APW Happy Hour


Welcome back!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

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Hey APW,

Welcome back! And welcome 2017, even though I’m terrified of what you may bring with you.

The APW team has had a whirlwind first week back. We were hit with a major work emergency (don’t ask, just pity us) in the first minutes of December 31st, because of course 2016 had to have the last word. As we’ve worked around the clock on that, we’ve also been working on getting our new office renovated and move-in ready. But to counter all that hard work, we got to do our first-ever photo shoot at BHLDN at the new Anthropologie & Co. store on Palo Alto. I’m pretty sure that store is what my dreams are made of, but thankfully by the end of the shoot I was too tired to pull out my wallet.

And while work has been exhausting this week, I’m always down for a day of playing with wedding dresses in front of a camera and remembering what I do all this for. We have so many plans and projects in the works to help you better plan your weddings this year—more laughter, less bad tears. So stay tuned… we have so many special treats to come.

xo

Meg

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Letter of Recommendation: Grandma’s Teenage Diaries

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com. #NASTY

Staff Picks

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  • Brynna

    Our wedding is in 3 months and I feel like I’ve mostly got it under control? I imagined spending evenings and weekends crafting, organizing, etc. but that hasn’t really happened. I’ve looked at all of the checklists, etc. and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing.

    What did you wish you had started working on earlier? DIY or otherwise.

    • idkmybffjill

      Honestly I wish I’d booked our wedding for earlier. I thought I needed at least a year, and the next time slot at our venue was 18 months out…. I had insane amounts of downtime. I ended up ditching my welcome boxes idea because I couldn’t figure out what to put in them. So I maybe would’ve… not made the boxes or figured out what to put in them earlier :).

      • Brynna

        We have an 8-month engagement and I honestly can’t imagine what I would do with any more time than that…

        • idkmybffjill

          I made many many things by hand to fill the time (painted addresses on our invitations, handlettered acryllic signage, hand embossed jewelry trays, handlettered hangers), my husband designed our STDs & invitations and did all our music, and then otherwise we just sort of ignored the wedding. A friend of mine got married 5 months before (I was a bridesmaid), I threw her a pretty epic shower and helped her with her stuff.

          Now the first thing I tell new couples is to aim for less engaged time! It’ll generally get figured out it the time allotted, and the rest is just nothing time. I was V ready to be married by the end.

    • LadyMe

      It’s entirely possible you have it mostly under control! We didn’t do a lot of crafting either, and 3 months out we were pretty chill with the long term planning under control and waiting for the more short term stuff (say 6-4 weeks out) to get closer.

    • Brooke

      I’m in the same boat for sure! We are within 2 months now and I keep thinking that *surely* I should be doing something!? But alas, it is pretty much all done. The only thing I wish I had done earlier is contact potential hair/makeup vendors for the day of. I’m still struggling to lock that in (not due to availability, more a disagreement about acceptable pricing with my mother).

      • Brynna

        So much $$….

    • CDN

      I have the same feeling! It feels very bizarre. Our wedding is further out, but I feel like there must be stuff that needs doing however our (very thorough, coordinator-provided) checklist says otherwise… Perhaps it’s simply because I have a good friend getting married on the same timeline and they seem to be doing allll the things at the moment but I keep having that “did I leave the stove on” feeling, like a week out I’m going to remember that giant thing that was supposed to get done. But nope. Ah well – shouldn’t complain about lack of stress (at least in this area. ha.)!

    • emilyg25

      We had a 7 month engagement and it could have been much shorter. There was the initial flurry of big decisions and locking down vendors, and then finalizing a bunch of stuff at the end, but kinda nothing in the middle.

      • Brynna

        That’s super helpful to hear – people are always asking “How’s wedding planning?” and I’m like.. “Fine? We haven’t done anything in a while…”

        • Violet

          We had an 11-month period from engaged to wedding. Planning started about a month in, I guess. And everyone was always asking about planning for those ten months. But since we were having a church wedding with restaurant reception, and I’m a highly organized Type-A who didn’t want a lot of little details, there just wasn’t… that much to do?

    • Maybe all these comments talking about how surprisingly prepared we feel are because we have this incredible resource of APW to keep us on track :) Our wedding is 6 months away and I feel like we have a lot of little things to work on between now and then, but all the big stuff is nailed down and that’s fantastic.

    • Jess

      I… didn’t do a whole lot of crafting, and at three months out, I was basically trying to nail down invitations and not a whole lot else, really (other than a lot of stressing about wine/parental reactions, because… mom)

      If you’ve got all your food figured out, your decorations mostly figured out, your ceremony worked on, etc., there’s not a whole lot else to be doing. Maybe putting together a draft timeline and music list?

      • Brynna

        Ooooh yes, ceremony… I haven’t actually started on that! Thank you!

        • Jess

          Sure thing! :D That was my favorite part of planning, and probably my favorite part of the wedding.

    • Gaby

      Our engagement was also 7 months and I didn’t do anything for the first month and it was fine! If you’ve got checklists and they look healthy I think you should enjoy being on top of your game. I also felt confused by how laid back the planning process was. People would ask how it was going and I’d be like “Everything’s kind of done? Idk.”

      • Brynna

        SAME

    • Eenie

      We were in the same boat. After we locked down the venue and guest list we kind of just waited. I think I stressed out more about the pre wedding events than anything (we hosted a BBQ for everyone who came in on Thursday, involved me grilling in the rain).

    • Another Meg

      We had two years (!) to plan, and basically, you fill the time you have. We also had multiple month stretches of zero wedding tasks, which was awesome (especially during grad school). It was both cheaper, in some ways (helllooooo crafts) and more expensive in others (did we need all of those crafts? nah). As I started collecting recycling to eventually make into centerpieces two years out, I doubt there’s anything I’d work on sooner.

      I agree with LadyMe – you likely have everything you need. Relax!

    • Brynna

      Well all of these comments have been very affirming :)

    • flashphase

      Our program is taking forever so I wish we had gotten to that earlier!

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I wrote out our place cards, and I should have set aside more than just two hours the night before we left for the venue! It took much longer than I thought to cut out the paper and write everything out. It was also hard to maintain my handwriting, which tends toward janky and childlike and not as clear an calligraphic as I wanted it to be. But, it got done and people knew where to sit, so yay!

  • Brooke

    For the past 6 days I haven’t been able to stop thinking (okay…or saying) “I’m getting married this year!”. It’s feeling like major crunch time, as we are now 50 days out from our wedding. About a year ago we booked a vacation for the 3rd week of this January, and I’m glad to have a bit of a break for a week right before we get into the last 4 weeks of madness before the wedding.
    Was lucky enough to spend NYE with my 2 brothers and their SOs, watched fireworks from my couch and sipped champagne. Life is good sometimes, and it’s really magical.

  • louise danger

    stupid workplace stuff solidarity high-five, APW folks

    our betta fish died overnight. his name was Arnold Schwarzebetta, and he was the best fish. now we have a beautiful, ready-for-fish tank that’s been cycling all week (tomorrow was fish-adding day), and… no fish.

    also, in wedding news, i’m so stupid-excited about the church wedding, you guys. and that’s something i NEVER thought i would say, ever, ever. i think part of it is meg’s assertions in the APW book(s) about how wonderful it is to say the same things that people have been saying for thousands of years? but also part of it is just how much more real it feels (personally, for my experience, YMMV) than the ceremony/thing that we’d been planning beforehand.

    i’m mourning our food truck party in the park a little but i’m excited about church + restaurant thing instead. and we’re hoping to keep our park reservation for a welcome or a day-after BBQ thing, so it’s not all for naught.

    has anyone else ever sort of stop-started your plans in the middle, and if so, how did it turn out? i’m confident this is the right move for us for a variety of personal/environmental/familial reasons, but i’m always down for some reassurance vibes.

    • Ashlah

      Sorry about your fishy :(

    • AGCourtney

      Aww, sorry about your fish. Betta fish are the best.

      Yes, I think I’ve joked here before that by the time everything was said and done, it felt like we’d planned three weddings. Initially we were going to have it at the Renaissance Festival; then we were going to have the wedding in a town a half hour away where I go to church, with an outdoor ceremony at this private place that was nice and cheap – but the owners also gave off weird vibes – and the reception at my nearby church. But the owners just weirded me out too much, and the contract was bizarre, so we decided to just do the whole thing at my church. Then one of the first reception venues we’d looked at in our town let us know they’d had a cancellation on our date, and everything fell into place. We switched to an indoor ceremony at my husband’s family’s church and then had the reception in the banquet rooms of the local bowling alley (it’s nicer than it sounds, and personally meaningful for my husband and me). The reception venue contacted us on August 1st and our wedding date was September 19th. It all turned out fine. :)

    • Meg

      sorry about your fish! Bettas have so much personality :(

  • CMT

    Hi! *waves* I missed you all! I finally got a start date for my new job (the 17th!), I’m moving out of my shitty apartment into a new, nice one next week, and I just got a new, feminist-y tattoo this week. I’ve decided 2017 is going to be the year of CMT. New year, new job, new home. Things are going to be different than 2016 and hopefully better.

    • stephanie

      What tattoo did you get? I’m planning to get a feminist-y one as well, and love seeing those of others (I won’t take your idea! Just curious.)

      • BSM

        Also curious! I’ve been noodling over just getting a simple line tattoo of the symbol for women.

        • MC

          I’ve seen a few ladies get the women symbol on their middle finger (see: Jessica Valenti, https://www.instagram.com/p/BMVBd8AgTHZ/?taken-by=jessicavalenti ), which I love but am too chicken to get a finger tattoo!

          • stephanie

            OH I LIKE THAT

          • BSM

            I love that, but I already have a finger tattoo and would not recommend… SO painful, and they age very quickly, unfortunately. I’m thinking rib cage, perhaps.

            Except my husband hates tattoos, and I had to assure him that my most recent one was 99% sure to be last one. So, we’ll see :)

          • TrueGrit

            Oh no! I mean, I’ve heard this about finger tattoos, but my partner and I really want ring tattoos instead of jewelry rings. And I think finger tats are so cool in general. Would you really 100% not recommend it? Would a simple black line as a ring really fade to the point of looking bad?

          • BSM

            I think a single black line would be totally fine! It will still age more quickly than tattoos elsewhere, but such a simple design like that can easily be touched up. That could be a fun anniversary outing every few years :)

          • TrueGrit

            Cool! Hopefully it really is fun and not traumatically painful, haha. I am notoriously pain-averse but willing to try this as long as it looks decent most of the time.

          • J

            A coworker and his wife tattooed each other’s names where a ring would go! So so cute and they’ve got kids in high school

          • I have a finger tattoo of the aperture sign. It has faded the fastest of my 6 tattoos, mostly because your hands are most exposed to the sun and have to flex all the time to do daily tasks. Over 3 years, it’s gone from black to blue, and the outer edges have gotten fuzzy. It would last longer if I put an spf cream on my hands each day, which I don’t do. I also may end up having it refreshed in a few years, which is always an option for wedding ring tattoos.

          • toomanybooks

            Hah, the thing about this tattoo is that if I saw someone with it I’d probably take it as a hint that she was also a lesbian… though probably only if it was facing the other way.

          • S

            I have one of these! On my ring finger instead though. The party line is it’s ‘cuz I’m married to feminism ;)

          • S

            (Also RE: below, I’m queer and don’t mind anyone assuming that’s what the tattoo “means”!)

      • CMT

        It says GRL PWR, which is definitely not an original idea. But I figured it was more subtle than FUCK THE PATRIARCHY ;)

        • BSM

          Man, now I really want FUCK THE PATRIARCHY.

        • cityfolks

          I love that gallery! Maybe a feminist tattoo goes next in my queue … (after a Cubs one, that is).

      • lildutchgrrl

        Just recently I found a design that I would actually consider for a tattoo (only I do not have and will not get any tattoos, so it’s my profile pic instead). It’s the engineering symbol for “resistor”. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qcNZPRk0fCU/VQVtgBUOMPI/AAAAAAAAASw/uPBhin10VFM/s1600/schemeit-project-1.png

    • Sara

      Yay CMT!!

  • Alli

    We started planning our honeymoon! It’ll be in Vegas! In July, so yeah it’ll be super hot but we’ve walked around Vegas in 110 degrees before and felt fine so we’ll just be careful to stay out of the heat. Nothing set in stone yet, but we know we want to go rock climbing and see a Cirque du Soleil show. Would also love to take a trip over to the Grand Canyon if time permits! Anyone have Vegas suggestions?

    • Gaby

      Hi there! I live in Vegas :) If you are looking for less touristy, off-the-strip things to do I would recommend checking out the Downtown Las Vegas area. There’s the Neon Museum, Mob Museum, Container Park and more. Also, Mt. Charleston is a short drive and good escape from the heat!

    • Depending on how many days you have, it might be fun to do a kayaking trip. I know you said you want to stay out of the heat, so you can totally disregard, but the natural world around Vegas is SO PRETTY and its a shame to miss it. Last time my husband and I were in Vegas we did a kayak tour and it was fantastic. It says the tours are year round so I imagine the river keeps it cool, although they do say you can bring a swimsuit, so if you’re a swimmer that could be super fun! https://evolutionexpeditions.com/kayaking/3-hour-canyon-kayak.html

      • Gaby

        Oooh, I second this. We went kayaking for the first time last June and it was much less hot by the water. We didn’t do a tour but we rented the Kayak’s from a little shop in Nelson, NV. It’s a cool stop because it’s a creepy little fun ghost town and they give you directions for a nearby area. You have plenty of choices for outdoor activities!

      • Alli

        Awesome suggestion, thank you! Like I said, we’re trying to stay out of the heat, but the geography of the area is SO COOL so we’ll just be careful and try to keep out of the sun in the very middle of the day.

    • Kara

      If the Absinthe show is still on, it’s a lot of fun! A variety show with lots of dirty adult humor and you can drink alcohol, if you like.

      If you enjoy The Beatles, go see LOVE (Cirque du Soleil). Also, the best seats for LOVE are in the back–you see so much more! If you want a Cirque du Soleil with a storyline you can follow, go see KA. If you just want to be amazed, go see O.

      Also, it will feel better once the sun sets :).

      • Gaby

        KA is my favorite because I kept trying to make a storyline happen in my mind at the other Cirque shows haha. They’re all good though, my brain is just stubborn.

        • Kara

          YES! Mystique felt like a trippy dream, and I couldn’t make a story fit either.
          I also loved the KA stage! It’s an engineering feat!

      • Also loved the Absinthe show and agree 100% on searching for plots at Cirque. Now I know what was bothering me about the show the whole time….

    • Meg

      We went to Vegas for our Honeymoon. The Grand Canyon trip is a bit of a slog, it’s a whole day from early morning to late night and most of the time is spent getting there and back. However it is totally worth it!!

    • Kelly

      The Pioneer Saloon in Jean- about 30 mins south of LV blvd. Lotus of Siam- sketch area about 10 north of strip/near downtown. I think it was voted best Thai food in N America

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Red Rock Canyon is a short drive and gorgeous!

      • Alli

        That’s where we were thinking of climbing!

    • Anna

      The Mob Museum, Red Rock Canyon, and the High Roller at night. (I was just there in November for work. :) )

      Definitely get out of the city if you can!! The area around Vegas is SO gorgeous!!

  • BeachBride1

    What kind of shoes (if any) did you wear at your beach wedding? I’m getting married on the sand but I’m not really a barefoot kind of bride. Would love to see what other beach brides rocked on their feet!

    • a few

      my sister wore flip flop sandals that imprinted ‘bride’ into the sand. Her Husband had ‘groom’ sandals, but just wore regular loafer shoes during the ceremony. They make sandals that imprint ‘just married’ or ‘Mr’ & ‘Mrs’ in the sand, too. or cute strappy flats would be nice, too.

      • Beach

        Aw that’s cute!

  • savannnah

    First of all…#2017Bride!
    Which means I have to get my butt in gear and I am in need of invitation printing advice. My partner and I have fallen in love with a design from etsy but are having a hard time finding a good service to print our invitations and we are looking for recommendations. We went with Minted for our save the dates and loved them, the buying process and the STD’s, and we also loved the designed and addressed Kraft paper envelopes that came with them. Minted doesn’t have a design it yourself option to upload a custom design and I am looking into other services but everything else is more expensive than minted with less included and I’m having some invitation fomo because of this (silly-ly) but anyone have advice on this in-between DIY and template invitation printing situation?

    • StevenPortland

      Can you find a local print shop? You’ll get in-person service. I really liked doing it that way for our wedding even though I use online services for Christmas cards each year.

      • Emily

        This is what I did. We got the design from A Printable Press (amazing, btw) and then printed with a local company. We got a really good price on them and I liked having an actual human show me exactly what kind of paper, etc…

        • savannnah

          I’ve been scared off from local printing by a quote we got months ago but perhaps I should give it a go again…

          • StevenPortland

            Find a “Mom & Pop” type printer and talk to them. Our place walked us through the various types of papers and we ended up ordering a less expensive type after being able to see the paper in person. If I had to do it all over again, I would not have stressed and spent/wasted so much time on invitations. Not a single person commented on them, even though I LOVED the design. And I’m sure all but a few of the invitations were recycled. Keep it simple and spend the money on more food or drinks, in my opinion.

          • Lisa

            We bought a Groupon for an invitation printing place and just picked our favorite from their line-up. We didn’t spend a ton of time or money worrying about them, and I’m glad we didn’t. One or two people commented on how much they liked the one piece of paper we sent (I didn’t do the whole package thing since we had on-line RSVPs), and I’m sure the rest went in the recycling.

    • Lisa

      For DIY printing, have you checked big box stores like Staples or FedEx? I’ve been told they have reasonable rates.

      Also, we printed our holiday postcards with Vistaprint this year, and we got an amazing deal on that. They have pre-designed templates or the option to upload your own.

    • Katharine Parker

      Seconding the suggestion of a local printer. They’ll be used to outside designs, and you can do any of the specific touches (like Kraft paper envelopes) with them.

    • Jess

      I thiiiiiiink TinyPrints has a feature where you can “upload your own design”

      At least, they do for holiday cards.

      We actually used The America Wedding’s DIY section to do a really simple layout. You can do writing customized by line (paper choice, font, font size, text, alignment) to say whatever you want. We paid a little extra for them to do assembly, but it was worth it.

      The paper quality for colored papers isn’t perfect (we did a pocket-style and some of the pigment rubbed off onto the other cards), and I’d highly recommend embossed ink over normal, due to some smearing issues we had for addressing.

    • Olive

      We used Carlson craft for our invites…they are reasonably priced and everything went smoothly! We ended up using the “Sep n Sends” which are a little more work, but not too bad.

    • I am a #2017bride in a similar boat (my brother is designing the invites but I need to figure out how to print them). Moo is one resource I’m planning to check out, as well as Vistaprint. But I like the local print shop idea a lot too.

    • idkmybffjill

      We used a print shop (Alphagraphics, not sure if they’re national) and Paper Source paper. It was really affordable and we got to use our own design!

      • toomanybooks

        Aww, Alphagraphics was the print shop I used when I was in art school. Fond memories…

    • Fushigidane

      my friend was happy with basicinvite.com and they have an upload your own option

    • Gaby

      We used FedEx printing services and the employee was really helpful in finding the paper type and sizing we wanted. It came out to about a dollar per invitation I think, and it was nice, thick paper. We bought envelopes there but were not satisfied with the size and bought some on Amazon for a very reasonable price.

    • MrsRalphWaldo

      I used Carlson Crafts. They partnered with my venue to give a discount, but they do great work at a reasonable price, and I’m pretty sure you can upload a design.

    • anachronismsarah

      Check out your local printer. We got STDs, Invites, and all the inserts for 150 invitations for $122. Our cousin designed ours and it’s amazing.

  • Lisa

    Seattle was so much fun, guys! We ate so many oysters and hung out with friends, and I got to see one of my best friends get married. I was helping pick up the bride’s room for the getting ready photos, and I discovered the #APWPlanner I’d sent her last year on the bedside table. Made me think of you all and the great community here over the break! <3

    Planning is in full swing for our London trip in March, and I'm WHOA excited. Husband's buying symphony tickets right now, and I'm trying to decide what will be the exact best time to see the Harry Potter studios. Political situation not withstanding, I have a feeling that 2017 is going to be a good year for us!

    • Jessica

      I loved Seattle when I was there in October, and I’m so envious of your London trip plans! That sounds awesome!

      • Lisa

        Seattle really stole my heart! We did some touristy things (Pike Place, Chihuly museum, Space Needle cocktails), but we also just hung out with our friends and walked around their neighborhood Ballard, which was so fun and refreshing after living in Badtown for years. My friend’s wedding was on an island north of the city, which was a fun experience all on its own.

        I am so excited for all of the travel we’ve got planned so far for 2017! I rang in the new year in Seattle, go to London in March, see my husband perform in France this April, and finally spend my dad’s 60th birthday with him and our immediate family in Disney this June. Busy but happy times for my itchy feet!

        • E.

          Which island?? I grew up on one of the San Juan Islands :)

          • Lisa

            Whidbey! I wanted to spend more time seeing the islands, but I decided to take it slowly and explore our friends’ home in Seattle instead. That will be next time. :)

    • Dina

      The Harry Potter studio tour was AMAZING, you will love it!

    • EF

      i’m in london, so if you need any ticket advice (get thee the todaytix app) do let me know!

  • Kaitlyn

    I’m asking for a big raise and a promotion in 10 minutes, wish me luck!!!

    • MC

      Good luck!!! Way to ask!

    • CharlotteJ

      Good luck!! You got this!

    • louise danger

      get ’em!

    • Emily

      YAY! Good luck!

    • Gaby

      Good luck!!

    • Alyssa

      Good luck, keep us updated!

    • Cleo

      Good luck! You got this!!

    • AGCourtney

      Thanks for the updates! That’s awesome. I hope you get it!

    • Amandamarieg

      Good luck! I hope you get it!

    • Ashlah

      Sounds like the meeting went well! Fingers crossed for good news in February!

  • LindseyM

    Its been a week. I had a mini nervous breakdown about retirement savings, and our RSVPS were due but only half of the people have responded. Everyone told me that would happen, but I just don’t get it—do you think if you don’t respond we’re just going to not notice you aren’t there? (Wo)man up and say no like an adult!

    We’re having an overseas wedding (that I pushed for), but it looks like pretty much zero of my fiance’s family or close friends will be coming. We knew about the family part beforehand—they aren’t very adventurous—but I assumed by probability that at least one of his ten or so closest friends would come. Unfortunately I think I overestimated their willingness to travel. I lived outside the country as a kid, so I think I have a distorted view of other Americans’ willingness to leave the country, but come on, not one person out of ten? (Also, this isn’t a money thing because most of them take trips elsewhere.) So now I feel horrible, and am trying to figure out how to make the wedding still exciting for him even if none of them come. I even went so far as to secretly offer to pay a portion of the plane ticket for two of them, but no dice. We have friends in common that are coming, just none of his college friends will be making the trip. So Its been a bummer of a week. I wish I owned a private jet and could just kidnap people to get them there.

    • Amy March

      I’m sorry it didn’t work out as you hoped!

    • Brynna

      Ugh I’m so sorry, I can totally sympathize – my fiance will have 4 people at our wedding from his family. 4. :/

    • Alyssa

      As someone who’s also doing an overseas wedding, I totally empathize and I’m so sorry to hear almost no one on his side is going. Is there any way you could celebrate with those who can’t make it after you get back? I know it’s not the same as them making it to the actual ceremony, but it might be a reasonable alternative?

      • LindseyM

        I think we’re going to have to. I was initially really against it, because the thought of throwing two parties makes my brain explode. But I think now that its been such a bummer for him we really should. But just do it very low key and backyard bbq so that its not a whole second reception $$$

        • Alyssa

          Totally. We both have big families and just invited immediate family and close friends, but are having a “reception” when we get back… which might just end up looking like a cocktail hour for those in our area, and then us taking different parts of the out-of-town family out for dinner at different holidays, but I think that’s the best we can do since we don’t have a ton of $$$ in the first place.

    • Brooke

      “(Wo)man up and say no like an adult!”
      My fiancé and I had this conversation last night. We have only received 1 “no” on an RSVP, but I sure as heck know that not everybody else who is yet to respond will be showing up. I’m a little upset at this, simply because we are having our wedding and reception at an all-inclusive venue, and we need to be as close to the exact number as possible.

      • Lisa

        We had our parents track down errant relatives, and we started texting/messaging our friends within a week of the missed deadline. I’d say most of the people who didn’t RSVP were “no” though with a few farmer exceptions. (We got married during the harvest so some of my mom’s family didn’t know until the week of the wedding whether they could come or not.) If you’re past the RSVP deadline, I think you’re fully within your rights to start hounding people!

        • Brooke

          We’re about 3 weeks away from the RSVP deadline we stated. Do you think it would be too late in the game to add an online RSVP option to our website? In hindsight, it was a bit of a mistake on my part not adding it from the start, but I’m still staying hopeful that a lot of RSVPs are on their way and the holidays just took over for a few weeks..

          • Eenie

            You could, but honestly you need to email/call/text. And by you, I mean your partner, his parents, your parents, etc. Take anyone up on their vague offers to help by calling their relatives and getting you the final headcount.

            Oh wait, I read away as in past? If it’s three weeks until the RSVP deadline, then yes, maybe add an online option? Ours was 100% online and we still only had a 50% response rate.

          • Brooke

            I’m feeling a little bit of comfort knowing that a lot of people have had similar experiences in terms of response rates, but overall I’m disappointed that people are so terrible at responding. Not excluding myself from that group, I’ve been that person in the past. However, we pre-postaged and pre-addressed our RSVP envelopes and in my dreams we would have nearly all of them by now! How young and naïve I was.

          • Amy March

            3 weeks after the deadline? I think you need to call people.

            3 weeks before the deadline? You still have tons of time for people to get them in!

          • Brooke

            Before! I apologize for the way I worded that post, in my mind it made sense, apparently not so much!

          • Amy March

            If it’s before I think you just need to chill. People are not “terrible” at responding by waiting until the deadline you set! And definitely do not follow up with them until after the deadline

          • Eenie

            Also adding: when people have to respond no, they may be feeling bad about not being able to attend. Waiting until the deadline means that hey- maybe the couple already got a whole bunch of yes responses and this no won’t sting as much OR I really don’t want to send this no response so I’m putting it off until the last moment (and maybe don’t end up sending it at all….).

          • Brooke

            I’m not meaning to imply that people are terrible at responding in my particular scenario. Rather, I have had friends say that they got the invite, express their excitement, and I have heard nothing back in terms of an RSVP. We sent invites out a month ago, and I DID have an expectation that we may receive more back by now. I am sure that in the next weeks we will receive more.

          • AP

            Yes to this, I was super embarrassed when a friend texted me in a panic to ask if I was coming to her wedding because she needed the headcount for the caterer asap. I had just mailed off my RSVP and thought I had somehow blown the deadline. Later when I checked the wedding website, the deadline was still days away. Made for a super awkward, “I’m sorry, I mailed the RSVP yesterday, but I won’t be able to attend” text.

          • Violet

            I’m of the opinion that there are three main kinds of RSVPers:
            1. those who get the invite, respond immediately
            2. those who wait until the deadline or just past it
            3. those who don’t respond
            There are going to be some people who are in the middle because they have to wait on other logistics to come through before they can decide (babysitters, flights, etc.). But I don’t think they’re the bulk. So I honestly wouldn’t expect much movement between now and the deadline. Expect a chunk more around the deadline (a few days before and after). Then start reaching out to category 3 people individually.
            Just my two cents.

          • Brooke

            I’m thinking this is pretty true. I’m aware that by inviting a fairly large chunk of aging relatives (many of whom live in other states) we are in territory of people who may not feel the need to respond and will most likely not be able to come. As for younger friends/family, I anticipate more responses in about 2.5 weeks (right before our deadline).

          • KPM

            I think you totally can add it, people may or may not see it (most probably not but some may.) You can add it and just see who discovers it themselves or you can shoot over an email like “Hey, we are hoping you’ll be able to make it and wanted to make life easier so here (link) is an easy way to RSVP online if you’d like. Or you can stick to the cards we sent you. Either way, please let us know by (DATE)”

      • flashphase

        We found that most people who RSVPd late weren’t coming and were putting off breaking the news but YMMV. We just had to add 6 people 10 days before our wedding so I am so appreciative of our flexible caterers!

    • sofar

      Yeah, we got only a 50% RSVP rate the first round. And I came on here panicking and everyone assured me it was normal.

      Chasing everyone down for answers sucked. What sucked worse was having people say, “Yeah, I’ll be there!” and then didn’t come/cancelled last minute. I would have rather had a “no” upfront. I’m still mad at those people.

      And don’t take it personally that people aren’t coming. I’ve said “no” to many destination weddings, even though I LOVE to travel and would have loved to go, but I was saving vacation time for other chosen trips. If you say “yes” to every destination wedding, those become your vacations and you put off the trip you’ve wanted to take for years. So, a few years ago, I just started saying “no” to all family and friends’ destination invitations. Also, with families, I feel like, if there’s no big enthusiastic push from a few of them (“come on! It’ll be fun! let’s go!”), everyone just stays home collectively. Your fiance probably knew that going in and still agreed to the wedding locale, so don’t feel bad!

    • MrsRalphWaldo

      I had to physically reach out to at least 40% of my guest list. And half of those people ended up coming. I don’t mind the non-RSVP so much if you don’t want to tell me no. I’m more like: how did you think I would feed you if I didn’t know you were coming?

  • Claire

    I posted a while back about wanting to take action to oppose the rhetoric and agenda of this election (I’m not saying his name). After thinking about it, I’ve decide to focus on both political action and community service.

    We had our first meeting December 4th with 16 people. Shout out to Jareesa for co-hosting with me!

    The Indivisible Guide is a practical guide I’ve recently discovered and will be using to organize my local, defensive actions to resist the Trump agenda. It’s based on the tactics deployed by the Tea Party and I’ve found it very useful.
    https://www.indivisibleguide.com/

    I’ve also set up a recurring “meeting” on my calendar every Monday, reminding me to call my congress people, including the numbers for my senators and representatives. Their numbers are also programmed in my cell phone to make it easy.

    Sometimes I use this google doc for sample scripts.
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/174f0WBSVNSdcQ5_S6rWPGB3pNCsruyyM_ZRQ6QUhGmo/edit#gid=114941615

    • Claire

      On the community service front, I decided to focus my efforts on supporting those who are most targeted or vulnerable. I’ll be volunteering as a mentor with the Lutheran Social Services of MN and will soon find out if I get to work with a refugee or a family working through homelessness.
      I’m also committed to organizing a group community service event once a quarter with my friends and network. Still researching those options. More to come.

      • MC

        Oh I love the idea of a group community service event! I’ve been pondering how to get my friends who are less politically involved to be more active, since bugging them about calling their reps isn’t really working. I’ll keep that in mind!

        • Claire

          I think our first community service event will probably be a get together at my house to assemble “Welcome Kits” for refugees. Minneapolis has a large population of refugees, largely Muslim and people of color, who I want to support.

    • BSM

      I also have a recurring calendar event reminding me to call my reps! I don’t get to it everyday, but I do it at least once a week. I’m in the Bay Area, so I mostly just end up thanking them for their opposition and asking them to be LOUDER about it.

      • Claire

        Yes, our representatives are mostly liberal and aligned with my values, so I do a lot of thanking them and asking them to make public statements.
        Today I also asked my representative and senators what they were planning to do to organize a Jan. 15 Day of Action community rally, as suggested by Bernie Sanders. The representative’s aide said he was thinking about it, but nothing had been decided. The senators’ said this was the first they’d heard of it.

  • Alyssa

    Hi Everyone! I’ve been counting down the days ’til we were all back :)

    It was a crazy last three weeks for us. It was the first Christmas my fiance and I have ever spent together, and it was rough going initially as we realized neither of us had talked about our Christmas eve/day family traditions and just assumed the other would go along with what the other wanted. So there were some misunderstandings (and tears on my part because I missed all the little things my family did that made Christmas feel so cozy), but after we worked through it, we opened our gifts next to our heater with mexican coffee and candles… so it ended up being quiet, mellow and lovely. Just what I wanted.

    The next week, we moved out of our house and into my (to-be) in-law’s house, went to SF for NYE/my 30th birthday, where fiance got food poisoning the day of, requiring us to cancel our plans with friends and high-tail it to my parents in the East Bay where I drank wine and did a puzzle with my parents for my birthday/NYE while my fiance took cold meds and slept. I was bummed to cancel plans with my friends and worried about fiance, but it was honestly the most peaceful birthday I’ve had in a while, and I think it meant a lot to my parents for me to spend my 30th with them.

    THEN, two days into our new life with in-laws, I got food poisoning and had to go to the ER at 6am on Wed and put on IV for two hours, then went home and watched Harry Potter all day. Good times. OH, and I forgot that I also had the flu two weeks ago, so I’ve been on a rollercoaster of illness the past month.

    PLUSES: Living with the in-laws has been awesome so far, and now I want to live in the mountains forever. They live in a redwood forest, have chickens, and they function much like my family does, so it’s been an easy transition so far.

    • Jane

      All that food poisoning / sickness sounds rough. My FH and I both got noro virus and it was such a bummer.

  • Fushigidane

    Can’t believe the wedding is in just a few months. Started booking excursions for the honeymoon. Last month I felt so calm but now I feel like there’s so much to do but there is actually a lot do. Now i need to start thinking about fittings, makeup trial and filling out forms that the band and officiant said to wait til closer to the wedding to fill out when I could have been filling out those forms before now. I think the band isn’t even sending us the forms until the month before and I would rather just get it out of the way :/. Ordering invitations this weekend. Still need to order favors since parents wanted to wait until we had a better idea of who’s actually coming.

    Reposting preview pic since I love this dress so much
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0ec4f37442477ce537a9da8c2dd7f31e454825ccab1b2fe67ced0c18b85f105.png

    • Gaby

      It’s beautiful! I hope you post full pictures after the wedding :)

  • Gaby

    Happy Friday! I am going to see Fun Home the musical with friends tonight and then immediately getting on a shuttle to Tijuana afterward to visit my dad’s family in Zacatecas, Mexico for the first time in 8 years! I’m excited but also trying not to be stressed out about having another long vacation 3 months after our honeymoon and being away from the hubby for a week (he had no vacation time left, unfortunately). We also bought tickets to see David Sedaris speak in May! I am simultaneously living the life 16 year old me could only dream of and also a walking ball of anxiety.

    • Kelly

      My gpa was from Zacatecas, I’ve always wanted to see the home town :)

      • Gaby

        Ooh do you know what town or was he from the capital? There’s so much culture and architecture to take in across the state! I’m excited to return for the first time since I was a teen.

        • Kelly

          Momax! Known for silver mines and an old bull fighting ring that has since been converted to a hotel I believe

    • rg223

      I loooove Fun Home. Enjoy!

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        My Spotify top sons playlist from 2016 was basically Steely Dan and Raincoat of Love on repeat.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      Ooh, Fun Home!!! It’s a fantastic production- I loved how they staged it for the proscenium stage! And have a lovely vacation- it sounds like a great time.

  • Katharine Parker

    I’ve done so much wedding stuff in the past few weeks. I’m glad to have checked a lot of stuff off my to-do list (dress, website, ordering save the dates, addressing some save the dates, figuring out dessert, meeting with florists). Some stuff was stressful, some stuff was easy, but I’m focusing on looking forward. Now that something is done, there is no use in agonizing over how I could have done it differently.

    Thank you to everyone who told me what their floral budgets were! It was really helpful to get a sense of what flowers cost. I think I’ve decided on a florist–not only was her quote the best, she proactively called my venue to get more specifics on a few things. She also was super excited about my ideas when we met. I like her, like her work, and think she is reliable–what more does one need in a vendor?

    • idkmybffjill

      “Now that something is done, there is no use in agonizing over how I could have done it differently.”

      CLUTCH in wedding planning. Congrats on getting so much stuff done!

    • Jane

      Thumbs up to the making decisions and moving on. My only word of caution is that I’ve found that, even when FH and I have talked to all the relevant family members before making a decision, and then made a decision, people try to offer suggestions / critiques months later. Don’t let them draw you back into agonizing over things!!! The perfect is the enemy of the good! I’m sure all your choices are at least as good as they need to be.

      • Katharine Parker

        “I’m sure all your choices are at least as good as they need to be.” This is such a life maxim! My mother is queen of a decision made is the right decision, so thankfully she will totally back me if anyone in my family tries to suggest we should have done anything different. Definitely, ignoring unproductive criticism is a key part of wedding planning.

        • Jane

          Yay for your mother!

  • Eenie

    We painted our master bedroom and bathroom in the days after Christmas. This also included painting the ceiling and trim, de grouting the tub and shower, patching the walls (previous owners just liked to put covers over the holes?), and fixing a 10 foot section of our vaulted ceiling. It took three days. But the ceiling is finally white instead of this weird pink/brown taupe. Bathroom is a very cheery blue and the bedroom is a nice calm gray (“Gravity”). Thanks to those of you who recommended YHL! I used their paint brush recommendation and I’m quite proud of all the cutting in I did! The lines are so straight :D

    • BSM

      That is amazing! I seriously hate painting, and trim stresses me out, so I always just pay other people to take care of it (especially the ceiling, my god!). I’m so impressed that you were able to do all that in 3 days!

      • Eenie

        THANK YOU! People kept telling us “Oh painting is so easy!”. It did not feel easy. Especially painting the vaulted ceiling!! I think most people were talking about just painting the walls, which yes, would have been a much smaller project and not taken as long. I would have paid other people to do it, but I’m so picky. I want to fix some of the mistakes in the kitchen that my husband and his parents painted. Actually, we did fix that too – they completely missed painting the window above the sink (it’s covered with curtains 90% of the time).

        • Ashlah

          Painting vaulted ceilings is the WORST. We’ve done ours twice, and plan to never do it again. We still need to paint the beam in the middle, though, which requires scary ladder maneuvers, so we’ve been procrastinating. After painting the entryway, hallway, living room, and all ceilings in two days, painting just the bedroom walls felt easy! But painting in general is not easy, and it sucks, and you deserve recognition for tackling it!

        • BSM

          Sure, painting is easy if you don’t care about making it perfect, you’re painting a big room with lots of space, you don’t have much trim, and you’re not doing a ceiling, let alone a fucking vaulted ceiling! My husband painted our tiny guest bath in our old house and, with the vanity, toilet, window, tub, and just generally being a tiny room, it took like a week! So then we hired people to do the rest of it, since it’s relatively inexpensive.

          I’d much rather lay tile than paint. Those people have no idea; you are a goddess!

        • Lexipedia

          You are a rockstar! I gave up painting my last house after doing just a bedroom and hired those “Wow 1 Day Painting” people. I left at 8am, without having moved/tarped anything and then came back at 7pm to a completed living/dining/kitchen/hallway – glorious. You guys should be hella proud of yourselves.

        • Gaby

          Painting is definitely not easy, my arms were so sore after doing ONE large wall and its trim in our living room last year. That repetitive movement, man.

    • cityfolks

      That’s an amazing amount of work! Glad to hear it turned out so well.

  • Olive

    Happy New Year! My abstract was accepted to my professional society’s national conference in SF this spring and I am PUMPED. Now to get all the work done to include in my presentation…

    My husband will finish his PhD this year and I’m one year closer to mine! Wooo so much work to do this year but it will be paying off. I’m ecstatic that my mental health has been under control, which I realized fully after returning from a week in the Bahamas for Christmas and came back to work ready to s l a y . It was amazing to have a real vacation that included lots of pool time and relaxation :)

    I also started a low-key bullet journal which is working out so far (less than a week, oh my!). I’m hoping to explore my art more this year and invest a little more effort into that etsy shop I started last year…

    Cheers to new year hopefulness!

  • Trinity

    Sadly, we had to cancel our babymoon trip to NYC when my mother-in-law attempted to dog sit, and our dog, Freya (a rescue, who has severe separation anxiety), refused to come inside (in 9-degree winter weather)–for 12 hours. We had driven to Cleveland for the first night and ended up turning around and driving back in a blizzard. Thank god Freya was okay! And we were able to spend that week getting our house ready for baby.

    Like husband says, “I’d rather have a dog than a vacation!” https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4a459069feac7ab0d8558761ab9bb9e324e1f035579e338a9b7aba0a97affc1d.jpg

    • Ashlah

      What a gorgeous pup!

    • Jessica

      Oh separation anxiety, it’s a bitch (pun intended).

      You’re my kind of people if you choose your dog over just about anything <3

    • BSM

      So sorry about your babymoon, but omg, what a cutie. And that bandana – adorable. I really need to get one for my pup, Ginger. Here she is with her mom-please-don’t-go-to-work eyes:

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3666892f92753f416ffd6df01883d7788845039c965e3d34d8f1dbcfe4cc7546.jpg

      • Trinity

        What a lovey!

    • Meg

      The dog I baby sit is given trazodone for separation anxiety. They found it really helps!

    • toomanybooks

      Glad it went ok if not as planned! Were you talking about this in the open thread earlier this week? It seems like it would be easier to get a dog to come inside than all that but then, I’ve never had a dog.

    • amandamarieg

      Oh my God, I would snuggle that dog until she crawled into a corner and glared at me. I am a sucker for pointy ears.

    • Nikki

      What kind of dog is that lil cutie?! She looks just like ours, but in reverse colors :)

      • Trinity

        We think she’s mostly Australian cattle dog, with a bit of border collie mixed in. :)

  • AGCourtney

    Ahhh I missed you all!

    Well, I’ll start with the biggest thing first: I now have FOUR jobs, haha. I was just about to start my third one when we left off for the holidays. My main job is an evening supervisor in a college library, which I LOVE, and it provides my identity and some prestige and decent hourly pay, but not a lot annually. My second job is tutoring, primarily ACT, as an independent contractor. That job goes straight to me and pays for my dental work. This third job I just got is a fairly crappy overnight position at a newspaper printing place, but we could use the extra money (we’ve been joking about how we’re hemorrhaging money lately, haha). And one of my first nights there, I just looked up at the ceiling and thought, “Lord, can’t there be a data entry job I can do?” Bam, a few days later, I saw a link to the student internship/job board for the college I worked at and on a whim, clicked it. A tax office downtown was looking for an office assistant, part-time temporary for the tax season, and the job duties were exactly what I like to do and the pay was great. I interviewed on Tuesday and received an offer the next day. This will help us get back on track to So, on January 25th, I will officially have four jobs. Wish me luck~! If it becomes unsustainable, I’ll drop the paper job. I’m actually not feeling that nervous about it, surprisingly. I feel like this will be on par with how busy I was in college as a working single mother.

    My kitchen is still not done. After many more snags, we are almost there. The latest: I got a call from the counters place that our counters have arrived…but now our contractor is sick. Of course. Soon! Soon I will have a sink again.

    My teeth are almost done! I actually just came from getting the latest set of permanent crowns placed, on the front bottom teeth. All I have left are three isolated crowns around my mouth. And I got smart and got a credit card with 0% APR for 15 months, put the remaining dental work to be done on there at the end of December, and now we can deduct it all from our 2016 taxes. (There wouldn’t have been enough left to deduct it in 2017.) And I’m getting $150 back for spending $500 in my first three months – free money! So it feels fantastic to have the endgame figured out and to be “winning” at finances.

    One of my goals this year is to consistently allow myself leisure time. Usually, I just have HH each week and then some journaling and Duolingo each day, though those are “productive” things as well. I used to love playing video games, but I can never bring myself to play anything when there are still items on the to-do list. My husband and I asked for Civilization VI for Christmas, and I have had a BLAST the two times I’ve had a chance to play it.

    Oh, and of course, we’re really excited to see Hamilton in Chicago *next weekend*. We had the strange problem of finding someone to go with us – my sister let us know she wouldn’t be going on Christmas. After asking a couple of people who would have loved to but couldn’t, I texted a good friend of mine in Houston, though I figured it would be too much of a hassle for her. A few all-caps texts later and she had her flight booked. So now I’m excited again! We’ve been having fun figuring out what to do while we’re there. So far, I think we might do the Centennial Wheel and the Children’s Museum Saturday morning, maybe the art institute in the afternoon or the next day, Hamilton Sunday, of course, and then possibly doing the no-longer-Sears Tower on Monday before we head back home. …It seemed so far away for so long and now it’s suddenly coming up so quickly!

    • Jessica

      Woo! I think you’re winning.

      I hope 4 jobs doesn’t knock you down–that can be a lot! It’s a good time to have the leisure time goal.

      Also, a friend of mine invited me to Hamilton in Chicago in May and I’m so excited! I’m no longer blindly jealous of everyone who currently has tickets. I hope it keeps you satisfied.

      • Jennifer

        I’m going to Hamilton in Chicago in May also! It was the only time we could find Accessibility (ASL Interpreter) tickets for.

    • rg223

      Have fun seeing Hamilton and enjoy Chicago! My husband lived there during grad school and it was so fun to visit!

    • You could do the Hancock Tower and go to the restaurant/bar instead of the observatory and order a drink/snack instead of paying the ticket for the observatory one floor up. That’s how I did it, and I liked that I at least got something for the money…

      • AGCourtney

        Ooh, good to know. Thanks!

    • Also, Millennium Park is my favorite park, and the Chicago Cultural Center has two beautiful domed windows (one’s the Tiffany dome). Also Lou Malnati’s pizza is delicious!

      • AGCourtney

        Yes, we’ll definitely stop by Millennium Park! I was at a conference in Chicago a year and a half ago and the organizer of the group I was in made sure we had Lou Malnati’s. I haven’t seen the Cultural Center yet, so we may have to stop by.

  • Eh

    I’m thinking that Christmas not going well was a self-fulfilling prophecy. As previously mentioned, my SIL’s parents had supper on Christmas day so my MIL begrudgingly moved Christmas to lunch. My SIL was upset with her mom (over having Christmas in her small apartment and hour away when my SIL offered her house) and my MIL (over being moody about the change in plans). So then Christmas Day came and it did not go smoothly. Lunch was late (took longer to cook than expected). As a result, so my BIL/SIL could leave on time, we had to open presents before eating (something my MIL/FIL are dead set against). Then during lunch my SIL got a call from her mother saying that supper had been moved up an hour to accommodate her 2 year old niece’s bedtime (which is before 7pm) so they had to leave even earlier. (Note: I have a toddler– she did not nap on Christmas day because she was too excited and she stayed up past 8pm when her bedtime is 6:30pm.) And my FIL complained that we didn’t have turkey and then invited himself over to our house next Christmas Eve to eat turkey (ugh – that’s “our” time as our little family) if my MIL doesn’t make turkey next year.

    My husband liked that we had lunch. The pros for him included: we got to open presents earlier (it’s hard on the kids when we don’t open them until after supper and it makes for a very long day), getting home earlier (we left at 8pm due to the potential for bad weather, we normally leave at 10pm or later when it’s supper), different food options (we had Tourtière and French toast strata for lunch, and ham for supper), eating two meals (my family does this and people come for the meal they are available for or stay for both), and we got to visit longer (we were there for 8 hours, we are normally there for 6 or 7). I prefer supper but wouldn’t mind seeing some changes. Lunch was rushed for me since we have to drive an hour and I call my family Christmas morning (since they all live far away). I did like opening presents earlier and getting home earlier (though we would have stayed just as late if the weather was ok).

    Good things that happened over the holidays included me getting sleep and breaking the cycle of illness that was going through our house (I don’t think there was a day in December before Christmas that at least one person in the house wasn’t sick). I took an extra day off at the end and sent my daughter to daycare and managed to relax a bit. My friend/husband’s cousin-in-law announced she is pregnant. Unfortunately we have to cancel our joint family vacation plans because she won’t be able to travel, and there was a bit of drama over her in-laws (my husband’s aunt and uncle) announcing the pregnancy at a family Christmas. I am also proud that I was respectfully able to express that disagreed with my husband’s grandfather and father regarding their views on “Indians” who live on reserves (who says things like that on Christmas Day at a family supper?). I doubt I changed their minds but it ended the conversation.

    • Booknerd

      You lost me at FIL invited himself over to your house next year. Who does that??

      • Eh

        He will not be welcomed into the house if he does show up. It’s not the first time my inlaws have invited themselves over. Another time they came over when we said we were busy (we had plans and were leaving the house) and did not want them to come over. I answered the door (with a screaming infant) and made it clear they were not coming in and that I was not impressed. Family and spending time with family is important to me but I have boundaries I would like respected.

        • Booknerd

          Oh man, that sounds like it could be rough at times!! Glad you are confident enough to stand firm in your boundaries, I have a feeling I would crumble ;)

          • Eh

            I have to stay firm because my husband would crumble ;) I can stay firm when we have been clear with the boundary. We are normally ok with people coming over but they called and we said we were busy so they were told to leave when they showed up. For Christmas Eve it’s our tradition. I did not grow up near my extended family so I am used to small Christmases so it’s important for me that we have time just as our family. We have made that expectation clear (we have been asked to stay at their house in the past and been firm with saying no) so if he shows up he will be told to leave. A friend said that was a little harsh. She has tons of people stay with her at Christmas (MIL, cousin, other people from out of town) so she doesn’t get time just with her husband and kids. My point is that we see my inlaws four or five times in December (there are two family Christmases and four birthdays, plus my nieces dance recitals) so I don’t feel bad about protecting Christmas Eve just for us.

  • BSM

    This week was kind of a mixed bag, but one of the high points is that we are closing on our HELOC today, which will allow us to do some pretty major renovations to our home. We are planning on turning the dining room + an ancillary room next to it into a master bedroom + en suite bathroom and complete gutting and redoing the kitchen. I love house projects and interior design and could not be more excited to get started.

    We got some tile samples for the kitchen floor yesterday, and it’s going to be sooooooo prettyyyyy. We’re going with this cement tile in a classic cigar shop pattern in blue (the little squares are a sample of the color we like) and white. Major heart eyes emoji going on right now.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ec43ebf58071d2d2fe0636995ab45898c896d9ff77e11e9a9c13f491917cbf5.jpg

    • JC

      I practically salivate over floor tile. Yours is sooooo pretty!

      • BSM

        Thank you! Ever since it arrived, I’ve been Gollum-ing it up, calling it “my precious” and petting it :)

  • Jane

    My FH and I have gotten soooo much planning taken care of in the last couple weeks! We already had venue, photographer, and officiant all sorted out but now we have catering (with furniture rentals), and DJ (with audio equipment rentals) booked. We have also finished our save the dates, ordered our invitations, and created our website. And are really close to agreement on readings and songs for the ceremony!

    But in the middle of this we have had really classic struggles with his parents over the guest list. Like them trying to add 10-15 guests to our 130 person wedding months after they had given us their final list and we had already made lots of budget decisions that depend on numbers. But that made us talk about how much stress it’s been for me to not invite certain family members. So we decided to spend more money and invite a lot more people, on both our sides. A little scary but our venue is big enough to manage it and we can afford it. I’m not saying throwing money at problems is always the best idea – but I think it’s the right solution here.

    Part of me is frustrated that it was like, as soon as FH had to deal with any of the emotional baggage I’d carried for the last 6 months he agreed that we should just spend our way out of it. But we also talked about that and he knows it’s kind of shitty of him. So I’m hoping we won’t have similar problems again. Plus, we’ve got a lot more months before the wedding and I could have kept carrying all that baggage. And now I won’t have to!

    I have felt really good over the last week about knowing I’m inviting all these people.

    • toomanybooks

      Ugh, the problem of who to invite is so hard, especially when parents are like “oh I know you are over your limit but aren’t you going to invite these ten super distant relatives you forgot existed?”

      My fiancée asked me why I didn’t invite more of my high school friends who we spent time with over the holidays and I should have just been like “because our venue can hold 120 people and you have 70 family members that will hate us forever if they aren’t invited” (all I actually said was just “waaaah we have too many people already who are we going to not invite so we can invite them”

      • Jane

        What’s been hardest for me is that I felt like we made all the hard decisions about the guest list and were really respectful about asking for input from both of our families of origin and then BOOM all these extra people months later.

        I also have an issue with his parents not seeming to get that they do not have a right to unlimited invites. Like, even if they told us 6 months ago, we probably would have said that’s too many people. My family has a lot more experience with wedding planning and “gets it.” His 100% does not.

    • Katharine Parker

      Throwing money at a problem isn’t always the right solution, but when you can do it and it solves the issue? Money well spent. I’m glad you’re feeling good about your invite list.

      • Jess

        I have never regretting throwing money at a problem. I have regretted spending weeks trying and failing to solve problems.

  • Jessica

    Husband Breakdown Update:

    On Monday I sprained my wrist after falling on some ice, and texted him a question about how to tell the difference between a sprain and a break (he is an EMT). He came home that night and wrapped my wrist, and came home the next night and things were looking a little better. And then something happened and he fell completely apart again, hasn’t been home for two nights, and won’t talk to anyone. I talked to his sister for an hour last night about a plan, but all the plans hinge on him making a choice to get help versus thinking he has to fix himself (which is not working–shocking, I know). This makes it very difficult to do anything other than hope for the best and send him messages of love and support. I have a lot of people calling and texting him, but so far he is ignoring almost everyone. This is very frustrating and sad. I’m not prepared to give any sort of ultimatum, and given that he is not responding to offers of help and appears to be having suicidal thoughts, I don’t want to close off any options for him.

    But on a lighter side, my mom just stopped by my office with some fine chocolates, I have a “fancy dinner” planned with my neighbors (where we eat cured meats, cheese and wine until we can’t move), and will be seeing Hidden Figures at some point this weekend. Plan Self Care is still on, even if Plan Husband Help is stalled.

    • AGCourtney

      Sending internet hugs your way, Jessica. <3

      • Jessica

        Thank you, glad to see things are going your way though!

    • Trinity

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

      • Jessica

        Thank you

    • Lisa

      I’m so sorry to hear that the husband situation still isn’t going well, but your Plan Self Care sounds amazing! You’ll have to let us know how Hidden Figures is.

      • Jessica

        I just read the book and I’m looking forward to seeing how the movie translates the story.

    • Gaby

      I’m impressed by how diligent you are with your self care. I hope things improve for your husband soon <3

      • Jessica

        Thank you

    • Violet

      Hearing how you’re handling this has impressed on me what a tough lady you are. Keep up with the self care; it sounds like you’re doing everything you can.

      • Jessica

        Thanks. Not to deny a compliment or self-depricate, but to give a more complete image of what is happening, there is a lot of staring into the distance, it takes me a long time to get out of bed in the morning (thank goodness for the dog being insistent), and sometimes there is an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness that happens when he doesn’t communicate with me. I have really good friends and a supportive family that is helping keep me going.

        • Danielle

          You’re allowed to feel shitty. You’re still getting up everyday and taking care of yourself (and your dog, apparently), and that’s awesome.

          <3

    • Jess

      I’ve been thinking about you a lot this week. I’m sorry to hear Plan Husband Help is stalled for now.

      Plan Self Care sounds incredible, especially since cured meat, cheese, and wine is my favorite meal.

      • Jessica

        Thanks.

        Fancy dinner is the best.

    • Claire

      Sorry to hear this, Jessica. Let me know if you want company for any of your Plan Self Care activities. Perhaps a beverage?

      • Jessica

        That would be nice! Being a proactive member of society with the Do Better Brigade is great, too.

    • Nikki

      I literally cannot imagine what you must be going through right now. I’m so sorry you are dealing with this; you seem like an incredibly tough but kind person, and I’m very impressed. Sending internet love your way and hope that things get better for you soon <3

    • emmers

      I’m really sorry.

  • Cellistec

    You guys. Has anyone else been listening to the livestream of the two chatbots arguing with each other? It’s strangely compelling. They just transitioned from an argument about whether one is lying to a discussion of whether one of them has freckles. I can’t stop listening. http://gizmodo.com/thousands-of-people-are-watching-two-google-homes-argue-1790843285

    • Ashlah

      And now they’re arguing over which one loves the other one more. This is weirdly amazing.

    • LadyMe

      This is beautiful

    • This is the best. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Amy March

    My New Year’s excitement- went away for a long weekend with my BFF and always travel buddy and a couple of friends we haven’t travelled with before- and it worked! We would all love to do it again!

    • Olive

      That sounds like the best!

  • Vanessa

    We booked a photographer who I love! We sent our save-the-dates last night through Paperless Post and I am getting a huge kick out of seeing who has opened them & who hasn’t! My friends put a date for bach weekend & bridal brunch (ie gameless giftless shower) on the calendar! We’re happily testing wines to decide which ones to buy, and we’re going to start the same with food trucks soon! And we started talking about honeymoon options (France & Portugal & ?? in September or Australia & Thailand & ?? in December) and I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED :D

    • Lisa

      If you do France and Portugal, you obviously have to add on one of my favorite countries–Spain. It’s beautiful, fun, and full of great history and food.

      • Vanessa

        I love Spain as well, but have only been to Barcelona, so if we end up with it on the list I will ask you for recommendations! It’s definitely a place we are considering for our 3rd, otherwise considering Morocco, Greece, Germany (where we could stay with friends) or Ireland. SO many good options!!

        • Lisa

          Oooo, yeah, so Barcelona is one of the few places I haven’t been in Spain, but the rest of the country is beautiful. My thought was you could definitely make a bus/train trip out of those three countries instead of buying more flights if you wanted!

          Germany was where we did our honeymoon, and it was a lot of fun. We went over Christmas though so we got to enjoy the markets and pick out some seasonal souvenirs. :)

        • Em

          So I wasn’t a huge fan of Barcelona when I was there about 10 years ago, but loved Andalusia – it’s a completely different culture down there (and language!) to Barcelona (eg Andalusian culture, which has all the Moorish culture, etc vs Catalan culture). Would strongly recommend it! Also loved Madrid, but it was Andalusia that captured my heart!

          In terms of your other options:
          – we just got back from Berlin, which I loved too – we stayed in Prenzlauer Berg, which is a super cool part of the city and I would strongly recommend it.
          – we went to Morocco before we went to Spain (this was a ridiculously great two month trip that we took after quitting our jobs and while relocating from Australia to the UK) and I would maybe not recommend it for a honeymoon. It was honestly quite a difficult place to travel – lots of harassment from hustlers on the street, we were there in the peak of summer (which was definitely a mistake) and it wasn’t as cheap as we were expecting it to be. We’re experienced developing world travellers and not overly “precious” about stuff like this, but it was just honestly a lot tougher than we were expecting! (And the food was also weirdly homogenous and disappointing…) If you do go, I would recommend a night (or at most two nights) in Casablanca (mainly to see the giant mosque which is admittedly really impressive + visit Rick’s Cafe), a couple of nights in Marrakesh, which I admittedly did quite like – the food was also heaps better there than in other parts of the country, a desert tour out to Merzouga and then maybe a couple of nights in Chefchaouen, a beautiful blue village in the mountains in the north of the country. If you do go on a desert tour, I would recommend splurging on this – we scrimped on this a bit and we very much regretted it. I have also heard great things about Essouaria (beachside town). All in all, I think we were glad to have visited Morocco once, but not particularly keen to return and very happy to get to Spain.

          • Vanessa

            This is really great advice, thank you!! I am definitely more sensitive to travel-type anxiety of “we are doing it wrong and people are looking at us” so maybe Morocco is not the way to go.

          • Em

            My pleasure! Always happy to provide travel advice. We just seriously LOVED Spain – I think it’s such an under appreciated European country! We really want to go back this summer and do northern Spain – still so much to see!

          • Lisa

            Northern Spain is beautiful! I’ve done two separate summers there — the first in León, and the second in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). One of my life goals/bucket list items is to hike the Camino de Santiago.

      • Em

        Seconding Spain (potentially over Portugal or France, actually) – my fiancee and I spent a month driving around the Andalusian region of Spain (and then up into Portugal and then back to Madrid) a couple of months ago. It was glorious. Seville, Ronda, Granada, Cordoba are all just stunning – and the food and wine and lifestyle/history/Spanish culture just can’t be beaten. It’s also incredibly cheap by European standards – and there is so much to do in all of these places. We also really loved going to some of these smaller places that weren’t huge cities (Ronda is quite a small town, for example) – it was great to see a different side of Spain to just the big cities. We did also love Lisbon (especially Sintra) and Porto in Portugal, but the food/wine factor of Spain really won us over to Spain I think!

        • Danielle

          But the pastries in Portugal!! All the PASTRIES ?

        • YASSS. Spain is shockingly perfect. We did Andalucia with family (‘got engaged in Ronda!), and a month later I was back in Madrid for work + mini-vacation to Barcelona. Spain is really just fantastic all over.

    • BSM

      As with everything, YMMV, but I freaking LOVE traveling during September. We’ve gone to Europe for the last 2 years in September, and I can’t recommend it enough. The flights are cheaper, the weather is wonderful, it’s not as crowded. But, both those options sound awesome, so I’m sure you’ll be thrilled with whichever you choose :)

      • Vanessa

        Yes I love travelling in September as well. The rub is that my fiance gets a lot fewer days off than I do, but he has the days between Christmas and New Years off w/o using PTO. But I haven’t been back to France for 11 years since studying there, and I would really really like to show him around and speak lots of French :) It’s a dilemma but an excellent one to have :)

      • Emily C

        Yes! We just booked our honey moon in London/Germany in late September and early October to coincide with our 1 year anniversary!! Found such a good deal yesterday so we couldn’t resist booking. Where are you headed?

    • LindseyM

      We did Europe in September last year — it was a great time to go, fewer people but still great weather. If you do Thailand/Australia, try to get to Tasmania if you like cheese, nature, wine, oysters, gorgeous scenery, great food, etc. Its one of my favorite places I have ever been. I also think that people should realize before going to Thailand the level and type of tourism that is there. I know many people love Thailand, so I can be the counterpoint to that. I spent a month there and found it to be so incredibly full of drunk American, British, and Australian men that it was a bit unpleasant. My recommendation would be the Philippines instead or just stay away from the backpacker areas in Thailand as much as you possibly can (which is a bit hard because the party culture is pervasive).

    • Nikki

      I know I’m a little late to this, but just in case: if you end up going to Australia, and you can swing it, go to Fraser Island!! I went there as part of a school trip in high school (I know), and I remember thinking: THIS is where I want to have my honeymoon. Didn’t end up having my own there, but it is a GORGEOUS place: quiet, secluded, and sooo beautiful. We spent like 2 or 3 nights there during an 18 day trip and it was A-MA-ZING.

  • Meredith

    Guys. I got engaged. What?! I know. It’s a little bit crazy.

    In May of 2016, my boyfriend and I hatched a plan to move from the east coast to San Diego in January 2017. Part of this plan was quitting our jobs in October and traveling to southeast Asia for 7 weeks.
    My parents gifted us a boatload of hotel points that we used at a 5 star resort on Bali near the end of the trip. He booked a fancy schmancy dinner on the beach and proposed during dinner. It was wonderful and beautiful.

    The reactions from our friends and family have been 100% positive. His mom cried when we told her.
    But man, people ask and assume some weird stuff. There were lots of assumptions that I was totally surprised by this (wrong) and that J had secretly carried around a ring for 2 months (also wrong).
    We posted something on Facebook and one comment was along the lines of “you forgot a picture of the most important thing: the ring!”. Uh…Nope. On all counts. Not the most important thing. And I didn’t forget, I did that on purpose.

    The ring is a simple silver band with a small opal. It’s perfect for me and I love it. We picked it out together in a small town in Vietnam and it’s a lovely reminder of our trip. But! His mom. She was disappointed he didn’t give me a nicer ring (which I don’t want! If I wanted a “nicer” ring I’d buy one). She said to him “you’ll have to get her a really nice wedding band when you get married. Trust me she’ll love it.” NOO!! No I won’t. What are you saying?!?!

    ALSO. I am most excited about this. I GOT J AN ENGAGEMENT RING. And he LOVES it. I felt icky about the whole proposal thing. Not the way it happened or anything. More…big picture icky. Like- I’m wearing this ring that J proposed with and I… didn’t do anything… and he isn’t wearing anything. It felt inequitable so I bought an engagement ring and I proposed (trying to match the language that he used when he proposed). He loved the ring. It’s black tungsten carbide with an inscription on the inside. I picked something that didn’t look like a traditional wedding band and the inscription is an inside joke of ours (that was coined the night we got engaged) so he thinks it’s hilarious and is stoked to wear it. YAS!!!

    And now we’re in the midst of a cross country road trip from New England to San Diego. Where we have no jobs. Or money. Or Friends. AHHH!!!!

    • Olive

      So lovely! Congratulations and good luck on your new adventure!

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations!! I surprised my now-husband with an engagement ring and proposal after we got engaged, and he loved it. He still wears his engagement ring on his right hand :)

    • Em

      Fellow non-diamond-engagement-ring girl over here (I have a blue topaz that I love and picked out) – I also didn’t post a picture of my ring when I got engaged – for exactly the same reason! It’s really not the point…! I have a real dislike for those newly engaged couple photos with the girl “casually” resting her hand on her fiancee’s shoulder in a way that clearly shows the ring – it’s only slightly better than the ones where the only picture is of the ring. Sigh.

      • Eenie

        I hate the ones where the hand is in the middle of the guy’s chest.

        • Amy March

          Oh I love them! If people want to show off anything shiny and sparkly I will gladly look at it.

          • Katharine Parker

            I love a ring photo, too! I don’t like the ones in the middle of the guy’s chest only because I want a close-up.

        • S

          Haha, I think those photos are silly because it’s like…we all know what you’re doing and you don’t normally pose like that. It’s fine, you want to show off the ring….just do that then! I’d never judge anyone for doing them, they’re still cute. (And there’s really not that many ways to show a picture of a couple with a ring on a finger, if that’s important to a couple to do.) Just silly because we all know what’s really going on ;)

      • Lisa

        Ugh, yes. The ring photos! I never realized how much I disliked them until I got my nails done for engagement pictures because I “had to” and then realized our photographer never even took those photos. And I was glad he hadn’t. The pictures are of us just hanging out! At the wedding, he only did one shot at the very end of the night with our rings together. Like we were packing up, he walked up to us to say goodbye with some of our homebrew bottles in hand, and he went, “Oh, wait, I should grab a quick photo of those for you guys.” Totally confirmed to me that we had hired the right photographer for us.

      • penguin

        I just got engaged, and my ring is a blue topaz as well! I posted a picture of me and my fiancé, and a picture of both of our rings. I loved posting the ring pic because I’d gotten him a wooden engagement ring way before he proposed, and I love that we BOTH have rings. Also, my nails looked bangin’ and I love my ring, so. I know I love seeing ring pics that other people post, although I like seeing their faces too.

    • Canadian

      I got my man an engagement watch. :)

      • Alison

        I also got my husband an engagement watch! 4 years later he still loves it.

    • LindseyM

      I got my fiance a Yup’ik seal and beaver hat that he had been wanting forever—probably one of the more “different” engagement ring alternatives. (We lived in Alaska at the time.)

    • Olive

      I gave my fiance a lunchbox after watching this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTneDwc9qX4

      • NolaJael

        OMG, I’m crying right now. LOL

    • anachronismsarah

      I got my husband an engagement ring too!

      Good luck on the trip.

  • Ashlah

    UGH DISQUS. Anyone else not seeing new comments until you refresh the page? Having to look through the whole thread for new comments is not super efficient.

    • Eenie

      I’m not. Did you try a CTRL+F5?

    • Lisa

      I had that issue, but after I refreshed the page, it appears to be gone. *knocks on wood*

      • Ashlah

        Mine sometimes fixes itself for a few comments when I refresh, then stops working again. So annoying.

        • Lisa

          Apparently I spoke too soon! I didn’t see any new comments for a while, refreshed, and had 20 new ones. :

        • LadyMe

          Okay, yeah. The behavior I’m seeing matches what you’re seeing. Super aggravating.

    • LadyMe

      I get notifications of replies, but any brand new comments don’t show up without a manual refresh but I was inclined to blame it on using a different web browser than my usual.

    • Jess

      For the last several months now, that is the only way I can get new comments.

    • Violet

      Same problem here. All week. Multiple browsers.

    • AGCourtney

      Yes! I was thinking it was weirdly quiet and then had Disqus resort the comments and there they were.

  • Danielle

    Hello! Want to update everyone about telling my parents about my pregnancy, at 17 weeks: it was awesome! They were so surprised (apparently they had no idea I ever wanted children, ha ha ha). They are super happy for me and for themselves, to become grandparents. So thanks everyone for your support :)

    In other pregnancy news, I’m too big to zip up my winter coat anymore, and the XL options at the thrift store were… Not attractive. Ladies in cold areas, what did you do for a winter coat during your pregnancy? Plus for budget options.

    Non-pregnancy related: we saw the movie “Moonlight” over the holidays and, omg, so good. Please see this immediately if you have not already! Although warning, I was crying uncontrollably during one scene and also after the movie (may have been in part due to pregnancy hormones). Both husband and I were very moved by this film and couldn’t stop talking about it for days!

    Here’s to a happy, healthy and empowering new year to all in this community ??❤️

    • BSM

      I’m not sure where you are or how warm you need to be, but perhaps try Old Navy, H&M, Gap, or Asos? I’m in CA, so I could be very wrong about this :)

      Also, dying to see Moonlight, but I’m also afraid of anything that could potentially make me sad/emotional right now, being so close to 1/20. Should I just go for it?

      • Danielle

        Ok thanks! I know Gap has maternity clothes so maybe I can check those out.

        I did feel very emotional during “Moonlight”. How much of that was hormone-related, and how much was it just being a very human, beautiful movie is hard to say. I really felt for the characters and they were struggling with a lot, so maybe consider whether you want to watch that right now or not.

    • another lady

      I ended up buying a maternity winter coat for like $100, but it was worth it because it’s super cold here and I was prego all winter! Apparently, my friends either didn’t wear a winter coat (how?!), wore a regular coat and didn’t zip it up (what’s the point?!) or wore a man’s coat that was larger than they were pregnant. I was unusually warm/hot during the winter pregnancy (babies are like little internal heaters!), but I still needed a full coat. YMMV

      • Danielle

        It’s very cold here too (getting to below 0 with the wind chill tonight!). I have been walking around with my coat unzipped, but it’s just not helpful. And I got a very large coat at the thrift store yesterday, but, as mentioned above, I just don’t feel very cute in it. Perhaps it’s time to check out the actual maternity coats.

    • Rebekah

      My best friend had a baby last January and asked us to get her one of these https://www.etsy.com/listing/237462283/original-viva-la-mama-3in1-baby-carrier?ref=shop_home_active_3
      She liked it for pregnancy and post pregnancy, although it’s not winter-jacket heavy.

      • Danielle

        Omg that’s adorbs!!!

    • StevenPortland

      I really liked Moonlight as well. Next I want to see La La Land.

      • Poppy

        I saw La La Land a few weeks ago in one of LA’s old theaters. It was great! Transporting, funny, emotional…Just the ticket for our current moment.

    • KPM

      Not pregnant but been checking out heavy duty coats and there are a ton of winter coats on sale right now at LL Bean/ Lands End/ etc. Under $100 which is not really budget but may work for you, especially because they could have (some) resale value.

      • Danielle

        Thanks for the rec. those are really good brands. I think there are even a few outlets near me… I will check it out.

    • emilyg25

      I just left my coat open, but my son was born in early January. In hindsight, I wish I’d bought one of those cool maternity/babywearing coats because we ended up wearing him all the time.

    • Meg

      Uniqlo already has some of their winter coats on sale. They’re VERY warm and quite affordable. Not like super cheap, but if you only use it for your pregnancy you could either loan to a friend when they become pregnant or sell it to like thredup when you’re done.

    • I bought a maternity cost from old Navy. It was 50% off, so only $40ish. Not the greatest quality, but for something I’m wearing for 3 months…Good enough!

    • Arie

      Gap has all these oversized-stylish looking coats right now, and they’re on sale! I’m not pregnant, but the coat I have from there definitely would work if I was. Congratulations on sharing your happy news!

    • Some people I know have gotten those inserts that you can add to your regular coat, like this: http://www.mamanautrement.com/1007-14951-thickbox/coat-extension-basic-model-kokoala.jpg

      • Danielle

        Oh that’s awesome! I was joking about getting something exactly like that; so funny it’s an actual thing!

    • But just to be clear, I have no idea what their brands actually were (probably not whatever that link is to), but it was that kind of idea!

    • Ilora

      I bought a maternity winter coat off of a lady via a local Facebook group “[my city] Moms Swap and Shop” it was $50 for a nice looking wool coat from Thyme. So not super budget but considering the regular retail price I feel pretty good about it!

      I’d been planning on purchasing a coat extender (someone posted a pic of one upthread) and that’s what I would have done if not for finding mine on the swap and shop. Your area probably/maybe has a similar Facebook group or you could see if you have any maternity consignment shops in your area?

    • suchbrightlights

      Two friends whose jobs required a lot of outdoor time wore two winter coats in the late stages of their pregnancies to avoid buying maternity items. They put the first coat on back to front so the zipper was at their spines, and the second coat on as normal, leaving it unzipped. Both said they felt ridiculous but that it kept them warm with clothing they already had.

      Your mileage on this may vary- both of these women needed to be warm, waterproof, and windproof at 20 degrees or below for hours at a time, and they found that the maternity options for that kind of weather were very pricey. If you need to stay warm doing errands and don’t need something so high-octane, you may prefer a more fashion-forward option. :)

      • Danielle

        Your friends are extremely bad-ass and I salute them.

        I live in the Midwest, where it does get cold (currently 18 degrees) but thankfully I don’t need to be outside for long periods of time. I don’t think I will need your friends’ method, but man, they are truly hard-core!

    • BeenPregnantinWinter

      I used this jacket extender and highly recommend it. You can use it after your baby arrives if you want to wear them in a carrier in cold weather.

      http://makemybellyfit.com/

      • Danielle

        This is so great! Thanks! My baby is due in late May, but I could probably wear them in the carrier next winter, right?

  • KPM

    Life has been A LOT lately. In addition to everything in the bigger world, in the last month I was mugged, got back-to-back-to-maybe-back UTIs starting the week before Christmas, and my dog was attacked by another dog. She has stitches and needs 24/7 supervision. And my husband sprained his ankle and has been hobbling the past two days.

    There have also been lovely things in the middle- hanging out with my family including my new baby nephew, time off in the woods, a thousand delicious treats, and giving Christmas presents which I LOVE doing.

    But also I’ve been job searching for a while. I have one strong lead that would be amazing. Seems like it’s time I get that break, right?

    • Ashlah

      Good lord! I’ve got my fingers crossed for you. Your certainly deserve some good news.

      • KPM

        Thank you!

    • rg223

      Break a leg on the job! Yes, certainly sounds deserved!

    • If you get a lot of UTIs…you should try a Tbsp (or so, maybe less) of D-Mannose. Until I started on that stuff ~7 years ago, I’d had about 30 UTIs. I think I’ve had ?3 in 7 years. ‘Beats the heck out of cranberry powder.

  • MrsRalphWaldo

    Silly question: Is there a specific time that Happy Hour starts? I always seem to miss the beginning!

    • LadyMe

      1:30pm EST usually

      • MrsRalphWaldo

        Thanks!

  • Meg

    Depressingly the first time I heard of Einstein’s brilliant first wife was on DC’s Legend’s of Tomorrow!!

  • MayJune

    A good friend of my brother’s (who I know but only see at events that my brother is also at) just got married this fall in the same city and asked to have drinks with me to help with wedding planning. During this conversation, she suggested that I cancel my contract with my professional day-of coordinator (only put down $300 as a deposit) and “hire” her instead (I’d pay her, but significantly less than the pro).

    I like her a lot and my family is comfortable with her around, and it’d be like having one more friend at the wedding rather than a planner I have yet to meet. She sent me the checklists and timelines she created for her own wedding and I was really impressed. Just worried I’ll have trouble being assertive about what I want and need both in advance of the wedding and on the day of.

    Anyone have experience having an acquaintance serve as their day-of coordinator/wedding stage manager?

    • Brynna

      I haven’t had this experience, but it would make me nervous. It’s a big event and you’ve already decided that a pro was worth the money. I’d go with your initial coordinator.

      Additionally, a professional will have industry contacts that your friend likely doesn’t.

    • Canadian

      Brynna has great advice, but to add…. context matters here. Is it a 50 person or less intimate do where you need an MC as much as you need a coordinator, or is a 120 person “you need someone on the go hussling all day” situation? For my <50 person wedding in 3 weeks, I'm going to ask a friend outside the wedding party to gently track our schedule and do certain announcements as needed. A day-of-coordinator would work as well, but it's less necessary to have a fancy-pants resume in my case. Where's yours on this spectrum?
      I would also check in VERY carefully with any guests at her wedding and with your brother to get character references to ensure that she's not known for flakiness. Also, make sure that if you're paying her then a contract is done up. This is my inner legal assistant talking, but protect yourself in case something goes wrong regarding payment or satisfaction of services.

    • CMT

      What she’s asking you to do (cancel an existing contract) isn’t something that I would be comfortable with personally, and even being asked that would be an orange or red flag (for me).

      • Amy March

        Agreed. To me this reads as a bit slippery? Oh let’s get drinks to chat also cancel your contract and pay me money?

    • toomanybooks

      Is it so significantly less that the $300 deposit won’t be much of a loss, and the DOC you hired is way more expensive? I’d probably be more inclined to go with the vendor than the friendor in this situation (unless price is a big factor), considering I only just got out of a situation where *I* was going to be the friendor (a bit different from yours, though) and resolved to never offer my services to someone I knew (it’s always someone my parents know that I don’t really know, though, lol) again. It’s not that it was a nightmare, I just find it so uncomfortable.

      On the flip side, I do have a friend who’s doing the photography at my wedding, but she offered to do it immediately upon finding out I was engaged, I definitely wanted her to take photos, and we’ve done photo shoots with her and super enjoyed it (and got photos back in a timely manner). So it probably depends how you feel, and what the service is, etc.

    • Jessa

      I haven’t had the experience of having a friend as a day-of coordinator but I did have some disagreements with my “professional” wedding coordinator. In the end, I felt nervous but adamant about speaking up when I disagreed with her. Do you think you would be able to do this with your friend/acquaintance? I was able to justify it for myself because I kept thinking, “I’m paying her all this money and I’ll never see her again so this better be perfect” and I could see myself being way more hesitant about butting heads with a friend because I’m saving money on their services and I don’t want to ruin a relationship. If you feel that you can have an honest conversation about disagreements or what to do, great! If not, I would stick with the professional. Your day of coordinator exists to make your life easier.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I did this, but my circumstances were probably different- we hired my friend from the theater I perform at. She’s the house manager there, and I was 100% confident she could get shit done. I had to think long and hard about who would be a good fit, so I’d be a little reticent in your situation if I wasn’t completely sure she would be able to handle everything gracefully. Also, my wedding was super casual and not really timebound very tightly, so we didn’t have a lot at stake if our gal didn’t work out as well as she did.

  • Rebekah

    2017 news #1: we stopped using birth control and I started tracking my cycle using the Taking Charge of Your Fertility charts after reading the book.
    2017 news #2: I am 85% sure I want to change my name back from my married name to my original name. It’s been almost 3 years and it still doesn’t feel like me.
    2017 news #3: My birthday gift to myself is going to one of the Bay Area marches on 1/21. Is APW going as a group? There were rumblings of meeting up.

    • BSM

      I will be at the Oakland one! Perhaps we could get a group together?

    • cityfolks

      I’m with you on #1. It’s been a week and already I hate temping!

      • Alison Monahan

        Do you know about the Wink? It’s life changing. https://kindara.com/wink

        • cityfolks

          Interesting, I had not. Thanks for the tip. On one hand, it’s so expensive … on the other hand, sleep.

  • Mary Jo TC

    Snow day chaos in Tennessee. One inch of snow and no one can drive. It didn’t start coming down until after 5AM when they had to make the call, so everyone got to school just in time to hear we had early dismissal. Good news is I made it home through the worst of it and got a 2 hour nap! Now I have to head out into it through the small, more dangerous roads to pick up the kids at daycare. Wish me luck! Will probably be hibernating this weekend.

    • Lisa

      I saw some pictures from my friends in Memphis and Nashville and got a kick out of the “catastrophic” amount of snow. Badtown hasn’t been dealing too well with ours either. I was walking faster than the cars were moving on my commute home yesterday.

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, yep! I’m from Minnesota and I’m just sitting here giggling. I have Facebook friends who teach in other states and we all get a kick out of their photos captioned: “snow day…” with the slightest dusting of snow on the ground.

        • StevenPortland

          I”m from Minneapolis and in December, (after living here in Portland, Oregon for 8 years), we bought a set of snow tires for our cars. I never needed them in Minneaopolis, but with the hills here and the complete lack of snow/ice road clearing, it was needed. There has already been 4 snow days this school year (for about 2″ snow each time). And now more snow this weekend.

          • Ashlah

            Eugene here. I think people in super snowy climates sometimes don’t realize how bad a relatively small amount of snow and ice can be when the city is completely unprepared to deal with it (both in regards to the city’s ability to clear it and the citizens’ ability to drive in it). Or do people in those climates truly just get used to the terrifying ice roads?? I drove 15 mph all the way to work and back yesterday and lost traction a few times and it was so stressful!

          • I think it’s some of both. I’m from a place where even the threat of a small amount of snow means everyone buys out the milk and bread at the grocery store and then stays home. And I now live in a place where we get snow all the time and it just sticks around for 4-6 months of the year. You get used to it, but there’s also a better system for managing all that snow, and people know how to walk and drive on it much better when you’re used to dealing with it all the time.

        • Jennifer

          I lived in ATL during the Snowpoclypse. The problem is that it’s just humid enough in the south that snow freezes and makes driving treacherous. They don’t have salt or infrastructure to deal with it (or even shovels!) like snowier parts of the country do. It’s funny until you’re in it! (I grew up in CO and now I live in MD. I know my snow.)

          • anachronismsarah

            Haha I lived in Decatur for Snowpocalypse! Walked everywhere, it was silly.

          • emmers

            Yes, it’s all about the snow infrastructure. Living in the Midwest was a huge contrast with living in the south for that. And it probably doesn’t help that people not used to snow don’t get how to drive in it.

      • Mary Jo TC

        I grew up in an area I’d call Midwest-adjacent, so I get it. I have a lot more snow days here in Nashville, with a lot less snow. But the issue is that this city has no snow plows or equipment for clearing the roads. Our new superintendent from the north apparently has no clue how Southerners freak out about snow. The meteorologist on TV was telling us about the snow this morning and telling us he thought the schools should be closed and the district should re-think its announcement.

        My 3 year old has been obsessed with Frosty the Snowman this year, so I’m afraid he’s going to come home and want to build a 6 foot snowman with an inch of snow.

        • Lisa

          I’m from Indiana originally, and based on your descriptions in the past, Badtown is not far from where you grew up. Indiana is much better at dealing with snow than anyone in Badtown is! :)

      • Katherine

        Yep! Earlier today I got a picture of the snow “hitting Texas” from my dad, while over here in the Mountain West, I shoveled 6 inches off my walk last night and no schools have closed all week. Husband’s mom also called him and complained about it being the 20s, and he responded with “it’ll maybe get up to 20 here today, and it feels great!”

    • Canadian

      Good luck! In Vancouver, Canada we are literally skating on our roads because we are so ill-prepared. We are the laughing-stock of Canada but we’re also the best climate for the rest of the time (it’s been 30 years since we’ve had a cold snap this long, since Dec 3!) so we are taking the abuse this year in exchange for laughing at Toronto’s 123984723896537495% humidity and 35 degree Celsius (95F) summer sweat-fest of a climate in 6 month’s time :P

      http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/01/02/vancouver-streets-so-icy-people-are-skating-on-them.html

      http://bc.ctvnews.ca/arctic-blast-turns-vancouver-roads-into-slippery-skating-rinks-1.3224640

  • StevenPortland

    We drove to our little cabin up on the mountain for Christmas Eve. First I forgot the stockings and the kids were convinced Santa wouldn’t show up. Then the “Septic Tank Full” alarm went off. Not surprising, but we didn’t get a call back from a septic company until 12/27! So until then we used the absolute minimum amount of water possible. It turned out to be a simple fix but caused some stress and anxiety during Christmas.

    • AGCourtney

      Ahh! That sounds stressful. But hey, those are the holidays that end up being good stories, right?

  • Olive

    Any photographers have recommendations for books for beginners wanting to capture family life? I came across “Capture the Moment” https://www.amazon.com/Capture-Moment-Photographers-Finding-Everyday/dp/0770435270 but figured I’d ask the pros too :)

    • I think that one looks interesting! Also you can look at other books on composition and other techniques that you could apply to family life photography. Perhaps The Visual Toolbox by David duChemin?

  • Her Lindsayship

    Hi APW I missed you!! Fiancé and I moved into our condo (OUR CONDO) and are in the process of fixing it up. At the same time we need to get our Save the Dates out like next week sooo gotta finish designing them this weekend. This week we got our custom address stamp that we designed, and it’s minimalistic and amazing and perfectly matches our STDs and I want to share it with everyone except it’s my home address so. :) But it feels amazing that we’ve been able to design this stuff ourselves. The stamp made me so ridiculously happy. Sometimes it’s the little things!

  • cityfolks

    Accepted an offer for a new job today, one I’m really excited about! Change is scary but I’m also v. v. excited. I feel a little weird not negotiating for something, but I was happy with the terms offered – I think my brain is just trying to make trouble with that one.

    • Claire

      Congratulations!
      I always advise people to negotiate, especially after seeing firsthand (with my own reports in a large corporation) how women tend to get paid less because they don’t ask for more. Most importantly, though, I’m glad you’re happy with the terms and wish you the best in your exciting new job. Cheers!

      • cityfolks

        You’re totally right, and I’m in a pretty feminized field already, which probably compounds the problem. I was raised in a culture of “fair dealing” where negotiation might imply you thought poorly of the other person, and it’s a haaaaard mindset to get out of.

        • Danielle

          Actually it’s the opposite! Studies show people actually feel *better* when the other party negotiates, because it shows they know their value. (Took a negotiation class in business school where we learned stuff like this.) something to consider for your next annual review, perhaps!

  • Canadian

    Heads up/warning that there are body injury details below. I find it kinda funny though so thought I’d share.
    I am an avid sportser. During a coed team game early December a large man leapt onto my foot (it was a clean play and this kind of contact is a known hazard of coed sports). It was bruised and tender over Christmas and I thought it would just heal bruise-style but…. just last night…. I noticed it starting to shed/lift. 30 days before my wedding, I am starting the 18 month process of losing and replacing a toenail. Never have I ever been so glad I chose closed-toe booties for my wedding…. although I had to awkwardly contact my bridesmaids, who have planned an amazing pedicure as part of my hen night in a week, to suggest manicures instead as ain’t no way anyone’s doing anything to my foot hahahah.
    I’m not upset, more amused that of COURSE I’m going into my wedding down a toenail. I’m wearing a knee length dress and I’ll be sporting scarred-up knees from learning to longboard this summer too (I got the helmet, wrist and elbow pads… should’ve done knees too…..).
    I feel kind of like a “when a jock-ette gets married” photojournalism article of my wedding wouldn’t go amiss hahahahah.

    • LadyMe

      Fist bump! I had a short dress that *just* covered my knees enough to cover skateboarding scabs. (Wrist pads, no knee pads, brilliant plan) Leading up to the wedding, there were so many jokes about how I better not end up going down the aisle on crutches.

      • Canadian

        bwahahahha right?! Wrist pads are like DUHHHH but knee ones feel so restrictive….. WOOPS.

        I have a coworker who keeps on asking questions like “are you going to stop weightlifting before your wedding? Don’t want to look bigger than your fiancé!” (whom she has never seen or met) (I *wish* I could gain muscle like a man. I bust my butt and barely get a baby bicep!) or “when’s your last basketball game? Don’t want bruises on the wedding day!” and it’s so well intentioned but like….. yeahhhh not my priority, makeup covers the worst stuff and photoshop hides the rest. Honestly though I think it adds character! :P it’s more “me” and “us” than having perfect skin tone hahaha.

        • Ashlah

          “are you going to stop weightlifting before your wedding? Don’t want to look bigger than your fiancé!”
          Oh baaaarrrrf. I am so over the idea the women shouldn’t look strong. Muscles are badass, small or big!

          • Canadian

            100% yes :) the coworker in question wasn’t born in North America and there are cultural differences at play here so I have been trying to gently suggest that I don’t share those priorities while not burning bridges at work or looking like a jerk.

          • Ashlah

            Oh sure! It’s much easier for me to react that way to strangers on the internet, I wouldn’t be able to say anything quite that strong to a co-worker in real life :)

    • Katherine

      The morning of my wedding, I gave myself the worst shaving cut I have ever experienced, as in my ankle took three weeks to heal. I thought it was hilarious, but I was also glad I had a floor-length dress.

    • suchbrightlights

      My father played a softball game the morning of my parents’ wedding and my mother was fully expecting him to get hit in the face and get married with a black eye.

      Sorry about your foot! As I like to say of my sports injuries, your body carries the visual memories of many adventures.

      And hey, if you go with that article, you’ll be the only person you know with a close-up detail shot of your rings on longboard scars! And I would want to give you a high five.

  • Kalë

    Last day of travel, and we took our engagement photos today here in Amsterdam! Our photographer was amazing, and already turned around a sneak peek!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6647a8be43cadab4fb5ae85a7740677d1967c8f5e08e159a5751d70a1144d0d6.jpg

    • cityfolks

      What a great photo, gorgeous colors.

    • Lisa

      I love your outfit! What a gorgeous photo. :)

      • Kalë

        Haha, thank you! Everything was picked up during a frantic trip to H&M yesterday. Because, shocker, none of my clothes fit properly after four months of travel and incredible food… ??‍♀️

  • emilyofnewmoon

    Anyone have any thoughts on linking a registry to Save the Dates? We’re sending ours in a few weeks through an e-site, and they have a place to include a registry link. We have a registry set up but it isn’t public (just for us to mess around with, put stuff in, veto, etc.) Is this something people (i.e. guests) WANT, or is it too soon to do it? I am agnostic and frankly any appearance of asking for gifts makes me nervous but family members started asking us where we’re registered like the day we got engaged…

    • Lisa

      Put the registry info on the wedding web-site, and put the link to the wedding site on the STDs. I wouldn’t include registry links with any kind of STD or invitation because it looks like that’s the most important information you’re communicating to your guests. (“Here’s the date of our wedding and where you can buy us presents!”)

      • emilyofnewmoon

        Hmmm. We’re not planning on having a wedding website. Maybe we should? It’s such a small affair I didn’t think it was necessary. But maybe! Good call on not linking the registry directly.

        • Lisa

          You can do free ones through The Knot, WeddingWire, and other services. My friend did that for her wedding, and basically it had the ceremony/reception information and the registry on it with a picture of the couple. If you decide not to do a site (which is totally valid!), I’d share the registry links with your parents and a couple of point friends (if applicable), and they can share the info with anyone who asks them what you guys want/if you’re registered somewhere.

          • emilyofnewmoon

            Didn’t know the Knot had free site options. This is super helpful, thanks!

          • Lisa

            I edited my comment to reflect this, but I’m pretty sure Wedding Wire does free sites, too. Good luck with the planning! :)

          • AGCourtney

            We did ours through Wedding Wire and really liked it.

          • anachronismsarah

            We used WW. Loved it.

        • emilyg25

          We didn’t have a wedding website. If people want to know where you’re registered, they’ll ask.

          • Eenie

            Or if you register at any of the big box stores, there’s at least a couple websites that auto create a registry that appears when you search google. It was the biggest pain to get taken down when I started job searching – it was the very first and second results for me.

        • Fushigidane

          I used weddingwire just because I liked the design better but I like the registry format on theknot better. Weddingwire supplies links whereas theknot will actually show the items on each registry so people can just scroll through one big list directly on the site

        • emmers

          We did a free website, but just kept it fairly simple. Date, time, location. Hotel info. Link to registry. I think that was it? There may have also been some guestbook feature that was included. Oh, and I’m now remembering there was an online rsvp option we used.

          Eta- also, they gave us stats on which pages were visited most, & registry won by far.

    • Canadian

      Also don’t want to look gift-grabby but have people asking and haven’t really sorted out a good solution…. we also have a small and quite low budget wedding (3% costs are legal like wedding licence and officiant, 30% costs photography, 60% food and drink, 7% everything else incl clothes and rings)…… we did PDF evites that my fiancé did graphic design for and we emailed them to everyone…. the invites linked to the registry in fine/small print in the bottom. Didn’t want people bothering our parents as they didn’t know the details. We sent out invites 3 months in advance, no STDs. No complaints or comments about it being rude, but our group is a relatively laid back bunch. Our registry was also outdoor equipment, not standard registry stuff, because we live in a tiny place and actively Do Not Want more housewares but we car-camp a lot and our camping stuff was starting to show its age in wear and tear.

      • S

        I think the laid back group thing is key. People who fall down dead over the idea of including registry info on an invitation (or even just have serious “should I or shouldn’t I?” qualms) probably come from a family/social group with a lot of members who would also fall down dead over the idea, and thus, for those people, it would be a rude, misguided thing to do. On the other hand, people who think it’s a fine, practical solution probably come from a family/social group with a lot of members who would agree, and who would really appreciate the info. (As a rule, obviously YMMV.) So the discussion to me always feels a little beside the point. I always feel a little eye roll-y whenever people categorically put anything in the ABSOLUTELY RUDE NO ARGUMENTS box. To paraphrase Amy Poehler, “Rude for you, not for me.

    • Amy March

      Don’t. It’s really not okay to put a link to the registry on save the dates or invites. Put it on your website if you have one, if not people can google it or ask you.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        This was what I thought the accepted etiquette was, and then I was like “why is this an option on this e-save the date? Am I missing something?”

    • Natalie

      I would go with linking the STD to a wedding website, and then putting a link on there. I’m super conservative tho in registry stuff, like not even that big of a fan when people put their registry info on wedding invites. To me, it feels like “come to my party and give me a gift!” idk. My personal preference tho.

      • emilyofnewmoon

        I’m with you on this! I wasn’t planning on doing a wedding website, although Lisa below mentioned some good free options–probably going to just let our parents let people know if they ask/let the internet do the work for us…

      • Canadian

        I totally agree with you… I honestly see registries as lose-lose. Everyone is expected to have them. People complain and whine if you don’t. But you’re not allowed to talk about them, post their information, or make it in ANY WAY easy to find because then you look (and feel) gift-grabby. It took me 6 months of feeling awkward before I came up with the solution I had, which was to use SUPER lower pressure wording (“IF you CHOOSE to OFFER a gift”…etc) and put it in youll-need-glasses-to-tell-if-that’s-an-a-or-an-o size text on the invitation, which was a very well designed PDF emailed to everyone. There will be less than 40 people at the wedding including me and my fiancé so I didn’t bother with a wedding website.

        But seriously. Don’t have a registry? WHAT on EARTH are your guests supposed to do and you should expect to get ONLY mismatched towels because it is your fault you didn’t have a registry. Do have a registry? Don’t you DARE be proactive about it in ANY way because that means that ALL you care about is presents and that’s RUDE. You need to HIDE it.

        it’s really quite exhausting. I basically decided “FUCK IT” and decided to go against the etiquette norms. So far my friends are still talking to me and my family has mentioned buying gifts for me, so I suppose I survived unscathed.

        • S

          Y U P to all this. It’s exhausting. I probably wouldn’t personally put registry info on an invitation, but 100% would have no problem if I saw an invitation with it on there. It’s just practical.

      • Jane

        That’s what we did/are doing. Electronic save the date with link to the website. Website includes registry.
        We just have a toaster (kind of ironically – because people joke about getting like 5 toasters if you don’t have a registry, right? And kind of serious because we actually want it) listed so far. So no one will be like, wow, I guess they’re ready for us to start shopping.

    • anachronismsarah

      We put our wedding website on save-the-dates… I think it worked well for us, especially since MIL insisted we build an additional registry after save-the-dates were sent.

  • Lisa

    Something I’ve been thinking about lately after getting into a discussion on Facebook the other day: do single-sex children’s organizations have a place in contemporary society, or should they be required to go co-ed?

    This stems from a woman I know posting a video about a girl trying to get Boy Scouts of America (BSA) defunded until they allow girls to earn the Eagle Scout Award. Currently girls can participate in BSA as unofficial members, but they aren’t allowed to earn any merit badges or awards. My feeling is that there already exists an adjacent organization (Girl Scouts, which I’m a Lifetime member of), and that there are other co-ed programs available without forcing single-sex organizations to integrate. Her feeling is that BSA is such an ingrained part of many communities that not allowing girls to participate is harmful to them. She’s the only girl among five children, and her parents and brothers were very active with BSA, which had her feeling left out growing up as an unofficial member.

    Thoughts, ladies?

    • Jess

      On the one hand, I feel strongly that girls growing up can benefit from forming non-competitive female friendships through organizations and sports teams that are single-sex. I believe that being in girls only organizations can empower girls to see themselves as leaders when there are no boys to “naturally” take over the conversation. (Natural in quotes because I think a lot of those behaviors are socialized).

      On the other hand, I feel deeply concerned about the exclusionary practices for gender-queer kids. There is, too, the fact that, as your friend points out, BSA is deeply entrenched in communities in a way that Girl Scouts can feel like an afterthought. Boy Scouts have highly visible stands selling soda at festivals, are often marching in community parades, have very publicized outreach Eagle Scout projects, and yes, sell popcorn. At least in my hometown and my current, smaller, location, Girl Scouts have cookie sales.

      Also, I felt BSA for my brother provided him interesting, active, adventurous learning opportunities right away in Tiger/Cub Scouts through things like pinewood derby and hiking trips, while Brownies had me… making seat cushions. Probably a difference in leadership of my local groups more than opinion of the overall organization, but the expectations were so wildly different, I was pissed.

      (just my thoughts)

      • Katharine Parker

        As far as inclusivity of gender non-conforming kids, a lot of women’s colleges are moving to accept as students anyone who was born biologically female, identifies as female, or who doesn’t identify as male (depends on the school for exact policy and wording). Anyone who transitions after acceptance continues to be welcome. Maybe similar policies are feasible in programs aimed at younger people.

        • rg223

          Also the Girl Scouts as an organization welcome Trans girls! The Boy Scouts are awful.

          • Katharine Parker

            Good for them! Agreed, the Boy Scouts are terrible.

          • Lisa

            Totally agree, and that was part of my argument for supporting GSUSA instead of getting girls accepted into BSA. If equality is important to you, then you should support organizations with progressive and inclusive practices.

        • Jess

          I believe Girl Scouts is moving towards more inclusivity, which is awesome! I totally agree that policy to be inclusive is feasible, I’m more just concerned about the attitude of those running the group.

          • Lisa

            GS is already inclusive! They’ve supported LGBTQ leaders and girls for years. There was a campaign done by Girl Scouts of Western Washington a couple of years ago where they rejected a donation because the donor stipulated it couldn’t go to supporting LGBTQ scouts, and they ended up getting way more money from small donations than the amount they originally granted. It’s a great organization!

          • Jess

            GS IS super inclusive, which I love! You know who’s being dragged into inclusivity kicking and screaming? BSA.

      • toomanybooks

        Ah, I think it varies from place to place. Where I live and grew up, Girl Scouts are big and I don’t think I ever was aware of a Boy Scouts presence. It sounds like people (parents/girl scout organizations? idk) need to step up their game for girls!

        I also think my Girl Scouts troop did still do things like hiking, whittling, etc. We did the seat cushion thing too, like as a useful thing to sit on for camping? But also my interests in activities overall don’t stray far from what, like, a Jane Austen lady would be expected to do. Even Girl Scouts was probably strenuous enough for me because I had to leave the house…

        • Jess

          It probably varies a lot by location – I even knew girls in the same town that had more active troops than mine.

        • Lisa

          It really does depend on the area and troop leader. My mom was a very active Scout leader and required us to do at least two big camping trips a year and took us to a lot of Council-led events. As we got older, a lot of girls transferred from other troops to ours because we were so much more active. A few of my friends even joined the troop as older girls (which is practically unheard of) because of all the cool stuff we were doing.

      • I wonder how many APWers were also Girl Scouts…?

      • Lisa

        It totally depends on the troop leader. I was lucky my mom was a very active one and made it a point to teach us those same outdoors skills that the Boy Scouts got. (We used to go to a competition our local Council had every year, and we always swept the land categories for things like fire building, knot-tying, and orienteering.) Local girls switched to be into our troop, and we actually grew as we got older, which isn’t very common. The issue, I think, is that a lot of women aren’t taught those skills initially or aren’t 100% comfortable teaching them so they default to skills they do know (like sit-upon making or make-up lessons) because it’s easy.

    • cityfolks

      I don’t love the Boy Scouts for a variety of reasons, and I graduated from a women’s college, so I have mixed feelings. I see your point that Girl Scouts are a very similar activity, and also much radder in my opinion.

      I wonder if there’s some actual cachet associated with Eagle Scout that’s not available to Girl Scouts? I did get a college scholarship offer for my Gold Award but I got the sense that school was an outlier; I certainly get a lot of blank looks when I mention it. I’d say if they’re getting public money, using public facilities, etc. I’d err on the side of making organizations coeducational, especially at younger ages when parents are making choices on behalf of their kids.

      • Jane

        I think the Eagle Scout thing gives a status bump that the Gold Award doesn’t. We get applications for my post-graduate degree job where male applicants put being an Eagle Scout on their resume. Doesn’t really influence me, but I know some of the men I work with still go “ooooh, an Eagle Scout.”

        NOT saying we should make them co-ed, but that is something Girl Scouts don’t get.

        • Yeah, this exactly. I actually have ‘Gold Award’ on my CV and was asked what that is in an interview. Should probably remove it because it just plain doesn’t have the status or branding of an Eagle Scout. Ugh.

          • Eenie

            Or don’t and you can continue to educate the people who ask or google it :)

          • Lisa

            I took mine off years ago because to me it read as a high school achievement. Maybe I should put it back on?

          • The problem is, if people don’t know what a Gold Award is, it DOES read exactly like a high school achievement!

            If it were regarded at the same level as the Eagle Scout, you’d keep it on the resume/CV indefinitely.

    • Amy March

      Yes absolutely. The Girl Scouts is an incredible organization that was instrumental to me, and spaces to learn away from men have always been of particular value in my life. The Boy Scouts are horrible and homophobic and missing out on that organization isn’t a bad thing.

      • Lisa

        That was my comment, too. I don’t want to be part of BSA for all of these reasons and laid out the same for her. Her argument was that she grew up Mormon (though no longer identifies with them), and BSA is a huge part of Mormon culture apparently, which made her feel like she was missing out on this crucial part of her community. GSUSA is incredibly inclusive and the much better organization in my opinion.

        • Amy March

          I agree with her that the Mormon capture of the Boy Scouts is a problem!

          • Lisa

            Definitely. I suppose it isn’t too surprising though that an American-based, conservative church has strong ties to another American-based, conservative organization.

    • Olive

      I’m also a lifetime Girl Scout and my brother earned his Eagle. Like Jess, my local Brownie troop was all about crafts and cookies whereas I was more interested in camping and other stuff…I hated it, but transferred to a different troop and was much happier. We did a lot of community service, which I loved, and I went on to earn my Silver and Gold awards by doing community-focused service projects. That being said, I’ve never gained anything physical/monetary for having earned my Gold award, but I suppose it’s the skills that are the valuable gains.

      I should also mention that I attended an all-girls high school and am obsessed with the concept of sisterhood. I had a great, but not perfect, high school experience, though I know it’s not for everyone.

      If you live in a populated area, I think chances are high that both are available. In less populated areas, I wish that parents would step up and form a troop if one wasn’t there, as those same sex friendships are valuable. The LGBTQ policies of the organizations are more divisive to me than saying “this is for girls” and “this is for boys”

      Maybe when she was growing up there weren’t Venture patrols, which are co-ed? I think they’re more scarce anyway. I was under the impression that they could do all the same things as boy scouts (maybe not earn awards?).

    • Amy March

      Also what? Everything should change because her parents did a bad job of this? Girls should all join the Boy Scouts instead of the other way around? #ohplease

    • toomanybooks

      I think they do, and keep in mind I am a Queer Person Who Has Spent A Lot Of Time Thinking About Gender Stuff.

      There are co ed activities (probably most school-related things, unless someone’s at a single sex private school) and of course, best of all, The Girl Scouts!!! Who welcome trans girls with open arms, have the best cookies, etc etc. I had friends who were boys as a kid but I also specifically remember that we had a discussion about… I think co-ed public schools vs single-sex private schools…? Or at least somewhat related to that, I think we’d read an article about it. This was in third grade, I believe. And I made the argument that I would prefer to be in a class with all girls because boys were always the ones making trouble and causing the entire class to be punished as a result. Not entirely different from how I feel as an adult…

      • Lisa

        The discussion on Facebook devolved into a single vs. dual sex education one. My first boss was writing her dissertation on the topic of female-only education, and she told me that girls actually function much better and become stronger leaders if their elementary education is single-sex. (Then the acquaintance went on about how some kids only have friends of the opposite sex and pulled out an opinion piece about why co-ed is better.) It was frustrating because she clearly wasn’t open to new ideas so I abandoned the discussion.

        • toomanybooks

          Yeah, I mean, different people have different needs, but I think single sex education COULD be very beneficial. I went to co-ed public school, and specifically remember the reading list being tailored to boys (EVERY book we read was about a disaffected boy/man) because “boys will only read books about boys but girls will read anything.” And remember a lot of times when I was afraid to speak up in class even though I knew the right answer. I’ll never forget all this.

    • emilyg25

      Yes, single sex organizations still have a place in society but also yes I have many serious beefs with the Boy Scouts of America and will be starting a Navigators troop if my son ever really wants to be a scout.

    • Alli

      I went to a women’s college that went co-ed after I graduated. I thought it was a really valuable experience and I wish it were still a women’s college. The Boy Scouts isn’t really great organization to begin with, so I would more use them as an example of how not to run a single-sex organization, you know? I didn’t do Girl Scouts but I’ve heard from my friends that it’s very inclusive.

      • Lisa

        My feelings exactly.

  • Amandamarieg

    I just got a promotion which should come with a nice raise!!!!! Of course, my mother’s response to this was, “Oh good! Now you can actually set a date for your wedding.” (Note: She was very very happy for me, I’ve just been putting off setting a date for six months because I knew that we would probably have to move at the beginning of 2017.) So now, we’re going to rural Georgia from Milwaukee, and hopefully it comes with a nice amount of money in the pocketses!! And then, yes, we’ll set a date for the wedding. Though we might secretly elope so that he has health insurance while I drag him all over the country….has anybody else done that?

    • BSM

      Congrats! And probably a lower cost of living there than your current location, so even more money in your pockets!

      • Arie

        I think you mean pocketses. FTFY.

        • BSM

          I’ve edited my comment for clarity ;)

    • Jane

      We’ve thought about getting secretly married because my FH would get paid more every month. Haven’t done it yet . . . But still might.

    • EF

      we did a step down from secret eloping for legal reasons (visa, rather than insurance) and only invited his parents+my aunt and uncle. a few close friends knew it happened before our actual wedding. and then we kinda just told everybody at the wedding. no one cared, it was fine, and it worked super well for us (also helped us as introverts get through the public ceremony later!).

    • Eenie

      ME! I even moved to Georgia too! We had our photographer marry us because there’s not really a get married at city hall option as far as I can tell (or they make it really difficult?). We got our license at probate court and then our photographer married us at the end of our engagement session. I moved/”eloped” in January for an April wedding. We didn’t tell many people beforehand (we did tell our officiant and one other friend). Now that it’s passed, we’ve told more people but we don’t plan on celebrating the January anniversary. Now that health care laws may be changing, I’m really really really glad I didn’t have a gap in coverage. Another option we looked into was a catastrophic insurance plan, it wouldn’t meet the ACA minimum requirements but it would prevent you from having to pay 100% out of pocket for a hospital emergency. You will not be penalized for any months when you have at least one day of coverage, and you can currently go three months with no penalty.

      This is also really common for international couples (visas are a pain) and military couples (get paid more/makes it easier).

  • JC

    Omg omg omg. My company just raffled off travel funds for flying to DC for the inauguration/protest and I WON!!!! I’m going to the Women’s March. I can’t believe it. Excuse me while I go throw up out due to all my spontaneity.

    • savannnah

      My momma and I are going! congrats and sounds like a great company!

    • BSM

      CONGRATS!!! How awesome!!

      If you or anyone else who’s going is also a fan of 2 Dope Queens and/or Broad City, my dream comedy show is happening in DC on 1/21: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1412343?utm_medium=bks

    • Claire

      Wow. Yay you!

    • nosio

      That is so cool!

  • RisaPlata

    Along the lines of Grandma’s Teenage Diaries, some family members recently found a bunch of letters written to my great-grandmother that she kept and I’ve been posting them to a blog, if anyone’s interested. It’s letterstomygreatgrandmother.wordpress.com It’s funny to my how little has changed. A lot of the these guys write the same things that men on OKCupid write today.

    • Nikki

      Um, these are amazing! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Leah

      I LOVED reading through these. Hahaha. So little has changed.

  • K.

    How does everyone here feel about pregnancy announcements on Facebook? I’m 12 weeks yesterday, so I’m starting to think about bringing it up more publicly in the next few weeks but I feel so awkward every time I think about being like, “Baby on the way!” — I’m not really a cute announcement type person to begin with, but even simple ones make me feel squicky. Introvert dilemma, I guess.

    Plus, on the one hand, while I don’t know for *sure* that any of my FB friends are struggling with infertility and/or miscarriage, so many of my parent friends dealt with it prior to their successful pregnancies that it’s a fair assumption that someone is and I don’t want to be the unknowing face-rubbing jerk. I remember that it took my one close friend 6 years to conceive and she said that while she recognized it was irrational, every time she saw a pregnancy announcement on Facebook, she would sob and sob and sob. I’d hate to be the cause of that for anyone, especially if it’s avoidable.

    But on the other, there are a lot of old friends and acquaintances, etc that I’d like to know about our news, but I’m not necessarily still close enough to them to send them a private message.

    Is it weird to just post like I normally would, only with inclusion of pregnancy related stuff? Or is anytime I first mention being pregnant essentially an announcement? Is it better to just make a small little, “Hey, this is happening!” post or just let things fall as they will? Is it weird to not mention the pregnancy at all and then people are like, “Uh, you have a baby?!” when those inevitable pictures go up? Am I overthinking this? (Yes.)

    What have you all done/what would you do? Social media freaks me out, man.

    • NolaJael

      I think it parallels very closely to engagement announcements: tell those who would be hurt if they found out on social media in person and then use social media as you normally would. If you’re not a big announcement type (and I’m not), don’t do a big announcement. Eventually there will be something baby/pregnancy related you’ll want to post and you’ll know the time is right.

    • Canadian

      Honestly….. everyone I know anecdotally miscarried before they got truly pregnant so I am VERY much on the “until you can see the baby bump don’t say anything unless you want to deal with awkward conversations if you’re unlucky camp…….but that is not exactly a breath of fresh air and I don’t mean to be a downer as I don’t know your specific situation.

      Don’t bring down your happy time because someone else is unhappy – lots of people struggle with fertility issues for sure, just like some people have a REALLY hard time around Christmas due to family issues or deaths of loved ones. You shouldn’t stop celebrating Christmas if other people are really sad and can’t process Christmas, and you shouldn’t diminish your major life step because other people haven’t been able to get to where you are. Don’t be super pushy about it or post incessantly, but an announcement is absolutely not unreasonable or insensitive.

      My SIL is pregnant and she avoided ALL facebook announcements and posts because it’s kind of like announcing your engagement – people come out of the woodwork to tell you what to do and how and when to do it, all your ads on the sidebars tell you how to be properly pregnant….. like it can get really overwhelming. Something to consider if you’re sensitive to that. For me personally, I’ve avoided posting most stuff about engagement or changing my relationship status on facebook because I don’t want those targeted ads or unwelcome advice-givers.

      Realistically, so long as it’s not something you’re posting about 5 times a day every day, and you’ve already told everyone who deserves to be told independently, this isn’t a groundbreaking, highly influential decision that affects the rest of your life. Whatever decision you make, your baby will be the same when s/he meets the world as if you picked a different option. Good luck!

      • K.

        Well, being 12 weeks and about to enter the second trimester is why I’m starting to feel more confident. It definitely *can* happen now, but statistically, it’s much less likely than it was, say, a month ago…difference of a 6% chance and 0.7% chance according to my OB, if we want to get technical — again, not impossible, I know! But there’s a reason social convention tends to be announcements between 12-16 weeks, following a successful NT scan. My baby bump is probably only a couple weeks away, based on my current growth. But good to think about.

        • Canadian

          I’ve had a bunch of people I know miscarry in the last year (who are close enough to me that I know, not like a broad scattering) up to the “find a heartbeat” stage (which I think is the 12 week line? I am possibly wrong?) so I am just super sensitive to it… for one, she told her mother at 6 weeks and the mom was legit knitting socks and stuff and then she miscarried at 9 weeks and it was just CRUSHING and I know you’re farther than that, but I just witnessed how crushing that was when they “emotionally and mentally decided” that the baby was happening that early and then… had to explain it everyone they told… and I absolutely know you’re not being that reckless… it’s just on my radar right now and I have huge projection bias based on its frequency in close proximity to my life recently.

          • K.

            We’ve heard and seen the heartbeat and had multiple successful scans at 8 weeks, 10 weeks and now at 12 weeks. So far, we’re very, insanely lucky! I totally recognize that. I’ve been scared at every turn, especially with one spotting scare, so it was nice to have my OB tell me that I can (statistically) start to relax now…until I start panicking about birth defects that aren’t seen at the NT scan, etc.

            But god, I can’t imagine what your friends have gone through. My heart goes out to them so much. Crushing is definitely the word I’d use.

          • Danielle

            Congratulations on your little munchkin-to-be! And yes, the worry doesn’t stop (unless you’re an awesome zen master, in which case, more power to you). I was relieved to hear the heartbeat at our first scan, then worried about all the prenatal testing, and now at almost 20 weeks worried that the more in-depth anatomy scan we’re getting next week will show something previously undetected.I’ve been planning to not share the news on Facebook until we get those results back… But who knows, maybe then there will be something else to worry about (likely). Im also an introvert and figure I’ll just keep putting it off until I’m ready. And if that doesn’t happen until the baby’s born, so be it! I figure the most important people already know, and news will trickle through to others over time. We don’t owe anyone anything.

          • anon for this

            Having miscarried at 10 weeks, I can tell you that it doesn’t really matter whom you’ve told, it hurts all the same. I ended up telling most people AFTER the miscarriage, because I was waiting until it was “safe”… but then, I needed my closest people to know what was going on. Of course everyone deals with things differently, but just to give you a different perspective. There is no way to make a miscarriage suck less, so celebrate while you can! I actually think my sadness after the fact would have been easier to tolerate if I had let myself be happy when I was actually pregnant– turns out not letting yourself be excited does not protect you from feeling feelings… Now I know exactly whom I’ll share the pregnancy with right away because they are the people who will support me the way I need to be supported should I miscarry again.

      • gonzalesbeach

        Um, just so you know – saying someone isn’t ‘truly pregnant’ until there is a bump, comes off as a bit insensitive and I don’t think that was your intention.

    • Amy March

      I think they are nice! And yes, the first time you post revealing you are pregnant people will treat that as an announcement. I don’t think there is anything wrong with not announcing it on FB, although I find it weird to be actively posting and sharing things about your life generally, but not baby.

      • K.

        Yup, the last part is my concern. I post about activism and my dogs and vacations, so not posting about baby feels weird. I’m not totally ready to go fully public yet, but when I do, it’s a good point.

        • emilyofnewmoon

          My two cents: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with only posting about certain things on social media. (dogs vs. baby.) Social media is not mandatory, and you don’t owe anyone anything. I had a friend who I used to be fairly close to but am now on the opposite coast from post a picture of her new baby after not posting anything about the pregnancy, and I was like “awesome! Jane had a baby! So cute!” not “I was owed a pregnancy announcement!” I believe she posted about other stuff during her pregnancy, but not that. That’s her business entirely.

        • emilyofnewmoon

          My two cents: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with only posting about certain things on social media. (dogs vs. baby.) Social media is not mandatory, and you don’t owe anyone anything. I had a friend who I used to be fairly close to but am now on the opposite coast from post a picture of her new baby after not posting anything about the pregnancy, and I was like “awesome! Jane had a baby! So cute!” not “I was owed a pregnancy announcement!” I believe she posted about other stuff during her pregnancy, but not that. That’s her business entirely. And yours too, whatever you choose!

    • Cellistec

      Having never been pregnant myself, I haven’t been in this position. BUT, as a friend and relative to many moms and moms-to-be, here’s my reaction: pregnancy announcement, totally normal and exciting. Bump photos and/or passing reference to pregnancy without prior announcement? Jarring and confusing. So I’d say go for the announcement. Either way, I love that you’re giving it such careful thought…it’s more than a lot of people do.

    • emilyg25

      I love them! And I do find it jarring when people skip the pregnancy announcement but then just have a huge belly in a random photo or post a pic of the baby or something. I posted on FB around 12 weeks.

    • CMT

      I have friends who have made little to no mention of their pregnancies on Facebook and I’ve been totally okay with that. Am I surprised when I see a baby picture from somebody I didn’t know was pregnant? Sure. But I’m not entitled to know those things about acquaintances, so I really don’t mind. (And if they were more than acquaintances, I would have certainly known a baby was coming.)

    • rg223

      There’s going to be some triggery stuff in my answer… I only posted once my son was born, because I had a very close friends lose a pregnancy at 27 weeks. EVERYONE in her real life knew she was pregnant, and she had to break the news over and over again to random people she came in contact with daily. A silver lining in it all was that she never announced on facebook, so she never had to say anything to anyone online. Most of our mutal friends have not posted about their pregnancies, because of her experience. And I know it’s not common, but I know three people personally who have had late term losses. I don’t want to scare you! This kind of loss just hits close to home, and it influenced my social media use during pregnancy 100%.

      But I don’t think an announcement would be rubbing it in anyone’s face, and I don’t judge people for annoucing – it is happy news! And it sounds like you are sensitive to those who have had losses, and wouldn’t post about it constantly. I also know people who have not “announced” per say but just casually mentioned it (in comments on other topics!) And I didn’t find it particularly strange. YMMV!

    • emmers

      I was touched by how a fb acquaintance did it. She was announcing her second pregnancy, and she did the announcement, which was cute. And then below it she had 1 line: *we are keeping friends and family hoping to expand their families in our thoughts. Much love to ya’ll.

      I saw that a couple days after I had a miscarriage, and it’s stuck with me. Not right for everyone, maybe, but the sincerity and grace struck me.

    • anon for this

      As someone who took forever to get pregnant, miscarried and hasn’t gotten pregnant since… I would SO much rather see a friend’s pregnancy announcement on FB (which I now only look at when I’m emotionally prepared to see pregnancy announcements), than randomly hear about it or see them pregnant. Yes, it will hurt for a minute and then I’ll be happy for them. If I love the friend a lot, I won’t even be sad for a minute, I’ll just be happy for them. I do appreciate you thinking about people like me, though. Your friends are lucky you are so considerate. Congratulations on the impending little one!

  • Jessa

    Can I ask for some happy thoughts from the APW community?

    Christmas and New Year’s was fun, but exhausting. Got food poisoning, spent tons of time with In-Laws (yeah – you know how it is), ate junk. Flew home, arrived at 11 PM. Worked the next day. Work is crazy, big presentations coming up. New niece in the family (YAY) but spent too much time staring at new baby. No sleep. Husband lost wedding ring. Tried to clean behind the stove to distract him and dug a rut in the kitchen tile moving the stove. We hit a patch of black ice yesterday and hit a street sign. Now must deal with damage to the car. Tried to make muffins to calm self but missed 3 ingredients and added way too much salt. Muffins taste like salty cardboard. Husband’s phone stopped working today.

    I’m trying to focus on the positives – nobody was hurt in the car accident, I can *probably* fix the bumper/head light myself for less than $1K, and YAY new baby. But I am just exhausted and I could use the happy thoughts. Thanks in advance! I am going home and never leaving my bed.

    • Cellistec

      Whoa, sounds like you’ve gone through a few months’ worth of drama in just a couple weeks. Maybe that means you have a nice quiet stretch of time ahead of you. Happy thoughts, uneventful thoughts, whatever you need! Sending em your way.

      • Jessa

        Uneventful sounds heavenly!

    • MC

      Ooof, that is a lot of stress in a short amount of time! I totally understand how the holidays can be fun but totally not relaxing at all. Hope you get lots of relaxing this weekend & beyond!

    • rg223

      Hope you get to take in some self care this weekend!

    • AmandaBee

      Whew, I’m wishing you peace. Sounds like you need some time to just rest!

  • C

    I didn’t post yesterday because of the total hectic craziness of setting up a wedding reception….but I’m getting married. Today. In about 7 hours.

    !!!

    Fingers crossed :D

  • 2017or2018bride

    TL;DR: Have you moved your wedding date a year later, or seriously considered moving your wedding date? Any advice?

    We’ve been engaged for 1 year and together for 10. Our wedding is scheduled for early August 2017. We have a venue and photographer, but nothing else is finalized. Guest list is almost done but we still need to get a lot of contact info, food is almost figured out but no contract yet, I found a dress I love but haven’t bought it yet, etc. 7 months should be enough to finish planning, but it’s looking like we simply won’t have the time or money to make it happen by this August.

    The time details: I need to finish and defend my dissertation between now and July, plus I work full time. I’m the generally the planner in our relationship. Fiance works full time, plus side jobs. We don’t have any kids, but do have 3 pets. We always have been and always will be busy, but with the dissertation deadline looming the next 6 months I am especially busy.

    The money details: We bought a house 3 months ago, which wiped out most of our savings. No regrets there, our house is WAY more important to us than our wedding, and we had enough savings to weather life’s ups and downs. We’ve been aggressively saving for the wedding. Yesterday our car was stolen, and now we’re facing the reality that unless the car shows up in good condition, we’re either using our savings for a car or a wedding. We could use the savings for the wedding and get a loan for the car, but at the end of the day we’re still taking out a loan that will enable us to have a wedding this year. Having a car is necessary for us based on where fiance works. The wedding, and especially having the wedding this year, is not necessary.

    About us: We’re bad at slowing down to celebrate things, bad at keeping in touch with distant friends and family, and hardly ever take pictures. Having a wedding seems like a good way to counteract our usual MO and properly celebrate.

    About marriage timing: There is no rush. We’ll be paying more for fiance’s health insurance once we’re married and it looks like our taxes will increase too, so there’s a financial penalty to us being married. We’ve joked that we should have the wedding soon but hold off on getting married until it makes financial sense.

    It seems like these are the options:

    1) Have the wedding this year as planned and just make it as simple as possible to get it done: This is how we’ve been operating so far, but it’s freaked out our mothers, and thus made things even more complicated for us. And unless our stolen car miraculously shows up in good condition, it will involve taking out some kind of a loan.

    2) Move the wedding to next year: Best case scenario, we’re pushing this back until we have the time and money to do it right. We lose a couple hundred in deposits, but can just have the same wedding we’re planning 1 year later than the current plan, and have a lot more fun planning it instead of just making it happen to get it done. Worst case scenario, we’re prolonging the awfulness of wedding planning and things will be just as tough in a year. I can’t imagine we’ll be as busy and financially strained as we are now, but I didn’t expect a lot of what’s happened in the past year (both good and bad), so it certainly could be.

    3) Admit that a big wedding doesn’t align with our usual MO and have a small civil ceremony with immediate family and some close friends when getting married makes sense financially: Fiance wants a big party, but he also doesn’t want to be in charge of making a big party happen. My parents eloped (just the 2 of them) and they’re STILL hearing about it from some family members. Yet most of the women I know who had a wedding have told me they wished they just eloped.

    4) Just say the wedding isn’t happening this year but we don’t know when it will happen: Also very likely to freak out our mothers, and cause greater concern among friends and family members, and will likely push us to do #2 or #3 but with more awful emotions than if we just go with #2 or #3.

    I would LOVE you input. Thanks!

    • Eenie

      I wouldn’t advise taking out a loan that you don’t want to take out just so you can get married this year. I’d go with 2 or 3 personally.

      I will say that my husband did a lot of the work with wedding planning. I was in another state for the first seven months of our engagement. He looked at the venues, met with photographers, etc. I was more involved and hands on in the stuff leading right up to the wedding since I moved to the area four months before we got married. I wanted to elope; he wanted a wedding. So he got to do a lot of the work. In the end, we loved our wedding, but we would both not do it again and would instead officially elope (we technically got married early with no family or friends present for insurance reasons).

    • flashphase

      Have you sat down to figure out exactly what you can save in that year and how with a budget? I’m a number crunchy person myself, so knowing that we had A Plan to get us to and thru the wedding with no debt would make me choose #2 over the others. But if you’re in a position where you won’t actually save that much, you may find yourself in the same place in 2018 and 2017.

      • 2017or2018bride

        I am also a number cruncher and a saver, and so getting married in 2018 without additional debt is possible. I’m also trying not to over-plan our budget since it’s so hard to know what the next year will bring financially now that we own a house, have an elderly dog, the political environment could drastically change FI’s health insurance and our taxes, etc. And a low interest rate loan for a used car wouldn’t be a huge debt burden or waste of money.

    • Amy March

      I’d have the wedding this year. Won’t insurance cover the car? If not, taking out a car loan to replace it seems fairly normal to me?

      You will always be busy, things will always come up, and it sounds like while you def want to be married and would like a wedding, planning it is never going to be a priority or something you enjoy, so I vote knock it out this year and be done with it. And you and your FI can figure out a way for someone who isn’t the “planner” to still do the work, because not being a planner shouldn’t be a get out of jail free card on contributing to life.

      • 2017or2018bride

        Thanks for the advice. FI would much rather take over the planning than wait until next year, so it looks like he’s gonna have to step it up.

        In terms of the car, it is 19 years old and has a high deductable, so at most insurance will be contributing about $500 towards a replacement. Yes, getting an auto loan is normal and it looks like we can get good interest rates, so we’ll probably end up doing that. I’d just prefer to pay cash.

    • The dissertation and wedding closeness would probably stress me out, but I’ve never done a dissertation and it seems like you were planning this before the car got stolen, so maybe it is feasible! I know that there are numerous people who here had big things (the bar or similar) right before their weddings, so it’s certainly doable! It would probably be a marathon….but then it would be over and you can enjoy! If I were you and going to push the date back some, I’m not sure I’d want to push it back a whole year. Is there a way to push it back to give maybe 3 or 4 months between the dissertation defense and wedding? I planned a wedding in 3.5 months, and it was great to do it then be DONE. Of course that eliminates some options, but that went fine for me.And if you went with #4, you could word it more concretely to help not freak out people by explaining that your car was stolen, so the wedding won’t be financially possible this year, but you are looking at dates in June 2018 (or whatever), so it doesn’t just sound like you are ghosting on the wedding or something…

      And as far as eloping vs. the wedding… It sounded from your comment that you were looking forward to the opportunity to step out of your normal patterns and connect with your community and celebrate. It’s not often in life that we can ask our whole community to come around us, so if that’s something that’s important to you, I think you should do the wedding celebration that satisfies that desire. And if you do elope, perhaps you could have a celebration with your community after the fact and share photos/video, etc. This could also be a less expensive way to celebrate with your community. (But if you choose to separate the legal part and the celebration–and make the celebration more low-key, just make sure you’re okay with the possibility that there might be a few people who might not come to the celebration that would have come if the legal part is integrated.)

      Good luck and keep us posted! And I hope your insurance covers the car and/or that you can find an inexpensive, used replacement car that would do the job!

      • 2017or2018bride

        Thanks! We chose August because we live in Seattle and want some of the wedding to be outside. About half of our guests are not local, and summer is the best time for them to come in terms of both time away from work and an appealing time of year to visit Seattle. We haven’t even considered non-summer wedding, and if we do move the wedding I’d rather not do ANY planning until the dissertation is done, so if we do move the date it will be summer 2018.

        I’m pretty sure we won’t elope. FI wants the big party and I think much of his extended family won’t make the trip for a marriage celebration that isn’t the wedding.

    • Em

      You’re always going to be busy, but you’re hopefully never going to be writing a dissertation again. Move the wedding! (We had a similar experience a couple of months ago – concluded that it was just going to be nuts to try to get married in 2017, and would prefer to try again in 2018 when we’re in a saner place. No regrets!)

  • Hi! One of my new year resolutions was to stop lurking and start commenting on here! I’m not even close to being engaged currently (although we’re talking about it happening within a few years) but APW is still my favourite website and I can get lost in the comment sections here for hours!

    I’m 23 and doing a Masters in the UK, but 2017 will be an exciting year because I’m applying for graduate school in the US, so I’m playing the waiting game currently. I live with my sweet nerdy boyfriend who’s in tech, and everything is more or less okay. Apart from the fact that I’m sick currently and am feeling sorry for myself while lying in bed.

    Anyway nice to meet you all! ❤

  • Fushigidane

    If both sets of parents are hosting, who do the rsvp’s go to?

    • My initial instinct is that the ‘fair’ thing to do is have them sent to the couple, but unless your in laws have been hinting that they’d absolutely love to deal with the stress of chasing RSVPs, I’m sure they won’t mind if your mum takes point on that one. As long as the invites themselves acknowledge that both parents are hosting, most people probably won’t leap to any conclusions based on the RSVP address.

    • emmers

      I think it’s whoever wants to deal with counting the rsvps & following up with people. I had them come to me, since I knew the ppl we were inviting & could easily notice things like “Josh RSVPed with a date? We didn’t give him a plus one?!” Etc.