APW Happy Hour


Tragedy hour pt. 2

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

different colored sand

Hey APW,

How are you guys? As Maddie mentioned last week, we were out of the country when the election happened, and after a trip to Morocco with two tiny kids, I’m just now back in the States. I’m jet-lagged, facing the reality of You-Know-Who, and feeling extremely disoriented to say the least.

It’s hard to tell if I’m behind everyone else in processing my feelings (though God knows I processed my way through Lisbon and Marrakesh with tears and cold sweats and late night horror reading of the news). But I find myself cycling through feelings so rapidly I feel like I’m a washing machine. I’m horrified. I’m livid. I’m wondering if maybe all of this is some weird joke. I’m sure things will be fine. I know nothing will be fine. I’m afraid for my Jewish kids. I feel silly for being afraid for my Jewish kids. I’m terrified for our DACA childcare workers. I’m full of rage at People Magazine. I’m sure there is nothing productive to do. I’m making lists of productive things to do. I want out of the US. I’m determined to fight the good fight. I’m crying. I’m laughing. Everything I’m feeling is wrong. Never mind, I should just feel my feelings. TL;DR: My head is an impossible place right now.

We here at APW are dedicated to fighting the good fight with all of you. But Jesus I’d like a vacation from my brain right now. I wish I had something simpler and more helpful to say today, but I don’t. Instead, I’ll encourage you to use your open thread today for all the community support you need.

And y’all, Morocco is excellent. Chaotic, but great. Look for honeymoon tips coming up soon.

xo

Meg

Link Round-Up

Republicans will not stop Bannon when he comes for you too.

Wouldn’t it be great if a spreadsheet existed just to help people call their reps? Oh, one does.

Lookie: This is a list of all companies who do business with Trump. (Just in case you feel like boycotting.)

We have 100 days to save the republic.

China says: LOL, FOOL. We didn’t cause climate change, you did.

In non-political news, this video game doubles as dementia research.

Meg Keene

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

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  • CMT

    Do any of you have any New Year rituals? I’m thinking Out With The Old, In With The New kinds of things. This has been such a shit year on so many levels, I really want to do something to mark the end of it and to kind of clear the slate in my mind. And related, I’m starting to feel somewhat better after the terribleness of last week, but I’m still grappling with thoughts about how humanity as a whole is not good, and we’re fucking up our planet beyond repair, and just a general lack of any hope that things get better. I hope I don’t feel this way forever. I’d like some optimism to come back :(

    • If you’re in warm(er) place can you ring in the new year in nature? Maybe a camping trip? or an awesome hike? Or renting a cabin with some friends on airbnb?

    • Amy March

      I like to make a positive resolution- I focus on things I want to do more of because I love doing them. Past ones have been: learn to appreciate Guinness; eat more oysters; watch more French films; go to the ballet more often; buy more hardcover books, etc. I really like it because instead of focusing on all the things that feel like a failure in my life (resolving to date more, to gym more, to save more), it’s thinking about all the good parts of life and how to have even more of them.

    • In Black families it’s very common to start the new year eating blackeyed peas for luck, and collard greens for financial prosperity. I also try to end the year by thoroughly cleaning the house and then using sage to cleanse & bring in new energy. Oh and I made a new vision board on New Years Day this year, and so far already 1 thing has happened – having a baby.

      • anachronismsarah

        I make black-eyed peas and collards on new years too!

    • JC

      My friends have an old Scottish tradition that you want a tall man to be the first person through your front door on New Year’s Day, so they send the husband outside to ring in the new year and then walk through the door at 12:01.
      Also my great-grandma believed that the way your house looked on January 1st is how it would look all year, so she’d clean furiously on New Year’s Eve. Some deep cleaning does sound really therapeutic right now!

      • CMT

        Yeah, a deep cleaning of everything sounds very cathartic right now.

        • Cellistec

          I just had a mental image of getting a bunch of friends together and going on a cleaning tour of each others’ houses/apartments–a traveling cleaning party! Great way to make the work go faster, and use up all that holiday booze. ;) Now if only I can talk some people into it….

    • Jane

      My family always does a polar bear plunge at a local lake (along with now hundreds of other people and official lifeguards and such) – maybe not an option if you live somewhere that’s actually freezing.
      Every year I get there and think, this is a terrible idea. Why am I doing this? I hate everyone. It’ll be so cold. And then I’m always glad I did it. Plus, it’s good for hangovers.

      • CMT

        Ha, I did that once in high school (I grew up and now live again in Southeast Alaska). It was so damn cold that I swore I would never do it again. But I might this year.

    • gonzalesbeach

      our friends usually throw a festivus party where everyone throws several ‘bad things this year that you don’t want to carry into next year’ on paper and after feats of strength games (thumb wars, plank challenges, limbo pole etc) you read one from the bowl.
      Another friend does tarot every nye. and another friend does a similar purge last year’s bad stuff by writing & burning it. partner and I have a different ritual for just us that involves writing good things/memories/things to remember from the whole year (during the year) into a jar and we read them together around New Years and remember the positive or challenges and then make plans or dreams for the coming year.

      • Alyssa

        ALL of those sound amazing!

    • My German husband swears by eating Sauerkraut on New Year’s Day, along with a marzipan pig. I don’t know why, but the pig is supposed to be lucky. Some areas do it on New Year’s Eve, but his family has always done it on New Year’s Day.

      In college, I loved coming home from whatever party I was at and taking a hot shower. It was a way for me to wash off the past year and start clean in the new year (I’d also put new sheets on my bed before going out). I stopped doing it in the last few years, but I might have to try starting that up again.

      ETA: One of my favorite things to do in recent years has been to join the Apartment Therapy “January Cure” where you clean through your house a bit. It gives me a chance to feel like I’m starting the year off on good footing!

      • Eenie

        My husband does black eyed peas and collard greens – it’s a southern thing.

        • CMT

          The food traditions sound great. I think I should do all of them.

      • gonzalesbeach

        I signed up for January cure and the only one I did on their schedule was buy flowers for myself. still a win.

        • Buying flowers is my favorite task. It’s one I have tried to continue year-round!

      • Sarah

        pork sauerkraut and mashed potatoes is a PA Dutch (i.e. German) thing on New Year’s Day.

      • StevenPortland

        I’d forgotten about that Cure series. I should consider doing that this January!

      • anachronismsarah

        LOVED the January Cure last year. Buying myself plants was such a good thing for my mood and a bonus for our house!

    • Eenie

      My mom adopted the tradition of getting out pots and pans and banging on the with spoons as you run from the back door to the front door to get rid of the previous year and usher in the new one. I can attest that it is a very fun tradition.

    • K

      I’m not sure if it’s an Italian thing, but in my Italian family, we were supposed to eat salami and sit on our wallets so we’d have money in the New Year.

      • toomanybooks

        In my Greek family, we’d eat this delicious sweet bread that would have a coin baked into it, and if you got the coin you’d have good luck for the year.

    • Alyssa

      Just wanted to say I love reading this thread (thank you for bringing it up!) My birthday is January 1, and I always try to reflect and pick a theme for what I’d like the next year to be like; last year I was the only one of my friends who stayed up til midnight, and I went down to the ocean lookout by my house and took time to center and think about what I wanted for this year. But after reading all these fantastic ideas, I feel inspired to do something different!

      I had a former coworker who would write down good and bad stuff from the year, take a trip to the ocean, and let it all go. I’m not down with deliberately littering in the ocean, but I could maybe use my bonfire pit instead…

      • I do this on my birthday as well, even though its in July. I’m not really a New Years resolution person, instead I like to reflect on my previous year of life & visualize what I want the next year to be.

        • Alyssa

          Yes! It’s sort of a “two birds with one stone” thing for me just because of the timing, but I think that it’s a great way to round out a year of life and welcome in a new one.

    • Arie

      my husband is from the south and so we have black eyed peas and collard greens for luck in the next year on Dec 31/Jan 1.

    • Arie

      oh AND we also celebrate winter solstice (a tradition in my family) by having a fire, writing down things we’re leaving behind in the dark, and burning those things. It will be a big fire this year.

      • Lawyerette510

        I love winter solstice celebrations. Such a wonderful moment for reflecting.

    • Lawyerette510

      I like to take time on December 31 to think about all the things I want to let go of from the past year and I usually write them down, then a write a separate list of the things I want for the next year. Just after midnight I like to burn the let go of list and the accomplish list from the previous year, because even if some of the things from the previous year made it on to the new year’s list, I still need to let go of the previous year.

    • anachronismsarah

      We have an open house. I make a big pot of collards and salsa with black-eyed peas. We surround ourselves with awesome people and have a clean house to boot!

    • I like to do a sage smudging for when I need a fresh start… I started it a couple of years ago and do it periodically.

    • We tend to do secular Christmas on New Years Day – get everyone over for a massive lunch (usually a leftovers pie), board games and a tv show/film (BBC has been obliging with new episodes of Sherlock). It’s going to be different this year because we don’t live in walking distance of our friends any more, but we’ll probably be crashing at one of their houses for NYE so we might end up doing something similar there.

  • Jessica

    This week continued to be awful. I have talked myself to exhaustion about my issues, my husband’s issues, and the potential wreck that is our marriage. I have finally, after 3 days, gotten my brain to shut up with worst-case-scenario possibilities and plans by thinking about redecorating my bedroom.

    Please share any design sites you like. I’m partial to Apartment Therapy.

    • This week was worse for me than last week. This whole transition is a giant yard sale. Just a disorganized mess. I have my first appt with a therapist tomorrow, and I’m really looking forward to that.

      Regarding decorating sites, Emily Henderson is one of my favorites. She does great round-ups at different budgets https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/

      • Jessica

        I’m getting therapist referals today from a volunteer. I’m looking forward to an objective voice of reason.

        Emily Henderson is giving me life.

    • gonzalesbeach

      sorry to hear it’s such a hard week on the Homefront. one other blog that has an ok archive is young house love. also websites for print mags like western living can be fun to browse

    • lamarsh

      Design*Sponge is my favorite. I heart Grace Bonney and her wife Julia Turshen so much.

    • Katherine

      I like blog.jennasuedesign.com. She mostly does major renovations, but her home decor is really lovely as well.

    • Jess

      I find A Beautiful Mess to be a lot of fun. Their style leans in a whimsical direction that is totally different from mine, but for some reason I get a kick out of what they choose to do.

    • anachronismsarah

      Check out the archives on Young House Love too!

  • Lisa

    It didn’t seem appropriate to post this last week, but I’ve been itching to pick the hive’s mind on this topic for the past month so I hope no one will mind me bringing up a non-election topic:

    AP and I had a discussion in a finance post about a month ago about financial independence (FI)/early retirement. Anyone else out there working towards this goal? If so, what tools or blogs are you using or reading? I’ve read a good chunk of Mr. Money Mustache, Frugalwoods, and JL Collins’s blog and book The Simple Path to Wealth. I’ve also watched some old episodes of Mike & Lauren’s videos. I’m curious to know whether there are any other FI-interested people on APW!

    • Alexandra

      Weren’t you the one who recommended Frugalwoods to me? If so, thanks! I love that blog! Husband and I aren’t interested in early retirement per say, but we do love financial independence so that we can pursue our goals for giving and volunteering more radically. Husband got really into asset allocation over the past few months and read The Four Pillars of Investing and a couple of other books as well. We made some shifts in our retirement accounts recently as a result.

      Other than that, I don’t have any recommendations that you don’t already know about…wish I did! Well, other than Freedom of Simplicity by Richard Foster, which is my favorite book about frugality. But it has a Christian (Quaker) worldview so it might not appeal to everyone.

      • anachronismsarah

        The Quaker concept of cumber and constant search for simplicity is sooooo amazing to me!! I am going to have to read that!

    • FIRE

      I think I saw your post. I was please to see another MMM person on APW. The other website I use is http://www.madfientist.com/, but only the graph–I don’t really read the articles of listen to the podcasts. I entered in data going back to my first investment (which wasn’t all that long ago) And Mint.com which works great for me. I’ll check out some of those links.

      My partner and I have a huge income disparity so he’ll reach FI well before I do unless I get a much better paying job.

      • Lisa

        To track our finances, we use YNAB, which works really for us. I saw madfientist on Mike & Lauren and have a couple of articles bookmarked to read.

        Currently I’m making most of the money in our household, and it’s not very much honestly. My husband gets a stipend for his doctoral program, but it’s basically just enough to cover our rent for the year. He makes some money teaching lessons and gigging on the side, but that’s variable. I’ve realized that we’re saving 40-45% of our lower middle class income already, and I imagine we’ll be able to increase our savings rate once he graduates in May.

    • AP

      I got to thinking after that comment thread you mentioned that I’ve become so annoyed at the *very* male, privileged tone of a lot of financial independence resources. So I went looking for some female voices. I found a new podcast a few weeks ago called HerMoney with Jean Chatzky. Loving it. Also the Afford Anything podcast. This blog: emmalincoln.com.

      • Lisa

        Thank you for sharing! I’ve never done blogging, but I’m seriously considering trying to put something together. One of my good friends just looked at me blankly when I mentioned my Roth IRA because she didn’t know what it was, and all I could think was, “We need to teach people/women how to invest in themselves.” Apparently, even though she and her husband have really good jobs, they have nothing saved for retirement, which I found shocking!

        • AP

          YES to women teaching women about finance. Start that blog!!! You’ve got a built in audience right here:)

          • ART

            I will read it! I am a personal finance nerd. I do all my budgeting/tracking in Google Calendar and Google Sheets.

          • JSK

            Yup, would read.

        • AGCourtney

          I would read it!

        • Eenie

          I would read it!!

        • LadyMe

          I would read it!

        • Kalë

          Would read! I’m still pretty young and working on my financial literacy, but would love a women-centric, non patronizing resource like this!

        • AmandaBee

          Do it, I would read it! I really liked the idea of MMM and other FI blogs, but I couldn’t get over the pretty obvious white male privilege vibe. Would love to read one written by a woman.

        • NolaJael

          Yep. When my sister turned 30 my “gift” to her was to help her start saving for retirement (she works entirely gig work in NYC, so she needed a couple years to get on her feet). I wrote emails explaining all kinds of various financial lingo, suggested sites and apps, etc. 11 months later, she finally set up her first IRA. Super proud!

          • Lisa

            My baby sister is in her first job out of college and is making more money than she knows what to do with right now. (What a problem to have!) I told her to bring home all of her financial documents, and we’re going to set up her first IRA over Thanksgiving!

        • Lawyerette510

          Would read!

      • Not Sarah

        I mostly read personal finance blogs written by women: halfbanked.com moneyaftergraduation.com jessicamoorhouse.com mixedupmoney.com fierymillennials.com my-alternate-life.com I don’t like the attitudes men have about it.

        I’ve also enjoyed these podcasts: Budgets and Cents, Martinis and Your Money, and Mo’ Money. The last one is especially great with interviews!

        • Lisa

          I listened to an episode of Mo’ Money where Alison Greene was a guest. I should really add that to my regular podcast rotation!

          Frugalwoods is also primarily a woman-written blog. (The husband does a couple of guest posts on occasion, but they’re pretty rare.) Making Sense of Cents is also written by a woman, but that one mostly focuses on affiliate marketing and passive income, which isn’t where I am right now.

        • AP

          Ooh, thanks for these!

    • raccooncity

      OK, so this is a little more macro-level than what you’re looking for, but I think it’s a super important read if you’re focusing your life on financial independence: Pound Foolish by Helaine Olen is a great analysis of how focus on financial independence has affected society and how people have profited from it. Great social/finance read.

      • lamarsh

        I am seriously loving her podcast series on Slate Plus right now called the United States of Debt. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the debt crisis (credit cards, student loans, medical debt, etc.). I definitely will check out her book!

        • Eenie

          I love this series!!

        • raccooncity

          Oooh -I didn’t know about the podcast! Going to get into that now for sure.

          Also: the book is a few years old at this point but I think the concepts will stand the test of time.

        • anachronismsarah

          OOOH! I bet this is a good companion to the series NPR did on poverty.
          I’ve been trying to think more wholistically about finances and how financial stability/the lack thereof impacts overall well-being and decision-making.

      • I’m reading it right now!

    • JSK

      I toyed with the idea for a bit a few years ago when I was really down on my job. And by “toyed with the idea” I mean read every single word on MMM and the forums and made a bunch of spreadsheets. Then I got a new job and got pregnant and…suffice to say, we are well off course now for the RE part. I still love the overarching concepts from MMM (strive for FI, spending aligned to values; spend money on quality and experience vs stuff, etc), but I’m not sure I’ll retire terribly early.

      Thanks for the other resources! will check them out.

    • Caitlyn

      I’ve been working for years to clean up my credit and improve my finances. This week I paid off my first student loan. With everything else going on it’s been a bit less exciting than I expected, but I’m still pretty damn proud of myself!! WAHOO!

      • AGCourtney

        Congrats!!! That’s awesome.

        • Caitlyn

          Thank you!

      • Not Sarah

        Congrats!!!

      • Lisa

        Congratulations!! That is such an accomplishment!

        I’ve been putting away money each month while my husband’s loans are deferred for grad school, and it’s looking like we’ll have them paid off before he graduates. I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter of our lives completely debt free!

    • JC

      Wooo new blogs and podcasts! Thanks for starting this thread! Also, PLEASE write your blog!!

    • Rebekah

      Husband just got super into this. He used White Coat Investor, Bogleheads, and Mr Money Mustache. We’re doing full Roth and 401k contributions and paying down his loans, upping our life insurance (and adding disability for him) and are planning to get umbrella policy next year when we renew our car/renter’s insurance.

    • AP

      I just came across this blog and I’m SUPER into it: https://ournextlife.com

  • JC

    This has been a shit week from top to bottom, but I’m in awe of how much brilliant art I get to admire in the coming weeks and months. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Moana. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The new Hamilton Mixtape (which, OMG, if you haven’t bought the preorder yet, you MUST MUST MUST). Arrival. The new Wrinkle in Time. The Edge of Seventeen. I’m waiting to binge Queen Sugar one of these days when I “happen” to be sick. I even went to art class on Wednesday and painted humans who looked like humans. I’m trying to keep my heart full of beautiful insights by great minds.

    • Lisa

      I can’t wait for Thanksgiving next week because my sisters and I are planning on a triple feature of Fantastic Beasts, Moana, and The Legends of the Hidden Temple. I’m sure Gilmore Girls will get thrown in there, too! I’ve been re-watching some old episodes to get ready.

      • JC

        Oh my gosh, that is an overwhelming amount of good things! Perfect for Thanksgiving!

    • Sara

      My college roommate and I are planning a Gilmore Girls sleepover for the release, and I CANNOT wait. She’s the one that got me hooked on it, and I’m excited that it came out over thanksgiving so we could watch it together. (she lives near my extended family in another state)

      • JC

        Jealous of your GG sleepover! I’ll be watching by myself, but I’ll be in a cabin in my favorite place in the whole world, so I’m gonna be just fine :)

        • Sara

          If I couldn’t watch it with her, that would be my ideal scenario :)

    • Cellistec

      I just listened to a few tracks from the Hamilton Mixtape on Spotify and my jaw pretty much DROPPED. The Kelly Clarkson cover of It’s Quiet Uptown, y’all.

      • JC

        All the tears.

    • accidental_diva

      Sean Gunn is doing a Gilmore Girls FULL SERIES Marathon on Up network starting this weekend (and into next week) – along with Kevin & Demi from the Gilmore Guys Podcast.

      • Jane

        I read that as Tim Gunn at first – and was so excited to hear his thoughts on GG fashion – because they wear some truly terrible clothes.
        But Sean Gunn will be great too.

        • JC

          Sean Gunn and Tim Gunn. Now nothing will ever be as good as imagining them together.

        • Caitlyn

          Adding to the misunderstanding, I read your comment that the Tim Gunn GG fashion review was a real thing and I was SO excited. Damn it. :)

    • Jess

      We’ll be a little later, but I’ve got a girls night for Gilmore Girls and I am so looking forward to it.

  • joanna b.n.

    So perfectly said, Meg. Emotions and brain are mostly useless this week. And active. And unpredictable. The only blessing is that just when I think I’m the only one feeling this way, I find yet another person struggling through just like I am. So, we’re all in it together?

    • Meg Keene

      I hope so.

  • So a couple of weeks ago I discovered Call the Midwife on Netflix and I’ve been obsessed – does anyone else watch or has watched it? Beyond the stories of the women, I find the midwifery portion so fascinating! I’m tickled to see midwives from the 1950s doing the same things my midwife does now, and I really liked seeing the introduction of nitrous oxide as well. It’s also so jarring to see pregnant women smoking!

    • Amy March

      Omg yes of course. It’s such a wonderful wonderful show, and the books are also excellent (read them after you’ve watched seasons 1-3 though- they have more information and stories but will spoil episodes of the show as well).

      • Lisa

        Thank you for reminding me that I keep meaning to read the books! I’m trying to make myself feel better by picking books that lift me up a bit instead of depress me during this time. (When the library didn’t have my first choice last weekend, I picked up the second Outlander novel, which is the perfect amount of escapism right now.)

        • Amy March

          Oufff yeah they are not really books that are going to be uplifiting I don’t think. Pretty bleak, very depressing in parts, quite challenging.

          • Lisa

            Really? Each episode I feel like moves me to tears, but there seems to be so much hope and people helping one another. That’s what I like about the show; even in awful situations, communities can come together and support one another.

          • Amy March

            Yeah I found the books had a much less saccharine tone- that’s still there, but I came away from them feeling gutted at the abject poverty and misery.

        • Kaitlyn

          Me too! I just started re-reading Harry Potter. I know it gets dark, but I haven’t read the first few books since I was a kid (and it’s so funny how they truly are kid’s books compared to the later books). I’m enjoying reading about all the fun parts like Diagon Alley and the Houses, and all the good stuff that makes me want to go to Hogwarts.

          • Katy

            I’ve been rereading Harry Potter too. Also listening to Sam’s ‘the stories that really mattered’ speech from Lord of the Rings in an attempt to be brave about what’s coming.

          • Call Me Penny

            I started re-reading HP this summer on my commute to switch my brain off from wedding planning overdrive. On to book 6 now post wedding and I’m still loving them. So fun to read as an adult as well!

          • Kaitlyn

            I’m just on Chamber of Secrets, but it’s making me so happy haha Especially with Fantastic Beasts coming out, I’ve just been super pumped haha

          • Kat

            I am in a constant state of reading HP! It’s the book version of comfort food to me. The day after the election I worked all day with the audio book on in one ear to drown out my co-workers talking about how thrilled they were with the outcome. And I’ve asked for the illustrated version of Chamber of Secrets for Christmas because I’ve decided I want to collect them, half for my own enjoyment but mostly to read to any future kids/nieces/nephews I might acquire

        • Her Lindsayship

          LOL my book club just decided to read Strangers in Their Own Land this month… Not exactly uplifting! D: But I’m game.

      • Ooh I forgot about the books! I will definitely pick those up, I’d love to read more stories about these women.

    • Ashlah

      I haven’t, but I’d really like to! Thanks for the reminder!

      • It’s so good, you’ll be hooked immediately.

    • Lisa

      Call the Midwife is one of my favorites! How far are you? Also, NO is a great option for pain relief during labor still. One of my friends is due in December, and we geeked out over the fact that her hospital provides it as an option still.

      • I just started Season 3! I’m heartbroken for Nurse Lee & also for Sister Bernadette/Sheila.

        So MN hospitals just got NOx about a year ago and I’m so excited that the hospital where I’m delivering has it! I’m really excited to have this extra option for pain relief.

        • Lisa

          Ah, so good! I should re-watch the whole thing at some point. Just wait…things always turn around. :)

          That’s very exciting that NO is an option! It’s only starting to come back in the US so I know there are many hospitals that still don’t have it.

        • Mary Jo TC

          I hope you love NO as much as I did! I seriously wish I could use it recreationally. I could have used it a lot this week.

          • Katherine

            Seconding this. I may be the only person I know who actively enjoys dental treatments, and it’s all due to NO.

          • I’ve had it for dental appointments and it worked well, so I’m crossing my fingers that it will have a similar effect when I’m in labor. I remembered you sharing about NO so I was super excited when I found out I could use it.

          • It’s massive recreationally in the UK at the mo; you see the little canister all over the place, especially at music festivals. The government recently added it to the banned list because of the concern over its use, since a lot of people assumed that since it was used medically recreational use was harmless.

      • Eh

        NO is an good option but it does not work for everyone (just like other forms of pain relief). NO was my only option (precipitous labour) and it did not work for me.

        I have heard that more hospitals in the US are offering. It’s a pretty common option in Canada.

    • CMT
    • Alexandra

      Um this is my favorite show in the whole entire world.

    • Sarah

      Wonderful show, I watched it before I got pregnant. I used a midwife-staffed birth center and asked them to use that horn thing to listen to baby’s heartbeat. They used a Doppler. Funny enough, my Anglophile husband got me into the show.

    • StevenPortland

      My secret obsession lately has been binge watching “Offspring” on Netflix, which is about a birthing unit in an Australian hospital. Much more like ER than Call the Midwife, but was good entertainment. Now I’ll be back to watching more of Call the Midwife. (And coincidentally, I’m leaving the office in 5 minutes for lunch with my friend who is a midwife.)

      • S

        As an Australian this thrills me! I always assume nobody cares about whatever we make or do over our side of the pond. :) Also a friend of mine is a second-rung character on that show.

    • Alexis

      I watched the whole series with my mom :) And now she likes to call me Nurse Lastname like the old days. I secretly love it and pretend I’m Jenny Lee.

    • Another Meg

      Binge watching as we speak. I’m pregnant and this is beyond comforting to watch.

      • YES! I think I wouldn’t appreciate it the way I do if I wasn’t 34wks pregnant.

    • Jess

      I want to watch this so much! It is in my Netflix list. I’m glad it’s great.

    • rg223

      Oh my gosh, you are so much braver than me! I watched the first episode while pregnant and was like “Nope, not doing this anymore.” I should pick it up again!

      • Danielle

        YES. I really like the show, but started watching it while TTC, and am now pregnant. The labor and delivery scenes (while I’m sure are not even close to reality) are pretty intense for me to watch right now. In one episode I think there was a still-birth and… I just can’t.

        LOVE the characters and all the women and seeing different/poorer neighborhoods of London, something that’s not often showed in TV in decent ways.

    • raccooncity

      Do you ever watch One Born Every Minute? It’s a reality show about current-day UK midwives. It’s also pretty cool to watch. I’m Canadian, but our midwives function very differently than those in the UK and the birthing space is also quite different. It’s a cool show and some of them are available on YouTube.

      Also: get ready for so much heartbreak when they (call the midwife) address Thalidomide. They did a really good job of showing how absolutely brutal HG is on some pregnant women.

      • Ooh I’ve never head of that one, going to add it to my list!

      • Aubry

        The tears from that were real. Apparently my sister is learning about this from a chemistry perspective and it is fascinating. Same chemical combination, but a different arrangement of the molecule causes the defects. Another arrangement and no defect.

        I completely lost it at the end of that season where there was the accident and memory thing (trying not to give it away!). Lost it.

    • EF

      call the midwife is basically the best ad for the NHS there is. (i’m american, live in london, and looooove the national health!) it’s such a great reminder that it wasn’t that long ago that there just weren’t options if you wanted healthcare.

      i super recommend the books too. it’s really interesting to read about when birth control is introduced, in one of the books (was only a thing last season in the show) and how the pregnancy rate, like, evaporated. what choice can do for you!

      the other thing is — i’m super into the cultural history of *places*. so when there was an episode that talked about the workhouse in england, and then i read about it in the book, i ended up reading a ton about workhouses. and discovered that it actually is a thing that people were effing terrified of being sent to — but that when they were ended, hospitals took over either the building or the land, and to this day like half the hospitals in the country are on old workhouse land.
      and there is still a problem getting older working class people to go to the hospital because they know the stories of the buildings or the place from their parents or grandparents, horrible stories, and they don’t want to be a part of it.
      so this is yet another reason why it’s not good to have the privileged classes deciding policy. wouldn’t have occured to them it would take generations for the poor to be able to enter through old workhouse-now-hospital doors. and that it would cost lives in the meantime.

      • Amy March

        I was also really struck by the part in the workhouses.

      • anachronismsarah

        I love the first book but didn’t know there was a whole trilogy…

      • Oh, I have to pimp the books too. My gran grew up in that part of London (though she joined the WAAFs during the war and was an army wife by the 50s) so the physical and social landscape is fascinating to me.

    • anachronismsarah

      I LOOOOOVE Call the Midwife!!
      It’s been one of my favorites for a couple years- it was a companion while wedding planning/crafting.

    • Meg Keene

      It’s so great!!!!!!

      • Meg Keene

        I also watched it pregnant, which was maybe not the wisest, but prepped me for my rough birth.

    • Aubry

      I LOVE this show! I’ve watched all that there is available and it’s amazing. I love learning about the time, and the medicine available. I google something after every episode almost! And I love the stands they make about social issues in the show. Showing how wrong it was to have homosexuality be illegal, for example. Maybe more important than ever in these times!

  • Eh

    My daughter had a big week – she had her 15 month appointment (which included the chicken pox shot) and she’s officially moved from the infant room at daycare to the toddler room. She didn’t like her shots too much and afterwards walked up to the nurse and gave the “talk to the hand” gesture to her. There have been a few cases of chicken pox where we live and two family members have had shingles recently and she has a risk of getting very sick if she gets Chicken Pox (or measles, etc.) so I am happy that she will soon be protected from chicken pox.

    In the not normalizing the Trump presidency thread I talked about not being able to sit by while my inlaws make bigoted comments. My FIL has been known to say things like “[Muslims] plan on blowing us all up”. I don’t want my daughter to hear things like that, and when I picked her up at daycare yesterday I realized how important it is that she not hear things like that – one of her daycare teachers in the toddler room is Muslim. It’s vital that my daughter feel safe at daycare so it is imperative that she not think that one of her teachers is going to hurt her.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Thank you for getting your child vaccinated. Yay herd immunity and lower public health care costs

      • Eh

        I am a huge fan of vaccines and have two degrees in health research so I totally understand the importance of them. I also have personal experience with the failure of herd immunity. I had a reaction to a vaccine (whole cell pertussis) and could not get a booster for it. Vaccination rates for pertussis were so low where I lived that it didn’t meet the level required for herd immunity and I got it in grade three over Christmas. I remember how horrible it was.

        My daughter has febrile seizures so if she gets one of these diseases it is very likely that she will have a seizure. So in addition to protecting her (and others) from the diseases it protects her from seizures.

  • MayJune

    Our engagement photo session was over a month ago and haven’t received the pics yet. What was your turnaround time for engagement photos? Trying to practice patience here…

    • Ashlah

      Usually your photographer’s contract states a timeline. Does yours? Ours stated 4 weeks, though we actually got them a little quicker than that (which I don’t think is very typical). There’s nothing wrong with politely reaching out to check on their progress and ask for a timeline.

    • Lisa

      Did your photographer give you an indication of a timeline? Ours told us four weeks, I think, and we got them around that same time frame. If it’s been longer than what she initially told you, you should definitely feel comfortable reaching out to ask for an estimated date of completion.

    • Eenie

      Our contract said 4-6 weeks. We got them in two with a sneak peak the next day (we had told her we just needed ONE really good picture to use on the invite).

    • Jess

      Our was about 2 months, but she had notified us that with the high volume of things she was shooting it would be a little longer than her typical 4-6 weeks.

    • I hope your contract stated a timeline…

      But around a month is pretty typical.

    • EF

      definitely check if you have a contract. we didn’t have a contract for the engagement pics, just used a photography student, and it was about six weeks (and this time of year)

  • Sara

    I have decided to bury my rage-y energy in Holiday planning. Normally I’m very anti-Christmas before Thanksgiving, but this year I need the cheer. Already have most of my list knocked off gift wise, just sent out invites to two separate holiday events, planning the holiday party for my community theater and trying to pin down my bff for our annual cookie baking and 12 Dates of Christmas viewing (a terrible terrible ABC family movie that makes us laugh a lot).

    Other than that, just really looking forward to Thanksgiving and kinda mentally checked out for the holiday weekend already (sorry boss).

    • CMT

      I’ve turned my Christmas lights on and started listening to Christmas music a few weeks ago. It makes me happy, damn it, so why should I wait?

    • Katherine

      Same here. Our initial decorations are up, I’ll be going to pick up more, and I plan to bake Xmas cookies until our freezer can’t hold any more.

    • anachronismsarah

      Maybe THAT’s what’s propelled me into the holiday frenzy I am currently feeling! I’m making all kinds of decor-y things… a quilt top is almost done, garland for outdoors is purchased, and garland for indoors is in progress. Shopping is farther along than I have ever been at this point… But not the music yet. I’m too much a fan of advent and fall colors.

  • flashphase

    I’m struggling on the wedding front right now. I vacillate between “people need something to celebrate” and “this is pointless and frivolous.” Doesn’t help that it feels like we are hitting roadblocks everywhere we turn (I want to use my phone call time calling my reps, not on the phone with the stationer for an hour every day because they messed up the order). If I think too much about anything, I want to cry.

    • Lawyerette510

      Your love and commitment is worthy of celebration even in times where there is big important work to be done, like now. And it may be that you decide certain things that maybe previously were worth your time (like fighting with the stationer) are not and you change your vision for what your wedding looks like, but publicly making the commitment of marriage and being loved and supported by your community while you do that is neither pointless or frivolous.

      • flashphase

        This is beautiful, thank you.

        • Lawyerette510

          Hit me up on Disqus anytime you need it reiterated. :)

    • Cellistec

      It’s been said before, but when it comes to wedding planning, you can certainly keep what’s important to you and jettison everything else. People will understand, if they notice at all.

    • savannnah

      I also had a gut reaction of how can I possibly get married now or have a kid now? But my Dad reminded me that his grandma gave birth to 3 Jewish kids in Germany from 1934-1940 and I feel much better/worse but determined to live.

    • Jess

      Love and celebrations are never pointless and frivolous. Those are what get us through everything else.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I mostly want to second @Lawyerette510:disqus but also just offer solidarity. Since the election, we haven’t done much for wedding planning, but there’s a slight bitterness whenever I think about it. I think this will wear off. And in the meantime, it’s ok to shift priorities! Best of luck.

  • MC

    My nephew was born this morning – my first biological nephew/niece ever! I’ve seen some pics and he is pretty cute & looks like a tiny sleepy alien. He’s out of state but we already have plans to visit in 2 months which I am really excited about. I have no desire to be a mom myself but am thrilled about being an Aunt.

    I will admit, given current political / societal turmoil, I did have a surprising internal reaction when I learned this morning that they had a boy (sex was a surprise to everyone) and thinking about helping to raise a white male. I had been thinking it’d be a girl* and I kind of panicked for a minute about it. Not my proudest moment, but all the more reason to recommit to being Super Feminist Anti-Oppression Aunt

    * Just wanted to acknowledge that baby may have a different gender identity later in life & it’s all just speculation at this point – ah, gender binary!

    • I’m due next month, also with a surprise gender/sex baby. I freaked out for a bit right after the election, but then I realized, it’s a chance for me to raise a kid who believes in equality and changing the world. And maybe having a white, male, child who is a feminist is one of the best changes I can make in this world, if that’s what happens.

      Solidarity.

    • Eenie

      I’m the aunt to six nephews (two are biologically related). It is the best. Two months old is such a great time to meet them for the first time too :) I plan on gifting so many books written by women and featuring strong female main characters!

    • Olive

      I just met my new niece after two months! It was really hard to not be able to get there sooner, but it really is a good time to meet babies. She’s just starting to smile, but is still a sleepy, cuddly little ball of joy :)

      Congrats Auntie!

    • Rebekah

      I had the same reaction when my nephew arrived 5 months ago. He’s a white boy being raised in a white family, in a white city, in a red state. I am appreciating the ability to help curate his baby library and know I’ll get to be around for other influences as he ages. I am also glad to have time to educate myself before he really needs some guidance. but XOXO that little squishy face, man. I love being an aunt.

    • I’m currently pregnant with a boy and was feeling this way a little bit too. That said, there’s nothing we need more than compassionate, fired up feminist men (as Emily pointed out) so I’m making it my mission to raise him that way and I’m pretty excited about it.

  • Ashlah

    Some fluff: How do you decorate your office?? I’ve been here 5 years, in an office with no windows, and all I’ve got are two old pictures on my desk, and the boring wall art that was here when I arrived. And a fake ficus. I’ve finally realized that this space is MINE and I spend 40 hours a week here, and so it should be less bleak. Any suggestions? I’m planning to get one of those daylight/SAD lamps, but maybe some additional non-fluorescent lighting? More photos from home? My own wall art? How do you make your office a better, more pleasant place to be?

    (For context, I never meet clients in my office, but I do work in a conservative industry where, for example, a “Feminist Killjoy” banner, would not be received well by bosses or co-workers.)

    • Amy March

      I waited for a 50% off sale on art.com (they come around frequently) and printed off some favorite landscape photos I’ve taken in a large size, framed.

    • Jessica

      I have a gallery wall with a lot of local or friend’s art hanging in the direction I face when typing at the computer. I also got a very large engineer print for an otherwise blank wall, because I didn’t want multiple pieces on both walls I face. I used Parabo Press to get the engineer print, they are wonderful

    • Sara

      I had a sales woman I supported that had the cutest office, a huge calendar on the wall (like bigger than poster sized) and kate spade accents everywhere (I’m a kate spade junkie so that spoke to me). Plus a bowl of realistic fake flowers in a clear gel that took me months to realize weren’t real. My current boss has large framed art pieces she brought from home and pics of her kids everywhere.

      Personally, I keep nothing at my desk, but I have a cube, so its more public.

      • toomanybooks

        My desk is in a room that’s shared with three other people, which is why I haven’t decorated. I wish I had the relative privacy of a cube!

      • Danielle

        I used to get a flower every other week or so for my desk, and it was a really nice, simple and celebratory way to spiff things up. Bonus: one flower looks nice, and would usually cost less than $5 :)

    • Eh

      I’ve always had pictures of my nieces and nephews, and now tons of pictures of my daughter (and a few of my husband/us as a couple/family). Seeing smiling kids always brightens my day (even when it was just my niece, but now especially seeing my daughter).

      One of my coworkers has large format prints in her office from her trips around the world. That’s pretty cool too.

    • Eenie

      I’ve never been a big “picture” decorating person, but I’ve found I enjoy fancy looking organizational tools. These are things that I could have the company provide in the black/grey boring manner, or buy myself. Folders, binders, paperclips, pen/pencil holders, mousepad. File organizers, monitor stand, magnets. Stuff that I actually use, but adds some character to the office.

    • Jane

      It’s a small thing, but I like to put up pretty calendars because then I can have art on my wall without getting it framed and it changes every month.

      I also brought in really pretty drinking glasses because I’ve always got a glass of water on my desk.

    • gonzalesbeach

      good thread! I have floral file folders that I got on sale, a couple landscape watercolours from home, a desk photo of partner, plant, standing lamp so I can turn the overhead floureacent off. but my office is windowless /lacks natural light so I try to have meetings in other spaces as often as I can! there are also wall babies (the daycare is next door to my office) that can get distracting ha

    • emmers

      For Christmas I’m planning on asking my mom for 1-2 cheap pre-framed art prints (probably from HomeGoods) for my office, because I struggle with the same thing.

    • Katherine

      I have a single framed poster depicting different types of root vegetables and all my running medals. I also change out seasonal decor: I had a halloween banner on my door and battery-operated jack o’ lanterns last month, I have a felt wreath with fall leaves and acorns now.

      • Ashlah

        Oh, running medals is an interesting idea! Might be nice to have an in-office reminder of my out-of-office activities.

        • Katherine

          They are great for that purpose. Plus, they’re a great conversation starter, and you meet all the other office runners.

    • Jess

      I have a plant that I’m trying not to kill, a few toys (including a koosh ball that I play with on stressful phone calls and a rubber duck), and a small piece of art.

      I tend to find offcey things I like (letter sort/pen holder?).

      For reference, I’m in a cube so my decorating options are a little small.

    • Her Lindsayship

      I’m facing this issue as well, and considering getting a bonsai tree!

    • Lawyerette510

      Art and locally made stuff that made me smile and maybe was a subtle message or that had meaning to me was what I loved to use to decorate my office (when I had one), while I took couldn’t have say a “misandrist” print or the like, finding art or words by people who inspired me that were not going to cause drama but still made me feel empowered was really nice to have.

      Also, plants. Something like a spider plant that can live off of just light bulbs and bounces back if you forget to water it.

      • anachronismsarah

        Plants, YES. We have a devil’s tongue that doesn’t require much light.

    • StevenPortland

      A table lamp (not a desk lamp) makes a huge difference. Textiles are also good — a cool pillow or even just a short table runner for a filing cabinet helps warm up an office space. You can add a grouping of same colored vases from a thrift store on top of the table runner.

  • Cellistec

    Meg, I was in Morocco too! Marrakech, yes, but also Fez, Chefchaouen, Casablanca, and the Sahara. (Being in the desert without wifi on election night turned out to be a mercy.) It was beautiful and humbling.

    I’m still reeling from the election and trying to wrap my head around this new national nightmare, but in the meantime I appreciate the APW community for its thoughtful, meaningful discussions. And thank goodness for the holidays so I can find comfort in food, family, music, and sparkly things.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5b7912b5c6c6b79a33e3035e7dca864dd4affd8f5f621a4eff6690984c90b624.jpg

    • toomanybooks

      This looks like such an amazing trip. So many places in the world that I won’t get to see… how am I supposed to choose a honeymoon spot??

    • Danielle

      Chefchaouen! Everything is ***blue**** <3

      • Cellistec

        It was stunning. Especially all the colorful rugs and scarves against the blue walls. I hated to leave, especially after only one night! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/13515f9fa972a28a2cdbce49d7aae1477d00ec419e41d9eafcc77071de064fec.jpg

        • Danielle

          Was also just there one night! Got a gorgeous leather bag there which I had for 10 years, before Marie Kondo-ing my life last year.

          <3 <3 <3

          • anachronismsarah

            How far did you manage to get Kondo-ing?

          • Danielle

            Girl, I *did* it. Like, really, really did it. Even got her 2nd book and followed her tips for folding socks/shirts, organizing my closet in an upward facing manner, clearing out kitchen and bathroom cabinets, etc.

            It worked for me, and was fun even, but please trust that I am a neat freak minimalist Virgo type, so I already like cleaning and getting rid of things.

            Can’t say what the process would be like for someone who wasn’t already so inclined.

          • anachronismsarah

            Yeah… We made it to books and it just got too overwhelming. And I can’t seem to make myself get in the mindset to read it again. Certainly not a minimalist over here. I do wonder if spark joy will help, or how the audiobook is… some things just seem to work better when absorbed in an auditory fashion over here!

          • Danielle

            Maybe! But maybe it’s just not for everyone. The extreme all-or-nothing approach just isn’t suitable for everyone. There may be another cleaning/de-cluttering method that works for you, but I can’t recommend anything offhand.

          • Lisa

            I put aside some clothes last year, and they are still in bags in my closet. I am so bad at the simplifying thing that I’ve even pulled a couple of items back out as I realized that I needed/wanted them. Books would be so difficult for me.

    • Meg Keene

      WHOA! We did not do that with kids!!!! So cool.

    • Meg Keene

      Also could you email me? I’d like to hive mind with you on the article I’m working on, for honeymoons.

      • Cellistec

        Just did, via the APW contact form!

  • I’m still in a funk brought on by the election (and probably made worse by the pregnancy hormones), but I’m trying to seek joy in the little things, like the random baby gifts that have been arriving on my doorstep. It’s overwhelming and reassuring to see how much baby W is loved already. And in good news: my doctor confirmed today that baby has finally FINALLY flipped over and is head down. This little punk finally had me almost convinced that he or she was going to be a scheduled Cesarean baby, only to fake me out. Good thing I hadn’t gotten around to making a birth plan yet. ;)

  • Sarah

    Word of advice: I went to the Planned Parenthood website to donate and the “suggested” donation is $100. I changed this to $20, double checked my work, then hit next and it processed as $100. I’ve made three calls and one email to PP and finally got a person on the phone when I called and acted as if I was making a donation. The guy said someone would follow up with me, but I’m really annoyed. And sad–I realize they’re likely understaffed with volunteers and hopefully processing lots of post-Trump donations but I can’t afford $100 as much as I’d love to. And I’m someone who buys like everything online so feel their donation page is deliberately sneaky. If it’s not fixed by Tues I’m going to call my credit card company to dispute the change. But if you are donating to PP be aware of this issue!

    • emmers

      I donated a different amount and it was ok for me, but thank you for the heads up! Glitches like that suck.

  • ART

    Finally I feel up to sharing my Pawnee Goddess costume with you all – as requested.

    Also, I am making plans to go to the Women’s March on Sacramento (local-ish sister march to the DC one) on January 21st. Any Bay Area APWers going or want to join? I’m trying to make hotel/travel plans and thought this might be a good group to check in with. I may or may not wear this outfit…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e89caf015c72649ff60a85112aa6b061531b9e0c546975b9761e6754b6f9e8c.jpg

    • Ashlah

      Fantastic!

    • Lisa

      I need to check and see if there’s a sister march near me. I’d love to go to Washington for the real thing, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to swing it.

      • anachronismsarah

        I got invited to one near me, and I am thinking of going…

      • idkmybffjill

        There’s definitely one in Chicago if you guys wanted to visit your friends too!

    • Alyssa

      Aw man! I will be at the Oakland one, but am SO excited to go.

      • ART

        Yeah – Oakland is actually closer to me, but I like the idea of going to the Capitol, so I am planning to travel and make a weekend of it!

        • Alyssa

          That is such a great point! I’m originally from the East Bay so I know my parents would be glad to have me visit, and I’m luring my fiancee by offering to buy Japanese fried chicken in DT Oakland afterwards at his favorite restaurant. We went to DT Sac last year for a quick overnighter and had a great time! Have fun!

      • JC

        I’m thinking I might be there too!

        • Alyssa

          APW meetup in the works…?

      • Lawyerette510

        I’m hoping to go to Washington, but if not I’ll be at the Oakland one.

    • Lawyerette510

      This costume is EVERYTHING!

      • ART

        Thank you! I was really tickled to find the “Corn Maze” badge, that seemed fitting for a Pawneean. Also my husband grew a mustache and was a Pawnee Ranger, but does not want me to share his photo, unfortunately :)

        • Lawyerette510

          Things like your success at finding the Corn Maze badge, and that your husband actually grew a mustache for his costume, are the bright sparks I’m embracing these days.

    • MC

      LOVE LOVE LOVE this costume!!!

    • Meg Keene

      You know, maybe we could make an APW/ Compact contingent at the Oakland march.

      • ART

        If that happens, I’ll be happy to go to the Oakland one instead of Sac.

      • Rebekah

        Please. I want to go and this would be the kick in the pants to definitely do it.

    • CP2011

      I’ll be at the Portland one! Anyone else?

  • Lawyerette510

    It has been a long time since I’ve been able to get on happy hour. Thankfully in mid October my husband finally was able to take action on the generating income front and started driving Lyft. Ends up he loves it. He is now doing that in conjunction with studying programming. He and I have a new slogan for our family “pissed off to fight for inclusion and equality” not that we weren’t doing things before, but we are re-committed to advocacy and ally-ship in meaningful concrete ways.

    My new job is going better, although the adjustment back to practicing law, even with just investigations, while also working from home as been tricky. I am thankful for my job, in that my boss is an intersectional feminist herself who is happy to make time for me to do advocacy work in addition to the work that makes money. It also made it so much easier to go to work last week and this week knowing the profits of my labor go to a bad-ass woman who has been fighting the good fights longer than I have been alive, instead of going to a company run nearly exclusively by straight, white, cis, men, many of whom are pretty politically conservative.

    I also officiated my sister’s wedding late last month, and it was really special to do so. She and I haven’t always been close, or even gotten along, but our relationship has really grown the past few years, and for her to ask me to officiate and then to spend time with her and her husband writing the ceremony for them was really special. I was so much more nervous officiating this time than I was in September officiating for my cousin, partially because where I was mentally and emotionally about other things, but also there was something about looking out at a group of people and so many of them being family friends whom I’ve known most of my life and officiating for my sister, at more than one point I was teary and my legs were shaking. Thankfully I was wearing a dress with lots of sequins on top and a long flowy bottom so no one could tell I was shaking like a leaf. (Not that anyone was really looking at me, but the dress was like armor that made me feel less conscious.)

    • Cellistec

      Officiating for your sister’s wedding sounds like such a special opportunity. Way to step up for her despite your nerves!

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you!

    • Lisa

      I’m glad to hear your husband has found a way to contribute financially while searching for something he enjoys more! It sounds like your new job is going well, too. And congratulations on the officiating and your sister’s wedding!

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you!

    • Laura C

      I’m so glad things are improving on the jobs front at least.

      • Lawyerette510

        Thanks

    • AGCourtney

      Glad to hear the updates! <3

    • flashphase

      I’m so glad to hear things are going well for you and that you’re feeling loved and appreciated. It wil make you stronger to fight for yourself and others.

      • Lawyerette510

        Aw thanks!

    • anachronismsarah

      yay officiating for siblings! So fun!

      Glad things are improving in some ways- hope things keep looking up.

  • AGCourtney

    Bipolar disorder + this election aftermath = getting my ass kicked on one terrible roller coaster, but I’ve mostly pulled myself back together. There’s just so many different facets to contend with, like that I’ve gone to my church for 17 years and we’re seriously considering switching. So that’s been hard. But I’m trying to take action where I can and limit my Facebook – it was getting out of hand for a while there.

    We moved my dad out last weekend! Somehow, despite having nearly three months’ warning, he still wasn’t quite ready. Ughhh. We’re excited to have the space, though. And apparently my mom and sisters just got an apartment, so they’re not homeless anymore. On Saturday, I got to attend a fundraiser for a nonprofit I
    graduated from (someone graciously donated alumni tickets). So I went
    from hauling boxes and furniture all day to sipping wine in a gown. It
    was a pretty interesting transition, haha.

    A couple of great developments for us: I saved up enough to get some of my bottom front teeth done, so I got the prep work done yesterday and I’ll get the permanent crowns on next week! And after my appointment yesterday, I stopped by IKEA and officially ordered the kitchen. And then we found this awesome homemade bunk bed/playhouse on Craigslist in our town, and after seeing it and meeting the family selling it last night, we decided we have to go for it. Still not sure if we’re going to put it in the basement-turned-playroom (now that dad’s gone!) or actually use it for her bed, but either way, it’ll be great.

    • emmers

      That’s so great about your dad. I know that’s been such a work in progress. And also- congratulations on your teeth! I’m sorry the election is still heavy with you. But I’m glad for the other victories.

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, SUCH a work in progress. Thank you! I got a second job just for dental work, so it feels great when I hit a point where it pays off.

    • Katherine

      Good to hear about your mom and sisters!

    • Jess

      Those family developments are very huge! Congratulations, even though I know it’s been hard.

      Also! IKEA Kitchen! New teeth! Playhouse!

      Despite all the hard stuff, it’s good seeing good things happening.

    • Lisa

      It sounds like, even amidst the bad things, there’s a lot of positive change in your life! I hope things continue to get even better.

    • CP2011

      Congrats on ordering the kitchen! We finished our kitchen remodel today (countertop installation) and I’m very happy with it, although the new layout will take a while to get used to since it’s different. I’m so excited to get my house put back together this weekend!

      • AGCourtney

        Thanks! Congrats to you as well, that’s exciting. This kitchen project has been several months in the making, so I’m excited to start tearing my house apart! We’re getting it installed around the 29th-1st.

        • CP2011

          Also, your kitchen may end up costing less after it’s installed. We returned nearly $500 worth of parts and pieces that weren’t needed or used (though that includes deco strips that were mysteriously not installed).

    • Lawyerette510

      Wonderful developments!

  • Another Meg

    “I want out of the US. I’m determined to fight the good fight.”

    IT ME.

  • savannnah

    On top of the shit storm that is the US right now I’ve been struggling with supporting my fiance while he is working full time and in school part time. He travels a lot for work (3-4 weeks out of the month and home on weekends) which leaves me with most house duties and we made a deal that I would do the cooking and he would do the dishes while he is in school. And I know I agreed to it, and I know it seems fair on paper – but between the realization that cooking was actually managing the house foods and knowing what was in the fridge at all times and meal planning and grocery shopping and getting more familiar with male blindness my mother used to talk about (if you tear the packaging off of something and then don’t throw it away it will not magically move, I am the magic) I am a little ragey lately. And I don’t like it at all and its not fun and it makes me really worry that I have internalized the idea that traditional women’s work is lesser and demeaning and makes me feel ordinary. We’ve talked about it a lot and will continue but I’m feeling some agita that I can’t just see it as being supportive.

    Better news- We decided on Morocco for our 3 week honeymoon next year so I am super exciting to hear these Meg approved tips!

    • Eenie

      Just because you agreed to something doesn’t mean you can’t change it now! Especially if it’s making you feel ragey!
      Plus – do the dishes just pile up while he travels? That set up just sounds unrealistic to me personally.

      • savannnah

        Haha no they don’t! Just when he is home!

      • Jess

        Yes, renegotiation is the key. No sense in suffering when there could be other solutions!

    • emmers

      As someone who’s doing most of the cooking & still working out the balance, having some easy meals (like frozen pizza or dumplings) on hand is helpful. Mostly I’m ok with taking point, but sometimes I need a break. Also, I’m doing some of the blindness throwing away you’ve talked about, but sometimes I’m just leaving it. We’re discussing it some, but I’m also editing my own actions so I’m not making things as “magically” clean.

      • flashphase

        Yes, yes, yes, I have been in the ragey place and I have been in the frozen pizza place, and frozen pizza is way better. Also Annie’s frozen burritos.

        • Lisa

          Trader Joe’s has some excellent frozen meals, too, if you have a location near you. The orange chicken and pork pot stickers are a staple in our freezer.

          • Yeah, Trader Joe’s freezer section. It’s fantastic. Bibimbap. Eggplant parmesan. etc. etc.

      • anachronismsarah

        Keep tortellini in your freezer. It cooks up so wonderfully just in a skillet without much water… I’ll add broccoli toward the end and it’s dinner.

    • AGCourtney

      Oh, I feel you on the kitchen rage. I finally had to explain to my husband how much work it is, and he has both stepped up himself and shown a great deal more appreciation for all that goes into it – like you said, it’s not just cooking.

    • Lisa

      Have you seen this video?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1_QTm-wpsY

      Also, take this advice with a grain of salt, but would it help to automate some of the grocery stuff like paying for a meal planning service? My MIL gifted us a year’s subscription to Cook Smarts, which costs $75 annually, but they come up with 4 recipes each week that you can customize. Once you select the recipes you want, it automatically generates a shopping list on which you can eliminate ingredients you already have. For me, the most stressful part was always deciding what to cook and putting together the list, but this has really helped my husband and me. We usually divvy up the cooking based on schedules, and whoever doesn’t cook does the cleaning afterwards. I (obviously) love it so I’ve been sharing the service with everyone, but there are several others that also offer similar features.

      • Eenie

        We did prepdish for a while because I couldn’t explain the decision fatigue of meal planning to my husband. It really helped us balance out the burden when we were both working full time. Best $99 we spent. We have a whole ton of recipes now that we love and can choose to make on our own. When I return to work full time, I believe we will return to following her weekly meals (it’s too expensive right now because we can’t go with what’s on sale and eat mostly chicken).

        http://prepdish.com/

        • Lisa

          I’ve chosen to do the vegetarian option on some of the Cook Smarts recipes to keep costs down so I completely understand that. I’ve been impressed so far though: our grocery bill for the four weekly recipes plus incidentals is typically no more than $50-60/week. That’s with us making the four serving version of everything so we have leftovers, and several of the recipes have yielded more than their described servings.

          The emotional work of the planning was definitely my worst hang-up, and not having to think about it was my favorite part of Blue Apron. This gets rid of the planning like BA did, but the ingredients and portions are cheaper and larger.

          • savannnah

            The larger challenge for us is that he also doesn’t know how to cook and we had decided to take that task on together until he went back to school and now its been put off. So when I’m not around to cook he doesn’t eat, or eats crackers and tells me he isn’t hungry… all of that makes me feel much more like mom than partner. So I have been thinking about a Blue Apron subscription for a while as a way to get him to learn about flavor pallets and other cooking basics. I’ll also look into these meal planning websites! thanks.

          • Eenie

            That or have him learn three simple crock pot meals? I just don’t buy the fact that cooking is hard. Cooking can be hard, but learning to follow a recipe is very easy! I’ve been cooking for seven years and struggle with flavor pallets. Even if you don’t want to chop/dice vegetables, you can pay a premium at most grocery stores to have them do that for you! Blue apron is great too, but it’s expensive.

          • Caitlyn

            I found Blue Apron to be surprisingly difficult for new cooks (or even relatively experienced ones). I’ve been cooking (at home, very basic things admittedly) for years and I had to google some of the veggies we got and how to cut them up (Blue Apron provided an entire info sheet on coconuts – for the can of prepared coconut milk included, but did not include directions to cut up fennel – something I’d never worked with). Another BA recipe called for lemon zest, but wasn’t clear on how to prepare that – my husband (who can cook, but is newer to it) – included some of the white pith and it ruined the entire recipe (it was SUPER bitter). **disclaimer** we did the vegetarian version which I suspect provides MUCH more complicated recipes to try to make up for the lack of expensive meat. But the recipes genuinely took hours to prepare and although good – were frankly discouraging for even an experienced cook. I wanted to curl up in a ball and never cook again after one of the recipes took me two hours to prepare on a weeknight.

          • savannnah

            I’ve looked at Blue Apron and they are generally like meals that I would cook-but I’ll keep that in mind for him!

          • rg223

            Oh yeah, seconding all of this, especially the vegetarian part! We did a trial of the vegetarian plus fish (my husband is pescatarian) and one of the recipes was with cactus. I was supposed to cut out all the thorns myself, while at the same time not cutting out any of the “meat.” It was quite challenging!!!

          • Caitlyn

            OMG I tried the cactus one too!! And it was so frustrating! I hurt my hand removing the silly thorns and then after ALL that work – I didn’t think that recipe tasted that great. I make enchiladas myself that are much better!

          • rg223

            I know! My husband didn’t realize I had put all this work into it and was like, “I’m not a big fan of the cactus” and I was like “YOU WILL ENJOY THIS.” But I do sometimes make the same recipe substituting green pepper for cactus, and it works out pretty well!

          • Lisa

            Hahahahaha, that sounds like something that would happen in our house. I will say that, since my husband does most of the cooking, I try not to offer up any opinions on what was made unless he directly asks for them. Cooking takes a lot of time and effort, and I try to respect that!

          • A single sarah

            I’m a huge fan of the budget bytes blog. Yummy recipes with estimated cost. Step by step photo instructions that help beginning cooks.

            Wouldn’t help with decision fatigue unless you strictly followed week by week. But may help with the learning.

          • Gaby

            I can totally relate to the feeling like a mom AND guilt about my attitude toward women’s work. I actually love cooking and being the food planner but I get irrationally angry when the husband is unable to figure out what food there is available for him to eat unless I explicitly tell him what and where it is. I don’t really have a solution for you, I try to remind myself of the other ways he contributes and the things I completely overlook, such as dirty laundry. I will say that we tried a Blue Apron free together trial last week and it seems to have given him some confidence in the kitchen because he made yummy breakfasts for us both weekend mornings.

    • Cleo

      I’ve found when I was in charge of the meal planning AND shopping AND cooking, it got really overwhelming, but it tended to be easier if I could outsource one of those tasks. The meal planning is the easiest one to do that with. It requires little effort, but eliminates decision fatigue for you, which I know can be exhausting.

      Unless you have something you REALLY want to make, ask your fiance to choose 2-3 foods/meals he’d like you to cook (or, if he won’t be home, just make him choose for you). Then, the grocery list becomes a task about following instructions rather than making decisions.

      Good luck!

      • BSM

        Totally agree on the stress caused by being responsible for all pieces of the getting-us-well-fed cycle. The worst part for me was the shopping because it’s never a good time to go to the store. I ended up buying a monthly Express subscription to Instacart, and it has helped so. much. Now I leisurely meal plan on the weekend while drinking coffee with my husband, and the groceries show up at some point. Best $15/month we spend!

    • LadyMe

      We split meal planning. I come up with 3 meals, he comes up with 3 meals, and 1 day is finish up the leftovers day. And meal planning means putting all the needed ingredients in the grocery store app and making sure the cost of said ingredients is within budget. He tends to cook most nights because he gets home first and then I clean.

    • Lexipedia

      A few weeks ago I trashed my ankle and my partner needed to cook everything because I couldn’t stand up. He is SO much more appreciative right now. We tried Blue Apron and he has really liked it as a challenge – one step at a time.

    • Amy March

      If you’re already going to be doing all the cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping for 3-4 weeks of the month since he isn’t there, maybe the problem isn’t really him but just that you’re already doing a ton of it and just need a break? If he’s only home a couple dinners a week it probably doesn’t make sense for him to be in charge of big picture food, but could he be responsible for Saturday night dinner and make it a fun thing you two plan and cook together so some learning is happening?

      • S

        Or even just, like, that’s his night to be responsible for dinner, but “being responsible” could also just mean doing the labour of making a decision without the cooking part. Like, he could order takeout or go to the shops and buy a frozen meal, whatever – as long as he makes the food appear, and you don’t have to worry about what or how. Agree that learning sounds super necessary going forward, and if that’s possible now then awesome, but it sounds like surviving is a more realistic goal right now. Because if it’s a fun thing they’re planning and cooking together, savannah still has to be “on” that night.

        • RNLindsay

          I do something similar with my husband. I cook 99% of the time, but on the weekends I work I tell him it’s his job. I just don’t want to have to think about it (getting rid of that emotional labor). I don’t care if it’s take out, frozen or whatever. I just don’t want to put in any effort

    • Kat

      I live on the East Coast but call into the West Coast so I work 11-8 every day and yet I still find myself being the one who plans dinner and comes home and cooks, so we end up eating at 930 every night even though he has no set work hours and generally works 9-5. This week I texted him at 3ish and asked if he could deal with dinner because I was worn out and hungry and needed a break from cooking. When I got home he was like “lets go get Mexican”
      So….the point was not really conveyed. Clearly we need to have a discussion.

    • Alex K

      So this could be really obnoxious if done with the wrong tone, but I just point out the stuff I want moved/tossed/put away. I realized that if I kept putting things away/throwing things away husband really didn’t notice and kept doing it. In response, I don’t let myself do these things for him and instead nicely point it out and ask for it to be fixed. For example, husband left his coat IN the sink (OK hanging into) the other day. I left it there (so hard to resist the urge) and when he got home asked that he put it away. Then he realized…oh I should have hung up my coat! And it hasn’t happen again (this week).

      • savannnah

        What if you feel like you shouldn’t have to ask? Like I am the magic and the keeper of all things?

        • ElisabethJoanne

          You spend 3 years training your partner, and eventually he learns, in my experience.

          It helps if you move or have another big event where you re-set where everything goes. When we moved, I had him decide where a lot of the shared things he uses most often (like his favorite cookware) will be put away, so there were no “I always get confused about where that goes” issues.

    • LikeaBell

      Psst, FYI, most people just have house elves!!! Sorry. Kidding. Also have a traveling husband and ragey right there with you. -_-

      Actually, this is random, but does anyone else remember having to do secret brownie good deeds as a Brownie Girl Scout? I loved Girl Scouts, and at the time, the idea of secret good deeds seemed magical, but…looking back, I feel frustration that that was one more instance of sexist conditioning (do Boy Scouts have to do *secret* good deeds?).

      Also, related: I went to one of the events Grace Bonney (Design*Sponge) hosted for In the Company of Women, and the 5 women panelists were all talking about the things that they’ve sacrificed to be entrepreneurs. One of the women said she’d sacrificed cooking, which she really loves, but just can’t realistically do on a regular basis. Someone asked her how she did that when she has 5 kids, she said her husband cooks now. Someone else asked “How did you manage THAT?” Deadpan, she said “I just stopped doing it.” And then everyone, audience and panel, started cracking up in admiration/appreciation. <3

      • When I turned 18, my mother got sick of my father never helping out to cook for the family of 6 (both parents worked fulltime). So, despite having recently renovated the kitchen…she just stopped cooking dinner. Still doesn’t do it. Since “having a home-cooked meal” for the children was important to dad, he had to finally start cooking. Because she just wouldn’t.

        It works for non-visionary-entrepreneur ladies, too :)

        • LikeaBell

          Props to your mom! :-D

      • savannnah

        Another dynamic about this in my household is that my parental model for this is backwards- My mom never cooks, ever- but does everything else around the house and my father cooks and its how he cares for her. My fiances dad never cooks and his mom never taught him so here were are.

  • Alyssa

    This week has been much better for me than weeks past, partly because I know I have ALL of next week off, so it was easier to hold on. My fiancee and I are off to Seattle this weekend to see if we’d like to house-hunt up there, so I’m looking forward to that! Election-wise, I’ll read the NPR headlines and some things on FB, but am otherwise taking time to process on my own. I did donate to PP and the center for Reproductive Justice, and am trying to find ways to get involved in my community.

    Also, a friend shared with me about companies that support Trump, to help inform your general shopping going forward. I posted it earlier this week but though I’d post it again for HH in case anyone’s interested: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vu0Y0HvadMgG_LN7dF8W7M66oPCcx_nmSARQWirV7iY/htmlview?sle=true#

    Lastly, I just had a 9-year old tell me he wanted to propose to me. The world can’t be ALL bad.

    • flashphase

      How do you feel about house hunting given the current environment? We are stepping back from it – mostly I’m afraid to commit more of our $$ during an uncertain economic time. But then I wonder if that’s a mistake.

      • Alyssa

        Ah, good point — I think it’s probably a good idea — or maybe take a step back, but only really jump for something that you feel serious about. We are planning on saving money and living with my partner’s parents for a few months, but will start seriously looking in March (we think) and are hoping to buy sometime between March and June. We talked with a realtor this weekend whose background was in investing, etc., and he seemed to think that waiting six months was wise because he predicted that prices will drop a bit, and perhaps we’ll have a clearer picture of things economically. Of course, that’s for the area we were looking in in WA so who knows what it would look like elsewhere, but I imagine the approach might be similar?

  • Oy Vey

    So… one week after the breakup, I actually feel pretty great.

    The now-ex was texting me every other day until Tuesday (with some things reasonable, like – hey did you accidentally take the dog’s toy with you? (I had. I had a friend return it.) – and some things about how much he loved me and wanted the same things as me and wanted this to work out. He’d always end these texts with – “I’m trying to give you the time and space you requested and I’ll respect that”). Then, on Tuesday, I told him I signed a lease for a new apartment.

    He called me immediately after and I was PISSED. He was confused and I told him that he’s clearly not respecting the boundaries I set. He apologized and then asked me to understand and to believe him when he said that he wanted the same things I did. I started rehashing the breakup argument, then stopped, told him I was done fighting, and that I heard him. I told him I would take it into consideration.

    I considered it for 15 seconds and then remembered that he was so inconsistent with everything he’d said that I really couldn’t believe him. It’s been radio silence since Tuesday (thank goodness) and I’ve filled my evenings with reconnecting with friends and unpacking my apartment.

    I have unpacked things I’d forgotten I even had — like a piggy bank that consists of a pig “dressed” in a sweater featuring my alma mater’s logo, and, coincidentally, a mirror I bought in a souk on a trip I took to Morocco.

    Hopefully I’ll have a fully functional kitchen by the weekend, but until then, it’s frozen pizza, PB&J, over easy eggs, cinnamon toast crunch, and carrot sticks.

    Thanks everyone for all your support and well wishes over these past few weeks. It’s meant the world to me.

    • Katherine

      Good for you, Oy Vey. Keep on keepin’ on.

    • Eenie

      There’s nothing wrong with utilizing the mute function in your texting app! It’s a great way to limit how often you read his texts, and let you choose when you do it (so you don’t ruin an awesome day).

      Your food plans, while not gourmet, sound delicious btw. Don’t forget about chicken nuggets and ice cream.

    • gonzalesbeach

      I think all readers are pulling for you and sending lots of good wishes your way. I know I am

    • AGCourtney

      Good for you! I’m so glad you’re sticking up for yourself. <3

    • Kalë

      Team Oy Vey! Proud that you are sticking to your boundaries, because that can be so, so hard.

    • Lisa

      “I told him I would take it into consideration.

      I considered it for 15 seconds…”

      This is the advice we always tell people to use in wedding planning when they have someone pushy who will NOT let a topic go! You considered it and decided not to act the way he wanted you to.

      I know Dan Savage is a contentious person around these parts, but on a recent Lovecast, he advised a woman who had recently been dumped not to engage in “trying to win him back” activities. Dan commented that, if you want a person to consider taking you back, you have to prove that you have the emotional intelligence and maturity to respect the boundaries another person sets. He’s told you that he wants you to return, and you know that. Your ex is now showing you that all he knows how to do is manipulate and that he doesn’t respect your decisions because he’s trying to undermine them at every turn.

    • Her Lindsayship

      You are a badass. I hope you have a peaceful, relaxing weekend in your new digs (or a raging party, whichever is your jam!).

      Also, you kitchenless diet sounds exactly like my kitchenless diet. Though I might throw some ramen in there because I’m a child.

      • Lisa

        My favorite are what I call “adult Lunchables.” Basically some fancy cheese, salami, and crackers/baguette. Preferably accompanied by a bottle of wine as the Capri Sun stand-in and a box of nice chocolates instead of a Crunch bar.

        • AmandaBee

          That sounds amazing right now.

        • Ashlah

          That’s what I brought to work today! (Minus the wine, sadly)

          • Eenie

            That was my lunch as well! The super fancy name for it is a chacuterie and cheese board.

          • Lisa

            I love to get the charcuterie/cheese boards at restaurants, but I can rarely justify them since I can assemble something similar at home! Our Kroger has a <$5 bin for cheeses where they toss the remnants, and one of those frequently comes home with us.

          • accidental_diva

            Same – though that with a bottle of wine at a restaurant is pretty much a cure for a shitty week in my book.

        • Cellistec

          Sold. Also required: a cute note to yourself.

        • Eenie

          Oh if you haven’t already, Aldi has really upped it’s fancy cheese selection. I highly recommend the blueberry covered goat cheese. Make sure you let it set out at room temperature for a half hour first!

          • toomanybooks

            Aldi has SUCH a great Fancy Cheese selection for such great prices! Love it!

          • A single sarah

            I haven’t tried that flavor yet. Adding to next shopping cart! The havarti is my go to.

        • Alyssa

          That is my fave. Whenever fiancee is gone for the weekend, I eat “Adult Lunchables” the whole darn time. Yum.

          • Lexipedia

            Haha, apparently this was how partner survived before me, yet he tried to act like he cooked all the time. Needless to say, this is one of my favorite meals!

        • Arie

          yessss. I also do them with a Mediterranean twist: frozen falafel, hummus, olives, cherry tomatoes, and pita. mmmm.

        • Jess

          add some grilled veggies and this is literally my dinner twice a week in the summer. It is heaven.

        • This is basically summer dinner when it’s too hot to cook. We call it a “French picnic”. Fancy bread, some nice cheese and meat, and usually tomatoes from the garden (and olives for the husband).

        • anachronismsarah

          YESSSS… Those individually packaged things of hummus are really great too.

        • Danielle

          My pregnancy diet thus far is largely a version of this, because most other foods are repulsing me. Sub pickles and seltzer for the meat and wine, and this is what’s keeping me fed!

      • AmandaBee

        Yup, major badass points to Oy Vey. You’ve totally got this, and I hope that you keep feeling stronger and better as you get more settled into your new place.

      • Kaitlyn

        this sounds like my diet and I have a functioning kitchen hahaha When it’s been a long day and you’re too tired, a PB and J is the trick!

      • CommaChick

        Your kitchenless diets sound exactly like my diet even though I have a kitchen. I may have had a frozen pizza tonight and a PB&J for lunch. In fact, my coworkers have been known to tease me about what they call my “kindergarten lunch” – PB&J, animal crackers, carrot sticks and juice box. It’s the best.

    • Jane

      Glad to hear you’re doing well. Good luck!

    • rg223

      I’m so glad you’re feeling good. Way to go, you!

    • Jess

      Go you!

      One of the things I love about unpacking is discovering memories and parts of myself I had forgotten. I hope the mirror from Morocco gets a place of honor!

    • anachronismsarah

      Oy Vey, you are such a badass you have a team! Woohoo!
      We’re all rooting for you.

    • A single sarah

      Oy vey,

      Your note this week and last have kept it in happy (tragic) hour territory for me. So excited for you to keep discovering treasures as you unpack the boxes. And to keep connecting with your community as you unpack this experience.

      More cheers for you! Go team oy vey go!

    • Gaby

      I couldn’t participate in last week’s happy hour because I was at a training on intimate partner violence for work (ah, the life of a social worker.) Some of the subject matter that covered power and control reminded me of you and I did check up on the happy hour during a break just to see an update from you. I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well, stay strong and keep enjoying those moments you have to yourself in your new place!

  • Katherine

    Anyone else get hit by Winter Storm Argos? The highways in our area were closed yesterday afternoon. We decided since the first snow of the season hit, we’d go ahead and put our Xmas decorations up, because dammit, I need some holiday cheer right now.

    In other cheery news, my husband aced his Cicerone certification test (which is essentially a sommelier for beer) and will be getting a raise at work! Dealing with the reality of this election is still hard, but since the open thread on coping and a quality conversation with my MOH, I’m trying harder to live for the good, little moments that happen in everyday life.

    • gonzalesbeach

      here’s to living for the good moments!

    • Started playing some Christmas music earlier today, and I have to say, usually I’m all about giving Thanksgiving it’s due, but it feels a bit cathartic after the election.

      • Jane

        Sometimes you just need Christmas music.
        Elvis’s Blue Christmas came on when I was in a coffee shop earlier this week, and it was perfect because it was sad AND Christmas. And cheesey enough that the sadness didn’t make me cry (unlike everything else for the last week and a half).

  • Kalë

    Now interrupting your regularly scheduled programming of tragedy hour with some brighter news: my sweetie and I just got engaged! My fiancé dude carried the ring around from Peru to Bolivia to Chile and finally to Argentina (lol but also -_-) to find the right moment. And I’ve been overwhelmed by all the love we’ve gotten from all angles (even surprisingly from my parents, with whom my relationship is difficult even in good times).

    (sorry for reposting from a thread earlier this week – it’s the only pic I have without our faces in it)
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c5dbdf3b34408909fe0afb3aecccc59950a19262a4d2d70cfc7206dcd0d48358.jpg

    • Lisa

      Still loving this since you posted earlier this week! Your ring remains stunning.

      • Kalë

        Thank you! I’m incredibly obsessed with it – and love it even more because it’s 1) from a woman owned, American company and 2) eco friendly AND 3) not a blood/any kind of diamond (moissanite)

        • Katelyn

          Any chance it’s Love and Promise/Rosado’s Box?

          • Olive

            I was thinking the same thing!!!

          • Katelyn

            Not sure if you’re local to Chicago, but my boyfriend went to their shop in person and said they are just wonderful. There’s a ring from them hiding somewhere!

          • Olive

            I grew up in Chicago and my husband and I went there as well when we were looking at rings, after finding them on etsy. We had no idea they were appointment-oriented and we just kind of walked in looking confused and they were absolutely lovely. Very lucky it was a Monday and not busy! I’ve had their ring(s) on my finger since 8.15.15 :)

          • Kalë

            Yes! He got it through the online store – Rosado’s Box. I literally could not say enough good things about it. And, from what it sounds like, my feyonce had an excellent experience with them.

          • loving “feyonce” so much

          • My wedding band is from Rosado’s Box, a tiny little bead & eye guy, and I looooove it. Service is really good and prices are fantastic!

    • AGCourtney

      Congratulations!

    • flashphase

      yay congrats!!!

    • Cellistec

      ALL THE SPARKLES. Congratulations!

      • Kalë

        soooo sparkly

    • gonzalesbeach

      congrats!!

    • emmers

      Congratulations! I’m so happy for you.

      • Kalë

        thank you!!!!! i am pretty darn happy myself, despite everything else that’s going on.

    • toomanybooks

      Yaaaaaaayyyyy! Your ring looks gorgeous!!

    • Lawyerette510

      CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

    • GotMarried!

      awesome! I hear you on looking for faceless pics to share :)

      • I made all the faceless photos of our wedding public on Flickr, and it is *bizarre* to view your own wedding from a faceless perspective!

    • Emily C

      Congratulations!! Your ring is beautiful!!

    • anachronismsarah

      So pretty- vintage?

      • Kalë

        It’s “vintage inspired”, from Rosado’s Box on Etsy. You’re not the first one to ask, though!

  • Laura C

    Now that the election is over I’m facing up to the looming holidays. With my husband’s family, including his hard-core Republican uncle, aunt, and cousin. Although, I will say, his cousin sent him a very sweet text about not talking about the election because he knew what it meant to my husband. And if talk turns to politics, he and I are just leaving the room.

    And then there are the logistical frustrations. The VRBO is a couple hours north of San Francisco so we have to figure out cars. My MIL asks if we’re renting a car and I say we have a Zipcar reserved and that while in theory there’s room for an additional person, in practice the baby will be either crying or sleeping for much of the trip and it’s not a great idea to add an adult to that dynamic. She comes back with the suggestion that we get a bigger car so that she and my BIL can ride with me, husband, and baby. I respond that as much as I always want to minimize driving, being in a car with four adults makes it much less likely that baby will sleep and I don’t think it’s a good idea, husband backs me up, saying better that she and BIL get a car or ride with her brother. She comes back with the claim that she wants to reduce the number of cars and she is uncomfortable making the drive and she will therefore ride with us while BIL rides with his uncle. This is ludicrous on so many levels. She and I have a history of conflict over exactly her desire always to drive everywhere while I push for less driving, and now suddenly she’s an environmentalist who’s uncomfortable driving? This is 100% about her desire to spend every possible minute with the baby, and I understand the urge, but past experience suggests that, seriously, he will scream bloody murder for half an hour, making conversation impossible and distressing all adults around him, and then fall asleep, making conversation impossible. And that’s the best case scenario, because if he doesn’t fall asleep it may be screaming for a lot longer, and if he gets overtired we will all pay the price well beyond the car ride. And we have been in a car with her while he was screaming, and she does not respond well.

    It is so exhausting to have to say no so many times. Finally we said we would pay attention to how he does in the car during our Thanksgiving trip and make the call based on that. But I suspect that means another several back and forths in 10 days. And I am reminded that we are likely to have several other versions of this over other aspects of the planning.

    On the plus side, my parents are about to arrive here for a long weekend and then after they leave just the three of us are going to Monterey and Santa Cruz for Thanksgiving.

    • gonzalesbeach

      log sounds frustrating with mil. but the thanksgiving trip seems like a good mini break!

    • emmers

      That is horrid. It sounds like you are both doing a great job with boundaries, and I’m sorry she keeps pushing. I hope you have a wonderful, restful thanksgiving vacay with your parents.

    • Amy March

      I’m not sure if it just gets lost in the retelling, but no where in there does it look like you just said “no you can’t come with us.” Maybe you totally did, it just kinda jumped out at me because you said its exhausting to have to say no so many times, but it doesn’t necessarily sound like you did say no. Sometimes I think when you think you’re saying “no because reason” the other person is hearing “solve this problem and we are good to go.”

      • Laura C

        We went from from “there’s a seat in theory but it wouldn’t be a good idea to add someone to our car” (that was in response to a question about whether we had a car, with no question about whether we’d all be riding together, so it was intended to be preemptive) to “it would be a bad idea to get a bigger car and have him riding with four adults” (from me) + a flat “you should get your own car or ride with your brother’s family” (from him) back to “no, really, it would be a bad idea to have an extra adult in the car we already have.”

        She very definitely hears “no because reason” as something to get around. But she also hears an unvarnished no as something to get around and potentially as disrespect. So basically, her possible responses to no, once she’s dug in, are 1) keep trying to get around it or 2) become furious. Or use fury as a way to batter through it.

        • Amy March

          I continue to just *love* this woman. Best of luck to you over the holiday and much respect for how well you handle this!

          • Laura C

            And it’s so frustrating, because in the 10 weeks between when I was allowed to go back to exercising post-baby and when we moved, my relationship with her was the best it’s ever been — she’d come over a couple times a week before my husband got home from work and take the baby while I went to the gym. She’d get to see the baby and her son, she’d do something really helpful for me, I was in a good mood because I could work out … it was great. Then we moved and now when I see her it’s in these intense bursts with lots of logistical challenges.

    • Lawyerette510

      Have a wonderful visit with your parents, and a great time in Monterey and Santa Cruz. A good place for food, either to pick up or eat in is http://www.gaylesbakery.com/. The food is delicious, easy to get it to go, and you order and pay at the counter even if you eat in, which I hear is a plus when there is a baby involved.

    • NolaJael

      “It is so exhausting to have to say no so many times.” So true.

    • toomanybooks

      Glad people are being understanding about the politics talk. My fiancée and I were invited to join her parents on a trip 6 hours north to have Thanksgiving with her stepdad’s Trump-supporting relatives. But then we were also invited to Friendsgiving here, and thankfully we are going to be doing that. Yesssss. I’ve always wanted to do Friendsgiving. Thanksgiving is, to be honest, my least favorite holiday (because for me it always seems to involve bland food and ignorant remarks from extended family or neighbors) and even though we’ll be spending Christmas with my family, my dad immediately started guilting me about not spending Thanksgiving with them too when he found out we were staying local. He always does this. But not thiiiiis tiiiiiiiiime!!!!!

    • Just Me

      Frankly, even if I’m in a room full of people who agree with me politically, I have never understood the allure of talking about politics at Thanksgiving, or any holiday.

      Isn’t it supposed to be about what we are thankful for and spending time with family and friends?

  • emmers

    I’ve done a few pro-me things this week!
    1)called my representative’s office to ask what he’s doing about Steve Bannon, since they track calls.
    2)gave $10 each to PP, CAIR, Lambda Legal, and NPR, and set it so it recurs monthly.
    3) decided to do something fun for me, and looked into rock climbing lessons.
    4)decided to get a tattoo, partly as an internal confirmation that as a lady, I don’t have to be bound by tradition.

    • Alyssa

      ROCK CLIMBING. I wish there was a good gym near me – it’s my favorite, and you feel so strong and capable in your body afterwards! Though building up the strength at first can take a little patience depending on your fitness level. Have fun!

      • Jess

        Yes. Rock climbing is awesome for both feeling physically capable and also for the mental aspect of figuring out the best route *for you.*

        Wish I didn’t have to drive so far to even go.

        • Alyssa

          Same. There is one rock climbing gym near me, but they’re pretty hardcore and even their easiest routes are hard to do unless you’re at least 5’10” or have extremely long arms… and at the end of the day, I just don’t feel comfortable there. Sigh. But YES to learning those random life lessons in rock climbing! I used so many rock climbing analogies with my therapy clients when I was climbing regularly.

      • emmers

        Thanks! I went a few times in college & was once in a class, but it’s been so long. Thanks for the tips!

    • Kat

      This election had made me feel more tattoo-inclined than usual. It’s therapeutic in my experience, and then you have a piece of art that’s all yours!

      • emmers

        One thing I’ve been wondering is how long tattoos stay as they were originally inked. I’m guessing they change a little over time, but is that something you’ve noticed?

        • Ashlah

          Oh, they definitely change. The lines become less defined, the colors less vibrant. Black becomes more of a blue-ish grey, and some lighter colors might fade. It very much depends on what sort of tattoo you get, the ability of your artist, your skin, and how well you take care of it. But any tattoo will certainly change. I do worry about people deciding to get a tattoo based only on photos on tattoo blogs of freshly inked tattoos! I would suggest searching specifically for healed tattoo photos, and start staring closely at tattoos of friends and strangers :) Of course change isn’t always a bad thing–I often like how older tattoos sort of blend in with the skin more than a fresh tattoo–and you can always get your tattoo touched up if it fades too much!

        • Eenie

          Echoing Ashlah below, tattoos do fade, though it depends on your skin and the ability of the artist. My husband has seven tattoos and not many of them have faded too much over the five years I’ve known him. There is a big difference between the first inked and the healed tattoo. I have no idea if this is because of the color schemes (a lot of his are blue/green heavy). Some of the flames have faded and he lost some color during the healing process when parts scabbed pretty bad.

          My friend on the other hand has a shoulder piece that looks almost nothing like it did when she first got it. It was a cover up piece and designed to fade gracefully. The tattoo artist explained pretty realistically what it would look like after a year or two.

        • Kat

          I’ve got two smallish ones so far. The one on my shoulder is in color and I got it on my 18th birthday (so it’s a little over 5 years old). I’m really careful to apply sunscreen over it, and so the colors haven’t really faded, which was a concern. My second one is some script on my ribs, and I was worried when I gained and lost some weight that it would be affected but so far no issues. Just do lots of research when choosing a tattoo shop. The cleaner, the better obviously. And ask lots of questions about placement.

        • Kalë

          Also, the spot on your body where the tattoo is located, can affect how it fades/looks with time. Supposedly inner lip and foot/hand tattoos fade the fastest. That being said, my inner lip tattoo is still goin’ strong almost three years later…

        • They also change depending on weight gain / loss, so it’s something to consider in terms of placement. I avoided most of my torso because I was concerned about stretching if/when I get pregnant, but a friend has some cute lower belly tattoos that stretched while she was pregnant and she loves them more for the story they tell about the history of her body now.

          In terms of colours fading, you can always get it touched up. I know a lot of people who added touch ups to their pre-wedding touch up roat along with hair dye, nails etc.

          (this is my tattoo – 30th birthday present to myself)
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/088f41d80fc54038cbb54fb525b9628bf54fd034af65be754ced5dd7b0656829.jpg

        • Aubry

          They definitely do fade, but depending on the factors mentioned below it will change. I have 4 down my back (some of the chakras) and while the top one on my neck is definitely more sun faded than the next lower one, the lowest one that I never got touched up (and it bled out a ton) looks way worse. So, get your free touch ups lol! That being said, the simple black lines on my neck are still very clear and nice looking 13 years later. I am careful to sunscreen them.

          I also want a rib tattoo and want one line of the text to go inside my rib line (towards my stomach/over the diaphragm) so if I get pregnant it will change. That isn’t an area where I gain or lose a lot of weight so if it stayed on my ribs it probably would be pretty safe, but i want that one word to get warped y the stories of my life.

  • Laura C

    Also, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for attorney general? A man who is in the Senate because a Republican Senate 30 years ago thought he was too racist to be a federal judge? And now he’ll be in charge of civil rights enforcement for the nation. Great.

    • savannnah

      WOOF.

    • Cellistec

      Facepalm.

    • Her Lindsayship

      Every new appointment is like a gut-punch. I guess at least I’m not so jaded that these things roll off me, but damn. I’m so enraged by a different thing each day it seems.

    • LadyMe
    • Lawyerette510

      So very f*cked…

  • Kalë

    Not sure if we have any Dutch gals around here, but here goes – does anyone have a recommendation for an Amsterdam photographer, or one who will be in that area at the beginning of 2017, for engagement pictures? I’ve been scouring instagram and the rest of the internet, but I haven’t had much luck. Really hoping to get some engagement pics done in our favorite city when we are there in January.

    • Lisa

      Did you ever join Girls LOVE Travel? I feel like this is a question that someone on there might be able to help with! I’ve seen photographers post for models in places they’re traveling and vice versa.

      • Kalë

        I did, and promptly forgot all about it! I’ll look into that, thanks Lisa!

    • LadyMe
    • Alyssa

      Check out Tomasz Wagner — if you like his work, reach out and see if he’ll be around. He’s based in Vancouver but loves travelling internationally. We’re getting married in France in June 2017 and as it turns out he was already planning on being in France anyway at that time so it worked for us perfectly. I know he’s shot weddings in Amsterdam before and if you like him it’d be worth it to see if he’ll be around the time you’re looking for? Anyway, check him out and see! He’s pricey, but his photos were amazing (and I’m picky about pictures).

      • Tomasz is a wonderful person too! I met him a couple years ago, and love both his work and him as a human being. You’re going to have beautiful photos! <3

        • Alyssa

          Yes! We did a video chat with him and I found myself wishing he was in town so we could just hang out and grab a beer together. I’m so excited for the pictures!

    • StevenPortland

      If you have the money, check our Evrim Icoz. He lives in our neighborhood and seems to photograph more weddings outside of the United States than he does locally. His photos are amazing. http://www.evrimgallery.com/

      • Kalë

        Totally don’t have the money but insert heart eyes emoji, wow!

    • I’d nominate myself, but we’re not planning on heading over to Germany to see the family until later in the spring (May-June), after we secure baby W’s passport. I would happily fly into Amsterdam if timing worked out, since I haven’t made it there yet, and it’s on our list.

      You might want to check with Lauren McGlynn (I know she used to advertise on here), she’s out of Scotland, but maybe she can point you in the right direction. http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com/

      • Kalë

        I would nominate you, too! I’ll look into her – thanks for the heads up :)

  • accidental_diva

    Does anyone else have an SO that is horrible at committing to things? (Not me- to be clear I mean events) His birthday is NYE (which yay parties parties parties) but I need him to commit to if we are going to a party or going out to dinner because if its the latter I NEED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS!!!

    • Alyssa

      My birthday is Jan 1, and my fiancee’s yearlong struggle is to get me to commit to what I want to do for my birthday, since I usually celebrate it on NYE. I would suggest just picking something you know he would like and surprise him, since you don’t want to wait around — but it completely depends on how comfortable you are making the plans for him w/o his input!

      • accidental_diva

        The issue is his buddies, while I’ve met them I don’t know them enough to have phone numbers (also he works in IT so his phone is on lock down with passwords) and I can’t even grab them real quick. I want him to be happy and I’d happily (joyfully even) organize this but he’s just bad at saying – yes- this is what I want that night.

        • gonzalesbeach

          if it’s a surprise you’re going for can you message his buddies through Facebook? my partner did that to plan a surprise party once.

    • Sara

      I’d make reservations anyway. They can always be cancelled! But I totally feel that pain.

    • StevenPortland

      Surprise him with brunch at a fancy restaurant that morning? I’d love to wake up on my birthday and be told I’m having waffles and mimosas. And then whatever happens that night happens.

      • accidental_diva

        Unfortunately he works both days- he’s in a 24 hour data center on our local military base and he’s 99% going to be on the day of his birthday and the day after (New Years Day)

    • Caitlyn

      Ugh no solutions just sympathy. Yes my SO is terrible at committing to plans and it’s rough. So I feel you! Honestly for me, it’s our entire families. Mine wants to know what we’re doing for the holidays in September – his starts to figure it out the week before the holiday. And so mine is constantly harassing me to commit and then I’m asking him and he’s trying to pressure his family. OMG it’s a process. Good luck!

      • Eenie

        After asking since August, we finally found out my husband’s family Christmas is the Sunday before Christmas. Like, I knew it would take some time to find the answer (hence the asking in August), but if we had wanted to get plane tickets to see my family too we’d be SOL. UGH.

  • raccooncity

    Hello from 38 weeks pregnantland. This week I’ve come down with a terrible cold, so I’ve actually been quite pleased to not have any indication that Kit will be joining us anytime soon because having a cold during the first week of parenthood can’t be ideal. Otherwise I’m meeting with an OB (finally…the slow wheels of the Canadian health care system have turned in my favour) next week and likely booking a c-section for the week after that. Kit really loves being head-up. And REALLY loves playing. All night.

    Here in Toronto, in my neighborhood we’ve had some “alt-right” (read: white supremacist) flyers posted in parks. People were pissed, but in the past year we’ve also been receiving the newsletter for our local white supremacist political party so I’m not wholly surprised. Anyway, the ripples of the whole US shitshow are being felt up here as well, emboldening our local racist contingent. I know that POC in my area were already aware of the existence of these people, so I’m sort of glad that this is out in the open so it’s harder for white “lets all get along/Canada isn’t racist” liberals to ignore.

    • rg223

      I’ve been thinking of you and Kit – happy to hear this update! Good luck at the OB!

    • I was thinking of you today, I know we talked about head’s up babies a few weeks back. Sorry that Kit has been so stubborn with you, looks like baby W has turned, so now I’m wrapping my head back around getting to do this naturally (since I’d just come to terms with having a cesarean).

      • raccooncity

        They’re not kidding when they say that babies just know how to get their heads down. It’s only about 4% of the time they don’t get it sorted out. I’m glad to hear yours did!

        • I’ve still got my fingers crossed that yours cooperates too! Now to prepare my “it’s your own fault you were born on Christmas” speech, in case the kid comes then (due that week). ;)

          • raccooncity

            It would be v. cool if baby flipped, but I lost most of my hope for that when even the ultra radical student midwife was like “so, c-sections. let’s discuss.” last week at my appt.

          • Womp, womp.

            Someone I talked to locally said that some practices will give you one last ultrasound before a schedule C-section for breech, to see if baby has turned and you don’t need it. Maybe you can hope for that! And of course, whatever is safest for you + baby is the best. That was what I told people when I was asked about it.

          • raccooncity

            Yes, I am definitely insisting on the pre-section ultrasound, although I think it is standard here.

          • raccooncity

            ALSO – just saying, my name is Natalie and it means “born on Christmas day”…..

            (NB: my birthday is in the hottest middlest summertime ever)

    • gonzalesbeach

      Hope this isn’t weird but I heard a white coat black art episode about a week ago and thought of you. it was about vaginal breech births that a midwife in Ottawa is training Ontario physicians on. obvs working with your ob and health care team is great and c sections have their value. just might be interesting to listen to if you hadn’t heard it

      • raccooncity

        I just listened to it myself!!!! It was great. Unfortunately, only 4/11 of the OBs at my hospital know how to deliver a vaginal breech, and one of them would need to be on call. I would need to go into natural labour before the baby got too big (which is generally pre-40 weeks) and have one of them be on call. ANNND one of the 4 docs is on vacation when I’m due. So my odds are slim. The size issue is also why they book a planned c section for some endpoint.

        But I’m so glad that this midwife has been doing the work she has. More OBs will develop their breech skills in the future because of her.

        • gonzalesbeach

          yeah it was so interesting! and there’s situations where c section is safest for mum and babe as it sounds like for you. just good to know that doctrine is changing. I’m a c section baby so I’m glad the procedure exists. and glad to hear that system is getting more responsive for you!

          • raccooncity

            I do medical research for work so I actually had access to the big research document from 2000 that made the official doctrine “no vaginal breech deliveries” and then also the subsequent rebuttal research and the first study was actually pretty sloppy in a lot of ways. But for 9 years doctors’ skills lapsed so we’re making up for it now I guess.

            I’m totally for c-sections. They have reduced child and maternal mortality overall, period, end of sentence. I’m also for evidence-based decision-making and it seems like vaginal breech delivery is safer and happier in many cases so it’d be nice for all docs to have the skills to provide the option.

    • Thanks for the update on Kit! Can’t wait to hear your birth story & see photos if you’ll be sharing :-)

      I’m right behind you at 34wks and I completely understand your pain about the baby playing all night – BabyPi has started to do the same thing to me.

  • GotMarried!
    • Lisa

      Gorgeous photos!! I love your veil!

    • Jess

      Hooray!!!!! I needed this smile today!

    • Lawyerette510

      Stunning!

  • Eenie

    My husband and I attended a pop punk concert this week. He was very active in the hardcore music scene growing up, so it was cool to see so many of the things he’s talked about. I almost got swept up in a circle pit, my husband helped someone crowd surf, and both of us are still feeling the hearing loss effects (we should have worn earplugs…). Mostly though, it made us both feel old. Very glad we took off the next day from work. And I’ve learned I value my personal space.

    • Kalë

      This is awesome! Hazarding a guess… Blink182? There are some really cool earplugs made especially for concerts, to block the “noise” so you can hear the “sound”, if that makes sense. I’ll try to find them to link, for next time.

      ETA – here are the ones I have: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A3Z44RM/?tag=earpg-20

      • Ashlah

        Hearos? Those are the ones my musician husband got for us to take to concerts–that we’ve of course forgotten to take with us every time!

      • Eenie

        The Wonder Years! We didn’t really think it through beforehand, otherwise we would have ordered the ones you speak of. I think we also didn’t expect to want to stand so close. But we couldn’t stand in the middle, so we were off to the side, right in front of the speaker :/

  • Anon

    This is the most petty thing to be annoyed about, but ever since I went back to work, my husband has done much more of the cooking than he used to. And he’s not as good at it as I am. He will make a recipe dairy-free for our toddler by just dropping the cheese, without replacing or compensating for it at all. (When the recipes is “Cheesy XYZ,” the cheese is essential!) He never met a vegetable he wouldn’t steam. It just never occurs to him to roast, saute, or grill anything. I bought a nice big head of cauliflower. I was looking forward to delicious roasted cauliflower. I even said, “I was thinking we’d roast those vegetables for tomorrow” and he said he would take care of it. And instead of delicious roasted cauliflower I got I-dread-eating-it steamed cauliflower. And when I asked why he steamed it, he said, “Should I have grilled it?” like roasting was totally not on his radar even though I had introduced the vegetables as things I wanted to roast. He was totally open to the idea of roasting in the future, but I have a suspicion that when it comes time to cook the next vegetable, he won’t even remember that we had the conversation.

    I feel like I’m on the brink with the added responsibility of working full-time now after having been a SAHM (or working very very part-time) for the past year+, so I can’t possibly take all the cooking on myself. As it is I was up past midnight multiple nights this week doing my part of the cooking. (We have different sleep preferences, and he does his cooking by getting up at 5am, a time of day I never see, which I why I didn’t know he was wrecking the cauliflower.) But I am also on the brink of going hungry rather than eating bland, unappetizing food half of the days of the week, which is driving me crazy! (The dairy-free thing for the toddler means that buying prepared foods or eating out is almost as much of a hassle as doing all the cooking ourselves, so that’s not a particularly viable option most of the time.)

    • Amy March

      Buy some hot sauce and roll with the punches? Transitioning to cooking more is hard, figuring out how to do that without dairy when that is a new restriction is hard, and he is accomplishing the task of home cooked, includes vegetables, and is taking food from raw to cooked. You don’t need to take on all the cooking by yourself, you need to pull back and give him the room to grow into this responsibility. If you want more involvement, meal planning together on weekends and picking simple recipes together might also be a good idea.

      • Anon

        Hot sauce is a good idea! I think there’s some in the fridge. That might get me through tonight, at least!

    • emmers

      Hmmm. That is hard. Because it sucks not being able to eat tasty food. But it’s awesome that he’s taking on a substantial amount of cooking. If you can, I’d try to think about how it takes awhile to learn to cook. I’m a great cook, but I started out not knowing anything. Same with my husband. I think it’s a combination of being careful not to crush his spirit (maybe peanut butter crackers in the car before coming home may help), and also knowing he needs help with skills. Could you try cooking together on weekends, maybe from recipes, with him doing 1 dish and you another? I know when my husband was learning I had to stop myself from doing everything for him (the “right” way). But picking recipes may help you guide him to certain skills.

      • emmers

        & specific to your cauliflower conundrum, ina garten has a cauliflower snowflake recipe (it’s got parm which you could omit & panko) which is basically roasted cauliflower- if you wanted to try it together. Molly Stevens also has an “all about roasting” book- I remember the meat recipes being amazing & I think they have veg too, if you can find it at the library. Maybe will help w/ learning technique.

        • StevenPortland

          I love Ina!

          • Lawyerette510

            Me too! I love her and I’d love to be her! Heavy, happy, in a perfectly fitting button-up (which is no small feat if you’re curvy), making delicious food… oh Ina!

          • emmers

            I only recently discovered her, but she is awesome.

    • raccooncity

      Mr. RC doesn’t cook as well as I do, and I just…deal with it. Some nights, though, I request the 1 or 2 meals he IS good at cooking. Everyone has a couple. His are nachos and tuna sandwiches.

      He’s gotten better, and part of that has been from us occasionally cooking TOGETHER. He pretends to be sous-chef. I guess that defeats the purpose of making life easier for you, but we find it sort of fun to cook together and it only happens occasionally.

    • Call Me Penny

      When my husband started taking on more cooking at home we found that meal planning together worked best for us, so we both knew what was on the menu for the week and what we each needed to pick up etc. Maybe trying that and being specific (e.g. x with y and roasted cauliflower Monday) could work? I do think it takes time to build your recipe repertoire and get fully comfortable with cooking though, and it sounds like your husband is still doing that. Are there any things he makes that you do really enjoy? Otherwise, a simple ‘I love you, but I cannot eat another steamed vegetable this week’ may work depending on each of your preferred communication styles!

    • Jess

      I’m with people who say you kinda gotta roll with it. As he’s learning, I think it’s very much fair to say, “I don’t like steamed vegetables, even though you’re cooking them fine. I do like roasted vegetables, though! So let’s do that!” The creating cheese free stuff is probably just something he has to figure out over time, though.

      I’m a cookbook person, so finding new and flavorful recipes through cookbooks is a lot easier than feeling pressure to come up with my own ideas. Maybe that’s something to consider introducing?

    • StevenPortland

      Could you print out a simple recipe explaining how to roast cauliflower? As the person in our relationship who matches your husband’s cooking skills, I know that I need to see instructions on how to do something new in the kitchen.

      • rg223

        Seconding this – I am the weaker cook in the relationship, and, maybe because of that, I am totally a recipe person.

    • Lawyerette510

      I went through my husband learning to cook, and it is hard when you are a good cook and having to navigate someone learning, but the key is finding ways to encourage the person to learn more skills. Below someone suggested recipe planning together, and I’ve had first hand experience with that working. Also, some approachable cookbooks or sites that go to your food preferences can be really helpful as well. My husband ended up really liking “How to Cook Anything” and it became his kind of go-to as he could just take whatever we had in the fridge, look it up in the book, and go from there. Also, Smitten Kitchen has approachable recipes with photography that is inspiring. And if there are dietary restrictions, maybe a cook book or blog that follows those same restrictions.

      In the meantime, find things that you can jazz up your steamed veggies with, like the hot sauce suggestion, or tasty vinegars, or citrus juice, gomasio, flavored salt, etc.

    • NolaJael

      Does he like reading to gain information? My husband has definitely improved his cooking game in the time I’ve known him and he loves “The Flavor Bible” (look up any ingredient and it shows you other ingredients – from veggies to condiments – that pair well) and “The Science of Good Cooking” (from America’s Test Kitchen, it explains the “why” behind the cooking – why you choose certain fats, why you sear meats (or don’t!), why steaming brings out different flavors than roasting, etc.).

      https://www.amazon.com/Flavor-Bible-Essential-Creativity-Imaginative/dp/0316118400

      http://americastestkitchen.buysub.com/best-sellers/science-of-good-cooking-bks.html

      • CMT

        Or The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt!

      • LadyMe

        My husband and I own both of these as well and they are great for feeling like you get what is going on in a recipe instead of just blindly following it.

        Also reading http://www.seriouseats.com/ and watching episodes of Alton Brown’s Good Eats helps.

      • Anon

        Ooh, not sure he’d be into those – he prefers bite-sized info online to whole books – but now I want them!

    • emilyg25

      Cooking is definitely a skill that takes time to learn. My husband struggles with it too. But it’s important to be patient and kind. My ex learned to cook from How to Cook Everything, so I highly recommend tat as a Christmas gift. :)

      • Danielle

        I <3 that book and use it a lot!

      • Anon

        We have it :)

    • Anon

      He’s good at recipes, and can cook fine when he’s following them, but doesn’t catalogue ones that turn out well vs not so much, so just about every recipe is a new one we’re trying for the first time. I have finally convinced him that a recipe is not a meal. He used to find a good recipe for, say, pork chops, and would make it and serve delicious pork chops for dinner. Just pork chops. No vegetable, no salad, no starch. But now that he will remember those things, he doesn’t look to recipes for them and they’re typically boring.

      I also think he will, for example, have some steamed cauliflower, dislike it, and think, “I don’t like cauliflower,” rather than, “I should find a better way to prepare this.” (Plus, tonight, he had 2 bites of it and left the rest because he didn’t like it, whereas I dutifully choked down a whole portion so as not to waste food. So I guess he’s less concerned with making food taste good because he feels no obligation to eat it anyway if it doesn’t.)

      I struggle with finding the right balance between letting him figure it out and letting him know what he could have done better without nagging or being unkind and “breaking his spirit,” as someone said.

      • Anon

        Also, cooking and meal planning together is tough with a toddler. We typically divide and conquer, with one of us dealing with him and the other dealing with the house/food/whatever else needs to be done. Which is why so much of our cooking gets done at 5am/11pm, when we’re almost never both up.

      • Ashlah

        That’s tough. Maybe you could help him find a few go-to, actually good side dishes, so instead of “Oh yeah, we need a veggie, I’ll steam it,” (because that’s what he knows and feels comfortable doing) he goes, “Oh yeah, we need a veggie, I’ll toss this broccoli in oil and [whatever seasonings you like] and bake it at [temp] for [time].” Point out that those exact instructions will work great for lots of different veggies. Remind him that neither of you seem to like steamed vegetables and wasted food is wasted money!

        Or (and I’m not sure who’s doing the bulk of the shopping), maybe make sure there are always salad staples on hand.

        Introduce him to Pinterest? Or PepperPlate? It sounds like he really needs some sort of tool to keep track of successful recipes so he isn’t always trying new ones. Then he might be less likely to treat the sides as afterthoughts.

        Granted, you shouldn’t have to do any of this for him, but if you have a problem with the current situation and he doesn’t see it, improvement has to start somewhere. Good luck, Anon. It sounds frustrating.

      • E.

        When my fiance and I first moved in together he had very little experience cooking and I had a lot, but he had a lot more time than me. The system we worked out is that I meal plan every weekend (takes like 15 mins) and send him an email with all the meals for the week either hyperlinked or which cookbook, and then he cooks from the recipe. I try to do all in one meals so the most we have to do for the side is rice and that helps too. I should add I usually get his input on meals he’s craving/if the ones I chose sound good, and it’s a fairly flexible plan, but it just helps to have all the recipes right there for the week.

      • anachronismsarah

        Make any leftovers into cauliflower rice and top it with something else more delicious?

      • AmandaBee

        Your husband = my husband, right down to the bland food prep and forgetting that meat alone is not a meal.

        Since I’ve been slammed with work he’s had to cook more and a few things we figured out:

        He needs go-to meals. I can throw stuff together but he gets tripped up on the details so now we have specific, simple meals we’ve both agreed on (ex: pork chops + roasted broccoli + potatoes) that he knows how to do. You might even want to write down “recipes” for the whole meal.

        He just likes bland food. IDGI but it turns out what o see as bland he enjoys. So we found some mild spice mixes we can both agree on and I just add some extra salt to mine.

        It turns out he has different preferences and I didn’t always know because I always cooked before and he just ate it. So we don’t really have a solution to that but we try to give each other more specific feedback now about what we do or don’t like about a meal.

  • Jane

    Has anyone seen a really good roundup of woman (and woman-of-color)-owned retailers for holiday giving recently? Relatedly – does anyone have recommendations for awesome woman-created board games?

    I know a lot of people are swapping a lot of their gift-giving for contributing to amazing causes, but I know that giving specific gifts to people I love makes me happy. So I’m doing a combo.

    • Jess

      I have not, but I would love to purchase gifts from woman-run/owned/created people.

      • Kalë

        Seconded! Maybe we can get a roundup? Or even, ethical businesses TO support?

        • Rebekah

          Maybe we should crowdsource?

  • AmandaBee

    This weekend is 100% being eaten up by the academic job search for me.

    I’m working on applications that are due today and tomorrow, and then trying to get a jump on the late-November/early-December applications so I don’t have to spend all of Thanksgiving on those. This is, like, the final wave of applications and then I just have to sit around and see if anyone calls me (which actually…sounds worse than writing applications).

    Writing job applications is like trying to ask someone to the middle school dance – like I want them to like me, but I don’t want to look desperate? Argh, so awkward.

    • Oh gawd, me too. Only, the ~October deadlines are now calling me. So I’ve got on-campus interviews in the midst of having to apply to 10+ more places. And all these thank you notes from phone interviews! It’s just…I’m not going to get any work done beyond this, am I?

      • saywhatnow

        OMG CONGRATS on your interviews!!! That’s amazing, esp. if it’s your first time on the market! And yeah, hate to break it to you, but you’ll plan better for knowing: going on the market is farily much full-time in the Fall. And if you have on-campuses, well…maybe winter?.. :/

        Tip: have a sample thank-you email to send that you need only personalize. But I’m sure you know that already. :)

        Good luck!!!

        • Thank you! Most of the deadlines are December, so I imagine the winter will be sucked up by this…but I’ve got 3 on-campus interviews before winter break…so…fall has also been sucked up by this, lol.

    • Olive

      Good luck! That’ll be me in a year or two. What field are you in?

      • AmandaBee

        Thanks! Education research. Good luck to you too :)

    • Also, FYI, what helps with that middle-school-dance feeling is reading a bunch of other people’s application materials. You can figure out what sounds good and what sounds too boastful to you. It’s important to not devalue yourself in your materials, though!

  • Olive

    Our quick visit to my hometown this past weekend went better than could’ve been expected. We met our new niece and played with her big sis, and my husband got to learn all the songs from the Frozen soundtrack. My dad only made a few Trump comments, which I politely shut down, and my mom started a conversation with my husband about her dislike for Trump. Winning. For the first time in a really long time, I’m excited to go home for Thanksgiving. I’m going to see if my sister will have dinner with me by ourselves before my husband arrives (flying in from a conference Tuesday night). Big sis and I haven’t been on the best terms in the past two years, so hopefully we can get some quality sister time in. Fingers crossed.

    I also became a godmother to the little one! And no one told me I couldn’t! I was so worried that the church would demand all my religious information (didn’t get married at church, don’t go to church), or that my mom or sister would make a snarky comment, but nothing. So much relief!!!!

    We had two seminars in my department from badass lady chemists this week, which was so nice and encouraging. The first was a special diversity speaker, and in addition to a seminar on her science, gave a seminar on her career path and her personal/professional life. It was amazing to hear authentic reflections from someone who’s been successful in her career and I’m drafting an email to send her thanking her for sharing her story and her science. We don’t have any female research professors in my department, so my friend and I have been fangirling over this lady prof all week and in the process realized how starved we are for female mentors. I guess we’ll just have to be them for ourselves/each other until my department gets on the female hiring train (to be fair, they have made several offers, but none have been accepted).

    Lastly, my sweet husband who sometimes wants to spend too much time with me is leaving for a conference tomorrow, so obviously I’m hosting a girls’ night complete with a photobooth, legos, and a cupcake decorating station. I can’t wait to not get yelled at for stealing covers at night, and get some much needed me time :) Of course I’ll miss him, but there’s something to be said about having the house and car (which we share) to yourself :)

  • Natasha Romanova

    I really don’t understand the anger towards People Magazine. I hate that Trump was elected. But.. They are a magazine. It is their job to cover stories like this and of course the president-elect is going to end up on magazine covers. They can’t pretend it didn’t happen. None of us can.

    • Lawyerette510

      It’s the normalization of Trump, as if he is not a demagogue. But People isn’t the only issue, SNL did it last fall as did Jimmy Fallon and many others. Some have since denounced him, but normalizing him glosses over all the horrible things he has said and condoned and stands for.

  • Natasha Romanova

    Also the aftermath of this election is making me feel worse than usual about being poor. I can’t afford to donate to PP or any other organization. I don’t have the time or resources to volunteer. I feel like there is nothing I can do.

  • Anon

    My fiancee and I will be saying goodbye soon to a friend with whom we’ve been enjoying a fling for the past few months. He is moving abroad, which we knew from the start and which factored into our decision to pursue a physical relationship. It’s been our first experience with nonmonogamy. We’ve had a lot of fun, and it’s brought up very good conversations about desire, commitment, boundaries, self-image. It’s also taken a great deal of coordination and emotional energy.

    I’ve never separated from a partner harmoniously – it’s been either painful breakups or (in my fiancee’s case) lifetime commitment. I’d like to go back to being friends with this person. How do you do that with someone who’s seen you naked? How do you keep your own emotions in check, and how do you assure them that you’re not pining for them every time you get in touch?

    I’m also curious to see how my fiancee and I restore physical exclusivity (for now) after sharing that intimacy with someone else. I hope we can still find our sex life interesting on our own! (Not that we haven’t had sex just the two of us during this time, but having this other thing going on has definitely charged our one-on-one interactions with excitement.)

    If anyone has advice for navigating this transition, your thoughts are welcome. :-)

    • Jess

      Oh! I am really interested in your experiences!

      Regarding amicably parting ways with someone who has seen you naked, the time and distance will help with the physical attraction thing. The other thing is just to start treating them the same as other friends. The more you practice talking about the weather, or whatever, the better you get at it. For a while, it may be difficult, but it becomes more normal as you go. I’m not going to promise it will go away entirely, but for both people I’ve been with that I see socially and people I’ve crushed on, it does lessen if you just keep treating them normal.

      On the returning to a “just you two” sex life, we have not yet brought anyone into our relationship, but it’s something we talk about doing. One of the things that we do is talk about experiences we would like to have while we’re having sex. That may be enough to bring back some of the charge you had from the experience.

      Anyway, this is something I’m really interested in, but also kind of nervous about because I *can* be kind of jealous. I don’t mean to be, but I’m not sure how to discuss stuff to limit it/prepare of it ahead of time.

      • Anonymous

        Hey, there! Thank you for the very kind comments and advice. They’ve come in handy over the last week.

        Our friend has gone off on his adventure, and we couldn’t be more excited for him. We had a series of goodbyes that were joyful and intimate, as well as physically platonic. I’m glad that’s the tone we’ve set for the future.

        My lady and I have been helping each other through the ensuing days. As you advised, we’ve been trying to channel our desire back to each other, with general success so far. :-)

        I’m allowing myself a few days of wistfulness, which I hope turns out not to be a bad move. I really appreciate your counsel to treat this like any other friendship. That seems like the wisest course, and I will try to adhere to it going forward!

        Bravo to you and your partner for talking openly about your interest in other people. I hardly consider us more enlightened than anyone else, but this first experience has been positive overall. I’d be happy to talk more, if you’d like!

  • ItsyBit

    I haven’t read this entire thread (I leave for a few hour and there’s almost 450 comments!), so apologies if this is a repeat. BUT HAVE YOU FOLKS SEEN THIS? I laughed, I cried, I said a quiet “thank you” for the roundup of helpful links. Just in case anyone else is looking for that combo: http://www.holyfucktheelection.com

    • AGCourtney

      Haha, I had NOT seen that. Thank you for sharing!

    • Lawyerette510

      This is amazing!!!

    • CMT

      Thank you for this!

  • anachronismsarah

    Woohoo happy hour!

    I’m SOOOOO glad this week is over, which feels pretty terrible to say, because it was supposed to be our fun/vacation week before Thanksgiving took over the house, and instead I ended up having to deal with terrible fallout from a situation at work that has come to a head from 3 hours away. While I was supposed to be relaxing and enjoying my anniversary(2 years on the 15th, woo!), I was worrying about law suits. While I was supposed to be taking my sister in law to brunch, I was rushing home to get to the attorney’s office. The situation was resolved Wednesday night, and I think I had the best night of sleep I’ve had in a month.

    We did manage to have an AMAZING dinner, and a couple of really lovely moments in the midst of crazy… And it made us realize taking 3 nights away from home every once in a while, and TRULY unplugging, is going to be really really good for us.

    Between all of the work stress, and all of the world stress, the whole TTC process feels useless. And that’s disheartening because we both really want a little one. And I know it takes time, and that things will happen, but it’s feeling like the one area where I have no idea how to be proactive or to improve our chances of things happening… And with 50+ pregnancies in our combined circle of friends in 2016 it’s beginning to feel like my first thought is ‘dammit another one’ instead of ‘oh yay they’ll be great parents!’

  • AnonForThis

    Hey y’all. I’m a long time reader, occasional poster. In the midst of having ALL OF THE FEELINGS this week about the election and our future moving forward, something pretty big happened that is largely related to my reading APW. I came out to my mom as bisexual (I’m almost 30 years old and have been in a relationship with a man for over 10 years). It was scary AF, but it went really really well and she was very supportive and it was a real high point in the shit show of the last week and a half. I share here because reading about all the different kinds of relationships on APW and being a (silent) member of this community helped me accept this about myself after repressing it for multiple decades and I’m just really thankful. So to all of us that are despairing about the state of the world, please know that the community created here is solid and invaluable.

    • suchbrightlights

      Congratulations, if that’s the word, and I’m glad it went well!

  • Louise

    Meg, I’m right there with you on the emotional roller coaster. I am exhausted from pretending that everything is OK for all the kids in my class and feeling like an utter failure as an educator. I don’t know what more to say except I’m really glad its Friday.

  • suchbrightlights

    Ladies and other identifiers who planned your shindigs on a budget: What is a reasonable time frame in business hours for vendors to return an email soliciting quotes?

    I’ve had a number of potential vendors just disappear into the ether when I mention the budget we’re working on. I don’t think the numbers are unreasonable for the area and, key, what I’m asking. So if you just straight up radio silence on me when I give you a figure, it: 1) does tell me “no, can’t help you,” so there’s that; 2) tells me I didn’t want to work with you anyway because you don’t have the time to say “no thanks,”; but 3) dude, you own a pizza food truck, and your website price range indicates that our budget is double your advertised prices, so WHAT’S UP.

    Anyway, I’m wondering if this is a “some people are bad at business communication” thing, or if it’s a budgetary thing.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      My wedding was definitely on a budget, and the main time I ran into this was with vendors who didn’t do a lot of weddings. The traditional WIC vendors were all quick to respond, even if the response was to quote me something way out of my budget. However, I think some of the smaller businesses I talked to were just plain clueless about how weddings work, from both a business and practical standpoint. I had one or two admit that they’d have to take some time to figure out an estimate before getting back to me, since they didn’t have any prior frame of reference, and I suspect that some of the ones who never got back to me were quietly in the same boat.
      When you’re talking about one or two person businesses, “bad at business communication” is very much a thing! Also, vendors who haven’t done weddings and aren’t specifically trying to break into the wedding industry often have no idea how much to quote…for instance, the pizza truck guy may not be sure how much he’d need to charge for a wedding to make up for the lost revenue of not working his usual spot.

      • suchbrightlights

        Thanks – this is helpful info. Sounds like I should dial down the grump and dial up the patience. :)

        • NotMotherTheresa

          No problem! Dealing with non-WIC vendors is totally one of those things I wish people talked about more, because while it can be a great way to save money and personalize a wedding, they can definitely come with their own set of challenges!

        • Amy March

          One of my friends is planning a wedding on a $150,000 budget. Her number 1 complaint is that vendors are terrible at communicating with her. Def not just you!

    • My sister had a pizza food truck at her wedding, and they were the absolute worst at communication. The groom spoke to them in the morning and they still forgot to turn up in the evening, because apparently the person taking the calls wasn’t the person who owned that particular truck, and had never bothered pass anything (like the booking!) on. The thing with food trucks is a wedding is pretty much backwards from the way they normally work; they’re used to having to book themselves into events and pay upfront, so when it’s the other way around it throws the admin staff into confusion. Even if it’s something they offer, it may not be something they’ve been called upon to actually do very often!

  • Anon

    Mom was freaking out about trying to figure out wedding invitations so I left a list of options for her. She crossed out most of them and reworded the rest. As soon as she finished she yelled at me about certain things not being done. Like listing her name as Mr and Mrs John and Jane Doe instead of Mr and Mrs John Doe or listing my name as Jillian Mary Doe instead of just Jillian Mary. She said I/we would look stupid because these things aren’t done. Also she wants to make it clear that she did the inviting and the way she makes it clear makes it feel like she arranged the marriage which makes me on edge since she has been telling everyone what an awful wife I’ll be. One she reworded from [parents] “invite you to join us in celebrating the marriage of” to “invite you to share in celebrating the marriage of their children” Subtle nuance which I’m definitely overreacting to. The one she really wants to use is “[parents] invite you to share in our joy as we unite our two families” which to me sounds like we’re an arranged marriage. Also I don’t know how much uniting there is since my parents’ families never see the other family except when we had baptism, communion and confirmation; not even when we graduated any schools.

    I didn’t think there would be so much strife over wording invitations. I’m almost certainly overreacting to her calling me stupid for listing her given name but why do I deserve to be yelled at for listing her name and my last name?

    • flashphase

      You don’t deserve this treatment. I’m sorry you have to deal with this. Sending you strength.

    • Lisa

      Is she purchasing the wedding invitations, or are you? If you are, then I think it’s time to cut her out of the planning process on that.

      Could you go even less formal and just use first names with no honorifics? We ended up using “John and Jane Doe together with Sam and Susie Smith request the pleasure of your company at the marriage of their children My Full Name and His Full Name”. Perhaps that still feels too much like the parents arranged the marriage to you, but for us, it was a good compromise between tradition and the more relaxed atmosphere we wanted to create. APW has some great posts on invitation wording, too. Maybe you could find a compromise in there if you still need to have your mother included in the decision?

      • anon

        Both sets of parents gave me an amount of money to spend on wedding things. If we go less formal, she’ll again say “it’s not done” and say I’ll look stupid since in our area everyone either has formal weddings or elopes. There was a big angry crossout of one option that said “together with our parents”

        Your wording doesn’t sound as much like an arrangement; perhaps because it’s more passive and therefore less possessive. I like it. I’ll supply the action line as an alternative.

        The whole ownership over the wedding and marriage bothers me more than it should. She spent months telling me she didn’t trust my fiance while I was dating him and telling him what an awful girlfriend I would be. She’s still trying to convince me to convince him to cut his hair. The way she talks to everyone it sounds like my mother is doing all the planning and paying for everything when his parents are paying too and I’ve been doing most of the planning (except the venue) with her usually trying to veto everything, usually without supplying an alternative. She just gets herself in a tizzy reading blogs like Brides and weddingwire without actually getting anything done. She subscribed to Brides and hasn’t shown me any of the magazines except the first. In the meantime the only thing we really have left to decide is tuxes and invite wording. (sorry went slightly offtopic and ranty but pertinent to why i don’t want to just give in to whatever wording she wants when I never thought i would care this much about invitation wording [seriously who actually pays attention to the wording of the invitation besides the people making them])

        • Ashlah

          How bad would the fallout be if you just ordered the invitations you want without her input? It really sounds like she doesn’t deserve to have as much involvement as she does, but I know it’s more complicated than that when money (and family dynamics) is part of it. Sorry you’re having to deal with this. You don’t deserve to be yelled at for any of it. Your mother is treating you very unkindly.

        • Lisa

          I agree with @disqus_SU83Haapqj:disqus that your mother is treating you horribly. You don’t deserve to have someone speak to you in such a manner. If you’re willing to put up with the fall-out, I’d just buy the invitations with a wording you like. You could even blame it on a non-refundable one day sale if you’re cowardly and ok with white lies like me. ;)