APW Happy Hour

A new site and a photo shoot

Hey APW,

Over here it was our first week back at work after a lovely and much needed two-week break. (A break that was sometimes interspersed with high-stress relaunch issues… but at the end, I did hit a day spa for one of the best days of 2017.) And you know what’s nice after the holidays? Easing back into work. Which we… did not do. We started the week by introducing the new site to y’all, and ended the week on a two-day photo shoot that involved literally cramming my dining room with as many balloons as we could fit. It was delightful and amazing, and our team works together so well and pulls long hours without a peep of complaint. I really couldn’t ask for a better crew in the whole world. Of course, it was also unbelievably tiring, and a whole lot for the first week of the year. But all that said, I’m so glad that 2017 is in the dumpster of history, and I’m beyond delighted that 2018 is here. It’s the year of the mid-term elections, and if we can’t get excited about that, what can light our fires? #DemocraticWave2018

I also want to take a moment to thank you all for your amazing responses to the new site. As with all new sites, it still has plenty of bugs to get fixed and small changes that need to be made. Slowly but surely we’re working on all of them. (In fact, midweek we took care of resizing the site, so it should be less huge on your screen. If you’re not seeing that tweak, hit shift+refresh to clear you cache, and you should see it.) After almost ten years of running APW, I’m no longer new at the relaunch rodeo. My joke always is that when you finally let people see the new site, you hear nothing but complaints about how people hate it and want the old site back. And then a few years later when you relaunch again, everyone hates the new site and wants the site they previously hated back again, and you are stuck in a cycle of never winning. But this time around, you guys have had nothing but lovely things to say, and I am so profoundly delighted with the feeling of finally (mostly) getting it right for y’all. That said, please keep letting us know any bugs you spot or thoughts you have by emailing the team at apracticalwedding dot com. We’ve got our own list of fixes that we want made, and we’re always happy to hear what’s on your wish list as well. (For example, we’ll get a front-page comment count up and running on the most recent post soon.)

And with that worlds-longest-first-work-week-of-the-year, I’ll kick it to y’all, and your open thread. I know you’ve missed each other, so chat it up!

xo,

Meg

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  • LuckyLoveBug

    I want to thank everyone who responded to my question regarding favorite childhood holiday traditions, posed earlier this week. Your responses were thoughtful, meaningful, and beyond inspiring, and I’ve figured out what we’re doing next year!

    I found a fabric pattern kit that I love (thank you Etsy!) and a quilt-savvy friend of mine is going to sew an advent calendar out of it! I’m going to put a couple treats in, like chocolate coins and mini candy canes, but most pockets will have a cutely decorated piece of cardstock detailing a holiday activity surprise (such as “Skip school and go into the city to do holiday things!” “Make hot chocolate and drive around the neighborhood to see lights!” “Build a gingerbread house with Daddy!” “Make a [insert holiday craft here]!” “Watch [insert holiday movie here]!” “Visit [local Christmas tradition venue]!” ETC).

    Guys, I am SO excited. I realized, after figuring out this solution, that my problem was how to keep the holiday spirit all season long, and I really think this is going to do the trick. It’s more meaningful than opening up a chocolate advent calendar every day (which we got this year, and remembered to open maybe half of the doors?) but also simple enough that it won’t break the bank or overtax me more than usual.

    So, thank you for sharing!!

    • Jessica

      What I love about this idea is that some (skip school and do something fun) are timeless, and others can be easily scaled for age.

      • LuckyLoveBug

        Yessssss. I really wanted something that could translate throughout the years; even if the movie titles change, or the crafts change, it’s still the same general idea.

        Thanks!

    • PAJane

      YAAAAAY, I love advent calendars, this sounds so fun! Every year December rolls around and I remember that I want to make one and haven’t. I really like your activity-based approach.

      • LuckyLoveBug

        Thank you! Christmas Day is already too much about STUFF for my liking (oh Grandparents, please restrain yourselves) so I really wanted to focus on activities and not things, which is what I needed help with in the first place!

        Maybe get started on it now? That way you can roll it out in December for the win!

        • PAJane

          I absolutely would, if I hadn’t already promised myself to actually, you know, plan my wedding this year. I’ve been really good about procrastinating and finding other things to worry about.

          • LuckyLoveBug

            HA! Word.

          • Yael

            Another option, one I saw on Apartment Therapy: pretty boxes or envelopes (https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/35-diy-advent-calendar-ideas-197137). These are all so pretty and I was seriously tempted to make one for no reason other than they’re pretty. I think AT may also have a link to inexpensive pre-made ones (that aren’t just chocolate in a box).

          • I made one for myself about 10 years ago with red and silver cylindrical boxes and put activities in each day. I just bought some scrapbooking sticker numbers and numbered them all. It was cute, but I haven’t used it since moving since it takes table-top space. I think next time around, I will make something that is vertical or hanging…

            A number of years ago, I made a bunch of small drawstring bags with the numbers 1 through 25 on them. I wanted a kid-friendly, nonbreakable Advent set for her. Inside she can put papers with activities on them or candy or whatever. I think she normally puts these around the banister of a landing at the bottom of their stairway?

          • Jenny

            I used cut out circles on a piece of twine and the circles with the numbers on front, activity on the back held by clothes pins. It worked great.

    • Rose

      I love this idea! I may totally steal it some day.

      • LuckyLoveBug

        DOOOOOO. I am newly obsessed with Dashwood Studios holiday designs – the pattern I picked is the Festive Friends advent!

        • Rose

          Oh. no. Those fabrics are way too cute. Way too cute. This is terrible.

          I just kinda started quilting (after swearing that I wasn’t going to pick up a new hobby no matter how much I wanted to, but I’m totally blaming my MIL), so an advent calendar sounds like a really fun project.

    • Yael

      Thing that I did not know before moving to Germany: Advent is an actual thing. I knew about advent calendars, but it’s an actual season here – the beginning of the Xmas season. One thing Germans do is light Advent candles each Sunday of Advent, building up to 4 (a little bit like how Jews light an additional candle each night of Hanukkah). I think it’s a nice tradition as well.

      • LuckyLoveBug

        I love any excuse to light candles, ESPECIALLY in the winter. Maybe Day 1’s craft will be to decorate a votive holder, and we’ll light the candle every night…

        • Yael

          At least in Germany, IKEA actually sells Advent candles (I have no idea if they do in the US as well), but their candles are generally so cheap that we just stock up whenever we go. We’ve probably burned through at least a dozen candles so far this winter.

          • LuckyLoveBug

            They do! That is a great idea!

      • PeaceIsTheWay

        ☺️ Advent is an actual thing for most Christian churches, in America, too! Christmas markets are the best in Germany, though.

        • Yael

          I agree!

          I hadn’t had much experience with Christian traditions before moving to Germany – it’s just so much more of a THING here. I’ve had to start learning all the Catholic holidays because they’re public holidays in my state.

          • PeaceIsTheWay

            My mom is German, so maybe that has something to do with why we always had an Advent wreath with candles at home!

          • AnneM

            If you have lots of catholic holidays, you probably live in Southern Germany? Just an “insider tip”: If you live anywhere near Heidelberg/Heilbronn/Karlsruhe, try to get to the Christmas market in Bad Wimpfen this year. It’s magical!

          • Yael

            We do! I’ve been to the Heidelberg and Strasbourg Xmas markets, but haven’t heard of Bad Wimpfen. Thanks for the tip!

          • AnneM

            Ooooh, I really wanted to go to the Strassbourg market last year, but we didn’t get around to it. Did you like it? Also, another tip: If you go to Bad Wimpfen, go on Friday or Sunday, Saturdays are suuuuuper crowded.

          • Yael

            Saturdays in Xmas markets are the WORST.

            Strasbourg was fine. I really like Strasbourg as a city, but I’ve been to better markets – Heidelberg for instance. Are you based in S Germany still?

          • AnneM

            Yes, still live here. Actually, I’ve never lived anywhere else, so “still” maybe isn’t the right term. Huh, might reconsider going to Strassbourg, then. It’s quite a drive from where I live, plus Strassbourg parking is my personal nightmare.

      • PAJane

        The Protestant churches I attended growing up in the US did the candles every week. And the city I live in has big, electric advent candles by City Hall that they light. I mentioned it to PADude this year, he never went to school as a kid, and had no idea they meant something, or noticed that each week an additional one was lit.

      • Another Meg

        My parents are Super Catholic and they still do an Advent wreath. I remember the lighting ceremony every week, where we all gathered around the table with our rosaries to say prayers and my dad would light the candle.

        I’m not Catholic anymore, but it’s a really nice memory.

        I haven’t thought about that in at least ten years. Even seeing the wreath at their house with candles waiting to be lit didn’t jog that one. Thanks!

        I also loved the Easter Vigil. It’s the Saturday night before Easter Sunday, and the lights in the church are out. Everyone lights a candle and those are the only lights for the ceremony. It felt so mystical, with the priest and servers processing around the church as they moved through the Stations of the Cross. Check it out if it’s around.

    • Jess

      This is such a cool idea for an advent calendar and I love the build-up!

    • Jenny

      Yay! That’s what we did this year. Its on great!

  • Jessica

    1. I listed and sold my house! Now just for the inspections and stuff, closing end of February.
    2. Ex and I signed the paperwork. It’s being filed and reviewed by the courts (or however it works).
    3. PARTY!

    • LuckyLoveBug

      All the YAYs!!!

    • Lisa

      Movin’ on up!

      • Jessica

        Also just booked movers! I get my comfy bed back soon!

    • Katie

      Congrats!!! Also… new boyfriend? :)

      • Jessica

        New-ish. I called him my Not-Boyfriend for awhile, but he’s been around.

        Still exciting though!

    • AGCourtney

      Yay! Congratulations.

    • Jess

      YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!

      I will be officially toasting to you when I get home from work.

    • Her Lindsayship

      THAT’S AMAZING! wow I don’t even know you and I’m celebrating! <3

    • AP

      YAY!!

    • Zoya

      PARTY!!

      • Cora

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    • I bet it will feel AMAZING to have that huge financial and physical tie GONE. Congrats and I hope you have an amazing weekend!

      • Jessica

        It was a great weekend, thank you!!

    • Mjh

      So, so, so excited for you, internet stranger friend!

      I’d been considering whether or not I should pour myself a [dealcoholized] cranberry rosemary mimosa before reading this, but now I obviously need to toast your good news.

      • Jessica

        I hope you did and that it was delicious!

  • Megan

    After months of waiting for my paperwork to come through, I’m finally cleared to move to Ireland! We move in 2 weeks and I am so. ready. NY has been Canada-level cold (save for the weird 65 degree temps today) and I never thought 45 degrees would sound so darn nice.

    We’ve sold almost all of our possessions save for little stuff and our bed so we’re essentially living like monks at the moment. It’s all so strange and surreal and scary and exciting and other emotions I don’t have names for.

    • Lisa

      That is so exciting!!

    • LuckyLoveBug

      I visited Ireland once a very long time ago and to this day it remains one of my favorite destinations. Good luck!

    • Jan

      Congrats! I visited Ireland in May and looooved it— the scenery, the people, all of it. Would move there in a heartbeat.

  • Lisa

    Congratulations on the new site! You all worked so hard on it, and it really shows. We love it. In other news: We got a puppy!! Her name is Mira, and she is a 9 week old mini Australian Shepherd. And she is the sweetest thing on the planet. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e9a936eb55b0190ca66a35744c538848d6995b1dfea5e6497263b1ef67da5552.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/afc62644de262b140a58e561e44cc970aee54f212b07346537d6aaac6bd67a96.jpg

    • Jessica

      OMG CUTEST PUPPY

      • LuckyLoveBug

        SECONDED.

    • sofar

      I grew up with and mini Aussies! Such wonderful (and clever) dogs. My parents currently have a mini red-tri and a mini blue merle who looks quite similar to yours!

    • Ahhhhhhh, THAT FACE. Dying.

    • Alli

      I love her!

    • InTheBurbs

      Oh – she is gorgeous!

    • Jess

      ::waves frantically:: HI MIRA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lawyerette510

      She’s so little and fluffy!!!!

      • Lisa

        She is totally a fluffball.

    • Zoya

      That face is the sweetest!

  • LuckyLoveBug

    Post number 2, posted separately as it’s an entirely different topic from my previous post. To those of you who recommended The Ordinary in an Adulting/Skin Care post some time ago – THANK YOU. I do not have bad skin, by any means, but I wasn’t taking care of it the way I should, and The Ordinary has completely revolutionized the way I view and use skincare!

    I could wax poetic about them for days I’m sure, but I’ll leave it at: I was super skeptical of using an oil as a moisturizer (Does. Not. Compute.) and their Squalene solution is AMAAAAAAAZING. I use the teeniest bit and it keeps me hydrated for more than 24 hours (although I do make sure to reapply!).

    The minimalists among you also really helped bring home that a skincare routine can be simple AND effective; and I got the message – sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen!

    Also, thank you to whoever recommended Beauty Editor – it has become my go-to beauty blog and I love it! It’s definitely easy to get overwhelmed by ALL THE PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS THERE, but now that I’ve figured out what work I’m willing to put in (and what I am more than willing to skip) it’s much easier to wade through all the products and search for things I’m eager to try. Next on my purchase list are a brightening gel mask she recommends, and the copper sleep mask!

    Gratitude, I has it.

    • Fiona

      I’m curious about this and enormously confused about how this works. Where was this article?

      • LuckyLoveBug

        Pretty sure it’s this one!

        https://apracticalwedding.com/affordable-skincare/

        The comments were particularly helpful, and I referenced the Beauty Editor’s review of The Ordinary to help me narrow down what to start with there! (I started with The Ordinary because they came so highly recommended by APW/Team Practical, because the price was right, and because I liked that I could pick and choose the items I wanted to include in my routine, as opposed to feeling like I HAD to buy a bunch of products for them to be effective).

        • Fiona

          Thanks :)

      • Jess

        Article from APW: https://apracticalwedding.com/affordable-skincare/

        Minimalism in Skincare:
        While there are LOTS of products at LOTS of price ranges that promise to do something magical and the idea of a 10-step-Korean-Method hit the internet, a basic “Treat your skin right” routine is a low-pH Cleanser, Moisturizer, Sunscreen applied every 2 hrs when outside.

        The idea is that a low-pH cleanser is closest to your skins natural pH so it won’t be as harsh/drying, a moisturizer helps keep your skin hyrdated and can add other beneficial stuff back into your skin, and sunscreen helps prevent things like hyper-pigmentation after acne breakouts and wrinkles.

        The Ordinary:
        The Ordinary is a brand by the Canadian company Deciem. The basic premise of the brand is to allow a customizable routine by selling single active ingredient products (eg Niacinamide, Hyaluranic Acid, Oils, Exfoliating Acids, Vit C) at a low price.

        ETA: I’m actually super into skincare and stuff, so feel free to ask any questions! :)

        • LuckyLoveBug

          What Jess said! I actually forgot to mention I did get a cleanser after reading that post as well. I took to heart the Moisturizer/Cleanser/SPF as the basic foundation of a skincare routine, and knew I also wanted to brighten/correct my skin, so that is the direction I went in!

        • flashphase

          ok question! I have buffet, hydralonic acid, and squalane serums. But I feel like my skin is looking… dull? I used to use retinoid but now I can’t because I’m TTC. I have a bunch of masks but am not great about using them. Should I use a scrub? Any recs?

          • Jess

            I just got this in the mail and have only used it once, so YMMV, but Skinfood’s Wash Off Rice Mask made me feel glowy and soft. It’s got really small grains for exfoliation, which I like because it’s gentler than sugar or salt based scrubs, and is extra creamy and moisturizing.

            I’m not a big fan of the sheet mask system (so slimy, so cold, so not sized right), so having something I put on my face, gently rub around for a few minutes while my shower is heating up, clean the rest of myself, then rub it around my face for a while longer and then rinse off was great!

          • flashphase

            Best description of sheet masks I’ve ever read.

          • I’d try a more pared down antioxidant serum than Buffet, something simple with ascorbic and ferulic acid. I like Mad Hippie’s Vitamin C serum for brightening (and have received “glowing” comments since I started using it) but also have had good luck DIYing with L-AA. Just read recipes carefully for correct pH and stability.

    • penguin

      I keep wanting to try The Ordinary! How do you get started and figure out what you need for your skin?

      • LuckyLoveBug

        So, like I said, super overwhelming right? I chose The Ordinary because of all the APW love, and because the price is right (also other reasons listed below). I looked them up on Beauty Editor and read all of her reviews, and just in general for a lot of the product, I was like ehhhh that seems cool but not like something I NEED to focus on right now, especially since I didn’t want to get overwhelmed.

        I also couldn’t tell you what skintype I have, but I knew what I wanted to “fix.” I want smaller pores, to stay hydrated, and to clear up sun damage as much as I can without an actual medical intervention, so I narrowed it down to one moisturizer, one breakout/brightener, and one vitamin c serum.

        They have all been amazing!

        The Ordinary has a guide on their website as well, that breaks down very simply which products do what, and I used that as a general guide as well.

        I also started out slowly – the first week I just used the moisturizer, then I added the vitamin c, and now I’m doing all 3, and it feels SO EASY because I added stuff gradually.

        I am by no means an expert, but I’d be happy to answer questions if you have them!

        • penguin

          Thanks so much!

          • Les

            Seconding spending time on Beauty Editor. She explains the science so well.

    • Jess

      Hooray! Skincare!! Welcome to the club!

      • LuckyLoveBug

        THANK YOU! I was previously of the “I’m in the shower so I might as well scrub” and “falls asleep 50% of the time with makeup on” club. I’ve been using The Ordinary for maybe a month now? Maybe a little less, and I don’t know if it’s just my imagination but I swear I see a difference already!!!

        There’s definitely a huge difference in the way I feel, at least!

        • Jess

          The way I felt about my skin changed a bunch last year when I decided to just do the basic steps.

          Like, it’s not both super oily and really itchy any more! My pimples are smaller and clear up more quickly.

    • theteenygirl

      Yay The Ordinary! I had to stop using their products because of the prescription cream I’m using but I kind of miss my eight step routine each morning and night using all their little bottles. I love their primer though and still use that on makeup days!

    • Jessica

      I have a huge line up of The Ordinary in my bathroom and OMG THE COMMENTS when people were over.

      • LuckyLoveBug

        I believe it! My husband gives me a side-eye whenever he sees me using my little medicinal-like bottles and droppers!

        • Jess

          R calls my skincare “mad scientist face liquids”

          • Haha, mine are called “tinctures” and I have so many in glass apothecary jars, I get jokes about being a witch.

    • jem

      OK so I don’t love that copper sleep mask. It’s OK but not very comfortable— it’s a little stiff and has this plastic thing on the strap that pokes my ear very annoyingly. I try to wear it regularly, but normally end up taking it off sometime during the night, so I haven’t really noticed any results. I swear by sleep masks and honestly have been indulging myself with my old silk one this week because I miss the softness

    • Pannorama

      Is The Ordinary going to be one of those things like YNAB where I tell myself it can’t be as good as the hype for like two years and then start shouting from the rooftops about how amazing it is as soon as I cave and start using it?

      • LuckyLoveBug

        …Possibly ^_^. I know it’s not one-size-fits-all, so I’m sure there are people The Ordinary won’t work for but…it works for me and like I said, completely revolutionized my outlook on skincare. Totally underestimated how much I’d love this stuff!

      • If it makes you more confident to have a negative datapoint (that’s not sarcastic – I always find it easier to believe hype when something doesn’t work for everyone), so far all the ordinary done is give me eczema. :/

    • Les

      Same!!! I devoted like 2 days to reading/re-reading Beauty Editor and now I’ve got my little line up of products that I’ve been using for 3 months and I’m so happy!!! Beauty Editor is so legit. And she doesn’t spam!

  • Ayla K

    Hello everyone! Long time reader, first time writer here. Excited to finally be joining this amazing community!

    I’m moving in two weeks and it is STRESSFUL, especially on top of my partner job-hunting. I got the news just a few days after Christmas that my landlords wanted me out of the apartment and it was a scramble to find a new place in time. I am just so ready to get a fresh start in February. Anyone have any favourite packing/moving tips they like to share?

    Also I love the new site! Great work to the whole APW team.

    • PAJane

      Welcome!Liquor stores always have a bunch of small boxes, and some of them already come with little dividers you can use for glasses and other fragile things like glasses. They’re also perfect for books, because they get heavy, and you don’t want a whole bunch in one big box.When you unpack in your new place, make the bed first. Then you can work unpacking until you’re exhausted, and go to bed without having to find the sheets and put the bed together.

      • Ayla K

        Oh this is a GREAT suggestion, thank you! I was not looking forward to packing up my kitchen, so I will definitely hit up a local liquor store.

      • Katharine Parker

        Yes to making the bed first. Also have your shower curtain, a few towels, and essential toiletries together so that night or the next morning you can shower without stressing over which box any of that is in, or not having the shampoo at hand, etc.

        • Ayla K

          Luckily we get the keys to the new place a week before the move date and we’re not moving terribly far (within the same city!) so my plan is to get the essentials moved in well in advance of the movers coming to take furniture over.

          • Having an overlap is the best for moving! I usually move all the small stuff myself throughout the week (clothes, breakables, light-ish stuff–we would take 1-2 trips a day the week before. Also, that way we got to set up things like the bathroom and fridge without movers.

            Also, don’t panic if at first you put everything in your apartment and it seems like it doesn’t fit? When we moved into our new place, there was basically no room because of boxes and furniture and I don’t even know what, but once we got furniture put in the right spots and things packed the floor revelaed itself to us again.

          • penguin

            We did this, highly recommend. You also have the option to clean stuff ahead of time when the apartment is empty, which is so much easier.

        • YES a shower curtain! My last move was from a bathroom with a glass door to a more traditional tub set up and it did not even occur to me to buy a shower curtain for the new place until it was too late…

          • This reminded me that before we moved in the guy redoing our bathroom didn’t think to put up a shower curtain rod. Or a mirror above the sink…. He did the rod, but we had to find our own mirror. And I plan to take it with me when I move, so I feel sorry for whoever the next person is who won’t have a mirror either…

      • theteenygirl

        Seconded. I used to move every four months because of my school /internship rotations and whenever I moved into a new place I would always make the bed first, and unpack as though I was on vacation – toiletries, clothes for the next day, something to sleep in, and I would always bring basic groceries with me so I could eat. I get overwhelmed easily so I like to get that stuff out of the way so if I do get overwhelmed I can stop and at least I have the basics I need and I can do the rest over time.

        • Ayla K

          Big 100% to thinking of the move day as packing/unpacking for vacation! And yes to getting the fridge stocked early. I’m seriously considering buying pizza the night before and just throwing it in the fridge for reheating when I inevitably get hangry mid-move.

      • rg223

        Yes, liquor store boxes! Best tip ever!

        • PAJane

          The one near me will tell you to roll up to the back loading dock, and they’ll throw them right in your car.

          • rg223

            That’s awesome! The stores around me are SO WEIRD about it sometimes and give us serious side-eye.

          • penguin

            Yep we got a lot of either weird looks, or places that had already been emptied out by other people who were moving. We actually ended up buying boxes, which I felt dumb about.

          • PAJane

            I went to the Princeton Book Fair the year we were prepping to move into our house, right after all the new students had moved in. There were brand new UHAUL boxes trashed all over campus. We ended up pilfering a whole bunch of them. I couldn’t believe so many people PAID MONEY for these nice, reusable boxes, and then trashed them all!

          • I saved my boxes from my last move just to avoid dealing with finding more. I even loaned some to a friend who moved and she brought most of them back. They’re in the storage locker for whenever the next move is. Could be this year, if we find a place we like better… I’d love to find a house to rent in the downtown part of the city where I live…

      • Sarah E

        Double plus support these tips.

        Also, don’t move anything empty. Keep everything in drawers (dresser, desk, whatever). Cover the drawers with tape or a plastic bag if you think it’s necessary, but drawers can be removed, slide back in the furniture on the moving truck (movers should know to block furniture in such a way that the drawers can’t come out), move drawers and furniture into new place, done.

        Fill your hamper with linens. Fill your suitcases (maybe with books as someone suggests elsewhere, or with more linens or curtains or whatever). Wash baskets are helpful for weirdly-shaped medium-sized items (like table lamps). If there’s anyway one or two people can move a thing with all your stuff inside, do that. And as Amy March suggests, you can prep with a purge/organize kick to make things lighter if you wish. Use the tote bags or shopping bags you may already have for other heavy stuff that needs to stay manageable, or alternatively for delicate things that shouldn’t be banged around.

    • Rose

      I haven’t tried it, but I heard a suggestion recently to color-code the boxes with colored duct tape. Obviously you can just write numbers or contents or rooms on them, but people were also saying that a very obvious cue that something is fragile is great. Or, if you have those boxes that are the last minute throwing stuff together, mark them with a specific color so that whoever’s moving them knows that they should just go in a pile in the living room where you can get to them right away, or whatever. I think I’m going to try it, when we move again this summer.

      • I tried the color coding with my last two major moves. And I put papers on each door of each room with the color tape. (Since the people hauling boxes may not know which room is the office or whatever…) I’ll probably do it again, but I’m not sure how helpful it actually was for others.
        ETA: I used cheap electrical tape in various colors.

    • Amy March

      I am not a neat and tidy person, so what works for me is doing a full purge and organize and then pack.

      • Ayla K

        Oh, I’m definitely in purge mode right now! I don’t know how we ever accumulated so much STUFF. (how many bobbleheads does one partnership require? Apparently the answer is 30+.)

      • penguin

        Ooh yeah, best tip is to get rid of stuff before you move.

      • PAJane

        Damn, I always meant to do that every time I moved, but I never finished in time and ended up throwing things in boxes anyway, just less organized than it should have been. I admire your follow through.

      • sofar

        And then, inevitably, near the end of the moving process, I do a second purge because I decide, “Know what? I don’t want to lug this last load of boxes into the new place. I will drive to Goodwill instead and have them unload it. What is in these boxes? I don’t care.”

        • PAJane

          I’m giggling at all the stuff the might be in those boxes.

        • Natalie

          I have totally done this.

          More than once.

    • lamarsh

      The last time I moved I rented these (http://bungobox.com/) and they were amazing. They’re sturdier than boxes so you don’t have to worry about them getting banged up and the people come pick them up usually a week later and it really forces you to unpack on a shorter timeline which is super helpful to me (a procrastinator).

      • sofar

        OMG I just saw one of their trucks on my commute to work today and thought to myself, “That is genius.” We STILL have moving boxes in our garage and we moved in June!

    • penguin

      I’ve moved a bunch and love giving people moving tips. Some may be obvious but I figure it’s better to include more.

      -Pack boxes by what room they go in, and color code them by room. Then in your new place, put up a piece of paper that color in the doorway of the room. Makes it very easy for movers (or whoever is helping you) to put things where they go! We got translucent colored packing tape for this, so we’d put white index cards on the boxes, and tape them on with the colored tape
      -Label boxes with what’s in them! Every time I found a box we’d given up and labeled “Miscellaneous” I felt like kicking myself. We just used index cards and sharpies/permanent markers. Put one label on the short end of the box, and another on the long end. That way whichever way they get stacked/piled, it’s possible to have a label showing!
      -If you’re using movers, put anything delicate/breakable in your own car to be moved
      -Make sure you pack any stuff you’ll need to access the first night somewhere you can get to it earily, like a suitcase or in your car! Example, toiletries, dishes or utensils you want to use the first night, stuff to make the bed, stuff for tea or coffee. We ordered Chinese the first night in our new place and it didn’t come with silverware, and I just happened to have a pack of plastic utensils out in my car haha.
      -Try to map out where you want furniture ahead of time. This helped us A LOT in our new place – we could have the movers put furniture right where we wanted it, instead of trying to move stuff by ourselves when the apartment was full of stuff.

      Probably other tips, I’ll post them as I think of them!

      • Ayla K

        Thank you so much!! I’m drawing out a floor plan of the new place and labeling where all the furniture should go. I’m hoping the movers find that helpful and not annoying, but it’s our house and our furniture and I’m very picky about where I want things!

        • penguin

          Our movers loved it – they said it was great to know where stuff goes. I stood just inside the door with a clipboard with the floor plan and pointed where I wanted stuff. Easiest move we’ve had yet!

      • I’d add that I always put all important documents in my car and move them myself (all tax/financial docs, birth certificates, passports, electricity/internet/etc. bills–for closing and opening accounts, etc…). Also all nice jewelry and possibly any favorite photo albums.
        ETA: I’d also put medicines, Advil and dark chocolate with sea salt in my important stuff boxes.

    • Lawyerette510

      Pack one or two “necessities” and “open first” boxes. If you’re moving by car, put them in an easy to reach spot in the car. This should include: bedding, a lamp, alarm clock, device chargers, water bottle or glasses, snacks, and whatever you need to make your morning beverages of choice. Also if you’re me, it includes a bottle of wine, wine glasses and a corkscrew.

      • Kara

        Hand soap + toilet paper + paper towels also need to be in the open first box. :)

        Fellow coworker moved last year and was bit severely by her cat (to her defense, she thought it was having a seizure, it was just pissed about moving/being in a carrier). She didn’t have soap out, so she waited hours to clean the wound.

        She got a severe infection and had to go to the emergency room 2 days later. She’s fine now, but it definitely sucked.

        • penguin

          Ooh yeah, toilet paper and hand soap! Very important. I’d also throw a first aid kit in there.

          • Kara

            First aid kit is a great call! Never know if someone needs a band aid!

    • sofar

      Pack books in rolling suitcases. Because moving boxes full of books are the worst. And if you put them in the rolling suitcase, you just pull them. Probably works best if you don’t have to contend with stairs, though.

      • Ayla K

        Unfortunately the new place is on the 3rd floor of our building with…no elevator. Not the easiest but MAN are my calves going to look great in a couple of months!

    • Stephanie

      Small tip: put your hanging clothes in garbage bags, still on the hanger (kind of like a janky garment bag?) so much easier to move. (Like this: http://triplejsmoving.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cor-1_orig.jpg)

      • Sarah E

        YES. Do not take stuff off hangers. Not worth the huge amount of time.

        • Les

          Yeah, why did we do that for so long?!

      • littleinfinity

        Ahhh I didn’t see this and posted the same tip. YES. LIFESAVER

    • MoreCheesePlease

      If you have any extra dollars to throw at the problem, I highly recommend looking on UHaul and hiring help for 2-3 hours to load or unload. Depending on the city I’ve lived in, this has ranged from $100 (to unload a truck up 3 flights of stairs) to $800 (in a HCOL area to load a truck, drive it 2 hours, unload around the block and up multiple flights of stairs). You can read reviews on the site and book directly through Uhaul or use it as a starting point to reach out the company directly. I’ve only had good experiences and many of my friends have had the same.

      For packing, I put all of my clothes with hangers still on, into those $1 Ikea bags which worked great. Also, get a small box and leave it out while you pack with things that you will need asap. I usually put in a pair of scissors, screw drivers, any small screws that I’ve taken out of furniture that will need to be reassembled, a few plastic cups/silverware, and a wine bottle opener. I call it the “open first” box and take it in the car with me.

    • Last time we moved we – as messy people at a particularly messy time in our lives – left all the packing and cleaning to the last minute. Like, a lot of it the night before we had to be out of apartment kind of last minute.

      We ended up staying all night and in a fit of delirium, deciding to LEAVE OUR BED because we’d talked about getting a new one at some point anyway. My main moving tip is obviously not to be me.

    • littleinfinity

      Lazy girl’s guide to packing clothes: turn a trash bag with tie handles upside down and poke a hole in the bottom of the bag. Grab a bunch of clothes still on the hangers (maybe 10 hangers at a time) and put the hooks of the hangers through the hole, pulling the bag down over the clothes like a garment bag. Tie the handles of the bag shut, then wrap a length of packing tape around the bunch of hanger hooks poking out of the top of the bag. When you get to your new place, hang the bags of clothes directly in your closet, then just cut off the bag and tape, ta-da! (works better for local moves where you are allowed multiple trips and oddly shaped packages; probably wouldn’t work as well if your stuff needs to be as condensed as possible.)

  • Yael

    A got a job!!!! He’s teaching English at a company 6 hours a week, and has an interview with another company on Monday! He’s only been able to work since beginning of December, so it took him hardly any time at all. He is of course exhausted, since starting work after 6 months off is hard.

    I go back to the States next week for two weeks, and I’m staying mostly with my mom, which will be…. something, but have managed to schedule a lot of time with friends and former colleagues, which will be great. And APW is finally back! So so far it’s a good month!

    • LuckyLoveBug

      Being someone who has worked at least parttime since highschool, and fulltime since graduating college (read: over a decade!) I cannot stress enough HOW HARD it is to adjust to returning to work after time off. Which is weird, because I don’t think I struggled nearly as much when I returned from a 3-month maternity leave as I did from a 6-month leave this summer.

      Just a voice reaffirming that it does get easier (even though it took me a good four months to finally feel like I’ve got my life mostly balanced again!).

      • Yael

        It is hard! I struggle with this too, especially after the summer and winter breaks. Like, I should be well rested, but I always forget how much energy thinking actually takes.

        • LuckyLoveBug

          UGH, not just thinking – INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE. It was all I could do not to crawl immediately into bed upon returning home those first few months! And frankly, those first weeks, that’s exactly what I did!

    • Jess

      Hooray for A!

      Good luck with the travel and the mom-time. It’s always good to get a chance to re-unite with people when visiting.

      • Yael

        I am not particularly excited about going back to DC given everything that is going on, but it will be nice to see people again. I’ve started viewing these trips back as affirmations of why I moved to begin with.

  • PAJane

    You know how all your friends start getting married, and then there are ALL THE WEDDINGS, and then they tell you that eventually all the first divorces start happening? I think they’re starting. My cousin’s wedding was two years ago in October, and I really like him and his wife, and they seemed good together. It’s come through the family grapevine that they’re splitsville. It’s a bummer. Also, damn, it’s only been 2 years. We don’t have a lot of detail about the who and what and why of it all, so we’re most left to speculate.I reached out to my cousin privately just to let him know that I heard what was going on, and that I’m around if he ever needs to get out of the house. I also asked about his new job, and he took the out and just talked about that and didn’t address the divorce at all. Today his wife posted on social media about needing furniture, presumably for wherever she’s going when she moves out. It threw me off because I actually have something that may work for her, but I felt weird about commenting and offering it to her. I ended up messaging her privately as well just to say that I heard what’s happening, and I’m sorry to hear the sad news. She hasn’t responded, and I sort of don’t expect her to.

    • Lexipedia

      I’ve heard about three “surprise” (to me) divorces in the past two weeks. :(

      • PAJane

        Why is it such a mindfuck??

        • Lexipedia

          I know! Two of them have only been together for two-ish years. One, his wife moved out over Christmas so that when he came back she was gone. The other, her husband got back from a business school trip and said he wasn’t in love with her anymore, when right before he left he was talking about future travels, children, etc. very excitedly.

          Sads.

          • PAJane

            The story we got was that they both switched jobs to have regular, similar hours so that they could actually spend time together, and now that they’ve accomplished that she’s made a bunch of new friends and chooses to go out and party with them instead of being home with him. And I keep thinking there’s got to be more to it than that. But what do I know. I dunno, maybe all this time they did the equivalent of the long-distance-relationship thing where you don’t actually know what relationship you have until you live in the same place.

          • Those both sound really awful and painful. I’ve lived the second situation, and it is indeed a complete mindf#@$… (In my case, there was a third party involved that (now)ex had fallen in love with on the work trip… It took ages for my brain and heart to catch up to my new reality.)

    • rg223

      Yes, I know this feeling well! I was actually surprised by a divorce announcement yesterday –
      someone of an older generation though. So far it’s just been people in my extended family and circle, not anyone I’m very close to, but unfortunately I’m sure that will happen one day. And I’m dreading it.

    • sofar

      Yep. All the weddings and now all the divorces. Some surprising, some not so much.

      With one couple, I remember sitting at their wedding thinking, “I give this a year, maybe two tops.” They lasted three years, but are now getting divorced. And they have a toddler, which is super sad.

      My friend who got married after a lengthy long-distance romance is also getting divorced because, turns out, they they don’t like living together.

      And I have a friend who just got divorced and is still in major credit card debt from the (very lavish) wedding. But the guy was a tool, so better to be without him and have the debt, I say!

      • PAJane

        Ooo, yeah. My first long term relationship was long distance. He wanted to move in together, and I told him that we needed to try living in the same town first. He moved into the same apartment complex. Turns out he was terrible! We broke up a few months later.

        • Yael

          I almost married someone I was in a long distance relationship with. It turned out we were pretty terrible together but were (sort of) overlooking that in the rush of traveling and reuniting every few months.

      • L.

        I feel…very guilty for these feelings, but my boyfriend’s “best friend” (a.k.a. the guy who USED to be his best friend but has become an Extremely Shitty Friend in the last several years) got married back in 2015, and I totally thought their relationship was destined for ruin. Friend didn’t tell Boyfriend he was even planning to propose. Friend didn’t even send Boyfriend a text to say, “Hey, I proposed! You’ll be seeing it on social media soon.” Nope. I found out first, scrolling through Facebook while I took an Epsom salt bath, and then cried about it because I was jealous. (For context, we’ve now been dating for just under six years, so at the time, we’d been together for approximately 2.5 years.) They’ve been together almost as long as Boyfriend and I have been, but while they were dating, their ENTIRE relationship was long distance, and from my outsider’s perspective, it was somewhat turbulent. At parties, they’d both compete to be the center of attention, and Friend would ignore Now-Wife as she tried to get his attention, and…they seemed to be kind of a mess. Friend also complained about her a lot…A LOT, including pretty much the entire bachelor weekend, which Boyfriend grudgingly flew halfway across the country to attend (Atlantic City, gambling, “secret” strip clubs with promises not to tell “the women”). But now, here we are, about 2.5 years after the wedding (which we flew halfway across the country to attend because Boyfriend was asked to be a groomsman), and despite my thoughts that they’d end up divorced because their relationship didn’t seem healthy, they’re still married. So, I feel kind of bad for thinking that, but I never did know *that* much about their relationship.

    • AGCourtney

      I just learned on Sunday that one of my husband’s cousins is splitting up with her husband – theirs was the first wedding we attended together.

    • Jessica

      At least you’re hearing about them! I’m still getting “hey buddy…” messages about people who kind of heard, but don’t know for sure. I even posted something on FB about it.

      • Jan

        I kept totally quiet on social media but my ex was pretty loud about his relationship with Woman He Left Me For, so people figured it out fairly quickly. I got a lot of, “Um…?” messages from women and a lot of invitations “to hang out and just catch up” from men.

        • S

          UGH MEN.

    • Abs

      I actually just hopped on the thread to ask how people deal with this. Just heard that two long-time, very close friends whose wedding ceremony I officiated are breaking up. It’s been a long time coming and in essence has nothing to do with me, but since I’ve known them so long (since they started dating 12 years ago) and was their officiant and also worked with them at the time that they started having problems (which were initially about work, sort of), I have spent the last week feeling really guilty and depressed. These people were always my evidence that you could grow and change and stay with someone, and now…I’m sort of not sure what to think about marriage.

      (My own marriage is going great, but somehow still the feelings).

      • PAJane

        I hear you, dude. I had a hard time sleeping the night I heard, and it’s fading a bit, but it kinda messed me up a bit. And what business do I have to be so upset about it? I’m not the one breaking up. I feel ridiculous for having so many emotions about it, but I do.

      • emilyg25

        It really sucks, but I try to remind myself that good marriages don’t end in divorce, I didn’t know the whole story of the relationship, I really just want my friends to be happy and if they have to be apart to do that, I need to get on board. One silver lining is that it usually makes me take stock of my own marriage and check in with my husband/appreciate what we have/work to be a better partner. I’m sorry you’re struggling now.

      • Jan

        Just be gentle and kind, which it sounds like you’re doing. When I got divorced (I got married the first time at 20 and divorced at 23/24 so I was the first person my friends knew to go through it), I really appreciated the people who would reach out privately, tell me they were thinking of me, and then just start talking about something else. It sucks to have your whole life shift and to see how it affects your friendships, and I really liked knowing who was still going to want to be around me (our divorce was pretty acrimonious and I definitely never heard from some people again once word got out). But, I also didn’t really want to discuss the situation with people I wasn’t super close to, so I was thankful to those who didn’t pry.

        Also, people get divorced for all kinds of complex reasons— some small, and some big. Their decision to break up is because of all those things that are totally unique to them and them alone. I know that’s hard to remember sometimes, especially when it’s people you love and admire, but it’s true. Try not to get too wrapped up in their choices.

        • Abs

          Thank you for this.

    • Les

      :( I think about this sometimes and get pre-sad.

      • PAJane

        Awww. :(

    • flashphase

      Hi! I am going through this too. I actually want to write an essay about it. We had 2 ongoing divorces including one bridesmaid, 1 recent widow, 1 breakup of 10+ years happening during our wedding… and then another bridesmaid got divorced 6 months later after 10 years of marriage and everyone was shocked.

      My secret weapon has been my husband, who was married before. When I was reeling from all these divorces/breakups, he listened patiently and reassured me, “it’s terrible that our friends are going through this. It also is no reflection on our relationship.” And he encouraged me to keep talking about it with him, and he kept reassuring me. I think if the lines of communication with your partner are open to be like, this is scary and difficult!, it will help.

      Otherwise, just good regular friend stuff. AND – your friends who are divorcing may be AWOL for a bit – they may need new friends who don’t know both of you, or friends who have been through this – and that’s okay. They’ll come back when they are ready. Hugs!

      • flashphase

        Oh! One more thing: you can never know what’s going on in anyone else’s marriage, no matter what it seems like on the surface. And it’s hard to sum up all the reasons that someone would get divorce and have it make sense to your rational brain. So, just accept that people who seemed suited for marriage may not be, and don’t press them for answers. (APW readers are a sensitive bunch, but it’s good to remind yourself that your open loop about why they got divorced is really not a divorcing person’s problem)

      • PAJane

        Thanks for this. It definitely shakes me a little, like it reminds me that relationships do break down, and we’re not immune if we don’t do some work. We ended up checking in a little with each other when we heard the news, making sure there wasn’t anything we weren’t talking about, making sure we were both ok with each other lately. I’m also regretting how often we meant to make plans to get together and didn’t do it.

    • Engaged Chicago

      Also going through this and have appreciating everyone’s responses here! I have this happening with some family that I don’t see very often and in one case, people were asked not to mention it. In the other, I’m speculating based on comments they’ve said. I am trying to act like normal – I don’t know what is less awkward or more appreciated.

      • PAJane

        Ugh, the whole pretend it’s not happening thing is awful. I mean, if that’s what they needed I would try to respect that, but I’m not a good enough actor for it not to feel super weird, probably for everybody.

  • InTheBurbs

    Since puppy pictures are wonderful – and because she’s grown so much since the last time I posted.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ca01678dfe9ff325dcafd31bb5ff7d95e6b4386e35df0f82936ea044c126b48.jpg

    • Jess

      OMIGOSH WHAT A CUTIE!!!

    • Zoya

      Such a pretty floof!

  • Lily

    I made so much wedding planning progress over the holidays. We booked our ceremony music, met with the florist, scheduled our engagement shoot, and did tons of research.

    Major hiccup, which was completely unexpected, was that over New Years, fiance’s sibling threw a massive fit about how all we ever talk about is the wedding and how he doesn’t want to hear about it. He’s been having a lot of struggles (unhappy at his job, his gf lives in another state and they’ve been talking marriage for a while but it’s not realistic yet), but it was pretty upsetting.

    We tried to talk to him and see what we could do since fiance’s parents are heavily involved in our planning (and contributing, so budget convos are important), but it didn’t seem like there was a solution to make him happy. The parents keep making excuses for him and asked us to tone it down around him, but I was left very unhappy with that answer. We obviously do not want to upset him, but I also don’t feel like apologizing for having to have planning conversations when stuff needs to get done. Not sure where to go from here, but maybe it’ll just resolve itself (wishful thinking).

    • Amy March

      Are you all living together? Why isn’t “talk less about the wedding around him because he doesn’t like it” an option? Can you talk to his parents over the phone? Take them out for coffee and wedding chat? Email? You don’t need to apologize but also seems like there are many ways to respect his wishes and talk less about your wedding when you’re also spending time with him. It can be a lot to take to have all your family conversations suddenly be about your sibling’s wedding.

      • Lily

        He’s in school so he was home for winter break. We live far away, but we had warned his parents we needed to have a sit down conversation about some big topics and it just isn’t the same over the phone. We also told him that’s what we were talking about before we started the conversation. In the future, we could take them out- maybe that’s the solution.

        I’m generally okay with the “talk less” scenario about him, but he’s also the best man. I absolutely realize he does not have to care about flowers, seating, whatever, but after he told us that our pathetic lives only revolve around this wedding and that I pushed fiance into marriage, I’m not really sure I can chalk it up to just general wedding overload.

        • Lawyerette510

          I didn’t understand from the first comment that he had said actively hurtful things. That changes my advice. It sounds like the two brothers need to have a conversation about the things he said and if he wants to be a part of the wedding. Because do you and your fiance really want to be counting on a best man who has said those things?

          • Lily

            I think so too, but their dad keeps claiming that he will come around and that this is just a phase and he is just unhappy with his own life. I don’t want to do something drastic (like kick him out of the wedding) before we really have the full story and maybe he really will apologize and be happy for us, but he has not spoken to either of us since this happened. Ignored all calls and texts.

          • Lawyerette510

            Obviously this is all fresh, but I will say that this is one of those places where it’s really important for you and your fiance to be making the decisions about how to address the situation in the way the two of you need to to feel ok about it, and to minimize the parental involvement. The brother said horrible things to the two of you, and the two of you get to have your feelings, your boundaries, and your needs as to what is a successful resolution and what you’re will to accept from the “best” man. I’m not saying you should kick the kid out of the wedding, but I am saying that letting parents put the pressure on to pretend like things are ok and will blow over generally doesn’t end well.

          • Amy March

            It might actually just take some time for him. Sounds like he is in a hard place right now. Returning to school and getting some distance might help.

          • Amy March

            I think that’s a separate thing. Talk less about the wedding with him there. But your fiancé should be having a conversation with him about those comments.

        • PAJane

          Daaaaaaaamn, and he’s still best man after that?

    • Lawyerette510

      It probably won’t resolve itself, but it seems reasonable to set aside time to talk with the parents when the brother isn’t around. As fun and exciting as wedding planning is to the people who are planning (including the couple and parents) it can be boring, hurtful, and a lot of other things for family members who are not involved in the family or have their own things going on. If it is hurtful for him to sit and listen to conversations he 1. isn’t actively a part of and 2. remind him of all the things he’s unhappy in life about, why not consider those feelings and have those conversations when he isn’t around?

  • Emily

    OMG it’s been the longest week ever–not helped by the polar vortex. I am hoping to hive-mind a solution to a weird situation I’ve been put into: My husband’s best friend proposed to his girlfriend of 4 months. They are planning to get married in July 2018. My husband’s friend (who is also my longtime friend) has I think significantly nudged the new fiance into asking me to be her only bridesmaid/maid of honor as my husband will be his best man. I have only met this woman maybe 5 times in the last 4 months, she seems lovely but I don’t think I am the best person for this high honor. It also kind of felt like she was apprehensive about the situation when she asked me. How do I bow out? Do I bow out? Tell me what to do please!

    • Amy March

      If you don’t want to, do everyone a favor and say no. “Oh that is so sweet of you to ask! I’m terribly busy at work the next few months and wouldn’t be able to do the job justice, so I’ll habe to decline, but I can’t wait to celebrate with you on the big day!” Be vague, positive, and remember to actually say no.

      • Sarah E

        Yes- Absolutely have to say the word “no” or “decline.” Not just “couldn’t possibly” or “don’t think so.”

        There’s nothing mean or wrong or bad about politely declining.

    • PAJane

      Oh! I used to be pretty close to a dude friend. He warned me in advance that his fiancé didn’t have a lot of friends, and was going to ask me to be a bridesmaid, which I agreed to because while I was more his friend than hers, I supported the wedding. I wasn’t asked to be MOH, though, which generally comes with more responsibility.Do you want to be involved in the wedding? Does that depend on what she expects your participation to include? (Like showing up in a dress and fluffing her train for photos, vs throwing a rager bachelorette to Vegas.) Do you support their marriage in general? If the answer to any of that is no, I don’t think you’re under any obligation to grin and bear it.

      • Emily

        If she had asked me to be one of multiple bridesmaids, I would totally be on board. I just think it would be a lot of responsibility to be the only one, for someone I barely know. I think I just am going to talk to the best friend, who I know well, and see what he thinks maybe? More than anything I don’t want to hurt the fiance’s feelings.

        • PAJane

          That sounds like a good place to start. Good luck!

  • Kaitlyn

    On the 14th, we are only THRE MONTHS FROM THE WEDDING ahhhhhhhhhh. We have a good grasp on the big things, but I made a to-do list for the little things and WOOF. Luckily, we have a lot of ideas/plans anyway and it’s just time to execute them.

    Wedding related but not: my dad developed severe rosacea about two years ago. It’s the form where he has these pimple-like bumps all over his face, is red, and is severely painful. Tbh, I thought he was finding it more annoying than anything (like the eczema on my hand will fire up and drive me nuts but I can soothe it, etc) and didn’t take it too seriously (though I felt bad about the state of his face). Anyway, he called me the other night so, so upset. He started the call asking if he could wear a bag over his head at the wedding (which I thought he was making a joke, he’s a funny guy) and then he started crying (so definitely not a joke). He’s tried everything under the sun (anitbiotics had a terrible effect on his liver) and he won’t put anything on his face that isn’t natural. At this point, he’s so frustrated and doesn’t know what else to do. He’s also embarrassed about his face and I was getting the impression he doesn’t want everyone to see it. He’s does sales calls for his job and was saying how awful it is to call up his clients to tell them he’s having a flare up and to excuse his face, so I can’t even imagine what he’s going to feel walking me down the aisle in front of 150+ people.

    He’s seen a couple of derms in CT and I found him a rosacea specialist in Boston he’s going to see next month. I want him to enjoy himself and not be in pain (he said the start time of the ceremony is when it flares up the worst). I was just so heartbroken for him listening to how distraught he was :(. Hopefully this new doctor has some advice for him, but I’ll also take anything anecdotal to pass onto him as well!

    • Katie

      wedding twin! ours is April 14, too :)

      • Kaitlyn

        Ah congrats! We’re so close!

        • littleinfinity

          Me three!! April 14 buddies :)

    • theteenygirl

      That really, really sucks for your dad. Rosacea is not fun.. some of my family members have it. There definitely are medicated treatments from what I understand, but it might not get him under control in time for the wedding. I really hope he finds a treatment that works!
      Not the same but .. my dad is an archer and he had an accident a couple weeks before the wedding that resulted in him getting a black eye and fracturing his face. He was SO WORRIED it wouldn’t heal in time and he would have a black eye when he walked me down the aisle. What helped him was me reassuring him that 1) it didn’t bother me and what was important was that he was there and 2) no offence dad but everyone’s going to be looking at me.. the bride :) Luckily for us the bruising went away by the wedding, so it was just the fracturing and pain that was left.

      • Kaitlyn

        Ha! I should tell him that second reason. I told him that of course I wanted to see his face on his wedding day. And honestly, from a distance, you can’t tell IMO, it just seems lke a red face. I’m sure he’s also dreading the comments from family he hasn’t seen so maybe I’ll spread it around the cousins that it’s serious and shouldn’t mention it at all.

        • theteenygirl

          Inevitably someone will mention it if it’s a bad flare up, unfortunately. But it might not be a bad idea to mention to some key people just to keep the rumour mill at bay if you have a gossipy family (I have a gossipy family).

          • Kaitlyn

            We’re more of a “teasing out of love” type of family haha He did have it at the last family wedding, but at that point we didn’t know what it was so I think people might just be surprised that he still has it. :(

    • Lorri Lewis

      Finacea Cream or Gel is what your dad needs, also called Melazepam. The active ingredient is Azelaic Acid.

      This medication specifically addresses the pimple-like breakouts. He should put it on in the morning and before bedtime after he washes his face. Unlike real pimples, Rosacea bumps can heal super quickly with medication. Azelaic Acid not only heals them, it works to prevent them as long as you use it. He may still get a few popping through, but they should be drastically reduced.

      Men get more severe forms of Rosacea than women do and theirs can be disfiguring. Not using the proper medication is a surefire way to progression of the disease. I’m not sure what he means when he says he won’t put anything on that isn’t “natural”.

      It used to be that you needed a prescription, but you can buy it on Amazon now.

  • sage

    I’m getting married next weekend! I cannot wrap my brain around this at all.

    THANK YOU to APW and to everyone who visits this site!! You’ve helped me keep wedding planning manageable and on track over the last year and a half.

    Side note (funny story): Fiance turned to me last night and said he was stressed about the wedding. I bragged to him that “I’m actually not really stressed about the wedding.” Twenty minutes later I was crying in bed, completely distraught because “it’s too cold outside”. Fiance laughed and said “sure… you’re not stressed about the wedding!”

    • Rose

      Yay! Exciting!

      I had kind of the same thing–I honestly didn’t think I was stressed about the wedding. I didn’t even realize until afterwards that a few old anxiety/stress habits had intensified in the couple of months beforehand, and then completely disappeared as soon as it was done. I feel like usually I’m pretty good at recognizing what’s actually causing stress, but the wedding caught me completely off guard.

      • sage

        Yeah, I had convinced myself that since we had the wedding planning under control then there was nothing to stress about. Ha! It’s a Really Big Deal and there is some stress around all of these sorts of life changes no matter how prepared we are!

        • Rose

          Oh yes! Yeah, the moment I really got anxious all of a sudden was just the night before. Not for any concrete reason–things were actually going just fine. It wasn’t even about officially saying forever. I think it was just the whole big thing actually happening. That lasted up until the moment we were standing in front of the officient. He started with “Dearly beloved,” and I was just calm. It was a really lovely moment, actually.

    • sofar

      Two days before the wedding, I went from, “Everything is handled!” to “OMG I have to put all the vendor tips in envelopes I need to find pretty envelopes where do I buy pretty envelopes” to sitting alone at a Dairy Queen eating two Blizzards and rocking back and forth.

      Godspeed, it’ll all be over in a week.

      • sage

        Mmmm DQ Blizzards… that’s my kind of breakdown!

      • lamarsh

        “sitting along at a Dairy Queen eating two Blizzards and rocking back and forth.” That is pretty much my exact response to stress. Thankfully for my health, I no longer live near a DQ.

      • Anna

        Yep I had the same transition, to the point that I was like “why did we even decide to have a wedding this is the worst idea I’ve ever had we should’ve eloped everything is terrible”

        and then the festivities started and it was lovely and my brain stopped eating itself. But geez, I did not expect that level of Big Deal Anxiety and it just fucked me up real bad the week before the wedding.

  • Lawyerette510

    We adopted a new dog! Over December it was clear it was time, after my dog of 15 years died in May (my husband knew and loved the dog for nearly 9 years). The new pup is about 10 months old, he’s a little wiggle-monster and a total cuddle-bug. We are working on getting him and the cat to a good place, and right now that means one person sleeps in the guest room with the dog and the other in the master bedroom with the cat, but we have a dog trainer coming next week to help us with the transition.

    Please meet Sir Stanley Noodle. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e5c6a2f0d34808e809765b4cc6651dd53370a4d94bbe419f522e9354129e7237.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f05277dfc1fcd09dae56145e327f6a0f01ff45ca8a9442a92e69afc7f07c01a7.jpg

    • sofar

      Those ears!!!

      • Lawyerette510

        I am totally obsessed with his ears: they move in so many directions and flop around and stand up so magnificently!

    • Kate

      So cute!!! In the beginning, I trained my dog to put his attention towards me whenever my cat entered the room and it diffused a lot of the initial tension.

      • Lawyerette510

        That’s a really good idea, and I think this weekend we’re going to work on some more training (other than the potty-training, walking on a leash, and sit command that he’s pretty much mastered over the course of the past week), and I think getting him to focus on one of us is the next on the list.

    • Jessica

      S. Noodles! If I were around he would constantly be Snoodles to me.

      So cute! Congrats!

    • Lisa

      What a cutie! He is adorable.

    • Jess

      The. Ears. Hi Mr. Stanley Noodle!!!!

    • Oh my gosh, what a cutie!!! Earssssss!

    • Zoya

      Hello, Sir Stanley. You look like a very good dog with very excellent ears.

    • CMT

      He looks like a very good boy :)

  • K.K.

    Alright, here’s some more concrete wedding-planning-struggles questions for y’all.

    1. We are very probably moving away from our current city late this year, but we have some amount of flexibility as to when (within several months). Do we have our wedding and then skip town, or skip town and return a few months later to get married, or postpone the wedding until we’ve been in our new city say 6 months? Or some other thing? Either way it’s going to be hard emotionally but I’d love to hear others thoughts and experiences.

    2. I’m all about mismatched wedding party ‘sides’ but 0 and not-0 is taking it a bit too far, and those are the numbers we each came up with independently. My fiance just doesn’t really have friends he’s significantly closer to out of his group of friends, and neither of us are really interested in having a giant wedding party…but there is 1 person (at least) I would be really sad not to have stand up with us.

    3. Suggestions for dealing with the discrepancy that comes from me having been reading this site for years, and my fiance not? He wants to be pulling 50% in the planning and decision making but is completely overwhelmed by the time investment it would take to have as informed an opinion as I do, and that’s been super hard.

    • jem

      1) I think it depends how far away you’re moving and where your people are
      2) could you have your one person do a reading? Officiate if you’re not doing a religious ceremony? Usher?
      3) have him read the APW books and he’ll be all caught up!

      • penguin

        Your one person could also do a toast at the reception, like how a Best Man/Maid of Honor person would.

        • Sarah E

          This is sort of what my cousin did. She was blending a family along with the marriage, so her new step-daughters stood up with them, wore the matching dresses, etc. But she asked me to give a toast (we’re super close), which I was absolutely beyond honored to do. I think a similar scenario would work beautifully without bridesmaids, too.

    • Rose

      My first inclination is to say skip town and then return a few months later to get married, but I don’t have a very strong reason for saying so. I did find that moving this past summer hung over my head for months beforehand, and I wouldn’t want to feel that way before/during my own wedding.

      • K.K.

        That’s good perspective! Thanks.

    • Amy March

      1) I think you need to set a date and let the chips fall where they may on the exact timing of the move
      2) have your person! Whether or not he picks someone.
      3) most of this info is superfluous. You don’t need years of investment in weddings to plan one 50/50. Get him the book, dial back the “here are my 13 concerns” type statements and let him have some room to get his head around things.

      • K.K.

        I rationally agree with you on (3) and need to get myself there. It’s just hard sometimes when we’re chatting and he shoots down some idea of mine I’ve thought about for years and he’s thought about for 20 seconds.

        • Anna

          That almost sounds like a slightly different issue, like it’s maybe less that he doesn’t know enough to have an informed opinion and more that he’s maybe not respecting the thought and effort that has gone into some of your preexisting opinions? Because him not knowing stuff can be solved by saying “DJ, chair rentals, and hotel blocks (or whatever) are on you; you have The Google at your disposal, figure out what needs to be done” – or even “here are twelve major tasks, let’s take turns picking until we each have six” or something like that where you don’t have to be the Taskmaster who gives him his orders – but him lightly brushing aside research you’ve already done might mean that he doesn’t understand how much effort you’ve already put in and doesn’t understand his hastily put together idea won’t work, or it might mean that you’ve already chosen things in your head that he actually does have an opinion about and would like some input into, and you’ll need to talk in more detail and compromise on some of those questions.

          • Pannorama

            This strikes me as a really good point. My partner and I have just started wedding planning and are trying to figure out how to balance being equal partners in this with my deeper love of research and wider knowledge base. Some parts of just going through the process have been really gratifying, though, because he went from “I want as few people as possible to come and to spend under $5k no matter what” to “oh yeah we actually love a moderate number of people and feeding them in the way that’s meaningful to us takes actual money.” So I feel like you can for sure be the project manager and bring what you’ve learned to the table and also have him take the time to flesh out WHY he feels like the things you want aren’t a good fit so you can decide together how to proceed.

          • K.K.

            Yeah! Thanks. I think that’s where we need to get to. It’s too easy to be like “here is a thing I am excited about” and for him just say “that is not exciting to me, I don’t think I’d like that” without realizing that this wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thought, this was something I’d been reading/thinking about for years.

            We’re in very, very early stages, so this is more along the lines of “I think we should strongly consider an all-inclusive venue” and he responds negatively without thinking it through fully.

          • Amy March

            How about “okay so general rule: if I suggest anything for the wedding its because I’ve been thinking about it for years and already love it. Totally and completely fine if you disagree! But could you be a bit more thoughtful and give it a chance a bit more? Immediately “nah it doesn’t speak to me” is really hurtful, and I don’t think you mean it to be.”

          • K.K.

            Yeah, we’ve had this conversation, hence the original post. We both want the same things: his opinions to be reflected and appreciated and my work to also be reflected and appreciated, without him having to redo all the work I’ve done in order to have an informed opinion. And that’s hard.

        • Katharine Parker

          This does sound like a different issue. If he’s rejecting your ideas and you think he hasn’t given something enough thought, you should tell him that. It’s reasonable to be like, ok, we’ll table the idea of learning how to make our own bentwood chairs and handcrafting them for the wedding until next week–but we need to figure out chairs, so look up some alternative ideas in the meantime.

          The thing is, though, he’s probably going to have some disagreeing ideas after doing some research and giving it some thought. You have figure out what your compromises are going to be and look like, under the goal of a shared-vision wedding.

      • Jan

        Agree with all of this.

        On 2: We couldn’t whittle our friend groups down to a manageable size so we just said screw it and had no attendants. We asked my sister and his oldest friend to be our witnesses (we signed our license during the ceremony) and that was that.

        We struggled with 3 a lot. I’m a planner and a controk freak and he is not, and I would get really hurt if he shot something down and I’d spent hours researching it to form a solid opinion. What worked for us was to create buckets of work that he could own (furniture rentals, lighting, music), buckets that I could own (flowers and general aesthetic, and schedule for the day) and buckets we had to do together (food, photography, ceremony planning). It didn’t totally solve the problem, but it helped mitigate it quite a bit!

    • Rose_C

      I really understand concerns #2 and #3! I think the officiant option is a really great way to honor one person when it’s someone close to both parties. I think it’s also OK to have conversations with people who are close to you about the process of how you are deciding to honor them- this friend might have a great idea or a particular preference for how they want to be involved (obviously with the blessing of your partner, that’s not a unilateral convo).
      In terms of sharing the work when you are much more aware of wedding stuff from the start, we really have had success with dividing up the process. When something is my fiance’s task, I really don’t do anything with it (there’s so much to do, so I just do something else). Not everything requires a fully informed context of the wedding industry. He did read the APW book and a sweet graphic novel called Something New very early in the process as sort of a primer.

    • Katharine Parker

      For #3, I don’t think your fiancé needs to have as informed of an opinion as you to be able to have an informed opinion. He can read the APW books and get a sense of what the necessary tasks for a wedding are, and then tackle more in-depth research as he needs to, depending on how you want to divvy up tasks. Are you each in charge of certain aspects (e.g. one takes photographer/music/venue, one takes catering/flowers/invitations)? Maybe each of you comes up with two-three good options for each task (and does the legwork on quotes, logistics, reviews) and then presents them to the other for you to share in the decision. Maybe you already have a number of ideas for vendors, but he can do more research into each of them and get defined quotes. Maybe you take the lead on decision making and he does a lot more project management. There are a variety of ways to divide up the work, and being a wedding-expert to start isn’t necessary. Good luck!

    • sofar

      2. I say have your attendant, whether he has any or not. If you’re worried about things looking weird, your people can walk down the aisle and then take a seat in front or cluster around you guys (instead of on your “side”).

      3. Maybe find those things he actually really cares about (food? music?) and make him the planner of that thing. The key here is to set deadlines. If he wants to handle the music, you both decide on when the contract needs to be ready to sign. My husband “wanted” to plan 50/50 and “cared” about a lot of things, but didn’t really get that wedding stuff needs to be booked pretty far out. Since men aren’t immersed in wedding planning as women are, he thought it would be perfectly fine to start scouting out dessert options a month before the actual wedding. So we had to make deadlines crystal clear.

    • Lexipedia

      For #3, we picked different “50%” activities. Mine required more time and research per choice, but we had a pretty equal number of choices. Like, I made venue and photographer shortlists and we chose together – big research jobs, and then just did decor and invitations after getting a bit of feedback because he legit doesn’t care. Whereas he picked DJ, ceremony musician, guest list, bar, and preliminary catering tasting menu. Mine took a million times longer, but was sort of a equal “number” of things.

      • Jess

        We did different activities also. It was a great way to split up the work pretty equally

        R: Photographer, DJ, Stationary Research
        Me: Venue Research, Celebrant, Florist
        Joint: Venue touring, Food, Invite Wording

        Once 2-4 options were collected for each item, we decided on them as a unit. Input was asked for. All in-person meetings we both showed up at. Communication was strictly through the person who had that responsibility.

      • flashphase

        YES. The first few months of marriage for me were very much about learning that 50/50 doesn’t meant “I cook half of dinner and you cook the other half.” It’s more like, I take on X and Y and you take on A and B. Wedding planning is a good place to practice this.

        • Anna

          Ugh my husband still doesn’t understand this sometimes. Like, if I ask him to do something he’ll sometimes say “I did it last time, it’s your turn” or “can’t we do this together” and I’m like… I’m in the midst of another task right now, we don’t need to split each individual task 50/50, as long as overall the balance of total work is roughly equal…

          • flashphase

            So, I could not convince my husband to do this but on several occasions I proposed making a list of every possible chore and going through who does what and frequency. Maybe that would help?

          • I did this. :) I made a spreadsheet of all household chores, the time each requires, and the desired frequency. We decided who did each, mostly based on what we are already doing but did clarify some vague areas, and then looked at the totals of time spent in chores for each person it was roughly equal. But now, about a year and a half later, I want to re-look at that list, because his most time-intensive chore is cooking. And I think I over-estimated how much time he spends on that because he often goes for simple and fast meal options. My my time-intensive chore is laundry, and there aren’t too many ways to speed that up. Especially since our dryer has been broken since mid-November! Laundry has taken over my life! ANYHOW, the spreadsheet gave me reassurance that it was roughly equitably divided. (And now gives me reassurance because I can relook at it and either determine that no, in practice and actual times spent, it is not equitably divided, or maybe I’ll realize that it’s close enough… Our current problem, one of them, is that we are not doing chores at the desired/optimal frequency either. So maybe we need to relook at the whole thing a bit more realistically…)

    • rebecca

      wrt #1 Is the place you’re moving to likely a place you’re going to settle for a while? We moved while we were engaged and had our wedding after we’d been in our new city about 8 months (and had bought a home there) and it was really nice to entertain all of our people in our new home/aunts and uncles who will probably never visit us again got to see it.

      • K.K.

        Yeah, probably. I just don’t really want to wait until 8 months after we move (that would be well into next year) – but that is likely the optimal solution.

        • Sarah E

          So, I had assumed that we would move a year or two after our wedding, but grad school turned into post-doc, and employment reasons had us stay a couple extra years here. Our choice, primarily for family/grandma access, was to have our wedding in our hometown, close to our families. But I will say that even though we threw a party for our local friends when we got back, I do think we would have had a blast hosting a local wedding. If you’re throwing it close to when you move, it’s a really nice going away party that shows your local friends how important they are to you, and shore up those connections before leaving. That’s how I would think of it, if that’s useful to you.

    • AmandaBee

      1. I can’t tell you what the right choice is for you, but we had a short (5-month) engagement because we knew we’d be moving the following summer and knew we wanted to be married beforehand. We were super glad we did it that way for a variety of reasons, and ultimately we didn’t feel too disappointed about anything we had to skip (Saturday dates, super popular venues, etc.) because of the short timing. But you may find that your preferences are different. Weigh the pros/cons and talk about it as a unit.

      Re: choosing a date, what we did was go through month-by-month and strike out any that didn’t work, then look at venue availability, and that pretty much narrowed it down to a single 2-week period in July. So I’d start there and see what happens.

      2. Again this is super personal but we each picked one sister to stand with us, because he’s super close to his sister and I had a group of close friends but couldn’t pick just one (and I knew they’d understand if I picked my sister). If you have an important person, can you have that person and then your fiance can pick someone he feels reasonably close to? It could even be a parent or other relative.

      3. Maybe take a step back and talk about the big picture. What’s essential to you for the wedding, and what’s essential to him? Can you each claim the parts that are most important to you to take the lead on? Also, if he dismisses an idea and you want him to be more thoughtful, tell him that! I’m a researcher and my husband really isn’t. Our wedding was good practice in learning to make big decisions together, but it took a lot of honest conversation to get there.

    • 1. I moved about 6 weeks before getting married (to the town of my then-fiancé) and by the time the wedding rolled around I had one new person I wanted to invite to the wedding and did. If it were a longer time (6 months), I expect there are more than I might have wanted to invite. And I did invite the one, and she came even though I was the only person she knew, and she became a good friend. (It was a dessert buffet wedding, so totally possible to be flexible.)

      2. What about each choosing a person to be the witness and having those people process in and then sit down and then come back up to sign the contract. (Or do you do that where you are…hmm, I forgot but I think we just do that here.) It’s a nice way to honor someone (and necessary), but they wouldn’t have to be quite as visible. And you know….I don’t think it’d be a big deal to have one on the bride’s side without someone on the other side. There’s (potentially) a bouquet to hold after all, so there is a logic to it.

      ETA about #1: So…there are pros and cons. If you do the wedding before you move and don’t invite people that you don’t know yet, it’ll be a clear part of the pre-move part of your life. If you do it near the transition, it’ll be just that. And if you do it longer after the move, then you can integrate your worlds a bit more. But moves always add more people to your life, and then there are always feelings of “oh yeah, you weren’t at my wedding because I didn’t know you then” with someone that you have later become very close to… I think those feelings are hard to avoid with some life event or another when you move more than once or twice in your life…

    • CMT

      Could you have that one person be the officiant? Your scenario is basically how I ended up marrying my two best friends.

  • Kalë

    We’re moving tomorrow! Into a cute, one bedroom HOUSE! Still renting, but so. much. better. than our former basement apartment (that we had to move out of because of dog anxiety related to our upstairs neighbors). My birthday is also this weekend!!! Even though we’ll just mostly be moving, it feels pretty monumental. And I’m so happy I made it to HH today!

    • penguin

      Happy birthday and congrats on moving into a house!!

    • Lexipedia

      We just moved into a tiny house too and it is SO AMAZING! Do you have a yard?

      • Kalë

        Yes! We have a yard AND deck AND beach access. Pretty exciting!

        • Lexipedia

          OMG BEACH.

        • Stephanie

          Stuck in my tiny 3rd floor walk up in Manhattan… I could NOT be more jealous! Congrats!!!!

        • WOW!

    • Rose

      We recently moved from an apartment into the first floor of a house (but nobody lives upstairs yet). It’s so much better! I didn’t expect how much happier it would make me.

    • Sarah E

      We just passed the one-year mark of living in a (rented) house for the first time, and it’s glorious. No interest in owning this particular house, but the space and privacy and YARD is luxurious. After 9-ish months of having a dog in an apartment, just sending her out into the backyard is glorious.

    • Happy birthday! I once moved on my birthday and expected it to be awful but it was pretty okay. I just wanted to sleep in the new place on my birthday and that was accomplished. And I’d love o move into a rented house! Congrats! That sounds like a wonderful adventure to begin on a birthday weekend!

  • WF

    Ladies, I need your help/support.

    My future mother-in-law wants to throw us a rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding, inviting only family members. Without talking to me first, my fiance enthusiastically agreed, completely forgetting that we will probably be busy with last-minute tasks (putting together flowers isn’t quick, y’all). Besides, I wanted to spend that evening with my friends, all of whom I haven’t seen in YEARS. Moreover, future MIL is going to talk to FIL (they’re divorced) to ask for $ help. He’s begrudgingly decided to help us with the wedding a little (cover the cost of appetizers) and we really were not going to ask him for anything else, and now this! I can already see her getting stressed out about something I’m not even remotely excited about (gladly, fiance is, but again, he doesn’t realize how busy we will be), and I know that planning is not her cup of tea. So how do I talk to her politely about not doing it? HELP!!!

    • rg223

      Can you compromise and do a dinner-only rehearsal, earlier in the evening, leaving time for you to hang out with your friends and get your tasks done? If it’s something your fiance wants, that’s probably the best course of action. Rehearsal dinners don’t have to be long, complicated affairs – you could even slip out early and let your fiance’s relatives do their thing, as it could be more of a chance for them to socialize.

      And I would say don’t get involved with your MIL and FIL and how they will pay for it – that’s for them to decide. You should have as little to do with the planning and organizing of this as possible.

      • WF

        Definitely not planning anything there, but just don’t want to add any more drama to this wedding, there’s already enough. And yes, thank you, I will try to excuse myself and go spend some time with my besties!

    • Lawyerette510

      First, your fiance needs to walk back his enthusiastic agreement (immediately) and say that he needs to discuss it with you. Then the two of you need to discuss it and work out a compromise, because you’re in this together. He messed up by agreeing to an event the night before the wedding without discussing it with you. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen, it just means you need to reach a decision as a couple on it. rg223 has some great suggestions of how it could happen on a low key scale.

      You are not asking future FIL for money, his ex-wife is asking him for money for an event she wants to throw. like rg223 said, it’s up to the two of them what happens in terms of $.

      • WF

        Unfortunately, everything concerning our wedding has been a battle so far (we almost never fight on anything else). He either says “it’s up to you to decide, do whatever you want”, essentially leaving all the planning to me, or he talks to his mom, agrees to whatever she suggests, and expects me to be cool with it, because it’s one decision that *he* made. UGH

        • Lawyerette510

          It might be time to have a sit-down about how his approach is making you feel, because it sounds like he’s being pretty insensitive and probably more than he means to. In some ways a wedding is just an event and it’s not the marriage, but in other ways, it can start patterns or highlight existing patterns of how you as a couple deal with family members, big decisions, projects etc. There were some patterns of relating to each other that my husband and I encountered when we were wedding planning, some we talked about and addressed at the time, others we ignored. The ones we ignored 3.5 years ago are the ones we are having to deal with now and I wish we would have just gone ahead and nipped in the bud then like we did the others.

          • WF

            We’ve been legally married for a while now, so it’s not like he’s surprising me and waving red flags. No! But it is still not ok. Everything wedding-related is painful to discuss. I know it needs to change, but I don’t know how. All our talks ended with me crying, and he’s promised to do better, but the rehearsal thing just proved that he doesn’t really understand that wedding planning is stressful as it is for me… Sad.

          • Jess

            I’m really sorry to hear that he hasn’t been figuring out how to “do better” in action.

            That’s some hard stuff, and I want to re-affirm for you that it doesn’t have to be a surprise or a red flag to still be not ok for him to do.

            It’s totally fair to keep telling him how that kind of stuff is making you feel and be like, “We are married. This has to be an Us thing, not a Your Mom + Us Thing, not a Me Thing.”

            Crying is ok – these are big feelings and it’s ok to have big reactions to them. I think crying kind of gets a bad rap, to be honest.

            I’m not sure how it would work out for you, but for us, it really helped when we started defining actions of what “doing better” looks like, because working together to figure out what was both doable and would feel good put us on the same team.

        • emilyg25

          Oh, girllll. It’s time for a come to Jesus talk. These are not good patterns to be establishing so early. He needs to grow up and start treating you like his partner.

          • WF

            Legally, we’ve been already married for a while, so it’s not like I don’t know him or he surprises me majorly, which still does not make it ok! I had maybe two wedding talks that ended with me crying and him promising to do better, and honestly, he’s been doing better since then. But now… that rehearsal dinner just made things so much worse :(

    • sofar

      While you should have been consulted, I see why MIL may have felt she had to throw a rehearsal dinner (it’s considered a tradition for the groom’s side to throw one). But, obviously, it’s optional and someone should have ASKED you.

      What we did for our rehearsal dinner (thrown by our in-laws) was to put a hard deadline on when this thing was going to end. My in-laws’ custom is to throw lavish, late-night parties. So we said, “This needs to end by 7:30pm because some attendees have a long drive back home, and the bridesmaids are handling some last-minute stuff.” So we did rehearsal at 3:30 and dinner at 4:30.

      I also noticed you said she’s inviting “only family.” Wedding parties are usually invited to these things, and it’s super weird that she’s not including them.

      • rg223

        Re: your last paragraph – that stood out to me too. Because it’s just for family, MIL might see it as more of a reunion for her family than a traditional rehearsal dinner – and if that’s the case, WF and fiance might be able to skip out early.

        • sofar

          Yes. Totally.

      • WF

        I honestly don’t know why it’s family only. Because, um, he has a giant family? Whom we see regularly anyway? So frustrated about the whole thing…

        • Lawyerette510

          But how is it a rehearsal dinner if the wedding party (the ones who rehearse) are not invited? It sounds like it’s a night-before-the-wedding family reunion that excludes the people actually participating in the wedding.

          • WF

            Exactly! That’s what it looks like right now. We’ll see how it goes… I’ll have a talk with my MIL soon about it.

        • sofar

          Yep, one last “obligation” before the wedding, for sure! If you can’t get out of it, I hope your husband steps up and advocates for you both leaving early.

        • Sarah E

          Perhaps that might make it easier to sidle it into. “Oh, that’s so nice of you to host a Welcome Dinner for all the Smiths! We’d love to come by and greet everyone from 4-5pm, that would work just perfectly with our schedule for arranging flowers and everything.”

    • Amy March

      Why can’t it happen in between flowers and friends? It might be nice to have a reason to stop, sit, and eat. Her talking to her ex husband is not your circus to manage.

      • WF

        I’m afraid it’s going to add more stress than relaxation. I’m an introvert, and giant family reunions, let alone REHEARSAL dinner for MY wedding, freak me out! That’s the problem here :( I’d much rather have some quiet time with my girls before the storm the next day…

        • Amy March

          I think that’s fine, but you should be aware that its a really common tradition, and the one part that traditionally she gets to do, so cutting her off from that isn’t a nothing thing to do. If that makes sense. If you genuinely really do not want it, you can say no. But is it really worth it? Are there other ways you can get quiet time in with your girls? Is your family going to want your attention? Having a set time and place might target the families?

          • WF

            Amy, I completely agree with you, and I don’t want to cut her out in any way (although she tried to get involved in wedding planning earlier, without me asking for it, and she got completely overwhelmed and stressed out, but she thought she had to do it because I had just got a new job and live in another city). After much thinking, I realized it’s more a problem between my fiance and I, specifically him not discussing it with me before saying yes to it :(

    • AmandaBee

      Well, I don’t know if it’s helpful, but I really wanted to do flowers and dinner with friends the night before my wedding too. So we ended up doing a late-morning rehearsal and a rehearsal brunch with family before our wedding. I exited brunch for flower-arranging and dinner with my friends. As a bonus, brunch was cheaper than dinner would’ve been.

      I agree that your fiance needs to call up his mom ASAP to put her plans on hold so he can talk to you first. Then come up with a compromise that works and have him present the option to MIL. As for FIL paying, that’s between MIL and FIL – I’d stay as far away from that whole circus as possible.

  • Lagaviota

    Folks, this week I went bridesmaid dress browsing with my lady posse who will be standing up with me, and for fun I tried on a gold sequin dress that made me feel legitimately like a Greek statue/queen/star/(and also TALL) and now I’m like.. do I want a gold wedding dress? I might want a gold wedding dress.

    I have no real reason not to go for it, except potential future me. I’m not particularly traditional (or staunchly “nontraditional”), and I don’t usually go for over the top clothing, but my own wedding might be a good exception?

    • jem

      If you love the dress, go for it and don’t listen to anyone or talk yourself out of it.

      Signed,
      The girl who ended up buying four dresses because she listened to too many people’s input and drive herself crazy overanalyzing

    • theteenygirl

      I was totally down to do a gold wedding dress just because white and my skin tone don’t really go. Unfortunately, couldn’t find anything gold that I really liked. So I ended up with champagne which was extremely flattering. So hey.. if gold looks good.. GO GOLD!!

    • Lawyerette510

      It sure sounds like you want a gold wedding dress! What better way to feel in your wedding dress than a tall Greek statue/ queen/ star???

    • Jess

      GOLD WEDDING DRESS!!!!

      If you can’t go over the top for your own wedding, when can you?

    • Her Lindsayship

      It might be a good idea to try it on again solo, just to make sure the vibes you were getting weren’t a temporary or circumstantial thing, but otherwise: DO IIIIIIT

    • Anna

      I’d say if getting in that dress evokes Greek statue/queen/star feelings, in that dress is where you want to be :D Potential future you will remember those feelings.

      (I picked my wedding dress in large part because it made me feel like some kind of fertility goddess, like, it accentuated the curve of my belly and thighs but somehow it made them look lush and magical. And I loved how it looked but I also loved the idea of pointedly ignoring the prevailing advice that a wedding dress should hide those parts of my body. But I digress – my point is that I felt transformed in a way that was still me, and that sounds kind of like what you’re describing, and so I think you should get the gold wedding dress.)

      • Lagaviota

        Yes! I love this. All about the goddess feelings!

    • PAJane

      Doooooo eeeeeeeet.

    • AmandaBee

      When I was dress shopping, a friend’s advice was: this is the fanciest dress you’ll ever wear. No matter what, it’ll feel weird and look dated in 10 years. Get the one that makes you feel amazing.

      So, if that’s the gold dress, I think you should totally do that. If you’re gonna be hella fancy anyway, might as well be over the top!

      Also it’s fine to sit on it for a bit, try a few more things on, and see how you feel. But come back and tell us what you decide!

    • Trust your gut. Future you will be mad you current you for not listening to it.

    • flashphase

      Here’s what I did: went shopping at 2 different places and found in my head I kept comparing everything to The Dress, so it became really clear that my heart was with The Dress. I recommend this!

    • Zoya

      GO FOR THE GOLD SEQUINS. I am not the least bit unbiased about this.

    • Jan

      If a dress makes you feel beautiful, I say go for it. That’s such a rare thing (for me at least)!

    • Mjh

      There is no better exception than that. If it feels good, do it!

    • CMT

      YES! GOLD! DO IT!

    • SS Express

      Do it!!! I thought about a sequinned dress for my wedding – the only reason I didn’t do it is that it was about $1000, whereas I got my white dress for $250. But I still think the sequins would’ve been awesome and I strongly encourage everyone else to consider it! (Also, the people who were most excited about my sequin plan were my dad and my nana. So don’t worry that people will think it’s too weird or non-traditional!)

    • Ashley

      if it makes you feel like a Greek statue/queen/star, I feel like that’s the winner! I feel like we’ll all be eagerly awaiting your update!

  • AGCourtney

    I started this week with that I thought was an awful cold, but actually ended up being wisdom teeth coming in. (Or perhaps it was just two oddly timed coincidences.) I rarely take medication, but ibuprofen is helping me be a human right now. So I’m rather miserable these days.

    I got put in charge of a project at work that fits perfectly with my skill set, so that’s exciting. My husband ended up not taking that job with an events center – his current manager is advocating for him to get a better position in his own company, which is awesome.

    My daughter and I were asked to be on the princess court of the renaissance festival! We happily accepted. It’s going to be part-time, which is ideal: though she’s a precocious child, she’s still a child – full days might have been a bit much. We’re so excited!

    • Yael

      Ibuprofen is currently my favorite thing in the whole world. Particularly in the 600mg tablet form (SEVERELY sprained my ankle right after Xmas and have been on the couch for 3 weeks straight. It’s finally healing!)

      • Anna

        Glad it’s healing! I’m definitely also a strong proponent of ibuprofen, as someone who gets migraines periodically and also has chronic injuries in both knees from previous athletic endeavors :-P

    • Eenie

      Aw man. My husband had a cavity filled in his wisdom tooth and he popped ibuprofen like candy for months before finally getting it pulled. I didn’t realize he was in so much pain until he told me his head hurt less after the surgery than before.

  • Lexipedia

    Folks – I think I pressured a bridesmaid into coming on my destination bachelorette and I feel so bad about it.

    We’re only doing bridal party on our trips, and I have three bridesmaids. They all picked the location together, and I spoke to them all separately many times to confirm that they were ok with the cost. However, it came out this week that she hadn’t booked her tickets yet (she’s a bit flakey, the other girls booked last month) and they had gotten quite expensive. She said that if she couldn’t find cheaper ones she might need to bow out. Which I totally understood, and told her so. But I talked to S and he said that I could offer to subsidize her flight or AirBnB spot if I wanted to (to make up for the flight). He’s covering some of his brother’s, because brother is his BM and in grad school, so it would be even. I suggested it, saying that she could book onto the flight with the other bridesmaid coming from that city and I would pay the difference (about $250 CAD, and I live in the US so even less with the exchange) to help her out. It would just come out of the wedding budget, and if it was the way to get her there then I wanted to help out.

    She thanked me, and declined, and ended up booking a cheaper flight but it was somewhat close to the cost of what we together said was unreasonably expensive. I’m happy that she’s coming, but, thinking about it later I’m worried that by offering to help, instead of just letting her say no, I pressured her into coming. Ugh.

    • Lawyerette510

      I don’t think you should worry. You made a kind, generous and supportive offer. She is an adult who could have accepted it, continued to say no and not attended the event, or made the choice she did and buy her own ticket. What you described isn’t pressuring someone.

      • Rose

        Agreed. Your party/generosity is not an imposition!

    • Amy March

      You’re fine, chill. That’s what happens when you don’t book on time, planes get expensive. Offering to help was nice.

      • Lexipedia

        Yeah, I’m always the person using Hopper to book flights and tracking months in advance. S says that he’s saved, like, 50% on usual flight costs since we got together because he’s historically a last minute person.

        • Not Sarah

          We bought Christmas flights for two for the same price my husband paid for one the previous year, just by buying them on my schedule and not his. Sort of like how we feed both of us each month for the same cost he used to pay just to feed himself!

    • suchbrightlights

      That was a kindness and you have no need to worry.

      • Lexipedia

        Thank you. I love my friends, but I am very nervous about the idea that I might impose because I’ve had that experience bridesmaiding.

    • You definitely didn’t pressure her into coming, you offered to help her make it to your awesome party that she was originally planning on going to! If she really needed to bow out, and couldn’t find a way to say so after your offer that’s on her… You don’t need to feel bad for wanting her there or making a generous offer to make that happen!

  • savannnah

    Our 3 week honeymoon to Morocco and Paris was amazing, intense and lovely. Walking back into our apt on Wednesday was super weird and since my husband moved to Portland yesterday and we’ve been renting two apts for a month now and traveling it all feels arbitrary about where ‘home’ is right now. I’m following him to the west coast in 2 months and looking forward to downsizing our stuff and looking for a new job. Coming back to work after 3 weeks away is like getting punched in the throat and it’s been a rough 2 days- so many fires but glad to be back on the east coast for a while longer and very much looking forward to getting over my jet lag. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a4c7bab35c0c87097fc87f6d1a772331b6280edd0ca95a068871816f3d3d1324.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec1024e88de47480250e41b9371a506a1cae9cd345a73fa52c06600f288366d3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d025e98285fdf135e25a67371298037ed6326476d42ec91f7a823092aad40ebb.jpg

    • Stephanie

      The trip looks like a dream!

    • rebecca

      Ooooh what an excellent combo of destinations!

    • RMC

      Looks amazing! I am planning a trip to morocco and would love recs for places to stay in Marrakech/Essaouira/fes/chefchaouen – any thoughts? Also companies to take a desert trip with? Thanks in advance for any advice!!

  • Eh

    I might be overly sensitive… my pregnancy hormones might be doing the talking… but people really need to stop talking and asking about other people’s reproduction.

    The other day at work, I heard two coworkers talking about someone in another department who is pregnant. They were making negative comments about how she kept her pregnancy hidden until she was “really far along”. The women who is pregnant didn’t tell people (other than her boss and some people she works closely with) until she was about 21 weeks along (and now she is 25 weeks). One of my coworkers mentioned that since they don’t work closely with her it’s not like she would have announced it to them anyways but felt finding out this far along made congratulating her awkward. I regularly work with the woman they were talking about, and we talk about our kids when we see each other in the hall. I congratulated her back in December when I found out that she was pregnant. She told me that she was concerned about telling people (not that I asked) because she was worried about negative reactions since this is her third child, and also because a lot of the other women she is close to at work are due around the same time with their first babies so she didn’t want to take attention away from them.

    Also, I should probably count myself lucky that at Christmas only one of my husband’s relatives asked me when we’re having another baby (we haven’t announced it to our family yet, and I was only 8 weeks at the time). I gave my standard line that when we have a baby we will let people know. But since the question was asked, SIL piped up and made a comment that she was wondering too. Then asked if we were at least trying (which resulted in me giving her a very dirty look). She continued by saying that she loves baby nieces and nephews and wants more (since she can’t have more babies). I said that she has two sisters. She said that she bugs them all the time.

    • Jess

      UGH NO, You are not overreacting. People who talk about other people’s reproduction, or body, or health in general really are THE WORST.

      • Lisa

        Seconded. Nothing will draw more ire from me. I have zero tolerance.

      • Eh

        I was sitting there thinking, congratulate her or don’t, you don’t need to be talking about her like that.

    • Jessica

      Nope. nope. nope. nope. Sit down, SIL, you’re way out of bounds.

      • Eh

        She knows it’s rude to ask (she has three children and had issues with fertility and miscarriages) but she will always jump in when someone else asks.

    • Katharine Parker

      There are many reasons to wait to announce a pregnancy, and I’m sick of people not respecting that women (and people with uteruses) are entirely capable of making choices around fertility and pregnancy and childbearing and health in general without needing anyone’s approval. Let this woman live!

      • Eh

        Exactly! When I was pregnant with my daughter, I didn’t announce at work until I was 18 weeks, and we didn’t tell some people until after our anatomy scan (21 weeks).

      • Nat

        Yes! I am currently 28 weeks pregnant and some people at work still don’t know. (People I don’t work with closely).

        Why are you entitled to know?! Several of my male coworkers have had children and not told anyone besides HR / manager until they took time off after the birth of the baby!

        • Eh

          Exactly. Most men I work with don’t tell their coworkers that their wife is pregnant that early in the pregnancy. A coworker’s wife gave birth in early December and he didn’t tell people until she was 7 months pregnant. Another coworker took a few weeks off work afternoon his wife gave birth and that’s the first I learned that they were having another child.

    • Natalie

      Yeah, nope. Other people’s reproduction or lack thereof are not open to judgement. Especially something as trivial as when a woman tells all her coworkers. WTF business is it of theirs?

      Side note: congratulations!

      I’m also pregnant (7.5 weeks) and already worried about how/when to tell my coworkers. Knowing how judgey people are about all things reproduction-related makes every tiny decision more stressful.

      • Eh

        Congrats to you too!

        I’m 10.5 weeks. I’m waiting until after my 12 week ultrasound to tell the people I immediately work with (my supervisor and a close coworker know since I have been very sick).

        It’s sad that she was worried about people’s judgement and then they made comments about something else that is totally trivial.

    • AP

      The information that people think they’re entitled to about other people’s bodies and reproductive lives astounds me. This summer I ran into a friend’s mother, who asked me if we were having a boy or girl. When I told her we’re waiting to find out she said, “well aren’t you irritating?” Like, woman, you are a peripheral acquaintance, why do you care about the genitals of my future baby? Some people just lose all sense of social norms and decency around pregnant folks.

      • Jessica

        (Ugh, wrong link posted) https://gph.is/1UTeb2Z

        • AP

          Lol, I was super into that freezer fudge recipe!

      • rg223

        OH MY, if someone had said that to me, I would have let them have it! What the actual? Oh yes, it’s “irritating” to not know the sex of the baby beforehand LIKE PEOPLE HAVEN’T FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

        • AP

          Right?! This trend of finding out the sex has literally only been around for like the last 30 years or so. I love that all the folks my grandma’s age are like, “good for you, we didn’t know either!” when they hear we’re waiting. It’s people my mom’s age who may/may not have had ultrasound technology available when they were having kids that get offended when I tell them there’s not going to be a genital reveal party. So weird.

          • Anna

            I like “genital reveal party” as a way of describing that, one because it highlights the absurdity that surrounds at least some of these events, and two because now I’m picturing announcing that you’re having a son via a bachelorette-party-style penis cake xD

          • Jess

            I am now referring them to “Genital reveal parties” all the time, because I also find them very absurd.

          • Eenie

            I politely decline all of these parties. I will attend a shower but I just can’t bring myself to go to one of these parties.

          • Eh

            “Genital reveal party” is a better name than “gender reveal party” since at that point you don’t actually know what the gender is (you might know the biological sex if you have genetic testing done, but usually it’s just an ultrasound of the genitals.

          • Lexipedia

            I offhand said something to FFIL, who is generally a fairly progressive person and lives in Northern California, re: genitals vs. gender over Thanksgiving and it shut down the table conversation. He was teasing/griping about FMIL’s “lady book group” and asked why you had to have a certain type of genitals to be a contributing member of the literature discussion. I responded, truly not thinking, “well, not all “ladies” have the same genitals, so I’m not sure that’s the limiting factor” and there was complete silence. Then FMIL burst out laughing because FFIL looked like I hit him in the face with something. He is a professor at a very liberal college with a large LGBTQ student population, and isn’t anti-trans as far as we know, it had just never occurred to him before and he was very embarrassed.

          • Eh

            My inlaws are not so progressive (actually very much the opposite). They always make comments about how our daughter is a girly girl because she loves twirly skirts and taking care of dolls. Then we remind them that she also loves dirt, bugs, snakes, trucks, aliens and monsters.

            My MIL wants a grandson (she has four granddaughters) and they make comments about doing ‘boy’ things (they had two sons). Me and my SIL always react with that our girls can do those things too.

          • Lexipedia

            My bio-dad and (former) stepmother had two boys, the oldest of whom is 16 years younger than me. I vividly remember a few comments she made while pregnant about how her son would definitely be a “boy’s boy” and wouldn’t be “a sissy or gay or something like that.”

            Although we basically don’t talk now, I’ve told bio-dad what she said multiple times over the years and reminded him that he’d better stick up for his sons – no matter what they like/who they love because their mother is awful and homophobic.

          • Eh

            My inlaws say homophobic things on a regular basis, so I don’t know how they would react if their child or grandchild was LGBT. They like to keep things in neat gender boxes but they don’t say anything negative about the fact we (us and BIL/SIL) don’t box in our daughters. I am not sure they would react the same way if it was a boy though.

          • AP

            The Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast did a great episode about gender reveal parties recently, and I was in the car like “yep, uh-huh, exactly” because all the reasons they gave for why gender reveals are problematic are the reasons we decided not only to forego a party, but to not find out the sex at all.

            ETA: Not that I think finding out the sex is problematic. We just didn’t think we’d* be strong enough not to tell folks the sex if we knew it, and we didn’t want the gender baggage to start so soon.

            *and by we, I mean my husband wouldn’t be strong enough;)

      • Eh

        Wow so many people I know didn’t find out the sex of their babies for many reasons (e.g., wanting it to be a surprise, baby not cooperating, some ultrasound places won’t do it). If you find out the sex the next thing people hound you about is the name. We kept it a secret because my inlaws hated all the names my BIL/SIL suggested for their youngest before she was born.

        • Jessica

          Why do people think they get a say??? Like, if you don’t like someone’s choice that has ABSOLUTELY NO IMPACT ON YOU WHATSOEVER, just don’t say anything!!! Why is this so hard??

          • theteenygirl

            My grandma famously hated the pretty common name that my mum gave my oldest sister (first born).. to the point that not once did she ever pronounce her name correctly. It’s shocking how much people care.

          • Eh

            I have a friend who’s grandmother hated his name and would always pronounce it with a French accent (and she wasn’t French). When introducing him to people or talking about him to her friends she would say his name in a French accent and then say that his parents gave him a French name. The funny thing is his parents spelled his name the English way and never pronounced it the French way, so I’m guessing they intended it to be pronounced the English way too.

          • Eh

            It’s funny because the name we gave our daughter was one of the names my brother’s wife asked me about. My brother and dad insisted that we would never name our daughter that because it’s the same name as one of my dad’s cousins who he doesn’t get along with. I have met this cousins twice so I totally forgot it was her name until after we’d picked the name. After we announced her name my dad said he was surprised by the choice.

            The name my BIL/SIL was going to name their daughter was Cornelia. My MIL said it was too old fashioned (from a woman named Deborah, who’d sister’s name is Eleanor). And old fashioned names are coming back (Eleanor is very popular again).

      • emilyg25

        Oh my gosh, some people got SO MAD that we weren’t finding out. Like, why do you care so much? I really was not expecting that.

      • SLG

        OH MY GOSH. I would have had such a hard time not replying “Well, one of us is.”

    • janie

      Ugh the women I work with (I’m in engineering, so there really aren’t many) have been openly speculating about when I’m going to have a baby. I’ve gotten the flu twice since I got married in June and they are always making comments both behind my back and in front of my face about when it’s going to happen.

      Today was our January Birthday celebration and they were pointedly asking if anyone had any news to share “babies, engagements, etc”. One of the men I work with and his wife actually just got pregnant so at least there was deflection. But jeez. Not even direct comments of “that’s very rude to speculate about” seem to land.

      • Eh

        My supervisor made a comment that people start speculating when you are sick and start taking time off for appointments. Funny thing is that I was sick before Christmas (migraine), and off because my daughter was sick (horrible cold), and I have lots of appointments but they are not related to my pregnancy (eye doctor, dentist, financial planner, allergist for my daughter). I timed my pregnancy very since I was off for 11 days over Christmas break so I managed to get lots of rest without taking sick days.

    • Sarah E

      Ugh on your coworkers. Seems like time for nice Get Bullish line like “Could we keep it professional here, folks? Speculating about Person’s personal life seems out-of-bounds.” Or “I think you can congratulate her when the baby is born, other than that, it seems a little unprofessional to comment so much on her personal life.” etc.

      • Eh

        Those are good lines. If I was part of the conversation, instead of it being overheard in the cubicle farm (where people pretend that they can’t hear what other say because of a partial wall), I would have said something. They are actually lucky the person they were talking didn’t hear them because her office is almost across from my desk.

    • Eh

      A friend posted this on FB this morning:
      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/jan/13/the-question-we-came-to-dread-are-you-going-for-a-second-child?CMP=share_btn_fb

      It really sums up why you should not ask anyone (someone with no children or one child or two children) about having a child/another child. My friend has “one” child but also lost an infant son and had numerous miscarriages.

  • theteenygirl

    It’s now been nearly 4 months since the wedding, and it’s been really really great. Not wedding planning is awesome. I just took up an oil painting class one evening a week because now I HAVE TIME! I have also been spending a considerable amount of time making our wedding album (we’re using MILK so thanks APW for that post awhile back!) and I’m so happy with how it’s turning out. We have decided to add text from the day, including the entire wedding ceremony, lines from our vows, parts of speeches, and some comments that were made throughout the day and it seriously looks like an art book!
    However, that’s also coming with me feeling really sad. This is the last wedding related thing I get to do.. after I send it to the printers that’s it. Wedding is over :( I’m trying to get excited about the fact that now I have one of my best friend’s weddings in just a few months, and another friend just got engaged, but it’s ending up coming out as jealousy. Husband is telling me it’s normal to feel this way… but am I just being a brat?

    • Amy March

      Idk are you? Feel your feelings all you want, as long as you’re actually showing up for your friends I don’t think you’re being a brat. But if you aren’t, then yeah probably time to work on that.

    • jem

      We got MILK albums for our parents for xmas and they were GORGEOUS. And…. this is not the end of the wedding because once you get your album you can stare at it endlessly :)

      • theteenygirl

        I’m so excited!! I ended up getting small albums for both sets of parents for Christmas from a Canadian printing company and was not thrilled with the results. My parents and inlaws were over the moon happy with them, but the quality did bug me. So I am happy that someone else had a good experience with MILK!

    • rg223

      It sounds like you are already doing this with your art classes (and maybe this advice is obvious), but maybe instead of trying to get excited about other people’s wedding during this time, you can focus your attention on getting excited about other things that are coming up for you, like an upcoming trip or a new tradition you want to start with your spouse. It might be putting you in more of a funk to be trying to replace your excitement about your wedding with excitement about someone else’s.

      • theteenygirl

        I really like this advice, thank you! I’ve been helping with my friend’s crafts/DIYs for the wedding in a couple months and while I’m happy to help (I love stuff like that) I always end up feeling jealous after. I obviously don’t tell her my feelings, but it’s more that I’m bothered that I’m feeling jealous at all.

      • One year for my birthday a couple of years back my boyfriend gave me a commitment that we’d go to Norway together and he opened a savings account and put a chunk of money in it to start the fund. (I used to live there and love it and have been wanting to go back for years and years.) And he said he’d save a small amount from each paycheck toward it and invited me to join him in putting aside money from each paycheck too. I’ve had a lot of fun looking forward to the trip (and we think it will be this year! Finally!) and maybe something like this could be a fun thing to look forward to together? But, of course, it is not time intensive like planning a wedding, but it would be a fun joint venture…

  • Mary Jo TC

    Snow day today, woohoo! The only people who love snow days more than kids are teachers. Parents hate snow days, unless they’re also teachers. So I think the people who love snow days most of all are parents who are teachers who have child care lined up. ME! 4 day weekend!

    I volunteered to take on a new class at the small alternative high school where I teach, essentially doubling my work for the same pay, and so far it’s been going well. The new class is not going perfectly, but it’s good enough, and it’s more satisfying and enjoyable for me than it was teaching my other subject all day. On the other hand, the extra work is no joke. My gym time and TV time and reading time have disappeared, and my other regular class has twice as many students, which makes it considerably more challenging to manage. But on the whole, I don’t regret it the decision, and knowing how hard teaching is, that’s about as good as I expected to feel less than 2 weeks into this change. I think/hope it will stay about this hard until spring break, at which point I can begin recycling lessons and it will become much easier. I really needed this extra weekend time to catch up on planning for the rest of this term!

    Volunteering to teach a new subject may have been the thing that got me voted Teacher of the Year at my school this week. Although, not to be every woman who ever minimized her accomplishments, there were only 4 of us eligible, and I was the only one who hadn’t yet won the honor, a fact that was conspicuously announced just before the vote. Also, each school’s teacher of the year has to complete this long application to compete at the district and state level, and it required me to write a maximum of 14 pages of essays about my teaching philosophy and problems in education today, and my principal told me the application was already a day late, so I had to do it in one night. I didn’t expect to be competitive at that level anyway, but in a way, it made it seem like this nomination is just extra work that we all take turns doing and it’s my turn this year. Oh, also to go with the application, I had to take a really terrible head shot at school yesterday that will probably be posted in places I’d rather it wasn’t. (Note: need to get pro head shots ASAP.) I get to go to a nice banquet in May, so there’s that.

  • Pannorama

    Today has quickly spiraled from “inconvenient” to “total crap” — I’ve spent all day dealing with blood testing for some health issues, and haven’t eaten in almost 20 hours because the tests require fasting. I’m getting myself through it by spending my time thinking about how I’M GETTING ENGAGED TOMORROW.

    We’re spending the day going to two wineries before dinner, staying over in Charlottesville (we live in DC), and then hiking in Shenandoah and going to a celebratory dinner the next day. We’ve both planned surprise proposals for one another, and my partner is being very mysterious about the props he’s bringing for his (he’s taped them into the box for our vacuum). It’s going to be so so good, and we’re both so excited!

    • Jess

      Hooray for mutual proposal day!

      Good luck with the blood testing and I hope you can get food soon.

    • Lexipedia

      Yay! You will have to come back and tell us the details. Our temps in DC are so great today (especially compared to last week!) and I hope that they carry into the weekend for you. Also, I love Shenandoah and Charlottesville as a beautiful, but close escape.

      Have an amazing time!

    • Yay! Yes, enjoy this warm spell, and be glad it isn’t last weekend for hiking. Have an amazing weekend!

    • lamarsh

      Charlottesville/Shenandoah is my favorite DC escape! What a perfect place to get engaged. Which wineries did you choose?

      • Pannorama

        We’re gong to Veritas for a tour and tasting in the morning, and then after lunch we’re heading to Barboursville to do two different tastings and take a walk in the ruins (where I plan to propose!). I’m hoping that they’re great. We accidentally hit on an AMAZING Virginian winery in NoVa, the first time we tried one (Stone Tower), so I feel very hopeful.

        • lamarsh

          Those are both great choices! Barboursville makes some of the best wines in VA and the ruins are very romantic. We just went to Stone Tower this fall and I really enjoyed it. Ah, have the best time!

        • Lexipedia

          Both of those are fantastic choices! I really like Stone Tower too. :)

    • Zoya

      Fasting blood tests are tough, man. But yay that you have something so wonderful to look forward to once you’re done!!

  • PAJane

    I’ve decided I may want to be a person who casually wears lip color, but I don’t want it to be a bold lipstick, and I don’t want to have to fuss with it much. Does anybody have a favorite lip stain they would like to recommend?

    • jem

      RMS lip2cheek!

    • Jessica

      Yes! I got a Target Beauty Box a couple months ago, and there was a Rimmel Stay matte tube in it. The color I got was a nice blush, good for everyday. It lasts a long time, but I do need to re-apply mid-day. Like many long lasting colors, it is a bit drying. But some colors are on sale at Target right now!

      • Jessica

        Also, it is under $5 so if you don’t like it, it’s not a huge waste of $

    • theteenygirl

      The neutrals in the Tarte lip paint are good. They aren’t a stain, but they have great staying power and I find them flattering and easy to wear.

    • penguin

      I will forever recommend the Maybelline Super Stay 24 hour liquid lipstick (I think that’s the name). It’s like $10 at Ulta and comes in a bunch of shades. I apply the color, let it dry like a minute or two, then put the balm on top. I wore it for my wedding, and it lasted through eating and drinking, and a shower. It’s seriously amazing!

      • Me too! I use one that’s closer to my lip color so when it eventually fades, it’s more discreet. I need to buy a new tube actually because I’ve finally worked my way through the previous tubes that I bought after discovering it!

      • PAJane

        Ooo, you and I have similar coloring. Are there shades you like?

        • penguin

          The shade I wore for my wedding was called “Perpetual Plum” I think – the name didn’t make sense to me because it looked like a nude-pink color on me. I like that one a lot (not that I’m biased or anything). For bolder lipstick days I like “Everlasting Wine” (very deep red). I think I also have “Very Cranberry” and “Infinite Petal” – similar shades of pink to the “Perpetual Plum”.

          Tips for applying – put the color on, and then clean up the edges if you get color where you don’t want it (me every time). Keep your lips apart and let them dry – I usually get impatient and then fan them with a sheet of paper or something. Let dry for 2 minutes if you can. Then apply the balm on top, and reapply just the balm throughout the day as needed. Try not to go too heavy on the color – I’ve found that when I do that, the color tends to flake faster. The good news is that when this does come off, it flakes instead of smears, and I’ve never had color transfer with this. I hope it works for you if you try it!!

    • Yael

      My go-to for lipstick is Boots No. 7. They have a couple different types of lipstick but honestly I don’t understand the difference besides they come in different shaped tubes. They have some pretty colors that stand out more, but they also have some really nice nudes. I like them because they make me look… more like me, by which I mean they make my natural coloring somewhat more permanent through the day.

      • PAJane

        Boots as in the pharmacy chain in England? Is that a product that’s reasonably found Stateside?

        • Jessica

          Target has it.

        • Yael

          Walgreens has them as well.

    • Lisa

      I really like Covergirl Outlast Lipcolor in Canyon. It’s affordable and you can find it everywhere (Walgreens, CVS, Amazon, etc). It’s close to my natural lip color but a little richer, and it stays on well.

    • Anna

      I got myself and my college roommate the NYX lipstick advent calendar so I just got to try like six or seven different kinds of their lipstick (each in a few different colors) and I will say their “soft matte lip cream” is a really pleasant, not heavy, stain-like lipstick. I ended up with super bold colors of it, which I personally love, but it comes in like 30+ shades, including a whole range of less-crazy colors.

      Also, as far as not fussing with it much over the course of the day (at the expense of fussing with it a teeeeny bit more beforehand), L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor (https://www.lorealparisusa.com/products/makeup/lip-color/lipstick/infallible-pro-last-lipcolor.aspx) is incredible. I got it for my wedding and then immediately got it in like six other colors and wear it all the time, because it really will last all day, through three meals (unless you’re like gnawing greasy fried chicken off the bone or something, which I do periodically haha and does end up requiring a post-meal reapplication), a workout, a shower, whatever, with at worst a tiny bit of fading around the middle. Putting it on does take two-plus minutes (gotta wait for it to dry and then put on a topcoat that’s basically lip balm), but then it just. stays. It usually doesn’t feel too heavy on the lips (sometimes I think I layer it too thick? but generally no issues), although it’s not quite as thin as what I’d usually think of as a lip stain. And it also comes in a range of colors from less-bold to more-bold.

      • PAJane

        I totally have a tube of Pro-Last in a great bold red with gold shimmer, and it’s great! I’ll have to explore the less in-your-face colors. That may be the product I use for my wedding day, if they have the right shade.

    • rebecca

      Lipstick Queen in Medieval is pretty great because it can be a nice sheer berry stain but it’s super buildable so you can really do a wide-ish range of looks with the one color. I also like Tarte’s Tarteist lip paint because it lasts forever and doesn’t move (ummmm unless I have fried food for lunch 😳). Today I’m wearing Grand.

    • Lexipedia

      Benefit lip stain, any of the colors are great.

    • Kate

      I’m not sure what color payoff you’re looking for, but if you’re looking for something super sheer I’m a huge fan of Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Rose. If you’re looking for something more opaque and have dry lips I’d recommend Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor. I have it in Lava but there’s a lot of mellower shades.

      • PAJane

        Do the burts bees ones have a flavor, and are they glittery?

        • Kate

          The tinted lip balm does not have a flavor or glitter. If you’re looking for glitter, I think they have another product with shimmer. I also have one of their lip crayons and can confirm it doesn’t have a flavor.

    • Lagaviota

      I have a little tube of Origins lip color that’s pretty subtle but a nice jewel/berry tone. Doesn’t make my lips flip out and is sort of minty and cool! I like it.

    • flashphase

      I like glossier!

      • Anna

        I keep seeing those ads and I’ve been skeptical so far. Does it stay on or does it require a ton of reapplication? And does the color get any more intense than in the ads? Because it looks kind of… watered-down.

        • flashphase

          I like it because it’s not too much color – my go to for 10 years has been no lipstick so this is a step up for me. It does need reapplication.

    • Cdn icecube

      I really like the Sephora brand lip stain. They have a few that are matte and some that are shiny so they have options. Wear-wise they are great because it’s a stain and it will stay on your lips all day. Depending on your colouring, I like 05, 06, and 13. Those are my go-tos depending on what I am wearing that day. I find that 05 (infinite rose) is a more peach-pink, 06 is a pink and 13 is a darker purple/brown/pink. On me (very pale with cool undertones) they look much more subtle than the person in the picture.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ff4ed3ad370121cc58b0d83e912acc988becc9a94d90794fa089cbdb0786eed7.jpg
      If you want to spend more money, Kat Von D lip stain is the BOMB and won’t move for anything (except makeup remover or coconut oil). It’s a little pricy for me so I can’t recommend day-to-day stuff from them, but the range of reds that they have are awesome.
      Stila is also very good, but shade-wise is pretty limited.

    • CMT

      I also want to be this person. I like the Sephora brand ones.

  • Leigh

    LOVE THE LOOK OF THE NEW SITE! :) Great work all!

  • chartreuse

    I’ve run into some trouble with my mother’s side of the family. I grew up living close to all my cousins on my dad’s side; two cousins my age on that side are my bridesmaids, and two very small cousins on that side are flower girls.

    My mom’s side is smaller, I don’t know the cousins on that side as well, and they’re an awkward age to be included in a wedding — they’re all between the ages of 9 and 16 years old, so too young to be bridesmaids/groomsmen and too old to be flower girls/ringbearers. Mom’s really annoyed they’re not in the wedding party. I offered to make the two preteen boys ushers, but that’s not really placating her. She wants me to make one of her nieces, who is also my goddaughter, a junior bridesmaid. I think the junior bridesmaid title/position is kind of bogus and this cousin will probably be a lot happier without special duties anyway.

    When I argue with her, she says that when she got married, they made my father include her mother’s teenage nephew as a groomsman “so someone related to your grandmother would walk her down the aisle.” I think that’s even MORE ludicrous and it’s not inclined to get me to agree to this weird request.

    • Jess

      It’s weird the stuff family decides is going to be a Big Deal to them. Good luck figuring out how to respond.

    • Amy March

      Just say no. And stop talking about it. “Nope! No! Bye?” You don’t have to do this.

    • Lisa

      I recommend finding other jobs or honors for her. There are so many things that need to be done. She could help with cutting and serving the cake, which I did for one of my cousins and was honored to do. She could hand out programs with the ushers (or be an usher herself). My cousins babysat, helped decorate, helped with parking, acted as a sort of communion usher (not exactly, but it’s the closest descrip), etc. One of them who was particularly great at doing hair even helped a few of my bridesmaids with their up-dos (This was unplanned. Her older sister was a bridesmaid and she did her sister’s hair and when the other maids saw her braids they requested her help). Point being, there are a million ways to involve everyone.

      • chartreuse

        I think the trouble is she feels like her family’s less important than my dad’s side and she wants to be able to say someone from her side of the family is an official Member of the Wedding Party. I suggested a couple of things along these lines and Mom kind of acted insulted, like, “you want to placate me with THAT?” The other thing that makes me think this is more… global… than just wanting this particular preteen girl to have some kind of job is that when we got engaged, she suggested right away that we get married in her hometown (where neither my fiancé nor I have ever lived), and was visibly a little sad when we said we weren’t going to do that.

        It’s really strange because Mom and Dad are happily married and Mom really likes and enjoys Dad’s family, so it’s not like there’s any kind of animosity between the families. For now, I’m just stopping all conversation about it in hopes that she forgets about it or it feels less important as we plan more stuff. We still have a year and a half to go.

    • PAJane

      Friendly, gentle reminder that you’re not responsible for managing your mom’s weird and complicated emotions.

    • I think it could be interesting to have that age be ring bearers. Not carrying the rings on a pillow, but just being responsible for the ring (if you trust them with the actual ring). Some sort of guardian of the ring role…? And what about readings? Would any of them be good at that? Or the guest book? Or handing out ceremony programs?
      ETA: If you did a ring warming, they could be the “ushers” for that…

    • SS Express

      You totally don’t have to have relatives you aren’t even close to in your wedding just because your mother said so, but also, the notion that people need to be of a certain age to be included in a wedding party is just as false as the notion that people need to be of a certain gender.

  • Capondoodle

    Yay HH is back! Now that it’s 2018, it feels like our wedding in May is starting to feel like a reality. I got a lot of things done over the holiday break, including hiring a coordinator and figuring out our florals. I’m doing a real bouquet for myself but I’m doing ecoflower for the rest of the wedding party. It was more cost effective and they can keep it afterward! I submitted our special use permit to the park for the wedding ceremony and have started our wedding website. Minted had a deal around New Years where they were giving premium websites for free. I got one and then they gave me a $50 credit! Score! So things are happening. Next thing I have to figure out is hair/make up, which is another thing that has been harder than I thought it would be.

    Personally, the first week of the year was overwhelming for me for many different reasons because being an adult is hard. I was offered a temporary promotion at work, but not the pay and that makes me….feel things. I’m still working through things with HR, but man. The gender wage gap is real ya’ll!

    • Jess

      Good luck with HR. It’s tough to be offered something without the pay-off.

  • maybemum

    Hey Everyone! So happy to be back in Happy Hour and see how everyone is doing.

    My last…month and a half? 2 months? …have been STRESSFUL with almost no reprieve. (Think work nightmares, managing family estrangement over the holidays as the only one who still talks to everyone, and a close family member in a nearly deadly accident-luckily on the mend now, but with a LONG recovery ahead).

    I tend to be a person who gives to others, and gives into my perfectionist tendencies, until I’m so drained I make myself sick, and then I do a bunch of self care all at once (which, thank god, is my long weekend plan).

    I’m wondering if anyone has advice or examples of how you make sure you take care of yourself on a regular basis??? Would love any tips you have :)

    • PAJane

      I’m good about keeping plans that are in my calendar, but terrible about making them. Maybe schedule some time to be responsible for nothing else, just be home and center yourself, and then keep your appointment with yourself?

      • maybemum

        I really like this idea! I think I tend to think of needing to “fill” all my time, so thinking about it as scheduling down time sounds like a good way to think about it!

    • Lawyerette510

      Committing myself to some care that is regularly occurring. For instance, my acupuncture is the 3rd Wednesday of every month, it’s a standing appointment and it’s an hour for me to check in with my body and take care of myself. Therapy is every-other-Tuesday. Book club is the third Thursday (and I have to read for book club, so I make a point to make time for reading). I also have a few standing “dates” with friends or small groups of friends. All those things help me take care of me.

      • maybemum

        This reminds me, my best friend and I have been talking for forever about a weekly phone date…and never getting it on the books. Time to add that in! Thanks :)

    • Pannorama

      For me, two big things are doing whatever it takes to make sure I get enough sleep and making sure that I’m eating food that makes my body feel energized and good. That, and making sure I take time for “unwind” activities.

      • maybemum

        Thank you- this reminds me about how there really are every day things I can do to help!

    • Yael

      I try to remind myself that it’s impossible to properly care for others long term if I don’t properly care for myself, but that usually doesn’t work, because I’m good at ignoring myself. What does work is like others have suggested – putting stuff on my calendar and making it a habit.

      • maybemum

        Thanks!

    • theteenygirl

      One of the best things I have done for myself is planning meals. I sit down every weekend and make a meal plan for the week ahead and grocery list. Having meals planned and prepped (or somewhat prepped) for the week takes such stress off my shoulders. And I genuinely enjoy going through Pinterest/blogs and finding recipes, looking at flyers to see what’s on sale, going to the market in the summer, and yeah I’m one of those weird people that enjoys grocery shopping.

      • maybemum

        Thank you!

      • Evanizzy

        Can I also add, if meal planning seems like a good idea but still a little overwhelming, I’ve found it helpful to assign each day of the week a “type” of meal…Sunday nights are always breakfast for dinner (because my dad was responsible for dinner on Sunday nights and the only thing he knew how to make were breakfast foods) Tuesdays are “Taco Tuesdays,” but this general denotes any and all Mexican food. Wednesday’s are Asian food (Chinese, Indian, Korean, Sushi, etc) and Friday’s are always pizza (and sometimes this is homemade, real dough and sometimes this is English muffins or frozen and sometimes this is delivery.)

        • theteenygirl

          That’s definitely a great idea for people starting out! Because I use meal planning as a way to cut down on wasting food (we’re just cooking for 2) I actually theme my weeks if possible, or build the week’s menu around one central meal that uses a small amount of a lot of ingredients or that I know will end up with leftovers (roast chicken, pork tenderloin, etc.). So if a recipe calls for half a cabbage, I will ideally use the rest of the cabbage in another meal that week. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any leftovers or wasted vegetables/perishables at the end of the week.

      • jem

        We meal planned for the first time this week and OMG it was amazing! Took out the “what do you want? well what do YOU feel like?” dialogue and meant we actually had the ingredients we needed when it was time to make dinner. So much less stress.

        • theteenygirl

          When I meal plan I always try to put in at least one really really easy meal – whether that’s just making some pasta and red sauce or pulling out leftover curry from the freezer.. that way it doesn’t feel like I HAVE to spend an hour cooking every night. I love planing lazy dinners! It cuts down on the “Ugh let’s just order takeout” so much.

          • Alli

            We’ve gotten really into meal planning (because otherwise we eat Doritos for dinner) and this is so important! We always plan a “fend for yourself” night or two, which ends up being leftovers or cereal.

    • Jess

      That is some crazy stress.

      My list of “Ways I Take Care of Myself” – some are fun, some are easy/basic, and some are challenging on an emotional level for me.

      – Drinking water and eating regular meals. It’s amazing how much being well hydrated and fed affects my mood.
      – Moving my body. I try to purposefully move around in space at least three times a week – going out for a walk, doing a yoga youtube video, looking up “drinking games” to TV shows and changing “drink” to things like “Do 5 push-ups” or “Do 10 squats” are my go-tos when I am having a hard time.
      – Say No. To something. To anything. Just practicing saying “No” to something I don’t want to do, whether it’s eating a leftover cookie in the breakroom or getting another drink or helping a friend move.
      – Say Yes. To something I’m enthusiastic about and that I can look forward to. Usually this is a social event for me, but it could be anything! Say yes to trying a cake recipe! Say yes to a new project! Say yes to trying aerial ballet! Anything you can put on your calendar and look at and say “This is a thing I want to do”
      – Ask myself what I’m feeling. I check in with my body and my feelings at the start and end of every day. It goes like this, “How does my body feel? Is there an emotion tied to that sensation? What is that emotion about? Is there something that emotion could use from me?” (ETA: It sounds really woo-woo, but I got the practice from a therapist when I was dissociating pretty intensely from my emotions, and it really really helps.)
      – Practice Gratitude. For me, what this means is that every morning, between my alarm and getting out of bed, I list off in my head three things. One thing I’m thankful for from yesterday, one thing I’m thankful I get to do today, and one thing I appreciated from someone else.
      – Clean my environment. I get stressed out when things are messy, and being able to set my space right gives me one thing I can control in a world I cannot.

      • maybemum

        Thank you! I especially like the idea of saying “yes” to something- I’m always working at being better at saying “no”, and the idea of also choosing what to say “yes” to sounds great :)

      • flashphase

        This is awesome. I’ll add: take several deep breaths with eyes closed.

        • Jess

          Oooh, that is one of my favorite feelings! I should add it to my list.

        • Kara

          In a presentation course (taught by a theater director), he said doing the following 3x’s would lower your stress level and heart rate. It definitely helps me.

          1.) Breathe in deeply through your nose.
          2.) Breathe out through lips slowly—imagine you are trying to bend the flame of a candle, but not blow it out
          3.) Repeat

      • I like your list a lot! Thanks for sharing!

    • rebecca

      I was listening to the Call Your Girlfriend podcast and they had someone on who takes the day of her birthday every month to check in with her goals and take care of all the little things she needs to do to take care of herself and I think I’m going to try to adopt that this year. Every 29th I’m going to grab a really good lunch in a quiet place and check in with my planner/make appointments/set goals.

      • maybemum

        I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

      • SS Express

        Such a great idea.

  • ART

    I had my baby! A girl, 8lbs 10oz. She’s three weeks old today, somehow! My water broke at home and I didn’t start feeling contractions for another two hours and the whole thing progressed really quickly, but they weren’t checking my dilation throughout so when I was like holy shit, give me the epidural, they did – then immediately checked and I was already 10cm (guess that’s why it hurt lol). The birth was crazy but a great experience, even though I had some issues with bleeding and high heart rate – I felt like the midwife running the show took such good care of me. The last three weeks have been so hard…Hormones, no sleep, painful breastfeeding stuff…and I feel like I have so much to say about my postpartum experience and the state of my marriage, but it all changes so quickly I can barely get a handle on it. Today my husband took her into the living room at 9am and I got two hours of sleep with no snoring (him) or grunting (her) and I woke up feeling like a new person but also missing them both terribly :D Anyway we named her Harriet (Hattie) and she’s SO CUTE and strong and silly and has a crap ton of auburn hair that shocked us all! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8cde48b04eaf487f6293de0073e451eaa73007b4001a6932379c19db6c54e31.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/518d447538fce23413952a33b210ed9a2213ae956149d44ea53ac7b3459aced3.jpg

    • Eh

      Congrats! She’s beautiful!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!! She’s so lovely! And what a great name!

    • Pannorama

      She’s so beautiful! Congratulations!

    • emilyg25

      Oh, she’s just perfect! Congratulations. And yes, those first few weeks are really just this bizarre mix of glorious and brutal. It gets better! :)

    • Jessica

      Congrats!!!

    • LuckyLoveBug

      Guuuuuuuuh.

      /Melts.

      Congratulations!!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!!!

    • maybemum

      Oh my goodness, that is one cute baby. Congrats! And I absolutely LOVE her name/nickname. So sweet.

    • Jess

      Hi Hattie! Congratulations to you and your husband!

      Good job to him for getting you a few hours to sleep.

    • Lawyerette510

      Congratulations! And welcome to the world Hattie!

      • PAJane

        Hattie is such a great name.

    • L.

      Congratulations!!! She’s beautiful!

    • JSK

      She is lovely and her name is wonderful!

      My son is 20 months and we have our 2nd next week. I’m having all sorts of flashbacks to just how RAW and REAL the first few weeks are with a new person living in your house. So many tremendous highs and lows. You’re right, there’s no time to sort through it all. My goal this time around is go with the flow a little better and just sit with those feelings rather than railing against them.

      ^^Sorry that’s not better advice. Basically “this, too, shall pass” is all I can offer.

    • Anya

      Congratulations!!!

    • Zoya

      THOSE CHEEKS

    • AP

      Welcome Hattie! And congrats, mama! Hattie was my great grandmother’s name <3

    • jl

      CONGRATULATIONS!! SHE’S BEAUTIFUL!!!

    • LadyJanee

      Congratulations!!!

    • Mjh

      Congratulations and welcome, Hattie! Such a beautiful girl and a lovely name.

    • Eileen

      This sounds a lot like my labor. It’s comforting to hear someone else have a similar experience. Next time I’m going to try to do without the epidural because the last-minute-type I had was pretty pointless.

      But also, congratulations—wishing you lots of courage and love in these coming weeks.

    • Congratulations! What a beautiful baby!

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations!!! What a stunning baby! Your descriptions of labor and post-partum are giving me flashbacks, it’s such a trip. Glad you and baby are doing well, despite the challenges, and I hope things continue in that direction. It’s amazing how a little bit of solid sleep can make things seem so much more okay.

  • Bummed

    Just got law school grades back and they are. . .not good. I have a ton of trouble with deadlines and procrastination, especially with papers. It feels like a personal failing and I’m really not sure how to get better at it. It’s difficult to ask for help/admit it’s a serious problem since timeliness/being on top of your work is so so important in the legal field. Plus most of the usual recommendations feel like they’re for people who don’t actually procrastinate?

    • rebecca

      I’ve found therapy really helpful for dealing w/stuff like this. Whether you just need help w/strategies for focusing, venting your disappointment in yourself or even getting evaluated for ADHD–when you’re in a high pressure situation like law school, paying (or using university services) someone completely removed from your world to just listen and not judge you and have it be completely private can really help.

    • Amy March

      Do you have access to counseling through your student health center? If so, it might be worth investing the time to talk to someone about this. It’s not a personal failing, you aren’t murdering puppies, its a challenge you have. And a pretty common one!

    • Jess

      I’m really sorry. I have had this happen in my life a lot, and honestly, I’m really still struggling with it. Rebecca’s suggestion of therapy is actually also the thing I’ve found most helpful because it gave me space to figure out *how* I’m struggling and look for solutions that address that action.

      I totally agree that usual recommendations are not for people who actually have problems with meeting deadlines. It’s always like, “set smaller deadlines on the way to meeting a big deadline” and “block off time to work on your project” which like… cute and simple to say, but really hard to actually do.

      For me, my problem is that I get really afraid of doing a bad job and not knowing the answers, or where to find the answers, or what the next step is. So I put off doing the work until it’s too late and I absolutely have to do the work… and therefore still do a bad job, but at least now I don’t have time to care.

    • Lexipedia

      Counseling might be helpful – I had a year where mental health resulted in a grade slip and i also felt like it was a personal failing.

      I did find that group studying helped me a lot with grad school procrastination. Like, each taking parts of the reading to write group study guides, or setting times with a non-procrastinator friend to meet and work together. Alternatively, what really helped me with thesis procrastination or comps studying was setting myself a certain amount to achieve each day/time period. Like, I wrote for however long it took me to write those three pages, or made notes for however long that book section took, and then got up and did something else and got to be done for the whole day. It wasn’t so much “break it up into smaller parts” but more like “force myself to do a manageable amount that didn’t seem overwhelming, whether it took one hour or four.”

      Also, if you are a computer procrastinator, either working somewhere there is no internet to distract you OR using an app like “Self Control” to lock you out of the sites (ehem, APW was a bad one for me) you read most.

      • Bummed

        I generally avoid group studying because I am an extrovert and I reliably derail group studying by getting people talking about their lives and whether their tailbone has healed up after that bad fall and how they’re getting on with their roommates and what trips they’re hoping to take this year. It makes me a terrible study partner because I am fighting two battles, one against my inability to get shit done and one against my desire to ask Candace how her dog is.
        I like the line you draw between the usual “break it up into smaller parts” and “force myself to do a manageable task and then be done for the day.” I’m going to brainstorm ways to adapt it to law school.
        I have several browser extensions along those lines, but might have to change my settings so I can’t turn it off *looks hella guilty*

        • Self-control is great for that because it goes into your computer and shuts them down directly somewhere, so you can’t just turn it off (or you know, open up the internet in Safari instead of chrome to view the internet procrastination)

      • I’m reading The Power of Habit (recommended in a past HH), and over the last year plus have realized I want to be better at integrating certain things into my life as habits. Mine are smaller habits, but building a small habit (one of mine is doing Duolingo every day) lays the groundwork and confidence that I am a person who does this. Somehow doing my three small daily things every morning gives me a boost that energizes me to take on my day. It’s bizarre that such a small thing could help, but it does. (The small habit thing was something that was suggested at a training I did on time management. The trainer had us decide two habits we wanted to start and paired us up and had us share our habits and phone numbers and told us to check in with each other every day for two weeks, I think. My partner and I stayed in touch about a year and are still periodically in touch checking in with each other on our goals and projects. The partner check-ins really helped me.)

    • flashphase

      Reading The Now Habit helped me really understand procrastination as a form of perfectionism and misguided self care. I really recommend that. Also Ask Polly’s got you here: https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/ask-polly-why-am-i-so-lazy.html

      • rebecca

        That Ask Polly article shook me to my fundamental core and made my husband actually cry when I read it to him. I like her stuff in general, but this one was Very. Good.

        • Jess

          I cried when I read it. I should go back and re-read it, actually.

        • Her Lindsayship

          oh. my. god.

    • Sarah

      I’m in my last semester of law school. What do you procrastinate on? I procrastinate when I am anxious. For papers, I lessen that anxiety by starting way ahead of time and writing small sections. “Today I am going to write the introduction” and then once I get into it and my anxiety has lessened I will usually do more. For exam classes, I stay on top of reading every single week so even if I only start my outline at the end of the semester I always know the material pretty well by then.

      • Alli

        An alternative approach to papers, from another chronic procrastinator (who started her senior thesis after it was due 😬) is to start by writing out the most basic outline. Then go back and add more detail and type out any references before they’re even in a sentence. Then finally go through and connect all the thoughts with coherent sentences.

        This way works for me because I CANNOT write without knowing what’s coming next, so having all the ideas laid out in front of me makes it go so much faster.

    • SS Express

      I’m a procrastinator too, and I’ve recently come to understand that it really isn’t a personal failing or evidence that I’m a garbage person. There’s been a lot of research/writing about procrastination recently, and while nothing I read really had a solution for me, understanding that it’s just a normal thing people do helped me to feel less terrible about it, which in turn made me do it a lot less.

      Another thing that helped me is my therapist telling me that life isn’t just about ticking off your to do list and actually nobody gets hundreds of things done every day. There’s a bit in Bridget Jones’s Diary where she explains her diet and calorie intake to her friend, who says “don’t you need more calories than that just to live?”, and she narrates that she’s been dieting for so long she started to think eating was something we just do because we’re greedy. I think I similarly get into a mindset that I *should* be productive all the time, and the fact that I’m not is evidence that I suck. But nope! I should only be as productive as I want and need to be, and the real ideal is to maximise time for hobbies, family/friends, and general relaxation.

      On days when I’m really struggling to focus I also allow myself a “reverse Pomodoro” where for every tiny task I complete I reward myself with a huge break. It’s not great, but it’s better to do a few small tasks than nothing at all.

    • LindseyM

      I’m sorry. I don’t have any advice really, just solidarity that law school is a rough time. I outlined as I read to combat procrastination and never really studied with other people since I think it stressed me out more. My husband is a procrastinator and it is a compounding problem for him–he is stressed so he procrastinates, then he hates himself for procrastinating and becomes more stressed, and as a result procrastinates more. I think its probably most helpful to realize that most people procrastinate and that it isn’t a failing. I think self flagellation seems to just make it worse.

  • rebecca

    Right before the holiday I got asked to represent an open source project I work on at a conference in Asia so this past week has been even more hectic than a normal “first week back after holiday” because I’m trying to set up all my projects so they can continue to run when I leave next week. Anyone have Singapore advice or best airport restaurant for a dinner time layover at Haneda?

    Other than that, I’ve really been enjoying Bon Appetit’s “Feel Good Food Plan”–is anybody else doing it? We’re not following it to a T by any means but we ❤️ed both the fish dishes and the miso/brussel sprout/hemp seed thing we had last night was awesome (and soooooo outside my usual bag of tricks)

    • lamarsh

      We did the first week and I really enjoyed it. The tofu, broccoli, brussels sprout dish was basically all my favorite things. I brought the leftovers to work the next day and I like 4 old white dudes felt the need to comment on me being “so healthy” when I was eating it, which ugh. Please don’t comment on my lunch. I really liked the turmeric ground chicken one too. Looking forward to the salmon this weekend.

    • Yael

      Oh wow that food plan looks amazing. Totally going to have to consider doing that!

    • Jessica

      Oh, I have been following the hashtag on Insta and it automatically makes me want to go cook. I’ll probably do some of the recipes next week.

    • flashphase

      I’ve been drooling over the recipes but it also feels like a lot of cooking for weeknights? Signed, someone who eats a lot of frozen trader joe’s dinners because work + commuting

      • rebecca

        This is legit but my other current food obsession is the Food52 “A New Way to Dinner” cookbook (which I got as a wedding present) which basically says you should make everything on Sunday and just assemble during the week and I feel like from using that book I got a really good idea of what kinds of things can be done in advance and won’t “get weird”. So I chop everything and make dressing on the weekend and then it ends up being no more than 30min on the weeknight (and also I’m a weird nerd whose hobby is cooking and I still ate frozen lasagna on Wednesday night)

        • flashphase

          omg how did I not know about this book? I try to do that but am not good at getting more than 2-3 days together. Going to get this ASAP!

          • Jessica

            First, Food52 is amazing. Their Genius Recipes books is legit genius.

            Second, check out Budget Byte’s meal prep guide. I just ordered the containers she uses, and it’s pretty solid. https://www.budgetbytes.com/category/extra-bytes/budget-friendly-meal-prep/

            Third, sheet pan dinners ftw. Seriously, chop up some root veggies and toss with TJ’s harrissa paste and some olive oil, roast for about 25-30 minutes at 425F (add some chicken sausage to the pan if you’re into it), then top with some feta or chevre. I’m doing that tonight, it takes 40 minutes from start to finish and it’s the best! Easy clean up, too.

          • Jess

            Sheet pan dinners truly are the greatest. We make them like 2x/week.

            Also good: take some cooked rice (those microwave packages work great) spread out on a sheet pan, toss some chicken breasts in a stir fry sauce and lay them on top of the rice with some veggies of your choice.

            Roast anywhere between 375 and 425 until chicken measured as cooked.

          • Jessica

            Nice! I also like cooking a whole chicken on a bed of root veggies and a chopped apple. Salty, sweet, tart, savory. Soo good!

          • Jess

            mmmmmm Adding that into the list for sure.

          • Jessica
          • Jess

            YUM, also it’s called Viking Chicken and I love that a lot.

          • Zoya

            I do something similar! Spatchcock a chicken and roast it on top of potatoes (and sometimes mushrooms) in a cast iron skillet. When the chicken’s done, move it to a board to rest and stick the potatoes under the broiler until crispy. Winner every time.

        • AmandaBee

          Just wish listed that book – I’m trying to up our food game and it looks awesome!

        • Zoya

          “I’m a weird nerd whose hobby is cooking and I still ate frozen lasagna on Wednesday night”

          IT ME. *high five*

  • Anna

    I’ve been weightlifting now for almost eight months, and for a while I was making constant, visible progress (y’all, my biceps are visible when slack now), but now I’ve gotten to a point where I’m at a sort of frustrating plateau – every time I try to increase the weight I’m lifting, I (minorly) injure myself. I think I need to finally bite the bullet and see an actual trainer (rather than just asking the people who run group lifts at my work gym the occasional question about form) if I want to keep making progress, but that’s expensive and takes time and ugh I was kind of hoping this would be something I could do on my own (my ultimate goals all fall under a sort of nebulous “get stronger”, but some specific things I want to do are 1. be able to curl my 40 lb commuter bike effortlessly, 2. do at least one pull-up unassisted, 3. have my one-rep squat max be at least equal to my husband’s weight).

    On the plus side, I finally figured out where the gym keeps the elastic bands for assisted pull-ups, which I had been wanting to do for a while but couldn’t find the equipment; so I actually did four pull-ups and two chin-ups assisted on Wednesday. My shoulders are still sore but god it was satisfying.

    • Jess

      The Plateau is so annoying. I definitely did like having a trainer for form stuff and just to break up my routine a little bit.

      This may sound weird, but I think having the bands and working toward pull-ups may help you break through, especially if you do wide-grip. I find that when my back and core are stronger, I’m less likely to injure myself in the rest of my lifting.

      Anyway, good luck!

    • Jessica

      DAAAMMMMNNNN GIRL!

      Personal trainers are great (I’m biased–I’m dating one), and in general people who can objectively look at you and what goals you have are fantastic–they aren’t going to get (as) frustrated as you are when you don’t meet them, and will give you encouragement you may not always be able to muster. Try reaching out to a trainer and ask for a customized training plan with a 2x/month personal training session, and it could make it easier to afford and achieve goals.

      Keep on crushing it though!

    • Yael

      Definitely consult with a trainer at least once. It may be that your form is slightly off in a way that increases your risk of injury (and it really can be even a couple of centimeters). There are a lot of little supporting muscles that we don’t really think about strengthening, but really need to be in shape to help you maximize your performance. But congrats on the goals and progress!

    • rebecca

      Getting a trainer for a while can actually lead to you becoming *more* independent (and safer!) While it’s totally an investment (and ime finding the right “fit” can be really tough) I’ve deff found it worth it.

    • Les

      I love that you want to be able to lift your husband at least once- got to be able to save him from Godzilla if need be!!

    • EF

      you’re doing so well though!! and i totally agree with having those goals.

      i’m at a bit of a plateau whilst also still doing physical therapy after a really terrible surfing accident, but having the big picture goals does help with knowing that eventually I’ll reach the end of my plateau! for instance I’ve set a top level goal of leg-pressing 200lbs by my 30th birthday, in may. however, there’s a chance of a setback with my back again, so i’ve got a backup deadline of the end of 2018. goals are good :-D

    • Eenie

      A good personal trainer is so worth it! It’s and investment in your future. Those injuries add up over time and take a real toll on your body as you age. My husband and I did a group session which made it cheaper per person. Can you do a session with another person to keep the costs down? You basically just alternate sets.

    • LadyJanee

      Congrats on the progress! I compete in powerlifting and have lifted for several years now and I would definitely recommend seeing a (qualified and knowledgeable) trainer for some pointers. Also, you may need a deload period? Maybe take a week or so of lowering the intensity of your training (lighter weight and fewer sets/reps) and then build back up and you will likely find that you are able to progress again. Also, I would also recommend that you make sure you’re eating enough and recovering enough (having rest days, sleeping enough, staying hydrated etc).

    • penguin

      Another option for you might be semi-private personal training (that’s what I use). So there are like 2 personal trainers there for maybe 8 people, and they make a personalized workout plan for you and help with anything you need. Cheaper than one on one personal training I think.

  • Anna

    APW hive mind, I am in need of help with a first wedding anniversary present for my sister! At the time of her wedding, I was a poor student just returned from 18 months of travel and with the expense of being a bridesmaid (shoes, manis, travel, organising wedding day breakfast! etc) I didn’t get her a gift. I would love to get her and her husband something for their first anniversary but I’m stumped. They haven’t printed photos yet but I feel that’s something they should choose for themselves. If anyone received or has given amazing anniversary gifts, I would so love some tips!

    • Cha

      I gave a framed star chart print to my brother as a wedding present (personalized with their names and for the time and place of their wedding), but I think it could also make a nice anniversary gift. https://www.etsy.com/listing/512439018/custom-framed-constellation-map-under?ref=shop_home_feat_3

    • Lawyerette510

      For one of my friends, I called the florist that did their wedding flowers and worked with the florist to do an arrangement that was reminiscent of their flowers and have it delivered as a surprise on the anniversary. My friend and her husband loved it.

      • theteenygirl

        As someone who was OVERLY into her bouquet thank you for this idea! I might just do this as a gift for myself on our anniversary haha

        • lamarsh

          I feel the same about my flowers and would 100% do this for myself if our wedding had been in the city where we live.

          • theteenygirl

            There is a florist in my city that does very similar work to the florist that I ended up hiring in the town that we got married and I’m willing to bet they could recreate it pretty closely.

          • lamarsh

            Oooooh now that’s an idea.

    • lamarsh

      There are artists on etsy who will do a painting of the bridal bouquet. If she was really into her flowers, this might be a good option.

    • Another Meg

      Our best present was a fitbit graph of the day from a friend who attended. The best part was seeing exactly when we really hit our dance floor stride. It was pretty and informative!

      • rebecca

        that’s so cute!

    • Amy March

      I had an artist friend do a painting inspired https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1258980ca89b377ed774e748987cf8a5abe55467b60fb258da6bf7dd0002f713.jpg by my sister’s wedding flowers, and she seemed to love it.

      https://www.etsy.com/people/antoncarlone

    • Laura C

      My best friend casually asked where we were going for our anniversary dinner (in the middle of a longer conversation about our plans) and then when we got there, the waiter brought out a gift card (that enabled us to upgrade to the tasting menu). It was nice to have the extra money to spend on a great dinner but the surprise aspect was particularly special.

    • suchbrightlights

      Gift certificate to a photo lab so they can get splurgier photos? AdoramaPix offers these, and our wedding album from there was A+.

  • littleinfinity

    Hi guys, I have an envelope/ RSVP etiquette question I was hoping someone would have ideas about?? To minimize cost and paper, I’m just sending out an invitation (no RSVP card), with our wedding website listed on it so that people can RSVP on the site. My question is: how do I specify plus-one invites, kid invites, etc? Do I write them on the envelope (I have always heard this is Not Correct)? And when people RSVP on the site, how can I make sure they’re not adding “write-in” plus-ones or kids? I.e. how can I be super clear about who is invited without the traditional format of the RSVP card? Would really appreciate any thoughts on this :)

    • PAJane

      Isn’t it that the people named on the envelope are the people invited?

    • Jess

      You have heard wrong, people on the envelope is Correct and The Way.

      However, depending on your website service, see if you can specify your guests in advance so they can only RSVP if they received an invite or have a plus one given?

      • littleinfinity

        I’m using Squarespace (on APW recommendation!). I’ll play around with the RSVP settings, there must be a way to be more clear than just a text box.

        So you would say putting kids’ names on envelopes is ok?

        • Jess

          Totally.

        • Amy March

          Yes. Totally fine. A footman is not removing the outer envelope before handing the invite to the lady of the household. Most likely.

          • Katharine Parker

            Needs must. The Dowager Countess has to change with the times.

          • SS Express

            If only!

        • Rose_C

          I am not sure of the specifics of your guest list, but if it’s a space/aesthetics issue, I think The Smith-Fine Family can be a fine way to designate that the kids are invited on the envelope without writing out every name. The Smith and Fines living at that address would be the recipients, right? Of course this doesn’t work if kids under 12 aren’t welcome or something.

    • Amy March

      Write them out on the envelope. Super old-fashionedly you would have just listed plus ones and kids on the inner envelope but really no one uses them any more so the outer envelope is totally fine. For RSVPing on the site that’s really a tech question about how you can set it up- drop downs are sometimes an option?

    • Lexipedia

      What online RSVP service are you using? Any of the ones I’ve tried make you put in an excel invite list and only authorizes those people to RSVP. If they have plus ones or more than one person per invite you mark that on the invite template and a box shows up when they click through either with the names of the invited guests or with a blank spot for one person.

      • Anna

        I wish we’d actually used something like this instead of just collecting RSVPs in a plain form with a Google spreadsheet behind it. It mostly turned out fine but we could’ve avoided an awkward conversation with a friend who we hadn’t given a plus-one to who initially RSVP’ed for himself and his girlfriend :-P

        • Lexipedia

          RSVPify is great, if you are ever hosting another massive, expensive, emotionally charged event. You know, like one does on the regular.

      • littleinfinity

        I’m using Squarespace and the RSVP form that was included in the template. Maybe I can play around with a drop-down menu that only lets you select certain people? There’s no requirement for an excel list.

    • We use AppyCouple for our wedding website/app, and it in you’re able to specify which guests have a +1 (or a whole family) and which ones don’t – it’s already filled in when they log into the site. That might be an option for you.

  • E

    Link to the mirror balls or mirror ball-like balls used in the image at the top of this post, please? I’ve had a hard time finding some for a reasonable price (needed for a photoshoot with my cats).

    • Not the ones above and not sure what exactly you are looking for, but I’ve gotten mirror ball’s as props from the Paper Lantern Store before :)

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      We got the smaller (8″) ones in store at Party City for $15! And you can definitely order on Amazon too.

    • I had a mirrorball in my room as a kid. I kinda wish I still had it!

  • Zoya

    Late to the party! I’m traveling for work and have been spending the past two days running around on a mildly sprained ankle (I know, I know, bad). Any advice for how to mitigate the damage once I can actually sit down and take my shoes off?

    • Amy March

      Rest, ice, compression, elevation. Classics for a reason.

    • Laura C

      My personal strategy was doing that for about 10 years and then needing surgery, so I might not be the person to ask.

      • Zoya

        Oh hi, are you me? *waves*

    • Jess

      R.I.C.E. plus active stretching of the joint as soon as you can stand it.

      1) using your hands to move your foot forward and backward – like pointing and flexing your toes – and side to side while flexed only to the extent that it isn’t super painful
      2) tracing the ABC’s with your foot keeping the rest of your leg still. This is like doing foot circles but moves the joint through all it’s planes of motion. Do this pretty much constantly.
      3) NSAID’s like ibuprofen or aspirin for acute pain.

      Signed, someone who has seriously sprained her ankle too many times to count.

      • Zoya

        Super-helpful, thank you!!

        • Jess

          Heal quickly! :)

      • Ooh, I use the ABCs as a warm up before ballet!

        • Jess

          It’s such a good ankle strengthener!

          • I think I learned about it when googling about how to properly walk in high heels after buying some 3- or 4-inch heels for the first time. :) Some advice mentioned that dancers do it and I added it to my warm up. (And when googling about walking in heels, I realized that ballet had prepared me pretty well actually!)

  • flashphase

    So happy to be back! 2018 has started out pretty great. My goal is to volunteer 10+ hours this year and I am almost done with VITA tax certification so I can be a volunteer tax preparer!!! I am a personal finance nerd and hugely excited about this :) Also, after several years in a job where I was never quite good enough, I took a new role that’s a much better fit and just got a great performance review. I really needed that and I’m so pumped!

    Also it’s our one year wedding anniversary this weekend! We are getting cupcakes from the amazing bakery where we got our wedding cake. I’m sad to not be a newlywed but sooooo excited for cupcakes!!!!

    • Not Sarah

      That’s awesome! I was a VITA tax preparer last year and it was an incredible experience!

    • CMT

      I was a VITA tax preparer for many years and I LOVED it. It was super fun for me (I really love doing taxes) and quite rewarding.

  • anon for now

    [TW: pregnancy and loss] Any advice on dealing with anxiety in early pregnancy? I found out this week that I’m pregnant (5 weeks today). I don’t feel a lot of symptoms so it’s hard to *feel* pregnant, and sometimes I can maintain a zen approach of what will be will be, but today is not one of those days. From the time I woke up I’ve been an anxious mess worrying I’m going to miscarry, or already have and won’t know for three weeks until the doctor will finally see me. I know this is probably how a lot of people feel. What are some good coping mechanisms?

    • AP

      I went through this, and for me the only thing that really helped was getting my mind off the what-ifs and keeping busy with my normal routine. Talking to a trusted friend about your fears might help too. It’s a tough place to be in, just sitting with those anxious feelings and waiting. I also started going to therapy around 20 weeks to deal with all the emotions and anxiety of a first pregnancy, and it helped so much to just have someone to dump my brain out to a few times a month. One thing I found was that my husband wasn’t much help during those early days of pregnancy because everything was just so abstract for him, plus he’s good at compartmentalizing. I wanted him to be that source of empathy for everything I was feeling, and he just wasn’t. But the ladies in my life who’d been there definitely were! Sending good thoughts, it’s totally normal to feel this way!

    • The most reassuring thing for me in those early pregnancy weeks was taking additional pregnancy tests…they kept saying “pregnant” and it made me feel better that the baby was still in there. That wait for the first OB appt is so hard! Wishing you good thoughts and sending positivity.

    • anon for this

      Congrats! I’m a little late in replying, but I’m also newly pregnant (5 weeks today) and completely understand what you’re feeling. I found out very early (3 wks 4 days) because I chart my cycles, so it’s been about 10 days of knowing. Things that are helping me:

      1) the data on the probability of miscarriage. I like these two sites: https://datayze.com/miscarriage-chart.php and https://spacefem.com/pregnant/mc.php

      2) reminding myself that at this point, I have basically no control over what happens to this pregnancy – I can only continue to do the things I’ve been doing (eating well, getting enough sleep, taking vitamins) and hope for the best. What will be, will be. Once I’m in that headspace, it’s actually really nice to surrender to the universe.

      3) Along the same lines as (2), remind myself that “today I am pregnant (!!!!)” and effing enjoy how amazing that is. I’ve heard from women who miscarried that they wished they’d enjoyed their pregnancy while they were pregnant rather than worrying about what could happen.

      4) Continuing to take my basal body temperature (BBT) first thing in the morning. If you haven’t been doing this already, you might not want to jump into it now as there’s a learning curve, but in short – your BBT is lower before you ovulate when estrogen is the dominant hormone, it jumps up 0.05-1 degree F after you ovulate when progesterone becomes the dominant hormone until your period comes, but if you conceive progesterone continues to dominate and causes your BBT to remain elevated. More info here: http://www.fertilityplus.com/faq/bbt/bbtfaq.html.

      I hope this is helpful, and wishing you a happy and healthy 9 months!

    • Eh

      Congrats! I’m 11 weeks pregnant with my second. When I was 7.5 weeks pregnant with my first I had an ultrasound to date my pregnancy since my cycle was irregular and that made me feel good about things until my 12 week ultrasound. This time I opted not to have a dating ultrasound and only have the one at 12 weeks (my cycle was pretty regular before I got pregnant this time and I took OPKs so I have a good idea of when I ovulated). I have found that I am more anxious this time around, but I try too keep my thoughts positive (e.g., “I’m pregnant right now”) but sometimes it’s hard.

      I have my 12 week ultrasound next week and I will feel much better after I see the heartbeat. Though, my anxiety probably won’t subside until I can feel the baby move (last time that was around 16 weeks).

      As for pregnancy symptoms, I am very hormone sensitive. My early pregnancy symptoms are that I am hungry (that does not last) and I have heightened sense of smell and some meats tastes weird. That starts shortly after implantation for me – I have symptoms before I get a positive pregnancy test. Nausea and vomiting (and more food aversions) didn’t start until I was 6 to 7 weeks pregnant which is pretty typical. So in a week or two you might start feeling pregnant which will be a bit more reassuring. And if you are one of the lucky women who don’t get “morning” sickness (mine is worse in the evening) then just keep up those positive thoughts.

  • EF

    Meg, the space looks WAY better now! thanks for adjusting that and listening to feedback <3

    guys, i requested a one-on-one with my boss this week, because for the past 6 weeks or so i've been lent out to a major, EU-level project at my company. i've mostly been providing tech analysis on what's possible but also how that can fit best with the new laws. I facilitated a meeting between the head of IT and the head of HR to get some stuff done, and asked my boss if he felt like I had strayed too much, or if it was appropriate for me to attend these meetings with IT/HR, and also did he want me to stay on the project until May, when it's complete?
    and boss said: 'look, grand-boss (global-head-of-our-division) is one of the owners of the project. he wants you in the room. he needs to trust what's in the room, and if you are there, he trusts it's getting done right.'

    GUYS I THINK I CREATED THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS

    also i am seeing hamilton london in under a month and i can't wait for it

    • Jess

      YES! YOU DIDN’T MISS YOUR SHOT!

      • EF

        #riseup

  • Anon for this

    I need some advice from the brilliant ladies of APW about sex. My husband and I have been married for about two and a half years and we’ve struggled to figure out sex. We had trouble achieving penetration at first and even when we figured it out it was sometimes still a bit uncomfortable/painful for me for the first few minutes, though after that it’s fine. I don’t always enjoy it lots, but I have orgasmed from it a handful of times.

    When we first got married my husband would initiate sex but over time he stopped doing this and increasingly would say no whenever I initiated. I’d like us to have sex more often and recently I talked to him about it and he said one of the reasons he avoids sex is because he doesn’t like the bit where we’re trying to achieve penetration because he has to push quite hard and it feels like an intrusion on me.

    So my question is, are we doing something wrong? Should penetration be easier than it is for us or is it normal for it to take a few minutes of effort at the start? We do use lubrication and that does help but it’s still not what I’d call easy.

    We’re hoping to have children soon so I’d like to figure out a way to make this fun and comfortable for both of us.

    • AmandaBee

      I don’t have experience with this particular concern, but the book Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski is so helpful for learning about issues related to female sexuality and I feel like she did write a bit about pain on penetration, so you might check that out.

    • Jess

      Seconding Come As You Are as a recommendation. I’m working my way through it to work with my lack-of-orgasms (both partnered and solo, my whole life), and it’s been great.

      There is a lot of different things that could be happening, so I want to say upfront that my experience is mostly of the “takes a while to physically relax” rather than medical problems, which can also cause issues with penetration and you don’t have to suffer through. I know some of the APW commenters have had experience with extremely painful penetration and luck with pelvic physical therapy, so hopefully on of them sees your comment too.

      How much foreplay are you doing? Is this stuff you like? I’m not super into receiving oral directly on my clit, but labia feels great, for example, and it took me a while to figure it out that specifically.

      I also have some discomfort starting in certain positions, so it’s easier to have the initial penetration in a spooning pose and then move into other positions.

      This is more graphic, but something else that works for us is kind of… teasing the penetration for a while. Rubbing the head against you without going in, or really, really shallow and kind of swiveling your hips until you feel yourself loosen up around him.

      You could also try using a smaller size dildo as some of the foreplay to help your muscles relax more, so your husband isn’t the first thing there.

      I hope some of that helps, and good luck! I hope you start finding something that works for you!

      • Anonononon

        Maybe this is something you’ve tried, but using a dildo by yourself may also help you figure out when penetration feels good without the pressure of having your partner there. Also probably TMI, but for a year when I had recurrent yeast infections penetration was painful even when I wasn’t showing symptoms of yeast infections. If that might be going on for you, I’d get your health on track with the help of your doctor and take penetrative play off the table until things have had some time to heal up.

        • Jess

          Yes to using a dildo on your own (and even in general doing things on your own, to help you figure out what to ask your husband to do without extra pressure)!

          And I did not know a yeast infection could cause that! I’m so sorry you were in pain for so long. The more you know!

    • Liz

      I had painful penetration for years and pelvic floor PT helped immensely! I would highly recommend asking your PCP if they can make a referral.

    • Third-ing the recommendations for Come As You Are and looking into PT. I hope this isn’t like, too direct, but if penetration gets better after the first couple minutes there’s a pretty decent chance that you’re physically under-aroused at the beginning of penetration and it would help to do more foreplay/non-penetrative sex activities. I agree with all of Jess’s suggestions, and also would check out the youtube channel sexplanations if you are looking for like, specific activity ideas.

      I also think it can be suuuper helpful to take PIV penetration off the table for a set amount of time (say, a month) and focus on other kinds of sex. Having sex that isn’t focused on penetration can be a really good way to learn more about what turns (both of) you on, and can help reset the association of sex with discomfort/pain.

    • suchbrightlights

      If you have a good GYN you trust, this might be something to discuss with your doc (in addition to the great recommendations below) in case there are anatomical considerations you can address differently.

    • anon this time

      Posted this in the wrong place above, since I struggle to use the “guest” feature sometimes:

      SO many hugs. A question – is the problem specifically tightness, or pain on insertion that causes tightness? A few years ago I struggled with vulvar vestibulitis, which manifested in a lot of pain and tightness during sex – especially at the beginning. It took multiple doctors brushing me of before I found someone to help.

      What worked for me – 1) pelvic floor PT, 2) very regular low-pressure solo sexy-time with vibrators smaller than a partner’s penis to desensitize and relax without worrying about disappointing someone else, 3) silicone lube instead of water-based lube because it lasts longer without getting sticky, and 4) for the times I really wanted to have sex, OBGYN suggested using anaesthetic lidocaine cream on spots where it really hurt so that we could have a pain-free session and enjoy each other.

      YMMV, but good luck. I remember how hard it was and I hope that you find some strategies that help you get past this.

    • anonnnyyy

      Get yourself to pelvic physical therapy! I’m doing it right now and it’s helping so much (although it is pretty expensive and not all areas of the US have them locally). I didn’t need a referral for my therapist, so you might not even need to go to the gyno first. I was super intimidated and put it off for literally years but my physical therapist is so and helpful.
      In the mean time: (1) sex is anything that you find physically pleasurable, not just PIV. The other stuff (oral, hands, vibrators) won’t get you pregnant but if you’re struggling with connecting sexually the other stuff totally counts! (2) if you don’t have a pelvic PT locally you can buy dilators online and try those. Basically you insert progressively bigger dilators so your muscles can relax and get used to smaller things and you can work up to a dilator that’s physiologically sized. When I’m using them sometimes we have sex right after and that’s usually much less painful because I’m already relaxed and used to having something inserted. (3) If it seems like he’s pressing too hard and you’re uncomfortable, it might be better for you to be on and tell him not to move so you can control the pressure and speed of penetration. You might still have to press quite hard, but it might help you both to have you be in control. Good luck!

  • jl

    My husband and I are signing a lease for a new two bedroom apartment!! I’ve been having all kinds of bittersweet/overwhelmed feelings at moving. The apartment we live in currently was my first one bedroom apartment that I rented all by myself and the whole moving thing feels really big and also WE’RE MOVING TO THE SUBURBS which I have many mixed emotions about. My first week back to work was sort of rough emotionally but it’s all worked out. Also my cousin is getting married in Iceland in August and I really really want to go but I don’t think it’s going to happen =( (work constraints/cost/etc.) I hope everyone had good holidays and a happy new year!!

    • Do you know about Wow Air? They have some great deals, though that won’t help with work complications and other challenges…

  • Engaged Chicago

    Getting married in 2 days!! And exactly two weeks ago we found out our venue was closing / getting kicked out and we needed a new venue. We were able to find an awesome and notable venue that was available but the whole ordeal has zapped me emotionally and is costing us an extra $5-$10K. We poured our hearts into a vision for 10.5 months and have had a sprint to the finish as we reorient. Obviously a venue doesn’t make a wedding but there’s been a ton to deal with including 1) gossips who ask what happened without offering sympathies 2) not getting our deposit back because our old venue is ghosting us 3) being afraid that this drama is all people will remember. It’s crazy how many other aspects were impacted too. Would love some good vibes because right now I feel so tired and just want to get it over with – which is not the attitude I had for most of planning/ that I want at my wedding.

    • Amy March

      Oh the worst! I’m so sorry! But I have so much faith and confidence that day of will be great- you’re marrying your person and It Will Be Wonderful.

      • Engaged Chicago

        That means so much thank you for the confidence.

    • Jess

      Oof that sucks! Sending you all the vibes and wedding magic for this whole weekend.

      You did an incredible thing pulling everything into another venue on short notice and coming thru the other side.

      I promise this will not be the only thing people remember – they didn’t have your whole vision in the other location. So they will remember your wedding for what it *was* and maybe that you were a total boss and rolled with an unfortunate situation.

      • Engaged Chicago

        Sending you virtual hugs and high fives in exchange for the virtual verbal fist bump you gave with that. I needed it!

        • Jess

          YOU MADE IT!!

          I hope it was a wonderful.

    • suchbrightlights

      This happened to my good friends; they ended up as part of a class-action lawsuit against the venue. But their Plan B was wonderful, their wedding lovely, and I don’t think they have regrets. I hope you have the same experience!

      • Engaged Chicago

        Thanks for that. It’s crazy that this is our story (I wonder if that’s how your friend feels too) but our Plan B was probably better than our Plan A now that all is said and done :) Woo!

        • suchbrightlights

          I’m glad to hear that. You just got all the difficulty out of the way pre-event instead of during event. :) Well planned on your part and congratulations!

    • PAJane

      Ohman, I totally missed this post, but presumably you’re married now. How did it go??

    • Engaged Chicago

      Just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words. It was somehow exactly what I needed to hear – not denying my feelings but still sending me positivity.

      I can’t wait to post in HH this week because it went off AMAZING! Now that our wedding has occurred, I can’t imagine it anywhere else. It fit what we wanted, people loved it and we had compliments all night. I really want to essay this because I feel so proud and encouraged being on the other side. Thanks again you guys!

  • Em

    Ohhhh I have missed APW so much! It feels like it’s been forever since the last Happy Hour. In that time, we went home for Christmas, which was mostly great, and our families / friends took the news that we were already legally married really, really, really well. So that was a plus – I had been super stressed about telling them. We’ve also made some good wedding planning wins – I bought my bridesmaids’ dresses online this week, and booked a florist, and I think we’ve settled on a band! I’m super excited about the florist – I’d gotten a lot of really expensive quotes from florists who just do weddings and was feeling quite down about flowers as a result, but there’s a regular florist a couple of suburbs away from our venue who did some AMAZING flowers for a wedding at our venue last year (check out this: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bb8R–2Fn2g/?taken-by=strawberryfieldsphotography), and she is super reasonably priced, very quick to respond over email, and is basically going to take care of all of our decor by lending us (for freeeeee) the vases for the floral arrangements on the tables, which she’ll set up, etc. So basically all I’ll need to do is buy (and set out) a whole lot of tea lights on the tables, I think. This is all making me feel much more relaxed + prepared for the wedding, wooooo.

    • penguin

      Those flowers are GORGEOUS! And vendors that reply quickly are worth their weight in gold.

  • Olga Mikhailov

    Help, I need some fashion advice!! I’ve got a job interview in Providence next week, and I’m wearing boot cut black pants, a matching black blazer and a high-neck lacy blue tank top. Normally I would wear flats with an outfit like this, but it’s supposed to be really cold and potentially snowy late next week. I tried wearing short boots, and they look good while I’m standing, but my pants ride so far up when I sit that my legs show and it looks ridiculous. What would you do in this situation–flats or boots? Change when I get there? I thought about looking for a penny loafer type shoe to wear with no-show socks…

    • Rose_C

      Changing shoes when you get there feels awkward- unless maybe you’re going to do that in your car? Is there an option that makes the boots look more normal with a higher sock (patterned so it’s deliberate maybe?). I like the visible sock as a nod to the menswear trend. This is probably not how most people view the world, but if I was interviewing someone on a cold day who was wearing a loafer with no visible socks, I would be distracted by how cold it looked!

    • Could you wear snow boots and then change somewhere in the lobby or car? You’d have to keep the boots with you, unless there was a coat check somewhere nearby, but if you had a plastic bag (to make sure snow doesn’t drip over all your stuff), you could maybe fit them in a larger bag and no one would know? Here in Quebec, people change from outdoor to indoor shoes all the time at work, but it is a little more difficult to know what to do. The do make rubber oversoles that I have seen men wear. Maybe they make them for women too?? Something like this: https://www.beckershoes.com/shop/8972-thickbox_default/citylight-clog.jpg

      • suchbrightlights

        Tingley Rubbers. They’re called “overshoes” and come in various styles. I am sure there are other manufacturers but I’m familiar with Tingley as they sell a line for horseback riding boots. Would not recommend for a suede or fabric shoe because dirt, slush, and grit can get caught under the rubber edge and rub. Leather does fine, but plan to clean it (or at least wipe them off with a soft damp cloth once you take the overshoe off.)

        • Ah, so not so helpful for a quick transition in this interview situation… I’ve only seen one person use them and he usually wore leather loafers and drove from a garage to a garage and only walked a very short distance on a snowy sidewalk from garage to work.

          • suchbrightlights

            I think they could work just fine, but people using them should be aware that their shoes may need extra TLC once they come off for good at the end of the day. Granted that I was wearing them over soft calf leather boots polished to a high shine, mileage is variable. A 5-minute pass with a sponge and some Castile soap would probably serve.

    • suchbrightlights

      If you can change when you get there, that solves your problem (and in bad weather I wouldn’t think it’s weird provided you have planned ahead with a tote to carry your boots inside.) Otherwise you can wear your boots and whatever socks and because you will be sitting at a table and no one will be looking at your feet, it will be fine. I am a hiring manager, interviewed 10 people so far this year alone, and I have never noticed anyone’s footwear. Promise. Best of luck with your interview!

    • I interviewed in snowy MN in the winter – I wore my snowboots and then discreetly changed once I got inside. In my case I was traveling from out of state, and they were storing my coat & suitcase already, so adding my boots wasn’t much of a stretch.

    • Olga Mikhailov

      Thanks for the responses, all! This is a good reminder that, while people expect you to look polished at a job interview, they don’t expect you to be superhuman! I think I’ll probably change into flats in my car and endure the short walk from the parking lot.

  • anon this time

    SO many hugs. A question – is the problem specifically tightness, or pain on insertion that causes tightness? A few years ago I struggled with vulvar vestibulitis, which manifested in a lot of pain and tightness during sex – especially at the beginning. It took multiple doctors brushing me of before I found someone to help.

    What worked for me – 1) pelvic floor PT, 2) very regular low-pressure solo sexy-time with vibrators smaller than a partner’s penis to desensitize and relax without worrying about disappointing someone else, 3) silicone lube instead of water-based lube because it lasts longer without getting sticky, and 4) for the times I really wanted to have sex, OBGYN suggested using anaesthetic lidocaine cream on spots where it really hurt so that we could have a pain-free session and enjoy each other.

    YMMV, but good luck. I remember how hard it was and I hope that you find some strategies that help you get past this.

    • anon this time

      Oops – wrong spot! Re-posted below.

  • I got my anniversary ring today! For those of you that followed along about the Etsy debacle and then my Plan 2.0 to get a ring made by a jeweler I’ve worked with before, well, I finally got it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4341eb339da921bcff3026e89b72944fc953965a2ab11a9a68696b30ada95884.jpg

    Not much else new. We are considering moving if we find the perfect thing (a house to rent, with an enclosed yard area in our part of town, walking distance to work). We did a minimal approach to decorating for the holidays this year (a mini tree with copper-wired little battery lights like discussed in a previous HH), and I gotta say that “undecorating” is going to be pretty amazing this year. Just pick up that little baby tree and stick it in a box or something! Ah! What else? Our heat was out a few days before Christmas (when it was dropping to -30 C and more), so that was rough, but finally they got it fixed. And we have a trip planned to a warmer area in the not too distant future, so we should be able to thaw out a bit then. Glad we are in the part of the year where we start, slowly, to get more daylight though!

    Happy new year to you all! I hope it’s a great one for you all…

    And, Meg and all, the site looks wonderful! Congrats and confetti for all of you!

    • suchbrightlights

      That ring is so pretty! I can’t tell in the little picture on my phone- are the stones onyx, by any chance?

      The heat going out is no fun… been there done that in a cold snap. I’m glad that’s resolved.

      • Thank you! :) Yes, black onyx. As I googled it today, I realized it was my birth month stone from the 15-19th centuries, so a happy surprise! And I wear black most of the time, so it works with my general style preferences. :) The whole design was a complete surprise. I had given him a list of links to images and explained what things I liked about each, but the jeweler actually took inspiration from the original Etsy rings I had liked and bought (that he helped me with when I went through the return process with Etsy. I think he really wanted to do a milgrain design in the silver and knew I like the two-rows-of-dark-stones look, so he came up with a design that had that vibe. It surprised me because it wasn’t what I was expecting, but I really like what he did, much more than the Etsy (supposedly) vintage rings that I had chosen in the beginning. (He didn’t think those rings were actually vintage, just fakes made and sold as actual vintage.) And he had also told me in the beginning that if I didn’t like what he did, he could sell it to someone else and then we could do something else.

        • suchbrightlights

          It’s very pretty! My great-grandmother had a black onyx ring with milgraining/engraving and although hers was a different style, this has a similar vibe. After all the mess, I’m glad this worked out so well!

    • Zoya

      Preeeetty! I love the combination of black and silver.

  • One week to go! Getting into the DIY and day of logistics. Due to a yowch quote from the hairdresser and some phone related anxiety on my part ringing them back, I have accidentally ended up with essentially a 50% discount, which is nice! I’m worrying about what to do with my mum on the morning of, because if my sister’s wedding is any indication letting her anywhere near the set up is going to result in her giving the caterers similar but subtly different instructions because she doesn’t actually listen when I tell her things (including that I’ve already told the caterers everything) or trust professionals to do their jobs without being micromanaged, but also having her with me in the morning is going to involve a reassuring her about all the decisions I’ve already made for hours. I wonder who I inherited my anxiety from…

    We’ve also finally replaced out 15+ year old camera for the honeymoon. J told the salesman we have a memory card and didn’t need an update. It turns out the new camera is confused by 513mb memory cards. It was big in the noughties!

    • suchbrightlights

      Do you have an aunt, or a good friend of your mother’s, who would not have other things to do that morning who could perhaps be enlisted for mother-distracting? Or, are there tasks not being accomplished by a qualified professional with which she could legitimately assist without being underfoot? If you have a photo table, perhaps your mother could be In Charge Of setting out and arranging the family photos, guestbook, etc. and you would ask Her Specifically to do that because You Trust Her With The Mementoes, etc. I realize that this involves additional logistics on your part and you have plenty of logistics to finish already, but it may be a mental health investment.

      All else fails, trust your professionals to do their jobs despite interference (they’ve probably had to cope with well-meaning but distracting input from relatives before!) and accept the things you cannot change.

      One week to go! It’s going to be great. :)

      • The venue is open to the public until about half an hour before the wedding, so all we can do is drop stuff off that morning. Not two days before in a different city, as mum has suggested! I think if I could give her something she had oversight of it might help, but equally it might be a starting point for her to start getting into everything. She insisted on washing all the hired linen at my sister’s wedding despite the contract saying otherwise because she thought the caterers might have forgotten to put that in, so when they turned up to collect it it was all sopping wet with the stains washed in. I got an email last night worrying that the venue won’t be heated (no idea where she got that from) and suggesting she gets dressed in the loos there because the weather might be too bad to get dressed at her airbnb that’s less than ten minutes away and walk/get a taxi. I swear she thinks the only difference between Yorkshire and Siberia is the accent.

        (a few months ago I was worrying that my family would only come up on the wedding day itself, and not support me beforehand. Now I’m worrying about how to distract them for two and a half days so I don’t have to second, third and fourth guess every decision because what if I haven’t already got a back up plan in case of flooding/theft/incompetence/fire/alien invasion!)

    • PAJane

      Maybe give a heads-up to your vendors that your mom will do the thing, and that they should stick to what you’ve already arranged with them? I’m sure they’re used to this sort of thing happening all the time and will know how to handle it.

  • suchbrightlights

    I have a cousin who is getting married this year. Her father has shared around her wedding website. Guys, she and her fiance have put together a $20k Honeyfund as well as a physical registry, and I cannot even.

    It was either share or throw up. I’m still undecided on the merits of choice 2.

    • Jess

      Wow. I am always stunned by the way some people live – like money just means such different things to people.

      • suchbrightlights

        I think “money means such different things to people” is a very good way of phrasing it!

    • SS Express

      I don’t actually see the issue. They’re providing more options for guests who want to give a gift but aren’t sure what they’d like – the traditionalists can buy china, the experience>possession crowd can contribute to the honeymoon.

      • suchbrightlights

        Oh, no question about her doing both. The cumulative value of the gifts they are asking for is what has me gobsmacked- the expectation connotated by putting together this registry reads like a statement of privilege and entitlement.

        • Eenie

          Does the website say “you must buy us a gift?” Otherwise it’s just a wish list. It’s not an expectation that the entire registry will be purchased. It’s guidance for guests who want to get something that the couple wants. There could be plenty of reasons why they did what they did – some stores give you x% off any unpurchased things on your registry, the future spouse’s family could have different expectations around registries, they had a lot of fun planning their honeymoon, etc.

          I’m assuming there’s probably some other things going on with the wedding that makes this the cherry on top of an entitlement cake. But it sounds like you have plenty of options to get whatever price range of gift you originally planned now.

          • PAJane

            All of this. And I’ve definitely heard from friends that they got sucked into the lists they push on you when you set up a registry, where someone pressured them to register for the whole line of Home Product Doo-dads because That’s What You Do, and they ended up regretting it, because now they have 4 of the 27 Doo-dads and never wanted them to begin with. None of us are completely immune to the WIC effect, and a lot of people aren’t even aware that it’s happening.

          • suchbrightlights

            The website says a lot of other eyebrow-raising things, but although they got close, “you must buy us a gift” was not outright stated. Our mutual grandmother would have risen from her grave at that one- so actually, putting it there in black and white would have been a good deed, as Gram is very much missed! :)

            I think there IS a certain amount of expectation to a registry (physical or otherwise.) There is a societal norm of a wedding being a gift-giving occasion, and providing a wish list is stacking the deck of those gifts being things that the couple will want and enjoy. So, there’s an expectation of receiving some if not many of the items/experiences/whatevers on that list. It’s a little gauche to say it outright, but I don’t think that expectation is unreasonable under the circumstances. But, I also think that in putting together a registry, it’s tone-deaf to expect that you know the financial realities of all of your guests by starting your gifts at the three figure mark and asking for things that add up to a huge cumulative cost (the least expensive gift on the registry, multiplied by number of guests invited, would add up to about half of the total, which informs why I think the figure is “huge”. Your sociocultural mileage may vary.) I think that stands up to me whether we’re talking about physical gifts, monetary/monetary-nominally-towards-an-experience gifts, or gifts towards a charity in the name of the couple.

            In any case, yes, this is the crouton on the entitlement salad, and as a result I own that I am full-on BEC about this particular cousin.

          • Yeah, I think the big issue there is starting the registry at the high value only. Like, go for putting fancy things on your registry (because like, if my mom’s cousin really wants to spend many hundreds of dollars on a wedding gift for me, I want it to be something I actually want) but also make sure that you have things that are way way less (like $20-50 range?) for the other people who don’t want to or can’t spend that much money on wedding presents.

          • SS Express

            Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a registry with a really high total value (like, if they’ve already planned this expensive honeymoon it would be weird to only include a few parts on their Honeyfund) but it’s definitely not cool if the registries don’t include a range of prices.

    • How is the honeyfund set up? Are they actually trying to reach £20k, or if it’s just that the value of the gifts added together reaches £20k? I think with honeyfunds (as with any registry) there’s a certain number of items on there which are basically speculative. You don’t expect to end up with the scuba diving and the submarine trip and the snorkelling and the free swimming and the pearl diving and the etc, but you figure great aunt dowager duchess of auntdom will want to remind you why you should suck up to her to stay in her will and get you one of them, and you want to give her a choice.

      • PAJane

        Giggling @ great aunt dowager duchess of auntdom

        • suchbrightlights

          @mssolo:disqus may I quote you on “great aunt dowager duchess of auntdom” forevermore? That’s outstanding.

    • Amy March

      Reason number 47 I don’t like Honeyfunds. It’s asking for cash!

      • suchbrightlights

        I’m trying to get over them as more and more good friends with long relationships and established households go this route. One set of friends enclosed in each thank-you note a picture from their honeymoon, taken of whatever adventure or experience the gifter had contributed towards. That took effort and good note-taking, and was really meaningful to receive. Still think the best way to say “we are touched that you are thinking of us but also cannot fit one more thing in our NYC studio” is a small, or no, physical registry, but sociocultural mileage varies on this one.

  • Emily

    I’m late to the party but am looking for a bit of advice on what to do with all my post-wedding creative energy. I did a lot of DIY stuff for our wedding (paper flower arch, hand designed invitations, etc), which was all amazing and so fun, so I would love some ideas on how to transfer that energy into another project. Did anyone else feel the same and, if so, how did you compensate?

    • penguin

      Is there a craft you can work on for your house? I’ve been working on crocheting a giant blanket out of Bernat super bulky blanket yarn forever.

    • Amy March

      Buy a house and decorate it? Ya know, something simple like that :)

    • Essssss

      Wedding photo album

      • suchbrightlights

        I second this, particularly if you are interested in also doing albums for parental units.

        I also cleaned and reorganized the house. Less exciting.

    • Not Sarah

      We’ve been channeling our post-wedding energy into 1) decluttering the apartment and getting rid of stuff and 2) trying new recipes cooking.

  • Jess

    Came across this article in Outside this AM, and I really needed to read it. So if anybody else out there needs some encouragement about their body and respecting it for what it can do – even when it can’t do everything you want it to – have at it!

    https://www.outsideonline.com/2269756/mirna-valerio

    “This body that society and even some fellow trail runners viewed as a black hole of incapability is a rich center of power and strength, if not speed. This body is deemed a failure to many who judge it by its face value. It is devalued even, protested, and placed in the category of the unseemly. But take her out in the wild and she proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that instead of embodying burden, she is a powerful force.”

    • Zoya

      I needed to read this today. Thank you.

      • Jess

        Glad it found you!

    • suchbrightlights

      Thank you for sharing. I’m coming back off of a quad injury and my body feels different than it did at age 18, and I needed to read this today.

      • Jess

        Oh good. It’s hard to realize you don’t recover as quick as you used to.