APW Happy Hour


Swimming in a geyser and a ball pit

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hey APW,

It’s one of those Fridays where the week feels so crazy and long that I can’t remember what happened at the beginning of it. Except… when I try to gaze back at the foggy memories of Monday, I remember it was SUPER awesome. We did an annual staff retreat that landed us in the giant geyser-fed, Olympic-sized swimming pool at Indian Springs Calistoga. There was a bottle of Veuve and a stop at Gott’s Roadside for burgers, and we all basically got to live our best life.

And of course, before that even happened, I got to swim in a giant yellow ball pit that my friend Jordan built and dedicated to her dad who died when she was sixteen and always wore yellow, and I cried. It was the good cry, because how is it that this is my life? And how is it that I know people who create things this magical?

Of course, the reality is, like all my friends that create amazing things, I spend a WHOLE lot of time at my desk, grinding away at deadlines, managing goals and staff, and trying not to have a panic attack. And this week has had a lot of that too. But all in? It’s been great.

How has your week been? It’s your happy hour, so hop on it.

xo,

Meg

Meg Keene

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

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  • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

    Happy Hour! This week has been long and super slow. I’m 7 weeks pregnant and my first appointment isn’t for another 9 days, and it’s the longest 9 days evvverrrr. Additionally, this Sunday is our 1 year wedding anniversary!! It’s been a super fast, amazingly happy year, and husband, daughter and I are planning on celebrating with cake. Yay!

    Also, question – has anyone ever used Rent the Runway? My mother-in-law is getting married in October, and I need a dress, but am also going to be 4 months pregnant by then, and don’t really want to spend a ton of money on something I’m only going to fit in for a little bit. Anybody have any feedback?

    • Amy March

      I’ve used it several times. I’ve had the most success sticking with fits and cuts that I know usually work for me instead of branching out into something “interesting.” Great customer service.

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        Awesome, thank you! How soon do you have to reserve a dress? Is it ok to wait until about 2 weeks out from the event, or should I be looking at stuff now? I don’t want to leave it too late, but also don’t really know what size I’m going to be in October.

        • Amy March

          They do sell out of things- 2 weeks is going to limit your selection. A month out usually seems pretty open.

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            OK, great. Thank you so much!

        • Lexipedia

          Read the comments while deciding – some dresses have a lot of reviews from pregnant customers and they have good advice re: months along and dress fit. :)

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            Good idea!!

      • Brynna

        Agreed. I love RTR, but every time I try something “just for fun,” rather than a style I know will work, I end up having to find something at the mall last-minute. It’s still a fun service and I’ve had lots of success. I usually reserve whenever the impulse strikes, but about 2-4 weeks in advance

    • ManderGimlet

      My friend used it for her wedding dress! She got a gorgeous Marchesa gown for less than $200, fit was great and she looked radiant. She said the whole process was super easy

    • Katharine Parker

      I like RTR. I’ve had some major successes, and some stuff that didn’t work, but they’re good about overnighting you a different dress if the one you picked has something wrong with it (once I got a dress that had its hem entirely let down). Definitely order with a backup size, and if you’re worried choose a second dress (the second dress is around $30, if I recall correctly). Also, if you need it for a Saturday, pick your order window as Thursday-Sunday, because you have until noon on Monday to return for the Sunday return date.

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        That’s great, I was trying to figure out the date range, because the wedding is on a Saturday. Thanks!

        • accidental_diva

          Get it Thursday – they know you can’t send it back on Sunday so you get an “extra” day for free – also if you live by one of the stores you can go and look/try on dresses there and then they’ll send it to you for your reservation.

      • Abby

        The date range tip is super helpful, thanks!

    • sofar

      I LOVE RTR (my in-laws are fancy, as in black-tie babyshowers), so I use it to avoid having to buy tons of new special-occasion dresses.

      I like that they send you two sizes of whatever you order. Sometimes I’ve been positive of my size only to learn that a particular designer runs small or large on just that one dress.

      • Jessica

        I really want to chill with you and your in laws for a week as a silent observer. They sound like they are from a totally different world.

        • Amy March

          Right? I’m totally playing along trying to figure out which world.

          Who has evening baby showers?!?

        • sofar

          You should then come to our house for this weekend because they are staying with us to see our new home for the first time.

          We are making bets on how many times the terms “quaint” and “starter home” are going to be used.

          • Laura C

            OMG my MIL is soon going to see our new apartment — which we haven’t yet seen ourselves — because she’s bringing her home organizer in to think about furniture placement and what storage furniture we’ll want, and … I’m not sure what terms to expect but it’s going to be interesting. Mostly hoping she doesn’t compare the building to a nursing home, as she did before we bought there.

          • sofar

            LOL a home organizer? And your MIL seeing the place first? Helpful, but wow… overwhelming!

            Yesterday, I nearly had a break-down trying to find the candlesticks my in-laws gifted us (so I can display them on the dining room table), while my husband said, “Relax. Those things are ugly anyway, I hope they’re lost for good.”

            And lol @ “nursing home.” When my MIL saw the Zillow pics of our house (1800 sq feet), she exclaimed, “Oh my dear, it’s a COTTAGE! A little cottage!” -_-

            But at the same time, gotta love them because they gave us some money to decorate and I know they’ll do their best to help us this weekend.

          • Laura C

            A cottage. Perfect.

            But I have some of the same feeling in your last sentence: The home organizer was what she found most helpful when she was moving herself, so she’s giving us the thing she would want in our position. If you asked me to choose something that wouldn’t be it, but it’s a generous impulse and since we worked with this woman some last year when we were moving out here, I have a sense of what we might ask her to help with.

            The nursing home thing is that some years back my MIL had been to an event in one of the public spaces of our new complex, and when she was trying to persuade us not to move there (because 1560 sq feet was too small and if we wanted the best for our child we’d be looking in the suburbs anyway) she told my husband it had reminded her of the rehab facility where her mother recovered from a stroke. We’re not sure if it’s because 1) the event she attended was mostly attended by older people or 2) her dislike of carpeted public areas because she assumes it’ll be mildewy or 3) something else, but that does not seem to reflect other people’s view of the place.

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        My husband’s family is the same way!! Usually, I just buy something on sale and spend the night feeling underdressed, but I’m going to give RTR a try.

        • sofar

          Yep a combo of RTR, ThredUp and buying solid dresses that be reworn to multiple occasions with different jewelry is what keeps me afloat.

          A lot of times, I do like the chance to play dress-up more than most people get to. But sometimes, I’m like, “Augghhh whyyyy.”

          • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

            Same!! Just found out that the day before the wedding is a family member’s bday party that we have to attend, which is also going to be super formal, so now I need 2 outfits. As you said, “aughhh whyyyyyyy” lol.

  • ruth

    Hey APW – just wanted to ask, do you plan to bring back the Happy Hour “Links” (Maybe on The Compact?) I used to really enjoy those. The internet can be so overwhelming, and having the awesome APW editorial staff curate it for me and pick the best stories and articles that I might never have seen otherwise was deeply appreciated. I hope that you bring this feature back! But otherwise, thank you for all the wonderful work you do, and the community you provide, that keeps me coming back to this site, even five years after my wedding!

    • Jess

      I’m not sure if APW is going to put up links or not, but Rachel Wilkerson Miller (previously an APW Intern) puts up a pretty great collection of links on her site ( therewm.com ) typically on Sundays.

      ETA: In case you’re looking for some really thoughtful or really entertaining stories and APW isn’t bringing it back.

      • ruth

        Thanks for sharing, Jess! I read Rachel Wilkerson Miller’s Buzzfeed articles sometimes but didn’t know she compiled her own links like that – this is awesome!

      • Rachel’s links are the best. (In fact, she’s been part of our Slack crew for ages, and used to provide a bunch of the links you saw here anyway.)

      • RNLindsay

        Seconding Rachel! Been reading her blog for years (back when she used to really blog) and look forward to her Sunday night links.

    • Cellistec

      Ditto!

    • LindsayCO

      Yes! I have been wondering the same thing for the past few weeks!!!

  • Jane

    This has been an eventful couple of weeks – so much so that I have pretty much missed happy hours for a bit. It’s finally time for me to get to relax a little. The CA bar is over and went as well as could be expected. My current job ends next week and I have finished pretty much all my work, so I get to spend time with my coworkers and appreciate them and how great they’ve been.
    Wedding is in three weeks and, although I was feeling sooo on top of things a while ago, I feel like my FH and I got behind while I was preparing for the bar and he had a few intense work things come up.
    It also looks like our friend who volunteered to be our DOC may be on bed rest (for pregnancy) and not even able to come to the wedding, let alone take on all that responsibility. So, now we are deciding whether we should ask another friend (there are a few who have offered to help in pretty big ways and would do a good job) or try to hire someone at the last minute. At least FH and I agree that we have to have someone designated.

    • Abby

      Congrats on being done with the bar! That’s HUGE. As far as the DOC, I would ask the other friends first– if they’ve already offered to help and would do a good job, they will probably be honored to be asked and happy to have a way to pitch in. If you’re worried about last-minute putting the whole day on someone’s shoulders, you could also designate one for each part of the day (i.e. one coordinates setup, one is the point person during the ceremony/reception, one coordinates cleanup) so that none of them feels like they’re working the whole day.

      • Jane

        Thanks! Our friend got a clean bill of health after all and is back on board!

        • Abby

          Hooray! So glad to hear it.

    • Amy March

      How much work is the DOC doing? If it’s a lot of moving parts I’d probably go professional, minor wrangling friend.

      • Jane

        If everything goes well, like all the vendors show up, and family arrives for pictures, and friends who are helping set up arrive on time, the DOC should be pretty much there as a lifeguard and then handing out the tips and stuff at the end. But there are a lot of moving parts, so I can’t guarantee everything will go as planned (not that anyone ever can).
        So, we will see. I’m leaning toward professional . . . There’s still a lot of final logistics to work out and we will have a better idea of how it’s all coming together next week.

        • penguin

          It sounds like the cost of a professional would be SO worth it for your peace of mind. Start looking around and see what they charge! Best of luck.

          • Jane

            I think you are probably right but our DOC is back and better than ever! False alarm.

          • penguin

            Whew!

    • jem

      Omg I can’t believe you wedding planned while studying for the bar. Esp the CA bar. You are my hero!

      • Jane

        Thanks! I will feel much more like a hero if it turns out I passed. But, since I won’t know about that for months, I am just putting it all out of my head.

    • Laura C

      We got married about 10 days after my husband took the bar (New York and Massachusetts — don’t know if we’d have survived if it was California!). You have my respect and sympathy. So does your FH.

      • Jane

        Thanks. It was definitely pretty rough for a bit. But now I get to have all the fun! And we get to finish wedding planning.

        Those double bars are intense. They’re trying to ease up a little in CA – I was in the first group to take the 2-day exam. Thank God!

  • Abby

    Happy happy hour! I know I’ve seen some lovely kitchen renovations on past happy hours, so figured I’d throw this out here– does anyone have insight into good quality cabinet brands (or comparison websites for kitchen cabinets)? Ideally looking for simple clean slab doors, frameless/full overlay and not a million dollars.

    • Brynna

      We’re doing a kitchen renovation soon and my husband is the king-of-internet research and is pretty passionate about design. He landed on IKEA cabinets, so that’s what we’re going for!

      • Jessica

        From what I’ve read, Ikea is the best option after custom built.

        • Abby

          Thanks to both of you! I’d initially ruled out Ikea because I wanted a specific door color they didn’t have and my husband didn’t want to paint brand new cabinets, but I’m leaning towards changing the design to use Ikea because they just have so many great options for interior fittings.

          • BSM

            See my comment above – Semihandmade! https://www.semihandmadedoors.com/

          • AGCourtney

            We redid our kitchen through IKEA this past winter and love it. The doors are separate, so you could easily order the Sektion cabinets and simply get your doors elsewhere, like through the company BSM suggested.

          • Abby

            Thanks! Any features/configurations you particularly love?

          • AGCourtney

            Hmm…the hidden drawers are really nice. (like this: http://www.mamakea.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/hidden-drawer.jpg ) Just the sheer variety of options is great – so many different options for different numbers and kinds of drawers, etc. We also like the lazy susan, but if you’re doing a galley kitchen, that’s probably not relevant.

            You might be aware of this, but IKEA has a planner tool on their website – it’s a bit clunky, but it’s helpful for getting a sense of how things could look in your space.

          • Abby

            Thanks! I love the hidden drawer (and that’s a feature most of the more “standard” RTA cabinets don’t have). I actually used the IKEA planner tool at the outset to make a 3d model of our space but before we’d figured out actual cabinet configurations– will definitely log back in to see if I can update it.

      • Abby

        Thanks! Good luck with your reno– would love to see pics once it’s all done (and commiserate throughout!)

    • BSM

      For our kitchen, we were originally going to go with IKEA bases + Semihandmade doors (https://www.semihandmadedoors.com/) because IKEA cabinets are great, but we wanted a totally clean, Shaker-style front in a particular white. The current IKEA Shaker front is cream and has some indentations on it we didn’t like.

      In the end, it actually was more cost effective to go with custom cabinetry made by an independent cabinet maker (who we found through our general contractor). This was because we have an unusual layout (we’re on the second floor, so one wall is sloped due to our pitched roof), so we were going to have to hack some cabinets anyways ($$) and also because our old house and walls are very uneven and not level (tough to install prefab stuff = more time = $$).

      So, I would heartily recommend IKEA if you have a pretty straightforward layout you’re going for, but, otherwise, it might be worth looking into custom. Happy to give numbers if that would be helpful.

      • Abby

        Semihandmade has the color we were looking for! I’d never heard of them before, thanks so much for the tip. We also have an old apartment with somewhat weird angles, but I think we’re going to use minimal top cabinets and a pretty standard galley layout so standard size cabinets should work for us. Will definitely check in if we need more details in the future!

        • rg223

          I thought “semihandmade” was a term and not a company at first. Like, oh, they’re sort of handmade, like we use saws but…

    • SLG

      We used Scherr’s RTA cabinets (http://scherrs.com/) when we remodeled 3 years ago, and I definitely would 100% recommend. RTA stands for “ready to assemble.” They’re like Ikea in that you assemble and install them yourself, but Scherr’s builds the cabinets for you in whatever custom sizes you need, and ships them to you pre-assembled. This means the cabinets fit into whatever size kitchen you have and you can use all your available space instead of making up any gaps with spacers. They worked especially well for us because our ceiling is a wonky height, and Ikea cabinets would have left us with a lot of unused space.

      The craftsmanship is impressive — these cabinets are solid as tanks once you put them together. The price was more than Ikea but definitely less than custom cabinetry. They tend to have a waitlist (I think we had a 3-month lag between placing the order and getting our cabinets), but it was totally worth it.

      • Abby

        Thank you! I just found Scherr’s last night via reviews of Semihandmade and was really intrigued- so glad to know they’re actually as good quality as they seem.

  • Lexipedia

    Yay it’s Friday! Thanks everyone for all of the advice on marriage-prep literature last week. I ordered the Guy Grenier book, as well as one called “The Hard Questions: 100 Questions to Ask Before You Say I Do” which is a little simpler and seemed like a good place to start. I’ll report back as to how well they work.

    One of the things that came out of our discussions is that we would like to think more deeply about our financial planning, saving, retirement, and investment strategies once we join finances. I’m the relationship “CFO” in that I manage bills and things, but that’s a pretty light lift when we are renting and have separate finances. I’ve seen this question asked here before, but I can’t remember what the recommendations were – what are some good options for high-interest savings accounts? When we pulled out all of our various account information on Wednesday night I discovered that he has just been keeping his significant savings in his checking account, rather than earning interest on it! Steps one and two in our plan are opening a good savings account and doing more research on the best retirement choices for us.

    • Amy March

      Ally is decent. 1% interest is pretty insignificant though, sadly, and the highest rates I’ve seen have been 1.2%.

      • Ashlah

        Hey, it’s up to 1.15% now ;) But yeah, better than nothing, not huge.

      • penguin

        I have Ally, and I enjoy that 1% return. It’s money I was going to have in savings anyway, might as well get a little back.

      • BSM

        And you can open an account without dealing with ANYONE. I love it.

        • penguin

          Yess!! A huge benefit, I HATE when I have to go into a bank for anything. This is 2017, let me do everything from my couch please and thank you.

      • Katharine Parker

        Yeah, a high yield savings account is an oxymoron at this point.

        • rebecca

          So sadly true, we just opened a joint checking at our credit union that does 1% on the first $7500 in that account and I almost died. Sure it’s 1%, but 1% on checking?!

      • Lisa

        Seconding Ally. They’ve worked really well for us, and their customer service is great if you do have to call about something.

    • Cellistec

      We got 1.5% in a CD at our credit union. Having our money in a CD also removed the temptation to dip into it for petty things, since that incurs a penalty.

    • MC

      We have Barclays (the standard one, not the dream one) and get 1.20% APY. It’s super easy to use and we like it! It’s good for shorter term savings because you can transfer it out easily if you need to, but in the meantime we get a few extra bucks every month.

    • Lisa

      If you’re looking for a high yield savings account, Barclays is at 1.2% now. For investment options, look into opening a Roth/traditional IRA at Vanguard and invest in low-cost index funds like VTSMX/VTSAC. (The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins is a quick and easy read for getting set up for retirement!)

      • Lexipedia

        I was waiting for you! I thought I’d heard Barclays in the past. Yep, we need to figure out the whole IRA thing as well, as married filing jointly just squeaks us out of being eligible for a Roth and this whole Backdoor Roth vs. Traditional requires more research. So far we’ve just been contributing the the 403b plans that we get through work and haven’t gotten more complex than that.

        • Lisa

          :) Definitely start with a traditional soon then! I think you can’t use the backdoor until 5+ years after you start contributing to the traditional so you’ll want to start that now to have the option later. Mad FIentist has a post about this, but I don’t have time to google it now.

          You can also do after-tax contributions to your 403(b) plans to max them out, which you’ll get the tax back on later. (I think the total is something like $55k, but I can’t remember if that’s with or without employer match.) I haven’t started doing this yet, but I finally moved a bunch of my personal savings into a brokerage account at Vanguard, invested in VTSAX, and I’ve picked up like $100+ in one month. (Yes, this is obviously market dependent.) If you have a sizeable amount you don’t plan to use for several years, that is another option to explore.

          • AP

            Ohhhh Lisa this reminds me. START YOUR BLOG. I was listening to the Choose FI podcast with my husband last weekend, and I got seething mad listening to a couple of guys who have a million in the bank talk about how after you retire early, it’s ok to take need-based financial aid for your kids for college even if you’re sitting on a million in investment accounts because “that’s how the rules are set up, we’re not doing anything unethical if those are the rules.” They kept referring to themselves as “poor on paper.” I was raging. We need more feminist and social justice focused voices in the finance world, STAT!!

          • Jessica

            Supporting this START YOUR BLOG sentiment.

      • Kaitlyn

        +1 for Barclays! We’re using it for our wedding fund and are super happy with it.

    • anon

      go to reddit and check out the /personalfinance for your specific country. That will hands down get you the best option as it’s crowdsourced and curated. Their flow chart is also wonderful.

    • AP

      Check your local credit union. We get almost 3% interest on our savings account through ours.

      • Lexipedia

        On savings, or on a CD?

        • AP

          It’s our savings account. Any amount up to $25k gets a 3% interest, and after that it goes down incrementally.

          We do all our investing in IRAs though Vanguard (fully on board with the Lisa Plan- read The Simple Path to Wealth when we got married and pretty much have been following it step by step.)

    • Abby

      We use CapitalOne360 (formerly INGDirect) because I started using it when ING had insanely high interest rates– sounds like Ally and Barclays have better interest rates now, but I still appreciate how easy CapitalOne makes it to open joint accounts and have multiple accounts for different savings goals all in one place.

    • NolaJael

      I’m also the CFO of our relationship, but recently had a humbling experience. I wanted to throw money at debt, with a modest savings cushion, but husband really wanted a nice savings cushion. I went along with the understanding that the second we met the goal, then it would be all loan payments all the time. Well, in the interim I got a great job offer that required a move across the country and buying a house in an expensive market. We were so grateful to have that savings that allowed our move with minimal lifestyle interruptions. And we would have been in *much* worse shape if we’d gone with my “smarter” plan. ;)

      • Lexipedia

        Good reminder! I’ve been math-ing out whether a little more interest paid on my (mostly paid off and quite low interest) student LOC by not paying it off quite so aggressively is actually worth adding the additional payment on somewhere like my retirement contributions and a long-term savings cushion. Like, does moving $300 from one spot to another to get more employer match, etc. outweigh slightly more interest from taking an extra year to pay off the LOC?

        So much research to do!

  • Cellistec

    Some of you APW-ers have moved back in with parents after getting married, right? I think I remember a few stories about that. My mom recently invited my husband and me to move in with her, once she sells her house and buys one with a mother-in-law unit for us. The benefits are undeniable: I could quit my job and go to school full time (I’m changing careers to become a nurse), with my husband’s income covering our reduced expenses. And my mom would have a live-in nursing student. We could even swap pet-sitting roles when we take separate vacations. Also, my mom is awesome, and my husband is excited about moving in with her, so it all clicks.

    And yet…it feels like a step backwards. My husband and I had planned to buy a house next year, though it would have required moving far away from my mom, to a cheaper part of the state. A house of our own meant applying for our foster care license, the beginning of the family life we’ve been dreaming of for years. (We can’t get licensed in the MIL unit for multiple reasons.) I know I’m the one who chose to change careers, and it’ll all be worthwhile in a few years, but I’m still mourning for the dreams I had, you know? My husband insists we’re not jettisoning them, just saving them for later. Intellectually I agree. But somehow I wanted to do everything all at once, I guess. So emotionally, I feel…trapped.

    • sofar

      I think you’re making a really strategic choice that could benefit both you and your mom. And I know a few people who live with their parents for similar reasons. They also found it psychologically hard, but, financially and career-wise it’s paying off bigtime.

    • Ashlah

      I would absolutely struggle emotionally the same way you are. Hell, when Zika put off our conception plans for like 3 months, I nearly had a breakdown. That said, from an outsider’s perspective, it seems like you’re making a really sensible, positive decision moving in with your mom right now. It’s undeniably hard when your timeline changes, but this sounds like something that will greatly benefit you in the long run. Best of luck to you!

    • AGCourtney

      Do it~~ But it’s definitely normal to have those emotions, to mourn that life you could have had. You can give yourself space for that while still knowing this will all work out. You still get to have those things! Just a few years later. Totally worth it.

      Though mine were more permanent choices than temporary delays, I had the same feelings about moving from Minneapolis back to my hometown, and then for choosing to stay and homeschool rather than pursue a Ph.D. Both were undoubtedly great decisions and I’m happy, but I also mourned those other lives I could have had. Sometimes I like to imagine that for every definitive fork in the road, there’s some alternate universe where I’m working on my dissertation somewhere. But I’m still happy being me. :)

    • emmers

      Not the same, but we lived with roommates for the first year we were married, and also a little here and there after that. We never got the newlywed “we’re in our house alone” time, but we do have fun goofy roommate memories, and it also helped us save money to buy our house.

      I can understand the struggle, but if you do decide to do it, it’s OK to be nontraditional. I like your husband’s point about it just delaying your dreams. You’re just making sure that you’ll be on a firmer financial foundation when you actually do get those dreams.

    • NolaJael

      I’m a bit concerned about this part: “once she sells her house and buys one with a mother-in-law unit for us.”

      There are huge transactional costs in buy/selling homes! Thousands and thousands of dollars go into real estate agents, appraisals, inspections, title insurance, etc. If this is truly a temporary solution, I’d definitely do the numbers to see if it would actually save any money in the long run. Is your mother going to sell her current house regardless? Will she be able to afford payments on this bigger house after you leave to start a family? Would it make more sense for you to buy a house and for her to come live with you?

      • Cellistec

        Long story short, my mom wants to move anyway (current house is way up a mountain and hard to maintain). She plans to pay the mortgage herself, which she can do comfortably. (Though I insist we pay some nominal rent + utilities to maintain some dignity and feel like grownups.) Since she can afford twice the house we can, it makes sense for us to move in with her, rather than the other way around. She says that once we move out to start a family, she’ll downsize to a smaller house. So logistically it all makes sense.

        • penguin

          So she’d move again at that point? Not knocking it, it sounds like a good idea and like you’ve all thought through it, just curious.

          • Abby

            I wonder if, depending on timing, the mom might get to a point of downsizing that she might actually prefer to just trade and have the mother-in-law for herself with the family in the house? That way she gets privacy but doesn’t have to maintain a huge house, you (maybe) get childcare, etc.?

        • rg223

          Oooh, but I think it only makes sense financially if your mom lives in the new house long enough to make back what she spent on closing costs – my dad and former real estate banker says that’s usually like 5 years. Is she okay to take a loss if you guys want to move in three years and she downsized then? Or would she stay in the house longer than you guys in that situation? I don’t mean to be a downer on your plans, just agree with NolaJael that there is a lot of money and time (it might take a while to sell both homes, you might be looking at a 6 or 7 year commitment here) being sunk into this.

          • Cellistec

            I trust my mom to do the math. She was a finance manager for several years and knows what she’s doing. And she’s spending so much money on maintaining her current house that I’m sure that cost is also a factor.

          • rg223

            Got it. I would say do it then!

    • Violet

      If it helps to re-frame, this doesn’t quite sound like “moving back in with my parents” (though to be clear, nothing wrong with that, but I do get how it can feel like going in reverse, developmentally speaking) and instead this sounds more like, “Making a conscious choice to live in a multigenerational home.” There are lots of benefits to living in a multigenerational home, which maybe partially explains why it’s popular in lots of cultures. My partner grew up in a three-generation home and I grew up three minutes away from my grandparents. We definitely discuss with my mom about a possible future living scenario where we live together.

      • Cellistec

        I totally agree about the multigenerational home framing of it. I’ve always loved the idea, so I’m trying to focus on that. I just wish we were in a financial position to buy a house ourselves, move my mom in with us, and get our foster care license right away. (Of course, my mom would have to be licensed too, but she’s up for it.)

  • penguin

    We’re finally to the fun part of wedding planning – we’re doing our cake tasting tomorrow! Our mostly all-inclusive venue includes a wedding cake in the cost of the catering, and they get it done through a baker that apparently has awesome wedding cakes. It’s a bit of a drive for us (just under two hours) so we’re going to make a little day trip of it, and eat lots of cake.

    Other good planning news – we have a DJ! Mailed in the contract today, so that’s one more thing crossed off our list. He was sane and normal and said that they don’t do any of the cheesy games or anything, which was a priority for us. I’m hoping that people use the photo booth – I LOVE them and I wanted one so we got it as part of the DJ package, along with uplighting.

    Now for a florist, and then I think we’re done! I’m trying to figure out what decorations we might need for the venue, and I’m coming up… blank. Other than centerpieces, I can’t really think of anything. Table stuff? Wall stuff?

    Enjoy this picture that I found on the Kn*t, which I was POSITIVE was just a potato with a sprig of sage tied to it (later found out that it’s a bread roll, but I love the visual of somebody just saying “screw it” and putting a raw potato at each place setting):

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/666de3fd94f0dfc872f486db91f1667500792ee216dfb8676b49f57ce8db4d44.jpg

    • Amy March

      Love this as a potato.

    • MC

      Hahaha I also thought it was a potato and love that :)

    • Jan

      Don’t let anyone tell you that isn’t a potato.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      I’m now picturing all the guests entering and picking up their potatoes to try to figure out what they are for. They wait the whole reception to find out. The couple never tells them. The smart guests take theirs home to cook later.

      But also, I would look just as quizzically at a roll with stuff tied to it. Are you supposed to bite into it as is?

      • A single sarah

        My version uses them for the potato gun shoot off ;)

      • penguin

        Photo booth opportunity – guests get together and just quizzically gnaw at their raw potatoes.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        “Deconstructed herbed potatoes.”

      • My version involves a DIY Mr. and Mrs. Potatohead game.

    • Desirae Odjick

      Literally stealing this, but actually as a potato. (I feel like my fiance, who routinely jokes that I am more potato than human, will not go for this, but gd they are a delicious treat in all forms and will be so easy to put together.)

      • jem

        I mean, if I was a wedding guest and found a potato at my place, I’d be really happy (tho happier if it was cooked…)

    • jem

      Omg potato!

      Also… we are 2 wks out and have jettisoned all decorations other than flowers (like, even the tea lights we were going to put on the tables). If your venue is cute (isn’t it at a cute b&b) do you need decorations? Unless you like love decorations, then I suggest candles, books, pictures of family, bomb backdrop for your photobooth….

      • penguin

        Yep it’s a cute inn, going to have ceremony outside and reception inside. The reception space is like a ballroom type thing, with walls that are navy on the bottom and white/ivory (who knows) on the top. I think once it is filled with people and chairs and food and uplighting it’s going to look good, and then we’ll just plunk a centerpiece in the middle of each table. I keep looking around at décor ideas and so far I’ve just not had any fucks to give. Cute signs? Tying things on chairs? Might decide on a potato for every guest as an escort card…

        • jem

          Oh that sounds lovely!!! People and centerpieces will fill up the room just fine. And you have uplighting! I think you can file this in “things not to worry about.” And potato escort cards sound amaaaaaazing. Carbs = ❤️

        • AGCourtney

          You don’t need anything, but I’ll throw out one option we did: get some cheap frames (thrift stores, Dollar Tree) and print off some photos or cute quotes. I had some photos of us and some of quotes like “To love another person is to see the face of God” from Les Miz. But again, giving you stranger-on-the-internet permission not to do decor. xD

        • Amandalikeshummus

          It’s an escort card and a party favor all in one!

        • MC

          We went super minimal with decorations because I had no fucks to give – we pretty much had tea light candles and red & green chiles (we live in the Southwest) “arranged” into a centerpiece – so not that far from a potato really haha.

        • Jess

          I’m loving on the potato thing…

          I literally printed out some standard off-white escort cards w/ a swirly motif thing from google images, and my mom bought a bunch of frames at the dollar store and printed off numbers in a nice font. You don’t have to make that a thing if you don’t feel any of the ideas.

        • Katharine Parker

          Have you seen photos from other weddings in the space? It may give you ideas on what works and what doesn’t, what is worth the effort and what isn’t. I wouldn’t do anything on the walls, generally–people are going to be focused on looking at the head table, the dance floor (if you have one), their table, and other guests. Do your biggest centerpiece on the head table, if you care about doing different centerpieces. Signs are good if you have things that are worthy of signs–photobooth, guestbook, a signature drink specific bar items, a schedule for the day. You could do a poster/sign of the seating chart, if that interests you, and decorate it with flowers/glitter/pompoms/etc. Photobooth backdrops are really fun, as are custom props (if you enjoy a DIY project). Also, just bringing in color/pattern/shine will make a big difference–colorful escort cards or place cards and table numbers are nice, and don’t need to be complicated.

          The other things that will make a difference are the chairs and linens you use. My venue has notoriously ugly chairs (seriously, my mom’s friends who have been to weddings and events there were all asking her, so what are you doing about the chairs–they’re unfortunate). No one needs to replace the chairs at their venue, but having done so, it made a huge difference to the space to bring in nicer chairs and non-white linens. Again, not at all necessary! But they will make a huge visual impact.

          • penguin

            We haven’t seen photos from other weddings where we could actually see the décor unfortunately. Thanks for all the suggestions! I’m going to look into it. Thankfully the chairs are nice – we saw them on our venue visit, and they are pretty unoffensive/normal looking, vaguely gold colored I think.

            I found out today that the “free” linens are ivory, and the colored ones would be like $27 per table. We wouldn’t need many tables (like 6), but I’m debating whether or not we’ll care. Might have fiancé bring it up with MIL since in theory they are paying for the reception and I could see her caring about the linen colors.

          • SuzieQ

            Overlays are cheap. Like $3-5 a piece. If the ivory is deemed unacceptable.

          • Katharine Parker

            Definitely, colored linens fall into the category of “things that many of your guests won’t even notice so only do it if it matters to you” and you may decide that ivory is lovely and fits what you want perfectly :) This is also where you can bring in color with place cards/table numbers/centerpieces, so that things pop against ivory linens and look great.

          • Jan

            I did colored linens at my first wedding. I wanted a warm/romantic feel and just felt like the hall we were using didn’t have that vibe at all on its own. I was really glad I got them! I am NOT doing colored linens at my wedding in a few weeks because the wedding is outside at night, and I just don’t think it’s something we really need. I’m sure I’ll be just as happy. I guess, if there’s a particular vibe you want that you won’t get with the regular linens, it’s a good choice. But if not– if it just feels like you need more decoration it’s suuuuuch an expensive add-on. (Though, with only 6 tables I’d be like who cares?!)

          • penguin

            Thank you! I agree on all counts. We might end up getting colored linens just because we aren’t doing much decoration, and this would help with the cozy vibe more than stark white would. Not that anyone will notice but me haha.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        My requirements for venue are: generally in the area where we live, fits our intended number of guests, and is visually interesting enough that I don’t have to decorate.

        • Jan

          These were mine as well. Flowers in small vases, done.

    • Hahaha actual lol at raw potato dinner.

      • ssha

        This makes me think of Everything is Illuminated when he’s in Ukraine and they are incredulous that he’s a vegetarian and asks for just a potato and they give him a raw one…

    • louise danger

      …..mr danger does sometimes call me his potato. hmm.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      *giggling at my desk about potatoes*

    • Lisa

      Oh my gosh, the potato just made my day. So funny.

    • This is my favorite thing of the week.

  • AGCourtney

    Final weekend for the show I’m in! My dad is coming tonight. My daughter has been able to hang out backstage and sit by the director and choreographer during our shows, so this has been a magical experience for her, haha. A company in the next town over is doing Cabaret, and last night was the only night that didn’t overlap with our show, so several of us went and it was great fun. I’m living a very theater-y existence right now and it’s pretty great…though life will feel weird after Sunday! I’m rather glad my grandmother from Nevada is flying in for her annual visit on Tuesday; it’ll help the transition, haha.

    Work is going very well; I’ve made excellent progress on a project I’ve been working on and I’ve started using OneNote and it makes a fancy-looking record of my thought process and the work I’ve done. Our insurance cards arrived! I’ve been joking with my daughter that she couldn’t do anything stupid until August 1st. I don’t think I’ll tell her she’s in the clear now, haha. TIme to dive in to figuring out the last remaining pieces of HSAs and the TIAA stuff…

  • Jan

    We’re less than a month out and I switched my dress! Wheeeeee! I’m super thankful to everyone who validated my feelings about wanting to ditch my first dress. I had a fitting with the new one and I’m just so, so much happier with it. I also had a hair and makeup trial last night and I felt SO PRETTY OMG.

    We’re getting into the part of planning that totally meshes with my skillset: creating spreadsheets and timelines and getting deep in the nitty gritty of how we’re actually going to pull this thing off. I love me a good spreadsheet.

    Also, I’m finally going to start getting paid for the work I’m doing at my nonprofit! We’ve been working for Free.99 the past six months and to have raised enough money to actually support myself is… I mean, it’s awesome. I feel really good.

    • jem

      Yay!!!! I’m so glad you love your new dress!

      • Jan

        Love, love, LOVE!

  • lurker…

    TLDR throw me your self-care relaxation go-to ideas pls?

    From Dec to June of this year has been a rollercoaster of very low lows (husband in hospital due to heart issue, 5 months of unemployment for him for economic reasons, fell out with friends who we thought loved us but turns out nope, etc….) and high highs (moving to a city we love, getting married!!!, new niece being born, I have a new job that I love in the new city and husband does now too, but it took him until June to find it) and we are FINALLY settling in, in good housing and with good friends and in good stable jobs not just surviving off my salary…. so I am trying to treat myself this weekend (it’s a long weekend in Canada! Monday holiday!) and help turn around the coping mechanisms that caused me to gain 5-10 lbs since winter throughout this crazy year so far. I know how to turn around my diet and exercise and already have started that, but I want to treat myself….. what do you do to treat yourself?

    I want to come out of this weekend feeling both relaxed and fabulous despite the fact that my clothes are really tight rn and I am still really tense and anxious (I can reasonably say I am at the start of the slow-down-calm-down period after the crazy so still holding onto tension that I don’t need to be)… I have booked a waxing appointment, a haircut and I’m getting a new piercing all on Saturday (very, very happy for this). I gave myself a pedicure at home earlier this week. I’m planning on sleeping in and drinking wine with a book in the backyard for part of the weekend. My registered massage therapist is off for the holiday weekend but it’s covered by my work benefits so I’m booking a free appointment when she’s back :) what else??? :) thanks all!!!

    • Guest

      This might not week for you, but giving myself time for an art or craft project or exploration is one of my favorite ways to pamper myself, as is spending some non-vigorous time outdoors if the weather is nice.

    • Abby

      I love your weekend plan. Nature walks are my self-treat (free and freeing!) but I’d also recommend if it’s in your budget to treat yourself to a couple of clothing items (floaty tank/casual dress?) that fit your body as it is now– when my body doesn’t quite feel like my own it can be so frustrating, and giving myself permission to own things in another size (and feel fabulous in them) takes that moment of ugh-nothing-looks-good-on-me out of the morning, which does wonders for my day-to-day mood and productivity.

    • Mallory2

      Are you near a Japanese spa where there are soaking tubs? The ones in SF have specific ladies days/night that are bathing suit optional. Initially I was intimidated by this but actually find it super empowering to be in a room of women with all different body types who are all there to take care of themselves. Also highly recommend a body scrub. And +1 buying the clothing that fits for now. I’m also managing a 10 lb weight gain (because anti-depressant is needed right now so will deal with the side effects) and when I finally went up a size in my jeans I felt comfortable again and didn’t spend the day with the too-tight reminder that my body has shifted so my mental health could be better.

      • Jess

        Buying clothes that fit is my current mission in life. I spent a lot of time in too-big clothes (on purpose, for unhealthy mental reasons), and when my clothes are now tight, I feel that reminder extra-hard.

    • Jess

      I personally feel infinitely more relaxed after being outdoors (like woods/lakes/touching dirt outdoors).

      Is there a local park with a wooded walking path you can mosey around?

    • CommaChick

      I make hot tea (or cider – any hot beverage) and watch Jane Austen movies that I have memorized because they’re my comfort movies.

  • Eh

    Currently checking in from our road trip to see my family for the weekend. It’s my daughter’s 2nd birthday. Yesterday they sang happy birthday to her at daycare and gave her a crown, and, since then, she has insisted on wearing the crown and demands we sing her happy birthday.

    A lot of little annoying/stressful things happened this week. I am very happy to be on vacation on not dealing with these things for a few days.

  • Lisa

    Swinging by to say hello! Last week, I took Friday off to spend time with my ILs while they were in town, and now my husband and I are heading to our friends’ place a few hours away for their towns annual German festival. I’m rocking some crown braids (because if a small town German celebration isn’t the time, when else?) and heading out to get on the road.

    On Tuesday, I randomly wore a nice dress and make-up to work (haven’t been doing that much this summer), and I discovered that a local theater group was having auditions down the road. They were only doing cold readings so I decided to give it a shot. I doubt much will come of it, but I’m so glad I made myself do an audition! It’s been a while, and it’s nice to know that I can still turn on that part of myself on short notice.

    Don’t know if I’ll make it in next week due to orientation for the program I support, but I hope you all are doing well and have great weekends!

    • Cellistec

      Way to do the audition on a whim! I totally agree it was worth a shot even if nothing comes of it. Impulsivity ftw.

    • Anya

      Congrats on doing the audition! That’s awesome

    • I agree and think it’s gret you just did that audition! Enjoy your weekend and braids! :)

  • CW

    It has been a crazy week. We finally got our venue confirmed on Monday, and I’ve been working hard this week to set up hotel blocks. Hopefully it will all be ready for save-the-dates in the next week or so. Then I can get back to looking for food and photography.
    And, my mom and sister arrive today to go dress shopping with me this weekend. Fingers crossed that I don’t have a panic attack and can actually find a dress that I like. Any tips for dress-shopping as someone who doesn’t want to upset family/friends/marginal people-pleaser?

    • Amy March

      Don’t buy it unless you are sure. You can always go back later.

    • Abby

      Remind yourself throughout the day that how you feel in your dress is more important than anyone else’s opinion. You can take their advice into account, but at the end of the day, you’re the one wearing it and you want it to feel like you.

    • SLG

      “Going dress shopping” is different from “buying a dress.” Think of this weekend as “I’m gonna go try on things that make me feel like a princess while hanging out with mom and sis, and maybe I’ll even twirl around a few times because I feel like it.” And that’s all it is! If you want to shop for a dress you want to wear at your own wedding, you can also do that at the same time if you want, or you can do that later with yourself / with a BFF if you feel like it.

  • jem

    Wasn’t someone at HH a few weeks ago worried about surprise bagpipers?! YOU GUYS, just yesterday, I quashed a plot by my father to surprise us with bagpipers! Is this real life?!

    In other news, we are 2 wks out and everything seems to just be magically falling in to place. Phew!

    • MC

      Aaaah this is also a Friends plotline resulting in one of my favorite scenes ever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgSDSntZJP0 Way to quash it!

      • Cleo

        “A wee bit o’ celebration”

        Cracks me up every time!

    • sofar

      Good luck! Those last two weeks, man. Crazy times but also kinda nice because all the “big stuff” is done and there’s nothing you can do to ward of disaster and you get to just let things “happen.”

      Also, my cousin was surprised by bagpipes at her wedding AND her dad wearing a kilt. We Irish/Scottish folk are crazy.

    • LazyMountain

      OMG this was me!! Why is surprise bagpipes a thing!?? So glad you were able to sleuth that out and convince him otherwise. I have since distracted the dads with roasting coffee beans and finding kilt accessories/jackets, but I’m still on the piper lookout!!
      Congrats and hope you have an incredible day!

      • jem

        Luckily the guy my dad tried to book had another wedding that day (poor souls)

        May you see your children’s children
        And may your wedding be free of bagpipes

  • Oof

    Working for a child welfare nonprofit. Just got out of a meeting where it became clear that a coworker who is running a new program is so worried about keeping things open and flexible that she is completely resistant to creating any kind of formal or even informal processes or structures. She wants things to develop “organically.” It’s disheartening because she is a very nice person and has the chance to shape this into something really important and useful for kids but her resistance to structure is going to hobble the program.

    • emilyg25

      Say something! If not to her, then diplomatically to your boss.

    • Ella

      You can create formal structures that allow for open dialogue and build in flexibility where you want to. If she wants to be open and flexible, that should include being open to some structure? “I appreciate the way you are showing X values in this process. I haven’t worked this way before and am feeling a bit lost. Z and Y would really help me feel more confident working on this project.”?

  • Rose

    By next Happy Hour, we’ll have moved half-way across the country to our new place! Eeep! The movers are currently emptying the apartment–we hired people to fill our pod, which was the best decision I’ve made in a while. It’s a bit awkward, but I’m so glad we’re not trying to carry all our stuff down the stairs ourselves. Or pack the pod.

    Because my job is only for a year, I’m already starting on the job market again. Which is a drag. On the other hand, I just got news that I made the first round of eliminations for a job I’d applied for a while and hadn’t heard back from yet, so that was good!

    • savannnah

      Talk to me more about the pod system. I need to hire movers for a cross country move and my fiance’s company is paying for it but every moving company I’ve looked at has horrible reviews.

      • G.

        I’ve used pods and full-service and found pods way better (I used ABF, and they were always been responsive and pleasant). I packed all my stuff and then hired movers to fill the pods (I basically needed 1.5, and despite initially thinking there was no way all my stuff would fit, the movers made it happen) and then to unpack on the other side. Unlike full-service movers, ABF is very clear about the time it will take for your pods to arrive and also allows for storage as needed. When I hired movers to pack the pods, I hired from a company that only provides loading/unloading labor so they were experienced at it but never tried to sell me on using them as full-service movers. You do have to buy packing material, moving blankets, and straps/bungees for the packers to use, but I figure I’ll use them again. It’s easier if you have a driveway or parking lot for the pods, but as long as you can nab street space, it can work in a city too.

        • Laura C

          Same. We’ve used U-Pack which is ABF by another name, and they were great on our move last year — totally professional and responsive and comforting when I had pod parking trauma at both ends — and have been good in the booking stages this year. I believe the reason we used them last year — my dad did the booking since we had a newborn and were overwhelmed — was that they were able to not just give firm dates for arrival but had the cheapest expediting available. I think another company he talked to you could pay nearly double to have it expedited and it was still going to be two full weeks, whereas U-Pack expedited for a few hundred dollars extra and it’s about a week (this is coast to coast). I am definitely a fan.

          In many cities at least you can get street parking reserved for you — we did in Cambridge and are doing so in San Francisco.

          And we similarly used a company for just unloading (going to use them for loading as well this time) and were happy with the service.

          • I used ABF Upack too, but didn’t have any pods, but this was in 2009. It just all went in the truck. In any case, I had a great experience with them!
            ETA: I had some movers help unload at the new place since I didn’t really know people there to help.

        • savannnah

          If the timing of the delivery isn’t an issue, would you still go with the pods? Like are the pods less of a hassle/time commitment than full-service?

          • G.

            I definitely would — I just found ABF so much more pleasant to deal with and I liked hiring moving labor separately in part because it meant we set exact times that they would show up rather than the moving company’s window which, much like the cable company, is highly unpredictable. My experience with full-service movers was so annoying and bureaucratic and required a billion phone calls to take care of small things. In contrast, ABF could be booked and altered online, they confirmed everything and followed through, and the moving guys I hired also were easy to deal with and careful (more careful than the full service movers).

      • BSM

        We used the PODS service last year for our move, and it was… OK. At least in our area, it was really, really hard to find availability that worked for us to have it dropped off/picked up (like… you had to book a date many weeks out on either end of the arrangement). They are also not great in urban areas because they require a lot of clearance.

      • jem

        I had amazing luck with ABF for three of our cross-country moves (five, if you count my parents’). Really great customer service, really fast, nothing broke. Amazing.

        They drop off a pod at your current place. You fill it/have movers fill it, and then call them to come pick it up. The ABF people are seriously talented at this picking-up/dropping-off part. They PARALLEL PARKED our pod on a tiny, packed one-way street in Boston.

        You have a tracking # so you can track it across the country, and then they schedule a time to drop if off at your new place. You/movers unpack it, and you call the company to take the pod away. Super easy.

        • Rachel

          We had a good experience with ABF with our 2012 cross-country move, too. Everyone we worked with was so nice. The house we were moving to didn’t have a driveway and we weren’t allowed to leave the trailer on the street overnight, so I just rented a Budget truck and made two trips back and forth from the ABF terminal (which was a few miles from the house), and everyone there was very accommodating and nice. We actually didn’t use their pods, we used an alternative they have (or at least had at the time) where you basically pack your stuff in a semi trailer. You pay by the linear foot and there’s a bulkhead you put in when you’re done packing. I guess they put other stuff in the rest of the trailer for efficiency? I think at the time it was cheaper than the pods, and/or a good solution if you have an awkward amount of stuff (like I think we had just over one pod).

          • Orangie

            We also did this with the semi for our cross-country move a couple years ago, and it was wonderful. Excellent, would use again. :) Plus, it helped me get rid of stuff, since I could calculate down to the exact cent how much it would cost to move (cost of linear foot by height of trailer), and that helped me to pick what was worth moving and what should go on the garage sale. We ended up moving a two bedroom house for a thousand less than a pod and only a few hundred more than driving it ourselves in a Uhaul, once you calculated in gas.

          • Eenie

            I’ve done this too! They were fantastic.

          • This is exactly how I did it!

      • Rose

        So far, so good. Parking it in our apartment lot was a bit of a trick–have to have three spaces together (it only takes one while it’s in place, but they need room to maneuver), and we’re not allowed to reserve them. But it’s worked out ok so far. In our area, it wasn’t too hard to schedule the timing. At our destination, which is a smaller town, it was only available 3 days of the week, though. It’s going to take a bit over a week for the pod to get there. We went through their referral service to hire the movers, who seem to be doing a great job.

        I know several people who have used Two Men and a Truck and really liked them. They would have been faster, too, but the Pod (even with labor on one end) was about half the price of the full service quotes we got.

      • LOR

        I moved from the South to the Southwest in 2012 and the best quote I got was from Mayflower. Now I know his company is paying, but Mayflower did a GREAT job, only one thing was broken. It traveled 2k miles so I wasn’t heartbroken, it was a cheap dining room chair. I packed everything and they loaded it. They broke down the table and part of the couch and chairs that needed to be removed and most things that were cloth were wrapped in a plastic wrap. They moved it all into the truck and unloaded it all upon arrival. We kept my stuff in storage for a year and their plastic wrap held up!! Very impressed with Mayflower. Growing up we moved a lot and the government always paid for United Van Lines and they always did a great job as well.

  • savannnah

    Just gave my 7 months notice to my boss for our move to Portland. Fiance accepted the job on Tuesday as they bumped up his salary by another 10K and I’ve actually got some great leads on jobs myself including a position that seems made for me ( a rare combo of skills and experience and liaisoning with a Thai university- which happens to be the university I got my masters from) I feel much better about us both making this move now that it seems I was too pessimistic about my marketability- which is a good lesson for me. My boss took it well and even though 7 months seems like a lot- he asked for more because we are working on a huge project that is just getting underway.
    In other news, I’m flying down tonight to a born again wedding in Florida at a mega church and have no idea what to expect. This is my fiance’s step-brother’s wedding but they’ve only met once so its all a mystery. Anyone have experience with these types of weddings?

    • Les

      Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    • NolaJael

      Seconding, @disqus_oHQy8xWios:disqus! Report back, please!

    • I’ve never been to a mega church wedding, but I’ve been to a ton of church weddings. By “born again” wedding, do you just mean that they are evangelical? Or conservative? If so, I wouldn’t expect alcohol at the reception, though that could depend on the denomination, of course. Perhaps not dancing either, if they are very conservative. I’m guessing the service will have singing and it could be more contemporary praise band music with projected words on a screen for singing along. Curious to hear how it goes.

    • S

      Thirding the request for details next week!

    • ssha

      So glad you’re feeling better about the move, and keep us updated on the job! That is so cool.

  • Anya

    Stopping by to say hi. First off, I didn’t get the position that I interviewed for a month ago. But your guys’ support and perspective helped a lot. They wanted someone with more experience, and that’s not something I can do anything about. Since then, I got promoted at work, my boss quit, so I’m trying to do this thing of getting myself heard in a C-suite full of men who like to talk over me. It’s been teaching me to stand up a bit straighter and be a bit more fearless.

    Also: I don’t know if anyone else is struggling with impostor syndrome, work, etc, but please share how you combat it. My technique has been to repeatedly tell myself that work is a mere part – it is not the end-all of who you are as a human being.

    Finally: There’s dog surfing championships in Pacifica tomorrow which sound adorable.

    • Abby

      For impostor syndrome, I often come back to the excellent Sarah Hagi quote “God give me the confidence of a mediocre white dude.” Just because the dudes talk over you does not mean they are right.

      • Anya

        I need that line printed and emblazoned everywhere I look.

        • Abby

          Oh don’t worry, plenty of retailers have seized on it (sadly probably not getting any of the profits back to her) but it’s definitely available on totes, mugs, you name it.

    • Cleo

      Here’s an anecdote on how to deal with Impostor Syndrome from Neil Gaiman. I literally read it for the first time an hour ago and it’s everything:

      http://neil-gaiman.tumblr.com/post/160603396711/hi-i-read-that-youve-dealt-with-with-impostor

      • Anya

        This is an amazing anecdote. Thanks for sharing.

      • Ilora

        Love that!

    • NolaJael

      This might not work as well in C-suite stuff as lower level, but when I became a manager I talked about interrupting people. A lot. Like as an agenda item. Just put it on the table in the same way that workplaces address sexual harassment (nobody thinks they are doing it, but actually it’s happening and needs to stop).

      • Anya

        I like this! I also think there’s different types of interruptions. There’re some that build on the idea that’s being expressed – and those are all right in my book. But the ones that are just to shoot things down or change topics before it’s finished – that’s definitely not okay. I like this approach and I’m taking it on.

      • Jess

        Note: I am an interrupter. I acknowledge this and am working on it, and I hope that I am gracious and apologetic about it when someone has pointed out that I have done it.

        My favorite thing to do when men are interrupting other women is to interrupt them with a question back to the woman who was originally talking, eg “Sally, you were saying X about this topic. Could you expand on your plan for that?”

        • NolaJael

          Stealing.

          • Jess

            Do it! Somebody once did it for someone I had interrupted and I was like, “That’s so kind of them! I should do that for other women!”

    • NolaJael

      I also used to have some of these printed and posted in my cubical. They really made my white male boss squirm. LOL http://thecooperreview.com/non-threatening-leadership-strategies-for-women/

      • Anya

        I need these printed. SERIOUSLY.

        • NolaJael

          It’s kind of funny and kind of passive aggressive. And I love it. Might reprint once I’m settled into my new job…

          • Anya

            Sometimes – passive aggressive is the only thing that works. Good luck with the new job! I’m hunting for one currently because I’m going: there’s got to be better places for me.

      • Jess

        10/10 would print that moustache one.

      • LOL

  • sage

    In home-buying news… we closed on the house this week! It’s everything we wanted and we are so excited to move in! Totally worth the stress of the last 6 weeks :)

    In wedding news… I had my dress alterations appointment. My dress, which I was pretty sure the ladies at DB had ordered a size too small for me (I couldn’t get it to begin to button up on my own at home) is actually super stretchy, fits perfectly, they totally knew what they were doing when they ordered it, and now if I get in a good strength training routine before the wedding I will look extra good with the illusion back but if not it still fits so there’s no worries! Good, good week.

    • Anya

      CONGRATS on the house! That’s amazing!

    • AGCourtney

      Yay!!! Congratulations on the house. Our two year house-iversary was on Monday. :) Glad everything worked out for you and glad the dress is great!

  • Emily

    Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with an outdoor wedding during a heatwave? We’re three weeks from our wedding day, and the entire pacific NW – including Portland, where our wedding is – is getting scorched by a heatwave. I’m crossing my fingers, toes, heart, and everything else I can think of that it will cool down before the day, but just in case I’m doing a fair bit of worrying as well. So far we’ve rented a tent, bought a bunch of misters to put around said tent as well as hand fans, and I’ll probably go for a trough of popsicles if it’s truly miserable. I think we’ll also rent some huge fans. Is there anything else I can do, short of moving the entire shindig?

    • Amy March

      3 weeks away? I think you can safely assume the heat wave will be over. But also this is why indoor backup plans are so important! If it really is 100 degrees I think you should look into the options for moving the whole thing.

      • Les

        What Amy said. Good you are preparing, but 3 weeks from now it will be back to normal. My status as a former Oregonian gives me confidence :)

        • Emily

          Ok that’s good news. I grew up in Oregon so I know how it goes typically, but you know then the completely irrational side of me says “but this year it could be different (aka worse)!”

          • Ashlah

            I mean, it’s good to be prepared anyway! I definitely agree that there’s no way this particular heat wave will last three weeks, but summer weddings always have a chance of landing on a single-day heat wave. Don’t fret because of the current weather, but keep in mind all the stuff you’re considering now while you keep an eye on the forecast.

          • Les

            I would be in the same mindset. Oregon is meltingggg

      • Jan

        Oh man, we 100% don’t have an indoor backup plan. We have a light rain plan (tent), but if it’s a monsoon or 1,000 degrees? No plan. NOPE I’M NOT SUDDENLY WORRIED AT ALL WHY DO YOU ASK?

        • Don’t worry! Water, water, water, shade if possible, fans, and tell your guests to wear anything that is comfortable.

    • penguin

      Ice water! Just a huge bucket of ice with bottles of water in it would work.

    • emmers

      Make sure you have plenty of nonalcoholic drinks available, bottled water is fine. I’ve attended a couple of 100 degree outdoor weddings. They were fun, but the water was key!

      • MC

        Bottled water and SUNSCREEN! Signed, a former PNW resident who saw lots of friends get super sunburned during rare heatwaves.

      • Emily

        Yes, that’s definitely the plan! We bought a bunch of those refillable beverage dispensers that we’re going to fill with water and lemonade, maybe iced tea. We don’t want people passing out! I also might get a bunch of backup bottles of water to be on the safe side, though the environmentally conscious side of me cringes.

        • emmers

          That’s cool, but make sure the beverages are available for the ceremony, if it’s outdoors. Because that was some of the hottest parts, for both, since you’re sitting, baking in the sun. I think both weddings also had programs that you could use as fans. But the water was the most important :).

        • sofar

          Yes, those beverage dispensers are so nice! I’ve attended many an OUTDOOR ceremony in TX late-spring, and I’m always on the look for a water source.

          My cousin’s wedding was also in a usually-cool place that got hit with a heatwave on her wedding weekend. They had tons of bottled water, but they were keeping it behind the bar. And at a 250-person wedding with everyone lining up at the ONE bar to get water, people were waiting 20+ minutes. An uncle finally walked behind the bar, dragged out all the water and people literally swarmed on it.

          Been thinking of you PNW folks during this insane heatwave. Spent some time there, and I know a lot of ya’ll don’t have AC!

        • Jan

          Is there a temp-controlled space nearby that elderly people can go sit for a bit to take a breather if they need it?

          • Anne

            Seconding this, especially if the air quality is still wonky by then (though I sure hope it won’t stick around that long!!

    • Cellistec

      This doesn’t help with cooling but: I’ve been to a few 90+ degree weddings, and the most successful ones sheltered the food from the heat (and bugs) so it didn’t get gross right away. One wedding had a big cheese tray outside, with grapes and figs and cured meats, and if the sweaty cheese didn’t kill the mood, the hungry wasps around it sure did.

      • ART

        Good point: our cheese tray completely melted into an oozy, blobby mess!

      • Violet

        90 plus? I wonder why wouldn’t they have activated the rain plan at that point. 90 plus isn’t safe for a lot of (most?) people to be out partying…

        • Cellistec

          Two were evening weddings so it cooled down after dinner. One was an indoor ceremony in a nice cool church, followed by an outdoor reception in 100 degrees and direct sunlight, with no fans and hot food. And the bride forbade the groomsmen to take off their ties and suit jackets because she didn’t want to “ruin the photos.” So, there are good and bad approaches to it. :p

          • Violet

            GASP! Oy.

          • Amy March

            Ughhhhhhh.

          • Jess

            OH NO. You cannot request people overheat like that…

          • Emily

            Oh wow, that’s terrible! Especially about the ties/jackets. It’s a backyard wedding, so we can always move the food into the house. Solid advice, thanks!

          • AtHomeInWA

            Because the huge sweat stains and the dripping faces photograph so well….

          • Cellistec

            More like the beet-red groomsmen in danger of fainting. But I guess that can be Photoshopped out, and sweat stains can’t?

          • SuzieQ

            Yep! Just like how women need to wear make up so they don’t get washed out, but they have a special filter that keeps men from being washed out. Totes. Obvs.

        • Jess

          Rain plans for the hot weddings I’ve been to have not included air conditioning, sadly.

          • Violet

            Whoops, I meant “inclement weather plan” more generally, but used “rain plan” as a catch-all. I was suggesting that if the outside atmosphere will cause soaked guests or fainting, activate back up plan. A heat backup plan that doesn’t involve AC isn’t much of a back up plan.

        • sofar

          Aw, bless your heart!
          -A Texan

          If we don’t party in 100+ heat (it stays into the 90s until well after sunset), we don’t party at all between May and October. :)

          But, yeah, my parents (from the midwest) don’t go outside if it tops 89.

          • Violet

            I mean, I was trying not to be Northeast-centric– I know people live full lives on the equator and it is what it is. But man, if someone expected me to dance outside in 90 degree weather, I’d just be like, “Nope, don’t feel like fainting, sorry.”

          • sofar

            Yeah, it took some getting used to when I moved here. I remember my first outdoor TX bday block party and asking my husband, “Wait … it’s 105 … are you sure it’s not cancelled?” And last weekend (107 degrees), I danced to a live band outside.

            Meanwhile, I go back home (northern midwest) and now say things like, “Wait … are we still going swimming today? It’s only 80 degrees out … that’s way too cold to go in the water! I don’t want to catch a cold!”

    • ART

      Agree with others that water and shade are the must-haves. I was SO worried about heat for our wedding, and a family friend (aka older and wiser) said to me, “people do have parties when it’s hot.” That made me worry so much less. It was pretty warm for ours (90s), but I was a guest at two others that were hotter (100s) that same summer, and I lived. Honestly what you’ve done already sounds fine to me, but do you have guests who are older/less mobile/more susceptible to heat-related discomfort? I’d focus on what you can do to make them comfortable – everyone else will be fine with water, misters, shade, and fans!

      • Emily

        That makes me feel better too! And I will definitely make contingency plans for the older etc. people of our group. Thanks!

    • NolaJael

      Would it totally ruin your plans and vision to have it earlier in the day? The hottest part of the day here is late afternoon / early evening.

      • Emily

        Ugh I know. We pushed it back an hour to 6 pm, and we might go later if possible, but I’m not sure. Fortunately, by 6:30 most of the year is in shade due to the way the trees are, so hopefully the tent will help fill in the rest of the time. Heck, if it’s miserable, all 70 of us will cram into the house for the ceremony and call it good!

        • suchbrightlights

          Your time delay sounds like a good plan. Moving it back gives you shade and takes you closer to sunset for the temp to drop.

    • Jess

      Drinking water available, tent/shade, misters, fans… looks like you’re doing what you can to keep things comfortable. (ETA: Also places to sit. Standing for long periods of time is awful in the heat)

      Latest start time possible is going to help, too, but ::shrug:: you don’t control the weather.

    • Abby

      All these suggestions are great. Just had to add, I read “misters” as “Mr.”s and pictured a bunch of shirtless male models hired to fan your guests, so thanks for that!

      • Amy March

        Omg i will suffer through the heat for this.

      • Jess

        I’m 100% here for a wedding with Mr.’s. Send me that invite!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        That’s entirely different sort of hot.

      • Ah, me too for the “Mr.”s…

    • AtHomeInWA

      As a PNWer, I would also like to encourage you to have some faith in your guests. If it is 100 degrees and your guests are locals, they’ll know it is hot and not pretend it isn’t. People will dress to the weather and probably bring sun block and water too. Cuz we’re hot weather wimps.

      Although, sunblock isn’t a bad idea.

      • Kelly

        As a Seattleite who lived in Vegas for a decade, I will forever be a hot weather wimp!

    • rebecca

      It sounds like you’re super prepared, if you can swing it, I might buy some fun non-alcoholic beverages (laCroix, GUS and what not) since people might be hitting the bar harder than usual to cool off

    • LazyMountain

      Yeah it’s been like a furnace in Seattle- I think your plans all sound like good ones! As long as there is shade, cool refreshing beverages, and ample air movement I think you’ll be ok. At least we don’t have the same humidity issues as the rest of the country, so being out of the radiant heat of the sun (and away from reflective/heat-sink surfaces like brick walls) should provide a lot of relief. Here’s just hoping all of the wildfire smoke calms down by your wedding!! I personally would love some better air quality and I’ve heard Portland is having it even worse.

    • Katharine Parker

      Multiple water stations! Make it easy for people to hydrate.

    • Jane

      I think we are wedding date twins, right? I know Portland is a little hotter than Seattle but I am really hoping that it will have cooled down in a couple weeks. I’m doing a lot of th things you are doing except having an indoor backup instead of a tent. And I purchased some cheap but ok-looking sun hats for people who will be traveling.

      Also, Seattle has all this terrible smoke from the wildfires in British Columbia and it is straight up miserable (for me – some people don’t seem to be responding as badly but my eyes, nose, throat, are killing me). There is no reason to think we will still have smoke three weeks from now, but I can’t help worrying about that now too.

    • maybemum

      My wedding day was super hot- I made sure there were plenty of water stations all around, and that these got refilled often. I also made sure there was bottled water in coolers on our transportation so guests could pre-hydrate. It sounds like you’ve made a good game plan!

      • maybemum

        Oh- and I thought it might be helpful to mention that although it was crazy hot, an amazing calm wedding zen came over me and I didn’t feel it at all. Sending positive vibes that you’ll have the same!

    • suchbrightlights

      I live in the mid- Atlantic where your heat wave is our normal and so I have been a guest at many hot outdoor weddings. Get the big fans and make sure there is plenty of water. Other than that you’re on point.

      Men who are wearing jackets and will be in photographs would be advised to bring an extra shirt if possible in case they sweat through the first one.

      Make sure YOU stay hydrated in your long heavy dress!

      It will be totally fine.

  • Has anyone here ever seen a grief counselor? Long story short, my dad died really suddenly a month ago, and it’s been rough since (it does not help that my partner is a medical student and working 70-80 hrs a week right now). I’d love to hear if other folks have found grief counseling helpful, and how one goes about finding a good grief counselor.

    • I’m very sorry for your loss, and I hope you find a counselor that can help.

    • NolaJael

      I lived with one. ;) My mother is a grief counselor. I definitely think it’s worth looking into. Death changes all kinds of relationships and self-perception in really dramatic and odd ways, and grief is either ignored or ridiculously overly simplified in our pop culture.

      • NolaJael

        If your work as an Employee Assistance Program, that would be a good resource for finding someone.

        • penguin

          This was going to be my suggestion too, one of the examples they gave for using the EAP was for grief counseling.

        • Oh, that’s a great thought. We do have an EAP at my work.

    • ZLMT

      This is not a grief group, but I know someone who does it and has found it very helpful, in addition to a grief counselor, to find people who have also experienced loss: http://thedinnerparty.org/about/#is-this-a-grief-group

      • Thanks for sharing this.

    • G.

      I’m so sorry for your loss — my dad died suddenly and it was a very hard year afterwards. I think grief counselors can be wonderful, as they give you a space to both cry it out and work through feelings that other people in your life may, unfortunately, think you’re over or past or whatever. I probbaly should have kept going longer than I did, but for a number of reasons I didn’t. I also found that friends who had lost parents (especially suddenly) provided a lot of needed support, because they were familiar with the hard road (other friends were helpful too, but those who had close experience tended to check in more and be more patient about talking through grief 3, 5, 7, 12 months out, etc and I find myself doing that for friends who unfortunately have lost parents since my dad died).

      Grief is hard, it doesn’t go away, it simply reshapes. I still find myself losing it at expected and unexpected times 4 years later…

      • Thank you for sharing. I have also found that my friends who have lost parents to be particularly understanding right now. In my head I have considered creating an unofficial ‘fatherless children’ club to meet periodically.

    • louise danger

      if you’re religious, your place of worship’s office should be able to connect you with someone, whether it’s one of the clergy there or a layperson who liaises with the congregation. our parish has the clergy, a group counseling program (faith-based), and a counselor or three on the roster who work with people individually.

      your workplace might also be able to make a referral through the EAP, or your GP might have a lead on someone.

    • Anonanonanon

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I went to group grief counseling following the loss of my grandmother/primary care giver. It was extremely helpful to be around others going through loss; it gave me a space for processing my feelings when my life wouldn’t really allow it. In fact, I found it more helpful than personal therapy. I found the group through googling city + grief group, but it turns out that many visiting nurse associations and hospitals host groups.

    • Carolyn

      I didn’t when my dad died when i was 20 but I 100% will the next time I experience loss. Hell my mother just remarried 13 years after his death and it’s bringing up enough stuff that I probably should now.

    • I haven’t seen a grief counselor but I did talk with someone who was specialized in a certain kind of loss when I was grieving in that way, and it was really helpful. I felt like I skipped needing explain a lot of stuff because she knew what it was like, had tons of experience in this kind of life experience and “got it” in a way that a nonspecialized counselor most likely would not have.

    • Essssss

      So much sympathy to you. I also lost my father very suddenly. It’s a terrible thing, and I couldn’t have gotten through without the support of a professional counselor on top of family and friend support. Hospices sometimes have free grief resources that are available even if you lost someone suddenly and they weren’t connected with that hospice, such as grief groups and individual counseling. If you have insurance coverage, you can also call and ask for a list of mental health providers that specialize in grief, traumatic loss, etc. and get an appointment with one. It took me months to admit I needed this kind of help after my loss, good on you for starting to get the support you need right now. Hugs and good wishes for the road ahead.
      ETA: in many big cities there is a thing called the Dinner Party, which focuses on helping people 20-40 support each other through big losses in life.

    • EF

      I can’t tell you where to find one, but am very very supportive of going to grief counseling. my partner’s mother died a few months ago, and whilst she’d been sick and it wasn’t unexpected, it was way hard on him. and he did not handle it well – like our relationship had some serious lows. i kinda basically told him either he would go to grief counseling or go stay with his dad for a while, because of this. he went to grief counseling (a specific cancer one, actually) and my god it’s like a night and day difference. does stuff still suck sometimes? sure, but he (and I) can cope now. he can talk about things now. he can work through some of his grief now.

      so yeah, strongly recommend it. I’m really sorry about your dad.

  • Kaitlyn

    My wedding dress is in! I got the email yesterday and called immediately because I thought they had the wrong person haha It wasn’t supposed to be in until November and we ordered it July 6th haha We’re going to leave it there till the fall since you have to pay for it when you pick it up and we weren’t expecting that so soon haha

    In work news, it looks like my promotion will be finalized in mid-September woop woop!!

    • Jennifer

      You’ve confirmed that they’ll hold it until the fall, right? When my dress came in, they said they’d only hold it for a couple of weeks. I assume due to limited storage space.

      • Jan

        Yes, definitely confirm that they’ll hold it for you. I worked at a bridal shop that only held dresses for 30 days before returning to the designer.

      • Kaitlyn

        Yeah they said they’d hold it till the actual delivery date since it came in so early haha

  • ssha

    Happy Friday! I’m excited to go to a crafting party at my cousin’s house tonight to help her make stuff for her wedding. In other news… her wedding invitation says “formal” on it, which throws off my wear-a-short-nice-dress plan. What does formal mean in the Midwest, you guys?

    • ART

      Tonight sounds like the perfect opportunity to ask her! :)

    • Amy March

      In the Midwest “please don’t wear jeans and seriously Cousin Frank do not wear shorts.”

      If it’s in the day time a pretty sundress thing, evening something a little fancier- prob doesn’t need to be full on glitz but a cocktail-ish dress.

      • ssha

        lol. I was pretty sure we would have people in flannel at our wedding, but I don’t think it happened. Sadly.

      • Capybara

        You know your Midwest well.

      • AGCourtney

        Sounds about right!

        Plus, if you’re going to be at her house tonight, you could always ask.

      • rebecca

        Haha so true, I generally feel Midwestern women planning city weddings (like myself) calibrate their dress codes one degree higher than what they actually want people to wear to avoid any possible instances of cargo pants (“but they’re khakis! Khakis are nice”) or Big 10 university polos in the case that my dear old dad is invited.

        • ssha

          Ha! I kept saying to my fiance “We’re not having a formal wedding,” meaning not black tie, and he kept saying “But people will be dressed formally!” meaning not in jeans/shorts. I’m from an urban area and he’s from a rural area. Language is fun.

          • Nicole

            this conversation will be the summation of all imminent wedding planning conversations with my person.

        • Katharine Parker

          I think my wedding may be the only time I’ve seen my father-in-law wearing a shirt that was tucked in.

        • somanypseudonyms

          THIS. This is why our dress code is “black tie encouraged” — we’d *love* to have folks actually show up in black tie, but most won’t, and at least this way we minimize the number of people who think khakis are acceptable formalwear.

          • ‘encouraged’
            So simple! So good!

      • lamarsh

        Our Welcome Reception had a “casual, no jeans please” dress code (because it was at a club that had a business casual dress code, and I figured that was the best way to frame it for an evening reception) and I had multiple requests if my cousins’ husbands could wear shorts…

      • sofar

        LOL so true.

        My wedding was in the midwest. One of my uncles wore a tracksuit.

        • I am trying to imagine your spouse’s black-tie-enthusiast family mixing with the tracksuit wearer and am imagining an encounter that could be a movie scene…

          • sofar

            Even some of my own family were like, “Really????” when he arrived. His explanation was that he lived near the venue and therefore walked and needed a comfortable “walking outfit.” He changed into a polo shirt, kept the pants.

            This uncle of mine is really gregarious and adorable, though, so he charmed all the fancy people on my husband’s side.

            I, meanwhile, had the satisfaction of having proven myself right because my in-laws were CONVINCED that they needed to wear tuxes/gowns because, surely, everyone on my side would surely be wearing tuxes/gowns.

          • I totally meant to reply to this earlier this week to say I’m glad you shared this and the fact that your inlaws were convinced *everyone* would be wearing tuxes and gowns…

    • anon

      Know your people, but in my experience, that means “look nice”. If they meant black tie, they’d say black tie. Short-nice-dress may or may not be what they have in mind (depends on the fanciness of the dress) but I don’t think long is required and I think you’ll see men there not wearing suits.

    • Jess

      Depends on your family in the Midwest and what part. Rural Midwest (farm country) probably follow Amy March, you’d be fine in a shorter sundress during the day.

      I’d more commonly see “black tie” for gown-style dresses required in city/fancy families.

      • ssha

        We’re in Minneapolis, and the wedding is downtown, so a mite fancier. Hmm. I might wear my nice short dress with a bunch of fab accessories.

        • Jess

          Yup, fab accessories with a nice dress and you’re golden! :)

    • louise danger

      what time is the ceremony?

      if it’s daytime (11ish-4ish), a nice-looking pretty dress is ideal. if evening (5ish on), something dressier – cocktail dress at a minimum, heavier fabrics.

      my advice? ask what she’s looking for when y’all are crafting tonight. removes all possibility of doubt :)

      • ssha

        back to the planning advice of Just Talk To Humans! ;) It’s an afternoon ceremony with a catholic gap, so dinner reception. Thanks!

        • louise danger

          can’t go wrong with a little black dress, i’d say. chameleons itself into either situation :)

          • ssha

            For some reason I have in my head that one cannot wear a black dress to weddings? But I think I got that from like, Anne of Green Gables or something so it’s probably not the case anymore.

          • Amy March

            I think you should not have one dress that you wear to weddings and funerals. At nearly all weddings a fun and festive black dress won’t be strange.

          • Katharine Parker

            This is a good update of the “no black at weddings” rule.

          • savannnah

            This is regional from what I understand

    • Abby

      I don’t know if this is different in the Midwest, but I’ve been to “formal” weddings where a bunch of women were in fancy cocktail dresses, so you should be fine as long as you dress up the short dress.

      • Laura C

        I’d go a step further. When I was invited to a black tie wedding in Manhattan, I asked a friend who’d been to such weddings if I needed to wear an evening gown. She said in her experience a cocktail dress would do, and she was right. I mean, it was one of my two fanciest cocktail dresses, but it fit in better than an evening gown would have.

    • Lisa

      Why don’t you ask her, since you’re seeing her tonight? I had several guests ask me about the dress code, and I wasn’t bothered by it at all.

      • ssha

        But why would I do that when I could ask internet strangers?

        ;) I will! Y’all put the ‘practical’ in APW.

  • louise danger

    sent a grouchy-not-grouchy email to the deacon who’d been ghosting us – he sent back a terse “fr $priest-name will be in touch soon” so that’s… awkward/good/done. haven’t heard from the priest yet, but hahaha eventually someone at the church will marry us :’)

    invitations went in the mail yesterday! now the nervous waiting begins! i am going to pass the time awaiting rsvps by making more pompoms and making the ones we currently have look a little less droopy. it might be time to go back to michael’s for more yarn – TBD. (one always needs more yarn.) (there is a lot of yarn in my house already.) (but more is required.)

    mr danger has promised to be more helpful with wedding everything. so far, this has manifested in him licking the envelopes (we have 68 people on the guest list, including us, so it was about 35 envelopes) and putting the invitations in the drive-up mailbox at the post office on his way to work. thanks for investing so heavily in this, mr danger.

    we are planning a wedding-evening dinner, just the two of us still in our duds, at a super romantic waterfront restaurant downtown. bonus of having a lunch reception and morning ceremony!

    the only real outstanding stuff left is finalizing the room layout with the restaurant, finalizing the finger foods/pre-meal nosh for when everyone arrives and is finding their seats, and figuring out printing of programs and escort cards. whee!

    • penguin

      We just mailed our invites too! A couple friends texted me to say they got them, which made me feel better. Sorry to hear that the deacon is STILL ghosting you. I feel like it should be a pretty basic requirement to at least respond to people if you’re going to be officiating their wedding.

      • louise danger

        well, the priest is going to be the official officiant (signing the paperwork etc). but yeah, the deacon is… allegedly still involved. it’s been a mess.

        • lamarsh

          Ugh we had a similar situation with the priest who was preparing us. He would completely ignore multiple rounds of emails for like a month, and then my now-husband would call him every day till he answered the phone. Then, when we met with him, he’d be like, you know, phone isn’t really the best way to reach me, I’m much more reachable by email, and we would be like, well then why did you ignore the 5 emails we sent you trying to set up a meeting??? We went through multiple rounds of this. But, it all worked out in the end. So much empathy for your situation though, good luck!

          • louise danger

            initial priest jettisoned us onto this deacon (he’s the pastor and has like 43284209480 parishioners at two campuses, so i… sort of get it) without warning; deacon no-showed us for the first meeting (…) and has been Generic Nice Conservative Grandpa at the rest; deacon was open to us working with mr d’s childhood parish now-retired priest (who is not available) but apparently asking to work with our own parish’s retired priest is A Step Too Far™. so we’re on officiant #4 and that’s hopefully the one we’ll get. it’s officiant #5 if we count the now-scrapped initial plan for mr d’s uncle to marry us at a state park.

            i hope things will work out. worse comes to worst i’ll just bang on the door of the rectory that morning until someone comes out and throws on a chasuble.

          • lamarsh

            It just drove me crazy because it is LITERALLY their job to prepare people for marriage and to marry people. But glad to hear that it wasn’t just us…

          • louise danger

            yup! and like… i get it, our parish is ENORMOUS and there’s a lot going on, but… DEEP SIGH.

          • LAinTexas

            I don’t *really* want to share this in fear of alarming you, but for the sake of *really* being in the mindset of Anything Could Happen So I Must Be Prepared for Anything… Friends of ours got married almost two years ago now, and their priest FORGOT THE WEDDING DATE AND DIDN’T SHOW AND DIDN’T ANSWER ANY OF THE WHO KNOWS HOW MANY PHONE CALLS HE GOT THAT MORNING, and they had to be married by a totally different priest whose only job was really just to be there to open the church so they could get in to get ready, and he kept having to turn his mic off to ask them questions throughout the ceremony and made a few rather sexist remarks that DEFINITELY did not reflect them as a couple, as he literally did not know them and hadn’t been working with them. *face palm* *alarming* So really…it sounds like you’re already prepared for Anything Could Happen…but just in case. Sending positive vibes your way that it works out!!!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      In my expert opinion, you’re going to need more yarn.

      • Katharine Parker

        More yarn, always, and be sure to make them larger than you want and trim them. They will look fluffier that way.

    • rg223

      Gosh, your priest issues have been such a saga! Hope things go smoother from here on out!

  • Capybara

    It’s been a mostly good week, but one shitty thing happened that I need to get off my chest. I got an email from a recruiter with a position that looked tailor-made to me. We talked on the phone, he thought I was a perfect candidate, and it paid like $10 more per hour than my current job with better benefits. Apparently they’d been trying to fill this position for months with no success. I added a line to my resume per the recruiter’s recommendation and sent it off, and almost immediately he got a response — saying they required at least 5 years experience in my job, and I only have one, despite 5+ years very relevant experience. (This is for a non-managerial office support role.) The recruiter was shocked, but this isn’t my first time job-hunting in this field and I should have seen it coming. I’m trying not to read too much into this one incident, but at the same time, how did I end up with such a trash career? At this rate, how will I ever afford grad school?

    • G.

      Ugh, I hate when places don’t a) specify that they have a very specific demand/requirement and b) think creatively about meeting it (unless it’s a credential, like a CPA or something that is legally required).

      What kind of grad school are you looking to do? In some fields, you can get paid to go to grad school (fellowships or teaching).

      • Capybara

        Well, I’m thinking about pursuing biology or a related field. I’d like to be able to solve problems involving concrete, physical things. My undergrad degree, which is in an abstract field, doesn’t really suit me. I’m taking a biology MOOC and it’s great! My high school had a lousy science program and I was turned off, so I didn’t take a single science course in college and I really regret it. But now I would definitely need post-bac courses to go into anything science related and I can only imagine how expensive that would be.

        • abiologist

          If you’re considering a career in Biology, I definitely encourage you to work/volunteer in a biology research lab to get a feel for it and get the letters of recommendation you will need for further training. You will certainly need that at least as much (if not more) than any post-bac classes, though you may need to be in a post-bac program to convince a professor to let you work in their lab. Also, be sure to talk to practicing post-grad school biologists in various jobs (not just as professors). Many grad school students feel the pipeline is broken, and the careers in academia many began their training for aren’t there anymore.

          • Capybara

            Thank you! That’s really helpful. From what I’ve seen on job boards, you need at least a science degree to do paid work in a biology research lab, but I’ll look at volunteer ops.

        • RNLindsay

          I also did not take a single science class in undergrad but needed pre-reqs to go back for nursing school. Most grad programs don’t care where you take the pre-reqs as long as you get the minimum grade required. So look into community colleges in the area! I took most of mine through a cc for a third of the price of a 4 year college

    • sofar

      OMG I had a similar thing happen. The listing called for two major competencies/skills (which I have), but then I got a rejection saying that I needed 50/50 work experience in both. And my work experience was more 70/30. I’ve also seen a lot of listings that say “X years experience in skill A, X years in skill B, and X years in this specific industry.” Which shuts out so many people with great experience but who are trying to switch industries. And these aren’t even for upper-level-management positions.

      I hate it when employers get so myopic like that. No wonder that job you applied for has been unfilled for months! Job-searching is the worst. Hang in there.

    • rg223

      Well that’s just stupid. That’s why they haven’t been able to fill the position! I’m sorry that happened to you!

      • Capybara

        I know, right! The person they’re looking for does not exist, because if they were any good they’d be promoted out of the role before five years was up.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Careers are impossible these days. Basically every job requires you to have a million years of experience, even if the job is just filing papers.

    • Cellistec

      Ugh, what a crappy tease. I’m sorry.

    • Essssss

      That is so lame! good luck moving forward! Related question: how do you even get yourself out there so that recruiters find you? That’s something that’s always been a mystery to me. I imagine its different for different fields, but what is this thing where people call you and match you with jobs? I want in.

      • Capybara

        It depends on the field. My fiance and I both work in recruiter-heavy fields: she’s a graphic designer and I’m a Japanese bilingual (Japanese companies hire almost exclusively through recruiters, at least where I am). All of our recruiters have found us just by us uploading our resumes to Monster or Indeed. Some job ads are also posted by recruiters (mostly temp-to-hire), so when you apply to one job, they’ll put you on their list. You can also go directly to recruiters yourself and just apply on their website. In my experience, recruiters just seem to add another layer to the whole process, and going through a recruiter doesn’t necessarily convey any benefits. It’s just that recruiters are the norm in some industries. Hope that helps!

  • anonnnn

    About to go on vacation, which is nice, but also just learned that TTC month 4 is a bust, and I just feel so sad about it. Of course it’s not that long, but it makes me anxious. Also, I live in a very kid-filled area, and it just feels like every other woman on the street I walk by is pregnant. Sigh.

    • Abby

      I’m sorry, that’s hard. We’re not TTC yet because of a million reasons but when I get sad about it savoring some sushi and a glass of wine always helps just a little bit.

    • NolaJael

      *HUGS*

    • ART

      I’m sorry. So many people we knew got pregnant in the year we were waiting to be ready to TTC that my phone now perpetually spells “pregnant” in all caps due to the number of times I texted my husband that “EVERYBODY IS PREGNANT.”

    • emilyg25

      I’m sorry. When you want to be pregnant and you aren’t, it just sucks. Doesn’t matter how long you’ve been trying.

    • anon-for-this

      UGH I am with you. We have been trying for almost 2 years… I wish I had a more encouraging story for you, but all I can say is I understand. I basically hate pregnant people. I work in an elementary school and at least two of my coworkers have been pregnant the whole time I have been trying to get pregnant. I have given myself a pass on attending baby showers, but I am not sure how else to deal with my jealousy. Solidarity, friend.

    • Les

      If podcasts and listening to TTC sagas are your thing, I’m LOVING Matt & Doree’s Eggcelent Adventure

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Hiya, everybody! I’m trying to think of different ways that I can include people in our ceremony. Obviously there are attendants to brides and grooms, and you have people be ushers, or read something. What else have you seen people do?

    • jem

      Thank them! I guess that’s not really a “role,” but it’s a nice thing to do!

    • ssha

      Play music during the ceremony? ETA: I was at one wedding where the groom’s siblings sang at the reception. It was sweet.

    • Amy March

      Prayers, sing, perform nonsense tasks like handing out programs and confetti.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Asking people to hand stuff out always seems to me like you’re saddling them with a chore. Do people like doing it?

        • Jess

          I don’t mind programs! I did it for R’s sister’s wedding right after we had gotten engaged and everybody was saying hi and congratulations to me the whole time. It was fun.

          (I’ve also done it not-engaged and it’s still fun. You get to talk to people, ask who they know, etc.)

        • NolaJael

          It’s not a chore for us obsessively organized natural wrangler types. But it needs to be someone relatively well versed in the logistics, because they WILL get asked where the bathrooms are, how long it will be, if they should sit on the bride’s side, when pictures are happening, etc.

        • penguin

          You could ask them – some people wouldn’t mind doing something like that, others would.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I worry that people will agree to do it when they don’t really want to and then be silently miffed about it. But I suppose it’s their job to be honest with me and speak up for themselves, right?

        • Amy March

          I always hate it. Honor me by like telling me you love me not a chore!

          If a sign could do the job don’t give it to a person.

          • Katharine Parker

            I don’t want to hand stuff out, but I love to do a reading. Someone else may enjoy handing stuff out?

    • NolaJael

      Are these people who you want to include or who want to be included? ;-)

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        People I want to include. :) So far, only 2 people have invited themselves.

    • Abby

      Readings, chuppah-bearers (if you have a chuppah), or witnesses (if you’re signing the license during the ceremony). If you have musician friends/family members, I’ve also seen people have musical interludes as part of the ceremony, which is lovely.

    • NolaJael

      We had my brother-in-law pop the cork on an intentionally warmed bottle of champagne at the end of our ceremony, because that’s one my favorite sounds and officially starts the party.

      • penguin

        Do cold ones not pop as well?

        • NolaJael

          No, room temp is better than cold. The expanding gas builds up pressure behind the cork.

      • LOVE this idea!
        I’ve never thought of what my favourite sounds are but this and the sound of a cocktail shaker are certainly up there!

      • Les

        love it! it is a GREAT sound

    • rebecca

      We did a ring warming and I thought supervising that (basically making sure it got passed across the aisle) was a nice/non-nonsense way to honor someone who wouldn’t be super into speaking. Also corsages, people hate manning guestbooks, they love getting surprise flowers and not having to do stuff.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I’ve been thinking about doing a ring warming! I’m concerned about the logistics with a likely 100+ guest list. How did you do yours?

        • NolaJael

          I think it will be fine. It’s a know-your-crowd thing, but most people are kind of squicky about religious / sentimental / woowoo stuff and will pass it very quickly. Only a few people will linger with it and your person can smile at them to move it along.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Did you do the string thing, or were they loose and handed around?

          • NolaJael

            We had ours in a little bag that my godmother had made. We were on a deck outdoors, so loose was not a viable option.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Oh, I like that.

        • rebecca

          We had 88 guests who were not at all squicky about that kind of stuff (whereas we are. Our ring warming was v. much a “get your prayers out now y’all” type of thing) and it went fine. Ok, technically, it missed my parents who didn’t care and one aunt who came up immediately after the ceremony and warmed our rings which was 100% her. If I did it again, I might consider starting in the front and making sure all the parents got it first instead of the back. But I also think maybe that would start a precedent of people holding it longer? I’m not sure. Anyway, we tied ours with ribbon, it was super low key, the people for whom offering some kind of blessing was important appreciated it, and the people who didn’t care didn’t comment on it.

    • emmers

      We did a responsive reading, where everyone read a prayer. I liked it!

    • Lisa

      We had everyone sign our marriage certificate, so everyone got to participate in that way. It also gave us four more jobs: 2 of my cousins to move a table with the certificate to the center aisle, and two cousins to act as ushers for the signing, letting rows out communion-style. Our ceremony was Jewish, so we had 7 people give the 7 blessings. Our officiant was my husband’s best friend, and our ceremony musicians were friends/family. We also had more work-related honors, like cutting and serving the dessert, etc.

      • savannnah

        We are also having 7 blessing-ers.

    • Read a selection during the ceremony?

    • Katharine Parker

      The church where I got married insisted on having greeters and ushers (I know, it felt excessive, but whatever). Catholic weddings have a lot of roles (three readers, bringing up the gifts, a cantor, options for soloists, eucharistic ministers). I always like a wedding with readings and music, if those are options for you.

    • rebecca

      At a friend’s wedding, the officiant gathered advice from some people beforehand (grandparents, newly married friends, 7 year olds) and worked them into his speech at the ceremony and it was _really_ special

      • ssha

        this is so sweet!

    • Rose

      Carry and hand over the rings. Hold a bouquet or equivalent. Small things, but they mark that you chose a person to do them.

  • ART

    Ugh I love Gott’s. We are driving up that way tonight, perhaps we’ll take that route and get milkshakes on the way if we get out early enough.

    Had our anatomy ultrasound Monday and although everything looked fine (yeah yeah most important thing, I know), the experience was a real bummer. The tech hurried me into a room to get started about 15 minutes before my appointment time even though the receptionist and I were both like “THE HUSBAND IS JUST PARKING HE’LL BE HERE IN A MINUTE!” She asked me if I wanted to find out the sex right at the start, and I told her I didn’t really want to make the decision without my husband there, but was there a way she could just write it down for us if we decided to find out later because we weren’t ready to share it with our families anyway (and my mom and brother were planning to come in at the end), and she said “not really because it’s not diagnostic so I don’t take any pictures of that. But it’s your first baby so it probably doesn’t matter anyway, right?” and then without another word she squirted me with the jelly and got started…it was so awkward when my husband did arrive and she acted like he was totally interrupting. She just didn’t have much of a bedside manner and seemed very annoyed with me that the baby was (cutely!) flopping and moving all over the place. At one point she said “did you EAT right before this or something?!” as if anyone had told me not to have breakfast…ugh. The whole thing was so odd. Frankly I couldn’t get out of there fast enough and we didn’t end up even looking for the sex and I think I’m OK with that. I feel kind of shitty for not being a slightly better advocate for myself, though.

    • Jennifer

      Wow, I’m sorry you had such a negative experience. But it’s awesome that you got to see the baby moving around so much! That sounds amazing.

      I had my anatomy scan on Monday too, and I definitely don’t remember anyone saying anything about not eating beforehand.

      • ART

        Yeah, that part was hilarious because it was seriously turning over and over, and we could see the little spine moving all over the place, and the arms and legs kicking and punching like mad. I feel NONE of this yet, but I know I will soon…yikes!

        • Ashlah

          Heh, I specifically drank an apple juice right before my anatomy scan so that he’d move around a lot, and he didn’t. He was lazy during every ultrasound, despite being a very active baby otherwise! That tech sounds awful, I’m so sorry you had that experience! That whole experience sounds so bizarre.

    • Abby

      I’m sorry you had that experience. I’ve had doctors with bad bedside manners before and it’s always frustrating, but I imagine it’s that much worse during a more emotionally-loaded appointment like an ultrasound. Assuming you like your OB and don’t want to change, maybe see if you can raise it with the doctor and just let them know about their tech’s behavior? It might have been just a bad day, but if I were an OB I would definitely want to know if my staff was treating my patients like this– so much of her behavior sounds so far outside basic standards of professionalism.

      • ART

        Yes, I have an appointment with a midwife at the same provider this coming Monday and plan to raise it there. I do think a lot of it was unprofessional on her part (I mean, even basic stuff like “now I’m going to put the jelly on you and it will be warm” – nope, just SQUIRT!) and so far that’s the only negative experience I’ve had with anyone at this provider (Kaiser, if you’re familiar – they’re huge so I see a different midwife every time I go in, because they want you to meet them all before the birth) so I think they might want and be able to do something with the feedback.

        • Abby

          Oh good, I’m glad you’ll have an opportunity to address it. (I find excluding one of the parents from an ultrasound–assuming the pregnant parent wants them there–is INCREDIBLY unprofessional, for the record). Hope the midwives are able to address it and get you better care in future appointments.

    • Ilora

      That sounds both really sucky and also really bizarre! Like, the fact that she doesn’t “take any pictures of that” what does that have to do with writing it down? Just grab a notepad from the counter? Not warning you about the jelly etc is definitely unprofessional and I agree with the others that this sounds worth bringing up. Incidentally, I did eat right before mine (Iced Capp!) and my tech thought the movement was sweet, he didn’t make it weird. Just putting it out there that not eating doesn’t seem to be a requirement at all.

      Interesting that they allowed your husband in during the diagnostic part though! Where we live no one is allowed in the room during diagnostics, they just get to come in for a couple of minutes at the end. The tech asked if we wanted to know the sex right at the beginning but waited to tell us until after the main part was done and my husband was allowed in.

      • Ashlah

        My husband and mom were both there for the entire scan. I’ve never heard of the partner not being allowed during any of it. Interesting how different the rules can be for these sorts of things.

        • ART

          Yeah! I had actually asked at my last midwife appointment if my mom would be allowed in and she had said oh yeah, we welcome family members. I’ve read so many variations of the rules different people have encountered. In this case I had already decided I would prefer that my mom and brother not come in till the end, but it seemed like they could have been there the whole time if I’d pushed for it, only the room was so small the tech was like “ehhhh,” So not really rules but preference/practical limitations. But I was annoyed that she “made” me start without my husband there (and he felt like chopped liver).

          • Ilora

            Yeah, that’s just ridiculous!
            Also, right on the website of our ultrasound place it says they don’t disclose the gender but as I said, it was one of the first questions my tech asked so…”guidelines” haha!

  • Nicole

    Y’all. Three weeks ago, we finally got engaged. I’ve written a bit here over the past six months or so about how difficult it has been to be the one waiting – and now I am so grateful I stuck in there and didn’t let past relationship trauma destroy a joyous future. We more or less planned it together over the course of a few months, and we both had rings. Although I didn’t want it to be a big deal, I was worried that taking a late afternoon on a nearly deserted beach (in bathing suits and with no makeup on, to boot) to exchange letters and rings wasn’t going to feel special enough. But guess what? it was glowy and gorgeous and unbelievably calm. It was just so, so beautiful. And I feel like my ability to experience it as such is partially to the credit of this community. So thank you.

    On a less glowy, unrelated topic: getting engaged at 30-ish to someone (a man) that your entire community loves, admires, and is PUMPED for you to marry is a whoooooollllllleeeee lot different than getting engaged in my early 20s – to a woman – in a less healthy relationship, with deeply uncomfortable/homophobic family members. I can now say that my life contains both of these experiences and holy sh*t, it is REALLY WILD TO PROCESS THIS GUYS. I welcome any fellow lgbtq person’s experience with this. Looks like I’m going to keep needing APW as we plan this doozy.

    • Jess

      I am SO happy for you! Getting engaged with the full backing of your community is such an experience.

    • ssha

      Thanks for sharing about your interesting experiences! I look forward to more updates from you. We had a mutual, planned engagement too (if I’m reading that correctly). It was so lovely and romantic. Good luck with the processing.

    • LazyMountain

      Congrats!! We also both got rings which I loved, got engaged on a beach, I gave her a (very sappy) letter… I kind of envy you the beginning part of engagement when you have all the possibilities for wedding celebration and everything is so full of hazy love. We are also 30ish and THOUGHT we had a lovely supportive community (and we really do for the most part!) until about 25% of our extended family said “thanks no thanks” to coming to our wedding. It sounds like you’ve been out and in the thick of it much longer than I have, so I’m hoping you have nothing but good vibes surrounding everything you plan. Keep us posted!!

    • This. I posted last week that we bought our rings, and we’ve been planning the purchase together of picking them out and negotiating the financials of that. Now its a wait for me, because my other wants to propose and do their thing.

      I totally hear you on being with being with someone that your community/family really accept and love. I think regardless of gender its a totally different experience. I was in a not-so right relationship and engaged to that person for about a minute. My family and community were kind, and supportive, but subdued about all of it. Quite a few years later and this so-right thing is going to go down soon, and even before it does the excitement and love and encouragement is so different and lovely. I wish for that for you!

    • S

      If it was ever something you felt comfortable writing about, I think this would be an amazing APW essay contribution. I haven’t been in the exact situation, but I am bi, so I have had Related Feels.

    • KelsBells

      Are you me? I mean this seriously. I just last week married my now-husband, and it was joyful and glorious. My previous most-serious relationship, with a woman, lasted nearly 6 years in my early/mid 20s. We never got engaged, but we were definitely talking about forever. It was a not particularly healthy relationship in a lot of ways, so I’m really glad we never made it official. My family was also not really on board with my relationship with her, in ways that felt a bit homophobic (and certainly were, for some extended family) but looking back on it probably had a lot to do with the same doubts that I was feeling, and the not-healthy aspects of the relationship.

      I’ve definitely dealt with some resentment on my part about their not accepting my ex-gf while wholeheartedly welcoming my husband. It’s helped that I’ve done my own processing about it and have thought about how not-great she and I were for each other in a lot of ways. Also, my husband is truly a stellar human being and I’m so, so glad I found him. But yeah, still some mixed feelings on my part about my family, and their reactions to my partners. I don’t have a good answer for you, but you’re not alone!

      • Nicole

        Um, maybe? Otherwise I am expertly trolling you! I would love to figure out a way to connect because this is pretty hilarious. And you seem to have plenty of wisdom to share!

  • JC

    The company sale went through, and the messaging to both employees and customers has been…so bad. A complete disaster. But they gave everyone a new laptop and a nice little bonus. Trying to buy my love, and I’m not going to look that gift horse in the mouth, nosiree.

  • BSM

    In the third trimester now, woo! This week kicked my ass, so I’m relieved it’s Friday and patting myself on the back for the excellent decision to work from home today.

    Curious to hear from those of you have kids: how has life changed since having them? I’m not worried about any forthcoming changes (there is, after all, not a whole lot I can do about any of it right now, lol), just interested to hear what it’s been like for others..

    One thing I think might change for us: my husband and I have been pretty go-go-go for basically our entire relationship (ex: we have moved 9 times in 6 years… and 3 of those were last year 😱), so I think we might slow down a bit once we’ve got a kiddo in the picture. We have been discussing moving to Europe in the next couple years though, so maybe not!

    • ZLMT

      Aside from the craziness of the first couple months, I’d say the biggest thing that has changed for me is having less time to myself. So, I might want to sit on the couch and have coffee, but there is a 2 year old tugging on my hand saying ‘mama! mama!’ Otherwise, it is an unequal relationship. Not that I don’t get a lots out of it, but it is my responsibility to take care of him, and help him grow — it’s not his responsibility to make me feel like a good parent, or do anything other than be himself. Curious to see what others think though!

      • AB

        Yes to this. The difference between a baby and a toddler is significant in this respect, I have found. Babies are really needy, but it is usually only a in a couple ways (food! diaper! nap!). Toddlers are endlessly and creatively needy, and are experts at knowing exactly when you’d much rather be sitting down with a cup of coffee.

    • Yay, 3rd trimester. That’s when it really started to feel “real” to me.

      We’re only 7mos into this parenting thing, and I expected things to change a lot, but it really hasn’t. In the newborn phase there was a lot of staying in, but now we take her everywhere except the movies. We do a lot more consulting with each other to make sure someone will be home. Example: I asked my husband to golf last Saturday because I had plans on Sunday, which he agreed to. Sometimes I have to force myself to go out solo or with friends, cause I genuinely love hanging out with my kid. And we definitely make decisions differently now. Both of us are in jobs that pay great but no particularly fulfilling, and that’s because we have a kid & it’s important to provide for her. If I was still child-free, I would have quit my job a long time ago *sigh*.

      • YEP. and that has been the thing that has changed most for me, that is hardest for me. my career plans feel SO SLOW. i have spent the last decade of my life going after the best opportunities everywhere, so it’s weird to choose stability over my goals and identity. not diving in is weird. not giving my career 100% is weird. most days the glacial progress i am making on my career goals makes me want to scream.

        • the other hard part is figuring out what my narrative is for staying at this job. “i have a baby and so i got stuck where i am” is what’s going through my head, but that’s not encouraging for myself or for anyone else to hear., and definitely not what i want to say when i’m ready to dive in to a new job.

    • Laura C

      Ok, so our situation has been unusual in that we moved across the country with a four-month-old knowing that we’d be moving back in a year (that’s this month!). But here’s a big thing we’ve learned: we came out to SF wanting to make a whole bunch of weekend trips, do the things that normally we’d have to fly across country to do. And we’ve done a decent job, but traveling really requires some adjustments from how we’d have done things previously. Our kid goes to bed at like 7:30, which means if we’re in a regular hotel room, from 7:30 on we are sitting quietly in the dark. So when we can, we prioritize getting a space with some kind of division so we can at least have a light on and a quiet conversation — in LA for instance we got an adorable little guest house through AirBnB and were able to have our friends come eat takeout and drink with us while the baby slept in the next room. And that has made a huge difference to our experience.

      The other thing is we’ve just sort of compromised on our idea of what our weekend trips would entail. We were determined to go to Yosemite, and we did, but being honest, we were only in Yosemite Valley for an afternoon. Our planned weekend trips to wine country have turned into day trips to wine country. Etc. And that’s been for the best, because we may have missed out on some of what we’d have wanted to see but we’ve also missed out on giant meltdowns and exhaustion and so on.

      • emilyg25

        AirBnB is the best invention for traveling families.

        • ALSO true. I have airbnb travelled a ton in the past year, with my now 1 year old.
          also, baby schedules, or lack of schedules, vary widely. my daughter never had a set schedule or bedtime, she was the up at all hours of the night type, but guess what? that was ideal for travelling across timezones halfway around the world because jet lag didn’t matter, since i would’ve been up at random hours anyways.

        • BSM

          We basically exclusively use Airbnb as it is. This parenting thing is going to be easy!

          (jk)

    • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

      We are also planning on moving to Europe with the kids – I lived there for 5 years, then moved back here with my parents to finish school. Germany especially (where I lived), it was really easy modifying travel plans for kids. Most of the major cities and town are walkable, especially with strollers, and there’s lots of gorgeous restaurants with outside seating, and everywhere I went, people were really supportive of families with small kids. There’s so much history and things to do in the major cities that it’s easy to get a lot of sightseeing in while pushing kids around in strollers. Of course, you have to take into consideration nap schedules, and bedtimes, and things like that. Personally, living in Europe during my teenage years has had the biggest impact on me and my perspective of the world and my plans for the future. Hopefully, I can give my own kids that same experience.

      • Cellistec

        What a neat experience! Did you choose Germany and then figure out how to move there, or did an opportunity come up there that made the move possible?

      • BSM

        That’s awesome! We are seriously considering Berlin, actually. My husband speaks German, and we both love it there and think it would make a great place to raise kids.

    • emilyg25

      My son is 2.5 now. I don’t think things changed a lot. We still do the things we always did, just less often, or earlier, or more slowly. My husband still runs, but he doesn’t train for big races. I still craft, it just takes me longer to finish. We still go out to eat, but we go before 6 pm and don’t linger. It can sometimes be a challenge to balance everything, but we love how full our lives are.

    • rg223

      The best way I can describe it is, it changes as little as it can when a new thing comes into your life and takes priority over everything else. So like, in some sense everything is different, because you are making sure someone is cared for all the time, but in another sense, you’re still mostly the same person doing the same things as before, just perhaps less frequently or differently. This is a tough question!

      • BSM

        I totally get what you’re saying :)

    • Ashlah

      Thank you for asking this! Sitting at 36.5 weeks here, and not freaking out about caring for a baby so much, but a little bit freaking out about how our lives are going to change so soon! I always really appreciate hearing from people who aren’t total fear-mongers about it. I have a co-worker whose constant refrain since having her first (and now has two) has been that she has no time for anything, and neither can anyone who has children (her brother asked her to return a book she borrowed and she laughed at the idea that he’ll have time to read when his kid is born??). I just…don’t really believe her, and it’s nice to hear the opposite perspective from folks around here! Husband and I are definitely going into this with the intent of fitting baby into our life, not the other way around, and recognizing that while priorities may shift, our priorities are still ours to decide. We’ll all figure it out!

      • penguin

        I always appreciate the sane perspectives of people on APW on parenting! So much of what I hear in real life is this constant litany of how miserable it is to be a parent, and how you never have time for anything, but you have to put your kids first so that’s just life and it’s so discouraging. I also feel like some people get a vicious glee from scaring people about what having kids will be like.

      • BSM

        Ahhh, congrats on being nearly full term! How exciting :)

        And yes to everyone’s wonderful, thoughtful perspectives here!

        • Ashlah

          Thank you! It’s crazy how quickly it’s gone by!

      • AGCourtney

        Pfffft I read so many books when my daughter was a baby. The baby liked boobs, I liked books, and we had many a happy nursing session. So I’ll strike down that one in particular.

        I think your perspective is perfect.

        • YES. It was on APW that someone told me you could get tons of reading done while nursing. SO TRUE. at least, I did until my daughter (now one) got old enough to grab whatever I’m reading from me (ahh… usually the ipad.) but guess what? her favourite word is now BOOK.

          • AGCourtney

            haha that was probably me! Awww, I love that. <3

      • emilyg25

        It’s kind of like when people say they don’t have enough money to go on vacation but they live in a giant house. You make time for the things that are important to you. Maybe you can’t do five things in one day, but you can do two today and three tomorrow.

        • We are more than a few months off TTC but I am saving this quote ♡
          “Maybe you can’t do five things in one day, but you can do two today and three tomorrow.”

      • JSK

        Oh! Even with my whine session above: I still read. Lots. More slowly than before, of course, but I can still binge read a book club book in a couple nights if I need to.

      • Gaby

        I was just telling my coworkers today that it’s very encouraging to see the supervisor who brings her baby in 3x a week continue to be a very effective supervisor. Even on days the baby is here she is always getting things done and never looks exhausted or in a terrible (or even bad!) mood, which is the opposite of what I expected being a working mom of a 5 month old to be.

      • Ilora

        Well just to add to the not total fear-mongering, I shower all the time!!! I kept reading about how moms never have time to shower or do other basic self care and was skeptical. My baby is just shy of six months and I have yet to feel like parenting has kept me from showering. There have been times where I haven’t bothered, but they were no different than pre-baby laziness. Even during the phase where the kiddo wanted to be held all day long I just waited until my husband got home and he snuggled baby for half an hour while I showered.

    • TeaforTwo

      The biggest change for us was increased interdependence in our marriage, I think. We’ve always spent a lot of time doing our own thing, but now we have to run our plans by each other a lot more. It’s a big shift to have to “ask permission” to go to a yoga class, meet a friend for a drink etc., but now those plans are also asking the other person to provide childcare solo.

      It also blew the lid off of any arguments about division of domestic and emotional labour. We bought a house about a year after our son was born, too, so there’s just a lot more work to go around and it all had to be renegotiated.

    • AB

      I would say it has been different in a lot of different ways at different times. The first couple months with our first were really intense, with feeding and sleeping issues, that it felt like and endless time I wasn’t sure we’d ever get out of. But we did, of course, and relatively quickly (by month 3 or 4). And then there was the baby honeymoon phase–where they are cute and portable and I found easy to adapt to my life. That’s when I started really feeling back like our old selves in our old lives.

      But then we hit toddler-hood and things changed again in really challenging ways. Being in the same room as a toddler tends to negate the possibility for an adult one-on-one conversation, for instance. Activities like eating out become much more fraught. I don’t feel like a dramatically different person, but as the mother of two toddlers, I do look back on our lives without kids and think how different our lives are now–in ways big and small. I think a good amount of that will again change and settle back out when the kids get older and more independent.

      I will also say that I’ve found parenting to be an interesting paradox in that the hour-by-hour nature of it can be incredibly boring and repetitive (building a block tower, feeding a newborn, having the same toddler conversation for the 50th time), but it is also the most mentally challenging and difficult task I’ve ever undertaken… full of decisions to make of which there is no clear answer, because it is so dependent on your child and your family. So I have learned to be more patient and more flexible than I was before, with my generally type A nature. Not saying I always succeed at that fully… :)

    • JSK

      Really don’t want to be the wet blanket here but I guess someone has to.

      Very very little of my life is the same as it was before. Prior to baby, I had lots of energy and was always on the go. I was at the gym 4-5 days a week for a couple hours each. I worked as many hours as needed to and traveled frequently for work (*well into my 3rd trimester). I read lots of books and played lots of video games and watched lots of shows. I had a social life!

      I had a super easy pregnancy physically but a tough delivery (sparse detail on purpose: full labor, emergent c-section) and it really messed me up to be ass-to-couch for so long, first for recovery and then for breastfeeding my hungry hungry hippo. I think it was 7 or 8 months before I took a walk longer than a mile and a year out my body still felt not quite right. (And then I was pregnant again? So maybe don’t do that?)

      Work has been especially rough. Traveling now needs to be planned with military precision, weeks in advance, and that’s not really how my industry/team operates. We’re more “hey, can you be in Texas tomorrow for a 1 hour meeting?” I’ve had to take smaller, less prestigious projects locally instead of jumping all over the big things like old me would have done. I cried on the way home yesterday because someone else gets to do a big project in Seattle that is MADE FOR ME EXCEPT IT’S IN SEATTLE AND I DON’T LIVE THERE.

      I’m mostly still the same person (as is my husband, thank heavens!) and we still have a great time together and with kid. But the whole structure of my life is very different. I love every sweet little morsel of my kid but I very much remember how much easier everything was pre-baby. I miss being able to be selfish every once in awhile, you know?

      • BSM

        Not a wet blanket! I’m sorry things have been tough :(

      • emilyg25

        “I miss being able to be selfish every once in awhile, you know?” Yes. Yes x1000.

    • AGCourtney

      One of the most helpful things I think I can pass on is that life goes through phases. You find your rhythms, adjust to the normal for all its goods and bads, and then there’s a shift and you look back and realize that life is different now than it was before. I would say things are more intense and change faster those first few years. Obviously there’s no hard and fast rule, but I would guess that the baby’s eating and especially sleeping patterns will probably be the biggest priority and life falls into place around them, defining the phases; as those patterns change, life changes. (Naps are life.)

      Some people (not here, of course!) spread these horror stories about you have no time and can never shower and life is terrible Beware All Ye Who Enter Here. Nah. Sure, some days feel like that. But generally, parenthood is incredibly positive for me, the best thing in my life. Can you do *all* the things you did before? Probably not. But you find your priorities, (like maybe travel for you) and you form your life accordingly, adjusting your rhythms as those life phases change.

      My daughter is five now, and I would say in the last year or so, our lives have become more similar to they were pre-baby, especially in terms of our hobbies and whatnot. I’m doing theater again. (And now she shares my hobbies, which is exciting in its own right!) It’s easy to forget, but you don’t have a tiny, needy being that can’t communicate forever. They grow! They play independently. They pour their own cereal; they use the toilet. You have thoughtful conversations and inside jokes. Obviously, it’s going to feel like forever before you get to this point! (And also like an instant, at the same time.) But I thought I would put in a perspective from the other side of early childhood.

      Hope that was helpful! As I’m sure you know, I’m always great for rambling thoughts. xD

      • BSM

        That was so nice to read, thanks you :)

        I think it was here where I first heard (saw?) people discussing the “seasons” of life. Your comment reminded me of that idea.

      • Please share more ramblings.

    • Mrs H

      It’s funny, I remember being like, this parenting thing is nowhere near as hard as everyone says-I still shower, read, see friends and the baby fits in really well to our marriage and life.

      But when my first was 6 months old, I (accidentally) got pregnant again and honestly-it has been tough. Toddlers are much harder than babies and a toddler AND a baby is rough. All this to say-DO NOT HAVE ANOTHER BABY IN 15 MONTHS. (I mean not really-you do you) (but seriously-it is rough). Although the flip side is that hopefully we’ll get our lives back (as much as you can with kids) a little quicker because they’re so close in age.

      I think with one child, you can definitely fit them into your life with some adjustments-you’lol be fine!

      • Ilora

        My bff (accidentally) had her kids 13 months apart. It was super rough at first but they’re now 3 and 2 and are really great at playing together etc. The 3 year old is potty trained so she’s enjoying being down to just one in diapers and even the end of that is in sight! Obviously they’re still young but already she’s enjoying some perks!

    • Ilora

      Not much has changed for us. We still do most of the things we used to do, just in shorter bursts or less frequently. Though the activities that we’ve always done that are baby friendly we actually do more often! Lots of walks (he loves trees!), and since the kiddo loves to sleep in the carrier I’ve gotten very good at mini golf while baby wearing. When we visit people we take turns attending to things like diapers/naps etc. (just like at home) so that we both get the chance to visit fully etc.

      We’re definitely make plans based around naps, but not in a way that feels restrictive. During the newborn phase we found it easiest to go out immediately after he went down for a nap, he loved to sleep in the carrier and his bassinet clicked right into the stroller. Now, at just shy of 6 months, we go out right after he’s woken from nap and had a feed, that way we get to maximize his awake time. In some ways it’s given us lots of perks! As introverts it can be nice to have a built-in non-negotiable excuse for leaving early.

      Interestingly, my husband has had more issues than I have with parenthood taking over his identity. He manages a local coffee shop and now all of the regulars only ask about the baby and never himself. So he’s definitely felt like he’s ‘disappearing as a person’ sometimes. I on the other hand work in childcare, so people already have practice at balancing kid and non-kid conversations with me.

      One thing that I was totally unprepared for was my first postpartum period, or rather, the pms that preceded it. I got my period back at 3 months and since I was/am still breastfeeding around the clock I wasn’t expecting it. I’ve never had many emotional pms symptoms so that first round really threw me for a loop, it was bad…hysterical sobbing at 3 am bad. I don’t say that to scare you, it’s just that I was so caught off guard and worried that I was turning into “that person” etc. and I wish I had realized beforehand that it might happen. The good news is that it hasn’t happened again and my periods are back to normal, just like they were pre-pregnancy.

      The other thing that’s been tough is friendships, the vast majority of my friendships have carried on pretty similarly (or even exactly the same) to the way they were before. There are a couple of friends though who are clearly so uncomfortable with babies (ie afraid to drop them etc) that their response has been to essentially pretend he doesn’t exist, and that sucks. One of them in particular called a week after my son was born to talk about a promotion she got (yay!) and about how she went ice skating* to practice for an upcoming first date (also yay!!) both of which are great and I was legitimately excited for her. But…she talked about herself the whole time, barely paused for breath, and didn’t ask about me/baby at all. This was the first time we’d talked since he was born so I was hurt that the best she could manage from a 30 minute call was a quick “congrats” at the beginning and “look forward to meeting him” at the end…The older he’s gotten the better she’s gotten, less afraid of him, but I don’t think our friendship will ever go back to what it was before because she’s just not interested in that side of my life.

      *I mention this because she complained at length about how sore she was from skating. I don’t believe that parents are automatically ‘the most’ (tired, busy, etc) but it was a bit irritating in the context of the overall conversation that she never acknowledged the fact that I was still recovering from labour. I was taking pain killers every six hours and still felt like my insides might fall out when I walked. I was sympathetic the first couple of times she said it but by the fourth or fifth time I was rolling my eyes a bit.

      Sorry for the disjointed essay! I apparently have lots to say about this.

      • penguin

        Thanks so much for sharing your experience! This was really interesting to read.

  • SuzieQ

    Uggg!!!! I need some help finding patience. We are in the “slowing announcing in person” and “generally exploring our options” phase of planning. But I want to be in the wedding dress shopping, venue visiting, I love you and I love weddings and I’ve been looking forward to taking this step with you for so long phase. It is worth noting that I am a spread sheet person. I like plans with subplans and parts B-F. BUT: We’re two years out still. Even if it wasn’t “crazy” (god how I hate that word) to be looking at this stage, many venues aren’t accepting reservations for 2019 yet. (I know. I’ve looked.) How do I be patient and demure when I want to be prancing in enthusiasm?

    I know the specters of bridezilla and the cool girl are all at play here, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult to live it. I wanna go dress shopping, not to buy a dress, but to get to do it! It is finally my time and I want to enjoy it. I feel like I just got let into the game, but the ref is calling for half-time.

    • somanypseudonyms

      I mean, is there something stopping you from dress-shopping? Sure, venues have limits on when they’ll take reservations for, and your desires might also change in the next year as you approach actual planning-time. But as far as I know, there’s nothing that can stand in the way of looking at (or even trying on) some awesome dresses.

      • SuzieQ

        What is stopping me is admitting out loud to fiance and to my parents that I want to. It is admitting that I am excited and that I want them to be excited. Now. Because there is a huge risk in letting the people who matter to you know that you want them to be excited: They might let you down. :/

        • ssha

          Is there anyone who can be excited with you? BFF? Mom?

          • SuzieQ

            That’s part of it. My family doesn’t really do “excited.” We do calmly supportive and companionate socializing. BFF is similarly chill. The sources of excitement will be from weird one removed places, like fiance’s exuberant aunt. My brother’s social butterfly girlfriend, etc.

        • somanypseudonyms

          Ahhh that is a totally understandable feeling! And to be honest, I went through some of that, and it *sucked* — my mother was happy for me, but not particularly interested in or excited about wedding things, and not showing much emotion about any of the symbolic stuff. (For what it’s worth, this changed over the last couple months in the immediate run-up to the wedding, so if you do decide to show your excitement and get a reaction that disappoints you, bear in mind that people may well just be operating on different emotional timelines.)

          I’d tentatively say that it’s a chance to try to be excited for yourself: you can start building up dreams about what you want, to be shared later on. And @disqus_XA7R09RLD9:disqus ‘s comment about a friend or two is also very good advice.

        • Jess

          Is there a friend who’s maybe not your best friend ever, but is like, super into stuff like this? Call that person.

          Like, I’m SUPER excited for you and would totally drink champagne, talk about flowers, and tell you how beautiful you look in that dress.

          Don’t let some “I should be cooler than caring about this” narrative ruin your excitement. This is your wedding, and you can and should be as excited as you want to be.

          • somanypseudonyms

            “Don’t let some “I should be cooler than caring about this” narrative ruin your excitement. This is your wedding, and you can and should be as excited as you want to be.”

            THIS. It took me forever to come to terms with this, and I think owning it sooner would have made the last year a lot easier.

          • SuzieQ

            Thank you for this. Part of it is the cooler. I large part. But a bigger part, I think, is the “slowly announcing.” As in, haven’t announced to friends yet because still haven’t announced in person to key people who get first dibs on knowing. So it is less “I’m engaged but it’s whateve” and more “I’m engaged and want to SQUEEEEE, but instead need to schedule a trip to go visit grandma.”

        • Amy March

          I feel like, minimum, you get to expect your fiancé to muster some level of excitement?

    • penguin

      You can still start researching venues now! Start looking around and gathering info, and put them into a spreadsheet. I am also a spreadsheet person, and someone else on APW shared a really fantastic (REALLY fantastic) planning spreadsheet. I’m going to try and figure out how to share it – they were fine with sharing it, just don’t sell it or anything.

      Also, read the APW book. Seriously, it’s so good. And it has lots of things you can do early to get started planning before you dive face-first into spreadsheet land (my fave place).

      • SuzieQ

        Hahaa. Finished that in about 5 hours.

        • penguin

          Great! Have those conversations with your fiancé, they’re important.

          • SuzieQ

            We have been, and actually it has been nice to watch and feel the conversations change from the tense-ish hypothetical “if I ever get married I’ll” conversations of committed dating to the “we’re actually going to be planning a wedding so we should make some decisions” conversations we’re having now. It is secure feeling.

      • penguin
    • Jess

      Girl, dig in! Do stuff that you want to do. Like, look at dresses, tour venues (you can figure out what you like and call them exactly on the day they are accepting reservations), make a big old pintrest board.

      Do it while you’re excited about it!

      • penguin

        I forgot about Pinterest! Beware the rabbit hole, but it’s fun to look at things.

        • SuzieQ

          Hey, I like rabbits!!

      • sage

        Seconded.
        I did well over half of the wedding planning during months 3-6 of our 18 month engagement… and it has made life so much easier now.

        This was my flower purchasing process two weeks ago:
        1) google calendar says we’re 6 months out and I should order flowers
        2) access spreadsheet
        3) place order for flowers I decided on from vendor I researched to death 8 months ago.
        ALL DONE!

      • NolaJael

        The only caveat I’d add is to think about how you want the division of wedding-labor to be with your fiance in the future. All the extra research could lead to a knowledge imbalance where you feel like you “should” do the work because you’ve already started and he either gets off or feels left out.

        • somanypseudonyms

          This is super-important — it’s part of what led to a big work-imbalance in our wedding (though there were also other complicating factors). Even if you don’t want to overwhelm your fiancé with enthusiasm at this point, the conversations have to happen.

        • Jess

          True! I’d definitely make sure fiance tags along and gets assigned tasks or is otherwise generally involved in decisions.

        • penguin

          100% agree on this point. I read APW a lot before getting engaged, and I just like weddings in general. My fiancé has never been to a wedding, and hadn’t thought or read about weddings much beyond knowing that he wanted to marry me. We both read the APW book, and then we both read The Jewish Wedding Now (book) and that helped.

        • Amandalikeshummus

          I guess if you’re thinking about it while planning, he could be the deployer of the plans. “I researched xyz. Here are our options. We mutually like y? Here’s there number.”

          • This is basically what we did (and continue to do with big projects). Not for everyone, but ends up being pretty equitable for us :).

        • Jan

          This. Also, it can lead to you ending up on totally different pages. I’m a quiet researcher and not always the best about communicating what I’m learning (or even doing) to my partner. I just kinda fall into Internet holes and did that with venues. So, when we finally got around to talking about the type of wedding we wanted and spitballing venues, I already had a fully-formed opinion about what we should/shouldn’t do, and it caused a lot of upset feelings when my partner didn’t immediately agree with me.

    • Jan

      As others have said, you can start some of those things now. If you haven’t already, I’d spend this time talking about guest list and budget, and generally what type of wedding you both envision; these are all conversations that, in my experience, can take a while. Venue research, trying on dresses (what’s wrong with buying one now?), and thinking about if you want attendants/who those people are are all A) super necessary, and B) things you can start doing immediately. Also, you’re engaged! It’s okay to be super stoked and want to dive right in!

    • jem

      Have you read the APW book yet? If not, read it cover to cover and that will buy you some time!

    • Kelly

      I ran into some similar feelings during our engagement, and ended watching a lot of wedding reality shows and movies an outlet for my excitement. That’s not something I would usually do and it felt pretty silly and “WIC-y” but I also got to indulge and create a little bubble of SQUEEE WEDDING to visit when I wanted to. It was also nice because it was not real and therefore stress-free (I was in grad school at the time and had plenty of that already), didn’t involve spending any money and didn’t result in my doing an unequal share wedding “work”, since we were pretty committed to a collaborative approach.

  • Angela’s Back

    Anyone else here ever do any genealogy? I was researching something totally different but I found a name that has to be related to another name because it’s just too weird not to be/the time period is right and now I’m down the FamilySearch rabbit hole… so frustrating but so fun in a Nancy Drew kind of way, trying to put all these pieces together.

    • SuzieQ

      We did one of those mouth swab things. Turns out, I’m white. It’s a big shocker since I have Reese Witherspoon coloring, my dad is red headed, and I have a British last name.

      Got a good laugh out of it though.

    • LAinTexas

      I did a 23andMe test to determine some genetic mutations that might have been affecting my health, but it gives ancestry results, too. I think that’s the main way they market it. It looks the the ancestry-only test is $99. https://www.23andme.com/

      • Angela’s Back

        Those tests are crazy! Intriguing though just because you never know what might come back. In this particular instance, I’m actually slogging through census records to see if John Rapalje from New York might be related to George Rapalje from the Natchez District, which so far it seems like not but it’s Friday afternoon and this is more fun than reading historic NY statutes, aka what I’m supposed to be doing. So.

    • Laura C

      Sometimes I just sit on Ancestry.com and click back through the generations of my paternal grandfather’s family, which is incredibly detailed on there because Mormons, but when I’ve tried to find info about other sides of my family it’s gotten frustrating fast!

      Did the DNA swab thing and to absolutely no one’s surprise I’m Western European, Irish, and British.

    • Jan

      Edited because the page moved and I replied to the wrong person :P

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Oh, also, we’ve been engaged exactly one year today! Facebook reminded me, and my mom sent me a congratulatory text. :) Yay!

    • ssha

      Yay!!

    • sofar

      Hooray for engaged-iversaries.

  • somanypseudonyms

    One week to go, and things are mostly in line? We will in fact have food! And tables! And forks, hopefully, always assuming our wholesale order arrives on time. Putting in a crazy-sized-gonna-ship-on-a-commercial-truck order to a restaurant wholesaler for the things that were cheaper to buy than rent (or simply easier to handle that way) has been the single weirdest thing about the party-planning aspect of the wedding (as opposed to the emotional aspects).

    …it also looks like we’ll be moving back into our repaired-from-fire home the day before the wedding. This is fine, because everything will be fine.

    I’m mostly holding it together (emphasis on mostly), but I am 100% here for your last-minute wedding advice, because this still doesn’t seem quite real.
    • What did you do to stay mindful during the wedding day (and the time around it)? Even with friends and family and events on the days before and after the wedding, I know it’s going to go by in a blink.
    • Did you feel post-wedding giant-crazy-project-is-finished letdown? How did you deal?
    • What the hell are you supposed to do with your bouquet while you’re saying vows and smushing rings onto fingers?

    • LAinTexas

      For bouquet – pass off to MOH, if you have one, and she can pass off hers to the attendant behind her. Or, if you don’t have a wedding party, maybe just have a designated bouquet holder in the front row?

      • penguin

        I had this question too – I’m only having a MOH (no bridesmaids) and she is going to have a bouquet too. Maybe she’ll just double bouquet it for the ceremony?

        • ssha

          Yep! My sister held 2 bouquets while we did rings.

        • Jess

          Yup, double bouquet.

        • Eh

          In most weddings I have been to the MOH has held two bouquets.

        • somanypseudonyms

          based on the comments so far, it seems like this is the sensible thing? I’ll let you know if disaster ensues next weekend.

        • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

          Yes! I only had a MOH, and she held both the bouquets during the ceremony, and passed mine back to me before we went back down the aisle.

        • Jan

          I held my sister’s bouquet along with mine and it wasn’t a problem.

        • I only had a MOH, so I asked (*told*) the only Best Man that he would be holding my heavy bouquet (MOH could not hold hers and mine at the same time). It worked out great!

      • Eh

        it was just me and my husband up on the stage for our ceremony (MOH sat in the front row). We had a signing table (cocktail height) that was just behind us so I set my bouquet on it.

      • somanypseudonyms

        I’m now picturing a hilarious bouquet chain — but suspect I’ll just ask the MOH to hold both. Thanks for being sensible!

        • Eh

          I was in a wedding in May where I was a bridesmaid and during the signing part the bride put her bouquet on the table (which is normal) and I held the MOH’s bouquet. It was a funny moment because we hadn’t thought about it before that second.

          • somanypseudonyms

            it is so weird which things are popping into my mind at the last minute. I am also extremely worried about whether there’ll be enough space on our tables for all the serving dishes (family-style meal), even given that we’re not really doing any table decor; about whether anyone will arrive earlier than half an hour before the ceremony; various bizarre rental things… And yet I’m *not* feeling particularly stressed out about the fact that we’re ostensibly hosting brunch the following day in the home we’ll have just moved back into, and haven’t yet figured any of that out.
            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Katharine Parker

            Space on the table for family-style dishes is a legit thing to think about, based on family-style events I’ve attended. But if your venue is aware (and the servers are aware so that they can ask guests to make space if they need to and will clear dishes as the meal progresses, etc) and your tables aren’t covered in decor, you’ll be fine. People will make space for food!

          • somanypseudonyms

            Our venue is a 95%-DIY space, so all the servers are hired through the caterer, which does ease my mind a little bit. (On the other hand, the caterer is independent and hiring these people specifically for the event, so maybe I shouldn’t be as reassured as I am?) “People will make space for food” is the most reassuring truth of all, though!

          • Katharine Parker

            If the caterer hires the servers, I wouldn’t worry. They’ll be used to hiring people to work weddings and will have go to people that they hire. It will be fine!

          • somanypseudonyms

            The caterer is also a flaky one-guy operation that has only done a few weddings, as far as we can tell — but it will be fine it will be fine

          • Ilora

            I really worried about the serving dishes too but it was totally fine! We had relatively minimal table decor, but also the caterers brought the food out on many smaller dishes and brought out new ones more often, rather than bringing out bigger dishes as I’d been imagining. It worked well because it’s easier to fit the smaller dishes into the spaces between things on the table!

        • LAinTexas

          You’re welcome! :) That’s what my best friend did in her wedding last month – handed her massive bouquet to her sister, and her sister handed her bouquet to the bridesmaid behind her, who just held two bouquets for most of the ceremony. The rest of us bridesmaids just held our own.

        • Alli

          I definitely had a nightmare once where I went to give my MOH my bouquet, which set off a bouquet chain that ended up with me having to hold someone else’s bouquet for the whole ceremony anyway. (This wasn’t the whole nightmare, pretty much everything else had gone wrong with the ceremony) Luckily that didn’t happen, my MOH just held both.

    • Jess

      Mindfulness – I took lots of time to myself. Like, I sat and wrote a quick note to R. I steamed my dress. I got a coffee. We had a moment written into our ceremony to just stop and appreciate the moment. Maybe when you’re announced at the end, agree with your now-spouse to stop for a few moments and just soak in the applause before departing the aisle.

      Post-Wedding – I actually felt a breath of fresh air, like I had time to go out with friends now, I could read! For Fun!

      Bouquet – hand it to your MOH or your mom or other significant person (if no party) once you get to the standing together part.

      • somanypseudonyms

        mindfulness — these are good, thanks! I’m looking forward to being surrounded by people so much (the last couple months of stuff have felt very isolating), but I know that also impedes my ability to focus on and remember what’s going on around me.

        post-wedding — between the insanity of the last several months and the fact that I also left grad school in the same time period, I think I’m going to have absolutely no idea what to do with myself once I’m down to… just having a full-time job. madness!

        • Jess

          Oh man, I forgot about grad school. You should find a club or a class to take!

      • Sarah Jane Tinnelly-Williams

        We wrote into our ceremony script a quick pause after we were announced for another quick kiss, to just enjoy the moment. I didn’t really give it much thought, but when it actually happened, I’m so glad we did. We were announced at the end of the ceremony, we turned to face everyone while they stood up and clapped, then we turned and kissed, and husband threw his arms around me in a big goofy hug. That, plus the applause, with the music playing, was just amazing and such a perfect moment.

      • Anne

        This whole “quiet moments” thing is going to be a challenge for us. We’re officially one month out and the whole weekend schedule is crystallizing into an utter whirlwind. It’s hard because we’re getting married across the country from where we live, in our home state where we also went to college and both our immediate and extended families live. Every trip we take there is always a little bit of an overscheduled zoo of must-catch-up-with-all-the-people, and the wedding is going to be that x1000 with friends and family coming in from all over. Spending time with people we care about but don’t see enough has been a big wedding priority for a reason, but I’m starting to be a little concerned that everything is going to be a draining blur.

        So basically I’m really glad to read these posts and now am going to see about deliberately scheduling a few downtimes.

        • NolaJael

          Schedule more time for moving groups around than you think is necessary. And you’re going to just have to say no to some one-on-one sessions. You can’t meet everyone separately for a breakfast or a drink. The rehearsal dinner and reception should be your main social outlets, learn to smile sweetly and say “Sorry, I don’t have time for drinks, but I can’t wait to visit with you at the rehearsal dinner!”

    • penguin

      For the going by in a blink thing – I’m not married yet, but I’m going to be using these tips from Offbeat Bride. Good luck!! We’re all rooting for you – it’s going to go great.

      http://offbeatbride.com/introvert-wedding/

      http://offbeatbride.com/wedding-day-memory-loss/

      • somanypseudonyms

        ahh I knew I’d seen something about this somewhere, thank you!!

        hey, if it doesn’t go great, it’ll at least be a hilarious story later, right?
        ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • penguin

          Yep exactly. It’s only one day! Hopefully it’ll be a great day, but even if it isn’t, you’ll be married and that’s what counts.

    • ART

      My mom walked me down the aisle and I gave her my bouquet to hold (she was seated, not one of the standing attendants who had their own bouquets). But as long as it’s not massive, a MOH/bridesmaid holding two bouquets sounds pretty standard!

    • ssha

      I mostly felt relief once the process was over, but one thing I did not anticipate was the feelings about the abrupt goodbye to our friends who had come from far away for the wedding. That was kind of sad- we had been looking forward to seeing them for so long, we hung out with them for a night and a day, and then we had to say goodbye to them at our reception not knowing when we’d see them again. So that was the ending that I struggled with. Because time with them did go by in a blink like you say.
      As Meg says in her book, your project now is the marriage! Sometimes it feels a little quiet around our little apartment, but then I remember how i wouldn’t trade it for the stressful planning. The book The Conscious Bride was helpful with this transition. ALSO! my husband and I spent time in a room to ourselves between pictures and ceremony, eating snacks and hanging out. it was calming. My friend/bridesmaid put a sign on the door that said “ssha and husband’s introvert space” which was funny.
      I actually had a very clear presence of mind on the wedding day. I thought it would feel foggy, but it was just like “hey! I’m getting married today!” I started it by having coffee on the deck with my sister- that was nice.
      I hope stuff works out with your house!! Sending good vibes!

      • somanypseudonyms

        <3!

    • Katharine Parker

      As far as moving back into your home the day before the wedding, please hire as many people to do as many tasks as possible so you can do the day-before wedding stuff that other people can’t (like show up to your rehearsal, if you’re having one!).

      • somanypseudonyms

        we’re supposed to be rehearsing in our home, since we don’t have venue access! (it’ll be fine it’ll be fine it’ll be fine) fortunately, though, the insurance company is paying for movers, and our goal is going to be “have clear space and access to the things we absolutely need.”

        • Ilora

          We had 12 different people officiating our wedding (had done the legal bit already, so we broke the ceremony into all of it’s separate parts ie welcome, readings, rings, vows, etc and had a different person/couple do each one) and didn’t get to do a rehearsal due to timing/locations. It was totally fine!

    • NotMotherTheresa

      (1) Mindfulness: Whenever I could, I’d take a second to myself (even when I was technically surrounded by people) to just close my eyes and take in the moment. All in all, I think it worked pretty well.

      (2) Oh man, those post wedding blues were brutal for me. It wasn’t that I was sad to no longer be staying up all night working on calligraphy and watercoloring escort cards, because being done with that stuff was a massive relief, but it was just like “We went to all that trouble and stress and expense for THIS? Oh. Okay.”

      Like, the wedding itself was wonderful. In retrospect, it was 100% worth it, but paying for it drained every cent of our “fun” savings, and for a couple of months afterwards, I just felt drained and blah and sort of disillusioned with life. I think subconsciously, a part of me had thought that Getting Married would somehow fix every gap and shortcoming in my life, and when I came home to an empty bank account and a pile of “creative” (a.k.a. hideous) wedding gifts that couldn’t be returned, it was like the universe was slapping me in the face with all of my life’s failures.

      I can’t really give any great advice for avoiding the post-wedding blues, because sometimes, that’s just what happens, but I can assure that they don’t last forever. Ten months out, the bad parts have largely faded from my mind, and I mostly remember the love we felt on that day. Plus, it turns out some of those “creative” wedding gifts were sort of wonderful in their own right…I might not have picked hand painted ceramic candlesticks or personalized lawn ornaments for myself, but I’ve found tasteful places for 90% of those items, and now they’re a reminder that even though our lives may never perfect, we have families and friends who love us dearly.

      (3) If you have a wedding party, you hand off the bouquet to the MOH.

      • somanypseudonyms

        <3 in re blues: this makes a lot of sense, and is helpful. I'm worrying about the post-wedding feelings because I know from past experience (organizing conferences, eg) that I don't process big changes in level-of-busy-ness or the ends of projects very well: sure, the marriage is the project after the wedding, but it involves many fewer color-coded spreadsheets day-to-day, and my own emotional equilibrium just doesn't handle those jumps all that well. Compound that with the number of non-marriage-related changes in my life in the last six months that I haven't yet had a chance to process? Who knows.

        • AGCourtney

          One thing that helped for me was having a smaller-scale project to focus on after the wedding – the tapering really helped. In my case, my daughter’s birthday was about a month after the wedding, so I planned a really great party for her. You’ve had a lot going on lately, so maybe something with the house? Making sure all the insurance stuff is wrapped up, or reorganizing, or something?

        • NotMotherTheresa

          I am very much the same way! For me, any sudden “change” sends me into a minor depression–I’d always spend the first week of a new semester in college crying after I came home for the day, not because I was specifically stressed about my classes or because I was upset that break was over, but because it was a sudden and drastic shift to my routine. With age, I’ve gotten better at handling those transitions, but shift from ‘Constant Wedding Planning’ to ‘Married’ is a big one (if only psychologically), and I’m sure that compounded my blues.
          After all, as you put it, marriage is a very different type of project that the color coded spreadsheets of wedding planning, and it can be a little bit of a mental adjustment.
          I’ll be sending internet hugs and good vibes your way! With any luck, you won’t go through the post-wedding blues, but if you do, fear not. Those blue periods are just part of the tapestry of life, and they’re often over before you know it (even if it doesn’t feel that way at the time). While I obviously didn’t enjoy my own post-wedding comedown, looking back, I think it ultimately helped give me a bit of perspective on things.

          • somanypseudonyms

            It sounds like we’ve had very similar experiences with these transitions — both the regular, seasonal, start-of-semester-type ones, and the Big Projects That Concluded. <3

        • Henri

          I’m really glad you brought this up. I’ve been kinda worried about this, too. I’ve had post-big-event blues since I was a kid (post-Christmas holidays was always brutal), and my post-wedding, post-honeymoon, and post-traveling to a friend’s wedding will hit right in the roughest part of the year (January).

    • Katharine Parker

      As far as post-wedding feelings go, are you going on a honeymoon? Having time away from my normal life after the wedding was great for avoiding any low feelings from my wedding being over. It was really necessary to relax and enjoy newlywed life, without any external pressures (beyond which fish to eat for dinner).

      Even if you can only do a couple of nights, I’d recommend to anyone to take some time for a honeymoon right away. It can be quick, it can be close to where you live, but it’s the only chance you get for a honeymoon.

      • somanypseudonyms

        We are! (Tulum! …which my parents spent a bunch of time in — along with the rest of the Yucatan peninsula — back in the 70s, so we’re getting some travel advice that’s entertainingly out of step with what it’s apparently like now.) It felt like a selfish luxury when we initially scheduled and booked it however-many months ago, and now it feels like an absolutely necessity. <3

    • Colleen

      I game mine to one of my guy attendants – my best man was holding the wine box, the friend behind him wasn’t holding anything so he got my bouquet (the woman behind him continued to hold her own bouquet, and the last guy on that side didn’t hold anything).

    • KelsBells

      Our officiant had scheduled in a brief pause while he went to pick up something for the next part of the ceremony. Before he stepped away, he leaned in and told us to take a moment for ourselves, and maybe whisper a few words to each other to remember the moment by. It was one of the most beautiful parts of the ceremony, and getting to take a second to ourselves in the midst of the formal ceremony was so meaningful to both of us. Maybe see if you can work in something similar?

  • rebecca

    We just put in an application for a dog!!! Also, our wedding present to ourselves is going to be closet shelving (#romance), we’ve been thinking we’ll go the Container Store route, but does anybody have any other reccommendations?

    • BSM

      I’ve also heard decent things about the IKEA system. Or, if you want to get crazy in the other direction, custom closets are our next house dream. I think we are going to save up to have California Closets (or someone similar) do our for ours anniversary next year.

    • somanypseudonyms

      This is not exactly the same, but for the longest time my partner and I joked about *only* putting Vitsoe bookshelves on our registry and nothing else. pricy beautiful modernism forever, right…?

      • rebecca

        oooohhhh so preeeeetttttyyy

        • somanypseudonyms

          if you REALLY want to torment yourself, check out the Atlas as4, which is astoundingly, appallingly, I-know-how-much-modernist-furniture-costs-and-I-STILL-burst-out-laughing-when-they-sent-me-a-quote pricy, and also completely gorgeous.

    • Catherine McK

      I’ve been really happy with the container store elfa system. It goes on a huge sale December 26- early February, 30% off or so, so might be worth waiting for that.

  • quiet000001

    Finally mentioned possible ADHD to my doctor. She wasn’t as convinced as I might hope, but didn’t laugh me out of the office which I was terrified about.

    Also getting closer to actually getting engaged with my partner and I have all the anxiety – I feel oddly like there is some Official Test to pass before you can get engaged but no one has told me what it is or when it happens. (I’ve been married before – my husband passed away suddenly some years ago now – so it isn’t like it is all brand new to me or anything.)

    • Cellistec

      Good on you for bringing up your ADHD concerns with your doc, even if the reception wasn’t 100% what you wanted. And you probably know there’s now Official Test for getting married, but in case it helps to have someone else say it: there’s no test you have to pass. You can just get married because [reasons]. Anxiety is real but, like depression, it often lies.

      • quiet000001

        My anxiety would be a great Fox News presenter for how much it lies. :D

        Mostly my doctor wants to wait and see how things go since I do have anxiety and sometimes anxiety and ADHD look similar. But I don’t think I communicated clearly how long I’ve been having the ADHD-type problems. Plus my life right now is actually engineered pretty well to not cause many ADHD issues.

        I don’t understand where the Official Test anxiety is coming from exactly – I don’t remember being anxious with my first husband, although I do somewhat wonder if part of my issue is comparisons because my relationship with my current partner and how it evolved is very different from that with my late husband, and I keep comparing them and thinking “wait, should they be the same?” (But I am also a different person now, with a heck of a lot more life experience, and they are different people, so why would it be the same?)

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      So it turns out a couple of my friends have been disgnosed with ADHD just recently, in their 30s. I don’t know how old you are, but I’m getting the idea that people above a certain age were kinda missed as children.

      • ssha

        This is especially true for women.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Yep, both women.

      • quiet000001

        Yup, in my 30s and female. I’ve had health problems that made it seem like worrying about the possible ADHD wasn’t worth it, since I couldn’t work anyway, but I’m on a treatment now that is literally life changing and trying to figure out getting a decent job/career path has made it obvious that there are really issues that aren’t just from chronic pain or whatever. It has been suggested to me that it might be an issue since my late teens, but when you do fine in school, no one much cares.

        I think it used to be that a huge amount of hyperactivity was assumed to be necessary – like the running around yelling, can’t sit still, crazy stunts type hyperactivity – and they’ve since realized that ADHD doesn’t manifest for everyone that way, and women in particular tend to have the quieter inattentive type which is much more subtle and less noticeable in school and similar settings. So now it’s like “oh, right, we should’ve been paying attention to all these types of kids too, oops!”

        I’ve internalized a lot of “you don’t really have a problem you’re just lazy/not making an effort” type crap so getting as far as mentioning it to a doctor was a pretty big accomplishment. It helps that my partner is very supportive and willing to talk with me repeatedly about the issues I think I have. (I go through cycles of “I really might have a problem” and “no, I’m fine, I’m just not trying hard enough” and having a bit of hand holding and reassurance while I go over why I think things aren’t ‘normal’ issues even though I’m sure it’s boring by now since it is the same thing every time is really useful.)

        • ssha

          Good for you for mentioning it to your doctor! The “I’m fine, I don’t have a problem” cycle can be rough. I’m 25, diagnosed at age 16. I’m just now realizing how much it affects my life. Your comment above and this one makes me think it’s definitely a possibility for you. I hope you are able to get something that helps you and a supportive doctor.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          I’m so glad you’ve found a great treatment!

          • quiet000001

            Bonus awesome points because my brother helped develop it. He’d been telling me for years something promising was coming but he couldn’t tell me details because secrecy etc. but finally they did a suitable clinical trial and omg. It isn’t without side effects and risks, but this is so much better than being stuck in bed unpredictably and for days on end because of arthritis pain. (Autoimmune arthritis, ugh.)

            Adjusting to life NOT being fairly significantly disabled is an interesting adventure.

    • emilyg25

      I’m 32, high-achieving, recently diagnosed with ADHD. My mom had been after me about attention issues for years, but I had other health issues that took priority. In retrospect, a lot of my anxiety and depression may actually have been a result of trying to cope with the ADHD—I didn’t realize how much of the stuff I do isn’t normal until I took the screening test. ADHD can be mostly A, mostly H, or both. I was really surprised that mine is both, since I don’t consider myself hyperactive at all. But I’m terribly fidgeting and impulsive and an inveterate interrupter. That all contributes to the H factor.

      Go back to your doctor and request a screening. Or get a new doctor. Medication has been so life-saving for me and I’m kind of heartbroken it took me 20 years to get it. I struggled so much for so long, unnecessarily. It’s hard not to think about what could have been if I’d gotten treatment sooner.

      • quiet000001

        She basically said that right now there is enough going on in my life that is abnormal that she doesn’t feel like doing screening at this point would make sense, and wants to wait a little bit until some things settle down. (My mom is having heart surgery at the end of the month so waiting until after that plus some recovery time for my mom is only pushing screening out by a couple months.)

        I’m not sure I was clear about how long I think I’ve had possible ADHD issues, though. If she thinks it’s a recent thing then I can totally see where you might assume it’s just being scattered/distracted due to high anxiety, which does also happen.

        Also I didn’t realize until I started talking to a friend with ADHD about it, but in dealing with health issues I’ve also adjusted my life a LOT so I just don’t do things that are difficult for me in an attention sort of way. I never sit down and try to focus on something boring without something else as a distraction (TV on, music, etc.) for example. And I did fine in college in general but I really struggled with online classes because I just can’t focus on them. In a classroom, mostly no problem even when the class was super easy. Online? Attention ALL over the place. Online classes would’be helped a lot with managing my other health issues, but I just stopped taking them because it was too hard to do well. Which is coming back as an issue now because I’d like to get back into the workforce and so online classes would be a good way to update myself formally (and there are a ton of online classes out there now) but I already know it’ll probably be a disaster.

        There are also career areas I’d probably explore if I could focus better. I know a lot of computer people and I have no problems talking to them about concepts and understanding things, but sitting down to try to code myself is painful. I feel like I’m trying to slow down my entire brain and if I keep doing it my brain will explode and ping off all over the place.

        • emilyg25

          Get a different doctor. My ADHD didn’t become bad enough to get help until I had a toddler and my job got challenging. But in retrospect, I had built up SO MANY coping mechanisms that just aren’t normal. I put my purse in the same spot every night. I got a car with a smart key that I can just put in my purse so I don’t lock my keys in the car every 6 months. I keep meticulous notes on meetings. I set up multiple reminders on my smart phone. When I’m talking with people, most of my brain space is focused on waiting till they finish and waiting 3 seconds before I start talking. I don’t wear necklaces because I’ll fiddle with them until my neck is raw. Maybe you don’t do things like this, but you deserve a doctor who will take your concerns seriously. My screening took about 5 minutes.

  • MC

    Thanks for the support last Friday when I said I was going to ask for a raise! I asked on Monday, and my boss said we didn’t have money in the budget this fiscal year but that we could revisit it for January. And she said I definitely deserved a raise. Which I kind of thought might be the answer because #nonprofit. Then on Wednesday she e-mailed me and said she thinks she said no too quickly/reflexively and that she thinks there is a way I can have a raise sooner! And that she appreciated my initiative in asking! Y’all, working for a supportive, feminist boss is awesome. I hope someday I will be as good at bossing as she is.

    • Abby

      Yay! That’s really great news. I hope it comes through soon!

  • Laura C

    Anyone have suggestions on where to buy furniture? Our problem is we’re moving into our new/bigger apartment when we’ll be feeling fairly broke and my husband is taking a little time off before diving back into biglaw life, but we’ll need furniture and while we’re buying our new couch at Ikea (after I spend untold hours looking for a place that would make replacement cushions for our current one and finally decided it just wouldn’t work), for other stuff we’d like to aim a little higher than Ikea but not Pottery Barn higher. I’ve found some possibilities at Wayfair but I’d love suggestions of other places to look.

    • Jess

      It seems like your style may run a bit more modern than mine, but I actually really love consignment shops and estate sales for furniture. If you can spend some time looking around, you can get very great quality (maybe a little retouching here or there on wood) for less-than-Pottery Barn prices.

      • Laura C

        I like old and older-looking stuff, too — we may be asking my MIL to get my husband’s late father’s gorgeous antique desk out of storage for us, and my favorite piece we currently own is this https://www.crateandbarrel.com/tucker-rectangular-trunk/s651967 — but we’re also going to be in something of a time crunch, unfortunately. Looking most of all for a sideboard and some bookcases with drawers or doors at the bottom.

        • Jess

          Love that piece!

          Yeah, it can be kind of iffy if you’re trying to do something quick. When I move into new spaces, I pretty much commit to having it partially unfurnished for several months.

          • Laura C

            That would definitely lead to us having nicer furniture, but I feel like we’ve tended to get into bad habits organizationally speaking and the way to get out of them is to lock down our systems right away on moving into this place since we’ll be in it long term. We’ve marked a few things we can hold off on but the stuff that’s intrinsic to us not just leaving the mail lying around and so on, I think we need from day one, or at least day five.

          • Jess

            Ah, yup. Totally get that. We are still very disorganized and I am kind of finding myself saying “I hope we can start house-shopping soon so we can restart our habits”

        • BSM

          If you’re in a time crunch, one suggestion is to get simple stuff from IKEA and then plan to CL them when you find the perfect piece. We have a couple Kallax units that we’ve repurposed a few times for temporary purposes, and we’ve been able to resell them for half of what we bought them for, which I feel pretty good about.

          • Amy March

            I think IKEA is best at stuff like bookshelves.

          • Abby

            Also, if you like the functionality of IKEA pieces but want to up the style factor, I’m a huge fan of IKEA hacks, which you can do over time once you’re settled in– even swapping out drawer pulls or slapping a coat of paint can totally transform it from generic to personal.

          • BSM

            Yes! We have pretty basic, white IKEA nightstands that we figured we’d eventually replace with something prettier, but I cannot get over how expensive they are and haven’t found anything that would be perfect with our bed, so I’m giving up the search and planning to replace the knobs.

      • Added perk of consignment/estate/even sometimes CL furniture is you can get a much better idea about build quality and longevity (if that matters to you).

    • rebecca

      If you’re in a major metro, shopping on Etsy for places that are near you and then asking them if you can just pick it up yourself since you’re local can be really great. I’ve saved a lot of money on furniture that way.

    • somanypseudonyms

      If you have modern-ish taste and haven’t already committed to an IKEA couch, I’ve found macy’s actually has a surprisingly strong line of MCM stuff, especially couches.

      Have you checked apartmenttherapy’s guides? They go all over the price scale.

      • Abby

        Seconding Macy’s for furniture! For some reason their pieces never showed up in my obsessive googling when trying to find our new bed, but I looked after a friend bought his bed there and lo and behold, the EXACT piece I’d been looking for was there (and for half to a third of the cost of similar pieces at Pottery Barn/West Elm/Restoration Hardware).

    • BSM

      I’ve had pretty good luck with some Target furniture, and, like the person below, strangely Macy’s sometimes has good stuff for reasonable prices.

      Otherwise, I mostly wait for sales or coupons for Crate & Barrel and West Elm or, if I feel like digging around, Etsy, flea markets, and Craigslist have some hidden gems.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Pier 1 Imports and Marshalls and the like have the odd interesting piece sometimes, too.

        • BSM

          Oh, and Home Goods!

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            And their sister line, TJMaxx. But Homegoods is better.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Our best furniture purchases have been buying used from friends. Our entire bedroom and living room sets came from a friend who got divorced and had to clear out his house ASAP. Our dining room came from friends whose daughter bought a house and then decided to switch cities, so her table and chairs were taking up space in their basement. All much nicer than what we otherwise would have been purchasing. I’ve also seen people lately selling furniture because they got a baby and needed to clear out the nursery, or they bought a new treadmill and a chair needs to go, that kinda thing. Might be worth it to put the word out on social media that you’re in the market for some gently used stuff if anybody’s trying to get rid of anything.

    • Amy March

      Jordan’s, since you’ll be in MA!

      • penguin

        Jordan’s is the best! Although I’ve only bought a mattress there, we had a great experience.

      • Laura C

        How did I not think of Jordan’s, as many ads for that place as I’ve seen!

        • RNLindsay

          The Jordans in Stoughton even has an outlet/clearance warehouse where you can get even better deals!

      • LazyMountain

        I used to go to Jordan’s exclusively for the dippin dots and animal crackers

    • ART

      Definitely a mixed bag, but I got some stuff from Overstock that I’ve liked (look for things with lots of reviews) and when I bought there, their shipping was dirt cheap.

      Also I adore my KIVIK sofa from IKEA. 6 years and going strong!

    • Capybara

      I highly recommend World Market’s furniture, especially if you can afford to wait for a sale!

      • BSM

        That’s another good one. We just got a really nice patio table for $70 – their sales are so good!

    • StevenPortland

      We bought two pieces from http://www.joybird.com and really like them. It is half-way in price between IKEA and Room&Board.

      • Henri

        I can second Joybird. I’ve really enjoyed the credenza and chair we have from them.

    • LazyMountain

      Just avoid West Elm… We had the misfortune to buy the Peggy Couch (pre-blog shit storm) and it was every bit as dysfunctional as it was purported to be. We also have a rug from them that is not wearing well and I’ve heard other quality control horror stories.

    • jem

      Do you have a car? There’s an A+ Crate and Barrel outlet in Kittery. Also, a ton of good antique/consignment stores around Cambridge & north found the city

  • Jesse

    This makes me so depressed. I’ve already seen 3 gynos who just tell me nothing is wrong. Luckily my fiance is awesome and says he doesn’t care if we don’t have penetrative sex.
    https://health.good.is/features/vulvodynia-women-sexual-health-not-taken-seriously?utm_content=inf_10_81_2&c=tse1&tse_id=INF_4214c690786411e7b54e3f059c156cd3

    • Jess

      Thanks for sharing this article. How frustrating and heartbreaking.

      I hope you can find a gyno who believes you and you can get to a solution.

    • E.

      Have you tried pelvic floor physical therapy? It worked wonders for me.

  • LazyMountain

    Happy happy hour friends! I have to go respond to like the 7th incident today at work (chemical spills, people hurting themselves, ugh), but someone had asked last week that I share any good matte long-lasting lipstick finds post-makeup trial. I tried on a bunch at Sephora and Tarte tarteist quick dry matte lip paint was by far the lightest/least annoying while being pretty durable and not crazy expensive for non-drugstore makeup. So there you go. Also we are 2 months out to wedding day and now I must go spray paint all the things and buy some flagging tape…

    • Jess

      I recently got a couple Sephora sample sizes of Tarte tarteist. This is a good reminder to see how I like it again. I did a quick swipe when they first showed up without foundation on and was iffy on it. I should try them again.

    • Engaged Chicago

      Just chiming in for any lip lovers that these Nars lip pencils are theeee best http://m.sephora.com/product/P78834?skuId=1900083

    • Eenie

      Solidarity! Our nurse was out of office and we had two injuries at the same time, one requiring an ambulance. Hectic day!

    • Ilora

      That was me, thanks! I’ve actually had that Tarte one in my Sephora basket for over a month, maybe I’ll actually go for it now!

      • LAinTexas

        I don’t really do the whole lipstick thing, but when I was a bridesmaid last month, I used LipSense because one of the other bridesmaids sells it and had several tubes in different colors. The color itself is super long-lasting, and then you can put either matte or glossy gloss over it (because the color itself is very dry – you need the gloss, even if it’s matte). If you happen to know anyone in your circle who sells LipSense, that could be an option, too. :)

  • lady brett

    i was preparing my complaint about never getting a fucking break, but i had to stop to change our brand new tire because it has a 1″ chunk of metal in it. and there are tiny biting flies in our new home. these things are nothing compared to the actual things going on, but *for fuck’s sake.*

    • Ashlah

      :( Shit, I hope things get better soon.

    • Jess

      Come. On. World. Just take a day off, ok?

      • lady brett

        indeed. <3

  • Jess

    Anybody read Lindy West’s piece on the “Being pro-choice can’t be a litmus test for being a democrat” debacle?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/opinion/trump-democrats-abortion-litmus-test.html?_r=0

    • Amy March

      I’m so enraged.

    • rebecca

      Yes! And immediately volunteered to do pro-bono web dev for women candidates. Wtf is going on here DNC?

      • BSM

        That’s awesome! Someone in a Facebook group I’m in shared Kara Eastman’s response (copied below), which I loved. She’s a candidate for Congress in Nebraska’s 2nd; maybe she could use your help?

        Brad Ashford and other “Democratic candidates are perfectly welcome to refrain from terminating their own pregnancies. But to be anti-choice on a policy level is absolutely indefensible from an economic justice, racial justice, gender justice and human rights standpoint. And if the Democratic Party does not stand for any of those things, then what on earth is it?”

        Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family. I’m proud to be the only pro-choice candidate in the race for the Nebraska Second Congressional District.

        If you agree, and want an elected official that isn’t going to back down from this fight, I hope that I can count on your support.

      • Jess

        Oh man, that’s awesome! I don’t have web dev abilities, but it was a reminder to me to support women candidates and to keep being vocal about women’s access to comprehensive medical care.

    • Violet

      Being in the midst of a planned pregnancy, I’ve never in my life been more supportive of women being able to end a pregnancy. Seriously. Combine this with the recent NPR piece about how dismal our maternal death rate is compared to similar countries, and I feel like everyone who just says, “Put it up for adoption!” must seriously hate women. Like, hate them.

      • ART

        Hard agree, and I’ve been meaning to post something to this effect on Facebook lately. I’ve always been pro-choice but never felt it as strongly as I do now that I’ve gone through the last 19 (well, 17) weeks.

      • BSM

        Right?!? I was talking to my husband about this last night, and I came to the same conclusion. Requiring a woman to go through with a pregnancy against her will is barbaric.

        …And that doesn’t even touch on all the costs you incur wrt to prenatal/postnatal care, L&D, lost wages from taking time off of work, etc.

        • Violet

          Barbaric is an excellent word.

      • Yup – pregnancy made me even more pro-choice than I already was. I had an “easy” pregnancy and yet it was a huge change mentally, physically, etc. I would never want a woman to go through that against her will.

        • quiet000001

          My mom was the same, although her pregnancy was very difficult. She was vaguely pro-choice before but during her pregnancy she decided there is no way you can demand someone else go through all of that if they don’t want to.

      • Laura C

        Yup yup yup. Several months after my son was born a friend told me that around the time he was born, she’d had an abortion and hadn’t told me because she thought it might be emotional for me at that time. I was like “LISTEN, I have never been more convinced that no one should be pregnant unless they really want to be. Not just not have a baby unless they want, but not be pregnant.”

      • Ashlah

        The way I felt when I saw the very wanted and planned-for positive pregnancy test made me more certain than ever in my pro-choice stance. My heart was racing and my body was shaking like “wtf have you done” even though I was actually very excited. And I couldn’t help but think, “What if I felt this way and I didn’t want to be pregnant and it were illegal to do anything about it. Fuck, what a horrid, inescapable nightmare that would be. It is appalling that anybody would force that situation on anyone.

    • penguin

      Just wanted to say I appreciate this article using the terms anti-abortion and anti-choice instead of pro-life. MUCH more accurate.

      • Jess

        Agreed.

      • Violet

        I actually think I’m over “pro choice.” It makes it sound like a luxury, like, “Still or sparkling water? Your choice!” Anti-abortion should be called out for what it is- state-sanctioned biological control of your body. I’m not here for that. It’s not like we call the decisions you make with your cardiologist “pro choice.” It’s called MEDICINE.

        • Jess

          Kind of reminds me of Maisie William’s line about feminism. Like, there’s normal people and there’s sexists.

          There’s normal people, and there’s Anti-Abortion people.

        • penguin

          I agree with you on that, I am just also over the “pro-life” thing, it feels like a euphemistic and inaccurate term.

          • Violet

            Right, or else it seems they’d maybe try to spare women’s lives after giving birth, instead of letting them die of preeclampsia or bleed out.

          • rebecca

            Exactly. I can’t believe the DCCC did this when the maternal mortality rate in the US is _terrifying_ and history shows us that anti-choice democrats do not vote to preserve women’s bodily autonomy, even with a democratic majority!

          • BSM

            And (of course, can’t find the sources right now), I’m pretty sure the data show that compromising on abortion *does not* win over swing or conservative-leaning voters. So it’s stupid all around.

    • MC

      YES, I loved it and I love Lindy West. I also donated to EMILY’s List because they are unapologetic about only endorsing pro-choice Dem women for office.

    • ART

      In addition to my comment below I have to thank Lindy West, and you, for bringing me the term “abattoir of clown meat” today.

  • Travel adventures before I even get to my vacation: First, there was south lightning etc yesterday that my husband never even got home from his business trip and is just meeting me at our destination, if we ever arrive. This did mean that I had to take the dog to my in laws house, which I’m not allowed inside of (although only my husbands teenage brother was home and he doesn’t care about that rule at all which made things much less awkward). And 3 hours after my flight was supposed to leave, I’m still in the airport ( but southwest did a lovely job of rebooting my connection at least because everyone there is so very lovely). We shall see if we all successfully arrive in San Francisco tonight (I won’t trust it until we get there… There have been so many cancelations and rebookings so far)

    • But I did get to take over all the airport Pokemon gyms, explore the yoga room and read a whole book. And I love my brand new kindle so much that I barely even mind.

    • NolaJael

      Wait, why aren’t you allowed in your inlaws’ house?!

      • It’s not a me-specific thing but a general no one is allowed inside. I’ve talked about it before but it is hilarious the lengths they go to to come up with reasons why I’m not invited in (including the whole family just hanging out in the front yard when we come by to drop stuff off etc). I’ve been allowed in 2x since married though (and this was a third bc my brother in law doesn’t care and it was easier to have two people bc of the dog). They are otherwise lovely people though so it’s mostly just an annoying quirk. I’m guessing that grandkids might be the real key to be allowed in.

        • somanypseudonyms

          I confess: I’m still confused.

        • S

          I NEED more details about this. Is there something wrong with the house they’re embarrassed of? (i.e are they hoarders?) Are they just deeply private? What happens when you need to pee when you’re over there? Do you just never go over there for more than a few minutes? This is actually crazy.

          • Their house is very messy, admittedly. But yeah, we jbasically ust go there to pick things up/drop things off /meet people. If we meet up its at a restaurant and my husband’s grandparents host all the holidays (usually just us and them, occasionally some other cousins but the other cousins live out of town). It’s mostly my FIL who cares and I thinksit’s also partially because of weird things in his childhood? But they are otherwise generally lovely people (one time they drove me and a friend from the airport to our 2 hours away undergrad when we had been dating a year) so I’ve just gotten used to this oddness.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I’m taking my little boy to preschool open house tonight! He’s excited, we’re excited, but it’s hard to believe he’s so big! His backpack is in the mail and I’m a little worried it won’t be here on the first day…
    And I’m a teacher myself so this week has been a whirlwind getting ready for students. Way too much time in teacher meetings and professional development this week, and not enough time in my classroom getting things ready.
    And an essay I wrote got picked up by a national education blog! It’s about school segregation and my perspective as both a parent and teacher.

  • Anon for Today

    So, recently I’ve been tempted to cheat on my husband. I haven’t done so, but the temptation has been pretty strong. Specifically with a certain man. Recently, my husband has started a new job which causes him to travel for 3, 4, 5 weeks at a time. I know that part of my temptation is just because I’m lonely. I can acknowledge that in a second. But there’s another whole layer to it as well. My husband’s new position is also a career path change, which has significantly changed our lives, and is changing him. A year ago, when we got married, we also bought a house in the suburbs and planned on having kids in the next five years. We were both working pretty typical 9-5 Monday- Friday positions, and honestly were pretty well set up financially. With his new position, this is no longer true. I’m carrying the majority of the financial responsibility, with the potential that he will eventually. His personality is changing as well. The things we had in common are kind of fizzling out. Some of his ethical viewpoints have changed as well, and not all have change for the worse, but I do struggle with a few things that he believes in at this point. The catch 22 of it is that when he was in his old position, he was so depressed. He felt as though his life had no meaning, and his overall happiness is like night and day since before. My fear is that we are just trading who is happy. I was a before, he is now. And the man who I’m attracted to reminds me of who my husband was when I was at my happiest. He has no clue that I am attracted to him, but we have an unbelievable amount of chemistry. He’s the type of person where being in his presence just makes me feel right. I honestly have no clue if he feels the same way, so I’m pretty far from acting on any feelings I have, but it’s still a struggle. I’ve talked to my husband about most of the points I made above, aside from being tempted to cheat. Unfortunately, he is not somebody who would be productive if I were to ever tell him something like that. I’m just in this weird space of being so proud of my husband growing and overcoming a lot of his mental health struggles but also acknowledging that we are growing apart, and I don’t see that ending at any point. It’s very hard, because a year ago I was signing up for a very different life than the one that it seems that I’m going to have. Which I know happens to everyone at some point, but at what point do I say this isn’t the life I want, without ruining my husband’s aspirations? I don’t think there is a good outcome. Thank you in advance, APW, for being a safe space to express these things.

    • Jane

      I think you should try to limit as much as possible your time around this other man.

      You said you’ve talked to your husband about the other stuff. What has his response been? Receptive? Working on it? I’d focus on fixing that and assume the other feelings are a symptom of overall dissatisfaction / normal temptation intensified by your other feelings and will pass.

      • penguin

        Agreed. I’d also try and lean into your support network – do you have friends in the area? Family? Try and spend more time with them so you aren’t so lonely (obviously won’t help for sexy times loneliness, but just for general loneliness).

        I’d tell yourself that this is likely a crush because you and your husband are going through a transition, and try to avoid time with this guy as much as possible until it passes.

        • Abby

          +1 on the transition crushes. When your partner (and thus your relationship) is going through big changes, it’s easy to be drawn to people who share the traits you’re no longer seeing in your partner. But the whole person behind those surface traits (stability, chemistry, making you feel “right”) is not the husband you fell in love with, and it’s important to recognize that. One other coping tactic that might help, if limiting time with the crush isn’t feasible (i.e. if it’s a coworker, in which case, there’s a whole other can of worms to be addressed in another post)– look for things about him that AREN’T perfect, and try to focus on those, to remind your brain that he’s not just a quick ticket back to the life you planned on.

          • Jess

            Transition crush – I think I always get one of those!! Get engaged? Get a crush! Get married? Get a crush! Get a new job? Get a crush!

            Now I have the term

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Oh man, I wish I had some brilliant piece of advice, but all I can say is that I feel you, and that sometimes, the things you’re experiencing are just part of marriage.

      I met my husband when I was 19 and he was 24. At the time that we got engaged, he was a MBA student/finance bro, and for better or worse, THAT was the version of him that I fell for.

      Then came his drug addiction. Then came the recession. Then came rehab, and him getting clean, and me going to law school, and him getting and losing and getting and losing various jobs in finance, followed by the realization that he wasn’t really cut out for life in an office tower, followed by the realization that I wasn’t really meant to be a lawyer. Which, is all to say that after eleven years, we neither one have very much at all in common with the two kids who fell in love over a decade ago.

      But…it works. We’ve adjusted. We’ve found new things to love about one another. It’s not the lifestyle we either one had in mind initially, but at the end of the day, we’re both reasonably happy most of the time. I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy, and that we don’t still have some reallllllly crappy days because of it, but when all is said and done, we love one another far more now than we did at 19 and 24.

      Hopefully, you two will also eventually be able to find something that more or less works for both of you, but until then, I’m sending lots of internet hugs and understanding your way. Just know that you aren’t alone, and that honestly, most couples will eventually go through some form of this. Change is just a part of life, and unfortunately, sometimes it’s really painful and crummy.

    • Jess

      I wish I had good words of comfort for you.

      Physical distance in relationships is hard. Watching someone you love change and figuring out how to love who they are now is hard. Feeling attraction towards someone else when you’re committed to monogamy is so very normal, but it is also hard. Having your expectations and plans for your immediate future fall away is hard.

      I hope you can figure out with your husband what your life can be together. I hope he listens with compassion when you talk about how things are hard for you. I hope you can make some changes to have more time together to make the changes in him seem less dramatic, to know that he’s still got lots of the person you married inside him. I hope that you can take some space from this other man to let your attraction fade. I hope that you can give yourself space to feel disappointment in the change of your life plans.

      TL;DR? I’m sorry you’re in a time that sounds really sucky, and I hope it gets better. Sending you internet hugs.

    • Abby

      Hugs! This sounds super hard. There are so many things life can throw at a person that change who they are and how they interact with their partner (job changes/loss, illness, injury, family loss, etc), and it’s important to acknowledge how they’re affecting you, so first, props for having the self-awareness to identify so many of the issues at play. These are really big issues, and it sounds like you’re feeling super overwhelmed by them.

      It sounds from your post as though you’ve been putting a lot of responsibility for your happiness on your partner, and on your shared goals. That’s really easy to do, and shared goals are important. But I found “the man who I’m attracted to reminds me of who my husband was when I was at my happiest” line particularly telling. While the other guy might be more compatible with you in the long run than your husband is once he settles into his new career, he might not. And that’s a really big risk to take before you’re absolutely sure that you’re not compatible with your husband in his happy state.

      So my first step would be to think through little ways to make yourself happier in this new life you find yourself living. Before getting married, buying the house in the suburbs, and focusing on the kids-soon-dream, what made you feel the most like yourself? Any hobbies or happy habits you’ve set aside (consciously or unconsciously) during your marriage that you could reintroduce to your life? I feel like the lengthy travel gives you the space to be completely your best self while he’s away on those long trips– all the best freedoms of single life, without the societal pressure to partner up, because you’re already partnered! Want to take hour-long bubble baths while reading trashy romance novels? Start a garden? Have regular girls’ nights? Yes, it’s a different life than the one you thought you were going to have. But there may be space to make it your own, and as you figure out how to take charge of your own happiness, you can see how your best happy self interacts with your husband’s newfound best happy self and see if they’re still compatible.

      If you’re not, you’ll be able to move forward knowing you both gave yourselves space to become the people you truly are, and that will serve you both better going forward. And if you are compatible, pushing back the family timeline a few months or years will be so worth it to have gotten your relationship to a place where you can both be fully yourselves and happy at the same time.

      At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can tell what makes you happy (and to know when you’re not) and that puts you in the best place to find ways to re-calibrate yourself that don’t depend on another human. I hope this helps. Best of luck!

    • That all sounds really rough :/. I agree with the other advice here to try to limit your time around feelings-dude. But also, be gentle with yourself… I think it is super normal to feel intense attractions to other people when you are feeling disconnected from your spouse, especially if you have someone in your life who you already have a ton of chemistry with.

      It sounds like this transition is being really hard on you & I’d definitely consider counseling if it’s something that vibes with you at all. I think that phases of growing apart then growing back together are part of any long term relationship, but at the same time you sound like you are feeling trapped and unhappy which isn’t something that you should have to deal with alone indefinitely.

  • m0nks

    I am going dress shopping for a third time tomorrow for me and the FH’s wedding next Fall. [The first time was a success had at Alfred Angelo & second time was filled with me comparing everything to the dress I had fallen in love with at AA.] I am going to have two of my bridesmaids, my mom and my FMIL. . . It should be a legitimately good time. I hope.

    I am in this weird head space about it. 1) Excited: Trying on wedding dresses is a strangely fun thing. Getting to feel like a princess with the attention focused on me is… kinda nice. PLUS I adore the shows I bought for the wedding and want to wear them all that time. . . Early 17th Century Court reproduction heels are totally suited for grocery shopping, yeah?? 2) Anxiety: What if I hate everything in comparison and I never find a dress that I really adore & won’t regret buying in a few months 3) Insecurity: I am on the plus side of things, size wise – I have a pretty good idea what looks decent with my shape & what does not. . . But my option of how that makes me feel varies wildly – depending on the day.

    Wish me luck, APW. Or break a leg. Whichever works better.

    • Ilora

      Sooo…shoe pics?

      I found my dress on our second trip and honestly was a little disappointed that it was over! It’s fun to have all of the potential ahead of you as far as what kind of dress etc. As is common, I ended up with a dress that was both opposite of what I was looking for as well as having all of the main details!

      I had two dresses that I chose between, I adore my dress, but I know that if I’d bought the other one I’d have loved it too (this is sometimes a guilty thought as the one I bought was more expensive). You will find a dress! But also, unless the AA was a brand new style you might have some luck looking on preowned sites for the one you loved?

    • penguin

      Seconding the request for shoe pics! And I hope dress shopping went well!

  • Ilora

    Moms who pump at work, what are your best tips and tricks?! Essentials for your pump bag? Door signs that are funny but don’t involve cows? I go back to work in just over a week and I’ve checked out Pinterest obviously but since I’m Canadian I don’t actually know anyone in person who’s pumped at work (or if I do we’re no close enough for me to know it).

    What do you do about weekends, nurse as usual or pump and bottle feed? My son usually only nurses on one side at a time so I’m hoping to be able to double pump twice a day and have that be enough, but I’m not sure if nursing on weekends will make it wonky. He will be 6 months and fortunately will be staying home with my husband who is taking the second 6 months of parental leave, so they’ve got full access to the (small) freezer stash while we get settled.

    Added bonus, I’ve got high lipase so I can’t just refrigerate and reuse pump parts unless I want to scald the afternoon pumping sessions milk as I only get about 24 hours before it tastes weird.

    • emilyg25

      Definitely get one of those hands free pumping bras. The pump is not as efficient as nursing, so you might have to pump more often. Women typically pump once every 2-3 hours. Just nurse normally when you’re together. Make sure to drink lots of water and eat well!! I needed to drink at least 150 ounces of water a day. It was crazy. I listened to podcasts and actually watched the entire series of The Wire on my phone over the 9 months I pumped! And knit a really lovely fair isle sweater for my son.

    • Mary Jo TC

      I’ve done it twice now, for about 6 months each time. You need extra pump parts, especially the valve membranes. Hands free pumping bra is essential. On weekends, nurse normally, on demand. Freeze Friday’s milk, and pull Monday’s from the oldest in the freezer stash. It’s not the end of the world if you have to supplement. Come back and tell us how it goes!

  • Waitwat

    Hi. First time poster. I need help. I think I may be paying a lot of $$$ for my bachelor weekend when I was presented with a “forget about money, what do you want to do?” scenario originally by a close friend in my wedding party.

    I had just been talking about how my fiancee and I were paying for the wedding ourselves and that I just learned I might be losing my job in the next few months. So after I pushed back a few times on the idea of a money is no object weekend, I threw out a trip to the another coast thinking it was clear I could not pay for this myself.

    The rest of my party got onboard for a trip and I eventually downgraded it to a flight to a city on our coast because I wasn’t sure if everyone else was really comfortable with the cost. But to be clear, if I thought I had to pay for myself, I would have opted for something local.

    So it’s a week before the trip and I put the flight for myself and a couple others on my card and the text messsages and I’m getting from the rest of the party about settling up expenses. And moneybags friend hasn’t mentioned anything about money.

    Money’s not a problem NOW. I still have my job. I know I should have confirmed in plain language with said friend and the rest of the party whether or not I would be covered financially but it seemed so akward and everyone seemed so excited.

    Anyway, how do I put this delicately now that flights, hotel and activities are booked that I don’t want to spend several hundred to a thousand dollars on a weekend when I have a wedding and a future with my fiancée to think about?

    • Amy March

      You don’t. You should have spoken up ages ago to get clarity on this. A week before is much much much too late, and you have the money. You even put the flights on your own credit card. That was the time to make this clear not now when everything is booked. Chalk it up to a life lesson.

    • Abby

      You say “to be clear” now, but were you clear with your friends throughout the planning process? If your wedding party had planned this for you and then presented you with a bill, that’s one thing, but it seems like you were very much involved with the process (putting flights on your card, making the decision to “downgrade” to something still out of your price range, etc.). You don’t get to order dom perignon and expect to pay for andre (or have it comped) no matter what you perceive your friends’ financial situations to be. Sorry buddy. I hope the trip is fun though!

    • Anon

      Late here but I think the below commenters were maybe too kind. It was incredibly inconsiderate of you to plan a party for yourself that you would not be willing to pay for. I don’t know where the idea that brides and grooms don’t contribute to bachelor/ettes comes from but you don’t get to take advantage of your friends and their generosity just because you’re getting married. Yes, you’re spending an armload on the wedding, but so are they, just for the honor of standing with you.

      Not as much as the bridesmaids are, but still. You don’t actually know anything about your friends’ finances and it is so avaricious to expect they host and fund your bachelor weekend. (Also why are they weekends now? What is this?)

  • cfpw

    Hi APW…. first post here, as I JUST GOT ENGAGED!!!!! SLFKJGKFSJGDFKHGKD

    My fiance (oh man, does it ever stop feeling weird to use that word?) is American and lives in NJ, and I’m British and living in London (although I previously spent 3 years living in LA), so we’ve spent the last 18 months flying back and forth, spending a LOT of time on the phone and generally doing the whole long distance thing.

    After much counting down we went on holiday to Greece with my parents last week, and he sneakily asked their permission behind my back, and then surprised me with the ring on a deserted beach in the middle of the afternoon after he ‘just went snorkelling for a bit’!

    Anyway, everyone is super happy and excited, but now come the BIG CHANGES like figuring out when and how to move to the US/change status, apply for a green card, find a new job etc… I’m now back at work in London sitting at my office desk and staring dreamily into space/working my way through the APW back catalogue. If anyone else has been through anything similar, it would be great to hear how you did it!

    • Yael

      Welcome! There are several of us who are ex-pats and/or dealing with various immigration issues, including multiple weddings. Good luck!

      • cfpw

        thanks, good to know! We’ve got a call scheduled today with an immigration lawyer to try and get a better understanding of our options, but would be great to pick your collective brains at some point :)