APW Happy Hour


Summer lovin'

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Author in front of white wall with yellow shirt blowing in the wind

Hey APW,

Summer is officially (officially) here in my book, now that it’s July. Summer is my favorite season, but for that and so many other reasons, it finally feels like 2017 is getting in gear around here. Our Brand Director, Najva is out from Brooklyn to work in our office for the month, we’re getting to know and love our new Studio Coordinator, Chelsea, and we hired on Faz Gaffa-Marsh as a staff writer (even though she’s all the way in Singapore). It has been such a joy having new blood in the studio and getting to work. We’ve even started some long overdue DIY projects, coming your way soon.

Other fun things that happened in recent weeks: I got to go check out The Black Cat in San Francisco, which I’d describe as a bougie and hip version of a old New York jazz club. (Date night photo above, I can’t get enough of that yellow top.) David and I were pretty tipsy when we met the owner, and the first thing I said is that it was like being back in New York at Smalls. Well, turns out he owns the restaurant upstairs from Smalls, so obviously we got along just fine from there on out. They’re starting to do weddings, and LORD y’all should check them out.

And with that, your open thread. What’s on your summer bucket list?

xo,

Meg

P.S. If you’re not following along with our behind the scenes at the office Instagram Stories on The Compact, come hang!

Meg Keene

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

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  • Amy March

    Song recommendation: Kesha, Praying. Mindblowingly powerful. (TW: Depression, Abuse).

  • Lisa

    Hope everyone had a fun day off on the Fourth! (And happy birthday to your little firecracker, Meg!)

    Husband and I are kicking around the idea of doing an international trip for Thanksgiving this year. I found tickets from a nearby airport $200/RT ticket to Montreal. Anyone have any experience with Quebec or thoughts on whether it’s a fun destination? It’s going to take a lot to convince my winter-hating husband to go somewhere colder, but the initial info I’m seeing is that there’s a lot of good food in town, which is swaying him. I’d love to hear from you all about it!

    Also, I think we might finish our Mad Men-athon this weekend. It’s my husband’s first time through the series, and it’s been so fun to see my favorite characters and scenes through his eyes. It’s like watching the show for the first time all over again!

    • Amy March

      Super fun! Feels very foreign, French is dominant, great shopping and food in Montreal, Quebec City is adorbs. Fair warning though November is not a perfect weather month. You may luck out or it may be seriously gray and cold. $200 is a great price, I’d go for it!

      • Yael

        Seconding the recommendation for Quebec City, and also the weather warning! I was there in late March/April and it was seriously cold.

        • Yes, the ice tends to start melting in the beginning of April, and I always tell myself to be prepared for snow through mid-April. After that, I consider it “safe” to feel ready for spring. (Of course “spring” here is not the kind of spring I’m use to, but it’s better than snowstorms.)

      • Lisa

        Yeah, that’s what I was gathering from the internet regarding the weather. Cold doesn’t bother me as much, but I’m trying to collect more data points to sway husband my way! He wants something warmer, but shocker, everyone else seems to want to go to warm places that time of year, too! Hopefully it won’t be much greyer/drearier than Seattle over New Year’s last year.

      • I agree with Amy that anytime after mid-October, you could have snow in Quebec. However, last year, I don’t think it snowed until December… So you never know. But even if there is snow, it is very pretty and romantic, especially in the stretch before Christmas when there are twinkle lights out and such.

        • (Admittedly, mid-October is early for snow, but my first year it snowed that early. I think it snowed a number of inches on the 19th. But that is earlier than normal.)

    • Montreal is the best! My husband and I did a mini-honeymoon there after our Ottawa wedding! It’s just such a delightful place to explore, though late November can be cold and gloomy. Definitely try Montreal bagels and eat at Schwartz’s smoked meat, gorging on poutine and trying some excellent craft beer at Tru du Diable!

    • theteenygirl

      I live in Toronto and go to Montreal frequently, also have been up to Quebec City twice (both in the winter!) I love love love Montreal and the province of Quebec in general. In Montreal you’ll have a pretty easy time with being able to speak English with everyone, and I believe it’s a myth that the people are rude. Definitely walk up Mont Royal and see the view from the top. The Bio-dome is one of my favourite cold weather attractions!! A must see. Great restaurants there at any price point. November will likely be either cold, dark, and rainy or colder, and snowy.

      • Lisa

        I keep seeing things about the Biodome! What is it exactly? (Some kind of indoor garden in an old bike stadium?)

        If we’re there for 5.5-6 days, should we spend the whole time in Montreal, or should we look at visiting Ottawa or Quebec City in addition?

        • theteenygirl

          Basically they turned all the old Olympic buildings into this amazing park of natural sciences. So the Bio-Dome is kind of like an indoor ‘zoo’ but not a zoo.. because it tries to recreate the natural environment of 5 different ecosystems. Obviously the most amazing is the rainforest. They have capybaras, caymens, parrots, sloths, etc.. and they are all cage free.

          I went over this past Christmas-New Years and we did 3 nights in Montreal, then 3 nights in Quebec City. Ottawa is closer to Montreal if you want to split your time between two cities (which I recommend because I would probably run out of things to do in November in Montreal after 3 days) but I prefer Quebec City UNLESS you want to do Canadian Parliament stuff. Both cities are great but Montreal has this old world charm and it’s likely to be snowing in late November which makes the city even more beautiful.

          If you would like, I can share my itinerary (it’s in a Google Doc) from my trip with you.

          • Lisa

            Yes, that would be great! Especially since you went during a similar time of year, that would be helpful so I don’t have to sort through all of the stuff that’s best left for summer.

          • theteenygirl

            Here you go:
            https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10_tPx-6o6Xqeipofgn2pNlLlLoclLTHB25rrpV3bwqI/edit?usp=sharing

            First page is a list of stuff we thought about doing – some we did do, some we didn’t. The second page is the itinerary, this was pretty close to what we did, more or less, except we never made it out to the spa in Quebec City. And the last page was the expenses so you can get a sense of how much things cost – we didn’t do any fancy restaurants in Montreal because we went to some nice ones in QC instead but there are lots there.

            You should definitely make sure to make a really far in advance reservation for IX Pour Bistro in Quebec City if you decide to go there. Best meal I’ve had in my life.. period.

          • Lisa

            Thank you so much for this!! I love the level of detail in your itinerary–you’re a lady after my own heart. The spa looks like something my husband would definitely enjoy.

          • theteenygirl

            You’re welcome! I know some people think my spreadsheets are a little up tight but man they make me so zen while trip planning.

            The spa, from what I hear, is incredible. We ultimately decided not to go because we would have had to cab there and back and we decided to take that money and go get fancy cocktails and dessert and cuddle up in a booth at the Chateau Frontenac instead.

          • Oh, I just made my comment about the spa before seeing this comment about it being incredible. To each their own, I guess…. (And it’s pretty far outside of town; I’d say good call on drinks/dessert at the chateau…)

          • Jess

            I hope you don’t mind, but I’m also going to look through your itinerary because I would love to go to Quebec in the next year!

          • theteenygirl

            Go for it! And feel free to reach out if you’re interested in the area of Forillon National Park too.. I went there last summer and loved it.

          • Jess

            ! I love national parks! I will definitely do that.

          • Don’t feel bad about not making it out to the spa. I went once, and through it seemed nice (it was my only experience at a spa), I ended up really sick with a cold/flu/something after. I think I might have inhaled something in the hot/moist sauna thing… (So now I am spa-adverse, ha!) Anyhow, the spa (aside from the cold) was fine, but not life-changing!

        • Yes, come to Quebec City. I have lived in both and definitely find Quebec City way more charming. It feels more old-world European. It’s also smaller but there is not a lack of things to do… There’s plenty of good food and cultural things and activities. Montreal is nice, but for me, I compare it to Chicago, and no offense to Montreal, but I just love Chicago and it doesn’t compare for me. Quebec City, however, is just completely different from Chicago, and so it’s apples and oranges, if that makes any sense. I guess, for me, if I’m going to be in a big city, I’d rather live in or visit Chicago. But for the Francophone experience and culture, I can get all of that perfectly in Quebec City… (That’s what I realized on my last trip to Paris…all the things I love most about Paris, I can find in Quebec City…)

    • savannnah

      I grew up going to Montreal most weekends as a kid- old Montreal is amazing, they have a great selection of AIrbnb’s with rooftop decks, chinatown there is small but has anything you might need and the Notre Dame is a real spiritual experience (speaking as a jew). We love it and find something new all the time. The gay and Latin quarters are also great and the museums are not to be missed.

    • sofar

      Laid over there for a day (flying somewhere else).

      Thought it wonderful and super charming that the standard greeting there is, “BonjourHi!” All one word.

      • theteenygirl

        Hahaha yes I love the BonjourHi thing!!!! Almost all the government employees at places like Natioanal Parks, historic sites, etc are all required to initiate conversations like this and it makes me so happy.

    • Violet

      I’ve loved Quebec every time I’ve gone, but then again, I’ve only ever gone in the summer!

    • Not Sarah

      I went in May/June, but I absolutely loved Quebec City and kind of hated Montreal. I am strongly allergic to cigarette smoke to the point that it gives me asthma if I’m around too much of it and I just could not breathe in Montreal, which severely impacted my exploring ability. Perhaps the air would be better in the winter! I took the VIA Rail train from Montreal to Quebec City – it was only an hour or two. I would say you could easily go to Quebec City on a daytrip too if you want!

      • They’re about three hours apart by bus or train (I find the train more pleasant by far, but also more expensive most of the time), but the trip is still technically doable in a day. I think it’d be better to spend more time in Quebec City though because there are a lot of fun things to do here…

    • EF

      montreal and quebec are truly wonderful. great culture, great architecture, great food. go go go!

    • BSM

      I love Mad Men! I think it might be my favorite TV series of all time.

    • Yes to Quebec, and if you come, we can meet for a coffee! :)

    • Sorry to comment again, ha! But if you do come and would like a detailed list of potential things to do, you can email me by going to my blog (I think my name here links to it) and send me a message in the message box thing and I’ll email you some of my favorite things to do and places to eat in Quebec City, and a couple in Montreal too. :)

    • CW

      Montreal is so incredible! I went to undergrad there. Thanksgiving is… cold, and it could definitely snow. But there’s not snow on the ground, so you’ll be fine if cold doesn’t bother you! But honestly, late May is the best time to go. Here’s my list of recommendations: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-2uN2lxpC8UaEZQRTgzak9BUzQ/view?usp=sharing

      Definitely go to Quebec City! It’s lovely. But be warned — even in the tourist districts, it’s pretty Francophone. In Montreal, unless you’re pretty far out, most people will speak English. (Just don’t answer “bonjour” when someone says “bonjour hi” to you in a store! They’re basically asking you what language you prefer to speak in, so if you say bonjour, they’ll speak to you in French!)

  • idkmybffjill

    Oh yay!! I used to read Fax on XOVain and I loved her piece that ran here a year ago or so. And she’s expecting! Such exciting things.

    • Angela’s Back

      Yes, Faz is great!! And let’s all pour one out for XOVain while we’re at it…

  • AP

    So, it turns out I’m pregnant! It’s my first, and I’m about 8 weeks. And it’s a total mindf*ck. Anybody else need therapy just to deal with all the feeeeelings about pregnancy and what it means for your career, relationship, identity? I can’t decide if I really need it or if it’s just hormones.

    • idkmybffjill

      I had a big panic when I first found out. It passed for me but I’m in a reddit subgroup for pregnancy and a fair number of folks do go to therapy! It’s a HUGE life shift and alot to absorb. I think it’s super normal to go see someone about it if you need some extra discussion time to sort your feelings.

      ETA: I feel like this is still good news, yeah? Congratulations!

      • AP

        Would you mind sharing any links for sane pregnancy groups online?

        • BSM

          I definitely suggest finding the reddit sub for your due date! Since you’re pretty early on, it might not be up yet, but mine has been overwhelmingly awesome.

          Congrats!! Pregnancy is bananas.

          • idkmybffjill

            Dude…. are you a september bumper? have we been in all the online spaces together?

          • BSM

            November! Parallel lives, man…

          • idkmybffjill

            Spooky.

          • Ashlah

            :o I’m an August bumper, but also hang out in September because my due date is 8/31!

          • AP

            Looks like no 2018 dates yet, but this disclaimer made me LOL: “The top month in the list will be removed on the 15th of the next month. If you are still pregnant at that point, we are so very sorry.”

          • ATLawyer

            You and I should start the Feb 2018 one. I’m not tech savvy but if you are, I’m down to join!

          • idkmybffjill

            @disqus_CWVZ8DKh2R:disqus it’s under r/February2018Bumpers :). Looks like it’s fairly active! Have funnnnnnn!

          • AP

            Ahhh thanks for this! I am a total Reddit newb

        • idkmybffjill

          My pleasure! I actually only use Reddit, everywhere else seems…. bonkers? r/BabyBumps, and then there’s usually a subgroup for each due date! I think @Ashlah recommended this to me when we were first floating the idea of trying and then woops we were already pregnant. It’s been very awesome.

          • AP

            This is awesome info! I had no idea this existed.

          • Jenny

            totally agree with this, love r/babybumps, r/beyondthebump, and r/toddlers are all great. I will say that, at least in my experience, redditors are great for the outrage on your behalf comments, they will likely not call you on your shit though. Like if you have a post that is, ugh, my blankity blank person totally gave my kid a sip of juice without asking, we don’t do juice. There will be a lot of, OMG, I can’t even NOOOOOOO. But not a lot of, that’s too bad, but maybe not the end of the world. In other words, great for support, not fantastic at nuanced advice (though I think the smaller subreddits do this better).

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Yes, very true! They would definitely paint my MIL as a total villain if I allowed myself to indulge in getting that kind of validation, rather than the old-fashioned, slightly awkward woman who means incredibly well but just comes from a fundamentally different perspective than I do. Especially with week old PP hormones (like I currently have), it could create IRL tension that doesn’t need to exist.

            But need to hear that you’re a rockstar for, say, getting off the couch to eat ice cream as your exercise for the day? Reddit’s got your back.

      • AP

        LOL, yes definitely good news! Thanks!!

    • Jenny

      It’s definitely a Big Deal, and I needed some help processing, which I mostly did with my friend who was pregnant and my friends who had children. I also always feel the need to mention that you should mention stuff like this to your midwife/NP/OB/health provider. I never did, but in retrospect I REALLY wish I had because after I had the baby I realized that i’d likely been dealing with some pregnancy anxiety depression that started off mild, but slowly got a worse. It wasn’t until I basically snapped back to myself after giving birth that I was like, huh…. I probably could have gotten some help with those feelings. (full credit to my husband, he did mention a few times that maybe my reactions to a few things weren’t “normal” and did I think that was worth mentioning, but I pushed back, so also do a better job than me listening to your people!). Congrats and good luck.

      • AP

        Mentioning it to my OB is probably a good idea. I deal with anxiety anyway, and that might be worth bringing up with her. I hadn’t because I don’t take meds for it, so I didn’t think about it being important.

        • Jenn

          As someone with pre existing anxiety and a now 9 month old, please mention it to your care provider. Not saying this to scare you, my anxiety was actually non-existant while pregnant and beyond but letting your care provider know all the facts can only help. My midwife encouraged me to tell those around me (husband, family, close friends) to tell me (as pp said) if I seemed off in any way. Pregnancy/new motherhood is not just a physical transition, it definitely is a mental one too! And you are not alone in having ALL the feelings around it.

    • Lisa

      No advice, but so many congratulations!!! That’s so exciting!!

    • ART

      My feelings didn’t hit when I first found out, but after several weeks in when the physical symptoms started showing up. I probably should have found/should find some therapy of some sort, but it is getting better for the moment (I’m about 16 weeks)…but yeah, the feelings of my body not belonging to me (physically and mentally) really started to cause some resentment/depression, and I got really sad for a while because I’ve always wanted two kids and there have been times during this pregnancy where I’ve thought I CAN’T do this again! And “just hormones” is like, half true…but don’t feel like you have to write off your emotions even if they do stem mostly or partly from hormones – they are super crazy! I cried at a midwife appointment last week and she said “well, the placenta attaches and then it’s like PMS times a thousand…” She was very sympathetic and it helped to tell her how I was feeling.

      • AP

        I’m looking forward to finding a doula soon for this reason. My OB is pretty quick/perfunctory and I’d love to be able to actually talk to someone who can help fill in those missing pieces for me about what exactly I’m experiencing.

        • ART

          Yes, I feel very lucky to have a provider that has midwives on staff that attend all births and do most of the prenatal care! I haven’t decided if I want to try to find a doula as well, but I feel less pressure to do so with the midwives there…but without them, I definitely think I would want one!

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          I am obsessed with my doula. I couldn’t have gotten through my pregnancy and especially my delivery without her. And my husband appreciates her even more than I do, I think. If you get the right one (i.e., not a rabid anti-vaxxer who tells you that an epidural will kill you – exists, unfortunately), it’s 100000% worth it.

          I would very seriously donate to help all pregnant women have access to doula services if that was something that existed. Her help and expertise was immeasurable.

    • Violet

      I’ve never been more grateful for my regular therapist than now that I’m pregnant. I had a dream last night that I was back in my regular body. *sob* Everyone experiences pregnancy differently, but if you end up at all like me and it’s not your jam, totally worth it to have extra support.

      • AP

        A friend asked me last night, “Are you just over the moon!?” and I was like “….meh? I guess?” Not the response she was looking for. I think honoring my feelings as ok, no matter what they turn out to be, is going to be a challenge.

        • Violet

          My thing is getting other people to honor my feelings, ha ha. I’m totally down to be the Not Into This preggo, but everyone else seems to want me to be all aglow. I’m not aglow. I’m tired and bloated and still just over halfway through. Let me have my feelings, people!

          Also, congrats to you! I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but this state (to me) is just a means to an end.

        • ART

          My MIL keeps asking things like “what size fruit is it now?!” and I’m like…I have no idea? And I don’t really feel like checking my app to find out. It makes me feel like I’m not that excited, even though I know I am, it’s just in my own way that isn’t that into talking about every little thing right now. It’s OK.

          • BSM

            Fuck those fruit analogies. My baby is a banana? I can’t visualize how a human baby is banana-shaped.

          • ART

            Yes! I found them really unhelpful past about the lima bean phase. And this app I downloaded is stupid, like 100 days in you’re finally going to tell me I shouldn’t do X? Can’t be THAT big of a deal if you didn’t bother to tell me earlier!

          • Violet

            Bahahaahaaa! “Fuck you, my baby is not shaped like a turnip!”

          • BSM

            One time it was an endive. AN ENDIVE.

          • Violet

            Noooooooooooooo! Eff these apps/sites. How’s your totally-human/not-endive doing, by the way?

          • BSM

            He is good! Kicks me a lot, which is both amazing and super weird. I am really, really excited to meet him and see what/who he looks like. But also we are like 20% ready for him and thankful we have 4 more months to sort shit out.

            How about you??

          • Violet

            Awesome! Yep, mine’s harassing me on the regular too. It’s now visible as well, which makes it very distracting when I’m trying to watch something on Netflix and I keep seeing jumps in my peripheral vision. Similarly, I’m definitely ready to not be pregnant anymore, but we still haven’t sorted out childcare for when I finish leave. So the time is definitely needed!

          • BSM

            Ugh, childcare. We need to figure this out, too. I put us on two daycare waitlists a couple months ago, but we haven’t even toured them. What are you two debating at this point?

          • Violet

            Ech, we’re still not sure whether to put kid in place near where we live or where we work. If where we live: cheaper, no morning/evening schlep with kid, but fewer options. If where we work: way more options, but pricey, and daily schlep. And I feel like we can’t decide on pediatrician until we decide on daycare, because they’re kinda linked.

          • JSK

            Top practical advice we got pre-baby: Triangulate home, daycare & pediatrician. Two should be very close to each other because you will frequently make that loop (like when daycare calls and says there is a “blistery” rash on your kid’s butt, but the ped says it’s a very mild heat rash and doesn’t require any treatment and you take them right back to daycare).

          • Violet

            Okay, but like, we’re never coming from home to get sick kid from daycare, we’d be coming from work, yes? So shouldn’t it be something about work and daycare and pediatrician being close to one another? In which case, daycare needs to be near where we work, but it’s so much more expensive and then we gotta commute with the kid every day. My OB was saying that either the normal routine day is annoying so the sick day is easier, or the normal day is easy but sick days are a PITA. Which I think makes sense. You can’t make it easy on all accounts unless you work right where you live also.) Or am I missing something?

          • ART

            Hey, speaking of peripheral vision, anyone else had really weird eye floaters/every dark dot off to the side of your vision turns into a bug? It’s so weheheeird. But I can’t tell if it’s a pregnancy thing.

          • BSM

            That does sound weird. I haven’t had any vision issues so far, so I guess ask your medical provider?

          • Violet

            Hmm, I’ve had more light headedness upon standing (strain on vascular system to run an extra blood operation for another person, apparently) which can manifest as dark spots, but only then and very predictable based on that.

          • Laura C

            We had a really funny car ride where at the beginning I informed my husband of that week’s fruit or vegetable and he was like “what? how?” and I went through and read him the fruit or vegetable for every week of pregnancy (on the list I was using, there were like five different kinds of squash, kinds of squash I’d never heard of) and he was in total disbelief that this was a thing.

          • Greta M.
          • Laura C

            How have I never seen that? It’s brilliant! Thank you!

          • Jenny

            If you hate the fruit analagies, but like the idea of other size stuff. I found this site hilarious and fun (if you can overlook the obnoxiously titled manly option).
            https://babysizer.com/

          • ART

            I love that! In two weeks it will be tribble, and my trekkie heart can warm up to that :)

          • idkmybffjill

            Yes! Big fan. I also like Ovia’s hands and feet. Those are easier for me to visualize than “your baby is the size of a rollerblade”. Like…. what? No he’s not.

        • idkmybffjill

          I had a VERY hard time with this in the first tri in particular. I didn’t tell many people so I sort of got to keep to myself…. but I was NOT over the moon. I was stressed, I was job hunting and house hunting and carrying around barf bags. I felt like my body had been snatched.

          • Jenny

            YES!!!!!! My first tri was horrible too, nausea, plus job stress, plus holy shit what if I suck at this thoughts made for a shitty experience.

      • Jenny

        It is so surprising to me that people expect you to be all aglow. I literally have 1 friend who liked being pregnant. Everyone else ranged from not my thing to meh. I think it helped for me to explain it like. I’m feeling excited because we have been looking forward to this next step for our family, but pregnancy has been really physically and emotionally hard for me, so it’s hard for me to seperate those feelings, ya know. And when I framed it like that, people generally were pretty understanding. I mean it varies with how much you want to reveal about your feelings and emotions to people, but since I generally didn’t mind, I viewed it as a public service to talk about how I wasn’t all 100% glowing all the time.

        • Violet

          I will say, most people who have expected me to be ecstatic about the process are either older mothers (so, I’m guessing they’ve forgotten what a PITAS it is?) and women who haven’t been pregnant yet. I have had zero pushback from women my age who are or have been recently pregnant about the fact that yes, we are excited about the Why of this, but the How is a bitch.

          • AP

            “we are excited about the Why of this, but the How is a bitch.”

            I’m stealing this.

          • Violet

            Be my guest!

    • Anon

      I found the website Pregnant Chicken to have some very soothing (and very funny) articles about pregnancy/parenting. They also have a great pregnancy calendar without fruit comparisons.
      I also read scary Mommy but in smaller doses. Sometimes it became too negative for me and stressed me out.

      • Eileen

        Pregnant Chicken is great, for concrete advice on baby products and for funny stuff. It was to my pregnancy what APW was to my wedding.

      • Mei

        Just checked out Pregnant Chicken and it’s great! Thanks!

    • Jess

      A) Trying therapy is never a bad thing, even if you do a session and be like, “Yo, maybe I don’t need to be here” and never go back.

      B) I WILL ABSOLUTELY be planning to do therapy in the stretch of time from deciding to do the pregnancy thing to some unspecified time after birth. I’m terrified of raising kids, have a lot of issues with the body aspects of pregnancy, and already have SO. MANY. FEELINGS. surrounding parenting and being a wife and working and all the external expectations.

      • LindseyM

        I am with you so much on all of this. You aren’t a lawyer by any chance are you? I feel like lots of lawyers have big problems with the loss of control aspects of pregnancy and parenting.

        • ATLawyer

          RSVPing myself here for the lawyers with baby/parenting anxiety club. Guilty as charged.

        • Jess

          No, I’m an engineer though. I feel like most of that fear of loss of control (now with added unpredictability) also applies in that field.

      • Alissa

        YES YES YES to checking out bringing a therapist into your support network while pregnant. I had already been going to a therapist prior to getting pregnant, but I am SO GLAD to have her on my team as I get ready to actually give birth at the end of the summer and transition into Great Scary/Exciting/Scary Unknown of becoming a parent–whatever that looks like or means for me? Building out my support network in all sorts of ways has been huge for me through my pregnancy, and I’m glad to have a few more supportive people and communities in place as I look 8 weeks down the road to my due date.

    • ATLawyer

      I am pregnant too and 8 weeks tomorrow! Eeeeek! It feels like a lifetime since we found out 4 weeks ago. I’m just here to say congrats and offer some solidarity—I’ve had so much existential angst and obsessive googling of “can I eat X” and “can I dye my hair” and just so much trying to visualize how much our lives are going to change. Oh and bloating and morning sickness and cankles, oh my!

      • AP

        Oh lord, the dos and don’ts. Story time: Monday was my birthday, and my husband was out of town. Since I couldn’t do the normal boozy brunch or party with friends (most people don’t know I’m pregnant yet and I didn’t really want to make my bday the day to tell everyone), I made myself an appointment at a local spa for a massage. Fun fact! Did you know that it’s common practice for a spa to refuse massage service to a pregnant woman out of fear of liability in case of miscarriage? Because I didn’t. Until I was in my freaking robe, being led back to the massage room, when the masseuse stopped and refused to touch me because she read that I was pregnant on my intake form. Not even a foot rub. Cue lots of tears, followed by enraged Googling for contraindications of massage during pregnancy. Turns out? Massage is totally safe! But lots of places won’t do them in the first trimester because they don’t want to be sued.

        • penguin

          That’s terrible! Although there are masseuses/masseurs that get certified in pregnancy massage, so that might be something to look into if you’re interested. Sorry they were jerks, that’s a nasty surprise. And not even a foot rub?? Rude.

          • AP

            Yeah, I read that there are modifications that need to be made in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Which is why I thought that didn’t apply to me yet, so regular massage must be fine. Also, I feel like my OB or any pregnancy book would mention not to get one in the first trimester if it’s not safe…I’m already super aggravated by the science vs accepted norms when it comes to pregnancy.

        • ATLawyer

          That sucks so bad. I actually had an annoyingly mediocre massage from the on site masseuse at my chiropractors office in week 5 of my pregnancy. (He’s usually amazing!) Aka it barely even felt “real”that I was pregnant and I disclosed it just to be safe or whatever. It was almost as disappointing as being turned away, although probably less traumatic as it wasn’t my birthday. sigh. But it still felt kinda like when you splurge on dessert during a diet and it sucks and you’re like ugh not worth the calories. Anyway, so sorry that happened to you. I think next time I want a massage I’ll just ask to go sit in one of those massage pedicure chairs at a nail salon for 20 mins haha

          • AP

            Ha, that’s exactly what I ended up doing! Went to a different (cheaper!) place for a pedicure and sat in one of those chairs!

        • ART

          Oh wow, that is awful. I’m so glad you found another place, fuck them for being shitty to you on your birthday in your first trimester. Wow. And happy belated birthday :)

        • Mei

          Me too! Argh. And it was prenatal massage too! She said, “Why do you need to rush to get a prenatal massage?” Um…because I want a massage!!! At least they let me reschedule without charge.

        • Laura

          i used to manage a spa and there are insurance differences (at least in canada) between bodyworkers and registered massage therapists – we always asked if people were pregnant and then booked them with rmts because their insurance covers pregnant patients. so sorry it didn’t work out for you that day, but i hope you can find a great RMT!

    • idkmybffjill

      Oh also – read Expecting Better by Emily Oster. It freed me from pregnancy specific angst (like… can I take a bath oh god?!) in a big way.

      • Expecting Better was my pregnancy Bible. I pulled it out the other day when someone in a mommy group tried to insist that women can’t eat during labor in case they need an emergency c-section (studies say not true anymore!)

        • idkmybffjill

          It was the most empowering thing for me, especially at first. Now I’m in the 3rd tri and have built up my confidence in pregnancy so when people are like, “are you drinking coffee??” I just say yes and it doesn’t bother me, but at first before I was telling anyone and was SO STRESSED out to eat like, “oh god is there a soft cheese in there?!”, it released me from so much unnecessary self judging and anxiety.

        • Jenn

          I was encouraged to eat and drink but didn’t really want to. Drank lots of juice though! Ended up with an emergency csection and had to tell them what I had eaten while getting prepped for surgery. “um, I had 2 bites of peanut butter on a bagel….like 8 hours ago? Also a couple pieces dried mango”.

        • Trinity

          I wish every doctor held to that! I ate before I went to the hospital, and then found out I needed a c-section. Because I had eaten (a.tiny.piece.of.bread), they delayed surgery for 9 hours, and I labored hard for 7 until they finally took pity on me and brought me to the OR.

          • OH I would have been pissed! And yeah a lot of hospitals are not changing their policies because they are afraid of lawsuits. However, the data says that the risk of aspiration during a c-section under general anesthesia is 2 in ten million. Plus if you got hit by a car and needed emergency surgery, they wouldn’t not operate on you in case you had just eaten….those stupid rules are stupid.

          • Trinity

            AGREED. Also, I didn’t even undergo general anesthesia–I had a spinal block. If I could go back in time, I would have fought so much harder for myself.

    • I’m getting off of birth control next month after being on it for 10 years (!!!). I’m not even pregnant yet, but I’m already anticipating the therapy I will need once we do get pregnant. Hell, I feel like I need to talk it out with someone before I even get pregnant.

    • Jessica

      I just yelled “Oh yay!!” loud enough for my cat to look startled. Congrats! And best of luck with the mindfuck.

    • e.e.hershey

      Congratulations!! And no, you’re TOTALLY NOT alone in feeling like it’s a mindf*ck. That first trimester is such a WEIRD time – because you’re pregnant but you can’t really acknowledge it to the world at large and/or you’re actively hiding it from people. You don’t want to get TOO attached to the whole idea just in case anything bad happens, yet your body is going nuts at the same time. And you go back and forth between obsessing about it and feeling like you’re in denial/totally not thinking about it at all. I thought it was one of the weirdest times in my life. Solidarity!

      Also, Alphamom.com had my favorite pregnancy calendar out of all the sites. As well as a great list of what you need/don’t need. Good luck!!

    • Congratulations! Definitely give yourself the time, space & resources you need to process everything. It IS a huge change. I was really unprepared for some things but I had a good support system that helped me work through my feelings.

    • Ashlah

      Oh my gosh! I missed Happy Hour last week, so I’m just now catching up! Congratulations!! And yeah, it’s a totally weird thing with lots of Feelings involved (I could not stop shaking when we got our very planned/hoped for positive test). I don’t think there’d be any downside to talking to a therapist, and plenty of upsides, so if it’s something you’re even a little interested in, I say go for it.

    • Lindsay

      I am also pregnant with my first, about 17 weeks along. I have read like five books so far, and I just started therapy as well. Between feelings about body changes, parenting, feminism, career, identity, etc. I just thought it would be a good outlet. So far so good! I say, therapy typically never hurts. I will also say I am completely biased as I am a mental health professional.

  • savannnah

    Now that we are close to two months away from the wedding- all of these logistical questions are coming up. We are having a small (for our wedding) rehearsal dinner of about 40 pp and a brunch the day after that only family and bridal party are invited to, about 90pp. These events aren’t on our website because not everyone is invited and I thought that sending out an e-invite, maybe paperless post, would be best but my dad who is mischievously traditional, now wants actual invites to go out- which if he’s going to pay for- fine.

    Additionally there has been no –zero- none movement on my fiance’s family or friends side to rsvp, make moves to buy tickets or any smoke signals at all that they received our invite and know they are invited to the wedding. Luckily my fiance told me his job these next two weeks will be to reach out to his parents and relatives to see what’s up. FMIL told me that when she posts pics of my bridal shower next weekend people will remember to RSVP and my eye only twitched a little in response.

    Also we had to fight for 2 desserts that were mentioned on our initial quote and invoice from our venue/caters that didn’t show up on our finalized one. I hated having to argue with our venue about it since the venue rep is also our wedding coordinator but it was necessary and I’m glad I didn’t let it go.

    Also I’m sure its because I’m in the middle of all of it but this was one big “its a no from me” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/06/opinion/sunday/chill-bride.html

    • Amy March

      Oh I loved that piece! I found it utterly hillarious.

      Has your RSVP date passed?

      • savannnah

        I know – I think I’ll read back on it in 3 months and laugh too. I hope!
        Today is our RSVP date so we’ll see. Its more an issue of the destination wedding piece for his relatives and the cost of flights we are worried about- in about 2 weeks its about to be prohibitive but I’m not sure that’s understood and I’ll have a little wounded fiance to take care of in that case. Might be inevitable but eh.

    • jem

      Re rsvp’s I feel like this is a midwestern thing because my fiance’s side (east coast) is 100% accounted for and mine (midwest) is MIA.

      • savannnah

        Maybe? I’ve gotten “its a midwest thing”, “its how we are”, “its a German thing” (which um, I know having spent a year in Berlin its not..) “our family just doesn’t plan”…and that my friends is when I feel the crazy creeping in- But I’m also not trying to be a east coast nasty so just breathing through it.

        • jem

          Yeah, I’m trying to be charitable. I think it’s mostly just a rude thing… the thing that baffles me the most is that most of my cousins who haven’t rsvpd are NEWLYWEDS, so don’t they know how annoying this is?!

          • Jess

            “mostly it’s a rude thing” THIS.

            My mid-west people RSVP’d right away, R’s mid-west people RSVP’d… at the last moment and even then we were hunting them down.

      • sofar

        For me, the midwesterners RSVPd almost immediately, while the Texans … well … still haven’t heard from some of them, and it’s a year after the wedding. The east coasters were the MOST obnoxious because they were most like to respond with, “Maybe, it depends on work,” and “Maybe, we might take a trip around then.”

        • jem

          Yeah…. I’m just trying to make myself feel better by spouting insane generalizations. I think it really comes down to who’s excited about the wedding. My midwestern family is pretty MEH about me, while his folks out here are super excited about the wedding

          • Nichole

            My midwestern extended family RSVP’ed pretty much right away…they were some of the first no’s we got. (On the other hand my fiancee’s southern grandmother never formally RSVP’ed because she didn’t want to give us the dignity of a response.)

            I guess what I’m saying is that RSVP’s are hugely emotional (at least they were for me) and best of luck getting through it. (Ask me how I feel about our 60% accept rate, hah.)

        • Bsquillo

          We found that our Southern-Baptist family from the deep South were some of the worst about not returning RSVPs. I actually think this is because a lot of weddings in that circle aren’t super formal- it’s often a “invite the whole church, and there will be cake and punch in the fellowship hall after” kind of deal. So exact headcounts aren’t needed, and I think our slightly more formal wedding where we had assigned tables and a catered buffet dinner was kind of unusual for them.

          This also reminds me of when we were planning and I was discussing event timelines with my husband, and said something along the lines of “so the whole reception will last from about 5-9PM” and he was like “4 HOURS?! What are people going to do that whole time?” Because at all the Southern Baptist church weddings he had been to previously, with no alcohol and dancing, people gather for 2 hours tops right after the ceremony, and then jet.

          • Not Sarah

            My mom is very baffled by the fact that she has to pick what she’s going to eat before she answers. As such, we sent out the invites a month ago and she has yet to answer even though she’s told us many times she’s coming…

    • sofar

      We were at a 50% response rate on the day RSVPs were due.

      Eventually, we picked a date (2 weeks before final headcount was due to the caterer) and sent all those people emails/FB messages/voicemails saying, “Hey we’d love you to join us, but our final headcount is due. If we don’t here from you by end of day Friday, we totally understand and will miss you terribly, but will be happy to catch up with you after the wedding!”)

      • emmers

        So no answer will still be an answer!

        • sofar

          Exactly.

    • anony-nony

      Ah the RSVPs. Like sofar’s situation, we had maybe 50% – or even less! – response rate by due date. I didn’t even bother contacting people, we just went ahead assuming those who hadn’t responded wouldn’t come. On the day of the wedding, several people who had RSVP’d “yes” didn’t show, and several people who hadn’t responded at all showed up anyway (some of the guests who showed up without RSVPing were sticklers for etiquette too, sooo… shrug emoji). Thankfully I had ordered extra plates from our caterer just in case, and it all turned out fine, but still felt about half pointless to me.

    • toomanybooks

      My MIL kept asking if there was anything she could do to help and when it got to be a week out from the RSVP deadline, we asked her to get in touch with a list of people from my wife’s family who hadn’t RSVPd and find out what their deal was. I could tell that she had just taken an afternoon to call every person on the list because one evening all of those responses just flooded in. It was amazing. I highly recommend this sort of delegation.

      (Alsoooo, some people think not RSVPing is the same as saying no, some people think they don’t have to because it’s OBVIOUS they’re coming, and some will ignore your pleas to get their response in before you have to default count them out, only to attempt to rsvp like five seconds before the wedding. But of course most probably just saw the invitation, thought “Great! I’ll have to talk to my SO about if we can take time off and afford a hotel,” and then lost track of it.)

      • Jess

        We also appointed parents to contact their respective renegade RSVP’s. Cannot recommend that delegation enough.

      • Leah

        Argh the people who assume it’s obvious they’re coming make me stabby. Just RSVP! We’ve provided multiple ways to do it both with physical cards and on the website and I’ve still had people use facebook messenger to RSVP. Just no.

        • Not Sarah

          I don’t mind the Facebook messenger to RSVP no because it usually results in a more elaborate apology for not being able to come and feels more personal. But if you’re coming, please use the website because it asks for more information…

          • Leah

            Oh yeah 100%! If it’s a no, it’s fine. For a yes where we’ve asked for dietary requirements etc, I REALLY want them to use the suggested RSVP methods because if I had 200 people messaging me I have so much to trawl through to try and record everything. I think people only think of themselves, not in a selfish way necessarily but they just assume it’s fine for them to do something other than what’s been asked and don’t think of what would happen if everyone did that thing?

          • Not Sarah

            Yes agreed – my mom still thinks that she doesn’t need to RSVP because we know she’s coming and I know her dietary restrictions and don’t I know that her dietary restrictions aren’t by choice and she’d rather just have the normal cake! She also thinks she can RSVP by email? We’ll get it figured out eventually. It’s just that when we have a almost 200 person guest list, individual yes RSVPs is not sustainable… (Which she also thinks it was unnecessary to invite that many people.)

    • Cellistec

      Late to the party, but that NYT piece: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  • Jenny

    Home Decor help Needed!!!
    After years of living in temporary housing (as in, we know we are moving in a few years), and never doing a whole lot of decorating. I’m over it. We are moving to Philly, it will only be 2 years, but damn it, I want our apartment to feel like ours and like a home. Where can I look for inspiration? What little things do you do that make a place feel yours? What are some ways you solve problems like oh this apt is great but if I lived here I would change this sink/tub surround/kitchen cabinet? Like are there really great temporary storage solutions you use (we’ve rarely been allowed to put in shelves)?

    • Laura C

      I am all about Command hooks and such. Don’t know if they do shelves, but Command products are definitely one of my biggest ways of making a series of short-term apartments work.

      • Jenny

        YES! Love Command hooks!

    • Amy March

      Hanging art work always makes an apt feel more like a home for me!

      • Jenny

        Thanks! Yes, we’ve been pretty good about hanging up art with our command strips, but it usually takes us a while. I’m going to make that a priority!

    • AP

      I try to paint the walls, if I can! A lot of my landlords have been cool with letting me paint as long as I paint it back to whatever neutral they want when I move out. Or I pick a neutral that isn’t white (give me ALL the grays) and see if they’ll approve it.

      • Jenny

        oooh! I love the idea of a little patio garden!

    • jhana

      ok, this sounds awful… but bear with me. i love ikea. and target. unlike west elm/ crate &barrel/ cute boutique-y spaces, i know that the layouts in ikea rooms/ catalogs are affordable. homegoods/ tjm/marshalls clearance racks are also great for extras with personality that won’t break the bank (pillows, throws, small tables, chairs, coffeetables. the red sticker gives me LIFE)

      • Jenny

        You certainly won’t hear any Ikea or Target hate from me!!!! I’m super looking forward to being closer than 2 hours away from an ikea (their wall decals and kids furniture is a+!)

    • penguin

      Whatever makes it feel like home to you – for us this is decorating, and not having any visible boxes. We hang up art, and whatever other signs and things we have, and fill the bookshelves with our books and things. Another big thing for me is area rugs – helps cover up the rental carpet that may not be in great condition.

      • Jenny

        Thanks! I’d never thought about area rugs on carpet, but it makes so much sense!

    • BSM

      Apartment Therapy is always a good resource for inspo, especially for some more inexpensive/temporary ideas. I also looooove Emily Henderson’s blog; she’s so damn cute and so is her style.

      Depending on your kitchen setup, it might be helpful to get an island for extra storage and counter space. We had a super cheap IKEA one, which was a bit flimsy but fine for our purposes, but, if we’d been planning on renting for longer, I might have been convinced to splurge one the gorgeous C&B ones:

      http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80035920/

      https://crate.us/2uT2tjN

      • Jenny

        Thanks! I’ll have to do some poking around! And good call on the kitchen island!

    • sofar

      I’m SUPER lazy when it comes to decorating, but, after years of perking up dingy apartments, here are a few things that have worked for us.

      One thing to make your place feel SUPER luxurious is giant piles of fancy throw-pillows on the beds (our room and guest room). Yeah, you have to remove them when you go to bed, but it makes your bed look straight out of a catalog magazine. My in-laws also do the fancy-pillows (with embroidery and sequins) thing at their house, which I’ve always loved. We did a more “rustic” assembly of throw-pillows for our house.

      Also — lighting. Change out the cheap bulbs the apartment has with nice ones (go to a lighting store, and they’ll help you get flattering light for your bathroom and bright lights for your kitchen).

      Rugs are also a big deal. I like to take big risks with our rugs because it’s easier than painting a wall and a great way to get some color involved. I just bought a bright pink rug for my office.

      As for storage, go to a consignment/antique store and get some steamer trunks. They look cool, they hold a ton of stuff, and people can sit on them.

      Baskets. With lids to hide all the junk you keep in them. Vary their heights to create variety (low, flatter baskets, big tall thin baskets, etc.)

      Finally, indoor plants. Lots of them. Green perks up everything.

      • BSM

        Definitely yes on the lighting, both bulbs and light fixtures!

      • Jenny

        These are great! I didn’t even know lighting stores existed. I’m definitely going to get some steamer trunks!

        • sofar

          Even just the lighting department at Ikea is great because they have all sorts of displays with bulbs that show what kind of light it is and which rooms they recommend it for.

      • Laura C

        Oh, the lighting point makes me think, one thing we have done in a number of apartments was replace crappy old shower heads. You can get a great new one for pretty cheap and I’ve never been unable to take an old one off given some Goof Off and a set of wrenches. You have to be careful not to apply too much pressure to the existing pipe coming out of the wall, but use common sense and just keep adding Goof Off and you should be good. And it makes such a difference to have a shower head where water comes out all of the holes and the streams don’t run together and you can adjust it and so on.

        • BSM

          Yes! Definitely replace shower heads!

        • sofar

          YES for the nicer shower head! Makes a huge difference.

    • Sarah

      Welcome to Philly! I have lived all over the country – Chicago, Boston, DC, smaller towns – and it is the best place we’ve lived. What neighborhoods are you looking at? We’ve lived in Fairmount and are in West Philly now, but have looked all over the city if you have questions.

      • Jenny

        Thanks! I’m excited about the move. We are looking for a 2 bedroom within a 30 minute bike/transit commute to UPenn. Ideally a place with a yard (or with a park/playground in walking distance), a place with some other young families, walkable to stores/bars/food. I’ll be there for the first month alone, so a place that is safe for a solo female to be walking home in the dark.

        So far we are thinking of these places
        University city/west philly- powelton village, and near baltimore between 42 and 47 (my concern about this place is living with/near undergrads, who probably keep different hours than ours 6a-10p)
        Fairmont/spring garden/art museum- south of poplar west of ridge
        Queen village/society hill- west of broad
        Graduate hospital
        Northern liberties/fishtown

        We are heading up to look at places in a few weeks, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to get a good idea of the neighborhood and can find something we really like.

        • Sarah

          You have exactly the same requirements as we do. I’m a PhD student at Penn and did not want to be a part of the student crowd. We previously lived in Cityview and loved it (lots of young families), but the neighborhood was just a little too far from Penn and commuting was complicated. Upsides- you never have to leave a 4 block radius because everything wonderful is there and it’s super quiet at night. It’s also full of young families and great new playgrounds.

          We’re in Powelton Village now and rent a renovated 2 bed house with a backyard and finished basement for $1600. It’s dead silent at night, safe and parking is super easy. It tends to be people in their late 40s – 60s and there are fewer families, but you have to be careful to stay away from the student areas (west of 34th and east of 40th).

          I would say that if you want to be able to find parking in less than 15 minutes, stay away from Grad hospital and Queen Village – it’s gotten super crowded there. However, the areas are otherwise fantastic. And I feel less comfortable walking in Northern Liberties and Fishtown at night by myself, but you should check it out for yourself and see how you feel.

          Good luck!

          • Violet

            Question: when you say parking is easy, is it still street parking, and just not a total nightmare as elsewhere in the city? Or your own spot?

          • Sarah

            There’s always an open street spot directly in front of our house, unless I try to park on weekday mornings and then I usually have to park a few houses away.

          • Violet

            Awesome, thanks! Not moving soon, just curious. Would love to someday end up in Philly or Philly-adjacent.

          • philly!

            I live in Grad Hospital and parking can be an issue, but less so on the western/southern edges of the neighborhood. I’ve found it to be incredibly quiet and delightful to live here, with lovely neighbors and easy access to parks, food, coffee, and whatnot. I also find northern Point Breeze & Newbold just fine, but not everyone thinks that. You’ll definitely get more for your money there, though.

          • Jenny

            Awesome! That’s very helpful. How did you find your apartment? We are doing craigslist and trulia. Are there other sites I should be checking out?

          • Sarah

            I found my current place through Zillow, but there’s usually a lot of overlap between the sites. You might also consider looking at a realty company’s website because many small-time landlords here list through them (they pay the broker’s fee).

          • scw

            chiming in: queen village is super cute and has my favorite restaurant (hungry pigeon), but public transportation around there wouldn’t make it super easy to get to penn. and I agree that parking can be difficult in both grad hospital and queen village/many parts of south philly. but we’ve totally just gotten used to that.

            I feel the same way about northern liberties and fishtown at night, but all my friends who live there tell me I’m wrong! whereas people tell me that about my area, which is kind of newboldy, kind of girard estatesy, and I totally disagree. I think the city has changed a lot in the last few years and most of these areas are now relatively safe. (I would still maybe stay away from some areas of point breeze)

    • Sarah

      Oh- and the thing I think makes the biggest difference is having really nice rugs. It makes the space look pulled together and comfortable. It also helps dampening noise, which is important living in an apartment or rowhouse.

      • Jenny

        Thanks, weirdly enough I’d never really thought about rugs.

    • Violet

      Definitely hanging artwork (even if it’s just something framed from posters dot com) and an area rug. Big impact for minimal amount of work.
      And congrats! A Philly soft pretzel is the only kind worth eating….

    • Jess

      Temporary Storage: I buy those metal wire shelf units you sometimes see in industrial kitchens and put cloth baskets (colorful when I was younger, sleeker now) on them for clothes or just use the shelves for games or as a make-shift pantry. They aren’t super expensive but work great in closets/kitchens.

      Depending on your general style, I look at coffee shops/restaurant designs, hotels I visit, and places like Apartment Therapy or A Beautiful Mess or Two Peas and Their Pod (recipes, but also home). Apartment Therapy often links to other blogs which you can follow if you like their style. Sometimes they are way more modification heavy than you can do, but you can get a feel for the kinds of spaces you like and can imagine yourself in.

      I approach a new apartment with the question “How would I like this space to feel/what would I like this space to do?” People have all sorts of answers: minimal and soothing, bright and cozy, modern and impressive? A private relaxing retreat, a place to host parties? Those will have different color schemes, furniture types and amounts, textures and fabrics.

      Heavily agree with Violet that hanging art will be a quick way to make any space feel better.

      • Jenny

        Thanks these are great idea, and great questions.

    • Kate

      I grew up in a house that went BIG on holidays so seasonally themed dish towels make me very happy. Think about something you liked in the house you grew up in or in another familiar place and bring that into your apartment.

      • Jenny

        YES! I also love decorating for holidays! Dish towels are a great idea since they are small, cheap and don’t take up much space! Thanks!

    • emilyg25

      I really like Apartment Therapy, especially because it focuses on small spaces and has a lot of content specific to renters. I’ve always taken my art with me from apartment to apartment, as well as smaller (5×8) rugs. I’m a decor person so I always think about things I’d change, but I just tell myself, “But I’m trading that power for the flexibility of being able to leave whenever.” Also, I never had to worry about deep cleaning when I rented, haha!

      • Jenny

        Thanks for the recommendation. The only place I’ve ever nested was the house I owned (and most of the nesting was stuff like replacing cabinets etc. Glad there are some recommendations for apartments and small spaces!

    • CommaChick

      I recently bought and put together a (really cheap) bookshelf. (Like, really cheap.) It’s amazing what a difference it has made. Between that and a rug I added, I feel like I have a grown-up living room for the first time in my life.

  • Laura C

    We are supposed to close on our apartment on Monday. We’re … not actually sure how that’s happening. Our lawyer expected to do a power of attorney for my parents to sign for us, but today the bank said no. But it seems like the bank might accept us just signing with a notary out here and overnighting the documents? Which our lawyer was totally stunned the bank would prefer to a POA for my parents, but I mean, we can go to the UPS store and make that happen, no problem. I will be SO GLAD when this is done.

    In happier news, I saw The Big Sick on Tuesday and everyone should see it, it’s so good. I have never identified with a movie character more than I did with Holly Hunter’s character in the comedy club scene.

  • Eh

    I got excited earlier in the week because my inlaws made plans with us a week in advance (much improvement over calling us the day of). Last Saturday they asked if we were available for breakfast one morning this weekend. My husband said that Sunday would probably work for us but he would get back to them after talking to me. My husband and my inlaws had not discussed any of the details so I said we would hold the time for them but before we confirmed with them we needed to know location (they live an hour away, so near our house or their house) and time (because I have plans with friends mid-day, so say, 10am at my inlaws house wouldn’t work for us). My FIL finally got back to my husband Thursday morning and said that they were going to have to cancel on us because they needed to pack for their vacation (they are leaving Monday). I found this extremely disrespectful because they made plans with us, we held the time, but they couldn’t find another time to pack (my FIL doesn’t work, so this seems to be a serious time management and prioritization issue). Then just before we went to bed Thursday night, my FIL texted my husband to say that he talked to my MIL and they are available at 9am on Sunday for breakfast at a restaurant near our house. So baring them canceling on us last minute, we are having breakfast with them on Sunday.

    Sunday mornings are the only time we have a few hours where the three of us are all home and awake so that’s when we do things as a family. I also use that time to run errands (since we only have one car, which my husband usually drives). So for us to hold that time we had to give up the only family-time we have for the week, and I had to plan ahead to ensure I didn’t have any errands to run (e.g., by doing them during the week, after my husband got home from work). We agreed to that time and made sacrifices because we want to spend time with them. Since they made plans with us after my husband’s work schedule was already posted, this was the only time available. If they had given us two weeks notice (as we have requested) my husband could have adjusted his schedule and either found another time to visit with his parents or another time for family-time. We put in the required effort to hold a time for them and they treated that time slot like a drop in class at the gym.

    • Amy March

      I don’t understand why you would sacrifice time that is precious to you for people who literally never respect your time. You know they suck at this! Lots of people would see last minute Sunday breakfast as a low key who cares if plans change thing but Obvi that doesn’t work for you guys, no need to force it!

      • Eh

        I’m tired of their comments about how they want to see us more (not at larger family things) and how we are difficult to make plans with, but then put in no effort. So my husband and I agreed to try making plans with them on less than two weeks notice (but we still need at least a few days notice), so we were happy when they asked us a week in advance. I get they aren’t planners and don’t want to make commitments (but they can plan four trips in 6 months, so they are good at that). My gut reaction is to put up a wall and go back to our 2 weeks notice requirement but I also know that means we will probably never see them.

        • Violet

          Omg. You are so much more patient than I am. Once I’ve realized that certain people will never be happy, I completely stop trying with them. They’re sad they don’t see me enough? Too bad. Seriously. I’m sure it’s harder because you don’t want to get in the way of your husband’s relationship with them. But seriously, I would have quit trying with them, like, two years ago?

          • Eh

            For anyone else I would stopped trying a long time ago. It’s that it’s his parents. I am letting him be the gatekeeper and trying to support him – it’s hard. I know this isn’t the same (since my inlaws have repeatedly done this to us), but I’ve been in relationships where my partner did not want to spend time with my family and kept me from them (and was one of the many reasons those relationships did not work out).

            Side note: I think it was about three years ago when we put in the very strict 2 weeks notice requirement and we barely saw my inlaws and they actually didn’t complain all that much. Then two years ago (in August) our daughter was born. We kept the same two week requirement and they walked all over it and started complaining all the time.

          • Violet

            Oh, how the grandbabies change the dynamic…

        • Jenny

          So hard. Especially since they aren’t “yours”. My husband and I are definitely at different stages of the “fucks to give” about people who don’t act like they give a fuck about me/him. I’m firmly in the 0 fucks to give camp and handle it by sending things hello xyz people, I’m in town and free on this date. I’ll be eating at this mexican restaurant from 6-8, if you are free, I hope you can stop by. He still goes on the guilt trips that are offered to him, and I have to deal with the emotions he feels about it. But it’s hard because I can’t give 0 fucks for him, you know.

          • Eh

            That’s exactly how we handle his brother.

            I don’t want to plan my daughter’s 2nd birthday party (to be more precise, I don’t want to plan two events for her 2nd birthday – since we are visiting my family on her birthday). My proposal is going to be that we say that there will be cake at our house on a specific day at a specific time and if they are free they are welcome to join us (but we’re only inviting his parents, his grandparents and his brother’s family). If they are available great; if they aren’t, more cake for me.

          • Amy March

            That’s how parties work. You are the host, you pick the time, location, and activities. People come or they don’t. I fully support this plan!

          • Eh

            Hahaha I totally agree that’s how parties work. My MIL thinks that you need to take a poll first and won’t commit to a time until she knows people are available.

          • Amy March

            Don’t play that game!

            I srsly hate it so much. When I say “wine on Friday” just say yes or no! Not “how about breakfast Sunday at 8am”

          • Eh

            This is one of the many reasons she can’t commit to dates/times for family suppers on holidays. She has to work around everyone else’s schedule.

            Well this is me planning an event and it needs to work within my schedule (and not be a huge deal – just cake). (I’d actually be really happy if no one is available.)

    • Jess

      On the one hand, Yay! They tried to schedule a week out! Progress!

      On the other, Ugh! They didn’t actually do any scheduling until much later, and then cancelled, and then made a last minute plan again.

      I feel your pain.

      • Eh

        Progress – that’s why I was excited earlier in the week… I had hopes it would have gone better.

        I only found out that they cancelled after my husband got home from work, and then it was about two hours later when they said they were available again so I hadn’t got over them cancelling before the plans were back on. Though, I did make plans in my head that we could go for a nice hike on a trail near our house.

        • Jess

          I love the nice hike back-up plan.

          You’ll love this tidbit from my IL’s over the weekend: “It used to be that we could just call you up and drop by. Now, everybody is so busy, we have to do so much planning ahead”

          R and I sat in stone silence. All I could think was “this must be a generic you as it’s never been true for us.”

          • Eh

            My husband uncle says things like that. He hates “making appointments” to see his children and grandchildren.

          • Jess

            UGH…

          • Eh

            His son and DIL moved five hours away. They have his only grandchildren. Now he has to make an appointment to see them since they aren’t five mins away.

          • Jess

            Such a tragedy. How inconsiderate of them. Truly, these young people today are the worst. /sarcasm.

          • Eh

            Hahaha Heaven forbid people move from the small town that doesn’t have jobs to a place that does.

            My inlaws are lucky that we only live an hour away. We live 8 hours from my dad. And for the right opportunity we would move.

    • Not Sarah

      Ugh we have been having this problem with my parents lately. I’ve been really busy with grad school and other commitments and they keep complaining that they never see us and trying to force particular times to work despite me repeating that they don’t and I’m happy to visit at X time which they say is too far away. They don’t plan anything in advance and expect us to be ready to jump at an opportunity to see them, which just isn’t possible with our schedules. This year of grad school has otherwise been really lovely and incredible other than my parents putting such a damper in it. They also still have not managed to RSVP to our wedding reception (aka pick their food) despite being able to RSVP for almost a month now…

      • Eh

        We had plans every weekend in April and May (some weekends were events with their family so we were going to see them) but they refused to make plans with us in April or May for June. They still made comments about seeing about making plans with us last minute during that time (which was impossible since the weekends we didn’t have plans with them we were out of town) and refused to make plans with us in June because they couldn’t commit that far in advance (which resulted in the family not getting together for Father’s Day).

  • Rachel102712

    We closed on our house this morning! After what feels like SO MANY years of paying rent, AKA someone else’s mortgage, I am so excited to be a first-time homeowner! My summer bucket list includes painting, tearing down awful wallpaper, landscaping, and lots of other projects around the house. I can’t wait to make this house into our home!

    • Congrats!

      • Rachel102712

        Thanks! :)

    • sofar

      CONGRATS! We’ve had our first home for about a month. And it’s so much work, but it feels like GOOD work.

      We were so happy to finally clean out the apartment and hand over the keys.

      • Rachel102712

        Congrats to you! Glad to hear all the work has felt good–I’ll try to hold onto this reminder because I have a tendency to get overwhelmed by projects. I cannot WAIT to be moved out of our apartment!

    • GoldenCompass

      Congratulations! You’ll love it! I love homeownership in ways that I never expected to–it’s really surprisingly satisfying. Lots of work, but satisfying.

  • Engaged Chicago

    Looking for some financial advice/ resources. In this community, we often talk about debt and budgeting. But What do you do when two partners are entering the marriage with assets? How did you handle combining?

    My partner and I both have investment vehicles, diff high interest savings accounts, retirement savings and credit cards. No debt. Combining our household finances is less daunting than how to tackle our net worth. I have lots of *feelings.*

    For many reasons, I’m not ready to combine, though I know we have more investment power together. Partially because people in my family handle some of my money managing – something he (understandably) doesn’t want to continue jointly. He’s hurt that I want to keep some of my money separate even though he is willing to bring it all. And It’s not the right time for us to do something jointly like buy a house.

    Then, there’s the stress of figuring out who we invest with (he has a “guy”), what accounts we keep and close (for example we both have Ally) and how we change our allocations.

    • Amy March

      An independent financial advisor, maybe? And a pre-nup, potentially, if you’re trying to keep significant assets separate.

    • Laura C

      We combined our household finances but left our other accounts separate. He has a person who actively manages his money, my money is sitting in a high-interest account (and now it’s going to an extra big down payment anyway). I am skeptical that his money manager is doing better for him than an indexed fund would do and I’m not willing to put more money with her, but she’s kind of a friend of his family so moving away from her would be awkward … so we’ve just kind of left everything be to think about later. But that works because neither of us feels hurt about it, which is not your situation, so I guess my answer is that it can work fine logistically to keep things separate (it’s easy!) but the personal side has to work.

      • Engaged Chicago

        This is super relatable to me so thank you! How do handle contributing to savings? You each continue budgeting giving to your respective accounts?

        I feel like in the next 3-10 years we’ll wind up combining it or using it for joint purposes anyway like buying a house or starting kids college funds.

        • Laura C

          Since we’ve been married our assets have been fairly static — we’ve jointly paid down a bunch of his law school debt and rebuilt a basic savings account out of our incomes without touching our pre-existing accounts. But that sort of happened as part of our household finances. Our paychecks were direct deposited to the same checking account and we moved money into savings as we were able, while leaving our separate accounts untouched for emergencies or future home-buying. Now we’re buying an apartment (which will be in both our names) and my husband will be making more money starting this fall, but after buying the apartment and moving we’ll once again be rebuilding our regular savings account and probably bumping up our 401(k) contributions. The other thing we’ll be doing is starting an account for our son and we need to do more research into that; we’re presuming a 529, but there are choices to make in that category. Any bigger decisions than that are at least a couple years down the road.

          We’re using my money for our down payment — it was more liquid, there was more of it — but he’ll be making significantly more than me soon and that will go back into rebuilding our savings and saving for our son, so I figure it’ll balance out fairly quickly. Although I guess we still have some of his law school loans to pay off, so maybe not…

      • sofar

        This is EXACTLY what we did. We have kept our retirement/investment accounts totally separate. When I die, he gets whatever’s in my accounts and vice-versa.

      • suchbrightlights

        We have done the same- “his, mine, and ours.” We each have a set amount that we contribute to the “ours” savings fund, calculated off of a percentage of our paychecks since our incomes are disparate. Combining investments would also be disparate and we have different priorities in what we use them for. This works for us.

    • Not Sarah

      I would really recommend a pre-nup if you have assets: if either you both have assets or there is a large discrepancy. We did this and the discussions it spurred were incredibly beneficial. It caused us to lay out an exact plan for joining or not joining every type of account, including real estate, and it was such a great foundation for talking about finances in our marriage. Even keeping our investments separate, however, we still both talk about our strategies, our allocations, and our plans for adding more funds to them.

      For the accounts logistical part, I would say that it is a slow process, even for people who do philosophically combine things. My husband and I ended up making a combined list of requirements for a household financial institution and then picking one. Our primary requirement was that we needed to be able to have separate and joint accounts at the same institution and transfer money between them easily.

      All of this is a process – think about how long you spent learning about all of these financial ideas separately! That isn’t going to become joint overnight by any means. I would make a list of each of these categories (assets structuring, household accounts for day-to-day spending, high interest savings accounts, retirement savings, credit cards, where to invest – guy vs elsewhere, house buying, etc.), prioritize them, and tackle them on a slow-ish timeline. Perhaps start with understanding where each other is coming from and then first tackle the household accounts, before worrying about the pre-marital accounts. Good luck!

      • Engaged Chicago

        This is really thoughtful. I love the idea of slowly prioritizing and walking though it. Life will continue to change so these conversations are always relevant. Thank you!

    • flashphase

      In my opinion there is no “right” way to do this, just the right way for each couple! We keep accounts separate but added all his accounts to my Mint. I figured out that I mostly needed transparency and he mostly wanted me to give him big picture how we were doing. I personally am fine kicking the can down the road for literally combining $$. Money is SO emotional, maybe you guys can come up with a compromise/other solution that lets him feel like you are participating?

      • Yael

        This is what I’m thinking we’ll do. Unfortunately, Mint doesn’t work in Germany (or with German banks, rather), but I don’t want to pay for YNAB when the issue isn’t budgeting, it’s just keeping track of stuff, which I can actually do by hand if necessary. We’ll also only have one income in Germany (mine), and all the other accounts are US anyway.

        • Lisa

          YNAB is free for students. All you have to do is scan a student ID card, and they send you a product code that’s good for a year. You can keep re-upping it as long as your student ID is valid.

          • Yael

            Oh, awesome! I know it’s not *that* expensive, but, a student income (which is actually a great income, don’t get me wrong) split between 2 people while saving for a wedding is going to be… interesting.

          • Lisa

            Totally understand! We’ve been using the student version for the past two years. Someone on here told me about it on one of the first APW/YNAB posts, and that’s what finally convinced me to sign up. I make sure everyone to whom it’s applicable know now!

      • Engaged Chicago

        Great ideas. Thank you!!

    • LindseyM

      When I originally read your post, I thought you meant that you each had a classic cars as an investments — like you had a Rolls Royce and he had a Jaguar e-type. Hehehehe.

      • Engaged Chicago

        Hahah That is amazing

  • theteenygirl

    Overdramatic thoughts: 12 weeks out from the wedding and I’m thinking about how my $13k wedding isn’t going to look as nice as other $13k weddings I see online. Starting to wonder why I’m spending all this money to not even have it turn out the way I want / see in my head.

    • Hayley

      Keep in mind that alot of the weddings I see online are like, one of the BM is world class with makeup and did everyone’s makeup for free, and dad paid for the photographer and aunt jeanny works in the theater and got a steal on old props for decoration and the bride has been painting watercolor for 15 years and made all the paper/invites/menu cards for 10 cents a piece. I exaggerate but there are some of costs missing from “Our 13k Wedding” that are probably in your list and so it may not be apples to apples.

      Another thing to remember is some areas are really cheap to get married in and some really expensive. Some cities, you can get alot for your dollar and in some places, it doesn’t go quite as far. And as they say, comparison is the thief of joy.

      I am sure your wedding will turn out lovely. Most of us don’t have the budget for our dream wedding but I have to say the majority of the weddings I’ve been to rocked anyway!

      • theteenygirl

        Thanks for this :) I am just getting overwhelmed with the idea of what a wedding is “supposed” to look like. Sigh.

      • Brynna

        Yesss exactly this!

    • Also, when we see weddings online we’re seeing the best parts! We don’t take or post photos of the things that don’t work out.

      • theteenygirl

        Thanks :) sometimes the Internet is hard.

        • Truer words were never spoken.

    • I’m sure your wedding will be beautiful, and echo what other people have said about seeing the best parts!

      Also, not to point out the obvious but it’s worth remembering that there is a difference between the way weddings look and how they feel. Some of the most memorable, beautiful, vibe-tastic weddings I’ve been to were not necessarily the most aesthetic :).

      • theteenygirl

        Thanks for this :)

    • jazzygingery

      I totally feel you. I’m about 4 weeks out, with a wedding at about the same price point, and I’m having the same feelings.

      • theteenygirl

        It’s weird right? Like $12-14k is SO MUCH MONEY but also NOT VERY MUCH MONEY!

    • sofar

      If you can, I highly recommend NOT looking at other weddings online. Our wedding was also far from Pinterest-y and so I eventually had to stop looking at Pinterest weddings. Think of other people’s weddings as you would your ex’s new girlfriend’s Instagram. Stay off. Don’t look.

      • theteenygirl

        Love this! I have officially stopped Pinteresting as of a couple weeks ago because it was setting off my anxiety so much.

        But now it’s wedding season and I’m seeing people’s weddings on FB and it’s allllll coming back.

      • Violet

        I didn’t even look at APW weddings when we were planning ours. No joke.

        • sofar

          I didn’t either.

          Advice columns, yes. Therapy!

          Wedding recaps with pretty pictures, no.

    • emmers

      I will also say– one thing I thought about so much after my wedding was that online they picture a lot of non-people details when they show photos of weddings (like cake toppers, flowers, etc), I think because strangers are looking, and strangers don’t really care about pictures of your BFFs from college, for example.

      So I totally stressed about having nice programs, cake topper, etc etc pre-wedding. And I get that for some people, that stuff can be hella important. But for me, on the day itself, and also post-wedding, I could give two shits less about the things/details at my wedding. The pictures I care about most, and my best memories are of the people who were there.

      So yea, your wedding might not be 1000% pinterest worthy. But it will be so special, because you will be there! getting married to your partner! with people who love you! And that is such a cool, special thing.

      • theteenygirl

        It IS such a cool special thing. We’re technically already legally married (immigration reasons) so our wedding is like a big celebration of all the people in our lives meeting for the first time. That’s what I’m trying to focus on.

        • emmers

          And like.. the craziest thing for me, the night before, was thinking– people are traveling here for me! Right now! With plane tickets they bought because they want to come see me! People coming from far and wide. It’s just such a special thing to look around and see people who are there specifically because you asked them to be.

          • theteenygirl

            Yes! That’s the part that’s making me overcompensate for stuff! A big chunk of our budget went to renting out the entire Inn and having everyone stay there for free with us because I felt SO BAD that people were taking time off work and flying/driving all the way here only to have to pay for hotel/bnb costs too.

            So maybe I would have matching chairs and a wedding arch and lots of flowers if we didn’t decide to do that. But… friends and family being comfortable and close was our #1 wedding priority so they came first over decorations.

            Man APW is like therapy some days.

            Thanks for helping me reevaluate!

          • emmers

            Um, you get many many bonus points for caring about people enough to cover their Inn costs! Your wedding will be beautiful! I know as guest I would much prefer to have a free nice play to stay than some kind of wedding arch.

          • theteenygirl

            Thanks :)

      • Brynna

        We were just cleaning out our guest room (which became the “wedding junk” room after the fact), and as we were getting rid of our seating chart and some decorations, I said, “I’m so glad we didn’t spend any more time or money on these…” They’re so unnecessary and barely noticed in the scheme of things!

        • emmers

          Lol, they totally forgot to put out our stupid cake topper, the one that I had gotten custom made on etsy to look like us. In hindsight, I should not have stressed about buying that cake topper. And I could have gone with cheaper flowers. Ooops!

          • Ashlah

            Ha, our cake topper was forgotten too. Someone decided that these big letters with little pegs on the bottom were supposed to be lying flat on the guest book table. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • emmers

            Ours totally was laying flat next to the cake. silly! :)

    • Brynna

      Also, I feel like many “13k” weddings online include things like, “My best friend happens to be a DJ and my aunt did all of our flowers for free!”

    • emilyg25

      I don’t even think you see the best parts online–I think you see the prettiest parts. The best parts of my wedding were the all-permeating love and sense of community, and you can’t really see those in the pictures. I wish I had spent waaaaay less time obsessing over the idea of “blog-worthy.”

      • april

        A million times ‘yes’ to this comment. At some point, someone (Meg, maybe?) wrote something on this site to the effect that “No one will remember how your wedding looked, what they’ll remember is how it felt.” This was definitely true of our own wedding. My partner and I allocated most of our wedding budget to things we thought would make our guests happy and comfortable – like good/plentiful food, good beverages, and a shuttle bus that ran between the reception site and the hotel where most people were staying. We didn’t spend much at all on things like flowers, decorations, or even our own wedding attire. As a result, I don’t think our wedding photos would ever be featured on Pinterest or a wedding blog (other than this one, of course) but 4 years later, people are still telling us how much fun they had at our wedding!

  • Yael

    I finished my first year of my PhD program! Now I’m just waiting to hear if I get to continue, and filling my time working on other projects (on the assumption that I’m staying). I also found a new apartment, which means that now A will definitely be able to come to Germany (there are strict requirements about size of living quarters and amount spent on rent). I’m renewing my residency this week, and still don’t have a signed contract for my new job, but oh well? Turns out Germans are only efficient in comparison to the rest of Europe.

    Has anyone watched GLOW? I had to force myself to not watch it all in one sitting. It is MAGNIFICENT. I’ve rewatched the last episode several times, and every time they get to the final match, I tear up a little. It’s beautiful.

    • AP

      YES GLOW! I’m only a few episodes in, but it is the greatest.

      • Lisa

        Sounds like I need to get in on this…husband really enjoyed the first couple of episodes so maybe that will be out next show after Mad Men! (Especially since I love Allison Brie.)

        • Yael

          I have informed A that he absolutely must start watching, and if he doesn’t, I will make him watch with me when I get back to the States in August. I had no idea who Allison Brie was before this show, but she’s great. They’re all great.

          • Lisa

            She plays the wife of one of the main characters in Mad Men, and she’s spectacular. She really makes the most of her small role there so I’m excited to see her have a chance to shine!

          • Yael

            Clearly I’ve never seen Mad Men (I don’t like anti-heroes) but if you like her then you’ll love GLOW.

          • I don’t like anti-heroes either…

          • ART

            She’s so fantastic in Community. I loved that show.

        • AP

          Ahhhh it’s a great juxtaposition of Allison Brie in Mad Men and GLOW. So wildly different. You’ll love it.

    • BSM

      Congrats! I’ve heard GLOW is awesome, can’t wait to start that now that we just finished OITNB (this season was A+).

      • Yael

        Thank you! This year has been crazy but wonderful. I just wish that I could get more of a break!

    • We managed to stretch it out to… Two whole sittings. I really enjoyed it, especially since I’m, always here for some Allison Brie!

    • Jess

      GLOW is definitely on my list right now.

    • toomanybooks

      Omg congrats on finishing your first year! My wife finished hers shortly before the wedding and has sooooo much less stress now that she’s on “summer break” (still, of course, working full time and working on papers that get submitted to conferences, etc. but, phew, no classes right now!)

    • LadyJanee

      GLOW is fantastic! We watched it all in a week and now I am dying for season 2

  • Mini-vent… This has been a bad mental health week for me, with a particularly unpleasant anxiety spin-out & I just don’t have any chill about it right now.

    While I’m in a better place today after seeing my therapist, I’m also incredibly frustrated. I feel like I spend so much of my energy managing my anxiety and I’m so freakin’ diligent about avoiding things that agitate it (like, hi fully caffeinated coffee and Twitter, miss you both) but all I have to do is hit the wrong trigger, and it’s still off the mother-effing races.

    Intellectually I know that my ability to cope is getting better, and at least it’s eating days instead of weeks. But at the moment, I’m alllll the way over it.

    • theteenygirl

      I know how you feel. Some periods of time I am SO GOOD with managing my anxiety, I barely have to think about it. But other times (like, the past few months) have been incredibly difficult. It’s such a vicious cycle. I hope you get on the upswing soon!

      • Thanks… Upswings for for everyone!

    • flashphase

      Hi, do we have the same brain?? My anxiety has been out of control. Seeking yoga and meditation as much as possible to keep me physically chill.

    • Yael

      Same. Twitter (and news generally) is definitely a trigger. In my case it’s freaking out about getting married in a month and moving A to Germany and looking for an apartment (and then finding an apartment but they haven’t sent the lease yet and the lease will be in German and what if I miss something and….).

      Anyone have any good recommendations for relaxation that don’t involve physical activity or hot baths? It is seriously 95 degrees here and of course there’s no AC. I’m also losing sleep because it is SO HOT.

      • AP

        I like reading really engrossing books to manage anxiety, especially fantasy/sci-fi stuff with intricate world-building that gets me out of my head and the everyday. I can’t do self-help, anything political, or even biographies/memoirs of real people when I’m stressed, but some recs of things I’ve liked are the His Dark Materials YA trilogy, Ready Player One (esp if you like gaming at all or played video games in the 80s-90s), and The Night Circus. Oh, American Gods or really anything by Neil Gaiman.

        • Yael

          OMG I love Ready Player One and The Night Circus. True story: my best friend/former roommate and I threw a party themed around the Night Circus. We told everyone to dress in black, red, or white, and decorated with red and white roses. I think it was actually a St. George’s Day party, as in Barcelona it is celebrated through the exchange of roses and books. We had a book exchange and invented cocktails based on literary characters. Example: The Red Queen (Alice in Wonderland): chipotle pepper syrup, grenadine, prosecco, in a flute rimmed with habanero and strawberry sugar.

          I do need to get back into reading for pleasure. I just get drained after a semester of reading and want nothing more than the story to just come at me in video form, but reading is so much better for my mental health and sleep habits.

          • AP

            Such a fun party idea!! I hear you on reading- I can tell when I have trouble sleeping and I’m scrolling my phone *while* watching Netflix, that it’s time to turn off the screens and pick up a book.

          • That party sounds amazing!

        • Ooo, 2nd this suggestion! (And good reminder for me haha). Reading is so helpful for stopping head-chatter.

          • Emily

            SO TRUE. I discovered my love of historical fiction this way. Anxiety is such hard work all the time, and so escaping into a world that is not my own for a bit is oh so nice.

        • nutbrownrose

          To add to your engrossing fantasies list: anything by Robin McKinley, but particularly Spindle’s End (a fairy tale retelling, but so intricately built you forget you’re reading sleeping beauty). Only–don’t read Pegasus unless you want to be extremely frustrated by the lack of sequel. All the others are awesome! And if you read Beauty, then Rose Daughter, then the afterword, you will be fascinated (They’re both retellings of Beauty and the Beast, but Beauty was written 20 years before Rose Daughter, and it’s so fascinating to see such a perfect example of writer-growth (or maybe that’s just me)).

        • Ilora

          Tangent, I actually screamed out loud when I found out about The Book of Dust Trilogy! The first book apparently takes place before the events in His Dark Materials and the second two take place after. The first one comes out in October! I haven’t been this excited about a new release of a book since Harry Potter and I don’t know how to handle it.

      • jem

        So this will sound weird but bear with me… My favorite summer relaxation strategy is to spray magnesium on my feet and then do legs-up-the-wall pose for like 10 min.

    • toomanybooks

      This week has been tough for me too, mental health wise! I’ve been pretty down. I mean, I do have the explanation that I couldn’t find my Lexapro for a few days. I also took a couple days off Vyvanse because – since I wasn’t taking my anxiety medication – my nausea issues were flaring up. Nausea’s tough to deal with not only because it’s the most unpleasant, but also because I remembered just how sleepy I get when I don’t drink coffee OR take vyvanse. And it makes me think about what I could have accomplished if I didn’t just want to not leave the house all my life, and what office culture would be like if no one had any medication or caffeine. Ahhh.

      • Oh no! That combination sounds very… Not cool. What would office culture be like without medication or caffeine? #nightmarezone

        • toomanybooks

          Haha, I mean for me specifically it means DESPERATELY wishing for a nap, but I wonder if offices would be structured differently at all if -no one- had them or if maybe the problem is just that I hate going to sleep at night and there would still be ~Virtuous Early Risers~ who would be fine without any stimulants at all

    • Emily

      Man, I feel you. It feels like I need to do everything absolutely perfectly (no caffeine, never skipping a gym day, etc) and when I slip up just a bit my anxiety is right there. That said, it’s better now than it’s been in a while I think because I took the time when it was really bad to put together my ‘Oh Shit’ plan, as I like to call it. Articles, exercises, people, and places that I know calm me so I don’t have to work so hard to find something that works when the anxiety rears it’s ugly head.I keep all the links and suggestions in my Google drive so it’s ready when I need it!

      Hugs to you <3

    • Liz

      It’s Saturday morning and I’m just catching up on happy hour but this was so helpful for me to see today. This has been my week too and sometimes it’s so hard to have to manage everything perfectly in order to not have a spin out. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one in that spot.

  • Not Sarah

    @amymarch:disqus – I went to a wedding reception recently where the couple chose to only have family and close friends (which turned into 40 people?!) at their ceremony and then they had the reception later on in the day (with ~120 people). I’m really glad it was local as for a variety of reasons it just didn’t feel like a wedding to me. I’m sure it felt like a wedding to them and that’s the more important part, but I finally understand where you’re coming from!

    My husband and I eloped spur of the moment last fall due to immigration reasons and are planning a reception/party for our friends and family on our first wedding anniversary. We are not doing a ceremony that coincides with our reception, so our friends’ reception gave me a lot of food for thought of how to make it feel like a wedding to us: I have a white dress, we will make a toast as a couple, each of our parental sets will make a toast, I will do a father/daughter dance and my husband a mother/son dance, we have a delicious cake that we will ceremoniously cut, we will do a first dance, and we want to make sure there is a good dance party vibe going.

    • Amy March

      Ughhh. 40 is not a small private wedding!

      • Not Sarah

        Yeah! OMG. When they first said “small private wedding”, I pictured parents and that’s it! But when I realized it was 40 people (which the bride only let slip when she was drunk and that explains why they needed a park permit), I really started to feel excluded. Our small private wedding had 10 people including us, our officiant, our parents (four), two witnesses and a friendtographer.

        • EF

          i mean, this is a suuuuuper common dynamic in the uk. very often there’s a morning/early afternoon ceremony with like, 30-50 people, and then 100+ at the evening reception. could it be that there’s some english cultural influence?

          • Not Sarah

            Definitely no English cultural influence in either of their backgrounds… I think it was just a double introvert thing combined with a battle of small vs big wedding that turned into a really awkward situation.

        • Laura

          we just went to one like that and it made us feel really excluded :( especially when during the toasts the speakers referenced the ceremony like ‘i know you couldn’t all witness their vows but…’ and then some people were nodding knowingly and the rest of us just felt left out. it was wierd, because actually we all COULD have been there, we just weren’t all invited! and i’d echo the person who said it didn’t feel like a wedding. we felt like crashers or something!

          • Not Sarah

            Oh my gosh! Yeah I think their original intention was just parents but the way it evolved made me feel really excluded. Like one of the spouses was one of our witnesses at our very last minute wedding – so it made it feel like we were way less important to them than they were to us, you know?

  • BSM

    LOOK WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR HOUSE RIGHT NOW!!!!!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1304be28cd615b7cc5cbe0caeb4a9161d159c5615876ccba0ef9322f289700bd.png

    Why yes, that is our entirely new bedroom with walls, paint, windows, and a light fixture. The floors were just refinished, so we have to wait a couple more days to move furniture in, but we will be sleeping IN OUR BEDROOM on Sunday! We have been in the living room (with most of our regular living room stuff, all our clothes, and a temporary kitchen setup) since the beginning of May, so this is the most exciting news ever.

    In other news, we spent a few days in wine country over the long weekend, and pro tip: everyone goes wine tasting during the day, so the pool is completely empty. I had the best time swimming!

    • ART

      OMG I want to go swimming so bad while I still fit in my suit (ish)…I might have to make a wine country trip happen for just that purpose. Thanks for the tip! And glad you’re getting a bedroom :)

      • BSM

        Do it!! Swimming felt amaaaazing. Shockingly, nearly all my suits still fit, so that made things easy, especially since maternity swimwear is hideous, imo.

        Are you in the Bay? We stayed in the little town of Geyserville (at the Geyserville Inn), which was low-key and perfect for a last-minute getaway. Also dog-friendly!

        • ART

          Yep, that’s not too far for us for a weekend – we’re on the Peninsula and regularly head up to Lake County so that would feel close, actually. I will check that out.

        • Jenny

          Check out Jessica Simpson maternity suits, at least a few years ago I thought they were pretty cute.

          • BSM

            My regular suits all still fit, so I’m not really in the market. I really dislike one pieces and tankinis, so I’m planning on just sizing up in a regular bikini if something changes down the road.

      • rg223

        I read the above and know you aren’t that far along, so this might never be relevant to you, but late term pregnancy swimming is AMAZING. My body felt normal again for the first time in months. And congrats to you!

    • Yael

      I love that light! Where did you get it?

      Also, swimming in an empty pool is hands down the best.

      • BSM

        It really is! I did about a million laps of breast stroke, which felt amazing.

        And thank you! It’s this pendant from Rejuvenation, and it is really beautiful in person:

        https://www.rejuvenation.com/catalog/collections/tiered-drum-pendant—small/products/56b292ca78f2f21c7b00155e

        • Yael

          Thanks! It is now on my Amazon wishlist which is entirely aspirational, but oh well.

          I miss swimming. There is a pool here but I’m not actually sure where and I’m sure I’ll have to talk to someone in German about it and currently I just don’t know enough of the relevant vocabulary to figure it out. That’s a goal for next semester. I am so excited to go to Myrtle Beach in a few weeks and do some open water swimming there!

    • toomanybooks

      That light fixture is so cool!!

      • BSM

        Thank you! I love drum shades in bedrooms (such soft light, ahhhhh).

        I have been lusting after it for so long, and, since we didn’t need many fixtures, we decided to just spring for whatever we wanted.

  • anonymous

    A while back I posted about my boss telling me she wasn’t going to promote me and I should look elsewhere inside our company. Well, this week I got two job offers! One seems like a much better fit than my current role. I’m still grappling with the idea that my career is “behind” other people I started with but also excited to count myself among the APW community of people crushing it at work (seriously, y’all are amazing). Thanks for the support!

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    I posted about 2 months ago about my FMIL passing away, and we’ve finally dug into the project of going through her home and clearing out the contents. It’ll take some doing! It’s a pretty big house with a number of decades’ worth of stuff accumulated in it, and the whole place is pretty much a mess. We’ve learned a lot about the life she lived, which has been interesting and also pretty sad, and it’s amazing how many questions you want to ask someone once you no longer have the option to.Anyway, I have a practical dilemma to solve, and I’d love to know if anyone has any brilliant suggestions. She had an entire walk in closet’s worth of clothing, and the majority of it was unworn and still had that tags on it. She didn’t have any life insurance, and it would make the family’s life easier if we could recoup any of the money she spent on clothes by selling them to a consignment shop. BUT, she was a smoker, so everything is going to smell like stale smoke. I can’t wash it all, because then it’s not new-with-the-tags-on. My plan for the moment is to take some of her clothing racks, set them up in our garage, and just let everything air out for a week or two, hoping the humidity works like a giant steamer. Anybody have any other ideas of how to eliminate the smoke smell? Or have any tips on offering clothing to consignment shops and the like?

    • penguin

      Airing out sounds like a good plan, or actually steaming them with a clothes steamer may help. It also may be worth checking how much some of them are actually worth, in case it isn’t worth the effort to keep the tags on. You might be able to call a local consignment shop and ask for their cleaning recommendations.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Yeah, I should probably make some calls to figure out what the process is, anyway. Find out what sorts of things they are interested in, or don’t want.

        • penguin

          If the clothes end up not being worth enough for consignment shops, but you still want to get rid of them, I would recommend either donating them, or having a yard sale. Yard sales (at least where my grandparents live) are a great way to get rid of a bunch of stuff fast, and make a little money back.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I think most of us would be happy to just drop them at a thrift store. It was just sad to see my FFIL’s dismay when he realized just how much money she had wasted on something she never even used, especially when she left some significant debts behind. He expressed an interest in recouping some of it if we could. Over the weekend we learned that friend who has been helping has since packed up all the clothing into bags, and I have no idea what the plan is anymore.

    • emmers

      Could you test one garment with Febreze + airing out, and depending on how that goes, continue with the rest?

    • theteenygirl

      I know people who have sworn by spraying vodka on clothes to get smell out. You could try that on a couple pieces just to try?

      • Lisa

        That’s an old costumer’s trick for refreshing clothes between wearings without washing them every time they come off stage. It works for body odor, but I’ve never tried it on smoke. It’s worth a shot!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        (Insert dark joke about alcoholism and vodka being her drink of choice here.) Definitely worth a shot.

        • Jane

          Shot pun?

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Ha! Totally unintentional.

    • sofar

      No good advice on the clothing, but GOOD LUCK. I’ve cleaned out a couple deceased relatives homes, and, while it’s an emotionally poignant, sometimes funny, sometimes fascinating trip down memory lane, it’s also A LOT. You are doing good work and your fiance’s family is lucky to have you.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Thanks, on behalf of all of us. It feels good to me, because it’s tangible work.

    • Amy March

      Real talk? Unless these clothes are pretty new and pretty nice, they’re probably not consignment store material, and may be better suited to a garage sale or e-bay lot.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        You mean on account of coming from a smoker’s home? They’re not junky clothing. If she wasn’t half my size I would be replacing half my work wardrobe.

        • Amy March

          No, just generally there isn’t much of a market for clothes much more than a year old, and consignment stores are typically looking for higher end pieces. If that’s what she’s got it might be worth it!

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Gotcha! Some of them may be. She was buying a lot of it from a pretty nice department store. But I have no idea what’s new or old or whatever.

          • accidental_diva

            Most tags have some sort of code of what season year things were put out.
            Usually its either on the “care” tag or the papery one (I just checked things from Target, Gap, and Lane Bryant all have it their the quarter it was released or the month)

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Oh, that’s helpful! Thanks. TIL.

    • Jess

      My parents used Ozone treatments to get some smoke smell out of their house. It’s probably more expensive than what you’d make on the clothes, but maybe worth checking with a consignment shop for value first?

  • lady brett

    holy shit y’all. this summer has been much. and really good. in the last two weeks we have had 4 sets of overnight guests, an extended family vacation with my honey’s family that was nice but awkward, our baby’s family in town which was wonderful but hard. and upcoming, there’s a wedding tonight, my folks will be in town soon, it’s 2 weeks from baby’s first birthday and less than three from our big move out of state. and we’re watching our friend’s two kids all summer.

    the weirdest part is that i am having a really good summer. i think not working has been so good for my mental health that I have some reserves built up, ha.

    • Jess

      Whoa. That is MUCH.

      Hooray for not working giving you the reserves you need!

  • GoldenCompass

    I’m recently engaged and hoping someone can talk me out of spending guilt. I just hired a partial planner/DOC (who is awesome) for more than I ever planned to give a person for wedding help…but the last three weeks alone have been so stressful I just know my partner and I don’t want to plan a wedding alone. I know she’ll be worth every penny, but I can’t help but feel like it’s money I could be saving or putting into our house (or putting into better wedding decor, a videographer, etc.)

    Part of the problem is that in my family weddings are big (with lots of relatives) but in places with lower cost of living, and there’s always been a mom or family friend on hand who commits to a lot of the help. I don’t really have any family members or friends who 1) would be good at that or 2) I’d ask to commit that kind of time and energy to for my wedding day or 3) have the expertise you need to really know what you’re doing.

    Also, everyone I know who recently married has said to at least get a DOC if you can possibly afford it–it felt like a no-brainer to add on budget consulting and email/phone help as well.

    • Amy March

      Do you care more about your stress level or how good your videographer is? I think it’s ambiguous answer. Don’t feel guilty for spending money you have on your priorities!

    • Violet

      Look, everyone has different spending priorities, so I’m not gonna sit here and say decor doesn’t matter or you’re never really gonna watch that wedding video, anyway. Because for some people, that stuff really matters and it makes sense to prioritize them in the budget.
      But ultimately, peace of mind is totally allowed to be your priority. Our venue (a restaurant) had a special events coordinator who basically served as our DOC on the day of. It was a huge relief to know he was handling things. Basically no one asked me any annoying questions on the day of my wedding. Can you put a price on that? At the end of the day, you spend in line with what matters most to you.

    • LindseyM

      We had a wedding planer and it was the absolute most important decision I made. I am a type A person, and without her my life would have been a hell the six months before the wedding. Best money ever spent, much better than flowers.

      • GoldenCompass

        Thanks for the reassurance, much appreciated!

    • Brynna

      You will not regret this!!!

      • GoldenCompass

        Thank you!

    • Cdn icecube

      If it makes you feel any better the ONE thing my finance seems to care about (right now) is that we get a wedding planner/month of coordinator. His theory is that as much as he loves my type-a, color coding obsession, i get mean when i’m stressed. So for him a good wedding day = a non stressed me, so I’m fine with it. Yeah its a lot of money, but it also SHOULD mean a lot less stress the day/month of.

      • GoldenCompass

        Yeah I’ll just be permastressed and permacranky, which no one wants, least of all my fiance.

        I’m type a, but in an “I’ll obsessively and anxiously research every aspect of this one tiny decision to know I have made the RIGHT one” kind of way, and golly, what a terrible way to spend my whole engagement. Cause that’s what I’ll do for sure.

        • penguin

          Oh my gosh this is me. Our venue comes with an event coordinator to take care of everything day-of, and the venue includes a lot of things (food, alcohol, cake, they put up all décor we bring them), so that’s taken a lot of stress off of us. Peace of mind is worth the cost.

    • emilyg25

      If you don’t like planning, by all means, outsource! It’s all about YOUR priorities, preferences and resources. Own your choices. :)

      • GoldenCompass

        Yeah, and I think what I most need help with is all those little things that are hard to research one by one as they come up, or that don’t even occur to you until the day of–it’s knowing what a reasonable budget in my area is for a photographer, it’s negotiation skills with vendors that I definitely don’t have, it’s those hidden gems they know about (my planner already directed us to a venue that’s perfect for us and, for the area, a bargain, so we can have a Saturday wedding), if we go without a seating chart what do we have to do differently when serving food, what happens when the cake is late…all that stuff. And I won’t be able to stop researching it and combing forums and reading article after article, and I just need to be able to delegate some of that so I can trust the right stuff is happening.

        Gosh. Two months ago I would have told anyone who would listen I could plan a big wedding for a big family for $3000, no problem! Lolololollloooool.

    • toomanybooks

      We had a DOC who was very sweet but kind of dropped the ball a lot when it got to the wedding. Soooo actually getting a good one is NOT a waste of money! (We, um, cheaped out in this respect and hired someone from thumbtack who cost wayyyy less than the norm.) Especially since you don’t have the sort of figure who usually handles that sort of role in other family weddings. Anything that allows you to worry about fewer things on the day of is worth it!

      • GoldenCompass

        Yeah, and my coworker has a nightmare story where they thought they could do without a planner OR a DOC, and then there were all these surprises like the catering bill was twice what they had thought and it was too close to the wedding to change anything, and they ended up hiring their caterer to serve additionally as DOC anyway because they just couldn’t handle anything anymore.

  • penguin

    Wedding planning update – fiancé is doing more planning now, thank goodness. It’s still not perfect since I’m the one making lists and then he just has to do what’s on the list, but I’m counting it as a win. He took this week off, so he had time during the day to schedule our cake tasting, set up a meeting with a DJ, and get my engagement ring cleaned and the setting tightened so the stone doesn’t come out (you could hear it rattle!). Our next big hurdle is going to be invitations, and getting them out ASAP for our mid-October wedding. I’ve been spending a ton of time on Etsy trying to find a plus-size bolero in ivory or navy that will cover my upper arms enough so that I feel comfortable dancing at the reception (because finding a wedding dress with sleeves is apparently impossible, and I ended up getting a strapless ballgown that I love). I’m mostly just really tired of wedding planning things, and I see why people elope.

    • theteenygirl

      Yay for fiancees helping!!

      FH is still unemployed (work visa can’t come soon enough) so guess who gets to do all the crafting these next couple months…

    • Arie

      I did the same sleeve to bolero search, and ended up just giving up and buying this cardigan:

      http://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/womens-sweaters/cashmere-cardigans/wu049-grn/womens-meadow-green-cashmere-crop-cardigan

      it was actually awesome and I ended up loving how it dressed things down a bit.

      • penguin

        That’s cute!! Thank you :)

    • Jennifer

      I ended up with a cardigan too. I’m not sure why since it was the HOTTEST day on record but I tend to get cold. I recommend it. (I still do not understand why they don’t make more dresses with sleeves. Sleeves are pretty too!)

      • nutbrownrose

        Logic reason for lack of sleeves? Sleeves are a PITA to fit, no one could try on all samples the way they can with strapless (and those pincher things). Like, I could imagine myself into a 6 with some creative pinning, but my arms aren’t as imaginative.

        • Jennifer

          Well that actually goes for the entire body of EVERY piece of clothing. Sleeves are not the exception to the rule that all bodies are different. And even corsets have to be fitted to every person because all boobs/torsos are shaped differently.

          • nutbrownrose

            Absolutely fair, you’re right. It is stupid. :)

  • louise danger

    the anticipated mom-money drama arrived on saturday. she drove up for the day (five hours each way, minimum? what?) and bought lunch. on the way to the restaurant, she casually threw out there that dad has been on her case a little about money, but “he eventually said that you should have whatever you want for your wedding so that it’s nice.” her response to our sincere “thank you for lunch!” as the waitress brought the check back to be signed: “i’m trying to buy favor so i can buy favors.” she wrote a $significant check which i haven’t cashed/deposited yet. i don’t know what to do with it.

    she completely refuses to accept that we’re not having dancing, which means dad won’t have the chance to dance with me at the reception (i talked to him and he doesn’t care, he understands we’re not having a dancing-and-dinner thing). like, i pointed at the speaker in the ceiling during lunch (at the venue) and said, not unkindly, “mom, this is the only music there will be.” and she just stomped away.

    meanwhile – advice from catholic brides welcome – dad is angry/disappointed-parent-voice on the phone when i mentioned the possibility of walking down the aisle on my own. he has apparently “been to a few catholic weddings over the years, and at none of them did the bride walk herself down the aisle.” also “i’ve thought about walking a daughter down the aisle at her wedding for a long time, and i only have one chance to do that and that’s with you.”

    so tl;dr i’m a failure and disappointment to both of my parents, who couldn’t mention any of this stuff, i don’t know, a year? six months? ago and are only bringing it up now, with 3 months to go when everything is signed, arranged, paid for, etc. the wedding is no longer exciting or of interest to me, since it’s clear that i’m just a goat in a pretty dress that they will get to show off to the people we’ve invited before handing me to mr danger at the front of the church.

    silver lining/bright spot of the week, we got the marriage license on monday.

    • Apparently the catholic church has been trying to encourage the couple to walk down the aisle together since the 70s (said the priest at my super catholic friend’s wedding)! So no giving away or father daughter march is certainly not an issue from the religion perspective!

    • Amy March

      You are not a goat!!!

      Do you really not want to walk with him? That’s fine, but is it really surprising he’s sad? That’s a classic Dad moment. And he is right, many many Catholic weddings include it. I know the church pushes otherwise but it’s still super common

      Deposit the check. Shrug your shoulders about the music. Stop telling yourself you are a failure and a disappointment and try “my parents are only human, they have feelings, those feelings are not my job.”

      • Yael

        “Those feelings are not my job.” So true, and so hard to live by.

      • emilyg25

        And remember that getting married is a major transition where you go from being part of your parents’ family to starting your own family. That’s huge, and even when people are all cool, it’s not easy.

    • Lisa

      It’s actually pretty common in Catholic churches for the bride to walk herself in or walk in with her partner as it represents the couple entering into the sacrament together. I walked in with both of my parents, but I never considered it being just me and my dad.

      Have you talked to your dad directly about the money? If your mom is saying he’s worried about it, would he be someone you could talk to get more information about their contribution?

      • Ellen

        I also walked with both of my parents in a Catholic ceremony, as did my husband. I think it was one of the two options offered by our Catholic-wedding-planning booklet, in fact. It, as any other option, may not be For You (which is fine and in which case you shouldn’t do it), but frankly, I found it to be (1) a really lovely thing to do myself and (2) something I felt great about both of us doing. I also heard, post-ceremony, from several people (including one very-ex Catholic, who was impressed with the egalitarian-ness of the entrances) how nice they found it to be.

    • rebecca

      My parents teach Catholic marriage prep and would be deeply bewildered if I wanted to walk down an aisle with my father. *However* the church makes a distinction between “escorting the bride” (which is fine and anyone can do) and “giving the bride away” (which is a major no-no). This is why there’s no “who gives this woman blahblah” in Catholic liturgy since the couple is supposed to be giving themselves to each other. In *practice* most people conflate the two, but if it helps at all, he could still escort you and not officially “give you away”. (this is especially nice when the groom also has someone important to him escort him to the alter)

      • Lisa

        Yes, if I could go back and change one thing about our ceremony, the only thing I can think of is that I would like to equal out our entrances by having my husband escorted in by his parents the same way I was with mine.

        • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

          My MIL was super insistent about walking her son down the aisle, and I was surprised at how many people said it wasn’t ‘the done thing’. It was the only moment of the whole wedding process I really had to go a bit crazy and put my foot down in her defense. She ended up walking him down the aisle, and my dad walked me down the aisle, and it was perfectly lovely.

          • Jane

            Good for you and good for your MIL. Who are these people who try to stop these things? I do not understand.

            I really want my FMIL (or both FH’s parents) to walk him down the aisle. It would make me feel much better about having my dad figures walk me down the aisle (not my mom because my dad is walking me part-way and my step-dad is walking me the rest and it’s just too much already).

      • Jess

        We had R walk in with his mom right before me and my dad and had our officiant announce them and ask people to rise then. It was awesome.

        • LadyJanee

          We did this too! It really was awesome :)

      • ssha

        I had no idea. That’s so interesting!

      • Yeah my husband had his parents walk him up the aisle and I had my parents walk me up the aisle in our Catholic wedding. Something about walking in with family and then leaving with new family… but don’t have all the right words but there wasn’t a give-away thing at all.

    • ALee

      Meant to reply to your comments, but made a mistake. Sorry for the double-post!
      Catholic bride here. I walked down the aisle with my husband at our wedding, but we included our parents in the procession. It worked like this: hymn starts, all parents walk down the aisle in couples, followed by all siblings (they all take their seat as they get to the front of the church), then bridal party, and finally us. So, my father didn’t walk *me* down the aisle, but he did get to walk down the aisle and be part of the moment. I liked walking with my husband, but also liked acknowledging all of our parents.

      • louise danger

        i mentioned possible alternatives like this (being included in the processional, having a different but equally vital role in the ceremony, etc) but apparently only the real thing will do. we have a meeting with the deacon on monday evening and i plan to ask for advice/input about it then – i cautioned dad that nothing is set yet and he said “well, maybe i can sway things in my favor beforehand.”

    • Jess

      “since it’s clear that i’m just a goat in a pretty dress that they will get to show off to the people we’ve invited”

      Oh, honey, I know this feel. I’m so sorry. Celebrate that marriage license for all it’s worth tonight.

      I hope that the feeling will pass for you as it did for me.

      • louise danger

        we bought some lanterns for the centerpieces this past weekend (after mom had gone home) and mr danger has promised to assist me in the yarn pom-pom DIY department (“why do you need MORE yarn???” he asked, laughing and pointing at the somewhat overwhelming pile of yarn balls in my office). he has been a soldier through all of this and i love him a little more for it every time mom-drama comes up.

        i’m glad your feelings of goat-dom passed.

        • Jess

          yarn pom-poms!? That sounds amazing!

          Hooray for mr danger coming through!

          I found it to be really helpful for R to be like, “Maybe you can just step back and cry? I got this for a little while.” Definitely cemented the feelings behind why I was getting married.

    • toomanybooks

      I walked down the aisle with my now-wife. My dad also did not have any objections to no father-daughter dance, but he did object, a few times, to not walking me down the aisle.

      Luckily it sounds (based on other comments) like walking with your dad is not An Important Traditional Requirement of the Catholic Church, so I think you’re fine standing firm on this one. I had to shut it down (gently!) many a time. He accepted it, eventually. I just… it’s not something I wanted. It didn’t feel like something I wanted to include in my wedding. I wasn’t going to let the literal patriarch of the family bully me into it. Of course he only had good intentions, but so did I. I explained that it was really not personal but it was simply not a tradition I wanted to include, and I wanted to be by my wife’s side the entire time leading up through the ceremony.

      • BSM

        “Of course he only had good intentions, but so did I.”

        Kind of off-topic: I feel like I’ve been encountering this type of conflict a lot recently, specifically with baby/pregnancy stuff. Both sides mean well, but, for some reason, I’m supposed to relent because “other people have feelings, too*.” I don’t know if it’s just general growing up/life transition stuff or if the martyrdom of motherhood is creeping up on me or if I’m being overly protective of myself/the baby/my baby family (or all of the above), but it’s definitely an interesting thing to be working through.

        *Obviously other people’s feelings matter. But so do mine.

        • toomanybooks

          Ooooh, this is really interesting! My main opinion on the idea of having to relent to other people’s feelings about your baby is “nope, you get the final say,” but then I’ve not been in this position.

          But yeah. So my dad had a certain vision for how my wedding would be that involved him walking me down the aisle? Not only did I obviously also have a vision for my own wedding – I’m not ashamed to admit that I actually am a girl who has always looked forward to having a wedding – but also, I’m sure he had lots of ideas for my life that did not or could not pan out because I’m a sentient person and not just a cardboard cutout of a daughter. I mean, hey, I used to think that when I got married it would be to a man, but it turned out that wasn’t going to happen!

          (With the additional note that I’m close to my parents, would never want to hurt them, don’t think I’ve done anything disrespectful to them and honestly think I’ve been a good daughter. Sooooo I feel like I’m fine!)

    • Jane

      My sister had our mom (instead of our dad or step-dad) walk her down the aisle at her Catholic wedding. I don’t think the father thing is particularly Catholic at all. That won’t help with your father’s feelings – but at least he can’t say it’s a requirement.

    • Yet another Meg

      We had a Catholic wedding and my Dad did walk me down the aisle. He did not however give me away, because as someone said further down, you give yourself in a Catholic ceremony, just as you marry yourself to another person. So the argument that it’s how things are done just won’t fly. I hope you manage to sort things out with your dad.

  • ALee

    Catholic bride here. I walked down the aisle with my husband at our wedding, but we included our parents in the procession. It worked like this: hymn starts, all parents walk down the aisle in couples, followed by all siblings (they all take their seat as they get to the front of the church), then bridal party, and finally us. So, my father didn’t walk *me* down the aisle, but he did get to walk down the aisle and be part of the moment. I liked walking with my husband, but also liked acknowledging all of our parents.

  • ssha

    I bought Little Women for $1 on Saturday so I’ve been rereading it, and the scene with Meg’s wedding has the best description of Wedding Magic. For your perusal: “https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/85517e8e4bc5dfb75138900f0798bbb7dbb4d27b786fb341c48557e6bc7596d9
    .jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e1009690a0abd279bfaf4ff84d9bc1fe500f00b2480075e20faa32efb1ee3c13.jpg

    • InTheBurbs

      I just saw today that the BBC and PBS are partnering to do Little Women as a Masterpiece Theater series

      • Jessica

        I’m so there for that.

        • InTheBurbs

          Right? And one of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s daughters is playing Jo

      • ssha

        oohh! I’ll have to keep tabs on that! hopefully it will be good. I basically cry just THINKING about the ’95 Winona Ryder version, so I will probably have to consider them separate art pieces to enjoy them. ;)

  • Kate

    Anyone have experience publishing or self-publishing an ebook? Particularly a romance novel or novella? Or YA?

  • Kalë

    I have an interview on Monday for a job that would be a perfect fit! I’m super nervous, because I realllly want this job and to be all BOY BYE to my current position. Anyone have any fabulous, tried and true interview or negotiating techniques?

    • emmers

      Yay! I’m sure plenty of others will say this, but Ask A Manager is a great resource for all of this!

      • Lisa

        I was going to make the same comment! I watched her interview how-to and got some great questions to ask the interviewer from there.

      • Kalë

        Thank you so much for this! I have today off, and thanks to your advice I have spent all afternoon with Allison, prepping for the interview!

    • louise danger

      fave questions to ask:
      “What’s the difference between someone who is qualified for or good in this position, and someone who excels in this position?” The managers I’ve asked this one have all seemed very pleasantly surprised by it.

      (this one should be considered carefully before you ask – if you think the interview has been going well, go for it) “If you had to make a hiring decision today, what reservations, if any, would you have about choosing me from among the other candidates?” The one time I asked this one, I had had it written down ahead of time and i self-consciously giggled as i re-read it, then was completely honest with the hiring manager “I’ve never asked this in an interview before” which helped to break the ice a little – it’s a very bold question. But they seemed to appreciate it, and I did wind up getting the offer.

      • Jane

        Another set of questions people have seemed to respond well to is some version of what’s the most challenging aspect of this job for beginners versus what’s the most challenging part long-term.

    • emilyg25

      I try to think of my major achievements so I can answer all those “Tell me about a time when…” questions. Definitely prepare a couple good questions for them. The one louise danger mentioned is great, but I also like to ask people why they choose to work at that company and why the previous person in the position left. For negotiation, research salary now so you’re prepared if they ask at the interview.

    • If you haven’t already, Google “behavioral interview” questions and figure out your responses to them – for me it helps to have go-to responses ready when I’m asked about a time when I failed, or when I had to manage a difficult project. Also try to frame your answer in the SAR (or STAR) format – Situation, (Task), Action, Result.

      When it comes to negotiating, don’t get overly wordy in explaining why you deserve more. Just ask for it, and then STOP TALKING. Seriously. And if you’re ok with what they offer you, don’t feel like you have to negotiate. But also keep in mind, you could negotiate more than salary – time off, work from home, etc.

      Best of luck!

    • scw

      good luck! unless you’re the candidate that the job I want is interviewing on monday, in which case… nevermind. (no, just kidding! hope it goes well!)

    • CommaChick

      My favorite question to ask is “Why did your organization prioritize creating or refilling this position over using your resources elsewhere?”

  • jem

    We’re now 5 weeks out (?!?!?!?!) and people keep asking me how they can help. Honestly, all of the stuff we have left is really couple-stuff: finalizing ceremony, seating chart, timeline. We’re not doing anything DIY… what are tasks we can delegate to make people feel included?

    • Amy March

      Does anything need to be fetched or carried? Rides from the airport, welcome bag assembly and drop off, morning of wedding bagels and sandwiches? Toasts at the rehearsal dinner?

    • Alex K

      Anyone willing to be the “in case of emergency/questions” for vendors? We had a friend do this and we didn’t find out until months later our buses almost got lost! Such a nice gift!

    • emilyg25

      You can just say, “Thanks so much for offering, but everything’s pretty much taken care of!”

  • Megan

    Where all my cheese heads at? I’m having a cheese course at my wedding for dessert wanted to get some outsider input on the accompaniments to go with it. Here are the cheeses:

    **Kunik** (goat, cow) is a unique and voluptuous triple crème cheese. It is a white mold-ripened wheel made from goat’s milk and Jersey cow cream. The blend makes Kunik far richer and more flavorful than a brie-type cheese yet more subtle and sumptuous than similarly ripened goat cheeses.

    **Appalachian** (raw cow) is a lightly cooked, pressed-curd cheese, aged for at least ninety days in our cellars, Appalachian is a lush, vibrant cheese evocative of cream and butter with a mushroom earthiness that recalls the intensity of the cellars. Its lemon notes shade to toasted as the cheese ages. The texture is velvety, melting on the tongue.

    **Ascutney Mountain** (raw cow) is an alpine-style natural rind cheese. It was developed from a Swiss Appenzeller recipe. Ascutney Mountain has a sweet nutty flavor and is aged 7 to 8 months.
    Pipe Dreams Buche (pasteurized goat) is a traditional log-shaped cheese dusted ever so gently with vegetable ash, which gives it a distinguished gray rind and a slightly mineral finish. The chalk-white interior is smooth and creamy, with bright, tart, citrusy notes bursting their way through delicate barnyardy flavors.

    **Verano** (raw sheep) is made using milk from taken from pasture-grazing sheep during the summer months. The flavor is smooth and creamy; the flavor rich and earthy, with hints of clover, wild mint and thyme.

    We are planning on serving them with Mary’s Gone Crackers (original), homemade quince paste, chocolate covered almonds, and fresh figs. Thoughts on whether these additional items go well with the cheeses? Any other suggestions for accompaniments that will go well? Please note that people will be serving themselves from a table full of cheese and condiments so it will be hard to communicate that one particular item should go with one particular cheese.
    Thanks!!

    • Amy March

      I think those all sound lovely! I’d add fresh grapes or strawberries and call it a day. People can play with their own pairings as they like.

      • Yael

        Fruits are always a good idea.

    • Violet

      *jaw goes slack* Please invite me…..

    • Kalë

      Apples, if you can get some really crisp ones that won’t go mealy! Grapes, too. Also maybe one or two other types of crackers – rice crackers might be a nice nod if you have any GF guests?

      • Yael

        Oh, yes, please do this and then invite me!!!

      • Megan

        I am GF and that’s why we’re going with Mary’s Gone Crackers (they are GF!)

        • Kalë

          Oh, excellent! I must admit, they sounded like fancy pants princess crackers to me – no idea they were also GF!

          • Megan

            They are the BEST GF crackers everrrrrrrrr.

          • Yael

            I’ve never heard of these, but I am going to investigate when I am back in the States. Are they easy to find or limited to particular chains?

          • Megan

            Very easy to find – costco and amazon have them – https://www.amazon.com/Organic-Marys-Gone-Crackers-bag/dp/B00CACRW1G

          • Yael

            Thanks! I have family members with a Costco membership, so this will be helpful!

    • Lisa

      Love the cheese course idea! Olives are something I like alongside cheese. I’m also a sucker for caviar, but you don’t need to break the bank on this. ;)

      • Kalë

        Ooooh, olives! Yeah!

      • Megan

        we were leaning toward sweet accompaniments to indicate to our guests who are unfamiliar with a cheese-course-as-dessert that it is in place of cake… not just that we forgot to put it out at cocktail hour…

        • sophia.s

          Oooh, olives are always good. But if you’re doing it as after dinner, maybe try arranging the cheese blocks in a tiered format to indicate that?

          Also, any preserves, and I want to eat all those cheeses

        • Yeah, I think if you put some fruit (as suggested by many other people) on there that might make it more dessert-y/help indicate that.

    • rebecca

      That sounds wonderful, I love Kunik! I think your accompaniments sound great. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I might add some non-chocolate marcona almonds and some nice grainy mustard, but it sounds like a great spread!

    • Alli

      Holy smokes. If I were a guest I would go to town and eat so much cheese my FH would refuse to kiss me until I brushed my teeth (this is a pretty common occurrence sadly. I love cheese and he won’t eat anything besides mozzarella and cheddar)

      I’d agree maybe add some more fruit, maybe some sort of fruit preserves spread?

      • Megan

        fruit preserves in addition to the quince paste or instead of it?

        • Alli

          It would appear my brain completely short circuited and I thought quince paste was some sort of meaty pate. Quince paste is fine with no additions!

          • Megan

            haha quince and mince are very close :) :)

    • theteenygirl

      I’m a big fan of jellys or jams on my cheese boards. I’ve done peach jam, ice wine jelly, red pepper jelly, etc..

      • Anna

        Ooh, what is ice wine jelly? I mean… I can sort of imagine from the name, but I’ve never heard of this and it sounds lovely!

        • penguin

          I’m assuming it’s a jelly made from ice wine (serious answer, not trying to be obnoxious). Ice wine is wine that is made a certain way, and the wine ends up being strong and sweet and delicious.

          • Anna

            I’m familiar with ice wine, but not the jelly. I’m wondering whether the jelly ends up being significantly alcoholic – some ice wines are pretty strong!

          • penguin

            Ah ok, sorry! And I bet it would be pretty strong – we tried a pink champagne jelly once and while it was delicious it was very alcoholic.

          • theteenygirl

            I’m not sure that the jelly is alcoholic at all. Pretty sure that all gets boiled out during the jellying process. But it’s very strong sweet-wise for sure. Yummy with soft cheeses!

          • Jenny

            Well I guess I’ve found a new alcohol to try!!

        • theteenygirl

          I live sort of near the Niagara wine region in Ontario which is I think the #1 ice wine producer in the world (German being 2nd) so it’s pretty common here. It’s VERY sweet… http://www.niagarapresents.net/preserves-sauces-jelly/5845

    • Jess

      This sounds wonderful! The items you’re planning on all go very well with a variety of cheeses!

      This would may be harder to serve, but we had a mixture of honey and chopped walnuts alongside some hard sheepsmilk cheese in a restaurant a month ago that was delightful!

      • I agree that honey is an awesome addition, although it can get super messy (on the serving table, on your hands, on your clothes)… :( just a word of caution

        • Jess

          Yeah, probably not ideal for a wedding, but super fun for a champagne-and-cheese-night at home.

          (Please tell me I’m not the only one, right?)

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      *whimper*I enjoy some nice fruit preserves with my cheese plates.

    • Kalë

      Ooh, thought of another – how about dried fruits, in addition to fresh? I love apricots + cheese, but dried mangoes or apples might be nice too. And, some nuts!

    • OMG this might be the one regret of my wedding: that we didn’t get out act together enough to have a cheese plate (because cheese is both of our favorite foods and we live in Wisconsin). Go you for doing it! The only thing I would add is that I feel like some fresh baguettes are an indulgent upgrade from crackers (for those who aren’t gluten free of course). But they’re more hassle and money than crackers so probably just stick with what you got and rock it.

    • lamarsh

      We did a cake made of cheese wheels as our dessert, so I obviously love this idea. All your accompaniments sound perfect, but some other ones that were suggested for us included dried apricots or cherries, honey, and sweet red pepper relish. Also, quince & apple has some awesome jams that all go really well with cheese (https://www.quinceandapple.com/collections/preserves)

    • emilyg25

      I like fancy pickles or mustard with cheese too. Or wildflower honey. But that all sounds amazeballs.

    • Brittany

      Sounds like a fabulous idea. And can I just say I’m so excited to find out that there is such a thing as an Ascutney Mountain cheese? I grew up going on vacation there as a kid and it brought back great memories and a need to buy that cheese asap!

  • rebecca

    My fiance’s old friend (who is a dj, but they didn’t sign a contract) was supposed to DJ our wedding on the 22nd and he has apparently ghosted on us. We can handle a playlist, but we really kind of need someone to “host”/reign our crew in. Does anybody have any brilliant ideas for types of people who might be worth contacting?

    Still concerned about the Pokemon event and the likelihood of grandparents being run over by Pikachus.

    The past week has been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster bc fiance’s family is really into *offering* help but not so much into actually helping. Last week a 3rd party told us that his parents wanted to throw a rehearsal dinner (3 wks out!) but most of my relatives aren’t getting to town early (since they thought nothing was happening) and my mom and sister had been making alternative plans for months. Turns out fiance’s parents hadn’t offered anything and this 3rd family member just wanted us to plan something and force fiance’s parents to pay for it. So that’s not happening but was a very stressful weekend of “should we plan something”/”how do I tell my mom & sister”. That’s the most egregious example but there’s a lot of weird offering help and then not being willing to do anything we actually need going on. And my future MIL’s new favorite mode of conversation is to ask us if we’re going on a honeymoon (which we aren’t until New Year’s bc we’re giving her the giant wedding she wanted/won’t help with) and then make fun of all the places we might go and and ask us why we don’t go somewhere “nice like Paris”. Fiance still super hurt and embarrassed, I don’t really know what to do about it.

    On the bright side, my vases came in last night and I’m super happy with how my centerpieces are coming along and we’ve decided to get a dog when all this is over!

    • Violet

      We did an iPod playlist, and we asked my cousin (who’s not really a dancer) if he wouldn’t mind emcee’ing/sort of guarding the playlist from unwanted intruders. It was perfect for him, since he had an excuse not to be out on the floor, but he still got to hang and socialize with his people.

    • penguin

      Maybe see if you can find a very amateur DJ or someone local to guard the playlist? Or Violet’s suggestion is good too.

      For the MIL thing – I would just refuse to engage. She is being obnoxious and hurtful, and neither you nor your fiancé need that in your life. If she asks about your honeymoon, either change the subject, or say some version of “I’m not discussing this with you”. You don’t have to talk to her about anything if you don’t want to.

      • rebecca

        See…I feel like I’d be better off hiring a very charismatic bouncer than a very amateur dj haha because what we really need is someone to keep toasts moving along/keep the crowd from getting too rowdy. We have a really awesome back up, in that our officiant will totally take care of it, but he’s a friend even though he’s really good at this stuff and I’d like him to be able to relax and enjoy the party

        • penguin

          Ah ok, maybe look for that then? Good luck!!

    • Jane

      Sorry – what is this Pokémon problem? I feel like I have missed some important wedding updates. This sounds like a wedding problem that would happen in a movie.

      • rebecca

        Oh,haha it’s mostly silly. We took great care to make sure there wasn’t a big festival the wknd of our wedding (kind of legit for summer in Chicago) and then a month or so ago Pokemon Go announced they’re having their first live event all weekend long in the park right behind the hotel where most people are staying.

        • Jane

          Ahhh. Very funny. Probably not too difficult to stop the virtual Pokémon from hurting anyone. But who knows about all those millennials on their phones?

  • flashphase

    Did you do anything to celebrate being married 6 months? I feel like we are on an upswing after a crazy first few months of marriage/homebuying/moving. Trying to think what could make it special without stealing thunder from the 1 year anniversary.

    • emilyg25

      I did not, but I’m up for celebrating pretty much anything. We usually celebrate by going out to dinner or making something complicated at home.

    • BSM

      I don’t think we did anything either, but our celebration MO is the same as @emilyg25:disqus’s. One seemingly-fancy-yet-super-easy celebratory meal that is perfect in the summer is a shrimp boil. A big pot + shrimp, corn, potatoes, and a seasoning packet is so simple and tasty. Add in some beers and watermelon, and you have my current dream dinner.

      • flashphase

        ooh delish

    • ART

      That’s right after Christmas for us, so we have been going to the movies (uncommon for us) and the last couple years it has been to see Star Wars…which has been great. I like to go to the first show of the day and sneak in pastries :)

    • LadyJanee

      We did – we went away for the weekend where we stayed in a gorgeous one bedroom villa and just relaxed and drank champagne for a couple of days. It also coincided with the weekend Husband started his new job so we were also celebrating that and decided on a weekend away as he won’t be able to take any time off for the first 5 or 6 months so we took a break while we could!

  • Help! One of my great friends asked me to officiate their wedding. When I was writing my ceremony for my own wedding, I found a forum that had just tons and tons of sample ceremonies. The whole ceremony was written out, and you could filter and search for specific things. i KNOW I found that link in the comment section of an APW article about ceremony writings. However, I’ve checked out all of the APW articles about it (and lord, there are a lot!), and I can’t find the link!

    Does anyone know what I’m talking about? Did I make all of this up in my head? If so, can anyone direct me to a website that has allllll the sample ceremonies that I can give to my friend to sort through? Preferably full ceremonies so that she could see sample blessings, introductions, ring blessings, etc. Thanks in advance!

    • Hannah

      I’m afraid I don’t know of a searchable database like you’re describing. (That sounds awesome, btw!) But if you search for a few descriptors that you think are roughly what your friends are looking for, you should find lots of examples through Google. We searched for “Humanist wedding ceremony” and “self-uniting wedding ceremony”, then used the first three that we liked as a starting point.

      This book (https://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Ceremony-Planner-Essential-Important/dp/1402278225/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499456033&sr=8-1&keywords=the+wedding+ceremony+planner) is a helpful compendium of texts that can be mixed and matched to create a ceremony. I’ve used it for multiple weddings that I’ve officiated. It skews a little conventional, but there’s a new edition out that might be a bit fresher. I imagine there might be similar books on the market.

      If you want to chat about anything officiant-related, let me know! I’ve loved doing it. It’s a powerful experience: I hope you enjoy it!

      • Thanks so much for the suggestion!! I’m looking forward to it!

    • Ilora

      https://www.officianteric.com/wedding-ceremony-samples/
      I doubt this is it but it’s what I used to put our ceremony together and it’s the only reason I didn’t hate myself at the end! It has tonnes of samples of each piece of the ceremony but not ceremonies written out in full.

    • penguin

      If it’s going to be a Jewish wedding then I highly recommend “The Jewish Wedding Now” by Anita Diamanté. Although I just realized that it probably isn’t a Jewish wedding since it sounds like you aren’t a rabbi. Either way, it’s a great book! My fiancé is Jewish and I’m not, and I’ve really enjoyed the book. Lots of ceremony ideas, and very inclusive.

  • Kalë

    Also, wedding related Q: who goes to the rehearsal dinner? While both sets of parents have contributed $ towards the wedding, we will be hosting (and paying) ourselves for the RD. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers, but I think it’s unnecessary (and $$$!) to invite all the out of town family. That’s like, almost 80 people – M has a huge family. We’re in super early planning stages of doing a pizza and beer thing after the rehearsal itself, but is it a totally rude idea to just do parents, officiant, and bridal party + SO’s? Even just that will be like 25 people :(

    • Alex K

      That’s totally fine!

    • Amy March

      Nope that’s totally fine (I’d include siblings, personally, and grandparents)

      • Kalë

        Siblings will be there! (They are all in the wedding party). Would it be standard to include grandparents but not parents’ siblings (aunts and uncles of bride & groom)? That level is where it starts to balloon, fast.

        • Amy March

          Yeah I think so. Which is not at all to say the family won’t cause drama about it! It may be easier to just stick with people who need to be at the rehearsal.

        • lamarsh

          We included grandparents, but not aunts and uncles. (Similar issues in that 90% of our wedding had out of town guests, and my family is over 50 people. ) No one thought it was weird.

        • I know for grandparents, grandparents were involved in my wedding (nothing big, but they processed up the aisle in the beginning before the groomsmen, etc.) and not my aunts/uncles, so that might be a rationale if you are doing that and want to get grandparents invited to the dinner.

    • Lisa

      That’s totally acceptable! It seems that rehearsal dinners have morphed into welcome parties in recent years, but they’re traditionally for feeding the bridal party + family (the people who should be at the rehearsal) afterwards.

      We had our bridal party + SOs and immediate family plus some local friends. (My ILs hosted and couldn’t afford all out-of-towners so they asked us to include local friends to get up to the minimum cost for our party room. These were friends who were helping with the wedding in some way so they weren’t randoms from the guest list.)

      • Kalë

        That’s what I had thought, but in our few conversations about it, MIL seemed to think it would be for alllll the out of town family. And their side is HUGE. Okay, glad to see I’m not off-base!

    • Eh

      We did not have out of town guests at our rehearsal since that would have been everyone from my side (we got married in my husband’s hometown). I think you plan is totally reasonable. We had parents, siblings, (we didn’t have a bridal party) and anyone who was helping with the wedding (our MC, friend who was helping with sound) plus their SOs.

    • emmers

      Whatever you decide, just make it known to key players (like your fiance can shut it down with his mom so she doesn’t mention it to the extended family). I will say, as someone who planned a pizza/beer rehearsal dinner, when you get a big crowd it does make it hard to find a venue if you’re just trying to do a traditional restaurant and not like a second wedding. I think we had 40 or 50 for our dinner and we could barely find a restaurant in the small town where we had the wedding to host them! So space considerations in addition to $$!

    • Brittany

      Another option could be to host the dinner for the smaller group and then have a casual meet up/open house afterwards for out of towners where they are paying for their own drinks, etc.

      • Yes, I have been to many weddings recently that have done this and it is quite nice to get to say hi and meet up with people after dinner. (Especially if it is such a clear cut-off between groups like that like 25/80 people).

      • E.

        That’s exactly what we’re doing. Immediate family+wedding party (including partners) for dinner, then everyone invited to meet at a bar after

  • Anna

    So, I mentioned last week how all of our various groups of friends from different life stages met at our wedding and they’re all pretty much best friends with each other now and it’s the best thing. One friend who I’ve been close to since seventh grade was in Boston for a few days and stayed with one of my college roommates; my best friend from college (also a close friend of Husband’s) went to a concert with one of Husband’s best friends from high school; and now we’re headed down to DC to meet up with a big mixed group of friends for the weekend!

    …which is wonderful, because we miss all our far-flung people already, but also I’m verrrrrry much looking forward to going two weeks at a stretch sleeping in my own bed. Sadly it’ll be almost another month before that happens :-/

    • ssha

      I love when friends become friends! Have so much fun! (And enjoy your bed afterwards.)

      • Anna

        Right? And I keep getting more hilarious tidbits, like apparently after the wedding one of my bridesmaids slept with one of Husband’s groomsmen (this was expected, we were kind of trying to set them up) and afterwards texted one of my high school friends – who she’d apparently hit it off with in the process of planning the bachelorette party – to be like “GOT SOME.” xD

        • ssha

          omg haha!

  • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

    Summer bucket list includes going to the beach, getting another tattoo, and relaxing. I always feel slightly guilty about summer, because both myself and husband work, and the kiddo is stuck in summer camp all day long. It’s awesome, she loves it, they do all sorts of field trips and water slides days, and she has a blast every day. Still, my mom stayed at home when I was a kid, and I feel a little guilty about depriving my kid of that kind of summer. Other than that…my project for the weekend is to get an awkward family picture of myself, husband, kid, and the two cats, one of whom hates being held for more than 2 seconds. Fun!

    • emmers

      Um, water slide days and field trips sounds awesome to me! I think you guilt sounds totally unwarranted. You even said she loves it!

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        Thanks!! Logically, I know I’m being silly, it’s just working mama guilt. I’m working on it ^_^

    • Anna

      Specific tattoo plans? I’ve started lifting recently, and being at the gym and seeing everyone else’s tattoos makes me REALLY want another (in a more visible location than the two I already have, which are on my hip and just under my bra band). But none of my ideas have crystallized yet and getting a tattoo just for the sake of getting a tattoo is a scary big step from putting specifically meaningful-to-me things on my body (and possibly a bad idea in general).

      Also, please, summer camp is the best. Husband’s mom stayed home, and he still did summer camp every summer until he started getting summer jobs. I have incredibly fond memories of my own summer camp days – day camp until about the start of middle school, then sleepaway camps, and eventually like summer study abroad and things like that.

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        Awesome! I currently have 4 tattoos on my legs, and I’m thinking of getting this one on my forearm right below my elbow (because I also have started lifting, and have serious sleeve envy). I’m thinking of getting an abstract of Gustav Klimt’s Mother and Child painting – he’s one of my favorite artists and I really love that painting. After that, I would like to start working on a space-related sleeve, but mostly I just have a huge Pinterest board that I can’t turn into a cohesive vision lol.
        And, thanks :) she really enjoys every second of camp, and I’m going through the process of really defining what adulthood and parenthood look like for me and my little family, and not what I think they ‘should’ be.

        • Anna

          Ooh, one of my college roommates is saving up for a space/Firefly themed full back (some pretty nebula + “You can’t take the sky from me”, if I recall correctly) and I’m vicariously super excited about it. She also has a couple other visible ones, and the more recent of Husband’s two tattoos is at least partly visible in public (upper arm), and I’m jealous haha.

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            HAHAHA that’s so awesome, because I was totally planning on working that lyric into my sleeve!! omg, such a good show. One of my coworkers started working on his sleeve, and it’s visible at work, and it’s making me super crazy about starting mine. Good luck getting ideas for yours!

      • Angela’s Back

        Ugh, I have the opposite problem–I want a new tattoo but I have too many in the hopper and it’s so hard to pick just one! If you really really want to get something done I would look at Instagram or even just go visit your artist (or whatever tattoo shop if you don’t have a particular artist) to see what’s out there–you may see something that sparks something, you know? Or not, but in that case I’m sure something will come to you eventually :)

    • Violet

      I never went to camp because my mom was a SAHM, and as an adult I feel like a weirdo… because I never went to camp. You can’t win, so don’t play!

    • Jess

      I loved summer day camp as a kid with two working parents. It was a blast, I got to make new friends and try on different personalities with them, I got to learn to do stuff I never would have tried otherwise, and I learned thousands of extremely annoying songs that I sang to babies and toddlers when I baby sat.

      Please let go of that guilt!

    • flashphase

      Tonight my husband and I are having dinner with my best friend from camp and her husband. This will be your kiddo in 20+ years. Don’t feel guilty!

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    Just quickly checking in to say that I had a baby! She’s very punctual like Mom because I told her she was allowed to stay in until 37 weeks and that’s exactly what she did (with a little help from an induction, ha.) After 44 hours of labor, I’m still exhausted but thrilled and completely overwhelmed with love for this individual. She’s tiny at around 5.5 lbs, but she’s perfect and healthy and vigorous as heck.

    Husband nixed sharing any photos with online strangers, but she’s also super duper cute. :) Helps when she refuses to sleep anywhere but my chest!

    • Laura C

      Congratulations!

    • Eileen

      Congrats! And bravo to you for bringing her into the world! My little dude was also 5.5 pounds. I barely remember what that felt like to hold now that he’s a 16-pound 8-month-old.

    • Jess

      Yay cute baby! Congratulations to you for bringing her into this world.

    • theteenygirl

      Congrats!!!!

    • BSM

      Congrats!!!

    • Congratulations!

    • idkmybffjill

      Wow that’s amazing!!! Congratulations.

    • Ilora

      Congratulations!!
      My kiddo did the same thing! I told him he had to stay in until at least [Wednesday in February] because that was the day I had my maternity shoot scheduled (long story but I was 39+1 on the Wednesday). On Wednesday we decided to postpone the shoot to Thursday due to weather. The kiddo decided he’d waited long enough for me and wasn’t waiting again! I called the photographer first thing Thursday morning and we got the shoot done during early labour!

    • Ashlah

      I’m late to the party, but congratulations!! Welcome to the world, little one <3

  • Emily

    50 days to our wedding! Annnd…I’m freaking out. Is that normal? I’m at the point where I’m convinced nobody’s going to come and if they do come they’re going to have a terrible time and leave early. I wish I could have confidence with this, but because I’ve pretty much planned everything, I feel like it’s all on me. And because we’re doing a more nontraditional wedding (backyard cocktail party) I don’t know how to conceptualize it and calm my fears. Food is the biggest worry – will I have enough? It doesn’t help that when I asked my caterer how much food I should expect so I can make a backup plan if necessary, he said that he plans on everyone having “some.” What am I supposed to do with that?

    Pretty much at the point when I want to call the whole thing off and elope. But it will be worth it…right?

    • Amy March

      Call him back and demand more information because you are paying him! You shouldn’t need a back up plan if you are paying a caterer.

      • Emily

        Ok I’m really glad I posted about the caterer, because I was starting to think that I was out of line for even asking. I will absolutely call this week. THANK YOU!

    • Anna

      No advice on particulars since my wedding was very different from yours, but can attest that YES, ABSOLUTELY it will be worth it. I was a mess of anxiety for much of the last three months (!) leading up to our wedding, and as soon as the actual wedding festivities started, it all melted away and felt wonderful. And it was the best weekend. Your people will be so excited to be there, and you will be so excited to have them.

    • ssha

      “I’m convinced nobody’s going to come and if they do come they’re going to have a terrible time and leave early.” YES THIS IS NORMAL! this is exactly how I felt. And none of those things happened! A few people left early, and if anyone had a terrible time I don’t know but they all seemed to be/reported to be having a good time. Plus, husband and I had a blast.
      Yes call your caterer. You are allowed to ask questions.

    • Jess

      Yes, this will be worth it.

      I literally said out loud multiple times sans irony when entering our RSVP’s “R! People! They like us and they’re COMING!” That worry seems to be very normal.

      Re caterer – that seems to be an insufficient answer and making a back-up plan shouldn’t be necessary if you are already paying somebody for food. My opinion is that you should understand the caterer’s exact expectations (ie: is this a two hour event? maybe 2-3 pieces for everybody. Is this a “heavy cocktail menu” where it should sub as dinner? plan for 10 or more pieces for everybody and heavier food items). I think you should definitely ask for an exact amount he estimates for an event like this.

      • Emily

        Yes, thank you! Exactly how he is estimating is precisely what I want. We’re doing heavy hors d’oeuvres to replace dinner but that could mean something different to them than to us.

        Our RSVP’s went out late last week so I think that’s some of the anxiety at this point. I might borrow your positive reinforcement technique!

        • penguin

          Definitely clarify things with a caterer. Part of the reason you are paying him is so that you don’t need a backup plan. He’s the plan! It’s his job to take care of the food.

          • Emily

            Yeah I talked to my fiance about it this weekend, and he thinks it makes more sense to wait until all our RSV’s come in and then have a big ol’ conversation about specifics.

    • emilyg25

      Totally normal! We also talked elopement at about that time. I’m sure it’ll all be fine. And you can definitely ask that your caterer define “some”!

    • Jane

      Wedding date twins! It will all be worth it. And eloping at this point probably wouldn’t be worth it. I can’t promise people won’t judge you if something isn’t perfect, but I can say, fuck those people.

      • Emily

        Hey that’s awesome! How’s the planning going on your end? Yes, fuck those people is right, though hard to remember when you’re caught up in it all. I might need to make that my computer background for the next month of two.

        • Jane

          Planning is going well? We were sooo ahead of schedule for sooo long, which was on purpose because I take the bar exam in two weeks. I had hoped I could get to a place where I took June and July off wedding planning – that has NOT worked. But it has at least meant that my wedding freakout is postponed for just a little bit longer! Starting like July 28th, I am hoping to become Will Ferrel in Elf when he prepares for Santa to visit the department store.
          Hang in there! People will come. They will love it! It’ll be worth it!

          • Emily

            Break a leg on the exam! We were in a similar situation, as my fiance just graduated from grad school two weeks ago. It’s so weird it’s almost here because we’ve been engaged for two years. Sending you all the Will Ferrel Elf vibes for post-exam craziness!

  • Lexipedia

    How did y’all decided NOT to invite a close family member to your wedding? I avoided telling my mostly-estranged father that we got engaged for two months because I didn’t want to have the conversation. Eventually I succumbed to the guilt and sent him a text with a picture of us getting engaged to which he immediately responded with a flurry of phone calls and texts which I did not answer. Which sent me into an anxiety spin of what to do. If we’d gotten married in the U.S. this problem would’ve been solved by the fact that his criminal record makes him inadmissible. However, since we decided to get married in Canada (though across the country from where he lives) I now need to make a choice. Will I feel guilty forever if I don’t? Will having him there send me into spirals of anxiety? What the hell would I do with him if he came? Would doing “father-daughter” stuff with my stepdad be ruined for me if he was present? If he said he would come and backed out at the last minute would I be heartbroken (much precedent for this)? Would it open up channels that are very hard to close? I really don’t know what to do and have been avoiding his many texts/calls, which have gone into overdrive since I told him I got engaged.

    We haven’t seen each other in person in 6 years, my choice but I bet he wouldn’t bother if it actually came down to him having to come visit me. His (now ex) wife was pretty abusive to me as a child and it basically came down to an ultimatum from him that if I couldn’t get along with her then he and I were done. So at 18 I cut all contact and our interactions since have been the rare family funeral and one disastrous dinner.

    For those who made the choice not to invite a parent, how did you decide?

    • penguin

      Ah ha, one of my people. So I’ve decided not to invite my mother to my wedding. Things that informed my choices…

      I thought about what kind of relationship we have now, and what I want. Right now we’re at a point where we’re mostly estranged, but if we’re in the same place for some reason (like at my grandmother’s house), she’ll act perfectly pleasant and happy to see me. Once we leave, I don’t hear from her again for any reason. We are Facebook “friends” and she’ll occasionally like something I post (like my engagement announcement…) but that’s it. For me, this is plenty. I don’t want a relationship with her. I don’t want to tell her things about my life, I don’t want her to pretend that she was a mother to me or try to have that dynamic at all.

      I thought about worst case scenarios – if I invited her and she DID show up (unlikely but possible, because she could put on her “mom” face for others), how would I feel about that? For me personally, any time I thought about it I felt sick to my stomach. She isn’t a part of my life, and she doesn’t get to pretend to be now that I’m getting married. I knew that I wouldn’t want to see her, and I knew that other people (my older brother, my dad who has been divorced from her forever) wouldn’t want to see her either.

      Will I feel guilty? Personally, no. I’m doing the best thing for me and my mental health. She made her choices over the years, and this is one consequence of those choices. There’s lots of other stuff in this for me, but I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts. I’m ready and willing to chat about this though if you’d like.

      • Lexipedia

        Ugh, I might lose it if he showed up and did the fake thing where he is charming and likeable to strangers.

        • nutbrownrose

          I think that’s your answer right there. Anyone who has the ability to make you lose your cool does not get to come to your wedding. The anxiety-spiral is not worth for a person who actively makes you miserable when you see him (as someone who spirals, I speak from experience), and will infest the rest of wedding planning (which is a happy time, theoretically, even when the bullshit is 5 feet deep) in a way you likely don’t want.

        • penguin

          Yep that was one thing I wanted to avoid with my mom for my wedding. I didn’t want her to get to pretend that we’re close or anything.

    • Carrie

      My husband chose not to invite his mother to our wedding. They have a complicated relationship, with pretty limited contact. He knew having her there would be stressful, as she can be pretty unpredictable (mental health issues), and he wasn’t interested in sharing the celebration with her. We ended up visiting her a few months before the wedding, which seemed to placate her. I didn’t want his day to be ruined by having her there and I didn’t want to burden someone else with having to “handle” her throughout the night.

      My approach to weddings is that they shouldn’t look terribly different from the rest of your life just because it’s a special event. Sure, most people include their parents, but for some people that’s not real life. We wanted to include the people who are special to us, and not do anything that made us uncomfortable just because you’re “supposed to.”

      • Lexipedia

        “They shouldn’t look terribly different from the rest of your life.” THANK YOU – this is what FI said to me, and reminded me that nobody in the room would expect him to be invited. They all know my stepdad as my dad, the person who has made an effort to be at special things, get to know my friends, etc. and my bio-father is a stranger. I’m not close with anyone in his family, many of them have passed on, so it’s not like his parents/siblings would be there either.

        Also, in response to my worry that this may be a relationship-ending move if I don’t invite him to my wedding, my mom said that if we try and reestablish a close bond in the future and he can’t get past not being invited to a one-day event then fuck it.

        • Carrie

          I worried that it would be “thing” and people would wonder where his mom was (his step-mom and sisters were there) but I didn’t hear a single question about it. For the most part people knew and understood that the relationship was fraught, but otherwise I think people just don’t notice that stuff when there’s free food and booze to be had.

          And you’ll have enough going on on your wedding day without making it the day that you reconcile with your father. It would be unfair of him to come with the expectation that this could be a healing moment.

    • flashphase

      Not the same because this is not about a parent, but: I have a relative who I have cut out of my life and did not want to invite to our wedding. My parents said that inviting this person was a condition of paying for the wedding, so they were invited (the drama of not inviting would also have been substantial). This person acted inappropriately at my wedding in multiple ways, including saying terrible lies about me to my friends. I could have guessed that they would act inappropriately but it was worse than I imagined. As a result of their behavior, my parents are no longer speaking to them and we all regret extending that invite. When I think about my wedding, among the happy moments is pain that someone would come to my wedding and try to make it a miserable day for me.

      I want to provide this perspective from someone who took this route, but my relative is not your dad. I hope it helps. Good luck.

    • Arie

      My father was not invited to my wedding. For me it was an easy decision – I don’t generally want him near any of the good things in my world, and the wedding was a good thing. I wanted to feel supported, loved, and surrounded by the people who have really shown up for me throughout my life and supported this relationship from the start. I was surprised at how many other family members WERE surprised, and how many of them tried to convince me that somehow the wedding was different, a special case. Weddings don’t change people, and they don’t change parental relationships, and you aren’t required to make special exceptions for anyone. I think you should listen to your gut on this one, but I know how hard it is. The best advice I have to give is once you do decide, don’t fall into the trap of explaining/defending your decision to anyone else. I ended up using a version of “he and I both understand why it makes sense for him to not be included in this celebration.” And, sigh. I’m sorry it’s a thing. Weddings have a way of making you deal with all of your hard shit all over again.

      • penguin

        Great response, and I’m going to keep that in mind for my own wedding. I was surprised that my grandpa (my mom’s dad) wants my mother to be invited to the wedding. He used some variation of “of course she should be invited, she’s your mother”, even though it’s well known that we aren’t close and there’s a whole family drama there. It doesn’t help that my mom talked to him on the phone and said something like “well if she invites me then of course I’ll be there”. Bleh.

        • Arie

          Yeah, I was amazed at some of the people who said versions of that to me. I think they were just processing for themselves without realizing how it would make me feel. I tried to be empathetic because, you know, they’re realizing that whatever dreams they had for my wedding are also shattered by one family member sucking, but it was hard. I usually tried to gently lob it back at them like, “how do you think he would behave, if he attended?” “can you see him handling ___ gracefully?” But that was early in the process. Eventually I got really frustrated with trying to care for everyone else’s feelings about it (because who, exactly, was caring for mine?). I got, uh, a little snappier after the first round of “but he’s your fatherrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” – weekly therapy really helped me have a place to go dump that stuff, I’d recommend it.

  • Jessica

    Hey APW Friends,
    This week I started the divorce process. I received a message from my husband’s mistress on Sunday (an hour before my cousin’s wedding, thanks), that they had been seeing each other for a year and a half, that they had gotten pregnant, and that he was basically living a double life. When I showed him the message, I asked if it was true, and he looked me in the eye and said “yes.” I kicked him out of the guest house we were staying at, told him to get his stuff out of our house, and stay out. My brother and his wife were there when I got the news and they started making lists and generally taking care of me, including being my body guards at the wedding I still ended up going to (not recommended).

    So now I have a lawyer, I have changed the locks, and I have a squad of people who are filled with about as much rage as me because we spent all winter trying to support him in his mental illness, and only to find out that he has been lying to everyone (EVERYONE) for the last 18 months and no one had any idea.

    Honestly, I feel relief (in addition to an ice cold rage) and am trying to get the divorce stuff through ASAP because I do not want to be attached to that psycho in any way, shape, or form.

    What a fucking week.

    • ZLMT

      That is awful and I’m so sorry! So glad you’ve got a good team to support you but ugh, what a mess.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      I don’t have any words except some combination of I’m so sorry and fuck him.

      • flashphase

        ditto – perfectly stated

    • Violet

      Argh Argh ARGH! Please include me in your squad of rage! After everything you did to support him.

      • Jessica

        Haha, this morning I was thinking how pissed the regulars here would be.

        So much rage.

        • Violet

          I hope you’re able to get through the proceedings like ripping off a mother-effing band aid. GRRRRR. We got your back, Jessica.

        • BSM

          So pissed for you! Holy shit.

          I hope divorce proceedings are swift.

        • Lexipedia

          If you are ever feeling low on the fury when it is needed, HH will be happy to recharge that for you!

      • Jess

        APW Squad of Rage indeed!

    • Kalë

      Oh my goodness, I am so sorry that you are dealing with this, especially after all (ALLLLL!!!!) that you did to support and care for him. Big ol’ internet hugs.

    • InTheBurbs

      Sweet Jesus. Thankful that you have a crew to take of you!!!

      • Jessica

        A friend called this morning and said our group of friends are loyal to an irrational point when something like this happens. That sad excuse for a man will not have a friend in the world after this.

        • InTheBurbs

          Good!!!! And if you haven’t already planned on it – be sure and practice some self care this weekend! You know my favorite Twin Cities spa right? The Aveda Institute – facials and massages are reasonable and can take forever…which in this instance is perfec

          • Jessica

            This winter a volunteer I blurted the whole story out to at work gave me a giftcard to LifeSpa that was enough for a massage and a facial. I’ll be getting the facial soon (already used the massage and oooommmmggg it was nice)

        • Lexipedia

          This is wonderful. I took so much pleasure in knowing that I “won” our friend group after my last disastrous breakup. It’s great that you haven’t kept this secret to cover for him, he made this bed for himself!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Also that you’re so incredibly strong. I’ve been beyond impressed with your resiliency while lurking on your story. Seriously.

    • Jess

      Fuck, dude (and also, fuck that dude). Allow me to pour a shot of whiskey on your behalf. I’m so sorry.

      Congrats on rallying your team around you, taking care of the legal stuff ASAP, and allowing yourself to feel both relief and ice cold rage.

      That’s some shit, and I’ll definitely be sending you vibes of strength often. (ETA: Also vibes of rage his way)

      • Jessica

        There has been a lot of wine. A. Lot.

        Thanks for the vibes!

    • G.

      Damn. I’m sorry that you have to deal with this, but I hope that rage will propel you forward into much better circumstances and the sense of relief will only grow and grow and grow. Sending strength and rage on your behalf.

    • Jennifer

      I am so thankful to hear you have a squad of rage behind you. (I am so angry for you and I have only been following afterwards in all these HH that I barely miss.)

    • lamarsh

      oh my gosh, I am so so sorry. My best friend received a similar message from her long term partner’s mistress two years ago and it was a total mindfuck. Sounds like you are doing everything right and glad you have so many people to support you through this.

      • Jane

        I know – having to find out from the husband’s mistress part is such a shitty thing on top of ilthe horrible truth itself. But, I guess, better than just continuing to not know? It’s all awful.

    • Alli

      Wow. WOW, I’m just so angry for you, I’ve always been routing for you as you’ve posted over the past several months. But THANK GOD you found out and can get rid of him and live your life without him bringing you down.

    • lady brett

      <3!!

    • Anna

      So glad that at least you had your people there for you. Happy to join the rage squad, too xP

    • Abby

      His behavior is absolutely atrocious. I’m so glad you have a support system and are taking all the right steps.

    • Omg. The Rage. I’m glad to hear that you have a good support system. Sending you all my strength/rage whatever vibes you need.

    • theteenygirl

      Oh. my. I’m so sorry this has happened to you and just.. wow.

    • AP

      Oh, friend. I am so, so sorry. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of years’ worth of lies (in my ex’s case it was related to drugs) and it is unbelievably painful.

      So glad you have a support system. I also know this: getting divorced was the best decision I’ve ever made, hands-down. I have never felt such freedom in my life. It’s hard, no doubt about it, but I have all the faith that you you’ll come out the other end happier, lighter, and stronger. Hugs if you want them for the tough times, both currently and ahead.

      • Jessica

        I’m already just so relieved. I was trying so hard, and it never felt matched at all. I don’t have to worry about it anymore–just about myself (and my pets)

        • Yes, reciprocity makes all the difference, and when it’s not there, well, there just isn’t anything to work with. You did everything you could and more to try to save your marriage. And he was only looking out for what he wanted the whole time. As much as the truth hurts, I am glad you found out now. (Even if it was through his mistress, ugh.) You can live without carrying around what sounds like has been a heavy weight… I wish you all the best in seeking and building your new life. It’s hard but so worth it. And I am glad you have the pets to be there with you. Booboo, my former cat, was so helpful in my process of grieving and healing…

        • Eenie

          I’m so glad you have pets! There’s this wonderful feeling when they look at you and you know you’re their whole world.

    • Amy March

      Good luck with the divorce process! If you need more rage we’re totally here.

    • Emily

      Wow, wtf?! I have only been briefly following you on Happy Hour, but you can for sure count me in your Rage Squad. You’ve been so diligent in trying to help him help himself, and now this? Fuck that guy. Sending you lots of rage but also positive thoughts of peace.

    • HOLY FUCK! OMG. I can’t even imagine and I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. I’m so glad to hear that you have a squad of folks around you to help you out. I’m available to throw bricks if you need to round a posse :-)

      • Jessica

        I’ll put out the bat signal (but I’m in the house, so….)

    • emilyg25

      Oh. My. God. I’m so sorry. I hope your white hot burning ball of rage carries you through the next few months of wrapping up your life with that loser and you can move on to an awesome new life soon!

    • Jess

      (Saw your good news update) Raising a glass tonight for your mom! That is so huge!

      • Jessica

        Thanks!

    • Arie

      I’m actually really excited for you to be FREE. I’ve admired your compassion and resiliency all year, but girl—think what you can do with all that now, on your own! Hugs.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Damn, dude. What a punch in the face. I can’t wait for you to be able to put this all behind you and just be rid of him.

    • Gaby

      Initial reaction was “Oh, FUCK HIM,” But I’m glad you’ll be free and I do understand the level of relief you must feel.

    • ART

      Holy shit. First of all, glad to hear about your mom finishing chemo. Best wishes to her and her health.

      With that out of the way – lady, let your inner bitch take care of you for a while. It’s probably not healthy to let her drive for a long, long period of time, but now and for the forseeable future is totally her moment. That ice cold rage can be useful – you need and deserve to protect yourself, period.

    • scw

      omg. OMG. seething for you, but glad to hear you’re feeling relieved and angry. we’ll be here to help you through all the other emotions, too!

    • Lexipedia

      I’m so, so, so sorry you have to go through this, I cannot even imagine. After finding out about some cheating by an ex I went to a place like this and it was amazingly cathartic to just smash plates for a while. A safe and fun way to release some of that rage?
      https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g49242-d7713320-Reviews-The_Smash_Shack-Jacksonville_North_Carolina.html

      • ART

        Wow, I actually wanted something like this many years ago…that’s kind of brilliant.

    • Mrs H

      Oh my god. I’ve been lurker following your story and I’ve been so impressed by your faith and compassion.
      Seriously, fuck that asshole. You are going to be amazing and so much better without that piece of shit dragging you down.

    • suchbrightlights

      I wish you peace, strength, and more red wine.

      And YAY, your mom!

    • S

      I’m shaking with rage on your behalf. This is fucked. This is so fucked. I am so sorry. And while your Mom was dealing with a serious health scare, too. How does someone like that live with themselves?

      • Jessica

        Looking back, it was weird. He showed up for my mom’s surgery, but rarely asked me about her after that. It’s like he just forgot, or something. In the mean time I had been arranging all of my college friends to send her photos of their pets or baby zoo animals on chemo days, and my own husband was just “whatever” about it.

        Fuck. That. Dude.

    • emmers

      That’s fucking sucks! I’m really sorry to hear that. So shitty!

    • rg223

      I am so sorry and raging on your behalf. Good luck! And congrats to your mom!

    • Jessica, if you’d like some reading recommendations (a couple books and an amazing blog) for this situation, email me via the message box on my blog and I can send them to you! I am so sorry you are going through this. But it sounds like you have reacted wisely and with courage in the face of finding out the worst. (Good for you for starting the divorce process, not wavering with your decision, and changing the locks! And wow, I am impressed you survived that wedding. I was in one about 7 weeks after my now-ex-husband left me for his girlfriend and that was hard…) I will be thinking of you during this awful time and will be rooting from you from here. Let me know if I can help somehow…

    • a single sarah

      Ugh. So sorry about the mess. (But also grateful for truth and glad you have your people.)

      Hurrah for last chemo! And hurrah for finding moments to celebrate in the midst of chaos. *Hugs as needed*

    • Ashlah

      Oh my god. I’m just now catching up on Happy Hour, and am completely filled with rage on your behalf. Good lord.

    • LadyJanee

      What the actual fuck. I have been following your updates in HH and have admired your compassion and resilience. But fuck that dude. I’m so glad you have a squad around you to support you through this. And also good for you to moving swiftly and sticking to your decision in what must be a very emotional situation. Sending lots of internet hugs and solidarity rage!

    • AGCourtney

      OH MY GOD. I’m just catching up on the last HH and I’m so glad I did. *insert raging diatribe here*

      Good for you for taking action and I’m so glad you have such great support. I know it’ll be hard, but your life is going to be so much better when you get through to the other side of this.

      Yay for your mom! <3

  • Rosie

    Our wedding was 3 weeks ago, and I have to say that every bit of planning and stress along the way was worth it to create such a spectacularly perfect day – it was really my dream wedding and I can’t think about how magical it all was, without smiling.

    We had a 180-person destination mountaintop wedding in Vermont. Highlights included the beautiful outdoor interfaith Jewish ceremony, overlooking the mountains (they had predicted thunderstorms but the sun came out for us!), the high-energy Horah performed by our amazing soul band, one of my best friends singing Harvest Moon for our first dance, the toasts, the friends, the love, so much love all around, the chocolate hazelnut cake, partying and dancing until 1am, and ending the night with spontaneous live band karaoke where I got to sing my favorite song backed by a live band while my friends and family went nuts (I am normally such an introvert – definitely NOT a singer or performer but for those 4 minutes I felt like a rock star, it was amazing).

    We are still waiting for the rest of our official photos but here is the first ‘teaser’ we got back from the photographers. Being married is amazing so far; we had a fantastic 8 day honeymoon in the Azores and I am now back at work and enjoying married life – especially the ‘no longer planning a wedding’ part! I feel like I have all this free time all of a sudden… :)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a6416bc6f6ba04c6850871ca1c6a2d27430138bace348c071dd47817c90d0b58.jpg

    • Yael

      Beautiful!

    • Jessica

      So beautiful! Congrats!

    • lamarsh

      That sounds like such a perfect wedding! Also, you are my wedding twin, we got married three weeks ago and just got back this week from three weeks in Portugal – the Azores look amazing!

    • Jess

      This is the sweetest picture! Congratulations! :)

    • Congratulations! When you get your photos back I hope you submit to APW, I’d love to read/see more of your wedding!

  • Does anyone else find that transitions come in clusters of WHY IS ALL OF THIS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW??? Within the next month, we’re moving to a new apartment, husband is starting a new job, my OFFICE is moving to a new space (granted only by like 2 blocks, but still a pain), and husband is all aboard the “hey we should have a baby!!!” train. I’m trying to a) slow my dang brain down and b) find a nice way to lovingly take husband’s face between my hands and tell him to CHILL THE HELL OUT BECAUSE 3 CHANGES ALL AT ONCE IS ENOUGH, THANKS.

    Just me? Is there something going on astrologically? Because dang.

    • Jessica

      I’ve been explaining Saturn Returns (https://apracticalwedding.com/saturn-return-its-real/) to people since it is my year. Maybe that applies to you?

      • Yael

        That link isn’t working for me :(

      • Jess

        I had forgotten about that article completely and… whelp. That explains a lot.

      • Hayley

        I did one of the calculators and my full return is supposed to be at my two year wedding anniversary and right when my fiance will be applying for residencies. So I have no doubt that it will be a time of changes. :)

      • rebecca

        fwiw I found the episode of the WTF podcast from a few years ago where RuPaul explains Saturn Return to Marc Maron increeeeeeeeedibly comforting

      • I’M TURNING 27 IN AUGUST YIKES

        • scw

          mine wasn’t actually until 29.5 but IT WAS A DOOZY.

      • Emily

        Wow that explains a very rough, turbulent, confusing time of my life. Like, pretty much to the day. Crazy!

    • theteenygirl

      This happened to me a year ago! I quit my job, moved back in with my parents, and didn’t know when I was going to see my (then boyfriend) again. I was crying on a beach in Detroit with a couple close friends about how everything sucked.

      A week later I got a phone call and an old boss from an internship offered me a full time job, I moved to a new city, found an apartment, and my boyfriend moved from San Francisco to Toronto to be with me. It was like the stars aligned.

      But yes, change is super stressful! Good luck!

    • Yael

      This summer, A is moving all our stuff to NC to store with his parents until we ship it to Europe, I am moving from my studio apartment to a 1 bedroom so he can come to Germany, getting legally married, A’s moving to Germany (involving taking the cat as a carry-on, so a whole lot of vet visits), I’m getting a new job, he’s applying for jobs in Germany and remote work from the US, and I’m waiting to hear if I go into the 2nd year of my PhD program as well as applying for various grants, starting several new projects, starting my dissertation, and revising a curriculum.

      So, no, it’s not just you :)

    • flashphase

      just YES SAME

    • Yes, nature abhors a vacuum so lots of change happens at the same time.

    • Jane

      Me too! Not the baby part. But in the next 2 months I am taking the bar, finishing my current job, getting married, moving to another state and, finally living with my FH for the first time in years. It makes sense that they’re all happpening at once, because they’re somewhat connected. But STILL. Everything is going to be so different

    • Kelly

      Same boat! Within 18 months or so we got married, moved out of state, both got new jobs and our buying our first house. So I am tabling any further big life changes for the next year at least

    • Emily

      Same same same! I’m turning 30 the day before I get married, and we’re moving back across the country a month after that. It’s a lot of change at once, but a good therapist and lots of self care is keeping me [mostly] sane. Good luck!

    • idkmybffjill

      YES. Earlier this year we found out my company was closing in three months, and then that I was pregnant the very next day. So within a couple months, I dealt with morning sickness/came to terms with pregnancy, got a new job, and we bought a home just to make things EXTRA exciting. It was a LOT.

  • CW

    What a rollercoaster week! We announced our engagement to extended family, friends and social media. And the love and excitement has been great! I already accidentally hurt the feelings of my mom and a good friend over the course of the week. Which has been not so fun- and I did apologize and make up with both of them. We might also be putting in an offer on a house, far earlier than we expected. Which is stressful since it’s suddenly on a fast-track. And I’ve been leaning in a bit at work, but somehow caused a kerfluffle today, which has me feeling crummy. I guess I’m going to have to get used to the rollercoaster? But man, no fun, wasn’t expecting all of that.

    • ssha

      engagement is a rollercoaster, but APW is here for you! so glad your community is excited for you!

  • EF

    thanks all for the advice on the coworker who had a miscarriage! i did bring her a coffee, and just made sure to joke around and be uber positive in the office. she’s having some health problems as a result of the miscarriage and missed a couple of days work, so I’ve been really careful to see what I can take off her plate. again, thanks for the advice!

    confidential to the UKers: HAPPY PRIDE IN LONDON WEEKEND. yours truly will be at a stall in soho square. see if you can guess which one/fine me, ha!

  • KK

    Eeep- after a ton of headaches resulting from trying to get licensed in another state after being fully licensed in my previous state, I finally have a job offer (somewhat) related to my field. I don’t know how to negotiate though! It’s part-time, and I know that sales people are earning 50-60K for part-time, plus commission. I’d be on in more of a consulting role, and I have specialized knowledge that they don’t currently have and do value. I don’t know if I should say I’d like the same as sales, or if I should ask for more (based on my advanced degrees and specialized knowledge) or less (because I’m not going to be bringing on more $$). Any advice would be great!

    • emilyg25

      Ask for $60-65!

    • rebecca

      My fav negotiation advice-“Ask for the highest number you can say without laughing”

      • Jess

        Oh, I love that!

  • Yesterday was my birthday, and #BabyPi turned 6 months old. I’m 35 now, which is kinda weird. It was my “scary age” and now that I’ve reached it with the husband I was worried I would never have, and the baby I wasn’t sure I wanted I feel…kinda weird. My life is so great on the personal front but honestly I feel like a failure in my career. I’m not where I thought I would be, I’m in a role that I don’t like with a manager who expects me to be a mindreader, and I’m ready for it all to be over. So I’m job hunting pretty hard right now – oh and in a new city cause we really want to relocate as soon as i can find a job, but no pressure!

    In the meantime I’m just going to continue knitting sweaters for my baby person and hoping that someone will take a chance on me so I can stop stalking Atlanta real estate and wishing that the Twin Cities real estate market wasn’t so insane.

    • flashphase

      Big hugs. 35 was so stressful for me and my husband, I think cause it’s a milestone year. I feel pretty confident you are right where you need to be and things will work out beautifully. It’s the getting there that’s tough.

    • Yael

      I’ve been thinking about something similar recently. I’m 33 and my career is going great at the moment (I’m in a PhD program which I am rocking). I’m getting legally married in a month or so, and by the time I’m 35, I’ll hopefully be graduating, having the wedding, and starting a career and maybe baby. I never thought it would be possible to have both professional and personal success, so I chose professional success, and I’m totally convinced that something is going to happen that will prevent the happily ever after. I’m pretty sure that something will be me, because how will I manage all of that? I know we’re supposed to be getting to a point where we can accept not having it all, or at least not having it all at once, but that’s still the dream. From an outside perspective, I think it’s fine to let a career coast a bit while setting up a happy family life, but I also get how difficult not being happy at work can be.

      Best of luck in your search. If you figure out how to balance it all (and it really does sound like things are going great at home for you), please let me know!

      ETA: Happy birthday to you and half birthday to Baby Pi!

    • ZLMT

      I turned 35 a couple months ago and can relate. I’ve been at my job several years now but feel like I haven’t had the opportunities to move up that some other people have, partially due to circumstances outside my control. I’m going back to school part-time this fall, which I *hope* will make me feel like I’m taking more positive action on my career, but i’m also worried that it will just make me nutty. And I’m TTC our second, which is its own form of crazymaking. Sounds like you’re taking the right steps, and knitting awesome baby sweaters is the perfect respite.

    • Not Sarah

      Fistbumps on this. I’ve been having much waffling and confusion on my career lately, yet I’m married and quite happy personally? It’s very strange and not where I thought I would be at this point when I was 22. I’ll be 29 next week and I’ve mostly accepted it and am trying to find the joy in the life that I do have, but it’s still full of weird feelings.

  • Abby

    This week I really want to quit my job. I have an alternative 99% lined up for a few months from now, and was planning to wait to quit my current job once all my ducks were in a row with whatever amount of funemployment time that gave me, but I just got tasked with a new all-consuming project at work that is making it next to impossible to get the necessary ducks in line. (Unfortunately the timely Ask a Manager advice about how to gracefully decline projects when you’re about to leave just. didn’t. work.) While I know I should just buckle down and focus on the ducks, my demanding bosses and my internal sense of personal responsibility just won’t let me ignore the work, and I’m panicking to a point of thinking I should just quit now because that’s the only way I’ll get the ducks aligned. Has anyone else dealt with this? Any tips?

    • Amy March

      If you don’t have a job for sure lined up, don’t quit! You can get through this. Make a solid list of the ducks and figure out a plan.

      • Abby

        Thanks! It’s particularly frustrating because one of the ducks is completing all the paperwork I need to do to make the new job go from 99% to 100%, and I keep feeling like if I don’t quit now job I’ll never have time to do that and make new job a reality. But I’m just going to have to make time for that duck, and it’s helpful to have reinforcement on the “if I quit I’ll have time” being a stupid daydream.

  • LP

    I am picking up a new dog today! I’m so excited! She’s a rescue, she’s half australian shepherd, half bernese mountain dog. She was born on a Mennonite farm, and they were using her for breeding. She’s only thirteen months old, and her puppies are already twelve weeks. And they bred her back to her dad… She’s a good girl, just needs some training, but she gets along with other dogs and people including kids! I’m so excited, and will post pictures next week!

  • Jess

    Ya’ll. In-Law weekend went mostly good! I went for a long (1hr) run, I took a nap, I made some dessert, I washed dishes, I politely ignored statements I disagreed with.

    I was not my best self at all times (see: nap, the not-so-nice comment I made while R’s mom was once again trying to excuse his sister for being hungover the day of our wedding as just having a weak stomach which was, “That’s part of being an adult though: knowing you have a weak stomach and stopping when you’ve had too much to drink” to which R’s dad said “Yup!”) but mostly I did really well.

    I’m counting this in the “being medicated for depression” win bucket. Next test: visiting my own parents in a few weeks.

    • Violet

      Oh yay, glad it went smoothly!
      (Totally agree with your comment, by the way. Unless this was her very first time drinking booze, errr, no.)

      • Jess

        Yeah, like I wasn’t even really upset about it that day or now. But like… maybe stop bringing it up if you don’t want me to say “That was actually pretty uncool”?

        • Violet

          Yes. I will be gracious in the moment, but don’t expect me to agree with you if you keep bringing it up after the fact.

    • Eh

      I think it’s very important to take care of your own mental health and physical while having visitors or visiting people. If that means you need a nap or need to get away, then you need to do that. With my inlaws we generally have very defined start and end times for visits. Since my family lives so far away we are usually there for days. As required me and my husband take breaks (naps, reading, walks or drives).

      • Jess

        Very much agreed – it’s a requirement to have breaks and defined limits on time.

  • ART

    I’m finally all the way “out” about being pregnant at work – in that I’ve told everyone I was keeping it from, and other people can find out when it’s visible or when it becomes relevant to work, but I’m not going around telling everyone. BUT all four people I’ve told so far have said “oh, I basically knew that” – womp womp. At least I can finally relax my core a little after weeks of sucking it in as hard as I can, and start wearing dresses again. Last night after dinner it really looked like I had a bump when I relaxed, and I actually got kind of sad…not really ready I guess? But I’m hoping that dressing to make it look cute will help me get excited about that change.

    • BSM

      Real maternity clothes have helped me a lot now that the bump is obvious. I’ve been wearing maternity jeans for a couple months now with loose tops, but I’d still been trying to make my pre-pregnancy dresses work. Finally wore a legit maternity dress yesterday, and it was both way more comfortable and looked much, much cuter. Gap is having a pretty awesome sale right now if you need anything!

      • ART

        Thanks, I will check out the Gap – I also have a bunch of jeans coming from Target any day now to try on. I got the heavyweight leggings from Old Navy with the full panel, but the panel is really thin spandexy kind of material I can fold down at this stage, and oh man are they the best things I’ve worn in a while. I am so excited to be able to wear them at work (I look rather obvious in them so I’ve avoided them until now – what a relief to be able to transition to not hiding it!)

        • Ashlah

          I freaking love full panel maternity pants so much (just wish they all had belt loops and real pockets). I never want to go back to pants with real waistbands!

  • My dad died very unexpectedly last week (he was only 56 and a very avid hiker and cyclist). The logistical and practical tasks have come in like a tidal wave. I can tell you all this– having both my parents have wills, clear wishes regarding death and burial, good financial record-keeping, and all that stuff has made this a hell of a lot easier. So consider this a small nudge to get that shit in order if that’s been on the back burner for awhile. It’s a small gift to those left behind. (Also, don’t forget some sort of password keeper. Never have I been more thankful for my dad’s slightly-Luddite habit of keeping a password notebook).

    • BSM

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Yael

      I’m so sorry. May his memory be a blessing.

    • scw

      I’m so sorry to hear this. <3

    • G.

      I’m so sorry for your loss. My dad died suddenly a few years ago, and the tidal wave pummeled me. But as in your case, he had clear wishes and records and that made a tremendous loss a tiny bit more manageable. Thinking of you and hoping you have a cocoon of support.

    • Jenny

      I’m so sorry. Being part of the dead dad club sucks. I’m 14 years out now and I can tell you it does get easier. I hope you can find some time to honor his memory with some people who love you and/ or him.

    • suchbrightlights

      I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Not Sarah

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Kara. I’m glad you have the blessing of making those logistical tasks easier in this emotional time.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      I’m so, sorry for your loss.

    • Cellistec

      I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. Take care of yourself and your family and hang in there.

  • jem

    Second, late post with a plea for advice: I’m not EXACTLY a party planner, so I’m worried I may have botched the timing of our reception… our ceremony and reception are in the same place and we’re planning to do a cocktail hour before the ceremony, then the ceremony, then dinner/dancing. Right now, it looks like the dinner/dancing portion will only be three hours long, maybe 3.5 if everything is running on time (so like, 6:30 or 7 until 10pm). Is that too short?! Can we fit in eating, toasts, dancing in three hours?? Or should I ask our vendors to stay an hour longer?

    • idkmybffjill

      I don’t think it’s too short. We feared that and I asked all our vendors to stay later, and ultimately most people sort of petered out after about 3.5 hours except our besties and immediate family. We didn’t mind but easily could’ve moved to an after party :).

      • jem

        Thank you!!! We’re looking for a bar for an after party, so hopefully that will provide folks with the party outlet they need

        • idkmybffjill

          We didn’t even organize one (we wanted to bounce after), but our folks ended up partying pretty long afterward. People who want to party find a party, so I wouldn’t sweat it too terribly :).

          • jem

            Phew ok thanks!

    • Jess

      That seems ideal. If I want more party, I’ll find more party. I found that our number dwindled a bit around 10-10:30 anyway.

    • Amy March

      That sounds great! I went to a wedding with that same structure last weekend. Tip- have the first course plated as people walk to their tables if you can. Huge time saver in terms of getting the main course to people. And make sure someone other than you is in charge of saying “WEDDING NOW GO NOW.”

    • AB

      You are totally good, but just be careful to have someone on tap to make sure things are starting on time. I was at a wedding recently where they had a similar amount of time to work with, but everything got delayed…they did photos during a cocktail hour (photos always take longer than you think), and then the buffet took forever to get people through, and then the toasts didn’t start until everyone was done eating (at which point the first table to go to the buffet had been done eating for quite awhile), and that all led to about 20 minutes of dancing before they had to shut everything down. But I think that was all avoidable if there had been someone to keep things moving on a schedule.

  • Katelyn

    This week I found out that I am truly the human embodiment of a dog. I’ve had my suspicions for awhile now.

    I had a panic attack… over a firework. It came out of nowhere two doors down, and I’ve never liked the noise in the first place. Crying, hyperventilating, and my first thought was to dig into leftover strawberry shortcake while crumpled on the kitchen floor – the room farthest from the exterior walls. (Yes, Weight Watchers, I *do* eat my feelings. Suck it.)

    It’s funny, because literally the day before I was home on the farm and my mom asked if fireworks still freaked me out. I was like “yeah but not remotely like they used to”… :-

    So between my glass-half-full-no-matter-what nature (6.5 hours delay to Las Vegas = makes the trip more memorable), boundless (and sometimes unhealthy) commitment to the ones I love, and now this, I’m just a tail away from man’s best friend.

    • Jessica

      Ufff, that is awful. I’m sorry :(

      But dogs are the best, soooo, silver lining?

    • I’m sorry that’s no fun. I also have panic attacks over fireworks, which I discovered last year when I ended up crying and hyperventilating behind a tree during a firework show. I also kind of freak out when anyone knocks on our door soooo… Solidarity on being a literal dog-person?

    • Eve

      If it makes you feel any better… I had a panic attack over fireworks this year too. I ended up snuggling in bed with a TV show and noise canceling headphones and it still barely cut it.

  • scw

    I feel like I’ve been doing more commenting on other people’s things than sharing my own stuff recently, but I love catching up with everyone’s goings ons so… had a good week. took a road trip with my husband, celebrated the marriage of some of my favorite people, had a blog piece of mine published comparing the alt-ac track to being a “cool aunt,” and was really happy with my performance in a seven and a half hour interview day. I woke up the day before the interview (which involved a lengthy presentation) and had lost my voice – not ideal! – but I think it weirdly worked out in my favor because it caused me to really think about my answers before speaking. fingers crossed!

  • Leah

    Not a lot of time for happy hour today, but want to leave 2 articles here, one about females in academia, one about hurricanes. Randomly reading these in succession has left me spitting mad at the world.

    The day I broke some twitter feeds: insights into sexism in academia, Part 1: https://dynamicecology.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/guest-post-the-day-i-broke-some-twitter-feeds-insights-into-sexism-in-academia-part-1/

    Female-named hurricanes kill more than male hurricanes because people don’t respect them, study finds: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2014/06/02/female-named-hurricanes-kill-more-than-male-because-people-dont-respect-them-study-finds/?utm_term=.cd59d92e1e87

  • Nat

    Can we talk about the decision to have a 2nd child? I always assumed I would have more than 1 kid. But after our first was born 6 months ago, I realized that raising a kid is HARD. I love her like no other and don’t regret my decision, but as a 31 year old I miss my carefree routine. Life is much better now that she’s sleeping through the night and we’ve have a routine. The thought of bringing a second baby into the world sounds so stressful. I’m not sure if I want to but feel like I should…? My husband, by the way, is very pro-one child.

    Anyone else feel this way? Anyone have insights about stopping at one or having more than one?

    • Trinity

      I do! Except my daughter is 3 months old, not sleeping through the night, and without a solid routine. Right now I’m 90% sure I don’t want a second, like I had always thought. My husband is an only child and pretty much on the same page.

    • AB

      I have two (ages 3 and 1). I didn’t really feel capable of contemplating #2 until our first was a year old. The first months are just so, so hard with your first and everything is so hard. It does get easier– months 6 to 12 are a magical time as you get to see more and more personality (and as you get more sleep!). So I wouldn’t stress about feeling like you have to have it figured out right now.

      On the plus side of more than one, I will say that watching them interact together is such a joy. Even from a very young age, our youngest was entranced by her older sibling. And we are totally in the trenches now (two toddlers is no joke), but we get glimmers of the future as they start to play together more and more–so I have hope that better routines and more parental freedom are coming for us.

    • ZLMT

      My son was probably 18 months before the idea of a second child sounded at all desirable. That first year is so so hard and I felt like I just held onto any routine we established with everything I had.

    • Mary Jo TC

      You have time. No pressure to decide now. Spacing children out is a good thing. I think 2-4 years is ideal. I did not even consider getting pregnant again until my first kid turned 2. I’ll also say that going from one to two was not as hard as going from zero to one. I was more confident because I’d done it before. So it might not be as bad as you think. But if you decide you only want one, that’s ok too.

    • rg223

      I completely feel this way, except my kid is almost two and I’m still like “heeeeeeeeeell no, not yet/possibly never.” My only hang-up is that I feel like I’m denying my son something if I don’t give him a sibling. Haven’t really figured that out yet, so solidarity.

      • Ilora

        My brother and I have almost no relationship. I mean, I do love him and all, but we have almost nothing in common and never see or speak to each other outside of family events (though, that’s about twice a month right now). There are no hard feelings at all, just neutral ones. So don’t worry too much about ‘owing’ your kiddo a sibling!

      • emilyg25

        I feel this way sometimes too but then I just look around at all the mediocre, crappy or even abusive sibling relationships out there. Sibling =/= friend.

    • Kat Lester

      I wasn’t even close to ready to have another until my first was 2. (We planned to have one, thought we might have two.) Our second was born when our oldest was 2.75 and holy crap it’s been hard! First child was a pretty easy baby relatively speaking, second has been incredibly difficult. It’s been very very hard to parent the way I want to when I’m so sleep deprived. Baby #2 is now 13 months & it’s getting better, but we’re finding #1 very challenging at 3.75 so it feels never ending. So maybe I’m not the person to ask, but I’d say give yourself some time before making any decisions. (Fwiw I’m an only child and have always been fine with that.)

    • Thank you for asking this, I’m having the same thoughts. My daughter is also 6 months old, and I love her to pieces, but I’m wondering if I can handle 2 kids. My husband is totally gung ho to have a 2nd, but that’s cause he doesn’t have to be pregnant and give birth.

    • emilyg25

      We are, and always have been, one and done, but right around 18 months, I was like, “Oh, wow, this just got so much easier! I see why people do this again.” That first year is ROUGH and not a time to be making any big decisions. I also like the suggestion to think about what you want your family to look like in 10, 20, 30 years. That helps you think beyond the little kid years, when they’re so, so (so) needy.

  • Can you wear black to a wedding? I have a very fancy wedding coming up (like my husband is really excited that he gets to wear his tux fancy because it justifies his purchase of it), but my fanciest dress is a (strapless) lace black dress and I have this thought that you aren’t supposed to wear black to a wedding but I’m not exactly sure why. I would prefer not to have to buy a dress.

    • suchbrightlights

      I feel like for a formal evening wedding, black is appropriate. On the flipside, if it’s wear-a-tux fancy, I think “gown” is more called for than “dress,” though you know what yours looks like and I don’t.

      • It’s an optional tux (my husband just really wants to wear one instead of a suit) luckily, so I think I can get away with not wearing/obtaining a gown for the evening part.

        Also, the first half is in a church in the afternoon with a pretty large gap before the fancy fancy evening reception (larger than the normal church/wedding gap I’m used to of 2 ish hours from all the Catholic weddings I’ve gone to). Do people wear their fancy fancy clothes to the afternoon part? Do they change? Just put a cardigan on their dresses? My people are not this fancy and I am very confused.

        • Amy March

          I usually change; and I see a mix. Some people wear evening gowns to church in the afternoon, some wear day dresses and change.

        • suchbrightlights

          I have only attended one wedding of this type. I wore a dress that would have been appropriate at an afternoon wedding to the church ceremony, with a light cardigan, and the same thing to the reception. In retrospect I was probably underdressed for the evening, but I dunno, my sister thought it was fine.

    • BSM

      Yes, definitely.

    • Amy March

      Could you wear the dress to a funeral? If not, you’re fine.

    • Black is normally considered fine these days. If you’re worried though, colorful accessories could be your friend!

    • I’ve done it before, but I checked with the bride first to make sure she was okay with it. (She was one of my friends, so it was easy.) I wear black most of the time in day-to-day life, so anyone who knows me would know it’s my normal attire. But last summer, I went to my boyfriend’s half-sister’s wedding, and he was not comfortable with me wearing black, so I wore a color (green!). But it took a lot of effort to find a dress I liked that wasn’t black. Lots of shopping online and in person at many stores, but I finally found something I liked at the thrift store. I had been wanting an emerald green dress and could not find anything in a regular store, and then at the thrift store, there one was, in my size and with the tags still on! And only $15. So, I considered that a win. :) And I liked the color so much, I just bought 6 m of emerald green linen (on a huge sale, buy one meter, get 2 free!) to sew some dresses with this summer. All that to say, that if it’s a fancy very dressy wedding, I suspect black will be fine. And you can accessorize with something more colorful, if you are unsure. Perhaps colorful shoes, a scarf, jewelry or a purse?

  • Louise

    I just finished a class that marks the halfway point in my graduate program. It was a 4 week class that crammed in a semester’s worth of material, I started it at the busiest time in the school year (I am also a full time teacher), and finished it the same day I started leading summer camp. I told myself that a B would be OK on this class, because it was a tricky, new-to-me subject and because of the other stressors swirling around. Well, I just got my grade and… it’s an A!!! I worked SO hard and I have never been more proud of a grade, even though I am not sure if these grades even matter.

    There have been other crappy things that happened this week, but in this moment, I am enjoying my pizza and coca cola and feeling pretty proud of myself.

  • Jane

    Very late to happy hour today, but my friend and I started putting up some stuff for my Alice in Wonderland bridal shower. Check out our Cheshire Cat (I just happened to have a cat face pillow already)! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe92fad4b1754c72fdc5b6acc11bee24b6beebcf84c6f57bf9d853c5aa484502.jpg

  • Yet another Meg

    Rather late to the party, but our son finally decided to put in an appearance last week. He was a little reluctant to show up, but he is healthy and happy and that’s really all that matters. It’s been a pretty overwhelming week, but so amazing.

    • Congrats on the new arrival! I wish you all as much sleep as possible in these early weeks where I’m told it’s hardest…

    • suchbrightlights

      Congratulations!

    • Congratulations!

  • Another late update from me: Tomorrow it will be two weeks since we adopted Slinky (our new almost two-year old cat we adopted from a shelter). Slinky is adjusting to his new life well, and he is seeming to even like being picked up. (The first week he was not too excited about that and wanted to be put down.) He’s super sweet and playful and often sleeps with his tummy exposed. Sometimes flat on his back, all stretched out in different directions. It’s downright adorable.

    In ring news, the Etsy person has not told me how she would like me to mail her rings back to her. She provided her address, but I’d like to know her preferences, especially regarding insurance, signature, etc., because I don’t want me not doing what she wants to be used against me somehow. In any case, I guess I should do signature and/or tracking, so she won’t be able to claim she didn’t receive them and avoid refunding me. Can you do signature on a PO box?

    My boyfriend’s ring arrived yesterday from Bario Neal, and we both really like it. We were waiting until we both had rings, so that we could exchange them and then start wearing them, but when my rings arrived first, he wanted me to wear them (but I didn’t want to until he had his), but now that we are having to return mine and his arrived, he would like to wear his because he likes it but also wants to wait until I have mine. But getting ring 2.0 made will take 2 months, so I don’t know if we should reconsider. I’d still like to exchange them and do something special to mark the occasion (and I think he really wants to do that too!), but…it’s hard to wait when it looks so nice and is here waiting on him. Maybe my jeweler can give me a more precise time estimate on how long mine will take after we discuss the design (I emailed him my ideas but we have not discussed it yet in person to come up with an actual design) and that will help us make a decision?

    • CMT

      Yep, you can get a return receipt on a PO box.