APW Happy Hour


Everybody screeeeeam

by Stephanie Kaloi

halloween cookies on a baking sheet

Hey APW,

I live in the southern US, where temperatures only recently stopped flirting with summer (we’ve got highs in the low eighties, but lows in the midfifties, so I’ll take it). I’m glad that we’re kind of, sort of cooling off, since Halloween is coming up and it’s our family’s favorite holiday (and I can’t imagine Halloween without cool temperatures). My son is going as a polar bear, I’m going Rowena Ravenclaw, and my husband plans to be an ice cream cone (complete with papier-mâché parts)… though between us, he’s done nothing to pull this off. Our weekend will be jammed with a zillion family Halloween activities and not much else, and will of course culminate in the most awesome rite of trick-or-treating on Monday.

I love Halloween because I love pretending, I love being a little spooked, and I love imaginative play. It’s been really fun to watch our son go through the years, to find out what totally terrifies him (those Spirit Halloween stores? His nightmare) and what he surprisingly adores (Hocus Pocus is a fave). I like to think we’d be the type of people who would still dress up in costumes and enjoy the holiday without a kid, but who knows?

What are you guys up to this weekend? What are your costumes? Bonus points if you include photos of cute kids dressed as tomatoes, or dogs dressed up as skunks. Happy Halloween!

XO,

Stephanie

Link Roundup

Did you see this video of Obama trying to get Bill Clinton on a plane, already? (Subquestion: Are you a Bill or a Barack? I am totally a Barack in this scenario.)

Who Will Save Our Rich White Boys?” Indeed.

Here are 36 of the most Noel Gallagher things that Noel Gallagher has ever said. #boyfriend

Could Texas go blue? I don’t even know, but I’m excited.

AWW: Did you see what Chelsea gave Hillz for her birthday?

Her Job Is Not to Make Herself Likable”: On raising a feminist daughter.

Stephanie Kaloi

Stephanie is a photographer, writer, and Ravenclaw living in California with her family. She is super into reading, road trips, and adopting animals on a whim. Forewarning: all correspondence will probably include a lot of punctuation and emoji (!!! ? ? ?).

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  • ART

    I just finished sewing merit badges on my Pawnee Goddess vest last night, and my darling husband has been growing a beard all month to Swanson it up for his Pawnee Ranger costume. It’s the bright spot in my week full of stress over: the election, housing costs in my area, the Malheur verdict, the DAPL, and way too much work to do.

    • Ashlah

      That sounds fantastic! Would love to see pics next week if you’re comfortable sharing :)

    • Emily C

      omg I love this and only wish I had thought of it! Next year…

  • Danielle

    I kind of like the article about rich white men. I *don’t* like the author’s implication that people of color, women, etc are materially/financially disenfranchised, while white men are spiritually disenfranchised.

    Poverty is emotionally crippling as hell. Fearing rape as a woman is emotionally and spiritually battering as well.

    In general I like the author’s point. But he needs to do a little digging into the personal experiences of these other marginalized groups.

    • Justine

      On another note, Martin Shkreli’s photo probably shouldn’t be there. He may be crazy rich now, but he was brought up in a roach-infested apartment. He was brought up in abject poverty. I hate when writers don’t do the research.

    • anachronismsarah

      Talking about the emotional implications around poverty… Have you heard any of the segments on NPR lately? SO eye-opening. I am going to have to go back and read that article but check out the “Chasing the Dream” series if this is a topic of interest for you.

  • idkmybffjill

    YES I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS!
    We got married! Two weeks ago Friday. We went to SPAIN so this is my first Happy Hour back!!

    I had no idea things could go so perfectly….. I had really adjusted my brain to expect Plan B’s and things not quite going right but it went off without a hitch. Everyone adored our ceremony &totally wept (big ups to APW), our vows got wild applause, people thought we’d rehearsed our first dance (we DEF did not, and in fact moments before looked at each other and were like… woops we’ve never danced to this together!), and it was all in all just wonderful. Everyone said it would be a blur, but it felt like slow motion to me. My maid of honor gave me a private yoga class the morning of the wedding like a true champion (which I’d have never thought to plan and was just so exactly what I needed I set my intention to be present, and then really just felt so in the moment. It was amazing.

    Thank you to APW – so much of our wedding perfection is thanks to you!! Peeks below just from wedding guests, will delete em soon – but GUH it was just the best.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/11c72821b5481f2181109b49bc3c675f7c94a338fffd15ee1ee378970ac89148.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a117b3309ed66aed79ad006959640fe07a3e1ccc2dbf863c055a721455f9d102.jpg ,
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b62162a3b61dc370b067052c77a45c712524fcdcf92a973d4bc7838d8d466d05.jpg

    • Ashlah

      Congratulations! I’m glad it was so wonderful!

      • idkmybffjill

        Thank you!!

    • flashphase

      YES!! Congrats. Everything looks beautiful.

      • idkmybffjill

        Thank you!!!

    • raccooncity

      Pictures with crying get me EVERY TIME.

      • idkmybffjill

        I am nothing if not a well documented weeper :).

    • Emily C

      Awww everything looks so beautiful! I love the flowers! And I bet Spain was amazing!! Congratulations and glad that everything went so well!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations! That sounds and looks like such a wonderful, beautiful time. <3

    • Totch

      Congratulations!!! That yoga idea is genius.

      • idkmybffjill

        TRULY. I never ever would have thought of it. She is a goddess!

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      Yay again for 10/15!! I’m so glad it went well. You guys look gorgeous and authentically emotional. And in addition to being date twins, we were honeymoon twins! My guy and I went to Barcelona!

      • idkmybffjill

        Omg! How crazy! Did you love it??? I basically didn’t want to leave ever.

        • Unhip in Brooklyn

          I did! Was bummed by the weather (I really wanted more beach time) but I thought we hit an excellent balance of relaxing and doing things. Sagrada Familia knocked my socks off, and we ate some incredible tapas. What was your favorite?

          • idkmybffjill

            LOVED Sagrada Familia. We spent the first part of our trip in Madrid and I LOVED it. And took a day trip to Toledo & Segovia and….omg so many castles. Paella was so amazing, and definitely definitely tapas.

            In retrospect I wish a little that we had saved Spain for just a vacation and not a honeymoon. We did a lot of walking and other than Siesta not a ton of relaxing… plus jetlag. But it was unforgettable and amazing – and I loved how disconnected it allowed us to be.

          • Loooove Sagrada Familia. And that giant park in Madrid.
            We got engaged in Ronda (Southern Spain)…and that place…OMG. To die for. Just amazing architecture, history, all with the relaxed-ish Mediterranean-ish attitude. And sangria. And the home of tapas. YASSSSS.

    • rg223

      Congrats! Sad to have missed the photos! Sounds absolutely lovely!

    • Lisa

      Yaaaaaaay!!! I’m so happy you guys had a great day and that it went off perfectly. I was out with my ILs during HH on Friday so I’m sad to have missed the photos, but I’m sure it was beautiful!

      Where in Spain did you go? I’ve spent several months there studying and would go back in a heartbeat if I could!

      • idkmybffjill

        Here’s my favorite one that I didn’t share originally! :)
        We went to Madrid & Barcelona, and took a day trip to Toledo & Segovia – it was AMAZING. I was a Spanish minor and basically just walked around weeping at the Prado. Madrid was definitely our favorite, Toledo & Segovia coming in closely behind.

        Where did you study? Not studying abroad is one of my biggest regrets. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4d6aae309fc57bf69e0536b9040bdee4c71ea33979a24a8c672628b165d6a099.jpg

        • Lisa

          You look gorgeous!! I’m so sorry we couldn’t be there. You are just radiating happiness in this picture.

          I studied in León, which is in the north, and then during college I lived in Alcalá de Henares, which is on the north side of Madrid. (About a 15-20 minute train ride) I loooooove Madrid, and Toledo is gorgeous! The Retiro park is one of my favorites. I haven’t been to Barcelona, but I really want to go! The Sagrada Familia is supposed to be completed in about 10 years, and I’d love to see that.

          • idkmybffjill

            Thank you!! I about burst of happiness. I thought I’d be emotional about walking with my dad or seeing my husband, but the way the aisle was laid out – I saw all our guests first! It was astonishing!

            Yesss Retiro Park!! It ruled. Some friends of ours also went on their honeymoon to Spain this year and have already decided they’re going to go back on the 10 year anniversary when it’s finished! May have to steal that thought :).

          • Lisa

            <3 <3 <3

            My husband keeps saying that he doesn't have a big interest in visiting Spain, but I think he'd love it if he went. How can you say no to a society that values napping in the middle of the day and eating and drinking until the wee hours??

          • idkmybffjill

            Yes! Totally. Especially when one of you speaks spanish. My husband basically was like – I would have maybe hated this trip without you (I spoke only Spanish to everyone), and that made me feel great!

          • Lisa

            I think the Spanish-speaking is super important. Maybe it won’t matter as much in a few years, but I know my host parents couldn’t speak any English at all, which is a holdover from the Franco years. It would have been interesting trying to get by even just 10 years ago without any Spanish knowledge!

          • idkmybffjill

            Absolutely – even on our airline (Iberia – a Spanish airline that operates with British Airways), the flight attendants and captain spoke english, but it was harder to understand over the speakers than their spanish. My husband had a moment of OH MY GOD, until I was like – it’s cool I heard what they said in spanish!

  • Sara

    The Halloween party I’m going to this weekend has turned into a Cubs viewing party with costumes (we’re in Chicagoland), though I’m a Cleveland fan so I’m going to spend tonight coming up with a really good dessert to bring to buy my friends’ love back.
    I will be going in a dragon costume that I bought off amazon that is super soft and has pockets. I wore it to a Halloween animal shelter fundraiser with my dog (who was dressed as a knight (sir barks-a-lot) and it was fantastic. Coordinating with my dog isn’t weird, right?

    • Ebbers

      Not weird at all. People match their cats (Toothless/Hiccup duo) so why can’t you with your dog?

  • Alyssa

    I have my Hermione costume ready to go! Halloween is a big deal in my town, so I’m excited for it — although I tend to be most excited for Halloween when I can dress up as a badass woman (doing an X-Files Mulder/Scully couples costume was my personal fave).

    Our Halloween traditions consist of going to the pumpkin patch the day before and picking out the “orphan pumpkins” and trying to get out of our house and to a friends’ Halloween party before any kids come to trick or treat because we never get candy for them (we had one a couple years ago and gave her an entire box of cookies because it was all we had — she was so confused!). Otherwise, my guy works at the local Boys and Girls Club and is the “butcher” in their Haunted House, so I’m excited for some awesome kids costumes later today.

    However, my main Halloween goal is to one day dress my cat up as a dairy cow, because she has the part down pat, she just needs udders :)

  • Emily

    Guys this has been a rough week. My husband is 95% sure he’s being laid off next week (which is VERY unexpected), and I recently made a large dent in our savings to pay off some student loan debt. So Yay! less debt, but also Boo! can’t pay rent. Ugh can someone just fast forward me to next Friday so I know which way is up?

    • Ashlah

      Ugh, I’m so sorry :( I hope that 5% doubt turns out to be true.

    • Eenie

      No! That’s the worst timing :( Layoffs can really mess with your psyche. Hugs to you and your husband!

    • Not Sarah

      I am so sorry!!!! I hope your husband isn’t laid off, but that if he is, he will get a good severance package. I was laid off last month and it was a HUGE shock – no one in my group knew it was coming.

    • cml

      Oh, man! Hate to hear this. :( So sorry.
      Why does it always seem to happen when you just bought something or paid on some debt? I’m notorious for getting TOO excited to pay something off and then winding up without enough money to pay for nor.also expenses, though, so that could just be me…

      You’ll make it! Hoping he doesn’t get laid off at all!

    • a few

      at least you have the debt paid off so you don’t have to make extra payments during his unemployment. also, if you are in the us, wait for them to fire him so that he can get unemployment through the state. apply for it asap after the lay off is official.

  • Violet

    I love Halloween as an adult. There’s candy everywhere, and no one makes me wear a costume and go tramping around in the cold for it.
    Plus, work has slowed down enough that I can hang with you guys this afternoon. Finally!

  • Oy Vey

    Hey all,

    Thanks so much for your well-wishes and advice last week. Quick recap for those that didn’t read – my BF told me a month ago that he unequivocally didn’t want to have kids. I took a lot of time to think and realized that I do want to have kids and that there are some other issues we need to fix in our relationship (I’m also the one who wrote into Ask APW about how this same BF refused to have my parents at our wedding). I spoke with him last Friday and expected that we’d either break up or be on the road to mending our relationship.

    Unfortunately, the conversation took a turn I could not have predicted (or maybe didn’t want to predict).

    The TL;DR of this post is – Any advice for ending this relationship (the wording, the method) when my BF has suddenly proven himself to be hostile and manipulative? Personal anecdotes and experiences welcomed as I am clearly a bad predictor of events!

    Here’s an abridged version of what happened (and even abridged, it’s a novel, but damn):

    Me: I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching since last month, when you said you didn’t want to have kids, and I realized that I am not ambivalent like I thought I was and that I do want to have kids. And because you don’t, I’m afraid we might be at an impasse.

    BF: Who are you? I don’t even want to talk to you right now.

    Me: Um… Do you want me to leave? I can go to my friend’s house until–

    BF: Are you breaking up with me? If you want to leave, just do it.

    Me: I don’t want to break up, but if we want different things, isn’t that the right thing to do?

    BF: I’ve never felt further apart from you.

    Me: I’m sorry if I phrased how this conversation was starting in a way that didn’t sound like anything was open for discussion, but I meant to start a conversation.

    BF: It’s not about phrasing.

    Me: Then what is it?

    BF: You need to do some thinking about what you’ve done here and come back to me with an apology.

    BF: Why would you have even listened to me that night? It’s the first time I had seen my family in over 2 years and I was upset.

    Me: But we talked about it, at length. That evening. The next morning. A week later.

    BF: Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything to you then. Besides, it doesn’t even make sense to talk about this now. If you had asked me ten years ago what I thought I was going to be doing now, I didn’t even think I was going to be alive. Even though, yeah, an ideal life would include kids, I’m just crawling out of this hole of survival. I can’t plan for kids.

    Me: But if we want them, we need to now.

    BF: We need to do a lot of things before we can even think about having kids. Like cleaning. We live in a shithole.

    BF: The fact that you thought about this for a month without coming to me is so sick.

    Me: Sick?

    BF: Yes. You’re just festering in your own thoughts. Thinking terrible things about me. And then, you come here talking about wanting to get married and having kids. Real romantic. Thanks for that.

    Me: I wasn’t thinking terrible things about you. I was taking time to think about big things that I want in life.

    BF: Why can’t we talk about those things together?

    Me: Because I need time by myself to process before we have a discussion because I find myself easily swayed by other people’s opinions, especially yours because you reason so well, so I wanted to come into this with a firm handle on what I wanted. Besides, we’ve had these conversations before and they’ve always ended in “We’ll see what happens.”

    BF: Exactly!

    Me: That’s not an acceptable answer to me anymore.

    BF: You would be furious if I did this to you.

    Me: Did what?

    BF: Take so much time to think.

    BF: I’ll come visit your family if I have to. If it’s important to you. What’s important to you is important to me.

    Me: Thank you.

    BF: But I’m not staying in your parents’ house. You’re a completely different person when you’re with your family. I need a reprieve from that.

    Me: We don’t have to be with them 24/7, but we need to stay in the house. That’s important to me.

    BF: You can’t get everything you want. This is called compromise. It’s an important part of any relationship.

    And those are the “highlights” from Friday. Saturday and Sunday were bizarre because we had brief interludes of fighting with most of the day being spent as us being together and enjoying each other’s company like usual.

    On Saturday, I told him I had nothing to apologize for and he said that I should apologize for being willing to leave and giving him an ultimatum. I reiterated that it wasn’t an ultimatum, but a response to what was effectively an ultimatum to me – saying he didn’t want to have children. He thinks that I should have known that he was under stress and to not take him seriously. We went around in circles on this and I reminded him that he’s threatened to leave me before because I didn’t wipe down the counters. He thinks that’s different because he gave me a warning before he went that far. He also told me that being upset about that is a “valid critique” of him…

    On Sunday, he sniped at me about “How long is it going to take you to bring up more issues? When will I be blindsided by those? Another 7 years?” He also said he didn’t know if he could ever forgive me. I told him I’d give him time to think about that.

    And that’s where we’ve left it. Typing it all out, I’m sure it’s clear to you all that I should DTMFA. But I really DO need time to process. And it took me until Wednesday night to realize that there isn’t a relationship to save. And that we’re incompatible on some base levels. And I’m not interested in being with someone who turns on a dime when he’s not in control of his universe.

    I also found out he’s been taking Xanax without a prescription (the thing he couldn’t be truthful with me about) – buying it from a “friend.” And he’s only thinking about going to therapy.

    This is all very unhealthy and I’m done with the relationship.

    Unfortunately, I have a huge work conference that I’m consumed with for the next 2 weeks (14 hour days consumed with), so I can’t pull the plug until then. This is made easier by the fact that he’s engaging in some strange behavior — pretending like NONE of this ever happened. We have a great time hanging at home together. He hasn’t mentioned like he doesn’t feel he can trust or forgive me. It’s like I’m living in 2 realities at once.

    So, my question is, when I do pull the plug, what’s the best way to do it?

    I’m going to have my sister and best friend on call, with boxes, to pack up my stuff and move out on the night I do it. But other than moral support, how do I communicate with someone who’s proven to be very manipulative and volatile?

    Thanks APW!!!

    • Ashlah

      I’m going to let others give advice, but I just want to say wow, you are making the right decision. Best of luck with the logistics of it, and so much strength to you. Even though it “should” be easy based on the things you’ve realized, I know it’s not.

      • Oy Vey

        Thank you. I really appreciate the empathy. Reading all these comments helps me feel lifted up and supported.

        • emilyofnewmoon

          You have gotten much wonderful advice, and you have so much on your plate. I would add that after you’ve moved out/etc. I would get an order of protection/restraining order against him. How actually effective they are vary from state to state, but I think it’s important to establish that paper trail/etc. and have legal recourse should he try to mess with you in any way. Good luck and good thoughts to you!

    • Sara

      I’m really really sorry that you’re going through this. I think its smart to have people on call, especially since he seems to be unpredictable so leaving will likely not go well.
      As for how to – well, I tend to be a blunt hammer. So I would just say that you’re done, pack your things and go. “After our recent fights, I’ve decided this isn’t the relationship I want to be in. I’m calling my sister, and I’ll be out tonight. Please give me space to pack my things.” And the prepare to just ignore his freaking out while you pack around him.

      • idkmybffjill

        I think this is perfect wording. I would also maybe suggest pre-packing if possible. Have it all ready to go and maybe even moved out? I would still say tell him in person, but I think it’s easier to stick to a decision once it’s just already done. I’ve never had to deal with a break up where I lived with a person so could terribly off base – but just my thought.

        Good luck @Oy vey! This sounds very hard but it seems to me you’re handling it with alot of grace.

        • Olive

          I agree. If it were me, I’d move all my stuff when he’s not home and have someone with me (or waiting in the car) when he shows up so it’s easier to tell him it’s really over, leave, and have the support you may need right then and there. I’m also ridiculously non-confrontational and would probably be scared to be alone with him at this point, though, so maybe talking first would be better for you. I’m so proud of you, Oy Vey, you’re doing tough but good things. Sending you hugs.

          • Oy Vey

            The night I do it, my best friend and sister will be outside, with boxes, waiting for me to call them inside. I’m not going to allow him to throw insults at me while I pack, so I’ll suggest he gets outside and takes the dog for a walk while I get all my stuff out, and then they’ll come inside and be a shield.

            That night is the only time I’m fearful, though most likely, he’ll be flinging angry words at me, not anything physical.

            Thank you!

          • Amy March

            How, exactly, are you going to not allow him to throw insults at you? I don’t mean to be rude, but that is not something you can make sure of if he is going to be there. What happens when you suggest he go walk the dog, and he tells you to f*** off?

          • Oy Vey

            true. bad phrasing on my part. because I can’t control or predict him.

            But I’ll have protection – my best friend and sister will be inside the house, playing my bodyguards.

            If he decides to belittle and insult me while I pack, then that’s my reality for a couple hours. But I luckily don’t have much to pack.

          • Jess

            “my best friend and sister will be inside the house, playing my bodyguards.”

            I love this. He can say whatever he wants, but you don’t have to pay him any mind and let them get him out of the way.

          • Olive

            You got this, girl!

          • Ebbers

            Oy Vey, you’ve been brave and wonderful in standing up for your needs and realising that this relationship will not fulfill them. I have never been through this, but I know it must be hard to leave and hard to accept that this is how it’s all turned out. I hope your community supports you through the immediate future. Please let this online community know how it’s all going too, I know I’m not the only one who will be thinking of you.

        • Oy Vey

          I’m doing some “pre-packing” this weekend. I have a storage locker rented (for other reasons, but it’s handy) and will be moving smaller things in there in the interest of “de-cluttering.” (half of my books, kitchen appliances I barely use, etc.)

          I also have my sister on call at all times to come over in case my “de-cluttering” leads to him asking me if I’m moving out. If he asks before this work thing is over, I will be honest and get out.

          Thanks!

          • Kaitlyn

            I’m glad to hear you have the support of your sister and have some pre-packing going on. You got this! <3

          • idkmybffjill

            Good for you!! You got this!

      • Oy Vey

        “Please give me space to pack my things.” – Genius. Thank you.

    • Rhie

      Holy cow, what an awful experience and I’m so sorry you have to deal with all of this weirdness… if it were me, I would just tell him that it’s over, period, because of X, Y, Z things he’s said/the way he’s approached this whole scenario, and then leave. It seems like the more openings you give him to argue, the more he’s going to take.

    • ART

      Wow, I am so, so sorry that it came to that. I think you are right to see this as manipulation, and right to be concerned. I think last week when you commented about having this conversation, one piece of advice was to try to emotionally detach from the words, if only to get them out. I think your communication with him might have to use the same tool. Given your characterization of him as volatile, is there any way that you can stay somewhere else during your work conference? If not because of safety concerns, just to give yourself some space? Whatever happens, I think you’re doing the right things, and wish you lots of strength.

    • Eenie

      Advice: I think you don’t? I think you just move out. You’ve had the conversation, he’s shown he’s not willing to at least try to be a rational human and communicate. I vote you don’t really need another conversation, but to finalize your exit plan and do it.

      I hope your friend is keeping you grounded with what is normal and ok. I’ve been in a similar situation and it’s so easy to lose track of which way is up.

      • AmandaBee

        This. From the recap here, there is no more communication to be had. He’s made it clear that he’s not interested in communicating when given the chance, and will only use those opportunities to try and manipulate things.

        You don’t owe him any more communication. I would get your things, get some friends to help you move out, and just tell him that you’ve decided it’s over. That’s all he really needs to know. He’ll make up his own conclusion about what happened, and that will likely not be affected by anything you said.

        Unfortunately, a lot of what you’ve recapped does point to emotional abuse. You say his behavior is strange but all of it – making your concerns about him, trying to place guilt on you for even having concerns, then pretending it all never happened – is 100% classic emotional abuse. From personal experience, it’s really hard to recognize in the moment when someone is being emotionally abusive. But please listen to people who are telling you to make a plan, keep it brief, and get some friends or family to help you. That pattern, plus prescription drug abuse, can easily spiral into a very volatile situation.

        Don’t search for reasons to put it off. If you have a big consuming work conference coming up, now may actually be a good time to leave. I know that sounds weird, but having something consume your thoughts after you break up will be helpful. But if you stick around, it may be all too easy to get manipulated into pretending this never happened. At the very least, start looking into a plan for where you’ll stay, what you need to get out of the house (any money, valuables, etc.), and anything else you will need to take care of immediately (shared bank accounts or bills, for example).

    • raccooncity

      Wow. This sounds awful. I have been in the place before where I was in a relationship that I knew needed to end but I ignored it for a specific period d/t life (in my case, exams). Get through your conference and get out. Be unreachable.

      Also, you didn’t mention this, but if you have tangled finances (even in terms of him knowing your internet banking password) solve that FIRST. (barring a safety issue)

      I wish you lots of strength – don’t be afraid to really let your friends and family know how hard it is for you. This kind of thing doesn’t happen often and they’ll understand that you need them.

      • ART

        Good advice on the banking. I clearly remember the day I went down to my bank and made them change all my account numbers after a ca-razy breakup (luckily I was physically far away and we were long distance so no longer living together).

      • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

        Yes, this! Make sure you’ve got your accounts and documents secure before you go. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It sounds scary and confusing, and I hope all goes well for you.

      • Lexipedia

        Also, contact your landlord (if you are renters) to get yourself taken off of the lease and any utility bills. You want to make sure you don’t become financially responsible for anything should he decide not to pay.

        • Eenie

          Forward your mail as well.

          • Violet

            Oh yeah, do that, too! It’s easy, just google it and the Post Office has a website where you plug in your info.

          • Lexipedia

            Yep. Also, little things like this are steps you can take before you have the conversation – they feel like tiny wins. I remember kicking the ex off of my netflix account was a sweet moment!

        • AP

          I wish I had done this with my ex husband. $1800 mistake on my part, when he told me he’d terminated the apartment lease and 3 months later I get a call from the landlord asking why we’d moved out and didn’t tell them, owing 3 months of back rent. And guess who paid it…

        • Oy Vey

          I luckily am not on the lease. I moved in with him to save on rent (the landlord would have increased the rent substantially if she knew I was living there – that’s his story. When she inspects the place, I move my clothes out of the closet temporarily… I say these things and they sound crazy now, but I was able to rationalize back when it happened). He promised we’d move to a place more convenient to our respective offices after 6 months.

          It’s been 4 years.

          Since then, to be fair, his job has moved offices to a place that is equidistant from our apartment as my work is from it, in the opposite direction.

          But because of this, I have most of my furniture in storage. I have a mailbox that I rent (because getting mail to the house is a no-no to keep our low rent). So I’m removed from him in a lot of ways already.

          I used to hate this, but thank goodness.

          • ART

            <3 <3 As someone else said, a year from now, you will be like "I did the best thing."

          • Totch

            This.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Maybe something in your lizard brain protected you when you set that all up.

          • Eenie

            “I used to hate this, but thank goodness.” <- Yes. This. So much this.

          • Totch

            It sounds like you’re already pretty separate, but also keep in mind how much of this stuff he knows. Maybe this will just be severing ties and it’ll be fine.

            But keep in mind that if he knows your mailbox number, that’s a way that he still has access to you. If you’re afraid that he’ll try to stay in touch, changing your phone and mailbox may be good precautions.

            Only you can know how far to go with this stuff, but I definitely waited too long before realizing I needed to change my phone number.

      • Oy Vey

        Luckily, I don’t have finances tied up with him. I am the keeper of the Hulu and Netflix accounts though. Passwords will be changing as soon as I leave. Thanks for this reminder!

    • partwolf

      I think you’re doing the right thing, getting out of this relationship. I also think nothing more needs to be said, you’ve spoken your peace and explained where you’re coming from. His responses do not sound reasonable at all an d sound very manipulative. I think it’s a good idea you having people on call to help you move out stat.

    • Amy March

      I think you should look into resources on leaving someone abusive. Because he is emotionally abusive. You need to make sure, first and foremost, that you will be safe. I have zero expertise about that, but good information is out there in terms of timing, moving, communicating, etc.

      If you are really and truly sure this isn’t a safety issue, then I’d call out sick from work a day he is going to be out of the house, pack, get your stuff up, and then tell him you are done, and then leave. Don’t feel like this is a conversation- it isn’t.

      • Trinity

        Agreed. Be safe–and cut ties as cleanly as you can with him. Conversation isn’t possible when someone is this abusive/manipulative. I was in a similar situation many years ago, and cutting ties completely was the best thing I ever did for my sanity and safety.

      • AP

        Yes. Actually leaving may trigger worse behaviors in him. I dated a man a few years ago who was pretty walled-off emotionally. He was nice enough, but we never really connected in a real way, mainly because he couldn’t communicate. When I realized that I had outgrown the relationship and tried to end it after about 3-4 months of dating, he completely exploded on me. In between raging and hysterically crying, he told me he wanted to marry me. I’m SO glad I did it over the phone while I was still living with my parents, because when he came over against my wishes later that night I was in a safe place. Ultimately he left and everything was ok, but I can only imagine how much harder it would have been if we’d been living together.

        Even if it seems over the top and you may not end up needing it, have a plan in place for your safety. Have people on standby or helping you move out, don’t tell him where you’re staying, talk to a therapist.

        Good luck. I know this is scary and heartbreaking.

      • G.

        Yes to all of this. A few practical tips:
        *get any valuables out of shared space now (this won’t work for anything humongous, but stash docs, jewelry, etc in a backpack and leave it at work (assuming you have a locked office and he has no access) or with a trusted friend/family member.

        *as others have mentioned, change any passwords. get him off any shared stuff you’re responsible for. If you’re renting, I’d wait to notify the landlord until the day off, so s/he can’t out you ahead of time but you can know that you’re off a lease before he can retaliate. (check your state rental laws to know your rights).

        *document anything you can — writing down these conversations can be helpful, personally and legally, should any issues arise after the fact.

        *enlist friends as allies. sometimes the best allies are not your best friends, they’re the people (friends, co-workers, family, whomever) who will drop everything to help you. let them help you. stay with them if you can and it’s practical.

        *if you have a car, pack stuff up while he’s gone and have everything in it on departure day. if he has an extra set of keys, get them back or switch cars with a friend (see above).

        You’ve figured so much out in the past weeks and months. Don’t let him take that away from you.

        Good luck, stay strong.

        • G.

          Also don’t let his “acting normal” make you think he’s going to come around. I know that’s harsh, but I’ve seen it way too often with emotionally manipulative people. They act normal, lull SOs into thinking all is well, and it’s not.

          • Natalie

            Yes, this. Several people close to me have been in abusive relationships, and their abusers all acted completely normal, sometimes for weeks at a time, before being abusive again. Acting normal, as if nothing had happened, is definitely a way to manipulate emotions and convince their SO into staying, giving them just one more chance.

          • Oy Vey

            I appreciate you and G bringing this up. This “acting normal” is what tipped the scales towards me leaving. It feels like borderline sociopathic behavior.

            It scares me more than his mood swings.

          • Natalie

            Take care of yourself. After the whirlwind of moving out and disentangling yourself from the relationship is over, you may feel lots of complicated and confusing emotions. You may miss him terribly, you may hate yourself for staying with him for so long, you may want to go back to him, you may hate him so much, and you may feel all of those things at the exact same moment. Have emotionally supportive friends around you, and please consider seeing a therapist. Ending any long-term relationship is hard, and ending an abusive one even more so.

          • Kara

            All of this. Also, you have a history together, while there were good times, there were also bad times. Take time for yourself to process all your feelings.

            With emotional abusers, it’s definitely difficult :(. Solidarity, Oy Vey. Solidarity.

          • G.

            I think it feels “borderline sociopathic” because it is — and good for you for recognizing it as such! that’s important critical distance to maintain through this tough time.

          • The ability to compartmentalize so much is one of the things that struck me as you described what had happened and the “acting normally” parts… (And the threatening to leave you for the counters! That is not normal behavior and people don’t normally disconnect from others and leave them for things like that.) I think you are on track with your thinking and your instinct to protect yourself!

          • Totch

            This is a really good point. When my relationship with an emotional abuser was breaking down, him cycling through denial was a huge part of it.

            I think there was a feeling on his part that if he acted normal, it only helped to prove that our problems were all in my head. But putting so much effort into being chill also made his explosions bigger. So just be mindful.

        • CommaChick

          “sometimes the best allies are not your best friends, they’re the people (friends, co-workers, family, whomever) who will drop everything to help you. let them help you. stay with them if you can and it’s practical.”

          This. I recommend (if possible) staying with someone less predictable or obvious than your best friends. If possible, stay with someone other than the friends who watch over you while you pack. Don’t say where you’re staying, or say you’re staying somewhere you’re not. This may sound extreme, but it’s better to be overly cautious.

    • Danielle

      I am so sorry girl. For all of it. You are very brave and I’m proud of you for doing what you need to do.

      Personal experience: I’ve had to break up with two different people in the last several years. One was fairly simple/straightforward (we weren’t living together, I just realized I wasn’t in love with her), the other was… more dramatic. Possibly a similar situation to yours – we were also engaged at the time, and our lives were very intertwined.

      I’m personally a fan of the rip-off-the-bandage approach to breakups. YMMV, but it’s such a shitty thing, I want to minimize the pain and suffering and wierd in-between part all around. I like to keep it simple and say, “I’m ending the relationship because ________ is not working for me. I’m going to move out tonight.” He might get upset, cry, try to bargain with you, possibly threaten. I like to repeat my main statement. I don’t want to get dragged into big discussions. Having a friend there would certainly help with that.

      One last point: if the next 2 weeks becomes unbearable, consider moving to a friend’s place earlier than you expected.

      Good luck! You are strong. You can do this.

    • Violet

      Oy vey, I’m so sorry it’s come to this, but you’re being really strong. I echo the advice that the time for talking is over. I’d consider what logistics need to be taken care of so you can move out safely. Amy March’s idea to look into resources is a good one. And maybe not moving at night, but during the day when he’s not home. You can maybe meet him in a public place to the tell him that evening, once you’re officially out, if you think that’s safe enough.

    • Jess

      Captain Awkward has lots of good scripts on how ending a relationship doesn’t have be a consensus. I will try to find some for you this afternoon at update this comment!

      I agree with Eenie, in that this doesn’t have to continue to be a conversation, because that seems to be very cyclic for you right now. What you can do at this point is make arrangements to move out – including having friends come and pack up anything you absolutely want and cannot have destroyed and taking it somewhere safe until you are finished with the conference. If there is a friends place you can stay at, or your finances enable you to afford a hotel room, I would do it, just to avoid the emotional drain of these conversations while also dealing with 14! Hour! Days!

      You can say what you have said here, “I am done being in this relationship. It is unhealthy for both of us.”

      • Jess

        Replying with a few Captain Awkward scripts. It will not bother me in the least if you do not even read these. I hope it helps anybody who needs it.

        – ‘The relationship is over when you (& you alone) decide that it is. You don’t have to give him “a reason that he can accept.” Howabout “I don’t love you anymore.” Howabout “I have decided that it’s over, and I don’t feel like giving you a reason.” Howabout “I find it creepy and awful that you keep trying to keep me here even though you know I want to be gone.” Howabout “stop blaming all your problems on me and actually study and do your work.” Howabout “It’s okay if you hate me and blame me, as long as you leave me the fuck alone.” Howabout “We tried that and it didn’t work and it’s really time for me to go. I wish you well, but I can’t be your partner anymore.”’ This is a on-again-off-again question, but the scripts found within are really good. https://captainawkward.com/2016/03/07/839-what-do-i-owe-darth/

        – “Then, make a plan, the one involving money & paperwork & conversations with lawyers and figuring out what comes next. Do not discount safety in your planning. Abusive people often panic & escalate their behaviors when they sense that their victim might leave.
        Then you go. You cut the cords as gently and as finally as you can. You say, “I’m leaving” and you can do it because in the important ways you’ve already left. The time for tearful negotiations and staying up all night to cry is over.” This answer seems particularly relevant for you right now. https://captainawkward.com/2016/08/23/893-i-want-to-leave-my-husband-but-i-cant-seem-to-make-myself-go-also-its-pledge-drive-week/

        – This is more a long read for if you need more resolve when he brings up his own feelings or for perspective while you’re sorting through this decision. I like the paragraph at the beginning for your situation: “Hers is not a blanket solution, especially… when the relationship has deteriorated to the point where you need to not only be done but AWAY, but in those situations where the romantic part is definitely done but the caring about each other is not, she suggests that you stop pretending. Be honest that your feelings have changed and end the romantic relationship. Offer to be a supportive friend anyway. I would add: Be honest with yourself about what you are really willing and able to do, and don’t over-promise out of guilt. https://captainawkward.com/2015/10/24/i-want-to-break-up-but-partner-is-in-the-middle-of-painful-life-stuff-and-it-doesnt-feel-like-the-right-time-what-do-i-do/

        • Oy Vey

          Thanks! These are great (as are the posts).

          Even if I don’t use them, seeing other examples of people dealing with this is helpful.

          • Jess

            Sure thing! I hope everything works out, and I’m really glad you will have some friends and family around to help! Good luck!

    • emmers

      I think you’re really brave! As for the next two weeks, if it’s helpful, can you stay at a friend’s house for a night or two during? It doesn’t even have to be a “we’re taking a break,” it could be a “I’m staying at Shishi’s tonight for a girls night/sleepover– see you Saturday!” If that doesn’t work, and you are staying for the next couple of weeks, I’d just be polite but maybe treat him like a colleague, where you’re not really sharing about your emotions, etc, but you’re doing things like talking about the weather, the nice burrito place you tried a lunch, how wow you’re busy and tired so you’re going to go take a silent bath now, and maybe do self-protective things, like going to bed early instead of lots of hanging out, or leaving to “run errands” for a few hours.

      • emmers

        It’s also good that you have a big work event thing going on, since that’s perfect for lots of excuses. “Oh man, I’m planning to stay at Lisa’s tonight since she lives nearer Big Work Event. See you Thursday!” and also “Yea, I’ll be out late at the Work Conference Happy Hour stuff that I have to do– I’ll catch you tomorrow!”

        • Oy Vey

          He’s on notice that I’ll be working a lot of late nights. And I am working through the weekends for this conference, so not a lot of uninterrupted time together, thank goodness. And I have open invitations from some of my co-workers who are coming in town for this conference that they have a spot on their sofa in their rental just in case.

    • AGCourtney

      Oh, WOW. Sending you hugs. Like others have said, communication really isn’t going to help anymore. If he’s ignoring it, it may be all for the best. Make arrangements – financial, living – and after the the conference is over, take a day off work, and have your best friend and sister help pack up your stuff and get you out while he’s not home. He has proven himself to be manipulative and volatile. I’m so sorry things have turned out this way. Good for you for doing what’s best for you.

    • cml

      My mother was in a relationship like this when I was 5 and he moved us to a different state. Though he hasn’t been violent with you yet, he is verbally and emotionally abusive. here are my “friendly internet stranger” suggestions, and I hope they can be helpful!
      -Don’t give him warning before you start to pack. Pick a time when you know he’ll be gone and pack then. When you tell him you’re leaving, you want to be able to do just that as quickly as necessary.
      -Does he have access to any of your accounts? Email, financial, etc? That’s something you’ll want to take care of as soon as you can.
      -Don’t be alone with him when you tell him. Have your friend there, or if you don’t feel safe, hell, ask a cop to be there to supervise.
      -For more tips and help, the National Domestic Abuse Hotline is 1-800-787-3224 or thehotline.org. I don’t know him, but everything you’ve said so far about him makes me think, “this is how it starts”. Hopefully he’s just a messed-up dude who is being a real jerk and that’s where it stays, but it is ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry and i want to reiterate to you that you are NOT overreacting here.
      You are being so strong! Sending you lots of hugs and prayers and good vibes. I don’t know you, but I’m so proud of you for taking care of yourself!

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      You’re getting a lot of good advice here so I won’t pelt you with more- I just want to say that I’m sorry and sending you good vibes for strength ahead to break up, move out, and move on. Best of luck and please keep us posted.

    • Lexipedia

      You are amazing, and strong, and advocated for yourself in ways that are really hard. When you look back in the future, even though it will hurt, try and be proud of how calmly and maturely you handled a crappy situation — really. As for the moving, I’m a big fan of the letter and the one fell swoop breakup. Like, “Given recent events, and some deep thinking I’ve been doing about what is best for me, I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore. I think it will be better for both of us in the long run. I wish you the best in the future, and here is a letter if you wish to read it (give him the letter as you are leaving.” Then go no contact, block his number, etc. Also, pack your most needed items first, like valuables or important documents, in case you need to leave at some point before the packing is over for your emotional or physical safety. If he refuses to leave while you pack, let sister or friend form a barrier to keep him out of the room you are working in so he can’t harass you. Don’t give him your key when you leave, in case you realize you forgot something, so you don’t need to negotiate with him to get back in. Tell him you will leave it in an envelope somewhere for him when you are finished moving.

      In a similar situation I used an email, not a letter, but we weren’t in person for the breakup. I found the letter really cathartic, because it allowed me to say all of the things I want to say without crying or having him try to talk me out of it. It gave me closure, in a way that he couldn’t retaliate to, otherwise I was concerned that I would later regret not saying the things I needed to say and want to get in contact to say them. I have no idea if my ex ever read the email I sent, but it made me feel a lot better.

      Good luck!

      • cml

        Great advice! I’m a HUGE fan of stopping communication after ending a relationship, even if it’s not a bad end and even if we wind up communicating again down the road. That clean break really helps the healing, for me. It prevents that weird “maybe we’re still together” feeling.

    • Nicole

      Oh! I’m so sorry! The two resources I’ve found to be helpful and haven’t seen recommended in a brief scan of other comments 1) my Employee Assistance Program – check if you have one. I got free counseling for 5 sessions and was able to set it up pretty quickly. 2) can’t remember if I already recommended this, but the book “The Gaslight Effect” is great book about emotional abuse with some concrete ways of managing it while you’re still in and some things to think about as you’re getting out. I read it in a hurry and it gave some really good language for dealing with someone like this in a way that felt empowering to me and effective for shifting the conversation. That said, I also think a lot of the other advice in here already has good ideas about getting ready, leaving, and language if you want to talk about it.

    • Arie

      So much good advice here already. The only thing I would add is to stay very future-focused. Even from afar and over the internet, it’s super clear that this is one of those decisions you’re going to look back on from your happy year-from-now perch and recognize as one of the best decisions you ever made. Stay strong!

      • Oy Vey

        Thanks. I’m REALLY excited to be living on my own with no one to accommodate besides myself.

    • Mrrpaderp

      I’m glad you wrote out all of this, especially the conversations, so this community can support your decision to leave him. Reading this gave me chills. Some of the same things came out of my abusive ex’s mouth years ago. The “poor me I’ve had such a hard life.” The “you’re not entitled to think for yourself, all thoughts about our relationship have to be filtered through me.” Blaming you. Telling you that you need to earn his trust/forgiveness/acceptance. The substance abuse. The vague promises about maybe going to therapy (don’t ever go to therapy with an abuser). Just all of it. All classic signs of an abuser. Please get out. Today. Pack up and stay in a hotel during your conference. All the hugs.

      • Oy Vey

        This is scary for me to read.

        I never thought he was abusive. And then he started saying all this stuff in our conversation and it felt wrong and blamey and upon reflection…abusive.

        He’s had a hard life and a tumultuous upbringing and comes from an emotionally abusive and manipulative family. Even though he hates them for it, he must have learned this stuff from them and it just seeped in.

        And… wow. Suddenly, via text, just now… more bs.

        We’re having a conversation where I’m telling him about how I have to work this weekend (which true, but only partially because I’m using half of this weekend workday to find an apartment), which is something I wasn’t sure I’d have to do until just now. He reminded me this morning to ask about it. In the interest of keeping the peace until I can leave, I thanked him for the reminder. His response?

        “Remember this the next time you get a reminder you didn’t need.”

        My sister and best friend are now on call. Things might be on an expedited schedule. Ugh.

        • Is there a way you could tell a colleague what is going on and perhaps they could help make it possible for you to do what you need to do (potentially before the conference is over), even with your huge work responsibilities right now? I know I would be happy to take on more work and responsibilities to help a friend going through this….
          ETA: I would also be willing to do this for a women who wasn’t a friend, so you could be surprised who might be willing to help and really step up…

        • toomanybooks

          I think too many of us have been in a situation like this one or close to it and we’re just so relieved to see these updates. Thank you for keeping us in the loop. It does feel gratifying to know that one less woman has to deal with this behavior from a partner. And it really feels like a victory to get out.

    • Anonforthis

      Oy Vey- you are doing the right thing!

      I was in a similar situation. Especially the “talking in circles” fights and then weirdly pretending everything is fine. They are both tools used to trap you. I remember the person talking over and over in circles, making me explain my thinking and reasoning again and again, until I finally said “This [breakup] is happening, even if you don’t understand.”

      I also had a big “moveout” with my brother and family with me and your plan sounds good. He is trying to get you away from your family, so just having them with you make you stronger and reinforce what you want. Say your piece if you want to (do not wait for a response or some semblance of understanding- you will not get it), or just get out without having a “talk” (you tried to talk before, do not owe him anything). Then just go through with the move. Everything you can do ahead of time, do it. If you can afford it, see if you can hire professional packers and movers.

      Some things to think about:
      -Make a list of all items (ie, don’t leave behind small but important items like extra car keys or ID cards)
      -Change all your passwords
      -Use “block this person” feature for email and phone
      -Deactivate all social media for a time so he can’t see where you are or who you are with (even if you don’t post, a mutual friend might tag you)
      -change all passwords
      -do not let him see you to drop anything off or to talk (he might say he found some items you left behind or another excuse). Have a family member or friend be the point of contact in case you realize you did leave something.

      You are amazing! You are strong and if you were my friend IRL I would be so proud of you. You can do this.

    • lamarsh

      My best friend went through a very similar situation last summer and it was not easy but she is so much more herself now. Just want to say that I am sending all the positive vibes your way. You deserve them.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Holy gaslighting, Batman. If possible, have a friend, or multiple friends, there with you, not just on call. Preferably large male friends. If he figures out that his emotional and verbal grasp on you is slipping, he may escalate to something physical.

      • Oy Vey

        “The night before she had called his parents and given them the 800 number for the suicide hotline, because she knew he would take it badly, but needed to know that someone else would be responsible for him in the fallout. (I’m just thankful they didn’t alert their son to what was about to happen.)”

        Good for your co-worker. And “my” bf has a history of suicidal thoughts and attempts. Since he’s not in his family’s good graces, I’ll text his three best friends and ask them to keep an eye on him. As effed as this all is, I still love him and care about him.

    • rg223

      There’s a lot of great advice here, just want to say you are so brave, and good luck to you – I will certainly be thinking of you!

    • I am so sorry that you have realized the person you love is not the person you thought they were. It’s such a painful thing when someone reacts in a way you never imagined they were capable of.

      Please keep yourself safe. You seem to be handling this very well. Good call on having other people there when you pack. You could perhaps even get a few essentials out early and store them somewhere else (work, a friend’s place, etc.), just in case. And perhaps after things settle down, you might want to check out George Simon’s book Character Disturbance, if you haven’t heard of it yet.

    • Anna

      Hello Oy vey,
      I’m very sorry you’re going through this. This rings some strong bells with me and a relationship I ended .. 10 years ago now. I’ve read through the comments and you’ve received a lot of great, practical advice. The great news is you’ve sort of already done most of the hard work. Just getting to the point where you recognize you have to leave is really difficult and you seem convinced you’re going through with it, which makes you more prepared than I was! Good for you for prioritizing yourself. You deserve better.

      For me, it was emotionally really complicated. There is most likely anger and resentment and frustration but there is also a lot of love and a habit of fixing things and caring for your partner. Its hard to walk away, they know you well and are used to pulling on your heart strings. My ex knew it’s difficult for me to say sorry not my problem and walk, so I ended up going back to care for and fix things so many times. At one point he even told me his mother had cancer. I called her, she did not. WTF? So if you are able (and I think you are!) I would recommend cutting communication. I finally did that, and never really looked back and it was the only way I was able to move forward. Months later, he even called my cousin and told her how sorry he was and really played on her soft spots and she got in touch with me about their emotional convo and how sorry he was. I cut her off right away and said, sorry, Im taking care of me now and I dont want to hear about this. Im moving forward.

      It is difficult. I do believe he was sorry. I do know he loved me (even though it was in a not so healthy way). He also came from a family with a lot of problems. But I couldnt take care him and his problems anymore. No one was taking caring of me.

      The good news is – the future is bright! The immediate future is uncertain and difficult, but sooner than you think it will be so very bright. I didnt realize I was abused until I left. The shock of dealing with that was difficult and I was upset with him and myself for a long time (like a REALLY long time), but I was also able to enjoy life quite quickly after. I didnt realize how bad things were until I was out. It was like a cloud was lifted.

      That is your past and never has to be a part of your future, ever again. When you know better you do better. I spent 2 years ‘dating’ myself and learned what I loved, what my passions were, what I wanted out of life and who I aspired to be. The next man I dated (I went on many first dates, but I was so sure of what I wanted I didnt go on many second dates) was a TRUE partner to me. We are very in love and have been for 8 years now. We are now expecting a very much wanted child together. And I feel so grateful my child gets to have this amazing father! I sometimes pinch myself that life can be this sweet.

      I really believe the best is yet to come for you. Good for you for asking for more! You will get through this and thrive! I wish you all the best xo

  • Sosuli

    Would love for APW to encourage awareness of the ongoing battles around the Dakota Access Pipeline and #noDAPL. I spent my morning watching video feeds on Facebook about yesterday’s police attacks on the water protectors and it is some pretty harrowing stuff. I’m sure most people have encountered this in the news/online already but in case anyone hasn’t yet… http://www.democracynow.org/topics/dakota_access

    • AP

      This juxtaposed with the Bundy gang’s acquittal in Oregon is mind-blowing.

      • joanna b.n.

        IMO disgusting and horrifying, too.

      • ART

        I was driving when I heard about that and just about had to pull over. I’m shocked.

      • Danielle

        The personification of white privilege.

    • cml

      Was thinking the same thing this morning.

    • Cellistec

      Ditto to this.

    • stephanie

      Hey, 100% with you. I have been following pretty closely, and also want to share this list in case anyone wants to donate: http://sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list—I'm sending my gently used winter coat tomorrow.

      There are also live videos available here: https://www.facebook.com/esha.hoferer/videos/259403611123137/?hc_location=ufi

      And… if I can brainstorm a content idea, I’ll pitch it. Otherwise, I can for sure add links to Happy Hour in the future. Thanks for bringing this up.

      • Sosuli

        Thanks for the response Stephanie! In terms of resources, Dallas Goldtooth’s facebook page also includes videos and regular updates. Considering APW’s feminist focus, something on the amazing indigenous women working on the campaign could be potentially interesting? Like Tara Houska etc. Just an idea – I can see how it could be tricky to generate content around this.

  • Rhie

    My coworkers threw the most awesome Halloween themed wedding shower for partner and I yesterday, I got to wear a witch’s hat with feathers and a veil with tiny spiders and it was excellent.

    • flashphase

      :clapping emoji:

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      That sounds DELIGHTFUL. Hope people took lots of pics!

    • Totch

      Want

      • Rhie

        It was amazing… probably not that hard to recreate with a regular witch’s hat if you’re crafty! As long as you have a hat that fits your head, this one was probably meant for kids and it was very hard to get it to stay on properly. I did enjoy drinking my unsweet under my veil though :D

    • Ebbers

      That sounds amazing – is this a thing? It should totally be a thing.

  • Alyssa

    Ladies, I need some reading recs. Anyone read anything good and whimsical lately? Recent faves I’m thinking of are HP (duh), Gollum and Jinni and Ready Player One. Thanks in advance!

    • MC

      I re-read A Wrinkle In Time recently when news of the movie started coming out, and I realized I’d never read any other books in that quintet so I’m making my way through! I gotta say, A Wrinkle In Time is still the best one, but it’s been nice to have some fantasy to read instead of just reading depressing political news.

      • anachronismsarah

        Now I need to go find the whole quintet!

      • Natalie

        I love the author’s other sort-of series; it starts with the book Meet the Austins. The third or so book in that series is A Ring of Endless Light, which was my favorite book as a kid (girl meets boy, helps with science experiments on dolphins, discovers she can talk to dolphins, what’s not to love?).

    • JC

      My go-to feel good book right now is “My Life in France,” Julia Child’s memoir. She was so filled with light and joy and gumption, and reading her words instantly makes me happy.

    • Kaitlyn

      I don’t know if I’ve classify it as “whimsical”, but I really enjoyed the Miss Peregrine series. It reminded me of HP a bit and I found it really interesting.

    • idkmybffjill

      Maybe a little darker than whimsical – but if you haven’t read The Magicians, I really can’t recommend the series enough.

      • Cellistec

        Ditto. Not what I would call whimsical but I couldn’t put them down.

      • Natalie

        So. Good.

      • Jess

        Did not enjoy, actually! I read it at a point when I was angry at men, and there was just. so. much. whiny. white. boy.

        • Totch

          Similar here: loved it the first time I read it, then when I went back to read 1 and 2 before 3 came out, I couldn’t finish it. For me, the juxtaposition of Quentin and Julia’s paths was too much to handle once I knew where they were headed.

        • toomanybooks

          Hahahaha i suggested it above because my fiancée really liked it, but I couldn’t stand The Magicians – didn’t even get through the first book. To me it really was very clear that a man had written it and I really wasn’t connecting to the characters at all. I think I felt the same way you did.

          • Jess

            Yes, it felt very much written by a man. And I read a lot of high fantasy/sci fi that is by men for men, and really enjoy it.

            Classic “complicated” white guy is dissatisfied with his life and will hurt those around him to change that, but learns no moral lessons book.

    • Sara

      Its not whimsical, but I just finished The Martian and it was really enjoyable.

      • Nicole

        Plus 1 on that! It was SO much more fun than I had expected.

      • anachronismsarah

        If you do books on tape, the guy who did this one was sooooooo good!

      • Cellistec

        Loooooooved The Martian! It’s the perfect mix of nerdiness and humor.

    • Totch

      Related to Ready Player One, Redshirts is always a good option.

      I also recently read the 3 existing books in the Magic 2.0 series, which is a similar game-y scifi tone. The first is Off to be the Wizard; I loved the concept but couldn’t figure out if the writer had some dumb ideas about women or was writing characters who had dumb ideas about women. I’m glad I moved onto the second book anyway, because a) it was great and b) everything that kind of bugged me in the first book was addressed in the second.

      • Totch

        Also: If y’all are audiobook people, The Dispatcher, a new novella by John Scalzi, is free on Audible. It’s read by Zachary Quinton, who is lovely. It’s not fluff, there’s a bit of dark and a lot of death. But his writing style is light enough that it was an enjoyable few hours.

    • StevenPortland

      I really liked Gollum and Jinni. Also liked Ready Player One. My 4th grade son was assigned a book “A Snicker of Magic”. I really, really liked the author’s use of language. I read it to my kids each night while going to bed and they were really into it as well. Yes, it is a novel for 8-12 year olds, but I am really glad I found it.

      • Alyssa

        Novel for 8-12 year olds… psh. I’ll still read it. I work with kids age 5-12, so I figure it’s good for my work if I keep up to date with what they’re reading :)

    • janie

      Just read “Ready Player One” and now I’m reading “Off to be the Wizard” – same vibes, lots of fun.

      Also, if you like Harry Potter and haven’t read the Robert Galbraith books – do it, it’s the magic of Harry Potter in murder mystery form.

      If you like the movie “The Princess Bride” – read the book, it’s one of my favorites.

      Also, Where’d you Go Bernadette and Kitchens of the Great Midwest are my two favorite books I’ve read in the last year.

      Sorry, lots of recommendations but I feel like we are book-taste similar!

      • janie

        Also, Bernadette is probably the book embodiment of “whimsical”

      • Alyssa

        I love it! That’s why I figured I’d ask APW, I knew there would be book-taste similar people on here (can we get a book club started on here please?) I will check all these out, but I’m super intrigued by the Robert Galbraith recs… thank you!

        • Cellistec

          I know, I’ve been stumping for a book club or reading list for months. Amen!

      • Totch

        Friends! Just posted about Off to Be the Wizard below. Bump for Princess Bride too!

        • janie

          I am an engineer and work with a bunch of Computer Science nerds and I’m trying to get them to read both Ready Player One and Off to be the Wizard – one of my coworker friends told me that the last book he read cover to cover was a text book -_-

          LIKE LISTEN TO ME I SWEAR YOU WILL ENJOY THIS

          • Totch

            Off to be the Wizard’s audiobook narrator is really engaging, if that helps??

            For me, I have a bit of trouble recommending OtbtW because for half the book I couldn’t tell if the writer was a bit dumb about women, or just talented and writing comp sci bro characters that felt very real. But a) I’m a sucker for Clarke’s third law, and b) the entire second book is devoted to talking about where women fit in the universe. So I just say to at least read 1 and 2.

      • sparagmos

        I will second the Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith series. I love it! Career of Evil is my favorite of the series so far.

        • Cellistec

          Love it too- fantastic series but do note it’s not exactly whimsical. After I read each book I have to take a break and seek out something lighter for a while.

    • sparagmos

      One of my favorite series is The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Wizard detective! And if you’re into audiobooks, James Marsters does the narration and he’s just phenomenal at it. They’re super fun books, too.

      ETA: They’re less whimsical and more snarky, but I think of them as what would happen if Harry Potter got really cynical, moved to Chicago, and became a detective.

      • anachronismsarah

        I’m requesting this from the library right now! Sounds so cool!

      • ebtree1151

        I love the Dresden Files! If only there was a release date for Peace Talks!

      • Sara

        I really like that synopsis. Now I have to read them!

    • Anon

      I finished uprooted not that long ago and it was holy shit so good.

      If you are a fan of romance novels I LOVE Sarah Maclean especially the rules of scoundrels series, the first book is a rogue by any other name.

      • Jess

        Really enjoy Sarah Maclean’s stuff. Totally fun romance reading.

    • Mary Jo TC

      For “whimsical” I like a series of children’s books that begins with “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” Very much inspired by Alice in Wonderland. I also recently enjoyed a YA book about fairies called The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.
      Seconding recommendations for the Cormoran Strike mysteries by Rowling as Robert Galbraith, The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

    • ebtree1151

      I just finished reading Goldenhand by Garth Nix. It is the fifth in the Abhorsen series/world. I would highly suggest reading all of them! (Sabriel is the first book) Not exactly whimsical, but high fantasy with complex and strong women leads.

      • Essssss

        Love those books! Dark, for sure, but so good.

    • Essssss

      I’m reading this sci-fi series called the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. They are loosely based on fairy tales but for grown ups and also sci fi. Highly entertaining.

      • Anon

        Oooh, Love that series!!

    • toomanybooks

      It’s not ultra recent, so you may have read it already, but my go to rec is The Night Circus. One of my favorites! Given the other books you listed, you may be interested in Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore or The Magicians (those ones are books my fiancée loved).

  • JC

    1. My Jillian Holtzmann costume is almost done; I just need to practice the hair a bit this weekend, and I’ll be all set. Was it someone here whose little girl created her own Holtzmann costume, complete with sassy pose? If so, please tell her that SHE IS MY HERO and she inspired me to make my own costume. I have a party at work, and we’re going to two party’s for boyfriend’s work, so I’m going to be thoroughly Halloweened out by Tuesday.
    2. Which is fine, because Tuesday is the first day of my promotion!!! I get my own team, some new challenges and skills, and a nice little (big) pay raise. (Thanks, new exempt/overtime rules! Definitely bumped up my raise more than usual.)

    • “I Don’t Knowww, Margo!”

      The daycare kids at my work did a Halloween parade today, and there were two wee Holtzmanns, and I died twice over!

    • AP

      JEALOUS re: Jillian Holzmann costume. I wanted my squad to do Ghostbusters costumes this year with me but no one was having it.

      • JC

        Shoot! I’ve still never done a group costume, which has always been a goal of mine. (E.g. The kids from Recess. I want to be Spinelli.) My boyfriend is going to be Dustin from Stranger Things, and we realized too late that I should have gone as Eleven, but Holtzmann is just too good to pass up.

        • AP

          OMG Recess is genius!!! My brother’s name is TJ, he would totally be down for that. One of my besties is going as Eleven, that’s why she didn’t want to do Ghostbusters!

    • anachronismsarah

      Putting this in the idea folder for after I cut all my hair off. SO COOL!

    • anachronismsarah

      Just got a whole big group to agree to this for next year’s trunk-or-treat!!! YAY!

      Tips/tricks welcome!

  • Ashlah

    I wish we were better at Halloween! I’m hoping having a kid will give us the motivation to do more holiday stuff in general. I want to be the person who decorates, and plans a great costume, and goes to the pumpkin patch and carves pumpkins, but here it is three days before Halloween, and none of that has been done. We’ve carved pumpkins three times in 8 years and have never dressed up. Since I’ve just started growing out my buzzcut, I’m considering a last-minute attempt at dressing as a man, but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll make us carve last-minute grocery store pumpkins too! Anyone else struggle with actually prioritizing Halloween (or other holiday) stuff, even though you want you?

    • Violet

      I hear you. October is always crazy-busy for me at work, so I bought a mini pumpkin for 2 bucks, some candy corn, and called it a holiday. I love seeing everyone’s costumes, but I won’t actually have any fun if I take any of that on for myself.

    • Eenie

      My stance is our “holiday” decorations won’t be bought/put up until our full time decorations (paint, wall hangings, etc) are close to being done.

      • Ashlah

        Ha, well, we’ve been in our house for three years and aren’t even close, so we need to find the motivation for that too!

        • Eenie

          Coming up on year two for us! I think we’re going to commit the winter break to painting the entire house.

      • anachronismsarah

        Yeah… I felt a lot of angst around that last year but we’re in a parsonage so we had to have an open house… Somehow I made myself compromise. Not pulling out the stops on holidays until we’re in a good place for everyday is a good plan though, and I keep telling myself that!!

  • BarelyAnon

    So I had a standoff with a Trump supporter a few days back and the video just tickles me pink. So at risk of identifying myself, here it is. Because y’all are my people and I think you’ll get some sweet feminist satisfaction from the look on the guy’s face. Contains NSFW language.

    https://twitter.com/i/web/status/788154929093365760

    • Ashlah

      You’re a badass! He looked so confused and uncomfortable that anyone (a woman) would stand up to his yelling. I was a little worried he was going to punch you in the face at one point!

      • cml

        Same here!

    • cml

      LMAO, what? Was he drunk? He looked so confused that some lady was standing in his way. Bahaha

  • Mary Jo TC

    My 3 year old is dressing up as the Cat in the Hat and he is so excited about his costume. The baby is dressing up as a chicken, but he hates his costume because it’s hot and a little too big. I’m not dressing up this year because I didn’t have the energy to come up with something for myself, and don’t have any adult Halloween parties to go to anyway. The next year that I do have that energy, I want to be Carmen Sandiego.
    Tonight I’m going to a wedding with my husband with no kids! It’s for one of his coworkers. It will be one of our first date nights with no kids since the baby was born.
    The baby is almost 7 months old and he’s hitting milestones left and right. He has 2 teeth, he’s eating solid foods (but hates most of them), he can sit up by himself, and he has just learned to pull up on all fours. And his nighttime sleep is falling into a liveable pattern of two night feedings at 11 and 3.

    • lildutchgrrl

      I’m gonna be the Cat in the Hat, too. :) The lazy version, with a hat and a cat face on a pair of sunglasses.Maybe a red tie if I can get it together over the weekend.

  • Totch

    Fiance just got a new job! It’s better in every way and we’re very excited.

    But also, just on here, I’ll admit: this is the first time in our 8 years together that he’ll make more money than me. I don’t have any real issue with this, money is good. And I’m proud of him. But I’m also realizing that being the bigger earner in our relationship has been part of my identity for a long time.

    So. All good news. But I was surprised to realize that now I’ve got to adjust my sense of self a bit.

    • JenC

      Husband’s wage increased a lot about the time that my decreased a lot. His salary has doubled in the last 2.5-3 years, mine has gone up slightly, then down, then up again but is still only 4.5K higher than this time 3 years ago. It was really hard for me to go from being the higher earner to a wage that dropped and is now significantly less than his. We’ve spoken about kids at some point in the future but I don’t want to give up work but with the cost of childcare it feels like I have to at least be close to his salary to challenge the idea that I need to stay home or work part time to raise normal, healthy, well-rounded children. It’s an ongoing process to feel better about the wage difference and some days I don’t manage to feel like my job is as valued as his is. The logical part of me knows that because of the industries we work in (him: accountancy, me: environment) that he was always going to outearn me and it doesn’t make my job less valuable, so I try to remind myself of that. Although I don’t value my job at the minute so that’s getting harder and herder to believe.

      • Totch

        Yeah, I’ve similarly always know that the day would come when he’d outearn me. Not because his career path is clear (it still isn’t) but because my field is public health. So I spent the last several years out earning him because I have a higher level job within my sector and he’s been entry level. But he’s been working on being more ambitious, and this new job is a 15k raise.

        Don’t get me wrong, I make decent money. But in a field like yours or mine? I’ll likely never make more than him again. But that’s ok. Your job and mine are both still valid and worth doing.

    • idkmybffjill

      When this happened to me it was definitely bizarre. Our first 2 years together I was the higher earner, then we had a year where we kept leap frogging each other, now he makes significantly more. I was surprised by how that felt!

      • Totch

        It’s definitely a bit of a guilty moment for me, because we’ve had millions of conversations about moving him towards being ok with not being sole breadwinner and other traditionally masculine things. Working on our feminism and all that. Then the second that “the girl who out-earns the guy” is no longer a thing I am, I have a existential angst moment!

    • Not Sarah

      That was a huge part of my identity too! It’s definitely been a struggle.

  • Eenie

    My husband and I have a fantastic date planned for tomorrow.
    1. Early vote together! We both will be travelling on election day (to different places).
    2. Go Pokemon Go hunting at a park downtown.
    3. Eat brunch at a fancy place together (we haven’t eaten out in a while to save money).

    I’m more excited about this than I should be.

    • Ashlah

      That sounds like a wonderful date! We did dinner and a (tipsy) downtown Pokemon Go hunt on my birthday, and it was super fun. And yay voting! We’re in Oregon and mailed off our ballots yesterday!

    • CharlotteJ

      We’re early voting tomorrow too! Making early voting part of a date-day is the best :-)

    • Call Me Penny

      Ooh that sounds so lovely. Enjoy!

    • Kat

      We did this exact thing last weekend, plus picking out pumpkins to carve. Have fun!

  • JustTrynaMakeIt

    Hey Ladies, I need advice, or a shoulder, or a hug, or something. My team at work has gone totally toxic. I feel so anxious and paranoid because it feels like political allegiances and fears are making my boss go crazy. It’s still somewhat a new job, just crossed six months. The first 4 were great, the last 2 have been ROUGH. I am a little afraid of the job market as this is only my third job and none have been outstanding experiences (I thought until this one, I feel like I have really found a career path now.) It’s probably too long a story to spell out, but does anyone have similar experiences? Should you have left sooner? Are you glad you stayed through a difficult time?

    • Nicole

      Oh bummer! I hear you! I was in a situation like that in a previous job. Then I started to feel like I was going crazy! I got a lot of good advice on the askamanager.com site about how to know when to go and looking for a new job (read the letters AND the comments!). It was fine (not great) for about a year and really toxic for the last 4 months or so. I thought I was the only one who thought it felt awful but later it turned out everyone was unhappy. When I finally did leave, I had stayed too long, but I got a great job afterwards so it worked out really well.

      My boss had very unpredictable moods, especially once she was under a lot of pressure, and she seemed to have a lot of narrative about things that she felt strongly about but I disagreed. I couldn’t understand why our relationship was so hard and stressful and strained, but finally read “The Gaslight Effect” and understood that she was gas lighting a bit.

    • Eenie

      I left a job in April after only three months. I’m still unemployed. My husband and I both agree that him convincing me to quit was the best decision. In my situation, it had always been bad after the first two weeks. The stuff that you can’t tell from a surface glance were way worse than I expected. I spoke with a counselor which was super helpful to put everything into perspective as well. When you’re in a toxic work environment you lose track of what is considered ok in most professional contexts. I’d highly suggest this if you want to try weathering the storm out a little further.

      It’s also year end, maybe things will have drastically improved by the start of the year?

    • raccooncity

      I was in a rough job for a while – it got progressively worse over the 3 years i was there (which was MUCH longer than anyone else stayed that started after me).

      The turning point for me was that someone pointed out to me that I got really angry and anxious on Sunday nights because I was so dreading work on Monday. That’s what it took for me. So…no advice on the job market thing…but I did feel amazing after I left.

      Re: Nicole’s gaslighting comments – communicating with my boss via email as often as possible helped with that a little. paper trail.

    • Mrrpaderp

      It doesn’t hurt to brush off the resume and start reaching out to your network. Connect with colleagues, go to more industry events, up your LinkedIn game, etc. Don’t wait until your work situation gets so bad that you can’t take another day. If you make a move, you want it to be because it’s a step in the right direction, not because you were desperate to get out.

      I’ve left a couple of toxic work environments in the past. I was always glad to get out and sorry I didn’t get out sooner. Idk what would have been if I’d stayed through those tough times. Sometimes things get better, sometimes they don’t. You have to make the best decision for you with the information you have in front of you at that moment, so the best thing you can do is gather as much information as possible about your options.

    • Jess

      Are there other teams at work that you could be angling to work in? I was in a really crappy situation for two years, and I got through it and asked/demanded to switch to a different team. I probably should have said, “Hey, this isn’t working!” earlier.

      Even if it’s just talking to your boss or your boss’s boss and saying, “Guys, this seems kind of intense all of a sudden and it’s making it hard to concentrate on the tasks at hand. What’s going on?”

    • joanna b.n.

      Is everyone crazy? Or if one or two people left, could it improve? Is there any chance the crazy boss might get terminated at some point? I think if there is any chance that saner heads will prevail, give it a few more months to see if it just keeps going down or has a massive turnaround. That’s been my experience (yay, so fun).

  • AGCourtney

    My daughter turned 5 on Monday! Her Robin Hood party on Saturday went very well – I think I finally solved my upload problems, so a picture is attached. The highlight of her birthday weekend for me was, by far, watching her open her American Girl doll when we did family gifts. I purposely arranged them so she opened a variety of doll clothes first – matching doll and child-sized pajamas from Grandma, a doll skirt, dress, and winter coat from us. She said she could use them with her baby dolls. And then I slid the last bag over to her, and she took off the tissue paper, and there was her American Girl doll. <3 My husband got a video, and I have rewatched it multiple times, joking that if we ever royally mess up parenting, I can watch this video and know that in this moment, we were awesome. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/69x4eprv0fuh5tt/AAD6bHuUH67-QaWq3_KoG1A5a?dl=0 Here's a link to the Dropbox folder with the photos and video, if anyone wants to see a newly-5-year-old implode in joy. There's a short 30 second video with just the doll, and a 2-minute one with her opening the clothes first and squealing more about the doll afterward.

    I decided to get involved in our local theater and start volunteering in the box office. Rocky Horror is going to be a bit of a trial by fire – the experienced volunteer I was shadowing last night was grateful to have me around just to have another set of hands! there's a lot going on with this show – but it should be really fun! I originally volunteered to box office the midnight Saturday show, but they also desperately needed someone for the 7:30 show that day, so I volunteered to do that as well. It'll be interesting!

    I am so excited for Halloween! I love the holiday, but I'm especially excited this year, because my daughter is going as Angelica Schuyler from Hamilton! A new friend of ours majored in costume design and did a
    magnificent job with it. She brought the costume by to try on Monday – that's what the uploaded picture is from – but the top needed to be adjusted a bit, so she's bringing it back this evening. I'm going as an ensemble cast member and my husband is wearing his rogue coat and can pass for pretty much anyone, haha. So I'll have better pictures for you next week! We always do trick-or-treating at the Mall of America, and it's a blast.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/404356e82a5475c95eabc72902ab7dc49918f4502bd2a5b72624c5d3302595bb.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fe181fd74896d6b9fa860554df165ef6fb7e048da4567b615ac8b1fe1498ddfb.jpg

    • ART

      SO CUTE

    • Ashlah

      I love everything about this post! I couldn’t get the doll video to work on my computer, but that sounds so adorable. I’ve been wanting to go to a Rocky Horror production forever, but I’m so nervous about going as a virgin! Hope you have fun volunteering! Should be a fun crowd!

    • touchdownton abbey

      This makes me want to be robin hood for Halloween

    • Lisa

      Your daughter is so stinking cute! I love her face when she opened up her doll! That’s pure joy there.

  • raccooncity

    I had a really tough week this week. In terms of little Kit, I have been handed at the end of the pregnancy a list of what my midwife calls “pink flags” – literally no red flags, but a lot of almost-red flags. So Kit is breech, Kit is pretty small (close to, but not less than 10th percentile), I have close to but not technically concerning amounts of amniotic fluid. I have a very soft (for a first time mom) but still closed cervix. Anyway, it’s a bunch of stuff.

    Which is fine. I worry, but I’m taking it one thing at a time and combining some sensible independent research with the advice I get from my midwife. I am not anti-science or pro-“natural” in ANY WAY. I believe modern medicine saves babies. End of story. Here it’s important to note that where I live midwives are trained to have patients in ‘normal’ pregnancies and refer to OBs if things get abnormal. It’s also important to note that my mom was a long-time L&D nurse (so worked with people seeing OBs for 99% of the time, and at a time when midwives were juuuuust getting regulated).

    So she’s really worried about me, to the point where she brought up our concerns with our mutual family Dr, who said I should switch immediately to a high-risk OB. I’m not sure what my mom told my doctor, which is a problem in deciding how seriously to take this second/thirdhand advice.

    I spoke to my midwife and am going for a series of growth scans (next week is the next one) to monitor the size issue and see if it gets better, worse or if I just have a little baby in general. I also am referred to an OB (a regular one, within the next week or 2) as a matter of course because midwives don’t really do breech births here. So I’m seeing that doctor based on just the breech issue and nothing else.

    I explained this game plan to my mom who got a little hysterical about me being too lackadaisical about my risk factors as she sees them, and i guess thinks that I should be getting more immediate attention and said “babies tend to get small before we lose them”.

    So I’ve been up crying a lot about this with worry because on one hand I feel I’m doing my best but on the other I feel worried I’ll wake up one morning with none of those familiar and annoying kicks, and someone will have warned me about it so it’ll be my fault. It’s a real dick move on her part, and i recognize this, but I also just worry in that really visceral way you do when you’re responsible for keeping another human alive.

    • OMG :-( My heart goes out to you. I have the same worries as a first time & plus size mom and my mom has also been pressuring me to have an OB instead of a midwife. Whatever happens, please don’t blame yourself about anything, and trust yourself to make the right decisions.

      • Danielle

        Ugh. I’m in my first trimester and have to decide which practitioner to use. It feels like I have to make this really big choice between the NATURAL way or the DOCTOR way, and I feel too scared and overwhelmed to make a good decision for me and my little munchkin. (I am not technically high-risk, but this is my first pregnancy and I’m 38. And naturally anxious, which doesn’t help).

        Your mom is probably coming from a place of love/care, but her approach doesn’t seem very helpful :/

        Good luck to you and your baby <3

        • Thank you and good luck to you too :-)

          And yes, it seems like such a divide between OB & midwife…I wish it wasn’t that way.

        • raccooncity

          It really does go both ways. I have a student midwife who is REALLY radical and I keep having to be like “there’s no way I’m having a home breech birth and you are insane for being nonchalant about that…read some research”

          But I also have a friend who is pregnant and has the OB version of that – she was feeling lightheaded one day and the doctor told her to go to the ER immediately because “it might be your brain!”

          (spoiler: it was not her brain)

    • Amy March

      Is there a reason you aren’t just going to see an OB? I mean, you say patients get referred if things get abnormal, and that your midwife is seeing a lot of things that are abnormal, not just one, so . . . I’m kinda getting where your mom is on this? Not with making you feel guilty, nothing would ever be your fault, but why not see an OB now?

      • raccooncity

        Because technically none of it is abnormal. For example, over 25cm of amniotic fluid is polyhydraminos and is abnormal. I have 22cm. Nothing to worry about and would never get you sent to an OB. Same with baby’s size. Under 10th percentile is bad and needs immediate attention. I’m at 17%, which doesn’t even require monitoring (because really if you think about math, SOMEONE has to be 17th percentile.

        I’m going for ongoing monitoring of the baby’s size and I believe that’s the same thing an OB would do in that situation – if baby gets smaller between measurements, then it’s a problem. I’ve only had one at this point.

        It’s the question of whether or not all these close-to-concerning measurements equals anything worth noting. And that’s a big grey area. I will be seeing an OB within a couple weeks, but I’m not sure if I need to have an emergency appt with one. That’s the difference.

        • Amy March

          I do get that, it was just the part where you said you were crying every morning worrying that you weren’t doing enough- why not just do it then and get rid of that worry was my take on it. Not meaning to second guess you or suggest it is a must at all!

          • raccooncity

            Yeah, I realized that that part is a little less clear. First of all, some of the crying would happen regardless because being pregnant is a weird mindfuck of worrying that I think is bolstered by a lot of messed up hormones. I cry a lot in general.

            But also, (maybe this is a public healthcare thing?) I need to be REFERRED to an OB – I can’t just buy a second opinion. So my midwife has done that, but I think that either method of getting an emergency OB visit (aggressively insisting that she is wrong to not worry and that I need to see an OB immediately or going to my GP behind her back for the referral) would damage our relationship in a fairly permanent way…probably just leading to a full transfer of care. Generally, where I live, the midwife doesn’t transfer care completely at this point and would be responsible for my postnatal care even if I had a c-section. And the one thing that is true about midwife model here is that the postnatal care is WAAAAAY better. So I’d like to keep that relationship intact if I can.

            But yes, ultimately you’re right that I made the decision not to take any of the actions to see an OB immediately and thus shouldn’t be so emotionally upset by the fact that I made that decision. But hey, feelings are more complicated than that sometimes.

          • Amy March

            Oh no, I don’t mean your shouldn’t be emotionally upset at all! This sounds super upsetting and complicated. Just that if you are now thinking differently, I think that’s okay too.

    • Danielle

      I’m sorry :( There seems to be this really big split between midwives (natural!) and OBs (interventions!) in our culture, which doesn’t seem helpful for moms/pregnant ladies. I wish there were more fluid options.

      I hope you get the care you and Kit need <3

      • Laura C

        It really depends on the midwife (and the OB), too. I had a midwife but in a hospital setting where a large percentage of births are done by midwives. My labor was a little complicated in a couple ways — nothing big, just that I was fully dilated and pushing for longer than they expected and my temperature was a little high — and the OB was called in a few times as a check. It stressed me out the first time I heard they were bringing her in and then she turned out to be lovely and upbeat and affirmed the midwife’s view that they didn’t need to freak out about things. So it seems like there are places it does work in a more fluid way (and I’m so happy to have been in one of them).

        • raccooncity

          Actually, to be honest, I think things are working really fluidly for me – midwife sends me to the hospital clinic for my ultrasounds and happily referred me to the OB. The battle seems to be in my mom’s head, mostly.

        • Danielle

          It’s great you had that experience! That really sounds like the best of both worlds.

          My state (Ohio) has strict laws on midwifery, and at least the OBs I have spoken to have been adamant that they do NOT work with midwives. (It’s also complicated because my insurance plan just changed, so I’m trying to find a new provider pretty quickly.)

          • Laura C

            That’s so frustrating. FWIW, I started my pregnancy with an OB (actually I saw the nurse practitioner most often) and then switched to the midwife practice early in the second trimester. Maybe that’s not as possible in a place where they don’t work together as smoothly, but at a minimum, if you don’t like the first new provider you find, you should be able to switch from one OB to another? Because talk about a thing you want to be comfortable with your provider on…

          • Danielle

            Thanks for sharing your story, it gives me some hope :)

            Because I’m older (38) and this is my first kid, I’m feeling cautious and really want to have medical interventions easily available if necessary. But maybe there are some decent options within my insurance that incorporate both midwives and doctors — I will need to do some research.

          • Laura C

            Similar situation here! I was 38-39, first child — and after miscarriage. So I know the feeling. Good luck.

          • Danielle

            Thanks, Laura :)

        • I have a similar set up – my hospital/clinic group has a midwife practice as well as an OB practice. I’ll deliver at the birth center at the hospital, where there’s always 2 OBs on call in case a c-section is needed.

    • Sara

      My friend had a baby that was in the 10th percentile, and her doctor had her induced three weeks early. I was terrified, and she ended up having to have a c-section on top of it. But the baby is out and doing really well, passing all of the tests she needs to. Do whatever you need in order to keep you and your baby safe and healthy.

    • Eenie

      Is there a downside to talking with a high risk OB? I think it would either put you into very capable hands, or he/she would reassure you that this is definitely something that midwives handle and doesn’t require an OB. I’m not Canadian so I’m not sure how all the medical stuff is handled. Hugs to you and your husband.

    • emmers

      I’m really sorry. Please know that some medical stuff just happens, no matter if you knew about it or not. It sounds like you’re taking good steps, so try to be gentle with yourself, and maybe take some space form your mom for as long as you need.

      • Danielle

        Yes! This could be a good start in setting boundaries with mom giving “helpful” (unwanted) parenting advice.

      • raccooncity

        I’m definitely doing that for a little while right now. I feel kinda gross about the way she discussed it with our doctor (which is another, longer story, with more emotional manipulation). But knowing my mom as I do I suspect she exaggerated the reports of what had been going on with me to get the doctor to say what she wanted to hear.

        • anachronismsarah

          That made me feel a little funny just reading it. Do what’s best for you.

          I hope follow-up all goes okay!

    • Laura C

      That’s so difficult.

      It sounds like you’re getting the monitoring you need, you’ve been referred to an OB whose views you can take into consideration…but that doesn’t stop the worrying, I know. Can’t tell you how many nights I laid awake waiting to feel enough kicks to make me feel calm, and that was with no red flags. I can and can’t imagine how stressful your situation is, if that makes any sense at all.

      • raccooncity

        Oh man, yes, the laying awake thing. I did that before all of this anyway – AND based on talking to some of my friends who’ve had pregnancies, it sounds like I have a very active little one in there. Luckily I swear this kid is already a sweet, empathetic child because they always move around whenever I have a thought of worrying about them.

        • Laura C

          I actually googled “does active fetus mean active child” at one point! (Answer: probably not.)

    • Just wanted to send hugs your way. I am pregnant with my first (22 weeks), and have advocated hard for a midwife-led, freestanding birth center birth. My husband’s father and siblings are all surgeons and with my first pregnancy (I miscarried) he would discuss my choices with his family, leading his father to pressure me into genetic testing I didn’t want. It was a mess, and my husband had a hard time understanding why I would be upset that he discussed my medical choices without my consent to his family. With family, the lines over what is appropriate to share definitely blur. Obviously, your mother is coming from a place of love and concern, but I’m sorry it has left you feeling a bit violated.

      Some people are asking why not just see the high risk OB, but I do understand that seeing someone who specializes in finding problems means you’ll most likely find some more.

      I think my best advice would be to seek out a doula network who can refer you to an OB that is “midwife minded”. OBs run a whole spectrum of high intervention to very low intervention. The midwives and doulas in your community should have a good idea of who these OBs are. It could be a compromise between seeing who may be more familiar with these “pink flags” while also not scaring the crap out of you and enlisting you in a birth plan that you’re not comfortable with.

      My sister is high risk due to a bleeding disorder and a primary csection, and after it became clear at 36 weeks that her OB was not on board with a VBAC, her doula recommended a great OB who was able to treat her, but also allow her to successfully VBAC.

      Hang in there and good vibes your way, momma!

      • Gina

        This is such a good recommendation. OBs run the spectrum, and I think the practice in general is starting to catch up to evidence-based recommendations rather than intervention-heavy ones. My dad’s a doctor and he has always bemoaned how obstetrics practice has been litigation-driven rather than evidence-driven. I had a couple pregnancy complications that my midwife felt comfortable handling in a hospital setting, and I had a wonderful midwife-attended hospital birth. There was an attending OB present on the floor at all times, though. If that’s an option for you, maybe look into it. But a lot of OBs really are wonderful and really will talk through things with you if you do end up transferring. It’s not fair for your mom to act like you’re not doing everything you can when you clearly are, and your midwife is clearly monitoring the situation closely. Your mom may also not know how unreliable late-pregnancy ultrasounds can be for calculating size. I’m sure both your midwife and any affiliated OB will manage the risks and talk through it rather than fear-mongering!

    • Teresa

      I am nearly 24 weeks with my first and don’t really know anything about any of this, but I do understand the panic that you feel and that other people feel for you (my mom asks me like, every day when my next doctor’s appointment is, even though everything has been normal and fine so far…MOMS). If I can give you my unsolicited opinion (BECAUSE WE DON’T GET ENOUGH OF THAT AS PREGNANT LADIES), I would maybe, for your own peace of mind, go see the OB that you were referred to for the breech stuff sooner rather than later and talk to them about the other issues going on. This way, you are the one explaining the situation and can get a good feel from the OB how much of an emergency each thing is. Sounds to me like you will most likely get a bunch more sonograms and exams than a woman without the pink flags would, which is just a way for everyone to monitor things and might help you relax about the whole situation b/c being carefully monitored means if anything does shift from pink to red flags, they’ll know ASAP.

      Just take, like, five deep breaths, screen some of the calls from your mom and put your feet up and relax. Maybe make your partner bring you things on the couch while you watch Hocus Pocus this weekend? Anything that will help you relax a bit is a good thing at this point. You are doing your best and that is enough.

    • JSK

      Gah! This is so difficult. I don’t have any real advice for you (other than loving telling your mom to MHOB). How far along are you? Are you feeling good otherwise?

      I was advanced maternal age, so my OB Practice automatically referred me to a high risk OB. I never actually met with the high risk doctor, just had 2 ultrasounds with the tech. Everything was fine and it was nice getting an “extra” ultrasound.

      Your last line really rang true for me – I had a medium-to-high amount of fear/anxiety the whole time I was pregnant regarding feeling wholly personally responsible for keeping someone else alive with just my body. Delivery was a total relief – Now other people could look after the baby as well!

      I hope you’re able to get peace of mind from the upcoming scans and get some enjoyment out of the last weeks of pregnancy. Very best of luck!

      • raccooncity

        I’m 35 – 36 weeks right now and have had a lovely pregnancy. It has been really a delightful experience in every way possible up until the past couple weeks – I’ve felt better than pre-pregnancy and just LOVE how my body looks. And even now, my body is fine – it’s only the baby that anyone is worried about. (Gotta say though I’ve been finding it much more uncomfortable these days. I would say my days of actively enjoying it are over.)

        Anyway, I’m really looking forward to meeting the little person soon. I’m sure I’ll update on the results of my next scan for everyone at (hopefully) the next happy hour!

        • JSK

          I didn’t get physically uncomfortable until probably 37.5 weeks or so and didn’t get especially irritable until after due date passed (went to 41 weeks). I hope you have a easy breezy rest of your pregnancy and delivery!

    • Jess

      I have no words of advice or similar experiences, but I do have many good thoughts and internet hugs to send to you. I hope that everything turns out ok and that all this worrying calms itself.

    • rg223

      Hugs. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I too had extra-but-not-really-extra amniotic fluid and had to get a million growth scans near the end of the pregnancy, and it was so annoying and stressful. Everything was absolutely fine. I feel like I can’t give advice being American and only knowing midwives and OBs in this setting. But hang in there. You ARE doing everything you need to do to take care of yourself and Kit. I agree you can take some space away from your mom as needed!

    • Ashlah

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this, it sounds so difficult. My mom works in the medical field, so she always takes any issues I’m having to various doctor friends. It’s often super handy and appreciated, but sometimes I just want to talk to her without her stressing out and trying to “solve” something with third parties that might not be an issue in the first place. I hope you start feeling better about this soon, that all future tests are good news, and that your mom butts out and keeps your medical information to herself. If you need to, put her on an information diet. Sending strength.

    • TeaforTwo

      I think we may have had the same midwives – mine talked a lot about “pink flags” too, and had an annoying and radical student.

      My experience with Ontario midwifery care was that the midwives themselves are very risk-averse, and that the main difference between them and OBs is that they made me feel like I had a lot more of a choice. So my MW would tell me when something was abnormal or verging on it, and tell me what the standard of care was, but unlike with a doctor, also made it clear that the next step was my choice. But that doesn’t mean they were lackadaisical at all.

      I’m sorry that your mom has made you feel like this. It’s so hard to worry. Hugs to you.

    • SLG

      I’ve never been pregnant so I have no advice on that score, just wishing you much calm and a peaceful delivery. But I do want to say that your mom’s comment that “babies tend to get small before we lose them” is COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE AND UNCALLED FOR and it’s totally ok for you to decide not to give that any space in your head. You’re a great mom already and you’re clearly taking GREAT care of your baby.

  • Unhip in Brooklyn

    Got married and honeymooned and now I’m back to the real world! I said it in happy hour a few weeks ago, but I’m grateful to APW for being one of my fonts of wisdom during the planning process.

    I sing in my church choir here in Brooklyn, and they sang at my wedding. We picked a lot of secular songs to keep things in balance between me the Presbyterian and my agnostic husband, and it was a BLAST. People loved it, and I’m so glad we had a ceremony with music and breathing room. The best part was a medley of a gospel song with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.” It actually has personal significance to me (one of my fave gospel tunes + a special family song in memory of my late uncle)…..but everyone just thought we rickrolled them. So if you want to hear a gospel version of an 80’s pop hit, here’s a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lgx6qqKUbo4&list=PL-VQeW0_jg2Zp0sWgJOCX_YJNcndDcvs2&index=7

    • Kaitlyn

      That tall bald dude is SO PUMPED to be doing this medley

      • Unhip in Brooklyn

        Hahahaha! He’s always pumped for the music and that’s one of the great things about him!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      I can’t see videos at work, but the idea of a church choir singing at a wedding makes me so happy. :) Congratulations!

      • Unhip in Brooklyn

        It was GLORIOUS. We’ve sung at other members’ weddings and it was so wonderful to have the community present for mine. We’re also (if I do say so myself…) a pretty talented group for a bunch of amateurs so the guests were surprised. And delighted! Do you sing in a choir too?

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          My mom does! Did. Her church has a pretty great choir, but a recent change in directors made her feel unwelcome, sadly, so she doesn’t anymore. I don’t go to church, but I made a point to go to her Christmas concerts.

          • Unhip in Brooklyn

            Ugh, I’m sorry to hear about that. I hope she finds a new group to sing with, if she wants it. Or in the very least, that you guys can keep doing Christmas concerts elsewhere!

    • sofar

      OK that made my week. The choir killed it. You guys killed it with your adorable dancing. So happy for you both!

    • Angela

      this is awesome!!!!!

      • Unhip in Brooklyn

        Thank you! It felt really awesome too <3

  • flashphase

    Still have so much to do, OMG, but we booked a caterer, we met with a photographer, and we decided that highly difficult family members will be invited to the ceremony but not the reception. I know it’s not Emily Post-accepted but this is a brokered peace, trust. I am here for everyone dealing with family drama, that nephew’s wedding post got all my freak-out wheels turning.

  • partwolf

    I got married 10/16/16!!! The day was absolutely beautiful, went smoothly, people were dancing before the dance floor was officially “opened” and people laughed, cried and everything in between. IT WAS AWESOME!!! Hubby and I went to the DR for our honeymoon and it waS WONDERFUL. I miss wedding planning tho! I’m gonna become a wedding planning assistant so I can learn the ropes and make it a side hustle one day.

    • idkmybffjill

      Congratulations!!

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      That sounds amazing! Good luck with the side hustle in the making!

    • cml

      Love the part about the dancers. :)

  • emmers

    I’ve been mostly on an OK trajectory of emotionally recovering from my late-July miscarriage. But for whatever reason I had some awful days this month, so I (per my husband’s & friend’s recommendation) decided to see my counselor, and saw her this week. The counseling was great. I’d met with her a couple years back, and it was so affirming to be told that yes, this was a traumatic thing, and it’s natural that I’m not “ok.” I’ve also decided that if I keep feeling really crappy like I did on those really bad days, I’m going to look into meds, even though we’re still trying to have a kid.

    I have also been around babies/baby things a bit over the past week, and that’s been OK. I went to a close friend’s baby shower, which I was worried about but was mostly OK. And I took a dinner to a mom-friend who had her second kid 2 weeks ago. They both know about the miscarriage and were super sweet. I did lose it a little last night learning that some close friends of ours just announced that they’re having a kid, since it would have been so cool for us to all have kids at the same time and who knows if/when it will happen for us. So, ups and downs, but a lot of good stuff this week.

    • Danielle

      Hey! I’m on anti-anxiety medication and apparently some medicines are safe even for pregnant women.

      I’ve been seeing a pre-natal psychiatrist and she assured me that there are many studies showing my medicine is safe. I recommend a specialist like this if you do decide to take medicine <3

      • emmers

        Nice! I know Meg has shared about being on meds while pregnant. This is good to know. If you’re comfortable sharing, what medicine are you on?

        • AGCourtney

          Obviously, I’m not Danielle, but I’ll chip in my experience, too: I switched to Zoloft for my pregnancy and didn’t experience any problems. (I was originally on Prozac, but my doctor recommended Zoloft over that given my pregnancy.)

          • Another Meg

            I am so happy for pregnant people who can take Zoloft! It’s the safest for pregnancies. Lexapro is the only thing that works for me, and Zoloft gave me suicidal tendencies (DEALBREAKER), so I can’t take anything now that I’m pregnant. It’s not fun. BUT it’s survivable. I’m just really careful.

            If anyone is still trying to find the right medication, hang in there. The trial and error period was pretty awful for me, but finding the right one to help is totally worth it.

            And if you have intense enough depression that you need to take a class-C medication through a pregnancy, please be kind to yourself. Only you and your doctor know what’s worth any risk, and fuck anyone else who judges.

          • emmers

            This is my feeling. If the medicine is needed, it’s way better to take it than not.

        • Danielle

          I take a generic version of Zoloft, and have for many years. I <3 it! It really helps with my anxiety (and is also an anti-depressant).

          Of course, everyone is different and responds to medications differently; it may take a while for you to find the right one, etc etc. I'm sure your doctor will have recommendations based on your needs, as well as info about the safety of each one.

          My psychiatrist recommends this resource for pregnant women's mental health: https://womensmentalhealth.org It's pretty good and written in a balanced, non-judgmental way.

          Good luck!!! Glad you are advocating for your health :)

          • emmers

            So awesome. Thanks for the resources!

    • I’m sorry for your loss and glad you’re taking steps toward self-care.

    • Olive

      I’m so glad the counseling was helpful. I started counseling a little over two years ago through an EAP and moved to a practice to continue after my EAP sessions ran out. I never thought I was in a bad enough place to use meds, but I got to a point where I didn’t feel like myself and was having more really bad days than I could handle. I’m glad I have them, and I hope you find something that works for you.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      A+ for practicing self care.

  • Her Lindsayship

    This week we put an offer in on an awesome little condo and to my great shock it was ACCEPTED. I’m currently in the process of getting rates from different lenders and like what the heck??? Talking to real estate agents, lending officers, home inspectors, attorneys, and all of their various assistants is basically all I’ve done for the last five days. The inspection is on Sunday and I’m somewhat terrified. Anyway just wanted to post because this feels SO ADULT and also SO UNREAL.

    We’re kind of over our agent, who seems more inclined to get this sale done than to actually advise us in our best interest. She told us yesterday she hopes the inspector we chose isn’t the type to “make every little imperfection into a terror show for the buyer” and I wanted to write back, “really? Isn’t that literally what we’re paying him for?” Sigh.

    • AGCourtney

      Congrats! Nothing felt adult-ier to me than the process for buying a home.

      Ughhh, our realtor was like that, too. We probably overpaid, but we’ve decided we’re just happy to be in the house and will never, ever use that realtor again. But if/when we sell this place, we hope the buyer has him for an agent! :P

    • Sara

      Good luck! I hated my real estate agent and was so happy to be done with her when the process was done. Just make sure to ask your inspector any and all follow up questions you have. I had to ask mine how the gas fireplace works and to check a few outlets for power that looked suspicious to me (turned out to be fine). Ask him how to change the filter on the HVAC system too! Mine explained a lot of what he was doing, which was super helpful to me.
      I actually put an offer down on a townhouse and backed out because of the inspection/follow up conversations about what should be fixed (seller did NOT take care of their house and would not fix anything, which made me incredibly nervous). Real estate is so not fun.

    • cml

      Congrats! Just wait til you sign all that paperwork…hoo boy!

    • JenC

      We also put an offer in on our first house this week and it was accepted! My phone has been ringing all week with estate agents and mortgage advisors. So now we’ve made an offer, other estate agents are still trying to ring us and it just feels like when Chandler wanted to quit the gym. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/603557817a5810cf5bf9bc879912ce1a71cbaf330969622f9b86220a5df4360f.jpg

    • StevenPortland

      I hope you get a good inspector. I’ve had an inspector who was too superficial in his review. And I’ve had one that just showed us the issues without walking us through the options. The hard part is to find an inspector to find the imperfections but then to tell you if any of them should be deal breakers. From experience I can tell you, certain things that you think are big deals, just won’t be. Plus you can fix almost anything. Sometimes it means that the price for the house is too high. But sometimes it is just something to budget for and fix in a few years. Good luck!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Yes, I’ve heard horror stories about un-thorough inspectors and that’s why we went looking for one that reviewers specifically said was super thorough and informative. Hopefully he’s as good as Yelp says! Unfortunately our agent will also be there so we’ll be prepared to tune out any ‘oh, it’s not that bad’s. Thank you for offering advice from experience!

    • MC

      Congrats!!! We bought a house in January and were so shocked at how quickly it all happened once our offer was accepted – in a good way! And we love our house & being homeowners.

      Re: agents, it’s always seemed to me that since they get paid on commission most of the time that it’s sometimes not in their best interest to advise buyers to what the BUYER’s best interest would be… we went through a nonprofit org that helps out first-time homebuyers, and one of the things we loved is that our agent got paid a salary, and the commission from our sale went to the nonprofit to support low-income homebuyers programs.

      • Her Lindsayship

        That’s amazing! I wish we had thought to look around for something like that. Instead we’re on the defensive with our own agent because she just seems shady. Good news is in our state, the seller pays the agent fees for both sides, so at least we’re not paying her ourselves!

      • Olive

        That sounds like an awesome organization. I need to keep this in mind.

      • Alyssa

        What was the name of the nonprofit? We are looking into the housing market and need all the help we can get!

    • G.

      Your instinct on the inspector is right. You want one who will note everything and, more importantly, explain everything and rank the order of importance. Honestly, if I were buying again, I’d see if I could find a contractor to walk around with the inspector or, at the very least, check out the inspection report to get a sense of cost/severity issues. Might be slightly less important in a condo than a free-standing house, but still.

    • sofar

      CONGRATS! We are going to begin this process next year. *gulp* Both excited and terrified.

      • Her Lindsayship

        I was only excited when we were in the start of it – so excited – and I’m just now coming around to the terrified bit! I will say that taking a first-time homebuyer course was MASSIVELY helpful and I strongly recommend it to anyone getting ready to buy. Ours included talks from professionals in the business (a real estate agent, a home inspector, a broker, etc.) and they were so informative. Best of luck!

    • Megan

      We just bought a house with a ‘buying specialist’, who was truly awesome. Very responsive, great to deal with, encouraged us to go lower than our original offer, and we never felt “sold to” or rushed. If anyone needs a realtor in Ottawa, Ontario let me know!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Congrats!! :)

  • E.

    Happy Friday! We have most of the big things taken care of for our wedding, and are now starting to look at save the dates, websites, and registries. There are so many options for all of these!
    Does anyone have recommendations or places we should avoid? We want to do postcard save the dates using our engagement photos, but that’s as specific as we’ve gotten

    • Eenie

      We used Minted for Holiday cards last year and loved them. You may be able to snag a deal right now if you already have the pictures done :)

      • raccooncity

        We used minted for some of our thank you cards as well (long story) – but they were GORGEOUS.

    • Recommendation – MagnetStreet! We used them both for our Save the Dates and also our invitation suite, and we loved the results. They have a lot of templates which you can customize to your hearts desire, and they do a ton of coupon codes so we got a great deal on both of our orders.

    • idkmybffjill

      Depending on how simple you want to go/how much design you’re comfortable doing – we used Vista Print for our self designed saved the dates and they were IDEAL.

      • Ashlah

        We also used Vistaprint, both for self-designed Save the Dates and one of their template invitations. Our first batch of STD magnets weren’t cut right, so they sent a whole new batch and refunded us the entire cost. Ace customer service!

        • idkmybffjill

          ooh totally! We also used just their most basic paper for the post card STD’s and it felt very fancy!

      • Angela

        We used vistaprint too. I ordered their free wedding sample kit which was actually really helpful to get a look at the different paper options/sizes IRL. Fiance then designed them but I did take some inspiration from the layout of one of their pre-designed templates. For the website, we used weddingwire. We are 3 weeks out and people only seem to be looking at it now from the user stats.

    • ART

      I really liked using CatPrint. They were easy to work with, and they foster adoptable cats in their office…

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      We used Paperless Post and it was a real headache! Weddingwire was our website host and I was happy with it. I’ve heard complaints about The Knot for hosting a free wedding site.

      • Eenie

        We used Paperless Post and loved it! We had a google site and didn’t send out anything paper, everything was via email.

        • Unhip in Brooklyn

          Oh, I’m glad not everyone has the same experience I did! We did email STDs which went smoothly. Then when I tried to design paper invites….for some reason it wouldn’t let me order paper? Only email?? The paper option only showed up after we paid for and sent the email invites. Invites were at the bottom of my priority list so, in an effort to reduce headaches, I just said “F#&% it” and did email invites. Some people were unhappy about it so it still ended up being a pain. Oh well!

          • Eenie

            The one person on our list who doesn’t “internet”: we took a PDF screen shot, printed it out, and mailed it. On a 8×11″ sheet of paper. I was going to “order” the paper invites, but what we really need is for him to have the date and address.

            From what I remember, not all of their invites are available in paper.

        • raccooncity

          I really liked our paperless post experience as well. NB: we have zero elderly people in our lives (oldest person was father of the groom and he’s 70), so email was not an issue.

    • flashphase

      Squarespace is awesome for a wedding website

    • anachronismsarah

      We had family design things and used a local printer to produce them… **HEAVILY** DIY/DIT (every step really did have lots and lots of helping hands!) and I loved it.
      We used wedding wire for a website, which was pretty great. I liked their lists too!

    • I used Minted and had a great experience. They printed all our wedding stuff and when they arrived, the color looked way different than I anticipated. Without giving me a hard time (because I should have ordered swatches) they re-printed everything in a different color at no additional cost or hassle. I was forever grateful and I use them for everything now.

    • Not Sarah

      Our plan is to use Glo for save the dates / invites. We have SO many out of town and out of country people that even the cost of postage will be insane for our guest list. (It’s $1.15 per thing to mail to Canada for the US and probably half of our guest list is in Canada.) I liked Glo better than the free alternatives and I like the matching paper invites that we can do for some people including memorabilia for us.

    • Mari

      We used Minted for STDs and invites, and Squarespace for our website – both were great! After a lot of registry research (I really wanted to love Thankful, but didn’t), we chose Amazon because they have a huge selection, and you can add items from outside Amazon as well. It was easy to set up, and seemed to work well for our people. We also each listed our favorite non-profit org on our website as an alternative for people in lieu of a gift, and quite a few people made donations.

  • Anon

    Currently freaking out about the re opening of the FBI case into Clinton’s emails.
    I just want this thing to be over.

    • Ashlah

      Ugh, I hadn’t heard about that. I’m with you. I’m so done.

    • agreed. please let this election just be over with.

    • Justine

      I don’t think anyone is going to be any happier after it’s over. I never thought HRC could win, and this news isn’t helping. Aside from that, we’ve misinterpreted Trump’s supporters to our own defeat. Nov. 8 is gonna be a rude awakening I think.

      Michael Moore and Jimmy Dore, a Jill Stein supporter, breaks it down.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOcstHhtL4Y

      • Amy March

        I think I will be dramatically happier, because she will win, and contentedly go through life without Michael Moore hysterically mansplaining anything to me.

        • Justine

          When half the population makes $30,000 and less and she supported NAFTA and has supported TPP, I don’t think that’s a recipe for victory.

          We’ll see on Nov 8, eh?

          • Amy March

            We certainly will. Although I’m pretty sure ending a sentence with eh? disqualifies you from voting in America :)

          • Justine

            Why?

          • Amy March

            Because it’s such a typically Canadian phrase. Just a joke!

          • Justine

            Oh. Funny thing is that I only type it and never say it. Weird!

          • Violet

            She’s teasing, like you’re Canadian. Because they say “eh?” at the end of their sentences.

          • raccooncity

            I was just going to call that out!

          • AP

            I know SO many Republican friends who are voting third party and write-ins. I’m staying optimistic!

          • Eenie

            All my Republican family members are abstaining from the top of the ticket. <3

        • SarahRose472

          YES. I listened to this and was honestly confused about whether he was only talking about men’s perspectives in order to make a point about how Trump support comes disproportionately from men, or whether in his brain it was really normal to universalize/center the experience of men that way.

          • Justine

            I think it was meant to be a socio-economic example using one person; not a commentary on which sex supports Trump.

            The ignored half of the population that makes $30,000 and less is both sexes.

            I watch progressive shows all the time and I’ve lost count how many of them make fun of Trump and ask “Where is this country that’s falling apart?” But to half the population, life is very hard and telling them otherwise is alienating.

    • CP2011

      I’m freaked too. My (republican, never trump) coworker said it might just be to make things smoother after she wins, like to make people less likely to point to conspiracy. I hope so.

    • MC

      Yep – anxiety has already been high the last few days because of the election and this latest news makes me so nervous. Only 11 days…

    • A.

      From what I can gather, there’s no indication that anything is actually confidential and this is essentially just continuing due diligence on a case that was never truly closed to begin with (“re-open” isn’t an accurate way to describe). In fact, there’s also no actual indication that the emails are even FROM Hillary or even her server? Just that they may be “related.”

      It’s probably much ado about less than nothing, but it’s not being characterized that way. :-/

  • StevenPortland

    Deciding to move halfway across the country is such a hard decision. We lived in MN for 17 years and all of my husband’s family live there. For work, we relocated to CA and then two years later moved to Portland, OR. We’ve been here in Portland for 8 years. For a year now we’ve been going back and forth on whether to move back to MN. it would be nice to have holidays with relatives, and it would be a good thing for our kids to grow up with cousins and grandparents. But the winters in MN are harsh and while MN is liberal, it isn’t nearly as laid back as Portland. Plus, just the expense and the work involved in moving are huge things. I’m also worried about my older son — he would leave his friends and start a new school in 5th grade. But the schools in Minneapolis are so much better than here. * * * * * Can you tell I keep going back and forth on the tradeoffs? I think at this point the best decision is to actually make a decision.

    • raccooncity

      Your kids would be doing the reverse of the kid on Inside Out! (that’s not helpful, but it just popped into my head)

    • anachronismsarah

      That’s tough. As an Army Brat, I moved going into 5th grade then again going into 6th- at which point we were in better schools and closer to family. I think it’s tough, but also worth it if the schools are better, and DEFINITELY worth it to be close to cousins. Wouldn’t trade that for anything.

      • StevenPortland

        Thanks, that is helpful!

    • Eenie

      My parents moved us from PA to IL when I was heading into 8th grade. We moved within 2 hour drive of my mom’s sister. It was awesome. It sucked at the time, but it turned out to be a really good move. I made new friends. Moved again three years later, and made new friends again. Moving will not be the worst thing for your kids. I have lots of great friends all over the country because of moving. It helped me learn how to make friends when I went to college, moved for work, moved for my husband.

      • Eenie

        Oh, and now my entire family lives in one place (well within a day’s worth of driving). It makes visiting them from afar super awesome. I only wish I could move my husband’s family and my own into the same state (or neighboring state?) so we could visit everyone on one trip.

      • Kaitlyn

        I have cousins that moved every couple of years while they were growing up and I’m convinced it made them the outgoing, friendly people that they are. They can talk to anyone, are comfortable in social situations, and are the life of the party.

        • Eenie

          It taught me soooooooooooo many things. And I got opportunities I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise because they just didn’t exist at my old school. As we got older we got more say in the move. I helped my parents pick out the house we moved to when I was in high school. I felt so adult looking at houses, trying to stay below budget, and living in an apartment with my dad over the summer so we could register for school in district and he wouldn’t be so lonely all by himself.

    • Rhie

      My family moved from Australia to America when I was in the 5th grade and while it was crazy and my sister and I had to repeat half a year because of the difference in the school calendar, it wasn’t too big a deal in the end as far as adjusting to a new school and whatnot. Personally, I think it’s better to move when your kids are younger–I think it’s a lot easier to make friends and find a new group when you’re ten than when you’re 15 or 16.

      • Mari

        Ditto the “younger is easier”. When I was just shy of 10, my family moved from the UK to the East Coast of the US (where our family knew no one). It was a huge move, and there was quite a bit of culture shock, but my (younger) siblings and I adjusted relatively quickly and have really good memories of that time in our family’s life. 4 years later we then moved again – when I was entering high school – to a different state across the country, and *that* was really hard. The younger the kid, the easier it is for them.

    • Anon

      I didn’t move, but moved schools (as in didn’t go with any friends to my new school) in 7th grade and that was rough. The kids who had changed schools in 5th or 6th grade seemed to make the 7th grade adjustment much easier. So my vote would be sooner rather than later. Especially if you have friends and family in MN that should make the transition a bit easier. Then again I’m just a little jealous because I want to move back to Minneapolis sooooo bad.

    • We just moved back to MN from NYC. We don’t have kiddos yet, but the schools were a big pull. As for the liberal thing, I would just really pay attention to neighborhood. As I’m sure you know, it really varies and that will also affect the demographics of your school district. I wouldn’t worry too much about the 5th grade thing. My friend group (and many others) did a huge shift around then as we transitioned to junior high and middle school. I wouldn’t move a kid in 10th or 11th grade, but 5th is definitely do-able. Good luck!

      • Eenie

        My parents moved when my older brother entered 11th. They moved again when I entered 11th. It was not the end of the world. Ideally I don’t think they would have planned for it to happen then, but it really was not that big of a deal.

    • Sara

      In regards to schools – My family moved to three different states in a two year period for my dad’s job and we made friends pretty much wherever we were, regardless how small of time there was there. Kids are adaptable and being the ‘new’ kid tends to make you a bit popular for a while. Especially on the younger end, pre high school.

      I don’t have much on the rest :) Good luck!

  • anachronismsarah

    Actually catching Happy Hour on Friday! Whaaaaa?!

    I’m Merida for Halloween this year, because I am ready to chop all of my red curly hair off but why not use it for a costume first??! Looking forward to a night of sewing and hanging out to finish my costume, and hopefully get some picking up around the house done too… WHY is it so hard to stay cleaned up??

    Also… We’re officially TTC and although I know I’m ready and we’re in the best of possible places to be trying to have a baby it’s driving me crazy- just trying to figure out what my body without birth control hormones looks like, and navigate the who/how to talk about that stuff, and the anxiety… How much should I be tracking? Should I try to lose weight/change my diet/exercise more now so I will have a better chance of conceiving? Will I ever feel normal? IS this normal? Could I BE pregnant even though it hasn’t been long since we pulled the goaiie?

    • Ashlah

      We’ve just started trying to conceive too, and it is so weird just…not knowing if you might be pregnant? I really hope this doesn’t take longer than a few months because I can definitely understand why it’s so hard on women after just a few weeks. Are these new things I’m feeling happening because I went of the Pill? Because I’m pregnant? Totally coincidental? We’re not really tracking anything at this point, but I can’t help but pay attention to certain things, and to Google everything. It’s ridiculous. I simultaneously hope I’m pregnant and hope it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think I realized just how strange the whole situation would feel.

      • anachronismsarah

        Right! YES! All of this!
        I’ve had to swear off googling already, just to get away from the horror stories that I find, or the things that make me feel like I SHOULD be tracking. or lose 10 lbs, or go spend $$$ on an ovulation thingy.

        I’m glad I’m not the only one!

        • Ashlah

          Ha, I’m convinced (and my search history can attest) there must be a way to tell you’re pregnant before implantation–even though that is literally not a pregnancy! It’s just bizarre having no idea what’s going on inside your body. I originally thought tracking anything would be an added stress, but I almost wonder if it’d make me feel better just having a little awareness of my body. Best of luck to you!

          • anachronismsarah

            YES! Best of luck to you too!

      • raccooncity

        It’s really emotional. FOR SURE.

      • privacymatters today

        Ummm, first kid first try. Second kid…still hasn’t happened after 2 years of trying. 3 early miscarriages. And take from me (or not), the symptoms midway after O are the same if you’re pregnant and if you’re not. With my first pregnancy, I’m pretty sure I “felt” implantation, but it’s tough to know, really. Don’t make yourself crazy. And tracking does help (especially for those of us with some variability).

    • I had all of those worries, especially around my weight as I’m a plus size woman. I wound up getting pregnant quickly and was totally unprepared for it to happen so fast, I was expecting it to take months given the experiences of friends.

      The one thing my doctor did suggest was to start a prenatal vitamin before I got pregnant, to help get those crucial nutrients like folic acid in my system before conception.

      • anachronismsarah

        Taking one now for the same reasons. Awesome hair is a lovely side effect I wasn’t anticipating!

    • What’s the stat — 5 or 6 months is the average for couples? We weren’t really trying, but kind of were, and it took us…not that long. I did take a prenatal beforehand, and I tried to eat healthy and be smart, but they also tell you not to start a new exercise regime when TTC. I wanted to not chart or any of that for the first couple months, because I didn’t want to feel like it was another thing to check off the list.

      My body without birth control (after 12 years on the pill) was…different. I was more emotional, but also I felt more creative and energetic most of the time. I was terrified that my period would be horrible (because that was the reason behind going on the pill in high school — super nasty cramps) but it wasn’t that bad.

      Oh, and I almost freaked out and cried in a panic when I got that first positive test. I knew I wanted a kid, I knew it was a good time for us to start trying, but it still freaked me out. ….eh, 32 weeks into this pregnancy thing, I’m still surprised we’re having a baby, so maybe it doesn’t go away?

      • Danielle

        Pregnant lady in first trimester here. It took us 6 tries, and we were using a sperm donor and being inseminated by a doctor (fun! Sexy! Not!!) so I was monitoring my cycle very closely because that stuff is $$$.

        I wish you gals the best of luck. Try to enjoy this time if you can. I know there’s a lot of unknowns, but it’s also a new and interesting adventure. I also hope you take care of yourselves no matter what happens and when.

        PS: in the times when I found out I wasn’t pregnant, I enjoyed all wine, tuna sushi, saunas, and other stuff you’re supposed to limit/avoid during pregnancy. That’s what I would suggest if you ever find out you’re not pregnant that month. It helped me handle the disappointment better ?

    • SBLiving89

      OMG yeah… we just started… not trying to not have a baby. and I have so many moments… like almost daily when I’m like, ‘am I pregnant?’ ‘I could be pregnant…’ ‘I’m probably not pregnant.’. Like yesterday I was suuuper tired, and I was like ‘pregnant?’ then this morning I had gained a few pounds, and my period is ‘theoretically’ next week, so then it’s like ‘well, not pregnant?’, but then I’ve had some lower abdominal cramps a few days ago but ‘pregnant?’.

      It’s not even so much that I want to be pregnant right now, more like I want to know so that I can not feel guilty every time I have a cider or drink a cup of coffee. I mean, I know that a small cup theoretically is not bad, and 1 drink probably won’t hurt anything especially at this stage, but I still feel guilty, like maybe I should cut these things out starting now? but what if it takes a long time?

      • anachronismsarah

        Yeah… I think I have subconsciously started cutting out/cutting back on booze- but it’ll take way more effort to cut out coffee/switch to decaf.

        • Violet

          There’s no need to cut out coffee when you’re pregnant! If you want details, Emily Oster’s “Expecting Better,” gives really nice synopses on what has actual research supporting pregnancy issues vs advice that is not backed by evidence.

          • anachronismsarah

            You might be my favorite person for telling me that… For serious. That’s the thing I was lest looking forward to. My husband and I were both baristas- coffee is a big part of our mornings and our lifestyle!

          • Violet

            Me too! I don’t drink very much alcohol, but good coffee is important to me, and it has a huge impact on my quality of life. So I was psyched to read up on how that guideline got started, and why we know better now. Cheers from one coffee lover to another!

      • Amy March

        Why? There is no research that supports cutting it out, so you’ll just be going into a stressful time needlessly depriving yourself of a small and comforting choice. Drink your coffee!

  • touchdownton abbey

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/88d8add2ea39417df39f18dbfa4dbcfce3961be1e196fb5085d3ddbc5ae033b7.jpg

    We got married a couple weeks ago! Thanks to all of you for your support! This community is a gem.

    • flashphase

      congrats!and also you have the best username :)

      • touchdownton abbey

        Thanks! It was a fantasy football name for the longest time for me haha.

    • idkmybffjill

      yayy!! Congrats!

      • touchdownton abbey

        Thanks!

    • Emily C

      So beautiful!! Congratulations!

      • touchdownton abbey

        Thank you!!!!

    • Totch

      Congrats! You’re both gorgeous.

      • touchdownton abbey

        thanks!

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      Totally gorgeous!

      • touchdownton abbey

        thank you so much!

    • Angela

      So lovely!!!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!! I love the picture!

  • Olive

    Thanks for the girl power last week after the advisor scuffle. I cried again telling my husband about it after work last Friday and he was super sweet and told me, “No more tears for that man.”

    I worked my butt off last weekend finishing the thing he wanted (and won’t read for another 2 weeks), and sent it to him on Tuesday morning with the most assertive e-mail I’ve ever written. Here’s the important part: “I realize it shouldn’t have taken me as long as it did to finish the draft of the introduction, and I’m sorry. Aside from that, I’m an introspective person and am aware of my inadequacies, though recently I haven’t been as focused on resolving them as I should be. I appreciate your feedback on the draft and will try to be quicker, more communicative, and less in my own head from this point on. That being said, I don’t think your comment on Friday about my relationship with my husband affecting my work has any place in a professional work environment or advising relationship, and I’d appreciate more productive comments in the future.”

    He did tell me he received it, but I’m convinced he only read the subject line. I think I’m over it at this point, the process of writing it and standing up for myself has been empowering enough to prove to myself I did the right thing and am prepared for whatever his response might be when he actually does read it.

    My best friend told me I was her hero, and I felt like my own hero for the first time in awhile. It helped that my Zoloft finally kicked in this week and I’m starting to feel like myself again. Huge exhale. Thanks for the support, everyone. I’m looking forward to a relaxing and creative weekend.

    • AGCourtney

      You’re MY hero, haha. I love that email! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

      • Olive

        THANKS :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend too.

    • anachronismsarah

      Point made in a classy and clear manner. Good for you!

      • Olive

        thanks :)

    • Kara E

      Spent any time at phdcomics.com? You should! And kudos for standing up for yourself!

      • Olive

        hah. yes! and the tumblr what should we call grad school.

  • Anonanonanonpleaaellse

    Happy Halloween weekend everyone!

    1. What did you all do for the “pronouncement ” part of the ceremony? We are not cool with being introduced as “Mr. and Mrs. HisFirst His Last.” I’m leaning towards keeping my name and so I’m not sure what to do. Suggestions please?

    2. Sorry for the novel, but I need advice on a sticky and painful friend situation. I have a close friend from childhood who pretty well fits the description of a “toxic” person. I don’t want to get too into the weeds and list all the small thoughtless things she does or says, especially re:wedding stuff, but their effect is to make me feel hurt, unsupported, and constantly on edge. While I know she’s not trying to do this, being around her makes me feel like s***t. Oh, and she’s also a bridesmaid and a roommate.

    She’s had a lot of stuff to deal with in the past few years, both personal trauma and chronic mental and physical health conditions (also maybe functional alcoholism? I’m not really sure?) plus the recent loss of some close relationships, so I know some of this comes from everything being a huge effort for her. I’ve never really brought up my feelings because I know she will say “Well I have (x condition), so I’m just like that,” and I’m pretty sure she won’t ever change or apologize. I also want to be sensitive to her limitations because of her health and not expect more than she can give.

    I’m getting married in January, after which I’m considering stepping way back from our friendship (in a way that doesn’t lead to a huge confrontation) and my relationship with her family, who make me feel the same way. Of course, I feel guilty for wanting to ditch my friend because her depression etc. turns her into a jerk (or is she maybe just like that? I’m not sure), especially because I’ve seen how much it hurt her when another close friend did the same thing. That’s probably pretty terrible of me of me to do.

    So is something else I can do or say that will suddenly make her a good reliable, trustworthy friend who I can share my feelings with? Or should I go with my gut feeling, which is that it’s a lost cause? Please advise.

    • Ashlah

      For #1, “For the first time as a married couple, [bride’s first and last] and [groom’s first and last]!” Or just first names, but announcing the full names will help people to know that they aren’t changing.

      • Not Sarah

        The last names being named too is a good idea! We just did first names because we had a < 10 person ceremony and no one for a moment thought I was changing my name. I would have done last names with a bigger ceremony though.

      • anachronismsarah

        We did just first names too!

      • Unhip in Brooklyn

        That’s what we did. Both the officiant and the DJ used it so the message was clear that our names will be the same.

        OP, for your friend situation– that’s rough. I wonder if you can present it in a double sided way: “I want to be friends because [xyz positive qualities] and because I never want you to feel abandoned. On the other hand, I feel hurt when you do [xyz negative thing].” You can also note in a neutral way if any negative talk has gotten worse over time, as a counterpoint to “that’s just how I am.”

        In any case, it’s going to be difficult. Good luck :(

      • Eenie

        “Ladies and Gentleman, it is my pleasure to present the newly married couple with the exact same names as before: First1 Last1 and First2 Last2!”

    • Not Sarah

      We did this for the pronouncement:
      “Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you HisFirst and HerFirst as husband and wife!”
      (We also had the officiant swap the ordering of our names each time they were presented together so that it wasn’t either of ours going first each time.

      I’m sorry about your friend :(

    • Amy March

      No, there is nothing you can say that will make her a good friend instantly. But I don’t think that meas the solution is just writing her off. You’ve literally never shared your feelings on any of this with her? Despite living with her and asking her to be a bridesmaid? And you’re just assuming you know how she will respond? That is on you. I think you owe it to yourself and to your relationship to not skip all of the intermediate “hey that’s mean” or “ouch that hurts my feelings” or “I’m sad you were so late to this appointment” conversations that should be happening on the way to just ditching her.

      • Nicole

        I agree it would be good to talk about with her and would add that your needs are just as valid as anyone else’s, and it’s possible that she will say “I’m just like that” and that then you’ll know, the relationship isn’t working for you as it is. Sometimes with friends who have strong boundaries or limitations they’re very clear about, I’ve made the mistake of trying to be so accommodating that I didn’t protect my own needs. It was important for me to realize that sometimes things just don’t work well, or someone can’t meet a need we have, so instead of being unhappy about that, we need to let the relationship grow or change, or let it go, and find others who can meet the needs our friends can’t.

      • idkmybffjill

        Plus one.
        I had a friend (also a bridesmaid) who got married 5 months before me, and was so toxic about alot of the things during her wedding planning that I had resigned myself that we just wouldn’t be friends anymore after her wedding. A month before her shower (which I planned and was a huge source of the drama…. so.many.frantic.emails.from.her) I had a sit down conversation with her that was planned (so we could each be prepared), and our friendship has never been better. I’ll be forever grateful to the friend who advised me not to put if off and call it a lost cause!

    • raccooncity

      We just did “and now as a married couple, (hisfirst) and (herfirst)!”

      It was pretty casual. But our feeling was that people know us so well as a couple – specifically as our first names together as a pair – that it was sort of nice to just have that be us.

      • AP

        This is pretty much what we did! Worked out great.

      • Mari

        We did this too! I don’t know how many people really paid attention to it, though, because the following day at a smaller gathering before everyone left, my husband and my last names came up in conversation with a few close family friends, and they were pretty shocked when I reiterated that I was keeping my name.

        ETA: We’ve also gotten mail from multiple people who were at the wedding addressed as “Mr. and Mrs. Hislast”. Sigh.

    • Olive

      We made up a fake last name that’s a combination of our names and loved it and used it everywhere at our wedding…even the pronouncement. We also hung up cute little disclaimers so people knew it wasn’t becoming our legal name and that we both like our names so we’ll be keeping them.

      Sorry about your friend. I have a similar relationship with my best friend from my teen years, but she lives across the country, not in the same home, so I feel like my coping mechanisms are different than your needs. I hope other bridesmaids/friends can step it up in the support department for you.

    • E.

      When my fiance officiated his sister’s wedding he used an idea I got from someone on here and said something like, “now introducing two people with the exact same names as before _____ and ______”

      • Eenie

        I used that too! I think it was Lisa who suggested it to me.

        • E.

          I swear all my good ideas come from Lisa

          • Eenie

            She must be doing such fun things today because I can’t tag her! Lol.

    • idkmybffjill

      1. I did take his last, but we did, “I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss.” and then our officiant/bff introduced us as Mr. & Mrs. His First & My First Our Last.

      2. I am so sorry, I have no advice, that’s a really tough situation and I’m sending good vibes!

    • Sara

      In regards to your friend – I had some friendship I stepped back from. I just stopped being the initiator of plans, and things kinda fell away on their own. We still see each other occasionally, and I can have a good conversation with them (I’m thinking of two women in particular). But a couple of surprising things happened – one friendship got better once I took away all the expectations I had for our friendship. We’re not as close as we used to be, but she’s still the girl I can call to do a paint and sip party or spend the day at the outlet mall. I’m just not as heavily involved with her petty drama, just the big stuff (like I helped her through a miscarriage but not when she was mad at a mutual friend). So perhaps once you move out and you have less contact naturally, things could even out a bit. On the flip side, my other friendship just kind of naturally melted away once I stopped trying so hard and I see her at group things but not really one on one. I think we’re both ok with it. It was surprisingly less painful than I thought it would be.

    • Jess

      Re #2) There is nothing you can say to make somebody change.

      It’s up to you if you want to slow fade away or tell her “Hey, the way you’re saying X, Y, or Z is pretty shitty. It doesn’t matter the cause, it’s still shitty and it either needs to stop or I can’t continue hanging out with you.” (see: the stepping on my foot analogy)

      Either way, it seems like it’s mostly just a decision of how you end the friendship.

    • Essssss

      We went with, “I now pronounce you married!”

    • SuzyNP

      ‘Suzy, you may now kiss your groom!’
      And on the second point, it’s nice that you are thinking about this now way in advance of the wedding. I had a childhood friend as a bridesmaid (she basically assumed she would be bridesmaid and so that was how it was decided) and as the wedding grew closer and she was more and more disagreeable with every decision, word and move I made, I realised that we had grown apart. Cue three days before the wedding, big fallout, lots of stress, sleepless nights. It was about 16 months ago now, and now we are cool, peaceful, but not close. Make sure you have your closest and most supportive on this big transition to marriedness, keep your people close. Go with your gut feeling. Also, you can support a struggling friend without asking them to be the one you lean on. If she does have depression and needs a good friend,you can still be that without having her as a bridesmaid. Best wishes!!

    • justme

      I don’t think we had a pronouncement at all? Or maybe something like let us all honor the newly married couple. It is okay to just leave out things that don’t fit. We actually knew we had found the perfect wedding planners when we said we just wanted to casually walk into our reception like we would walk into any party, and they said “yeah, we don’t typically do ‘Sunday, Sunday, Sunday’ DJ’s” (I’m now realizing this doesn’t translate well in text)

      • Danielle

        We didn’t plan a pronouncement. Our officiant just looked at us at the end of the ceremony and said something like, “Is there anything you’d like to say?” Or “do you want to announce yourselves?”

        Husband and I grabbed hands, looked at each other, and he said, “we did it!” Everyone cheered and it was great :)

  • Cellistec

    This time next week I’ll be on my way to Morocco! I’m going in a small group of women, led by one of my dear friends who just started her own tour company, with local female tour guides. Girl power + vacation = mega win. Catch you all in a couple weeks!

    • Amy March

      Ohhh what’s the name of the tour company? I want to do this.

      • Cellistec

        It’s Archaeoadventures, and they do tours to Morocco, Egypt, and a couple other places (pending). Check it out! My friend is one rad lady and I’m so proud of her.

        • Kat

          Okay i just spent an hour on her site. What an awesome company! Time to start saving up!

    • Danielle

      I love Morocco! The food, markets, hospitality and historical sites are just the best. Have a fabulous time!!!

  • sparagmos

    I’m a two-year lurker and a first-time poster (on this week’s registry article) and I wanted to drop into HH and say hi!

    Things I’m excited about this week: tomorrow I’m going to my first comic con! It’s the local one, and there are some pretty awesome celebrity guests coming, and my husband and I have a photo op scheduled with one of them, and I’m excited. The con will be our Halloween, basically, and we’re both dressing up. We found out this week that my husband has a talent for making excellent adjustable duct tape belts, so my Black Widow costume will be more legit than it previously was going to be. I’m so ready to have a full nerd day.

    • AGCourtney

      That sounds so fun! Have a great time.

    • Totch

      Welcome to the comments!!

    • Jess

      Adjustable Duct Tape Belts! This sounds wonderful!

    • Ebbers

      That sounds like so much fun! I hope you have a good time.

  • heyqueen

    So a few weeks ago I had this whole debaucle in which my testing center lost power 3/4 of the through my GRE, and I lost my exam. I was able to reschedule, and I retook it last week, and I did really well!

    In other news, Mr. heyqueeen totally surprised me and let me get a sneak peak and see/try on my engagement ring and my wedding band last night. I thought he wouldn’t be purchasing them until next year, so I was stunned. I’m so happy I decided to go with a plain solitaire engagement ring and a pave band. It was so lovely. The rings are so me. I picked them both out on James Allen a few months ago, and I’m so glad I went with them. Highly recommend! I will forever preach the gospel of places like JA/other reputable online jewelers/local jewelers as opposed to chain jewelers.

    I’m sad I had to give them back. They felt at home on my hand lol.

    • idkmybffjill

      ahhh love! I have the same (I think? I honestly don’t know what pave means. It’s a tiny band of diamonds haha). We’ve been married for almost two weeks and I LOVE having both on now. The way the sit too it’s not always apparent which band is the engagement ring and which is the wedding ring and I really like that!

      So so exciting to have confirmation in pre-engaged land, that can be a stinky time. Congratulations to you guys!

      • heyqueen

        Congrats on your wedding :). I spent a loooong time deciding on the minutia with both, and I love them paired together. I can’t wait until I can wear both together >_<

        • idkmybffjill

          It’s so fun! I wore just the band while we were on our honeymoon (which I was also really stoked to do), and when I put the engagement ring back on with it I was like WHOA AM I A BALLER? things to look forward to :).

    • raccooncity

      squeeeeeeee!!!! both for the rings and the great exam mark.

      • heyqueen

        Thanks!

    • Yay! I’m 8 months pregnant and my rings started getting tight, so I took them off this week. After nearly 6 years of the engagement ring (5 with the wedding band too), I have felt so strange all week. I might have to buy a cheap ring to wear, just so I don’t feel totally naked without them on.

    • Not Sarah

      Yay I’m glad you loved them!!! But sucky that you had to give them back. My engagement ring is pave too and I am so excited for it! My wedding band is plain 2mm white gold though.

      We picked out my engagement ring on James Allen and it should be here sometime next week! I love how much better the pricing was on James Allen versus retail and how there was no pushy sales pitch. (We got married before buying the engagement ring because life lol, so it will go on my hand as soon as it gets here and I CANNOT WAIT.)

  • Anon

    Good girls revolt is so good so far!

    • Amy March

      My evening plan is a blanket, wine, sushi, and Good Girls Revolt! Excited to hear that it is good.

      • idkmybffjill

        Oh my god that sounds like heaven.

      • Anon

        Soooo good, I did some day drinking under a blanket while I watched the first episode. Missing the days before a kid when I could dedicate the whole weekend to burning through them!

    • CP2011

      Hmm good to know. The name kind of turned me off. That said, crazy ex girlfriend has a not-great show name (though it’s one that they really explore in the show) and I’m so glad I started watching it.

      • toomanybooks

        I know! The name and commercials for Crazy Ex Girlfriend really turned me off but then when I watched it on Netflix I loooooooved it!

    • emilyg25

      So good! I watched the first two episodes last night. I need something to tide me over till The Crown starts on 11/4.

  • AP

    Is it weird that I’m thinking of leaving work early to go home and make a pumpkin roll? TGIF, y’all!!!

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      There is absolutely nothing weird about that. We would all rather be home making pumpkin roll right now.

    • Cellistec

      I had to look up what a pumpkin roll is, and now that’s on my must list for Halloweekend too!

    • Ashlah

      Do it do it do it

  • backyardbridemaybe

    Are backyard weddings as much work as all of the internet is telling me? My Fiance has a family beach house in Destin, Florida, that’s pretty big (lots of outdoor space, space inside for backup in case of rain, kitchen, three bathrooms, etc.) We only want to invite around 45 people (and less would likely show since it’s a destination wedding). Are rentals (tables/chairs/linens/glasswear), servers, and catering really going to add up to that much? I don’t really care about decor so would probably just buy some outdoor white lights on sale after Christmas, put down some LED candle lights, and call it a day. Everything I read online though about backyard weddings says it’s going to cost as much or more than just having at a venue! Help? Tips??

    • Amy March

      Yes. And also no. :) Rentals, servers, catering, and alcohol are the big expenses at any wedding, backyard or not. Keeping your guests comfortable and fed is just a big task. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be as much as a venue necessarily, especially with a small group, and you’ll have potentially more flexibility in catering, but I would be careful about assuming that because you don’t care about decor that will make it any easier, since decor is easy to cut in a venue too.

    • Eenie

      Not always. It depends on what your alternative venue is. If it’s renting a space and you still have to bring in all that stuff, then the house is cheaper (save the venue fee, similar costs elsewhere)! If it’s going with an all inclusive place, it may be less work (they already have all the “stuff”) but that’s what you pay them (more) for. Lot’s of people do backyard stuff! Do you have the book/have you looked at APW weddings? I think that gave us the best idea on budget.

    • Kara

      Don’t forget about enough parking!

      Venues come with parking lots (mostly). Even if you have say 30 people attend, can their vehicles fit on your future in-law’s street? Without getting ticketed or towed?

      And bathrooms….can the bathroom(s) available handle that many people?

    • Natalie

      In my region, venue rentals were $2-4K, not including tables, chairs, linens, etc. So no, your backyard wedding will not necessarily cost as much as having it at a venue. If I had had a house with yard big enough, I’d have saved $2500 by having my wedding at said house rather than renting a venue. Another added cost with venues is they often require you use certain vendors for food and/or alcohol, which often cost way more than if you had just provided your own bottles of wine and kegs of beer.

    • CP2011

      If it works to have everyone use the indoor bathrooms, then that’s a big win. I am not a happy wedding guest if I am presented with a portapotty.

    • Ashlah

      I think it can really go either way. Our wedding was in a park, so we had a small venue fee, but also had to bring (almost) everything in, but I still feel like we spent less than we would have at a “real” venue. It did have adequate parking, though, as one person below pointed out is a potential issue. Could you get some quotes for rentals in/around Destin? That’ll give you a good price point to compare with all-inclusive venues.

    • We had a backyard wedding, and my biggest regret is not having a day of coordinator at least. Mostly, because we ended up setting up a lot of the stuff with the help of friends, and I wish we could have just kicked back and drank mimosas all morning instead of setting up tables and chairs and such. I would have happily spent a little more to have someone else do all that tedious stuff.

      Bathrooms are a real kicker, we had portapotties (although, a lot of the venues I’ve been working at lately also use portapotties for the guests and only allow the wedding party to use the facilities inside. Barns do not have plumbing for 150 guests….), and luckily, my family’s place had plenty of space for parking.

    • emilyg25

      We saved a lot on our backyard wedding because we were able to bring in our own, much cheaper caterer (pig roast!) and do a DIY bar. We also skipped the big fancy tent and fortunately lucked out on weather. And my MIL let us use the bathrooms in the house (those nice toilet trailers are $$$). So it depends on how you do it.

    • E.

      I’m having a backyard wedding and rentals are super expensive, but for us it is a few thousand dollars cheaper than an all-inclusive venue. I would just call around to the rental companies near the house and ask. It’ll be a couple hours of work, but then you can get a solid comparison.

      Also, for us we decided we loved the backyard and wanted to find a way to do it regardless so think about if finances are the only reason you want to use the beach house- it sounds pretty wonderful and that can be worth the extra work and cost!

    • emmers

      If you go backyard, think about bathrooms, rain plan, and electricity/lighting (esp if at night), and parking. With just 45 people invited, that sounds small enough to possibly be doable. I love beaches/beach houses, so that part sounds awesome!

    • Alexandra

      45 people is just…a party. We’ve had parties with 45 people in our friends’ backyards lots of times (we live in a condo but we have several friends with nice big houses/backyards and we regularly invite lots of people for parties at their places…nice friends, huh?). For that number of people, no need porta potties or lots of rentals. Our rehearsal dinner was about 45 people, and we had it in a friend’s backyard. If I had it to do over again I might have rented a tent and some lighting, but it worked fine.

      I think with a small guest list, just think of it as a party. The logistics/expenses start getting crazy when it’s 60+ people.

      And for a nice small guest list like that, I might also seriously consider having the wedding/reception at a restaurant. No set up/tear down. We’re cheap (hence all the backyard parties) but we’re also lazy.

    • Kara E

      Not really true. Parties cost what they cost. I think our backyard reception for around 100 cost under 1k (including table/chair and small tent rental – we also borrowed some things from friends and neighbors). Because we used several small tents, it was much cheaper than a big one. My mom had tablecloths and canning jars for flowers (they were gorgeous) and we got a few more tablecloths at Target + some big drink dispensers. We had a buffet and my mom bought food at Costco and got meat and cheese platters from the nice grocery store (no alcohol) and we paid a friend to keep the food and punch/drink table stocked. My mom made at least 12 dozen dinner rolls too (total labor of love!). We did nice paper plates at the buffet (since most people will want a new plate each time) and my aunt has about a zillion place settings we borrowed (purchased from Costco or Sam’s club for my cousin’s rehearsal dinner, I believe). That said, I’ve hosted dinner parties for that many people before and it’s definitely doable. And if you want to bring in a full-fledged caterer – you can bring in anyone you want!

      *This was a post wedding reception for family and friends who couldn’t make it/we couldn’t invite.

  • Call Me Penny

    I posted last week that my husband and I were trying to figure out where to put down roots, and very unexpectedly over the weekend we arrived at a decision! Ultimately we realised we don’t see our future here in the U.K., and we’re going to make every effort to move back within the next two years. So many feelings, but mainly happiness, and a little shock. Trying not to think too much about relocating and what makes sense in the interim career-wise, but I’m sure that will kick in soon enough.

  • E.

    This has been a ROUGH week, but it’s starting to look up. This is my first year teaching pre-k and after finally getting an experienced aide in the classroom (initially they put me with a student teacher. it was the blind leading the blind and it was terrible) things were starting to settle down. My new aide was pregnant with her first child and over the weekend she went into labor and the baby died shortly after. The entire team is devastated for her and she’s been on my mind all week. I have no idea when she’s coming back. To make it worse, they gave me a different sub every day Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. My students were going nuts with the inconsistency, and I was going nuts with the super rude sub Tuesday who tried to basically give me a talking to in front of the class. Admin finally got the message Tuesday night when I asked yet again to have one consistent sub so I had the same sub the rest of the week (and thankfully not the rude one, they said she’s been like that to everyone and no one wants to have her in their room!). And today was records day so no kids and they let us work “where you’re most comfortable” so the weekend is off to an early start.

    • Ashlah

      Wow, that’s a lot. Your poor aide. Fingers crossed things start to look up.

    • Olive

      That’s heartbreaking.

      • E.

        She was so excited. She bought a new car. She was right on the edge of being viable, but it wasn’t enough. For most of the day I can’t even think about it because I burst into tears and you can’t really do that when you’re in charge of 20 4 year olds.

  • macrain

    My husband and I started with LearnVest this week, and I think you ladies would really dig it. We had an hourlong session over the phone with our financial planner, and we set some goals for ourselves (including college fund for our son, buying a house, emergency fund, etc). He gave us a weekly flex spending budget and encouraged us to take out that amount in cash, which we just started doing this week. It has definitely helped us in being more mindful about spending. He is also helping us get our ducks in a row in terms of life insurance, living wills, retirement, and the like. Could we have done this ourselves? Sure, but being able to consult an expert helps tremendously. And here on out, we can email to consult him at any time (I believe we get a few more phone sessions too.)
    Another big light bulb moment takeaway from looking hard at our finances is- we are certain we don’t want to stay in NYC for the long haul. Taking a look at the numbers and realizing it would be that much harder to save for the future that we want was pretty eye opening. We do love it here, but we are realizing it’s not worth it for us. So- we are going to relocate. We have both been here for over 10 years, so it’s weird! New York becomes a part of you after that long, and who even are we if we don’t live here…?
    Anyways! Just wanted to share for anyone who is in the mood for adulting but needs some help- LearnVest is awesome.

  • JenC

    I’m trying my hardest to stay motivated but I’m struggling. I’m in a job that I don’t value, that’s doesn’t challenge me, management processes piss me off and where I generally don’t fit in. The people are nice enough, they’re not toxic but I just don’t click with them and I can’t explain it any better than that. I’ve been looking for a new job for a while but the market is slow and I’m not sure exactly what I want to do. I’ve got two jobs to apply to this weekend but the downside is that with notice periods, application closing dates, estimated interview dates and prior work commitments I should probably try to delay starting a new job until March (assuming I get one of the positions). I have commitments in February and by the time I’ve worked my notice I think it would be unfair to leave knowing they won’t recruit someone in time for those events. I have no idea how to get myself motivated and keep myself motivated until then (and that’s assuming I’m successful, if not I’ll need to stay motivated longer), so I would welcome any tips to staying motivated.

    In other news I’ve decided I will be getting another tattoo. I got my first when I was uni 8 years ago and it’s in a really inconspicuous place. I’ve wanted a second for a while but couldn’t justify it as it wouldn’t mean I’d have to temporarily stop giving blood. I’m one of only a few people in my family that is able to give blood and my family has definitely received their fair share of transfusions. I’ve had this mentality that I needed to make at least the same number of donations that they’ve used since I’ve been born, plus put a few in the bank for myself should I need them. When my aunt died earlier this year, she needed a lot so I’m back in deficit but at the same time the tattoo I’m planning on getting will be in memory of her and I have found the perfect one. I’ve been really struggling with how to grieve for her, I’ve got a memorial necklace but I just can’t touch it but even the idea of the tattoo makes me feel more settled. I’ve only just given blood so I have another appointment for February so my plan is to get a tattoo after I’ve given blood in February, her birthday is around then too so I’m really thinking it will help.

    So considering we also put an offer in our first house this week and a really rough estimated completion date would be January to February and February will be our first wedding anniversary, early next year is looking to be a really exciting time and hopefully one where I start to feel a bit better in myself.

    • Amy March

      Tip One: nope. You owe them your contractual or legally obligated notice period and that is it. Not your problem, not your responsibility if there are commitments beyond that. Motivate yourself by doing all you can to get out if you want to leave.

    • emilyg25

      Yeah, their recruitment timeline is not your problem. Give them a longer notice if you’re inclined (like 4 weeks instead of 2) and try to wrap everything up so it’s easy to pass on, but that’s it.

  • Jess

    This week, I realized that while my make-up game is excellent, my clothes need some work. I mostly live in bootcut jeans, running shoes, and vee neck tees or khakis and polos. I do not really wear a lot of nicer clothes in part because my work environment is pretty functional dressing, and in part because I don’t feel like I’m pulling a look off.

    I hit Pintrest Celebrity Fashion and some fashion blogs with all my extra time, and realized that I own a lot of things I’m admiring (nice blazers! sleek skirts! cute basic sweaters!).

    So, today begins my attempt to embody more of the style I wish I had (which essentially classic preppy basics, primarily in black, grey, or tan). I bought some things on Banana Republic’s excellent sale (50% off!), and pinned a bunch of outfits I could realistically put together with what I own now.

    We’ll see how it goes!

    • Try out stitch fix! I am a skinny jeans and v-neck tees kind of girl, and it’s been a fun adventure to have them push me a little out of my comfort zone. I’d drop a referral link, but I’m not sure if that’s okay.

      Plus: you don’t have to leave the house to try stuff on, and it’s really nice to try it all on with stuff you already own – which has helped me decide what to keep or toss many times. I usually find 1-2 pieces in each “fix”, but I’m super picky…and I have a tiny closet.

      • Jess

        I did a couple fixes, and really struggled to get the right fit and/or style. Someone on APW let me know that you can link to Pintrest, which was kind of my start for doing this! Hopefully I can get a new one with better results.

        • I had to go through a couple stylists to find one that seemed to get me. I also had to really tweak my sizing info to get it right, since I guess I was in between sizes. It had a learning curve for me, but I’ve been pretty pleased lately.

      • Cellistec

        Gah, I may have to cave and try it…ALL my friends do Stitch Fix, and I love the looks they post from it, but I do wonder how they can spend that much on clothing every month. I’m afraid my meager “fun money” budget would be gone in a flash. (It also doesn’t help that my husband never buys clothing for himself, so it would feel doubly decadent if I bought new items every month. So I struggle to justify SF.)

        • I do it every 2-3 months, and my goal is always to find one or two pieces from the box that I want to keep. I couldn’t do it every month, my budget would cry. I also don’t ask for accessories or shoes – I am picky about my shoes and I can find cheaper scarves/necklaces on my own, thanks – so it’s just for a good piece or two to add to my closet. The only times I’ve kept more than one piece have been during my maternity boxes (maternity clothes are stupid expensive either way, and this way I didn’t have to leave my house), and the second time, my husband was all, “you NEED to keep that top too, because it’s amazing on you” even when I was debating it. And I get so many compliments on it. Husband has style!

          • Cellistec

            Wait wait wait. You don’t have to get a box every month?? This is a game-changer.

          • Oooh, just saw this. Yeah, you can schedule on demand. My last box was a bit of a bust, but I’m 8 months pregnant and getting super picky about what I’m splurging on at this point, and sadly the one piece I’d love to keep is the exact same color as a similar one I already own. :(

    • Not Sarah

      I swapped out the running shoes for flats and then added cardigans instead of hoodies and that classed things up quite a bit. Also some fun necklaces. From there I slowly went to dresses and now I’m combo dresses/jeans. I have an iPhone and I have been really loving the Stylebook app for keeping track of my closet: http://www.stylebookapp.com/ Also: I have been taking pictures of my outfits in the mirror to help see how I feel about them.

      • Jess

        Outfit pictures may help! I did a bunch of make-up pictures while I was gaining confidence in that, and I now I have digital proof that I look excellent in fucshia, coral, and red lipsticks.

        This may be what I need!

    • JC

      You’re inspiring me to up my game now. I just remembered the two bags of winter clothes that I stashed last spring, and when I opened them the other day, I found dresses I adore that I had forgotten about! (Which was the goal, because now they feel like new!) Next week shall start a new wardrobe chapter.

      • Jess

        Good luck to you! I’m feeling all inspired right now, we’ll see how my commitment goes in a few months!

    • idkmybffjill

      Capsule wardrobe! Capsule Wardrobe! Yessssss

      • Alyssa

        Yes! The blogs Into Mind and Un-Fancy were my godsends in this realm.

      • Jess

        I totally switch out between fall/winter and spring/summer right now. It’s great for feeling refreshed, but when I did it this fall I realized that I don’t wear about… 90% of what I own because I either don’t like it or it doesn’t fit right.

        So, I’m investing and refreshing! Luckily, the things I *do* like (tailored slacks, pencil skirts, crew neck sweaters, silky blouses) are classic and don’t go out of style.

    • Ashlah

      I feel you! I have to dress business casual at work (slacks, ugh), and I do not at all dress the way I want to. Improving my work wardrobe (because it’s what I spend most of my time in! It should make me feel good!) has been on the back burner for a long time, but you’re inspiring me to bring it back to the forefront. Just need to convince myself that I’ve stocked up my running wardrobe enough to re-orient my clothing budget!

      • Jess

        Join me in this adventure! I will be spending more money than I’d like, but hopefully will end up with great results!

    • Alyssa

      OOOH yay! I am into my clothes more than I’d care to admit on this site and am glad to find another classic preppy person out there! Check out the blog Into Mind for ways of incorporating new style elements into your pre-existing wardrobe as your closet evolves. I like the blog Un-Fancy too,but I think Into Mind is the best and has realistic resources for every wardrobe, regardless of your style. Have fun!

      • JC

        I had no idea Un-Fancy was still posting! This is excellent news.

        • Alyssa

          Yes! She came back! She doesn’t do capsules like she used to, but it’s still good!

      • Jess

        Ooooh thank you for the recommendations!

        I can be really picky about clothes, which is why I haven’t really bought anything in a while. I just haven’t liked most of the styles that are trendy.

        But now I’m going about it with a purpose and a plan, which makes me feel like I can totally do this!

        • Alyssa

          You can TOTALLY do this! One thing that Caroline did on the UnFancy blog is a 10×10 challenge, where you have only 10 items of clothing + shoes (total) for 10 days. I did it and it was HARD, but it gave me a good idea of what style I gravitate towards, and what styles I have that I think I SHOULD like, but don’t actually work in real life (which was really helpful and money-saving for me). Caroline has more details about it on the UnFancy blog so if you’re up for that kind of challenge, you should check it out!

      • I love the articles on Into Mind about defining your personal style and have really used her advice to think about my style over the past…hmm…four(?) years… So helpful!

      • Ooh, I just saw Into Mind has a book now! It’s going on my wish list. :)

    • lamarsh

      I use Le Tote and I love it. It’s a subscription clothing service and they send you 3 clothing items and 2 accessories in every box. When you’re done with the box you just send them back and they send you a new box. You get to pick what goes in your box each time, so it usually ends up being all things I like. Plus you always have a new thing to wear without the underlying concern that you are accumulating so.much.stuff. which is perfect if you live in an apartment with minimum storage space.

    • anachronismsarah

      I needed to read this! Having more days where I hang out in sweats/PJs all day because I work from home… And I’ve gained enough weight to need to buy jeans. But thinking about outfits that are snappy and fit my life right now is a much better way to do this whole thing!

  • Vanessa

    Tomorrow we’re going to see the last in-state venue on our list (and the spot that’s been at the top of our list since we started looking) and I am really nervous! If we don’t like this place we’re going to cut our list to 40 and go out of state, which would be cool in lots of ways but I’m really hoping we like the place tomorrow. I’ve been really surprised at how difficult it has been to find a place we like, and I’m just ready to settle on a date. Fingers crossed!

    • How did it go with the venue?

      • Vanessa

        OMG I have been so anxious for Friday happy hour to share this! We love love loved the venue and were totally ready to move forward…until we learned that we have to pay the full cost of all the lodging up front (as in, put down a 100% deposit) and just float that money until all of our guests pay for their lodging in about 9 months. We’re talking about lodging for 80 people for 3 nights, so it’s a substantial amount of money, and while we’re confident we’ll get it back, it will make it tricky to pay for other wedding expenses before the wedding. So we’re trying to work out a payment plan, fingers crossed that it works!!!! Hopefully I’ll have some happy news by Friday happy hour :) Thanks for asking!

        • Oh, I so happy you loved it! But that is a ton of money! Are you or have you sent out save the dates? If you decided to go with the venue, maybe you could ask people to start reserving/paying early? Or ask people you are close to, like family and close friends? And you could maybe even explain that you chose this place because you wanted to stay in state, etc., etc. And hopefully they will agree to a payment plan!

          And if you are putting down 100%, I guess the contract will provide for what happens if there is anything that comes up from their side that would cause problems (flood, fire, emergency whatever) and how you get your money back? Good luck!

  • lady brett

    whew, guys. my kids are going back to their parents tomorrow. after 2 months of no info from anyone, they gave us (all: us, the kids, and the kids’ parents) 36 hours’ notice. so, it’s going to be just us and a baby. and a probably selling our house (and like everything we own) and moving in with a friend. and so much time i won’t know what to do with. the longest we have ever had just one kid before is 5 days.

    also, my bro’s wedding was last weekend, which was great! also, without any actual drama, my lovely godmother was *furious* with my evangelical aunts who were there, because they didn’t come to my (gay) wedding. which was weirdly sweet.

    anyhow, off to have a hopefully lovely evening with the kids for the last time ever. here’s to not bursting into tears.

    • Laura C

      Good luck.

    • MC

      Oof, that’s so hard, and so many changes to happen in such a short period of time. Hope it goes well for you & the kids & their biological family.

    • Jess

      Good luck with all of these changes going on. I hope tonight is lovely.

    • AGCourtney

      Wow. Best of luck. <3

    • Cellistec

      Sending resilient thoughts to you and your kids. That sounds jarring, sad, and scary. I hope being back with their other parents turns out to be a positive development for them.

    • emmers

      Thinking of you. That is rough.

    • Kara E

      Oh. Heartbreaking. So hoping the kids’ parents have their act together and that the love you have given them stays with them.

  • Angela

    3 weeks today from our wedding. We moved last weekend, after I was sick the entire week prior and I am exhausted. We are onto the 3rd venue co-ordinator and the church changed adminstrators and neither seem to have particularly good handover processes which has essentially meant a lot of repeating myself. My sister still appears to be confused as to whose wedding it is (telling our Dad that he didn’t really need to come to the rehearsal, after I had had 3 frustrating conversations with him about how, yes it was important he be there). I am so looking forward to being married and on the honeymoon.

  • accidental_diva

    Has anyone done YNAB with Digit or any other auto savings service? I know YNAB will help me save but I really need that kind of money in a non-immediately accessible place (I get antsy just before payday and want to dump my savings into my checking – because its the same bank it transfer quickly) I know YNAB will help with the payday approaching but I haven’t figured out what they say about that kind of thing (I’m trying to save to get to Sydney before my brother & sister-in-law move back to the states – I use Digit for that kind of savings ~long term big purchase)

    • Just Me

      I haven’t used Digit but this should be pretty easy! There are two different ways you could set it up depending on how you want to set up the savings.

      Method 1: If you are ok having it in the same account (it sounds like you might not be) then you could just set up a category in YNAB and then move the money there and watch the balance in that category grow!

      Method 2: If you want it in a ‘non-immediately accessible place’ then I would still make a category for it in YNAB and “spend” that money whenever you transfer it to the ‘non-accessible account’. This is what I do with my investments. I have a category called “investment money” and I add money to that budget every month. Then, whenever I actually invest the money (as in, the money leaves my checking/savings account and is transferred into my investment brokerage) I just add a transaction in YNAB where I’ve now “spent” $100 from the investment category with the payee listed as “Brokerage Bank”. That way, YNAB knows I don’t have that money accessible anymore because I’ve already spent it! The slight downside to doing it this way is that I can’t look at YNAB to see the total $$ I have in my investment account. But, if I want to know I can just log into the brokerage account and look there.

      • Ashlah

        For a straight savings account, you could set it up in YNAB, either on or off budget, and make those transactions transfers instead of purchases. (A brokerage account won’t really work because of market fluctuations). I’ve got my savings accounts set as off budget accounts, and when I make my monthly transfer from checking to those savings accounts, I enter a transfer transaction in YNAB. The benefit to this (for me) is that I can see the totals within YNAB.

        It might be a little tedious with Digit because (if I’m understanding correctly) it transfers small amounts throughout the month. That just means that you’ll have extra transactions to enter in YNAB. But there’s no reason you can’t use both Digit and YNAB, @accidental_diva:disqus, if that’s what you think will help you save!

    • Cellistec

      We had a Betterment account for one of our savings sub-funds, with an auto transfer from our bank account every month. So the date of the transfer came, the money whooshed away to Betterment, and we couldn’t touch it without going to Betterment, filling out the form, waiting a week, etc. We did eventually use it to pay off a credit card, but until that point it was no touchy. Would that be enough of a barrier to keep you from getting antsy right before payday, or would you just be tempted to cancel the auto transfer?

    • When we combined our finances, we added the husband to my bank account and me to his. Then we used one for all our “everyday” checking and savings, and the other has always had a direct deposit from our paychecks that we used for big savings goals – buying our house, and now it’s our renovation account. It’s great, because I check it right after payday to make sure the money went through, and then don’t think about it, so sometimes I log in and I’m like WE HAVE MONEY!!! and then I get to buy a dishwasher, haha.

    • Kara E

      I don’t use YNAB (hasn’t worked for us), but can you designate more than one bank/account for your paycheck to go to? That’s what I did for ages (and for about seven years straight, I split any raise I got between retirement and my separate bank savings account). I also always kept my standard checking account with a cushion, just because if makes me feel safer. Good luck!

  • Another Meg

    Any pregnant people in Chicago?

    I’m just about 10 weeks (eek!) and I don’t know anyone else in the area who’s also having a baby. My only place of advice and solidarity right now is a sister who’s youngest kid is 7.

    I’d love to commiserate if anyone’s about!

    • emilyg25

      Congratulations!!

    • TeaforTwo

      Yay, congratulations!

      This might not help while you are pregnant, but I found that after my baby was born, he was like an other-baby magnet. My midwives set up a postpartum moms group, and I started hanging out at drop-ins and recognizing other moms from the neighbourhood…I found a real solidarity in public between parents of small kids that has made it easy to meet other parents.

      If you are planning to breastfeed, it might be worth seeking out a La Leche League meeting: they are very welcoming to pregnant women, can be great resources about breastfeeding and are a good way to meet other families with babies in the area. They may vary in helpfulness and vibe, but the group in my neighbourhood has been really wonderful.

    • Congrats! I swear, as soon as I announced my pregnancy, I started finding all kinds of other pregnant ladies. I’ve also had fun meeting a few ladies through my prenatal yoga class!

    • Not pregnant now, but I live in the far northern burbs (near 6 Flags) and have a six-month-old!

  • Jane

    I am getting pressure from my parents, FILs, and even FH to send out our save the dates already. I just don’t get it. Our wedding is still about 10 months away, pretty much all of our extended family members, and definitely everyone in the wedding party, knows the date and knows where it will be. And the city isn’t a “destination,” it’s where we both grew up. A lot of my extended family will be flying across the country – so I know they need to book flights, but most airlines won’t even let you book this far out AND they already know all the details they’d need. His extended family will be driving.

    The STDs are my responsibility because I decided I wanted to draw them, scan them in, and email the image to everyone. And I haven’t perfected my drawing yet. But also, I just don’t feel like sending them yet. My best stall move so far is that we should wait until everything is ready to go with our website, which FH is doing. We are doing electronic save the dates – so I want people to be able to click right through to it.

    I think they are all just really excited that it’s getting closer (we have been engaged for about 11 months) and it’s no longer way way too early to send these. I’m having a harder time figuring out why I’m resistant. Maybe feeling shy about using my own drawing (definitely not an artist-but see attached rough sketch, Mt. Rainier and Space Needle will be much better, plus info will be written on it and clock will point to wedding dates instead of October 12)? maybe I’m just still mulling over the guest list? There were some hard choices on that one. Maybe not ready to start having people judge our wedding choices? Anyone else experience a similar hesitation?https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b441e4d56b0cdcfe424825af32cc6ddc6837d798e71ae3ca97e4e0d6ae9a560.jpg

    • Jess

      I had a similar reaction to save-the-dates. And then to invitations. And to lots of other decisions.

      For me, every time we brought more people in (talking about our venue options with our families, sending save the dates, etc.), it got a bit more real. It felt like those moments were times when it went from something that just R and I were doing together to a Big Deal.

      I didn’t really figure that out until I was sobbing about how everything was different from what I wanted, and maybe I didn’t want a wedding. (Spoiler: We did have a wedding and it was wonderful, everything will be FINE)

      It’s ok to be a little hesitant to start bringing more people into this project, for whatever reasons you have.

      Also, that is a super cute save the date idea.

      • Jane

        Yeah – I’m sure there will be some sobbing at some point. I think I’m suffering from a little bit of so-many-people-have-opinions fatigue. But I’m also lucky because I’ve got so many people willing to help. And my FMIL is really excited about it all – which is fun. Way more fun than the reverse. So I can cope with a little, “isn’t it time to do this now” from her and everyone else.

        • Jess

          I know those All-The-Opinions feels. It’ll be just fine.

          Enjoy having people openly excited!

    • Amy March

      Send them, it’s time. You can absolutely book flights this far in advance. Or don’t send them at all. The whole point is to let people know about it early! Your sketch is lovely, it doesn’t matter if the website is perfect, just get them out, at least within the month.

      • Jane

        You think the time crunch is that real this early? Everything I’ve seen says 6-8 months. I was thinking 8 months would give everyone plenty of time (plus, like I said, most out-of-town invites already know the when and where).

        But yeah, it could be time to get over some of those nerves. And if the website’s not done I could always do one of those placeholder sites.

        • Amy March

          I think 8 months is fine, I just don’t see any reason to wait.

    • toomanybooks

      Every time I see my fiancée’s family, they put the pressure on for us to send out save the dates/invites! (Our wedding is now seven months away.) They keep acting like it’s crazy that we haven’t sent out save the dates. And I’m like, save the dates have practically just been invented and at this point if some people can’t come, who cares because catering is already too expensive and we’ve already reached our venue cap on guests.

      Then I asked my parents for family addresses for invitations and my mom replied with “it’s too early to send invitations.” Lol! (I have since procured ALL my side’s addresses, so I am very proud of that.)

      I don’t know why (some) family gets so obsessed about save the dates when you can just tell them the date – and have done so – but I guess they like to feel like things are progressing in a timely manner. Mostly, my tactic to avoid Other People’s Opinions is to talk as little and as vaguely as possible about the wedding.

  • Katharine Parker

    Last weekend my boyfriend and I looked at engagement rings (yay! I’m so excited about this), and I have now done a ton of research about diamonds and what I want and what matters in a diamond. It has been incredibly fun, but no one wants to talk about diamonds as much as I do–bf will listen, but he is mostly interested in what I want, not the relative importance of clarity vs. color in step cuts vs. brilliant cuts, or how to read an ASET image. Basically, if anyone wants to talk diamonds, I am here. I am also here for photos of engagement rings, should you care to share. (Where my pear cuts at? :)

    I was surprised to learn that lab created diamonds are not really any less expensive than mined diamonds. I had expected them to be, like, half the price of an equally graded mined diamond and all graded D-color, flawless clarity. But they’re basically equal in cost to mined diamonds and vary in color/clarity, because creating a diamond in a lab is hard and a lot of the expense of a diamond comes from cutting/polishing/certifying/marketing it. I have more to say about lab diamonds, but the cost was the big thing that surprised me.

    • Jane

      So – I’m definitely not your go-to person for talking about diamonds, but, if you want to read about someone gushing over diamonds, at least as much as you are, plus providing some advice about some diamond things, a friend of a friend of mine wrote this long blog post about engagement rings. You might enjoy it. http://griggguide.com/2016/08/the-ring/

      • Not Sarah

        I loved this guide! If only I’d read it before we bought mine…

        • Jane

          I will tell my friend to tell her! I felt kind of weird sharing it since I don’t know her that well, but I figured, she is literally writing a blog about this; she wants people to read it.

          I’m sure your ring is gorgeous!!

        • Katharine Parker

          I’ve been loving the Diamond Pro (diamonds.pro) for diamond advice. They do reviews of different jewelers, online and brick and mortar, that are fascinating if you have any interest in diamonds.

      • Katharine Parker

        Now I’m fascinated that your friend has upgraded her engagement ring twice, in what seems like a short period of time. I want a ring comparison!

        • Jane

          I know! I don’t know her well enough to ask (I’m friends with one of her bridesmaids). I think she changed the setting once and the stone once in the course of like a year.
          It was definitely a big-budget, over-the-top wedding. I would have loved to go.

    • Olive

      My ring is moissanite, a lab stone that is silicon (carbon’s cousin) and carbon instead of just carbon, like a diamond is. It looks identical to a diamond, has the same physical properties, and was much less expensive for the size/quality. A lot of people I know have said they just want a diamond because it’s kind of the social norm and that’s what’s been in their head since they were young, but I was more than happy to go this route, as price was a big factor for us.

      We purchased from Rosado’s Box, they have an etsy, normal website, and jewelry shop in Chicago. I’m a chemist who works with silicon, so I thought it was really cool. They also sell other stone types, and in general are pretty reasonably priced with good quality/service.

      • Katharine Parker

        That is cool about being a chemist working with silicon and having a silicon stone :)

        • Olive

          Thanks :) Major nerd alert.

  • Amanda

    Ever had one of those months that you just want to put behind you? I’m so looking forward to November first because October has been ROUGH. The best thing was when my cat died suddenly rather than wasting away from the thing that was supposed to kill him. My mom is very depressed about the cat and about the dog that she’s keeping alive with a much reduced quality of life and about her friends with cancer. My partner’s parents both went into the hospital for heart things, and his dad had heart surgery. Then a mentor/friend/colleague passed away. Yesterday and today were services for him. They were lovely and healing and packed with people, love, and music. And I’m sad, and happy he lived, and sad I hadn’t seen him in years, and happy so many people celebrated him, and happy we still have his compositions and recordings and lessons. And I’m happy I got to gather with wonderful people, but wish we’d think to do it outside of these events. And I’m exhausted. And I’m glad there’s love to hold us.

    • Jane

      Good luck for November. It’s gotta get better from there. And, now that you’ve gathered with those wonderful people, you can reach out about seeing them on happier / more casual occasions.

    • Cellistec

      Upvoted in support. November is so close! You can make it!

  • Alanna Cartier

    WEDDING IS TWO WEEKS AWAY. WE ARE AT HIGH ALERT. THERE ARE ONE MILLION THINGS TO DO AND I’M ALMOST DEFINITELY FORGETTING THINGS.

    • idkmybffjill

      You got this!!!
      Toward the end I kept running lists in the notes app on my phone – helpful to have on the go when it felt like we went to Target every day! And that way when something popped in my head I could just pop it on the list/easy to copy paste to anyone who was helping out.
      Best of luck in the final countdown!

  • Em

    Hello! I’m a long time lurker and lover of the site, only occasional poster – and new arrival to this whole wedding planning process. My fiance and I relocated to the UK from Australia about a month ago so I could attend grad school, and we got engaged shortly before we left Australia. We had originally thought we probably wouldn’t be financially in a position to get married until mid-2018, but due to a couple of things going our way, as well as hopefully being able to do what we want for less money than anticipated, we think we might be able to get married in July 2017 – I’d basically be finishing some stupidly stressful exams at the end of my degree, flying home and getting married maybe two weeks afterwards, before we hopefully then move overseas again (but that’s still up in the air – but it’s unlikely we’ll be moving back to Australia once I’m done here).

    I kind of think we’re crazy to try to plan a wedding remotely and on a relatively short tight frame while I’m studying a notoriously stressful degree – but I am hoping that by aiming for a comparatively relaxed, straight forward and casual wedding with not very many moving parts, we can avoid the crazy as much as possible. We had a Skype call this week with a restaurant we really love back home – it’s a Mexican-Turkish fusion place which is already beautifully decorated (think lots of bright colours, succulents, etc), has amazing and delicious food and an awesome bar, and has a minimum spend for a Saturday night at a price point which while still the most money we’ve ever spent on anything, would allow us to feed our guests until bursting + provide them with all sangria they can drink. Plus, they said they’d do a taco stand for us. So – wedding tacos! (To help visualise – this are the photos from the last wedding the venue hosted: http://www.thesaltyshutter.com/#/emmaandowen/)

    They’ve only hosted one wedding before, but said that they loved hosting it and are keen to do more. We’ve seen the photos from the wedding that they did host, and it all looks terrific (and happily I don’t think we’d have to do anything at all to the venue in terms of decorations, etc – everything is just how the venue is normally). There are only a couple of things that I’m even slightly unsure about:
    – the layout of the venue is such that if we had a sit down dinner, not everyone would be inside – half of the restaurant is inside and has a relatively traditional kind of configuration; the other half is an outdoor area with tables with awings/heaters (all of which can be moved around). Our idea (and this is what the previous wedding hosted there did) is to have the outdoor section largely cleared of tables and chairs, and to have roving waiters with passed canapes and drinks, plus a taco stand – and later in the night, a dance floor – with the inside section being an area with tables and chairs and more substantial food being placed on tables for people to help themselves and grab a seat when they want to take a break from drinking/dancing/mingling (and for people who might just want to chill out all evening). I’m conscious of catering to people who might be a bit surprised to attend a non-sit-down wedding (which is pretty standard in our communities) – I think our friends and immediate families will enjoy it, but the older guests (of whom there probably won’t be heaps?) might be a bit surprised.
    – with a non-traditional venue that hasn’t hosted many weddings, is it worth trying to find a wedding planner on the ground who can coordinate things? I don’t have a great relationship with my mother right now and she’s not necessarily organised, so she is not a great substitute, and while my FMIL is lovely, she isn’t based in our home city and is a bit more traditional than I am. And I’m conscious of not overburdening my bridesmaids…
    – is it worth trying to do the wedding ceremony itself somewhere other than the venue? I like the idea of doing a first look + family/bridal party photos earlier in the day, and then asking people to get to the venue at 4 or 5pm for the ceremony and then rolling straight into the reception/party – but the other option would be to do the ceremony somewhere else earlier in the day and have a more traditional wedding/ceremony split. But I think it would be simpler to do it at the venue (and fewer moving parts).

    I would love to hear about people’s experiences with restaurant weddings (good and bad!), as well as those of you who might have done something a bit different to your friends/families…

    • SuzyNP

      Hi! No advice, just a congratulations and best wishes! Mexican – Turkish fushion colourful with succulents restaurant sounds like a dream! :)

      • Em

        Thank you! The restaurant is lovely and their food is just amazing – lots of slow cooked meats, plus some awesome mezze style dips (hummus) and amazing vegetarian food. And also, the potential of a wedding cake made out of churros!!! What’s not to love?

    • Eenie

      OMG. Yes, this is all doable. We had a wedding with about 75 guests. It was in a restaurant that we did not decorate a smidge, and we did a cocktail style reception with a taco bar and passed appetizers!!!! More details below.

      I think you should hire a wedding coordinator. Planning from a distance is a pain, and neither of you are there. Family and friends are great, but I think this is one of those times where you will appreciate having a paid professional there to deal with sh*t. We had a very experienced owner of the restaurant (had done multiple weddings) and went without a separate coordinator because of that.

      For us, we had our getting ready stuff at 2pm in our hotel (walking distance to venue). We got ready together and had no bridal party. We did family portraits in the lobby from 2:30-3:00. We had sandwiches and water for afterwards and our families hung out for a little bit post photos. From 3-5 we did our portraits all around the city and this was our “buffer” time. The restaurant started serving drinks at 6 and our ceremony was at 6:15. We had the dance floor portion of the restaurant be the ceremony space with about 12 chairs put out. Everyone else stood behind that or found a seat further away. We had our appetizers and taco bar roll out immediately after. I cut to the front of the taco line and everyone was ok with it :) We had about 8 tables where one side was a booth, two big booths, and four high top tables. There seemed to be plenty of seating. The ceremony chairs were moved to the edge of the dance floor and those were popular seats as well.

      Overall, the wedding logistics worked perfectly for us. It kept everything simple and easy. We had quite a few people tell us it was one of the best weddings they’ve been to. They may just be saying that since it’s our wedding, but we had a blast, stayed two hours past when we thought, and could hardly walk the next morning because our legs were so tired. I’m so pro restaurant weddings. If you have any questions, let me know!

      • Em

        Oh, this is all very reassuring (and your wedding sounds awesome!) – thank you! Simple and easy is definitely what we’re after (and fun!) I think we will definitely go with a day of coordinator (because I don’t want to answer questions about anything on my wedding day!) but was umming and ahh-ing about getting one for the lead up time. But our restaurant owner is a little bit less experienced (and actually just getting a time organised to Skype took forever) so I think it would be good to have someone to organise things.

        The structure to your day sounds great and very similar to what I think we’ll end up with. And I was just tonight telling my fiance that I really wanted to do drinks on arrival pre-ceremony – because why not let your guests enjoy the ceremony with a drink in hand???

        I think we’ll end up with about 100 guests – and a little bit more seating than what you had, so that sounds about right, I’m hoping.

        • Eenie

          We invited 110. The room definitely would have held 110 which was the big deal. The pre ceremony drinks were a hit. We also skipped a receiving line because we didn’t hide before the ceremony and greeted guests as they got there. This seemed more natural to us, but some people thought they were late!! The taco bar was a hit, and we were really glad to have it. I’m sure you could find a day of coordinator that will include some vendor month of contact. If you don’t have a lot of moving parts, there’s not a whole lot to coordinate.

          I love love love restaurant weddings. We plan to eat there on our anniversary :)

    • StevenPortland

      Mexican-Turkish fusion restaurant?! Sounds great!! To keep it easy, have the ceremony at the restaurant as well. Hire a wedding coordinator — not because you have having an over-the-top with 300 guests, but because you live in another country and need to focus on your studies. I love weddings that have have a combination of indoor and outdoor areas. People will gravitate to where they feel most comfortable. Congrats!

    • Jane

      Just here to say YAY for taco weddings. We are planning that too!

    • Jessa

      I did not have a restaurant wedding, BUT we were planning from across the country and I would highly recommend having a wedding coordinator/planner. They will know their region/area well, and can suggest other vendors that are good. They may be able to get you a discount on other things because you’re working with them. Most of all though…I had guests saying to me, “You’re so relaxed!” in a surprising tone, because I’m usually SO type A, and I think that was only possible because I was able to hand over to someone else on the day of the wedding.

      • Em

        Hahahaha. I am totally that person too! I just don’t want to have to answer any questions on my wedding day, about anything (other than what flavour of taco I want next, perhaps, or whether I want sangria or champagne, etc). So a coordinator definitely sounds like the way to go! I also want to try to minimise the number of vendors so to cut down on the number of moving parts…

    • toomanybooks

      I haven’t had a restaurant wedding, but wanted to recommend the Bridechilla podcast if you haven’t heard it – wedding planning podcast hosted by an Australian woman who relocated to London!

  • Ebbers

    Alright so this is pretty late for a happy hour but my timezone means that it goes up in the early hours of the morning. I’ve only posted once or twice ages ago so I doubt anyone remembers me BUT I have happy news and need to share it.

    I finished my undergraduate degree! I know this is an accomplishment most people make but the last two years (OUT OF FIVE!) have been a struggle and I finally crossed the finish line! My mum bought a gorgeous graduation bear which looks a lot like my SO and I love it. I won’t be doing any study for at least a year or two but I think I’ve got a chance of getting into post-graduate positions. I’ve seen so many of you ladies talk about great achievements with Masters or PHDs and I am so proud of you all kicking academia’s butt.

    • Congratulations! Finishing your degree is quite an accomplishment :-)

      • Ebbers

        Ahh it’s Jubilance! Thank you!

    • AnneM

      I have the same problem, time-zone wise! But I’m still up, so high-five and congratulations!!! *throws confetti*

      • Ebbers

        High-five back atcha! Seems there are quite a few of us still on so maybe this isn’t the worst time?

    • E.

      Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment!

    • Eenie

      Yes! As a six-yearer over here, I know the feeling :) So much congratulations!

      • Ebbers

        Oh god six years! D: Are you still studying? If you are I am sending you all of my left over motivation, if you finished, congratulations!!! Thank you!

        • Eenie

          DONE! All done :) Not all of it was full time, but six years is six years.

          • Ebbers

            I’m of the opinion that any time is sucky, whether it’s part time or full time or a mix of. I find I can’t leave study at uni, it’s been on my brain for as long as I’ve been a student, whether I’m working, winding down, sleeping, out “having fun” with my friends…
            Anyway, that’s so great! Congratulations! How did it feel once you realised it was over?

    • SuzyNP

      Brava!!

      • Ebbers

        Thank you Suz!

    • Olive

      Congratulations!!

      • Ebbers

        Thank you! :)

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!

      • Ebbers

        Thank you!

    • Her Lindsayship

      Hey congrats!!! All in all I spent five years in undergrad too, but spread out over eight years because I took a break. It was so satisfying to get done with it, and you know what? It’s a serious accomplishment. Good job!

      • Ebbers

        You are so awesome. I think if I’d taken a break I would have never completed it. It takes serious work and courage to do that. Thanks, here is hoping it leads to a job!

    • emilyg25

      Actually, only 30% of Americans over 25 have a bachelor’s degree. You’re awesome! Own your achievement.

      • Ebbers

        Really? That’s a very interesting statistic! I wonder if there are similar things for other countries too. I feel very flattered right now. Thank you! :D

    • Cdn icecube

      Congratulations! I’m in my last semester of my undergrad which has taken me FOREVER (8 years on and off) to complete so I promise you, there are people out there who GET IT. Good for you!!! I hope you’ve planned a special evening/weekend/week/month to celebrate finishing this accomplishment! A lot of people fail to realize how hard it is to finish something like this when the majority of your friends have finished already, or are pursuing a different career path. So the fact that you have finished is extremely amazing. :D

      • Ebbers

        Thank you! I haven’t planned anything at all to celebrate! D: I’m dead broke. I have taken up a very casual admin assistant job with a family friend. I’ll maybe take a weekend day to go somewhere pretty and relaxing.

        Oh wait, I did plan something – wisdom teeth removal! Haha, I’m sure that’s not what you have in mind though, right?

        Congratulations finishing this year too! It’s going to feel good knowing you did it and it’s over. Have you got any celebration plans? I may have to borrow ideas, hah.

  • Lindsay

    Wish I had this issue back when we did the holiday open thread!
    I’m a nurse and always have to work some part of the holidays. Luckily, both sets of our families are within doable driving distance, so I’ve always been able to join for all or some part of the festivities. This year, I work until 7p on Christmas Eve and have Christmas Day off. We already knew we would spend it with my husbands family, who are an hour away. Sounded great! I’d drive there after I got out of work on Christmas Eve.
    Well today my MIL drops the bomb that she’s discussed with BIL and SIL, and we’re all going to go down to DC for a long weekend to be with SIL’s parents. “Lindsay, you can just take a flight down when you get out of work on Christmas Eve!”
    Wonderful! No input from husband or me. No consideration of the fact that would be a trip for only 24 hrs for me. Not a single flight exists late enough on Christmas Eve night for me to make it to the airport after work. Haven’t been able to discuss this with my husband yet as he’s been busy on a work project all day so no idea what will actually become of this.
    Sigh… in-laws and holidays make me so ragey.

    • Jane

      Wow! Rough. Hope your husband stands up for the two of you. If you guys can’t get them all to change their plans, would he do Christmas with you instead? And you could maybe drive together to your parents’ house?

      • Lindsay

        At this point, that would be my preferred plan! I feel bad since I told my in-laws we’d spend the holiday with them but changing the location like that (requiring a flight!) is pretty drastic. Like I said, haven’t been able to talk to him about it so we’ll see what sort of plan we can come up with. If I’m able to get the Monday after Christmas off, it makes DC a little more doable… except for the lack of late night Eve flights…

        • Jane

          You didn’t tell your in-laws you were on board to take a trip to go visit your SILs in-laws – they’re definitely the ones who aren’t respecting tour group plan, not you. Or maybe SIL and BIL and SIL’s in-laws can come to your in-laws’. Or does SIL have a big family that will all be in DC?

          Also, if you can make it work, it could be really fun to go to DC and do something different. My grandmother is not doing well so I changed my thanksgiving plans to go visit her (just last week, so OMG ticket prices were crazy) but now I’m suuuper excited to be getting out of town and seeing all my cousins and stuff. My original Thanksgiving plans were going to be nice, and easier, but much less of a real break from work.

          Plus, not that you’re in it for the credit, but it’s always nice to score a few brownie points with your in-laws.

        • Amy March

          Ummm no don’t feel bad at all. These people completely changed the plan without even asking you. Nope. No late night Christmas Eve flights. No way no how.

        • emilyg25

          Uh, I would not feel bad at all about saying, “Hope you have fun but we won’t make it!” It’s crazy to just assume you’ll be okay with a big change like that.

        • Jess

          Do. Not. Feel. Bad. This is an absurd request.

    • AGCourtney

      I read this twice and all I’ve got is: …wtf?

      I hope you and your husband get everything worked out.

    • Cellistec

      Whaaaaat. Ugh, so sorry you had the holiday plans rug pulled out from under you like that. If it were me, I’d be all “you guys have fun in DC and Husband and I will have a quiet Christmas at home.” But if being with your in-laws is really important I can see why you’d try to make the trip work. Still, I’m ragey on your behalf!

      • I was thinking the same thing: “well, unless you’re paying for my plane ticket, husband and I will be spending the holidays my family/alone.”

  • Managed to get some more sleep this week, and I feel much more human. Hit 32 weeks/8 months pregnant and am starting to feel like it’s really going to happen…and yeah, I’m freaking out about everything I need to get done in the next 8-ish weeks.

    My husband has been working crazy overtime the past week, and the pup was driving me bonkers today. I seriously didn’t get more done than a few APW comments between going the rounds with him, so I begged the husband to come home an hour early….so the puppy settled down right away. Figures. I wanted a dog, but he’s totally my husband’s dog, haha.

  • longtimereaderfuturebride

    I’ve been in the pre-engaged phase of my 8 year relationship for over 3 years and have been a reading of APW for all of that time. Tonight, I finally get to know the pre off the engaged. Looking forward to digging into the site more with some practical

  • mssolo

    I’m preparing to propose to my boyfriend. I was excited about it at first, but some of that’s worn off now. He’s not fussed about a wedding, and I never used to be. And now I sort of go through phases? For a long time the idea of a wedding freaked me out, but now we’ve bought a house together and my sister got married this summer both the permanence and the pageantry have lost their scariness. I have anxiety, and I find (certain) wedding blogs really soothing (it’s good to be reminded that you don’t have to follow certain steps or be a certain person to deserve happiness; you don’t need to fill a certain quote of heartbreak first to deserve happiness). When my anxiety was really bad last month I even emailed a venue about availability, which I fessed up to him about and we had quite an interesting conversation about how if we were getting married he wouldn’t want to get left out of decisions like that.

    Neither of us come from families that place a lot of value on being married, and he’s not keen on doing it just for the legal benefits because that’s unromantic. We’re planning to start trying for kids next year, and I hate the idea of a wedding turning into a sort of consolation prize if it turns out we can’t. Like, oh well, we’d rather have had a birth to celebrate with the family, but I guess we can have a party for just the two of us…

    He doesn’t know I’m planning to propose, but I’ve been finding a lot of excuses to talk about weddings recently (even managed to measure his ring finger with medium subtlety!), and my parade slightly got rained on when he said it was something he’d do if it was what I really wanted, but he really doesn’t care about it himself. I mean, I knew that was how he felt, but I guess I was hoping some of my wedding crazy was rubbing off on him and the idea might start to excite him too.

    The ring is due to arrive later this week, so hopefully that’ll excite me again. And hopefully being proposed to will excite him! We’re having a little romantic holiday at the end of this month, so I’ll do it then, but I’m trying not to overplan so I don’t freak out if the weather etc gets in the way of one of my plans (or I do it one way, then the perfect situation comes up and I wish I’d done it then instead).

    • Ashlah

      You’ll probably get more responses if you re-post this during the next Happy Hour on Friday! :)

      I’m usually a pretty firm believer in making sure your partner wants to marry you before you propose. Proposing without ensuring you’re on the same page can be a recipe for awkwardness, at the very least. This case is interesting because it sounds like he would marry you, but just isn’t super motivated about marriage itself. If he’s truly open to marriage if you want it (and not in a begrudging way), then I could totally see your surprising him with a proposal as a super sweet romantic gesture saying, “Yep! I want this with you! Let’s do it!”

      If he seems at all anti-marriage, then I think a discussion beforehand is a very good idea. It might ruin the surprise factor (though the how and when can still be a surprise), but then you would be more certain about how he will react. At the very least, you could discuss what kind of weddings you each might want, if the idea of a wedding is part of his reluctance. If you’re already certain that he’ll be happy, then I hope you can get your excitement back! We had a fight the day my husband bought my engagement ring, which probably put a bit of a damper on his experience, but the proposal was still wonderful and exciting, and our marriage is pretty stinking great. If you do get engaged, and do decide together to have a wedding, sit down early on and figure out what kind of wedding will make you both happy. As you’ve learned on APW, a wedding can be anything you want it to be! Best of luck!

      • mssolo

        Timezones mean I’m hardly ever here for the actual happy hour, and I guess I just don’t internet much at weekends. And I appreciate your response so much more for being the only one (and I’m so much more likely to reply to!).

        We’ve been talking about marriage and weddings and babies and so on for years now. He wants a reasonably traditional wedding, with speeches and cake and a first dance and friends we only see at other weddings. I didn’t initially, but I’ve come round to that because having a structure helps make people comfortable (and means the boring bits aren’t my fault, they’re the WIC’s!). I really think his only resistance to marriage is because he can’t see how it would be different to what we have now, and if we did it to appease his parents / make things easier legally / because parties are fun it would feel like we were appropriating marriage as an institution. As my sister put it, though, it’s about celebrating your relationship. Sure, it’s got fringe benefits (and drawbacks – sure, it’ll be nice not having the wedding conversation with his mum literally every time we see her, but it’s really going to increase the frequency of the baby conversation!), but it’s about telling other people that the relationship is worth celebrating, and it doesn’t make what came before less valid, and it doesn’t make what’s coming after less romantic.

        I worry sometimes that he puts what I want over his own wants too often, but I’ve accepted that some of that is my own gendered expectations about women having to make sacrifices, and the rest is that is he genuinely doesn’t care about some things I expect him to (including what’s for dinner) and doesn’t understand why i upset him by forcing him to make a decision that could upset me. Which is going to make the bits of wedding planning that neither of us care about a slog, but I’m sure both his mum and mine will have opinions enough to share!