but I was also like OMG SO. MUCH. MONEY. Felt better about losing it after a stabbing happened three blocks away last week…. By the second offer I was totally zen about it, and was like “We could live here. We could pay X money. Agent, please write offer.” And when we didn’t get that place, I was all like “Whatevs. The cat wouldn’t have liked it anyways.” Because his opinion clearly matters.

          • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

            “The cat wouldn’t have liked it anyways.”
            I would imagine the last thing you want when moving to a new house is a vengeful cat so that may count for more then you think :)

          • Kayjayoh

            Oh man. We are going to be looking for a place in the Boston area sometime in the next year. Ugh. (Right now, I’m having kittens just trying to deal with the rental market.)

            Good luck!

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

      The work trip with the husband sounds great! Good luck on the house hunt!

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      Uhhh are you me? We’re also nutso house-hunting (0/3, but I have a good feeling about the next one!) while I was interviewing, I just got a new (wonderful) job, and the boyfriend is headed to Manila for work next month. TOO WEIRD.

      • Beth R

        Haha weird, parallel lives going on here. Good luck with the new gig and the house hunt and the traveling!

  • Marcela

    Speaking of side projects…
    Any of my fellow APW ladies sew out there? After successfully pulling off a very involved cosplay this year, I want to try my hand at sewing clothes I can wear in normal life. However I have no idea how to pick out a pattern. Any and all advice is welcomed!

    • Emily

      The closest I’ve come to sewing clothing is adapting one of my fiance’s old tee shirts into a night gown for my daughter, but it came out so cute! Might be a cheap way to break into it, find second hand stuff you can up-cycle into cooler custom items for yourself.

      • Marcela

        I’ve done that sort of thing for a while and love it, taking a piece and making it my own. My conundrum is that I’ve always just sort of muddled along figuring things out myself and now the idea of working with patterns and seam lines and french rulers freaks me out.

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

          I also improvise when I sew and have only worked with an actual pattern once. Usually I just take pieces that fit me well, and trace then to make my own pattern, sometimes using a tank top and skirt to figure out how to make a dress, for example. But I am pretty low-key about the stuff I make… I would, however, like to get into making more stuff but I think I am at the point where I need a dress form. I plan on making a DIY one, but I need a person to help me make that, so….that is what is holding me up at the moment.

          • Marcela

            I keep eyeballing tutorials for a dress form, but wonder where I would stash it in our apartment with little storage. My husband already grumps about the room the rest of my sewing takes up.

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

            Yeah, storage is a problem for me too. I just keep imagining walking through the apartment half asleep in the middle of the night and seeing the dress form standing in a corner and freaking out before I realize it is the dress form. I once worked at a summer camp where there were a couple of life-size knight’s armor things displayed in the building and walking around late at night in that building was creepy. I worry that a headless dress form would be similar for me? Maybe there is a way to make it so that it breaks apart and could be stored in a closet/chest/under the bed?

          • Marcela

            The creepiness factor gets me too. The tutorials I’ve seen so far tend to rely on construction that you couldn’t easily take apart. :( bummer

    • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

      I’ve sewn a bunch of stuff for cosplay costumes, but I’m terrible at following patterns. Most of the time, I find something at a thrift store that matches the cut/style I want, and I deconstruct it and then rebuild using the fabric I want. Which is basically like walking backwards into using a pattern, but that’s what works for me and it helps me learn.

      • Marcela

        !! Lucy, I didn’t know you cosplayed! It’s always exciting to meet other’s who do it too.
        I usually work that way too, but I want to attempt something like a shirt dress which has darts and seams and facings and the fabric I’m thinking of getting is a bit too pricey to screw up.

        • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

          Ah. Well, you could also buy a pattern and try it first on muslin or some other really cheap fabric.

          Yep, I cosplay! Currently I’m working on a CatBug outfit, a Jayne Cobb outfit, and then improving my 10th Doctor outfit. #nerdalert

          • Marcela

            I’ve done a steampunk Princess leia and genderbent Ezio Auditore. I’m thinking possibly Anya from Anastasia for next year’s convention. #fellownerdalert

          • H

            Wait wait, genderbent Ezio? I feel like there need to be pictures.

          • Marcela
    • Lisa

      Former sewing 4-Her here and daughter of a seamstress here! There are lots of pattern books with varying degrees of stylishness in them. If you go to any store, including JoAnn’s, they will have a ton of different ones. Simply pick something you would like to wear or use for cosplay. (Never pay full price for them though. There will always be a current or an upcoming sale.)

      However, they can be kind of tricky to follow if you’re not accustomed to reading them or have ever used anything like it before. I could go into a lot of detail about how to fit patterns, but this could quickly get long and tedious for you.

      For learning how to fit, my best suggestion would be to look for a local fabric store/sewing shop and see if they offer classes. My mom teaches everything from beginners to advanced tailoring at a bunch of stores around our mid-sized city. When you get into the classes that start using patterns (at least in my mom’s experience), the class sizes get smaller, and you can bring in patterns or garments you would actually like to work on so it can verge on having a tutor a couple of times a month who can walk you through any trouble spots.

  • honey come home

    I really want to wear a wedding dress with 3/4 sleeves. But, what about bridesmaids, then? Do their dresses also need sleeves? Shrugs? Boleros? While I have done ok finding bridal sleeve inspiration when it comes to the actual dress… I’m at a loss for the bridal party. (Early fall wedding, FYI.)

    • Sara

      How about cap sleeves with a wrap?

    • Fiona

      If you want to wear sleeves, wear sleeves!
      But your bridesmaids don’t have to unless you want them to. If you wear sleeves, and they don’t, it could make you more grand yet!
      if the dress you get has no sleeves but has a neckline, you can have sleeves added to it quite easily.
      I have a friend who wore a strapless dress and wore a beautiful lace bolero tucked into the dress so she could have sleeves. Looked amazing.

    • June

      I don’t see why your bridesmaids would also need sleeves, unless you’re interested in sleeves because you’re doing an outdoor ceremony in the fall and you want sleeves for warmth. :) Either way sounds like it would look nice.

    • Katherine

      Not that I’m a fashion expert in any sense of the word, but I would think that your dress doesn’t have to dictate anything about what your bridesmaids wear. If you want their dresses to also have 3/4 length or long sleeves, that’s fine. But I think it’s also fine if you don’t.

      Also, as a really short person, I feel the need to point out that long-sleeved tops that aren’t petite can sometimes be difficult. For some reason, I’ve always been comfortable shortening pants (even the petite pants that I buy…), but sleeves seem like another beast entirely. I’m sure that a good seamstress could do it, but I just thought I’d throw that idea out there. Sometimes sleeves are too tight on my upper arms too, even though I’m not overweight. (Do other people have this problem?) Again, perhaps fixable, but perhaps an added complication you don’t want to deal with.

      • JSwen

        I think tops are hard to alter because the arm holes are what they are – you can’t create fabric there to shorten up the body of the shirt. So the result is shirt body that fits and big flapping sleeves.

        Oh one option for sleeves is to have a 3/4 sleeve bolero made custom for you. This way, you get the custom fit without paying for the entire dress to be custom. You can get styles made that go under the dress or over and end at the waist.

    • Aurora Parlin

      As far as, “does wedding etiquette dictate that everyone has the same sleeve length?” the answer is “no, and if it does then screw it anyway”. That being said, because it’s a fall wedding your bridesmaids may want a dress with sleeves or perhaps for modesty reasons they don’t like strapless (or maybe they don’t like strapless because strapless bras are inhumanely uncomfortable!). Certain religions (LDS, Orthodox Judaism) mandate longer sleeves, so if you have any bridal shops in the area that cater to religious women you might have better luck finding a dress with sleeves on it. Or check non-frumpy mother-of-the-bride options! When my sister got married, one of the brides was plus-sized and wanted sleeves to cover her arms and that’s what she did.

  • Carly

    My boyfriend and I are getting engaged in 5 weeks on an engagement
    trip to Ireland! I can’t wait! I will have just graduated with my MS degree and
    will be moving for a job. We aren’t planning to exchange rings while there,
    mostly because I have yet to pick out a ring. An engagement ring is an
    important symbol for him, and for me, I think, but I’m having difficulty making
    a decision when I know I’m going to be wearing this ring for my whole life…It’s
    a lot of pressure. Did anyone else struggle with this? I know a ring doesn’t “define”
    me and/or my personality, but it’s kinda what it (dramatically) feels like
    right now…

    • Emily

      I didn’t get into the defining myself via jewelry bit, I just told my man what I thought was pretty-looking. Which, it is! I’m happy he chose something he knew I’d like, but in practicality, it pokes people, catches on things, hell, I even chipped my windshield on a cold morning with it! So how the thing feels and functions ON can be a big part of your happiness with it, which I had no idea until I started wearing the ring. Just something to consider.

    • Nicole Cherae

      It’s definitely a complicated decision. My fiance and I picked out the ring together (sort of). I would have been content with something a little simpler than we ended up purchasing. My guidelines were that I only wanted to wear one ring and I wanted it to be white gold. I did a lot of research on rings to get an understanding of what I liked and would be comfortable wearing. In the end he (unknowingly to me) picked out a ring then casually brought me to the jewelry store. I ended up picking the ring he picked out. Even though I would have been happy with something else, I came to realize that the ring was a big symbol for him too and I wanted to pick something that respected his wishes as well as mine. And I love my ring.

    • Liz

      Before we got engaged I always said I wanted to have a say in the ring–it’s something I’ll wear for the rest of my life and I want to make sure I like it! I also think that shopping together for it would allow us to avoid a potentially really awkward conversation where I would have to tell him I didn’t like the ring, just in case that happened. (I was kind of afraid of him treating this like a lot of his other gift shopping and giving habits, which is defaulting to amazon.com.)
      My fiance told me how important it was to him that he pick it out and surprise me, and I hadn’t ever thought about how that moment for him might be equally special or important. I gave him some ideas of things I liked, but he picked it out all himself, and after the fact, I do love knowing how special it was to him to pick it out and that it was a surprise to me. Luckily, he chose very well, otherwise I don’t know what I’d have done.

    • Marcela

      My engagement ring does not look AT ALL like what I pictured in my head/ the photos I sent to my best friend who I didn’t know was making the ring. When I got it, it was a big shock and at times I still struggle with loving it aesthetically. However, what it symbolizes and all the love that went into it makes me love it for what it is.
      My wedding band however I picked out to be very representative of me. A slightly non-tradition design with plenty of understated sparklies.

  • Liz

    My sister’s wedding was last weekend! I am finally catching up on my exhaustion. It was so much fun. This was my first immediate family wedding and I just can’t believe how emotionally draining (in a good way) it was. She was just so beautiful and I am really proud with how her wedding brought us closer together.

    It was so amazing too to see the people from our past who showed up. We’ve moved around a lot and it’s sad to have lost touch with so many important people from our lives. But a couple of families showed up in full force from every corner of the country and it just meant so much to see them all. I burst into tears when I saw our best friend from up the street and her mom who we probably hadn’t seen in a decade.

    Thank goodness for rehearsals, too. I’m pretty sure they are really made more for the emotional maid of honor rather than the bride and groom. Luckily I got all the ugly crying out on Friday night instead of Saturday. I think I was more nervous than my sister before the ceremony because I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to hold it together watching her come down the aisle with my dad!!!

    It was also nice to go through everything once and reflect on the decisions we have to make for our upcoming wedding (6 months from today!!!). There are definitely things that I want to push for now–like trying to get everyone to stay at one hotel rather than couple of different ones, after seeing how wonderful it was to constantly run into friends and family throughout the weekend since we were all in one place. I really felt like I got to spend a lot of time with guests who came because of that.

    So, yay. And now it’s really time for me and the fiance to start making some decisions and plans!!!

    • JSwen

      Hahah I love ugly crying. Good point regarding rehearsal dinners. Might be worth having one just to test out all of the FEELS before the actual ceremony.

  • June

    Happy birthday, Meg, and happy Friday everyone!

    Two unrelated things:

    1. Does Hart and Sol East still exist? We just started looking at photographers, and Hart and Sol East’s website doesn’t seem to work!

    2. I loved the piece on tricky proposals. I saw some old friends this weekend, one of whom I had a falling out with not long after she got engaged two years ago (in a nutshell, her engagement really opened my eyes to the fact that we viewed our closeness as friends in very different ways, and it was really painful.) I did not ask her to be in my wedding party for many reasons, but the whole weekend she asked me about wedding things almost non-stop. I think she was asking me so much about my wedding because she wanted to bond with me again, which I appreciate.

    However, at one point she asked me to re-tell her “our story” again and I told her I needed to stop talking an out wedding stuff because I and the other friends have lots of exciting things going on that weren’t just weddings! I just felt like she was crossing a line in a way, because in felt like by telling the story over and over, I was diluting its specialness. So, in summation, the tricky proposals piece helped me to process why I felt sort of invaded by her constant questioning- I want to keep that special sacred moment in which we formally decided to get married as just ours.

    • JSwen

      Some people are just REALLY into weddings. I have a friend from college who was a flake then, became a better friend afterward, and invited me to her wedding but I wasn’t in it (because we weren’t that close). She has been the most interested, most excited-about-the-details friend I have so I’m just enjoying that. On the other end, some people feel MEH or AWKWARD about weddings and those friends of mine, though they are very close, really aren’t involved in the planning process. I choose to be very zen about it. :)

    • Teresa

      Hart and Sol East does still exist–Monica shot out wedding a little over a year and a half ago, but I’ve scoped her website really recently and it’s all there. http://hartandsolphoto.com

      • June

        Ok, phew! I swear the site was down on Thursday. Thank you!!!!

  • emilyg25

    Well. This week I called a local fertility clinic (recommended by a friend) and made an appointment. It’s frustrating to be starting down this road, but I’m trying so hard to be zen about it.

    The thing that’s really pissing me off though is that almost all the paperwork focuses on the female partner. They asked me to fax my OB/GYN records, but no mention was made of any urology records. We actually know the cause of our infertility: my husband had a vasectomy and the reversal seems not to have worked (so far at least; he’s still in treatment). Statistically speaking, causes of infertility are pretty evenly split between men, women and both! Ugh.

    • Anon

      Good luck. I think we might be about to be there.

  • Finder’s Keepers?

    A question: I was walking around town yesterday and spotted something shiny just off the sidewalk. Turned out it was a ring, gold (or something like it, there are no marking inside that I can see), with two leaves that encircle two small stones–an unknown to me stone and a tiny diamond.It’s stunning, and it fits me. I’m totally in love with it, but I did posted about it on the local craigslist lost & found. What else should I do?

    • Jess

      I think, but you should confirm, that you can submit it to the police department and if nobody claims it in a certain period of time, you can keep it.

      It sounds beautiful.

      • Jennie

        Had a friend that this happened to. They turned it into the police, when it wasn’t claimed (I think after 90 days?) she got to take it.

    • april

      I’d throw up at least a couple of fliers near where you found it. Don’t describe the ring – just say that a piece of jewelry was found in that location and give your contact info. If anyone gets in touch, ask them to describe the ring to you.
      I’m sure someone is heartbroken over losing it – so do what you can to get it back to its original owner!

    • Pileofstix

      Take a picture of it, turn it over to the police, get your own made, reap the karma. :-)

    • Finder’s Keeper’s

      Thanks for the input. It never occurred to me to take a picture of it to remember it by. Thanks for the suggestion.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Newspapers, especially small, local ones, will often let finders post classifieds for free. That’s where someone not-internet-savvy would look for info if they lost it.

    • Amy March

      Turn it in at the local police precinct!!

  • Rebecca Lee

    Happy birthday! Have a wonderful day with the people you love. X r

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

    Happiest of birthdays!

    Well, we’re moving on the the 28th or 29th now, which is a few days earlier than we thought but should be fine. That gives us 4 days of newlywed bliss (aka packing) before we fly to Denver. We’re going out there next weekend to look for an apartment (or roommate situation in a house (rent is hella expensive compared to here… so no house rentals for us at the moment, for a variety of reasons I can’t go into)). Hopefully we’ll find something that meets our needs — we have two dogs, a small/medium one and a big one, and a lot of complexes have breed and weight restrictions that would disqualify us. My fiance’s really worried that we might have to leave the big dog here since she’s a pit bull mix (they’re banned in Denver and surrounding towns, which is ridiculous to me BUT I DIGRESS). That is the worst case scenario. :( Hopefully it works out for us so that we can keep her; I don’t know if my fiance would ever recover if we had to leave her here, even if she was with someone we knew.

    • MC

      Ugh I’m from Colorado and I love pitbulls and I think the pitbull ban is so awful. Pit mixes are high on my list of dogs I want when we’re ready to have a dog and Denver is also on our list of cities we’d like to go back to eventually. No advice, but it sucks. Good luck with the apartment search.

    • Emily

      I’m in Colorado and I hate the pit bull ban too. Many of the surrounding suburbs don’t have bans – I’m not sure how close to actual Denver you need to be; I lived in Arvada with a pit bull looking dog (I always claimed she was a mutt) with no problems.

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

        We are going to be in Littleton or Lakewood, most likely… so pretty close to Denver. Her vet paperwork says “mix” so that should help, but if anyone asks to meet her they’ll definitely be able to tell what she is. I’m holding out hope that we have some luck. My fiance’s company hired someone to help us find apartments and she said it’s going to be a bit of a stretch, but I’m still hoping we can just slip her in under the radar …

        • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

          Meeting in person doesn’t have to mean anything, a mix is a mix is a mix. I get this fairly often as my dog is an Akita Shepherd mix and he’s got a big ol’ head and massive muscles so a lot of people think he’s a pit bull. Just be very firm in saying she’s a mix or make a joke about who knows what could all be in there…distraction works wonders.

        • Gina

          I live in the foothills just west of lakewood. Check out Indian hills or conifer if you want to live in the mtns for cheaper (and DEFINITELY no pit bull bans). It’s a 20 min drive to lakewood from Indian hills. I don’t think lakewood has a pit ban, but also check out Morrison and Golden. For what it’s worth I saw an article recently about denver repealing the ban–maybe it will happen soon? Best of luck in your housing search, I know it’s rough!

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

            Thank you!!

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

      I have a pitbull and she is the love of my life – THE END. if I start to talk about animal policy ignorant bullshit I will get very angry which I do not want to do right now….so…pitbulls are the most beautiful little nuggets ever. with the most stunning cheekbones.

      • MC

        Do you know about the Best Friends Animal Shelter? They rehabilitated a lot of the Vicktory dogs and are doing a lot to end breed discrimination and are generally awesome. I get their bi-monthly magazine and regularly cry tears of joy when I read the pitbull success stories. Love them.

        • Crayfish Kate

          Ahhhh Best Friends!!!! I volunteered there for an alternative spring break when I was in college! Fell in love, that place & their staff are AMAZING. :-D

    • Meigh McPants

      So, “pit bull” is not technically a breed, so if any complex asks about your dog, tell them she’s a Staffordshire Terrier/whatever else she is. Done. Good luck!

  • AG

    You guys! The wedding is one week and one day away. Pretty much everything is done, and now I can just relax and be excited and nervous. I’m worried about people having fun (which, objectively, is dumb because we have good food, good booze, an awesome band and a beautiful location). I also keep worrying that our venue will be accidentally double-booked, so I keep calling the event coordinator there with random dumb questions just as an excuse to repeat our date and name over and over.

    • Stacie

      You are so good! We are two weeks and one day out, and I feel like NOTHING IS DONE!!! The event planner and my DOC seem pretty calm, but I guess that’s their job.

      You’ve got this. I’d like to say that I’ve got this, but… I don’t. Not yet. Maybe next Happy Hour. :D

      • AG

        We’re having an out of town wedding, and I used that as an excuse to do very little in the way of projects, since our car is already going to be pretty full. At this point, pretty much everything is in the hands of the planner and rental companies.

        Congratulations and best wishes to you! You’ll get it done.

    • http://batman-news.com jbryant6

      My wedding is next Saturday too!! I have a to-do list a mile long for this weekend, but if none of it gets done who cares, because the wedding is next weekend!! Best wishes to you, wedding day twin!

      • AG

        Ah! Best wishes to you too! Hope you get the important things done on your list!

    • Jen

      Same date here too. Luckily tomorrow best friend will be coming to stay with me for a week- and I’m relying on her to help me focus enough to finish the todo list I have. We shall see. Either way, in 8 days it will be done- good or bad :)

  • sara

    Happy Birthday!! I just this very moment ordered my dress! And now I have anxiety (of course). Ha, I have been putting it off for a few days, but I do love it…and I suppose I’m expected to wear something. It’s grey, which is amazing. And now I need to use the rest of my lunch break for deep breathing exercises to get rid of my anxiety. Happy weekend!

    • Lawyerette510

      Oh I love grey wedding dresses! They look so good, and if you’re going to carry flowers, well they are such a great back-drop for flowers. Congrats!

      • sara

        so true! thank you!

    • macrain

      I sounds lovely! I had major dress anxiety, which has mostly quieted down at this point. Just remember you chose it for a reason. I’m sure you’ll look gorgeous!

      • sara

        Great point, I look forward to less anxiety. We all need less of it, especially on a Friday afternoon! Thank you!

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

      congrats!! and breathe :)

  • AHHHH

    I got engaged this week! I am having serious second thoughts though, even though I asked him. We already told our families. I love him and I am pretty damn sure I want to spend the rest of my life with him. We’ve been together for 4 years, living together for 2.5, and I can’t picture my life without him. So why do I still feel like I’m going to puke/cry/die?

    • JSwen

      Um, you feel like that because it is scary. Have you scoured APW for thoughts on engagement and reclaiming wife? Lots of good info. Oh and I recommend premarital counseling or reading those “100 Questions you should ask before marriage” books to help you get comfortable with the idea. Oh, and CONGRATS!

    • Marcela

      Becuase it’s a big life change and is SCARY as all heck. I literally had to sit in my car with my head between my knees for a good ten minutes after our engagement. Good thing my guy was in another car and had no idea or it might have done a number or him.

    • Laura

      Because you an intelligent person who just made a hugely scary step toward a life-altering commitment. I think doubts are healthy and nessecary. There was a really great article at the beginning of the year on this subject.

      Also, CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Jess

      I’ve been feeling a lot of random fear at a lot of various steps in my relationship. Only after reading APW did I sit back and say, “Oh wow. So this feeling of being dizzy and wanting to puke and cry all at the same time is totally normal? Great. At least I don’t need to schedule another doctors appointment.”

      Congratulations on your engagement!

    • Aurora Parlin

      Have you heard of/read “Emotionally Engaged?” I thought that book was fabulous. It has several exercises you can work through to get through all that crap. I felt much better after reading it. Sometimes it’s not about the person (I love my fiancee to death, can’t imagine my life without her, looking forward to being married) but more about the situation of being engaged and how it reframes your life.

    • Lisa

      I’ve experienced a lot of the same anxiety that you’ve had. I knew the proposal was coming, and I felt so sick that there was some doubt as to how I should respond. But I love this man, he’s incredibly special to me, and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Sheryl Paul’s web-site and her book The Conscious Bride have really helped me through the transition phase.

  • Outside Bride

    Hey, I think I’m probably too far down the thread to get found, but a couple of weeks ago someone suggested Tara Bach. I can’t remember who you were, and I don’t think it was a direct response to something I said, but I really wanted to thank you.

    • Laura

      It wasn’t me but I wanted you to know you’re not too far down. We see you. :)

  • LT

    I got married this past weekend! There were a total of four ceremonies (long story short: I’m Catholic, my husband is Muslim so we had our respective religious ceremonies prior to the public ceremony. Before we could have our religious ceremonies though, we had to be legally married). It was such an incredible moment and I have to thank the APW community for all of the advice and inspiring articles that I relied on during the wedding planning process. I am so grateful that I stumbled on this website nearly two years ago. Cheers!

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

      Congrats! Wedding graduate post someday?

    • Nicole Cherae

      Congrats!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

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

    I know I have asked before, but I’m going to be more specific this time. Please, hit me with your best San Diego, LA, coastal highway, San Francisco area, and “wine country” recommendations! Our only commitment so far is Patton Oswalt at Largo! We leave in less than a month!!!

    • Abigail Mayhugh

      If you don’t check out Mariscos Jalisco in LA you will have missed out on the most amazing food truck California has to offer.

    • Elizabeth R

      Can you be more specific with the kinds of things you want to do/see? That will help narrow it down.
      That said, I enjoyed Mumm in Napa, and you might try Marianne’s ice cream in Santa Cruz along with the Mystery Spot. Tomales Bay has oysters too, if that’s your scene.

    • ItsyBit

      ESB had a great “What To Do In LA” series a while back that might be worth checking out (obv only for LA though).

    • p.

      Things I enjoyed on a recent trip to LA:
      – Guerilla Tacos (popup at Handsome coffee downtown — Handsome is where Patton Oswalt & Jerry Seinfeld went in Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee)

      – Proof Bakery in Atwater Village
      – Gjelina (we got take out) in Venice Beach

      – Stairways walks in Silver Lake

      I live in SF and here are some of the things I appreciate about &/or think SF does well:

      – Neighborhoods: SF has great, walkable neighborhoods. Walk down Valencia, Hayes, Haight, Grant Ave (North Beach), Fillmore (Pacific Heights), Union or Chestnut streets (Marina).

      – Walks: SF is super walkable, often down lovely Victorian-home-lined streets. Seek out stairways.

      – Parks: Crissy Field is on the water and has great views of the Golden Gate Bridge (on a clear day); Golden Gate Park is huge (I like to enter the park at 9th and Lincoln after lunch at Nopalito or breakfast pastries at Arizmendi Bakery) and has museums (DeYoung, Academy of Sciences), playgrounds, walking paths, even bison! Dolores Park has great views of downtown (from 21st and Church) and is a scene.

      – Coffee (I’m partial to Blue Bottle or Sightglass)

      – Ice cream (I like BiRite Creamery, Humphry Slocombe)

      – Mexican food (Nopalito or Primavera, a stand at the Ferry Building farmers market, are my go-tos)
      – Bread/pastries (Tartine is insanely busy but really delicious)

      – Ferry building is touristy, but you can get Blue Bottle coffee, Humphry Slocombe ice cream, and great sandwiches at Cane Rosso in one spot. The food options on farmers market days (Saturday is the big farmers market, but there are smaller ones on Tuesday and Thursday) are also good. I like Tacolicious on warm days and Hapa Ramen on cooler days.

      Sample itinerary: Walk Castro Street (under construction but still a worthwhile stroll). Walk up Castro to Liberty, take Liberty St stairs up the hill, come down into Dolores Park. Head for 18th Street: get ice cream (BiRite), pizza (Pizzeria Delfina) or pastry/sandwich (Tartine). Go to Valencia. Continue to shop, eat, explore, people-watch.

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    What I learned tweeting with a black woman’s avatar? Total and utter FAIL. I cannot stand these ridiculous “social experiments.”

  • Mo

    Month 12 of actively “trying to conceive” and I got a positive pregnancy test this week! Two weeks before our scheduled appointment at the infertility clinic. I had a chemical pregnancy in September, but this time feels different. None of this “cautiously optimistic” stuff – I am full blown STOKED. Good Friday!

    • Amanda

      Congrats!!!

    • emilyg25

      Congratulations and good luck!!!!

    • StevenPortland

      A million congrats! We went through a few years of failed attempts with surrogacy. Now you are getting exciting results!!

  • M – anon today

    I really just need to rant today. A few weeks ago I posted about how I only had one dress fitting scheduled and it was making me nervous. Well, that fitting was last weekend, during a whirlwind wedding planning trip and … my fears came true. There was no way it was closing in the back. We made an emergency appointment with a seamstress who had worked on dresses for me in the past and I have another fitting in a couple weeks. Now that it’s happened, I guess I don’t have any big wedding fears left that seem nearly as scary. At the same time, I keep beating myself up because that dress fit perfectly 6 months ago and this is more money we weren’t planning on spending.

    Also last weekend was the shower my cousin/bridesmaid threw for me. I was completely in the dark about all the plans beyond “show up at x time”. I’m trying really hard to be appreciative but…*sigh*. The whole thing was just super awkward. It wasn’t interactive at all. Everyone filled out mad libs while I just stood around. Then we ate, which was hard for me since the disastrous dress fitting was just the day before. There was the requisite stare at me while I open gifts, and then everyone just left. I tried to get around to talk to people, but idk, it was just super weird and I felt really out of place. The cute spring dress and heels I had on even made me feel overdressed. I mean, I appreciate the planning that went into it, but I spent the whole time alternating between feeling like a third wheel and wanting to leave. Do I say anything to my cousin/mom? I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but it was nothing like I imagined/hoped for/would enjoy.

    • Stacie

      I’ve come to the conclusion that the shower isn’t really for the bride, it’s for the family. My mom was the belle of my shower, and I was happy to let her be so!

      I’m sorry your shower wasn’t what you wanted it to be. Hopefully that bodes well for your wedding! There’s a saying in actor circles “Bad dress rehearsal, good show!”

      • Jess

        I’ve agreed with this forever.

    • Sparkles

      Don’t talk to your cousin/mom about the shower. You say “Thank you very much, it was lovely, and keep it to yourself.” It’s over and done with and they did a thing for you and that’s it. Bridal showers in my experience are often awkward affairs, and yours was also awkward. YAY! Join the club! But you don’t get to tell the people who hosted that it wasn’t fun. Just like you don’t tell your friends when they host a boring party. That’s just not polite.

    • Jen

      I, along with help from the bridal party, threw my best friend a bridal shower. It’s been over a year and She still talks about how much she hated it! It helped convince me that a) I didn’t need one and b) opening a gift in front of others can be super awkward. We have the type of relationship where we can be honest, so it doesn’t bother me that she told me- but my advice to you would be to realize that there isn’t a great way to do that type of thing in general and it’s best to not hurt the feelings of folks who tried hard to care about you. And if it helps- my best friend LOVED her wedding.

      • M – anon today

        That actually does help. I’ve spent the vast majority of my life not fitting in, and I’ve yet to have any happy-filled-with-love “bridal” moments. I’m doing the bulk of the planning alone with my fiance with long distance support from my mom. I don’t really have people in the area we live, and my MOH lives on the opposite end of the state. In a way, I’m afraid the wedding will end up with that same outside looking in feeling, so hearing that the same people can be part of an event I hate and an event I love is helpful.

  • Aurora Parlin

    So, here’s my problem: I’ve wanted to convert to Judaism for a while (fiancee is not Jewish and does not want to convert, which makes things difficult but this is something I want to do for me), but because I am reliant on public transportation and on disability (read: VERY low income), I haven’t been able to find conversion classes that I can afford or even get to. When my fiancee and I moved in together I started attending services at a local Episcopalian church to twiddle my thumbs and bide my time and give me a social outlet since I don’t work. But as time passes I am growing antsy and looking to at least add synagogue attendance to my spiritual repertoire. The idea of being stuck a Christian is enough to give me panic attacks, but the people at the Episcopalian church are really nice and I thin they expect me to stick around… I don’t know how to explain to them that I’m just not into the whole “Christ” concept and not interested in attending/being involved with church anymore. I feel really guilty about ditching them and I’m also very worried that because I am in an interfaith relationship, I won’t be able to convert at all and I’ll be stuck between a rock and a hard place. :pants: So that’s my story. Just needed to vent, I guess?

    • Katherine

      I can’t tell you much about conversion, but I can tell you that different congregations vary in their openness to including non-Jews in their religious life. Depending upon where you live, there may be a Reconstructionist synagogue where you could join the community, even if you aren’t technically Jewish. My guess is that some Reform congregations may feel the same way. I know that participating in the religious & social life of a synagogue is NOT the same as converting to the religion, but it might be better than nothing. Good luck.

    • StevenPortland

      Would trying out a Unitarian-Universalist congregation be an improvement until you can find the right conversion classes? People at UU churches run the full range of spirituality — atheist, humanist, spiritual, Christian, Jewish, etc. It would be a free way to get out of thinking you are being “stuck a Christian”.

      • Aurora Parlin

        That’s… a really good idea, actually. I will look into that. Thanks for the input!

        • YOQ

          UUs are a good idea–Quakers (Society of Friends) might also work, depending on where you are and what sort of meeting you find there. Have you tried contacting a Jewish congregation that you’d be interested in joining to ask if they would be willing to work with you?

          • Aurora Parlin

            I’m in the process of doing that right now. I had a promising one in a local city but the public transit decided to close down on weekends until the end of June, so I might just have to be patient.

  • Sparkles

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEG! Having a blog means even more well-wishes from people you don’t regularly talk to than Facebook. Revel in the love.

    In other news, I’m knocked up! Seven weeks along. I had my first doctor’s appointment yesterday and he confirmed that I am actually pregnant. Which was reassuring. What I wanted to ask you lovely people about is reading material. So far I’ve read some library books about pregnancy and have been on a few of the websites (BabyCentre, TheBump). And I guess they’re fine for talking about symptoms, but where can I get a good fix of pregnancy/early parenting feelings/ideas/politics/feminism? Because the websites mostly have forums that consist of people trying to decide when to start wearing maternity clothes. Which is fine, but I’d like to go a little deeper.

    Any recs would be highly welcome!

    • Kendra D

      I know it’s archived now, but Offbeat Families has some great articles on all of the stuff you’ve mentioned. They just, are lacking in active commentary these days. They do cover some family material on Offbeat Home&Life, but not as much.

      And congratulations!!

    • emilyg25

      Girls Gone Child-a blog about living and parenting
      Ask Moxie-Parenting advice
      Pregnant Chicken-Irreverent pregnancy and parenting stuff
      Alpha Mom-lots of good stuff for all stages
      Amalah-Also a blog about parenting and living
      Mamalode-More thoughty stuff about politics/feminism/parenting
      Mutha-Even more thoughty

      I also prefer the boards at Mothering, but those might be crunchier than you’re planning to be. Worth a gander though.

      Oh, and congrats!!!

  • Kendra D

    This next week is a big week for us! I finally finish my certificate course this weekend! I won’t be using the skills learned just yet, but at least I’ve taken the first steps to changing careers!

    Then on Monday after 107 days without anything more than what we could carry in four suitcases for two adults and two dogs, we finally get our household goods delivered!!! We are so excited! After two months of living with nothing but two sleeping bags and two camping chairs, we’ll have real furniture again! And real plates! If you can’t tell, I’m really excited!!!

    At the same time, I’m also a little apprehensive, because Monday also marks my return to the “normal” work force as I start a standard 8-5 job for the first time…in my entire adult life. I’ve always done more freelancing, self-employment, and contract work. So I’m both excited and terrified of working a “real” job.

    I’m just hoping that this next week of transition will finally see us settled! We’re just under 16 weeks to our ceremony and I want to focus on being excited and not crying because the movers missed another deadline. Day 100 was really hard.

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

      Wow! What an experience. How does it take 107 days to move your things? I’ve never experienced that. Major yay!!

  • macrain

    Happy birthday Meg! We love you!
    I’ve been on this streak lately of feeling really GOOD. I usually struggle with anxiety and depression and have these melt downs every few months, but lately- no meltdowns. I also feel like I’m just appreciating the SHIT out of my life right now. A lot of things are cause for celebration in my eyes. (Even silly things like- The bus came right away! AWESOME.) And guys- I am not usually a perky person (I wouldn’t even call myself one now, actually).
    The hardest thing is to not analyze it to death and wonder where this is coming from, and where did my anxiety go. Of course I feel happy and at peace with where things are headed (my wedding is this fall)- maybe that’s it. Also, it does feel like having a wedding to look forward to is like Christmas eve ALL the time.
    I also have been seeing a therapist for about five years now, and wonder if the work I’ve been doing there has paid off. Whatever the case- I’ll take it. I think appreciating this time right now will make it easier if rocky moments are still ahead of me.

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

      i am so happy for you macrain! that’s wonderful to hear!!

  • Ashley

    It has been a hell of a week. Between my future mother in law trying to emotionally manipulate us, my lovely fiance suddenly switching shifts at work and being just over 2 months out I need a glass of wine and a nice long day to relax. On the bright side I have been able to remind myself that my happiness is not an imposition every time I feel down.

    Happiest birthday Meg!

  • HannahESmith

    This week, I finally paid off one of my student loans, almost 4 years early! It feels awesome. Now we’re going to work on my husbands student loans. Yay for mini socialism.

    • Sparkles

      You are such a responsible adult! Congratulations.*

      *This should be read seriously, not sarcastically.

      • HannahESmith

        :)

    • MC

      WOOHOO!!! My fiance’s help in paying down my loans has made an AMAZING difference on how quickly they’re shrinking. I daydream about the day that I make my final payment and how wonderful it will feel. Congrats!

      • HannahESmith

        It feels great. I highly recommend setting up a goal in mint.com. It’s so nice to see how extra payments really shrink the balance.

    • bostonienne

      Congratulations! That is an impressive accomplishment. Paying off my law school loans is a major goal of mine, but one that I’m able to talk about with only a few like-minded friends. (I am two years out and am hoping to have mine paid off in another 2 years or so before turning to my husband’s loans, too — I can’t wait for the day that these are all behind us.)

      • HannahESmith

        That is amazing! Yeah, I didn’t have anywhere near law school level loans.

    • Ariel

      Congratulations!!! My fiance and I decided this week that we can use all of the money we get from the wedding toward my student loans (he doesn’t have any debt) and I am SO EXCITED. It’ll be a drop in the bucket (we’re talking six figures here), but a big drop in the bucket to paying those bad boys down.

    • ART

      yayyy! i took care of one earlier this year and it felt awesome. congratulations!

  • Brooke

    Sigh. I’m in the middle of a particularly frustrating and unnecessary-seeming battle with my mom about bridesmaid dresses. I feel like I have to fight her on every non-traditional choice we make (and our wedding is still largely traditional, I think her head might explode if she saw what a TRULY non-traditional wedding looks like), and she’s been particularly rigid about having matching (or at least coordinating) bridesmaid dresses. I’m suuuuper tempted to pull the “I’m the bride and this is what I want, period” card, but I feel like such a bridezilla. And then I get upset that I have to be a bridezilla in order to allow my friends to NOT spend money on bridesmaid dresses. I mean, shouldn’t it be the opposite?

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

      You are not a bridezilla for stating what you want at your wedding, especially on something that is intended to make everyone’s life easier rather than harder. Do not let society, or your mother, label you as such.

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

      Would it work to come at it from the angle of saving your friends money and that it it’s what they prefer to do?

      • Brooke

        I wish. It is coming from the angle of saving my friends money–especially my best friend, who really really cannot afford a dress.

    • emilyg25

      Pull the card! Pull the card! This isn’t a decision that affects your mom. But it does affect your friends!

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

      You could always tell her it is traditional in Québec to have only one witness/attendant for each side and that that person wears whatever they want to wear from their closet. :) The matching bridesmaids dress look is becoming more popular now, especially in Montréal. But I’m told that this is a new thing.

  • Liz

    I am trying to decide if I should go to one of my high school reunions (10 years). I moved to Michigan from Seattle after my sophomore year in high school, so I didn’t graduate with them, but these are the people I grew up with and went to elementary and middle school with. I haven’t been back to Seattle in a decade and haven’t been in close touch with anyone beyond Facebook, but have always thought it would be cool to reconnect and see what people are up to. It’s just a bar night, but it’d require me to fly cross country during a summer I already have 5 weddings besides my own to attend and travel to! (I have enough Southwest points to probably pay for one way of the trip so it wouldn’t be really crazy, just more time off to take.)

    Just thinking out loud. What are people’s experiences with this kinda thing? I’m afraid it will just be a lot of awkward stop & chats for a big trip. But it could be really nice. I just worry that I was forgotten about and no one would remember me!! It’s kind of sad that a third of my life just feels so distant now.

    • Brooke

      It probably depends on who else is going. If it was a small school, or if the people who were your friends are going, I bet you’d have a great time! If it’ll just be you and a bunch of people you never knew very well anyway, though, that might not be worth it.

    • YOQ

      I went to my ten year reunion. If I had the chance to make that decision over again, I would skip it. My experience was that not many of us had had enough time to become interesting–we were all still very much becoming. And not many of the people I was truly curious about showed up. I will very likely go to my 25th–but I wish I could have the money and time I spent on the 10th back. All that said, your experience might be very different. I’m sure you’ll hear from lots of people who loved their 10-year reunion!

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

      I didn’t go to mine because I couldn’t justify the expense of the trip when my only motivation for going was to show off how awesome my life is to people I don’t even talk to any more (not even on Facebook).

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

      I am currently thinking of skipping my 20th. It would involve an expensive international plane ticket. I went to the 10 year reunion (which was an 11 hour drive), and it was fine. But I am only in very sporadic touch with only a few people from high school anyways…

    • emilyg25

      I didn’t go to mine. I didn’t have any close friends in high school, so I didn’t feel the need to catch up. I have, however, had chances to meet up with some people I was close to one-on-one and those have been really lovely and cathartic. (I had a really tough high school experience, and those visits made me realize that was mainly due to my own issues and not to everybody I went to high school with being assholes.) I just don’t feel the need to do the group thing.

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

    Last year, in honor of my PhD, a friend gave me a gift card to a local nursery because she knew I wanted a citrus tree.

    This year I finally got around to buying a Eureka dwarf lemon tree (and the largest pot known to man to put it in). And I named him Phudlee (because he’s in honor of my PhD and he’s a lemon tree). Wednesday I planted Phudlee in a corner of our yard. It’ll be three years or so till we’re eating lemons, but I love the promise of new plants.

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

      And I just pulled our Easter lamb out of the freezer. It seems strange to me that ham is the “traditional” Easter meal when it would definitely not be kosher and Easter is very much tied to Passover.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        As a Jewish believer, I figured ham was an Easter food because Jesus provides salvation without kashrut (the Jewish dietary laws).

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

          That makes sense. I just always figured it was the result of a real good advertising campaign by the pork industry.

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

        I didn’t even know there were traditional Easter meals until I was in my mid-20s. My family always ate out in restaurants. It was a little like discovering a parallel universe when I realized that other families had traditional meals with their extended family for Easter, kinda like Thanksgiving.

      • Kayjayoh

        I tried to get the family to switch to lamb, but my brother wasn’t down with that. I’m kind of “meh” about ham most of the time.

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

          I’ve never really been big on ham either. And I’ve decided that as an adult I can eat what I want and don’t have to bother with the stuff I’m not that crazy about, like cooked carrots.

    • Remy

      I bought 4 raspberry starts in pots, because they were in the clearance cart for the florist department at the grocery store. Thing is, they are living on the roof of our apartment building because our house purchase hasn’t closed yet and I can’t put them into the ground. Their names are Rupert, Rhonda, Rusty, and Renee.

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

        Yea! I love those names. :D

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

      Did you plant Phudlee in the ground, in a pot? Would this be so you could move him with you, if you moved at some point later?

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

        Phudlee is in a HUGE pot in a corner of our backyard for the specific purpose of being to take him with us at some point later if we do move. I stood my 10 month-old up inside it to take photos and it went over her chin.

  • Alison O

    Country Queers Can Survive and Thrive

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1018799721/country-queers-can-survive-and-thrive?ref=live

    Thought this kickstarter project about being queer in rural communities might be of interest to folks. I have no connection to the person/project, just enjoyed the audio interviews on the blog (http://countryqueers.wordpress.com/) already and see that the project needs just a bit more help to be fully funded. Enjoy!

  • Jess

    4 weeks out. any other may 16ths out there? what are we forgetting to do? :)

    • macrain

      I’m not till October, but I just wanted to say good luck! You can do it!

      • Jess

        thanks. :)

  • MC

    My MIL & FIL are in a little folksy band with a few of their friends, and we asked them to play a song or two at our wedding between cocktail hour and dinner and they said yes and are SUPER excited and honored. I’m really happy! It was originally a point of contention, with me being the contentious one – I was really resistant to having them play at the ceremony/reception because I was feeling insecure about the comparison to my own parents (divorced, not exactly amicable, definitely not in a cute folksy band together) – but I realized that it was an unhealthy way to go about wedding planning, and worked through my shit enough to realize what a lovely addition that would be to our wedding day. Big thanks to lots of the articles & discussions on APW for making me realize that *no one* at our wedding will be listening to the band and judging my parents’ relationship.

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

      that sounds amazing!!

      • MC

        To add to the cuteness: My MIL didn’t play any instruments before (aside from piano lessons when she was younger) and for her 45th birthday she bought herself banjo lessons and is now an awesome banjo player and is recording an album with her band! Super inspiring.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Busy day at the office.

    Sunday, I went to Macy’s (Kohl’s was closed.) and bought 3 bras with no tears and minimal rudeness from sales staff. (I’ve been laughed at by staff for being small.) It took 1/4 the time I thought it would. And they were all on sale! Which was good, because when I pulled one out later this week, there was a hole right through the cup. I can’t imagine I didn’t notice it before. I think the shoes I bought after leaving Macy’s poked it.

    Tuesday I learned my office was having a potluck today. This caused me no end of anxiety because I didn’t have time to cook, and it’s Good Friday, which I observe partly with restricted eating. And I observe Passover. If I weren’t the new girl, I’d have just said I couldn’t participate. I finally decided to bring some matzah, which no one else ate, and I tried to be polite and non-fussy by saying, “I’m on a special diet this week.”

    Looking forward to Seder with my family tomorrow! The plan is to train my husband to help my mom in the kitchen so I don’t have to as much. I’m more interested in talking to my parents’ guests than he is, so theoretically we’ll both be happier this way.

  • K.

    In case anyone was wondering if GoDaddy’s old sexist ads are indicative of failings in other areas (like, say, CUSTOMER SERVICE), I can now officially tell you that, yes, yes they are.

    Just got off a looonnnnnggg phone call on behalf of a client where I firmly told a supervisor that the way they handled a situation was “completely and totally unacceptable” and laid down the (mostly polite but quite assertive) law. Big for me, actually, because I’m the type who eats the wrong meal at a restaurant instead of making a fuss, but it was my job today. Bitches get stuff done.

    Now I just want all the wine.

    • Kayjayoh

      “a certain website”

      ??

      • K.

        Haha, I originally had it up but took the name down because…I don’t know. I wasn’t sure if it went against policy to directly call out a company, so erred on the side of caution. But it’s a famous website hosting and domain site. Let’s call it “StopMommy.”

        Can’t go into the details of why their service was so bad (client privacy and all that) but it has to do with the fact that they are apparently deleting one of their blog services and haven’t told their customers yet. It was objectively egregious and I’m still pissed about it on principle for my client.

    • Katelyn

      FWIW, I’ve really enjoyed my experience with NameCheap, but only with registering domain names. I’ve used both for that purpose and feel WAY less scummy afterwards. Not sure if NC offers the same other services as GD but worth checking out.

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

    soooo just have to be an excited five year old girl and share: last night my fiance and I went to the book signing for Alicia Silverstone’s new book The Kind Mama!! If you know about her, or her previous book The Kind Diet – her new book is on getting pregnant, being pregnant, and the first six months of mamahood. I have been dying for it to come out, and last night we got to watch her talk, have a Q and A and then get her to sign our book and talk with us! I was totally giddy. We are so best friends in my head. I told her I was really nervous and was going to cry and didn’t want to make it awkward for everyone so I had my fiance tell her things hehe. She was so sweet and has always been a role model of mine. We want to make a baby in about three yearsish :)

    Also I think we might have found the suit for the fiance to wear. :)

    • macrain

      I am TERRIFIED of meeting a famous person I admire! I saw Lena Dunham once filming girls and I just COULD NOT.
      That’s so cool!

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

        i know…it’s like…so much in one moment and what are you supposed to say??? do we have five hours??

  • Anonymous

    So, this is the second time in about a year that someone has asked me if I’m pregnant. No, I’m not. Yes, I’m sure. I’m just fat. I mean, I think it’s even more mortifying for the person who asked, but… Seriously, people. Unless a baby is coming out, don’t assume women are pregnant. Especially strangers!

    • macrain

      Ugh. So thoughtless and rude! I’m sorry about that.

    • Jen

      That happens to me all the time. I’m sure it’ll get even worse once I’m married. Alas :)

  • MisterEHolmes

    In case anyone is wondering about the Great Bridesmaid Drama….

    They quit.

    It’s been a tough week, but with two months until the wedding (and counting) I’m a tiny bit relieved. Crushed and saddened…but sort of relieved. And my one remaining bridesmaid is so awesome and amazing that she makes up for the difference emotionally. …But we haven’t decided if we need to call in “backup” bridesmaids or not…

    • YOQ

      *Internet hugs*

      As difficult as they were being, I don’t imagine this was the resolution you were hoping for. But I’m glad you’ve got a good bridesmaid sticking around and helping you through this very much undeserved stress.

    • ART

      hugs. may it be a relief.

    • Laura C

      Oh, man. I’m on Team It Will Be A Relief. Whatever you decide as far as backups.

    • Heather

      I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through this, but from an internet stranger who has been following the story, I’m relieved for you! Please disregard this if you’re not looking for advice, but my vote is to not call in backup bridesmaids.

      • MisterEHolmes

        I’m leaning toward no, but …well, my pride is popping up sometimes. So what’s your reasoning behind the “no backup bridesmaid” vote, if I may ask?

        • Heather

          Personally, it just seems like it would be much less stressful to stick with the one friend who you know has your back. I mean, the backup bridesmaids weren’t your first choice for bridesmaids for a reason, right?

    • Lisa

      So many hugs. I’m sorry that they disappointed you at this special time.

      Hopefully the reduced drama will allow to you to concentrate on more important elements and to feel a little peace.

    • Kayjayoh

      (((hugs)))

      I’m sorry it ended up that way, but here’s to the end of the drama.

      • MisterEHolmes

        Wine for everyone!

    • Jess

      Oh my gosh. Oh. My. Gosh. I’m so sorry that this whole saga has happened to you. I’m glad it’s over (in a way).

      I’m very happy that you have a remaining bridesmaid being amazing!!

  • notquitecece

    Hullo! We’ve been meandering toward wedding planning, but I think our parents aren’t totally sure what to do with us/our pace. My parents are pretty chill about it, because neither of them had big weddings — which is great, but I also kind of want them to be part of this, and for our wedding to be a family event. Also, my mom kind of hates shopping. Here’s what I’m thinking: we’ll head up to Seattle to visit for a weekend in June and try to get some of the “no, really, what’s important to you” conversations done in-person. Also, I might try having a few dresses from BHLDN or someplace sent to my parents’ house so we can “shop” at the house. Is that crazy? Is the bridal boutique experience useful somehow?

    • laurabird

      I have no idea if the boutique experience is useful in any real way, since I’ve been in only once, probably way too early, just brought a girlfriend, and went into the bridal suite in the store where I work for their corporate. So I’m not any help with that.

      But! I do know that a BHLDN just opened at the Anthropology in downtown Seattle. Like literally three days ago. I walked in last week, and they already had a lot of it set up. It look fantastic, I’ve got an appointment in about two weeks.

      • notquitecece

        Thank you! I was wondering when it would open! Yay — that will save some online-ordering.

    • Lisa

      The boutique experience can be useful in that it allows you to try on a variety of dresses and silhouettes to get an idea of what you want. I had planned on my mom making my dress from the beginning, but she insisted we go to a few stores before pattern/fabric shopping. And it was *such* a good idea because, though I thought I wanted a fitted A-line lace dress with a keyhole back, I fell in love with floaty and gigantic tulle skirts and ruched bodices. It might be worth it to try on a few things you think you want and a few you couldn’t imagine wearing to just see what really speaks to you.

      • notquitecece

        thank you! This is super helpful. I think I’ll maybe make a date to go to a boutique or two with a few best friends before I head for Seattle.

        • Lisa

          You’re welcome, and good luck! :)

    • Sharon M.

      Having been to 2 big bridal shops, and 1 boutique, I wholeheartedly endorse the boutique experience. I ended up buying my gown from the boutique.

  • laurabird

    I am brand new to the whole wedding planning thing (or any event planning really, who else bawled their eyes out at Lauren’s But What If Nobody Comes?) and the wedding is still a good seventeen months out, but I’m already stressing about the guest list. The mister and I both very much want to get married here in Seattle, where we moved about 8 months ago. And more than that, we both very much do not want to get married in southern California, where we’re both from. But I was informed by my parents the other day that if we get married here, most of my 50-60 person family would not attend. Not maliciously, or to make a point or anything, but just because travel is expensive.

    I’m heartbroken, because I always imagined having all my family there. But the idea of getting married down south makes me feel literally ill. My fella still wants to get married up here, but he gets why I’m so upset. I’m just trying to adjust to the idea of a smaller wedding, without a lot of extended family, but in my new home. And I think that will be best for us, but it’s just not what I always assumed would happen.

    This shit’s hard! I’ve been an avid reader here for years, longer than I’ve actually known my fiance, and I thought I got it. But seriously, it’s so much tougher than I thought it’d be. Of course I’m disgustingly happy that I get to spend my life with this man, so it makes up for it. :-)

    • ktan

      I moved to the Midwest from the East Coast a few years ago and plan to get married here. Recently, my Dad made similar remarks about how most of my family will likely not make the trip for my wedding. I was pretty sad at first, but truthfully our guest list needs to be small for our budget and so it’s sort of a blessing in disguise. Plus, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t fly home for a wedding (except immediate family or very close friends) because plane tickets are very expensive.
      I’m sorry you’re feeling sad about your family, just know you’re not alone!

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

      Hi! I am having a handful of family at my wedding. We are getting married out of state, and I live across the country from my whole family. So I can relate at least a bit. After the wedding, on our next trip down South (NC) my fiance and I will have a get together with the family that couldn’t come – maybe a back yard party or something to make up for it.

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

        That sounds like a great compromise!

    • emilyg25

      What are your parents basing their assertion on? We got married where we currently live, even though it was out of state for 90% of our guest list, and pretty much everybody came. Even my uncle, who makes very little money, flew across the country with his daughter to be there. I think you’ll be surprised by who finds a way to come to Seattle.

      • laurabird

        I don’t know what they’re basing it on, honestly. But my mom is pretty much always right about everything (I mean that seriously, and in a good way. The woman is talented, or possibly psychic).

        That gives me hope though. And I want to be hopeful that people will surprise me and make the trip. But I just keep repeating “Your wedding is not an imposition” and “The people who are there are the ones who need to be there.” And as my best friend told me “You don’t want people there who won’t buy a ticket. It’s not fucking Bora Bora.” (Nothing against Bora Bora, it was just used as an example of somewhere far and expensive. Seattle really isn’t that far from southern California. Right?)

        • aldeka

          Sure, but it’s not JUST the plane ticket. It’s a hotel stay, and car rental/taxi fares, and meals out while traveling, and so forth. Plus a gift and maybe a fancy outfit if they don’t already have something. It adds up!

          I say this as someone whose mom said something very similar–my family’s largely not well off, so travel to anywhere not by car is just not happening for them. My fiance and I and most of our friends live on one coast, his family lives on the other one, and my family’s in flyover country, so basically no matter where we have the wedding it seems clear that most of the people we’d want to be there won’t come. I won’t lie, I’m *still* bummed about that, and not looking forward to choosing which set of people our wedding will not-screw with travel costs. :/

    • Katelyn

      I know I’m coming into Happy Hour pretty late but I just want to offer my support. We picked a “destination” wedding location that is in the contiguous US and has inexpensive flights and hotel options. We thought it would be the perfect solution to having family all over the place, but apparently it’s not. We have a LOT of family not coming, some of them real disappointments.

      Now that RSVP’s are coming in though, I find the celebration of acceptances to greatly outweigh the disappointment of the declines. I am really looking forward to having the time to sit and visit with friends and family instead of feeling like I have to only settle on a quick hello and a couple of lines of chitchat.

      Another consideration for you is to have some kind of get-together back in your hometown. We’re not calling it a second reception, more of a general celebration “of family milestones” as we put it in our invitations – our wedding, my brother’s new baby, my parents’ 35th anniversary. While we and FH’s family have been fine with keeping our wedding pretty tiny from the start, my parents were less comfortable with the idea and agreeing to a hometown party has really taken the edge off of their concerns.

      Best of luck with your decision-making. Getting together the guest list and addresses was more of a headache for us, but picking a location and venue were WAY up there too.

      • laurabird

        Thank you so much, it definitely helps to know we’re not alone. My mom actually brought up the idea of a celebration down home a month or so after the wedding, and I do like the idea. My main concern is that if we let people know about that, they’ll definitely not come to the wedding, when they otherwise would have made the trip.

        The wedding is more than a year away, I wish I could just know how many people are going to be there! There’s such a big range, since my family makes up more than half the guest list, and it’d be nice to know if I’m planning a wedding for 40 or 90.

  • aldeka

    Folks: after over a year of un/under-employment… I have a job! A neat job! For more money than my previous job! :D I start in a bit over a week and am extremely excited and a bit nervous about doing a good enough job.

    Since I promised my fiance I’d get a job before we got married… I still need to actually go to work and save some money, of course, but now I feel like I can actually start planning. YAY!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

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

      That’s wonderful! Congrats! And happy planning… :)

  • ktan

    A little late for the happy hour, but need to bounce some ideas off of other practical wedding enthusiasts:
    We’re deep into wedding planning and really like the idea of holding our reception dinner at a small, local restaurant. The price point is great, the food and decor are fantastic, and the location is perfect. The only problem is that the venue maxes out at 60 guests (including us!) We obviously have to shrink our guest list with this limit, so we’re thinking about “hosting” a larger gathering of anyone and everyone at a nearby bar after the dinner (and putting down some kind of drink tab for our “guests”). We think this is a good way to include all of our friends and family, but worry that some will feel snubbed or that we are being cheap (we really can’t afford a larger guest list or venue.)
    I personally love the intimate ceremony and dinner followed by large bar gathering idea, but my s.o. is still on the fence. Has anyone else done anything like this before? Is this actually a terrible idea? Please help!

    • Kayjayoh

      It could be well received or not, depending on two things: 1. the culture and personality of your guests 2. how you explain it to people.

    • Crayfish Kate

      Disclaimer: I have not done this myself, nor do I know of anyone who’s done this recently. BUT…good friends/mentors of mine did this for their wedding some 35 years ago or so. They had a ‘regular’ dinner sit-down reception, and that was great for Grandma & family. Then later that night, they had a PARTY (If I remember correctly, they roasted a pig, too) with all of their (younger) friends/family, and it was a low-key, come as you are type of deal. They loved it. I think this is definitely one of those ‘know your crowd’ sort of things, but IMHO, I think it’s a great idea :-D

      • ktan

        Thank you for this advice, it is very reassuring!!

  • Kayjayoh

    Well what do you know. I get the day off work for Good Friday and then I completely miss the Friday Happy Hour. :)

  • Kayjayoh

    Frustration of the week, which I did not get a chance to share on Friday. Fiance is out in Boston again, until Tuesday, and once again we were trying to do some apartment hunting, since after that… getting out there is going to be tricky.

    I’d found a listing that looked perfect, and was in communication with the owner to set up a showing. Fiance would go to the place and I’d check it out via FaceTime. Not ideal, but better than nothing. Then we stopped hearing back from the owner, without having an actual showing time. I finally wrote back, trying to check in with them and got this response:

    “I only show the apartment when ALL the applicants can be present. I am not a realtor, and want my tenants and me to be able to live together in the same house without problems, often for years. For some degree of certainty, I have learned to be patient and selective without exception. No offense to you.”

    Rarrrr! RAAARRRR!!! I tried to explain that I would be there to see and to talk to, just not physically. (I mean what, do you need to be able to check out my rack or something?) But not a single reply after that.

    A friend of ours pointed out that we may have dodged a bullet, since that sounds like a red flag of “I’m a neurotic, over-involved landlord/neighbor” and we probably would have been unhappy with them. Still, very vexing. So, I might be able to look at some places if I need to/get to fly out there this summer to interview for job(s) but it is starting to look like we are moving out there without a lease and staying with friends for a week or so. Excitement!

  • Emmers

    For anyone doing their own invitations, embossers at Paper Source are on sale until Monday! ($50 instead of $60). Not gonna lie, I’ve told my guy about 12 times today how excited I am about our embosser.

  • Caitlin_DD

    Well I am so late to this party, but Buzzfeed is doing so well this week, I had to share: http://www.buzzfeed.com/katieheaney/11-wedding-traditions-you-can-totally-ditch Obviously pretty basic stuff, but cheers to them for saying it on such a platform.