APW Happy Hour


And help for #Houston

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hey APW,

I got to spend just over twenty-four hours in Orange County last weekend for a family wedding. It was a huge and amazing Orthodox Jewish Wedding (the kind where a guest list of 250 is considered “on the small side”). It was a total delight, plus I rented this dress from Rent the Runway, which was A+. We stayed in a hotel I found through frantic last-minute Internet research (Orange County, California, is not exactly known for it’s hip hotels), called Laguna Beach House, and I recommend it to anyone.

Beyond that, like the rest of you, I spent the week worrying over the devastation in Houston. One of my former bridesmaids lives in Houston, and it has been awful to watch her and her whole family go through this. Here are some of the ways we can help.

But with that said, for most of you it’s a three-day weekend, so hit up your open thread before you go have a real-life drink.

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.

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • joanna b.n.
  • Ashlah

    Hi everyone! I missed the last HH, and won’t have time to stick around today, but found a few minutes to let you know I had my baby! Tobin made his appearance last Wednesday, after an unexpectedly fast labor. My water broke at work (!) at 4:30, contractions started around five and ramped up insanely fast. Arrived at the birth center around 8, and was 9.5 cm! Pushed for 90 minutes in the tub, and his dad caught him and put him on my chest. It was hard and crazy and amazing, and he is beautiful.

    The hard stuff: 3rd degree tear (healing well, not as bad as I expected), non-emergency hemorrhage that required an eventual hospital transfer for monitoring (fluids and time and I was fine), and feeding. Feeding issues have made our time at home much harder than it would be otherwise. Painful latch (possible tongue tie), sleepy baby, and supply issues, all of which can feed off of each other. Currently we’re on a strict two-hour schedule: I feed with a shield, then pump, while dad feeds him a bottle of my pumped milk and a bottle of formula. Getting maybe an hour of sleep at a time and having no other time to do anything isn’t sustainable and not yet knowing our long-term solution is really overwhelming. It feels like we can’t leave the house, and it’s hard to have anyone visit. Many tears have been shed, but we’re doing our best to remember that this is just a phase and it will pass more quickly than we can imagine. It’s just very, very hard right now, especially knowing (imagining) how much easier it could be. Feeling incredibly thankful that my husband is home with me for a month. Other than this challenge, Tobin is a dream.

    To end on a high note, look how at this cute thing I made!

    • AP

      YAYYYY!!!! Welcome Tobin!! Congratulations to you:)

    • Emily

      CONGRATULATIONS!! He’s beautiful!

    • Amy March

      It will pass! And this may sound silly but I firmly believe that every parent gets hard times and easy times, and you are getting one of the hard ones out of the way early on.

      • Ashlah

        I kept joking with people that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop after an incredibly easy pregnancy. Here it is!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Congratulations!! He’s gorgeous.

      The sleeplessness and anxiety and feeding issues and postpartum healing in the very early weeks are so, so hard. Plus the hormones for the first 2-3 are NO JOKE. But if my whole 9 weeks experience is anything like the average, it really will pass very quickly and get pretty darn awesome pretty darn fast. Take care of yourself as much as you can too!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!!! And hugs. My kiddo was tongue-tied when she was born, and she only fed like that one time before they fixed it and my boob hurt for days. So solidarity. <33

    • mjh

      Congratulations! He is adorable :)

      Best of luck getting through such a rough time, hoping it passes quickly.

    • emmers

      He’s really cute! And I’m sorry you’re going through so much crap. Hang in there. I know it will eventually get better, but I know that doesn’t help at all now. I hope that the various issues get resolved, quickly, and you can get some rest. You are dealing with a lot on minimal sleep. It sounds like you are doing the best you can.

    • BSM

      Congratulations!!! And oh my goodness, he is adorable! So, so happy for you and your little family <3

    • flashphase

      congrats!!!

    • Congratulations!!

    • rg223

      Congrats! He’s so cute! This time passes quickly, thankfully! Best wishes and good luck!

    • Jenny

      Congrats and solidarity. Keep talking with your midwives. Rally a community (of friends, or paid professionals) to help you get sleep/food/breaks. Call friends or hotlines if things feel overwhelming. It does get better, and you will find a solution that works for you, but if you are like me, you might not believe it. Remember that taking care of yourself IS taking care of your baby and husband. Tell your husband to tell you that if you need it. Congrats on that cute baby!

      • Brigid

        Cosigning all of this. Your only job is to keep him and you fed and alive. Especially with the tear, you’re going to need lots and lots of rest for a few weeks— it helps keep PPA/PPD at bay, too. There’s nothing else you’re supposed to be doing right now. Your husband makes it possible for you to get food in the three of you. Your local community keeps you afloat, and your distant community cheers you on.

        Around week 6, going out stops being QUITE so daunting. Around week 12, you’ll feel like you’ve really got this (…some of the time). And now that my baby’s five months, I feel like myself. I feel at home in my life. She’s thriving, my marriage is good, and I am so acutely aware of the love that saw us through our single days, our wedding, our hard times, and the newborn phase. (Also, the relationship book Baby Makes Three helped us a lot. As did clipping her tongue tie.)

        You’re gonna be great. It’s okay if it’s hard — just reach out, help is available, and you’re going to be okay. He’s extraordinary.

    • Jess

      ::waves:: HI TOBIN!!

      Congratulations, and it sounds like the very first challenge of feeding (and seriously, I am an advocate of feeding your child in whatever way works best for you), while difficult, is something forcing you together as a parenting team which is it’s own kind of relief.

    • So tiny and so lovely.

    • Cellistec

      Hooray!! Congratulations…Tobin is just darling. Well done.

    • Lisa

      OMG, congratulations!!! What an adorable little guy! I’m so happy for you and your little family.

      • Lisa

        I keep clicking back to Tobin’s photo and smiling. He seems like such a joy! (Feeding and sleeping problems not withstanding.)

        • somanypseudonyms

          piggybacking to say: likewise! ahh, truly cute newborns are a special and adorable rarity. <3 congratulations, @disqus_SU83Haapqj:disqus !

        • Ashlah

          So it’s not just us? ;) Thank you, he really is a sweet little guy!

          • Sarah

            Also All Purpose Nipple Ointment was a lifesaver. Sadly wasn’t covered by insurance but did use my Flexible Spending Acct. got prescription from lac consult at compounding pharmacy.

          • Ashlah

            I’ll ask about that, thanks for the recommendation!

    • Mary Jo TC

      Congratulations!!! I have been there twice with the hard breastfeeding. Both of mine had a tongue tie too, and my one regret is that I didn’t have the first one’s cut. We did cut the second one’s and it got better faster. Please look into that and don’t be afraid to have it done. You are doing an amazing job!

    • ART

      I was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering if he’d shown up! He’s amazing. I’m so sorry you’re having a rough time of it so far, and am sending good thoughts that things resolve soon. I can just imagine the feeling of “is this going to be FOREVER?!” because I’ve had that with pregnancy symptoms…everyone keeps assuring us it won’t be, so hang in there <3

    • Eileen

      Ouf. First, congrats, and bravo on bringing your tiny one into the world!

      Also, sleepy baby and bad latch… I hear you. Know that those are such common problems—mine didn’t latch without a shield for three full months. The sleepy part got better the fastest for us (and THEN he didn’t want to sleep nearly as much as I wanted him to). That hospital transfer sounds rough. I tried to keep up some of the initial joy by re-reading my announcements on social media or e-mail and the comments and reactions (often while nursing—I’ll never buy a phone I can’t completely use with one hand). It brought back some of the butterflies on the rough days.

    • Leah

      yay!!! congrats and he is absolutely perfect and I love his name.
      And you guys will figure out a feeding plan that works for YOU and your family (because that’s the only people who matter here) and it WILL get better, and pretty quickly. That crazy schedule will let up and you will heal physically and emotionally and Tobin will figure out this being-human thing. In the meantime let people help! Let people bring you food. Let people come over for, see you for 30 seconds and hug you, and then do your dishes (people did that for me and I am eternally grateful). Hang on through this whirlwind period, reach out to your people, and good luck!

      • Jessica

        Congratulations on the birth of little Tobin!
        Breastfeeding sucks sometimes. :( I hope you have help from a lactation consultant/midwife. I had one “good boob” and one “bad boob” (inverted nipple, low supply) so at least I got to experience the pleasures of nursing on one side while tolerating the crazy pain on the other side. As far as a long-term plan, nursing got easier around the one-month mark as my kiddo’s mouth got bigger, his wakefulness improved, and my boobs got more used to doing their thing haha.
        In the meantime, unless it’s really important to your mental health to go out or have visitors, it’s MORE THAN FINE to just stay in and focus on surviving. I’ve heard the advice that postpartum moms should stay in bed for one week, near their bed (aka on the same floor as their bedroom) for the next week, and in their home the week after that. It sounds super cautious and isn’t a financial/logistical possibility for some, but I promise you that no mother of a newborn has ever said “Wow, I regret not having more visitors or getting out of the house more in the first month of my baby’s life”!

    • JC

      Congratulations!!!

    • AmandaBee

      Tobin is such a sweet little thing! I’m sorry to hear that it’s been a bumpy start, I hope everything smooths out soon. Congratulations!

    • Sarah

      Very similar to my story–nursing issues included. Keep working with lac consultants pumping etc. my son had s tongue and lip tie clipped (actually water lasered at 2.5 weeks. My birth ctr had free weekly BF support group that was a lifesaver. Be kind to yourself. Feel no guilt on telling visitors to hold off

    • Gaby

      Oh my goodness, so adorable! He seems so expressive for a newborn! Our friends had a baby six weeks ago and it’s only starting to get better for them right now. Best wishes and congratulations!

    • Congratulations! What a cutie!

      Regarding the possible tongue tie: get baby evaluated by an IBCLC as soon as you can – many will make house calls. My daughter had a severe tongue tie and a lip tie, and the tongue tie prevented her from transferring more than 1oz of milk at a time. We took her to a highly recommended pediatric dentist, who confirmed both ties and revised them via laser. The revisions saved our breastfeeding relationship, otherwise I wouldn’t have made it past 3 weeks.

      • Ashlah

        Thanks! We’ve been working with an IBCLC, and trying a few different things because it’s not 100% clear that the tie is the issue. It’s not a classic/typical tongue tie–only two local dentists will work on this kind. She gave us the number for one of them today, though, so we’ll likely reach out next week to get his opinion. I would love to know that it would solve our problems, but I’m doing my best to temper my expectations!

    • Suzy

      Congratulations, he’s beautiful! Sending loving vibes from the UK x

    • LAinTexas

      Congratulations! <3 I just wanted to pop in a share a blog post a friend of mine wrote about her babe's tongue tie revision and how that entire process worked out for them. She's an occupational therapist and a food/wellness blogger. I hope you find it helpful! http://grazedandenthused.com/our-tongue-tie-revision-story-2067/

      • Ashlah

        Thank you! Her tie sounds more severe than his, but his is also posterior, so I appreciate hearing a positive story about the results of the procedure!

    • Mrs H

      Oh he’s darling! Hang in with the feeding, but please remember that if breastfeeding doesn’t work out, it’s totally ok. You and your baby both need to be happy and healthy and sometimes formula is the best way to provide that. Either way, so long as baby is fed, that’s all that matters.

    • Violet

      Congratulations! I hope the really hard time gets the hell away from you asap so you can enjoy your little guy even more.

    • Jessica

      Congratulations! He is beautiful!!

  • Emily

    We did it! Tomorrow marks one week since saying ‘I do’ and you know what? It wasn’t perfect, nor was it the best day of our lives. While nothing went enormously wrong – except, perhaps, some very ugly, painful, still-working-through-and-very-angry family drama that overshadowed the day in a few ways – it became very clear to both of us in our final month of planning that the day wasn’t ours anymore. And that’s OK! I’ve realized that sometimes it takes big life events like this to help you to figure out who you are and how you feel about things, and it wasn’t until this wedding planning process that I realized that I wasn’t an extrovert like the majority of my family, but more on the introverted scale. I don’t get energy from other people, but from myself, and my husband (love saying that!) is the same way. Yet here we were, planning a huge dance party where we would be the center of attention for the whole night. So the husband and I talked, we mourned the wedding we might have had for ourselves (ie: a dinner party for 30, which more resembled our rehearsal dinner), and then shifted focus. So what if didn’t 100% reflect us? Once we confirmed that it wasn’t going to be the best night of our lives, it took the pressure off a bit. Sure, there was still plenty of expectation and lingering feelings, but it’s helped us to refocus our memories of the night too, which ultimately is the most important for the future. And everyone had an amazing time, so we succeeded there. Between my new sister-in-law giving a speech so heartfelt it made both of us cry, to my drunk brother doing the worm on the dancefloor, to every single person stealing a bottle (or two) of wine for the 30 minute party bus drive back to the hotel, my memories are good, and that’s what matters, That, and marrying my best friend.

    And here’s a picture! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5da713c24cb5744be712f2041228255473ed3b0a2771bd14618a4c63dffe44a7.jpg

    • savannnah

      You look incredibly happy!

    • Amy March

      Oh my goodness your dress is my absolute dream- which designer?

      • Emily

        It’s BHLDN, and I absolutely love it, although it was so hot I had to change into my backup outfit. I think I’m going to shorten it to tea length and wear it again!

    • theteenygirl

      This is one of my favourite walk back down the aisle photos ever. Amazing. Congratulations!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        It’s so good!

      • Emily

        Our photographer was an absolute rock star!

    • mjh

      Congratulations! +1 to “the memories are good and that’s what matters”. And that pic is just lovely. You both look so happy and wonderful, but the enthusiasm just dripping off of your husband as he looks at you is <3

    • BSM

      You look so beautiful and happy! Congratulations!!

    • sofar

      So happy for you! You both look beautiful.

      And I love what you say about the wedding not being “about you.” A lot of people think they’ve failed if their wedding isn’t a photogenic representation of their personalities and the Best Day Ever. Sometimes, you just gotta surrender to getting through it with as little conflict as possible. And that’s not a failure. That’s being an adult.

      Over time the good stuff will bubble to the top (as you’ve already realized), and you get to enjoy being married and NOT planning a wedding, which is the best.

      Cheers!

    • fleur

      You both look so happy! Congratulations :)

    • somanypseudonyms

      Congratulations!! you look so happy: and that’s glorious to see. <3

  • savannnah

    We are two weeks out and I’m starting to get super excited to see everyone and get married. We had a minor hiccup with our venue coordinator last week as they informed us three weeks out that while there reception area has a 200 person capacity, we would need to rent additional chairs for the ceremony, because they only had 100 person capacity there and didn’t we already know that. We had never been told this before, and I wrote a very stern email letting them know that they ‘had 16 months to let us know this and if they could recommend a rental company who would have additional benches as such a late notice for this unexpected expense etc. etc. Very pleased that my email worked, the coordinator was apologetic, and now they are taking care of it. So far that’s my only vendor related issue we have/had in the lead up.

    I’m starting to get emails from people who are doing two things: Either switching their rsvp status from yes to no/no to yes (like 10 people in total) or they are asking where they can watch the Steelers game which is on earlier that day (I soo DGAF about football, negative fucks given) I’m directing all of their questions to my fiance, who is now done with both his finals and a 4 weeks work trip- hallelujah.

    Also a good friend’s milestone birthday is the day after wedding and I am getting some pressure to get her a cake during the reception. The wording in the group text was ‘we are trying to figure out how to celebrate your wedding and also celebrate her birthday’ Now I am decidedly not a birthday person but I’m pretty astounded at this ask. Triply so because…it is also my birthday (same milestone!) the day after the wedding as well. It is my MOH birthday too (my twin) It is my two bridesmaid’s 7th and 3rd wedding anniversary. It is my parents 30th anniversary. September is a popular month dudes. My fix to this is to do nothing and be gracious people are giving up their time for me. I’m not sure what else to do.

    Spending the weekend in Montreal with my family and fiance since my parents surprised us with a short family vaca at the eurospa there so we can all get our chill on before things get hectic. Getting a massage and scrub and really looking forward to it.

    • theteenygirl

      Wait what? People want you to get someone a birthday cake to celebrate their birthday at your wedding? This is unbelievable. MAYBE if your friend was turning 100 but otherwise… no. Just no.

      • emmers

        I had a bday at a friend’s wedding. She marked my chair with balloons, which was a nice surprise, but reaaaally not expected. I had a friend have a bday at my wedding. I think I remembered during the reception and sang happy bday for her? Or not? I may have just wished her happy bday. In any case, this crap matters zero! People need to chill!

    • Amy March

      Omg people. “What is football?” “Sorry, the only cake at my wedding is the wedding cake. Feel free to plan whatever you want for the next day.”

      • savannnah

        I’m stealing “what is football”- might get hit with one by some uncles but it will be worth it.

      • Henri

        FOR REAL. It’s not even a playoff or otherwise “important” game. And is this friend 10?!

      • sofar

        Like, I have legit attended a wedding ON my birthday and never expected a damn cake. I would have killed any friends who bothered the bride about one on my behalf.

        It’s extra shitty because this puts the bride in the situation of having to decide which milestones to acknowledge at her wedding and run the risk of hurting someone because their bday/anniversary wasn’t acknowledged.

        As you say, “omg people.”

    • CMT

      That is insane. Doubly so because her birthday is not even the same day as your wedding.

    • Cleo

      I don’t find the football question outrageous if it’s out-of-towners asking – especially for the Steelers, there are networks of bars around the country that are “Steelers” bars because the fanbase is so loyal. And if the game is before your wedding, then that’s akin to them asking about sightseeing options in my mind.

      But since you don’t care about football, totally punt that one (pun intended) to your fiance.

      The birthday thing though…yeah. No. Not cool.

      • savannnah

        I would be more gracious about the football issue if it were not coming from the same crew that are giving us shit for having the wedding during a husker game.

        • Cleo

          Yeah, that’s not cool.

          I’ve been raised on college football. My dad is involved with his alma mater’s team quite heavily (as a booster and he’s also friends with a lot of the coaches and staff). My bat mitzvah date was chosen in part to ensure it didn’t conflict with college football (this was something I fully supported btw) and my future wedding date will be chosen so that it doesn’t conflict with a college football game. That’s how things are done in my family.

          But my dad would NEVER give anyone else shit about scheduling a wedding during a game. He was embarrassed when his best friend thanked him during his daughter’s rehearsal dinner for having helped set up the dinner even though it was during his team’s game.

          • savannnah

            Yeah- My in-laws are def more your family when it comes to their relationship with sports/football. My hometown has the state university but we do not have a football team and we don’t have any professional teams in my state either so it all feels totally ridiculous and obnoxious. Untimely though its just different priorities and I’m fine to indulge that when we are visiting them on their home turf so to speak.

          • Kat

            My family’s Thanksgiving plans always revolve around “Will the FSU/UF game be in Tallahassee or Gainesville this year” because it falls on the Saturday after.

      • sofar

        But two weeks out, I’d definitely ask other locals/call around to bars/ask the Google instead of asking the couple. As the bride, I’d have been annoyed at the question too: “OK so can you help me plan around my hobbies so I don’t have to miss out to attend your wedding?”

    • jem

      My aunt’s birthday was the same day as our wedding. My mom put together a little arrangement with some of our extra flowers and had the hotel put it in her room.

      I mean… your wedding is not this person’s birthday party.

    • Alex K

      My husband turned 30 at some friend’s wedding. Weddings aren’t actually full day affairs for anyone but the wedding party so I made a brunch reservation for us and some of his friends. It worked out well. Perhaps ask if they could celebrate before/after the wedding?

      • savannnah

        There are lots of things they could do to problem solve this issue- but I guess I feel like dont make it my problem to solve it?

        • BSM

          Yeah, I actually find the fact that they are trying to get you to help them with it the most bananas part. I would still be pretty meh if their message had been, “We want to make sure to celebrate X’s birthday, since it’s the same weekend as the wedding; would it be OK to do a little cake and announcement at the wedding?” But at least it wouldn’t have been put on your plate.

          I think you’re totally within the bounds of normalcy to be like, “I’d prefer we don’t do a cake/song at the reception, but I’d be happy to chip in/attend/be somehow a part of a celebration for X the day after the wedding/on her/our actual birthdays.”

        • Alex K

          I agree, but sometimes it’s easier to say “we are not celebrating birthdays at our wedding, but feel free to plan something not between 5-11 that day!”

          • savannnah

            True- I did say ‘I’m not ordering an extra cake’ to my bridesmaid who asked.

          • Henri

            OMG your *bridesmaid*?! I’m over here fuming on your behalf. That is ridiculous.

    • jem

      Also, re: birthday thing– is there someone else (a mutual friend? your sister?) who can handle the people who are fretting about the birthday? I feel like… this should not be on your plate at all. To ask this of someone two weeks out from their wedding is so rude

      • savannnah

        yes there is but I don’t even feel like I should be dealing with finding a point person for this. I’m sure I feel more salty since its also my birthday.

        • jem

          That’s legit!

        • Jessica

          I’ve occasionally seen birthdays celebrated in some tiny way at weddings, but I feel like the fact that your birthday, your MOH/twin’s birthday, and this friend’s birthday are ALL the day after the wedding gives you a really legitimate reason to push back, if you feel like expending the emotional energy to do so. Because I think if you acknowledge Bestie Betty’s birthday at the reception, then why aren’t you celebrating twin/MOH Hannnah’s birthday too, and then why not bride Savannnah’s birthday, and all of a sudden your reception has turned into a birthday party. But if you only celebrate Betty’s birthday than you must not love Hannnah as much, or if you only celebrate Betty and Hannnah then people might wonder if someone was supposed to get YOU a birthday cake too…
          (Obviously I made up the friend’s name and your twin sister’s name, hope it’s okay haha.)
          long story short, simplest solution is to just focus on your wedding during the reception and celebrate the birthdays at some other time.

    • Jess

      Hooray stern e-mail!!

    • Katharine Parker

      “Milestone birthdays” aren’t a thing, and someone’s birthday being the day after your wedding isn’t a thing. They can plan something for the next day.

      • S

        I mean, I don’t think you need a cake at someone else’s wedding the day before, but milestone birthdays are certainly a thing? 21sts, 30th, etc. Where I’m from at least people care more about their 30ths than their 29th or 31st birthdays, anyway. And I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to get back home for my mother’s 60th rather than 58th, for instance.

        • Katharine Parker

          Sure, people tend to make a bigger deal out of new decades. And I’ll grant that turning 100 is a milestone. But I don’t think, as adults, a “milestone birthday” is something that anyone else needs to recognize and cater to at their wedding. In that sense, it’s not a thing–celebrate the next day, celebrate the weekend before, spend every other day that month celebrating it, but don’t ask a bride to celebrate it at her wedding because it’s a milestone birthday.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      It’s your birthday too! And your twin’s! For some reason that has me dying. Like, look around people!

    • Kat

      You’re a better person than me because my response to that birthday question would have been “God willing she will have many, many more. We’ll celebrate next year.”

      Re: football questions, I have been to MANY weddings where there was a break between the ceremony and reception to watch the game at a bar or the bride’s parents house? Idk why people feel the need to make this your issue though. I would send them a link to google and a *shrug* “I don’t follow sports but I’m sure you know how to look up the location of the nearest Buffalo Wild Wings.”

      My wedding aesthetic is petty, obviously.

      • savannnah

        I mean I’m there right with you- somehow this is all exacerbated by the fact that the nearest Buffalo wild wings is a good 50-60 miles away. Like its not happening for them and I dont want to hear about that either way.

        • Kat

          Right and ALSO it’s 2017 and we’re all carrying small computers around in our pockets so surely if it’s that dire, they can find a live stream somewhere? And again, none of this is your problem.

    • Violet

      Sorry, but upvoting others is not enough. You’re two weeks away, this friend’s birthday is NOT EVEN ON THE SAME DAY, and they’re asking *you* what to do about it!? Come oooooooon. So many fouls here. I fully support your do nothing plan.

    • EF

      we had a birthday cake for one of bros-of-honor at my wedding! it was his birthday, he was so supportive of everything, it seemed like a nice way to say thanks.

      ETA: we were having multiple cakes anyway, so we cut 1 of them and put confetti sprinkles on another and called it a bday cake.

    • SS Express

      I’m a bit late but I just wanted to say DEFINITELY don’t accommodate the cake request or offer any other suggestions. I’d be tempted to respond to texts like that with “yeah it’s a tough one, my Milestoneth is the day after the wedding too so I know what you mean!”.

      I really feel your frustration because my mum wanted us to include birthday wishes and *gift presentations* for TWO guests in our speeches – both kids, but neither were especially close to us or known to many of the other guests. My mum is thoughtful to a fault, she always puts others before herself but expects me to do the same, so this was one of several ways she went out of her way to make the wedding EVERYONE’S special day (except mine). My husband could see how much it was upsetting me so he conveniently forgot to include the birthdays in the notes he gave to the best man/MC. I think my mum gave them gifts at some point in the night but we didn’t have to pause the wedding to do it.

  • Pickle

    Thanks you all for your sweet compliments about my dress last week! I’m going to get fitted and buy it tomorrow :)

    On another note: Does anyone have stories to share about pulling off a large (200-person) wedding for under $40,000 in a major city? CAUSE BOY IS IT ANNOYING.

    • EE

      It, of course, depends on your city. But the main expense is going to be your venue and your food. Try and look for all inclusive venues because usually you will get a better deal that way then trying to hodgepodge together a blank space. You might also want to look into renting out a restaurant, or part of a restaurant. Also, you can save by doing less is more with the food and the drinks. What I mean is, for example, just serving beer and wine instead of hard liquor. That will cut down on costs. But I think the big thing would be securing a venue. Also, for flowers, if you just do one bloom, like carnation, in one color that usually dramatically drops the flower cost. You can add in pops of color with ribbon or other details for way less then flowers. Also, the dollar store, bulk buying, and sales are your best friends. Embrace the cheap and simple and go from there.

      • Pickle

        Thanks! We have pretty much decided on our venue and are trying to decide if we can afford their catering rather than bringing in someone cheaper. And, fiance is very crafty so we’re going to DIY all of the flowers and decor. Right now our budget is looking doable but with very little wiggle room, which makes me nervous.

        • EE

          Honestly, if you can, I would go with the venue’s catering. The reason for this is the venue might charge extra for having someone else come into their space (and sometimes that fee is beyond ridiculous) or they might charge an extra service charge because you’re not using them. Also, the venue catering is usually less of a hassle because they are dealing with their space and aren’t going to need to bring in anything extra. Whereas with another catering company you might run into other issues, especially with set up and break down.

          However, if you’re thinking about desert, you might want to consider Whole Foods for your cake. They do really nice ones that are simple, classy and taste amazing. The only thing is that you will want to check to make sure the venue isn’t going to do a cake cutting fee. My sister had to pay 3.50 per slice cut at her wedding because she brought in an outside cake. So again, just something to be aware of.

          As for decor, you said that you were thinking semi-formal. That means you can get away with doing more simplistic things like for the centerpiece. You could do a nice glass bowel from the dollar store, fill it with colorful stones or colored sand, and then put the table number in it. Simple, cheap, and will look nice with your color scheme (whatever that ends up being).

    • We pulled off a wedding for 250 for about $5K in Honolulu (which is usually a pretty expensive place). It was a lot of work (definitely something to keep in mind– there is a time and effort v. money trade-off). It also depends a lot on culture and relationships and a good bit of luck. Here’s how it worked out for us:

      Our venue was super cheap (under $500). It was a school that didn’t usually do weddings but did rent out for other events occasionally. The school had been a private estate before becoming a school, so it was lovely and didn’t need a lot of decoration.

      My FIL is a pastor in Honolulu which meant we had access to a lot of church sound equipment, tables, etc, for free. Someone from their church also did the music at our wedding for a minimal cost (couple hundred dollars)

      My MIL made our table linens (from fabric found on clearance) and centerpieces (from collected driftwood and peacock feathers). (Said table linens were also used for multiple graduation parties for kids in the church, so there was plenty of recycling/reuse).

      A family friend who owns a restaurant did our catering for just above the cost of food. We also did a morning ceremony and lunch reception, which meant in general that the food was a bit cheaper and that we didn’t need much in the way of booze. We spent about $2K on food. An auntie made our cake as a gift.

      I did most of my own flowers (bought from local wholesaler) and we bought lei and such in Chinatown instead of a more formal florist.

      A good friend donated her services as a photographer as a wedding gift.

      Found my dress at a discount store and spent about $500 for the dress and tailoring.

      Hawaii is casual, and we had a morning wedding, so khaki slacks and formal-aloha shirts were fine for the guys. They supplied their own slacks and we supplied the shirts. I bought my maids’ dresses at Modcloth. (We spents about $400 in all on clothes beyond the wedding dress).

      My maid of honor is a graphic designer who at the time worked at a print shop. We designed the invitations and paper goods together, bought paper wholesale, and she got them printed at cost at her work for me.

      Since most of the crowd was local (Honolulu is partner’s hometown), we didn’t have to cover much for hotels or transportation. We did spend about $500 to help out various friends with travel/lodging costs.

      So in short, leaning on people you know and getting lucky with venues will help keep the costs down. It is possible. However, it is a lot of work, and it is definitely a know-your-crowd issue (these kinds of community-comes-together events are pretty standard for my partner’s family/friends).

      • Pickle

        Wow, you and your community are miracle workers! This was inspiring to read, since we probably don’t have quite as much DIY/major discounts ability but have a significantly bigger budget, so I know that it can be done!

    • Not Sarah

      We are three weeks out and planning in Seattle. if I project our costs forward to 200 people instead of our actual ~80, then I get the following split:
      $31k venue & catering
      $5k photographer
      $3k DJ
      $2k Cake
      $1k hair and makeup (we’re covering for everyone getting ready with me)
      $850 Attire
      $500 Paper
      That adds up to $43,350, which is close-ish to your number.

      I bought my dress at a consignment store for under $500 and paid $362 to alter it, mostly hem and some other minor details.

      We used Vista Print for our paper invitations, of which we ordered 20 and then 10 RSVP cards. They look and feel great but we paid less than a dollar per card! We also bought a bunch of address labels with that pattern on it. Instead of sending everyone paper cards, we paid $240 for Riley & Grey as our wedding website vendor https://www.rileygrey.com/ which we both have been really happy with! That saved a ton on postage. My mom bought the stamps for mailing the paper invites and we didn’t pay her back, but it was less than $10 CAD.

      We’re doing a plated sit down three course dinner in a restaurant’s separate building that it uses specifically for catering. We are having many fewer people come than we had originally thought, so we are now covering alcohol all night, but we had planned on only covering alcohol during cocktail hour and part of dinner. I would definitely consider variations on how much alcohol to cover. That will make a huge difference.

      We ended up doing an $8/slice cake, but we wouldn’t have done that with 200 people. Our venue offers a 100 slice cake for $250, so two of those would chop $1500 off my estimate above.

      Our venue provides table flowers and we are not doing any other florals.

      Good luck!

      • Pickle

        Thanks, this is such a helpful breakdown!

        • Not Sarah

          Also – I don’t know if you expect 200 to actually come or if you are inviting 200. We invited 180, planned for 125 and are actually having 80. That can REALLY mess with the numbers too. We initially started out with a goal budget of $15k which turned out to be entirely unrealistic as we added up what we wanted and our people count. That turned into $30k when we were budgeting for 125 and now down to closer to $25k after accounting for firing our original photographer after we paid everything and then hiring a new one.

          We have done zero DIY. We ordered our guestbook and cake topper on Etsy and have ruthlessly eliminated anything we didn’t care about. The page of “what do you care about?” was really helpful in the APW planner book.

          • Pickle

            We are inviting 235 and planning for 200. I think it’s likely to be less in the end because where we live will be a destination for a lot of folks, but I don’t want to accidentally under count and then go over budget! I figure if the costs go down that’s just more we can spend on our honeymoon in the end :)

          • Not Sarah

            Yes good plan! I left our budget based on 125 until just the last week or so when I needed to really start counting things :) I’m really glad I did that or I would have felt the photographer creep even more… Using any extra to go towards your honeymoon sounds like a great plan!! Have you figured out what you’re doing yet? (When are you getting married?)

    • somanypseudonyms

      a question: what style of wedding are you having?

      that is to say — we felt pretty aesthetically and for-lots-of-other-reasons committed to a formal wedding with a full dinner and full open bar, but we managed it in Chicago (second-priciest wedding market in the country, hey-o) for 115 people at under $25k. Had we been willing and able to do a less formal wedding, it would have been *easy* to go *way* lower. Had we not had our apartment catch on fire two months ahead of the wedding, we probably could have made fewer frantic throw-money-at-it-to-make-it-go-away choices and kept the formal wedding at about $20k. But a lot of the advice out there about frugal weddings is aimed at people having less formal weddings, and trying to do formality on a budget is a very different set of choices. (Which I have advice on!)

      so! are you able to use the less-formal-wedding advice, or are you in the DIY-formal boat? either way, good luck!

      • Pickle

        That’s a really helpful question! I feel like we’re somewhere in the middle between formal and casual. We’re fine with doing just beer and wine, having a buffet or stations instead of a plated meal, and we’re going to DIY all the decor. But the venue we want is on the fancier end and fiance really wants to at least not have paper plates when it comes to the food.

  • sofar

    Already donated to the Harvey relief efforts, but wanted to ask: Anyone here been a part of a horrific natural disaster, and what did your city need, say, three months down the line after everyone forgot about it and it was no longer in the news? I imagine the TX gulf’s comeback will be a long one and I want to help with that as best as I can.

    • Amy March

      Sandy wasn’t nearly as bad where I was, but I remember people just being tired three months down the line, and tapped out. And anyone vulnerable being even worse off. So food banks, homeless shelters, animal rescue etc were all hurting for funds and supplies at the same time as more people needed them.

      • sofar

        Awesome. Thank you!

    • louise danger

      the town where we are having our reception was the victim of massive flash-flooding a year ago the end of July – in some places, the water was 8 or 10 feet deep. businesses, homes, etc were destroyed. even now, a little over a year later, some of the businesses haven’t been able to re-open yet.

      the thing that people needed most after the news cycle had worn off was volunteer labor to rebuild, and funds/donations ditto. most things were open again by the 10 months later mark (some things in the less-impacted parts of town had opened again a month later), and people just needed morale-boosters, money, and time.

      • sofar

        Thank you!

    • NolaJael

      I moved to New Orleans a year after Katrina, so that was a bit longer but here are the things I remember.
      1) Legal documents. Tracking down vehicle registrations, deeds, wills, etc. was still being done at that time. Even if you’re not a lawyer, a reasonably competent (priveleged middle class) person can usually navigate those systems. Be on the lookout for people offering that at churches, etc. and volunteer.
      2) The “extras.” Financially, Katrina was devastating at all levels. People had to come up with new deposits for rent or hire yet another contractor when one flaked — and fight their insurance companies the whole time. So that meant there wasn’t much money left in household budgets for birthdays and Christmas and Thanksgiving and back to school. Thanksgiving is going to be right around that time for Harvey victims. Maybe organizing an adopt-a-family program so that they can have a full spread without worrying about the cost.

      • sofar

        So helpful. I didn’t even think of the holidays coming up.

    • AP

      Katrina survivor here. My suggestion would be to not forget the coastal Texas towns that were also hit. Houston will get all the media and most of the recovery money, as my hometown experienced in the aftermath of Katrina, watching all the funds and crews and coverage focusing on New Orleans. My coastal Mississippi town was literally leveled by the eye of the storm, and the entire MS Coast is still rebuilding 12 years later. That’s not to say we didn’t receive lots of Federal help, volunteers and donations from all over the country, but it stung to meet people who were shocked to hear that yes, Mississippi was hit by Katrina.

      Random acts of kindness I saw months out that truly did help- a high school in Massachusetts adopted my high school (I had graduated but my brother was still a student) and raised money and sent gently used prom dresses so they could have a prom. They also sent Christmas gifts, which doesn’t sound like much but a lot of kids and teachers were living in FEMA trailers and had very few belongings at the time. Local nonprofits like the children’s museum were flattened and needed lots of fundraising and donations to rebuild, so don’t forget about those. (I’m also reading reports from Houston nonprofit EDs in a group I’m part of that are having to postpone their annual fundraising efforts and are worried they can’t make payroll. It’s rough.)

      I managed a kitchen for a Methodist disaster response camp a few years ago, where volunteer teams were STILL coming, 8 years post-storm, to help rebuild the homes of families who didn’t have flood insurance or weren’t eligible for recovery assistance in the immediate aftermath. What people will continue to need for years to come are the hands of skilled volunteers to help rebuild.

      You’re right that it will take a decade before TX starts to feel normal again.

      • sage

        Agreed, absolutely don’t forget the smaller towns… Rockport, TX was hardest hit by the actual hurricane.

        There’s also Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, Ingelside, Corpus Christi, Port Arthur, Beaumont, Victoria (and other towns in the “Golden Crescent of Texas”), and Lake Charles, LA.

        • AP

          Seeing photos from Rockport hit me a lot harder than I expected. The trauma is real and the effects will be felt by everyone in the Houston/coastal area for a very long time.

          • sage

            Same. I grew up in rural gulf coast TX and now live in Houston, and my heart is just broken.

      • sofar

        WOW this is all incredible, thank you. And I’m sorry your town went through that and I hope you and yours are all thriving now. I can’t even imagine that happening to my home.

        Getting a pattern from yours and other responses that the holidays will be tough, and I promise I won’t forget.

    • Gaby

      This was such a thoughtful question and thread, thank you for posting it. I already donate to a few different orgs on a monthly basis and didn’t feel quite so comfortable donating right before our big trip, but I was thinking I would donate in the coming months when the media coverage dies down. These comments were super helpful and I’ve already jotted them down in my planner for future dates.

      • sofar

        That’s why I love this community. I knew when I posted this that I’d get some excellent tips and advice.

    • Kat

      I was in middle school when Ivan hit Pensacola, and we were out of school for at least a month after the storm. It really set us all back a LOT on the syllabus, and I remember feeling like the rest of the year was just cramming information with little to no actual retention. Schools also take on a lot of the burden of counseling these kids who’ve lost everything from homes to pets to loved ones, and aren’t emotionally equipped to handle the fall out. So I think any kind of donations you can make to schools/tutoring programs/school counseling programs will have a long-lasting impact on those kids.

      • AP

        I second this! The public schools in my area really became hubs for disseminating donations, getting kids health screenings and counseling, feeding people, coordinating support services for families who needed assistance. My aunt was an elementary principal during Katrina and when schools finally reopened, her school’s gym housed volunteers and set up a classroom full of donated clothing that the neighborhood families could “shop” from. It was incredible to see how the community schools were equipped better than other businesses or agencies to step up in this way.

    • Jennifer

      I don’t know exactly what will be needed that far out but do look into and follow http://www.portlight.org because disabled people are going to need to fund and source new equipment/assistance aids and surprisingly the disabled are often well below the poverty level and aids/assistance devices are NOT covered or replaced by insurance.

      • Jennifer

        also important to note that people who need medical assistance because of current disabilities or health problems are probably going to have a lot more medical issues cropping up further out from the floods. there was a discussion on twitter recently about how this would impact patients on dialysis who can’t get out of their houses as the longest people can go without that care is 3 days and that is about as long as most people were stuck for. so even if they got out and to a center right at the 3 day mark they are going to be dealing with toxic buildup in their systems and they will need more and costly medical care in the future because of it.

  • AGCourtney

    A friend of mine moved to Houston this summer, and I’m so relieved her fiance’s company had them go to Dallas before the hurricane hit. Sometimes I’m very glad to live tucked away in the Midwest.

    The Renaissance Festival has been amazing. The line of cast members that greet patrons as they leave at closing is more like a line of hugs for my daughter. It almost made me cry one night, to see how loved she is and all of the amazing people she’s befriended and experiences she’s had.

    Someone here once called her a “tiny badass” and that has become my husband’s and my favorite descriptor for her. In that spirit, here she is: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f6d7ca0c9c4c00a8d01ea1746d92b88dda40ea98122684b7375b02637a53db5.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/32e6052346addf72341cc1125c3c263795d3f50593b7cf49a1cf89f69e193174.jpg

    …I haven’t mentioned my family of origin in a while. My sister was supposed to go to college this fall, and I’ve been trying to get ahold of her to see if she needed help moving in or anything. (She hasn’t spoken to me in over a year since I offered to let her move in when the family was homeless.) I found out that she’s actually not going after all. Mom told her not to tell me. I seem to have joined my grandmother in the illustrious ranks of my mother’s blacklist. It’s frustrating to want to help, to know you can fix things, but not be able to do anything. Every time I think I’m done and don’t care, something else happens and hurts and I have to get over it again. I checked in with my other sisters at my dad’s yesterday and they said they’re doing okay. So that’s good, at least. And it’s nice to have my husband on my team, to have someone who understands when I randomly exclaim, “Why is my family such a dumpster fire?!” at random intervals. Well, at least my sisters know I’m there if they need me and my little family is doing very well.

    • sofar

      Ren fairs are just the best places for kids. They get to see people having fun, doing something they love and having adults play along with them.

      We took a friend’s 3-year-old to one recently, and the interaction he got from all the adults was so amazing.

    • mjh

      I love those photos of the tiny badass :)

      Which festival do you go to? I’ve had many a good day over the years at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Wisconsin (an easy drive from Chicago). I didn’t make it this year, but these pics made me wish I had.

      • AGCourtney

        We go to MN – it’s a little under an hour from where we live. But we went to Bristol for the first time this year and oh, we loved it!

  • Jane

    This has been a wild couple weeks for me. We got married on Saturday!! Yay!! And everything worked out so well even though I had a sprained ankle (long dress hides the brace) and I even got a job the day before!! So, we showed up to the rehearsal and I was like, btw, I have a job now too.

    But man, the wedding was everything I hoped and more. And our friend who was DOC killed it so I really just got to have fun and try to relax. So much family and everything good.

    Thanks to APW for so many helpful things – I did the photo display / table assignment idea and it was a big hit and led to me and my MIL going over family photos together over and over again.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/56a8308c31ea893f6c74c84157abb01b330034a049fe9b31cc4f5f8c99e326d4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3f98805da29d955041739626fac2184d6049a26ad8455353a2a234a32be92dfe.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/81d9b8273063b106ce4ea06c0ba2adf1f9b0dc79cded666f3e54578db778f187.jpg

    • savannnah

      oooo girl. those bridesmaids dresses are fire.

      • Jane

        Thanks! My bridesmaids knew I was obsessed with the dresses so they took that belly photo as a surprise for me.

    • MC

      SO lovely and I love the bridesmaid’s dresses!! And CONGRATS on a job, so great to have so much to celebrate!

      • Jane

        Thanks! And the job doesn’t start for a few weeks, so I have a chance to finish moving in and chill and visit some family who were too ill to come to the wedding.

    • Essssss

      Those dresses, man!

    • Emily

      Wedding twins! The lighting is lovely in your photos – congratulations!

    • mjh

      Congratulations! It all looks wonderful, and that’s a boss crown braid.

      • Jane

        Thanks!!! My compromise between my desire to wear a tiara and my husband’s “please please don’t wear a tiara” request. And it was more consistent with the midsummer night’s dream look we ended up getting.

        • Katie

          this is so Midsummer night’s dream! I love everything about these photos.

    • sofar

      Um. Your hair. Perfect woodland-wonderland wedding look.

      • Jane

        Exactly what we were going for! Thanks!

    • Not Sarah

      I love your dress! And your ladies’ dresses! And your smiles! Congrats!

      • Jane

        Thanks! Bridesmaids dresses are my top favorite thing about the “look” of the wedding.

    • AmandaBee

      Double congrats on the wedding + the job!

    • somanypseudonyms

      YAY! these are unbelievably adorable.

  • sage

    Hey, how are all the other Houston/Corpus/Victoria/Beaumont/Gulf Coast region APW folks managing right now?

    I managed to stay dry but this week has just been awful. If anyone needs anything specific or just needs to talk about what’s going on feel free.

    • Cha

      Brazos Valley resident here — had 17″ but stayed dry and glued to the TV for days. This has all been so hard to watch and knowing how long the recovery process is going to be and feeling so helpless (besides giving money to local organizations). I’m waiting on word from former coworkers just north of Beaumont who are still waiting for the rivers to go down enough so that they can get back to their homes and assess the damage. If the roads open up again and I can make it out there safely I’m hoping to help them start cleaning up Sunday and Monday, but it seems like the water levels might not drop enough by then and I need to be here to teach on Tuesday. It’s hard when all I want to do is not go to work and instead drive down to Houston or east Texas and try to help (but a bunch of my students are from the Gulf Coast and they’re at least appearing to keep going on like normal, and it has to be even harder for many of them, so I know I need to be here). And I know it’s not about me and my feelings of helplessness, but this seemed like an OK place to semi-anonymously, selfishly emote for a minute, so thanks for listening. And please donate if you can. And encourage continued federal funding of FEMA. And know this is going to take a long time. Thanks.

      • sage

        I’m glad you stayed dry, and also totally relate to the feelings of helplessness. All I’ve done so far is donate. Will try to help with cleanup of some churchmember homes next weekend. There will be plenty to do for weeks and months to come so I’m focusing on taking care of myself at the moment so I will be able to take care of others next week.

        I hope your former coworkers’ homes are not too damaged, but glad they are safe.

    • Kara

      From Houston, near Beltway 8 and Westheimer. Ugg. The anxiety of trying to sleep every night not knowing if the water would be coming in the house or not, has left me reeling. We were fortunate, we we able to keep the water out by pumping from the backyard to the street out front.

      Seeing the aerial coverage from the reservoirs down through Memorial solidified it. We were so lucky, when so many others weren’t.

      I’m still numb. My husband was out helping with our neighbor and our 2 inflatable rafts.

      Not just Houston took it on the chin. All of SETX and parts of LA got hit so hard. The toll is unimaginable.

      • sage

        The anxiety and sleep deprivation of that sounds horrible. I hope you’re able to find some peace and take care of yourself in the coming days/weeks. Also so thankful for people like your husband who went out to help others!

        • Kara

          Thanks Sage! Getting some sleep this past weekend certainly helped. Thank you to everyone that is doing so much for all of SETX and LA.

    • C

      Hiiii I was so hoping that someone in this corner of the Internet was also feeling feelings about this week here in Houston.

      We got about 30″ of water in our apartment (Med Center). Our first apartment together. My workplace in the heart of the city is underwater and I don’t know when I’ll be getting a regular income again. I’m lucky in that I have great insurance, could apply for unemployment right away, and I managed to save many of my possessions. But we (me + husband + cats) spent Sunday crammed into a vacant third-floor unit in my complex with about a dozen other tenants and their pets and kids and babies while the Coast Guard airlifted women in labor and heart transplant recipients to the hospitals. We got woken up every hour or two that night to the sound of tornado warnings and I kept my shoes nearby so I could protect my feet if I had to go take shelter in the hallway. Monday I was able to get to a place with power and internet but kept wanting to cry all day, and then stayed up all night sobbing hysterically from fear that the reservoirs west of town would break and drown me in the first floor bedroom I’m currently staying in.

      Things are getting less dramatic now as we wash our flooded clothes and disinfect our wedding china. We’re dropping off our keys to our flooded apartment tomorrow morning and meeting with an adjuster to get my husband’s flooded truck inspected. Kicking the hell out of some soggy drywall in a neighbor’s house today helped a lot. Trying to connect people who want to help with people who need it is helping (also, want to help? I can hook you up).

      But damn. This has been one of the worst. weeks. ever. My heart is breaking for my city.

      • Jennifer

        my in laws are in Houston. they were lucky as the waters only came within 5″ of the doors of their house but we spent a very anxious week texting back and forth. I just want to give all the APW Houstonians big hugs.

      • mjh

        It’s not my part of the country but my heart is aching for you guys.

        I don’t know what scale of helper connection you’re working with (immediate or down the line as well), but I’m going to be keeping my eyes out for ways I can help down the line during rebuilding when out of towners coming in to lend a hand would be more help to the area rather than more burden. Donating in the mean time, but if there’s anything you suggest as far as local community groups or anyone to talk to for that rebuilding time, I’d love to hear it.

      • sage

        I’m so sorry you were so severely impacted, that sounds terrifying. I only had a couple of tornado warnings in my corner and that was scary, I can’t imagine having them all night. I’m glad you are safe and working to move on and connecting folks wanting to help with those needing it. I’m plugged in with relief efforts helping other members of my church in the coming weeks. My heart is continually broken for the city too. Sending good thoughts your way during the rebuilding.

  • theteenygirl

    One of things I’ve been most worried about during the wedding planning process is that it won’t feel like a “real” wedding because we’re already legally married. I’ve talked about it quite a bit, but that’s because it’s my #1 concern over anything else. One way we are making the wedding as special as possible is by having FH’s younger brother officiate our wedding. He has a degree in create writing and is well spoken and fun, and most importantly, is really excited to be doing it. Last night we had Skype “interviews” to talk to him separately about the ceremony and what was important for us, and he asked us a bunch of questions about everything from Harry Potter to where we see our relationship in 10 years. And I feel so, so much better about the wedding feeling “real”. Our conversation was almost therapeutic, and it sounds like he’s going to write the ceremony so beautifully. Plus, I had a bout of insomnia the other night and I wrote my vows! I love them, and I’m really excited to say them out loud in just over 3 weeks :)

    • Not Sarah

      I’m glad you’re starting to feel like it’ll be more “real”! Getting closer has really helped me with that. We’ve had a lot of those worries too because a) we’re already legally married, b) we’ve been upfront about that, and c) we’re not doing a new ceremony. Everyone’s joy for us has really been helpful to kick me out of those negative thoughts! So many other people are calling it our wedding. So one piece of advice there would be to avoid talking to the people who don’t think it’s as joyful as much ;)

      • theteenygirl

        Thank you! We’re choosing not to be up front about it (for various reasons, mainly family stuff) but of the people who do know, about half fall in the “don’t think it’s as joyful” category, including my sister who is a bridesmaid. It’s made it tough because I want her to be a sister and bridesmaid who is happy and excited and wants to be involved but instead she just thinks I’m wasting everyone’s time and money. Sigh. Hard to avoid her.

        • Not Sarah

          That’s really fair! We spent quite a bit debating it before committing to this plan. Part of the trick for us was that we got married without even getting engaged, so we debated announcing our engagement that day and then planning a big reception, but this way we didn’t need to commit to that.

          My sister and parents were in the “don’t think it’s as joyful” camp. My parents are still half there, but my sister has finally come around with time. I’m sorry yours hasn’t! I hope you have someone else important who is in the joyful camp to help balance it out.

        • Yael

          I’m sorry you’re going through that! I was really worried that we’d get that with my family, but we’ve been emphasizing that 2019 is *the wedding* because we’ll have the chuppah, and they seem to be coming around. Hopefully she’ll get caught up in your joy.

    • Katie

      hey teenygirl! That was my concern as well, but not anymore (and our wedding is 8 months away). I actually am glad that this won’t be our “real” wedding as it will take a lot of weight off the event, there’s already enough things to worry about. On the other hand, I want the ceremony to be special, even though we don’t sign anything on the day of. I’m so happy you found your dream officiant! I have no idea where to even look…

      • theteenygirl

        Your point about being glad about it not being “real” is one I’ve brought up before! Like, I don’t have to worry about getting the marriage license, signing it, ensuring the ceremony is legal in any way.. it’s actually like, a huge stress reducer. Once we realized that our officiant could be literally anyone because it wasn’t legal we started talking about what was important in an officiant for us. We decided that we liked the idea of getting married by someone we knew, and someone that felt important to us, and choosing FH’s brother felt like the natural choice. If you don’t want a religious or legal officiant, start thinking of alternatives!

      • Ilora

        We wanted our officiant to be someone we had a personal connection with for the same reason, and also because our legal officiant didn’t actually make the changes that were agreed too, eyeroll…It was easy to let that roll off my back because it didn’t matter, that wasn’t the ceremony that we were counting!

        We couldn’t pick any one person though, no one in our lives was quite right…so we picked 9. We split the ceremony into all of it’s different parts and had each one read by a different person (or, in two instances, a couple). So my dad did the welcome, a mix of our friends/family did the readings, declaration of intent, rings, etc. and then his dad pronounced us married and presented us to our guests. I really worried that it would be awkward and clunky but it worked out great! I made footnotes in the ceremony itself to have each person introduce the next, and even though we didn’t do a rehearsal (which I stressed about but it just wasn’t a possibility) it was very smooth.

        And, if you’re interested this is what we had his dad say to announce us. I agonized over this line in particular since we were already married so it didn’t feel right for him to actually pronounce us married. “In witness of your love and commitment, it is now my pleasure to introduce you to those present here as husband and wife”.

    • Ilora

      Hurray! So glad it’s starting to feel more real!! I really worried about that too, but during our ceremony I whispered to my husband that “I’m so glad we did this, this is definitely the real one”, crossing my fingers for you that you get the same feeling!

  • accidental_diva

    I’m off in less than an hour and half and even though its so cold here (seriously its currently 64* in MD right now…) I’m looking forward to a glass of wine and a yin yoga class this afternoon and 2 days off work (I bartend on Sundays)

    My question is how do you choose a dress for a wedding when you’re not quite sure of the formality? A friend is getting married 12/30 of this year and I know its going to be in a relatively fancy spot in Baltimore- I’m thinking rent the runway is going to be my saving grace, but because its NYE weekend I’m going to try to rent early (it just opened up for reservations) I’m really feeling a long black tulle ruffled dress but don’t know how to use it if its too fancy for the event… any ideas?

    • Henri

      Black dresses are my standard for “not sure how fancy this will be.” I try to look for dresses that I can dress up with nicer shoes or jewelry or a rocking hairdo, or dress down in similar fashion. Depending on how ruffled the dress, it sounds like a solid option to me :) (Also, if it’s a smidge fancier, that’s not the worst thing :D)

      • Jess

        You truly can never go wrong with a black dress, and I always err on the side of “too fancy” than “not fancy enough”

        • accidental_diva

          My favorite dress for this is also on the – “Well I hope this fits…” this might call for a trip to the Georgetown store in a few weeks

    • rg223

      Honestly I’d go a little extra fancy for NYE weekend, just for the fun of it!

    • Katharine Parker

      I love RTR and this is a perfect time for it. I’d expect a NYE wedding at a fancy spot to be pretty formal, so something black and ruffly sounds fun and appropriate, but if you’re worried you could do the second dress option with something a bit less formal (shorter, perhaps) as a backup.

      Also, if you’re in doubt and there isn’t a dress code on the invite/website (or you haven’t gotten the invite yet to use it as an indication of formality), ask your friend. I fielded a few “what do you mean by black tie optional” questions before my wedding, and it was fine.

    • Amy March

      In general, I’d say wait until you get the invitation. If it’s black tie that sounds fabulous, if it isn’t in my experience long gowns are too formal and you’ll fit in better in a cocktail dress.

    • CW

      Ask your friend! I’m getting married that same weekend, and even though the website has an attire cue, I’ve been fielding questions. Personally, I’m all for guests wearing an amazing dress/suit to my wedding! Bring on the floor length gowns, ruffles, sequins and bling!

  • flashphase

    We are finally leaving on our honeymoon tomorrow, 7 months after we got married!!! I am so. excited. But woke up with a cold earlier this week – any advice on flying while trying to rid yourself of a cold??

    • Essssss

      Zinc lozenges! Saline nasal spray for hydration plus something stronger like afrin or benedryl for the plane! All the emergenC! I am an expert at getting sick before/during/after important travel. Feel better and happy honeymoon!

      • Cleo

        Was just typing all this. Will second it instead.

        Also, this piece of advice isn’t helpful for flashphase anymore, but for anyone else who has the same question…
        Get plenty of sleep two nights before you leave (often, the night before you leave, you either have to wake up really early, you’re too excited/anxious to sleep well, you’re up late packing, etc.) – the holdover positive effects from the good night’s sleep will help your immune system even if you don’t sleep well the night before the flight.

      • flashphase

        Thanks! Trying a zinc nose spray + lozenges, let’s hope!

    • Henri

      It’s really easy to dehydrate while traveling, so definitely drink more water/gatorade than you think you need (and maybe see if you can sit in the aisle).
      Otherwise, I second the zinc lozenges and Afrin recommendations.
      I also once flew with a bad sinus infection and just knocked myself out with Benadryl so I could sleep through it, which worked well for getting me through the flight AND giving my body extra rest.

    • theteenygirl

      Vitamin C + Zinc.

      I flew with a sinus infection / ear infection kind of thing once and it was insanely painful. Try to get rid of congestion BEFORE you fly.

      • Jane

        OMG – yes! I had a sinus infection when flying once and I thought I would blackout from the pain at landing. Get that stuff they can make meth out of and do your best to get healthy.

        But, even if you don’t, it’s really only bad when the pressure is changing, so you should be ok for most of the flight.

        • Emily

          Sudafed is that stuff they make meth out of and it is a frickin life-saver (unless you’re also doing meth?). And bring some gum to chew, it really helps relieve the…pressure…in your head? I’m not a doctor, but it helps.

      • Sudafed before a flight works wonders if you’re congested, along with the Earplanes earplugs to help relieve the pressure in your ears.

    • Cassy

      Super late, but to complement to all the amazing ideas people mentioned below, I have a purely comfort-based suggestion! I bought a facial mist and it’s been an absolute lifesaver. Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Rosewater, and Herbs smells amazing, hydrates your skin, and generally makes me feel more alive whenever I spray it. Especially if your skin is dry from sneezing/too many tissues + flying, this might keep you feeling less like a raisin!! ;)

  • Not Sarah

    Oh gosh, so we finally resolved the photographer saga and I’m back to being excited about the wedding! We met with a third new photographer on Tuesday evening and we absolutely loved her! I immediately felt so much less stressed and way more joy after meeting with her. Once we had our contract signed with her, I fired the previous photographer.

    Not only is our new photographer friendly, but she is friends with our cake baker who we love, friends with another friend’s photographer (who our friends loved) and when we emailed our DJ to say that we had changed photographers, his assistant had a glowing review of her. She has many positive reviews online. I almost teared up looking through the full gallery she sent us from a recent wedding, which just cemented the fact that even though we’re legally married, this event is still going to be a joyous occasion worth celebrating. And when my partner asked about his mom liking to download photos off Facebook onto her iPad, she laughed and said her mom totally does that too. Her contract was incredibly professionally written (almost looked like it was done by a lawyer!), entirely online, and very smooth. She also knows the location where our wedding is and our area, which was really helpful for walking through a timeline. She felt both organized and laid back and we are so excited to work with her!

    Thank you to everyone for listening and for their advice as we found our footing with this!

  • somanypseudonyms

    hello again internet!

    We made it!! Despite fire, chaos, anxiety, misery, and everything else that you-all kindly helped me get through, we got married three weeks ago tomorrow. It was glorious: it felt right and good and perfect in all the ways that mattered, most especially in feeling our own choice and commitment come roaring into reality in the center of all of these people whom we love.

    For folks now in the stressful last few weeks in particular, for whatever it’s worth: it wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect. our Flaky Caterer was true to form right up to the end (fantastic food, incredibly stressful to deal with, all kinds of weird errors day-of, like.. not serving water at dinner?). timing for toasts and such got a little sloppy later in the evening. someone messed with my music choices. and… it was also still perfect and right and good in every single way. my husband (! what even) and I are about as obsessively “detail-oriented” (to be polite) as people come: and it was still perfect and right and good. Yours will be, too.

    a peek! (which will probably come down post-happy-hour)

    (typical of all our wedding choices: we decided to cut the six-layer rainbow cake because it would look amazing, not realizing that, uh, a double-height cake is super hard to cut! there’s a great outtake photo of me gasping in panic while the slice threatened to topple over.)

    aaaand now we’re in Columbus, OH for my cousin’s wedding! (three of us in three months on this side of the family: I feel for my aunts and uncles). If anyone local has brunch suggestions for tomorrow, let me know!

    It’s strange how excited and glad I am to be about to go to a wedding as an already-married couple. We can just bask! Omg! We did it! Everyone else will make it, too!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations! The photos are beautiful.

  • MC

    Well I got an e-mail today from my dad earlier today saying that he was laid off in a big company-wide layoff today :( In the grand scheme of things, it is really not as bad as it could be – he has never been unemployed before, worked for the same company for 18 years, and is financially stable so he’ll be fine for awhile. But I am still sad for him and worried because he is 57, which feels close-ish to retirement but not close enough… basically this is reminding me that I need to have a chat with my dad and get a bigger picture of where he is financially. Which will be hard because my dad is SO conflict-avoidant & hard-conversation-avoidant. Any tips for supporting parents and approaching these types of conversations with those less inclined to open up??

    • ART

      That sucks. My mom is transitioning to being semi-retired right now due to some circumstances out of her control as well, and while the timing is working out ok with a grandchild on the way, it’s still a huge change and not really what she had planned.

      I am really open about my finances with my family (and APW, and anyone who wants to know, because I’m just not really private about that stuff), so they sometimes reciprocate in certain ways, but I do not expect them to tell me any more than they volunteer about their finances. Is there a reason you feel like you need to know more about his? You say he’s financially stable, are you just trying to get a sense of how comfortable he feels around this change in employment, and maybe looking ahead to retirement?

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    How do you let unsolicited advice roll off your back?

    I’m struggling with this with my in-laws. Specifically, my MIL has a hard time relating to us as our daughter’s grandmother through anything other than teaching and I’m just really not here for it. I can’t bring myself to see it as good intentioned because a lot of what she says feels like an attack on my parenting and/or treating us like we’re children ourselves. My husband FaceTimes with them evert day and I’ve had to start leaving the room because I get so annoyed when she interjects or adds her $0.02. It’s getting to the point that I’m genuinely concerned about my relationship with her. It feels so cliche!

    So some examples of what I’m talking about: Baby audibly passes gas as babies sometimes do – “Oh no, is K.’s diet not agreeing with [baby]? K. still has caffeine in the mornings, right? Ohhhh, I know her doctor said it’s okay, but I really don’t think so…” or saying things like “That doesn’t sound like a hungry cry to me!” when my husband says that baby needs to eat. Stuff like that.

    They aren’t all food related, but these are good ones to show that it’s mostly small things that add up. It’s not a totally uncharacteristic behavior, but when it was about our marriage or my career, I used to be able to let go of it. but now that it revolves around my daughter, they drive me insane. I feel personally critiqued and it makes me want to lash out at her, or worse – keep her completely uninvolved. Which is obviously not a healthy response, but it’s building up.

    For the record, she’s not someone who handles even minor conflict or pushback well. When my husband gently told her that it wasn’t realistic to expect our daughter to be sleeping through the night yet and her suggestions were outdated/unsafe, she said, “Fine, don’t listen to me about anything” and hung up on him. Then didn’t speak to us for a week.

    So, tensions are bit high and weird, clearly. Not sure where to go from here. Maybe it’s just new baby weirdness? Hopefully?

    • BSM

      Sorry for the weirdness! I know it well…

      Does your husband need to FaceTime with her everyday? That sounds like a bit much. Maybe cutting it down to once or twice a week will make it more bearable?

      Otherwise, I think removing yourself from the interactions is probably the way to go. In my (very, very limited) experience, grandparents (to-be) don’t seem to be very open to push back when they’re trying to “help.”

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        The every day thing comes from my parents living across the street from us and seeing her almost every day (my mom has been a life saver for helping me in the first few weeks). It’s my husband overcompensating for his parents being long distance.

        And I also know that MIL is also overcompensating because it probably hurts that she’s so far away from her granddaughter, so she’s trying to have as much impact as she can in the way she feels most comfortable. I get that, I do. But it’s harder for me to be sympathetic about that right now because it feels like all of her “advice” is really critiques of my mothering in disguise. But I’m probably/definitely being too sensitive too.

        It’s not fun! But yeah, removing myself from the situation is definitely what is working out best. Though it makes me worried that visits will be a powder-keg…

        • Amy March

          I mean the examples you give straight up are critiques of your mothering, and they aren’t disguised.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Thanks for the validation. It’s hard to know when I’m being too sensitive sometimes and I often err too much on the side of giving people the benefit of the doubt.

        • BSM

          I mean, I get that both her and your husband are probably a little (reasonably!) sad that she’s not local like your parents are, but… that’s 1) not an unusual or surprise arrangement (I’m assuming they’ve lived across the country from you for some time) and 2) not an excuse for her critiques or a reason for you to endure them daily.

        • Eileen

          I mean, my MIL is across town and we sometimes purposely have to avoid going over there as much as we’d like with the baby because she drives us nuts.

          And it makes me sad because my parents are across the ocean.

          So, there’s no guarantee that it would be any different if it were the reverse.

      • Amandalikeshummus

        I bet if it wasn’t every day, she’d have other things to talk about, too. When you talk every day, you’re gonna get into the minutia of life.

        • BSM

          Yes! And in the time between catching up, you forget annoying quirks and have a chance to miss the other person.

    • Henri

      I send you many hugs because that is just HARD.

      Also, as crappy as this is, it’s on your partner to talk to his mom and set boundaries. She’s going to get upset, but she’s an adult and can handle it. And I’m sure she’d rather be pissy for a few months now, then get cut off from seeing her grandkid. Captain Awkward has a LOT of advice and scripts for doing this sort of thing, if you need encouragement or examples.

    • Amy March

      I think he needs to not be FaceTiming with her daily, since she’s making rude meddlesome unkind comments daily. There’s a lot of space between “completely uninvolved” and “daily FaceTime.” And if she doesn’t speak to you for a week that, frankly, sounds like a bonus.

      • While I’m not sure I agree on the daily facetiming (it’s his relationship with his parents) I DEFINITELY agree that if she decides not to talk to you after you set reasonable boundaries, that could be a good thing.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        It was such a quiet, relaxing week…

    • ZLMT

      I think this is one of those things that take time. My MIL asks LOTS of questions, which I’ve always struggled to deal with, but I found it really hard to handle when my son was born, especially when she was super-excited to be a grandmother. I definitely had my times snapping things like “well, he IS tired” when she’d ask why we were putting him to bed so early since he didn’t seem sleepy to her. A baby just changes everyone’s relationships, and I think that’s normal.I don’t have great advice, but I’d say let your husband deal with her as much as possible, and absolutely take your husband/baby FaceTime-ing as a break for you to go and relax.

    • CMT

      What does your husband think about the unsolicited comments? I think it needs to be his job to tell her to knock it off.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        He’s a cheerful bean-dipper, usually. So she says, “Is K.’s diet disagreeing with baby?” and he says, “Nope, it’s all been great! How’s the gardening going?” But she’s stubborn and he’s starting to realize that she’s not going to stop. We’ve talked about this a lot and we’re trying to come up with a game plan.

        • NolaJael

          I’m a big fan of giving busy bodies (and anxious dogs) a task. Could she read her granddaughter a book over facetime? That would give them an interaction that is literally scripted and avoids small talk about the baby’s health.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Oh, I like that. She struggles with interacting with the baby too and is a little self-conscious about it, so asking her to read to her would kill two birds. Thanks!

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            (Also the “struggle” is really because my daughter is 2 months old and isn’t the most interactive haha – so it’s totally understandable. But it bugs her.)

      • p.

        It also may not need to be a serious talk, but he could help shut things
        down with some casual comments like “OMG mom, enough with the comments
        about coffee drinking” or “Mom, give us a little credit [for knowing our
        kid’s cries]”.

        • “Give us a little credit” is a really good line.

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          Oooh, these are good too. *scribbles furiously in notebook*

    • AGCourtney

      I will honestly tell you: my relationship with my MIL has never been the same since I had a baby…and said baby is turning 6 next month. I found that it didn’t get any better through the toddler years and have largely removed myself from interacting with her.

      The best thing that helped for us was setting and enforcing boundaries and being a *united front*. This meant that my husband was the one that had to do most of the enforcing, because he could be like “no this is not a weird whim of Courtney’s now stop stuffing our child with Goldfish until she’s constipated.”

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Oof, yeah. I can see this happening for me too. We already had a more formal/courteous (rather than truly close) relationship to begin with, so unless it naturally clears up, this is a likely outcome. Sorry you’ve dealt with this too!

        I’d love an anthropological study about WTF happens with MILs and DILs. I read somewhere that something like 60% of DILs have issues with their MILs, compared to 15% of sons-in-laws with their MILs (and they don’t even study FIL relationships I guess?) It’s gotta be the patriarchy somehow!

        • AP

          Lol, patriarchy FOR SURE has something to do with this! My family ADORES my husband. Like, they would probably choose him if we divorced (I kid, but they freaking love him. It can get a little…tiresome.) While on the other hand, I feel…tolerated by my inlaws. I am the outsider who stole their son and didn’t take their family name. My MIL doesn’t treat me badly, but their family in particular has a strong preference for boys and masculine-affiliated pursuits. There’s a lot of internalized sexism among the women in their family (lots of talk about how women are “catty” and little girls are mean and “drama queens” and harder to raise, etc.) Patriarchy is running rampant in that family, and I don’t put up with it, so I’m the weird one who “causes” problems.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Very similar dynamic for me! My husband hung the moon as far as my parents are concerned and I’m kind of the “…Her?” of my husband’s family. Solidarity!

          • AP

            Hang in there and trust yourself! (My daily mantra!)

          • BSM

            …Do you know the sex of your baby yet? Are you finding out?

          • AP

            Nope! And for exactly this reason! Doing my best to delay (and possibly subvert) all the gender baggage I know is coming our way…

          • BSM

            Smart lady.

            My in-laws have an average amount of gender baggage, and I think the second thing my FIL said after we told them about the pregnancy was, “Do you want a boy or a girl? You know girls are WAY more work…” 😒

          • AP

            What IS that about?? I’ve been told that that girls are harder to raise, boys are more affectionate, boys love their mothers more than girls (wtf?) and sisters constantly fight. NONE of this lines up with my own experience as a child with my siblings.

          • BSM

            Same here; I was the easy one, while my little brother is the drama queen. Which was exactly my response, along with, “I think it just depends on the kid.”

            I didn’t mention that we told my husband’s entire immediate family at the same time, so his sister was RIGHT THERE when FIL said that. She is kind of a difficult person, but that’s not because she’s a girl, and I’m sure it didn’t feel great to hear that.

            Oh, and then, when we found out baby has a penis, the barely-veiled approval/relief from soooo many people just sucks.

          • AP

            “Oh, and then, when we found out baby has a penis, the barely-veiled approval/relief from soooo many people just sucks.”

            That’s exactly what I’m hoping to avoid. It just fucking hurts to be a woman and hear that girls are awful and boys are preferable.

          • ART

            <3 if it helps, I'm "hoping" for a girl for this one because we're fucking boss. (#butillbehappyeitherwayofcourse)

          • Ilora

            Hah! Our family dynamics are the same! There are all of those jokes about women marrying men who are just like their fathers, well I married one who is just like my mom lol. They even have had a good-natured bonding/venting session where they agreed on all of the things that I do that drive them nuts!

    • This might be easier said than done since your husband is the one talking to her, but I’d suggest giving her less information to work with. Like, she doesn’t need to know if you are drinking caffeine, etc. Other than that, I’ve gotten a lot of millage out of just throwing out a “I’ll keep that in mind” and pivoting the conversation.

      • Jess

        “I’ll keep that in mind” “I’ll think about that” and a terse “Thanks.” are my three favorite ways to remind myself that I don’t need to feel bad because somebody else thinks I’m doing it wrong.

      • BSM

        Yes on the information diet.

        This is something my husband is working on with his parents, but it’s really hard for him because, when you want approval, you think further explaining your position and giving more info will help your argument, when really the other party isn’t interested in being persuaded at all.

        Tough to implement at first (and a little sad for some people), but it can really be sanity-saving.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Yeah, I wish I hadn’t told her about caffeine! It was pre-“This will get thrown in my face” days.

        I’ve already told my husband that if we ever get anything that’s not “She’s perfect!” back from a doctor, we’ll have to have a serious conversation about who we’d share that information with and how/when we’d go about it.

        I feel like I’m losing my “chill” to do the I’ll keep that in mind. The words come out, but it sounds more like, “I’ll cut you.” ;)

        • Henri

          It’s OK to not be chill about unasked-for advice and criticism during a time when you both really need support. That is a totally normal reaction to what she’s doing.

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Thanks! I know. It’s helpful to be told that. My husband is so used to her that I think he doesn’t realize just how hurtful her comments are. He admits that when she gets in that mode, he sometimes just hears the Adult Voice from the Peanuts cartoons (“Waaah wah wah wah wah-wah-wah waaaaah”) and that’s been his means of dealing with her for 30+ years.

          • Henri

            That totally makes sense! And is also why it’s important for you to keep sharing how you feel and how her words/actions impact you.

            True story: After FH met my parents, he sat me down and said, “Are they always that mean? Do they usually not listen to anything you say?” And I had *no* idea what he was talking about because I thought they’d been better behaved than usual. But he started repeating back some of the things he heard and it finally hit me that I was so in it with them that I couldn’t even tell.

            It’s not only OK but really good for you to remind him of these things. Because it’s not really on you both to make her feel better for living farther away. And it’s not on y’all to weather her poor behavior, either.

          • BSM

            Yes! I often remind my husband that he has fully habituated to any quirks his parents/family has, while I’m still relatively new to the game and getting my bearings and missing lots of context.

          • Henri

            It’s so hard to see! And has been extra hard to undo. One day at a time… *sigh*

        • Ugh. I mean, if you are past the point where you feel like you can side-step, I think your husband needs to directly ask her to cool it with the constant advice (*cough* totally unneeded criticisms). It sounds like she won’t react well, but her reaction is not your responsibility… You and your husband should not be the only ones doing the work to maintain your relationship with them, they have an obligation to co-manage that relationship and to manage their own emotional reactions.

          Like, as much as an ugly blow-up is gonna be awful now, dealing with this for the next 18 years is going to be worse.

          • Jess

            “Her reaction is not your responsibility” cannot be said often enough here.

    • Not Sarah

      It sounds like there are two solutions here: 1) your husband doesn’t need to FaceTime them every day and 2) it is totally okay for you to not be in the room when he talks to them. My mom has plenty of criticism like that and I only talk to her once a week. I assume when his parents visit, that they stay with you for several days or weeks at a time since they live further away than yours? If that’s the case, that does somewhat make up for the time that they don’t get with the baby. Or at least it should to reasonable parents.

      My husband FaceTimes his parents biweekly on Sundays and I usually try to only be there for one call a month. I do encourage him to call them, but their less-organized personalities sometimes just drive me crazy when I’m stressed about something, so I prefer to not always be there.

      • ART

        To add to K. not being in the room when husband FaceTimes, husband does not need to share any of what his mother does say with K. I’m a big fan of NOT passing on that kind of information!

        • Not Sarah

          Agreed! I don’t tell my husband the crazy things my mom says about him or his family. I rant to my sibling/cousin about those, if anyone. I only pass her crazy things on to him if they’re unrelated to him. And he does the same with his parents.

        • Jane

          Yes! My husband still tells me about offhand shit that neither of us can do anything about and that makes me super angry but doesn’t actually matter. And yes, having me work on not getting worked up over stuff that doesn’t matter Ian important, but getting him to filter some of it out in the first place is just as important.

        • Amandalikeshummus

          What is with people sharing not-nice things?? I have a coworker who will tell me everything anyone has ever said about me. “Jenny wasn’t really sure about you when you started, but I’m not sure how she feels now” is NOT useful information.

          Family is different of course, but grrr.

      • Lisa

        And whatsapp is great for the remaining days. A daily picture or video clip sent to a larger family chat goes a long way. Because it isn’t a completely private channel, it’s harder to hijack, but she still gets her daily fix.

    • C.

      Ugh, I remember this, and still deal with it a bit with my now 17-month old. Like, do grandparent-aged people just forget what babies really are like? Do they not remember every baby is different? That babies cry all the time for who knows why? How can she know what a hungry cry is more than you guys?? I don’t really have any advice but I think you’re totally justified in feeling frustrated. (And it has gotten better for us. I guess we’re more confident as parents and I find there’s just less guessing in general for the parents and grandparents. Like, we just give him snacks regularly and we’re pretty confident he’s not hungry. Plus he can point and stuff ;) )

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Yeah, I feel like my own confidence is an issue here. It hits me harder because I am still figuring this stuff out. I imagine that she probably forgets how hard it is early on and how much you second-guess yourself all the time, so she doesn’t think she’s being unkind by saying these things and is really “just trying to help.” Maybe once I’ve got my groove more, I’ll be able to shrug things off more. Because I don’t see her changing, ha. :p

        • Jess

          even if she is “just trying to help” it’s ok for your husband to have a small sit-down where-in he says, “Thank you for trying to be helpful. Right now, we really need to figure out what works for us on our own.”

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            That’s good language! She’d probably still do the whole, “Fine, I’ll never ever ever say anything again about your parenting ever because you obviously think I’m the worst mom in the whole world” but at this point, I’m really liking the perspective that she can just throw her hissy fits and we all move on.

          • Jess

            Ha, yup! She probably *will* do that thing. (My mom still sometimes does that thing)

            Captain Awkward sometimes recommends simply agreeing with people saying drama-filled stuff like that, which I have mixed success with.

            So here it could just look like, “Thanks for understanding” or a quick and firm “Ok, Thanks.”

            Even a little sarcastically from your husband, depending on how annoyed he is “You’re right, you’re the worst. We appreciate you holding off on the Top Ten Parenting Tips.”

    • AP

      Ugh solidarity. I just received this text from my MIL, who is checking on our rental house where we’re having the living room floor refinished: “Floor finished. I do not like the color.”

      She loves to give her opinion/hear herself talk and she’s kind of a bully. I’ve learned when she says crap like this, that it’s never about my response. It’s about her need to speak her mind. She doesn’t care whose feelings might be hurt, but she also doesn’t care if you ignore her completely. So I’ve learned to ignore her completely. It’s not like I’m going to have the floors re-stained because she doesn’t like the color, and she knows that.

      However. I know having a child is going to be a whole different situation, and I have no idea yet how I’m going to handle it except as others have said, tell her as little as possible and ignore her advice/opinions. I agree that daily FT is too much and she’s probably just run out of things to talk about, so I think your best bet right now would be to reframe her opinions as “just her having something to say” and less “criticism of me/my parenting.”(And leave the room when she’s on FT. And talk to husband about cutting that back!)

      • Jess

        OMG That floor comment sounds exactly like something my mother would send. You’re so right that it is not about your response, or you changing anything, but about her need to say something.

      • Katharine Parker

        It is wildly rude and inappropriate and infuriating, but “Floor finished. I do not like the color.” is also a hilarious text to send. Hopefully sometimes you can laugh at the ridiculousness of your MIL saying this kind of shit?

        • AP

          Yeah, my husband and I get a few good laughs and eye rolls out of most of our interactions with her. That is a super typical text. I didn’t even respond to that part, just skipped it and moved on to her follow up question about where to leave the key.

          One time my husband and I and his parents were working on building a fence, and she volunteered to run to the store for some extra supplies. She insisted that she didn’t want us “sitting around” while she was gone, so she expected to see post holes dug by the time she got back, even though the way we were working it would have been better to dig them as we went along. But we obliged, dug the holes, and then, moments after she returned, the first thing she did was step backward into a hole and twist her ankle. No joke, this is what she said as we were helping her off the ground: “Why is this hole here?!”

          It’s never not interesting, to say the least.

          • Katharine Parker

            Sometimes karma is swift and sweet.

    • Eileen

      Omg that sounds so aggravating. I would have snapped several times by now. SHE DOES NOT GET TO TELL YOU HOW TO EAT.

      My MIL is a little like that but in much more manageable bits. She’s a professional nanny so every time I tell her something about the baby she feels like it’s her job to contribute. So I tell her much less about the baby, which makes me sad, because he is her grandchild and I can’t be open with her about him and just naturally share the joy. (Ex: “He’s pulling up on furniture now!” “Ah you’ll have to be careful now.” I mean clearly we were paying fuck-all attention to him before…)

      So, you are a brave, brave, woman. And I adhere to all the advice everyone is giving you about not putting up with it.

      • Lisa

        clearly we were paying fuck-all attention to him before…

        Lol, it’s such a good thing she’s looking out for him! ;)

    • emilyg25

      Oh my god, I would go crazy. You need to have your husband talk to her! “Hey, Mom, I know you mean well, but you comment a lot on our parenting, and it sounds like you’re second guessing. We’ve got this.” And then maybe he can point it out when she does it in the moment. And yeah, you go right ahead and limit your contact with her.

  • Jillian

    I miss the Friday link roundup! What happened to those? I’d love to see them again.

  • louise danger

    hahaha hi y’all, i’m super anxious today because we are six weeks out and realizing that a lot of bills are coming due and aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh

    also only one person has picked the fish option so far haha there’s gonna be a lot of chicken club croissants at that luncheon :’)

  • Lisa

    I’ve been enjoying the first week at my new job! I already feel like a valued member of the team even though I’m still getting my feet under me.

    Interesting thing I hadn’t considered: this is the first time in my life working on a male-dominated team. Every office I’ve worked in until now has been 90% female, and now I’m the lone woman in a group of men. It was strange to look around at the the all-team meeting earlier this week and realize, “Oh…there are five of them and one of me.” I felt a bit guarded after that, but given how welcoming they’ve been so far, I hope it won’t be an issue.

    I’m excited to meet up with my mom and sisters this weekend! We’re having a much-belated birthday weekend for my mother, and it’s going to be just the four of us for 24 hours. After that, husband and I might start purging the guest bedroom/storage room–he found plans for a DIY Murphy bed this week, and we’re going to see if we can get rid of enough stuff that we could potentially convert the second bedroom into his music studio. Fingers crossed this works out!

    • AGCourtney

      Yay! I’m so glad the new position is going well. Crossing my fingers for the studio, too! Hope you hae a wonderful time with your family.

    • NolaJael

      Loved our last Murphy bed, will be putting TWO into our new house. Why have room with a bed that no one is sleeping in 95% of the time? This way my husband has an office and I have a music room and we have two guest beds ready to fold down whenever we have visitors. :)

    • AP

      Please report back on the Murphy bed situation! We’re thinking about putting one in future kiddo’s room, but not sure if we want to build or buy.

    • mjh

      Glad it’s going well, and that the team has been so welcoming. I’ve been the lone woman in a group of men in many of my work setups. Here’s hoping the dynamics are such that you end up not feeling that distinction.

      Hope you and your mom and sisters have a great birthday hangout. I’m very intrigued by the idea of a diy murphy bed. For years, I lived in apartment with an old school murphy bed built in. I’m off to google now and see how diying one would work.

      • Lisa

        This is the one my husband is strongly considering. We’ll have to see how the cleaning goes first!

        • mjh

          Interesting, that looks very cool. Good luck with the cleaning!

        • I like that one! (I’d found it in googling DIY murphy bed after your first comment and liked it!) The idea of a bookcase/shelves as the support legs is excellent!
          ETA: I hope your new job and the dynamics continue to go well!

  • Yael

    A question for the people who did the legal marriage with separate wedding thing (for immigration or other reasons): did you feel different after the legal marriage? We got married last Tuesday, and while I teared up during the vows (especially during the till death do us part stuff, where part of me thought OMG THIS IS INSANE WHO PLEDGES ANYTHING LIKE THAT, US THAT’S WHO), I don’t feel different. Things ARE different, obviously, because we now live together in Germany (!!) which is awesome, but in terms of our relationship, it feels the same. I love him, he loves me, we’re committed to each other and now we have a pretty triple-sealed piece of paper that says that. I do feel content and happy, so I don’t mind that I don’t feel.. married, but I feel like I should. Maybe it will come after the chuppah (still 1.5 years out)?

    • Cellistec

      I did feel different after the legal marriage, but for almost a year before we got married, before we had even talked about it, I had committed to Mr. Cellistec at that level in my mind. So it was just a legal acknowledgment of what I already felt, I guess.

      • Yael

        That’s sort of how I feel I guess… I made the decision to marry him soon after I met him, although it took a while to get to the actual marrying point. But being married doesn’t feel different. Which is almost how maybe it should be.

        • Cellistec

          Yeah, it’s a weird internal/external dichotomy to me…I remember feeling a little surprised that my own internal commitment to him merited no celebration, while the all the hoopla was for the public sharing of our vows. I mean, no one’s psychic so I was the only person who knew I’d felt married for a year already, but it felt a little like everyone else was playing catch-up.

    • theteenygirl

      Oh heey just your twin here again…
      I got a little teary eyed during the legal ceremony in the way of like, “holy crap this is a huge deal and we’re just doing it on a random Wednesday afternoon??” and otherwise we giggled through the rest of the ceremony and smiled really huge and then signed the papers and went out for dinner. I didn’t feel any different and, five months later I still don’t feel “married”. I feel happy not because we’re married, but because we did a thing that is allowing us to be together while we plan our wedding.
      I’ll update you on how I feel after our wedding on the 25th. I’m hoping for a giddy “omg we’re married now!” feeling, but I’m not going to expect it.

      BtW hope Germany’s awesome!

      • Yael

        Haha yes that is exactly how I felt! OMG it’s a Tuesday let’s pledge our lives to each other! Good luck with your wedding and I can’t wait to hear about it!

        And yes, Germany is awesome, mostly because my family (i.e. A and the cat) are HERE!

        • theteenygirl

          Yay for family and cats!
          I will most definitely check in with HH after the wedding and immediate honeymoon :)

    • Not Sarah

      I think the different feeling hits differently for everyone :) For us, it felt really subtly different and then strongly different and then settled into a new normal after a few months. Almost a year in, we are most definitely married! It’s really weird because we’d never cared about getting married. We’re doing our big wedding thing without a ceremony because we really did feel we drew substantial meaning from our wedding day. We’re planning on sharing our anniversary cards with each other during our couple portraits, like how people sometimes share letters on their wedding day.

    • Jess

      Disclaimer: we only had one ceremony, one marriage event.

      I didn’t feel any more-or-less married after our ceremony. It was a beautiful moment, and the ceremony was a deep and meaningful affirmation and proclamation of our feelings toward each other and we made serious promises that we respect. But we felt pretty much the same, only with additional jewelry and a piece of paper that binds us together legally now.

    • Lisa

      I felt different after getting legalled, but it’s difficult to describe exactly how, and then I felt different again after my actual wedding. I have a hard time with major life transitions, even good ones, and getting legalled took away any sharp edges that were present in my engagement. I never had any doubts, but it felt reassuring and helped me get down to business and actually plan the large wedding without some unknown stress hanging over me. If I had to describe it, it didn’t change our relationship at all, but it was like taking a deep breath.

      • Jess

        I like that: “…it didn’t change our relationship at all, but it was like taking a deep breath”

      • Zoya

        YES. This is lovely, and so true. I had a similar feeling, I think.

    • Zoya

      Honestly? I didn’t feel different until we had our first big married-couple fight. It was about a week and a half after the City Hall ceremony. We were traveling, and it was raining, and we were both tired and cranky and hungry, so we just holed up in our hotel room and talked/argued/cried it out for a while. It was an argument about one of those big, thorny, ultimately unsolvable problems where the answer was, “We’re committed now, we’re in this together, we’ll figure it out.” We’d had arguments like that before, but now the resolution felt deeper and more decisive. Like, yeah, we really are in this together now.

      Afterward I lay back in bed and said, “You know what? I feel married now.”

    • MC

      I didn’t feel different immediately after, but now that it’s been 3 years this month (?!) I’ve definitely felt a change for the better. Overall our relationship just feels a little sturdier. I think a LOT of that is enforced by people’s perceptions, because people see us as more committed now that we’re married, which I took a bit of an issue with, but the reason we had a wedding was so that we could share our commitment with people and hopefully have our community help us keep it over the years. And there are all the logistical things like buying a house, doing joint taxes, etc. that are easier when you’re married. (Again, I take issue with this but it does help reinforce the feeling that we are legally committed to each other!)

    • Violet

      We did the legal stuff and ceremony on the same day, but just throwing it out there that not everyone feels “different” after getting married. My spouse felt different, but I didn’t. I’d already felt committed for so long, neither the external legal or social acknowledgement really added anything for me. The wedding felt more like a great way to celebrate the commitment that was already there.

    • Ilora

      Nope, I felt about 99% the same after. The one thing that did change was that from the day we got engaged to the day we got legalled I had a lot of anxiety about him dying suddenly. After the legal ceremony that went back to regular levels rather than constant. I also didn’t feel particularly different after our ceremony though, and two years later I still don’t. I feel good obviously but not different.

      • Yael

        Me too! Part of that is probably because I was in Germany and he was still in the States and everything was terrible. Now that he’s in Germany with me I feel much less anxious.

    • EF

      nah, not really.

      but then again didn’t feel different after our later wedding thing either?

      like i made the decision to stay with him independently of a state-sanctioned certificate. i did feel different at that point of decision but not with much else.

    • Eenie

      Did the legal stuff before our ceremony. Even after the ceremony it doesn’t feel different. Except when one of us does something stupid we can tell the other one “you married me! You’re stuck with this gem of a person!”

  • Mary Jo TC

    4 day weekend for me! Flash flooding closed schools in Nashville so I’m at an indoor playground with my 4 year old. Birthday/housewarming party for my brother in law Monday. Hope the rain stops by then!

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Hiya people who have already had weddings. What are your thoughts on the rehearsal? Is it important to have them at the same location as the actual shebang, or is it NBD if you have it somewhere else? And pros/cons? Thanks!

    • Emily

      We had ours at a local park close to our dinner spot because traffic in Portland is a nightmare. And it was perfectly fine! As long as the same person is giving you queue’s and/or you’ve noted order and such, you’ll be good to go.

    • Jess

      nbd to have it somewhere else. It’s walking. If you’re concerned about pace/timing, maybe make sure you’re someplace with a similar aisle length and have a copy of the music being played.

      If you have to go up steps, it might be helpful to do it in the same space, but mostly people know how to walk up steps and you know the mobility of your people and wouldn’t make them go up steps if they can’t.

    • Abby

      I think it depends on if there are spatial elements unique to your venue–for instance, our outdoor wedding had a long meandering path as the aisle that wasn’t immediately obvious where it was supposed to start, so it was helpful to do a walkthrough on-site. But if it’s just a standard aisle in a room/hall of worship/whatever I don’t think being in the physical space would be as important.

      • Lisa

        Seconding this. We had an extremely long aisle, and another wedding I was in had a severely sloped floor. It was helpful to practice those things ahead of time. Other weddings with blank space could have been rehearsed in a similar blank space anywhere else.

      • Lisa

        Yes. We had our wedding outdoors, and the rehearsal was helpful in figuring out where the wedding party would stand, etc.

        • NolaJael

          Yes, for outdoors it is helpful to minimize who is looking directly into the sun, etc.

      • Eenie

        Also depends on how many people are involved. We did not rehearse our wedding, because it was just us and our officiant.

    • Cellistec

      I think it’s important if there are ceremony logistics based on the exact space. For example, when I was a bridesmaid tasked with fanning out the bride’s lace train after the processional, during the rehearsal I realized there was a railing between me and the bride that I’d have to duck around to do it. Without knowing that in advance, it would have been tricky.

    • BSM

      NBD if they’re somewhere else. We did ours at the beach close to where we were having dinner because 1) our venue was a restaurant, so we couldn’t do it there and 2) LA weekend traffic. Just make sure you have someone running the show and you’ll be fine!

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I wish we were close enough to a beach to do it there.

    • jem

      SO IMPORTANT for getting all of the kinks and emotions out. We had to make some last-minute tweaks during the rehearsal because of quirks to the space we had never considered and dealt with some “who’s gonna hold X?” issues).

      But probably more importantly, it was a chance to get some emotions out. I ugly cried (bawled) through our vows during rehearsal and it was so cathartic. Getting the emotions out then allowed me to be fine, glowing, confident during the actual ceremony.

      • Katharine Parker

        I was the opposite! I was totally chill during both rehearsals (excited, happy, but relaxed), and then I got extremely choked up at my wedding and had tears streaming down my face while saying our vows. It was intense and surprising and felt sacred and I made 90% of our guests cry with my bare display of emotion.

        Life is a rich tapestry.

        • jem

          Oh that is so true. My husband (omg) was super chill during the rehearsal and streaming tears during the actual ceremony. I guess we switched places? Rich taspetry, indeed

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          I don’t cry much but I get a little sobby when I play certain songs that I’m considering including. And that’s not even the rehearsal yet, so I may be in trouble! Ha!

          • somanypseudonyms

            I am a crier (all the goddamn time, and *especially* when happy), and somehow stayed dry-eyed through the whole wedding day — I think my emotions might have just burst straight through to incomprehensible static or something. what are weddings even?

      • lamarsh

        My husband (whom I’ve seen cry once in our 4 year relationship), started crying when we said our vows during the rehearsal. It was so sweet and also made me start to cry. But agreed that it let both of us get our tears out before the ceremony (though I did cry when giving my welcome/thank you speech at the reception, so not an entirely tear-free day).

    • We did have ours at our venue, but I think it would have been really easy to do it somewhere else. It was nice to be familiar with the space and layout (we had to walk up some steps and it wasn’t an aisle between chairs), but honestly it wasn’t super necessary. Everyone would have managed stairs and walkways like they do every day in real life.

    • Katharine Parker

      What kind of ceremony are you having? I had a Catholic wedding, so a rehearsal was both necessary and non-negotiable (there were like 20 people with roles in our wedding; we had an additional rehearsal of just my husband and me to make sure we were going to walk around on the altar correctly–it was complicated), but I’ve been in much less formal weddings where a rehearsal probably was not necessary. If no one is going to speak other than the officiant and the two of you, and you have an experienced officiant and you’re in a straightforwardly arranged space, you could probably do without and just tell people on the day when to walk in (if you have attendants).

      That said, it’s a nice way to know that everyone is on board with how the day will go and sort of a fun, anticipatory exercise.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        A secular ceremony! At a restaurant with a pretty outdoor space, assuming the weather cooperates. Which now that I think of it, may be an argument for having it at the venue. If the weather’s bad we’ll have to figure out where to go as Plan B.

    • Jane

      We had a really strange aisle path and still managed to do it someplace else the the help of a few cones. I would just make sure that whoever is going to be helping you setup your wedding and be DOC gets to see the real venue.

    • Emily

      I think the rehearsal is super important but barring an uber-complicated ceremony can probably be done anywhere. I really needed my rehearsal time to make sure that the wedding party new what was up, because some of them would also be ushers etc…

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Definitely planning to do one! Mostly trying to decide whether we can have ours out back under our apple tree, or if we need to make arrangements with the venue to drag everybody over there for it.

        • Emily

          I would do it wherever will be easiest to corral your people. I recently was in a wedding that had the rehearsal at the venue one one side of town and then immediately after was the rehearsal dinner clear on the OTHER side of town.

    • Alex K

      Your rehearsal doesn’t need to be in the location for the ceremony unless your ceremony location is super weird.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Ehhhh, it’s a little weird. Will contemplate the weirdness severity factor.

    • emmers

      We got married in a theater on a stage, and they painted the stage like an hour before our rehearsal, so we started our rehearsal outside while the stage dried. The non-place rehearsal was OK, but I think rehearsing in the actual venue made the wedding party feel good, like less stuff to wonder about (where to enter/exit, where to stand, that kind of thing).

      So, I’m pro rehearsal location if you can. If you can’t, you can wing it. There just may be a few tiny more hiccups, since it will be folks’ first time there.

    • somanypseudonyms

      our rehearsal was a total shambles! here are some thoughts:
      1) we had a more complicated ceremony than your usual totally secular couple (everyone processed and I had neurotic opinions about how to cue it correctly with the music to avoid tackiness, sorry friends; two readings, two sets of vows, group singing, live music recessional), and having the rehearsal happen was 100% necessary. (it’s the “shitty first draft” rule of weddings, maybe?)
      2) however, even with our complicated situation, doing it in our apartment (which was mostly boxes plus one tiny clear space) was fine.
      3) it was fine *because* we knew the dimensions of the actual wedding venue, so we were able to time and figure out the processional, and because most of the rest of the rehearsal was ensuring that people would feel comfortable and know what to expect.
      4) if you, like us, are having a non-professional [esp. family member] officiant, make sure you’re ready to have any awkward conversation (in our case: speed of reading, not digressing from the script, having a print-out, etc) afterwards. your officiant does the most talking of anyone in the ceremony, and if they’re not a pro and the other parts of your ceremony aren’t too crazy, the rehearsal’s function is largely to help them get comfortable with leading this — and to give you a last chance to provide tips and changes.

      also, while I’m not sure whether this was part of your original question — I would do a rehearsal even if you’re not sure you need one. Partly for the “shitty first draft” rule reason, but also because it actually felt like a kind of special moment. Wedding preview feelings.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Thank you for the detailed notes! We definitely want to have one, I should have been more clear.

        • somanypseudonyms

          I should clarify that it was also a fun shambles! the anticipation is a really nice feeling, and there’s a lot more room for bad jokes and wicked giggling.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            That sounds excellent.

    • While I don’t think it’s by any means a necessity to have rehearsal at the same location as your ceremony, if it’s an option I’d personally recommend it. Any different location is going to have minor quirks (even if it’s just dimension differences) and your wedding party having a change to do the thing they are gonna do in the space they are gonna do it is probably going to make everyone feel more confident the day of your wedding.

      I mean, if it’s really difficulty to swing, most people are probably going to figure out how to move from one place to another just fine… But I do think having it at your venue is helpful.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        Yeah, I’m starting to lean that way despite myself. We’ll need to confirm with the venue whether the space is available to us, but they’re pretty chill to do whatever we need.

        • If you can’t do the rehearsal in the actual space, perhaps before the wedding, the officiant/coordinator/someone could mark the places where people stand with little pieces of electrical tape, and then have everyone go into the space before the ceremony and walk their entire path and find their spots to stand/move. The same color/method of taping could be used in the rehearsal space, so it would be familiar and give everyone their markers of where to be.

      • Jennifer

        I will just say that you should have A rehearsal of some sort. I was in a wedding where there wasn’t one and it was so confusing. I mean… timing was off, everyone went at different times from each other down the aisle, the song was way too long since there were only two bridesmaid/groomsmen pairs… don’t stress about it but do have a test run! And maybe make sure everyone gets to SEE the space right before they’re supposed to march and they know which aisle they’re going down and where they’re standing (you can do that right before and on the day of the actual event if necessary).

  • somanypseudonyms

    hello again internet!

    We made it!! Despite fire, chaos, anxiety, misery, and everything else that you-all kindly helped me get through, we got married three weeks ago tomorrow. It was glorious: it felt right and good and perfect in all the ways that mattered, most especially in feeling our own choice and commitment come roaring into reality in the center of all of these people whom we love.

    For folks now in the stressful last few weeks in particular, for whatever it’s worth: it wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect. our Flaky Caterer was true to form right up to the end (fantastic food, incredibly stressful to deal with, all kinds of weird errors day-of, like.. not serving water at dinner?). timing for toasts and such got a little sloppy later in the evening. someone messed with my music choices. and… it was also still perfect and right and good in every single way. my husband (! what even) and I are about as obsessively “detail-oriented” (to be polite) as people come: and it was still perfect and right and good. Yours will be, too.

    a peek! (which will probably come down post-happy-hour)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/30a25c82e77262398e6147f1cef0061dee5ec8541b10ab1dbb0137059904f9aa.png

    (typical of all our wedding choices: we decided to cut the six-layer rainbow cake because it would look amazing, not realizing that, uh, a double-height cake is super hard to cut! there’s a great outtake photo of me gasping in panic while the slice threatened to topple over.)

    aaaand now we’re in Columbus, OH for my cousin’s wedding! (three of us in three months on this side of the family: I feel for my aunts and uncles). If anyone local has brunch suggestions for tomorrow, let me know!

    It’s strange how excited and glad I am to be about to go to a wedding as an already-married couple. We can just bask! Omg! We did it! Everyone else will make it, too!

    • Lisa

      I LOVE your gold dress and head piece. You look stunning–like a Greek goddess.

      • mjh

        Agreed. I was just about to post exactly that.

      • somanypseudonyms

        <3! thank you! Oddly enough, I wasn't going for that style intentionally (so much as a vague art deco-ness) — the PhD program I dropped out of earlier this year was in Classics (and Greek cult in particular), though, so I got that comment a lot. It actually wound up being a lovely serendipitous thing.

        it’s surprisingly hard not to respond to things with “well, I *meant* to also diy a headpiece and I didn’t hem the veil properly and only realized when we got the photos back that my bra was probably showing half the time” — the ingrained need to undercut every compliment.

        it was an amazing day. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • AmandaBee

        This + those boss shoes. <3

        • somanypseudonyms

          gotta say I am now on the lookout for any and all opportunities to re-wear them; please send red suede 3-inch heel situations my way asap

          • I have some new silver 3-inch heels that are awaiting their maiden voyage out of the house…but there just aren’t many opportunities to wear them! But my boyfriend and I have talked about dressing up a lot just to go out for drinks or desserts at a nearby upscale restaurant in very short walking distance. Need to do that before it gets much colder here!

    • jem

      Your photos are beautiful and you look like a princess omg.

      • somanypseudonyms

        thank you!! I was so worried and self-conscious about appearance and then… on the wedding day everything just worked perfectly. HOW. <3

    • Jess

      Those photos are amazing and you both look incredible. Congratulations!!!!!!

      • somanypseudonyms

        all credit to Allie Appel! http://allieappelphotography.com/ We found her at the very last minute after dithering for a long time about whether to hire a photographer (2/3 of the groomsmen and 20%ish of the guests are professional photographers, so it sort of felt like overkill) — aaand it worked out perfectly. Strongly recommended.

        also: thank you!!! :D

        • Did your pro photog friends also shoot some for fun at the wedding or did they decide to not shoot? I guess at least in advance some were thinking of shooting since hiring someone felt like overkill?

          • somanypseudonyms

            with this group, we would have had to actively stop people from shooting photos if we wanted them not to — we’ve seen some of those shots, too, though not anyone’s whole set, and they’re also glorious in a totally different style. <3

    • Katie

      you look AMAZING. I’m so in love with everything you’re wearing and probably you too.

      • somanypseudonyms

        <3 <3 <3 thank you!

    • mjh

      Congratulations!

      I don’t live there, but when I’ve been in Columbus, I’ve had great brunch at Katalina’s- http://www.katalinascafe.com/ The seating is limited and casual; it’s a small building with some tables inside and picnic tables outside, they type of place where everyone writes on the tables and the walls. Check out pics on yelp if you want to see if the vibe is up your alley. The food, though. Lots of delicious options, lots of local sourcing and they’re very vegetarian friendly without compromising the options for meat eaters at all.

      • somanypseudonyms

        hey, thanks! we might check them out. <3

    • LAinTexas

      Love your dress, as well! You two look so involved in each other and so in love. <3

      I lived in Columbus for several years! First Watch was always a favorite for my boyfriend and I when we lived there, so I definitely recommend that. I also met some friends at The Crest Gastropub in Clintonville a couple of years ago on a visit, and it was yummy! Northstar Cafe is another tasty choice. :)

    • quiet000001

      Oh my gosh you look gorgeous and I have dress envy. :D

      • somanypseudonyms

        <3 <3 <3 don't have dress envy, have an equally awesome dress! (THE BEST SOLUTION)

  • penguin

    Work is crazy today so I just have time for a very quick pit stop. Glad I got to see everyone’s photos! I’m leaving work a bit early today to go into Boston for my wedding hair trial. I wish I’d thought ahead to how the hell I’m getting into Boston before I agreed to this appointment time, but oh well I figured it out.

    I’m not totally sure what I want to do with my hair and I’m hoping that the hairstylist has suggestions. I’m wearing a strapless sweetheart neckline ballgown, probably with a little bolero or jacket or something so I have sleeves. I’ll be wearing a small-ish flower crown made of greens and little orange flowers by my florist. Not sure if I want to try and show off my undercut (difficult without doing an updo) or just have nice long waves, or what. Any ideas welcome!

    We also had a meeting with our rabbi last night as a sort of couples counseling deal, and it was AMAZING. I’m going to try to seek out solo counseling for myself sometime in the next year. Next week we’re doing a mikveh ceremony where we immerse in water (it’s more than that but I’m having trouble typing up a quick explanation). We’re using the outdoor swimming pool of one of our rabbi’s friends since the normal mikveh place doesn’t allow non-Jews (me) to participate fully at their facility. Fiancé and I are really looking forward to the mikveh and I’m hoping it helps make the whole wedding/marriage thing feel a little more real.

    I’ll try and swing by much later and update on how my hair went!

    • jem

      The city is a ghost town today– I think everyone took off. Traffic (downtown at least) was super minimal this AM

      ETA: good luck on the hair trial!! Don’t be afraid to ask to see different looks. This is your chance to play around/see what works!

      • Her Lindsayship

        I think a lot of people get out of town for Labor Day weekend to avoid the insanity of students moving in! The first year that I no longer work for a university here I will ABSOLUTELY do the same.

        • RNLindsay

          Ugh. Sept 1st in Boston is THE. WORST. Only left my apt today to work out!

    • Jane

      Good luck! I had specific ideas for how I wanted my hair before the trial, and my stylist was able to keep the spirit of them while coming up with something my (not that long) hair could do. Hopefully your stylist will be equally helpful!

    • emmers

      Good luck with your hair! I had a waterfall braid at my wedding and loved it– it’s sort of a half up half down look, since I also didn’t want an updo. Maybe they could do something where your undercut showed using that?

      And big yay to counseling. I’m so glad the couples counseling went well, and yay for possible future solo counseling! I love counseling. Safe travels to Boston!

    • theteenygirl

      Good luck with the hair appointment! I wanted my hair down, but then I tried on my dress and was like NOPE gotta show this baby off. So I had my sister try some stuff last weekend and we ended up going with a style that’s like 3 pull through ponys in a row down the back, then braided the ‘tail’ and wrapped it around the pull throughs and pulled it all out. It looks curled, but it’s really just a very loose ponytail and braid combo. Something to think about if you want something less “curled and pinned”. Bonus: it’s a no heat style! Yay for protecting your hair!

      • Jess

        Well, now I’m going to have something to try with my hair… that sounds awesome!

        • theteenygirl

          I realize now that my explanation was awful so here’s a link. I found it on Pinterest, it’s #6 on this prom hair article… http://www.teen.com/2017/02/02/style/celebrity-hair/long-hair-styles-prom-updo-tutorials-hacks-tips-tricks/

          I have super long hair though so the braids were too long to just sort up tuck up so they wrap all the way around making it look more like a fancy bun. Not exactly what I pictured, but it only took 15 minutes to do. Pro tip for pull through braids/braids in general – don’t make the elastics too tight or you won’t be able to pull it all out to loosen the style.

          • Jess

            Thanks! I am trying to learn to hair, so anything I can play around with on weekends is gold.

          • Ooh, number 6 and all of these are so pretty! I think I will try to experiment with a couple this long weekend! Maybe do my hair fancy if I ever find a chance to go with my silver 3-in heels I mentioned in a different comment!

    • Lisa

      I hope your hair appointment goes well! I can’t wait to hear what you decide. Make sure you’ve got some photos of your dress with you so your stylist can offer suggestions!

      The mikveh ceremony sounds lovely. I look forward to hearing more about it!

    • overitatx

      I’m having issues figuring out how to style my hair too. The one look I found that I loved we attempted during my bachelorette weekend and it wasn’t good. So now I’m leaning towards boho-ish side braids. I’m doing a veil for the ceremony, but then busting out a flower crown for the reception because when else in life can you just wear a flower crown?! But I’d recommend checking out Pinterest, unless it’s information overload or even looking up certain hashtags on Instagram – that’s all I’ve been doing. Good luck though!

    • somanypseudonyms

      like several other commenters, I was considering wearing my hair down (it’s waist-length, plus a half-grown-out undercut at the back), but realized that (1) I inevitably worry about it getting tangled and messy (which it does!) and wind up fidgeting, (2) it’d be really damn warm, and (3) the dress goes better with hair up. It might make sense to focus on the practical hair-concerns (are you also a fidgeter? will you also swelter under your homemade hair-blanket?) and take those to the stylist for her/his opinions on the aesthetics?

      • I wore my hair down and then gave up an hour into the reception and put it in a ponytail. It did look super nice in the pictures before I gave up, though.

        • somanypseudonyms

          also known as: every time I wear my hair down
          ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • Especially in August, which was when I got married! (But I wanted hair down pictures since I like the way I look that way better, so was fine with the ponytail later in the night.)

    • somanypseudonyms

      also: YAY. COUNSELING. congratulations on taking that step: counseling is good for everyone.

    • Not Sarah

      I’ve had my trial, but not the real day yet and I ended up doing a style with one side partially down and one side fully up. That seems like it’ll be the perfect balance of showing the top of my dress, keeping my hair out of being played with and not so much on my neck. Just an idea!

      • Sarah E

        That’s the general idea I was going to suggest for showing off an undercut, too.

    • EF

      ahhhh avoid allston christmas!! hope it went well :-)

  • Katie

    Today we closed on our first house! On the same day our puppy turned 1 year old. Life is good.

    (Even though my favorite character on Game of Thrones died. Even though I got sick just 2 weeks into new job. Even though my gas tank is empty and so are all the gas stations around. Life is good.)

    Sending prayers to everyone affected by the awful hurricane. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6e1efcc63f959e5a0da57e06af6a5a107b3d412d74f59938a92f4cf6ee14ec36.jpg

    • BSM

      Congrats! Homeownership is so fun. Occasionally a really expensive pain, but generally great. Your house looks cute from the little bit we can see!

      • Katie

        thank you! we already have to do a ton of work before we can move in, bur fingers crossed, it will be in October! Looking forward to ripping those carpets out, repointing the fireplace, repainting the walls, pruning the trees… Oh yes, did you say expensive pain?))

    • GCDC

      Congrats, and all that, but [THE PERSON WHO DIED] WAS/IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER?? What?? Do you mean the character was your favorite in the “I find [character] interesting and always wonder what s/he’s up to” or the “[character] is an A+ person and I want [character] to rule Westeros” kind of way?

      Also, can I just type the character’s name or are there people out there who haven’t yet watched the season finale who would be upset by spoilers?

      • savannnah

        There are lots of people who loved that character! *also in mourning*

        • Katie

          *solidarity hugs* I cried for 30 min straight

      • Katie

        I found [character] to be the smartest guy in the whole Westeros, something that I value over honor, because all ~honorable~ people are just so stupid and annoying (I’m looking at you, Jon Snow). Except for the last season, the writers dumbed him down too much and he made several missteps which ultimately led to his death. By no means I considered him to be an A+ person, he was not a good man, but I definitely saw it as a result of his childhood traumas, not because he’s some kind of psychopath (too bad the writers think so, thus completely disregarding the actor’s efforts to bring warmth and humanity to his character). And I just loved everything about him. Too bad the show now is all about *bad* guys agains *good* guys, it was so much more interesting 2-3 seasons ago…

        • Lisa

          See, I was among those who were happy to see [character] go, but I will grant you the new reductive nature of the writers. My husband came up with a really interesting theory the other day, and I said, “If this were the GoT of 2 seasons ago, I would totally entertain that as a possibility. With the current writing, it’s all been reduced to traditional plot lines and good versus evil.” It’s pretty disappointing the direction the writers have taken after getting past Martin’s source material.

          • Katie

            yes, the way I see it, it’s turning into some kind of fanfiction with a lot of fan service. There were SO many little elements to be developed into something, and they never were and probably never will be. Plus, 10 episodes instead of 7 we got would probably be enough to explain some storylines better, give more time to Dany/Jon chemistry to develop. But instead, everything felt chopped.

          • Lisa

            But since they developed teleportation in Westeros, clearly we don’t need extra episodes of travel time!

          • Lisa

            Also, yes on the fan service. Wouldn’t it just be so ~*convenient*~ if we got to ignore a major part of Dany’s identity because “the witch who just murdered your husband isn’t a trustworthy source?”

          • Katie

            also, how convenient is an all-seeing teenager who followed all of Baelish’s crimes but never knew Jon was a legitimate Targaryen? Most of all, why does it suddenly seem so important to Bran, who has stayed away from politics, focusing on White Walkers instead?

            Ugh.

          • JC

            Also the all-seeing teenager hasn’t told anyone what he knows and then Sam walks in and he’s like, “Samwell Tarly! I shall now reveal this secret to you!” Ugh.

          • Kat

            & taking credit for Gilly’s discovery! You guys, do better!
            Also, was there ever a time when any of the Starks had any fun? Because I do not remember.

        • Jess

          I haven’t been watching the show, but I read the books and am checking in on the recaps because who even knows if the books will be finished. I’m actually really kind of bummed about that situation because I always thought [character] had a really interesting story and thought process while still being not a great human being. In a “Huh, I wonder what he’s up to” way.

        • GCDC

          I disagree! Respectfully, though, because I can see where you are coming from. I don’t at all think he was a psychopath. I just think he was all about himself and himself only and didn’t care at all what bad things happened to other people, even people he claimed to love, like Catelyn Stark. He was in the “knowledge and power above all else” camp, which I don’t have a lot of respect for, especially when the “all else” is a gang of White Walkers coming to destroy everyone.

          Cersei… now Cersei I can get behind, even though I think all of her decisions have been terrible. Smart, but terrible. I honestly think she started out only wanting to protect her family, who she loves, from some of the terrible things she experienced. I can’t tell if that’s still what she wants. And I also can’t respect her to the extent she has killed hundreds of people to further her own power. In fact, I’d argue the Sept of Baelor incident is when she fundamentally violated her central ideology, and went from being a sympathetic but misguided person to a power hungry ruler.

          I see where you are coming from with the good guys versus bad guys critique, and I will be very disappointed if that’s where this show ends up, but I don’t think it will. Jon and Dany won’t end up happily ever after. The decision to defeat the White Walkers/Knight King is easy, but what comes after isn’t. Dany has violent/vengeful tendencies. Jon isn’t politically smart. Neither of them will be good rulers, unless something changes. Tyrion, arguably the smartest person and person most likely to be able to rule efficiently, probably betrayed Dany to Cersei. There’s so much ground for juicy personal dramas next season. Of course, if they don’t play out that way, and the show is just about good and evil, I’ll be right there with you throwing things at the TV.

          Okay, clearly I think about this too much. Sorry – it’s been a long week!

    • Kat

      My favorite GOT character got roasted at the end of last season after they TRIED to tell everyone to gtfo so I feel those feels. This show might kill me.

      ETA: I am loving all the girl power in this show right now though. “Good” or “bad”, we run the world.

      • Katie

        wait, who was that? oh, so many deaths…
        Also, yes. Between the new job, wedding planning and house buying, GoT was the only thing that was seriously stressing me out.

        • Kat

          *SPOILER IF YOU’RE A SLOW SHOW WATCHER*
          .
          .
          .
          .
          .
          Margaery Tyrell. I <3 Natalie Dormer so much.

          • Lisa

            I was so pissed at that, too. She was a smart character who knew what was up and how to play people. I was frustrated that they wouldn’t let her save herself.

          • Kat

            Yeah it felt like so much investment in a character for NO payoff. I’ll be interested to see if it plays out differently in the books…..if we ever get to read those…..

          • Katie

            THAT’S what pissed me off the most! Not that my fave character died. But because they invested SO much time into his and Sansa’s storyline evolving, with so many guns that had to be fired! (Chekhov’s theory). Only to be thrown away in 5 minutes… The whole WInterfell plot this season was garbage, imo.

          • Lisa

            I like what they said on the Nerdette podcast this week. While we’ve seen plenty of characters lie to one another, this is the first time the writers have deliberately lie to the viewing audience (in the scene between Arya and Sansa with the knife). They’ve broken the rules of their own show.

          • Katie

            There was actually a scene that got deleted. Sansa going to Bran saying “I need your help”. As the actore explained it, she actually believed Arya was about to hurt her and wanted to make sure it was true. But then Bran revealed to her that Littlefinger set this all up. This would make so much more sense!!! It would explain that their malice was real. But instead, it feels like we’ve been lied to, I agree!

          • Kat

            I think it was a good payoff to Sansa’s story-line (I am a Sansa defender because the internet hates her and can’t understand the affects of trauma, apparently) but I do think that his endgame was super interesting and, while I personally disliked him I think it’s bad storytelling to not follow that rags-to-riches story through.

            But, I mean, not enough to stop watching, obviously. Lol

          • Katie

            I also love Sansa! But I wanted to see HER outsmart Littlefinger, not seek help of an omniscent bird brother. It was just lazy writing. Littlefinger failed her many times, but also saved her many times, and she also lied for him before and learnt his lessons pretty soon. I wanted to see a Cersei side of her, but that never happened, and it really flattened the storyline

          • Kat

            OMNISCIENT BIRD BROTHER! lol honestly I’ve been surprised how little they’ve used Bran as a human magic eight ball this season. I was expecting it to be wayyy worse.

          • JLily

            I really thought it was going to be revealed at some point that Arya killed littlefinger and was using his face in the winterfell scenes. Wouldn’t have worked for long since she’s not power-hungry, but could have led to marking someone off her list, while also extending the lack of trust between the sisters for a while longer. I was disappointed to see them in the same room in that last scene.

          • Katharine Parker

            I don’t want Sansa to become Cersei-like–I think she has learned how not to rule from Cersei and will eventually be a good and fair ruler of the North–but I do want her to outsmart Littlefinger, and we were denied that, which is bogus.

          • Katie

            I don’t think she could ever be Cersei-like, but she definitely learnt from her. What about “a woman’s best weapon is between her legs”? We never saw that, and it could’ve been such a huge weapon against LF, and not the only one. But alas.

          • JC

            Sansa is the best character and I will die on this hill.

          • Katharine Parker

            I love Sansa. She has grown and matured and learned so much since she was a shallow child in book 1/season 1. I actually can’t stand show Arya, since we haven’t seen her character develop or mature, she’s just become a better killer and the show wants us to celebrate that, rather than explore the ways that vengeance is damaging to a person. I hate that we were denied the process of her discovering Littlefinger’s treachery. The whole winterfell plot was a complete waste of time this season. I think LF has already been killed at roughly this part of the story in the books (I expect Sansa will lead the Vale forces North but LF won’t make it that far), and the showrunners were just holding off on killing him so that it could happen in the season finale.

            NO WAY would Arya actually be threatening Sansa like that–even if they’ve never been friends, they’re sisters, and it’s cheap to have Sansa learn about LF from plot convenience Bran.

          • Katie

            I agree that Arya hasn’t matured a bit. I can’t get behind her just because she’s a better assassin. She is driven by the same force as before. Sansa, on the other hand, has grown SO much, and I hate that she didn’t outsmart LF herself. And yes, Winterfell plot was such garbage. Btw LF is still alive in the books, and he never sold Sansa to the Boltons.

          • Katharine Parker

            Oh, I know he’s still alive as of the end of ADWD. I’ve read all of the books. I mean that, when Sansa gets back to Winterfell in the books (I think that she will head North in TWOW with the forces of the Vale), she will already have figured out that Littlefinger is bad news and executed him. He won’t make it to Winterfell, or if he does his time there will be extremely brief. So the show didn’t have a map for what LF would be doing at Winterfell (seriously, what was he doing all season? He should have more plots at work than just sowing discord between the Stark sisters), but knew that Sansa would execute him at some point. Then they went about it in a way that was totally narratively unsatisfying.

          • Katharine Parker

            Also, if anyone is waiting for the next book like I am, this is a fun piece to read and speculate about what will happen in The Winds of Winter: http://www.vulture.com/2017/09/game-of-thrones-season-7-the-winds-of-winter-clues.html

          • GCDC

            I’m right there with you IF Little Finger’s chickens don’t come back to roost next season. It’s clear he was up to something, and it’s clear that what that was had to have some repercussions besides getting Sansa to distrust Arya. But I think he was playing the long con and I hope we get to see if next season. if not, yes, totally a wasted investment.

          • Katie

            ah, another awesome character wasted too early. Hugs(

          • Kat

            The Tyrell women in general were just great.

  • BSM

    Nested way too hard last weekend (yes, this is a thing you can do).

    On the plus side, our house is like 99% put back together, cleaned, and organized. Nearly everything looks amazing, and I feel super accomplished and happy.

    Downside: I was completely fucking wiped all week, and nearly fainted/vomited/both on my commute on BART *twice*. So that was kind of scary and didn’t feel great.

    I think it’s probably time to slow down a little, but it’s haaaaard when it still feels like there’s so much to do.

    • ART

      Oh nooo…well if you do end up barfing at a BART station, you’ll be in good company (points to self with thumbs). Take it easy this weekend (I say as I look at my 13-item to-do list).

      • BSM

        I was talking to my doctor about it yesterday, and she said, if it happens again and is really bad, I should LAY DOWN ON THE FLOOR OF THE BART TRAIN. I know she’s right, but… ewwwww.

        • ART

          Yeah…I give BART a lot of credit for my bangin’ immune system but that is one thing I would hope to avoid.

        • somanypseudonyms

          gah! the advice I’ve usually gotten is to put my head between my knees, which is certainly not as effective as fully lying down, but is at least also not as gross as lying down on [public surface directly under me at whatever time]? good luck, and hopefully these are passing episodes. :(

          • BSM

            Head between knees is her first suggestion, but she said if I *really* think I’m going to faint, I should lie down so that I don’t slump off my seat and hurt myself or the baby if I fall funny :(

            Thank you! Apparently around now is when pregnant people get another big infusion of blood into our systems, so that + this crazy heat we’ve been having are probably what’s making it difficult for my body to regulate my BP. Hopefully my body will get the hang of things and it’ll cool off around here…

        • Jane

          Ewww.

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on the organized and nice house! That always feels so good. Now take the weekend to kick back so you don’t ruin that sparkling bathroom. :)

      • BSM

        Ha, I know! I was going to cook tonight, but I think we’re going to go out instead so that the kitchen stays pristine for another day :)

    • Violet

      I’m starting to think “nesting” is just a way of succinctly saying, “Oh shit, there’s actually a lot that needs to happen before you can have another person permanently live in your house with you, and a person with a lot of needs up front, at that.” Is it hormonal, or just logistical? Curious if second time parents feel a little less like this, since presumably some of the “stuff” is already there from the first one.

  • Hannah

    We got engaged! We spent the week in California (where I’m from) and I knew it was going to happen sometime on the trip but it was so perfect. We went on my favorite hike which I’ve been wanting to take him on for years and he waited until we were alone on the trail and then proposed! What I didn’t expect was how we both felt after. We were so giddy for a few minutes after but then everything felt super normal. We made the decision to get engaged last fall so for us it felt more like we were finally telling people something we’d known forever. But for everyone else this was huge news! So it was really funny seeing friends and family’s reactions but they seemed way more excited than we did! The last week and a half has been amazing though, we’re both feeling so loved (my fiance’s mom was running around telling everyone “I’m going to be a mom again!” because she’s so excited to have a daughter-in-law!) and so far my fiance’s been very excited to start the wedding planning :)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/09d4483384fd8e16319b030606e23aa03190df100d19137ee0f6c150900acb35.jpg

    • theteenygirl

      That’s amazing! Congrats! My MIL was just really really excited to have a daughter, since she has two boys. Took me a minute to realize that daughter was me!

      • Hannah

        Thank you! My FMIL is a teacher at a boarding school and she told me she ran into another teacher’s classroom and screamed “I’m going to be a mother again!” and her friend started freaking out thinking she was pregnant in her 50’s hahaha

    • fleur

      Ah congratulations! You both look so happy :)

    • MC

      Congrats!!! I totally know what you mean about people seeming more excited than we were – the two of us had been talking about engagement for months before we got engaged and already considered ourselves committed for the long-term before then – so I definitely had a reaction of, “Why is everything so happy, nothing has changed!” After the initial shock wore off I was able to just let the love roll in and appreciate it :)

    • BSM

      Congrats! And that’s really adorable of your FMIL :)

    • calenlily

      Congrats! That sounds like a such a lovely proposal.

      My partner and I made the decision to get engaged this spring and he’s given me reason to believe the formal proposal will be sometime this month, and right now I’m caught between eagerness and excitement at the prospect of being able to finally tell people, and anxiety about said prospect.

  • LazyMountain

    Looking for two hive-minded suggestions if anyone cares to help!
    1. Places to buy non-terrible MOH dresses online. My MIL just sent us the link to what she is looking at and it is such a sad sack of a dress…It’s seriously a literal sack and MIL is so willowy I think she’ll swim in it and be sad.I I really want her to feel pretty and am hoping to send suggestions her way.
    2. Restaurant to enjoy a fancy romantic meal at during our one night in Las Vegas on the last day of our honeymoon. (Not honeymooning in Vegas but enjoying nearby National Parks and will need to wash all that dust off/be a little extravagant before heading home)
    Please and thank you :-)

    • InTheBurbs

      Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack. Free shipping, free return shipping. My mom tried on 30+ dresses for my wedding and twice that many for my sisters – both of the ones she landed on came from Nordstrom

      • Lisa

        Seconding Nordstrom. My mother got the most gorgeous dress there, and they have free shipping and free returns. She went with the designer Tadashi Shoji, but there are a ton of great choices. A lot of their clothing is 40% off through labor day, as well.

        Edited to add: they also do alterations. My mom had them take the dress up in the shoulders a tad, and it was easy for them.

      • ART

        Thirding Nordstrom, my mom got a beautiful one there and got a little bit of tailoring done that made her feel even better in it.

      • LazyMountain

        Thanks all- we have been trying to get her to actually go physically dress shopping with us all summer (especially since we like live in Nordstrom land!) since she typically has trouble but she and my FIL have kind of… just chosen to not really be involved in any wedding prep? They live 40 minutes away from us and I haven’t seen them since beginning of July. And we’re 29 days to wedding… I shall send her many Nordstrom links to pretty things and hope that helps!

    • Abby

      1. Are you looking for maid/matron of honor or mother-of-the-groom/bride dresses? My mom found tons of good options at Nordstrom.

      2. We did this (not honeymoon, but my bar trip after law school)– we just went to the steakhouse in our hotel and it was tasty but not so memorable it’d be top of my list, but I totally approve of National Parks + one night of fancy. Have so much fun!

    • Alli

      My mom got her dress from Lord and Taylor. They had the best selection of dresses when I went looking. And so little of that “you’re a mom so you get this bedazzled potato sack” look

      • LazyMountain

        Yassss glitter potato sack!! Also was more than a little devastated after moving to the northwest that there were no Lord and Taylor stores out here. Best dresses.

    • somanypseudonyms

      Seconding Nordstrom (and things are often on sale there for the same prices as at Nordstrom Rack — it’s easier to search Nordstrom’s website, then double-check Rack for a better price) — and would add that Saks and Off Fifth (SOF : S :: NR : N) are where we found my dress, my mom’s dress, and several other wedding-related clothing adventure necessities. Saks Off Fifth is also often a lot less picked-over than NR, for whatever reason.

    • emilyg25

      Don’t look for mother of the bride dresses. Look for cocktail dresses or formal gowns, depending on how fancy your wedding is. My mom found hers at Macy’s.

    • Katie

      Unrelated, but – why is your MIL looking for a MOH dress? Are they related?

      • Katie

        wait, are you looking for a dress for her? that MOH confused me, I thought you’re looking for a dress for your maid of honor! Sorry!

      • LazyMountain

        No that’s just me being a goober and trying to write a HH post before running out of my office and not proofreading thoroughly- thanks for noticing! Fixed now!

  • fleur

    So… I’m engaged! Maybe it’s cliche, but I proposed to my now-fiancé(!) at the eclipse and I’m so glad I did because now every time someone mentions the eclipse I get a happy little reminder of that :)

    I’ve been lurking around APW and reading every article & comments section for a long-ass time, so I felt pretty sure I knew what being engaged would be like. And, uh, I was super wrong (at least for myself, right now, at this moment). I feel super anxious and stressed and nervous and… how many other ways can I say anxious? I have an anxiety disorder so it’s not a total shock of course, but I would like to at least feel some carefree moments of happiness alongside the anxiety! I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m feeling like we have to sort out all our issues and have all the hard conversations Right Away, which isn’t the case because we’re planning on a two-year engagement so we have plenty of time!

    It sucks because before getting engaged, sometimes I would look at my boyfriend and feel so full of love for him that I could hardly restrain myself from proposing that very moment! And now that we are engaged, my anxiety is running wild and I haven’t been able to get back to that feeling (I obviously still love him, that hasn’t changed, just the overwhelming happy glowy feeling is missing/paused). I thought when you got engaged you were supposed to feel that overwhelming happiness? Instead it feels like something is wrong with me. Did anyone else experience this when they got engaged?

    • Emily

      So so so many people feel this way – you’re OK! Life transitions can bring up all kinds of different emotions. Breathe into it and don’t panic. It’s a big life change you’re making! You’re allowed to feel stressed and anxious. Do you have any methods to help with your anxiety (journaling, meditation, exercise, etc)? If so, bring them all out now :)

      • fleur

        I suppose I wasn’t expecting it to feel like a big life change, because we’ve been talking about marriage for over a year and we were basically already unofficially engaged. So being “real engaged” just meant telling other people, at least that’s what I thought. But I guess it’s a whole lot more real and bigger now! I’m definitely trying to keep up with my yoga and take relaxing baths so at least my body feels less stressed. Journaling would be awesome, I always seem to quit that when I need it most! Thank you so much for your kind words – just reading your response made me feel less panicked <3

        • Emily

          I’m so glad! Just talking about it out loud can help to diffuse the enormity. Lots of self care is important during this period. I found that being engaged brings up all sorts of emotions you thought you put to bed ages ago. I suppose it’s you innermost self preparing for the future, so that’s good – but it’s a wild ride!

          • fleur

            A wild ride indeed! The next two years will be… interesting.

      • emmers

        I went back into solo counseling during the wedding planning period. No regrets about that. It’s a big life transition!

        • Jess

          I did too! I started for wedding planning and just kind of… stuck around because I hit some real lows after the wedding.

        • ZLMT

          me too! It was so worth it. Big transitions freak me out and I take a long time to adjust.

        • Emily

          Same here! Long experience with being human has shown me that things go better when I acknowledge my emotions – and therapy helps!

        • fleur

          Being engaged is making me SO glad I’m already seeing a therapist. My next appointment is a couple of weeks away though so I’ve been stressing majorly! I might need to up the frequency of my appointments and add that into the wedding budget haha

      • Not Sarah

        I had been going to therapy a bit less frequently, but I’ve been going more in the tail end of wedding planning. It has been really really helpful!

    • Henri

      I proposed to my fiancé too! High-fives!

      And then I had to take a week long vacation by myself a month later because I was flipping out about it. So, I think it’s normal and OK to feel anything and everything about being engaged at various points.

      • fleur

        High-fives indeed! I’ve really enjoyed us telling people I’m the one who proposed. His [very traditional] dad fist-bumped me when we told him that!
        I think a solo vacation sounds amazing right now. Thank you for making me feel a little more normal!

        • Henri

          Aw, that story about his dad is v. cute.

          I’m glad it helped. I think I really struggled the first month, especially because I had this thought like, “*I* asked him. *I* wanted this. What is my problem?!” The vacation (I went to the beach in the middle of February, so it was cold, empty, and cheap) really helped me get the space to think through things.

          Others have noted and I will second, as my engagement has gone on (we’ll have been engaged around 2 years by the time we get married [in 2 months!]) I’ve had these moments of “OMG, this is for real and for life.” I rekindled my journaling habit throughout our engagement and it has been a lifesaver for pouring out the worries and sadness and anger (where did that come from?), as well as the happiness and excitement and anxiety and etc.
          Be gentle with yourself. :)

          • NolaJael

            Being engaged produced anger that hadn’t experienced in a long time towards my then-fiancé, and I think it’s the “forever is a long time” aspect. Things that were NBD before suddenly felt like a BIG DEAL…except they weren’t? They were still just us being people? Then I calmed down.

          • Henri

            Yes! I’ve had several, “Am I going to have to deal with this b.s. for the rest of my liiiiiiife?” moments. Which, yeah, totally calmed down with some conversation and breathing.

            I’m really glad to hear I’m not alone on the anger front.

          • somanypseudonyms

            oh man I felt that one SO HARD. <3

          • fleur

            It was a very seeet, unexpected moment from his dad :)

            “*I* asked him. *I* wanted this. What is my problem!?”
            This is EXACTLY how I felt/feel. Like, my exact thoughts. I’m breathing a huge sigh of relief right now to know how many others have felt this way and come through it with an engagement/marriage in tact!

            Hey, our engagement will be about two years too! That feels like enough time to process all of these confusing and contradictory feelings, at least I hope haha. I keep hearing about journaling as being so helpful so I should really start that back up again. I am the worst at keeping up with that when it’s needed most.

    • Jess

      You are so not alone, and nothing is wrong with you.

      I felt happiness for a day or so and then… heaviness. I am not good with change either, and I knew that going in, so I was able to accept it would be hard. Give yourself time and space to sit with that feeling, knowing it’s ok to feel it.

      • fleur

        Heaviness is a good word for it. I’m looking forward to when it lifts but in the meantime I should definitely work on making peace with it instead of frantically fighting it. Thank you so much!

    • Her Lindsayship

      I had the same unexpected emotional trip! I had been so looking forward to getting engaged and finally being able to tell people what we had been privately talking about for months, and then when the time came… Well, I really did like telling people, and all the reactions I got were very loving and happy and supportive. But that part still made me really anxious. I guess, despite knowing that I’m a pretty private person and so is my now-husband, I really didn’t grasp how hard it would be for us to share this big moment of ours with all our people.

      Anyway, Idk if that’s what you’re going through, but mostly I just wanted to say that it does change. For one thing, while wedding planning is very stressful it also has some really Big Happy moments. And for another, the feeling of looking at your partner and just overflowing with love and happiness will probably return BIG TIME after you’re married! At least, for us it has. :) Congratulations!!

      • fleur

        Oof, your first paragraph is spot on what my experience has been! It’s hard sharing such a private, personal thing, even though it’s exciting and happy news! Couple that with some generalized anxiety and my type-A personality that until somewhat recently did not include marriage in the life plan… and my brain has been a bit of a mess lately.

        Thank you for reminding me that there will be Big Happy moments along with these big anxious moments. I’m going to have to screenshot this whole thread and read it when I’m feeling panicky. Thank you thank you <3

    • somanypseudonyms

      heeeey, lady-proposers club! and I also felt like the rings were burning a hole in my pocket in the lead-up to proposing.

      Also: you are not alone. And as others have pointed out more eloquently, you also may well feel this entire roller coaster of joy / fear / heaviness over and over during the engagement — I did. And I still felt it on the honeymoon, too! You’re making a momentous commitment, and it would be more unusual to feel no fear or worry about the future than some, y’know? <3

      • fleur

        We should make t-shirts! I’m so happy with my decision to propose, and I’ve had the best time telling everyone that particular detail. Somehow no one expected it!

        You’re right, you’re absolutely right. I think somehow in my head I had decided it wasn’t a big change, because we’ve been not-technically-engaged-but-committed-to-getting-engaged-soon for a while, so I convinced myself the only thing that was changing was that we’re announcing to people. So the contrast of “it’s not a big change” and “big scary change emotions” made it even more confusing to me. Stepping back and acknowledging that it IS actually a big life change is already helping me make these feelings make sense. Thank you!!

        • somanypseudonyms

          <3! thank all the lovely people on the internet who've been passing that wisdom along the wedding chain for a while now.

        • Henri

          The surprise from others is . . . surprising. We lived in a hyper-liberal city when we got engaged, and people were still totally taken aback that I would do the proposing. We’d kinda expected it would be no big deal.

          Did y’all give your fiancé a ring too, @somanypseudonyms:disqus @fleur0987654321:disqus ? I did :) That seemed to make people think we eloped though.

          • fleur

            I thought it was funny that that even our most progressive friends and family never expected me to do the asking. I was like, do you know me??

            Fiancé and I are both getting engagement rings, but we didn’t have them yet at the time of the proposal. Mine is a family heirloom and his is potentially going to be a custom design, which will take a bit longer to get. I’m determined not to wear my ring until he has his, so I can pointedly say when people ask about a ring, “oh yes look at *both* our engagement rings, aren’t they beautiful?”

          • I got my (now)husband a ring when I proposed! He wears is on his right ring finger and I never wanted more than my band, so that’s all I wear. (I did wear my mother’s first engagement ring while we were engaged though, just because it’s fun?)

            And I think it makes sense for the anxiety to kick into high gear after proposing because, at least for me, before hand I had this exciting secret keeping me afloat like a helium balloon, and then after you have to set in and get to work?

          • mjh

            My husband and I planned to propose to each other on different days, with me going first. Eventually, it evolved into neither of us doing proposals and instead deciding to just give each other our rings on a regular day.

            His is titanium, because he’d really wanted a titanium wedding ring for years until he fell in love with Brent and Jess rings with the fingerprint on the inside and found out that they don’t make those in titanium. He wore his engagement ring on his wedding ring finger until switching at the wedding. Now his engagement ring is his backup ring that he switches into at times he doesn’t want to risk his wedding ring.

          • somanypseudonyms

            I got us both rings, but not-actually-permanent-quality jewelry, because I was worried about whether or not they’d suit his opinionated taste as well as mine. (Our wedding rings are permanent-quality copies of the engagement rings, plus a very plain wedding band for me. Awwww.) His parents definitely briefly thought we’d eloped when we video-chatted them with the news, but that might have been partly a language barrier issue.

            No one expressed any surprise in our circle about my proposing, and also — much to my relief — nobody expressed any “oh of course you’d propose because you’re like that,” which I genuinely felt worried and uncomfortable about, for reasons that I can’t quite pick apart clearly (oh hi patriarchy).

        • I thought people would be more keen on the fact I proposed, but people seem mostly nonplussed. They’re not actively negative, but only a handful of people have reacted the way I expected. We’ve both got rings – when I proposed he turned around and pulled out a ring as well (apparently I hadn’t been as subtle as I’d hopped in getting his ring size, and he’d thought I was trying to give him mine!) so it was a surprise mutual proposal.

          • fleur

            Yeah, no one has had an outwardly negative reaction but it seemed to be a shock even to the people I had thought would consider me at least *as* likely to propose as my fiance. That’s so sweet how it turned into a surprise mutual proposal! We don’t have rings yet but the plan is for both of us to have engagement rings which I’m also super excited for :)

        • ssha

          It’s still a big change! I feel you on this one! I felt totally different even though we planned when we would get engaged. One of my memories from our wedding is talking to a married friend and her husband, and her husband said he never felt normal during engagement. “Waking up the first moment of the honeymoon, that felt normal. I hadn’t felt normal in years” (i.e., since he and my friend had been together). Sort of like “marriage is how it’s supposed to be for us, and that will be the most relaxed and natural state- but until then things are pretty much chaos emotionally. Piggybacking off the “this is my SPOUSE, the best!” feeling other commenters have mentioned.
          Also re: both having rings, whenever someone asked to look at mine, I directed them to his, too! And their reaction was always “oh, that’s beautiful!” no one side-eyed us for him having one. I still look at my ring and smile, because it means I’m forever connected to my spouse, and that’s a happy thought.

    • jem

      Yes– you are not alone. There were points during our engagement when I confused my stress about the wedding for stress about the relationship. Engagement was hard. Wedding planning was hard. But then, one magical day, it’s over, and instead of looking at your partner and thinking “omg I’m going to marry this person” and the anxious trail of sub-thoughts that provokes, you can look at them and think “OMG THIS IS MY SPOUSE THAT’S THE BEST.” Which I guess is to say that the best thing about being engaged is that it’s temporary.

      • fleur

        “I confused my stress about the wedding for stress about the relationship.” THIS EXACTLY AND IT’S SO HARD. My anxiety veers straight in that direction even though I *know* it’s stress about being engaged and making a big life change rather than stress about our relationship itself. I’m so glad to not be the only one, whew. I can’t wait for that magical day! Thank you <3

      • somanypseudonyms

        you can look at them and think “OMG THIS IS MY SPOUSE THAT’S THE BEST.”

        having just achieved this state: IT’S SO GREAT, and oh my gosh we’re not planning a wedding anymore YAY we’re just plain MARRIED

    • Are you getting anxious about being too anxious? That’s my ‘favourite’ layer of onion skin of anxiety – freaking out that I’m so worried about panicking over my concern about my anxiety. It’s exhausting just typing it out! The important thing is you will feel those moments of blinding happiness, of overwhelming love – your anxiety is insisting you need to hunt those feelings down, trap them, grab them, and they are floating just out of reach until your anxiety is distracted, and then they’ll descend again and take you by surprise some time, like when you’re out shopping and thinking about dinner and you’re holding hands and your ring is digs in (if you’ve gone the ring route) and suddenly it’s “oh, we’re going to be married“.

      • fleur

        Ugh, anxiety about anxiety is killer. Yeah, I definitely have a layer of “If I’m anxious about this, does that mean I’m making the wrong decision? If this was the right choice I wouldn’t be freaking out!” Even though I am sure of us, it is totally exhausting. I’m sorry you’ve dealt with that too but I’m glad not to be alone in it!

        Thank you for that happy image: I’m really looking forward to us having our rings (his is custom so I’m waiting to wear mine until his arrives), because I feel like carrying a physical symbol of all the overwhelming happy lovey feelings will help anchor me and remind me of those happy moments when I’m feeling more panicky. :)

    • Cassy

      I definitely felt that way too. I had asked my then-BF to propose when we’d be able to have a lot of down time afterwards to process — even with a few days to process, just the two of us, I still felt very odd. I had a lot of confusing doubts (that were frustratingly vague) and definitely did not feel like “I was supposed to feel”. Luckily, through reading APW and some of Sheryl Paul’s blog posts, I had known that engagement doesn’t always just bring the overflowing happiness that the WIC says should be there, but those feelings were still challenging. Time has made the emotional transition so much sweeter for me (we’re about six weeks engaged, now), and I hope it will for you, as well. :)

      • fleur

        I had read advice on APW and elsewhere suggesting we keep the news to ourselves for a couple of days so we can enjoy it without having to deal with others’ expectations right off the bat. So fortunately I had planned the proposal the way you requested your then-boyfriend to: I actually proposed on vacation, knowing we would want to tell our families in person when we arrived home (they both live nearby), so we had a built in buffer of time to process. Definitely helpful; though my confused emotions hadn’t settled all the way down by the time we announced, I’m glad we had that time for ourselves. It’s definitely taken some time to process. Today marks two weeks that we’ve been engaged and I’m feeling a lot more excited and less overwhelmed by it. :)
        And congratulations on your engagement as well!

  • Kat

    Pro tip to anyone else who’s looking forward to cooler weather and fall hikes, Columbia is having a big Labor Day sale (including plus sizesss)! I got a $150 pink poofy coat for $50 (http://www.columbia.com/powder-pillow-hybrid-jacket-1558123_S.html?cgid=sale-women-jacketsVests&dwvar_1558123__S_variationColor=637#start=0) and a bunch of pullovers, so now I feel like I’m set for the season!

    • mjh

      Nice!

    • Essssss

      Oh, thank you for this. Their dresses are my everyday uniform!

    • Rose

      Oooh, we just moved to a cooler climate than we’ve been in for 6 years, so my wardrobe could definitely use the refresher. Thanks!

    • E.

      THANK YOU just moved to Michigan and am scared for winter

  • jem

    My husband (!!!!!!!!!) started school again this week and his semester is going to be insane. He’s juggling a pretty rigorous course load plus a journal plus a teaching fellowship and I’m a little nervous about law-school-widow syndrome. Last school year, I kept busy by throwing myself into wedding planning and it was still really hard sometimes. Any tips for staying supportive while partner is totally distracted by school? It’s only the first week and I already miss him. He was SO GREAT while I was in law school and studying for the bar… I really want to reciprocate now that it’s his turn, but sometimes I just feel so lonely and needy!

    • Jess

      Friends – R is working a job w/ lots of travel and stress right now, and purposefully making female friends and planning events with them is really helping me remember that I’m not alone.

      Be intentional about spending time together – once a month have a date-day where you really put aside the distractions and do stuff together like going for a walk and cooking a dinner and bowling or something.

      Also, if you’re going to bed earlier (late study nights) and having a hard time sleeping alone, may I recommend a teddy bear? I get really touch-focused when I’m stressed, and having a physical thing to curl around has been so helpful.

      • jem

        Omg yes to teddy bears

        • Jess

          I seriously cannot overstate how much it helps me! Greatest ever.

          • Jennifer

            My partner works a lot and late and I have a tough time sleeping. Looks like my old bear is coming out of retirement. (In spite of how much I love him it’s hard to cuddle the dog). This is so helpful!

    • Abby

      I think self-care is key here, particularly in focusing on keeping yourself busy and entertained: having hobbies, puttering around the house (renovations/decor can take up even more time than wedding planning if you let them!), working out, cooking, etc are key for me. Especially if you can make basic home tasks (cooking, tidying/cleaning, decorating, etc.) into fun outlets for yourself rather than chores, this will lighten the load on him while keeping you occupied (just make sure you talk about any emotional load balance shift as this-is-for-now-not-forever, if that’s a concern). I love thinking of cooking especially as a treat and a challenge rather than an obligation, so it’s both a hobby and a way to support him when he’s busy/stressed.

    • Kate

      If he’s usually the type to hunker down in the law library to study, maybe he could bring more studying home. Maybe just agree that he’ll do some of his easier reading at home so y’all can physically be in the same space?

    • Her Lindsayship

      My now-husband switched jobs last October and started working longer hours, and then we bought a condo and moved in like a month later. I made the mistake of thinking since I had more free time than him, I was obligated to get stuff done (unpacking, cleaning, painting, wedding planning) while he was at work so we could relax together when he got home. Girl, that was a fast track to bitch-eating-crackers-level resentment for me. So in case that is also your instinct, please learn from my mistakes and treat your extra free time as YOUR time. Watch a show he doesn’t like. Get drinks with a friend. It does suck getting less time with your partner, but since you’ve already done this you know you can adapt. Best of luck. <3

      • jem

        That’s absolutely my instinct and I totally needed that reminder, thanks!

      • Abby

        While I totally agree from a self-care perspective with that you shouldn’t default to feeling obligated to do housework/emotional labor (because yes, that’s a recipe for resentment), I have to push back on this one a bit from a staying supportive perspective. As someone who has often been the busier partner, I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to get home at the end of a long day to see my husband relaxing watching TV when he’s been home for 3 hours and even the most basic of chores haven’t been done. Yes, the less-busy partner deserves time to themself and shouldn’t have to sacrifice it all to match the busy partner’s work hours, but when the busy partner’s not getting much if any time to themself at all, it’s a recipe for resentment on the busy partner’s end if they feel like they either have to (a) do the chores themself or (b) nag you to turn off the tv and do them together. (Important to note here that there are of course gender dynamics at play here in hetero relationships that may make this less relevant advice when the less-busy spouse is female, so ymmv).

        I think the key to staying supportive in busy periods is to focus on your partner’s love language– mine is acts of service, so having the house tidy/dinner prepared makes me feel super supported, whereas walks together/date nights might work better for quality time people or regular snuggling/sexytime prioritization might work better for physical affection people. And to the extent your love languages don’t 100% align, thinking of the things you do for him in this aspect as expressing love rather than as obligations might help with the resentment factor. Maybe aim for balancing your extra time between things that will make you happy and things that will make them happy, in whatever proportion feels balanced to you?

        • Yes, I have this problem too, (well, not where I am the busy one). Because I do not like feeling like I have to do all the work forever but also when my husband is at home for sometimes less than 8 hours a day (including sleeping time), it doesn’t make sense to expect him to be able to do as many chores. (Although it does help that he really doesn’t do much to make the house messier then, since he is basically living at work). But we also definitely have even during these busy seasons, chores that we do together, so we will still do our little clean-up hour on Sunday where we do the chores that are easier to do with two people.

        • Her Lindsayship

          Yes, this is a good point – I still did WAY more of the wedding planning than he did, and am the default meal planner along with typically at least starting prep for meals before he gets home in the evenings. It’s just that I have 3 hours a day, 5 days a week of solo time that I didn’t have before, and where before we would’ve spent some of that time probably just watching Star Trek together, I suddenly put this pressure on myself to do more productive things. So yeah, should’ve made that clearer in my first comment. The priorities continue to shift.

    • Lisa

      When I was at my busiest in grad school, my partner forced me to go on walks several times a week. It became our routine, and as busy as I was, it was good to carve out that time not only for the health of our relationship but for my physical and mental health (not sitting and reading every.single.second is a blessing). You might think about what worked and didn’t work when you were in law school, since you went through it, and use that as a foundation and go from there.

      • Lexipedia

        We did this. Sometimes partner would even walk me to/from school to get a little break together, though this depends on where you are in relation to the campus.

      • jem

        Really good idea– last year, we commuted in together every day and I loved those walks. He hasn’t been able to wake up in time to go in with me this week, so maybe that’s where some of my separation anxiety is coming from

    • Lexipedia

      When I was in grad school we tried to have breakfast together in the morning with no talking about school, just to get 15 minutes of peace. Also, we started watching a new show together which provided decompression time while cuddling on the couch.

      When FI is working 16 hour days during the busy season I try to make him lunches with notes inside, just because it’s a little loving thing that I feel like I’m contributing to his happiness and health.

      For you, is there a goal you could set yourself to work toward during the school year? I threw myself into training for a half marathon at one point when I was feeling lonely because of a partner’s absence. I got really into training and met a casual running club once or twice a week to get some time with people.

    • E.

      Oh my gosh is that actually a term? My husband (also new!) is starting law school on Tuesday and I am pretty sad and pretty anxious about it.

  • lirr

    hi everyone, i haven’t participated in one of these before but i just wanted to say i’m gonna propose to my boyfriend this afternoon and i’m so excited/nervous/happy!! aaah!!!!

    • Cellistec

      Congratulations and good luck!!

    • Zoya

      Go you!! Good luck.

    • Jess

      HOORAY!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!! :D

    • ART

      Woohoo!

    • Lisa

      Good luck!!! Hopefully you’ll come back with more good news later!

      • lirr

        thank you! he said yes, i left another comment in reply to myself with some details :D

    • CMT

      Yay!!!

    • mjh

      Congratulations and good luck! If you feel like gushing about details, please do :)

      • lirr

        thank you!! he said yes, i left another comment with details :)

    • fleur

      Ahh best of luck! <3 <3

    • E.

      Congratulations! Update us with the details next week I want to hear all about it! My husband and I proposed to each other and I loved proposing!

      • lirr

        thanks!! I couldn’t wait til next week to update so i left another comment in reply to myself with a little more detail :)

    • I’m so late to happy hour, but YAY! Congrats! Proposing to my partner was the best kind of nerve wracking and wonderful! All the best wishes!

      • lirr

        thank you!!! he said yes!! i was surprised that i was still nervous even though we’d talked about it a ton and decided that it was my job and that it should happen in the next couple months, but it was worth it!

    • lirr

      update: He said yes!! I hid the rings in a series of larger boxes and had him open it last when he was opening his birthday presents. We were both disgustingly sweaty because the Bay Area heatwave meant it was over 100°F but it was still a lovely moment!

      Thanks encouragement and well wishes everyone!! The articles on APW about women proposing to men helped me a lot too.

      I’ll try to add a picture of the rings, even though we’re thinking of these as temporary rings. (Also, fiance is wearing his on his right hand because he’s left handed and insisted it was like watches, haha!)

  • Abby

    It’s been a crazy week– got back from a lovely and much-needed vacation and dove straight into a serious push on our DIY kitchen renovation because we only have a limited time to complete a major component, plus… I finally got a firm enough start date from my new job that I gave notice at my current job! Because everything is happening at once it hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but I’m so excited for my career move and everyone at my current job is being incredibly supportive, which is lovely and unexpected. Just trying to take one day at a time and trust that everything will calm down in a month or so.

  • ART

    Finally feeling really good more than halfway through this pregnancy, and we found the stroller we wanted and found a last-year’s-model on Amazon for like half off, then also bought a fancy-pants carseat (Labor Day sale, woo!) just to get that decision out of the way. My husband is getting really excited about the baby, so that is helping me a lot, too. I’m going hiking this weekend (in my new maternity activewear capris that I love!) and also have plans to finish a bunch of projects and pare down my wardrobe to only my still-wearable stuff and put the rest in the garage for later. Then Tuesday is my glucose screening test, which I’ve heard such awful things about but have really calmed down about it since my last blood draw was so surprisingly NOT bad compared to the previous few. Please wish me luck that I pass and don’t have to take the multi-hour, multi-poke one!

    • BSM

      Yay stroller and car seat! We have the nursery finally about 2/3 set up, and we’ve gotten a few shower gifts, so it’s definitely feeling real over here, too. What did y’all end up picking out?

      I didn’t find the GD test to be as bad as everyone had said (and I have terrrrrrrrrible veins). If you’re not required to fast, definitely try to eat something protein-dense beforehand. Fingers crossed for you!

      • ART

        Thanks – no fasting, so probably like, an egg for breakfast or some plain yogurt. It’s fairly early in the day so I should be able to get by on that till the test.

        We randomly went to Babies R Us on Sunday to get out of the heat wave, and I showed my husband the BabyJogger City Mini that I’d been eyeing but we quickly realized the wheels on the GT model looked way better for our uses. I was definitely glad to get a deal on that. For the carseat I feel like we really splurged on the Chicco NextFit Zip *air* but I’m keeping in mind that we regularly drive 3+ hours to a much hotter climate to visit our in-laws so the sweating is real, and the cover zips right off to go in the wash so eventually that will seem like a good investment, I think! I didn’t like Babies R Us (weird gendered parenting advertising, nope) but they are having a 25% off sale so we just went for it. And we are staying in our 1-bd till we find a house, so for now skipping most other nursery stuff till we can’t live without it or have more room.

        Oh, and my husband got to try on baby carriers and loved the Lille one with the lumbar support. That’s part of what got him so excited, he was like “I can’t wait to bring the baby EVERYWHERE with me! I’ll get to have this warm thing on my chest all the time!” squeeee.

        • ART

          *my in-laws, his parents. Derp.

        • Cbrown

          I’m 4 weeks out and really liking the city mini gt. I have the attached carrycot (bought used on eBay) which makes it a bit more newborn friendly.

          • ART

            Thanks for the tip!

        • Yet another Meg

          I LOVE my lilebaby! It is so comfortable.

      • Violet

        I am so impressed by how far along you are with the nursery! We got stuff at the baby shower, but my MIL hasn’t brought it to our place yet (they don’t live super close). So basically it’s just an empty room with a rug, hamper, baby box, and bag of hand-me-down clothes from my coworker. Oy. This kid better not come early.

    • emilyg25

      I really did not find the glucose screening bad at all. I had scrambled eggs before. My midwife said I could have whole wheat toast too, but I was too scared. The drink just tasted like Hi-C. No big. Good luck!!!

      • Agreed! I had eggs and sausage, and I had my screening at like 8am in the morning. I thought it tasted like Hi-C orange from McDonald’s. And I was totally psyched when I passed the one hour test.

        • ART

          I usually hate orange-flavored sweet stuff, but it’s been way more interesting/palatable during pregnancy so I’m kind of almost…looking forward to it? ha.

    • Violet

      Wishing you luck! I didn’t think it was that horrible. It didn’t taste good, but there are a lot worse things. I find making sure I’m really really hydrated helps blood draws go more smoothly (the liquid fattens up your veins to make for an easier insertion).

  • Cellistec

    Ideas for care package items for a friend who just broke up with her fiance? Amicable breakup, but still. Go go gadget APW hive mind!

    • InTheBurbs

      Coffee shop gift card, really soft socks, a box of the good tissues with lotion, a playlist of good rage music, brain candy magazines, gift card for a food place that will deliver to her, a puppy/kitten…

      • Cellistec

        Soft socks…perfect!

        • ART

          I am a fan of those kind of ugly, but super soft kind of boucle pedicure socks, paired with nice foot lotion to use with them :)

    • Essssss

      Nail polish, easy to read book, edible treats, music mixes, target gift cards, soft sweaters or scarves to feel hugged by you from afar

      • Cellistec

        Aw, that’s a lovely thought. Plus it’s almost scarf season (yay)! Thanks!

    • emmers

      Maybe some nice tea, and if she’s into a hobby (like knitting or something), a hobby related item?

    • Lisa

      If they live far away, you can venmo money for flowers or some other treat (manicure, restaurant). Skype date with wine on both ends! Seconding nail polish and books. Little indulgences like dark chocolate, bath products, etc. Fun ban.do gifts or something similar. I also like the idea of target gift cards with a note to get themselves a new outfit or some decor that is her style (not shared) for the bedroom. Speaking of bedroom, you could go in that direction as well…

      • Cellistec

        Ahahahahahaha. This is great. Nail polish is always a solid choice, and ban.do looks fun. Thanks!

    • mjh

      Is she a bath person? Tea person? I’d think things that could lead to a cozy in night could be nice. A milk bath or a bubble bar, a good book, soft, snuggly pajamas, herbal teas, fancy hot chocolate mix, redbox credit, a gift card to a restaurant she likes takeout or delivery from.

      • Cellistec

        Great ideas! The concept of coziness is top of mind since I just got back from Denmark…I’ll mine what I learned there. Thank you!

        • Gaby

          I’m sure your friend will be delighted by whatever combination you choose, because I feel cozy and mentally soothed just by reading all these comment suggestions haha.

    • Not Sarah

      Are there household things that were mostly his? Does she need things like soap dispensers, gift cards or sending her frozen/takeout food?

      • Cellistec

        Good question about splitting up stuff. I can get intel from her sister on that. I think a fun corkscrew might be a priority….

    • Katharine Parker

      I’d go frivolous and fun–a spa gift card, fancy face mask, nail polish, something home decor-y like cute coasters or a throw blanket, rosé gummies or a box of nice chocolates, a bottle of sparkling wine and cute champagne coupes, good beach read-type books (I recommend the Crazy Rich Asians series or Valley of the Dolls).

    • AmandaBee

      I was always a post-breakup haircut kind of person, so depending on your budget maybe a GC to a salon for a haircut, mani/pedi, some other kind of pampering?

      If lower-budget, maybe some at-home spa stuff and a good book so she can unwind.

      • Cellistec

        I love the spa kit idea. I don’t know where she gets her hair cut, but I know a face mask and nail polish would be almost as good.

    • Lexipedia

      The best thing I got after a long term relationship breakup was a pretty bath robe, cozy slippers, and some girly TV on DVD (this was pre-Netflix etc.)

      That’s a bit spendy, but cozy jammies/robe/slippers and a bottle of wine or favorite treat would be awesome.

    • Nail polish is a great idea! I was oddly intense about keeping my nails polished after my ex and during our (bad, nonmutually initiated) divorce. I also bought new bed linens and towels and repainted two rooms. And of course, took down a lot of photos. Maybe a cool print of some sort would be fun to replace something that she might have taken down from her walls? Maybe some sort of gift card to a Crate and Barrel type place? Or maybe that would reminder of registries so not ideal, hmm. A magazine subscription related to an interest or hobby? It’d be a monthly/bimonthly pick-me-up surprise that would last a year. Anything related to an interest that she put on the back burner during the relationship…drawing pencils and a sketch book, super cute gardening gloves, funky legwarmers if she’s a dancer, or even a book (if she’s feeling up to reading), a pretty tea towel, etc. And the comfy warm socks are a good idea too. But I’d avoid things that could remind her of her fiancé’s absence (napkin rings, candles/candlesticks, etc.)….things that are too romantic or come more naturally in pairs for two people. I am sure she will appreciate anything you send! I especially LOVED emails, paper cards, and texts. They were my lifelines during the hardest months and I saved and reread them when I needed encouragement. Also, it could be great to think about supporting her here and there over the next months/year? Even with simple email check-ins. People checking in with me over the long term were so helpful to me in my healing.

      • Cellistec

        So many great ideas. Thank you for your help!

        • Happy to contribute to all the good brainstorming in the discussion! You are a sweet friend to do this for your friend!

    • Also, if you have a bigger budget, if you live in the same place and there is a band she loves coming sometime, you could get two tickets to that and go with her! Or to a play she’s been wanting to see or even an art museum exhibition. It would be a chance for her to get out and do something she would have normally wanted to do without the daunting/painful aspect of having to face that event alone, combined with the fun of hanging out with a girlfriend.

  • Lexipedia

    Thoughts on something like these as place cards?

    https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/57218532/wedding-place-card-cootie-catcher-pdf?ref=shop_home_active_64

    We’re getting married in a historic schoolhouse, and FI works in education so we’re having the occasional “school themed” touch. I have very fond memories of making these in elementary school. Ignore the design and specific questions, as those are all customizable, but the designer would print the name and table number of each guest on the outside to mark their place. We thought that we might do them with a few different sets of questions inside, so that neighbors don’t get the same one, and they could be a fun icebreaker if anyone wants to play with them.

    • Abby

      Those look like so much fun!

    • Jess

      that’s super cute! I would definitely use it as an ice breaker!

    • ART

      I LOVE that idea!

    • E.

      that is awesome!

    • Practical for the information and icebreaker all in one! And the fact that you have the education/school theme already, I think it’d fit perfectly!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      As a guest, I would be pretty jazzed to see these.

  • Lisa

    I’ve been taking advantage of skype this week to reconnect with friends who live far away. 4 skype dates over the past week (two were semi-work related), and it’s been amazing! For those of you who live far away from many of your friends, send them a quick message and get something on the books. It’s been so rewarding.

    Also, my mom and step-dad arrive tomorrow for a weeklong visit. It’s going to be lovely, especially because my MIL (who lives closer) has been a bit much recently. So I’m looking forward to a different dynamic.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Group video chat has gotten a lot better too! We’ve started a book club among my college friends, and the video chats are so fun! Sometimes, we even talk about the book!

      • Lisa

        Love this. My husband occasionally plays Magic: The Gathering in a group chat, and I’ve hung out with my college besties this way too. It’s been a while though, so that’s a great reminder.

    • AmandaBee

      I just reconnected with some friends via Google video chat after we scattered over several states, and completely agree that Skype/video dates are awesome. I’m trying to be better at keeping up with people but don’t love the phone, so this helps.

  • scw

    I miss you, APW!

    it’s the end of my third week in my new job (I’m in charge of the team that leads communications and public programming at an academic library). I LOVE it, even though I’ve been sorely missing APW. I’m already pulling long days and making big decisions, but I think I’ve found a job I can stay with for a long time. plus I get to do introductions for kory stamper this semester, which is pretty darn cool.

    I’m still very much in “don’t slack off at work” mode so I can’t read everyone else’s updates, but I’m wishing everyone well!

  • curiousanonymous

    Can anyone here, who has had a baby, who did not breastfeed (whether by choice or by lack of ability or by whatever means, however “valid”), share their experience? Public support or lack thereof… whether they dealt with a lot of crap from people or people pleasantly minded their own beeswax…. regrets or affirmations as to their choice….. TIA

    • RNLindsay

      I’d be interested in this too! I don’t know the reasoning behind your question OP, but breastfeeding scares me. Every person I know has had horrible issues with it. My cousin is pregnant and she recently told me, straight up, that she is not going to breastfeed, not even try. She has anxiety issues and she thinks it will just push her over the edge, when there is already so much to worry about. Her honesty was refreshing for me! I feel you get so much judgement nowadays if you don’t breastfeed

      • Eenie

        My SIL said the same thing! Well, she took medicine pre baby for some mental health issues, and said hey, I might need to take them after and not breastfeed. Not the end of the world. She ended up settling on exclusively pumping, but it was very refreshing to hear someone be so meh about breastfeeding.

      • comment-op

        I am not pregnant, but husband and I are planning to start trying in a year, ish (he is finally on board – we have always known we’ve wanted to have kids, but my bio clock started ticking obnoxiously in the last 2 years and it became a bizarrely urgent need – he has taken those 2 years to realize he actually is old enough and responsible enough to be a dad YAY! – but we have some financial loose ends we wanted tied up first, plus we just moved cities and jobs, hence a year to settle in)……………….and these are discussions we’ve started having casually as we’ve realized that having discussions when you’re also dealing with pregnancy and/or have an infant in your house is probably not great as there are so many things going on at the same time……. so these thoughts have started drifting around, like figuring out the hypothetical future child’s last name (we don’t share last names, I know this’ll be a tough conversation) and how we’ll split half-paid parental leave (Canada woop!)……

        The short of it is my community (Family, friends, coworkers who’ve had babies, etc) seem to give lip service to “fed is best” but the subtext and nonverbal communication is “well OBVIOUSLY breast is best but like, don’t starve your baby if you can’t nurse”…. so breastfeeding is always and will always be Plan A for “good moms”….. and my personal feelings are super intense “I DO NOT WANT TO BREASTFEED”. The idea of being “on tap” like someone already mentioned in response repulses me… I watch my SIL be like that and I just…. can’t….. imagine myself there. I am a very independent person and I am already thinking that giving my body to a baby for 9 months, and enduring childbirth, is such a huge cost to me (a cost with huge benefits! A worthwhile cost! But still, a cost) that the idea of continuing that for a couple of years…. not retaining any body autonomy…. that just repels me in a “my amygdala says NO” kind of way, like it’s not logical but it feels very definitive.

        I also really, really love the idea of sharing feeding and bottle-nursing with my husband. He’s going to be an amazing parent, he’s already great with kids, and I could even see him becoming the primary parent over time. So the feminist angle of sharing physical and emotional/mental labour more equally is very appealing. I just want to know what to expect and how much backlash may be out there, with the understanding that it’s probably very geographically dependent.

    • anon

      Wanted to breast feed but couldn’t. Tried several different strategies but stopped short of the really complicated tubing / pumping set ups. My mom gave me minor crap about it (which of course made it even worse) but I was definitely the one who was hardest on myself. Still sad when I think about it and my son is almost 3 – it was one of the many parenting things that has been out of my control. If anyone else had an opinion they did not share it with me.

    • Mrs H

      I breastfed for four months with each of my kids, until my supply dropped dramatically. Honestly, I was probably harder on myself than anyone else. Everyone in my real life was totally fine, although I did find ‘the internet’ (facebook groups etc.) a little judgemental.

    • Eh

      I don’t have personal experience with this, but from my friends who weren’t able to breastfeed, like the other commentators, most were harder on themselves than other people were (lots of mommy guilt). Most of them had stories about how unhelpful (or out right rude) the public health nurses were when they found out that they were using formula. One of the few stories I heard about the a stranger was from a friend who was bottle feeding her baby in the mall and a woman walked up to her and made a comment about “breast is best” and her response was that this woman didn’t know if the bottle had formula or expressed milk so she should mind her own business. Most of my other friend’s didn’t get comments about it because, until recently, formula feeding was so prominent where I live.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      No babies myself, but similar to what other people are saying, the friends who had trouble were hardest on themselves. I do have a friend who tried to breastfeed but found it incredibly frustrating not to have control of her own body. She chose to switch to formula because she resented being on tap, and was having a hard time bonding with her baby as a result. Her MIL gave her shit about it, but the other people in her life (including her spouse) were supportive, and it turned out to be a great choice for her.

  • Jenny

    Popping in to say that the move to Philly has gone well. I have mostly unpacked boxes and placed this in the rooms they will live, but until we get some more furniture/shelving, That’s basically as far as it will get. But, I ordered the sofa and dinning room table (that will be here Sept 12). So that’s exciting! Also exciting is that I get to see my husband and kiddo for the first time in 11 days, and my mom for the first time in 2 months! It’s been hard, but now less than 4 months until our family is living in the same city again!
    Happy Labor day everyone!

    • BSM

      Exciting! What sofa did you end up getting? We are still trying to decide…

      • Jenny

        We went with the urban sofa from West Elm. They just had a super good sale on seating, though now are having a really good labor day sale. It was slightly less visually appealing than a few of them ( I really liked the ceni from article, but it didn’t get great comfortable ratings, and I was nervous about buying from joybird since I couldn’t try out sitting on it).The Urban sofa was REALLY comfy, and good pretty good reviews online. Plus I was able to get it in a charcoal color that I like, which will hopefully be good in future houses, and also hide stains from a small toddler.

        • BSM

          Thanks for the info! We are thinking about Joybird because I like that they offer Sunbrella fabrics, but none of sizes/plans work perfectly for us. For about the same price, we’re thinking about doing something sort of custom via Clad Home.

          Buuuut we also need to buy a new car before the baby gets here, so I think sofa is going to be more of 2018 thing anyways.

          • Jenny

            The sofa squad should have their reviews of joy bird out by then, which would make everyone feel better. One of their models got really highly rated from the sweethome, but I wanted one sooner than their time frame if possible. When the urban went on sale for 500 off and could be there in 2 weeks so I’d finally have a place not the bed to sit on in the new apt, I just pulled the trigger.

          • Amy March

            Thanks for the heads up on the sale! I might need to order this beauty tmrw:

            https://mobile-beta.westelm.com/products/paidge-sofa-h211

          • Jenny

            It is really comfortable! It was my back up but only due to measurements, and I may end up buying the armchair from that collection as a reading chair!!

          • That’s really pretty!

  • AmandaBee

    Hello from week two of being on the tenure track! I have no idea what I’m doing but it’s been great so far. I really like the other professors I came in with and the overall climate at my school, and I’m getting back into the swing of teaching and working with students.

    Husband and I had a status meeting though and realized that (a) he’s bored and needs to get out of the house more, and (b) we need to get our financial ducks in a row, to pay down the little bit of credit card debt we amassed through a bad combination of poor budgeting choices and emergencies over the summer. So those two things are kind of in tension now. Today we found some free stuff in our new ‘hood to do though, so that should help, and I’m revamping my food budget since groceries are our largest expense after rent. So if anyone wants to swap ideas on cheap cooking and free entertainment, I’m here for you.

    • Kate

      Cheap cooking idea: This summer I bought a device that makes perfect hardboiled eggs every time and I’m seriously in love with it. I get eggs at TJs for about $2 a dozen (large, not jumbo) and they’re really easy to use in sandwiches, deviled eggs, salads, on top of grains, as snacks, for breakfast, etc. Cheap healthy protein and it saves me a lot of time.

      This is the one I bought, because I didn’t want a loud alarm:
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F0RDRFS/ref=s9_acsd_top_hd_bw_b4Zko_c_x_2_w/137-0761350-6057810?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-4&pf_rd_r=KJHZCQGR8W1XYV69GDY4&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=e39ee576-ada3-5765-a14e-a74cf26d8bcf&pf_rd_i=1090754

      • AmandaBee

        Man, why is it so hard to make decent hard boiled eggs? I always overcook them. I’m supposed to be laying off the kitchen gadgets, but we do like hard boiled eggs a whole lot.

        • Essssss

          This technique has changed my hard boiled egg life, gadget free: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-boil-eggs-perfectly-every-time-video-202415

          • AmandaBee

            I tried this, and got raw eggs! I think I didn’t get it to enough of a rolling boil. I also wonder if it was the way my old gas range was set up. Willing to give it a shot with my new electric range.

          • Essssss

            Oh no! I definitely get it to a rolling boil and err on longer instead of shorter soaking afterwards (mostly because I’m bad a keeping track of time)

        • Jennifer

          My fave hard boiled eggs technique I learned from Alton Brown. Baking them! https://altonbrown.com/baked-eggs/

    • somanypseudonyms

      ahh, congratulations on getting onto the TT!! suppressing all my “it’s been two weeks, why isn’t your first book out yet along with an article previewing your future research trajectory?” jokes. except that one.

      re: cheap cooking: what kinds of food do you normally make?

      • AmandaBee

        Baha, I will take allll your tenure-track jokes. As it is, I’m just nodding my head along and pretending I know what my research trajectory and timeline are (um…gotta get one of those).

        Food: mostly simple recipes, but other than that we’re pretty open. I usually do some kind of grain/pasta salad for lunch, some sorta meat-veggie dinner, and vary between oatmeal and greek yogurt with fruit for breakfast. I’ve been finding inspiration from the Budget Bytes blog, which seems to strike a balance between budget-food and tasty-food. Some “budget recipes” that I’ve seen on the internet are a bit…too budget, kwim? Though I won’t turn my nose down at some decent beans and rice. Husband is impossible to fill up, so I leave lots of protein-y snacks at the house too. He can also eat the same old stuff repeatedly, and I’m the one that needs variety. #Ilovefood

        • Ha, I just mentioned Budget Bytes before I saw this comment.

        • somanypseudonyms

          ahh, sounds like we’re in the same general food zone (both for ourselves and cooking for partners) — I ate a lot of budgetbytes recipes in certain parts of grad school, for the same budget-but-not-too-budget reason.

          Ok, so given that fact… some vague advice for you from a stranger on the internet! You might already know these!
          • Mark Bittman (especially his How To Cook Everything Vegetarian, which necessarily skews cheaper without meat involved) and Alton Brown (who’s far more interested in getting flavor through food science and technique than expensive ingredients) are good sources for recipes that are affordable to make and easy to tweak without having originally been written to be cheap. (They’re also both really excellent at educational recipe-writing, teaching you which techniques and ingredients matter vs where you can cut corners, which is incredibly useful.)
          • I’ve generally had more luck getting good food experiences out of “fancier” recipes that I tweaked or cooked with cheaper ingredients than getting satisfying food out of recipes specifically aimed at being “budget” — I suspect it has to do with the thought process of the recipe writer? This is great, for example — and while it’s no doubt *best* when cooked as written (I trust Melissa Clark!), it’s also entirely feasible to simplify it down and use just one or two kinds of citrus and dried herbs and still get a similar flavor profile, and MC has already offered up substitutions of cheaper/simpler fats and vinegars. This works best with recipe sources that are already concerned with making good food of all kinds as opposed to trendy food, though — NYTimes and Serious Eats are preferable over Food52 and Bon Appetit, for example.
          • Something suggested to me a while back that I haven’t really followed through on is trying to concentrate your cooking for [a major grocery run’s length of time] on a single cuisine or set of allied cuisines — it’s a lot more reasonable to occasionally spend on a pricy, special ingredient if you know you’re going to spend the whole week using it in everything you cook and learning its role in a whole region’s food. It also makes it easier to shop and plan if you’re not trying to cook an entire world’s food every week. (I remain bad at this, but am convinced it’s a good idea, and maybe it’ll work for you?)
          • It has taken me forever to come to terms with the fact that it is 100% okay to just make grain bowls / rice and beans a third of the time. I still usually feel weirdly guilty that I’m not cooking something more involved — but it’s easy, and it’s comfort food for me, and my husband is perfectly happy, so why am I worrying about it?

          but in any case, as you know, the *real* budget cooking trick is to stop eating food and sustain yourself entirely on the glorious pursuit of the life of the mind, obviously.

          • ssha

            +1 to all of this but especially the good food over trendy food part. I learned this from my husband- who, incidentally, loves Serious Eats and Budget Bytes.

    • ART

      I am not a huge fan of hard boiled eggs, but to put a different spin on Kate’s idea, I’m big on like over-medium fried eggs on just about anything. Rice and beans with salsa, sour cream, avocado, and a fried egg on top! If you have a Trader Joe’s they have this frozen chimichurri rice – add a fried egg! Baby spinach with the best lentil salad, ever* with a fried egg…My newest joy is spaghetti with black pepper, parmesan, and maybe more like an over-easy egg so you can mix in the yolk real quick.

      I also always have a jar of bacon fat in my fridge saved from making actual bacon. It goes a long way toward making things (like, ahem, fried eggs) feel more indulgent without having to bother with bacon all the time :)

      *https://www.mynewroots.org/site/2010/06/the-best-lentil-salad-ever-2/

      I also like buying whole chickens and roasting them, we eat a ton of chicken tacos so I just shred the meat and freeze it in portions, then I make 24-hour stock in my crock pot with what’s left, and freeze that in 1-cup rubbermaid containers then pop the frozen cubes out into a ziplock bag. It makes really good soups (like pozole, hominy is very cheap in my area!)

    • Lexipedia

      I have lots of practice at this. One of my fave budget meals is baked sweet potatoes with various toppings. Cut them in half and add various things like black beans, lentils, sausage, pulled or ground pork or chicken, anything with taco seasoning, cheese, guacamole, salsa, fried egg, salad, slaw, baked beans…

      You can use them as a vehicle for any combonation of things and they always taste amazing (you can do the same thing with regular potatoes, but they aren’t as flavorful or healthy)

      • ART

        Huh, I replied to the wrong comment of yours with a link to a sweet potato-topped recipe – I blame disqus!

    • Jess

      Food: The less meat/more veggies we eat, the less we spend. We do veggie & egg stir-fries, rice bowls, grilled veggies and cheese and bread dinners, Penne alla Vodka, angel hair carbonara w/ roasted broccoli, stuffed peppers w/ a little chorizo, stuffed sweet potatoes, spiced tomato chickpeas and pitas, veggie/lentil curries, soup and grilled cheese.

    • A single Sarah

      Budgetbytes.com

      I’m a huge fan of her dragon noodles (usually with added veggies). But generally seasonal (for North America), fairly healthy, and prices posted.

      • emmers

        I love budget bytes! I’m all about her cabbage stirfy recipes- there’s a southwest one that I dig and one with more asian flavors. And her spinach & mushroom quiche. So many yummy things!

    • I really like to make curries out of lentils and sweet potatoes. I make fried rice once a week, pizza from scratch once a week, usually a noodle and vegetable dish once, a salad with chicken once. I also like to use eggs instead of meat frequently, so for things like the fried rice and sometimes the noodles I will add eggs (usually scrambled at the same time I’m cooking everything in my wok together). Now that it is getting less hot, I’m also a big fan of roasted vegetable sheet cakes. We also have almost no food waste, which I think is what really helps down our costs–we plan out all our meals for the week on Sunday morning and then go grocery shopping on the way home from church.

    • I’ve seen Budget Bytes mentioned on here regularly, but I haven’t tried their recipes yet, but I want to. They look good!

  • Essssss

    Question: at what point during the job application/hiring process is it appropriate to float the idea of working remotely?

    • aaaa

      is it a dealbreaker for you? If yes, immediately. Don’t waste more of either of your time.
      Is it a perk? After the offer. No point in doing something to discourage them from considering you until after you know they want you.

    • Jenny

      I would say after you receive the offer, before you accept. But it depends on how common it is in your field/ the hiring company.

    • Toby

      Having just done this, I asked after phone interviews but before the on-site interview. I basically said “This job sounds great except for the location, would there be any flexibility with working from home 1-2 days a week?”

      For me it was absolutely a deal breaker though. I was fully prepared to cancel the on-site interview if they said no. If it wasn’t a deal breaker, I would have casually brought it up during the onsite interview if possible. Normally there’s a chance to work that into a question about office culture (i.e. “what kind of hours do people tend to keep” or “how does the company view work-life balance”). But I would have waited to bring up the request until after getting the offer.

  • Gaby

    I’m always reading happy hours but I never post! Things are going well over here, I’m finally achieving that work/life balance I’ve been hoping and working on. I’ve had probably the best mental health month I’ve had all year, and we’re two weeks away from our first big overseas trip together to Japan! This trip is about a month before our one year anniversary, so I think we’ll do something laid back for the anniversary so we can spend freely during the trip. I’m just so relieved to be caught up with work because I know I’m prepared for the vacation and won’t be swamped or need to ask for help when I get back!

  • Pingback: APW Happy Hour | Wedding Warriors TC | Wedding Planner | Kennewick, Richland, Pasco()

  • RMC

    hi all! I’m a little late but hoping someone will see this: any recommendations for cross country moving companies/other cross country moving advice? we are moving from east coast to west coast and the move will be paid for by my husband’s new job (halleluyah) so convenience and timeliness are our top priorities rather than frugality.

    • fleur

      I have no advice but I want to hear others’ answers too! We’ll be making the same move in about 9 months and I am so unprepared for everything.

    • ABF U-Pack did a great job when I moved from the US to Canada. And it was the cheapest way I found to make that move. But…since it’s being paid for….you’ll probably want a more inclusive service and I don’t have any tips for those, unfortunately!

    • A single sarah

      I just moved with a united affiliate and it’s been a bit of a disaster– Got containers switched; Most of my stuff was delivered two weeks late; Some is still missing. On the plus side, I’m expecting a decent compensation for it all. But moving is chaos.

    • Jenny

      I used abf upack for my recent move too. I used yelp/ the uhaul site to look for and hire local movers on either end of the move. I’ve also moved with atlas van lines ( which was much less flexible) and diy with a uhaul. I will probably hired movers and packers for my next move which will hopefully be paid for by my job, but I’ll likely go with the relocube/upack/abf ( all things they call themselves). It was just the easiest move I’ve ever done, and the cheapest.

    • Eenie

      ABF had great customer service. I’ve never gotten a choice for my fully paid move.

  • djuna

    We got married in our backyard on Saturday and the weather was perfect and we didn’t rent a tent and we had five friends and six month old twins staying with us and aside from a couple of minor snafus it went off as well as we could have hoped for. We’re still riding high. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/959dc199fd71ef5361da64b4b5f46373d41515b2182bee16d529fa463341d408.jpg

    Our Rottweiler was our ring bearer. Our professor from grad school officiated. Folks stuck around until 2:30am rolling around on the deck to David Bowie. It was magical, intimate, loud, and exactly what we wanted.

    • fleur

      Your description is making me go all heart-eyes emoji. Congratulations!

      • djuna

        That emoji has been my face all week (it’s usually the eye roll one)! Thank you!!

    • mjh

      Congratulations! Your wedding sounds wonderful and that photo is amazing.

      Our reception was in my brother’s yard, and I have a soft spot for backyard weddings ;)

    • quiet000001

      You’re lovely, but I kinda want a photo of the rottweiler. :D

    • somanypseudonyms

      AMAZING. <<<<333

  • Random updates: my jeweler should start working on my ring in about two weeks, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m also sore today because I took a trial class in urban contemporary dance last night. The choreography/technique elements involved backward rolls (which I haven’t done since….middle school??) and balancing with your hands on the floor and your body and legs in the air (with your body is resting, near the belly button, on one of your elbows that is angled in under you…hard to explain). I finally succeeded in a sorta-backward roll (not good at all, but I did something that way much better than my first attempts!), but the balancing on my hands was pretty impossible for me. The rolls were incorporated into a choreography the teacher was teaching us. Whew, it was like going from level 1 straight level 4 or something! Ah well, it was fun to try something WAY out of my comfort zone, just to see…even I did end up with a blister on my hand before the class was even over! I’ll be sticking with my normal ballet classes this fall, I think!

  • anon

    okay apwers – this is uncomfortable so i’m going anon.

    do any of you have (very) wealthy in laws? my husband and i have great careers, make A+ cash, and my family is frankly, very well off, but down to earth/not showy blah blah blah. however. i knew in an abstract sense that my husband’s family is wealthy, but recently it’s been sort of driven home. my husband recently went over their will with them…and it’s like multi multi millions of dollars in $ and land/buildings left to my husband and his one other sibling. it’s weirding me out a bit, and on top of that, i recently joined a new workplace, and i LOVE it and get along with everyone really well, but i’ve had some uncomfortable moments lately where my family’s cottage (spent a long weekend there), or my in laws beach house (ditto) have come up and some coworkers met my husband and told me he was handsome and he ‘dressed like a rich guy’. he was wearing normal jeans and a polo. it’s not a big deal, but now i just feel weird about it.

    signed, person who grew up being taught talking about money was rude and is now sort of self conscious

    • anon

      i realise that above doesn’t really ask a question – i guess i’m just self conscious! i am generous with my colleagues and friends, i try to never bring that stuff up, i totally get that others are paying off huge loans etc. i guess i’m concerned that people will think we’re snobby or too good for them? sigh.

      • Jane

        I have my own version of this sometimes because my family was really poor when I was little but now is not and has a lake house and I always feel awkward when I say things like, I’m spending the week at “the lake,” as if there is only one lake, etc.
        I don’t think you will come off as snobby or too good for people unless you deliberately talk about how expensive the nice things you have/ get to do are or you say things that make it seem like you are completely out of touch with how much things cost or how others’ finances are different. But it doesn’t sound like you do any of those things.

        • anon

          thanks. i think it comes from a place of wanting to make friends and being a bit insecure about that, and it also brings up lots of feelings about equality in our marital finances and differences in how we see our families as adults i guess.

      • EF

        i mean if you feel bad you can always just pay off other people’s student loans…….

        (hi)

        • anon

          ha! :)

    • emmers

      It sounds like you’re trying to be sensitive to the disparity, as best you can. It is awkward when people have different levels of access to money. But as long as you’re not being a jerk about it, and not are still sensitive to your friends’ needs (like keeping price in mind when you choose a dinner spot), it sounds like you’re navigating this as gracefully you can. And I don’t know what your current financial situation is, but eventually thinking about ways you can give back. Just using your (future) wealth for good.

      • anon

        yes, we are definitely focused on helping our community, in fact when we both got raises last year it was our resolution to find ways to give back. we donate financially, but my husband is also really proud that he joined the board of a non profit he used to volunteer for and now donates his professional services to them. it’s awesome – my schedule is much more unpredictable so i haven’t felt like i can commit to an organization at this stage (i don’t want to leave them high and dry) but hope to spend time giving back too in the future.

        • emmers

          It sounds like you are handling things well. You will give back when you can! It sounds like you have really good perspective.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      I would really ignore those comments from your coworkers. It sounds obnoxious and maybe came from a place of insecurity on their part. If you generally like them, I’d brush off these comments.

      My parents do not have a vacation home, but several of my friends’ parents do. It would be really weird if they skirted the topic if they had spent the weekend there. We are friends, and I want to hear about their life. I don’t want there to be a barrier. If you are a person who wants to be real friends with your coworkers, you should be able to talk about your normal life. (Or you could be like me and not share much with your coworkers and not be friends; but that’s neither here nor there).

      • anon

        thanks – that’s how i feel – i really like these people and want to connect, and it’s hard not to feel uncomfortable when they are taken aback that we own our house (came up when a coworker asked for a real estate lawyer rec when buying), or whatever. i think i need to just make peace with the difference, continue trying to be sensitive to that and let it go. i think that maybe my discomfort is adding to the issue, so maybe accepting it without being a braggy jerk is the way to go :)

        • Amandalikeshummus

          I really find that the more you talk to people, the more you find in common than different. Like, everyone’s got an annoying relative, everyone has some joyful childhood memories, a shocking number of people have a special needs sibling, etc etc etc. I’d connect through the job first, then you’ll find the other things.

          Plus, it’s really useful to have friends who have gone through stuff like buying a house already. You don’t need to feel bad about having this info that is going to help someone. They will feel better being able to talk to you about their experience.

  • anon for this, for now

    My husband and I decided a few weeks ago that we are done trying to get pregnant (after 2 years and one miscarriage), and are moving on to pursue adoption through the foster care system. We sent in our application yesterday and although I felt like I was about to vomit immediately, I am so excited. It will take a while to get licensed, which is fine because I am a teacher and in graduate school until July 2018 so we won’t accept any placements until summer break. I am SO happy to be moving forward.

    I am also learning as I cautiously tell a few people about our decision that many times they do NOT know how to react. I mentioned that I thought it could be fun to have a “foster shower” and a few of my people poo poo’d it as a silly idea– “you won’t know the age, and people will just give you hand me downs, you don’t need a shower.” I realized and explained that really what I want is a way to celebrate becoming a parent– because that’s what this is going to be. This is HOW I become a parent. One of my friends totally got it and was like “Oh, this is like you telling me you’re pregnant!”

    So, I am learning that I need to provide a script for people, and some guidance on how they can engage with this part of my life.

    (I realize this is a complicated, long, hard, exhausting, sad, heartbreaking process we’re diving into – I don’t need a reality check. I just want to be excited for a minute. Also please don’t say “you’ll probably get pregnant as soon as you adopt!” That feels pretty hurtful because it recenters pregnancy/biokids as the ultimate goal.)

    • Violet

      This is exciting! Any big decision comes with that feeling of wanting to vomit (for me they do, anyway) so that makes perfect sense to me. This is an amazing adventure you and your husband are embarking on! I hope more of your friends “get it” (like your one in the example) as you move through the process.
      Also, I am not a big fan of babies generally but love kids, so the idea of a foster shower is FANTASTIC to me. The games and books you could buy as gifts… so fun!

      • emmers

        I love the idea of games. And toys! Art supplies are also pretty flexible as far as age. Cute bedding, room decorations, too. Maybe even assigning people different age ranges, and then opening the gifts by age.

        • Jess

          Awww I love the idea of opening gifts for different age ranges.

    • Em

      What a wonderful thing to do to give kids going through a tough time a loving home – congrats to you for making the decision! I hope your friends and family do get on board with it and celebrate the idea. A foster shower sounds lovely – maybe people could bring their favourite childhood book (from any point in their childhood?) to help stock a library for the kids you’ll have?

    • emmers

      Congratulations! I think a foster shower sounds awesome. You can get so many cute kid books and supplies & maybe have cute cocktails. And if you’re not sure of age/gender, that could be a cute game that you do- taking some kind of poll. Like I’ve seen some people put butcher paper on the wall where people guess the gender with hash marks. And since you’re fostering maybe another shower item to bring could be relaxation items for you. I’m so happy for you! This is huge & such a fun idea.

      And I think you’re right- people don’t get how to respond. So do what you’ve been doing- educate a few friends on what you’re trying to accomplish & dispatch them as enthusiasm generators, so you don’t have to explain it to everyone.

    • Amy March

      I think a foster shower sounds wonderful! I also think that people are more apt to being excited when something happens- if you’re a year away from getting a placement, people may well express more excitement then! I hope?

    • Henri

      This is so great! My very dear friend had a foster shower thrown for her (in another state from me, sadly) and I was SO EXCITED for her! Which is to say, go for it (or have a close, understanding friend go for it for you) and it may help nudge the confused to be excited/supportive. I’m excited for you!

    • One of my good girlfriends has done foster to adoption three times. I think the shower is a great idea, but I’d only want to do it if I knew that I’d definitely be adopting that child? If it’s not yet final, I personally would wait until the adoption is finalized and then have a shower/party/big celebration then.
      ETA: I do think I’d be good with a sort of “Welcome so-and-so” party, if it was not for sure the child would be staying permanently in the family, but I’d just have to reframe how I looked at it.

      • anon for this, for now

        Yeah, it’s tricky because of the uncertainty of foster/adopt and the lack of widely recognized rituals around the process. Right now, I’m thinking that a potential party would be mostly about initiating my husband and I into parenthood, because whether we foster or adopt, it IS parenting and I want my family and friends to think of it that way. I figure any gifts given (which wouldn’t be the whole point of the party, but because it is a culturally recognized ritual around new parenthood, would likely be included) would be given with the caveat that they would either be used by us with various foster placements or eventually donated to a foster child that needed them after we adopt. I am not sure I would want to involve any kiddos in a party until after adoption because their placement with us would likely not be a happy moment/memory for them.

        • EF

          depending on age and background and if they’ve met you first, totally true that placements can be awful moments.

          i think having a sort of welcome package for the kid (you are *probably* going to meet them a couple times first, probably will get good notes on stuff they like) is a good shout. but trying to adjust to a new family is HARD, especially the idea that someone actually wants you around. i found that after 4 months things got a lot easier (from the teenager side) so maybe waiting some amount of time and then throwing a real welcome party would be cool.

        • I like the idea of celebrating your initiation into parenting! And I agree that doing it before is probably better for the kiddo(s), since like EF said, it can be a hard transition for children (and adults too, I’m sure) to enter a new family. But celebrating when you become eligible and are on the waiting list would be great. My impression is that placements can happen really quickly, so planning a party right before the arrival of the first child might be tricky? My friend took in two kiddos within two or three months (and these were children #3 and #4 in her family). So things can happen quickly. Kiddo #2 had a verrrrrrry long adoption process for a number of reasons, but it was fast and smooth for kiddos 3 and 4. (The first is a bio kid.) Anyhow, keep us posted! I am curious to hear about your journey.

    • Oops, I pressed enter too quickly before I finished typing! I also wanted to say congratulations and that this is exciting! I hope your friends and family quickly understand this and come to support you in this new journey of expanding your family.

    • Jess

      Congratulations on making this decision on how you want to be a parent! There are so many kids who need a safe home and family and I am so happy you’re able to offer one!

      FWIW, I would totally attend a foster shower the second you knew you had a placement!!! I would also attend an “approved to foster” party and a “welcome [kid]” party and any other parties.

    • anon for this, for now

      Thanks for all the support, friends! I really appreciate that I can come here and find people who thoughtfully listen/read and respond with care. I love the ideas for games and books and will be saving them for when we get further along in the process.

    • EF

      so as a former foster kid, hooray you! especially the last paragraph…

      but I guess i do wonder about the idea of a foster shower, unless you are only fostering babies?

      if you’re open to fostering older kids, it’s also a great idea to have a shower, but i’d strongly suggest waiting until you know more about the kid? assuming you won’t be a short-term emergency placement but a long term placement, the biggest thing from the kid’s side (i think) is having a space of your own that you get some say in. for example, my foster dads to this very day keep the special-edition boston globe inserts of red sox player posters, and leave that for me in the guest room/room designated for my adult self, 15 years after meeting them. that still means SO MUCH. especially as neither of them really care about baseball!
      but so many short term placements were like ‘oh a girl! here are the flowers and pink things and don’t you want dresses?!’ and it was horrible.

      • anon for this, for now

        That’s such a great perspective to hear. Thank you! Yes, I would absolutely want to customize the room once I met the kids, and let them pick out as much as possible (assuming they are old enough). I think the “shower” is really less about stuff and more about me feeling like everyone else gets a party when they become a parent (I also totally get that this stops being about me the second we get a placement — maybe that’s another reason for the party?). Maybe we’ll do a gift card shower instead of tangible gifts because then they could be used to take our foster kids shopping… Thank you for your feedback!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      A couple different families I know have recently jumped into the fostering world, and it has been a wonderful thing to be along for the ride. I wish you so much joy!

  • quiet000001

    Super eventful week due to family health stuff, topped off by unreasonable anxiety about fostering a dog.(We are in line to foster with one of the group’s getting dogs from the hurricane areas.) You’d think I’ve never had a dog before, I’m so nervous. Anxiety is bizarre.

  • Em

    So in the last two or so months I’ve finished grad school, moved countries, and started a new job. And you guys, it’s been a lot. We arrived here in Hong Kong three weeks ago (and I started work the day after we arrived!), and in the space of 6 days we’d found somewhere to live and my husband had found a job – WOOO job! We move into our new home at some point next week, once there’s furniture there (since we are furnishing the place from scratch!), and out of the serviced apartment we’ve been in since we arrived. It’s been about the easiest possible move that we could possibly have done thanks to the generosity of my work, but my anxiety levels are definitely starting to creep up and I’ve definitely felt a bit all over the place this week. I can’t wait to be in my own place once again and have a more settled home, and I’m really hoping it helps offset some of the anxiety (which is also definitely related to being back working in a law firm).

    The big thing I’ve been feeling is loneliness. My husband is wonderful, of course…but I miss having girlfriends, and my best friend back home has been going through some stuff herself and hasn’t been as chatty as she has been in the past. I really need more friends either at work or otherwise here in Hong Kong, and I’m just grappling with how exactly to go about making them. I’ve heard good things about meetup.com here in Hong Kong, but the big question I’ve been wrestling with is “how do I find good girlfriends who like chatting about life / travel / politics / wedding planning” – because it doesn’t really seem like that lends itself to a meetup group in the same way something like hiking or boardgames does (which are two groups I’ve seen and am contemplating going to). Basically, I think the question is – how do I find a real life happy hour like this? Any tips? Or anyone else who’s had luck as an expat in cities like HK making friends?

    • Violet

      Congrats on the move going smoothly! The way my sister made friends in HK was to go on those day-trip boat cruise things that are very popular. She’d meet lots of people, then choose a few to meet up with 1:1 after that. She said the hardest thing was longevity: English-speaking people her age didn’t tend to stay in HK all that long because they were usually there on rotation for work. She was there for about two years herself, so her experience bore this out as well.

      • Em

        Oh, the junk boat trips? Yes, they look pretty fun and that’s great to know that they could be a good way to meet people! The weather has been sadly quite rotten since we arrived here (two typhoons in the space of about five days, including the biggest one in 5 years!) so no junk trips yet, but that’s a really great trip. I wish she was still here – that would have been quite fortuitous!

        • Violet

          Yes those exactly! (Sorry, I forgot what they were called.) Bah, hope the weather clears up soon for you. I know, that would’ve been!

    • Lexipedia

      When I was an expat in Southeast Asia I took dance classes to meet people. It was awesome, and since the classes were taught in english then the clientele were at least somewhat bilingual! The club was pretty friendly, so when I went to their social dances on Saturdays then there were a lot of people from the classes to spend time with.

      Good luck!

    • I have some friends in Hong Kong and they’re English-speaking, but they are in the older-kids stage of life (a preteen and an 13 year old). So they’re probably not a good match for the type of activities you’re into… And they are more traditional, so not really a APW-type couple/family (so they wouldn’t fit your desire for a real-life HH), but they are great people. (But let me know if you’d like me to reach out to them and see if I can put you in touch! Maybe they could help in this settling-in phase, even so?)

  • We made our rings last weekend. It was our 6th anniversary, so it was a nice activity for that, and we kept the silver “practice” rings so now we have engagement rings, anniversary rings and wedding rings.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8eb064dbcb93b519e75ced934e8d93aca01b2e9319d263f7e311abdb7fbaff77.jpg

    One of my bridesmaids got married this morning and we’re off to her reception later. She got engaged after we did and is marrying before, and I’m struggling not to fall prey to anxiety about her wedding choices being judgements of ours (and anxiety that she’ll feel the same come our wedding). It’s the last of the summer weddings this year, which feels like the real starting gun for ours, which is also a weird experience.

  • Reg commenter but anon for now

    So I heard back this week about an opportunity I applied for, and they want to interview me next week! Do you all have any tips for a Skype interview? (It’ll be my first one on Skype or video.) I remember reading on here sometime about looking directly at the camera and not the video of the other person. And of course thinking about what is behind you within the frame. What else? I have no idea how long the interview will be (so no idea how in depth it will be), but I plan on use this long weekend to really prepare as best I can for all the possible things I think could come up in any length of interview…

    • EE

      Make sure your connection is good and have a back up plan in case something happens. A back up plan being a conference call or google hang out etc.

      • Reg commenter but anon for now

        Yes, good reminder! My plan is to connect directly to the internet with an ethernet cord. My wifi has been horribly bad for a few years (cutting out ALL THE TIME), but since I bought a new router, I haven’t had any problems. But I will connect directly to avoid it, just in case. (And that reminds me, I wanted to practice setting this up wit the cord and calling my boyfriend with Skype, to make sure all works fine.)

        • suchbrightlights

          I second this emotion- I do webcam interviews as a replacement for a phone screen all.the.time, and it’s no fun when something goes wrong. Avoid the panic by having a callback number in case your internet goes out. Test your headset and all that jazz. Good luck!

          • Reg commenter but anon for now

            Thanks, EE and suchbrightlights, I will ask for a phone number or back-up plan.

    • Lexipedia

      1) If you’re calling from a laptop you should put it up on a pile of books so that the screen is at eye-level, instead of looking down. 2) Think about what you want behind you when you are on the call, because it will be visible and potentially distracting. 3) Don’t forget to think about what you’re wearing, just like in an in-person interview. Some things look bad or camera or rumple up when you are sitting in a chair.

      • Reg commenter but anon for now

        Eye level!!! That is great; I toatlly wouldn’t have thought of that at all! And yes, I am going to be doing some cleaning/removing distracting things/organizing of my background this weekend so that it is calm and pleasing. I have a top in mind and have planned to pin my backstraps to make sure everything stays in place and I don’t have to adjust it or anything. It’s a color I look good in, and I think it will work well. I tried it on in the area I plan to do it and looked at it in video, and it seemed to be a good choice. Might brainstorm other ideas too, if I have time, in case there is a better choice in my closet. after I get it organized, I will probably set up the video and put the top on and make sure it all works well togther…

      • Reg commenter but anon for now

        Lexipedia, I tried on the top I was thinking of wearing and did a test video and then tried a different top because I was not impressed with how the first ended up looking in the video. So I decided to change. And I had been sure the first was a good choice based on how it looks on my in real life….but your comment made me question if it would translate well to video, and it just wasn’t as nice as a top I hadn’t even been considering. Thanks for the tip!