APW Happy Hour


It's the end of summer

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hey APW,

How was your first week back, after the unofficial end of summer? We had a quiet weekend, trying to keep two small children healthy during a heat wave that spiked up to 109, in a part of the country that has virtually no air conditioning. But on Labor Day, friends visiting from Holland asked if we wanted to come stay with them at a rented beach house. So we all decided to play last minute hooky, and on Tuesday had one last day of summer. It was pretty much perfect. And though I never ever want summer to go, I guess I’m okay with fall’s arrival in the next few weeks.

But for now, it’s your open thread. Make it rain (comments).

XO,

Meg

Meg Keene

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

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  • Bride

    I feel like a jerk for even worrying about this, since people who live in Florida have much more to worry about, but my wedding is in the Florida Keys at the end of October. It’s a destination wedding, and about 90% of the guests have brought plane tickets already. It’s on a small island at a small hotel. What would be my options if my hotel was too damaged to host the wedding next month? Would I lose all my deposits or could I get them back through my credit card? Would all the guests lose their plane ticket money?
    Also, any suggestions for event/wedding insurance? I’m guessing it’s too late to buy now…

    • Angela’s Back

      I used to live on the gulf coast and so much of this is going to depend on what goes down tonight/tomorrow. Given everything they’re saying about the size of the storm and the fact that the Keys are going to take a direct hit, though, I would be starting to think about other options for your venue, possibly even other options for the location, period. There’s just no way to know right now how bad it will be down there, and while you’ll be able to physically get to the Keys by the end of October, if it’s very bad then they could still be cleaning up debris, a lot of places may not be open, the infrastructure just might not be there to have the experience you want/have been looking forward to. As far as deposits and stuff like that is concerned, I think you’ll just have to call the hotel in the next couple of weeks and find out what’s going on, they’ll know what they’ll be able to handle by the time of your wedding. But given that it’s the Keys, I wouldn’t be surprised if any contracts you signed have some kind of clause about booking weddings in hurricane season at your own risk. Guests losing plane ticket money would depend on how they each booked. I know this is a total downer answer… :(

      • Bride

        Thank you! This is definitely good advice.

    • sofar

      You’re not a jerk, you poor thing! A friend of mine went through this — had to move her wedding at the last minute. It was still beautiful, but it wasn’t the wedding she PLANNED and many of the guests couldn’t make it. I am so so so sorry you are going through this. Because even though people who live in florida have more to worry about, you are living out a lot of peoples’ worst wedding nightmare.

      As for your questions:
      Would I lose all my deposits or could I get them back through my credit card? It’s almost impossible to get deposits back via the credit-card chargeback process. Your contract probably has some kind of wording that the venue makes no promises to deliver a wedding on your chosen date if there’s an act of God. That said, in my friend’s case, the venue owner referred her to another venue in a non-damaged area (owned by a friend) — and that new venue gave her a big discount.

      Would all the guests lose their plane ticket money? Sadly, almost certainly. They can change their flights to the new location or the new date (if there is one) but will likely have to pay a change fee and the difference in fares. Airlines are super stingy about this. Unless the flight gets cancelled, your guests probably won’t be able to secure a refund.

      Wedding insurance: It’s very restrictive and you probably won’t be covered if you buy it after the venue is destroyed.

      I’m so sad for you, this sucks! A lot of times, other vendors will open their hearts to couples whose wedding plans were destroyed and I hope that happens in this case, too.

      • bride

        Thank you for the kind words! You’re very sweet :)
        That’s a good point that I need to check the contracts. Most guests will be flying into Miami so hopefully I would be able to find another venue that’s nearby and not as damaged as the keys so people wouldn’t lose their airfare money?
        Are there any wedding insurance companies you recommend? I was curious as to if I bought it today (before the storm hits) if I would be covered or if it’s too late since the hurricane is already known.

        • sofar

          I used WedSafe. I forget all the terms, but obviously they are very specific about the timing of disasters and cancellations.

          And flying into Miami means you do have somewhat of a back-up plan, so that’s good!

          • Bride

            Thank you, I’ll check out WedSafe!

      • Not Sarah

        On a similar vein about your friend getting a big discount with the new venue – any vendor we have reached out to with less than a month to go has offered us some sort of discount. The place we picked for our rehearsal dinner offered no food and beverage minimum since they weren’t booked yet and another place offered a discount.

        Also sometimes in disasters like this, airlines will help offer rebooking of flights, though that’s usually just in the actual wake of the storm.

        • bride

          Thank you! That makes me feel a little better about in case we have to re-book! Did you have trouble finding places that were still available that close?

          • Not Sarah

            Our date is on a Sunday and we were able to find about 10-15 photographers in our metropolitan area with less than a month’s notice who were available. So if you’re a little flexible on the date, that could help too. We were looking for rehearsal dinner for 30-50 people and all of the options we contacted were available. So just send out multiple requests like you normally would and give it a shot! It is absolutely a bunch of work and extra stress right now which is tough, but I promise that it will work out somehow, even if it isn’t your original plan/vision.

          • bride

            I’m so sorry you have to deal with all that extra work and stress! I hope it all works out for you :)

    • Not Sarah

      I’m sorry this is affecting your wedding! You are not a jerk for worrying about this. Your guests are adults and can figure out what is up with their plane tickets, but yes, this will quite likely change your wedding and you’re allowed to have all the feelings you need to about that sucking.

      • Bride

        Thanks! I know it’s still a big deal but it makes me feel petty to be worried about a wedding when people could be losing everything. Thank you for validating my feelings :)

    • Bride

      Also! Any suggestions for how to reach out sensitively after the hurricane to vendors to check on their status? How long should I wait?

      • MDBethann

        Maybe something along the lines of “I want to continue to support your business, particularly following Hurricane Irma. However, if you think that my wedding on Oct. X, 2017 will be too much for your business at that time given the effects of Hurricane Irma, please let me know so I can begin to make other arrangements and not cause you any additional worries about my wedding.”

        Or something to that effect. Just tactfully make it about supporting their business and not wanting to cause them additional stress if working at your wedding will be too much for them.

        I would email them no earlier than Tuesday the 12th or Wednesday the 13th, to give them a couple of days to survey the damage to their homes and businesses, so that when you do tactfully email them, they might be able to provide you with an honest answer. If you haven’t heard anything within a week of your emails, then try calling. Cell phone towers and landline infrastructure is going to be down for awhile, so responses may be slow.

        Good luck and I’m sorry to hear you are going through this last minute stress!

        In the mean time, if it helps, late this week/early next week, maybe reach out to some venues and vendors in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area to see what availabilities are there, as they didn’t get hit as hard (though things aren’t great there either). Then you at least know what options you have if you need to change things late in the game. Good luck!

  • Oy Vey

    So, I started stage one of the DTR talk after all your help a couple weeks ago (I don’t necessarily trust myself to choose the best guys after both my previous relationship and the one before were both with various levels of jerk, so I’m taking it very slowly). As I was saying goodbye to him Sunday morning, after I stayed at his house on Saturday night and he made me amazing scrambled eggs that morning, I said – “Hey, so I’m not seeing anyone else right now.” He said, “I’m not either.” Then we had a nice goodbye kiss and I left because I had to get to the gym.

    My friends met him on Monday at a Labor Day BBQ and they are “cautiously optimistic” about him (as I’ve asked them to be very “on the lookout” as far as boys I date). I’m going to a football game with him and my BFF and her dad (who’s a bit of a surrogate dad for me bc I live 2000 miles away from my family) and I are going to a football game together tomorrow and if I get their approval, I might expand that exclusivity talk that evening to say that I want him to be my boyfriend.

    Or not for now. Taking a week or two at a time to mull over decisions has been feeling good lately, so maybe I’ll wait. We’ll see. If he doesn’t get approval, I’m going to play by play with my BFF and figure out what to do.

    Anyway, thanks ladies for all your help. That Captain Awkward article was perfect!

    • Zoya

      Yay!!

    • Jess

      Awwww “I’m not either” That sounds like a cute moment.

    • Katharine Parker

      Yay! It sounds like it’s going well, and taking time to process and mull over is so valuable. Going to a football game with your BFF and her dad is definitely a boyfriend-zone activity. I hope everything keeps on going strong!!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Commenting kinda late, but just wanted to say go you!!! When I met my husband, I was also in that weird position of, “holy crap, the last guy I dated could not have been more wrong for me and I thought we were gonna get hitched. CLEARLY CAN’T TRUST MY OWN FEELINGS.” And we took things hella slow because I was terrified of that happening again, but when it finally hit me that he really was a good guy and I really could let down my guard (9 months into dating, oops), it was the most beautiful, freeing, empowering feeling I’ve ever had. I felt like I could trust myself again. Hope that happens for you too, with this dude or just generally. <3

      • Oy Vey

        Thanks so much! It really helps to hear anecdotal evidence that I’m not the only one to stop trusting myself after bad relationships. <3

  • ssha

    I posted two HHs ago about a support group I was going to for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors and several of you asked me to update. Well, the meeting was last night and it was really good! It was nice to talk to other real people, instead of internet people. That made a difference somehow. Some people in the group have skin picking, like me, and some pull their hair out, they said sometimes members come who are habitual nail-biters. We talked about when we started, potential causes and triggers, some strategies, and life stuff. One woman shared that she had been coming 6 months and it had really changed her perspective. She talked about accepting it as something she does; not a good thing or a bad thing, just a thing (she and I bonded over the fact that our moms always frame this as The Worst Thing We Could Do to ourselves). They make goals at the end of each month, this woman said one month her goal was to wake up and say to herself in the mirror, “Okay.” Not “Next week I’ll do better”; not “Ew, I’m gross,” just “Okay.” I was floored. I’ve been doing some soul searching and I think for years I’ve been fiercely promoting a sort of BS- generally-positive body love type thing. I have little sisters and I always try to talk about my body positively around them and their friends, but I haven’t done the hard work of making sure my body positivity is inclusive, or even- delving deep into loving and liking myself. The truth is that I project a confidence I don’t feel about my appearance: I hate and am embarrassed that I pick, I pretend to embrace being short and laugh it off, I don’t really like being the size or height that I am even though I pretend to (making short jokes at my own expense, etc). I might have to transition to saying “Okay.” Saying “I look great” or “I love how I look” is not being honest with myself. But saying “Okay” might be enough. Then and only after I accept it can I maybe do strategies to stop the habits I don’t like. I decided I’m not sure I’m ready to stop picking, but I AM ready to stop hating myself for doing it. I always thought loving my body would be not trying to destroy my skin, but first I might have to accept that it IS my skin.
    I’m planning to go again next month.

    TL:DR, I recommend talking to real people if you struggle with a BFRB. Instead of focusing on stopping picking, I’m trying to focus on accepting myself and getting out of the guilt cycle. You can use this website to find a group in your area: http://www.bfrb.org/find-help-support/find-a-support-group
    I can post more of the resources we talked about if anyone requests them.

    • Violet

      So fascinating; thanks for sharing! It’s funny, because my mom usually let me alone about picking at my fingers because she would do it from time to time, and I guess she didn’t feel she was in a place to be too restrictive with me about it. Though she had a lot of high expectations in general. This was the one thing she kinda let go, and I think as a result of that, I’ve always let it go, too. I’m not happy I do it and wish I could stop, but I’m never super motivated to stop.

      • ssha

        That’s so interesting because we were talking about family issues at the meetings and casually wondering if it was a genetic/hereditary thing.
        I feel like you- I’m not motivated to stop- what would I do then? My fidget cube just isn’t as satisfying.

        • Violet

          Fidgets aren’t satisfying to me because they don’t feel productive. As weird as it sounds, picking a certain piece of skin or biting inner cheek flesh feels like I’m *doing* something. That makes it perfect for when I’m stressed and can’t do anything about what I really want to fix (so it’s a displacement of that energy) or when I’m understimulated as a way to be doing something, anything. No other replacement behavior I’ve found is satisfying. If there is a genetic component, I must get it from both sides- my dad once told me when I was really young how he trained himself to rub one fingernail against the other, which is a body-focused repetitive behavior but causes no damage. I don’t even recall now what he taught himself to do that in response to, but it was obviously something.

          • ssha

            SAME, picking has an objective and a finish line, a feeling of release, fidgets are just… movement unto infinity. Interesting about your dad! I’m just now realizing that I’ve always done other non-harmful BFRBs as well- rubbed my fingers up and down my nose, played with hair- I’m going to look into this more.

    • Jess

      Thank you! I’m glad to hear that you’re finding some comfort in the group!

      I love the idea of acceptance and saying “Okay” – I think I’m going to practice that for myself.

    • Jenny

      Though not the same situation. I gave up negative body talk one year for lent and it was one of the most eye-opening things I’ve ever done. It was also, and I don’t say this lightly, fairly transformative for me. I too was generally projecting confidence, but I would almost instinctively say negative stuff about myself to myself in my head. It’s hard to “give up” those ingrained behaviors, so one thing that I did was after I would notice a self-depricating/mean comment I was making about myself I would ask. Do I really believe that? (Aka, am I really the laziest person ever? no I don’t believe that. I’m just tired and unmotivated right now. It’s the one’s you say yes to that can really surprise you). And then, would I say this about/to one of my friends? Those things helped me get to a more neutral place, and help identify some spots that I needed to work through. Best of luck for you. I really hope doing the work gets you the outcome you are hoping for. You deserve it.

      • ssha

        Wow. Thank you for this comment. Yeah, I am that friend who will call people out for saying bad stuff about their bodies, but apparently it doesn’t apply to me. I love the idea of giving it up for lent.

      • Amanda L

        Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve known for years that there is a name for what I do, but never delved deep enough to find help. My chronic nail-biting has gotten so bad that I’m not sure my pinky nails will ever recover. And after 30 years of skin picking, I’m starting to see the very real damage I’ve caused. It’s still not enough to get me to stop, though, so I’m definitely checking out that link. Thank you again!!

    • theteenygirl

      Wow thank you for this. Ever since my anxiety got bad around sixth grade I have picked my fingers. It’s to the point now where I have no cuticles, a few of my nails are malformed, and my fingers are basically just scar tissue. My sister used to say to me, “no boy is going to want to hold your hands if they look like that”. I always figured there were other people like me, but I guess I never thought to seek them out.

      I’m going to look into this.

      • ssha

        Yes, please do! The homepage of the website I posted above would be a good place to start.

        Also, boo sister. I would sometimes get comments like that too. Like the person who loves you will literally not care about that stuff? Such a bad thing to say on so many levels.

        • theteenygirl

          It was a horrible thing to say (I mean, it’s been like 10 years and I still remember that day, vividly!) but I think she said it thinking it would scare me into stopping. Luckily, no one I was ever with even noticed my hands. It was really traumatizing when FH and I started talking marriage because I knew the first thing people were going to want to see was my engagement ring. And I was right. Weirdly, getting engaged has made me more body-positive about my hands, because people are looking at them all the time, and no one has ever mentioned anything! I’m even starting to feel more comfortable going to nail salons. A photo of my hand was re-posted on Instagram by Brides magazine! And it’s all been good.

          • ssha

            Wow, that’s awesome about your hands! I’m happy for you!
            Yeah- I think sometimes people think they’re helping with “stop that! think about x!” type of comments, but they are NEVER HELPFUL and always make me resentful/hurt instead. Not Okay.

          • Violet

            I had a PCP who told me I was more likely to get oral cancer because of cheek biting. Yeah, I know that already. Not helpful, just scary.

          • penguin

            Wow is that true? I never would have thought of that.

          • Violet

            My (very) basic understanding is that any time cells replicate, they can glitch up in the process and create a cancerous cell instead. So constantly making my inner cheek cells replicate at an unnaturally high rate to make up for the ones I bite off gives me a higher risk factor.

    • Kate Mac

      I’m a long-time lurker coming out of the woodworks finally, just because your (and others’) comments on the BFRB are SO very recognizable… my fiance absolutely has these behaviors. His main one is picking his skin on his hand (mostly his left hand- he’s a righty), and his insight into it is that it feeds into his perfectionism… He’s trying to get the cuticles/skin perfectly smooth, but since his skin is so rough all the time (outdoor job and near continuous hand picking, plus washing his hands more often than the average person), it’s obviously an unattainable perfectionist goal. His other repetitive behavior, which isn’t harmful, has to do with eating. He either pats his napkin in between every bite, or swirls/rubs his hands together between every bite, depending on the type of food/eating style. I’ve *almost* found myself doing that one on occasion!
      I really wish he could slow down on the picking of his hands because they hurt him quite a bit in the winter. I also think he’s done permanent damage to the skin/circulation in his fingers from it, which breaks my heart to think about. I’d like to show him the link you shared, but am afraid of coming off in a way that would make it sound like I was trying to specifically FIND ways to get him to change/stop immediately, not this, “oh hey look I randomly found this link and no I’m not judging your behavior!”

      ANYway, thank you kindly for sharing about it!! What an eye-opening find for me.

      • ssha

        Hi! :) Welcome to the commenter life!
        Does he want to stop? Does he know that there’s a name and help for what he does, and could you gauge his interest in these things? I would start there. I think if you’re kind and go by his goals and not your goals for him- then you’ll be OK, but of course it depends on how your husband responds when you bring up these things. My mom was the one who told me about the support group, and I was super surly about it, like “fine i’ll GO but because I want to not because you want me to” but I went also because she was actually suggesting a helpful thing, not just pleading for me to stop when I actually couldn’t- “Can’t you see you’re harming yourself?” etc.
        So if you go the method of asking him his thoughts, vs trying to direct him a certain path or making unhelpful comments like some of the ones mentioned in this thread, that would be better.

        • Kate Mac

          All good questions and points. I absolutely want it to be his choice and decision to look into, so a gentle, helpful suggestion. I don’t know that he is particularly concerned about it until the wintertime, when it becomes more painful on his hands to be outside. He did mention previously with the topic of our wedding, and the ring/hand photos. I didn’t know it had a name then, and if he brings it up again perhaps I’ll be able to segway that into a conversation, if he seems open to it. I’m thankful for learning about it (there’s a name for it, others have it, and there are resources out there for him if he chooses), so that if he likes, I can help in some way.

    • Mrs H

      Thank you so much for updating! I’m really struggling with picking my fingers-they are so sore at the moment, that I’m having to take painkillers. It’s so weird because I’m actually feeling pretty good for the first time in ages (back to back horrendous pregnancies with HG the whole way through and Post Partum Depression), but my picking is the worst it’s ever been. Thanks for the link-I’m definitely going to check it out!

  • I started classes this week! It’s going to be a bit of a slog, as it’s night and weekend classes while working full time, and it’s frustrating to rehash things I already know (trained/licenced as a paramedic, now doing a phlebotomy course), but it’s a great refresher and even better networking, so I’m focusing on that! We start live pokes On each other tomorrow!

    • Cellistec

      I feel you! I’m between quarters right now, taking prerequisites to apply to nursing school, and the thought of another year of classes + work makes me hyperventilate a little. I hope the course goes well–phlebotomy is one of the healthcare skills I’m most curious/nervous about!

  • penguin

    Our mikveh ritual this week went really well, and my fiancé and I both got a lot out of it. It was in the outdoor pool of a friend of our rabbi, which thankfully had a lot of privacy (tall fence, secluded from the street). It was at night, and the main part of the pool was lit from below. The pool had a little built in hot tub, so the part we were in was warm while the rest was cold water (side note – I had never seen a pool like this, and now I want one). We had a chat with the rabbi first, then she went in the other room. We disrobed (which is a bit awkward in someone else’s house, but as uncomfortable as I expected), then knocked on the door and got in the pool. She gave us a few minutes lead time and then came out. She held up a sheet to give us our privacy, and said prayers after each immersion. We immersed individually for the first two, then did the third immersion together while holding hands. The rabbi sang mazel tov for us, then went inside and we got to spend some time together in the pool. I really feel ready to get married now, and it was nice to have that sacred time together.

    Family stuff – my grandpa is on hospice now, and I’m going up to see him this weekend. He won’t be able to travel for the wedding (if he’s even still around by then), and apparently he’s pissed about that because he really wanted to go. My mother has been up there visiting for a couple weeks (unheard of for her). She was going to leave Thursday, but is now apparently staying until Saturday sometime. I don’t know if this is because she knows I’m heading up there or not. I normally drive up Friday night, but I’m driving up Saturday morning instead to increase the chances that I don’t have to see her. Apparently she’s been making comments to family along the lines of “well maybe I’m not invited to the wedding”, and she’s not, but isn’t taking the hint. My grandpa keeps insisting she must be, and he wants everyone together for my wedding. My grandma doesn’t want to bring it up in front of him so he doesn’t get upset. My plan is to let grandpa think what he wants, since he’s dying, and see if my mother asks me directly about it. If she does, then I just plan on telling her that I don’t want her there, so I didn’t invite her.

    • Henri

      1. That sounds beautiful.
      2. I’m so sorry. :(

    • Abby

      So glad the mikveh went well, and so sorry that (as life is wont to do) you’re going through such tough family stuff leading up to your wedding. Your planned coping strategies sound on point, and I’m so glad you’ve thought through what you need to do to take care of yourself during this time. Big hugs and best of luck.

    • Jan

      Sorry to hear about your family stuff. My grandpa passed away about 2.5 weeks before my wedding, and it was a really hard thing to deal with.

      The mikveh sounds lovely!

    • emmers

      The mikveh sounds beautiful.

      And I’m thinking back to one of your posts a few months ago, when you were trying to decide whether or not to visit your grandpa, even though your mom might be there, but wanted to go because of his health. And how you went and it was cool. It’s a sad situation that his health is declining, (and ugh about your mom), but I hope you’re able to find peace, and also able to think about how you’ve made the most of his final months, and have spent as much time as you can with him (even in the midst of wedding planning, yeesh!).

      I also love how your grandpa is pissed that he can’t travel. He’s not pissed about dying, per se, but about not traveling for your wedding. That’s just really sweet.

      • penguin

        Thank you! And right, I love my grandpa, he’s a tough old bird. Back before his cancer had progressed this far, he said “if I’m not dead, I’ll be there”, and I half-expected him to be able to attend through sheer force of will. Whenever he goes in to see the oncologist (this is his third major cancer), she always says some form of “What the hell are you still doing here?”. They didn’t expect him to live through his first cancer, and gave him like 6 months to live (that was 8 years and two cancers ago).

    • Jess

      That mikveh ceremony sounds so beautiful.

      Strength to you as you navigate your grandfather’s hospice and your mother’s questions.

    • Lisa

      I’m so sorry to hear about your grandpa. You and your family will be in my thoughts. Hopefully you are able to minimize your time with your mother, or at least that she’ll behave herself if you have to interact with one another.

      The mikveh experience sounds really lovely. I’m glad you and your fiancé got to experience that together!

    • rg223

      I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather. I’ll be thinking of you and him. And good luck with your mom. The mikveh sounds lovely!

    • AmandaBee

      I’m so sorry to hear that your grandpa won’t be able to make it. And that drama with your mom is compounded on top of that. I’m keeping you in my thoughts, hoping that grandpa is as comfortable and surrounded by love as possible and mom stays out of the way.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Can you arrange for Skype, assuming he sticks around that long? Maybe he’d like to know you plan to include him, even if he can’t travel.

      • penguin

        Probably not, although we could probably send him pictures that day. He still doesn’t like his cell phone (which is a flip phone), and they don’t have internet at their house. Thanks for the idea though – in other circumstances that would work well.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          Rats.

  • xaellie

    We’re engaged! YAAYYY! Also: We’ve informed our parents up front that we’re eloping to Iceland in the spring. They were a little disappointed, but otherwise totally okay with it and understanding. SUCH a relief. I know there was a post on here 1-2 weeks ago where many commenters said not to tell anyone you’re eloping before you actually elope, but my gut said that would ultimately upset our parents way more than telling them beforehand, and I’m glad I followed it.

    So, moral of the story: Follow your instincts (you’re the one who knows your people!), even if it means going against common advice.

    • Congrats! Eloping in Iceland sounds SO amazing!

      • xaellie

        Thank you! I’m so excited to see it!

    • Jan

      Congratulations!

      • xaellie

        Thank you! :)

    • Emily

      Congratulations! Iceland should be amazing!

      • xaellie

        Thank you!! I hope so! :)

    • Jess

      Congratulations!!!!! I’m so happy that you knew your parents and made the right call!

      • xaellie

        Thank you!! Me too! I was getting a bit stressed out over it but ultimately was just like “F it, this is happening either way so” XD

    • I “eloped” to Iceland. “eloped” with parents present, though. it was very lovely. i woke up from our airbnb the morning of my wedding and saw whales in the distance!

    • Call Me Penny

      Ah, huge congratulations! We spent the start of our honeymoon in Iceland and it’s a really special place.

    • Sarah Porter

      Iceland is the absolute best!! You’ll not regret this one bit :) shameless plug if you need a wedding photographer as I’ve always dreamed about shooting an elopement there 😘

  • penguin

    Good things – Our RSVP date was last week! Had about a 70% response rate, more like 80% after following up with the people who were easy to check with (like my brother, who forgot to mail his card in). Shout out to APW for suggesting that we number the back of the RSVP cards – my fiancé was super excited about this, even more so when we got back TWO cards with no names, and no names on the envelopes either. Recommendation to future couples – make your numbers for the RSVP cards match up with the Excel row numbers. Or just make it obvious that they don’t match – we had to go back through and double check them after I realized my fiancé was filling them in based on the Excel row numbers, which happened to not match the RSVP numbers we put in the spreadsheet.

    Also shout out to whoever on APW posted the absolutely massive master wedding planning template spreadsheet – it’s been the basis of all of our wedding planning. And the invite estimates were accurate almost to a T – we estimated 55 attending, and we have 53 right now, with 8 or 9 people to still hear back from (but most of those almost certainly won’t attend).

    Overall I feel like we have a pretty good handle on planning. We have a big list of stuff to get done, but most of it is relatively minor stuff, or can’t happen until we confirm all the RSVPs (like seating charts, etc). The big vendors are all confirmed. My first wedding dress fitting is in a week and a half or so, and I’m excited/nervous for it. I’ve purchased like 3 boleros already (one gold, two ivory) to try on with my strapless dress, since I don’t know what will look good with it. I just ordered two more today, a navy and an ivory. All the ivory ones are different styles – hopefully something works. Even with purchasing 5 (oops) boleros, it’s less than half of what I would have paid for a custom bolero through the wedding dress place!

  • Laura C

    We are home in Cambridge, finally! Somehow I just haven’t been online any Friday recently — last week we were actually arriving in the new apartment and starting to unpack, the week before we were on an airplane all day, and the week before that was checking French Laundry off my husband’s bucket list. So, yeah, we are in our apartment that we own, and the paint colors that we chose just from looking at paint chips are great, and we are trying to figure out the right balance between getting the stuff we need to be able to fully unpack and have furniture and waiting until my husband is earning money again (November) to buy nicer things than we could really justify right this minute.

    And the babbler is not in daycare yet and my husband is taking care of him all day but he is constantly breaking into my study (the door doesn’t really latch) demanding to nurse, and I have a crack in my heel so it hurts to walk, and my MIL is predictably driving me a little nuts (her 15 months ago: “I will store half a house of furniture indefinitely if you think you might ever want it.” Me: “but if you store an entire bedroom set for years by the time we wanted it you would have spent more on storage than it would cost for a new one.” Her: “no, that’s not true because this is all really nice stuff and the storage money is not a factor.” Her this week: “how about if you take 25 boxes of books and store them in your limited basement storage area to save me money on storage”), but we’re home! And we got out of the Bay Area before the crazy hot weather and it’s been so beautiful here we’ve barely used the AC! And I’m eating all my favorite things and seeing my friends and it’s worth the effort to think about putting things on the walls and I don’t have to constantly think in my mind “but what time zone is it where everyone I communicate with is right now?”

    Of course in a couple weeks comes the dread trip to India.

    • emmers

      It sounds like you’ve had your hands full! How was French Laundry?

      I’m glad you’ve finally made it back east. I hope things settle soon, with unpacking/getting things moved in/stored, and with the annoying MIL, and tiny babbler. I know you were super stoked to move back, so I’m glad that part is at least done.

      • Laura C

        French Laundry was exceptional, though I guess I’m not sold on any meal being worth that money. But I was able to let go of that feeling while we were eating and just enjoy the food as it came — I did the vegetarian menu and my husband did the meat so we could get the maximum variety. Maybe the two most memorable things were the crudites of the tenderest, most beautiful little vegetables you’ve ever seen, and the avalanche of desserts which included some of the best gluten-free donuts I’ve ever had (which was interesting, because the GF roll was good but not top two or three best I’ve had).

        • emmers

          It sounds tasty. Sometime when we have more disposable income I’d like to try a fancy yummy place, but I’m with you, it’s generally hard to justify.

        • Abby

          So glad it was delicious! I totally hear you on the cost. I always find it particularly jarring when having treat-yo-self experiences like that (few and far between) to see others who appear to have normalized it. While I was always aware of the exponential curve of wealth distribution in the U.S., the higher up on it I climbed the more I realize how many social norms, experiences, and expectations exist at higher income levels that I was completely in the dark about before, and how much people’s perception of wealth shifts as they start to live with it–super weird. (I’m sliding back down the curve soon without having experienced French Laundry, though, so thanks for letting me live vicariously!)

          • lamarsh

            This piece in the NY Times today relates to what you’re saying: https://nyti.ms/2gP1b7B

            The author talks to a bunch of people in the top 2% who think they’re still middle class because they see uber-wealthy people all around them. It definitely made me think, as someone who is on the upward end of the wealth distribution curve, but living in a major metropolitan area so I feel like I never have enough.

          • Laura C

            I read that! Such an interesting piece — I need to read her book.

            Long ago I read a really interesting feature that I think was in New York magazine, maybe, basically looking at people at different income levels in New York City and showed how each level was looking at the level above them and saying “I’m not really rich because I don’t _____.” The person who rented thought the person who owned was rich, the person who owned was looking at the person who had just redone their kitchen was looking at the person who’d bought the apartment next door and combined them, all the way up to, like, the person who chartered a private jet but didn’t own one.

            As for French Laundry, I don’t know if it was specific to the room we were in or if you just noticed the tables for which it was true and not the tables for which it wasn’t, but it seemed like most people were there for a special occasion, not as a regular thing. So that was interesting — I noted it specifically because going in I wasn’t sure how much it would be us and a room full of people for whom it was just a normal Friday lunch. I think it being out in the middle of wine country probably makes a difference there, though. It’s not the neighborhood restaurant for all that many people in the way that Le Bernardin or Per Se can be, if you’re rich enough.

          • Abby

            Definitely have to read the article, I hadn’t seen it but this is exactly the phenomenon I was describing– and yes, I think it’s particularly prevalent in New York (and the meal that triggered my comment was at Le Bernardin! which is incredible, but it boggled my mind to watch some of the other patrons there).

          • Laura C

            I refused to go to Le Bernardin when my husband’s mother took him the week he graduated from law school. I was just like “fish is not my thing, restaurants that expensive are not my thing, you have other people to go with and don’t need me, I’m skipping it.” But French Laundry he only had me to go with so I was stuck.

          • Abby

            I fully support that decision. It’s hard enough to justify spending that kind of money on a single meal even if you will savor every last bite, but if you won’t enjoy it you’re better off just lighting a paycheck on fire and saving yourself the trouble of dressing up.

    • Katie

      I’m sorry I missed your previous comments on moving, but – Cambridge as in Cambridge in UK, or some other Cambridge? In any case, congratulations on the move!!!

      • Laura C

        Cambridge as in Massachusetts — I may have said Boston at other times and just got more specific this time.

        • Katie

          ohhh gotcha! nice that you don’t have to deal with the heat anymore! *still dying here in Texas*

        • Kaitlyn

          Woop welcome! The weather’s been so mild lately and while I’m a little sad we had a cooler summer, this is my favorite temperature.

    • sofar

      Chuckling at “dread trip to India.” Having made the new-wife family pilgrimage there with my husband’s family, I imagine going there with a small child will be … intense. I loved the trip, but a vacation it was not.

      • somanypseudonyms

        Having done a similar trip to meet the extended family in China as a new-fiancée (a newlywed trip might happen next spring), I feel you both. Intense and wonderful and full of love … and extremely not at all a vacation in the slightest. Godspeed with smöl child added.

        • sofar

          Yes. Full of love. So much love. And so much food. Which appeared to be one in the same.

      • Laura C

        We had lunch with my husband’s cousin yesterday and he urged me to talk to his wife about her experience making the new-baby trip. Apparently she resorted to making her father-in-law hold the baby for like four hours at a time because only if he, as a senior male family member, was holding the baby would everyone stop just grabbing it without asking permission. Only my father-in-law didn’t live long enough to actually ever be my father-in-law, so…we’ll see.

        • sofar

          OMG we were there at the same time as my husband’s cousin, her husband and their one-year-old. So much baby-grabbing.

          Funny story: my FIL’s brother’s employee’s wife (so, basically family right?) went into labor while we were over there. So we all rushed to the hospital (which was practically next door — small town). They let us ALL (like, 15 of us) into the hospital room like, an hour after the birth. Everyone brought in sweets and booze and thus began a game of “Pass the baby” — the hour-old baby! New mom seemed happy to meet me and insisted on us taking a picture together AN HOUR AFTER SHE’D BIRTHED HER BABY while aunts, uncles and her husband’s coworkers passed her baby around. Had our roles been reversed I’d have wanted her the fuck out of my hospital room, but hey, different customs!

    • Alex K

      Congrats and welcome back!

    • rg223

      Yay! You picked a beautiful time of year to move back! Congrats!

  • Jan

    I got married! The wedding was awesome– the ceremony was lovely, the food was delicious, and the dancing lasted all night. It’s funny, because as I was driving to my nail appointment the morning of, I remember thinking, “Hm, this just feels like an ordinary Saturday.” And truly, it was a pretty peaceful day, save for about one hour before the ceremony when I started to get stressed out by all the stuff that still needed to happen before guests arrived. But things came together and despite a few minor snafus (like my new mother-in-law berating one of my best friends at her table because of a bad joke she’d told during her speech… oops), it was really an awesome event. And at the end of the day, we were legally bound, so it served its purpose! I’m also so, so, so, so, SO thankful to have the whole thing over. Wedding planning is not my favorite thing.

    • susannahdon

      That sounds just lovely! Congratulations :) And hopefully your friend shrugged off your MIL’s beration.

  • Amy March

    My sister is getting married today!! So overwhelmed with excitement.

    • penguin

      Ahh that’s exciting!! Have fun :)

  • Emily

    Five weeks from yesterday I get to quit my terrible, unsatisfying, boring job, and I could not be more thrilled. I was feeling guilty for a minute because they recently gave me a huge raise plus an amazing review and a bonus on top of that, but that was after promoting almost all of my male colleagues, so I get the feeling it was more of a “please don’t leave us” thing. Well, too bad! Maybe you should have promoted me too. I’m excited to finally find a job that I want to have, rather than staying in a job because my husband is in school, or because the economy is bad. I’m nervous too, because I know I need to get better at pitching myself – but practice makes perfect! I put together a kick ass lady empowerment playlist to play before job interviews, and I have confidence in Lizzo, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, and Janis Joplin even if I don’t in myself…yet.

    • Jan

      Yay! Congrats on leaving a job that wasn’t making you happy. That must have felt so thrilling.

    • Cellistec

      Hooray! Way to take the leap. Your lady empowerment mix is a great idea…I hope it gives you pitching confidence!

    • penguin

      I suggest adding Woman by Kesha to your playlist – I play it while I’m getting ready and it helps me get pumped up.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Ne-Yo’s a dude, but Miss Independent?

    • susannahdon

      Lizzo is perfect for this playlist! Idk about you, but a ridiculous amount of women cursing always makes me feel hella confident before an interview…. (check out Bo$$’s I Don’t Give a Fuck)

  • Rose

    Classes start on Monday, and I am not ready, but I’m still excited! Turns out that I love being faculty (not really a surprise, but still). I like this college a lot, and everyone else in the faculty and staff is awesome. Plus, I already have a phone interview for a TT job for next year! Which is super encouraging for the first job application of the season. So, mild panic mixed with excitement.

    • Natalie

      Best of luck with the phone interview! I started my 1st faculty job a couple weeks ago, and I love even more than I thought I would. :-)

      • Rose

        Thanks! And congrats! Being visiting for only a year (and so being back on the job market already) isn’t ideal, but I’m definitely enjoying this so far! Hope your year goes well!

  • Lexipedia

    I had a call with FMIL last Saturday for an hour of talking about the wedding, which was really nice because I’ve been struggling about how to make her feel welcome to contribute thoughts and ideas. Upside, it was nice bonding. Downside, our guest list of 110 is now at 147. Part of that is because she was excited and wanted to invite some more family members, and part of that is because she didn’t think about inviting the live-in partners of cousins in their mid/late-20s. I have to remember that most of the people she invited can’t come, so that number is falsely high, but it still freaks me out to look at.

    Also, I discovered from Facebook that the new husband of one of FI’s cousins has a Confederate flag tattoo. I know they won’t be attending, but it’s so painful that we have to send them an invitation.

    Ugh, family.

    • Abby

      I feel like this is one of those situations where though you would understandably not want them around at your wedding, 1) unless they’ve egregiously wronged you guys, it’d be pretty rude to exclude them unless you exclude all the cousins of that level; and 2) the fact that you have a relationship with them is in itself a privilege so maybe if the odd chance happens and they do show up just unabashedly emphasize your core values on the day and hope maybe it sows a seed of social-justice humanity in them? (but give zero fucks if they get offended).

      • Lexipedia

        Unfortunately this husband is new, so there hasn’t been a relevant family event yet, but I know FI’s aunt, who he is close to, would be hurt if we only invited two of her children because of the third’s husband. They are 99.99999999% likely not going to come, and I feel like failing to invite them might stir the whole situation up and make it worse.

        I know, deep down, that we have to invite them – along with my uncle who told me that the fact that I deleted his racist and misogynist comments on my Facebook wall was stifling an honest debate, and then compared me to a Trump-supporter. I just need to not look at the husband’s posts (which right now include his new tattoo that says “Redneck Nation” on the Confederate flag, posts about how if you see any “Libtard” bumper stickers then you should run the SJWs down with your semi, and about buying all the “guns and ammo” one can before the socialists take over).

        • penguin

          I mean… you don’t have to invite him.

          • Lexipedia

            This is true, I’m just not sure that sending an invite to people who are very, very unlikely to come is the hill I want to die on.

          • penguin

            Fair enough! Best of luck, hopefully they RSVP no immediately :)

        • Abby

          Oh yeah block the shit out of that guy on all your accounts. Just figured that thinking about how uncomfortable he would be sitting through an aggressively social-justicey ceremony might help you feel better about the fact you have to invite him.

          • Lexipedia

            Oh thank goodness that neither FI or I are friends with him. We only saw it because we went to his cousin’s page to confirm his name for the save the dates.

        • MDBethann

          Unfollow without unfriending to avoid rocking the boat, and that goes for your uncle too. You can also set it up that people can’t see your posts if you don’t want them to see them. As for your uncle, racist and misogynistic comments are not part of “honest debate,” especially if they are someone else’s wall or website. You had every right to take them down. Heck, websites are moderated all.the.time. Your uncle needs to get out more.

          Keep your fingers crossed that the problematic relatives stay home. Maybe you can dissuade them by raving about some aspects of your wedding (or being in Canada) that would be a turn off to them, further dissuading them from attending? Hopefully you’re in luck and they don’t have passports…. maybe include a passport reminder in your invite? That could really stymie them if they don’t have passports.

    • savannnah

      We are inviting all of my fiance’s first cousins except his profoundly racist one – even though we are inviting his 8 brothers and sisters. So far no one has said a word to us but some of his siblings also did not invite them to their wedding for similar reasons so if it is an already established issue, it might be easier to exclude them.

  • Eh

    I spend the long weekend with my best friend, helping her with her newborn and her older two kids (one who has a disability). It was very exhausting and I still have not recovered. The baby does not like being put down (we worked on that over the weekend – and it seems to have paid off) so I spent hours cuddling with her. I will say that I miss the squishy newborn stage, and now I have major baby fever.

    • Jess

      What a kind way to spend a weekend! I’m glad you were able to help cuddle the squishy baby.

      • Eh

        My friend and her husband (my husband’s cousin) live 5 hours (when it’s not long weekend traffic) from us, and they don’t have any family or friend’s nearby (they mostly live near us). Her mom stayed with them for about a week after the baby was born so I made arrangements to help out after her mom left. I figured that the weekend would be busy since her older two started school/preschool this week, and her husband manages student housing rentals.

  • Alex K

    I’m heading out for 10 days in Spain and France in 2 hours and I’m super excited (and a bit sick…so hopefully that will be ok)!

    I hope everyone had a good week!

    • Have a great time!

    • Gaby

      Happy travels!

    • Lisa

      Bon voyage, y que te diviertas bien!

    • Lexipedia

      Eat. All. The. Things.

  • Katie

    Hi people!

    So, house stuff is moving slowly. We have a retention wall that’s 70 years old and reclining, and the foundation is a mess because of that, so we can’t move in until it’s all fixed. There’re SO MANY things to be fixed, we’re so overwhelmed, and I’m super excited about all the reno but also frustrated because we can’t do anything until all the foundation stuff is fixed :(

    On another note, my work is going well – I have this thing called Advisory, it’s 30 minutes in the beginning of each day. Each teacher has 9-10 students, all the same every day, that they bond with. Our 7th grade teachers team was supposed to come up with plans for advisory for the next 6 weeks, and I came up with my own and shared with the principal and she approved! One of the things was “Country study”, where we would study a country per week, learn new things about it and do a little activity. I was a little worried if it would pan out, but I’m so happy to say that it didn’t go half bad as I thought it would! We watched a timelapse video, googled some facts and put together a poster. Also, the students finally started to open up, and I’m really looking forward to working with them and bonding with them further. Yay for education and building relationships!

    • Alex K

      That sounds like so much fun! What a cool idea!

      Unsolicited, but one of the most fun things I ever did with my advisory was having them all stand on a sheet, and then ask them to figure out how to flip it over (top becomes bottom) without anyone getting off the sheet. It took about an hour and we all had a great time (and my advisees learned that the loudest person doesn’t always have the best idea and it’s important to listen to everyone).

      • Katie

        that’s an awesome idea! thanks for the tip!

  • A

    So, I’m asking mostly out of curiousity, because this is a situation involving a distant-ish relative and I don’t actually need to know what’s going to happen. But does anyone know what’s likely to happen when a new baby is born to parents who have already had their children removed from the home? Both distant-ish relative and her now-husband had young (ages 4-10) children from previous relationships, who were removed some months ago because they were leaving them home alone regularly. The kids are living with various grandparents–I’m not sure if that’s expected to be temporary or not. Now the parents are expecting a new baby, and I’m just finding myself really curious as to what’s going to happen, but it’s not a situation where I can ask any of the people who are actually involved. The whole situation is a giant mess for a variety of reasons, and I feel so bad for all the children in the family. Is CPS likely to give them a chance to parent the new baby appropriately, or remove it from the home almost immediately? Does anyone have any idea?

    • Oof

      It might be different in different parts of the country, but where I’ve worked with the child welfare system they will probably be given a chance to parent the new baby. Instance where you might have immediate removal is if the infant is born addicted.

      • A

        Ok, thanks. Like I said, I was just really curious, but asking the immediate family didn’t seem appropriate right now. Hopefully they’ll be able to be better parents to the new baby.

    • Kalë

      Yes to Oof. Also, CPS or other child organizations will likely work closely with the parents, providing resources, classes, and other services. Twofold reason: teaches parents and helps set them up for success with new kid; allows CPS to keep a close eye on “high risk” families

      • A.

        Ok, good. I do think that distant relative, at least, has the potential to be a pretty decent parent if she gets her shit together, but I’ve also been concerned, because there were several things going on that were definitely really rough on the older kids. Support (and someone keeping an eye on them) sounds like definitely the right thing.

    • EF

      this is DEFINITELY different in different places. there are definitely states that will remove the child at birth if the parents have already been deemed unfit; the baby would never go home with them.
      there are places that give the parents a chance.

      i would guess – and I say this as a kid who was in and out of foster care so only know the system from that angle – that if the other kids were only removed a few months ago, they probably will not be allowed to keep the baby immediately. however if they want to keep it, and complete requirements their state will have ahead of time, there’s definitely a chance that they’d get to parent the new baby.

      that’s all assuming that the baby is healthy and drug abuse wasn’t part of the reason the other kids were removed.

      i will also say, it’s not terribly uncommon for slightly older kids to be in the foster care system and newer babies to not be. it’s also really quite terrible to realise parents just want to start over and you’re not part of that starting over, so if you’re able, do please be prepared to give the older kids a little bit of attention or send them something, to acknowledge their existence.

  • Kat

    I’m so preoccupied with Irma right now I’m struggling to focus on anything else. My family lives in the panhandle (Pensacola) and should be okay (unless this storm take a hard left), but SO’s family is in Boca, just a few miles north of the mandatory evacuation counties, and they are staying put, despite mine and his sister’s pleas for them to leave. I’m especially worried about his grandparents who don’t get around well in the best of circumstances and have some pretty serious medical issues to worry about. SO is historically an under-reactor, where I tend to overreact, so we’re butting heads about this a bit. It’s just made me realize that even though they aren’t my family, after 6 years of dating the sure feel like it. On top of that, my best friends all live in South/Central FL and I’m just feeling very helpless right now. I grew up dealing with hurricanes, Ivan basically wiped us off the map for a while, and this storm dwarfs that one in comparison. This really sucks.

    • I’m so sorry, I hope everyone is okay! Worrying and not being able to do anything is so hard.

    • Rose

      Oh man, that sounds so stressful. Of course you can’t concentrate on anything else! I hope that everyone makes it through safely.

    • Capondoodle

      I hope your family makes it through okay! That’s definitely stressful. I also live in the Atlanta area, but am in Tennessee helping my fiance who busted his leg at the gym on Monday (he’s doing better). Can’t decide if I want to drive back or telework from Tennessee, mostly for the reasons you just described…people losing their damn minds!

    • rg223

      Gosh, I’m sorry. Hope all goes for the best!

    • Ught, I’m sorry. Very familiar with the under-react/overreact dynamic. Sending good vibes to you and your family.

    • Natalie

      Solidarity. I, too, have had trouble focusing b/c I’m worried about friends and family in Florida (I’m from Jacksonville/Gainesville). My parents, sister, & nephew are staying put in Jacksonville. My aunt and uncle evacuated from West Palm and are staying with my parents. They’re at basically no risk of flooding, but even still I’m worried. It only takes one tree falling through your roof to kill you. I have friends in Miami planning to ride it out (what the hell, guys?). Friends in Tampa Bay, which is in serious flooding danger if the storm goes westward. And that’s not to mention the worries I have about property: my in-law’s boat, on which they live half the year is dry-docked in the Keys; my aunt just finished fixing up her small house in West Palm. She lost her daughter unexpectedly a year ago, and her father a few months ago, and has channeled a fair amount of grief and emotion into making her new house a home. I worry about what the additional emotional blow of losing her house would do to her after her recent other losses.

      • Kat

        Oh, all of that hurts my heart. I hope all of your loved ones and their homes stay safe and as dry as possible. <3

        • Natalie

          Thanks. I hope the same for your loved ones. It’s scary.

          I know my family is better off than many, and I’m grateful and trying to focus on the good. My aunt and uncle have the means to evacuate, and a safe, comfortable place to stay for free as long as they need. My parents have the space to host family, and they have all the hurricane necessities stocked up at all times (life-long Floridians). My aunt emptied her fridge/freezer & took all the food with her, so they’re planning a giant cookout to smoke all their meat if/when they lose power. They’re making hurricane cookies tonight (a family tradition) and plan to play Scrabble by candlelight when the storm knocks out power. Basically, they’re having an old people’s hurricane party.

    • Kaitlyn

      I have family in Miami who didn’t leave (why is beyond me) and I read an article today about how Miami is gonna get pummeled all while my aunt is posting Instagrams of deserted streets with captions of “Life in a mandatory evacuation zone” whyyyyy

      • Kat

        Arghhhh whyyyyy? I feel like it’s generational? Idk. I’m beyond aggravated.

  • Eenie

    I gave notice at work yesterday and start my new job on the 25th! My boss was really happy for me, and my department head is a little miffed on the timing (I’m the fifth person to leave the department since June), but we’re preparing for Irma and made the decision to shut the site down Monday and Tuesday out of an abundance of caution so he’s been busy with that whole fiasco.

    I hope everyone else out there is staying safe. This is the closest I’ve ever been to a hurricane and I’m not quite sure what to expect.

    • Violet

      My main plug (assuming you’re otherwise healthy) is make sure to have enough drinking water. We had enough during Sandy to get us until we could get out of our place to somewhere with power, but it was an anxiety-riddled few days hoping we’d have enough to get us through.

      • Eenie

        We bought a case on Monday to have on hand just in case. I’m close ish to Atlanta but on the south side, so we’re most likely looking at wind damage and power outages. I have only talked with other people at work and they are stocking up like the apocalypse is happening…

        • emmers

          In addition to drinking water, my parents used to fill up the bathtub with water, mainly for flushing toilets without power. People do tend to freak out about hurricanes, even if they’re not in direct danger!

        • Violet

          It’s always hard to know how panicked to be. Because Sandy was a year after Irene, which turned out to be mainly not a big deal, we didn’t take Sandy all that seriously. That ended up being a mistake. In NYC no power = no water, so that was what was most jarring to me. Electric, I don’t need; water, that’s another matter.

        • Kat

          Plan to stay home Tuesday and Wednesday (if possible) because you know the roads will be a mess. Have food on hand that doesn’t require cooking in case of gas/power going out. But honestly, the way this storm is already slowing down, it will likely be Cat 1 or a tropical storm by the time it gets here. Irma isn’t a rainmaker, so flooding doesn’t seem likely this far inland. BUT judging by how people in Atlanta handle rain to begin with, everyone is going to be freaking out and buying up enough supplies to last them months. Just….stay off the roads.

          • Eenie

            This makes a lot of sense to me, thanks! I will probably have to drive on Wednesday, but work already issued notice that only essential personnel are needed Monday and Tuesday.

        • emmers

          My last advice is to stock up on the booze of your choice. Because– why not have a little party?

          • Eenie

            That and toilet paper. First things to go in Puerto Rico during the hurricane prep according to my co-workers.

          • Lisa

            My husband went to the grocery store before Badtown got hit by a snowstorm a few years ago and bought a bunch of <$5 remnants of fancy cheese, salami, crackers, and good beer. We had a fantastic couple of days eating our way through all of the food and having a personal Firefly marathon.

      • Kara

        Having been through Ike and now Harvey (you SOB!), I recommend filling up other water vessels now, before the storm hits. If you have bottles / pitchers / canteens, hell, even pots, fill them with tap water and put them in the fridge. You can also fill up your bathtub (make sure it doesn’t drain out) with water for flushing your toilets.

        Also: http://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-for-a-Hurricane

        Good luck and be safe!

    • emmers

      Maybe keep your phone charged, and make sure you have a full tank of gas and car charger, in case you lose power. And snacks/things that you can eat if you lose power. Bonus points if you have some cash on hand in case you need to buy things and card readers are not working. I hope you stay safe!

      I’m glad that your job stuff seems to be working out, and that your boss was excited for you.

      • Eenie

        Oh smart about cash. We will pick up some charcoal and grill the whole half cow we have in the chest freezer if we lose power for too long. This makes me feel better, we have fully charged everything, backup batteries, full tanks, and extra portable gas tank.

        • Kara

          Hand sanitizer and wet wipes will be your friend. Kinda like camping, but if it gets hot and sweaty, it’s nice to “bathe” with wet wipes.

        • Abby

          Grilling everything in the freezer is my husband’s dream every time there’s even a slight chance of a power outage. Add “half a cow” to that scenario and he might just cut the power on his own.

          • Eenie

            Ideally it would slowly thaw and then once the power is back on we’d refreeze the food cooked and have a crap ton of food for when I start my 75% travel job in two weeks. It really couldn’t happen at a better time.

      • I’m a big fan of having a bunch of those power bricks for USB-charging devices charged up a backups.

    • Lexipedia

      If there is any chance that your water supply may be disrupted, fill your bathtub up with water that would allow you to wash dishes or flush the toilet.

  • Sarah Jane

    I’m finally past the 12 weeks point! Helllllo, second trimester!! Hubby is glad that I’ve finally stopped throwing up all day everyday, and I’m glad that I have a bit more energy. I actually went running this week, for the first time in 8 weeks! Looking forward to going back to the gym this weekend :)

  • MayJune

    An ex-boyfriend (who I was madly, obsessively in love with) has reached out to me once again after years of on-and-off communication since our break up. I have a hard time staying away from the pull from communicating with him because we have such great chemistry even just through technology. But through experience I know that after a few days or weeks of fun talking again it will inevitably leave me brokenhearted, humiliated, and hurting.

    Asking for a bit of a pep talk to help me ignore his texts and protect myself from falling down that hole again.

    • penguin

      There was a post on Captain Awkward about how to stay away from lying sexy jerkfaces – I’d read up on that. And just know that you can do it – you don’t need him.

    • EE

      CUT HIM OFF. Look, you’ve even used the word obsessive when describing your feelings which just isn’t healthy. This is one of those times when you really need to go cold turkey and get some perspective. Block his phone number, block him on social media, avoid meeting him. This is not good for you to do the “will they, won’t they” when you already know you’re going to feel terrible at the end of this cycle. Time to give yourself some tough love and cut this ex off. He’s an ex for a reason and you deserve so much more then feeling miserable after a few nights of fun. And do not, not even for a second, worry about hurting his feelings. This is about a total break. You deserve to move on with your life.

    • Amy March

      You don’t need us. You need Dua Lipa New Rules on repeat and LOUD.

      Rule 1- don’t pick up the phone you know he’s only calling cause he’s drunk and alone

      • penguin

        Other song recommendations – Woman by Kesha (her new album is great), and Good as Hell by Lizzo.

    • Mer

      Do. Not. Do. It.

      I had this happen with not really an ex but a guy I was obsessed with and hooked up with. 2 things helped for me. 1) I was very happy in my life, at that moment, and I knew seeing him would fuck it all up and 2) I knew future Mer would be very disappointed in herself for agreeing to see him or communicate with him.

      Stay Strong! You can do it!

      • MC

        Yes, do it for your future self! My future self is motivation for lots of my present decisions :)

    • Jess

      Re Ignoring Texts: You can block him from your phone. This does not show him that his messages were not received and if you do one day wish to unblock you can do so. Do it now or ask a friend to do it for you.

      This is my favorite feature of technology that does not get used enough. You will no longer have to expend any energy to ignore him and will require zero more pep talks.

      • somanypseudonyms

        Strongly co-signing this advice. The more you can prevent yourself from needing to make a decision about an unhealthy choice, the more mental energy you can reserve for actually acting in the rest of your life.

      • AmandaBee

        100% behind blocking. Don’t try to willpower yourself through this when technology can do it for you. Out of sight, out of mind.

    • lamarsh

      A therapist once told me that every time you go back to someone you know you shouldn’t be with, you tell your brain/subconscious how important this person is to you (because if they were not super important, why would you go back to someone who always left you brokenhearted, humiliated and hurting?) and that this makes it even harder to detach yourself from them going forward. That really clicked with me and helped me to get out of a bad cycle with one of my exes. I told myself that however much it sucked to say no to him or ignore him, if I went back to him, it was only going to be that much harder to say no the next time.

      Anyway, sending you lots of strength.

      • Yael

        Yeah, it’s only chemistry in the sense that your brain responds chemically to the drama, not that the connection is good or healthy. Dopamine/etc. are powerful drugs.

    • Emily

      You’ve got this lady! The first step is choosing yourself and you’re already doing it. You’re strong and powerful, and he does not have a hold over you.

    • emmers

      Cosigning all of the blocking, both phone and social media, and setting a filter so any emails go to spam/autodelete. It will help if he can’t contact you.

      You clearly don’t want to get in this cycle again (which is why you’ve posted on HappyHour!), so grab a glass of wine, and have a block party. You can do it!

      And maybe also schedule something fun to get your mind off of this, maybe something with a hobby you like, or a movie night with friends, or cooking a new dish, just something so you’re not obsessing about it.

    • JC

      People don’t get to take up space in your mind and heart for free– they gotta pay rent. Heartbreak isn’t valid currency, nor is humiliation or hurting. If he’s not paying you back in healthy, fulfilling friendship or love, then he gets evicted!

  • SL

    I have really been struggling with… life lately and would appreciate any and all advice available.

    First, I am just over 6 months pregnant. I am feeling fine and everything has been going smoothly, but that gives some context to the rest of chaos of my life right now. :) My in-laws just decided to purchase property 2 miles from our home. We moved 45 minutes away from them a few years ago, and the distance has been PERFECT. My MIL has some mental health issues (borderline personality disorder) as well as substance abuse problems, and my FIL is a passive enabler. She was abusive to my husband as a child, and still is emotionally abusive. Long story short, we had planned on having them involved with our baby but with serious boundaries and not leaving the baby alone with them for any extended period of time. Now they are moving VERY close to us, so she can “help out with daycare” even though we have already told them a number of times that we will be using a formal daycare situation, etc etc etc other boundary issues.

    I also foster dogs through my local shelter. I had a foster for about 4 months who was adopted, and then her adopter decided she couldn’t keep the dog any longer because she was going to go to the police academy. I took the dog back, even though I had already taken a new foster. So, I had 5 dogs in my house and my stress was through the roof. Got #5 adopted, so I am down to 4 dogs, but the returned foster has suddenly decided she wants to murder my Chihuahua, even though they lived amicably before. She actually got hold of him and gave him a pretty good puncture. I am trying to find her a new placement, but she also has a long-term skin issue she is dealing with and very few people are willing to take that on. So, right now, the big dogs have to be entirely separated from the small dogs so my small dog doesn’t die. It’s very stressful and time consuming, and I am in a constant state of anxiety that we are going to mess up and my little guy will get hurt, or that no one will ever step up and I’ll have to take her back to the shelter where she will likely be euthanized due to her skin issue.

    My husband just started credentialing, so he has night classes on top of working full time. I am feeling very overwhelmed, stressed and alone. I don’t have time for self care because of the DOGS. I feel like at this point, I would really just like to worry about being pregnant and having a kid instead of all this other miscellaneous crap.

    • penguin

      Is there another foster in the area that can take on any of the foster dogs? 5 dogs is a lot, on top of one having a condition and wanting to hurt another of the dogs. Also ugh on your in-laws moving so close – that’s awful. No real advice on that one, I’m hoping other people have suggestions.

      • SL

        I’m trying to find someone desperately. I have a gal who will take her, but she can’t until the 23rd at least… :(

        • S

          Do you have a friend or family member who could take your little guy until the 23rd to keep him safe? If it’s only two weeks away I definitely think you can get through this! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel! I really wouldn’t take her back to the shelter if there’s someone who will take her in two weeks. I don’t want to add to your guilt but I think this problem can be worked out in other ways.

          • SL

            That’s a good idea! I might see if my mom can take him. I worry that moving him around would traumatize him even more, but he LOVES his “grandma.”

    • Laura C

      So stressful. I’m so sorry. Has the property purchase gone through? When I was little my grandmother tried to move near us and my parents said no. I have no idea what they did or said specifically to make it stick, but my sense is they convinced her that they would not have anything more to do with her if she lived a mile away than they would if she lived hours away.

      • Henri

        A friend of mine has a mother very much like my own who was moving across multiple states to live down the block from her when she was pregnant. She ended up calling her mother and very clearly, very bluntly, and very calmly stating that neither she, her husband, or their kid(s) would see or talk to the mother if she did that. She ended up not moving.

      • SL

        Unfortunately, yes. They basically called us and said, “good news! We’re in escrow on property that is 2 miles from your house.”

        • Laura C

          Wow! Pitching a fit now might still help establish that boundaries are real, but that is just so tough. And obviously the fact that they did it that way shows how little they are to be trusted.

    • emmers

      That sucks about your in laws. Stay strong with your boundaries! Ask Amy had a recent post about setting boundaries with inlaws who insist on watching the kid: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/05/ask-amy-mother-in-law-refuses-day-care-idea/. Maybe also talk with your husband on how to deal if they try to visit on short/no notice. It seems like it would be good to have a plan for that, particularly before the baby comes.

      And goodness gracious, that is rough about the dogs. Echoing penguin– maybe there’s a rescue or no kill shelter that can take the problem dog? You can totally play the sympathy cards of being pregnant and also of this being a previous foster that was returned.

      Hang in there. That is a LOT, and it sounds like you are handling it as gracefully as you can.

      • SL

        Thank you for the article! Very helpful. One bonus is that she doesn’t drive, so stopping over last minute *shouldn’t* too much of the issue. Calling with “emergencies” though… haha

        • MDBethann

          Set boundaries with how often one of you will run over to “help” them. They are theoretically capable adults. Sure, you can recommend plumbers, electricians, contractors, repair people, etc. but there are ZERO reasons either you or your DH should have to run over at all hours to help them because they demand it.

          Glad they can’t just show up unannounced. Could use that to your advantage with the offers to provide childcare too…..

    • ssha

      :( BPD is no joke.

    • Katharine Parker

      This sounds incredibly tough.

      This may be controversial advice, but I’m going to suggest that you absolve yourself of the responsibility for the foster dog that wants to kill your dog. You are truly doing your best, and I worry that part of the reason that the foster organization isn’t doing a better job finding someone to care for this dog is that they know you will keep caring for her forever. But that isn’t fair to you and it isn’t fair to your chihuahua. You cannot be the only person that can care for this dog, skin issue or not! This dog has already attacked your chihuahua once, and “gave him a pretty good puncture” is an alarming thing to read. You can’t do everything at once, and being pregnant with a husband who is taking on night classes and three non-problematic dogs is already a full plate. This dog needs to be someone else’s problem.

      • SL

        I agree. I am giving them until the end of the month to find placement. I just have a lot of guilt surrounding her because I do love her, and I’ve already put a lot into her.

    • giant hugs. i can relate to being overwhelmed by life, having had a baby a year ago and having that year also be a shit show of other life crap rather than being able to just focus on the baby,

      i would personally vote for playing all the pregnant woman cards and feeling no guilt about it. you need whatever mental space and emotional support you need to have a smooth pregnancy, birth, and post-partum process, and your husband needs to protect that space for you, ie. get good at setting boundaries with his mom. i know it’s easier said than done and a huge learning process, but it will continue to be super necessary with a baby in the mix. giant hugs!

      • SL

        I appreciate that. I feel weird about using pregnancy as an excuse for anything, like somehow that makes me less capable or something. Which I know is ridiculous, but still. I need to let go of some guilt I think!

        • i hear you — there are so many negative stereotypes surrounding pregnant women. but you are growing a small human, which is a huge deal! and you need whatever optimal conditions will make that easiest on you. when i realized that a whole other human was wholly dependent on me to make the best decisions for her, it was mind blowing. and that meant i had to stick to my guns on what i believed were best for her, even if i offended other people.

        • MDBethann

          You are growing another person. You aren’t a vessel and are still an autonomous person, but growing a baby is EXHAUSTING and does severely limit what you can do to avoid injuring yourself or your baby. Your body is going through A LOT of changes right now. Guilt about anything is the last thing you need.

          I get it is hard to not do the things you usually can – I’ve been pregnant since early January and it’s been rough trying to balance being a good mom to my toddler (DD will be 3 in November) and remembering that even though he isn’t here just yet, I still have to be a good mom to my baby too. Fortunately, my DH is a terrific dad, but I still feel bad when I can’t interact with my DD the way she’d like me to.

          Difficult dogs: you definitely don’t want any biting or territorial pets around when baby arrives. I get that it is emotionally difficult because you’ve invested so much in this dog, but if the dog is lashing out, you need to put your safety, future baby’s safety, and the safety of your other dogs first. You may have invested a lot in the foster, but you’ve invested a lot in the other dogs too and clearly the foster still has some serious issues. Stay safe!

    • Jenny

      I would make it as clear as possible (or really have your husband do it) that moving closer to you will in no way effect the relationship you are going to have with them. Allow them to have a reason to not buy the property.

      • SL

        He’s been really great about stepping up and having those conversations with her, but she pretty much hears what she wants to hear and doesn’t acknowledge anything we’re actually saying (like when we say we’re using a daycare center, and then she says 5 minutes later how she will be helping us with daycare…)

        • penguin

          Ugh

        • AmandaBee

          Argh that’s so frustrating. It sounds like he may have to be blunt when she says stuff like that.

          “You will not be helping us with day care.” Is pretty unambiguous.

          It’s harsh, but he may need to say it in a way that she just can’t ignore. Possibly several times.

        • MDBethann

          Tell her financial help would be fine, but that’s where you draw the line at “help” with daycare.

          Make sure baby is on a list. When you start daycare, DO NOT list in-laws as emergency contacts. Then they can’t ever pick up baby from daycare.

    • MDBethann

      Re In-laws: Don’t give them a key to your house, even if they ask for it.

      Make sure your daycare scenario is more “center” than “nanny” – i.e. then you can tout the socialization aspect so it would be next to impossible for your in-laws to demand to be the daycare providers. You can also use the “we want you to be able to enjoy your retirement and not have to raise kids again” argument.

      And I second all of the comments below about setting boundaries. Especially if your MIL has substance abuse issues. Have your husband (since they are his parents) make it abundantly clear that if there is any indication she has been drinking or abusing whatever other substance she uses either right before or during a visit with you and your child, she will be asked to leave your home or, if you are at their home or a neutral location, you will leave with your child.

      Also, if you’re going out or have plans, don’t tell them. Then they can’t offer to babysit. Never indicate in their presence that you are going to be in need of childcare in the future, so they can’t insist on watching the baby.

      Set boundaries NOW. Enforce them as much as possible. Have monthly check-ins with your DH to make sure you are both on the same page regarding your concerns about his parents and to make any determinations about cutting off contact if necessary. If his parents are abusive/enablers, that’s not healthy for your husband, you, or your child and just because they are the baby’s grandparents does NOT entitle them to contact with your child. If you need to, set ultimatums – i.e. seek treatment or no contact. It’s harsh, but better that than harm to your child.

      Good luck and I hope you can find ways to relax. I’m in week 38 of my 2nd pregnancy and I know how even moderate outside stress sucks when pregnant (and I’ve been lucky to avoid the kind of things you’re talking about; I sincerely wish you nothing but the best)

  • Essie

    The recent post on engagements brought an old issue back for me, and I’d like some advice.
    I love my husband, and am so happy to be married to him. I do not love my engagement ring, which he picked out without my input. (To be fair, when we talked about getting married, I didn’t say I wanted input, but he didn’t ask me if I wanted input and moved faster than I expected). The thing is, he custom designed it and put so much heart into it. I’ve worn it daily for four years now and it is beautiful in its own way but just not what I’d have picked to wear forever. I thought maybe I’d console myself by picking my wedding ring but the design of the engagement ring is such that it really constrained what sort of wedding band could go next to it and so… I also don’t love my wedding band (but at least it’s super simple and plain so I don’t mind it).
    Anyway, I don’t really know what to do about this. I don’t want to hurt my husband. I want a do-over, but it’s too late now. Any advice?

    • CW

      Maybe for your next anniversary you could get a single ring that you love? You could also stop wearing your engagement ring and then talk about upgrading your wedding band to be something you wear alone.

    • Katharine Parker

      You have a few options:
      – redesign engagement ring and wedding ring, retaining original stone(s)/some element of original design
      – keep existing set, get new standalone wedding ring, wear as you wish
      – sell existing set (or upgrade based on your jeweler’s options), get new engagement ring/wedding ring

      What level of attachment does your husband have to this ring? Does he know you’ve never liked this ring? Will he be ok with any of those options? An engagement ring is tricky, in my book, because it is a gift and a symbol and has sentimental attachments AND YET is a piece of jewelry that you, individually, wear daily. So wanting to have something you like isn’t absurd.

      • Essie

        He doesn’t know that I’ve never really loved it. There was a lot of fuss made at the time over how amazing it was that he had it custom designed and how loving and thoughtful that was…. and it is. I am 100% full of love for him for the intentions, just not 100% on board with what was executed. Ahh!

        I guess the bigger picture question is how much I tell him. I think option 2 that you list would be least hurtful, but I don’t know if I say I want a standalone ring because I’v enever really felt like my engagement ring is me and what I want to wear forever, or give some other reason/frame it in a nicer way – like that it’s a bit too big/high/knocks against things.

        • penguin

          The practical reasons might be good, because those are more factual and less emotional. Good luck! I was afraid I’d hate the ring my fiancé picked out (he wanted it to be a surprise), so we agreed ahead of time that we could exchange it if I didn’t like it.

    • S

      Ok, disclaimer: this is all just what I would do, not what you necessarily should do! Personally I am of the unpopular opinion that you can’t upgrade engagement or wedding rings, because those are the names for the rings you got engaged with and the ring you got at your wedding and started married life with. But I’m a words person. To me it’d be like saying the sky was red. You can call the sky red all you want, it doesn’t make it red, just like a ring you buy years after the fact will never be an engagement ring. (In my eyes!) That doesn’t mean I think you should be stuck wearing rings you hate or don’t think you can’t have a ring that you love though! Pick out a ring you love, and ask for it for your next anniversary, call it an eternity ring, and wear it alone or with the wedding ring and only wear the engagement ring for special occasions. He never has to know you don’t like it unless you want to tell him. Most people who have two or three wedding rings (if you include an eternity ring as an part of the set, which I personally do) wear any combination of them. Plenty of people wear just their wedding ring, and then their engagement ring for special occasions, and then if they get an eternity ring, sub them all out as they see fit at any given moment.

      • S

        Oh, also, I should add: A marriage is a long thing and there’s no reason that you can’t have a new ring to celebrate any milestone that feels important to you. That’s why I love the traditions of eternity rings at the birth of the first child or on an anniversary – it’s not just the start of a marriage that is precious and worth marking, it’s the ongoingness of it that matters. Your engagement ring is your engagement ring, sure, but your engagement was just one milestone in your relationship. You could present the idea of a new ring to your husband as such.

        • Essie

          I hadn’t thought about it this way, but I actually do think I agree with you. My feelings towards my engagement ring are complicated, but it is my engagement ring! That is what it is. But I do like the idea of potentially having an anniversary ring down the line. This is comforting: “A marriage is a long thing and there’s no reason that you can’t have a new ring to celebrate any milestone that feels important to you.” Thank you.

  • maybemum

    With all the awful news recently I was so here for the royal baby announcement <3<3<3…anyone else?

    • Kat
      • maybemum

        These were also amazing!

      • Lisa

        Ok, that’s too adorable.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        He’s not allowed to have a best friend! I’m a little sad on his behalf.

        • rg223

          When I first read this I was like, “BECAUSE HE’S GOING TO BE KING?!?!?!?!” but then I googled and saw it was a school rule. I really hate that! It’s basically introvert discrimination, plus it goes against anti-bullying best practice (research shows having at least one close friend is a huge buffer against bullying).

        • Cdn icecube

          WHAT?!!? Where did you read this??

    • Lexipedia

      Haha, I was explaining this to FI and he just couldn’t share my excitement over it.

    • Sarah Jane

      Funny story – the day after my daughter was born, my mom and I watched the royal wedding from my hospital room in Germany, because BBC was the only English speaking channel we could get. From what the news is saying, her expected due date for this baby is mid march, which is my expected due date!! Mom was joking that we will be watching the royal birth announcement this time around, lol!

    • Angela’s Back

      I feel so dumb for caring sometimes but I admit that I read every single Vanity Fair puff piece about the royal family that they post on their site… so.

      • maybemum

        I kind of tell myself that after the Princess Di tragedy I’m just really invested in Will and Harry’s happiness…

  • savannnah

    We are officially 1 week out! One of the best things so far this week has been realizing how many people are getting ready to get on planes and trains and packing up to travel all the way to VT to see us get married! I’ve been so wrapped up in planning I didn’t stop to think about our many friends and family who are traveling across oceans to be with us next week.
    I’m very happy that in last 18 months engaged I’ve begin to see a therapist who I love. I just want to cuddle with her (and I know I can’t) but today she gave me a hug(!) as part of the pep talk for the wedding and it was great.
    In terms of planning, there is not much left expect to compile a list of addresses for mission: welcome bag drop off and to finalize our ceremony and playlist. We are also going to practice dancing and the first kiss. My biggest worries right now are about the weather (which I can do anything about) and getting dropped during the hora, as I’m not a small lady. Since my fiance’s family had decidedly never been to a Jewish wedding we are also doing a hora bootcamp on Friday so everyone knows whats up.

    • ssha

      “hora bootcamp” lol!

      • susannahdon

        i bet the pics would be hysterical :D

    • penguin

      I’ve avoided thinking about the hora – neither my fiancé nor I are small people, and only like 1/4 of our guests (if that) are Jewish. Although my older brother is PUMPED about the idea of the hora. My fears: getting dropped, or them not being able to pick me up at all (so embarrassing), or falling off the chair. Apparently you can do the hora where your chair stays on the ground? We might do that.

      • savannnah

        I’m very committed to a traditional hora because we’ve comprised in other Jewish-ish wedding areas but it doesn’t make me any less nervous! I have seen the chairs on the ground version as well and I think it could be a good middle-ground!

      • theteenygirl

        The hora looks like SO MUCH FUN! I hope you decide to do it!

      • Zoya

        Chair-less hora FTW! I categorically REFUSED to get up in the chairs. Like, to the point of snapping people’s heads off when they asked about it. In the end, we asked the DJ to have “Hava Nagila” ready to go in case we decided to do a chair-less hora, but people were having so much fun dancing that we decided to skip it.

      • Pickle

        Our synagogue does an aliya for newly engaged couples followed by a hora dance, and neither of us wanted to do chairs (big people ftw!). We just made sure the people arranging the dance, and all of our friends who were coming, knew that we did not want chairs (REALLY, WE’RE NOT BEING COY, DO NOT WANT) beforehand. We all just danced around together and they put us in the middle of the circle and at some point there was a tallit being hoisted over our heads? Maybe you can do something similar?

    • Not Sarah

      Happy one week out!! Our people are starting to arrive on Thursday next week, so I’m starting to get really excited!!!

      • savannnah

        Woohoo! yay!

    • Kate Mac

      I’m wondering if my Fiance’s family will try to initiate a hora. I grew up Catholic, FH grew up Jewish, but we’re having a very secular wedding. I think his family may possibly try it, but lawdy I hope not. There’s just lots of lots of insecurities about being lifted up in general, and then the idea of falling or, like, splitting my (hopefully not too tight) dress open when trying to ride it out, haha…. Yes no thank you!!

      • penguin

        I’d spread the word now that you don’t want a hora (have your fiance talk to them). Just to help avoid the possibility of someone getting pushy about it on your wedding day.

  • theteenygirl

    So I went to my dermatologist appointment on Tuesday morning to get some help for my acne. The derm was really nice and suggested a plan of action to clear my face up as quickly as possible before the wedding. I’m taking a low dose of Accutane and prednisone, two drugs I’m pretty concerned about, for the next month and hopefully I’ll be able to get off of them after the wedding and onto a different long term solution. So far I haven’t noticed huge results, but I haven’t got any new pimples (which was happening daily) since starting the drugs. The hyperpigmentation/scarring is what is really stressing me out now. It’s relatively easy to cover up with makeup, but I look like I have chicken pox so I don’t feel comfortable going out without makeup. This has all just brought back my insecurities from when I was a teenager, and it’s bringing down my self-confidence and heightening my anxiety.

    And, while the derm was nice enough, I am still hung up on one thing. When I told her i’d like to get off the Accutane as soon as possible, she said “Oh are you going to try to get pregnant right away?” (because you can’t be pregnant on Accutane) and I said casually “oh no we’re not having children, I just don’t like the idea of being on such a harsh drug if there are other ways to manage it.” And completely unprompted she goes on to say, “how old are you? 25? Oh when I was 25 I didn’t want kids either. I had my first at 34 and I just love them now.” And she wouldn’t let it go? I’m only 25 and already tired of people’s unsolicited advice about my/our choice not to have children. Especially from healthcare providers.

    • Lexipedia

      Ugh with the kid-shaming.

      Accutane was a life-saver for me, and when it was done I switched to spironolactone for maintenance. It was 100% worth all of the side effects and I only wish I’d done it sooner.

      • theteenygirl

        Thank you for telling me that.. I guess all my opinions about Accutane have been from when I was scared by it as a teenager and all the bloodwork and everything involved. I am going to ask about spiro at my next appointment in 2 weeks. I think it’s a common prescription for acne in the states, but not so much in Canada??

        • Lexipedia

          I took it after I moved to the states, though I do have friends who took it in Canada as teenagers. Honestly the bloodwork was the worst part because it had to be done on such a tight schedule. I didn’t have a ton of side effects, mostly dry lips for which Aquaphor was a godsend.

          • theteenygirl

            The drymouth right now is killing me. I don’t know which med is causing it, but I just want to brush my teeth. All the time.

          • Lexipedia

            Would chewing gum help?

          • theteenygirl

            That’s what I’ve been told to do but I genuinely hate gum.. I’m going to pick up some tic tacs after work? Or altoids? Ahhh

          • Caitlyn

            You might try a special mouthwash – https://www.biotene.com/dry-mouth-products/mouthwash/ (my stepmom has been undergoing chemo and experiencing unpleasant mouth issues. No clue if it would help you, but I immediately thought of this).

          • theteenygirl

            Thank you!!

          • Diamondminek

            Xylimelts are hands down a winner for dry mouth – I use for my apap/ sleep apnoea, most people in that community agree they are one of the better options. Available from Amazon amongst other places.

      • Angela’s Back

        Same here, Accutane absolutely changed my life as far as my skin was concerned. I hope it works for you, @theteenygirl! And I’ll also say that I was on it for a least a year, maybe a little longer and I didn’t have any side effect trouble, so maybe you’ll luck out.

        • Amy March

          Ditto. 6 months on it, a lifetime of gratitude.

    • jem

      Skin stuff is so hard, I’m sorry you’re going through this! But you’re totally not alone. Sending compassion!

      Also, wtf doc?

      • theteenygirl

        Thank you :) I just have so many skin issues going on all the time it’s hard to manage. I have eczema too, and it tends to flare up in the cold, wind, humidity, heat.. whenever it feels like it.. and it covers my hands, elbow joints, backs of my knees, and when it’s really bad it’s on my eyelids too. So between trying to make sure I don’t have an eczema flare up or an acne break out.. it’s exhausting!

        • jem

          Yessss sometimes it feels like whack-a-mole

    • Violet

      I will never understand people who think that way. Just because it was their personal experience, how on earth does that translate to being universal? Get out of your own head for a while, geez.

      • theteenygirl

        Yeah the part where she was insisting to me that she LOVED her children was the most uncomfortable. Why are you trying to convince me how much you love your children now? I believe you?

        • Violet

          The lady doth protest too much, methinks. ; )
          No really– no doubt after you have a kid, you’ve got a high likelihood of loving it, or at least some post-hoc rationalization that will make you be okay with your irrevocable decision. I just don’t get how this makes sense as a chain of logic: “I had a pastrami sandwich for lunch, and it was amazing. So that means you really should have one, too.” Huh?

      • Kate

        I also use the comparison that if anyone showed misgivings about getting a pet, nobody tries to browbeat them into doing it and wouldn’t hesitate to tell you not to get one, and yet they do that with a human.

    • Jess

      Uncool on evangelizing parenthood, Derm!

      Acne stuff is so hard and so personal and so embarrassing, even though it is so common.

    • Alex K

      Questioning your choices is a really shitty thing to do (although I recognize it’s all too common). It’s 100% ok to bring it up at your next appointment as in “I need you to trust me about my choices about my body.” Because this is not ok!

      • theteenygirl

        I like that line. I will use that line! Thank you!

    • pimpleface

      I posted a few months ago about my struggles with acne and how I’m finally going to a new dermatologist. I’ve been 3-4 times now. Every time, they ask me if I see any improvement, and I feel like I’m the bitchy, difficult customer because I refuse to answer. I say I can’t assess it because it makes me too upset to look at my face and I can’t trust my judgement on it, so they have to assess it for me.

      They put me on Epiduo Forte (topical benzoyl peroxide and adapalene–basically Proactiv) and just started me on spirolactone. (It makes me go to the bathroom all the time!) If this works I will be so pissed at my half-dozen or so previous dermatologists who failed to help me.

      So, anyway, solidarity. I hope the dermatologist is giving you medicine that helps. That really sucks that she was so pushy. I don’t see why she would divert the conversation from your valid concerns about being on a strong drug to her busybody interest in your family plans. Unprofessional.

      • theteenygirl

        I totally get you on not being able to judge! I’ve wondered a few times if I have a bit of body dysmorphia because every time I look in the mirror without makeup on, no matter how good of a skin day it is, it always looks TERRIBLE to me. And then coworkers, friends, my FH, they all say that it’s really not that bad and they don’t notice. Are they being nice? Am I crazy? Can’t tell anymore.

        I do know that topical stuff does NOT work for me. At all. It didn’t work when I was 12 and it’s not working now. My GP put me on BenzaClin (topical benzoyl peroxide and clindimycin I’m sure I spelled that wrong) while I was waiting for my derm appointment and it was totally useless.

        The last time I had acne this bad it started when I was 10, and I struggled until 14 when they put me on Diane (birth control). My skin cleared up completely. Completely. You can’t stay on it for too long though so I switched to Yasmin and it’s been good for the last 7 years. Unfortunately my derm doesn’t think my acne is hormonal, but rather adult-onset, so she’s hesitant to switch my pill right now.

        Solidarity indeed!

        • pimpleface

          It’s so tough. If I’m in a good mood I think my skin looks better than usual, and if I’m in a bad mood I will focus on even the tiniest blemish and ignore the rest and decide it’s all terrible. I don’t trust my friends, family, or SO to give me a real judgement on it either. Last time my SO tried to say I looked fine, I said that just showed he had low standards and that made him mad. I know that I’m not able to be objective about it, so the question is meaningless, and I don’t want my care to be dependent on whether I’m having a good or bad day when I go to the dermatologist.

          I think spirolactone is for adult-onset acne in women. It’s hormonal in that it prevents male hormones from reaching your skin. It’s a blood pressure medication given in a lower dose for acne. Someone else here said she used it for maintenance after she was done with Accutane. Maybe that’s an option for you.

          Best of luck to you.

    • Mer

      I am so sorry about the skin conditions. That sounds really hard to deal with so close to such a public event.

      The kid shaming. Ugh. I was about 25/26 when I realized kids were not for me. I’m 30 now and it has gotten better. Mostly people are just curious (especially since I’m currently engaged). I don’t really get the condescending “you’ll sees” anymore.

      • theteenygirl

        That’s good to hear! I’ve known since I was about 16 that kids were not in the picture for me, and took it so seriously that I wouldn’t even go on second dates with guys if they told me they wanted to have kids.
        I thought I was going to break my mum’s heart when I told her, and she basically said to me, “I’ve known since you were a little girl that you wouldn’t be giving me grandkids. Kids aren’t for you.”

        I’m worried that the kid shaming is going to start up once we’ve been married a few years… FH comes from a BIG family.

        • Mer

          Yeah that’s a good point. I have no idea if/ what future husband has told his parents or family about us not having kids. I feel like since he’s male and a few years younger than I am it hasn’t really come up? Meh. Luckily it’s mainly his problem to deal with/ run interference on (and we live 3000 miles away, so that helps!).

        • LadyJanee

          I feel so conflicted (internally because of my situation, not because I agree with kid-shaming AT ALL) because I was always, from a young age, adamant that I wouldn’t have kids and people even told me that I wouldn’t suit having kids (which is a weird/shitty thing to say to someone anyway). But I also got a lot of “you’ll sees” and “you’ll change your mind when you get older” and now that I’m older and recently married I am actually starting to change my mind. I’m not completely sold on the idea of having kids but it is no longer something I am vehemently opposed to. And I hate to admit that to people because they’re all like, we told you so!

          • theteenygirl

            I feel this! All the “you’ll sees” is making me more defiant against having kids, more so than I probably am, just because I want to say SEE I TOLD YOU SO! I’m really lucky to have two coworkers (bosses, really) in their 50s who don’t have children and they are super inspirational to me. They’re both really happy successful women who have great careers, lots of friends, lots of hobbies, and yeah maybe they regret not having children (I’m not going to ask) but seeing how happy they are with their lives makes me feel like okay.. there really is more to life.

      • Cellistec

        I was in Cell Bio this summer and one of my 20-something classmates got kid-shamed in front of the whole class. As a relevant aside to the lecture we were having on genetics she said, “I’m never having kids,” and the (female) bio prof gave her this smirk and said “Just wait until you’re older.” My jaw about hit the floor. I wish I’d had the wits about me to say something, but nothing appropriate came to mind. Still hasn’t, actually. Down with kid shaming, for everyone, forever.

    • toomanybooks

      Wow, what unnecessary commentary from her on having children! I’m 27 and literally ever since I found out, upon learning “the facts of life,” that pregnancy wasn’t just something that automatically happened to you when you were a married adult and you could in choose for it to not happen, I have been very clear to my family that I did not ever want to have kids. Apparently my dad was asked by someone at my wedding if my wife and i were going to have kids and he said he didn’t know. Lol dads!

      • theteenygirl

        Haha that sounds like something my dad would say, fully knowing my wishes, just because he didn’t want to talk about it.
        When FH called my parents to ask them “for my hand” (he really wanted to do it, and I guess when he called my parents were like.. oh.. is this something that still happens? Okay.. um.. well does she want to marry you?”) they talked about a lot of stuff and I think my parents tried tripping him up with questions because they know my wishes so well, they wanted to make sure he knew them too. FH said he didn’t want kids either and my parents were like “GOOD!!!”

        • Not Sarah

          That is so sweet of your parents making sure your FH doesn’t want kids either!!

    • BSM

      Super late, but I wanted to sing the praises of low dose Accutane! I was on it for years in high school/college, and it completely cleared up my skin, made it glow, and got me over the hump of whatever hormonal imbalance was going on that caused really bad perpetual acne. I think I stopped using it after college because I moved again and doing the pregnancy tests got more complicated, but by that time I was fine with just topical solutions. Also, I never dealt with any of the awful side effects that I saw some friends experience when they were on the regular high/short-term dosage (super dry skin, extreme sensitivity to the sun, liver problems, etc.).

      I hope you have a similar experience!

      • theteenygirl

        Thank you for sharing! It’s been just under a week now and I definitely see some difference, but I don’t know if I can attribute it to the prednisone or the Accutane. I will consider staying on it longer if the dermatologist thinks its doing its job! Question though.. did you drink at all while you were on the low dose?? I can’t imagine not having a glass of wine at the wedding, but my derm told me not to drink.

        • BSM

          Um, yes I drank. Lots (I was on it all throughout college). That was definitely another pro of the low dose! I was taking 2 pills/week; is that about what you’re doing?

          • theteenygirl

            I’m taking 20mg (1 pill) a day. So a higher dose than that.. I’ll definitely check with my derm next week! I have a friend that was on the highest dose and he still drank like a fish so.. I don’t know! I’ve been getting mixed reviews!

          • BSM

            Maybe you’re on more of a medium dosage since you have a date in mind (your wedding, I’m assuming) by which you want to see some serious improvement? I’d definitely ask about reducing your dosage as time goes on. I eventually went down to 1 pill/week, and there was no change to my skin. Good luck! I’ve been experiencing crazy hormonal acne throughout my pregnancy, which is totally bringing me back :-/

  • ART

    I spent the heat wave weekend hiding out in an air-conditioned room off my husband’s workshop – brought my sewing machine and various other tools and worked on baby projects all three days while he did his carpentry thing in the next room (he has a computerized cutter though, so he was able to visit with me a lot while it ran). It was SO productive that we’re thinking of doing the same this weekend, just to force ourselves to get stuff done, so I’m making my plans to prep projects tonight to bring with me. I am in serious Make All The Things mode right now but that stack of baby pants in 4 sizes is super satisfying.

    I also failed my 1-hour glucose screening, so I have to move on to the 3-hour, and I sobbed for an hour when I got the results and then spent the next day moping about it, but I’ve pretty much made peace with it now. The orange drink was fine, but after it was over I felt like a toddler who’d eaten a whole bag of cotton candy. I could not stop fidgeting and bouncing while waiting for our lunch order, and after lunch I totally crashed and had to take a nap. So the 3-hour test will probably not be my finest day, but whatever. Thanks for the encouragement last week!

    • Jenny

      Good luck, and just remember that gestational diabetes is NOT caused by anything you do/did. It’s just your placenta acting up. I feel like there is so much self shaming about this, but you are doing everything you are suppose to.

      • ART

        Thank you, I did kind of have a freak out about what I ate the next day, but you’re so right. I was mostly upset at the thought of four blood draws in a day – they have always been really anxiety-inducing for me. But for better or worse, I’m getting a little desensitized to them during this pregnancy!

    • karyn_arden

      Interesting that the default next step after the 1 hour test is a 3 hour test. I’m in Alberta, Canada and work as a phlebotomist; the company that I work for does the 1 hour test, then a 2 hour test if you’ve failed the first.

      There’s a 3 hour test that’s available only on approval by the pathologist on call, and I’ve never seen one done in the 10 years I’ve been working for this company.

      • ART

        Oh, another reason to wish I had Canadian healthcare :) Sounds like the 3-hour test is pretty common in the US, as lots fail the 1-hour. I have read that some are directed straight to a 2-hour test instead of the 1-hour, and that seems to have a lower rate of false positives, but that seems much less common here. The rules of the test also seem to shift a little – my lab let me go sit outside (no one kept an eye on me to make sure I didn’t do laps…as if I could have!) while waiting but others apparently watch you pretty closely. For the 3-hour I think I will bring a yoga mat in case I need to lie down in the courtyard while I wait, since my lab has nowhere to lie down inside.

        • karyn_arden

          Definitely bring that yoga mat then! With our company, if you leave the lab, we cancel your test.

          Wishing you better results with the second test than the first!

        • Ilora

          Yep, Canadian and my doctor doesn’t even bother with the one-hour test, everyone goes straight to the two hour one to minimise false positives. By 1.5 hours in I felt super nauseated, which is apparently common, so I definitely think the yoga mat is a good plan! Fingers crossed for you!

    • MDBethann

      So just because you “failed” the 1 hour doesn’t mean you have gestational diabetes – it just means they couldn’t tell and lots of women fail the 1 hour test; a friend in CA said her OB only does the 3 hour test because so many of her patients used to fail the 1 hour test. I “failed” it for my first pregnancy and passed the 3 hour. In fact, they were so worried they called me the next day. Follow the doc’s prescribed diet to the letter before the 3 hour. Have water and some candy and snacks handy to drink and eat immediately after the 3 hour test (before you drive) so you don’t get the shakes and/or pass out before you get home. Take a really long, good book with you for distraction purposes, put your feet up, and hope for the best.

      Turns out my mistake with my 1st pregnancy was “eating normally” before the 1 hour glucose test. 2nd pregnancy, I ignored the “eat” advice, fasted after dinner the previous night and took my glucose test first thing in the morning. Passed it. No gestational diabetes with either pregnancy.

      Good luck!

      • ART

        Thanks – I know, I sobbed because I hate blood draws so much and the thought of four in one day makes me feel ill.

  • Sarah

    I’m an immigration attorney so if you’ve been following the news at all you can guess what kind of week I had…

    • ART

      Oh my god, horrific, between the DACA announcement and treatment of hurricane-displaced people. Just so cruel.

      • Sarah

        don’t forget the planned then supposedly cancelled Operation Mega, biggest ICE raid in history. And no I’m not kidding about the name.

        • ART

          I hadn’t even heard about that. That is a stupid name.

    • ssha

      I can’t imagine!

    • Zoya

      Augh what a mess. Thank you for doing the work you do.

    • Violet

      Any particular organization you’d recommend where we can send some money?

      • Sarah

        for the immediate disaster of DACA being rescinded, I’d suggest donating to anyone raising funds to help folks pay the $495 filing fee to renew. Anyone whose permits expire between Sept 5 and March 5 can get an additional 2 years if they renew before Oct 5. I know RAICES in San Antonio is raising funds for renewals but there are likely others. https://www.raicestexas.org/pages/donate

        In general, I’d suggest the following organizations:
        Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ilrc.org)
        American Immigration Council (americanimmigrationcouncil.org)
        Catholic Legal Immigration Network(cliniclegal.org)

        Options local to me:
        California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (crlaf.org)
        UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic
        McGeorge School of Law Immigration Clinic

        Also don’t forget to pester Congress and donate to campaigns of folks working for DREAM or BRIDGE Act or, better, comprehensive immigration reform. And vote.

        • Violet

          Thank you so much!

        • Thanks for sharing this!!

        • Jess

          Thank you for the work you do, and for sharing this! It’s good to have solidified recommendations.

    • Lexipedia

      Oh dear. Thank you, so, so much for all that you do. I’m volunteering with a group that is helping with some DACA renewal projects, and it’s both inspiring and heartbreaking.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      May I just offer you an internet hug?

    • Cellistec

      Upvoted in support. Keep fighting the good fight and taking care of yourself.

  • Violet

    Spouse and I just bought a Roomba. Can’t wait to turn it on tonight and just watch as it does its thing. Taking any and all suggestions for what we should name it…

    • theteenygirl

      Honestly watching a Roomba do its thing on a Friday evening sounds amazing to me right now haha I’m pretty jealous. I have thought about getting one of those to just hang out under my parrot’s cage!

    • Sarah Jane

      We named ours Alfred, after Batman’s butler. Also, I highly suggest putting googly eyes on it, but that’s just me

    • Olive

      we call ours Wall-e!

    • emmers

      DJ Roomba, like Parks & Recreation!

      • penguin

        You killed him!!!

    • ART

      We just call ours Roomba, but we love it so much. We talk to it (“Thank you, Roomba.” “Good job, Roomba.” “Why did you stop all the way under the bed where we can’t reach you, Roomba.”) It’s been life-changing.

      • penguin

        How does it get corners or right by the wall? Or does it not get those but gets everything else?

        • ART

          It has a little spinny brush thing that reaches out in front of it and sweeps debris into its path – it’s amazingly good at getting stuff right along the wall. There is probably a small radius at the very corner of a room it can’t get, but the trade-offs are worth it to us (under the bed – the dustiest place in the house!)

    • Kat

      I took suggestions from my friends and they pooled their ideas and named him DJ Zoomba the Roomba. I’m glad this is a thing other people do.

    • Eve

      My parents had one when I was a teenager. Her name was Roomba Sue.

  • JC

    Yesterday, I made a birthday resolution (my birthday is next week) to make this the Year of Trying Things (similar to Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes). I’ve been bored out of my mind lately, so I’m going to tackle any new project that comes to mind in the hopes of finding some things I really love. Later that same day, a coworker asked me to consider moving to her department for a way, way better job! There’s no guarantee that it’s going to happen, but it felt so good to know that things are going to start moving forward!

    In the mean time, off on vacation today to the East Coast! I have a dream of sipping frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity 3 on my birthday, and what is that but the first project to try!

    • theteenygirl

      Love the idea of a “birthday resolution”! My sister moved to a new city about a year ago, and this year she sort of said okay, that’s it, I can’t be bored anymore. So she joined a “social club” and every week they get together and try something new – whether it’s a sport, a craft, a hike, speed dating, whatever! Every week is different!

    • Kaitlyn

      I had frozen hot chocolate at Seredipity3 for my birthday yearsss ago, it was wonderful

    • Kat

      I make birthday resolutions too! Last year I focused really hard on figuring out my career and was surprised how successful it’s been, so this year I’m focusing on my health (i.e. find a doctor I like, learn to cook healthier meals, practice yoga more, go hiking every weekend)!

  • I’m looking for some career decisions support. I just accepted a new job, and am feeling ambivalent about it instead of feeling all-out excited. I have been truly frustrated by my current job for a while, and the new job pays slightly more, but is otherwise very similar to my current job. On a good day I feel like I could have negotiated for the same things at my current job; on a bad day I get home seething at my current workplace and the underlying sexism I’ve observed. There have been a lot of bad days this summer, so my husband encouraged me to take the new job. But on good days, like today, things feel like they are improving and that I’m passing up what could be tolerable.

    Maybe I am just upset because the new job was not my first choice out of the places I’ve interviewed at. If my first choice were to come back and make an offer (I spoke to them; they were not able to make a decision within the timeframe I had to respond) I feel like I would jump ship, but obviously that’s supposed to be a really bad move. So there are pros and cons, and right now, after having sent that acceptance email, I feel weighed down by the cons.

    I would love to start the new job 100% excited to be there, but I’m not feeling it. How do I reframe this for myself?

    • Abby

      I’m in a very similar spot – in the notice period at OldJob and conceptually stoked about NewJob but finding it hard to get actively stoked because I have no idea what the day-to-day will be. I’m just forcing myself to take things one day at a time, accept the fact that the transition is happening now that I put it in motion, and trust that I will be able to make NewJob everything I want it to be. There are cons to every job. There’s no way to avoid that. But you accepted because the balance tips toward pro for your new job, so you can stop weighing them now.

    • NolaJael

      100% excitement is for children on Christmas morning, not adults with responsibilities, you’re reacting sensibly. But I still think that taking the new job is a good idea, because this is a new opportunity for you to set expectations about how you want to be treated and how you want to spend your time. Bad habits and customs from the old job can be let go of much easier here, even if you could have negotiated similar benefits there.

      • theteenygirl

        “100% excitement is for children on Christmas morning, not adults with responsibilities, you’re reacting sensibly”

        Agreed. Big Life Decisions don’t always have to be met with huge excitement. Sometimes it’s just ‘Okay, this is my life now and my decision was sensible and I should feel good about that.”

        • Jess

          I’m pretty sure I need to carry that saying around with me.

      • AmandaBee

        This. I think it’s okay to go in realistic, knowing that this was a good choice for you at the time and you don’t have to be there forever, but using it as a launchpad to get somewhere better for yourself.

        Also, fwiw, job burnout can make it really hard to be excited about anything. Any chance you’re more burnt out from OldJob than you realize? That kind of stuff can sometimes build up unnoticed and just make everything seem worse. It wasn’t until I left a toxic workplace for awhile that I realized just how much it had impacted my emotions on a day-to-day basis.

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

  • ssha

    TWO POST DAY because I’m super proud of myself for co-hosting my cousin’s bridal shower with my mom last weekend! New experience for me (I never host events). Everything went well, it was super lovely and filled with backyard string lights and laughter. And my cousin said we made her feel comfortable, which made my full day of cooking and stressing about food and if there would be enough to do well worth it! Everyone knew each other so well that the one “activity” I planned was almost an intrusion to having fun. One thing I think she liked was that I collected messages from our other cousin, who lives abroad, and her SIL, who lives in another state, and had my sister write them out in cards in nice writing- so it was like she was getting cards from them. It was meaningful and fun.

  • louise danger

    my dog, my beloved, ornery, opinionated, speckled goblin child, died a week ago tonight. hug your pets.

    we haven’t really done much wedding stuff this week. i don’t know how to shift from grieving to mourning to normalcy and i’m not sure i’m doing a very good job, though i’m grateful that the grief –> mourning seems to be a naturally-occurring thing and i’m no longer just sobbing when i walk in to an empty house in the afternoons. i have a therapist/LCSW, but she is fully booked until the end of next month, so.

    i dunno if there’s any apw readers in the eastern caribbean, but if there are (and you’re here today?) – thinking of you. and of the folks in south florida, and the folks in mexico (on the east and west coasts there, after last night’s earthquake), and the folks in houston, and the folks in the PNW.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d1265895b2a4fd714ef5244e0c2caac0f28ca4c6d505a375218cc0f7a5dc3567.jpg

    • Henri

      Hugs and condolences for the loss of your beautiful pup.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        He’s really beautiful, isn’t he?

        • Henri

          He totally is <3 I'm probably just having an emotional week, but I definitely teared up reading this updated and seeing the picture.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I always tear up when people post about losing their animals. I know them feels, man.

          • Henri

            Yeah, likewise. My dad called me to tell me my childhood dog died (on three separate occasions, for three dogs) and I totally broke down in public every. single. time. And so did he.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            I have only ever seen my dad cry for his dogs’ and his parents’ deaths.

    • I’m so sorry about your pup. We lost our older dog in January and it still feels raw. All of my internet hugs to you and I’ll be sure to give my pup a squeeze in your dog’s honor.

    • AmandaBee

      I’m so sorry. He sounds like a great doggo, and it’s so painful to lose a pup. Give yourself time and space to grieve, and to remember good times you had with him. The shift to normalcy after we lost our pup this summer took a little while, but it does get easier over time.

    • fleur

      I’m so, so sorry about your sweet dog.

    • Kara

      Hugs. It’s ok to step back from planning. You both need time to grieve. It’s heart wrenching to lose a loved one, whether 2 legged or 4.

    • Sarah Jane

      He looks like a wonderful dog, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Katie

      So sorry about your loss! He looks like such a cutie. Gonna cuddle the heck out of my puppy today in your dog’s honor.

    • sage

      I’m so so sorry for your loss. What a sweetheart! I have a greyhound too and just can’t imagine… will give my girl all the extra cuddles tonight.

    • SL

      I’m so very sorry :(

    • So sorry. Sending virtual hugs– losing a pup is so hard.

    • I am so sorry about your loss! You dog looks like he was a good companion. I lost my cat in May. It takes time to grieve, and you sound like you get that, so that’s good… Sending you peace and healing thoughts…

  • AGCourtney

    Hi, everyone! I’m a little late today – the kiddo didn’t want to leave the park and I could hardly begrudge her that.

    Ren Fest this weekend was awesome and we’re going back this weekend, of course. Work has been going well – I had my last week of day shifts and now I go back to working mostly evenings. So, our first official day of the homeschool year will be this coming Monday. (We go year-round but have been doing a scaled-back version.) My husband and I had a weird realization on Tuesday that this would have been her first day of kindergarten. So, I’ll be finishing up planning while I’m here!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04e866f212899515c4c812880c6cd7148d1099f54ad969f8e967da818ac624d7.jpg

    • penguin

      Your daughter has awesome costumes! Very cool looking, and she always looks so happy!

      • AGCourtney

        Thanks! We found that skirt and mug at a thrift store last week and the whole ensemble just came together, it was really fun. :) She loves her Ren Fest!

    • ssha

      your kid is so cute! <3

      • AGCourtney

        aw, thanks. <3

  • Katie

    Oh, I had a little heartbreaking moment yesterday. A supervisor from my old job reached out to me asking if I could come help out at a tradeshow in NYC. Now, I love tradeshows and I’ve always wanted to visit NYC, and I kinda miss that job. However, I can’t take 3 days off school, I don’t want to be absent on a September weekend when we’re doing renovations on the new house, and I’m not sure how much of the expenses are covered (def ticket+accommodation, but I don’t really have much money to cover the rest). So… I had to let it go :( Man, I miss work trips!

  • fleur

    We’ve finished announcing our engagement to all the people who warranted individual phone calls, and I’m so happy now that our people know our exciting news :)

    I am obnoxiously happy with my engagement ring. So obnoxiously happy, I’m going to share a photo here, even though I shared one in a different post already. It’s a family ring, first my great-grandmother’s, then my mom’s, and now mine. It’s not the style I would have chosen if I bought a ring, but when my mom pulled it out of her jewelery box, it had so many details that I hadn’t noticed as a kid when she used to wear it (she wears a different ring now) and I just love it. Even better, it made my mom really happy to pass it on to me, which in turn made me really happy as well :) This weekend, we’re driving up to a jeweler’s studio to meet and talk about a custom design for my fiancé, and I’m so excited for him to get his ring too! Our wedding is so far away (two years) that there aren’t a ton of concrete actions to take yet, so getting our engagement rings has been such a fun way to channel our excitement.

    On that note: my ring! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2348580501dd5f56151da97ff5073097331cd74b9f83375bf770c03f4fdf0fca.jpg

    • ART

      Love it!

      • fleur

        Thank you! :)

    • savannnah

      Your ring looks like mine- which was also my Great-grandmothers! It really does help me know that this ring is mine because of the history and in some ways helped me with the indecisiveness of what to get for a ring. Glad you are very happy with your ring and congratulations on your engagement!

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/64d071a78bd03eae85720e179195901e5f32862a7036f049841f87381b7f90c7.jpg

      • fleur

        Wow, they look so much alike, down to the little baguette diamonds on either side! How cool :)

        Thank you!

      • Savanah, I have a ring with a similar setting and I love it! I adore the round stone with the square look. Its so beautiful!

    • suchbrightlights

      Congratulations, and what a wonderful piece of family history you are wearing!

    • AmandaBee

      Oooh so pretty

  • Kaitlyn

    Finally heard from my videographer so I can stop worrying he fell off the face of the earth haha Our venue reached out about their annual food tasting in November and we’re stupid excited. We get to bring both sets of parents and they’re all really excited to see the venue and try all the food with them. My mom was also super excited the other day talking about picture frames she saw that she can spray paint for our table numbers and then bridal shower planning. It was really cute. This weekend, we’re going to go look at suits for J and bridesmaid dresses! We’re starting to cruise.

    Also, recommendations for places for men’s wedding bands? My ring is from Brilliant Earth so we were going to look there at men’s bands and we’re slightly horrified by the prices online haha We’ll still go to order my matching band and so he can try them on to get a feel what he’s looking for, but anything less expensive (less than $500?) would be great to find.

    • jem

      Sounds weird, but I’ve seen some super cheap man bands on Costco’s website– I think like $200

      • penguin

        +1 for “man bands”

    • My husband was really picky about his band, and he eventually found his on Overstock!

    • Kara

      Re: men’s bands …. mine is Tungsten for $100 from Amazon

    • penguin

      We went to a local jeweler for both of our wedding rings, and they are ordering them through Stuller. I think each band will be like $300?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I’ve been ring hunting on Etsy. All manner of rings there, of various price ranges, and maybe you can support a little artist.

    • CW

      We got all of our rings from Gemvara. His (which he’s wearing an engagement ring now, and will then be his wedding ring) was under $250.

    • louise danger

      we were on the thrifty hunt for rings, too, and wound up getting a lovely set of silver ones made by hand by an artist here in the USA for less than $90 shipped. mine has a lovely pattern on it inspired by wheat ears; his is plain, unburnished, unadorned.

      the shop was MossyCreekStudio and the transaction start to finish was dead easy. highly recommended <3

    • ART

      Any kind of style in mind? I wanted to go with patterned bands from the place that made my engagement ring, but husband wasn’t crazy about any of them (but I can give you a link if you are looking for patterned, they are vintage repros). We ended up with bands from Amazon – mine is like an Amazon basics one that is super plain (I wear it on my right hand because nothing goes with my engagement ring). They had them in plenty of widths and metals, though my husband ordered one that “matched” mine and felt it was too slick looking for him, something about the color of the metal that was more evident in a wider band. We ended up getting him a “temporary” silver one on Amazon and he loves it and has not had a desire to replace it yet :)

    • Cellistec

      We got my husband’s from Turtle Love Co. and he’s crazy about it. I think it was <$150.

    • suchbrightlights

      E-WeddingBands had great prices, shipping, and customer service. I bought and returned 3 rings from them. No fault of the product, fault of the fiancé for wanting titanium, then wanting platinum, then wanting titanium again, then nothing silver or shiny. Ended up buying from Boone Rings, who were fabulous.

    • AmandaBee

      We got our bands on Amazon. His was a fourth of what they quoted us in the jewelry store. And 2 day shipping!

    • My boyfriend and I exchanged rings for our anniversary, and his was from Bario Neal and was 300 something, I think. It is silver, and he really loves it.

    • Yael

      We got both of our rings (all of our rings, really, since I have 2) from Etsy. Different shops, but they’re all perfect and all less than $200.

    • Lisa

      I bought my husband’s 10k white gold wedding band through a local jeweler for around $400. I’d check and see if there’s anyone you could work with in your area to find something he likes! (The sales rep for ours was a friend of mine. She basically sent me a link to the supplier’s web-page, and my husband picked out a band.)

      I’d recommend going to a store, too, if you haven’t done that yet to try them on in person. My husband had strong preferences on the width and color, which we wouldn’t have known if we hadn’t gone to see them.

    • emilyg25

      My husband’s ring is from Ravens’ Refuge on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/RavensRefuge and it’s incredibly lovely.

  • StressedOut

    In the middle of a really tough period re my husband’s mental health. His (legitimately stressful) job causes him periodic but more and more frequent extreme, physical anxiety. In the last six months we moved to a very expensive part of the country in part so he could be outdoors more and live in a culture that is closer to our values, etc. but the trade-off was that we couldn’t afford to live on one income. We need money to come in, in some form. So now (after months of unpaid leave) it’s time for him to go back to work. He is stressed out at a physical level, and I don’t want to deny him his feelings, but the mortgage company doesn’t see payment as optional. He says he hates his current job, but we’ve been in our new location (living off my income plus dwindling savings) for almost four months and he’s put in exactly one job application. Honestly, I wouldn’t care if he mowed lawns if it covered the bills, but he sees himself as failing because he’s highly educated but can’t get a “real” / professional job. We’re both frustrated and it sucks.

    • Rose

      Oh dear. Having been in situations with some similarities, my sympathy. It’s really rough on everyone.

    • AmandaBee

      I’m sorry, that’s so stressful. When my husband had similar job hunting concerns (wanting, but hating, his definition of a “real” job), I’ve found that framing everything as a choice helps. Like, he can take the work he can get, or you all can move somewhere cheaper. He can find work, or you can tighten X, Y, and Z parts of the budget. Even if the alternatives suck, it can help yo remind him that he’s making a choice to either work or give up things he values but can’t afford.

  • Booknerd

    A while back there was an open thread about bodily changes as we age, and I’ve noticed in the last 6 months (just turned 30) that the peach fuzz on my face is getting more prominent and occasionally I’ll get a thick darker hair on my chin! It’s too much to pluck it all and I can’t afford laser, what’s a furry faced gal to do??

    • InTheBurbs

      I’m currently plucking…but am contemplating getting my chin and neck waxed…

    • lamarsh

      I have my chin threaded, but the dark hairs grow back in like 4 days, so it really isn’t worth it. Basically following along to see other options.

    • theteenygirl

      My mum performed electrolysis all through my childhood when she was a stay at home mum. it’s fallen out in popularity, but apparently you can still get it done, usually from at home studios. Her #1 clients were women with dark hairs on their faces, #2 clients were for eyebrow shaping. If you do the electrolysis consistently enough then the hair stops growing back.

      • toomanybooks

        You can also get electrolysis at… what would it be called, I don’t know, an official… office? Center? Practice? Idk. I know a few people who’ve gotten it, all from one of those. I guess what I mean is not at a home studio and there are still people who do it? It’s suuuuper common for trans women to get electrolysis.

    • Jess

      There are these facial razors you can buy for the peach fuzz. I think they started in Asia, but they were kind of a thing on the US internet last fall. It’s kind of embarrassing to say “shave your face”, but if I need really smooth skin for make-up, I’ve done it. (Shrug)

      Dark hairs I only get out of a mole on my chin and I pluck those…

    • AmandaBee

      I have a u-shaped springy thing that essentially plucks hair, but lots of hairs at a time and it’s much more efficient than tweezing. Its from Target. If a salon near you does threading, that’s worth a try too.

  • Not Sarah

    Is anyone else tired of wedding vendors passing the 2.9% or so credit card fee onto them? Ugh. I just got yet another email that saying that the invoice needs to be paid online and here is a fee for that, so I need to follow up and ask if I can pay in person next week.

    • penguin

      Any time I have to pay by check to avoid a credit card fee I feel like I’ve been transported back in time, and not in a good way.

      • Not Sarah

        I really appreciated the one vendor who uses 17hats and it allowed us to pay via ACH online for free! That was far better than choosing between mailing a check OR paying a credit card fee.

        • Lisa

          Yes, several of our vendors let us use Chase QuickPay instead of checks, which made life so much easier in the week leading up to the wedding.

      • Jane

        It’s ridiculous.

    • Amy March

      May have pitched a Father of the Bride hot dogs/hot dog buns style fit about this issue!

      • CP2011

        Omg the hot dog bun scene. “Who’s George Banks?” “ME!!” My mom and I watched Father of the Bride all the time when i was a kid. I could probably still recite all the dialogue to this day.

    • Kaitlyn

      None of my vendors have even let us pay by credit card, which I was kinda bummed about because we were hoping to get those CC points for the honeymoon by paying the vendors.

      • Not Sarah

        None?! I’m sorry. Most have given us the option, but only the reception venue (it’s a restaurant) and the DJ have not passed the vendor fees onto us.

        One of our vendors said that paying the CC fees is worthwhile for them because it saves them so much hassle. I love that!

  • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

    Who has two thumbs and tickets to Lady Gaga this weekend? THIS LADY! Dance party over here!

  • Not Sarah

    I don’t know if anyone else is curious about this, but I love graphs and I thought I’d share. I made a chart in Excel showing how many people RSVP’d yes or no in the weeks from when the first RSVP came in. You can see that we got far more yes answers early on and then far more no answers near the end. I’d always been curious about the distribution of responses over time and tried to ask my other friends who have gotten married. The two yellow peaks are in the weeks when we sent out the invites and of our RSVP deadline.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ab5e2b8fe5ae4988fcd74e9bd7a19e2e83a3aef210dc2a40c05a31a677109ce6.png

    • theteenygirl

      Wow the research analyst nerd in my finds this fascinating

    • penguin

      This is awesome! Now I wish we’d kept track of when our responses came in, I’d love to graph it.

    • JC

      Wait this is awesome.

    • That is an amazing chart! Yay for wedding data :)

    • Kate Mac

      I have a similar feature going with my wedding rsvp spreadsheet. I’ve been tracking every day when the mail comes in- I enter “yes total/total replies/percent of total that is yes/projection of 250/projection of 240/number of RSVP cards received/percent of RSVP cards received” I have those two numbers projected because the lower is our actual invite number (give or take 2) and the higher is if a few families who have kids bring them (we didn’t include them but have told people if no kids = they can’t come at all, then please bring them). I really enjoy tracking the RSVP rates, and was very curious about it myself, in addition to wondering what our yes rate will be since we’re not from this city and 90% of our guests will have to travel over 2 hours (with the majority being 8 hours or across the country)… but it is a highly desirable tourist destination. I’ll share my results in a future HH when we have a total view!

      • Not Sarah

        I have the spreadsheet from which we made our guest list and we assigned a probability to each person that they would come, from 0.1-1. Then I made another column for if they were actually coming, with values 0 or 1. I then summed up the actual and compared it to the estimate, for everyone who has responded. We were WAY off – our estimate was 101.6 and we have 76 coming. And there are 173 people on this initial spreadsheet. It’s missing my partner and I, the vendors and a few people who we last minute invited, but they’re all coming.

        About 2/3 of our guest list are out of town, out of country. We do live in this city, as do most of our friends list, but still.

        • susannahdon

          OOooo, this is a great idea. I’ve assigned guests a “Yes, Probably, Maybe, Likely Not, and No” but your way seems much easier to calculate.

          • Not Sarah

            I would set something like Yes = 1, Probably = 0.7, Maybe = 0.5, Likely Not = 0.3 and No = 0 or 0.1 to make it easier to calculate! On the one hand, all of our 0.3s quickly added up to a whole person, which is part of why our numbers are way off – we gave very few people less than 0.3 because we were being far too optimistic about my partner’s extended family coming.

        • Kate Mac

          Your spreadsheet makes me feel all happy and tingly hahaha. I think I actually made this face when thinking about how to adjust my spreadsheet ;-) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d64d5851f80a4582f15a8eac14c7332c0afebda95b62d5f975d39c9b31a8937a.jpg

    • Lisa

      I love this! I’d say your analysis is indicative of my own experience and the anecdotal experience of other commenters I’ve seen on here. At the beginning, I got a lot of yes replies from people who knew they were going to make it no matter what (close family, friends, bridal party). Other guests waited to see if there was some way they would be able to make it, which was usually no, and the RSVP deadline forced their hands in committing one way or the other.

  • Henri

    My wedding party’s gifts have started to arrive, and I’m both so excited to give them out and really being struck by what a truly awesome thing it is that these people are able and willing to travel all the way to my state to be with me for a weekend. Yay!

  • After 2 years, I finally have an IUD again. I had a Paragard, cramping dislodged it, then found out that my insurance wouldn’t pay for another one for several years. I finally got a Mirena today and I am so excited. Fingers crossed that everything goes well this time. (Also, shout out to my gyn who is an amazing, skilled, and kind woman who has been nothing but awesome in figuring out affordable contraception despite my crazy insurance).

    • EF

      i think mirenas often get a bad rap around here, but i am on my second (and will get my 3rd next year) and have loved it. here’s hoping you have an equally positive experience!

    • susannahdon

      Ah that sounds awful! Mirena is wonderful. I adore mine so I hope it works for your body!

    • Kate

      I have a Mirena and I love it! I never want to take it out

  • joanna b.n.

    NO IT’S NOT THE END OF SUMMER!! IT CAN’T BE!
    I’ll get over it. It’s fine. (all the tears…)

    • MDBethann

      Technically, summer ends Sept 21/22. So you’ve got 10 more days :-)

  • Hannah

    We found a venue! It’s unbelievably beautiful and we both just knew it was it the second we got out of the car. They sent us the contract today and while there are several additional fees that they didn’t mention at the site visit (yikes!), I don’t even care, I’m just so happy we found such a great place! What’s also amazing is that my dad who is super warm and funny but not really emotional at all is so excited that we’re engaged! He told me he started working on his father-of-the-bride speech even though our wedding won’t be until August 2018!

  • Jessa

    I signed up for a Mermaid swim class and I’m SOOOOO excited. I can’t wait until Sept 16! Has anyone else ever done one? Tips? The company I signed up with is http://www.aquamermaid.com :D

  • Rose

    I just heard that the hospital associated with the university I just graduated from had a LifeFlight helicopter crash today, with no survivors. I’m just not sure I can deal with the news this week, and none of it even affects me very directly.

    • rg223

      Ugh, I’m sorry. I definitely feel you on not dealing with the news. Hope you get some self-care time this weekend!

  • suchbrightlights

    I left my last dress fitting with the vague foreboding that my dress didn’t actually fit. I’m doing separates and had a floorlength dress adjusted to cocktail length, and taking off the weight of the fabric at the bottom cause the fabric that was already a little tight around my hips to ride up. I wasn’t particularly emotionally attached to it, but it was disappointing. So I came into my fitting yesterday armed with Spanx and a month of more mindful eating- not a diet, just fueling the machine for the activity ahead of me- and IT FITS. The seamstress did a beautiful job. I don’t think she fully understood my vision for it starting out because she exclaimed “THAT’S what we were making!” when I stepped out with both pieces on, but she made the mental picture I had had come to reality as though it had been drawn out for her all along. She also said “We made something no one else ever has!” which, while not totally true, made me feel good. :)

    It’s been a hell of a month at work, so this was a really big relief.

    Also I found shoes for 70% off so hopefully those fit too.

    • susannahdon

      Yay dress fitting! It sounds super interesting.

  • TK

    For once, my tight budget has been a source of stress relief. We visited a venue that we fell in love with and asked our questions based on how many people we expected to show up, not how many we’d invite (I know, big mistake. I learned my lesson). I wasn’t worried until I discovered that max number of people who would fit in the venue. I was so worried. What would I do if 100% of my list came? How do I make this work? Do I need to just choose a different venue?

    Well, I reached out to some of the other venues I looked at that fit in my budget AND 100% of my guest list. I asked what I’d be looking at for cost for that larger number. Their answer was WAY outside of my budget. It is not happening.

    So, on one had it’s a bit sad, because decisions are going to have to get made about who will be getting invites. But on the other hand, the amount of people I can afford to invite will fit in the venue I fell in love with. I’m just happy to have this all finally figured out. I’m hoping to get all my vendor information together over the next week and make some final decisions.

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    So as a brief update to my in-law drama last week, I ended up having a looooong talk with my husband about his mom’s passive-aggressive criticism of my/our parenting and my growing impatience with hearing it without feeling like I can assert my own boundaries. Turns out, he was way more aware than I thought and has actually been internally formulating a Big Conversation to have with her, because he thinks it’s getting to the point that we can’t just casually deal with it.

    I guess it came to a head when they were FaceTiming and he started turning up the brightness so our daughter could see better, and my MIL scolded him for exposing her to “radiation.” So, yeah, definitely beyond just shrugging it off at this point. On the one hand, it irks me that it took her directing it toward him for it to really sink in, but on the other, what matters is that we can get it resolved to whatever extent we can.

    She won’t be happy (to put it mildly) when he tells her that she needs to be more respectful. And he probably won’t be able to put it as firmly as I’d ideally like because she comes from a mostly collectivist Latin American culture where respect of elders is huge. My husband is culturally American, but recognizes that allowing her to “save face” as they say during the conversation will yield better results, whatever that will end up looking like. Plus, the daily FaceTimes have already been reduced…he only did 2-3x this week and it was reportedly much more bearable (though she would still get very stern every time baby cried, saying things like, “What are you doing to her?” *eye roll*)

    So all in all: Progress!

    • AGCourtney

      Yay, progress! I’m glad your husband was aware of it planning to take action. Best of luck.

    • Jess

      Progress!!!!!!

    • emilyg25

      Oh, yay! I’m very relieved by this update. Now that hard work of holding the line begins, but at least it’s a start.

    • MDBethann

      Daily FaceTimes? Wow. Both sets of grandparents live 2-3 hours away and we do 1-2 times/month, tops. Phone is weekly, or more often if something comes up. But a 2 year old just wants to move and isn’t usually interested in lots of phone or computer chatting. “Hi grandma” “bye grandma” is usually the best we do without a lot of coaching/prompting.

      Maybe offer to email or text pictures daily?

  • ART

    I just saw that CatPrint, which we used for all of our wedding printing and were very happy with, is giving 15% off coupons if you donate $15 to any Hurricane Harvey relief organization. If you are thinking of DIYing invitations, it might be worthwhile to just go ahead and snag the offer (I’m hoping they also extend it to Irma, of course). https://v4.catprint.com/pages/newsletter/donate-and-save

    They also foster cats in their office, FWIW.

  • Call Me Penny

    I’m actually on East Coast time for once! My husband is in New York this week for work and then heading for Houston on Monday and I managed to get a few days off work a cheap-ish flight to join him. He turns 30
    on Sunday and it’s our anniversary next week so it was too good an opportunity to pass up given that his hotel was already covered. I haven’t been back since I lived here in college in 2009 so it’s been really lovely to have a few days to wander by myself while he’s in the office, and now it’s the weekend and we get to explore together. My one and only work perk is student Amazon prime membership so it feels ridiculous but I’m embracing it!

  • Anon for Today

    So if anyone has been following my saga, I’m the one who has posted a few times about how my husband and I are at a tumultuous time in our relationship. I decided I don’t want kids, and also do not feel supported by him. In an update, we had a huge blow up fight… while he was away, which is awful. He returns home late Sunday night, and I’m off work Monday. We plan to hash things out on Monday. Truthfully, I believe that on Monday we will decide to get divorced. We’ve talked at length on the phone as that being the possible next step. Both of us are struggling to let go. I love him, I really do, but I also do not know how our future will work at this point. I’m feeling a crazy amount of emotions, from anger to sadness to an odd joyous feeling that I think is my body’s defense mechanism. Fortunately, since the big fight, I’ve been busy as hell at work, so I haven’t had time to focus on it. My big brother is the best person in the world. He’d planned to stay over the night that we started fighting, and then proceeded to make sure I wasn’t alone the entirety of the holiday weekend, and has been checking up on me daily since. He’s a master at talking about it just enough, but not bringing it up if I need him to drop it.
    In other news, in one of my angry periods, I agreed to go on what might have been a date with the guy I’ve been crushing on since having issues with my husband? I’m in my first year in my current position, and without going into too much boring detail, had a very big very successful week at work. Crush knew this, and asked me if he could “take me out to dinner to celebrate.” We went out, weren’t flirty or anything, but we were there for five hours… My friends tell me that was a date, but I have no clue if it was. I should probably just ask, but I’m a baby about that sort of thing.

    • suchbrightlights

      I wish you strength, comfort, and rationality in a very trying time.

    • rg223

      Ooof, I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s great your brother is supporting you so well! Sending you strength.

    • Jess

      Strength and comfort are on their way to you via the internet. What a tough situation. I hope you can find and stand by the best decision for you.

  • Cdn icecube

    Just wanted to share something that i’ve been going through job-search wise. I started my job search knowing that I needed to make x/month in order to pay my bills and afford to eat. I then went into an interview after having done some research about what is appropriate in that field and in that city. I had a fairly successful first interview with the company where i presented my salary range. I thought it went well. They called me back on Monday of last week and said that they could give me an extra dollar but were still 2 dollars short of my lowest number. Then I went for another interview this week and the whole time the interviewer tried to make me feel like a complete asshat for asking for my salary. Even though i have years of experience in admin and volunteer work. UGH. I was feeling so empowered for asking for what I believe I’m worth and now I just feel so completely disheartened about the whole thing.

    • rg223

      Ugh, that sucks. You obviously know this, but it’s definitely a problem with the companies underpaying and undervaluing, not your salary requirements. I hope you have better luck in the next interview!

  • Mallory2

    Needing some help! My husband and I are talking about TTC in a few months. I’m a big reader, so there are many resources at the ready (and I’ve been creating a list from recs here on APW!), but he’s a big podcast listener instead. Anybody have suggestions for podcasts to help prep for this process/parenthood? Or any fatherhood-specific that don’t treat men as big dumb animals who are inept at raising a human?

    • rg223

      I don’t know of any fatherhood podcasts :( But my husband really liked the book “Be Prepared.” It goes through the first year and has a lot of helpful tips, and it’s written in a lighthearted and fun way. And I thought it did not treat fathers as dumb animals but as competent people with skills that transfer well into parenting.

    • S

      It’s not really about parenthood exactly but I listen to Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure which is very good and nice. It’s about IVF and they do talk about parenthood sometimes. I’d listen less as “Here is a Dad talking about being a Dad” (they haven’t had kids yet) and more as “Here are two adult humans going through the journey to try and have a baby and talking about their feelings about babies and other adult responsibilities, and their marriage”

      • S

        Oh! Also he could maybe download a bunch of the dad-focused episodes of The Longest Shortest Time? (A parenthood podcast which is also very good and nice)

    • Libby

      I don’t know any about TTC but for parenting/the process in general The Longest Shortest time is great. Then once you have conceived, I recommend The Birth Hour. My husband is also a big podcaster and he’s been listening to that, it is basically just women telling their birth stories but really helps you get a sense of what it is like. I will warn that it’s very bias towards unmedicated birth which I dislike – I wish it could show all experiences but it’s the best I’ve found for learning more about the pregnancy, birth, and recovery process. Also the birth hour apparently has episodes from fathers on their experience of the birth that you get access to if you donate to the podcast in some certain way. We haven’t done that yet but plan to! Those podcasts are led by the woman’s husband.

      One more for pregnancy is Pregnancy Confidential – has a podcast per week of the pregnancy.

    • Libby

      I’ve also been reading to my husband before bed some nights and that has been so wonderful because then we can discuss things right at the time. He’s super audio centric hence the podcasts so prefers audio books and I like reading out loud. Wondering if your husband is similar. We’re currently reading Bringing up Bebe which I know Meg has recommended here and we are really enjoying in helping us discuss how we want to parent etc. This approach could also be used with some TTC books!

  • Kate Mac

    Posting for the first time today because I decided to join in on a side discussion, and may as well introduce myself :0) FH and I are getting married in less than two months, and it’s been quite the experience to plan this wedding (albeit, mostly my mom and I, with little input from him). Lots of ups and downs and weird little issues popping up mostly due to everyone’s varying expectations and unspoken idea(l)s, but nothing super big. It has been enlightening, especially to learn that while his mom is awkward and can very easily come off the wrong way (giving my mom an etiquette book on wedding planning, with a weirdly vague/minimal explanation), I don’t, nor SHOULD I, think she ever means anything malicious or snarky by it. So strange how my hackles just want to go up with her sometimes, and I know it’s unfounded and unfair- she really is a very nice woman. Don’t know what that dynamic is though. Maybe just how my parents are also crazy but they’re MY brand of crazy, so it’s normal to me.

    Anyway, looking at a long weekend here (in coastal Carolina) due to Irma… FH has off from work (praises!) and so we’re going to have our first full weekend together (not on vacay) in months!! Awesome! We may go to the beach tomorrow. The city has cleared out and many people have boarded up their homes, but we’re deciding on riding it out from either our house or my parents’ house one bridge over… Just do we want to get stranded (from street flooding) with the entire family for a few days if the roads are bad?? HMM. I am worried for my family’s house in Key West, however. The tenants are out, and the prop mgr is supposed to have boarded it up, but still… Very scary to imagine what those islands will shortly be going through. When Matthew came through last year as a Cat 1, beach and resort/tree cleanup lasted for months, and that was actually fairly minor in comparison! I am so worried for the people who may have stayed behind. I know there are a lot of factors that go into someone staying, but for those who ARE able to get out, but choose not to find safety in the face of a severely destructive weather system… I just don’t understand it. Is it pride? Not wanting to look like a transient “snow bird” who flees in the slightest discomfort? I’ve definitely met that sentiment in regards to more “minor” hurricanes/less direct hits, but in a situation like this, I just can’t understand feeling so invincible.

    I’m so thankful for these open threads as I’ve been lurking for a bit and absolutely loving the mindful, kind and considerate readers that post here… It feels like a beautifully inclusive and caring group of people. I hope to ramble on much more in the near future now … thank you!

    • Jess

      Good luck with the incoming storm. Stay safe.

      The in law stuff is so common – every body has different traditions and expectations and I feel like in-laws are trying to not say anything or get on the wrong foot, but it all comes out in a big thing later (or they say they wish they had been more involved). It’s got to be harder to navigate if your partner isn’t super involved in planning the wedding itself.

  • Diane

    Looking for some help finding a post!
    A long time ago, there was a wedding post where the bride rented a gold , sparkly dress and had a family friend make detachable a tulle skirt to go over it. I think the wedding was by a lake, and I vaguely remember there were pictures on a bicycle?
    Can anyone help me find this? I can’t get my peeps on board with my diy idea without a visual, and I stupidly didn’t pin the post at the time. I’ve tried all kinds of descriptions in my searches, but no luck!