APW Happy Hour


Praised be, bitches!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hey APW,

This week was Halloween, aka the week that I crafted my feelings about 2017. I made a handmaid costume for me, and a Queen of Hearts costume for my littlest, because, “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum,” and “Off with their heads,” pretty much sums up everything I’m feeling right now. (In related news, I’m currently wearing this nolite te bastardes carborundorum t-shirt, because let’s just make it the theme for the week and ALSO it’s on sale!) Maddie and I took our kids (who are godsiblings… is that a thing? Regardless, they think it is) into San Francisco for some epic trick-or-treating on Tuesday night, and it was fantastic.

In more delightful news, we have our styling event at Rent the Runway in San Francisco tomorrow morning, and for those of you coming, HOT TIP: we have amazing gift bags for the first fifteen of you in the door, so turn out at 10 am sharp, because trust me, you want a bag.

AND! (Because the end of the year is our slow season, so that’s when fun things happen), I’m going to be giving the closing Keynote at Love Union, a collaborative networking event for wedding vendors taking place in Brooklyn on November 16th. Tickets are free, so if you work in the wedding industry and haven’t snapped one up yet, you should do that, I can’t wait to see you there.

Here is to seeing some of you in person on various coasts, cheers! It’s your open thread.

XO,
Meg

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.

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  • Alli

    Anyone really good at being an adult here? How about good at getting/keeping your shit together? I had a handful of candy for dinner multiple times this week, so if you guys have any tips that would be great.

    I wrote down everything that needs to be done soon and it’s…too many things. Idk how my husband and I keep falling into this trap but jeez it’s really hard to do all the things! And keep doing them! Our life is this Hyperbole and a Half graph:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_D_Z-D2tzi14/TBpWM3wxI1I/AAAAAAAADFk/6ROBYJkpuuQ/s640/responsibility1.png

    • kayceeee

      I’m right there with you! I haven’t been to the grocery store in three weeks.. adulting is definitely not my forte.

      • sage

        I haven’t been to the grocery store in weeks either… I confessed to my fiance what I have been eating when he wasn’t around and he was horrified. Last week he cleaned my toilet for me b/c it was too gross for him (not for me apparently!)

        • Jessica

          I can put up with a really disgusting bathroom. I didn’t realize that until my mom cleaned my toilet when visiting one day and she said it was worse than my brother’s when he was in his early 20s.

          • sage

            Glad I’m not alone with my high filth tolerance.

        • kayceeee

          Yeah, thankfully I had stuff in the freezer so I could prep lunch for part of the week. Otherwise I was subsisting on twizzlers and random food in my drawer at work. See, I’m usually the one having to tell my husband to clean his toilet.. now my shower, that’s another story haha.

      • Jessica

        Do you have a grocery delivery service, like InstantCart, in your area? Because one way to procrastinate at work while also doing something productive and adult-y is to order groceries to be delivered.

        • kayceeee

          We do, but I’m too cheap to use it. Plus, I’m one of those weird people who actually enjoys going grocery shopping. (But only when it’s early in the morning or later in the evening so I essentially have the store to myself.)

          • Alli

            I do too! Especially when I can take my time on snack decisions and really process any changes to the list (like, are pork chops on sale when I planned to buy chicken? let me sit here and come up with 2 recipes so I know what else I need to grab to do this)

          • flashphase

            I actually hate the grocery store but love cooking and eventually figured out that a good division of labor was my husband doing the grocery shopping and me cooking. It forces me to figure out in advance what food we need for the week, but then I get to relax when he’s at the grocery store and he gets to relax while I cook for the week.

            I’m a big advocate for fair but not equal division of labor, which saves us a ton of time and hassle when a task needs a warm body and it doesn’t matter which body.

          • kayceeee

            I’m all about checking the weekly ads before going and any apps with coupons. I’m the coupon queen actually haha. But yes, if something is on sale I’ll usually substitute it in place of whatever I had originally planned to purchase.

          • louise danger

            solidarity

      • Alli

        Ugh, we haven’t been in a few weeks too, and earlier this week I accidentally left the fridge cracked open all day and ruined everything else we had!

        Ugh, thankfully my work has a cafeteria with cheap soup. That’s how I’ve been surviving.

        • kayceeee

          Oh no! Thankfully ours beeps if it’s been open for too long. Also, my office is tiny so we don’t have those fancy things – we barely have a kitchen here. I wishhhh.

      • AmandaBee

        My grocery store status is the opposite – I couldn’t plan a list to save my life this week, so I’ve gone to the grocery store basically every day to get one damn thing that I need to make dinner. Then I get home and remember the other thing I needed. Adulting fail.

        • kayceeee

          This is me sometimes too. It just depends how much I have my crap together on a given week.

    • Amy March

      So I used to write down all the things and come up with big weekend to do lists and all it ever resulted in was feeling like a failure every Sunday night. Now I set one or two priorities for my weekend time- like this weekend I am going for a long walk and cleaning one corner of my bedroom. There are so many more things that “need” to get done but I’d rather succeed at what’s most important than get overwhelmed.

      • Sarah Porter

        How do you always have the best advice? Because this is so good too. I often put things on my to-do list that I know I’ll actually do, like, hang out with friends, or ride my horse, because those are things that are worth doing too, and it feels good to have more things to cross off.

      • Jan

        I sort of do this too. I also break my important to-dos into categories (work, personal life, and volunteer stuff) and some days I just allow myself to only excel in one area, and I’ll focus on that one category alone. I have anxiety and am incredibly hard on myself, so being able to be like, “Well, I didn’t conquer the world today but im totally crushing it at being a good partner right now” is important. Also, I am big on routines and things like meal planning.

    • ssha

      I am NOT good at being an adult so solidarity. It is really hard to do all the things!!

    • Zoya

      That Hyperbole and a Half graph is my life. So, you know, solidarity.

    • penguin

      We have better luck with adulting things when we say we’re just gonna do one thing each a night. So even though we’ve eaten delivery (or cereal) every night this week, I caught up on dishes and my husband did laundry. So we’re still behind on stuff, but our apartment is slowly becoming more livable.

    • SL

      I’m one of those people who loves lists and getting things accomplished, but I have an list app on my phone, and when I know I’ll have a free afternoon or weekend, I make a list of the things I want to do. Half fun, half chores. I check off as I go, and if I don’t get something done, I know it still needs to be done. That helps. I also plan what I’m cooking for dinner for the week, and make sure its stuff that packs well for leftovers. So like Monday, I’ll throw lentils in the crockpot, and then I have dinner and two days of lunches.

    • Laura C

      I feel like I do better when I focus on one area of adulting at a time. This week we worked on getting the apartment more organized and more cleaned and cooking pretty much fell by the wayside (by our standards). Other times, we’ll focus on cooking a bunch of big projects that hopefully make it into the freezer to be the basis for future healthy-yet-easy meals, and the apartment will become a hellscape of neglect. But then we have all that stuff in the freezer to get us through the next cleaning phase, and hopefully then once things are a little more organized we do a slightly better job of keeping them that way, and so we gradually ratchet our standards up one bout of activity at a time.

    • Lisa

      I so feel you right now. Today has been a marathon of doing shit to prepare for being gone (made kale chips, soup, sun-dried tomatoes, stir fry; did laundry; finalized travel and conference plans), and when we sat down for lunch around 1 and watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother, I definitely didn’t want to get up again.

      For me, it’s become about balancing doing adult tasks and creating routines. Like, for the past two months I’ve done the laundry every weekend. Before that, it used to be that I’d do it once every 2-3 weeks (basically when we ran out of underwear), but instead, I’ve created a routine so that it’s just part of my weekend instead of being a totally onerous chore.

      Also, paying a ton of money for an organic CSA has forced us to get creative with recipes and meal planning unless we want to watch the $$$ rot in the bottom of our fridge. If only I could find an impetus for house cleaning that worked as well as that! Our place would be spotless.

      • penguin

        Our impetus for cleaning is having people over haha. It’s the biggest motivator for us.

        • Lisa

          Yes, definitely! Our living and dining rooms are so clean because that’s where husband teaches. We’ll usually clean up the other bedrooms and bathrooms when we have house guests or people over, but that hasn’t really happened since the first weekend in October. I thought I might clean my bathroom today so it’s sparkling when I get home in a week, but my energy and motivation are fading fast, ha.

          • penguin

            Yep that’s why our bedroom is always a den of disappointment. No one sees it, so we don’t get motivated to clean. My goal is to work on it tonight/this weekend.

          • Lisa

            Ours is the guest bedroom first because we use it least, and then our bedroom, I was hoping to get some work done on it today, too, but I think a nap is going to win out.

          • SarahRose472

            Oh man, our guest bedroom has been our “shove all the random things out of sight” room for way too long.

          • penguin

            Same! We have our extra freezer in there, and otherwise it’s a chaos of boxes, the spare bed, and a ton of craft supplies that we don’t get to use often.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          We’ve also recently started putting it on the calendar every few weeks to spend a night doing a slightly deeper clean. I’m terrible at initiating new projects, but when something’s on the calendar, I’m good about doing that thing.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        You made your own sun-dried tomatoes? Share your method??

        • Lisa

          I pieced together a few recipes, but this is the primary one. We’re 3.5 hours in so hopefully they turn out well!

        • Lisa

          RTA: I tasted one of the tomatoes on their way into the jar, and I’m very happy with the result! There are a few larger tomatoes still baking, but when they come out, everything is getting drenched in olive oil. I love the idea of having tomato-flavored oil for salad dressings like the author mentions at the end of the recipe!

          On the time: it’s been about 5 hours for most of them, and I’m giving the few larger tomatoes another half hour to dry a bit more.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Yessssssss, excellent.

      • Lisa

        Yes. Automation and scheduling for the win. It’s the one-off projects and tasks that get us. But if I can build something into a weekly schedule, I’m golden. Towels go into the wash every weekend. Dishes get done while the kettle is heating. And so forth. Right now we’re doing well with our meals, but every few years we have a month of insanity where we automate those too (e.g. Stir fry every Monday, tacos on Tuesdays, etc). Decision fatigue is real, and sometimes making that decision is the step that prevents us from actually doing what needs to be done.

        • Yael

          Yes! We have a chore schedule that we’ve mostly gotten into the habit of following and it helps so much with getting the bare necessities done.

    • Gaby

      Ditto what Amy March said about having one or two priorities at a time. I also jot down anything I’ve accomplished in my planner on a certain day so I get the satisfaction of feeling like I did SOMETHING. For example: On Wednesday the only thing I got done was “Vacuumed cat hair off guest futon” and that has a checkmark next to it. I’m also really bad about calling to set appointments etc. during office hours so I schedule those in the planner and check them off as well.

    • SarahRose472

      So I’m a person who loves making to-do lists, and then I can really go into hyperdrive doing ALL THE THINGS, but from many rounds of hitting that “system failure” point — which for me, looks like Sunday afternoon feeling exhausted and crabby and feeling depressed over the thought that I have spent my whole weekend (or whole LIFE at the level of drama I usually am feeling then) just doing things for my own mere survival — I have realized that I HAVE to plan fun time and off time alongside productive time.

      Actually, because I have a weekend where I really have a ton of things I really need to get done (being 34 weeks pregnant actually makes some things kind of urgent!), the primary task I’ve given myself for tonight is to literally plan something fun for myself this weekend.

      Put differently, I suppose it’s about making adulting sustainable…because after all, there’s not getting off this ride.

    • AGCourtney

      I feel this sooo much. So, it sounds like you’ve already done the first thing I would recommend: a brain dump. Just write down All The Things. I do it periodically and it really helps.

      I have a notebook that I call my to-do list notebook. It’s my external brain. It is not a pretty, fancy, bullet journal. It is a regular notebook. (I love the idea of a bullet journal but I know myself and I would let the perfect be the enemy of the good and be paralyzed from fear of messing it up somehow.) Each day, I jot down a list of things that need to be done. Some things on my list really, really need to get done today. I do those. But some things are more aspirational, at the end of my list, day after day, sort of a reminder that this does need to get done eventually. It’s also my place to capture thoughts like “oh I need to do this errand sometime in the next week but not today” – I’ll circle it in the margin or something.

      Oh, and I haven’t done it the past couple months, but I usually make a monthly list of goals – which is often really more of a list of options. If, ideally, I have the energy to take on a project, here’s a couple of options, I don’t have to think about it. I try to have a couple from different categories, and they can be self-care things, too.

      I try to keep this idea of rhythms and seasons in mind. We’re coming back from crisis mode ourselves: we have a townhome and after the spring I worked four jobs and had surgery, it was just MESSY. Like, dishes were done and nothing was gross, per se, but there was just stuff everywhere. (it was a season where I just had to let that go.) Major organizational work needed to be done, and major organizational work is exhausting. So these days, we’re going full force on that. But that comes with a tradeoff. (For example: between that and homeschooling, I ain’t got time to make those ideal, wonderful meals every night. So we’re having a lot of leftovers and quick meals – nothing particularly unhealthy, but I keep the freezer stocked with easy things so we don’t have to think about it.) I also try to give myself grace: if one day I kick ass and get a ton of stuff done…I’m going to need to go a bit easier on myself the next day. I used to feel a lot of self-loathing about it, but again, trying to give myself grace.

      Anyway, I’m rambling as always, but I guess what I’m trying to say here is: get it all out on paper, pick a few priorities to work on at any given time, and while it takes more energy and work to dig yourself out of a hole and get your systems established, life comes in seasons and you can’t do all the things at once. Oh, and you’re not alone, as all these comments have amply demonstrated.

      • Yael

        Yes to all of this.

      • Jess

        I also do a franken-bullet journal on a tiny steno pad every day starting with like 2 things I actually want/need to do that day and add stuff I did as I go.

        Too perfectionist/not creative enough to actually bullet journal, but it works.

    • Lawyerette510

      One thing I’ve done for a long time is top 5 lists. I usually have one for work each day, an done for the weekend at home. The idea is that you list the top 5 things that are highest priority, and once the list is complete, you start over. Sometimes something might come in that jumps on the list before it’s a new cycle (because life) but generally you try not to do that.

      Because I often forget things, I also have a “brain dump” list of sorts where I just put things that I will need to do at some time. Sometimes I look at that list to make sure my top 5 list is accurate, but other times I know what needs to be on there.

      Also, I do most of this in To-Doist, and that helps also keep our household on track, because I can assign stuff to my husband (and vice versa) that is on my radar but I’m not capable of doing or responsible for doing myself.

    • Eenie

      I pick one thing. Last weekend that was setting up the shelving in our garage. My husband was so not feeling like doing anything, but we needed to get this done so we can do one more thing this weekend. Afterwards he thanked me and said he felt very accomplished and appreciated the motivation.

      So pick one thing that will make you feel accomplished in some way.

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      I’ve always loved my agenda, from the first day of middle school on. And because I’ve more or less been self employed since middle school (I worked 30-40 hours anweek starting at 13, all for different families) my agenda has always been my life.

      I find that having a pretty planner helps me so much. It becomes something I cannot wait to check every day to see — who am I spending my day with? But as I’ve gotten older, there are increasingly parts of my routine than I am very protective of and that helps me feel better about the stuff I have to do. I won’t work more than 2 mornings in a week, because I love taking my dog to the dog park. I won’t spend more than 3 nights out away from my husband because we actually do need time together.

      I think for me, the biggest trick to learning to be an adult was learning to protect those things that kept me grounded and happy.

      And I watch Jane the Virgin Sunday night while I fold the clean laundry.

    • notquitecece

      I found it really helpful to figure out what basic self-care needed to happen every day, then make a physical paper list each day and check those things off. I did that for about a year, probably, until they started becoming habits. I also made a list of things that make me feel better. (Both are here, for reference: http://coreycaitlin.com/checklists/) Sounds inane, I know, but it really helped. That helped the bigger stuff feel more possible, because at least I was fed.

    • Lena Mattsson

      Oh, I miss Hyperbole and a Half so incredibly much. The life advice. The simple dog. The Alot. The adventures in depression that pretty much correlates to my own experience in a spooky way.

      WAIT WHAAAAAT your name is Alli too? Is it? Could it be?

      Oh, she spells with an “e” at the end. Freakout over. Search continues.

      • Alli

        Haha, I was drawn to Hyperbole and a Half because our shared name, stayed because she was just SO relatable. I was in college when Adventures in Depression 1 and 2 came out, and I was blown away by how much I could relate to it.

        Every once in a while I go on an internet manhunt to see if she’s posted anything anywhere. I heard she got a divorce, but nothing concrete.

        • Lena Mattsson

          I do the exact same thing! Quite incredible that she made such an impression on so many people that still hope to her from her after more than 4 years of silence.

  • louise danger

    GUYS guys Mr Danger says we can get a new dog! The puppy is currently but a twinkle in momma dog’s eye, but if all goes according to plan, there’ll be puppies around in late winter, and they’ll be ready to come home in the spring!

    I highly recommend googling them for more adorable photos, but here’s what a borzoi looks like when it’s a grown-up: http://i.imgur.com/LQeg9.gif

    • Alli

      I love borzois! They look so mysterious

      • louise danger

        looks: mysterious
        personality: nerds

        • Alli

          My favorite thing is when they stand next to each other real close, as if they’re trying to be the width of a regular dog.

          • louise danger

            haha it’s true; i’ve met a rescued girl who basically disappears if you look at her from the front, she’s so narrow.

    • Sarah Porter

      I can’t wait for alllllll the puppy photos you’re gonna post in the spring!

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      Borzois are beautiful dogs! I’d be so excited to get another dog. The dog? Not so much.

      Basically, I’m jealous

      • louise danger

        we had to say goodbye to our beloved greyhound, Goose, in September, and I’m trying very hard to remember that puppies are verrrry different from chill grown-up dogs, heh.

        • SarahRose472

          Haha, it’s such a shock. I been part of raising puppies twice in my life when I got my first pup as an adult. The first few weeks was like, “this puppy is INSANE, is this really what is was like? is this going to be my life forever??” (Answers: yes, it was exactly like this, and nope, it passes so quickly that you completely forget how intense it is! and the only proof you have left is all the holes in your clothes from the puppy razors, I mean teeth ;) )

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            I was convinced my puppy hated me because she wanted to play King of the Couch. Nah, she just wanted all the space to herself

        • jazzygingery

          I’m sorry about your grey. Sighthounds are so awesome; I currently have a greyhound, and would love to get a borzoi someday in the future.

        • Ashley Weckbacher

          Oh no, I’m so, so sorry. That is never easy, whether sudden or expected.

          Puppies are different but in a really enchanting way. There’s something magical about that falling in love phase with a dog. My husband had never had a dog before and he didn’t realize how quickly it would go by — he wishes he had taken more photos. (We have a sighthound mix, probably whippet-lab.)

          I hope that everything proceeds perfectly and you spend your spring and summer taking your good borzoi out to explore a brand new world. Good luck!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I keep scrolling down and seeing this derpy dog gif. Sincerely, thanks for that.

      • louise danger

        Tetris is a treasure – look up Tetris the Borzoi on youtube, there are plenty of goofy videos of her :)

  • Happy Friday friends! Here are your links!

    *Rihanna’s Perspective on Her Weight Changed How I Think – https://www.manrepeller.com/2017/10/rihanna-weight.html

    *What “The Deuce” Got Wrong, From Someone Who Lived It – http://bust.com/tv/193748-the-deuce-reality.html

    *The Addams Family Is the Aspirational Tale of Familial Love I Crave – https://pictorial.jezebel.com/the-addams-family-is-the-aspirational-tale-of-familial-1820013520

    *Why Can’t Black Witches Get Some Respect in Popular Culture? – http://www.vulture.com/2017/10/black-witches-why-cant-they-get-respect-in-pop-culture.html

    *Also if you aren’t reading THE REWM, what are you doing with your life???? Latest post here – http://therewm.com/2017/10/29/43-all-the-rage/

    • Jessica

      I know we’re probably all sick-to-death of the harassment pieces, but this is from Lizzie O’Leary about how she is trying to change the script for her female employees when they run into an interviewee who is being gross: https://www.thecut.com/2017/11/lizzie-oleary-describes-sexual-harassment-in-journalism.html

    • savannnah

      My Dad always said the Adams Family and esp. the parents were their role models for their marriage and I always thought he was kinda strange as a kid for saying that but now, being married I really get it and appreciate that viewpoint.

    • Sonnie

      My read this week: An Oral History of 1997’s Cinderella – http://www.shondaland.com/inspire/a13138172/brandy-whitney-houston-oral-history-cinderella/

      • Jessica

        oh my gosh I watched that movie on repeat as a kid!

      • savannnah

        That movie got me through the chicken pox ordeal of 98′

      • AGCourtney

        OMG I love this movie so much!!!

      • AGCourtney

        Thank you so much for sharing that, I loved reading it. <333

    • RNLindsay

      I’ve been following Rachel for many years now! I miss her more personal posts but her weekly Sunday night link round ups are my biggest source of good feminist news, long reads etc and I always look forward to it!

  • Jessica

    This week has been weird, so here are some things making me happy:

    1. Soup that can be vegan or carnivorous, and is super filling and delicious: http://www.hellomydumpling.com/roasted-sweet-potato-and-leek-soup-with-chorizo/

    2. This scarf my mom bought me that is shielding me from the horrors of MN November: https://factory.jcrew.com/p/womens-clothing/cold_weather_accessories/plaid-blanket-scarf/H2378?color_name=ivory-multi

    3. the Dear Sugars podcast and “Radical Empathy”: http://www.wbur.org/dearsugar

    4. These thigh-high boots that are under $50 and fit my big calves (they are listed at $52 right now, but I got them for $42 a few weeks ago): https://www.ae.com/women-aeo-tie-over-the-knee-boot-black/web/s-prod/1414_3124_001?cm=sUS-cUSD&catId=cat6470611

    5. A brunchening is coming up. There will be mimosas.

    • Kaitlyn

      Shout-out to boots that fit big calves! I also loveee that blanket scarf :)

  • Kaitlyn

    We have our food tasting this Sunday!! They invite all the couples getting married next year and four guests (we’re bringing both sets of parents) to the tasting and we are going to eat EVERYTHING. The first two hours are apps and entrees and the last hour is only desserts. I’m so pumped. It’s the first time our parents are seeing the venue too so I’m really excited to see their reactions!

    In other news, my broken foot is taking longer to heal womp womppp I actually had a feeling when we were going to the doctor this morning that he was going to tell me I needed two weeks longer than he originally said and womp I was exactly right haha So off crutches buts till in a boot till the end of November. Definitely a bummer, but I’m on my foot a LOT (I take public transit to work and am constantly going to meetings in my ginormous office building) so I’m not too surprised. But better now than right before the wedding!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ummmmm, that tasting sounds awesome, and I am jelly.Re: yer boot. I humbly suggest you build yourself an advent calendar, of sorts, to count down to it coming off. Because if you’re stuck with it, you may as well give yourself little treats and something fun to look forward to while you are.

      • Kaitlyn

        That calendar idea is GENIUS

  • Laura C

    My husband starts work next week and while I am totally ready to have him not at home for the work day, I am not ever going to be ready to have him be working biglaw hours. Happily, this week we have finally gotten our apartment like 80% of the way to where we want it to be as far as things having homes; still some furniture to acquire and boxes being stored at my parents’ house to bring here and unpack.

    Meanwhile, tomorrow we are looking at a condo my MIL is interested in. I would be super thrilled if she found something because until this one she had been rejecting everything that seemed most plausible. The budget she now says she has always been planning on is, best guess, $200k higher than the budget she was planning on a year or two ago, and the place she wants us to look at looks like a watered-down version of her old house WITH the basement level that she has previously rejected in every other listing she saw. Best we can tell, the prospect of no longer being a person who lives easy walking distance to Harvard Square clarified that being a person who lives easy walking distance to Harvard Square is the thing she most cares about (even though she only makes the walk a few times a year as far as we’ve ever noticed). So I really hope this one works out because there just aren’t that many units that fit what she’s prioritizing at any given moment. Even if I strongly feel a different unit would make more sense practically speaking if she’s going to bring her parents back, I just want her not to have a crisis where she is unwilling to sign another year’s lease but hasn’t bought a place yet.

    • RNLindsay

      A husband who works big law hours is not something you ever get used to! After 5 years, my husband is starting to interview to move out of big law and I can’t wait to have him back!

  • savannnah

    I told my team today that I’ve leaving my job! They were excited and also upset, which I anticipated. My husband also got his first commission check this morning which is a great and timely reminder of one of the significant reasons why we are uprooting our lives and moving to the west coast in the first place. After many single handed moves myself over the years, some international, it is a 100% joy to see how the cooperate world moves people. We’ve had 3 movers visit our apartment for an estimate of a full pack and move and it’s a whole new world of moving. Feeling grateful that while it’s a big move away from our community, my job and family, I’m starting to get excited about it! We are also apartment hunting next week and will get to spend some more time in Portland to explore now that we are really making moves. Also getting very hype for our honeymoon to Morocco in between all of this and then somewhere sometime life will slow down.

    • Sarah Porter

      Telling my employers I was leaving was the hardest thing ever, as it combined me having to be the center of attention + doing something for myself but not for them + potentially letting them down, but after an anxiety attack the night after, I felt so so good. And you better go eat allllll the doughnuts in Portland (Blue Star doughnuts are my favorite!)

      • savannnah

        Yes. All of that- I do feel better today and also way more official. I will report back on Blue Star!

    • MC

      My SIL & BIL are moving for BIL’s corporate job and the moving benefits are bananas (in a good way!) to me, a person not in the corporate world. Although my nonprofit did hire movers last time we moved offices and it was AMAZING and I cried with relief at how I didn’t have to help lift any furniture.

      • savannnah

        Yes. I am from the nonprofit world so its been eye opening.

    • Lexipedia

      Professional movers and packers – I’ve been converted and it’s totally worth the (actually not as much as you would think) money.

      • Jess

        I have never regretted paying people to move my furniture. Not even a little. SO worth it.

  • Sarah Porter

    Today marks a full year since I left my job as a newspaper photographer to run my business full-time! I’m really bad at transitions, especially big life-affecting ones, so I’m really happy to say this year has been awesome, I have wayyy less anxiety than I did working with a bunch of people, I’m making more money and I’m able to work from my PJs to boot.

    • savannnah

      Um and you’re amazing. You left that part out.

      • Sarah Porter

        <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 can I hire you as my personal barefooted cheerleader?

        • savannnah

          Done. Just let me know what color pom poms to get so we can coordinate.

  • MC

    So thanks to folks who re-mentioned the Witch Please podcast last week because I love it AND it led me to a discovery of another Harry Potter podcast, The Quibbler, which is also nerdy and hilarious and includes important social commentary. I’ve been heavily obsessed with Harry Potter over the last few months (re-reading all the books & even some fanfic) and I am feeling super appreciative of escapism via young adult literature because my brain really needed a break from thinking about real life 100% of the time!! Laughing so much this week listening to people discuss the ridiculous plot points of HP has given me so much joy.

    • Gaby

      Oh same here! I don’t remember who posted it but I marathoned through the first four episodes when I first read about it here. I also enjoy the escapism and I’m always more in the mood for HP in the fall time so it was perfect.

    • Lexipedia

      I have been listening to Witch Please too!!!! I’ll have to add The Quibbler to my list.

      • MC

        I like them both a lot. The Quibbler is neat because they talk about 2-3 chapters at a time so they can go into a lot of detail. And it’s hosted by a married couple which is total #marriagegoals. Not quite as much feminist/literary theory analysis as Witch Please.

    • JC

      Witch Please has made my life so much better.

    • EF

      i just wanna share that i get to go to the british library’s special harry potter exhibit as work perk next week and i am BEYOND MYSELF WITH EXCITEMENT and so many people just don’t understand.

      ok that’s all!!

      • AGCourtney

        !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Amy March

        Ohhh I already have my tickets for December! Best work perk ever!

        • EF

          you’re coming to london!? should we hang and be snarky?!

      • MC

        That sounds AMAZING!!!! I would be beyond excited.

  • penguin

    We got our new dishes! After all the time we spent registering, almost everyone just gave us money. Which is great, but it means that we could have saved ourselves some time registering. We ordered stuff that has been coming in the mail all week and picked up a bunch of things in store. The Hue dishes from Crate and Barrel are great! We love them. I also feel much more adult having a full set of plates that match haha.

    My husband is planning on calling his dad today to see if they are going to give us a check to cover the cost of the reception. That’s what they had agreed to, then “forgot”, then said they’d pay us back later. Well, now it’s “later” and we’re scheduled to have lunch with them on Sunday. I’m hoping they pony up the money, because then I can pay off my student loans in one fell swoop (I would have had them paid off this month if I hadn’t had to put so much money towards wedding costs). We’re both nervous that they are either going to “forget” again, or try to hold it over us somehow. Fingers crossed that they decide to not suck.

    • kayceeee

      I’m excited to use our new dishes – we ended up going with the Noritake ColorTrio Coupe set from BBB and i’m loving them. I do still need to get two more sets to complete what we wanted, but I haven’t had new dishes since I received my colorful Corelle dishes back in college.
      Also, I feel you on the in-law situation. My dad was supposed to help with rehearsal dinner costs and informed me via text as I was driving there that he was no longer going to help. Thankfully, I had the money and just had to swing by the bank to get it, but it still throws you off when it’s an expense you weren’t expecting.

    • savannnah

      We ended up getting unexpected checks that covered about 5% of the wedding from both my husbands dad and mom (they are divorced) a month or so after the wedding after a long and drawn out back and forth of ‘we can help if we can help/we can/ we cant’ dance during our engagement that I had no time for- it’s great and helpful now and we will spend the cash on our honeymoon and thank them profusely AND it feels really unnecessarily emotionally complicated when it could have been straight forward. Good vibes that they just don’t suck and you get those loans paid off!

    • louise danger

      did i miss your post-wedding post, lady? fingers crossed for minimal inlaw suckage

      • penguin

        Yep last week! Posted two giant walls of text and some pictures that I’ve since taken down. The wedding itself went great somehow :) Now just hoping that they do what they agreed to.

        • louise danger

          dangit /goes to find it

          • penguin

            It’s super exciting!! Although our mailman must hate us now haha. We placed a big order with Bed Bath and Beyond (many items) and I didn’t realize that they would break it up into a TON of different boxes. So our one big order has come in all week in like… 10 packages. I’m still so excited to say “husband” too! And every time my husband refers to me as his wife I get a little thrill haha.

          • louise danger

            our mailman saw us on the Tuesday before the wedding, and said “hey, those little postcards I’ve been dropping off – are y’all getting married or something?” “yes! :)” “when’s the big day? congratulations!” “Friday” “wow, that’s really great! tell Mr [Danger’s first name] congratulations, too!” lol

          • Lexipedia

            Haha we’ve been doing this with Amazon too. Like, how do they make it into the maximum number of possible packages?!

          • Eenie

            We got a barbell and bumper plates (10# and 25#) in the mail as a wedding gift from my mom. We routinely order 40# bags of cat litter. We can tell when the mailman is pissed at us cause they leave the stuff in the middle of our driveway instead of the porch.

          • louise danger

            lmao

          • Anna

            Our yichud was supposed to include a sampler of the cocktail hour appetizers brought to us in the same boardroom we used for our ketubah signing before the ceremony, but after we recessed, we discovered that the boardroom was locked :-/ so we snuck into the hotel office/storage room next door, which was empty (I guess whoever’s office it was didn’t work weekends?) and just sat there for a few minutes. We ended up cutting it short to just go up to the cocktail hour, which was definitely the right decision, because oh man the cocktail hour was up there among the best parts of the whole wedding day (for any NY APWers, tip, John Dory Oyster Bar does phenomenal cocktails and is an extremely pleasant space). And we didn’t have any trouble getting appetizers because turns out the staff passing the trays are easier to flag down when you’re wearing a wedding dress xD

            Just about all our housewares arrived in packages but it was still super exciting. Although after Wedding Part II (casual reception hosted by my parents for my enormous extended family and all my parents’ friends, two months after we actually got married), we got another round of gifts from people who didn’t know us as well and mostly ignored the remains of our registry, and having a ton of boxes show up that AREN’T things you picked (many of which are really thoroughly bizarre and take up way too much space for our one-bedroom apartment) goes from exciting to stressful :-/

        • Violet

          Congratulations!!!

          • penguin

            Thanks so much!!

    • Katharine Parker

      New dishes are SO MUCH FUN. Everything I eat looks nicer on our new dishes. Enjoy yours!

    • Rose

      Enjoy the new dishes! We ended up registering for four colors of Fiestaware, and for weeks afterwards, just opening the kitchen cupboard or the dishwasher was enough to make me happy.

    • Lisa

      The dishes were my favorite thing we got from our wedding, too! Only one person bought us any of them so all of the wedding cash went towards the honeymoon and plates. It’s an amazing feeling going from mis-matched, college-era plates to a full set!

      And I hope they get you the money they promised. They’ve been unnecessarily evasive and crappy about following through. (If they do though, congratulations on paying off your student loans!)

    • Anna

      We had a full set of matching dishes already from my MIL, who had a set of “everyday” dishes and a set of “nice” dishes and wanted an excuse to start using the latter for everyday purposes :-) But the set was short on salad plates and we didn’t have any large, shallow bowls (my preferred dishes for gumbo/poached fish served in broth/a variety of other specific meals that come up fairly regularly in our rotation), so we registered for some gorgeous blue shallow bowls and salad plates (the Jars Tourron from Crate & Barrel). Our salad plates are now mismatched (although all high quality), but it’s super nice not running out of small plates for breakfasts/lunches halfway through the week… and the bowls have become our go-to dishes for fully half of our meals. Pasta? Bowls. Stir fry? Bowls. Chicken served with greens? Bowls. My husband has taken to referring to them as “blowls” (as a portmanteau of “blue” and “bowls”) and I love them deeply.

    • Lisa

      Yay dishes! We upgraded our everyday dishes, but we’re also on the fence about getting china. There is a pattern that we love and we do entertain regularly (although we could use our everyday dishes). My grandmother also has a set of china that she’s offered to us, so it’s not like we need to buy the set that we registered for (and didn’t receive, so we would be using wedding cash for it). I guess our dilemma is that we love this set, but it’s expensive and unnecessary and we could use the money for other goals. I wish we had just received it instead of the money so the decision would be out of our hands.

      • Ashley Weckbacher

        Are they dishwasher safe?

  • Suzanne

    It’s been 4 years now since our city hall wedding and I keep thinking that marrying my partner, even as young as I was (age 21!) was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And just because I never got around to sharing wedding pictures, here we are at our wedding part II with all the friends and family a year and a half later. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b82917406b4d926bce271ca8f3e0a9f1f0f8228a1bd0d4494e694c23479a5716.jpg

    • ssha

      Sweet!

    • Sarah Porter

      The best thing about getting married young (I was too!), is actually all the awkward struggles you go through as a young person learning how to adult you get to do alongside someone else who is on your team, and you often get to look back and be like, “LOOK HOW FAR WE CAME!”

      • Suzanne

        Yes! He’s a couple years older than me and so I’m going through grad school as he’s starting out his career. So we get to have those discussions together about navigating all that. And he makes sure that I sleep and eat at reasonable hours.

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Today one of my customers did something super nice for me! Last year when he started working with our business he told me about his family’s 150-year-running tradition of making a TON of applesauce a week in advance, then spending a whole day boiling it down into apple butter. It starts before the sun is up, there’s music and beer, everyone from all living generations takes turns stirring, and when it’s all boiled down they jar it all up. Then they rip apart a fresh loaf of bread and sop up whatever’s left in the big vat. AND TODAY HE BROUGHT ME A JAR OF THIS YEAR’S BUTTER. Omg, it’s amazing, and it made my day. Years from now, when I’m doing some other job, and I look back at this time in my life, I’ll remember this guy sharing the fruits of his family’s beautiful tradition with me. I’m a lucky lady.So there’s a nice thing that happened.

    • savannnah

      Apple butter is one of my 5 food groups so I’m wicked jealous.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Top Secret: Sassafras. Shhhhh!

    • ssha

      That is an amazing tradition. I want in.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        RIGHT??

    • Sarah Porter

      this kind of stuff is why if I remember and have time to do something extra for someone, I will. because people always remember extra.

      • Stephanie

        People always remember extra. It’s why when I think someone looks cute, or has a cool pair of shoes, or has a nice voice or is a good dancer… I tell them! Takes 3 seconds and adds a little… extra!

    • kayceeee

      Aww, that is sweet. Also, my MIL used to always send us a jar of apple butter from PA each year. It was always my favorite thing especially on some pan toast.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Ohhhh, that is a good idea. I def need to grab some great, fresh bread on my way home today.

  • Elizabeth

    I said yes to the dress!

    So! I had absolutely no intention of getting a dress this weekend. I mainly scheduled the appointment so my mom would get the wedding dress shopping experience and not feel left out (we live about six hours away from each other) and then rent or thrift something later. FH and I are paying for everything ourselves, so we have a pretty tight budget. I had some ideas in my head of what I liked, but our appointment was at an upscale boutique and I had a feeling nothing was going to be in our budget. I drove to the town where my brother and SIL live, which is a good halfway point for me and my mom, and my mom, SIL and I went shopping.

    The appointment at the boutique was great; the consultant was wonderful, my mom was really into it, and we narrowed it down to two dresses we liked, then down to one. But in the end, it was too much money (several times my budget even after a trunk show discount) and it was an easy decision to walk away. I messaged FH, who was playing golf with my brother and his in-laws, and they hadn’t even started yet. So I looked at my mom and SIL and said, “Eff it, wanna go to David’s?”

    We arrived, and it sounded like we were going to have to wait, but then they had a no show. We were assigned the consultant they would have had, and all I can say is that bride missed out, because my gal was amazing. We started pulling all kinds of gowns, I wanted to leave no stone unturned, and we started getting closer and closer to what I wanted. Then I found it.

    My mom cried. My SIL cried. All the consultants cried and screamed “Yaaas, Queen, Yaaaaaas!” It was magical.

    And it was $400. Life made. I said yes.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a5f4bc267ea3843e28c3ac2529e9cd4e2de74c2351de98871d62ffee12db307.jpg

    • Fiona

      Stunning!

    • ssha

      THAT DRESS!

    • Zoya

      Those sleeves! That back!

    • penguin

      Wow it looks AMAZING on you and it fits perfectly! Right off the rack! And it has sleeves and a big swishy skirt?? Thank you for making wedding dress dreams come true <3 <3 <3

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        DYE IT BLUUUUUUUE

        • penguin

          All the heart eye emojis right now :)

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ohhhhh, you look like a fairy princess ballerina.

      • Elizabeth

        Funny you mention that.

        My mom grabbed a very large tiara off the wall and put it on me, then promptly burst into tears. My sister in law made a face like “uh oh.” I was not a fan of it, and there’s some candid shots of me reacting to it in the mirror that are going in a scrapbook somewhere. The consultant, bless her, picked up on this right away, and together we convinced my mom not to buy it (yet).

        But now I don’t know how I’m going to get out of it lol.

        Also thank you :) you guys are so sweet

        • penguin

          Flower crown!! Will always be my recommendation. Unless you’re someone who loves veils, in which case you should try some on.

          • Elizabeth

            I will probably opt for a lower profile headband or something with rhinestones, but this tiara seriously was like a Princess Diana rival. Very tall and just overpowering.

            I’d love to do a greenery crown!

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            Here for a greenery crown! People will likely say “but! That’s not going to look right!” And you can happily prove them wrong/not care because oh my god, you’ll be radiant either way.

            Also, I realized two weeks before the wedding that anything that I was bullied into (I’m sure your mom isn’t a bully but mine is) that was going to end up in the ceremony photos was going to break my heart when I looked at the photos. So I guess my point is to stand your ground, if it is something you feel passionately

            I had a succulent crown (on a headband) and all my bridesmaids wore flower crowns. It was one of the most memorable things about the day, for me.

          • Anna

            Oh man my flower crown was maybe my favorite part of my wedding attire. And then it disappeared afterwards and I was vaguely bummed and then SUPER EXCITED to find out one of my bridesmaids had swiped it and dried/preserved it :-)

          • Ashley Weckbacher

            Oh jealous! I think my maid of honor kept and dried her and the flower girl’s crown was mostly dried flowers anyway, but I just had to trash mine.

        • louise danger

          greenery crown + veil combo worked out p good for me lol

          or just the crown, and be princess aurora/sleeping beauty :)

          (if ‘crown’ is what has you panicking, call it a floral wreath in your head)

          • Elizabeth

            omg Princess Aurora is my favorite Disney princess….

            I wouldn’t mind some kind of a crown or tiara, but this one was just too big. And just overly ornate and didn’t seem well made. Also I’m a dancing fool and I don’t want to contend with keeping any hardware on lol.

    • Oh my goodness, those sleeves though… Such a gorgeous dress, congrats!

    • Lisa

      I love the sleeves on it!

    • Laura C

      That dress is enough to make me a believer in David’s.

      • Elizabeth

        I really had zero expectations walking in, we were really just going to kill time. I was really pleasantly surprised and the consultant was the bomb.

        • britebells

          I had almost the exact same experience! I thought, why not give it a shot? I walked out with an amazing dress pulled by an amazing consultant!

      • penguin

        Definitely depends on your location, but I’m glad it worked out in this case! I had an awful experience when I went, so I ended up going to a smaller boutique.

        • Jennifer

          I had the same sort of thing. Also, nothing at all fit me. The smaller boutique actually had dresses that mostly fit my lack-of-boobs. But that dress is amazing and I am sad that sleeves weren’t really a thing six years ago.

    • rg223

      I hit the “view” link and said “WOW” out loud when it loaded. It’s fabulous!

    • Gaby

      Congrats! It’s soo beautiful! I had a very similar story, intended to buy online but went to David’s to appease my mom and MOH, found the perfect $400 dress, everyone cried. Oh and mine also had lace sleeves! I love them so much.

    • AGCourtney

      OMG I love this!!! Congratulations.

    • Violet

      That DRESS, tho.

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      Simply beautiful!

    • Capondoodle

      Love everything about this! Saying no to high price boutique. The DB staff’s reaction. AND the dress is GORG! It’s the best feeling when you find something you love and that you don’t have to sweat over financially.

    • Stephanie

      You couldn’t look better! It’s such a cool mix of romantic and a little sex and ethereal (and incredibly chic!)

    • GotMarried!

      That dress is AMAZING! I love it!

    • Jenny

      That dress is so dreamy!

    • Lisa

      So beautiful! I love dresses with sleeves, and that neckline is gorgeous!

    • Lawyerette510

      That dress is gorgeous!

    • AmandaBee

      Wow, that is GORGEOUS. And it fits you perfectly! And SCORE for $400.

    • jazzygingery

      Absolutely beautiful

    • Les

      Beautiful pick! It looks like a billion bucks!

    • BSM

      This is STUNNING!

    • suchbrightlights

      Uh, yaaaaaaaaas is pretty much the only response there is to this dress. Excellent find.

    • karyn_arden

      You look stunning! Congratulations on the dress!

    • Emily

      Gorgeous!

  • Lagaviota

    Does anyone have any great recommendations for DIY-ish invitations or save the dates? I have a drawing I’m hoping to use and am playing around a bit with various programs to get it exactly how I want it, but I’m not sure of the best way to actually get it turned into beautiful stationery.. Tips? Websites you used? I would love any and all input!

    • louise danger

      I wound up DIYing the design and then working with a friend at a local print shop. You probably have a similar print shop in your area, but it’s worth at least talking to them to describe what it is you’re looking for – especially since you already have the design/layouts and just need them to become physical objects. Bonus: it’s super inexpensive!

  • Fushigidane

    I was rewriting my resume and wishing I could add planning a wedding to my experience. Coordinated vendors to successfully complete project; completed all milestone goals on initial timeline; created budget and completed project within that budget; navigated high stress interpersonal relations

    • flashphase

      OMG, I use my wedding project management skills ALL THE TIME at work. When I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself I planned a wedding!

    • AGCourtney

      RIGHT?

    • Danielle

      Can you add it to an ‘Additional Skills’ or ‘Hobbies’ (not the right word, but something like that) section?

      • Kara E

        I’m not sure how much you’re kidding, but if, as a hiring manager, I saw that and asked a follow-up question and found out it was about planning your own wedding I would probably discount a lot of other stuff on your resume too. If you helped friends as an advisor/consultant, sure/maybe, but that’s not something I would put if you want to be taken seriously. It’s not to say that you haven’t developed important skills in the process, but I’d save them for examples in an interview.

    • S

      “Freelance Event Management” 201X-201Y (years of engagement)
      I would totally put it on your resume. It’s all true! Spreadsheets, budget, liasing with vendors and stakeholders….I am actually ALL FOR THIS

  • Mary Jo TC

    Good stuff this week:
    We had a great parent conference with my son’s preschool teacher and apparently he’s doing awesome.
    I hit my word count goals for the first 3 days of NaNoWriMo!
    The toddler finally got over his hand-foot-and-mouth disease (after 3 days out of daycare).

    Weekend plans:
    Get the toddler a haircut
    Monthly budget talk
    put away the boys’ summer clothes.

    • AGCourtney

      So impressed on the NaNoWriMo! That’s awesome. Oof, hand-foot-and-mouth is no fun. Glad that’s over with.

    • Kara E

      HFM is the devil. Seriously. I think the last time my kid had it we had 4 days in a row of 105F fevers. Glad your kiddo is healthy again!

  • Her Lindsayship

    I’m struggling with motivating myself to start a job hunt. I told myself that this Fall I would start looking in the data science field since I got my certificate last year and that’s where I want to be. I’ve been in my current job almost three years and the thing is, there are things I really hate about it, but for the most part it’s good. My office is really chill and it’s more money than I expected to make at this point (though prob not as much as I could make in data science). It’s difficult to make a move because I’m seriously TERRIFIED of going into tech, my impostor syndrome is unreal. I’d like to join like a ‘women in data science’ group or something, but I haven’t found any that seem active in Boston. I don’t know anyone in the field currently, and I’d like some more exposure before I start tossing applications into the wind. I also am definitely repeatedly hitting a wall where it’s like, ‘girl you should start looking for jobs/get a website up/review your data projects/literally anything in the direction of forward’ and then my brain nopes out or finds something else I should do right now instead.

    I guess what I’m looking for is resources to help unfreeze me in that respect. Or solidarity!

    • kayceeee

      I can’t give you any advice cause I’m kinda in the same boat so following along for points. I have a Graphic Design degree and haven’t used it in just over four years. I’m currently working for a printing company doing AEC/small format/bindery which doesn’t even require a degree so essentially I am underemployed. I really want to break into Project Management/Coordination, but don’t even know where to start as it’s so overwhelming.

      • Les

        Hi! I’m a PM in tech (looking to move out of tech, but to what?!) and I’m here to tell you PMing is totally a job you can break into. Don’t limit yourself to jobs with the word ‘project’ in them. Look for stuff you can spin as project management so in a few years you can apply to take the PMP (which isn’t mandatory at all). My recommendation is look for jobs in operations departments of companies. This is a good way to enter in a position that is more general and not degree-specific, but almost always includes project management because the ops department needs to design and or execute change for the company. I started in ops writing procedural docs for analysts (no knowledge needed but the english language and ms word), which morphed into improving process for analysts, which morphed into executing those changes, which led to me getting recruited internally to be a PM! Good luck out there!

        • kayceeee

          Thank you! I’m definitely ready to delve more into that sort of role – it’s just the getting started and figuring out how exactly to do so that’s freaking me out.

          • Les

            Amen sister. I want to switch industries… totally stumped.

    • flashphase

      I highly recommend the book “The Now Habit.” It explains procrastination and the fears behind it and very calmly helps you have different language to talk to your brain and reconfigure your habits. The key messages are that starting is more important than finishing; you have plenty of time for fun; a bad draft is better than nothing; scheduling is your friend; and once you get started, you probably want to keep going.

      It’s a great read for managers too!

    • Kaitlyn

      WAIT I work at a tech company in Boston in Recruiting (though I’m not a recruiter haha) and we’re in desperate need of data science folks, shoot me an email at knolan012@gmail.com and I’ll tell you which one! (I’ll delete my email in a bit haha)

    • Have you tried Meetup or Eventbrite for Women in Tech meetings? That’s where I see them posted in the Twin Cities.

      On the imposter syndrom front, my advice is to think about where you are, and then imagine yourself there in 5 years – will you be ok staying exactly where you are? Because that’s what inertia will get you. And it’s so EASY to stay in the comfy spot and then wake up and realize you’ve been there for 5/10/20yrs.

      You don’t have to do EVERYTHING right now. Set small goals: join LinkedIn/Meetup groups in your field; apply to one job a week; etc.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Wow the five years exercise is such good advice. Before I even finished reading the sentence I was like NOPE so I guess that tells us something! I’ve looked at Meetup and haven’t had much luck, but haven’t checked Eventbrite so I will do so now. Thank you Jubilance!

    • Laura

      Not sure if this is precisely what you’re looking for, but my SIL is a Ph.D. biostatistician in Boston who has mentioned the “R-Ladies Boston” meetup for people who use R. She’s gone to several events and had a fabulous time. Pretty sure it’s an active group, as she has mentioned them recently. Friendly women who get excited about data, stats, data visualization, etc.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Thank you! I’ll definitely check it out, that sounds cool!

  • Em

    Hi all, new to posting but been enjoying the posts and great comments. A question I would love your input on: to have or not have professional photography.

    We’re having a small, relaxed wedding, 40 guests on a small island. Hang-out vibe. My fiancée is afraid that having a photographer there would ruin the feeling of it being laidback and low key, and that going off for portraits would disturb the flow of the day. I would on the other hand be sad if we end up having no really good pictures (despite several very photo-inclined guests).

    Any thoughts and experiences?

    • Amy March

      Have it. Tell you photographer you’re not into a ton of posed portraits but do it. It won’t ruin the feeling- it’s a wedding not a BBQ, people expect a bit of fuss!

    • penguin

      I totally agree with Amy. Get a pro photographer. The key is finding one that you fit well with who has a style that you like. A good (pro) photographer will be able to get a bunch of candid pictures without disrupting the flow of things. Our photographer seemed to be everywhere, but we also didn’t really notice her at all. Don’t count on your guests to get photos – hire someone.

    • louise danger

      Find a good photographer who is well-versed in the art of photography ninjutsu – taking all the lovely pictures you want but not being obtrusive about it. Let your guests have fun being guests, and leave the hard work of picture-taking to someone who does that as a job!

      Can I selfishly recommend our photographer, Shawnee Custalow, as an excellent example of this kind of work? Because seriously, she’s amazing. She is mentioned in the post from… earlier today? about photography discounts, too.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Are you open to doing your formal portraits before the ceremony, so they don’t interrupt the flow of the day?

    • Rachel

      We had a super small wedding (10 guests) and one pro photographer. She only took a few portraits we wanted and mostly just ran around taking candids, and she completely captured the laidback, family, casual, but special vibe the day had. Like penguin said, find one who fits your personality and style. With a small number of guests around, it was really nice to have a photographer who legitimately felt like she could be a friend. She didn’t ruin the feeling at all. And even with so few guests, there are moments and things you miss that are awesome to be able to see after the fact through the photos.

    • Capondoodle

      Yeah, no, definitely get a photographer if you want one. Just spend time making sure you vibe well with them. Ask them questions about how they interact with guests. i think it’s totally possible to find someone who would get along with everyone and not feel intrusive. Just make your wishes clear at the consultation.

    • Not Sarah

      I would look for a photographer who specializes in small weddings! One of the ones we met with could have been a perfect fit for you: she only does 4 hours of coverage and mostly prefers small, laidback weddings.

      On your fiancee’s point, a good pro photographer should not be terribly noticeable but will produce photos of moments you will remember forever to come!

    • Les

      if you get one, lay out how up in your biz you want them to be. personally it really drives me bananas when I’m trying to watch my friends say her vows and all I see us the photographer like..basically in her mouth

  • Lisa

    Tomorrow commences our 2 months of off-and-on travel, and I’m feeling so unprepared. (Seriously, 7 out of the 9 weekends left in 2017, we’re out of town.) Today has been a marathon of food prepping so that our CSA doesn’t rot while we’re gone and laundry doing. Packing for San Francisco is up next! I’m so thankful for these three day weekends I’ve gotten to have while waiting for my new position to be finalized, but I’m also ready to be official and not have to caveat everything with, “Well, I’m technically on special assignment from my other job until my job posting comes through.”

    Hopefully we survive everything. I woke up with a tickle in my throat this morning, and all I can think is “I cannot afford to get sick right before this gigantic conference where I’ll be going from at least 8-8 every day.” Send good vibes/thoughts/prayers that I don’t get my husband’s students’ high school colds!

    • AGCourtney

      Sending lots and lots of good vibes!

    • RNLindsay

      I hear you on the CSA. We got our last one this week and I’m happy it for it to be over. We did a lot of traveling this summer and there was so. much. food. prepping.

  • sage

    I need to rant about my overly religious conservative parents (specifically mom)…

    During our years together, fiance and I have gone on multiple overseas vacations together = parents are fine with this and supportive.
    During our 1.5 year long engagement, fiance and I bought a house together but I wasn’t going to move in until the wedding = parents are supportive, thrilled about the house.
    We decided that, for logistical reasons, it will be way easier for me to move into the house with fiance about 3 weeks before the wedding = my mom is losing her shit and not really speaking to me.

    When I told her she went silent for a long time then said “Well, we didn’t raise you that way.” Come on, I’m nearly 30 and have been doing things she didn’t raise me to do (drink, vote democrat, have LGBTQ friends, etc) for my whole adult life! I’m sure she will come around, but seriously. WHY IS THIS THE ONE THING SHE CAN’T HANDLE?

    • ssha

      People are seriously SO WEIRD about this. I’m sorry you have to deal with this, especially so close to your wedding.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Awwww, man. My mom’s pretty conservative, too, and I broke her in a little earlier by moving in with my then-boyfriend-now-fiancé a few years back. It was a leeeeeetle weird between us for a bit. Which is to say, I totally empathize.

    • Olive

      This is the worst, I had a similar experience with my mom. 3 years later, things are much better. I don’t know if I have any advice on how to deal with it (lots of venting to cousins/aunts/friends/therapist and work on being assertive), but I hope she is able to accept it soon.

    • savannnah

      I’m extra annoyed at this for you because to me she isn’t objecting to you actually being in a 2017 style relationship, she is objecting to you appearing to other people that you are and that is just level two stank eye for me.

      • sage

        Yep, this exactly. Love my mom, but the lady cares waaaaaaay too much about appearances.

    • nona

      Ugh, I’m sorry. I moved in with my fiancé 3 months before the wedding. My mom was initially cool when I told her and then had a Serious Talk with me about it. It was the worst.
      I hope that she comes around and get herself together soon. I’m sorry that you have to deal with this before your wedding.

    • Lisa

      Not a ton of advice, but a lot of solidarity. When I told my parents we were moving in together the summer we got married, my dad said he’d expected it, but my mom got her super disappointed face on and wouldn’t talk. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “What will you tell your children some day?” She also refused for the first year to stay at our place because it was a den of sin, and she didn’t feel comfortable even though I offered to sleep in the bed with her and put my husband on the couch.

      After a year of this, when we moved into our Badtown place a couple of months before we got married, she seemed to have mostly gotten over it because she and my dad stayed in our guest room instead of getting a hotel room like she’d done all the times she visited in Chicago.

      Moms aren’t necessarily reasonable creatures. Time heals most wounds though so she will probably get over it eventually. It just sucks while all of the judgment is floating around.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        +1 to your last paragraph.

    • MC

      Solidarity. My in-laws, who are not conservative in most ways but weirdly fixed on this one thing, were also really upset that Husband and I moved in together before we got married. In our case there was also a logistical incentive – we were moving to a new state together and of course we weren’t going to get two apartments in a new place when we could just share one! They did eventually come around but it still baffled and annoyed me.

      • MC

        Oh, and this also resulted in a super awkward conversation where my FIL (who was at the time just my boyfriend’s dad) told us both in person how important he thinks it is to wait until marriage to have sex, and boyfriend and I had to try really hard to keep our poker faces and not make eye contact because at this point we had been sleeping together for more than 5 years…

        • sage

          That is so awkward!!!

        • savannnah

          This is the part I don’t understand. I just wanna be like ‘oh the sex? yes the sex has happened.’ but that’s not productive.

          • MC

            I really wanted to be like, “Well, might as well stop worrying about that, because that ship has sailed.” But then we all would have died of awkwardness.

          • Lexipedia

            This is what my mom said to the minister her parents got to talk to her in high school. Knowing my mom I wish I could’ve seen the look on his face.

          • penguin

            All I can think of is some old Julia Roberts movie where this old lady is telling her to watch out for “the one-eyed snake” and then Julia Roberts makes some comment about how she’s tamed the snake already and it’s fine haha. This is a vague memory, but I think it might be from Runaway Bride.

          • savannnah

            Yes it is from Runaway Bride. A classic.

        • SL

          OMG yes so much this. My dad was going to live with us a couple days a week for awhile shortly after we got married, and he sat down with us for a serious talk about how he didn’t want to be a burden because we were newly weds and would want to be “chasing each other around the house.” (We had lived together for 4 years at that point :D).

        • Les

          100 lols. 5 years dad, FIVE YEARS

    • penguin

      Ugh that’s so frustrating that this is what she fixes on. You’re an adult! And you’re not even moving in together until 3 weeks before the wedding. Like… she should cut you some slack. It’s also none of her business, but I’m sorry she’s being weird about it.

      • sage

        Fiance thought I shouldn’t have even told them, because it is none of her business. But I could seriously envision my parents offering to help with stuff the week of the wedding and finding out then which would be so much worse.

        • Amy March

          Yeah and you should able to tell your parents where you live.

    • Stephanie

      Ughhh… I feel you. My girlfriend moved in a few months ago and I haven’t told my parents yet. (They live across the country, we don’t talk *that* much anyways, and I’ve never pretended like she lived somewhere else “Girlfriend came over for breakfast this morning”) All those bullshit excuses said… I need to tell them! They’re not super thrilled about the whole girlfriend thing anyways, so I’m just avoiding it like hell. I know I’m an adult and have to get my shit together, but god do I wish this was going to be an easier conversation.

      • sage

        That sounds rough. It is seriously hard to get up the nerve to have the conversation. Good luck!

      • ssha

        One of my college friends is in a similar situation and I just… my heart hurts for her and her gf and for you. good luck.

    • Capondoodle

      It’s amazing what hills people to choose to die on. Wish I had a good solution for you. Sending good vibes your way!

    • Gaby

      I did not have this experience, but was worried that my dad’s religious family in Mexico would be this judgmental when they found out. My mom comforted me by saying, “All of your cousins there have ended up in shotgun weddings so that obviously hasn’t stuck there either.”

    • Anne

      Yeah, I’ve got nothing but solidarity and confirmation that more conservative older folks can be especially weird about this, for whatever reason.

      Husband and I lived together for a few years before getting married. Coincidentally, husband’s cousin ended up getting married around the same time as us, and decided to jump through a lot of complicated logistical hoops to avoid living together before marriage, in apparently somewhat large part to appease husband’s grandparents, who are apparently sad that many of their grandchildren made the choice to live together before marriage. As a result, their whole extended family have been having LOTS of opinions on this topic, in various directions, and the whole thing is weird and complicated and annoying. Thankfully, none of it has spilled over into actual direct voiced confrontations or disapprovals, so I can just continue to serenely pretend I don’t care and change the subject.

      Suffice it to say that a lot of people in some circles have a lot of strong feelings about this one, and if you feel that it’s not that big a deal and the right move for you, then you just need to keep your head high and let people realize that you’re not a terrible person, you’re not ruining your relationship prematurely, and whatever other mysterious deep-seated associations they might have with that decision.

      • Anna

        Hell, even liberal, middle-aged folks can have weird hangups about relationships/cohabitation/premarital sex. My mom is not very religious (Reform Jewish, mostly only attends services for the High Holy Days), and not conservative at all on either political or social issues, except for a weird blind spot around this specific area. Like, she got upset about me wanting to share a bedroom with my now-husband when we visited her, as adults, until we got engaged (she got over it fairly quickly, but it was weird). She told me in college that I should be less affectionate with my male friends because “people will assume you’re sleeping around” (which I was…), and at one point when I was maybe twelve and wearing one of those summer-camp, cut-the-sides-and-braid-them t-shirts she told me that she didn’t want her daughter going out “looking like a prostitute” (I’m fairly certain my mother has never witnessed an actual sex worker). This all despite the fact that she supports decriminalizing sex work, increasing access to contraception and abortion, etc… just somehow when it’s at the personal scale rather than the societal scale, she gets weirdly sex-negative and traditional about relationship boundaries.

        All this to say that relationships, and especially anything that brushes even implicitly on sex, bring up strong feelings for a lot of people even independent of their usual political/social outlook. It’s a complicated topic with a lot of cultural baggage.

        • Anne

          Yes for sure – “cultural baggage” is exactly the right term for it. I meant religiously conservative in my original post more so than politically, but your point still stands. I’ve had similar experiences with my fairly liberal parents, but they actually progressed pretty far over the course of my relationship. Some of that was complicated by the fact that I have much younger siblings, so I think they wanted to be cautious about the extent to which they were ok with corrupting them, essentially. Even having been through that, it was just crazy to me how it became such a BFD in husband’s family leading up to these couple of weddings. There are just so many better things in the world to obsess over…

          • Anna

            Yeah, it’s hard to reconcile with someone I otherwise consider very reasonable and who I generally agree with about most other things. It’s super jarring to have my mother take my bisexuality 100% in stride but know that she would flip a SHIT if she knew how many sexual partners I’ve had (like, those things are unrelated, sure, but most of the time the people who get mad about them overlap?). Also super jarring to have her give me basically maximum age-appropriate freedom and autonomy on essentially everything for my entire childhood, get to college (at which point I was like “okay, I’m an adult now, right?”), and then have her be like “don’t touch the boys!” I do have a younger sister, but she’s only four years younger, and I imagine she would’ve gotten the same reactions from my mom if she’d been more inclined to dress and act in the ways my mother found objectionable from me.

            In any case, now I’m married, my mother no longer thinks my sex life is something appropriate for her to comment on, so this has mostly gone from a source of friction between us to just like… a weird fact of her mindset that I just don’t understand.

    • LazyMountain

      Oof. This is a rough one. Can I offer comfort in that in hindsight it might be amusing? Good friend of mine was marrying a good Indian boy- they were already living together but she effectively stayed at a friend’s when the large traditional family came into town for the wedding to maintain the illusion! It was the epitome of non-confrontation and I had to respect that kind of dedication. She laughs a lot about it now. As for your mother, you could always frame your response as “You also did not raise me to be foolish with my time, money, or mental well being, and I thought you’d appreciate that those were of higher value than an antiquated social construct.”

      • Olive

        yessssssss writing this down and saving for a rainy day.

      • LazyMountain

        Also you might need to add this pillow to your registry… http://etsy.me/2A6CWpA

        • ssha

          bahaha

        • Olive

          the best.

      • suchbrightlights

        OH SNAP. Well put.

    • SL

      My parents are the same way. I’m 99% sure my mom knew we were living together before we got married. We also bought a house, he had a bunch of stuff there, etc, but my parents never asked and I never told them. My sister moved in with her boyfriend and it was like the world was ending. “living in sin” is serious business! :D

  • AGCourtney

    AHHH I love those costumes, Meg!

    I’m back! Last week we were seeing Nightmare Before Christmas in theaters. It was really fun! And my kiddo’s first time in a movie theater.

    My daughter is 6!!! We celebrated the day before by seeing the orchestra Sphinx Virtuosi and then the dance troupe Diavolo at the Ordway, and then spent her actual birthday having a chill day at home decorating for Halloween. (We have my dad’s huge collection of the Halloween equivalent of a Christmas village and it is the BEST.) Her birthday party is this Sunday and it’s Hamilton-themed! I’ve warned her that her Angelica Schuyler dress probably won’t fit her anymore, but it’s going to be fun. We’ve been doing our best to really ramp up the home organizing efforts. It won’t be “clean” in time for the party, but it’ll be a hell of a lot better than it was when we started.

    We had a great Halloween. We did Renaissance outfits this year, since that didn’t require buying anything extra. My family tradition has always been trick-or-treating at the Mall of America, so we did that. I felt a bit guilty for not doing actual costumes, but I forget that, you know, we look awesome. We got a lot of compliments and it was fun.

    My husband and I are attending a fundraiser gala tomorrow and I’m excited. I figured out my outfit last night and I’m going to look so pretty! It’s for a non-profit I graduated from, and I’ve gone to this twice in that capacity, but it’s my first time going as a donor. It’ll be fun! I’m glad I’m in a place now where I can give back.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/002810e52aa6bb6f78e414b2d1906bc04e6269bcdf4d7b30db2961e816764d75.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e73e469d210c6bd324100d99f2fdcef3feb2f356fd60960bdacdd47aefb70acd.jpg

    • rg223

      Your family is adorable, and Nightmare Before Christmas is the perfect “first movie” movie!

      • AGCourtney

        Thank you! Yes, it really was.

    • penguin

      I love Nightmare Before Christmas! It still holds up too, great movie. And my husband walked into the ceremony to the Vitamin String Quartet cover of “What’s This?”, so now I extra love it :)

      • AGCourtney

        THAT’S SO AWESOME.

    • louise danger

      as someone who also went as a Renaissance Faire person (I grabbed some SCA garb and my wedding flower/greenery wreath) and also received many I-don’t-think-I-deserve-this compliments: you look absolutely wonderful. Are those Sandlar boots you’re wearing?

      • AGCourtney

        Thank you! Yessss. They’re purple on the side and I LOVE them. Lol, I have their huntress bodice, too, and I’ve joked with them that I should get credit for modeling for them.

        • louise danger

          my MOH got her Sandlars early this summer and loves them, too. calls ’em her stompies hahaha.

    • Lisa

      Your costumes look great!! I didn’t know they had trick-or-treating at the MOA. That sounds like a fun tradition!

      • AGCourtney

        Thanks! Yeah, my parents both worked there when it opened – my dad managed a dollar store and my mom was at Hallmark – so I have lots of fun little stories and traditions. :)

        One of my favorite stories is the Halloween after 9/11 – where the mall was usually PACKED, that year it was almost empty. Security guards were thanking my parents for us being there. As an elementary schooler at the time, it was the absolute coolest thing to get *handfuls* of candy where usually we got one piece, if that. xD’

  • Olive

    I’ve been gone for awhile because grad school and I’ve missed Happy Hour!

    I started listening to the audiobook “All the Single Ladies” by Rebecca Traister this week and it’s getting me thinking about the root of some of my unhappiness lately. I’ve been married for 2 years/together for 5 and I’m still adjusting my life into our life in many ways. I lived on my own and was sooo proud of my independence, which I feel like I lost a bit. No kids, so we each have our own office which is nice for alone time. Husband rarely goes out on his own, but he does have a conference 1/year that’s coming up, so I’ve been planning my annual “Gathering of Fun Females” which is keeping me going!

    What tips & tricks you have for being an independent lady while still being a loving spouse?

    • ssha

      Following! I often felt really good about myself when living alone/with roommates because I can cook for myself! and get stuff done! but now that I live with husband he’s so much better at adult skills than I am and I feel down about it sometimes (not his fault, of course). So I’m interested in this topic.

      • Olive

        I feel like he & I do most things together well, but I need more alone time than he does, and I don’t know if he 100% understands that. For a long time we did nothing except watching TV and working on projects together around the house and it was so draining. I’ve gotten a lot better about recognizing/voicing my needs the past year or so and we spend time apart in the evenings. I’m making art again and learning harmonica!

        I’ve been googling and found this which is spot on.
        https://www.gottman.com/blog/dance-intimacy-independence-marriage/

        • Her Lindsayship

          Oh god, in this scenario I am totally Constantino and my husband is David. He works longer hours, so I get a lot of alone time, so when he comes home my immediate reaction is ‘YAY let’s be together, talk to me, let’s do things around the house/cook/go out because I’ve been sitting here reading for three hours and now I’m bored.’ And he tries to go along with it because he generally enjoys being with me too, but lately I can tell he needs more alone time. I’ve realized that it would be good for me to start scheduling some more one-on-one hangouts with my friends on the weekends so he can get a good chunk of alone time in, and I can go be with someone I like who isn’t him, because I also need to maintain separateness here. (One-on-one is key because I’m pretty introverted and hanging out with a group is super draining for me. I still do it sometimes, but I get more out of one-on-ones.) Maybe there’s a way to gently encourage your husband to plan some of these?

          • Olive

            I’m definitely David in this situation, and he’s Constantino. It’s good to hear your perspective on this!! He used to do a lot of rec sports when we were first dating (and then slowly I became the only person he hung out with), so I’m trying to encourage him to get into that again.

            Also, last weekend he turned on “I Love You, Man” and told me that’s how he felt before our wedding, which made me feel terrible. He doesn’t have a lot of close friends, and those he does have live across the country. My current plan is to host some parties where he can meet people and (hopefully) hit it off and find new friends without the drama of a rom com.

          • Her Lindsayship

            One thing working in my favor was probably that I’ve never lived alone. I’ve always had roommates, sometimes too many roommates, so moving in with him actually felt like gaining more independence. I can see how going from having your own place to cohabiting would be much more difficult!

            Also, a lot of the men I know suck at managing their own social lives. Hopefully your husband goes ahead and subverts that gendered expectation.

          • Olive

            He’s writing his dissertation right now and working later and I feel a little guilty about going home early, but it’s been so great and just what I need. I think/hope a second car will be in our future sooner than we thought.

        • Yael

          A is out of town this weekend and I miss him but OMG I have the apartment to myself! And then I of course feel guilty for being excited about this.

          • Zoya

            If feeling guilty about sleeping starfished across the bed is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

          • Olive

            YES.

          • Yael

            We also call it starfishing, after the Jimmy Fallon (?) tweet reading. It is the best.

          • Olive

            And the bed! I fricken love having the bed to myself!

            Read some research recently that men benefit from sleeping in the same bed as their partner but women don’t and I. can. relate.

          • Yael

            To make another pop-culture reference, any one else remember the SATC episode about secret single behavior? Mine are tame – starfishing and binge watching shows on Netflix while staying up way too late eating junk food (instead of the delicious meals A left for me).

          • Olive

            When he’s gone I literally eat a box of mac & cheese for dinner with zero regrets.

          • MC

            THIS IS WHAT I DO TOO!!

          • JRL

            When M was gone last week, he asked me what I had eaten for dinner. When I responded, “a bag of popcorn,” he was horrified.

          • Les

            They say people with partners live longer, and I’m 100% sure it’s true because I’d only eat cheese for every meal if he wasn’t here

    • MC

      I REALLY feel you on this, and is something I’ve been working on getting better at. I also loved and valued my independence as a single lady and for the first year or two after I lived with Husband I felt like I lost that a little. What I do now is make sure I prioritize MY goals (training for a half-marathon, visiting my friend in January after she has a baby, going to book club, etc.) at least as equally as I prioritize OUR goals (vacations together, date nights, hiking together, etc.). I kind of just had to get used to advocating for my own goals more strongly. Almost every morning Husband and I talk over breakfast about what our plans are for the evening so we know whether we’ll be hanging out together or doing our own things. But it is for sure hard and I always appreciate a week or weekend to myself when he’s out of town!

      • Olive

        Love the connecting over breakfast and planning the evening. We’ve gotten into the habit of needing to get out the door ASAP which really stresses me out and I HATE eating breakfast at my desk at work. We’re working on getting into a new routine, maybe I’ll suggest that.

    • Zoya

      Ooooh are you me? This is exactly how I feel about where I’ve landed (together for 8 years, cohabitating for 3, married for 1). I like our life together for the most part, but occasionally I still desperately miss living alone. It can feel like an ongoing struggle to make sure that I’m not losing parts of myself for the sake of creating a thriving marriage.

      So far, the biggest help has been just having stuff to do outside the house. My spouse is more social than I am, so he has no problem going out and finding stuff to do most weeknights/weekends. My default setting is “hermit,” and I can sometimes go days without leaving the house. But if I do that, then I get frustrated that my husband is off living this awesome life and I’m sitting at home. So getting myself out of the house has been an ongoing project. Since I’m a writer, a lot of my activities lately center on writing: evening/weekend classes, book clubs, writing groups, etc.

  • lildutchgrrl

    So much going on this week. Walked out with other city workers on strike yesterday (just a 1-day strike for now; I’m back at work this morning). And about an hour before that I took a call from our adoption agency about an immediate/hospital placement. We might become parents today! (!!!!) And then again we might not, so I have my phone on high volume for once and am twitching every time it makes a noise. This is not our first time at this particular rodeo, so I am more than likely going to be disappointed, but I can’t help hoping.

    • rg223

      Oh wow, fingers crossed for you!!

    • louise danger

      fingers crossed, lady!

    • Laura C

      Good luck.

    • Violet

      Woah, fingers crossed!

    • Jan

      Oh wow! That is exciting and nerve wracking. Best of luck!!!

    • oh wow! What a crazy exciting thing. Fingers crossed for you!

    • Lisa

      I’ve got my fingers (and toes) crossed!!

    • suchbrightlights

      Sending you ALL the good juju!

    • lildutchgrrl

      Thanks, everyone, for your good wishes. Just got the news this morning… this one’s not our baby.

      • bananafanafofana

        So sorry to hear that. Hopefully your family will get some good news soon.

  • rg223

    So work and life are super hectic right now and I want to tear my hair out, but I wanted to share something positive and exciting: my husband found tickets to New Years Eve concert with my FAVORITE BAND and bought them on the spot!!!! And it’s the most exciting thing in the world because they’ve been broken up for ten years so I obviously thought I would never see them together again!!!! So though we don’t have a plan for childcare, lodging, and traveling to South Carolina (did I mention it’s in South Carolina?) WE’RE DOING IT! I CAN’T WAIT!

  • SurpriseItsTwins

    Hi all – I’m checking in to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who chimed in to offer support last week, when I shared my news about finding out we’re expecting twins. It felt really good just to be supported and have folks acknowledge my emotional struggle. It’s been a long week of more medical appointments, tons of information, and crying and talking with my spouse. I’m impressed with how good to one another and ourselves we’ve been. Our feelings of shock have worn off but we’re still in the “we only want one” camp, so it’s brought up a lot of stuff. I’ve always been an ardent supporter of women having agency over their bodies and reproductive choices, but I also haven’t had to LIVE that in such a personal way before. So. We have many more appointments in the future, including one I scheduled with a perinatal/maternal mood disorders clinic, which I’m proud of doing that for myself. I’m currently doing my best to pretend I’m not pregnant, and that’s the best way for me to cope right now. I won’t be back to check in this afternoon, but thanks again to all who reached out. I plan to keep updating periodically, both for myself and anyone else out there who might be going through a similar situation. Happy weekend, everyone.

    • rg223

      I missed your post last week, but just sending you and your spouse strength.

    • louise danger

      sending you strength, love, and support, lady. take care.

    • Rose

      I missed this last week, but that does sound like big, difficult-to-deal-with news. On the off chance that you do see this at some point, I would defintely recommend looking for a local chapter of Multiples of America (used to be called Mothers of Twins, but they changed to be more inclusive at some point). I’m a twin, and when we were little, I know my mom used to find them a really great support group. Plus, there are often garage sales or hand-me-downs, which can help with the financial pressure. It doesn’t sound like a support group like that is not what you need right now, but at some point it might be a good resource for you. Sending you strength as you deal with this news!

    • Jess

      I also missed this last week, but that is a lot to take in and I’m really happy you are taking the time you need to process and figure out what comes next.

  • Yael

    I haven’t been able to make it to HH recently because it’s been a crazy two months since we moved to Germany. First we didn’t have internet and then ALL THE (Jewish) HOLIDAYS happened (we have a friend who calls them Autumn Maneuvers) but we’ve been settling in: we just bought a couch, we have friends(!) here that aren’t just my classmates and A is currently on a retreat to learn to sing Shabbat services so he can fill in occasionally for the cantor. We actually are starting to have a life here and it’s great and also super distracting from the one thing that I’m supposed to be doing, namely, my dissertation. I have made NO progress in the past two months and I feel terrible and guilty and I can’t make myself work on it. It doesn’t help that my dissertation is about measuring prejudice and every time I check the news I see just how relevant it is and it just depresses the hell out of me. I’m slowly digging back in, but I need to have stuff to present later this month and I’ve got nothing. Anyone have any motivation to share?

    • flashphase

      First, congrats on what sounds like a positive transition to living together in Germany! Downthread I recommended the book “The Now Habit,” which I found excellent for making yourself start working, and I find that enjoying the work and real motivation comes after that.

      • Yael

        I saw that and I am looking at it on Amazon right now :)

        Living with A again is SO AMAZING. We lived together before I moved to Germany, but then were apart last year. We’ve had a few bumps getting reacquainted with each other’s habits, but I can not explain the joy I get from being able to ride home on the tram from IKEA or the grocery store or wherever with him. It’s the little things that take my breath away.

  • Violet

    Looking for advice! So, we’re gonna have a kid on our hands, soon enough. MIL and SIL are going to come by our place this weekend to bring some food for the freezer and then not be in our hair immediately following the birth (whenever that is). Given my Ils can be boundary-pushers, this is all great news so far.
    Yesterday my SIL gets in touch asking if there’s anything else I’d like her to bring up (they live in a lower COL area and can get things cheaper). She and I settled on a few things yes, others no. Now today I get an email from my MIL saying she knows my SIL already spoke, but was there anything else she could bring up? And then proceeds to mention the exact things my SIL and I had already discussed.
    1. Am I being too paranoid that this is already becoming a bit overkill? I’m thinking, “Uh, talk to your daughter again; I don’t want to have double conversations for the rest of my life.” For reference, my partner will have the same conversation about his day twice- once with mom, once with grandmom. I am NOT into that for myself, and I’m worried it’s turning into that already.
    2. I don’t wanna be the default parent! Ask your son/brother what he thinks his kid will need! I don’t know any more than he does. Yeesh.
    So, given your opinions on how paranoid I’m being, how should I respond to MIL?

    • Eileen

      Ah being the default parent, I’m with you on that. I say “I have to check with [my husband]”, a LOT, which is true most of the time anyway, to try to clue her in that it might just be faster to talk to him without going through me (not just about the grandchild), but the message doesn’t always get through. It’s a continuing effort.

      But for that specific instance, I feel like you could say, actually I talked about all of this with SIL. Surely they are going to coordinate?

      I don’t think you’re being paranoid, that does sound tiring. Especially when I was pregnant, things were easily more tiring (justifiably) than they might have been otherwise. But I don’t think there’s a quick answer to those two worries of yours, since bringing in a new baby will adjust all those relationships in unpredictable and potentially annoying ways.

      • Violet

        Thanks- I totally think it’s something that would normally not faze me, but I’m in that “Ugggg, another thing?” pregnancy state by now.

    • penguin

      Agree with Eileen – in this specific instance tell her thanks but you already discussed all this with SIL. In the future, you could tell her that she should talk to your husband about that.

    • Amy March

      I think you’re being way too paranoid; just say “nope all set!” Plenty of time to cross that bridge when you come to it.

      • Violet

        Whew, good.

    • JLC

      1. Gut instinct: Yeah, you might be a bit paranoid on this one. I don’t know if MIL and SIL live together but either way, you can’t control their communication. It’d be nice if they had talked more and communicated better, but I don’t think you can assume that if you’ve told one adult in a family, you’ve told them all.
      2. If they’re defaulting to “mom-knows-everything,” ask your husband to be more proactive both now and after your child is born in being the point person for his family. Have him send the lists of what you guys need, be the one sending pictures, initiating skype sessions, whatever.
      My in-laws can also be overbearing and just expect that families are very close-knit. I was nervous about this before my son’s birth, but so far (18 months in) it has worked out fine. There were moments when I wished I hadn’t accommodated them, but other times that I was really really grateful to have them around, and I feel like some of that give-and-take is just part of being in a relationship with other human beings. Coming from that perspective, I’d say to set firm boundaries about what you really care about, but don’t take every little thing as a sign that your in-laws are going to totally overrun your life with your kid. (Again, been there, had the sobbing phone conversation with a friend, realized my worries were somewhat overwrought.)

      • Violet

        MIL and SIL communicate between one another All. The. Time. There is nothing you can tell one that the other won’t know within about 30 minutes.
        I am so happy to hear you say that walking a line of moderation can work. I in no way want to be draconian, but it can sometimes be hard to know when you give an inch someone will take a mile. I just have to remind myself that one interaction is not going to make or break the next 18 years.

  • penguin

    Anybody have bedroom design tips? Our bedroom has been pretty lackluster since we moved in a few years ago. The walls are very slightly pale green, and it has that beige/light brown renter’s carpet. My vanity turns into a dumping ground for clothes and we end up with laundry everywhere. We don’t have any decorations up, although we finally got curtains hung like… 2 months ago.

    • Katharine Parker

      Making the bed everyday sounds small, but really makes a difference.

      I’d pick a couple of priorities–do you want a better system for laundry? Maybe get a more attractive hamper and commit to using it and putting clean laundry away. Do you want more art on the walls? Start with one wall. Do you have bedding you like? Replacing that with something that is purposeful and attractive will make a big difference.

      • Yael

        I’ve found that making the bed reduces the visual clutter in the room, and that little bit really changes my stress level. Not having any furniture/belongings has made me realize how much I should probably be a minimalist for my mental health.

        • penguin

          I simultaneously love having a bunch of stuff but hate clutter, so I hear you.

          • Yael

            Ugh yes. I love my stuff. I MISS my stuff (mostly in storage in various parental houses), especially my books. But not having any stuff? I feel so much less tense. We’re getting a couch in the next two weeks, which means we’ll have space for both of us to sit in the living room (!) and I am both very excited and kind of dreading it. I’m trying to go the Marie Kondo route and add-in/keep only what really sparks joy, but as I said, I really do like my stuff, I just have too much of it.

    • Yael

      Apartment Therapy is my go-to for inspiration and tips. We used to dump our clothes over a chair/desk but we’ve mostly gotten into a habit of dumping them on some extra hangers which helps keep things more organized (also we still have no furniture, and I don’t want to store worn-once clothes on the floor).

      • Jessica

        Ikea sells a chair with a ladder back made specifically for holding clothes (or maybe blankets, but it looks like it should hold those “not clean, but not dirty” clothes you can wear again)

        • penguin

          Whoah going to check this out. That’s my chair pile – I wore this once but could wear it again, but I don’t think it should go back in the closet with the clean-clean clothes.

          • Yael

            Finding the place for those clothes is my biggest storage issue. I realized I need to store them in the closet (but not directly with the clean-clean clothes) because I need them out of sight. Visual clutter stresses me out. But I think the important thing is finding a system that works for you.

        • Oooooooo, checking this out ASAP.

        • Kate

          This is so amazing. I had a little plastic milk crate for these clothes but the pile is about five feet high right now because I can’t see what’s in it. Plus they don’t get aired out very well in the milk crate which is vital to keeping the not-dirty-yet clothes on the fresh side.

        • Zoya

          Wait this is amazing. (I hang my bras on the dining room chairs to dry. This occasionally results in hilarity when my husband comes home from work on laundry day…)

        • AGCourtney

          GIRL. I was just thinking a couple weeks ago that I need to find a blanket rack or something for those. Checking it out right now.

        • Olive

          they have a grundtal thing that is pretty similar if anyone’s a fan of the metal look! We got one because my husband was using our drying rack for the not clean/not dirty clothes (and his sweaty work out clothes so they don’t stink up his hamper – GROSS) and it drove. me. crazy. on laundry day.

          • Yael

            I am seriously thinking about installing a rack like that for worn once clothes!

        • Hmmm, I need a thing for the bathroom where I store my worn-before but still could wear again workout clothes.

      • I put some hooks on the bathroom wall for that (beside where the hamper is). It works well, but there are only three hooks, so maybe not enough space… It’s the Bjarnum folding hook from Ikea, and you can fold it up, flat against the wall, when you don’t need it.

    • MC

      I heard about this recently and it cracked me up as a solution to keeping piles of clothes on the floor: https://www.thingindustries.com/products/sacrificial-chair

    • Sarah E

      Hooks on the wall (or behind the door) are my laundry solution. Both of us have clothes that are re-worn throughout the week for lounging or dog-walking or whatever. Hooks keep them off the floor without having to fold or hang stuff in the closet.

      • penguin

        Ooh I love this idea.

        • Les

          ooh or add a sexy wall-mounted coat rack.

    • As cheesy/HGTV-cringey as it is, I find starting decoration projects with a color scheme and a theme really helpful. Clothes are totally my enemy too, I’ve half fixed it by putting up a lottttt of hooks in our bedroom and closet for not dirty/not clean clothes. I also find it way easier to hang clean laundry on hangers instead of folding it, though I know a lot of people are the opposite.

      • penguin

        I’m totally a hangers person. I haven’t had a dresser in years, it’s all hangers or this one cubby bookshelf that I finally got.

      • Katharine Parker

        A color scheme is entirely helpful, as is trying to define your style in three words (which is sort of a theme).

    • Stephanie

      I find that adding something you love “that just feels *pretty*” (not necessarily for function) always makes me take more care of my space. (My living room has literally never been cleaner IN MY WHOLE LIFE than until after I just did this last round of decorating. It looks so nice that I have to just keep it nice. I vote go back and forth between functional and pretty:
      – cool piece of art over the bed.
      – then hooks behind the door
      – new pillows/bedding for the bed.

      Also, brining a bolder color into a room makes it *feel* different (which can make you treat it different.) Perhaps a deeper version of the wall color? A forest green or emerald blanket on the bed? A graphic print or woven textured pillow?

      • penguin

        I love this idea. I bet we could put up some wall art this weekend.

        • Anna

          We have an inordinate amount of wall art that we need to hang (and some of it needs framing). This has been on our to-do list for literally months. We were just about to actually do it (I swear) and then started having car problems that have dragged on for weeks >.<

    • I find that one big thing (not heavy because I grew up in earthquake country) hanging up over the bed makes everything look so much nicer. We have a big colorful hanging pennant thing with both our names on it hanging over our bed (leftover decoration that my mom made for our wedding/sister’s graduation/friend’s bridal shower–she just swapped out the names between them until I took it). Sort of like this https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ec/22/cd/ec22cd2b4ebeeec024574b97d0742eab–little-girl-bedrooms-girl-rooms.jpg but larger (it’s the size of a queen bed) and with darker colors/more adult-looking.

      Also, as other people mentioned, hanging hooks are very important because I know myself and I will not put my coats away in the closet every single time I wear them. Although I still haven’t solved the clothes on top of the dog-crate problem, but I have at least mostly gotten out of the habit of leaving them on the floor (thanks to dog who likes to sleep on them, making them no longer not-clean but not-dirty and instead just dog-hair-covered).

    • april

      I haven’t tried it yet – but I’m really intrigued by Modsy: https://www.modsy.com/#how-it-works

      You take a “style quiz” and upload photos of your space, then they send you a 3D rendering of your room and suggested designs/layouts (which you can play around with).

    • JLily

      I read something that said if you start decorating, start with your own bedroom first because its important to make that a space you love. I have also neglected mine but have recently been trying to focus on it, at least with nicer lighting and cozy bedding.

      If you aren’t feeling the paint color, maybe ask the landlord if you could paint, especially if you’ll be there a while. A good paint color can work wonders! If not, maybe try to build a color scheme around what you’ve got, i.e. bedding/pillows that play off the green, other neutrals that go with the carpet color, etc. If its the carpet that bothers you, you could put down a throw rug. Or maybe start with some art that you love and build the rest from there.

    • ART

      I had these IKEA wall sconces from my old place that I always wanted to put up above our nightstands, but we never bothered. Finally we made the effort and OMG, I was so, so happy! The lighting from those is wayyyyy nicer than our overhead light/ceiling fan. It makes getting ready for bed or just hanging out in there a million times better. But other than that we also sort of fail at our bedroom, but we do have a gigantic painting resting atop our dresser that helps a lot.

    • Les

      To help with laundry dump (we are both dumpers when things aren’t dirty, but we’re to lazy to hang them back up): cute baskets. cute baskets everywhere. That way you get to look at a cute basket, and not your clothes. If you are painting, all I’ve ever wanted to do is paint our room a pale pale cool pink.

  • Angela’s Back

    Halloween costume thread? This is how Elvira turned out, sans boobage but plus comfort!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b1b976740cc519aa39c2ec4db3beb3d3642eed95e61800feee5e435d02eb97e.jpg

  • Mary Jo TC

    Does anyone have advice for spouses of struggling job seekers? My husband decided about 2 years ago to try to move to another field, from tech sales to software programming. He took classes in a one-year program, finished this January, and has not yet found a new job. He’s really discouraged. I have not even really asked him about his progress because I didn’t want to nag or micromanage him, and I haven’t really had much anxiety of my own about the situation because he’s still had his regular full time job the whole time. But a couple weeks ago he dropped a bomb on me saying I’ve been “holding him back” in his job search because he hasn’t been doing as much after-hours networking as he thinks he should because he doesn’t want to leave me at home alone with the kids. This felt really unfair to me, like he was blaming me for his bad situation. I don’t think there’s been a single time when he said he wanted to go to something and I told him he shouldn’t because I needed him at home. Maybe there have been events he didn’t even tell me about because he just assumed I wanted him at home–but I don’t think it’s fair for him to blame me for that assumption. From my perspective, I feel like I’ve been doing all I can to support him while also keeping my own sanity and my own job and taking care of our kids. I haven’t been shy about expressing myself when I feel like things are hard on me, or like I’m doing more than my share, and maybe I should just suck it up with some of that and stop complaining. For what it’s worth, I’m less upset about doing extra childcare and housework than I am about the emotional distance that has grown between me and my husband over the past 2 years.

    Anyway, this is a question I asked the career services person at my college and could not get a straight answer: How much time should a serious job searcher with a full time job and family responsibilities be expected to spend on networking events that straddle the line between personal and professional? (I want a specific, concrete answer, like a certain number of hours or events per week.) I think if I knew the answer to that question, and if I free up that amount of time for him, then I can feel like I’m doing my part to support his job search.

    • Sarah E

      I don’t think there really is a concrete answer to your question, that’s likely something highly variable.

      Totally understand that if he isn’t telling you what he needs re: attending networking stuff, it’s impossible for you to accommodate it, even when willing.

    • Violet

      Argh, one of the greatest things about being in a couple is being able to rely on one another. But the ugly flip side is it makes it really easy to then find a way to blame your partner when things aren’t going well. Sorry I don’t have an answer to your specific question, but I hear you.

    • Yael

      I don’t really have advice, but that sucks what he said. Even if it’s true, he should have said something earlier. Withholding feelings never helps (and I say this as someone who is aces at withholding my feelings).

    • penguin

      It’s definitely not fair that he blames you for his lack of networking, especially since it sounds like he never even discussed it with you before now?

      Also, have you guys thought about couples counseling? It might help here.

      • Lisa

        Or personal counseling. He might be struggling with feelings of self-worth and looking for other things to blame (you, in this case) for not being where he wants to be in life. Job searching can be so emotionally exhausting.

    • Amy March

      He’s being a jerk, again, about refusing to do his fair share around the house. Knowing the answer to your specific question (which has no answer) won’t resolve that fact. You know you do more than enough.

    • I feel like the AAM archives might have some good info on this for you, and strategies you can employ to be supportive.

      It might be helpful to have your husband read AAM too – it can be hard to transition careers, and there are ways to do it that don’t revolve around networking after work. Having a really strong cover letter and resume go a LONG way, and the AAM archives has tons of great stuff about revamping both. Plus her ebook is great which may also be useful to him.

      Finally, is there any networking he can do during working hours, like lunches or coffees during the day? Lunch & learn sessions? That way he can feel like he’s making progress while not sacrificing evening time with the family.

    • Jessica

      The blaming after not communicating sounds familiar (HI EX, IF YOU’RE STILL READING THIS), and it’s shitty and kind of gas-lighty (like, how are you supposed to read his mind??) I’d suggest couple’s counseling with the specific goal of communicating feelings and creating a “safe space” to receive one another’s “nagging or micro-managing” or “you’re holding me back” thoughts–as well as how to engage in those feelings in a healthy productive and less blaming way.

    • nona

      My husband is in a network-heavy field, and this week he did about 4 hours post-work, last week probably about the same. Some weeks he has no hours post-work, and other weeks it’s busy like this. This week it was 1 event that ended up stretching (like, started with an organized event, and then they got beers afterwards), and last week it was 2 separate events, if I’m remembering correctly.
      And for him sometimes it’s an organized event, and other times it’ll be grabbing dinner with someone in the field. He’s gotten a lot of projects for his firm that way. It also seems like things tend to change last minute, particularly when it’s a non-organized event. For example, this week he was originally scheduled to go to dinner with some folks Wednesday, and they cancelled that day.
      So maybe for my husband it’s 4 hours, divided over 2 events, typically? Sometimes less, sometimes more?
      But I know that varies greatly by field. When he was first looking to switch jobs, it was a similar frequency, since he was trying to get his name out there.
      I’m sorry you guys are having a hard time. I’d tell him kind of what you told us here, that you’re not trying to hold him back, you just want a balance where you can have mental health too, which may mean, like you said, just picking a number of events/hours you’re both cool with per week, and negotiating again if more come up.

    • april

      I think the reason the career services person didn’t give you a “straight answer” is that there is no magic number. You could go to 100 networking events and never get a job lead, or you could go to one and just happen to connect to the right person at the right time.

      I think you need to have a conversation with your husband. First, make it clear to him that it’s not okay for him to blame you for “holding him back” when he never had a conversation with you about spending more time networking, etc. Then, have that conversation. Ask him how much time he feels like he needs to be spending on networking/after-work events, then try to come up with a plan that works for BOTH of you.

      Honestly, I’m not a huge believer in the power of networking – particularly in a field like software development, where what you know (i.e., technical skills and experience) matter more than who you know. I think a lot of employers are wary of boot camp-type programming courses, because they’re just so uneven in terms of quality. So I would encourage your husband to seek out opportunities to do some actual programming while he’s doing his job search. Maybe he could talk to his current employer about taking on some programming work, or maybe he could find a nonprofit that needs someone to do some part time unpaid work. Having some actual programming experience on his resume would probably go a long way in helping him to find work as a programmer.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Yes, my husband is a software engineer and I was trying to figure out how to say this about networking for that kind of work. You said it perfectly. I’m sure it won’t hurt to do some networking, but it sounds like he was really just grasping onto that as an excuse that he could blame someone else for. Not cool, dude.

        • april

          Mine too! And my suggestion is based on his experience. My husband taught himself how to code (mostly so he could experiment with electronic/computer music), but he never felt like he could apply for coding jobs because he had no credentials. He was working as a temp at a large non-profit doing totally unrelated work when he just happened to get roped into a project that involved some software development. He expressed interest in helping with the coding, they let him take a stab at it, and within a couple of months they had hired him full-time as a software engineer.

    • He’s being totally unfair. If there were specific events he wanted to go to, he should bring them up at the time and say, “Hey, I’d really like to go to this” not talk about nebulous ‘networking events that he’s missing.’ It just sounds like he wants to shift the blame to you for him not getting a job, which is just mean (and ridiculous). He may be having a rough time (job searching can be awful!) but he needs to find a way to direct those frustrations NOT at you, if he wants you to continue to have a relationship. Maybe it would help to brainstorm together about what else he can do to make himself an attractive candidate, maybe it wouldn’t, but if he wants to be a good partner he has to take responsibility for himself and ask for help if he needs it, not use you as a scapegoat for his frustrations while simultaneously suggesting that the fact that he’s supposed to be an equal partner in your relationship is holding him back.

    • flashphase

      I think your husband is capital w Wrong, but I do think that a prolonged job search can be damaging on the self-esteem and he may be looking to place blame somewhere other than himself. Still not okay. Perhaps this will help you guys frame a more productive conversation on it.

    • Lisa

      That’s really unfair of him to say to you. If he didn’t tell you that he wanted to attend these events, he’s not even giving you a chance to be supportive!

      I agree with the others that there really is no concrete number each week. He should be discerning about the events he’s attending and not go to every happy hour; he needs to target specific companies or people where he might already have an in and focus on those. This might end up being none for a couple of weeks and then having a few events in one week. It really depends on the scene.

      It might be worth it to meet with a career coach (someone reputable with a solid track record) or a recruiter to go over his resume and cover letter to see if there’s any improvements he can make there.

    • Jess

      Oof. I would definitely stand up for yourself here and say something like “I understand the emotion behind that statement – you are frustrated by the job search. Even so, it was not fair to put that on my shoulders for saying no to something you’ve never asked me for. If you feel like you need to go to these events, how often are these events happening? Let’s work out an agreement so you can commit to the job search without feeling guilty for leaving me home and I can know what to expect during this time.”

      Before that conversation, I think it’s important for you to know how often *you’d* be ok with him going to these events. Because agreeing to something that feels like too much isn’t going to work out well for either of you.

      Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    Posting as anonymous for…reasons. I’ve been a bit of stress ball the past three weeks because I might lose my job a few months before our wedding in May. For some backstory, we got engaged over the holidays and opted to have a long engagement, partly because I was starting a new job in Atlanta. FH stil lives outside of Nashville and we’ve been going back and forth the past year. I have a 4 year term position with a federal agency and my agency was audited last year and found my agency was abusing term positions. Every year they have to renew my position and so they might not renew me (or six of my colleagues in my division) because of this audit. Or they might make me a permanent employee (which obviously would be the best case scenario, but we don’t live in a best case scenario world). So now I’m applying for jobs again and I hate it. I love my current job. I have a PhD so I have a very specialized skill set, which you would think would make me a desirable candidate, but just means it’s really tough for me to find jobs and will likely have to move again. I just did the whole job search thing last year and I really, really don’t want to do it again. Financially speaking, losing my job would be a damn disaster because ALL of my savings are tied up in the wedding, which btw, is super modest to begin with since we are paying for it ourselves. I haven’t been able to save a damn thing with my current job because FH and I have been paying two of everything (rent, utilities, etc.) and my student loan payment has gone up. So basically everything sucks right now. I’m trying to look for the positives, but I hate that my wedding is going to suffer because my employer is dysfunctional. Thanks for letting me whine and vent!

    • penguin

      That sucks! I hope they bring you on as a permanent employee. Good luck with everything, we’re rooting for you!!

    • suchbrightlights

      Fingers crossed for you!

    • I’m so sorry you are in this stressful situation! I was long-distance before with the two of everything, and on top of it being emotionally hear, it was, like you said, financially difficult. Your position is set to be renewed (or not) in the February or so? Is there anyway you can talk to your boss to have an honest assessment of whether or not it might be renewed? I know I tend to be more stressed by the unknown than just knowing the worst and being able to deal with it… (But maybe if your employer is dysfunctional, this isn’t something that will work…)

  • Rose

    I’m realizing more and more this week that I’m almost certainly not going to be able to get the permanent faculty job that I want in my field without doing a post-doc. Which is just so frustrating, because what I love is teaching at a small college–not doing research at a larger institution. I currently have a one-year visiting position at exactly the kind of college that I’d like to end up at, and I love it so much. I’m just so, so much happier here than I was in grad school. But in order to be able to do this long-term, it really seems like I’m going to have to go back to a couple of years (at least) of full-time research, probably without even TAing. Heavy on all the things about academia that make me anxious and unhappy, without much of the things I really love. I had hoped that at at least some schools teaching experience would make up for lacking the post-doc, but I’m not getting any interviews (well, I had one about a month ago and I haven’t heard back, so).

    I know that sometimes you have to put time in getting qualifications to get the job you want, but that’s what I was doing for the past six years! I know the job market is bad and whining won’t do anything about that, and that if post-docs are common in our field I should probably just suck it up and do one, but it just feels like so much. I know plenty of new TT faculty here who haven’t done postdocs, but then they’re in different fields. I don’t want to leave academia because I really do love the parts that I love, but I’m just finding my current situation demoralizing and depressing.

    Does anyone have experience or advice for motivating yourself through a career phase that really isn’t the one you want? I feel like that’s what I was doing for the past 6 years, but I’m out of energy for it now.

    • Olive

      I’m still in grad school, but I could’ve written this! Can you find a half teaching/half research postdoc? I’m looking into groups/schools that support post docs who want to teach, so I can at least do half of what I like if I have to suffer through a couple more years of crazy research.

      Good luck!!

      • Rose

        I’ve been looking into some of those postdocs, but so far haven’t come across any this year–they’re posted often a bit after the TT jobs, though, so some may still be coming. I could probably get another visiting position for next year, too, but that’s not really sustainable long term, and while that might make me happier next year than a postdoc would, I’m not sure it would move me forward much overall. Good luck to you too! I can actually say that a visiting position has been really good for me this year–I’m getting a lot of great teaching experience, and at least I have something really concrete to hopefully look forward to someday.

        • Katie

          I’m currently a postdoc in a STEM field and am interested in TT teaching positions!!! I totally empathize with you on the burnout, I am struggling a lot right now. What sort of visiting position are you doing? I’m curious about exploring my options.

          • Rose

            I have a one-year visiting assistant professor position at a SLAC. In this case, it’s because several different people were on leave both semesters this year, so they needed someone to cover an assortment of classes. The courses happened to be in a couple of not-very-related subdisciplines that are exactly what I do, so I got really lucky in being the perfect fit. I have a regular teaching load for a faculty member here, and no research or advising expectations (although I am trying to get some research done). The VAP job postings tend to go up a bit later in the season, I think mostly December onwards, with some really late ones coming up over the summer. They tend to be for 1-3 years, although 1 seems to be the most common. Last spring I actually got interviews for 3 of the 4 I applied for, even though I was still ABD–so they’re definitely not requiring the same amount of experience that most places want for TT. I’m really lucky here that they treat the visiting people pretty much just like first-year TT faculty, which I don’t think is always the case.

          • bananafanafofana

            I am SO with you guys—-except I’m now in a TT job–and I’m not sure I can make myself stay in it or put in the effort to do it well. I just feel SO burned out that I’m not no longer interested in anything and every day feels like a repeat of making myself do things I hate. (But FYI you can definitely get a visiting things at a range of schools which often let very close to finished folks take the positions, and involve teaching and research expectations close to a TT job–I did that)

    • ssha

      I feel you. I did a bunch of short-term, internship like positions hoping it would move me forward. Now I’m job seeking and I’m not getting any offers, and looks like I’ll be going to a staffing agency to put my career on hold once again. I know I sound like an entitled millenial to think that experience and underpaid-ness after college would get me a job now, but it’s demoralizing. that’s the exact word.
      I wish you could stay at your current place, it sounds so perfect for you! It’s so hard to get to a good place that you love, but have it not be secure.

    • Amy March

      Do you need to be in a college setting? I had some amazing high school teachers with doctorates in their fields.

      • Rose

        That’s definitely an option! I do really like teaching some of the upper level courses that you don’t really get at the high school level–that’s the same reason that, while I’m not ruling community colleges out, I’m also not really actively looking there at the moment. Plus, I don’t have a certificate to teach in public schools, and (on a more shallow note), private schools tend not to pay very much. But it is something I’ve thought about before, and maybe should consider again–for one thing, there’s even a better chance that I could get a job somewhere I’d like to be, instead of some random small town in the middle of Arkansas or something.

  • Capondoodle

    Got our engagement picture gallery yesterday and OMG! I was so anxious about it and they turned out awesome! Here are a few of my favorites. I’ll take them down after HH. BTW–Highly recommend blanket pictures.

    Also, I bought some glossier moisturizer because of the APW post last week and the fact that my face feels like sandpaper. I used it last night and this morning and I can tell the difference. I bought some serum, too, so I’m interested to see how that works.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f7fc93ced0e4e43cbc4caca7dadc0272439bb73f66ab8fa859aa4099a54a771.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e65cacf41f40b38409ab3ebefdd8d56df19a1dbb224865238c28bb060c1dd62.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2e04782a95d2b33bcba2700fe96a55cffc91c268be69ee6ae0ee62951b507ec5.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/12f34e2ec80a67ba8d7b86795c7709495cc5be17c1ebe7fb8fc89bee68fb6c5d.jpg

    • kayceeee

      The light in these is perfect! And I love your ring!!

      • Capondoodle

        Thanks! Our photographer is amazing! She is moderately priced, but still a splurge for us–definitely worth it.

    • Stephanie

      You look gorgeous! (And love mix/match of the different outfits and the greenery and that adorable scarf!)

    • Zoya

      Awwww, that blanket photo is so sweet.

    • penguin

      You guys look so great! Love the ring pic too – it was raining during our session, so she took pictures of our rings on top of an umbrella. It was amazing.

      • Capondoodle

        That sounds so sweet! Yeah, we were doing a shoot at a Christmas tree farm and it was still 80 degrees outside! So glad we don’t look sweaty!

        • penguin

          Wow I never would have known, that’s awesome!

    • Sara

      The dog pic is amazing. I love all of them, but that one is awesome.

      • Capondoodle

        Yes! That will be the Christmas card this year!

    • suchbrightlights

      You picked a great photographer! I love the dog picture (great call on your holiday cards) but these are all excellent.

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      What a happy puppy! And yeah that blanket photo is so intimate and lovely

  • Kate

    I took an important mental health step this week of blocking a bunch of shopping websites on my browser and unsubscribing from coupon emails. It sounds silly, but I’d been using online window shopping as an escape from my ongoing quarter life crisis and wasting HOURS every. single. day.
    A few years ago I was on the minimalism bandwagon but backed off because I was 1. Beating myself up for purchasing stuff I actually needed and 2. I was still wasting mental space on “stuff,” just in different ways. Now I’m reconnecting with the minimalism ethos a little bit and trying to focus on being happy with what I have, not using “stuff” as procrastination or an escape, but also not letting myself agonize over purchases.

  • Jan

    Municipal elections are Tuesday and I cannot wait. My partner is working a zillion hours and there have been 2-3 day stretches where we have only spoken over the phone. A lot of my friends are also working on municipal campaigns and I’m just so tired of spending so much time alone.

    • ssha

      this reminds me, I gotta get ready to vote!

      • Jan

        I haven’t voted yet, going to go on Monday and hope for a short line.

    • Jessica

      I’m so ready for it to be done.

      • Jan

        Me too, it’s gotten so nasty.

  • Jenny

    Just booked the flights for a mini reunion with my bestie over MLK day weekend! Send me all your Vegas recommendations! Where should we stay? What should we do? Where should we eat?

    • Laura C

      If you like champagne and eating, the champagne brunch at the Bellagio (I’ve also heard good things about the Wynn) is great — so many choices, so much food, and such a Vegas experience..

      Off-strip I’ve heard delirious raves about this place: http://lotusofsiamlv.com/

    • LindseyM

      I always stayed at the Mirage because I thought their beds were the most comfortable, but that was 10 years ago….

    • Jennifer

      If you’re into yoga, http://www.sincityyoga.com/prices.html <– one of my good friends is a E-RYT 500 yoga teacher here. Also, off strip, there is LOTS of good hiking near LV.

      • Anna

        Seconding hiking! Also, my family used LV as a jumping-off point for a whole multiple national parks trip when I was a kid, which is presumably not useful for your long-weekend trip haha, but there’s excellent hiking/natural sights closer too.

    • Gaby

      I always recommend the Neon Museum and Mob Museum. Lotus of Siam, which Laura C mentioned, temporarily closed because of roof issues, but I think they opened a temporary second location so I would just call ahead if you’re interested. It’s the BEST thai food I’ve ever had. I’ve also discovered from my Seattle friends that All You Can Eat sushi is not common outside of here? So I’d recommend that too if you love sushi. I doubt any strip restaurants do AYCE, but yelp can point you in the right direction depending where you stay.

      • Anna

        Upvoting for the Mob Museum. I loved that!! I was bummed that I didn’t have time for the Neon Museum, too.

        Red Rock Canyon is gorgeous if you wanted to rent a car and drive out for about half an hour. My friend and I ended up just driving through it (just before sunset which was gorgeous, but risky with the closing time, we cut that way too close), but it has trails and stuff too if you’re into hiking.

  • Lawyerette510

    So a week ago we were on vacation, and two days ago I started a new job. I’ve returned to a prior employer but in a new role starting an internal investigation function. I’m both excited and overwhelmed to be helping build the internal ethics and conduct investigation function from scratch. I’m still seeing my therapist 2x/ week to make sure that I keep on the healthy and constructive path and don’t fall into the traps my depression and anxiety can build for me.

    In other news, I’m looking forward to the Rent the Runway event tomorrow, I lucked into the ticket that was up for grabs on Instagram stories the other night. I need some major styling help for being in an office everyday and looking the part of “Sr. Corporate Counsel” as well as being MOH for a friend’s wedding next year. I’ve been out of the MOH game for so long…

    • Danielle

      Sounds like a time of exciting change!

      Hope you get the styling help you need, that sounds like fun :)

  • ART

    I kind of want to throw this week in the garbage and start over. Saturday we had our baby shower, which was awesome but really overwhelming, and then Sunday was supposed to be organizing and leaving for a 2-night stay at a local swanky hotel/spa, but on our way there my husband’s backpack with his laptop, bunch of important business doohickeys, and checkbook in it was stolen, and we spent 48 hours wondering HOW the hell it could have happened just given the specific circumstances (I’ve settled on invisibility cloak), and we’ve been in clean-up mode ever since (including during my day-off-at-the-hotel). We’ll only get about half the value back from renters insurance because it has a limit on items used for business (and his business stuff insurance doesn’t even cover laptops, apparently? I did not know this until this week). Part of me is annoyed with him because he always thinks I’m so overly paranoid about locking doors and not leaving stuff in cars, and then he left a door open somewhere and this happened. I’ve been biting my tongue about that because I know it has ruined his week as well, and we can deal with that when it’s not as raw. Anyone have tips on dealing with that urge to be like “THIS IS WHY I SAID TO ALWAYS BLAH BLAH BLAH!” when a partner is dealing with something crappy like this? Maybe just…don’t say anything? But then I always end up in problem-solving mode. And having to replace a $2,400 laptop materially affects me, too. Ugh.

    • Lisa

      I’m so sorry that happened. That is the worst. I would guess that he’s learned his lesson without you having to directly tell him (it could even lead to a shorthand that could be used instead of bugging him in the future, once the sting has worn off you could just say “laptop” instead of “please remember to lock the door”). In terms of it materially affecting you, I would try to come up with a way to soften that. I’m not sure how you manage your finances, but maybe you could make an appointment a few months from now for a spa day to make up for the one you missed, and give yourself small treats that don’t cost anything (or very much) while you’re husband is sorting through this mess; so you could meet with a girlfriend or a glass of wine and won’t get sucked into the insurance stuff.

    • suchbrightlights

      In cases like these, I take the dog on a walk, and I tell the dog “this is why I told your father never to blah blah blah.” I’ve said it, it makes me feel better, the dog gets walked, and I get exercise- which always makes me feel better. If you do not have a dog, you can substitute a pillow, a rubber duck, or anything but a loyal friend who might hold this against your husband (I do not like complaining about my important people to other important people who might hold it against them out of good feeling for me.) If exercise also tends to make you feel better, I recommend not substituting that part.

      I’m sorry about the theft. That sucks.

    • Lawyerette510

      I definitely am you in my relationship. I’ve found that it’s best to not say anything in the immediate aftermath, but that I also resist the urge/ pattern of stepping in to problem-solve the consequences of his more relaxed approach to such things. That helps me feel less negative feelings as my natural inclination to be right is hard to keep in check when I’m also taking time to fix things.

      That said, there have been a few times like the one you describe, where the consequences of his approach have mainly been bad for him but also led to me being disappointed, inconvenienced, embatrassed, etc. In the cases where I haven’t been able to work through those feelings on my own, I’ve made a point to talk to him about my feelings about how his actions/ inactions/ choices impacted me, but I only do it later after the initial crisis has passed.

    • I have a hard time not saying “This is why….” I think with time my boyfriend is starting to try doing this more in the way I do them (after having tried things his way and ending up with, for example, my white towels turned pink in the wash, etc.). Sigh. I find it annoying to have to deal with all the “clean up” though. I am currently sorting out a mess now too for my boyfriend that affects me. In fact, that was a large part of why I was so grumpy yesterday…
      ETA: I am really sorry you are in this position. It really, really, really stinks….

  • Becca

    So I just realized that it’s been 5 months since my wedding and I still haven’t gotten my dress dry cleaned/preserved/whatever you’re supposed to do with a wedding dress once you’re done with it. Any suggestions on where to start? Do I just take it to a regular dry cleaner, or should I look for one that specializes in wedding dresses? Thanks in advance!

    • flashphase

      following. also what about if you have beading/sequins?

    • ART

      I don’t have any advice, just wanted to commiserate a little…I let my dress chill in its garment bag for at least a year before even looking at it again, and I think a generation of moths was born and died in the folds near the hem (not the kind that eat fabric, it was fine), and have heard from plenty others that they also did not deal with it right away so that’s pretty normal :) But I made my dress so I just washed it myself.

    • Lisa

      Most dry cleaners should be set up to clean the dress, but if you want to get everything done at once, you can typically find one to do the cleaning and put it in an airtight box. I’d call around to get quotes and figure out exactly what you want to do before dropping it off somewhere! Also check Yelp reviews/whatever’s most popular in your town or ask others where they’ve gotten theirs done. If you’re planning to keep the dress, you want to make sure all of this is done properly so it doesn’t end up ruined.

    • Lisa

      I took mine to the alterations shop and they handled it (I’m sure they outsourced it, but I trust them) and they gave me a discount because I had the alterations done there. I recommend finding someone who can handle wedding gowns, rather than your neighborhood dry cleaner.

    • Anna

      In a similar vein, I’ve been trying to decide whether to get mine dyed… not that I have a ton of occasions to wear a slinky, beaded, floor-length nonwhite gown to, but it’s certainly more than for a white one haha. Does anyone have thoughts on 1) whether this is a good idea (as opposed to preserving it) and 2) how to go about this? I’ve seen some places come up in past discussions on APW, I think, but now I can’t find them.

    • penguin

      My friend got married a little over a year ago, and I got married last month. We made a date to go drop our dresses off together at a place that cleans wedding dresses, and then we’re going to go shopping and hang out. So that’s my recommendation! I plan on trying to sell my dress online to recoup a little of the money I spent on it.

    • I got mine cleaned like a year afterwards, whoops! I ordered the preservation kit from David’s Bridal online – I ordered it on a day when they had them 50% off. They send you a box to ship your dress/veil/sash to them in and in about a week I got my items back in a preservation box. Really fast and super easy, and the online sale made the price beyond reasonable

  • My husband is traveling for work basically all the time now and it sucks. Like, he will be home for 5 days continuously for Thanksgiving, and then a little over Christmas (although we travel then to see my family) and other than that will basically not be reliably home during the week at any point until March (starting from about October). This is not at all what we signed up for. (This time of year is not supposed to be the busy season at his job. He was supposed to travel maybe a couple weeks a year.) He’s also driving instead of flying at least until Thanksgiving which is also extra annoying because then I don’t have a car (like, we live in a city and I almost never drive, but I like to have the option) and we don’t even get flight points for it. I’m in grad school and will be graduating with my PhD in two years or less (hopefully) and this current job will be very portable to move back to my hometown–he could probably just do an internal transfer to a different office– so we are trying to stick it out, but we shall see, I guess.

    But also, I’m just SUPER LONELY because now I only really have my dog to talk to. (My coworkers have started moving to projects where they are not in nearly as much–my friends are all busy/graduated/moving). And it’s hard to get things done in general when we only have 2 days a week that we see each other–we still haven’t booked our Christmas flights! This current client is also sort of a jerk, so I think on top of the working long hours/travel, he’s extra stressed by all the yelling this client does. Also, everyone who I made social plans with this week cancelled them/ghosted on me which sort of sucked. In general, I’m not very good at social things–I’ve never quite gotten the capability of how the mechanics of hanging out with people works/who is willing to do it. I have two friends here that I try and meet up with monthly for coffee or dinner. I also feel bad though because usually I don’t particularly want more social interaction than maybe one thing with one person once a week (I also don’t turn down plans generally, but I just don’t initiate them more frequently), but now that my husband is travelling so much, I want to talk to people more. This is part of why I want to move back home to where my family is–there’s a built-in social network that I have there.

    Plus side, I also do have a lot of very weird time points that I will have to make over the next 3 months or so at work–it is a lot easier to work weird hours when it’s only my sleep schedule that gets disrupted. I’ve been working on talking to people more–in general I’m pretty bad with communication and just learning how/that you can sort of text people a hey what’s up without any particular reason and getting back to talking to some of my longer-distance friends. I also only have to cook 2x a week during the work week because I eat way less food and we are also saving so much money on groceries. Also we are going to a friends wedding this week and the dress I bought is super excellent–it got compliments from both my fashionable youngest sister and my mom’s high school track team (I texted her asking if it was ok for a wedding while she was waiting with some of the girls to get picked up after practice).

    • Well, that was a very long message, my internet friends. As you can probably tell, I just extra chatty recently, therefore the rambling paragraphs.

    • Olive

      I’m a big fan of texting friends randomly and also FaceTime! I talk to my family and some friends in other states on FaceTime several times a week. A friend of mine also watches movies with her family/sister over skype, which I’ve never tried, but she’s been doing it for the 5.5 years I’ve known her.

      Hang in there! Hope you guys get a lot of quality time over the holidays!

      • Olive

        Also a grad student and sharing a car with my husband, and I can totally empathize with wanting the car to go somewhere! I can’t imagine being stranded at home without it when he’s out of town, although we live in less of an accessible area than you probably do.

        • It’s so silly because I do live in a major city with tons of basically 24/7 public transportation, which I usually choose over driving because it is more convenient to avoid parking. The only thing we really use the car regularly for is to visit his parents in the suburbs (and occasionally commute to clients in inconvenient locations) which I have no interest in doing on my own. But it still annoys me when it is gone for so long. Because maybe I will need it this time? (I won’t) But WHAT IF?

          • Olive

            I hear ya!

      • Yeah, I probably should call my family more frequently!

      • Anna

        My sister lived in Japan for eight months a couple years ago, and we communicated primarily via SnapChat – it has built in video and text chat, plus just having the visuals of a bunch of little moments throughout the day feels a lot closer than just text-based communication (and is lower overhead than phone calls). It’s also how I’ve been keeping in touch with my best friends/bridesmaids/college roommates, who are both still in Boston. It’s worked really well for me for feeling connected to people who aren’t nearby.

        • I have one cousin that I SnapChat ALL THE TIME. I have definitely become way closer to her since we left home because she is the most consistent on electronic communication (she was also on gchat all the time when we were in college)

      • Jess

        I FaceTime regularly with my long-distance BFFs. It’s a delight.

    • Eileen

      That sounds really hard. I’m irritated at my husband’s company because likewise, he was actually hired without any travel component, and now they send him away two weeks per year. Which is nothing compared to your deal, but also, we have a one year old and I often have to work evenings.

      • Yeah, we luckily don’t have any kids yet–he will not be working this job when we do. It’s just a very chill dog who is very flexible about schedule changes and was perfectly happy to go on walks with me at 4am and 11am to accommodate my abnormal lab times.

    • Yael

      It sounds like you’re doing a good job of seeing the silver lining of the whole thing (plus see the thread down below about what to do when he’s gone), but it’s still hard. I am very much an introvert, but was sometimes so lonely last year living apart from A. Happy hours here actually really helped – human interaction in real time, but no one could see me and I didn’t have to manage a regular conversation and all the social norms that requires.

    • Amy March

      Is ZipCar an option? Anything to make you feel like you could drive somewhere if you wanted?

      • You know, there are tons of ZipCars around here. I suppose I could also just take an Uber if I wanted to go to Trader Joes (let’s be honest, that’s all I really want, since coming back from the closest TJs with groceries is not public transportation friendly). It just literally never occurred to me before you recommended this that there are other ways of getting around when I don’t have the car that aren’t public transportation. Especially since it’s not the act of driving that I want, just getting to/from places that are a little annoying to bus&train to.

        Thanks!

        • LazyMountain

          I have lots of PhD friends who really like Car2Go for occasional vehicle transport within the city. Also check if your university has discounts for students on that or Zipcar- the one I work for does!
          My wife is hopefully finishing a doctorate within the year, and I think it would actually be easier if I could disappear for a little while and allow her to live the weird-schedule life that is necessary to accomplish a lot of writing. It’s too hard when the prospect of cozy meals and TV shows together is on the table. Either way, traveling unpredictably sucks (been there) so I hope you can find a little alone/together time balance soon!

    • Eenie

      Can he not rent a car for these trips? That’s typically less expensive than reimbursing mileage and less risky for the company.

      I’m sorry this isn’t what you signed up for. I’m traveling almost every week for the first six months of 2018, but we both knew the job would include that. I can’t imagine having to do that without really knowing it’s what you were signing up for.

  • theteenygirl

    Crazy busy at work right now but I wanted to update… I ended up deciding to cut my hair – 15 inches (I donated it)! So it went from waist length to about an inch above my shoulders.

    It was terrifying and I had to bring my husband for emotional support. I almost cried. But I’m so so happy I did it. I actually LOVE it now that I’ve had a week to play with it and learn how to style it. I’m calling it my “cool French girl hair”. The response was really positive at work so far and my husband really loves it too.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!! That’s such a big decision. I love the description of the chop as “cool French girl hair.”

      • suchbrightlights

        Yes! That’s a great way of phrasing it. Congratulations on your great new cut- and on jumping into the deep end!

    • Kara

      Congrats!! I’m going to do my 3rd hair donation soon! It’s getting to the point that it’s starting to strangle me at night (hair to the bottom of my bra + I roll a lot). I can’t wait. I tend to go for a bob that doesn’t require shaving my neck–so about 12 inches.

      Congrats again!

      • theteenygirl

        Thanks! This was my second donation. The first time I did a Victoria Beckham style bob (shaved at the back) and it looked HORRIBLE so I had myself convinced that I didn’t look good with short hair. Turns out it just wasn’t the right cut for me!

        • Yael

          Finding the right cut is key! And don’t be afraid to find several right cuts or be willing to change. I’m on about my third style since chopping it all off 10 years ago.

        • Kara

          Oh man, I can relate on bad cuts. Glad you found the right cut for you!

  • Lisa

    We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of our getting “legalled.” I’d love ideas, both for what to do to make it special and if you exchanged gifts (especially the traditional paper gift).

    • Lawyerette510

      We exchanged gifts. I gifted tickets for the two of us to Marc Maron, who I like but Mr. Lawyerette loves, and he gifted me a beautiful journal. We also went to dinner before seeing Marc Maron.

    • Yael

      On the topic of anniversaries, what anniversaries do people celebrate? We just got legalled and will have a chuppah in about a year and a bit, plus we have our dating anniversary. We’ve only celebrated our dating anniversary once because we were apart last year which was only our second year together. Having three anniversaries seems like a bit much, especially since our legal anniversary now kicks off the 5 month period of time during which most of our family birthdays plus all the holidays happen (seriously, it’s at least 3 a month from September to January).

      • Lisa

        Our dating anniversary is about six months out from our wedding so sometimes we’ll do a little toast or go out to eat, but we don’t make as big of a deal of it as the marriage one now.

      • Lisa

        We’re going to shoot for celebrating two – getting legalled and getting married. We used to celebrate the anniversary of when we first met and when we started dating, so this seems comparable and do-able.

      • Eenie

        We have three as well (dating, legal, and wedding). I personally love our dating anniversary, and we celebrate by traveling somewhere new every year. We acknowledge our legal anniversary and other people acknowledge our wedding anniversary. We technically bought a fridge and power rack (steel anniversary anyone?) this year for our wedding anniversary but we would have bought those anyways.

      • Lawyerette510

        We only celebrate our wedding. For a long time we didn’t know the exact date of our first date (and we’ve been together since the first date), we only found it out because I found my calendar/ notebook from 2008 last year when I was cleaning out a box. That said, we started dating about two weeks before my birthday, so every year in mid-July, we kind of “mark” that we’ve been together another year, usually with dinner or a fun activity or something.

        • Lisa

          Yes, the only reason we can still pinpoint the date is because our first date was the day before one of my best friend’s birthdays. We both know the first date was at the end of April, but usually sometime around April 20th, I have to look up exactly which end of April birthday hers is so we can celebrate.

        • Rose

          We’re pretty much the same. A bit of detective work on my facebook would tell me our actual dating anniversary (it was right after another even that’s definitely recorded on there, I just don’t remember the actual date), but we don’t usually do much. I generally know about what week it is, but not the actual day, and pretty much all we do is that I mention it in some context of “wow, it’s been a while!” Plus, which day should we celebrate? The one when I decided to ask her out, the one where I actually asked her out, the next day when we had a pre-planned group social thing together, or the day we went on our first actual date? And it’s less than a month after our wedding anniversary, so it feels like it makes more sense to just celebrate that one.

          • We picked a date for our dating anniversary purely based on the way the numbers worked out. Saying we started dating on 10-10 is just fun and it’s an easier date to remember.

          • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

            We started dating on 10-10-10!

          • We started dating on 10-10-09! If we were just a year later the dates would have been perfect. (Also, then we would have gotten married on 8-8-16 instead of 8-8-15 and that would have also been lovely–although not a Saturday so we wouldn’t have actually done it). We are just a year off on all our dates.

        • penguin

          Haha after my husband and I had been dating about a month, I went back through my texts with my best friend to see when our first date was because I told her all about it. Then I wrote that date on my calendar because I felt like I was gonna need it :)

      • We “celebrate” both our dating and our wedding anniversary about the same but we also don’t really celebrate them? (Maybe a small present like candy and going out to dinner). We’d been dating for 6 years before we got married, so it’s a significant chunk of time compared to the 2 years we’ve been married so far (it’s fun to say–I’ve known you for 8 years today, etc) and also a fun date 10-10. This year we ended up climbing Half Dome with my cousin on our wedding anniversary, which was super fun, but not really an intentional wedding anniversary thing.

        I’m not used to anniversaries being a big thing except on landmark years (like 50)–for instance, I didn’t know my parents’ until–well, until they got a third garage door with a code that was their wedding anniversary. As far as I know, they didn’t really celebrate it at all, although they might go out to dinner or something now that we are all grown up. My husband’s family does seem to do anniversaries. I found it really odd my first year being married when all sorts of people started wishing me a happy anniversary–it was a nice thought, but also a little odd that my husband’s cousin apologized for being late on wishing us a happy anniversary.

      • Violet

        We cheated and made our wedding happen about a week away from our first date anniversary. So as long as we celebrate sometime that month, we’re good.

        • RNLindsay

          Same! Our dating anniversary was even on a Saturday the year we got married but it was booked at the venue. We chose the weekend before and now it’s easy to just mesh it into one!

      • MC

        We go out to dinner for our dating anniversary every year (conveniently, it’s during our town’s Restaurant Week, so we get to eat at super fancy places for a reasonable amount of money, yay!). For gifts we get each other books. But I am very into celebrating and we’d been together almost 10 years before we got married, so I like having the dating anniversary celebration to acknowledge that our relationship is longer than our marriage. YMMV.

      • Zoya

        We also have three anniversaries (dating, legal, chuppah)! We chose one date as our “official” anniversary–in our case, the legal anniversary–and then the other two days are just an excuse to go out for a nice dinner or something. :)

      • My mum and my sister both married on their anniversaries to avoid this debate! I want to keep celebrating our dating anniversary. It’s easy to remember (27/8, or 3 cubed 2 cubed!), it’s usually a bank holiday weekend in the UK, and it’s about six months away from what will be our wedding anniversary, which seems like a good excuse to have two fancy dinners at opposite ends of the year. And our wedding anniversary is ten years (minus 2 days) from the day we first met, so we’ve got a bit of extra added meaning.

    • Lisa

      We do traditional gifts each year! For paper, I made a little artwork thing for husband (something kind of like this), and my husband made me a coupon book for fun things like a weekend camping trip, a massage, romantic date night at home, free house cleaning, etc.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      If I was to choose a “paper” gift right now, I’d finally go ahead and order all the photo prints we’ve been saying we want of our friends and family and life and cats, for framing and albuming purposes.

    • Transnonymous

      Our one year anniversary was a couple weekends ago, and we decided to get something that we would both enjoy, essentially a gift for us as a couple. It ended up being a Nintendo Switch.

    • Jess

      R got me legal pads with a really cute slogan on them for all the paper lists I make. It was cute!!

  • Eenie

    I feel like I leveled up in adulting this week because I started the rollover process on two 401ks and transferred my third 401k that auto rolled over into an ira to the same institution.

    It was so daunting but took maybe an hour of my day. So if anyone just has a 401k from an old employer hanging out there, please roll it over to and IRA with low fees!!

    Also sourcing recommendations for HSA providers. I have about $850 from when I could contribute to one but fidelity is charging me $12 a quarter to maintain it. Looking for something free or almost free. Don’t need investment options, just a standard interest rate is fine.

    • Lawyerette510

      Congrats on the 401k rollovers! I need to start looking at some IRAs with low fees for that same feat! I don’t know about any low fee HSA providers, but I’ll keep an eye out while I’m doing research.

      • Eenie

        Do you have options on providers? Vanguard has really low index fund options (I can tell you the exact codes I recommend if you want). I personally use betterment since they automatically balance my portfolio and it is all hands off. They use the aforementioned vanguard funds in the mixture. Fees are very low for vanguard, betterment is slightly higher but you don’t have to buy and sell stocks and bonds manually so it’s worth it to me.

        • Yael

          Another vote for Vanguard.

    • Not Sarah

      Yay on rolling over your old 401(k)s!!!

      That is such a small amount in an HSA! I have mine at First Tech Federal Credit Union. There are no fees or anything, it comes with a debit card and it has a 1% interest rate. I don’t know if you can join the credit union. Here’s their how to join page: https://www.firsttechfed.com/Discover-First-Tech/Discover-First-Tech/Become-a-Member I checked the Bogleheads site for HSA options, but most of them are about how to invest which there’s no point with the fees on a $850 balance :/ If you can’t join First Tech, perhaps you could search for “credit union health savings account” and see if you can find another credit union one that you can join? I found another option at a Washington state credit union but their interest rate is 0.15%.

      • Eenie

        Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll look into them. I wish my current employer let me contribute to an HSA. I have a plan that qualifies but they don’t have the option. My husband ups his contribution to his instead. (We have more money in that one, but it can only be used on me if I’m still on a qualifying plan.)

  • Anna

    This morning Husband and I had a flare-up of our ongoing, continually unresolved fight about moving out to the suburbs. This is most often predicated, as it was today, by Husband not sleeping well because the street cleaner/garbage truck/random drunk people walking by are loud and our pre-war building’s windows are not exactly soundproof. I kind of sympathize (especially because he has a history of insomnia anyway) but it seems like there must be less drastic solutions than increasing my commute by half an hour (while conveniently decreasing his by 10-15 min :-P), no longer being able to walk to great bars/restaurants, and basically never seeing our friends because they’re not going to get a $8 commuter rail ticket every time we invite them to dinner (and none of them drive, because they’re all city folks). He claims I don’t care about his preferences, I claim he’s ignoring all the advantages that he himself reaps from living where we do, and round and round we go.

    It’s not just logistics, too – I can’t stand living in the suburbs (the first eighteen years of my life were PLENTY) and he’s deeply opposed to cities. Where we currently live was supposed to be a compromise – small city next to a large city, right on a park so there’s green and open space – but now apparently it’s still too city-like for him. I’m worried that this is just a fundamental incompatibility and one of us will always be unhappy as long as we live in the same place.

    • Yael

      How can someone be deeply opposed to cities? I understand being opposed to suburbs (I am, for environmental and social reasons), but, opposed to cities? Like he thinks they shouldn’t exist?

      • Violet

        I think she means he’s opposed to personally having to live in one. The pollution, fast pace, lack of space, noise… I’ve only lived in cities (as an adult), but it’s not for everyone.

        • Yael

          Oh that makes sense. I guess I’m just so biased in the other direction (grew up in the suburbs and then a rural area). When I moved into a real city I was so thrilled I told A that living outside of a city was an actual deal breaker.

          • Violet

            Haha, that’s kinda funny. Growing up I actually said to my mom, “I’ll never live in a city.” Then I ended up in one for college, never really learned how to be an adult in a suburb, and now feel panicky at the thought of living in a suburb. But I still totally recall my mindset about cities, and honestly, many of the negative things people don’t like about them are true. So I can see both sides of the argument Anna and her husband are in.

          • Anna

            I grew up in very very walking-hostile suburbs, a two-hour train ride from the same city I currently work in (and live just outside of). My family lived for one semester in a small German city where my mom did a sabbatical when I was 11, and I basically vowed at that point that as soon as I could I would live somewhere that had public transportation. Especially if you can’t drive, that kind of freedom is incredible. So yes, for me it’s also 100% having experienced the suburbs first, then cities, and finding it completely incomprehensible that anyone could want to go back to the suburbs.

          • Yael

            Exactly. Even walking-friendly suburbs, like where I lived before Germany, are not the same. It was so much harder to do anything. Here, I’ve even managed to transport furniture home from IKEA on public transportation.

        • Yeah, I live in a city right now and it is so hard for my brain to function. I need way more space than I can get in any reasonable city. I need my own personal outdoor space where strangers can’t see me in order to function properly. I also don’t really care that much about having things like restaurants/bars/things to do within walking distance because the frequency with which we do these things really would not change if we had to drive into the city for it. I would like to hang out at home with friends and family, mostly, and have a yard and not have to worry about my dog barking at the front door or if he gets excited.

          I realize that there’s a lot of things wrong with suburbs but I also can’t realistically go live in the middle of nowhere because we still need jobs and such and for my husband at least, those will require us to live relatively near to cities. Sometimes I wish I could live in a city because I realize they are often environmentally friendly because of the high density/public transit, but I know that I can barely handle it right now and when you add kids to the picture, I would not be able to do it.

          • Violet

            City living is not easy. I think there are pros and cons to living anywhere. It’s just tough when pros of one place outweigh the cons for you but *not* for your living partner, which seems to be Anna’s predicament.

          • Oh definitely. I have my own where-to-live predicaments (not city vs suburbs, but West Coast vs Midwest) issues in our marriage and they are super tough to handle because we both really like our families and want to live near them, but obviously that’s impossible and it’s hard to come up with a good solution.

          • Anna

            Yeah, it’s definitely a mental health/anxiety thing for my husband. It usually doesn’t get triggered by the fairly sedate neighborhood we actually live in, though; mostly it’s just when we go into the larger adjacent city. But he therefore has a lot of negative associations with even the aspects of cities that don’t directly trigger his anxiety.

          • CMT

            Oh man, suburbs make me anxious! So I guess I understand, kind of, what your husband is going through.

          • Anna

            Yeah, spending time in the suburbs is one of the major triggers for my depression :-P So I also do understand what it’s like to have your environment exacerbate existing mental health issues.

        • Anna

          Yep, I don’t think he objects to the existence of cities, but he’d prefer if he never had to spend time in them. I was under the impression that he tolerated cities of the size we live in and just hated cities of the size I work in (he whines terribly any time I ask him come into the larger city, like for dinner with my mom or some work event that includes spouses or something), but nope, turns out anywhere there’s more apartments than single-family homes is too dense for him.

    • flashphase

      Sometimes when the conflict seems intractable, you gotta call in a neutral third party / couples’ therapist

    • Violet

      I think this is a good example of arguing over positions vs values. Positional arguing can quickly get you nowhere- there is no place that is both city and suburb, so one of you has to lose. But there are places that can have both of your values met- a place that is quieter for him that still has access to things for you. (In the opposite direction to make his commute longer. Har har, kidding, that’s my petty talking.) It seems like you both worked on a values compromise before and got to your current location, but it’s still not working. So time to do a bit more research and find another to try.

      • Alli

        I do wonder if there’s a new urbanist planned town anywhere near their city? One of those “best of both worlds” kind of situations. That’s what worked for me and my husband, we hate being somewhere that you have to drive everywhere, but also get claustrophobic in cities.

      • Anna

        Heh, the opposite direction is immediately a river and then the bigger city I work in, so fortunately I won’t have the opportunity to exercise my own petty streak on this one.

        One problem is that I absolutely love everything about the specific place we live currently, and honestly, when he’s not in a bad mood because he got woken up repeatedly, it seems like he mostly does too :-P So it’s hard for me to be convinced that we should move to somewhere else that on paper seems like it gives him a little more of what he wants, when where we ended up the first time turned out to be such an unexpectedly wonderful area, and we have no guarantee that we’ll get that lucky again. (I suppose the meta-problem here, which might be apparent from what I just wrote, is that I’m not convinced he actually does dislike where we currently live. I think it usually nets positive for him. I just think that after sleeping poorly, morning-grumpy him was only seeing the bad. But maybe I’m just discounting his real feelings and being totally unfair.)

        • Violet

          I too have a husband who for the most part seems pretty content. And then when something flares up, it’s “Oh, everything is terrible and always is.” (No joke, today he said he’s been in a bad mood since March. Like, really dude, MARCH!? That’s not a mood, that’s just who you are. Just cause you’re annoyed about something today doesn’t mean you’ve been miserable for months.) So I get it. Maybe next time this argument flares up directly in response to An Incident (TM), ask if you can table it for a day or two. And then discuss it at that point. I’m not saying he doesn’t have legitimate points, it just seems they’re getting lost in the shuffle because it only comes up in the context of the more minor annoyances. It’s bad for him because it prevents him from fully explaining what’s upsetting him, and it’s bad for you because you can’t help but slowly discount his opinion over time when he does it this way.

        • anon city dweller

          FWIW, I recently moved within a city in response to my husband’s desires that came out in the same way as your husband’s, that overlapped somewhat with your husband’s, and that I perceived in the same way I think you’re perceiving his unhappiness (an occasional acute issue that ultimately is not a serious, move-worthy problem). I really liked the old neighborhood and am sad to have left it, but I have to say: he’s genuinely a lot happier where we are now, and I should have taken him more seriously sooner.

          I can’t tell you if that’s the case for you, but I can tell you that my husband’s major occasional complaint (a short but truly unpleasant and emotionally draining commute) turned out to be a thing that was only occasionally intolerable enough that it came out at me but constantly a drag on his happiness. For me, an apartment that made it hard for me to sleep might feel similar–nothing makes me more TOTALLY ENRAGED than interrupted sleep/being tired, and even if it doesn’t happen most nights, living in constant anticipation of it would be a real problem for me.

          All that said, I do think suggesting earplugs, a white noise machine, and heavy curtains or something would be reasonable (in my situation, my husband altered his commute route, so it was a bit longer but a bit less unpleasant). I think the way to have that conversation is to say, “I hear you, and I know that disrupted sleep is terrible. I get it that you want to move, and I’m willing to look at that because it’s not OK for you to be unable to sleep where we live, but I know that you know that I really don’t want to move–this neighborhood seems like such an unusually good fit in lots of ways, plus moving is terrible and expensive. So, can we try a few lower-impact things first?”

          There’s also a Captain Awkward letter from a woman with a partner who’s insisting on moving, I think right after a previous move and due to allergies. The CA response and comments on that might be helpful, both in terms of thinking about balancing needs and how to talk to your husband about the issue.

        • What about working on the sleep side of things where you are? Black-out curtains, a white noise machine, ear plus, etc….? Maybe re-evaluate if even the mattress is right for you, etc.?

    • Anne

      Can you remind him that where you are is a compromise, and ask if he wants to look into other buildings in the neighborhood that are more soundproof? (or come up with a couple options yourself). If you could disconnect the specific trigger of noise from the longtime-ongoing big picture disagreement, it seems like there should be space for resolution.

      • Violet

        Yes, and in this vein, when looking at other options, for Anna to research more suburb-y places she’d be okay with and for him to research the more city-ish ones. Sometimes it helps my partner and I in arguments to do the thing where you argue the other person’s side. It kinda gets you to loosen up and see the merits a bit, rather than digging in heels further.

    • Amy March

      To be honest, I think you don’t sympathize and are really discounting his preferences a lot here. Loud random drunk people and garbage truck noise is a major stressor for some people- being woken up sucks! A constant barrage of light and sound is really dreadful! Maybe your “friends” should also be expected to suck it up and buy a (actually really cheap) train ticket sometimes.

      I don’t think that means you have to move, but I do think you need to care a bit more about his preferences. I mean, a reasonable person could conclude that a good night’s sleep is just fundamentally more important than walking to bars and restaurants, and millions of people feel that way.

      Have you found any less drastic solutions? Can you move to something not pre-war with better windows? A bedroom that doesn’t face the street?

      • Sara

        I agree with you on most points, but I will say in my area there is a definite divide between ‘city’ and ‘suburb’ people. I see my city friends occasionally but not nearly as much as the burb people because they don’t have a car and it takes twice as long on transit. Its not worth the effort for a casual dinner, but they do come out for parties or well planned events.

      • Anna

        I mean, sure, some of this is me just being frustrated that he doesn’t share my preferences. Some of it is him not acknowledging how much he’s asking me to give up. And it pisses me off that his first response to “I had a bad night’s sleep” is not “how can we improve my sleep” but rather specifically “your preferred living environment is terrible and it’s all your fault for making me live here”.

        Okay, putting scare quotes around friends is not necessary there. Several of our friends are grad students living on very tight budgets who already have to consider whether they can afford the transit fare to visit us slightly outside the city proper ($2.75 each way); one of my closest local friends has literally been skipping meals to make rent, and having her over for dinner regularly is one of the ways we try to help. We wouldn’t be able to do that if we moved out to commuter-rail distance, because $8 each way is more than she’d spend on dinner normally anyway.

        I agree that a good night’s sleep is really, really important (I’m much better at sleeping well than Husband is but totally share his belief in the importance of sleep). I just think he’s skipping several more reasonable solutions to his inability to sleep (earplugs! the white noise machine mentioned elsewhere in this thread! better noise insulation around our windows! other apartments in the same area that mitigate this issue, as you mentioned!) because he’s got an axe to grind about urban living in general.

    • Sara

      I’m not sure there’s a way to win this, unless you move to a suburb disguised as a city – like where I live, slightly outside the city there are suburbs that have the same transit lines, but aren’t considered in city limits. But I do feel your husband on the noise thing – I lived in the city for a year and felt like I got jarred awake a lot. But I also lived close to the street – could you move further up in the building? Away from the street noise?

    • Kara

      From less drastic to more drastic:
      How about starting with trying white noise machines to help husband sleep? Maybe ear plugs?
      Better sound proofing for current bedroom–can you get better windows?
      Move to a building roughly the same neighborhood/location with a better insulated house?

      • Eenie

        After using a sound machine at my brothers house on a visit I’ve started using one at home. It’s been a game changer especially since I travel so much. I take it with and I sleep so soundly in hotel rooms.

        • Kara

          I love having one. It’s definitely improved my sleep.
          You can also try using apps if you don’t want an actual sound machine.

        • Zoya

          Another benefit: if you share a bedroom with a snorer, having a white noise machine helps blunt those sounds. (Ask me how I know…)

        • I have really come to appreciate the sound of a fan (turned toward the wall) while I sleep.

      • Anna

        White noise machine might be a good idea, since he does seem to sleep better in the summer when we have the fan and/or AC running. We’ve talked about it before but never actually looked at specifics. I feel like if I suggest it right now, though, immediately after fighting about it, he’ll accuse me of trying to basically treat symptoms rather than causes. (Which I am, but I think that’s reasonable in this case xP)

        Can’t do better windows because we’re renting (and I think the building has rules about it anyway since it’s historical or something) but I have thought about getting storm windows or something to add a layer of sound insulation. Not sure how well that would work, plus the windows are a weird aspect ratio which might make that tough.

        • Kara

          Maybe wait to mention white noise machines after he’s had another rough night–even if it wasn’t related to street noise? Or like I mentioned below, try an app! You can try it on your phone first, if you’d like.

        • Evanizzy

          If you aren’t sure about a white noise machine-there are many white noise apps, many that are free or cheap that you could try. They might not be loud enough for both of you unless you can hook them up to speakers, but it might be worth trying.

        • ART

          Sometimes when I know something is just treating a symptom, I acknowledge that up front. Like hey, I know this doesn’t end the conversation, but obviously that night sucked, can we try a few things that in the short term might make improvements while we figure out the longer-term issues?

          I don’t love actual white noise (did you know there’s also “pink noise”? It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me…audio engineer wife problems), but I use Sleep for Android and it has a “lullaby” function with various types of noise – I prefer Thunderstorm. You can set it up to turn off after a certain number of minutes, or stay on, etc. I also use it as a sleep tracker so I put my phone right by my head at night and put the noise on pretty quiet.

        • Les

          We live in loudass NYC and if the AC or the Heat isn’t on at night, then the fan is to buffer the traffic, garbage, exuberant drunks. In addition I sleep with earplugs, and Sig Other uses an eye mask. Good luck my friend, no advice on the root cause, hoping you can ‘trick’ him ;) Also- my boo is always SO CRANKY when his sleep is disrupted (much like me when I’m hungry…) so mayyyyyybe he just has strong reactions because he’s tired/worried about being tired? I know my guy does (again, me too, re: HANGRY).

        • BSM
        • Yeah white noise is amazing. I am a horrible sleeper and it took me a while to get used to the white noise and be able to sleep with it–at first I hated it and it would have kept me up. I started with just turning it on during the day for a week or so before I was really able to sleep with it on at night, but now it’s amazing for when our neighbors are being obnoxious. So I would just recommend that if you do try it, you try it for an extended trial and not just once because I think there can be an adjustment period, especially for noise-sensitive people (and your husband sounds similar to me in this, so this might also be a thing for him).

        • Here in the winter, a lot of people cover the windows on the inside in plastic. Some sort of plastic sheet (like cling wrap but more sturdy) that they heat (along the frame/molding of the window) to make it stick and become air-tight. It’s to help keep heat in, but I bet it really helps reduce noise too! Maybe that could help?

    • Mer

      This may or may not be helpful but maybe some ear plugs? We lived on a busy street so I slept with ear plugs every night and IT WAS AMAZING!! I feel like his reasons really go beyond just the noise but you never know.

      • Violet

        I, too, think it’s about more than just the noise for him. Garbage trucks service suburbs in the early morning hours too, ya know?

        • Anna

          Yes. Absolutely. I think the noise is (depending on how charitable I’m feeling) either part of a larger problem he has with spending time in urban areas or a total red herring that he just falls back on because he knows I feel bad that I have a much easier time sleeping in general than he does.

          • Violet

            I just… relate to what you’re going through so much. Not this particular issue, but when something is bothering my partner and I just don’t get it. Like, get over it! I eventually come around to this idea that if he’s not happy, it IS ultimately going to affect my happiness too. Cause no one likes being around a crank pot. So if you’re basically going to continue to insist that he make the living locale concession, then you need to factor into it an unhappy husband. That might make strictly urban living less appealing to you, or it might not. But I doubt his feeling about this is going to change, earplugs or no.

            Since what I just said is not ACTUALLY helpful, strictly speaking, I’ll throw this in there. If you hypothetically agreed to move to a suburb, what concessions would he be willing to make? How can he sweeten the pot? Would he agree to set aside more of your budget to trips into the city; to fund having your friends come see you; etc.? Would he buy you audiobooks to listen to on your longer commute? Sort of like the reverse scenario of you telling him to wear ear plugs– what would he be willing to do to make you happier, if the roles were reversed?

    • bananafanafofana

      I love cities but also have insomnia. I wear ear plugs every night. Has he tried that?

  • LadyPanda

    I got engaged!! Halloween. I proposed to him (In a panda onesie cause of course ;) he said yes and proposed right back.

    Also just want to say that this was totally my happy place while we waited months and months to get our custom rings (but omg they are so beautiful and I just keep staring at mine and smiling) as they were delayed over and over so thanks to all of you for my sanity! So excited and so so SO need to get down to the planning if we are gonna make this happen by June

    • suchbrightlights

      Congratulations!

    • Emily

      Congratulations!

  • Lexipedia

    We are in our new house! Finally! Our fire was almost a month ago, a strange anniversary, but some of the whirlwind is starting to calm down. The furniture situation is a little lacking, so far we’ve got a mattress, an inflatable couch, and a bar cart full of liquor (priorities, clearly). We only moved Monday, but we are loving having a whole house and yard to ourselves for the first time.

    Also, the kitties are totally loving it which makes me so happy. I had a even had a kitten-mommy cry last night – our boy kitten had a favorite toy that got lost in the fire/water mess. One of our friends managed to find the exact same one so I could replace it. I wasn’t sure he would connect the two after so many weeks, but he’s been carrying the thing around since we gave it to him and I found him sleeping with it this morning.

    Insurance company is still being sucky though.

    • Lawyerette510

      Sorry about the insurance company, but the story about the boy kitten and his toy got me teary.

      • Olive

        All the heart eyes at baby kitten

    • Eenie

      Is Ellie doing better in the new house now?

      • Lexipedia

        So much! She loves the stairs – she had never seen any before. They are also now fascinated with the door and what is outside it. We lived in an apartment until now, so hallways weren’t particularly interesting. Now we have to be really careful, and they are both getting collars that say “indoor cat” on the tag as well as their names and our phone number.

        • Eenie

          I’m so glad. We have a reflective collar on our inside cat that thinks he should belong outside. Helped find humble in the dark the one time he got out.

        • Lawyerette510

          The idea of putting “indoor cat” on the tag is especially good. I can’t count the number of NextDoor posts asking if anyone knows whether [insert cat description or picture] is an escaped indoor cat, or just a confident outdoor cat.

          • Lexipedia

            Our vet suggested it. Like, I’ve seen lots of cats outside with collars and tags and I just assume they are allowed to be there.

          • ART

            Conversely…my brother once brought a “lost” cat in when he couldn’t reach the owner, and then had to go to class, and left the cat in his apartment for several hours, and then finally the woman called back and was like ummm…he’s an outdoor cat, he’s fine, just let him out? Whoops.

        • Kara

          I’d also recommend a collar with a bell on it. No more ambushes….even when kitties think they are stealthy :).

          • Lexipedia

            Bell is good! They were so stealthy during all the trick-or-treating visits – a mom standing at the door helped me grab Franklin while I spoke to her daughter (side note – “meta unicorn” is a super awesome halloween costume)

          • Kara

            Meta unicorn sounds awesome!

        • Jennifer

          I have an orange ‘kitty convict’ collar on my cat that says his name and my number. He’s not in the slightest interested in going outside though. (The kitten – however – is another story.)

  • BSM

    Missed HH last week and am a little late today because I had a baby!

    Meet Ketch: https://imgur.com/a/VvOZX

    The c-section went smoothly, but I’m glad it’s over. The best description I can come up with for it is “uncomfortable,” but that doesn’t really capture it either.

    My recovery is going well, and not being pregnant is aweeesooome. Ketch is so freaking cute, and he eats like a champ, which is a huge relief.

    Being at home with my little family during this past week has been the best. I’m so happy.

    • Alli

      That smile!

    • Yael

      Yay baby! Mazel tov!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!

    • Violet

      Woohoo, congratulations!

    • ART

      YAY! SOOO SWEET! I was so hoping to hear good news from you today! He is so gorgeous. Congrats on not being pregnant, too…sooo looking forward to that :)

    • emilyg25

      Oh my gosh, he’s so cute!! Congratulations! The first week(s) home as a family of three are such a special time.

    • He looks so happy!

    • Lawyerette510

      Congratulations!!! What a cute little babe!

    • Jessica

      He’s adorable!!

    • penguin

      Ahh so cute!! Congrats and I’m glad things went well!!

    • JC

      Congratulations!!! Hi baby!!!

    • AmandaBee

      Congrats lady! He’s super duper cute.

    • Jess

      Congratulations! Ketch is way adorable!!

    • Ashlah

      Eep, congratulations!!! He is adorable. I hope everything continues to go well. Enjoy your baby snuggles!

    • Congratulations! What a beautiful, adorable baby! Enjoy all the snuggles!

    • notquitecece

      omgaaaaaa what a sweetie!

    • Ilora

      Heart-eyes! He’s absolutely perfect!

  • JC

    It was this time last year that I came to you all and said “We’re moving again” (cue sobs). It is now November and we are NOT moving again! Not this year, nope nope nope! Keeping our cute, cozy apartment and enjoying a holiday season with no deposit fees or boxes or storage units. Frankly, I’m itching for some changes (a house to own, or at least a puppy. Sigh, a puppy…), but not moving is still a big, gigantic win.

    • Ashley Weckbacher

      Oh I am so happy for you not having to move! I didn’t realize how much that would improve my quality of life.

    • I LOVE not moving. Every July 1 (when EVERYONE moves here), I get so happy not to move. We might move at some point in the future, if we find something better, but that is not easy to find, so….we’ll see. Until that day it becomes totally worth it to move, I will continue being thrilled to stay put. (And also work on decluttering in the meantime so that any possible future moves are less awful!)

    • penguin

      Not moving is my favorite thing, congrats!! We plan on staying in our current apartment until we are ready to buy a house (or forever).

  • jem

    Trick or treating was rescheduled to today in my parents town so I’m headed there to help hand out candy I am soooooooo excited. My neighborhood is a little rough around the edges so we never get any trick or treaters. I didn’t even see a kid in a costume this year WOMP WOMP.

    In other news, I’m MOH for my soul friend and I’m… feeling a little disconnected/left out. I live across the country, so it feels like the other bridesmaids are getting to do way more bridesmaiding than I am. For example, I saw photos of an engagement party that i didn’t even HEAR about.

    • Amy March

      I think sometimes in their eagerness not to pressure people distant friends just don’t ask- it would be totally cool to say “hey obvi I’m not going to be able to come to most of this stuff, but I’d love to know it’s happening!”

    • Oh, I think I would probably saw something about being hurt about not being included on that invitation! I also was MOH to my best friend and lived far away, but we had an agreement that I would be invited, but that there was no pressure for me to come. It was hard to miss a couple things, but I felt good knowing I was invited anyways. And the fact that you say you WOULD have gone….that makes me sad for you. Did your soul friend plan the engagement party or was it someone else? In any case, a talk with your friend would probably fix the situation, since she would, I hope, be involved with invitation list for any upcoming events.
      ETA: My neighborhood is a little rough too, and I never get any trick or treaters. Never in 7 years.

  • NotMotherTheresa

    The good news: I got promoted at work.
    The bad news: I got promoted at work.

    So long poorly defined job that felt sort of tenuous and had no real direction, but that was also kind of enjoyable for that very reason. Hello actual office and actual defined tasks with actual benchmarks for success beyond “show up for work and don’t smell like gin”.

  • Not Sarah

    Oooh I found this podcast this week via some friends’ wedding photographer: http://www.secretlifeofweddings.com/ So far it is hilarious!

  • I’m totally on board with Meg’s Queen of Hearts mood… I’m feeling super grumpy today (at EVERYTHING, big and small), but the champagne cheese I’m eating on toasted baguette for dinner is helping my mood improve. Not much new to report, just still trying to catch up from the intense last month we’ve had. The good news is that the super-extra-busy time at work is winding down as of yesterday. And I also have had a busy time for a creative project that I head up and we just launched the announcement of upcoming fall activities. We still have the actual activities coming up, but I think the publicity is actually the biggest part of these. And, of course, there is follow up to the saga with my mom being in the hospital while visiting, like driving their car back to them in the US. And since my dad doesn’t speak French, I’m going to have to be the one to call about questions to the various hospital billing offices (like an ambulance ride that we were told we would not be charged for because it was an inter-hospital transfer!). Sigh. But I hope to make the most of the unplanned road trip with my boyfriend for the car drop off, and try to stop in some fun places to sleep or eat. I mean, it’s not the point of the trip, but it would be nice for it to be fun too. Now for some salted dark chocolate to finish off my meal…

    • suchbrightlights

      Are there care staff or patient advocates in the hospital who also speak English who could help your dad in order to lighten your load? It might or might not be helpful for billing questions, but I remember you mentioning the language barrier before in another context.

      I’m glad that the work intensity is dialing down. You’ve had A LOT.

      • I don’t know if that exists here, but I am hoping it will be just a few calls. I called today and got the name and number of who I need to speak to about the ambulance charge. And my dad said today that after relooking at it, he has fewer bills and charges than he thought he did the other day when he was stressing out about it with me. I had been sure that almost all the bills had been paid and he was saying he had received a lot more. But today he said he might have been thrown off in his estimations for all the credit charge charges at the hospital cafeteria and parking garage. I’m hoping it won’t take too much work and that I can get it mostly sorted next week? Fingers crossed! (And also, I know that a stranger will not advocate for my parents like I will, so… Besides, I know the situation better (what we were told, the treatments my mom had, etc) than anyone else probably since I was there more than anyone else, except my mom, and because of being bilingual. I think I am best placed to advocate for them. But it’s good to know that something like that might exist in case I run into problems along the way and need additional help!)

        • suchbrightlights

          No, certainly no one will advocate for your mom like you or your dad would. I’m thinking about help for your dad so that he could work through and with a care advocate with hospital administration if need be and you were not available. If you think it’s possible that that situation could come up, it might be something to explore so that you’re aware of any resources that are in place. I wish you the best and hope your mom is doing well.

    • Amy March

      My parents were really shocked that there was so little English spoken in a Montreal hospital. And my mother was lost to our family for a few hours because they insisted on registering her under her maiden name, which she has not used in 35 years and is in no way her legal name. Not a fan.

      • Oh, your mom was in a Montreal hospital before? Yes, here it is illegal for a woman to take a husband’s last name, so they insist on the maiden name thing when starting hospital records.

        In all my medical records here, I had to list my mom with her maiden name being her last name. I told them they’d never find her like that, but that’s what they want, so whatever.

        But when my mom was hospitalized, I was able to fight to get her actual, legal married name in her record. But that *only* happened because I fought for it in French and insisted. I’m so thankful I was with them to be able to push. (Also to push for some care when we were in the ER waiting room at the first hospital and the registration person couldn’t get my mom’s file opened because his password wouldn’t let him open a non-resident/foreign account. It was taking forever, so I went and saw someone else and asked for help and some care for my mom. It was taking forever and shortly after my mom was vomiting from the level of pain. :(

        The maiden name thing is frustrating when they insist for nonlocals whose legal name is not their maiden name. And as far as English goes, there is WAY less English spoken in Quebec City than in Montreal. Here people try to use English and are friendly with tourists, but, especially when you get off the “tourist track” and end in a hospital or doing things in environments that don’t deal with tourists, people are less comfortable with their own ability to speak English, so they can be shy to use English. In the hospital here, a translator (me or my boyfriend) was totally necessary… (Except with the doctors, the doctors were great in English. They just occasionally couldn’t think of the right word now and then and had to use a more round about way to explain their idea.)
        (Edited to correct my many typos. I think I need more coffee!)

        • Amy March

          Yeah it was not a great vacation and left me with a very unfavorable view of Canadian healthcare.

          • Yeah… My parents vacation was ruined too, but I think they left with a more favorable view of Canadian healthcare than before. Their original opinion was low, but being here and being in the system, they were seen by caring doctors and nurses (everyone was really nice, even I was super impressed), and if you are urgently needing help (at risk of dying), you get it quickly. But, it’s true, if you are not in urgent need of care, you wait forever to see someone. Hours. I took three books to the ER, before I realized how serious things were going to get. And not speaking French would make it very hard and even more scary than a hospital visit is in the first place. The only reason my parents did not have a horrible and extra scary time is because we were as locals and could navigate it all with them and explain everything… But totally not the makings of a good vacation…. (And it’s true that some things here are stunning to people use to the US system…people on stretchers in the hospital halls, for example, in the ER. I was horrified too the first time I saw that and I still think it’s awful.)

  • bananafanafofana

    So– I have a question about how to handle a wedding-planning situation. My mother in law to be wants to invite a LOT of her friends. Like, in total she would like to have 52 or so friends there, plus 30 family members. Of the friends, I have met zero. Of the family I have met 10. My parents currently will be inviting 32 family members and 2 friends. My fiancee and I will be inviting about 15 joint friends, then i will invite about 15 of “my” friends (people who are closer to me, but all people my fiancee knows.) He will invite 10 of “his friends” –several of whom I have only met once–they are childhood friends or don’t live nearby. I am find with all family, and with all of our friends, including his friends that I haven’t really met. But I REALLY don’t like the idea of our wedding having so many of his mother’s friends that I’ve never met in any way. The problem isn’t cost–she has offered to pay the difference (the wedding costs are being split 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 his parents, us, my parents. (I’m not sure she understands the full cost because of table rental etc but that is a separate issue). Mostly I just really don’t like the idea of having to get up and give vows, interact with, or just generally feel surrounded by an environment that has 70+ people I have never met, and I feel like my parents will feel hurt if the wedding numbers are so disproportionate even if the additional costs are covered by my in-laws family. My fiancee is wiling to fight for what I say, but he really really really doesn’t want to hurt his mother and she has called him several times crying and saying this means so much to her. Am I being a total jerk if I really, really don’t want this to be the feel and structure of my wedding. I’m feeling torn between not wanting to devestate her and finding this ridiculous. (I’m fine with her inviting SOME friends–but not more than either of US are, for example. )

    • Inviting more friends than you two are inviting does feel like she is not on the same vision of the degree of closeness of the the invited people. And even if she is super close to all those people, inviting more friends than the couple getting married is off to me, group-dynamics-wise…. I have now ideas or advice though, unfortunately.

    • Fushigidane

      This might be a cultural thing. If their norm for weddings is several hundred people then weddings are more about parents showing off their kids than anything else. I know my mom didn’t see anything amiss about her having more friends than me.

      • bananafanafofana

        I don’t *think* it is cultural. (That is to say, I know this is normal in Indian weddings–but they are not of a cultural background where I think this is notably common.) I should note that I wasn’t really into having a wedding–and certainly not anything resembling a *traditional* wedding, which is pretty much were we ended up, because they really cared about it, and my fiancee cares about them. So I feel like I am already caving quite a lot. But maybe that is the wrong way to think about it?

        • Fushigidane

          I think it’s an American thing too, depending on area and social circle. I somehow got invited to my mom’s friend’s kid’s wedding whom I had maybe only met when I was 5 (I was very confused). Also it’s not unheard of for parents to invite long time coworkers in certain social circles.

          • bananafanafofana

            Super interesting. They live right outside of NYC. Do you know if that cultural phenomena is common to that region?

          • Amy March

            Nope. Nope it is not. Like, yes sure some people do it but there is no NYC area norm.

          • Fushigidane

            That’s actually where I live. It appears to becoming less common as people are starting to pay for their own weddings but more “traditional” parents might try to invite everyone they know and also think you should invite everyone you know. I didn’t particularly see a point in inviting my coworkers from a couple years ago but my mom kept pushing me to. (Then again Asian parents remembering their 600 person guest list from when they got married)

    • suchbrightlights

      At first blush I feel the same way that you do- it sounds like her friends make up a solid third of the guest list. Are these the kinds of friends who are close to family, though? Are they people who have had a great deal of investment in your fiance’s lives? In your shoes, it would help me to understand the relationship to these people; that might change whether or not I felt it was a hill to die on. That would also help me to draw analogies between MIL:particular friend of MIL and my mom:my mom’s friend with a similar relationship. If I knew “Oh, this friend of hers is like My Mom’s Best Friend Group and they’ve all known each other for ages,” that would help me understand why it was so important for MIL to have those people there.

      What are the odds that these people will come? I thought my MIL went a little overboard inviting people in the “we see each other socially” category, but almost everyone she wanted to invite ended up being unable to attend.

      What is your fiance’s opinion, leaving alone the potential of hurting his mother’s feelings?

      I do not feel that you are being unreasonable, and I’d feel the same as you; but I think you’re going to have to have a lot of conversations talking this one out. The first step is to get you and your fiance calibrated on feel of the party and target number of people so that you can present a united front.

      • bananafanafofana

        My fiancee tells me that they are on the whole “the kind of people who came over for dinner sometimes.” (Some of them, of course, are closer. I had told him that family friends who played the role of family members in his life should of course be included. But most of these 50+people are not in that category.)

        Yeah, I agree. We are trying. Fiancee is generally very good about this, but he REALLY hates hurting his mother, and she is very needy and quite emotional. This is normally ok, but is coming to a head a bit in wedding planning.

        • suchbrightlights

          I’m generally skeptical of people who make multiple crying phone calls to their children about things that haven’t even happened yet, so I almost asked if your MIL would be legitimately devastated and this would be the One Big Thing, or if it was possible that every situation where her preference couldn’t be accommodated would be equally important to her and the tablecloths would be equally devastating. I decided that I didn’t really care all that much about your MIL’s feelings on the matter considering that you hadn’t made it clear what your fiance’s feelings were, and it’s his wedding. :)

          The word that’s going to be really important in navigating this situation is “we.” As in “fiance and I both.” Which means that you and your fiance have to agree, and that he commits to making sure that it is always presented as a joint decision, no matter how upset she gets and how that is relayed to him.

        • Amy March

          You can’t live your life around not hurting someone this inconsiderate.

          • bananafanafofana

            Yeah. Now my fiancee is saying that if his parents can’t have a very large number of their friends, they would prefer the option where we don’t have the wedding, and just got to the courthouse with just family. I feel all over the map about this. The other option is to have a small wedding — just friends who live nearby and immediate family–a week or so before, and then treat the larger thing like a play for them and their friends. But I think that would hurt the feelings of my more out of town friends (which are many because I have moved a lot.) It would make the big thing feel crazy silly, and my brother likely could not make it.

            My fiancee says he doesn’t really have a personal preference and will be “on my side” in the end, but doesn’t want to hurt his mother. The problem is that the options I am getting are “wedding with all their extended friends” or “no wedding” — and I don’t really like any of them.

            Honestly, at this point I just find the whole thing ridiculous and feel like I am going to resent them no matter what.

          • Amy March

            Nope nope nope. There is no “just don’t have the wedding you want at all if it’s not exactly what we want” option available. Take the option you want! “We are of course inviting this list of your family members. You are welcome to invite 10, but no more than 10, of your friends. Give me their names and addresses in time for invites to go out.” And if they fuss “I’m sorry you feel that way, but this is the Wedding that is happening.” And then? Bye.

          • penguin

            Yeah there’s no negotiating with (wedding) terrorists. They don’t get to make the wedding a choice between inviting 50+ MIL friends or having a tiny courthouse wedding.

          • suchbrightlights

            Well, that’s because they are BEING ridiculous. That’s such a “taking my toys and going home” response.

            If you want to have a wedding, and fiance wants to have a wedding, then their preference of “go to the courthouse” is acknowledged but rejected. And if you do not want to accede to the bananagrams that is inviting 52 friends, and your fiance is with you on not acceding to those bananagrams, then that opinion is also acknowledged but rejected… and they get to have as many friends as you give them.

            But be prepared for this next round of manipulation to involve tears as well as the threat of pulling funding.

    • savannnah

      So idk if this will help but I’ve come across this issue 3 times as a bridesmaid and it is always the mom of the groom doing this disproportionate inviting situation. In all 3 of the cases I’ve encountered it was a somewhat conscious power play about these women really being affected by their role as mother of the groom and being insecure about their place in the process of their children getting married and what that would mean for them. All 3 cases were women who had no daughters and it was difficult to navigate all that baggage.

      • bananafanafofana

        Interesting!

        I can sort of see that. In this case there is a sister, but she is much older (they had their children 15 years apart) and (at least in the mother’s mind) not likely to get married (because of the age thing and not seriously dating somebody right now.) So I think MIL also has the view she only gets “one wedding.” (For what its worth I’m an only child so my parents are in the same position.)

      • Eh

        Yep – that describes my MIL and her power trips during my wedding. She has two sons and she felt left out so she always made over the top requests. For the guest list, she said that people were offended that they weren’t invited to my BIL’s wedding (the year before) so she wanted to have a larger guest list for our wedding. This included inviting my husband’s cousin’s children (since his cousins said they didn’t go to my BIL’s wedding because their children weren’t invited – note: they didn’t come to our wedding either) – they were already on the invite list since I was inviting my cousin’s children. Then she added my husband’s great-aunts and great uncles. I don’t have anyone who fits into this criteria (at least in Canada) so this was not a category we had considered. We were going to invite only our grandparents and everyone under them. We decided to include the great-aunts and great-uncles. Then she pushed for her cousins and their children and grandchildren. My MIL tried to pull the “offended” card again. My FIL stepped in and said that her cousins would not be offended if they weren’t invited so that’s where we drew the line.

      • penguin

        Yep my MIL did something similar to this (just less drastic, it was fewer friends). Note on cost – even if they agree to cover costs for the friends that are invited (10 sounds reasonable to me), GET A CHECK UP FRONT. Don’t be like us and trust them to pay you back later.

    • Amy March

      No she’s being ridiculous. Tell her she gets 10 friend and that’s it and call it a day. She doesn’t get to buy her way into taking over the wedding if you don’t want her to.

  • C.

    I’m late to the party but I have a travel planning question for the APW hivemind if anyone pops back in! Husband and I will celebrate our one-year wedding anniversary while on a trip to a friend’s wedding in Portland, OR. Remembering our wedding day still plunges me back into a stressed/anxious/not-happy state because of all the craziness that came along with that day, so I’d like to make some new, lower-key, romantic memories for just the two of us on this Portland trip. We’ll there on a Sunday in early January and leave Monday morning. I need any recommendations anyone has for the following itinerary on this mini-vow-renewal/wedding-do-over/the-elopement-that-could-have-been:

    1) A beautiful place outdoors to re-read our vows to each other;
    2) A good restaurant to eat a sit-down lunch or dinner (+1 for candlelight and champagne);
    3) A place to get a slice of cake that resembles our wedding cake (which I never really got to eat at the wedding itself! We saved our top tier but lost it in Harvey :( I’m open to hiring someone to bake a small re-creation of the top tier too).
    4) A hotel near all these places that isn’t a trillion dollars a night because this will be out-of-state wedding #4 in 10 months and flights are $$$. We’ll have a rental car but would prefer to walk/transit around for the most part.

    If anyone who lives in Portland or has traveled there has any recommendations, they would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    • castleba

      Okay!! I revived my disqus account to answer this haha I have so many suggestions. We live in NW Portland, so I’m partial to that quadrant – Forest Park would be my vow go-to, it’s one of the largest urban forests in the entire US! There are 5000 acres of trails, so you could scout a couple you like and then find a beautiful viewpoint for the ceremony, or you can’t lose hiking up through the park to the viewpoint at Pittock Mansion (that’s popular, though, so I’d recommend an off-day). Mt. Tabor park in SE is also stunning and would be lovely for vows. For cake and dinner try Papa Haydn’s in NW, they are a lovely, romantic spot for dinner and have a million (like seriously 50+) cakes that they sell whole and by the slice. For hotels we always recommend The Society Hotel in Old Town, McMenamins Kennedy School in NE, and the Ace Hotel downtown. Honestly Portland isn’t huge, and you can get virtually anywhere in a 15m drive from any of those. Have fun!!

      • Alynae

        my FAVORITE hotel is in downtown portland. The nines. It has a great restaurant on site and is in the middle of downtown. But ringside steaks on burnside is amazing and has a huge fireplace and has old time charm (and great creme brule).
        Vows. Pittock mansion really does have amazing views. and also the rose garden and area back behind the zoo (and you can take transit there).

    • Essssss

      1) Japanese garden or Rose garden
      2) Oh gosh, so many, read some reviews and you can’t go wrong. Suggestions are in Southwest/Northwest, so maybe just try for something on the west side of the river if you go that route. Public transport makes it easy
      3) Pix Patisserie or Pearl Bakery
      4) The Heathman is a pretty great splurge… also has a nice restaurant

      + Again if you’re on the west side of the river, Bijou is a delightful breakfast stop. I recommend one of their amazing omelets and a milkshake.