Our Vendor Directory Sale Begins ($75! Till Xmas Eve!)


APW Happy Hour

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

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Hey APW,

First, let’s talk about the fun, seasonal news. To close out the year, we’re offering an awesome deal on our vendor directory. (Because small business truth. December means your accountant asking you repeatedly, “Do you think you could spend a little bit more money as a tax write off?” And you saying, “But could I… keep it instead?”) So to make that conversation a little less painful, we’re knocking $50 off all of our vendor directory listings. That means you can spend on something that will make you money next year (causing, hopefully, far more stress on your accountant’s part NEXT December), and you can get it at a great deal. HOORAY!

That means that for those of you who had great vendors at your wedding, who you loved working with, but you didn’t find through APW… send them our way right now, and make sure they get an awesome deal on their APW listing as part of their holiday present. (P.S. We’re giving away one free listing on IG too. If you buy one and win the listing, you get a refund/confetti party.) As always, we’re so grateful for all the awesome folks you send our way. Working with our advertisers pays APW’s bills, and keeps us online producing feminist wedding and marriage for you year round.

And in other fun news Brooklyn baking genius, Alana Jones-Mann is taking over our Instagram account this weekend, and it’s going to be good. Follow along for all the DIY inspiration your sweet tooth could ever need. Maybe try something to try instead of holiday cookies?

As for me, I’m hard at work at the pre-launch of the #APWplanner. Copies of my second book arrive on my doorstep in the next few days EEEEEEEEEEEEE this is really happening you guys. (You can pre-order here, your one-week-before the wedding self will thank you, as will I.)

Here’s your happy hour. Have a hot toddy (or a seasonally appropriate cupcake), won’t you?

xo

Meg

HIGHLIGHTS OF APW THIS WEEK

This $32K Toronto blizzard wedding featured a tea ceremony, sequin mini-dress, and some serious fun.

Love sending holiday cards but no time to DIY? Shutterfly is here to help you do you.

Hilarious (yet useful) comebacks for your nosy relatives.

Who said a nursing-friendly outfit has to be boring? We’ve got some sparkling party dresses and #nursingjumpsuits you’ll just love.

How herpes changed this couple’s sex life… for the better.

Let’s be honest: Why choose a wedding color when you can have them all?

Is it ever okay to remind someone about a wedding gift… especially if they aren’t invited to the wedding?

Your #lazygirl approved holiday hairdo is here: the boho bun crown.

Meg Keene

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

Staff Picks

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  • Ashlah

    For anyone else wondering exactly which link to send your vendors to get them on APW, here’s the link to the Vendor Directory Application, which includes the sale info :)

    https://apracticalwedding.com/advertise/vendor-directory-form/

  • CMT

    I’m so glad it’s happy hour time! It’s been the worst week. And I totally thought it was Friday yesterday and kept refreshing waiting for this. TGIF!

    • Eenie

      I thought yesterday was Tuesday!

    • MC

      The other morning as I was waking up I was trying to remember if it was Thursday or Friday morning – turns out it was only Tuesday :/

  • Sara

    Happy Friday everyone! Tomorrow I’m taking a certification test to be able to teach Aerial Hammocks! I’m so nervous and plan to spend my whole evening studying muscles :). And then Sunday I have to host a potluck brunch, which is going to be very carb heavy. Plus, I found out that next weekend I’m finally finalizing the adoption of my brother’s ex’s parent’s dog (long story!) in between attending a baby shower and hosting a holiday party!! Its going to be a mad rush to get to the end of the year, but I’m ready.

    • Lisa

      Good luck on the exam tomorrow!!

      • Sara

        Thank you!

  • Ashlah

    You guys, coming back to work after vacation is the WORST. But vacation is the BEST. We just took a fantastic little trip that included 1) Attending the taping of the third-to-last episode of The Soup and getting a photo with Joel McHale; 2) Spending two 9-hour days at Six Flags Magic Mountain (Twisted Colossus is the tits); and 3) Riding the Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel during sunset on my husband’s bday, and lounging on Venice Beach/people watching in perfect 75 degree weather. That weather is especially appreciated in hindsight, since we came back to storms walloping our PNW home. (That said, the culture in SoCal is weird. I can’t even quite put my finger on what it is, but I just feel so out of place down there. It just feels different.)

    • nycgirl6

      aw, venice beach is awesome. It’s been a while since I’ve been to LA, miss it a lot.

    • Sara

      Oh I’m jealous you saw a Soup taping! (I almost wrote tasting, oops). That must have been so fun!

      • Ashlah

        It was super fun! So neat to watch behind the scenes of a live show.

  • C_Gold

    I need gift help/advice! My sister is in graduate school, is married, has a 1.5 year old son. She’s super busy and she and her husband are often stretched for cash.

    My mom and I want to get her (or both her and her husband) something for Christmas that will ease the burden of all she’s doing. We are thinking of hiring a cleaning service to come once a month for a year, because we know she likes having a clean house (that’s another thing that takes up her time, quite a bit!). But I don’t know if once a month is frequent enough to make a good gift or really ease her work load at all.

    Any ideas are welcome! I want to do something awesome for her.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Once a month cleaning would be so amazing! It would definitely ease her burden a LOT. The cleaner could do the deep cleaning she doesn’t get to often but that bugs her every day. You’re a great sister!

    • Ashlah

      I’ve never used a cleaning service, but I feel like once-a-month would be great. She’d still be doing day-to-day stuff, but a once monthly deep clean would be a huge burden lifted!

    • Eenie

      Once a month seems to take care of the deep cleaning needs, but not everyone may appreciate that as a gift (some people would see it as a judgement that their house it dirty). So, make sure your sister isn’t one of those people!

      • Ashlah

        That’s a good point! Just make sure she knows it’s gifted with love. Also, maybe throw in something fun too? A date night gift card of some sort?

        • C_Gold

          I like that idea! Maybe a restaurant gift card and an offer to babysit.

      • C_Gold

        Oh, my house is WAY messier than hers, and she would definitely not take it that way. If, say, her mother-in-law got it for her, then yikes, yeah, it could be insulting. But she and I talk a lot about her efforts to keep a clean house (in spite of the best efforts to the contrary of her toddler and goldendoodle), and how it helps her feel peaceful to have a clean space.

        • Eenie

          True, the giver/attitude will make a difference!

    • I would love a gift like that.

      It reminded me of a post that’s been circulating around facebook this week: https://www.facebook.com/brandy.j.blackburn/posts/10156425546695106 for more ideas if needed.

    • Ann

      Maybe an offbase consideration, but think about what she’ll/they’ll do in a year. Will she be less busy or less cash strapped that she’ll be able to pay for continuing the services? What you’re suggesting is SO generous and I don’t want to take that away, but I know that if I had my monthly cleanings for a year and then they suddenly stopped because I couldn’t afford to continue (and I would never expect my sibling to pay for them indefinitely!), it would be hard to let go. Not a deal breaker, but just something to think about!

      But then, you know if her life is just particularly tough right now and not a constant thing (e.g., she’ll be out of grad school in a year with more steady income), then this would be so AWESOME.

      • Not Sarah

        I gave a gift that had a similar timespan to my sibling once several years ago and my yearly Christmas gift until they chose to take it off my hands was to continue paying for it.

    • nycgirl6

      cleaning service sounds awesome. not sure where you live (or she lives) but have you checked out Handy? Great cleaning service that you can book through their app– they’re only in a handful of cities right now though i think.

    • CMT

      Obviously I can’t speak for your sister, but that sounds like an amazing gift! I would love it!

    • Poppy

      I also love this idea. Once a month is great timing because it makes the routine maintaince so much easier to handle.

      Another possibility could be a service like blue apron so she doesn’t have to meal plan or shop.

      Some self-care might also be great, maybe a certificate to a well-regarded massage therapist?

    • Chris

      another option is a robotic vacuum. We got one for my sister in law her first year of teaching, and then got ourselves one, and it’s seriously the best thing ever. It’s definitely not a housekeeper, but it does do an effective job of making sure that our floors don’t get totally covered in dog hair. I think we ran neato 3-4x a week during the first six months of my kids life and never pulled out the vacuum. It was sooooo worth it.

      • kate

        oooo! do you mind sharing what brand/model you have? i’ve always been curious of those, but talked myself out of it assuming that they wouldn’t have enough power to deal with dog hair, which is our main problem. we’ve got this one rug in the living room that is just *constantly* dirty because it’s near the front door (and was a really poor color choice for the dog hair), so i’d almost consider getting one just for that one damn rug!

        • Ashlah

          We have a Roomba 780, and it’s great! Sometimes it has trouble with the bigger hairballs (we have laminate wood floors and two cats), but I think that’s our fault for not running it more often. It takes longer than traditional vacuuming, but it’s effortless for us humans, so that doesn’t really matter. Once in a while we’ll bring in the shop vac to get into the nooks and crannies the Roomba can’t reach.

        • M.

          We have a Roomba that was listed as one of their “pet hair” ones — 630 or 650 I think? It’s not written on the Roomba. We bought it after our wedding with gift money and I literally in two years have not vacuumed manually. It is BONKERS AMAZING! (Note, we don’t have pets but I figured it would be great at cleaning because pet hair is extra annoying). We recently replaced the filter and one of the pieces that my husband lost, got a little replacement parts kit from BestBuy and was super easy. (Ours goes on hardwood, tile, and rugs without a problem, sometimes flips up corners of lighter rugs but no big deal.) If your house is really open plan you can give it free reign, or else it comes with a laser thingy that helps you trap it in certain areas to clean just one or two rooms at a time.)

    • Anon

      Depending on her schedule you could maybe do twice a week for the semester (probably 8 or 9 cleaning visits) and then once a month for Aug/Sept/ Oct. As a grad student with a husband in school and a baby on the way, once a month cleaning would be SOOOOO appreciative (it’s actually what we asked for for Christmas) because we can keep up on the dishes and laundry, but having someone come and do a big through clean once a month would make all the little stuff so much more manageable.

  • Kirstin K

    My wedding is quickly approaching and I’m looking for make-up advice! I’m getting married on a Caribbean beach and will be doing my own hair and make-up so are wondering what the best products are to make it through a hot, sunny, salty, possibly sandy day. I’ve tried to do a bit of research but am just overwhelmed and can’t tell what might actually work versus what a good marketing team is trying to sell me!

    • When my maid of honor and I were out shopping we popped in to Bare Minerals and I bought an eyeshadow kit and they gave us a basic tutorial on the layering and a pretty eyeshadow setup that worked for me! Kayleigh’s been doing her eye makeup for basically forever, so I felt entirely confident handing over that duty to her. Bare Min was an obvious choice for me because other eyeshadows have made the skin of my eyelids peel. (!!!)

    • khshire

      Make-up was a big question for me. I knew I wanted to do it myself for my wedding and that I’d need a few new products and maybe a tutorial. But I was so nervous to go into a department store and have them try to sell me on heavy duty make-up. I believed them that it would probably look good in pictures and that I shouldn’t judge the make-up by looking so closely in the mirror. But guess what, my husband was going to be two feet away from me while we said our vows and I wanted to feel like myself! Most days I wear mascara, loose powder, blush, and fill in my eyebrows a bit (3 min. routine). For my skin I ended up applying Estee Lauder Double Wear Light with a foundation brush and was very happy with it. The make-up salespeople said it was the lightest thing I could wear that would even out my skin tone and stay put all day through sweat, etc. And it really did (outdoor CA wedding in June)! If you want to wear eye shadow, you might consider an eye base (kind of like concealer). There are also some sprays that help “set” your make-up. That could be helpful even if you are just wearing a little. Bottom-line test out some products and don’t feel pressure to purchase!

      • Mary Jo TC

        I also wore Estee Lauder Double Wear and it lasted through my hot July wedding and looked great in pictures. It’s become my go-to foundation and I still wear it a lot.

    • Kirstin K

      Thanks for the recommendations. I do wear make-up regularly so my biggest issue is just deciding what will work best for this situation. I have heard about these sprays to set your make-up and this is one of the things I was actually hoping to get recs on. Has anybody tried any of them? Which ones work best? What about primers?

      I’m also nervous about sunscreen as I’ve heard many don’t work well in photos. Any advice on this?

      • MC

        APW did a test on this, last year maybe? Basically the only difference is with certain kinds of flash – if you’re on the beach and it will be light most of the time you’re getting photographed, it’s a non-issue!

      • Jess

        I use the Urban Decay setting spray on weekends going out to the bar (and dancing). It works pretty darn well! I have really oily forehead, so eventually that gets oily, but blotting papers work as spot-touchups. But it keeps my make-up from melting from heat/sweat. Their eyeshadow primer is great and actually keeps me and my hooded eyes safe from transfer and creasing.

        MUFE HD primer/foundation that works ok for me – even better now that they reformulated (just don’t use their powder – APW’s study showed it reflects flash light in photos). I also really like the Bare Minerals primer. For Primer, it’s really just important to make sure that it works with the foundation you use – some mineral based ones won’t work well with oil based foundations and vice-versa.

        • Natalie

          +1 for the Makeup Forever primer/foundation. I got it after a Sephora makeover, and I love it. Stayed on for 12+ hours at my wedding with 5+ hours of dancing and sweating. I recommend Sephora makeovers in advance of the wedding as way to get tips from a professional without having to commit to letting someone else do your makeup on the wedding day.

          Also +1 for Urban Decay eyeshadow primer – something else I discovered via my Sephora makeover. I can cry, rub my eyes, and get caught in the rain and my eyeshadow does not smear. It’s magic.

          • Lisa

            +1000 for Makeup Forever. My make-up artist used it on me for our wedding, and I went out to Sephora the next day to buy the foundation because it was so good.

      • Lawyerette510

        I was married on a day that the high was around 90, and I am a rather sweaty person, I found the combo of a primer (I don’t remember what I used, it was a tiny bottle I got in line at Sephora) layered with my normal foundation (that contains sunscreen) and concealer worked great for my face & undereyes, then for my eyes I used Urban Decay’s eye-primer with a combo of shadows from Tarte and Too Faced, then the tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner, the tarte Waterproof Brow Mousse, then topped everything with the tarte Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder, especially making sure to dust it on until my under-eye area felt dry/ not tacky (tip from one of the women working at Sephora). Then, I applied some waterproof mascara. It stayed on great through the whole afternoon and night.

  • nycgirl6

    I’m a longtime lurker and have read the APW book twice cover to cover, but this is my first time posting here.

    I’m hoping for some reassurance from the APW community… for my wedding in a few months, we’ve booked an awesome music venue, and have 2 food trucks for dinner, great cocktails and a great DJ. Our vision is just for it to be a laidback but really, really fun party and we felt pretty good about all our decisions so far. So, we decided to do cocktail style seating to encourage mingling, dancing, and more of a party feel rather than being tied to a table. We have some traditional banquet tables, then a mix of high top cocktail tables and some low tables, plus seats at the bar and some low lounge-y tables with chairs. We are expecting maybe 125 guests, and we’ll have about 60 seats + 5-8 more high top cocktail tables without chairs. I went to a wedding like this once and it was one of the most fun weddings I’ve been to – I never sat because I was busy talking, mingling, drinking, and dancing!

    But now, I’ve gone into a downward spiral of reading about cocktail seating on the internet, and everyone on the forums on the other wedding sites (you know which ones…) say its TERRIBLE and that they would walk out of a wedding that didn’t have as many seats as there are guests. Now I am terrified everyone will complain there wasn’t enough seating and/or leave early… anyone have any thoughts or reassurance that it will be fine?

    • C_Gold

      I worried about this too. We had similar numbers of guests, and similar numbers (or even less) of seats. And it was TOTALLY FINE! I didn’t need to worry at all, and you don’t either. :)

      • nycgirl6

        ahh thank you! that’s so great to hear!

        • C_Gold

          I thought it was actually better this way, because people weren’t in fixed numbered groups. They could mingle, move around, transition from dancing to drinking to chatting more easily, grab hors d’oerves (yeah I can’t spell that…) and walk around with them… People stayed late, everyone said they had a great time, and there were often empty seats available, so clearly there was enough seating. I’m sure your wedding will be great.

          • nycgirl6

            that’s fantastic to hear and EXACTLY what I want – for people to move around and have more fun that way, rather than be tied to a table all evening.

            Thank you!

    • Eenie

      Know your guests. How many older relatives are there? Can you reserve seats for anyone who is older or has any health problems that make standing for periods of time an issue? Have you talked with your friends/younger family members? Are they as excited about it as you are?

      I’d personally be really excited to come to a wedding like that. Just make sure it’s communicated to guests to not expect a sit down dinner.

      • nycgirl6

        Thanks! We don’t have any grandparents coming, I don’t think. So the oldest people are of our parents generation. We hope that the 4 banquet tables can be a place for anyone older / with health problems who wants to sit. But that’s a good idea about reserved tables.

        Friends are mostly excited, I think they’re a little puzzled because most have never been to a wedding with this kind of setup/layout before, but I think our friends will have fun, hopefully!

    • Ashlah

      I think it’ll be great! There are always people who sit the whole time, but it isn’t even close to the majority. I rarely stay seated at wedding receptions, so this sounds fine to me! As long as there’s a table to set my plate/drink on, I don’t mind standing.

      • nycgirl6

        THanks! That’s my thinking too– I like mingling and getting a chance to chat with everyone so I rarely stay at my table, except during the dinner time when you have to sit down. But since we’re not doing a formal seated dinner, just food trucks that are there the whole night for people to eat anytime, I figure mingling is a more fitting atmosphere for that.

        Thanks!

    • Lulu

      I love this set-up and think it was a pretty big success at my own wedding. Be really explicit about it with guests so that they can plan footwear accordingly and pack light. If you can have a coat rack or other spot where they can stash some stuff, that helps too. And maybe plan out how you’re shepherding people to the food trucks– it might be ideal to have them in shifts somehow, so that tables naturally clear to accommodate those with plates of food.

      • Natalie

        +1 for a coat rack! I’ve never been to this style wedding before, but I think I’d prefer it to traditional seated weddings. At those, I tend to sit only for dinner, and then am mingling and dancing all night. My chair/table gets used mostly to hold my purse, coat, and drink while I dance. So if you have places for people to easily stash stuff they won’t want to carry while they mingle, all the better!

        • chrissyc

          Yes, I totally agree! That why I love cocktail tables for these kinds of receptions, because they’re a great place to set things but they don’t get in the way of mingling.

      • nycgirl6

        our venue has a coat check!

    • Every wedding I’ve ever been to ended up having a ton of chairs just being there and getting in everyone’s way while people mingled. I’m a chair user (not so much a dancer, feel awkward walking around sometimes) and if I went to a wedding where every chair was taken… I’d just walk around a bit and mingle?

      I think as long as you have some spots for people to cycle through sitting, it should be fine.

      • nycgirl6

        Thank you! That’s great to hear.

    • Amy March

      First, I think it will be fine. it’s really easy to think of worst case scenarios, but people mostly muddle through. Yeah, you might have some people who leave earlier than they would if they could sit down, but on the plus side you probably won’t even notice. Because they won’t be leaving vacant seats behind :)

      Second though, if you’re really worried is adding any more seating an option? Not at all to suggest you must, but if it would be reassuring to you and its in the budget, I don’t think adding some bar stools or some lounge-y seating would be a terrible thing either.

      • nycgirl6

        Thanks! We can’t add more banquet/dinner tables because that would mean less space for the dance floor unfortunately… our venue manager even said in his experience choosing more dance floor over more tables is a wise choice because people generally don’t all sit at the same time in their experience.

        We do have a lounge area so I might try to add more cocktail tables and barstools there… thanks!

    • K.

      For me, people with mobility issues still left my wedding the earliest, simply because they tended to be older or in less strong health, even though we had plenty of chairs. I think it would have been bad if they had no seats (though none of them have invisible disabilities so anyone who took a seat or refused to give up a seat for them would have been obvious jerks), but it doesn’t sound like that will be an issue here.

      FWIW, at my wedding, about 80% of the chairs went unused during cocktail hour and after dinner. So as long as you allow consistent seating for 10-20% of your people—while remembering that not all mobility issues are visible (my friend’s mom had a hip replacement at age 45 but looks like a marathon runner)—you should be fine. :)

    • M.

      Another successful cocktail style wedding haver – it was great! I’d definitely reserve a table for anyone older who may need it. We had seating for about 60% on the advice of our caterer, plus there were 2 benches in the space. So if anything, I’d suggest perhaps just a few more seats if you can, but def go for the general setup because it’s awesome! Really wonderful for moving around and seeing people. Have fun!

      • nycgirl6

        fabulous to hear! We can’t fit in more dinner tables, but we could probably squeeze in a few more cocktail tables w/ bar stools or benches…. we’ll look into that! Thanks!

        • M.

          NP! Also make sure your guests know that the event will be cocktail style, what the eating setup is, etc. On your website or spread the word or whatever. If they know what to expect (and can plan footwear/clothes they’ll be most comfortable in) then they will be happy. :)

          • nycgirl6

            we definitely put an explanation on our wedding website, and suggested wearing dancing shoes :)

    • Nell

      The variety of types of seats might actually *help* some of your guests with mobility issues. My elderly aunt has more difficulty getting out of a low chair than she does a high stool. Just saying.

      Agree with everything that’s been said thus far – but would add this: If you have 1 or 2 really outgoing friends who would be willing to help out, assign them to be chair wranglers for anyone who is older/pregnant/looking sweaty and dehydrated from dancing up a storm.

      • nycgirl6

        That’s interesting, I hadn’t thought of that before!

    • raccooncity

      That’s bananas. If there’s dancing at all, then you don’t need seats for everyone. You need seats for every single pregnant, older, etc. person and then a percentage of everyone else. My wedding had this type of seating and people had an absolute blast. Most people were dancing at any given time.

      • nycgirl6

        I think so too! Glad to hear it went well for you!

    • Lawyerette510

      This sounds like it will be a blast! Makes me think of a wedding I went to that was at a club, and while technically there was more seating up stairs from the dance floor/ stage area, it was entirely unnecessary because of all the fun people were having. You know yourselves and your people, go for it!

  • Danielle

    So excited to be going to Israel tomorrow to celebrate my sister’s wedding! Squee!

    Any tips on staying sane around family when you will be together for over a week? I <3 my family but they can be crazy and intense. Want to make sure my husband and I get some alone time to explore in a new city (or just be together — it's been a stressful and busy time for both of us this past month), amidst all the celebration. If anyone has suggestions/scripts to make that happen, please let me know.

    • MC

      Plan a date day or date night or date activity – no one will (hopefully) argue with the two of you trying to get some quality time! You can always lie about having a dinner reservation or tour booked or something, or actually do those things, if the fam needs more boundaries.

    • Lawyerette510

      I like to use the phrase “independent study.” I say it with a smile and for some reason it goes over well in most cases. For instance “Hey Danielle, do you and Mr. Danielle want to meet up for breakfast, a walk, and lunch in the morning?” “We’d love to join you for breakfast, but after that we’ve got some independent study planned from post-breakfast until the rehearsal dinner.”

  • Mary Jo TC

    I posted in an open thread last week about buying myself Icon panties from Thinx, which are for mild incontinence. A couple people asked for reviews, so here it is:
    Pro: My pants did not get wet! Nothing got through these panties. Comfortable. Bands around the legs are super-effective anti-wedgie devices. No hand-washing necessary. Shipping was fast.
    Con: super expensive for panties ($30/pair). Don’t always ‘wick away moisture’ immediately so there’s sometimes still that feeling like you wet your pants (which you did, a little). Only currently available in 2 styles (bikini and brief) and 2 colors (black and tan).
    Verdict: I like them. They’re definitely at the top of my rotation (read: I won’t wear my old ratty panties again unless I have to because laundry). But because of the $$$, I might wait a while to buy more, until I feel like I have a reason for a splurge for myself.
    Thinx also makes panties for your period, which I haven’t tried, but which are being advertised a lot more heavily than the Icon. They’re also considerably cuter. I’m currently pregnant, so I had no need for the period panties or I’d have tried them too. I imagine they work similarly, but perhaps with higher stakes.

    • Eenie

      What a thorough review! This cracked me up: “I’m currently pregnant, so I had no need for the period panties or I’d have tried them too. I imagine they work similarly, but perhaps with higher stakes.”

    • Anonforthis

      I have some of the Thinx for menstruation and so far my experience is that they’re great. I got them because I had to have cervical biopsies a couple weeks ago and I was going to be getting my period during the time after the biopsies when you can’t use tampons. Turns out I have to have a LEEP procedure next month (whoopee) so I will probably buy a couple more pairs bc my doctor said there can be some bleeding after the procedure. You’re right that they’re fairly expensive for underwear, but also pads are expensive and since they’re plastic they’ll just live in the landfill forever and ever, plus I hate feeling like I am sitting on a soggy diaper all day.

      • Mary Jo TC

        Good point, they surely pay for themselves in the long run and are more environmentally friendly than pads and tampons! Good luck with your procedure

        • Anonforthis

          Thanks :)

      • Eenie

        Dude, I had a LEEP procedure last year. I was fine just wearing panty liners for the most part afterwards except when I was on my period. They may not tell you either, but you can have twilight sedation for the procedure, you just have to ask for it and insist on it. There was no way in hell I was having that done while I was conscious. I also requested to have a very experienced doctor do it since my OBGYN was less than a year out of residency. I’m happy to report back that I just had a clean pap this year, so I hope everything goes just as well for you!

        • Anonforthis

          Yeah my doctor is going to give me valium and percocet ahead of time, and my partner is going to be in the room with me. I had pretty major back surgery as a teenager and as a result I don’t really want any stronger anesthesia. Good to hear about your normal pap this year, I’m definitely crossing my fingers for that after the LEEP!

          • I did the LEEP with just whatever wimpy local numbing they gave me and it was fine. Not, you know, pleasant, but fine. I was glad though that I’d worn a skirt there (went straight from work) because they gave me a monster maxi pad to wear out that I’m not sure would have fit into my jeans. So my recommendation is baggy pants. And don’t worry, it’s really not a big deal.

      • Rhie

        I have the Thinx as well and I love them–I got them mostly for night time because I hate the feeling of wearing a pad to bed and I figured they would pretty much pay for themselves in a few boxes of overnite pads. I’ll probably get another couple of pairs so I can slowly phase out all pad-wearing from my life. What a great day that will be…

  • Anonymous

    Guys, I am so not thrilled to learn that I just got an abnormal pap with HPV. I have been under a huge amount of stress lately, which my doctor said could actually have caused a flare up, but this is not making me feel less stressed. I’ve been with the same partner for ages, had the vaccine, never had an abnormal result. The more of my friends I talk to the more common I learn this is, but I have to admit I’m freaked out, and I can’t get in for follow up until January. Anybody out there willing to share advice/experience/reassurance? How is this so common and so not talked about?

    • Hella Practical Vagina

      Hi Anonymous, I posted about this earlier this week, but the same thing happened to me. I was extremely upset and surprised to learn I had HPV. Like most non-cancerous strains, it cleared a few years later – this year I tested negative!

      The good news, for me, is that HPV really did not affect the quality of my life or my relationships. My boyfriend (now husband) was unhappy to learn about my status at first, but he got over it, and as far as I’m aware, did not get HPV himself.

      More good news is that having HPV does not, in most cases, affect your ability to get pregnant, and should not affect your baby either.

      I don’t know why HPV is so common and not talked about :/ But you will be okay!

      • another lady face

        A lot of men are carriers of HPV and don’t even know it. They could pass it to others, especially female partners, without even realizing it. My doctors have said that it’s common in my age bracket (32) and they only treat it if it gets bad. The biggest thing is that it can cause an increased risk of cervical cancer later in life. But, that’s still an unknown as having HPV does not guarantee that you will get cancer. So, I had to just put it out of my mind and move on. Good luck for the future.

        • Eenie

          “later in life” = 24 for me (not cancer but precancer). EVERYONE GO GET YOUR PAP SMEAR!

        • Hella Practical Vagina

          Thanks, lady.

          My husband is a transgender man, so it would be pretty darn near impossible for us to transmit HPV to each other. (He doesn’t have an actual flesh penis that bangs into my cervix, for example!)

          Am also in my 30s and I don’t know how I got it (was quite strict about safer sex before meeting my man). Was incredibly relieved to learn I had a normal pap smear this year, bc I actually got mixed information from the 2 different health care practitioners I saw (the first told me it was NOT the pre-cancerous strain, the other read the SAME results and said it WAS pre-cancerous. Ugh!).

          Good luck to you too!

          • Anonforthis

            I think part of what is confusing with interpreting the test is that there is the level of abnormality on the pap (what the cells look like) and then the type of HPV you have (how high the cancer risk is associated with the virus). But that really stinks that different practitioners have different interpretations. Congrats on the normal and good luck!

          • Anonforthis

            my understanding is that HPV is skin to skin, so even condom-protected sex is not 100%

          • Anon

            HPV isn’t actually sexually transmitted (as in fluid to fluid), it’s skin to skin, so really any kind of intimate contact can transmit it. Part of why over 50% of women (depending on estimates) will get it. Probably about that prevalence in men too, but since they aren’t screened we don’t have good numbers.

    • Lizzie

      Hey lady, you’re in good company. Exact same thing happened to me many years ago, and it’s such a non-issue now that I don’t even feel the need to go anonymous to comment about it. The docs are right that your system can clear the virus on its own, so use this as an excuse for self-care and everything could very well be ok. Fingers crossed for you.

    • another lady face

      I had that happen, too. My doctor at the time found it because I wanted to get the vaccine, but said I couldn’t because I already have HPV. But, it wasn’t bad enough to warrant any treatment, it’s was just something to watch for in the future. It could cause problems or be dormant for YEARS. I have had 2 paps since that haven’t shown anything, so that’s good. Here’s hoping you have a similar result.

    • Anonforthis

      I just posted about this below. I had my fourth abnormal pap this year (followed by my fourth colposcopy & biopsy) and this was the first year that my results came back CIN2/3 (CIN1 they usually just watch and wait for it to hopefully go away on its own).

      I had the same experience – it was scary to tell my friends at first but the more I did the more I found out that so so so many of them had had abnormal paps too. And I know it’s a little intimidating at first to hear “abnormal” and then “can’t get an appointment for 2 months” but the virus is so so so slow growing that the appointment timing is fine. Most of my friends who had abnormal paps had a colposcopy or maybe two before returning to normal paps multiple years in a row. And even though I’ve had worse results this year, my doctor said that the only reason I would need to worry was if I was coming in for a pap for the first time in like 5 years.

      And I’d add that I’ve also had a long-term partner for the duration of my HPV – my first abnormal pap was about 6 months after we started dating, 6 years ago. Our first few conversations were a little uncomfortable – if you’re in a relationship with a man this might be his first time really hearing about HPV. I think as little as women know & talk about HPV, men know even less.

    • Eenie

      I just commented this down below, but I had an abnormal pap, colposcopy, and then LEEP procedure to remove precancerous cells. They didn’t actually test me for HPV, but that’s the only thing that causes it. It was THE MOST STRESSFUL THING I’ve ever dealt with. I also had the vaccine. It sucked majorly. But what I would like to tell you is a year later I had a clean pap. My insurance covered everything (I’m so freaking thankful that my parents hit their deductible earlier AND kept me on their plan). Not sure what’ll happen in future years, but it sucked and got through it. If you don’t have a specific level of abnormality, they usually go away on their own too without needing a LEEP. My doctors office didn’t communicate a lot of this very well at first and it resulted in me crying at my desk at work.

      • Anonymous

        That’s the thing! The doctor treated it like no big deal kind of at the expense of me fully understanding what’s going on. Thank god for the internet and friends.

        • Eenie

          Yeah, it is in a way, but after my colp came back bad my doctor had me schedule an appointment to JUST TALK. And it was great. I felt 1000x better, although it still sucked. I’m not quite sure why you can’t get in until January, but it may be worth calling their scheduling department, calming expressing your concerns and asking if there’s another doctor/nurse that you can talk to either in person or over the phone. My follow up was a week later and I thought that was bad ;)

          Long story short, I ended up switching doctors to one of the owners of the practice because he had more experience with the procedure (AKA had done it more than 20 times). I also advocated really well for myself (I’m still proud of this) by asking my Dr. to have someone more experienced perform the procedure and use IV sedation during it. It all turned out fine. I’m not sure what your specific diagnosis was, but there’s a very real chance that you’ll just wait and see until next year/six months because your body has an amazing way of clearing it up by itself.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for all this discussion, y’all. So helpful to just hear people’s stories, and hear about how to best advocate for myself. And, what Eenie said: Everybody don’t forget to make your PAP appointment!!

    • Alanna Cartier

      I had an abnormal pap and got flagged for a colposcopy a few years ago. I was terrified.

      For me, it turned out to be nothing at all.

      I mean, aside from the months of terror while I waited for the colposcopy and the awkwardness of having a room full of med students look at my cervix :S

    • AnonForThisToo

      I have a very similar story. Several years ago I also had an abnormal PAP and positive HPV test followed by a colposcopy – after having had the vacc, plus having been monogamous for quite a while. I was freaked. My doctor was ultimately not. I had quarterly paps over the next year and since have been on a regular yearly pap schedule. I have not had an abnormal one since. And I’m 8 weeks pregnant.

      Just here to tell you it can all work out fine for you.

    • Alynae

      My Doctor compared HPV to chicken pox. Almost everyone will get it at some point. It almost always clears up on its own. And you can carry the virus around for a long time and never know which is why the random positive test now. For whatever reason its not talked about and it is really common and usually just not a big deal at all.

    • When I had mine, both of my roommates had recently also had abnormal PAPs and colpos, so it was really reassuring to know that it really is THAT common. I ended up needing a LEEP after my colpo because they found precancerous cells, but every PAP I’ve had since then has been normal. When I saw my family practice PA when we started trying to get pregnant, she asked if I’d ever had an STD and when I mentioned HPV, she was all “Eh, we don’t count that. Everybody’s had that.”

    • Anon

      I had a pap that came back positive for HPV. I had a colpo that was clean a few months later and then they wanted me to follow up with a pap the next year. That also came back positive for HPV, but they said they just wanted to wait and have me do another since the colpo had been fine. Then this year I got a pap before we tried to get preggo and it came back negative. They recommended that I get another pap next year and then if it comes back negative I can go back to the 3 years schedule (which I hear is soon to become 5).

  • https://www.pinterest.com/katerees711/a-wishlist/

    Think of it as a gift guide for the girl who watches a lot of tv, listens to NPR, doesn’t read as much as she’d like, and likes pretty, colorful things. Highlights: that faithful friends plate, a sweatshirt to up her cozy game, the cat lady mug, appropriately the meow pillow, food rules print, oh and those cookie dough cookie bites (heart eye emoji)!

    • Lizzie

      What an awesome idea. I want to see more people’s gift guides!

    • Lisa

      The earrings on the top!!!

    • JDrives

      Thank you for this!! I have been struggling with what to get my best friend/fellow #ladyboss, and HELLO those pencils from Get Bullish are so perfect!

  • Not Sarah

    I have submitted the last assignment for my grad school class this quarter!! One more lecture to watch and some loose ends to tie up, but I have free time back for the next 3 weeks! I’m excited :D And some time off for the holidays with my partner’s family.

    • raccooncity

      Ugh…my teachers extended alllllll the paper deadlines. Bye bye christmas. (Because AS IF I could turn down extensions when I got married during deadline week. Or ever, actually.)

      • Not Sarah

        Ugh, I’m sorry!

  • Anony

    I need some encouragement, y’all. I’ve been dealing with undiagnosed/unnamed anxiety issues for a number of years – my mom has anxiety/depression and I had an intense bout of it when I was 13, connected to an eating disorder, so I’ve always been aware that this was something that I might face again. But recently I realized it’s something I’m actually dealing with NOW and I’ve been minimizing it a lot to myself. When I think about it I can think of a number of times when anxiety has prevented me from doing something or made me feel unreasonably nervous. It became really evident last night when my husband said something about how I used to get really excited & happy about my birthday (which is coming up) and how now I always seem stressed and upset about making various plans to celebrate – and I’m someone who has always said that my favorite holiday is my birthday, so that was a very poignant and depressing observation. Cue lots of crying. I have plans to start seeing a therapist once my insurance changes over in January but I can’t shake this feeling that my anxiety isn’t “bad enough” to warrant treatment of any kind, even though I would never say that to anyone else who had a mental health issue. Like, how do I know it’s anxiety and not just stress/my personality?

    Also, any tips on making anxiety more understandable to said husband? He loves & supports me and I’ve talked to him about all of this but I don’t think he really gets it, and often misinterprets my anxiety as anger/annoyance and takes it personally.

    • Violet

      Words of encouragement coming!

      First of all, if you wouldn’t say to someone else that you don’t think their problems are “bad enough” to get help, then work on not saying it to yourself! When you realize you’re minimizing your own feelings, notice it, acknowledge it, and let it go. Be a friend to yourself.

      As to whether or not it’s anxiety or stress/personality, as long as it’s not an insurance reimbursement issue, it frankly doesn’t matter. Your therapist is helping YOU, not a diagnosis. Whatever issues you’re having, that’s what your therapist is there to guide you through.

    • Not Sarah

      The part about your husband taking it personally – that takes time and communication. For example, I get hangry and this drives my partner crazy. He’s slowly starting to not take it personally, but sometimes he still does. You can’t control how your husband interprets your anxiety, but you can improve some of your communication around it.

    • Rose

      I’m in almost the same position; it hit me when I was at the doctor the other week and they had to take my blood pressure three times because it was high that it’s really not “normal” to be trembling with anxiety over a pretty routine doctor’s visit. And I’ve been the same over going to a tax prep place and even shopping for wedding dresses (which I was also really excited about and wanted to do!), and I can trace it further back in my life too, which I guess was the real moment of truth for me–this has been happening for a while, at a level that’s not extreme but noticeable, and given that, it’s probably not just going to go away if I ignore it. I’m also planning on making an appointment with a therapist in January, because I’m a position now where it’s relatively easy for me to start talking to someone, and I should take advantage of that while I’ve got it.

      I totally know the feeling about it’s not a big enough deal to justify seeing a therapist, but it’s not like there’s a hard threshold for these things, actually. If it’s impacting your life negatively and it’s not the kind of thing you can fix on your own (and it’s probably not), it’s worth getting help for.

      I don’t have much advice about the husband thing–I know that one distinction that’s been important for me with regards to my wife’s depression is that I do not (and hopefully never will) understand how depression feels, because I have never experienced it, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn about it and how it affects her. I don’t need to experience it myself to know that it’s real, but that’s something I really had to work on remembering. Honestly, I also feel a lot better when she’s actively seeing a therapist, because I have more trust that a therapist can help her, so I worry less, and also I’m more patient with the symptoms of depression that can make it hard to live with her, because I feel more like she’s taking an active role to help with them. So if you need another reason to see a therapist, maybe that could be one–it might help your husband understand the situation more, and give you tools to talk to him about it with.

      • Anon

        SAME thing happened to me at a doctor appointment last year. My heart rate was super high and the doctor totally freaked out, which didn’t help matters. Then she was concerned that I had a heart condition and had me get a bunch of tests…trying to keep anxiety at bay while hooked up to a bunch of machines is pretty much impossible! Everything turned out fine but the whole experience was terrible and frankly just reinforced my anxiety over anything doctor-related.

        • Violet

          Nowadays I just tell my doctor from the start I have “white coat syndrome,” they calm down, I calm down, we do one reading at the start of the visit and one at the end.

        • Rose

          Oh, thank goodness mine was better than that, that sounds absolutely terrible! The nurse just made me sit and take deep breaths for a few minutes and then tried again, when it was even higher (my sister’s told me since that the same thing always happens to her; last time she was going to the doctor she emailed them ahead of time to say it was just a mild anxiety thing, and that if they mentioned it it was only going to get worse). Fortunately this time mine did come down before he took it the third time, so it didn’t turn into a big deal. I’m so sorry that happened, that sounds so stressful!

        • Laura C

          Oh, man. Definitely not helpful. My BP was weirdly high at my last check-up but my NP didn’t even mention it until I asked about it, at which point she calmly said it was probably just a blip and we’d measure it again at the end of the appointment. At which point it was normal-for-me. Whereas if she’d stressed me out about it, who knows?

      • Anony

        Actually the same thing happened to me last time I went to the doctor – I hadn’t connected it until just now – but I had high blood pressure and the nurse said, “That happens sometimes for people who get nervous at the doctor’s office,” and I thought to myself, “I don’t usually get nervous at the doctor’s office…” Also, “not extreme but noticeable” is a perfect description of how my anxiety feels. Thank you for the kind words & best of luck with your therapy, too – go us!

    • M.

      Regardless of the name of the feelings you are having, if you are struggling with them/suffering from them/they are affecting your life, it warrants treatment. Even if you actually didn’t have any mental illness OR stress and just wanted a neutral party to talk to about your life, that’s what therapy is for. If you feel a way you don’t want to feel, you have a right and a reason to do what you can to not feel that way!

      I dealt with little of this feeling when I got anxiety meds for flying. I thought I was “just” a nervous flier but it was normal and I should just deal, until my mom commented how it made her so sad to see how distressed I was. I couldn’t see it until then, and once I did something about it, I could see in retrospect that it had been really bad and unhealthy and scary how distressed I was.

      I also currently go to therapy for OCD and anxiety. I thought for so long I was just being cautious and I was a bit of a stress case, and it was just who I was. It took it getting very very severe and affecting all of my day to day actions and my relationship before I realized I needed more help (and I had been to therapy in the past and benefited).

      You’re in a tough spot now, but I am also so proud of and happy for you because you are on the cusp of taking charge of your health and happiness, and relief and help are around the corner. The point where I finally said, I recognize that this is happening and I want to fix it was the beginning of such good things (not easy but good). Hugs and strength to you!

    • honeycomehome

      A good question both you and your husband should get used to asking is, “Is this me, or is this chemical?” Anxiety/mood/depression disorders are tricky, because they have roots in, and look like healthy and understandable emotional reactions. But they aren’t. So, if you seem angry or annoyed or are crying, ask yourself if you feel like it’s you, or if you feel like it’s anxiety. You are starting to be able to tell the difference, and therapy will help with this. Your husband needs that same insight. Even just coming up with a code word (“bananas”) can help when you’re struggling. “Annoyed or bananas?” your husband can ask. If you’re actually angry, you can address that. If it’s bananas, he will know it’s not him (and it’s not you) and you will both learn the best strategies from there.

      • chrissyc

        That’s a great suggestion! My husband and I do something similar, but as a way to show we aren’t joking around. (I’d describe our primary communication style as “sarcasm”, so sometimes it’s hard to tell when the other is actually being serious.)

        A codeword can be really helpful, since it’s a simple word or phrase that you both understand that stands in the place of a complex concept or feeling that may be hard to fully express with words in the moment.

      • Jess

        I really like this. I will be pitching this to R tonight, because wedding-planning is not helping me be a stable person.

    • Jess

      I’m really sorry that you are in a period of anxiety and stress in your life. They happen out of no where, and for me it takes a while to understand that it’s happening.

      1) There is no magic level at which you lose your ability to go get help for not having it bad, but you know that.

      2) Mental illness related stuff can be really tough to explain, especially in the moment. For my depression, I used the Hyperbole and a Half comic for R, and it helped him really get what was going on. Buzzfeed has a list of a few that you can look through and see if any apply? (http://www.buzzfeed.com/erinchack/comics-that-capture-the-frustration-of-anxiety-disorders).

      As far as the day-to-day communicating, that’s something you can work with your therapist on too (they can be good at helping you figure out what you need as comfort and empowering you to ask for it. I ended up doing that as part of some therapy once – it was my homework to ask for something I needed, like a hug or to be made a cup of tea). I’m not very good at admitting when I’m acting a certain way because of depression or anxiety acting up, but I’m getting better (I can now do it one day after I was being weird instead of never!)

      I usually use this script (because preparing is huge for me, and R gets really down about himself if he thinks I’m mad at him, and we’re still working on what success looks like.): “I’m feeling anxious/sad right now. I want you to know that this isn’t your fault and it’s not because of anything you did. I may continue acting strangely for a the next couple of days. It would comfort me if you would give me a hug/make me tea/tell me you love me right now.”

      If you think that would work for you, go ahead and use it!

    • Megan

      I’ve dealt with anxiety (to varying degrees) for the last 10 years. I always had a way to excuse it… I was stressed about applying to college, I was overwhelmed with my first semester at college, finals, getting a job, getting a new job, moving… Everytime I had an excuse, I just let the anxiety take over my life because I thought that was a normal reaction. It wasn’t until my life started being pretty steady and normal (job that I was thriving in, good boss, solid relationship, fully moved into my city) that I had to recognize that the circumstances I was in were not causing my anxiety. I went to a therapist for a short time and we didn’t click/she wasn’t helpful so I just wrote it off and moved on with my life… I lived with the anxiety for another three years before it started impacting my day-to-day functioning and I couldn’t ignore it anymore… I finally went on meds for it this past January and it’s so much better now. Now I realize that stress and anxiety are two completely separate things. It was a revelation – it became super clear when it’s stress/my personality and when it’s anxiety.And knowing what still makes me anxious while on the meds has allowed me to make real life changes to address those things. (Still anxious about failing! and driving!)

      tl,dr; I was in a similar boat. It’s a long road and you’re doing the right thing. I got on meds and they helped me a bunch.

    • Anony

      Thanks SO much to everyone for their comments – a lot is resonating with me and it feels good to know I’m not alone with this. Going to talk to my husband tonight and try to make a therapy appointment in the next few weeks!

  • Rose

    I finally finished designing the wedding photo albums that we’re giving to various family members as gifts! After a couple of weeks wrestling with the design software, I think the final results are going to be really nice–I’m so excited to see them when they come. Now I just have to make our album.

  • AGCourtney

    Well, on the bright side: we finally, finally got our wedding photos, and my second-worst fears were not realized: they were not half-assed, and there are more than 10.

    That being said, now it’s time to deal with a mess, and I was hoping for the kind of smart input for which the fabulous community here at APW is excellent. In short, our photographer was a nightmare and asking for a partial refund seems like the best option. In a bit more detail, she was extraordinarily unprofessional – she lied to us more than once (pretending she’d sent emails she hadn’t on more than one occasion, and lying about the way her photo hosting site worked to hide that she hadn’t edited her photos yet) and took obvious pains to avoid us. It was so, so stressful.

    And the novel: One of our first wedding decisions was our photographer. We went to school with her, she’s been running her own photography business for at least a couple years now, she’s done/is doing weddings for a number of people we know, I looked at her website and loved her work – it was an easy decision. Around Christmas, after discussing packages, we booked the better one, which was still reasonably priced.

    We agreed to do engagement photos in the spring. …we ended up doing those photos in JULY. She was terrible about communication. At the end of April, she messaged me, “Let me check my calendar,” and got back to me a month later, “oops!” After several attempts at scheduling a date and her being flighty about when she replied, we actually started looking at other photographers and being scared we were out the full booking price. Finally, we scheduled a day in July, and she emailed us the night before to say that her family was going to the cabin the next day, could we reschedule? The answer was a firm no, and she told us the next day that she didn’t want to go anyway. (Then why?!!) She was lovely to work with in person, though, and I thought that perhaps I had just been overly panicky. We started discussing some wedding stuff on the way back to our cars, and I mentioned that we weren’t having bridesmaids because my maid of honor had passed away. “Oh, that’s nice!” …?!

    During the wedding itself: She and her second shooter took my gown, shoes, and bouquet for a “few shots” before we got ready. They were gone for a really long time, I think I actually had to call her (but that’s fuzzy, I was getting stressed) , and it completely derailed the pre-ceremony schedule. I was in such a hurry to get ready after that, I didn’t look at my paper bouquet until I was getting ready for the ceremony itself – and the big front purple flower was missing. My family and I frantically searched around for it, we asked the photographer and she didn’t know anything about it, and finally we gave up and I just rearranged the flowers a bit to hide the gap. I found it about halfway through the ceremony – they’d shoved it in the middle of bouquet, under the other flowers. Then, during the reception, towards the end of dinner, they told me they were running out to the car to change lenses, and promised to be back before toasts. They were gone for several minutes, we had to hold toasts, and we had to go out to the parking lot to find them chatting.
    Before they left, I asked for an estimate of when we’d get our photos, and she said about mid-November.

    So, I waited patiently until mid-November. We happened to be at the same play on November 14th, and I said hi, and, as my MIL put it, she had an “oh shit” expression. While she bailed quickly after the show, I talked to another bride there from our class who has her for a photographer (yay small towns), and she said that she’d also had troubles with her, and that: “the price is good, the pictures are good, and everything else…” Every single client of hers my husband and I have talked to have their horror stories. We had no idea.

    Over the course of the following week, on different days, I sent variants of the following simple message: “Hi Jenna, Just wanted to check in about our wedding photos – you gave us an estimate of mid-November. Looking forward to seeing them!” I texted her phone one day, sent her an email a few days later, and messaged her on Facebook a couple days after that. I also tried calling. She finally sent me a Facebook message on November 28th, saying, “Didn’t you get my email?” (she has attempted this before during engagement photos.) I promptly replied that I hadn’t, and hours later, she said that it had said that our photos would be available on a link this week. (She uses Pixieset.) That was on a Saturday. So, every day, I checked my email and my spam, multiple times. On Friday evening, I sent her a facebook message: “Hey Jenna, just wanted to check in about our photos.” Nothing. The next evening, she made a Facebook post about how she was having a sale of some of her old jewelry and such at her apartment the next day, and to message her if anyone had any questions. Well, since she was obviously taking facebook messages, I sent her one. My husband tried calling her on his phone. We thought about leaving a message, but you can’t; it’s full. She messaged me back on Sunday saying she’d already sent the link and assumed we had gotten it – and that email was better if it was urgent. So, I sent her an email letting her know that we were extremely frustrated, that she had offered us two deadlines and missed both of them without any explanation, while I had asked for an update, multiple times.

    And then, the crown jewel: she emailed us that “Yesterday I had to re upload your photos to the link, it had expired. So they’re in the process of loading right now. I’m predicting later this evening it will be done, and I’ll shoot you another email as well as the one from pixieset so it’s not missed or anything.” I looked at PixieSet’s website. The collections don’t “expire”; that’s one of the biggest selling points! A little before midnight, she said: “Just letting you know I’ll be sending along your link shortly, I’ve uploaded them in two batches and the second batch hasn’t finished yet, but you should be able to see the first batch at least! The second should be finished tomorrow(Tuesday) at some point, I’ll let you know again” We didn’t get anything, of course. But, interestingly, a mutual friend of ours posted about 100 pictures from their wedding this summer on Facebook late that night – guess who shot that wedding? Playing along, I replied that I’d never received the link; could she just paste it and the password in this email? Finally, at midnight, we recieved an email from PixieSet and her, about half our photos. She finished the rest of them by that night, and my anxiety levels have quelled somewhat.

    I’m sorry for the long post! But I trust the advice here. Are we justified in asking for a partial refund? If so, how much? It would be one thing if it had been a friend doing us photography as a favor – but we weren’t friends, and we booked her the same way all her clients did. It would have been one thing if she had been up-front and truthful with us. But she lied and over-the-top avoided us (I even left things out, you guys…) and it has honestly been such a nightmare. Thank you!

    • Jessica

      I’m not sure about the ettiquette of partial refunds, but that is clearly a person who should not be running their own business. What a mess! I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

    • Violet

      Oh my gosh.

      You can ask, but you’re not going to get it without a fight. You didn’t even get the service she presumably signed a contract to provide without a fight. I don’t think she’s going to give you any money back. If she broke your contract with all this and you’ve got a legal option, go that route. Otherwise….

    • Lisa

      I think you are totally justified in asking for a partial refund or a printing credit or whatever else you can dream up. Our photographer was one week late getting us our photos and gave us $200 printing credit for the inconvenience! This woman sounds like an absolute nightmare. I would totally be writing reviews with your experience as laid out here on every site I could imagine (Yelp, WeddingWire, The Kn*t, etc.). No customer deserves to be treated like this and should be warned what they’re signing up for with her lower price point.

    • Lizzie

      That’s insanity and I’m so sorry you had to deal with it all. I don’t know how much luck anyone has with requesting post hoc refunds, but at the very least it sounds like an honest review wherever she lists her services is called for.

    • honeycomehome

      Without a legal contract with dates included you have to rely on her good will (and/or shame) to get a partial refund. I can’t see her giving you one.

      Be kind to yourself. Enjoy your photos and don’t have contact with her, again. She only brings you stress.

    • Not Sarah

      Did you pay her with a credit card? You could try to work with your credit card company to get some of the money back? It really really sucks, but otherwise, all you can do is write reviews for her everywhere you can find and then never hire her again and move on. I’m sorry!

    • Amy March

      I don’t think you have any chance of getting a partial refund. But if you ask for one you are 100% guaranteed to be in for a long and unpleasant battle.

      At the end of the day, you paid for pictures, got them, and are happy with them. I’d write negative reviews mentioning that she was flaky, unresponsive, and missing at times wherever you would like, but I don’t see a refund happening.

      • StevenPortland

        150% agree with you, Amy.

    • YIKES. That sounds like a total nightmare.

      I would definitely ask for a partial refund. I don’t know how much luck you’ll have with that however, it doesn’t sound like customer service is a huge priority.

      Ugh, I’m sorry that happened to you :(

    • Lawyerette510

      If you are the kind of person who feels better after speaking their truth and advocating for themselves, ask for the refund (I am this kind of person); if you’re the kind of person who after doing that feels worse, especially if you don’t get what you’re asking for, then find another way to process the experience. Because I’d feel better, I’d write a timeline outlining all the ways she was crap-tastic and unprofessional and what you’d like her to do to make it right. As others have pointed out, based on her past behavior, she probably won’t do it, but then you will have gotten to ask, and sometimes that’s the most important part.

  • A couple of weeks ago I posted about starting to sell my soaps and… I’m almost totally sold out! I only have one bar left, I can’t believe it! I’m so thrilled!

    In other news: Thanks to everyone for your suggestions about my dress drama last week. I went and tried on a long flowing white gown that evening (The Annabelle from Jenny Yoo) and it looked really nice! I thought about getting it and then decided to keep my old dress. It just didn’t feel like me and didn’t really have enough personality for me.

    Later I showed a picture of it to my partner and it turns out, he’s actually not a big fan of the whole “flowing, white dress” bride thing and really likes the dress I picked first. So it turns out I got the perfect dress for our wedding and I’m back to being super happy about it.

    Take THAT WIC.

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations on the soaps! That’s awesome! I always figured a craft business would be super hard to get started, but it sounds like it’s going great for you!

      And yay dress happiness!

      • Thanks! I sell my illustrations too and that’s been really slow going and I was really expecting this to be a lot like that. I think the holiday season might be really coming through for me. Thanks!

        I am super excited. :D

    • NotMarried!

      Sounds great! Thanks for including the update!

    • Just Me

      Yay! Don’t be alarmed if you have another period of doubt before the wedding…. You can always go try on another flowy gown to remind yourself or change your mind in the future!

      • I tried on a couple of other ones that looked pretty terrible so I think those will be my go-to dresses to try if it happens again haha

    • I was worried my partner would be disappointed I wasn’t planning to wear a flowing white dress- when I talked to him about it he said as far as he’s concerned, a wedding dress is just a dress you wear when you get married, and he wasn’t at all surprised I wasn’t going for a big full-length gown.

  • Laura C

    Couple links I thought were good this week:

    The 13 women who accused a cop of sexual assault, in their own words.

    Remembering John Trudell.

    Shoot, I had some others but now I can’t find them.

  • Oof. The last few weeks have been rough. I really appreciate all the kind words you all had for me here a few weeks back when I shared that one of my classmates had been murdered. Well, three days after her memorial, I got a call that a spot my dermatologist had biopsied “just in case” was actually early-stage melanoma.

    Thankfully, I am now a week post-surgery and results have come back that the margins are clean and the cancer is gone, but I’m still reeling a little bit. I’m realizing that I’ve internalized some kind of fucked-up shame about all this, like my body is somehow defective or that I somehow brought this on myself for not being obsessive enough about sunscreen (for the record, I’m super-pale and have a family history of melanoma, so this wasn’t entirely surprising, but I’m only 24 which is quite young for melanoma). My fingers are crossed for somewhat more peaceful rest of the holiday season.

    The upside to all this is that I have felt so supported by my work colleagues through all of this. I feel so lucky to work in an office with a bunch of super-smart, accomplished ladies who also value work-life balance and giving oneself a break when life gets complicated.

    • Sarah E

      I have avoided going to the doctor for a couple years (just for an annual exam, routine screenings), even this year after I got insurance, because I’m always scared to admit that I don’t know if a particular sensation or condition is normal or not, and if it’s not, I feel like I’ve failed to properly learn how to take care of my body and follow through. Kind of the same thing about my car, actually.

      But I just made a doctor appointment for next week (in part prompted by this week’s earlier post about the woman who had Herpes undiagnosed for a year) and I’m hoping to have a nice chat with the doctor and being real “I’m nervous about these appointments because. . .” and hoping for some nice, science-y reassurance.

      tl:dr Solidarity fistbump and good on you for taking of your body. Because that’s what you did: You had an issue, you completed the necessary steps to solve it. Bam.

      • Thank you.

        Here’s hoping that your appointment goes well. I have been so glad to have really good doctors through all of this. (Let me say, the dermatology fellow who did my excision was AMAZING. She had the best suturing technique I have ever seen was definitely a ladyboss if I ever saw one). So I hope that you are able to find some great medical professionals who are empathetic and highly capable to help you take care of your body.

        But yes, bodies are strange, and I’m not quite sure where this equating of bodily issues with personal failure came from, but it definitely took me by surprise a bit. I tend to think of myself as having a pretty healthy body image, no shame and all of that, but this definitely has been a learning process.

        • Eenie

          I just scheduled a skin check. I’ve been putting it off after a really bad experience after a mole removal at a previous doctor. They did not treat me like a person and refused to numb me more when I told them I could still feel it! So, thank you for reminding me I just need to find a different doctor.

          • Good luck! You definitely deserve a doctor who listens to you.

          • another lady face

            yes to finding a different doctor. if they are not serving your needs to treat you as less than, it’s time to move on and find someone who supports you and trusts your judgment. I have had several doctors who I have only seen once or a handful of times because of various reasons (belittling me or my condition, not having good ‘bedside manner’, etc.) it’s totally okay to get a new doctor or even a second or third option! go where you are comfortable and with someone you trust!

    • Lawyerette510

      Sorry you’ve already had to deal with a melanoma diagnosis. I’m glad the margins are clean, and it sounds like the cancer was shallow too. I’ve seen my husband experience similar emotions related to his melanomas, but talking to his derm about what is and is not actually known about melanoma prevention (bottom-line is while there are things to do to lower risk like sunscreen, that’s not a deciding factor, it’s just a glitch in the machine). Over the years, he’s been able to shift from thinking in terms of what he did to cause the melanomas, to focusing on how much power he has to find funky spots early, which is the most important thing.

  • anon

    So, I signed up for the Newsletter, got one, and then haven’t gotten anything since (1.5 weeks went by). Did y’all skip a week, or am I probably experiencing a glitch? I mean, not that I’ve been waiting around for it or anything ;)

    • AGCourtney

      I got one yesterday, so it might be a glitch for you.

      • Eenie

        Same.

    • Violet

      Check your Spam folder maybe?

      • anon

        Tried that. No dice.

    • Try signing up again? And if you want the one with the giveaway, I can forward it to ya…

    • khshire

      I have a gmail account and it was getting automatically sorted into the “promotions” folder. I dragged it into my “primary” folder and set this as the default for messages from APW.

      • BrightLikeTheSun13

        How do you set the primary folder as default for a specific sender? I can’t seem to figure that step out.

  • Rachel

    I posted last week about my stepdad and we were worried that the cancer had come back. On Wednesday, we found out that the cancer’s back. He’ll be starting radiation and chemo on the 21st. We’re all nervous, but hoping it works. Eight months until the wedding and he says he fully plans on being there. I’m keeping my fingers crossed really tight. I can’t imagine him not being there.

    On a positive note, my brother and his girlfriend are driving in tonight. We’re excited to show them the house and hang out, especially since it’s been a few months since I’ve seen them.

    • AGCourtney

      I’m sorry about your stepdad. Sending good vibes your way and hoping that radiation and chemo goes well and he has a complete recovery.

      Have fun with your brother! It’s kinda fun to have people over to a new house, isn’t it? :)

    • Essssss

      Sending so many good vibes your way! Just one step at a time, one day at a time, no matter what happens, you’ll get through it, and the wedding, too. These things have a weird way of putting wedding crap in perspective, too. ((((((take good care of yourselves and each other))))))))

    • Bethany

      *hug* Lots of love and hope for radiation and chemo. Medical science is amazing these days.

  • anon

    How do you handle talking to people who have extremely different beliefs than you but are also extremely sensitive and defensive to anything but absolute agreement? My husband’s annoying friend just moved back to his hometown, and I’m not looking forward to hearing all about her opinions on the accuracy of astrology (on the benign side of things) to how HIV doesn’t cause AIDS (less benign) to her anti-vaccine crusade (malignant). It would be one thing if she just believed it, but she talks NONSTOP about these things.

    I can accept people with “quirky” beliefs like astrology as long as they don’t expect me to partake, but it’s genuinely SO hard for me to listen to her state false and dangerous ideas re: vaccinations. It’s offensive to me. But my husband has asked me to keep my thoughts to myself since she’s insecure about her intelligence (which he gets [maybe rightfully] annoyed when I say, “Well, she should be if she’s an anti-vaxxer”) and I *do* get that you can love people with terrible beliefs. I already find her obnoxious beyond her shitty perspectives, so I come from a biased POV of “Ugh, DTMFA.” But my husband values the friendship for reasons that are theoretically clear to me and he’s begged me to be the bigger person, because he just doesn’t think he’s capable of it (and knows I am, the flatterer).

    So in the spirit of Seasonal Good-Will-Towards-Men: How do I be nice to someone I wholeheartedly disagree with on so many things (that she won’t shut up about)? I’ll admit that I’m sure she sees my disapproval on my face, which is why my husband is talking to me about it now. Just focus on the fact that she doesn’t think Muslims should be barred from our country or something?

    • Amy March

      She sounds really annoying, and also not smart, so I’d handle her by never seeing her because life is too short. If he wants to be her friend, awesome. He can have fun with her while I watch paint dry or eat chocolate chips from the bag surreptitiously while he is out of the house.

      If you must see her, I would not be on team keeping my thoughts to myself at all. “Oh, I disagree. Let’s talk about something else.”

      Like, sorry, random person, if your feelings get hurt because you don’t believe in HIV, my disagreeing is not being mean, and she should be insecure, because she’s a dangerous moron, and WTF husband asking me to be less than who I am and shut up and take it because reasons.

      Hmmmmm. So, upon reflection, sorry. I have zero advice on how to be nice to her.

      • Lisa

        This was my thought as well. Don’t let her come by when you’ll be around, and always have an “appointment” when your husband wants to hang out with her, even if it’s only Netflix binging and cookie dough eating.

        The only issue might be if she’s part of a larger group of hometown friends, but in a bigger group, it might be easier to redirect the conversation if she starts to say ridiculous things by turning to the person next to you and saying, “I was wondering how your PhD/home improvement/dog grooming business is going?”

      • chrissyc

        lol to eating chocolate chips from the bag when he’s out of the house–I thought I was the only one!

        • JDrives

          What is this “when he’s out of the house” business? I blatantly eat chocolate chips out of the bag when my husband is home. Usually staring right at him, daring him to say something! (Usually that something is “Can I have some?”)

          • MC

            HA! Same :)

          • Eenie

            How else do you eat chocolate chips? I’m not dirtying a bowl for that.

          • Kara

            I get a spoon of peanut butter and a small dish of chocolate chips, and proceed to “dip” my spoon of peanut butter in chocolate chips. It’s my quick and dirty “recipe” for peanut butter cups.

          • JDrives

            Were we separated at birth?? You’re definitely my people.

          • Kara

            Awesome. Sounds like we have a good tribe :)

          • Jess

            By “dip” you mean grab a handful and smash them onto the spoon like a cavewoman, right? (just me then?)

          • Kara

            It’s open to interpretation :). But Hulk smash is cool with me too :)

          • Margret

            You dip a spoon in some caramel sauce, and then put the chocolate chips on top. Multiple times.

          • chrissyc

            Have… have I been doing it wrong this whole time??

            Really, I think it comes down to the fact that I don’t like to share. :)

          • Lawyerette510

            My husband eats them right out of the bag, and the only time I ever say anything is when I know he’s eating some I need for something I was preparing to bake. We’ve mainly solved this problem by having “snack chocolate chips” and “baking chocolate chips” which are differentiated by location. The baking ones are hidden behind something else, thus safe from his jaws.

          • JDrives

            SMART.

        • raccooncity

          I’m more about the spoonfulls of Speculoos cookie butter these days. Or caramel chipits.

      • rg223

        Agree with not spending time with her and saying “I don’t agree, let’s talk about something else.” Cause also, if she brings it up all the time and won’t shut up, I think it’s fair to say you don’t agree and not give a damn if she gets defensive. She needs to learn to not bring things up if she’s going to be defensive about it, frankly.

        • Violet

          Agreed. You don’t get to dictate conversation topics AND dictate that people must agree with you on those topics.

      • Alison M

        Perfect response. Just because your husband is friends with her does not mean you have to be friends with her. She sounds like she is pretty awful.

        If you do have to spend time with her, maybe go see a movie or something that doesn’t involve conversation.

    • another lady face

      Either avoid her – have your husband go out with her alone or with other friends while you do something else (it is okay for you to not have to go to everything with him or be besties with all of his friends) or you could attempt to not talk about those topics or change the subject right away when they come up. Or, try to go out in a bigger group so you don’t have to talk directly with her the whole time. good luck!

    • raccooncity

      You could always get her talking about astrology every time she talks about vaccines so at least people within earshot know she’s cuckoo-bananas…

    • Eenie

      Can you make a game of it? My fiance’s boss was told in an annual review to talk more to his employees about things other than work. So he made it his goal to see how long he could keep non work conversations going on before the boss would be so uncomfortable that he awkwardly pulled it back into work. I like Racooncity’s suggestion to keep her talking about astrology. Make a game out of seeing how long you can keep her on that one topic? Otherwise, just don’t interact with her? Or, look up other weird things on the web that she’d be into that aren’t dangerous to society.

    • Nell

      Ugh that sucks so much!

      I think you’re absolutely in the right. When someone says something counterfactual, or bigoted, or otherwise intolerable – you get to speak up. I’d argue that you’re doing the world a favor by speaking up. You also get to say “I don’t want to hang out with this person.”

      But, if neither of those routes are an option, then I think a variant on “let’s agree to disagree” is an ok way to end the conversation — or something like “You know, a wise person once told me not to talk about religion or politics at the table. How ’bout that local sports team?”

    • Vanessa

      A couple people in my partner’s family roughly fit that description. I try to find areas of common ground (we both love movies or baking or whatever) and always have a couple topic-related stories to discuss with them when I need to change the subject quickly.

    • Caitlin

      Piggy backing on to ask if anyone has advice on dealing with dangerous food beliefs? Some people in my office are doing an optional weight loss challenge hosted by a company that is basically a pyramid scheme with questionable scientific claims, so many people are talking about it nonstop. On top of it all, I used to have some disordered eating and still fall into negative body/eating mindsets at times. I want to say that’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works as they take supplements to “rid their bodies of toxins” and look at my healthy proportion of pasta and salad and say, I can’t eat things like that or I wish I could have a cookie (implying certain foods are fundamentally unhealthy and lead to weight gain). I’m a thin person, so I think people are less guarded about these kinds of conversations around me, but actually I really don’t like it at all and it can trigger bad behaviors for me. Help?

      • Violet

        Have you tried, “Huh… so what are your plans for the weekend?” Would that work with your crowd? I assume with work people you don’t want to really get into a conversation/debate over
        it.

        • Caitlin

          I do try to do that, but where it gets tricky is that it tends to be less of a conversation and more constant passing comments (including sometimes about my weight, usually meant to be positive, but it’s not helpful). Also, some of the people most invested have cubicles right next to mine, so it can feel hard to escape. My best solution to date is headphones in to ignore it. I also shared an article about nutrition by phrasing it as I didn’t know anything about this so I looked it up and thought you might like it too and that went over really well. But I’m still having trouble with how constant it is and how negative most of the comments are.

          • Violet

            Constant and negative is bad. I think the headphones make sense, as well as knowing that once the novelty wears off, this should subside. It just gets BORING to talk about these things after a while.
            When coworkers comment on my body at the office, I just kind of widen my eyes and then ignore it. Hasn’t seemed to hurt me professionally, yet anyway. When people comment on my food choices, I just shrug and change the topic. I agree that there are no “bad” foods, but I’m already at work! I can’t ALSO take on the job of educating coworkers, you know?

          • Caitlin

            Great advice, thank you for sharing! And yes, this is probably a short term thing, it just sucks because my reaction to these things can be a longer term set back and I wish it wasn’t constantly around me. But there are steps I can take to stay more removed and also to control my reaction, which is the long term solution for my issues with eating anyway. Thanks!

          • another lady face

            can you also try eating somewhere else than the rest of the ‘seaweed and vulture tears smoothie’ people? If they are close to your desk at break times, try taking your break and food somewhere else or even going out to a common area where they do not congregate or where they won’t talk about it.

          • Natalie

            When they comment on your weight or body size or body shape, you could try a sugary sweet, “Miss Manners taught me never to discuss a lady’s weight.” Sometimes people need to be reminded that it’s rude to comment on other people’s bodies in a judge-y way, even if they think it’s a compliment.

      • Natalie

        In work settings, I try to bite my tongue about others’ weird or dangerous false beliefs, unless it evolves into a conversation specifically related to me. So, in your case, when they’re talking all about ridding their bodies of toxins by drinking only pulverized seaweed mixed with vulture tears, or whatever, I’d change the subject or walk away.

        But when someone specifically comments on your lunch, you could say something along the lines of, “Please don’t food shame my lunch,” or “I have a hard time with other people commenting on what I eat, so could you please keep your observations about my diet to yourself?” You don’t need to explain or allude to your history of disordered eating if you don’t want to. Just a simple request not to comment about your eating habits should politely put them in their places.

        • Caitlin

          This is good advice, thank you. Also “pulverized seaweed mixed with vulture tears” made me laugh really hard and put it in a better perspective. The other thing I try to do is to use techniques to break my own negative thoughts and not react in a negative way (relapse), despite my surroundings. I just wish that were easier to do! I’ll keep thinking about that pulverized seaweed next time they drink their supplement while bemoaning my own food options, thank you

        • Alison O

          Ugh, I hate when people make negative comments about other people’s food, regardless of circumstances. It’s just rude (I first wrote “rood” lol). This week a supervisor walking by asked one of my colleagues who was eating at her desk if she was eating ceviche. She was, and the supervisor said something along the lines of, “oh yeah, I can’t eat ceviche…too fishy.” I think she actually said “too fishy” twice before she walked away. (To be clear–I sit next to my colleague and couldn’t smell anything, so it’s not like the supervisor was trying to get at an odor problem or something.) You’re basically telling someone their food (which in this case was homemade, to boot) is gross, and by implication the diner is gross for making/eating it.

          I’m guessing most vegetarians out there can also relate to all the stupid comments that get made about what we are or aren’t eating. a) What insecurity compels people to say these things? b) Why do they sound like they think they’re the first person who ever made a meat/vegetarian joke? Not original.

      • Eenie

        Is this sponsored by work? Because that seems wrong, something you could talk to HR about. You may be able to ask HR to stop publicizing it so heavily. That sucks.

        • Caitlin

          I think so? It was our employee engagement team who organized it, but they and their executive sponsor are notorious for not following procedures or using the proper channels to get approval. I would be surprised if it is totally above board, which means it could be a good opportunity to talk to HR. I’m not sure I want to stir the pot though, even though I know I probably should, because chances are that other people feel it is inappropriate too.

          • Eenie

            If you want to, you totally should go to HR – this is what they’re there for. That is just unacceptable to sponsor such an activity at work. If you know who these other people are who think it’s inappropriate, you can also use them as a sounding board maybe for when you are really frustrated with the office chatter.

          • raccooncity

            Maybe ask HR about their policies first….once I talked to my HR person about being uncomfortable with homophobic talk in a meeting and apparently they automatically have to file the complaint and get the other person to take sensitivity training, regardless of what I wanted. It ended up being a bad thing.

            ETA: the complaint was filed anonymously, but the people in the office figured out pretty quick that the person who seemed pissed off in the meeting was the one who complained.

          • Eenie

            Aw that sucks that it turned out bad. I assume the person figured out it was you who reported them?

          • raccooncity

            Totally. I was hoping for a workplace-wide training where we could talk about things together, but HR spoke to one person who made the majority of the comments and made her take training alone and put it on some kind of written record. She was PISSED. And she was my boss.

            Plus, the training wasn’t great, so she was extra annoyed that I complained when I “didn’t have any reason to” – i.e. i had a boyfriend.

          • Eenie

            Double suck.

          • Vanessa

            Yeah this is a great example of the fact that HR is actually there to protect the employer, not the employee. They have an interest in making sure employees are harassing other employees because they could get sued, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll protect your privacy/handle sensitive things appropriately etc.

            Also, I’m sorry that happened to you, that sucks.

          • MC

            I’m sure you could ask for your comment/complaint to be anonymous, if you think that’s something HR would respect. Might also be good to say something like, “I know there are people in the office who struggle with body image and food issues and this has the potential to be pretty damaging,” so you don’t have to disclose but you’re bringing up that (important!) perspective.

      • JDrives

        Next time someone made sad noises in regards to my lunch, I would say, “Huh. You keep making comments/sad faces about my lunch. It’s getting a little weird, any chance you could keep those to yourself from now on?” or maybe “Your negative remarks about food are kinda bumming me out and keeping me from enjoying my delicious homemade pappardelle bolognese. Could we talk about something else?” And then if it keeps happening – “Whoops, you’re doing the weird food talk thing again. So, any fun plans for the weekend?” In my experience with doing this, usually people are like “Oh shoot, yeah sorry no problem.” Also, a blank stare, an awkward pause, and a subject change work wonders.

      • KayT

        As someone who follows a vegan diet, I get negative comments about the food I eat. My coworkers have joked that I eat “grass,” say it’s “rabbit food,” or outright ask where the meat/protein is. Food can be just as contentious as religion or politics. I generally avoid talking about food with my coworkers and leave the room if it’s being discussed. I try to not eat around them, either. If that’s unavoidable, reading a book while you eat can keep people from bothering you. If someone were to make that comment on my pasta, I would just smile and say, “yep! It’s delicious!” then change the subject. It also gives me peace of mind to know that what I’m putting in my body is so much healthier than what they choose to eat (lots of Taco Bell & McDonald’s), so I try to focus on that, on the days their comments really get to me.

    • Lawyerette510

      As some other people have commented, being nice/ polite does not mean sitting and listening to someone say things that offend you. I’d talk with your husband about it first and see if you can get him on the same page to back you up, but ideally when she starts in on her opinions that don’t enrich the conversation, change the subject (or have your husband do it), such as saying “we’ll have to agree to disagree, so let’s talk about something enjoyable like [insert some common ground].” Ultimately, if no one else in the peer-group is interested in shutting her up, your best bet will probably be excusing yourself.

    • emilyg25

      You don’t have to hang out with her. She’s your husband’s friend, not yours.

  • Nell

    Link time!

    I read this advice column about needing your own space within a relationship and it totally blew me away: http://the-toast.net/2015/12/09/aunt-acid-advice-relationships/

    Excerpt:

    “Right now, you’re pretending your needs don’t exist so that you can seem smaller, easier, lower-maintenance. Women are often taught to do that, just as they are taught to host in their own homes: to make everyone else feel comfortable, regardless of how they feel; to anticipate other people’s needs and repress their own. To take up as little space as possible. But this act you’re putting on is not merely retro, it’s disingenuous, and it’s destroying you.”

    Does this idea of “hosting in your own home” resonate with anyone else? I hadn’t heard it phrased that way before, but I instantly thought about how I rush to put dinner on the table for my wife some nights when I’d rather just eat cheese and crackers.

    • Huh. I hadn’t ever thought about the concept of “hosting in your own home” but I definitely do that to an extent. I’ve been getting better at not doing that, but honestly I’m not sure where the gender part of it ends and my own personality begins. I tend to get a fair amount of satisfaction out of doing things for people I care about.

      • Jess

        “I’m not sure where the gender part of it ends and my own personality begins”

        Oof, doesn’t that just nail the complicated-ness of gender discussions?!

    • chrissyc

      Yessss, thanks for sharing. For me, acts of service is my primary love language. (Words mean nothing; getting up 5 minutes before the other to start the coffee is pure gold.) But it can also create a weird “waiter” dynamic than neither of us like. So our solution has been to ask the other, “I’m headed to the kitchen; do you want anything?” We still get to do little things for the other, but it doesn’t seem demanding or too much. We also switch off who does the cooking, and we give each other passes to say “Frozen pizza tonight!” when that’s all the energy we have to cook.

      We’re also very intentional about whether we’re actually spending time together or just occupying the same space and more-or-less ignoring the other, since we both do really need alone time. We set one weeknight a week that’s “date night,” and then the rest of the evenings (after dinner) are case-by-case depending on how we’re feeling. This really, really helps, because if one person needs some alone time after a long day, it’s expressed upfront and the other doesn’t feel ignored. It helps to know that we will spend time together, just not at this moment.

      I know I’m just rambling, but I want to say that (1) you aren’t alone, and (2) here are some ways we cope.

    • Jess

      Past-me identified so hard with that column. That was me in a lot of relationships.

  • Val

    Happy Friday, ladies! I found out two days ago that I’m pregnant! Yay! However, it happened far sooner than we anticipated, and I’m starved for information. Wading through all the crazy on the internet has been really overwhelming and while I have some stylish mom bloggers I love, I worry that their reccs are just affiliate links and not stuff they actually loved themselves.

    It’s three weeks until we can meet with our midwives, so I was wondering, do any of you have any great APW-like resources that you relied on during pregnancy? Books, websites, anything would be so helpful at this point. Thanks!

    • Mary Jo TC

      Books: Expecting Better by Emily Oster, and also maybe a factual guide to pregnancy like the Mayo Clinic or Our Bodies, Ourselves.
      The Longest Shortest Time is a great podcast with an affiliated facebook group that’s pretty supportive and positive, but it’s huge so it might dominate your feed if you let it.

      • rg223

        Seconding the Mayo Clinic Book.

        • Laura C

          Thirding the Mayo Clinic, which is pretty comprehensive without being high-pressure and infuriating, and however manying Expecting Better, which is not the book that will walk you through how big your fetus is or what symptoms to expect this week, but is one I’ve gone back to again and again as “can I …?” questions come up.

      • rg223

        Also just be careful with The Longest Shortest Time. Some of the episodes are very intense, or sad, or scary, or all of these. I actually recommended it to my best friend but AFTER she had the baby.

        • Mary Jo TC

          True, there are a few about losing a baby and about some horrific birth experiences. But you can read the synopsis and skip those if you think you’ll be sensitive to that. I didn’t get into LST until I’d already given birth, luckily.

          • rg223

            Yes, it’s usually pretty clear which ones are more serious, but just wanted to put a warning! I’m sensitive too, because I was blindsided by a birth story that was similar to mine, and it brought up a lot of feelings and worry. But it is a great podcast!

      • rujancified

        4th’ing the Mayo Clinic book for the information, but noting that I find it rather patronizing (paraphrasing a line from the book: Don’t sweat your new klutziness, Mama, you’ll be back to your graceful self after delivery!). I do lots of eye rolling.

        Expecting Better is wonderful.

        I’ve avoided many message boards & baby-specific sites (due to aforementioned dislike of being patronized :)), but found really great information/conversation on reddit (of all places), specifically cautiousBB.

        • Laura C

          I can totally see that about Mayo Clinic, but sheesh, compared to some of the others I read it’s a respectful gem. There are so many terrible, terrible books out there.

      • M.

        Mayo Clinic forever!!! Get that book! (Yeah it has some weird cheeseball lines as rujanicified notes, but the info is top notch and totally rational and not alarmist).

        ETA congrats Val!

    • another lady face

      pregnantchicken.com is great and has a sense of humor. their week by week posts are funny, too! ex: (paraphrased) “this week, your baby is the size of a lemon… but, that’s lame, so we’re going to say it’s the size of a cupcake, a cupcake covered in frosting!” I have been casually reading the ‘what to expect’ book and ‘your baby week-by-week’ (5th edition), as well as the what to expect blog posts. They are okay and give you a good idea of what you baby and body are doing. Otherwise, avoid all crazy birth stories and forums like the plague! these is also a funny Jenny McCarthy book called ‘Belly Laughs’ about all of the crazy pregnancy symptoms and situations she went through. it’s pretty funny, is a quick read, and was published before she got all crazy anti-vaxxer.

    • anon

      I also really like http://www.pregnantchicken.com/ and my favorite site is http://alphamom.com/ They have a really good (funny, informative) pregnancy calendar.

    • ML

      It’s older but I listened to the Pea in the Podcast. It has short week by week episodes plus longer ones on certain topics. I read a ton but listening is nice too! I also have liked my Pregnancy+ app.

    • Anon

      I have slowly compiled many of the recommendations for this topic from previous happy hours, and then added to it with my own experiences.

      Books
      Expecting Better
      Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
      What to expect when you’re expecting
      “Natural Hospital Birth” gives the spectrum of labour options without being judge-y (so hard to find).
      “So That’s What They Are For” for breastfeeding-read that while pregnant
      Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy
      Bringing Up Bebe
      A Baby is Born” (the pictures are awesome)
      “Your Pregnancy Week by Week” (it’s so much more sane than the What to Expect books), and for delivery
      “The Birth Partner” (which covers all kinds of options and helps you sort through what you really want)
      Our Bodies Ourselves Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
      Happiest Baby on the block
      Baby Bargins ( Gives you good, better and best recommendation for most of the baby gear, helps determine if you’ll even need an item, or if you should wait to get it). I found helpful in conjunction with lucie’s list, but if I had to choose 1 I would pick this book.
      Be Prepared (good source for new parents that is funny but not dumbed down to treat anyone like a bumbling moron)

      Resources

      The Longest Shortest Time
      Alphamom is my go to for pregnancy and navigating with a child
      Kellymom for breastfeeding
      Pregnant Chicken for humour
      Lucie’s List for wrapping your head around gear options
      Scary Mommy
      One Bad Mother on Maximum Fun
      http://www.reddit.com/r/babybumps

    • emilyg25

      I love the blogs Science of Mom and Evidence-Based Birth, and the books Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, and The Birth Partner, both by Penny Simkin.

      • I really like your two blog recs. With pregnancy, unlike with weddings, I haven’t felt a need for emotional validation (yet), not in an us vs the WIC way, but I have been craving solid factual information. because there’s a lot i don’t know about pregnancy and life with baby, and unlike with weddings, i don’t have a strong opinion about it besides hoping to do my best. So the these two blogs are some of my favourite so far!

  • Kay

    I made an appointment to have my IUD taken out in the new year. Any advice for things to do and read before trying for a baby? I’m super excited that we’re heading that way, but now I’m also a little terrified after I started looking at things like prenatals and books this week. It feels like a rabbit hole of overwhelm. There needs to be A Practical Baby.

    • Lisa

      For pregnancy, I’d see @maryjotc:disqus’s suggestion for Expecting Better to read and The Longest Shortest Time podcast for all things child related. We’re a ways away from kids, but I still love both of them!

      • Kay

        Thanks! I just scrolled down and saw the Expecting Better recommendation. It’s funny because I just put a hold on it at the library earlier today. So happy to see it recommended here.

        Will have to put The Longest Shortest time on my podcast rotation.

      • I love that podcast!

    • Vanessa

      Read Expecting Better by Emily Oster. It’s not preachy/bossy/judgy/patronizing etc

      • Chris

        seconded!

      • Yes! I just finished this a couple months ago and I loved it.

    • AGCourtney

      Solidarity! I think that Baby Industrial Complex is worse than WIC. In addition to Lisa’s suggestions, I liked Bebe Day by Day – it’s a short book with bite size pieces from Bringing up Bebe. You can take the specific parenting advice with a grain of salt, but it has a much more chill approach to pregnancy, and the general tone is comforting. I’ve seen it at libraries.

      Other than that, my biggest advice would actually be to avoid. Avoid What to Expect and similar books, and avoid forums. It is a messy rabbit hole and you don’t need that stress in your life. Selectivity -> peace. Enjoy!

    • Vanessa

      Also, don’t let anyone make you feel weird for wanting to read/learn about this stuff before you are actually pregnant. I read Expecting Better and I’m not pregnant or even trying any time soon, but a couple people I’ve mentioned it to have given me such a hard time about it. As far as I’m concerned, those people can go jump in a lake.

      • Kay

        Thank you! I do want to start learning now while there’s zero pressure and we’re not actually trying, but I’ve been hesitant to tell friends about it and ask their advice. I think anyone giving you a hard time about it can go jump in a lake, too!

        • Vanessa

          Yeah I am at least a year away from trying but it’s something I’m interested in. Some friends get it and some friends are like “You need to chill” -so you may have a learning curve in figuring out who to talk to.

          • Ashlah

            The mindset that we should only be interested in/researching things that are absolutely current in our lives drives me bonkers. I’ve been interested in pregnancy and childcare stuff since before I’d decided I even wanted kids. It’s interesting, and it can come in handy! Even when you’re not trying to get pregnant/aren’t a parent, chances are you’ll have conversations with people who are! I just don’t like how delineated our lives are sometimes. It’s so much weirder to expect someone to go from zero interest to all the interest with no in-between time.

          • Vanessa

            YES. Plus, it strikes me as the same thing as shaming the not-engaged woman with a “wedding” pinterest board. Like, if you’re doing this and you’re not pregnant you must be crazy and desperate and that’s distasteful so we’ll judge you.

    • M.

      It doesn’t need to be a rabbit hole, but I understand! Find sources you trust and stick with them. Don’t read things that stress you out (i.e. most of the internet and anything What to Expect).

      Start taking prenatals when the IUD comes out (I love mine from Rainbow Light). I loooove love love the book Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, read it a lot before I was pregnant and am rereading now that I’m 31 weeks. The book Taking Charge of Your Fertility is highly recommended for learning about conception and your own personal cycles (and much of the info is also available online).

      ClearBlue digital ovulation tests made the difference for me in not stressing about figuring out when I ovulated (don’t have to time them yourself or interpret the results, gave me great info).

      Bringing up Bebe is awesome as AGCourtney says.

      Have fun and good luck!

      • Kay

        Thank you so much! So much good stuff. The Rainbow Light Prenatals looked great. My doctor had no real recommendations other than getting enough folic acid.

        The Mayo Clinic Guide and Bringing up Bebe are now on my list! I love that I’m seeing some of the same recommendations more than once here and that it’s not a long list.

        I have TCOYF. I started reading it when we decided to pull the IUD. I considered myself pretty educated about bodies and cycles, but I’m learning so much. Bonus: my husband is also learning so much stuff when I stumble over something interesting and feel compelled to shout it out at him.

        I trust the advice on APW, so I’m feeling 100% more relaxed about everything now.

        Congratulations on your little one!

        • M.

          Thanks Kay :) Good luck to you! Exciting stuff.

          My husband is now a serious expert in women’s cycles and pregnancy. He loves to tell me about things he read in the Mayo book when I mention what I’m going through, and he got a serious education from me while we were trying (that I was also getting! I couldn’t believe what I didn’t know!). It makes me feel awesome that he really is getting an understanding of what I and other women go through, both in normal life with our cycles and more complicated anatomy, and during pregnancy. I feel very heard and validated. Keep shouting it out! You’re a team :)

    • Heather

      I’d start the prenatal 3 months before you have the IUD out since you could in theory get pregnant immediately; it is very important to have a ready stock of vitamins in the body for successful conception as well as those first 8 weeks in utero when all major systems are formed; a fertility diet gets overlooked in conventional medicine frequently, although it is at least as important as your diet once you know you’re pregnant. Also, look for folate, not folic acid. Little known fact: much of population can’t absorb synthetic vitamins. I had two miscarriages, and after that gave myself some time to do a really thorough workup with a ND testing for heavy metals, getting my digestion in top order, and resolving seemingly minor things so my body could be in the best state possible for the next baby; may have had absolutely nothing to do with miscarriage chances, but it a world where chronic illness rates are skyrocketing, I wanted to make use of the preconception time to put the odds in favor of future babies. I wish I’d done it as I was having my IUD out, instead of waiting. Now I’m 37 weeks! Book recommendation: Beautiful Babies, Real food for Mother and Baby, Nourishing traditions book of baby and childcare. i

    • emilyg25

      Science of Mom! She has an excellent blog and just released a book about pregnancy and baby’s first year. Also, Evidence Based Birth is an excellent resource. I highly, highly recommend finding midwives. I actually had to drive 50 miles to a neighboring city because midwives can’t attend births in my local hospitals. They tend to be better at respecting the mother, including the partner, and using evidence-based medicine.

  • Kayjayoh

    Just a busy Friday drive-by to say: I am SO relieved by the Holzclaw guilty verdict. It did my heart good to see him crying.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/daniel-holtzclaw-found-guilty-of-rape#.ciJozLEP6

    “‘He was aggressive, he was vigilant, and he was honest,’ [his defense attorney] said. ‘Without people like Daniel Holtzclaw patrolling the streets, what are we?’

    ‘Safe,’ one woman in the gallery was heard saying.”

    [mic drop from the woman in the gallery]

    • kate

      YES.
      i look forward to reading some more analysis about why he was only convicted on half the charges, but it’s truly a small victory that he was convicted at all.
      and those 13 women – SO BRAVE. all the applause for them and i hope this verdict brings them some peace and helps drive home how right they were to stand up they way they did.

      • Emily

        Double yes. Holzclaw went to college with my husband and we have some mutual friends. It’s so incredibly creepy to me. I hope that the verdict not only brings some peace to the victims and the neighborhoods he terrorized but encourages women who feel unheard that they can too have justice.

      • Jamitoliver


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    • raccooncity

      Yes. I am a social worker and sometimes the constant thinking about the shit of the world gets me down, so I have to admit that I felt SO GOOD watching that man cry his stupid idiot tears. It was almost dangerously cathartic.

      • Anne Diaz


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    • JDrives

      Me too – oh it made my little feminist heart so happy. I was following a group on FB that was attending the trial to support the women who testified, and they posted frequent, live updates on the proceedings. It was hard to read but so important.

  • Two awesome things from last weekend that I’ve been excited to share with APW all week.

    Took the three kiddos to see Santa and it was perfect. Baby girl just stared at him. Toddler girl collapsed into a terrified puddle of fear and barely let me hold her next to Santa and cried the whole time. And baby boy pulled his beard off. It was perfectly memorable.

    Then we went to a wedding reception and all those fun weddings that have a little kid tearing it up on the dance floor and completely owning the place with their carefree exuberance – that was our toddler daughter and I loved every minute of watching her. The father-of-the-bride enjoyed it too.

    • Lisa

      I am imaging baby girl staring at Santa with the judgment face you’ve mentioned before and started laughing at my desk!

      • That’s exactly how it happened. It was great.

  • Bsquillo

    Just got some great news, and I’m so excited to share it! After a grueling internal academic job application saga that lasted 2 1/2 months and had me interviewing for three positions…I just accepted an offer as the marketing coordinator for our College! I’ll be doing recruitment and events related marketing, web design, print media, and a whole host of other things for our departments in performing and visual arts. I’m going to have great mentors and colleagues, make over twice the money I do now, and have comprehensive benefits for the first time in my career. I start right after Christmas :)

    Thanks to anyone who has let me vent my anxiety over this process for the past couple months. Everything worked out for the best!

    • Lisa

      Yaaaaaay!!! So many congratulations to you! I’m glad things worked out and that you’re happy with the outcome.

    • AGCourtney

      Yay! I’m so excited for you.

    • E.

      Congratulations!!

    • Bethany

      Congratulations!!

  • Caitlin

    Guys, my future MIL pinned a LOTR wedding pic as a joke (our cats are named after LOTR characters) and now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of LOTR wedding ideas (we were already planning on a woodland theme) and I kind of love the idea! I think at least some small nod would be really fun. Link for my fellow nerdy brides: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=lord%20of%20the%20rings%20wedding&rs=typed&term_meta%5B%5D=lord+of+the+rings+wedding|typed

    • Katie

      I handmade a LOTR photo backdrop for our wedding a few weeks ago! Plus twinkly star lights draped all over both sides. :) The props were Harry Potter scarves and Avengers masks. Something for everyone.

      ( please ignore the vacuum lurking behind the backdrop)

    • JC

      My friend named each of the tables at dinner after the lands of Middle Earth. (There was no Mordor for the racist uncles, unfortunately…). The sign with table assignments was beautiful and written in the lovliest script, and that was her “small nod.”

      But I’m just gonna say that, as a bridesmaid, I wanted her to go all in. I say, give your bridesmaids fake ears, flowey gowns, sparkly jewelry, and have them walk barefoot. I can’t be the only friend who is willing to go full elvish for the occasion. She said no, but go big or go home, right???

      • Caitlin

        haha, as a bridesmaid I would also like all in. As a bride, totally not my style! I’m just not that into theming thing in general or that devoted of a fan. But I wish others would, in fact, check out this silicon valley rich guy who did an all in LOTR wedding, because it’s great: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2013/09/photos-sean-parker-wedding#1 Not sure if about any environmental impact, but it looks baller.

    • Sosuli

      I think it’s awesome that your FMIL would pin that, even if as a joke. I mentioned to mine that we might have a Doctor Who caketopper (FH’s a huge fan and we’re having loads of Moomin themed stuff for me) and her response was a simple… “No.”

      • Caitlin

        I’m super lucky, my FMIL is awesome, constantly defying stereotypes and being an all around lovely person. Is there a way to subtly incorporate Dr Who anyway? Because I’m now thinking inside joke level theme would be really fun for my own wedding. Subtle enough that people who aren’t into the theme will probably not even notice, but other fans will and think it’s awesome! Like the Tardis sound playing to announce toasts or the blue book from Amy Pond’s wedding as the guest book. People who aren’t into the show will probably not even notice, but other fans will and think it’s awesome! That or just do the caketopper anyway :)

    • Lisa

      Ok, this is the best. We originally joked about my little sister having a Star Wars themed wedding, and I was more than slightly disappointed when she ended up not going through with it. (I mean imagine the theme or that really happy music from Ep. 1 as the recessional!!) I absolutely love nerdy weddings.

      • Caitlin

        Yes! I don’t think I’m a full on theme wedding type of person, I’ve resisted naming colors or having any type of true theme, I’m just not that cohesive of a person or devoted of a fan. But subtle nods is totally my style, like if I was your sister, the happy music recessional would be happening, but I don’t think actual costumes would. So far, we’ve concluded that we have to have a “no admittance except on party business” sign. I think I’ll do it subtle enough that those in the know will love it, but most will probably not notice in the grand scheme of the whole wedding. Me and my fiance can just giggle to ourselves about it in the midst of the wedding chaos!

        • AGCourtney

          We went the ‘subtle nods’ route as well for our wedding – mostly Harry Potter and Kingdom Hearts – and I’m really happy with it. We knew the references were there, awesome fellow nerds recognized them, but I never worried about themes, per se. It did me worlds of good as I nervously started down the aisle to look down at my bouquet and see the familiar font of Harry Potter. Those kinds of details are calming, fun inside jokes in the wonderful swirl of weddings – have fun! :)

    • Caitlin

      Update: we’ve already concluded that this sign is happening no matter what. I don’t think I’m going to full out theme it, because that’s really not our style either, but some nerdy references that others may or may not get, oh yeah, that’s happening!

  • Lizzie

    Here’s my contribution to the link roundup: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/unpregnant-the-silent-secret-grief-of-miscarriage/article27576775/ (Content warning: miscarriage and grief, in case you can’t tell by the URL.)

    Even though I’ve never been pregnant and may never choose to be, I found this deeply moving. Worth reading to the very end.

    • AGCourtney

      This was an excellent, moving read – thank you for sharing that. I went to a sociology conference this spring that had a session on the sociology of emotions. One of the presenters discussed a very similar premise – she began an exploratory study on the ‘feeling rules’ of miscarriages – or, more often, how the lack thereof affect the ‘unpregnant’, as this piece puts it. This is in contrast with, say, when a parent dies – we have something of a cultural script for that. (Not that it magically makes it easy, of course.) But women who have miscarriages don’t have that script. There are these factors of privacy, and shame – feeling like they have already failed as mothers, and feeling overwhelmingly alone. It’s a fascinating, sad topic, and I’m glad this piece was written. Thanks for sharing!

  • lady brett

    holiday anxiety is setting in. i think it is mostly the expectations that do me in. but there’s also so much logistics in so little space and all the *stuff*. i just want to sleep through the next three weeks (and I even like all the people and half of the traditions involved).

    on the bright side, my honey is supposedly getting paid next week (for the intern position they’ve been “working out the details” to make into a paid position since *may*!) and money is playing into my holiday anxiety more than usual this year, so that might help.

  • Anon

    I got asked out on a date by a guy in my book club and I’ve been thinking about it all week, for all sorts of reasons, but weirdly I feel like it’s been a really positive experience in my marriage. It made me appreciate that my husband is a choice and I choose him even though it’s true that there are lots of other interesting and attractive men in the world, some of which may find me interesting and attractive too. And it made me appreciate how honest my relationship is with my husband that I can tell him about it and ask for advice on wording my “hey I would be interested as a friend, but I want to make sure you know I’m married” response, with him not being jealous or feeling weird about me being in the book club now. And of course I’m very flattered, because the man was so respectful and genuine about it, and I feel like he was interested in me as a person which feels nice. (My husband and I had some great sex that I feel like stemmed from this feeling extra-desirable.)

    Plus the dating world is just so foreign to me as someone who’s been with her husband since high school and, obviously, I don’t get asked on dates often (…ever), so it was so novel!

  • Anyone here an Etsy seller, either currently or in the past? I’ve been knitting up a storm for the past 6 months, and I’m thinking of starting a small shop, simply to get rid of the things I’ve made. I’m not looking to get rich but I’d love to turn even a small profit so I can keep buying nice yarns.

  • Heyoh — just wanted to pop in and share this story on mental illness in marriage, which I’ve been working on for a month, and that I’m very happy to have published today: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelwmiller/heres-what-its-like-when-mental-illness-affects-a-relationsh

    • anon for this

      Going anon for this, but I have bipolar II and it was so relieving to read this piece. Thanks for sharing and congrats! I’m always happy when I see something on Buzzfeed and it’s yours. :)

  • CP2011

    Just wanted to share what for me is a pretty major accomplishment- 2 weeks with no sugar, no grains, no starches and no beer. Been too nervous to weigh myself but I can tell my clothes fit better :)

  • Sandy

    Does anyone have suggestions on how to go about inviting people when the ceremony and reception will only have a certain amount of people (close friends and family) but you want to invite people (extended family) to join afterwards for celebration and dancing if they want to come?

    • Amy March

      Is this a common thing where you are? I know in the UK people often do this, but in the US it’s considered pretty rude by many people.

    • Alynae

      We did this with friends but making a second invitation saying “Please join us for dessert and celebrating” and explaining in person as well. Then on our website or in person explain its a very small intimate ceremony with space limitations but you want them to be a part of the celebration since they have been a part of this journey. Everyone understood and was happy to come drink, dance and enjoy the party. With careful wording its about including more people throughout the day instead of leaving anyone out. And then time things so no one shows up to the end of the reception accidentally.

  • Kadee

    Productive week here! After long and difficult deliberation, we picked our photographer. We had two great options, and I’m kinda bummed we won’t get to work with both, but we’re excited about our choice. I also had a dress shopping adventure!

    My MOH and I had gone to David’s Bridal last month to try on a bunch of styles and see what I liked the look of. Found a few things that I *kinda* liked, but not really in love with. I had planned a trip with her and my mom, then found out my moms sister (1 of 2 aunts for whom I’m named) was going to be in town, so invited her along. Well morning of, my mom woke up with the flu, so sent my dad in her place. While we were there, found a few dresses I liked, but we’re at the top end of my budget and more than I was hoping to spend, considering that I was paying for it myself. Well unbenounced to me, my dad and aunt were texting my dad’s sister (the other aunt for whom I’m named), who called me the next morning asking if I’d picked a dress, and then asked if I would let her purchase it for me. So many happy tears! So there will be one last trip, when we can all go!

  • Jamitoliver


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  • Anne Diaz


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