APW Happy Hour

Meg's back in business

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief


Hey APW!

I’m back! I’m back from what ended up being four months of maternity leave. To catch you up in one breathless paragraph: I seem to have my babies way late, so when I left at thirty-six weeks pregnant, I proceeded to lie on my couch having no energy while I watched all of Friday Night Lights… till forty-one weeks three days when I had an amazing baby girl on the morning of the Fourth of July. Turns out I wasn’t just lazing about for no reason, but I had an extreme iron deficiency. Add a postpartum hemorrhage (that’s another story for another time), and like it or not, I really had to take time off. Of course in late August and September, I moved us into the #APWoffice, and spent my afternoons doing work. But still, I was away from work for longer than I’ve ever been in my adult life. And mostly, it was pretty good. Now I have an adorable and chill baby girl, and adorable and insane nearly three-year-old, and I’m ready (ready, ready, ready) ready to run.

So now I’m here! And while I’ve enjoyed hanging out with some of you on my personal Instagram over the summer, I’m excited to get to catch up with all of you (for realz) here.

Because I can’t stop/won’t stop, we’re launching an APW newsletter early next week. (You can sign up for it here. It’s going to be awesome, and our secret space for our best stuff. We’re not even sure what magic stuff we’re going to do with it yet, but it’s going to be GOOD and you should sign up.) And I have a million other projects in the works. Get ready APW. The best is yet to come.




What’s the big deal about picking out your own engagement ring?

Read this for the $30,000, hundred-person Malibu wedding low-down, stay for the drool-worthy protea bouquet.

That thing when your ex-husband is also your best friend.

What’s the difference between a job and a career, and how do you know which one you have?

Fifty modern (and… just awesome) anniversary gifts that follow the traditional themes of the first ten years.

What do you do when you’re worried your MIL will become the focus of your wedding?

This Indian/American fusion wedding features a little wedding dress made from a sari, Stevie Wonder, and lobster rolls.


Book recommendations based on your Hogwarts House!

We dare you to get through this entire article without losing your shit.

Why paid maternity leave has become a major campaign issue.

Meet the Thai women behind this bar run entirely by a sex workers collective.

Why Ava Duvernay hates the word “diversity” and thinks it feels “like medicine.”

In the event of my untimely demise…

Two thousand years of makeup, recreated.

Bradley Cooper steps up to end the wage gap through salary transparency with his female co-stars.

Ted Bundy’s success is a feminist issue.

When you need a pick-me-up, these lesbian proposal stories should do the trick.

Take those fugly bridesmaid dresses, and make Halloween costumes out of them.

It’s nice to think that only evil men are rapists. But that’s not the case.

Lily-Rose Depp is not a hundred percent straight.

The end of abortion access in red America.

“Nurses, fathers, teachers: why do we devalue someone the minute they care for others?

Why consensual sex can still be bad (and we’re not talking about it).

We don’t even know what to say about this bride’s certificate of purity.

Here’s a viral video of a boy who knocks a girl off her bike because she isn’t into his greeting… and someone explains why videos of women being shamed and harassed always seem to go viral.

Seven Disney princess transformations, ninety seconds.

Here’s a “feministy” sweater. The makers figured that “by turning the word ‘feminist’ into an adjective, we’re softening its harsh connotations that you ‘hate men’ and ‘are a lesbian.’”

Holy shit, these ten kid’s Halloween costumes of rad women is all we ever wanted.

Meg Keene

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

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  • Lisa

    Welcome back, Meg!! And congratulations to you and your family.

    Timely as today is my last day at my current job, and Monday I start work at the new job at Badtown U. Here’s hoping that it turns out to be everything I want it to be!

    • Bsquillo

      Happy last day! And best wishes with the new gig- new stuff is always fun!

      • Lisa

        Thank you! I just got back from my surprise going away party, and I feel like I’m forgetting all of the reasons why I wanted to leave. I need to keep in mind that this new job will be awesome, too!

    • Bethany

      Wahoo for new job!! I hope it’s awesome.

  • Eenie

    I can only assume the newsletter will contain sparkles and awesomeness. The link to sign up is coming out later…?

      • Lisa

        Am I totally creepy for looking to see where exactly the physical address that came up after subscribing is? (And fun fact: it’s only 20 minutes away from my in-laws’ home!)

        • Meg Keene

          Its not my house or anything. It’s our new offices! So not creepy. Public!

          • Amy March

            Public, like, we’re all getting a virtual tour sometime?

  • guest

    Did anyone find the first few months of marriage to be hard? We dated for years and years, so I thought it would be no big deal, like most people have said. But it’s been hard. It is also our first time living together full time and new jobs are involved, so I know it is a lot. I expected the marriage part to be the easiest part, not the hardest :(

    • notquitecece

      I know there are some great APW articles on the first year and the tricky parts — you might poke around in the archives and find some solidarity. Also <3

    • ML

      Yes, that IS a lot. Moving in together causes some level of conflict for pretty much every couple I’ve ever known, and new jobs mean that you are starting new routines all around. Cut yourself some slack and don’t read too much into “what’s wrong with our marriage?”. But I’d suggest talking to your partner during a low key time about intentionally being more kind and patient with one another and how you’d both like that to look. Good luck! And congratulations on all the life events!

      • MC

        Ditto to all of this – my first few months of marriage weren’t hard but our first time living together after moving to a new place together (which met we both had new jobs) was pretty challenging – and we had known each other for 8 years at that point! It was hard and sometimes felt like, “Is this what our relationship is like from here on out?” The answer is no, it got better :) And had to do with us adjusting to changes as a team more so than inherent aspects of our relationship.

    • anon

      Definitely. I actually lived with my husband for 4 years before we got married, but I’ve still found our first few months equal parts amazing and terrifying.

      I think my experience sort of comes down to this: I was reading an interview with the musician Joanna Newsom who just got married a couple of years ago (to Andy Samberg/the Dick in a Box guy, of all people) and she said that her marriage is wonderful, but also invited grief into her life because, suddenly, you have this person you can’t bear to lose and that makes time feel finite, as well as this unshakeable idea that death and love contain one another. And that description of heaviness really resonated with me–the way deep, abiding love can suddenly feel like almost like a burden you have to carry and reconcile. I think the ritual of marriage can often spark that, even if that love existed for years*.

      And I think that feeling has played out in our dynamic more than I expected and, from talking to friends, it’s definitely something that manifests in other marriages too, to some degree. Not sure if that resonates at all–obviously, the first few months can be tricky for all sorts of reasons.

      *Obviously not to say that long-term partners who don’t get married can’t/don’t feel this as well

      • guest

        I think this is part of it. It isn’t about logistics for us (chores, money, etc etc) at least right now. It is more like man being single was so much EASIER. And like do I spend too much time thinking about him and too little time living my own life? I feel like he spends less time worrying about me? Maybe I should have married someone who worries about me more? Maybe I should just have been single for my whole life so I don’t have to worry about someone else? Man I miss having my own bed. . . And I’m super bummed that he is coming home with me for the holidays and I can’t have drunk alone girl time with my friends. But then the past several years I wished he was there for the holidays. And on and on. I guess I am also realizing I am a pretty independent person which I never knew until now.

        • Eenie

          Just cause he’s coming with you for the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t have drunk alone girl time with your friends. I’m sure he can occupy himself for a night if that’s what you both decide is important. I am so independent and sometimes just need some alone time when visiting his family. I pretend to nap and watch netflix or read a book. He’s spent multiple days locked away visiting my family because he just wasn’t feeling up to socializing.

        • Not Sarah

          It is so much more time consuming to be thinking about two people than one! I definitely noticed that when my partner went home for Thanksgiving by himself a few weeks ago. I realized that “Wow, I had the single life down (after doing it for so many years)! And now I have to figure out this shared life? That is hard.”

        • JDrives

          I’m coming up on the one-year mark, and I have totally had these same thoughts! Sometimes I stand on the shore of my life and wave sadly to the ghost ship that is carrying my single, badass self, the self who still has a crappy cooking blog and international travel plans and late night romps with handsome bartenders.

          What helps me feel really good about where I am now, is that I think about all the things that are easier, or better, for having my husband around. I feel completely supported in my volunteer work, and in my career. He actively challenges my jerkbrain when I feel like I’m not ____ enough. He made friends with my family, and seeing him and my dad have bro bonding time is the best thing ever. I have a cuddle buddy for marathons of bad television. He makes really good salsa. I don’t have to cook if I don’t want to. And I still have late night romps with my devilishly handsome husband after he pours me a glass of wine, which is kind of the same! It’s the trade-off for having another person to worry about, I suppose.

          I guess I just want to tell you that I feel you, and that also, how you are feeling right now is not weird or bad or necessarily indicative of how your marriage is gonna be forever. For me, being married has taught me a lot about myself – things I value in a partner that surprised me to learn, things I’m great at or need help with that I never had someone mirroring back to me before. It sounds like you’re kinda in the same place, learning that you are more independent than you realized, and I think that’s really neat! I think that you can find ways to foster that independence in your marriage, like making drunk girls nights happen.

    • Anon for this

      We had a rough time for about the first nine months. We moved in together, then had holidays, then he got a job and we moved across the country; and everything that he did (or didn’t do) seemed to be setting precedent for the future. What’s worse, I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about our disagreements for fear of betraying his trust. It’s not easy. I kept communicating with him and coming back to this website which has helped. Marriage is one day at a time (thank Meg for that advice) and you’ll do wonderfully.

    • Lisa

      Yes! The first year we lived together was the absolute hardest (I loved Hayley’s post about realizing that your partner’s bad habits are yours FOREVER), and the first year of marriage has been difficult because we waited until then to combine our finances. We’re just out of the first year, and all I can say is that for us it really has gotten better.

    • anon

      My now-husband and I were together for 5 years before we got married, and the week after our wedding I had a horrible waking-up-sweating nightmare that he brutally murdered both my parents.
      Seriously, marriage is different and heavy.
      (Also, we’ve been hitched for over a year now, and it’s fantastic).

    • Not Sarah

      Solidarity here. We’re not married (or engaged), but we moved in together back in December and living together has been far harder than either of us thought it would be. To top it off, in the time we’ve lived together, we’ve also gone through: me quitting my job, me applying to grad school, me starting a new job, immigration fun for both of us, me starting grad school, and so much work frustration (compounded by the immigration fun). There’s been a lot of navigating what to do with furniture, how to re-decorate, who will do what chores, how often chores should be done, how we each feel when things get cluttered/not cleaned as often as desired, is the place the right size and location for both of us, cooking dinner, meal planning, future trip planning, navigating shared money in a way we hadn’t before, you name it. So. Much. Stuff. It’s definitely been a bit overwhelming, but talking about it has helped a lot, realizing it’s not just me that is overwhelmed – but him too.

      • Ugh, immigration is stressful. That alone is hard without all the other life-stressor dynamics (moving, new jobs, etc.)

    • TeaforTwo

      Yep – it’s hard. Especially if you’re just learning to live together full time. When we moved in together (about 8 months before we were married) it was a huge adjustment. Small logistical things about chores/groceries etc., but also bigger issues of two people who value their alone-time figuring out how to spend so much time together.

      Then we got married and added things like merging our finances, a shifted dynamic with one another’s families, different expectations about how our relationship would change now that we were married, etc.

      There was a lot of great stuff in that first year, but a lot of it was hard. It’s a big deal. I cannot fathom how people have a kid in their first year of marriage: I had been really on board the baby train while we were engaged and after the wedding I was like “WOAH. HOLD UP. We need to figure out how to be married first.”

      • Not Sarah

        Yup. We’re on the “let’s figure out how to live together before we get engaged” train. People keep expecting we’d get engaged soon after moving in together, but after 10 months of living together, I don’t think it’s happening for another year or two.

    • Anon for this

      I’ve been feeling this same feeling, we are engaged, have been for over a year, and are coming up on living together for 2 years but it seems like the last couple months I’ve been feeling a lot of “is this who i’m spending my whole life with?” feelings. I know the man I fell in love with is still in there but right now what I get most of the time is this childish, defensive selfish man. We are fighting over the stupidest things and he isn’t the same thoughful guy who used to do things for me, or give me little gifts just because. It just doesn’t feel like he’s making any effort. We fight so much about housework its just not worth it and I end up doing most of it so I don’t have to nag anymore. And when we read the love language book together and identified ourselves, I have made a huge effort to increase my acts of service, but my language (gifts) has turned into a battle. IE I haven’t received a gift since we read it. And if I ever am distant or grumpy he kind of mocks me to say “do I have to buy you something to make you happy” and it makes me feel like a selfish bitch when the answer is yes. Phew a little venting done there. I’m hoping and praying that if I keep trying to meet halfway and find the fun again we can get back to where we were.

      • Ashlah

        “And if I ever am distant or grumpy he kind of mocks me to say “do I have to buy you something to make you happy” and it makes me feel like a selfish bitch when the answer is yes. ”

        Oh, yikes. You’re not selfish for showing/feeling love in a different way than your partner. For whatever reason, it sounds like he’s really not acting very respectful to you right now. Are you guys planning to do any premarital counseling? It sounds like it might be a good idea to have a mediator step in to help you guys communicate so you can get back to a mutually loving, mutually respectful place. Hugs, if you want them.

    • Rose

      The first few months of living together full time were really hard for us–for some reason I thought it was reasonable to combine starting grad school with moving in with someone for the first time with the first time either of us had lived not with parents or in a dorm. It was a pretty questionable decision, but it did end up working out for us long term. In retrospect, I was unusually crabby for weeks while we transitioned into all of that; not a lot of direct conflicts between us, but it was really stressful. But it really, really did get better. I did decide that I liked my partner again, and not only did we stay together, we eventually did get married. I think the transition’s almost always going to be hard, though.

    • Molly K.

      Yes. Very hard. We dated for almost 5 years before getting married, but we didn’t move in until after. There were some growing pains in the first several months since we also moved across the country about a week after our wedding, and started new jobs. Now we are about a year and a half in and I am glad to report the struggles were temporary.

    • raccooncity

      Most people here (I would guess) who say marriage is no big deal are already living together. Living together is a HUGE change. Not having the ability to leave in an argument and decompress in a space that is 100% yours is a big deal. I still find it hard after 5 years of living together.

    • Whitney

      Our first six months have been very strange. We got married in April and didn’t live together for the first 1.5 months of being married (he was in Santa Barbara, I was in LA). Starting June 1st, I moved in with him for about 2 months before we set off for a cross-country road trip. At the end of August we moved to Paris and into a temporary apartment. Two weeks ago, we moved into our FIRST apartment together! In between all these moves, our dynamics have changed and we’ve been navigating the finances, chores, dinner making, breadwinning and more. Now that we’re finally starting to be settled, albeit in a different country, I’m curious about how our relationship will continue to change and evolve…

      Love reading other posts about the first year!

  • ruth

    Welcome back, Meg! Congratulations! p.s I always appreciate your honest postings about motherhood – it gives me this injection of faith that the balance is doable, even when it’s tough – it gives me optimism that I can do this too someday! Can’t wait to sign up for the magic stuff newsletter! I’m assuming a link is forthcoming :)

  • Mary Jo TC

    I got to see two awesome authors give readings this week! Margaret Atwood and Elizabeth Gilbert! I really recommend Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic, which is self-help about living a creative life and overcoming fear. She called it her manifesto.
    PS. Can’t wait for the newsletter!

    • Oh! I love atwood, and now I want to read that book. Your week sounds wonderful.

    • macrain

      Awesome! I love both of those authors too!
      I read the final installment of the “Maddaddam” trilogy on my honeymoon, and her new book looks so good.

    • AP

      I have Big Magic on my nightstand- can’t wait to crack it!

      • So far I’m super into Big Magic. It’s just enough “woo-woo” for me, if you know what I mean. That and it broke a huge writing block I had for a fiction piece I just dusted off to keep working on, so that was unexpected and wonderful!

    • Alanna Cartier

      I got to see a reading by the wonderful Jenny Lawson this week! What a good week for readings :)

    • up_at_Dawn

      Still need to read Big Magic. It’s on my list too.

    • Ah, I heard Margaret Atwood speak last week!

  • lady brett

    yay meg! happy baby!

  • Serious question: how did you decide on a wedding dinner menu?

    I’ve been talking to my brother (who does catering) about options and apparently the venue who is providing that catering should be helping develop a menu? They’ve been asking questions about what we’d like and I’ve been told we can have whatever we want… My bro has come up with some AWESOME options but here’s where I worry: The venue has a unionized kitchen and if we want something they can’t do, they can contract out, but if the kitchen can handle it, they can’t contract out. That doesn’t give me a ton of confidence.

    Sooooo any advice on what to do with this pickle? We knew there was a change that the food might not be great when we booked, BUT we’d really really like it if it could be. Shoot for the stars and see what happens? lol

    • Bsquillo

      I guess it depends on how specific your tastes are. Most venues and/or catering teams do some kind of tasting, right? We went to our catering tasting without many specific ideas of what we wanted, tried a bunch of stuff, and then developed a menu that included some things we had at the tasting and some things we didn’t try until the day of the wedding. We leaned on our catering rep a lot to help decide how much food to order and how much variety we should have. She was able to show us a lot of sample menus: something like a few passed apps, two different entree options, a salad, a starch side, and a vegetable side. For things we didn’t have much of an opinion on, it was helpful for her to say things like “yeah, this salad is really popular with our clients and not that expensive.” Done.

      I would start with asking to see some sample menus if they have them that match whatever “style” of dinner you’re having: buffet, plated meal, taco bar, etc. Ask tons of questions since it’s their job to answer them, and try and get specifics on per-person pricing (which can be surprisingly tricky).

      • They’ve provided one sample menu and it was roast beef, chicken breast and lasagna, all of which are things I like but they also seem very basic and I think we’d like to go in a fancier direction.

        I’ve asked about doing a tasting I haven’t received any responses so I’m not even sure if they do tastings? Our conversations have left me feeling like I’m just being difficult and I think these are VERY basic questions so idk. My brother came up with some neat options (little beef wellingtons!!) so we might approach with that and see where it takes us.

        The pricing is a thing they have been great about though, everything for what they have on the sample menu is very upfront. So at least there is that?

        • Eenie

          I’d look at exactly how your contract is worded and go from there honestly. They need to give you a list of what they can do, or if you ask for a level of fanciness they should be able to say yay/nay.

          • ARGH we don’t even get a contract until we confirm all these options and then we sign the agreement based on the final totals etc. So far all we’ve done is put down a deposit.

            I’m kind of freaking out right now. :(

          • Eenie

            Yes. Freaking out is justified. I don’t hand over any money with out a contract signed. Is the deposit refundable? Can you schedule an in person meeting? Otherwise I have a feeling you’re going to tell them I want Beef Wellingtons (I don’t know what those are), they figure out they want more money and say yes, and then don’t deliver on the product.

          • We have an in person meeting scheduled for December. Basically, we are having the wedding in a small town and planning long distance. I’m not sure if a lot of this stuff is just laid back ski town business stuff or what, I brought it up to SO and he didn’t seem to have a problem with it. The venue coordinator acted like I was crazy jumping the gun when I brought up a contract and since SO seemed to think that it made sense to do it later i just kind of rolled with it because I have no idea what I’m doing. lol

            I’m hoping that things actually do work out and we can get everything sorted out when we meet. They do tons of weddings so I have a feeling that a lot of this is laid back ski town stuff instead of them being shifty. Still though, Ack. Seems like a lot of struggle for something that should be simple.

          • Eenie

            Yeah, I don’t think you’re doomed. I am just super paranoid about that stuff. I’m also distance and I emailed back and forth with the restaurant for several days until the contract was written as I liked. I did the same thing with my photographer. Maybe I’m a pain to work for, but man expectations! That’s what the contract is. I want my vendors on the same page as me.

          • I’m like 90% sure that a lot of this is just that the town is very laid back. Like just a friendly, nice, let’s bail on work and go skiing type town. I am not a very laid back person about stuff like this either. Our photographer was amazing, contract right up front, we weren’t prepared with a lot of questions and she jumped in and was like “here’s what a lot of people ask, here is how I back up my stuff, here is what I provide” and basically did the work for us. Perfect, please take my money. lol

            I have a feeling that meeting in person will help quite a bit.

          • Eenie

            Well good luck. When is the wedding if the meeting is in December? (sometimes I forget that not everyone is having their wedding in April like me lol)

          • Thanks. :) We are doing an end of June wedding! Good luck with your wedding too! :D

          • Eenie

            Oh you have time. We aren’t finalizing the menu until Jan/Feb.

          • yup, I’m not super laid back about this stuff so I’ve been getting things on the go pretty early so that I can try not to stress too much. :D

        • Bsquillo

          Ah, I’ve gotcha- I sort of misread your question before. Yeah, maybe try to go with your brother’s options and see what happens! It sounds like their kitchen might be kind of limited, so it seems like the chances of requesting something you’re able to contract out are high.

          • Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too. They have contracted out before so I think we’ll give it a shot. Thank :)

    • Eenie

      Ask them what they can do…and then choose stuff they can’t do if you want it contracted out? We decided on brunch for dinner and our restaurant had a sample brunch menu that we’ll modify.

      • haha that’s what we would like to do. We have someone in mind and it would be really nice to be able to work with him directly on a menu.

        Brunch for dinner sounds amazing!

        • Amy March

          It would be really surprising to me if that is how this works. I suspect that it isn’t really a matter of “we want fancier and you don’t do fancy well enough” but more of “we want a 7 tier cake, and you can’t do that.”

          • Eenie

            Or they decide they can do fancy but really can’t.

          • Amy March

            Exactly. It seems to me like that’s part and parcel of this venue- it’s a good deal, and the catering is fairly standard, with some room for a few particularly special additions. But not, say, mini beef wellingtons (which omg that’s a fiddly project) instead of roast beef. But maybe not?

          • This is the thing I’m most worried about. Like, tbh I’ve been pushing for tacos because… even not GREAT tacos are still pretty good tacos. But SO wants more of a fancy wedding meal because he likes to host and wants people to be well fed. So do we push for the fancy wedding meal and hope it gets contracted out or just be like Eff it, we knew the food was what it was and let’s work with it. I mean, it’s a beautiful patio big enough for the ceremony, it’s got indoor rooms as well, tons of space etc… maybe this is just where we make our compromise.


          • Eenie

            I wanted tacos so bad! It is super easy, and honestly can feel fancy with fancy sides and guac and how you present it. Plus it’s easy for vegetarians (get some beans!), gluten frees (corn tortillas), and nut allergies (not tree nuts or peanuts usually!). Dairy is easy too, you just skip the fun cheese stuff.

          • I KNOW! Tacos would be living the dream. Nice and laid back, can do it buffet style, don’t have to worry about if they turn out well because tbh, tacos are just fun and refreshing and make people want to party…. they make me want to party anyways. lol

          • jspe

            I think that an events space can probably handle a relatively nice meal. I would suggest asking them what they’ve done that has been the most successful, and seeing where that overlaps with your vision. (eg. Maybe they are AWESOME at fish? Or they specialize in roast chicken, but don’t like to fry it…or whatever). I would let this stop being a black box and instead just have an open and curious conversation.

          • That’s a really good idea actually. I think I will try that out. I’ve asked a couple of times about what we could look at for menu options but maybe more targeted questions would help us make some progress. Thanks!

          • LET ME DREAM. lol

  • Welcome back, Meg!

    I don’t jump in on happy hours very often, but my boyfriend of nearly 12(!) years and I finally just got engaged on Sunday and I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! I’ve been reading APW daily for 3 or 4 years now and it has been my life saver through those years of pre-engagement land. I feel so confident and prepared to move forward with our wedding plans and am happy my fiance (…wait, what? I can call him that now!?) is excited for it to be a team effort. We already worked through the brainstorming bit of the APW book a few months back, so we’re having a wedding “business meeting” with each of our parents in the coming days to go over expectations, ground rules, what’s important to them, their key guests, and budgets.

    I’m so grateful for this website and community of fabulous people and I hope to be chiming in on more happy hours as we get into the nitty gritty of planning!!

    • Ashlah


      • Thank you!! It seriously feels like a lifetime achievement after the years of conversations and working through my fiance’s anxiety and family boundary issues that had never been previously addressed. Five days into being engaged and I still sometimes find myself amazed that we’re finally getting married for realz. It felt like we’d never get here. It’s really happening. <3

    • Lisa


    • Meg Keene

      I got a new book for you ;) Coming reallllll soon.

      • Yes yes yes! Is it weird that within a day of getting engaged I thought, “this is perfect timing with the new APW book coming out soon….” :) I have a good friend who also got engaged last weekend and I told her about both books too.

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  • Bsquillo

    Welcome back, Meg! Pretty stoked about the newsletter- email I actually WANT, woohoo!

    In relation to the career convo from earlier this week, I’m currently in a strange holding pattern of job searches. I did a first interview for an academic advising/admin job earlier this week that seemed to go well, and I’m waiting to hear about whether I’ll get a 2nd interview. In the meantime, I’ve been offered a totally different job with an arts organization in town that seems awesome.

    The academic job is full time and would pay about twice what I make at my full time gig now, plus awesome health benefits, retirement contribution, etc. It’s probably going to be pretty demanding since it’s a new position, but could be really rewarding and offer chances to move up the ladder in the academic world. The other arts job is half time, but pays basically the same as my current full time gig, plus health care reimbursement (which I don’t have now). It’s also a super flexible work-from-home situation that would allow me to schedule my freelance career as I please, possibly resulting in some additional income and opportunities on that front.

    I’m trying to decide what choice I’ll make if I end up with two job offers, but both are good options! Either way, it looks like I’m making a change in the next month-ish, so WHEE!

    • (Ps: Tada! Sign up for the newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bAwvJr)

    • emilyg25

      Is the academic job in higher ed? If so, be forewarned that the hiring process is sloooooow. So you might need to make a decision on offer #2 before you know if you’ll get offer #1. Good luck!!

      • Bsquillo

        It is higher ed, but it’s sort of a unique situation where they are on a really aggressive schedule, and they are looking for a start date at the beginning of next month. It’s also odd because it happens to be within the department where I already do some adjunct teaching, so even though it’s an open search, the committee already knows me (which brings up a whole host of other weirdness, but so far has been fine).

    • MC

      I have been really into e-mail newsletters lately. The one that Lena Dunham co-founded, Lenny, has been AWESOME, and I also love the Ann Friedman weekly. In case anyone is looking for more feminist newsletters in their e-mail inbox!

      • eating words

        I just found out about Lenny today, yay!

  • Ashlah

    After some growing pains, our monogamish marriage arrangement is going swimmingly! A big part of our discussions were making sure we focus on nurturing our relationship, so date night! Trainwreck at our local pub theater on Saturday followed by a late-night hot tub rental. I’m feeling grateful that it feels more like a celebration of how well things are going/how awesome we are, rather than a consolation prize for me.

  • Lisa

    Fellow YNABers: what do you do with gift cards? I have a contacts rebate coming in the form of a Visa gift card and several Amazon ones from my work’s health program. I feel like they should be included somewhere in the budget, but I’m not 100% sure where. Thoughts?

    • Ashlah

      I tried getting my husband to buy mine from me so I wouldn’t have to deal with it, but no dice! Looking over the YNAB forum, it looks like the suggested practice is to set up an on-budget gift card account. If you want, you can keep using that same account for all your gift cards. Then you just budget that money and enter the spending in the gift card account. Another option would be to just enter it as income in your checking account, but them you have to remember to use it and account for it correctly, which sounds difficult to me.

      • Lisa

        I was thinking of doing it the second way, but I don’t love that solution because it isn’t really money, you know? (Well, I guess the Visa is, but the Amazon one can only be used to purchase specific things.) I actually really like the idea of setting up a “Gift Card” account where any cards could be added then used as needed. Thanks for that!

    • Margret

      There are a couple different ways to do it. You can set it up as its own account, mark it as income, and then budget the money accordingly, and remembering to use that account for the transaction when you use the card. If you know what you’re going to spend it on, you can set it up as an account and then as an inflow into that particular category. Or, if you have a cash account, you can add the value of the cards to that account. Do you ever check out the forums? They have some very handy people on them who LOVE to give advice.


    • Eenie

      I don’t put gift cards on budget…Kind of like cash? Once I withdraw it, I don’t track it. I like Ashlah’s suggestion.

      • Lisa

        My thought process was that I currently use the Amazon cards to purchase items that I need (hair and make-up products mostly), which will eventually go into the real budget at some point, so I would like to know how frequently I’m buying those products and how much at any given time, etc. If I want to track it, I feel like it needs to end up on the budget somewhere.

        • Eenie

          That makes sense. I blow my amazon gift cards when my “spending money” runs out. I also don’t usually get more than $20 at a time. Amazon will keep records of this stuff if you just want to know the frequency. Depends on what you want to do, if tracking it in YNAB seems easy to you, do that. The amazon ones are super tricky because it’ll just automatically add on.

        • Amy March

          Can you just track them as income then, and budget them the same way you would a paycheck?

    • I don’t track gift cards in the budget, but if you wanted to, you could create a separate account called gift cards and then a budget category especially for them? Or budget the gift card money into whatever category you like?

    • Jen

      We personally don’t track them or cash. If I withdraw cash, I guess what it will be spent on and take it out of that budget. Otherwise, it doesn’t affect the budget. It really depends on how to-the-penny you want to be- on the ynab forum folks discuss getting excited to find a penny on the ground because you can add it into your budget, so I know some folks really enjoy budgeting cash/gift cards!

    • TeaforTwo

      I don’t track them – I like having some “mad money” that isn’t anywhere in the system, so I can spend it as I please.

  • AGCourtney

    Welcome back, Meg!

    Well, my baby turns 4 tomorrow! Hard to believe. We saw a production of Peter Pan at the children’s theatre this summer, and it so impressed her that 1) we saw it again and 2) it’s her birthday party theme/Halloween costume. She was so excited when it arrived, she ran around in it pretending to fly for hours. The party is just going to be a few friends of hers, I bought them little wooden treasure chests and art supplies to decorate them, so it should be fun.

    I’m actually getting kinda stressed, though. We moved at the same time we were getting into the crazy phase of wedding planning, so basically, we’re unpacking now. The kitchen is done, which is a relief, but our goal was to have the main floor presentable for the party, and it’s…not ideal. There’s just so much STUFF and it feels like I’m mostly just shuffling boxes around at this point and it feels like we’ll never be done. It’ll be fine, of course. Just needed to vent. Back at it!

    • StevenPortland

      4 is such a good age in many respects. Our younger son turned four this past week as well!

  • pajamafishadventures

    Despite mentioning some reservations (as someone still finishing their master’s) about job availability in the career post, I came across a listing that is too good to pass by. Job I’m qualified for in a geographical region I love, and it’s academia so by the time they get around to reviewing applications (especially with the holidays coming up) my May graduation date may not be prohibitively far away! And of course if I don’t get I still have current job and can resume searching after graduation.

    Friend’s wedding was almost two weeks ago, gosh! Despite some last minute family drama it all went quite well. It was an amazing and beautiful wedding and I loved the chance to get dressed up and wear a floor length dress but honestly I don’t think I want to be a maid of honor/bridesmaid again. I have no aptitude for planning things for other people. And while I can’t stress enough how wonderful my friend was throughout the whole thing, it was really difficult for me to tune into her incredibly different style: she wanted big, traditional, and WIC-y and I’m just not that in such an extreme way. Also different cultural/religious backgrounds meant that there were traditions that were really important to her that she thought were standard wedding things… that I had never heard of! It was learning experience for me.

  • Eenie

    Can I just say I’m really bummed this week: I got emailed from a recruiter last week about a job I applied for and they asked for availability for a 20 minute call and would set something up ASAP. It’s perfect, 10 minutes from where I’m moving to, possibly would even pay for relocation, and solidly qualified for the job. Emailed back 6+ hours of availability on two different days (while I was on vacation, but I was busy training this week). Crickets. I’ve emailed back again earlier this week and still no response. So frustrating. At least send me a fricken email. I don’t know if I should try to follow up with a phone call? This is probably the only job I’ll see in my field in this area for another 6 months.

    • Aw booo, not getting responses is the worst. Maybe try the phone call and see what happens?

    • kate

      definitely phone call, some people are just real bad with email and you’ll never know if that’s the case or if perhaps the job just isn’t available unless you dial!

    • A

      Do you know if it’s a recruiter from a recruiting firm or are they actually from the company? If the former, DEFINITELY call – things sometimes slip through the cracks because they’re working on multiple accounts at once. If the latter, I’d tread a little more cautiously and only call if the person who originally reached out to you provided her direct line.

  • AP

    We did it!!! We had our family-only ceremony two weeks ago and our housewarming/reception last Saturday. Our ceremony was everything we hoped it would be- private, emotional, and fun. As for the rest of it…I am still processing. On the one hand, I am truly, truly grateful that so many people showed up for us in ways both big and small. We were surrounded by love from so many unexpected places and people really seemed to enjoy the reception. But there were some key family members who really let us down in the last few weeks (treating our wedding like an imposition, complaining bitterly and making snide comments throughout the ceremony weekend, not showing up to help in any way and disappearing when we needed them) and I’m still trying to figure out my feelings about that. It feels like the beautiful parts (the ceremony, our new marriage) were very quickly sidelined by family drama coupled with the plain hard work of planning and hosting a wedding and reception ourselves.

    I’m trying to reframe it all and focus on a few things: planning our honeymoon, getting our ceremony photos back, and building our new life together (with maybe some new information about the role our families will play in our decision making going forward.)

    Would love to hear from fellow APW-ers about feeling conflicted after the wedding…

    • jubeee

      I had several friends stay at my house for the entire wedding weekend, it got complicated the day after as they were feeling like I took advantage of them and I was feeling like they over stepped some boundaries. After a week or so we all sort of got over it. Sometimes life gets complicated, people get tired and cranky and people’s feelings get a little hurt but with a little time, I felt like things became clear and I didn’t feel as bad. Now just the wonderful memories!

      • StevenPortland

        IMHO, anyone who stays at the house of a person getting married is treading on thin water. They better help out 150% with the wedding details and make sure they stay as easy of houseguests as possible.

        • jubeee

          The helped, a lot. They were awesome saviors, I thanked them profusely. Apparently they though they shouldn’t have to help (even though I asked them to come in early to help.) The problem was that the night before and of my wedding, my husband and I stayed at a B&B suite. When we came home Sunday morning, many people had stayed the night before and they were all drinking and being loud, and someone I didn’t know was there. Then I looked in the cabinets and they were switched around, I freaked out a bit. They claimed to have cleaned my home to make me happy but after they left it was clear that there was a small fire in the kitchen. It was all a really big mess but I let it go because life is too short to stay mad.

          • Amy March

            Wait, THEY STARTED A FIRE. If I could send you a magnum of champagne through discus as congrats on your forgiving nature I totes would.

          • jubeee

            Oh yes please, which reminds me that one of them bought me a really nice bottle of champagne that we never drank during the wedding….after the wedding they drank it! I was also pretty upset about that. The lesson I really learned was to hire a wedding coordinator and ask people to lodge themselves.

          • A

            You’re a saint. Honestly.

          • Eenie

            My gosh. That is a story you’ll tell future generations.

          • Sara

            There was a fire?! I would still be mad. You’re a better person than I am.

          • AP

            Ohhhhhhh this makes me feel so much better…you deserve a trophy!

    • M.

      I will say I didn’t feel conflicted/weird about much of anything at my wedding, though of course there was stress and logistics and a few blips, but a year and a half later all that stands out are the happy emotions and pride that we pulled off something that we loved. It’s like all a happy haze, and any negative haze has burned off like so much fog. I hope the same will happen for you. (Pictures can be great for this to!)

      And yes to: “with maybe some new information about the role our families will play in **our** decision making going forward.” One of my favorite things about being married is how much more bonded my husband and I have become, since now we make these types of decisions (varying degrees of seriousness of course) together as a unit. We advocate for us as our own family, and it makes me feel so strong and grounded. I feel like we’ve really grown roots together (not locationally, but as a couple), and that has allowed us to also become better family members and partners and people.

      Congrats, and hugs. It will work out!

      • AP

        Negative haze burning off like a fog. This is what I’m hoping for with time and distance!

    • I’ve definitely had some trouble resolving my feelings about how some family members behaved leading up to the wedding and especially my feelings about some family members who completely blew it off. I have been slowly unpacking how I feel and why it bothered me so much. I’m still….working on it. It definitely helps for me to remember what an absolute blast I had at my wedding. Seriously, it was the best wedding I had ever been to (and I got a super rad husband out of the deal). I frequently remind myself that they’re the ones who missed out on the fun/joy by behaving the way that they chose, and they can never take my wonderful memories away from me.

      • AP

        I like this “they’re the ones who missed out on the fun/joy by behaving the way that they chose.” This is something I need to remember.

    • CH

      I also have some conflicted feelings after my wedding about how a lot of people behaved i.e. my mother-in-law telling me that if she was a guest she would have been pissed about X or Y things that were TOTALLY out of my control (uh, thanks) or my bridesmaid spending the whole day complaining and refusing to go outside to take pictures in the very light rain. I had an amazing time anyway and my husband and I are SO happy, but I still find myself getting a little upset when I think of these things, sigh…

    • kate

      ugh, i think this is really common and it’s where i am too. the specific family member actions that i’m hurt/disappointed by aren’t the same, but the unpacking/shifting feelings is. it’s been a struggle and i still have times where i look back and feel really angry or really sad or just regretful about how those things affected the day and how they affected me – i felt like they really pulled me out of being present a lot and that pisses me off, to be frank, because i feel like i missed out on a lot and missed out on really feeling my own feelings because i was so shut down trying to block out the bad stuff that had come up.

      so i don’t have a lot to offer other than solidarity and what’s worked for me is just remembering to keep reminding myself that none of those bad feelings take away the joy that was there and the basic symbolism and meaning of the event itself, whether i truly felt it at the time or not (and actually liz’s AAPW article yesterday was a good reinforcement of this too). and the silver lining for me, was it really, really cemented us as a unit – we are our own family now and we can stand together in the face of bad stuff, even if our origin families don’t always 100% agree.

      • AP

        So much of this resonates with me, from being pulled out of the moment to feeling like I missed out on my wedding. I love your perspective on cementing you and your partner as a unit…this is starting to show up in our relationship top and I’m very thankful.

    • Carolyn S

      Our wedding was about a month ago and it was perfect and exactly what we wanted and I was so happy almost the whole day. That said, my mom is a super anxious person and her anxiety manifested itself into some frustrating and hurtful places the week up to and day of. First, worrying non-stop that we would be causing our guests a great imposition by making them sit outside for the ceremony if it was a little cold (they wore coats, were adults and survived). Then, right before the ceremony when she first saw me all made up, she didn’t say anything about looking me looking nice, when she was helping me into my dress she commented that we should have had my moles covered up, and right up until I walked down the aisle she was vocally worrying about everything from where to stand to if I was standing up straight. Having to calm her down didn’t allow me to really get into the mental space I wanted to be in that moment. I didn’t have any “moments” of joy with her that day, and for about a week after once it started to hit me all the little ways she let me down, I honestly got pretty angry. A month out, I’m still a bit disappointed, but I also have been able to remember that a lot of those actions are just exactly who my mom is, and she isn’t always in control of the fact that she just is an anxious person. I know this site says in may places that people are who they are, even if it’s your wedding, but it can be sad and hurtful when some of those people are pretty important to the day, and to you! I love my mom but am definitely still grappling with some of that let down.

      • Ashlah

        Oh, I would have been so upset if someone made a negative comment about my appearance right before my ceremony! I think you’re being a big person for trying to understand from her perspective, but I don’t blame you at all for struggling with those emotions.

        My dad’s anxiety kind of ruined walking down the aisle. The entire time, from watching my husband process with his parents to hugging my parents at the end of the aisle, he was asking questions about the logistics of what we were doing (seriously dude, just walk when I tell you to!). I was pretty bummed about it because I figured it’d be the most emotional moment of the day, and I felt like I missed out on getting to feel those feelings. I ended up not crying during the ceremony at all, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was because I hadn’t been able to get into the right head space beforehand. But I too had to realize that was just who he was. I’ve always known he hates crowds and attention, and I was grateful that he processing at all. I love him, and even if I had known it would go that way, I wouldn’t have changed having him there with me. (Though I probably would have had a rehearsal)

        • Danielle

          OMG, are our fathers the same person? While waiting to walk down the aisle, my mom was on one side of me, fighting back tears and saying, “I hope you feel this loved every day of your life!”

          Dad, on the other side, was saying, “Danielle – we had an extra extension cord. I put it with the receipt in the bag, it’s in the–”

          I was like, “Dad, can we talk about this later?”

          And he looked disappointed, like this was something we really needed to deal with RIGHT NOW.

    • Carolyn S

      (the other thing that helped me was remembering that in spite of all of those things, I wouldn’t change how I involved my mom and so even though there was let down, there isn’t anything I would, or could do, to have made it better).

      • kate

        yep. this is a good point too. part of what peace i’ve made so far is also exactly that – looking back, i wouldn’t have changed what i did either, which means i could not have prevented it or controlled the badness anyway, so it was always just going to be whatever it was because they are who they are and it’s purely on them. it doesn’t take it away, but it helps me stop with the “if only’s”

    • Danielle

      First of all, congratulations!!

      Next, my story: My parents were pretty insane the months leading up to the wedding, and their behavior continued into the wedding weekend. “Thankfully” (using that word loosely) the months of insanity forced me to confront and acknowledge it early on, so even though their behavior didn’t change much, I had processed some of it, talked with my partner about it, cried, laid on the floor, etc several times beforehand. I knew what to expect and was a little immunized to it during the actual day.

      What helped me in general, before, during and after the wedding, was realizing: “I learned a lot about my parents. This is how they deal with stress. This is how they are. This is how I will deal with them in the future.” It definitely was an opportunity for reframing some of my relationships, and changing expectations within them.

      Also: it taught me what I don’t want to be, how I don’t want to behave. If that is any consolation.

  • jubeee

    In two days I will be in Costa Rica!! I am so glad we waited a month for the honeymoon because I feel totally rested from the post-wedding and I need a vacation from work! Also I finished my birth control this past week and we will start trying to conceive (not the high pressure do it every day stuff yet) Happy weekend everyone!!!!

    • Ashlah

      Ooh, we’re thinking about going to Costa Rica next year for our anniversary! And we’ll be trying to conceive just after that. Can’t wait to hear about your honeymoon, and good luck with the baby making!

      • jubeee

        I will definitely report back. We are staying in the rainforest at a completely sustainable resort! I am looking forward to very fresh food, daily yoga and taking in all the natural splendor. If you are interested, here is where we are staying http://ranchomargot.com/

        • Ashlah

          Thanks! We’re currently looking at the Prana Rainforest Retreat (I think someone linked to it in a previous Happy Hour), but it’s great to have options! That place looks wonderful, and I love how focused they are on sustainability.

          • jubeee

            That looks pretty amazing

  • CamperHill

    I need some advice about altering a potential wedding dress! I bought a dress off the rack at a department store and it rocks. It is long, white, covered in gold glitter (!!), and I need no help at all to put it on or go to the bathroom. I am pretty sure I want to wear this as my wedding dress, but I would like to make some alterations to make a little bit fancier – add more volume to the skirt and maybe more lining (you can kind of see through it). I also want to alter the neckline to make it a little sexier. It’s a highneck halter, but I’d like to make it a more tradition halter (like v-neck with straps) or at least add a keyhole. Does this sound doable? I have no experience having things altered!! The dress was only $75 so I don’t mind spending a few hundred to have it altered. Just trying to gauge if this sounds completely crazy or completely AWESOME before I meet with alterations shops. Pic attached!

    • Eenie

      Doable – for volume you can always wear a slip underneath (like they sometimes have you do at DB). It looks like you could redo the neckline fairly easily to make it a deeper v. I don’t think this is technically a halter neckline (normally that’s one strap that goes around the back of your neck). I don’t think it’d be that expensive either.

    • jubeee

      I think it sounds good but I would set my expectations a little higher for how much the alterations might cost.

    • Lisa

      Volume can easily be solved with a crinoline, which would also help with the see-through nature of the skirt. The neckline will be a bit more difficult to alter because of the chain running through the pocket at the top, but a keyhole looks doable. I would recommend finding a seamstress with good ratings (on-line, through a local sewing guild, etc.) and ask if you could get an estimate for the type of work you’d like to have done.

      • Rhie

        I’m with Lisa on the neckline, I think a keyhole might be a better bet based on the look of the neckline construction in the photo. Another option for volume on the skirt would be to get a tulle overskirt in creamy color that would go with the gold glitter, something simple that you can just tie in the back with a ribbon or something. You can only pouf from underneath to the degree that there’s extra fabric already in the dress to be poufed, if that makes sense.

        • Lisa

          Oooo, I love the idea of a pouffy tulle skirt for the ceremony and then a sleeker look for dancing at the reception. Double duty!

        • It’s possible poof underneath might add bumps at the waist where the poof starts? Though maybe the waistline might hide that? I do like the tulle over skirt idea a LOT!

    • Kayla

      It looks like it would be possible to bring the armholes lower and show off a little side. If changing the neckline doesn’t work, you could potentially sex it up a little that way.

  • M.

    Question about wills (specifically NY State)!

    We are expecting our first baby in Feb, and want to make a simple will to designate guardians in the case that something happened to both of us. We don’t have property or real assets to speak of, and I understand from an attorney at my old job that in NY one’s property/money/stuff goes to one’s spouse, and then to children, even if you die intestate. But we’ll need something at least for the guardianship aspect.

    Does anyone have any experience using the Nolo WillMaker software? It seems to be a good option for a simple document, that we can then have witnessed or notarized or whatever. I don’t think we can afford to go to a lawyer to draw up this sort of thing, and I’m not sure we need to… Thoughts? Advice? Experience?

    Thank you!

    • StevenPortland

      I’m a patent attorney and thus have no experience with drafting wills myself. But like you we just needed a simple will to handle guardianship of the kids etc. I went ahead and bought a copy of Nolo WillMaker and used it. I realize that to be absolutely sure nothing is wrong I should have hired an attorney, but I’m sure the Nolo software is at least adequate and better than nothing.

      • M.

        Thank you, Steven! And yes, better than nothing. Glad to hear the software worked for you. Thanks again!

    • KM

      Most state bar associations will have some templates that meet the state requirements for folks to create simple legal documents without an attorney – NYSBA offers these: http://www.nysba.org/downloadforms/

  • BB

    We have our marriage license, the vows are written, timeline being finalized, dress picked up and we have 16 days left to go!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! YAY!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kayla

    In the piece about abortion clinics closing, there is a slideshow with a picture of shelves full of patient files, and you can read full names and dates on some of the files.

    How did the clinic allow that photo to be taken? How did MSNBC allow this to be published? I have so many questions. This is really terrible.

    • jubeee

      Seems like a pretty major HIPAA violation

      • Kayla

        Right? I can’t even imagine how people who edited this slideshow thought this was alright.

    • OMG. Maybe they need to hire your sharp eye…

      • Kayla

        I actually have terrible vision! But it doesn’t seem like you’d need to be that sharp to know that posting full names of abortion clinic patients is a terrifyingly bad call.

        I’m trying to figure out how/where to report this photo and have it taken down, but I haven’t found anything yet.

  • Meg

    Welcome back Meg!!!

  • Angela

    We got engaged a fortnight ago!!! It was simple and relaxed and great! And we have booked the church and venue! We have a date!!

    • A

      Yay! Congrats!!

      Also, I really wish Americans used the word fortnight more. It’s such a great word.

      • Angela

        Thanks! I didn’t know fortnight wasn’t really a thing for Americans. I’m kiwi hence fortnight. I am sure you will see more Commonwealth colloquialisms in my APW comments as we go through the planning process.

  • Eva

    I don’t understand about the article that’s supposed to make us “lose our shit”. It’s nothing but an examination of societal views on the color pink. Am I missing something?

    One thing the author got wrong though was that Elvis wore pink possibly to demonstrate he was too masculine to care. NO. My grandmother told us that when she was in high school in the fifties, all-pink accessories in formal clothing (high school dances) were a huge fad in fashion for both boys and girls. The boys were totally into it.

    • Eva

      Edit to add that Elvis wearing pink was just the fad in the fifties.

    • Guest

      I second this… I didn’t get it either which made me feel like I am not feminist enough. He’s not all the way there yet, but I’m glad he’s at least thinking about the social perception which is more than can be said for a lot of men out there.

  • Alynae

    Thank you APW for being the supportive backbone to plan exactly the wedding my partner and I wanted without feeling like we had to do anything because it was “normal.” So yes to Friday mid-afternoon, “yes its formal even though its city hall” ceremony, short gap because people are grown ups and can amuse themselves, arcade games because they are fun, red dress because I LOVE IT! and the best photographer ever, Vivian Chen. The day could not have been more perfectly what we wanted.

    • Carolyn S

      So lovely! We went to San Francisco on our honeymoon and we went to City Hall to enjoy architecture and watch happy just married couples! I only know about this stuff from APW!

    • kate

      GOR. GEOUS.
      and go you doing exactly what felt right. AMEN!

    • JDrives

      WHOA. MAMA. That dress! Those photos!! I love. Juuuuust gonna say that I would 100% support a post if you were willing to write on up…juuuuust saying.

      • JDrives

        And duh, CONGRATS!!!

    • Elizabeth

      That dress is absolutely fantastic and gorgeous like whoah. And congratulations! You both look so happy.

    • C_Gold

      Congratulations! This is amazing! That middle picture!

    • RoseTyler

      These are fantastically beautiful! Thank you for sharing and Congratulations!!!

  • up_at_Dawn

    After 6 months of having the same argument off-and-on, and feeling not listened to by my partner- we called off our engagement two weeks ago. Or rather I called off my engagement. I’m not feeling too positive at the moment. I know there are some great pieces of writing on here about calling off a wedding or ending a relationship but I’m still in the middle of all this and can’t quite see my way through yet.

    • Alison M

      So sorry to hear it. Wish I could offer advice but I have none. But better to call the engagement off than to realize later that the marriage isn’t going to work. Internet hugs to you.

    • MRSlw

      Totally understand not feeling too positive right now. one day at a time! and be kind to yourself. This too shall pass.

    • Bethany

      I’m so sorry. That sucks. Much love and internet-stranger-hugs. You will get through this.

    • emilyg25

      I’m sorry. But you did the right thing. Hang in there.

    • E.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through that, it sounds like you made the right decision for you. Sending you hugs.

    • Violet

      Just see your way through to the end of the hour. Then the one after that. So many hugs. We’re here for you.

    • RoseTyler

      I’ve been there …. it gets better. Not today or tomorrow most likely, but with time, it gets better.

  • Not Sarah

    My frustration right now is immigration. My partner and I aren’t ready to get married, which means that we are both on separate work visas and have separate green card applications in the process. But I really want to quit my job and go back to grad school and don’t want a student visa (no path to a green card until one gets a job). Getting married seems like an easy way out, but it’s not really. So mostly right now I feel like there is no good path forward other than to suck it up and stick it out at my job until I get my own green card. My partner’s green card is probably less than a year away and mine is about a year to a year and a half away at this point, assuming that everything goes smoothly, which it has yet to, considering that I left my last job of 5 years about 1.5 years into the green card process. So it makes sense to continue down our separate green card applications so long as I stay at my job. But I really hate how trapped immigration makes me feel! I feel like I’m just at my job to get a green card so that I can then quit to do what I’ve wanted to do since I finished undergrad many years ago…

  • After putting in an internal application for a position outside of my department on Tuesday, I had a meeting with HR yesterday, and just got notified that I have an interview with the hiring manager on Monday morning! After reading through the open thread on job vs. career this week I am so pumped for this interview. It’s the first time in the 4 years that I’ve been with my company (I was hired right after I graduated from college) that I think I have a good shot at a very viable career path. Also exciting to me is that I know my company typically doesn’t move very fast when it comes to filling positions, so I’m thrilled that they scheduled an interview within a week of applying!

  • Eh

    This week has been a reminder that boundaries are work. We have requested that my in-laws contact my husband if they want to make plans with us. Since we had our daughter in August my in-laws have been calling me when they want to visit. I think they figure since I am usually home that it made more sense to call me (plus they think I am social convener because my husband says ‘I have to talk to Eh’ but when they call me it’s the same unless he isn’t going to be home). They call me when they know my husband is home (eg, in the morning when they know he always works afternoons). We should have addressed this earlier. On Sunday morning my MIL called and was asking us our plans for the day (grocery shopping, baby’s nap, trip to a farm). She seemed disappointed and asked for the times (and then didn’t like that I couldn’t tell her exactly when my two month old would be napping). I figured she wanted something but was beating around the bush so I flat out asked why she called. She said she wanted to visit us for our anniversary (which was on Monday). She said she would call when they were available to come over. So she called and said that they would be over in ten minutes. At this point we were packing to leave for the farm (which is only open on the weekend and my husband rarely has weekends off so he wanted to go) and we wanted to be there for a specific time for a show so we said we were leaving and that we weren’t able to visit with them. My MIL said my FIL was coming our way on Monday so he would come by and drop off a card/gift. Then just as we were about to leave the house the door bell rang and it was my in-laws. I didn’t even say hello, instead I flat out said ‘we are leaving’ (note: my daughter hates her car seat so she was next to the door screaming). They droped off the card and gift and left. My husband couldn’t believe how rude his parents were. He thought since his mom said his dad was dropping by on Monday that they wouldn’t come over. We both felt that they dropped by to see if we were still home (not considering how hard it is to leave the house with a child). Then my FIL texted me on Monday to wish us a happy anniversary and to say that he hope we made it on time (no apology). My husband hasn’t had a chance to talk to his parents yet but he is going to remind them to call him about plans (this really bothers him because he feels that they don’t want to see or talk to him, that they just want to see our daughter) and that they shouldn’t show up at our house when we have said that we are busy.

    • M.

      Woof! That is complete insanity! Good for you for setting your boundaries and planning to (have your husband) talk to them. I don’t even know what else to say except you rock.

      In her marriage, my MIL does all the parent communication. As in, since she’s been married to my FIL (like, 35 years?), she has done all the talking to her parents AND his parents! All phone calls, all plans, all how are you the kids are fine, all of it. I think this is totally bonkers. When we got married, she tried to put me in the same position, texting me about joint plans/travel/etc., or asking me to call her about X thing that is just as much about my husband as me. My husband felt left out and weird, and I felt incensed and full of feminist AND logistical rage. (He has a great relationship with his parents so it’s not like there’s any drama anyone’s avoiding.) We have handled this by having HIM call her back with things she asked me about, etc., and it has worked fairly well. If she ever texts us both, I will have him answer her (unless as you say he really can’t for some reason). I just, I don’t…sigh.

      • Eh

        My husband comes from a narcissistic family and he is the scapegoat so there is already a problematic dynamic. He really feels like his family is excluding him. And I also have a hard time with the family dynamic (eg that they jump through hoops from his brother which then puts my husband in a difficult situation).

        My MIL has also done all the communication in her relationship (as did her mother – who also called me on Monday to wish us a happy anniversary). My BIL/SIL have also requested that my in-laws call my BIL (their other son). The few times my husband and BIL have exclusively been in charge of communication with their parents things have not gone smoothly and my MIL told me and my SIL that’s why we should be the ones in charge of communication.

        My plan is to not answer my phone when I see their phone number and if they want they can leave a message and my husband can call them back.

        • M.

          Ugh your poor husband. Strength to you moving forward!!!

  • Mel

    Has anyone else ever had the experience where they listen to their partner talk to one of their friends on the phone and you realize that the friend NEVER asks your partner any questions? Like, it’s clear that the conversation is all about the friend…and this is the case about 90% of the time you listen to them have a phone call? Pisses me off and I always wish it pissed my partner off or at least registered with him as Not Cool, but he just says he’d rather learn about others than talk about himself. Different values for friendship, I guess, but such a pet peeve of mine!

    Not that I’m sitting here with APW and a glass of wine while getting increasingly irrationally annoyed at my husband’s friend…ha.

    • emilyg25

      Yep. My husband’s best friend is a selfish asshole. My husband is starting to realize it though (finally!) which is good and bad. Good because he’s not taken advantage of anymore. Bad because it hurts to be abandoned by a friend.

  • I’ve been plugging away steadily on my professional life, teaching and doing my Masters in the evening. So far so good on those fronts. I try to give time to my husband, time to my family, my friends… but I think I’ve been leaving myself out of the equation! Reading for leisure… solo walks… yoga…meditation… where are you? I’m starting to feel a bit stretched. I know the answer to this, it’s just hard to implement sometimes. It’s also hard to want to give up my 40 min of Netflix + Chill time (and by Chill, I mean lie down on the couch.)

    Sometimes I write things on the blog and that feels creative, like a release. This one was on my new crush from the trip:


  • Welcome back Meg! Congratulations!

  • raisedeyebrow

    I got married last week!!! I am beyond happy, even though I sprained my ankle on the second day of my honeymoon, whoops. Here are some pictures from the lovely Jamie Fischer, who had a THREE DAY TURNAROUND (it probably helps we only booked her for an hour) and who is an APW vendor.

    And yes, I did wear a jumpsuit/cardigan combo!

    • Amy March

      Gorgeous! Congrats.

    • C_Gold

      Amazing! And that outfit is killer!

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  • Greenish

    Just chiming in to congratulate all the people with awesome happenings in their lives here. Also, to say thanks Meg for an AWESOME list of articles this week (apart from the Daily Fail one which I won’t click on principle). So much stuff to take in there.

  • AlisonHendryx

    Um, Isn’t “feminist” already an adjective? As you yourself used it to describe something as a “feminist issue”

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