APW Happy Hour


Time to binge watch some Orange Is The New Black

by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

To make up for last week’s sluggishness (read: four day weeks make me TIRED), this week the staff set out to do All The Things. We kicked things off by launching the fancy new slider you’ll notice at the top of our homepage (consider it a greatest hits of APW across the web). Then we closed out with an all-day shoot yesterday, the highlights of which involved Mint Juleps and Beyoncé (the Mint Juleps are for you; B was for us.)

Today I’ll be counting down the hours until it’s time for the new Orange Is the New Black (SEASON TWO IS TODAY). Until then, it’s your happy hour, so hop on it!

XO,
MADDIE

Highlights of APW This Week

Would I tell myself to do anything differently, knowing what I know now? Probably not.

When you find yourself having arguments over $3,000 floor lighting (on which you previously had no opinions), maybe it’s time to reevaluate.

A treatise on normcore and shiny things.

“It is physically impossible for my office to be ‘no homo.’”

What does it mean to live your vows, for better or worse?

“I have had no trouble wholeheartedly embracing the word husband. But I’m not quite so sure about becoming ‘wife.’”

How to buy booze for your wedding.

Hairstyle tips for Black brides, with notes from Beyoncé’s stylist. (No, really.)

Link Roundup

What female leaders think about crying in the workplace.

This project just keeps getting better.

A beautiful essay from artist Lisa Congdon on marriage, one year later.

Do you ever wonder why Beyoncé is the queen?

Perhaps the best part of this Father’s Day roundup is that each of the (successful in their own right) dads featured is defined in relation to his wife’s career. Nice touch, Cricket’s Circle.

The day I left my son in the car. (Which sparked an interesting conversation among the staff about overprotective parenting and the culture of fear in a twenty-four-hour news cycle.)

I’m just not convinced that women are actually getting plastic surgery done on their hands for engagement selfies. I am convinced, however, that news outlets should be more conservative with how they use the word trend. Remember when super sexy “morning after” sessions were a “trend?” Exactly.

And because I assume you’re doing nothing else tonight: five things to expect from Season Two of Orange Is the New Black.

APW’s 2014 Happy Hours are sponsored by Monogamy Wine. Thank you Monogamy 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.

Maddie Eisenhart

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

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  • ktmarie

    Orange is the New Black… can’t wait!!! I’m hoping for some crowd-sourced suggestions… My sister just finished her MSW (Masters in Social Work) specializing in at-risk youth this past month and is currently job searching all over the US. I’m in engineering and couldn’t be more clueless about the field. I was wondering if anyone here would be willing to share some good job searching sites, tips, advice, etc (hell – I’ll send you her resume if you want!). I’m trying to help best I can. Thanks :)

    • Laura C

      She may already know this one, but if she doesn’t, she should: http://www.idealist.org/

    • sara

      Agree with below. I’m an MSW and idealist is good. Indeed.com is another great option. I’ve always worked in the medical field, so I’ve worked at Children’s Hospitals (with HIV+ adolescents), non profits (non insured HIV+ clients), and large insurance companies (maternal/child health- aka lots of at risk youth). School districts are another great option. Basically, MSWs are always needed, she’ll find something soon I’m sure. Congratulations to her! (fun fact, my fiance is an engineer, so in my option, engineers plus MSW compliment each other wonderfully).

      And OMFG, yay OITNB. I’m actually re watching season one before I move on, I forgot half the people’s names!

    • macrain

      I just watched the first episode and forgot how funny and amazing it is. And woah, what a way to start the season! This is gonna be GOOD.
      Good luck to your sister!

  • Laura C

    That piece by the woman who left her kid in the car was one of the most important things I read all week. It’s so frustrating to think that this is the world we live in now. The freedom I had as a kid to play all around our neighborhood (low-traffic neighborhood, obviously), to go downtown with my friends for lunch on half-days from school, these are great memories.

    • Meg Keene

      It seriously made me almost punch a wall. I think the worst part for me, is that I felt like in many ways she was still buying into the “bad mother” narrative being slapped on her, instead of being angry as hell. This is what we do to mothers. We isolate them, we make them really really scared, we shame them for being over protective and under protective, and then the goal is achieved: they can’t do much other than be consumed and frozen by motherhood, so we’ve taken them out of the running.

      I’m don’t think this is any kind of accident. As women have more opportunities, we’ve worked to make motherhood so time consuming and emotionally and physically labor intensive (hi, no communities and no help) that we have to put all of our energy into that.

      Remember when our moms used to call the lady next door and have her pop in while the kids were napping so she could run to the store? You can’t even breathe anymore, let alone do that.

      In short, I’m SO ANGRY.

      • Fiona

        I was hanging out at a professor friend of mine’s adoption toddler shower, and all the guests (excluding myself) were professors. I was chatting with a couple women who teach Spanish and Religion respectively, and they were trading “bad mother” stories by talking about things like letting their kids play outside and get dirty or not being constantly in the same room with them and I was SHOCKED.

        I don’t UNDERSTAND why we insist on using this “bad mother” narrative to shame ourselves and other women for totally normal and possibly even good parenting moves. Seriously, I’m so glad my mother let me be independent or I wouldn’t have studied abroad when I was 14 or traveled to Central America alone after my freshman year of college, and I certainly would have HATED it if my mother had dragged me in to every grocery store with her.

        • Meg Keene

          I just REFUSE. I will not call myself a bad mother, and I try to nicely call people out on it when they do it, “Oh, you’re not a bad mother! Playing in the dirt is great!”

          There are so many reasons to refuse, but growing up around real poverty, I possibly have something of a different bar to clear for good motherhood. I didn’t know ANY moms who fit the current good mother archetype. Everyone was just trying to get by, and do the best they could, and sometimes… even that wasn’t that great. AKA, when you’ve seen what really compromised motherhood is, it’s crazy to watch people shame each other because the kid PLAYED IN THE DIRT (which is awesome, btw). Is there not enough food? Is there rampant drug use? Does someone have severe PSTD? Are you or someone else emotionally or physically abusing your kids? NO? Then PLEASE, let’s start from a place of gratitude for that.

          • Fiona

            Absolutely. I work with low-asset kids closely and on a daily basis, and it’s ridiculous to call non-helicopter parenting “bad.” It’s just not a fair comparison.

          • KC

            I suspect (okay, am pretty sure) that some of the “I’m being a bad mother” is basically the classic “if I insult myself first, then others won’t take me down” defensive social maneuvering sort of thing. How to culturally fix that (other than what you’re doing, which reassures people that at least *one* person isn’t going to call CPS on them for letting a kid play in dirt) I don’t know.

          • Meg Keene

            I think we just have to refuse to participate personally, and call it out EVERY time we hear it. You don’t have to be a parent to call it out. “You’re not a bad mom, that’s a normal behavior. You’re doing a great job.”

          • Dawn

            Women have to stop the ” bad mother” narrative, even though I do think it is a defense mechanism. It is a lot like the ” I shouldn’t eat this / I need to get to the gym” obsession. I’m pregnant for th first time and trying to pro-actively keep myself from thinking this way about motherhood. It really starts with pregnancy, wi everyone judging everything you do /don’t do, do I can practice. When I have a coffee, I will just say that my Dr. says it is fine, unless the person seems really interested, in which case I will explain the research.

          • Meg Keene

            It really does start in pregnancy. Most of us drinking coffee in pregnancy think it’s fine (or we wouldn’t be doing it), but most people will say, “Oh, I’m such a bad mother already, drinking coffee” because it’s supposed to be the RIGHT thing to say, that wins you some prize, or doesn’t piss people off.

            Your way is how I did it too, though I didn’t get asked a lot of questions. I did all my New Yorker, stay away from me body language when I was pregnant. I went out of my way to not look very approachable :)

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Listen, I almost lost my shit when a good friend of mine kind of went in on me for eating bacon while pregnant. I remember saying something about how I made maple bacon and it was delicious and she was like “you’re eating bacon? You’re not worried about the nitrates?” Then it became “Well I mean, I know it’s probably ok but do you want to risk it? Why risk it when you don’t have to? You can not bacon for a few months.” I was LIVID. Excuse me? I asked a medical professional who’s undergone a decade plus of training and has 30 years plus experience if I could eat bacon, and he said I could, so I’m eating the goddamn bacon. Yet, she had no problem with me getting behind the wheel of a car while pregnant. I can’t with people sometimes. I really can’t.

          • Meg Keene

            ACTUALLY. My favorite ever pregnancy story was about my friend’s sort of charmingly totally clueless mid-40s bachelor boss. When she got pregnant, he was clearly trying his best to be nice and understanding but totally lost. So at one point she mentions driving (they live in the city, so you don’t always drive) and he says, “Driving!? I mean, I thought you had to give that up when you were pregnant… like for safety stuff?” And she was like “No, only drinking??” and he was like, “ohhhhhhh.”

            I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard, and was like, “WELL, HE HAS A POINT.” IE, with pure logic and no actual knowledge, he figured that if pregnant give up risky stuff for the fetus, obviously being in a car would be on that list. Which? FAIR ENOUGH.

            IE, we pick our risks. But we currently act like it’s a morality code. Like somehow people who don’t eat bacon while pregnant are being MORAL, and people who do are being AMORAL. But it doesn’t even hold up, because the same people not eating bacon are doing things 10,000X higher risk, like getting in a car. Same with parenthood.

            Do what you will, but don’t cloak it in morality. We all worry about random stuff (I’m afraid of toddlers choking, and I don’t want to be mocked for it, even though it’s borderline irrational). But not letting my kid eat tiny foods isn’t the moral high ground.

          • Kathleen

            When I was pregnant, I once said something to my husband about driving somewhere in the future, and he said, “Will you still be able to do that?” Uh, yeah. We live in a city, and although we have a car, we don’t use it much, so it was outside of our day-to-day pregnancy experience. (To be fair, I think he was thinking more of whether I would physically fit behind the wheel – but I was a very moderately-sized pregnant woman.) Meanwhile, my (suburban) mother on multiple occasions demonstrated significant anxiety about my taking the train or subway while pregnant, chastising my husband for “letting” me do so alone at night, insisting on waiting in the car so she could see me onto the train rather than dropping me off at the station, etc.

            We definitely perceive risk and appropriateness way differently based on what’s “normal” to us. (And the baby’s 2 months old, and I’m pretty sure my mom still doesn’t know I kept biking to work through the first trimester!)

          • TeaforTwo

            Your approach is SO MUCH kinder than mine would be. My husband would get the explanation that the dr/midwife says it’s fine. Anyone else who opened their mouth to give unsolicited input on my dietary choices would get a dirty look and not much else.

            (I’ve never been pregnant. And I know that the policing of women’s bodies gets dialled up to 11 for pregnant women, but even though I’ve never been pregnant, there seem to be a lot of women in my office, for example, who will say things to each other like “oh you’re being so baaaaad” when they see someone eating a cookie, or chips, or whatever. And they all get the same confused, blank stare from me. Because I am just not playing along like they get a vote.)

          • Lindsey d.

            The “Fat Amy” defense.

          • Ariel

            My fiance posted this today on facebook: http://time.com/2828841/why-you-should-let-kids-eat-dirt/

        • Sara

          Ha when I was little, I use to sit on my back porch and make my little brothers pretend they were cows. Then I would feed them grass and dirt. Pretty sure my mother never questioned it. The way I was raised (as were my friends) seems almost gone now, and I’m mid-20′s. That’s ridiculous.

      • STM

        Agreed. I kept waiting for the part where she said “What the hell???” But instead she kept talking about it as a moment of bad parenting, and it felt like she was scared to provoke any more of the world’s ire than the piece already naturally would.

      • Laura C

        Yup, how many times in that article does she repeat that it wasn’t her best moment as a mother? What exactly counts as a “best moment as a mother”? And how in the world does checking that the car isn’t going to get too hot and running into a store quickly rank anywhere in a best/worst moments conversation?

        This culture of overprotectiveness is terrible for women and kids alike. I rage at the pressure on my friends who have kids (pressure many of them have totally internalized so that they feel guilty about taking even the most basic steps to preserve their own sanity; I can’t count how many times I’ve said to someone “well, if it’s the choice between [thing you think is bad mothering] and you being too frazzled and miserable to enjoy your child, give yourself the break that will let you come back and do more than go through the motions”), and I really mourn that kids today are missing out on so much of what made my childhood great.

        • Meg Keene

          My heart broke when she got to the part where her kid is now terrified of being abducted. I grew up with this fear, because of real horrible shit in my family history (not abduction, but bad shit). I know how world warping and damaging it is. I’m just horrified that we’re now having kids live and breathe this fear for no reason. I was stuck with it because of huge damage that no one could control. But to do this to kids when we have an option to do better? I just. I can’t.

          THAT’S where the real damage is happening. That, and depriving kids of the freedoms of childhood, and the ability to explore who they are with safe independence. It’s not leaving kids in the car for 5 minutes safely when you can SEE THEM FROM THE STORE.

        • Katherine

          The culture of over-protectiveness also fails to let children learn from their own mistakes. Kids need to try things that are (slightly) dangerous so that they learn boundaries. It’s not just about freedom & fun. It’s also, as Meg put it, about learning (in a safe, SOMEWHAT protected environment) how to be an adult. As a high school teacher to many kids with helicopter parents, it’s so sad to see the ways that parents are actually hurting their kids when they think they’re keeping them safe.

      • Lauren from NH

        Though teenage me, or even me from 3-4 years ago didn’t get this, I am super pro mutigenerational living now. Or at least living in the same neighborhood as family (or friends who = family). Seeing my sister raise her two little ones has been super eye opening about the value of community help. Her mom and husband’s family live close and they pitch in on soo many things. I am not sure this is the raod my life will take, but if I have kids I would love to have my mom live with me (given healthy space). I really think it should come back around. Our elders need companionship/care, our kids need mentoring/care, win-win!

        • malkavian

          On the other hand, this really isn’t an option if your family has unhealthy or abusive dynamics, and that SUCKS.

          • Meg Keene

            Family of choice. Family of choice. SO IMPORTANT. It’s having people around that is so important, not that they are blood relations.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        Yeah. Notice how she kept saying she made a mistake and did a bad thing? Over and over? Am I the only one who didn’t have a problem with what she did? I kept waiting for her to acknowledge that actually everyone else is crazy and her kid wasn’t in any more danger than he would have been riding in the backseat while she DROVE to the store. That’s FAR more dangerous in my book.

        • Guest

          Not the only one. 100% agree.

        • sara g

          Yeah, it was terrible how she had to keep apologizing for it, when there was nothing wrong with it in the first place. Things like this make me really unsure about having kids.

        • Kayjayoh

          I have a feeling that she felt that if she didn’t, something worse would happen. “See, I’ve learned! You don’t have to punish me more!”

          • Ann

            There might actually be something to that. It sounded like, from the article, that the charges were ultimately dropped. Unless it’s been more than 5+ years, it’s possible the case against her could be reopened–I have no ideas how the legalities of an agreement to drop charges. So so might *have* to be careful about what she says…

      • Ann

        My mom would frequently call the neighbor to ask if she was home. If my brother and I were entertaining ourselves, she’d just check that the neighbor was home. Then she’d go. The one time something “bad” happened (minor earth quake knocked out power), my brother and I did as we had been told and went to the neighbor’s house until our parents got home. We might have been small (8 and 11, I think?), but we were totally capable of not burning down the house or anything like that….
        As a high school teacher, I had to reassure parents that their kids ARE capable. Kids can handle a lot of you give them responsibility young, and some of that responsibility should be responsibility for keeping themselves safe/entertained in age appropriate contexts.
        How has this cultural shift happened so rapidly in the last 10-15 years?!

        • La’Marisa-Andrea

          Well there’s a thing called video monitors where you can watch your kid in their room or wherever so I’d say there’s this idea we’ve bought into that kids have to be watched every second of the day lest they get into some trouble. And anecdotes don’t help right? Don’t leave your kid to check the mailbox bc my cousin did it and her kid stuck in his finger in a light socket and died. Meanwhile, millions of other kids are left while their parents check the mail and they are just FINE. But all it takes is one time and do you want to take that chance?? With your kid??? We’re both hyper vigilant and illogical at the same time bc as I expressed in another comment, driving with your kid in the car is probably FAR more dangerous than leaving them for five min while you check the mail. Etc.

          I keep telling my friends that this generation of parenting acts as though kids didn’t survive until we came along and reinvented the wheel on EVERYTHING. It is so frustrating.

          • Ann

            My mom has said that the best preparation she had for parenting was working for a horse breeder as a teen. She said she learned that baby animals might look fragile, but they’re actually designed to be pretty darn resilient. Otherwise, our species wouldn’t have made it this far. I’m sure she was far less cautious as a parent because my brother and I were mellow kids who could entertain ourselves well, but still. Her motto is that for every bad thing you can prepare for, there are 2 that you can’t. You can protect as much as you can against the predictable ones (eg, booster seats in the car, since accidents are likely), but trying to imagine every possibility is just going to drive you mad.

          • Meg Keene

            Like I was so afraid of the kid choking (I still am! I choked badly once as a kid and we’re all allowed some neurosis.) And then I realized the way babies survive is they have this super strong gag reflex. OHHHHHHH. Well. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

          • Ann

            Yep. Millions of years of natural selection have helped…

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            I also think there’s something lost in the hyper vigilance. Kids are pretty capable beings if they are taught. My mother grew up around guns but she damn well not to touch or go anywhere near them. When my mother ran errands, I knew how to sit down and be quiet with my books or toys, etc until she was done. My mom had this phrase when we knew we had better be really good when we were out with her. She called it “taking care of business.” When she said THAT we knew, ok, for real, no acting up etc. I knew how to sit in the car and wait for her. All of my siblings did (and there’s a 9 and 11 year gap btw me and youngest). Friends I grew up with did. Now suddenly, kids cannot do this. You cannot go inside PIzza Hut with your 6-year old in the car, your eye on them the entire time, because anything it can happen and it only takes a second.

          • Ann

            And, see, my mom always taught me to “find another mommy” if I wasn’t with her/couldn’t find her and something bad happened. Her thought was that if I could find another adult out with their children, that adult would take care of me. She was completely baffled when a new family showed up at the barn where she rides and the mother got PISSED when the child tried to approach a horse from behind (DANGER!!) and my mom corrected the kid (showing the kid how to greet a horse from the front/side). Her attitude is that any adult within view of a kid has an obligation to stop something bad from happening. The idea that ONLY THE MOTHER shall keep the child safe and therefore needs to keep that child within sight AND be the only person to correct that child just doesn’t make sense.

          • Lauren from NH

            Oh yeah. My mom is hyper-aware of lost kids. She finds one probably every 5th trip to the mall. Tears in their eyes, panicked and she just talks to them and mom or dad or auntie usually turns up in the next two minutes. It’s not a bad method. These things happen.

          • Fiona

            My fiance is Haitian-Dominican, and as we talk about having kids, we have to discuss the cultural differences of raising them ALL THE TIME. and that’s a huge one…in the DR, if you have a kid, that kid can wander around the neighborhood. Someone will always look out for them, and if they misbehave, you can count on their behavior being corrected by a neighbor. If you have to go to an appointment, you leave the kids with the neighbors, and it’s totally chill, normal community attachment and community support.

            It’s so hard to explain to him about nutty Americans and how we’re so insanely protective and not helpful to each other ( or allowing of help) when it comes to children.

          • Ann

            I live in a neighborhood with a large Haitian community. One day, at the laundromat, I was reading a book when a toddler was suddenly in my lap, handing me a toy. I looked around, saw the woman who was plausibly the mother folding laundry about 3 feet away. I was just waiting for my wash to be done, so I decided I’d play with the kid. Within 30 seconds or so, the mom looked around, saw me with her daughter, smiled, and went back to folding laundry. The mom was Haitian (presumably since she spoke what sounded to me like haitian creole) and clearly saw nothing unusual about a young woman entertaining her child. I also got the vibe that when she looked over, she was checking that I seemed happy with the situation, and that she would have called the girl back if I wasn’t (and later she did tell the girl to leave other people alone).
            That really shouldn’t be an unusual scene, but three blocks over (in the solidly gentrified neighborhood), it would be.

          • Fiona

            That’s such a lovely snapshot! Now I want to find an American neighborhood that is like that for my future kids!

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            And the sad thing is the other mommy today would report you to the police for being a bad mommy and your kid needing another mommy in the first place.

          • Jessica

            That’s so weird to think about! Kids that can walk are going to get distracted and walk away, it happens (probably to every mom). What person doesn’t have a story about when they walked up to someone where the same jeans/shirt combo as their parent was and calling them mom or dad? It’s just part of what happens when you take your kid out of the house, and very damaging to interactions with other parents to think someone would do that.

          • Allison

            I think about this reinventing the wheel thing all the time! I am not a mom yet, but I have a good friend who is due in July and she was telling me about how it took her forever to do her baby registry because she had to research the safest bottles and blankets and whatnot. I mean I am all for keeping babies safe, but I assume that before the internet people just picked a bottle, right? And the kids still lived? Or else most of us wouldn’t be here.

            I do not know how moms today handle the extra pressure of DOING IT ALL PERFECTLY. I applaud you all.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            It’s insane. And believe me, for those of us who are not like that , we get lots of side eyes and judgment etc. Bc don’t you want the BEST for your baby? Actually, I’m cool with good enough and that’s been my operating philosophy.

          • Allison

            That’s the thing. I feel like she felt she had to do that or else people coming to her shower would judge her (and they very well may have). But it’s so silly because she’s going to be a great mom with or without the research.

          • Jessica

            I’m shocked when I see women I know deliberately not taking care of themselves because someone told them XYZ was best for the baby. One woman was told that her infant was allergic to something she was eating, so she should only eat meat for the next 2-4 weeks (this was from her doctor!) There is no way a person could stay healthy, continue to breastfeed, go to work and be a normal functioning human being by drastically reducing their diet and stripping out most vitamin intake. I’ve read horror stories of women just abusing themselves in some way shape or form to benefit their infants.

          • STM

            I have two close friends pregnant right now and another with a 1 year old. The pressure on them is insane. Within days of announcing their pregnancies they start getting bombarded with comments from the peanut gallery about co-sleeping, breast feeding, cry-it-out, and on and on. And then the self-policing they do is intense. One friend has called me in tears multiple times because her pregnancy cravings are for junk food, and she feels like a terrible mother if she so much as eats a slice of pizza. The only thing that makes her feel better is reminding herself that she hasn’t gained that much weight during the pregnancy. I am so scared for her, and for all my friends, if the only remedy for “I’m a bad mother because I don’t eat kale at every meal!” is “At least I still fit a narrow definition of acceptable beauty that should be irrelevant when my body is doing amazing things like grow a person”…. we are in trouble.

          • Kathleen

            Oh geez, not gaining much weight during pregnancy – I could write a book! I didn’t, and the number of times I heard, “You look great! You can barely tell you’re pregnant!” or “You’re so tiny, there’s no way you’re [x] months pregnant” as compliments was astronomical. And most of the time (people at work, in-laws I don’t know well), the only appropriate thing seemed to be to smile and thank them for the “compliment.” Meanwhile, half the time they made me want to cry, because my midwife was actually concerned I hadn’t gained *enough* weight, or I was measuring small, or my growth had stopped. Because, you see, you’re SUPPOSED TO gain weight when you’re pregnant!

            I did call my sister on it, and tried to give my teenaged cousin some insight into how crazy it is that in our society “thin” is synonymous with “pretty” EVEN WHEN YOU’RE 8 MONTHS PREGNANT, but other than that, I mostly let it slide, and I sometimes feel bad for that.

          • ART

            OMG. That makes me so sad, and I can 100% imagine which of my friends might call me with the same concern. :(

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            The policing of your body by random people, families, friends etc when pregnant is kind of horrendous and you can really get caught up in it. You might grab a slice of pizza and someone will say “should you be eating that?” And then you might think twice the next time you grab a slice of pizza.

            I always told people that unless they were my OB, they didn’t get to tell me what I could and could not eat.

          • moonlitfractal

            Oh man. My pregnancy cravings are for sushi. Sushi and Angry Orchard. I know that properly prepared sushi is probably one of the safest protein sources you can eat during pregnancy, but I’m still terrified to go out to a sushi restaurant because there’s such a stigma about it. I try to hide my belly because I’m afraid people will think I’m a bad parent.

          • Glen

            Wait until the baby hates (bottle, blanket, etc.). Then they’ll be trying all the other “unsafe” brands to find one that baby likes…. :-)

          • Lindsey d.

            True story — after starting out with Dr. Browns or similar, my niece ended up only drinking from the dollar store plastic bottles.

      • TeaforTwo

        That’s what made me craziest, too. That it was repeatedly called a “lapse in judgement,” and that her friends were comforting her by saying it wasn’t her finest parenting moment.

        I am 28, I got left in cars ALL. THE. TIME. My mother wouldn’t call that a lapse in judgement, she would call it “running errands.”

        • ART

          same age – we would BEG to be left in the car, rather than go in the stupid old grocery store! usually she let us.

        • Meg Keene

          I just snarfed my iced tea.

          Look. The first major earthquake I was in, I was two, and playing by myself in the back of the house. Apparently I came RUNNING out to my dad, who looked at me and said something like, “That was weird, right?” Whenever people re-tell that story he shrugs and said, “I was raising them to be adults.”

          • Fiona

            AHH “raising them to be adults.” This is perfect. I’m putting that in the bank for later use.

          • TeaforTwo

            Because what else was he supposed to do? Quiet the earth for you?

            I found it telling that the author referred to her children as the two people she had devoted her life to protecting. It’s revealing of two assumptions that I don’t share:

            1. That a parent devotes their life to their children. (My parents were always clear that they loved and delighted in us. But I also remember, when I wanted to start a competitive sport that would require being driven to 6 practices a week that my mother was considering the time and resource commitment and told me that I had to remember I was only one member of this family. SO RIGHT. SO SMART, mom.)

            2. That protection is the parents’ first job. Yes, parents try to keep their kids safe, and it feels like a basic responsibility, and it seems quite primary with babies and other smalls who are always trying to grab knives or eat unpeeled grapes or whatever. But the emphasis on protection assumes that the world is a bigger badder scarier place than it is.

            There’s a world of difference between children being the people you are devoting your life to protecting vs. the people you are caring for, and trying to raise into competent adults.

          • Jess

            Ok, I must be crazy – people peel grapes?

          • Jessica

            My SIL is a pediatric nurse and grapes are one of the major things that get caught in toddler/baby throats. She’s seen kids come out of a “choking on grape” incident with brain damage because of the oxygen deprivation.

            She told us this after asking her dad to peel grapes before feeding them to the 1 year old. He didn’t listen and continued feeding her unpeeled grapes before his wife gave him a scolding.

          • aldeka

            I thought you were just supposed to cut grapes in half, not peel them too. At least, that’s what my mom did for me and my sister.

          • Jessica

            I think my SIL did both when the baby was just starting out on solids, but essentially if you want to feed grapes to your small child you have to take precautions you wouldn’t do with most other fruits. I think the only wrong way to do it is to just give a 1 year old a bunch of unwashed whole grapes.

          • Meg Keene

            Though. By 1.5 we basically can do it that way, though when he was littler we really couldn’t.

            But choking is scary.

          • Jessica

            Definitely a situation that depends on the kid’s size and chewing ability. My niece still tends to “inhale” more than “chew” at 2.5 because she gets hungry really quickly. Not sure on the grape situation at present though.

          • ART

            I did choke on a grape once, when I was maybe 4. It was all over in a second because my mom was right there looking at me, but I remember, even that long ago, being really scared.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            One of my sisters choked on steak once. She was old enough to be cutting her own meat – definitely elementary, maybe even middle-school age. It traumatized both my sisters so much, the family basically stopped eating steak. I’m the oldest and was away at school for the incident, so steak became a special “Elisabeth’s home” food for my parents and me.

          • Meg Keene

            No (can you)? but if you give them to little babies you have to cut them in half.

          • lady brett

            you can. but i only did it as a symptom of ocd…not for child safety. i wouldn’t recommend it, really, to someone of able mind.

          • Jess

            In half I’ve for sure seen, like hot dogs and other foods. I was trying to figure out how to peel a bunch of grapes and thought it sounded like way more frustration than it was worth.

          • Meg Keene

            NO kid needs grapes that much.

          • Kara E

            Yes, they do. I don’t, but grapes (which my kiddo loves) get sliced in half or quarters so she can safely eat them (the skin helps her pick them up). Whole, unpeeled grapes are freaking dangerous.

          • Sara

            My family and I – in reference to other families – use the distinction of ‘blame the teacher’ or ‘blame the kid’. We live in an area with a really good school district and there are a lot of parents that blame the the teacher for failing their kid instead of asking why the kid wasn’t studying. One family in particular made her kid drop a class because she was getting a B and ‘clearly the teacher didn’t like her’. In an unrelated note, that kid also totaled her car twice, but that’s neither here nor there.

        • Caitlyn

          Seriously, right? My parents let me and my two siblings stay in the car while they went to stores we thought were boring. I have funny memories of my dad pretending to be a stranger and telling us to unlock the car doors, and us practicing yelling “NO!!” in response.

          • Jennie

            My parents would tell us to lay on the horn if someone bothered us. We too were left in the car regularly (never in the summer).

        • Kayjayoh

          “Get us a treat if we’re good!” –my sibs and I, every time we were left in the car.

          Hell, one time my siblings and I were in the parking lot of the grocery store, and I managed to put the car in reverse, even though it was off, and we rolled backwards into another parking spot. We came to a rest just fine, nothing was hit, no one was injured, and I was super worried I’d get into huge trouble when my mom got back.

          And you know what? We still got left in the car after that. And we are all fine.

      • april

        “This is what we do to mothers. We isolate them, we make them really really scared, we shame them for being over protective and under protective, and then the goal is achieved: they can’t do much other than be consumed and frozen by motherhood, so we’ve taken them out of the running.” Yup. This is why I am really ambivalent about the idea of having children of my own. I feel like ‘mother’ – even more so than ‘wife’ – is a term in need of reclaiming. I’d love to see some more essays on this site about parenting, actually, and about how be a parent in a way that doesn’t involve totally erasing your individual identity.

        On a somewhat unrelated note – did this remind anyone else of the Portlandia ‘Whose dog is this?’ skit? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDbY_lXS5A

      • Jessica

        I work for a neighborhood association and a group of parents is working to organize a system for situations like that. Need to run errands on a weekday? It’s Mr. Smith’s day, just drop the kids off for a couple hours. On XXXday it’s your turn to have an open house for other parents to drop off their kids. I’m excited about this for so many reasons, the main one being that we will build that village to raise children while giving our neighborhood more value to its residents AND giving children some friends nearby AND letting the parents get to know each other and have a peer-group to talk with about parenting. It’s like a co-op for kid sitting.

        • Sarah E

          Wow, that’s an amazing endeavor! Best of luck in working that out!

        • Kelly

          That is so very cool. Good luck!

      • aldeka

        “As women have more opportunities, we’ve worked to make motherhood so time consuming and emotionally and physically labor intensive that we have to put all of our energy into that.”

        YES. THIS. 100% THIS.

        And my fiancé wonders why I’m only half-joking when I say we’ll need to move to Scandinavia to have the big family he wants…

    • lady brett

      i feel like i need to read this, but this stuff is so stressful to me that i’ve been avoiding it.

      the way we judge how people raise their kids is so tied into what i *do* as a foster parent. the lines between “good” and “okay” and “not okay” and “illegal” flicker and move and are so tied into judgement and class and race and all things. there’s the bits where i second-guess things i feel are *good* parenting because i know i’m under scrutiny, and the places where it is in part my job to judge other people’s parenting (as a co-parent and as a mandated reporter), and the places where it’s my job to support other people’s parenting, judgement aside.

  • Ann

    I read the Salon piece on the kid in the car a couple of days ago, and I could hardly believe it. I was a kid not that long ago (mid 20s now), and I was left alone in a car *all the time* as a kid. Never when it was hot out, and often with the keys in the car so I could listen to the radio. The shopping center my mom frequented most had a lot of benches outside the stores, so I’d often be deposited there while my mom went into a store. When I was young (somewhere in the 6-12ish range–not 4 like the kid in the article), this was FINE. Strangers left me (and my book–I hope my own children are as bookish as I was. Bookish kids are so easy to keep entertained) alone. When I was around 12-13, I didn’t want to go out with my mom much anymore because that was the age when strangers *would* approach me. I felt much safer alone in public as a small child than as a young adolescent with boobs…
    It makes me sad that if I have kids, and leave them to their own devices as I was (assuming, of course, that they are the sort of kid who can handle this. Some can, some can’t), it could be a *criminal* act.
    The first time I saw the house that my husband and I just bought, there was a whole group of kids (ages ~5 – ~12) playing games in the street, without any obvious parent supervision, though one neighbor (not a parent) was out gardening. Having a neighborhood where kids are allowed to roam a bit makes me happy, even if I don’t have kids yet.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      I felt so bad for her. The crazy thing is I read so many stories about kids who were clearly being abused and died under the watch of DCFS and CPS bc they couldn’t justify pulling the kid. But this woman, who was clearly a loving and NOT neglectful parent was treated like a criminal . I was FLOORED reading this. And it makes me afraid as a parent in this day and age. Very very afraid.

      • Lindsey d.

        Please remember that child protective services and criminal prosecution are separate things, although they certainly investigate together and make recommendations to each other.

        • La’Marisa-Andrea

          I know that but my point is it’s crazy that people who are charged by way of their job don’t protect children and report when there’s blatant abuse but random strangers are ready to report even when there isn’t. There’s something fundamentally wrong about that.

          • Lindsey d.

            I work for the agency that conduct child protection investigations in my state (although I am not a social worker). I can certainly tell you that there are many, many laws that all vary from state to state regarding what child protection workers can and cannot do. In my state, only a judge can remove a child from a home. A judge who may have NO background in child protection at all. We work closely with juvenile judges and they certainly care, but, still, it’s a hairy process with many, many moving parts.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            With all due respect, I don’t really think that’s the point or even matters. The point is the system often fails to protect and save the kids that need it while precious resources go into prosecuting parents who aren’t neglectful and/or do not hurt their kids. If the laws and inner workings of the system don’t allow us to protect the kids that need it, then we need to seriously assess the way we do things.

          • lady brett

            a part of the problem, in my mind, is that those two things go hand in hand – one of the major ways to protect the kids that need it is by, basically, tightening the yoke on everyone – a side effect of this creepy tendency to report people for “i don’t really like the way you parent” *is* an increase in cps being notified of the really egregious problems. i feel like that’s very win-lose, and i would prefer an alternative, but i don’t see what it would be. (also, not trying to talk around the type of thing you are speaking to more specifically – those stories just keep coming and they hit my gut, but i don’t know what the/an answer is.)

          • ElisabethJoanne

            I think a partial answer is hinted at in the article – changing the criminal and child protection laws to truly reflect what is right and wrong, dangerous and reasonable. Someone in that state proposed a particular, more lenient, law for that mother’s circumstances, but cowardly politicians who didn’t want to be “soft on crime” shot it down. Maybe an initiative is in order.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Exactly.

          • EF

            but until there is an alternative, cps or equivalent should continue to be notified. and i hope articles like this don’t scare people away from reporting when they think something is off. there are a LOT of kids in shitty situations that are never reported, when adults know perfectly well that things are not all well.
            it was at least four years of public school before a teacher took me aside after class and asked if things were okay. because not all bruises came from PE. occasionally I hear from old neighbours or family friends or whatever who say that they’ve ‘heard through the grapevine’ about the situation in my parents house growing up, and they’re sorry they never said anything. how many times did they overhear screaming or worse? adults need to speak up, even if it doesn’t seem *that* bad, you never know when it’s just the tip of the iceberg. and kids should not be in that kind of environment.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            I think that the better approach is somewhere in the middle. I mean, part of the issue is our perception of danger and our approach to parenting, right? There’s nothing wrong in a five year old kid being left alone for five minutes in a car when it’s 60 degrees outside and you can see them the whole time. A five year old really can walk half a block home from school alone. That isn’t neglect but there are people who would report you for it. So I don’t know if continuing to report just bc YOU think something is off is the right approach. We need to report when we suspect a child is actually in danger or being neglected and sadly, it seems like we can’t tell the different anymore.

          • Anon Downunder

            I don’t understand why the person who saw it didn’t go into the shop and check how long the parent was going to be, rather than going straight to the police. However, in Australia it’s pretty much guaranteed to be too hot to leave the kids in the car on any day, I’d be concerned too if I saw some kid in a locked car, and we had a particularly nasty one in the news recently about a baby (sleep deprived parent caused neglect).

    • Sara

      The thing that struck me about that article is that the woman kept referencing ‘when she was a kid’ as if it was ages ago. I’m also in my mid-20s, and my parents routinely left us in the car (better that then a tantrum in the store), we basically lived outside during the summers and I was allowed to watch other people’s kids starting at 12 (now that, in retrospect, seems like a really bad idea). We walked to the school bus by ourselves – though I once decided that I wanted to walk to school, across a very busy street, and the school social worker called my parents. It wasn’t decades ago, it was less than that where we had freedom to go to the libary alone without someone asking why our parents weren’t with us. I had two working parents as did most of my friends, so in the summer we were unsupervised.

      This culture of fear that we live in now has to reverse itself sometime right? RIGHT? I get the reasoning why a four year old shouldn’t be left in the car, but the fact that a stranger taped in to turn over to the police scares me more than anything else in this article. And that the lawyer had so many more examples of this. People are getting crazier all the time.

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        The taping of the mother and turning it into the police was really scary to me. Because now I’m thinking, we live in this culture where people are just looking and waiting for you to “mess up” so they can tell on you. And it’s really subjective. If you’re caught telling your kid in Walmart to shut up, you can be labeled abusive even though the person doing the labeling (and reporting) knows nothing about you, your kid, your family, etc. It’s if some total stranger thinks you’re doing a shitty job. And their first instinct is to report you to the police. Not to ask if you need help, etc. But to turn you over to the police like a criminal.

        • Meg Keene

          I can’t. That was the part that. I just can’t. So no community support, but we’ll FILM parents and turn them in without context??

          • Ashlee

            Yeah, I think this aspect of it was the most jarring to me, and I think relates to the both the parenting-as-a-competitive-sport issue (must covertly film and report any misstep because in competition, context doesn’t matter and it’s simple objective judgement to record and let the authorities decide) *and* the isolationist, can’t-ever-trust-strangers issue (“good” parenting requires that you TRUST NO ONE, not strangers, not friends, not family, so you of course can’t trust that a mom might have made the right decision for her son for the right reason, and of course you can’t just ask her about it, or, for pete’s sake, just chat with the kid through the open window until his mom gets back, because she’ll probably turn out to be a psycho and kill you, or maybe she’ll think you’re the psycho!). There’s just no room for the human element, or for just a little bit of benefit of the doubt.

          • Lisa

            This is kind of what I said when I shared this article on Facebook. I gave the reporter the benefit of the doubt thought and said that this represents the combustion of our isolationist society with the need to be part of and protect a community. It’s like we just can’t win anymore.

    • Kats

      I started out today feeling sad and disappointed, because we’ve been trying to have a baby, and this morning marked another month passing without getting pregnant. (Admittedly, it’s been a rough spring, with the death of a parent, another parent’s serious illness, and my partner’s injury not helping our already older-than-optimal status). But then I read Kim Brooks’piece above about leaving her child for five minutes and now maybe I’m a little relieved? I’d love to think we’d be awesome parents, and I want so much to have kids, but am now terrified we’re going to make All the Mistakes even if we do get lucky enough to have them. At least tonight there can be wine…

      • Meg Keene

        Lady. Nights with kids there can be wine too. And maybe even a leetle bit when you’re pregnant.

        Of course you’ll be awesome parents. Of course you’ll make all the mistakes. Hopefully you won’t beat yourself up too much about the later.

  • vegankitchendiaries

    I can’t tell if APW is getting exponentially better every week or if I’m just more jazzed now that we’re 43 days out.

    • Meg Keene

      <3

      We're so tired and overworked here right now that I'll happily take the former, even if it's not totally true. Just let me pretend. SHHHHHH.

      • Sarah E

        The new slider is pretty bangin, nice job on that.

        • Meg Keene

          Thank you! One of the many (many) reasons I’m tired :) Plus you guys get to peek at the first results of our photo shoot from a few weeks ago next week. I think since I just produced it (and you know, worked as a helping hand) it’s fair for me to say that it is OFF THE HOOK, and only be bragging about other people’s work. You don’t get my fav right away but you get my second fav. Or third. So many good ones!!!

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I also noticed that lovely addition! Also, did someone fix the bugs with Chrome? I notice the real wedding tags “identity, location, etc” and also the title previews (when you over the teaser image) work in my Chrome browser which they didn’t before! YAY TEAM. <3

          • Meg Keene

            We changed a bunch of things about the way our responsiveness works (it should be a bit better on tablets now), so it might have ironed out some bugs too. Plus, there is a grey box around the ads now, which might be nothing to you guys, but makes me very happy, because it just looks… nice. More small improvements are in the works too!

          • Sarah McClelland

            I read on a tablet 98%of the time and I have noticed a difference in the last week or so…everything just seems to flow more smoothly and be a little more accessible. It’s pretty awesome! Go you!

          • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

            I noticed this too and am so happy about it! :)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        What am I saying?! It’s definitely ALL YOU GUYS.

  • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

    Gosh, I love APW Happy Hour. This week’s pressing question: Has anyone ever gotten a ring made? He proposed with a CZ ring my grandma gave me years ago that happens to fit but just hangs out on my dresser since it looks like a giant engagement ring (it was a good ring to propose on a mountain top with…free and valueless! ha!! if it gets lost or hurt, no biggie, and I have no attachment to it. he actually “stole” it from our dresser before the trip and I never even noticed). It is completely not my style but apparently my style does not exist?? I want lots of shiny things but also an infinity band but also don’t want any of the stones to stick out (I play too many sports; Eric already has wounds from this one-it’s a weapon!). What’s in my head isn’t an option on any jewelry store’s website (or even Etsy or antique stores that I’ve seen), so we were thinking about having one made, but I wanted to see if anyone else had any experiences with that. What if we have it made and I hate it??? Why is it sooooo hard to find the perfect ring? :) There are lots of things that look pretty but wouldn’t mean as much, you know?

    • Ann

      I drew my own sketches with my husbands input. We took those to a jeweler known for custom work and ended up with beautiful rings. They said it was unusual to have someone come in with their own sketch–generally they spoke with people and had their own artists draw. I was very happy with the outcome, though it was a bit pricey. I get lots of comments, since no one has seen anything like our rings :)

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        Thank you! How awesome :)

        • Ann

          You’re welcome :) As a heads up, the process took ~8 weeks between showing up with sketches and having the rings completed. They were made in house, but we went through about 4 wax models as they took my design from 2d to 3d. I also have improbably small fingers, and the metal worker was skeptical about making a true size 4… I’d budget at least 6 weeks, maybe more if you’re likely to be picky.

          • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

            That is great to know, thanks! Yeah, I am expecting it to take a while if we go that route. It would be so fun to do though (models! 3d printing!)!

          • Nicole

            We did the same thing but didn’t bring a sketch in. We’re in Seattle and went with Green Lake Jewelers who have been great. They also work with people who aren’t in Seattle.

          • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

            Thank you!

    • Jennifer

      We had a ring made because I couldn’t find anything that I liked that was “off the shelf”. The hardest part was figuring out what I wanted, and that required going to a bunch of stores and trying many many rings on (I’ve never been one for jewelry). It turned out what I liked on the internet (etsy/pinterest) did not look great or feel comfortable on my hand – and you want your ring to be comfortable! I sat down with the diamond dealer that we were working with and we marked up the picture of an “almost ring” changing it to be the ring that I wanted, and then she said, “trust me to get it right”. I’m thrilled with my ring and I know that looking at CAD drawings would have driven me batty (I would have fixated on details). So the process worked for me. The actual ring making took 10 days – but it took about two months of looking and trying to decide what I wanted. If you are in the Bay Area, I can give you her name.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        Thank you for this! Yup, I have run into the “looks good online but not on my finger” problem, and also the opposite, “looks unexpectedly good in person” problem, which is only exacerbating the search :) We live in Indiana or else I would take her name!

    • Lauren from NH

      We aren’t quite there yet, but we are planning to have an etsy designer do mine. I would look for someone based on quality of craftmanship. I am intending to work with Kate Szabone. I love her shop, she was very responsive when I contacted her and gave me a quote and a 3D rendering. Can’t speak to the quality of the finished product of course but the images on her page are very high res and the quality looks impecable.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        Thank you! Her stuff is beautiful and 3000+ reviews can’t be wrong! (Side note, gosh I love Etsy!)

        • Lauren from NH

          Also have you thought of…I don’t know the right terminology…baguettes in a channel eternity band? It’s what my mom has for her wedding band. There was always something I liked about it. That it was kind of art deco or something. Just thinking low profile. Kind of like this I guess, but the picture feels too pristine and lacking character compared with what’s in my mind…

          • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

            Thanks! I have thought about that for a wedding band for sure! For the engagement ring I want some kind of focal point to the center, I think. But everything is so pretty!

      • http://instagram.com/mint.car Kamala

        My engagement ring is by Kate Szabone. The quality is excellent and my ring is even lovelier in person that in was in her pictures!

      • Kayjayoh

        I had one of her rings on my Etsy favorites a long time back.

    • StevenPortland

      We had our rings made. After looking around I liked the stuff from Raven’s Refuge on Etsy. Then I discovered that the guy lives here in Portland and so we were able to order everything in person instead of online. It was great. We got exactly what we wanted and while I’m not a jewelry person I think it is really significant to me that the rings were made especially for us.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        That’s awesome! Yes, it would be so lovely to get something made just for us/me. Thanks!

    • Jess

      anything here strike your fancy? http://store.mociun.com/jewelry/rings/ i had the top row, middle (moon and stars) and i loooove it. love love love.

      she has a bunch of other low rings more towards the bottom of the page too.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        Whoa, those are cool! Thanks!

    • laurasmash

      I just bought one of these to protect my ring and protect other people from getting scratched by it while playing sports. I play a contact sport and my ring (which does stick out a bit) has been safe thus far :)
      http://www.theringcozy.com/

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        Well that’s a cool idea. Is it really tight? (i.e. do you feel your circulation getting cut off ever?) Thanks!

        • laurasmash

          Nope! As long as you get the right size, it’s not too tight at all. It’s pretty comfortable, I barely notice it at all. A friend of mine and a fellow APW reader recommended it to me :)

      • emmers

        thanks, this is awesome!

    • Jennifer

      we got my ring made. (I only wear one so it’s dual engagement/wedding). it’s an asymmetrical shaped band with inset chips of black diamonds. perfect for not hurting yourself on. I wanted something like what you want, doesn’t stick out, doesn’t have prongs to scratch myself on. And my spouse didn’t like the connotations of regular diamonds but I didn’t think that I could maintain non-diamond stones so we compromised with the black diamonds.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        That’s awesome!

    • Kayjayoh

      I had a ring made and it didn’t turn out quite how I envisioned. I like it, but I prefer the look of the ring I had it based on.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        Good to know, thanks! What happened for it to not turn out like you thought? (That is definitely a big fear here…)

        • Kayjayoh

          The model ring was vintage, with very tiny diamonds and a super delicate band. The custom ring has small emeralds, but they are much bigger than the diamonds, which made the whole thing look bigger and more clunky to me in comparison.

  • Marie

    Just got engaged! We bucked the contemporary surprise-proposal-with-a-diamond-ring narrative; we agreed to marry a few weeks ago (I managed to ask first!), then picked an antique ring together; we got it last week, he slipped it on my finger, and thus, we were betrothed :)

    Already it’s been quite interesting, fielding the the usual barrage of questions– “How did he propose?”– He didn’t! I did!– “How did he pick such a perfect ring?”– He didn’t! I did! :). I am quite glad that we got a ring; a great lover of jewels, especially meaningful ones, even I had not realized what a powerful little token it would be, nor how excited my finacé would be to bestow it upon me.

    • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

      Congrats!!!

    • Nell

      Congrats, Marie! Your story is your own, and that’s what is going to be special to you as you get ready to get married!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

    • Franny

      Congrats!!!

  • Katarina

    The article about crying at work is particularly interesting to me. I have a very hard time keeping myself from crying. I mean, I cry during way too many commercials to comfortably admit. So yes, I’ve cried at work. Not sobbing, mind you. A tear and watery eyes, though? Sure. I wish I could control it, but it usually happens when I’m sick, tired, at the end of my rope, and am receiving ill-timed feedback. I always feel very embarrassed. What I found interesting was many of the women spoke as though crying was a choice for them, and that smart women didn’t do it. I wish I could stop myself from crying, heaven knows I don’t want to. I want this iron will over my tear ducts that others seem to possess, please.

    • emilyg25

      I really liked this post and the resulting comments from my very favorite work blog: http://www.askamanager.org/2014/05/is-crying-at-work-ever-okay.html

      I have cried at work twice. I react to overwhelming emotion with tears. It’s a completely uncontrollable response. Both times, it was mortifying, and I did my best to regain control as soon as I could. I don’t think any reasonable person would cry at work on purpose.

      • Katarina

        The comments are really illuminating. I always wonder what my boss is thinking. He’s a generally nice guy and never makes me feel more uncomfortable, but I always feel ashamed to look at him. I’d hate the idea that because I cry sometimes, people question if I have the emotional fortitude to do my job.

        • jashshea

          My boss is a great guy and I’ve cried in front of him at least 2x (in 9 years and one of them was after a bottle of wine). He takes it’s pretty well, as he’s a sensitive dude. He’s never been the reason I was crying, though, just other people/general stress/fear/etc.

          I only cry when I’m super frustrated. The first time I cried at a job (not this boss), was because a superior who’d previously been a huge mentor was no longer taking my concerns/ideas seriously. Very frustrating.

    • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

      Totally agree. I would never cry at work on purpose, but I have cried at work several times, and it’s pretty much mortifying. Like you, I just can’t hold it in when I hit that breaking point. 1. Are most women actually able to hold back tears as easily as this article makes it sound? And 2. If that’s the case, then are there really that many women that are crying at work on purpose that they need advice not to do it?

    • Sarah

      That was my thought too! I have had tears in my eyes at work, not sobbing, mind you. And its really not a choice that I make! I don’t really understand how they can talk about it as a choice. I’ve always been one to be tearful, ever since I was a kid.

    • Sarah E

      I think the whole premise is bullshit. Because of course, instead of talking about over-the-top emotive responses in a professional environment for everyone, we have to single out women crying because women are emotional and just cry cry cry. What about people who respond with over-the-top rage inappropriately? Particularly men? What about people who respond with over-the-top excitement for blase ideas that impede a meeting? What about people who aren’t emotive at all, and therefore difficult to communicate effectively with, because you’e missing part of the message?

      Everyone, but everyone, needs emotional coping strategies for anger, sadness, frustration, and all those complicated mess of emotions in the human experience. Sure, an over-the-top crying stint could mean you need better coping strategies. But not any more so than the person who holds it all in and drops dead of a heart attack. Or the person who explodes with anger over slight mishaps. Or the person who is so frustrated they can’t get over it and do better/different work.

      It’s not about controlling our emotions, but coping with the emotions that occur in every human being. Women get the short end of the stick and unfairly criticized whenever emotions come into play. You’re a human being at work, just like everywhere else. Just be human.

      • ART

        “What about people who respond with over-the-top rage inappropriately” – soooo much this.

        • lady brett

          truth. i work with a lot of yellers (and, actually, all of them are people i genuinely like and like working with, and it tends not to even be very rage-y). but i am more of a no emotions person (so, yeah, the idea of crying at work is hard for me to even process being a thing…), and i hate it. one of my favorite managers would just leave meetings and go to her office to work any time there were raised voices. it was ballsy and important. i’m pretty proud of a recent conversation where i told my boss and coworker “oh, no, i didn’t know that. i don’t listen to y’all when you yell.”

          • Sarah E

            Nice reply. A business consultant friend of mine advised me of that, in particular when I was working for a (rockily) married couple. That is they ever erupted into arguing, to just firmly say. “I am leaving, because this is highly unprofessional. I’ll come back/continue our meeting/whatever when you’re finished.”

        • Katarina

          Seriously! I feel like my leaked tear or two are a lot less damaging overall than the rude emails I’ve seen other people send when they’re angry, yet I was told when I questioned it that they were just being “honest and up-front”.

          I feel there’s so much of a double standard here. I’m should grow a thicker skin because I cried, but the guy who blew something way out of proportion, yelled at me, and told me I was basically unfit to do my job in public because I misplaced a comma? Apparently his reaction is totally acceptable.

          • lady brett

            oh, that infuriates me – there is just no situation in which “honesty” requires rudeness or being mean. that excuse is pathetic (and unfortunately commonly accepted as truth).

    • malkavian

      Same here-I can’t control when I cry, it just sort of happens even when I try to stop it. It’s been like that ever since I was a kid.

      Especially when I’m tired. I’m pretty sure I’ve cried from sheer exhaustion before.

    • Sara

      I almost cried at work this morning because I realized I put the wrong phone number on my SIL’s baby shower invitations that were mailed out yesterday. And It was just one too many things that I’ve screwed up this week. I had to put my head down because my eyes were tearing up and take deep breaths to calm down. Thank god its a nice summer Friday, so there’s practically no one here!

      • Jess

        Yeah, I sometimes feel that coming on and will head to the bathroom. Hot tears for a few seconds, grab a paper towel with cold water to reduce redness, head back to the desk.

        • Kathleen

          There are probably 2 different issues here – crying at work *about* work and crying at work for unrelated reasons. The former probably gets more judgment, and is also harder to hide in the bathroom – if it’s in response to criticism and the supervisor is right there, criticizing you in person, for example. The latter probably gets more sympathy (when my dog died, I did most of my crying in the bathroom, but everyone was supportive when I teared up at my desk) and may also be less likely to occur in front of colleagues.

  • Fiona

    The Isis project thing is seriously amazing. You should all check it out. Possibly my favorite part is how they name the full name of the child and THEN the full name of the woman she is celebrating.
    Also…yeah for other Fionas (doesn’t happen often)!
    Fiona Feliz Drew as Ellen Ochoa:

  • STM

    Update on last week: my eyelashes are growing back in! It’s already hard to tell how bad they were when the lash extensions first came off. The lashes are short and fine but THEY EXIST and I can look in mirrors again.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Huzzah!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      THAT WAS BLOODY FAST!

      • STM

        THANK ALL THE GODS LIVING IN ASGARD

  • Kelly

    One-week-til-wedding question! Has anyone used a flipcam for DIY videography? Did it turn out decently?

    • Teresa

      We did! My husband got put in charge of flipcamming our friends’ wedding bc I told them he had a steady hand and they were over the moon with the video. Two years later, we asked them to return the favor! The video is great, it got all of the important stuff and it saved us loads on a videographer. We made sure our friend had an aisle seat near the front for the ceremony, and then he filmed our first dance, the toasts, our parent dances and I think the cake cutting. There are two small downsides–I have still not gotten around to editing the videos and putting them on a DVD and flipcams aren’t made or really supported anymore, so you just want to make sure yours is working well and you have the software on your computer! Go for it!

  • lady brett

    i have accidentally done an ill-advised passive-aggressive experiment in division of labor. unsurprisingly, it has not gone well. our household division of labor has always been really off balance, which has generally been fine. but since my honey is off school for the summer, i pretty much just dropped my (larger) end of it entirely. it’s a disaster, and i’m really struggling with it, and with not being resentful, and especially with what to do about it now.

    • Katie

      Oh man. I have done this too. I have found the best thing to do is to admit your passive aggressiveness, apologize for it, and then address the chores issue. Like “soooo, I was really passive aggressive this week because I decided to stop doing _______ because I would like for you to do more around the house now that you have more free time. I’m sorry I did that instead of asking you directly. Can we talk about it now, and come up with a new plan for the summer?” That usually works really well. It has taken me so long to learn the passive aggressiveness is a sure recipe for disappointment, but it must be ingrained because I still do it all the time! I’m getting good at the speech.

      • lady brett

        yeah…passive aggressive behaviors always look so premeditated from the outside!

        but i also don’t feel like it’s a conversation we can have – because she *is* trying really hard and just…can’t, apparently (cue: guilt). this is a thing i know about my spouse, and is the reason i generally do most of the housework. i think i just got my hopes up that something inherently true would change because they’re doubly free and i’m doubly busy (that and it’s hard for me to be sympathetic about something that i just. don’t. understand.)

        • Jennifer

          If you figure out ways to deal with this, please let me know. My spouse has ADD and simply >cannot< figure out how to help with housework. He does things when I ask and only when I ask… and asking makes me feel like a parent instead of a spouse. :/

          • ElisabethJoanne

            My husband also has ADD. As we’ve said on APW before, “making the list [of chores] is a chore on the list.” At this stage, I’m his executive secretary. I fill out his day timer/appointment book each day on our way to work. But apart from that, I also say, “I’m not going out this weekend until x, y, z chores are done.” Then he usually volunteers for a lot of the chores, so we can have fun together.

            We’re still dealing with chore descriptions. You need detail. For example, it’s never just “take out the trash.” It’s always “take out the trash and replace the trashcan liner.” We had a tiny spat this morning about whether “dry cleaning” meant picking up or dropping off. (Answer – both)

            We’re also working on assigning chores based on executive function involved. Paperwork is really hard for him, but easy for me. But he’s great with cleaning – anything where he can see immediate results for his efforts. So we’ve taken to my dealing with his doctors’ bills while he scrubs the bathtub. The only problem is, chores requiring higher executive function aren’t as regular in terms of how long they take or how often they happen as cleaning-type chores.

            tldr: Explaining to your spouse what chores need doing isn’t patronizing; it’s a practical acknowledgement of your differences, and it helps you both.

    • april

      yeeeeah. This definitely sounds like something I would do.
      I’m going to echo Katie’s advice about having a conversation with your partner. In terms of dealing with the overdue housework, 3 words: mimosa cleaning party. Set aside a day when you’re both free, mix up a batch of mimosas, put on a good dance playlist, and just power through the chores. We learned this from another couple, and it’s seriously the way our apartment ever gets cleaned.

      • Jennifer

        THAT I might try. Sounds fun.

  • emilyg25

    I’m still pregnant! Almost at 10 weeks. Had a major freak out last week when I learned that the daycare at my work has an 18-month waiting list, which is just stupid insane (I live in suburban northeast PA, not like NYC or something). But my husband and I toured two other options that actually seem like a better fit. Best of all, the babies looked really happy and well-cared for and I feel no daycare guilt whatsoever! Relief. Sweet relief.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      So happy for you, internet stranger! ;)

    • Katherine

      I had the same freak-out recently. I’d already put down a deposit at my work’s daycare and assumed I was done, when I realized that I actually wasn’t guaranteed a spot yet. It looks like it’s all going to work out, and I’ll know in September, which gives me until my maternity leave ends in January to find an alternate if necessary. But still, I didn’t need this uncertainty added to my life.

      I’m glad you found something else that looks good.

    • Laura Pliske

      Hi! Not sure where you live exactly, but if it’s near Scranton, check out the Infant Care Program at Covenant Church. Really high quality program (my mom is their Director–full disclaimer). I am not sure offhand if they have a wait list right now, and she didn’t answer her phone just now (which I guess is a good thing since she is currently caring for babies, haha).

  • macrain

    My fiance and I headed off to our first pre-marital counseling session this week, and were positively stunned at how awful it was. The therapist we saw made zero attempt to get know us before launching into, “so, what makes you mad about your partner?” It was intensely uncomfortable. He interjected constantly when we were talking, and he would sigh loudly, as if this were a massive waste of his time. He seemed perplexed that we didn’t have bigger issues than we did and all but wondered out loud what we were doing in therapy. (Um, we are getting married! If we had big issues that probably would not be the case.)

    He had us face eachother and instructed us to fight for five minutes, but since we weren’t actually mad at eachother, this went nowhere. He then told us we were “too subdued” and noted that we had problems expressing anger towards one another. He made us feel as if we were the reason the session went so horribly, and that we were answering all of his questions incorrectly. When we finally did something that pleased him, he mused (mostly to himself), “Wow, you actually had an interaction of some substance today.”
    I wrote a review online and filed a complaint through my insurance, since he is a provider with them. He also overcharged us, and I want to point something out I just learned- if you are insured, both you and your partner can see a couples therapist on your insurance, even if he/she is not insured. You are charged ONE copay, not two, per session. Also, it’s good practice to double check what your copay is before your session. If we had not, we would have been out $120, which is what he initially attempted to charge us.
    If this happens to you, don’t think you just have to sit there and take it. In hindsight I wish that we had simply gotten up and left. Also it’s good to know that this could happen, and understand you may not find the right person on your first session.
    I feel envious towards those of you that go to church. My sense is that churches do this stuff really, really well. I think we’re going to have to work very collaboratively with a good therapist to get exactly what we need.

    • Sarah

      Holy crap that sounds awful. I would be similarly horrified. Like, why does he expect you to harbor constant anger against your SO, and to be able to summon that anger on command? That’s so weird. I too, sometimes think it would be easier having some church pre-marital counseling, and I’m not really looking forward to trying to find a therapist to do it that will gel with our relationship philosophy, it seems…difficult.

      • swarmofbees

        I know that my local catholic diocese runs wedding counseling sessions that are open to all, not just Catholics. I have no idea how religious they are, so they may not be super atheist/Hindu/protestant/etc. friendly, but it could be an option to look into. The catholic marriage prep we did was about 85% non-religious and did not require any expression of faith from the participants. So, my guess is that if you are willing to sit through a talk that may not apply to you, it could be a fairly universal experience.

        • Danielle

          That was our experience with the catholic prep weekend too. My fiance isn’t catholic and kept saying how glad he was that we went. There were a few times that the presenters touched on church teachings, but the majority of the workshop focused on communication and reflecting on how our different backgrounds and perspectives can influence that.

      • macrain

        Sarah, we’ve been discussing the exact same thing. We’ve decided that we are just going to find a good therapist, and then outline specifically the issues we want to discuss, in effect creating our own curriculum. I want to discuss all the issues Meg talks about in the book, and then possibly find some other book (I know many good ones have been discussed in the comments before) to guide our sessions. So basically, we need to find someone who we like and who is willing to collaborate with us. I have no idea how easy that will be. Here’s hoping!

    • Laura C

      Wow, that’s awful. I’m so glad you had a couple ways to register how inappropriate he was.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      On the payment side, my husband and I are learning the hard way that even when other specialists’ visits don’t require pre-authorization from the insurer, psychiatrist visits can. I guess they’re still working on the mental health parity regulations…

      It’s always best practice to give a healthcare provider your insurance information days before an appointment, and to check with your insurer yourself.

    • Kirstin

      I’m so sorry that happened! Are you able to find a different therapist? We found a good person, but also went into our first appointment knowing that if it was a bad experience, we would try again with someone else. I certainly wouldn’t go back to this guy based on your experience. That’s just a really strange approach!

      • macrain

        Hell NO are we going back to that guy. But yes, we are looking some more! I think we are both realizing that we may need to meet a few in person before deciding on one. Thankfully the experience didn’t put my fiance off of the idea completely. You go into a therapist’s office expecting a certain level of trust, but it’s just like any other profession- there are people who are amazing and love what they do, and there are people who are awful.

        • Crayfish Kate

          A lot of therapists will do a free consultation to see if the fit is right. We did our counseling with a social worker who specialized in marriage & family therapy. For a lot of folks, ‘social worker’ is probably not the first term to come to mind for premarital counseling, but it was the right person for us. Less medical, way more ‘big picture’ – what were our upbringings, how did they differ, what did that mean for us working together, etc. Worth checking out :-)

    • Natalie

      Some churches may do counseling with you even if you don’t attend there/are not Christian. The principles will be Christian principles (loving and serving one another), and may be more Biblical focused than you’d want but it may be worth looking into. Good luck!

  • http://instagram.com/mint.car Kamala

    Has anyone ever had any experience with http://www.bestbridalprices.com/ ? They have a dress that I love on there and it’s about $400(!) cheaper than in a bridal shop. It looks like they’re a legit retailer (they are listed as a retailer on the designer’s site) but I’m still a little leery…

    • Megan

      I would at least google it and see if you find any reviews for the store, maybe through Yelp, four square, or weddingwire? I know Brides magazine has an app or something that shows whether or not websites are known for counterfeiting. But if the designer lists them as a retailer…they’re probably legit. No experience with this site though, sorry!

  • Franny

    We got engaged last night & it was amazingly perfect for us. We went to the park and I questioned why he drove the truck (gas is expensive) I questioned where he parked (we never park here), we took a little walk (why are your hands in your pockets like that? [I kept that one in my head] Oh, the rhododendrons are beautiful. He asked if I saw the squirrel (there was no squirrel) and when I turned back around he had the ring out and asked.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations to you both!

    • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

      Congrats!!!

  • ART

    I sort of took a break from APW in the last couple weeks because, being 5-6 weeks out from our wedding, I was NOT FEELING IT. Just not excited, except to get it the F over with. My family was coming up with all these stupid questions, people were changing their RSVPs left and right, money felt tight, etc. It’s 3 weeks from tomorrow and I’m back to excited, but I’m so, so tired. This weekend is my last making-stuff weekend. If I don’t get it done now, it’s not happening. All the important stuff is done. The rings are coming in the mail today. The last remaining logistical problem of when to ice the after-ceremony drinks in 90-100 degree heat is just going to have to answer itself when the time comes. I just want to put on my dress and party with my husband!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      FWIW, that sounds like a very normal, reasonable timeline, both on the emotions and the practicalities. Best wishes!

      • ART

        Thanks :) I figured I’d come back around, but that week or so low point sucked!

    • swarmofbees

      I am so feeling this. I have so many moments where I just wish I could get together with my family and not have to throw a stupid wedding. I don’t want to have to drive around and run errands. I want to sit in the pool and play with my new nephew, babysit so my sister and her husband can go see a movie or something, and just hang out. I am trying so hard to get everything done now so that can actually happen, but I know it will not happen quite like that.

    • ART

      update: our rings got delivered to my office, so i’m spending the rest of the day wearing my wedding ring :) feels weird like my engagement ring felt for the first week or so (I’m wearing my band on my right hand because my engagement ring is delicate, wimpy filigree, so that finger’s used to being nekkid).

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I totally get the 5-6 week out freak out. That’s about when my fiancé and I were counting down to the honeymoon because we were so sick of doing anything. Now we’re 16 hours out and the wedding is definitely a happy thing again even though I totally can’t sleep!

      • ART

        :) enjoy it

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I don’t want to upset people further, but, related to the child left in the car story, this article below made me angry this week. In short, a new mother suffers one psychotic episode, during which her baby is never in danger, she gets treatment, sticks with it, but they still won’t give her back her baby. So many parents who repeatedly expose their children to real danger (drugs, violent boyfriends), but this mother loses custody. (I have more mixed feelings about the father’s circumstances.)

    http://www.propublica.org/article/should-a-mental-illness-mean-you-lose-your-kid

  • Laura C

    Now that I’ve gotten my seethe on about the kid left in car story and then taken a deep breath, two wedding-related things. One, we are getting to send out B-list invitations! Rationally I knew we were, because we were quite conservative in how many invitations we sent out, but it’s still great to be getting to that moment, given how extensive our B list was.

    Two, if anyone is considering a honeymoon registry, I just wanted to say how surprised I’ve been at how much we’ve been given through ours. I’d always heard that you wouldn’t necessarily get much from that registry, but so far (two months out) we’ve had seven people give through the honeymoon registry and three people through the stuff registry, and people giving through the honeymoon registry haven’t all been young — three people or couples of my parents’ generation have done so. Maybe it’s just the specific people we know, but maybe it’s a sign that they’re starting to gain more acceptance?

    • emmers

      How did you do the B list? Did you just time your invitations really early? And how did you do it as not to offend folks? Any tips?

      • Laura C

        I guess we’ll see if anyone is offended. I’d say three things we’ve done to try to avoid offense. One is that we did do things early; our B-list invitations will be going out two months ahead of the wedding, so we are giving people enough time to plan. The second, though, is that we made our B-list of people who wouldn’t have too far to travel. If you were going to have to buy an expensive plane ticket to come, you got your invitation way ahead of time. If you’re within bus/drive distance and you were on the bubble, you might wait. And three, the people on our B list are mostly people who’ve had enough friends get married in recent years that they know how the B list works; if we have to explain it, we say something like “we had to wait to be sure that my great aunt wasn’t going to decide to come with both her daughters and her granddaughter; we were sure she wasn’t but had to hedge that bet just in case.” Which has the advantage of being true. (Meanwhile I think my FMIL is telling parts of her B list that she gave us their names weeks ago and we screwed up and didn’t get the invitations out on time. Which is fine by us!)

        I think that at least among our friends, people aren’t as likely to be offended as we fear. We’ve been B-listed at at least two recent weddings and we were just glad to make it in, you know? We understand the great aunt-type situations when it comes to other people’s weddings as well as our own.

        • emmers

          cool! How early did you send your original invites?

          • Laura C

            Like four months, I guess? We did have a lot of international people invited, so it made sense to be on the early side for that reason too.

    • Kirstin

      We just got married recently and had great success with the honeymoon registry too! I think our friends and family knew it was important to us, and they seemed to have a lot of fun with that. I will say that we had a lot more people select the items that were more fun excursions/outings than the more practical stuff like transportation. So many that helped?

      • Laura C

        Interestingly, train tickets were two of the first things we got gifts for, and we’ve only had one contribution to museum passes for the cities we’re going to, which I would have thought would sound fun as gifts. Nobody has given anything for hotel, and I think there’s one meal left but the others have been chosen. (I mean, we didn’t break out every single meal, just the special ones. But it’s actually the one I’m most excited about that hasn’t been bought. I guess gluten-free finger sandwiches and scones aren’t as exciting to others as to me.)

        • Jennifer

          AW MAN! Gluten free finger sandwiches and scones are exciting to me! I LOVE teas, but the traditional fixings are totally barred from me now.

      • Lauren from NH

        I am super interested in this. Did you use some kind of platform? or just put if on your wedding website? I am kind of clueless but I think it’s a gold idea. Did you say we are hoping to afford Y trip for XXXX dollars and you can contribute XX or XXX? I wondered how this would work. Would love an APW post on it! (Also I am secretly wondering if it would be wrong to ask for cash to pay off pesky student loans-we’re young, we still have those, though we are grinding away at them).

        • STM

          We’re using Honeyfund and it’s worked really well so far.

  • Lisa

    Last night I painted my nails with a new OPI polish I got through LivingSocial (color: Silent Stars Go By), and I keep looking at my hands and thinking, “Hmmmm… bridal nail polish?”

    What are everyone’s thoughts on colored/metallic nails for a wedding? Every single lady I know has just done a simple French manicure, but this one has me considering going outside the box!

    • Ali

      Do it do it do it! That color is rad. I don’t know what color my nails will be, but they sure as heck won’t be a French manicure.

      • jashshea

        I was going to create a new comment, but all I was going to say was “that color is rad,” so…Seconded!

    • Fiona

      My dress is in the white family (light taupe-ish) because that’s what my mother wanted…I wanted blue. So I feel like nails are a neat way to go crazy that won’t scandalize the relatives too much. Do it…

      • Lisa

        Blue is totally in right now! That would have made a lovely dress. I think nails would be a great place to throw in some color. :)

        Side note: I was super surprised at how much my mom loved the colored dresses I tried on. She’s making it, and we ended up going with an ivory because we couldn’t find blush in the fabric I wanted for the skirt. I’m still ooing and awing over gorgeous color gowns!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I had a pedicure for my wedding, but knew any manicure would cause more stress trying to keep it nice than any fun of being pretty. No one looked at my hands. We didn’t do hand pictures.

      • Lisa

        I got a manicure done for both halves of our engagement shoot, and I realized afterwards that our photographer (being the awesome, journalistic style photographer he is) didn’t do any posed hand shots. (Also my hands were in gloves half the time because it was outside in Chicago during winter.) That’s part of the reason I’m thinking it won’t even be a big deal to anyone but me. And if I don’t like it? It probably won’t be in many of the photos anyway.

    • InTheBurbs

      Love the color! My nails were gray with a bit of glitter for my wedding – I wore purple and silver jewelry and wanted something that would look nice. It wasn’t super outside of the box – but it looked nice

    • Jess

      A while ago I posted that I have always wanted red wedding nails. And that’s a pretty subtle color to begin with (although sparkly. Anyone for Maddie’s thoughts on glitter?)

      So, my feelings are Go Do It!!

      • Kirstin

        I loved my red wedding nails! They looked awesome in pictures too.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      YES.

    • Ragnhild

      Ive never had a French Manicure, so it would be weird to start on my wedding day. Id like a gold glitter one like this Deborah Lippmann one http://www.myharusi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Beautiful-Glitter-Nail-Polish-2.jpg. And red toe nails!

      • ART

        yeah, that’s awesome

      • Lisa

        That’s gorgeous!! I’m like a magpie– I love anything that sparkles!

      • swarmofbees

        oooooh, I must have gold on the mind because the girl who usually has dirt under her fingernails is this close to signing up for a gold glitter wedding manicure. Those nails are so damn festive.

        • Ragnhild

          The bonus is that its possible to do myself (manicures cost a fortune over here), and noone can see it if it gets chipped!

          • swarmofbees

            SOLD. Timing of manicures is a bit of a sticking point in my wedding week timeline, and if I could do manicure on Wednesday for a Saturday wedding, man would life be a bit smoother.

          • Lisa

            One of the things I like about the sand polishes from OPI is that you can’t tell when the top coat is wearing down/getting scuffed since there is no top coat. A gel manicure might also be a good bet. They’re not great for your nails, but a one time thing should be fine. I got one for our engagement shoot, and it held up and was still shiny for almost a month!

          • Jess

            i’ve never had a gel manicure before, cause i’ve heard they’re pretty terrible for your nails, but i did it for the wedding and was SO HAPPY I DID IT. i didn’t have to worry about ANYTHING. it was brilliant.

          • Jennifer

            I agree. I had a gel manicure (I’m boring, it was French), but it lasted all the way through our honeymoon road trip (almost three weeks). I definitely agree.

      • Ariel

        this picture makes me super happy

    • vegankitchendiaries

      …just going to leave this here…

      http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=wedding%20nails

      • Lisa

        SO MANY SPARKLES.

    • Guest

      I did mine like this and it was awesome.

      • Ariel

        Did you do those yourself? Any tips?

    • emilyg25

      I did mine like this and it was the best.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        EMILY!!!! SO PRETTY!!

    • Ally

      I did dove grey with gradient silver sparkles. It was fun!

    • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

      I can think of ten reasons to do it! (Your ten fingernails, unless you have less than ten, in which case you have x reasons, where x is the number of nails). I think that’s a really lovely color, and I really like sparkly- I’m actually hoping to get a dress made up that looks similar champagne/blush and sparkly, that might make an appearance at the wedding, and there’s a good chance I’ll go with a sparkly nail polish for at least my toes and possibly fingers.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        ” (Your ten fingernails, unless you have less than ten, in which case you have x reasons, where x is the number of nails).”

        God damn, this place is inclusive as f*ck.

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

          I have nine fingernails and one that doesn’t really count? (it looks terrible in a manicure – I tore off the end of my finger as a kid) To sum up: I feel included. 9.5 nails and all. APW and innercupcake <3

    • Jess

      i had bright coral nails! best decision ever.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Lurve that.

    • Ariel

      I’m doing gold shimmer! I LOVE nail polish and have over 200 – there’s no way I could just do a french on my wedding day! My color is Sally Hansen Satin Glam in Go Gold (which dries matte) with a high gloss top coat.

    • Rebekah

      I say go for it! I did my nails in OPI’s Christmas special “All Sparkly and Gold” because they matched my sparkly gold Payless flats. (Pictures unavailable at this point) I loved it. I also got a few compliments, but the best part was when my husband noticed.

    • Ariel

      Also, silent stars go by is gorgeous!!!

    • Teresa

      I had a hot pink wedding mani/pedi (Essie Watermelon) and I loved it!

    • Mezza

      I have a nail polish color I absolutely love and wear all the time (OPI Leaf Him at the Altar – sort of a leaf green) and I actually bought a sash for my wedding dress just to match the polish. And the bridemaids’ dresses matched it too. I loved it!

    • Class of 1980

      I never polish my nails, but I think the glitter trend is about the cutest thing ever for special occasions.

  • MisterEHolmes

    Let me just say, I am grateful for the kind and helpful community here. A friend asked a GENUINE question on the Kn*t, only to be harrassed and antagonized by a whole “mean girls”-style group. Come to find out, they have little cliques that “play” BINGO throughout the forums…they were trolling and have literally made a game out of it. So horrible.

    • ART

      UGH. ughhhhh.

    • Lisa

      The girls on the Kn*t are so incredibly mean and rude to anyone on there. I get weekly e-mails from them (that’s what I get for signing up before I found APW), and each week there is a “featured discussion.” They terrorize poor, innocent girls on the forum for being slightly unconventional.

      I was called a “rude, disgusting, and soon to be friendless” person on their forums for saying that I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the “Catholic gap” and that we would be having one at our wedding.

      • Laura C

        You guys are making me want to go read those Kn*t forums for a while, get their number, and then troll them.

        Sadly, I just don’t have enough time.

        • Lisa

          Doooooooo iiiiiit. I read them for the entertainment and open-mouthed-shock value but rarely comment because I don’t do terribly well with criticism.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          When I was wedding-planning, and more deeply into theKn*t than was healthy, I used to have visions of forming a Kn*t persona that was sincere/naive in breaking all the rules. “Is it OK to have a neon pink and neon green with zebra print My Little Pony wedding?” “Is it OK to just email our invitations to our B-list guests?” just to watch them go wild.

          • Fiona

            Actually, you have to do that.

          • Lisa

            I kind of want to attend a neon pink and green and zebra print My Little Pony wedding now.

          • Rebekah

            I would expect the favors to be tins of fruitstripe gum. Just sayin’.

          • Kathleen

            Um, I kind of did e-mail invitations to our b-list guests. When we weren’t going to make the minimum number of guests we’d guaranteed and were going to end up paying for meals no one would eat, I e-mailed a couple of people – in our social circle but not close friends at the time – acknowledged it was a huge faux pas, said we would have loved to have invited them in the first place but ran up against size constraints, but now that we could we’d love to have them there. Absolutely no gifts, but if they wanted to come enjoy what would hopefully be a fun party and a good meal, we hoped they’d join us.

            It was such short notice that neither could make it, but I don’t think they held it against us. I wouldn’t have done it with just anyone, but I think I pulled it off pretty well with some good-natured, hard-to-offend acquaintances (who became closer friends after the fact), although I still feel kind of embarrassed when I think of it.

          • sara g

            I don’t think there’s anything wrong with email invites. I kind of wish we would have done them… but a lot of our guests are super not tech savvy, so I didn’t trust them to even receive the emails. :P

          • ElisabethJoanne

            I meant TheKn*t’s rules. If you’ve spent time on their forums, you’d know that the neon+zebra+Pony wedding would get kinder responses than a B list and emailed invites. They can get extremely catty, to say the least, about anything outside their particular preferred editions of Emily Post.

          • sara g

            Hoooly shit, I really want to do this now.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Oh my gawd. Knotties be trippin’.

    • emilyg25

      I have a dirty secret: I’m a regular poster on The Knot. There are actually a fair number of nice ladies over there, but yeah, some things are absolutely verboten, and it can be kinda random. I couldn’t use it at all when I was actually wedding planning.

      • Stacey H.

        Kudos to you for being one of the good ones!! I actually found APW because some kind soul from The Knot directed me to this blog (so I know there are nice people over there that exist). Now I go for the pretty pictures and I stay FAR away from the discussion boards just to preserve my sanity for planning.

        I’d probably go back to the discussion boards after we’re married to pay it forward.

      • Kat91314

        All I’m on The Kn*t for is so they can host our wedding website for free. Other than that, I refuse to even bother with them….

    • Kayjayoh

      I have to say, I love that I have never had to go to the Kn*t for anything. Ever. Hurray APW!

  • Lindsey d.

    A friend got engaged this week and last night I dreamed about giving her advice. I can quote myself from my dream: “You can’t not stage manage your own wedding. The best gift I gave myself was a good day of coordinator.” APW has filtrated my brain. (And yes, I’ve already sent her to the site. Her words – “This may be the best blog ever.” I agreed)

  • A.U.

    I’m married! Yay!

    But what I really came here to get off my chest is one of the worst things my husband and I ever had to do, in our 2nd week of marriage. We got a puppy as a wedding gift to each other, something we have really thought through and been planning for a long time. Not expecting that there would be an obscure, not-exactly-in-our-lease-but-kinda, no pets clause (that our landlord not so nicely informed us of). We love where we live, and thus took our little puppy back to the breeder. It was so emotionally traumatizing and I am still reeling. And don’t wanna talk about it with family because I don’t want to hear that it was a stupid thing to do anyway, so I needed to share it with someone.

    • STM

      Oh no! That sounds so hard. Especially because of the forethought and symbolism around it. I’m so sorry. Hugs!

    • Meg

      At least you were able to bring it back to the breeder, I’m sure they’ll find a good home for it! Sometimes the worst part of a situation like that is all the judgment from everyone else like you said.

    • Guest

      That is such a bummer, I’m sorry to hear about this. :(

      Would you ever consider getting a puppy from your SPCA or local rescue if you ever adopt again? Here’s some great perspectives (from both sides) but I hope you would consider it in the future. http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/feeling-guilty-about-your-purebred-dog/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0

      Not to downplay your shitty events having to take your dog back to the breeder. It sounds awful and two weeks is plenty long enough to bond and form a relationship with a pup. So sorry, again. :(

    • emilyg25

      I’m so sorry. I know it’s hard, but you didn’t do anything wrong. Sending positive vibes your way.

    • enfp

      Crap, that sucks! Not sure if this is helpful at this point, but landlords sometimes include clauses in leases which aren’t legal/enforceable. In my jurisdiction it’s illegal for a landlord to prohibit pets (except in very narrow circumstances) but every lease I’ve ever had has included that term, even though it’s not enforceable. I mean, it doesn’t help with the not-nice landlord factor, but if having a dog is important to you, it might be worth looking into.

    • laurasmash

      I’m so sorry! That has to be very difficult. Totally not a stupid thing at all, don’t let anyone tell you that. Just very unfortunate that your landlord is mean and it didn’t work out.

      But also, congrats on your marriage!

    • JDrives

      Congratulations on getting married! So, so awesome.

      We had to give up our rescue dog a few weeks ago and it was the worst experience of my life. But, he was not the right fit for us, nor we for him, and it was ultimately the right thing to do. I also felt like I couldn’t talk about it with anyone because of the judgment, but you’ll find none of that on this thread. Just lots and lots of internet hugs.

    • Jennifer

      I have two amazing pups and I can only imagine the heartbreak. It wasn’t stupid! I can’t believe your landlord didn’t bring up the clause when you signed your lease in the first place.

    • Emily

      I’m so sorry that you had to go through that experience. Internet hug.

  • swarmofbees

    I am taking the plunge and buying some gold spray paint for a DIY project, any suggestions of brand/attributes? I am definitely not going with glitter, but other pointers?

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I just got a random can from the hardware store and it worked a treat. :)

    • Kirstin

      I found good success with the Krylon cans that have the trigger.

    • Lindsey d.

      I got good results from one from Michael’s. I would go the craft store route, since hardware stores may not have the same results in sticking to non-traditional surfaces. I spray-painted faux ferns for my bouquet and it worked quite well.

      • swarmofbees

        ooooh, so pretty! I love the white and gold in the bouquet! There is no Micheal’s or similar nearby, but there is a Lowe’s, so I am going the hardware store route. I will ask them what they recommend, so hopefully that works :)

      • emmers

        love this idea! were your other flowers faux too, or just the ferns?

        • Lindsey d.

          The roses were real (three dozen), the ferns were faux and those were the only items in the bouquet. We made them ourselves. The whole thing cost maybe $50? ($30 for roses, probably $15 for the ferns and spray paint and a few more dollars for floral tape and ribbon). The lace is from my mom’s wedding dress.

          I found another pic that is in focus!

          • emmers

            Love it a lot! Thanks for sharing!

          • Lindsey d.

            Oh, and this was my inspiration for the whole thing — http://distilleryimage3.ak.instagram.com/51b9aeac343511e3a46f22000a1de414_7.jpg

            It was a just link in an APW article about flowers/bouquets and fell in love with the gold. The cream roses worked better for the simplicity and neutrals I was going for, but the pinks are gorgeous!

          • emmers

            One more question– did you do something similar for your bridesmaids?

          • Lindsey d.

            I had just one bridesmaid. She made a simple bouquet with the same cream roses and cream ribbon. No gold ferns, but she did have some green live ferns. I think she used 1.5 dozen roses. I’m very excited to show off pictures, clearly.

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

      I usually grab Rustoleum at Lowe’s, but Valspar has nicer triggers if you’re going to be spraying a lot. Note: if you aren’t doing a very large project and you want it to look super fancy, you can use gold leaf paint or paper which gives it a really beautiful and shimmery finish!

    • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

      If you’re doing a lot of spray painting (or really even a little for that matter) I recommend getting a re-usable trigger like http://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-243546-Standard-Spray-Grip/dp/B001KZC7K0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1402087771&sr=8-3&keywords=spray+paint+trigger You just pop it on top of the spray paint can and it makes life a bajillion times easier. And you can just pop it right back off when you’re done and use it on another can. It will save your fingers from a world of pain.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    My in-laws asked my husband when we plan to have kids. (I wasn’t there.) I have great aspirations of responding with the full truth next time I get this question: “We both suffer from sexual dysfunctions and are unable to have sexual intercourse. Given our mental health histories, I am not sure we can adopt.” But my husband doesn’t want to use that approach himself. Suggestions on shutting these conversations down, both with the in-laws and others?

    With respect to his parents, they were abusive to him and each other and are sort of emotionally stunted (Soviet upbringings with alcoholic parents). If we say, “I am not willing to discuss that,” they’ll ask why. If we repeat, they won’t leave it alone.

    • emmers

      Could you say something like “we have some medical problems that may prevent us from having children. It’s really painful for us to talk about, since while we’d like to have kids, we’re not sure that we’ll be able to. We’d rather not answer any questions, since it’s really very painful and private. I’m sure you understand.”
      And then if they ask about adoption, “We have medical problems that unfortunately may make that impossible. Again, this is very painful and private, so that’s why we really don’t like to talk about it.”

      Or will they still push with that?

      • ElisabethJoanne

        In-laws will definitely push with all that. I basically need a way to make “No is a complete sentence” when it’s not a yes/no question.

        • emmers

          Ugh. I’m sorry.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Double ugh, and also sorry. I hope you guys can work it out.

        • emilyg25

          I think in cases like this, the only way you can stop the follow-ups is to say, “This issue is not up for discussion.” If they continue, say, “I’m going to end this conversation.” And then hang up the phone or leave the room or go home. Wash, rinse, repeat.

          • JDrives

            Yep. This.

        • http://www.suncentered.com Jen

          Can you just say no? Then they’ll be confused!

    • Fiona

      This might by oversimplifying it by a lot, but can you just say that no, you’re not planning to have kids, thankyouverymuch and leave it at that?

      • ElisabethJoanne

        In my experience, that doesn’t work with pushy people. I’ve tried using, “We can’t have children because we have medical issues” with strangers, and they push: “No, you’re young. You’ll get better.” That’s why I aspire to just lay it all out. I’m sure I’ll chicken in the moment, and say something like “We’re still practicing” (literally true) or “Why do you ask?” depending on the person/context.

        Maybe the only solution is “I won’t discuss that topic” and when they ask “But why won’t you discuss it?” (and my in-laws definitely will) to repeat, “I won’t discuss it” and have plans to leave if they won’t change the subject. We haven’t tried something so dramatic with my in-laws, but I know it’d never be forgotten in all the bad meanings of that phrase.

        • Sarah E

          That solution does sound like the only thing that will work. It’s really unfortunate, but since you can’t fix their issues, you may need to accept this will be a sticking point forever and ever. Which sucks and is awful, but “desperate times…” and all. . .

        • joanna b.n.

          I LOVE “Why do you ask?” Perfect response, imo.

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

      If it’s your husband’s parents and he doesn’t want to use that approach, might you ask him to talk to them (like, in advance of the next time you see them, or on a private phone call with them)? He can explain it to them however he’s most comfortable, but I think it’s completely fair to say, “This makes me uncomfortable, this is how I’m going to respond if they bring it up again, and I’d appreciate if you just address it directly with them so it doesn’t come up again.”

      As for non-family members, I think reacting with a friendly and slightly shocked, “That’s a pretty personal question!” is completely appropriate. If they continue to push, just give them your best neutral face/politely confused look and just…don’t respond. Eventually, the silence should make them feel uncomfortable enough to just change the subject. I feel like we’re never going to get people to stop asking this question if we don’t make it clear that it’s IMPOLITE and THEY are in the wrong for asking. So tell them it’s out of line and don’t feel guilty for them feeling awkward as you refuse to discuss it further.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      Just say “it’s personal” or something like that and move on. This is something people are always going to ask. There is nothing you can say or do to stop it. So you have to learn how to shut down the conversation and move on. Bc they will continue to ask.

  • YetAnotherMegan

    I can’t stay and chat because I’m going to be late for my own rehearsal if my fiancé doesn’t hurry up, but that gives me time to post this http://instagram.com/p/o6h22HO5Xv/ :-)!!!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations and good luck tomorrow! You look lovely. :)

    • Lindsey d.

      Woo hoo! Have a wonderful time!

    • Kirstin

      Wishing you the best!

  • Bsquillo

    Wedding is two weeks from tomorrow!! We met at our venue with the caterer for a walk-through this week, and that was extremely calming. We also finished writing our ceremony. Even though there are still a ton of little things to get done, I can feel the wedding zen on the horizon. I’m finally, actually excited, and not just stressed!

    Also, I started a new full-time job this week, and it’s been great. My boss believes in flexible work days, I have my OWN OFFICE with a huge desk and houseplants and a view of downtown, and I’m learning lots of new stuff. Woo!

  • Kirstin

    Hi All!

    Excited to be back for a happy hour after getting married over Memorial Day Weekend!

    Oh my gosh, the entire day was amazing, and perfectly us. It felt like it was over in a minute – it went by so fast. We had some things not go as expected, like having to delay our ceremony as one of the groomsmen had his flight to Honduras cancelled 5 minutes before we were supposed to start, but as a whole, none of the changes really mattered. And so many family and friends told us it was the most fun/best food/most tearful ceremony, etc. So many tears!

    My favorite highlights:
    - Doing our cocktail hour first before the ceremony. Best decision ever. I was so much calmer going into the ceremony, and okay with all eyes being on us, because I had already greeted everyone.
    - Our ring warming ceremony was absolutely beautiful. And we gave up on worrying about the timing and just let it happen with the help of two “ring bears”. If you are thinking about doing one, TOTALLY do it. And try not to micromanage it.
    - Although we didn’t get to eat much ourselves, hearing positive feedback from others on how amazing the food and mini desserts were totally made our day. We felt like we had taken a risk on having a taco bar and skipping a cake, and totally was worth it.
    - In lieu of favors, we made donations to the Humane Society and American Cancer Society. We invited friends and family to join us in the donation (instead of clinking glasses, we’d kiss for that), and we doubled what we were able to donate. It felt so much more meaningful when we wrote the checks.
    - The most amazing, heartfelt speeches/toasts from our friends and family. It was truly a room filled with love.
    - My beautiful mom, who made her own dress and was just a stunning hostess.

    Okay, I’ll stop. But just wanted to share, especially because so many of the ideas we used came from this community. Thanks all!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      All sounds lovely. Congratulations!

    • Lindsey d.

      Oh, lovely! So happy for you!

    • Sara

      Oh I love the kiss-for-a-donation idea! That’s fabulous!

      • Sarah McClelland

        Oh wow! Might have to steal that one…

    • Ariel

      I’m so glad the ring warming went well! I’m getting married in three weeks and we are doing a ring warming. I don’t think most of our guests will have seen one before and I’m really excited about it/thinking it’s going to be so lovely.

  • http://mnnjcooks.blogspot.com/ Jessica Nelson

    Question for Hayley and anyone else who had a “reverse destination” wedding: We’re getting married in my hometown and then flying back home at 1 pm the day after the wedding (2.5 hour flight, 20 hour drive). (And my parents will be driving my younger sister to college that day, since she’ll already have missed a couple days of freshman orientation due to the wedding, oops.)
    How did you tell people to not bring gifts to the wedding? How many of them brought gifts anyway? What did you do with cards, guest book, etc? I’m trying to convince my fiancé that the best option is to bring an empty suitcase to the reception (in the car that’s driving us to the hotel that night) and just throw everything in there to bring with us on the plane, but he’s skeptical. He would vote for mailing things, if necessary, but also doesn’t think that we’ll have that many cards/gifts/things to deal with. (FWIW, we’re anticipating around 250 guests).
    Suggestions?

    • Meg

      If you register just on amazon they’ll have the items shipped right to your house most likely instead of bringing them to the reception

    • swarmofbees

      We are in the same boat. Mostly, we are just hoping that people figure it out. But, our backup is to ship the stuff ourselves. That could be tricky if you fly out on a Sunday and would then have to ask someone else to ship them. Also, it could be a bit expensive if people bring you plates. We will also be budgeting space in our suitcase to bring cards and the guestbook home.

    • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

      With about 115 guests, we have only one physical gift, and everything else was cards. From my recent experience, the vast majority of people give money in a card as the standard wedding gift and reserve physical gifts for the shower. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much. I think saving some space in a suitcase for cards should be sufficient. If there’s a couple actual gifts, jam ‘em in if they fit, or have your parents hold onto them until you can figure out a different way to get them home.

      Also, from the guests’ point of view, they don’t want to lug place settings for 12 to your wedding any more than you want to lug them home. Anyone wanting to get you a cumbersome gift will most likely want to save themselves the hassle by shipping it direct to you when they buy.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      So many variables about gifts. I almost always ship my gift ahead, even if the wedding is local for me. But I’ve seen weddings with huge piles of gifts at the reception. I hear it varies by region, too. People are more likely to bring gifts on the West Coast, less likely on the East Coast.

      For our 80-person California wedding, with most guests older and local and a local shower before, our gift table was almost sad. (That is, it looks empty in the picture, rather than festive.) Only those people who hadn’t had a prior opportunity to give a gift (no shower invite, relatively late decision to attend at all) brought a gift to the wedding.

      Is a guest book something you want? Easiest way to take care of a guest book is not to have one.

  • Laura

    Breaking (haven’t seen any good details yet), but a federal judge struck down Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban! Feeling hopeful and very excited for my homeland. (Obviously this will probably lead to an even larger legal challenge BUT STILL).

    • ASH

      Wohoo!! Happy for my homeland too!

  • Emily

    Who’s on airbnb? I need to “confirm my identity” by giving them a 30-second video, and I don’t know what to say!! My voice is all hoarse from getting hit by a mack-truck cold this week, too. I’m anxious to book this great wedding night spot I found within walking distance to a dinner and dancing cruise-launch on a local lake. All the area hotels are booked or won’t book a single night’s stay! Do they typically reject people? I don’t want to mess it up and miss out on this room!

    • Lisa

      You need to do a video?? I’m fairly certain my fiancé just linked it to his Facebook profile and scanned in his driver’s license to prove his existence. Is that not an optional step? I’ve never seen these videos before.

      • Emily

        I failed the facebook test somehow, maybe since my profile pic wasn’t a face? Idk how that happened. I almost want to start over with his facebook and see if it works instead!

  • Ragnhild

    Only three weeks left. TIme seems to slip through my fingers! I have decided to not embroider “something blue” on a handkerchief because now is not the time to learn embroidery… So glad I can let some things go and just delete them from my to-do list! Most important things to do now is to finish writing and printing programs, and of course finish sewing the dress…

    • Ariel

      3 weeks left for me too! Good luck with finishing what needs to get done :-)

      • Ragnhild

        Thank you! Good luck to you too :)

        • Ariel

          Thanks!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      “I have decided to not embroider “something blue” on a handkerchief because now is not the time to learn embroidery…”

      Mega lolz. YES. Much like I decided yesterday that I’ve got enough wedding-y stuff on my plate without adding the pressure of signing up for a gym and trying to get Jillian Michaels arms in 43 days. Deleting things off the to do list (“Shit, maybe we don’t even NEED programs!” etc) feels AWESOME.

      • Kcaudad

        Truth: Definitely don’t need programs, or something blue! Didn’t have either, and they still let us get married!! I told the older ladies that my something blue was my hubby’s eyes (aww) and his boxers, cause he always wears blue boxers!

      • Ariel

        I’m pretty sure I’m the only person that straight up stopped going to the gym in the six months before the wedding (used to go 3x a week)… Michelle Obama arms were probs never gonna happen anyway/I think I still look pretty good

        • Kirstin

          Me too! Completely gave up exercise. What?!

          • Ariel

            eff it!

    • Sarah McClelland

      I’m making my dress too!! 5.5 months out right now… Good luck!

      • Ragnhild

        Thanks! My tip is to not save all the work till the end like me!

  • Stacey H.

    Can I just say thanks to APW and this community for simply existing?

    I don’t think I would be making it through this planning process right now without realizing that this amazing group of people exists. You are all lovely women who are smart and grounded; women that love pretty things but care about the marriage as well.

    I don’t know any of you except through the interwebs… but I like you and I’m glad you exist! Carry on, ladies, and have a beautiful weekend.

  • Ariel

    We applied for our marriage license yesterday!!!

    • Caroline

      yay!! We got ours on thursday. so exciting!

  • anonymousthistime

    You guys, last weekend I lost my [custom-made, gorgeous] engagement ring. I’ve looked EVERYWHERE, but it’s not looking promising. I know it’s not a sign, I know it’ll be a story someday, but I also feel awful and just…incredibly stupid.

    • Ariel

      Oh no!!! I hope you find it ASAP!

  • Sarah

    So, the circumstances are slightly different (5 minutes in store vs 45 minutes in job interview, kid happy vs kid crying, not sure of temperature in this case) but I can’t help but think about this case and wonder what would happen if the races were reversed. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/28/shanesha-taylor-homeless-mom-arrested_n_5050356.html

  • Kayjayoh

    This afternoon, fiance and I went to the Madison City-County building to apply for our marriage license. I commented while there that I wished I’d been waiting in a huge line of people (there were only other two couples in the office, both hetero, of course) and that it wouldn’t be long before the “Groom (male)” and “Bride (female)” would be gone. Then I came home and took a nap. I wake up and here this is.

    Thank you, Universe. Congratulations, Wisconsin!

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/federal-judge-overturns-wisconsins-gay-marriage-ban-b99286138z1-262161851.html

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Good job, America! YOU’RE GETTING THERE!!

    • ASH

      YAY Wisconsin!

  • June

    We hit our first wedding bump in the road this week. We booked our April 2015 wedding in early February and sent our save the dates out the same weekend one of my cousins happened to get engaged. We found out this week that my cousin booked her wedding for two weeks before ours. I don’t expect people to plan their lives around us, but some acknowledgement or a phone call or anything that showed some consideration that this timing is a little awkward for two big family events would have been nice. My immediate thoughts were that now some of our relatives, who are scattered over the country and who probably don’t have the money or time to travel to two weddings so close together are going to have to miss one, and since ours is second, I’m afraid it’s going to be ours. :/

    It stings a bit more because my cousin, aunt, and uncle, and her sister didn’t come to my sister’s wedding two years ago, and instead of saying something, they just sent back their RSVP with just a “decline” on it. My cousins also didn’t acknowledge our engagement, and they took forever to respond when I reached out for their addresses. It just seems odd.

    I keep telling myself that the people who matter will be there, and I’m trying to presume positive intentions, but ouch.

    • Ariel

      I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. It sucks ass. Family is weird, and I’m also trying to remind myself that the people who matter will be there (none of my extended family will be attending).

  • Anon

    I want to add that I think the idea of “helicopter parenting” that the Salon author bemoans is very racially, economically, and culturally based. I teach in an inner city school. While I certainly do have some helicopter parents, I have more parents who work multiple jobs and do not have the time or energy to helicopter. There are still plenty of kids out there left to their own devices much of the time, for better or worse. I have known nine-year-olds who hold a large responsibility for their care of younger siblings or who walk themselves home through a crime ridden neighborhood to an empty house (not many, but some).

    More often though my students’ lives are just very inconsistent. They may have the great gift of living in multigenerational house holds with many different children and caregivers. The “it takes a village” concept is very much alive and well today among families of the African American, Hatian and Latino students I have taught. Some may also not have any one person at home who ensures they eat dinner and get to bed at a reasonable time. Backpacks are usually not checked, notices not returned, homework not done.

    The vast majority of my students have been adequately cared for and very loved but I have yet to meet a student whose parent packs an organic lunch every day or insists on BPA free anything. A lot of this rhetoric around over protection and helicopter parents is, in my experience, limited to middle and upper-middle class white parents.

    • Rowany

      I agree that helicopter parenting is mainly upper/middle class white parents – but that’s the scary thing when this parenting turns into policing of other parents, particularly those who are not upper/middle class or white and therefore have fewer defenses in the legal system (messed up but true). This is ripe for a lot of racial and socioeconomic bias when a rich surburban mom sees a kid in a car in 50 degree weather, judges the kid’s parent unfit when his mom is trying to quickly do some grocery shopping before heading off to her second job.

    • Emily

      I know I’m late, but this article spawned a long discussion between me and a friend. We ultimately felt that the stranger who videotaped her was not actually trying to help. In the past I worked on an ambulance and I saw multiple children left in cars– the Moms (and it was always the Mom) were overwhelmed, highly stressed women (who spanned races). The best scenario I saw (in a small town) was when a policeman was called, he came and realized how overwhelmed Mom was and offered to watch the kid while Mom went in the store. (Mom was buying meds for a different kid who was sick).

      #YesAllWomen has really increased my awareness of people speaking up and saying “hey, this isn’t right.” But in this instance, I don’t think the stranger was helpful.

  • Emily

    Shit, guys. I found out this morning that my fiance’s grandfather, a pragmatic salt-of-the-earth kinda New Englander — has been dealing with some sort of tumor on his liver for a while now, and it seems to be time to let his family know what he wants done with his tractors. We are 63 days out from our wedding now, and we’re faced with wondering if the last set of grandparents standing, will in fact still be here much longer. I’m feeling numb, I never had a relationship with my grandparents the way my fiance got to, and they are such good people. I don’t know what this means. Scary stuff.

    • Annonyanka

      I’m so sorry. I don’t have anything useful to say but all of you will be in my thoughts.

      • Emily

        Thanks.

  • Sarah McClelland

    So I’ve been reading APW for a while and this, albeit a day late, is my first happy hour!!! I don’t know that I realized how awesome all of you are and what a great community this is till I realized that y’all do this every week… And talk about all the things. Not just weddings.
    We are a little over 5 months out and the do list is getting crazy… And people are asking how to help but I don’t know what to tell them except “thank you! I know we’ll take you up on that but I think we are good right now!”

    Advice? How did/are y’all delegating?

    Mom and I are addressing save the dates right now too… Eep! Those moments where I’m like ‘holy cow this is happening’ are getting to be more frequent in the best of possible ways. So. Excited.

    • Kayjayoh

      Welcome! Delegate what you can, when you can, and let go. Look at that to-do list and see what things are actually things that need your personal attention and what can be handed off without a problem. I delegated table decorations to a crafty friend who loves doing that. I told her: whatever you are excited to do (and isn’t a pain in the ass for you) is fine by me. I’ve put together a song list (with the help of RSVP suggestions) and then handed it off to a friend who loves to DJ to make into an actual playlist.

      • Sarah McClelland

        Were people you handed things off to close or far? It’s been tricksy with some things because distance… Le sigh. It WILL come together. And I got to see it work when save the dates came together so. Fast. Like, 1.5 hours from corralling the last addresses to all in the bag fast. We sat in the hospital room(my grandmother is sick but went home today) and my aunt stamped and stacked while Mom and I wrote the names and addresses out. I expected it to take double that amount of time.

        • Kayjayoh

          Most of the people have been close by, the friend who is DJing is not. (He is also a co-celebrant.) We have made use of Google drive to pass stuff back and forth.

    • Caroline

      I so need help delegating. I’m no good at it!! And like you, I have all these offers of help, and way too much to do but am not good at delegating.

  • Em

    I don’t know if I’m too late but – HELP!
    I just got off the phone with my mother who was asking questions like “but what are people going to DO at the wedding?” and making me second guess our whole plan.

    My partner and I are planning a wedding for around 150 (invited). The ceremony will be at 5pm, followed by toasts, in my partner’s sister’s backyard. After that we’ll move to the reception location, a restaurant. We won’t be having a sit-down dinner but rather a casual buffet of mingling-friendly foods. We are creating a playlist of awesome music to play through the restaurant’s speakers but there won’t be a dance floor per se. We’re going to have some photos strung up on the wall, cheap drinks and yummy food.

    And that’s it. Are we crazy?? Are people going to be uncomfortable, or bored stiff?

    The guest list doesn’t all know each other – there are some pretty clearly defined groups that have not really met each other (my extended family, her extended family, her old school friends, my old school friends) but I think that nearly everyone will know at least a few people.

    Please answer me honestly. Should we be trying to figure out a way to have a more clearly defined “dance” (even though I think that would be tough in a restaurant)? Could all the folks who have successfully had mingling-style cocktail receptions with no formal dancing please stand up?

    • Michelle

      Don’t listen to her! Your party sounds awesome. The thing about weddings is… people expect them to be a little bit awkward. But they are there to celebrate you! You are not expected to provide them with entertainment all night. They are happy to see you get married and eat some good food, which is exactly what you are doing!

    • Laura

      No worries. Your guests will eat, drink, and make merry without the need for dancing. As for what they’ll do, it will probably include what a large majority (or at least significant minority) of guests do, even at dancing receptions. They’ll talk for hours with people they haven’t seen in a while, enjoy the delicious food and drinks, listen to toasts, wait anxiously for dessert (just me?), etc.

      Just think about other parties you’ve thrown. Your wedding is just a fancy, cocktail-style dinner party with a lot more people. If you’re really nervous about it, you could have a board game table or photobooth, but I wouldn’t sweat it. Extended families love excuses to sit around and talk to (and about) one another.

      Good luck! Moms can get anxious when the wedding doesn’t fall into the script in their heads. I think they lose sight of the fact that a wedding reception is simply a party that you throw to celebrate your shiny new marriage, in whatever way that feels authentic and joyful to you.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      Your guests will be fine. Adults, amazingly, know how to entertain themselves and mingle etc. Which is what people pretty much do at wedding. Don’t worry about it.

    • Emily

      I get hit by waves of “what will they DO???” too. Your guests will enjoy themselves without an itinerary or extensive activity prompts, promise. I need to listen to this advice myself!!

    • Katherine

      I’d say you have nothing to worry about. We had a no- dancing wedding last summer, and people were able to occupy themselves with eating & talking.

      We did have a couple trivia games on the tables (what’ sotheby significance of each table number, and a few questions about us), but they weren’t at all necessary. Another low-key entertainment idea, if it will set your mom (or you) at ease, are the “I spy” and Mad Libs templates you can find on etsy.

      • Jenna S W

        I second this suggestion. I think your wedding will be a great time regardless, but if you’re really worried, you can crowd-source some old-school games–the kind that people will look at and say, “Oh wow, I haven’t played this since I was a kid/my kids were little/etc.!”–and other interactive indoors things like Mad Libs that will get people talking and laughing.

        Or, since she’s the one who’s so worried about it, you can task your mom with finding these things, which will give her something to do other than blow up your spot about it. That often works for my mom. :)

    • Caroline

      You’re fine. People will mix and mingle. Plenty of people know eachother, and shockingly, grownups know the skill of small talk/getting to know you talk at social gatherings. (Now, some are better than others depending on introversion/extroversion, but seriously, people learn these things or they just talk to the folks they know). It will not be a problem.

    • Kayjayoh

      What everyone else said. Grown-ups know what to do in the presence of food, alcohol, and old friends with whom to chat. You have nothing to worry about.

      Besides, if there is a playlist of awesome music going, people might dance anyway.

    • Outside Bride

      So, first, right on to all the other responses – it will be fine. I’m sure your Mom has the best intentions, but I am guessing that she also has a lot of cultural expectations (baggage) that she feels she (and you) need to live up to. I don’t know you, but I have faith that you know your crowd, and that they have a good idea of what to expect from you. Your parent’s doubts may, unfortunately, last right up until she see how much fun your guests are having at the wedding. Best wishes, and know that there’s a bunch of internet strangers are pulling for you!

    • River

      My best friend had a very similar structure for her wedding – ceremony at the church, followed by a cocktail party/brunch at a super chill restaurant. It. Was. WONDERFUL. Smaller crowd (around 70), but seriously, lots of disparate groups, just having excellent cocktails and chatting ’bout how they knew the bride and or groom. People who wanted to dance, did so. People who wanted to eat, did so.

      The one bit of really important advice I will give you, though, is twofold:
      1) have someone (not you or your partner!) who knows the playlist well, be in charge of making sure that goes smoothly and switches it up as need be (in this case, it was my fiance)
      AND
      2) if you WANT (NOT necessary – take it from someone who IS doing most of these, they are NOT needed, only do them if you want to!) to have people give speeches or a first dance or a cake cutting or any other “traditional” reception thing, think about when you want to do this, WRITE IT DOWN, pass it out to the whole bridal party, and pick one person (either in the bridal party or just a really good and/or organized friend) to be the stage manager. My lovely friends wrote out a schedule and gave it to everyone but forgot to pick anyone to be in charge, and everyone was having so much fun that we didn’t notice until 45 mins late that we had yet to make speeches ;-) so my theatre background took over and I stage managed for the rest of the event – which was way more scary than if I had planned to do it in the first place (esp. since I’m not particularly organized). Luckily the venue allowed our party to run over by an hour and a half.

      All of this is to say – please tell your mother that weddings like this have been done and are very enjoyable for the guests and wedding party!

      Best of luck, your wedding sounds like it will be so much fun :-)

  • JSwen

    So I missed out on happy hour but I wanted to share a deal (steal) for save-the-date postcards. A particular online printer has a current deal of 50 cards for $4.99. There’s shipping of about $12 they aren’t telling you about but still. Holy deal. Reply if anyone is interested because I don’t want to spam this page…

    • Ali

      I hope I’m not too late, but I’m interested! Even if I don’t get to the printer within the deadline, it’ll be a good website to keep an eye on for future deals.

      • JSwen

        vistaprint.com
        promocode: POSTCARDS
        ends 7.31.14

        I used these guys for all paper needs (other than Thank You cards) and get their deals in my inbox still. Wanted to share the wealth!

        • Ali

          Thank you thank you!

  • Sofia

    I know I’m super late to the happy hour, but hopefully you guys are still hanging around out there…

    Part of my estranged father’s response to my and my FH’s very pleasant phone call with him where we communicated the non-traditional plans for our ceremony – which will not include him escorting me down the aisle – included this gem (P.S. he sent his response to my FH):

    “what has escorting my daughter down the aisle have to do with whether or
    not she is a feminist (feminism: the advocacy of women’s rights on the
    grounds of political, social and
    economic equality to men)? The tradition as practiced today has
    nothing to do with inequality to men, but rather it is a statement of
    honor, respect and gratitude to one’s father. However, if a father is
    attending his daughter’s wedding and does not escort his daughter to the
    alter, you can be sure that the message being loudly broadcast is a
    statement of dishonor, disrespect and the absence of gratitude —
    intended or not. Given all that I have done for her from the time she
    was born, how deeply I have loved her and cared for her as best I
    could, I do not deserve to be publicly dishonored, disrespected on shown
    such a lack of gratitude by my daughter. Furthermore, it is hard for
    me to imagine that you or your family would want such a sinister display
    at your wedding.”

    Yikes! A man I haven’t spoken to in three years honestly sees walking me down the aisle as a possibility!

    • YOQ

      I think it’s a sign of APW addiction that I’m reading the HH comments a week late. But I got to this one and… wow. Obviously I don’t know the situation (or I’d be going off in much greater detail, I’m sure) but from any perspective, this is a pretty ludicrous thing to say. You sound pretty calm about the whole thing, which I admire. So, I just want to validate your feelings on this turn of events, and encourage you to keep doing whatever it is that you’re doing that is keeping you so very sane and reasonable… Hang in there, keep acting from the generous side of your self, and don’t respond to crazy with crazy. You can do it. :)